outbursts of crumpled-up solar lights
I enjoy the ramble of stars against my chaos
hey, if it's already loud,
why not make it louder
why not cause an E x p l o s i o n
between me and the sun
there is always room for a blazing orange
and maroon, copper-filled outbursts,
so in fireworks, color this canvas skin
in flames, paint my tarred soul in crimson and burgundy hues
this chaos of mine
is permanently sewn into these veins, into these fingertips
it is written within my deepest structure,
just because its too far away too see the storms
within the Jupiter's heart with a mundane eye
it does not mean that it is not there,
The Great Red Spot still resides within this heart
on most days in slumber
but on others, growing
getting ready for an E x p l o s i o n
recalibrating structures and single breaths
you’re still whole, it seems like you’ve just
changed your parameters
- Caitlin Conlon
She lifts the side of a silky, dark grey shirt, gazing at the reflection in the mirror with calm stillness, fingers raising curiously and sliding slowly past the faded bruises from the day before, feeling her ribs shift slightly under the skin as she presses carefully into them. Well, at least it was healing - a bit slower than usual, but it was some progress. She lets the material fall down on its own and then catches her own glare in the glass, seeing how the green eyes darken with things stirring inside of her, hiding her emerald fields under thick threatening clouds. She looks like a storm ready to breathe and drown the world in her raging waters. Yet, she is calm, calculating what her next move should be.
What the last days taught her; was not to underestimate the opponent that somehow landed onto her path, no matter what shape or form. Her beliefs, things that she had known, and the surprising outcome of the situation blending together. Leaving her with so many contradicting thoughts and emotions. Her energy never displaying such chaos that was not of her doing or control; she was the chaos itself, its ruler. Being its victim and pray went against her most basic nature, the deepest essence.
It shall not happen again.
She leans her hands against the sink, fingers pressing against the cold porcelain, body straining forward as if she wanted to push the washbasin into the wall and through it, a million and one notions coloring her insides like swirling angry moths. The nocturnal things of the night, scratching and shifting against the skin, tickling her veins with fires that were becoming more and more impatient with every day. What holds you back? What stops you from obtaining your destiny? Is it really logic and the care about your kin? A precaution against the destruction that may come your way? Are you worried, scared, or intentionally holding yourself back? You don't actually want to bring harm her way, don't you?
You have become weak, Lilly. You're rotting from the inside.
She flinches and grabs tighter onto the sink, chest rising and falling. Her skin crawling from the way the words vibrated under her flesh. Feeling as if suddenly she was marked by cigarette burns, leaving her with uncountable ugly raggedy wholes. It stung like hell. It made her angry. The craving for destruction inside of her growing, circulating in tangled up air, expanding its inner core. She was not weak, or would she ever be. Weak were the ones standing on her path, and that crumbled before her like dry cement, snapping one by one like dry twigs. All fragile creatures of the mundane and beyond. She whispers, and both growls out the words, sensing every nerve in her system tense up and sizzle, making her body jump as if electrocuted.
Her left eye starts to twitch, and she clenches her jaw, irritated. Low grumbling sounds escaping the throat like a lioness just before it is ready to pounce. Her energy shifting and twisting, slipping out of her pores in faded blue light, like gas lifting from the stove, ready to explode but for now, just teasing, greedily licking the entire body. It feels good, thick, almost sweet, and tangy on her tongue. Sugary molasses straight from the deep unquenchable desire beneath her skin, pulsating like stars against her dark skies. Destruction in the most refined form of pleasure. She thinks, swaying her hips slowly in smooth circles, moving her head from side to side, outstretching the neck both ways until it gives a satisfying popping noise. Lifting her body slightly as she leans even more forward, the expensive sink protesting a bit in response.
The waves inside of her, continuously clashing against each other with force, wanting to find release, wanting to break the dam that held her back. Too many days of tension and anticipation coloring her worn-out, tattered veins. Both begging and growling for blood, for vengeance. She was the strangest kind of chaos that surrounded itself in hushed calm and silk while always aware and blazing. Constantly, without rest, consumed by the things that gave her life. She was pure mayhem from the tip of her toes to the crown of the head. But on most days, that fire, and those blue flames, were coated in something inexplicably steady, safe. A protection layer; shielding both her and everything around from collapsing and covering the world in ash that would leave only devastation and eternal ice to linger over anything that dared not to perish. That layer was a build-in code inside her body, restraining her energy in a semi-neutral state.
On most days.
But that was before she met the girl. Before her structure turned into an erratic wounded beast - that was losing the concept of logic with every new day. Causing her rage to stir every time her powers turned their ugly claws back on her. Once, the beast was an ally, now the greatest foe, teasing her and threatening every time she would lose focus, every time she let herself think she was once again in control.
More, more, and more.
She was both exhausted and full of fuel like never before. Such energy was breathtaking, but it no longer fitted in any frames, spilling out of her in irregular sharp edges, flaming the insides, and infecting the mind like an exposed corroded wound. Thinking straight proved to be a luxury that was running out fast. Faster than sand through a child's outstretched fingers. But her mind had to stay strong. It was the only thing keeping her sane and stopping everything she worked for from falling apart. She would not be defeated, no matter the price that would have to be paid for it.
She takes a deeper breath and tries to calm down, knowing that the biggest strength one possessed came from balance and clear, unweighted thoughts. The universe giving us everything that was needed and providing the right tools to conquer all odds. It was not an easy task, but a doable one, requiring the thing that we often feared the most. It asked for trust. Trust in the process and faith that everything would be well as long as our hearts and minds opened up to it. Now, it might seem a rather foolish and naive notion to put your hopes in, but she knew from experience that it was true. Just surrender to it, manifest your light and push out into the matter. As if you are pushing it out of your muscles, out of your skin, your pores - down to the last damn molecule in your body. Send the love that has always been nestled into your being, and offer it for what it was. Your most precious gift.
She lets the thoughts bloom into existence, slowly spreading in her, twisting and bending like green new vines, heading upwards to the sky and wanting to kiss the sun. Falling into its tender embrace, as though opening petals of a rose - both delicate and full of strength, eager to show their beauty to its fullest. She focuses more on the bright, live images painting themselves in her mind and visualizes the white and gold light of the sun growing in her particles, expanding slowly in the tissue and then coating the bones like warm, silky, dripping syrup. Pushing gradually out of her and covering every surface around, spilling out over the sink and the bathroom tiles, shifting and covering not only the floors but the walls as well. Filtering to each room and filling the entire space of her apartment, pouring out of the windows and cascading down the brick walls like softly shimmering streams of light and mist, embracing the city, street by street. Grazing itself almost unnoticeably against each person and every living creature and surface in sight. Relax. Breathe. All is well, and all will be fine. Forgive yourself for the things that are out of your control. You are love, strength, a boundless life-force that has no fear in it, no doubt, no anger. You are all and everything in between, a part of a never-ending creation.
Her mind is open, her chest lifting and falling in a steady rhythm, the hands holding onto the sink, slowly loosening the firm grip. Something deep down inside of her that had nothing to do with her lungs; exhales, gives in. Everything in her beating quieter until the arms start to tremble a bit, a new sensation that she doesn't understand yet, overflowing her like the most soothing touch, like a caress that has no end, only bending and curving things in between the sighs. An echo of energy. A memory that pulsates and throbs without any time limits or boundaries. Reaching the past, present, and things that were yet to come. It quivers under the skin like the most delicate of whispers. Gradually, filling her to the brim until her legs turn weak, and she slides to the floor, not fully registering everything that's happening. Her structure, seeming to change, soften up, and melt until even her bones feel like butter and wet summer sand as her waves slow down, keeping her warm and safe from all harm. As if cradled in a cocoon of love and light, making her particles swirl in a slow kind of dance. And at the same time, stopping everything around her at this moment. Almost as though looking at yourself from the side and seeing everything captured in the stillness of an old, slightly crinkled color Polaroid, marveling at it while also being held in that photograph forever.
And yet, it moves.
And yet it blooms. Grows.
Expanding like a galaxy of colors under the fragile flesh.
Something unnameable, unfolding and vibrating. Feeling as if the beating of thousand lazy but strong drums. Boom-boom, boom-boom, boom-boom. There was something about it, that was practically taunting, teasing her deliciously, and causing the mouth to water, teeth grazing against the lower lip.
She positions her back against the wall for some support, her head slumped forward against the chest, lips moving as she mutters out incoherent words, slurring them out as if she was drunk. Soul drunk, love. She tries to shake it off, somehow releasing herself from this state that appeared to have no logical explanation, but once again, thinking straight proved to be a difficult task to handle. Her brain, feeling like a jumble of useless mush, resembling jelly tissue. Sticky, wet, helpless.
Everything inside of her wants to protest against that feeling. The notion of being helpless ripped out of her viciously like old, useless roots at her youngest years. Instead, planting inside a ruthlessness that stood against any weak reaction or behavior by those who raised her and took care of her upbringing. Though to any human eyes brave enough to watch, the words like drilled or disciplined would probably prove to be a much better choice. Not that it mattered to her much. The only important thing was reaching the goal; everything else was just a means to an end.
She tries to fight the softness of her bones, the haziness of her brain, the overtaking, light-filled warmth. She's way stronger than this abstract, sickening foolishness yet... yet this time, it melts away into something welcoming, inviting, and caring. With her head still slumped forward, she puts her hands, palms down on the cold, elegant tiles, and glides her fingers gently back and forth, feeling the smoothness of the cool porcelain; something almost intimate and tender about the simple action. The floor under her fingertips starts to vibrate delicately, faint white smoke and her sapphire energy blending together, echoing the colors that already decorated the bathroom. Nearly white sky in summer, and the deepest blue of the Mediterranean sea, the round cyan rooftops in Greece. Something close to heaven. Blue was her energy, it was her life path in this world.
The tiles tremble even more, causing dust to appear from their glued edges and lift in the air; an echo of space dust and crumbling starts. She thinks as her eyes wander absentmindedly against the bathroom floor, the light coming from the window coloring everything into something surreal. Something made of magic, dreams, of the subtle dimensions in between that so many of us miss, not noticing the full grandness happening around, just on the edge of the spectrum. The masterpiece of life itself.
She feels deflated in a way, her head still slumped forward. But surprisingly, it isn't a feeling of weakness this time. No, it's more like drifting under the currents; you're safe, but everything is slightly distorted and unfocused. It's captivating and unmeasurably beautiful. She inhales deeper and pushes her body to move better, her arms feeling as if she has lost the strings that normally pulled her up into reality, into the physical part of all of it, almost like trying to wake up from being sedated. It feels both good and disorientating. She sits up more straight and lets the familiar energy in her support her efforts and guide the muscles, slowly filling the frail, clay-filled bones with blue light. In a way, creating a spine for her being. She inhales and looks at the room around her, noticing the bright mist still there, floating lightly around the room.
And then her stare slowly drifts back to her hands.
It's then when she notices it. The energy shifting like a live creature from the sapphire shades to softly flaming oranges. The surface of the sun, on her cobalt floors melting into a sunset, into the birth of first creation.
She closes her eyes for a moment and lets herself feel it even more. The energy shifting and changing from mesmerizing blue to a flickering orange-gold, crackling and snapping into the stillness of the air. Both swimming in hungry, lazy waves and threatening to expand the holes on its luminary form. And then her heartbeats rush without warning, fluttering like the wings of a million tiny anxious things, chest rising and falling as she manages to place her back firmly against the wall behind her. The energy floating and cascading from her until it once again reaches her fingertips in a never-ending flow, shifting from a simple, flickering light to nearly perfect golden-orange circles, opening like ripples against the smooth surface of the water.
She inhales in a strange way as if she no longer understood what air was for, her hair lifting, the curls moving around her face in soft waves. The peculiar energy moving past the structure of the floor and sinking under it, traveling down, one layer under the other. Moving past ceilings, furniture, and the living tissue of the people and any other creatures that it meets on its way. Touching them but not hurting them in any way; more as if leaving its subtle fingerprint against their tissue, a lingering trace of its own form of a watermark. It glides down slowly and without rush until it reaches the bottom of the building, moving past the concrete body of the basement until it descends into the earth as though finally reaching its natural destiny, its home. There is silence in the air, everywhere around her, not even a hush filling the time and space. And then it happens; the energy bounces off the ground and spreads in one soft but powerful wave. An automatic bomb without a trigger made only from the expanding form of the universe's lungs; its always present matter, Hiroshima constructed from the living breathing matter of the sun. It lifts back to her faster than light-years ever could and embraces each of her particles, causing her limbs to lift, body circulating and twirling softly in some abstract form of an underwater dance, the hair floating as though seaweed around her shape. You are the other piece to my fractured soul. The shoulder blades for my ink-filled wings.
The whispers inside of her break into a million and one pieces and turn to dust before she can fully register it. The entire moment lasting barely seconds. Before it, all comes to an end. She falls to the ground with a low thud against the smooth, hard surface of the bathroom floor, coughing out strange, nearly invisible smoke as though faded out grey ash, and looks around dazed, trying to make sense of her surroundings. For a while not sure where or when she was.
W-what... what in all dear hell was that?
She asks faintly to no one in particular and swallows with a tight, strangled throat, feeling frightened by the sudden sound of her hoarse voice in the otherwise silent four walls. She lifts up slowly on her elbows with a pained groan and looks up at the cracked mirror above the white porcelain sink, cringing slightly at the shape now carved into the glass form. It speaks of lightning and the coming storm. She blinks a few times, not wanting to believe her own sight, but somehow, to her disbelief, the lines don't just magically disappear. Those memorable lines, those specific lines; lightning painted on skin that she touched before, stitched and embroidered skillfully into a familiar chest. She freezes as her mind erupts with sudden memories of a different, much darker, and less classy bathroom. God, it seemed like that night happened decades ago, and not just barely a couple of weeks.
I lift the shirt a little higher, my stare passing past a regular-looking, white sports bra, and stop abruptly. And what catches my stare isn’t her full breasts slowly lifting and falling. No, it’s something completely different. Between her chest is a mark that stops me from breathing. I gently touch the pale lines that start in the center and spread, as if I was staring at the roots of a tree growing deep under the earth. Or more like looking at someone that got - my pulse speeds up - struck by lightning.
She feels her chest tighten a bit as she forces the body to shift to a sitting position at first and then finally staggers up to her feet, holding on to the edge of the door frame, before passing the living room and stopping at the kitchen sink. She takes a few breaths as her hands rest on the metal rim of the sink, leaning her entire weight on it, and then she pours herself a tall glass of cold water from it, the cool liquid slowly soothing the fevered mind.
She remembers that day so well with the tiniest details. It was the real first time she noticed that the girl was in the possession of some abilities. The first time, she tasted the flavor and shadows of her energy as the lights in the restaurant flickered and buzzed with growing power, electricity surging through anything that it could, its life juices going wild. And most importantly, it was the day that she saw the mark on her chest, speaking of lightning and a possible threat, but that also spoke of something else. She inhales deeper and slams the empty now drink against the counter, somehow managing not to break it but hearing the glass crack slightly. The sound of falling snow and ice forming. Mmm, the tree-shaped sign spoke of familiar things that crept under her skin. She couldn't exactly pinpoint the reason for the strange familiarity but it was there. She looks out the window and shivers.
And now it was here as well.
In her home.
Imprinted on the surface of the mirror.
A clear sign that whatever was coming, was getting closer.
Previous 3 chapters
chapter 16. https://theprose.com/post/432229/the-arithmetics-of-mass-and-spirit
chapter 17. https://theprose.com/post/432229/the-arithmetics-of-mass-and-spirit
chapter 18. https://theprose.com/post/433321/the-things-stitched-beneath-our-skin
carved into the flickering structure, into the erratic pulsating ( love ) driven things
I imagine dipping my hands into thick,
s t i c k y
as it drips down my fingertips,
and then sliding them against your curves
and those countless
pressing my signature into you,
y e s
I caught fire when licking my name off your thighs
and those wounded,
rose petal stars
each letter , ink tattooed in cerulean blue
and pressed into your skin,
I wrote me,
in a soul clustered map against the lines of your body
into the tapestry of your love
forever claiming you mine
*mine as I am yours
those stars that speak of flame and dust, that love that exhales peacefully in the midst of chaos
I spread myself like ashes
in the dark
the warmest snow known to men ,
these red-colored flakes
made from the remains
of my soul ,
of my shell-shaped heart
the untamed things
Did she really hear a woman's cry?
She shivers and quickly steps out of the bathtub, wrapping her body in a big, deep purple towel and resting her hands against the creamy sink. What the hell was that? She questions into the empty space around her, eyes falling to her reflection. She looked scared and confused, terrified of everything that seemed to be happening in the last few days.
Well, whatever it was today, it went away, though Mel didn't seem to be even half as scared as she was but looking anxious, fingers curling in and out. She sent her a few weary stares, but eventually, Mel just shook it off, telling her not to worry too much and that all will be well. She took the advice as best as she could, yet the feeling stayed with her for many hours, the memory of it still lingering deep under the skin. What was she to do? What if something worse happened?
What if she hurt someone?
Her nerves start to pick up, hands holding the sink tighter, muscles straining, panic overtaking her and causing the blood to almost freeze in her veins, attacking the deepest structure of her bones. And without even a second break, the lights above her head begins to blink, making those snapping, sickening sounds again. It makes her flinch with eyes shutting tightly, knowing better now. SHE was causing that, and it made her entire body swim in fear, feeling like she might suffocate at any moment. She shakes her head and quickly works on the breathing, trying to meditate just like Mel taught her, taking deep, steady breaths. And thankfully, after a while, the lights stop flickering, everything in the room becoming still. The only remaining evidence of life in the four walls coming from the rushed pulse of her heart, still quivering like a baby bird thrown out into the cold too fast. She exhales slowly but still trembles like a leaf.
I just need sleep, it will help. And when I wake up, it will all just be another nightmare, the morning pushing all of the shadows away. It will, it will, it will. She closes her eyes tight shut again and chants like a stubborn little girl, then almost runs out of the bathroom and into her temporary bed on the second floor. It will, it will, it will. It has to. Please, please, please.
Just make it stop already.
Body trembles as she curls into a tight ball, warm flannel sheets covering her as if in a carefully made nest, an illusory symbol of safety for the frail little bird made of a softly painted, night-colored soul. No longer a brave raven, but barely a black robin lost in the everlasting Winter's night, so far away from the sun.
storm bursts and ultraviolet things
the day after tomorrow
this heart felt raw
no, it was raw
bones like copper metal
re-vibrating the frequency of our love
bloody tissue exploding inside ones shattering core,
a flood covering the earth made out of my ash,
quantum mechanics turning atoms and particles into distance,
what was always meant to be,
now counted in miles
If I cross a million feet, can I touch your atoms through clouds filling both of our skies?
this heart was breaking like glass on the day of creation's rest
colored structured molding,
then dripping down to the floor
sinking into carpet
the floor, the basement of my love,
don't scrape against the raw flesh
please don't play with bleeding wounds
and yet, and yet
the things that bruise up become stronger
through pain comes clarity,
and even if I have to rip my heart
to simply breathe on days after tomorrow
and each that comes before and after
I will find my way to you,
because these copper bones,
and rusted scars were always meant for you
I have missed you for lifetimes without knowing your name,
but the absence of you was always trickling through my muscles
continual dropping wears away a stone
and now I am carved with linings of your name permanently written
into my tissue,
that goes far beyond this body, this skin, these beaten-up lungs,
time is simply an illusion that moves relative to an observer
the distance from the sun to the moon a minuscule
when it comes to the ten billion galaxies
sewn into these two beings,
how do I explain to you?
that hurricanes like these tear me apart until all I am, is soul
until all I breathe is heart,
and all I am is a burned-out hole, of a human form
something roars in me, something claws in me
a beast resting at the feet of my soul,
I pet it gently and nod,
yes, I hear her name as well, little one
it's calling us, isn't it?
yes, let's turn miles into atoms once again
translating atoms, and vibrating hearts
unexpectedly, the particles of my soul
and summer-wine red,
into the bloodstream
filling my atoms,
and coloring them
in the shades of your emerald fields,
the light of the sun
the spectrum of crimson threads
spilling the ocean's green whispers into my love
things blooming and exploding
just like fireflies in the night,
their wings forever fluttering
on the edge of these bones
my ribs, like branches,
a resting place, for their little hearts
casting light like lanterns
a steady path, for my home to find
untangling the messy structures - Part 2
Your past is always your past.
Even if you forget it, it remembers you.
― Sarah Dessen
We sit on a bench under the strong, thick branches of an old oak tree opposite a sturdy-looking, red brick building, soaking up the remaining sun's rays. The place seems to be standing there since before the first world war, slightly warned out but extremely solid. Safe. Reliable. Full of history and stories I think I would love to hear. The hour isn't late, but the nearing Winter had its own rules, forever eager to step into the shadows of the night even before bringing any traces of snow. I tilt my head to the side and inhale the air deeper. Charlie's grandmother had lived in a beautiful place. It seemed so peaceful, even in the middle of a busy city. Almost as if the greyness of the town didn't reach the five-story building or the street filled with old things and memories that you could breathe in if you just focused enough. I sit up more straight, hands deep in the pockets of my jacket, and then ask without turning right to face him. Instead, focusing on the rusty color bricks and their peculiar patterns.
So, should I look you up in the yellow pages under a healer or a health masseuse?
I can sense him tense a bit, even though my tone was meant to be light.
It's just a word, Nora.
Yes, and yet we are sitting here for a reason. It's okay, you know. In comparison with me, you are merely a toddler in aisle one of the madness market that I own. Trust me, anything you will say, won't cause that much effect on me. I'm immune to nearly everything by now.
Well, it's new to me.
Okay, then let's make it a bit more familiar. Tell me when you knew, or at least sensed something different about you. There must have been something.
Why? Are you asking me when the radioactive spider first bit me?
I can sense his gaze on me and smile a bit.
No, I already know you were sculptured by angles and the creators of "The house on the prairie"*.
You want to hear about it, or do you prefer mocking me instead?
I put two fingers across my heart and master a serious expression.
My natural bitter and sarcastic nature shall not intervene in your story. You have my word.
He looks at me doubtfully, eyebrow slightly lifted.
I sigh and nod.
I mean it, you have my word. I really want to hear it and apologize for the always-present bad habits. You won't hear a sound from me until you are done.
I bite my lower lip, holding back any natural sarcastic response that could roll off my tongue if not monitored correctly. My voice turns gentle as I speak.
Charlie, I mean it. Please tell me. I'm here for you.
He nods slowly in response and stares into the distance. He's silent for a while, probably gathering his thoughts before he speaks. Unexpectedly, he turns back to me and searches for something in my eyes, causing me to blink faster, my cheeks flaming up without warning, God knows why. Finally, he smiles, satisfied, and then looks up at the building.
It happened when I was a kid. But I guess, over the years, I must have put it into the back of my head, not dwelling on it for a long time. Kids have a talent for quickly moving on to new things, that's just how it is.
I listen to his warm voice and feel myself sink into the story slowly, showing my hands deeper into the pockets.
There was this older woman living down the street from us. Polite, quiet, but you could see something was wrong in the way she carried herself. Her face always seemed so pained, as if the expression was stitched to her features permanently. Each wrinkle like a note that shouted, stay away. I was 9-years-old then. And for some reason, felt a need to help her out. Not a common trait at that age, but probably due to the way I was brought up.
He exhales slowly before continuing, remembering things I might never have access to.
So, I shoveled the snow from her front yard in Winter and mowed the lawn in the Spring and Summer. Once a week, I would do groceries for her and got paid four dollars for it, even when I said it wasn't necessary. Though being just a little brat, I did enjoy having some money of my own; it made me feel important, and more like a grown-up.
The corners of my lips lift at those words. A tiny grown-up, Charlie. Already the
I remember that at first, I was a bit scared of her, but my grandmother said never to judge someone by their appearance and focus on what's inside. At that time, I wasn't completely aware of what the 'inside' really meant, but I didn't want to upset her either. Therefore, I helped as much as my skinny hands and legs let me, at the age of just nine. And when the Summer came, I was slightly braver and no longer feared to say 'hi' to her or ask questions. I was just hoping to ease the permanent scowl on her face and maybe earn a bit to buy a used skateboard, so I could spend more time with my friends.
One day, and I think it was the end of June, I drove over to her on my bike to ask if she needed anything from the shop and saw her crying on the porch, tears slowly streaming down the deep lines of her face. I remember the sound of my bike falling to the ground. And how my trainers seemed to squeak on the pavement as I ran up to her, then just standing there, not sure what to do next. I couldn't just hug her like I did my mom or say the right words because I didn't know the right words to soothe her pain. Instead, I did the only thing that came into my mind. I took her hand and squeezed it tight. I remember her looking down at me, surprise painted on her face. As if she forgot that anyone else was still living and breathing on this Earth. She stared at my hand for a long moment, her expression finally changing. The lines on her forehead and on her cheeks seemed to loosen up, her lips no longer just a tight, thin line... And right then, at that moment, I saw it; the always present grimace seemed to disappear from her face. I could see her relax as she gave me a shy smile. It was like experiencing the sun finally emerging from the thick, heavy clouds. I don't think I will ever be able to forge the sight. No matter how long I will live.
I shift slightly and tense up on the wooden bench, thinking that's how it always felt for me when he helped me, when he eased the pain. As if gazing at my very own sun; meant just for me. Silently, I gaze down at my lap while playing with my fingers.
I recall asking her. "Are you alright, ma'am?" and her words "I am now, son, thank you" Neither of us spoke of that day ever again, but something changed since then. I was no longer scared of her as if I understood her better somehow. The words of my grandmother forever echoing in my head. "Never judge, Charlie. See what's on the inside, not just on the top, dusty layer". I never forgot that lesson, and I still try to use it now.
I look at him thoughtfully and take his hand, the warmth as always filling me up in such sweet ways, but that's wasn't the reason why I was holding it. Thanks to his words, his story, I saw the person that he was as a child. And it was the same wonderful person that was still looking at me now. I couldn't be more grateful to have in my life.
Is that why you helped me that day? Because you saw something more than the average Joe
Yes, I think so. I focused on the inside and a feeling that made me compose a conscious decision to do everything to help you.
Thank you for that.
I knew you needed me.
I still do.
And I am here to help, as always.
My body moves closer to him, my side leaning in. I kiss him on the cheek and smile softly.
I'm glad that you saw it before it swallowed me up completely.
Well, it was hard to miss.
What can I say? When I do something, I do it in a big style, with no exceptions.
Yes, and I've even grown to like that about you.
Then you must be just as mad as I am. Or more.
Perhaps, Nora, perhaps. But there's nothing wrong with a little crazy, right?
In your humble way, sure. But let's face it, you wouldn't be able to handle all of this.
I joke, getting up and doing a few small spins, pointing to myself.
You would be surprised.
Hmm, I don't usually like to be surprised, but for you, I will make an exception, Mr.
Looking forward to it, Ms. Walton.
I cringe from the sound of my last name because it always made me think about my dad and our bad relations, but for Charlie's sake, I brush it off.
I should have never told you my full name.
You didn't, I made that happen on my own.
It doesn't make it any easier for me.
I smile at him for a moment, then grab his hand and pull him up.
Come on, your lunch hour will soon be over. It's a good thing that this place isn't too far from your job.
He stands up and slides his hand out of mine, pushing both of his hands into the pocket of his thick grey coat, following me with some hesitation. I turn around and stare at him questioningly.
You're going to tell me later something about the man that visited you today. I didn't like him one bit, Nora. I just didn't.
I nod a few times and bite my lip again.
I will, promise. Even if the less you know about him, the better.
His eyes narrow a bit, but I smile nonetheless at him, gazing at his face for a moment.
It's not easy to put all of my shadows in your open hands, but believe me when I say: I'm
trying. I'm trying harder than I ever head with anyone.
https://theprose.com/post/230936/with-all-my-senses ( the beginning )
Previous chapters :
*Little House on the Prairie (later known as Little House: A New Beginning in its sequel season) is an American Western historical drama television series, starring Michael Landon, Melissa Gilbert, Karen Grassle, and Melissa Sue Anderson, about a family living on a farm in Plum Creek near Walnut Grove, Minnesota, in the 1870s, 1880s, and 1890s.
untangling the messy structures - Part 1
Your past is always your past.
Even if you forget it, it remembers you.
― Sarah Dessen
Slowly, I somehow tear my eyes away from Alister and turn around to see Charlie watching the entire exchange with an unreadable stare. As if he was on constant alert, ready to intervene at any moment, if necessary. With some unsteadiness, I inhale deeper, needing his presence but knowing that some battles, were only meant for me. There was no room for guardian angles or small blessings this time around, only for this mangled-up, tattered soul of mine.
Do you mind giving us a moment?
I ask, too cold on the inside to make the words sound gentle. He gazes at the man in the dark coat with his rather bored expression that seems to lack in any form of interest or emotion, and then slowly back at me, his fingers rolling into tight fists. I nod at him.
It's okay. I'll be fine.
It doesn't seem like he's going to move anytime soon, so I point to his watch, focusing on logic and all the mundane things that I could still conjure up into life, despite the surreal situation we were in. Sometimes she thought it was a miracle and quite an achievement that she wasn't a drooling, straightjacket mess yet. Then again, it was probably just a matter of time. If the supernatural wasn't going to end her, then some mental state institution should do the trick.
Your break ended some time ago. You know you need to go.
The last words come out as a whisper, as my own fists tighten as well, mirroring his. I mouths please at him, and he looks down at my clenched hands for a moment and then nods shortly.
Alright, but I'll be around if you need me.
She knows the words aren't only meant for her, but also for the man that observes their little exchange, his irritation finally visible, the tension almost touchable around the three of them. I nod once more in reply, and hesitantly, he leaves. It makes me exhale both in relief and sadness. Oh, how she wished he could stay.
Such pathetic, little interactions. So dramatic and time-consuming. There are better things to do with your life, you know? Especially, when the time for some is particularly limited.
I look up at him, eyes narrowing slightly, things in me slowly hardening and becoming almost concrete-like structures.
Well. Then let's agree that I like the pathetic side of things. Some human cockroaches are like that. You shouldn't be surprised.
He tilts his head a bit and then walks closer to me, standing just a few feet away. I try not to think about how his near presence makes me feel. Nausea and the tramble of my muscles becoming louder, all of the symptoms suddenly increasing. He caused it. He was the illness itself. The whispers in my head, whimpering and at the same time reacting eagerly to his closeness. Like dogs with vengeful owners that treated them like shit but that still longed for their company. I can feel nausea spread and put a hand over my mouth, and he gives me a pitiful stare.
Don't worry; it usually subsides after a while. Animals of your kind tend to be rather
A low growl escapes my mouth as I straighten my back, the unexpected anger in me somehow calming down the symptoms. And damn, it felt good. So good to replace the illness with blazing things. So many blazing things.
You must remember, Eleonore. Your time is running out.
He smiles at me as his breath tickles my skin. He smells like cigar smoke, sandalwood, and ash. The smell is dangerously appealing, even if it also brings fear with it. The feeling of the independent doom filling the air and scraping at the throat as my lungs expand with power.
Each grain of the black sand tumbling down inside the hourglass that I hold in my hands. No use in fighting it.
I swallow and close my eyes, Alister's presence seeming to blur out everything around, reminding me of a snake that enthralls you slowly before going for the kill. Its venom slowly paralyzing every nerve in your body. Until you are just a useless toy, a future meal to the predator. Despite my head spinning, I take a few inches back and gaze up at him. His frame is tall but not as tall as Charlie's - a small fact that gives me a slight hint of satisfaction, and strangely enough, some courage as well. My pale grey eyes open wider as I try not to sink into that captivating but ruthless stare, the eyes so dark brown as if they were made of coal.
If you have it, then why should it really matter? It will eventually run out on its own, won't it?
His eyes narrow at me as he takes a step back, his energy heavy and thick. Destructive. Almost like the invisible smoke from the nightmares that still danced around my lungs. Becoming reality every time my body would beg for rest, the horror imprinted in shades of blue, lavender, and soft pinks under the tired eyelids. Forever tattooed into my hazy brain. Memories too vivid, too alive, the visions of the shadows slowly suffocating the life out of me, just before snapping a weak neck, the crunching sounds still echoing in my ears. Too real. I feel the hair on my arms stand up, and I stagger a bit back, noticing him nod with traces of satisfaction of his own. Yes, this behavior he was used to. The only behavior he approved.
Yes, it will. Like all mortal things, they usually fade out into oblivion.
Once more, he takes a few steps forward and lays a hand lightly on my waist, leaning in as if for a kiss. The nausea returns, the voices humming under the skull, touching and licking my veins with willingness, the fluorescent lamps above my head buzzing and threatening the brain to explode as I shield my eyes with one hand. Sickeningly aware of the grip on the waist becoming tighter as he whispers.
I'm not a patient man, beloved. I have never been, and the many endless decades spent in this rottening place that you call home had not made me any better. Count your life in days and no longer years. It's a piece of fair advice. Use it.
He whispers into my ear as his embrace around me leaves traces that speak of tenderness to everyone that passes us by but does not match the cruel smile that sticks to his lips. I sense the corners of his mouth lifted even as my eyes remain closed. My body wants to tremble, yet it is unable to move even by an inch as his presence looms over me. Sticky molasses, gasoline, and traces of brimstone, waiting for a match. Finally, he lets go of me and moves away gradually.
For a while, I still struggle to function right. Then suddenly, my lungs call for air, causing me to inhale deeper and cough. Hell lacks oxygen and good manners. I open my eyes and spin around, just at the right moment to see his silhouette disappear at the end of the hallway. On slightly shaky legs, I head in the opposite direction. Hands grabbing onto the counter as I move forward. A safe place. That was all she could think of. Just find a safe place to rest. For now, you don't have to think of anything else.
I knock on the frame of the open door lightly. Watching calmly as she scribbles something in a notebook, head moving slowly to an unknown rhythm, earbuds visible in the exposed ears, her hair pulled up high in a messy bun of light brown hair.
Hey, do you mind me crashing here for a little while?
I cross my arms tightly, feeling chilled to the bone constantly since Alister left the hospital, his shadow still somehow attached to the structure of my skin. My stare follows her as she looks up, distracted, pulling out an earbud and gazing at me questioningly. I shake my head slowly and start to back away, suddenly feeling too tired for any tiresome interactions.
No, stay. Come on.
I turn around and look down at her as she pets the bed a few times. I exhale slowly and try to smile as I walk over and sit next to her. She points to my shoes.
Take those off; you look like you need a bit of a breather.
I look at her for a while but don't protest and do as told. She nods satisfied, and I lay on my side at the edge of the mattress, trying to take as little space as possible as she scoots over, making some extra room for me.
Mmm, do you think the hospital rules allow such horrendous activities?
I ask tiredly but with traces of a smile, and she shrugs her shoulders a bit.
I will just tell anyone that asks that you're family. Not a problem.
Morgan gazes at me with a calm stare and then returns to her notebook just before my mind takes in what she said exactly. A mix of complicated emotions, coloring my face. Surprise, shock, tenderness, sensations too overwhelming to even process. That you're family. A few little words. And yet, they manage to cause some of the chunks of ice in me to crumble. I almost see them falling to the ground, and melting into tiny puddles under her bed.
She makes a distracted sound and hands me one of the earbuds. I lift an eyebrow but put it in, soft piano music filling my ears.
Beethoven - Piano Sonata No. 8. Calming, soft, magical. Very soothing for the mind, I would say.
My eyes close slowly, and I sink into the music. For the first time in a long while sensing a shred of peace in my veins. My eyelids only speaking of blue, lavender, and the subtle pinks and with nothing else. I drift off to sleep before I can even notice, my body becoming deliciously heavy and finally giving in to rest. Maybe a little heaven on earth did exist after all.
(Beethoven - Piano Sonata No. 8.)
After about 2 hours of blessed sleep, I wake up groggy and confused on the hospital bed. Watching Morgan's back slouched forward as she sits on the very end of the mattress with her legs crossed and writes down something in her notebook. My eyebrows furrow as just a few moments later, she starts to cough, first just sporadically and then with more force. Shoulder blades visible under the material of her long-sleeved, purple cotton shirt. My concern grows as she is unable to catch the air properly into her lungs. I sit up, still a bit stiff from sleep, and automatically reach for her back and rub the upper part of it.
Hey, hey, hey. You okay there? Alright, easy now, just try to slow down the breathing.
I pet her back a couple of times, then soothe it by moving my hand in wide, slow circles. And then I repeat. Eventually, she manages to catch some oxygen but still chokes a bit, her cheeks wet as she turns around to look at me.
I'm okay, it's fine. Just not all drugs go too awesome with a fucked up immune system and lungs with a slightly turbulent history and a possible expiration date. You know?
I furrow my eyebrows with worry but nod a few times, knowing that if she's anything like me, she will not want to get into the details.
Oh, all too well. It's not as much fun as everyone states to be run down daily by a bulldozer and a wracking ball in one. I blame bad commercial ads.
I shift slightly and slip my legs down, sitting there for a moment before I put my shoes back on, checking if all systems work in a more or less decent way. I didn't want to stand up and fall to the ground like a useless raggedy doll. I was exhausted by all my weaknesses being on display for everyone to see. Gradually, I get up, and despite my introverted self, ask anyway.
Are you going to be alright now, or should I call someone just to make sure?
She sighs and wraps her arms around her torso as if fighting some invisible wind.
No, I will be fine. If anything is truly out of order, one of the nurses will check up on me. I believe Joan has her shift on me today. Plus, mom is around, once again checking off a long list of all my health quirks with the doctor. I swear, sometimes I wonder if she actually enjoys doing that. I think it calms her down to have everything on paper.
I nod a few times, taking it all in for a while, and then slip a hand into my pocket and look around for any holy grail that I might find. I smile and slip something into her hand. She looks at it with raised eyebrows. I just shrug.
I heard the nurses are nicer with delicate encouragement.
Nor, I don't need...
No, no, just in case. Once you get famous and irreplaceable in the artistic world, I will make sure to come for my share of the deal.
Her tone is meant to be disapproving, but I hear her smile as I walk up to the door.
I turn around and gaze at her.
Your male nurse was looking for you.
And we both enjoyed the full display of drull and groans while you were sleeping.
I say, slightly agitated.
Relax. He was just looking for you and made sure to tell you that he would be waiting next to the entry to the hospital at around 3 o'clock. If you will be awake, of course. He said he's up for lunch outside the old walls.
I lift my eyebrows a bit.
Okay, noted. And thanks for letting me crash with you.
She nods, making it quite visible that she wants to be alone now, and I give her the space, my mind already downstairs with Charlie. I think he might have something to share with me too. I guess we all had a past beneath the smooth surface layers that we displayed to others.
https://theprose.com/post/230936/with-all-my-senses ( the beginning )
Previous chapters :
unsteady thunders, crumpled things
As my world burned, the unexpected still lingered in the air, the wind dancing through
my hair, the pale moon painting silver patterns on my skin, lightning erupting the sky.
The heavens spoke with anger, with rolling, twisted screams.
Shouting all of my faults, and coloring the freshly painted scars as if crimson flowers
crafted of blood and countless lives
that breathed in me with strange,
brutal softness of supernovas expanding in hushed murmurs.
Destruction was sometimes made of whispers in the dark, and not of glass shattering
under the sun.
The Gods spoke with egos that night.
Covering me in rain and tides, flames and devastation,
slipping their fingers into my skin, digging dip into the muscles, and ripping my solar system apart, strumming each vein like a goodbye song.
Changing water into fire, droplets into flames, until I screamed without voice,
seeing my path clearly, and on broken heels stumbling through the mud
and the careless winds howling into my soul.
One last light, one breath, and all that remained was static after the storm, with unsteady thunders pressing into my beaten-up form.
My path grew wider and more secure
until my weaknesses became the once-forgotten strength.
I moved forward to you, my destination,
the other part to my dark, to my light, to the air scribbled in bold in my lungs, drawn like blue ink tattoos,
a map written in cursive, always speaking of you.