ive talked to her only few times and yet i feel like im in love. shes not beautiful or pretty. no, just plain to the eye and yet she is the best thing that i have ever seen. her eyebrows arch and curve just perfectly and her nose really is a button, shes tall and skinny, matching her long thin hair. but its not just her looks. she is not perfect. she feels like me. so close to escaping her body. so familiar with her insecurities. She is on a basketball team. not with me. no, she is much better than i. but i see her. so light and comfortable when she is with her friends. but then she is away and she falls into her own world. she feels stupid. she can't understand the plays and the drills so fast. she sometimes misses shots everyone else can make. and people scream. at her she thinks she should leave this world. leave the screams. because she cannot understand what they are saying. she is trying to keep everyone around her ok that she sometimes forgets to care for herself. but is this really her? i want it to be. i guess that means its probably just a dream. and yet, i aspire to be her. because sometimes i think she feels like shes winning the world. shes achieved this out of body experience while she is still alive and on earth. she is vulnerable, and she smiles knowing it.
Capture The Flag
I was 13 years old. It was a lock-in at my local church. He was 16. I remember the ruby red hair that shaded into the dark as he smiled down on me. We were about to play capture the flag. I think he could be considered my first crush. But at the time, I didn't know of what that meant. I just knew that I was infatuated with this person to no end and wanted to be around him as much as possible. He picked me for his team. he smiled and I was glowing as I jogged next to his side. I didn't know much else except that I was in love with him and all those stupid butterflies that resided.
We played the game, I tried my best. And in the end, when the final throw was called he called my name to catch the flag and run it to the end-zone. I remember him calling my name to catch it and run. A voice...I have never forgot.
her aura is roses
and something poignant
on a flight
that takes off at twilight
her bones aching
to feel something
she is daydreaming
a better life is coming
her top bun rests
perfectly atop her head
a personal best
while the man takes her photo
her face pressed up against the window
it went viral
yet she continues to spiral
her calm demeanor
in the picture
merely a conjecture
something is in my eye
Ouch. Something is in my eye. I try to rub it out, but no matter how vigorously I slash my finger across my eyelids, I just feel that intense pain as you watch me. And then I realize I can't remove a whole fruit from my pupil. At least as long as you meet my gaze...You're the apple of my eye.
Not From Around Here
My eyes lift from the screen as he walks up to the cafe counter, twenty feet from me. I can't make out the details, and it's rude to stare. Eyes back on my work. I glance again. He is looking for a seat. Maybe when he's settled I can study the odd nuances better. Someone sets a laptop on the table next to mine. It's him.
Silver to brown tight cornrows thread from his scalp to his shoulders, half tied back in a controlled pony tail. His dark skin isn't common enough around here, and I'll be caught gazing if I'm not careful. A crystal around his neck, fastened with wire to a gem-stone rock above it doesn't shine, it just sits there softly. He's not too thin in build or personality. He has a presence, and I'm unsure what it hold.
I ask him how his day's been. This should be interesting.
I see him a lot
on the way to
on the way from.
He is quiet
Doesn't talk at all.
Most days the seat next to him
is the only one open.
I sit there
He says nothing.
Just quietly looks out the window.
I have never seen anyone talk to him.
Never seen him talk to anyone.
I don't mind sitting there
I don't have anyone else to sit by
If he would talk to me.
Then maybe we could be friends.
Maybe we wouldn't be strangers
Maybe I wouldn't wonder
What his name was
Or why he was so quiet
I almost never see him move.
Maybe he is nice.
But who am I to judge?
A Wandering Heart
His heart wanders endlessly.
Thinking, praying for what he hopes to be.
Idle yet full of life.
He yields to love and sacrifice.
Patience is his last device.
Gentle as a newborn soul.
A pure love will soon make him whole.
If he should wander near to me,
I'd keep him for eternity.
When Shakespeare Spoke
The expectation of the coming performance had everyone in good spirits. Though the venue is small, no one seems to mind. Then, there is a shift in the energy of the room. Everyone is turning towards the entrance.
A being. Sandy blonde hair, blue-green-yellow eyes, pale, luminescent skin, tall, slender, scans the room as the crowd begins to quiet down to whispers. The first guitar chord is struck. Everyone remembers the concert and turns towards the stage. Those that glance back can no longer see where the god-like human is, nor are they sure that they saw it at all. The rest forget.
"So good!" Sheila yells. She forgot to bring her earplugs and wouldn't move from her spot to get toilet paper for her ears.
"I know, right. And his huge eyes are so soulful. I cried the moment they stopped at me." Jasmine and Sheila hold on tightly to each other as they squeal in unison.
A can gets kicked in their direction. The girls stop to stare in the direction of the noise. They know that they're close to the train station and run. A bottle explodes at their right. They scream as they plummet down the steps.
The token booth clerk pays them no notice until they begin to bang on the window.
"What is the emergency?" He speaks into the microphone. Outside, where the girls are, the sound is heard, but there are no words.
The two speak at once, making their communication incoherent.
"If you don't step away from my booth I will have to call the police."
Again scratching noises from the booth, but no words. The sound of running comes from the direction of the stairs. The girls turn and jump the turnstiles.
"I'm getting the police. This kind of drunken behavior is going to get you killed."
A group of men, all wearing their gang colors, stampede into the station from the stairs. The token booth clerk frantically dials the emergency number. The men scatter. Some towards the front of the station some towards the back. Nothing can be seen from the booth. Only the sounds of the screams which all die down after a moment.
"Hello! Are you alright?" The noise from the booth continues to be incoherent. The clerk is afraid to leave his post. His conscience gets the better of him after a few minutes. He steps out, bat in hand. He must know what happened to the girls. He regrets not allowing them to step into the booth.
Opening the door by the turnstiles, he steps through. His boots trudge through a thick pool of blood. Strewn all over the platform and the tracks are the body parts of the men. The women sit at a bench, holding each other, staring at the carnage.
"What happened?" The clerk whispers.
"The short one, um, Sheila, said an angel saved her meanwhile, Jasmine said it was a demon. The rest of the story is identical."
"Wait! They both have the same details except for who saved them?"
The captain sighs loudly. "And the token booth clerk?"
"Saw nothing. He thought that they were drunk until the gang passed through."
"Could it have been a rival gang? The girls could be decoys."
"Except that they both were on their way back home from a concert."
"I'm really not in the mood for ghost stories."
"How about vampires?"
"Get me footage of the neighborhood! from the venue to the station and from the station itself! Find out what route they took. I don't want to hear stories. Get me evidence. No one goes home until I get evidence. Call your wives, call your husbands, call whom you have to. No one goes home!"
"I told you. I don't know. There was too much blood. Too much screaming. Too much commotion. Jasmine and I were buried in each other's arms. I've never heard men scream like that. It was as if they were living their worst nightmares."
"Sheila was so scared that I held her. At one point, the screams stopped and I saw someone walking away into the tunnel."
"What did he look like? What was he wearing? How tall was he? Did he have a weapon?"
"Blonde, curly, long, to the shoulder hair. Long black coat."
"What did he look like? C'mon, think!"
"This being was walking away!"
"That's the second time that you called him a being. My captain is not in the mood for ghost stories. Do you want to spend time in jail?"
"You're rude. I want a lawyer."
"Only the guilty need a lawyer. What are you confessing to?" Jasmine's silence makes the detective slam his fist on the table.
"Footage follows the girls from the dance hall to the station. At the station we see them trying to get help. But look at this, it's the moment when they get spooked by the gang. We worked backwards and were able to figure out where the gang came from. This alley here. See how they all run? There were twice as many waiting in the alley. See? One by one they were taken. We've been able to follow the trail of dead bodies back to the alley. Ten bodies at the station, ten at the alley. The women wouldn't have stood a snowball's chance in hell."
"I don't want to hear that the killer is a hero. Pass the word. Anyone leaking information outside of this squad will be removed from their post."
"I'm so glad to finally be out of there."
"I'm so pissed off. How is treating us like the perpetrators supposed to help them find out who killed those men?"
Sheila kept quiet. She was not surprised that Jasmine got herself into trouble. Having to appear before a judge will make matters worse. She promised to be with her at the hearing.
Exhausted, Sheila takes a long shower, relaxing her muscles. Lavender wafts throughout the bathroom, flows under the door to the bedroom. The shower done, she slips into her most comfortable pajamas and slide into bed. Sleep takes over immediately.
Jasmine jumps of the cab. At the door, she rings the bell. Her favorite lay eyes her from head to toe, pulls her in by her belt. "I need a stiff one."
The door closes. The lights go off.
"An elderly woman was attacked from behind. She never got a look at the perpetrator. The animal lifted her off the ground, walked her behind a dumpster and sodomized her in broad daylight. Rape kit got no semen. I left her with a counselor. She wouldn't talk to me."
"Say hello to Sargent DuBois. Your new partner."
"DuBois, take the lead. See what you can glean. The vic will be receptive to you."
"You got it, chief."
"Ah, excuse me!"
"Jake, consider this a training in people skills."
"Said Mr. Congeniality?"
"One more word and you're transferring to traffic."
"Hanson, I'm not here for your job. I'm here for me. We could be friends, which will make us both better officers or you could request a transfer."
"DuBois, I have nothing against you. As long as you have my back, I'll have yours. Let hunt down the animal that hurt that old lady with extreme prejudice."
"I'll pretend I didn't hear that.
Sunsets; with no two being the same, each brings its own unique beauty. At the top of the mountain, away from the noise of humanity, the silent symphony slowly quieted. Rich shades of orange mixed with dark blue. The warmth of the sun gently slips away. Translucent skin turns opaque as the clothing slides on. The shadow cast blends with the night. Time once more for the purge.
"They are altogether evil."
Listening intently, the voices are followed to the hospital where the elderly victim lay.
"Ma'am? My name is Serena DuBois, this is Jake Hanson. We're investigating your case. We'd like your help in capturing the animal that harmed you. Can you tell us anything that you may remembe? For example something that he was wearing, a particular fragrance? Did you get a glimpse of his face? Any and every detail can be helpful, no matter how silly it may seem."
"You're right about the animal part. His clothes smelled of wet dog." As she says this, she trembles. "I'm sorry." Tears stream.
"Please go on." DuBois hands her the box of tissues that was on the night table by the bed. Hanson slowly backs out of the room.
"His breath smelled of sardines. His nails were filthy and broken. His facial hair scratched the back of my neck as, as he-"
Outside of the room, Hanson walks over to the front desk and shows his badge. "I would like to talk to the person in charge of the case for the victim brought in earlier."
"That is confidential information. The hospital would be in violation of-"
"Dorothy, take a break. The man has clearly shown you his badge and is here to help. I'll stay at the desk until Tonya arrives. Go."
"I'm Doctor Zumar. I apologize about Dorothy. She's months away from returning and has taken to dot every I and cross every T. I didn't catch your name."
"Jake Hanson. May I see the initial report for the victim? I'm hoping for any clue that can help me with the case."
"I examined the patient myself. The only thing that came back was dog hairs."
"Dog hairs? Any particular dog?"
"Several, as a matter of fact. He's either a dog walker or a dog lover, if you get my meaning"
"No other evidence? No random pubic hair, no dry skin, nothing?"
Back in the car.
"Nothing, other than the smell of wet dog."
The doctor in charge of the case mentioned dog hairs. Different kinds. When we get back, I'll look into pet shops, animal shelters and veterinary clinics in the area of the attack."
"The woman mentioned something else that was a bit of the rails. She said that she felt his presence before he attacked."
"You mean like she has a sixth sense?"
"I don't know. At first, I was going to dismiss it, but we don't have much information, so I brought it up to see if it rings any bells."
"Well, some communities are into voodoo, witchcraft, santeria. Stuff like that. Did you ask her about her beliefs?"
"It didn't occur to me to do so. I don't put much stock in that sort of thing."
"But she may. We should talk to her again. When will she be able to leave the hospital?"
"Tonight. Her son will be picking her up after his shift ends."
"I'm going back to the precinct to research the dog care places. Anywhere you want to be dropped off?"
"I'm meeting someone at 5. Take us back to the precinct. I have a change of clothes there.
The lab is empty except for the individual leaning over evidence. Workstation lights enhance the shadows. A sandy blonde ponytail falls over the tall being's left shoulder as he takes in the scent of the hairs.
The door opens. Someone turns on the overhead lights. The being's pace is blinding. Anyone noticing him would say that he disappeared in an instant.
"A body was found earlier this morning by the highway. Here's Becca Gutierrez with the gory details. Becca?"
"Thanks, Tammy. Ladies and gentlemen, gory is an understatement. The body found has since been moved to the medical examiner's office. What we've been able to learn so far is that parts of the body were missing. It is believed that dogs may have eaten part of it. More details as they are released. Back to you, Tammy."
"I compared the hairs found on the corpse with the hairs from the rape victim. They're a match. It appears that someone may have done your job for you."
"There's no doubt on the match?"
"I know my profession."
"Of course. I wasn't implying anything. I apologize if it seemed as though I did. If there's a vigilante on the prowl, there will be more deaths. Thanks, doc."
"Something else. The team assigned to the sight found most of the body parts, but the spine is missing"
"That's for you to determine. I'll keep you updated if I find anything else. One thing is certain. Both the rape and the carnage are connected."
A sliver of silver at the horizon announced the beginning of a new day. What would have been mistaken for a mother-of-pearl statue stands at the mountain's peak. The gold hair and steady breathing are the only indicator of life.
"Good morning, children. Please come in."
The detectives step through the threshold. The victim's son is standing in the livingroom. After introductions, they all take a seat.
"Ma'am, could you please take a look at this photo and tell us if you know this man?" DuBois hands her the photo. The son takes it, since his mother can't touch it.
"He's not anyone that I know. Is this the man that attacked me?"
"Yes, ma'am. We're here to let you know that he will never bother you again."
"You people finally did something right?"
"Gerald! I've taught you better than that; don't be rude! I'm sorry. He's just upset because of what happened."
"We understand, ma'am. The man in the photo is dead."
"Are you sure you don't know him? Do you volunteer anywhere? Has he ever delivered to your home?"
"I've never seen him. Not even when he attacked me."
"Ma'am?" It was Hanson's turn to ask questions. "What are your beliefs? Do you attend a church, practice a religion, anything like that?"
"Do you think I may know him from church?"
"Please answer the question, ma'am. It would be a great help. We want more than anything for what happened to you not to happen to anyone else. Could you help us?"
The woman gets up from the sofa, where she sits with her son. Walking over to DuBois, she takes her right hand and says, "You have a quiet, gentle spirit. Love is your strength."
From where she stands, next to DuBois, she looks at Hanson and says, "Your open-mindedness is your strength. Look past the corporeal."
Gerald has seen this before. When his mother is in contact with the spiritual realm, soon after, she is drained physically for a day or two before she recovers. He leaps from his place on the sofa and catches her before she hits the floor. He takes her to her bedroom. The detectives offer their help, but the son escorts them out.
"Pay close attention to what my mother said. It will help you with the case." He slams the door letting them know that the conversation was over.
"You're not going to tell me that you buy into what that woman said are you?"
"Shakespeare wrote, 'There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.'”
"The old woman spoke about the spiritual realm. And read this:
'When the human race began to increase, with more and more daughters being born, the sons of God noticed that the daughters of men were beautiful. They looked them over and picked out wives for themselves. Then God said, “I’m not going to breathe life into men and women endlessly. Eventually they’re going to die; from now on they can expect a life span of 120 years.”'
"That was Genesis, chapter six. The sons of God. Who could that be referring to, angels, the children of angels?"
"Slow down, slow down. I'm not going to be chasing after fairy tales. Stop."
"Both the old woman and her son told us to look past what we can see. Remember?"
"Do you want to end your career? Please, be reasonable. Let's do the work. Let's get hard evidence. There's a vigilante out there somewhere that we need to catch!"
Hanson goes home that night with DuBois' words ringing in his ears, "Do you want to end your career?"
He sits at the small desk in his bedroom in the dark. Let's the conversation that he just had replay in his mind. Turning on the task light on the desk, he reluctantly opens the bottom drawer of his desk, reaches the back file and pulls out the bible that his cousin gave him when they were kids.
It's been decades since he's read from it. "Unworthy," is the accusation that comes to mind. He takes a deep breath and opens to Genesis chapter six again:
"The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown. "
Nephilim were. But what if there are still some left? And what of the sons of God? Are they still around?
Jake fell asleep at the desk where he dreamed of mythical creatures. His phone rings.
"Where are you?"
"Nice. You kiss your mother with that mouth?"
"Let's cover the territory, talk to rival gangs."
"You'd be wasting your time. No gang member is going to talk to a cop. What are you, new?"
"What would you suggest, then?"
"Let's go undercover. Play the happy couple out for fun. Talk to palm readers, tarot cards dealers and the like."
"I'm not doing the supernatural angle. I don't care what you read in the bible."
"DuBois. Much as it pains me to admit it. Hanson has a point. We have to cover all angles, no matter how outlandish. Start at the boardwalk at Coney Island. That is all."
With that, the chief walks away, ending the conversation.
"C'mon. Lighten up. It will be fun. Look. Let's talk to these two nice people and ask them if we're going to be okay, babes."
DuBois wants to take her gun out and shoot him. Instead, she puts on her most sincere smile and commits to the role of the girlfriend.
"Hi. Jerry and I have never done this before."
"Please, take a seat."
After a few tries and many false starts, DuBois decides that she has had enough.
"No! This is stupid. I'm done. All they want is cash and they'll tell you anything you want to hear in order to get it. Even trying to pickpocket you.!"
"Did you see the look on her face when you showed her your badge? You shouldn't have let her know that you are police, though. Now we'll never get answers."
A girl of nine years old in a floral print sun dress walks to Hanson and hands him a piece of paper. The moment that he takes it the little girl blends in with the crowd. Hanson opens the paper. He shows DuBois the phone number. She takes the paper and dials the number.
"Serena, you and Jake are invited to attend a gathering. Tomorrow night, 11:45, Coney Island Beach."
"Hello. Hello! They're gone. We're supposed to be back here tomorrow night, a quarter to midnight. Why are they so cliché?"
"I'll pick you up."
"That fire is against city regulations."
"DuBois! We're here to listen and learn."
"It's alright Jake. Serena has yet to live up to her name. She'll get there. Your grandma wants you to know that she misses you too, Rena."
DuBois' heart slammed against her chest. Only her grandmother on her mother's side called her Rena.
"When you get home later, look under your pillow. Jake, you're going to need to make a decision that will be to the death or to the life of your soul. I pray that you choose wisely."
"Excuse me." Serena kicks sand onto the fire. Her intention is to turn it off. It grows as tall as Serena, then dies down. The woman sticks her hands into the flames and retrieves a white dove, unharmed.
"Both, place your hands on the dove. Gently. We pray for your children. May they have the faith of a little child." The elderly woman, the victim of the rape, threw the dove in the direction of the water where it disappeared. Your success is up to you. Will your faith save you?"
DuBois walks silently back to the car. Hanson looks to the sky as he opens the car door for DuBois.
"What are you looking at?"
"The sky. Well, not exactly. I was talking to The Man upstairs. Asking for guidance. It's been decades since we've spoken, so I don't know if He even hears me, but it doesn't hurt to try. Did you grow up with a belief in God?"
DuBois has no intention of discussing her upbringing. "I told you before, I don't believe in fairy tales."
Another sunrise. Another day full of promise. The glistening skin slowly transforms to a milky white. The sunshine hides the celestial qualities. The being puts the long coat on his shoulders and begins to defy gravity. He closes his colorful eyes and floats forward, in the direction of the sun.
They are all your children. How the adversary confuses.
"...and now news in a minute presented to you by The Milling Factory:
- a baby is found in a dumpster at the mall
- an officer is shot and killed
- an animal shelter goes up in flames..."
Evil reigns. Must keep the balance.
The being looks at the baby through the hospital's nursery glass...
I saw him again today, I had to look twice to make sure I was not dreaming. I wasn't. There he was, on his way to work once again only this time his hair was shorter and his pale skin wasn't covered by thick jackets as it was before. It was a brief second like it's always been but after not seeing him for a while it caught me by surprise. I still didn't know what to say. He was wearing a mustard polo t-shirt and though I've never liked that color after seeing him wearing it, it has become my favourite. He was still him, his tall frame pedalling away in his bike with a big smile at 8 in the morning, still as elegant as he's ever been. I still don't know what to say, I haven't since I started seeing him on my way to university. Two strangers walking in opposite directions casually running across each other while they head in different directions, it seems like something out of a movie only in this case the characters never speak. Will we ever cross paths as we walk in the same direction?