It’s an excuse. Almost, in a rush. Flurry of words, strangled and meaningless. It’s a girl. Almost, in tears. Towers of paper, worn and wrinkled. It’s the pounding in her head of whispers and shouts that haunt her dusk and dawn with mirrored sleepless nightmares and crippled sentences that make feeble attempts to navigate her thoughts and feelings in north south and east west over a never ending sphere of mountains and valleys and rivers that rush past and each is a deadly landscape in its own.
The mind speaker treads carefully through delicately intertwined silken strings, taking his time as to avoid becoming the unavoidable cause of a spattering downpour for days or a race of thrashing and crumbling rock down an ever present slope. With each sliver of reflected light caught in the dark alleyways of his sight comes a new scenario, devastating and miraculous ground together into a fine mix of powder, waiting to be washed away into a muddy landslide the instant his spindly fingers come in contact.
The crystal scene before him shines with the reflected light from the smallest of cracks in the solid ceiling splitting in its mirrored image to a rainbow only to be virtually unnoticed by the eyes on every surface. He drifts gracefully around the laser display of near invisible threads to reach the hanging elements, long heated and compact together yet never quite more separated than that moment. He echoes softly, reverberating the misty lights that dance across his vision and swim upside down in his lungs with each slow and shallow intake of cold breath.
It’s a command. Almost, in song. Collections of letters, verbal and poetic. You get so lost in the details that you don’t see the clearest meaning.
it’s what you remember
most known from childhood
as the long-awaited opening of the piggy
bank the weekend allowance
the lineup at the ice cream
truck the jingle in
your step the way you know
the tooth fairy’s been there
a familiar tang the blood
behind your tongue
metal railings in January
counting your life
away through the circles
in your wallet in
your car in your
couch remembrance seeping
into your fingers sweat
shining on the surface grooves
you know like the
back of your hand raised
symbols of patriotism
collectables constantly compared
to the value of its neighbours
toonies too loonie what strange
odd names the lowest
denominator worth more
to make than hold
within your hands
are the stamps of who you
belong to the mentors of greats
for some but you no
you are remembered of
the animals that live this land
plated in silver and
gold or maybe just silver
which is all you’ll give to the man
with no place to sleep
after all he’s as
gross as the smell that lingers
behind reminding you what
you’ve changed with your
There are times, she thinks, somber and splayed out on the floor. Life doesn’t always look up, and everything started doesn’t always end well. There are times, like the one not two days ago, when things you thought were going well take a sharp turn down a dead end street, and inevitably crash, like they did, into the houses at the very end of it.
It was here, sinking deeper and deeper into the putrid blue carpet, that a slow realization had bloomed in her thoughts. Life, no matter what turns it took, kept going. It may be slow to pick up, pull itself out of the car through the broken window and wait until it regained enough balance to stand on its own; but Life, no matter how broken, crawled up and walked away. Life rebuilt its backbone and walked away from its problems.
And if Life could do it—every single day—then so could she, even if just this once. She could put aside her hurt feelings and her abandoned promises and learn to live again. Life wasn’t over and neither was she.
He came to the office in a giant purple bunny suit, with floppy ears depressed and violet fur matted and clumped wherever it still stood. Long, rakey gashes ran across his back and seeped and bled all over the cheap grey carpet of my cubicle. He stood before me. His eyes watery; black; red; broken. I shook my head but he would not go, would not stop staring me down for my sins and my faults and my insecurities. Judging.
“Go,” I whispered, voice hoarse and about to crack no matter how much I begged it not to, “Go away.”
I swivelled in my chair, away from him. His eyes pulled me back, swung me around like a helpless magnet. I stared into those endless holes and into his skull. It was like looking in a mirror, which was the last thought I had before existence turned its ugly, hateful face towards me.
It smiled its hurtful grin, teeth sharp and pointed and jagged and yellow. It’s face dirty and greasy and scraped and scabbing as its nostrils flared and snake-like eyebrows came crashing down like a target had been painted right on my face. It stood, hunched, fifteen feet tall, and here was me, not even blessed enough to be in a corner, cowering at a mere five foot five in the spotlight.
What was its weapon of choice today? Last time it was the chains, the time before that the whip. Perhaps today it would actually finish the job.
Thought I’d let you know that I’m one of the co-bloggers for the Nighttime Novelist Challenge! On our blog, you can keep track of the progress that I and Annie Darkbyrd make on our way to writing an entire novel in one year. We also post writing prompts and inspiration for our fellow writers. Check it out, if you’re interested! :)
It had rained that day, but not the night. No, the night was just cold. “Dress nice,” he had told me. So I wore a dress that on any other occasion would have remained unloved on a hanger in my closet. I did my hair and put on makeup even though it made blinking feel weird. I wore those uncomfortable heels that would reopen the scars of the back of my ankles from where I had gotten blisters one-too-many times.
He didn’t have a car, so I waited next to the sketchy closed-down Coffee Time for the streetcar at seven pm in the end of October. I rode, sitting next to an overweight man with ragged hair for an hour. He picked me up at the streetcar stop, my heels dipping into a small puddle next to the sidewalk. “This way,” he said. He smelled like cigarettes and alchohol.
He led me into a hotel, into a crowded room where we had to stand to watch, and didn’t compliment my dress or my hair. The music started, a creepy tune, and the room dimmed. A girl in a sluttly, kinky outfit and handcuffs came out and started dancing. He’d taken me to see burlesque.
I looked away, down at the floor and tried to think of things other than how I hated the music and the crowd and how much my feet hurt. I took a glance at him, he was just enjoying the show. “Why are we here?” I asked.
He looked at me like I was crazy. “To watch the show.”
I shut my mouth, went back to the floor. It was half an hour before he noticed me again.
“Do you want to get something to eat?” he asked.
He nodded, lead me out of the hotel. He met his friends on the street, forgot me. I followed them down the alleyway. They lit up.
The smell of weed drafted behind them and to my nose. I turned around. Where was the streetcar stop again?
The Last Day was a Tuesday, with heavy fog and light rain. Nobody knew. How would they know? Who would tell them? Not I, my lips were sealed in a tight frown, eyes hard set on the faces of future corpses, seeing not their bright smile as they skipped to school or their tired expression as they drove to work, but a terrified, pained face screaming out in horror. Every one of them, except the ones that died quietly in their sleep or jumped off buildings or drown themselves in the lake. But no one would be saved.
It was an odd thing, to see a park crowded with not people—not even tombstones—but ashes and limbs and carcasses. What would survive, I wondered? Not the people, not the animals. Maybe not even the trees. But such was life, short and finite and maybe just a little too wasted but that was just personal opinion. Everywhere I looked I saw timers, ticking down second by second, minute by minute. It wasn’t long now.
So how did I spend the Last Day? Did I go to school or work? Do all the things I’d ever wanted to do? Spend the day with friends and family? I was never a sentimentalist, I was a realist. The world was over. There would be no difference what I did or who I did it with. I had no impact.
The world ended not with a bang, or a simmer, or a crash, or a flash. It ended with a flood of people, in and out of doors, chiming of bells, rushing of trains. It ended on a subway car, travelling between two outdoor stations with nothing but the sound of rain pattering on the roof and windows. It ended on a Tuesday.
They say your body is like a desert wasteland. No matter how much we cultivate the soil, there is still too much sun and not enough water. You used to hope the rain running down your cheeks might soak through your skin. You would make it pour every night. I would lay with you while it sprinkled down my cheeks too.
While you walked you used to see the other girls, rainforests, prairies and oceans. Your eyes would burn and your face would sour. I would take you back inside.
All the environmentalists in the world could not save your ozone. The pollutants ate away at you until nothing was left but crumbling dust in the wind.
On the first of May, I gave you a cactus.
My locker is a cage
They push me off the stage
But despite my age
I am still small
As I walk down the hall
Get picked on by the tall
The hunky sports star
His arm’s reach far
Shoves me in the tar
Pit of mud in front of the school
Boy don’t they think he’s cool
He’s really just a tool
Too macho for the school dance
I guess this is my last chance
To get rejected for one last prance
How do I
How should I
Fly without wings
Without sky without
Blush spreads far
Small body caves
What they were
I was never