The PianistA warm, lilting melody wafted through the nightclub, nimble fingers dancing over crisp black and white keys as the song of the grand piano drifted down from the stage, filtering between the irregularly spaced tables to fill every niche and recess of the dimly lit room. The lone figure in the spotlight moved gently with the music, her long chestnut hair billowing down her back in loose waves and her wine red dress fanning out around her knees as she sat on the worn leather stool. It was not a complex song she played, with no difficult notes or intricate rhythms, but there was something about it that was so enthralling, so entrancing, as if each sound touched you, clung to you, whispered to you.
As the tune swelled, as the notes danced, and as music came alive beneath her fingers, the pianist began to remember.
She met him at a cheap, backwater club on a cool autumn evening while playing yet another of those low paid unambitious jobs that she hated but needed to make ends meet. While
Date a girl who drawsDate a girl who draws.Date a girl who draws2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
You know the one. Her bag will be filled with discarded pencils and pens, scraps of paper with mindless doodles on them and blank books sticking out of her bag. She's the one who spends an hour trying to find the perfect sketchbook, only to pick up three more because she just couldn't help herself. She's the one hunched over in the coffee shop, rain or shine, the gears in her mind turning and turning while her hands move to catch up with every idea she has. She's the one who's too focused on what she's doing that her coffee's gotten cold and the people around her peek over her shoulder but she doesn't realise.
Compliment her drawings.
Ask to see more.
Turn the pages carefully, gently. Look at how hard she pressed the pencil into the page, the failed drawings, the successful ones. Look at the careful lines, the messy ones, the ones that give the drawings life. Linger on the pages you like but don't touch the drawings. Look at them carefully. Remember them.
A Butterfly Flapping Its WingsThe letter was clutched in strong fingers which, had they belonged to a lesser man, might have been trembling.A Butterfly Flapping Its Wings3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
It wasn't happiness or elation that he felt. There was a vindication that scratched on the edges of his thoughts, but the only thing really resonating in his mind was, 'what now?' It was the first time in a long while since he had heard anything beside the scornful echoes of his father's words.
It was a dream.
Almost a decade had passed since they'd been said. He'd shyly expressed his fondness for art as a schoolboy, and his father had promptly crushed his meek hopes with an iron tongue. "Fool," he had said. "Dreamer, head in the clouds." He'd laughed then, coarse and cruel. "You'd never make it." And the next semester his star-gazer of a son had been enrolled into technical school.
It started with death.
Standing cold and numb as his father was buried, it was his mother that convinced him to apply that first time with her soft word
UsEvery face has an eye, every eye has a sight,Us2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
To seek and know, what is wrong and right.
Every sight has a vision, every vision has a dream.
And every dream has a future, to find, to fight.
Every face has an ear, every ear hears a tale,
Of good and bad, success or fail.
Every tale has an end, every end has a hope,
And every hope can live no matter fire or hail.
Every face has a heart, every heart has a soul,
To lead the world to that one last goal.
Every soul has a voice, to speak and to trust,
And every voice, is one of us.
The SketchHe loses his first kiss in autumn. He's twelve, she's just turned thirteen, and at the time he isn't sure what all the fuss is about but knows how special it is anyway.The Sketch2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
She's gorgeous, pale-skin, brown hair, dark eyes always filled with happiness and joy the way he wishes he could be. She doesn't want to be there any more than he does, and they grouse to each other about how they don't need a 'special school.' It's the first time he's worked up the courage to say it.
She carries a book too, just like his sketchbook, but she says it's a diary. It's hung with a little lock on the front and he jokes about it being the key to her heart, a little boy's poor attempt at flirting but she laughs anyway. He wants to hear that laugh again, and he does, when he shyly asks if he can draw her.
It's half-way through his sketch that she leans in and presses her soft lips to his. It's a little clumsy and awkward, given how she's standing up and he's cross-legged on the ground, and nowhere as romantic l
One More Drink"You want to get a drink?"One More Drink4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Six words. Six little words casually spoken by an innocent man without any idea of their implications.
"You want to get a drink?"
It was only a reunion with an old friend; it was not supposed to become a battlefield. One moment I'm strolling down the street chatting light-heartedly with a mate from school, the next my world is threatening to crash down around me.
"You want to get a drink?"
To him it may mean nothing but a simple boy's night out, but to me it means much, much more.
"You want to get a drink?"
Anxiety, depression, obsession, not caring what I did, who I hurt, how much I lost as long it got me a pint. Bystanders attacked and robbed when cash ran low, barmen beaten and stabbed after refusing to give any more, and every last cent, possession, and shred of dignity sacrificed.
"You want to get a drink?"
Often I woke in pain, sometimes in strange places with no memory of how I got there, sometimes in
SubductionWe drip into OctoberSubduction3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
with the silence of spiders
heavy in our chests,
our hearts curling in
on themselves like
leaves in autumn.
Lungs unfurl into the
there is a breath, a whisper--
This dying wind whistles
through empty throats,
as if to murmur a warning,
perhaps, that we threaten
along our hipbones.
Second Street El stands under muted chrome lights, legs splayed apart and left hip cocked out like the jagged end of a lipstick smear. The soft undercurrent of voices drifts from the club crowd up to the stage, quiet murmured conversations below the chink of glasses and clicks of the mike stand slotting into place. If she listens close enough she can almost hear the bare echoes of a young man's laugh, a woman's soft tinkling sigh, the swell of a family's conversation.Second Street2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"All ready," the man before her grunts around the toothpick hanging out the corner of his sun-cracked mouth. El reaches a hand over to tug at the length of color-faded silk knotted around her left wrist, stepping forward to take the place he vacates. The same hand rises to wrap around the cold silver shaft, glossed lips parting as she ghosts them towards the microphone.
The crowd has dropped in volume, calm falling over the haphazardly arranged three-legged stools and half-rickety tables. It's a quiet she's felt
Grey and Gimble in the WabeThe ground was soft beneath his feet. It squelched and popped beneath the pressure of his determined stride, and sometimes crunched on a creature that hadn't been able to get out of his way quickly enough. Hadn't been able to, or hadn't wanted toit was hard to tell, in a place like this. Barren, and yet alive in its own way. Wet, always wet, but with a sickly damp that worked its way into his clothes and his hair and his lungs. Flat and endless like an empty chessboard. In the distance stood figures that looked somewhat like trees, except they were too round, too perfect, like the tops of some ghastly fungus. If the man ever paused long enough to stare at them, they might move, just a bit. But it was hard to tell. And the man never did stop long enough.Grey and Gimble in the Wabe4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"Why are you following me?"
This may seem to be a strange question for the man to ask in such a deserted milieu, but there was in fact something with him. It had no shape, or perhaps its shape was simply unimportant. Sometimes it
Sahi"Listen, Sahi. Listen to it whisper to you." I held the shell close to my ear. My mother's cool hands wrapped around mine, her breath brushing against the hair that trailed down my jaw. "Can you hear it? Can you hear it telling you its story?" I kept the shell pressed to my temple like a telephone. I heard it, a shrill and silent echo.Sahi4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"What is it?"
"It's the ocean, my love. When the shell swam to shore, it kept a little bit of the ocean inside of it. And now it's yours, a little bit of the ocean, to keep with you everywhere you go. You like that?"
I come home late. As the door closes, the telephone rings. I limp to the cream- coloured telephone.
"Look out the window."
"Look out the window, Sahi. Tell me what you see."
"Tsvee, I just came home. I'd much rather take a shower, change-"
"Just look out the window, babe. Just a minute of your time."
I tiptoe to the window and look through the thick glass, my free hand pulling away the silk curtain. The telephone pressed
starcrossedand we sailedstarcrossed4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
in sinking ships
on borrowed tides
'neath starless skies
[i wonder, love,
why we never made it home.]
The Endlife is fast and death is quickThe End4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
hearts slow down and minds play tricks
bodies fade and souls lose hope
reaching for the past, hands grope
searching for what can't be grasped
words will weaken into gasps
broken thoughts and shattered dreams
bursting from us at the seams
fear takes hold, time slips away
we grow sicker day by day
the pain won't stop, the hurt stays strong
it's been inside us all along
but will it end when we all die?
and in the ground our carnage lies?
A Life Lesson on How to Livei.A Life Lesson on How to Live4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Learn how to hear when there is no sound. Listen to the last heartbeats of a dead man, for they will tell you how to hold on, and how to let go, but you are the only one that can choose between the two. Hear the sorrow of a silent criminal at a confessional, because it can tell you where the line is and how to cross, but it's up to you to decide if you want to or not. Listen to the chemistry between two lovers and you will learn how to appreciate the love in everything people do.
Uncover how to see in the darkness, because it's a whole lot more important than anyone ever expects. Look at the hues of red in the night sky and the neon colors beneath the snow and they will show you that what you see is what you get, but not everything is what it seems. See the emptiness that shines from fake smiles and you will realize that everybody lies. Look at the world with your eyes closed and determine that this is the only way you will ever be able to see. Now decide if you want to or not.
Makeshift SymphonyHe tied piano strings to his heart,Makeshift Symphony6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
so that every time it beat
it didn't sound so empty inside.
But the music in his heart
couldnt permeate the hollow air
as the metronome kept time for the clock.
One, two. One, two.
Reedy notes plummeted from his lips as
he made me pluck out Tchaikovsky and Bach
when all I wanted to play was twinkletwinklelittlestar.
"I'm just a little girl."
My fingers tripped and stumbled
and I know that I could never play
as well as he needed me to;
I could never keep his notes
from slipping off the page.
White and black sideswiped my fingers,
as I struck one chord too many.
"I've always wanted to make you proud, papa.
But the past is flightless swans and sometimes
we only get a glimpse of what was there."
He shouldve left the past where it belongs,
because everything was far too black-and-white
in his eyes, and I was never good enough
to replace everything that was missing
in his hollow heart.
Charcoal BlackYou told me that the smoke would probably kill me one day after it sucks my lungs dry and colors me with the shade of that black charcoal you got all over your shirt last week. I smiled and said that it couldn't kill someone as tough as me. You just looked at me with that look of loss in your eyes, but I couldn't see it behind the string of cigarette smoke. I wish I could go back for just one moment so I could tell you that it was all right. That you were right.Charcoal Black4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
You stood in your worn out loafers and plaid skirt at the kitchen table and showed me a picture of something gray and shriveled up. I couldn't really tell what it was, but you kept silent as if I was supposed to know, with a look that a mother would give when she's telling her kid to clean her bedroom. I asked if you drew that in art class and you looked furious. You said it was me- my lungs- and slammed it onto the kitchen table, rattling those old saltshakers I never liked. I stared at the photo for a second longer, and gav
lonely is one letterthere were dead birds and fragile things hanging on the clothesline. you liked to look at them because it made you feel more secure; less like scraps of fabric and snips or newspapers tied loosely with dental floss. so you hung ribcages and tea cups and our love on the clothesline because fragile things made you feel less alone.lonely is one letter5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"I'm not afraid of dying; I'm afraid of leaving." you whispered to the stars. the air grew heavy. "I don't like the idea that this is all there is, because there's so much more I want to be. I want to be beautiful."
I was always more afraid of living, because living meant that there were no excuses. I agreed, though, quietly, that leaving would be the worst part.
you traced constellations on my arms and back and face. you liked to count planets and shooting stars; bright things made you feel warm inside. you kept the stars in your eyes because you didn't want to lose them. I kept you in my arms, because I didn't want you to realize how we were dangling on the c
Please, Push me AwayI'm starting to n-e-e-d you,Please, Push me Away3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I'm starting to depend on you.
& I'm starting to want you way more then I already do.
From my past, I know that this feeling is
& All that's going to come out of this is b/r-ok/e-n hearts and salty tears,
I'm going to hurt you,
I hope this letter finds you..on the evening youI hope this letter finds you..5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
you've spent the past
doing nothing but
you will be
all too aware of
the feel of youth
your bad habits
used to have
your heart out
when measuring moments
will seem only
less about living
with love be-
from the pavement
I Will Wait For YouThe letter came that fateful day,I Will Wait For You4 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
To tear you and I apart.
The weeks before you were forced on your way,
Were a blur of a blackened art.
For months I agonised for your return to date,
In sorrow deep enough for fiction.
Until on the dreaded list I read of your fate:
"Missing In Action"
In years that passed, I waited alone,
While no news came of the part of myself.
Hordes of soldiers were flocking back home,
But your file just gathered dust on the shelf.
I knew not if you were dead or alive,
I knew not what to do.
I had closed my heart, praying you would survive,
To love again, seemed taboo.
Time flew by and my hope began to dwindle,
Though I still clutched at your small chance.
But soon all was left was a flickering candle,
Quivering in its uncertain dance.
What was I to think, I was torn,
Should I love again or retain my faith?
Surrender hope or stay lovelorn,
Or choose another to take your place?
My anguish one morn was put to an end,
When finally, I learned,
That I had to let go, cou
Buried AliveTrapped in a paradise,Buried Alive5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
With no way out.
Stuck in utopia,
With evil far behind.
But somehow I'm imprisoned;
Tormented yet smiling.
This suffering makes me
Bleed out my happiness.
Living under this convincing pretense
Hurts my heart as the sun goes down.
I continue to keep my vows
And break the midnight silence
With my own tears.
I tell others who believe me
That I never lie.
But everything I say to the other dimension
Just kills me inside.
Under my skin is where lies the truth;
The things that I cannot reveal.
Nobody can cut through my flesh
And dig up the truth.
Only one being knows the spot with the red cross,
Scarred into me for the rest of this life.
But now I wonder if those memories are still being remembered.
Do you still listen to our lullabies?
Do they help you get to sleep at night,
Or do they rip you apart
Like they do to me?
You don't want to recover those dreams
Because you know you just need one more fall
Till your shallow heart will stop
I'm TryingI'm Trying.I'm Trying2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
What more do you want from me?
Can't you see I'm trying my hardest?
I'm trying to make something of myself.
I know nothing is promised and I may not be the fastest.
I know my attempts have not resulted in any form of wealth.
What more can I do to prove to you that this is what I want?
I can see you are finding it difficult to get past this.
You think there is more I can do to help myself.
You can see that I'm struggling; I never tried to mask this.
I want you to understand that this is something I must do for myself.
But all that I will ask for you is,
I hope that one day you will believe in me.
Believe in everything that I am trying to accomplish.
You don't have to necessarily agree with me.
But I promise that one day both you and the world will be astonished.
And on that day hopefully you will be able to see the drive in me.
Hopefully you will be able to see the fight in me.
Hopefully you will see the person that I am trying to be...come.
And all I will want you to say is
Cascading DarkThis sensation persists in my heart.Cascading Dark2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Lingers like a stubborn bitterness on the back of the tongue.
Distantly foul, yet so familiar I can’t remember a time when I didn’t taste it.
It’s cold and synthetic.
Mathematical and metallic.
Yet I find myself fantasizing about it tasting organic and sweet.
[ Mandarin honey in the place of corroded steel. ]
Though I am unable to convince myself,
and the same taste, the same fear, settles back into me.
The fear that to you, thoughts of me are tasteless.
Neither sweet nor bitter, but rather clear and empty as pure water.
A manifestation of complete nothingness,
While here I am longing for a person who never existed at all.
Where a heart should beat in your chest, there is only a still, hollow cavity.
A cavity I once ached with everything I was to inhabit.
I wanted to fill that gaping hole with ardor you’d never known..
But you always wanted it to remain empty.
Lifeless. Vacant. Uncompromising..
Because in the e
When fragile things let goHave you ever feltWhen fragile things let go3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
like a leaf in the middle of autumn?
Just falling off,
into n o t h i n g.
Like if the wind was trying to set you free
but it only got you nowhere?
I promised myself I wouldn't let you close enough to hurt me
But like everything in life,
it's just meant to be broken.
Now I feel like if I didn't feel, (does it even make sense?)
and I'd like to call myself a zombie,
but even zombies are more alive... (and they don't even exist)
You told me to hold on,
that you'd never let go
How didn't I remember that it couldn't be true?
that forever is just in fairytales,
and that I'm not in one.
Love seems so strong but it's so fragile,
it lifts you up to the sky, and when you fall...
you just break.
And the falling is even worse that when you hit the ground.
Fragile things we hold on to...
and when they let go,
we are just blown away...
And I'm just a leaf,
that is falling off
it's like if I was on the edge.
(and I feel it's all o