Mr Movie Man


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Please Mr Movie man
Turn out the lights
Show me the new release
I will delight
As all the actors dance
Maybe they’ll sing
I will be satisfied
With anything
If please Mr Movie man
You just start the show
It’s still so dark in here
No-one will know

Please Mr Movie man
I’m just a ghost
And it’s my movie nights
I miss the most
All of my family
Lost down below
Give me some comfort now
On with the show
It’s still so dark in here
I’m so alone
Play me a movie now
Let this be home

© Helen M Valentina 2019

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The Nuns of Saint Claire


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Beware they said
The nuns of Saint Clare
Don’t go there they said
Never go there
For they’ll eat you alive
It’s how they survive
The terrible nuns of Saint Claire

None spared they said
The nuns of Saint Claire
Do not care they said
For your despair
Their souls are sold
For riches and gold
The terrible nuns of Saint Claire

They’ll stare they said
The nuns of Saint Claire
From the stair they said
Hovering there
Demon possessed
Blood rite obsessed
The terrible nuns of Saint Claire

© Helen M Valentina 2019

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The Search Party


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He stayed out past the time the search party gave up.

He knew he was probably searching for her ghost now, his little girl, because he knew the statistics of time and missing children and he knew the rumours of this town.

He should never have come here, damn the job, damn the opportunity to hell. But when his wife died he’d been so adrift, with only his little girl and his ambition to give any purpose to life. And so he came here, to this place, where career opportunities beckoned so sweetly, even though he’d read the newspaper stories about it.

About how kids went missing here, all the damn time….

Because that was what happened to others, not him, surely?

But then, he should have known better. Because losing your wife to cancer so young happened to others too, didn’t it? So how could he feel so safe really? So lucky, so clearly able to beat the odds?

He was the bloody odds. He should have seen it. But there are none so blind as those who will not see.

And now, now in the depths of the forest, his little light so weak, he was truly blind. He called her name, but it was ashes on his tongue. He knew. He knew she was gone. And in his heart of hearts, though he yearned to see her – if only her ghost – he wanted the comfort of thinking she was with her mother now, and the ignorance, the blindness of never knowing what happened to her in those final moments.

But still he searched, weariness a constant companion, almost beckoning the night to take him also, to take him home. To kill him too.

© Helen M Valentina 2019


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Girl Power


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In my town ‘girl power’ means something different

I know what it means in comics and movies. I know it’s all about super powers and aliens, or magical suits, or being bitten by spiders or some such rot.

And I know of recent times ‘diversity’ has meant that girls get centre stage more often in those stories and those myths. About time too, but I don’t really care.

Because here, here, girl power is real. Girl power is the power of nurture and nature, of life and death. Of the blood and of the harvest. And we are revered here, and trained for it, from birth.

It runs in our veins and it is the touch of my blade, the clean clear cut of the corn and the sacrifices made. We choose the time, we choose the place, we choose the ones offered. Boys, always boys. Because here, here girls have all the power.

As it should be.

We don’t need magic. We are magic. We don’t need spaceships. We just fly. And we don’t need superpowers to vanquish our enemies. We rule the harvest, the moon and the corn.

And that’s all the girl power we would ever need.

© Helen M Valentina 2019

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Older Gods


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They said the older gods were returning.

They kept skulls of animals to approximate their gods. She liked the skulls very much. She could feel their power and promise when she held them. She could almost hear the gods on their travels, coming home at last.

They’d been gone so long.

She shouldn’t have touched the skulls. She knew. It was forbidden. But no-one knew she did, only her.

And she felt a communion with them that might have horrified the others if they’d understood what it meant. But they didn’t know. They thought their little religions and their little rituals held the mystery and power.

So little did they know.

But she knew.

She knew the old gods were returning because she felt them there already, running in her veins as her blood, as she held their skulls.

She was born for this. For this returning. For this time. Her coming was a signal, her birth a herald. But they didn’t see it, because the birth of a girl would never be considered such.

Ah, but there it was, how perfectly the old gods tricked the faux faithful. There was truth greater, and simpler, than their recitations, their incantations, their spells and their schemes.

And they would know in time, but only when They returned.

And then she would rejoice.

© Helen M Valentina 2019

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Black Cat


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Black cat watching
Deep in the night
Spring out one moment
Kill us with fright
Black cat purring
Stalking its prey
Who will survive till
Sweet break of day?

Black cat omen
Witches and spells
All of your secrets
Nobody tells
Black cat fortunes
Tricksters and lies
By the morning
Which of us dies?

© Helen M Valentina 2019


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Night Stalker


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He was a night stalker. Her night stalker.

He came in the dark of the night, pitch black like his heart, a shadowy form at one with the shadowy realms.

He never touched her, just watched her sleep. There was a kind of strange, distorted tenderness to it perhaps. A vigil, watching over her. But then, who knew what might have happened if she had woken and had seen him there. Would he be protector then, or the one she needed protection from?

It never came to that. He was quiet and careful. He imbued his very essence in the house so that during the day she would sometimes startle at something, and turn around quickly, expecting to see something or someone. But there was nothing, just the invisible imprint of his nightly visits, speaking to her unconscious in a language she could not understand.

This lasted years and never changed. She changed, she grew, she lived her life. But the nights were the same, and belonged to him.

Until one night, for no apparent reason, he did not come. And then another night he was absent, and then another. Till eventually the house knew, at least, that he was gone.

Had passion died, or transferred its perverse obsession to another? Or had he died, or been force to leave town?

She never knew he was there in the first place, so of course could never know why he had gone. But something in the darkened hallways seemed to miss him from then on, their ghostly, ghastly visitor. And that sadness and loss seeped into her until she left the place, moved on, never really knowing why.

Leaving the house completely alone.

© Helen M Valentina 2019

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Image Credit: Ilkin Zeferli/

Don’t be a die-baby
Don’t make us die
Never a cry-baby
Only we cry
Over our heads
See how you fly
We’ll never catch you
We’ll never try

Dear little die-baby
Mercy is sweet
Don’t make us sigh, baby
Fall at your feet
Dear little demon
You know too well
We’re too afraid to
Fall down to hell

Please little die-baby
Don’t sing your song
Even on high, baby
You can’t belong
We’d much prefer
A sweet lullaby
Please little die-baby
Don’t make us die

© Helen M Valentina 2018

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The White Lady


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After a while the people stopped visiting the house. It didn’t matter how grand the estate was, or what the purple prose of the advertising said.

‘Come see a place as close to Pemberley as you’d ever imagine’ they said to the literary minded. “Come see a place even the Kardashians would envy’ they said to those addicted to social media. ‘Come see a place where the elite would party’ they’d say to the socially ambitious.

And it all worked for a time. But only for a time.

Because they all started to see her. The White Lady.

And she wasn’t Lizzie Bennett, that’s for sure. Nor a selfie-obsessed starlet, nor an incipient mistress of the universe either. She was something else entirely.

Something that made you look away the moment you saw her to save your very eyes from burning in their sockets. Something that wailed and shrieked like a true banshee, making you stop up your ears and run. Something so clinging, so needy, you could almost feel her sepulchral touch from metres away, and you’d turn and run from such a ghostly embrace because you feared – no, you knew – your very life depended upon it.

They tried to just shut off the room she first appeared in, but she could travel through walls. They tried ghost hunters, but they ran away. They tried an exorcist, but he died of a heart attack in the middle of a failed ceremony.

They tried everything, but she just stayed, an imprint indelible on the house, unable to be removed.

Eventually the once hopeful owners tried to sell the house, but word had travelled too fast. They had their very own white elephant, in the guise of a manor house haunted by the White Lady.

I heard it bankrupted them, and that might have been enough. But no, she stayed.

They kept the house because they had to, right up to the day they both died. They died together – maybe naturally, maybe not. Either way, talk about a deceased estate!

I wonder if they’ve joined her now. It was their house too, after all. And if in the afterlife they can stand her company.

But I’m never going to go check! I mean really, would you?

© Helen M Valentina 2018

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She offered herself for the ritual. It was to be her twin sister, but she loved her sister too much. She said take me, and so they did.

She was a believer, she always spoke in mystical terms, and saw her life as a way station. So for her, this passage was maybe easier, even an honour.

She knew how it would be, how hard, how painful, how terrifying. We all knew. It was part of the doctrine. From the age of five we learned the litanies, the prayers to the dead, the offering verses. We knew what accompanied them.

We honoured the fallen, those that went before. So we would honour her. And her sister would live, and the world would turn another year, and the crops would be blessed, and by the time another ritual fell due her sister would be too old. So it would fall to another family of the faithful.

To know this was enough for her.

Her sister wept, she wailed, she argued that it should not be so, for she was first born of the two, and she loved her sister also. But the laws of the ritual were set in stone. One was chosen, and one could offer themselves instead, and once done, no further change could be allowed – even a return to the first chosen.

She had kept her plan to herself so her sister could not offer herself twice, negating the offer of another. This had happened once, many years before, a precaution taken from similarly sisterly love. So she kept still the tongue and pretended to be happy she was spared, and proud of her sister.

But she loved her sister, far too much. So she spoke when it was opportune, and now she goes to the ritual, never to return.

Blessed be her bravery. Blessed be the town. Blessed be us all.

(c ) Helen M Valentina 2018


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