Elisabeth
We always change / We are forever free
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Written by Elisabeth in portal Simon & Schuster

The end of summer

He was always looking at the stars, and I was always looking at him. The evenings on the beach. We were still young then and were all filled up with great plans to go overseas, to start enterprises, to taste some fame even – and those plans did not seem unrealistic yet.

People usually came there with one of three goals: to settle arguments too loud to be held in public (mind you, in a small town nearly every one of them seems so), to find the limit of one’s tolerance to alcohol at a campfire, or to experience some kind of intimacy with whoever they chose to have it with.

I didn’t go there for any of that. I came there to buy orange juice at the old woman who missed three teeth. At least that was my masquerade. The orange woman never said much, but she always smiled when she heard the sound of money – I say that because she was very near-sighted, and her hearing must have been enhanced a lot to make up for that.

I would pay her with a vague sense of guilt. It were never my own coins, you see; before I went to the beach I would take them from my mother’s stash, the one she kept under her pillow (or, if it was empty, the little green box with a ballerina on it in the basement). As I handed the old woman the coins, I would glance over sideways, never directly, always casually and never smiling. His figure would stand out against the dark.

Most of the days I seemed to be her only customer. I would slowly drink the orange juice as she would doze off in her chair, snoring slightly. At each third sip I would look over at him – quickly, as if responding to some unheard sound, or a shadow. But he would never look back.

This ritual, the repeated staring at a statue-like boy, who was immersed in the stars, gradually began taking its toll on me. The more I looked (glanced) at him, the more I started to feel my skin fading. I started feeling like the space he was observing, mostly black, and empty. And as the summer days passed, and the cheering of the beach people in the distance became more monotonous, and his contours against the dim backlight became more perfect in its nonchalant and casual beauty ( - the beauty of a handsome person who thinks himself unwatched - ), I started wishing that I was the sky stretched out from one horizon to the other for him to study.

Never did it occur to me to speak to him. Never did it occur to me that my behavior was erratic, dubious, weird in any way. And never did he look at me. That is, until the moment the planes came, with their engines shrieking, at a low flight over the beach; and their smoke blocked out the stars. Only then did he look down, confused, stumbling amidst the crowds of shouting people, dropping the binoculars, with a look in his eyes of a man about to be overrun by elephants. Only in that moment our eyes met, in the turbulence of an oncoming disaster, and with the sound of shattering bombs on the bay, and in the dust of a greater destruction than should ever have been. I reached out for him, and for a moment I imagined he stretched out his hand – but then a sandstorm started, and I lost all hearing and sight. Blinded, I lay on the beach, sand in my mouth, covered in dust; I crawled around like a crab in captivity, uncertainly, until I felt a hand and let it go. There was something in its touch that made me withdraw, instinctively. Then I started hearing faint cries, that grew louder and louder; and I started seeing shapes in the dust.

When I made it to the boulevard, the planes had left. They had left a destruction. There were fires, and a mist of the yellow dust, and pieces of paper that rained down. I walked down there for a while, numb-struck, seeing hollow-eyed, not wanting to see and wanting to at the same time, not wanting to be here and wanting to be here at the same time, wanting to be living and to be dead at the same time. Then I found him. He was trembling all over, and wounded. I kneeled down at him, the boy I had admired without a word. He was holding the binoculars in his hands, so tightly that the blood had drained from his knuckles, and kept on muttering. ‘The sky, the sky.’

Not wanting to look at the wound in his side, I asked gently: ‘What about it?’

‘It’s wrong,’ he said. I am to this day not sure if he was crying.

‘Why?’ I asked.

‘Look for yourself,’ he muttered, and pushed the binoculars in my hands.

I looked through them. Through the smoke, I could indeed see gray, very clear fracture lines against the smoky black heaven. ‘But no,’ I tried to reassure him, while I turned the binoculars around in my hands. ‘Look, it’s just the glass. Look,’ I urged him. But he’d gone quiet.

‘Look,’ I repeated.

I started pressing the binoculars harder and harder in my hands, until it hurt, but it didn’t seem to matter.

‘It’s only the glass,’ I said again. ‘Just look, will you? Will you?’ He didn’t respond. I realized then that I didn’t even know his name. The boy on the beach. He’d stay there.

And those words would stay with me. The sky, the sky. It’s wrong, it’s broken.

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Simon & Schuster is one of the world’s leading publishers and we are always looking for fresh new voices. Write a story, chapter, or essay about whatever you like. The 50 best entries will be announced by Prose and read by our editorial staff for consideration.
Written by Elisabeth in portal Simon & Schuster
The end of summer
He was always looking at the stars, and I was always looking at him. The evenings on the beach. We were still young then and were all filled up with great plans to go overseas, to start enterprises, to taste some fame even – and those plans did not seem unrealistic yet.
People usually came there with one of three goals: to settle arguments too loud to be held in public (mind you, in a small town nearly every one of them seems so), to find the limit of one’s tolerance to alcohol at a campfire, or to experience some kind of intimacy with whoever they chose to have it with.
I didn’t go there for any of that. I came there to buy orange juice at the old woman who missed three teeth. At least that was my masquerade. The orange woman never said much, but she always smiled when she heard the sound of money – I say that because she was very near-sighted, and her hearing must have been enhanced a lot to make up for that.
I would pay her with a vague sense of guilt. It were never my own coins, you see; before I went to the beach I would take them from my mother’s stash, the one she kept under her pillow (or, if it was empty, the little green box with a ballerina on it in the basement). As I handed the old woman the coins, I would glance over sideways, never directly, always casually and never smiling. His figure would stand out against the dark.
Most of the days I seemed to be her only customer. I would slowly drink the orange juice as she would doze off in her chair, snoring slightly. At each third sip I would look over at him – quickly, as if responding to some unheard sound, or a shadow. But he would never look back.
This ritual, the repeated staring at a statue-like boy, who was immersed in the stars, gradually began taking its toll on me. The more I looked (glanced) at him, the more I started to feel my skin fading. I started feeling like the space he was observing, mostly black, and empty. And as the summer days passed, and the cheering of the beach people in the distance became more monotonous, and his contours against the dim backlight became more perfect in its nonchalant and casual beauty ( - the beauty of a handsome person who thinks himself unwatched - ), I started wishing that I was the sky stretched out from one horizon to the other for him to study.
Never did it occur to me to speak to him. Never did it occur to me that my behavior was erratic, dubious, weird in any way. And never did he look at me. That is, until the moment the planes came, with their engines shrieking, at a low flight over the beach; and their smoke blocked out the stars. Only then did he look down, confused, stumbling amidst the crowds of shouting people, dropping the binoculars, with a look in his eyes of a man about to be overrun by elephants. Only in that moment our eyes met, in the turbulence of an oncoming disaster, and with the sound of shattering bombs on the bay, and in the dust of a greater destruction than should ever have been. I reached out for him, and for a moment I imagined he stretched out his hand – but then a sandstorm started, and I lost all hearing and sight. Blinded, I lay on the beach, sand in my mouth, covered in dust; I crawled around like a crab in captivity, uncertainly, until I felt a hand and let it go. There was something in its touch that made me withdraw, instinctively. Then I started hearing faint cries, that grew louder and louder; and I started seeing shapes in the dust.
When I made it to the boulevard, the planes had left. They had left a destruction. There were fires, and a mist of the yellow dust, and pieces of paper that rained down. I walked down there for a while, numb-struck, seeing hollow-eyed, not wanting to see and wanting to at the same time, not wanting to be here and wanting to be here at the same time, wanting to be living and to be dead at the same time. Then I found him. He was trembling all over, and wounded. I kneeled down at him, the boy I had admired without a word. He was holding the binoculars in his hands, so tightly that the blood had drained from his knuckles, and kept on muttering. ‘The sky, the sky.’
Not wanting to look at the wound in his side, I asked gently: ‘What about it?’
‘It’s wrong,’ he said. I am to this day not sure if he was crying.
‘Why?’ I asked.
‘Look for yourself,’ he muttered, and pushed the binoculars in my hands.
I looked through them. Through the smoke, I could indeed see gray, very clear fracture lines against the smoky black heaven. ‘But no,’ I tried to reassure him, while I turned the binoculars around in my hands. ‘Look, it’s just the glass. Look,’ I urged him. But he’d gone quiet.
‘Look,’ I repeated.
I started pressing the binoculars harder and harder in my hands, until it hurt, but it didn’t seem to matter.
‘It’s only the glass,’ I said again. ‘Just look, will you? Will you?’ He didn’t respond. I realized then that I didn’t even know his name. The boy on the beach. He’d stay there.
And those words would stay with me. The sky, the sky. It’s wrong, it’s broken.
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CotW #66: Write about the biggest lesson life has taught you.
Written by Elisabeth

You have everything you need (and more to gain)

The problem is that we were taught to strive for achievements. Carreers, and money, and stuff. It is a problem because it is never enough. It is like an eating disorder for success; we can't get enough of it, simply because it isn't really satisfactory. It is also a problem because human life is extremely fragile and tends to end easily. There are the forces outside to threaten us (like that car you never saw coming, or a freak accident involving electricity, or dying in a fire) and inside (the heart growing weaker, blood vessels clotting, the aberrant cell that starts growing in the dark). In such a situation, where you have something meaningful that could end at every minute, you'd better make the best of it. Postponing anything is probably not a good idea. 

So instead of giving yourself entirely for what you have thought to absolutely need, you should also start thinking of what you want from life. But not only about how you can enjoy it, but what's your role in it, actually? How many of your achievements are only for your own benefit? I think the magic starts to happen when we start shifting our focus from what we can achieve for just ourselves to what we can achieve for others, ourselves included. We were not made to be martyrs, clearly; that would be an evolutionary waste. But if we can start looking out for each other, that can only make us healthier social beings. And maybe questioning our goals like this can lead us to being a different version of ourselves, realizing that if we're ever to change, we'd better do it now. While there is still time. 

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CotW #66: Write about the biggest lesson life has taught you.
Written by Elisabeth
You have everything you need (and more to gain)
The problem is that we were taught to strive for achievements. Carreers, and money, and stuff. It is a problem because it is never enough. It is like an eating disorder for success; we can't get enough of it, simply because it isn't really satisfactory. It is also a problem because human life is extremely fragile and tends to end easily. There are the forces outside to threaten us (like that car you never saw coming, or a freak accident involving electricity, or dying in a fire) and inside (the heart growing weaker, blood vessels clotting, the aberrant cell that starts growing in the dark). In such a situation, where you have something meaningful that could end at every minute, you'd better make the best of it. Postponing anything is probably not a good idea. 
So instead of giving yourself entirely for what you have thought to absolutely need, you should also start thinking of what you want from life. But not only about how you can enjoy it, but what's your role in it, actually? How many of your achievements are only for your own benefit? I think the magic starts to happen when we start shifting our focus from what we can achieve for just ourselves to what we can achieve for others, ourselves included. We were not made to be martyrs, clearly; that would be an evolutionary waste. But if we can start looking out for each other, that can only make us healthier social beings. And maybe questioning our goals like this can lead us to being a different version of ourselves, realizing that if we're ever to change, we'd better do it now. While there is still time. 
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Written by Elisabeth

Things caught in dreamcatchers

Liquid nitrogen wounds

In the dark you think

I cannot find you

Because you closed your eyes

To the truth.

I am in your mind

An echo of your beauty

And imprinted by your pain

I am bound to carry

All the things you left to die

I carry a demon with me

That has your heart;

I carry a shadow

That has your empty eye;

I walk through toxic air

That smells of your perfume.

I am the gatekeeper

Of your empire

We are both silent

And terrible, remnants of

Your greatness in neglect

I am the caretaker

Of your wounded mind

You may run, now

But think and remember

That I am here. I will

Pull you away from the fire

You have embraced as saviour

Thinking to recreate what was once possessed

Through the fire's destruction

But you cannot yet see clearly:

The only way to save yourself

Comes from within your burned heart

And time will be your medicine

And patience, until that time, your friend

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Written by Elisabeth
Things caught in dreamcatchers
Liquid nitrogen wounds
In the dark you think
I cannot find you
Because you closed your eyes
To the truth.
I am in your mind
An echo of your beauty
And imprinted by your pain
I am bound to carry
All the things you left to die
I carry a demon with me
That has your heart;
I carry a shadow
That has your empty eye;
I walk through toxic air
That smells of your perfume.
I am the gatekeeper
Of your empire
We are both silent
And terrible, remnants of
Your greatness in neglect
I am the caretaker
Of your wounded mind
You may run, now
But think and remember
That I am here. I will
Pull you away from the fire
You have embraced as saviour
Thinking to recreate what was once possessed
Through the fire's destruction
But you cannot yet see clearly:
The only way to save yourself
Comes from within your burned heart
And time will be your medicine
And patience, until that time, your friend
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Written by Elisabeth in portal Fiction

Small evils

'I'm sorry,' she says.

We, that being Jim and I, both know she isn't sorry. It's easy to tell, as she never stopped reading her magazine and is faintly smiling.

'But we really want to go to the party,' Jim explains. He pretends to be a tough guy, but you should see him now, trying to hold back his tears. But then again, I'm the one actually crying here, I can't help it. I had thought for two hours about which clothes to put on, then another hour about which makeup to pair with it, and then it took me another near infinity to realize it. And here I sit at the kitchen table, ruining the masterfully (or so I hoped) applied mascara into a brown mess all over my face. 

It was miraculous how casually she could shove over the box of tissues, her gaze still locked on an article on some celebrity going through a divorce with another celebrity. 

'Please, mum,' I beg, ignoring the tissues. I don't want a tissue, I want a party.

'You know I can't,' she says after a while. 

Jim snorts. I kick him under the table for that, because getting mum angry will definitely not help. But it's no use. He says, in a slow and deliberate voice: 'And why not?' 

'Can't you see I've got a lot of work to do?'

'Reading magazines?' he suggests. I kick him again, but he's on fire now. There's no stopping this thing.

There it goes. The magazine is hurled across the table and hits him in the face. It must have hurt, at least a little, but he is just laughing. 'You're a joke of a mother,' he says. 

'Am I?' she shouts, coming over to our side of the table. 'Am I?'

'Yes you are,' he says, kneeling down, picking up the magazine and handing it to her. 'Why don't you go back to work?' 

'You little rat,' she spits at him, and starts hitting him around the ears with the magazine. It can't hurt a lot, except things tend to hurt more when it's your mother doing it. I know I would prefer a school bully ten times over then one of her half-hearted slaps. 

'Please, mum,' I plead. 'Stop doing that. You're forgetting why we want to go so badly. Don't you remember it's Jim's birthday?' 

She stops hitting him at once, which surprises me, and looks at him thoughtfully. 'Of course,' she says, quietly. 'Of course it is. Well, why do you all stand there looking at me like that! Off you go!' 

But we keep on staring at her for quite some time anyway. It's the mean little curve of her mouth that turns her smile into a twitch that's got me fixed. It means that there's a catch coming, and I'm waiting carefully.

'Really?' I ask at last.

'Yes,' she answers, darkly. 'Take your brother to his damn birthday party. Enjoy yourselves, kids. As much as I care you drink yourselves into a slumber. Don't you mind me, sitting her at home alone! Go and live wildly.' 

'But?' I help her, as she seems to be missing the point of her story completely.

'Ah, yes,' she says as if she suddenly remembers. 'Don't bother coming home afterwards.' I hesitate, not sure if I like the idea of having a party and no bed to sleep in when I'm tired. But Jim is pushing me to the door anyway.

'Come on, Jim, we could at least plead,' I whisper.

'No, we can't,' he replies.

'But my makeup has gone all wrong.' 

'It's raining anyway, that'll wash it away, OK?' 

'Let's go back inside,' I beg him, 'and ask her to forgive us.'

But he shoves me out of the door and closes it after us, with a bang. And starts walking away. 'Jim!' I shout, nailed to the spot. He looks around, sighs, and comes walking back to ruffle my hair as if I'm an eight-year-old. 'Look, sis, you've got to toughen up. You know, if you'd go back inside, you'd be bargaining with the devil.'

'She's not the devil,' I say, wiping the mascara off with a tissue from my handbag. 'Jim, all of this is your fault, I look like hell.' 

'Stop complaining,' he tells me, 'if you look like hell, it's because you're a little demon.'

'Jim!' 

'No, really, she told me that. You and me both, by the way, we're both little demons. That's why I know there's a devil in our house. Only a devil can make demons.'

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Written by Elisabeth in portal Fiction
Small evils
'I'm sorry,' she says.
We, that being Jim and I, both know she isn't sorry. It's easy to tell, as she never stopped reading her magazine and is faintly smiling.
'But we really want to go to the party,' Jim explains. He pretends to be a tough guy, but you should see him now, trying to hold back his tears. But then again, I'm the one actually crying here, I can't help it. I had thought for two hours about which clothes to put on, then another hour about which makeup to pair with it, and then it took me another near infinity to realize it. And here I sit at the kitchen table, ruining the masterfully (or so I hoped) applied mascara into a brown mess all over my face. 
It was miraculous how casually she could shove over the box of tissues, her gaze still locked on an article on some celebrity going through a divorce with another celebrity. 
'Please, mum,' I beg, ignoring the tissues. I don't want a tissue, I want a party.
'You know I can't,' she says after a while. 
Jim snorts. I kick him under the table for that, because getting mum angry will definitely not help. But it's no use. He says, in a slow and deliberate voice: 'And why not?' 
'Can't you see I've got a lot of work to do?'
'Reading magazines?' he suggests. I kick him again, but he's on fire now. There's no stopping this thing.
There it goes. The magazine is hurled across the table and hits him in the face. It must have hurt, at least a little, but he is just laughing. 'You're a joke of a mother,' he says. 
'Am I?' she shouts, coming over to our side of the table. 'Am I?'
'Yes you are,' he says, kneeling down, picking up the magazine and handing it to her. 'Why don't you go back to work?' 
'You little rat,' she spits at him, and starts hitting him around the ears with the magazine. It can't hurt a lot, except things tend to hurt more when it's your mother doing it. I know I would prefer a school bully ten times over then one of her half-hearted slaps. 
'Please, mum,' I plead. 'Stop doing that. You're forgetting why we want to go so badly. Don't you remember it's Jim's birthday?' 
She stops hitting him at once, which surprises me, and looks at him thoughtfully. 'Of course,' she says, quietly. 'Of course it is. Well, why do you all stand there looking at me like that! Off you go!' 
But we keep on staring at her for quite some time anyway. It's the mean little curve of her mouth that turns her smile into a twitch that's got me fixed. It means that there's a catch coming, and I'm waiting carefully.
'Really?' I ask at last.
'Yes,' she answers, darkly. 'Take your brother to his damn birthday party. Enjoy yourselves, kids. As much as I care you drink yourselves into a slumber. Don't you mind me, sitting her at home alone! Go and live wildly.' 
'But?' I help her, as she seems to be missing the point of her story completely.
'Ah, yes,' she says as if she suddenly remembers. 'Don't bother coming home afterwards.' I hesitate, not sure if I like the idea of having a party and no bed to sleep in when I'm tired. But Jim is pushing me to the door anyway.
'Come on, Jim, we could at least plead,' I whisper.
'No, we can't,' he replies.
'But my makeup has gone all wrong.' 
'It's raining anyway, that'll wash it away, OK?' 
'Let's go back inside,' I beg him, 'and ask her to forgive us.'
But he shoves me out of the door and closes it after us, with a bang. And starts walking away. 'Jim!' I shout, nailed to the spot. He looks around, sighs, and comes walking back to ruffle my hair as if I'm an eight-year-old. 'Look, sis, you've got to toughen up. You know, if you'd go back inside, you'd be bargaining with the devil.'
'She's not the devil,' I say, wiping the mascara off with a tissue from my handbag. 'Jim, all of this is your fault, I look like hell.' 
'Stop complaining,' he tells me, 'if you look like hell, it's because you're a little demon.'
'Jim!' 
'No, really, she told me that. You and me both, by the way, we're both little demons. That's why I know there's a devil in our house. Only a devil can make demons.'
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Written by Elisabeth in portal Stream of Consciousness

Branching out

I need light and darkness

Hope and despair

New beginnings

Final endings

Strength to combat weakness

Courage for my fear

I need love to conquer hatred

Warmth to keep out cold

A future to hold on to

And a past from where I came

I need wisdom and ignorance

So that through knowing I can see

Which question next to answer

What wisdom next to seek

I need friends and enemies

Friends to keep me grounded

And the enemies to have a chance

At ending hate with love

I need light and darkness

I need you and me

Whoever we become

To keep in touch

To stay connected

Through this light

And through all darkness

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Written by Elisabeth in portal Stream of Consciousness
Branching out
I need light and darkness
Hope and despair
New beginnings
Final endings
Strength to combat weakness
Courage for my fear
I need love to conquer hatred
Warmth to keep out cold
A future to hold on to
And a past from where I came
I need wisdom and ignorance
So that through knowing I can see
Which question next to answer
What wisdom next to seek
I need friends and enemies
Friends to keep me grounded
And the enemies to have a chance
At ending hate with love
I need light and darkness
I need you and me
Whoever we become
To keep in touch
To stay connected
Through this light
And through all darkness
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Written by Elisabeth in portal Poetry & Free Verse

Interfere

You watch me, relentlessly

As I'm going under

And say goodbye

To positive psychology

I'm sorry but I think

I have to shake hands with this darkness

And know its name

It is my new neigbor and is here to stay

I have to drown now in this pain

In the ocean that is grey

And empty on the inside

I grow quietly and fade out

But you watch me, relentlessly

Going under

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Written by Elisabeth in portal Poetry & Free Verse
Interfere
You watch me, relentlessly
As I'm going under
And say goodbye
To positive psychology

I'm sorry but I think
I have to shake hands with this darkness
And know its name
It is my new neigbor and is here to stay

I have to drown now in this pain
In the ocean that is grey
And empty on the inside
I grow quietly and fade out
But you watch me, relentlessly
Going under
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Written by Elisabeth

LOVE OF A LIAR

'She knew the art of painting rainbows with her words. And so I fell in love with her eloquence; each word she said rang true to my heart, each sentence seemed fit to one day become a quote by somebody else; each speech she pronounced seemed to have come straight out of a book of the best literature. But by the time I realized the truth it was too late. I had fallen deep into meaning of her spoken poetry; she was a cryptogram I wanted to solve and a sonnet I wanted to cherish. And, having learned the truth, I found it not so easy to cut the roots of admiration from my heart, because I was quite sure that like a tree, I needed them to keep on living. But how could I still admire a woman, a living poem and a work of art, whose singing words of beauty were not her own? A woman speaking with the tongues of dead poets and literary men, a lexicon of what has passed, an empty book in which was painstakingly copied line after line of beauty, to try to claim what was not owned and to impress with subtlest, lightest poetry that always seemed familiar?'

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Written by Elisabeth
LOVE OF A LIAR
'She knew the art of painting rainbows with her words. And so I fell in love with her eloquence; each word she said rang true to my heart, each sentence seemed fit to one day become a quote by somebody else; each speech she pronounced seemed to have come straight out of a book of the best literature. But by the time I realized the truth it was too late. I had fallen deep into meaning of her spoken poetry; she was a cryptogram I wanted to solve and a sonnet I wanted to cherish. And, having learned the truth, I found it not so easy to cut the roots of admiration from my heart, because I was quite sure that like a tree, I needed them to keep on living. But how could I still admire a woman, a living poem and a work of art, whose singing words of beauty were not her own? A woman speaking with the tongues of dead poets and literary men, a lexicon of what has passed, an empty book in which was painstakingly copied line after line of beauty, to try to claim what was not owned and to impress with subtlest, lightest poetry that always seemed familiar?'
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Written by Elisabeth in portal Fiction

TRIP

'There's nothing you cannot do, Luke,' she used to say, so often. I have her voice ringing in my ears as I walk through these gates. I have thought of this moment many times in the last few days, but it as bad as I imagined. Immediately all those pairs of eyes settle on me, an outsider in queer clothes and pulling an oversized suitcase that makes a rattling sound over the pavement. I had imagined that I would meet their staring faces, but I can't. It's just one of those things you imagine when you're feeling rebellious, when you feel a flash of superiority, because you know your Aristotle, for example. Or, of course, when you come from a family like mine. How many people can say that they knew exactly who their ancestors were and where they lived, and that they lived as kings? I could easily say that I am a part of a history, and it would be true. 

But I was told not to brag about this. She used to tell me: 'You didn't do anything to get this family, Luke, you were only born into it. Stop showing it around as if it is your achievement. If anything, it's mine, because you're my kid.' 

None of that matters now, though, because she's dead. And dead people's opinion don't matter. Honestly, it's weird that I keep on thinking about her that much. But maybe this place will help me get my mind off that, make me focus on something else. 

Like the people who are laughing behind me. They are like fairies, when I turn around to face them, they're all just looking around innocently. But those twitching mouths that betray that they're really about to set into a bout of laughter and can barely contain themselves, well, they're the real deal. But so am I. 

So I walk straight towards the entrance with my head held high, not looking at the floor and all, and then what happens - I trip straight over some kid's backpack. So I am stretched out on the floor with a sandy taste in my mouth, and near my right ear I hear this kid whining: 'Look, he ripped it! My new bag!' 

'Thanks for your concern, you snail, I'm fine.' Well, that's what I'd like to say to him, but my voice fails me. It must be the getting the air knocked out of your lungs thing. So I can only manage to glare at him while I climb to my feet a little bit unsteadily, and instead of marching through the front doors of my new school, I find myself staggering inwards like a man who has definitively said goodbye to his sobriety and does not know what world he's in. 

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Written by Elisabeth in portal Fiction
TRIP
'There's nothing you cannot do, Luke,' she used to say, so often. I have her voice ringing in my ears as I walk through these gates. I have thought of this moment many times in the last few days, but it as bad as I imagined. Immediately all those pairs of eyes settle on me, an outsider in queer clothes and pulling an oversized suitcase that makes a rattling sound over the pavement. I had imagined that I would meet their staring faces, but I can't. It's just one of those things you imagine when you're feeling rebellious, when you feel a flash of superiority, because you know your Aristotle, for example. Or, of course, when you come from a family like mine. How many people can say that they knew exactly who their ancestors were and where they lived, and that they lived as kings? I could easily say that I am a part of a history, and it would be true. 
But I was told not to brag about this. She used to tell me: 'You didn't do anything to get this family, Luke, you were only born into it. Stop showing it around as if it is your achievement. If anything, it's mine, because you're my kid.' 
None of that matters now, though, because she's dead. And dead people's opinion don't matter. Honestly, it's weird that I keep on thinking about her that much. But maybe this place will help me get my mind off that, make me focus on something else. 
Like the people who are laughing behind me. They are like fairies, when I turn around to face them, they're all just looking around innocently. But those twitching mouths that betray that they're really about to set into a bout of laughter and can barely contain themselves, well, they're the real deal. But so am I. 
So I walk straight towards the entrance with my head held high, not looking at the floor and all, and then what happens - I trip straight over some kid's backpack. So I am stretched out on the floor with a sandy taste in my mouth, and near my right ear I hear this kid whining: 'Look, he ripped it! My new bag!' 
'Thanks for your concern, you snail, I'm fine.' Well, that's what I'd like to say to him, but my voice fails me. It must be the getting the air knocked out of your lungs thing. So I can only manage to glare at him while I climb to my feet a little bit unsteadily, and instead of marching through the front doors of my new school, I find myself staggering inwards like a man who has definitively said goodbye to his sobriety and does not know what world he's in. 
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Written by Elisabeth in portal Poetry & Free Verse

BLOSSOM OF DUKKHA

She suffers like a flower

That is withering in white

And unforgiving sunlight

And no one seems to notice

Though she walks and speaks

She might just as well be dead

For the world drained all the life

From her heart space as if she was

A specimen of tea dissolving

For the replenishment of others

Who mercilessly took when they saw

The vacant opportunity in her eyes

I stare at her and think

If only I could save you

And put you back together

And show you that the sun shines

And that this autumn ends too

If only I could, I would

Put you back together

And, if you were just a drawn figure

In someone's sketchbook perhaps

I would draw a smile on your face

To give you happiness

And give you magic to cure

All the troubles you couldn't fix before

So we could go dancing

Without your feet getting so sore

But she suffers like a flower

At the summer's end when

The only thing on her mind

Is that everything is dwindling

To their pre-told ends

And that everything must go

That no possession is truly

Possessed but released when 

Time runs out and the telomere shortens

And she asks me, weakly

Whether she may have one more day

To dance under the summer sky

And to watch the sun set when it does

To dance one more time before she goes

Down the road of timidness

To get to the place she wanted to avoid

The quiet of the fir trees

The song of unseen singing birds

The place of midday shadows

And midnight lights

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Written by Elisabeth in portal Poetry & Free Verse
BLOSSOM OF DUKKHA
She suffers like a flower
That is withering in white
And unforgiving sunlight
And no one seems to notice
Though she walks and speaks
She might just as well be dead
For the world drained all the life
From her heart space as if she was
A specimen of tea dissolving
For the replenishment of others
Who mercilessly took when they saw
The vacant opportunity in her eyes

I stare at her and think
If only I could save you
And put you back together
And show you that the sun shines
And that this autumn ends too
If only I could, I would
Put you back together
And, if you were just a drawn figure
In someone's sketchbook perhaps
I would draw a smile on your face
To give you happiness
And give you magic to cure
All the troubles you couldn't fix before
So we could go dancing
Without your feet getting so sore

But she suffers like a flower
At the summer's end when
The only thing on her mind
Is that everything is dwindling
To their pre-told ends
And that everything must go
That no possession is truly
Possessed but released when 
Time runs out and the telomere shortens

And she asks me, weakly
Whether she may have one more day
To dance under the summer sky
And to watch the sun set when it does
To dance one more time before she goes
Down the road of timidness
To get to the place she wanted to avoid
The quiet of the fir trees
The song of unseen singing birds
The place of midday shadows
And midnight lights
3
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Juice
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Written by Elisabeth in portal Poetry & Free Verse

SILENT YEARS

Until I meet you again

May you be safe and sheltered

In a place where there is music

Music and light. Where you will know

No sorrow, no regret

May you be in sunlight

In sunlight and in water

May you be immersed in peace

And may the stars nurse you

And while you sleep

Know that I remember

Everything that you forgot

And that I will wait, with love

For the both of us, with patience

Until I meet you again

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Written by Elisabeth in portal Poetry & Free Verse
SILENT YEARS
Until I meet you again
May you be safe and sheltered
In a place where there is music
Music and light. Where you will know
No sorrow, no regret
May you be in sunlight
In sunlight and in water
May you be immersed in peace
And may the stars nurse you
And while you sleep
Know that I remember
Everything that you forgot
And that I will wait, with love
For the both of us, with patience
Until I meet you again
11
3
0
Juice
22 reads
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