“Ashen Murder” – Act I – Scene 3

Artwork by Linda Lobo (more of her work HERE).




Scene 3

The village market square; the next morning. A thick smoke still enshrouds the village centre. Curiously, the rats have already picked clean the bones of the town crier. The Maiden of Ash rests under the shadow of what was to be her untimely grave. She has just awaken. The tips of her silvery strands of hair seem to have blackened over night – probably just some soot from yesterday’s fire.


“The Witch in White” – what a disgrace,
To be hauled like cattle and debased.

‘Tis I who grew their forests grand
Which they turned to barren land;

‘Tis I who veers their fawns and deers
And brings them ‘fore their feeble spears;

‘Tis I who made their fam’lies whole,
Yet they tied me to a pole?!

I’ve taught them songs of harp and lyre,
Yet they cast me to the fire?!

Was it dream… or memory,
Our darkest “remedy”?
Was it real… or revery?
Was he here or… where is he?

[THE MAIDEN OF ASH stands and picks up a raven’s feather off the ground.]

I called his name, to flame defiant
And he found me on a whim.
Now he’s somewhere seething silent –
Now it’s my turn to find him.

“Ashen Murder” – Act I – Scene 2

Artwork by Linda Lobo (more of her work HERE).




Scene 2

The village market square; midnight. Lightning dances and flickers behind a curtain of thick clouds. The Maiden of Ash is tied up to a stake with elm branches piled at the bottom. She knows she is scared – they do not. She appears calm and collected, but isn’t. The gleaming shades of her hair and her seemingly glowing pale skin glisten in the faint light of the torches. Cowering together on the other side are the simpletons, facing the pyre, with The Town Crier as their front-man; they haven’t slept in ages. They are uneasy.


Hear ye, hear ye –
The blessed gods did speak to me
And brought-they forth – their might, praise be –
The Witch in White for all to see!

The Witch in White for us to see!

Lady of Matches, your favour I seek,
Warm the hearts of the cruel and bleak!

Behold, my brothers and beware –
Before the gods does she declare!
She speaks in riddles of her kin;
The Devil dances deep within!

Purge the witches of their sin!

Matron of Ember,
Remember, remember
The day they smouldered your sisters dear;
And may I surrender,
Sweet Matron of Ember,
To the fire that kindles the hatred in fear!

You will utter no more your blasphemous spurn;
If it’s fire you seek, tonight you shall burn!
The gods did speak – they showed me the light;
Make peace with your devils and may you burn bright!

Burn the Witch, The Witch in White!

[THE TOWN CRIER throws his torch on the elm pyre; the SIMPLETONS cheer violently.]

Ravenlord, oh, Ravenlord,
Aid me in my darkest hour;
Speak through me your darkest word;
Descend from your darkest tower!

No longer will we quail and cower!

Oh, Crowfather, heed my call!
Lend me unforgiving sight;
Let me see the rise and fall
Of thy feathers’ darkest flight!

Burn the Witch, The Witch in White!

Lord of Ravens, Ravenlord,
Lend me strength and will to fight;
Let me be your darkest sword;
Let me live another night!

Burn the Witch, The Witch in White!

[Enter THE RAVENLORD slowly clapping from behind the crowd of SIMPLETONS; the rain pours down and extinguishes the pyre; THE MAIDEN OF ASH remains tied to the stake with her head down and her eyes closed.]

A fine performance, what a feat!
A cornered kitten, what a treat!
You people sure look like trouble
With your rags and piles of rubble.

The scripts were right! The gods spoke true!

That’s quite enough out of you.

[At the hand gesture of THE RAVENLORD, THE TOWN CRIER collapses dead to the ground.]

Burn the Witch, The Witch in White!

Get out of my bloody sight.

[The crowd of SIMPLETONS dissipates and leaves in all directions.]

“Witch in White” – what a disgrace.
Tasteless name for such a face;
And what a face… I cannot place…
I feel as though memory betrays.
And that voice, I can’t compare…
Don’t I know you from somewhere?

“Ashen Murder” – Act I – Scene 1

Hey folks! Long time no write, right? Wrong!

This is what I’ve been working on for the past three months or so. Well, not all of it, just a teaser. To keep it manageable for people who’d rather not have to read an entire play in one go, I’ll be posting the entirety of the text scene by scene. Keep in mind that this is not supposed to be the stage-ready version of the piece but rather a published variant.

Most of the inspiration for the play and the incentive to keep on writing it has been provided by my very close friend Linda Lobo, who is also responsible for all the artwork included in and affiliated with the play. More of her art can be found HERE.



“Ashen Murder”


A Play in 3 Acts




The Ravenlord: Appears to be a man in his 40’s. A perpetually dark and troubled individual; prefers to hide his unrest behind a smile – he’s very bad at it.
The Maiden of Ash: A woman in her early 20’s. Her thoughts always seem to drift elsewhere. She seems shy, but isn’t. She is regarded as naive, but she does not know the word.
Corax: A raven; one of Ravenlord’s advisers. Constantly seething, almost shaking with anger. Addicted to cigars.
Cornix: Another raven and adviser to the Ravenlord. Always in a jolly good disposition; never skips a chance to flirt with anything that moves. Wears a hat or a hood to hide the gruesome scar on his right eye.
The Matron of Ember: A few centuries old witch. To call her a bitter and venomous shrew would be a grave understatement.
The Lady of Matches: Also a witch; only six minutes younger than her sister, Matron of Ember; appears to be a tall and beautiful woman in her early 30’s. Her smile is a rare sight… but what a sight, indeed…
The Town Crier: An old man in his 70’s. As wise as a rabid dog; as eloquent as a drunkard on death row. He reeks of manure – and despair.
Simpletons: A collective of raggedy peasants, layabouts and overall morons – all that’s left of this god-forsaken village. Somehow.


Scene 1

Atop The Ravenlord’s Tower. It is close to midnight and a storm is brewing. The Ravenlord is very bored today; he sits upon his elm throne sighing with every breath. Corax is perched cross-legged atop his elm roost with a cigar in his tattered beak, a small jest away from bursting into chaos. Cornix is leaning on the edge of the tower with a wing behind his back and another holding his hat from falling; he has never looked so heartbroken.


And here I thought “no chance in Hell
That I’d toy with such a dame”
Such a flame inside her heart, oh well,
Such a pity, such a shame…
I only wish…

Shut up, peacock, you’re to blame!

If the gentleman’s dissatisfied,
I suggest he joins the bride.

When I’m finished with your hide,
You will wish that you had died…
Instead of…

Perhaps she’s not quite yet dead, love.

I beg of you both, leave me be;
I’ve no need for “remedy”
If your presence is involved –
And no more talk of peace and love.

Sire, we truly do sympathise –

Then leave the corners of my eyes!
I relieve you of your ties.

But my lord, he’s right, for once –
The damnable deluded dunce.


We’ve all got poisons, what’s the fuss?

What will you do without us?

Ease your talons, ’twas a jest…

Our Ravenlord knows best.

Tell me, friends, do you recall
The day I stood atop this tower
For the first time, proud and tall
In my glorious darkest hour?

As if it were yesterday.

The day I soared with song and sorrow,
The first day my wings did sway…

As if it were tomorrow.

I do not, I bring to light –
I’m not quite myself tonight.

[CORAX and CORNIX leave.]

But what is this?

“The Big Question”

Hey folks, been a while! I’ve started writing this like an hour ago.


“The Big Question”

Leaning low, all weak and wary,
Gleaming, glowing bleak and scary,

My own limbs I lug and carry
With a struggle temporary.

I’ve prettied up, I’ve donned my clothes,
I’ve trimmed up all my frigid toes.

They stare in awe, the whole world knows –
I am frankly indisposed.

I’ve limped through this town far and wide
And all I see is black and white;

And everything I smell smells like
Roses and formaldehyde.

Far and wide, this I must stress,
For they surely seemed impressed

As I limped and crawled distressed,
Just to find your new address.

I long for your prolonged affection,
To spite your husband, I must mention

And though I’d stay for a dissection,
To ruin your evening’s digestion,

I kneel humbly ‘fore your mansion
With a most arduous question:

My sweet and fleshy Anne-Marie,
Will you bury me?

“Velvet – Donnie’s Statement”

This is the followup of a recent creation. A second chapter, if you will; you can find it HERE for your convenience.

Let me know what you think!

“Velvet – Donnie’s Statement”

It was sixty past eleven when
The thunder shook my sleep away,
Begging again and again
For me to find reasons to stay;

So I took my ragged duster
From the rack it solely reigned
And I drove faster and faster
On the streaming narrow lanes;

And there she bled, my paramour,
Hunched forth in her velvet car,
With velvet stains of Eleanor
In front of her favourite bar.

In her deathly grip I found
Words that echoed through my head
And upon the velvet ground,
I pried her fingers and I read:

“Dear Donnie, my dearest dog,
I might have hidden what was true,
I know you loved my latest song,
But it was not meant for you.

I’ve become somebody now,
I don’t need your sympathy,
I don’t need the velvet gown
That you’ve commissioned for me.

I’ve no time for pretty words,
Please don’t write me anymore.
You knew this was gonna’ hurt.”
Signed “Yours, Velvet Eleanor”.

…And there I stood besides her car
In the waning fading lights,
With velvet stains of Eleanor
Draining down the sewage pipes.

I wanted to burn that letter,
So a match I slid and struck,
But the velvet got it wetter –
I was sorely out of luck.

I never liked that witless song,
Yet it always made me smile,
Made the world just seem less wrong;
It got old after a while…

I don’t need no Eleanor
To jive and swing inside my heart.
I don’t need no velvet whore
To stain the concrete with my art.

I bought the bar where she performed
And every night I hear the song
That she sang to me before
I became her “dearest dog”.

With each echoing encore,
I dream in every shade of red.
Sometimes I miss my Eleanor,
But, frankly… I’m glad she’s dead.



Ancient notes hum once again –
Echoes through the deep,
Deathknell to forgotten friends,
Ode to my defeat.

I cannot remember when
I last shut my eye
Without dreaming of the end
I witness tonight.

They breathe around my gasping throat,
Mocking misery,
Whispering the pain I wrote –
The chains that bind me.

They drag my cadaver afloat
With a joyous clink;
Sweeter than the hearts I broke
Is the poison that I drink.

Tragedies don’t feel the same
Since my smile’s been sold,
For he, who is one with the flame
…Has never felt so cold.

Thought I’d fallen deep enough
Into the scarlet sea,
But there she spoke, she called my bluff –
The chains that bind me.

Vengeful are the ancient notes –
Echoes of my fear,
Whispering the pain I wrote
Back into my ear.

Rusted are my dying arts
In the scarlet sea;
Though vile and grimy, they are
The chains that bind me.

The drowning notes now wail among
The waning briny kelp,
Yet, this time, it’s no love song –
…It’s a cry for help.

“Nothing Speaks”

An incoherent mess that somehow made enough sense to me to decide to post it.


“Nothing Speaks”

Speak to me, my nothingess –
What have we become?
Nothing stands, for nothing is
Like when we’d begun.

Scream into my ear, I pray,
Take me unaware.
To everything I fear I say,
Eat my heart laid bare.

I beg for only but a whisper,
To disturb the sand,
The silent suffering of winter –
The nothing that I am.

Just a breath, my nothingness,
A voice to call my own…
Nothing speaks, for nothing is;
And I stand alone.