Retribution and Revival

Hey there, lovelies! It’s good to see you again. I’m going to be posting a series of works from a Creative Writing class I took last semester. I think the course gave me the opportunity to really work my craft and stretch. At the end of each work I’ll talk a little bit about the inspiration, process, and subtle meanings in the work. I hope you enjoy this one!

The blood had not been scrubbed off of his bedroom floor. It trailed out of the small space and out the door of the Family home, only ceasing at the dark ash circle staining the dusty earth in the middle of the Community grounds. Joshua did not speak anymore. He would only trace the same word over and over, leaving the sightless mark on his arm, on his stomach, in the air.

He did leave. His black boots kicked fallen leaves into the air, letting them flutter back to the earth as he drew closer to his destination. He found himself in the familiar confines of the Elders’ confessional hall, the semicircle more ominous the longer Joshua’s eyes ran over it.

“My boy, shouldn’t you be with the Father? It is the day of the Solstice Celebration,” a voice asked behind him, making him jolt and contort in fear. Joshua let out a breath once he recognized Hanor’s voice, turning around to face him. Hanor’s face was twisted in contradiction as he walked towards him.

“He doesn’t need me.”

“It isn’t about need, my boy,” Hanor said with a sigh, “Your papa only has so many moons left until you must step into his place.”

“I’m not going to be the next Father,” Joshua said softly, relief flooding through him. He hadn’t realized until the phrase had left his mouth how much he meant it. No part of him wished to walk in his papa’s footsteps.

Hanor stared at him curiously. “Why of course you’ll be, Joshua. You’re the Father’s eldest, therefore it is your destiny to care for the Community, to lead the people in it to become—”

“—The most fit beings in the eyes of the Father, I know. But I can’t, Hanor. I can’t do this anymore. What kind of father kills his own children?” All the distress he’d set aside for years was suddenly catching up to him, trying to catch and destroy his breath.

“The ones who have died simply weren’t fit for The Father,” Hanor replied calmly, a sense of realization settling on him. “Joshua, what happened to Saphrine was simply the Father’s will. She was too weak to be wedded to you. Don’t worry, we can find another—”

“That not the point! That’s not the point! She didn’t have to die! We-we were supposed to die together, it wasn’t supposed to be like this.” Joshua began to sob and collapsed, limbs splaying like a rag doll on the ground.

“I…I knew, Joshua.” Joshua looked up at Hanor, but the Elder refused to look him in the eye.

“You did?”

“You have a destiny to fulfill, my boy! I couldn’t let her—let you—interfere with the Father’s plan for you.” Joshua glared at who he’d once considered a mentor. “You were showing such promise but she kept pulling you back. She was becoming a diversion in the Father’s plan—”

But Joshua was already running before he could hear the end of it, letting himself be swallowed by the forest that ran to the edge of the cliff. Nobody in the Community went there, no one except him. He let his run slow to a jog, until he found a comfortable resting ground, sitting on top of a rock so he could curl up and cry.

 

He had made sure to come back before the moon did.

“The Father won’t be pleased with your absence, Joshua” said his mother, walking with her two boys to the Heart Plot. The Heart Plot was most easily identified by the distinct shade of the ground from all the burnt ash that had settled there over time. A fire burned violently there now,  warming the faces of the crowd. The three of them moved towards the Father, taking post behind where he stood on the platform by the fire, facing the Community.

“Welcome Brothers and Sisters to the Longest Night Celebration!” The Father bellowed, his face covered in red paint and his head adorned with a golden crown bearing an obnoxiously large, gold finch. A round of cheers and hollers answered him and he gave a satisfied grin. The low rumble of drums made Joshua’s ribcage shake as the crowd began to part and widen into a circle.

A group of young girls with matching braided pigtails rose and turned towards the Father. His left arm was raised and his hand was in the shape of a pistol. Joshua froze, his breath leaving him as the Father lowered a wiry thumb.

Their movements were vicious and mechanic as the first girl caught the bullet between her palms, rapidly passing it to her right. The others followed suit, passing it around their small circle with a rhythmic clap. Joshua’s eyes widened as they moved faster, the beat of the drum becoming the low thundering of rain.

The smallest one, a girl with pale skin and long black hair, dropped it. The drumming stopped and the crowd grew silent. She looked up at the Father, her dark eyes empty of emotion. Her black dress reminded Joshua of the angel paintings in his school books.

The father watched the girl, lifting a finger and giving a single wave for her to approach him. She walked over, her stance neither proud or doubtful with her shoulders even and hands at her sides.

“Sister Johanna, explain to me why our celebration has halted.”

“I dropped the bullet, Father,” she said evenly. The strength in her voice sent a chill down Joshua’s spine.

“And why was that, Sister?”

“I wasn’t fast enough.” The father took his crown off of his head and held it to his chest. His eyes shut to reveal another pair of eyes painted on each lid in black. He opened them again slowly before raising his crown and striking her in the face.

The crack of metal and bone made Joshua clutch his mother’s dress. The girl stood tall, her head contorted unnaturally to the side before straightening itself again. The father watched her coolly, placing the crown on top of his head again. Joshua could see a river of red begin to cascade from her hair, but she didn’t flinch.

“You are forgiven, Sister Johanna,” the Father declared, his voice strained. Sister Johanna nodded, giving him an exaggerated bow. The Father’s nostrils flared.

“Thank you, Father.” Joshua suppressed a smirk.

The Father made a quick motion and the drumming commenced, the girls continuing their dance. The closer Joshua watched, the more sure he became that there was a small smile on Sister Johanna’s face.

“Yehoshu’a, my son and heir, come forward.” Joshua’s breath left his body once again as he stepped forward into the circle of his future people. The group of dancers surrounded him before collapsing to the ground. His eyes landed on Johanna’s face once again, her body limp but her eyes piercing.

“ Yehoshu’a, my boy, within a year’s time you will be the leader of our people,” the Father boomed, stepping away from the platform and towards his son. Joshua tore his gaze away from Johanna to face his Father, his Papa, and his greatest curse. The Father took his head in both hands and gave his mess of dark hair a chaste kiss. He raised a fist in the air and was met with cheers.

“To the future of our people!”

 

“Here,” Mother said, a sly grin on her face as she handed him a small glass of red wine. “For the soon to be Father.” Joshua gave her a strained smile, tipping back the glass.

“It’s not a big deal.”

“Of course it is, my love. This is your last solstice as a child. The next one will be the exchanging ceremony, and you will take your papa’s place.” Joshua nodded, turning away from his mother as he watched a young Community couple sway to the beat of the drums. “You’ve done so well to prepare yourself. I’m proud of you, Yehoshu’a.”

Joshua nodded politely, taking his mother’s hand and putting it in his. He gave her a kiss on the cheek. “Thank you, Mother. For everything. I mean it. I don’t think I would have survived this long otherwise.”

She laughed and pulled her hand away. “Go on and have fun, my love. It’s your last chance.” Joshua winced but got up anyhow, slowly making his way through the dancing crowd. A few giggling teenage girls tried to grab at him and give him a kiss, but he made it passed unscathed. He kept walking until the brilliant blaze of fire began to look more like a flicker.

 

Joshua lived in a land of duality. He was sitting quietly on the cliff rocks by the edge of the forest with only the smoke of the solstice fire in sight. In front of him was the sea—large and looming in its presence. The deep blue had always called to him, lapping up bits of sand as if it were trying to climb up and meet him in the forest. He swung his legs experimentally. His leather shoe flew off of him, floating in the air for a second before tumbling down into the sand.

This land was his. He could feel it as his outstretched arm shook in front of him, feeling the soft breeze the sea brought with each indignant push. He felt colder here, away from the fire, and his pale skin was beginning to tinge rose. He looked more and more like Johanna as he sat alone, the same emptied dark eyes staring his Father in the face.

Maybe if he was braver he’d confront the Father, even if it meant he would face the same fate as those before him. But as he watched the sea’s fury and anger and love he knew he had done the right thing.

Joshua stood up, letting his feet embrace the soft padding of the earth. He closed his eyes and let the cool, salty air fill his lungs and clean his soul with each breath. His body felt lighter and full of life and living and a liberty he never thought he would taste. He let his arms extend out, the breeze passing through his cold finger tips.

A large gust of wind pushed him gently from behind until he was flying—flying from oblivion, flying from his destiny and falling into goodness and truth.


This is another excerpt from Agneau (the first can be found here). Ideally, this is where I see Joshua’s story ending. I tried to format it so that the overall plot of the entire story is parallel to this short version of it. For the sake of the short story format A LOT of details about his life, the cult, his past, and such were left out. But one day they won’t be…

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the ugliest landscape in all fifty states.

For those who were unimpressed by the Kansan scenery, I ask them if they’ve ever seen a wheat field. Despite all of the possible construction that our Great Plains have endured, the wheat field remains unending in her billowing glory.

She does not care for the roads, the offices, or the Starbucks the men she raised use to mow her out. She hides herself along the curbs or pushing up in-between sidewalk cracks, leaving her thick hair loose and long. We zip by her on the highway or on the way to work, to busied by our own sorrows to acknowledge the effort she’d put into her gleam and shine that day.

The wheat field knows her timeless beauty, with her blazing white brush and her free and flowing body. We dance together as the wind blows, her long blades a long swaying skirt and the sound like a rattlesnake or the friction of heaps of box braids.

The wheat field knows her purpose. She doesn’t fuss as the cows graze around, chewing her away until she’s bare. She knows that she’ll spring back within a few mornings, her bundle thicker and stronger than before.

The wheat field is plain to the commoner, but fierce to those who acknowledge her unending gifts. You may not be hers to beguile, but it’d mighty arrogant for you to assume she’d ever care.

Young Blood

He didn’t want to wake up this morning. He had spent the night staring at the rotting wood ceiling, watching the small white lights the stars provided. He wondered if the stars only roamed on his father’s land, leaving light for the night workers that cleaned blood off of knives until the blades shone brightly again.

His mother had left his school clothes on the rocking chair in the corner, the black pieces of cloth folded into perfect squares. The clothes stiffness now suffocated him as he stood in place, the Father glancing at each pupil coldly, his eyes lingering on the smallest one. The boy cowered at the stare, black curls falling into his eyes. The Father smiled complacently at his meekness, walking into the middle of the child-made circle. Each child was clothed in black, the small boy the palest of them all.

The Father stood tall amongst them, the bright-eyed infants watching his every move hungrily. The Father moved his head slowly, his icy gaze landing on the tallest one, a boy the small one knew to help with the garden. He was tan and a ruffian, perking up excitedly when the Father raised an arm, his hand in the shape of a gun. The small boy suppressed a twitch when the Father lowered his calloused thumb.

The classroom became mechanic. The farmboy’s hands came together with a loud clap, fingers and palms aligned perfectly before swinging them to his left. The blond girl next to him caught them, mimicking his clasp before sending it down the circle. The children worked quickly, passing the bullet from hand to hand. The small boy jumped when it reached him, closing his eyes when the brunette next to him’s hands met his own, quickly passing it off to the blond next to him.

The bullet returned to the farm boy, who fell to his knees, his forehead grazing the floor while his palms laid exposed. The Father was now expressionless, walking over slowly to the boy, his black, metal-clad boots clicking across the wooden floor.  He stopped in front of the boy on the ground, searching his hands. He let out a heavy sigh, raising his boot before slamming it on the boy’s hands. The small boy tensed and the Father’s gaze instantly found his.

“What’s wrong, Joshua?” All eyes found their way to him, making his pale skin color red. The Father stared expectantly, twisting his foot further onto the young boy’s hands. The boy made no sound, his eyes closed and his body still.

“W-why did you—?” The Father’s foot stilled, walking over to his son. He offered his hand to the small boy, walking him over to the farmboy’s bruising hands. Joshua stared down at the sight, his vision growing hazy. The Father watched him carefully.

“Can you see it?” the Father asked. Joshua examined the marred hands until a light finally flickered.

“The bullet. It’s—”

“Bloody. Good job, enlightened one.” The Father dismissed him with a look and the boy scurried back in place. The Father stood silent, looking at each child’s face menacingly. “You want to tell me that in the face of death you plan to bleed?” The room remained silent, not an inch of movement made. “Answer when your Father speaks to you.”

“Bleeding is for the weak. Blood is the sign of humanity, the sign of weakness. You must be more than human to survive,” the room chanted, their voices monotonous. The Father said nothing, not even with his face. Joshua could no longer breath, fear tightening its grip around his lungs.

The Father looked down at the forgotten farmboy. “Get off the floor, you foolish sheep,” he snarled, walking out of the circle while the boy scurried back to his feet. He was paler than before now, his warm brown eyes glazed over. Joshua forced himself to look away. The Father gave two claps and a dance commenced.

1, 2, 3, 4

Father have mercy

5, 6 , 7, 8

I’m at your mercy

1, 2, 3, 4

Please have mercy

5, 6, 7, 8—

“Mercy on my bones,” the smallest boy whispered, following his class as they all collapsed to the ground. The children moved quickly, lying down in formation, their limbs outstretched  for examination. The Father then walked round the circle, a wooden staff in hand, the end grazing the legs of the school children. His gaze was critical, eyes searching endlessly for flaws in his beautiful machines. His steps slowed to a stop. Joshua let his eyes close.

“Up.” A girl with a long braid flowing down to her feet rose, leaving the others to systematically rising from the floor, folding their legs and placing their palms in the middle, right over left. The girl stood strong, her face stoic as the Father circled around her. “What had you said, Sister?”

The girl spoke not, sensing her own fate. Joshua did not have to open his eyes to know that.

“‘Mercy on my soul?’ Sister, what did I say about the word soul?” Joshua suppressed a twitch at the question. His father said many things, so many  things he wasn’t sure what was anymore.

“Souls are for the mortals. You cannot have a soul and be enlightened. You cannot have a soul and be the Father’s child,” she said plainly, staring straight-ahead. The Father smiled complacently at this before swiftly raising the stick and ramming it into the back of her head. The girl fell to the ground, her head meeting the wood floors with a crack, blood leaking alongside her beautiful braid. She let out a horrid cry, tears beginning to stream down her cheeks. Joshua’s hands shot up to cover his ears, pressing his palms into his skull.

“You should have asked for mercy on what’s there, Sister.”

The Father beat the girl with the staff, streams of blood flowing from her braid. The girl’s body convulsed with pain, her hands making haphazard efforts to protect her skull. The Father however was not kind in this moment; he used every muscle in his body to swing the makeshift bat at the young girl’s skull.

Joshua finally opened his eyes only to stare into the eyes of the dying girl. He remembered playing with her by the cliff when the sun released itself from the angry grasp of the horizon. He remembered being privileged with the task of braiding her warrior hair. He remembered how she taught him how to fight and win even with his tiny figure. She was destined for enlightenment, but now he was watching her die in front of him.

He was watching a little girl die. And while she was two years his elder, his six years of life didn’t matter all of a sudden. His throat suddenly opened as air rushed into his lungs and he started screaming. He screamed and ran to her, ignoring the fear-stricken looks of his classmates as he cradled the girl’s beaten head into his arms. Large hands found him and wrestled him away, throwing him off to the side violently.

“Father! Father! Papa don’t do this!” The smallest one sobbed, reaching out for his papa, the man who decided life and death. Alas, his papa was not there in this moment. Only his Father remained.

The Father took him up by the arm and shoved the staff into his small hands. Joshua tried to break free, albeit freedom hadn’t been with him since the day he was born. His father huffed, giving his eldest child a look of finality to an extent the boy would never fully comprehend. He turned to his pupils before grandly announcing, “The Enlightened One has decided to protest against the punishment. The Enlightened One thinks he’s above his Father.” Joshua shook his head in violent protest, tears streaming down his cheeks once again. The Father grinned at his own malice.

The children’s eyes brightened, a tangible excitement fermenting in their bones. The Father walked to the door, complacent. “Remind him of his place, children.” The children nodded sweetly as the Father walked out, closing the door shut. Joshua looked into their glowing eyes, hungry and savage, waiting to tear away the final remnants of his soul.

Savior of the Dead

The Lakota sometimes wished he were human. He felt like it at times; he would sit in his chamber, reading stories all day until the sunsets purple hues dimmed his pages. He had traveled far for such serenity, at least as far as he’s ever traveled in his short 15 years of life. This new life felt strange to him for power felt too big for his small hands, and his third eye was still sore and bloodshot from the last time he had tried to use it.

He sat in the mountains of what was once Columbus, Ohio, now barren and cold in what was once spilling with human life. Lakota imagined books spilled out of there too, covering the asphalt streets until the cars were forced to stop and read the wonderful literature presented to them. He sighed, holding his newest book tight and close to his heart. The mortals called it ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ and it excited him that a human boy was so much like him.

“Lakota,” a small voice hissed behind him, its thin body slinking behind his back. Lakota sighed, gently closing his new heart and placing it to the side. The scaly being grew fat, its fluttering tail splitting into two humanesque legs, its reptilian face stretching into pink lips, eyes remaining yellow, vertical slits. How repulsive.

“Salutations, Bella. You look well.” Bella grinned at this, his head twitching slightly as dark brown locks fell into his face. His face was sharp and enchanting upon first glance so Lakota paid him no mind.

“Xena shall be returning North once again. He had visited—.”

“Ethalo. I know of this. I do not care,” Lakota snapped, letting his eyes closed as he let his eye try to find the missing boy. He had few friends in his new life, so he tried his best to hold onto them as long as he could manage.

“You shouldn’t use your eye, beloved. You’re simply too weak,” Bella offered lowly, his movement fluid as he wrapped himself around Lakota, his human form lost once again. Lakota allowed his pet up his arm as he kept his gaze forward and focused.

“Why? So you can overpower me? I can hear your thoughts you dumb serpent. Give me one reason why I shouldn’t send you south and straight to your maker.” Bella hissed, releasing himself from the deity before him as he slinked away again, down the mountain and into grass.

‘There was a time where I was more powerful than you,’ the serpent thought, fattening itself again to reveal porcelain skin and light colored eyes. Bella glared at the Lakota in the sky that spent his days reading and looking across barren wasteland. The Lakota simply continued to read his book.

 

Xena’s trek was to take three nights until he would be recalled to life by the Lakota. He did not have much with him; he only carried his copy of ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’, gifted to him by the Lakota himself. He would often think of the Lakota on his search for the five birds that terrorized the life that remained in the Kansan oceans. Eagles, ravens, owls, falcons, and another he simply couldn’t be bothered to remember. He recorded his findings in his leather bound book, another gift from his long-haired friend.

He had chosen to stop by in the east village that resided in Missouri. Saint Louis it was called, which was ironic since Africana tribes resided there. They beared steel masks and performed most rituals with uses of ancient chemistry. Xena feared to touch anything while he was there, but he was always confused for a native until he spoke. However he was not one to wander without purpose. He had been travelling for miles to retrieve one powerful substance.

“Hello Elba,” he greeted, resting comfortably on his transport as the creature made its way through the bazaar begrudgingly. A woman of ebony skin and ivory eyes emerged, hair gifted with jewels and hands bearing promise. She never spoke when Xena came, but she always knew what he wanted. She placed the glass bottle in his swiftly before disappearing back into the crowd. Xena didn’t skip a beat as he moved away, the poor Kansan lizard creature bearing his sorrows.

 

The Lakota tribe had prospered centuries before the first serpents had arrived. Lakota for this reason alone did not look west often, for the west only encouraged greed in the people that inhabited this land. His land.

He had not seen a human since his vessel had returned to what was once the Americas. He saw plenty of mockeries however, humanoid monsters whose limbs had become mutilated and like poison. While his earthly body did not know the cause of such pain, his eye knew it all. This is why the eye chose The Little Prince.

He had just began to learn about the planets when he felt the energy change in the air. He looked into the distance, watching as a giant lizard carried his dearest friend on its back languidly. Xena’s silver hair gleamed from far away and Lakota allowed himself a small smile.

“How fun this end will be,” he told himself, and he read of his planets once more.

 

Ohio had become smokey since Xena last saw it. He knew this land was sick decades before his time, and now the deities were making the population pay. Yet he couldn’t help but find it all so silly, for not a single human was left to suffer.

Night fall came before his new transport had made it to the mountain. As daybreak came, the devil came with it, its hiss and shrill irritating to the lone traveller. A final hiss made the foreigner break as he snatched the creature, staring the snake in the face as its head snapped forward at him, barely missing his nose.

“Bella, you’ve been such a pest lately. You don’t take being the last of your kind very seriously,” Xena said coolly, taking his glass and opening the lid quickly with his teeth. Bella made himself fat once again, landing on the lizard’s back. But the lizard was lazy and did not care for anything, so stay it did.

“I  hate you,” Bella spat, his eyes only yellowy slits. “I hate your race! I hate all of you! Damn your race to hell!” Xena chuckled, the sound building in his chest. His laugh grew maniacal, eyes watery and full with anger.

“We told you humans wouldn’t survive! We gave you everything! We gave you strength, power, and you try and challenge your god!” Bella covered his ears helplessly, blood slowly falling from his eyes. A shrill scream echoed into the wind, his body convulsing as he fell off the transport. The lizard did not care.

The mountains suddenly revealed a figure, their hair flowing behind them as they jumped down from the top, gliding down into the grass. Lakota landed flawlessly, his feet next to the mortals head. Bella’s screams did not stop, his body twitching grotesquely. Lakota grabbed the tortured body by the wrist, making Bella relax instantly. Lakota pulled Bella up with a tug and the three stood upright and equal once again.

“Apologize,” Lakota commanded. Xena bowed his head with hesitation.

“I apologize for my actions, Bella.” Bella did not hear him.

“Very well,” Lakota sighed, holding onto the dazed mortal carefully. “Bella?” Bella did not respond, his eyes slowly warming before his gaze focused. Lakota looked at the man with sorrow. “Believe in me and I will make you well again.” Bella stared at his deity before slowly nodding. Lakota closed his two eyes, the third protecting the last mortal’s soul. Xena brought two fingers to his chin accordingly.

“Strip this body of augmentation and deliver it from suffering,” Xena stated solemnly. Lakota opened his eyes, glancing at his dear friend. Xena nodded, taking the bottle and holding it to the Bella’s lips.
And the Bella was gone.

Today is January 20th, 2017

Today hurt me. Not the main event, with the state of DC at the moment but the small things. The way sleep seemed to pin me down by the neck when I woke up this morning. How there was no gum in my bag to satisfy my addictive tendencies. An ache made home in my head no matter how much water I drank. Most importantly, I couldn’t speak today.

I could feel eyes on me as I walked, my strides long and manly as my dad likes to comment on. I’ve never understood fully what it meant to be confident. Anxiety has settled deeper I my bones by the day and I wondered all day why I couldn’t find it in myself to care today. I was so tired and sometimes when you’re tired you don’t feel like doing anything.

So the day ends, a long but pleasant day all the same. I am tired, too tired to bid a kind word so I sit. I sit on a chair for twenty minutes, my mind slowly exploding. I don’t like staying too long in one part of the school because I do not feel safe in myself. There’s a strange, isolated sense of otherness there and it reminds me of why I feel lonely.

But time passes. Thank god.

I go home with my headache, caring carefully in my skull, letting it run itself through my veins making me dizzy. I rested for an hour, staring into the abyss and feeling my heartbeat, its violent thump striking random beats in my chest. I ate some chocolate to aid my melodrama as the TV came on before deciding to be useful and wash the dishes for half an hour. Of course this wasn’t necessary, since they could’ve been done the night before, but no one here thinks to do that when they’re not busy.

As the minutes move, a feel my beat soften as my heart feels heavier. I am tired again but carry on with the little story I always have in my head. I go to my room and try to work. Nothing. Hence, I draw, a carnation first, then the start of a profile and finally hair before fear strikes my bones again.

Suddenly I’m cleaning, my shoes being thrown in the closet while my other hand searches frantically for hangers, papers thrown in the trash. That shouldn’t be there, I don’t know what this is, and I’m crying now.

I cry because I’m tired. I’m tired and scared and stressed and it’s only been…a week. Two weeks actually, but I could never give myself that much credit. Now I wonder how this happened, how this all changed from the year before, when I had much worse. I wonder why I’m so scared all of a sudden. What am I scared of?

I did the work (and ate some food, but only a little). In fact, it was just done, the only thing accomplished besides this. Yet I’m still so angry, so what was the point?

[this is a narrative autobiography style of writing]

Forgetting and Teenage Anarchy

It’s easy to forget. I wondered sometimes how many of the world’s problems would be fixed with simply forgetting. What if we forgot the past, not in the suppressing way, but the amnesic sense. What is war, laws, capitalism? I guess that’s just hippie’s way of considering anarchy.

I don’t quite know why I was thinking about forgetting and overthrowing hypothetical totalitarian governments. I was laying in the back of a 1967 Suburu 360, the 1975 moving softly through the car. No one in that car could ignore how Tumblr-esque our current state was in the summer heat of Maine. I remember moving around every two years before and dreaming about this fictional state. Everyone from the big cities that people in small suburbias dream to be in want nothing more than to migrate somewhere like Maine, or North Dakota, or a place more desolate like Canada.

That’s when I remind them that they are very much so an American, and therefore should keep their greasy hands of their non-confrontational relative.

The car jolted to the bass of the Arctic Monkeys, as the driver, Joni, came to a stellar stop. Joni was small, far too small to even drive the tiny Suburu, yet wasn’t to small to kick my ass if she knew I thought that. She turned back to grin at me as I continued to lay down.

“Come on Xen! Let’s get wild!” Joni sprung out of the car in seconds, breaking away in a sprint across the meadow of magenta. Even with her short legs she managed to maintain the stereotype of the Japanese being amazing at everything. I considered chasing her before remembering the coziness of my bomber jacket and Foster the People. A soft sigh sounded from the passenger seat as I watched the back of a blond run his hands through his locks. His hair had grown down to his shoulders thanks to Capra being Capra and not giving a shit about other people’s preferences.

“Do you think she’s far enough for us to prank her?”

I snickered but shook my head. “I’m not too sure I’m up for pranks today. But now that Joni’s gone we can talk about Finny.” I couldn’t fight the sly grin on my face as I sat up, shaking my dyed black hair from my eyes. Grimes was playing now as I pinned Capra in his place. He was blushing bright, an endearing look on my dear friend.

“Nothing to say. What about Benji, huh?” Now Capra was once again comfortable, giving me full liberty to roll my eyes into the back of my skull.

“He’s an ungrateful brat.” The words held bitter finality like I intended. Capra snorted, holding hands up in defense. I hate him.

We sat in the comfortability of the Postal Service until Capra’s plain white tee began to stretch in his furious energy to remove it from his body. The shirt was only a minor factor as soon shoes and socks came off,  followed with pants to come soon after.

This was nothing new. Capra wouldn’t know what thinking with his head meant if his head came and punched him in the face. And I wouldn’t know what an analogy was even if it came and punched me in the face. His hand came to his American Apparel’s when I finally woke up.

“Capra!” 

He looked up with furrowed eyebrows before looking down and up once again. With a swift motion he pulled down his boxers, quickly disposing them with a quick flick towards my face. I felt a sigh building but dismissed it for the sheer amount of sighs to come. I could her the grass rustle and petals become dismantled even with my obscured visions, all followed with a booming, “Suck it Xena!” The sigh was released.

With the two nowhere in sight I had time. Magic Man drew me towards the front with clever eighties beats, but not without seeing a mirror. On a good week, I can forget what I even look like. But this would not be one of them.

The first thing I took in were my eyes which should just be brown, the hazel kind. The color they were in actuality  I did not know nor did I think anyone else had the answer. My face sunk in like an overview of the grand canyons. I ran a pale hand through my raven hair once again, which was short. My lips were chapped so I licked them, my head faltering slightly with how sleepy I was, allowing myself to see the rest of me the I’d been ignoring the past few days. I was mildly disappointed to find that I was not suddenly graced with birthing hips or a strong muscular build like I had imagined my new hair would give me.

I didn’t want to be a girl, I just didn’t want to be myself. Although I’d admit that I am very much so the absolute shit. Once that thought was back in my head, my dusty vans were off and my beloved bomber left behind. And I was running, running until my lungs no longer were lungs, until my legs were no longer legs, and until the flowers were no longer flowers.

a rainy tuesday somewhere in vermont

I remember wanting to be a fish. It was always an aspiration of mine when I was young. The mere possibility of water not being able to drown me fascinated my seven year old mind that had never seen a beach, let alone a fish. I imagined fish to be Earth’s own freaks of nature; noting could kill it except another fish.

Then, when I was about nine after begging and pleading, I was given my very own aquatic pet. I was beyond excited, rushing around to help my dear mother set up the small tank. She placed the fish in its new home carefully, and for the rest of the afternoon I watched it swim around. Days went by like this, me observing all I needed to unlock the secret to becoming marine animal. The fish kept swimming constantly it seemed, and I was in shock. Now I had no choice but to become a fish. What could be more awesome than an immortal speed demon?

But my dreams were soon to be crushed the day I was left alone with my fish. It was a rainy Tuesday like this one, me passing by my hours with fish watching when I suddenly got to thinking. The idea was simple: I would take my fish for a walk. Since fish can breathe, it will be fine. It would be even better since it was raining outside.

I reached up for the tank before remembering how many feet I had left to grow into. I grabbed a chair, stepping on top of it and dipping my hand in, shivering. The fish started swimming rapidly, which only encouraged me as my hand chased it down, finally catching it in the corner. I scooped it up, water drip, drip, dripping from my hand as I hopped back down, walking out into the summer rain without another word.

I sat on my porch, watching as the fish danced in my hand, droplets pounding against its helpless body. I sat there and giggled, giggled my pet fish all the way to its grave. My nine year old self had not known death, not until then when my pet fish died on me.

When I realized what I had done, what it had done, I dropped it in horror, its fish body flopping against the pavement, rain hammering it into the ground. I stood up, rain boots and all, and did the most grown up thing I knew how in the face of death.

“Gerald! Why Gerald! Why!” My wails of angst flooded the culdesac as thunder tumbled through the air, lightning following it. And now every time it rains, I see my poor dead fish Gerald who passed so young, and I think to myself, why was my nine year old self such an idiot.

my dearest indi [entry iii]

How do you tell someone that you no longer exist? I ask for a friend, myself that is, for we both can’t feel the resemblance of an I or me. There is no longer an entity to refer to as myself. There are only others, bits of fluff shifted across space and time. I’m not falling apart, for you must be reminded there is no longer an I here.

They have been trying to find one. Their words could not draw one out, nor when their bones tried to crack the ghost of what was once mine. My dearest Indi could never find me, not now, not when I was no longer to be found.

There are two ways to see stardust: the way is found in its compound. And when the stardust finally collected itself in one part of the dingy complex, there was no hope fore become me again. Whatever that was.

mechanical eye [z & s]

The slowly warming mechanic gracing my hand grows heavier as I hold the shot. The frame holds a moving picture, the subjects eyes casted away from my focus, closed slightly from lethargy as they occasionally take a sip of tea, pages of their subject moving rapidly. Their eyes suddenly flit over, a smirk growing on their lips.

“Again?” they say, hunching over the table, their arms stabilizing them.

“Again,” I giggle, the frame jiggling softly out of rhythm with my chest. The subject rolls their eyes, the mechanical eye working quickly to find the subject’s focal point. The subject challenges the eye’s feat, shaking their head humorously, before the book became their subject once again.

“Oh sister dear, how does it feel to be a star.” The subject lets out an abrupt snort, rolling their eyes to contrast the smile on their face. The subject does not answer however as their eyes find their desired focal point again. The eye in my palm burns in boredom.

“You know, Rose, you should consider starting a blog.” The subject’s eyes did not waver but their voice’s focus ran amuck. I shrug, the motion creating a wave, crashing into the eye before it regains its balance.

“I would if I had better material.” The subject snickers at that, their eyes crinkling into black slits.

“So you don’t believe in your own work, Zash?” I release another wave, only to receive another shake of the focal point. The eye was losing its grit. “Well, you didn’t stop recording for a reason, right?”

“So?” The subject groans, changing their own subject with the closing of pages.

So that means deep down, there was a purpose here. You’re not a mindless person Zash, or else you wouldn’t still be living here.” Their eyes stay still, as they now resemble a lion,  for their hair frames their face with something stronger than a queenly spirit, and their eyes suddenly become foreign to me, even though I had noticed them time and time again.

We stare for awhile, the eye documenting one perspective. I move closer, trying my best to claim a certain dominance over the elder. “I’m shooken,” I whisper, trying to fight off the inevitable grin.

The subject chortles, the laugh-chuckle hybrid. “Oh my god, Zash.” I grin, the eye’s lid drooping in my droopy hand.

“But I’m still your sister.”