Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Ever just the same
The shadows calling her name
She stares at the night
Clutching the dress in fright
Smelling the scent of flowers in bloom
as memories, all around her flood the room
Why is she alone?
For what sin must she atone?
How can she bring it all back?
once so bright, why is it now dark?
She whispers a simple prayer, not for much
Then she reaches out for an invisible touch
A tear falls on her pillow
Her heartbeat slow, heavy with sorrow
she knows to grow she must leave her cocoon
She sighs, soon, as she stares at the pale moon
Tomorrow's light will surely bring a new day
Maybe there'll be someone to meet her halfway
Thursday, October 06, 2005
I was mesmerized, staring at the golden rays that emanated out of it. It took me a moment to realize what it was because it was the last thing I had expected to find. Could it be I wondered, that I’had finally struck gold? It lay there in the sun blinking shards of brilliance at me so blindingly bright that for all of me I couldn’t turn away. I prodded it gently with my toe just to let it know I was there and it smiled back, letting me know it had noticed me too. The Crane’s dance had began. And so we danced, I would marvel at it’s beauty, and it, in that knowingly way would radiate it’s approval showering me with golden rays of radiance. I could see my mirrored compliments on it’s smooth shiny surfaces, both infinite and exquisite . Oh yes we danced, avoiding the obvious but both knowing it nonetheless. I suddenly caught my breath and stopped in mid step, what was I doing? There was obviously only one way to tell if this was indeed real gold. I had to feel it, touch it, examine it. And so I did curling my fingers around it’s smooth edges and feeling it’s cool composure send shivers deep into my nerves. This was it, it had to be! Only real gold could make someone feel this way. I didn’t question why a valuable piece of gold was laying unclaimed in the middle of this cold land. It didn’t for a second occur to me that this piece of gold could be flawed or worse, a fake. All I knew was that, Ill-Fortura, the godess of making many bad things happen in a row had long made sport of my life. She was due to go out to lunch any time now – and this was as good a time as any. I stumbled about in a drunken stupor, dreaming of all the wonderful things this piece of gold was going to get me. Suddenly the future seemed bright and limitless, and to think it had just been laying there unclaimed, waiting for me. Oh what fortune!
It had been days since I last touched it. I had fallen into a habit of peeking in my secret closet every once in a while to make sure it was still there. It was still there. But I had started to notice that each time I checked on it, it sparkled a little less. Deep inside I knew it was my fault because every time I would see it, I would push it deeper into the dark confines of the closet and not let enough light shine on it. Of course every once in a while I’d pull it out and lay it on the kitchen table, and marvel at it’s beauty for when the light would hit it just right, it had a special way of saying “hi” that would set my entrails aglow. I failed to realize that it was only light that it lacked and the brilliance that had once captivated me so hadn’t changed. It was just harder to see. The darker it got, the angrier it made me. What the hell was I doing? Had I become the proverbial fool who fell for the false gold? I didn’t want to be that fool, I had heard all the stories and that definitely wouldn’t be me. I was too smart to be duped by falsehoods and false glitter, wasn’t I? Wasn’t I? So the day came when it didn’t shine anymore and I could no longer see my reflection cast in it’s metallic helm. That was the day I let it go, put it on the the bridge and let it roll down to the edge on it’s volition. I didn’t reach out my hand to stop it even though I knew in a moment it would soon plunge back into the murky depths of the unknown from whence it came. I stood there and watched it as if daring it to roll back to me if it did indeed belong to me. No sweet goodbye, no I’ll miss you, no hug, no kiss. Just the empty splash that would tell me I would never see it again. Never find out for sure if it was the real thing. All it had needed was a little light and maybe it would have made all my exotic and erotic dreams come true. All it had needed was a little more time on the kitchen table every now and then. All it had needed was for someone to let it shine and it would have let him shine too. Alas, it was gone now. I guess Ill-Fortura doesn’t take lunch breaks. As it tumbled in the air I caught my reflection, it appeared I was crying.
Thursday, September 08, 2005
Judy sat by her dressing mirror and watched as her husband tossed and turned in his sleep. She had opened the curtains and the moon was shinning directly into the room giving everything a bluish-gray tone. She hadn’t wanted to risk waking Andrew up, it had been hard enough getting him to sleep in the first place. He hadn’t slept for nearly two days now, afraid of the monsters that awaited him in his dreams. She unconsciously wringed her hands as she looked into the pained face of her husband. He was moaning softly and it was all she could do to stop herself from waking him. She knew he badly needed the sleep and she was determined to let him have as much as he could.
Her mind wandered back to their first date, remembering how he had shown up with a basket of posies, not knowing about her allergy. Between the smashed toes on the dance floor and the wine he spilled on her dress, it easily qualified for the worst date she had ever been on. Yet she fell for that sweet man with the disarming smile. He wasn't strikingly handsome but he had a kind face and beautiful eyes. His disastrous effort at giving her a good time had uncharacteristically swept her of her feet much to her surprise. She had known he was the one from their first clumsy kiss at the end of the date. That man was now gone. In his place was a stranger who hadn’t even kissed her in weeks let alone touch her. He was looking sicker everyday and the worst part was she didn’t know how to help him. A tear softly glided down the curve of her cheek and fell unnoticed on the back of her hand.
“Ahhhaaaaahhhaaah” he screamed then sat up clutching the beddings close to his chest. He was trembling and gazing about the room wildly and she rushed up to him, arms stretched out.
“It’s ok honey, I’m here”, she started to say as she reached the bed. Then his gaze fell on her and for a second she froze. The eyes that stared back at her were not human eyes, they were the eyes of a desperate animal!
“You...you are de... dead!” he stammered as he retreated back from her outstretched hands and fell on the floor. “You are d... I didn’t do it”, he said dragging himself backwards until he hit the wall. “I DIDN’T KILL YOU”.
She stood in shock, feeling the blood drain from her head. She wasn’t sure she had heard the words right. The words “kill you” echoed in her mind in some sort of lunatic voice that seemed to be laughing. She bumped into the dresser before realizing she had been moving backwards. She put her hands on it to steady herself feeling weak and faint. She opened her mouth to speak but all that came out was a whimper.
“Andrew, it’s me,” she managed in a hoarse whisper after taking in a deep breath. She was scared, scared of this man that she so loved. She couldn’t see his eyes anymore but she could see that his hands were trembling. She knew she had to go to him but it seemed her legs had turned to jello. She wondered if her neighbors would be able to hear her if she screamed.
“Andrew you’re scaring me,” she managed in a weak voice that came from a thousand miles away. “Andrew...” she muttered.
His hands had stopped shaking but he hadn’t responded. His body appeared tense and poised like a snake ready to strike. She looked at the phone on the night stand on his side of the bed and wondered who she might call and what she would say.
“Andrew, talk to me,” she said as she started inching closer to him. She pondered idly whether she would have enough time to get to the door if he suddenly tried to pounce on her. She could now make out the outline of his face and realized that his mouth was open and he was taking in huge gasps of air. She slowly reached her hands out to him while crouching.
There was a tense moment when it felt like the world had stood still then she felt his arm muscles relax under her palms. His breathing was shortening but he still had his eyes closed. She pulled him toward the bed and he came along easily. They sat on the bed for a moment, her arms around his shoulders and his head resting on her bosom.
“Judy,” he started to say.
“Shhh,” she silenced him, “I’m here it’s ok”. This was her husband, if the roles were reversed she knew he’d absolutely be there for her. She had to be strong because he needed her now. It would all be fine in a few days then they’d laugh about it. She reached for his hand and felt something warm and sticky. She pulled it up to the moonlight and saw his palm was covered in blood. She looked closer noticing the teeth marks between his index finger and thumb. He must have bit himself while dreaming she realized, wondering what kind of dream would make someone do that to himself.
“It’ll all be okay,” she said in a tone that was meant to be reassuring but even as she said it, the sinking in her gut told her it wasn't true. A raucous voice in the back of her mind laughed crazily and whispered over and over, “kill you...kill you...kill you”!
Saturday, September 03, 2005
Thursday, August 11, 2005
He woke up with a jolt, sat up on the couch and looked around. The phone was screaming in the background and it reminded him of his mother in-law‘s shrill voice when she was complaining about something…..which was often. The sun had gone down and he could see the dark shapes of the trees framed by moonlight outside the living room window. They appeared to beckon him as they danced in unison to the gently blowing wind. There was something eerily disturbing about them but he couldn’t quite put his finger on. The way the streaks of moonlight were...
“Riiiiiiiiing”, the phone screamed again cutting through his thoughts like a sharp dagger.
“I’ll get it”, he yelled swinging his legs from the couch and sliding them into the slippers on the rug. He stood up and hurried towards the phone on the stand by the wall. Just as he was about to pick it up something caught his attention. All the lights in the house were turned off! He could feel the hairs on the back of his neck start to prickle and a strong sense of foreboding and horror came over him. Somewhere in the distance a dog barked, the low hollow sound echoing through the trees around the house. Something was wrong. He could smell it in the damp air that suddenly floated through his nostrils. Beneath that musty smell there seemed to be a richer, more salty scent that was cloaked by the dampness that he'd smelled before but couldn’t quite place. Oh yes, something was deathly wrong.
From his position at the bottom of the staircase, he could see the half opened doors to his bedroom and his daughter’s bedroom. With every ounce of determination he could muster, he placed his right foot on the first stair which creaked in agony. His mind was spinning and he felt dizzy. He took his other foot and placed it on the next stair. He felt as if he was walking in quick sand, sinking deeper with every step. Right foot. He had to get up there even though every nerve in his body pleaded for him to turn and run the other way. Left foot. He swallowed hard and could taste the acrid sting of fear in his mouth. Right. The sound of his steps reverberating around the house. Left. Right. Left. Right. Left!
He stopped at the top of the staircase and listened. He realized that the phone was no longer ringing. The silence was so thick that he thought if he reached out he could part it with his hands. Their bedroom lay to the left and he now turned and headed towards it. He pushed it open and the door swung smoothly to reveal complete darkness. He carefully took a step inside the room, his keen ears listening for any sign of danger. The darkness in the room seemed to first hug him then cover him as he stepped deeper into the room. He stopped and stretched his hand blindly reaching for the light switch!
His pupils contracted quickly as they were hit by the light and he reflexively closed his eyes. He slowly peered through squinted eyes giving his eyes time to adjust to the brightened room. An image on the floor gradually came into focus and he realized it was his daughter’s blanket.He stood transfixed for a moment wondering what the blanket would be doing on the floor then his eye caught a glint. His gaze started moving up towards the bed and then suddenly stopped. He blinked once then he blinked again his mind refusing to accept what he was seeing.
The motionless figure of his wife lay in the middle of the king sized bed, a knife sticking out of a huge red patch in the middle. He put his hand in his mouth to stifle the scream that he could feel coming up from the pit of his stomach and bit down hard. He felt the skin give way as his teeth sank into the soft flesh between his thumb and his index finger. His mind sluggishly registered the pain, bubbling up to his consciousness as if someone was screaming under water. He tasted the blood and numbly took his hand out his mouth and looked at it. It was covered in blood. Caked blood. He looked at his other hand and saw that it too was covered in dried blood.
"What the...," he started to say. His mind was reeling. This couldn’t be happening. What had he done! He noticed that his hands were now trembling and he couldn’t remember when they had started. He turned to his left, everything seeming surreal, every movement as if in slow motion. As he turned, he caught a glimpse of his face in the closet mirror. He was smiling……!
Monday, August 08, 2005
I was sitting at my desk at work when this random lady walked by and flashed one of the most brilliant, genuine, affectionate smiles I have ever seen. I could tell you her race, but that would be besides the point. I could tell you her approximate age, but that not necessary. I could tell you whether she was pretty, tall or short, fat or slim………but none of that matters. All that matters is that she smiled. No wait, she smiiiiiiiiiled! I was having what was turning out to be a lousy day - but that was all before the smile. It wasn’t one of those I’m-just-being-polite smiles, this was a real, 100%, no water added smile that warmed my heart. Mother Teresa once said, “Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing” . I didn’t know what she’d meant till today. I mean I knew and understood the words but I had never really felt the full meaning like she had described. It was like a window peering over a garden in which grew every possible nice thing. And for a moment I gazed through that window. For all I know she was having a bad day too, but for that moment in time she reminded me of all that was good in this world. So what if my car broke down? So what if I have a couple of overdue bills? So what if I’m stuck at this desk staring at the computer for the next 10 hours? She smiled at me – but more importantly, I smiled back.
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
He stood up from his bed, beads of sweat streaming down the sides of his face. His breath was coming in quick, labored gasps making a wheezing sound that seemed to fill his whole head with noise. He could feel his heart beating in heavy thuds that joined the raspy wheezing in a kind of orchestra from hell. He heard the baby crying and suddenly he was filled with anger. He turned and saw the soft, sexy silhouette of his sleeping wife under the covers and got the compulsion to hurl something at that figure. The baby uttered another desperate wail, urgently demanding attention. He knew what he had to do. He moved across the room, slowly, a deliberate step at a time. When he got to the door and opened it, the wail got louder as if instantly magnified. He, on reflex, turned back to look at his wife even though he knew what he would find. She lay there uninterrupted, the blanket gently rising and falling as she breathed in her sleep. He had often marveled at her ability to remain asleep no matter how much noise he was made. He turned back towards the opened door and walked down the hallway towards the baby's room.
He opened the door, smelling the sweet light scent of clean cotton and baby powder. He took a step into the room and was instantly enveloped by the blue light he had installed in the room three months ago, just before his wife and the baby came home. He walked over to the horse shaped, wooden rocking crib that stood in the middle of the room and took a long look at the squinted face of the crying baby, wondering how such a little creature could make such a loud noise. The baby, on sensing him, opened her eyes and stopped crying. He stood there for a moment, his anger dissipating, gazing at the angelic face that stared back at him and thought he had never felt love for anything like he felt right now. He wanted to hold her and reached down into the crib. Suddenly the baby let out another screeching wail and he, in shocked surprise, quickly pulled his hands back but in doing so lost his balance. He fell backwards arms flailing and hit his head on the wooden floor. He was immediately filled with a sharp pain that seemed to radiate from the small of his back into the rest of his body and let out an anguished moan. He lifted his head and looked at the crib feeling the blood pound in his head. The baby was still screaming and he felt his pain turn to a blinding rage. He got up slowly the rage spreading to occupy every inch of his body and he reached into the baby's crib. He grabbed the blanket and stuffed it into the baby's face. He could hear the muffled cries get a little more desperate and after a moment, the frantic movements beneath the blanket ceased.
He walked towards his room clutching the stake knife that he had just gotten from the kitchen drawer. He pushed the door open and stood there watching the rhythmic movements of his wife. His eyes burned with rage and the pounding in his head seemed to get worse with every second he watched her. She was the cause of the pain and the pain had to be stopped. He let out a wild yell and lunged at the sleeping figure, the knife pointed out in front of him…
Andrew sat up in the bed in that confused state just before waking up. He blinked for a second then it all came rushing back in. It was that same dream again. Damn it, this was the eighth time in three weeks that he had had that exact dream. He wiped his forehead with his left hand and it came back damp. He looked down at his sky blue pajamas and saw that they had turned dark with perspiration. He let out a troubled sigh and looked around the room. Outside, the sun was rising filling the room with golden rays that seeped through the curtain edges as if trying to peek in.
"Honey what time is it?" asked his wife stretching and turning to face him. He had married Judy ten months ago when they found out that she was pregnant but he had been planning to anyway. He was a senior partner in a law firm and that afforded him a comfortable lifestyle. All he had seemed to need was someone to share it with and now with Judy and the baby, all that was coming true.
"Huh", he responded slightly dazed.
"Are you okay?" she asked the urgency creeping into her voice as she noticed the sweat drenched pajamas. She quickly sat up and reached for his forehead with the back of her hand, deep lines appearing on her brow. "Do you have a fever?"
"No just a bad dream" he responded sullenly pulling away from her. He was feeling guilty about the dreams even though he knew he wasn't responsible.
"Another one, isn't that the third this week? Maybe you should see someone about this."
"Damn it Judy I don't need to see anyone, I'm fine!" he said his voice rising an octave higher. In truth he had been pondering the same thing but that might have meant also opening up to Judy about the dreams. He didn't want to do that. Who knows how she might react, after all she had only known him for a year, and how well do you really know a person after only one year. He knew that he could never do such a thing but how would she know that. With all the crazy stuff happening in the news these days anything was possible. She might get scared and end up drawing away from him. God knows he wouldn't be able to take that. No, she mustn't find out about the dreams.
"Well don't shoot me for caring," she said a little perturbed herself.
"Honey," he said reaching for her as she was about to get off the bed. "I'm sorry, you know how I'm an ass in the morning". He pulled her close to him and she didn't resist. "I love you very much".
"I know I love you too it's just that I'm worried about you".
"No need to, I’m fine," he said. "Cross my heart." But even as he said it, he wondered if he truly was. The first couple of times it happened, he had thought it the result of too many late hours in the office and even cut back his days to three a week from a rigorous six day schedule. That didn't help, if anything it seemed to increase the frequency of the dreams.
He stood up, walked to the bathroom sink and splashed water on his face which made him feel a little better. He straightened up and peered into the mirror on the wall above the marble sink. He noticed the deep, dark circles forming around his eyes and knew he had to do something. He had to do something very soon.
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Ever since I can remember, I've always been fascinated by the things that scared me. A nightmare, a horror movie, dark abandoned houses, elves........you know things everyday people worry about. What was that? Regular people aren't scared of elves? ......uh, I didn't mean......er, you know......um, it's just that..............ahem. Well screw you, those pointy eared yokels scare me, big deal. Moving on. I was talking about my fascination with the phobias. I've always wondered, what it is that scares me about the things that scare me? And it seemed, no matter where the thought started, it always ended up at things beyond my control with the potential for some sort of physical harm. I'm scared of things that I know I have no command over that I believe could hurt me in some way. If this doesn't sum up any and all of your fears, quick, call a shrink - you are crazy!
I've decided to explore this domain of fear by writing a series of short stories about, well, things that hide in your closet at night with an axe - for lack of a better word.....or words. These will all be original stories, that I'm yet to pen (with the exception of part 1 of story 1) and any similarity to anyone's personal experience will be truly coincidental. So please don't go calling the cops talking about I'm stealing thoughts from your head,..........besides, I know the mayor. These stories will come in sections with each story probably having about four parts. I promise not to drag them too long, well, I'll try since I don't know what'll write until I write it.
Feel free to offer any and all criticism, I promise I won't send my 7'2" friend Paul to pay you a visit and find out exactly why you don't like my work. What? I promise!
The first part of the first story, Lucid Dreams, is already written and I will post it soon. Thank you for your time. Enjoy.