Saturday, 14 October 2017

Write - Edit - Publish Bloghop: Dark Places ...


Walls of violence continue to assault me … the force of iron manacles holding me in place … the thick, murky, smothering smoke lingers …




 … am I alive, or now gone … I no longer can see … images of dark-sky gray emblazoned still in my mind … my mind – OR my soul …




Michaelangelo -
Damned Soul    c 1525





… that n-o-o-i-i-s- e … the howl, ... the scream of terror … is that me … that s-m-e-l-l … burnt skin or tallow candles – both now mixed … a-g-o-n-y … excruciating agony – when will it end …



Josefina de Vasconcellos'
sculpture: The Young Martyr
(in the Cartmel Priory - Lake District)





Is that the steaming hay from the braziers, OR is that the smoke from the pyre … my senses have gone … my soul – the darkness … but I am remembered centuries on – behind bars … forever entombed in sculpture … an early martyr to the barbaric cruelty of man.







Dark night take my soul 

toward the forever darkness

... for I will be at peace.



To participate or visit other entries please go here to the 
Write Edit Publish Monthly blog-hop 


Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

60 comments:

Sue Bursztynski said...

Ah, a writing challenge, very nice! Did those pictures inspire you or did you get the idea and find them? I rather think the former, because of the reference to bars and martyrdom.


A Belated Friday 13 Post






















A Heron's View said...

Embrace the darkness, let it wrap it's arms around you and feel at last totally secure. For it was from there that we were brought into life and to there we shall return and relax, until it is time to return again to our short lives in the partial light.

Elephant's Child said...

Beautiful, powerful - and unexpected. Thank you Hilary. I loved this post - as always.
I do hope the martyrs did find peace. Do find peace. Everlasting peace.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Short and powerful!

Anabel Marsh said...

Very powerful.

DMS said...

The pictures and the words go perfectly together. Not sure which came first or if they happened simultaneously- but very powerful work. Thanks for sharing! :)
~Jess

Joanne said...

quite the blend of darkness - words and pictures.
I can smell the burning, feel the doom. Great job

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Sue – the prompt was from the blog-hop – then I saw the sculpture … and thought how awful to be entombed in stone … and so the story arrived …

@ Mel – yes … we always come from darkness – hopefully to a life with joy … but not always – yet we always return to darkness …

@ EC – thank you … I too hope the martyrs found peace – well we all find peace … and it is everlasting …

@ Alex – thanks – appreciate the comment …

@ Anabel – many thanks …

@ Jess – I’d hoped they’d expose the dark places … as I mentioned to Sue above – the title of the blog-hop, then I saw the sculpture … I’m rather partial to Josefina de Vasconcellos’ sculptures – she is one powerful artist. Then my ‘story’ appeared …

@Joanne – that burning is horrid isn’t it … I can smell it as I write … and feel the doom of horror as the dark is enveloped …

Thanks so much to you all – Dark Places … not easy to write about – cheers Hilary

Chatty Crone said...

Hey - you can be scary when you want to be!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Inger said...

I didn't know you had it in you!

Out on the prairie said...

Very nice, i have missed reading you.I just arrived into Miami and waiting for my room. Miss swimming in the Carribean already.

Sandra Cox said...

Extremely well-written, Hilary. Stark imagery that speaks to our fears.

Rhodesia said...

Well done Hilary I would be useless at this !!! Have a great Sunday. Diane

troutbirder said...

And we think of the Dark Ages, the Inquisition , the Holocaust and on and on. Your captured the sense of it well. Now I just read the daily accounts of our newspapers to be horrified...:(

Ann Bennett said...

The choices in each refrain were quite interesting. A nice dark piece.

Kim Blades said...

Hi Hilary. Really well written. You have captured the torturous soul image clearly. It must have been awful being in prison or just being under suspicion for any crime in the Dark and Middle Ages. Kim

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Sandie – many thanks … medieval times must have been so dark …

@ Inger – thanks so much … at last I’m making an effort to write somewhat differently! …

@ Steve – I bet you miss swimming in the warm waters of the Caribbean … but enjoy your stay in Miami …and congratulations!

@ Sandra – thanks so much … I’m glad those horrific times were brought to light through the sculpture here …

@ Diane – well I still think I’m not very good at it –it doesn’t come easily …

@ Troutbirder – those times were what I was trying to evoke …but today just reading or listening we still hear much the same, perhaps worse I regret to say …

@ Ann – I hope I caught the mood of terror, the ‘blacking out’ through slow death of life … so thank you …

@ Kim – thanks so much … I was trying to capture the soul being tortured … and yes – the landing at the Traitor’s Gate at the Tower of London and being taken through … or being condemned to burn … etc – such terrible times …

Thanks everyone – Dark Places can conjure up so many images of long ago … which is where my mind took me – cheers Hilary

D.G. Hudson said...

Very well done Hilary, teasing us with bits and pieces of horror felt or seen. I'll be posting on the 18th as I'm still working on my entry. I'm glad you're participating in the challenges, and kudos on finding such images to add to your tale. Hope all is well with you.

Patsy said...

Yikes! That's certainly dark - in more ways than one.

Lynn said...

You definitely captured the darkness and terror, Hilary.

Nick Wilford said...

Very powerful writing, this took me by surprise. Well done!

A Cuban In London said...

That's very dark. :-)

Greetings from London.

Jacqui Murray said...

Yikes! I needed to get in the Halloween spirit. You've done it!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ DG - yes I think I should have waited ... but for some reason - thought it was this weekend. The sculpture was what stimulated the dark places 'story' ... short and sweet - or dark and awful! The Michaelangelo image is just so evocative ... it was perfect for this post.

@ Patsy - thank you ... there is more than meets the eye here ...

@ Lynn - I'm glad that came over ... death by fire = horrible ...


@ Nick - gosh - thank you ... appreciate these thoughts ...

@ ACIL - it's what came to mind ... via the sculpture ...

@ Jacqui - somehow I think Halloween would be easier than this!

Thanks so much for your comments - cheers Hilary

Keith's Ramblings said...

This is incredibly descriptive and engaging as well as being a complete change of direction from your recent post. Brilliant Hilary.

Janie Junebug said...

Well done. You've given me the creeps.

Love,
Janie

Robert Bennett said...

Makes me think of a witch (or, at least, accused) being burnt alive. *shudder*

Liz A. said...

I do like the kiddie version of Halloween, but these scary stories... *shudders*

Marja said...

Dark but well written Well done

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Keith - yes I'm not good at writing stories as such ... this is why I'm 'attempting' this bloghop ... so thank you very much ...

@ Janie - writing it up was fairly worrying too ... the thoughts are not very nice ...

@ Robert - there was a thought re Joan of Arc in here too ... being burnt at the stake for treason has always sounded monstrous to me ... *shudder* is the right word ...

@ Liz - I'm not that keen on Halloween ... as we 'celebrate' Guy Fawkes - who wanted to blow up Parliament ... so bonfire and fireworks ... but fire is scary and medieval torture even more so ...

@ Marja - thank you ... appreciate your thought ...

Cheers to you all - I am so glad I don't live in Medieval times ... Hilary

Christine Rains said...

Well done! It's short yet mighty and chilling.

Pat Hatt said...

The darkness within humanity sure can show. Spine tingling indeed.

Sandra Cox said...

That sculpture sends tingles down the spine. It goes perfectly with your words.

Yolanda Renée said...

So well done, Hilary!

It brought to mind the fires in California. The terror of being trapped by the flames. Such horror!
Thanks for participating in the Dark Places challenge. I really love it!

Jo said...

Sorry missed this blog. What a tortuous imagining Hilary. Positively terrifying.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

That was spooky. Kind of glad I didn't read it on the 13th.

Nilanjana Bose said...

Your take on the prompt is always unique, and informative. The Lake District sculpture is unsettling, and new to me. As I say - always learn something here. Spooky done with your usual finesse, Hilary!

mail4rosey said...

You certainly aced the exercise here. Awesome writing!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Christine - many thanks ... it's horrid to think about ...

@ Pat - we carry on wanting to hurt other humans in the most inhumane way ... it is spine tinglingly awful ...

@ Sandra - thank you ... I saw the sculpture and thought 'yes' darkness with cruelty ...

@ Yolanda - I did think about the fires and that terror being trapped in the flames ... we have similar going on in Portugal: but worse the dreadful Grenfell fire I mentioned last month ... I slightly readjusted the writing so the burning wasn't quite so obviously tied to today's fires - I hope they can be stopped fairly soon.

If my brain works towards something appropriate then I'm happy to participate in the WEP challenge ...

@ Jo - I try and not think about it too much ... so many tortuous things going on at present ... all of which are positively terrifying (if one is involved in them) ...

@ Susan - thankfully the 13th doesn't worry me - though this would ... the thought is awful ...

@ Nila - many thanks ... I prefer unique - I'm not a great 'follower of fashion' ... so to speak. Josefina de Vasconcellos' sculptures - I'm rather hooked on them ... and must try and see some of them in situ - sometime.

That martyr sculpture is pretty unsettling ... especially behind the bars - glad you appreciated the nod to the Lake District's Cartmel Priory ... thanks so much ...

@ Rosey - many thanks ... the martyr sent me forward ...

Cheers to you all - thanks so much for being so appreciative ... Hilary

Robert Bennett said...

Yea. Can't argue with that. I think being burnt alive is probably one of the most monstrous/horrible ways someone can go. Pretty much that or being shredded by a wild animal are two of my proverbial shudders.

Sandra Cox said...

Hope your week is going well and the goblins and ghosts are kept at bay;)

Chrys Fey said...

That's haunting. Well done!

Olga Godim said...

Oh, that darkness: inside, outside, everywhere. Great post!

desk49 said...


Dead yet not
locked within
screaming
no one hears
what runs within
ones mind


Who knows better then those of us that hear. Well done.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Robert - I agree with you re modes of death - natural ones ... death by torture and others methods probably even worse as the mind is tortured too ...

@ Sandra - no ghosts and goblins here yet...

@ Chyrs - many thanks ... the sculpture has been haunting me to write about her ...

@ Olga - darkness of the dying mind ...

@ @ Desk49 - you don't lose your rhyming touch ... a delight to read ...

Thanks so much for your comments - it's a dark bloghop! Cheers Hilary

Nasreen said...

Hi Hilary!

You did awesome with the challenge. I'm so happy to see you did it! And it reads so well.

Pat Garcia said...

Hilary, I truly enjoyed reading this. It speaks of the human condition and you have really done a magnificent job of expressing with few words. The premise is something to think deeply about.

Shalom aleichem,
Pat Garcia

Julie Flanders said...

It's hard to imagine a worse fate than being burned alive. You captured that terror so well! I hope this person did find peace. Such a powerful piece as always.

Sandra Cox said...

Hope you're having a great Wednesday without too much spook in it.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Okay...that was scary and it's not even Halloween yet!

Vallypee said...

Wow, that was powerful, Hilary. It sent shivers up my spine! I'm glad it was fiction and not a real experience for you! Terrific!

Deborah Weber said...

Ooh scary dark indeed. I had a dream last night that someone took a photograph of me and I was a stone person. I thought it was somewhat amusing, but now you've put a new spin on it for me.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Nas - thank you so much ... the post sort of came to me ...

@ Pat - it's not an easy thought this post - it worries me; being actually martyred into sculpture appals me ... that was what I was thinking about ... and was what the sculpture 'told' me ...

@ Julie - you are so right ... but this fate seemed to me to be worse than being burnt alive. I certainly hope all martyrs find peace - I'm sure they deserve that. Thank you so much.

@ Sandra - thank you ... all well yesterday! No spooks about ...

@ Sharon - Halloween is another matter that just might pass me by this year ...

@ Val - it has certainly worried me ... and I'm glad it was just thoughts that came into my head for this post ... thank for your words ...

@ Deborah - now that is some scary dream ... I'd hate to be bound - oh dear ... sorry if I've changed that dream around for you - now a deadly one, and definitely not so funny ...

Thanks so much - this seems to be giving everyone some shivers ... it does me - cheers Hilary

Laura Clipson said...

Hugely powerful for such a short piece, great use of the prompt.

N. R. Williams said...

Well done, Hilary. You captured the essence of this person's experience beautifully.
Nancy

Denise Covey - Author said...

Hi Hilary! Sorry it took so long to drag myself to your blog. Have been struggling to be fully conscious after my long flights.Still, it's quite apt to be in the Twilight Zone when reading these Dark Places stories.

I LOVED your post. I read it as a poem, a poem of darkness and terror. It greatly moved me. You did peer into the depths of the soul. You are one talented writer.

Great to have you along for the WEP ride!

Denise :-)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Laura - many thanks ... the sculpture again set me on the path for the post.

@ Nancy - it's rather dreadful to think that people had to die like this ... but thank you for the compliment ...

@ Denise - no worries ... I knew you were recovering down under from your wonderful trip up here! Some of the WEP Dark Places stories were very dark - uncomfortably so ...

Thank you for your words here ... it sort of came to me - but again based on the sculpture and what horrors we feel as we die in that horrific way ... too tortuous to bear ... I'm glad it came across ... and oddly enough I'm enjoying the WEP ride ...

Cheers to you both - enjoy the weekend - Hilary

Vinodini Iyer said...

This post shows your versatility in writing. It was dark, scary and well written.

Karen Lange said...

The possibilities for blog hops are endless, aren't they? They can be a lot of fun too. Interesting stuff, for sure. Enjoy your week! :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Vinodini - many thanks ... I struggle with these - yet when the decision is made re the story - it comes together quite quickly ... so thank you.

@ Karen - I don't do masses of blog hops - but like to do one or two ... I find they interrupt my flow of posts - if I have such a thing ... but prefer to go my own path - but the Write Edit Publish hop and the #W are the World Blogfest seem to suit me ... so I'm happy to join in ...

Thank you so much for visiting ... cheers Hilary