Hansel and Gretel Are Dead.
Hansel and Gretel are dead. The nearby town is littered with posters, amassed in gutters and garbage cans, carefully taped in shop windows and tacked onto trees. A photo of the siblings smiles eerily beneath two words, written shakily in block letters: “missing children”.
The kids in the town, schoolmates of the late Hansel and Gretel, whisper on playgrounds and in classrooms in soft somber voices: “a witch took them” and “they got lost in the woods, following a trail of sweets” and “they’re trapped in a house made of candy”. The stories spread quickly, insidious.
Hansel and Gretel lay hand in hand, cold and beginning to rot, in the basement of a cottage deep in the forest. The cottage is not made of candy. The woman standing over them, her dress covered in smatterings of dark blood, is not a witch.
It is easier to make believe, to live in a fairytale. It’s easier for the weary police chief to sigh heavily and dismiss the children’s mother with “they’re just runaways. They’ll come back in a couple of days time. No need to make a fuss.” It is easier for her to go home, repeating those words to herself like a prayer as she lays quietly in bed, not sleeping, in a house unusually void of bickering and laughter, until the sun rises.
It is easier too for the woman who is not a witch, beads of sweat building on her forehead as she drags two small bodies towards a hot wood burning stove, to know that she will never be found out. The eventual police report will be put on a shelf reserved for the town’s many runaway children and never opened again, becoming colder as the years drag on. Hidden deep in the woods, her unassuming little cottage that is not made of candy will never be searched. The fire that reflects in her dark eyes will never give up so much as a shred of evidence.
And in the nearby town, Hansel and Gretel’s posters will soon fade and fall, to be replaced by new children’s photos. The other kids will make up silly rhymes and sing songs about a candy house and a wicked witch. Their parents will warn them to stay out of the woods. They will exist in the ignorant bliss of their fairytales, all while breathing in the sickly smell of smoke that drifts into town on a breeze from a chimney deep in the forest - all that remains of their lost children.
I had told the four travelers at the campfire I had little to offer for their hospitality.
“Sure you do,” the oldest man said, pointing at my pack. “You’re practically a walking goods shop!” He eyed the strips of cloth fastening an assortment of bottles and small knick-knacks to my pack.
The weathered woman sitting next to him slapped him on his grizzly arm, earning grins from the young couple seated across from her. “If our guest says they have nothing to offer, then they have nothing to offer.”
I laughed, abashed. “It’s okay, he’s right,” I said.“I mean to give these all away anyway. Did anything catch your eye?”
“No, no,” the woman interjected, snapping her attention toward me with a face like a fox.
“Absolutely not. He’s just a bully. We welcomed you for your company alone.”
The burly man shrugged, spreading his hands helplessly, then signed, she’s right. Please forgive my rudeness. His rough hands flashed through the gestures artlessly.
“So what brings you through the frozen north?” asked the younger of the two men. His bearcat-fur parka was the thickest in the group, yet he kept his arms tucked closes to his body. He sat pressed against a young woman with a scar across her lip.
“Well,” I said. “My studies, I suppose, which may be the only interesting thing about me. And –”
“A scholar!” the scar-lipped woman exclaimed. “Of what?”
“Have you ever heard of a Shaman?”
The older woman with the vulpine face cocked her head. “Some kind of spirit-talker, right?”
“Works with water spirits,” her husband added with a grunt.
“That’s a Mage,” I laughed, “but good guess. Shamans are spirit-talkers, yes, but they don’t work with blue kavi spirits. They work with the grey ones.”
I paused while the older man tried to recall what sort of magic grey kavi could perform. I saw a flicker of recognition in the eyes of the younger couple, so I continued. "Grey kavi are spirits of the soul, and these bottles and things are for when I find such a grey spirit.”
“I remember when I was a child,” the scarred woman said, “I tried over and over to catch some local spirits with anything I could find. Then my older sister came by and got one on her first try. I was furious.”
The younger man laughed, his breath giving the sound a shape in the air as it frosted. “I always thought it was weird that nobody’s been able to figure out a pattern to the things a kavi likes. What offerings do grey spirits take, then? Assuming you’re luckier than my partner, here.”
She smacked him.
“I’m... not certain," I admitted. "They are rare compared to most other spirits. The Plateau is the only cold place on the island, so I haven’t worked with them as much as I’d have liked. Practicing Shamanic magic tends to be that way, but I’m hoping to, well – to get lucky.”
“I guess it’s not as simple as offering them a pretty chunk of ice, eh? You’ll find loads of it soon, if you go much deeper into Ke'pala!” chuckled the stocky husband.
“Ah, the offering has to be a little more unique than that,” I smiled.
“Well,” the older woman said, “I don’t know much about catching spirits, but try this when you find one.” She leaned around the fire and handed me a small, white object pinched between her thumb and forefinger. “It was my mother’s, but it doesn’t sit well in my ear.”
It had a curving shape, inlaid with a few simple runes. Wear from the woman’s pocket had done little to tarnish the accessory, despite its appearance of fragility. I had once worn an earring like it before I had sold it to pay for my studies, but it hadn’t been nearly so exquisite. The one now in my palm was a marvel.
I looked up from the trinket to the gaunt-faced woman. “I can’t— “
“Oh, don’t worry. If it helps you catch one of those spirits, it’ll be worth it. I hear they like things of value anyway. Please, take it.”
“Thank you,” I said, tucking it into my pocket.
“My town employed a Shaman, once,” said the younger man. “The whales were migrating out of season, for some reason, so our hunting party turned to the forests for sustenance. The Shaman pointed out nearby game we never would have found on our own.”
The oldest man grunted. “Ain’t seem right, not giving your quarry a chance to hide.”
“It was that, or go hungry,” the young man said, shooting him a look.
The young woman with the scar added, “If the gods didn’t want us using magic, they wouldn’t let the kavi be tamed. Besides, it’s hardly practical to bring a Shaman on every hunting trip – their services are expensive.”
The debate turned from magic to hunting ethics, so I decided against reminding them that the tiny, grey spirits had another use – one I had devoted myself to mastering since my lover Anri's death.
A line of soft grey smoke rose in the distance behind me, the column undisturbed by wind until it had climbed several dozen feet into the chilly northern air. I smiled. It would serve the universe well if I was given an opportunity to repay them for their kindness.
The road ahead would be long and cold, and there was a chance the people from the campfire would be the last I'd see for some time. Grey spirits were most common in the icier regions of the island, though they appeared sometimes in places of death as well. For the unprepared, Ke’pala had plenty of both.
The risk would be worth the reward, though; I came to the frozen north because I had learned of a way to speak with Anri again. One last goodbye — a proper one this time. A chance to ask if he was okay. If he’s happy.
I just needed a grey kavi to do it.
I awoke the next morning to Ke’pala’s characteristic chill, stronger than the night before. I grit my teeth as I pulled the top of my exposed head further under the covers. It shouldn't be so cold already. Had a cloud of grey spirits visited my tent, or was I not as prepared for the plateau's weather as I had thought?
I opened my eyes and forced myself to sit up. A gust of frigid air swept into my blankets.
I spat the underworld’s name in a cloud of frost. Something had torn open my tent and pulled out my pack. I crawled forward, numb fingers fumbling with the tent’s fastenings. I poked my head outside, squinting as sharp sunlight fell across my face. My camp was littered with refuse and the tracks of animals.
"Thieving beasts," I groaned, staring at the paw-print of what might have been some kind of bearcat.
I crawled out of my tent on hands and knees, soaking the ends of my sleeves. There wasn’t much left to scavenge. A few scraps of shredded cloth, a couple of glass bottles, and the occasional mat of the scavengers’ fur were all that remained.
Unable to find anything of use, I took down my tent and wrapped the undamaged bottles within its folds. I'd be traveling a lot lighter now, at least; my warmest clothes and blankets had vanished with the backpack, leaving only the items I had worn to sleep.
The loss of so much gear might have been enough to turn me away from venturing further, but the extra equipment had been a precaution, not a necessity. Other than the blankets within my tent, I had a carved talisman on a cord around my neck that provided me with enough warmth to endure most of the chill.
The pebble was smooth, and prominently marked with the rune that designated “heat”. On the back were several more runes — hidden from the more decorative primary rune — that bound a dormant fire spirit to the talisman.
The peddler had been honest when she had told me it was one of the best investments I could make.
I walked for hours across the frozen plateau. The trees here were sparse, but the landscape had not yet become a barren tundra. My belly ached for something more substantial than berries and snow. Unfortunately, my map had been dragged away with the rest of my pack, and I had no idea how far I was from the nearest town. I did not see any smoke on the horizon.
I’d lost the tools I’d brought for hunting, and I knew nothing of traps. Oh, Anri, would that I could spare more delays to our reunion to retreat and try again next year. I have spent all my patience on mastering the art of soul magic, and all my worth in preparing for this expedition. If I turned back, I would crumble.
It might have been possible, once upon a time, to use the money to purchase a grey kavi outright, but I could not have relied on my skills then. Nor could hire anyone else to mediate – it would be just me and Anri.
I ran a thumb over the heat-talisman tucked under my shirt. None of my preparation will have mattered if I did not find food soon.
The next day, I stumbled upon a grey kavi. It floated beneath a snow-laden fir’s branch like a storm cloud the size of my fist. I approached it as a child approaches a skittish animal, and I wondered if kavi understood trust.
In my hand was the last memento of Anri I allowed myself to keep; a small cabochon of clear resin, a tiny lock of his hair intricately arranged within. When I would grow frustrated with my studies, I would allow my eyes to rest on the fine, light brown hair delicately splayed inside.
I treasured it over anything else I owned. It was an ideal offering, a piece of the dead, frozen in time and worth more than jewels. It was one of the few items I’d kept in my pockets.
The kavi refused the gift and fled, its form evaporating in less than a second.
In the next few days I would come across the tracks of another person, only to realize the footprints were mine.
Later, I saw smoke from a campfire. I followed it for what felt like hours, but when I arrived at the source, there was nothing. Instead, I found a single piece of charred wood in a bank of undisturbed snow, as cold as if it had been there for days.
I am lost.
In my dreams, an avalanche buried me. It made a low, warbling noise, because I’d never heard a real avalanche before. I awoke, smothered and panicking as something pinned my arms and stopped my breath. It was too dark to see, but as I pushed against it I recognized the sturdy cloth of my tent. It had collapsed on me in the night. I didn’t remember pitching it. I must have been too tired to do it properly. Had I patched the hole from the scavengers?
I untangled myself and crawled into the frozen air. It was early morning. Dark. Or was it the dusk of evening twilight? Yes, that was right — the sun had set, and the light was bleeding out of the western sky. It would be getting colder, not warmer. I should go back to sleep.
I struggled to fix my fallen shelter. The warming talisman under my clothes could only do so much; I needed the tent, too. I needed something to keep the wind off. I needed to –
The warbling sound came again. I paused. It reminded me of bleating, of something belonging to an animal. A shiver dripped down my spine, a subconscious association with the nightmare terror I’d just endured. The not-avalanche grunted, and I heard the sound of snow crushed under something heavy.
Whatever it was, it was close.
I peered through the scraggly pines into the shadows. Maybe it’s just a tanta, I thought, shivering. The creatures were huge, but slow and docile enough that the Isvir Tribe used them as pack animals.
A pair of trees shuddered and I flinched. Something scraped against one of the pines, ripping bark and gouging wood, as the animal’s silhouette moved just beyond the shadows. I squinted, trying to discern some pattern to the form. It was large, but I could not determine anything beyond that.
It grunted again, followed by a powerful huff of exhaled air as it shoved past the trees. It moved toward me, and from its shuffling movement I could better guess its nature.
It was some sort of walrus, though half again larger than I thought they could grow. But, it was too far inland, wasn’t it? They were coastline creatures; they lived among the ice floes many miles to the north. How could it have…?
The animal bellowed and charged towards me. Its bloated body rippled toward me with terrifying momentum.
I stumbled backward, tripping over my discarded tent. I could smell it, now. It was rank with musk, urine, and a smell I couldn’t identify. Whatever it was, it smelled acrid, poisonous. Its breath was already laborious, the animal exhausted by its bulk but spurred onward by a rage I had not expected.
The walrus’s rabid fury revealed the true nature of what was coming towards me, but I didn’t want to believe it.
Our word for them translates roughly into “monster.” A corrupted beast, twisted by errant supernatural forces into something driven by bloodlust rather than survival. It did not matter that it had once been a regular walrus. It was a kro’daka now, and they were all the same.
The monster was so close I could see in the moonlight its white-clouded eyes, trails of fetid mucus oozing from its orifices. I found my footing and fled, the kro’daka demolishing the tent moments later.
I ran as fast as I could, but my legs were weak from several days of malnourishment. It was like running through a nightmare, my mind unable to influence my body and my feet hindered by the uneven, icy ground. I slowed to what felt like a crawl, aware of nothing but how powerless I was to move faster as the beast closed in behind me like the warbling avalanche.
In the dark, I failed to see the rock jutting from the snow. My foot exploded with pain as I pitched forward. I struggled to my feet, only to collapse to the frozen earth once more as the damaged foot twisted under me.
I heard the kro’daka, wheezing as it closed the distance I had struggled so hard to gain. If I had been stronger, I might have been able to outrun it, letting it exhaust itself under its own weight. No natural animal would give chase so far past its limitations, but this was a monster that did not care for self-preservation.
It drew closer, clawed flippers rending gashes in the snow and earth.
I had no weapons, no strength left. But…
But I did have the heat-talisman, and the fire-spirit within it. I reached under my collar and yanked the small stone from its cord. Cold wracked my body as soon as the stone left my skin.
The kro’daka bellowed again, its lungs choked with phlegm. The sound was only vaguely reminiscent of the animal’s original call. It was pain, anger, and fear, all mixed up with something else. Something alien. It would reach me soon.
But now I had a weapon. The talisman’s enchantment could only keep me warm, but once freed, the spirit inside could summon an inferno. I’d sooner break the enchantment and die of cold than be mauled to death by a demon. I could pretend I was falling asleep. Maybe I would find my beloved Anri, waiting for me on a starless beach.
The kro’daka slammed its massive head into the ground, attempting to drag itself forward faster by sinking its tusks into the frozen earth. It was an unnatural thing to behold, a frenzy of bloodlust, rage, and uncaring self-destruction.
I reached into my pockets, looking for anything I might use to bind the talisman’s spirit to myself once it was released. I needed to offer it something — anything — to convince it to cast one last spell for me before it fled.
The monster drove its tusks into the frozen soil again, and a horrid crack echoed into the trees as one of the beast’s tusks snapped in half. The kro’daka screamed.
My questing fingers brushed up against something rough and I pulled from my pocket the blackened wood from the phantom campfire.
The kro’daka roared and resumed its charge. Blood flew from its brutalized maw each time it jerked its head back. The loss of one tusk did not stop it from using the other to pull itself forward.
I struck at the enchanted stone talisman with the chip of wood in a frantic attempt to scratch off the rune that bound the fire kavi to the talisman.
The ground quaked beneath me. The kro’daka’s rancid odor was overpowering.
I brushed charcoal dust from the stone, inspecting my progress. The soft wood had done nothing to damage the rune. The seal held.
The kro’daka faltered, the second of its tusks snapping under the strain of its savage, lurching rush. I watched the monster drive what remained of its shattered tusks into the frozen ground, head thrashing from side to side, trying to numb the pain with snow.
I cried out in frustration and brought the stone to my mouth, biting into it as hard as I could. I just needed to mar the rune enough for the kavi within to no longer recognize it.
The kro’daka reared its head back and loosed a bloodcurdling scream, the viscera from its ruined tusks thrown into the air in a wide arc. The beast was close enough that a few droplets splattered the snow next to me. A milky, yellow-white ooze mixed with the dark crimson.
I bit down again, envisioning a similar fate for myself as my teeth crunched and grated against the rock talisman. Pain like lightning shot through my skull. I barely recognized the sobbing cries that shivered through panic-stricken breaths as my own.
Nothing. I jammed my thumbnail into the groove of the engraved rune, trying to pry a flake loose.
The monster’s eyes rolled in its head as it struggled toward me.
A choked sob burst from my throat as I brought the stone back up to my mouth. I needed only to chip the tiny carving. Only a chip. Again, the talisman sent a jarring shock of pain through my skull.
Then, a dim light streamed out from the talisman, coalescing into floating drops of liquid red fire. The kavi emerged. At last, the enchantment was ruined.
I tore my eyes from the enraged kro’daka and focused my attention on the fire spirit. I held out my hand, offering the charred wood to the kavi. Please, I begged it, please. Please, please, take it, take it please.
The kavi dove at the fire-blackened wood. Both wood and spirit vanished as the kavi sunk into my palm, and a pleasant warmth blossomed from my hand to the rest of my body, stronger than the talisman had ever been. I gasped as heat surged through my body, not just warmth, but heat. I burned from within.
Blood dripped from the monster’s mouth and splattered on my broken foot. It loomed over me, a conqueror gloating over a pyrrhic victory.
I thrust my palm at the kro’daka as its head reared back, mouth gaping wide to crush me beneath its deformed skull.
The glow of my hand reflected back at me from the kro’daka’s glazed eyes for only an instant before the kavi’s magic filled the monster’s throat with deep-red flame.
My scream mingled with the kro’daka’s own tortured wail.
Anri stood before me, smiling beneath his curly locks of soft brown hair. I sat on a carpet before our table, and he stooped to place a plate of something before me. I inhaled deeply, a compliment already forming on my lips, but I faltered. The meat smelled burned. Anri’d never do that, he’d never –
I woke, and again found only misery. Cold stiffened every inch of me, numbing me but for a dull, persistent pain in my legs. The nightmoon hovered low in the sky. Her light was too late to have saved me from the monster, from the rock that had tripped me, but at least I would not die alone. She would watch over me, keep me safe until the great spirit Keth found me. He would take me to Anri.
My heart thumped at the thought of Anri, and my legs throbbed in protest. I propped myself onto my elbows, but I couldn’t pull my legs under me. Angry pain lanced through me when I tried.
My stomach heaved and I turned away. The monster had fallen atop me as it died. My legs were crushed beneath it, and the stink of it was now mixed with that of singed flesh.
When my stomach settled, I tried to pull myself out, but the weight of its skull kept me pinned. I collapsed back into the snow, breathing heavily. My pulse sent waves of pain through my jaw and into the tooth where I had bitten the stone talisman.
Too tired to free myself, too tired even to sit back up, I turned my head to look at the nightmoon. She was so low in the sky. I could not make out the details of her face, and Ke’pala seemed no brighter beneath her gaze. Was I losing my vision?
No. Something was wrong with the moon; she was too blurry, too dull.
The nightmoon moved, then, and I recognized her for what she was. The source of illumination was not a moon at all.
It was another kavi. Grey, like the faceless visage of Keth himself.
I cried out feebly, pain and exhaustion mingling with sudden joy. But I no longer had any of the items I’d brought to offer the spirit. They had been in my pack, and now decorated the lair of some opportunistic scavenger miles away.
No, please wait, I begged as the spirit, this one like a sphere of opaque grey light, began to drift over to the fallen monster. My numbed hands managed to retrieve the item I’d offered to the last grey kavi I had seen so many days (hours? Weeks?) ago – the resin pendant with Anri’s hair. I always kept it close. I always had it ready.
I held the tiny faux-jewel up to the kavi, my arm trembling from the exertion. I would speak with my Anri at last. I would let him know I was coming.
The spirit drifted further, taking no notice of the object.
My arm collapsed, and the pendant thumped into the snow. I could barely feel my body anymore. The warmth of the talisman no longer protected me from the frozen Ke’pala air.
If it helps you catch one of those grey kavi…
Of course. Briefly warm tears stung my cheeks and blurred my vision as I reached into another pocket, digging out the small bone earring the woman from the campfire had given me.
I hear they like things of value.
Too weak to hold my arm up to the spirit, I pushed the earring across the coarse snow as far as I could. Small shards of jagged ice scraped and cut at my arms through my meager clothing. Please, I prayed, It’s all I have left. Please.
The spirit dashed towards the earring, enveloping it within its spherical form and then dissipating into my palm, even as my stiffened fingers curled inward, frozen.
Anri, I thought. Anri, if you can hear me, say something.
I let myself cry as the spirit merged with me, as the fire kavi had done before. This time, I did not feel warmth coursing through my body.
Instead, the kavi’s presence within me seemed to mute the world, numbing me to color and sound if I did not focus on them. I felt my consciousness slip sideways from my body like melting ice on a sheet of warm metal, the kavi weakening the tether that kept my soul connected to my body.
I sensed two owls flying in tandem far overhead, their own souls like a hum drifting through the silence. So close I could soul-jump to them, if I wanted. I could use the spirit’s magic and fling my untethered soul to merge with theirs. I could watch through their eyes as my pinned corpse slowly froze. Would I be forced to live out the rest of the bird's life, or would my soul recognize the death of my body and turn to the afterlife?
I could try it if I wanted to. The birds were so close...
Anri. I did this for Anri.
The kavi was bound to me now. I could use its magic.
I focused on the spell. I needed to find Anri. I love you, Anri. I did it. I’m here now, in the ice. Please tell me you’re okay. I missed you so much. Anri….
The kavi would bring Anri to me. So I could tell Anri... I…
I’m here. I'm here. I love you.
Inked acid drips from skin, melts from bones, and I'm here no more; sigils of soul, sacrificing me to abyss.
an encore, only better this time
My father always says keep it simple, write in the first person, but sometimes, the story isn’t about me
Sometimes, it’s yours, told by me
Sometimes, it’s ours, and you don’t want to tell it
I don’t know when a story becomes mine or theirs or no one’s
I suppose the last is easy: when it is forgotten
Not a dusty tome cracking at the spine but a fading whisper in an empty cathedral that patiently awaits a response until it leaves
Often, it’s mine alone to tell and listen to until every character is bored of reciting their lines and having the same thoughts, the ones I doled out like Halloween candy
I nudge them together and watch their mechanical lives play out as if I didn’t carve them and paint on their woeful frowns, joyful smiles, scornful scowls
As if I don’t know the ending, I watch avidly, pick favorites, place wagers on their next moves
Let’s say today they are in a town and tomorrow a village
Now compare the differences
Now tell me why the shade of lavender in the fading sunset— a frame captured, the others dusty periwinkle— matters
I wonder why the curtains are blue, even if I picked that shade from a hundred other similar ones and settled on icy azure because it suited the mood and I was feeling melodramatic
I watch their triumphs, count their losses, brush their dismay off their shoulders like sawdust, because it is
I pretend their story isn’t a reflection of mine, because it isn’t
I pretend I haven’t been moving them all along, because I am
This is my world, I say, so the sky is pink
The clouds have always been suspended cotton balls playing tag against a powder blue sky
Everything pauses, the tin man’s heart stutters
I think it’s over, and the curtain falls
The bangs dilemma
once, the mid-twenties
of young women
was to have
now, the quarantine
of young women
is to cut their
there is a girl
debating what to do
she knows it is
but she is no angel
Once upon a time, I was fat. I had been a fat little boy who turned into a fat little man who turned into a barely walking bestial glob that barely stood at five-foot and a half who couldn’t put down a spoon. I weighed thirty-eight stone when I was just twenty-five years old. Nowadays you could scoop me up with an arm and carry me like a bulimic suitcase made of loose skin and dirt. I blamed my late wife. She was a feeder, and in the five years I was with her, I had gained eighteen stone and an equal amount of hatred for her. She would hit me when I wouldn’t eat, force-feed me when I still wouldn’t, and reward me with fantastical feasts when I had gained a suitable amount of weight. I peaked at thirty-eight stone, then lost half a stone when I became ill. To make a long story short, she left me with nothing but agoraphobia and thoughts of suicide.
A month later, the house was repossessed. Imagine my fear: agoraphobic and just waiting for the day where I became homeless, for the day where I would be forced to enter the outside world I had become to fear and loath even more than the house with my own blood spilt up the walls.
And yet, I was now thirty-five years old and had lost a tremendous amount of weight. Granted, I had been homeless for ten years, living off what I found in bins, was given by kind strangers few in number, and my own wits. I had come so far. But now, I was done. I was tired of being spat on, glared at, beaten, having pennies pelted at me, and I was tired of having nothing and being completely unable to do anything about it.
It must have been when I saw my ex-wife. She looked right at me, right into my eyes, peering into my soul and then she looked away. Barely containing her disgust. Didn’t even recognise me.
I stole a pad and a pen from some shop, having ran faster than I had ever ran in my life, and I wrote down my final thoughts. I pocketed the pad, chucked the pen, and sat beside a tree in a secluded part of town. Then, I tied a shoelace tight around my saggy, left bicep and watched as my skin turned an even paler shade of white than my starvation had already made me. I pulled the skin on my arm taut and plunged the needle into a revealed vein, transmitting what I’d hoped was a lethal dose of heroin into my bloodstream. I was already addicted. I remember once I saw a spoon as something very different; something good and wholesome. Then spoons became something I loathed living with my ex-wife. Now, my spoon had been very much needed until today.
I remember, between the days where I was beaten and force fed and screamed at, that I would sit there and think that if there was just one thing I could do right now, it would have been to take a needle, fill it with heroin, and ram it into my wife’s throat and watch as she overdosed. If only that were a memory. But she was the only thing missing in the scenario I’d dreamed of, and so I supposed I may as well just go out on my terms. To go out with a feeling of what I’d hoped would be euphoria in a world where I don’t remember ever being graced with such feeling. I would die soon.
Five-foot and a half, eight stone, bald from malnutrition, and looking like someone had collected the skin off a dozen corpses and glued them onto me. My last moments would be spent sat in silent euphoria as I slowly became completely uncomprehending of anything. I would smile, just happy that I would soon no longer be able to think.
I died as I had lived: with a spoon in my hand.
Winds blow against my bent body
Reminders of where I am
Stuck in a looping melancholy
I can still hear my loved ones calling
Their voices only concerned
I could only hear myself falling
I am almost touching the ground
So close to reaching peace
Close to that beautiful sound
The beautiful sound of me quickly decaying
Breaking from these earthly chains
The sound of me no longer breathing
I lift the stained bottle to my twisted face
The smell an awful reminder
A reminder of my fall from grace
Mixed with some kind of horrid toxin
The alcohol taste covers little
My senses are filled with biting venom
I hoarsely choke on poisonous bile
The effects are immediate
They leave me with a broken smile
My burning body turns to a sickly numb
I lay in my warm bodily fluid
Quickly becoming apart of the scum
I always thought I would become something gold
I would fly to my dreams
But I have hit the ground, and I am only cold
Afraid of Happiness
I gaze over my shoulder at a life left behind
My younger self sobs glum from a daily grind
A silly relationship cut short, not looking ahead
A problem at work fills me with utter dread
A rainy day soaks me, when the sun’ll be out soon
A critical comment taken seriously from a buffoon
All this pushing a negative in a world with so much light
So afraid of happiness, too scared to embrace the bright
Out of Sight, Out of Mine
If darkness hides a piece of me my soul has long forgotten, will I have to break my heart to find the chamber it belongs in?
In words of amor, that streak before
me and land on my page in the pink and reds of emotions
In phrases of passion, that reflect on my
face the purples of this heat and hues from a heart that beats ceaselessly
In these blankets of emotions, to warm your heart and hopefully make you feel better...for you are loved
If I could paint the world, without this monster, depression, I'd paint you in it
And fill your soul with hope
and help you believe, that you are
so special and worthy of the love
this life has to offer...