Sparkly Ashes by Bogdan Dragos

A black and white close up of a girl's face with a thick smear of blood covering it
Image Source: Snappa

but hell was just a floor below

in the living room

There was a blazing fire

in the fireplace

and there were plenty of screams

coming from mother and father

They argued again

And from upstairs, locked in her

dim room, she knew that

the gnashing of teeth and the shattering

of glass would not be late

in echoing through the walls

They always liked to break glasses

and bottles in the fireplace

while arguing

The fireplace was full of

sparkling shards now

She still remembered the afternoon

her little cousin came to

visit with aunt and uncle and not knowing

any better he tried to pick

the sparkling treasure from the

cold ashes of the fireplace

and cut himself pretty


But who knows,

perhaps there really was a treasure in

that fireplace

Whenever mom and dad left the house

she would stand before the

cold fireplace

and watch the sparkling ashes

like a starry night sky

and would start daydreaming

It worked for a while

but then she just had to reach higher

She had to reach to the stars

and remove the biggest she could find

and slice her wrists or ankles with it

The sight of her own blood

emerging from the shallow cut calmed her

down a great deal

And when mother and father were

in the house, arguing as usual and breaking


she had her scabs to scratch and peel off and

chew on

That also provided her with a

great sense of calm

But unfortunately mother and father

hadn’t been out in a long while

They’d have to get out


because their dearest daughter had

started plucking her hair already

and that could turn into a problem. She could

end up looking less pretty than

she was with only

the cuts and scabs


Bogdan Dragos supervises casinos for a gambling company, working twelve-hour shifts locked in a dark office full of TV monitors. There he mostly daydreams and writes poems and stories. He also manages a poetry blog Daydreaming as a profession.

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12 Comments Add yours

  1. Terveen Gill says:

    Bogdan’s writing often reflects upon the plight of children forced to live in a hell created by their own loved ones. A bad marriage should be nipped in the bud before children come along to bear the horrifying consequences. Imagine self-harm being a respite form the agonizing surroundings and atmosphere. It’s a tale and also reality that makes the heart sink to the lowest depths.
    Congratulations Bogdan!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Terveen!

      You’re very right about nipping it in the bud before it’s too late…
      (▀̿̿Ĺ̯̿̿▀̿ ̿)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. brittabenson says:

    ‘but hell was just a floor below’ – what a way to start a poem. As always, Bogdan, your poetry is brilliant in all the horrific details and hits the reader right where it hurts, where it has to hurt.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you! (´。• ◡ •。`)

      I remember in the early days of writing how bad I was at endings and beginnings (well, I guess I was bad overall :)). I just didn’t know how to begin a story, and then, if I did finally figure out how to begin, I didn’t know how to end it. So somewhere along the way I got this idea to “begin in the middle” :))
      In other words start the story as if a lot of words had been written before (that’s why the text begins unconventionally with the word ‘but’), and end it as if a lot more words would be written after.

      If the few words that appear on the page can spark in the reader’s imagination the ideas for the words unwritten, then I feel like the story has achieved what was intended.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. brittabenson says:

        Very good advice, Bogdan. Your poetry certainly doesn’t waste any time or words and goes straight for the bull’s eye!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. jonicaggiano says:

    This is a great piece. Sad as this story is this kind of behavior actually happens with real humans. Although fiction many abused children cut themselves and do all sorts of crazy things to release their pain. Very creative beginning and ending. Really nice writing Bogdan!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Joni! *⁂((✪⥎✪))⁂*

      I always felt like family drama (and tragedy) represents a bottomless well of potential stories. Once in a while you come across such a story on the news or in newspapers and it feels so strange, ridiculous, and over the top that you can’t help but think it’s fictional. But unfortunately… it’s real. It’s the stuff that makes you think reality is written by a mad god or something :))

      Liked by 2 people

      1. jonicaggiano says:

        Believe me I know what you mean. Great story and perfect ending. Have an amazing week Bogdan. (Love your creative little emoji’s you make)

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh Bogdan, a chilling story shared with the sad truths when damage soothes a battered heart. The end was so telling! ! 💖

    Liked by 2 people

    1. (っ◕‿◕)っ Thank you, Cindy!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Always its a treasured pleasure

        Liked by 1 person

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