Miss Mary Allen

In Eighteen hundred and ninety three.
Old Mary Allen, came to tea.
Which in itself was not surprising.
T’was how she left, which was most alarming.
For though she departed, much like she came.
Like a ray of light through heavy rain.
She left a shadow, dark and unpleasant.
There in number 55 Crescent.
Yet those who know Miss Allen well.
Would not believe within could dwell.
The evil doings or witchy ways.
That came upon that house that day.
For as she scoffed the cakes and tea.
And poured on life’s intricacies.
That her hosts did laugh and query too.
They did consume her witches brew.
For into their tea her hand did place.
A nasty poison devoid of taste.
Which would eventually corrode their innards.
That seeped with blood out of their gizzards.
And snatched their lives so painful and quick.
And stubbed them out like a candle wick.
So while their bodies lay about the room.
And so befell a horrid gloom.
Miss Mary Allen laughed and smiled.
And danced about, all crazed and wild.
Until she came to depart the house.
Which she fled, quiet as a mouse.
And disappeared off into the city.
With smiles and roses, all innocently pretty.
Now please don’t think too bad of Mary.
Of her murderous ways that seem so scary.
As she is really the victim here.
And if I must, make it crystal clear;
for she had visited the family who,
for months and years had nastily knew.
That she was slowly being poisoned.
By the leaking valves at her employment.
The torrid factory where she and others.
Worked long and hard for the Wilson Brothers
Who had invited her suddenly to tea.
All for show and sympathy.
For she had come across their deep deception.
And plotted revenge at that lunch reception
So please feel happy, for the circumstance.
Of the middle class and happenstance.
And don’t judge Mary and her brazen gall.
An eye for an eye, after all.

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SHORT – ‘雨降って地固まる’ (PT III)

Part III – ‘Omens & Origami’
(Full story here)

Despite sleeping late, Tomoryō woke just after midday, her stomach lurching to the lack of food the day before. She dressed quickly and went to the kitchen to make herself and Aitarō something to eat. Aitarō followed her, jumping up onto the small stool she had by the back door. She’d had such strange and cursed dreams, and she knew what they meant to her. Change was coming, something ominous that would challenge her and require all her strength.

She knew the theatre had come to town, she’d known before anyone else. Travelling back from a small function the previous night, the caravan and her own transport had crossed paths. She’d sensed something before about the day in the early morning, when she’s noticed the wind had suddenly changed direction. She was mindful of such omens. Though shocked, she was not surprised. And she slipped away without anyone noticing her.

Tomoryō operated alone, and though this was not how she liked it, it was how it was. She was kind and helpful to whomever she came in contact with though, and looked for the best in people. Hoping others would do the same. She’d been forced to leave her Okiya a few years ago under a shadow of scandal and mystery. The death of her older ‘sister’ had been hushed up as best as it could be, as best as money could hush things up, but word had gotten out that Tomoryō was involved. Though this wasn’t really the whole truth. The Okiya’s mother had been a cruel and tyrannical woman, and though many of the Geisha in the town had boarded there, few believed that she herself had not been involved in some way. Knowing the close calls in the past that many had had with her. Yet, with smoke there is always fire, which was why there was a suspicion towards Tomoryō, but not complete belief that she was a witch. Many had turned against her, those who were jealous of her beauty and talent, and those who were superstitious thought it was bad luck not to think she was a witch. Err on the side of caution.

Tomoryō was forced back to her family home, which she turned into a small compound, shutting herself away as much as she needed to, to protect herself. Before long, she had re-emerged and began her geisha duties once more. She was truly the most beautiful woman in the region, and though many kept their distance, many men could not resist. She worked well with those travelling through the town, or those who came back for business. Outsiders who did not know or care to know her history in the small time they spent with the forbidden flower. Her isolation gave her too her independence, and she was able to charge the most for her services, ones of which she had more choice over. She never burned bridges with the other geisha in Hirani, or their Okiya, but there was always a wall there, one sometimes hard to scale.

She made some tea and went upstairs to the small reading room she had at the top of her house. Aitarō followed, licking the drips of tea that fell from the cup which had a small crack in the bottom. She should throw it away, but couldn’t bring herself to. It had been mother’s favourite. She opened the shutters and looked out over the town. From her view she could see the rising mountains off in the distance. The sleeping ojiisan (grandfather), which loomed over the region like an old man in a chair. The day was bright and harsh, the light reflecting off the snowfall. She could see smoke rising from the square, fires from the market and the theatre group no doubt. She placed the tea next to her and took a sheet of paper. Her mother had taught origami when she was a child, and though she enjoyed it, she now used it for more practical purposes. She closed her eyes and muttered some words under her breath as she slid the thick red paper between her fingers, going back and forth a few times. She opened her eyes and began to make the small figure.

She had made a miniature version of the town out of paper. The small houses and shrine, the market place and people of interest we all represented. It had taken her ages, but it was a task that had cleansed her mind and spirit. She finished the red figure and placed it down in the centre of the town square. None of the other figures were done in the red paper, and the figure glared out from the earthy tones of the others and from the small buildings. She stood back and looked at the model, knowing all too well whole the figure was. She had been reluctant to make any quick decisive decision, lest it hurt her reputation, but she had formulated a plan in her mind that would now need some action. She finished her tea, and began to get ready, choosing the bright red kimono she saved for her best performances.

 

 

Painted pony

Kick kick, pick up sticks.
Silly words and magic tricks.
Happy to smile, angry to cry.
Rub in reasons, formaldehyde.
Hold on, breathe it in. Think of England and let me win.
Drink it down, ask for seconds. More than you can chew? Who knew?
Cup of coffee? Cup of tea?
Mind your manners, some sympathy?
The devil is here, the devil inside. Exorcise or exercise?
Praise be Jesus, praise be Allah. Bang bang, the final hour.
Mangling words of meaning mouthfuls. All this starts to feel too phoney.
Rip it up, call me out. Your loveable and lonely, one trick pony.
Going round and round and round and round.