Haven Says: Safe Sex, Paychecks

When you’re a twenty something year old woman, the world has a funny way of telling you what the next step in your life should be. It seems that your sexuality is always up for a new marketing strategy. Can you be kind of slutty if I have an education? Is it more acceptable to wear fishnets if you have a law degree? Should you be very conservative and avoid scandal altogether? No. Don’t think too hard. Just stay pretty and let the experts tell you how you can be desirable.

A room full of eager faced interns, ready to make a good first impression on the boss await anxiously in a conference room. You stand naked on the massive table waiting for what is next to come. You find yourself surrounded by faces named “mom”, “teacher”, “pastor”, and “friend”. A stout oversized man walks through the door, cigar in hand and a mean mug on. You’re the product. You are only valuable if others think you are. So what’s the tagline? What’s the slogan that will attach the most amount of value on you as a woman?

  • “Modest in life makes a good wife!”

What genius! Because clearly if you practice modesty you’re aiming to be a good wife one day. The correlation is undeniable. Let us ignore your own ability to choose. Not to mention that if you’re not modest, you don’t care about your husband. Noted.

  • “Sex for him, at his whim”

Another strike of societal genius. Alas, there is a strict guideline to establishing your value, and sexual deviance is not allowed. It is imperative to your value that you only practice acceptable forms of sex in a relationship or in marriage. Your own sexual drive or urge is nonexistent and only exists if “he” wants it. It must ALWAYS exist if “he” wants it. Let’s disregard that he too has self-autonomy and doesn’t always want it. It is vital that no one find out you are following this rule. Keep a pretty face in public and give all you can. What he wants, whenever he wants. Dually noted.

  • “Vanilla givings, happy living””

The golden rule! You are only allowed a small spectrum of acceptable sexual behaviors ONLY within the parameters of a marriage or committed relationship. You are allowed no urges of your own, or plastic/glass friends in your nightstand. You are not allowed to be sexual outside of the predetermined circumstances. Let us once again disregard the magic of becoming your own personal DJ or the curiosity of having “shes” instead of “hes” take the role of the guest star.

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It doesn’t matter that you stand two feet away from them. Your life and future are for sale. You are naked. You are silent. You are completely uninvolved. You must stand still, smile and await judgement. You will not be wanted by the public if I’m not in the right packaging and as long as you do exactly as the slogan says, you are valuable. So you stand silently, awaiting their brilliant marketing expertise on what will make me worthy. As if what you choose to happen between your legs has anything to do with the fact that you are a person worthy of respect. As if the only merit you have is to be seen as desirable. Well here are a few slogans from yours truly.

Haven says:

GREAT SEX AND PAYCHECKS.

CELIBATE AND KILLIN IT

BACK SHOTS AND CASH DROPS

NO SEX AND PROTESTS

AMAZING Os, AND CEOs

It’s amazing that the concept of sexuality as it pertains to you is a conversation that includes so many people. A dialogue when it’s meant to be a monologue. Let’s not be unreasonable. The opinions of others count. They just won’t dictate my life until those opinions pay to keep my lights on.

 

SilverFang Episode 10: Sink or Swim

I flailed my arms as the ground quickly approached me. My stomach sank with every inch I drew closer to my death. Instinctively, I shielded my face with my forearms as I awaited impact…

Impact that never came.

Instead, I sliced through the surface of frigid water. My elaborate Solstice shawl cocooned itself around me, weighing me further towards the bottom. The freezing temperature shocked my body into a temporary standstill. I struggled under the pressure of waters so deep, begging my limbs to allow me to swim. I fought my way to the surface, ignoring the numbness running from my fingertips to the rest of my body. I kicked; I flailed; I swam with all my might. Just as I felt I had no breath left in my lungs, my head broke the surface of the waters.

I gasped, grateful for the air entering my lungs. I coughed violently as the water pushed its way out of me. I was so cold and so afraid, all the while confused at my improbable survival. My legs grew weary as they struggled fought the weight of my dress. As I struggled to stay afloat, I saw an edge to the waters just off to my right. Water poured in from aqueducts, creating rushing tides in the massive pool. The last bit of strength my body had pushed me towards the stone edge. My breath was ragged, and my vision was only slightly better than before. I laid my cheek on the cool granite, hugging it closely to my chest as if I would fall of the surface of the earth if I let go. As I looked up, I saw a massive statue of Mother Earth. She was naked and powerful in all of her glory, bent at the waist and weeping as she reached towards the water. I’d fallen into a sacred basin and tainted Her waters with my blood. If the Mother wasn’t watching over me before, she certainly wouldn’t be now.

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I found the feeling in my arms again and pulled myself out of the basin, finally realizing that I had never left the cathedral. The prayers and scriptures were finely etched into the stone walls of the sacred room. The orbs illuminated every corner in their soft yellow light, creating a reverence in the tomb. I didn’t know much about religion, but I’d heard the stories of how the world supposedly had come to be. The Mother mourned as she had lost her only son and cried for seven days , creating an ocean. She rose above her pain and took the salt from her tears to craft a world of new beings she could call her children. Her vulnerability poured from her eyes, flooding the basin in deep waters. Most would find comfort in an all powerful being. But there was no comfort here.

My attackers wouldn’t be far behind me, and I had to make an escape. I knew I wouldn’t be able to get far in my condition; I was running out of options. My immediate reaction was to run in any direction as fast as I could. I dragged my lead body to the grand double doors of the prayer room.

As I touched my fingertips to the cool wood, I realized that I didn’t have the strength to open them; I didn’t have the strength to do anything. The fog in my head was thickening, and I could feel my limbs weighing me down. For the first time tonight, I felt  I might actually die. My hands shook as I fought my body to respond. I was desperate to find strength where there was none to get me through this night. I leaned my back against the stone wall as my legs began to give out from under me. I tilted my head towards the Mother. I had never spoken to her, mostly because I didn’t quite believe she listened, but I was willing to try anything for a miracle.

A pound at the door made me flinch. Sheer panic washed over me. There was nowhere to run. Another brute thud came from the double doors.  I let my fingertips stroke the carved prayers along the stone wall, bracing myself for what was to come. I felt the hum of my magic flicker, and with it came my last bit of strength to fight for my life. I couldn’t be sure how much longer I could hold out, but I had to try. I mustered my last bit of energy and burst into smoke. I could feel the grain of the stone scrape between my cells as I disappeared into the wall. I could only hope I could hide better than I could run.

 

Perfume Sale!

My pessimism should be extracted, collected and bottled up to be sold to the masses. Honestly, the amount of disdain I had for all of the foolery I put up with in life could have launched an entire fragrance line. It would be sold in major department stores nationwide and the blond lady in an all black power suit would be ecstatic to sell it (just like the employee handbook says). Her plastered smile could nearly shatter her face as she works to earn her commission and entice you to buy.

“Oooo, good choice,” she’ll compliment as you waver your eyes towards a hot pink bottle on the lower shelf. “That one’s a little strong. It’s called ‘Who the hell asked you?’ This one is more appropriate for formal occasions like when someone says what you should do with your body, or when someone is compelled to tell you how to live your life.” She’ll laugh delightedly as she hands you the bottle for a test spray. Then she’ll lead you to the most expensive bottle that has been marked 40% off! She claims it to be her favorite of all!

“You’ll love this fragrance!” she’ll say. “ It’s called “Kiss my Ass”. This is the signature fragrance, made for all occasions.Suitable events include, but are not limited to: When customers at your job treat you like you’re not a person, when you’re bullied because of your looks, being told you’re not good enough, general doubt from your support system, and many more!”

Well Sharon, I think I’ll buy all of the bottles you’ve got. I’ll be very subtle, as I know that a lot of people are off put and often intimidated by such strong fragrances. I’ll start with a base coat of “I love me” and douse myself in a bottle of “Fuck it” just to piss them all off.

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SilverFang Episode 9: The Phantom Pt. 2

My breath was trapped in my throat. I was thankful the agony had ended, but I couldn’t be sure of what would come next from my captors. The side effects of the girl’s torture left me dazed. I peered over to the man approaching, not daring to make eye contact. He was still wearing his masque from the festival. As he removed it, his face held the same ghostly expression. It was as if the life had drained from his face, leaving behind a clenched jaw, broad lips in a tight line, and a haunted expression. I could feel all warmth leave me the moment his winecolored eyes fell on my face. I couldn’t help but feel as though he was looking through me- as if he was doing his best not to rip me apart.

“I don’t foresee anything in our way,” he said to the girl, his eyes locked on me. “We’re clear to move out.” His purple irises dissolved into auburn, and I could feel his once vibrant energy settle into a hum. It was evident by the change in his eye color that he was an oculus- a type of shadow user able to envision the future. If I so much as thought about getting away, he would predict it.

“But we were just about to play,” the girl pouted.

His eyes never left my face. I cowered away from his spiteful stare. “You can do that later.” He sauntered over to her, his gait aggressive as if to size up and intimidate every piece of ground he walked on. I could hear him murmuring to her, surely planning how they would end my life in a painfully slow way. I couldn’t imagine what they wanted from me. The only thing that was certain was that they needed me alive- at least for now.

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My mind struggled to find logic in this situation. The phantom mentioned that they were clear to move out. So we should be leaving here soon, I thought. I couldn’t underestimate their resources. If they were able to stalk and corner me in public, then there was no telling what they could do in private. To no avail, I kept attempting to summon the tingly feeling of my magic. No matter how hard I tried, it was always just out of my reach.

I listened intently for any indication of what they might do to me. They couldn’t get too far with a body; that was for sure. If they were going to move me, they would have to untie me first. I would only have a small window to escape. Even then, I wouldn’t be able to fight them both off. My eyes darted around the room in search of options, ultimately landing my sights on the slate gray floor beneath my feet.

I could hear the heavy footsteps of the man coming towards me. I kept my head low, hoping to make myself small enough to be spared. He stooped down to meet my eyes, his brow furrowed and his face serious. His brute fists carried a delicate flower the color of blueberries.

“This is going to hurt,” he said. He placed his hand over my nose. As I gasped, I could feel the heat in my sinuses. I choked on the burning winter in my senses. A numbness fell over my throat and nose. Before I could scream, I was slumped over in my chair, barely conscious.hydrangea-419061_960_720

The world moved slowly, and through my tunnel vision, I could see his feet walking towards the girl. I couldn’t hear anything except the slowing of my heart rate. My only chance at survival was to listen to my instincts; however, that was proving to be a difficult task. I felt the cotton building along the walls of my head. The effects of the flower were quickly weighing me. I forced my mind to focus on something besides the echoes of their soft voices or the surreal melting of the colors I saw. The phantom reached down to steady my limp body.

The knife… I dragged my eyes away from the spiraling objects in my vision to the breast pocket of his cloak. Wait until she goes for the ropes… My subconscious was much more focused than I was. Grab knife… Sink… Run. My senses were overloaded by the simple act of tapping into my shadow magic. I was tingling all over, but not in the way I needed. My eyes rolled around, trying to steady the spinning room. I had to stay focused.

“Grab… SinkRun…” I murmured to myself. I felt the girl loosen the ropes around my wrists. My arms were too numb to put up a fight; they fell heavily to my sides. I knew this was my chance, but I couldn’t remember why. My mind was in circles trying to remember, and I could feel the warmth of my magic in my belly.  I kept my attention on my arms, trying to make small movements.

“Grab… Sink…” I muttered to myself. The girl seemed concerned over her new toy. The seemed irritated that she would care at all about my well being. I could feel his grip around my torso tense.

“What’s wrong, pretty doll? What do you want to say?” I could feel her cool breath on the nape of my neck.

Through the haze, I could clearly see the dagger shining in his cloak. My adrenaline ran high. The bit of focus I had left allowed me to remember my plan. I wiggled my fingers, testing my motor skills. As she came closer, my body awakened. My vision was steadying, but not by much. This was it.

“Hit?” she misinterpreted.

“Yeah,” my hoarse voice cracked. “You hit like a bitch.” I grabbed for the knife, immediately turning to black smoke. The knife sliced clean through her pretty porcelain skin as I sank through the floor.

Liquid Lead

I was kind and kind hearted, blind and unthwarted in my attempts to make this world a better place

But you made me.. This

You swallowed my light in the abyss of your lies

You engulfed me in fury and squeezed the humanity out of my lungs

You clasped my ankles in your misery and pulled me under your insecurity

You seized my vision and buried me deep below my happiness

You crushed me under the weight of your ineptitude

You left me for dead

You watched me extend my arms to the shores of a distant past

You let me panic and buck for a breath of freedom

You let the cold slither along my legs as the darkness wrapped itself around me

And I let you.

I let you inject your lead into my veins

I let you poison my thoughts

I let you sink me into venge and spite.

I let you pollute my shores.

I let you raise the tides and blacken the sky

I let you drown my spirit and my pride

I let you sink me into the abyss I’d never dreamed I’d see.

 

Silverfang Episode 8: The Phantom

The dagger was firm in her hand. The girl with the violet eyes squatted down to meet me at eye level.

“Such an interesting little doll you are,” she repeated. Her doll was shifting in appearance. The milky skin melted under her new sun-kissed skin. Her once lilac eyes shifted to a deep auburn, and chocolate-colored curls cascaded down her back.

“She wants to play. See? She looks just like you.” Her eyes wavered downward. “Except, you have this pretty necklace.” She reached for the dog tags around my neck. Out of instinct, I jerked my chest away from her bony hand. I felt a sharp pang in my side. I’d nearly forgotten about my injuries.

“Very interesting,” she cooed. I felt the cool tip of the dagger pressed against my cheek.
She slid the dagger along my face and across my jawline, coming dangerously close to my jugular. My heart beat wildly in my chest. She didn’t cut me; she only cut a thick lock of my hair.

“I’ve never had a brown-haired doll before,” she said, tucking the lock of hair into her pocket. She looked at me, holding a skeletal finger to her lips. “That will be our little secret,” she gave a sinister giggle.

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“Crazy bitch,” I murmured to myself without thinking.

The anger boiled out of her face. “Pretty dolls don’t talk like that!” she howled.

One punch to my right eye came, and then one to my stomach. I felt like my lunch would make a guest appearance, and the cracked rib from before began to throb.From her tightly pulled raven colored bun, she revealed a small needle. I didn’t get the chance to speak before I realized what she was doing. The girl hummed a softly as she began sowing the mouth of her doll. 

“We can fix you right up pretty doll,” she said. I felt my mouth close. My lips felt sharp pressure beneath them, as if the needle was worming it’s way through my skin. I felt the burn of the thread as she stitched my screams in my mouth. I bucked in my chair, desperate for sound to come out of me. I only heard my own muffled cries. Her slim fingers were surprisingly strong as they clutched my throat for me to meet her gaze.

“Do you see what you make me do, pretty doll? Now I have to punish you!” She cradled her doll close to her ear with the other hand. “What’s wrong, pretty doll?” She listened intently. “You feel pain?”

Pain. So much pain. My head felt like it would explode. There was a drill in my skull, and it was not letting up. I screamed at the top of my lungs begging Mother Earth for mercy. It was as if she were actually inside my skull pounding against my brain with a sledgehammer. I had never felt anything so excruciating in my life.
Her words to her doll were quiet daggers. The pain was unbearable. I felt my brain melting into nothing, and my temples felt like knives were squeezing out of them. Her hand was still firmly clasped around my throat, forcing my gaze on her. Her lips moved furiously against the doll’s ear. I could feel my skull begin to split at my crown. I could feel human nails clawing from inside the walls of my cranium to break it open. I could feel my throat rasping as I continued to scream.

“Enough!” A booming voice filled the room. The pain stopped, but my tears didn’t. I choked and gasped in my chair. But the worst was yet to come.

The phantom had arrived.

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Silverfang Episode 7: Playtime

When I was a little girl, my father taught me to do everything I know. However, the one thing I distinctly remember him teaching me was how to swim.

“Come on Zizi, a little farther!” He would encourage me. “Come on you can do it!” He would cheer. He was always there when I needed him, even when I made mistakes. He always told me to stay near the lake’s edge until I was old enough to swim on my own. When I was nine, I swam out too far into the lake, confident I could make my way back without his help. I began sinking, and my stubbornness nearly drowned me.

My father acted quickly and swam out to save me. He wasn’t even upset at me for trying to defy him. I could still see the relief in his big brown eyes, his thick eyebrows furrowed.He was only relieved that I was okay. At this moment now, I felt like I was in that pool again. Everything was dark, I wasn’t breathing, and I heard voices muffled in the background. However, when I came up to the surface, it wasn’t Papa saving me: it was a bucket of ice water.

I had a coughing fit, and I felt like I would vomit as I surfaced from unconsciousness. My breathing was shallow, and everything was still blurry. I jerked up a bit as my focus continued to clear. I was strapped into a chair with my hands tied behind my back. I could feel the rope burn cutting through my wrists. I couldn’t feel the tingle of my magic either.

Before I could panic, I was mesmerized by the sinister beauty of the girl standing before me. She towered over me, only watching. The look in her eyes was almost admiring- as if she’s found a rare gem in the sand. She cradled a porcelain doll in her arms with an eerie resemblance to her. It had the same milky white skin and lilac eyes which seemed to follow my every move- as if they could very well snatch the soul right out of my body.

I couldn’t speak or so much as breathe. The silence stretched on.

I dragged my eyes away from her stare long enough to realize that I was in a room with no windows or doors. There was no indication of where I may have been. For a long pause, the girl said nothing, her movements faint if at all visible. She only gazed at me as I struggled to find logic in the mess I was in. My mouth was dry, and my jaw felt like it would fall off my already numb face. My mind was in a haze and refused to cooperate with me.

Running. I was running from something. Not something. Someone. I was running from… Violet eyes. Deep, dark, violet eyes. My memory finally cut through the haze, and I remembered everything. The roof tops. The fall. Everything was clear. And that stranger: how did he know my name?

“Pretty doll,” the girl said.

My chest tightened at the familiar skin-crawling coo, my eyes snapping back to her gaze. I couldn’t speak, and for a moment, there was only the sound of my ragged breathing.

“Who are you? What the hell am I doing here?” I demanded. My voice cracked as I tried to sound confident.

A small sweep of anger crossed her face. “Pretty dolls don’t talk like that,” she hissed. I tugged my wrists apart behind me, desperate to wisp through them. “The rope is a neutral agent. No magic for you,” the girl said. She pulled a small porcelain brush from the breast pocket of her cloak. “I wouldn’t want you to run away before we can play,” she said, softly passing her brush along my curls. “You’re so much prettier than all my other dolls. So much more interesting.”

Clearly, this girl had a few screws loose, but she should be unwilling to hurt me if she thought I belonged to her.

I had to play along. “Thank you,” my voice shook. “I bet I’m your favorite doll yet.” I forced a smile.

She nodded, cracking a small smile. “They told me to play nicer with you.” I could feel her cool breath inches from my face as she brushed along my hairline. “I broke all the other ones,” she sighed.

She pulled out a small dagger from her cloak, caressing the blade.

“I promise I’ll be gentle with you,” she said.