The Lady

©2023 michael raven

The trees were bordered in effigies dangling, a slow rotation from the air currents listlessly ambling through the dense foliage. The children all knew better than to trespass past the boundary but adults… when they often laughed off tales of Abigail Armstrong as myth and superstition, and marched their way into the beyond, only to slink back hours later, never to laugh at such things again. Nor talk about what they had seen. Assuming they made it back at all.

Continue reading “The Lady”


©2023 michael raven

Notes about this piece: This piece was written during a single session based on prompts from the “Wildwood Tarot” with a thirty minute writing limit, followed by a ten minute limit for revisions. As such, there are likely both logical and typographic errors within. The three cards selected at random were: 5 The Ancestor, 15 The Guardian, and Five of Stones (Endurance). I allowed myself three minutes prior to the timed writing session to brainstorm ideas. The story may or may not reflect the meanings of the cards drawn.

The air was thick with humidity as the air rolled across the plains, flashes of light followed by thunder announced the coming rain. He’d get wet and the flames he tended would be washed away when the rain fell; from where he sat, he could already see the mercurial sheets slashing down in the last rays of the setting sun and the flames would cease to be within seconds of the arrival. But he hesitated moving any deeper into the cave, where his fire would continue to thrive and he’d stay dry. Inside was doorway and its Guardian, and it scared him to be anywhere near either, with the scent of rotting flesh and the musk of underearth perfuming the interior space.

Continue reading “Chosen”

Sigil of Healing

©2023 michael raven

“The West is the best!” shouted the crow at the bow as I paddled through cattails and ruddy rushes’ hissing cats through the narrows and shallows choked with grassy aquatic plants just below the water’s surface. Other things lingered there as well, but I tried not to think of those things, for the dead only waken when you think too hard about them as you pass over. And so I thought of anything but, although my will was weak and the ghost images of the dead washed through my head, clinging like barbs no matter how I wished otherwise.

Continue reading “Sigil of Healing”

Raven in the Sky

©2023 michael raven

Set a watch in the sky, to cry out when the hills begin to crawl and speak in unfamiliar tongues, when the bears wake.

Intro to “Raven in the Sky” (Oracle of the Morrigan), Morrígan Oran

“Hey Sam.”

Sam turned her gaze from the burning skies that turned the world a crimson color in the daylight and masked the stars come night for the past fortnight or so. No one could agree on the exact amount time that had passed, but agreed in principle the period could roughly be described as two weeks, give or take three days in either direction. Shit in the beginning had been chaotic by all accounts — there was no debate there. And, given the clocks had gone and done struck thirteen, then moments later given to the ghost just like anything with circuitry along with a blinding flash, well… the craziness and lack of proper tools to tell time made it awfully difficult to count the days, let alone the hours since.

Continue reading “Raven in the Sky”

By the Setting Moon

©2023 michael raven

Gathering weeds, bramble and thorn, she moved like midnight by the setting moon. Ever the air grown silent in the last silver glow casting shadows upon shadows and within the shadow of night, but for the shush and tug of her hands a’reaping, fragments of memory slipping behind her like dream.

She knew it to be soft voice, for the rustle of leaves in the wind on a windless eve and so she tilted her head sidewise and anon the speaker raised the timbre and lowered the tone so Jess might know what was to be said.

Continue reading “By the Setting Moon”

Grave conversations

©2023 michael raven

“Whatcha doin’?”

“What’s it look like I’m doin’? I’m sitting.”

“With your hood over your head and on someone’s grave, using the stone as a backrest.”

He flicked the cigarette into the dirt by his feet. Char opened her mouth to add an observation that it was a freshly filled grave Tom was sitting on, but closed it. It seemed highly likely that Tom was aware of this bit of trivia.

“Yeah, so what’s it to ya?”

Continue reading “Grave conversations”

Went Out Sky

©2023 michael raven

The sky went out last Thursday. No one knew why.

they broke of shadow
tore the whole down
and flew sunward and
widdershin, spinning
dizzy black and eigengrau
over our heads
filling all the empty
places and hew crying

It grew cold as the sun winkled out. I grabbed hands, any hand, it didn’t matter and they grabbed others as we ran, a chain of catastrophe, all arms and legs and shrieksy. That is when the Wolves (what we called them) came, tumbling in with their motorcades and mercury guns, shouting for the loss of their Moonchild, baby.

I ran for the underground rail, arms tugging be backwards as each of the arms and legs body fell to sharp little bees barking out of hot metal, the air like methamphetamine and the faithful singing on their knees. O’ holy holy, they sang but their god had lost the connection and they became puddles crimson at the top of the stair, bodies thrown down as the jagged tearing ripped their flesh to meat.

look around
what can you 
cat's in my belfry
and can't see me

And now we drown ourselves in inky black, hoping the lack of light will keep those shades away.


©2022 Michael Raven

It all ended somewhere between a grunt and a chuckle.

Her first inclination was that she had been stung by an angry wasp as she lurked in the high rafters of the stable, watching for him, meaning to thwart any escape he might try to make. Malcolm, as always, would take point in the operation to capture or provide justice at the end of a barrel for MacLeod, for “crimes against humanity”. Logan, as always, was Malcolm’s backup for those times when their bounty, as always, would try to run until they could run no more. It was her sacred duty to provide the backstop to such attempts and she had been damned good at it.

Until now, it seemed.

Continue reading “Half-penny”

Blood [a fragment]

© 2006-2022

Another one of those discovered tales from my various storage media, much of which had been mostly forgotten.

I vaguely recall writing this one — I have a reoccurring obsession with writing something in the genre of a New Weird Western, well before I was aware of such a genre. My own forays are more inspired by my interest in spaghetti westerns, a “goth” band with name variations that all hint at Nephilim/Nefilim, the Wild, Wild West television series, a touch of the gunslinger stories, and the serious belief that there is not enough good westerns mixed with horror, fantasy, speculative fiction, or a mixture of all of the above.

I’ve shared a few stories (mostly incomplete) here, on this site, written in those veins. This is no further towards completion than the others, but I thought I’d share this fragment all the same. Light edits for posting this iteration, but mostly intact and as found.


"Blood – I've walked the high wire
I had to walk real high to see today
Dust – fade without a name
When I finish my war, I'll fade the scene”

~ Fields of the Nephilim

Sometimes… Sometimes, it seemed as if there was nothing but dust in the world, no matter which direction he looked. The world was nothing but a shifting ball of dust these days but he could remember when it wasn’t so.

He had been a child back then, eons ago. The world had once been green and blue and damned beautiful. But not anymore. This world was nothing but dust. Blood… and dust.

Continue reading “Blood [a fragment]”


© 2006-2022 Michael Raven

As warned (promised?) I’ll occasionally post a few fragments of writing I recently discovered on various USB drives and portable hard drives. Most of them I don’t recall having written, in all likelihood because I was deep into my cups at the time. The quality of these is mixed, but my policy has always been to share my writing with all the warts showing.

Below is a fragment of unfinished fiction I wrote in 2006 (lightly edited in this iteration). I believe I intended to try and capture a facet of Jack the Ripper, or someone very much like him, in this piece. This was one of the first “forgotten pieces” I have reviewed that was of acceptable quality (although I recognize it could stand a rewrite). Enjoy!

There is a fine, razor’s edge, between your world and mine.

I revel in the knowledge of unknowing and you suffer in the silence you get when you raise your hands up to your gods and ask, “Why me?”

The difference, you see, is that I have given up on the illusion of reality and you keep trying to create a reality. While you try to bend nature and those around you towards your view, your relativity, your world, your false illusory “reality” – I am floating slipstream between the folds, hollows and turbulence; I see what is real and I hail her name, Discordia, Eris, daughter to the Night, Strife.

Continue reading “Delirium”