Elisabeth
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Written by Elisabeth in portal Poetry & Free Verse

This lullaby won't do

I am sorry, little Akio

I cannot get to you in time

I am too close to the 

Event horizon of last summer

And you are too far away:

Moving forward in time,

As most people do

I am sorry, little Akio

I want to do so, too: 

So that we can live

The same summer, together,

But gravity weighs stronger

For me. Do you remember?

I know I cannot 

Stop remembering

I am sorry, little Akio

When I cannot make out your words

They are only delayed, you see

They wait and wait before they reach

The good part of my brain

But your patience runs out faster

And you run away. It is like this

That I can never ask you: please stay,

Little Akio, please stay

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Written by Elisabeth in portal Poetry & Free Verse
This lullaby won't do
I am sorry, little Akio
I cannot get to you in time
I am too close to the 
Event horizon of last summer
And you are too far away:
Moving forward in time,
As most people do

I am sorry, little Akio
I want to do so, too: 
So that we can live
The same summer, together,
But gravity weighs stronger
For me. Do you remember?
I know I cannot 
Stop remembering

I am sorry, little Akio
When I cannot make out your words
They are only delayed, you see
They wait and wait before they reach
The good part of my brain
But your patience runs out faster
And you run away. It is like this
That I can never ask you: please stay,
Little Akio, please stay
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Written by Elisabeth in portal Poetry & Free Verse

Stardust forward

I am a poem

On your skin

Do not forget me

Do not forget me

I am a clock

You measure time with;

And a cassette

To capture your voice

I am a kiss

Of a tune you forgot the name of

And I embrace

The shape of your heart

I am your sanctuary

I cannot be destroyed;

I am the fabric of your genes

You will be created again, again

You will be moved

A butterfly in a storm

A house in a monsoon

And a star goes quietly

When I call your name

You will see me again

When you open your eyes

For the first time

And the light on your skin

I am your heart and sun

And the light inside you

If you can see me now

I will radiate and fill

A firmament of stars

You could light up the sky

When you open your eyes

To find me

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Written by Elisabeth in portal Poetry & Free Verse
Stardust forward
I am a poem
On your skin
Do not forget me
Do not forget me

I am a clock
You measure time with;
And a cassette
To capture your voice

I am a kiss
Of a tune you forgot the name of
And I embrace
The shape of your heart

I am your sanctuary
I cannot be destroyed;
I am the fabric of your genes
You will be created again, again

You will be moved
A butterfly in a storm
A house in a monsoon
And a star goes quietly
When I call your name

You will see me again
When you open your eyes
For the first time
And the light on your skin

I am your heart and sun
And the light inside you
If you can see me now
I will radiate and fill
A firmament of stars
You could light up the sky
When you open your eyes
To find me
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Your second date with God
Written by Elisabeth in portal Fantasy

Vision of undetermined origin

I admit he was a mysterious man. Just how he sat there, his muscles relaxing into the embrace of the shapeless fauteuille. I had to admit I was intrigued. I was intrigued by the thin smile that always surrounded his face, as if I were always about to say something ingenious or he had found something that could amaze him forever. And I mean forever.

Of course I did not believe he was God. If that were the case, I would never had agreed to meet him here on this second date. The truth is, I wasn't even sure whether the man in front of me was sane. He probably was not. But he was the most charming, amiable fellow who wore his good looks without that abundant pride and superiority I had come to despise in the predecessors who had sat at that table for some time or another. He was a character out of a fairy tale, unaware of his beauty and intrigue. Except of course, for the detail that he was God.

Of all the beings he could have impersonated, why did it have to be God? I could foresee that, despite his charm and general loveliness, this would be a problem. Frankly I have had a difficult relationship with God. I have experienced that I could not count on him when I needed him before. I used to talk to him, but he said nothing. We used to play hide-and-seek; I went searching, but he had hidden too well. I read books about him, but they seemed just like stories and make-believe. So I ended up resenting him for it, I told him, If you are benevolent, then why are there earthquakes? Why is there suffering? Why is there death? And that one time, I did not mind his silence. I don't think that any response would have been good enough. 

All of that was on my mind while I ordered coffee and smiled at a man who was nearly perfect and yet so far removed from my reality. 

'You still don't believe in me, do you?' he observed. 

'Leave it be,' I suggested, wanting to hold on to what little there was left of the possibility. 

'But I need you,' he continued, 'to believe.' His eyes were trembling with emotion as he asked for a devotion I could not give him. 

'Why do you insist on being God?'

'Does it insult you?' he asked, timidly. 'What did you expect me to look like?' 

'Get it together, man,' I said, getting up, just as the coffees arrived. The waitress looked ominously at us, the bill already in her hand as she nearly slammed it on the table. 

'But I am,' he said, weakly. 'Why does nobody believe me?' 

'Pray you're not,' I told him, as I reached for my wallet. 'If you are, I don't think you're real.' 

I handed the money to the waitress, who walked out on us without a word. 'You're welcome, by the way,' I commented sweetly, and turned to face the flagrant imposter. But the chair in front of me was empty. There was no desperate man with a sugared disposition and a flair of nobility in front of me. There were only two cups of coffee. 

Everything had gotten very quiet. I could feel their eyes on me as I turned around, the room spinning, my hands clenched together as I asked: 'Where did he go?' 

Dead silence followed. After a while, the waitress announced, half-whispering: 'Beats me.' 

'Are you alright?' a voice asked. I did not seem able to see where it was coming from, because my heartbeat had started hammering the rhythm of Chopin's Minute Waltz, and everything seemed to have gone a faint red hue. 

'Where did he go?' I repeated, in the direction of the voice. 

'We don't know,' someone else offered, with a tone of disinterest. 

'How should we know?' another tuned in.

'But who?' a third one asked. 

'God,' I said. 'I think he left me.'

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Your second date with God
Written by Elisabeth in portal Fantasy
Vision of undetermined origin
I admit he was a mysterious man. Just how he sat there, his muscles relaxing into the embrace of the shapeless fauteuille. I had to admit I was intrigued. I was intrigued by the thin smile that always surrounded his face, as if I were always about to say something ingenious or he had found something that could amaze him forever. And I mean forever.
Of course I did not believe he was God. If that were the case, I would never had agreed to meet him here on this second date. The truth is, I wasn't even sure whether the man in front of me was sane. He probably was not. But he was the most charming, amiable fellow who wore his good looks without that abundant pride and superiority I had come to despise in the predecessors who had sat at that table for some time or another. He was a character out of a fairy tale, unaware of his beauty and intrigue. Except of course, for the detail that he was God.
Of all the beings he could have impersonated, why did it have to be God? I could foresee that, despite his charm and general loveliness, this would be a problem. Frankly I have had a difficult relationship with God. I have experienced that I could not count on him when I needed him before. I used to talk to him, but he said nothing. We used to play hide-and-seek; I went searching, but he had hidden too well. I read books about him, but they seemed just like stories and make-believe. So I ended up resenting him for it, I told him, If you are benevolent, then why are there earthquakes? Why is there suffering? Why is there death? And that one time, I did not mind his silence. I don't think that any response would have been good enough. 
All of that was on my mind while I ordered coffee and smiled at a man who was nearly perfect and yet so far removed from my reality. 
'You still don't believe in me, do you?' he observed. 
'Leave it be,' I suggested, wanting to hold on to what little there was left of the possibility. 
'But I need you,' he continued, 'to believe.' His eyes were trembling with emotion as he asked for a devotion I could not give him. 
'Why do you insist on being God?'
'Does it insult you?' he asked, timidly. 'What did you expect me to look like?' 
'Get it together, man,' I said, getting up, just as the coffees arrived. The waitress looked ominously at us, the bill already in her hand as she nearly slammed it on the table. 
'But I am,' he said, weakly. 'Why does nobody believe me?' 
'Pray you're not,' I told him, as I reached for my wallet. 'If you are, I don't think you're real.' 
I handed the money to the waitress, who walked out on us without a word. 'You're welcome, by the way,' I commented sweetly, and turned to face the flagrant imposter. But the chair in front of me was empty. There was no desperate man with a sugared disposition and a flair of nobility in front of me. There were only two cups of coffee. 
Everything had gotten very quiet. I could feel their eyes on me as I turned around, the room spinning, my hands clenched together as I asked: 'Where did he go?' 
Dead silence followed. After a while, the waitress announced, half-whispering: 'Beats me.' 
'Are you alright?' a voice asked. I did not seem able to see where it was coming from, because my heartbeat had started hammering the rhythm of Chopin's Minute Waltz, and everything seemed to have gone a faint red hue. 
'Where did he go?' I repeated, in the direction of the voice. 
'We don't know,' someone else offered, with a tone of disinterest. 
'How should we know?' another tuned in.
'But who?' a third one asked. 
'God,' I said. 'I think he left me.'
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Written by Elisabeth in portal Poetry & Free Verse

Brain Chemistry

The neural net escapes

Detection in the mosaic floor

And thoughts are wandering

Through axons that meander

And connect in the darkness

Of the headspace

Memories of rainbows

Through a glass of water,

Recollection of a passage

In a mirrored dream

Memes accessed and archived

Remembering your name

An idea nears completion

In the cortex that is buzzing

With vital electricity:

The mosaic reveals patterns

I have never seen before

I am perplexed and full of wonder

But I understand no more,

No more than I did before

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Written by Elisabeth in portal Poetry & Free Verse
Brain Chemistry
The neural net escapes
Detection in the mosaic floor
And thoughts are wandering
Through axons that meander
And connect in the darkness
Of the headspace

Memories of rainbows
Through a glass of water,
Recollection of a passage
In a mirrored dream
Memes accessed and archived
Remembering your name

An idea nears completion
In the cortex that is buzzing
With vital electricity:
The mosaic reveals patterns
I have never seen before
I am perplexed and full of wonder
But I understand no more,
No more than I did before
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Written by Elisabeth

Waves on water

The sparkle of a river

Lights up against my skin

I know the tides

I know the sweeping

Trees that line

The riverside

And I know you,

My true companion

This boat can carry both of us

Straight to the sea

This stream will move us both

Forward with reopened eyes

This love may give life

To both of us,

As we find solace in

The still point of the changing tides

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Written by Elisabeth
Waves on water
The sparkle of a river
Lights up against my skin
I know the tides
I know the sweeping
Trees that line
The riverside
And I know you,
My true companion
This boat can carry both of us
Straight to the sea
This stream will move us both
Forward with reopened eyes
This love may give life
To both of us,
As we find solace in
The still point of the changing tides
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Write the longest grammatically sound alliteration you can possibly muster. The longest such alliteration's author wins $150 if, and only if, this challenge receives at least 300 entries. Editing is allowed.
Written by Elisabeth in portal Words

Serendipitous saviour

Somehow, she surrounded sand's symphonic sound, surpassing serenity, surpassing speech. She spoke soundlessly, stars started shifting, seas shallow, saffron skies. Somehow, she sang solemnly, seismograms shivering, segregating stellar systems. Somehow, solace settled, solitude subdued; surreal sanctuary sustaining serendipity's soul. So she succeeded sibylline, serene, sending somewhere some sentient salute; she saluted society, stretching science's strands, steadfast, slow, stillness. 

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Write the longest grammatically sound alliteration you can possibly muster. The longest such alliteration's author wins $150 if, and only if, this challenge receives at least 300 entries. Editing is allowed.
Written by Elisabeth in portal Words
Serendipitous saviour
Somehow, she surrounded sand's symphonic sound, surpassing serenity, surpassing speech. She spoke soundlessly, stars started shifting, seas shallow, saffron skies. Somehow, she sang solemnly, seismograms shivering, segregating stellar systems. Somehow, solace settled, solitude subdued; surreal sanctuary sustaining serendipity's soul. So she succeeded sibylline, serene, sending somewhere some sentient salute; she saluted society, stretching science's strands, steadfast, slow, stillness. 
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Who is in control of your life?
Written by Elisabeth

To keep the darkness out

I find myself drawn again and again to the cracked mirror to study my face. That hollow-eyed girl, is that really me? I want to believe that this is not reality. 

It started on a day in September. That day, I heard the most incredible story of my life and I did not believe it, not even for a minute. I heard it as I passed some neighbors walking up the stairs to my apartment; you must imagine I was walking rather slowly because of the super heavy grocery backs I was carrying. It was a story about the Blackouts. There were lots of stories about the blackouts those days, but this one was the best. 

So this one neighbor, I believe her name is Natasha, comments to the other: 'So that is a mystery solved, isn't it?' 

'What is?' the other one asked. I didn't know her; she was wearing a thick fur coat even though it was not really cold yet outside. But she did not seem very unsympathetic.

'What did you do last night?' Natasha asked, her arms folded in front of her. 

At this, her friend became a little defensive. 'How do you mean?' she asked. 

I slowed down a bit, because I realized I could really use this for a joke during my job tomorrow. The colleagues would love it.

'No, no, that is not how I meant it,' Natasha assured her, 'really, you are quite the sensitive one. I meant: did you stay indoors?' 

'Yes, of course,' the woman said. 'Those dark streets creep me out.'

'And you were right to. There's something in the darkness,' she commented, a dare in her voice. 

'Oh, please,' the woman said. 'What nonsense is that?' 

'Hear me out,' Natasha insisted. 'I have heard of people who lay claims on the lights. They say, if you want light, you have to pay them.' 

'I do pay for the lights,' the woman sighed. 'And still, most of the time I don't seem to get them.' 

'Yes,' Natasha said. 'That is because they control them.'

'They,' she repeated.

'Yes, Clara,' Natasha said. 'Don't you believe me?' 

'Who are they?' Clara informed. 

'The Light People,' Natasha explained. 

At this, I could not contain a splash of laughter, and both women looked up to meet my gaze angrily, so I starting heaving the groceries up the stairs again while they whispered protests at being overheard. The Light People.

A day later, there was a knock on the door. I opened it, because there was no blackout and I felt quite confident. And there they were. 

'Ms. James?' they read my name from the door. 

'Yes?' I confirmed. 

'We are here for the lights.' 

When the meaning of his words reached my brain, I felt the hairs on arms rising and felt an immediate impulse to slam the door shut. His foot preceded my actual movement and so I was forced to stare in their expressionless glares. 

'You are here for the lights,' I repeated, dumbstruck.

'Yes,' another one said. 'Sign here,' he continued, producing a piece of paper and a pen. I glanced at it distrustingly, and managed to ask: 'And what is this?'

'A contract,' he answered, impatiently. 'Please sign it.' 

'But for what?' I asked, feeling overwhelmed by a rising sensation of alarm. 

'With this contract, you allow us to take away the thing you value most. If you refuse...' He did not care to finish. 

I shoved the paper back in his hands and tried to shut the door again, but the black shoed foot stayed firmly in place. 

'Madam, if you refuse, we will take the lights away permanently,' he commented, in a very disinterested manner, as if none of this regarded him. 

'Like hell you will,' I rebelled at his ominous tone and glared at them. Their ridiculous words floated like rubber ducks between us. 'The thing I value most?' I repeated, despite myself, and frowning. 

'Only you know,' he said, and handed me the form. 'Goodbye now, and goodnight; we will be back presently.' 

At that, the foot was removed from my doorstep and they withdrew with synchronized moves as an army of toy soldiers. But I did not close the door immediately. Somewhere near, someone had started weeping. 

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Who is in control of your life?
Written by Elisabeth
To keep the darkness out
I find myself drawn again and again to the cracked mirror to study my face. That hollow-eyed girl, is that really me? I want to believe that this is not reality. 
It started on a day in September. That day, I heard the most incredible story of my life and I did not believe it, not even for a minute. I heard it as I passed some neighbors walking up the stairs to my apartment; you must imagine I was walking rather slowly because of the super heavy grocery backs I was carrying. It was a story about the Blackouts. There were lots of stories about the blackouts those days, but this one was the best. 
So this one neighbor, I believe her name is Natasha, comments to the other: 'So that is a mystery solved, isn't it?' 
'What is?' the other one asked. I didn't know her; she was wearing a thick fur coat even though it was not really cold yet outside. But she did not seem very unsympathetic.
'What did you do last night?' Natasha asked, her arms folded in front of her. 
At this, her friend became a little defensive. 'How do you mean?' she asked. 
I slowed down a bit, because I realized I could really use this for a joke during my job tomorrow. The colleagues would love it.
'No, no, that is not how I meant it,' Natasha assured her, 'really, you are quite the sensitive one. I meant: did you stay indoors?' 
'Yes, of course,' the woman said. 'Those dark streets creep me out.'
'And you were right to. There's something in the darkness,' she commented, a dare in her voice. 
'Oh, please,' the woman said. 'What nonsense is that?' 
'Hear me out,' Natasha insisted. 'I have heard of people who lay claims on the lights. They say, if you want light, you have to pay them.' 
'I do pay for the lights,' the woman sighed. 'And still, most of the time I don't seem to get them.' 
'Yes,' Natasha said. 'That is because they control them.'
'They,' she repeated.
'Yes, Clara,' Natasha said. 'Don't you believe me?' 
'Who are they?' Clara informed. 
'The Light People,' Natasha explained. 
At this, I could not contain a splash of laughter, and both women looked up to meet my gaze angrily, so I starting heaving the groceries up the stairs again while they whispered protests at being overheard. The Light People.

A day later, there was a knock on the door. I opened it, because there was no blackout and I felt quite confident. And there they were. 
'Ms. James?' they read my name from the door. 
'Yes?' I confirmed. 
'We are here for the lights.' 
When the meaning of his words reached my brain, I felt the hairs on arms rising and felt an immediate impulse to slam the door shut. His foot preceded my actual movement and so I was forced to stare in their expressionless glares. 
'You are here for the lights,' I repeated, dumbstruck.
'Yes,' another one said. 'Sign here,' he continued, producing a piece of paper and a pen. I glanced at it distrustingly, and managed to ask: 'And what is this?'
'A contract,' he answered, impatiently. 'Please sign it.' 
'But for what?' I asked, feeling overwhelmed by a rising sensation of alarm. 
'With this contract, you allow us to take away the thing you value most. If you refuse...' He did not care to finish. 
I shoved the paper back in his hands and tried to shut the door again, but the black shoed foot stayed firmly in place. 
'Madam, if you refuse, we will take the lights away permanently,' he commented, in a very disinterested manner, as if none of this regarded him. 
'Like hell you will,' I rebelled at his ominous tone and glared at them. Their ridiculous words floated like rubber ducks between us. 'The thing I value most?' I repeated, despite myself, and frowning. 
'Only you know,' he said, and handed me the form. 'Goodbye now, and goodnight; we will be back presently.' 
At that, the foot was removed from my doorstep and they withdrew with synchronized moves as an army of toy soldiers. But I did not close the door immediately. Somewhere near, someone had started weeping. 
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Trident Media Group is the leading U.S. literary agency and we are looking to discover and represent the next bestsellers. Share a sample of your work. If it shows promise, we will be in touch with you.
Written by Elisabeth in portal Trident Media Group

Double Phoenix

Waking up with that vague feeling of emptiness, as if you have lost something that you cannot define. The light coming in through that corner where the curtain isn’t entirely closed. Wondering what on earth could have hit you and given you that incredible headache. Listening to the sounds of footsteps coming and retreating. Wanting to stay in bed all day, why would you even want to get out and do things?

Her father poked his head around the door. ‘Get up, Paloma. There’s lots of work to do and someone I’d like you to meet.’

‘Later,’ she said, hiding her face in the pillow. ‘My head. It kind of hurts. A lot.’

‘Do you want something against the pain?’ As she nodded he went to get her a painkiller and a glass of water, almost as if they were just an ordinary family. Well, they were, of course.

‘Are you sure Nathaniel is alright?’ she asked after she drank it. ‘I had the weirdest dream about him last night.’

‘Of course. What did you dream?’

She put the glass down and drew the blankets over her face. ‘I don’t remember. Why doesn’t he ever call? Remind me to kill him when I see him next. What use is a brother who never calls?’

‘You know he loves you. We both do,’ he said before walking out, leaving her to slumber and to despise the pounding of the hammer that came down on her head each time her heart beat.

It was hours later when she finally got out of bed and got dressed, investigating herself in the mirror. She reached the conclusion she looked like hell, as if she’d just survived the Spanish flue. Whatever, she thought. There’s still the cause to attend to.

She walked through the hallway, a little unsteady on her feet, until she got to the training room. There was someone in there she had never seen before. The trainee. He was a thin man with a tattoo on his left shoulder and clothes that looked as if he’d worn them for a week. He jumped a little when she closed the door behind her, but managed to smile anyway. 

'My name is Paloma. Paloma Guerra Gomez,' she said, extending her hand.

There was a little pause before he responded. ‘Sam Smith,’ he said. 

‘Where have I heard that name before?' she mused. 'Come to think about it, you do look a bit familiar. Have we met before?’

Minutes later she was pointing a gun at him. 

‘I can help you,’ Cole said. ‘Let me help you. Let me help you remember who you are.’

‘Help me remember who I am? Who do you think you are? I know perfectly well who I am. I am the daughter of the Rhadamantus. And it’s just my head. It hurts. I don’t need a doctor, and I most definitely don’t need you. Now stop moving.’

But he didn’t.

‘I will shoot you,’ she repeated, gripping the gun even more firmly, her hands turning white.

‘Go ahead,’ he said, standing before her. ‘I don’t mind.’

‘You don’t mind,’ she repeated slowly. ‘Maybe you meant this: you have lost your mind? You don’t mind if I kill you?’

‘I really don’t,’ he said, ‘because I’ve finally found you, Paloma.’

She just looked at him, her eyes wide with amazement. ‘You are one weird fellow, soldier.’

‘Yeah,’ he said, ‘I get that a lot. Are you still going to shoot me?’

‘I’m considering it,’ she said. ‘Depends on your next move.’

He did another step, ignored the flaming anger on her face, and embraced her, pressing the gun against his chest. She nearly pulled the trigger as he put her arms around her, the side of his face touching hers. ‘My god,’ she exclaimed, pushing him away and swirling him around against the wall. ‘Something is wrong with you. Should I call your shrink or something?’

‘You still don’t remember?’ he asked.

‘No,’ she said, ‘so what’s next? How will you make me remember my secret identity?’

He shrugged. ‘You could start by putting the gun down. I assure you am not here to hurt you.’

‘Yeah,’ she smiled, ‘let me put the gun away while I’m alone in a room with a madman. I don’t think so.’

‘Fine,’ he said, ‘whatever you want, Paloma.’

‘Don’t sulk like a baby,’ she admonished, ‘you’re lucky I haven’t killed you yet.’

‘Why haven’t you?’ he asked.

She took another glance at him and sniffed. ‘Well,’ she said, ‘I’d like to. It’s just that this gun isn’t really loaded. Protocol.’ She threw it over her shoulder. ‘Don’t worry though,’ she said, retrieving another one from her leg in one fluent move, ‘this one is.’ And she loaded it with another one.

‘Paloma,’ he said.

‘Yeah?’ she repeated, still smiling.

‘I love you,’ he said.

She started laughing. ‘You what now?’

‘You wouldn’t believe me anyway,’ he said, stepping closer, kissing her so suddenly she didn’t have any time to respond. It startled her so much she dropped the loaded gun, which came down with a heavy clunk. As she pulled herself loose she frowned, brought her hand to her mouth, and then, on a second thought, looked down. She started diving for it, but he brought his foot down on it. ‘Damn you!’ she shouted, grabbing his leg as they both tumbled on the floor. She pinned him down again with an unexpected force and hit him in the face. ‘Who do you think you are anyway?’ As she started reaching for the gun again, he caught her off guard, and they rolled over the floor, both reaching for the gun, until he managed to grab her wrists.

‘I don’t like you very much,’ she confided in him, as she struggled to break free.

‘You tried to kill me,’ he answered. ‘I think I liked the old Paloma better too.’

'You are a madman,' she hissed.

'If I let you go, will you stop trying to kill me?'  he tried. When she didn't reply, he continued: 'Paloma, listen to me: we need to talk about Hiroshima.' 

'What about him?' she replied, and finally broke loose.

'He is a traitor.' 

They both stood there for a moment, neither one willing to break their stare first, neither one sure of their next move. 

'Well, that should be interesting,' Paloma commented finally. 'You should have started with that.'

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Trident Media Group is the leading U.S. literary agency and we are looking to discover and represent the next bestsellers. Share a sample of your work. If it shows promise, we will be in touch with you.
Written by Elisabeth in portal Trident Media Group
Double Phoenix
Waking up with that vague feeling of emptiness, as if you have lost something that you cannot define. The light coming in through that corner where the curtain isn’t entirely closed. Wondering what on earth could have hit you and given you that incredible headache. Listening to the sounds of footsteps coming and retreating. Wanting to stay in bed all day, why would you even want to get out and do things?
Her father poked his head around the door. ‘Get up, Paloma. There’s lots of work to do and someone I’d like you to meet.’
‘Later,’ she said, hiding her face in the pillow. ‘My head. It kind of hurts. A lot.’
‘Do you want something against the pain?’ As she nodded he went to get her a painkiller and a glass of water, almost as if they were just an ordinary family. Well, they were, of course.
‘Are you sure Nathaniel is alright?’ she asked after she drank it. ‘I had the weirdest dream about him last night.’
‘Of course. What did you dream?’
She put the glass down and drew the blankets over her face. ‘I don’t remember. Why doesn’t he ever call? Remind me to kill him when I see him next. What use is a brother who never calls?’
‘You know he loves you. We both do,’ he said before walking out, leaving her to slumber and to despise the pounding of the hammer that came down on her head each time her heart beat.
It was hours later when she finally got out of bed and got dressed, investigating herself in the mirror. She reached the conclusion she looked like hell, as if she’d just survived the Spanish flue. Whatever, she thought. There’s still the cause to attend to.

She walked through the hallway, a little unsteady on her feet, until she got to the training room. There was someone in there she had never seen before. The trainee. He was a thin man with a tattoo on his left shoulder and clothes that looked as if he’d worn them for a week. He jumped a little when she closed the door behind her, but managed to smile anyway. 
'My name is Paloma. Paloma Guerra Gomez,' she said, extending her hand.
There was a little pause before he responded. ‘Sam Smith,’ he said. 
‘Where have I heard that name before?' she mused. 'Come to think about it, you do look a bit familiar. Have we met before?’

Minutes later she was pointing a gun at him. 
‘I can help you,’ Cole said. ‘Let me help you. Let me help you remember who you are.’
‘Help me remember who I am? Who do you think you are? I know perfectly well who I am. I am the daughter of the Rhadamantus. And it’s just my head. It hurts. I don’t need a doctor, and I most definitely don’t need you. Now stop moving.’
But he didn’t.
‘I will shoot you,’ she repeated, gripping the gun even more firmly, her hands turning white.
‘Go ahead,’ he said, standing before her. ‘I don’t mind.’
‘You don’t mind,’ she repeated slowly. ‘Maybe you meant this: you have lost your mind? You don’t mind if I kill you?’
‘I really don’t,’ he said, ‘because I’ve finally found you, Paloma.’
She just looked at him, her eyes wide with amazement. ‘You are one weird fellow, soldier.’
‘Yeah,’ he said, ‘I get that a lot. Are you still going to shoot me?’
‘I’m considering it,’ she said. ‘Depends on your next move.’
He did another step, ignored the flaming anger on her face, and embraced her, pressing the gun against his chest. She nearly pulled the trigger as he put her arms around her, the side of his face touching hers. ‘My god,’ she exclaimed, pushing him away and swirling him around against the wall. ‘Something is wrong with you. Should I call your shrink or something?’
‘You still don’t remember?’ he asked.
‘No,’ she said, ‘so what’s next? How will you make me remember my secret identity?’
He shrugged. ‘You could start by putting the gun down. I assure you am not here to hurt you.’
‘Yeah,’ she smiled, ‘let me put the gun away while I’m alone in a room with a madman. I don’t think so.’
‘Fine,’ he said, ‘whatever you want, Paloma.’
‘Don’t sulk like a baby,’ she admonished, ‘you’re lucky I haven’t killed you yet.’
‘Why haven’t you?’ he asked.
She took another glance at him and sniffed. ‘Well,’ she said, ‘I’d like to. It’s just that this gun isn’t really loaded. Protocol.’ She threw it over her shoulder. ‘Don’t worry though,’ she said, retrieving another one from her leg in one fluent move, ‘this one is.’ And she loaded it with another one.
‘Paloma,’ he said.
‘Yeah?’ she repeated, still smiling.
‘I love you,’ he said.
She started laughing. ‘You what now?’
‘You wouldn’t believe me anyway,’ he said, stepping closer, kissing her so suddenly she didn’t have any time to respond. It startled her so much she dropped the loaded gun, which came down with a heavy clunk. As she pulled herself loose she frowned, brought her hand to her mouth, and then, on a second thought, looked down. She started diving for it, but he brought his foot down on it. ‘Damn you!’ she shouted, grabbing his leg as they both tumbled on the floor. She pinned him down again with an unexpected force and hit him in the face. ‘Who do you think you are anyway?’ As she started reaching for the gun again, he caught her off guard, and they rolled over the floor, both reaching for the gun, until he managed to grab her wrists.
‘I don’t like you very much,’ she confided in him, as she struggled to break free.
‘You tried to kill me,’ he answered. ‘I think I liked the old Paloma better too.’
'You are a madman,' she hissed.
'If I let you go, will you stop trying to kill me?'  he tried. When she didn't reply, he continued: 'Paloma, listen to me: we need to talk about Hiroshima.' 
'What about him?' she replied, and finally broke loose.
'He is a traitor.' 
They both stood there for a moment, neither one willing to break their stare first, neither one sure of their next move. 
'Well, that should be interesting,' Paloma commented finally. 'You should have started with that.'
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Written by Elisabeth in portal Poetry & Free Verse

Lovers in Pompeii

Your poetry is fading

Into music, but your touch

Still lingers in my mind

Where all is quiet.

Your words retreating,

But I still understand

Their deeper meaning

I can see your

Silhouette

Clearly drawn

Into the dark side of my heart

And the darkness moves

A song that is our own

Quietly, quietly

I can hear your song fade out

Into the poetry that defines

This moment 

And all that follow

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Written by Elisabeth in portal Poetry & Free Verse
Lovers in Pompeii
Your poetry is fading
Into music, but your touch
Still lingers in my mind
Where all is quiet.
Your words retreating,
But I still understand
Their deeper meaning

I can see your
Silhouette
Clearly drawn
Into the dark side of my heart
And the darkness moves
A song that is our own
Quietly, quietly
I can hear your song fade out
Into the poetry that defines
This moment 
And all that follow
1
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Juice
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Written by Elisabeth in portal Poetry & Free Verse

Space

I am falling up

They say I fly

But I can only follow

Where gravity leads

Soaring like a sand storm

Before the wind goes quiet

Faster and faster

Rockets bleeding science

Breathing exhaust fumes

The truth of the parabole

Who will catch me when

I send comet tails trailing

The stardust burning in

The atmosphere. When I

Have fluttered down 

The line of the parachute

Will you haul me from the sea

And carry me as weakness

And memories of weightlessness

Will pull me down under

And the waves do mesmerize. 

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Written by Elisabeth in portal Poetry & Free Verse
Space
I am falling up
They say I fly
But I can only follow
Where gravity leads
Soaring like a sand storm
Before the wind goes quiet
Faster and faster
Rockets bleeding science
Breathing exhaust fumes
The truth of the parabole
Who will catch me when
I send comet tails trailing
The stardust burning in
The atmosphere. When I
Have fluttered down 
The line of the parachute
Will you haul me from the sea
And carry me as weakness
And memories of weightlessness
Will pull me down under
And the waves do mesmerize. 
7
3
0
Juice
25 reads
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