dear teen meDear Sarah,
Remember that time you tried to top yourself by hiding under the covers? That was hilarious. I remember you tugging at the edges of the blanket and praying, without a shred of scientific evidence, that the lack of oxygen would be enough to kill you. You sat under there for something like fifteen minutes before you gave up and went to make a sandwich. But while you were under there, choking a little on your pillow because you never washed your sheets, I remember you thought someone was watching. Someone who understood your suffering. Someone who understood you.
Kid, that was me. And I've got two words for you: man up. Life can get a whole lot harder than this. Before too much longer, it's going to. And by the time you get to my age, you're going to be glad.
Why were you
homeYou once told me that Star Wars felt like homehome1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
And I laughed because
It sounded like such a strange declaration
And seemed so out of the blue
But then I started thinking
What could possibly remind the homeless of home?
note the difference between house and home
And I thought to myself that night
Long and hard
As I held you in my arms
In all my thinking I found that each place had a memory
But I could not bring myself to call any of those places
Because I am among the homeless
As I always have been
So I thought to myself some more
And after quite some time spent dreaming of long empty houses
I realized something
You remind me of home
Of warm nights spent with the one you love
Of laughing uncontrolably for ages
Of kisses stolen long past midnight
Of hopes and dreams and happy memories
Flights of Fancy Nature is best seen through a window. Cars are nice, but televisions give a better view. The important thing is to keep a window, any window, between you and wilderness. This is my strictest maxim, a rule of comfort I put aside only once, years ago. I spend most of my life expressing shock when friends say they're going on a hike or planning to camp out.Flights of Fancy2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
It took two hours for Leon to convince me to accompany him on a short ride to the hills. I thought it would be safe. Leon was a good friend. Though he knew that particular day was my day to hit the mall and hang out with the girls, in the end, I still went with him. He said we'd have plenty of time and I could do both. Hah! I was ignorance personified.
Leon worked for a group of nuts who said they save peregrine falcons. He said they protect wild falcons from other nuts who shoot the birds and that his group "manipulates" falcon nests at the
plumbumshe has a heart of goldplumbum2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and she, a heart of lead
and she, a heart of uranium.
and they go walking sometimes, the three of them.
gold is confident in her worth,
bought and sold and bought and sold
the virgin whore
and lead behind,
heart heavy in her chest
guilt from bullets
and pride from pipes
and anxiety from irreparable brain damage
and somewhere off to the side treads uranium,
white skin glowing,
thin frame for a dense core.
SouvenirsWhen her mom went to check the mail at breakfast, she returned with a thin box in her arms.Souvenirs1 year ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
It was a package from her father.
Her dad was sort of like a traveler... at least, that was what she assumed he was. His job always had him jumping from city to city, country to country. He'd been to almost everywhere around the world, and every few weeks, he would send her a letter with a little souvenir from his stay. This time, it was a miniature Eiffel Tower.
So he's in France again, she mused, studying the two-foot tall replica. A small chuckle escaped her lips. It was about time he remembered to get it for her! He really should've thought of buying it six visits ago. She opened the small envelope attached to package and read the letter inside with a fond smile. When she finished reading, she stood up and excused herself from the table. Her mom answered with a sad smile as she nodded.
She raced up the stairs and headed for the Gift Room. It was a special place in the house just for h
Never ToldHe thinks it's odd, sometimes, though he's not certain why.Never Told2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
A sense of dislocation, perhaps. Like cutting yourself on an unsharpened blade. He walks the immense aisles of the cathedral, footsteps echoing hollowly into the blue shadows of high vaulted ceilings and arches, stone figures watching him from above as he, in turn, watches dawn play across their carved and weathered faces. The grandeur of this place is oddly soothing in the solitude it affords him. A holy place, just hushed, here suspended in the silence after Mattins when most have shuffled out. It's a favorite moment of his, a favorite service to attend, and today it gives him pausethere is training, and paperwork, and a squire for him to wake and a council meeting and a king, but he lets himself linger nonetheless. Just for a heartbeat, just for a heartbeat.
Hal smoothes his fingers over the well-worn coolness of a granite pillar, and he passes it by for the window beyond it, so familiar. He tilts his head back to
The Last SongDo you think we'll get a last song?The Last Song1 year ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I'm not sure. This diary I'm writing in is full of holes. It's sopping like a wet sponge. It reeks, but what doesn't in the filth and the mess?
Storm's passing. Not like I've ever seen here. Even the explosive storms of my youth; running in the fields, the junkyards, the rust-ravaged train tracks of old wasn't quite like this.
Something's exploded against the skyline. Orange is reflecting off the glass; the spider-striped, near shattered glass I kicked two weeks ago while mowing the grass.
It might be the gas works. Or the chemical sheds. Weyrdstorms do this, you know. That's what the warnings said. Electricity and chaos and hellish atomic confusion mixed into an atmospheric slurry and let to rage. I ask the question because music's the one thing I'm yearning for right now. It settles me, helps me think. Always has, though keeping my sister's sniveling furthest from my head might be an ulterior motive.
Do I think I'm escaping this plac
Nothing to SeeI wouldn't have taken any notice if it hadn't been for the laughter. It wasn't merry or even cruel. It was the barbarous laughter of evil and vicious darkness and it chilled the marrow of my bones. Turning my head to look down the dim alley, I saw them: a semi-circle of four men focusing on their entertainment for the evening—namely, a fifth fellow and what I assumed was merely a cheap piece, some drugged up doxy earning a wage for her next fix.Nothing to See2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Oh God, how I wish she had been a whore. Some pathetic moll who let herself be roughed up and down for a few bucks, but this was no whore. I wasn't innocent; I'd seen plenty of cocottes and the looks in their eyes that craved money or men or both and I'd witnessed the haunting desperation for something better, along with a resignation to what they had. This woman—so very young—this wasn't a two-bit cyprian, down on her luck, trying to make a dollar and feed a habit.
Bruises marred her
BryceHe always stands very close to people when he speaks to them, staring with those huge golden eyes and leaning in ever so slightly, as if he is craving their touch and the feel of their breath and their hands more than anything. This is the first thing you notice when you meet him, the closeness. You ache, for a reason you don't know, to bridge the gap. To touch him. Your fingers twitch towards him but you keep your hands beside you.Bryce1 year ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
And then you hear him speak, and everything else seems loud and bright and harsh compared to the gentleness of him. His lips are chapped and his big galaxy earrings glitter and his hair stands straight up and his freckles are like kisses, and you think he will sound like all the others and then he speaks; he speaks and something shifts inside you and a little storm begins to crackle and swell inside your chest and suddenly you love him more than anything.
And then he finishes asking you the time, and you tell him, and he walks on.
the eyepatch and the handcuffs his hands have promisedthe eyepatch and the handcuffs2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
to wipe off every fingerprint
your last lover left on you
he has sworn he will
wear gloves, when he needs to,
and pay attention to the instructions on the boxes
"this side up"
and you have sworn
you will try to let him
i hear your bodies whispering these things to each other
when you think i'm asleep
and i've seen your nervous window-glances
when he is mumbling oaths into your neck
you still cherish the swirling bruises
because you think they're all you deserve
The Finest Casket (Complete Story)The chandlers, grocers, butchers, clothiers, and every other merchant in Chantsville was yelling in the streets outside the shop where I was studiously working. Their ruckus combined with the bleats and squawks of livestock wandering underfoot, creating a bustling racket that would drive the unfamiliar ear to distraction.The Finest Casket (Complete Story)1 year ago in Short Stories More Like This
I was used to the noise, however, and I was so engrossed in my work that I would have sworn the world was silent save for the sound of my chisel biting into the oak box before me. Delicate curls fell from my worktable, collecting in small drifts upon the dirt floor.
I stopped to wipe sweat from my face. The pause gave me a moment to step back and survey my work.
Yes, the casket was coming along beautifully. I had mitered the joints meticulously. I had planed it smooth as glass before tracing out the panels on each side. I had spent days, chisel in hand, carving the scenes into it.
It was almost done, and the carved scenes on each side looked alive despite the casket's
Counting the RingsiCounting the Rings9 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
near my sick bed
he murmurs of how he's crumbling
but I'm still here
I've fought so long, I'm here
for a while I trust
I believe this, I must
even when it's bad, because
his faith alone is not enough
my random thoughts of how long
I have, and his thoughts of
"will she be able to outlive me" -
even at moments like this
it happens that
we hold on and speak of a future
rolling restless this early morn'
you exhausted and I
drying up from a virus
spying through the shredding
of 250-thread count bedding,
between the hillocks of your shoulders
we never can sleep
in anticipation for what's to come
to plant the seed and watch it grow
though we will never see it bloom
for all the other things we know
and live beyond that fertile past
of what we did and what we'll do
as sleep will still not come to us
close apart, we dare not fall
from the tree that burns in season
counting the rings of our poetry
the moon has set,
I wake in the dark
to the rush of wind
I hear him rinsing off
in the basi
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 Street1 year 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
Just another dayLet me tell you a little about the truck driver you just flipped off because he was passing another truck, and you had to cancel the cruise control and slow down until he completed the pass and moved back over. His truck is governed to 68 miles an hour, because the company he leases it from believes it keeps him and the public and the equipment safer. The truck he passed was probably running under 65 to conserve his fuel. You see, the best these trucks do for fuel economy is about 8 MPG. At almost $4.00 per gallon, well, you do the math. And yes, that driver pays for his own fuel. The load he's under needs to be 1014 miles from where he loaded in 2 days. And he cannot fudge his federally mandated driver log because he no longer does it on paper, he is logged electronically. He can drive 11 hours in a 14 hour period, then he must take a 10 hour break before resuming driving. And considering the shipper where he loaded held him up for 5 hours because they are understaffed, he now needs tJust another day2 years ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
moondust.we live in a world where our lungs are black and outlined with angry streaks of red. we plant diseases and destruction in the holes of our stomachs and watch them grow they shoot up fast and clog up our throats with ashy leaves.moondust.1 year ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
our fingernails are ripped, jagged edges digging into pale skin and leaving white hot lines in their wake. our wings are crumpled, feathers bent and pressing into the expanse of our backs they're the weights on our shoulders, and there's no space left for anything else.
your tongue is cracked and so is mine. words no longer form, sounds no longer rise. dreams and wishes fall into the cracks as nightmares rush past them out into the open. that breathtaking sequel to life you were hoping for no longer exists we are now aimless, hopeless, and craving for sin.
we swallow moons and exhale moondust; we stray from orbits and into vacuums. but all we ever wanted were the touch of lightly powdered lips against our flesh.
the things they should have told ussee, no one really warns us about growing up.the things they should have told us2 years ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
they leave out things like heartbreak and gossip and broken people you could have saved but didn't.
it is this: the girl who holds her wrists and sits alone and tells me no child should ever grow up being afraid of someone who should love them. Her eyes are fierce, and something inside me is screaming but the clock ticks and the moment is past. i pretend i can't hear the pieces of her shatter as they hit the floor.
the next time we speak there are new shadows beneath her eyes and her shoulders hunch as if somehow she could fold into herself and disappear. maybe it would be better for us both if she did. but she doesn't. she can't and i can't and outside the sky is robins egg blue but inside a storm is brewing and the hallways smell of regret.
then, she is gone.
murmurs, rumors follow in her wake like dark ripples over stormy water.
she is gone, lost, taken, stolen, dead. in the halls, her name is whispered, softly, fervently, like a
Gourmet Novel RecipeRecipe for Writing a NovelGourmet Novel Recipe11 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Serves: 1. If you’re J K Rowling, billions.
- 1 Tin standard cat food
- 1 Laptop/Computer
- 250g cat biscuits
- 5 Pens, various colours.
- 1 stuffed cat toy with bell
- 1 pouch slightly fussier cat food
- 1 sachet gourmet cat food
- 1 bottle of wine, red or white
- 1 Wine glass (Large)
- 1 300g Tin of tuna
Cooking time: 2-5 years
(Preparation time approximately 10-60 minutes depending on condition of desk and computer speed)
1. Clear space on desk. If you do not have respective space for junk, throw on floor. Place paper and pens in clear space.
2. Turn on computer and allow 10 minutes for slow loading time. Add 2-3 sighs as windows update informs to restart computer. Restart computer and allow a further 10 minutes.
3. Once computer is ready, open up new document.
1. Begin with your plot. Open internet to several pages, use pens and paper to mix r
Breakup SpeechIt's not you, it's me. I know it's the oldest excuse in the book, but hey, when it works, it works. Did you really see this lasting longer than a couple months? When does anything last longer than a couple months with me? I hope we can still be friends.Breakup Speech9 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Yeah, 'cause everyone wants to be friends with the ex-lover. Like it ever works.
You know me. You know the type of person that I am. I've never been able to settle down. My heart wanders like a nomad. It seeks shelter where it's offered but only stays long enough to get warm. Attachment isn't an option for me. My mind is too warped. It's too dark to ever let someone in. Truly let someone in.
No, fuck! That's all wrong. It's too personal. Too emotional. Let me try again.
I don't want to do this, but I'm only going to hurt you if I don't. And that's the last thing I want to do. So I'm ending this before it goes too far. I completely understand if you never want to talk to me again.
On the Unsuitability of Fairytales for ChildrenThe following essay will appear as an Appendix to the sequel of my fantasy novel, Her Unwelcome Inheritance, which is available for Nook and Kindle.On the Unsuitability of Fairytales for Children1 year ago in Academic Essays More Like This
On the Supposed Unsuitability of Fairytales for Children
Shortly after supporting a local library event promoting fairytale literature, the folklore department at Lightfoot College received an animated communication from a very concerned mother regarding, in short, the "unsuitability of fairytales for children."
As this seems to be a rather widespread idea (I might mention the Daily Telegraph article of February 12, 2012) as well as an oddly long-lived one, I take the liberty of public response.
Though you may be unaware of it, your email represents sentiments that have been argued ever
First Day of School."Miss, miss!"First Day of School.2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"Sit down Gerald. Waving your hand and jumping around will not make me choose you quicker. Everybody will get a turn. Now, Natalie."
"Stand at the front then. There. Nice big voice."
"whatididonmyholidays by Natalie Marsh. What I did on my holidays we went to the beach it was nice and su....sunny. I had ice cream and I went on a boat. The boat was nice. The sea splashed up and we all got wet. Then there was a shark and it ated us and we all got dead TheEnd."
"Very good Natalie. Well done. And you spoke nice and clearly too, but try to be a bit louder next time. Now who's next? No, Gerald, I will not tell you again. Sit down. Now, Kyle. Your turn."
"What I did on my holidays by Kyle age six. What I did, I went to the zoo. I went... no, wait, I know,
Man Sold SeparatelyIt was one of those houses dropped on the corner of the street, squeezed so tightly by the ones on either side that it was hardly noticeable. It was one of those houses where the hot water never ran out in the winter and the air conditioner never broke down in the summer. All of the neighbours in the similarly shaped houses, although never perfectly identical, shared gossip and brought over casseroles and generally pretended to like each other until the door closed and the lock clicked and their sincere thoughts on the daughter’s new husband came to light. It was a neighbourhood with the level of superficiality one could usually find in the suburbs.Man Sold Separately4 months ago in Short Stories More Like This
I was drawn right in.
There was something about the idea of having a comfortable little life, a quiet life where I would often be alone and always lonely, that somehow appealed to me. It’s easy to be lonely; all you do is turn on the TV or open a good book and it goes away. I could never sit around feeling sorry for myself in a
Christmas on the Border of England and Over ThereIt's snowing on Christmas Eve, and half the men I've ever known in my life are dead. But that was in the war, supposedly a long way away from Oxfordshire, where I am standing outside my brother-in-law's beautiful brownstone house watching the snow quietly cover the hillside beyond. The daylight is dying and it casts the once-white ground in pink, and the pine trees are black against the hillsides, and the truth of it is that the war is not far away because it has followed me here. I am smoking a cigarette, watching the hill, and my mind is slowly counting down the list of men that I once knew, now buried under hills and snow, all of the way from Lorraine to the Rhine. Some of them were my men.Christmas on the Border of England and Over There1 year ago in Short Stories More Like This
Being an officer is like being a parent; when I left my boys in Paris, despite the Armistice, and despite how many times I reminded myself that they are not my children but in fact, grown men, I felt guilty, and frightened. Land mines don't know that the war has ended, and neither does hunger.
A Night at Pinetop's TavernSomewhere in the back alleys of the city's older section there was a crumbling brick building that had been around since before ragtime music was popular. Hanging above a faded green door that led down to the building's cellar was a wooden sign, and despite the peeling paint, you could still make out the bar's name: Pinetop's Tavern. Nobody really knew when Pinetop's first opened; local folks would tell you it had been there since time began, and the world had grown up around it. It was one of those places where the lighting was always dim and the cigarette smoke never dissipated and the cloud you were breathing now had probably been around since W. C. Handy was still alive.A Night at Pinetop's Tavern1 year ago in Short Stories More Like This
Pinetop's Tavern was a blues joint, and it had been around almost as long as blues music itself. Blues music was a lot simpler than most kinds of musicsimpler chords, simpler lyrics, and most blues musicians couldn't read sheet music. The genre was born on some unknown plantation in the forgotten Deep
The Price of Dying“I want to be interred after I die,” Mr. Peters said. He made that clear to his family while he was still lucid, before old age and illness rendered him unintelligible. Seventy wasn’t that old, but he recognized the symptoms that were creeping up on his ailing body – the aches, the fatigue, the feeling of helplessness and despair. Despite his daughter’s attempts to assuage his concerns, he sensed his own mortality.The Price of Dying1 year ago in Short Stories More Like This
The worst part about dying, Mr. Peters thought, was what happened afterwards. Even since he was a small boy, he had been afraid of fire. He could never forget the scorching heat of the orange flames searing his skin, the dark billowing smoke entering his nostrils. The time that his house burned down, the fire almost took him with it. How ironic then, to escape the fire only to be fed into it after death.
So one day, he sat his son and daughter down after dinner. “I want to be buried whole,” he said, emphasizing the