Monday, February 28, 2005

The Witch Wood Demon, Part 5

The Witch Wood Demon, Part 5
By H.A. Handy
Copyright (c) 2005 by H.A. Handy


I'm warm.

I'm dead.

Got to be.

The warm blackness surrounded her. Time no longer existed. There were no more worries or pain out there for her. She could rest for eternity, and she was ready for it.

A long, low gurling snore disturbed it.

Suddenly, Angelica felt herself fill with joy, and a little sadness, she was alive. She tried an experimental move and found she was wrapped up tight in something and warmth was filling her front, which, in turn, helped warm her back. As she came awake more, the blackness was replaced by a faint orangeness. If she opened her eyes she would be awake. Not yet. Not just yet. Just a few more moments, breath, of this peace. If she stirred, Angelica sensed, the rest of the house would begin to stir with her. It was morning. Something inside said it was morning.

Slowly, carefully, Angelica opened her eyes. She was facing the fireplace which was still going well. As carefully as a cat, she hoped, Angelica slipped from her to sit sit up.

Faint light was coming in through the windows, giving the place a nightmarish quality. It was early morning. Very few birds were chirping outside. The man, Caleb, was on the couch. He was clean and covered with a thick red cover. He looked worse for wear, but his chest still rose and fell, albeit a little more rhythmically now. It was odd for her to come awake and be concerned for the life of another. It felt good. Right.

Edna was on an antique small bed that was probably a hundred years older than Edna by the looks of it. Her hair was undone and it covered her pillow with silver. It was beautiful. Edna's face was quiet, gentle. Beautiful. Joshua was in a chair by Angelica's feet by the fire. His head was tipped back, his mouth open in full repose. It was from him the snoring was coming from.

Angelica came slowly to her feet, which, she discovered, had different socks on them and were nice and warm.

The bed. Angelica turned back to look at Enda. It was one of Edna's prized possessions. A gift from her grandmother.

How did she know that? But it was. It was a gift from Edna's grandmother the eve of Edna's wedding. How two people could fit into the small bed was amazing, but they had.

You're in my world now, Angelica.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Not A Good Writing Day

Sometimes the little blinking cursor on the screen makes me want to scream.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

The Witch Wood Demon, Part 4

The Witch Wood Demon, Part 4
By H.A. Handy
Copyright (c) 2005 by H.A. Handy

The house Angelica found herself at was a single story rambling house set precisely into a lovely valley. It looked old and comfortable. The road was about two hundred yards from the front gate which the horse stopped at.

"Are you awake, girl?"

"Yes ma'am," Angelica heard herself reply.

"Fetch the gate if you don't mind sparing an old woman the trouble of getting off and walking the horse to the barn." Angelica couldn't help but smile at the words. It had been a long time since she had been asked to fetch anything. A place in her heart just seemed to open up as she slid awkwardly from the horse. Luckily the stirrup was close to provide her a hand grab before she embarrassed herself and ended up with a face full of snow.

The gate was an old fence gate, big, long, heavy and once red as all of them had been. A stubborn splotch of red paint still clung to the top of the very center of the uppermost rail. Angelica slid the latch and opened the gate. The horse, Abner, moved forward, seemingly without being bidden or directed, and headed toward the house.

"Josh? Joshua! You here?" Edna called from the back of the horse as Angelica walked beside it.

"Right here, Granny!" came a voice from inside, and a duplicate of the man/demon-thing came out the front door and struggling a thick wool-lined denim jacket over very large muscles. Joshua wasn't wearing glasses and his eyes were the most beautiful hazel Angelica had ever seen. On closer examination, he was perhaps a little younger than the demon-thing, at least he wasn't as cold and hard, because the smile that came to his face was shy and bright.

"I've got a fire going in the living room. The 'lectric lines are down." Joshua lifted Edna down from the back of the horse gingerly. "You should've let me go, Granny. These things are gettin' hard for you."

She honestly could not remember the trip to the house because she had fallen asleep leaning against the strong, bony back of the old woman as the horse bounced her, surprisingly, into slumber.

"He's my grandson. Johnny's grandson," Edna said proudly. "His mother died in childbirth so, he's been with me every since he took his first breath."

Edna led the way onto the porch and into the fire lights glow of the living room. A couple of kerosene lanterns were lit throughout the house and several candles, giving the house a soft glow from the glare of all the white from outside. Edna shuffled easily out of her thin coat and thick gloves. Joshua had the man on the couch and his boots off and covered with a couple of thick quilts. Joshua vanished for a couple of minutes while Edna guided Angelica to a heavily stuffed chair beside the fire.

"So, what's going to happen?" Angelica heard herself ask from far away. She wasn't even sure why she had asked it in the first place, really. The silence and the warmth of the fire were somehow dangerous.

"We'll talk about that stuff when you rest a while. Here, outta the coat now." Edna slipped Angelica's coat off and threw it beside the door delftly. Joshua appeared as if on cue with two more quilts, one of which went around Angelica's shoulders. "You get her warm, Josh, I'll see to Caleb."

"No, no, that's all right...." Angelica's protest began, and then ended as her feet were promptly propped onto a rest and her boots were removed, as well as the wet socks. Somewhere in the back of her mind, Angelica hoped her feet didn't smell. If they did, Joshua didn't let on because his warm, calloused hands, began massaging her feet with utmost gentleness. At first it was very painful, the warmth that was beginning to flow back into her feet, but then, Angelica relaxed. Joshua seemed to rub her feet for an eternity before he covered them with the quilt again.

"I'll make some cocoa and some sandwiches, I bet you're starved." Angelica smiled at how different the words were compared to the deep throaty of them. Taking her smile as an affirmative, Joshua stood, smiled down at her and then vanished through a door where she began hearing sounds of wood being split out back.

They have an old wood cook stove! Angelica's heart leapt high at the thought of seeing one of those after so long! Uncle Greg had had one of them at the old place up on Junction Hill - he called it his hunting cabin. He made over that place as if it was a palace! In some ways, it was, because there he had taught her hunting, fishing, tracking, and told her all kinds of stories and taught her the old timey songs. It was wonderful, a palace of the summer. Sometimes when things went really bad at work Angelica would close her eyes and remember the cabin and hear the lush richness of birdsong in summer and she knew she could get through one more case, one more problem, just one more....

Wednesday, February 23, 2005


When we ask for advice, we are usually looking for an accomplice.
Charles Varlet Marquis de La Grange

Sometimes that's exactly what we're doing - getting an accomplice. Haven't you had those times where you feel like you know the right thing to do, but you "want to make sure" and therefore go and ask someone's advice, and the someone you ask is a someone you know very well and they tell you exactly what you've been thinking you should do? It's as if they give us permission to do exactly what we know we should've been doing in the first place. Yeah, we end up getting an accomplice.

Of course, there are those times when we want permission to do something we really shouldn't be doing, too. Isn't that ironic? We ask for advice/permission/acceptance to do the very things we know we oughtn't as well as aught?

Life is mixed up is all I can say. Thank goodness God gave many common sense. (Even then we get side-tracked though don't we."

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Hadn't Really Thought Of This But It's True

Often God has to shut a door in our face so that He can subsequently open the door through which He wants us to go.
Catherine Marshall

Monday, February 21, 2005


Hubby and I have just finished with our taxes. Sad to say, we aren't getting back much this year. Why? Because his income has gone up less than $1500. You want to know the really scary part - our household income is still less than $25,000 per annum!

With all Bush has done with "repairing" the nation, it seems the average people are the ones suffering most. "Getting ahead" and "making ends meet" are not terms the rich seem at all familiar with. Why do they even need to think about making ends meet when they have money to blow on buying horses and planes? Still, how many rich are there living next door to you? None live on my street with me. Everyone I know is barely getting by as is.

If President Bush keeps "repairing" the nation, we may have to leave the country just to be able to afford to live. Isn't that ironic? America is supposed to be the place where you can come and live the American dream of success. Except, it doesn't seem to be quite working any more.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Fiction by Eric S. Brown

Parental guidance suggested. Sexual situations involved.

By Eric S. Brown
Copyright (c) 2005 by Eric S. Brown

I saw them again today. Her in our green jeep and him in his gray van, parked side by side at the car wash. They were leaning out their windows talking and making plans. To meet like that is so much safer than ever using the phone. They believe I don't know about their affair but I am on to them. It's been going on for months now. When she leaves at night with her excuses, I smile and pretend to be clueless as to where she's actually going. I ask her when she'll be back and tell her to have a safe trip. Emily hugs me and closes the door behind her as she leaves to lie in his arms.

She'll leave again tonight, I know. Her excuses won't matter. I'll know like always exactly where to find her and Frank. Frank is a very predictable guy once you get to know him and I've worked side by side with him for the last seven years. He'll take her to the inn just off exit 106 on I-26 but tonight I will there too. The rituals are complete and I can feel the changes inside starting even as I drive home. When the moon rises, my eyes will burn red and my flesh will become that of a demon.

Oh, I could have confronted them, had her leave, and lost everything in the divorce which would have surely followed. I could have plotted their murder like a normal man and went to jail afterwards or maybe even gotten off on a plea of temporary insanity but this way is so much more fun.

You see, my grandfather was a warlock of some renown. He was burnt at the stake and all that after they cut off his head. They didn't burn his books though. The books were passed down to me as part of my family history on my twenty-first birthday and sat gathering dust in our attic for years as I turned thirty just weeks ago. No one knew the spells and magic inside their pages of human skin were real. I certainly didn't believe until my life crumbled and I got desperate. When I first found about them, the books leapt into my mind as if they were calling out to me. I tried a few simple spells at first and was shocked to discover they worked. It drove me on deeper into their pages and gave me my answer, my means of vengeance. Using their magic, I will become a demon straight out of Greek myth, a male version of a Fury and their blood will taste sweet upon my lips as I tear them limb from limb and die myself as the sun rises and burns me to ash. It will be well worth the price.

After the sun has set and she is gone for an hour, my clothes shred away from me as new muscles bulge and leather wings spread to embrace the night sky. The change is quick but feels like hellfire consuming my skin then suddenly I am aware. The world is new to me and I see everything, feel everything, but most especially my rage, my hatred for the crimes for betrayal by my wife and friend. I take flight from our backyard and cover the distance to the inn in mere heartbeats. I swoop down at the inn, crashing through their window on the third floor. The room stinks of sweat, sex, and a fresh fear.

Emily is screaming and trying to cover herself as I move towards Frank. Frank has always been paranoid so the gun on the night table comes as no surprise. He yanks it up and pops off round after round into my new body. I shrug them off as though they were nothing and reach out, crushing the gun and his hand alike in my taloned hand. Franks opens his mouth to cry out from the pain but the talons of my other hand slash open his throat, tearing his windpipe apart. I lift his falling body effortlessly and toss it through the window to the street below.

Emily watches it all too terrified to run. I yank the covers from her naked form and descend on her like a ravenous beast before she dies from her wounds underneath my spent body now satisfied. Finally I remove her still heart from her chest and sit enjoying it like an apple between my teeth as I wait for the sun to rise.


Eric S. Brown has appeared in The News before. He has a new book coming out. Will provide his bio at a later date.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005


Please sign the guest book if you don't want to leave comments. I would really like to know what ya'll think.

A Quick Aside

YES, there is fiction, but my computer has just decided it doesn't want to cooperate in pasting said fiction. Since there is somewhere I have to be in the next couple of hours, this means I do not have enough time to "type" everything into the computer right now. Needless to say, it will be done today or first thing tomorrow morning. I also have the 4th part of THE WITCH WOOD DEMON ready for posting tomorrow, which takes much stress off of yours truly. So, I guess you would call this technical difficulties.

On a lighter note - I have been going surf-shopping recently. This is what I like to call it - instead of "window shopping" I'm Net window shopping, therefore, surf-shopping. I really do need a few items, but some things I've found just fill the geek in me with too much happiness. Like this for example. Nice pricey tag, but uber cool to me! Told Cheyenne about this and Hubby and found they agreed. There is also this to keep my geeky side quite thoughtful and curious. And there is more, MUCH more, but these are some of the really cool stuff that makes me want to drool.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005


OK, many of you who have been reading for a while know the background of the condition of my nerves. For those of you who don't, a quick recap. See, in just a little over a year I lost my Mom, my Dad, my best friend of 20 years, my cat of 12-13 years, so things went quickly down hill as far as my nerves are concerned. They were so bad for a while I was having chest pains and my body and I were convinced I was having a heart-attack, but I really wasn't. So, am on some daily medication for my nerves and a little something extra for when my chest hurts. I haven't had to take the "little something extra" for quite a while because I've been handing things quite well and am actually getting out of the dull-drums quite happily (and with much relief). . . . That is until today. Today I had to take something, but, in all honesty, I don't know why my body reacted the way it did.

My older sister, "Jade" (for now), called to tell me one of our cousins had passed away. He was suffering from cancer and was in so much pain. I prayed for him, but wasn't really close to him. It was sad to know he had passed on, but it was also good in a way he wasn't punishing any more. Somehow, after I hung up the phone with her, my chest started hurting horribly and I had to take my little something extra and go lie down for a little while. This, of course, knocked me out of the rest of my day. It was quite annoying to say the least.

I love Jade, dearly. I do. But there is something about us that makes me all nervous. I don't know if I am just waiting for even more bad news than what she gives me or if it just reminds me of when she called to tell me Daddy was gone. Honestly, I don't believe it to be the latter.

One thing, for sure, is I can't make her understand how losing Mommy and Daddy has affected me and my life. She says, "She was my Mommy, too." Yes, I know, and I'm not trying to make her feel bad, but she needs to understand not every relationship is the same.

OK, time for me to lie down some more.

Fiction tomorrow.

Monday, February 14, 2005

It Has Arrived

This is it. Today is Valentine's Day. This used to be a day I would dread and wish for romance, a day when it would show me just how lonely I truly felt. Now, I don't feel that way. I feel very romanced and loved, although it did take a while. Beginning last year I had major revelations about my life and those sharing it with me, and came to realize just how much I was truly blessed with Love. Not just the movie-type stuff, but the REAL stuff - real love, true love. Seeing that, knowing it deep down inside, made me take a good hard look at everyone and everything around me, and everything became much better. Things are not quite the same this Valentine's Day as last year, but they are still good, and I am still very much romanced. This year, however, I am doing the romancing. I have a good dinner planned, a new nightie to show off, and I am actually really happy to be where I am.

God Bless Saint Valentine who suffered and died so all could have a Christian marriage in his time and life.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

The Day of Hearts Approaches

Monday is Valentine's Day and a lot of the people I know are celebrating it today, tomorrow, and in some cases yesterday. I have been trying to celebrate Valentine's Day with him in bits and pieces leading toward something really neat and cool (hopefully) on the day itself. So far haven't achieved one little mischievous thing! Hubby just doesn't want to get overly into it because it isn't Valentine's Day yet! SO, am leaning towards the major break-out on Monday itself complete with dinner, something nice to wear, etc.. I believe he will like it.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Happiness in a Moment

For a moment the world stops and Time itself can appear to stand still. Sometimes this odd limbo occurs because of severe depression - in that scenario the limbo lasts for days, weeks, or months and isn't pleasant. Sometimes the limbo occurs because of a particular event or feeling - in this scenario the feeling lasts perhaps a moment, a blink of an eye, and everything is even more pleasant than it was. I like these moments, and, of course, they happen rarely. The most recent one, for me, was talking to Cheyenne about God today.

It was, for a moment, one friend sharing with another friend how you truly feel and think about something. Usually people just don't get it, but when they do, it is one of those special time-warp-moments when everything is just perfect and you feel as if you might actually be doing something right in the great overview of Living. I hope so at least.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

The Witch Wood Demon, Part 3

"I don't care if the name you give me is real or not. Only you know your real name." He was smiling at her, the sunglasses showing her back her own reflection. "So, what name do I use for you? I would call you Beautiful but that's taken already and I won't un-take it." Something in his voice changed slightly, which made Angelica look at him. His head was down and his brow was furrowed as if he was remembering something almost distasteful.

"Do demons love?" Angelica asked suddenly.

"No," came the answer, "but men do, and I was once . . . different."

"You were once human?" Tom nodded his head slowly. His handsome jaw was set firmly. "And you became a demon?"

"I had to pay a price for something I asked for." His head came up slowly and he smiled into the distance. "There is a cliff not very far away, we can just push him over the edge and when you get to town you can say you lost control of it. They will only find your footprints any way." He looked at her again and smiled that smile again. She didn't know why, but his smile made her shoulders ache.

"What did you have to pay a price for?" she asked, looking ahead of her again.

"That is none of your business, besides, it was a long time ago."

"How long ago?"

"Before you were born."

"Are you hundreds of years old?"

"Part of me is almost ageless," he said with some sadness.

"And part of him is about 75 years old," said a third voice. She froze in place, afraid to look around, mostly because that was what Tom had done.

Angelica watched what-ever-he-was look up slowly, cautiously. He dropped the cables and straightened to this full height and removed the sunglasses he had been wearing. His eyes were a warm brown, intelligent, and filled with turmoil, or so it seemed. Angelica followed his gaze and saw an old woman wrapped in a quilt and heavy clothes sitting astride a horse of all things! A gasp escaped from her before she could control herself.

"Hello, Johnny," the woman said softly. Her wrinkled face split into a bright smile.

"Hello, Beautiful," he said as the old woman slipped easily from her saddle and led it forward. It wasn't until the horse had reached them Angelica saw it was pulling a make-shift sled of it's own.

"Johnny, you still know how to make me smile." The old woman was shorter than Angelica by a couple of inches and looked to be nothing more than wrinkles and possibly bone, but Angelica couldn't see because of all of the wrapping and winterizing the woman had done. To Angelica she smiled, "I see you are prepared in your own right. No need for me to help you lug this fella onto the sled I have. I'll just hitch yours to Abner here and we'll get him to the house where we can look after him properly."

"How did you know this time, Edna?"

"A little bird told me." The woman chuckled as she unhitched the sled she had and took the jumper cables and tired them to the harness of the horse. "The road is closed going to town," she told Angelica. "But my house isn't far. You can rest up there and wait for the roads to clear."

"I know where you live, Edna." Edna raised to her full height with a slight groan and looked up into the handsome face.

"You should, Johnny. You built it."

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Haikus by Michael Lohr

A Painting In Woad
Copyright (c) 2005 by Michael Lohr

blue on blue spectrum
radiance of her beauty
now lucid dreaming


The Secrets of Shambhala
Copyright (c) 2005 by Michael Lohr

love, good food, good friends
learning to like yourself first
others will follow

Author's Note:The secrets to life, no matter your pathway, is love someone, be loved in return and smile.


Copyright (c) 2005 by Michael Lohr
Walk the wilderness
Godspark, the echo within
Touching the soul tree


Copyright (c) 2005 Michael Lohr
Like deer in head lights
Crushed beneath the Dharmic wheel
mortal mindlessness


Copyright (c) 2005 by Michael Lohr
Unfounded Anger
Much like Oscar Wilde’s nightmares
Collect much rainfall


Copyright (c) 2005 by Michael Lohr
Yeshua’s Children
The Sang Raal of Magdalen
Buddha smiles softly

Michael Lohr is a professional journalist. His work has appeared in such diverse magazines as Rolling Stone, The Economist, Southern Living, Men's Journal, ESPN Magazine, Outside Magazine, Caribbean Travel & Life, Canoe Journal, Canoe & Kayaking, Outdoor Life, and Blue Ridge Country to namea few. Genre-wise, he has been published in Brutarian Quaterly, Cemetary Dance, Marsdust, Albedo One, Interzone, The Third Alternative, Midnight Street et al. His webpage can be found at

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Errors in Speech

Putting one's foot in one's mouth is quite a simple task, yet there are some people who almost make an art of it. It is as if they never know when to be quiet. Then they see their mistake, or more than likely, see it on the other person's face, and try to correct their error, and end up putting both feet and at least one hand in there as well! What is a polite way of saying, "I'm sorry, but you need to be quiet?" Or, "I don't believe that was the right thing to say?"

Sometimes it would be so nice to be blunt. Don't you think? Or is it just me?

Monday, February 07, 2005

Listening vs Hearing

The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing in the right place, but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

Dorothy Nevill

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Fiction by Michael Lohr

By Michael Lohr
Copyright (c) 2005 by Michael Lohr

AP Newswire:
Woodsfield, Ohio.

Deputy Sheriff Curtis T. Minnifield reported that ‘Saxon ‘Wiggly Biscuits’ Jones’ of New Martinsville, West Virginia had been caught speeding and driving with reckless endangerment along the riverfront in the Powhatan Point area. Deputy Minnifield stated that Mr. Herrick was speeding and driving erratically along State Route 7. Deputy Minnifield was quoted as saying, “he was weaving from lane to lane and hit several small animals while attempting to flee. I made my pursuit and called in reinforcements from the City of Powhatan and the City of Clarington as well as the two Regional State of Ohio Patrol offices based in Bellaire and Marietta. I also alerted our fellow Peace Officers in the State of West Virginia that one of their own had busted out and was reeking havoc on this portion of southeastern Ohio.” Additional law officials quickly responded to the scene and Monroe County Sheriff Timothy P. Warbles contacted the U.S. Department of Homeland Security just in case this situation had terrorist implications.

Deputy Minnifield made the initial contact with the suspect as Mr. Jones slowed to an uncontrolled stop after hitting a parked school bus and driving over two stop signs on St. Rt. 7 just north of Clarington. “Thank God that school bus was empty or this situation would have become far worse than it already was,” said Clarington Police Chief Wade “Booger” Smith, whose squad car was approaching the suspect’s vehicle from the southbound lane. Upon receiving the State of Ohio’s desperate plea for help, Homeland Security Head Richard Boogaloo ordered members of the Terrorist Task Force from the FBI Training Facility in Quantico, Virginia to disembark immediately for Monroe County, Ohio and to quell the situation.

Deputy Minnifield, being the brave officer that he is, approached the suspect’s red pickup truck with his revolver pulled as a safety measure. Deputy Minnifield reported that as he came closer to the suspect’s vehicle the sound of Jimmy Buffet music could be heard blaring from the truck cab. By this time Police Chief Smith had stopped his squad car and was approaching the suspect’s vehicle on foot. “I saw Deputy Minnifield approaching from the rear as I approached from the front. Loud music could be heard and the scent of rotting grass was in the air. A sure sign of marijuana.” Deputy Minnifield later reported that he also smelled the scent of rotten grass and said that as he approached the truck bed the scent became overwhelming. “We were concerned for our safety as the suspect had already ran over seventeen cats and dogs, eight goats and one gopher while attempting to flee the scene.”

The two officers kept the suspect at bay until State Patrol backups and the FBI arrived. When Mr. Jones was pulled from the vehicle he gave little resistance but was babbling incoherently about the state of Florida and a bitch that done did him wrong.

President Bush and State of Ohio Governor Taft awarded Deputy Minnifield the Presidential Medal of Honor, the State of Ohio Valor and Duty Award and a coupon for a free blowjob at the Cadillac Dude Ranch in Las Vegas, Nevada. God Bless America and stay safe.


Michael Lohr is a professional journalist. His work has appeared in such diverse magazines as Rolling Stone, The Economist, Southern Living, Men's Journal, ESPN Magazine, Outside Magazine, Caribbean Travel & Life, Canoe Journal, Canoe & Kayaking, Outdoor Life, and Blue Ridge Country to namea few. Genre-wise, he has been published in Brutarian Quaterly, Cemetary Dance, Marsdust, Albedo One, Interzone, The Third Alternative, Midnight Street et al. His webpage can be found at