Dust lies thick in empty hallways; as the light begins to fade
chill wind swirls down ancient chimneys, cold and dry as brittle bone.
The old mansion lies uneasy, knowing dues must still be paid.
Even though there is no movement in its rooms, it’s not alone—
all the restless souls who died here have been trapped and still remain
and the house, once filled with laughter, has grown evil and insane,
for no happiness is found here, only anguish, fear and pain.
In the attic is a nursery, used by little ones no more,
where abandoned in one corner, sits a broken china doll.
In the bowels of the building, is a pit in earthen floor;
from this well without a bottom, comes the curse of
In the days before the curse fell, when the house was newly made—
standing strong against the weather, its foundation solid stone—
there was light and there was laughter, and here children gaily played.
Often music could be heard, as peaceful moonlight sweetly shone,
every season was spent happy in the sun, and snow, and rain
but the house, once filled with love, has now completely gone insane,
for its memories of those years, although skewed, are yet retained.
It remembers distant yesterdays, bright waves upon a shore,
but an evil and dark undertow has clouded its recall.
The despair of hope abandoned is a throaty distant roar
from the well without a bottom, in the heart of
In those days beautiful young Anna was a sweet and buxom maid,
but her love for Paul Greymoor ensured the seeds of death were sown,
for she gave to him her flower—in the basement dirt they laid.
There, the final drop of virgin blood was spilled with breathy moans,
and her sacrifice of innocence, into the well did drain.
Soon the house was filled with screaming and the sound drove it insane,
as the ductwork rang with echoes and the walls with blood were stained.
Bittersweet, her loss of purity had opened up a door;
in the depths of Hell a demon turned its head, answered the call
on its face an evil grin displayed, as if it knew the score.
From the well without a bottom, it climbed into
These young lovers were the first two upon whom the demon preyed,
and their ravaged bodies, still alive, into the pit were thrown
ere the monster threw its head back, dark laughter a cannonade,
and the solid walls around it seemed to buckle and to groan.
Darkness gushed forth from the well, like blood out of an open vein;
as the house filled up with evil, all its dreams became insane
and the stench of death and decay simply could not be contained.
Through the other living residents’ weak flesh the demon tore.
With the ending of their lives, the final barrier did fall,
these environs were inhabited by living souls no more
and the well without a bottom held full sway at
Near a century has passed now since that unholy parade
and the grounds around the building lie weed-choked and overgrown.
Faded wallpaper sags, peeling; window coverings are frayed,
and once lustrous marble fixtures now lie shattered and flyblown.
In the ballroom jet black spiders and white maggots darkly reign,
while the basement, full of shadows, echoes laughter quite insane
and this sound which can’t be heard, is one that science can’t explain.
Faintly glowing in the moonlight are green putrid fungus spores
which reflect upon the insects who ’cross ancient remains crawl
near the blood red evil light source which shines forth, a blighted sore
from the well without a bottom, far below old
It is said the ghosts of Anna and Paul Greymoor, though insane
are still haunting rooms and hallways now grown wicked to the core,
and the demon they set free that day still lives within the walls;
Any humans who set foot inside, will find out what’s in store,
and the well without a bottom will be fed in
© 2017 - dustygrein
** a double refrained chant royal in tertius paeonic tetrameter catalectic **
Get With The Program
It was the kind of heat that falls off your face, and makes a small lake inside your shoes. It was the kind of heat that made you pray a stranger would piss on you just to put out the fire. Joseph Pinkman sucked a ice cube and sized up the newest nominee for a 'luxury vehicle' at Ace Double Down Car Dealers. He could tell this guy was skeptical of salesmen just by the way he winced whenever he could feel someone was coming close to him, like he had a personal space bubble the size of a football field. The cagey looking, well built man twitched at every foreign breeze, and even looked like a prickly pear with his muscle bound shape, all puffed up, green at the gills, and plugged in to the wind. Pinkman spat his cube into the Arizona dust, and started in his direction, determined to crack the shell of this hardball like a veteran locksmith. He slipped in right behind the man like a thief, and tapped on his shoulder. The tough customer whipped around and threw a testy glare immediately onto Pinkman's considerably smaller frame, and recoiled. A bloody vein bulged in his right eyeball as he puffed himself up to his full height.
"Can I help you with something, Mack?"
"Just wondering if I can saddle you up with one of these sweet looking rides that you've obviously got your eyes on. I can tell a man with fine taste from a mile away, and you got it, friend. How's about I get you the kind of deal that you can write home to your Momma about? What do you say bud, are you ready to 'Double Down'?"
"You got the wrong idea, buddy. I ain't looking to buy any of these here shit boxes. I'm here to give you this from your wife."
The big gorilla shoved divorce papers in Pinkman's chest with a grunt and a thrust, and then immediately lumbered off. Still stung, Pinkman stared after the thug making his exit. The sun bled from the sky as the paper pusher sped off, disappearing up the hill on Douglas Street. Pinkman's view of his ascent was marred by the powerlines criss-crossing, and making a grid across the horizon, chopping the sky into varied appetizers for Pinkman's eyes. These samplings of the landscape were unsatisfying, so Pinkman returned to the business of selling cars, which was a business slowly drawing to an end.
Pinkman was sore from the disappointing day, and worse yet, he knew it wasn't over. Thankfully, this molten rock town that seared his soul was finally cooling down. Unfortunately, Pinkman knew there were other wounds buried deeper then the surface. Lise was waiting for him at her usual space, Pinkman was fucking sure of it. She wanted him to work for her again. To give her the contacts. Pinkman wanted more then anything for her to not be there on that fateful corner, but he knew sure as shit that she would be. She was his partner in crime. The Ying to his Yang. More disturbing than all of that, she was dead as a doornail. She had been for three years now. Try telling her that though. It was tough when she'd just come right up to him like it was last week that they had done a burn on an elderly lady, taking her for all her pension, and ready to get cracking once again. Pinkman felt her presence, and knew just what was coming as he approached Atlas street with the trepidation of a prowler with cold feet.
(To Be Continued...)
Hi! I miss everyone so much at Prose. I have been evacuated for the Florida hurricane and can't go back until there is electricity and water and phone and internet service. It is way to hot to stay in the house without a/c and my husband is ill so can't bring him back until it is cool. Our house is okay, thank goodness, although we had to remove a large branch from the roof and had a lot of debris and water in the yard because our canal overflowed. We pumped out the water from the lawn but can't go back yet. It is still hard here to get internet service but I can't wait to get back to all of you wonderful Prosers. Whenever I can, I will be back. Hope none of you had problems from the hurricane.
It's my birthday today.
Yes, I'm getting older.
My hair is greying,
my mind is fraying,
my ass looks like two sagging boulders.
But its my birthday today,
and I'm still breathing fire,
my tapping feet still dance
I've got a fine romance.
So watch out world is what I say.
Age is just a number,
and I'm more than a sum of my years!
No one ever has the right to touch you without your consent. No one has the right to treat you like dirt, and no one has the right to hurt you.
Find someone you trust, and tell them what's going on. Try and get help. And if whoever's abusing you threatens you, please, please do not listen to them, and do not be afraid. Get help.
I Love You - An Essay
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres ~ 1 Corinthians 13:
I love you. It’s amazing how much promise, hope, joy, sorrow, pain, and ambivalence these three words elicit. Particularly in a day wherein people have become lazy, relying solely upon words to express a sentiment at the expense of actually demonstrating that they mean what they say, I love you has, to me, become nearly devoid of any true meaning. When I love I do it completely. I give my heart and soul unselfishly and, subsequently, place my relationships high on my priority list. I do not understand why others believe that it is simply enough to just say it without following through with actions.
I write this now because I am contemplating my romantic future several years after my divorce. My second divorce from my mistake marriage which is a long story in and of itself (and best left for another time). However, my last relationship—albeit rather short-lived—was an exercise in futility and a character-building experience. Insecurities, indecision, narcissism, and naiveté plagued any semblance of longevity or happiness.
Big mistake number one: he was “separated”—which really meant that he wanted to have a wife and a girlfriend. A girlfriend for the fun, novelty, and sex, and a wife waiting for him to come back that provided some odd stability in his mind.
Big mistake number two: I kept taking him back after every break-up. I have to admit I was acting like a stupid girl. I am most definitely not stupid. Nevertheless, the fear of being alone—something I now enjoy—affected my usually intelligent decision-making processes. And I got hurt. Several times. Each subsequent injury—whether intentional or not—created new wounds or opened old ones, and eventually added enough salt for a 50-gallon drum of margaritas to them all.
I firmly believe that if one does not love oneself then he or she cannot love another. This, to me, is the primary law of love. Absent the capability of loving oneself it is impossible to extend such sentiment to others, yet people try repeatedly to love another, all the while devoid of the capacity to do so. They believe that mere utterance is analogous to actions. That saying those three little words is enough to get one’s point across, to make the other person believe in all the hopes and promises such words ought to convey. In reality, however, where too many people rest upon the laurels of said words, even more of them erroneously and habitually trust the speaker. I believe this is at the heart of the decline of society—that people believe words without deeds and that those who speak such meaningless utterances are taken at face value without actually having to put effort into realizing their true connotation or into making the other person feel said value.
I cannot fathom a statement that is more comprehensive, more descriptive, and more reflective of what love truly is. In my relationships I have been confronted with a dearth of such guidelines. Pridefulness, lack of protection and trust, malice, spite, selfishness, and the absence of kindness have been my experience and it seems as though I repeatedly become involved with individuals who do not adhere to the aforementioned words of wisdom. Am I listening to myself? I do not follow these words either. In such circumstances, smart women and men are reduced to stupid adolescents despite a plethora of experience which should guide them away from false beliefs and toward veracity and authenticity.
What, then, is love? Truly it is caring for another as much if not more than one cares for him- or herself. Putting another human being atop the priority list is, indeed, the best gift one can bestow upon another. To demonstrate such a level of nurturing and attention that transcends personal consideration is an unparalleled demonstration of the profundity of one’s heart. Yet of all the relationships in the world, I would imagine—as any apt cynic would—that the words are spoken far more than they are actually demonstrated. ’Tis but a shame, really. Even more distressing—at least to me—is the number of those within these relationships who are perfectly content and comfortable with the status quo.
Not I, that’s for sure. I am one of the unfortunate minority who are not merely satisfied by actionless words. I have experienced far too many times the verbal sentiments of love with nonexistent actions. Or, even worse, the words followed by violence and pain. Ergo, to me, deedless protestations of love are simply words. Meaningless. Empty. Worthless.
So here I am; endeavoring into the dating world as one would dunk one’s toe into a scalding bathtub or freezing lake, with the oxymoronic combination of cynicism and hope. The former is a result of my experiences and the latter a reflection of my eternal Disney-esque belief in true love and happily ever after.
Get Your Words Discovered
Good Morning, Prosers,
The way publishers find new authors might have just changed forever.
We are pleased to announce that we have joined forces with publishing giant Simon & Schuster, whose legacy includes Ernest Hemingway, Carrie Fisher, and Stephen King.
Simon & Schuster’s editing team hopes to discover the next generation of great authors by utilising our challenge feature and our social community, initially through a 500-2000 word writing challenge that ends June 1, prompting you to, “Write a story, chapter, or essay about whatever you like. The 50 best entries will be announced by Prose and read by Simon & Schuster’s editorial staff for consideration.”
This challenge stipulates a minimum of 500 entries and a maximum of 2,000.
We will announce the top-50 entries on June 21, 2017.
Here is the challenge URL: https://theprose.com/challenge/5367
We hope you are as excited about this as we are. If you know people who would like to get noticed by Simon & Schuster, spread the word(s).
Until next time, Prosers,
Hello everyone! I just stumbled across this site today and I look forward to reading what people have written and to add my own.
My name is Allana, its what my family and friends call me, but when I write I tend to go by AJ unless its for a school paper. I am on my second year of college, pre-vet, and will be transferring to a university in the fall to continue on the path to become a veterinarian.
Ever since I was little, I've loved to write. I'd make up these silly little stories about bugs or animals and my mom would put them in a folder and save them even though they had numerous spelling mistakes and cheeto stains... I think she even still has some of them. In high school, writing became one of my escapes along with reading and music so its been really important to me and is something I hope to keep doing no matter where life takes me.
Friday Feature: @Soulhearts
Somehow, it’s already Friday. This is a beautiful thing, as it means we get to hear all about another Proser in our Friday Feature. This week we have one of the most prolific Prosers on here, known and loved by many of the lovely community we have on here. You probably know her as Soulhearts, but you're about to learn much more about her!
P: What is your given name and your Proser username?
S: Soulhearts is the name I have used on all my social media. I was one of those folks that did not trust the internet when I first learned to use it (maybe that was 6-7 yrs ago) haha, don't judge. I can honestly say I am not from the techie generation. I never really divulged my real name and wanted to hide behind a pen name so the name Soulhearts stuck. But because Prose feels like family, I shall break my anonymity and introduce myself. My name is Madilyn De Leon and it's nice to meet you all.
P: Hey, Madilyn! Where do you live?
S: I live in a little corner of a country called USA , a city called Burke in the state of Virginia.
I know we have some Prosers from Virginia so ‘Hello’ to you guys! #represent
P: What is your occupation?
S: I am a stress absorber. I tenaciously bear all the stress I receive from spoiled and entitled customers everyday. Lol! Can you guess the occupation yet? If you guessed retail then you are right. I am a manager in retail for quite some time now and thus have witnessed all the blemished facets of people you wouldn't want to see. I am not complaining though. I like what I do, I just don't agree to the adage "the customer is always right" because most of the time they are not. Sshhhh! This is a secret ok? I don't want to get fired for saying this hahaha. Seriously, customers need to treat retail workers with more kindness and respect. Like the way you yourself expect to be treated.
P: What is your relationship with writing and how has it evolved?
S: Can I say writing is a twin that I cannot be apart from? A conjoined twin attached to my hip, heart, mind and soul. Sometimes it's like a shadow that disappears at night only to come back in the morning. I loved reading when I was younger. Started at elementary with the Golden books, Enid Blyton, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, then on my teens with Sweet Dreams, Silhouette and Harlequin Romances. Lol. :) So eventually in High School I was exposed to literature and fell in love with Poetry. Loved the works of the great classics like Shakespeare, Eliot, the Browning's, Burns, Frost, Dickinson to name a few. So from my love of reading, I guess is where my love for writing flowed from. Unlike most of you my dear Prosers, I have not written anything in my life besides maybe a couple of assignments needed for English class back in high school. My writing adventure started around three or four year ago on an app called Heyku (name changed to Ku soon after) I saw it being promoted on Facebook and the name Heyku got me interested because I loved the poetic form Haiku. So I tried it and became one of the pioneers of that app. It was an app where you can only write three lines with a limited word count. Not restricted to writing just Haiku though, the format just looks like it's Haiku because of the three lines. That was where I started religiously writing and posting three lines every day. It was a very friendly community. So very much like Prose. I've met so many wonderful and talented writers there. Some of them are now Prosers too. Their encouragements and precious feedbacks has made my pen more confident through the years. I wrote at first not for anything else but to help me cope with what I was going through at that time.
Now it seems like my writing has a bigger purpose. I always felt so out of place and overwhelmed with the talent I see around me. After all I do not have a degree in writing nor am I an author. But the universe is slowly letting me feel that yes, I can write and that I can inspire others through it. I am proud to say that my Three Lines has made its way in print to Grace Black's Light Lines anthology book for Three Line Thursday, a micro poetry at Into The Void Magazine's 2nd issue, and a poem in another poetry anthology book titled Luminous Echoes. Indulge me in these for these are great achievements for this little fish lost, swimming in a big ocean of words. It's still surreal to see my work in print until now. I only have gratefulness in my heart for the people who saw something good enough in my writing to put it in print.
P: What value does reading add to both your personal and professional life?
S: Reading I think is like salt to a meal. Without reading a person becomes hollow (personal opinion) the meal would be tasteless, bland. Reading brings you to places you have not even seen nor imagined, it lets you experience life in the perspective of other cultures and philosophies. It cultivates a better understanding of people and the world because you expand your horizon and learn to empathize in the process. Reading feeds the brain and makes one a well-rounded individual.
P: Can you describe your current literary ventures and what can we look forward to in future posts?
S: I could not say that I have a current literary venture, but who knows? Maybe someday a poetry book of my own. Something I have never really considered or imagined until now. As for my future posts, I shall continue to listen to my pen and let it steer the direction of my writing. My posts will still be mostly micro poetry. This is what I love and what I think do best.
P: What do you love about Prose?
S: What's there not to love? Prose is a haven of ridiculously talented individuals. Not just talented but kind hearted individuals. The community is very supportive. It is a conducive environment for anyone who wants to read, write and or get better at writing. There is something for everyone. You like Fiction? You got it. Poetry? Horror? Erotica? Haiku? Follow the portals you love to get the content you want to see on your stream. I also love how this app has a vision. It is continuously evolving and trying to get better. The team is very responsive to any issue. I was lost when Ku discontinued. Now I am happy to have found a home in Prose!
P: Is there one book that you would recommend everybody should read before they die?
S: It's hard to recommend just one because there are so many great books out there. But because I have to choose one then "The Prophet" by Kahlil Gibran is a book that I always carry with me. Not carry in my purse ok? Lol but like E.E. Cummings Poem "I Carry Your Heart With Me" it is always in my heart.
P: Do you have an unsung hero who got you into reading and/or writing?
S: If there was a person who made me think that I could write was an English teacher back when I was a junior in high school. She praised my work in front of class. It felt good and it was something that I have never forgotten. I titled that piece "A Rainy Day". It was a short poem about the rain that included frogs, the wind, trees... until now, nature is still very evident in my work. I am alone in this reading and writing life. Not one in my family has the same interest. No one can relate to what I do. So I'm thankful I have Prose, here I find kindred souls.
P: Describe yourself in three words!
S: Passionate, Sincere, and Adventurous. I asked friends to describe me and common answers were Bubbly, Creative and Kind.
P: Is there one quote, from a writer or otherwise, that sums you up?
S: Here's a few lines regarding love in Gibran's The Prophet, Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself. Love possesses not nor would it be possessed; for love is sufficient unto love. When you love you should not say, "God is in my heart," but rather, "I am in the heart of God." Try to read at least what the book say about love. It is truly beautiful.
P: What is your favourite music, and do you write or read to it?
S: I don't really have a favorite music to read or write to. This doesn't mean I don't like music though. I actually love to sing. I write best when it is quiet. Writing for me is meditative. I need silence to push my pen to bleed. Some favorite songs of mine are Stevie Nick's Landslide (i'm getting old, sentimental) when I hear this. Lynyrd Skynyrd's Freebird takes me to the sky with its killer instrumental/ guitar playing, makes me head bang! Hahaha! I am dizzy after every time.
P: You climb out of a time machine into a dystopian future with no books. What do you tell them?
S: Come let's ride this time machine back and change the past, find out why the books are all gone.
It will be a sad world without books, without libraries, without shelfies.
P: Do you have a favourite place to read and write?
S: It would be my room because that is where I usually spend time after all the hustle and bustle of daily life, I write when everything else is still and quiet.
P: Is there anything else you’d like us to know about your social media accounts?
S: Follow me on Twitter and Instagram. I am also on Lettrs. Forgive me if I don't reply to friend requests on Facebook. You can always message me here or on Twitter and IG. ❤
What a marvellous interview with the lovely Soulhearts. We feel good. Do you feel good? So now you know the drill. Follow. Like. Comment. Love. Do it all and get in touch with us in the usual ways should you wish to take part or want to nominate someone you’d like to see featured here.