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Journal of Darkness: Assassin and Deceptress


Nov 21, 2011, 8:17:32 PM by ~OmegaWolfOfWinter
Journals / Personal




(description of storyline: all characters in this work are dragons, with the ability to change into a human form. they live in present day society, but have a base in the middle of the desert. there is a library with the history of the world, which is operated by stacra, an organization to preserve the peace in the world. there is a rival organization, the dracra, who wish to take it over. the dracra is led by a dragon named Darkheart, a dragon who has haunted the Scar line for millenia.)
"... sahsa...."
what was that mumbled sasha, a small town girl in modern day USA. she was nearly asleep when the voice called to her.
sasha was usually described as a freak. she was a dragon fanatic, and she carried her favorite books wherever she went, Brink of Insanity: journal of the Wild and the Broken; and its companion, Blood curse:  journal of the Destroyer and the Savage. they told of dragons living in new york who had to bear a family curse and sought a way to release it. the author was only known as "Lucian".
"....sasha...."
i'm sure i heard it that time...
"....come to me sasha...."
she didnt know why but she felt as if she absolutely had to find the source. she was barely clothed but quietly snuck out, leaving small footprints in the snow.
"....sasha!...."
she felt panicked. as the voice grew louder so did her heart, beating quickly in her ears. some sort of animal instinct took over and she somehow Managed to run on all fours. her whole body began tingling, her skin writhing. she looked back and nearly choked: wings and a tail... had grown from her body. her whole body turned white as scales etched their way into life over her skin. her body began elongating and enlarging, becoming streamlined and lizardlike. she was transforming...
"...yes!... just as you said, master...."
"...quiet, kovu..."
sashas vision went dark as she stumbled, barrelling through the snow. when she looked up, she saw an enormous dragon, with scars just like the ones in her book. "she will be a fine student."
sasha was dumbfounded as she saw her parents walk up behind them. "greetings, master Lucian, kovu." said her father.
"and you, rydon."
"y-you...know...?" stammered sasha.
"all will be explained in the morning, sasha," replied her mother.
sasha felt tired and her eyes shut as the ground came up to meet her.
sasha sat alone at the picnic table, surrounded by lucian, her father rydon, her mother sophia, and kovu. "so... you're all.... dragons.... like in my books..." she gestured to the two books.
lucian stepped forward and placed a hand on the books. his hand glowed and the glossy books turned to worn, leather journals. "yes, we are dragons. sasha. and you have done well guarding my journals."
"your... journals? but i thought that these were best-selling novels..."
lucian chuckled, "no no. young one, there are only two other copies of each of these in existence."
"wow..."
her father spoke up now, "so what are you here for, master? is it time for her to leave us?"
"leave?! what do you mean leave?!"
rydon looked worriedly at lucian and then at sasha,"you are dragon, and it is tradition for you to be trained."
"but what if i dont want to leave?!"
her father began to become angry,"its not your choice!"
"then whose-"
lucian's eyes glowed red in anger, "rydon, haven't you taught your daughter respect? surely you would know of my ways by now."
rydon nodded, "i- i'm sorry, master. i don't know whats come over her."
sasha ran, shifting to her new dragon form and flying away. darkheart had warned her of this, that lucian was a dictatoria leader. she asked herself, "why had her father taken his side? why did this have to happen so suddenly? and most of all, what was she going to do next?"
darkheart had given her directions to meet her after lucian made contact. sasha flew, tired as she was not used to the extra limbs.
once she reached the spot that darkheart had told her, she waited and thought things through.
once darkheart arrived, she spoke, "i want to join you. i beleive everything you've said."
darkheart chuckled, "i knew you would dear girl, lucian is the same as his grandfather, they both hounded me and tortured me, for their own twisted ways. i've tried to keep as many as possible from falling into their cluthces. i wasn't able to **** scarheart, as he captured me and forced me into his own body as an energy slave. he tortured me even there, and after he died, lucian, his grandson, got me. he too tortured me."
sasha looked at her in sock, "thats terrible. i didnt know..."
"you couldnt have, darling. those evil dragons keep everything from those who should know."
sasha stood, "i want to be trained. by you."
"really? i warn you, it is quite tough. not all survive. you must be willing to do whatever it takes to stop those vile dragons."
*     *     * 3 years later
sasha was 20 years old, and it was time for her to take on her first big mission: infiltrate lucian's schol and learn everything she could.
sasha had already talked to lucian, apologizing for her behavior so long ago. lucian had seemed hesitant but allowed her in. foolish old bat. she thought. she had been at the compund for a year and a half now and had become familiar with their ways.  sasha would often wonder why she was doing this, and she remembered, darkheart had said that lucian killed sashs's father. she always looked at him with scorn and wished to **** him. but she restrained herself and kept on the facade.
today she felt especially hating towards every master she came in contact with. she passed tsai, lucian's right hand dragon, as he went to talk with the master. she tried to eavesdrop but they were speaking in an ancient, coded language. she growled and her white scales flashed in the sun.


"Lucian, somethings not right about that youngling sasha... she's always watching us, like she's gathering information."
"yes, tsai, i know. i know exactly what she is."
"what?" tsai looked skeptical.
"she's an agent, an informant. for darkheart."
tsai stared, incredulous."wha?! how do you know?!"
"ive been under the influence of darkheart before, as have you. something about sasha is of darkheart's doing."
tsai nodded "even still, is she possessed by her or under orders?"
lucian thought for a moment "i beleive under orders..."
both stared as lucian's son, kovu, walked up to sasha.
*       *        
"sasha! hi!" kovu had taken a liking to sasha since his father took her as an apprentice.
"oh, um. hi. kovu..." *i cant let my emotions get in the way of my mission!
"how have you been?" sasha felt herself blush under the gaze of the drake. he wasnt half-bad to look at, and she often caught herself watching him.
"i'm doing great, training with tsai is always fun. what about you and master lucian?"
her eyes darted to her master, her target, then back at kovu. "you mean you're... dad?"
"yeah... my dad... but we students can only call them by their designation. even master scaleweaver calls some elders master."
sasha's ears pricked up as she heard scaleweaver's name. she was assigned to gather information on all of the masters. i must make madame darkheart proud... i am worthy... she must see that...
"is... something wrong, sasha?"
she caught herself, "n-no i'm just tired is all... just tired..."
her master lucian came toward her what a fool, he doesnt even know about me... "sasha, i need to speak with you.... alone."
kovu difpped his head and backed away respectfully.
"sasha, come."
she swallowed her pride and said, "yes... master..." and followed him.
once they were outside, lucian turned to her and said, "i know, sasha. i know that darkheart sent u here to gather information on us."
sasha's eyes widened and her mouth dropped. she thought hard how?! how does he know?! this cant be possible....
"i-i dont know what youre talking about, master..."
lucian turned on her with a peircing gaze, and made her wince as he studied her. "there are better ways to lie, youngling... but not to me. ive known for quite some time now."
sasha felt her legs give out beneath her. she sat, looking into the dust, listening incredulously at lucian. "how... how do you know?!?!"
sasha ran forward, clawing at lucian's throat. she was instantly frozen in place, an immensely strong spell holding her legs in place.  "let me go, lucian!"
"its master to you, youngling. and why would i let you go? you just tried to **** me." sasha struggled helplessly against her bonds. she saw lucian mutter something and felt her legs grow suddenly cold. she looked and gasped as ice started to creep up her haunches.
"lucia-master, please let me go... i was only under orders."
lucian chuckled, "how did darkheart get to you?"
"i can't tell you..."
"oh? then let me guess; theres another informant, a higher up in stacra, who told darkheart about you and she arrived, possibly a week before us? she fed you a story of stacra destroying the world and trying to take over the one that they created. she told you that she was only trying to help restore order. am i close?"
sasha felt naked under the gaze of the elder, who saw straight through her act and through her commander's plan. it made her heart quicken and her scales writhe. she felt a sharp pain as the ice crept up and chilled her thighs, creeping steadily upwards. "how... how can you know these things?! darkheart said you wouldnt be able to know... she said that you held her prisoner... that you tortured her... she said that you- you killed my father."
lucian shook his head and wiped something from his face, revealing gruesome scars. "she altered her face to look like mine... look, and know the truth." he placed a claw on her forehead and she gasped as a flood of memories flooded her, darkheart inside lucian's mind, taking over him, taunting him, and forcing him to do terrible things. she heard lucian say, "she tortured me, she held me captive. its true that stacra destroyed the world, but look also;" she saw the corrupt government of old, and their wretched attrocities. "they brought about their own destruction. we created the world you know, but dont wish it to be taken over, we merely want peace...We act as peacekeepers. darkheart seeks to enslave all to do her bidding. and your father died at darkheart's talons, not mine." sasha saw a gruesome scene as lucian tried to save her father.
she felt him withdraw, and felt the magic and ice withdraw from her, the ice's touch fading from her ****. she shivered and crouched low, warming her body.
"sasha, darkheart is a liar... she's been at it for thousands of years." he watched her shiver and said. "come, sit around the fire."
sasha noddded and followed close behind lucian, hiding her vulnerable state.
"i'm sorry, master."
"all will be okay, sasha... all will be fine.."
lucian brought sasha into his study under his wing. he had her sit down in front of the fire and draped a blanket over her. he sat down behind her, looking over the latest reports, waiting for her to speak. after a few minutes she sighed and looked back at lucian, tears forming in her eyes. "is everything you said true? Is darkheart nothing but a deceptionist?"
lucian looked up at her and nodded. "all of it was true. I'm sorry, sasha. darkheart is a gifted deceptionist and many of us have fallen for her tricks.  including me."
sasha turned back and looked into the fire with sad eyes, tears rolling down her cheek. she shuddered and took a shaky breath. lucian came up beside her and placed a comforting paw on her shoulder.
"darkheart forced me to **** my best friend... a she-drake named Clia... in front of her other followers to show that we must be able to turn on anyone to fulfill the mission..."
lucian nodded, "so I had heard... darkheart has become more cruel than ever."
"l-lucian, what can i do to make her pay?"
lucian thought for a while and then shook his head. "let me think more on this, sasha. for now, let no one know that you are an affiliate of darkheart, it could have deadly consequence. you may remain in here if you wish, or you may return to your own quarters. i have some things to attend to."
sasha nodded to him and gasped as everything went still and dimmed, even the fire seemed grey and frozen.
"wha-"
"sasha... you must tell me now, will you work with me?"
she was stunned. "where are you? what do you mean?"
"you want to get back at her, i know how to. but you must tell me if you will work with me."
"i-i will, lucian. but whhy ask now, and in this way?"
"because, there is someone here, that is going to try to **** you. he was listening to us and is going to attack you with magic. ive cast a spell that will give an apearance of death. just let the magic do its stuff and u'll do fine">
"but wait!"
"you must trust me, sasha."
all of a sudden, everything went back to normal, and lucian was gone, she could hear his fading footsteps.
what was that abou- wait! the killer... she kept facing the fire and listened as she had been taught to the clawsteps of the incoming dragon.
"is it true? you're one of them?!"
sasha turned and gasped, flashing him a shocked, innocent look over her shoulder. "what are you talking about, kovu?"
he was angry, and she was struck with fear. "i overheard you and lucian talking. i heard everything."
sasha turned to face him."y-you, heard everything..."
"then you are one of them! i cant beleive it... i cant beleive i trusted you."
kovu stepped forward and sasha's eyes shifted, trying to find a way out. "kovu, i- i can explain."
"you're nothing but a trickster, a deceptress! dont try to talk me out of this."
her heartbeat quickened, stricken with dread. "out of... out of what, kovu?"
he said nothing but uttered the death spell.
*      *    
sasha let herself go, remembering lucian's spell. but as she did so, she thought about why she was doing this. *to make darkheart suffer...
she heard lucian in her mind. "you'll be going to death-sleep for a while, a few days to make it beleivable. now sleep, sasha... sleep and i will awaken you soon."
"o-okay, master lucian..."
"there is no need to call me master anymore, sasha. from now on, you no longer exist. which is why darkheart will never see you coming. its time... dont worry."
the death-sleep overcame her and she fell to darkness.
*   * *
lucian ran downstairs and saw kovu standing over sasha's body. he put on a facade of dread and said, "kovu.... what have you done?!"
kovu looked at lucian angrily. "you were going to harbor a killer... i took care of the problem."
lucian became angry now, "no, you made more problems. you didnt think... you didnt listen. she was willing to help."
kovu snarled at lucian, "i did what needed to be done. I killed her for you, father."
lucian responded quietly, "you killed a helpless dragoness in cold blood. i have no choice but to arrest you for ******, my son." he muttered a binding spell and blocked kovu's magic. he watched kovu struggle for a moment then went to pick up sasha's seemingly lifeless body. he contacted her mentally, saying, "i'm taking your body in to the infirmary, i'll oversee your examination. in 2 days, i will wake you, when i do, be very quiet."
"yes, sir."
sasha's new appearance was stunning, quite different from the black color of her original scales, she now looked like each scale was a glittering saphire, and her horns and underside were now a shimmering silver. sasha was astonished by what lucian had done, he had also changed her voice and form, making her more slender and agile, he altered her voice in such a way that it seemed that she could charm the heart out of a rock. even lucian who had a mate of his own had to keep himself composed. but he was undoubtedly pleased that things were turning out well. lucian had to change everything about her, her eyes now a deep green, her draconic fingerprint being her tail-tip and spine, were changed to furry mane and a slender diamond tip.
she looked at herself in amirror and remarked how mature she looked.
"you may have to be put in certain situations which may have you exploit some... erm... feminine charms."
"so i'll have to...."
"only if you let it go that far. it depends on you. you said that you'd  do anything to get back at darkheart. these matters are up to your own discretion."
she thought long about this. "i want to g
this is a book i'm still writing.
Fair Warning this does contain explicit language and ****** content if you are under the age of 18 please click exit, If you are offended by ****** prose please don't read this one either......LOL


Meet Me at the Holiday Inn  He said

she of course said yes without hesitation

Make sure to check in a room in the back He said

He did not want anyone disturbing their time
Nor for anyone to hear the noises that might sound disturbing to some

her body quivered as He explained why a room in the back

she would never defy Him, it was not in her nature to do so

every part of her just ached to please Him to make Him happy

When you get in the room leave it unlocked and undress I want you ready for me as soon as I arrive

her heart hammered hard, pale flesh went crimson, nerves were causing her to fidget and He hated fidgeting

I can't wait to see you naked waiting for me

Your pale bountiful flesh bare of clothing waiting for my eyes to roam from top to bottom and back up again

How does that make you feel girl?  He asked

Very uneasy but excited to, afraid, desired, wanting  she said

His laughter was unmistakable He knew the effect He had on her and He reveled in it, He got tremendously hard just thinking about the power He exhorted over her

Oh god, how am I to undress and wait for Him to enter the room, what if He waits an hour before coming in, I will die from embarassment and desire all mixed together

You are my good girl aren't You ****?  He asked quietly

Yes I am  she responded

The conversation ended and she began to dress with care unsure why as she was just going to remove it anyway

Having showered, pulling the razor blade over the flesh between silky thighs, making sure no hair or stubble was present

See she knew He just might have a piece of duct tape that He would place between the cheeks of her *** and pull just to see if she shaved everywhere He desired

Her hands moved steadily along the crack, her juices were already flowing from the heat of the shower, thoughts of Him at the hotel, His voice a few moments ago

The pleasure nub at the Y section of her petals was throbbing dying to be touched, yet she knew better, to touch without His permission could land her in big trouble, shuddering at the thought

Fingers slid between the succulent petals making sure they were smooth, washing with the sweet aromatic soap moving up her body over the large globes of ivory with the pale areolas, ******* hard already

She was going to lose it before ever getting to her destination

The phone rang and she nearly jumped out of her skin

You finish Your shower girl?

Yes I did

Did you get excited and remember I always know when you lie?

Yes I got excited but I stopped myself from relieving the ache

Very good girl, You have come a long way I am very  pleased

Are you still naked from the shower?

Yes just drying off

Get the 8 inch toy I bought you and lay on the bed

Her heart beat so hard she thought it would burst from her chest
Doing as ordered, grabbing the 8 inch vibrating ***** that filled her so tightly that it almost hurt

Lay down on the bed my girl

Securing the door, svelte flesh lay upon the soft bedding, hard tipped globes ached, as well as the nub between the shaved rose petals, even her *** throbbed

Where should we play today my little *****?

Anywhere, it matters not, just pleasee take this ache away  

He chuckled knowing she was dripping wet by now, she was His little waterfall, always wet just at the thought of Him or the sound

Pinch your ****** hard and make sure I hear you

Awwwww yesssss!!!

He began to give her quick instructions moving things rather quicker than usual

Harder girl, slide your other hand around that hard ****, begin rubbing it fast

Moaning loudly as her fingers fluttered over the pleasure nub like a butterfly kissing a flower, other fingers pinching and pulling upon the hard ******

Hurry girl I thought you said you were dying of need

Ohhhhh I am I am pleaseeee don't stop

He chuckled at that she was going to be a delight this night, He just might not let her get dressed for a few days and let her sleep with Him buried deep inside her

Release the ****** and get the toy, spread those thighs wider, I want you to take the toy deep inside your tight wet tunnel all at once and all the way

His **** was hard and He began to stroke it in earnest as her sounds were maddening to Him, man her voice was like a **** siren, He already had the first drop of moisture revealing itself from the tip

Ohhhhhh YESSSSSSSSSSS, ahhhhhh, pleaseeeeee, moreeeee oh pleassseeee

You know what to do **** yourself hard without mercy but don't your release unless I say so

She was already close before He said to use the toy harder and faster, biting her lower lip hard to keep herself from exploding, ramming the silicone **** deep into her silky wet folds, she could feel the dripping honey between her *** cheeks knowing that area would no longer be virginal after tonight, shivering as the pressure began to build

He continued to move His large hand up and down, hell yes this **** drove Him wild how He got so lucky to find her He had no idea but she was His and He intended to make sure she knew it in every way tonight

Her well was so tight around the toy, but it slid in deep an easy due to her soaking wet desire

Moaning louder, she began to beg, and plead, oh pleasee let me release, I can't hold it much longer, pleaseeee I am begging you

Nope not yet He chuckled

Ohhhhhhhhh nooooo pleaseee, whimpering and whining as the pressure increased driving her mad with desire

His hand moved up and down as images of her tight *** wrapped around His thick length filled his brain, ahh oh yeah mmmm He could hear the ***** going in and out from the wetness surrounding it which further incited His imagination.   Mmmmm yes that tight ***** and then He was claiming that cherry ***

she was sweating holding back, oh pleassse she thought as her mouth let screams of pleasure, whining, and whimpers escape, hips lifting off the bed meeting the toy ****** after ******  

He felt his **** hardening to where He could have hammered a nail into a board, and suddenly He could feel it ready to explode

Now ****!!! and don't you hold back on me

Ohhh yes!!!!

Her body bucked and muscles clamped down as fluids exploded forth from her well soaking the bed, her thighs, and draining down the crack of her ***, her screams nearly deafened Him but He did not care

Ahhh yes baby here it **** just for you oh **** oh **** **** girl

His hand tightened around His shaft a little harder as suddenly the stream of thick white cream spewed across the table where He was sitting, shooting thick goo over and over as He let loose.  Oh He so could not wait to get a hold of her

Very good girl now clean up and get your *** to the hotel and don't forget the paddle as you have a punishment yet before any enjoyment

Oh, she had hoped You forgot all about that

Oh no I remember and unless you want more added I suggest you not forget anything I have instructed of you

Unbeknownst to her after He hung up His girlfriend walked in having seen His performance and the evidence marking the kitchen table as His shaft was still hanging out of His jeans

I am going out for the weekend be back on Monday

His girlfriend nodded her head and didn't dare say a word even when He said
Oh and clean up that table no hands, rags, just your mouth
*

He chuckled as He heard the sharp intake of breath, oh how He loved His women, so compliant, obedient and they never questioned His demands.  He headed out the door with His duffle bag full of things to titillate the brain and body
Written by Jennifer Humphrey  all rights reserved
The voice Mar 2018
I stand in the middle of the room
My classmates are commanded to listen to me
I am the 14th person to present and so far, everyone has done a good job

I stand in the middle of the room
I begin to saw the name of my project
“My Poem”
I cannot remember what it was about
I do remember, what I felt

I stand in the room,
Hoping that everyone feels what I felt when I was writing it
I felt excited, my stomach had ‘butterflies’ I think
I felt the heat in my heart and the cold on my shoulders.
I felt the tingles all over my body, and the air escaping me

I stood in the middle of the room
I stand in the middle of the room
I was in the middle of the room and said
“My poem”
I heard a chuckle.

I ignored it because the ‘in love’ heart in my chest was more excited than It should have been
I continues and my voice began to play tricks on me
And the r’s rolled and the words were suddenly in another language
My mind still ignored it and continues
Because I felt I could write, and read this and everyone could love it

I stood in the middle of the room,
I waited for the, applause, the smiles, the congrats, or even a simple ‘good job’ like everyone else
Instead…
My teacher said, work on pronunciation. She said it again. Pro-noun-ci-a-tion
Ok. ‘Work on grammar.’ ‘Work on sentence structure’
“Work on being American” the chuckle said
Or the person who chuckled?

It didn’t mean much, you know
I loved writing so much that it did not matter
I would be a writer, I would continue to
STAND in the middle of the room and share my talent
And when I did, he chuckled
She chuckled, I was Mexican

Not a writer. Writers can’t be Mexican
Unless you write in Spanish and in Mexico
But I was too American for that at this point…

SO the next time I wrote I was ashamed,
Maybe if someone else wrote my writing?
But it didn’t matter,
When the teacher began reading,
The chuckle reminded the class it was the ‘Mexican’ who wrote it

“Mi nina” My mom would say
She reminded me that no only was I Mexican
I was a woman,
Only men thrive in this world
I believed it
And that is why my name is ‘The Voice’
Not my actually name,
Disclosure: I accept criticism on how to better my writing
NOT on what to write or on my background
Thanks, for a lesson I will never forget:

I make my own destiny!
Cyril Blythe Sep 2012
I followed him down the trail until we got to the mouth of the mines. The life and energy of the surrounding maples and birches seemed to come to a still and then die as we walked closer, closer. The air was cold and dark and damp and smelt of mold and moths. Delvos stepped into the darkness anyways.
“Well, girl, you coming or aren’t you?”
I could see his yellowed tobacco teeth form into a slimy smile as I stepped out of the sun. It was still inside. The canary chirped.
“This tunnel is just the mouth to over two hundred others exactly like it. Stay close. Last thing I need this month is National Geographic on my *** for losing one of their puppet girls.”
“Delvos, ****. I have two masters degrees.” He rolled his eyes.
“Spare me.” He trotted off around the corner to the left, whistling.
“I survived alone in the jungles of Bolivia alone for two months chasing an Azara’s Spinetail. I climbed the tallest mountain in Nepal shooting Satyr Tragopans along the cliff faces. In Peru I…” Suddenly I felt the weight of the darkness. In my blinding anger I lost track of his lantern. I stopped, my heartbeat picked up, and I tried to remind myself of what I did in Peru.
I followed a Diurnal Peruvian Pygmy-Owl across the gravel tops of the Andes Mountains, no light but the Southern Cross and waning moon above. I am not scared of darkness. I am not scared of darkness.
I stopped to listen. Somewhere in front of me the canary chirped.

When I first got the job in Vermont I couldn’t have been more frustrated. Mining canaries? Never had I ever ‘chased’ a more mundane bird. Nonetheless, when Jack Reynolds sends you on a shoot you don’t say no, so I packed up my camera bag and hoped on the next plane out of Washington.
“His name is John Delvos.” Jack said. He handed me the manila case envelope. “He’s lived in rural Vermont his entire life. Apparently his family bred the canaries for the miners of the Sheldon Quarry since the early twenties. When the accident happened the whole town basically shut down. There were no canaries in the mines the day the gas killed the miners. His mother died in a fire of some sort shortly after. The town blamed the Delvos family and ran them into the woods. His father built a cabin and once his father died, Delvos continued to breed the birds. He ships them to other mining towns across the country now. We want to run a piece about the inhumanity of breeding animals to die so humans won’t.” I stood in silence in front of his deep mahogany desk, suddenly aware of the lack of make-up on my face. He smiled, “You’re leaving on Tuesday.”
“Yes sir.”
“Don’t look so smug, Lila. This may not be the most exotic bird you’ve shot but the humanity of this piece has the potential to be a cover story. Get the shots, write the story.”

“Do you understand the darkness now, Ms. Rivers? Your prestigious masters degrees don’t mean **** down here.” Delvos reappeared behind the crack of his match in a side tunnel not twenty yards in front of me. He relit the oily lantern and turned his back without another word. I reluctantly followed deeper into the damp darkness.
“Why were there no canaries in the mine on, you know, that day?” The shadows of the lantern flickered against the iron canary cage chained on his hip and the yellow bird hopped inside.
“I was nine, Ms. Rivers. I didn’t understand much at the time.” We turned right into the next tunnel and our shoes crunched on jagged stones. All the stones were black.
“But surely you understand now?”
The canary chirped.

When I first got to Sheldon and began asking about the location of the Delvos’ cabin you would have thought I was asking where the first gate to hell was located. Mothers would smile and say, “Sorry, Miss, I can’t say,” and hurriedly flock their children in the opposite direction. After two hours of polite refusals I gave up. I spent the rest of the first day photographing the town square. It was quaint; old stone barbershops surrounded by oaks and black squirrels, a western themed whiskey bar, and a few greasy spoon restaurants interspersed in-between. I booked a room in the Walking Horse Motel for Wednesday night, determined to get a good nights sleep and defeat this towns fear of John Delvos tomorrow.
My room was a tiny one bed square with no TV. Surprise, surprise. At least I had my camera and computer to entertain myself. I reached into the side of my camera bag and pulled out my Turkish Golds and Macaw-beak yellow BIC. I stepped out onto the dirt in front of my door and lit up. I looked up and the stars stole all the oxygen surrounding me. They were dancing and smiling above me and I forgot Delvos, Jack, and all of Sheldon except it’s sky. Puffing away, I stepped farther and farther from my door and deeper into the darkness of night. The father into the darkness the more dizzying the stars dancing became.
“Ma’am? Everything okay?”
Startled, I dropped my cigarette on the ground and the ember fell off.
“I’m sorry, sir. I was just, um, the stars…” I snuffed out the orange glow in the dirt with my boot and extended my hand, “Lila Waters, and you are?”
“Ian Benet. I haven’t seen you around here before, Ms. Waters, are you new to town?”
“I’m here for work. I’m a bird photographer and journalist for National Geographic. I’m looking for John Delvos but I’m starting to think he’s going to be harder to track than a Magpie Robin.”
The stars tiptoed in their tiny circles above in the silence. Then, they disappeared with a spark as Ian lit up his wooden pipe. It was a light colored wood, stained with rich brown tobacco and ash. He passed me his matches, smiling.
“What do you want with that old *******? Don’t tell me National Geographic is interested in the Delvos canaries.”
I lit up another stick and took a drag. “Shocking, right?”
“Actually, it’s about time their story is told.” Benet walked to the wooden bench to our left and patted the seat beside him. I walked over. “The Delvos canaries saved hundreds of Sheldonian lives over the years. But the day a crew went into the mines without one, my father came out of the ground as cold as when we put him back into it in his coffin.”
I sat in silence, unsure what to say. “Mr. Benet, I’m so sorry…”
“Please, just Ian. My father was the last Mr. Benet.”
We sat on the wooden bench, heat leaving our bodies to warm the dead wood beneath our legs. I shivered; the stars dance suddenly colder and more violent.
“Delvos canaries are martyrs, Ms. Waters. This whole town indebted to those tiny yellow birds, but nobody cares to remember that anymore.”
“Can you tell me where I can find Mr. Delvos and his, erm, martyrs?” The ember of my second cigarette was close to my pinching fingertips.
“Follow me.” Ian stood up and walked to the edge of the woods in front of us. We crunched the cold dust beneath our feet, making me aware of how silent it was. Ian stopped at a large elm and pointed, “See that yellow notch?” Sure enough, there was a notch cut and dyed yellow at his finger’s end. “If you follow true north from this tree into the woods you’ll find this notch about every fifty yards or so. Follow the yellow and it’ll spit you out onto the Delvos property.”
“Thank you, Ian. I really can’t begin to tell you how thankful I am to find out where to find this elusive Mr. Delvos and his canaries.”
“You don’t have to,” he knocked the ash out of his pipe against the tree, “Just do those birds justice in your article. Remember, martyrs. Tell old Delvos Ian Benet sends his regards.” He turned and walked back to the motel and I stood and watched in silence. It was then I realized I hadn’t heard a single bird since I got to Sheldon. The stars dance was manic above me as I walked back to my room and shut the door.

The canary chirped and Delvos stopped.
“This is a good place to break out fast. Sit.”
I sat obediently, squirming around until the rocks formed a more comfortable nest around my bony hips. We left for the mines as the stars were fading in the vermillion Vermont sky this morning and had been walking for what seemed like an eternity. I was definitely ready to eat. He handed me a gallon Ziploc bag from his backpack filled with raisins, nuts, various dried fruits, and a stiff piece of bread. I attacked the food like a raven.
“I was the reason no canaries entered the mines that day, Ms. Waters.” Delvos broke a piece of his bread off and wrapped it around a dried piece of apricot, or maybe apple. I was suddenly aware of my every motion and swallowed, loudly. I crinkled into my Ziploc and crunched on the pecans I dug out, waiting.
“Aren’t you going to ask why?”
“I’m not a parrot, Mr. Delvos, I don’t answer expectedly on command. You’ll tell me if you want.” I hurriedly stuffed a fistful of dried pears into my mouth.
Delvos chuckled and my nerves eased, “You’ve got steel in you, Ms. Rivers, I’ll give you that much.”
I nodded and continued cramming pears in my mouth.
“I was only nine. The canaries were my pets, all of them. I hated when Dad would send them into the mines to die for men I couldn’t give two ***** about. It was my birthday and I asked for an afternoon of freedom with my pets and Dad obliged. I was in the aviary with pocketfuls of sunflower-seeds. Whenever I threw a handful into the air above me, the air came to life with flickering yellow brushes and songs of joy. It was the happiest I have ever been, wholly surrounded and protected by my friends. Around twelve thirty that afternoon the Sheriff pulled up, lights ablaze. The blue and red lights stilled my yellow sky to green again and that’s when I heard the shouting. He cuffed my Dad on the hood of the car and Mom was crying and pushing her fists into the sheriff’s chest. I didn’t understand at all. The Sheriff ended up putting Mom in the car too and they all left me in the aviary. I sat there until around four that afternoon before they sent anyone to come get me.”
Delvos took a small bite of his bread and chewed a moment. “No matter how many handfuls of seeds I threw in the air after that, the birds wouldn’t stir. They wouldn’t even sing. I think they knew what was happening.”
I was at a loss for words so of course I blurted, “I didn’t see an aviary at your house…”
Delvos laughed. “Someone burnt down the house I was raised in the next week while we were sleeping. Mom died that night. The whole dark was burning with screams and my yellow canaries were orange and hot against the black sky. That’s the only night I’ve seen black canaries and the only night I’ve heard them scream.”
I swallowed some mixed nuts and they rubbed against my dry throat.
“They never caught the person. A week later Dad took the remainder of the birds and we marched into the woods. We worked for months clearing the land and rebuilding our lives. We spent most of the time in silence, except for the canary cries. When the house was finally built and the birds little coops were as well, Dad finally talked. The only thing he could say was ‘Canaries are not the same as a Phoenix, John. Not the same at all.”
The canary chirped, still only visible by the lanterns flame. Not fully yellow, I realized, here in the mines, but not fully orange either.

When I first walked onto John Delvos’ property on Thursday morning he was scattering feed into the bird coops in the front of his cabin. Everything was made of wood and still wet with the morning’s dew.
“Mr. Delvos?” He spun around, startled, and walked up to me a little too fast.
“Why are you here? Who are you?”
“My name is Lila Waters, sir, I am a photographer and journalist for National Geographic Magazine and we are going to run an article on your canaries.”
“Not interested”
“Please, sir, can I ask you just a few quick questions as take a couple pictures of your, erm, martyrs?”
His eyes narrowed and he walked up to me, studying my face with an intense, glowering gaze. He spit a mouthful of dip onto the ground without breaking eye contact. I shifted my camera bag’s weight to the other shoulder.
“Who told you to call them that?”
“I met Ian Benet last night, he told me how important your birds are to this community, sir. He sends his regards.”
Delvos laughed and motioned for me to follow as he turned his back. “You can take pictures but I have to approve which ones you publish. That’s my rule.”
“Sir, it’s really not up to me, you see, my boss, Jack Reynolds, is one of the CEO’s for the magazine and he...”
“Those are my rules, Ms. Waters.” He turned and picked back up the bucket of seed and began to walk back to the birds. “You want to interview me then we do it in the mine. Be back here at four thirty in the morning.”
“Sir…?”
“Get some sleep, Ms. Waters. You’ll want to be rested for the mine.” He turned, walked up his wooden stairs, and closed the door to his cabin.
I was left alone in the woods and spent the next hour snapping pictures of the little, yellow canaries in their cages. I took a couple pictures of his house and the surrounding trees, packed up my camera and trekked back to my motel.

“You finished yet?” Delvos stood up and the memory of his green and brown wooded homestead fled from my memory as the mine again consumed my consciousness. Dark, quiet, and stagnant. I closed the Ziploc and stuffed the bag, mainly filled with the raisins I sifted through, into my pocket.
Delvos grunted and the canary flapped in its cage as he stood again and, swinging the lantern, rounded another corner. The path we were on began to take a noticeable ***** downward and the moisture on the walls and air multiplied.
The canary chirped.
The lantern flickered against the moist, black stones, sleek and piled in the corners we past. The path stopped ahead at a wall of solid black and brown Earth.
The canary chirped twice.
It smelt of clay and mildew and Delvos said, “Go on, touch it.”
I reached my hand out, camera uselessly hanging like a bat over my shoulder. The rock was cold and hard. It felt dead.
The Canary was flitting its wings in the cage now, chirping every few seconds.
“This is the last tunnel they were digging when the gas under our feet broke free from hell and killed those men.”
Delvos hoisted the lantern above our heads, illuminating the surrounding gloom. All was completely still and even my own vapor seemed to fall out of my mouth and simply die. The canary was dancing a frantic jig, now, similar to the mating dance of the Great Frigate Bird I shot in the Amazon jungle. As I watched the canary and listened to its small wings beat against the cold metal cage I begin to feel dizzy. The bird’s cries had transformed into a scream colder than fire and somehow more fierce.
The ability to fly is what always made me jealous of birds as a child, but as my temple throbbed and the canary danced I realized I was amiss. Screaming, yellow feathers whipped and the entire inside of the cage was instantaneously filled. It was beautiful until the very end. Dizzying, really.
Defeated, the canary sank to the floor, one beaten wing hanging out of the iron bars at a most unnatural angle. Its claws were opening and closing, grasping the tainted cave air, or, perhaps, trying to push it away. Delvos unclipped the cage and sat it on the floor in the space between us, lantern still held swaying above his head. The bird was aflame now, the silent red blood absorbing into the apologetic, yellow feathers. Orange, a living fire. I pulled out my camera as I sat on the ground beside the cage. I took a few shots, the camera’s clicks louder than the feeble chirps sounding out of the canary’s tattered, yellow beak. My head was spinning. Its coal-black eyes reflected the lantern’s flame above. I could see its tiny, red tongue in the bottom of its mouth.
Opening.
Closing.
Opening, wider, too wide, then,
Silence.


I felt dizzy. I remember feeling the darkness surround me; it felt warm.

“I vaguely remember Delvos helping me to my feet, but leaving the mine was a complete haze.” I told the panel back in D.C., “It wasn’t until we had crossed the stream on the way back to the cabin that I began to feel myself again. Even then, I felt like I was living a dream. When we got back to the cabin the sight of the lively yellow canaries in their coops made me cry. Delvos brought me a bottle of water and told me I needed to hit the trail because the sun set early in the winter, so I le
jennifer ann Jan 2015
"i'm watching you, stupid *****." Madison pointed at pyper as the girls made there way out of the dining room. "thats enough madison." Cordelia scolded. Nan followed pyper up the stairs  into her bedroom. "why are you following me?" pyper asked, looking at nan in disgust. rolling her eyes and shaking her head. "you have madisons money." nan crossed her arms and smiled. "excuse me??" pyper replied as if she were offended by Nans accusation. "mhm, and you have zoeys sunglasses.., cassies ipod, and 25 dollars you stole from emilys purse. along with her art pencils." nan replied. "wow, you're A cleptomaniac." Nan laughed. "okay, how do you know all of this???" Pyper asked, her cheeks red from embarissment, and her head lowered in shame. "i'm psychic. i can read minds." nan explained. suddenly cassie walked past pypers room in search of her stolen ipod. "has anyone seen my pink ipod???" Cassie questioned, it was sitting on my bed, and now i can't find it anywhere. " she looked around hopelessly. "well then look in your room cassie. give me 5 minutes and i'll help you look." pyper shouted. "wow, you're a real piece of work arent you?" nan rolled her eyes and chuckled. "what is your angle, nan?" Pyper questioned, rolling her eyes aswell. saying names name as if she were mocking the whole idea of her. "my angle, PYPER. is this, you give everyone there **** back or i'm telling cordelia and you're out of here." Nan smerked. "you're not going to tell on me anyway?" pyper asked sadly. "no, not onless you do it again." nan sighed, "we stick together here, we're a family, we don't steele eachother down thats not what we're about." nan explained sympatheticly. "wow, thats funny because that's all my real family ever did." pyper replied with big sad puppy dog eyes. nan nodded, "i'm not here to listen to your ******* excuses or your sob stories. if saying that you've had a hard life, and never had anything given to you. and the world owes you.  helps you get to sleep at night then fine, cool beans. but i'm not buying that ****.  and these girls don't owe you anything. now, i expect everyone to have there **** back by the morning, or i will tell cordelia." nan sighed and rolled her eyes. "okay." pyper nodded with a wounded look upon her face. Cassie stood outside of the door, still listening. her eyebrows raised in anger. and then made her way up the stairs and into madisons room. "what are you doing here pipsquick. im NOT in the mood." Madison sobbed. "oh i think you're in the mood for this, i know who took your money." Cassie smiled.
Hewasminemoon Jul 2014
It was almost February and winter still hadn’t hit. I was beginning to
think that it wouldn’t arrive, and that spring was here. One evening as I was walking down the streets of the city I looked up to see a single snowflake falling down to meet my face. It was tiny and looked lonely, but a few moments later, it was followed by several more snowflakes. Sooner than later, the ground was covered in a white sheet of snow. and I was stuffing my hands in my coat pockets and pulling my hood on to brace myself against the bone-chilling wind. I made my way into a small coffee shop that was still open and was greeted by a short stocky man in his mid thirties with a dark, curly mustache and sleeves of faded tattoos.
“Hello” he said, his voice sounding deep and smooth. I pulled out my headphones that were burning in my ears, pressed pause on my phone and shoved them carelessly in my messenger bag.
“Hello”, I replied back with a slight smile, pulling my hands out of my
pockets and making my way to the counter.
The shop was small, but it had a staircase leading upstairs with more room for seating. The man who stood behind the counter continued to unpack small plastic covered packages, putting them away in cupboards and freezers. I pulled out my wallet from my bag and plopped it on the counter, feebly attempting to pull out my card with my hands shaking violently from the cold.
“What a night”, the man said, his eyes still focused on his duties.
“Hmm.” I said, nodding. “Can I get a 12oz mocha, please?” The man looked up from his package, and giggled coyly.
“Sure you can, sweetheart." He put the package that he was holding down below him, and began making the drink I had just ordered. My credit card held tightly in my hand, still shaking. There was awkward silence between us and I got the feeling the man understood I didn’t feel like talking. He finished my order, filling a small, white ceramic mug, and pushed it across the counter towards me.
“Anything else?”
I shook my head, implying no and handed him the cold card. He swiped it and handed it back to me, along with a receipt and a pen to sign. I signed the receipt, grabbed my coffee and headed up the stairs to my right. Upstairs, there was a large room with a dining room looking table and several chairs, and to the left, and a small hole in the wall with several cushions. I smiled at the welcoming spot, and took a seat. Pulling a small table up next to me, I set my coffee down, and rested my bag on the floor below me. The upstairs was completely empty. In fact; the entire shop was empty besides the man working downstairs. I took a deep breath in and let my head rest on some of the cushions behind me. Closing my eyes, I let out my breath and felt the warmth and the vast history of the shop run envelop me. I grabbed at the cup beside me and sipped at my coffee. It was still too hot to drink comfortably, so I set it down. Out of my bag, I pulled out my phone with the headphones still attached and scrunched into a tight tangled ball.
Untangling them, I placed each bud in my ear, and pressed play, continuing the song I had stopped when I had entered the coffee shop. I felt my eyelids grow heavy and I sunk deeper and deeper into the pillows around me, the smell of old books seeping into my skin. Finally, I closed my eyes, and after a few moments, was sound asleep.
When I opened my eyes, the first thing I saw was a man’s face, unfamiliar but comforting.
“Excuse me…” he said, with a wide grin.
I jumped with embarrassment; ripping my headphones out of my ears, although they were no longer playing anything. How long had I been asleep? And who was this young man? An employee of the shop? A customer?
“Sorry!” I yelped.
The man chuckled as I swung my feet around to the floor and pulled out my phone to check the time. Realizing it was dead, I scanned the room for a clock and with no success I asked the stranger “What time is it?”
He rolled up his sleep, and checked what to be a rather expensive watch. The man was dressed nicely, but nothing too formal. A clean pair of black jeans, a plaid shirt and a sweater over it. His hair, a dark brown looked thick and slightly curled. He ran his fingers through it as he responded. “It’s quarter past.”
“Past what?”
He blinked at me. “Eight…” he paused at my confused look. “A.M”
I gasped at the time. It was just past nine at night when I had dozed off.
Why did the short stalky man not wake me? Did he forget I was upstairs?
Maybe he assumed I had left, and just missed me doing so.
“I…I…” I stumbled upon my words. I wasn’t quite sure what to say, still
unsure who this man was.
“My boss told me you’d be up here.” He lifted my cup of cold coffee and
handed it to me. “I can get you a warm cup if you’d like. We don’t open for another half hour.”
I nodded, and with the cup in hand, the man turned and headed down the stairs. I gathered my things, smoothed out my shirt, tossed my hair to one side and followed the man down the stairs.
“My names Elliot” he shouted from behind the counter and the noises of the coffee machine.
“Ellie.” I shouted back.
A door swung open and in Elliot’s hand was a new cup of coffee.
“That’s a coincidence.”
I smiled nervously and took the cup from the man.
“Sit.” he said, nodded to a table.
I followed his instructions and set my cup down and pulled out a chair.
He stared at me for a moment as I stared at my coffee. After a long moment of silence, I started.
“I am so sorr-”
He stopped me and reached out, resting his hand on top of mine.
“It’s alright Ellie…really.”
I had a few questions but didn’t know where to start. So I let the silence
continue.
“My boss figured you needed a place to stay.”
I wasn’t homeless. Did I look homeless?
“Do you...have somewhere to go…?”
I nodded. “I’m not homeless…” I proclaimed. I couldn’t help but stare at
his hands. There was something different about them from the rest of the
man.
“I figured. You’re too well dressed to be homeless.” He smiled, and his
hands moved up and through his hair again.
“So, if you’re not homeless then what’s your story?”
My story? I didn’t have a story. I was a young single girl. Lonely. Living
on her own in the city. On her way home when a snow storm hit. I just stopped into the coffee shop to get warm, not to spend the night like some refugee.
“My story?”
“Yeah, your story.” he continued to grin at me.
I paused to think of an answer.
“I was just on my way home. Stopped in for a cup of coffee. Guess I didn’t
drink enough of it.”
He laughed at the comment, showing a set of pearly white teeth.
“Maybe it wasn’t a very good cup of coffee.” He glanced at the cup in front of me. I lifted it and took a sip.
“This cup’s better.” We both laughed softly, then found each other staring
for long while at one another.
“I’ll make sure not to tell my boss you said that.”
I took another sip. “I should probably go…” I said, standing up.
“Go where?”
“Home.”
He shook his head chuckling slightly. “Hang out. I’ll open late.”
“I don’t want to be more of an inconvenience than I already have been.”
Elliot reached out and took my hand in his, squeezing it softly.
“Ellie.”
My eyes grew wide, and I felt my heart beat quickly within my chest.
“Let’s not play games with one another. Stay.”
I pulled my hand away, and bit my lip.
“I can’t. I’m sorry Elliot.” I grabbed my bag from under the table, and thew
it across my shoulder. “Thank you…” I said, thinking of his hands but
staring at the blue in his eyes. I turned around, and pushed the door open.


---------------------------------------------------------­--------------------------------

It was Valentine’s Day (or as I like to call it “Singles Awareness Day” ) and my friend had dragged me out to this terrible bar in the suburbs  titled “Distraction” My friend, who was newly single and “ready to mingle” laughed when she saw the big blue sign with the name.
“That’s an ironic name” she said, snickering.
I nodded my head and groaned as we headed inside. She was right. What was this bar distracting me from? If anything, it was drawing more attention to the things I was supposed to be distracted from by just existing with such a name. My friend walked up to the bar, leaned against a stool and ordered something sweet. She asked me if I wanted anything, but I shook my head no. After a few minutes of small talking with her, and watching her sip at her watered down drink, I noticed a young man walking towards us. The bar was dimly lit, and I couldn’t quite make him out but I sighed and turned towards the bartender.
“*** and coke” I hollered out to the man. “Pour heavy!”
I stayed facing the shelves of drinks, the different bottles organized by color and type. Whiskey, Tequila, *****. Suddenly, I felt someone tap me on the shoulder and with a deep inhale, I turned; expecting some man with sleeked back hair and a bad tan to be facing me.
Instead, it was Elliot. Staring at me, standing inches from my face. I took a step back into a bar stool, and fell into a seat.
“Ellie” he said, smiling.
I couldn’t help but smile for a moment too, but then I quickly wiped it away as the bartender slid my drink to the right of me. Before I could do anything, Elliot placed a few dollars on the counter.
“You don’t have to -“
“It’s fine”  He continued to smile widely.
I looked around the room for my friend, she was across the room playing darts with some broad shouldered man. I took my glass, placed the straw on the counter and gulped down about half of it in one drink.  
“Happy Valentines Day” he said, almost sarcastically following the statement with a slight laugh.
I felt myself smiling again and took another gulp. The bartender definitely poured heavy. The liquid burned as it slid down my throat, and I clenched my teeth. I could tell Elliot was trying hard not to laugh.
“Would you like to dan-“
I bursted out laughing.
“Dance? Oh god, please. Don’t do this Elliot.”
He stared at me widely for a moment. “What are you so afraid of Ellie?”
I scoffed, and shook my head, taking another drink I responded
“I’m not afraid of anything”
He blinked at me, then ran through his fingers through his hair and breathed out loudly.
“Is it me?”
I wasn’t sure how to answer this, or what he was really even asking. I stumbled on my words, stuttering. I finished my drink, and set the glass down on the counter.
“Another?” he asked.
“No...” I paused. “Thank you”
He stared at me for a moment, his brows furrowed. He reached out to touch me, and I pulled away.
“Ellie...Let me-“
I interrupted him and shouted out “space!”
He looked puzzled, then chuckled.
“What?”
“I’m afraid of space”
“Space....? Please elaborate.”
“Like the sky, and the planets and the stars and ****”
He laughed softly. “And ****...”
“Think about it. We have no idea what’s out there. We have no idea what’s coming for us. We are so small, comparatively.”
“So you believe in aliens?”
“I believe in possibility”
“Anything could happen.”
“Exactly! Right now, as we speak, the sun could explode.”
“Or, aliens could invade!”
“You’re really stuck on the alien thing.”
“It’s a possibility”
We both sat in silence for a moment, his eyes felt heavy on me. I stood up from my stool, our bodies were almost touching.
“I’ve got to go see if my friends OK.” I said, glancing over at her. She was still playing darts with the broad shoulder man. He had his arms wrapped around her, ‘showing’ her how to hold the dart now.
“She looks like she’s doing ok to me” Elliot said with a snicker.
I didn’t argue.
“What’s your last name?” he asked.
I shook my head violently. “Look, Elliot. You seem-“ I stopped and thought of how I wanted to finish my sentence, but before I could, Elliot grabbed my hand and held it tightly.
“Ellie. I’m just a man. I’m not some comet coming down or some alien race a million light years away. You don’t need to be afraid of me.”
I took a few shallow breaths, my heart was pounding. I tried pulling away, but Elliot just pulled himself closer to me.
“You said you believe in possibility. You can’t deny the possibility of you and me.”
“I...”
He reached up, and tucked a hair that was falling down my face behind my ear then stepped back, letting go of my hand.
“I have an idea.”
“What’s that?”
“I want to help you conquer your fear”
“Oh?”
He grabbed my hand again and pulled me towards the door, I looked over to my friend, but didn’t fight him.
“She’ll be okay.” he said, still tugging me.
I followed him out the door and down the street. We stopped and hailed a cab, as one pulled up, he opened the door for me.
“Get in.”
“I don’t even know you. You could be taking me to some wear house to **** and ****** me!”
“Ellie. Don’t be so dramatic. Get in”
“Where are we going?”
“To the moon.”
“And back again?”
“We’ll see. Maybe once you get there, you’ll never want to leave.”
“It’s a possibility”
I stepped inside the cab, and so did he.

------------------------------------------------------------­--------------------------------


Once we were in the cab, the rush of excitement I was feeling in the bar and in the street had faded. Elliot handed the man his phone, which had an address written on it. The cabbie put the address into his GPS and started the meter as he drove on.
“So are we taking the cab to the moon? Or are we just taking the cab to NASA and then a spaceship to the moon?” I said sarcastically, my voice breaking from nervousness. Elliot put his hand on my leg, and sat back into his seat without saying anything.
“Who’s paying for the cab Elliot?”
He continued to be silent. I turned at stared out the window, I noticed the cab was taking us out of the city and I began to get a little worried.
“Can you please tell me where we’re going?” I asked quickly. I looked back at Elliot, he was sweating.
“Elliot? Is everything OK?” His eyes were shut and his breathing was heavy.
“I’m afraid of things in motion.” he muttered softly.
“Isn’t everything in motion?” he opened his eyes, raised his brows and then smiled at me.
“I mean, the world is always turning and we’re walking, or breathing. So we’re moving, no matter what-“
“Can you be quiet please?”
I looked back out the window again for what felt like a long while. Finally, the cab stopped in front a large abandoned dome like building in a town I had never been in. Elliot was quick to exit the cab, and circle the car to open my door. I stepped out, Elliot paid the driver and the cab drove away.
“So you ARE going to **** and ****** me?”
Elliot looked at me, and took my hand.
“I’m sorry about in the car. What mean by things in motion is like, cars and trains and planes and...” he paused, “and ****...”
We both laughed.
“I knew what you meant. I’m sorry if I was being difficult.”
He gave me a look and I nodded at him. He took me by the hand and led me closer to the building. We reached a door that had been boarded up.
“This doesn’t look like the moon...Or NASA...”
“Ellie. Do you trust me?”
“I...I don’t really even know you so-“
Elliot pried back at the board, slipping into the building through a small space and pulled me inside with him. The room we stepped into was a circle, and in the center; a large telescope.
“Does that even work?”
He squeezed my hand, then let go. Approaching the telescope, he stepped up a small set of stairs to a control panel. He pushed a few buttons and a few moments later, I heard a whirring and a low rattle followed by a deep sound. I felt a slight vibration and suddenly the roof was opening above me, exposing the night sky. On this night, the stars were bright, and the moon was full.
“Come here” Elliot called out from near the telescope.
I started to shake only slightly at the sight of the sky above me, I felt frozen and tense, as if I couldn’t move. Elliot made his way down the stairs and towards me.
“It’s okay Ellie.” he said, reaching for my hand and guiding me towards the telescope. We stepped up the stairs, and he stood next to me, still holding my hand as he adjusted a few things, looking in the telescope, then at me, then back through the telescope. He turned towards me, nudging me.
“Go ahead.”
I looked at the giant metal telescope, and shook my head.
“I really appreciate what you’re trying to do here but-“
He put his hand on my lower back, and pushed me towards the telescope.
“Just look.”
I put my face close to the telescope, an
Shari Forman Mar 2013
A sound better and livelier as ever startled me. Baffled and unaware of my surroundings, my eyes slowly opened, viewing my irresistible grandmother’s hand gently touching my cheek. Listening carefully, I noticed a beautiful sound coming from her voice. The warm-hearted, lovable lady warmly smiled down at me as my smile formed into the shape of a crescendo, getting larger and wider, finally to a laugh of pure joy. I knew one thing was certain to be true; I fell in love with the intriguing sounds bit by bit.
I awoke to the sight of my father playing his guitar at a medium volume. The sound of the instrument inspired me and motivated me to follow him. I lie in my crib listening intently to the various sounds coming from the guitar. It was almost morning, yet I thought it was later in the morning because my light was on its maximum strength. I watched his fingers move very quickly on the guitar, yet the sounds were beautiful.
“Good morning my love,” said my father smiling at me. “Did you have a good sleep, my love?” he said.
“Pno,” I said on my very own.
“What did you say my love?” said my father startled and impressed that I had just muttered my first word at age one. His smile was soothing in my opinion. His eyes became lively and big with complete shock and joy.
“Po neo.”
“Piano!” said my father ecstatic at the moment.
Considering music was his dream, he wanted me to take part in the wonderful career as well. He set his guitar down against my light blue-colored wall. Then my father went to my small rocking chair and sat down. He put his face in the palm of his hands. I thought he was crying and intimidated by me, but then I realized he was very proud of me and believed I would go far in life. He stood up and picked me up gently and set me down on a chair next to my piano. He smiled and embraced me with affection. I knew my father’s name by heart but I couldn’t manage to say it. It was William. He started playing simple notes on the keys with his thick, masculine hands. He played six notes, all with important meaning and full-care. He motioned for me to take part playing as well.
“No, no. You’ve done it all wrong my love. You must listen with ease and act how you feel,” said my father with concern.
I started weeping large sobs as my father talks in a loud tone with disapproval.
“What, my dear?” says William concerned.
I pressed a key on the piano and roar with laughter.
“You’ve got it my love,” said my father in a soft, mellow tone.
I then take again to the keyboard, this time with full confidence playing again. My father then sang a song while playing the piano. I didn’t know the name of the song, but he told me it was a song he had written after. That inspired me to write my own songs and play the piano and possibly the guitar.
“This is the world, I hail from.  The sorrows and pity we might feel for each other. But arised a God who’s mighty strong. Who turns our sorrows into pride and joy, and this is where I am hail from,” sang my father very emotional.
“You’ll go far my love, I promise you. One day music will save you...” said my father.
…28 years later those words stuck with me…
I was off to work going about my usual day. I was thirty one now and living with my girlfriend in our apartment. I still lived in my hometown, California. Whenever I thought of my hometown, the song “Hometown California,” came to me automatically. I’d just start singing. I wouldn’t consider myself an excellent singer, but that was just a hobby of mine. I was phenomenal at playing the piano and very good at playing the guitar in the eyes of many people.
…When the weekend finally came, I found the time on Saturday morning to fit a tennis match in with one of my good friends, Troy.  As we rally back and forth, something caught me by surprise. A grey-haired man about twice my age had an awkward looking smile that lit up his whole face. I was baffled at the bizarre stranger. He came up to me and tapped me on the shoulder.  I looked at him.
“Hello young fellow. My name is Harry Hayfold and I was wondering if you would like to train with me to become a professional tennis player.” said the man.
‘No thanks man, I’m just playing a match with my friend. Thanks anyways.” I said and I went back to rallying.
“Young fellow, please. You’ve great skill as I see,” said the older guy eager to say something more.
“I don’t think I want to train for hours for a chance at becoming a pro- tennis player. Thanks for the compliment though,” I said a little annoyed.
“It would be your loss sir.” said the man.
I just continued rallying with my friend. My friend looked baffled as well and felt bad for the guy. I didn’t care if he was still standing there; I just wanted to play. When we were finished rallying, we started a match. As I throw the ball up to serve, he shouts something right next to me.
“Would you please just listen to what I have to say?!” said the man angry.
“Oh, my god; could you leave us alone now?  I’m not doing the training classes; I have a job. I work in a music store, okay!” I said very annoyed.
My friend came over to my side of the tennis court and asked what the problem was to the man.
“I can’t stand people like you. You’re a liar and a creep.” said John.
“Which music store do you work at?” asked the man.
“It’s called Music Academy. Can you leave us alone now?” I said perturbed.
“I’m very sorry to have bothered you.” said the man.
“Yeah,” I said without any enthusiasm.
“No wait, he’ll be honored to do the classes with you sir. He needs money anyway,” said John’s friend Troy.
“What are you doing?!” I said to my friend with fury. “I will be fine financially once I get signed professionally which will happen troy. It will definitely happen. This guy… He’s out of his mind,” I said confident.
“What did you say your name was?” said the man.
“John.” I said.
“Excellent Johnathon.”“Meet me here on these same tennis courts tomorrow morning at eight o’clock. Don’t be late.” said Harry.
I smashed my racket as hard as I could on the ground with full force, releasing all of my stress and anger out on the court.
“Alright John,” said Troy with pity on him. We’ll hang out again soon.” He said and left.
“Crapola!”  I yelled in mid-air after everyone left.
The next day I don’t even consider going to the psychotic man’s tennis class. Instead, I make my way to work early.
As I’m exiting my shift at night, I noticed someone standing behind a wall. And there it was… I couldn’t believe my eyes.
“Oh, no,” I whispered to myself.
“Hello Jonathon. You’re session was at eight am this morning. Have you forgotten?” he said concerned.
“Listen, I don’t think this whole business with the excessive training classes to make me into what I will never become and putting my job in jeopardy of getting fired, is going to work out,” I said with a smile.
“I’ve watched you work in the store John,” said the man concerned.
“Oh jeez, now I’ve got a personal stalker. This is gonna be interesting.” I whispered.
“How much do you make a week? I’ve come to sought you don’t look happy working there and want to become into a real musician.” said Harry.
I was just about to completely lose my mind when I took a deep breath and bit my tongue to avoid making a scene. My face turned so red.
“Once I get a record deal with the piano, then things will be even better for me. But as of now, I’m very happy, just not super happy. And you know what else, I’m so happy I began music because I couldn’t get much happier. Oh, the glory of being a musician would make me so happy. And you barging randomly into my life and ******* up everything… well I couldn’t get much happier!” I managed to scream at the end of my statement.
“Come with me John. Please let me help you find a way to forget that you’re not a musician.” said the man.
“My father was my inspiration. He’s dead now, yet I’m following in his footsteps because I want to.” I said.
“I see… I’m very sorry for your loss John,” said Harry with a fake sad expression on his face.
This man was driving me up the wall by now. I had had it with his monkey business.
There was a long pause…
“So tomorrow at eight?” I said completely unsatisfied, yet willing to experiment with what he had in mind to teach me.
“Yes, oh yes that would be just perfect John,” said Harry ecstatic.
We both started walking to our homes. He had walked rather quickly for an older guy, and me, slowly like I’d just had a pancreas failure.
When I arrived at my apartment, my girlfriend wasn’t there.
“Jenny, I’m home”… “Jenny, you there?” I said baffled at the silence. “Jennyyyyy”, I said playfully. Jennifer… Is dinner set toniiiight?” I said as I smiled at my own humor.
All of a sudden, the phone rang, which startled me and made me uninterested at this point to answer. I answered the phone anyway.
“Hello?” I said.
“Hello, this is a patient of Jennifer; is Jenny there?”
“No she isn’t at the moment,” I said unsure of my answer.
“Ok, thank you,” she said and hung up.
“You’re welcome,” I said sarcastically after she already hung up.
I walked into our bedroom to take my work clothes off and put pajamas on. The door was closed which got me a little concerned and angry. I walked in the bedroom and turned on the light.
“What the hell is going on here?! Get off my girlfriend you crazy *******!” I yelled.
“No John, please stop. He’s my fiancé John,” said Jenny annoyed with me.
“What are you talking about Jennifer?” I said raging with anger.
“Listen john, I’m sorry. Things weren’t working out between us recently and things just clicked between… well Steve and I.” she said.
“ I can’t believe what I am seeing right now,” said john through tears of disappointment and anger.
“Things weren’t working out between us John_”
“Yeah, I think you mentioned that already.” said John crying hysterically.
“Well don’t be sorry. Be sorry at yourself because I did nothing but treat you nicely. What happened to us Jenny? We were so in love with each other. I can’t believe what I am seeing.” I said.
My girlfriend my starting to cry now and as she began to speak I walked out stomping on the floor and slammed the front door as I exited my apartment.
“The next morning John arrived at the tennis courts that he visited two days ago with his friend.
“I’m here; let’s start playing tennis,” I said calmly.
“Wait, wait. I have not yet explained the concepts.” said Harry.
“Yeah, yeah, concepts. I know,” I said annoyed.
I picked up a tennis ball and hit it over the fence as hard as I could.
“Excellent work there John,” said Harry sarcastically.
“That was just a warm up professor. Now here comes glory,” I said about to ****** someone.
I slam my pre-broken racket on the floor so hard that it cracked in half. The man was outraged at the horrifying scene.
“I missed work this morning for this crapola?!” I yelled.
John, you’re crazy right now. Sit down and relax!” said Harry firmly.
“Music is all I want and you’re taking that away from me.” I said
“I apologize sir; I don’t think I want to do this anymore.” I said.
“Anymore? You haven’t even started playing yet,” said Harry with a little chuckle.
“Ok, fine; I’ll play.” I said. “I don’t have a racket now.” I said ashamed and guilty.
“That’s not my problem.” said Harry. “If you no longer have a racket, I will let you have my spare racket if you practice drills catching the ball precisely with only your hands.”
“Ha, you’re kidding right? That was a good one Harry; very good.” I said.
I tap him on the shoulder.
“See you tomorrow.” I said.
“Will you stop acting arrogant and negative for once John! I was serious about the hand drill.” said Harry.
“Ok then.” I said.
Harry got on the side opposite from my side. He took a bunch of ***** and out them in his pockets.
“Now John…I want you to catch the ball wherever I throw it okay?” said Harry.
“Yeah, I’m ready.” I said.
He fed the ball over the net and John caught the ball wherever he threw it. When he was getting exhausted from the number of ***** being fed to him, he took the ball and smashed it on the ground.
“What in heaven’s name has come over you?” asked the man terrified.
“Nothing, except the fact that my girlfriend is now getting married with her new fiancé and was having an affair in my bedroom. That is it ladies and gentleman, the show is now over,” I said sarcastically.
“Oh, haha…hahahahahahaahahaa.” Harry chuckled.
Harry burst out laughing.
“John, John, I’m sorry. The way you said it made me laugh, that’s all.” said Harry.
I run up to the old man about ready to **** him (not literally) when he started coughing. He fell down to his knees holding his chest.
“John,” he whispered trying to grasp more oxygen.
“What happened Harry? Are you alright?” I asked nervously panicking.
I ran off the court to get my cell phone in my tennis bag on one of the park benches and called an ambulance. I then run back to Harry.
“I’m calling an ambulance for you Harry. It’ll be okay,” I said about to cry from the sight of what just happened.
When the ambulance came, he was put on a stretcher by several paramedics and taken to the nearest hospital. I don’t bother calling my ex-girlfriend, knowing I was through with her insecure ways and immaturity level. I drove to the hospital following the ambulance as I drove. I arrived at the hospital minutes after him and sat in the waiting room for over two hours with his son who was about my age, if not older. The doctor came out looking down with tears in his eyes. He ripped off his glasses and fell to his knees. He stood up…
“I’m very sorry. There was nothing more I could precede on doing,” said the doctor.
The doctor walked away looking very upset and disappointed in himself and what happened. I turned to his son and saw such shock and disappointment in him.
“He was a very mysterious, outgoing person and a great father,” said his son through tears.
I nodded my head and smiled.
“My father tried to teach you basic steps of becoming a tennis player, but it wasn’t for a career. Trust me. He wanted you to learn something new. That’s all. He can be difficult at times, I know, but he is a very courageous man and loves helping others,” said his son smiling at me.
I was shocked. I was living an okay life with music. But now I realized that this man inspired me to follow chase after what you want. He taught me that things may be challenging in life, but you can overcome them if you work hard and love what you do in life. Even through financial problems, I realized that you can still achieve your dreams and it is never too late to start a record deal. His son left the hospital before me without mentioning what his name was. I believed the Harry and his family were a mystery, but a good mystery. I showed up to the music store the next morning and the manager of the store had exhilarating news for me. I had gotten signed by a famous musician! This was the best day of my whole entire life and I could not have asked for anything more in life.
“Signed by Buddy Clark, I present to you your record deal. Sign this and you have a chance to work with this talented man for a chance at achieving your dream John. Well done, we’re all very proud of you,” said the manager of the store.
All of the workers in the store started cheering me on and applauding my superb work and efforts. I was now in tears of pure joy and I felt worth something major for the first time.
“Thanks a lot Jason,” I said to the manager of the store. “This is a gift; it means the world to me,” I said as I gave him a hug.
I realized life is not all about tennis or music. It’s the important things in music that make you feel out of this world amazed. People may have a strong opinion about something they love, but never take a person for granitite.
Cyril Blythe Nov 2012
I followed Delvos down the trail until we could see the mouth of the mine. The life and energy of the surrounding birches and sentential pines came to a still and then died as we left the trees shelter behind and walked closer, closer. The air was cold and dark and damp and smelled of mold and moths. Delvos stepped into the darkness anyways.
“Well, girl, you coming or aren’t you?”
I could see his yellowed tobacco teeth form into a smile as I stepped out of the sun. It was still inside. The canary chirped in its cage.
“This tunnel is just the mouth to over two hundred others exactly like it. Stay close. Last thing I need this month is National Geographic on my *** for losing one of their puppet girls.”
“Delvos, ****. I have two masters degrees.” I pulled my mousey hair up into a tight ponytail. “I’ve experienced far more fatal feats than following a canary in a cave.”
He rolled his eyes. “Spare me.” He trotted off around the corner to the left, whistling some Louis Armstrong song.
“I survived alone in the jungles of Bolivia alone for two months chasing an Azara’s Spinetail. I climbed the tallest mountain in Nepal shooting Satyr Tragopans along the cliff faces. In Peru I…” Suddenly I felt the weight of the darkness. I lost track of his lantern completely. I stopped, my heartbeat picked up, and I tried to remind myself of what I had done in Peru. The mine was quiet and cold. I wiped my clammy, calloused hands on my trail pants and took a depth breath.

In through the nose. Out through the mouth. This is nothing. I followed a Diurnal Peruvian Pygmy-Owl across the gravel tops of the Andes Mountains, no light but the Southern Cross and waning moon above. I am not scared of darkness. I am not scared of darkness.
I stopped to listen. Behind me I could hear the wind cooing at the mouth of the mine.
Taunting? No. Reminding me to go forward. Into the darkness.
I shifted my Nikon camera off my shoulder and raised the viewfinder to my eyes, sliding the lens cap into my vest pocket. This routine motion, by now, had become as fluid as walking. I stared readily through the dark black square until I saw reflections from the little red light on top that blinked, telling me the flash was charged. I snapped my finger down and white light filled the void in front of me. Then heavy dark returned. I blinked my eyes attempting to rid the memories of the flash etched, red, onto my retina. I clicked my short fingernails through buttons until the photo I took filled the camera screen. I learned early on that having short fingernails meant more precise control with the camera buttons. I zoomed in on the picture and scrolled to get my bearings of exactly what lay ahead in the narrow mine passageway. As I scrolled to the right I saw Delvos’ boot poking around the tunnel that forked to the left.
Gottcha.
I packed up the camera, licked my drying lips, and stepped confidently into the darkness.

When I first got the assignment in Vermont I couldn’t have been more frustrated. Mining canaries? Never had I ever ‘chased’ a more mundane bird. Nonetheless, when Jack Reynolds sends you on a shoot you don’t say no, so I packed up my camera bag and hoped on the next plane out of Washington.
“His name is John Delvos.” Jack had said as he handed me the manila case envelope. He smiled, “You’re leaving on Tuesday.”
“Yes sir.”
“Don’t look so smug, Lila. This may not be the most exotic bird you’ve shot but the humanity of this piece has the potential to be a cover story. Get the shots, write the story.”
I opened the envelope and read the assignment details in the comfort of my old pajamas back at my apartment later that night.
John Delvos has lived in rural Vermont his entire life. His family bred the canaries for the miners of the Sheldon Quarry since the early twenties. When “the accident” happened the whole town shut down and the mines never reopened. . There were no canaries in the mines the day the gas killed the miners. The town blamed the Delvos family and ran them into the woods. His mother died in a fire of some sort shortly before Delvos and his father retreated into the Vermont woods. His father built a cabin and once his father died, Delvos continued to breed the birds. He currently ships them to other mining towns across the country. The question of the inhumanity of breeding canaries for the sole purpose of dying in the mines so humans don’t has always been controversial. Find out Delvos’ story and opinions on the matter. Good luck, Lila.
I sighed, accepting my dull assignment and slipped into an apathetic sleep.


After stumbling through the passageway while keeping one hand on the wall to the left, I found the tunnel the picture had revealed Delvos to be luring in. Delvos reappeared behind the crack of his match in a side tunnel not twenty yards in front of me
“Do you understand the darkness now, Ms. Rivers?” He relit the oily lantern and picked back up the canary cage. “Your prestigious masters degrees don’t mean **** down here.”. He turned his back without another word. I followed deeper into the damp darkness.
“Why were there no canaries in the mine on, you know, that day?” The shadows of the lantern flickered against the iron canary cage chained on his hip and the yellow bird hopped inside.
“I was nine, Ms. Rivers. I didn’t understand much at the time.” We turned right into the next tunnel and our shoes crunched on jagged stones. All the stones were black.
“But surely you understand now?”
The canary chirped.

When I first got to Sheldon and began asking about the location of the Delvos’ cabin you would have thought I was asking where the first gate to hell was located. Mothers would smile and say, “Sorry, Miss, I can’t say,” then hurriedly flock their children in the opposite direction. After two hours of polite refusals I gave up. I spent the rest of the first day photographing the town square. It was quaint; old stone barbershops surrounded by oaks and black squirrels, a western-themed whiskey bar, and a few greasy spoon restaurants. I booked a room in the Walking Horse Motel for Wednesday night, determined to get a good night’s sleep and defeat this town’s fear of John Delvos the following day.
My room was a tiny one bed square with no TV. Surprise, surprise. At least I had my camera and computer to entertain myself. I reached into the side of my camera bag, pulled out my Turkish Golds and Macaw-beak yellow BIC, and stepped out onto the dirt in front of my motel door and lit up. The stars above stole all the oxygen surrounding me. They were dancing and smiling above me and I forgot Delvos, Jack, and all of Sheldon except its sky. Puffing away, I stepped farther and farther from my door and deeper into the darkness of Vermont night. The father into the darkness the more dizzying the star’s dancing became.
“Ma’am? Everything okay?”
Startled, I dropped my cigarette on the ground and the ember fell off. “I’m sorry, sir. I was just, um, the stars…” I snuffed out the orange glow in the dirt with my boot and extended my hand, “Lila Rivers, and you are?”
“Ian Benet. I haven’t seen you around here before, Ms. Rivers. Are you new to town?” He traced his fingers over a thick, graying mustache as he stared at me.
“I’m here for work. I’m a bird photographer and journalist for National Geographic. I’m looking for John Delvos but I’m starting to think he’s going to be harder to track than a Magpie Robin.”
Ian smiled awkwardly, shivered, then began to fumble with his thick jacket’s zipper. I looked up at the night sky and watched the stars as they tiptoed their tiny circles in the pregnant silence. Then, they dimmed in the flick of a spark as Ian lit up his wooden pipe. It was a light-colored wood, stained with rich brown tobacco and ash. He passed me his matches, smiling.
“So, Delvos, eh?” He puffed out a cloud of leather smelling smoke toward the stars. “What do you want with that old *******? Don’t tell me National Geographic is interested in the Delvos canaries.”
I lit up another stick and took a drag. “Shocking, right?”
“Actually, it’s about time their story is told.” Benet walked to the wooden bench to our left and patted the seat beside him. I walked over. “The Delvos canaries saved hundreds of Sheldonian lives over the years. But the day a crew went into the mines without one, my father came out of the ground as cold as when we put him back into it in his coffin.”
I sat in silence, unsure what to say. “Mr. Benet, I’m so sorry…”
“Please, just Ian. My father was the last Mr. Benet.”
We sat on the wooden bench, heat leaving our bodies to warm the dead wood beneath our legs. I shivered; the star’s dance suddenly colder and more violent.
“Delvos canaries are martyrs, Ms. Rivers. This whole town indebted to those tiny yellow birds, but nobody cares to remember that anymore.”
“Can you tell me where I can find Mr. Delvos and his, erm, martyrs?” The ember of my second cigarette was close to my pinching fingertips.
“Follow me.” Ian stood up and walked to the edge of the woods in front of us. We crunched the dead pine needles beneath our feet, making me aware of how silent it was. Ian stopped at a large elm and pointed. “See that yellow notch?” he asked. Sure enough, there was a notch cut and dyed yellow at his finger’s end. “If you follow true north from this tree into the woods you’ll find this notch about every fifty yards or so. Follow the yellow and it’ll spit you out onto the Delvos property.”
“Thank you, Ian. I really can’t begin to tell you how grateful I am.
“You don’t have to.” He knocked the ash out of his pipe against the tree. “Just do those birds justice in your article. Remember, martyrs. Tell old Delvos Ian Benet sends his regards.” He turned and walked back to the motel and I stood and watched in silence. It was then I realized I hadn’t heard a single bird since I got to Sheldon. The star’s dance was manic above me as I walked back to my room and shut the door.

The canary’s wings and Delvos stopped. “This is a good place to break our fast. Sit.”
I sat obediently, squirming around until the rocks formed a more comfortable nest around my bony hips. We had left for the mines as the stars were fading in the vermillion Vermont sky that morning and had been walking for what seemed like an eternity. I was definitely ready to eat. He handed me a gallon Ziploc bag from his backpack filled with raisins, nuts, various dried fruits, and a stiff piece of bread. I attacked the food like a raven.
“I was the reason no canaries entered the mines that day, Ms. Rivers.”
Delvos broke a piece of his bread off and wrapped it around a dried piece of apricot, or maybe apple. I was suddenly aware of my every motion and swallowed, loudly. I crinkled into my Ziploc and crunched on the pecans I dug out, waiting.
“Aren’t you going to ask why?”
“I’m not a parrot, Mr. Delvos, I don’t answer expectedly on command. You’ll tell me if you want.” I stuffed a fistful of dried pears into my mouth.
Delvos chuckled and my nerves eased. “You’ve got steel in you, Ms. Rivers. I’ll give you that much.”
I nodded and continued cramming pears in my mouth.
“I was only nine. The canaries were my pets, all of them. I hated when Dad would send them into the mines to die for men I couldn’t give two ***** about. It was my birthday and I asked for an afternoon of freedom with my pets and Dad obliged. I was in the aviary with pocketfuls of sunflower-seeds. Whenever I threw a handful into the air above me, the air came to life with wings slashing yellow brushes and cawing songs of joy. It was the happiest I have ever been, wholly surrounded and protected by my friends. Around twelve thirty that afternoon the Sheriff pulled up, lights ablaze. The blue and red lights stilled my yellow sky to green again and that’s when I heard the shouting. He cuffed my Dad on the hood of the car and Mom was crying and pushing her fists into the sheriff’s chest. I didn’t understand at all. The Sheriff ended up putting Mom in the car too and they all left me in the aviary. I sat there until around four that afternoon before they sent anyone to come get me.”
Delvos took a small bite of his bread and chewed a moment. “No matter how many handfuls of seeds I threw in the air after that, the birds wouldn’t stir. They wouldn’t even sing. I think they knew what was happening.”
I was at a loss for words so and I blurted, “I didn’t see an aviary at your house…”
Delvos laughed. “Someone burnt down the house I was raised in the next week while we were sleeping. Mom died that night. The whole dark was burning with screams and my yellow canaries were orange and hot against the black sky. That’s the only night I’ve seen black canaries and the only night I’ve heard them scream.”
I swallowed some mixed nuts and they rubbed against my dry throat.
“They never caught the person. A week later Dad took the remainder of the birds and we marched into the woods. We worked for months clearing the land and rebuilding our lives. We spent most of the time in silence, except for the canary cries. When the house was finally built and the bird’s little coops were as well, Dad finally talked. The only thing he could say was “Canaries are not the same as a Phoenix, John. Not the same at all.”
We sat in silence and I found myself watching the canary flit about in its cage, still only visible by the lanterns flame. Not fully yellow, I realized, here in the mines but not fully orange either.

When I first walked onto John Delvos’ property on Thursday morning he was scattering feed into the bird coops in the front of his cabin. Everything was made of wood and still wet with the morning’s dew.
“Mr. Delvos?”
He spun around, startled, and walked up to me a little too fast. “Why are you here? Who are you?”
“My name is Lila Rivers, sir, I am a photographer and journalist for National Geographic Magazine and we are going to run an article on your canaries.”
“Not interested.”
“Please, sir, can I ask you just a few quick questions as take a couple pictures of your, erm, martyrs?”
His eyes narrowed and he walked up to me, studying my face with an intense, glowering gaze. He spit a mouthful of dip onto the ground without breaking eye contact. I shifted my camera bag’s weight to the other shoulder.
“Who told you to call them that?”
“I met Ian Benet last night, he told me how important your birds are to this community, sir. He sends his regards.”
Delvos laughed and motioned for me to follow as he turned his back. “You can take pictures but I have to approve which ones you publish. That’s my rule.”
“Sir, it’s really not up to me, you see, my boss, Jack Reynolds, is one of the editors for the magazine and he...”
“Those are my rules, Ms. Rivers.” He turned and picked back up the bucket of seed and began to walk back to the birds. “You want to interview me then we do it in the mine. Be back here at four thirty in the morning.”
“Sir…?”
“Get some sleep, Ms. Rivers. You’ll want to be rested for the mine.” He turned, walked up his wooden stairs, and closed the door to his cabin.
I was left alone in the woods and spent the next hour snapping pictures of the canaries in their cages. I took a couple pictures of his house and the surrounding trees, packed up my camera and trekked back to my motel.

“You finished yet?” Delvos stood up. The mine was dark, quiet, and stagnant. I closed the Ziploc and stuffed the bag, mainly filled with the raisins I had sifted through, into my pocket.
Delvos grunted and the canary flapped in its cage as he stood again and, swinging the lantern, rounded another corner. The path we were on began to take a noticeable ***** downward and the moisture on the walls and air multiplied.  
The lantern flickered against the moist, black stones, sleek and piled in the corners we past. The path stopped ahead at a wall of solid black and brown Earth.
The canary chirped twice.
It smelled of clay and mildew and Delvos said, “Go on, touch it.”
I reached my hand out, camera uselessly hanging like a bat over my shoulder. The rock was cold and hard. It felt dead.
The canary was fluttering its wings in the cage now, chirping every few seconds.
“This is the last tunnel they were digging when the gas under our feet broke free from hell and killed those men.”
Delvos hoisted the lantern above our heads, illuminatin
Shashank Virkud Dec 2010
You were a different version of the religion,
you were a ****** of the region when we met.
I had the brownest eyes. You had the greenest eyes.
chin sits perfectly in shoulder,
hand fits in hand, molded.
I had hair like a little girl's. You had hair like a little boy's.
Both half ******, my arms were as thin as yours, and toned.
You didn't own a single curve, just edges and bone.
Only your lips were soft. Only my lips were soft.
The fading light bounced off the angles of my abdomen and visible ribcage,
made your mouth water. With a shy,
curling finger,
you called me over to you.
It drove me wilder.

We undressed each other under the covers.
You giggled and I crumbled when you saw
I needed help with the clasp of your bra.
I chuckled, returned the favor when you gave up on my belt buckle.
I had the body of a little girl. You had the body of a little  boy.
The sheets wound around and pressed us together,
You had the hardest hips. I had the hardest hips.
You compromised what was inside your mind;
I felt those first few moans rattle your
visible ribcage and escape through lips pursed
like a porcelain doll.
Took it all in, held on to your fragile frame
and from the moment we were free,
two children in the wilderness.
There once was a boy, slightly altered, possessed by greed, and terrified of failure. His mother and father seemed to only care about one thing. After he was born, his parents became possessed by wealth. His eyes were the colors of the sky when darkness would fall, the color only the devil would welcome. The vermillion circle stretched to the outskirts of the violet black horizon. The violet black seemed to hesitantly corrupt the vermillion as they intertwine through the abyss of the newborn darkness within his soul. Where his mother and father saw a demon. And from then on they were taken by his nonexistence, and slowly their love began to fade. This boy had a name, a name his parents soon forgotten, Dracoleon.
Dracoleon's mind always averted to wealth. The only time his parents communicated was when taxes were to come. They spoke solely about coins, gold, and work. Draco was soon consumed by it. He was then always busy, always working, counting money, he had nothing get in his way, He never seemed to see the scared, suspicious, and disgusted faces that walked by him, the dream of wealth consumed his entire universe.
It was one day, the king was said to be roaming about town. His parents would talk about the king often, father would say that he wished to be as rich as the king, or be the king himself.  But he would shake his head and continue. The boy wandered about the town indifferently as he searched for his father’s idol. It was once he turned a corner, he saw him. He ran toward the crowd and progressively landed in front. The king road in a chariot, the glistening white horses carried ropes dragging the golden chariot behind, As the silver knights followed. Across the street he saw his parents seek in awe of the glorious presence the king beheld. Then saw them grasp hands as if they were grasping a chance of hope as the king road by. In Dracoleon's eyes the king seemed narcissistic, he looked to be bathing in the jealously, the awe, and crushed hopes around him.
Then, suddenly, the king stopped in front of him. Then strode out of the chariot and stood, twenty feet away, then pointed directly at him; “Come my child!” he said. Impulsively,  he walked then stopped in confusion. “Come; kneel before me!” he yelled. Quickly he snapped and continued towards the king. He knelt three feet away. The king knelt down and looked into his violet eyes and whispered in his ear: “You’re different from the rest.” Suddenly he gasped, quickly stood and started humming a melody as if he was hypnotized; Dracoleon saw a slight gleam in his eye. A few moments later, he stopped and stood awkward and confused, then said “you’re going to be excellent.” At that he spun around, entered the chariot and continued on his way.
The boy stood dazed by the king’s presence. The villagers were glaring at him for minutes till he finally came out of  his hypnopompic trance. It was then he saw a man, just about thirty, wearing a cloak, carrying an odd looking box. No one seemed to notice him. As the people continued on their lives, he decided to wander to the mysterious man that caught his interest. It didn’t take long for the old man to notice the boy stalking him. He confronted the boy. “Hello” He said. “I must ask, why are you following me?” The boy froze in his steps, “w-what’s in the box?” he whispered. The man chuckled, “would you like to find out?” The boy managed to nod…. The man took the boy, not by force, not by manipulation, but by the man simply walking away, as the boy follows.

The wizard and the boy traveled in his single horse wagon in Europe for many years. The wizard showed him a whole new world, and left Draco's behind. The wizard filled his mind with adventure, and fed him excitement the boy had a purpose, but the wizard had rules, ones that cannot be broken. The wizard taught him his ways. And slowly, the boy became a wizard.

Six years later, the wizard was fading, he told him a story, a story about the great wizards long ago, The world was approaching something non existent, the wizards couldn’t escape, he was the only one who wasn’t taken by the darkness, and he watched as the rest of the great wizards, imploded and were trapped by the void. Silence, infinity, timelessness, nothing, it was hell. The great wizard gave him a puppet, it looked like the wizard. “Its the story of our past, a past not to be forgotten” He had whispered and he slowly faded away, joining the great wizards in the void.

It was then Dracoleon became the last wizard in the world. All of the wizards power, all the rules, and all the memories, his, And his alone. Dracoleon only had one thing to do, the only thing that will carry the wizards memories, becoming a puppet master.

The wizards shows became well known, He would come into town and there would be a few people going in and out of the wagon, watching the puppet shows. It was then a strange man came into the wagon, tall, pale, a dark presence around him. He asked to stay after the show.  He walked Beside and ran his thin pale fingers along the small stage the puppets played on. “You're different from the rest.” He said in a death toned voice. Draco froze, and suddenly his past flashed before his eyes, his parents, the money, the king. The king said he was different too. “ You're going to be excellent.” He whispered. “what if I told you, I could make you excellent, forever? Nothing absolutely nothing would get in the way.” Draco was mesmerized by the corruption of his past seeking out through his mind, and setting around him. The money, the greed, he forgot how great it was, to be in power, now that he's a wizard, the only wizard, he can do anything, change the rules, take over the world. Then suddenly, he was frightened, He wouldn’t have time, Time to do all theses things, Suddenly the man's words caught up in his mind, “What if I told you, I could make you excellent forever?” Draco then looked up at the odd man, he was smiling. “what do you say?” Draco manged a nod.

Draco was near death. The man turned out to be a vampire, he altered him. But it was all a blur, “ A three day slumber, and a new universe comes at your feet with a path set to follow” The vampire had said. Then he disappeared, and the pain began.  Draco felt his soul leap out of his chest, the intense burning sensation followed throughout his body, And then, nothing. He felt his soul go on a  journey to comeback with a plan, A plan that would make the universe his, forever. Draco opened his eyes....

The puppet maker became very popular, But to Vincent, he was a question, a mystery, Draco The wizard caught his interest when he saw the villagers walk out, excited, happy, and longing for more.  But that’s not what intrigued him, The villagers stepped out of the wagon, with a look of confusion, but only for a slight second, then there eyes, they fogged over and then reverted to normalcy. As they walked, most hummed a melody, A repeating melody that seemed to be engraved in their throats.
Vincent was a magician. One of the greatest, He owned a magic shop in the middle of the town he was curious on what the puppet maker was to do when he brought villagers into the wagon. When the last of the villagers walked out, Vincent quickly got in line.

Dracoleon brought five villagers into the wagon each time, In Vincent's group there was a little girl, her father, a woman, and an old man.  into the wagon they went and  they sat down and he began the show.  Vincent and the others watched the puppet maker bring his puppets into play. They were familiar puppets, ones you would see of people walking in the streets. His voice matched that of the puppet, the personality’s seemed to fit perfectly. It was nothing like they'd ever seen before. Then suddenly the candles went out, and it was dark in the wagon. “ Time to play” Draco whispered. Suddenly, They felt something behind them, Then, the candles flickered on, the puppets were restraining them,  Smiles on their wooden faces. Slowly, Dracoleon pulled out a watch, a small watch, he whispered something into it, and it glowed blue. He walked over to where the little girl was restrained, he took her wrist and with a small blade, he slit it, she tried to scream, you could see the horror in her blue eyes, his lips pressed against her wrist and he began to drink, you could see her rosy cheeks go pale, He left her gasping for life. “the youngest always taste the best.” He laughed. “ The taste of blood so pure.” He whispered. “But shes not a ******.” He looked at the father. “you see, its sick men like you that deserve to die.” The father looked at him in terror. Dracoleon whispered in his ear but he was still to be heard. “but I've something better than that.” A tear ran down the father's face. “Humans are so faulty. So filled with sin, sickness, you should be thanking me. But you may never understand” He looked at Vincent. “And you, you think you can defeat me.” He chuckled. The puppets grip grew tighter. Blood started dripping down each one of their faces, the puppets were slowly attaching themselves to the humans their strings tightening around their neck and the mouths grasping their skulls. The puppet maker continued laughing “ Let the games begin!”  He opened the watch, the humans fell limp and the puppets disappeared into their bodies. The puppet maker began to hum the melody.
archwolf-angel Aug 2016
Monster
Trianna POV
It took me time to accept what I was being pushed into. Ever since I was young, my mother and father told me that one day, I might grow to hate myself. I know, what parents tell that to their child right? But they saw no point in lying to me. It was going to happen. I was going to hate myself.

I am half-vampire.

Not because of my mother, not because of my father. It was my paternal grandfather.

It was a miracle my father got none of the vampire symptoms. It was the best miracle. My grandparents were one of those unbelievably fated couples in the world. A vampire and a human fell in love and got married and had my dad. They were prepared to have to deal with a vampire child, but, miraculously, it did not happen. My father came out normal, as normal as any human could ever be. It was not surprising; he had more of my grandmother’s genes. Eventually, my father met my mother, fell in love and got married. I came along. That’s how the equation works right?

They had nothing to worry, for they were both human. However, something was not right. When I was 3, my eye color changed. The color was nothing like my parents’. Their eyes were a nice shade of hazel and dark brown. Mine, was green, dark, forest green. As a kid, my treats weren’t sweets. They were blood, small droplets of blood from my parents. But by the time I was 7, my parents and grandparents helped me grow an addiction to lollipops, making me turn to them whenever I had a craving attack. For blood that is. But craving attacks were rare, very rare. I was only a half-vampire anyway.

As the days passed, I grew into a teenager, my parents and grandparents aged, except my grandfather. My grandmother long got used to the fact that my grandfather would not be able to age with her. After a while, I found it weird that my father was starting to look older than my grandfather. Things all went well, until the night before I turned 18.

It was taboo.

All a taboo.

I really hated myself now.

No one saw it coming. So we didn’t make precautions.

I killed them. I killed my parents. I didn’t even know what happened. I couldn’t even remember. I only remembered that I was enjoying a movie on television with my parents alone at home as my grandparents were out for a friends’ gathering dinner or something. And the next thing I remembered were my parents, lying in their own pool of blood, not breathing. My hands and face, stained with blood. My grandfather tried to stop me but feeding me his blood, but it was too late. It was all too late. I held onto my grandfather’s bitten arm and lay there, just staring at my parents. The clock struck midnight and everything turned black.

I woke up the next morning in my own bed, an urge to puke filled my guts as I rushed to the toilet to throw up. Nothing came out, just regurgitation. I looked up in the mirror, and blinked. I blinked again, harder this time, making sure I was not hallucinating. My eyes were, green, not dark green, but a lighter shade. I pulled the side of my mouth to reveal my canine teeth. They were sharper than before. In a state of shock and panic, I ran down the stairs, where I knew where my family would be. The moment I reached the first floor, I saw my grandparents outside, in the backyard.

I hesitated to move. Someone tell me the nightmare I had was not real.
“G-Grandpa?” I murmured. My grandfather turned, making my grandmother do the same. My grandmother had a tear-streaked face and a handkerchief in her hands. My grandfather looked the worse ever since I knew him. I swallowed hard before walking closer to them, and I noticed two coffins being laid on the ground.

Tears fell down my cheeks as I realized who those two being laid there were.

“Grandpa… Tell me this isn’t real…” I struggled to believe what was happening in front of me. My grandfather held onto me before I could collapse.

“Trianna, please don’t be like this…” he pleaded.

I knelt in front of my parents’ tombs and bid them a last farewell before they were being cremated. The fire was burning away so many memories. I almost wanted to walk into it, almost.

“I’m sorry…” I whispered under my breath and said a deep prayer. I lifted myself up from the ground and dried my tears. Walking to my grandparents, I gave them both a tight hug before my grandfather could go on another trail of apologies about how it was his fault I am what I am now. Worse, I am not a pure. And that is making things so hard for us to decipher. It was something none of us wanted. However, I had to blame myself. And I blamed myself, a lot. But I never mentioned anything about my parents ever since my 18th birthday. I wanted to escape.

For one year, we continued to stay at that same house. And every day without fail, I would walk to the backyard where my parents were cremated and kiss the ground, apologize then do whatever I had to do for the day. I stayed away from school which my grandparents obliged. I doubt anyone is ready for me to have a sudden craving attack again and start ******* the blood out of my classmates since my cravings were stronger now. I used to only have to **** on lollipops whenever I see blood. But now, I had to have a lollipop in my mouth 24/7, considering the fact that we are in fact staying amongst humans, and most probably have to for the rest of my life, and I start wondering how long my life would be.

To start things anew, my grandparents decided we needed to shift to a new state. If we continued to stay in that place, as they assumed, would be bringing me way too much pain. I had no opinions; I just needed to follow them wherever they wanted to go. However, I did mention there was not much need to actually move, I was over the whole blaming myself about my parents’ death thing… I think.

We settled down in a small town called Kingslet based in the United States, where Grandpa once lived with his family. I heard that that town was secluded, but definitely still populated with humans, moreover, rich humans. And probably some vampires.

We moved into a cottage that my grandfather bought over from an old friend. And when I said old friend, I meant like, a really really really old vampire friend of his who happened to want to move away to another town with his family. My grandfather drove a van that he had rented from near the place where our private plane landed to the location where we were destined to live. Upon arriving, my jaw dropped. That isn’t a cottage, more like a mansion, for goodness sake. Alighting from the van, I took one breath and knew it was the signal for me to be ******* on lollipops again. I took one out from my backpack and opened it before popping it into my mouth.

“The smell getting to you already? That’s fast.” My grandfather, who was obviously already immune to the smell of blood, chuckled.

“Shut up.” I mock-glared my grandfather and smiled as I helped with moving the luggage into the house. Being half-vampire, for the moment, was not half bad. I get extra super strength, a cliché vampire gift. I did my own research of my own kind. We get super human strength, sense of smell increases and super human speed. But I figured maybe because I was only half-bred, I wasn’t sensitive to the sun, nor to garlics, or crosses. I consider myself lucky.

Entering the cottage, I placed the luggage on the floor before taking a look around the place. The place was really not bad. It was huge, comfortable and very cozy. My grandmother would definitely love it here. Well, she would be the only one hanging around the house 24/7. I don’t really want my 75 year old human grandmother wandering just anywhere she wants alone. High chances are that she was going to get hurt or something. But touch wood. And true enough, my grandmother was already taking her place on one of the sofas furnished in the living room by the fireplace, smiling at my grandfather.

“It’s wonderful here, Xavier dear.” She complimented.

Both grandfather and I smiled at her then at each other.

“Glad that you like it here, Katrina darling.” He said to my grandmother, making me quiver at their sweetness, but it was not like I was not used to it. “Come on Tri, let’s start moving the things.” He turned to me and suggested. I nodded with a smile. As we were at moving, I was told my room is on the second floor, in which I get to choose between three bedrooms, and the other two would become any room I want them to be, and that most likely means I would be having the whole second floor to myself. This really doesn’t sound so bad. I picked the biggest room, and poked my head in, realizing that the bed and all were already furnished perfectly. It must be grandpa. He knows me really well. Too well.

I threw both my luggage onto my bed and opened them, revealing my clothes and all my other belongings and started unpacking. First, my one and only family photo left after grandpa decided to keep the rest away from me at our old home. He only allowed me to keep one, the one we took when I was 15, in which I really don’t look much different compared to the present me. Staring at the photo, I wished so much that they were still here with me. It didn’t matter if we were going to move either way, as long as they were here, things would be perfect. I quickly put the picture frame at the side of my bed before I could actually start crying my green orbs out again. I proceeded with the rest of my unpacking and once I was done, I had also finished my lollipop. Being lazy to open another open, I chose to leave the empty lollipop stick in my mouth and chew on it instead.

Heading downstairs with my headphones hanging around my neck and smartphone, I hopped onto the longest sofa that was facing the wide screen television, switched on the television and started to channel surf, deciding to figure out the town’s frequency, hoping they have my favorite music and drama channels.

“Trianna!”

I heard my name coming from behind me, before turning to my grandmother. She merely shrugged at me, so I pouted at her and responded to my grandfather. “Yes, grandpa?” turning to meet gazes with him. I instantly felt a bunch of papers being shoved into my hold.

“What is this?” I asked, flipping through the pieces of paper, which I realized had my name and identification number printed everywhere.

“Your new school registration confirmation. I have already settled everything for you. And you are reporting to school the day after tomorrow, on Monday.” My grandfather said, taking a place next to my grandmother as they cuddled up.

“Isn’t this a little bit too soon?” I frowned. I really did not hate school. I just hated the fact that if I have to hang around humans, I have to deal with my control over my craving. It’s stressful and tiring.

“You are not getting away with anything this time, Trianna. It’s been a year since you last went to school. And the sooner you go out there to train, the better. Eventually, you will need to walk out of the house.”

Crap. I struggled to find another excuse. And light bulb!

“What about this and this?” I pointed at my eyes first, then my teeth.

“Don’t fret about it. I’m stocking up on your contact lenses for you, and your lollipops. Plus, your teeth aren’t obvious either, those lollipops are grazing them off.”

“But-!”

“Trianna!”

I bit my lips, “Yes grandpa…” I knew there was no way I can argue further. My grandfather was right; I have to deal with this someday, somehow anyway. Why not just go out there and face the music, get it over and done with? He had already obliged to me for a year, it was my turn to listen.

Dinner was spaghetti with carbonara, my grandfather’s best cuisine. Nothing beats this. It was my favorite behind lollipops. After dinner, it was sliced fruits and television. Once I felt I had my fair share of the night, I kissed my grandparents goodnight.

Third Person POV

After Trianna headed up to her room, her grandmother frowned.

“What’s wrong, Katrina?” Trianna’s grandfather asked, caressing his wife’s cheeks.

“Xavier, don’t you think it’s a little too harsh on Trianna? Making her go to school now? Go out there with the humans?” she questioned, as worried as her face portrayed her to be.

Xavier sighed. As much as he did not want to risk his one and only precious granddaughter, he had to. “Katrina, we have to let her go. She is very unlike me. If we don’t let her go, we will never have our answers about her. I know I promise to ask my friends more about Dhampirs. I will. But Trianna still has to go. I cannot protect her forever.” Xavier let out another sigh, “I don’t even know for sure, if she is a Dhampir.”

Trianna POV

The morning sun shone on my face indicating the new day. I struggled to open my eyes as I lifted myself off my bed. I stretched uncomfortably and yawned. This new bed sure needs some getting used to. After combing and tying up my shoulder-lengthed dark brown wavy hair, I washed myself up before heading down to the first floor.

“Good morning Grandpa. Good morning Grandma.” It was a habit to greet. A good one, I know. It was pancakes for breakfast, I could totally smell it since I was upstairs. Popping my head into the kitchen, I took another deep breath.

“Pancakes?” I asked, excited.

“Bet you smelt it the moment you woke up.” He laughed.

“Not exactly, but when I was upstairs, yes.” I chuckled along, moving to hug him.

“Good morning Tri.” He greeted, hugging me tightly.

“Where’s Grandma?” I bobbed my head around, not seeing her anywhere in sight.

“In the backyard trying to do some exercise.” He answered.

You are seriously letting a 75 year old woman do exercise alone in the backyard. Call yourself the best husband in the world. Creep.

I ran towards the backyard and saw my grandma doing some stretches to the morning radio slowly. Like literally, really slowly. I skipped over to greet her, shocking her a little before I pounced slightly to hug her and give her a daily dose of her morning kiss. Sensing that my grandfather was almost done with the pancakes, I led her back into the house and sat her down on her seat at the big round dining table. After helping my grandfather with laying the table, we three finally sat down for breakfast.

Picking up the maple syrup, I poured enough to cover my pancakes before placing my block butters on them, melting them and coating the pancakes. Love them this way. The silence during the meal was perfect, until my grandpa decided to break it.

“So,” he coughed slightly, “Any plans for today?” he asked, looking straight at me.

“No… Why would I have any plans made in a new town?” I asked, avoiding eye contact with my grandfather because I knew exactly where he was getting at.

“Why don’t you take a walk around the new town?”

I cursed under my breath. I think I forgot to mention. My grandfather’s vampire gift, was reading minds. That was exactly why, he knows me very well. ***** to be me, sometimes.

“Sure, doesn’t sound like such a bad idea before the start of school?” I replied. I was not out of my mind. But since I had already promised to go to school, there should not be a problem with just walking around town and try to get used to humans one day earlier. “Are you two coming with me?”

Grandpa nodded and said that he had already suggested to grandma about taking a walk around town, to let grandma know the place better as well as get to know a few faces around us. He felt it wasn’t nice to not greet if you are new in town.

After getting changed into a simple tee and shorts matched with my favorite pair of converse shoes, I hung my headphones around my neck again, plugging the end into my phone and opened one lollipop to pop into my mouth before heading out. The smell was already overwhelming at the door. Thanks, you pathetic piece of body. But if grandpa could get used to it, so will I. I saw my grandfather picked out his favorite hat and placed it on his head and I smirked. At least I can handle some sun.

Walking around town, we got to know a few people. Like Uncle Tyler, owner of the Italian restaurant along the streets, and a few other people around my grandma’s age or slightly younger. I merely greeted and smiled at them, not knowing what to say. Sadly, my grandpa had to introduce himself as my grandmother’s son. Very heartbreaking, to me at least. My grandparents long foreseen this and had been mentally prepared, I really sal
There's a certain peace that settles inside you when you hear the wind whip through the forest, the sound soothes you until your muscles quiver with joy and you begin grinning with delight as the cool air runs soft fingers down your spine and sends shivers back through you. That was the feeling going through Fayowin as he stalked his prey, a nimble buck that mindlessly grazed in the snowy glade. Fayowin was a wolf, tall and regal, his fur ran a silver-white with intricate blue lines spiraling and writhing around his muscled body. His eyes glowed pure white in the night and shimmered in the daylight. The fangs lining his jaw were longer than the other wolves'... then again he was also larger than his alpha as well. Fayowin saw everything clearer and faster than the most skilled hunters in his pack, and he was also the swiftest. He should have felt proud of his uniqueness, but he felt outcast instead. The other hunters shunned him and disliked hunting alongside him, leaving Fayowin to hunt alone.

Today was no different. It was his turn to hunt and he had to hunt alone. If he failed, the pack would force him out into the cold. "If the pack starves, the hunter freezes," was the motto of his alpha, Alexei. Fayowin narrowed his white eyes and drew in the scent of the deer. As he did, he caught the hint of a she-wolf nearby, not of his pack. Distracted for an instant, he snapped back and sprinted for the deer, lunging for it and tearing into its throat and ripping out the windpipe and blood vessels all in one bite. As the smell of blood coated his senses, he began to feel uneasy and whirled around to see a silver wolf snarling at him. It was the she-wolf he had sensed earlier. She stood just a little shorter than him and had strange markings of her own: she bore black marks under her eyes and one on her forehead that resembled a paw. What struck him the most was the band around her upper foreleg. His eyes wandered as he observed her and she growled, bringing his attention back to her glaring green eyes.
"That... was my ****!" she growled. "I don't know how you managed to get it before me, and I don't know how you managed to escape my notice. Who are you?!"
Fayowin sneered and raised an eyebrow, "This, my dear, is MY ****. I've had my eyes on it for a while now. And frankly, this is my territory as well, and unless you want to become part of my territory, I'd suggest you treat me with respect."
She edged closer to him, surprised and infuriated at this male's straightforwardness. But there was something about that and his scent that appealed to her though. "I'm not leaving without this deer."
Fayowin chuckled, "It looks like you will be leaving without it, whoever you are."
"My name... is Feiria!" she licked her lips hungrily, "and that is MY deer!"
Fayowin narrowed his eyes thoughtfully as he studied her. Even through her winter coat, he could see the outline of her ribcage and could smell the desperation on her scent. He saw Feiria's muscles contract as she prepared to lunge at him. He sidestepped and she landed face-first in the snow, a mere inch from the warm deer meat. She looked at him hungrily, almost pleading. Fayowin sighed and nodded his head once, after which Feiria voraciously tore into the carcass.

He slowly meandered towards the center of the clearing and flopped down into the snow. He could hear the she-wolf eating ravenously behind him as he thought of his next move. If he returned to the pack, he'd be ridiculed and forced to live in the snow. If he stayed out here he faced the same problem.

Fayowin flattened his ears back and started to doze off, still listening to Feiria eat his ****. He began dreaming of gaping mountain passes, tall forests, and warm valleys. He felt oddly warm, not freezing cold as he had expected. He didn't care though, warmth was a gift in the winter. He slept peacefully until nightfall overtook the forest and the moonlight shone down and illuminated his fur, the lines becoming like blue fire. His eyes would have glowed if they were open, but they remained oblivious to the change in scenery until a cold wind blew through his fur and he shivered awake. He nearly jumped when he realized why he was so warm: the she-wolf lay curled up, pressed against him, sound asleep. He tilted his head slightly as he watched her sleep, probably the most peaceful she'd been in a long time. Fayowin would've hated to ruin his gift to her, albeit an unwilling one.
Feiria woke up soon after midnight, and gazed fearfully into Fayowin's glowing white eyes, taking in his
Cynical stare and his glowing body. She whispered, "I've heard of your kind..."
he looked curiously at her, "my kind?"
"the star wolves.."
he averted his gaze, "Never heard of them.. I'm just a normal wolf.."
Feiria glared at him, "You're glowing, *******.. Not normal. Unless.... Unless your whole pack is made of star wolves!" her face seemed to light up as she said it.
Fayowin whipped his head around, "No! I'm the only one like this..." he looked solemnly down at his feet as he finished.
She blinked, dumbfounded. Clearing her throat, she said, "I really should get back to my pack. They'll be worried about me if I stay out for much longer." she glanced at the massive deer behind them and sighed quietly.
"Your whole pack is starving...aren't they?" said Fayowin quietly.
Feiria nodded and he stood up and walked through the snow silently towards the deer. "you'll need to lead me to your pack if they're to get this meat."
Feiria blinked again, then nodded, getting up and starting off  
Towards the north. Fayowin gripped the deer's neck and drug the carcass behind him as he walked. After a half hour of walking, Feiria howled long and low, signaling her pack that she was near. Fayowin sighed as he heard their howls respond. He thought, there will be no howls for me tonight...
As they neared her pack's clearing, a group of young wolves sprinted towards them, rushing past Feiria and surrounding Fayowin. "Who is this outsider, Feiria? Why did you bring him here?"
there were five of them and they all went into attack mode, growling and circling him.
Feiria attempted to stop them before they got into a fight, but one of them pounced, and in a flash Fayowin had him pinned to the ground with his fangs around the wolf's neck. Fayowin watched the wolves around him react, stepping back and glancing at each other. Feiria shouted at them to stop but they didn't seem to hear her immediately, backing down only as Fayowin's growl tore through the trees, echoing throughout the forest
. They finally heard her, "he's a star wolf!" by now a crowd had gathered around them, Feiria's packmates watching Fayowin closely. He let go of the young wolf beneath his paws, who quickly scampered away, and Fayowin sat up straight and tall, his markings and eyes glowing for all to see. The wolves ooh'd and ahh'd amongst themselves before the alpha stepped forward and looked him up and down. "You killed this deer, yes?"
"I did."
"Why bring it here? We are strangers to you."
Fayowin glanced at Feiria, who shifted, uncomfortable with the silence. "I brought it here because i could tell that this pack needed the meat more than my own." Fayowin looked directly at Feiria and continued, "besides... She saw it first."
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(End of day one of writing, really enjoyed it, look forward to writing again)
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Fayowin perched high upon an rock outcropping, overlooking the clearing below and the wolves within. The alpha had allowed him to stay, grateful for the meat. Feiria was pressed against him again, but this time Fayowin didn't mind. He enjoyed the warmth that she provided and felt at ease around her. She nuzzled his cheek affectionately, a move that surprised him enough that he turned to face her, brushing her nose in the process. He gazed fondly into her eyes for a moment before standing. "I have to return to my pack."
Feiria looked shocked, "No, stay here with us. We could use a hunter like you. Plus you're a star wolf, and it doesn't seem like your pack appreciates that."
He let the words sink in before replying, "I have to go. I'll return in the morning." Seeing the desperate and doubtful look on her face, he added, "I promise. I will come back."
Fayowin walked to the edge of the forest, the glow of his body soon disappearing from Feiria's view.
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...
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F­ayowin sprinted relentlessly back to his territory, smelling the familiar and not so pleasant scents of his packmates. The smell of blood ran thick in the air as he neared the clearing. The moonlight cast eerie shadows around him and he could feel the eyes of the wolves watching him as he reached the gore pile. The mound of bones and rotting flesh dripped blood into the white snow.
"You're late. And emptypawed. You know what that means, filth." the voice was that of his alpha, Marroy, who stood three feet tall at the shoulder, a whole foot and a half shorter than Fayowin. His fur was a mottled black with a grey underbelly.
Fayowin bared his fangs, the longest being three inches long, and he growled, "My name.. is Fayowin."
Marroy cackled in the darkness, "So straightforward. That's unlike you. No matter, you failed to bring us fresh meat. As punishment, you'll be reminded why we protect you in the first place."
Fayowin heard growls emanating from the trees. The pack of around 25 wolves was massive compared to other packs, and there were enough hunters to go around. Fayowin took a step back and let his eyes adjust so he could see them in the trees.
"You don't protect me, Marroy! You fear me!"
Marroy laughed again, "Not from where I'm standing, Mutt. You look pretty frightened." Fayowin took another step back. "Run! Run! Give us some entertainment!"
The wolves started bounding out of the trees and began chasing Fayowin out of the clearing. They seemed to be pouring from every shadow. He ran faster than ever before, the trees blurring past him as he tried to get away. He ran for what seemed like an eternity before seeing the snowy valley at the edge of the forest. He added a burst of speed and instantly regretted it. A rock beneath the snow tripped him and pain shot up his left foreleg. He tumbled end over end in a heap of blue and white, coming to a stop twenty feet away. Fayowin heard the pack coming for him and he tried to crawl away, but to no avail; the pain was too much. He whimpered as he was surrounded, and shut his eyes tight as he felt them bite and claw at him, retreating only after there was a ****** pool around the star wolf. Marroy walked slowly up to him after they had gone and said, "I hope you die out here. If you aren't, we'll make sure that changes." Then the alpha left him there, cold, ******, broken and alone.
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* (End of Day two/Start of day three of writing and i'm really hooked on this, I believe this may be one of my better stories...)*
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Feiria lay silently on the rock outcropping above the pack and she thought of the star wolf. Something about the breeze brought thoughts to her mind.  
Feiria lifted her nose into the air as the smell of blood became present. She sniffed intently and heard her packmates do the same. She looked in the direction that Fayowin had left in and saw a dark form slowly shambling through the shadowy flora towards her. As it neared her she could see that it was dripping a dark liquid, trailing it through the snow in a scarlet path. "Its Fayowin.." she thought to herself. "Why are his eyes so dark? Why isn't he glowing?"
she rushed to his side and the smell of his blood was almost overwhelming. There were numerous bites and cuts all over him and his left foreleg seemed broken.
Feiria called for the healer, an older female named Sheya, and supported Fayowin as they walked to the glade and waited for the healer. Fayowin collapsed in the center of the clearing, the moonlight hitting him directly, making the blood seem black against his white fur.
Feiria whimpered helplessly, waiting for Fayowin to answer, but his eyes seemed so lifeless that
She felt it was almost a false hope. When Sheya finally arrived, the blood had stopped flowing and his breathing had slowed until he was asleep. When the healer examined him, she looked puzzled.
"what's the matter, Elder?"
Sheya pondered a moment before saying, "His wounds have healed. I'd say its a miracle, seeing as he lost so much blood."
Feiria examined the sleeping wolf herself and found the elders words to be true; there wasn't a scratch left on him. "Leave him here, the sunlight will warm him once daylight comes and his fur is thicker than ours so the cold will not affect him as much." the gathered wolves sat in silence as Feiria washed the blood from his fur with snow and lay down next to him, pressing her body against his. The blue lines on Fayowin dimmed and brightened in tune with his heartbeat, and Feiria listened as her own beat matched it.
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...End of day 3....
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Fayowin felt like he was in another world, this one so much quieter, but at the same time he could sense every noise, every movement, every vibration. His fur was no longer the bright white it once was, but rather a deep black with crimson lines flowing round him. He was lying down, surrounded by a wolf pack, Feiria pressed against him for warmth. He saw, or rather sensed her spirit energy, a type of green fire that outlined her entire body as she slept. Fayowin stood up, thinking to wake her and let her know he was alright, but she hadn't moved. And neither had he; his white furred body remained as it was a moment ago, but he was looking at it as if in another body. He took a step back as he realized he was roaming about in his spirit form. He looked around at the pack and none of the gathered wolves seemed to notice him. He exited the circle of onlookers and gazed up at the falling moon, watching it descend into the horizon, chased away by the rays of the sun coming over the mountaintops to the east. As the sun peeked over the ridge, Fayowin caught something out of the corner of his eye, a dark mass that didn't fit right with the rest of the environment. He looked and saw two sets of glowing purple eyes in the shade. He called out to them, hoping they might hear. "Hey! Can you see me?"
The eyes looked at each other and then back at him, staring for a moment before turning and running.
"Hey, wait!!" Fayowin called after them and began to chase them deeper and deeper into the mysterious forest.The beings moved faster than Fayowin had anticipated, disappearing soon after the chase had begun. Fayowin stood there in the middle of the woods, panting and searching for the elusive forms. After a moment he saw them at the very edge of his vision, their eyes glowing brighter, almost as if they were taunting him forward. Snarling, Fayowin bolted towards them and they led him on a winding path marked by a barely discernable scent trail. The smell was that of burnt wood and crushed pine needles and was oddly alluring to Fayowin as he ran. It seeemed as if he were running for ages, the sun and moon rotating numerous times around him as he traveled over mountains and rivers, through forests and valleys. On the thirteenth solar rotation, the figures finally stopped, joined by eleven other figures surrounding a circular rock with vines and overgrowth covering its base.
As he neared the figures, he saw that they all looked like him, long furred and covered in glowing lines. "Star wolves... Like me..."
The wolves all surrounded the dais and watched him with razor sharp eyes, watching his every move. As he gazed back, Fayowin noticed that each of them had some form of a trident mark right below their left eye, the color matching the lines tracing their bodies. He felt the urge to move forward, as if an instinct were telling him to stand in the center of the circle. Fayowin stood, all eyes on him as he waited for whatever was about to come.
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....I have nothing to say to you HP... I dislike you at the moment....
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Nightfall was coming swiftly, the moon and the stars swirling into place above them, reaching their peak and then halting completely. All of time and
Mymai Yuan Sep 2010
I was born a sickly, screeching baby, two months earlier than expected. The doctor and midwife did everything they could to keep my little limbs moving and to keep my tiny heart beating, fluttering like the wings of butterfly.
“Is it a boy?” my mother whispered through her pale lips, as they bathed my naked body in hot water.
“No, ma’am, it’s a girl” The midwife struggled to add on something that would make the wailing creature seem more desirable. “With exquisitely shaped feet, so perfectly miniature”
She let out a croak of conflicting emotions: the joy and pride of a newly-founded motherly love, the fear of presenting a girl as a first-born, the relief that the hours of agony in childbirth were over and the dread of facing her husband once he found out about me.

My mother was not healthy after my birth for a long time; and when I was only one and two months old she fell dangerously ill, and the house whispered footsteps running to her room late at night and muffled voices of different doctors. Mercifully, she survived but was left barren and forever unfertile.
I can not imagine my father’s fury. He believed in having sons to carry on his old last name of thirty-one generations; it was his religion and had I been a son, I would have been worshipped as a god. I can imagine how my mother prayed and thanked her ancestors that her dowry was of a large one.

He could barely tolerate being in the same room as me during my toddler years. Every time he entered a room I was playing in, nurse would sweep me to our garden out side; answering to my startled queries, “Be an obedient daughter, don’t bother your father and don’t ask questions”
My body had been born frail, but my natural spirit was as healthy as could be, full of inquiries, wonders of the world around me and everyday I would learn something new just wandering around the neighborhood observing things, with my nurse trailing with a worried eye behind me muttering, “Girls are not supposed to be exposed to this” she spoke the words as if they were sour, “you should be sitting at home and accompanying your mother.”

Every day at dinner, the two females of the house, me and my mother, were silent while my father ranted on and on. My appetite being very delicate, I often just sat there as still as I possibly could and listened to my father talking about politics, jobs, money. Things he called ‘men business’. I longed to ask questions about these ‘men business’, especially ‘university’ for I had an inquisitive sort-of nature but was refrained with a sharp, piercing look from my mother every time I opened my mouth and sometimes, she pinched me under the table leaving purple splotches which flashed, “Don’t question your father”
Sometimes, he would talk about the future he had decided for me, “You will marry off, sixteen at the latest, to some one rich and beneficial to our family. You will do as I say till I marry you off, and then you will do as your husband tells you.”
“Yes father, for I should repay everything you have done for me” I replied as sweetly as I could.
“Yes, you’re a good daughter. Bear lots of sons for him and your house will be one of happiness.”
I was proud that he had given me a compliment. “Yes father, for it will make you joyful as I always wish to make you so”
My childish heart did not understand why my mother turned her head down while her left eyebrow twitched, and why that night, as she tucked me into bed, I thought I saw a tear roll down her cheek and why as she kissed me that night she whispered, “Do not love me so; love your father. The men in your life are your gods.”

My physical health would constantly limit the desires of my free spirit. I could not to do what others who were as free of spirit as I was could do, and couldn’t socialize with them and the rest of the children in my neighborhood had their siblings to mingle with, causing me to become the pitiful outcast.
I saw children around my age, around seven or eight, climbing trees and wanted to do so as well, but my white feet did not have grip enough to grasp onto the fat branches.
Father caught me once trying to propel myself up a tree and his expression was both of a resigned anger and sadness before he turned him and his face away and back into the house without a word.
That night, mother told me not to climb trees ever again. I noticed a faint bruise on her cheek bone that had been covered with white powder.

When I was eleven or twelve, and was allowed to wander further out into the neighborhood with my nurse I saw the boys fishing in the nearby pond and wanted to do so as well. Starting that day, every week I pocketed the three coins mother gave me until I could buy the best fishing rod in the little store and ran as fast as my skinny, weak legs could carry me to the pond. I mimicked the way the boys flung the fishing rod out over the water but the metal pole was too heavy for my pale, shaking arms. I tried over and over again as my nurse watched, biting her lip in anxiety. I held the fishing rod with trembling sore arms till  I felt a bite; I pumped my small arms to reel it in, but they were so tired and I was far too slow, losing the fish I had spent half the day trying to catch. “Ah, just bad luck, don’t worry! It was a smart fish, I tell you!” nurse exclaimed, though her eyes flashed a look of pity and I knew she knew it wasn’t just bad luck or a smart fish.
In anger, I sold the fishing rod to one of the boys for two-thirds of the price I had bought it for. He was delighted with the bargain and I watched with a lump in my throat as he caught three fish with the tug of his healthy, muscular arm within fifteen minutes. “This is a beautiful rod, and the pond is just filled with fish today, Little Sister!”
Wanting to spend the money jingling inside my pocket, money that to me was just a reminder of a painful memory, I headed off to the collection of little shops close to my house where I was guaranteed distraction. Nurse, sweating and complaining of the heat, followed me.
An ageing man with a bunch of filthy hair working away on a piece of thick, rough paper with wondrous colors inside a shop caught my eye as I peered inside the window. He turned the picture upside down and continued blending in the dark colors of the shape to create a shadow along the curve of it. I entered the shop. “What is that?” I asked of him.
“A face” he replied back absentmindedly.
“Doesn’t look like one to me” I confessed with my honesty.
He looked up at me, “No, it does not to you, and maybe, neither will it at the end. To me, it looks like an angle of a faded face. But slowly, with time, it will become clearer and clearer, yet only to me, and as it does, I will be able to choose more colors to make it yet more beautiful. The outcome of this painting is entirely up to me.”
I felt my challenging self rising up. “But what if you imagined a certain color in your head but couldn’t find it or be able to mix it to your mind’s perfection?”
“Then I would create my own paint color.”
“You know how?”
“No, but if I could not find the paint color already made I would make it myself, and no matter what, would learn how to. So far I have always been able to compromise and mix different colors to please me.”
“You do an awful lot of shadowing light colors with dark colors”
“Why do you think I do so?” he questioned me this time, with bright eyes.
I pondered for a moment to give as good an answer as he had given me and then told him my answer.
He nodded with impress, “Yes, yes, absolutely right. I never thought I’d hear that from a child” and looked at me with his head cocked in curiosity.
“What would you like to buy from here, Little Sister?”
Still deeply interested in our conversation I pulled out the coins I had in my pocket. “How much stuff can I buy with all this money? I’d like those crayons, I’ve tried them once before and they are so creamy and smooth.”
“Oil pastels?” he asked, a little confusedly.
Feeling ashamed of my ignorance, I nodded. The tutor father hired evidently bent to father’s strict rules of what should be taught and what would not be taught. Father disapproved of women painting, and would’ve dismissed nurse had he known that instead of taking me out for a little walk to smell the blooming daffodils, she in fact let me explore the environment around me to the best of my ability even in disgruntle.
The man gave my red-patched cheeks and undeveloped translucent frame a sympathetic look and when he spoke, his voice was gentle. “Little Sister, I’ve a whole basket of oil paints that I’ve used but rarely and so are still in perfect condition. Would you like to carry the whole basket home for all the money you have in your pockets?”
I handed him all my golden coins, “But first I must see if I like it.”
“You won’t be disappointed” he chuckled and walked with an imbalanced limp to the back of the store. I noticed a wooden stump protruding from the bottom of his long, black pants. My heart throbbed achingly; he was ****** limited too. I turned to his painting and smiled from deep inside, a smile I rarely wore.
He came back tugging a huge brown basket filled to the brim with sticks of oil pastels, some longer or thicker than others. He lifted an orange one up and showed the tip of it to me, which was stained with a black mark. “Sometimes when you blend colors this will happen, but it’s easy to rid off. Just softly, and patiently rub it off on a cloth until it disappears.” He demonstrated upon his black pants.
“Thank you. It’s kind of you. But...I can’t carry this home myself. It’s heavy.”
I turned to nurse and smiled my best pleading smile.

The basket was toiled up as nurse undressed me from my shower and father and mother were otherwise occupied. That night, with my precious basket safely under my bed, I cleaned all the multi-colored oil pastels on an old shirt, and as soon as the house was ringing with silence, I locked my door and flicked on the lamp light, and started pressing the smooth colors into the paper to blend and make a picture of kissing colors on a relatively large piece of white paper. A thrill ran from my finger tips and along my arm, and made my palms tingle as I held the colorful sticks in my hand to the paper. I hid it underneath my bed just as a rosy sun was rising.
*
I was sixteen, and I was thought beautiful: for now, at this age, it was considered beautiful to be so pale of skin, so small of feet and hands, graceful to have tiny limbs and charming to have little strength for it was now considered ‘feminine’.
It was three weeks after I had turned sixteen and for dinner, father had brought over an ugly man with a bulging waist and shiny bald head who continually made ****** jokes at the dinner table while he believed I did not understand them. He was infamous for the two wives he had had (before they died from sickness), and how he not only hit them but kept other lovers too. Yet he was desirable for his vast richness. He leered at me obnoxiously, in an attempt to smile.
Father caught him looking at me, “She’s incredibly silent, never says a word of defiance and will be a most dutiful wife.”
“Yes, she is beautiful”
My heart froze and my brain was stimulated to work twice as fast. Him?! Him?! The man who’s wives were killed through an illness called ‘abuse, neglect and disloyalty?!’
I cast my eyelashes down in order to appear a calm, modest young lady while my heart hammered in fury, disgust and a rising hysterical panic. I shot a look at my mother whose left eyebrow was twitching as she stared down at her dinner plate, and I knew she was having the same thoughts as I.
“I would be glad to have you as my son-in-law. You would have no trouble with her, and would be embraced with open arms into our family.”
They continued this path of talk through dinner while he eyeballed me in a way that made me cringe. I felt his foot nudge mine under the table and in haste tucked it under the chair with a little gasp. His eyes glittered at my gasp and I was furious with myself for letting him feel a rotten triumph. Though I had always felt an extremely strong dislike towards him from what I knew of him and sometimes saw of him with an immoral lady, something pushed in the pit of my tummy, and I knew it was pure hatred.
When mother tucked me in she was being strange. On closing my door she whispered, “I love you… so I wish you to know… don’t ever contradict men”

As I was secretly drawing a picture as I did every night till dawn, I heard my father’s voice roar in the dead of the night. In a sudden, I shoved my portrait under the bed and threw all my oil pastels into the basket, hid it, and switched the light off. I heard his voice roar again, accompanied by a thud. I was wild with fear as I crept to my door and pressed my ear against it, barely even shocked at my own daringness as my instinct, love, took over- my instinct of must knowing what was happening to my mother.
“How dare you say I’m wrong!?” there was another thud, and this time I heard a soft whimper. “She is worthless to me, not a son. And I will marry her off to a rich man who can actually benefit this family.” He roared.
There was a whisper which I strained to hear, “He will **** her”
“From the moment she was born she wasn’t made to live!” he yelled.
A hiss escaped my tongue and I coiled like a serpent, flinching as a thud was heard yet again and an immediate cry of pain escaped from both my lips and my mothers’.
A fire awoke inside me, burning my temples and my whole body and my eyes stung with hot tears; tears that burned my face as they splashed down. My whole body was shaking and my tightly squeezed eyes were going through spasms. I was no longer wild with fear, but with anger.
I turned my light back on and tugged my basket of oil pastels out. I yanked my portrait off from a thick of pile of different pictures I had drawn.
My breath was coming in quick short breaths as I finished my portrait to the utmost perfection, using every oil pastel in the basket. Every time I heard a thud, I colored with more fiery… shadowing my jaw line with the fat black oil pastel, in the crook of my ear, the corner of my mouth… where the light shone upon my fore head, how it reflected in the color of my eye and glowed on my cheeks.
When I was finished, the house was deadly quiet again and dawn was breaking. I looked down upon it and realized something that changed my life.
In frenzy I swatted out all the things I had ever drawn and stared at them in an awakening.
The colors on them were the events of my life, the things that characterized it, the decisions. They were beautiful for they had been chosen and controlled by me … I had chosen the colors I wanted and thought best for my pictures; and spent thought over how to blend different colors to the color I wanted.
And everyday, as I worked into the drawings with time, they became clearer and clearer on what was the right thing to do, and how it should possibly look like in the next stage.
I leaned over and kissed the thin lips of my portrait that didn’t look exactly like me for not even the most skilled artists have complete control over what they draw.

Then I remembered what I had told the one-legged man in the shop a few years go:
“Lights not only illuminate, they also cast shadows. The contrast makes you able to appreciate the power of both.”
Now it was time to truly let the light illuminate my life, and let the shadows let me appreciate the light that shines upon me; I color my own life, and choose my own colors.

To pull out the colors underneath the darkness of my bed…
And spill it to the world outside.
Graff1980 Jan 2015
It never ends, fragments of visions collapsing upon themselves painfully. Her swollen eyes opening, and bursting with orange fire. Then closing just as fast. In between those agonizing seconds she sees everything. Thousands of years cycling over and over. Visions of visions within visions.


Cassandra saw her city razed to the ground. The wall which once stood firm against the onslaught of enemies crumbling with the ravages of time. She closed her eyes. When she opened them again she saw her own grief. Her cousin had fallen in battle. She closed her eyes again, and scratched at her itchy eyelids.



Ten weeks passed without a blink, not even a fraction of an opening. She was disciplined, but the longer she fought the more her eyelids would burn. One blink to ease the agony and she was forced to see her father’s skin. A purple mass of dead flesh bubbling swelling, exploding, and rotting, with maggots squirming in out and around till flies formed and flew away. Another corpse left out in a burning city. One among many denied a peaceful death. Buildings crumbled to dust, the bodies became one with the earth. Cassandra cried without opening her eyes. Her father stroked her long soft curls, whispering reassurances. “It’s all right my child.”


Another three or four weeks passed. She had become blinder than Tiresias the blind prophet. Unable to recall if that was a story she had heard, or would hear in the future.  She sobbed spilling each and every sorrow she could. Every tragedy yet to come. Her father smiled gently placing a warm cloth upon her brow. “Shush my child these nightmares will fade soon enough.”


The young girl opened her eyes again. This time a years’ worth of history unfolded. She saw soldiers gathering arms. Battlements born of the Bronze Age burning with righteous rage. Steel blades clanging against bronze shields in preparation for war. Boats fully loaded departed.


She closed her eyes once more. It would be another two months before she opened them. In the meantime she pleaded with her father to leave the city. Day in and day out begging, sobbing, and screaming until she was sent away.


It was becoming harder and harder to keep her eyes closed. There was a burning force aching to escape. She managed five more weeks until she could bare the pain no longer. As her new sisters bathed her pale dry skin with the sweetest scented oils the young girl recited all that she saw and felt.


The first footfalls of the first soldier’s feet to touch the beach. The feel of the sand as it swirled in, out and around the soldier’s sandals. The general howling commands. The green eyes hungry for battle. The faces contorted in controlled rage. All that intensity burning under the once civilized façade. She closed her eyes again.


Cassandra sat silently in exhaustion, as the sisters slowly brushed the knots out of her long brown hair. They brought her a blindfold, which allowed only a small comfort. This time she only managed to resist for two weeks. The vision came upon her with such force that she cried out and collapsed.


Now the city was burning. Citizen screamed as they ran in terror. Brave men rushed forwards to be impaled on the spears of other brave men. Arrows swallowed the moonlight picking at the earth and scavenging for some bare flesh to devour. Blood ran like red rainwater. Streets streamed thin crimson pools diluted by warm summer showers. The stench oh, the stench, it made Cassandra ***** up chunks of soggy bread and half-digested beef mixed with red wine and stomach acid, while she tried to force her eyes to close.


Finally, she closed her eyes again. The sisters tried to sooth her sorrows, to no avail. Within a years’ time the young girl lost the ability to close her eyes. Cassandra eyeballs slowly burnt out until there was nothing left but charcoaled eye sockets. By the next year she could no longer speak. Cassandra became paralyzed by the futility of her existence.


In her mind the war had come and gone. The sieges were no longer an issue. She no longer felt the urge to cry for the dead. What was, will be, and what will be cannot be undone. What cannot be undone has already happened. Apollo had cursed her. Her beauty had enraptured him, her wit had charmed him, but her will had enraged him.


She was only thirteen with brown eyes and long hair of rare quality, soul so powerful that almost anyone who met her could feel its energy. She shamed the gods with her purity, and unwillingly ensnared their affection.


At first Apollo came with strong arms and tender words. Wooing to the point of painful pleasure. Her eyes could not handle such radiance. His skin burned as his chariot burned. Hair golden flames, skin solar yellow, eye orange as the sun. Each kiss burnt like the worse fever, taking her against her will, savaging her sanity. As if, as if being a god gave him the right to take such liberties.


Apollo viewed her early rejections with whimsy, believing them to be some cute token of her modesty. A god can afford to wait, after all eternity was on his side. After the first hundred no’s his affection gave way to anger. Until his desire could not bear rejection any longer.


At last he cried out to Cassandra. “I will have you or else.”


With a firm but fiery hand he swept her up.  Forcing his mouth against hers. Parting her pursed lip with his powerful tongue.  He shoved his tongue into her mouth, until tears streamed down her cheeks. She could not resist with words, because her mouth was occupied, so she took the only action she knew available to her.


She bit down as hard she could. Lava spewed from Apollo’s lips, roughly singing the inside of her mouth. Without realizing what was happening she swallowed. Her skin began to glow, tiny childlike limbs lengthened and tightened. From her eyes radiated the most powerful light ever seen by man or god. For a moment Apollo cowered beneath the awe of her power, stumbling backwards to the ground dumbfounded.


Regaining his composure he slapped her aside. Scowling in rage “How dare you. You. You worthless *****.”


Her lips parted now of her own volition. Her voice raged with a deep and powerful resonance. “How dare you, you whimpering fool.” The power still flowing inwards filled her with confidence. “I see you for what you are. A tool, a man made invention.” The radiance of her skin was slowly fading. “I see too much now.” She cried out in an ******* fury. A smile crossed her lips. “I see what will become of you and your ilk.”


With strength previously unimagined the young girl thrusted her small hands out throttling Apollo’s throat. He trembled in fear. “You cannot hope to contain the power of me. I am generations incarnated. Passing power from one age to the next. I will not be enslaved.” Her skin began to blink, her voice loss much of its force. “I am Cassandra, and you a merely a passing phase. I will tell the world of all I have seen.”


The last bit of godly energy faded from her skin. Cassandra collapsed. “I still see it all, and you will never touch me again.”


Apollo brushed bits of earth off his person. “See all you want, I care not.” He lunged for her. A flash of thin white light flung him back.

Confused, Apollo rose. Glaring he screamed “You may see all now. It is a gift my blood has given you, but soon it will become a curse. For no mortal wishes to believe that the fates have already written their story. They will ignore you, and in doing so you will find that this power you have gained will be for naught. Thus will be your curse to see all, with no power to stop it.”


Cassandra’s eyes opened wide, seconds split into eternity. She felt the passing of all those around her. She felts time’s stench and rot all around her. Her skin would wrinkle to a certain degree but she would be eternal. She saw cities rise and fall. Some to rise again others to be forgotten. She saw herself seeing each of these visions again and again. She lived her immortal life over and over, events unchanged be anything she said.


The only real comfort was that she saw Apollo wither away. As the old gods fell to ruins weakened by the rationality of new gods, then the rationality of structured reason. Then came the rise of something new and better. Reason with abstraction, abstraction with order, a cycle of energy which emboldened and empowered man. She chuckled.
“Go away little godling.”
And like the little thing he was, Apollo ran.
Her father shushed her, wiping the tears from her face.
The sisters bathed her; singing songs of love and adoration.
Troy fell under the onslaught.
Apollo came and went again.


Cassandra’s eyes opened wide closed and open wide once more, seconds split into eternity. She felt the passing of all those around her. She felts time’s stench and rot all around her. Her skin would wrinkle to a certain degree but she would be eternal. She saw cities rise and fall. Some to rise again others to be forgotten. She saw herself seeing each of these visions again and again. She lived her immortal life over and over, events unchanged be anything she said.


The only one real comfort was that she saw Apollo wither away. As the old gods fell to ruins weakened by the rationality of new gods, then the rationality of structured reason. Then came the rise of something new and better. Reason with abstraction, abstraction with order, a cycle of energy which emboldened and empowered man. She chuckled.
“Go away little godling.”
And like the little thing he was, Apollo ran.
Her father shushed her, wiping the tears from her face.
The sisters bathed her; singing songs of love and adoration.
Troy fell under the onslaught.
Apollo came and went again.
(added) Prologue: "we'll get the baron, i swear. the ratings will go through the roof..." nick spoke nervously into the phone he held in his good hand. the other rested at his side, burned beyond use. one of the commandos whispered in his ear. "sir, we have his location.... yes... yes sir..." he hung up the phone and turned to the commando, "scramble the troops, we're going hunting..."


"N-no... not this again..."  Baronyx muttered in his sleep. "I wont... i wont do it..." it was the same nightmare that had plagued him for years. he was what the Two-legs called an Exotic, one of the few hundred dragons left in the world, and a showpeice for the high paying two-legs.
Baronyx had been captured once and forced into slavery as a circus act and performer for many years before he escaped and burned an entire city with his fiery wrath, killing some ten thousand two-legs in his path and sending a message, "don't cage a dragon..." ever since he had been plagued with nightmares of his experiences while enslaved. "stop... No!" he ****** awake and roared in fear. the full moon's light shone on his sapphire scales and temporarily blinded him until his green slit-eyes adjusted. his mate, a green scaled dragoness named Lyra licked his cheek and put a comforting claw around on his shoulder, "its the dreams again, isnt it ***?" Baronyx nodded and stared outside of their cave den.
He glanced over his shoulder at his daughter, Tali, her young yellow scales getting a tinge of green. Baronyx sighed and said, "she's growing so fast... she'll have your scales..."
Lyra looked as well, "and she'll have your eyes, baron." they watched their child sleep a moment longer before Baronyx stood and stepped outside the den. "i'll be right back." lyra nodded and lay back down with her eyes closed. he spread his wings and with a powerful downstroke took flight. Baronyx closed his eyes and glided into the wind currents and to the cliffside where he went to clear his mind and sort out his thoughts. his claws clicked across the hard rock as he landed and tapped rhythmically as he walked to the edge of the cliff and hung his claws off the side. a wild wolf howled in the distance somewhere behind him. something in the air was different tonight and Baronyx felt uneasy. he lay his head down and snoozed for a while, oblivious of what was happening at his den.
- - -
Tali screamed as
Two-legs with metal-spitters swarmed the den and threw heavy nets over her and her mother. "ma! ma! whats going on?!"
"tali! just stay calm.. just stay calm." Lyra roared in protest as the two legs brought lightning-sticks and began prodding at them. "don't you dare touch my daughter you *******!" she shouted even though she knew they wouldnt understand her. to her surprise though, one two leg stepped forward and said, "we won't touch you or your daughter if you tell us where the Baron is."
"i'll never tell you, monster."
the white man chuckled, "from my point of view, you're the monster. and you'll be a wonderful addition to the show..."
- - -
Baronyx heard tali's scream echo In the dark forest surrounding the cliffside. "No!" his roar resonated farther than tali's scream.
at the den a few moments before, the two-legs had caged Tali and Lyra and had set about stabbing at lyra with the shock-prods hoping to draw Baronyx back to the cave. Lyra kept her cries quiet and had refused to satisfy their wishes. the two-leg in charge snarled. "Enough... last chance, dragon. Tell me where he is!"
lyra growled at him, "i'll tell you nothing, worm."
"fine, suit yourself." the man turned his back to her. "lets see if you're daughter has the same resolve, shall we?"
"no! don't touch her!"
"i'm afraid its quite too late for that, dragon."
"tali i'm sorry!"
he turned to Tali and jabbed her in the side with a shock ****. tali groaned and gritted her teeth but did not scream for the man.
she growled at him said, "that tickled." tali grinned at the man with her sharp fangs fully exposed.
the man glared for a moment and then smiled cruelly.
"temporary pain doesnt have an effect on you... maybe something more... permenant will bring him to me. bring the iron!"
two-legs carried a white hot brand in the shape of a greek Omega. the man pointed to tali and said, "on her throat. make it burn."
more two-legs had muzzled lyra to keep her from screaming. the iron cut into tali's scales and burned into the flesh underneath, forcing tali to scream as loud as she could, even after the iron had been taken away. she collapsed on the ground and the tears spilled over her eyes as she continued to scream.
they heard a roar passing over them all as Baronyx rushed back to the den.
"well done, everyone. the prize is near. get your guns ready but DO NOT FIRE!"
* *
baronyx flew faster than he ever had before. he growled  as he swooped down toward his den and saw the two-legs. he screeched in protest as cables wrapped around his wings and limbs. forcing him hard into the ground. "Nick you *******!"
the white man grinned, "so we finally meet
Again, baron. and you have a nice little family i can use to my advantage now."
baronyx looked at tali and Lyra and loosed a mournful moan deep in his throat. "what do you want, nick?"
the man stepped forward and replied, "i want you, back in my show, just like old times. or i'll torture your mate AND this lovely little child of yours. sound like a deal?"
baronyx shut his eyes and nodded as a tear trailed down his cheek. "just know... when i get out, everything will burn... just like old times..."
(add on 1)
The white man and the other two-legs shackled Baronyx and his family with heavy chains and electric collars that would shock them randomly. they were put on a train car headed east and the collars were taken off. Baronyx immediately examined Tali's neck, the brand already scarring over in a whitish pink Omega. tali's voice was hoarse and tears came to her eyes. she buried her head into her father's chest. "i'm so sorry tali, lyra... this is my fault.." the family embraced as they knew there would likely be very little contact with each other after the train stopped.
the train traveled a little while longer and the family shakily said  their goodbyes as the air brakes hissed violently. the doors shrieked open and they were met by Nick. immediately. baronyx pounced on top of him and roared. they stared eye to eye for a moment before they heard the clicking of the two-legs metal spitters. baronyx kept his eyes on Nick and said quietly, "touch her again... touch EITHER of them... and
I swear, no amount of metal spitters or electricity will stop me from hunting you down and tearing off your head."
as baronyx stepped back, nick stood up and replied, "i won't harm either of them, hell, i'll give them whatever they want, as long as you do as you are told, Baronyx."
baronyx thought this over and after a few moments said, "i have one more condition, i want full access to them. whenever i choose."
nick chuckled a bit, "we'll see... we'll see... it all depends on how you perform."
baronyx nodded. "then lets get this over with..." the white man beckoned some two-legs to lead Tali and Lyra to the cages inside the massive pavilion that stood before them. two of the men brought the brand again and put the Omega on Baronyx's throat much like they had done with tali. he gritted his teeth and let the tears come but did not cry out or roar. when the pain had subsided, he asked nick, "when do i start?"
nick looked up at him with a sinister twinkle in his eyes, "right now."
*
Nick and a handful of two-legs escorted baronyx back onto the train, but not the same traincar. this one was blue and had ornate gold lettering on each side. once baronyx was inside, a string of lights came on and he saw his old armor plates each polished and the dents pounded out. he took his helm and stared into his reflection.  "i swore i'd never touch this stuff again..."
an intercom system beeped above him and nick's voice filled the car. "Baron, you have five minutes to suit up. the game starts as soon as we arrive."
baronyx sighed and donned the cold armor one peice at a time. he looked into the mirror on the wall and turned away in disgust.
"for tali and lyra..." there were a few peices left, the ones he never wanted to see again, they were sharp talons that fit over his claws. in the show, he had to use these to **** his opponent. nick's voice came over the intercom again, "arriving at the arena now, the press is fired up for your return, baron. DON'T disappoint them."
Baronyx growled and said a silent prayer for his family. the train screeched to a halt and the door opened. baronyx stepped out onto a black carpet and was assaulted by blinding camera flashes and the deafening roar of the crowding two-legs. over the crowd, an announcer shouted, "Its the Baron! he's back and looks better than ever!"
baronyx kept walking until nick stopped him for the game briefing. "you'll be going up against a group of wyverns, so you should have no problem killing them." the wyverns far outnumbered the dragons, wyverns being the dragons' slightly smaller, less intelligent cousins.
nick began walking away when baronyx asked, "what do they get if i win?"
nick turned, "they?"
baronyx bared his fangs. "my family. what do they get in return for my win?"
nick thought this over for a moment before replying, "they will eat, sleep, and live in their own hovel. and depending on your performance i'll let you stay with them."
baronyx growled, "then lets get this over with."
*
Baronyx was led to the arena doors and he waited patiently for his introduction and call to the game. he looked around at the all too familiar sights, the fight screens, the scoreboard, and the dim light that would signal his entry into the arena. it would be a few minutes before the match and in the meantime, he thought of all his old strategies and gameplans. "i wonder if tali and lyra will be watching..."
nick came out of the shadows and said, "remember, their future depends on what happens next."
the light turned green and the doors opened, spilling light into the room. when baronyx's eyes adjusted, he saw the all too familiar sight of the ****** arena, mangled corpses being dragged away from the last battle. "the baron! he'll be going up against seven wyverns from the northwest territories." baronyx roared as loud as he could as he stormed into the arena. the wyverns on the other side cowered for a moment before charging him. the first one lunged at him and was caught in his
Claws. baronyx looked into the wyverns eyes and saw the fear, the terror of a beast facing his own demise. "for them..." baronyx tore the wyvern's throat out with his claws and threw the body at the next assailant, bowling him over.
the next wyvern was impaled by baronyx's tail and tossed aside to bleed out on the ground while he set about killing the others in various other ways. when the bodies stopped twitching, baronyx's armor was coated in blood. the crowd was silent and he became worried. he looked to the trainer's balcony and spotted nick, who gave a subtle nod of approval. baronyx looked at the timer: one minute seventeen seconds. it was a new record, the shortest match in history. the crowd roared and applauded long after he was led out of the arena. "an amazing, record setting performance by the returning champion, the Baron!"
baronyx was met by the press' cameras outside the arena. Nick's two-legs stripped the ****** armor and allowed him some room to move around.
The camera flashes continued to blind baronyx but his mind was elsewhere. nick finally showed up to answer the press's questions, while baronyx glared at the group of reporters. after an hour of questions and his agitation reached its breaking point, baronyx growled at the reporters, silencing them. when they didn't move, he bared his fangs and roared, forcing them to make hasty retreats and fleeing the conference. once they were gone, nick turned to baronyx and sighed, "thanks. i thought they'd never leave..."
baronyx stared down at him. "we had a deal."
"so we did. and for that breathtaking performance, you will stay with your family in their hovel."
baronyx started walking towards the train, "then i have to go."
*
Based off of a poem i wrote earlier.
here is little Effie’s head
whose brains are made of gingerbread
when the judgment day comes
God will find six crumbs

stooping by the coffinlid
waiting for something to rise
as the other somethings did—
you imagine His surprise

bellowing through the general noise
Where is Effie who was dead?
—to God in a tiny voice,
i am may the first crumb said

whereupon its fellow five
crumbs chuckled as if they were alive
and number two took up the song,
might i’m called and did no wrong

cried the third crumb,i am should
and this is my little sister could
with our big brother who is would
don’t punish us for we were good;

and the last crumb with some shame
whispered unto God,my name
is must and with the others i’ve
been Effie who isn’t alive

just imagine it I say
God amid a monstrous din
watch your step and follow me
stooping by Effie’s little, in

(want a match or can you see?)
which the six subjunctive crumbs
twitch like mutilated thumbs:
picture His peering biggest whey

coloured face on which a frown
puzzles, but I know the way—
(nervously Whose eyes approve
the blessed while His ears are crammed

with the strenuous music of
the innumerable capering ******)
—staring wildly up and down
the here we are now judgment day

cross the threshold have no dread
lift the sheet back in this way.
here is little Effie’s head
whose brains are made of gingerbread
Abigail Madsen Jan 2016
I was once asked to spell the word Depression
Now that was an interesting question to me because lets face it
Who does not know how to spell depression
It is three syllables
It is ten letters
It is just once word
Or at least that was the answer he was looking for.

I was once asked to spell the word Depression
I thought for a second and said
"Which way would you like me to spell it"
The teacher paused and looked at me quizzically
"What kind of question is that"
He chuckled

Like he thought I was dimwitted he repeated himself
"I would like you to spell the word Depression it is rather simple"

And now this is where I got to chuckle and say
"Sir, I believe what you are asking is a question I cannot answer, because to me Depression is not a three syllable, 10 letter word. Depression is when my sister comes home to a dead father, and Depression is when my best friend get diagnosed with Cancer. You see to me the Depression you are asking me to spell is the same Depression That gets you laughed out of a hospital. The same Depression that gets you a handful of 'cheer up's' and 'Get over it's.' and maybe even some 'Oh just be happy's' But last I checked when someone has Cancer, we do not tell them to "Just get better" or when someone is sitting in the ER with a cracked skull, we do not tell them to 'Just give it time, you're fine.'"

The boy sitting in front of you could not "just give it time"
When his mother died in his arms
And the girl that you pass through the halls could not "just be happy"
After she had true love ruined for her when some man did not Understand the word "No"
And your dad who calls every sunday cannot "cheer up" because the love of his life has died and his own son does not care to come see him on his birthday

So Sir when you ask me to spell Depression I ask which way because
I spell Depression D-E-A-T-H
and I spell Depression A-L-O-N-E
and I spell Depression S-I-C-K-N-E-S-S

So Sir I spell Depression S-U-F-F-E-R-I-N-G
And I define it as misunderstood for something in ones control/

So do not tell me it is simple to spell and do not tell me I am stupid when I ask in which way you are asking because to me
Depression isn't a simple
Three syllable
Ten letter word
That you use to define those who you do not care to know
onlylovepoetry Jul 2016
for Sally, Bex and Tonya, Denel and my beloved

<>

gods do not seek forgiveness,
or comprehension,
desertion, desecration, ascension
or condemning condescension

but how how they crave
just a good conversation,
to get a word in edgewise,
a nice chat,
entrée à, la tête-à-tête,
entre deux, deluxe-amis

a casually talking,
absent of
words of need and beseech,
reason and causality,
and no I or We pronouns,
sans enunciations and annunciations,
false hopes for incarnations, incantations,
set asides for life's grievous aches
all human requests, and some of God's commandments
for now, set aside,
annulled

just a talk,
some repartee,
but mostly an open ear lent,
an early morn quiet listen
over tea (he/she) and coffee (me),
paying attention to
both sides of an interactive story

as recompense for my willingness to be,
his engaged counter party,
my mourning gloomier cloudiness,
quick exchanged for instant,
rising sunshine warming glorious

my vista
of a bay dancing
to Tchaikovsky Swan Lake ballet music,
deftly inserted between
an Agnus Dei and an Ave Maria

mood music he said,
and we chuckled,
he/she was god and orchestrated
my tastes,
Adele et Dudamel,
comprehending my undesirable apprehension,
by granting my needy wish for
poetic inspirational composition contentment

all exchanged,
for just a good listen,
no judgements, in either direction

I am the god of love,
the one who makes you weep,
when you study your beloved's rising chest,
each uplifted breast heaving,
a confirmation blessing,
that her life is present
for at least the next second,
ready for your magi adoration

be not fearful,
this day we talk only,
as I pass by,
I have no business to conduct,
on your island of sheltering redoubt,
but to engage and unburden
for even gods
are required to confess,
and aging godheads do adore
a human shoulder
upon to rest,
a great invention,
(If I may say so myself)
and to whom better to address
than my only love poetry
poète personnelle

here he off-guards me
with a favorite injection,
Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings,
music so sweet that it never fails
to weaken my knees,
sweeping my eyes unto weeping
priming me with this first coat of
sounds so elementary soothing

he half-bows before me and says,


forgive me human, for I have sinned

in Dallas and Nice,
just this past week,
with forays here and there,
doing god's work

read your bitterness and struggle,
anger and forgiveness all in one crust,
furious curses and wails so plaintive,
my heavenly musicians weep from jealousy,
at the cries emanating from the fired fury song
of human hearts torn and love plundered

I am the god of love

and

the god of pain and all that is the

anti-love

(and to make me better understand,  
Schindler's List score, so sweetly,
he plays for me,
to clarify the atmosphere,
that death and love -
and the courage of understanding,
so oft go hand in hand)

write me a love poem for me,
no hymn or sonnet do I require,
for love is essence of forgive,
there is no perfect union,
that cannot stand,
with out this emotion of
conciliatory intermediation

tell me you understand
that the scales
of bereft befallen,
disparate chance interrupting randomized,
must periodic perforce
sometimes weigh more,
than the good of simple

balance tip that creative god spark within,
of which you write,
away from my bloodied, unsightly hand

write me one more love poem
a frisson semi-sweet and cleanly neat,
of good things sad,
but worthy of remembrance

you are not the first for this bequest to receive,
other poet's before and after,
will Jacob-wrestle with my angels,
battling to find the...

no matter

"my love to thee is sound sans crack or flaw"^

let your love poem
to me
be of whole healing,
for these disarrayed feelings
cannot forever persist,
the perfect balance you desire
is not on your Earth existent,
unobtainable

these cracks and flaws must and will come


and yet

love poems
will be our common language

and then he/she left,
leaving this poem behind,
born from my mind, yet,
carved on my skin,
written with the nib of my rib,
sealed and signed,
future undefined,
but dated upon my
cleansed hand's lifeline,
hand held outstretched
as if to say


“and yet"
^ "my love to thee is sound sans crack or flaw".
William Shakespeare

Sunday, July 17th 2016
8:42am
Anno ab incarnatione Domini
Namir May 2014
As it started to grow even darker, and as the sun began to set, The Snow Leopard nudged the Little Fox awake again softly saying to her "Come on. Wake up. It's time to get going before it gets too dark." The little fox pulled herself up groggily and almost toppled over herself in her half awake state, "But I'm tired" she whined softly, nuzzling herself against the leopards side. The leopard smiled and chuckled, "Then get on my back, and I will carry you" he said as he waited for her to move. She smiled at him in her half awaken daze as she clumsily climbed onto the leopards back and layed flat, her legs dangling off his sides, nuzzling her face into the fur on his back, smiling and resting. After she got onto his back the snow leopard stood up carefully and slowly, making sure not the let the little fox fall off, and startedwalking back to the direction they came. As he was walking with the little one on his back he kept looking around to find clues of the direction they went. But everything seemed to look different, Had I taken the wrong path? He thought to himself since he didn't pay much attention to where he went when he rushed to her aid before. Even if we are lost I have to find a safe place for her at least. He kept looking around for any type of shelter for the night, even if it was too small for him and he would have to keep guard. As he kept walking he took a few turns, keeping an eye out for anything that could be considered 'shelter', A overhanging rock, a cave, even a small tunnel, anything. But he didn't seem to find anything. He started walking a little faster but kept care to make sure the fox wouldn't fall off his back in her slumber. Time went on minute by minute, and as he started to feel like he wouldn't find anything he saw a small, but not too small cliff with some overlaying trees and rocks. He stopped for a moment, It's... Not to safe looking... But its better then nothing. he thought to himself as he walked over to he cliffs conclave alcove. He softly nudged the cliffs side with him paw to see if it was sturdy enough for the night, which it seemed to be. "Hey, Come on. Wake up." He said as he shook his back very slightly just to nudge her awake. The little fox yawned and groaned again, "are we... home?" She whispered as she rubbed her eyes. "Sadly... No," muttered the snow leopard softly, "but this will have to do for the night. Just to keep up sheltered and safe. I want you to stay in the corner over there to stay safe and I will stay right here to make sure you will be ok." said the snow leopard with a slight smile. But the little fox didn't like that idea, "..Nooo..." she said with a frown and a whimper, "I want to stay with you, I want you with me... Please..." She started clinging to him as if her life depended on it, She didnt want to sleep without him wrapped around her. "Alright. Alright," the snow leopard sighed with a smile, walking farther into the small alcove of the cliff. "Come on. lets get some rest for tonight. and tomorrow we will find our way back home." He said nudging her off his back a bit. The little fox hopped off the leopards back and curled back into a little ball on the ground. The leopard then curled himself around her with a smile, nuzzling his cheek softly against hers, and said "Goodnight little one. May you have sweet dreams till the morning sun rise," though making sure to keep an eye on the entrance to the alcove. The little fox smiled and snuggled up to him while staying all curled up, Muttering under her breathe without realizing and while falling back to sleep "Thank you... I love you..." The snow leopard smiled brightly as he heard and realized what she said, then softly muttered back into her ear as she fell asleep "And I love you," he then closed his eyes and layed with her until they were both asleep peacefully.
Part 4 of the short story series "The Leopard and The Fox"
Made by Myself for a very special young woman.
'Tell me I'm not in a dream. Or one of my trances.' She uttered the two sentences between gasps and seem-to-be quickening pulses. In midair, the tension between them kept growing intensely, trying desperately to meet its peak every second, before finally disappearing into the sightless distance above it. 'You're not,' the man said, his voice distant even when his face was only a few inches from hers, and cupped his free hands around her chin to calm her pale face. Her cheeks were warm in his palms, as if being burnt by hundreds of heaps of dying, yet ravenous flames. She closed her eyes, recording the touch of his perfect skin that seemed able to charm her endlessly since the first time she had fixed her gaze on his shimmering features. The angelic voice which accompanied it woke her a few seconds later. 'And even if you are,' he traced his soothing fingers along the reddening skin of her cheeks, 'I'll bring you back to life. Which is here.' He emphasised the last two words with a smile, a heartbreaking, infuriating smile - because of its astounding beauty, before tenderly touching his cherrylike lips to hers, making her start to tremble uncontrollably in deep confusion. She was, again, in the middle of these steep rocks without any aid to support her unstable weight, meanwhile the air over their heads began to twirl in circles, the weather around them getting pink and turning red in five seconds' time. She was lost. In someone else's magical world, with a rendition of one of The Beatles' hit singles from the 1900s or 1950s - she could not exactly recall which period of years it came from - playing smoothly in the CD player in the languid atmosphere of the living room behind them.
After a moment of enjoyment the kiss brought them he pulled back, before slamming his left hand into the tiny depth of his shirt pocket and taking a silver locket out of it. He threw a confident smile at her, and in one blink of his eye, the room fell dark. Petrified yet washed out by the sudden darkness among them, the girl let out a heart-rending shriek, which was followed by her heaving her body onto him, making his head hit the floorboards and the long necklace break in half. In seconds, blood-red light began to shuffle out of the center of the torn necklace, mingling with the air outside its shell and sending the woman into gradually-coming unconsciousness. She could now only see shadows, muttering and brimming all over the weather around her, and had not the strength to stand up apart from lying helplessly on the feathered carpet beneath. Before her, she saw how he started to rise and reveal his claws, and fangs, and bright red eyes above her. He laughed mercilessly. Instantly, she covered her sweating face with her hands - which now felt too shaky and she hated it, she loathed it very much - and brought out a despondent, lamented sound of cry. Her evil lover, at the same time, continued to soak up as much energy as possible from the change of circumstance.
'Again, I successfully, harmlessly tricked you,' he whispered this to her right ear. Around them, the horrendous wind potter faster and faster meanwhile their invincibly powered circles got bigger. 'You should thank me for that.'
'Th... Thank you for what?' She abruptly gathered her courage to confront him. If this meant that the end of my life was approaching, I would be ready, she thought silently.
'For letting me bound my ways into your life again, Em,' his angelic voice replied, and before she realised what was coming next, she wailed with all of her might when she laid her eyes on his real monstrous, vampiric face before her.
'I am indeed sorry to say that you - a clever and sanguine girl like you - was granted the chance to relish your life only momentarily,' he cleared his throat. 'You have always known that you could not outrun us at the end..., and so have your family.'
'No,' she mumbled, and drifted her gaze to his face - his now burning face. 'NO!'
'No,' he mockingly repeated her words, 'or YES, my dear?'
'Don't call me using that 'D' word, beast,' she put her best effort to yell at the top of her lungs, ''cos I am not your dear, and prefer death to becoming one of you!'
With those last few words, she scrambled to her feet, and stood up in just two swift movements. In her both hands, which he did not know were protected by the two stashes of garlic and one wooden cross in her dress pockets, were two shiny swords with special blades carved onto their two edges which were designated to **** vampires. Get rid of them. And their malicious world of beasts.
She stepped forward, and new powers began to regenerate inside her - despite the cries she felt start to roll into her heart, upon knowing that her beloved Joe had died. Joe had been deceased now. He was lifeless, and no longer able to help her here. She should never have ditched him. It dawned on her now, when everything was already too late to fix up. But she knew that she should never give up. Javier and his vampire family might have tasted every single drop of her other family members - and the rest of Ludirus town's residents - including her Joe, before she idiotically kicked him out for this pathetic, heartless beast who wore a disguise to displace him. She stretch the first sword - the one in her right hand - out to him. He took a step back, his eyes remained focused on her.
'You won't hurt me,' he pretended to be in pain, and in one and a half seconds, he transformed into the figure of the innocuous, blue-eyed prince once more.
'I won't be deceived by your looks, pig,' spat her, meanwhile her brain rummaged through a thousand ways to stick the two swords into his chest. That was, in fact, the only way to **** him. To drain his evil life out of him.
'You were, once,' he laughed, the sound of his devious laughter echoed in the very room, and later left it in such dread and wariness.
'Not anymore,' she bravely took a step forward and, without any further doubt, without caring about her being imprisoned for the rest of her life before getting her blood dried by the fangs of Javier's two older brothers, she stabbed the swords into his chest with all the energy she had left. And the effects sprayed out by the action were beyond any of her expectations. Thousands of blood droplets poured out of his body and onto the floor beneath her, flooding the entire living room and finally the streets outside the building until no litter, little scraps of food, and wheels of vehicles were seen anywhere in sight. Surprisingly, these endless streams of blood did not cause any floods, and rapidly soaked through every single layer of soil the earth had on its surface. The blood that had been consumed out of the poor people of Ludirus, the rural village in South Ireland, famous for its cruel killing rampage for several thousand years, where a group of aristocratic vampire ruled the lives of humans and their own species. But now, there would be no more of them. No more of their horrible treatments. No more of their sneaking-up-on-humans tricks they secretly did at night - to savour human blood, which was lawfully removed from the protecting-human law renewed every year. It was all a lie. Yeah, a lie. A lie that allowed Javier's family to approach Lucinda's family members to be victims in their lifelong killing spree. But now, there would be no more vampires, thought Lucinda as she kissed her holy cross and sets of garlic affectionately. There would be no more blood sacrificed to fend for those beasts' hunger, even though it meant for her to live alone. Live on her own, as she no longer had anyone around her to turn to. To soak up her tears when she was scared away by the bunch of vampire kids on the way home from school. To calm her with her melodious chords at the piano. Mother. To serve her the best spaghetti in the world as a reward for her outstanding grades at school. Sister Sheila. To rub her back and put her to bed at night - at the age of sixteen! Father. Luce's tears just would not stop while she kept counting her memories, as every single shadows of her deceased beloved came back to her. And finally, the sight of her Joe lying his tired head on her lap, and reading out loud to her his newest poem he composed at the office for her. All were gone. Dissolved into the ravenous sea of blood in the guts of those psychotic, simpering, abusive monsters.
But she was satisfied. She felt, somehow, proud of her heroic, or at least, brave actions. She had taken control of her fear, and that was one of the most important characteristics a woman should have to succeed in this cruel world, her father had once said. Now she could prove to them all that she was a newly reborn person, and was no longer the old Lucinda. Lucinda Hale who had always been the 'tail' of her sister while they were six and four, and the little, spoilt daughter of Jim and Aileen Hale who could not hold a plate properly in every banquet their family was invited to. Luce knew that she was now completely a stranger to her family. She squinted her eyes shut, trying to imagine how nice it would be to show off her new self to her late family if only they were all alive with healthy pink cheeks now. In her own peace and this momentary solitude, she found herself sinking onto the floating warmth of blood, but strangely, she did not fall. She did not plunge into the limitless red colour underneath, and remained flowing above it while her tears started to crawl out of her eyes. She did not know, and did not want to know how long this remained until she eventually felt the rough surface of the bearskin carpet again. She woke up with a dizzy head and quickly threw a hasty look around her living room. The prince, beastly Javier had vanished. Oh, there are his remnants, she thought and unconsciously, chuckled quietly to herself when she came to take hold of several white, lifeless bones laid in front of her. Then suddenly she understood what had just happened. The legend in that book she had borrowed from the library transported the knowledge back into her mind. All the members of Javier's family had been crushed now. They were dead. Her sacred tears, which came to mix with the blood flood, became the cure for all the people who had been ****** by the vicious vampires in town. They were now freed, and reawarded, although still mortal, but yet a very rare, elusive, privileged chance to be alive once again and start their lives all over again. They must not be far from her now, thought her. Without any further wait, she raced out of the room, and wormed her way onto the street.
And here they were. The streets of Ludirus were no longer deserted. Traditional markets with a thousand-metre long series of antiques roamed them, occupying every single tiny space provided to place racks containing jewels, valuables, and gold pots. There were also shelves of books about cookery, traditional healing potions, sports, literature, and anything else someone ever wanted to buy. And then she spotted a book with a bright yellow cover, entitled 'Love Poems: From 1900 to the Present, by Joe Grogan.' Her breath seemed to stop at that time and suddenly, before she even got the opportunity to touch the cover of the copy in front of her, two warm arms wrapped her waists and turned her body around to face the owner. Once again, she was at a terrible loss for words. 'Joe,' she mumbled.
'I am,' the writer nodded solemnly. And just like the evil Prince Javier had done before, he pulled out a beautiful silver box and opened it. Inside, two rings shined beautifully before their eyes, radiating a smile as bright as the one seen on others' faces among them. A smile that celebrated the comeback of their long-lost independence. Before she knew it, Joe knelt before her, and presented the ring upwards onto her.
'What would you like to do first, Madam? Marry me, or buy my book?' He grinned and held both her hands. Before she could answer him, he inserted her left ring finger into the perfectly made ring, and helped her right hand fasten his own ring onto his finger. She lifted him up and wrapped her hands around his neck.
'Do you have time for both, Sir?' She rubbed his smooth cheeks and kiss them before looking deeply into his hazel eyes.
'Absolutely,' he answered firmly, and scooped her whole weight into his arms and spinned her around. Luce could no longer say anything when a sudden wave of happiness washed all over her, and became even at a more unfathomable loss of words when she caught the sight of her beloved father, mother, and her sister, all alive, start approaching to deliver their congratulations. Here we are, she thought with a satisfied feeling. We were, are, and will always be meant to be together.
Claire Elizabeth Sep 2014
If somebody asked me if I still loved you

I'd say yes

If they continued to ask me what I loved about you
I would say

I loved how you laughed at the things I said. The way you stopped mid sentence and kind of chuckled. You'd cover your mouth and your eyes would dance and your shoulders would shake a little.

I would say

I loved how your hands played the piano. I always knew that there was some beauty in humans but never like the sight of your fingers dancing over the keys. You played so effortlessly, like it was nothing. I could have listened to you forever.

I would say

I loved the way you obsessed over your hair. I know I would always rag on you for being too into it, but it was endearing. Whenever you played with it a little I wished that I could do that too. I also loved the smell of the gel you used.

I would say

I loved how the sun hit your eyes. It would make them spark like you had something witty to say, and most of the time I think you did. The blue would look like the underside of a flame, bright, hot, burning. I think I hurt myself on them.

I would say

I loved how you breathed. Just sat there breathed. I wish I could have laid my head on your chest for longer, held my breath for longer to hear your heart beating. Sometimes giving up my life just to be in yours seems like a better option.

I would say

I loved when your glasses would slip down your nose when you were concentrating, whether it be on music or schoolwork. You'd push them back up with the delicate tip of your *******, shoving them back up to the safety of the bridge.

I would say

I loved the way your arms looked around my waist, like there wasn't a single thing that you wished to hold more. Your smooth skin was what I wished I could feel on mine again. I don't think there's another thing I wished I could touch once more.

Lastly, I would say

I loved how you tried to stick around until the very end. It wasn't easy for you, I know. But ******* it you tried. I think that's what I loved most about you, that you didn't give up because it got too hard. You gave up because you knew that I wasn't ready. I'm never going to be.

The only thing I hate is how I have to write all of this as "loved" and not "love" because I'm supposed to have let go of something this trivial a few months ago.

I'm sorry.
Three thousand feet up! Up the side of Mount Crumpit,

He rode to the tiptop to dump it!

"Pooh-pooh to the Whos!" he was grinch-ish-ly humming.

"They're finding out now that no Christmas is coming!

"They're just waking up! I know just what they'll do!

"Their mouths will hang open a minute or two

"All the Whos down in Who-ville will all cry BOO-HOO!"...*



At the top of the mountain he untied his dog

From the sleigh. And the valley was filling with fog

As thick as the Who Hash he'd grinched just before.

He chuckled with glee at what was in store.

Now the Grinch grabbed the sacks from the top of the sleigh,

And with a mighty "HEAVE **!" he shoved them away.

The bags filled with toys well they weaved and they shook

With the weight of the things he so sneakily took.

Until finally momentum made things far less slow.

They fell 3000 feet to the jagged rocks below.

A sickening crunch and several sharp cries

At first startled the Grinch but caused him to realize

When he stole from the Whos down in Whoville his pride

Had gotten the best of him; he'd thrown some children inside.

He giggled maliciously, grabbed his dog Max

And got back in the sleigh, for he couldn't relax.

He had to go back, for his job wasn't done.

All the Whos down in Whoville, every last one

Every man, every woman, every daughter and son

Would be dead in their beds by the dawn of the sun.

The trip down Mount Crumpit was faster than up

As he growled to himself, "where's that ***** with the cup?"

He jumped off the sleigh, machete in hand

And marched straight into Whoville, whose gates could not stand

For the rage made him strong. How he hated the Whos

With their **** cheesy smiles, and their dumb pointy shoes,

Turned up noses and pigtails and hideous songs,

THE SONGS, THE SONGS, HOW HE HATED THE SONGS.

And now he'd make sure that the Whos sang no more...

At Cindy Lou Who's house he kicked down the door

And strode into the bedroom of Cindy Lou Who.

She woke with a start, murmured "Santa? That you?"

The Grinch, with a sneer, grabbed Lou Who by the hair,

****** her out of bed seven feet in the air,

And with two sharp knives pinned her arms to the wall.

Her screams roused her parents just down the hall.

They ran to their child to save her from harm.

The mistake that they made cost them each their right arm.

Writhing on the floor in their own ****** mess,

They looked at the Grinch in a state of distress.

"Why would you do this?" they managed to hurl,

"Please, you can **** us, just not our little girl!"

He listened to their pleas with a wry little smile,

He patiently heard them, then after a while,

He cut out their tongues with another sharp knife,

First of the husband, and then of the wife.

Then he turned to young Cindy with glee,

And hissed in her ear, "you'll do something for me..."

Cindy shook her head violently, but to no avail,

For the Grinch had the tongues on a rusty old nail.

He shoved them down her gullet. She started to choke,

Then she finally died, for the rusty nail broke.

He stepped over the body of mother Lou Who,

And the Grinch slithered over to house #2.

With this house he made quick work of the Whos.

He set them on fire to cure them of the "blues."

The blaze that resulted would spread down the street,

Drawing Whos from their houses like flies to dead meat.

A grenade waited for them in center of town.

A click, then a boom mowed, like, half of them down.

The other half attempted a weak attack.

With a Type-67 the Grinch kept them back.

The little Who children could do nothing but stare

In open-mouthed horror as the Grinch, without care,

Shot them down one by one till the snow was stained red,

And he would not stop firing till they were all dead.



And as the sun rose oe'r the grisly scene,

The Grinch drenched in blood of adult, child, and teen,

With a pentagram smack in the center of town,

And the tree in the middle would slowly burn down.

With the scalps of the Whos down in Whoville in hand,

The Grinch called his dog Max, who could barely stand

Because he was violently shaking in shock.

He could not even whimper, let alone walk.

Not a Who was left standing, not a song to be heard,

Save for that of a single Who bird

Which was quickly snuffed out by a single pistol round.

And after that there was not a sound.

The Grinch, his work finished, got back in the sleigh,

Cracked the whip over Max, and slithered away.

The last thing the poor town of Whoville would hear:

"If there's anyone left, well, I'll come back next year!"
The italicized section belongs to Dr. Seuss. The rest was me. It's a little late, but...
Anthony Williams Oct 2014
You strayed independent across my unlaid path
impressing me with a hideaway around the thistles
where inlay thigh flints spark like butterfly wings
fused to outstretched but still flimsy present glinting
loose eyes a smoky incense close to gleam igniting
potent tinder sax on a beneficent Burns' night portent
whispering wick lit slivers of be live next to me glen scent
fluttering and roaming through saliva kissed gloaming
a light shaved window opening a misty eyed gap
opportune as a mysterious space between maps

crossed with aye formations and melted highlands
I slide into a bonnie loch when you return my glance
smooth as a swan stroking shallow into deep meeters
the swirl of bagpipes barely rippling the surface meters

a proud union betwixt us found expression
unflagging love notes ** streamed passion
red into sky blue twitchy nerves lend fingers
fondling unfurled clouds into catchy dance rings
retracing steps into tempestuous hearts I rose
so dryads can black watch temptation intertwine
painted inside as I woad your Pictish tartan

only now the pedestal wobbles a little
but you don't fall to my arms
brave destiny's turn is fickle
and straight on without being toppled
you hesitate but give no nod to lead
no quick look behind you as I hoped
shying awry to continue walking
the hot moment runs past cold
safe as before inhibitions land
like icicles on my fanciful back

upstanding Meissen men often talk
of perfection showing no cracks
and chuckled as they left their mark
in crossed swords kilned with clay ores
giving a porcelain lion soft pause
for thought about a heart out clause
and about lifting any kilt or unstuck thought
to keep established ruling embarrassment
but is that parley risking nought?
the mane's trimmed short
too correct to tip the hat
to a potential welcome
down falls harassment
south of the borderline
sad that no one can put
that man lass
yes
moment together again
but ever slow drifting apart
the dream mist
goes on
by Anthony Williams
PrttyBrd Nov 2014
It turned cold quickly
Almost skipping Autumn
Reluctant to wear a jacket
Or a hat, or gloves
Too distant for my arms
To keep him warm against my chest
He said he never wore a scarf
But if he did, he would go Dr. Who style
I had to laugh as i looked up the reference
Fifteen feet of mismatched stripes
Maybe not the stripes, he said
I happened upon a huge skein of yarn
It felt like a warm blanket in the oddest,
Most interesting colors
Manly, neutral, and perfect for Fall
So i crocheted a scarf and pictured him warm
The pattern in those colors was a mess
I chuckled at why they would make such an ugly pattern
I crocheted every stitch with love
Through arthritic hands that felt no pain
I crocheted a scarf, stopping only when it dragged the floor when i put it on
Two feet short, but ridiculously long
I bordered it in shades of green to match
Not realizing it was variegated into Brown's and maroons along the way
But it matched the odd mix of colors
And finally made it almost pretty to me
I covered myself in perfume
And put it around my neck
As I turned I caught a glimpse in the mirror
It wasn't a horrible amalgamation of hideous colors
It was camouflage, with a matching border
I laughed so hard, and felt so bad
My hillbilly in camouflage
Wearing a scarf way too long
Maybe he would hate it
Maybe he won't wear it
I knew better
So, I packed up his bag of gifts
And sent it to the frozen mountains
He never wore a scarf
He opened it and put it on
It smells like You, he said in blssful remembrances
It's definitely camouflage, he laughed
It's perfect baby, I'll wear it whenever it's cold
And in the picture he sent
I saw its beauty
It wasn't in the patterns of crisscrossing colors
It wasn't in the accidental way
The border perfectly complimented the body
It wasn't in the fact that he would be able
To wrap himself up in me to stay warm
It was in that picture
It was the joy that filled his smile
It was in his eyes that danced in love
It was in the fact that he believes
Because i made it, it's perfect
Yes, i accidentally crocheted a thirteen foot camouflage scarf
And he loves that I can keep him warm.
11414
Rohit Mane Aug 2018
Sitting at my workstation I kept swirling my chair around,
Battling the strenuous drowse that tried to yoke me to the ground,
“How could this happen? This is the first hour of my job,” I wondered,
I chuckled. “How fool of me! It’s Monday today,” I remembered.

I peeked to my left to see an empty chair,
“No-one to talk around; hey, that’s so unfair!”


I cringed viscerally at the thought of spending the day without uttering a word,
I tried to re-task my focus on my computer screen when a soft voice I heard,
Made me turn, and as I did, I veered myself to the source of the euphonic voice,
I felt the dumbfoundedness of a person bewitched by a magical spell, twice.

For some moments I couldn’t decrypt the words that her lips uttered,
As I just kept staring into her graceful eyes, helpless and all cluttered.


She asked with a soft smile, “Is this person absent today?” and  motioned to the workstation on my left,
I felt my dopamine surge at the possibility of what might happen next,
I nodded as soon as I realised my tongue has gone numb,
She ensconced herself and smiled, her cheeks as rotund as a plum.

I swallowed a lump in my throat that I didn’t realise had formed,
I wasn’t hoping for anything like this but I liked what my day had unboxed.


“What is she? Are humans allowed to be this beautiful?” I questioned my mind,
Was she a manifestation of my dreams or an angel in disguise!
It seemed like her eyes possessed a power in them like Midas in his hands,
A sight of innocence that could even force the flying time to land.

I leaned forward a little to catch a glimpse of her pretty brown eyes,
She turned to me with a gaze of a doe and my tongue again got tied.


“Any problem?” She questioned me with a raise of her brow,
“Yes, your eyes. They’re too beautiful,” the response I couldn’t let out,
Instead I shook my head and turned my eyes away from her,
My peripheral could see her blushing; it seemed the bubble has finally burst.

I tried to venture a conversation but failed to remember the morphemes,
The anonymity between us allowed the nervousness to sweep in.


I sighed deeply and turned about to do what I’m paid for,
But her presence beside me made it harder for me to stay calm,
An unexpected “Hello” came from my left and an introduction followed the greet,
Although stunned by the suddenness I tried to smile at her, from cheek to cheek.

We exchanged our names and conversed a little for a while,
Before she got engaged in her work and I in mine.


After hours of punching the keyboard buttons I stretched my arms and yawned,
She giggled at me and I took it as a cue to move my first pawn,
I embarked, “I’m going to the cafeteria to have some tea”,
I hesitated for a moment and resumed, “would you like to come with me?”

She rolled her eyes and I understood she has refused my kind and genuine offer,
I began to walk away. “Wait a minute, let me lock my PC,” and then I saw her got up.


We walked our way to the cafeteria, slower than two people normally would,
My chivalry erupted as I held the door open for her as she entered the room,
We occupied a table for two and  it appeared like a date-night is about to happen,
With she in front of me and  the stories that we shared, it seemed like all the troubles in the world didn’t matter.

I mulled over the thought that I might have a crush on her smile,
But there was an absolute certainty that I had fallen in love with her eyes.


She shared some cheerful stories about her childhood and also the moments in her life she remorse,
She had a way of crinkling her nose adorably that made her appear cuter than she was before,
“You may have a body of a woman but you have a sweetness of a child,” I abruptly blurted out,
She smiled deep into my eyes and I could feel the brightest smile I ever had form on my mouth.

“That’s the sweetest thing someone has ever said about me,” she flushed a little while she said this,
It took us a moment to realise that we’re holding hands; the touch of hers was something I couldn’t resist.


We got up as we finished our beverages and sauntered our way back to our daily routine,
I tried to rein my thoughts that our day was  about to end, but my efforts were all just futile,
I just wished this night shall never pass as I wanted to spend more of my time with her,
We logged out of our PC’s as our shift ended but I craved for one last conversation with this girl.

While ambling towards the exit in silence I turned on my heels to look into her beautiful brown eyes,
I sighed as I looked at her and tried to settle down the feeling to hug her that was about to rise,
“I spent this beautiful day with a beautiful girl I wish I could see more of,” I said with truthfulness in my voice,
She smiled at the ground and then looked up, “You will. Tomorrow at 8. Here’s my number. The place is your choice.

========================================================­===
I wrote this poem for a girl I have a crush on (read: hopeless crush!). She works in my organisation only but in a different location than mine so I get to see her only once or twice in months.
When I first saw her it was the last week of March. For some reason she came to the location where I work and sat beside me for the whole day! But I didn’t get to talk to her or even ask her name as she was a complete stranger and also she was immensely busy with her work. (She was working on some important document.) During that day I only got to see glimpses of her beautiful brown eyes and her sweet smile but it was enough to give me butterflies in my stomach.
As fate would have it, after some weeks we ran into each other again!
She visited my office that day for some important work and asked me to help her with the printing machine as I was walking across her while she was having trouble with her prints. I immediately recognised those pretty brown eyes and the beautiful face but she didn’t recognise me. For her I was just a stranger that was helping her but for me she had become my crush.

That night while riding back home a couple of lines sparked in my head:

“I mulled over the thought that I might have a crush on her smile,
But there was an absolute certainty that I had fallen in love with her eyes.”

I instantly had a thought of writing something about her and what I did write is completely in front of you. I never had any intention of giving this poem to her and woo her with my writing abilities. I just used my affection for her as a muse to do something for me that I’d feel proud about. The above poem is the fictionalised version of the day I spent with her when she sat beside me for the first time.

I sincerely hope you guys enjoy the poem. :)
Time for an adventure,
3 a.m. and raining
Sitting in my FUBU hoodie
My brain was really straining
To keep awake until the bus
Pulled into Detroit Station
So I could start my trip across
This once great and mighty nation
I wasn't there alone this night
Others dozed and slept
Some just sat there silently
While some just sat and wept
I looked at those around me
Who had assembled for this ride
I hoped we would get along
When in walked a young bride
She was dressed in white from head to feet
Her veil was ripped and torn
Behind the ruined makeup
You could see her face was worn
No groom came in, she was alone
She changed, sat, made no fuss
It was almost one more hour
Before we finally saw our bus
A Greyhound, drab and dreary
Pulled up at our loading door
They announced "210 to Vegas"
And they didn't say no more
Most people fly when heading there
They want to get there and get home
Our band of silent travellers
Wanted to just get out and roam
They loaded up our cases
I just had a backpack, that
I was gonna take on board and
Just load it where I sat
They said fifteen more minutes
They would have to fill with fuel
At this point I made contact
With a man....to have a duel
He was sitting right across from me
He had a ball out, on his knees
He was tossing it into the air
So...I brought out my keys
He tossed it up and caught it
So, with my keys I did the same
He smiled and flipped it to his left
and with my keys I played his game
He moved it round from hand to hand
Made it hover in mid air
He did it all so gracefully
I did the same with out a care
His ball, my keys...time slipping by
Just then he gave a smile
He bounced the ball upon the floor
He had beat my by a mile
I nodded, slipped my keys away
I'd been outdone through and through
By a man with a red rubber ball
What else was there to do?
We lodaded up and took our seats
The crowd was pretty thin
With the lights low on inside the bus
It was looking rather dim
The married folks and partners
paired up in seats as pairs
The singles spread out randomly
As they collected up our fares
Vegas, was our hallowed ground
The final destination for us all
Then on the station P.A
they made the final loading call
Thirty three hours was the time
We'd take to drive
Give or take some time for food stops
We'd all get there safe, alive
We hit the road directly
My adventure had begun
It was still dark in the distance
We were driving towards the sun
Across the aisle all alone
An old lady sat and wrote
She was trying to get comfortable
She was wrapped up in her coat
The seat behind me, vacant
I was grateful for this fact
It afforded me the space so I
Could put my seat right back
With the blind pulled down,
I tried to sleep, at last I drifted off
There was the sound of the bus motor
And of the occasional, dry, hoarse cough
I heard music in my head at first
So I thought it was a dream
It turned out to be a radio
Owned by our runaway, bridal queen
she sat two rows down and to my left
She had changed into some jeans, and shirt
She had one ear plug in, one out
You could see how she did hurt
I got up, stretched, went to the back
I'd freshen up and have a ***
As I walked I felt so ill at ease
As all eyes followed me
The back two seats were occupied
by  two nuns, one old, one not
The smiled as I came near them
I smiled back, and then I thought
This cast of wayward characters
Was not at all like those
That were portrayed in "Homeward Bound"
The song most folkies all shoud know
On my way back I noticed a man
Reading, or at least that's how it looked
I saw no print upon his page
No letters in his book
I stood and watched, his fingers flew
Like they were moving on a rail
Then I realized that he was blind
And his book was all in braile
I stood there in amazement
At this sight that I'd just seen
Then I chuckled at the cover
From an old ******* Magazine
We pulled into a diner
We'd been out for nine hours now
We had an hour to ourselves
Time to change and get some chow
Most folks sat as they had come
In pairs or all alone
Some went out for a ciggy
One old man went to the phone
We all made sure to void ourselves
Before we got  on board
For the smell from eighteen greasy meals
would test the nuns faith in our lord
The background noise was louder
Than it had been at the start
We were eighteen lonely travellers
Travelling together, but apart
A father and his daughter
Played "eye spy" and sang some songs
They played "license plate bingo"
Most lyrics they got wrong
The old lady across the aisle
was watching, intently like a hawk
She was scratching things inside her book
You'd expect her just to squak
The man who had the ball sat
Alone, said not a word
I walked by and said "good morning"
But I don't think he heard
He sat there, still not moving
staring out the window at the world
He was taking in the movie
Of our trip as it unfurled
The trip was uneventful
It went on mostly the same
People reading, people watching
Father, daughter and their games
The driver pointed out some stuff
As we passed by on the way
"To the left you'll find the largest
ball of string made to this day"
He pointed out old houses,
Fields of battle, lost and won
Just a couple took real notice
Most wished the trip was done
A repeat after five more hours
A new driver came on board
She was blond, blue eyed and beautiful
Inside, my heart just soared
In my imagination
She would pick me from the crowd
When we made it to Las Vegas
I would go with her, I'd be proud
But, she sat there pointing out the sights
Like her predecessor had
My fantasy went up in smoke
It was really kind of sad
We ventured on till Vegas
getting off to eat and then
We would all repeat our actions
And get back and sleep again
It was quiet for the most part
Most folks waiting for the end
When we came out of the mountains
We could see the strip around the bend
"Ten minutes till Las Vegas"
our blond driver told us all
Make sure you've your belongings
I looked at the man who had the ball
He smiled tossed it in the air
I tossed my keys just one more time
In a way, we had a friendship
In a way , it was a crime
We had one thing in common
It would stick with me for good
It would always make me smile
And a smile's always good
We pulled up into the station
We were all tired from the ride
Most grabbed their extra luggage
I grabbed mine and went inside
There, I went up to the window
Bought another ticket, heading east
Turned and bumped into a fellow
He was a slight, buy friendly priest
"I'm heading to Detroit, my son"
"Where is it you're off to"
"I'm just off on an adventure"
"I think I'll go back there with you"
He smiled, opened his bible
We had three hours still to wait
Before our bus was ready to go back
Across the United States
You might ask yourself, why do this?
Why go back and not take time
To see the city that I'd come to
It just seems so sublime
to me the whole adventure
Isn't in the place I go
The adventure is the people
Each trips a brand new show
The cities that I visit
Really never, ever change
But the people....oh the people
Man, some are really strange
If you now would please excuse me
I must go and change my clothes
For I'm off on adventure
How it turns out...no one knows.
this one is a long one, so sit down, grab a beer....and come away on a bus trip from Detroit to Las Vegas.
The day that I was christened--
  It's a hundred years, and more!--
A hag came and listened
  At the white church door,
A-hearing her that bore me
  And all my kith and kin
Considerately, for me,
  Renouncing sin.
While some gave me corals,
  And some gave me gold,
And porringers, with morals
  Agreeably scrolled,
The hag stood, buckled
  In a dim gray cloak;
Stood there and chuckled,
  Spat, and spoke:
"There's few enough in life'll
  Be needing my help,
But I've got a trifle
  For your fine young whelp.
I give her sadness,
  And the gift of pain,
The new-moon madness,
  And the love of rain."
And little good to lave me
  In their holy silver bowl
After what she gave me--
  Rest her soul!
Autumn Oct 2014
I stuck chickens in my baggy tie dye shirt
nuzzled on the couch, coffee in hand.
I enjoyed a deep conversation with a willow tree
and asked how it felt about the other species.
I slid cookies in the back pocket of my tattered jeans
before biking through the morning air.
I smiled at old Ted in the nursing home
with a wink, he smiled back.
I dribbled the basketball with the strong scent
of campfire coming from my backyard.
I danced in the shower
the warm droplets falling on my skin.
I smoked in the sparkling cove
with strangers that became my friends.
I flew off the high rocks
and submerged into cold crystal waters.
I looked into those faded blue eyes,
and chuckled cause' we do that.
I balanced on the fallen limb
and hopped up onto the beautiful stump.
I giggled with my sisters
cause' we made some really mean jokes.
I ate spaghetti with my friends,
and laughed so hard we choked.
I tumbled over tree roots
got back up and kept on trailin'.
I thanked God for this life
and he said you're welcome.
some things I like in random orders
Sunny Snow Jan 2013
PART 1→ Fate Put Us Together For A Reason…

Once upon a time on a blue and green planet there lived, humans; a rebellious species, prone to both war and peace. Among these humans lived two very special people. Their names were Marco and Gina, and little did they know, that they’d become heroes of earth, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves a little.

Let’s begin with our heroine Gina; she went to the same high school as Marco, though she did not share the same social status. Gina was what you’d call an art nerd. She spent the majority of her days at Hill-Town High in the art room. She could paint, draw, sculpt, mold, fire, and shape anything into existence. She had what you’d call, a gift, for art itself. Gina also spent most of her days alone. She had just moved to Hill-Town from out of state; thus not knowing anyone, she lacked a social life. That and it really didn’t help the fact that she was one of the most timid young ladies known to man. She had a whisper of a voice, and bright blue eyes that often leaked tears down her pale soft face. She wore her long black hair down to cover up her gorgeous face, mainly due to being insecure about her looks. She often wore band t-shirts and jeggings or ripped jeans. The first person Gina met at Hill-Town High was our hero Marco.

“Oh my god I’m so sorry” Gina gasped accidently running right into Marco, the star quarterback for Hill-Town High. “Don’t sweat it ***, really it’s no problem, here let me help you pick up your books” Marco caringly replied. Still Gina insisted she could clean up this mess herself, trying very hard to avoid the blood pumping towards her cheekbones. Why was he so kind to me she asked herself? He could have simply brushed her off like light snowfall, but he didn’t. This puzzled Gina for at least a week; it mainly confused her because no one had ever offered to help her, especially a hansom young lad such as Marco Johnson, star quarterback. He kept waving to her in the halls, and grinned at her as if he was trying to avoid blushing as well just like the moment they met.

Time passed and neither Gina nor Marco had made a move, though it was getting to the point where they both knew **** good and well, that they liked each other. It was now spring and school was coming to a close, finals where lurking down the hallways and students began to get excited. Soon the last day came…

“Hey, your name’s Gina right?” oh, he’s talking to me Gina panicked inside unsure of what to say back. “Yeah, that’s me” she replied. “Well Ms. Gina I was kind of thinking, I know you like me…” oh ****! He knows, she thought. “and I was wondering if you knew, I like you too?” Marco began to do a little dance of flirtation. “And further more I was wondering if such a lady as yourself, would like to accompany me on this thing called a date lets say this Saturday night?” Marco finished cunningly. Gina froze, was Marco seriously asking her out, or was she being punked or something? “Um, ah, I mean yes, totally, I’d love to.” Gina replied. “Cool I’ll pick you up at let’s say seven tomorrow night then.” And with that Marco disappeared down the crowded hallway. Gina sighed, what the hell am I gonna wear she though, no, no what the hell am I gonna do? Gina had never been on a real actual date before. So her parents would for sure have something to say about a boy of all humans pulling up in their drive way and sweeping up their little girl.

Saturday at 7pm came and Marco marched his way up to Gina’s front door. Unfortunately her father answered. “Who are you” mumbled the tall lanky man who was Mr. Delaware. “I’m Marco, Gina’s date…” Marco replied nervously. “Oh well, step inside son, she should be down in a second, but you know how long girls take to get ready” chuckled Mr. Delaware. Once Marco stepped inside the mismatched old house, the awkward silence between the two began to grow. That is until Gina came running down the stairs…

“Daaaaaaaaaaaaad” she exclaimed, “Where the hell is my…” she paused seeing Marco at the bottom of the stairs…”Hairbrush” she finished. “well I think you look fine as is” said Marco in the sweetest voice possible. “haha, ok well there goes needing to brush up” laughed Gina.

Gina and Marco then said their goodbye to Mr. Delaware, and headed out the door and into Marco’s Old Chevy Silverotto. “So where to?” asked Marco. “How about that one drive-in theater off highway 91?” suggested Gina. “Nice idea ***. I’ve been wanting to go there for ages” replied Marco.

The two departed out of the Delaware’s driveway; it was roughly a half hour drive to get to the drive-in from Gina’s house. Marco put the radio on and they soon found out how big a music buff they both were. They began challenging each other back and forth to “name that tune”. Gina couldn’t stop grinning and neither could Marco, it seemed as if they were meant to be there, together.

Just when all seemed to be going as planned, Marco’s truck began to make a funny sound. He pulled over to check the engine, Gina followed. “I can’t figure out what the problem is, I just got this out of the shop like a week ago” exclaimed Marco, he was a little up in knots about his truck not working, especially while being on a date with a pretty girl.

Then out of nowhere both looked up, hearing a loud rumble headed their way. It was something like a meteor, but it wasn’t from what they could tell. They noticed it landed about a mile west of them. Once it landed and they heard the huge BOOM in the distance, Marco asked Gina if she’d like to go see whatever it was with him. Unsure but wanting to know herself, she said she’d go with.

They set off towards where they saw whatever it was land. Half way there both became a little tired, and without thinking they sat down below an old willow tree, and soon both fell into a deep sleep…

PART 2→ Waking Up In Another World…

“Hey, hey, Gina, wake up.” Marco started to shake Gina. “Hey” Gina said sleepily. “Um, Gina, I don’t think we’re in the same place we fell asleep in” said Marco. “What do you mean? We didn’t go any…” then Gina opened her eyes, noticing Marco was right, they weren’t in the same place. It was almost as if…no…they thought, it couldn’t be, another planet, that was completely not possible. But as legend has it, they were, they had somehow came upon a planet in the Andromeda galaxy, one galaxy over from ours. This planet had been undiscovered by human kind, and its name is Linx. Linx at first, looked as if it was deserted.

The two began to panic, unsure of their surroundings, knowing they couldn’t be on their own planet, and wondering why they had oxygen and how had they gotten to this place? They began to argue and fuss, scared of what could happen or what had already happened. Then they saw a figure, somewhat like their own walking towards them from the distance. They could tell he couldn’t be human, he had greenish-blue tinted skin and long purple hair. As he drew closer, they became more terrified.

“I’ve never seen anything like him” said Gina, “he looks nothing like an alien.” said Marco. Both shocked and somewhat in shock, they stared pale in the face.

“I’m so sorry, I thought, I mean, gosh, I’m awful sorry. You humans must be scared shitless right now.” Said the tall greenish-blue man coming up to them. Both looked at each other, wide eyed and seriously confused. How in the hell did he know their language?

“Look I can read your minds, and I swear I’m not here to probe your brains, or eat you, and I know your language because I’ve studied the human race for quite some time. My name is Zee, and you are on another planet. My spaceship crashed on earth when I was crossing the Milky Way galaxy and so I attempted to beam my way back here and somehow you two got caught in my beam.” Said Zee, he had a tone in his voice of apology and worry. He knew they were scared and very intimidated.

Marco, after hearing Zee’s explanation then proceeded to faint. Gina then stood up “ok so you’re telling me we got transported here by mistake? So does that mean you can get us back?” Gina began to boarder line yell at Zee. She went on for about ten minutes, that is until Zee interrupted her.

“Look, human” he said “I accidently got you here, and getting just me here, takes a ton of energy, energy humans can only dream of, and if you want to get back to your pretty little planet, I’d suggest you ask a little more kindly towards the one who can get you there. My kind would burn you alive if they knew there were humans on this planet, I however am willing to protect you from my own kind. Meaning I could die too. So pipe down and help your friend he seems to have passed out due to shock.”

Gina then humbled herself, finally grasping what Zee had said. She then attended to Marco, who was coming around finally. “So what you’re telling me, is we have a slight chance of going home?” Gina asked Zee. “Unfortunately a very slim chance” said Zee hesitantly…”see the leader of my planet, Linx, has disliked humans for a long time and well, he recently destroyed planet earth.” Zee said. This made both Gina and Marco puzzled for a second. How could it have been destroyed?

“What can we do then?” Asked Marco; “well our leader Zorix also has the power to turn back time, but convincing him to restore earth will be one hell of a battle, first we’ll need to seek you into the castle he lives in, next get you face to face with him, and lastly get him NOT to **** you” replied Zee.

“Well then, seeing as we got a lot of work to do, we better get a move on” Gina insisted. And at that the three brave friends set off towards Zorix’s castle.

PART 3→ What Happens Behind Castle Walls, Stays Behind Castle Walls…

The three hiked a good five miles to get to Zorix’s castle, once they got there, they had to figure out how they were going to manage getting two humans inside without getting caught.

“Well we could dress up like you Zee” suggested Marco. “No, they will see right through it, but nice idea” replied Zee. He was convinced there’d be no way to get them inside without getting caught, that is until Zee had a brilliant idea.

“I could make it look like you are my prisoners, and somehow get you close to Zorix” Zee brightly stated. They all agreed that it was the best idea they had.

At this, Zee lead Gina and Marco inside the castle. It was a dimly lit, cold, wet place. A place where, without a doubt, humans went to die. The whole hallway just screamed death and destruction. Little did Gina and Marco know, Zee had been keeping something from them; He was Zorix’s son.

When they got to the grand room, a room with ginormous ceilings and no windows, just lanterns and chandeliers, the first thing that caught their eyes, was the tall, slim figure that was Zorix. He, like Zee had blueish-green skin but instead of having purple hair like Zee he had bright orange hair, almost as if it was glowing neon.

“Son” said Zorix in a cheerful and loving voice. Son? Gina and Marco looked at each other in confusion, unsure of their future now.

“Hey dad” replied Zee in a much less cheerful tone. “What is this unannounced greeting my son?” Zorix said cunningly.

“I’ve brought these humans, their names are Gina and Marco. I accidently beemed them here by mistake when crossing the Milky Way galaxy. I take full responsibility for them, they have become my friends and I’m here on their behalf.” Zee took a sigh of sorrow, he knew his father would be disgraced.

“So you’re siding with these pesky humans over our supreme race? Is that what I’m hearing” roared Zorix.

Zee hung his head, looking at the marble flooring, and mumbled “Yes father”

“Well maybe you’d like to join them in their fate” said Zorix, as if he was unsure if he was ready to **** his own son, because of what he believed. His voice at first was confident but near the end began to shake.

“Actually I’d like to challenge your army to a duel, if we win, you use your strength to reverse the destroy of their planet, Earth. If we lose…” Zee almost choked on his next words…”Then you can do what you will with us” he finished.

PART 4→ Duel or Die…
This is the beginning of my half *** short story. Its getting longer and longer, but not enough to become a book. So I guess its a long short story. Please comment, and let me know if there's anything I can do to make this better (BTW this is a rough draft) Thankx, Bex
Oh No One Apr 2014
When I'm laying awake in bed on a sleepless night,
I often think of you.
I think of the way you laughed
The way you cried on the phone with me.
The way when you kissed me while you were smiling.
The way you sighed.
The way you chuckled softly and brushed off a compliment.
But most of all,
I think of the way you made everything I was doing seem better when you were around.
Pigeon Nov 2014
My old great-aunt Elaine with her withered hands gave me $200 and beaded handbag
"This your mad money," she told me, as we sat on that nursing home couch, "And it ain't for your purse. This goes in your shirt, where only you know you got it."
The assisted-living nurse chuckled to herself. They got along, my great-aunt and her.
"Why?"
"Cuz if you get angry," she said, in that Marlboro-raspy voice of hers, "And you gotta go, you walk out on your date and you leave 'is ***. And then you got your money for a strong drink. And your cab."
The nurse laughed
My aunt re-situated herself on the nursing home couch. Elaine Dauterive. Her mind was going, and so was her health, but she was as regal as a queen on her throne in that moment
her fire-red hair, ungrayed, was her crown
No cape as royal as that sleeping gown.
"Don't you think for once second I can't take care of you, honey," she said in that creole drawl, and I knew what she meant
Because even after she'd gone I would have that mad money
All stuffed in my bra for when I needed it
Because she was older than time, for me, seeing things like
The Great Depression, World War II
What I read in history books
I'd be ****** if I took what she said with even one grain of salt because Auntie-Lane, I'll be ****** if I don't love you
And I know you're on your way out and
I'll buy you whiskey in the afterlife with some of that $200 cash that you busted your *** scrounging up for me
Southern hospitality at its finest
And those liver spots redder than wine adorn you like badges of honor for all of the years you've endured
My elder - creole woman, with a soul as fire-red as her hair, breathing more smoke than air
My old dragon
On a pile of gold: her mad money
Respect your elders, and love them.
Lunar Apr 2017
Seven years. It has been seven years since that day.

And now here they were in the alfresco of that overrated café, with the man sitting across the lady: he was sipping his black coffee and she, her jasmine tea. The scenario almost seemed impossible in the past, but for someone with her tenacious personality, something ‘impossible’ just meant ‘a little later’ than ‘never at all.’ This moment played by fate was comparable to the persistent rainstorm that forced them to stay together a little longer in the coffee shop than planned.

“I’ve been thinking,” he sighed into his coffee mug, “About leaving this place and heading to the States. Study more on film and acting from the professionals themselves. Get into showbiz of the global standard. Be a real director. What do you think?”

She straightened her posture and settled her cup down on the table, nodding in acquiescence at his idea of endeavors that appeared promising for his future.

“Well… Why not? I say go for it. I support you in that decision.”
He diverted his eyes to hers, trying to read the gaze behind those wide eyes. Though wide and nonchalant they may seem to be, only a few can notice and genuinely understand what swims in those dark depths. Their staring game ended as her voice surfaced once again through the sound of rainfall.

“I support you. If you’re ever wondering why, it’s because I had to make a decision just like that—seven years ago.”

This time it was his eyes that widened, and he placed his mug alongside hers.

“What kind of decision was it? You definitely weren’t aiming to be an actor like me, considering you’re a licensed interior designer, not to mention writer, right now,” he chuckled, leaning back onto his chair.

A soft smile of nostalgia emerged on her lips as she remembered what she wrote on the night of the sixteenth, a day before the significant seventeenth.

April 16, 2017; 11:15 P.M. — I’m satisfied of this unrequited love. I’m happy this is all one-sided. I’m glad everything is ending before it can even truly begin. It would be easier for me to leave him who doesn’t even have the slightest knowledge of my existence, who doesn’t even know my sentiments, who doesn’t even miss me, yet alone think of me. It’s all good; perfect, even. A broken heart is better than two. At least there will be some times when I might let him and his strong hands put my weak heart back together and restore it to me. I’d rather have that than us both losing and scattering the pieces of our mutually shattered hearts. He must never be broken; I need to protect him from being so—I will take myself away from him. I’ve never been any happier to be in a love that’s unknown and unreturned. He will be happy, and I will be too. In the end, his happiness will always be mine.

“I had to leave the places and people I love, to be where I am and who I am today,” she exhaled. “It was tough, but thinking of those moments and people I held onto and appreciated… all of that kept me going.”

“Was it a happy one? I mean, did you find the happiness or ending you were looking for?”

“If I were to be dead honest, yes. More than happy, actually. I’m not just relieved, or satisfied; I’m overwhelmingly grateful. I earned the careers and lifestyle I aimed for. I managed to travel all over the world and see the places and people I’ve wanted to see. My soul roams free, finding home in the many corners of this earth. I’ve finally come home, and this time I know I’m not alone.”

The man was a grown man in a smart-casual attire, but he sure maintained the curious eyes of the child that he furtively kept in himself. Being under his scrutinizing eyes, she reminisced of the same intensity he gave back when they were still twenty-one and on the verge of growing up.

“But what about ‘him’ whom you left behind? Did you come to know him this time, maybe love him too, again?”

She picked up her teacup, providing a little wall between them both, and swallowed the remaining aromatic drops along with the thoughts she wanted to tell him ever since then.

I came to know him—you—but I don’t love him ‘again’. The feelings, which I harbored for you for all these years, never left me even when I left you back then. I know I was told to reach for the moon that I may land among the stars even if I failed to reach it. But I realized I had to reach beyond the moon—the sun, the Milky Way, the entire universe—because I wanted and needed to be worthy of my existence. I wanted and needed to prove myself to myself, to you and to everyone else.

“I did. And I’m happy with how we are right now, even if it seems like we’re back to zero this time round.  Though I’m not sure how my feelings are for him now, if I seek him as a friend or as a potential love interest.”

He seemed doubtful of her response hence did he hesitantly express his last thoughts: “So you’re happy now because you left him previously. But what if he’s the one who leaves this time? Would you still be happy?”

The clouds were emptying now as the pouring rain concluded to a light shower; likewise the people they were surrounded with under the alfresco umbrellas. She knew that she was prepared to answer this question. For the past years, concerned individuals would ask her the very same thing, and for this was she thankful. She herself would recite the words to her reflection every day, much like a prayerful mantra.

He caught a faint twinkle in her eye, a proof of which her answer would be echoing with conviction and it made him realize that those particular words to be said would be one of those things that would remind him of her.

“It won’t matter if he learns how I feel then or now, and yet doesn’t feel the same way. If leaving me would direct him to his happiness, then so be it. Perhaps we aren’t meant to love each other in this lifetime, any other lifetime, or even in parallel worlds, but I still am and would be happy about it. What’s greater than this feeling of being able to love someone so much? Like I said: in the end, his happiness will always be mine.”
There's an angel called wjh I've let into my life, and I have to let him go now.
i Mar 2014
out of the blue you came,
and for that i was the blame.

the house was too crowded,
sweaty bodies and red cups enshrouded.

i looked and looked around,
but you didn't want to be found.

and then in the backyard i saw you,
noticed you right through.

i asked you 'what's the matter',
you said 'i would rather'.

i gave you a questioning look,
you asked, 'are you Brooke'.

i chuckled at you guess,
and straightened my dress.

you got up,
and pushed the red cup.

i opened my mouth to talk,
but further you walked.

you cupped my neck,
and gave me a peck.

i gasped for air,
and ran my hands through your hair.

your lips connected to mine again,
and realization hit me then.

i was too good for you,
and you were too good for me.

we didn't match,
we were a mismatch.

but just so you know,
i loved you all along.
even though we both said no,
we were wrong.

you were such a party destroyer,
you destroyed me, completely,
mind and body.
Sand Sep 2013
I woke up next to you,
Watched your balanced breathing,
Chuckled at your tousled hair,
But the only difference was
Where I’d usually trace the words,
I love you on your back,
I typed them into instant message,
Got up,
Yawned,
Stretched,
Rubbed away eye crusties,
And turned off Skype.
Osiris Jul 2013
In the heavens was written the mandate for the oldest child of the Sun and the Sea.

She the princess, oh nobly born, the oldest of three, was the model for the universe for elegance and wisdom of compassion as the philosopher child.

As she suckled on her mother, the volition of the sea, the philosopher child embraced the light of her father's wisdom as a vessel of beauty that all across all lands and in heaven adored to see.

As a gift of divine creation, the philosopher child, as written, taking form, a sage for humanity, was intended for she. The princess of innocence also loved her little sister and brother with the tenderness that is so special as she.

Upon reaching the age of wonder, her father fashioned a chariot for her to ride, so that where ever she were to travel, she could stand on ethics and scruples and not false pride. Her mother gave her horses the spirit of her volition so to pull their child across many unknown tides where on the chariot their child would be safe from contempt, dismay, envy and lost lives.

The philosopher child crossed the lands of question, where deep in its valley of many masks, politicians made laws of convenience, allowing one to wear many as one could, impromptu, they could choose to decide. She saw, that there, things could be fashioned for popularity where the vital balance of nature, being ignored, was foolishly thought not to reside.

But where ever she traveled, her father as the Sun, her mother the sea, felt safe that their daughter the sage as the philosopher child would learn the cost for compassion, and as wisdom would fill her heart so to eventually bless humanity with its redemption, with her kindness that was deep inside.

One day the princess arrived at the dark forest where the midst was thick and deep.  Creatures started to show from everywhere and reached out to hail her arrival. They said - please step down off your chariot, so to join us, as up there you are so far way and hard for us all to see as we are so low to the ground where the earth barely allows us to be.

In the kindness of her heart of compassion, trusting when she did, they then replied, that you are no better than me. The foxes chuckled in grin as making her feel as if she had to apologize for being the philosopher child. They stole her chariot and wasted her horses who cried out in fear in their terror; but yet not to be heard over all the panacea and glamour afforded in the foxes swift tide. The foxes insisted that their familiarity with her was not a contemptible form of their false pride.

In making her way across treacherous lands, she wondered deep in the dark forest wishing to make peace with all. But each who she met could only offer her the blindness of their limitations and deceit where calling it truth and where she, if to wish acceptance, was not given a choice to decide.

This tore into her father’s heart, as being the Sun he could barley shine as years of this went by. His beautiful philosopher child had suffered the evils of pedestrian false pride. The child’s mother, being the sea, wept as wanting once again to offer to suckle her with the vital elixir of life the way it use to be.

But the creatures of the dark forest, as ruthless as they were crafted to be,  had already poisoned her with the devils blood, as it hardened her veins unless she continue to drink just to have a peaceful blur of the memories in her mind’s eye. This is while many after taking what they wished from her would then cast easily her aside.

As a great dragon her father took form to swoop down from the heavens, when she could find no longer any quarter, so as to lead her to the great tree.

Here he said is the tree of life, where the archetypes as the branches and leaves you can relearn to see. Care for the matriarch as she has always loved you; respect this sacred ground and as a place of refuge, you can always return to, to rest, protected and safe from the world that still must be redeemed as you learn to rebalance the flow of your chi.

A little time past as all seemed to be relieved that the princess was now safe from treacherous beings,. But then on a clouded day a toad then did come by. Costumed as a monk with the guise of truth, sincerity and purity, he said - you are very pretty and do you remember me? We had met some time ago, but I have been away up till now  where some others must go. But explanations of my absence need not be.

He made her laugh. He made her feel light hearted as saying, lean on me. Forget all else, as all you need to see is just me. Whatever you wish to say, need not worry as I will fill in the words for you; and if you need to lie to get by, just remember that you can rationalize it as why should you really care why. In this way you can be as care free as me he did say, and I will teach you cunning facades, as there is really no upside in truth, and especially when you do not want to pay when you only want just to get by. Praise Buddha as I say to fools, as then they let me just slip by.

I will show you how in my own way in how I adore you. I will put pictures of you everywhere for all to see. I will hail how great you are and that you actually belong to, and then make sure to associate you for the legitimacy of me.  

We will have a future you and me, the way I had with others before, but as I have hollowed their souls, and with no longer their money, they have become to bore me.

But rest assured, you are different, and you are special in being brand new. For this we can have a future, but you will need to pay for it now, as currently I am a pulpier in practicing as being my own form of monk. But once I was rich as I can easily claim that again someday I could be. Perhaps Iwill pay you back then, but let’s see.

But you need not question anything I say, but just drink the devils elixir regardless if it blackens your veins. Then magically I will appear as that special prince for your eyes in their blur will to see.  Do not question me, as in handing your fate so cheaply to over, I am the only one to now approve of thee.

That tree of life, he said, must be really nice.  I hear the matriarch is a brittle as can be. Perhaps she will crack before too long where then you will give it all to me. I have stayed here and there, and now as your prince should you not offer me this place to now reside.  After all it is yours isn’t it, and you should express your rights. Do not worry as pettiness is acceptable way of life, and I want to carve that tree in the vain image of me.  Sacred what, family who, roots of you?  All this means nothing to suit the convenience of me. You should not regard these things as being as important to you as me.

Cast everything that had meant something to you before aside. It is now time for you to make all the room for me. I will give you everything you need, so don't worry. As I promised before to others, as long as you seem novel and new you will be able to laugh every day. This is the happiness which you can count on from me.  

The philosopher child’s mother did weep in seeing this toad to claim to be a prince.  Her tears as the sea awoke the child’s  father once again.   As the winged dragon he then swooped down once more from the heavens. With fury in his eyes he said, they who trespass these sacred grounds, the fire of my breath will incinerate. No mediocrity will pass unto these sacred grounds. This you can be assured, that in awakening my fury, your life then will mean little to me.  

Deep down inside, although wishing to ignore a pulsing tone, the princess being the philosopher child could in her dreams hear as she slept her soul speak - what has happened to thee?  Oh nobly born have you forsaken everything in life that heaven has written for you to be. Be fooled not by the toad of warts, as he can only be a prince of fools and not worthy of thee. Have the courage and strength to come back to the divine and shimmering form that you use to be.

Have faith as you can be the great sage, the elegant thinker where your beauty is assured. True princes will then kneel one after another to offer their hand in marriage to thee.

Make no excuse, as all can wait except for the matriarch for thee,  and be 49 days in solitude with your loving father and mother as the transformation of thee.  

Be removed from the trash that has subjected thee. Eight of these days are first required to free you from the devils blood. This is so your heart once again can start pumping again the true spirit of volition that your mother had meant for thee. Use the remaining of the days for your rest, repose, solace and contemplation where in the land of no demands no pressure is put on thee. You can face your mirrors so once again to recognize the cherished roots that compose thee.

Oh nobly born fear not and come into the light of wisdom of your loving father who in his tender love has untangled your matted snarls of your life before.  

Allow the volition of spirit of your mother to once again suckle thee. In this time, in self reflection then you can become reborn again, and transformed, the philosopher child, as divine in being, to bless humanity in the scripture you write that the heavens will then publish for thee.  

All across the earth will gather then to be blessed by the warmth of the shimmering light of thee.  Great princes that are destined to be great kings, who, in having searched before everywhere, they  will know then where to find thee.
JR Falk Jul 2015
It was the first time we'd seen each other
since we broke up.
We were sitting on a picnic table bench
at the last place we went on a date ,
crying our eyes out.
You saw the tears in my eyes
and you choked on yours.
"What are we?" You laughed through the tears.
"A mindfuck. A glorious, incredible mindfuck."
I bit my lip so hard I tasted blood,
and you pulled me into your arms.
You didn't let me go until I stopped crying.
"I never knew there was a such thing as an intimate hug," you announced.
I laughed.
You pulled back and put your forehead to mine,
and I didn't kiss you.
I stopped myself.
"Are we thinking the same thing right now?"
You chuckled, voice wavering.
I responded, "Yes."
That was the first time I didn't tell you I loved you when I felt it.
I wish I did.
****
Mymai Yuan Sep 2010
I swirled my fingertips on the surface of the water and sent a message across with shiny, glossy ripples that grew slowly, and gracefully. He kneeled on the other side of the moonlit pond and watched as the ripples from my fingertips reached him. He cupped the ripples of the water into his palm and drank the cold water, sighing happily.
“What does it taste like?” I whispered hoarsely, as loud as I dared to be while knowing we would be reprimanded fiercely for sneaking out of the huts at this time of night.
“Love” he called back.
I burst out laughing in panting breaths and tried to stifle the noise with my fists. I heard him bellow out, and the echoes rang freely through the woods before he quickly shoved his face into the water and laughed in there, the bubbles of his laughter surfacing violently.
“You idiot” I whispered joyfully when he brought his head up from the water, his dark hair curled against his forehead, “I didn’t even write anything to do with love. I wrote how foolish of a boy you are.”
“And you still stick with me so that’s love isn’t it?” he teased me. His finger tips swirled in the water for a minute. “Your turn to taste, Masra”
I waited till the ripples hit the side of the pond and quickly dipped my tongue in and lapped the water. I pursed my lips, pretending to debate what his message was. The surface of the black water was littered with reflection of the stars. It was so beautiful that I momentarily forgot the little game we were playing and gasped, “Oh stars!”
He took a quick intake of breath and stared up at me with wide eyes. “Really?” he asked in an unbelieving tone.
“What do you mean?”
“Stars?” he asked again, sounding like a sweet little confused child.
“Yes!” I laughed. “Stars!” and I splashed the surface of the water to show him.
He shook his head. “I can’t believe you could read, I mean, taste that... That’s incredible…”
It took me a second to realize what he was talking about. I decided to play along anyways and whispered dramatically, “Yeah, but I didn’t know what you were trying to say”
“A million stones on fire with wishes
Yet the brightest star is not up there” he recited his favorite lines from an old love poem.
“You are disgustingly soppy” I got up from kneeling by the pond and treaded softly on the dry leaves so that they wouldn’t crackle so loud. Reaching him, I kneeled down beside him and ran my fingers through his curly wet locks. His dark eyelashes were still wet with water and the chestnut eyes gleamed brightly.
I curled into his lap comfortably like a cat and he rolled over with me lying on top, while his strong arms held me. I buried my face into the skin of his beautiful brown neck and inhaled the sweet, musky smell. Reab smoothed my hair before murmuring huskily, “Why do you always do that?”
“It smells like you, the old Reab smell. It makes me feel safe and warm and happy.”
“I love you.”
“Do you think we’ll always be happy like this?” I asked, speaking of my deepest fear.
“I will never stop loving you, if that’s what you mean. And if we are caught sneaking out, I’m pretty sure no one would be too surprised. They all know from the way I look at you I intend to marry you when Chief thinks you’re old enough and finally say okay.”
I laughed at the thought of Chief being able to give me away.
With my parents both gone since I was a baby, Chief had adopted me as his daughter and he loved me tremendously for all his lecturing ways. Reab laughed a little too but without any fear of Chief rejecting him. Chief loved Reab too and approved of us most of the time.
“Do you remember when he caught us making ‘sheep-eyes’ at each other as he put it and he was furious?” We chuckled at the memory of Chief turning storm on us, declaring we were too young.
“What would he say now?” he turned my face to face his and kissed me for a while, with the wind blowing the tendrils of my hair on his face. He smiled mid-way through our kiss, for the soft strands of my hair on his face always tickled him.
I didn’t want to continue with my question after that happy moment. But I had to; he was the only man who would tell me the truth. “Our tribe has enemies. We have many men, many strong men… but I know we are in a constant threat. I have seen the midnight meetings you men hold when you think we are asleep and more weapons that normal are being made nowadays.”
He looked at me with sad eyes; with so much love and desire burning in them that my own eyes began to swell up with tears. I fluttered my lids to get rid of the wetness but he reached over and caught a tear on his pinky and licked it. Then he licked all the tears off my face and I giggled as his tongue flicked over the tearstains on my cheeks.
“The tribe is in some danger. You and I are not. I will love you forever.” I shook my head and was about to interrupt with another fearful question when he continued, “You know what Chief always says. We don’t live just one life. I loved you since we were babies. You know what I think?”
“What?” I asked, his voice slightly soothing my fears.
“I think I’ve known you before. There’s no way you can know someone the way I know you in the short life time we’ve lived. This is not the first time we’ve met.”
“You’re not worried if a battle comes we won’t be together?”
“No.” he answered and kissed my forehead.
“Why?” I couldn’t get rid off the idea of such a terrible fate.
“I think…” he struggled to get the words out, “I think we’ll always be together somehow. Masra, I’m… I’m just not afraid”
We lay there for a while until I fell asleep in his arms. I was awoken a little later with him shaking me softly for us to sneak back into our own huts.
There was a little advantage in having both my parents gone. Lela, my cousin who shared the hut with me, stirred only a little as I crept back in.



“I’ve been hearing from your sister that lately you have been waking very late. I don’t approve of this laziness.” Chief said to me as I sat on the floor of his hut, admiring the new spear he had just made. I sharpened the stone a little for him and smiled up brightly. His face softened. Chief was not usually an easy person to get around, but he always said he loved me more than was good for me. “I saw Reab today. He didn’t look so alert and awake.”
My mind clicked into place as I realized Chief had his suspicions. “Reab?” I inquired with an innocent expression. “Is he ill?”
“He just looked tired.” Chief replied with raised eyebrows, his eyes were a little puzzled. I had fooled him for now.
I balanced the spear in my hand. “You hold a spear too well for a woman” he grunted. “Spending too much time with me, I suppose. You should spend more time with your sister Lela. It would have been different if your mother was still alive. She would’ve taught you some womanly manners.”
“I think I’m feminine enough.”
“Look at you, blundering around after the men of the village, killing creatures and planning your attack even better than my men.”
“I don’t plan Chief; it just comes to me”
“Making it even worst!” he cried with a hidden pride.
I burst out laughing and bade him good night. He ruffled my hair fondly. “You go to sleep now Masra. Get some good sleep. Tell Reab that too” his eyes sparkled wickedly. Perhaps I hadn’t fooled him after all.
“You tell Reab, won’t you? I won’t see him till tomorrow morning.” I replied demurely.



And here passed, long uneventful days with the occasional nights that Reab and I would sneak out of the huts to spend the cool nights together and forcing ourselves out of bed at the crack of dawn along with the villagers, exhausted but happy. I suspected Chief still had his own wary thoughts, but with a denial somewhere in his mind, he did not seek to expose the truth or confine stricter rules on me through Lela. The few months that went by, I watched as Reab grew from a boy to a man.
A man I loved more than life itself.
One night, as I was lying in his arms I poked a thumb against his forehead and breathed out happily before nestling into his chest.
“What?” he asked me, amused at my random, loving behavior.
“I like to check that you’re real.”
He had no words in reply to that but tightened his hold on me, and swiftly kissed my dark hair with a sudden passion. His fingers caressed my head, and he inhaled the flowery perfume from the brown strands clutched in his hand.
“I wish you a long and happy life.” I whispered softly, afraid of the feelings that were surging through me.
“With you.” he replied back.
“No. Not just with me… anywhere… as long as you’re happy.”
“So with you then…”
Some days after that night, when it was pouring so furiously everyone had retreated back into their huts to cozy up, gossip, and flirt while warming their hands on hot wooden mugs we snuck off and climbed a special tree.
It was special because it was a giant, and very old with gnarled branches and knobs that made it easy to grip on with our toes, but the trunk itself was as smooth as a baby’s skin. It overlooked most of the village and the canopy was so thick it protected us from the rain except for the small wet drops that would escape through.
The tree stood apart from the woods and was very difficult to get to. One had to climb several other trees to reach it, ducking in and out of the tangle of branches up in the canopy like a maze. Only Reab and I had spent enough time up there to discover the path in reaching it. We were yet to discover how to reach it without getting scratches and bleeding scabs all over our skin.
Every time the thunder roared deafeningly Reab would yell, “I love you!” and no one could hear but Reab, the heavens, our special little tree and I.
He was so beautiful; like a lithe dangerous animal and his muscles were graceful and strong as he climbed around on the branches. I wished for the rest of our days to be like this and I remembered the lines he had recited to me only a little while ago,
““A million stones on fire with wishes
Yet the brightest star is not up there”

*

A distant roar erupted. The stars had not granted my wish, they had granted my deepest fear. The sound of drums rumbled steadily over the noise of screaming villagers, over the noise of animal fear in those I loved and lived with.
It was the sign that our enemies were finally in sight. We had been waiting for there attack all year long.
Lela grabbed me by the arm. “The chief says all women must flee!” she gasped and choked. Her eyes were leaking with tears. I stubbornly shook away her hand and I could see the desperateness growing in her eyes.
“There is no time to cry Lela”, I tried saying confidently but my voice shook. “Where is Reab?”
Even in her hysterical state she did not want to answer the question I already knew the answer to. “Where is Reab?” I repeated. When she did not reply I narrowed my eyes.
In the face of danger I had never been woman-like and cowered.
Chief had raised me stare any wild beast straight into its cold, predatory eyes before slaying it. I was not unfamiliar to thrusting a jagged dagger into the heart of danger.
I would not leave a man I loved behind like the running footsteps of women carrying their babies, pushing old people along, and dragging wailing children were doing.
I would not leave and I would fight when I could.
Lela stared at me as if she’d just read my mind.  “You may not fight Masra!” she cried. I pushed her aside.
“Help the women evacuate! Grab a baby, help a village elderly; just do it Lela!” I yelled violently and ran through the women who were running towards the woods.
I shoved women aside to get to the battle. My long legs tangled with the other woman, and I fell on my knees. They were both bleeding badly when I got up. Running with my knees stinging, a huge man suddenly grabbed me and swung me to face him. For one moment, I thought he was Reab and I clutched onto him; then I saw it was Chief, and I clutched to him even tighter.
“Chief, please don’t make me go away! Please let me fight with you!” I was screeching and begging with no sanity left in me.
He smiled weakly, “I wanted you to come without little Lela, I knew you would be headed this way. I have not much time Masra, my men need me. I have something I want to give you to make sure you will be safe enough to last through this war if I die,” he spoke softly.
I shook my head and hugged him. “But- but you- you wont!”
Chief gave me a sad smile. “I don’t know that.”
His brown hands reached to his neck and tugged a simple black leather string free. He shoved it into my hands. “Remember this, Masra. Just say to it, ‘Jack, Jack, shine the light’ when you feel there is nobody left in the world for you. Be ready for what happens. Goodbye Masra…”
He touched my cheek and warmth spread though me, momentarily making me feel safe.
“Why Jack?” I asked wretchedly, in a detached curiosity and trying to prolong the moment that Chief would be safe.
Jack was a commoner’s name; no one in our tribe was called Jack. We all had strong, powerful names that spoke of destiny, truth and purity.
“Chief Traben!” a man cried from the noises of surging mob of warriors.
“Go, Masra, go!” Chief said hurriedly, and pushed me away before whipping out of sight.
Chief had been like my best friend, my big brother and … my father. I wanted to fight with him, for him. But I knew in doing that, I would go against his wishes, and that was the last thing I would ever want to do.
A sudden thought made me realize I did not have to fight. I just had to be there or I would **** somebody in my own village for leaving behind loved ones. I knotted the black leather string determinedly on my neck.
I ran to the bottom of a slippery tree and climbed up to the canopy and began to duck in and out, swinging between and onto branches in the maze-like chaos of sticks and concentrated leaves to get to the special tree Reab and I shared.
I hid among the thick tangle; so thick no arrows would be able to pierce me and no enemy would see me. Growling and cursing myself, I remembered I carried no weapons with me and hastily patted my clothing to check again.
Then I remembered it would be useless to have any weapons unless I intended to go down there, for the abundant tangle worked both ways. A spear thrown from where I was would only get stuck in the dense branches below.
I could see the battle though, and that was enough: for now. I searched vainly for Reab, scampering along the top, trying to find where Reab was. I was wild with fury for him for coming.
He was just a boy, newly turned a man. He could still run and hide without shame. When I had him back in my arms again, I was sure to hit him and berate him for choosing to fight for me instead of being safe for me.
It never occurred to me once that Reab might be dead.
It still didn’t occur to me when I saw his body lying on the dirt below, with a man from a village - someone I couldn’t recognize from this height- dragging him. I shouted out, careless of the arrows of enemies.
For the first time in my life, I was terrified of blood: the blood that was seeping out of the wound on his stomach. I didn’t think he was dead; I believed he was injured and I thought of all the herbal concoctions I knew that I could paste over the wound to clean and heal it.
It still didn’t occur to me Reab was dead when the man left him by the bottom of a tree to return and fight. The men in our village did not leave those who could be healed. They stayed and helped them heal to the best of their ability before hiding their healing bodies’ safe in a bush. They only left behind those they could do no more for.
I trembled at anger in the neglect one of our men villagers had shown Reab; the disrespect in it. I would **** him if he were not killing our enemy. Somehow, in the wild pulsing of my body, I found myself climbing down and creeping stealthily to where Reab was and pulling him to safety in a bush.
When he was safe in the bushes, I held him and whispered to him that I was here. I said hold on Reab and I would go and make sure he was safe. I was sobbing. I could not comprehend what was happening for my mind had gone numb and blank.
How could a man who I loved so much bleed so much? All I knew was Reab was not moving in my arms and he must be terribly hurt.
I pressed my fingers to the blood on his stomach. I knew no man could have survived such a wound and so much lo
DaSH the Hopeful Sep 2016
I told her I'd never fallen in love
with an alien before

She gave me an odd glance

And then I told her she was out of this world

She chuckled and smiled

And at that moment
it became evident

*Her lips don't even have to touch mine for me to get lost in them

— The End —