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When I was seven, I was diagnosed with emotions.

"Poor girl." I heard them say. "She'll never survive this one."

I laid with my face towards the ceiling on the cold examination table, listening to them discuss my fate. I felt something breaking in my chest and something burning inside my throat. A small tear slipped down my cheek.

"Doctor! Look at this!" Shrieked my mother, "Something is coming out of her eye."

The doctor rushed over to me and wiped the tear from my cheek. He touched the top of my head as he whispered, "I am so sorry." And then he turned to my mother. "It's a tear. It means that she is sad."

"Sad?" My mother asked inquisitively.

"It's one of her emotions. This doesn't attack the same way that normal diseases do, there are all sorts of different symptoms. Right now, she is sad and the only way that I know how to explain it is that she is feeling down."

"What do you mean by down?"

"Her emotions can best be described as ones that are up—when she is feeling good, and ones that are down—when she is feeling bad. Right now she is feeling sad, which is a down emotion. If you need to understand her, ask her if she is feeling up or down. That's all
I know how to tell you."

"Will it kill her, doctor?"

He was silent. "Doctor?" She persisted.

"I don't know. She's got her heart on her sleeve, and that makes her vulnerable."

My mother took a step back.

"I truly am sorry." Said the doctor.

~

I was fifteen when I felt love for the first time. There was a boy, I don't even remember his name, but he used to walk me home after school, and then one day he stopped. When I asked him why, he told me that he simply didn't want to anymore and that it was out of his way and illogical.

I went home and curled up on my couch.

"Are you feeling up or down today?" Asked my mother.

"I don't know." I said. "Both."

My mother took me to see the doctor again. He asked me how I was feeling. I told him that I felt something ripping at my chest and pounding in my stomach when I looked at the boy. I told him that I liked the way that I was feeling, but at the same time, I wanted it to stop.

He listened attentively. "Honey, I think you feeling the beginnings of love. It's an emotion, but you can't quite categorize it as up or down. And I'm sorry, but it will only get worse as you get older."

The doctor handed me tissues as he waited for me to regain my composure before he took me back to my mother. He told her that we had sorted things out and that if we ever needed to see him again, all that we had to do was call.

And then he turned to me. "Just keep your head up, it will all turn out fine." He gave me a friendly wink and my mother took me back home.

~

It was years before I saw the doctor again. I had experienced bouts of love, anger, and even happiness. But it was none of these that drew me to him again—it was listlessness. I was twenty-seven years old when I sat in the doctor's office once again.

He handed me a mug of tea and we had a little chat.

"What seems to be bothering you?"

"I don't know, doctor. I've become bored with everything. I get up, go to work, come home, sleep, repeat. Day in, day out. What else is there to be done?" I asked. "What does everyone else do every day?"

"They do the same things that you do." His eyes fixed on mine. "The exact same, monotonous thing, we all do."

"But why?" I pressed.

"I don't know." He said, leaning back in his chair. "It's what we've been taught to do for all of our lives. It doesn't bother anyone else—"

"Because you can't feel." I said finishing his thought.

"If you don't mind me asking, what sorts of things do you feel?"  He asked.

I sighed and sat up in my chair.

"Go on." He urged.

"It's awful, doctor."  I said, my voice cracking, "I start caring about someone or something, my heart breaks and then I repeat the cycle. I don't know how to stop it."

The doctor closed his eyes as if remembering.

"And what does it feel like? What do you do?"

"At first, it's wonderful, I feel up, like I am pumping sunshine through my veins instead of blood, but then it feels sad, like my heart has shattered, and like glass, it can never truly be whole again."

He opened his eyes and began to speak. "I'm sorry, but I think you know what I am about to say."

I shook my head through tears in my eyes. "No…no."

He looked directly into my eyes as he said, "I'm sorry, but no one will ever be able to feel the way you feel about them."

I covered my mouth with my palm and let out a sob-like breath. "I know. I've always known, I just have been afraid to say it out loud."

"I really am sorry. You are a strange case dear. It's very surprising that you have survived to this point, most die young or are driven insane."

"And there is nothing you can do about it?"

He looked at the floor. "Nothing."

I saw the look on his face. "You're lying." I sneered.

"Yes," he said looking up me again. "But I won't do it."

"Why?" I asked, my voice cracking as my heart pushed into my throat.

He shook his head.

"What makes you qualified to make this decision for me?" I asked through gritted teeth.

"Because I am not going to allow you to do this. Don't you see? You have so much, all the feelings that have been lost over time. You may not realize it now, but I am begging you to think about it."

There was no point in attempting to hide the tears at this point. "There is something you aren't telling me doctor." I exhaled between fits of sobs. "What is it?"

He shook his head and whispered, "Please."

I stood up and grabbed my belongings. "Goodbye doctor."

~

I have been emotion-free for thirteen years now. I get up to work, come home, sleep, and do it all again the next day. I am married to a nice man. We talk about our days at work while I cook dinner and he reads the newspaper. We considered children at one point, but it's too late now.

I haven't seen the doctor since I stormed out of his office that day years ago. He would be disappointed with my choice. I think I know what he was talking about all those years ago when he tried to warn me against leaving, I think he knew what this was like—the expectations, the almosts.

The expectation to feel something when my husband kisses me goodnight. The expectation to feel something when winter blows over the world. The almost feeling I get when my mother calls and I am reminded that I haven't seen her in months. The almost feeling I get when I remember the doctor and realize that I left the one person who could almost love me.
I don't know what you heard, but this is not Doctor Who fanfic. It would be impossible to say that the doctor was not inspired by The Doctor, but they are not the same person.

I am slowly making the transition from flash-fiction to real short stories. Terrifying.



Daily Lit Deviation 2/1 and 2/2

Daily Deviation 2/10
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The man who works at the coffee shop looks like you. I noticed this some time ago and have since frequented the place. He recognizes me now. He smiles at me when I come in. His smile even looks like yours. He doesn't say hey though- you always said hey.

I still work at the library even though you're not there.
Sometimes I look over to your desk and expect to see you typing at your computer, but someone else is there now. It's not you.

Sometimes someone will come in who looks like you. Maybe he will have the same hair, same stature, same profile, same laugh, same voice. It's never been you.

Sometimes I drive myself crazy. I pull at my hair and scream 'till my lungs burst. I scream for and at you. I ask how you could have left me here.

Sometimes I allow myself to believe that I will see you again. By chance we will run into each other in a Wal-Mart far away.

I go to the coffee shop on Tuesday afternoons. I order a small chai tea with milk.

Sometimes the man is working at the cash register. He smiles at me as he rings me up
and tells me to enjoy my day.

Sometimes the man is arranging pastries in the glass display. He looks up from the sugared doughnuts and slices of pound cake to give me a warm smile. I feel a pang in my stomach and my smile borderlines on grimace.

I take my tea and sit myself in one of those fancy armchairs.

Sometimes I bring a book and read. I send myself far away while sipping warm, spicy
tea.

Sometimes I bring a poem I've been working on. I scratch out lines and rewrite and rewrite again.

I stay until the place closes. I toss my cup in the garbage and file out of the shop with the other late night customers. He smiles and asks me to please come again.
Titles are really always awful. I can't decide whether this piece is about the 'man in the coffee shop' or 'you'

1. Does the current title work?
2. Does the sometimes at the beginning of some of the paragraphs sound good or just silly?
3. Are the sentences/paragraphs too choppy?
4. Thoughts/Comments? Love/Hate?


[Daily Literature Deviation 6/15/11]
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You left impressions in her skin and they sank straight down to her heart. You always told her that she was impressionable, but she never took it quite so literally.

She was holding memories so tightly that her hands started to burn. Each day a layer of skin would char and crumble. She swept the ash off and carried on.

Sometimes when she felt lonely, she would take old blankets and wrap herself in them. They smelled like the people who used them before her. They have absorbed their dreams, their feelings, their hearts. She liked to hear other peoples' dreams because she never had one herself.

She never felt quite at home. She worried about getting caught in a gust of wind and tossed down in a field somewhere, but secretly, she hoped for it.

She missed you. She wouldn't admit it, but I could see it in her face and hear it in her words.

She lost her right shoe one night. She walked a half mile in the rain without it and arrived at the front door with a big smile on her face. Sometimes I worry. Perhaps too much.

She pinned her heart on her sleeve, but she wrapped it up in tinfoil first. I asked her if it hurt, she said that it did at first, but not anymore.

Her body weakened without her heart. She turned pale and cold. I told her that I thought she was dying, she told me that she knew.

I used to catch her staring at the wall sometimes. She wondered if that's all there was—one day you just hit a wall and then the end.

She insisted on arranging her own funeral. She made silver death notices and limped down to the florist. She brought back a wagon-full of large bouquets of lilies and poppies, arranging them around a bed.

It was quite a sight to see when I found her resting peacefully. She requested that you come to see her one last time before she was gone forever.

We watched them carry her away, drifting through sun and snow. We followed her body, crying and waiting. But you would wait no more.
I don't really know what to think of this. It took a turn for the rather strange towards the end, but that is the result of leaving a piece to wait overnight. I'm still not super fond of the ending ending.

This was also intended to be poetry, but it isn't.

(Secret between you and me: This is basically a conglomeration of my favorite thoughts and ideas for stories from the past few months.)

Quaestiones:
1. Are the tenses confusing? I know that I have a few paragraphs in the present, but I really didn't like them in the past tense, so I kept it. Thoughts? [EDIT] I ended up changing it.
2. Does the narration make sense?
3. Your thoughts on the ending?
4. Any other thoughts or comments?
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“Mom? Mum? Can I talk to you?”

My voice quivered. Both of them looked up at me. Mom’s head was in Mum’s lap. Mum was slowly stroking her forehead, leaning down to kiss her forehead while still staring at me intently. A satanic bible was placed in Mum’s lap, the thin, withered pages torn in a few places from continued reading. “You know you can talk to us about anything,” Mom said, smiling, sitting up a bit straighter. She leaned over to kiss Mum, who kissed her back. I took a seat on the couch and pulled my knees up to my chin, staring down at my cuticles. Even for a guy, they were pretty nasty.

I took a deep breath. “Guys? I don’t really know how to say this…but, I think I’m heterosexual.”

The room went silent. Mum looked up from our satanic bible and pursed her lips. For a second, I thought she was going to reach out and slap me. In a tight voice, she said, “You know how we feel about heterosexuals. We raised you to be gay…not to live with such perversion!”

Mom quickly sat up, already anticipating Mum’s rage. Mum flew up as soon as Mom’s weight was off of her and came to kneel down in my face. I bit my lip, trying to prevent myself from bursting into tears. I knew she’d act like this, but I needed to get it out.

“Our bible says only God-loving people are heterosexuals!” she spat at me, throwing the book at my face. It hit my nose; I yelped in pain. Mom made a noise, but Mum turned around and screamed, “Silence! He needs to know the pain of denying Satan!” I pulled my fingers away from my nose to see droplets of blood clinging to my fingers. I looked down at the charcoaled book, which lay in my lap; there were little splatters of red and gore on that, too, standing out distinctly over the black. “How dare you! How dare you!? Why do you think you’re a – you’re a – a heterosexual?

Tears came thick and fast down my face. I looked down at the book, avoiding Mum’s eyes like the plague. “Because…because I think I have a crush on a girl in my class, okay? I know she’s a lesbian, but I can’t help it.” I tried to keep the lie out of my voice; they didn’t need to know I had been in a heterosexual relationship for secret for almost a year. I was only going to tell them when the time was right, and now obviously wasn’t the right time.

Mum looked livid, her face taut against her bones. “Who do you think you are, getting crushes on normal, Satanly people! It is not your place to love a woman!” I kept my eyes lowered, trying to prevent myself from blurting anything out. But with one look into her face, I knew I couldn’t keep it in any longer.

“The thought of getting it up the ass repulses me!” I choked out. I didn’t mean to say it, but it slipped from between my teeth and tongue. Mum’s face was in utter shock; she looked as if she would disown me in a moment. Mom buried her face in her hands, and I could faintly hear her muttering, oh, why us? Why us? What have we done to you, Satan? What have we done to make us deserve this sort of punishment?

I began to talk quickly. “Mum, Mom, it’s not that bad,” I gushed. “There are places I can go to, for people like me, where I can meet other people like me and live a fairly normal life. Heterosexuality is becoming almost normal, you know! More than ten percent of the world is heterosexual! It’s really not that bad of a thing. It doesn’t matter whether I’m gay or straight – ”

Her hand was across my cheek in moments. I continued to stare to my side, in shock, a red, shame-filled handprint upon my cheek. I slowly turned my head to look into the eyes of my angry Mum, whose eyes spit fire at me. “Satan says,” she began slowly, “That it is immoral to sleep with someone of the opposite sex. You will be going to Heaven for it! You will be rotting with God,” she forced the word out as if it was poison, “Along with everyone like you! Go! Go be a smut peddler and ruin your life. You can choose to repent against God and live your righteous life as a Satan following homosexual. It is up to you.”

I lifted a palm and touched my cheek delicately. “I choose to be true to myself, and to not lie to those I love any longer,” I said in a quiet voice. I looked her in the eyes and stood up. “Maybe Satan says it is wrong, but those books were written, what, forty years ago? Times have changed. There are scientific studies on the normalcy of heterosexuality. Of the fact that it’s really…really not a bad thing….”

Mum’s eyes narrowed. “Get out of my house if you are choosing this blasphemous life.” I gulped and nodded. “You have fifteen minutes to gather your things and to find a place to live.”

I lowered my head and moved to the kitchen to grab a few garbage bags; then I ran to my room to shove my belongings into the bags as fast as I could. After a few moments, Mom came in, her face tear streaked and her eyes bloodshot.

She swallowed down what seemed to be bile. “You know,” she whispered, “You don’t have to leave. Just tell us that you’ll be good and you’ll live a homosexual lifestyle for the rest of your life. You don’t have to choose to be straight…you can choose to be gay!”

I pursed my lips at her. “No, I can’t. This is the option you guys gave me; my only one.” I turned away from her and began to pack again. “My…my girlfriend is going to come pick me up.” I let that sink in. I heard her turn on her heel and march away.

My breath wheezed through my throat. I heard a horn honk. I picked up my garbage bags and slowly headed down the stairs, struggling only slightly. Mum had the door wide open. My girlfriend stood at the door; I smiled at her and she gave me a watery, sad smile back.

Mum glared at her. “You do not have to choose to live this disgusting life style, too, you know,” she said in a snide tone.

“I don’t choose to,” she said calmly. “I have to.”

Mum pursed her lips, and as soon as I was out of the threshold, slammed the door behind me. I took a deep breath and stared at my girlfriend; I pecked her on the lips.

“Come on,” she murmured, taking one of my bags. “My dads said you could come live with us. They’re really sorry your moms are so unforgiving.” She looked at me earnestly, so much love and concern in her eyes that it was hard for me to comprehend why my moms couldn’t understand it. I knew I was straight; I knew it wasn’t wrong. Whether I was going to rot in Heaven for the rest of eternity was my business. But as long as I was happy in this world, I would be happy in any other world.

I took her hand.
8/20/12

So, four years later...I have finally disabled the comments. It's been great, guys, and the kind responses have been wonderfully amazing. However, the bigots have won, and I'm disabling the comments because I deserve to have a life outside sifting through comment after comment of "I'm a Christian and I love gays!" or "Gays are icky but this is an interesting POV!" and blah, blah, blah. (Not that those people are the bigots, but I digress.) If you really want to share your opinions with me, by all means, send me a note!! I would love to talk to you and say thanks outside the overwhelming amount of comments I've received on this.

Every bit of feedback I've received has brought a broad smile to my face (even the mean ones!). I'm just exhausted from reading the comments and feeling guilty for not responding.... So hopefully this way, the people who really would like to discuss the piece with me can have a chance to do so!

Thanks so much for all the wonderful, positive feedback. And for those of you telling me gays are icky, and blah blah blah--well, sorry you feel that way, but I'll be off having a grand old time at my gay crunchy-granola liberal arts college, far too busy to care that some butthead on the Internet doesn't approve of my lifestyle! ;P

Take care, my loves!


I was reading a forum on Clay Aikon's recent admission (WE ALL FUCKING KNEW, CLAY). But a lot of them were like "REPENT, CLAY!"

So I wrote this.

This is as much of a satire about how crazy some religious people are, as it is about crazy gay people.

Comment.





21 hours, 42 minutes after posting:
Thank you.
As of this moment of time, I have 70 favorites; and I gain another one every two or three minutes.
Thank you. :heart:
Give me your opinions, future readers: I'd like to hear. Even if you're just happening by it. Tell me. I'd like to hear. I may argue or tell you my opinion, but it is done in respect.

Thank you, everyone. Really. :heart::heart::heart:



23 hours and 12 minutes after posting:
HOLY SHIT GUYS.
PLUS 100 FAVORITES IN LESS THAN A DAY!?
Is it really that good?
I love you guys.



10/1 7:00pm:
200 favorites. I never thought a writing piece of mine'd get 200 favorites. It boggles my mind.
Thank you, everyone, for supporting it. <3 It means a lot to me.
I'll update you on what happens further with this piece...when things happen to it. Hahaha.
:heart:!



4/16
After an alarming amount of comments regarding this, I thought I should address it.
Yes, there is a reference to satanism in this piece. This is a satirical piece.
A satire is a piece of writing that makes fun of a problem in society. A good piece of satire will take a problem in today's society, blow it up or twist it around, and make it so ridiculous that it is blaring in our faces and begging for a reform.
Let's do an example together.
scenario: America is slowly becoming known as the fat nation of the world.
the gov't solution: Bans can possibly be placed on food industries as to what they are allowed to sell, and to whom they are allowed to sell their products to.
the satirical approach: the writer will spin a world where each food chain has a computer that has detailed records of everyone in the town. A person will enter and get DNA scanned; then their information will come up. The restaurant then picks out a meal for the person based on what they supposedly need (information that is based upon their weight at their last weigh-in and what their cholesterol levels are, etc).
It seems a bit ridiculous, doesn't it? [By the way, the gov't solution IS true, they were/are considering doing this.]

Anyway, my point is that this is supposed to be making fun of fundamentalist Christians in today's society. YES, many of them do shove their bibles down other peoples throats. But I know now that MANY of them are very nice people - so many people have commented apologizing for the wrongdoings of their colleagues. I thank you all for being so open.

If anyone is going to comment that "omg there is a satanic reference in this!! It confused me :C GAYS ARE NOT SATANIC!" then please...keep it to yourself.
Nobody ever said that all straight people were christians...but some of them are. So I had to reverse the roles. It was just too juicy an opportunity for some sarcastic humor. I couldn't pass it up.
I just wanted to mention that. Thanks for putting up with the ramble.
By the way...look up Kurt Vonnegut. He's definitely one of my biggest inspirations.



9/24/09
A year and 401 favorites later...thank you. I love you all. Nothing will ever be able to express how grateful and confused I am that this has gotten so much recognition.
Thank you. It means so much to me.



5/6/12
Woke up and checked my dA. Was convinced that dA had glitched.
Wow, a Daily Deviation!? I'm honored. I'm so glad that this dorky little short story has gotten so much recognition and appreciation. Much love to you all.
I'll have a lot of fun replying to the ~600 or so messages I've accumulated in the past few hours......
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He keeps his umbrella close, but never opened. Storm clouds roll in and out of his life, but they never stop to even wet the ground.

He wakes up every morning at 6:15, stays in bed for another five minutes, and takes a shower that lasts eight and a half minutes. He eats two slices of buttered toast and a small tumbler of orange juice. He dresses himself in a blue button-down with a striped tie and shines his shoes so that he can see his face. If it's cold out, he wears his black trench coat and if it isn't, he just wears his sport coat. He carries his briefcase every day, along with his umbrella. He can't forget his umbrella. The train leaves at 7:00 and he is at the station by 6:55. He hasn't missed a day of work in eight years.

His career isn't exactly what he hoped it would have been. If he were to think back on it, he would realize that it isn't even close. Thankfully, he never does.

At 7:45 he goes for his morning coffee run—black with two sugars. Provided the line isn't too long, he can make it back to the office by 7:55 giving him five minutes to spare before his boss comes in with a new stack of paperwork for the day. It's the one bit of uncertainty in his day and he dreads every second of it.

He doesn't speak to any of his coworkers and very few of them speak to him. He had to ask Lisa for the key to the supply room two weeks ago when his printer ran out of ink. While he was there, he grabbed two more to avoid another uncomfortable, unnecessary encounter like this one. Sometimes he hears them talking together in the lunch room. They tell stories about their families at home and things that are on television at night.

He goes for lunch at 11:45 and returns an hour later. He works four more hours then he gets ready to go home, grabbing his coat and his briefcase and lastly, his umbrella, just in case it starts to rain. He takes the same train that he took this morning and the morning before that and the one that he will take tomorrow morning.

It goes without saying that he lives alone. He keeps his apartment in pristine condition, taking time to tidy it up every Sunday. When he gets home he makes coffee, a full pot, out of habit. A habit that he hasn't bothered to break.

She liked coffee and sunshine and city nights and libraries and surprisingly, him. He used to take her out for nice dinners and she would give him books to read and leave poetry in his sock drawer.

She meant to take him out somewhere nice for his birthday, but she forgot to make reservations at their favorite restaurant, so they went down to the train station and asked for the two tickets for the next train, whatever it happened to be. They spent the day running along the beach and had a spontaneous picnic of Nutella and Wonderbread. On the train ride home she fell asleep on his shoulder, he breathed in her hair, it smelled like sunshine and sea salt. He acted how he was supposed to act and it was cliché, he knew it was cliché, but it was the only way he knew how.

He didn't notice that it was ending, or maybe he chose not to. Perhaps there were clues in her untouched breakfasts or the way she would sometimes stare at the window and sigh. If there were, he didn't see them. His story goes something like this: one day, he woke up and she was gone.

And after, it rained for six days straight. He spent those days staring out the window and cleaning out his apartment. On the sixth day he went to the store and bought an umbrella. And when he woke up the next day, the rain had stopped.

That was eight years ago.

He sees girls all over that remind him of her, short, skinny girls with brown hair and knobby knees wearing flowery dresses. He sees them riding bicycles through the park, reading books in cafes, sitting on the train, even Lisa from his office reminds him of her a bit when she laughs. The sinister part of him says that this means that she is easily replaceable, but he doesn't like to think about that. He doesn't like to think about her.

One day he found himself at the train station, just like every other day. He was carrying his briefcase and his umbrella as he waited for the train to pull up to the platform. He noticed a young woman looking at him, he gave her a polite smile and went back to his newspaper.

"Excuse me sir," she said. "Why are you carrying an umbrella?"

He looked down at the umbrella resting on the ground and then back at her.

"I'm just waiting for the rain."
I wasn't going to upload this, but the more I read it, the more fond of it I grew.

The umbrella is a metaphor. Everything is a metaphor.

Also, I took the first line from this fantastic list of prompts.
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"You need to stop doing this."

"Stop doing what?"

"Writing me into your stories."

"...why?"

"Because…it scares me. I'm not this guy that you write about. I'm not some kind of Prince Charming and I'm certainly not a sea God or whatever you like to say about my eyes every now and then."

"Oh really?"

"Yeah. You really need to work on your judgement of people, because this is all wrong. It's like you don't know me at all!"

"So why don't you correct me and I'll fix my idea of you accordingly."

"Well…firstly, I'm a really nervous person."

"Yeah. Your hands are either fiddling with your hair or your sleeve, or you're biting your nails."

"And I don't like going out. I'm a hermit."

"Except to your best friends' houses, or to the animal shelter, or to me."

"And I'm dead inside."

"Says the boy who hides his tears at the sight of an injured puppy."

"I do not."

"Yes, you do."

"Anyway, I'm not always nice to you. In fact, I really don't do enough."

"You're right. Except…you're the one I call when I'm upset, you're the only person who tells me you love me every night, you drive half way across the city to see me-"

"-it's still not enough. I barely give you the kind of attention you need."

"And yet, I can sleep in absolute peace next to you."

"Still, I'm nowhere near this guy you write about."

"What, and you think that Prince Charming has absolutely no flaws?"

"I highly doubt he does."

"You know what I think?"

"What?"

"I think your judgement of Prince Charming is all wrong."

"Sorry?"

"He's Prince Charming, my love. Not Prince Perfect."
100 Themes: Judgement
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I fed her
pomegranate kisses

and she cried
at every frozen sunrise
for 180 days.

With cracks in my heart
and souls
caught in my hair
I counted 180 more.
DLD- 10/11/12

In which the author writes about mythology and gross, disgusting love.

Written for :iconwordsmiths-guild: 's Inner Divinity Contest.


For those of you who don't know, Hades/Pluto is the Greek/Roman deity of the Underworld. He kidnapped Persephone and brought her to his home where she ate four pomegranate seeds. According to the Fates, one who eats the food of Underworld must spend eternity there, but Persephone was allowed to return to her mother for half of the year, corresponding to the spring/summer months.
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17.

it smells like grief and sterilized metal.

i climb into andrew’s bed, though the nurses have strictly forbidden it. he closes his eyes and holds me tightly, because he says when he can’t see me, it is easier to pretend i never happened to him.


15.

he pushes the cart aggressively down the aisle, pretending to mow over old ladies doing their sunday shopping.

"stop," i say giggling, lobbing a can of ravioli at him.

for a moment i think he simply didn't see me throw the can; it glances off his chest and falls to the floor, exploding in a pattern of red arrows. i don't notice his eyes rolling back in his head or the graceful way his body collapses to the floor.
the only thing i notice is the distinct thudding sound as his head hits the metal shelf and the screaming that may or may not be mine.

later in the hospital he calls for me and says he wants to apologize for keeping secrets, and the doctors launch into a medical explanation of his cancer.
their eyes are sad.


13.

there are new shadows under his eyes that i know should not be there, but he ducks my bow and arrow assault, folding himself into me with soft kisses and quiet words.

“i’m worried about you,” i tell him. “i want to help you.”

“you already have.” he pauses. “i love you so goddamn much. will you remember that?”

“what, are you planning on going somewhere?” i tease lightly.

“yes.”

“where?”

he doesn’t answer, and i begin to think he has fallen asleep there, his knuckles pressed against the drywall, until i notice his eyes, big, open, wet.

“talk to me,” i beg.

“there's nothing to say,” he murmurs, and closes his eyes.


11.

after several months of trying, i find it is impossible to memorize every second of the indescribable time we have spent together—the chokey, throaty laughter, the untidy scrawl that falls from the tip of his long fingers, the freckles high on his cheekbones, the careful way he pronounces his “ing’s”and “ed’s”, as though he is afraid his diction is going to slip right out of his mouth and run away.

i know that these details are inconsequential, and i should just give up trying to remember them all.

i know i never will.


9.

i almost don’t realize it when he holds my hand for the first time, his grip is so soft and questioning.

“i’m not going to break,” i tell him, tightening my fingers around his.

he grins crookedly and looks into the distance. “i have a lot to learn.”

“we have all the time you need,” i reply, and he just laughs.


7.

it is one week, three days later before i learn my new friend’s favourite colour, favourite food, and what he wants to be when he grows up.

red. apple pie. alive.


5.

i don’t know why i agreed to go on a ride with the near-stranger. he ceremoniously opened the car door for me and drove to a tree-ringed clearing.

“where are we?” i ask him, knowing that somewhere on the car ride here we have slipped into friendship without conscious realization.

“where we should be, i suppose.”


3.

it’s no coincidence that the boy from the party sits down next to me at the counter two days later and orders a coffee, “black, naturally,” with a charming smile. he whistles an almost-familiar tune and glances at me out of the corner of his eyes.

“you and i are going to have some sort of future, i should think.” he pauses for my reaction, but i only sigh.

“look, i still don’t know your—“

“andrew.”

“okay.”


1.

i sit next to a tired-looking boy on the couch at eliot’s house, feeling alone and slightly drunk. i don’t know him. he glances at me and closes his eyes slowly, smiling.

i don’t know anything, really.

now the boy curls into himself defiantly, chin to knee, a too-angular sculpture, a mistake. he blindly reaches out from his cavernous self, like an afterthought, and touches me gently. i can see his dislocated shoulder blades bursting like half-fledged angel wings, and suddenly they are all i can think about.

“i don’t know you,” i tell him quietly as he intertwines his fingers with mine.

“i don’t know me either,” he says, and then smiles, luminous and hopeful. “maybe you could help?"
telling a sad story backwards doesn't make it have a happy ending.
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I woke after thirteen hours of sleep
and when I looked in the mirror,
there were still bruise-purple
crescent moons beneath my eyes.
tired no longer comes from a
lack of sleep—it has reached a state
of permanence, engraving itself
into my bones. When you ask
how I am, I will now answer:
cold and tired.

It was later that night when I
tasted the liquor cabinet
to see what all the fuss was about.
Whiskey burns as it goes down
and settles in the cavity of the heart,
encompassing it with a hug
that a lover will never reach.
I now want to know if I will
ever be able to melt.

I used to close my eyes beneath
the night sky, as everything in the
universe was staring me down,
and beg that one of the
billions of beings out there
would make me smaller.
If that tiny girl
in a big open field,
beneath the big open sky,
who hadn't ever seen the big open sea,
got her wish,
would she even be able to see
herself in the mirror?
Sometimes I don't even know.
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"Do you fear death?"

The question loomed in the air before my body, as if a sword looming over someone almost conquered by their enemy. But I looked down at my hands and then back up, only to say, "Have you ever felt the pain of watching two lovers embrace at the end of a movie? It's supposed to be a happy ending. But your heart tells your lungs to stop breathing for just a minute…because it will never ever be yours."

"Do you fear death?"

A question repeated deserves an answer. But instead, my trembling hands sat clenched on my lap, the blue ink like veins showing through the frail covering that might rip apart any second. "Do you know what it's like to wake up in the middle of the night to hear a song, just to remind yourself, you're going to be all right? Over and over again…until it doesn't work anymore."

"Do you fear death?"

The invisible chain linked through my fingers, and I closed my tired eyes, this time, hearing the impatience in the dark voice that came from the shadows. "They say we hide secrets under our pillows. The only secret my pillow hides are the stains of the tears I turn over every morning... just so no one can see I'm in pain."

"Do you fear death?"

There are two kinds of people who do not fear death. They neither laugh, nor cry, or make even a hint of a sound. They won't move, they won't try to protect themselves. They will meet death head on, maybe even with a hint of a smile on their lips. This time…I smiled. "There are only two kinds of people who do not fear death."

"And who are they?"

"The brave…and the broken."
100 themes: Death
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