Image credit: Africa Studio/

I hear you scream still
In my fevered dream
Cloth cannot dull the tones
So harsh that claw within
A guilty mind
For this is what I find

I hear the guttural cry
You uttered as you died
The shroud I used did not atone
For the withered flesh
Sepulchral tones
Of drying bones

I sense your fetid breath
As you return beyond the veil
To claim revenge
And not surprised
I lift the cloth
To view your eyes
And let you take your prize

To dull your screams
I’ll join you in the endless dream
You wove of cloth
I once used
To dry you off
Your blood invades my mind
And this is what I find

(c ) Helen M Valentina. 2018

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Image credit: FOTOKITA/

After the deluge all I could remember were those last moments, and the hands.

The hands reaching out from the multitudes falling, grasping, hurtling into the other place, the void.

They opened that first portal despite all the warnings. Curiosity didn’t just kill the cat. I was just out of range, so I didn’t join them, thought the hands reaching were relentless. And I didn’t know in that moment if they reached out to have me pull them back, or to pull me though with them. Perhaps misery shared is a misery halved. Or maybe panic is thoughtless, and hands have no real intelligence or story to tell. They are just desperation, nothing more.

So few of us escaped them, the voids, for they thought they opened one, but it led to many, many doors, all over the world. This reality, this matrix if you will, split apart as easily as an over-ripe peach. And after it claimed so many, it closed the doors like mouths sated in the feed. But we never know if they will open again, if the hungry universes will again seek their due. And so we wait.

And I am haunted, very day, and even more at night when I try to sleep, by the hands. Reaching for me, always, reaching for the end. And all the horror I believe that would entail.

(c ) Helen M Valentina 2018

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They’re Here


Image credit: 3000ad/

“They’re here mom”
“What’s that dear? Look at the canyon, how grand it is! And the valley below! Stop fidgeting!”
“But no mom, they’re here!”
“My skirt wasn’t made for you to pull apart son! Can’t you just take in the view and enjoy our holiday? Does everything have to be about you? Look at this wonder!”
“No you look at the wonder, mom, look up!”
‘Little head in the clouds, you’ll never learn anything unless you look at what’s right in front of you!”
“But mom they’re right in front of you too! Look up!”
“Well if it will just settle you down I’ll…oh..oh my.”
“See mom?”
“They’re just flying above us!”
“Yes mom!”
“They’re real! Are they real? I mean, is it really what it looks like?”
“I think so mom.”
“What do you think they want?”
“How would I know? Perhaps they’re on holiday too.”
“Perhaps they are. Perhaps that’s it. Just looking at the canyon too.”
“I think they’re looking at us mom.”
“Don’t be silly son, it’s not all about you.”
“But why are they heading towards us mom?”
“What? What…oh my….”

(c ) Helen M Valentina 2018

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Image credit: Linda Blazic-Mirosevic/

I’m climbing beloved, answering your call.

In the atmosphere so thick, so star strewn, so vast, I climb.

Up the spiral staircase I ascend, answering your call.

Am I going up or down, I wonder, for which is which in space, in eternity? Clocks running backwards, songs sung in reverse, angels flickering around me wingless, sightless, silent.

Until I land, beloved, in this strange space.

On the floor a swirl of black and green I think is random, until I see. A map, beloved, of every planet, every constellation, ever dimension in all time and space. Beyond all time and space.

I am in a library, beloved, with the maps of the universe at my feet. And to my right shadowy bookshelves, lined with shadowy books. And in the strange spotlight beam are illuminated shadowy figures reading the books.

I am excited beloved and I call out your name. The shadows turn.

I suddenly realise I should not be here. It should not be possible that I came, on the wings of your call.

I should not be here at all.

And to speak your name here might be a form of blasphemy my beloved.

I feel their silent disapproval. I know it is not time for me to be here, not yet, not yet. I am a wilful child, up beyond my bedtime.

And in knowledge, suddenly, beloved, I fall. I fall down, down, past the staircase, past it all, into the shallow world below.

It was not time to know.

Not yet.

(c. ) Helen M Valentina

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God’s Face


Image credit: Volodymer Tverdokhlib/

On his sixteenth birthday they took him to the special church.

There, they said, he would undergo the trials and the tortures that would cleanse him, redeem him and make him worthy. Worthy to look upon it, to see it, at last. God’s face.

His elder bother had done this, three years ago. After that he was filled with zeal and became a missionary, taking the word out to the world. He wore the scars on his face with a fierce pride, making his younger brother envious.

But now it was his turn. His turn to suffer. His turn to rise.

He could endure anything, just for that promised moment. Anything.

And he did. Whips, chains, fire, knives and more. As second son he had a harder road. For it was believed that each child in succession was further from purity and had further to go.

Every boy, every boy, further than the one before. And girls never allowed. cherished, protected but never allowed to enter this special church.

He was glad he was second and last and that he did not have sisters, nor any younger brother who would need to ensure more. For he wanted to endure the most.

And he did.

Afterwards, bruised, broken and bereft of any real feeling, they carried him to the room. They lay him down and told him to look up, and that, in time, the face of God would be shown to him.

He waited hours, days. Nothing but the dark. A fever grew in his body, matching the one in his soul. He thought he might die, and if he did so before he saw God’s face, he would be lost. So he held on, and on, and on.

Till this day, when out of the dark the face came. Old, wild, strange. A pale, curious sight that was nothing like he had imagined. Just gazing at him, the ruination of his body, the near death tremors from his weakened limbs.

And god saw this, and saw that it was good.

If he had any moisture left in his body he would have cried tears of gratitude, but he was dry, so dry that when he spoke – when he croaked – that he had seen the face of god, they barely heard him.

Still they did, they came and they tended to his wounds, and in time he would be well.

For he had seen the face of God at last.

And it was good.

(c ) Helen M Valentina 2018

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Image credit: tobKatrina/

Your chrysalis becomes you
Little would be butterfly
Entrapment as transition
To live you first must die
And you will know the truth
By and by

You struggle in the confines
Such impatience butterfly!
You argue with your betters
You’re always asking why
But you will know the truth
By and by

You feel a violation
Wicked little butterfly
You can’t be born too early
You’ll never get to fly
If you don’t know the truth
By and by

This trap is of your making
Conceited butterfly
You yearned for all the glory
Fame and money yet could buy
But you will see the truth
By and by

We bring you not for birthing
We bring you here to die
And you will know the truth
By and by

(c ) Helen M Valentina 2018

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Image credit: Dmytro Bulanskyi/

She did not know she was possessed for the longest time.

No-one did.

She didn’t act like someone possessed. Not like in the movies anyway. She didn’t talk in other languages or curse people. She didn’t writhe on a dirty bed made dirtier by her own bodily fluids and desecration.

She did none of these things.

She seemed kind. She seemed sane. She was part of the normal, secular world, and would have laughed if you talked of religious things. She was a scientist, she would have said, studying the truly strange: quantum physics. That is far stranger than folklore, she would have said.

Perhaps she was right.

But it could be, I suppose, that the science she pursued was a portal of sorts. A way of the arcane to come though, on the wings of lofty science. Who knows? She would tell you odd stories about experiments, and at times sounded almost mystical when she did. But if you had suggested anything like that she would have castigated you for superstition and old-time thinking.

That is until the night she was almost mugged.

And I say almost advisedly.

She told me about that later, much later, for it took a long time for her to come to terms with what happened. With how she changed when under attack. With what she became. And with what became of the mugger, and the less said about that the better.

She became more than herself, less than herself, a wild and totally external force, moving within her, reaching out through her, taking down its prey. Protecting her perhaps, this vessel, this scientist, the new unknowing priest of the most ancient of religions.

“I didn’t know I was possessed,’ she told me eventually. She surveyed the charts and equations in her study, hung up around the room. “I was looking out there so long I didn’t know what I was looking at, or what might be looking right back at me, all that time.”

I tried to comfort her at first. I tried to reach out to embrace her, hug away her dismay and pain, but she recoiled.

“I cannot trust touch now, not at all,” she said. “Not after that. I do not know what it might awaken.”

I stepped back. I will admit it frightened me, that she frightened me now. For I thought I saw it, flickering in her eyes, and for a moment an entirely other face, superimposed on hers – wild, ancient, animalistic.

I do not now. Perhaps I imagined that. But I could never have imagined this woman of science claiming to be possessed without a real reason to do so.

I did pity her, it’s true, even if it seemed she held the most terrible guardian within. But I couldn’t stay, not with her, not anymore. Because I kept wondering why it protected her, what it wanted her to become.

What she would, inevitably, have to become, with that inside.

I do not want to know.

(c ) Helen M Valentina 2018

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Image credit: P.3.P.O/

At the shop we wait to be fitted.

Since the singularity we all look the same at first. All bland, featureless, still, like those old mannequins you see in storybooks of the past.

This has its advantages. Also like those figures we are perfectly proportioned, every one of us, and the lack of necessity of food in this new world means none of us ever gain weight or lose that perfect form.

Of course one might say that perfection ceases to be a meaningful concept when everyone has attained it, but they are the negative ones. They look back to the past with a kind of aberrant nostalgia. When they go to their fitting they try to approximate that past. Some put on bulkier clothes to look less perfect. Some ask for deformities to be built in to their ‘wardrobe’. There is a group that does statistics on this, to determine how best to re-imagine the past, where issues like competition, discrimination, pain and conflict abounded.

I do not understand why they want that. A little loss of individuality is such a small price to pay for the freedom of similarity we now enjoy.

And when we go for our fitting we can ask for a bit of colour, a bit of artistry, to make us stand out, just a little, little bit.

But not too much, unless you are one of them, those that won’t assimilate. Those silly people with their silly history.

After the fitting we can be a little bit us as individuals and a lot of us as a whole. That’s much, much better, and thinking differently is a stupid disease of the mind.

All the sensible people know that.

(c ) Helen M Valentina

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The End


Image credit: Igor Zh/

The end, they say, came with fire and fury.

Above us the sky became a golden war field, beautiful and dread. Power beyond understanding, likened only to the gods, but formed from science and with the wicked determination of mankind. A beautiful, dreadful finality, like fireworks in hell.

For those that watched, it burned their retinas like an eclipse might do. The last sight ever seen, and so wondrous, that perhaps that was enough to assuage the loss.

For here, in the ‘other place’ we are what we were in those last moments, frozen like a butterfly held under glass, pinned down to an eternity perhaps of nothing more than beingness in the void.

There is no passageway to a heaven though the terrible evil of the end. There is no descent to hell when the sins of all rival all here. We are all complicity, all failed, all lost. Waiting in a limbo of what we were the moment of the end.

Blind, those that watched reach to each other, but each is always a bare moment away.  Even those that held to others the last moment are now separate, alone.

I did not watch the fireworks, so I can see them, but that is little consolation, a bittersweet ability that provides no comfort and no utility here. It might be better to be blind.

They speak of the end, of the fire and fury. Some still express surprise that it even happened. We waited on the brink for so long and nothing ever, ever happened, so how could anything ever, ever happen?

But all it was, this end, was just a different choice. Nothing more and nothing less.

And now we wait in eternity to ponder that simple fact. And we wait together but we wait alone.

(c) Helen M Valentina 2018

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Image credit: Yupa Watchanakit/

His father told him of the Templar god.

“Many men died for this idol,” he said. “Dignified, heroic, in torture and pain.”

“And why would men die for an idol?” he asked, his eyes wide as he gazed at the animal skull, tracing its form in the photo in the book in his lap.

“Men always die for some idol or other,” his father said. “It is in the way of the soul and of belief. And the idols that some men die for are demonised by others, who then die for their idols in their turn. Everyone seeks.”

“Seeks what father?”

“Truth, power, meaning. And for some reason they feel this comes best through the blood of others, and when that fails, through their own blood. Their sacrifice to an idea, and concept, or something more. Who can say?”

“How did they die father?”

“Some in torture chambers, some on the stake, burning. Terrible, terrible.”

“Do we believe in anything worth that father?” the young boy asked. He couldn’t think of anything. He loved his toys, his mobile phone, his television. Would he die for any of those? None looked as old, as mysterious, as this photo.

“We believe what we are told to believe,” his father said. “Through our new ministries. The media, politics, all of that. Soulless some may say, and yet they still stir the soul. And if you watch closely in your tv shows, your movies, you will see the Templar god, over and over. He endures, a symbol beyond time. Perhaps the Templars did not die in vain in the end. Perhaps they knew something we do not.”

“So should we believe in the Templar god father?”

His father took the book from him and shut it. He pondered the question for a long time.

“Perhaps,” he said finally. “Perhaps we already do.”

(c ) Helen M Valentina 2018

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