you deserved better | personal


So, this is a short poem-letter thing I wrote for someone that I used to care about three years ago.
I never really gave much thought to this piece of writing over the last few years and frankly, the person it was written for. That is, until last night.

When I found out that they had committed suicide.

I never thought that something I wrote — in secret, years ago, about someone I genuinely cared about — would come back to haunt me in the worst way possible.

I'm utterly speechless as to what happened and I can't even begin to imagine what his family is going through right now. I just hope this poem will do his memory, his life and his impact on me, justice. I don't have anything else to say, so I'll leave you with this.

To L,
I'm sorry.
You are loved.
You deserved better.



29/12/15 - 2/3/18

What I want is to immortalise you with these words.

I want these words to capture just what you meant to me,
and more.

I want to go back to the start and see you for the first time.

I want the simple motion of your hair falling in your eyes to render me speechless again.
I want the depth of your eyes to steal my soul away and slowly, piece by broken piece, return it to me whenever we share a holy glance.
I want my name to roll off your tongue and fly off your lips, like it was your one and only saving grace.
What I want is the simple and most sacred pleasure,
of calling you mine. 

I want the knots in my stomach to tighten like the first time you spoke to me.
I want the anticipation and the fear, the desire and apprehension to envelope me whole like it always did when you smiled at my unsuspecting eyes.
I want my head to grow nervous and dizzy with the hope of your touch like the first time you 
 grabbed my hand,
 grabbed my waist,
and spun me into a wonderful eternity.
I want to see you under a twilight sky, dancing with all the passion in your soul, like you did on our final and fateful night.

I want to go back to the start, when it was always you, when I wasn’t expecting you, when I wasn’t searching for you, but you found me anyway. 

I want you to know that though we’ve gone separate ways,
my memories will stay.
And I want you to know,
That the memory of you,

Will remain immortal as long as these words breathe on this page.

a bullet through crowns

c h a p t e r 1 | a bullet through crowns


“Au revoir, little bird. You’re free now.”

art by unknown
Arryn stood on her porch, leaning against a marble pillar. It was midday and he still wasn’t here. 

She glanced down at the large slice of cake that lay in the napkin in her hands. Her mouth had begun watering but she lifted her head up, resisting temptation. She had been standing there for a while now, anxiously awaiting for his arrival. This had been the third day he had not come to see her, one of those days being her birthday. Her mind drifted to thoughts of him being captured and being sent to a factory, or worse — being hanged.

She scanned the front gate again, searching the rose bushes and peony shrubs for any signs of life. Nothing. 

A rattling in the distance caught her attention and she flicked her head to the wrought iron gate to see a figure standing in front of it. In an instant, her eyes flashed with recognition and she hurried down the steps, excitement infecting every step she took. 

By the time she reached the gate, the figure, who was now a young, slim boy with black matted hair and tanned skin, had climbed over the spikes and begun descending. She watched him jump down with ease and face her, a shy smile growing on his face.

“Sorry I’m late.” 

Arryn shook her head and pulled him in for an embrace — despite the stench of sweat, dirt and smoke emanating from him. 

“You had me worried sick, Crowe! I thought the guards had finally got to you”, she said, relief washing over her.

“They almost did.” He pulled away from her and searched his pocket, pulling out a small, golden object. It was a statue of a lion that had its paw raised, its detailed mane cascading down its back. 

“Happy Birthday, Mademoiselle”, he said. He watched her closely — studying her facial expressions. The way her eyes squinted, how her dimples appeared in the corners of her mouth, the way her freckles moved when she smiled. 

“I…”, she laughed, caught off guard. She held it in her other hand, eyes ablaze with wonder. “How could you have possibly gotten this? It looks like it’s a fortune.”

“I have my ways.” He shrugged but Arryn raised an eyebrow. “Alright, I saw it at a gypsy market in town. I had to stay hidden for a couple days to make sure guards weren’t following me. They seem to be everywhere these days.”

“So, you stole it?” Although Arryn was aware of Crowe’s activities, she was still surprised at how calm he was, despite the risk of punishment. 

“It reminded me of you. I thought you might like it.” He looked down, kicking the dirt beneath his feet with his worn out shoes. 

She tilted her head to the side and smiled. “I do. Thank you.” For all the stealing and mischief he was involved in, she still managed to see the good in him. 

“Come on.” She linked arms with the rugged boy, leading him across the well-maintained lawn to the back of the manor. “Let’s go to the garden before Madame Fontaine sees you.”

- - - - - 

art by brookestirr
The sun was particularly warm that day and its rays glimmered on the surface of the small pond that lay deep in the garden of the Beaumont estate. Arryn sat beside the water, smelling a peony she had plucked from a nearby bush. 

“Do you like the cake?” Arryn inquired as she watched Crowe devour the baked good with such intensity that she worried he would choke on it. He grunted in response, his eyes never leaving the napkin. 

Ma mère brought in a chef all the way from Sereblanc to make it. You should have seen everything else he made — pastries, tarts, biscuits, meringues…”, she paused, suddenly self conscious. “It was all a bit much, if I am being honest.”

Crowe glanced down at her from the swing he was sitting, swallowing the last piece of vanilla cake. “It sounds nice to me.” 

Arryn stood up from her place next to the pond and sat on the swing beside his. “What other gifts did you get?” Crowe licked his fingers, not letting a morsel of frosting go to waste. 

Arryn shrugged, rocking slowly in her swing. “Nothing too interesting, I suppose.” She shrugged. “Except for your lion, of course.”

“Of course.” Crowe stood up and laid on the ground, hands behind his head. Arryn watched him carefully, debating whether she should ask him a certain question that had been weighing on her mind. She knew that if Madame Fontaine was present, she would get a stern talking to about suitable topics of conversation for a lady and how this question was not suitable in any way. But, as best as she tried, she could not contain her curiosity. 

“Crowe…”, she hesitated. “Did you hear about the protest? In Sereblanc?”

With squinted eyes, he looked up at her. “Sereblanc…well, I’ve heard whispers on the streets.”

She planted her feet into the ground, halting the swings movements. “What kind of whispers?”

He closed his eyes. “I don’t know — a group of coalminers were boycotting the mines over low wages? Another person said the guards were arresting the miners and things got out of hand. From what they were saying, it sounded bad.”

She frowned, tucking a lock of auburn hair behind her ear. “Uncle seemed very worried about it.”


Arryn stood up from the swing and settled next to Crowe. “I was at the palace a few days ago and I overheard him with one of his advisors. He said something big is happening and his advisor told him not to worry. But he still seemed troubled.”

Crowe remained silent.

“And remember the one in Marais? It was all over the newspapers for a whole week”, she said passionately. 


Huh?”, she copied him, surprised by his indifference. “Are you not in the least bit worried?”

Crowe stayed quiet for a moment, before answering firmly. “No. As long as it doesn’t happen here, I’m not worried.”

She leaned in towards him, lowering her voice as if they were being over heard. “What if a war breaks out?”

He sighed, shaking his head. “It’s too early for that, Arry.”

“Maybe,”she pondered. “But could you imagine how brave you would need to be? Even protesting…”, she drifted off, lost in thought. “I can’t imagine anything more heroic than fighting for what you believe in. It’s the most exciting thing I can think of.”

“You think the protests are heroic?”

“Of course! They stand up for what they believe in and they’re not afraid to fight. I honestly wish I was more like that. If I had the chance to become a rebel, the first thing I would do is rebel against Madame Fontaine”, she laughed. “Au revoir vieille dame!”

Crowe laughed with her, getting up. “Well, to be a rebel you have to be fast. Which is something you, are not.” He extended his hand towards her.

Arron grabbed it and stood up. “Is that a challenge, copain?” 

Crowe winked. “We’ll race to the stables. I’ll give you a head start— ”

“I don’t need one—”, she interjected. 

“Ten, nine, eight…” Arryn rolled her eyes but she kicked off her shoes and sprinted away, lifting her dress as she ran deeper into the garden. She looked behind her, smiling at Crowe’s receding figure. 

- - - - - 

“… Three, two, one.” As soon as he said the last number, Crowe took off after her, trying to make up the considerable gap between them. However, he saw that she had come to a standstill beside a tree — still some distance away from the stables — so he started slowing down. He came to a stop beside her, eyebrows furrowed. 

“What’s wrong, Arry?” 

She remained silent, her eyes downcast. Crowe followed her gaze down and flinched. It was a small bird and its wings were stretched out. Its feathers were a light brown but they were spotted with bright, red liquid. Its soft white belly was facing up, torn open and exposed to the world. 

“It’s a nightingale. I read about them in one of Madame Fontaine’s encyclopaedias. At night, I can sometimes hear them singing. Each song is always different. Beautiful, isn’t it?” Her brown eyes were glassy but her voice remained steady. 

Crowe crouched down, reaching for it but Arryn’s hand stopped him. “Don’t touch it. You might get sick.” She tore off her sleeve and crouched down beside Crowe. 

Crowe stared at her frayed sleeve. “Arry, your dress!”

She gently wrapped the blue cloth around the creature, as if it was a blanket. “It’s fine. I have plenty of other dresses.” She tilted her head, regarding the bird with curiousity. “It’s the third one I’ve found this week.” 

“What do you think happened to it?” Crowe asked as they stood up in unison, Arryn holding the bird in her hands. 

“I’m not quite sure.” She started walking in the direction of the pond. “Follow me, I know where to bury it.”

Arryn lead the way back to the pond and stopped beside the peony bush. “Here.”

Crowe looked over her shoulder to find two other dirt mounds hidden behind the bush. Each mound had a gold hair pin sticking out of them, as if they were makeshift gravestones. He grabbed a nearby rock and began digging the ground beside the second mound. 

“That should be deep enough”, Arryn said and he set aside the rock and stood up, letting her crouch down and lay the bird in the grave. “Do you have any last words?”

Crowe stared at Arryn, unsure of what to say. “Uh…” He thrust his hands into his pocket and immediately came into contact with a necklace. His mother’s necklace. Instinct took over and 
 he grasped it tightly, hand remaining deep in his pocket. He couldn’t let it go. Not now. 

Au revoir, little bird. You’re free now.” In his other pocket, he pulled out a silver coin — the only one he had and laid it next to the bird. 

Au revoir”, Arryn repeated under her breath, before covering the creature with dirt. She dusted her hands together before pulling out a gold hair pin, encrusted with a small sapphire, and planted it on the fresh grave. Crowe frowned at the strange sight — something that had once represented opulence and luxury, now signified death. 

Arryn straightened up, the spark of mischief returning to her eyes. “So, how about a rematch? And this round, we start at the same time.”

Crowe grinned and began to reply but was cut short by a voice in the distance. “Mademoiselle! Mademoiselle Beaumont!” Crowe quickly crouched down behind the bush, his mind on high alert. 

Arryn rolled her eyes, unable to contain her annoyance. “I will be right over, Madame!” She turned to Crowe, who breathed a sigh of relief. “Oh, saints! I forgot I had a violin lesson today. I have to leave or she will get impatient with me.” 

“Sounds miserable”, Crowe said as she grabbed her shoes.

Arryn giggled, shaking her head. “Do not even get me started.” She smiled at him, her dimples appearing once more. “Will you drop by tomorrow? I’ll sneak a pastry for you.”

Crowe stared up into her warm brown eyes, gratefulness overcoming him. “Not unless the guards get to me first.”

“I hope not.” She waved, walking away. “Au revoir, Crowe.”

Au revoir, Mademoiselle.” He watched his friend walk back to her life, while he remained stuck in his own.

 - -

If you're reading this and have no idea what's going, let me fill you in. My friend Jo and I had this wacky idea to create a weekly web series set in an 19th century, alternative steampunk France that revolves around the lives of a rebel named Crowe and a noble-born girl named Arryn (wow, what a mouthful). It explores a ton of different themes (some happier and some darker) and all I can say is there's so much more in store for you and we are both really excited for you to embark on this journey with us. 

If you haven't read the prologue for A Bullet Through Crowns, please do so, here :)

I hoped you enjoyed this chapter and look forward to the next one!


to love & to be loved | a playlist


photo by Veronica Ess 
and in the end we were all just humans… drunk on the idea that love, only love, could heal our brokenness.
- Christopher Poindexter 

To commemorate the last day of the month of lurrveee, here's a playlist. A little romance mixed with a little nostalgia and voila, this is what we get. A throwback that takes you back to what it first felt like to be young and in love. Sigh.


break ups

the wolf | spilled ink


photo by Jamari Fox

these bones are diseased;
like a ravaged dog,
setting its sights on its saving grace.

let me undo you;
unmake you with this sickness,
and confuse you with small granules of clarity.

teeth, like a daggers edge,
rip into the flesh of my precious muscle
i let you claim as yours, now & forever more.

my heart,
i say, my heart bleeds no more,

for you have licked the blood 
off my corpse and walked away to find your new muse et la proie.

these bones you left
bent and broken,
are no longer holding up the meat you so readily consumed in the climax of your hunger.

alas, i tell it true,
the wolf i loved,
with more vigour & passion than my soul could fathom,
has eaten me alive.



the little mermaid (WIP) | spilled ink


Un Horizonte de Sueños (Spanish Edition) by Diego Sandoval

The ground gleams and glistens, the black tar of the road a little more alive — and a little less dead. The alley is wide and open — a charming hub of a different kind of nightlife. There are no clubs, no rowdy drunks, no beefed-up bouncers to turn you away against your wishes. No, that kind of nightlife doesn’t exist in this quaint sanctuary — instead, the night becomes alive. It inhales and exhales as a brisk wind rustles the endless draped lanterns above the lane. It weeps and leaves its tears in the form of dark puddles on the sidewalk. 

I don’t flinch as the breeze raises bumps on my skin. But as stray rain drops meet my skin, I stiffen instinctively. Water in the human world is different to water in my world. To me it’s air; it was air. And now, I’m supposed to ignore it, to pretend as if only a year ago I didn’t breathe it like it was my air. 

Soft music plays from cafe’s and small, dimly lit restaurants. There is no sound more distinct than another — it all combines to make something delightfully relaxing. Quiet voices, inspired chatter, happy laughter, fills the alley. It’s soft background noise, while the sight of the alley at night is a dreamy watercolour. 

Dark greys, bright lemon yellows, muted oranges, clear blues, stormy blues, mellow browns. Like a Van Gogh painting; it’s surreal. Here I stand, lost and defeated, staring at my blurry reflection in a fresh puddle, and I don’t feel real. The distorted face that stares back with such distant eyes is completely unrecognisable. The long indigo locks that once framed its face no longer exist but instead, short, unevenly cropped hair that’s a ghost of what it used to be, takes its place.

It’s strange to think that dreams of beauty such as this alley was the reason I risked everything I cared about. And yet, I would take it all back in a heartbeat if I could just go home.

I’ve been stuck here for an endless year, in a world I knew so little about, in a place I felt so out of place. Before this past year, I called the ocean my home —  my sanctuary. And now this alleyway, lined with dingy apartments and small cafe’s and restaurants with tables and chairs that spill onto the roads, is my sanctuary.  


Not really sure where I was going with this. I was inspired by the picture and I guess I wanted to see where the words would take me.
Hopefully, I'll come back and finish it someday…


Popular Posts

Like us on Facebook

Flickr Images