• Update!! Update!! Update!!

    FINALLY! The update we’ve all been waiting for. As of today my small business grant has been approved!!!

    I never feel more alive than when I have a mission, and after a year and a half of wait, wait, wait some more… we have a mission go.

    So, what does this mean?

    As you may know, this business plan started with a small festival based business selling water marbled goods, but this is the same grant I used to launch the book and do the movie tour. So going for the same grant again meant upping my game. I wanted to do another tiny business like I’ve done in the past but this time, it had to be really good, and more than just getting by profitable.

    According to the financial forecasts, this is more than just getting by profitable. This is like 5X getting by profitable. It’s simple, it works around my disabilities and Tom’s conditions. It also means getting paid to go to some of the biggest festivals in the State, and a lot of good music.

    So, now what?

    Now the real fun begins. This isn’t my first business start-up, so I know from experience that for the next few months are GO mode. We have a website to build, a full factory to set-up, festival season is upon us, and we need STOCK!

    It’s a good thing too, because Tom and I have been going crazy playing the waiting game. Trying to move forward with every little thing we can, but having to wait on this one big thing to be certain of anything. Neither of us is good at waiting, and neither of us is good at doing nothing!!!

    Looks like Glow Dreamz FX is a go!!!!

  • New is new and old is old

    After everything went south, all I really wanted was for things to get back to normal. I struggled and struggled to go back to the way things were, but the way things were just kept getting farther and farther away.

    I don’t know how long it took me to finally realize that there was no going back. But it was far too long. It’s like putting a new puzzle together using old pieces. Pick one image to construct or the other. You can’t have both. New is new and old is old and everything that has happened before this moment is old.

    I’m still not fully ready to talk about everything that happened, but in a few short years everything changed. I changed. I seen some shit. Once you’ve seen some shit, you never really unsee it.

    Once you’ve been homeless, the way you see the whole world changes. You become grateful just to have a vehicle to sleep in, and fuel to keep you warm on cold nights. You become grateful for access to running water. Cooking facilities. Trash services. Toilets.

    Things you never even thought about before start looking like luxuries. Things you thought of as favorite luxuries before become obscene extravagances. Your entire system of values shifts.

    Maybe someday I’ll go back to taking refrigerators and bathing facilities for granted again, but I sincerely doubt it, and I’m thankful for that too.

    Some of the shit is bad, some of the shit is good, but either way it has a way of becoming a part of you. Whether you want it to or not. Some things just move inside of you and make themselves at home.

    I still don’t know what is going on with my business plan. It has been nearly a year since I first submitted my plan. It has been done and redone by 3 different professional business planners. It has gone from my dream of a small business to a full on factory set up. It has gone from a small family business to a full on corporate headquarters.

    It’s not what I had first envisioned at all, and I’ve really struggled with that. The current incarnation of this plan is big. It’s freaking huge. I tried to build a business around my disabilities. They sort of readjusted it to suit the standard business model. Which is really not where I was headed with this at all.

    But, I don’t ever want to be homeless again. I don’t ever want to have to rely on anybody but myself ever again. I want to be able to rely on myself even on days when my body isn’t fully functional.


    I’m still doing this. One way or the other. I should hear from the grant people any day now. If they say yes, we go forward with the giant mega plan. If they say no we drop the grant people and end the year long hell they’ve put us through and scale it back down to where my first plan was. We move forward on our own. Slower, but at least we get started without having to spend six months waiting on this person and a year waiting on that.

    It’s the waiting that’ll get ya. Every. Damn. Time.

    The only thing that really got me through the worst of the last few years was the vision I had in my head for a business that could both sustain me and help me battle my disabilities at the same time. Something that would give me a real future instead of broken promises. Something that gave me control of my own choices.

    I’m going to get there. I don’t know when, or how, but I will get there. And it will be SOON!

    I’m done with trying to make my life look they way it used to look. I left that person in the past for a reason. Who wants to go backwards?


  • The Business Plan From Hell…

    I turned in the first draft of my start-up plan on April 15, I had to pull some strings to get the ball rolling because my caseworker was out. They made arrangements for a consultant to help me polish the plan, and you’d think by now it would be sparkling… but I’m pretty sure it’s just fizzling…

    As the summer has passed I have watched one event after another roll by, helplessly watching one festival deadline after another pass with no way to participate in said festival. My urgency just isn’t getting through.

    This is supposed to be a program for disabled people, so why is it so damned complicated?

    I have essentially sent the same forms in 3 or 4 times now, renoting each time, adding colors, and labels, and notes, and even leaving notes on the notes for the notes. I am not sure that I am any closer to helping them understand my vision or not.

    I am however one step closer to admitting defeat… only… there isn’t a plan b, or c, or d, or any other letter on the horizon.


    So… we wait…

  • Digitized sketch by Ayngel Boshemia Listening to Writer’s Block

    Writer’s Block is one of those things that most people think can happen to anybody. Anybody of course but yourself.

    I hadn’t really thought much about the causes of the disconnect between my storyteller and my word processor but I’ve had a lot of time to wander my befuddled brain as of late. The cold weather has set in, and in what has become a winter tradition for more than a decade now my muscles and joints have begun their cold weather protests.

    As such, I often end up bedridden for days at a time. While having Fibromyalgia is often physically limiting, when you are stuck with nothing but your mind, ideas begin to brew.


    The stories in my head never stopped telling themselves, I just couldn’t remember how to capture them anymore. Isn’t that odd? Writers block is a most appropriate name. It really does feel like a block of lead has rolled itself over the entrance to the space where stories once danced.

    I tried, but whatever it was that used to compel me to capture thoughts on paper had left me. My muse just wandered off one day leaving me with nothing but…

    Blank paper. Words. Wrong words. Words no work. Where words go? Sad. No. More. Good. Words.

    This. No. Good.

    Though I sat in front of a computer to write as often as possible, so few words found their way out. Those that did were perhaps best left wherever they came from. I wrote them anyhow. I hit save. But there was no real… life to any of it.

    Then, a few days ago, I was sitting there trying to hear the story voice. Doing my very best to drown out those other… things… that threatened to suffocate the old voice. There was all of this static in the background, what the hell was that awful noise?

    I’ve been trying all this time to drown everything else out so I could hear the story voice, but had I ever taken time to listen to what that noise was. It was interesting to say the least.

    There was a time when all that I wanted to do was write. I HAD to write. It wasn’t about perfection, or financial reward, or the approval of this one or that. No. It was for me, and only for me, and that was when I loved writing.

    It was only when people started wanting to know where the money was, or the sales numbers, or the frills and perks that the passion left me. Even more, I started thinking that success might lead to approval from certain forces in my life.

    They didn’t even read it.

    People that I actually dedicated the book to did not even read it. If they have ever seen the movie, they haven’t mentioned it. The money never came, there was nothing there for them… and so, they wandered off.

    And that is what those noises in my head were trying to get through to me. Reminding me that I killed the computer that had all of the originals on it. Reminding me of the three years of hell it took to write and publish it. Reminding me of the outright rejection I faced. Reminding me of all I lost just to fail last time. Reminding me of just how deeply failure burns.

    Do you REALLY want to go through that again? REALLY? Just so another handful of people might read it? REALLY?

    Oh, Gods help me I do. I can’t f’n believe it, but I do.

    I have no idea why. I have nothing to show for it now, and might end up with even less than that when I am done. Sometimes we have to do things that don’t make any sense.

    That is what I was missing.

    The desire to write just for the sake of writing. I let people, and circumstances, and life take that passion from me. I allowed their focus to become my focus, and I let their fear of failure redefine my own life.

    This. No. Good.

    So, in short I’ve been writing more. Slow and clumsy though they may be, the stories are dancing again.

    This. Is. Good.

  • eye of the elder dragon brings wisdom Mindful Ghosts… 

    I’m not sure if I still remember why I came here. It hasn’t been the greatest experience. But then again  the most important lessons are rarely pleasant.

    I certainly do hope that someday I finally get these lessons down, so I can finally stop learning them.

    All of this learning is kind of exhausting.

    Some big changes coming. There are always big changes coming. I’ve grown really tired of big changes.

    All attempts at working have been a failure. I continue to try to work for myself. Starting a business on your own, is hard enough. Trying to do it around a disability makes it doubly hard. No matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to accomplish what I think I should be accomplishing.

    And it gets very frustrating.

    Every day I try to remind myself what I’ve accomplished. I try not to be too hard on myself, but the voices that’s another story…

    I call them the ghosts, and sometimes when they’re especially annoying, the committee. They’re not ghosts, not really, and they aren’t really there either, not really… but they haunt me just the same.

    Echoes from the past shall we say? Something along those lines. Things that were said. Things that were left unsaid. Things that never should have been said at all.

    They’ve always been there. These ghosts that aren’t. I assume they’ll always be there. Telling me that I should be trying harder. Telling me that it’s never enough. Telling me that there’s no hope.

    I hate them, but I suppose they are as much a part of me as my fingers are toes by now.

    It’s only been the past few years however, that they really started driving me crazy. It’s like a hornet’s nest in my head.

    I’m trying to learn mindfulness now. It isn’t easy with all this chaos in my brain. It’s not easy for me to sit still, or to be in silence, or to be alone with my thoughts.

    Suddenly, it seems so crucial. As if my only path to sanity, is to get these thoughts in my head under control. Maybe not control, as much as just quiet them down.

    Part of mindfulness, is learning to be non-judgemental of the thoughts that come our way. That’s hard for me, given my background, my history, what have you.

    I come from a judgemental people. I come from a judgmental place. I am trapped within a judgmental mind.

    I must escape.

    My therapists say I will. I’m still not certain that I believe them. Yet, I’ve come to a point, or I have no choice.

    If I want to keep going I need to keep trusting them. I need to start trusting myself.

    It sounds so easy doesn’t it?

  • Bear with head trapped in jug lassoed by Colorado man... Man lassoes bear with jug on its head because… Colorado

    Bear with head trapped in jug lassoed by Colorado man...
    Bear with head trapped in jug lassoed by Colorado man…

    Ahh life in Colorado, where man and nature are constantly trying to find a way to coexist. In an ideal world, the animals stay in their habitats and humans stay in theirs, but as people begin to expand their territory their homes have become ours.
    And our problems have become theirs…
    This is Jug Head the bear, the poor little guy who just wanted some cheese puffs… but became the bear in the bubble instead.
    Residents of Glenwood Springs, Colorado saw him wandering around with this plastic jug on his head for at least a week. Apparently several residents had become worried and called authorities trying to find help for the young bear, but by the time help arrive he was nowhere to be found.
    One resident, Jim Hawkins, knew the bear wouldn’t survive much longer so the former firefighter cowboyed up and saved the day. After lassoing the unlucky bear, Hawkins had to wrestle with the bear for a bit before tying him to a tree to wait for wildlife services.
    Hawkins received minor injuries, and the bear was freed from his bubble and released. Both are expected to make full recoveries.

    Jim Hawkins, owner of Four Mile Creek and the bear in a bubble…
    Dude. Wrestled. A. Bear.
    Hawkins also happens to be a folk singer who sings about the dangers of Donald Trump and owns Four Mile Creek Bed and Breakfast near Glenwood Springs. So, you can camp out with the guy, how cool is that?
    He says the bear probably got into trouble because someone forgot to secure their recycling bin. So, please remember animals like garbage, and humans make a lot of it. It’s like a free all you can eat buffet, and who doesn’t like a buffet?
    Please don’t tempt the bears, it doesn’t always end this happily.


  • Hunter S. Thompson "Be weird" Hunter S. Thompson returns antlers stolen from Ernest Hemingway

    Hunter S. Thompson steals Hemingway's antlers, family returns them...
    Hunter S. Thompson steals Hemingway’s antlers, family returns them…

    You’ve heard of the pick of destiny? Well, meet the antlers of infamy. A set of antlers that Hunter S. Thompson’s stole from the Hemingway home are now on their way back to the Hemingway family.

    What we would give to see what those antlers have seen…

    Imagine a fresh faced Hunter S. Thompson still searching for his journalistic voice. He visits the Iowa home of his hero Ernest Hemingway, to discover more about his hero…

    As a memento of his trip, he removes a set of mounted elk antlers from the wall. These antlers then hang in the garage of Thompson’s Colorado home while his career as a gonzo journalist blossoms. Coincidence? I think not… I think not…

    Here, at least, he had mountains and a good river below his house; he could live among rugged, non-political people and visit, when he chose to, with a few of his famous friends who still came up to Sun Valley. He could sit in the Tram or the Alpine or the Sawtooth Club and talk with men who felt the same way he did about life, even if they were not so articulate. In this congenial atmosphere he felt he could get away from the pressures of a world gone mad, and “write truly” about life as he had in the past.
    ~ Hunter on Hemingway (From “The Great Shark Hunt”)


    Papa’s Planet – Hunter on Hemingway

    Denver Post : Antlers taken by Hunter S. Thompson, stored in Colorado garage, returned to Hemingway home

  • Scrotum frog die of at Lake Titicaca 10,000 dead scrotum frogs found near Lake Titicaca

    Scrotum frog die of at Lake Titicaca
    What’s behind the scrotum frog die off at lake Titicaca

    This was one of those headlines that made our editors do a double, and then a triple take. Yes, scrotum frogs are real, and yes, they are found in Lake Titicaca, and yes that is a real place…
    Anybody who has seen more than a few episodes of “Ancient Aliens” has heard of this high altitude lake in Peru surrounded by ancient ruins.
    The Titicaca Water Frog, which is so named for deep folds along its body to enhance oxygen absorption. Its Latin name telmatobius culeus, literally translates to ‘aquatic scrotum’.
    It isn’t hard to imagine why…

    Which brings us to this weeks headline…

    10,000 dead scrotum frogs found near Lake Titicaca…

    Wait? What?

    While it is difficult to discuss this story without a few giggles, after your inner fifth grader has had their giggles take some time to remind him/her/or otherwise that this is another symptom of a very serious problem.

    Why the frogs are dying off isn’t exactly a mystery, threats to their natural habitats are many. From overuse of water to pollution, humans have caused severe damage to the delicate scrotum frogs environments.

    Frogs really are sensitive creatures, and they often suffer the effects of pollution before other creatures and long before humans are affected.

    What happens to the frogs is slowly happening to the people… Currently researchers are trying to find a way to stop the deaths of the scrotum frogs by the thousands but it will take all of us to stop the die offs.

    So, do your part! Save the scrotum frogs, and all of the other little greenies!

    For more information on the Lake Titicaca frog die off, please go to

  • Forest for the Trees by Boshemia

    Forest for the trees - by Ayngel Boshemia
    Forest for the trees – by Ayngel Boshemia

    Oh and wasn’t she a mess?

    The borrowed gown hung in tatters just below her bloodstained knees, the fancy pearled shoes discarded somewhere in the swamp. The bridal bed had gone unused, prepared for her, but never meant for her. It was warm, it was safe, it was comfortable even, but it was never really hers. None of that life had really been hers.

    The ring had belonged to his mother, and his mother’s mother before her. Where had she left the ring? She wasn’t quite sure. Somewhere in the grass around the church, or perhaps on the walkway leading away, or maybe it was still sitting safely on the dresser? It no longer mattered. They would find the ring she thought, but she would no longer be attached to it.

    They wouldn’t bother looking for her…

    Not that they could find her if they tried. She had wandered off the main road long ago. She had made her way through valleys and meadows, past churches and graveyards. She couldn’t even find herself now, and it felt good.

    She didn’t know where she was going, but she knew that she still had a long way to go. So she veered off on to a small path and then another, on until she found a trail so little used it was barely there at all. Almost instantly the forest engulfed her. Small scratches appeared on her skin, but she was little aware of them. Overgrown and unkind the branches hugged her too close, pulling at her tender flesh.

    Had she ever really been alive before? She had rested very little on this journey and eaten next to nothing. The pain in her feet was exquisite, the ache in her belly divine and somewhere on the edge of her bliss was the awareness that her body was weakening.

    Yet, even this was somehow spiritual.

    Suddenly, she pitched forward and the ground was rising up to meet her. The rock that stopped her was so small, so insignificant. Her toe found it, and then her knee found a larger stone, and a long, deep gouge opened across her shin. Pain, pain, more pain.

    This too was beautiful.

    Examining her wounds she found nothing serious, but it would slow her progress for a day or two. Looking around, she spotted a small clearing. She tried to stand, but her body lacked the energy to pull itself upright. The best she could muster was a crawl, so crawl she did.

    Once in the clearing, she sighed and leaned against a log to rest. Soon it would be too dark to find her way out. She knew she must move, but her body rebelled. A stiffness had settled into her bones like none she had ever felt. She tried to move again, but couldn’t.

    It seemed that if she must rest, this would be as good a place as any. Ripping away layers of her dress she tried to bandage her wounds and cover her most exposed flesh. Making herself a bed of pine needles she gathered leaves to cover herself, she thought it might help, but if it did she could not tell.

    She only meant to close her eyes for a moment, but when she opened them the light in the forest had changed drastically. In her dreams, the wolves had been coming for her. Opening her eyes, their hungry cries continued. She was totally and completely alone, and so exposed she may as well have been naked.

    The wolves howled again, closer now. So very close.

    For the first time since she had run, a panic set in. She was cold, she was hungry, and she was very frightened. She had thought herself the lone wolf when she left, now with the real wolves howling all around she just felt scared.

    The wolves seemed to be everywhere now, she could feel their eyes weighing her, hear their breath as they sampled her scent. She had not meant to cry, fought it with all her strength, but once the first tear broke free the rest came forward without pause.

    So close now.

    The wolves would come to her she thought, and when they found her, she would surrender. She would turn and offer her tender belly to them. She would give them her soft white throat. She would surrender her most fragile of parts to their precious mercy.

    And then she would rest.

    Their breath was on her cheek now, warm and moist. She closed her eyes and prepared herself for the pain but there was none… Instead a warmth filled her body like none she had ever known. Perhaps this was what death felt like she thought… perhaps dying, dying was bliss.

    She opened her eyes, but that incredible warmth still coursed through her body. Her eyes searched the darkened forest, finding only shadows within shadows. Something was there. No, not something, someone.
    The forest was eerily quiet. Even the crickets sensed this presence. She could not see her hero, but she could feel him. The wolves were still out there watching, she felt them, but they were calm now. His presence had soothed them. Was it he who held the wolves at bay, or was it he who had called them?

    “Don’t be afraid. I’m here.” said a strong voice, soft and deep. All around her she felt him, as if… as if, she were wrapped in a lovers embrace…

    Then she felt his lips pressing in on hers, warm and sweet. She could taste his sincerity, as well as his urgency. It infected her, and she felt herself returning his kiss with just as much intensity. Their lips ignited a fire that warmed even her most frozen parts. Probing, seeking, wanting, she gave herself to him.

    “I’ve been waiting for you.” he said. His voice was like melted chocolate, soothing her aching soul. No longer hungry, no longer tired, no longer alone, her entire being fell into him. She gasped, and pressed herself into his kiss. .

    “I have always loved you.” He whispered. And she believed him.

    Full. She felt full. No, whole, that’s what she felt. As if every step of her journey had been leading to this very moment. “I’ve waited so long to find you…” She whispered just before drifting off in his arms.

    “Always…” he said.

    “Always,” she agreed. She drifted off to sleep, cradled in his presence.

    The next morning, she awoke alone. A small fur covered her bare flesh. She called out, but no answer came. No sign of her hero to be found. She braced herself with her palm and sat up, her hand brushing against something cold and round. Startled she watched as an apple rolled down the small slope next to her and lodged itself beneath a log. She found a small pile of nuts and berries nearby.

    And beneath the feast, another soft fur for her chilled body.

    She ate a bit, then found the nearby stream and drank until she feared she would burst..She still felt weak, so she laid back down and covered herself. Staring at the sky above, she drifted in and out of sleep. Each time she awoke, the sun had risen higher and higher in the sky, and then it began to fall again.

    All day she waited, but he did not return, and by nightfall she had convinced herself that he was just an illusion after all. Born of fatigue, and pain, and loneliness.

    “Where have you gone my hero?” she asked the soil, the rocks, the sky… but no answer came. She had been tired, scared… He had been a fantasy… nothing more… imaginings of a strained mind… and as the moon rose over the forest, she was certain she had dreamed him.

    It was of no matter.

    She had been strengthened, and when the sun rose she could go on. Perhaps that’s what the purpose of the fantasy had been, to heal her so she could go on. She would go on, and that’s what really mattered she thought as she drifted off…

    The wolves were howling again. The forest was dark, the moon absent. And again, he was there… He brought food for her, and she ate. She found herself telling him everything. She told him of her escape, and her freedom, and all of the things she had seen. He listened, and stroked her hair, and they explored one another late into the night.

    “Why must you only come to me at night my love? Are you a creature of the night?” She teased.

    ” Only for you.” And he kissed her. “Always for you.”

    When she woke, the smell of cooking meat filled her nostrils. A fire burned nearby. The were fresh fruits and nuts by the fire as well. She rotated the meat slowly while nibbling on a strange mushroom she had never seen before. It was odd, but she found to be exquisite. She set it aside and tended to the rest of her meal, before returning to it as if it were a proper dessert.

    After her meal, she busied herself investigating the small clearing. She would have to move on soon, of course, but there was no reason she should not make herself comfortable, in case she chose to stay for another day or two.

    Upon closer inspection, she found a cluster of bushes with a small opening in the front. She entered the makeshift door and saw instantly that she was not the first to find this place. An old blanket lie rotting in the corner, along with a single stocking. She went to throw them in the fire, but when she moved them a steel plate and crude cutlery set fell out of the folds. She took the dishes to the stream to wash them. Then, she took the blanket to the river and rinsed it out. It made a decent door.

    She spent the day tidying their little nest but he was never far from her mind. Who he was, where he was, even what he was. Such a delightful mystery. She was feeling quite content with herself as she nodded off that evening.

    When his arms slipped around her, she awoke. He had brought her some more furs to line their love nest, and they made use of them well into the night.

    And so it went for many days and nights. If you asked either of them how long they had been there like that, they may answer in terms of hours, and they may answer in years. Every day she promised herself that she would go on, but, she never ventured beyond the clearing. Days turned into weeks, and weeks turned into months they danced their dance.

    And if you asked either of them how long they had loved one another, they would answer “Always.”

    She thought about the path sometimes, but as time passed she could no longer remember why she had felt it so important.

    Then the hard winter came, the hardest she had ever seen. Even the warmest of furs could not hold out the chill, and food was so very scarce. She could not venture outside the shelter for more than a few minutes. Throughout the forest life was struggling to hold on, and he could not come to her as often. He was tired, and so many responsibilities weighed on his shoulders.

    On the nights he did not come to her, she felt very alone. She wrapped herself up in the furs and got as close to the fire as she could, falling asleep to the sound of her growling stomach. She stoked the fire and told herself stories to pass the time. She made marks in the dirt counting the hours until his return. She sang, and danced, and talked to the spirits of the fire.

    And she waited.

    But, now and then she wondered what she was waiting for?

    Then, ithe fever came. Shivers wracked her sweat soaked body. She wanted to vomit, needed to vomit, but there was nothing in her stomach to expel, she gagged and spit. Her stomach churned with unbearable cramps but nothing came out.

    She melted snow on her tongue just to cool the fire momentarily.

    As the fever deepened its hold the strangest visions danced in front of her eyes. She saw loved ones long dead, and old friends long forgotten hidden in the flames. She reached for them, but they faded into the rising smoke.

    Cold, cold, her hand felt cold…

    No, hot, it was burning like the fire… The pain pulled her from her trance and she stared at the blackened and blistered hand in front of her. The pain was excruciating, but it sharpened her. Crawling to the door she pushed the blanket aside and pushed her hand into a pile of snow.

    Freezing and burning. Burning and freezing.

    She laid in the doorway cooling her burning flesh and staring up at the stars. In the stars she thought she saw her, the girl she had glimpsed the day she had climbed out the window of the church. The girl she had been on her way to becoming.

    She warmed snow over the fire and washed her body using the remaining rags from the now blackened dress. When she leaned over the plate to wash her face she saw it. Screaming she tossed the plate into the corner. The face of a hag, she had seen it as clear as day. An old, gray, bitter woman had stared back at her.

    Only the eyes were still recognizable as the girl she had once been.

    Her eyes fell upon her hand, gray, withered, like… like an old woman. Her feet, the legs… her body was rotting away as if she were hundreds of years old. How long had she been here?

    “Always…” the forest whispered, “always.”

    It was where they belonged. Wasn’t it? No, that was not right. She had run from something, yes, but she had been running towards something too. What was it? There was no answer. She just knew that had always been here. He had always been here.

    Why couldn’t she think? What manner of witchcraft filled this place?

    Sometime in the night he came to her. He spooned a cold, strange tasting broth made of mushrooms, soft moss, and tender shoots into her mouth. It soothed her throat instantly, leaving a strange tingle behind that spread slowly through her blood. Her took her throbbing hand and washed it clean, smearing a warm oily salve across her wounds, he dressed it in a wrap made from soft grasses and moss. Then he soaked bits of the moss in the broth, and placed them on her cheeks and forehead, then her chest, her stomach, her hands and her feet.

    The smell in her nostrils was almost unbearable but the fever was receding, she could feel the awful confusion lifting. “Don’t leave me again, please?” But he said nothing, He gave her more soup before sunrise and confirmed that the worst of the fever was gone. He didn’t say good-bye, but when the sun came up she knew that he would be gone.

    The vision of the hag was still fresh in her mind. Her flesh was no longer gray, no longer looked withered, but it still looked different somehow. Somehow.

    She spent the day pacing, but when night fell she found no rest. She tried her best to sleep, but her eyes refused to stay closed. It was nearly morning before she felt his arm slip around her waist. “I waited for you…” she said.

    His kiss engulfed her once again, reaching, searching. She pushed him away. “No, we must talk…” but she was so tired, she could not quite remember what they were supposed to talk about.

    “We can talk later my love, after…” he whispered.

    She pushed herself away and stood up. He reached for her and pulled the blanket away instead, exposing her nakedness. In the firelight she saw herself, the bare gray flesh made it all clear again. They had to go, had to leave this place.

    “Something is very wrong here. We need to go. Now…” panic was rising in her voice but his reply was soft, and even. “We can’t leave, we belong here.”

    She did not belong here, and neither did he. “This place, it makes you forget. It makes you stay… somehow. Can we please just go?” She pleaded.

    His voice was stern now, almost cold. “I belong here, and just a while longer and you will belong as well.”

    “There are no birds, no squirrels, nothing but the wolves, the wolves and that awful silence.” How could she not feel it before? How could he not feel it now? Even the air was sour. “We do not belong here.” She waited, but he said nothing. “Nobody belongs here.”

    “This is home.” There would be no moving him.

    “But don’t you feel it? It’s draining us.” She insisted.

    ” Not draining you, changing…” That eerie calmness in his voice again.

    She stopped. ” What do you mean changing?”

    “The forest is accepting you. It’s slow, and sometimes painful but in the end you will belong.” he replied.

    In all of the time they had been together she had never truly seen him. Now, for the first time she could see the source of the voice. She could finally see what she had failed to see for so long. He had been human once, she was certain of that, but that time was long past. Where his fingers once were, were long spindly branches. Leaves sprouted from his chest, and vines twisted their way through his hair. The forest had claimed him, he had become part of it.

    Just as she was becoming…

    She wondered as she looked at the endless rows of trees around her how many souls had given up and allowed the forest to claim them. How many had lost their humanity in this place?

    ” Oh, my love… What has this place done to you?” Then weakly, “Maybe, maybe… we can still leave…” Her voice trailed off. Even as she said it, she knew it wasn’t true. I was already too late when she found him here. But it wasn’t too late for her…

    She tried run, she tried but strange vines had entangled her feet. The vines ran down her legs, through her feet and disappeared deep beneath the ground. Horrified, she pulled and dug at them, but they had sink deep into her flesh. “Help me. At least help me escape.” she pleaded.

    She pulled and pulled into a single one of the roots finally snapped. Excruciating pain filled her. Blood dripped from the open wound. More roots snapped. Her hands were slick with blood. “Please help me?” She begged.

    But he said nothing, did nothing, only watched her with a strange curiosity. Picking up a sharp rock, she began sawing at the remaining roots until the last root finally broke free.

    Pulling herself to her feet she took the first painful step.

    “Please, don’t make me say good-bye my love, come with me.” But there was nothing.

    Just as when she had entered the clearing, a trail of bloody footprints followed her escape. Each step was agony.

    She heard the wolves howling somewhere in the distance. She tried not to look back, but she couldn’t help it.

    “But, I will be alone.” He said.

    “Yes. We both will.” she replied .

    She didn’t have the strength to save him, she barely had the power to save herself. But, she could still save herself If she just took one more step.

    So, she did.

    Her heart was heavy with sorrow, but one pain filled step at a time she left him behind.

    In all their time together she had thought him to be her strength, but in the end it was her strength and hers alone that escaped the forest.

    She turned and looked one last time before she left the clearing but now it was impossible to distinguish him from the others.

    Best to leave the forest for the trees.

    “I love you.” she whispered. And she walked on.

    She stepped out of the cover of trees and back on to the main path. For the first time in a long time she saw the sun hanging in blue sky again.

    Her heart ached for him with each step. As she basked in the sunlight, she began to feel herself coming back. Just a bit, but a bit was better than nothing.

    She asked the sky how long she would love him, and the sun whispered back… “Always…”

    …and so with her back to the forest and her face to the sun, her next journey began.

  • Crystal Stix Factory – Dippin’ Stuff

    Once, many lifetimes ago, Boshemia stumbled into an art gig at the Crystal Stix factory where the creator of Crystal Stix juggling sticks taught her the magic fairy art of floating paint on water and catching it. While there Boshemia painted thousands of Crystal Stix that have since traveled all over the world.

    When Boshemia returned to her homeland she brought the fairy magic with her, and began using it on a variety of mediums.

    Coming soon: Boshemia Edition Crystal Stix!

    Crystal Stix Quality, Boshemia edition custom paint jobs!