Rot In The Woods

At first, it was a faint whisper. “Brains…” he moaned, then as he stumbled by the trees and came closer to her, reaching out for her shoulder. “Brains…” came even louder, this time…

At the edge of the woods, a blood-curdling wail…

It was too late for her to run from his grip. They embraced in a close disheveled lock. His mouth made contact, teeth ripping into neck flesh with a hunger she couldn’t imagine. For him meat and blood were life. As he feed, her screams turned into gurgles, her body slumped against him. His strength grew immensely as he fed, his hands spoiled with blood and soil. For a moment he pressed his right palm into her face, then continued to eat the back of her neck, as one single teardrop slid out the corner of her dead eyes…And so it was done.

It didn’t take long before she woke…not alive, but not dead. So her fate was is his, to meander about the black woods…with an endless hunger…

This original short story, essay is written and copyrighted by Juana M. Gumbs. All photography was made/taken by Ms. Gumbs, all rights are reserved by her in October 2022 (C)


Sequence: My Garden Overflow (Short Story)

Most avoid looking directly into the sun, but I embrace it. Laying on the plush grass making contact with the Beloved while the glare penetrate my every core and seeps into my minds eye. I am wide open to receive it’s code.

“Blessed sun take me where no one else can go, your warmth is unlike any other,” I said while my arms are out stretched, welcoming. “Possess me, Creator, I need to draw strength from your being.” I lay there, arms garnering the unseen forces that come to me, alone on this earth, hugged by only nature.

It came soft and caressed me, entering first from my arms, then the cavity of my chest which made me groan slightly. It was not painful, more so, it was as though I was being filled up, brought to life as though I was a tree, feeding. It flowed down and up within my limb stems and leaves. I lay sighing, short gasps, the oxygen escaping me. “This is love,” I responded.

This original short story, essay is written on the fly and copyrighted by Juana M. Gumbs. All photography was made/taken by Ms. Gumbs, all rights are reserved by her in February 2022 (C)

The Unsent Message To Niine – A Short Story

Benevolent One. My Niine, The Crown Upon My Head, and as if I wasn’t clear before, I would say it loudly to your beloved face if I could, as you are profound in your own creation and I yearn for it.

I miss your essence. Your reluctance to say and do sentimental things, listening to you speak about those elements and ideas that excites you and you are so passionate about all of it. I want to be there when life makes you livid and you need to vent and release, without input, just listening…the journey with you, has been an incredible one so far. 

I don’t expect anything from you in this immediate point in time. I just want you to know my thoughts and feelings and that I am very distraught for hurting yours. It doesn’t change how you feel about me in this current time.  So, Beloved, Benevolent One…i am patiently waiting…come home to me.

Many, many moons ago, a friend of mine turned to me and said, “love is…a funny and complicated animal.”

This original Essay/Short Story is written and copyrighted by Juana M. Gumbs. All rights are reserved by her in July 2021 (C)

Red Eyes, Dim Thoughts – Poetry

The bawling never subsides

The claim

Then the realization that absolutely nothing can be done


Lingers like the aroma of dead flowers scattered under a Magnolia tree

The essence of what was

Is distant

And I squint my eyes exceptionally hard to see the horizon beyond a hazy oasis

My mouth so arid

It is as though I draw breath through the sand in an emense heat

Choking, sobbing in my hands

While I gag

These original poem (poetry) are written and copyrighted by Juana M. Gumbs. All rights are reserved by her in May 2021 (C)

Journal: Am I a Narcissist?

How would you feel if someone constantly tells you that you are a narcissist? Do you believe it, research it to see if this describes you? Do you go to a therapist for a mental evaluation to see if you are one? I’m at a loss as to what I should do. Can someone tell me where to start or what I can do to get help?


No matter how far into the future you run, you cannot escape your past. All that talk about leaving behind the past and starting anew makes no difference to the past, especially if the pasts still remembers you. Especially if the past is fucked up, alive and has vengence in its heart. Its coming for you.

This dream, actually, this nightmare begins in a two-story home. The home I llived in as a child. It was dark and dismal, natural since nothing really good happened in that house. It was a place of living nightmares at times. From time to time I can actually recall a memory that was light and lifted.. Often if I “dream” about this house it is often a nightmare. This time was as no other.

So, I kinda left my ex and his family behind some years back. Let us just say that I was very close to his mother and sister, and as time went by and I separated from their son and brother, our relationship was broken as well.

In this nightmare, my ex’s sister was performing a damning ritual against me. She was in my childhood home, willing malice into being and preparing it to seek me out. As she mixed a concoction on rats blood, petrified wood shavings, baby’s breath, a sizable portion of my kinky hair and castor oil to bind, she hummed a tune to herself. In this nightmare, I hovered in my astral body while she invoked this spell upon me. I was terrified, but at the same time understanding. Probably part of my guilt. As she mixed and ground the spells contents with her mortar and pestle, I felt myself let go of the guilt I felt from those past entanglements. For some reason, at first I thought the spell was to hex me, damn me for eternity, but instead it was one that freed me, healed me and sent me on my way to make a better future for myself in relationships that I have presently and for the future.

We remember dreams for a reason.

Thank you for reading about my dream I had this afternoon. I figure my dreams or nightmares make light to things I probably don’t want to reconcile within myself. I remember in order to bring light to some things I need to grow out of and consciously face.

This original blog post and short story was written and copyrighted by Juana M. Gumbs. All rights are reserved by her. April 2020 (C)

SHORT SERIES: Blood Tears – Luna Transformatio (Episode 2)

Please read the first episode before reading this one — Episode 1 –

Week 1

“You are strong enough; I will tell you why…” Tania Kumaran said to Lilia. “You were chosen for a very good reason. I refuse to believe my intuitions was wrong about you. Your blood type makes it possible that this process will only amplify your senses and your majic. I do not make mistakes.” Tania stood with her legs slightly apart, in front of Lilia. Lilia, who was so shaken and broken on the cement floor sitting in a pool of her eternal blood. The blood that made her, the blood Tania sacrificed from her own body to share. To provide a new existence for this fragile being before her. “I’m telling you that you were destined for this transformation. I showed you what I can do. I have the capacity to know the chosen. I’ve been searching since before time was ever recorded. I have had practice and claimed others as myself, to transform. I tasted it in your blood a year ago.” Lilia looked at both her hands. At least her crying and tears subsided. Wasting the blood on tears of regret, it angered Tania.

Lilia, the creature in transformation, just looked at her own bloody hands the entire time as Tania began another speech.  “You were too well informed about this process to have any regret. I told you the process, how you would feel…what would happen to you? I gave you a choice” Tania paused. She realized a few things, Lilia is not emotionally or psychologically sound at this moment, but her physical strength is building into the monster Tania prefers. “Your rare blood type is the secret link to what you will become. Bear with the agony now. I can only support your recovery of the physical transformation, the Luna Transformatio will take place until the moon completes one full cycle. The pain is part of the process.” Of course, as a natural predator to humans will be a big adjustment.

Week one transformation schedule is the most complicated, being that there are physical adjustments due to the change in DNA. Majic is also involved. Majic in this reality is more closely related to nature. Nature is part of majic, how it evolves, bends, alter itself, never breaking. Nature always found a way around or beyond anything. When nature activates, there are three intensions, they are to create, multiply and die, the constant cycle of all life. They are the most important in the balance of the universe. When a star dies, another is actualizing somewhere out there in the abyss. This is also the manner of things here on earth. Energy is just transferred while mass can be altered or eradicated, nature decides. This process is also like the lunar transformation and its transformational stages. First, Lilia will feel the joints, muscles and bones in her body reinforcing themselves. Even in her mouth and jaws there are changes providing elongated canine teeth all which can cause unfathomable discomfort and soreness. During that time, she would switch from eating food to devouring blood. Her appetite will diminish for the junk foods, delicacies and animals she digested as a human. Her digestion will become, simpler. In order for her to survive this process, staving off insanity, she would have to conjure calm in these intense moments. First the pain hits the body like a Mack truck, then as the weeks pass it will become small tremors throughout.

Tania relaxes her stance before Lilia, she began to inform her of the completion of the last physiological stages in a few hours. “Lilia, come here. Follow me to take a shower and rinse yourself of your sorrows, sore joints and muscles. You would have an herbal bath after. The herbal bath would ease the tension in your body. Makes it sigh. No more crying from here on out. No matter what. I detest it. Remember you asked for all of this. Remember?” Tania allowed those last words to reverberate off the walls in the room. Tania moved so swiftly, Lilia only remember blinking and Tania was in another part of the room. Eight feet away, Tania began to whisper to Lilia and said, “Your senses will be heightened, and even a whisper will feel as though it is a roar.” Then, in her normal speaking voice she said, “All of your five senses will become an invisible orb of 360 degrees around you. You will no longer to be grounded by your former human limitations. Sight, taste, smell, touch and hearing will be evolved as well as your intuition and some psychic capabilities. In some cases, projecting mental images to conceal yourself. Though you are biologically stronger, and your body is denser, you are almost weightless. You would move so fast it would look like a blink in time.” Lilia looked at her now, steady and focused. Tania looked at her sideways, a smirk on her face. “First, let us get you out of this place and someplace less…damning.”

To be continued…Look out for the next episode.

Disclaimer: This is a Short Series that I created from my own imagination and at whim. This is the second episode but please read previous episodes first before reading new episode posts. All photography was taken by me. Thank you so much for your support. Please comment, criticize, make suggestions or say “hi”.

This is an original work of fiction imagined, created and copyrighted in 2019 by Juana M. Gumbs. All rights are reserved by her.

Brief Narrative: IT ROTS IN THERE…

It was said that Malisa’s grandmother, Irene, was a witch and that she dealt with majic that was treacherous and unnatural. Irene would gather in secret sessions with other men and women with similar dealings in her small hut, behind her home. It was rumored that she would summon bad luck and creatures to swallow souls of anyone she deemed a threat to her or her family. The majic of many was born in those secret sessions. Majic from all of Africa. Not that majic in Africa is dark or evil, no. Not all majic was bad, but Irene only wanted it as dark and as black as the space between stars. During these sessions, the majic they conjured would emit an odor of burnt wood, decay, putrefaction and they would say, “it rots in there…”

The remembrance long past, but it lasts and lasts.

The church itself was made of stone, that was laid, between them was cement. I recall the smell of Frankincense and Myrrh and Ms. Ana’s dewy floral perfume as she rocked in her seat before the service began. As a twelve-year-old, I felt helpless and uneasy being that this was my very first funeral. For comfort, I invited Malisa, my best friend, to lay her head on my shoulder. Ms. Ana, Malisa’s mother, slid her eyes close, humming the tune that the congregation sung at the time. “How great though art…” they sung, their voices rising and falling throughout the hymn. The funeral began without mourners want or permission. The catholic priest, Father Mitchell, came down the aisle first dressed in his robes. Malisa’s mother stood up, but her knees buckled, and her forehead beaded with sweat. Mr. Ben, Malisa’s father, along with his brothers emerged from the back of the church to accompany the dark blue coffin that entombed their beloved mother. All five men surrounded the casket, walking solemnly alongside it with their hands at their sides.

I was moved to emotion when I saw how this event affected my best friend. Malisa was usually the brave one between us, my protector at school when anyone would trouble me. She would defend me better than I could myself. So, I vowed to be there for her and attend the funeral to support her. She was my very best friend. I was brave for her now. Unfortunately, she had not had a relationship with her grandmother.

It was said that Ms. Ana was not favored by Irene. Malisa’s grandmother was very vocal about her distaste when Ms. Ana and Mr. Ben first made known that they were in a relationship. She worked hard to sway the union in other directions. When that did not work, she used unconventional customs in order to divide the two lovers. When Malisa’s oldest sibling, Castiano, was born he was tormented in his crib nightly, up until the age of five. His parents took him to doctors to find out what was making him cry with violent fits from the day he was born. Even the doctors did not know why. They said he was having night terrors. Then her second to eldest sibling, Arthur was born, but he was blind and deaf. The third child was born, Leslie who was a bright and beautiful addition to the family. As she became older, they noticed that her hair began to fall out on her head, brows and even eyelashes. Ms. Ana was convinced that her children was all cursed by Irene. She was so convinced, after she gave birth to Malisa, she had not shown Irene the child or allowed anyone to touch or take photos of the child. This saved her though, because she had no ailments or defects.

As the years passed, Mr. Ben was still close to his mother and she was also able to manipulate his emotions and actions. Ana and Ben’s relationship suffered from infidelities and abuse. Irene would spin stories and give a driven purpose to Ben to put Ana in her place. She even whispered lies into her sons ears and passed off deceptions to cause conflict between the couple. The children also suffered from these quarrels and disagreements.

Now, we are witness to Irene’s funeral. There were many mourners, some bawling, distressed and saddened. Ms. Ana eyes were wide and frantic as they opened the casket so that mourners can view the deceased. Viewers lined up, perhaps to see if the death was credible being that many believed her a mighty and powerful woman in her possession of majic, black majic. Other family members and mourners crossed themselves as they got in front of Irene and then quickly moved on, back to their seats while whispering to other mourners. Finally, Ms. Ana looked at us beside her, held Malisa’s face and kissed her forehead which was still wet from holy water. Then she whispered to us, “we will go to view the body, it cannot hurt you now. Don’t be afraid. She cannot hurt you now.” I was afraid…I have never met Irene before, especially when she was alive.

On the way down the aisle, we walked holding hands to comfort each other. Malisa was not crying but she was deeply saddened. Ms. Ana was steady with her footsteps towards Ms. Irene’s casket, where her body laid. She looked like she was sleeping, I thought. Her loosely curled silver-gray hair was shiny and styled with ringlets around her caramel colored face. To me, she seemed like she was alive, but just sleeping in her royal purple dress with frills. Her hands were clasped in front of her, with her fingers mingled together. Irene’s lips were the color of a blushing pink and her eyelashes curled. We all sighed…not sure why, but Ana said, “I’m relieved. Rest in peace.” Then she made the sign of the cross and she quickly left to go back to our pew. Malisa and I running to catch up behind her. As soon as the funeral was over, the burial site was ready and waiting to accept her. The undertaker ensuring that the casket was lowered to its destination.

All family and friends followed to the home of Ana and Ben to mourn the deceased. Her children thanked guests for attending and bringing food and comfort. All the little children and teens our age gathered and played scrabble and card games. Some of the teens Malisa knew as her cousins. She never met her cousins before. Because her mother believed that Irene was a witch that cursed her and her family, her children was not allowed to meet and play with her cousins. Until today. Ana said to us in the car on the way home, that any majic that Irene placed on others would cease after she was buried. Hearing that, Malisa and I just looked at each other. 

The remembrance long past, but it lasts and lasts.

Later that evening, Ms. Ana drove me home. Malisa stayed behind because she was not feeling well. I was curious and asked Ms. Ana, “Why were you afraid at the funeral?” She smiled, then she was serious immediately after. “You do not understand. Irene…Ms. Irene, never liked me. She did some terrifying things to me and my family for years. I was afraid of her. Now, well, she has passed on and we are blessed to have probably, better luck.” I replied, “Oh, okay.” Looking back, I didn’t understand at that time, what she meant. But what happened next terrified me to my core. When I looked at Ms. Ana as she drove, behind her head was the head of a familiar smoky figure, wearing a semblance of a royal purple dress with frills. The figure had an icy smile that was clear as the day bright. Chills ran through my body, I looked away immediately shaken. Ms. Ana had not noticed a thing. She continued driving. I dared to look again, behind Ms. Ana’s head where I saw the specter. It was still there this time; the figure became more solid the longer I looked until I could see the bulging eyes with irises pitch black and the facial features as though Irene was coming more alive before me. The curls and ringlets about her head, the blushing pink lipstick against gnarled lips, with browned teeth revealed. I closed my eyes and squeezed them so tight tears rose up and gathered at the corners of them. “What is wrong, Laura?” Asked Ms. Ana. I never opened my eyes to look.  

I screamed.

SHORT SERIES: Blood Tears – Immortalia (Episode 1)


Lilia Caruthers was staring at the full moon, her eyes filled with blood tears. The full face of the moon glowered as she wiped those tears with the inside of her palms and with long delicate fingers. Her precious tears kept falling no matter how much she tried to stop or stifle them back. Without transformation, her yellow-green irises are still their original color, but the once whites of her eyes are now ruby red and rising. The conscious will of the task that she would have to enact made her sob more and her white blouse was filled with gore, clots and rips. Everything intermingled, taking her breath away in between sobs in realization of all this. Every time she looked down at her shirt and her midnight black long hair matted with lifeblood, she bawled more. Streaks of carnage ran down her face forever more, it seemed. If she was still human you would have fainted, or at least passed out from exhaustion. Instead, neither happened, just more gore and anguish.

                “Oh, you are being too dramatic. This is not a play you know. This is the reality of this…this…life that is now yours. I cannot give you hope in this, other than this is the hereafter.” The voice that spoke came from the corner of the dark surroundings. She could see through her new eyes that she was in a square room built with cinderblocks, gray no paint to color them. The floor was hard, plain gray concrete, nothing to give her hope to cling onto as she was very devastated. The only light there was, was the light about her head that shown down from the glass hole above her. The moon looked like it wore a grin now, towering above her. So great in vivid detail, it invaded her space. “Well, there is no going back,” The voice mocked. The shadow danced on the edges where the moonlight and the darkness bordered each other in the dungeon, never stopping to be peered at or known. Lilia began to normalize some, enough to notice that the she could hear distinctly, the shoes that the shadow wore. She placed the footsteps on the right side of her. Closing in unfortunately, as the shadow continued with its soliloquy of disdain and reprimanding. “This is the thing, you asked for this life. Chased it down and begged for it, but now…look at you.” The shadow sucked its teeth. “Already sorry. This is what you get. It is not glamourous. You knew this.” For the first time, they stepped out of the dark to reveal a snarled grin, white but translucent teeth in a face of disapproval and disgust. “You wasted my blood! I wasted it on you thinking you were a fine specimen ready for a challenge for this new life. I almost want to slaughter you right now! If you don’t stop crying…you will leak all the blood left within you and die!” The shadow, now a human-like creature standing before her. Human attributes, some face, hands, legs, but skin slightly ashen and stale, yet an ominous beauty. Eyes overshadowed by thick brows that hooded them. Lilia cowered as the human-like creature stepped closer to where she sat on the floor in gore, ingloriously.

                Lilia looked up to this marvel, her maker, waiting for her destruction or salvation. “I had not known…it wasn’t supposed to be like this…” she sobbed again, both hands over her face now still attempting to obstruct the flow of blood from her eyes. The blood was her will now and she told herself, the blood is your lifeline, please stop crying. This new experience, in her same body that she had a week ago…her body transforming, and she felt it still…Her conscious thought was interrupted. “Those are my tears in you, my blood, my lifeforce I fed to you! Control yourself!” The creature screamed at Lilia in an unnatural pitch. Instantly, Lilia subsided her sobs and looked up, everything soaked in red around her. “If you have no will, I will have to breath it into you. I am trying to help you survive, then possibly, eventually live. This process takes time. You are new to it, like you were just born. Do you understand?” The creature was behind her now. Lilia gasped then said, “Ok…it is a lot and…I don’t know if I am strong enough for any of this.” The creature replied abruptly, “you are strong enough, I will tell you why…”

To be continued…Look out for the next episode.

Disclaimer: This is a Short Series that I created from my own imagination and at whim. This is the first episode but please read previous episodes first before reading new episode posts. All photography posted with on my blog is original artwork and photos taken by Juana M. Gumbs. Thanks so much for your support. Please comment, criticize, make suggestions or say “hi”.

This is an original work of fiction imagined, created and copyrighted in 2019 by Juana M. Gumbs. All rights are reserved by her.

Dreamscape: Demons & Dragons

It was a dream about work or least, at first it seemed to be. The figures became more clear and distinct, and they were people that worked with me at my current job. I realized that I was in the middle of a department store floor while my co-workers were all running around with shopping carts, but as the big picture came into view I realized we were in a Walmart and strangers were all around us. They were shapeless strangers, coming in closer and closer. All the while my co-workers were in a full frenzy, their cart wheels clashing, carts banging into items and running over feet. As dreams do, the dream shifts gears and again I am in the first person view.

A thought was sent into my conscious mind while I am unconsciously dreaming that I will be moving into another scene as a being on the quest of very peculiar instances. A stark white woman, so pale her blue veins visible to the surface of her skin, dressed in a white pants suit with a satin blue tie. The woman was standing or floating outside my window. As if this scene was not scary enough, I drew closer to the window while I studied her movements from a brownstone apartment similar to those I have seen in Queens and Brooklyn, New York.

Suddenly I was whisked away from that scene and presented to another. This scene was a raid by soldiers on a home where demons dwelled. During this scene my subconscious gave me some background information, because it sensed my dread. The family was a family of demons. Yes, I was alarmed and terrified. Especially since the demon with a ghoulish grin, bearing smoke stained teeth, with bulging, waterfilled eyes came lashing out at me, spiting curses that became like fire. Unfortunately, his projected path from across his small living room was towards me. All of this was happening all at once. In that split second, I sensed from my subconsciousness as my mind projected to me, providing me the material to understand that I was in true danger, when in fact it was only…a dream. Unconscious to the facts, the fact being that this was just a dream, and at that very moment of the raid, an ancient sword materialized in my hand and with the power of the knowledge, I charged the ghoulish creature. 

The woman that was outside my window, climbed upon a radiant albino dragon. The dragon stared at me with large red pupils and a long neck with scales delicately placed. The woman, she rode upon the albino dragon, with features mixed between the lure of Eurasian dragon beasts. It’s scales were iridescent like the shells of abalone. From white to soft pastel pinks, soft baby blues…as it rose to the sky, light…light…light.