“Don’t mess with me,” she said.
And I let her walk away with the naive idea that she actually possessed the power to hurt me.
Author’s Note: I’m thinking about making this story interactive, a choose-your-own-adventure style tale, depending on the amount of participation I receive. If it doesn’t work out or you guys aren’t liking it, I’ll continue with the story myself. That being said, I would really like the chance to interact with you guys, so please leave a comment if you’d like to continue this story interactively or if you’d like another story to participate in (prompts are always welcome!) Thank you guys so much and I hope you enjoy! 🙂
There’s thoughts that cross your mind at the moment of a betrayal that you can’t quite process at the time, thoughts that won’t make sense even to you until you have the time to sit down and think about “What the hell just happened?” These are the thoughts I call Lurkers. They’re there from the very beginning, just hiding out of view, waiting for you to torment your brain enough, to slave over every tiny detail for hours upon hours, until they’ll finally come to light. This coming to light might provide you answers to questions you’ve been endlessly pondering, might satisfy an emotion you’ve been debating over the significance of, or it might not help you with anything at all. Lurkers are cruel that way.
Then there’s the thoughts I fondly call Late Bloomers. These thoughts start out as a subconscious understanding of the situation, already knowing the bad and the ugly, the right from the wrong, but they stay locked away in the subconscious for what feels like an eternity, because your mind will not accept the knowledge they bring. And so they hide in the darkness until you are ready to acknowledge the truth – and most times, this truth comes to you too late for you to do anything about it. I don’t blame the Late Bloomers. It’s obviously my fault for being uninviting to knowledge I already possess.
Shifters are by far the most heinous of all my thoughts. They cannot make up their mind about what they think or how they feel, changing to suit an inconsistent mood. They make a clear remembrance of the occurrence almost impossible, because first they lie to themselves, then they lie to you, then they get confused about which lies were lies, and it all comes spiraling downward into the void of pain where we lock away our deepest, darkest, most haunting memories.
But this time, this betrayal, there were no thoughts. No Lurkers, Late Bloomers, Shifters, not even an arbitrary emotional reaction. All I had was a basic understanding that due to someone’s actions, I was in the middle of a chaos I had no power to control. I was in a kind of danger that couldn’t be seen coming. I was possibly going to die because of what someone did – or perhaps, didn’t do.
Never in my life had my body taken over before my brain could think it through, but it did. With a blank mind, but a soul filled with a raging fire and an unprecedented determination, I set off to find the one responsible, no matter what the stakes, no matter if I came back alive or not.
Because hell, after the turmoil they’d just subjected my spirit to, I was half dead anyway.
Alabaster warned me, when he first gave me the book, that the words written in human blood across the pages were cursed. He couldn’t tell me how or why, he just told me that should I ever decide to read the ancient prophecies, I would be putting myself in grave danger.
Alabaster warned me, as he handed me a sealed container, that inside were relics from a long forgotten village. He told me stories about a terrifying war and a devastating end, and that if I ever lost these precious belongings, the town’s memory would be lost, and the villagers blood would stain my hands until my death.
Alabaster warned me, as he tucked into my hand a small, transparent, diamond shaped crystal, that a day would come when I would be forced to leave my tribe, and that on this day I would understand how to use it. He told me to beware its power, and that if I ever tried to use it before that day, great destruction would befall me.
Alabaster warned me of these things as he presented me all these “gifts,” but he never told me how they came into his possession, or why he was giving them to me. Why would my Elder want to tempt my already less than promising destiny?
Author’s Note: I’m putting this here so I won’t lose it because, let’s face it, if I leave it anywhere else it’s going to end up at the bottom of some document I never open, and I need to be able to reference it often. You’re not going to/supposed to understand this, but if I ever get this book done, you will 😉 Nonetheless, enjoy my shit poetry!
Makeup to cover the bruises
Smiles to hide the pain
Oh what a girl wouldn’t do
To just be whole again.
Maybe it was fate
Or just a long, cruel joke
But time would soon tell her
The truth in the words he spoke.
She was not worth the light or day
She was not worth his time
She was not worth his energy
Her existence was her crime.
From the day she knew these things
Her heart began to break
What had she done to incur his wrath
And just what was at stake?
He was a man of power
In her life, so powerless
He was her only future
Nothing else to yearn or miss.
Poor little girl, he often said
You pathetic whining bitch
I’ll cut your throat, dance in your blood
You ungrateful little witch.
She changed her name to suit her mood
“A girl can change her stars”
Brayden, Abigale, Xylia,
But her body still bore the scars.
And so she took off in the night
To find herself alone
And with her dying breath she found
A new place to call home.
She hit the wall. Again.
Until she couldn’t feel her fingers.
Until she was almost positive she’d broken every tiny bone in her hand.
Until she realized that she could fill a river with all the blood she’d lost.
And then she hit it one more time.
Just to prove to herself that she could.
Just to feel the explosion of her own nerves as they panicked and ruptured.
But, alas, the wall wasn’t what she wanted to hit.
And her hand wasn’t the only thing she wanted to see bleed…
The blackness of the room is suddenly illuminated with blinding white light, and though I squint my eyes against the intrusion, I don’t stop moving. I’m now on a rather demanding timetable, and I can’t afford to lose even a second. “Leon.”
He stirs instantly, rolling to face the sound of my voice, pulling himself out of sleep’s hold. “What is it.”
“You can sleep in the truck, right?” I ask apologetically as my fingers work to tie the old straps of my worn leather boots.
He wipes his face and stretches, his fist colliding with the headboard. The loud *thunk* it elicites startles him, and he looks over at me with an expression of mixed confusion, embarrassment and sleepiness, which would be quite amusing if I wasn’t so exhausted. “Why.”
I stand and start stuffing things into my duffle without any organization, subconsciously knowing that if I don’t organize, not everything will fit. “I just, uh… We need to go, we just need to get outta here.” The small bag containing my essentials slips out of my fingers before I can zip it closed, and it falls to the floor, leaving the contents scattered across the rough motel carpet. “Goddammit…” I mutter, hastily stooping to collect my toothbrush, toothpaste, razor, hair ties, and a few other odds and ends.
Leon sits up in bed, the cover slipping off his bare chest, his head now slightly more involved in the game. “Nor, what’s going on?”
I sigh internally as I continue my search of the room, gathering my things and putting his in a pile for him to collect, if he ever gets off his ass. “I got a call.”
“Hogwarts. Who else.” I sling my overstuffed bag over my shoulder, feeling the strain in my muscles and the tension in my shoulder. “I’ve been summoned.”
“Again?” he asks incredulously.
“Duty calls…” I mumble, sidestepping towards the motel door with chipped red paint and dirty panelled windows.
“When do we need to leave?” he asks, stretching to a less than graceful stand and scratching the back of his head.
I’m halfway out the door, the freezing wind biting at my skin as large water droplets pound the ground. I turn and look at him solemnly, the gravity of the situation finally starting to sink in despite my best attempts not to let it. “Yesterday.”
Author’s Note: Trigger warning. If you respond badly to violence or abuse or existential crises, please don’t read this excerpt. Also, don’t get the wrong idea. I’m doing research for the backstory of a character I’m building, and I wrote this in honor of her.
And in honor of him 🙂
She kicked the wall. Hard. Once. Twice. Three times. Four times. She kicked it until there was a hole through the drywall and she was sure she had at least three broken toes.
She picked up the closest thing, whatever it was, she didn’t bother to pay attention, and threw it across the room as hard as her sore muscles would allow. Whatever it was, it shattered, clattering to the floor.
She punched the door, not even feeling as the wood splintered beneath her hand and her bones cracked beneath her skin.
More like she sobbed. Wept. It was ugly and loud and she was miserable and angry and heartbroken and tired. God, she was so fucking tired.
And then the floor approached her, and she slumped into a pathetic heap on the ground, her rage too hot for her to control but her body too numb to make her move.
And she prayed. She didn’t believe in God or anything, wasn’t religious in the least. But if there was anything out there, anything watching over her, or even haunting her, she prayed to it.
She prayed for death. She prayed that if she could finally fall asleep for the first time in days that she would never wake up. She prayed that she could walk out in the road and be struck by the biggest vehicle there was. She prayed that lightning would strike her. She prayed that shoving the fork into the electrical socket would zap her to death. She prayed she could bleed out when she pressed that blade into her skin and ripped her arm open all the way to her elbow. She’d always been told, horizontal for attention, vertical for results.
She grit her teeth as her mind flooded with the thoughts of all the things she hated about her life, her home, her existence in general. She hated every part of it. She hated living. Living wasn’t worth it anymore.
And suddenly, he popped into the forefront of her mind. Him. His voice. The sound of his keyboard when they’d be on the phone and he’d be working. The train horns in the background every hour. Just him.
He’d always told her he would always be there. He always said that if she needed him, she could call him. He always told her how much he loved her, how it wasn’t her fault, how she never needed to apologize for her shit existence. He always said he’d be there.
She could call him. Right now. Her hands may be broken and bleeding and she may be too hoarse to be able to speak, to tell him what happened and that she loved him and that she was sorry, but she could call him. It was easy. He made it easy. He made living worth it.
Her breath caught in her throat. But she couldn’t call him. He didn’t need to know. Just earlier she’d told him she was doing great today, that things were starting to look up, that one day she’d be whole again. She’d lied. To spare him. He didn’t need to worry. He didn’t need to care. He didn’t need her.
So she stayed on the floor, knowing that when her father got home he might kill her. She hadn’t done anything she was supposed to do today, and she’d just desecrated his property. She knew she’d fucked up. She fucked up bad. God, she’d fucked up so bad.
And so, to any gods who might have been listening, or even if they weren’t, she sent up one more silent prayer. A hope, a shot in the dark, that maybe, he would be okay. He would go on to do great things, inspire people to great heights. He would survive, and he would thrive, and he would be just fine. He would go on without her and he would be fine with that. She prayed he would just be okay. She needed him to be okay, even if it was without her.
In the distance, she heard the front door unlock. She knew it was him. She knew it was her father. So finally, she let the pain from her broken hands and broken toes and bleeding face and shattered soul and aching heart carry her into the darkness of unconsciousness.
She knew that darkness, like it was an old friend. Reunited at last.
Author’s Note: The assignment was to write a Shakespearean sonnet poem, meaning 14 lines, with 10 syllables per line. I was told others had written their poems about their love for their significant other, their passion for doughnuts, or even their hate for poetry itself. I wrote the only thing that came naturally to me 🙂
And just in case you can’t read the mess that is my handwriting, here it is in print 🙂
“I was born a writer inside my blood
For deep within my soul these words have slept
In my brain a story begins to bud
Begging to be heard, listened to, and kept.
The pen flies madly across the paper
Too many thoughts and not near enough time
Although my motivation may soon taper
It is no excuse; instead it is crime.
My character’s story will soon be heard
Their journey splattered across this blank page
Out of the nothing this conflict was stirred
This literature of mine has no age.
For once a story is written, it’s true
Its lessons stain your skin like a tattoo.”
So I will put one foot in front of the other. This is not the end of an era. This is the beginning of a revolution.
-excerpt from a book I’ll never write (d.c.)