The Devil of the Damned
Amber’s knees buckled and sank to the ground as she tried to take a step forward. She leaned ahead, in an attempt to get up, but her body felt heavy and she fell back on her knees.
“How long, Mama?” she asked, her voice weak, barely audible. Carrie pulled her arm, picking her up and steadying her back onto her legs without an answer. The world is never on a pause for the poor. A world devoid of love. But how could she explain it to the four year old? Little Betty lay on her shoulder, her tiny arms wrapped around her neck. Her baby eyes had a shade of beige, matching her little dress smeared with grime, made from a burlap sack. Amber wore the same, just a bit bigger. Her cheeks were flushed, her eyes drained. Hungry and homeless. Starvation, the cruelest curse to be bestowed on mortal souls. The devil of the damned.
“Mama, where are we going?” Amber asked, her hands cupped on her calves, as if it could help lessen the pain. The ruffling winds waved the tree branches, as if welcoming the nocturnal ghosts that roamed in the darkest of nights. The sky was cloudy, pitch black, not a petty star on sight. Carrie shifted Betty to her other shoulder, brushing aside her tangled hair that battled with the furious wind. Her head was constantly turning left and right, trying to catch the sight of something. Just something.
The gale gave out a savage roar, as if it held the reins of a thousand monsters. Her fast feet came to a halt as the sound of a banging wooden plank caught her ears. Faded words of “For Sale” were marked on it as it hung, tied onto a doorknob, mutedly begging for new owners. For once, Carrie stood there, her eyes fixed on the jilted room built of grey-weathered logs. A saviour from the eerie night. Her face showed no emotion as she said without meeting their eyes, “Welcome home, kids.”
The old latch, probably rusted in time, crumbled to fine orange-brown dust as she worked on the knob. Her jaw tightened as she pushed the door gently inwards. It made a peculiar creaking noise, revealing a small room with ivory walls. Hairy crab-like spiders spun around the walls in circles, while some rested comfortably on their perfectly knitted beds of spidroin. There was a brown upholstered couch torn in pieces as if a clowder of cats scratched it from one end to another in a moment of utter rage. A pink curtain, worn out by age, loosely fluttered towards the direction of the wind. Behind the room was a three faced attachment of what seemed like a cubicle. A little room under a flat roof, with a cabin attached. A luxury.
Amber and Betty lay on the couch, running their hands on it's soft brown covers. Carrie used her right arm to brush off the spiderwebs, while the left rested under her nose, guarding her from the choking dust. Her bronze hair was messy and unkempt, but they didn't seem to bother her. Putting it up in a tight bun, she massaged her wrinkled brow with her fingers, hoping they would suppress the headache. Her eyes wandered curiously to study the little cubicle that stretched behind. The walls were decrepit with cracks running down to the grounds. Carrie traced the lines with her finger and rubbed off the dust with her thumb. In a flash, within the bat of an eye, loud screams from Amber and Betty echoed, forcing her to run back to the room instantly.
She dashed to the other side, stopping abruptly to find a gigantic rat sitting on the couch between the two girls. It stared at her for a moment, locking it's basalt eyes with her dark golden ones, then scurried tout de suite between her legs and out the room.
“Oh Mama!” cried Amber jumping out of the couch eventually, putting her arms around Carrie. Little Betty, though her legs failed to support her, crawled on her shapeless knees, trying in vain to get hold of her mother's dirt smudged hem.
“Mama’s here, Mama’s here,” she said, her arms girdled around their waists, holding them close, wrapping them in a tight hug. She patted Amber, drawing circles on her back. Should I really do this? She asked herself twice and the thought of it made her stomach churn. Her chapped lips pressed into a thin line as she slackened her clasp. Hunger began to gnaw her bones and her stomach rumbled like an angry wild dog.
“Where are you going, Mama?” Amber cried, clutching her mother's hand, their fragile fingers entwined. Carrie rubbed her tears with the back of her fist and kneeled down to her height.
“Mama will be right back,” she said, cupping her hands over Amber’s shoulders, “Promise.” She rubbed her little nose with her own forcing a smile on her face. A babbling Betty made sounds of demurral as Carrie made her way out of the room. Amber crouched and stared silently at the damp ivory walls. It looked as if the walls held a mysterious malady within. The air had a scent of decay. The place, a sick innuendo. She just didn't like it.
Carrie didn’t make the slightest of noises as she sidled cautiously near the corner of the cubicle. It sat scooched, fat and fubsy, it’s broad silken spine turned to her, nibbling onto some chunk of food. A short glance of it made it seem like a giant cotton ball of shining black. Oh, even Betty seemed dwarfed!
Carrie rolled up her sleeves and stuck out her tongue. Taking a step back, she ran forward on a wee sprint and vaulted straight on the rat. Her fingers slid through it's heaven-spun coat of fur, one hand struggling to shut it’s muzzle. The rat tried to free itself from her grasp, letting involuntary yelps, shuddering the girls next door.
“Nice to meet you Mr. Rat,” she muttered under her breath, “How about being our ratatouille?” Her hands worked on it’s neck, pressing it’s nose button against the ground, choking it to death. The rat squeaked, turning it’s body over and cocked it’s head, biting Carrie’s first three fingers. Her hands rose up to her face impulsively as she covered her mouth to stifle a shriek. Instantly, the rodent sprang to it’s feet and scampered adeptly into the hole that led to it’s mysterious world underneath. Sucking her bleeding fingers, she turned to catch it’s long pink stippled tail with her other hand, but the rat had escaped already. Her brow burned as she pulled a long deep breath, sending oxygen to her muscles. She rolled into a ball, her bony shoulders heaving as she sobbed silently, striking her forehead and cursing under her clenched teeth.
“Do you have any mercy at all?” she asked, her fingers twisted, staring at the tiled roof. Through the cracked glass skylight, she saw a tiny star rise up in the dreamy curls of the graphite black skies. Just a dainty dot, yet so lucent. The petty light it produced, unveiled the darkness near the hole where the rat had convulsed into. Carrie tilted her head, running her tongue on the cracks of her lips when something caught her eye.
A partly nibbled nugget of fresh cheese lay near it’s edge, shaking doubtfully, whether or not to fall into the hole. A small tear trickled down her sick purple socket and a leaden smile spread on her face as she inched forward to pick it up.
“Oh, thank you, Mr. Rat,” she said, scratching her head, her eyes fixed upon the cheese nugget. Another star rose up near it. Another little dot. Another little glimmer. A glimmer of hope.
The Thoughts (Unasked for) of this Writer
It doesn’t flow as it should
When it should
It is my driving force
My energizing force
Writing just doesn’t run
As it should and could
Without brilliant ideas
But writing also can’t run
When the soul is drying from within
As mine once was
The state that a writer should be
The state that makes me...me
At my desk and my place
To fill the screen, the pages
Returning once more,
To leave my mark on the world
And on this form of art.
Pen to the Paper 13: Season One Finale
(Spread the word! Tell your friends! I want this to be the biggest one yet! And thanks in advance for participating!)
“And what is this suit supposed to add to tonight?” Nick asked.
“What? You don’t like it?” I asked, slowly spinning in a circle.
“No, no. It’s great. I was just wondering, you know?”
Nick checked his watch. “I think you have to go soon. Start things up.”
“Yeah, you’re probably right. And the answer is pizazz’”
“You don’t seriously plan to make that entrance, do you?”
“Nick, Nick, Nick… of course I do!” I said, bolting out of the trailer and rushing to my starting position, Nick trailing me closely, yelling.
“Get back here! Don’t you dare do it!” he yelled, nearly catching me with a dive towards my legs. I jumped over his arms just before they wrapped around my ankles and kept going.
Exasperated, he gave up and watched as I climbed the ladder speedily. I had been planning this entrance since Pen to the Paper 10… and now was my time to shine!
Reaching the top, I looked down from my platform high above the audience who were sitting Indian style in the middle of a large field. A small, wooden platform that I built myself sat in the middle of them. I was going to be making an entrance right in the center of the entire crowd. The center of attention--literally. Just like I hated.
Taking a deep breath, I spread my wings wide as fireworks blasted up from the stage. A smoke bomb went off on stage, hiding the entire thing.
I dove from my stand, wind catching beneath my arms. I steered towards the rapidly dissipating smoke, soaring through it and just over the heads of the audience. Some screamed, others ooo’ed, but most just stared in astonishment as I flew over their heads.
Doing a backflip mid-air, I headed back towards the stage. Landing on the stage, I stumbled, nearly falling over before stopping. “Hah! Hahah! I did it! I didn’t die and I’m uninjured!” Composing myself, I stood up straighter, flattened the feathers on my suit, tightened my tie, and shook my feather wings that were attached to my sleeves straight.
My suit was the greatest. It was made entirely from white feathers, with wings skillfully made to hang discreetly from my arms. I wore a red shirt underneath it with a pink tie that really just brought everything together.
Nick made a big deal about it, in fact I almost thought it was ridiculous like he poorly tried to hide. But, dang, I pull it off. No giggles, no laughs--just pure astonishment. Probably more so at my stunt than my suit, but still. It was like I was showing off the latest fashion--but it was actually good and not something ridiculous like a garbage bag.
“If you were wondering what I did with admission costs,” I said, “it’s for stupid stuff like this.”
More fireworks went off. A little delayed as they were supposed to go off when I landed, but better late than never.
“Welcome to Pen to the Paper 13! Can you believe it? Next month is a new year! A new season! This is the season one finale of Pen to the Paper!” I exclaimed.
The audience, finally breaking away from their astonishment, cheered loudly.
I took a deep breath, slowly spinning on stage, just taking everything in. “Beautiful,” I said. “Almost makes me want to cry.
“Don’t you worry. I didn’t get this suit made for a two-minute show. You’ll be seeing more of this next week. Have a blast! I look forward to reading the entries to the season finale!”
When The Right Write Is Writ
Ranble I will with words far and near,
setting the tone, page by page,
stopping long enough
to enjoy a glass of beer.
Late into the night,
phalanges do fly,
clacking away at letters,
getting each word right.
a never-ending process,
until finished, it looks like a mess.
Hour upon hour,
day after day,
a paragraph here,
a chapter there.
Days, weeks, even months
travel past my thoughts,
until that singular moment rises up,
and the write has been writ.
No one else may know but you,
that giddy feeling that crawls through your being,
knowing you have reached deep down
and pulled from your soul ... pefection as you see it.
They now sit on a shelf awaiting you to read.
I think another beer is in order.
down in my heart (where?)
the flowers in a limitless forest
scented sweet and sunshiney i
swear they smiled at me
he sent me flowers and it meant ‘i love you’
i wake up and breathe in this
beautiful taste of living and
laughing that swirls in my chest
hes the air that i breathe and it whispers ‘i love you’
its morning and the light curls
down the window’s glass it
reaches like hands soft and warm
he calls me his light and it feels like ‘i love you’
when night falls and hope is lost
i make a promise in the dark
of all that i am, i am his
i speak it, and its not just ‘i love you’
its that i would know him
without words or sound
without a touch, without sight- i
would know him blind or from a
million miles down and at the worlds
end, he is all that i know i’d give all
that i own and carry him in my fingertips
the ends of my hair and the core of my heart
high and tell the world
his name and the way he is enough, is enough, is enough
and with his hands outreaching, who
else could ever hold my heart, this
was all that home means and it means
that ill never know what it is
to go unloved because the door is open
and so are his arms and ill never be the same
since knowing that his name is Jesus and
it means ‘i love you’
Universe in Whole
Footsteps in the hold
All I’m waiting for
Is for you to come home
You're the only one in my sky
My tiny shoes sit by the door and man oh man I can't wait to play
But I'll wait for you to come back home from a long day
I can't wait to hold you tight and take your tiredness away
You're my Satellite
we don't always get it right
But take your time
I'll be here waiting on the ground
waiting for you to come back down
You won't be lost, I won't let you float away
I'll hold your big hand to make sure you stay
It's ok we don't have to play today
I just want my satellite to be okay
Hello Fellow Human!
The feeling of being noticed is one of the best I have ever felt.
I learned last night that one of my good friends asked me to Homecoming because he knew I had never gone to a school dance and figured that I should have the chance.
Lets just say that I havent stopped smiling since I heard that.
At that dance so many people saw me and said, "ROSEMARY!!!!" Then gave me a huge hug. I was honestly surprised at the amount of people that were so happy to see me.
Me. Little ol' me.
Nerdy, geeky, quiet me.
I think going to that dance last night gave me the closure I needed to finally feel like I am done with High School. I felt distanced from everyone the whole dance. I felt less inhibited, more free then I did while in school.
I dont really know quite where I'm going with this.
Maybe I'm trying to tell people to notice others. Say hi to the shy kid in the halls. Smile at your coworkers. Leave a nice note for the postman.
In a world where you can be anything, be kind.
Or maybe Im trying to say that school dances aren't the yick of all grossness, like I always assumed they were. Don't get me wrong, the music is horrible, but the people are awesome.
Or maybe I'm just trying to make sense of the conflicting emotions in my head.
Or maybe I just want chocolate.
It Is What I Do
For as long as Julie can remember, she has had the ability to understand people, but this is the first person that she cannot understand. This man is just too difficult to understand! What if she is losing her special ability?
Paul snaps his fingers right in front of Julie's face. His green eyes are filled with confusion because of this girl. It is like this woman wants to find a way into his head so that she can predict his thoughts, actions and words. Never in his whole life has he met a person who tried to do this. For him, people are not always predictable. So, why is this girl so set on predicting everyone?
"Please do not snap your fingers in my face." The black-haired girl frowns.
"You seemed to be busy drifting away from the present. Should I have left you to disappear into the dark depths of your mind?"
"Dark depths? I do not have 'dark depths' in my mind." Her voice is filled with irritation.
"Everyone has them. You might not deem them dark, or perhaps you have not discovered them yet."
Julie stares at him for a while before turning away and marching over to the snack table that is at the other side of the room.
Once there, she searches for a treat to help her calm down.
"You irritating, different man!" She whispers while grabbing a chocolate cupcake from a plate.
Julie swings around and stares at the handsome man in front of her.
"I... Oh, I was just... No one." She replies.
"Well, if he is no one, then he should not fill your thoughts." The man smiles.
Taking a bite of the cupcake, Julie thinks for a while before nodding in agreement.
"I am Ron." The man introduces himself and holds out his hand.
"Nice to meet you, Ron. I am Julie."
The first hour of the morning comes and passes, but none of the twenty-year-olds have decided to go to bed.
In a corner, Paul watches everything closely. Two men have slipped out for the third time since midnight to go and smoke; the group of young women are still giggling and whispering at the snack table; the band is playing yet another 80's song; and the girl from earlier, Julie, is still dancing with the same guy, Ron.
Looking away from the two who are dancing, he watches the lonely woman that gave him so much information of quite a couple of people that are present here at the party. Since she gave him information about an hour ago, the woman has been sitting next to the stage and listening to the band.
An idea enters Paul's mind, and he starts walking over to the woman. Though she is not very attractive, she could help him eavesdrop on Julie and Ron.
Having reached the woman, Paul holds out his hand as an invitation to dance.
The woman smiles gratefully and puts her hand in his.
Paul leads her as close as possible to Julie and Ron before turning to her. While dancing, Paul tries to hear what the couple next to them are saying.
"...I like that too." Julie smiles. "In addition to that, I really enjoy watching cooking shows."
Paul shifts the woman in his arms and takes out a small book as unnoticeably as possible.
"What are you doing?" His dance partner asks in a whisper.
"I am trying to create a profile for each of these two people." Paul gestures with his pencil to the couple.
"It is what I do."
I’m at a loss
A loss for
All of the above.
I don’t know why it is this way
I don’t know why it gets so hard
Just to put Thoughts to Words
Words to Pen
Pen to Paper
I scavenge my mind for anything to grab onto
From a field of millions and millions of flowers
All poisonous, but few
And to carry on?
I just snatch