by Shawn Phillips

Seven - Jewels and Nymphæ, All in a Name



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'You'd think I'd be bored of this. Boy meets girl, or visa versa, and play the dating game, bumping uglies intermediately. Finally, after a couple weeks or so, one calls the other to get together, and the other gives the negatory reply, which concludes the growth of the acquantanceship.'

The girl, strewn hair several shades of auburn and brown, smoked an unfiltered cigarette. Her naked posterior sank into the mattress in the middle of the room. Snuggled in between her breasts hung a dreamcatcher of tin and amber thread. Behind her, snoring cut into the stale air from underneath a thin blanket. She ashed her cigarette into the glass ashtray sitting on her pulled together knees.

Long fingers scratched her pubic mound. 'God, this room stinks.'

Standing, her average height stepped over the scattered CD cases and used condoms to a pair of black jeans, piled up in a hurry from the night before. Sniffling, she pulled them up over her goosebumped flesh. She smiled a little, the feel of the material rough against her pale skin reminded her of how precious having all five senses was. Her feet padded across the brown tufts of carpet, searching for a shirt. Again, black, but after sliding it on she found it advertised "Cradle Of Filth" and its British black metal imagery of horns, inverted stars and naked demonesses, and it had a small hole along the seam of the right shoulder.

Then, green army coat adorned, boots and tube socks wrapping her feet, she checked her fingers. All jewelry intact. She found her duffel and lit another cigarette, on tip-toe towards the door.

'Andra...' The voice warbled from the mattress.

She looked back once, brought two fingers to her lips and blew a kiss in the direction of the voice.


She found herself several thousand miles away, letting her intuition lead her to the answers. She could feel that all three of them are out now. Not necessarily on the same level, but at least it was a start. She only hoped that the other ones didn't catch on to her actions. She wrote in her journal:

'The past and future are deciding to temporarily merge in the present. Gods will meet their corpses and crumbling monuments, and experience forbodding. And I will be one of the first there. King Solomon's mines. Exit seventy-five. I'm... still alive?'

The bus began to make the familiar loud rubbing noise as it drove over the grooves cut in the off ramp. She looked up, and saw the rest stop, and knew she was in Indiana.

She wrote one last thing in her journal before getting up from her seat for a smoke break, some leg stretching, and a burger and shake.

'I am Andradite.'


A thought sat in the pore of a strand of her hair. The thought looked up at the mostly sunny sky, squinted, and called below to the other thoughts that crawled, jumped, fought or went through their natural life-cycle. These thoughts ceased their current state of being and peeked upwards, through the microscopic string of sunlight. And together they sang in one voice:

'January, sanctuary,
reliable? Questionable.
The other side,
the one with pride,
by the woods,
shrouded by hoods.

'Stalking, balking,
Gifted; lifted.
The other side,
the one with pride,
by the woods,
shrouded by hoods.'


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