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.

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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.”