Thursday Spotlight: Double Edition
Cheryl Writes and Edward Lorn
by Lisa McCourt Hollar
Today’s Thursday Spotlight is a double spotlight, focusing on two talented authors, Cheryl Writes and Edward Lorn.
Cheryl Writes is an author that likes to weave expressive poems or mysteries. She is inspired by nature and enjoys being outdoors. Camping, hiking and exercising are some of the activities she enjoys, besides reading and writing.
Authors that have inspired her are Christiane Northup, Deepak Chopra, Elizabeth Buchan, Ayaan Hirst Ali, Robert Frost, William Blake and Edgar Allen Poe.
Today Cheryl is sharing her dark poem, Growing Dead with us.
(A Poem about Peer Abuse)
By Cheryl Writes
Once, all the world was not asleep for me.
Clover leapt and kittens sang.
Eyes wide open to all I could see.
Before dead dandelions in school yards came
and off-pitch church bells rang.
Less and less became the song born to live in me.
Warm grass grew cold as children grew into a cruel gang.
Circling tied-up animal, gloating in its flinch.
Children made happy by each achieved new lynch.
They could not would not let me be.
By words, not rope, and choking hope
taunt and killing, I would slowly hang.
Where went the flight in gentle spring winds
whispering of the sun's day-long delight?
Hitting me, the children played ,the grown ups watched,
as little by little they took my once bright light.
Careless grown-ups now copied the children,
my youth to mangle.
A numbing shock-wave came to live,
while spirit died, inside of me.
They could not would not let me be me.
Cruel names slung, like the rocks they threw,
choking my breathing and the beating of my heart.
They could not would not move their noose.
And still I ask the Gods that my once red blood,
cold and frozen for so long, again flow free inside of me.
Edward Lorn is a horror writer, spinning tales of the supernatural. He says he has several different styles, “Think Chuck Pahalniuk meets Dean Koontz.”
One of his favorite quotes comes from the infamous killer, Charles Manson, If I started killing people there'd be none of you left. Ok…CREEEEEPY, lol. I think I can speak for all of us when I say, keep the killing to the paper. Hmmm, perhaps Manson should take a page from Edward Lorn.
Although he is unpublished at the moment, I don’t believe that will be the case for long. Following is his short story, On The Rails. Feel free to pay a visit to his port and say hello.
On The Rails...
By - Edward Lorn
Henry slid into the boxcar on his belly, wincing as a splinter jabbed him in the belly. Driving his knee's under him, he twisted so he could sit down on his rump with a clear view of the cars doors. He inched backwards using his strong arms till his back met the wall behind him. Sitting in complete darkness he waited, hoping that the railwaymen hadn't seen him enter the train.
Beams from flashlights cut through the night. Henry froze, not because it was down to 30 degrees that evening, but because surely he'd been found out. Raised voices, thudding boot steps; Henry said a solemn prayer.
“You there!” commanded a voice of gravel. “Stop!”
Henry snapped his eyes shut; out of sight, out of mind, he always said.
“Fuck, there he goes,” said another worrisome voice.
Henry opened his eyes just in time to see a skinny black man in tattered clothes run by the open door to the boxcar. He'd seemed to be laughing, enjoying the chase. Soon after him, two men dressed in railway garb rushed passed yelling for the man to Halt!
Hobo Henry, as some called him, sighed in relief. They'd not been after him. He pulled his wool coat tighter around him. It smelled of cigarettes and old funky odors which he had grown accustomed to. He dare not open the coat after all the running he'd been doing. It had been some time now since he could afford everyday amenities like deodorant. The smell would put a grown man on his ass quicker than Hell grabbed sinners.
Henry could feel the icy metal of the boxcar even through two pairs of underwear, one ratty pair of sweat shorts and the thick Dickies trousers he'd swapped at a Goodwill in Bangor. The car was empty far as he could tell, not even a spare tarp lay about. Usually on his rides from city to city, he could at least find an old cow blanket strewn about with which he could further warm himself as he rode along. This time, he wasn't so lucky.
A soft patter of rain began to hit the car's wooden ceiling. Maybe he'd been luckier than he'd thought this fine evening. Henry managed a grin through his thick mess of a beard. He had scored a pack of Dorel's he'd found just laying in the rail yard. No doubt some poor sap had dropped them while checking the cars for hobos and wayward travelers like Henry himself. Pulling them from his coats pocket, he lit one with a match book he'd snagged from a local stop 'n shop place. Henry still heard the cashier yell at him as he made his way out of the store, “Hey...those are for paying customer...fucking bum,”
No worries, though. It was highly unlikely he'd be back in this neck of the woods any time soon. Maine was a cold, Godforsaken place, and he wouldn't miss it in the least.
The thundering approach of a train caught Henry off guard. The shriek of metal on metal as the train tried to come to a stop, compounded by the wailing whistle blowing, made Henry grab for his ears. Even with the brakes on full, the train on the tracks opposite his view, roared by doing at least forty. Sparks shot from the grinding wheels like fireflies, drunk and chaotic. Henry couldn't help but think: It was as if they'd...
The skinny black man in tattered clothes leaped into the car as if carried by the wind; shocked half stupid, Henry screamed and retreated up the wall of the boxcar.
“Doggy, Boss, that was exciting,” The skinny black guy exclaimed as he bent over, gasping and straining to breathe from exhaustion. Composing himself rather quickly, he stuck a hand out for Henry, “Name's Rufus. Pleased to meet ya.”
Henry looked at the huge knuckles on Rufus' hand and grimaced. Glancing back up, still trying to calm down, he growled at the man, “Get out my train.”
“Whoa, now, Boss, jus' lemme sit a minute.” As if Henry's words meant nothing, Rufus flopped down Indian style right in the middle of the car. “Now, there, ain't that nice,” Rufus said, smiling in the dim light of the rail yard.
“I said, get off my train...spook!” Henry wasn't a racist man, but he'd found throughout the years that being mean and ugly as hell, usually got people to leave him be.
“Won't be here long, Boss,” Rufus' grin grew bigger.
“Listen, Ruckus, or whatever you call yourself, they're looking for you, hear me? You! Now if they find you, they're definitely gonna find me. So, one more time...get..the fuck...off my train!” Henry could see the train across from them slowing finally as his own train lurched to a start. “Why don't you get on that one o'er there?”
“Tried to,” Rufus clapped his hands together in up and down motions as if trying to remove dust, “That one there was moving too fast.”
“Dammit, will you please go 'fore they find you!” Henry found he was now begging. He didn't like begging, except for change.
“No worries, Boss, they ain't lookin' for me no more. I'm long gone to them.” Rufus lay back, his hands holding him up behind him. “Sure was cold tonight, huh, Boss?”
Resigning to the fact that Rufus wasn't going anywhere, Henry sighed, “Was? Still is.”
“Shit if I can tell.” Rufus said as he slowly started shaking his head.
Henry leaned forward as the train gained speed on the tracks; he'd been doing this long enough as not to be thrown down by the violent pushes and pulls.
“See, there they is.” Rufus pointed out of the boxcars opened doors, “Not paying you any attention.”
Henry walked forward, balancing himself on the wall of the train car, till he came to the opening. He leaned out to see where Rufus was pointed.
They were approaching a strange sight. The two railwaymen stood hovering over a mess of clothes; one scratched his head, the other shaking his own. They looked damned confused. Henry squinted his eyes, trying to see better in the dim light the sodium vapor lanterns of the train yard gave off.
Henry's breath caught short in his chest, he had to will himself to breathe. As they drove nearer to the scene, Henry looked at the tangled miss-mash of fabrics laying there, then back to Rufus; back to the railwaymen; back to the skinny black man sitting Indian style in the middle of the boxcar.
Henry's blood seemed well below the temperature of the night air, as he realized there was a body somewhere in that pile of tattered clothes those two railwaymen were staring down at. Broken, ravaged appendages, still twitching, throbbed in the train yard light; the gravel around the mess was splattered with dark crimson. Henry felt his stomach twist into a knot as he spotted the crushed head, deflated like a neglected balloon.
His mind hearkened back to the thundering train, squealing brakes and shooting fireflies. It was as if they'd...hit something.
Snapping around, Henry found himself face to face with Rufus. “You're...you got...can't be...that's...your...”
“Told you boss,” Rufus said in a low, somber voice. “They ain't lookin' for me no more. I'm long gone to them.”
(Author's Note: This is dedicated to my oldest sister, Tammy. My, but the ghost stories you used to tell. Love ya, Sis!)
Thursday Spotlight copyright© 2011 Lisa McCourt Hollar. Cheryl Writes and Edward Lorn have granted Jezri’s Nightmares non-exclusive right to publish these works and retain the copyright to their property. All rights reserved.