I don’t know what it is, but it’s black, and it’s filling him up. And if I could I would pull it from his body. If I could I would eat it as my last meal. And I fly to him just to try. I hold his hand and hope that my pressure and my voice can drown the darkness. I hope I can pull the damned thing from him and swallow it myself. Snuff me out but please don’t take him. I supplicate as though I could coerce my light to fill him and banish what has taken him over. His words come as lilting breaths. Something just short of a whisper, yet still carrying his cadence. And he wants to leave. But I cannot let him. And I hold onto him, though he assures me I must let go. I must let go, though I crave to carry his contagion. His contagion, my very own albatross. And as the shadows overwhelm him, ragged and shallow breaths struggle to sustain him. But it is only a murky twilight leading into the complete void of midnight. And I don’t know the last time my eyes were dry, but I know it was dark just before. I know I held his hand, and the blackened disease circled our wrists. And that darkness never left him. It consumed me, but it somehow never left him. And I don’t know how, but it took him instead of me. And here I am. And everything is black.
sitting in a coffeehouse
the tantalizing aroma of fresh coffee will taunt her as she writes on a napkin
hair in bun
a cup of coffee
an ordinary joe
sees gloom, in her storytelling eyes
how to make conversation?
"I like your blues eyes."
jelly toast and dark roast
buttered uttered balladry poesy
toothsome breakfast words
friendly sips of fervor
in the form of precipitation perspiration
she's a teacup girl, you can hold her eggshell ego in your palm
she's laughter, guffaw and raw
she's cute, twee and sweet
she's every ability capable of catastrophe jealousy jalousie jade
she can be a tectonic plate girl
a train wreck looking for equanimity tranquility
she wears berry juice as makeup
the sun is her alarm
the birds are her wake-up call
Bathtub Gin .....
she listens to the clock go tick tock
and her hands get all clammy;
and her palms are soaked;
it's as if she's holding the ocean in her hands
she gets palpitations
and she knows it's time
she quietly creeps down the creaky old stairs
and saunters down the dark corridor
she wiggles the handle on the bathroom door
it groans open
she walks to the bathtub
and kneels down
she brings her hands together
and bows her head
she begins to pray to God,
the mighty man living above
she begins to plead
she tells him how sorry she is for sinning
she tells him how sorry she is for making her mom cry, last night, because of the hateful words she said
but her mother doesn't know how hard it is to make your voice sound soft when there's a fire burning your esophagus with hellish words of sin
she's never pleaded to God in her life, because she never really believed, but tonight was different
she felt as if there was a voice inside of her telling her to let everything everything out and not keep everything bottled up inside
she took all of her clothes off,
if she was going to be naked with God about herself
about what she's done
why not be naked, completely?
after another hour or two of confessions
she decided NOW is the time, the time to end everything, the time to end what she was becoming
she filled the bathtub to the rim
she stood there for a moment
and watched her reflection twinkle
and for a moment the water seemed as if it were a sheet of glass
she stepped into it, one step at a time
and, finally, sat down
she closed her eyes and thought long and hard about her decision
this caused the veins on her forehead to pop out in anger
she plugged her nose
and slid down far enough into the water to cover her whole body, completely
this was the end
in the moment of her last thought, she told everyone she loved them
and in the morning they can take a taste of her because she'll no longer be a person, she'll now be bathtub soup called bathtub gin .....
slipped from my lips.
Then one became
One fateful night led us to a family of ten.
It's the words that go unsaid,
That ring louder in my head!!
All I Wanted
A shaky breath escapes my lips that are drenched in sweat. We've been standing face to face for an uninterrupted minute. Your eyes haven't blinked. Mine can't stop. When I followed you home from the metro station that first night...I never thought it would come to this. But you were so interesting, and I couldn't stop thinking about you. The way your skirt swayed just below your bottom. The way your heels clicked against the concrete. The way you waved, smiled, and said 'hello' when you saw me.
"Tell me why you're here." You say desperately. I flinch because you'll never understand. I see you in a halo of light that descends from heaven. You are my angel.
"To see you." I manage to whisper between gulps of air. The gun that you are holding to my head shifts when I speak.
"Why haven't you left me alone?" You ask and I want to laugh. You'll never understand.
"I had to do something to get your attention." I say. My eyes move to the broken glass of your front door. How had things gotten so out of hand? All I'd needed was to see you, to touch you. The gun doesn't move from my head and your face doesn't soften when I try my explanation.
"I don't even know who you are!" You say louder now, and I cringe hoping no one can hear on the street.
"No," I admit, "But I know you." It's true I had watched you after that day at the metro station. For weeks after that I had seen where you lived, where you worked, who you got coffee with on the weekends. You wore that skirt three more times, and I had salivated each time I saw you in it.
"You won't get away with this." Your voice sounds as shaky as mine, "Stop following me." I whimper as you press the gun harder against my temple. I can't stop following you. It's an obsession now. I have to see you.
"Please." Is all I can manage to say. My hand leaves me side to grasp your other arm, but the movement startles you, and I never get the chance to feel your sweet skin on mine.
There was a butterfly.
On the tip or your nose,
I think, or perhaps it was simply in your eye,
Lashes fluttering as wings,
Whooshing breeze into my smile,
and there was a butterfly.
There was a butterfly,
Standing, waiting, on the tip of your finger,
or perhaps that was my skin.
I begin, to feel better.
There was a butterfly.
There was a butterfly,
I saw it in your teardrops,
flying past in the sodden breeze.
You cried but smiled,
and your light touch was in my hand.
There was a butterfly.
There was a butterfly.
I say was,
because butterflies do not believe in permanence.
Butterflies are free, you were always a creature of the world,
and even the leverage in my tree-like limbs could not hold you back,
and I remember,
that there was a butterfly.
is no different from my reality,
I am strong.
I do not always speak,
but when I do
the words are
but expressive, and genuine, and me.
is no different from my dream,
Friday Feature: @DavidMark
What’s that you say? It’s Friday? Yes, it is, and we know exactly what you want. What you NEED, in fact. You need to see into the life of another much loved and valued Proser, don't you? Well, your wait is over as we head over to sunny Europe and meet a smashing chap that goes by the username of @DavidMark
P: What is your given name and your Proser username?
D: I was Christened David Reginald Mark Rea. My friends call me 'Reg'. On Prose I use DavidMark.
P: Where do you live?
D: In Alicante, Spain.
P: What is your occupation?
D: Journalist and writer.
P: What is your relationship with writing and how has it evolved?
D: I started out working on a daily newspaper in Northern Ireland in the 70s after leaving High School. After that I worked for various organisations including the BBC, a leading Brussels based Economic think tank and the European Commission. I'm currently spokesperson for a large EU agency dealing with Intellectual Property issues. So, I think you could say that I've done most kinds of journalism and technical writing jobs, across newspapers, radio, television and the Internet and covering everything from factual content to public relations, or more broadly communications. I also write for fun, mainly publishing on Prose.
P: What value does reading add to both your personal and professional life.
D: At school I concentrated on science subjects from age 16 because I found the English and History classes really boring. In my spare time I was reading everything I could lay my hands on, so I don't think it was the subjects that bored me, it was just the torturous process of education. The first 'adult' book I can remember reading was my grandparents' copy of Tarzan of the Apes when I was 8. That was the start of a life-long love of fantasy and science fiction. However my reading is very eclectic, crossing science, history and philosophy. I also have read widely in philosophy and economics and have degrees in both subjects, studied part-time with the wonderful Open University and a college in Belfast.
P: Can you describe your current literary ventures and what can we look forward to in future posts?
D: Writing a book has been an on-off project for many years so I will probably be adding a few tombstones to that particular graveyard of abandoned hope. I'm afraid I just don't seem to be able to keep on track without a proper deadline. Most likely I will continue sharing my whimsical viewpoint on diverse subjects, through micro fiction and short poems as the fancy takes me.
P: What do you love about TheProse.com?
D: I never wrote any poetry before coming across Prose but I was encouraged to give it a go and I found it quite liberating. As a professional writer you are quite exposed to criticism so you have to do without much encouragement apart from the regular pay checks. It is quite nice to write for yourself and a few friends who are neither being paid to write or paid to read. So what if you fire a few blanks? Who cares? There's always tomorrow. And, of course, you get to write what you want. I find Prose to be a very friendly, safe, unjudgemental environment that allows me to stretch my wings and experiment. It allows me to scratch an itch I didn't realise was there.
P: Is there one book that you would recommend everybody should read before they die?
D: Can't really give a definitive answer to that one. Monogomy is not a concept that applies well to reading. For SF and fantasy almost anything by Roger Zelazny. For historical fiction Patrick O'Brien, for romance, Jane Austen, for Kafkaesque, Franz Kafka is quite good. Currently reading The Star King by Jack Vance whose weird visions of distorted human societies have been tickling my funny bone for going on too many years to tell. I have left out so many favourite writers and all time favourite books that I'd better stop before I get dizzy and have to lie down and fondle a first edition.
P: Do you have an unsung hero who got you into reading and/or writing?
D: The unsung hero in my case was the person who left books lying around. They kind of came with the house. My best guess is my paternal grandmother who I hardly knew. I have ruled out the other suspects, and as Holmes says, once you have eliminated the impossible, what remains, however unlikely, must be the solution.
P: Describe yourself in three words!
D: Not done yet.
P: Is there one quote, from a writer or otherwise, that sums you up?
D: John Maynard Keynes: When my information changes, I alter my conclusions. What do you do, sir?
P: Favourite music to write and/or read to?
D: I don't read or write to music. I find it rather distracting. I liked John Lennon better than the Beatles, once had all the Led Zeppelin albums, but secretly preferred Joni Mitchell. Live music attracts me more than recorded and I will listen to just about anything with soul.
P: You climb out of a time machine into a dystopian future with no books. What do you tell them?
D: 'If only we could travel back in time...Wait, we can! Bye.'
P: Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you/your work/social media accounts?
D: Nope. I would just reiterate what it says on my profile: 'it's not all about me'. It's not all true either.
your own heart,
or better still,
pen or quill,
the writer's art
some words to
your own will.
See, I'm delirious.
It's probably contagious.
Wowzers. What a great interview with @DavidMark. If you don’t already do so, please interact with him, follow him and read his splendid words here on Prose.
If you, or anyone you know wants to get involved with a future Friday Feature, then please get in touch on email@example.com and we’ll send you questions and add you to the wordy queue.