The Summer of Love
He crawled beneath his bed sheet, pulling his shirt by the hem, trying in vain to wake him up.
“Oh, come on, Charlie, it’s just eight! Let me sleep, will you?” Abel yawned, pushing him to the floor as he struggled to jump back in.
“But it’s summer! Why would anyone be staying indoors today?” Charlie murmured softly, his words barely perceptible, almost like the susurration of a river. A busy golden bumblebee made its way out through the window, humming a song she just composed. A little grin curved on his jowls as he vaulted out through the open window, following her, trying to catch her with his hands. His legs raced on the turf, running in big circles, going round and round the house. He rolled down the steep side of the greensward, his creamy hair that glowed golden with every brush of the wind, clogging with dirt, covering it with a shade of tortilla brown. His body finally came to a halt, his sandpaper tongue almost dripping, gasping for breath. He lolled on the ground, winking his big brown eyes, wider than a baby’s, glowing like amethysts, at the lambent sun, stretching his hands forward and shaking his body altogether. His ears were busy listening to the young bees that buzzed in circles, darting through the summer air. His hands caressed the sharp ends of the newly trimmed grass that shimmered in the sunlight and slid inside to touch their velvety softness. Oh, how long had he been waiting for this season to come! New flowers, new birds, long walks, no snow. His favourite part of the year.
A flock of new birds flew past the clouds, moving as a group, leaderless, drawing jaunty hues in the growing white canvas, tinting the skies with a shade of cerulean blue, leaving tracks like a child’s oblique curve joined by dots in a coordinate paper. A jocund bullfinch, capped with dreamy black feathers and brilliant orange plume that sang of the hues of newborn petals of beautiful mid-spring garden pansies, alighted upon one of Abel’s trees. He held his head high, his basalt eyes, only the size of mustard seeds, fixed upon the tree next. Charlie’s eyebrows twitched from one side to the other, his eyes blinking through the tousled strands of caramel hair, trying to focus on the little bird.
“That’s not his favourite tree…” Charlie said silently, in a language only he could understand. He tried to cup his hands like Abel would and stared into the other tree which held a continuous layer of thick foliage. Nestled in it was a tiny white-cheeked bullfinch, probably migrated, brooming her feathers with her little grey beak.
“I see, new girl!” laughed Charlie, his lips parting with an impish smile, revealing his incredibly white teeth, punctuated with abnormally pointed canines. He licked his lips, making visible the threads of saliva that fell in spurts on the turf. The little man gave a sharp subtle call, just two syllables, enough to catch her attention “Pyo!” She turned her head instantly, yearning to find the whistle’s source until her shiny black eyes locked with his basalt grey ones. He paused a minute to scan her from head to toe, sending a tingle traveling up her spine. He then improvised a deep song, his voice as sweet as a new blossom, quiet and soothing with a descending series of notes, repeated at intervals; a song which no magical flute can ever produce.
The bird spread her little wings, beating them gently like a tender sea wave and reached the tree to listen to her Peter oh-so-mysterious Pan. She hopped over the summer foliage, drawing herself closer to him. With that tight smile plastered on his face, Charlie knew what would happen next, but he gave no purchase for withdrawing his gaze.
“Charlie!” A cross voice came out of the swaying trees. He raised his eyebrows in pure surprise to hear the bird address him.
“Alright, alright,” he said, turning his back to the tree. But his ears stood straight, ready to wiretap their conversation. Rolling his eyes, the bullfinch let out a little sigh. He smirked a little with his beak, for a lopsided grin to take shape.
“Is that Talia going there?” he asked, his voice booming. Charlie’s ears pricked straight up at the mention of her name. His tail, rather than doing the usual side-by-side wag stood straight for a second, all his hair standing on the ends. Then he cocked his head and let out his signature chirping-bark. In one swift jump he leaped over the five-foot fence, his tongue and tail moving in uniform choreography. His tail, oh you should have seen his squishy tail, going crazy, moving in all directions man ever found. Scattered layers of golden strands lay on the grass as he left. How much his eyes craved to see the young spaniel whose brindled coat curled around her pink collar every time she walked! Ha, there it goes! Strolling over the stoic meadow, nuzzling inside the verdant verdure, soaked in the summer air, whistling all the way it goes—love. Something I’ll never be able to figure out.
So, ya wanna know how to get to Fred Simpson's place, is that right? Well, young fella, it's simple. Just take Main Street south outta town fer about three miles. You'll find yerself riding a road after a bit that is a tad bumpy in places with some up and downs in the road while drivin'. After a bit, you'll come up on a buncha ferns on the left side of the road, that'll tell ya yer headin' in the right direction still.
Keep on drivin' until ya get to the fork in the road, and do me a favor and pick it up cause I dropped it there a few days ago.
Ya keep goin' on and when you see an old white fence on yer right, ya turn onto the next dirt road and that'll take ya to Clem Pickens place. You'll know it sure as I'm breathin' since Clem is the only one there and he's usually fishin' in the pond behind his cabin.
Anyways, when ya get there, just ask Clem where Fred's place is, cause honestly mister, I don't know a Fred Simpson.
It's never easy to say goodbye,
be it in a relationship or a soul in the shadow of the sky.
You think back to when days were fun,
When the length of the day didn't matter because your heart was filled with sun.
You ask yourself was there something else you could have said.
To change the situation and bring them back from dread.
But No, it doesn't matter what way it went.
You saw all you were supposed to see and all of the time allowed was spent.
It's picking up and moving on that seems the hardest to do.
When you loved someone as much as they loved you.
"I kicked myself in the head when I tried to do a front flip," he explained to me, rubbing his temple with one hand. I believe he stopped his game and ran over just to tell me that. Sometimes I wonder why they bother telling you about the idiotic things they do.
"Well, that was dumb."
"Yeah." He smiled. "But it was fun."
I mean, really.
I don't know who told them that clasping someone round the legs and ramming your head into the backs of their knees and sitting on their chest and rolling over and over with them until you're breathless and muddy and your hair sticks on end is a game, or what keeps them intact when they've been kicked and shoved and crushed and sat upon a million times, or why they continue trying to impress when no one's watching.
I wonder how their energy never runs out and their minds never tire and they manage to put all their effort into the silliest, least important things, like front flips and back flips and kick flips and whatever other kinds of flips there are, and I think it's funny how they style their hair and stop smiling for photographs like they did when they were six years old, but on occasion forget they are men and skip around and scream like little girls and excuse their faults with, "Aw, come on, we're just kids!"
I find it curious how they run about the place and stand on their heads and pretend they're chickens or chimpanzees and put dirt down one another's collars and trip one another over as a means of amusement and repeat everything they hear twice as loudly
and collect sticks
and throw sticks
and break sticks
and fall over sticks
and hit each other with sticks
and hit sticks with other sticks
And don't care a tad that you're watching in bewilderment, but you do them a simple favour and they thank you as though it's the most difficult thing in the world, summoning all manly courage from their toes, which prove to be particularly intriguing at such times.
Can anyone tell me what makes them unashamed nuts one moment and awkward little gentlemen the next?
The sixth grader with long curls and arrogant eyes pranced around me with taunts of, "You're too slow!" as, worn out and close to dropping dead with the exhaustion of playing his game, I tried my best to catch him.
"You're too fast," I gasped.
"I'm not too fast," he said, then added in a self satisfied murmur, "Only the fastest kid in school. Anyway, this game is boring."
Next time I saw him he approached me shyly and asked, "Helena - are you going to play tag again today?"
I mean, really.
The frigid wind whipped the snow into my face. I trudged through the knee deep snow, trying to find shelter. A shed, a lean-to, anything. My boots had filled with snow, wetting my feet. My pants were covered in snow, from top to bottom. The rest of me must have looked like a snow-woman.
I gasped for breath, the biting wind seemed to suck all the air away from me. I finally stopped, my fingers were numb with cold. I brought them up to my mouth and blew, trying to warm them.
I squinted searching for a light or sheltered area. Something yellow glimmered faintly in the distance. “A-A light?” I gasped.
New energy coursed through my veins, I started running towards the light. It seemed further with every step I took, yet I pressed on. After what seemed like an hour I reached the light. A small cabin stood bravely in the swirling snowstorm.
I felt along the strong, log wall and found my way to the door. I brought my cold, numb hands to the door and pounded with all my strength. “Open up!” I called. “Please!” I hit the door harder. “Please.” I rasped.
The door opened and I fell into the cabin. Snow came falling inside with me. A tall figure stood over me, my vision blurred as I tried to take in my surroundings. “Well, well, look what the storm blew in.” A male voice chuckled.
Strong arms pulled me out of the entry and further into the cabin. The door shut with a hard smack and I laid panting on the floor. My vision was still blurry and dark spots danced in every direction.
I glanced around trying to take in my surroundings. Strong, yet gentle hands pressed me back down. I blinked, trying to study the stranger in front of me, but the room dizzied around and everything slipped into a black hole.
* * *
Warmth seeped into my bones. A blanket was wrapped around my shoulders. “Where am I?” I murmured, my eyes flickered open.
“In my cabin.” Someone chuckled.
I looked at who the voice came from. A middle-aged man sat across from me. “Who are you?” I asked.
“More like, who are you?” He stood and crossed his arms. “You’re the one who came here, invading my peaceful home.”
“I-I’m sorry..” I stammered, before realizing he was being sarcastic. I pulled the blanket closer and blushed.
“Here.” He handed me a mug.
I took it and slowly drank the warm hot cocoa. It felt warm and soothing as it slipped down my throat. “What’s your name?” I asked, after placing the mug down.
“Adriel.” He replied. “You must be Esmerelda, right?
“Yeah... I’m Esmerelda..” I slowly answered. Something about Adriel made me slightly uncomfortable. Perhaps it was his piercing green eyes that studied my every move.
“Well, welcome to my lovely cabin, Esmerelda.” He smirked.
I slowly stood. “Thanks..” My heart jumped when I realized what made me uncomfortable. It was his familiarity with me; his way of talking as if he knew me my whole life.
I stumbled backwards, as the realization hit me. “Y-you a-already know me.” I stammered.
A small smile crept across his lips. “I make sure I know everyone who passes by my cabin.” He leaned back. “Unfortunately, no one really stays. You’re my first real house guest.”
A feeling of dread gripped my heart. “What do you want with me?”
He leaned forward, his eyes stared right into mine, freezing my next move. “I have no intention of harming you in any way nor touching you. I will not do anything to you,” He promised, then continued, “Yet, my reason for having you stay here, is for me to know, and you to find out.” His words snapped like the crackling fire.
Used to Believe
It was long ago
Feels like yesterday
It all fell apart
At the end of May
I wish I knew then
That life would turn
So dark and searing
Here I sit and burn
I used to believe
In miracles and more
In people and faith
Now I just shut the door
There's too much pain
Too much hurt and lying
I don't want to feel
Don't want to be crying
This is where faith brought me
Where goodwill and laughter
Decided I should be
A crumbling, breaking daughter
This is me; broken and cleft open
Sliced from skin to bone
Relieved of my throne
My crown, my pride, my life
My laughter, my smiles, my heart
They all died and were taken from me
Driven away in a strong, enclosed cart
I used to believe...
No use anymore
Pen to the Paper 14
The crowd stood around a big white sheet held up by cranes. ‘Big’ and ‘white’ are understatements. The sheet was massive.
“Is this the right place?” someone asked.
“I mean, this is the place--well, was the place--we met last time,” another replied. You know Caleb, he probably has something big planned.”
“I will admit, the new parking lot was a nice touch,” called another. "Maybe he wants us to go under it,” he said, walking forward. As soon as he reached the sheet and began to lift it up, he was shocked. Literally.
Everyone gasped, and a few rushed forward to help him up.
Over a loudspeaker, my voice said, “No touchy-touchy!”
The crowd cheered. Finally! The person they were here for was talking to them! This was it. It was going to happen!
“Ladies and gentlefish!” I called at long last. “I now present to you… Pen to the Paper Arena!”
The curtains dropped and the stadium came into full view.
“Isn’t she magnificent? This is all because of you guys! And I thank you for it! Pen to the Paper 14, the season two premiere is open now! And I am waiting in the entrance if you want a tour. Have fun!”
Pickles, Perfection, and Other Such Ramblings
I'm not really a fan of pickles. I loved them when I was little though. I would get a little bowl full of them and eat them plain, then drink the juice. I don't really like them now though. I'm not sure why. Maybe its how the texture is weird.
I'm very much a texture person. I hate casserole because its a bunch of things cooked together, but I love taco salad because I can put whatever I want in it. I hate salad dressing on my salad because it makes everything so slimy. I hate mashed potatoes because its all smooth and way too mushy. I used to hate pudding, but then I learned to like it.
My mom regularly gets mad at me for not liking food. She will make something for dinner and then get mad because I wont eat it. I've shed many tears over the fact that I can't do what she wants me to do. I can't eat that food. Sometimes it makes me gag when I try to force myself to eat foods I don't like.
I try though. I try so hard to be what my mom wants me to be, wants me to do.
But I physically can't
I've learned that I can't do it, and my mom has learned that she can't force me. She can't guilt trip me. She can't make me eat what I don't want to eat.
Now I love my mom and she loves me. She only wants me to be a well rounded individual, and to survive till the next day. She just wants me to eat food.
We have reached a truce. She says that my 18th birthday present (in a couple months) will be that she no longer forces me to eat food. I promised to keep trying foods.
And I do! I just ate a whole bowl of soup, which I hate. And I liked it! At least the flavor, the texture was still horrible.
The moral of the story is, if you ever meet me on the street, don't invite me to a restaurant that only sells pickles.
victim of conquest
heart impaled the shrikes are screaming
as if the agony is supposed to mean something
more than misery
as if mounting my soul on a pike is meant to
make me fit in just right.
blending into this cacophony of society i must
destroy that soft part of me.
where it's pulse doesn't match my step anymore
because it's dead, forevermore.
a sacrifice rotting in the sun - melting, decaying
and at last it is done.
dripping rot into the earth i emerge hungry
the shrikes have picked clean all that i used to be
so i walk away.
there is nothing left for me in this place.
Often I live a life of otherness. Each thought, fleeting. Each choice, brand new. I am dancing poorly and alone in our kitchen. Space 101: Northwest Music Radio. Holding an unread, paperback Dharma Bums in a right hand,
I think of dipping instead the skin of it into the coffee's boiling water. Just to see something. Books and people say they do shocking things just to feel something but I know better. They do it to see something.
See if they can, see if they mean it. Mean something, mean anything. I wrap my hand around the hot mug instead and hold it there. A dampened alternative that shouts into a hollow stump, "You never meant it!"
She comes in, giggling at the sight of me. Goggles hiding my eyes, boxers hiding my scars. Lounged about our kitchen stool in the dark, holding barefoot my mug. She kisses my nose and leaves me there.
I ponder this, if only for a moment. Predictably fleeting. I wonder if she is okay. When I kiss her I often miss her lips for it is teeth she truly bares.