Friday, December 22, 2017

Lady of the Evening

Sleeping next to you has been a dagger to the throat
So tonight I'll lay alone and hope you're the one who chokes.
You're a fucking joke!
I hope find this hoax easier to swallow since he opened up your throat.
I'm stifling sobs in the bathroom, so sick and sweet that I choke.
Fucking whore!

I'd slit my own goddamned wrists before I let you back inside
Where will your lechery be put? And don't forget your pride.
I'd have let my blood run out before there was room enough
But by then you'd be bored and fucking him again -- I give up.

Where do you aspire to be?
Why did it have to be me?
I'm struggling to find my voice --
My vision's going red.
As if I had a choice --
'Cause if I did, I'd be long dead.
Your sins are bleeding out --
I see them clearly now.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Am I Controlling?

Falling straight down the rabbit hole, I'm sure 
You're having a ball
I wonder if you even think of me at all

Foaming at the mouth, from your lips
I've been wondering
Where exactly do you go when you take these "trips"?

This is what I get for falling in love 
With a bottle of impulse and dirty tricks
Maybe if I had stayed home
Or if I had just stayed drunk
None of this hurt would even exist

Nursing the bottle like a child --
Wouldn't it be better to just stay sober?
You can come home to me tonight
I'll feel so much better to have that closure

And I think
Am I controlling for thinking like this?
Or is this habitual thought from experience?
I don't want this to be like the last time
When you said you would be fine
And you lied.
I can't trust you with those words, those lips, those lungs
You let the hits bounce off your breath,
The liquor roll down your tongue
Until there's no one left

And you tell me not to worry
That you can handle it on your own
But you're a chemical wasteland
And you care not for your own bones
And now you're expecting acceptance
When you told me this sick was cured
How is it misconstrued context 
If you said it to reassure?

He's spitting acid from his teeth
And I have no choice but to hide it all beneath
While the fire burns next door
And he's passed out on the floor
I can't help but wonder
Who will take him home?
Who will douse the coals?
Who will fan his bones?
Who will save his soul?

Friday, December 8, 2017

Thomas is Not.

He is not a far mountain
Hidden by some congealing
Inkiness -- a fog, no, he is not.

He is not a setting star
That rests in the atmosphere, boiling
He boils -- but set, he does not.

He is not a child's glowstick cracked
Glow, by some measure, against
The pale night -- but pale, he does not.

And by that glowstick, he does not fade
Nor does he sit at the bottom of pools
And shimmer -- but stick, yes, he sticks.

Like a cat's tongue on the flesh of Earth
The drift, papery ash in the child's hair
And glows --  yes! of embers he stole.

A canary cries, but he does not sing
He howls, screaming in forgotten canyons
Oh, Thomas! -- but forgotten, no, he is not.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Eight Cardinal Directions

I lay in bed and think of eight cardinal directions
Feel the eddy and pull of atomic corrections
Find a place in my mind free of worldly distractions
I discover my existence - my cosmic interaction

My purpose unfulfilled, my soul still wandering
My hands still empty, my mind still pondering...

If life was meant to be lived by humans and not gods
Why give us this gift if given the odds
It will squandered and wasted by penniless thoughts
A penny for your thoughts, a dollar for your gods

If life isn't meant to be lived like a lover -
Careful in conversations but bold under covers
Then where is the shame in kissing your mother
If she gave you this life and love like none and no other?

No, Life is meant to be lived like the rain
Sometimes gentle and kind to soothe dry pains
Other times with conviction - on the great arm of Cain
At least then on covers you leave no stain

As I lay in bed and ponder eight cardinal directions
I realize that life has no ultimate direction
That any storm I brave is no mere distraction
It is it's own direction, a path to follow, and my new interaction.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Novel Introductions!

I have a few more! These ones are a bit lengthier.

Markos - Former high school teacher - I love the guy but he's kind of a dick

"Ichabod Crane's apprentice... Is that really so?"
He seemed to put off scholarly airs. Refined, sure. To be completely honest, however, I couldn't see how a man like him could be apprenticing under a man such as Crane. He had a broad smile and broad s
houlders - even the way he held himself suggested a sweeping demeanor. His chest was bolstered by the cotton that ruffled under his blue suit (which, might I add, was of rather fine taste), and his red embroidered lapels lay perfectly flat and starched against his person. I also couldn't help but notice small, brown fibers decorating his clothing.
A dog. He had a dog. Crane hated dogs. Then again, Crane hated most things.
"Indeed. I thank you again for your generosity." He paused for a moment and raised an eyebrow, "For a town so minimal, there seems to be quite the lack of real estate, hm?"
"Real estate?"
He seemed taken aback at first by my confusion, then seemed to come to a humbled understanding. 
"Oh, never mind. I'll explain it to you in time."
"I see." 
I noted the signs of hair growing around his chin and lips. Small red marks from the blade of a razor sprinkled his jawline, some as far up as the cheekbone. It was obvious a sharper blade was in order, but luckily I had made sure to supply my new resident with ample supplies in his room. 
The thought of shaving incited my curiosity.
"Excuse my boldness, but aren't you a bit... well, aged to be apprenticing?"
He crossed his arms firmly across his puffy chest and gave me a look that even the dead would shake beneath.
I merely nodded. Despite his defensive disposition, he seemed like the scholarly type. He was learned, and quite obviously experienced in conversation as well. He definitely commanded the room. I couldn't help but wonder whether he could teach Crane a thing or two about how to be a functioning member of the social setting. 
After a pause a bit too long to be excusable, I realized that I myself had not been as cordial as I had ought to have been.
"I'm sorry, I never asked for your name."
He smiled his broad smile and extended his hand in my direction.
"Markos Van Brunt, pleased to meet you."
It was then that I realized he would never survive under Crane. He had his head about him, for sure. Something I most definitely couldn't say about that slimy Ichabod Crane.

Klay - Former Coworker and Graffiti Artist - I love this guy with all of my heart

Normally when I see a street hooligan dressed up in all black and spray painting graffiti onto the wall of an arroyo, I have a certain tendency to spin 180 degrees on my heels, speed walk in the opposite direction and pretend to be taking a very important phone call. I wouldn't call it profiling but... okay it's totally profiling. It's horrible and I know it, but I can't help it. Growing up the daughter of the county sheriff has it's downfalls. When you're raised on images of strange men in handcuffs and shank wounds, you develop a certain precautionary nature.
So, naturally, when Klay approached me in the middle of the night wearing what looked to be like an espionage outfit, I got a little spooked.
"Hey, kid. Look, don't be scared, but can you hold these for a second? I promise I'm not a weirdo. I promise. Just hold these. Just for a second."
He picked up a couple cans of spray paint from the ground and shoved them into my arms. Picking up a few himself, he pulled me by the shoulder around a corner. 
"Lay flat against the wall and don't move."
I did as he told me. His smile was nice and his eyes were kind, but I could tell he was on edge about something. I swear, if I get caught up in some sort of turf war...
Just then, headlights splashed against the concrete wall in front of us, illuminating a freshly painted, still-dripping mural. It was the most beautiful work I had ever seen, and my jaw dropped. The lines were clean and flowing. Jagged where they needed to be. The colors were vibrant and well-dispersed. I was thoroughly impressed.
In the distance: "Yeah, I've got another 594 off of Jaquez. Looks like the vandal already scattered. Mhm..."
Oh, god. That was my dad! What was he doing here right now? I thought he was supposed to be home to watch my little brother for the night. Then again, I suppose I wasn't supposed to be here either... Think fast!
I shoved the cans of paint back into the arms of the man, who was already struggling to keep his from clattering to the ground. I whipped out my cellphone and dialed my dad's number.
After a couple rings, he answered.
"Hey, Munchkin. What's up? How's Bethany?"
"Bethany and I are fine. Just watching movies. I just called to check up on Caleb. I heard Mom was coming home early because he called her crying or something."
The line was silent for a moment.
"He's fine. Oh - Oh he's calling me right now! Yes Caleb! I'm coming! I've got to go, Munchkin. Have fun!"
The headlights vanished and we peeled ourselves off of the wall. 
The man turned to me and smiled the sweetest and most genuine smile I'd ever seen.
"Hey, thanks a lot, kid. I'm Klay."
"Hey Klay," I paused and gestured at his work, "I like that a lot."
"Thanks!" He smiled again, and this time handed me only one sticky can of paint, "Wanna try?"

Justin - My boyfriend - He's okay I guess ;)

 "I... I am... Me."
And that is about all that I could say with confidence.

The walls were white. The floor was white. The sheets, the lights, my hands: white. There was a curtain to my right that covered a window that overlooked a world that I couldn't remember. I could conjure up images of trees, dogs, park benches - but there was not a single place that were made up of these individual things. 
My name had been changed to "Me". My face had been scribbled out with pen like an unwanted addition to an old middle school yearbook. 
The room was white. I was Me.

It was evening. I could tell because the white had a pale pink wash like a watercolor. No one had come in to see me for a couple of hours. I must have been like this for a while for no one to be waiting by my bed. I didn't know if I was upset by this.

Then he walked into the room. 

Even though I couldn't remember any specific romance novels, I did know that this felt like one. The pale pink from the window brushed across his face like the most beautiful silken sheet. His eyes were chatoyant. He cut such an attractive figure; I inhaled deeply and heard my heart monitor quicken.
This caught his attention. His crystal eyes widened and his jaw went slack. He dropped his things onto the floor.
"You're awake. Oh my god."
He rushed to where I lay and - much to my surprise - laid his entire body on top of mine. It was only after a minute or so did I realize he was absolutely sobbing. I felt my hand gravitate toward his head as I stroked his hair. Was this my son? My brother?
"It's okay," I muttered, running my fingers through his silvery locks, "It's okay. I'm here."
He nodded into my chest. 
I spoke again. "I am so happy you are here. Believe me. But... I'm really confused. I don't mean for this to sound strange, but... who are you?"
His breathing halted. He lay still against my body. I felt his hands seize mine tightly.
"No," I heard him breathe quickly, disbelief and grief heavy on his tongue. He brought his eyes to mine. "No. You can't - You don't know who I am?"
I shook my head regretfully.
He nodded and bit his lip, fresh tears cascading shamelessly down his cheeks. I hurt him. I hurt him and I hated that so much.
I held his head within my hands, wiping his tears away with my thumbs. 
"No, please don't cry. I don't mean to be a burden - honestly. I just -"
And he pressed his lips against mine. I felt the heat from his tears against my skin. I felt his stubble brushing against my chin. I felt his love pooling around me like warm water. I remembered what love felt like.
He pulled away and pressed his forehead to mine, talking agonizingly slow, "Don't forget that. Please. Don't ever forget that."

Wednesday, October 18, 2017


So, writing has been a little slow in lieu of midterms, HOWEVER!!!!!

I have come across a fun little experiment on Facebook that I thought was awesome. It turns out it's a great way to keep the creative fluids from becoming too dormant while I'm away from the real writing. Essentially, whoever commented below my post would get a short introduction in a make-believe novel of my creation.
In other words: "Comment and I'll reply with how I'd introduce you in a novel."
It requires a lot more thinking than I originally anticipated, because it required me to delve deep into the characters of people that I know in real life and turn it into a fictional scenario. Some of these people I haven't even talked to in years! I'm going to admit, some of these people I'm not even fond of, but have yet to remove them from my newsfeed. Therefore, I had to be a little touch-and-go in some situations, while still trying to maintain a little bit of my integrity.
I'd like to share with you some of my favorites thus far (the post is ongoing). I'll provide their (fake) name, my relationship to them, and my opinion of them in brief. For context.

Peyton - Boyfriend's best friend's ex-girlfriend - Sour and sore, but she doesn't know it.

"Princess," I thought to myself, rather obtusely, "She's a princess." The girl in question had one leg propped up against the back of the bench on which she sat. The other leg was dangling precariously over the knee of a man I could only assume was her partner. Though her current physical position might have suggested otherwise, she was in all regards a woman of royalty. She had the countenance of an Elizabethan actress and yet put off airs of seething power and underlying dominion. Her smile was warm and her breath was loud and she held her head high. At the time, I found it in my best interest to keep my distance. In hindsight, I realize there was no need for such trivialities.

Dalton - Friend from high school - I like him enough. He's a genuinely good dude. He's a furry.

He was the kind of dude you just really wanted to pull into a bear hug and never let go. His hair sat in a polite, curly mess on top of his head, and his eyes seemed warm, even though I couldn't see them very well from where I was sitting. Not that I was far away, or in an inopportune place to make my, he was sat right straight across from me. Rather, his eyes were averted, as he was staring rather intently at his sketchpad, drawing what looked to be some kind of masked creature with a really strange tail. Needless to say, I was intrigued.
"Hey... erm- what are you drawing there?"

Petunia - An old best friend - She's gorgeous. I love her. She can get a bit much at times.

She was fire personified. Not only was her hair as flame red as the lips with which she spoke, but her voice was a warm hearth that birthed fading embers with every syllable that slid from her tongue through her teeth. Her skin, aglow in the midday star, glistened like radiant passions of the sun - a force of which cannot be disputed. Her smile was the flash of a torch against which everything else was night. Her laugh pierced and set aflame the darkness that enveloped my innermost self. I was set on fire that day. She awakened me to a brighter world, which never again will be cold, nor broken. That day, I fell in love with fire.

Gertrude - An old acquaintance - I never really liked her. Found her quite annoying. But she's nerdy.

When: Twelve o'clock midnight.
Where: The Brookhampton Cinema on the west end.
Why: The premiere of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's stone.
Not many people were lined up outside of our three-screen movie theater, but at least with a cursory glance around the street you could pick out the faces of the people you might actually want to talk to at school the next day. These were my people: the nerds, the outcasts, and the ones with an IQ high enough to process middle-school fiction (which, in our sad little city, was an accomplishment of its own). I went alone, as I do to most of my social outings. I suppose I really shouldn't call my outings "social" for the very fact that I always went by myself. 
That being said, I wasn't expecting to meet anyone especially interesting there. I was just going to watch a movie like everyone else... but she changed everything. She was alone, just like me. She held a wand in her right hand and a copy of the book in her left. She was leaning against the brick wall of the cinema, looking refined and pleasant but chilled against the wind. She wore a scarf that looked warm enough to burrow in for the winter - the soft smile that found it's place without any seeming purpose, however, lit the fire in my stomach. I had to talk to her.
Apprehensively I approached her, wand at the ready and a smile I could only hope was at least slightly less than outright creepy. 
"Hi. I.. erm... came here alone. And well, you look really approachable, and I was kinda hoping that - I dunno - maybe we could sit next to each other when the movie starts or something?"
She met my eyes and her smile brightened, sending magic through my skin. She jumped up from the wall and drew her wand, pointing at my chest.
"Sure, but only if you can beat me at a duel!"

Ryan - Met him in German class last year - Speaks German. 

I swear to God, Allah, Buddha, *insert deity/religious figure here* that this kind of shit only ever happens to me. Who can honestly say that they've gotten into a car accident with a horde of German foreign exchange students - law students, to be exact - and lived to tell the tale? If you can, I am positive I can disprove you on the account that 1. German is a scary language and I'm sure you'd positively die upon being bitched at in such a tremendously intimidating tongue. 2. They're speaking an entirely different language, intimidation factor aside. How in the WORLD are you supposed to negotiate insurance? 3. They're law students. LAW. They'd probably find some way to finagle -filibuster... gerrymander... something like that - into innocence with their tricky rhetoric and obscure knowledge of the law. 
Unless you have Officer Ryan Croce at the scene, I wouldn't believe for a second that you're still a functioning member of living society after having an incursion such as that. 
He swaggered up to quite the warzone. Sabina had her clipboard out, looking like she was about smack me over the head with it. Gunther was assessing damages and taking notes. He would occasionally mutter something along the lines of "mein Gott" or "sehr interessant", and honestly he was getting on my nerves. Sabrina (not to be confused with Sabina) was trying to exchange information with me in broken English.. and not doing very well. Two or three others of the German clan were wondering around the crash site and speaking quickly over the phone.
"What seems to be the problem, here?" Officer Croce placed his hand on his belt and raised a sole eyebrow. 
"Car accident. Language barriers. I need a drink." I huffed.
His eyebrow somehow raised higher.
"Oh! Not until after I'm home safe and very far away from my car, of course. And not even before. Nope. Not even mouthwash this morning, officer."
His eyebrow descended. His upper lip, however, ascended in disgust. 
"Ew. Well, hope you at least brushed then."
He turned to Sabina - Sabrina. Shit.
"Hallo Offizier! Kannst du Deutsch sprechen?"
"Ja," he replied. A wild grin played across his face.
"Wir fahren fahren fahren auf der Autobahn"

I found myself getting a little weird with some of them... (the inside jokes were too easy).

Tiffany - An old best friend - Absolutely crazy, but a solid friend. Has a floppy bulldog.

I was sprawled out on the beach, taking a huge swig of my Capri Sun when I first saw her. I practically choked on that abnormally tiny yellow straw (which, in my defense, seems like an awfully obvious choking hazard). She was running through the foaming waters, bright blue hair fanning out in all directions. She became one with the ocean and the sky. Her long, sinuous limbs cascaded and ebbed like briny wavebreaks. Behind her lumbered the most awkward yet beautifully majestic beast I've ever laid my eyes on. I was immediately enamoured with her doggy countenance. Her rolls that mimicked the ocean currents... The drool that dribbled down her jowls like water off of a boat's bow. I must have her. 
A name, called to me in the wind like a song my mother used to sing... *fiooooona**fiooooona*
I have fallen for the fair Fiona. 

All of a sudden, the ocean parted in great walls of briny deep. Within, a man of incredible report: curly hair, muscle, and... BUNS. Between his salty cheeks sat a sponge. It was the sexiest sponge I've ever seen, to be exact. With legs even longer than the girl preceding him, and eyes bluer than the hair top her head -- I forgot all about Fiona. A new name in the wind.... A song like the god's... 
*spooongebooob (in fishnet stockings, of course)*

Sarah - My absolute best friend - The most perfect person on the planet. Likes memes, like me.

 I ran into her at the local Hobby Lobby - and by "ran into" I literally mean that. We knocked each other's glasses askew and we both profusely apologized. I scrambled to pick up the things she dropped on the floor while she scrambled to pick up mine. We locked eyes and smiled at one another, laughing appropriately at the hilarity of the awkward situation we had gotten ourselves into. 
"Hi, I'm Sarah," I said, offering her items back to her with outstretched hands.
"Hi, Sarah. I'm Sarah," she returned, also extending my items in her hands. 
Neither of us could really figure out how to transfer our items back to their respective Sarah - between the two of us, we had four occupied hands- so we decided we would just HAVE to check out together. 
Walking to the front, however, I noticed a terrible glint behind those adorable framed glasses. Before I knew it, my waist was being grasped firmly by her soft, thoroughly-sanitized hands. I noticed many things in that moment. Her fingernails, unpainted and short, buried themselves in the flesh below my ribs. The skin beneath the fresh tattoo on her forearm tightened across firm muscle. The smirk that played against the blush of her cheeks was devilish. I also felt blood rushing to my face as she got closer, her pink lips brushing my ear.

She whispered in a voice of pure, childlike innocence -


And I was thrown against the far wall. Paints all over the floor. Chaos. Betrayal.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Io - Chapter 2

Chapter 2 Briar

I didn’t fall for Io until the eighth grade. We had been best friends all through elementary and middle school. He and I were inseparable. Our parents even let us stay the night at each other’s houses, even though I was a girl and he was a boy. We just had to promise not to tell anyone else about it, because our parents didn’t want to “get any phone calls”. We didn’t really care, to be honest. It’s not like we wanted to tell anybody else about our absolutely radical slumber parties. They might get jealous.
We’d usually do them at my house, because my dad let us have the entire entertainment room to ourselves. It was in the basement, which was only half finished at the time, but it was like our paradise. A big-screen T.V. with every Disney movie on the market (and a few from the vault), an endless collection of video games about aliens and wizards, about a million blankets and pillows, and our own kid-dedicated mini-fridge. My dad really liked to spoil us. He said it used to be his “man cave”, but I always thought that sounded kind of dirty and weird, so I chose not to think about it.
Io and I liked to set up a blanket fort across the leather sectional and throw the other end over the top of the T.V. so we could watch movies in our own ghetto home theater. Io enjoyed bringing his sketching pencils and a pad of paper with him to draw the characters of whatever movie we were watching. It became a kind of game between me and him; I would tell him who to draw and what they would be doing. My favorite was the one of Cinderella riding a pumpkin into battle against some confederate mice. I still have it hanging up in my room, actually.
Io first kissed me in one of those notorious blanket forts. I’ll never forget how it was getting just a little to stuffy on the inside. How his drawing for that night had turned out to be him and I, holding hands in a monochromatic green color scheme.
“This is…” I struggled, very obviously nervous, “... really nice. It’s really nice, Io.”
My eyes were glued to the drawing, but I imagine he smiled then. He moved the pad of paper, forcing my eyes up to his.
“Hey, Space Cadet.”
He had started calling me that a few years back. It kinda just… stuck. I think it had something to do with my mental wanderlust.
“You remember that time in the second grade when I gave you that crayon?”
I chuckled, nodding.
“Yeah, I remember. How could I forget? That’s when I…”
I stopped myself, looking away. That’s when I… what? Starting crushing on him? No, we had been friends for so long since, I don’t think it started so early.
But then again…
“When you... what?” Io’s eyebrows were doing the thing where one was curved up and away to the moon while the other was burrowed deep in his brow. He did that when he wanted answers.
My eyes snapped up. Oh, shit. Think quick. When I… When I… fuck why was I so nervous?
“When I realized how much of a dweeb you were.”
Nice save, Space Cadet.
“Oh? I was a dweeb then?” He snorted, his eyes scrunching up a little as he wiped his forearm across his face. He must have been getting sleepy.
“Do you think I’m still a dweeb?”
“Definitely,” I retorted perhaps a bit too quickly. “Always have been, always will.”
“Then, will you still make good on that favor you owe me?” He grabbed my hand, “Or are dweebs like me not worthy of favors?”
I instantly started glowing as red as a cherry tomato on a ripe summer afternoon. Where was this going and why did I like it so much?
“Depends on what you’re asking.”
“It’s a real big favor. That green crayon really meant alot to me, y’know…”
“I’m willing to humor you.”
He paused. The tension in that stuffy blanket fort made the air even thicker. Damn him for his dramatic timing.
“Would you do me a solid and be my girlfriend?”
I swear to God in Heaven and on Earth that I could cut that air with a fucking butter knife. My mind was screaming “Yes! Yes! Say yes, you incorrigible nincompoop!”. My physical mouth, however, could do nothing but flounder like a couple of fish slapping a wet dock. What was making me so damn nervous? It was just Io.
He didn’t let my wordlessness stop him from kissing me. He didn’t need words to see what I couldn’t. I understood then, with his hands caressing the back of my head. Cinderella playing in the background. In that moment, he gave me everything I needed to know.
So, this is love…

I’m so stupid sometimes.

Monday, October 2, 2017

For Fear of Losing Love - A Tribute to Las Vegas 10/1/17

There is not love without caution
And there is not love without anxiety
And there is not love without agony
And there is not love without fear of losing love.

And I ask as the firecrackers blaze - what is this?
And I ask as he throws his body over mine - is this worse?
And I ask as I hold his head in my hands - is this it?
And I ask as I'm pulled away - is this fair?

And no answers can be given with an automatic rifle
And no answers can be given with a bullet in the mouth
And no answers can be given by those who can't ask questions
And no answers can be given, no answers - only love

Get down
Don't push
As the hate drives them into corners
And they scatter, they melt, they diverge, in small bursts

And I ask as I'm shaking in the shock - is that it?
And I ask as I'm limping to the road - where from here?
And I ask as I'm heavy from the hurt - is this worse?
And I ask as the blanket is placed on my shoulders - 
How do I tell his mother?

And no answers can be given by the weeping wives
And no answers can be given by the ones that loved, only loved
And no answers can be given by the schrapnel and the blood
And no answers can be given, no answers - only love

And there is the converging love, fear,
As they pull their loved ones to their chests
As the hate drives them to the ground
Hellfire hate - a barrage too spread to run

And I ask against the hailstorm - why tonight?
And I ask in the hotel room - having fun?
And I ask the finger on the trigger - is this worse?
And I ask the man on the balcony - why him?

And no answers can be given to the husband from his wife
And no answers can be given from the barrel of the rifle
And no answers can be given from the 32nd story
And no answers can be given, no answers, only love
And the fear of losing love.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Io - Chapter 1

Chapter 1 Briar

Allegory Falls is the kind of place your mother would want you to live. Rather, Allegory Falls is the kind of place your mother herself would want to live in retirement. There are two coffee shops, a small shopping outlet, and plenty of five-star old folks homes. Situated right in the nailbed of Michigan’s thumb, it’s butted up against Lake Huron. The half of us whose houses face the west can see Canada from our backyards, which is pretty cool, I guess. As long as mosquitoes don’t bother you, and you don’t mind never meeting anyone new ever again, I’d say Allegory Falls is the place for you.
That being said, I grew up here along with everyone that I’ve ever come to know. We’re pretty much a boondocks town, so we don’t really get many tourists. Occasionally when I was still in school we’d get a new student, but I could count them all on one hand. So, naturally, I met Io when we were both tottering around our kindergarten classroom. He was playing at the sand table, making a mess - as Io does. I remember he had sand dotting his curly brown hair, and the freckles that splashed his nose and cheeks seemed especially fitting. I simply asked him if he wanted to be friends -because that’s how you do things when you’re young enough to not be corrupted by our convoluted social norms- and thus; we were friends.

. . .

I didn’t truly know Io until the second grade. We were paired up in a sort of desk-buddy situation at the beginning of the semester. I specifically remember not being able to afford a new set of crayons that year; Dad was having an especially rough patch and I was too scared to ask. My set was missing the green, but I didn’t mind; that is, until Mrs.Wasserman told us to draw a rainbow. I was a determined and steeled child, so honestly, it didn’t phase me that much that my rainbow was the only one out of everyone’s that was missing a color. Mrs.Wasserman, however, found my rainbow to be less than satisfactory.
“Briar, it looks like you missed a color in your rainbow there, darlin’. Remember our good buddy, Roy G. Biv? Can you tell me what that stands for?”
I squared my shoulders. Of course I remembered Roy. G. Biv. We’d only learned it the day before, but talk about elementary!
“Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet!” I exclaimed proudly.
Mrs.Wasserman smiled, her shiny pink lips spreading across her teeth like strange earthworms.
“Very good, Briar! Now, tell me which one of your colors is missing.”
“Green, obviously.”
Mrs.Wasserman was taken slightly aback at my boldness. I remember her spidery eyelashes practically started to crawl across her face.
“Well, is there any reason why you chose to leave it out?”
I shrugged, very apathetic toward the whole situation. Who cared if my rainbow didn’t have green? Green was a stupid color anyway.
“I don’t have green in my rainbow because I don’t have a green crayon. It’s missing.”
I opened my desk and pulled out the frayed yellow package. The nubby crayons rattled around on the inside as a piece of shredded crayon wrapping fell through the little window in the cardboard. I let it fall to the floor as I opened it the box to show her.
“See? It’s been missing since the summer. I think I left it at Nana’s house, but I don’t go there very much anymore, so I don’t think I’ll be getting it back any time soon. Dad says she got real sick, but I think he just doesn’t want to see her anymore.” I paused, returning my crayons back to their proper place in my desk. “Am I in trouble?”
Mrs.Wasserman seemed really pale. I was just about to ask her if she’s okay when she perked right back up and put on that earthwormy smile again.
“No. No you’re not, Briar. I’m sure Io wouldn’t mind sharing his green crayon with you. Isn’t that right, Io?”
Io had been quietly drawing. I looked down at his paper and saw he was sketching out a surprisingly accurate array of rocketships. Each one was drawn in a different color - in rainbow order, in fact - and each was decorated with a different flower.
He looked up from his work with slow eyes. His mouth was slack, his glasses were falling down his face, and his collar was popping up on one side. In hindsight, he looked kinda dumb, but I didn’t think anything of it at the time. All I could think about was the fact that this boy had drawn some of the best rocketships I had ever seen in my life, and I could name every single one of the flowers that adorned them. I was so distracted by the drawing that I didn’t even see him hand me the green crayon. He must have been holding it out for at least a good ten seconds, because Mrs.Wasserman had to put her hand on my shoulder to release me from my stupor. Io was slowing inching his hand across the page to hide his handiwork.
“Oh, um… thank you, “ I managed to stammer, an uncharacteristic blush rising to my cheeks. He definitely saw me staring.
“You’re welcome,” he said shyly, thumbing the corner of his paper.
I turned back to my rainbow, wielding the infamous green crayon. Why did I feel so funny? Was I sick? I had some kinda funny cottage cheese at lunch, but to be honest, I’d definitely eaten worse. Why was my hand shaking?
It took some effort to color in the missing portion of my rainbow without bleeding over the lines. I was being extra meticulous, too, considering I was in the presence of a bloody artistic genius. I had never really felt intimidation before that.
I hated it.
“Here, I’m done. You can have it back now,” I said, thrusting the green crayon between us like it was diseased.
Io, once again, looked up with drowsy eyes. My heart jumped up into my throat. Panicking, I shoved it back down into my chest where it damn well belonged.
“Oh, you can keep it. I have another.”
What? This was not a part of the plan. Not that I had a plan to begin with, but even if I did, this would not be part of it. I didn’t want to be… indebted to this kid! I could barely talk to him, let alone owe him anything. That means there would definitely be future conversations, and I just couldn’t have that.
“No, please, take it. I hate green anyways.”
“Mrs.Wasserman would probably like it better if you kept it. She seemed kinda uncomfortable about the whole thing.” He gave a sly smile, “And besides, it would be in my best interests if you owed me a favor. You never know when you’ll need a favor.”
Damn, this kid was perceptive. I wasn’t about to let him outsmart me. I had to think quickly. I had to… I had to… damn it, why couldn’t I think?
“Fine! I’ll keep it then,” I blurted, turning back in my chair, stuffing my head into my arms on the desk.
I heard Io shift in his seat as well as he picked up another crayon. I could practically see him smirking with that freckled face of his.
“Good. It’s going to be a real juicy favor, too. Green is my favorite color.”

And all of a sudden, green didn’t seem like such a stupid color after all.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Io - Prologue

Prologue - Briar

“I know you're going to be really upset - I don't want you to be upset, believe me - and I know this isn't going to be easy. I really want the best for us, but this is... I guess what I’m trying to get at is… well, I mean..."
His voice shuddered on the other end of the line. I didn't want to know.

"She’s pregnant.”

. . .

Those words, spoken to me by the one person in the world who I thought I could truly trust. Those words, making my stomach do acrobatics. Those words, making the ache in my heart turn into utter gnawing. Everything I was - everything we were - disappearing. And there was nothing I could do to stop it. I was powerless - like trying to hold water between your fingers.

How did I get here?