Too late…

In less than a minute from contact the infection took hold of her as nanites crawled from inside her irises to cover her entire body.

He watched in silent shock at the transformation.

Bringing her to the very height of her beauty; the nanites slowed for only the briefest of moments, showing him everything thing she could ever be physically and by God was she stunning! He gasped in awe at her absolute perfection, the cruel, cruel taunt displayed before him as she gave him a glimmer of her classic smile. A smile he inwardly knew was not real, yet he was as mesmerized by it now as he was when she was alive.
Though yards away he started to reach out to her, to touch her, when the vicious nanites true job finally kicked in. Her momentarily perfect eyes implode in on itself as though a fine, blacker than black silt were being sucked into an even blacker than black hole.
Only then did it occur to him to run, before the nanites sensed his own body, when he saw the first hint of blackness encircle the fingertip of his still outstretched hand.
Too late…
<>==========<>==========<>
A guy sitting across from me on the train had absolutely filthy nails.  My muse took a wicked flight of fancy as one of his finger tips looked like something alien was slowly devouring it. Amidst my repulsion, and fascination on how a relatively clean looking person can have such crusty nails, this whole scenario above happened in that most dangerous of places – my mind.
Let’s  hope my fellow slicers are having a more benign mental state – check them out…
sol

The Daily Post: Ready, Set, Done!

<trigger warnings – bodily fluids>

I am going mad.

A feeling not entirely out of the realm of possibility given the circumstances, truth be told. Surely if any place could inspire the fragmenting of one’s mind, this dark abyss would be so.  The ongoing series of low moans seeminly reverberate about the cramped space further emphasizing the horrendous state.

When was the last time we had fresh air? Saw sunshine?

Normally a gentle roll, the summer storm turned the normally gentle rocking of the ship into anything but a comforting lull. Several found their insides unceremoniously gushing out as a result of the lurching.  I tried not to think about it, but it was more near silent susurrus, a subliminal messaging of sorts to which I would not pay heed because this sin’t happening to me… This isn’t happening to me… This isn’t happening to me…This isn’t…

The man directly behind me starts speak when I feel hi body convulse and warm liquid strike my head and trails down my neck and back. I realize the first words were the beginnings of an apology he now completed, his stomach empty, butI ould not offer him the comforting words of understanding asthe stench and sheer repulsionstarts to overwhelm. Feeling itI reflectively try to back away from the warm body in front of me.  But like the man behind is bound to me and the stranger in front of me is chained to the man before him, I am just as shackled and cannot move when the ship lurches.

“I am sorry my brother”

And release…

Cross section of a slave ship 1828-1829.

Click for full size

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Ready, Set, Done! is a ten-minute free-write where you tap away on whatever comes to mind, no filters attached. You are free to edit later, or do as I have and just publish as-is. I have NO idea where this came from. I typed the first sentence, kept going and this was the result. The image was found after the fact.

Countdown

Always the adventurer, I did not want to take advantage of the soulmate clock when I was in my late teens as most do. I wanted the joy of discovery, the surprise of finding that perfect person for me on my own, you know? I hadn’t told anyone at the time, but I was afraid. What if the clock said my soulmate was years, even decades away? It was always possibility. Did I really want to know that I could be an old lady before I met *the one*? Therefore, I did not get one. However, I had promised my best friend that if I had not found the one by the time I was forty I would consent to get a countdown clock. One spectacularly failed marriage and my fortieth birthday later, I was held to my word. I got a soulmate countdown clock and I waited.

And waited.

Oh, trust me, I had me some fun while I waited, but I waited.

Twenty-two years, three months, six days and far too many hours, minutes and seconds. That is how long I’ve waited.

Per the usage rules, depending on the time frame, a client comes in the day before or morning of the event horizon to have the device checked one last time. Apparently, there were many people in my area who were meeting their soon to be significant others today. The place was so packed it was literally draw by straws to parcel folks out to other units to handle the load. Even so, I was among the last seen for the morning appointments. Still, I have to admit, after waiting all this time; the excitement gripped me as I finally hear my name called.

Martin is my friendly neighborhood technician and runs through the required spiel. Reminding me of all the things which I have heard countless times from other clock users over the years. That, in a nutshell, the clocks can only predict when you will meet, not how long you’ll live happily ever after and after a certain age the clocks are less reliable and while essentially love can be found at any time in one’s life, this was pretty much my last shot with the clock for my old ass. I try not to roll my eyes as Martin states all of this in much more diplomatic and politically correct manner, of course.

From another room, we hear a young woman’s squeal of excitement.

“Oh I know that sound!” Martin, grins. “That’s a new one whose clock has just turned on. It must mean her soulmate count down is really short. She’ll be meeting him or her soon, the lucky gal! Hey look, you too!” Martin turns my wrist to show me as if I didn’t already know that.

0y, 0m, d, 0h, 4m, 42s. Holy shit! I didn’t know!

“That’s less than five minutes!” I yell totally caught off guard. What should have been a 30 minutes process had cost me nearly half of the morning.

“Well I know it ain’t me, honey! Get the hell out of here and go meet him! GO!” He literally pulls me out the chair and opens the door, shooing me out of the room.

I hurry to the now empty waiting area. I glance at my watch, 0y, 0m, d, 0h, 3m, 31s and beeline for the main door to the street.

With a couple of minutes to spare, I straighten myself out as much as possible. I toss an errant curl behind my ear before I spot him across the street. Tall, salt and peppered curling hair, to match his equally salted stubble and our eyes connect. I feel a pull. I feel it from the depths of my being as my breath catches. I can tell it is the same for him as he gasps.  He glances at his clock and I glance at mine…

0y, 0m, d, 0h, 0m, 51 s.

He grins at me knowingly, as the street light changes and he steps from the curb.

I am looking at his face, loving his smile, watching the confident strut of his stride all the while chastising myself for being all-aflutter when a cacophony of sound draws my attention. A soul wrenching combination of yelling, tires screeching, glass breaking and metal crunching together. My soul lurches again as I realize my newly found mate is no longer striding towards me, but is now several feet away a tangle of blood and bones. I don’t even think about it – I run to him.

The moment I grasp his hand all sound mutes, but that of our hearts falling into sync. He turns his head to look at me, he tries to smile, to speak, but he can’t. I happen to be holding the hand with his countdown clock and quickly glance at mine comparing times 3…2…1…

0y, 0m, d, 0h, 0m, 0 s – they match.

His hand goes limp in mine and I know.

I use my other hand to close the lids on eyes that no longer see me.

Friday 55: Sweet Dreams

Christ! You know what it is – just open the damn thing already!

I hold the daunting package in my white knuckled grip a few moments longer. Everything changes with this.

Carefully, I pull the seal, empty the contents and hold the book in my hands, officially going from dreamer to writer to…

Published author.

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Haven’t done this in a while – Friday Flash 55

Friday 55: What You Ask For…

Again, I awaken breathless.  Again, remembering nothing of the dreams that could cause such a state.  Last night I told myself -don’t think in the morning; say the first thing that comes to mind aloud, and I will remember.

So I did, and I did; but now I wish I hadn’t…

I dreamt of you.

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Trying my hand at Flash Fiction, also called sudden fiction, micro fiction or nanofiction via Friday 55.
Write a story in exactly 55 words, then tell the G-Man!

30/30 – 30 | BOO!

My sons rolled their eyes at me as they always did when Halloween comes around.  Luckily, by their viewing at least, I do not go all out transforming the house into a holiday appropriate wonderland as I do for Christmas.  Still, every now and then I get into the I want to carve a pumpkin mood. This was one of those Halloweens were I was in a pumpkin carving, tons of chocolate and other goodies to give away, witches hat wearing mood. Now well into their teens, and knowing they are going to be dragged into it anyway shake their heads as they begrudgingly get into the spirit with me.

Thanks to such cinema sweethearts as Freddy Cruger (Nightmare on Elm Street) and Michael Myers (Halloween) faux bloody masks were de rigueur.  My youngest gets an idea and asks to borrow his father’s full length leather trench coat. Both of us being well aware of his imagination, my eldest and I look at each other part warily, partly with anticipation to see where this is going to go.

My youngest dons the coat and mask, pulls up the hood to the hoodie, grabs the big bowl of candy and when the coast is clear steps outside to stand perfectly still in a corner of the front porch closest to the front door.  He was already six feet tall by this point, thus he cut an imposing figure in the leather and bloody mask.  If any trick-or-treaters want candy, they are going to have to come to the statue to get it.

“Oh this is going to be good!” My eldest grins as we stand by the living room window to watch the scene unfold.  It takes a few minutes, but soon enough there are five or six children standing by the front gate trying to determine whether it is safe to come get the candy just sitting there in the bowl for the taking.  As always with such a group, some poor soul is goaded into being the brave one to investigate.

The little boy opens the gate takes a step in and stops. My youngest does not move a muscle. I cannot see him breathe; nor blink. He is a perfect Halloween statue. The little boy takes a few tentative steps more up the path, but still no movement from the statue. He looks back at his friends who goad him on. He makes his way up the short path to the first step and stops again, trying to gauge the situation. It is taking everything my eldest and I have not to laugh aloud as we watch this unfold.

“Hey, it’s just a statue holding a bowl of candy come up and get some!” The boy yells back to his friends bravely climbing the remaining steps as the friends come running up the pathway.  The boy raises his hand to get candy and the moment his fingers touch…

“RAWRAAAAARGGHHH!”  

The “statue” comes roaring to life and scares the living heck out of the poor child and his friends.  They are screaming, running down the steps and halfway down the pathway, before the combined laughter of my sons and I make them realize they have just been had. My youngest stops laughing long enough to call the boy back and convince them all it is okay to have candy. He gives the other kids a few candies each, but lets the little boy take as much candy as he wants for being the brave one.

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Slice of Life Story Challenge

Slice of Life Story Challenge

It seemed only fair since tomorrow is Halloween, that I have at least one such story for it.
And with this, the only non-fiction story of the set 30/30 set, I miraculously conclude the 30 Stories in 30 Days Challenge on time.  It has been an interesting romp stretching my imaginative path, I hope you’ve enjoyed the stretch. I now return to my irregularly scheduled blogging.

30/30 – 28 | Beach

I am leaning against the balcony railing enjoying the warm sun, sipping mimosa.   I am on vacation with the family and there is absolutely no reason for me to be up so early.  Everyone else is sound asleep, but as I watch the rising sun slowly inch across sand and seas, I am so I had a chance to enjoy this.  Combined with the perfect cool breeze, it already tells me it is going to be a beautiful day.

In the distance, I spy two lovers walking along the shore heading in my direction.  As I am watching and smiling as they laugh, clearly enjoying each other’s company, stopping every now and then to embrace, lovers really is the only word to describe them. A part of me is just the tiniest bit envious as I see him take her in his arm and kiss her passionately.

They both feel this kiss deeply as hands travel bodies. They stop suddenly, remembering where they are and laugh.

After a moment, the woman suddenly takes off running.  As they get closer, I realize they remind me of a couple I know and I rack my brains trying to remember which of my peers behave like that lovingly toward each other.

The glass of mimosa nearly slips from my hand when the answer comes to me about five seconds before they see me on the balcony and wave.

My husband appears behind me, kissing me on my neck. I turn and give him a good, deep kiss in greeting.

“Well good morning to you!  Where’d that come from?” He grins, happily taking me in his arms to return the kiss.

I point to the couple on the beach, now within clear sight and wave back.

“My parents.”

30/30 – 5 | Score

Janelle looks at her reflection as she ran her fingers over the wool of the coat. The lines fit her lush form perfectly. With the collar popped up, her dark sunglasses on and her gloves she knew it was a combination that would look so good on her. It was more than she wanted to spend on a coat just then, but it would be worth it for the perfect fit alone. She just could not get past the color. Red.

And not just red, but a THAT’S RIGHT WORLD! LOOK AT ME! HERE I AM! R-E-D!, red.

As if her size alone wasn’t attention-getting enough. She could all but hear the derision of her sister Grace couldn’t you find it in black or at least navy? To be fair Janelle had initially looked for a coat in a darker *cough-slimming-cough* color, but then her eyes saw the red and that was it. Janelle sighs taking off the coat. She puts it back on the hanger, buttoning it back up perfectly before returning it to the showroom floor. It was the third time this week she came in and tried on the coat. It was the third time this week she was going to walk out without it as she slips on her navy coat. It was a little out of my price range anyway she consoles herself picking up the fabulous leopard print eternity wrap she spied earlier instead.

She sees her new neighbor Chris pass by the boutique as she stands on the line to make her purchase. Janelle could not help but smile. Tall, solid build and a very nice ass to boot. The gods were at their A game when they created that one. Janelle had done the new neighbor deed of showing up with a cake that second night after move in. Chris had invited her in, but there were still a ton boxes everywhere and they wisely decided to move it over to Janelle’s apartment where they got into a surprisingly good political discussion though they differed in some views.  They ran into each other a couple of days later at the local Asian fusion place. The next evening Janelle slipped a handful of menus for the best places that delivered under Chris’ door without a note. Much to her delight she found a note of thanks from Chris under her own door the next morning. That was a week ago with little more than a head nod in passing a couple of days ago. Janelle decided she was going to ask her new neighbor over for dinner once she got home. She then pseudo plotted ways to get Chris’ shirt wet just so she can profusely apologize while using the smallest towel possible to dry off those abs she had spotted on move-in day.  The discussion was even better than the abs and those were some nice abs Janelle had to laugh to at her own silliness.

“Aw, you’re not going to get it?” The cashier broke through Janelle’s day dreaming.

“Huh – er what?” Janelle stepped up to the register.

“I saw you trying on the red coat. Most woman try, but really can’t work a color that intense, but you do.” The cashier smiled, starting to ring up Janelle’s purchases.

Grace would not think twice about wearing such a bright-colored coat. In fact, she showed-up for Sunday dinner last week in a peacock-blue number. It looked divine on her, but not as good as this coat looks on me. Besides, she was just so tired of wearing the black and navy and charcoal grey coats she has worn for years trying to fit in some other person’s mold of what she should wear for her size. As if wearing those colors would make her less noticeable. Make her disappear.

Well she wasn’t going to disappear dammit!

“Be right back.” She nods once with conviction.

Upon Janelle’s return, the cashier slides a piece of paper for Janelle to see; a coupon for 30% the purchase of that specific brand’s coat. “Would this help?”

“Why yes, yes it would! Thank you! Oh, and I want to wear it now.” Janelle was almost giddy at her good fortune. A few minutes later, with her old coat in the store bag, leopard scarf draped around her face and sunglasses on, Janelle waltzed out in her new coat. Score!

Feeling like a million bucks, she decided to celebrate by picking up a couple of bottles of wine for dinner from the wine shop down the block and walks straight into Grace at the door.

“Oh good God girl!  What the hell possessed you to get that? Where are the cops?” Grace looked her up and down in disbelief.

“Why? Because it’s against the law me to look this fine in it?” Janelle retorted. Score!

“No, because that coat is so red and your ass so fat you look like a siren.” Grace rolls her eyes, pleased as punch by her presumed wit. Before Janelle could respond a pair of hands squeeze her shoulders from behind.

“I know, Jay is seriously working that film noir, bad ass siren vibe hard isn’t she? And with that body, she’s doing a fine job of it too. Good call! Hi, you must be Gracie.”

Janelle grins recognizing her new neighbor’s voice, reaching up to squeeze Chris’ hand in gratitude. That her sister cannot stand to be called Gracie, and though Janelle knows she’ll be blamed anyway, the fact that she never told Chris about the Gracie thing makes the use of it all the more perfect. She could not help but enjoy watching the wind knocked the hell out of her sister’s sails as introductions are made. Grace looks from Janelle, still holding Chris’ hand, to Chris who winks at Janelle and back to her sister.  Janelle raises her sunglasses visually daring Grace to say anything else. Grace wisely chooses to make her exit. Score!

“Wow you’re right, she is lovely, and a bitch, and it should be against the law for you to look this fine and not go out to dinner with me tonight.” Chris pushes a stray hair back while picking a bottle of wine to consider then placing it back.

“Excuse me?” Janelle laughs surprised.

“I was debating if I wanted to ask you out on a date. The debate ended when I saw you in that coat, as you passed the coffee shop next door. My sister is a big gal too and she would run for the hills from such an attention-getting color. That you have the moxie to do it and do it well makes you a woman I want to know more.” Chris smiles her megawatt smile.

“Well so much for my picking up wine to invite you to dinner tonight. I accept.” Janelle lowers her glasses and grins.

Oh sweet, sweet score!

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30 Stories in 30 Days | Day 5

Untitled…(excerpt – Assassin)

        Mevralaud tries to open his eyes in the dark.  The effort feels tremendous. His head feels as though a thousand Gheysharran drums were pounding inside. He tries again, this time slowly and realizes the darkness is not him; the room was near pitch black.  The only light came via the scant moonlight from the window in the far corner.

        That should not be.

        Where were the delightful sisters, Cheriana and Charliana? What happened to the fire that blazed so hotly in the hearth before? It was put out somewhat recently for the room was still warm.

        Instinct alone made him lay still in the dark.

        Instinct alone made him listen to what he could not see.

        Instinct alone told him he is not alone in the room.

        And instinct alone saves him, as the all too familiar sound of swinging steel gives him the warning needed to roll away from the blade crashing down to take his very life.

        He is fully awake now.

        Mevral feels the air of the blade brush his skin as he dives from the bed.

        Barely dodging another attack, he slides on what he knew had to be blood before he trips over a body and finds the unfortunate answer to his question of the sisters, as he crashes into a table along the wall.

        The table.

        Mevralaud has his full bearings now.

        He slides under the table, coming out from the other side swinging on the pure instinct alone as broadsword meets broadsword.

        Noise erupts from outside the room and Mevral cannot help but grimace at the familiar bellow that comes with it. Amrieux was immersed in his own fierce battle from the sound of it, doing everything in his might to get to his best friend and DarkraSeci.

        Lyshiar! If it had not registered before, it hits Mevralaud like a physical blow now.

        This is an assassination attempt!

        He has only one question, but dares not ask for fear of the answer.

        Though Mevralaud has yet to fight his first full on battle of war, warrior instinctively understands warrior and he knows no words will be spoken between the two of them.

        The assassin steps up his pace with a furious volley of attacks, throwing Mevralaud off balance.

        Ydarkra! Sparks fly as metal slids against metal.

        The continuous clang of their respective swords is near deafening as both men fight hard.

        Whoever this assassin may be, he was good!

        Mevral feels as though he is moving through sludge and can barely keep pace with the assassin’s attacks. He understands now why Charliana insisted he try the new ale the barkeep created. It was just as well that she was likely the body he tripped over; it spared having to kill her himself once this was over.

        Mevralaud misses a parry and pays for it dearly when the assassin brings the flat of his sword down hard on Mevral’s wrist.  The shock of it runs straight up Mevral’s arm, numbing him and he drops his sword. The assassin swings quickly and Mevralaud swerves, the blade tip catching him just under his jaw.

        First blood.

        Mevral drops to the floor and rolls.  Hearing the assassin right behind him, he kicks out hard.

        The satisfaction of hearing the breath leave the assassin’s body as it hits the floor is only temporary. He cannot get to the dropped sword and back on his feet fast enough.

        Mevralaud hears the whoosh of the assassin’s blade just as he takes his own sword in both hand and swings.

        Blindly.

        Wildly.

        Desperately.

        The two swords swinging in opposite arcs pass each other by a hairsbreadth.  He could sense the assassin’s surprise at what both knew should have been Mevralaud’s death.

        Instead, it grazes across Mevral’s chest drawing blood.

        Mevralaud was slow, but not slow enough.

        The assassin was fast.

        But not fast enough.

        Mevralaud, with the longer arm reach, cuts true.

        The assassin acknowledges his death with a nod to the better man, dropping his sword.

        There is an eerie silence as Mevralaud completes his swing, drawing his broadsword through, letting the body fall.

        “Lyshiar!” Amrieux crashes through the door, with others of Mevralaud’s cadre right behind him flooding the room with light, just as the body landed.

        Mevralaud stands and looks around the room. Both sisters were naked, their throats cut, their golden beauty, now a ghastly shell of their former selves, lying in pooled blood. The small telltale mole on the hip identifying Charliana from her twin looks garish in the sudden light.

        Mevral looks down at the liquid warmth touching his toes. He steps away from the flow, reaching down to remove the hood that covers his would-be-assassin’s face. Amrieux curses at the revelation; the name repeated to those men who cannot see into the room.

        Amrieux, silently signals for the men to stay were they are as he steps into the room, leaving the door only slightly ajar to provide light.

        “Mevralaud?”

        Mevralaud hears his best friend, but cannot speak. He simply shakes his head.

        The light catches something glittering in the corner.

        His sword.

        Not the sword he currently holds, snatched from its hidden spot in a specially carved groove under the table, in case it was ever needed for a time such as this, but his own royal sword, D’Uralaive. Mevral casts aside the sword in hand and goes for his own. It is then he realizes he is naked.

        Amrieux watches as Mevralaud dresses quickly, but silently.

        It is a deadly silence.

        Fully dressed, Mevralaud touches his own sword, at last. The sword given to him by his father when he reached of age two reaagons ago, its jewels and carving so familiar to him as he unsheathes it. He turns and faces his best friend, D’Uralaive extended directly in front of him.

        Amrieux immediately falls to one knee as he calls out to the men in the hall. The door opens wide and, they follow suit.

        “My Darkran,” Amrieux bows his head solemnly, “we must go.”

        Mevral wants to fall to his knees and roar in grief at the confirmation.

        He cannot; there is no time.

        Instead, he orders the body of the assassin brought with them as he sheaths his royal sword, then picks up the one he cast aside and hangs it from his opposite side. He will continue to fight with that sword for as long as possible. He promises himself D’Uralaive’s first kill by him will be in vengeance of his father.

        Amrieux called him Darkran.

        My Darkran.

        The unasked question, answered; his father was dead.

        Mevralaud the DarkraSeci is now Darkran Mevralaud Takrioh Ydarkra Rohn.

        He just has to live long enough get back home and claim his throne.

        “We ride!”

>==========<
Just a little fiction, just because I was dared to write a sword fight scene several years ago. I finally started seriously expanding on this last year when I challenged my self to do NaNoWriMo. I am no where near finished with this, but I may post more scenes here and there. Or I may not.

The Summons

Already restless, I had turned to my favored place to seek peace. I had knelt beneath the moonlit branches of the tree, letting nightingale song wash over me, when I am summoned and know not why. I am told his mood is strange. I have but moments to prepare myself, yet not test the goodwill of he who summons. Moonlight shines through the blossoming trees as I ride on the mare provided. Not finding my favorite combs, I hastily extend a hand to snatch blossoms, hoping their beauty compensates. The same moonlight shows the hurried manner of my dress.

The bright moon of night
Shines on all that can help you
And all that can harm

I breathe deep the scent of local flora as I ride along. Perfect gardens seen off in the distance are soothing. The road I travel is not. I knew not the king had returned from his sojourn; let alone have chance to know the cause this distress. The lumps I feel are more than mere nervousness. The not gentle roads jangle already frayed thoughts. My king who places a premium on the upholding of traditions, entrusts me with its upkeep. A delicate balance accomplished too well. Hours spent side-by-side this past year, yet he knows naught. My heart as improper as the lack of grace of a more appropriate attire. The night is as dark as my mood. My beloved moonlight bears me not a cheer.

The trickle of fear
Thorns that can grow sharp within
As well as without

I take in the increasing view of the palace up ahead. Its peaks rise in golden tones as though the setting sun cached its luminescence there for the night and comes now to collect upon rising. My king acknowledges my kneeling by kneeling himself. He kneels! To me! His rough, beefy hand a contrast to my pale delicate fingers. I am shocked by his most gentle of touch – our first physical contact. Ever. An embroidered gown placed in my arms, he bows. He bows! The gown is of a refinement only she who will become queen can wear. Characters of my name intricately stitched within its fine threads. My missing combs, now jewel encrusted, nervously placed on top. And like this new day, it dawns on me. He knows. He reciprocates. All protocol cast aside at our second physical contact ever – our first kiss.

Deep shades of gold sun
Extend like love’s warm fingers
Dawn a brand new day

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Entered in:

Poetry Picnic Week 33: Fortresses, Castles, Palaces and Royal houses

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dVerse ~Poets Pub | Meeting the bar – the Haibun