anatomical beat

Sunshine 2021 Prompt Six - Amphitrite

Once. He had been her greatest love. A long time ago. Almost beyond memory. But goddesses rarely forget their great loves unless the Moirai intervene, and then those meddlings become ballads and poems and mosaics painstakingly pieced together on the floors of bathhouses. No, she hadn’t forgotten the passion they shared.

King and Queen of the seas. They roiled the waves with their bodies, they formed the shores, and fomented the deep ocean volcanoes into eruption. They rose and fell together, as one, and became the heartbeat of the earth.

But that was before. When the world was new. When her children leapt and swam around her. When he commanded the tides. How could they have possibly known that their love would end?

When the great pods and rookeries began to be hunted and slaughtered and the brilliant colors of the oceans dimmed, polluted and choked with poisons and plastics, she demanded he act.

Wipe them off the earth, she told him.

Lay waste and decimate, she snarled.

Instead, he allowed himself to be diminished, crushed and crippled. A sacrifice she could not fathom.

She could hardly stand to look upon him. She escaped to the far reaches of the globe, gathering the whales and dolphins, the seals and walruses to her breast, and weeping such tears of grief that the glaciers cracked and calved and shook the water.

She sent the sharks to warmer waters, vibrating their otoliths with destroy, maim, frighten.

She wept for the schools and howled for the hatchlings.

Then came the day she realized he was gone. Simply gone. She searched far and wide, high and low, but his rule had ended. She the widowed queen.

The King is Dead; Long live the Queen.

For lifetimes, she mourned. Then. She woke on the ocean floor, curled inside the deepest trench. The frigid water had surrounded, rocked her like a lover’s embrace.

Now she was done with that.

She filled her mind, her heart, her formidable body with rage. She swallowed great gulps of the toxic, seething gasses she found close to the core of her world. She would boil the briney vast with outrage and righteousness. She would dry the oceans, turn it all to ash. And then she would sink to her knees amongst the burnt bones and shells, cradling her body. Her womb filled with the Weddell Sea.

She would gestate. 

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Ugh and Argh. My mother's birthday on Wednesday turned out to be dramatic and overflowing with my sister's bullshit. Something is wrong with this person. I looked at my calendar and I literally do not have to see her again until October 16th and I'm going to make sure it stays that way. I feel terrible for my mother, but the next day she called and she sounded really strong and resigned. She knows that the issue (which seems to not be going away since my father's death) is not about anyone other than my sister. Both my sisters want my 81 year old mother to change her very set ways in order to accomodate their inner child and I'm done with that now. Grow the hell up.

My mother is coming up this afternoon for an early supper. But the smoke is horrid and I'm not sure how we can escape it. One thing that I'm going to do the week after next is get a few quotes on installing an HVAC system. Between the heat, the annual smoke, and whatever is kicking my asthma into high gear, I think we simply don't have a choice. We've got to get the house sealed up. There has to be one place on the property in which I can, well, breathe. D is fighting me but I'm going to fight harder for this. I have ZERO breathing problems on the coast.

A few quick iPhone pix of the flowers in the yard. Not the greatest quality but I suck at iPhone snaps. Not a skill I'm interested in perfecting. I can't let go of a real camera body to be bothered. LOL. Anyway, the yard is gorgeous right now and as soon as we commit to the lawn, it's going to be awesome!

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Sunshine 2021 Prompt Five - Pan

Modern Dress Pan Comforting A Hopeless Psyche

He had wandered far enough into the wild woods, away from the riverside Solstice party to have the sound of music and laughter mute and mellow and transform into the far more soothing noises made by the night. He walked and listened to the lapping of the river upon the edge of its gravel beach banks, an owl calling across the stretch of black water, a rustling in the undergrowth. He detoured down to the ripple of river, thick dangerous snaking of snow melt from the mountain range that loomed over the small city.

He found a tangled throne of cottonwood roots jutting out toward the water and settled there, fishing a packet of American Spirits out of the pocket of his loose-fitting deep green joggers. He was bare-footed and bare-chested. His favourite band t-shirt had been lustfully pulled over his head and donned earlier by the delicious girl he had so wanted a taste of for months and months now, but other than his shirt, she didn’t want him at all.

He lit his smoke, leaned back against the trunk of the tree, and tried to let it all fall away.

“What are you doing here, Old Man?” he asked himself out loud. “How many times will you declare undying love for that girl only to have her echo back meaningless promises and declarations. It’s enough now.”

His strict entreaty was suddenly interrupted by the unmistakable sound of a body hitting water further upstream. It brought him to his feet, and he quickly stubbed out the smoke and waded into the river, casting a frantic look into the shadows where the river unbent itself around a massive collection of granite boulders. And then, there it was, twisting and turning in the flow, the moon washing it pale silver and without thought for his own safety, he kicked off the sandy bottom and swam hard against the current. He reached out and grabbed, too forcefully and she would have brilliant bruises circling her upper arms the next day. He hadn’t considered that it would be the fragile femininity of bone and muscle, assuming a drunken young lout. But he got hold of her and swam hard toward the shallower shore and stood, bridal carrying her in his arms, until he fell to his knees and laid her gently on the bank.

She coughed, brackish water running from her mouth as though a rope he could grab and pull her up out of death’s insidious hold. He turned her onto her side, one hand fast on the ball of her shoulder, and rhythmically flat palmed all the water out of her body. Jagged spine. Ragged shoulder blades that seemed to remember they once anchored chitin wings.

He didn’t realize he was hyperventilating, awash in adrenalin, until he felt the thick steady drops of his own sweat falling from the end of his nose, the arching corners of his eyebrows, and the sharp edges of his upper lip, down through the curling goatee he wore.

She was alive, that was obvious to him. She brought one of her hands up to her face and the coughing became a kind of soul wrenching cry, a sob. He bent forward over her, wrapping her in his arms and pulled her into his lap as he sat down hard on his haunches. She came curling in against him, her head on his chest and cried herself dry.

The night was growing cooler, but the full moon kept a vigilant watch over the two of them. With the gentleness reserved for a frightened wild creature, he steadied her and moved her out of his embrace and onto the ground beside him. She gathered her long limbs into an easy lotus, her wrists on her knees, and her face turned moonward. He was exhausted and pulled his own body up onto a large rock and sat, elbows on this thighs, breathing heavily, watching her warily.

“Did you?” he began, but her lower lip quivered. “Are you quite alright now?”

She shrugged. Her baby doll dress was soddened and clinging, but he had nothing to offer her to dry or warm herself. His own pants were soaked and cold. Her hair was crazy long and dragging nearly on the ground, small twigs and leaves in its tangled locks.

“I’m not alright,” she said.


She shook her head. “But you saved me.”

“The river saved you.”

“It wouldn’t take me.”

“Where did you want to go?”

This made her smile.

“Can it really be that bad?” he asked.

She nodded. “I betrayed my true love and he’s gone.”


“Away from me. Gone. Left me. Fled.” She sniffed. “Forever.”

“Forever is a long time.”

“I was trying to make it shorter.”

Something was cutting uncomfortably into his hip, he pulled the cardboard pack of cigarettes out of his pocket, ruined by the water. He sighed heavily. Brand new. “What form did your betrayal take?”

“I wanted to see him as he really is.”

“And you didn’t like what you saw?”

“Oh, no.” Her face became animated in the moonlight, flushed with wonder and devotion. She held her own hands against her breast. “He’s beautiful. Magnificent. He’s more than I could have ever imagined. But,” her breath caught and hitched. “But he had trusted me not to, not to look.”

“What makes you so sure he’s your true love then? It sounds as though he betrayed you, your love for a very small breach.”

“Don’t say that. It wasn’t small. He trusted me, and I promised him on our wedding night, that I would never ever. Not ever.”

This surprised him. “He’s your husband?”

“Yes. He is. He was. What am I going to do?”

“Breathe. First, just breathe. If you made a promise and broke it, then you need to begin working toward forgiveness. If he is your true love –“

“He is.”

“Then he will forgive you.” He held up a hand. “In time.”

“What do I need to do?” she whispered.

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anatomical beat

Sunshine 2021 Prompt Four - The Furies

“Enter the First Three Witches” and Online Dating


“Last batch of eye tasted like ass,” said Stadin conversationally, stirring her caramel macchiato three times widdershins, the spoon rattling against the sides of the ceramic coffee mug with each turn. Reminiscent of a nicely charred bone utensil in a cast-iron cauldron.

“My hunch is it was salamander and not newt,” offered Hoppo, glancing out of the corners of her eyes toward the door of the Moon Under Water Coffee House.

It was storming, the toad-sized hailstones obscuring the view of the crossroads corner through the plate glass windows flanking the entrance. Thirsty connoisseurs were entering with hunched shoulders, shaking like miserable, sodden canines, steam rising off their coats and parkas in the warm interior. It was early-evening and Hoppo was waiting for her first eHarmony date’s arrival.

“Stop, sister, I implore you,” interrupted Puckle, wriggling her fingers at Hoppo.

“What?” she growled, turning her steely gaze back to the table occupants. “Why?”

“You’re acting like a desperate orphan.”

Hoppo harrumphed, the sound more bitter than angry, and broke off the corner of her pumpkin scone, pressing it between her lips. She chased it down her gullet with a long sip of her un-doctored house coffee.

“eHarmony - When you’re ready to find the love of your life,” Stadin spit out. “Get back on Tinder. It suited you,” she offered. “Your particular needs, shall we say.” She and Puckle cackled together.

“Hysterical, hysteria’s sisters,” Hoppo replied, her face stolid and serious.

“Oh, don’t be like that.” Stadin sounded contrite but with an over-bite. “You don’t need a man to get a teaspoon of elixir.”

Puckle laughed so hard she began to choke a bit on her own morsel of pumpkin scone. Stadin pounded her soundly between her jutting shoulder blades, sharp as axe heads. Puckle held up one hand, the universal symbol for stop before I hex you. She nodded that she had cleared her throat. Stadin used her knuckles to knock out a quick rhythm up the knobs of her sister’s spine, finishing with a pat on her shoulder, and settling back in her chair.

“You don’t need pepper to make a pig sneeze,” Puckle giggled.

“And you don’t need a knife to let blood,” Hoppo told both with a look that could spell disaster with the right translation.

A heavy cloud settled over the stewing sisters. Stadin and Puckle sharing covert glances that threatened to turn up the ends of both their lips in dark mirth. Hoppo continuing to cast a hopeful glance at the front door.

"I think," Stadin broke into the heavy silence. "Things were better for us when we could stir a bit of menstrual blood into a man's kidney pie. So much easier to control them that way. What say you, sisters?"

Hoppo shuddered. "It's the 21st Century, we have better things to do than serve men bloody pies."

Stadin nodded, finishing her coffee with a faraway look in her mismatched eyes.

Puckle took a long drink of her herbal tea. “Have I mentioned how much I like that the Moon Under Water hasn’t betrayed the sensible use of crockery for paper.”

“Only every time we patronize this establishment.”

She drained the last of the tea and swirled the cup quickly before turning it upside down onto its saucer. “I’m going to attempt to read the leaves for you, sibling,” she informed Hoppo.

“Please don’t. And besides, that isn’t even possible, strictly speaking.”

“In the strictest sense, and I can play the dominatrix better than anyone seated at this table, I’m reading my leaves in relation to how your future affects me. Romantic entanglement or not.”

Puckle carefully turned the teacup right side up and peered inside, Stadin crowded in, cheek pressed against cheek. They turned stricken faces towards one another and just at that moment the bell over the door announced another arrival.

All three swiveled their heads in the direction of the sound. The rain had stopped, a sudden sunbeam shone through the open door, crowning the newcomer in a halo of brilliant gold light. In his hand he held a small bouquet of hemlock.

“That’s him,” breathed out Puckle and Stadin in one foul breath.

“He’s shorter than you led us to believe,” said Puckle.

“He looks,” Stadin paused, narrowing her eyes, “dimmer than you suggested.”

“You are some salty witches,” Hoppo told them both before she stood and turned to greet her king hereafter. 

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* Heat wave is supposed to break this evening. It feels better already, cooler on the breeze. It's been nigh unbearable. I took a suggestion from [personal profile] halfshellvenus and we tacked an outside rug over the large bank of windows on the west side of the house. K had suggested matchstick blinds on the outside and that's what we are now going to purchase because blocking that light/heat really made a difference. I guess we will need to put up some sort of blinds on the upstairs westside. We have no window coverings here because 30 acres.

* Wrote another quick sketch for the [community profile] sunshine_challenge . I'm really enjoying the prompts, of course. I've got to find a way back to the keyboard. Rusty and dusty as all hell. I'm waiting for Inspiration but I need to get over that #$%^ and just set and write. I own a mechanical keyboard courtesy Qwerkytoys and it makes a huge difference for my OldSkool heart. I will need to dig it out and set it back up. The rest of the house loathes it and this is a semi-communal compie. It's true, I don't have a Room of my Own. I once had a Closet of my Own, but that was decades ago and now I am in the kitchen.

* The Viking is one of those very rare colour blind folks that only see in shades of grey. This is both a blessing and a curse. The blessing aspect is that he sees things that the rest of us miss. Last night he saw this bedraggled screech owl in the pool skimmer. Poor thing was exhausted. We scooped it out and the moment we draped a towel over a lounge chair it hopped beneath it and began recuperating. This morning it was gone! 

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anatomical beat

Sunshine 2021 Prompt Three - Hecate

It was a withering away, the waning of her essence. A slow decay that he should have been well acquainted with, but he had descended into agony. Witness but also cause. And when alone he paced the endless road roaring at the void and when with others, he stood immobile and snarled.

He could not escape the knowledge of what he had believed. Before. He had objectified her in his mind, in the long-drawn-out musings about her. His Queen. How she would look, what she would wear, where she would sit. And when she would lie down.

Now, she was here and all of that had become a shameful remembering. It clung to him, repugnant. Her presence had shifted everything. He was on unsteady ground watching her fade. He thought she would anchor him, ground the core of him.

Instead, he had made her insubstantial and the wild, sunlit girl had become frail and despondent.

Hekate was consulted. The sharp, glinting edge of her cutting straight to the heart of him, the center of the matter. “She cannot thrive in this perpetual darkness,” she told him without apology. And then, in her way, added, “My Lord.”

He narrowed his eyes dangerously. He was many things, but master of the moon he was not. They had once been lovers, now she only showed her crone face to him. Complete unto herself. He pressed forward. “She will and she must. I decree it. Zeus has decreed it.

She spit at his feet. “Zeus. And who is he to issue such an edict? How many endless proclamations does Zeus make in a day’s time? An interfering god who has not the power he believes he has.”

“You disapprove.” He waved this away. “She is my bride.”

“And yet, I tell you. She will waste away in this place, like one of your Shades thinned by grief and beaten thinner by loss.”

“That’s preposterous. She is a goddess! Not one of the dead.”

“Did she come of her own accord? Request a tarriance in between dancing with her nymphs and lying in the protective arms of her mother? Or perhaps she chose to see for herself, her future bridegroom, when you sent word informing her of the God of Thunder’s declaration?”

“Tell me what to do!” he roared.

But of course, the Silver Lady did not flinch. Her demeanor effortlessly steady with a kind of wicked acquiescence in the corners of her lips.


“It’s meddling you want. But there will be a cost.”

“Everything has its price.”

“She will be queen.”

“She will want this? You can instill desire to reign beside me?”

“No. But we can tie her here, bind her to the Underworld, force her to return.”

“Do it!” He paused, “Return?” 

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Surprised and delighted to see that the [community profile] sunshine_challenge  prompts are myth-based and the first one was HADES!!! I literally have over 70K Persephone/Hades words....and have been wanting to collate and edit for a while now. Yesterday I enjoyed oiling the very rusty brain gears and trying my hand at a flash fic piece for Hades and Cerberus. Definitely not smooth and more work than I'm used to around a keyboard, but I need to get back to writing and writing that cemented my conviction. Anyway, fun! 

I also need to get back to Still Life With Skull. I'm thinking of entering a 12x12 call this fall with one of my pieces. 

Desire but little inspiration. 

It's finally cooled off a bit. Enough to sleep. 

Busy running errands today and shopping for Sunday's 4th of July barbecue! 

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