"What's going on?"
"Nothing important Bubba. Just adult stuff."
"But why do we need to stay upstairs?"
"Because mom and dad said so."
"But I'm thirstyyyyyyy."
"Here, I left my water bottle in my bag."
"But what about you?"
"I'll be fine. We won't be up here forever."
"Mmm the adults are being noisy. Are they fighting?"
"Why would you think that?"
"There's some loud crashing noises."
"They're just playing the adult games they play every month Bubba, don't worry."
"I don't like the crashing noises."
"How about a story to cover the noise?"
"Oh! Story! You always have amazing stories."
"Aw that's so sweet Bubba. Come here, in my lap."
"The closer you are to me, the louder I am and the softer the adults are."
"There you go. Comfy?"
"Good. I can start thinking about that story for you now Bubba."
"Hopefully its long enough for them to finish their Mahjong game..."
An argument of words
Poetry is a dance
a mixture of techniques
form, imagery, syballance.
Anything is acceptable
and symbols intertwine in messages half-seen,
interpretations different every read.
Prose is the long-form of poetry, taking free verse to its logical extremes. Words are given more space to pair up, forming new implications separate from the meanings which they are assigned by years of literature. Characters interact, build, and destroy relationships, are given more time to develop and grow and die. Stories rise, and kingdoms fall.
Both are interchangeable,
free verse poems like prose
and prose like poetry,
though I prefer the stories of prose.
Start and End
Stairs were my chlidhood. I spent afternoons running up and down them, chasing my neighbours through the stairwell. Stairs were always the start of a new adventure, of a chase, a hunt, a new friend.
Stairs were also an end. Furniture carted down to the garbage disposal area, a family member's body carried downstairs, a neighbour friend moving away.
Today, I stand in the middle of the stairwell. I can't move backwards, back to the start. But I also don't want to move forward, to the end. I'm scared to. I stay, frozen in the middle.
In the news tomorrow reads the headline: fire engulfs building; many trapped and lost in the stairs.
Three word story
Another way down
Hey. I know a speech isn’t what you want to hear now, that you want the whipping of the wind, the exhilaration of the fall, the sharpness before nothingness. You’re tired. I’m tired too. Why don’t we sit down for now, at the edge of oblivion, two tired souls?
Thank you for listening to me. Not many have listened to you recently have they? I can see it in your posture. You’re waiting for me to dismiss you, to tell you your words mean nothing. I'm not another demon, so if you wish, speak, release the water drowning you inside. Tonight, I am the one who listens.
I’m sorry about the pain you’ve been through, all the people who’ve turned a blind eye to your suffering. Sure, everyone suffers, but kindness should still be first and foremost.
You understand, with your heart on your sleeve. You’ve helped so many, had them rip that heart off and shred it as thanks once your purpose was fulfilled. How many times have you stood in my place, talking to someone in yours? You must be so very tired.
There’s so much more to life you know? You don’t have to solve everyone’s problems. I don’t know if it is a relief or an insult to who you are, this next sentence, but you are not responsible for everyone’s problems. It’s crazy, isn’t it? You know this, I know this. And yet.
Here, have this flower. I plucked it from this ledge we sit on, watching the stars which watch us back. Do you think there’s a god up there that watches over us? I do. Paradoxically, I also believe we can make our own decisions regardless of what God intended for us. Neither of us must be the therapist. We are allowed a little selfishness sometimes.
Why am I doing this? Maybe its selfishness, not wanting to see a life I could have saved gone on the wind, to witness your departure. You've felt this selfishness once, before you became tired. Maybe your selfishness is wanting to leave, and my selfishness is wanting you to stay.
Here, I hold out my hand. I ask that you take my hand, come with me, and maybe we can go get some nice warm food. I think we both deserve to indulge, to enjoy something with a simplicity we’ve since lost.
I know you're scared of the uncertainty of life and friendship, that I will rip your heart to shreds yet again. I cannot promise you I won't. Such is mankind. But as with this cliff, everything is uncertain. Risks are a part of life. I'm a risk. This situation is a risk. You are a risk. Yet I hold out my hand, risking the possibility that you won't take mine.
Will you take my hand, let me bring you somewhere where the light is warm and the aroma of food is in the air, with friendly chatter and comfortable seats?
On the other side of the world
"All communication with the Americas have been cut off. The only communication we have left with them is from the Pentagon and the few people who have managed to escape through any international rescue services brave enough to enter the Americas. Canada and Alaska appear to be doing fine but are slowly being cornered by what appears to be mutant zombies. Russia is preparing for a potential onslaught of zombies should the stretch of ocean between Alaska and Russia freeze over this year, although it is highly unlikely due to recent climate changes."
The rest of the words droned on into static as I tuned the news reporter out. Zombies crossing the Pacific, ha! What a joke. The ocean won't just freeze over like that after global warming did a hit-and-run on that. I feel lucky to be living on the Asian-Australian side of the world. What happened to Europe again? Oh, yeah. Someone stupidly thought that it would be a great idea to bring some of the infected in for tests, trying to find a cure. They couldn't leave the zombies alone to die off from flesh shortage, oh no, they had to find a cure. Of course, someone got bitten and the infection spread rapidly. Luckily for the northern countries, the zombies have not figured out how to swim or mutate cold resistance, although that is just a matter of time. Most of them just migrated to Greenland or Iceland, no big deal. The Middle East is doing a beautiful job of keeping the zombies from reaching India, China and Africa, what with extreme heat and crazy armies who are willing to kill anything, even their own troop mates to survive.
The island countries are doing the best in the world. There is no possible threat to any of us other than Singapore, what with being connected to mainland Malaysia and all, but they got one of the best armies in the region here. No wonder they are the 'Lion City', they are so fierce and weapon heavy.
Well then, time to continue relaxing in my flat while I wait for this to all die down. And by die down I mean 'zombies dying off'.
The world is corrupt. It always has been.
You remember the village you grew up in. The memories are cloudy, but they always carried a sense of happiness and childhood whimsy to them.
You remember the day they robbed you of your childhood. The soldiers had come swarming into the village, killing men and women alike. They killed all the adults, abducting the children for some "personal training".
You remember the torture of being a child soldier. How they beat and kicked you when you couldn't do the demanding tasks only adults should do. The nights you lay on the cold hard ground, unable to sleep from the hunger.
You remember being saved and thinking that your world would get better.
You were wrong. It only got worse.
No one wanted a child who had been trained for the battlefield. You were alone in the orphanage for so long you thought that no one would adopt you. When someone eventually came for you, you should have known better than to have hope for a better future.
The family was cruel. They always scolded and beat me for not being 'normal'. I never had a normal life, how was I supposed to know how to be 'normal'?
School was just as cruel. They expected me to know things I had never known of before. Don't they know that not everyone knows what is 'normal' to them? I tried looking for help, but no one understood what I was going through. They thought that it would help me if they talked to me. Words don't mean anything if it changes nothing about my situation, does it?
My friends, the few I had, were no help either. They were all trapped in the whirlwind that was school, always having to study and unable to have fun all for the sake of some good grades, believing that would allow them to have a better life. But that wouldn't matter if they never had the chance to grow up, right?
I couldn't handle it anymore. I snapped. I realized that the only way I could be happy again was to follow in the footsteps of society. If the society is so corrupt, stealing the lives of children for their own selfish gains, then I would steal the lives of the adults for my own selfish, childish wants.
I wonder how many have lost their lives to me. It doesn't matter. As long as I am the Supreme Ruler, sitting on my blood iron throne, they all have to bow down to my every whim and fancy.
I learned my lesson 'trainer'.
In this world, it's kill or be killed.
I learned my lesson teacher.
You must help yourself in order to succeed.
I learned my lesson 'father', 'mother'.
Those at the top get to lead the masses. Those below can only suffer under them.
Only ten people left
The voice in my head whispers as I stalk down the halls, captive to the voice telling me what to do.
Once they're gone, you'll be the only person left in the world.
Isn't that what you wanted?
I hated that the voice was always right.