you asked me once
you asked me once what dope took from me,
and the answer is
it took you.
a lover of beauty, you say,
as i blush beneath the sheets
that held your scent long after you left.
today the song and dance
you made of my words
have turned to war chants
bending grooves in the spaces
created between us.
the smoke chokes the love,
unwraps the arms from around me,
drops the safety net
for my jump
and ties you up in shackles.
it’s no longer me you can’t live without.
you asked me once what dope took from me
it took so many damn things-
my life, my brain, my health,
and it took,
it took you.
I like disappearing into people
When I have no one to disappear into, I don’t know who I am
I used to be someone
I’ve got vague memories of it
Being happy every once in a while
Or was I
Maybe I’ve just been disappearing into people all my life
It’s as close as I can get to actually disappearing
But I have standards
If you know what I mean
I won’t disappear into just anyone
It has to be someone I want to disappear into
The problem is being alone
I’ve never been that good at it
Because when I’m alone
I have no one to disappear into
So I just want to
Sweating profusely I tried to wipe my brow to no avail. Today the sun seemed to be a bit closer to earth, and it was scorching our bald heads. The land was barren, and the mirage continued its peculiar dance. The chains on our hands and legs were heavy and hot. Mopping my brow for the umpteenth time, I suddenly realised that it was probably the last time I would be using my hands as a pair. My mind raced back to all the things I’d ever done with my hands both good and bad. I thought where I had been and what I had done, the souls I’d touched and the ones I’d destroyed. A terrifying scream startled me jolting me out of my deep reverie.
I was now alive at the moment. I could feel my breath, I could smell the strange odor of feces, urine and sweat mixed with blood. The stench was choking me. The crowd cheered loudly as the butcher pumped up his axe in the air while doing a celebratory jig. The crowd was baying for blood, a look at their faces and you could see they were relishing everything that was going on. I was left wondering what kind of frenzy they would be in once the beheading started.
Up in the very important box you could see Mulei and Maria his wife and their entourage were enjoying the scene. My heart was now beating loudly like the tum tum drums of South Africa threatening to bust out of my chest. I felt like I could die. I swallowed hard as next guy in line was unchained and escorted by two humongous men to axe man’s arena despite the struggle he put up his hands were held firmly on the blood soaked log.
Meanwhile, the axe man was revving the crowd up with a small performance with his massive blood stained axe. With a wry smile on his face the king gave the signal and in a fraction of a second the axe was on the prisoners’ hand, cracking his bones while splashing blood all over. Simultaneously, the prisoners’ screams of pain were silenced by the rapturous applause of the crowd.
Next in line was an old man, and I was after him. His chains were undone. He walked slowly with a determined step and knelt before the axe man. Suddenly king Mulei stood up and with a wave of his hand the crowd went silent, but my heart thundered on, for a moment I thought the other prisoners could hear it.
“Citizens of Tuaa, your king greets you, today we have to appease our gods” Bokonos’ voice broke the hot afternoon air and reverberated around the amphitheatre.
The crowd roared and clapped with excitement.
“Today thieves’ hands will be chopped off so that they will never steal again” he continued and the crowd burst into another rapturous applause.
Looking around, I could see the last prisoner's on the ground, and it was still twitching.
“This man’s hands will be chopped off for trying to grope the queen, he deserves to die but being a merciful king I will let him live but with a warning.”
Another loud cheer met his last word. A broad smile crept from cheek to cheek on the queen’s face as she clapped to the words of the king. With a wave of his hand, the crowd fell silent again and that eerie feeling that my heartbeat could be heard returned. Suddenly the old man’s voice broke the silence.
“I’d rather die today,” he said resolutely.
I was taken aback, and so was everybody else in attendance. The king Mulei trying to show who is in command retorted “so be it you fool”
The crowd went ballistic again. The old man with a determined face scanned the crowd, the king and then bowed. The axe man was now doing his pre-beheading jig and both he and the crowd were loving it. King Mulei watched with a wry smile plastered on his face. This stupid old man had disrupted his plans but the show had to go on. Mulei let the axe man dance for a while, a tactic he used to fill the crowd with anticipation. Then he finally gave the signal and with one clean swing the axe landed on the old man’s neck which dissociated from his body. It rolled on the floor spilling blood until it rested near the pair of hands that were still twitching.
The crowd was ecstatic. Warm blood that had splashed on me was now trickling down my face and bare chest. The old man’s head lay in a pool of blood with flies swarming all over for a taste of fresh blood. The scene was ghastly I nearly vomited, but I managed to keep myself together. I was next and this sent cold chills down my spine, my feet were like wobbly like jelly. As the old man’s headless body was being dragged away I observed that the queen relished every moment of this.
Suddenly a large bust of wind tore up the amphitheatre and black clouds engulfed the blue sky. It started getting dark. Everybody was both surprised and confused, you could see it on their faces. The place fell silent that you could hear a pin drop. In a jiffy the old man’s head started floating, and his eyes turned pure white. Everybody was shocked, some fainted and others got on their heels and fled, the courageous ones were left behind to witness this peculiar event. The head was now midair spinning around slowly occasionally throwing bits of clotted blood.
“Today we will witness the end of Mulei’s reign” his shrill voice was deafening.
The guards had dropped their spears and scampered away. The old man’s head swirled around for a while, finally settling on me. His white eyes elicited no emotion, I stood there too afraid to move, my feet were heavy, and I had no energy.
“You are our saviour, the head said.
In an instant the twitching hand came alive. It felt its way, took the keys that had been dropped by the guards. The hand unlocked my hands as well as the other prisoners who were still shell shocked but they immediately took to their heels. I tried to follow them but I couldn't Some magnetic force kept me rooted on the spot. Pandemonium broke out as soon as the head and hand fell down and a lightning bolt hit the very important person’s box.
I could see the king Mulei, his wife and their entourage trying to escape. What happened next still baffles me to date. I was struck by lightning on the top of my scalp, but I felt no pain. Instead, I experienced the old man’s pain. I could clearly see what he had been through. His family had been tortured and killed by Mulei’s men. Then I was taken back to the memory of the incident that had caused his suffering and death. He was the king’s cup bearer. As he was serving the queen her wine, he accidentally spilled some on her chest. In the process of trying to wipe some of it off with a cloth, the queen let out a scream, claiming that the old man was groping her.
I wasn’t in control of my body. I picked up a panga and a sword and made my way up toward the very important person’s box. I was moving with extreme pace and athleticism that it shocked me. Mulei wasn’t in the box when I got there, but I caught a glimpse of his entourage. I started to run in their direction, and soon I was upon them as they made their way to the awaiting chariot.
I could spot the king now. A sudden spur of energy filled my right arm and I flung the spear which soared through the air and hit King Mulei on his back protruding from his chest. As he fell down, I could see Marias’ inaudible screams. Suddenly I blacked out.
#shortstory #writing #story #IamWriting #writtingcommunity
The Summer of Love
He crawled beneath his bed sheet, pulling his shirt by the hem, trying in vain to wake him up.
“Oh, come on, Charlie, it’s just eight! Let me sleep, will you?” Abel yawned, pushing him to the floor as he struggled to jump back in.
“But it’s summer! Why would anyone be staying indoors today?” Charlie murmured softly, his words barely perceptible, almost like the susurration of a river. A busy golden bumblebee made its way out through the window, humming a song she just composed. A little grin curved on his jowls as he vaulted out through the open window, following her, trying to catch her with his hands. His legs raced on the turf, running in big circles, going round and round the house. He rolled down the steep side of the greensward, his creamy hair that glowed golden with every brush of the wind, clogging with dirt, covering it with a shade of tortilla brown. His body finally came to a halt, his sandpaper tongue almost dripping, gasping for breath. He lolled on the ground, winking his big brown eyes, wider than a baby’s, glowing like amethysts, at the lambent sun, stretching his hands forward and shaking his body altogether. His ears were busy listening to the young bees that buzzed in circles, darting through the summer air. His hands caressed the sharp ends of the newly trimmed grass that shimmered in the sunlight and slid inside to touch their velvety softness. Oh, how long had he been waiting for this season to come! New flowers, new birds, long walks, no snow. His favourite part of the year.
A flock of new birds flew past the clouds, moving as a group, leaderless, drawing jaunty hues in the growing white canvas, tinting the skies with a shade of cerulean blue, leaving tracks like a child’s oblique curve joined by dots in a coordinate paper. A jocund bullfinch, capped with dreamy black feathers and brilliant orange plume that sang of the hues of newborn petals of beautiful mid-spring garden pansies, alighted upon one of Abel’s trees. He held his head high, his basalt eyes, only the size of mustard seeds, fixed upon the tree next. Charlie’s eyebrows twitched from one side to the other, his eyes blinking through the tousled strands of caramel hair, trying to focus on the little bird.
“That’s not his favourite tree…” Charlie said silently, in a language only he could understand. He tried to cup his hands like Abel would and stared into the other tree which held a continuous layer of thick foliage. Nestled in it was a tiny white-cheeked bullfinch, probably migrated, brooming her feathers with her little grey beak.
“I see, new girl!” laughed Charlie, his lips parting with an impish smile, revealing his incredibly white teeth, punctuated with abnormally pointed canines. He licked his lips, making visible the threads of saliva that fell in spurts on the turf. The little man gave a sharp subtle call, just two syllables, enough to catch her attention “Pyo!” She turned her head instantly, yearning to find the whistle’s source until her shiny black eyes locked with his basalt grey ones. He paused a minute to scan her from head to toe, sending a tingle traveling up her spine. He then improvised a deep song, his voice as sweet as a new blossom, quiet and soothing with a descending series of notes, repeated at intervals; a song which no magical flute can ever produce.
The bird spread her little wings, beating them gently like a tender sea wave and reached the tree to listen to her Peter oh-so-mysterious Pan. She hopped over the summer foliage, drawing herself closer to him. With that tight smile plastered on his face, Charlie knew what would happen next, but he gave no purchase for withdrawing his gaze.
“Charlie!” A cross voice came out of the swaying trees. He raised his eyebrows in pure surprise to hear the bird address him.
“Alright, alright,” he said, turning his back to the tree. But his ears stood straight, ready to wiretap their conversation. Rolling his eyes, the bullfinch let out a little sigh. He smirked a little with his beak, for a lopsided grin to take shape.
“Is that Talia going there?” he asked, his voice booming. Charlie’s ears pricked straight up at the mention of her name. His tail, rather than doing the usual side-by-side wag stood straight for a second, all his hair standing on the ends. Then he cocked his head and let out his signature chirping-bark. In one swift jump he leaped over the five-foot fence, his tongue and tail moving in uniform choreography. His tail, oh you should have seen his squishy tail, going crazy, moving in all directions man ever found. Scattered layers of golden strands lay on the grass as he left. How much his eyes craved to see the young spaniel whose brindled coat curled around her pink collar every time she walked! Ha, there it goes! Strolling over the stoic meadow, nuzzling inside the verdant verdure, soaked in the summer air, whistling all the way it goes—love. Something I’ll never be able to figure out.
You gave me your hand
You built a home from the pieces of a broken man
Instead of covering up my bruises with kisses like you used to
you made more
Now my mind’s is at war
because you’re not the love I once knew
Your ghost sits with me
underneath the willow tree
We hold in our anger and call it home
we never get lost for we do not roam
Your ghost picked me apart and looks inside
I couldn’t run, I couldn’t hide
Your ghost filled me with dreams I can’t hold
It’s the only thing keeping me afloat in this cold world
I wish that we could’ve run away
I wish I could just leave the growing up for another day
This nostalgic feeling is weighing down on me
Like the kid I used to be is looking down on me
I see your ghost stare at the photographs of us
and smile at the things stuck in the past
But I also see the hole that slowly spreads as your ghost looks at our picture
your ghost turns and looks at me
I have to look closely
to see your ghost whisper “I’m sorry”
I can’t handle the silence that threatens to crush us
So I sing a song to keep the quiet out
But it’s not enough
because when you watch me with those sad eyes
I self-destruct on the inside
It’s never a pretty sight
And it pains me, even more, when your ghost cries
because we’re both hurting inside
You used to say “there’s love in the silence”
I always replied with a smile, “tell me something I don’t know”
This love doesn’t feel right anymore
I miss the love that wasn’t filled with sadness and pain
I miss the before
I call your ghost over so we can take a picture
but no matter how many times we take the picture it’s not the same
because in the after photo I’m all alone
Even with your ghost here I feel alone
So I listen to your recorded voicemail on my phone
My hands are balled into fists
In that moment I realize how lonely it is to exist
The silence keeps trying to sprout
So I play your voicemail over and over to keep the silence out
Belly Full of Poison. Fuel poised to pour in. Salt in the wound will get you cursing. Sure thing. Pissing vinegar. Bloody bile. In the corners of their smile. The wild child within I.e evil twin. Toweling off the vile consonants and vowels it chokes up all the time. Spewing forth from their lips after barely crossing the mind. Forgoing looking both ways without mortality to worry about treating them unkind. Say what you will about intelligent design.
Nobody’s listening. With ears trained to show none no mind. While trying to figure out the last scathing remark our belly aching made. Anyone speak deeply concerning growl? Do The Cramps always foretell a smell so foul. If so I’m throwing in the towel. And showering off after evacuating my bowels. Of the strychnine that took its time doing
a number on my......
Contrary to Popular Beliefs.
I see the end
there is not a bright light
just a cloud of cobwebs.
I can’t remember
ones I danced on
and I do recall dancing
giddy with fulfillment.
so much more
once you make them yours
Steps seem to rise
beneath your weary aching souls
when in fact
they are descending.
Contrary to popular beliefs.
None of these things matter.
I didn’t miscalculate the darkness. No.
I know I didn’t.
I know it too well.
I know it the way I know you.
I didn’t miscalculate you, either.
Dont you wish I did?
Sometimes I wish I could.
Can’t though. No.
I’m not big on numbers.
But signs and dates
I’m big on those.
And you? You live off
of one specific day.
You die off of it too.
You miscalculated what it would be like to try to forget the day you met me. No.
No, you know you didn’t.
You know your love for me too well.
You and the darkness are one in the same
and my calculations have always added up correctly.
I have always just pretended to be bad at math.
Tell me Atlas,
What is heavier
Or my wretched soul?