You Are At The Archives for March 2011

Thursday, March 31, 2011

While sirens run in circles.


Hello world :] This week in Indie Ink Writing Challenge I was challenged by Andrea. Andrea's prompt was:

"Write about a blind man falling in love"

I hope I did her prompt some justice =) This was a tough one but I liked it very much. This is not one of those omg-I'm-in-love-and-can't-stop-thinking-about-her/him stories. I like making things different.

While Sirens Run In Circles

He sets her down on the bed, dragging his palm along the length of her lower limbs to find the unraveling corners of the blanket. Humming quietly he strokes her hot cheeks, the odd temperature sounding off in alarm bells within his cranium. He can still remember the bright glow of her hair in the winter sun, those few, short days when she and him were of equal existence. Now, sick and shivering she sleeps through the days, a mask of worry planted over his head like a brown paper bag with unnecessarily many eyeholes. He would need only one to feel the light.

A shallow sweetness fills the room as he opens the window, the air but a skeletal frame within the cold wind of early spring. He draws in a slow, steady breath, the oxygen-rich breeze revitalizing his tired lungs as he flicks through the last of his visual memories. Her light purple dress in the cold winter rain, her dirty blond hair in knots from running around… How beautiful she was in that moment of terror, beautiful in the midst of all that chaos. It makes him smile, the way he remembers it, the rest of the world a comfortable blur while she twirled around the police cars like a lost child.

And in fifteen minutes it was gone.

He grabs the towel from the table beside him, counting the eleven steps it would take to get to the sink in the bathroom. He had had the door removed after walking into it multiple times, even though, most days, he still feels for the doorknob in the air. Passing the small towel through the water-filled sink he speaks to her, in words and phrases familiar to him from the past. He knows that if they were to find her he would have her killed with the tiny pocketknife hidden beneath the mattress she lay on. No pain. No fear — just his sweet, sorrow-free voice seeping through her eardrums, lulling her to an eternal sleep.

He presses the towel gently to her forehead, smiling even though she won’t see it. To him she is still the young girl in her purple dress, dancing in the icy rain while sirens run in circles. He needn’t eyes to know true beauty. He never did.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Melt pt. 2

Hello hello. I wrote a short story called "Melt" for my first week in the Indie Ink challenge. I was told I should continue the story so I have a bit of a follow-up over here =) I'm going to continue it further but I thought I'd keep on writing a bit at a time ^__^

Melt pt. 2 

I find a pair of sweatpants on the ground as I shove the rest of the scattered clothes into the bag, shivering as the cold wind hits my bare thighs. Only one of the neighbors remains at their door as I zip the carrier bag up and snap the suitcase closed, tilting her head to the side as I bend over to hook the pants over my numb ankles.

“What the fuck are you looking at?” I snap, as I look up at her, the maybe 10 or 12-year-old kid in her scarlet pajamas. Her lower lip begins to wobble as I continue staring at her. I sit down on the cold gravel as I maneuver the sweatpants up my frozen limbs. 

“What’s wrong, sweetie? Never seen a woman in her undies and a sweater in the freezing cold?” I let out a painful laugh as I stand up, finding her gone. 

“Neither have I,” I murmur as I stride towards my car at the other side of the road. It’s a shame that I am a one-pair-of-shoes-at-a-time girl since, right now, my beige sneakers are still indoors, probably peeking out from beneath Kim and Emily’s bed. This doesn’t only mean that I have to make it home in just my socks; it also means I’ll have to buy a new pair, unless I wish to go about in heels or my running shoes. 

I lick the blood off my lip as I drive, my body beginning to come back to life in the warmth of my car. I squirm about as I think of her, her petite body pressed against mine in the semidarkness of the bedroom, her hot breath traveling up the side of my neck as she gives in to my touch. It’s funny how you learn to know someone up to each every little detail, even in such a short time as this. I could try and sound romantic by saying it felt like forever but honestly, it was always too little.

It’s around midday as I park the car outside my apartment building, my insides trembling in dread at the mess I’m about to encounter. I used to be a neat freak but somewhere along the way I ceased to care about the state of my apartment. No one else would see it anyway. Em never did. 

I sit back on the seat and close my eyes, breathing in. I refuse to cry as I let her image fill my head, my teeth slowly gnawing at my lip again. The thought of her has yet to lose this effect on me, the tiny shock waves running across my body and toward my core, merely adding to the longing I have for her. I exhale slowly as I go back in time, just a few hours, to the loveliness before which I was thrown out. 

I hear a tap on my window just as I feel her, my eyes snapping open. An elderly man is staring at me through the glass, his index finger pointing at my face. I taste salt as I run my tongue along my lips, noticing I’d been crying. I roll the window down, watching his puzzled face.

“Are you okay?” he asks me, a hint of a smile curling at his mouth. 

“Yeah—“ I trail off, shaking my head a little. “I’m fine.” I force a smile as I grab my bags from the passenger seat. “Thanks.”

“No problem. I do hate seeing a girl cry,” he says as he steps back, letting me open the door. I try not to look in his eyes as I lock the doors, holding the suitcase under my arm while my hand holds on to the bag. 

“Been on a trip somewhere?”

I breathe in and out slowly before saying anything. “Kind of.”

“Was it good?” 

I smile, scrambling toward the door. “Yes.”

“Well, I’m glad,” he says, starting to walk away. “Have a nice day, now.”

“Thanks.” I turn the key in the lock, pressing my hand down on the handle. “You too.”

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My favorite mistake.

This week was my second in the Indie Ink Writing Challenge. I was challenged by Michael. This was his prompt:

To quote Sheryl Crow, tell us about your favorite mistake. 

I'll just give a heads up that I am not writing about a mistake like that of Sheryl Crow. If you wish to hear about some sort of break-up story, or anything uplifting, click back. This month has been a dark one for me.


My favorite mistake


If I let my mind drift I don’t remember much of my earlier life; I have developed a filtering system that, from time to time, works in my advantage. But when I want to remember, it may fail. It may choose another candidate from the line of moments, of hours, of minutes, setting up a situation where I least want to be. 

My mind, in itself, is a strange, frightening place to be. My mistake was letting it wander to that unknown land in my subconscious where I was not an entity, but a gathering of small particles, of memories and words and exclamation points on paper. I might be circling around the truth now, strutting on my tippy toes, my feet in high-heel mode. But I might actually be onto something.

I was taken to a psychiatric ward a little over a year ago. It makes me laugh that they kept me in for several months without finding out what was wrong with me. My doctor himself told me of the fake diagnosis they had typed up, just in case I got more bonkers than I already was. I found it amusing that, even though they supposedly worked for me, it was the mere illusion of the door of my room closing and opening that had me convinced it was not for me, but for someone else. I wasn’t locked in my room but the ward itself was locked. It was a semi-prison, if you wish to give it a name. I never gave it a name. I never thought I would find myself in a tiny hospital ward hidden into suburbia. 

Much to the joy of the doctors and nurses I’d spent the days with, I chose to tell something. I remembered some confusing, haze-filled moments during which I had been touched. It was in the dark. It was during the day. And it was by the very person(s) that had aided me in getting into hospitalization. It was (s)he who now literally locked me in. I was the hopefully-psychotic daughter of the parents that could not stay in the same room without ending up in battle. I was the no-longer-perfect girl, the liar whose sense of truth had to be extinguished one way or the other because, being a liar, I had to have in my possession a teeny tiny spec of evil, a little demonic creature feeding on my senses. 

Was I wrong, then, to perform a white (or maybe rather gray) lie to save them from a disastrous future? My favorite mistake is not my favorite because it took me to a better place, or that during it I felt loved or cared for or just simply happy. It was — it is — my favorite because it hurt the worst. 

I am not saying I don’t have any demons inside of me, tempting me to do whatever it is they have in mind at that moment. If I were to write about those I would wind up someplace worse right now. We all have inside our minds those sentences and words that, once they make an outing, are understood as signs of madness. I just suppose mine prefer living outdoors. Maybe I am mad. If I am, then I like it this way. I suppose my mistake did give me something advantageous. I’ve just no idea what it is.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Melt

This week was my first in the Indie Ink Writing Challenge, and I was challenged by Nathan Pralle

This was Nathan's prompt:

Take any one genre of popular fiction literature -- Action-adventure, Crime, Detective, Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, Romance, Science fiction, Western, Inspirational, etc. -- and write a short story in that genre, but make all aspects of the story grossly stereotypical for that genre to the point of over-the-top.

I hope I have done it at least some justice ^__^ I found this pretty challenging, even though the prompt seemed quite simple to me at first...

Melt

She pushes me out the door with my half-full suitcase and a turquoise carrier bag dangling from her wrists, her lips pursed into something resembling a grimace as she tries to shove the last of my clothes in through the broken zipper. It’s not really the fact that she is throwing me out in front of all the happy-family neighbors that sends the stinging sensation down my throat — it’s the way she almost out of boredom decides this has to end. I focus my gaze on her purple stilettos, the ones we bought for her and Kim’s wedding, a series of spasms travelling down my sides as though she were ripping my skin off cell by cell.

“Em, please,” I stammer, my nails digging into the sides of my sweater. “You don’t have to,” I say, my hands flailing in the air before me as though it would somehow erase the fog that she has left me in. I have no shoes on so the cold gravel hits me like a million tiny needles as I sway off the stone steps, momentarily losing balance. 

She looks up, dumping the bag on the gravel before me. She doesn’t say a word as my face contorts into a fake smile, the tears like boiling metal on my skin as they crawl down my cheeks. 

“Emily,” I whisper, holding the fingers of my left hand to my mouth. Her scent is still fresh on my skin so I begin to feel dizzy, pacing the cold earth in a small semicircle. “I’m better than him,” I stutter, taking a step towards her.

“You’re better than him?” she says, finally verbalizing her imminent disgust.

“Yes.”

“What the hell is that supposed to mean?”

“I mean—“ I shake my head, my fingertips pawing at my lower lip as I look for words. “I mean I’m better for you than,” I take in a deep breath, holding his name at my tongue, “than Kim is.”

She watches my face as I move closer, my suitcase still hanging from her left wrist as she says my name, her voice frail. I shut my ears from the next two words floating out of her mouth, focusing on the pain spreading from the tips of my toes. Of course she can’t. Of course she fucking can’t. I bite down on my tongue as I watch her, my hands shaking. 

“I love—“

“No.” 

She closes her eyes, dropping my suitcase on the last few steps, making it tip over and snap open. Various items of clothing color the frozen ground, spilling out slowly like honey. “You don’t,” she says slowly, her lips turning blue in the cold December air.

This is just like her. I’ve seen it before; I’ve actually laughed at it through the early hours of the morning with my tongue sticky and numb from alcohol, unaware that one day that would be me standing at her doorstep with no pants on. 

“Em,” I repeat, hugging myself to stay warm. “Please.”

“You really don’t realize what you’re asking me, do you?” she says, her eyes aflame. “I can’t just go and,” she pauses, her mouth slightly open as she stares at me. “He loves me,” she whispers, her tongue caught between her teeth as she clenches them closed. 

“Where did you say he was?” 

“In New York on a—“

“Business trip,” I finish her sentence, biting at my lip as my eyes seek hers.

“You know I hate being the other woman.”

“You’re not the other woman,” she says, her gaze jumping from one direction to another, avoiding mine. 

“Right.” I close my eyes, rolling my head back to watch the cloud-filled sky. I am the only woman. “Emily,” I murmur into the air, my toes growing numb. “You did promise me you’d leave him.”

“Fuck.”

“He doesn’t love you,” I say, taking my final step toward her, closing the gap. “Not like I do.” I let my hands shake as they grip hers. “Let me back in.” I glance at the door, my eyes beginning to sting from the tears I’m holding back. 

“No.”

“Em, I’m freezing.” I wrap my arms around her waist, carefully holding her close.

“Stop calling me that,” she snaps, trying to push me away. 

I interlock my half-frozen fingers at the small of her back, pressing my lips to her neck. “I started calling you that before he did,” I mutter against her skin. She melts against me before pushing me away completely, her fingers stronger than mine as they loosen my grip on her waist. I bite back the tears as I let her go, my lower lip bleeding slightly as I pick the clothes up from the ground. It soothes my soul a little to know that, after a week or so when Kim returns, she’ll remember why she fucked me in the hotel restroom before going upstairs to spend the night with him in their honeymoon suite.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Storage.


I stare at the ceiling, investigating, contemplating. In the deep crevices hidden within the material I hear tiny whispers, a slow slur of oversized vowels. I’ve always wondered whether memories store themselves in the actual places they occurred in, within the materials, the object. I wonder if my nail clippers remember piercing my skin, if they recall what it was like; my shaky fingers clutching the metal, misusing them in drawing patterns and images I had half planned and half not.

I step outside and let the foggy day swallow me. I cannot walk far today, as I am next in line. The cars fly past me like motorized insects as I dig my toes into the bottoms of my shoes, the sound sending my hands flailing around my head. Let them think me mad, I mutter to myself. Let them see the result of a few constitutional mishaps, the outcome of one too many affairs. I drink in the poisonous air as I stride past the huddled trees and crooked buildings, my hands slowly moving inside my pockets. She liked to blame people for making me sick. She liked it, adored the attention, the poor mother with the apathetic, self-harming daughter. I think about jumping in front of a car ten times within the next three yards. Sickness it is. Just sign the paper already.

Tomorrow seems too distant as I make my way back to my green little prison. It doesn’t matter that the door has no lock or that I have my books and my teddy bear. It doesn’t matter that I have one wall that is pink, that I have good air conditioning. I wallow within my sea of self-pity as I let my supposedly self-inflicted depression drip to the pages of my diary, making up half of my disease just to feel like a victim. Do what she said. Split up, make a character, bite your arm — do it now. You filthy self-consuming dog… Good girl. Good girl. There you go and fuck it up again. 

I watch the ceiling again and listen to it speak, imagining the black spot next to the fluorescent lamps to be moving again. The covers are too thin. They leave me cold, even in my long-sleeved t-shirt and my thick cotton leggings. I drag my earring along my arm until it’s nice and red, not a tear leaving my eye.

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