I'm weightless. Boundless.
My world slowly spins, and I spin with it.
One gentle push and I am swept away.
I am surrounded by billions of different faces. Together we blanket the world in white.
My doom is inevitable. This beauty drips away, seeps into the ground. Because beauty never lasts, even beauty such as mine.
I came slowly, gently, sometimes raging, I coated your world like a frigid hand. Some of you hated me, some of you loved me.
When this time ends, I will come again.
That’s Why I’m Here
Sometimes, I dip my fingers into the water near my home, and I let my tears roll down creating ripples in the once still water.
Romantics like to come
rest beneath me.
They like to sigh and lament for the one who does not love them back.
I always listen.
because how can you not
when these folks are right under nose?
All jokes aside,
because at the very least
they did not lament alone.
They did not sigh and find themselves swimming in their own tears for nothing.
They will never know
that when they leave,
I sigh for them.
I let my tears for them
roll down my arms,
ripple the once still water.
Letting go of their excess sadness
So that one day
Those tears will
evaporate to the sky.
Continuing the cycle of expression
until the sky grows heavy,
and rains down the sadness
that was once so big
for one small romantic’s broken heart.
The rains fall and the romantics of the world look at the rain and find it fitting. At least today they won’t have to pretend to be chipper.
My name is my mission.
My silhouette a cry for those that will wail under the dome of my eyes.
And my message is clear:
come to me when you are aching
and I will listen.
I will always listen.
It’s Always Cthulhu, Isn’t It?
I just wanted a goddamn sandwich.
A sandwich with chipotle mayo, pepper jack cheese, honey roasted turkey, sliced tomatoes from my mother-in-law's garden (bless that woman), and spinach because I'm healthy this month. You take that monster of beauty, lovingly tucked between two slices of multigrain bread, and gently glide it onto your stovetop grill. Toast until the cheese drips then sizzles onto the metal. Carefully take it off the heat. The cheese should have melted between all the layers, it should keep your creation together, but be careful anyway. Then use the knife you spread the mayo with and slice that sandwich into two perfectly imperfect halves. Eat hot.
Every day at 1pm I close my work laptop and make it.
Then that day happened.
I closed my laptop. I stood up from my chair and stretched. The PJ bottoms I wear with my professional button down rose up as I reached up and exposed my ankles to the cold apartment. After adjusting the heater, I threw a robe on and began preparations for the best 30 minutes of my work day.
My manager was being more unreasonable than usual, and more than one coworker had let me down. Something that never lets me down? My sandwich.
I yell at my wife in the other room.
"Do you want lunch? I'm making my sandwich special."
"Not right now sweetie." She always says that.
Then I take out the bread, the tomato, the cheese, the turkey, the spinach, and the chipotle mayo.
My knife was next to my plate. My current podcast "Welcome to Nightvale" played in my earphones (episode 157). I picked up the chipotle mayo.
I opened the lid.
A tentacle blacker than that paint all the artists were on about last year slithered out of my jar, wrapped around my torso, and yanked me in.
After a harrowing journey through a hellscape of Lovecraftian horror, during which I made peace with being a flea in a galaxy of giants, I finally slipped back into Clthullu's nest and found the portal it accidentally pulled me through. With a pop like a balloon I appeared in my kitchen. I stood over an open jar of chipotle mayo sitting neatly on the linoleum floor. Adrenaline racing I screwed the lid back on and left the jar on the countertop next to the tomatoes and cheese and meat. I left the kitchen, sat at my desk, and starred at the room around me. It was unchanged. In the months I'd been away, only 26 minutes had passed at home.
My clothes were rags and anywhere I wasn't bruised I was scrapped. A crude sword I carved from the bones of a titan was still tied to my side.
I leapt up to see her. To hug her. Then I sat down. How was I going to explain this to her?
And I still wanted my sandwich. Maybe I would piece together my story while waiting for the cheese to melt, I thought, but when I walked into the kitchen I saw that jar, that evil orange jar, and turned around and returned to my desk.
"Hey sweetie!" My wife called. It was the first time I'd heard her voice in so long. I let the sweetness of it calm me from my moment of mayo induced fear. Would I ever be able to make my sandwich special again? "I think I actually will have some lunch today." I could hear her walking to the kitchen. I froze. "You make that really great sandwich..." Oh no. "With chipotle mayo, right? Oh, it's right here."
I heard a pop like a balloon. I heard the jar and the lid drop to the floor of my kitchen and I heard the absence of my wife.
After that I took a shower.
I packed a bag.
Then I opened that jar of spicy mayo.
Hide and Seek
"Are you playing hide and seek?"
The humanoid figure hiding in the shadows jumped, then turned to face the little girl in her pink dress. "No."
"Can I play?"
"No. Go away, kid."
"You don't look busy. You look like you're hiding in a corner."
"I'm not. My foot is stuck."
"Do you want help? I can go get--"
"No!" The mysterious figure nearly pops out of hiding, lunging towards the child, before they catch themself.
The girl's eyes glazed over, and her lower lip began to tremble. Very quietly, she said "Oh."
"Sorry," the figure said gruffly, retreating back into their corner.
The stranger visibly softened. "You were right. I am hiding."
The girl's transformation was immediate. "Why? For how long? From who?"
"Proper grammar. You should say from whom."
"You didn't answer my question," said the little girl petulantly. She very nearly stomped her foot on the ground, then remembered that only babies have temper tantrums. She settled for a seething glare, directed at the hazy figure in the shadows.
"I haven't had time to answer your torrential downpour of questions. Psst--" Hearing someone's approach, the little girl ducked into the same small alcove as the unidentified stranger. They let out a soft "oof" as the child's elbow catches their ribs, but otherwise remain perfectly still.
A woman's strident voice slowly grew loud enough for the hidden pair to catch identifiable words. "So then I told him, 'She's no good for you!' "
"Is that right?" a second voice replied.
"Mmhm. I looked him straight in the eye, and I told him--"
The other woman gasped. "You didn't."
The first voice cackled gaily. "I did! I told him that his lazy, no-good, harlot of a wife didn't hold a candle to me."
The second woman nearly fell over in excitement. "What did he say?"
The little girl craned her neck to try and catch the last of the conversation, but they were already too far away to hear. "Are you hiding from them?"
"No. Would you move? You're crushing my-- ow! -- spleen. Thanks."
The little girl climbed out of their hiding spot, brushed herself off, then solemnly proclaimed: "You have a spider on your head." The figure uttered a muffled shriek, then flailed briefly, batting at the air. The little girl watched, giggling. "I lied. You're funny. Whom are you hiding from?"
The stranger brushed themself off, attempting to reassert their dignity. "Now it should be who."
"That doesn't make sense," the little girl whined.
"Neither does your persistence."
"You're mean. I'm gonna go tell my daddy about y--"
The figure stopped the child mid-sentence with a hand clamped over her mouth and a harsh whisper. "Wait! I'm sorry."
Muffled by the hand, the girl asked, "You are?"
"Yes. Please don't tell anyone, but I'm looking for someone."
"Promise you won't laugh?"
"Nope. But I won't tell on you. I'm a good secret keeper. I haven't told anyone that Mummy likes the gardener, or that they..." The girl trailed off, perhaps realizing that she'd just negated her own point. The stranger, slightly better lit now that they were halfway in the hallway but still completely unremarkable, blinked twice in surprise before remembering their objective.
"Fine. I'll tell you. But you can't tell anyone." The little girl nodded frantically. The stranger leans in close to the child, whispering loudly in her ear, "I'm looking for my pet frog."
The girl giggles. "I won't tell. What's his name?"
"His name is, um... Frog. Can you go outside to look for him?"
"Okay, but didn't you already look there?"
"He hops really quickly, and he likes the outdoors. Please? If you find him, then we can play hide and seek." The girl quite literally started vibrating with excitement at the prospect, entirely forgetting the improbability of finding a small pet frog in the middle of three acres of forest.
"Yes. But you have to find him in the next seven minutes, or the deal's off."
When the last of the little girl's footsteps had pattered away into silence, the unremarkable stranger turned back to the wall, set a timer, and walked casually down the hall. They left through the front door with three minutes to spare, whistling a melancholy tune.
His eyelids fluttered. Grains of sand blanketed his eyelashes; scraping his eyes as he strained to pry them open. His vision was blurred, and a coursing pain rang through his head. A wavy sea of umber surrounded him.
He blinked with the force of a baby’s grasp. He squeezed his eyes shut, then open again. His vision cleared only a moment before the haze returned. His chest was heavy, and a searing pain traveled down his neck and into his back.
He coughed an aching, dry cough. One cough, and sand traveled from his throat down into his lungs. He gasped for air, making his first attempt to raise his hand to his chest. A dizzy spell came over him. He tried to raise his arm again, but the might of soiled earth weighed him down.
In a moment of clarity, he realized he was in the desert. Buried in the sand, packed tightly around him, up to his neck. Trapped in a body cast of soiled, brown, desert clay and to his dismay, it was nearly nightfall.
A storm roared above his head and lightening flashed across the bronze sky. Squinting his eyes with tensity, he struggled to see what was ahead of him, but his blurry vision returned. Sand danced and wailed around him as a wall of billowing dust, miles into the atmosphere, approached.
His eyes widened. The majestic, menacing force of nature hurled toward him. In a blink, the sun lost its bout to darkness and disappeared beneath the mountains.
The ominous cloud of sand barreled closer, and a flash of lightening illuminated it, in one last dance across the horizon. He closed his eyes and braced himself for what was to come. Would he be buried beneath it, or would he survive?
Thank you all for coming to this. I know my childhood would have loved to have all you here. Now this is very emotional for me, so if I start crying I am sorry.
"But mother, I dont want to grow up!" Well, I did. My name is Tosie, and I was very close with my childhood. It was a happy childhood, filled with siblings, friends, and the taste of playdough and crayons. My childhood always lit up the room, was generous to a fault, and would do anything for anyone. It was an inspiration to all. Although I may not understand why it had to go, I will always treasure the impact it had on my life. It will be sorely missed. Rest in peace.
We good? Yeah? Ima go adopt a puppy and buy dry ice now. Wait I have to work today? That seems fitting, actually.
Theres a hole in my chest
Where you would fit in
If I could find you
Maybe I'd feel whole
Have I met you before?
Will I meet you soon?
Will I ever meet you?
Have I missed my chance?
I see your reflection next to mine
But when I look
No one is there
Am I going crazy?
Cause I need you
And I dont even know
Who you are