The Hell Butterfly


-Stifle- : Daily Prompt

This life of mine

has been forever spent

under the thumb.

Her thumb.

His thumb.

Your thumb.

The thumbs of anyone

and everyone

who has appendages

that hurt enough

when pressed

into the back of my neck.


Can I make my own decisions?


The mask is clamped upon my face again.

Once more the turn,

the hiss of gas,

and you pump Blame into me

like deadly mercury.

I pull away

because you make me.

I try to reach for you,

for all of you,

and your response is

“you are hurting us”.

My pain is negligible.

My opinion unimportant.

“You are hurting us”.


Can I not express my pain?


In bedtime stories I resented Alice.

I never liked that girl.

I preferred the intricacies

of tea parties

and pocket watches

and mice in teapots

and happy unbirthdays

and twirling through dreams


why a raven is like a writing desk.

I could never sleep then

and cannot sleep now.

I lie awake at night

and stare up at plastic stars,

stuck there long ago,

and make a wish

as one falls to the ground in the blackness.

My hands are shaking.

You did this to me.

I could never speak then

and cannot speak now.

You will not let me.

One more inhalation

forced through my throat.

I breathe because I must

and Blame pumps into me

like deadly mercury.


Yes, sir.

No, sir.

Three bags full, sir.

“Compliancy becomes you.”


You taught me to

do as you say not as you do

and so I shut my mouth.

I say no words that are not

scripted for me.

I play my part fantastically

and the world applauds the show.

Not my show,


The audience whose name is Terror

congratulate you

on a job well done.

I am returned to my cage.

I am your crazy girl

putting on your show

in felt top hats

and sequinned coats

and chase magician’s birds across the stage

and so disgust you.

When I go out on-stage

you tell me “break a leg”

and hate me when I don’t.

You see me eye the hangman’s noose

and roll your eyes.

Not one of you believe

that I could.


Can nobody tell me why?


I call to her.

I call to him.

I call to you.

I call to anyone.

I call to everyone.

I break my silence and scream

“tell me why!”

Not one approached me first

with answers

I have always wanted

yet waited until you

broke my resolve

and I needed you.

You do not see that I am scared,

that I desire,

that I love and hate you all.

You see only

broken wires

and equipment unplugged

and so you fix it

in the only way you know how.

“This will make you better.

This is all for you.

You are hurting us.”

Blood trails from my ears.


Can you forgive me?


Once more the turn,

the hiss of gas,

and you pump Blame into me

like deadly mercury.


This post was inspired by the Daily Prompt: Stifle. As such, this piece is entitled the same.


-The Sea Maiden’s Lament-

When thoughts of you pass by me,

as ships in the night upon a foggy ocean,

I see not your purpose,

but the wake you leave

and the mists you stir

as you disrupt the peace of the sleeping sea.

You draw attention enough

to warrant a closer look

and so I grab


and stare

at you.


You who said

you would never betray me.

You who said

you would always care for me.

You who said

you just thought I’d like it.

I bet you said that

to the albatross as well

before you shot it in the head

and ended it forever.

You wear it like a scarf,

and I the matching glove,

wrapped around you

and your little finger.

Or was it forefinger?

It matters not.


When thoughts of you pass by me,

the ocean parts

and flows in

heavy droplets

upon my cheeks

in shapes of you.

The thunderous sea

caves in on me

and innocence in gilded treasure boxes,

unlocked with your master key,

are drowned within it.

“I’m doing this for you my love.

I do it all because I care.”

I cannot hear your voice now but

the words remain unchanging

in a memory etched with images

of you

and your deceit.

I grasp at my chest,

lungs heavy now that

they are vessels for the sea.

The skin beneath my cotton shirt

crawls as though to get away

from fingers reaching, grabbing,

a firm yet gentle stabbing

of a child’s heart.

My breast, it heaves,

as I try to force oxygen in

around restraints you put me in.

Cold hands become my prison.


When thoughts of you pass by me

I cast my gaze upon the water’s edge,

seeing my own face besmirched

with memories of you.

I beg my love, Poseidon,

to embrace me the way you did.

I fall into him and he takes me.

I pray that he will cleanse me,

yet below the surface now,

as underwater eddies clutch at me,

I see the albatross.

I reach for it

but I am ripped away by currents

far too strong

to fight.

I am engulfed by him.


You said I’d asked for it.

You said you did it all for me.

Through cotton candy filters

did my eyes and ears perceive love

in a rusty playground,

in the bedroom of a memory,

on bricks of grey beside the stream,

when awestruck over steam-trains

laying in your arms.

When thoughts of you pass by me

my rose-tinted glasses turn

into sharp cranberry.

My eyes begin to sting,

an ocean flowing once again

to make me drown.


There is a room that occupies my brain.

Impossible to count how many walls;

the architecture more complex than the humble cube.

The walls are either far too dark

or bright to see the edges,

yet I know that they are there.

Always a corner in which to cower

or ensnare.

On one side the walls are black.

Not even shadows linger here,

snuffed out like candles

by a foreign hand.

This is where my old friend Darkness dwells.

The rasps and whispers of Its many voices

speak to me in words

that I don’t understand.

Je te hais (I hate you)

I can’t hear you.

Je t’adore (I love you)

She cannot hear it either,


in Her onyx echo chamber.


She is a blinding sight to see,

piercing as She is

with ashen curls that drift in eddies

to the tainted floor,

petticoat as pure as uncrumped snow

and paper skin of alabaster.

Her face is stained with Her mascara tears

and like neglected porcelain

She peels away

in flakes:

The Girl in White.

Forlorn the eyes that long for Her forever home,

banished as She is to the eternal dark.

Looking, though She cannot reach it,

yearning for return to the place where She belongs.

Her melancholy gaze fixed at the feet

of the usurper.

Her outstretched arm allows Her fingertips

to brush the very edge of those two worlds,

but not to cross it

and, tilting up Her aching neck, She cries

for She must kneel

while cruel Misfortune stands above,

unfurling painted lips,

and laughs.


As fire’s smoke chokes the nimbus,

so too the soot-shod traitor smothers the light

of the second half of the room.

Mon petit nuage (My little cloud)

Viens ici (Come here)

I can’t see you.

Tu me dégoutes (You disgust me)

Allez-vous en (Go away)

She cannot see it either,

pupils dilated

in Her ivory temple.


In this gleaming world, She draws the eye

like a moth to flame,

death’s head upon Her wingéd back.

Lustrous locks of poker-straight obsidian

hang about Her neck.

Black too the irises that drink

with a thirst unquenchable.

She does not belong here,

feeding as She does upon the fading light:

The Girl in Black.

Her laugh peels out like church bells.

Straight-backed and confident She smirks

down upon the betrayed.

She knows that this is not Her world,

yet she cares not, hardened as She is

from a lifetime formed of smoke and shadow.

At last cruel Envy was thrown aside,

no more drowning her tormented eyes,

and in Its place rose bitter Victory.

Once more the tolling of the bell

as The Girl in Black throws back Her head

and has the last laugh.


Daily do I visit this room.

Sometimes it is the voice of The Girl in White

chiming awful sadness,

calling me to release Her,

bloodied and whimpering,

as Alice through the looking glass flooding

saltwater salvation at Her aching knees.

Sometimes the sawing screams of The Girl in Black,

shrieking words relentless in their wounding,

talons gouging at the others’ eyes,

gripping tendrils in Her raging grasp,

spitting fire like the Devil’s chord

from Her forked tongue.

Sometimes the silence pulls me in,

to which I find Them sat, cross-legged,

across from each other on the line

that separates the worlds.

There is neither hatred nor fear,

no games at play,

no plan afoot for torture or escape.

They simply stare and in this moment

they are one and the same.

This temporary bliss a haven

long-desired, yet short-lived.


The war continues in the room in my brain.

It does not end, and never shall.


my Sun and Moon.

Intertwined in the infinite hunt,

fuelled by Love and Hate,

my Gemini.

Red Versus Blue

Value of the gold of gods

diminished in the eyes of men.

Atrocities of blood long shod

Convince us not to start again.

Death, destruction, fear and doubt,

A people running, hiding scared.

Glass in the throat. We cannot shout.

It’s war and we are unprepared.

Electric tongues of famous faces

spit their lines amongst deaf ears.

They try to shock, their lies leave traces;

lightening scars awash with tears.

Athena won’t you come to me,

explain the reason for this woe?

She will not come, our destiny,

to take a seat and watch the show.

Smothered in a napalm blanket,

tiny hands begin to reach

up into the flames that drank it.

No more children left to teach.

Through echoes of the promised land

the sound of drums attempt to tell

the story we don’t understand:

we are the reason we’re in Hell.

They arm themselves with dictionaries

for words too striking to ignore.

They slip them into policies

they don’t explain, but kill the poor.

Cry me a river, grab an oar.

O, Amphitrite strike me down!

They took our freedom, then took more.

Faith can’t save us. Let me drown.

There is a lesson left to learn:

do not succumb to this defeat.

Through glass walls we watch it burn

and play our mantra on repeat.

“O, woe is me, this world is cruel.

Please, no more, my heart will break”.

We make our coffins, fit to rule,

and lay down in them. Our mistake.

‘Tis the season

This Christmas didn’t totally suck.

And I kind of feel shitty about that.

As I’m currently mellowing from my final Christmas snootchie-boochie whilst Rick and Morty sneak through space customs, I won’t go into this now. This is, however, a promise to see you within the next few days with a full post. For now let’s just say I’ve started and ended a job as well as moved house since I last stretched my fingers for Jigokucho. As my laptop is finally fixed I shall enjoy a mental splurge to update you with the stress and intensity that is my everyday mundane life.

Merry Christmas, and happy holidays to all of the Hell Butterfly family. Here’s to the (hopefully better) New Year.

Hard to chew, harder to swallow

I really hate being hungry.

For those who know me through this blog, you may have seen me write about my issues with food before, and for those who know me in person … well, you’ve seen it firsthand.

Since I was young I’ve had an unstable relationship with food. I find it difficult to even cook in front of people. Eating in front of friends and family is a piece of cake (pardon the pun). But strangers, work colleagues and even my housemates? That’s where it gets harder.

If I had to pick one moment in my childhood that ruined me in the healthy eating side of things, I know what I would choose. That one defining moment that, like a bad dream, has never faded from my memory. Though the specifics may be gone I can still feel the shame of it. It clings like a bad smell.

I was eight years old, getting ready for school and it was time for breakfast. My older sister had recently become obsessed with Weetabix, so my mum had bought a load and decided to try me out on it. I didn’t like the texture, the little oaty bits floating in the milk in my mouth seemed like the worst combination you could invent for a morning meal. So, obviously, I said I didn’t like it and was about to go on my way. I was happy enough to last until break time when I could spend 20p on a warm bread roll from the Tuck Shop. I didn’t see the harm in turning it down.

That is, until my mum poured it over my head. I don’t know if she was in a bad mood prior to this, or if it was me who had sent her over the edge. All I remember of that moment was her anger, and my head covered in Weetabix. Thick, gloopy wheat slid through my hair. Honestly it resembled something more akin to baby sick than edible food, part of the problem when I tried to eat it. But I hadn’t eaten it, and so there I sat at the breakfast table, pink nightie and slippers still on, coated in my own food.

And then she made me go to school.

I really don’t like to think about this. It makes me feel like a horrible person, making my mum out to be some cruel bitch who treated me like shit. She didn’t, she just wanted to prove a point. She just wanted me to eat my breakfast and be quiet about it, but she never intended to cause me any harm. It did, but that’s beside the point. I forgive her … forgave her a long time ago. That doesn’t stop it hurting when I look back though, especially when I see the correlation between the way I felt then, and the way I feel every time I try and eat now.

So off I went to school; eight years old, pink nightie on, Weetabix now congealing in my hair. I was sent off to class like nothing had happened, but obviously it didn’t take long for people to notice. I was late as it was. I entered my classroom and all of my peers, one by one, turned and looked at me.

Picture it.

I was mortified.

I don’t remember much of the aftermath of that day, just the voice of my headteacher as she washed my hair as best as she could, and dressed me into my uniform behind a sheet she’d found in the fort in the corner of the room. I have never forgotten it: the feeling of being utterly humiliated.

I think that’s why I struggle so much now.

Almost every time I think about eating food, I feel like I don’t deserve it. I tell myself I don’t need it, that I can manage without. When I’m eating I’m not enjoying it; I’m wondering who is watching me, what they’re thinking, are they judging me? I’m covering my mouth so no-one can see me chew. Sometimes I’m screaming at myself for being a fat cunt who only ever seems to shove food down her throat and then is too much of a pussy to puke it back up again after. Because yes, I tried that. But I’ve puked too much in my lifetime through travel sickness to pull the proverbial trigger.

The bigger problem shows itself however when you look at the direct correlation between my eating, or lack thereof, and my mood. If I don’t eat enough in the day, my mood takes a severe dive. It’s why I get myself into so much trouble when I don’t eat at work. Sometimes it can be a simple thing of there being too many people in the room at once, sometimes it can be a case of being in a bad mood before lunch begins which transfers into an absolute lack of desire to force food into my system. It means some days I wake up at 05:30 and don’t eat until late afternoon or evening, where some days I eat at 12, maybe 13:00 at the latest and won’t eat again that day. And if I let it happen more than once, it spirals to more than once a week, then creeps up to more than half of the time. It’s unbearable. Sometimes lunch break is pure torture.

I am also infamous in my team at work for not accepting food from people. Bear in mind there are around 12-13 of us, including my manager who adores baking of all kinds, and on top of this a senior team who want to make us feel better about losing our jobs by throwing us all pasty days and the occasional lunch buffet. Any time food is offered around the desks, it gets to me and people will either skip me entirely, or offer out of mere politeness. In the case of the latter, I have lost count of the amount of comments – not hurtful I should add, that’s important – saying “don’t bother, she won’t accept it”. Whilst this is true, I almost always will turn down an offer of food, of chewing gum even, it is also true that it hurts that I can’t accept it. Maybe it’s habit, maybe it’s fear. Personally I think it’s both. That’s why I’m trying to break that habit and hoping with it so too will the fear dissapate until I can just … eat.

I know of a local place, or more I know of a local website, that offer courses, classes and in-person councelling sessions for eating disorders. I don’t know if what I have is a “disorder”, but I think they can help me. I am thinking of contacting them. I’ve had this for years. For 14 of my 22 years I have lived with this. It is crippling. Do you know how many panic attacks I’ve suppressed in restaraunts trying to have a nice meal with my family? How many hours I’ve spent crying because I’m so hungry but thinking of food is too excrutiating to remember how to breathe? At it’s worst I can go into total shut down just trying to pick up my fork. And all the while the voice in my head is verbally battering me with cries of “pick it up, you twat” and “just fucking do it” and “it’s only food; what’s wrong with you?”

I’m trying to make sure I eat lunch every day. So what if there are four people in there? There are more than four chairs, and I need to eat too. I have also discovered there is one person at work who can get me to accept food. Mostly I feel guilty for not accepting because he asks so nicely, but I think it has a lot to do with trust as well. Trust in him that he won’t pressure me into taking it, just encourage. But perhaps trust in myself that nothing bad will happen if I take it. Public eating is still hard, but it’s a start. I still can’t comfortably sit in a restaraunt and eat a meal, only time and practice will help that.

I want to get better. I’m sick of it. Food has held this power of me since before I hit double-digits and it’s time to stop. Time to kick the unwanted house-guest from the bedroom of my brain.

I want to be free.

– I’m No Milburn Moneybags –

I never liked Monopoly,
we used to play it all the time
when it was raining.

Steady dripping pitter-patter
of the droplets on the canvas
overhead …
… it made me wonder.

In sheltered spaces of our singular worlds;
the dog, the iron, the boat
and me.
I am the hat, it suits me best.
But that’s beyond the point.

I never liked Monopoly.
We played it all the time
when we were bored and stuck inside
the flimsy canvas of our tiny world.
Rained in again, no chance to go outside
and so we play.
We play at money-making,

Making microcosms.

We take a Chance:
“Go straight to jail.
Do not collect £200.”
Our freedom dependent on
the roll of a dice.

I never liked Monopoly.
When the opposition owed me money
I told them “keep the change”.
I never cared for exact sums;
The paper rainbow of the game.
Brighter than the real thing,
it makes you want it,
makes you want the greater value;
five zero zero, dollar signs in the eyes
of the materialistic.

I used to play for the sake of playing
before I learned to hate the game.

I never liked Monopoly.
Pretending at success in round
upon round
upon round
of paying money;
making money;
spending money
to earn more money.

Making microcosms.