How one Dead Views the LivingMy life had always been painted in sombre greys. In death, how it blossoms!
When the rains come, the watery drops fall like tears of ink: echoing and dancing across sparkling sapphire puddles. The sun, a golden mystic orb, shedding its beauty on all it touches.
I see rustic weather-beaten cragged faces of the old, set with eyes of faded blue. I behold bright smiles and blushes upon the fat cheeks of the young. My ears prickle with the twirling thousand-noted song of birds. The beauty of all these things I never observed in life, now bursts upon my ripened senses - in death.
In a trance I view this new-found paradise. Life, I have come to realise, is most beautiful to the spectator. The spectator has no need for understanding or judgement.
I look upon a derelict dilapidated street, filthy with squalor. I cast my eyes over the crumbling paintwork of rotting window frames, housing broken panes. Here and there sickly weeds break through mouldering masonry.
Oh what a picture, what a spectac
Hayling (Teaser)The clunker satellite was within his grasp. The gloves of Rise's space-suit rig sent signals to the neural relays attached to his head as he grazed the side of the satellite. The metal felt brittle, and he expected that from a two hundred year old satellite. What caught his interest, however, was the hollow feeling that resonated from his gloves to his head. Satellites were compact and filled with the electronics necessary to equip them with for their job. They were most definitely not hollow.Hayling (Teaser)1 year ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Rise acted quickly; his shuttle would be out of reach in a few minutes. Clambering around the outside and pawing at the peeling heat tiles-- heat tiles did not belong on a satellite-- he began looking for a handle or a latch of sorts. The metal had felt hollow, but not enough to warrant a sizeable space on the other side and if the satellite was similar to his shuttle that would indicate a panel. Curiosity had always been an undeniable trait of his, and he was determined to investigate further an
WiresHumanity's relationship with wires fascinates me.Wires2 years ago in Philosophical More Like This
From birth to death, our whole lives are regulated by wires. An egg leaves the ovary and travels down the Fallopian tube, and this is the way we are made. The umbilicus connects us to our parent. Arteries and veins look very much like wires, and it is they that nourish our bodies with oxygen and blood. The most precious thing in our body, the central nervous system, is essentially a thick cord of wires running from our brain to our tailbone.
Eyes are attached to our brain by stems. Ears are hollow wires which run deep into our heads. Muscles are made of tubes of specialized cells. Intestines are essentially large ducts that move down to the sphincter, absorbing nutrients and arranging waste.
Once we have passed through the birth canal, wires sustain our existence. Wires bring us our electricity and water, power our machines, allow us to communicate with one another via fiber optics. A downed power line plunges us back into the dark ages
Ellie, one-oh-one.she doesn't know her name.Ellie, one-oh-one.3 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
it isn't surprising really. it has been so long since someone said it with any vigour, any affection, that it seems almost natural for her to have forgotten it.
she has lapsed into herself. her shoulders, with their warm-hearted mammal bones, quiver and shake beneath the weight of her own uneasiness. her arms, they shiver and the bruises ripple slowly - rocks in a pond. she has turned fetal.
the voices shudder as they cry out into the emptiness of her soul, their lips casting names against her chasms. none of them stick, none of them strike open the shell of her heart and set her aflame. none of them wake her from this coma, this darkness.
the world contracts and stumbles into yet another winter around her. it freezes her bones and the leafless trees whisper apologies into her matted hair, her flaking skin. the earth sends kisses up through the soles of her feet, the sagging flesh of her backside.
the world apologizes into her and the voices cry but her stoma
The ruleShe wouldn't let him make love to her on the bed. Beds are for sleeping she told him adamantly, when he tried to lead her there. Caught in the grip of a feverish, school-boy lust, Mekhi didn't care. It was enough that she wanted to have sex with him at all. He'd do it on a mound of shit if that's what she wanted. Inside a meat locker. Any damn where.The rule10 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
When it was over and they lay on the rug in post coitus languor, he found himself curious about her no bed rule. "So you've never done it on a bed?" he asked, voice hushed at 2AM.
She was a long time in answering. Her voice was soft, on the edge of sleep as she confided, "Not since I was ten years old."
Sail to Imperfect ParadiseMiss Charlotte Merrigold's ninth birthday was a formal occasion. She pinned her hair with fish bones, wore a skirt of torn sail, and held a matching pair of seashells by her ears. A small puppy that had followed her down to the seaside became the eager young prince, and yells from the nearby pier music to dance to. As the night grew colder the girl lit a rainbow fire and told Prince all the stories she knew. She told him about the mermaid that kissed Pat the Pirate but had no legs for him to spread, about a man named Will who was hung for blowing his nose on his sleeve, and her own story about a girl who stole and got away with it.Sail to Imperfect Paradise1 year ago in Short Stories More Like This
Prince must not have thought much of her stories for he, who was secretly a mutt but had fine enough ears to be sired by Mr. Hamsworth's dog, draped his body across her lap and snored. After that she braided kelp until the tide touched her toes.
Eleven years later Prince died behind the Old Fisherman Inn and Charlotte boarded a ship with sails, cannons, and
Moon Eye Fire Eye SitMoon Eye Fire Eye2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
he says to me, and I sit and feel very small.
Let me tell you,
he says to me,
how it happened.
The creek dried up that summer and
the crops gave their last shiver
and bent down to the earth. And at night
you could hear the leaves crawling down the creekbed
like goddamn spiders along the rocks.
His face is half winter
pale and sparked with a milky eye like a moon
and half raw summer, twisted and scorched
with a flame eye that streams and shines in the firelight.
The ghosts came that summer,
he says to me, stirring the fire.
The ghosts came and whispered to her
that she was dying
until she believed them.
He is quiet.
Stationery Pt IStanley loved stationery.Stationery Pt I2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
He loved the way it smelled when you stripped away the crinkly cellophane wrapper. He loved the Spartan beauty of an unspoiled pad of paper (A4, plain, 260gsm). He loved the sound of a cap crisply clicking onto the top of a Biro. He loved the texture of a freshly-sharpened pencil and the flake of the finely-honed graphite point. He loved gazing over stacks and stacks of untouched Post-Its, each a perfect square of yellow, an army of ideas awaiting orders.
He loved everything about it. Stationery was neat. It was orderly. It was always needed, easily replaceable, and something that everyone can appreciate.
Stanley reckoned he had the best job in the world. Working in the post room of a three-storey insurance company, Greenlight Insurance, he was at the very nexus of stationery for the whole building. Letters would come in crumpled, dusty and worn from their journeys; and go out crisp, freshly franked and printed, ready for the adventure ahead. Deliveries of new
True StoryThis is my story. I wrote it. With my own two hands I have crafted this tale, right from my own imagination. I created it from nothing, or rather, from scraps left over from a dictionary. It starts with a guy whose name escapes me. He does something that you wouldn't believe, (or maybe you would. You can be kind of like that sometimes.) Bad things happen, and he loses faith a few times, and just when you think life could never be good again, it is. He doesn't live happily ever after, but the problem he was facing is resolved to your satisfaction. I just wish I could remember the details.True Story2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
You'd love it; it was just your kind of story. It had all the elements that I knew you'd enjoy, so I couldn't help but think of you the whole time I wrote it. In fact, I may have accidently slipped you in there somewhere. It was tasteful though. You would have liked it.
I won an award for the story. Everyone dusted off their old typewriters for some reason, and sent me a letter of congratulations. It w
love is coming home--i don't write about God.love is coming home--3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
i don't write about God because it's writing about love, it's writing about faith, it's writing about trust and hope and belief and pain, the kind of gut-wrenching betrayal you feel when you've given up and you're waiting for someone to save you, only nobody ever does.
and who else are you going to blame?
it's easy to write about a God you don't believe in. it's easy to pour out all your hate and anger and hurt and deepest, darkest broken fears and fling them from your fingertips and scream, this is not God! it's easy to believe in nothing.
it's not easy to believe.
believing is opening yourself to the pain. it's letting go and falling back with your eyes closed, your heart in your throat because you can't see whether there's anyone waiting to catch you. and what if you hit the ground? what if there are no hands waiting to embrace you? what if there's nobody waiting at the beginning, when you finally turn around ready to try again; what if there's
WherewithalOnce I met a girl who carved the world flat just to tell me I was beautiful.Wherewithal11 months ago in Short Stories More Like This
It went without warning, in the morning when we left our sheets and searched for a bed of leaves beneath my mother's apple-tree; I settled crooked as she leaned against my side, and even as my muscles cramped I wouldn't shift her burden from my shoulders even to walk a free girl again. I was the real Atlas, the true one so willing as to ask to bear the weight of the world on her back for all of time, and you wouldn't know it to look at a ghost like me.
August, I said to her, and when I waited for her calling voice to come back I couldn't stop thinking about the way the russet leaves were crumbling under our spines with every movement; it was like we were grinding gold dust, collecting fortunes with every breath that I felt her lightly shake against me. It seemed like a waste, all this precious metal for a kid too haunted to wear the jewelry that would slip straight through her neck, but I couldn't stop myself
Love Me DeadLove Me Dead2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
It's that time once again.
The preparation and planning has been glorious. Though it is the same record I've played over and over for millennia beyond millennia, it is no longer broken. I have managed to ripen the mix and stir until it is an entirely new recipe. As petite and distastefully helpless as this form is, I am still an animal and can enjoy my bestial instincts that allow me to suffer pleasure in my kill.
So unappealing is this fragile form humans bare, however; to pity them is to offer a luxury they do not deserve. Their flaws and weaker forms aside, there is work to be done. One paw upon his chest; my nose to his; a single breath and his soul is mine to harbor.
Beatrix kicked the aging envelopes aside as she attempted to leap across the unwelcoming welcome mat. Her unnatural perfectionism beginning to overwhelm her, she knelt down as she stepped into the house, folding wads of unopened mail beneath her arms. She scoffed angrily
On Second Commandment, Jews, and Abstract Art.On Second Commandment, Jews, and Abstract Art.2 years ago in Articles & Interviews More Like This
On Second Commandment, Jews, and Abstract Art.
Before the likes of Helen Frankenthaller and Yves Klein, there were the likes of Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock, and before them there were the Russian Suprematists, and before them there was the Second Commandment:
"Thou shalt not make to thyself an idol, nor likeness of anything, whatever things are in the heaven above, and whatever are in the earth beneath, and whatever are in the waters under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down to them, nor serve them; for I am the Lord thy God, a jealous God, recompensing the sins of the fathers upon the children, to the third and fourth generation to them that hate me..." (Exodus 20:4-5).
It is second out of ten key injunctions that Moses received from Jehovah on Mount Sinai, inscribed with God's own finger upon two stone tablets. This was the first set of these tablets. Moses smashed them in uncontrollable rage when, on coming down the mountain forty days after he went up, he saw his people doing ex
God's MorticianIt wasn’t as if Thomas had known what to expect; it just that he hadn’t expected, well, this. He read the obituaries every Sunday out of a mixture of habit and morbid curiosity – or as he liked to call it; “professional interest”. At least that’s what he told his wife, anyway, when he noticed her brow furrowing, or her lips puckering into something dangerously close to resembling a pout over breakfast. She didn’t like dead people; his “clients”. She didn’t like hearing about embalming, or caskets, or hilarious anecdotes of “you’ll never believe the cosmetic work I had to do on this corpse today! The man’s accident left him without a face!” and the like. And she never visited him at work. “It’s one step above grave-digging if you ask me. It’s mortifying being married to a mortician!”God's Mortician9 months ago in Short Stories More Like This
Thomas wasn’t much of a conversationalist. He didn’t much like people, and they didn
For Sarah, Forever AgoI worked the midnight shift last night. It was the sort of night where you body feels so heavy that your mind just starts floating away. I was exhausted, worn. Sleep reached for my heart like a vigilante reaching for a gun, and I couldn't stop thinking of you.For Sarah, Forever Ago2 years ago in Letters More Like This
You filled my head with poetry.
I could write something beautiful, that it was a clear night and the stars were out, that the moon shone above me like a love song in the sky. But it wasn't. The clouds were low and heavy and the streetlights painted the sky orange.
It was the kind of night that makes you feel trapped. The kind when there's no one alive but you, no sound but your heartbeat, a wolf howling and a siren in the distance. The kind when I decided that the world isn't big enough for us. The nights that turn into sunrises the sunrises that break apart the horizon and pull the breath from your lungs.
You know the nights I'm talking about.
The nights when the wind lashed our lips like we were sky-sailing to
Date a girl who drawsDate a girl who draws.Date a girl who draws1 year 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.
i fold paper for a livingpeople think it's weird - that i fold paper for a living.i fold paper for a living1 year ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
i sit by a park bench, chant numbers under my breath and bend each fiber of light, fragile paper just the way i want.
because it makes you feel powerful? you ask. and i sit there and smile at the words that twitch the sides of your lips.
i sit here and watch that simple square turn into a crane right before my eyes - with my hands - because i can make it happen. i imagine my next move, anticipate an outlook and create beauty out of the simplicity of what the bark of the tree next to the bench twisted into from the paper in front of me. because you've been ugly your whole life? you ask. and i laugh at your naivety and inhale the scent of the rain.
the musky scent seeps into the paper and carries itself into the presence of the butterfly i folded. and it sits on the mantelpiece with all the other folded paper i find beauty in. i watch them on cold November mornings, when the fireplace is lit and the clouds sig
The NothingsThe NothingsThe Nothings1 year ago in Short Stories More Like This
Once upon a time there were somethings.
Somethings where the little girl with the pigtails would come bouncing home talking to her mother about what she did at school today, how was her friend Jimmy, and oh! she almost forgot her crayons, but luckily Emily was there to remind her.
She would prattle on and on delightedly while her mother listened, her euphoria taking her higher than the moon.
She insisted on acting "grown up".
She would sit, straight and stark, and never forget to keep her elbows off the table and her napkin on her lap. She would always say "yes, ma'am," , "no, ma'am,", "thank you very, very muchly," and "excuse me!", over-enunciating the words and biting off the ends of sentences, so that to her they sounded sharp and crisp, just like her daddy talked on the phone, and she knew everyone wanted to be like daddy.
Her parents shared subtle smiles, hidden amidst floral handkerchiefs.
She became a butterfly, she said. She wanted to
Totems and Godhoodi. As a child, confronting giants.Totems and Godhood1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
I take the pine tree as my totem,
learn to love the nakedness of its nether-regions
and its northerly fibers stretched and waiting
for the weft to its warp.
Girlhood is still a part of me as the
learning what I am. In the end,
I haven't climbed a tree in a long time;
I am small, and scared, and ringed round with walls,
and I beg the moon to teach me
to use my pine trees as a ladder.
ii. In the way only young love can.
you are pine chips, and I carry you
like a fetish in my mind.
You are the first vampiric sweetness
to suck the breath from my body:
unknowing, the feeling of yearning;
I am fibrouscelery stalk,
pale and clutching my thread self together.
Watch as I petrify,
stretch until my bones
will not bend to let me drink.
With age I become a god,
brittle-boned and cackling; with age
the osteoporosis will leech my fibers dry
and my pine sap blood will freeze in my chest
to keep me warm in winter.
slowly, and then all at onceand for once, he slips on his wedding ring, to cure the monotony. it slides over his knuckle, a perfect fit, and in the morning release of sunlight the silver gleams at him. it glares, calling him a liar: she is not a whorehouse and you are too broke to own her, you harlot, you. he buttons up, tucks in his shirt tail, and buckles his belt. the clinking of metal parts is the only sound in the room besides the dusting of her breathing beside him. and when he's gone, the only thing he leaves behind are the bruises on her collarbone.slowly, and then all at once2 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
you find him because you're lonely, (well, it's actually the opposite.) he finds you because his wardrobe is black and his shoes are scuffed and he asks you where your castle is. you're the only princess he sees 'round here. the rain soaks into his shirt and he curses it, grinning. and damn girl, you follow him, because you think you see some kinda warmth in his ice blue eyes.
it takes you days t
faithful and quietly distanti was given a belly of rocksfaithful and quietly distant9 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
and each stone asks,
"plant me," so i do.
each spring blesses me with
the same stony seeds
and i thank the god of my childhood
for his faithfulness -
that i continue to dig up what i've buried;
but i wonder,
what of the blood from labor-worn fingers
and the sweat
and the lust that i've spilled each season...
where is my return on that?
and the god of my adulthood stays silently distant
while i groan along with the pebbles,
and i dig,
and i dig.
the rocks cry and i join them,
begging the dirt for kindness
and the heavens for answers the earth has swallowed and
yet to spit-up.
We Are The LiarsWe twist are words to talk to you,We Are The Liars1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
And bend the facts
to make them true.
We are the wolves, that lead the lambs.
Like gods of death
who guide the dammed.
The tricksters and jesters, who kings all loved;
Until we had them lynched and clubbed.
We are the ones, who break your rules.
While dancing on your laws like fools.
Your friends and family that will always last,
It is we who wear the mask.
We lie to make our world more,
While wearing masks that you adore.
We are the ones who set up the fires
And bury the living in funeral pyres
We are the deities of deceit
And the broken soul buyers
who live off life's cheats
we are the ashes
and laughing wolf criers
The children of denial
Who write and burn bibles
Crowned with thorns
And misplaced desires
We are the liars
FFM 08: Old WoundsWhen Tom Angelo and Hank Brewster first met, no one had ever heard of "Saint" Thomas or "Butch" Brewster. Nasmon hadn't recovered the art of Guncraft; the word Slinger didn't even exist. All of Westirn was still recovering from the plague, and the New Faith was spreading like wildfire amongst the survivors.FFM 08: Old Wounds1 year ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Before all the drama and gunsmoke and betrayal, they were just a pair of young working hands in a little town outside of Boca. A local drover had hired them to replace the four Savages the plague had taken from him, and the two found their dynamic easily. Tom dubbed his co-worker "Butch" in light of the man's rough exterior and tendency towards drunken brawls. Butch had come up with "Saint" Thomas, citing Tom's devout spirituality and general serenity.
They were an odd couple, but they were quick brothers in the years that followed. When their employer's body was eventually consumed
The Shooter on the MedianThe late afternoon sun beat down against the pavement. Heat waves curled up from the asphalt, making mirrors in the distance. A single car coasted down the hill. There was no one in it but the driver.The Shooter on the Median2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
She stood by the side of road, waiting for him. She had picked out a pleasant spot where she could see if there were any other cars coming. Seeing none, she focused her attention on the driver, raised her arms, and pointed the barrel at the oncoming car.
The driver was near the bottom of the hill now and was moving fast. She steadied her aim and shot once. The driver lost control and began to swerve. She shot again and again, one after the other, laughing with glee. She could hardly contain her excitement. Too bad there were no witnesses to see this happen in person.
The car swerved, an over-correction by the driver, and skidded off the side of the hot road. Upon enteri
PerceptionsThe bus is already at the bus stop, and I'm running late to meet my sister. She is going to kill me. I'm heading to the bus stop as fast as I can, waving my arm above my head, struggling with my bag -why is it so heavy?- and luckily, thankfully, the driver sees me frantically gesturing, and waits. A minor modicum of chivalry, not driving off and leaving me standing in the rain. But then, plenty would.Perceptions2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
I gasp my thanks as I finally make it onto the bus. There is a space by the door, and I sink into it. I am far too unfit; I must find the time to exercise sometimes. A young man jumps onto the bus behind me, glares around, but there are no spaces left. I got the last one. Amazing, that it makes me feel smug, getting the last seat on the bus. He looks tired, that young man. But never mind. I got the seat first.
Amazing too, that my sister would kill me for being late. She's always late, although she's got better as she's got older. Used to drive all her friends crazy. An old joke; tell Ell