In My Eyes, She Was Love
I listened in peace,
To muffled whispers of dreams.
I was with her then.
I detached, dreamless,
In her palm, I rest my head,
With her, I am still.
I grow to her size,
My thoughts, hers, in parallel,
I grow to her age,
I miss her more now
More than imaginable,
More than she could dream.
I listen with love now,
I rest my head on soft, cold pillow,
Now, I am still.
The Little Red Car
My dad used to take me to an Italian restaurant every Saturday.
Our routine was always the same. He would be tired from work, but he'd still wake me up early. He'd let me dress in whatever I liked, whether it be my worn out Princess Jasmine costume and slippers, or the atrocious acid yellow-green gecko shirt he bought especially for me. We'd be off for the day soon after that.
Back then my hair was long and curly, blond locks wisping around me. I was small, barely even at his knee height. My hands were enveloped in his.
We always went to go get our food first. We ate at a small, local restaurant. He'd always buy me pasta with cream sauce. I was a slow eater back then, who took big bites but never chewed or swallowed, but he didn't mind at all. We'd chat and spend our time together, and on my way out the host would place a small sweet in my hands.
He'd take my hand when we left, and he'd start to guide me home. We'd pass by clothing and shoe stores on our way, and with my puppy eyes I was able to beg him into buying me another pair of something I had too much of. When we'd leave the store, I'd look back with wide eyes and whisper to him that something was staring at me strangely.
It was always a red car. A red car with squinted headlights and a grill that grinned with such ferocity. At my height I could barely see past the face that grimaced in such a way, it scared me. When he looked over, he saw what I saw. He leaned into me to whisper.
"Doesn't it look fierce?"
I always nodded to that. He'd pretend to be scared with me, we talked about how it could follow us. When I got too scared I'd tug on his hand, pulling my arm and telling him we'd have to run, or we'd be eaten by the little red machine. I was first to sprint ahead, going as fast as my little legs could take me. He was always on beat with me, matching my pace and holding my hand.
After this I was less scared of the expressions on cars, but I never told him that. I'd always tug my arm anyways and tell him to run with me. With him I didn't feel scared. I kept this up for the next few Saturday's we went out. Sometimes I did it more than once, just for the thrill of running away with him.
One day he was more tired than usual. I pulled my hand away and he let go. I ran as far as my little legs could take me, but he wasn't there. When I looked back, he was still standing there. The red car was still there too.
After that I didn't run away anymore. That was one of the last times we did those outings when I was young.
From time to time we go out nowadays. I don't eat as slow anymore, but I don't like pasta. We go to new places, but I still beg to go into the different stores. We walk side by side with each other, in taller shoes I match his height. My hands are just as big as his now.
I don't pretend to be scared in front of him anymore. I don't run away, or fear how big the world feels around me.
Despite this, every time we go out, I always keep an eye on the roads.
I always make sure to look out for the little red car.
I Found Her Decayed.
She had to pass
Pouring beautiful breath,
To titan arum
(just writing this note to fill the word count, but also to add that I loved this challenge! everyone's entries are so intriguing - also, i completely thought titan arum would be like a pretty poppy but nope! it really lives up to the titan part of its name haha)
I’ve always hated the smell of blood. 100 years of being dead hasn’t changed that.
I stand in front of the door, preparing myself for whatever scene I’d be getting myself into. After a moment, I push the door open. It's heavy and opens slowly, but when I walk into the room, the stench hits my nose, hard and fast. I would gag if I could.
It all smells rancid. The alcohol, the dirty scum that's built up on the off-white tiling. It's not much worse than what deathbeds I had arranged before, but it's not glamorous either.
I stand still, bracing myself for the disgusting scene I was stuck in. A dirty bathroom in a dirty bar wouldn’t be the ideal place to die, but after this long on the job, I couldn’t be bothered to set up anything better.
I step forward. Apart from my clipped steps, the only sounds that rang through the room were the lights buzzing as they flickered and this awful gagging sound. I keep walking to the end of the room, all the way to the last stall.
I knock on the door gently. My knuckles rap against it 3 times. I let the sound ring through the room. An awful groaning sound comes from inside the stall. I take that as my cue to enter.
I push on the door.
He looks disgusting.
The victim looks up slowly, his hands twitching slightly as he takes me in.
“Do you mind?” he slurs, choking on his own saliva.
The smell was bad enough but god, the sight of him was even worse.
“Get out” he groans. Sick spills down his face and dribbles into his beard. His hair is knotted and covered in his own bodily fluids and sweaty pit-stains cover his shirt. “Get out” he retches as he swats at my legs, slowly and disorientedly.
I take no notice, and I keep watching him. It's pathetic really. Had I not taken the time to see my victim the previous night, I would have never recognised him. This stupid, drunken and rancid mess of a human was of somewhat entertainment to other people of this decade. I can’t see why he was revered as any “king” of any sort.
His music was bad enough, but this display of inhumanity was worse.
He keeps getting sick as he leans over the toilet, letting it spill all over him and the ground as he slumps over. The vomit is clear, pure alcohol spilling everywhere.
I don’t know why I bother coming to these jobs early anymore. My shift is almost over anyways, it shouldn’t matter at this stage.
“You’re dead,” I say.
His head turns towards me. The more I look at him, the more I want to quicken his death. Not out of pity, but out of sheer disgust.
The eyes that were previously glazed over hardened for a moment after registering my words. He looked me up and down with this sneer. Ironically he looked more repulsed at my presence than the situation he was in.
“Piss off” he spits, spraying dirt all over my leg. I stay silent for a moment, holding my tongue.
After a moment of deliberation, I kneel to meet his level.
“You were dead the moment you thought of taking the pills” he groans hearing this, covering his ears and letting his body fall to the floor.
He doesn't register the feeling of broken glass hitting his side, or the sound of the pills scattering all over the floor.
“You are dead” I repeat. His eyes are starting to twitch and roll back. “You’re not real,” he mutters, curling into a ball. “You’re not real” he whispers as glass crunches into his side.
I say nothing in return. I watch him as he convulses and twitches in a pile of his own bodily fluids. Whether or not he thinks I’m real doesn’t matter.
I stay standing as he slowly stops twitching and turns into a comatose mess. I stare at the body for a moment and then cross my hands across my body in a small prayer. That was the most dignity I’d give him during his passing.
I keep watching his body to check when it would be safe to collect the soul. Although this wasn’t the most glamorous end to my job, when I take his life, his spirit, my shift would be over.
It was about time that I clock out.