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Are highly intelligent or very talented people better able to hide their misery from loved ones, thus making it all the harder to “read” them and help them?

Vote! (64,744 votes) 1,314 comments
63,046 Deviants Online
Dirk by Manicfool
*this was a idea that wouldn't leave my head. so its been geeting on my nerves 4 a while now ani hav 2 let it out

Dirk was panting heavily, trying to dodge and block your attacks the best he could. You held a katana in each hand, two more strapped onto each side of your hips. You were known by using all six swords, but you were currently using two at the moment. Dirk couldn't believe what he saw before him, from what he remembered, you had died long ago when Dirk was 6 years of age. But there was one difference about you now, you weren't wearing your shades. Instead, you wore a mask that resembled that of a demon's. The blonde's orange eyes widen as you disappeared, you reappeared behind the teen. Before Dirk could turn around to face you, you had swiped a kick to the side of your son's head. Causing him to fly to the side, the blonde had hit a stone wall, falling to the ground. Dirk slowly, shackenly pushed his upper half up, he coughed up blood. You floated down infront of the male, "Father..." Dirk had spoken in a weak voice, he was tired and hurt, while you stood before him. You didn't even broken a sweat, you chocked your head to the side. You didn't undrstand the blonde, he has been calling you 'Father' and you didn't have any memory of seeing him before. Stealthing one of your katanas, You slowly begun to walk towards the hurt male. Dirk lifted his head up until you saw his face, his triangler shades were cracked, blood seeped from his nose and mouth, some bruises begining to form. You stopped in your tracks when you saw tears running down his pale cheeks, your Master had brought you to life from Dirk's secerts and fears. You were made to kill the boy infront of you, but you couldn't. Your body refused to move, your mind yelling at you to end his life. Your grip on the hilt tighten, Dirk wobbly stood to his feet. His one arm, pressing against his stomach, the male was hunched over. Trying to attempt to stop the pain, he staired at you as you staired back. You quickly flashed stepped towards the male, when Dirk saw this. He had did the same towards you, you both stopped in the middle. Dirk had his arms wrapped around your waist as his head layed upon your (Muscled/Slender/Skip This) chest, you stayed there frozen, shocked by what Dirk was doing. You had only left a scracth on his cheek, you could hear the boy whimpering as tears left his orange eyes. Your grip had loosened, the blade you held, dropped to the floor with a 'Clank'. Looking down at the blonde, you wrapped your arms around him. "Please stop. I'm sorry...I'm sorry, Dad." Dirk whimpered the last part out quitely, your wide (E/C) eyes soften. Memories flashed before your eyes, remembering everything up to the inccident that happened long ago. You brought a hand up to the mask, you swished the mask away. Causing it to evaporate into the air, moving your hand over your face. The dark shades you usually wore formed in it's usual place upon you face, the hand you used, you ran it through Dirk's blonde hair. You allowed him to cry into your (Hoodie/Shirt/Jacket/Muscle Shirt/Sweater/Long Sleeved Shirt), "Ssshhh, its alright." You softly spoke to your son, Dirk looked up at your smiling face, it was a gentle smile. You ran a hand down the side of Dirk's face, "You did what you thought was right." The (Fav Color) Orb that was connected to the necklace that you wore, started to glow that color. It started to float upward, it soon removed itself from around your neck. That necklace was the only thing keeing you in this world of the living, it was a portal to Dirk's deepest parts of his mind and it allowed you to freely move inbetween worlds. "You were right to kill me. I was in rage because of your Mother." Parts of your body started to degrade into peices, those peices flowng into the orb of the necklace. "I was blinded by anger and rage that I wasn't thinking correctly, I could've murdered you and everyone around me." You parted from the hug as more of you had entered the necklace, only your right arm and half of the bust was missing. Gently placing your hand upon Dirk's cheek, you smiled the best you could as half of your face begun to disappear. "Its not your fault and it never was," you arm was now fully gone, half of your face the only thing that the Strider could see. Your shades had disappeared, showing you single (E/C) eye. "It was mine for being selfish. I always loved you, my Son, Dirk..." You had spoken in a much quiter voice as you fully entered the orbed necklace, Dirk watched as the necklace's glow faded and it started to fall. The blonde went to reach out for it, but he lost balanced and fell to the ground. He had caught the necklace in the process, the male turned onto his side. Opening his hands to look at the (Fav Color) Orb, Dirk quickly closed his orange eyes as more tears fell from them. Closing his hands around the object, he brought it close to his chest. "Father," the male whimpered out. Silently crying to himself, he didn't want you to leave.

Daily Lit Recognition for September 30th, 2014

We are proud to feature today's Daily Literature Recognition!
You can show your support by :+favlove:ing this News Article.
Please comment and :+fav: the features and congratulate the artists!


Featured by: TwilightPoetess

This piece free falls, a stream-of-conscious
commentary on the way we bite back words at the most
important moments.

Suggested by: SilverInkblot
Featured by: Medoriko

Suggester says: A brief but beautifully effective image.


Featured by OfOneSoul
Novel Snapshot: The Dark Tempest                                The switches in the Black Sector were constantly broken.
      No one discussed it, they just sent some sappy bot from Sani-Co to fix it and smoked an extra schmaubit for kicks. In 2076, a scientist whose name escapes most overworked and undereducated minds gave the estimation that air would be unbreathable by 2098. A lot of folks higher-up didn’t believe him. In 2086 a mass outbreak of COPD in the middle-aged section of Earth’s population caused those folks to be fired. The oxi-pads were global by 2089, thanks to a horrific uprising across the globe and an architectural genius who happened to give a rat’s ass about the longevity of the human race. These pads acted as an oxygen system independent of the woes of the solar system. Hell, the sun might have gone out and we wouldn’t have known it if the Black Sector didn’t

An amazing intro to a new world with a narrator who has a lot of voice.

Suggested by: mirz-alt
Featured by: WorldWar-Tori
Lost and FoundIt was a cold, dark night. The soft pitter patter of rain hit the stone ground and little drips of water splashed into the small cardboard box he had made his home. A soft sigh escaped his throat. How long has it been since he last had a nice meal? One week? Maybe two? He didn't know anymore. They had left him, all alone. He moved so his back was to the rain, curling up around himself to try to keep warm. He closed his eyes, hoping to escape into a dream where life was still happy and nice and good. Sleep caught him quick, even though his stomach rumbled and his throat was dry. He licked his lips as he dreamt of the good things that happened in his imaginary world.
Ah yes...Mumsie. So warm and caring, loving him even as he batted at and nipped at her tail. Well-fed and with no thirst in his throat--warm, cosy and dry. He opened his eyes to look up at her, but saw only darkness, the sounds of rain returning. The dream was no more, only dreadful reality.
The soft pitter patter turned to

Suggester says: A cute tale, perfect for children and children-at-heart.

For more information, including how to suggest a Deviation
to be featured, please visit us at DailyLitRecognition.

Thanks so much for supporting the lit community and this project!

~ The DailyLitRecognition Team ~

Prepared by: Medoriko

Skin by SimplySilent

September Lit DD Round Up

Tue Sep 30, 2014, 9:41 AM
Features by ShadowedAcolyte

five hour energyi suppose
last week was only an aftershock
of the earthquake you were before.
this place used to vibrate
with metal strings and melodic,
off-key shouting-
testimonies to life,
emitting coffee-scented moods
and the burn of it too.
i had memorized the
sounds of silence,
a cacophony
so despised
i couldn't help but relish it.
no longer had i known
the sounds of folk
and scent of mocha-
you became nothing more
than an echo of the laughter
i so desperately needed to hear again.
then the echoes got louder,
bouncing ferociously off the walls
to be made manifest
and dissipate.
i walked into your room
expecting exactly what i found-
an unmade bed,
bare desktops,
and an empty beer
(the one that you insisted you needed
just days ago).
i pressed my nose
into the pillow
hoping desperately,
begging silently
for incense and cologne and starbucks
to penetrate my mind
and thinking fervently
"you bastard,
i already know
what a clean sheet smells like."
it's amazing
how strong an aftershock can be,
but st
Into The MarshesMama once sayed not to go down to the marshes because the snakes and monsters and creeping crawlies live there. They gone eat you up, she says, gone eat you up like a sundae on Saturday morning.
What you think Donny Two Cents and I gone do on a boring afternoon?
We gone down to the marshes.
“You don’t think this real bad, do you, Squeaky?” Donny Two Cents asked me. Boy is scareder than a fish in a crocodile pond. Makes me scared too, but I ain’t never telling him that.
“Course I don’t think that, why you ask?” I snapped back. “We gone to the marshes to look for the Oogey Boogey Man.” I raised my arms real high and grinned like one a them crazies you see down by St. Ann’s. They just walk around in circles all day in St. Ann’s fenced in yard and sometimes stare at the sun.
“Oogey Boogey Man?” repeated Donny Two Cents. He already trembling, that shakey boy. If we filled him with pecans he’d be a walking ma
Cell DivisionI. Prophase
Mom’s heels hit the tile floor like gunshots. Dad saunters from the opposite direction. As they come into view, meeting at the kitchen doorway, they robotically move together as a single unit, as if to assure us that they are still sleeping in the same room. They split at the table. Dad sits at his place, grunts into his newspaper, and spoon-feeds cereal into his half-open mouth. He hides his forearms under the paper to cover up his goose bumps. Mom, in her unraveling, tacky, autumn sweater stops short, pausing to stare out the window. Her shoulders run perpendicular to her husband. The face on her cheeks is pulled tight enough to blend in with the October clouds and fog. She’s cold enough to melt into the glass and fade into the sky.
Nobody notices that breakfast was already on the table.
“Nice weather we’re having,” Dad lies.
I place my hand on the small of Abby’s back and shuffle her into a chair. She’s only ten, but she knows be

It's hot in my apartment even if you're not hereWhy do I wake up,
halfway drowning in sweat and rattling thoughts
about who you could be,
candles in my room down to their wicks end,
and me just laying in bed for a few hours.
the worst part is that you're not ignoring me.
I could call you up,
lasso a conversation like we never left our last one
tell you I love you like always
but it's worse
because you would only ever be half there.
I could never have all of you,
could never take the full moon for what it is.
so why do I try to sleep,
with a wild hare up my ass
about what could have been of us,
candles burning brighter and hotter
than all of the solar system,
drowning in perspiration
when I know I'll just lay in bed for hours.
BlurgBlurg, he said
Bloorph, she replied
Bibble, he inquired
Bloop, she responded
Ballooo, he crowed
Ballee, she squeed
Ba-kneeknee, he cooed
Ba-kneeknee, she sighed
It’s not what you say it’s how you say it.
PinesThe pines bend over
Dark against a satin sky
Old and wind-twisted
Weary of winter
of going on
They stretch in a sweet spring sun
Stretch, straighten, and start over
pale new needles poke
out of paper-crisp wrappings
tender and soft
having never seen a winter

1420 MHzHe keeps a list wadded in the depths of his front, left pocket: where he holds his keys, and the forgotten/abandoned shell of a lone pistachio.  The list is his biography, written in the shape of Argentine Spanish:
Yo vivo.
Me gustan los tomates en verano.
Yo amo a mi novio.
Nos besamos. (Mi novio chupa mis dedos de los pies.)
Las estrellas cantan sus canciones.
Mi nombre no es Eduardo.
Vivo con Jacobi ahora.

His pants are wadded, now, on summer-warmed hardwood; his shirt is draped over the back of a cane-back chair, the most incongruous of antiques in Jacobi’s tech-nerd lair.  Headphones clamp his ears, and fill his head with the lisping whisper of interstellar hydrogen, broadcasting itself at a neat 1420 MHz.  Bedroom is the wrong word for a place like this, despite the sorts of furnishings one might expect.  There is a bed, a dresser, a bookshelf and two nightstands cramped with magazines, graphic novels.  An alarm clock
Of Snake Charmers and TreesThere are mathematicians
that calculate the gravitational pull
that tethers us to one another,
teasing sense out of the fabric
of Time and Space like
wizened snake charmers.
I thought them so horribly unromantic,
searching for logic amidst wildflowers--
reasoning being reason enough
to put one foot in front
of the other each day.
True beauty lay printed
on petals and pages,
where I delved for pearls;
the patterns in the pathos
intriguing me into each
rising of the sun.
I do not remember when
it occurred to me that without fractals
there would be no trees, nor without love
would people have any reason
to calculate the distances that
separate them from their muses.
How It Began"God, your two o'clock is here."
"I have a two o'clock?"
"He's been here since 7:45. I figured it's only polite to... sir."
God sighed. "Fine, send him in."
While He waited God cleared His desk of papers and blueprints; no need for outsiders to see His plans. Soon enough the door to His office opened and God stood, smiled, held out a hand towards one of the two visitor's chairs.
"God! Great stuff you're doing in sector 2-7-0! Great stuff!"
The man's hands were clammy, his handshake limp. Rumpled suit, porkpie hat, briefcase... oh Jes-- oh dear, a salesman. God's smile slipped a little but He soldiered on gamely. With luck He could shoo the poor guy away in a few minutes.
"So, what can I do for you?"
The man sat, briefcase across his knees. "Sector 2-7-0! Everyone's talking about it! What do you call it? Man and merman?"
"Man and woman, actually. And thanks. But we're pretty busy around here, and..."
"Oh! Right! No time for the wicked, eh?" The salesman winked and popped his briefcase,

IowaIf you visit Iowa,
you'll call her fields empty,
but she wasn't born that way.
A part of her was carved out
when she was ripped between Virginia
and the purple mountains of New Mexico.
Her gold hair, she tore it out when she realized
it didn't make her a princess.
She laid her locks strung along every road
leading somewhere else.
Anywhere else.
White hairs on her cheeks
are scars from winter.
Her hair darkens with the dampness
of summer rains.
The storms are never silent,
but neither is life when there's a tear
in your childhood where
a parent ought to be.
I've been flooded by Iowa's sorrow.
The only way I can distract her from her own voided landscape
is if I hate myself harder than she cries.
She just wants to fly
and I want to bus or train,
not because I fear death, but because
I want to take living slow.
It's the only way I ever feel.
From the air it's hard to watch Earth's hips move.
But Earth can't compare to the country.
That's my girl.
Full grown even when harvesting season's j
IronmanHear me read it
My friends used to call William "Ironman" because the first time we kissed he got a nosebleed and the taste of his blood haunted me for a long time after it. We'd only been twelve years old and apparently the anxiety spiked his blood pressure to the point of combustion... I remember that when we were forced to take sex ed a few years later we were divided into separate classes for boys and girls, in case a diagram of an ovary was too risqué and we became animalistic and started clawing at each other in our seats, but nonetheless when our teacher Ms Jacobs had explained to us what an erection was in my mind all I could picture was the blood rushing to his nose and then the slash of cranberry across my blouse.
With the idea planted in his mind it didn't take long for William's hands to start wandering, but the image persisted. Every time I thought about just letting it happen I wondered what would happen if he got too excite
Parenting for Sex AddictsThe half-day.
We are not those folks that need an occasion to try. And that’s what they call it, too. Trying. As if the very idea of it is taxing. It’s not taxing and we are not those people.
No. We do not go by some magical calendar. Schedules aren’t really our thing in general. That’d be too organized. Too stuffy. Too… I don’t know… too planned. And we’re not the type of people whom plan.
We can’t.
If we could—plan—our lives would be much different. I think. It’s hard to say because this is how we’ve always been.
Our very togetherness is a result of impulse. I’m almost certain that the amount of time it took us to decide to move in together was significantly shorter than the amount of time it took us to remember each other’s names. We might have had our first conversation moments after that first… what I mean to say is we didn’t plan. Because planning would have been much t

5 reasons to date a girl with an eating disorderi.
her stomach hollows out sometimes,
but you never hear it cry out in the sort
of desperate plea that you think
she does.
her body ain't a kingdom and her heart sure
ain't an oasis, but she's got
the body of an hourglass (not that she knows how
to tell her own time.)
the bathroom door is always
locked when you get home, and she never fails
to keep her secrets just
as tucked away in her bosom as she does you
away from her misery.
she never lets you buy her clothes
because it seems that she never ever wears her
own anymore.
all they do is swallow her up in a pitied
attempt to kill her off.
besides, your pockets are heavier
when she doesn't weigh so much.
her voice is so soft now.
she never speaks--too afraid to start a war from
simple words.
you like her better than your ex who
spit fire and brimstone at you, and never once would
shut up while you fucked
her into seeing white.
her daddy was always a rich man,
which is why she's got magazines of pretty girls--
not her--strew
Canning SeasonCanning season is that wonderful time of year when you never have a moment to yourself - it's all four in the morning mason jar sterilizing, neighbors making coffee in your kitchen before you're even dressed because they have cabbage, too (or carrots or apples or string beans) and you've invited them over with a truck load because you know extra hands make all the difference.
It's the time of year when the kitchen is never comfortable - if the water's not on to boil, the oven is warming and full of jars, or the space around the table is all buckets and elbows, paring knives, sweaty brows and chatter.
There is never silence - even in that ten minutes of processing time, when everything stops long enough for a hurried dinner, there's the water-bath-bubbling, jar-rattling rumble of the canner, or the joyous gunshot snapping of the lids as each jar seals.
Those days are filled with wood smoke, steam and the smell of apple butter reducing in the large copper kettle that once lived with your
EnceladusIs this what it means to be overthrown—
reduced to a mere satellite, a scale
of someone else's might? My scales, my own
heart, are no longer my own, so I ail
beneath the gravity of an immense
mass, like a giant shackled by a god.
I want upheaval, an earthquake, intense
destruction, and I want the world to laud
me as its maker. I want to rage, strike
out, trumpet a whole planet to arms, but
each complete revolution leaves me like
the one before, in just the same place. What
can I do but bide my time, surrender
(for now) to this great system's defender?

Twelve Moments In The Dead Of Summer1. The sunlight glistens on her wet skin as she's walking towards the beach. He has never seen anything so beautiful in his life and even if the words seem to dry up in his throat, he knows what he is going to do next.
2. It hasn't rained for months now so it only takes a small spark from the cigarette to set the undergrowth on fire. On the first sign of fire they panic and run, never to look back but to remember years later, in nightmares, the crazy old man who lived in the shack nearby and was never seen since.
3. They lay together on the grass, watching the sun slowly go down behind the treeline. He takes her hand, old, wrinkled and frail into his, and whispers: "I would give up everything I have for one more summer like this". She responds: "Darling, you already did that years ago". They burst into giggles, just like the one he was supposed to take her dancing for the first time and got lost on the way, and it seems that all these years haven't changed anything at all.
4. The thorn

Features by IrrevocableFate 

a dangerous hallucinationThe light coming through the window was bright,
much too bright.
Even though my eyes were closed
I could see it-
feel it.
The skin of my arms prickled,
sweat dripped from my brow.
It was two in the afternoon but…
the sun was setting
through the window facing east.
I should have seen the hutch,
shelves lined with bone china
decorated with delicate leaves and vines.
I was so thirsty
and reaching for cups that should have been there.
Instead I found a billboard of butterflies,
the colors raging
more than any rainbow 
I'd ever seen.
Their wings fluttered and flashed
yet somehow they moved in slow motion.
I wanted to stand,
wanted to reach out and touch them but…
I couldn't move,
couldn't speak,
and yet I laughed
ignoring my dry mouth
and the tingling in my feet.  
There was a tempest
on the rise
and in my blood.
A sugar rush disguised
as a riot of butterflies
and they were swarming me.
There was a small vial
of insulin in my pocket
that I nev
Introductions V: Lasas"Ladies and gentleman, please find your seats! You are here to witness the telling of one tragic tale! I hope that you have brought something to wipe those tears away!"
The sound of slicing flesh rang throughout the room, followed by the sound of a collapse. An outline of a black shadow stood upon the curtains of the stage. It appeared to be the shadow of a man. A moment later, it seemed to be smiling.
"Thank you, that's enough. Please, I said enough clapping!" he chuckled as the room stood silent.
"Allow me to introduce myself. I am called Lasas."

The man then stepped out from behind the curtains. Yellow eyes glimmered from his face and the spotlight glared off his shiny head. A crimson cloak hung off of his tall figure, his left arm curled around a wooden staff. He beamed at the sight of the audience.
"Did you come here and expect to see one of the greatest of the tragic performances?" the man yelled. "Well, fortunately, I am here to tell you that there has been a slight chang
Heaven - Day #2 FFM 2014There was a reminder on the refrigerator door that day, left for me by my brother saying
“Let out the dog”
This he wrote in bleedy purple ink that made a frost-like border around the letters. I let out the dog and went upstairs. In my bedroom, there was a strong smell of fake lemon from this morning when I had cleaned off that spot of hardened slobber the dog left there last week. Right next the patch of lemony scent (which had replaced the slobber as equally gunky), there was a paper that detailed the reason for my “unfortunate” term three English grade.
It said I was doing well. It said I was intelligent. It said I had an obvious insight into the world around me and that I was sure to be a phenomenal speaker if only I would participate outside of class. It also said I couldn’t stop writing. That’s what was bad, that I couldn’t stop writing.
They all told me I was a bad writer. They said I rarely used punctuation. They said I wasn’t focu

i hear knives in the windsomething in the timbre, tall       heat,
sugar licking palm fronds        fat cats
sweltering sundays.
wash the salt; wash the afterburn    it
            like we planned       you never
say the words        plain, only      
mm if we ever      could we maybe stay
we always tried but couldn't        shake
the open space  we make   the world a-
nother shape     as we stand among the
timbertall       sugar licking palm fronds
                                   til heat escapes.
FFM 2014 18: TragediesThere is a special place in heaven for we who have died way before our time, during moments that should have been the best and the brightest of our lives. The angels, who have felt no pain and tasted no death, attempt to drown out their whispering under the beating of their massive wings. They forget that their voices are the rumbling of thunder, the howling of hurricanes. These are a few of the urban legends they gossip about:
         The Almost Engaged
Once there was a couple, unmarried but happily living together. The man would always bring the woman breakfast in bed the morning of her birthday. Blueberry muffins, baby tomatoes, toasted crabstick sandwiches cut into triangles. Their two kids would squeeze lemons or oranges for juice. One year the woman noticed her boyfriend acting jittery the week leading to her birthday. She feared he’d grown sick of her and now wanted to break it off. But the morning of her 35th birthday, he brought her a tra
weekends and cigarette smokeI knew my father in weekends and cigarette smoke
the two cases of Budweiser he shared with a friend
more often than I wanted him too
I knew what it tasted like because I used to drink it
out of a child size Maple Leafs novelty mug,
coveted by my siblings and I
I remember my tip jar that had been a joke
because I knew my way around twist offs and bottle openers;
the plastic yellow cup, wearing a card reading "tips,"
only housed dimes and nickels
until I got a toonie from TJ because "I was pretty"
I also remember the car ride after those two cases
where I, at age ten or eleven or twelve, didn't know if I was
going home to see my mom again
the car swerving back and forth as the two men in the front
laughed, my hands gripping the seat belt and cup holder
I knew my father in late night walks to the Little Man store
or the Price Choppers,
my brother and I fighting over who got the cart
I knew him in pennies strewn around the apartment,
waiting to be found like easter eggs and counted,
the pr

how to tell me my scars are beautiful.leave roses with thorns on my stairwell, the kind
that would entice me when i was fourteen but now
serve as silent irritation—when we eat steak, use
your thinnest, sharpest knife to cleave the meat
into tiny squares and let me watch you wash it
and put it away when you’re done—open your
packages with your trusty pocket knife, peter
pan boy scout, and when i move in, let me
borrow it; don’t question the t-shirts i order
in winter and the sweatshirts i order during the
sweltering heat of summer—when i lay beside you
at night and talk about the state of the universe
that day, nibble on my ear, scratch my arm, slap
my rump until i giggle and push you away, finally
ready to fall into the quiet abyss of dark and sleep
The Trundler
The waste land behind the fire station is always silent. No birds sing there, and even the wild rabbits and feral cats avoid it. Weedy wildflowers nod their seasonal heads in the breeze. Lying fallow in the midst of housing developments, shopping malls, the new movie theater — the vacant lot stands out like a knife wound on a woman’s placid face, shocking, brazen, ugly.
It is always empty. Except for one thing: a ragged heap of old trash, all nasty black tar paper and vicious snarls of rusted wire, car parts and broken glass and other junkyard jetsam. The embodiment of injury waiting to happen, an invitation to a tetanus shot...  the city never hauled it away. No one ever wants anywhere near it; it radiates an eerie sense of calculating watchfulness.
And at night, it wanders.
When darkness falls, and the last cars heading into the hives of tract housing stop illuminating the asphalt with moving-picture shadows, it… unfolds. Bitter, broken tangles, grotesquely mov
To depression, for creating days without endWake up to the realization that you've been awake
for seconds, minutes, hours.
You've been awake in this warm, dark room
and you don't know how long it's been
but now you're conscious
and it starts again--
the pain, strong and steady, in your chest.
You gain consciousness in this too warm morning
and your thoughts whir in endless loops
because it's either that or face the weight in your chest.
Light breaks though the window, soft and unwelcome
but you take it as a reluctant gift--
a new distraction from the feelings awake in your chest.
Awake, but not conscious.
So you think yourself in circles a little while longer
waiting for those quiet pains
(the constant reminder)
to gain consciousness.

How to Be a Smoker    I fucking hate the rain. Some people like how it sounds and that’s nice, and some people say it cleans up the streets. All I know is that my shoes are dirty enough without having mud on the inside, too.
    Students are already filing out the door when I figure that it’s been another hour of class wasted wondering how nasty my socks are now. The rain is pounding against the thin roof of the lecture hall and as I head toward the doors, sidewalk outside soaked already with footprints and puddles, I realize that I don’t own a fucking umbrella. It’s the beginning of the fucking rain season and all we’ve got to show for it are two hoodies and the jacket Pierre eats in, sleeps in, and probably shits in. And before I know it, I’m bumping into the girl to the right of me with the bright yellow umbrella still tucked into her backpack. Her books spill out of her hands and I motion towards them, picking up a couple an
ReflectionsVal's pursuit led him to the foul beast's domain. The hollowed-out cavern reeked of blood and rancid meat. The dim light he had seen as he charged through the tunnel after the monster could now be identified: torches. Rows of mysteriously lit torches lined the walls of the huge cave. At its center was a substantially large labyrinth of mirrors.
He spotted the beast entering.
He spun his silver broadsword in his hand and hurried in behind it.
His garb was a simple blue and white crusader's leather with thick armored pads and reinforcing steel studs. Lightweight and flexible, but quite effective defense against blunt blows and – in a pinch – the slashing claws of the unholy spawn of the earth. All monster-hunters wore a similar variety in Val's experience. It would serve him well in these close quarters of the mirrored maze.
Right, left, forward, left, right he turned, always catching a glimpse of the beast's tail as he wove his way through the corridors. Every so often he sp
hey newton, gravity's flawedi.
starting anew from the flutter
and the sputter of lungs.
a vacant sea filled with feathers
and tumultuous clatter,
ribs in a treacherous pattern
resembling exiting rungs.
i want to wrestle the angels,
your tendency is the ladder.
involved with full indiscretion,
trading lazy for lace.
unspool the curse of the long-
itudinally inflected.
limbs in a languorous flexion
ultimately misplaced;
i like the stab of the ankles,
you need the curves intersected.
opting to cull my extents
with trans-dimensional vigor.
spent my dysphoric corrections
on reconnecting lax ends.
lips in a spurious accent
feign a passionate rigor.
i tie myself to the anchor,
you extricate and ascend.

Bloody Cupcakes    Miss Moore had only been working as an elementary school science teacher for a little over a year before everything came to an end, the children loved her, they loved her dazzling smile, her beautiful voice that could make the morning birds sing in its awe, they adored when she would come in every Tuesday with a box of cupcakes for the whole class. Her students meant the whole world to her and she lived her life every day putting her students first before anything else in her life. 
    One Tuesday morning before school, Miss Moore came in early like she always had, coffee and papers in one hand and a box of cupcakes in the other. As she rested her things on her desk and sat down she discovered she had received a note. Picking up the tiny piece of paper she noticed it seemed to be written in what looked to be dried blood, it read, "I see you for wat you reely ar." Squinting at the note, Miss Moore shook her hea
thursday [wood].木曜日
light drapes itself onto
silky leaves.
the smell of wood-fire
disturbing pantomime –
             a breath
An Old, Sweet SongMy heart aches for scorching summer afternoons
spent drinking lemonade in the shadow of
the old house on the hill, draped in ivy and shade.
I'd watch cars fly by:
Pick-up trucks sporting Confederate flags
and a lot of red clay and pollen,
which would rumble across old railroad tracks
on their way to churches whose steeples
could pierce the stillness of the sky;
SMART cars--the clean ones with
stick figure families--taking 75-south
ripping down the interstate, too important
to admire the cornfields or sip sweet tea.
Everyone was in a hurry
to collect scattered souls for Jesus
or to sit in miles of city traffic,
each secretly addicted to the gridlock.
We were all missing something,
clinging to our side of the juxtaposition,
but in reality nothing mattered more
than the harmony we couldn't see.

longdead leafa longdead leaf
burnt brown in the depth of green
cups a handful of fresh water
a leaf left behind
holds something of worth
forgoing death with its dead body

Features by GrimFace242

Dear DeathDear Death,
Do you still remember the first time we met? It was in Kindergarten. I was going down a slide and then the string on the hood of my jacket got caught on the banister and I was choking. I wanted to scream for help but I could only stare forward with my bulging eyes and hanging tongue, until the teacher saw me struggling and untied the string so that I could breathe. "Don't be afraid now," she told me. "You're safe."
I didn't see you again, Death, until many years later. Middle School--when people were busy trying to find their partners on the dance floor during P.E., you and I were already locked in a nightmarish salsa no one else could see. I held the cup of water in one hand while you held the uncapped bottle of pills in the other. And the moment I reached out to you to take them, that's when people saw us dancing and pulled me away. "What the hell were you thinking?" they asked me. "Come back and stay with us."
But even though we weren't moving in macabre unison, the musi
oppression.Rebellion is a funny thing; being denied the right to something
simply makes it that much more tempting;
forbidden fruit tastes the sweetest, as the saying goes.
But what of oppression? What taste would that fruit have,
riddled with hatred and malevolence?
Would thorns sprout from it's surface, would the juice taste sour?
Would eyes water as the foulness of it burned our throats, and caused us to weep?
Our world is far from perfect, lights doused
by the hopeless tears of those whose suffering
God turned a blind eye to. Wealth equals power equals the ability to have your mistakes overlooked, swept under the rug so silently.
But when a young teen is murdered because of the color of his skin, when a young girl is raped because of her clothing choice, when a loving couple is denied their right to marriage because of their sex, where is the justice then?
The poor, the misunderstood, the marginalized; looked down upon for things they can't change.
And even though we are all made of atoms and
Under the Willow TreeHome
Once upon a time, a very, very long time ago, there existed a young girl who loved to paint. She did so many things with only the tip of her fingers. She painted the sun orange, the oceans blue, and the grass green. One day, she noticed a paintbrush lying under the willow tree.
"What is this?" she asked, for she had only created with her fingers. "Where did it come from?" She received no reply.
She was a curious girl, and instinctively dipped the point into her maroon paint. Streaking the brush across her paper, she gasped.
"It works so much better than my hands!"
She swooped and swooped with the brush until the sun dipped, and smiled the whole time. It was growing dark, however, and the girl was tired. She collected her things, sealed off her paint, and slept beneath the arms of the willow tree.
The young girl grew accustomed to the paintbrush, and began to favor the instrument. She drew nature more vividly, and the grass was a brighter shade of green. The ocean and sky bl

LiliumTo the wilting lilies on my kitchen counter:
I am reluctant to throw you out.
You bloomed within a day. Well, some of you. I snipped off your blood orange anthers with the kitchen shears, coating my fingertips with pollen before it could dust the slate and stain my clothes. Hand jobs are always easier to clean up.
I forgot to water you once. I'm sorry.
In the mornings I plucked chlorophyll-starved leaves from the countertop and tossed them in the rubbish bin. Your support system fell one by one, even as you still grew and opened up to the world.
Your petals began to turn limp and brown. I cut away the flowers that were no longer beautiful, but insisted the rest were good enough to keep – until they dropped off in pink clumps, leaving bare stigma behind.
There is not much left of you anymore. I putter over a few unopened bulbs among foreign greenery I can't name: small fading leaves and rubbery green leaves with velvet underbellies.
Still, I am reluctant to throw you out.
You are
They say the one who praysThey say the one who prays receives much more
than whom we pray for, shaping what we want
to what we get.  We find a way to pour
the outcomes into candle molds we can't
have fashioned for ourselves. But then we light
the wax and sniff the scent and call us blessed
by blessings in disguise.  For what is right
in contexts so complex we cannot test?
For those who say that praying contradicts
free will or undercuts the will to change
injustice, fine.  You have no wax, no wicks,
no blessing and no curse, you are the sage.
I pray to sculpt the candle and the mold
and scent with pity earth and heaven's hold.
AmberIt's begun again.
The sun has extinguished itself; brittle ashes fall into our atmosphere and suffocate. Annihilate.
The air is dry and the sky blackens, the thunderheads in my head threaten implosion.
I whisper a sigh into the bright field of poppies, but they don't listen, they don't hear,
and my whisper stains the stars with no promise of secrecy
I am human, my veins run thin with led, with skin made of thin iron pallet, and a pulse that beats with no
rhythm, no rhyme, but eagerness to escape a euphoria higher than the heavens itself.
My heart is a grenade, threatening explosion with every beat it dares tread, a disaster so imminent that
time itself is my enemy
It's begun again.

Found FossilAt the southwest corner of a suburban housing development, a small untamed wood thrives, not trimmed and planned and manicured like everything around it.  But it seems to hunch slightly, as if it knows its wildness is a facade, only reluctantly allowed out of some sentimental impulse, and at any second it might be chainsawed into proper order at the whim of the association.
Still, if you walked all the way to the center, where a small stream flowed in the gentle shade, you could imagine yourself miles away from civilization.  That was part of the reason June came here.  She was sitting cross-legged at the base of an oak, furiously sketching on a large pad.  Her other charcoals rested in the hammock her skirt made across her lap, and she paid no mind to the mess it was making of the beige cotton.  Her head was bowed forward, her hair framing the sketch with auburn curtains, occasionally brushed aside to let more light through.  A pair of sandals sat
Inspector Wolf    The old lady was dead. I could smell it before I even got into the house. The whole place reeked of adrenaline, sweat, fear, copper and steel. He’d dropped her right in her living room. Chopped and chopped until she stopped moving. But I could tell I was getting close. This had been done in a hurry, and the killer didn’t have the time to clean up after himself like he usually did.
    Across the room, the phone rang. The shrill sound set my teeth to grinding, but I ignored it. Instead I followed the killer’s bloody footprints into the back bedroom. He’d climbed out the window. If I hurried, I could catch up to him and end this disgusting spree he was on.
    Then the answering machine kicked in. “Hi, Gramma! It’s Red. Sorry I’m running late. I kind of lost track of time. But don’t worry. I packed the picnic and I’m heading out the door right now. Love you.”
    She’d been expec
5:20i went to the forest
to purify my lungs
then i saw the thick
and ugly
three letter scar
i left in a slender
birch, and wondered how
i could let you poison
another living thing.
moths aren't afraid of pins
till they're stuck to a piece of styrofoam.  

we can't stop treading water, can we?i.
he's the hitch in her breaths and
the tremble in her frozen hands. she
sees the green in his eyes and closes
her own to let the viridity of his gaze
trickle into her irises. as soon as he
swishes past her she loops the heart
around her neck over her finger - it
nuzzles her collarbone as she whispers,
"damn that boy..."
"you and i" feels right on my tongue, and
it only feels righter when we're side by side.
we pound the keys and navigate our way
through more and even more. "save me,
save me", you say, but do you ever wonder
who really needs the saving?
(i blossom in your light, but i've never
wondered if you could bloom in mine...
together we could be a beautiful mess.)
[you're right. she'll never be anything
more than craters and pretty words and
wide eyes that never cease to gouge
out valleys in my breaths. she can't
hang in the sky over me anymore. and if
i ever want my lungs to work again, i have
to, have to, have to let go.]
it only gets
Long-Distance Longing.I kissed every letter
I ever sent,
Trusting that you'd touch
Your lips to them, too;
That we were making love
For the cost of postage.
Survival GameTrust.
I know no such word. That word died a long time ago, around the time everyone else died. It didn’t die alone though, it was joined by words like hope and freedom. Some people actually thought it would be better if they died with the word while others saw it more chivalrous if they died for it. I never understood those people, the ones who died for it, they were as worthless as those who died with it. I always seemed to go to the statement ‘there’s a reason why chivalry no longer exists’ when I think of them.
This was the freedom, the new version of hope. It was a word that we all craved to use and yet few of us have ever seen it. Those who claimed they have described it as nothing less than stunning. A true marvel to the eye and heart, causing those who have only heard tales to twitch and crave for it. I have never seen it and would rather not. I feared that if I laid eyes on this place then it would slowly disappear from my gaze,

Mo (2,553w)            They say that growing up can make you change; I say that I know the most beautiful exception in the world to their silly rule. It isn’t so much that my half-brother hasn’t left the motorized wheel-chair he was practically born into, nor the fact that his right arm is just as cramped into constant contortion as it was when we first met. No, I’m not even saying that because he still kicks his legs in the hop-scotch formation he always wanted to participate in when he was younger. Mo’s heart is the precious, unchanging element that will forever make those people who “say”, second guess themselves. He came into this world with a heart far too big for a normal body. “Normal” life leads to pride, distrust, and disdain towards the very idea of dependence on others; such subliminal lessons worry their ways into every aspect of our growing experiences. They would have suffocated Mo Poetic PsychosisIn thirty seconds, the next shell would fall. Every night was the same, but every night Lorenzo experienced it as if it were the first time. His throat felt swollen; breathing was hard. He glanced around at the others; young men like him who had been shipped out in the name of honour and freedom. There was no honour in this, no freedom. Only death behind your eyelids, and a fear so gutting, that it carved out your innards and left you a hollow husk. Lorenzo tried to breathe, tried to assure himself that he was still whole, still made of flesh. They had lied when they told him he was ready.
Matteo ran towards him, arms out, rifle swinging uselessly at his side. He shouted for him to run, but Lorenzo remained motionless, unable to move as his friend’s warning was lost in the constant blare of gunfire. None of them were ready.
“The cycle is repeating. It is not safe.” The voice was soft and weak, yet it carried over the gunfire and battle cries without impediment.

Twisted and torn,

Blood is born.


Through thick and thin,

That blood begins,

To boil and burn.







Such emotions war from within,

Rising in cacophony,

Fighting for the throne in your heart.


They claw at your throat,

Demanding to be set free,

Or stilled into silence.


But through that darkness,

There’s a spark.


Of Peace,

At last.


Strive for that calm,

For with that quiet,

Comes balance.


War yells.

Peace talks.

* For my inactivity, have a poem. It's not very good, but it's the best poem I have written thus far. I would also like for you guys to check out Attackonfanfiction and runefires if you like fanfics and IzzyMedrano for their short story MAGGOT. It's incredibly detailed and extremely well done. I really suggest you read it. Have a great day! 

DLR Contest Winners Feature

Journal Entry: Mon Sep 29, 2014, 6:40 PM

Hey all,

While I take a break from all of this yucky studying, I thought I would do a quick feature for the winners of DLR's Create Your Own DLR Feature. So without further ado, here we go!

a father's mistakei am the greatest mistake of your life 
but i am yet to meet you. 
i have not looked into wine-sodden eyes 
and said yes, this is my father
and ruined the rapport you had going
with that quiet blonde in the
corner booth.
have not peered
through half shuttered blinds 
and thought yes, this is my other home 
and trespassed on the goodwill
of the woman you made your wife
instead of my mother. 
have not knelt
beside your sons and daughters as they
etched the world into the pavement 
with bright, powdered colours. 
i am your daughter but i am no home wrecker,
no quiet lion waiting to roar and lay claim
to a pride that is not mine, has never been mine. 
i am yours, but only my blood can
tell you that and i am not likely to bleed for you. 
my place is not here in this concrete jungle, 
beside you 
and yours 
and theirs. 
i am a child of paper and ink, 
and if you s
  freedom is smothered before it is birthedi am a canopic jar for organs
placed within me without my consent 
during a stay within a womb i did not choose.
  personal (dis)illusionfingerprints kiss slowly,
mine on mine;
the world stands still in my wake.

introverted-ghost's writings will reach deep within you and draw out emotions. Her words never cease to amaze me, and with the wide variety in her gallery, there is something for everyone.

Love is Love by MadHat11D6  The Glasses by MadHat11D6  ChristopherI never knew what  l o v e  was
   How to love
             Why to love -
I never knew and I never cared.
I had but  o n e  r u l e  to live by
And that was:
Do not become attached.
Not to a person or an idea
Do not become  a t t a c h e d
    Because it’s easier that way.
When I saw him
The first thing I noticed was the fact
That he was about two years old.
And he was looking at me
And I was looking at him
And I thought we had an  u n d e r s t a n d i n g.
But it seemed he had taken my apprehension
As invitation, as he took my hand
And simply insisted I take him to the ball pit.
An hour later and I had already decided to
Adopt him.
I had   one   job!
I become  a t t a c h e d  to things
Like white
   On anything it doesn’t already have.
If I hate you
I hate you.
If I love

MadHat11D6's writings and photography are very thought provoking.


Signs and Symbols& came rushing in.
“I’m so happy & excited & ecstatic &, &, &…”
“Yes, OK—don’t get yourself in a twist,” said [. “What’s going on?”
“My friend’s got us tickets to @’s concert tonight! @!” & gazed off into the distance. “He’s so dreamy…”
[ snorted. “He’s ancient. He hasn’t always been an email megastar—I can still remember him from when he was pricing petunias.”
“Oh, yeah.” & sighed and smiled. “I love his early typewriter stuff too: ‘Pansies @ 50p for 10. Ask to see a catalogue for further details…’”
“You really have got it bad,” said [.
& looked at the bracket. “You’re so square. What are you into then?”
*! Now that’s a real star.”
& seemed unimpressed. “&..?”
“And #.” [ looked at &. “I’m not completely
  His Better HalfBride/Groom
  Youth and Age               In the 
Inside:      mirror:
  18           81     

Such creativity is present in SCFrankles gallery!


Absenceas fingers on ivory and ebony
a waltz between alto and soprano; 
drum and violin
as a war widow in a graveyard
lacking her husband's shredded corpse:
    though he is a foreign country
    and half a century from her grasp,
    she visits because tombstones
    are a melody she can follow.
as a poet
misses the page, 
a dancer the stage.
as an alcoholic
misses the first sip, 
a lover the first lips 
ever she tasted.
I miss you the way a heart beats -
relentlessly -
until the end of my days.
  Mineral Accidentdoesn't matter anymore. Every explanation
is the truth. We were a stone rolling downhill
shedding its moss to learn the eerie glow
of morning light, exploring the porous reflections
its jagged edges offer. We were a collision
of minerals that accidentally formed one
solid, perfect moment - one part inertia
and one part momentum dueling
until stardust erupted from their centers. 
We were the bluebells of summer, drooping
toward a musky earth, hoping that her moist,
soft landing would save us from our extremities;
she left us wanting, and that was a beginning.
You are the constant which cannot be changed:
the speed of light, the weight of gravity, the rhythm
of the moon pulling the earth's water to him.
And though some of the chasms you've crossed
should cause fear, I do not.  You are the mysteries
of reality, the wonder of a child learning how to walk
the bird of winter which shivers
as it tucks its feathers tight around a body
awaiting the first sprin
  Murica by LiliWrites

LiliWrites has such a diverse gallery. It is well worth a look!

That's it for today, folks. I hope everyone is doing well! :heart: Please remember to congratulate and love on the winners of the contest. :)



  She flipped the letter to the back. "It's Bea, she's the one, the one" Bea read. She looked up into my eyes. her face stood still, it looked like she was in deep thinking. "Thank you..." she said. she folded the paper up and put it in her purse. "I'll remember that Oscar..." and she walked out the door.

  Why did she have to open the drawer? why? why did she have to see that? why? things are going to be so awkward between us now, I think. I go to school with her tomorrow and I just want to call out sick you know? I wonder how she feels, if she feels the same. I just want to know... maybe I'll find out tomorrow, hopefully.

  The alarm clock woke me up for school. my stomach felt like it feel to the ground. "I can't back off, I have to talk to her!" I said to myself. I quickly got dressed and ran to the door and found Bea standing there waiting. "Oh, uh, hey Bea..." I forced myself to say. "Can we talk?" she said quickly. "About what?" "The note, I have some important stuff to say."

   "Is there another Bea? is it me? did you even mean that?" she asked as we walked to school. I sighed, here we go. "That note was for you, and I meant every word. go ahead, just think I'm weird. if you don't want to be my friend anymore I'll accept that. just know that, I do feel that way, and if you feel different, I'm sorry that I do..." I replied. I just felt like getting on the ground and sitting there forever. crying.

  "What if I felt that way too?" she said quietly. I looked at her with a confused look, does she really?!? "I finally know who I like, its you! even though you're clumsy, and nerdy, but I like that. you're cute Oscar..." she said looking into my eyes. my stomach lit up. is this really happening???  

Loved the Street Fighter series... This is a cool vid/walkthrough of IV.. Plus some Dubstep music...

Our original journal can be found here. It states the aims of TheKnow more fully.

Database Round-Ups:
One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six | Seven | Eight | Nine | Ten | Eleven | Twelve | Thirteen | Fourteen | Fifteen | Sixteen

The Database Index can be found here.

Hello and welcome to TheKnow Database Round-Up 17! Thanks so much to everyone who has become a member, started watching or submitted to the database since last time. :happybounce:


First up—TheKnow has received a request!

LongAndyLong states:

Hi everybody - and especially you Croatian speakers out there.

I'm writing a novel where I want to include two sentences in the Croatian language, and I want to know if I have gotten them right.

The first one is supposed to mean "My beloved sister" and I have written "Moja draga sestra". The second one would mean "Please forgive me" and I have written "Oprosti mi".

Is this correct? Thank you in advance for your help!

If you think you can help, please contact the requester directly via note.

And if anyone else is considering making a request for assistance with their writing research, please don’t hesitate. You can make a request at any time—leave a comment on whatever is the current journal or on the group profile, or send us a note. It isn’t necessary to be a member or a watcher to make a request (or to answer someone else's request), but it would be lovely if you joined in!

The Database

Here is the latest submission to the database:

Travel and Home

Puerto Rico: SavageFrog has  lived in Puerto Rico since 1999, studied quite a bit about local history and most of her family’s from there, so she can answer quite a few questions about living in Puerto Rico or its history.

If this would be useful for your writing research, please contact the submitter directly by sending her a note. If you want to make a submission to the database yourself, the information is on our profile.


If the database or requests system helps you in writing something, we would like to put the finished article in our favourites. So, if you post your piece on dA and would like it to feature in our collection, please send us a link! We’re thinking about featuring the stories in our journals too.

Watching TheKnow

A note for anyone passing by: we understand some people may not want their details permanently on show in the database, but may feel comfortable talking to requesters privately via note. In that case, please consider watching TheKnow so you can keep an eye on the journals and what’s being looked for.

Our original journal can be found here. It states the aims of TheKnow more fully.

Database Round-Ups:
One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six | Seven | Eight | Nine | Ten | Eleven | Twelve | Thirteen | Fourteen | Fifteen | Sixteen

The Database Index can be found here.

Hello and welcome to TheKnow Database Round-Up 17! Thanks so much to everyone who has become a member, started watching or submitted to the database since last time. :happybounce:


First up—TheKnow has received a request!

LongAndyLong states:

Hi everybody - and especially you Croatian speakers out there.

I'm writing a novel where I want to include two sentences in the Croatian language, and I want to know if I have gotten them right.

The first one is supposed to mean "My beloved sister" and I have written "Moja draga sestra". The second one would mean "Please forgive me" and I have written "Oprosti mi".

Is this correct? Thank you in advance for your help!

If you think you can help, please contact the requester directly via note.

And if anyone else is considering making a request for assistance with their writing research, please don’t hesitate. You can make a request at any time—leave a comment on whatever is the current journal or on the group profile, or send us a note. It isn’t necessary to be a member or a watcher to make a request (or to answer someone else's request), but it would be lovely if you joined in!

The Database

Here is the latest submission to the database:

Travel and Home

Puerto Rico: SavageFrog has  lived in Puerto Rico since 1999, studied quite a bit about local history and most of her family’s from there, so she can answer quite a few questions about living in Puerto Rico or its history.

If this would be useful for your writing research, please contact the submitter directly by sending her a note. If you want to make a submission to the database yourself, the information is on our profile.


If the database or requests system helps you in writing something, we would like to put the finished article in our favourites. So, if you post your piece on dA and would like it to feature in our collection, please send us a link! We’re thinking about featuring the stories in our journals too.

Watching TheKnow

A note for anyone passing by: we understand some people may not want their details permanently on show in the database, but may feel comfortable talking to requesters privately via note. In that case, please consider watching TheKnow so you can keep an eye on the journals and what’s being looked for.

My footsteps echoed as they thudded across the concrete. Rain pattered against the ground from a broken drain pipe attached to a nearby deserted building. The gate of the old park swung on its hinges creaking with rust. The bare tree branches created a canopy over the abandoned park.  The moonless night made the place feel all the more eerie.

Next to me Elle shivered from the bitter January air. She hugged her arms around her body looking even smaller than she already was. She shifted her weight from foot to foot nervously. I leaned back against the ladder of a slide and tried to look calm as possible without showing that I was just as anxious as her. I hoped my flippant attitude would help her feel more at ease. It seemed to work as her breathing started to slow down from its erratic pace.

The park gate swung open with a deafening clang that made Elle jump. She instantly relaxed when she saw Charlie, Ariadne, Jason and Chase walking towards us. They were dressed entirely in black and looked a lot like the mafia. The only colour present between the six of us was Elle’s magenta dyed hair.

Ariadne’s eyes were wide and alert constantly looking for the first sign of danger that would most definitely find us tonight. In one hand she carried her favourite throwing knife while the other hand was placed in Charlie’s. Charlie’s expression was unreadable as it often was but I knew he was most likely wishing Ariadne would stay safely home. He would probably ask her right out if he wasn’t afraid of getting his ass kicked by her for suggesting she was incapable of handling her own in a fight.

Jason had a hand hovering over the hilt of his sword. He glanced worriedly at his sister for a second before schooling his expression. Elle would try to eviscerate him if she found him fussing over her, neither of them liked to admit their weaknesses. Jason had the same stormy grey eyes as Elle and used to have the same dark brown hair but that was where the similarities ended for the twins.

Chase, like always, sauntered toward us like he owned the world. He wore his usual arrogant grin even though it was totally inappropriate. It was typical for him really that one of his best friends being challenged and possible death for himself put him in a good mood.

“So Rosie, who’d you piss off this time?” Chase asked me.

“Why do you say it like this is my fault?” I said innocently.

Okay so maybe I wasn’t always little miss sunshine when it came to people and maybe I did have a tendency to punch first and ask questions later. But this time it wasn’t my fault.

Ariadne glared at Chase.

“Don’t assume that this is her fault.” She said before tuning to me. “So who did you piss off this time?”

I looked down at my boots unwilling to meet her eyes.

“Answer the question Rosie Variaz.”

I sighed. “Toby Dillman.”

“Oh in the council’s name!” She threw her hands up and laughed.

“Yeah that was my reaction.” Elle added.

Chase whistled. “You really know how to keep life interesting don’t you Variaz? What did you do? Please tell me it had something to do with honey and feathers.”

“That was one time and now suddenly I’m labelled. Besides I didn’t do anything this time he’s just never liked me.”

“Uh-huh.” He said disbelieving.

“Really I didn’t do anything.” I said defensively resisting the urge to stamp my foot like one of those pathetic girls in the movies.

“He is just another pissy twat who thinks they need to test me to see if I can live up to my parents.”

“Pissy?” He raised an eyebrow.

I punched him lightly in the arm. “I’m being serious.”

Chase held his hands up in defence. I smiled despite myself. The Benashkri were a race that went through many dark and hard times. I had learned from my parents two of the most famous Benashkri to have lived that people like us had to find tiny bits of happiness even in the darkest of places.

Elle swore unexpectedly. I looked at her in surprise since she hardly ever swore.

“Language.” Jason chided.

“It’s not fair.” She exclaimed. “Your parents were heroes, yet people treat you like dirt they just stepped in.”

I dropped my eyes to the puddle near my foot. I examined my murky reflection and saw what I usually did. A girl with blonde hair platted down her back, green eyes ringed with hazel, high cheekbones and fairly small ears. But as I looked deeper into my reflection and into my eyes I saw something different in them, they were haunted, burdened.

“Why don’t you tell your parents? Alec and Helen are cool they can help you out.”

“My parents are awesome.” I agreed. “But that’s not the problem.” I stood straighter and kicked at the puddle sending ripple through the water. “I don’t want to be just my parents’ daughter. They blessed me with a good name and bloodline but I want to be more than just the daughter of the rebellion leaders. Everyone expects me to go running to Mummy and Daddy every time I get challenged to a fight. Besides Benashkri are challenged all the time it’s no big deal.”

“They’re not challenged every other week Rosie. It’s rare to be challenged twice year. You’ve fought in six street fights this year already and it isn’t even February.”  Elle’s voice carried sympathy.

They all wore similar expressions when staring at me and I hated it. I couldn’t stand the pity I saw in their eyes. Chase however seemed to know exactly what I was thinking and narrowed his eyes at me.

“Come on Variaz look alive. You’ve got a fight to win. Do you want to lose your undefeated title? Do I really need to go over the basics of hand to hand combat with you?” He asked mockingly.

“Don’t insult me.” I snorted at him but was secretly glad for his sharp words.

“Good because Dillman and his jerk off friends are heading our way.”  He looked over my shoulder with a pissed off look.

I spun around to see seven broad shouldered guys come our way. They were being led by a smirking Toby Dillman looking like a kid who had just gotten the best gift ever on Christmas morning.