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The Day the Fires CameThe sweat collects on the back of my neck, in the secret place where hair is bushier and coarser then anywhere else, where the damp, hot smell of sweat collects just out of the reach of the breeze.
Leaning my head against the curve of my elbow, I peer down the triangular space created between the fingernail-chipped edge of the table and my angle of my forearm and my torso. The joints of my body form the corners. I peer down at my cat, a puddle of dark exhaustion and heat in the waning shadows of the table.
The fan hums behind me. It’s making a gray noise. An irritated humming sound, tiny flecks of gray sound, scratching open my corneas and burning its way through whatever ersatz neurons opened the door when idiosyncratic fate cooed “Knock knock?”
It’s that noise that keeps me from putting a fan in my room. And it’s cousin, the engine sound, that keeps me from opening my window and listening to cars shift their heavy bodies on the asphalt scars on the road.
My Con(dolences)/(fessions)Everyone says I’m a good kid, which is the polite way of saying I get good grades and only come to the office if I volunteer to make photocopies. It’s the polite way of saying I’m a borderline invisible person who hides away somewhere secrete during lunch and does homework.
They appreciate it, the teachers and principle, the disciplinarians who don’t know my name, couldn’t find me in a crowd. They appreciate me because they don’t know me, and they don’t know me because I’m a good kid.
I do hide away at lunch, but they turn the other way in regards to that. I have recorded medical issues, I need quiet, a certain eccentricity is to be expected in someone as smart as me. They have their excuses. And they trust me not to steal or break things, not to write on the stalls.
It’s sort of dumb, really. The trust on now basis except that I haven’t done anything before.
After all, how do they know? How do they known anything at all?
Bright Lights and TissuesThe awkward cap bites my hairline,
the heavy gown masks my shoulders.
The light beats down and it ends.
Ultimately, this is farewell,
We no longer write ‘see you soon!’
We write only ‘keep in touch’.
The question mark is implied.
The Beech Tree (Part Two of Two)Laura wasn’t the only one growing old. In the months that would follow, Joseph would grow weary faster. The autumn harvest, smaller then expected, took a toll out of him. The skin around his eyes became more and more creased, heavy like his folded, old shirts. His hands grew cracked, and the nails, which were continuously ragged, came in slower and slower.
Aaron was a few weeks shy of thirteen, growing into a man. His voice was starting to crack and waver like old leather, and his shoulders ached but grew broader.
The day of their autumn trip to town was approaching, and Joseph approached Aaron about it.
“Aaron, Mary and I need to go to town soon to buy the seed for our lands. We’re planning on leaving a week before your birthday. In the past, Mary and I have always gone and left you and Eliza with your mother…now, you’re not old enough to go alone, but you’ll be a man soon. You’ll need the experience and so I’d like you to come with me.
The Beech Tree (Part One of Two)Her mother was alone when she birthed her, alone in the house her father had built with his own two hands and the shoulders that were never quite even. Alone except for the dairy cow and it’s sire that lived between the houses and the two pigs. Her neighbors, the only house for miles, were in town to buy seed. They had been gone nearly a week, and she didn’t know when they’d return.
Her husband was dead, and she was alone.
Outside the window, a few dozen paces from the house, grew a beech tree. She stared at the trees as she labored, focusing her mind on the bare branches and not the human child born too early from her womb.
The child would be born before the neighbors returned. They were an older, childless couple who lived not a hundred feet away. When the wife came over, she found the woman hunched over the too-small baby, cleaning it in the tin wash bin with the dent and the chip near the rim.
“When was the birth?”
“A few hours ago,” the mo
LatreuophobiaI wash off sick-sweet orange lipstick in front of a mirror as dusty as gothic romances. It tastes like oblivion, that is to say, like nothing my tongue can detect.
The door opens with a creak no private restroom could emulate. Some chick with blue bobbed hair and smeared eyeliner. I looked like that once. Ten years ago.
Getting the beer out of my hair is harder. Some men just can't take it when I'd rather they not kiss my feet or call me an angel or-
“Dayum girl, you look like a goddess.”
I gulp, taste of acid.
Vanguard, Chapter 1: DuncanDuncan's Journal: Day 1288
I consider myself a good man. I respect women, elders, my equals, and the dead. I say a morning prayer, and an evening one. Hell, I even thank the gods for a meal, instead of immediately chowing down in the voracious manner as the other soldiers here do. By all logical means, I should be in paradise. No really, not just because I'm a good man, but also because I should be dead by now. So I ask myself: why, oh gods up there, have I ended up in hell?
1288 days. 1288 days of my life have been spent in this misery, and I'm beginning to lose faith in the glory I was promised. Some of the rookies still live in their ignorant bliss, but I've lived long enough to realize that there's not much glory to find here. “Sing the songs of glory and march into battle—-join The Crusade today!”. Such were the words of the posters The Crusade has spread all over The Mortal Realm. Gullible fools practically stand in line for these songs of glory that th
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^Nyx-Valentine arrived in our community and started whipping everyone into a frenzy with her relentless desire to bring the Artistic Nude and Fetish galleries to the fore. 9 years later, and it's safe to say that Nyx is not only a leader as a photographer in these galleries, but she has also established herself as a much saught after model. ^... Read More