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Jun 27

White Sage

Posted on Saturday, June 27, 2009 in Poems and things, Strange and Unusual

They say that what doesn’t kill you, will cure you.  ‘They’ don’t know the full story, I don’t think they’re ready for it, but you are, I can smell it.

Settle yourself in a comfortable chair, gorge your belly with creamy milk and clean your ears with your favourite fore-paw (for this is how it should always be done) and when you’re ready, let me know.


All right… where to begin?

I lived in a village once, a small village of small minds, where nothing was a secret.  When cherry blossoms bloomed, the people decided when they fell.  If a character was off kilter, the villagers took it upon themselves to rectify the imbalance, and that, my dear cat-lovers, is what happened here.

My girl Tess chose an awkward man.  His skills where preening were concerned surpassed mine by far, his stories involved himself and his prowess and nothing else.  Nothing, in fact, stood in the way of his happiness.  He would bore Tess to tears of how fantastic his rock-climbing skills had become, about how wonderful his car was, but she would stroke my head and stifle yawns in the ginger fluff behind my ears and make me warm and shivery… this was the only boon to his boring company, this moist breath as she whispered her frustrations into my collar.  “This guy needs to keep walking until he hears a splash, then he should just keep going…” was her most common complaint.  I heard it many times, and could hear it many more.  My Tess is a funny girl, far more deserving of better company, if you ask me.


He took her to a carnival one day, not having been there myself (for such crowds are not for a demure feline and anyway I had much more important things to do that evening), I could only imagine her frustrations at his constant proof of epic masculinity and accurate aiming skills, but there was a bright side, my friends.  She appeared home late that night with a multitude of cuddly toys for me to sleep on, and a single candle.  This candle was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen, I cannot describe its attraction.

Tess unwrapped the plasticky nonsense from this entity that very same night and held it to her nose, breathed deep.  An orgasmic pause developed in her demeanour as she breathed it in… she held it to my nose (being a considerate pet owner) and I recognised the smell instantly.  White Sage.  Not your average stink for a candle, I must say.  It smelled as though something amazing was about to happen, it was an awareness smell… we felt alive.

When she sparked the wick with her zippo lighter it burst into fiery madness, potassium sparked with the flame as though a tiny voice was trying to convey its tiny message across… it mystified us, we stared at its purpled spitting wax for hours and cuddled and snuggled until she snuffed it out and it was time to sleep.


A lonely man sat alone, his bitterness consumed him, an outcast from a place that once had loved him but that had grown up, grown away from his natural ways.  It was hard to get used to being a freak, a weirdo, once capable of wonderful healing methods, now deemed an abomination.  He looked down upon the village and the carnival at its heart, and he wondered.  He hated.


A phone call.  Tess reacted in such a way as I knew it was this awful boyfriend of hers, but I knew it was important.  He arrived on the doorstep a while later.  Pale as my water bowl, his speech garbled, he clutched his head and spoke of exploding brains.  No sooner had he reached the kitchen, the vomit began to erupt in violent convulsions… his head bowed over the sink at the end of a long trail of slippery vulgarity… I watched with awe.  Tess appealed to him to see a doctor, but his masculinity prevailed and they argued, all the while he clutched his head like a madman.

“If not a doctor,” said she, “why not the mystic in the hills?  His methods have healed plenty of tough cases in the past, sure wasn’t there that woman with the stick lodged in her…”

“That guy’s a curse!” he interrupted, “why the hell would you send me up there?  Give me a break, my father’s done his best to alienate the guy and have him hanged and now here’s you sending me to his doorstep???  I have better things to be doing, I’ve the competition tomorrow, the leading guy is toast, he won’t stand up to my awesome abilities now that I’ve practised the…”

He warbled off on a monologue, his foot twitched the entire time, though he was too caught up in his own awesomeness to notice.


Meanwhile the man in the hill saw with a clearer vision than he had done in weeks… finally the blurred lines of his spell book stood still.  He knew his curse had taken hold, somewhere, somehow.


We burned the candle again that night, its size diminished, the wax flowed away in silky puddles, the gilt edging morphed into mercurial puddles on her night stand and we purred.  The next day, the seizures began.  He was in the midst of the competition and it happened, the convulsions racked through his body and time stood still, his chances ruined.

He hit her that night in frustration and I watched.  I watched and I could do nothing, but I licked her wounds as we burned the candle after his stormy exit and she told me about escape, about how she would end this, if not by chance, then by empowerment.  I listened to her emphatic words and curled against her soft warm belly as the smell of white sage filled the room.


The old man’s headaches had subsided by now, his memory returned, his nausea disappeared.  The brain tumour borne of bitter suffering was growing smaller, with every inch of the candle he had placed it in.  His plan took place, his skills returned once more and he was ready.

Like a moth to a flame, I and Tess wandered to this man one day, up through the thickets, past the stone gates, into the wilderness.  We disappeared.

I watch now as she learns his craft, I grow younger every day, I hear her incantations and I feel it’s right.  I care not of her man and I suspect, my dear readers, that she doesn’t either.

We make more candles, destined for those with closed minds and sick souls, we strive to heal them, to clean the bitterness and save their loved ones from the destruction they cause.

If we cannot cure them, we will kill them, for that is the way.  The only way.  The next time you should meet such a sorry soul, send them to our house at the top of the village, we will ask no price of you, only that you accept that Darwin was not the only man with a plan.

Bring on the comments

  1. Granny says:

    Great story, great English!

  2. K8 says:

    Tanks ma :)

  3. Kirk M says:

    K8 – Sounds like the prelude to a fine fantasy novel. A few more of your typically fine short-shorts and it will be time to shove them into a book, yes?

    C’mon, you can do it, I know you can. :)

  4. Baino says:

    I love your quirky tales. Actually we went up to the blue mountains for a little excursion yesterday . .lots of crystal gazers and white sage burners up there!

  5. unstranger says:

    Well there you go, writing; exceptional, intelligent, original, captivating and just beginning!

  6. Brilliant writing, K8! Kudos to the mystic atop the village. :)

  7. Nick says:

    Nice bit of writing. Of course cats are a lot wiser than we are, they’re oblivious to all the materialistic striving and just quietly enjoy themselves.

  8. Hmm that is just great. You certainly have a great talent there kate

  9. K8 says:

    Kirk; Thanks, but it’s awful hard to come up with something that can be spread over 200+ pages. Early days maybe.

    Baino; White Sage is great for banishing negative energy I hear… if only I could find my stash.

    Unstranger; Much appreciated, man, thanks!

    Jefferson; Thanks!! He’s my inner frustrated rebel maybe? Who knows.

    Nick; … and can lick their own genitalia. They really have it all.

    Vicky; Thanks :) There’s a line between talent and twistedness though… it’s a tough call.

    You’re all so undeservedly kind :)

  10. I loved this story. It feels like it is the story behind the witch’s cat.

  11. Another GR8 Story K8,
    I agree with Kirk M + the others, Give us MORE, I could smell the candle, feel the old man’s pain,PRETTY PLEASE! I want to know what happened next???.
    PS. I Love it when U get spooky,But you’re the Boss, write about what grabs you at the time, you already have a Books worth of memmorable Gems worth publishing(sharing with a wider audience) GO K8 UR GR8

  12. K8 says:

    Jenny; Hey cool I never thought of it like that.

    Hi Dave! Thanks for commenting on ‘ere. Unfortunately the weirdness only surfaces every now and then, a tragic lack of psychedelic substances maybe. Mushie season’s nearly on us though… stay tuned, heheh.

  13. dave travers says:

    Look again Kate, Look Closer, They are Here, Hurry like the Devil, Before the first Frost, tell everyone in the little Village. The old man knows. mush fly x

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