Thursday, October 31, 2013

Spooks and Frights

Spectres take flight!
Phantoms and ghosts drift into sight.
Bogles and bogies,
Goblins and ghouls,
Join all strange things that go bump in the night.

Skeletons chuckle!
Graveyard moulds heave and buckle.
Creatures and critters,
Monsters and mutants,
Rise up slowly from the miry muckle.

Leaves fall and blow!
Corpse light candles flicker and glow.
Witches and warlocks,
Devils and demons,
Wing through the sky to frighten those below.

Zombies must roam!
Bats take off in the gloam.
Maniacs and madmen,
Frankensteins and fiends,
Dig dead bodies from the cemetery loam.

Something's at the door!
Strange beings recite spooky lore.
Wraiths and wizards,
Bugbears and banshees,
Appear from the dark to scare you once more.

Copyright © 2007 Richard H. Fay

On This Halloween

Knock, knock, knock
Sounds upon front door
Clad in frightful garb,
While quickening gloom
Darkens Autumn sky
And a dying breeze
Swirls crisp fallen leaves
On this Halloween.

Who could it be?
Heroes and villains,
Princesses and ghouls,
Witches and wizards,
Monsters and goblins,
Werewolves and robots,
All waiting for treats,
Stand upon my step
On this Halloween.

Knock, knock, knock
Sounds upon front door
Bathed in porch light's glow,
While dimming candle
Behind grinning face
Of grim hollowed gourd
Sputters and snuffs out
On this Halloween.

Who could it be?
Nothing but a chill
Carried on a breath
Blowing from nowhere
Stirs at the threshold.
Not a living soul,
No visible thing,
Treads upon my step
On this Halloween.

Knock, knock, knock
Sounds upon front door
Silvered by moonlight,
While night creatures call
And tattered grey ghosts
Scoot swiftly across
An eventide sky
On this Halloween.

Who could it be?
Unearthly black forms
Reeling to fell tune
Send scared heart racing
And steal frightened gasp.
Devilish sprites loosed
To play impish tricks
Dance upon my step
On this Halloween.

Copyright © 2009 Richard H. Fay

Gathering of the Dead

Never gaze upon the rath
On a cool November's Eve,
For there wandering souls meet
Beneath a bright Hunter's Moon.
Grey wraiths gather amongst stones
Marking ancient pagan graves
While wan spirits dart about
Glimmering a corpse-light glow.
Murmured voices chant strange words
Forgotten by living men.

Never set foot upon grass
Barely bent by ghostly feet,
For fey gasts hate intrusions
Into their phantasmal fete.
Free from prying mortal eyes,
Tattered lads reel hand-in-hand
With filmy spectral lasses
While impish harpers play tunes
Sweet as lost love remembered,
Soft as a doomed man's last breath.

Never enter that fell dance,
Though seduced by glamour’s charms,
For embittered shades steal life
Deftly drawn into their midst.
Ice cold hands bruise naked flesh,
Spreading fatal corruption.
Dusty kiss chokes plaintive cry
As soul parts from withered corpse
And gathers with fellow dead
On a chill All Hallows’ Eve.

(Originally published in Tales from the Moonlit Path, Halloween Issue, October 2009.)

Copyright © 2009 Richard H. Fay

My Mother's Obituary

My mother died earlier this week, and her obituary is up today, on Halloween. How appropriate! After all, one of our nicknames for her was the Wicked Witch of Western New York, and her initials did spell out BAT.
Barbara A. Tessitore

Pardon me if I don't mourn, but my mother was a toxic person. I had become completely estranged from my family, and my mother was one of the big reasons for that estrangement. Now that she is dead, as long as she doesn't come back from the grave, she can no longer hurt me with her barbed comments and poison pen letters.

As an added bonus, there is no longer much of anything connecting me to my unfriendly and unfatherly step-father. My mother always liked to point out that her second husband was actually my legal father because he went through the legal process of adopting me as his son. However, I have always said that that piece of paper is meaningless. A piece of paper does not make a father, what is in the heart makes a father, and that is what has always been lacking between my step-father and me. There were reasons I changed my surname back to Fay; I felt no real connection to my step-father or his clan. The surname change when I was in second grade was a mistake that I corrected in 2000 with a second name change back to my original surname.

Anyway, there are some interesting points in my mother's obituary. I am mentioned in it as "her son Rick", but my last name is not mentioned. I guess that's a sore point. The only mention that is made of my wife Michele, our adult daughter Stephanie, and our stillborn son Peter, is the bit "and his family" after my name. I guess whoever wrote the piece couldn't be sure if I was still married to Michele or not, and how many kids we actually had.

There is an interesting omission in my mother's obituary. No mention is made of her first marriage to my paternal genetic donor. I know that their marriage was not good and didn't last long at all (my biological father split when I was an infant), but ignoring an unpleasant past doesn't make it go away. Even so, I guess such things may be omitted in obituaries nowadays.

I think it's kind of funny that whoever wrote my mother's obit made a point of saying that she is survived by, among others, her mother-in-law. Now, the situation could have changed over these past few years, but for the longest time my mother and her mother-in-law had a somewhat strained relationship. As a kid, it had always been obvious to me that my step-father's mother had never wanted her son to marry my mother. This remained true even after I reached adulthood. As a matter of fact, several years ago, my maternal grandmother (bless her soul) related to me a story about a time she was out to the drug store with mother's in-laws. In the store, my step-father's mother gushed over some gal who worked there, saying that this was the person she had wished had been her daughter-in-law. Yes, pointing out that my mother's mother-in-law outlived her is a jab at my dead mother before she's even in her grave!

One of the funniest lies told in my mother's obituary is the claim that she was a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church. While it is true to say that St. Mary's had been the family church, calling my mother a member of that church is a bit of a stretch. Unless she had changed her tune before the end, she was, depending on her mood, an atheist or an agnostic. The woman who was supposedly a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church once told me she thought Jesus must have been a space alien. How heretical!

Though there are points in my mother's obituary that annoy me and Michele, I see this as the end of one era and the beginning of another. I am freer now than I was before, freer to live my life in peace. I no longer have to worry about my mother contacting me to give me grief. One of the great bugaboos in my life is dead, and the other should now have little reason to deal with me. Time to get on with my life.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Old Mother Elder

The vile transformed witch waits impatiently
As she stands rooted to the muddy ground.
In the shape of a scraggly elder tree
She speaks no spells and utters not a sound.

The hag hopes one of Adam’s wayward sprigs
Will be out looking for some wood to cut,
And brings home one of her own bloody twigs
So she can wreak fell havoc in his hut.

A woodsman wise in lore does wander by.
He knows the words to say and what to do.
The doomed old crone lets out a dreadful cry
As her black pithy heart is split in two.

You should ask the Old Gal’s permission first
Ere you hew her, or risk becoming curst.

(Originally published in Bewildering Stories, Issue 275, January 2008.)

Copyright © 2008 Richard H. Fay

Midnight Sabbath

Spectral black hounds bay mournfully at the rising moon
To herald the arrival of the witching hour.
Vile creatures emerge from the deepening shadows
To pay bloody homage to their fell and fickle lord.

Sinister murmurs break the dreadful midnight silence
As tenebrous wraiths glide through a dismal yew forest.
Will-o-wisps flicker amongst the darkened branches
As a perverse and frightful procession passes below.

Imps dance a hideous jig beneath the mossy boughs
While goblin pipers play an evil discordant tune.
Wicked wights cavort wildly about a horned idol
While cowled figures gather 'round the gore-stained altar.

Malevolent voices chant a sacrilegious prayer
In anticipation of the nightly offering.
A winged abomination raises his keen-edged dagger
In a murderous act of diabolic sacrifice.

Devils and fiends revel in wretched debauchery
Until predawn's pallid light brightens the eastern sky.
Terrible rituals continue through the dim night
Until sunrise signals an end to the foul rites.

(Originally published in DemonMinds, April 20, 2007.)

Copyright © 2007 Richard H. Fay

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Shadow People

When midnight's heavy hush falls
And this ancient house grows dim,
Shadowy figures slip free
Of daytime's restrictive bonds.

Eldritch folk slowly emerge
From their umbrageous abodes
To roam empty, lightless rooms
And revel in the darkness.

Ebon forms scurry through halls
To gather in the parlour,
While spectres reel hand-in-hand
In time to a silent tune.

Emboldened as night wears on,
Brash wraiths tap on panelled walls.
Others ascend creaking stairs
To disturb my troubled dreams.

Weird phantoms drift past my door,
Speaking words I dare not hear.
Dusky spirits murmur prayers
To forgotten pagan gods.

Shadows recite heathen chants
Until dawn stifles their song.
Shades of memory soon fade
With the break of a new day.

(Originally published in BĂȘte Noire, Issue #3, April 2011.)

Copyright © 2011 Richard H. Fay

Magical Meetings

On an evening bright with moonlight,
Wizards, witches, and warlocks meet
Atop that swarded fairy knoll
Beside the twisted hawthorn tree.
Weird folk carry four-leaf clovers
Or cast charms of eldritch vision
To catch sight of persons unseen
And join their mystic revelries.

Woollen-robed men of magic dance
Alongside fair deathless lasses,
While ancient crones and young maids reel
Hand-in-hand with crimson-capped imps.
Elfin pipers then quell their tune
And let the revellers mingle.
Human guests obtain arcane truths
Consorting with the gathered fay.

Conversing with mossy spirits,
Wise women learn of herbal lore,
Receive the glowing healing touch,
And gain the gift of prophesy.
Lightning flashes in star-filled sky
And thunder shakes the grassy hill
As sorcerers practice new spells
Whispered softly by dusky shades.

When the stroke of midnight draws near
And the raging bonfire burns high,
Potent summons call forth grim wraiths
From the realm of mist and shadow.
Hollow voices reveal true loves
And proclaim futures in riddles,
Until the closing witching hour
Passes with a sudden cold sigh.

Once creeping dawn signals the end
Of that uncanny assembly,
All ride across the countryside
On the backs of wondrous creatures.
Formed from hazel twigs, twine, and straw,
Given false life by glamour’s sheen,
Strange steeds carry the mortals home
And then retreat before the sun.


(Originally published in Sorcerous Signals, May - July '11 Issue, May 2011.)

Copyright © 2011 Richard H. Fay

Monday, October 28, 2013

A Reminder: Bards and Sages Quarterly 2013 Readers' Choice Awards

Posting a reminder to please consider voting for my story "Sing the Bones Alive" in the Bards and Sages Quarterly 2013 Readers' Choice Awards. The story was published in the January 2013 issue. Also, please consider voting for me, Richard H. Fay, as author of the year.

Thank you!

From Within the Earth

Now that it has come, our doom hasn't arrived from outer space, but inner space. No death star pulsing gamma rays or behemoth killer asteroid spells our demise; the Earth itself will see to that. Something stirs within the heart of this abused sphere, making all man-made disasters look like child’s play. Gaea is finally having her revenge.

According to what I gathered watching the news, when there was still news to watch, those drilling deep wells and working mines miles below the surface noticed it first. Black ooze seeped from the pores of the rocks, dripping from the spaces between the grains of this planet’s fabric as if the Earth bled. Once it bubbled up bore holes and well shafts, corrosive sludge ate away steel rigs and derricks. The merest touch meant an agonizing death for any soul unlucky enough to come in contact with it. For us residents of higher elevations, this seemed a distant problem at first.

From what I've been told by wayfarers and refugees, that dreadful effluent then spread to subways and cellars. Ever rising, it turned low-lying towns into poisonous mires. Whole cities were abandoned as urbanites fled to higher terrain. Order eroded as governments collapsed. Riots and fires broke out across the globe. New York, London, and other cities burned for days. Billowing clouds of noxious smoke made more toxic by smoldering sludge poisoned tens of thousands. Tucked away in the middle of nowhere, I weathered society’s breakdown the best I could, but now I’m running out of food.

According to what I gleaned from the few sources remaining after things went to hell, scientists brave enough to investigate the malignant material found that the stuff is mineral and yet alive. Strange silica-based cells somehow germinate from the rocks themselves, and concentrate all the worst corrosives and toxins the Earth can muster as they grow and multiply. This was the final bit of information I got before the airwaves went completely silent. It doesn't matter; the generator used up the last drops of gas two day ago.

From what I see out my window, the valley below my mountainside home now lays beneath a heaving black lake. Dead firs stand naked in a vast expanse of lethal muck. Are those ebon tendrils snaking up the trunks? Do I see swaying appendages rising from the ooze in a bitter mockery of the blasted forest? Has this living nightmare evolved into something even more hideous? Although there is no hope, I sit at my dining room table and pray for deliverance while tears roll down my cheeks.

My heart races; I hear gurgling coming from the basement. Black ooze bubbles up through cracks in the floorboards. Creeping feelers crawl toward my legs. I leap atop the table. Tentacles stretch out, reaching up toward my tabletop perch.

No! One brushed across my left foot. My shoe has already begun to dissolve. My flesh is on fire! The pain! I feel faint… I mustn't fall… falling… blackness…

(Originally published in MicroHorror, November 1, 2010.)

Copyright © 2010 Richard H. Fay

Serpent of Storms

Summoned to face nature's untamed rage,
Drawn toward a savage drumbeat roll,
My roars mingle with the drowning din
Of the tempest's malevolent voice
While hunger gnaws an empty belly
Craving thoughts, hopes, dreams, memories.

My black coils swirl in the swollen surge
Of a furious stream in full spate.
Rising well above that churning swell,
Hoping to spy sign of mortal prey,
My bulging orbs scan the muddy banks
Searching for nourishing consciousness.

Stormy sparks flare in my feral eyes
As I spot a lone wandering wretch,
A soul lost in tempestuous murk.
Eager fangs sink into flesh and bone
As I rip the man's brain from his skull,
Leaving a headless corpse in my wake.

Sated by this gruesome feast,
I return to my watery den.
Dimly glimmering pale spectral green
In the lethally raging darkness,
I slide back down into silty muck
As the fell storm begins to subside.

(Originally published in The Monsters Next Door , Issue 6, March 2009.)

Copyright © 2009 Richard H. Fay

Weretiger

jungle sunset
savage shadows deepen
gloom cloaks sorcery

weird chants
sultry air pulsates
fey power stirs

dreadful shrieks
pain torments changing form
magic remoulds flesh

doffed humanity
shed skin reveals striped pelt
man becomes beast

rank odour
hunter follows sweaty trail
cat stalks human prey

sleeping village
drowsy watchmen dream
brute enters unseen

open window
amber eyes spy quarry
lithe menace leaps

familiar bedside
hated rival slumbers
bared fangs gleam

mauling fiend
claws wreak gory vengeance
brother slays brother

stealthy retreat
darkness conceals assassin
forest hides truth

reeling ritual
arcane act reverses spell
beast becomes man

crimson sunrise
cries break morning hush
dawn brings sorrow

consoling embrace
killer comforts widow
evil goes unknown

(Originally published in Night to Dawn, Issue 23, April 2013.)

Copyright © 2013 Richard H. Fay

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Accursed Castle

Many wanderers tell frightful tales
About that silent stone sentinel.
Many a lost soul and undead fiend
Hold court within its ruined grey walls.

We approach the mouldering tower
In search of necromantic secrets.
We cross the dark and empty threshold
To enter the black maw of the beast.

A charnel house stench fills the dank air;
The corrupt atmosphere makes us retch.
A corpse light glow glimmers in the gloom,
Enticing us toward damnation.

We descend down a decrepit stair
Into a sliver of the abyss.
We dare invoke the ancient powers
In hope of gaining arcane knowledge.

An eldritch legion answers our call;
Fell murmurs echo down hollow halls.
An algid chill pervades the ruin.
Unseen things slither forth from the crypt.

We suffer terror beyond our ken;
Diabolic thoughts consume our minds.
We find nought but pain, madness, and death;
Infernal creatures feast on our flesh.

(Originally published in the 2008 Issue of Champagne Shivers.)

Copyright © 2008 Richard H. Fay

Saturday, October 26, 2013

My Haunted House

Troubled memories drag me back
To the site of my deepest fears.
I travel once more to the spot
That spawned my most terrible dreams.
I draw near the frowning facade,
Set to face my personal Hell.
I must confront the ghosts within
For my soul to be truly free.

I ascend the rickety stairs
And turn the knob with sweaty palms.
An acrid, choking dust wells up
As I open the creaking door.
The scent of death hangs in the air.
Hot blood drums in my throbbing head
As I cross the crooked threshold
And enter my forsaken home.

Shadows move amongst the cobwebs
And drift across the filthy floor.
Echoes of dreadful thoughts and deeds
Resound throughout the dank abode.
Images of strife flood my mind.
A great sadness overtakes me
As the grey walls weep crimson tears
And the whole house shudders and sighs.

My chilled body shivers and shakes
As a prickly draught sweeps past me.
A violent vision appears
Before eyes blurred by bitter pain.
Seething anger and abject fear
Tie my stomach in tangled knots
As long buried torment returns
And my life’s heartache is replayed.

Somehow I find the hidden strength
To challenge the grim, restless shades.
I take a deep breath, clench my fists,
And screw up my courage to cry,
“Fell black phantoms, haunt me no more!
Back to the past where you belong!”
Haggard spectres threaten gravely,
But I hold my ground against them.

Evil faces twist and distort
Into spiteful visions of hate.
Apparitions swirl about me
In a churning, whirring vortex.
Wispy hands reach out for my soul,
But I recoil from their cold touch.
“Enough!” I scream as I feel faint.
“Leave my wretched spirit alone!”

The dark wraiths wail pitifully,
Then the fearful scene fades to black.
The defeated phantoms retreat
Back into the dim murky mist
Of recollections and regrets.
I stumble down the rotten steps
And leave exhausted but content,
Glad to be rid of my demons
Once and for all.

(Originally published in Bewildering Stories, Issue 284, April 2008.)

Copyright © 2008 by Richard H. Fay

Hungry

Beneath six feet of earth
I hunger in the dark
Gnawing on my funeral shroud.
I await the coming sunset
So I may claw my way free
And sate my ravening appetite
For fresh, warm blood.


Left Google+

I have left Google+ because, just like with other social networks, I found myself once again embroiled in idiotic debates with obnoxious writers. Apparently, my attempts at showing people the ridiculousness of their whining falls on deaf ears. When I am asked to walk people through the chain of causation of actions and attitudes implied in my comments, I know the discussion is going nowhere fast. When I'm accused of not paying attention and of adopting an accusatory tone, I know it's time to leave the discussion. Since I was still receiving e-mails even after I left the group wherein which the discussion in question was taking place, since I don't need the aggravation of seeing comments wherein which people are bitching about my bitching about their bitching, I felt drastic measures were called for. So, I removed myself from Google+. It was kind of a wasteland anyway.

I'm finding that social networks are not always nice places for someone who is basically asocial by nature. I have a horrible tendency to speak my mind. Strangely enough, outspokenness isn't always welcome in the writing realm, especially when you voice an opinion different from that of those directing the discussion.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Cute Pirate Lad on CafePress and RedBubble

I have added my "Cute Pirate Lad" back to my Redbubble portfolio, where it is available for purchase on cards, prints, t shirts, hoodies, stickers, iPhone cases, and iPad cases:
"Cute Pirate Lad" by RHFay

I have also added my "Cute Pirate Lad" to a bunch of items in my Azure Lion Productions CafePress Shop:
Cute Pirate Lad: Azure Lion Productions

Once I get more artist's pens, I'll draw a cute pirate lass to go with my cute pirate lad.

Moonlit Moor

moonlit moor
hoof beats thunder
dead huntsmen ride

(Originally published in Trapeze Magazine, October 21, 2010.)

Copyright © 2010 Richard H. Fay

Something in the Yew

Some thing resides in the yew,
Lurking amongst its dark boughs.
Eldritch terror awaits me
Within its entwined twilight.
Deep green needles hide evil
And shelter it from the sun.

I walk my dog in the wood
And brush past that baleful tree.
My faithful hound stands alert,
Growling softly at nothing.
Sudden fright then grips his heart;
He yelps and bolts straight for home.

Songbirds sing in other trees,
Gladdening their stately limbs
With sweet sounding melodies.
Living creatures shun the yew.
Cloaked in terrible silence,
It seems to favour the dead.

A murder of crows wings past.
Gorged from their rural forays,
They search for a place to rest.
Perching in maple and pine,
Even these raucous rascals
Refuse to draw near the yew.

I feel compelled to remain.
Bole, branch, and twig call to me.
My eyes gaze into the gloom
Of that tree's murky umbra.
A chill courses down my spine
As a wicked face peers back.

A spectral shadow creeps forth
From those darkly bewitched boughs.
Caught in a sinister spell
I stand rooted to the ground.
The fell spirit clutches me;
Humanity ebbs away.

I become one
With the yew.

(Originally published in parABnormal Digest, Issue 1, March 2011.)

Copyright © 2011 Richard H. Fay

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Two-Dimensional Visitors

Shadows
slipping sideways
through reality's cracks
drift past my vision, then turn and
vanish.

(Originally published in Aphelion, February 2009.)

Copyright © 2009 Richard H. Fay

Souls Adrift

We roam this world
Mere shadows of life
But faintly perceived
By mortal kind.

We stalk dark halls
In derelict homes,
Forsaken cast-offs
Of yesteryear.

We whisper words
Never understood,
Our voices muffled
By death’s cruel hand.

We enter dreams
As pale reflections,
Memories of flesh
Long turned to dust.

We crave strong hearts
And warm, supple limbs,
But find only bones
And graveyard mould.

We are legion,
Wretched multitudes
Ever united,
Always alone.

(Originally published in Fear and Trembling, April 8, 2010.)

Copyright © 2010 Richard H. Fay

Cute Pirate Lad (Revised)

Okay, I had added my full-colour Cute Pirate Lad drawing to a bunch of stuff in my Azure Lion Productions Zazzle Store, and then decided that one of his arms looked odd compared to the other arm. So, being the insane perfectionist that I am, I took the image off the items, reworked it, and added it back to stuff in my store.

Here he is, my reworked Cute Pirate Lad on merchandise. Isn't he cute? He is the latest in a series of cute characters and creatures which already includes a Cute Dragon and a Cute Medieval Knight. I'm planning on creating more to add to the series. Cute is a bit unusual for me, but I can draw cute when I want to.

About Adverbs and Stephen King

 I suddenly have a better understanding of all the adverb hating in the writing world. It appears that that "God of Writing" Stephen King disparaged adverbs:
“I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs, and I will shout it from the rooftops."

Sorry, no writer walks on water! Yes, I'm disagreeing with none other than Stephen King, and I will shout it from the rooftops.

My response to all those adverb haters out there continues to be:

 "Lolly Lolly Lolly, get your adverbs here!"

I was taught that adverbs are a legitimate part of speech that have their uses in writing, just like nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, conjunctions, prepositions, and interjections. I see the non-use of adverbs as a stylistic choice, not a written-in-stone writing rule.

Adverbs are a part of the writer's palette. What if artists were told they could no longer use the colour blue? That would be stupid!

BTW, I've read a lot over the years, and I've read some of Stephen King's works (Salem's Lot, It, Cycle of the Werewolf, The Eyes of the Dragon). He is not at the top of the list of my favourite authors. I admit he has been incredibly successful as a writer, but I've never been a huge fan of his writing. I prefer the works of H. P. Lovecraft and J. R. R. Tolkien.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Gremlins in My Brain

Minuscule demons wreak havoc
Within my sadly addled mind.
Leering fiends sabotage a life
Troubled with heartache and pain.
Tiny trolls gnaw upon frayed nerves
To cripple both body and soul.
Sinister dwarfs twist memories
Into a thousand tangled knots.
Black sprites paint dreams a dismal hue
That darkens every waking thought.
Fell imps replace eloquent words
With crude insults and bitter lies.
Perverse devils dance with great joy
When kith and kin abandon me.
Lucifer's children laugh and jeer
While I search for means of escape.
Dreadful tormentors scream and yell
As a bullet tears through my skull.

(Originally published in The Monsters Next Door, Issue 3, July 2008.)

Copyright © 2008 Richard H. Fay

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

And Yet Three More Horrorku

putrefied flesh
freshly dug graveyard loam
ghouls feast

(Originally published in microcosms, October 7, 2010.)

masque at midnight
fair guise removed
fleshless skull grins

(Originally published in microcosms, November 1, 2010.)

musty ebon tome
old words open shining door
vengeful wraiths return

(Originally published in microcosms, November 23, 2010.)

Copyright © 2010 Richard H. Fay

Resting Place

Coffin
upon cold stone,
hidden in a dark crypt,
becomes, for the restless undead,
a bed.

Copyright © 2013 Richard H. Fay

Chupa-chupas

Star lights,
Earthward falling
offspring of distant suns
plummet through dark skies suffering
hunger.

Beings
from worlds beyond
human belief prowl this
steamy Brazilian night searching
for prey.

Savage
spirits glimmer
above my veranda,
flashing green and red as they stalk
their game

Pulsing
satisfaction,
glittering entities
catch me in crimson beams to drain
my life.

Fell fire
sets flesh ablaze
while ionised blood boils.
Ebbing vitality feeds those
fey lights.

Originally published in Hungur, Issue 7, All Souls' Night 2008.

Copyright © 2008 Richard H. Fay

Monday, October 21, 2013

No Consolation from the Dead

Stirred from a dreamless sleep
By your mournful sobs,
I recalled tender emotions
Once lost in hollow emptiness.
Your sorrow touched my soul
And roused slumbering feelings
Of compassion and kindness.

Wishing to offer solace
And a caring embrace
I tried to beckon and cry out,
But withered arms robbed of strength
Refused to move.
Rotted lips mouthed your name
In sepulchral silence.

The living can expect little warm comfort
From those cold in their graves.

Copyright © 2013 Richard H. Fay



A Reminder: Bards and Sages Quarterly 2013 Reader's Choice Awards.

Posting a reminder to please consider voting for my wizardly fantasy story "Sing the Bones Alive" in the Bards and Sages Quarterly 2013 Readers' Choice Awards. The story was published in the January 2013 issue. Also, please consider voting for me for Author of the Year.

Thank you!

Enticing Whispers

enticing whispers
ethereal beauty charms
ghostly seduction

Copyright © 2013 Richard H. Fay

The Devil's Dungeon

Down into the stinking bowels
Of a black and brooding fortress,
They drag me bound in iron chains
To meet the master of this realm.

Dim torchlight plays off grisly tools
Of foul torture and punishment.
Mad screams mingle with harsh laughter
As monsters seek pleasure from pain.

Grim skulls grin at my misfortune,
Bones rattle in rusty cages,
And shades whisper heinous curses
While I'm drawn deeper into death.

Exhaustion dulls the agony,
Then bitter tears and filthy air
Obscure darkly baleful visions,
But nothing quells my growing fear.

Tossed into a stygian pit,
Cold sweat chills my tortured body.
I hear thrashing in the abyss
And sense a terrible malice.

Waves of hate rip apart a mind
Broken beneath a crushing will.
My bare skin squirms with putrid things
That gnaw away this battered form.

"Feast, my children!" a vile voice booms.
"Devour this wretch's blood and flesh."

(Originally published in Trembles, Issue #2, April 2011.)

Copyright © 2011 Richard H. Fay


Nightmares Fell My Fantasy

Atop my tower of dreams
Banners snap in warm spring winds
And spires stretch toward blue sky.
I spy pastoral vistas,
Verdant hills and golden fields,
Darkened by oncoming strife.

A deathly grey pall descends
Upon pleasant thoughts and scenes;
Hell troubles this paradise.
Choking smoke dims bloodied sun
As village cot and crop burn
And nightmares besiege these walls.

Devilish war devices
Batter battlements to dust
While wheeled engines inch closer.
Tall wooden belfries disgorge
Legions of grotesque wretches
Intent upon mad slaughter.

A churning, monstrous rabble
Overtakes ramparts ruined
By storms of hellfire and stone.
Bent hunchbacks bear rusted mail,
Twisted hands hold wicked blades,
Contorted mouths thirst for blood.

Wave after sinister wave
Of surging demons and fiends
Wash over this breached fortress;
All break before that black tide.
Doomed defenders drown beneath
A savage, murderous sea.

Noble knight and humble serf
Find morbid equality
Amongst the dismembered dead.
Steaming gore stains defiled hall
As devils gut this castle
And strip my defences bare.

Alone I confront vile ranks,
Jeering hordes of dreadful beasts
Spreading hateful destruction.
My sword seeks bitter vengeance,
Parting foul spirit from flesh,
But soon they overwhelm me.

Pounding fists dent burnished plate,
Fanged jaws sever buckled straps,
Ripping claws tear cloth of gold.
Beaten and naked I lie,
A great lord made sacrifice,
Upon their makeshift altar.

Celebrants chant hellish prayers,
Imps dance a triumphant jig,
Dark heralds proclaim my doom.
Sharp blades thrust between bruised ribs,
A knife's cruel edge cuts parched throat,
Then blackness envelops all.

Terror numbs the blinding pain.
I tumble through a cold void
Of my own fell creation.
Swallowed by the pit I scream
A soundless cry in the gloom
'Til dawn shatters that grim spell.

(Originally published in the Scattered Verses, Moonlit Curses grim poetry anthology, May 2009.)

Copyright © 2009 Richard H. Fay

Sunday, October 20, 2013

My Darkly Dear Leanan-Sidhe

Knock soft
upon oak door
silvered by wan moonlight
to offer this dim lonesome soul
love’s flame.

Enter
in brilliant swirl
of twirling saffron skirt
then enslave desolate heart with
black gaze.

Embrace
my yearning form
within delicate arms
to ensnare body and mind in
fell grasp.

Inspire
romantic words
of passion burning bright
then exact heavy price most grim –
life’s blood.

(Originally published in the August 2010 issue of Sounds of the Night.)

An Invitation to Elfame

Come closer, my fearless mortal,
To our home 'neath this grassy hill.
See silver lanterns strung along
Gleaming chains of finely wrought gold
Glimmer bright with captured moonlight.
Peer between the scarlet pillars
Standing guard 'round our turf-domed hall
To spy upon deathless lasses
Dancing a manic godless jig.

Join our fete, my handsome mortal,
And leave all human cares behind.
Reel away to an ancient tune
With a fair mistress at your side.
Fall for glamour's seductive charms
While you kiss the cool crimson lips
Of a ravishing eldritch maid.
Honeyed tongue and bewitching eyes
Weave tangled webs of enchantment.

Drink deeply, my hapless mortal,
Of our heady, corrupting brew.
Feast upon fine foods and sweet treats
That turn to mere dust in your mouth
And mark you as ours forever.
Feel life's warmth leave your soulless shell
Once that racing heart beats its last.
Lose the grace of mortality;
Become trapped for eternity.

(Originally published in Sounds of the Night, August 2010.)

Copyright © 2010 Richard H. Fay

Wandering Ole Willow

The angry grey willow walks this dark eve,
Muttering fey curses and feral words.
He trails the footsteps of a wayward soul
Travelling dimly winding woodland paths.

The fell forester looks o’er his shoulder,
Hearing strange shufflings and eldritch murmurs.
He sees nought but night blackened bough and bole
Leaning balefully o’er the mossy track.

The mortal’s troubled mind draws willow near;
Darkling deeds remembered fire the tree’s heart.
He shambles slowly toward death-marked prey,
Seeking grim retribution for past harms.

The mad willow raises his twiggy limbs,
Reaching out toward that hated human.
Too late the luckless wretch tries to escape
Being caught in a tangled woody web.

The uprooted tree glowers evilly,
Recalling the cruel fates of axe-hewn kin.
He finds savage sport in bitter vengeance,
Snapping the doomed man in half like kindling.

(Originally published in Bewildering Stories, Issue 322, January 26, 2009.)

Copyright © 2009 Richard H. Fay

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Been Selling Through My Shops

There is a single undisputed truth about my art: my art sells. Not only does it sell to various publications, but it sells on merchandise sold through various online venues. I've been seeing fairly regular sales of items featuring my artwork and designs through my Azure Lion Productions/Richard Fay Zazzle Store and my Azure Lion Productions CafePress Shop. On occasion, I even see sales through my Richard Fay RedBubble Shop.

Some recent sales:
- Robin Hood Mug sold through my Azure Lion Productions CafePress Shop on Oct 19th.
- One sheet of Irish Harp Stickers sold through my Azure Lion Productions Zazzle Store on  Oct 18th.
Rapier Tie and Late Medieval Sword (Horizontal/White) Tie sold through my Azure Lion Productions Zazzle Store on Oct 14th.
- German Eagle on Yellow Magnet sold through my Azure Lion Productions CafePress Shop on Oct 10th.
- Red Dragon of Wales Cutting Board sold through my Azure Lion Productions CafePress shop on Oct 6th.
- Dragon Rampant (Gold) Tie sold through my Azure Lion Productions Zazzle Store on Oct 5th.
- Red Dragon of Wales Stein sold through my Azure Lion Productions Zazzle Store on Oct 3rd.
- Two Robin Hood Magnets sold through my Azure Lion Productions Zazzle Store on Oct 1st.

My most recent sale through RedBubble was the sale of six Scottish Thistle and Saltire Stickers sold on Aug 24th.

Howling on the Moor

A fell creature howls on the moor,
Filling all rustic hearts with dread.
Locals fear the rising full moon,
Knowing the grievous harm it brings.
Farmers curse the loss of young stock;
Weeping mothers mourn murdered babes.

A hairy brute howls on the moor
While trembling men bury their dead.
One lone stalwart bravely sets out,
Vowing to kill that feral beast.
He loads his gun with silver shot,
Guessing the nature of his prey.

A savage fiend howls on the moor
While tracker finds a monstrous print.
Human eyes peer into the gloom;
Hordes of glaring red orbs stare back.
Shots ring out across gorsy hills,
But the speeding balls miss their marks.

A hungry pack howls on the moor
As bristling forms surround the man.
Doomed hunter becomes the hunted;
Falling upon his knees he prays.
Grim laughter mingles with mad screams;
Slavering jaws tear into flesh.

(Originally published in Scattered Verses, Moonlit Curses dark poetry anthology, May 2009.)

Copyright © 2009 Richard H. Fay

When Hunger Takes Me

Donning
a wolf skin pelt,
running wild with my pack,
I hunt the woodland verge craving
man flesh.

(Originally published in The Monsters Next Door, Issue 6, March 2009.)

Copyright © 2009 Richard H. Fay

Friday, October 18, 2013

Necromancy (2013 Version)

mouldering crypts
tombs desecrated
necromancer's realm

sanguineous ink
incantations scripted
necromancer's tome

macabre magic
apparitions questioned
necromancer's art

stolen coffin
corpse reanimated
necromancer's slave

muculent mass
tentacles writhe
necromancer's pet

mephitic fumes
miasma suffocates
necromancer's death

Copyright © 2013 Richard H. Fay

(This is a rewrite of a poem that I wrote back in 2007. The original hasn't been published in a zine, but it has appeared online in forums and the like.)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Verminous Scratching

A horrorku homage to H. P. Lovecraft's "The Rats in the Walls":

verminous scratching
quaking tapestry pulled back
bare stones exposed

They've Come for Me Again

Bright lights,
strange silhouettes,
voices inside my head
signal my departure from Earth
once more.



(Poem originally published in Aphelion, November 2008; illustration originally published in on-line version of Abandoned Towers, October 2009.)

Copyright © 2008, 2009 Richard H. Fay

The Sheerie

Lambs lost
from Christian fold
bewitch with corpse-light brands,
jealously leading the living
to death.

(Originally published in Aphelion, November 2009.)

Copyright © 2009 Richard H. Fay


Consequence of Taking Too Much

Red rose
placed on fresh earth
becomes a grave symbol
of true love lost and my hunger
for blood.

(Originally published in Macabre Cadaver, Issue 3, October 2008.)

Copyright © 2008 Richard H. Fay

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Incubus

He enters my dreams in the dead of night,
Wreathed in a halo of infernal smoke.
He's a handsome but truly dreadful sight,
My black angel, one of the fallen folk.

He takes me up in his strong, scaly arms
And pledges everlasting devotion.
I fall for his dark, diabolic charms
As my soul drowns in a sinful ocean.

I sense the danger in his burning touch,
But then lose myself in his glaring eyes.
I crave this fatal attraction so much
That I cannot bear more woeful goodbyes.

I feel my life slowly ebbing away
And will not last until the break of day.

(Originally published in Sounds of the Night, Issue 2, February 2008.)

Copyright © 2008 Richard H. Fay

Whispers on the Stairs

Something unseen whispers on the stairs
As I enter the decrepit keep.
Brooding shadows gather around me
As I ascend the moss-covered steps.
Dreadful murmurs echo in my head
As a fey wraith creeps ever closer.

Something unknown whispers on the stairs
As a spectral presence drifts past me.
My flaming torch flickers and goes out
As if extinguished by a strange draught.
Cold sweat beads on my clammy forehead
As midnight blackness envelops me.

Something frightful whispers on the stairs
As I seek to understand the words.
A droning voice speaks in ancient tongues
As a foul fiend mutters to itself.
Fell and fearful thoughts enter my mind
As I face a diabolic foe.

Something evil whispers on the stairs
As I strive to exorcise the beast.
Fiery fingers close about my throat
As the demon tries to choke my words.
Courage fails and I flee the fortress
As Lucifer's spawn laughs on the stairs.

(Originally published in Trembles, Issue #1, January 2011.)

Copyright © 2011 Richard H. Fay

Corpse-Candles

Glittering bright orbs
Move through naked trees,
Dancing and darting
Like restless children
Playing hide-and-seek
In a quaint garden.

Souls lost in the night
Soar in the still air.
They gather near me,
But stay out of reach.
They lead me deeper
Into the dark wood.

As a moth to flame
I follow the lights.
Blackness surrounds me.
Only the flicker
Of spectral candles
Guides my reckless steps.

The ancient oaks part
To reveal headstones
Hidden in the wood.
A forlorn graveyard
Choked with thorny weeds
Lays beneath the stars.

Lights cavort above
The overgrown graves,
Then descend groundward.
I spy pale phantoms
Pining for warm flesh
Long reduced to dust.

The sad shades beckon
And draw me along
A perilous ridge.
Blindly I stumble
And tumble headfirst
Down a rocky grade.

Broken and bloodied,
My body grows cold.
As life ebbs away
From this mortal shell,
My spirit will join
That fey troupe of lights.

(Originally published in the June 2008 issue of Niteblade.)

Copyright © 2008 Richard H. Fay

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Haunted Castle

I lie brooding atop this lonely motte.
My vacant stare surveys the land below
While my long shadow casts an eldritch chill
Over barren field and abandoned cot.
No living man dwells within sight of me;
I am the fortress of the restless dead.

I lie wrapped in dismal desolation.
Empty towers stand guard 'round roofless hall,
Mossy green mantles cloak crumbling ramparts,
Marshy reeds clog stagnantly muddy moat.
Bailey gardens where bright flowers once bloomed
Now sprout thorny brambles and wiry bines.

I lie shrouded in obfuscating mists.
Damp walls exude a choking miasma,
Dank dungeons reek of mouldering decay,
Deepest gloom defeats daylight's warming gleam.
Night's sinister folk reside within me,
Sheltered from the glaring face of the Sun.

I lie open to ghostly mysteries.
Phantom laird holds court in spectral splendour;
Noble corpses join cadaverous maids
Spinning raggedly across rotted floor.
Stern wraiths patrol above that ghastly fete
Guarding against all mortal intrusions.

I lie under a diabolic curse.
Dark stones bear witness to ghoulish secrets;
Grim holes echo with the cries of the damned.
Savage spirits torture imprisoned souls;
Wretched shades scream out in eternal pain.
Human fools who enter here face madness
And death.

(Originally published in The Absent Willow Review, October 15, 2009.)

Copyright © 2009 Richard H. Fay

The Wretched House 'Round the Corner

Behind rampant briars
Blooming on a spring morn,
Crooked walls hold dark truths.
Below its frowning eaves,
Past windows boarded up,
That house harbours secrets
Rumoured in hushed whispers.
Sharp thorns and padlocked door
Keep out unwanted guests,
Keep in the restless dead.

Beneath a noonday sun
Warming a summer's day,
That ramshackle abode
Of unknown threats and fears
Exudes an algid air,
Chilling down to the bone.
I shiver as I walk
Anxiously past a porch
That glowers with contempt
At all such passers-by.

Inside decrepit rooms
On a crisp autumn eve,
Eldritch voices murmur
Words not meant to be heard
By any living thing.
Pale shadows creep across
A decayed parlour floor
To peer through jagged cracks.
I feel strange eyes staring
And hurry on my way.

From within that bleak wreck
On a cold winter's night,
Some fell shade calls my name.
Drawn down snow-dusted path,
My heart pounds in my chest
As I seek to enter
That grimly wretched house.
I slip around the back,
Rip planks off a casement,
And climb through the black hole.

Under a sagging roof,
Within a timeless gloom,
Shimmering wraiths gather.
Good God! Twisted faces
Glimmer with sickly light.
Wicked laughter echoes
While contorted mouths gape.
Gnarled fingers then reach out
To ensnare mortal prey
And grab hold of my soul.

Before ageless terror
My spirit fights to flee.
Run! Flight overtakes fright.
Breaking that evil spell,
I leap out and race home.
With full gas can in hand
I return to that place.
The purity of flame
Cleanses accursed ground
As I watch the house burn.

(Originally published in Static Movement, March 2012.)

Copyright © 2012 Richard H. Fay

Song of the Dead

I hear sweet singing outside my window.
Honeyed voices tempt me into the dark,
Draw me away from my lonely abode,
Fog my troubled mind with seductive lies,
And entice my weak flesh with sinful thoughts.

I hear wistful singing beneath the moon.
Enchanted by their ethereal song,
Ensnared in a web of hypnotic words,
I draw near strange damsels forever young
And dare not resist their alluring call.

I hear eerie singing upon the heath
As veiled spectres dance atop weathered hills.
Unearthly sprites toss back their tattered shrouds,
While a forbidden caress steals my heart
And sweetly poisoned lips corrupt my soul.

I hear fell singing as wicked wights whirl
Wildly 'round my fatally stricken form.
Trembling fear gives way to dull senselessness
When this wretched mortal shell turns to dust
And the restless dead claim me as their own.

(Originally published in Sounds of the Night, Issue 8, February 2011.)

Copyright © 2011 Richard H. Fay

Monday, October 14, 2013

At the Wheel

The wooden wheel turns 'round and 'round
While Tom-Tit-Tot spins wicked spells.
Black fingers twist enchanted threads
To fulfill a fell bargain struck
As whispered words weave tangled webs
Of diabolic enthrallment.

The wooden wheel whirls 'round and 'round
While Tom-Tit-Tot spins five whole skeins.
Ebon lips twitch with savage glee
Roused by swaggering assurance
That secret facts and unfound truths
Will remain hidden forever.

The wooden wheel twirls 'round and 'round
While Tom-Tit-Tot spins a foul fate.
Foolhardy vows bind mortal soul
As surely as tempered steel chains.
Fair maid becomes a promised bride
Unless she hails that imp by name.

The wooden wheel goes 'round and 'round
While Tom-Tit-Tot spins darkling dreams
Grimly conceived in midnight's gloom.
The wretch drifts off in sinful thoughts
Hoping the lass gives lusty sport
When her pure white flesh is made his.

(Originally published in the Spring 2010 issue of Illumen.)

Copyright © 2010 Richard H. Fay

Three More Horrorku

parting red curtains
black talons amidst moonbeams
fledgling beast back home

(Originally published in The Monsters Next Door, Issue Four, September 2008.)

empty ballroom
unseen chiffon rustles
spectres waltz

(Originally published in Trapeze Magazine, November 6, 2010.)

darkening sky
cold gust carries fell shrieks
storming devils whirl

(Originally published in Trapeze Magazine, December 2, 2010.)

Copyright © 2008. 2010 Richard H. Fay

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Three Horrorku

clattering hooves
slate shingles rattle
rooftop imps dance

(Originally published in Aphelion, June 2009.)

breathless dusk
lochside reeds quiver
kelpie stalks

(Originally published in Trapeze Magazine, January 31, 2012.)

weeping tree
mournful twigs entwine
gagging axman

(Originally published in Scifaikuest (on-line), November, 2009.)

Copyright © 2009, 2012 Richard H. Fay

Saturday, October 12, 2013

A Horrorku: Leering Skull

leering skull
bare bones propped in parlour chaise
evening with the spouse

© Richard H. Fay

Life is the Life

Roused from decades of sepulchral slumber
By savage cannonades and rifle fire,
Departing the dark comfort of my tomb,
I roam a mad world ripped apart by war.

Venturing forth like a smoky blue veil
Wafting across this cratered countryside,
Searching for the base essence of being,
I am drawn to fields of lingering death.

Drifting amidst battle-broken bodies,
Ignoring agonizing cries of pain,
Invisible to dimming mortal eyes,
I harvest embers of vitality.

Finding a suitably ravaged vessel,
Sensing sustenance within battered flesh,
I drain lifeblood to feed this hungry soul -
A dying youth becomes my golden cup.

Energies flow from spirit to spirit
Fuelling my ethereal existence.
Leaving behind the soldier's empty husk
I retreat into deepening shadows
Revitalized.

(Originally published in The Monsters Next Door, Contest Issue 4.5, November 15, 2008. Poetry Winner, "Through My Eyes" Writing Contest.)

Copyright © 2008 Richard H. Fay

The Damnation of Daniel Brewster

Decades of debauchery
Erode both body and soul
'Til mortal becomes mere shade
Devoid of substance and light.
The living are like strangers
As the dead draw all too near.

Weary of this wretchedness,
Searching for scraps of solace,
Hoping to find warm comfort,
Remembering kinder days,
Daniel Brewster returns home
To his old New Bedlam haunt.

Time and neglect take their toll,
Sapping life's pleasing lustre
From forsaken roof and walls.
Heavy feet climb creaking stairs,
Sweaty hand turns rusted knob,
Bent form enters crooked house.

Seeking signs of simpler times
With blackened heart beating hard,
Daniel finds cobwebs and dust.
Twilight's dimming glow snuffs out
As strangely stirring shadows
Ensnare him in choking gloom.

By himself but not alone,
Daniel faces his fell past.
Throngs of cast-off lovers hold
Never-born sons and daughters
Snuggled against bloodied breasts
While wrecked spirits wreak ruin.

Knives reflect feral gleamings
Of eyes glinting in the murk.
Fey spectres chant together
"Welcome back to New Bedlam,
Welcome to your damnation,"
'Til drowned out by endless
screams.

(Originally published in The New Bedlam Project, Vol. 1, Issue 1, April 2009.)

Copyright © 2009 Richard H. Fay

What Greets Me at the End

My hedonistic life spent
Revelling in mortal sins
Leads to blood and twisted steel
Smoking below a smashed rail.
Blackness blots out the carnage
While a grave chill dulls the pain.

Stars flash before sightless eyes
As a sense of falling yanks
Consciousness back from the brink
Of sweet, blissful nothingness.
Down a tunnel I tumble
Toward a glaring white light.

Savage brightness engulfs all.
Thoughts and feelings become lost
In a hollow emptiness
Until pale images add
Familiar shapes and colours
To the glimmering canvas.

Songbirds twitter atop elms
Lining an idyllic lane,
While picket fences stand guard
Around cheery verdant lawns.
Friendly faces of my youth
Blithely welcome me back home.

Memories of simpler days
Thaw my hypothermic heart.
Eager fingers raise the latch
Of a gladly recalled gate,
But one touch triggers decay;
Cold iron crumbles to dust.

Colours run as shapes dissolve.
Trees melt like burning tapers.
Disturbed from their stately roosts,
Great flocks raise a raucous din
And transform into fell beasts
Dimming the morbid grey sky.

Uncertainty gives way to
Dreadful realization
As screaming souls soar above
A lifeless lunar landscape.
Old Scratch dressed in suit and tie
Greets me with a crooked smile:

"Welcome to Hell."

(Originally published in the May 2011 Issue of Cover of Darkness.)

Copyright © 2011 Richard H. Fay

Friday, October 11, 2013

A Reminder: Bards and Sages 2013 Readers' Choice Awards

A reminder: please consider voting for "Sing the Bones Alive" in the Bards and Sages Quarterly 2013 Readers' Choice Awards. The story was published in the January 2013 issue. Also, please consider voting for me for "Author of the Year".

Readers' Choice Awards

Thank you!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Bards and Sages 2013 Readers' Choice Awards

Bards and Sages Quarterly has an annual Readers' Choice Awards. I have a story on the list; my wizardly fantasy story "Sing the Bones Alive" was published in the January 2013 issue of the zine. Please considering voting for my wizardly fantasy story, and please consider voting for me as author of the year.

Thank you!

Readers' Choice Awards

Monday, October 7, 2013

Dark Artwork in STAR*LINE 36.4

The ToC and ordering info for the Autumn 2013 Star*Line are now up on the SFPA site. I have a dark illustration, "Legion", in that issue. It's a piece done in my bold style, basically an image in silhouette. The subject matter of the piece is devilishly appropriate for Star*Line's Autumn 2013 issue.

It looks like this won't be my last artwork in Star*Line. I should have another piece in the January 2014 issue, a piece accepted previously but which hasn't yet seen publication. The editor told me she would like to use it in the January issue. She also said she would be happy to see further work. Now I have to come up with more SF filler art ideas!

Twitter Account Back Up, For Now...

It appears my @RHFay Twitter account is back up, but for how long? I STILL don't know why it was suspended!  I STILL don't know what I supposedly did wrong!

Twitter Account Suspended, With No Explanation

As of Monday, October 7th, at 12:06 PM EDT, my Twitter account @RHFay remains suspended without a specific explanation from Twitter as to why the suspension was put in place. This is the second time in a week that the account has been suspended. It was first suspended for a time on Thursday, October 3rd, but it was back up by that afternoon after I protested the suspension via their suspension appeal process. I was able to post tweets on the 4th, but when I went to post tweets on the 5th, I found out that my account had been suspended again.

With the suspension, Twitter has directed me to the Twitter Rules page and the Following Best Practices help page, but they refuse to tell me what it is they claim I've done wrong. All I can figure is that they want me to guess what it is they think I did wrong. Have I been reported as posting spam because I post Tweets containing links to new items featuring my art and designs I add to my various shops or whenever I sell items? Do they claim I displayed aggressive following behavior the day I followed several accounts in one day? Or, did I innocently follow a spamming account? They won't tell me if I've been reported as a spammer. They won't tell me if I've been accused of aggressive following. They won't tell me if one of the accounts I follow is spamming and should be removed from my follow list, something I cannot do as long as my account remains suspended.

How am I supposed to correct bad behavior if I don't even know what it is I'm doing that is so bad? What is it i supposedly did that warranted a second suspension of my Twitter account? Will I lose my Twitter account over this? Is this some campaign by some malcontent to silence me on Twitter? Right now, I have a lot of questions, but very few answers. Believe me, I had A LOT to say to Twitter regarding this fiasco!

UPDATE: Twitter did lift the suspension on my account, but without much of an explanation other than to claim my account may have been compromised and have me reset my password.

How the Government Shutdown Affected Our Trip to Salem

While Michele and I had a good time in Salem yesterday, there were some things we couldn't do in Salem that we wanted to do because of the imbecilic federal shutdown. We could walk past the replica East Indiaman ship Friendship, but we couldn't go on it.  We could walk down Derby Wharf to the Derby Wharf Light, but we couldn't enter the buildings of the Salem Maritime National Historic Site. Even the restrooms that were right next to the bus drop-off, restrooms that are supposed to be the best public restrooms in Salem, were closed because of the idiotic shutdown!

Pictures From Salem, MA, Trip Oct 6th 2013











































Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Red Dragon Sells Yet Again...

It appears that I sold a Red Dragon of Wales Cutting Board through my Azure Lion Productions CafePress Shop to a customer in West Glamorgan, Wales. This isn't the first time that I've sold an item featuring my Red Dragon of Wales to a customer in Wales, and I hope it won't be the last!

Finally Made it to the Ocean!

 It may have taken me 45 years to get there, but I have finally seen the  ocean (the Atlantic, from on the pier and the beach next to the pier at The Willows Park in Salem , MA). I even put my hand in the waves lapping the sands of the beach and picked up a few seashells on the seashore.

This may sound ridiculously sentimental, but I had tears in my eyes as I looked out onto the waters of the Atlantic stretching out past the mouth of Beverly Harbor and merging into the grey horizon. It might have been a cloudy drippy day, but I didn't mind, It actually meant I could soak in the experience without a crowd ruining the moment.

Pictures to follow.