The Rose & the Onion (Sandcastle 9.03)


You liken my intricacies to that of a satin rose, but I am not so fragile, so easily frostbitten, picked apart—love me, love me not. The rose, a delicacy for Japanese beetles on a hot summer’s day, so frail the petals are swept away in a rush of cold hose water and hard beetle bodies flailing in the stream. I do not succumb to the mold or the mildew creeping between crevices, rotting from the inside out, wilting tender petals. You think with one little snip I am yours to lay broken in a state of slowly decaying beauty in your calloused hands, to be arranged in a vase and placed on the windowsill where you can admire me at your discretion?

I am not your rose.

Liken me to an onion instead, born in the dark peace of a deep place. My layers are harder to peel away. I’ll take your knife—yes, you can cut me—but my scent will cling to your fingers, your blade, a parting gift you can’t wash away as easily as my blood from beneath your nails. Every time you breathe, you’ll taste me. Every cut you make in me will put another crack in your dam until tears flood your eyes and your vision becomes a watery blur. Consume me, and I will be on your every word. You will remember me. I will make sure of it.

So cut me if you dare. Unlike your lovely rose dropping blood-red petals one by one on the windowsill, I do not fall apart so easily.


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I'm an award-winning fantasy author, artist, and photographer from La Porte, Indiana. My poetry, short fiction, and memoir works have been featured in various anthologies and journals since 2005, and several of my poems are available in the Indiana Poetry Archives. The first three novels in my Chronicles of Avilésor: War of the Realms series have received awards from Literary Titan.

After some time working as a freelance writer, I was shocked by how many website articles are actually written by paid "ghost writers" but published under the byline of a different author. It was a jolt seeing my articles presented as if they were written by a high-profile CEO or an industry expert with decades of experience. I'll be honest; it felt slimy and dishonest. I had none of the credentials readers assumed the author of the article actually had. Ghost writing is a perfectly legal, astonishingly common practice, and now, AI has entered the playing field to further muddy the waters. It's hard to trust who (or what) actually wrote the content you'll read online these days.

That's not the case here at On The Cobblestone Road. I do not and never will pay a ghost writer, then slap my name on their work as if I'd written it. This website is 100% authentic. No outsourcing. No ghost writing. No AI-generated content. It's just me... as it should be.

If you would like to support my work, check out the Support The Creator page for more information. Thank you for finding my website! 🖤