©2021 Michael Raven

The stars fell like snow all around her as she walked out into moor, wolves crying for the moon filling the empty spaces as the ruddy flames licked the sky. She held out hands and let the dying stardust fill them, pouring like sand through her fingers.

“What have they done?” she wondered aloud, but she knew the answer as soon as the query was spoken. They’d felled The Tree, of course. The end of the cycle, then; the end of all cycles in this maha-kalpa, anyway. Eventually there would be another Dreaming, but she would know nothing of it.

[a story in 100 words]

Visitation in the wood.

©2021 Michael Raven

Woad paint my face, streaks of blue, becoming ocean waves

Kohl paint my eyes, to the shadows for what they are.

Tapping the thin bones rhythm to the heartbeat earth, the mother of the clan; tapping out the rhythm of skies under the waves, we look westward with fire in our eyes. Darted with mud arrows, she stood beside me, a feast of snared rabbit finger entwined. “Eat,” she said and her cheek tasted of mud as I kissed it. The tapping of bones would linger well into the night, as the wood took up the song in the wind and coming storm — branched their own bones finger snapping in the growing breeze. Rattle, they cry, rattle the night growing strong.

I dressed while fire-build she, so sharp my knife; so strip the flesh from fur to be scraped clean. Spit and sear, fat spatter flames, the sky streak-filled with light.

“They are coming?” The words hinted at question, but it was nothing, only ritual. When I didn’t respond she grunted, knowing the answer. “They come,” she added with greasy fingers, by way of affirmation.

The wait was nothing, we still licked fat-burned callouses as they came.

“We are here,” they said.

“You are here,” I said in reply.

They sat amongst the fresh bones and feasted on the pile she and I had made. Then, they sat back, patting their bone-filled stone-speared stomachs, belched and then stood. And then they sang.

The song —

The song —

This is an experimental piece from my efforts over and the private site. It’s a continuation of my pieces that explore unconventional sentence structure (see We, Wendigo), which is related to, but separate from, my exploration with various portmanteau-likes (more word-mashups than true portmanteau) and standard portmanteaus. My reasons are largely centered around trying to create something different than the standard writing out there, mostly because I’d like to see more experimentation with language myself — these kinds of experiments, along with archaic language resurrection, use of symbolic imagery, and reimagining the structure of language away from the subject/object paradigm we are beholden to. I don’t know how successful I have been, or will be… but it is fun, so I continue to play and hope that I hit on something really cool in the future.


©2021 Michael Raven

"Buttons for eyes, buttons for eyes," she sang joyfully as she set to sewing large, black buttons into place. She loved this little chore, although she often wished the children wouldn't make such a fuss and scream so loudly as she sewed the disks onto their little cherub faces.

File under horror.


©2021 Michael Raven

Of course no one else could see the tree coming alive at his touch, but it mattered not to him. He was past the point of needing to prove these things to those who couldn’t see what was right in front of them. The tree lowered a branch to Jonah and he took it like a parent would clasp the hand of a child, and the two of them walked deeper into the forest so that the young ash could be with the other trees Jonah had touched since he’d discovered this gift last summer.

Klockwerk City; nochy.

©2021 Michael Raven

Me and me droogs stopped by the milkbar for a bit of moloko plus, our shlapas brushed and canes polished, looking real horrorshow. We’d not agreed on activity past that. Kipper was partial to a bit o’ shop-crasting, but Wayne was more keen on catching some sinny. Me, I was for watching devotchkas — not that any would be out on account of vecks like us, shaikas intent on making mischief all nochy.

An experiment. Not necessarily successful, but I was wanting to play around with Nadsat for the shits and giggles of it all. I think I might have to pick up A Clockwork Orange on ebook and re-read it. Not entirely different from the movie, but it leaves you with a different sense of Alex.

Dream #5.

©2021 Michael Raven

The greywater swirled with filth and detritus like a scummy cyclone as it flowed down the hole in under the floorboards. “What a waste of time,” I murmured. “That was mostly useless claptrap.”

“No,” she replied. “You missed something.”

“I didn’t miss anything…,” I started, the insistence in my words draining as I saw what she was talking about: a page ripped from a book, covered in feces. I grimaced, fished it out of the dregs left behind while trying not to get too much shit on me in the process, and read the following wor–

Stars are stars.

©2021 Michael Raven

The last star flickered as she watched, struggling against the inevitable. She didn’t blame it; stars are stars and they burn so hard but, like everything, it had a lifetime and that was about to expire as well. She wasn’t one to rush things, and so she watched it flicker flicker and wink out. She took it within her and then there was only darkness.

She sat in the darkness out of reverence for a spell before turning around, walking through the door behind her and closing it on the dead universe as she left. Her job was done.


It was the scent of steaks charring over an open flame that permeated the four winds, and the far off laughter of children playing some form of tag with some form of rules that were probably foreign to him that settled it for Jake: spring had arrived as he warmed his bare feet in the afternoon sun, the occasional kiss of a breeze sending chills up his back.


©2021 Michael Raven

From the trees hung trinkets and talismans, bone fetish and feather. Was it red paint or scarlet blood splashed in the trees and on the scattered dead leaves? Laura could not tell, though the cinnabar stuff was far to viscous to be paint, she knew, which left scant few other options as to what those slaughterhouse hues might mean.

The wind shifted, rattling the bones hollow, the devil’s own xylophone playing on the wings of air. She felt, rather than heard, the subvocalized growl forming from the perimeter. The sound permeated the thick air and came from everywhere and no place, trapped in the amber moment. Laura knew she should run, but was trapped indecision, though she knew her chance at escape was evaporating. The only movement was the bones settling back, the clickclack song fading into the night as she stood there, frozen before the cacophony erupted and she screamed.