Tag Archives: dark

Light Up Your Life – Be a Star

How do we deal with darkness and light in our lives?

Light Up Your Life - Be a Star - The Last Krystallos

Terry Pratchett in Reaper Man wrote: ‘Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.’

…but I agree with Robert D. Hales that ‘Light dispels darkness. When light is present, darkness is vanquished and must depart. More importantly, darkness cannot conquer light unless the light is diminished or departs.’

Moreover, Teal Swan tells us: ‘There is no source of darkness in this universe. There is only the presence of light and the absence of light. Darkness does not exist; it only appears to exist. In truth, it is only the absence of light.’

Both Light and Dark - J. K. Rowling - The Last Krystallos

© Lisa Shambrook

However you choose to deal with the two elements, they will touch your life. The old Indian legend: There are two wolves who are always fighting. One is darkness and despair. The other is light and hope. The question is: which wolf wins? The one you feed. Offers the best insight into how we should deal with them.

I often feel, though, that darkness has been given a bad narrative, I like the dark. I love winter and its cosy early nights, I love being out beneath the stars, and sliding beneath a warm duvet to sleep in the pitch black is heavenly. I’m more comfortable with dark colours, earthy tones, and have a black cat. The dark has its place, without it our internal clocks would go crazy, and so would we!

We need the dark to appreciate the light. Like all opposites, without it life would be dull and unrewarding. Even if we use symbolic darkness, we still need sadness, despair, pain, and trials to know and love happiness, joy, good health, and fulfilment.

Stars can't shine without darkness - The Last Krystallos

© Lisa Shambrook

And after all: Stars can’t shine without darkness…

We’ve all been through dark times and, generally, come out the other side better people. The light at the end of the proverbial tunnel is most welcome. Darkness gives us the opportunity to grasp light and embrace it. Eleanor Roosevelt said: ‘It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness…’ Light your candle and let your light shine.

I’ve written before on who we are, and we’re all a mixture of light and dark, but it would be good to allow our sparkle to shine. We can be positive, happy, and bright, and shine like stars.

Dance until the stars fall from the sky and fill your hair with sparkle and light - The Last Krystallos

© Lisa Shambrook

We are an intrinsic part of this universe, whether you feel it spiritually or physically. In Cosmos, Carl Sagan tells us: ‘The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.’ We are made with the same atoms, molecules, and particles as stars… Think about that for a moment. In fact, this quote from sci-fi writer Doris Lessing enchants me: ‘We are all creatures of the stars and their forces, they make us, we make them, we are part of a dance from which we by no means and not ever may consider ourselves separate.’  So, let’s shine like them.

How do you see yourself? Are you made from the same stuff as stars? Whether you believe in Deity, Humanism, Atheism, or you are just Agnostic, DNA and the science of genetics is undeniable. However we dress it up we are created, made, formed with interstellar dust!

And whenever I talk about dust I am pulled right back into Lyra’s world in Philip Pullman’s: His Dark Materials… I won’t give away what Dust is, but it is integral to consciousness. Go read the books…

Light is a fluid of sunbeams - At-Tunikhi - The Last Krystallos

© Lisa Shambrook

So, light and dark, particles, DNA, and dust, interstellar stardust, are part of us. When we feel dark, or lost in the shadows, we can light the way. Light lives within us, and we can emit it without even thinking. Imagine what we can do if we choose to? ‘To be a star you must follow your own light, follow your own path, and never fear the darkness for that is when the stars shine their brightest.’

Shinesparkle, glitter, effervesce, shimmer, and glow with the light that lives within you.

Light replaces darkness - The Last Krystallos

© Lisa Shambrook

Find your path, join your constellation, follow your dreams…
Know that when darkness falls it will always be replaced by light.

‘Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light;
I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.’
– Sarah Williams, Twilight Hours: A Legacy of Verse

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Blues Buster: Dark Road

© Lisa Shambrook

© Lisa Shambrook

Dark Road

Cold fingers clutch at my heart, squeezing and making me breathless. My legs tremble and I struggle to remain motionless. My breath pools in my throat, as I clench my jaw scarcely letting a stray whisper escape. I daren’t even let the leaves surrounding me quiver as the moon shimmers them with silver dust. I drop to the frigid ground as softly as I can and ignore the brambles biting my belly.

The moon disappears, shrouded behind indigo and I twitch, listening, feeling…

His feet crunch, on crispy frosted leaves, and twigs break beneath his step, and I hold my breath. Accustomed to the dark, I stare through the undergrowth. He stands, alert and brazen, and I stifle myself as a flood of moonlight touches him from behind the parting clouds.

“You’re not welcome!” he calls, his voice strained and tight, and his stance shifts as he lifts his gun.

Blood pounds and I can barely contain myself. My head swims, and the metaphorical knife he thrust through my soul years ago pierces deep.

I want to leap from the undergrowth, rush from the hedge, but instead I shiver from the passion that rises, from the hot blood that pumps through my veins. I fight the desperation that mounts.

“GO! Go now!” His voice breaks, and my heart splinters. “Please go…” he whispers, and my nerve begins to fail.

I sit back, hidden beneath the dense fretwork of branches and foliage. Then the screech of an opening window shatters the night’s silence and a voice demolishes my resolve.

“Dad, Dad, come back inside.”

He crumbles, and I watch as his defences drop. Fire ignites in my belly and I crouch, leaning forward. A snarl builds from the cauldron of coals within. He glances up at the window and the shaft of light cast down from his daughter’s bedroom behind her gaze. “Dad, it’s not safe out there, come back inside!”

Her voice ruins me.

I stare up at the girl, and douse the fire. Her raven black hair twists in the breeze and vapour, like dragon’s smoke, clouds her breath. I lower my ebony hackles. Her father is lost amid the desire to protect and the urge to listen to his child. I stare intently at the girl, and my eyes are wet. Her hair is caught by the wind as she leans out of the window. White stripes, old scars glow iridescent in the silvered rays against her neck and I bite back the ugly emotion that surges through me.

I got what I came for and withdraw, recoil, and let the frosty fingers of winter grab my heart again. The scars adorning her neck, though old and pale, serve well as a reminder. Sometimes a glimpse is all you need, sometimes love is more than being there, and sometimes you choose to walk a lonely path.

I shake the chill from my shaggy fur and pad softly away, leaving my two loves behind like my paw print trail.

I howl as the cursed moon climbs high in the open sky, then as it vanishes behind a curtain of gloom the darkness covers me and I melt into the night and the hope of the coming dawn.

(538 Words)

Another tale for Jeff’s Blues Buster. The prompt song is ‘Dark Road’ by Sarah Jarosz…take a listen and read the other tales over at The Tsuruoka Files.

Blues Buster: Stars (Waiting on a Dream)

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 Stars (Waiting on a Dream)

From his perch atop the city, it seemed he could see the entire world.

Below, electricity wreathed the ground in a geometric web of light, winking and flickering in the frigid cold, like a supercharged network created by a techno Jack Frost. Twinkling gold lit up the entire spread of community; interspersed with blinks of red and green ruling the roads, and swathes of neon crawling throughout downtown.

The docks rose in the distance, towering cranes, great shadows on the horizon and the harbour lights danced on black water. The river snaked like a python, like a dark chasm amid the lights and city sprawl, and moved silently through the urban spread until it flicked its tail and faded into the glow on the horizon.

He stared intently at the mathematical placement of roads, intersections and buildings, at the strings of lights that threaded the cityscape, before casting his eyes heavenward and releasing a sigh.

Stars glittered and the moon hung in the indigo sky like a silver marble.

He laughed inwardly, his lip beneath his whiskers curling lightly. He shivered and blew into his cold, weathered hands as the dark sky and dotted galaxies sneaked through his coat. He turned his attention again to the metropolis at his feet.

As he drank in the view, he shifted his weight on the park bench and pulled his camel skin coat close. The city had been his for a while, just a while, just enough to make a name for himself, but there was more to life than fame, and more to this city than cold, twinkling lights. There were better things than your name in lights, better things than hard, gold statuettes, better things than this.

He had no regrets, but she’d been gone for a while, and he missed her.

He liked hearing his name on the lips of others, but no voice beat hers. He adored the cheering of the fans, but her smile was worth more. Oscars shone on his mantelpiece, but no accolade was as soft and satisfying as her sweet kiss.

“I’m coming home, sweetheart…” The words barely left his lips, but they whispered in the raw night air and warmed him.

For a few moments his rheumy eyes wandered the city, remembering, and finally came to rest on the small patch of grass before him. He recalled the young girl kneeling there, staring down across the city in wonder, before leaning over to kiss him. He closed his eyes to capture the moment.

The night wind blew across the city, and up the hillside, chilling his bones and messing his unruly white hair, and he smiled. “I’m coming home…”

Snow began to fall. Soft, thick snowflakes slipped from the sky and grey clouds gently moved across the hillside. The morning would come and the city would slumber beneath a blanket of white, and a lone runner, atop the hill, would alert the authorities to the snow-covered mound on the bench. Blue lights would ride up the hillside, despite the snow, and headlines would be made, but it wouldn’t matter to him, because he’d risen far above the cityscape, far above the snow – and had returned home to the stars and to her soft, sweet kiss.

(541 Words)

My entry into Jeff’s Blues Buster over at The Tsuruoka Files. The prompt song is Lee Ranaldo’s ‘Waiting on a Dream’ and my interpretation took a while coming, but I got there!

Blues Buster: A Rainy Night in Soho

Another Blues Buster from The Tsuruoka Files, the prompt song is A Rainy Night in Soho by The Pogues and several lines from this song inspired me: ‘I’ve been loving you a long time, down all the years, down all the days, and I’ve cried for all your troubles, smiled at your funny little ways…’ and ‘Now the song is nearly over, we may never find out what it means, still there’s a light I hold before me, you’re the measure of my dreams…’

Photograph by Lisa Shambrook (please do not use without permission)

A Rainy Night in Soho

He glanced at her, his pale blue eyes tearing up as he gazed at her long hair, glowing silver in the moonlight upon the pillow. She stirred and a smile played on his lips. He wanted to reach across and move a stray lock away from her face, but didn’t want to risk waking her at such an early hour. A sigh swelled in his throat and he released it gently, shivering as his breath departed in a long wisp of smoke.
The cold penetrated his bones, even under the thick duvet, and he pulled the cover up tucking it round his shoulders. He carefully manoeuvred his body, again cautious not to disturb his lady, and settled on his side, his head gently relaxing into his flat and stained pillow. He drifted off to sleep with the beating rain drumming in his head.

She danced in his slumber, invaded his dreams with her youthful grace and honest beauty. He whirled her in his arms, up and down the rainy, glittering streets beneath the brutal neon lights and dirty windows.
Her crimson lips and tight dress won hearts and minds, and caused desire to rise through the steamy rain. He whirled her in his arms, letting her dance, and he fought her battles and defeated the dragons disguised as paramours.  He allowed her essence to soak him and he fell in love.

He awoke again, still in the depths of night. He tried to dilute the urge, but failed, and he pushed back the duvet and stepped out onto cold, hard linoleum. He hurried across the floor and down the corridor, the cold air prickling like a million tiny daggers of ice and he clicked the bathroom door closed.
Sweet relief and he moved as swiftly as he could back to bed. Sliding down beneath the covers he wriggled his toes to recirculate his chilled blood. He shivered violently as the temperature slowly rose and he gripped the duvet tight around his chin. He stared at the window, still partially lit by the roaming moon and smiled as familiar neon blue flickered in the bottom corner, from the sign on the building opposite. He sank into the mattress, feeling his body reacquaint to its accustomed hollow. His eyes gradually closed and his dream resumed.

She still danced, but this time she waltzed just out of reach, her long, black hair glinting against the stormy night, her lips smiling and teasing. He relaxed to watch and adore his queen as she stole the hearts and yearning of every man she saw. He had nothing to worry, for she returned to his embrace every night, creeping back into his arms and soul in the early hours to slake their desire.

The moon was vanquished when he woke, and salmon pink streaked through the early clouds peering in through the icy window. Frost had etched and encrusted the pane while they’d slept, and dawn’s colours danced, filtering through the oblique design.
A tired sigh escaped his mouth and he chuckled at the smoke eddying through the crisp morning air, as he turned to regard his love.
She remained asleep, her raven hair, now silver and white in dawn’s gaze, and he carefully propped his old body up on his elbow. Ravaging cold bit through his greying vest and goose-bumps exploded across his wrinkled skin, and his rheumy eyes blinked with unshed tears.
He caressed her shrunken cheek, and moved the stray lock of hair. He leaned forward and tenderly kissed her dry, cracked lips.
Grief tore through his ancient body, and he shuddered, and swirling breath danced across her peace, as his tears dropped onto her tranquil face.
Her song was done, not a note escaped her silent lips, but he gently moved from his depression in the mattress and cupped his body to hers. There he lingered, holding his love, his tears wetting the pillow and her silver hair, and in his dreams she danced…

(662 Words)
@LastKrystallos

Five Sentence Fiction: Midnight

Image by Bekah Shambrook (Please do not use without permission) 
She shivered violently as fear chilled her to the bone, and her heart pummelled her rib cage as the reassuring murmur of the television downstairs ceased. 
She pulled the covers over her head and breathed softly, her hot breath creating a claustrophobic atmosphere of suffocation beneath the duvet.
The landing light clicked off, pipes clanked as the central heating went to bed and she surfaced from her cocoon. Frigid midnight air chilled her face, lacing her mind with frost, and she stared with wide eyes into the blackness of her bedroom.
She gathered the duvet tight around her shoulders and waited, hiccupping with portentous tears and resignation, and when the demon arrived there was nothing left but silent despair.
Check out more amazing writers at Lillie McFerrin’s Five Sentence Fiction.

Poem Walk: Mysterious Rhapsody

Photograph by Lisa Shambrook (please do not use without permission)
Mysterious Rhapsody
Eyes flash green. Eventide drifts. The sun slips away to its bed. She stretches. Waits for dusk’s shroud to fall. Silver rays dance across her back. An elusive silhouette flirting beneath the moonlight.
Querulous squalls spit. Fear chills. Malevolent whispers murmur. She launches. Through the darkness. To lose the sudden repine. To escape the revenant incubus that breathes throughout the woods. 
Shadows loom. Menace exhales. Shivers ripple across her form. She dashes. La Luna beholds the black bullet. Chasing its rays. She escapes the gloom. An inquisitive curiosity cured.
Motionless trees.  Soft padding feet. Wood smoke fragrance filling the air. She hisses. Suddenly alert with feline beauty. Moonlight’s rays smouldering in lustful earnest. Grace dancing with every step.
Dewy fields.  River of jewels. Cast down beneath night’s glancing moon. She hurries. Through diamonds. Soft paws fly rhythmically. Writing twilight’s rhapsody. Scribing a masterpiece through the night. 
Iridescent. Wild chase done. She stands yet midnight’s carved statue. She stretches. Arches and yawns. She wanes. A wraith evanesce. An illusion. Silently moves to fade into indigo black.
(175 Words)

My entry into Bullishink and Dusty Journal’s Poem Walk contest.
I struggled more with this than I do for flash fiction. This is somewhere between prose and more formal poetry, and I love it, but found it harder to fight the metering which I use with poetry!

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