Better to forge loneliness alone
Than risk a river’s division from one
Hope reflects, strangely, yet for
Seldom do we glance in the mirror
Better to forge loneliness alone
Than risk a river’s division from one
Hope reflects, strangely, yet for
Seldom do we glance in the mirror
You’ve captured all the rest
Surrounded my board’s very best
A King’s ransom wasn’t needed
Surrendering to a superior thesis
Embarrassing even in retreat
You continue to shatter all victory
Spoon feeding the suckle of defeat
Bloody Queen, please just end me
Towards very pitch of night
Ripping paint from ashen skies
Harboring gibbous, her unseen might
I savor the flavor of wanton wilds
Tickling waves in hungry minds
Waxing strong under muted light
Noxious pen is quivering now
Scared of the ink pouring out
No way to gate my hateful torrent
Or swim against an inner current
This must be my mean streak
Veiled creatures anxious to speak
judging by the fact that I can’t add
me and you will never equal two
maybe the time is to bow in, trouncing curves
fractured and falling through a world of hurt
I’m bound to degrade exponentially
failing to see the imaginary value between
shame that your love is no longer blind
I find I measure well below the average guy
I’m afraid your integrity wanes
By time’s disparaging grace
Quiet ocean lulls against her lies
Timid goddess hides pale eyes
Rank as clouds billow out
Leaking squalls that keep pushing down
Immense cost of staying alive
Lone survivor in this dreadful tide
twisted visions barring my every which way
marshaling wrong moves in this maze
wrecked limbs so pitiless to learn
feeding thorns adorning cruel turns
wishing snowed walls would give ground
to greet the sky as she looks down
but that hope must be miles ahead
as I navigate the very bends I dread
For the monthly writing prompt that Diana Wallace Peach provided, this is my inspired prose and poetry from this image:
pixabay image by Natan Vance
Be sure to check out all the amazing submissions that people are doing all month!
So first off, sorry that my story is >1,000 words. And also, please be aware that it contains some mild language and violence.
Moldy wallpaper festooned the office building I was currently living in, providing an eerie atmosphere to the already desolate environment. The power to the whole city was shut off long ago and as oft happens when things get left abandoned, decay moved in. Without human contact, it felt like a prison though I was trying my best to sleep through most of it. I was stuck in another long interval, but this time I wasn’t amusing myself with keeping track of how much was left, or even ticking off the days on the walls. There actually was a real danger that I could miss the next eclipse entirely.
It is curious how time stopped having any meaning for me. Days would casually blend to weeks and skip right over into years without any real apology. The notion of setting an alarm, or being on time for an appointment were becoming as antiquated and foreign as my desires to seek out food.
The few adventures that I had tried eating an old discarded candy bar or crinkled bag of chips from a vending machine sent me writhing with such a bad bout of nausea that I quickly wrote off the whole exercise. It didn’t really make sense why I could go on without it, or why my body didn’t need water for normal functions but what could I do about it? It was all out of my control. Worrying about things like that stopped mattering so long ago. There was only one thing I wanted anymore, and all I could do was wait.
Before it all happened, I wasn’t interested in news media or being social with a daily status waved about for a thumbs up. I just figured I wasn’t that interesting and honestly, I was okay with it. My friends wrapped their lives around each other’s acceptance – funny that even then I had the impression that I was an outsider. I wasn’t connected to the pulse of society, and the irony of that now was biting me right in the ass.
I had little information on what happened, or why in the hell the sunlight caused me so much pain. As solitude in my hideaway increased, I found even the light coming in from the office windows to be unpleasant and I lurked further into the dark recesses of the building.
Routine walks around the floors of the building started to have less and less appeal. Doing thousands of push-ups yielded no change in my muscle mass, and since my body wasn’t losing any, there seemed little point in obsessing over it. Sleep was the only activity that continued to have the same payoff.
But tonight, something was different. I woke with a start. There was something out of place. For starters, it wasn’t actually night, and yet it was dark as any before. Darker even.
Why is it so dark?
For a moment I just laid there, unable to answer my own question. And then it came to me. Like a lingering summer cold that finally melts away, lifting away mountains of fog to reveal beautiful clarity. I felt more alive and vibrant that I had in so long. I could smell things again. I could feel the wind pushing on the office windows, gasping through the broken holes and rustling some paper. And I knew the reason, the eclipse was starting.
The next few moments were a blur; I don’t even remember navigating through the building. A driving hunger was pulling me down flight after flight of stairs in a blaze of motion. I found myself sprinting down miles of empty streets towards a smell that drove my senses wild. I never knew lust like the voracity that coursed through my veins during these eclipses. And suddenly there he was.
The man was facing me, and as I approached at a sprint, he yelled something unintelligible that echoed in the silent streets. My footsteps thundered as I continued my charge. His stance turned rigid, but he did not flee like so many others had done. Instead he brought to bear a long rifle he had been holding at his side and he aimed it at me. I didn’t care, my wounds always had a way of healing without fussing about with pain or annoying discomfort. Being shot at sometimes happened when I obeyed the hunger.
I knocked him done easily, and effortlessly ripped the gun from his hands. Amused at how easy it had been, I threw it across the street. I smiled with satisfaction as the force of the impact snapped the rifle in half.
As I turned back, I sensed a weird tingling in my right arm. Surprised I looked down at a large needle protruding from where the man had shot me. I was annoyed now, and my anger began to boil. Rage flowed out, blending with the desire to feed on the only thing that ever mattered to me since the hunger took over my life. I snatched out the needle from my arm and then turned with devastating attention to the fallen figure.
The protective suit broke easily in my hands. The man’s thrashing was only causing my strength to return in waves of crushing force. He screamed and screamed as I bit into his flesh. Blood gushed out, splashing out in a torrent over his body as I fed. I knew I was being sloppy, but I didn’t care. There was little time, the eclipse would be gone in a few hours and I had to find another before the alignment passed over the city. With the moon out of position I would lose all the power it now blessed me with. Not even a full moon stretching out of a gibbous offered me the clarity that the eclipse now encouraged. There wasn’t any room to be delicate.
Just then, something slammed into my side. Startled, I looked down and saw the mussel of the pistol the man was aiming. He fired another round and I fell back as another bullet found its target.
I had been shot before, but this felt different. Ages of not feeling anything and suddenly I was overwhelmed by barrage of sensation. Gasping with surprise I stumbled backwards as pain pulsed with a sickening rhythm in my chest.
I flew back to the shadows, towards safety. The closest place was an alley and as I stumbled, shots rang out behind me. Angry sparks chipped off bricks as I hurried to get out of range.
Dammit, I had been so careless. I should have searched him before I let the hunger take over. With every step I could feel strength leaking out in nasty little drops. But the worst sensation was in my right arm. A strong tingle was apparently spreading a numbing cold up into my shoulder. What was in that needle?
The man had shouted something at me when I first rushed him. But I had only heard echoes, snatches of a phase. Now that I was thinking about it, it had sounded like he was saying “cure”.
Barely a few more feet and I found my legs giving out. I fell behind a dumpster to catch my breath and as soon as I slid down against the cold metal, shots slammed into the side. The dumpster screamed in protest as the bullets tore holes inches to where I hid.
Whatever he had shouted didn’t seem to matter now. Nothing seemed to matter. I slowly pulled my hand away from my chest and stared with a curious sort of detachment at the rivers of red that began to flow down, running out past my legs.
The irony of the whole situation made me cough out a feeble chuckle that turned into a few shallow coughs. My heart was slowing down, there wasn’t more it had left to do. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a cure after all? An end to the apathy and listless existence that plagued me for so long? An end to the hunger that haunted me?
Things were very hazy now, I wanted to just close my eyes for a moment. I could think about this all later. Later. All later. The world was trying its best to spin and I saw no reason to fight it anymore.
Moon invites our lust
No cure will kill half of us
Seeking out more blood
Oh dear, I fear this cocky ship’s sinking more each day
Abandoned by the oars, I’m following all the same
Good intentions won’t long keep these weathered boards afloat
Best chances of not drowning were safely staying home
Oh curse you waves! Your sharks need little excuse to feed
Cruel ocean gnaws at me for sailing carelessly
I’m trying out Diana’s challenge in response to a found image. Please check out her challenge, and other entries! I elected to try a short story, so please tell me if it is terrible. I usually stick to poetry, since there are less rules and words to misspell. 🙂
Rolland fell backwards, out of the tree house as the magic spell exploded all around him. Strange popping noises detonated like a cacophony of fireworks as he was launched through the door. He cried out in terror as he tumbled in midair, not realizing the changes that were already happening to his own body.
Odd, the impact on the ground did not feel as painful as he thought it would. And wasn’t it curious that his hands and feet seemed to naturally twist around in the air, moving almost cat-like to an all fours right before the ground rushed up to greet him?
The ground trembled as he landed, it was as though someone had dropped something very large, causing the tree house to sway back and forth.
It took Rolland a few seconds to get his bearings, but he wasn’t hurt at all. The fall should have at least taken the wind out of him, or stung his hands as he shoved them forward to brace against the snowy grass. Yet he was fine.
Well, something felt different. He felt slower, more constrained somehow. Was it some residual effect of the spell? What was that spell anyway?
“Wait a minute…” Rolland had just brought one of his hands to his face to wipe away snow that was sticking, annoyingly blurring his vision when he suddenly stopped. It wasn’t his hand at all. Why did it look an awful lot like it was an elephant’s foot?
“This is incredible!” he exclaimed. “I can’t believe it!”
“Are you okay Rolland?” A squeaky voice asked from the tree house.
Rolland had forgotten all about his friends. Michael, Frank, and the Duncan twins had all gathered together in the tree house that night for a sleepover. The last thing he saw before he was expelled out the door was Michael holding the magic book he had brought over as they all excitedly shouted the incantation.
“Hey man, you guys gotta see what that happened!” Rolland said, trying to stand. As he tried to get up and put weight on his legs, he felt himself wobble forward. He looked down in surprise at his legs and his breath caught in his throat.
“I think it turned me into an elephant!” Rolland gasped, as a feeling of terror rushed into his stomach. How was he ever going to change back into a human? They didn’t even know what they were reading when they said the magic words. What on Earth were they thinking?
“Yeah, I think we have you beat. You should see what happened to us!” Said another squeaky voice.
Why did they sound so funny? Rolland peered into the tree house, and in his haste his trunk pushed against the door frame. He really wasn’t used to being four tons of flesh and his spatial awareness was not holding up very well.
The entire tree bent backwards, tree limbs snapping and protesting from the strain Rolland was putting on them. But the house was empty. His friends were not to be found.
All Rolland could see was the magic book sprawled in a corner, spine open in a dejected heap. He tried to reach his trunk through the broken doorway to grab the book but his added weight only caused the house to move even further backwards. The book slid even further out of reach.
Shrill cries of alarm came from above the house. “Hey now! What are you doing? You are going to knock us off!”
“Wait, are you guys on the roof? How did you get up there?” Rolland asked, hurriedly he tried to turn from the door but as he moved, his trunk rubbed clumsily against the exposed wood.
His eyes watered as his trunk erupted with stinging pain from the splinters wedging deep in his skin. It all was going wrong. Very wrong.
Why did Michael insist on bringing that dreaded book over? What had possessed them to dare each other to say that silly spell? Who could have guessed how dangerous reading could be?