onsdag 19 augusti 2015

Salty lips

"Hands in the sand" by Emmwah

"The palmtrees and stuffy air was proof that they had drifted ashore on a tropical island. Gulls cried out along the shore and the wind was playing lightly in the sand. Gently, Levithan tried to open his eyes. The salt still stung a bit, and with feeble fingers he massaged his eyelids to wake them up. His mouth was dry and he felt an indescribable thirst, and as his consciousness slowly came back, it hit him. Where's Dominique?
He sat up quickly, putting his hand over his forehead to shade his eyes from the sun as he nervously looked out over the beach. Like a newborn calf he raised up on unsteady legs, close off balance. Slowly he took a few steps forward and looked around. The air was thick of salt, seaweed and sweet flowers. A few stone's throws away from the white beach, one could glimpse the ruins of a medieval fortress in which no man seemed to have set foot in centuries, but apart from that, there was no evidence that witnessed about potential human presence. In the sand he could see the vague footprints that led from the water up to where he had just lay, and when he followed them, with slight difficulty, he found what he sought. The sight of the captain, apparently unharmed, leaning against one of the palm trees. His presence was immensely relieving. On faltering steps Levithan walked towards him. Discretely he watched him and studied the wet clothes that lay as glued to his body. When Dominique glanced for a second at his direction, Levithan uttered the first words to him in nine days.
   "Are you okay?" he asked hoarsely.
Dominique left his place at the palm tree and took a few steps away from Levithan.
   "Why did you do it?" Dominique asked without turning around. His voice was quiet.
   "What do you mean?"
   "Why did you jump in after me?"
   "There was no other option", said Levithan, and looked at Dominique's back. He studied every single detail, from the fair hair that was left in a disorderly ponytail, to the black boots on his long legs. Although they had just spent several hours in a stormy sea and seen death in the eye, Dominique Bonhomme was still the same handsome captain, even though he was standing in wet clothes full of sand.
   "You are a fool", Dominique declared with a snort.
   "So be it", replied Levithan, "but you are alive. And that means everything."
   "I strongly doubt that", said Dominique, and looked at Levithan for the first time since the morning he caught him with Evangeline. "The only thing that means anything to you is still on board, with her, where you should have stayed instead of diving straight towards the certain death in the jaws of the ocean."
Dominique turned around again and headed towards the ruins. Why, he did not know.
   "If I had stayed on board, it would be the end for me anyway", Levithan replied and started to go after him. "Dominique, you have to let me explain. I haven't touched her and I've never had the intention to. I would never, in my life, do anything to intentionally hurt you."
Dominique didn't answer. Instead he shook stiffly on his head, very careful not to turn around and let Levithan see his face. Levithan increased the pace of his steps.
   "Listen to me", he continued. "I feel nothing for her, and I will not take her away from you, I've never wanted to. Ever since we first met in Sheerborough she has constantly been trying to seduce me, but she never succeeded, Dominique. I know how much she means to y..."
   "For God's sake Levithan, you don't understand anything!" Dominique roared and turned around. Tears were streaming down his cheeks and his eyes flickered between the sea, the palm trees, the ocher tinted sky and Levithan's eyes. No one had ever seen him cry before. "You don't understand anything, no one does and I can't take it anymore, Levithan! I CAN'T TAKE IT!"
Levithan looked at him with eyes full of despair.
   "But tell me, then! Explain why you are so terribly angry with me!" Levithan begged.
   "Believe me, I've tried to explain to you, in a thousand quiet ways, Levithan.. But I can't."
   "What's stopping you?"
   "EVERYTHING!" Dominique exclaimed and threw out his arms. "EVERYTHING is preventing me! I am trapped within myself, unable to get out and there's not a damn thing I can do about it! I take refuge in the silence to avoid hearing my own thoughts, but it is useless, because you are always there. Whatever I do, you are always there!"
Dominique turned his gaze from Levithan and once again started walking towards the abandoned fortress, with Levithan who followed right behind, until they finally found themselves in the middle of the ruins. Climbing plants were creeping along the old stone facade, adorning it with its vibrant, lush colors. The sun rays found their ways through the arched windows. Desponded, Levithan stopped walking a couple of meters behind Dominique.
   "Am I so incredibly horrible to deal with, is that what you're trying to tell me?" Levithan asked with a sharp voice. "I didn't ask to have my father murdered. I didn't ask to become one of the Iron Roses and I didn't ask to board Merveilles, making life miserable for you and miss Babineaux."
   "That's not what it's about", Dominique assured.
   "What is it then?" Levithan asked.
   "It's just the opposite of that."
   "Don't talk in riddles. What do you mean by 'the opposite'?"
   "I can't explain."
   "Tell me."
   "I can't."
   "Do it anyway."
   "I can't tell you!"
   "TELL ME!"
With increasingly heavy breathing, Dominique hitched his eyes on Levithan who stood like petrified, utterly perplexed, while tears kept streaming down Dominique's cheeks.
   "To constantly try to live up to the expectations set for me devours me", Dominique cried. "The only thing of which I'm certain is my feelings for you and I am so tired of all the charades, Drake. I no longer have the strength to act indifferent to your presence, since the only consolation that can calm me when the world comes too close, is the consolation I wish to find in your arms. The rest of the world may dissolve, it wouldn't touch me in the back, but if I lose you, I lose everything. Seeing you with her makes me mad, to not be able to touch you is tormenting me and not being able to call you mine annihilates me and I'm going under! I love you, Levithan! I am so utterly, blindly, extradited and frigtheningly in love with you!"
Levithan looked straight at him. A thousand thoughts, tens of thousands, rushed around in his head, but he couldn't focus on anything. The only thing he could do was to stare. Stare at the bewitching man who stood in front of him. The man who had countless women around the world, the man whose name everybody knew. The man who, ever since Levithan first met him, had shook his whole world to the point that it was sheer madness. And now he stood before him, proclaiming all of this? Was it really the truth, or was it a sick, sinister prank? Levithan flexed his jaws, still with his eyes tightly focused on Dominique's, and clenched his fist.
Dominique regarded him with a joyless smile.
   "Hit me, Drake, by all means. Flog me. Destroy me. I doubt that it will pain me more than it already does. I'm already dead."
Levithan was so tired of it all. All the fake acting. All charades. All words unspoken. He strode away towards Dominique, raised his arm briefly in standby, and when he was just a few steps away from him he grabbed the collar of his shirt, pulled him close and kissed him. With trembling lips, yet deeply and sincerely, despite all the fears he felt, before he eventually disrupted. Completely terrified, he opened his eyes and looked at Dominique who slowly opened his. Despite the fear, Levithan held a firm grip and didn't let go of him.
   "Don't stop..." Dominique prayed with a whisper. His eyes grew deeper, his breathing heavier and as in hypnosis Levithan looked back at him. Into his spellbinding, dark eyes and with a heart that was beating painfully hard in his chest, before he slowly turned his gaze down over Dominique's pale cheek. In a haze of mindless horror and powerful desire, he pressed his lips against Dominique's, who eagerly kissed him back."

(- Excerpt from chapter XVIII, GW)
Tristan Tesch

fredag 14 augusti 2015

To make friends

"As the sun slowly reached its way up over the orange trees just outside the mansion, Levithan and the four Iron Roses prepared for takeoff. Wolf and Lucien had already made themselves comfortable in the brown carriage and were talking, quietly, about something inaudible. Armeriá stood at the doorway to give Gertrude a proper farewell before leaving, whilst Levithan strapped the last of his luggage on the roof of the carriage. He waited while Armeriá gave Gertrude a cordial embrace and a kiss on each cheek. Then she moved her hand in a subtle wave, turned around and walked up to the carriage. Levithan showed her in and then jumped in after her. The charioteer closed the door behind Levithan after giving him a tired but genuine smile - it was very early, after all. Clumsily he scooted himself up in the driver's seat and urged the two black horses to short pace. When the carriage started to move, the four Iron Roses turned around to once again wave at Gertrude who stood at the gate with a linen cloth pressed against her cheek. When they passed the gigantic, wrought iron gates, they were finally on their way. Wolf's burly, muscular physique made the chariot so crowded it was nearly suffocating, but even if they all had to sit tightly crammed, it didn't bother anyone of them.

Levithan looked out the window. One could hardly distinguish the lush autumn trees in the dense morning fog, and the hazy view made him sleepy.
   "How far is it to Sheerborough from here?" he asked.
Lucien and Armeriá both looked very pensive as they quietly tried to calculate the distance, but none of them answered. Instead they muttered silently as their eyelids grew heavier.
   "From Thornhill it is about 43 miles, so at this rate we should be there in five or six hours." Wolf's voice was full of confidence.
Lucien had already dozed off and Armeriá was about to fall asleep any minute. The only one who was fully awake was Wolf who looked straight at Levithan and pointed at the almost healed wound on his neck.
   "How did that happen?" Wolf asked. "From the look of it, it has been quite a nasty business."
Levithan swallowed. He looked down on his linked hands and began fumbling with his fingers.
   "It's from the night I lost my father", he replied briefly, "when I ran through the forest like a terrified deer. Like a coward."
Wolf lowered his hand, but still looked intensely at him.
   "You know what, Levithan... Deer are actually very unique creatures", he clarified and looked out the window. "I have always associated them with kindness, balance and love. Moreover, they possess an incredible alertness and ability to detect danger where others wouldn't. These are extremely good abilities."
Levithan didn't know what to say so he pretended to fix the collar of his coat, unwittingly placing his hand over the scar on his neck and followed its rough line with his fingertips. He carefully turned his gaze up at Wolf and discretely contemplated his heavily marked scar tissues. One of them, the most peculiar of them all, caught his attention. It reached from Wolf's left corner of the mouth, and ran up against his ear to branch out underneath it and up past the eyebrow. It was very deep and had disfigured Wolf's left facial half. Levithan studied the scar so intensely he hadn't noticed how Wolf's gaze had moved from the beautiful rapeseed fields outside, to Levithan's gray eyes.
   "It was a wolf", he said to answer Levithan's unspoken question. "An alpha male, to be more precise. But it was my own fault, since it wasn't my turn to eat."
Levithan rolled his eyes in shock as he looked at Wolf, who grinned as he pulled down the fur collar and exposed another similar scar that ran from the neck and down across the collarbone. 
   "He almost overpowered me. If it wasn't for Ismael who arrived just in the right moment, I probably wouldn't be sitting here, in front of you. In fact that was how we met, Ismael and I. The wolf almost tore up my carotid arteries and I was in very bad shape. Ismael was nearby and witnessed the whole thing, so he scared the wolf off with his firearms. After that I don't remember much, except that I woke up in a hospital bed. I was twenty then, Ismael twenty-four. It's twelve years ago."
Levithan nodded, still focused on the scar.
   "And since then you've been friends?" he asked.
   "The best", replied Wolf with an amused expression on his face. "There is nothing that can come between us. We have always had a clear understanding of each other and I love him as one loves ones brother."
Levithan nodded again and looked, with weary eyes, out the window.
   "You really should rest", said Wolf, "there's no point staying awake when you're this tired."
Levithan picked up his watch from the black coat pocket. Seventeen minutes past seven. Wolf was right, Levithan was terribly exhausted as he hadn't been able to sleep well for several nights. He let himself doze off to hopefully feel more energetic once they arrived at the harbor. The wind that danced over the flowing meadows outside, along with the movement of the chariot, gently rocked him to sleep."

(Excerpt from chapter IV, GW.)

- Tristan Tesch

onsdag 12 augusti 2015

To breathe

"The leatherbound journals were carefully placed in a pile next to the inkwell. On top of the sea chart one of them lay open, naked and exposed with black strokes swirling alongside its ivory sheets. Reading someones personal writings was something Levithan found strictly forbidden, it opposed all his principals no matter how tempting it would be to break them. He turned around with a quick, innocent glance on the page, but his gaze got stuck. The finical penmanship of the title was flawless, and depicted its contents in the most alluring way. Levithan's heart skipped a beat when he saw his own name written above the poem in the captain's journal. He leaned forward and defied his own strict tenet.

I want to run again,

carefree and at ease
across dewless grasslands
with the subtle strokes against
this pale skin of mine

I want to run again
blissfully bewildered
beneath the incessant vault of glistening stars
seeking redemption in these
black orbs of glass

I want to run again,
perfectly untamed
through the equally savaged universe
making love
until night devours our tranquil minds
hushing us to sleep with motherly lullabies

I want to run again,
I want to run,
I want to.

(Excerpt from chapter 20, GW)
- Tristan Tesch

söndag 26 juli 2015


"Dominique embraced Levihan as he fell down, exhausted, on his chest. With a firm grip he held him while their hearts were still beating, with glowing eagerness, and the beads of sweat were glistening like diamonds in their foreheads. With his thumb and index finger, Dominique grabbed Levithan around his chin and kissed him while he caressed him gently over his back, while Levithan slowly stroke him back over his clearly marked collarbones.
So they lay, for a long time, in each other's arms, without uttering a word to each other. They didn't need to. 
One by one the candles burned out, and the fatigue settled like fog over Dominiques glassy eyes. Levithans gentle touches had ceased, and his hand now lay relaxed against Dominiques neck. His breath was heavy, and against his ribs Dominique could feel how Levithans heartbeat slowly regressed to its normal pace. He hugged him tighter and smiled for himself. Never before had he felt so fortunate. 
Dominique closed his eyes, and with a tender kiss on the slumbering doctors apprentice's head, which he then rested his cheek against, he dreamed himself away in his arms.
At last he had found his way home."

(Excerpt from chapter 19, GW.)

- Tristan Tesch

onsdag 10 september 2014

Mother Earth

I haven't been able to write for some time. The reasons are many, but I'm immediately going to say that I haven't given up on my novel. On the contrary, it's the most important task I've been given (right after becoming a mother) so giving up is not even on the map. The story about Levithan will proceed, no matter if the steps are small.

To be completely honest I don't feel very well. There are so many things that I've gone through. Things I never managed to handle, things I wanted to repress, things I wanted to forget.. But I can't pretend anymore. To be able to be a good mother, as good mother as possible, I need to let go of everything that I'm carrying around. I want to give my daughter everything. And the most important thing; I want her to have a mother who is happy. I don't want her to have a mother marked by despair.

When I was 16 I did not want to live anymore. Every breath was painful and I did not feel like a human being, I felt just like an empty shell. A substitute of nothing. I decided to end my life in the hope of getting to a better place.

I found a good place. A place where it all would happen, quickly. Far out on a rock ledge in the woods with sharp rocks below. I leaned firmly and slowly, and I fell. My body twitched, and I thought I had died - for it beamed a supernatural heat through my body. But when I opened my eyes I realized that there were several feet left to the ground. When I turned my gaze up, I saw that my jacket got stuck in a branch. A robust branch, which was extremely similar to an arm with five long, perfect fingers that held a firm grip of the fabric.

And I cried.
I have never cried as much as I did then.
It felt as if Mother Nature herself had stretched out her hand to save me from the certain death I fell against. And it's the closest religious experience I have ever experienced - especially considering that I have always been a child of nature. Nature is my temple and my deity saved me.

Six months after that, I met Christoffer.
We have belonged to each other for eight years now.
We have a beautiful little daughter.

Now I know why she saved me.


onsdag 4 juni 2014


The high waves drifted Levithan further and further away from Merveilles and the distant voices shouting in despair after the two young men who had fallen overboard. The salt water darkened his view and he was in total darkness, but despite the fear of what monsters could possibly dwell in the depths of these waters, he never gave up the thought of finding Dominique. However, Levithans's physical forces was nothing compared to the forces of the ocean. The water found its way into his lungs more and more after each wave and the feeling that his time had come became increasingly evident. The thought of sinking cold and lifeless into the depths made him nauseous. Was this the end?
At the moment he realized he was alone and probably would die, the lightnings of the storm lit up the otherwise dark ocean. There, about ten feet away, he could discern Dominique's struggling silhouette against the powerful forces of nature. With all the powers Levithan had left, he braved the storm, stroke by stroke that barely drove him forward, but by sheer willpower he managed to finally reach him. He took a strong grip around Dominique's arm, and no power in the world could tear them apart.

Excerpt from chapter XVII in Golden Winds. (Beware of flaws - since the original manuscript is written in swedish.)

I filled up yet another note book with all my notes, scribbles and ideas and I've written about 3/4 of the actual book. I will definitely be able to finnish until my deadline in december. It will take a lot of courage to actually send it to a publisher, but I've always wanted to be a writer, more than anything. I've always been writing but this project is the very first I'm actually sharing with people. Mainly because I think it's time.

Here I am.


torsdag 8 maj 2014


I have never been religious, but nature has always been my temple. Nature never fails to bring me inspiration, motivation, anticipation.. It's like a friend to me. Even if it takes days, weeks or months before you meet again, it's always there.

One of the most precious memories I have (that includes only myself) is from a summer night back when I was at the age fifteen or sixteen. Nocturnal walks is something I really love since the absence of people makes me feel like the world is mine. I've never been the partying kind of person, and I never hanged around with people. When others were downtown, I applied myself deeper into the forest, just like this particular, light summernight about nine or ten years ago. The rain was drizzling, and the deciduous forest was dense with emerald green leaves. I found such a magical place, a clearing where bluebells grew all over the ground like a soft blanket. It looked just like a bed for woodnymphs or other mythological creatures, and I just couldn't resist the temptation of laying down. The raindrops adorned the bluebells like sparkling pearls and the sweet scent was intoxicating. I don't know for how long I was lying there, but I stayed in the forest until dawn.

I have many precious and important memories from that time. I love this time of the year, when everything has awakened. When the trees, flowers and bumblebees have awakened.
When my mind has awakened.