Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Recovery Soon!

What an atrocity! I've not posted here in weeks!
Damn me and my wretched schedules...not to mention my abhorent lack of artistic ingenuity, these days.

However, I am soundly optimistic that the posting frequencies will be shifting shortly! Do keep in touch, my eight regulars!

See you all shortly.

Monday, May 30, 2005


      Sitting in the coffee shop—Tim Horton’s—at the corner of the two main streets.
      She sips at a coffee. The taste is bitter. It’s gotten very cold. She’s been sitting in that store since the early morning. Early morning being about three thirty.
      The truckers hadn’t even stopped in by then. Neither had the commuters. It was just her and the two women manning the front counter.
      They didn’t bother her. Even though she bought a single large coffee over three hours ago.
      Their nametags—the two behind the counter—read as “Karen” and “Melanie”.
      They never once questioned her. Never once made a double take. Didn’t whisper when she turned away and sat down. Didn’t even both go into the back room to whisper.
      They smiled. Took her order. Gave her a free sugarcoated treat—a croissant they had glazed with frosting and chocolate—and left her alone.
      The croissant is a hybrid creation of two twenty year-olds working the midnight shift. It’s not something the Timmie’s offers.
      It’s something they were going to snack on, before giving it to another whom neither women ever met.
      As the sun climbs past the horizon, more people begin to saunter into the coffee shop.
      That’s her cue to leave. As more and more people come inside, the chances of her being recognized increase dramatically. It’s a ridiculously small town—village, more like—and it seems that every other person knows her family—her father, at the very least.
      Leaving her cold and barely touched coffee sitting on the table, she slips from the shop and stands outside, by the back of the building, away from the eyes of anyone coming in.
      She stands there for a long time. She’s craving a cigarette.
      If only, she thinks.
      It’s not nicotine she wants, it’s something else. Something more powerful. Something she hasn’t had in almost seven hours. Something to explain the wounds in her arms, behind her knees, and between her toes.
      But the nicotine curbs those cravings…at least a little—sometimes.
      She doesn’t have any more smokes. She hasn’t got the money for them—yet.
      Her eyes start to scan the ground, looking for a butt that’s got some meat left. Looking for something she can get a little drag from.
      That’s when the door opens. The Employees Only door. The big metal one that makes a loud and echoing clang as it hits the brick wall behind it.
      The door that causes her to jump out of her skin and almost crawl away, arms folded around her body, and eyes never leaving the ground.
      The conversation dies. She can only imagine what’s about to happen. She was caught looking through the ashtray of sand in the big blue barrel…with her jacket on the ground, her bare arms exposed to the world.
      She hadn’t noticed that door.
      “Hi,” says a voice.
      She nods her head in acknowledgement.
      “Waiting for a ride?” asks the same voice.
      Another brief nod.
      “Hey,” says another voice, “Do you have a light?”
      At this inquiry, she lifts her eyes. Melanie and Karen. Shining nametags in the morning sunlight. She reaches into her pocket and pulls out a flip-open lighter with a Canadian flag on the front. Slowly, and cautiously, she offers the lighter.
      “Thanks,” says Karen, her smile warm and inviting.
      Karen passes the lighter to Melanie, who lights her own cigarette and inhales deeply.
      Both young woman look at the midnight owl, staring down at her jacket on the ground, trying to cram her arms deep into her shallow pockets.
      “Want one, Hun?”
      She looks up again, and sees Karen’s hand stretched out to her, a fresh cigarette held between her thumb and forefinger.
      Both Karen and Melanie watch carefully, neither woman approaching the stranger.
      If others had been watching, the scene would resemble two young women offering a treat to a stray cat.
      Finally, after hesitation and caution on all parts, she reaches forward, flips open the lighter, and takes a long and deep breath.
      Karen smiles. Melanie sighs with a little relief.
      That’s when she crouches and grabs her coat. But she doesn’t put it on. There’s no point, anymore. The bruising on her face tells enough of the story. The pin-sized bruises on her arms don’t add anything to that plot—except the sympathy context.
      “New to town?” asks Melanie.
      She smiles a little, taking another long drag from the lit cigarette, relishing the sensation of the nicotine being absorbed into every capillary vein of her body. “Nope. I’ve lived here my whole life.”
      “Really? I’ve never seen you around here. Or at the high school.”
      “Well, I live out in the farmlands. Never went to school here, though.”
      “That’d explain it,” says Karen, smiling.
      “But you look familiar,” says Melanie. “Ever work at the grocery store?”
      She says nothing for a minute. Panic swarms her. She’s been recognized. She can’t afford to be recognized. Not here, at the very least. “Nope.” The word slips from her lips without any hindrance, with calm, cool, casual confidence.
      A horn goes off, nearby. Both women look over. Karen waves.
      “Have a good day,” says Melanie, walking off toward the waiting car.
      “You, too,” she calls, smiling a little.
      Karen looks her over, the smile she was wearing fading away. “Good luck,” she says, giving a brief but warm hug, before slipping her nearly full pack of cigarettes into the shallow pockets. “Thanks for the light.”

Monday, May 02, 2005


    Lie in bed and listen to the sounds.
    Blankets shifting. Lungs working. Kitten purring. Demons rising. Shadows whispering.
    Always whispering.
    Her breathing is soft, low, deep—asleep. Her body moves, occasionally. Limbs changing position so as not to be aware of each other.
    A long and pointed ear flicks. The blankets shift, nudge her black back a little. A head rises, two eyes blink, a pink tongue stretches out as she yawns. Two eyes disappear behind heavy lids. She curls into her herself, resting and nuzzling.
    The purring becomes soft and shallow. She, too, falls into sleep.
    Whisperings rise again. Echoed words. Dead voices. Rage. Hate. Fear. Tyranny.
    The shadows are nearly invisible. Most cannot see them. Seldom few have witnessed what is blatant. Once they sleep, the walls climb, tall as they ever were. The only protection attainable. Invisible barriers that climb and climb—trying to reach the skies above. Trying to prevent the shadows from rising and toppling it all.
    The night is their domain. The darkness is where they thrive. No matter how tall or indestructible the walls are, they topple and climb above them.
    “Bitch,” they echo. “Teach you once and for all,” they scream. “Don’t think it’s over,” they screech. “Bitch,” he shouts.
    The whispering never ends.
    When the sun’s light disappears, behind the invisible and receding line that is the day’s horizon, the darkness swallows everything. Swallows the safety, the security, the comfort, the bliss, the warmth and strength, the indelible birth. The darkness destroys all living things. Reverts life to death, growth to barest survival.
    Stand outside and the world dies. Find the walls and there’s a chance to wake again.
    Sometimes, even standing within the walls, survival is the only option. The shadows and the darkness follow some everywhere. The demons give life to others—in the shadows—with every death they cause—help along.
    The whisperings come stronger, louder. There’s no escape. There never will be.
    The soft and rhythmical breathing in the room fades. The only sounds are those from the past. Boots on hardwood. Boots on tiles. Boots on concrete, asphalt, carpeting, flesh, and bones. Wood on wood. Wood on boots. On tiles, carpeting, flesh, bones, muscles…
    The sounds are figments of an imagination. Yet the sounds are more powerful than factual reality. Sometimes the sounds take over during the day. Though it is more likely to occur when the horizon is swallowed by the shadows.
    A whimper echoes through the room. The purring stops. The soft and deep breathing catches. A warm hands touches cold skin. Soft and gentle whispers are uttered. The purring begins once more. Arms wrap around one another.
    The shadows retreat. The demons flee. The walls fall to shattered chunks of rubble and dust.
    The loud purring becomes faint and sleep enveloped.
    The muttered whimper becomes non-existent as sleep envelops another.
    Two warm arms never release as they both drift off to sleep. Safe again in the retreating darkness.

Monday, February 21, 2005

I Don't Care

      What exactly are you supposed to do when the entirety of your existence revolves around the mood swings of one other person? How are you supposed to exist when someone else is constantly threatening to end that existence?
      What are you supposed to do when you know full well that this existence can be completely destroyed by a single mood swing?
      Lets see you answer that one as quickly as you’ve answered everything else.
      How are you supposed to help me? How can you help anyone? You’re supposed to control and create. So then you created this monster. And you created me. Why do you create something so vile, dangerous, evil, miserable, and filled with pain?
      I just don’t see why you’ve done this. Why you continue to do this.
      Do you derive some sick pleasure from watching us suffer? Are you trying to prove a point? Is this some twisted form of punishment for a sin that was committed eons ago?
      Because none of those explanations are what you’re trying to make them. You can’t know what this is like. You, sitting up there. Mighty and completely untouched.
      If my suffering hurts you, then why won’t you stop it?
      Never mind. Don’t bother to answer that. I know that you won’t anyway.
      You’ve never answered me. You’ve never helped me. Now, I know that you’ve never existed. You’re an excuse used by radicalists. That’s all.
      You are not my God.
      I don’t care about you.
      See how it feels?

What Good?

      Running rampant down the streets. Never thought she’d have the strength. Never thought he wouldn’t. Tiny little piece of lead. Amazing what just one can do. Good thing she’s not afraid. Maybe it’s not, though. She’s not afraid of anything. She watched the other get gunned-down in the street. She saw the blood. Saw the tears. Heard nothing for a long time. She still doesn’t feel anything.
      Well, it doesn’t matter anymore. At least, it wouldn’t if she let it all go.
      But why let it go? What good will that do? It’ll only cause her to breakdown and realize that she’s doomed. She can’t let it go. If she does, then there’s no telling what will happen. She’s got to shut up, accept the settlement without so much as a smirk or a tear, and start doing what she’s been planning.
      What they’ve all been planning.
      This’ll work. It’s got to work.
      It’ll work.
      She won’t allow that death to go wasted. She won’t ever allow her wife’s death to have been for nothing. Not. Ever.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Game Warden

    Ever get the feeling that no matter how hard you try, no matter how well you do, and no matter how perfectly you execute something, it still won’t be enough? Ever get the feeling that you’re never going to be anything but a disappointment in someone’s eyes? Ever get that shot of fear—like lightning charging down your spine, spreading out through your nerves, lighting your body on fire—when you see that familiar shadow cross someone’s face?
    Probably not. Most people don’t get that. Wait. No. That’s not true. Most people do. They just aren’t heard. See? It’s the silence that’s killing us. It’s silence that kills. It’s not the anger or the hate or the strength or the blood. It’s the perpetual and terrified silence. The reason nobody says anything. The fear of death. Of punishment. Of earning the marks on the skin, and the tears in our eyes.
    It’s not their fists or boots or bats or clubs or anger that kills. It’s the silence. And it’s not that we don’t say anything. The problem is that not a lot of people listen. We can talk and talk and talk and talk, but unless someone is willing to stop and listen, it’s better for us to just shut the hell up and by a package of bandages.
    They once called me a victim. I hate that word. I hated that word then, and I hate it more now.
    I wasn’t a victim. I was prey. Prey tries to run, tries to save itself, tries to survive. Victims just sound like people who lied down and took their beatings like good little, well, victims. Victims have been out to be these pretty little people who aren’t supposed to fight back. Pretty little people who were good little soldiers under the reign of a sociopathic dictator.
    I wasn’t a victim. I was prey. I was hunted. I was tracked. I was gouged, shot, beaten, skinned, and ultimately devoured.
    Prey. Or was it pray?
    I don’t really know.
    I was the praying prey, I guess. I prayed to every single higher power I knew existed. I pleaded with Them to help me. Not to get me out, but at least to give me some sort of assistance. Even to just let him trip, give me enough time to run.
    But nothing ever came. Nothing ever happened to help me. Every single time I saw something that could be used to my advantage; every single time I thanked Them for Their help, I was made to regret my praise when he would find me, rape me, beat me, devour me.
    I lost my faith long ago.
    Not my faith in the possible existence of some sort of higher powers. Not that faith at all. The faith I’m talking about is my own. I lost all faith in myself. Every single time that I cried after he’d left the room. Every single time that I begged him to stop. Every single time that I went home after work or school. Every single time that I gave him satisfaction, that I proved to him that he was in control. I devoured my own faith.
    I hate that word. Victims don’t exist. Everyone who’s been dubbed a victim hasn’t just sat back and let things happen, as though they can’t change anything. Sure, maybe these people didn’t take a gun and blow off the head of the sociopathic dictator, but at some point, they all thought out ways to survive. To run away, protect themselves, protect their children, survive.
    That’s what prey does.
    And sometimes, prey can run and run and run and run, but the predator, the hunter, the dictator, just keeps coming. Sometimes you can’t run away. Sometimes you can’t survive. But you’ll try. Even if it means taking every single beating.
    Then again, sometimes surviving means dying. Your physical body may still survive, but unless your non-physical self is alive and surviving, you’re as good as dead.
    That’s another thing that kills us. It’s what killed me, anyway. And every other person I’ve met here died the same way.
    Yeah, I died. A long time ago. I made him a huge supper to celebrate a promotion at work. I thought everything was perfect. Turns out, though, that the pork roast was too dry, the potatoes were too soft, the asparagus was limp, the lettuce was old, the tomatoes were rotten, the feta was stale, and the pie was burnt. Even the wine wasn’t chilled enough.
    The wine was the clincher.
    The bottle was smashed over my face. I bled to death. The police showed up when a neighbour got tired of hearing me screaming, again.
    He was taken away. I don’t know what happened to happen. I heard a rumour that the hunters end up here, too. Only not really. A part of them ends up here. But only a small part. The scared and sad part. The rest, well, no one knows what happens. I don’t really care.
    I feel bad that I don’t care about him.
    Then again, it’s his fault that I’m always going to think of him as the sociopathic dictator. I was also told, though, that when the scared and sad part of him comes here, I won’t think of him as a sociopathic dictator. Well, not as much anyway.
    Hey, even I can’t hold a grudge forever. And it seems that I’m going to be here for a little while still. Kinda’ hoping that next time around, things turn out differently. I don’t want to be the prey anymore. And I really don’t want to be the hunter. Can’t I just be the game warden?

Wednesday, November 24, 2004


        “You’ve shut yourself away from everyone.”
        “And what would your point be?”
        “It’s not healthy.”
        “It’s not your business.”
        “I don’t see why you’re like this.”
        “I don’t see why you should care.”
        “I’m a friend.”
        “You’re an acquaintance.”
        “That’s cold.”
        “Along the lines of, ‘Get used to it’?”
        “I don’t want to adapt.”
        “Then you won’t survive.”
        “How can you say I won’t survive?”
        “Only the strong survive.”
        “Is that why you’re so cold?”
        “That is why I will survive.”
        “And as long as I know how to live—”
        “Don’t start that rubbish with me.”
        ”I’m trying to make you laugh.”
        “You do so in vain.”
        “You didn’t used to be like this.”
        “People change.”
        “They adapt?”
        ”I think I’d rather die than become like         you.”
        “That would your prerogative, then.”
        “You want me to die?”
        “But you just said that it’s my choice.”
        “I don’t want you to die. But if you want to die, there’s nothing much I can do about it.”
        “You can stop me.”
        “If you want to die, you’ll find different ways to kill yourself.”
        “Like slit my wrists?”
        “Or hang yourself.”
        “Step in front of a train.”
        “Shut yourself away from the world.”
        “What did you just say?”
        “Nothing of any relevance to the conversation.”
        “Do you want to die?”
        “Right now?”