The Sinner and the Serpent: Tales of Lilith and Eve

Just a quick update!

I know I’ve been absent from here for a long time again. I recently got a new job, and I’m getting used to a new routine with my daughter in daycare as well. I’m hoping to get back into writing soon. I plan on publishing “Mod Fury” within the next couple of months to Amazon Kindle Publishing.  I’m still drafting a few other stories as well. I am going to attempt Nanowrimo again this year. Let’s hope with better results. Things are much harder when you become a new parent!

In the meantime, I’m working on a collection of short stories that revolve around Lilith and Eve from Judeo-Christian mythology. I have uploaded all current stories on Wattpad FREE to read. I am working on more as well. They will be short stories, drabbles, flash fiction and poetry, whatever my muse wants! Please feel free to check it out. I also designed the cover as well.

lilitheve-cover

Link to The Sinner and the Serpent.

I’ll update again soon! Thanks for sticking with me.

Cheers,

H.K. Rowe

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Flash Friday – Update and Excerpt

I’m back! Sort of! Sorry I’ve been absent. I hope to get back to my regular blog schedule soon.

Truth is I’ve been battling sinus headaches again, so when I’m not busy I’ve been taking it easy. I’m also behind on things but I hope to get back in the groove soon. Headaches are no fun.

In the meantime, here is a sweet excerpt from one of my in-progress short stories called “Blazing Heat.” Happy Valentine’s Day!

(Any undrafted mistakes are mine.)


The revolving door burst open, and Sal nearly knocked her over as he came inside next to her. “Bernice! Jill! Go home for the day! We don’t need you complaining anymore and we ain’t got customers for you to jaw at!”

Anna watched the relief on the two women’s faces as they stopped pacing around for a chance to relax in the freezer, and they sighed after thanking Jesus and then running to the back to grab their stuff. Anna furrowed her brow, wishing she could go home too, knowing at least her air conditioning unit in her apartment was functional. She’d love to just sit in the living room by the window where her unit would hum at her while it blew sweet, chilly air into her face. She’d catch up with her favorite TV shows, take a nap and just enjoy the chilly air, and the fact that every pore in her body wasn’t leaking sweat.

Alas, she was stuck at work with two other waitresses who looked just as peeved as she was toward Sal at not giving them a break like he did Jill and Bernice.

“Now the rest of you get back to work,” Sal said, and he turned to Anna. “Styles, come with me to the back of the bar. I need your help.”

She sighed. She knew exactly what kind of help he needed her for too. She was the tallest waitress, therefore she was the best choice to help him wipe off the bottles and clean the higher shelves on their booze cabinets. Anna couldn’t back out either; it was obvious Sal was in a cleaning frenzy, channeling his anger through wiping down his bar until Bob came in to fix the A/C, if that would ever happen. Anna would bet her next paycheck Bob was chilling in his own air conditioned home, swearing at Sal and taking his sweet time to come at all. Knowing he’d be dealing with Sal’s hot temper, she’d bet Bob would avoid it as much as he could.

“Yeah, I’m coming” she said, and she followed him out into the bar. Surveying the area, Anna noticed four customers in the whole bar. It was the slowest moment of the day. All four were regulars, and all four of them were carrying their pieces. They also had a few beers in them too, and the ice cold beer seemed to stave off the desire to leave the bar at any point.

Anna trailed after Sal as he sauntered to the largest booze cabinet. A small step stool was waiting for her, but most of the shelves she could reach. She thought perhaps Sal was also torturing her for complaining earlier but she hoped that maybe this would get her mind off the heat. She felt another drop of sweat run down her forehead and she groaned. Perhaps not.

She lowered her gaze, watching Sal walk and then turn toward her as they stopped in front of the cabinet. She had a second to enjoy that ass in tight Wrangler jeans, and she appreciated it just as quickly, adding it to all those other times she’d sneaked a peek at it.

He cleared her throat, drawing her thoughts toward him. She met his eyes, wiping the sweat off her brow in the mean time. She wiped it slow and pursed her lips at him, hoping he got a good look at her misery.

Unfazed by her suffering, he threw her a damp, clean towel. “Get started on that top shelf and work your way down.”

“What are you going to do?” she asked bluntly, hoping the words came out more playful than mean. He didn’t seem to take it that way, but he rose to the challenge.

He smirked. “Enjoy the view,” he said, and she blinked when she got the joke. She should have expected it. When anyone teased Sal, he teased right back, only playing dirtier. Anna felt her cheeks go warmer, if that was possible. She didn’t even want to entertain thoughts of where she could take that remark – where her imagination could take it further. Damn, Sal! She hated that he was smooth. She hated that he was good looking and the heat was getting to her.

She also hated that he was paying his sole attention to her when he rarely ever did. Uh oh.

‘He must really be mad at me for complaining so much today,’ she thought, biting her lip.

“I’ll be working on that cabinet,” he said, interrupting her thoughts again, and he pointed to the cabinet to their right, which was about the same height. He had a step stool waiting for him too and another towel. “It’s faster with two.”

“Got it,” she said with a sigh, and she moved past him and got to work, stepping on the stool, finding her balance and grabbing the first dusty bottle: Johnny Walker Blue. Soon, she fell into routine cleaning the bottles and wiping off the shelves. They weren’t really dusty, but when she cleaned them up, they definitely looked clearer, and the light reflected off them giving them an iridescent glow. She stepped off the ladder and began working on the third shelf from the top with two more shelves to go. Anna snuck a glance to her right, watching as Sal came down to the floor and caught up with her on his row.

Oddly enough, she enjoyed his company even though he was completely silent. She could hear him breathing, a little more labored from the heat, and he’d finally started to sweat. Sweat shimmered off his tanned forearms and she found herself catching a long look at one of her favorite tattoos: a detailed, realistic looking leopard.

“Anna,” he said, and he only needed to say her name in that commanding tone for her to snap back to work.

© HK Rowe

Flash Fiction Friday – Another Day

Another Day

She wipes the sweat off her brow, lets out a hardened sigh and bends over to lift the body.

She wrinkles her nose when the smell hits her. Dave’s been spoiling in her cellar for a week now. She’s had no choice, after all.

Poor Dave, she thinks, but like the rest of the world, she has to go to work tomorrow. Some things never change, even if her marriage has.

Dave makes a thunk sound as he weighs down the trunk. She sighs again and holds her breath. Slamming the door, she hopes she’s remembered to bring a shovel.

© H.K. Rowe 2014-2015

Flash Fiction Friday – Detached

*Warning: This story contains adult sexual situations and bad language. Read at your own risk.

Detached

I cupped his shaggy face and scrunched my brow. “You don’t look like him at all,” I said.

I was submissive and moist underneath his body, and he was too heady to care for my usual musings about the man I truly loved.

Continue reading

Flash Fiction Fridays – Raindrop in the Ocean

“Long time, no see,” said a familiar voice next to me. “Look at you. All grown up.”

I recognized her voice immediately. I was looking down into my rum and coke, waiting for my husband to come back from the bathroom and join me at the bar.

Of all times and of all places, I never expected to strike up a conversation with my imaginary friend.

I braved turning toward her, and she looked exactly as I had remembered her. Cheryl, with her bright red hair, olive green eyes and dangerous smirk.

She’d been my closest friend for many years – my muse, my voice of reason, and my fire to meet the confrontations I’d rather not engage.

I’d needed her so much in the past, and frankly, I admitted missing her shouting at me to get myself together, to take charge.

“There’s something different about you, but I can’t place it,” she said. I watched as she took a sip of her wine. Of course she would drink wine – red and bitter, the kind that made your lips twitch from the intensity. Cheryl was all about intensity.

“I don’t need an imaginary friend anymore,” I told her with a laugh, and after an awkward pause, she laughed with me.

“True, true, you don’t need me anymore. You do well enough on your own. You stand up for your beliefs. You embrace your passions. You can start a conversation with people without turning green,” she said. “I wonder how you managed to get this far.”

“Obviously, you’ll take the credit,” I said. I was crazy, wasn’t I? I was talking to a woman who was my imaginary friend. Maybe I was imagining this. Goodness, I hoped I was. It would probably look really psychotic to be sitting at a bar talking to thin air.

“Not all of it,” Cheryl said. “It’s not like I really left, you know. I’m always with you.”

“Yeah?” I asked her curiously.

“Of course. I’m a part of you, aren’t I?” she asked haughtily. She always seemed so powerful and confident when I was younger. I wanted to be more like her. I wanted to be her, to be a woman who was so fearless that I could do anything on my own without fear.

I rolled my eyes. “Part of my imagination, right?”

Cheryl huffed. “No dear. I’m not the part of you that you think I am. I’m the part of you that you found.”

“What do you mean?” I asked, narrowing my eyes at her.

“Do you remember that time in your mother’s car. It was dark out – a clear sky full of stars and a full moon. You were staring at the moon. Even when the moon would move in the sky, your eyes would follow it on the entire drive home. You even craned your neck to see it, to make sure you did not lose the image. You heard something from the moon, didn’t you?”

I looked down at my drink at the melting ice cube. Light glinted on the ice, bright white. White like the moon. “I thought I did. But I wasn’t sure at the time. I was really young. I was lonely. I felt like the loneliest person in the world. I didn’t understand what my purpose was and why so many bad things happened to me, you know, with my dad’s abuse, and being bullied at school. I didn’t feel connected to God at church, not when people there were saying horrible things about my family. I felt really lost, like I had no faith.”

“Uh huh,” Cheryl said, sipping more of her Chianti. “That’s when you heard Her.”

“Yes, I realized later. It was Her,” I said, and I turned to Cheryl. “I didn’t realize the signs until later. Because then you came along. You whispered in my ear. You became my friend. You taught me how to be stronger, more confident. You taught me independence, that I could be a strong woman. That it was my purpose and so much more. I wanted to be you,” I blurted, and I turned away from her intense green gaze and felt my cheeks go hot. Then, I felt her hand on my arm. I looked down at her long nails painted black. The comfort was there, but the color reminded me of her intensity – Cheryl’s and Hers.

“Darling, you are me. You know the drill,” Cheryl said.

“Like a drop of rain in the ocean,” I sang quietly.

“Exactly,” she agreed. “Now, I’m sorry I didn’t come to you like I do for other people, but that’s not what you wanted. That wouldn’t have convinced you.”

“I needed a friend, a sister,” I said, feeling the tears building in my eyes.

“I am so much more than those things to you,” she said, patting my arm.

I sniffled, nodding my head. I laughed a little. “You are, and I still need you. I may have everything I need – love, family, independence and purpose, but I still need you. Some things are not always easy.”

“Nor should they be. You follow me, darling, and you’ll always have to fight for the things you deserve,” she said.

“I know,” I said, with clearer eyes now. “You won’t leave me?” I asked her, almost pleading. I looked into her eyes, and I wasn’t afraid to keep looking at her. She was usually so bright, so fearsome and bold, and she scared me sometimes, but I needed her and loved her so I kept looking. She smiled.

“I never will, as long as you need me. We’re in this together. Since you heard my voice, we’re in this together,” she said.

“They call you Lilith or Kali, and other names,” I said, and then looked around cautiously as my voice lowered to a whisper. I looked at Her apologetically, as if I’d spilled Her secret. She looked unfazed. She was proud of Her names.

“You always called me Cheryl. Why?” She asked, and She tapped her chin thoughtfully.

“It seemed to fit you when I saw you. I don’t know why exactly,” I said, chuckling a little and wiping away an errant tear.

“I like it, darling, but now that you know who I really am, I like my other names too,” She said, and I saw Her turn around, looking in the direction of my husband who was coming back from the restroom. “I have to go. He’s coming back.”

“I know. Thank you for coming,” I said, and I watched as She leaned over and whispered in my ear.

“I will always come when you need me. Even when you don’t, I’ll be here. I’m proud to watch you. You call and I will listen,” She said, and I felt Her kiss like a summer breeze against the shell of my ear. I closed my eyes, and when I blinked them open, I met my husband’s gaze. He smiled at me, and I felt my heart surge.

Like an echo in the wind, I heard Her laughter – strong, confident and sensual. “Go get him, darling. I know you have it in you.”

I smiled back. A wave of power resided inside me, instilling me with familiar warmth. I knew She had never left me. I had always known She was a part of me, as Cheryl my friend, and She had given me everything I had truly needed.

And when She had come to me that one moonlit night, I became more of my whole self – finding what I had lost, and gaining more than I will ever need.

END


© HK Rowe

Flash Fiction Friday – The Playroom

The Playroom 

I dream of an old house, and I’m always afraid of it. Yet, I travel there and wander through the vast rooms, changing forms and designs.

I once grew up in this house. It is the house of my patchwork childhood, where my mother lived with a man she grew to hate. Where their arguing echoed throughout the halls, leaving a mark of their frustration as a thick black residue on the thin walls.

Where I lived with a man that used to be a father, an abuser, and later – a stranger.

The house still exists today, but it does not appear like it does in my mind. The landscape is mutable, evolving and warping through the raindrops of my memories. The rooms are familiar but I dwell in them as alternate versions of myself. I wake up in the rooms of this house sometimes – as if I’ve always lived there, only growing through the fine lines of spider webs of different lives.

One room used to be my playroom, which had spilled out from the kitchen. I remember a picture of myself in this room, sitting with my legs tucked under my knees in a schoolhouse desk, gripping a pencil and trying to see through my long brown bangs. I’m smiling at whoever is taking the picture – probably my mother. I’m wearing light purple pants and a white shirt with matching purple sleeves. I’m happy, and one tooth is missing in the front of my mouth. I’m waiting for the picture taking to be over so I can resume my drawing. In the background, a late afternoon sunlight trickles through a dark curtain, making the room look orange and gold.

I remember the room being scattered with toys and pencils and crayons. Occasionally, a cat would hide inside the room – finding solace in a toy box or window sill.

In my dreams, the room is never like this. It reshapes itself into other forms, in other lives, but I’m still there.

It always smells like cats, and I’m afraid of what’s underneath the carpet. Something is underneath the carpet. The floor’s not clean. It smells like urine and old messes. I feel like it will never be clean. Each time the room changes, the carpet changes, but it is never clean underneath.

In the high corners of the room, a black mass is always hovering above me, circling the ceiling.

The room sometimes seems longer, like an addition was built onto it – making the blackness out of the corner of my eye appear endless and hungry.

Other times, the room is small, and I’m encased in a box, always worrying about the old stains of the past hidden under a pristine new carpet.

Sometimes I’m a young girl. Sometimes I’m almost a woman. Other times, I’ve returned, still living in the house as an adult. Still worried about the old stains hidden from everyone’s eyes.

I can still smell the past. I sit in the room and hunch over, running my fingers over the carpet expecting to find a wet stain.

There is never a bed in this room. My schoolhouse desk is gone. Sometimes there are things littered on the floor: food wrappers, tissues and broken pencils. Pieces that embed into the carpet and stick to your feet when wet. Other times, it’s an ordinary room, and my mother is telling me that they redid it, that it’s ready to show so the house can be sold.

Once – the room had dark wood paneling on the walls. It felt cheap and flimsy as I scratched my fingers over it. That part never changes. I can still feel the cheapness of the walls. I still see the dark wood blending into the black mass that coils in the corners like a snake, waiting to wrap around me and draw me into another corridor of the room. Another changing place that used to be different in my childhood memories, but returns to my dreams like a distorted film reel.

I pace around this room like a ghost. I’m alive but my spirit travels here, seeing only what it thinks it remembers – pieces of a tattered painting that aren’t coming together as it used to be when it was whole.

The room will always draw me nearer to why I’m always coming back – promising to reveal secrets but only spiraling with an old fear.

(A memory can scab, but sometimes it scars. A thin white mark reminds me of what was.)

Today the room looks different. I’m not sure what the current owners have done to it. It could be expanded. It could be knocked down and changed into something new. I won’t know.

There is no reason for me to intrude on the current owners of the house, no matter how much my curiosity cloys. Knowing wouldn’t satisfy me anyway. It would be a stranger’s house, with a stranger’s energy into it. Mine is long gone by now. The room is inviting in my dreams, and I only recognize it by my unreliable memories.

Instead, my dreams paint me different pictures, trying to guess at what it used to be, filling in the blanks of yesterdays with the absurdities of my own mind.

Will I someday release the room inside my dreams – the room that once was my playroom when I was little? I don’t believe so.

Something is still lurking there. A secret that must be told. A shield is protecting me from whatever really happened in there, and why I keep coming back to it, why it draws me from the real world into a mad world of phantoms and fears.

The room is an open invitation, but the language is all wrong. The message is tangled and tattered. Maybe the truth is lost forever.

But I keep returning to it. I keep existing in a room that is gone from time, but never gone beyond the waking world.

Part of “The House of Wasps: An Unreliable Memoir” which is a new project of mine.

©2015 HK Rowe

Flash Fiction Friday

I meant to do this last Friday but I just have been insanely busy lately and I barely had anything to share. So… now there’s this.

Some know, some don’t but I’m a Pagan, so sometimes that really influences a lot of my writing. Especially for spells, short prose, and poetry. This is an extremely personal piece I’m sharing with you, something that pretty much hides away in my Book of Shadows. But… I want to share it anyway. 🙂


Vision of Her ©2014 HK Rowe

I had a vision of Her, in the most beautiful clearing in a forest, a little slice of Summerland on Earth just for us.

She saw me weeping and took my hand, and She drew me to a hill glittering with yellow spring flowers and emerald green grass.

As She pulled my hand to follow, I saw Her face, Her smile – the brightest  I have ever seen, brighter than sunlight, and Her hair was long and flaxen, wild and windblown.

Her laughter was warm and soothing as a summer breeze, and Her head had a crown of flowers atop of it.

Suddenly as we twirled, dancing and laughing together with her hands still entwined, fairies began to shimmer around us, playing ancient music of happiness and joy.

I laughed with Her. Danced with Her, and with Her eyes of moonlight, she gazed at me lovingly, warming me through my heart and soul.

We danced until the sun went down, where it felt like no time at all had passed.

Finally tired, we collapsed into the grass, cool from the twilight. I caught my breath, but She still held my hand.

I turned to look at Her, and She smiled one last time.

I followed Her gaze to the stars, and when I looked back, She was gone, returning to the Moon, but never really leaving me, looking down at me, watching and forever dancing with me within my soul.

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