Tag Archives: writing

Lover in the Painting

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Lover in the Painting

She looked at me when I stroked her hair in perfect brown oil. She was beautiful, curvaceous with lips like apples. A small dip of my brush gave her legs longer than the days I’d spent dreaming of her. The corner of her right eye was smudged slightly in the one place I’d lost my focus for just a moment. It was in that small moment I’d lost myself in the joyous expression nestled in her soft brown eyes. She was perfect.

Her lips began to part as if to say something to me. My heart nearly sputtered out of my chest, my breath caught in my throat at the beauty of her hesitation. The ballerina cradled her reddening face in two small hands.

She reached a slender finger away from her face and towards my brush which hovered just on her hairline. I was unprepared for her girlish smile when she tapped a fingertip to the hairs on the brush. Had I heard her laugh, I may have tried to fall into the easel to be with her. A gentle stroke gave her flowing chocolate hair in a precarious bun atop her face heart shaped face. Curious, she followed each line as I made it, her cheeks ablaze and her smile deepening. Her eyes flitted to the other blank canvases behind me. She galloped away.

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I ran to her side, following her chasses and turns in awe. She flitted from easel to easel with grace swaying her arms about. I ran to her stumbling over wooden stools and old paints to see where she may have gone next. I found her hiding in the easels just above my window, the sun bathing her in morning light I hadn’t even noticed until now. Just a wink and she flitted off to my sketchbooks. The pages came to life, flipping one after another as she danced across them. Her laugh was infectious. She galloped with ease and jumped from sheet to sheet.

She paused suddenly and turned her brown pools and rosy cheeks to meet my gaze. I hadn’t noticed until this very moment I had been holding my breath. She reached out a delicate hand to me. My quaking fingers inched towards the paper, yearning for a small touch. I found myself in the notebook at her side, my hands reduced to ticks of charcoal strokes. She placed her hand in mine and together, we ran from page to page, canvas to canvas, nearly missing the water spots ahead of us where earlier I’d become frustrated with my work.. We danced- or rather, she danced circling around me in giddy turns and strides. But she found her home in her easel. My work was completed and it was time to part ways. All too soon I found myself on the outside of her world, always looking in and longing for her love. I was shut out, trying to tap fingertips of canvas to feel her joy once more. She was all oils and paper again, leaving a melancholy ache in my chest. But her smile always reminded me of what I had. I always had her. Always had the dancer in the painting. My lover in the painting.  

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The Robbery

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The Robbery

I’m not sorry. That’s what I’ll tell the overworked police officer when he shows me the evidence he has on me after this.

I’m not sorry. That’s what I’ll tell the judge when he tries to lock me away for the crime of wanting what’s rightfully mine.

No, I’m not sorry.

I’d like to say I was anxious for what was to come, but my nerves were steely, my hands stone steady inside my black leather gloves. Given the circumstances, you’d believe I was a hardened criminal without a trace of humanity in my body. Maybe the second part of that impression was accurate but I was not a criminal- unless, of course, you count the social rap sheet I sported. In my life I had the audacity of being born poor and healthily melanated. To add insult to injury, I had an extra X chromosome and a human oven between my legs. All injection worthy offenses.

I wasn’t the only one with a hefty record, though. I was part of a team who’d banded together specifically for this night. If one of us was going to commit the perfect crime, she’d need the perfect accomplices.

Red One, who sat in the passenger’s seat reapplying her foundation, was born with parents who were only visitors here. They nearly gave her the chair for that offense. Red Two, polishing her aluminum bat in the back seat, made friends with the wrong people. Johnny and Jack were always there to show her a good time but weren’t too kind to her when she’d resurfaced from her blackouts and found she’d lost her home. To her left was Rookie who liked to dabble in games where she could play with her own team. She hadn’t been caught yet, but soon enough the closet she lived in would get a little too small. She’d be sentenced to life for that one.

No, none of us was sorry.

Can you blame us for pulling up to the curb at 3am, waiting to act on the small window of opportunity? One that we groomed each other to seize? All that was left now was to play the waiting game.

Wait. Start the car and bring it to a low rumble. Low beams on. Wait. Turn on the radio.

That’s not for you…

Turn the dial

Isn’t that a little ambitious…

Turn the dial.

That’s unrealistic…

Turn the dial yet again

You’re not talented enough for that…

Every station plays the same song.

Cut the music.

We had a few stops to make tonight and this was the very last one. We’d run up on our self-doubt, invaded the home of our fears and dumped them in the trunk of our beat up self-esteem issues. We’d dump the car later. It was only extra baggage.

I heard her short breaths behind my neck. Rookie was nervous. This was her first time and like any first-timer, she brought her self doubt along without taking the slugger to his temple like I’d told her. Said she didn’t have the stomach.

Rookie mistake.

Wait. Spot check exit points. Polish aluminum bat. Reapply foundation. Wait.

See, the rookie’s self-doubt didn’t go quietly. From the trunk, it sent muffled whispers in loving insults disguised as “mother”, “lover”, and “friend”. Poor girl was shaking in the back seat, making a habit of wiping her upper lip and brow every few seconds. But she told me she was ready and I wanted to believe her. She’d have to get herself together soon. It was time.

The plan was simple:

Set timer to two minutes. Cut engine. Mask on.

We sauntered our way to the massive double doors. Bats in hand, we were unbothered by robust chains on the handles. If we wanted opportunity, or any resource for that matter, we’d have to fight for it and keep a slow swagger in our steps as we showed up to claim it. One swing for practice and another to break the windows. We were a force as our army blazed the lobby. The faces of our hostages all looked the same, frozen in an expression of collective disgust and offense. Good. Stay mad.

No security or weapon could take us out as we stormed across the marble floors towards the safe. The funny thing about having such a notorious social rap sheet is that it basically makes you bulletproof. We quickened our pace, sprinting full speed towards the steel safe.

Only 45 seconds left on the timer. No more waiting. Black bag in hand.

We filled up the black bag with all it could carry. Rookie finally found her stride, slinging a black bag over her shoulder. Brute force seemed to be the only option against us, but a bat to the face can slow just about anyone down.

30 seconds left.

Make a quick escape out the back door.

Flip the pages and run my hands along the binding. Freedom in a leather hardback.

Forget Me Not

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Forget Me Not

Trust the process. It only works if you allow it to. Trust the process, and the pain you feel now will be a distant memory. Trust the process. Adam had to keep reminding himself that beyond the automated doors in front of him, there was a chance he’d get to be normal. He couldn’t help but fidget with the clear band around his wrist with his name in bright holographic letters. He’d given every dime to his name and waited his turn on the ever expanding wait list for this. Tomorrow, he would be Sgt Harfield and the memory he held so close would disappear.Trust the process, he thought.

The blinking LED screen warned him he had less than 5 minutes before his appointment. He’d only heard rumors about the process and very few people who experienced it ever spoke of it again. Adam wanted to worry about the repercussions of his his mind kept picking at the same scar he’d gone into poverty trying to heal.

“Mr. Harfield?” he looked up at the attendant, a bit disgruntled.

“Ma’am,” he said

“I will see you now.”

He took a deep breath and rose to his feet. The bouncing  red ringlets springing up and down the attendant’s back kept his senses occupied as the two passed a  narrow passageway. At the end of the hall was a small room spilling over its brim in white lights. The space was only occupied by an all white recliner chair and a small table with a glass of cobalt blue liquid.

The nausea rolled through his stomach as Adam recognized the glass. Those brave enough to speak of the procedure always mentioned the blue glass that changed everything for them.

“Please have a seat,” the attendant said, forcing Adam to pry his stare away from the crisp glass. He sank into the frigid board of a chair he was given and awaited instructions. After a few moments of scribbling notes in her clipboard, the attendant spoke.

“My name is Penelope. I am version 9.2 of the NXJ android model and I am here to transition you through the process as efficiently as possible.” Adam blinked rapidly. He’d heard stories from his great grandfather about these beings and all of his great war stories defeating them, but he’d never come across one in his life.

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“The process,” she continued, “ lasts approximately 45 seconds and is 9 times safer than automobile travel, 11 times safer than most dental procedures and almost as safe as conventional oven use.” The droid paused, smiling at him with a blank expression in her eyes as if waiting for something.

Adam let out a sharp breath behind his half smile.

“That’s very funny ma’am,” he managed.

I guess they added a humor feature to make her seem more human- IT more human, he corrected, internally hating himself for the slip.

Penelope  reached over to his wrist and took his vitals.

“Are you certain you would like to continue?” He’d heard the questions before. At each stage of the procedure you had the option to change your mind. Adam clenched his jaw and responded, “ Yes, Ma’am”

“Vitals are within the normal anxiety level for specimen.” Penelope stuck two small patches to his temples. “We will proceed to phase one on the procedure. Please consume the liquid,” she gestured to the glass. Adam hesitated but took the icy drink in his hands. It tasted like nothing going down his throat and he felt no different afterwards.

“The following procedure,” the droid continued, “ will delete all emotional attachment to the selected memory. As previously discussed, 3 emotionally charged memories will also be extracted from the specimen to reach optimal psychological, emotional, and neurological equilibrium.”

“Yes Ma’am. I’ve given this a lot of thought and I think I know which ones I am willing to trade.”

The fine white skin of her forehead wrinkled.

“Confusion detected. The memories extracted are not the choice of the specimen, rather a choice of the algorithm. The algorithm programmed will select the memories to be extracted as it’s design is flawless, its coding unmatched by any technology in the field. After this point, all decisions will be made final and the procedure will begin. Do you wish to continue?”

Adam went stiff in his chair, his heart began to race deep beneath his ribs. Without any permission of his consciousness, his eyes gravitated to the glass on his left.. The beads of sweat across his brow rolled in cool strokes down his temples. His limbs went limp with the weight a a freight train. A flood of images overwhelmed him. Every Christmas and New Years in his memory raced past his very eyes. He thought of his very first time going hunting with his father and how excited he was to finally be old enough to tag along. He could see every trip to the valleys his family took every year. The meeting of his wife…. The green blouse she wore on their first date at the ice rink wrapped itself over her milky skin. Her wine red curls lost themselves in the silk fabric…. The birth of his daughter…. Every gap-toothed giggle… every swear word uttered behind the pout of her pink mouth.. Every breath…. Every counted breath….

“Stress levels above normal,” Penelope said, somewhere distant from Adam. “Do you wish to proceed?”

Adam had made his choice.

For All the Fat Girls

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For All the Fat Girls

This one’s for the fat girls…
For the girls, like me, who have had people poke their nose on our plates. This is for all the girls who’ve had people judge our lives like we put out an ad on craigslist for a second opinion. This one’s for the girls who would rather chew glass than go shopping because of how hard to find something that actually fits. I’m talking about the 38 DD and bigger, size 16 and sexy club. I’m calling out to all my “smile politely and endure unsolicited dietary advice from a stranger” fat girls. That’s right! It’s a roll call for all the stretch marks and cellulite fat girls. The not so tiny tummy and thunder thigh fat girls.
This is for all the ones who, like me, have heard all the criticism before- in both whispers behind our backs and  in front of people we know. I’m speaking up for all the “try to take a joke as your grandma critiques your weight at Christmas dinner” fat girls and the “get asked condescending questions when you eat” fat girls.
Because, you see, I’m no average fat girl. This fat girl has an answer for all of those pressing questions.
Question:“Isn’t that a lot of food to be eating?”

Answer: Isn’t that a lot of your business you should be minding?

Question: I’m worried you’ll catch diabetes

Answer: You should be worried about catching these hands

Question:“How does sex even work with you?”

Answer: Ask your man if you need a road map.

See I’m different breed of fat girl. I’m the “put you in our place” type of fat girl. I’m a “take no shit” kind of fat girl. Just ask the poor turd who tried to Snapchat me eating while he and his girlfriend laughed at me. Poor thing didn’t have a drop of color in his face or a pea shaped ball in his sack when I got in his face. That’s right, I’m standing up for ALL the fat girls. The “put a pillow on my lap when I sit down” fat girls, the “I love this game but won’t play” fat girls, the “take a selfie from the neck up” fat girls, the “you’re cute for a big girl” fat girls and especially the invisible “who’s your friend?” fat girls. I have been all of these fat girls at one point in my life. I was even the “don’t eat in public” fat girl once.
This one’s for my fat girls who know what it’s like to be insulted with “tough love”. With the rising epidemic or heart disease and diabetes, you can’t blame people for wanting to help. But let me tell you why the “tough love “ act does more harm than good. Loving your body is a journey. For all my depressed fat girls and my genetically predisposed fat girls you know what I mean. Don’t you think we’ve tried the low carb diet? The Zone diet? The south beach diet? The “it’s all about self control” diet? The not eating after 7 diet? The only eating fruit diet? The eating absolutely nothing diet? The eating everything in sight then throwing it all up diet? Believe me, we’ve tried. The one underlying factor in each of these is self-loathing and trust me, we don’t need anyone’s help to get more of that. This one’s for my insecure fat girls, who have been yo-yo dieting since the age of twelve. I’m the type of fat girl that will eat my Lorenzo’s extra cheese slice with a classy finger in the air for anyone with even a breath to say about it. This is a call to action! II want every fat girl to be:
The “turn heads when I walk” fat girl
The “I’m not pretty for a big girl, I’m pretty period!” fat girl
The “vivacious and lively” fat girl
The happy fat girl
The unapologetic fat girl.
Love yourself enough to be happy. Love yourself enough to be healthy. Most importantly, love yourself no matter what anyone says. I’ve learned this in a very hard way. It’s why I will forever be proud to be a fat girl. A curvy, thick, slick- mouthed fat girl.

Anybody wanna buy a heart?

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Anybody wanna buy a heart?

She passed the fragrant smells of cheap perfumes and diamond dreams. The thrifters and salesmen of the market buzzed past her in negotiations as she neared the dingy wooden table in the corner of the booth. She padded the footsteps that wheezed out of her scuffed shoes, black bag in hand filled to the brim with hope that this would be the week she would sell her most valued possession. The usual pleasantries were exchanged between her and her neighboring stands. The conversation kept closely to the topic of weather and avoided the obvious darkening rims under the two chestnut traitors spilling over her fears down her face. She is patient. She has no more fear of the hours soon to stretch past her. Her frail hands reach into her black bag with barely enough strength to lift the glass jar out of it. She’s given up trying to display her possessions as her fingers, with nails chewed to the bed, had no strength to wrap around the lid. Her stone body sat still, head hanging low as she was unwilling to watch the hands one after another pass her by.

Closed fists with knuckles white from their turn in the jar, squeezing, bruising, crushing, bleeding her dry.

The few hands that took pity and pried her open only left but few cents behind for all her troubles. At first the hands were generous, leaving one or two gold coins. Eventually, the bruises blackened her only good to offer and copper coins rang against the wooden table much more often.

Who would want something so bruised? Who would want her damage?

She snatched her heart in a jar off the wooden table, clutching it close to her chest. This was hers. Bruised and beaten as it was, her heart would no longer be subject to the buyers negotiations. If nobody wanted to buy a heart, it would no longer be for sale.

She couldn’t take anymore and was near her emotional end when he walked up to her table.  He tilted his head for a moment, eyes locked on her face. Reaching deep in his pockets, the stranger left all the gold he had. His eyes flooded with hope, but her fingers clutched her jar close. She stared back with her chin pointed forward and her arms clutching the jar. Her eyes were steely, her mouth set in a hard line. He frantically checked every pocket and crevice, his eyes mouth twisted downward, and cheeks flushed. A pocketful of lint, two more coins and a rubber band later, he’d met his wits end with a sigh. Shoulders slumped, he reached into his black bag to pull out a jar with a heart inside the size of a dying rose petal. Blackened, and in shards, the barely beating heart was bloodless with promises bought but never received.  He left the jar on the table and began to walk away.

She stood, hesitant at first but presented him with her jar.

“Wanna buy a heart?”

Who can blame Irma….

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Who can blame Irma….

The funny thing about Florida is that it only really has two settings when it comes to whether: Hell hot or hurricane. Today seems to be masterful combination of the two as we await for Irma’s arrival. Kind of makes you long for the old Florida before the madness. Just a few days ago, there was no breeze but plenty of sunlight- sunlight that would gladly remind you that nothing is safe from the 90 degree heat. The air is humid, moist and a bit hard to breathe. It makes you feel like you’re finally suracing from deep under water, only to shut you down and sink you five feet further. Florida. A place where it rains on one side of the road and not the other, where it pours for literally 5 minutes then blesses you with sunshine for the rest of the day. What a bitch. She makes you think she’s doing you a favor by giving you sunshine, but really it’s a cruel way to heat the air she has already moistened and made difficult to inhale. What a bitch. Maybe I’m a pessimist who doesn’t like sunshine or flowers. Actually, I am in fact a pessimist who hates sunshine and flowers. But before you gather the mob and pitchforks allow me to explain. I didn’t want to be here. Ever. Florida seems to have an alluring nature about it that never quite appealed to me. Most will ignore the flying roaches, mother nature’s mood swings and the bloodsuckers with wings in favor of Disneyland and vacation homes. Let us just ignore the fact that Disney is overrrated and unnecessarily expensive and that the US’s largest pedophile population resides in the sunshine state.

These things aside, truly the weather only bothers me for one particular reason. It is too personal. Even mother nature weeps violently in the summer months, tries her hardest to cover her sorrows in sunshine. She licks her wounds in glowing light to compensate for her human moments. She only makes things so much worse.  In her Fall months she whips and howls along the coasts and warm waters of the ocean. Destruction and terror are her only path as she hides her pain. She is ripped of her resources, leaving scars in her body only to continue to care for her abusers. She is left bled dry with gashes on her skin. It sounds too familiar… maybe I’m just overthingking things. I suppose I cannot blame Mother Nature for her cries. Maybe we’re too much of the same. What a bitch.

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No More Prey

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No More Prey

Sometimes…. I just want to be like you

I long to be like you

Unbothered with the burden of breathing

Unbothered by the effort of living

I long to be like you.

I long to escape my own mind.

I long for the silence normality would bring me, sweet solace in the emptiness of emotion

I long to break the cold embrace my thoughts constrict me in

I long the luxury of keeping you at bay so this monster is unable to wrap you in its terror

All i want is for you not to see and for me not to live it

I could scream and claw myself away from the tundra, breaking fingernails to crawl out of my own skin

I long the sanity of the sleeping of my demons, may they rest eternally

I long for the darkness to be gone, for my mind to remain strong

For the deepest corners of my mind to empty out its horrors so I may be at peace

I long the warmth of happiness effortlessly felt

For dreams of candy sunsets and nightmares chased away

I long for no one to be wrapped in the siren of my sorrows as they rip from themselves away from us

And I…. Only I remain it’s humble prey.

 

Haven Says: Safe Sex, Paychecks

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Haven Says: Safe Sex, Paychecks

When you’re a twenty something year old woman, the world has a funny way of telling you what the next step in your life should be. It seems that your sexuality is always up for a new marketing strategy. Can you be kind of slutty if I have an education? Is it more acceptable to wear fishnets if you have a law degree? Should you be very conservative and avoid scandal altogether? No. Don’t think too hard. Just stay pretty and let the experts tell you how you can be desirable.

A room full of eager faced interns, ready to make a good first impression on the boss await anxiously in a conference room. You stand naked on the massive table waiting for what is next to come. You find yourself surrounded by faces named “mom”, “teacher”, “pastor”, and “friend”. A stout oversized man walks through the door, cigar in hand and a mean mug on. You’re the product. You are only valuable if others think you are. So what’s the tagline? What’s the slogan that will attach the most amount of value on you as a woman?

  • “Modest in life makes a good wife!”

What genius! Because clearly if you practice modesty you’re aiming to be a good wife one day. The correlation is undeniable. Let us ignore your own ability to choose. Not to mention that if you’re not modest, you don’t care about your husband. Noted.

  • “Sex for him, at his whim”

Another strike of societal genius. Alas, there is a strict guideline to establishing your value, and sexual deviance is not allowed. It is imperative to your value that you only practice acceptable forms of sex in a relationship or in marriage. Your own sexual drive or urge is nonexistent and only exists if “he” wants it. It must ALWAYS exist if “he” wants it. Let’s disregard that he too has self-autonomy and doesn’t always want it. It is vital that no one find out you are following this rule. Keep a pretty face in public and give all you can. What he wants, whenever he wants. Dually noted.

  • “Vanilla givings, happy living””

The golden rule! You are only allowed a small spectrum of acceptable sexual behaviors ONLY within the parameters of a marriage or committed relationship. You are allowed no urges of your own, or plastic/glass friends in your nightstand. You are not allowed to be sexual outside of the predetermined circumstances. Let us once again disregard the magic of becoming your own personal DJ or the curiosity of having “shes” instead of “hes” take the role of the guest star.

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It doesn’t matter that you stand two feet away from them. Your life and future are for sale. You are naked. You are silent. You are completely uninvolved. You must stand still, smile and await judgement. You will not be wanted by the public if I’m not in the right packaging and as long as you do exactly as the slogan says, you are valuable. So you stand silently, awaiting their brilliant marketing expertise on what will make me worthy. As if what you choose to happen between your legs has anything to do with the fact that you are a person worthy of respect. As if the only merit you have is to be seen as desirable. Well here are a few slogans from yours truly.

Haven says:

GREAT SEX AND PAYCHECKS.

CELIBATE AND KILLIN IT

BACK SHOTS AND CASH DROPS

NO SEX AND PROTESTS

AMAZING Os, AND CEOs

It’s amazing that the concept of sexuality as it pertains to you is a conversation that includes so many people. A dialogue when it’s meant to be a monologue. Let’s not be unreasonable. The opinions of others count. They just won’t dictate my life until those opinions pay to keep my lights on.

 

SilverFang Episode 10: Sink or Swim

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SilverFang Episode 10: Sink or Swim

I flailed my arms as the ground quickly approached me. My stomach sank with every inch I drew closer to my death. Instinctively, I shielded my face with my forearms as I awaited impact…

Impact that never came.

Instead, I sliced through the surface of frigid water. My elaborate Solstice shawl cocooned itself around me, weighing me further towards the bottom. The freezing temperature shocked my body into a temporary standstill. I struggled under the pressure of waters so deep, begging my limbs to allow me to swim. I fought my way to the surface, ignoring the numbness running from my fingertips to the rest of my body. I kicked; I flailed; I swam with all my might. Just as I felt I had no breath left in my lungs, my head broke the surface of the waters.

I gasped, grateful for the air entering my lungs. I coughed violently as the water pushed its way out of me. I was so cold and so afraid, all the while confused at my improbable survival. My legs grew weary as they struggled fought the weight of my dress. As I struggled to stay afloat, I saw an edge to the waters just off to my right. Water poured in from aqueducts, creating rushing tides in the massive pool. The last bit of strength my body had pushed me towards the stone edge. My breath was ragged, and my vision was only slightly better than before. I laid my cheek on the cool granite, hugging it closely to my chest as if I would fall of the surface of the earth if I let go. As I looked up, I saw a massive statue of Mother Earth. She was naked and powerful in all of her glory, bent at the waist and weeping as she reached towards the water. I’d fallen into a sacred basin and tainted Her waters with my blood. If the Mother wasn’t watching over me before, she certainly wouldn’t be now.

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I found the feeling in my arms again and pulled myself out of the basin, finally realizing that I had never left the cathedral. The prayers and scriptures were finely etched into the stone walls of the sacred room. The orbs illuminated every corner in their soft yellow light, creating a reverence in the tomb. I didn’t know much about religion, but I’d heard the stories of how the world supposedly had come to be. The Mother mourned as she had lost her only son and cried for seven days , creating an ocean. She rose above her pain and took the salt from her tears to craft a world of new beings she could call her children. Her vulnerability poured from her eyes, flooding the basin in deep waters. Most would find comfort in an all powerful being. But there was no comfort here.

My attackers wouldn’t be far behind me, and I had to make an escape. I knew I wouldn’t be able to get far in my condition; I was running out of options. My immediate reaction was to run in any direction as fast as I could. I dragged my lead body to the grand double doors of the prayer room.

As I touched my fingertips to the cool wood, I realized that I didn’t have the strength to open them; I didn’t have the strength to do anything. The fog in my head was thickening, and I could feel my limbs weighing me down. For the first time tonight, I felt  I might actually die. My hands shook as I fought my body to respond. I was desperate to find strength where there was none to get me through this night. I leaned my back against the stone wall as my legs began to give out from under me. I tilted my head towards the Mother. I had never spoken to her, mostly because I didn’t quite believe she listened, but I was willing to try anything for a miracle.

A pound at the door made me flinch. Sheer panic washed over me. There was nowhere to run. Another brute thud came from the double doors.  I let my fingertips stroke the carved prayers along the stone wall, bracing myself for what was to come. I felt the hum of my magic flicker, and with it came my last bit of strength to fight for my life. I couldn’t be sure how much longer I could hold out, but I had to try. I mustered my last bit of energy and burst into smoke. I could feel the grain of the stone scrape between my cells as I disappeared into the wall. I could only hope I could hide better than I could run.

 

Perfume Sale!

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Perfume Sale!

My pessimism should be extracted, collected and bottled up to be sold to the masses. Honestly, the amount of disdain I had for all of the foolery I put up with in life could have launched an entire fragrance line. It would be sold in major department stores nationwide and the blond lady in an all black power suit would be ecstatic to sell it (just like the employee handbook says). Her plastered smile could nearly shatter her face as she works to earn her commission and entice you to buy.

“Oooo, good choice,” she’ll compliment as you waver your eyes towards a hot pink bottle on the lower shelf. “That one’s a little strong. It’s called ‘Who the hell asked you?’ This one is more appropriate for formal occasions like when someone says what you should do with your body, or when someone is compelled to tell you how to live your life.” She’ll laugh delightedly as she hands you the bottle for a test spray. Then she’ll lead you to the most expensive bottle that has been marked 40% off! She claims it to be her favorite of all!

“You’ll love this fragrance!” she’ll say. “ It’s called “Kiss my Ass”. This is the signature fragrance, made for all occasions.Suitable events include, but are not limited to: When customers at your job treat you like you’re not a person, when you’re bullied because of your looks, being told you’re not good enough, general doubt from your support system, and many more!”

Well Sharon, I think I’ll buy all of the bottles you’ve got. I’ll be very subtle, as I know that a lot of people are off put and often intimidated by such strong fragrances. I’ll start with a base coat of “I love me” and douse myself in a bottle of “Fuck it” just to piss them all off.

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SilverFang Episode 9: The Phantom Pt. 2

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SilverFang Episode 9: The Phantom Pt. 2

My breath was trapped in my throat. I was thankful the agony had ended, but I couldn’t be sure of what would come next from my captors. The side effects of the girl’s torture left me dazed. I peered over to the man approaching, not daring to make eye contact. He was still wearing his masque from the festival. As he removed it, his face held the same ghostly expression. It was as if the life had drained from his face, leaving behind a clenched jaw, broad lips in a tight line, and a haunted expression. I could feel all warmth leave me the moment his winecolored eyes fell on my face. I couldn’t help but feel as though he was looking through me- as if he was doing his best not to rip me apart.

“I don’t foresee anything in our way,” he said to the girl, his eyes locked on me. “We’re clear to move out.” His purple irises dissolved into auburn, and I could feel his once vibrant energy settle into a hum. It was evident by the change in his eye color that he was an oculus- a type of shadow user able to envision the future. If I so much as thought about getting away, he would predict it.

“But we were just about to play,” the girl pouted.

His eyes never left my face. I cowered away from his spiteful stare. “You can do that later.” He sauntered over to her, his gait aggressive as if to size up and intimidate every piece of ground he walked on. I could hear him murmuring to her, surely planning how they would end my life in a painfully slow way. I couldn’t imagine what they wanted from me. The only thing that was certain was that they needed me alive- at least for now.

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My mind struggled to find logic in this situation. The phantom mentioned that they were clear to move out. So we should be leaving here soon, I thought. I couldn’t underestimate their resources. If they were able to stalk and corner me in public, then there was no telling what they could do in private. To no avail, I kept attempting to summon the tingly feeling of my magic. No matter how hard I tried, it was always just out of my reach.

I listened intently for any indication of what they might do to me. They couldn’t get too far with a body; that was for sure. If they were going to move me, they would have to untie me first. I would only have a small window to escape. Even then, I wouldn’t be able to fight them both off. My eyes darted around the room in search of options, ultimately landing my sights on the slate gray floor beneath my feet.

I could hear the heavy footsteps of the man coming towards me. I kept my head low, hoping to make myself small enough to be spared. He stooped down to meet my eyes, his brow furrowed and his face serious. His brute fists carried a delicate flower the color of blueberries.

“This is going to hurt,” he said. He placed his hand over my nose. As I gasped, I could feel the heat in my sinuses. I choked on the burning winter in my senses. A numbness fell over my throat and nose. Before I could scream, I was slumped over in my chair, barely conscious.hydrangea-419061_960_720

The world moved slowly, and through my tunnel vision, I could see his feet walking towards the girl. I couldn’t hear anything except the slowing of my heart rate. My only chance at survival was to listen to my instincts; however, that was proving to be a difficult task. I felt the cotton building along the walls of my head. The effects of the flower were quickly weighing me. I forced my mind to focus on something besides the echoes of their soft voices or the surreal melting of the colors I saw. The phantom reached down to steady my limp body.

The knife… I dragged my eyes away from the spiraling objects in my vision to the breast pocket of his cloak. Wait until she goes for the ropes… My subconscious was much more focused than I was. Grab knife… Sink… Run. My senses were overloaded by the simple act of tapping into my shadow magic. I was tingling all over, but not in the way I needed. My eyes rolled around, trying to steady the spinning room. I had to stay focused.

“Grab… SinkRun…” I murmured to myself. I felt the girl loosen the ropes around my wrists. My arms were too numb to put up a fight; they fell heavily to my sides. I knew this was my chance, but I couldn’t remember why. My mind was in circles trying to remember, and I could feel the warmth of my magic in my belly.  I kept my attention on my arms, trying to make small movements.

“Grab… Sink…” I muttered to myself. The girl seemed concerned over her new toy. The seemed irritated that she would care at all about my well being. I could feel his grip around my torso tense.

“What’s wrong, pretty doll? What do you want to say?” I could feel her cool breath on the nape of my neck.

Through the haze, I could clearly see the dagger shining in his cloak. My adrenaline ran high. The bit of focus I had left allowed me to remember my plan. I wiggled my fingers, testing my motor skills. As she came closer, my body awakened. My vision was steadying, but not by much. This was it.

“Hit?” she misinterpreted.

“Yeah,” my hoarse voice cracked. “You hit like a bitch.” I grabbed for the knife, immediately turning to black smoke. The knife sliced clean through her pretty porcelain skin as I sank through the floor.

Silverfang Episode 8: The Phantom

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Silverfang Episode 8: The Phantom

The dagger was firm in her hand. The girl with the violet eyes squatted down to meet me at eye level.

“Such an interesting little doll you are,” she repeated. Her doll was shifting in appearance. The milky skin melted under her new sun-kissed skin. Her once lilac eyes shifted to a deep auburn, and chocolate-colored curls cascaded down her back.

“She wants to play. See? She looks just like you.” Her eyes wavered downward. “Except, you have this pretty necklace.” She reached for the dog tags around my neck. Out of instinct, I jerked my chest away from her bony hand. I felt a sharp pang in my side. I’d nearly forgotten about my injuries.

“Very interesting,” she cooed. I felt the cool tip of the dagger pressed against my cheek.
She slid the dagger along my face and across my jawline, coming dangerously close to my jugular. My heart beat wildly in my chest. She didn’t cut me; she only cut a thick lock of my hair.

“I’ve never had a brown-haired doll before,” she said, tucking the lock of hair into her pocket. She looked at me, holding a skeletal finger to her lips. “That will be our little secret,” she gave a sinister giggle.

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“Crazy bitch,” I murmured to myself without thinking.

The anger boiled out of her face. “Pretty dolls don’t talk like that!” she howled.

One punch to my right eye came, and then one to my stomach. I felt like my lunch would make a guest appearance, and the cracked rib from before began to throb.From her tightly pulled raven colored bun, she revealed a small needle. I didn’t get the chance to speak before I realized what she was doing. The girl hummed a softly as she began sowing the mouth of her doll. 

“We can fix you right up pretty doll,” she said. I felt my mouth close. My lips felt sharp pressure beneath them, as if the needle was worming it’s way through my skin. I felt the burn of the thread as she stitched my screams in my mouth. I bucked in my chair, desperate for sound to come out of me. I only heard my own muffled cries. Her slim fingers were surprisingly strong as they clutched my throat for me to meet her gaze.

“Do you see what you make me do, pretty doll? Now I have to punish you!” She cradled her doll close to her ear with the other hand. “What’s wrong, pretty doll?” She listened intently. “You feel pain?”

Pain. So much pain. My head felt like it would explode. There was a drill in my skull, and it was not letting up. I screamed at the top of my lungs begging Mother Earth for mercy. It was as if she were actually inside my skull pounding against my brain with a sledgehammer. I had never felt anything so excruciating in my life.
Her words to her doll were quiet daggers. The pain was unbearable. I felt my brain melting into nothing, and my temples felt like knives were squeezing out of them. Her hand was still firmly clasped around my throat, forcing my gaze on her. Her lips moved furiously against the doll’s ear. I could feel my skull begin to split at my crown. I could feel human nails clawing from inside the walls of my cranium to break it open. I could feel my throat rasping as I continued to scream.

“Enough!” A booming voice filled the room. The pain stopped, but my tears didn’t. I choked and gasped in my chair. But the worst was yet to come.

The phantom had arrived.

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Silverfang Episode 6: Run

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Silverfang Episode 6: Run

Run. Run fast. Run far. That was all I could think about coherently. I knew my way around the backstreets of the city, and with my working knowledge of the aqueducts and shortcuts, I had a chance to escape my tormentors. Whoever these people were, they were on my turf. My heavy breathing seemed insignificant with the adrenaline pumping through my body. I didn’t dare glance backward. I knew he was there, and boy, was he fast. I needed to get away, but if it came down to it, I would have to fight.

I allowed myself one backward glance. The male assailant was no more than a few yards behind me, his female accomplice nowhere to be found.

I felt the fear slithering up my spine as I realized she could be anywhere.

I had finally gotten out of the alley, but I had a bigger problem now. I paused momentarily to look around for another route to take. That was a mistake. I didn’t have much time; he was still behind me. I could hear him, and those large violet eyes seemed to burn right through my back. I turned left and darted towards the pitch black night.

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The street’s orbs turned on a second too late as I continued on the abandoned streets. It was near midnight; of course everyone who was sane would be at the canal right now. The stranger suddenly appeared behind me. He was faster than I thought. A glance over my shoulder told me he was not slowing down anytime soon. He was a shadow-walker like me, except his experience far surpassed mine. I used my own shadow ability to run right through any obstacles in my way.

I wouldn’t stand a chance at this rate, and I could feel my legs beginning to struggle to keep the speed I was going. The street wouldn’t last forever though, and I was getting closer to another corner. No, not another corner. A dead end.

I needed something fast. I felt the pressure in my chest and the fire in my lungs. I couldn’t keep running for long, and I was not about to fight him. An idea dawned on me. I noted that he had to shadow-walk around the objects in the street; he couldn’t run right through them like I could. Bearing this in mind, I searched for something big enough to wisp through. My legs were beginning to give in. There were only two buildings left on the street. What would I do when the pavement ended?

Then, I saw it.

Ashel’s largest cathedral stood majestically ahead, a massive statue of Mother Earth above it’s doors. If I could run through the building, he would have to find a way around it. I might be able to get away with that kind of distance between us. I focused my energy, calling upon the warmness in my fingertips. I closed my eyes and hoped my magic would hold up long enough to phase through the church I was about to crash into.

My concentration was high as I melted through the massive cathedral. I ran through pews and walls, unwilling to slow down. I closed my eyes and gave all I could, feeling the tingling sensation turn to painful shock on my skin. I pushed my ability to its maximum. As I ran away from the church, I looked back and found no one following me. My instincts were right.

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But Something hit me. Hard. The wind was knocked right out of my body. My vision turned black. It was like being hit by a boulder at 100 miles an hour, and I could have sworn I felt the rib on my right side crack. The impact of hitting the concrete drew blood from my head. I could feel the warm liquid seeping out of my head. My legs were shaking, my heart was racing, and the blood was rushing to my brain.

Through my blurry vision, I could faintly see her features. It was the girl with the doll. My pathetic attempt to fight her was no use. The masqued man was back- the phantom. I could hear the heavy breathing behind his masque as he picked me up to put a black sack over my head.

“Rozalynn,” he said.

Silverfang Episode 5: Unmask Me

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Silverfang Episode 5: Unmask Me

My heart beat wildly as the fear paralyzed me. The vibrant colors, once beautiful, were now disorienting me. The crowd herded towards the heart of the city, the music getting louder.
“Pretty doll,” the voice called. It was as if the malicious coo was coming from the walls in my head. I felt the crowd knock me over in one wave as it moved towards the town square, swallowing me whole. The flashes of light shocked me.
I reached my hand out for Vera. I wanted to tell her to run- to sprint as far away from me as she could. However, the bright lanterns blurred my vision, and my panic left little ability in me to make sense of my surroundings. I couldn’t find her anywhere. I was overwhelmed by the noise, the smells of the street vendors as the people squeezed me along. My senses became sensitive to everything, until that coo came back around.
“My dearest pretty doll,” it cried.
My breath was ragged, my eyes frantic for an explanation. I wanted to run. I wanted to scream. I couldn’t find my voice or my legs. A cold slithering came over my limbs, locking me in place. It was as if the fear itself had manifested and entombed me where I stood. My stone body was only passed along the streets in the crash of the crowd. A slithering came over my chest, knocking the very wind out of me.
From the shadows, I could see a figure forming. My eyes widened in bewilderment. A white masque emerged atop a black silhouette. The piercing violet eyes behind it were haunting as the figure emerged. A large hand extended from the shadow, as if it could reach out and take me for its own. I choked in a feeble attempt to live. I began to feel a numbness in my body.

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I saw her appear slowly out of the darkness behind the white masqued man. She stood there in the middle of the sea of people, eyes centered on me. The violet in her eyes glinted against her pallid skin, hidden behind a black masque- a devastating beauty. The rest of her was hidden away behind her red satin hood. I could feel the world fall away. All of the lights and noise were silenced. She cradled her porcelain ragdoll in her arms, stroking its dark brown hair gingerly. She and the masqued man made no movements; they only stared.
I closed my eyes for a moment, wishing for the figures to disappear. As I reopened my eyes, I found nothing but the crowd. I wanted so badly to believe I hadn’t seen anything, but their faces were etched in my mind. They were waiting for me.
My eyes darted throughout the horde of slurring bodies, stumbling along the streets.
And there she was- the girl with the doll- not even 30 feet away from me. She was getting closer. I looked to my left and found the white masque and violet eyes coming closer. There was no doubt they were coming for me. Regardless of what that meant, I was not about to become a victim. I pushed past the crowd, trying to find a way out. My instinct told me to run, but in this mass of people, it would be impossible. They were gaining on me. I had to think fast.

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Think, dammit. There had to be a way out of this. In my mind, I could see the map of the city square. I needed to put as much distance between us as possible. If I used my shadow magic to pass through the crowd, I would be exposed.

Or would I? I thought. A flash of bright colors overhead sparked my mind. The populous around me was the perfect cover. With all the lights and sounds, no one would be paying attention to me. I’d have to take a risk with my newfound magic to get out of this one. I could feel them gaining on me. I’d have to time it perfectly. I had no way of knowing if it was just the two of them either.

“Don’t go pretty doll,” the girl called.

I waited, ignoring the loud noise and all the while settling my nerves. Another flash in the sky exploded. I conjured the warm feeling in my belly. My nerves hummed with life. I wisped into smoke, putting three more people between me and my assailants. I let the cold feeling settle. I had walked through objects before, but never people. The feeling made me sick to my stomach.

Pull it together. I forced myself to look back. The two were gaining on me.

Another flash let me wisp through four bodies this time. My stomach was turning. The crowd moved painfully slow as another flash let me wisp through seven people. I felt like I would actually be ill. I could see my hands reforming from the smoke at a painfully slow rate. I wouldn’t have much left in me if I kept this up.

The male figure was still gaining on me, and in the inside of his hood, I could see something shiny and metallic. There was no doubt in my mind what it was: the hooded stranger was carrying a knife, and as the crowd overflowed into the open fields for celebration, my mind and body agreed on only one course of action to take.

Run.

Silverfang Episode 4: Pretty Doll

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Silverfang Episode 4: Pretty Doll

Ashel was a beautiful city, to say the very least. During the holiday season, the florescent lights were even brighter, filling the senses with life in the heart of the city. The paper lanterns illuminated the ebony sky and the crowd of hundreds. Every Tribe was represented in the magical floating orbs the people carried. It came as no surprise to me that there were clusters of the same color orb in the crowd. Tribal history had a tendency to bring people together.

The Winter Solstice was the most extravagant of Empirical holidays. It represented the combined history of all our people, Silverthornes and Thunderfangs alike. Our abilities manifested from the five Silverthorne tribes and the seven Thunderfang tribes. Although our race was either one or the other, our heritage and magic stemmed from our ties to our tribe. Vera was a Thunderfang with ties to the Curratrix tribe. Though I had no knowledge of my tribal history, I knew for sure of my race: Silverthorne. At least, to them I was. I was actually something far worse. I was a foul half-breed. I had the birthmarks to prove it, and in a mostly Thunderfang city like Ashel, that was a very dangerous thing to be.
Since the battle of the races began, hostility between the 12 tribes had risen to an all-time high. Had I known my tribal heritage, I would have been smart enough to keep it to myself in a primarily Thunderfang city. Luckily for me, the sinuous silver lines that would give me away were primarily down my back and torso; they also ran down my arms, which were completely covered by the four layers I wore.

My birthmarks aside, none of them would ever know what I am.  Without that one mutation in the pigment of our skin, no one could tell what anyone was. I became overwhelmed by all of the silver and violet birthmarks I saw. They were proudly on display tonight, and I began to feel even more insecure. I knew that under all my layers was the silver, violet and ice blue secret that would cast me out of this celebration.

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Vera beamed as we waded through the crowds of drunken people. She seemed unbothered by them or anything else that took her attention from the food cart she was hunting. Even she showed off the violet and silver lines on her forearm. The music rattled my body, leaving my skin tingling with the energy of the city. The streets were filled with laughter despite the grim realities of the morning. That was the most incredible feature of the Thunderfang people: even as their homes were destroyed by warfare and bloodshed, they found a triumphant spirit to celebrate the days. When everyone is masqued, there are no sides; there is no war. It is only people celebrating.
The streets were crowded with merchants and vendors selling precious stones and antiques. Women of all ages lined up to have a new necklace made of rubies or jade stone, very well aware that they were fake, but all the while determined to find something sparkly to compliment the elaborate masques they wore. I could smell the fried foods and appetizers from the carts up ahead, and although the cuisine was questionable, I found myself nearly willing to eat.

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As per tradition, we were handed an orb of light and took our place within the throngs of people. An older gentleman, who I assumed to be the head council of Ashel, took the podium at the front of the crowd, which blocked entry into the center of the city. He cleared his throat, and a booming voice came with it.
“Brothers. Sisters. Good evening. I welcome you all to Winter Solstice night,” he began. I immediately snorted. This man had graying hair that was well kept, his face was paler than the rest and the elaborate mask on his face was full of feathers, real gold and rare jade stone. He hadn’t worked a day in his life and still managed to find the nerve to call these people his brothers and sisters. Nevertheless, the crowd roared in celebration. The gentleman raised a hand for immediate silence. “Let us remember the true purpose of this night: we are here in celebration of our tribal heritage, despite the atrocities occurring in the world between our two races”.
I rolled my eyes without so much as a thought. The speech never changed. It was always about and love conquering hate. There was always a part about our race determining what we look like and our tribe determining our magic, and ultimately, those qualities defined who we are.

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However, the reality was that our tribal history didn’t matter. It was always us versus them- Silverthorne versus Thunderfang. As much as we wanted to put aside the tension, the fact remained that we were at war for a reason no one could even remember. I couldn’t be sure of the reason, but I felt the uneasiness in my stomach return.
“Let us rejoice in our heritage! Let us remember the bonds we have regardless of our race.” The gentleman waved a hand, levitating a large white orb.
“Triba Elimanta,” the naturalists cheered. My stomach was in knots. I could feel an eerie presence nearby.
“Triba Curratrix!” The mayor levitated a topaz orb into the arc in the sky, which was followed by a roar of applause from the crowd. Vera stood a few feet away, having climbed up a man’s shoulders for a better view. New friends of hers I suppose. My breathing suddenly became painful.
I felt the familiar slithering feeling along my legs. My eyes darted around as I tried to remind myself that there was no reason to be paranoid. I tried to call out to Vera, but the roar of the crowd swallowed my cries. And then I heard her.
“Pretty doll…”