Tuesday, July 9, 2013

July 8, 2013. He would've been 70.

I am waiting in a lobby of some sort. A hotel. Maybe a venue. The room seems empty except for me. I can hear the walk clock ticking.

Footsteps echo in the quiet. Around the corner, a body appears.

I recognize him immediately. Although, now, as I recollect the dream, I cannot picture if he is the young dark haired father of my youth. Or if it is the grey haired plump dad I grew up with, ready with a smile and a meal. Or even, if it is the frail stick-thin old man I knew right before his death, still smiling, still animated.

But I know it is it him. And my first reaction is joy. Happiness at seeing him. The initial urge to run up and give him a hug.

However, Rational Brain speaks up and reminds me, "He is dead." 

"This cannot be real."

And, I realize, I am in a dream.

This makes me want to ignore him. To not listen to him speaking to me. Not touch him. Approach him. I fight the urge to make contact with him. I don't hear the words that are coming out of his mouth.

My mother, then, makes an appearance. She pleads with me to speak to him. She asks that Rational Brain believe this is real.

"I am real. I am alive," she reasons. "This must be real too."

There is a flicker there when I think she might be right. I am fighting with my Rational Brain.

But it wins. And I ignore them both.

I leave them both in the lobby and wander down dark empty hallways 'til I hear my alarm.

Only to awaken with the lingering wish that I had only just hugged him.
Despite my Rational Brain.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Fragments of a Night.

Our setting begins at a school for the gifted.  Everyone is intelligent in such a way that they have powers. There are two distinct magics. They are educated together but socially split.


The strong independent warrior. Far from home, fighting for her love. Short boy-cut dirty blonde hair. Stoic. Tall. Resilient.

The soft-hearted. On the other side of the fight. He helped you with your homework. He will help you again in battle. But ultimately betray you. Loyal to his side.

The ultimate enemy. Shy in school. Dark features. Shaggy brown hair. Black smoldering eyes. Smart and powerful. Few close knit friends. Entitled. Chip on his shoulder.

The best friend. Humble beginnings. With you til the end. Too timid for war.

You. A little more gifted than the average student. Your mind can control more and with greater precision. Daring. A bit cocky. Need best friend to keep head out of clouds.

The War.

There was a school that educated you all. But there was a split even then.. It was in the air. It was palpable.

The powers we had were too great. And the one with a chip on his shoulder takes advantage. He is gaining followers. Momentum. And your side is banding together to meet him.

The war is building. Sides are being taken.

The ultimate warrior fights bravely. She leads many battles. She takes out many enemies. She does so always with her love forefront of her mind. But she ultimately falls with her love's name as her last breath.

The soft-hearted doesn't want to take sides. He eventually falls in line with those of his ilk. He helps you at first. Because he likes you. But in the end, he chooses his people, and at a time in which you were most relying on his word, it betrays you.

Right before I wake, we are in a battle. This one is indoors. We are fighting in long dark hallways. Enemies scattered around infinite corners. The air is humid. The tension high.

But then.. I rouse.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Half-Remembered Evening.

A group of friends was visiting me. I can't get a hold of where exactly I was living but it had both the feel or Door County and Maui at the same time. Door County in terms of distance. Maui in terms of atmosphere. We were all standing on a corner in a far away town trying to figure out how to get back to my home. We were looking for cabs. We were trying to hitchhike.

Somehow, we arrive at a house party. I am still outside trying to get a ride hitch hiking. I keep sticking my head in the front door and asking how many are in our group. I keep trying to corral everyone close to the door so that we can escape easily if we get a ride.

After a while, I resign myself to stay there. Shit begins to get weird. We find a stack of old boxes. A guy starts packing old heavy things in one. Someone else starts stacking furniture. The music is loud and confusing. People engulf me.

Fast forward to the next day. Something has gone terribly wrong at the party. The lawn is littered with cars but the house is quiet. An officer is here to investigate. I, for some reason, am there checking it out as well. He doesn't know that I was a part of the festivities. I am trying to keep it a secret.

We explore the house. We find bodies dead.. but in odd ways. This one girl is filed on a bookshelf like her body was ironed, cut up and organized. Bloodless.

He notices the pile of boxes and goes through them familiarly. This was his house. He put these boxes here. He opens and empties them to see what has changed.

He checks out the bathroom looking for the drugs the kids imbibed. He finds little candies. He breaks one in half and says he never does the job sober. Do you want part? he asks. I accept.

The world is in slow motion now. My actions labored. My limbs phantom. We continue searching but my mind no longer focuses. We see Polaroids from the night. I keep expecting to get caught.

Then. An alarm goes off.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Scars like Tattoos.

I am awake after a night of heavy drinking. I can feel the pounding in my left temple. My eyes are bleary. My body sore.

I move my right hand and, as my eyes focus, I catch something strange there.

I draw my hand closer to further investigate when I realize, it is scarred. That new skin discoloration. The tightness of skin resulting from a burn. But this is a strange kind of burn. Like it was etched there with great precision. There is a design here. A pattern.

I follow the interlacing lines up the back of my hand and realize, whoa. This adorns my whole right arm. It races up in a single path, leaving the intricacies for simplicity. Past the elbow, sloping up the shoulder.

My mind begins to panic as I notice these burn scars are seemingly all over me now. I trace the lines with my left finger. Feeling the raw newness. Feeling the reality. Feeling each line as I see it for the first time. 

There are designs too across my chest. One in particular catches me. It is the start of a signature. Just above my right breast. Letters of someone's name they began to etch .. but then stopped. Neglecting to even finish this particular disfigurement.

I feel betrayed. I feel ashamed. I cannot begin to fathom who would want to do this to me. Why they would want to. I am embarrassed that I imbibed so much that I cannot even remember it happening.

It is almost as if it was my fault.
I let them do this.
It was almost as if I did it myself.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The House.

Something was alive in the shed.  A ghostly presence.  A menace.  A wispy mirage. 
I can't quite put my finger on what it exactly was .. but I knew it was out to kill us.

They were all preparing to take on the villain -- gathering equipment, formulating plans -- and I was cowering.  I was still clad in pajamas and slippers.  I was clinging to security.  I was counting on them to keep me safe.

And then, suddenly, they were gone.  The house was empty.  It was dark and I could hear the melee outside.  There was yelling.  There was cacophony.  There was fire.  I felt the explosions. The heat invaded the house.

Then, I was standing at the front door, halfway in and halfway out.  The neighbors lined the porch, police cars lined the driveway.  They were accosting me.  They were grilling me on the intentions of my protectors.  Why were they doing this?  Why so much destruction?

I tried to start.  To, in turn, protect them.  But they interrupted me.

"Is it because of the ghosts?" they sneered.  They laughed into their hands.  They exchanged jeering glances.  I almost began to pander to them, to say what I knew they wanted to hear.  But stopped myself. 

"It's real," I pleaded to them to believe.  "It hurts us.  It has killed some of us.  And it won't stop."

They laughed at me.  They laughed at us all.  They laughed at our death and our struggle.  

I closed the door and I peered out the window.  The shed was on fire.  I couldn't see any of my friends.  I worried.  I cried.

Time, as in dreams, skips and they are home.  Not all of them, but most.  My love is here at least, and I am relieved.  But with that relief comes news of defeat.  It cannot be beaten.  As long as we are in this house, we are doomed for death.  

My love takes me aside and explains his new plan.  I protest.  I plead to let me stay with him. . but he insists.  And the next thing I know, I am shoved inside a departing police car and am whisked off of the property.

This is the scene in a horror movie of false relief.  This is the scene where the protagonist thinks they have escaped the foe but the moviegoer knows a twist is waiting.  

I stare out the back window and see the flames and wreckage of what is left of the shed.  I see the silhouettes of my heroes.

.. It is days later now.  I am waiting in an airport for a flight.  I am still fleeing the catastrophe.  I keep seeing it whenever I close my eyes.

I check the flight television to affirm my departure time.  And it's there.  The face of my aggressor.  Small.  White.  Dark black eyes.  Dark black hair.  It sneers at me.  It speaks to me in a hollow voice.

"You can't escape," it taunts.  "You are with me forever," it scoffs.

I squeeze my eyes shut.  I try to block it out completely.  
Its outline etches on the inside of my eyelids.  

And I am defeated.