Arch – #writephoto


Photo by Sue Vincent

No color or chroma reaches my night-dead eye.  The sun sets over the ruined cathedral.  And there is me, awake again, hanging in the middle, with the ghosts of the past on one side and the shadows of the future on the other, dangling between history and destiny, on this arch of time.

The hollow, no longer hallow, walls stretch above me, the marble has been stripped away, revealing broken brick and rubble.

Entering through my secret door, I taste the evening, taste her, taste the world, the world of the everlasting Now.

I walk through the cathedral, once the place of long forgotten saints and archbishops, of king and peasant long turned to dust.  I can still see their faces on the crumbling walls.

How the mighty have fallen, the holy rotted. 

I follow the scent, the only thing that I can smell.  The scent is her, of lace and spice.

The rubble was long ago cleaned, the place given over to wild romanticism.  She would consider me romantic.  How ironic.

They told her.  They warned.  Do not stray past the setting of the sun.  But aren’t the musty old ruins delightful?  So full of mystery and delight.  And at night?  When they are seen in ivory and ebony, the skeleton of the massive building now a sonata of shadows?

The thought thrills her to her deepest roots, her most private places.

I can sense her and know she can sense me.  She is not afraid.

The small sliver of moon, setting not far behind the fallen sun, casts an anemic shadow.  I wonder why she sees the ruined bell tower as something sexual, waiting for it to take her to a place of pleasure.  But they all do, don’t they?

Do I choose them or do they chose me, these strange, romantic women?

She feels me approach.  Her mind is full of the dew on the grass and story of a coming sunrise, though deep down she knows this will be the final moonset.

She steps into the ancient doorway, the giant arch.  I can see her now, as well as smell and feel her.

She is young, as they all are.  Yet she is old, her blood smelling of lace and cinnamon, nutmeg and dust.  She dwells in the modern, but her heart beats an ancient drum.

I reach and pull her into a shadow.  She moans in ecstasy.  I bite and the pain fills her with pleasure.  She arches her back, exposing more flesh.  All of the flesh.  All for me.  I willingly take what she has gladly offered.

We do our dance until the first signs of day approach.

They will find her empty husk, smelling of cinnamon and lace.  Some will tell tales, but others will say she was just a victim of her own choice.  None will know me, as I slink back into the shadows of the future, the nightmares of the past.

The arch of the night, the supported on the pillars of the setting and rising sun, is the doorway through which I arrive and leave once more when I have had my fill.

Once more I am in place of eternal night, as the sun begins its clime up of the arch of the sky, to kiss the good people good morning once more.  I close my eyes and sleep, dreaming the dreams of that last partner I had the pleasure to have danced the dance of death.  They are all still with me, from the first whose blood I tasted to this young woman, as we drift through the day, waiting for the next dance, for the next one to fill the arch of my doorway.

— — — —

This was written for Sue Vincent‘s weekly #writephoto challenge.


40 thoughts on “Arch – #writephoto

  1. Pingback: Arch #writephoto (repost) | Trent's World (the Blog)

  2. Pingback: Photo prompt round-up: Arch #writephoto | Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

  3. Joanne Sisco

    I can imagine the slow hypnotic cadence to his voice as he narrates this piece. On one hand I want to see it through to its inevitable end, and yet there is another part of me screaming ‘don’t go there!’
    I loved the phrase “dangling between history and destiny” – that moment in the present when anticipation for I-don’t-know-what is intense and palpable.
    The other phrase I loved was “a sonata of shadows”. Lyrical!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thanks! I like these prompts because I want to use the key word in different ways. So I was thinking of “arch” as not only something you would walk under, but as something connecting to separate objects or ideas, like past and future. Of course I can’t use the terms “ivory” and “ebony” without some reference to a piano ;)

      Liked by 1 person

        1. trentpmcd Post author

          Truthfully, the first thing I think of is a song by Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney from the early 80s. It used to be on the radio constantly… After that, it is piano, because back in the day, the black keys were made of ebony and the white were ivory.

          Interesting that you think slave trade. I guess they are all examples of Western exploitation of the African continent, the people and resources.


                1. trentpmcd Post author

                  The Girl is Mine. One of the all time worst songs. I must have heard it 30 times before I realized it wasn’t a man and a woman arguing over another woman, which would have made it interesting, but it was a man and Michael, which means it might really have been a girl (not a woman) since Michael didn’t seem to be attracted to anyone over 10. It’s creepy that Sir Paul was also hitting on the “girl”…


  4. Pingback: Arch – Trent P. McDonald #writephoto | Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

  5. Pingback: Arch – #writephoto — Trent’s World (the Blog) | Fantasy Gift Sources: Book Reviews, Article Resources, News

  6. Marilyn Armstrong

    It’s funny because I can still remember the first book I read, back in the very early 1970s where a vampire wasn’t all evil, but was a sexy dude. I don’t remember the author, either. It was well before Ann Rice. It changed everything in the undead world, whatever it was!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Even Bram Stoker had a hint of eroticism, but vampires were evil. I wonder what the book was. I was just a little kid, but my memories of vampires comes from the soap opera, Dark Shadows, so vampires in my mind were always both villain and hero, just like good old Barnabas… It is funny that ever since Ann Rice people almost seem afraid to create an evil vampire.



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