9 ~Aromas~


The walls smelled like peppermint tea and dates. It would have been almost pleasant, if not for the overwhelming stench of rotting flesh permeating from the wooden floor below. Droplets of dark red blood were spattered in a mad array of quick gushes. So dark in fact, was the blood, one might mistake it for black tar.

My face remained plastered against the old floral wallpaper, ripped and decaying in many areas. The old scent of peppermint and dates was fading fast. My hands were firmly clasped behind my back. An old, itchy rope tied them together in an unnatural position. The throbbing in my fingers was surely caused by the build-up of blood, blocked by the tight restriction of my vulnerable wrists.

The small room, hexagonal in shape, was dark with only slight rays of moonlight escaping through the boarded up windows. It broke through like laser beams, highlighting small particles of dust. They danced around wildly and slowly like tiny stars riding along invisible waves. There was a meditative beauty about it, as though I too could ride the glittery waves to safety.

The force that pinned me to the wall was invisible. Invisible and strong. So strong in fact, my breath was swiftly leaving me. The pressure against my chest was agonizing. I could feel my ribs slowly cracking as though this cruel entity intended to break them in slow motion.

Perhaps the cruellest thing of all was my desire to scream. It was a gift not even god himself could grant me. Not a whimper was able to escape my throat. Oh how I desired to cry out. A small gift it would be indeed.

All I can do is pray for my end to arrive quickly. My eyes dart downwards, glimpsing the bruised and bloody hand at my feet. It was as though he had tried to reach me. One last touch before the end.

8.~The Disappearance of Vincent Akamatsu~


Vincent Akamatsu loved to paint portraits of flowers. It did not matter what species the flowers were. He had no particular preference. For him, there was just something so spectacularly thrilling about capturing the slight changes in colour and form. Ever since he was small, Vincent would wander around his grandmother’s backyard finding the perfect subject. For him, nature provided the most wonderful aesthetic. A garden in his mind was already a painting.

His mother and father learnt quickly to indulge his hobby and bring all sorts of flowers home on a weekly basis. It kept the house colourful and Vincent happy. Mr Akamatsu did not even mind the sneezing fits he would have to suffer through, especially in the summertime. The family delighted in calling him Rudolph when his nose became a giant red mess.

When the Akamatsu family first moved to Godwin manor in 1986 they did not hesitate to hire a landscaper. One who would fill the empty earth around the large manor with an array of life. It was a place in dire need of colour and Eleanor Akamatsu was happy to oblige her teenage son’s wishes.

At fifteen years old, Vincent was a reasonably content young man. He went to the local Catholic school in town and gained popularity very easily due his obvious wealth. None of his peers seemed to disregard his hobby as strange or too ‘feminine’ a thing to do. No one could deny that his art was especially beautiful. Sometimes he would add his friends to the paintings, their faces pressed into the petals of purple Tulips or the leaves of a yellow Sunflower. The most memorable of Vincent’s paintings was that of a blue Rose. A bright vibrant blue against a dark blackness. It radiated a certain warmth that seemed unusual for such a colour.

“I don’t recall ever seeing a blue Rose before,” exclaimed his father, staring at the painting that was leaning against the doorframe of Vincent’s bedroom.

Vincent smirked “well they don’t technically exist in nature”

His father looked at him curiously “so what inspired you to paint it?”

Vincent shifted uncomfortably where he stood and shrugged. His eyes gazed towards the old mirror that hung on the wall opposite his bed “just something that came to me one day”.

Mr Akamatsu sensed the hesitation in his son’s voice. It was something he had never sensed from him before. There was an unease about him, a weariness behind his eyes. Looking back William Akamatsu would regret his decision to ignore this moment, to have brushed it off as nothing incidental.

Before William left for work, he turned to his son “and what do you call it?” he asked.

Vincent blinked.

“Jules” he said in a direct manner without much thought or consideration.

“Why Jules?” his father asked said curiously.

Vincent frowned. He stared at the painting as though in a trance.

“Because that is its name”.

His father thought he could detect a hint of confusion in his son’s voice, and with that, he left, not knowing it would be the last time. For one can never imagine outliving one’s own child.

Note: This is a continuation of Winifred Pickle & The Ghost of Godwin Manor. I will now be identifying the chapters by name.


7.Winifred Pickle and The Ghost of Godwin Manor



I did not scream, nor look away. The sight was as fascinating as it was terrifying. My neck crooned upwards and my eyes fixated on the sight.

Brown leaves with specks of gold fluttered in unison like a swarm of bees. It was as though the sound of the winds’ fury has subsided and was instead replaced by the crackling of dead leaves. They molded together to form the frightening figure of a tall woman.

She hovered before me in the center of the room. She did not have a face exactly. The leaves however were placed in such a way, that the small dents and slight changes in colour formed the appearance of facial features.

Suddenly the window behind me snapped shut. I jumped to my feet and backed into the wall. My hands scraped against the ugly salmon wallpaper as though searching for something to squeeze. They simply peeled at the rotting paper; small bits of plaster crumbled and fell at my bare feet.

The leaves had somewhat settled in place now. The figure was no longer a sporadic collection of swirling shrubbery. Instead she softly swayed, every leaf forming an important piece to her puzzle.


‘It speaks’, I thought to myself. A surge of panic slithered through my stomach and I had a sudden urge to call out to Julian.

Winifred Pickle” she muttered again, her voice soft and strangely welcoming.

“How do you know my name?”

I had decided not to call out or scream for help. There was something about this moment that was completely reserved for me and I did not want to give it up.

She did not answer my question. The woman continued to stare at me (or at least I think she was staring. It was hard to tell without actual eye balls).

Suddenly the figure moved. In one giant whoosh she glided towards me and froze and inch from my body. A small yelping sound escaped my lips.

“Curious” she laughed “The first words you utter. I would have thought your first remark to be-“

She paused, her ‘face’ surveying me up and down “-something different”.

“Sorry” I whispered, quite sincerely.

She laughed again; a rather icy laugh.

“Don’t be sorry. Sorry is a word reserved for men only, thrown around as often as we change our shoes, just as meaningless, really”

She spoke rather quickly as though she were talking to herself as well as me. She began to slowly twirl where she hovered, taking in the sight of the room it would seem. Her body of leaves swayed up and down as though she was struggling to keep herself upright. There was something about the small quivers in each leaf that made me uneasy.

Curious” she said softly “It hasn’t changed one bit”

“You’re a Ghost” I coughed, dust getting caught in my throat. As the words escaped me I realised how stupid I sounded. Of course she was a ghost.

She whipped back around, no longer focusing on the room. I could almost make out the shape of a smile.

“You’re a bright one” she spat with a heavy tone of sarcasm that turned the fear I was feeling into a deep annoyance.

“Now!” she shrieked.

I stumbled backwards slamming into the wall.

“Shall we get started?”











I have scars that only strawberries can fix

Big, fat, juicy ones that I picked myself

Therapeutic delight

when your scent hits my nose

For it knows the cuts I bare

and promises to be gentle

Don’t follow me into the garden

This one I planted for myself


The words we say without knowing


You said it and it stayed

and there it did remain

playing out for always

every day

like a movie marathon

And all I wanted was to read you, a poem of forgiveness

Perhaps this is the poem you were always meant to hear

I forgive you

you did not know

how the weeds would grow

and suffocate the flowers

that wanted to bloom

And when they piled on the dirt

and that putrid smell rose

it filled my nostrils and escaped my eyes

till all i could see was the disgust outside

But again

It’s ok

I think it was meant to be this way

I’ve made friends with the weeds

and forgotten about the flowers

and look!

there are trees

that line blue rivers

which house secrets inside

Swim with me now

and I know I will not drown

You have kept me afloat

of this I have no doubt

and so once more-

I forgive you because,

despite it all

it is you,

who I adore



Never again will I be beaten, by the drums of my own melancholy.

I will whistle while I walk,

For the day has too much wonderful mystery, hidden within its circular walls.

And if the day should bite and disappoint me,

tomorrow will always have a different door.

Going 40



Do not break these tectonic plates beneath my feet,

they were meant for me.

I think that I was born this way,

to always sway

and never truly stand.

Like a soldier


on command.


I see the 60 sign and yet I go 40

I drag behind the bus and follow it,

wherever it may go.

Hunger Jacks

I said it

Not Hungry Jacks

because I see you now on the corner

and the sting of swelling spit in my open mouth says “feed me”


I turn the corner going 40

The grocery line of cars angrily honk all the way to the horizon

I don’t know what they expected from a Tuesday afternoon

I think they’d be happy with my always 40


Why do we honk at standing still?

Why do we curse the calm before the storm?

What makes the reckoning so appealing?

Does it really take a rubble to bring the Dawn?


I think I’ll stay at 40

and eat a bloody burger while I’m at it

and I will smile, a big juicy smile

and watch as they go 100 in a 60 zone.