Finding My Way Back-I

The world is cruel. That might be the only truth my mother ever told me.

Every day, basically a tradition, she delighted in reminding me that had she a steadier hand my brains would have been scrambled on the end of a coat hanger.

“You have no right standing there, breathin’ the same air as me.”

That was her favorite saying.

I guess she told me two truths.

I woke up today to the sound of screeching rails, the smell of cheap tobacco, and a hunger so fierce I could barely stand. The sun’s glare bit at my eyes through the tattered blinds that have been fighting a losing battle with time since before I started at Madison.

I lay there with eyes affixed to the ceiling debating, as I do every morning, whether or not it was worth getting up that day. And, as always, I reluctantly come to the conclusion that it was, albeit by a minute margin, best that I bite the bullet and take the day head on.

Strange as it might seem, I still hold hope that my efforts aren’t futile.

And, look at all the good it’s done me.

After fighting free of my tangled blankets I shuffled to my closet, careful to avoid the splintered boards that made up the majority of my floor. I keep forgetting to do something about them, but honestly, they won’t be my problem after this week. My mom, assuming against all rational thought that she cares, can take care of it when I’m gone.

My wardrobe is rather bare by most people’s standards: three shirts, one coat, and two pairs of pants. And, of course, my trusty pair of River Islands. I found them for fifteen bucks three years ago down at Karen’s Thrift. Nicest pair of shoes I’ve owned. I suppose that’s not saying much considering they’re the only pair that’s ever fit and didn’t have holes.

The burgundy jumper and black jeans are what I decide on after about thirty seconds of careful deliberation. With socks and boxers in hand and clothes slung over my shoulder, I make the long trek for the bathroom.

I hope she doesn’t have much to say this morning. Even though I’m so close, I don’t know how much more I can take.

If all goes well, this will be the last day I spend in this place.


Enduring Elm

From the moon’s chilled embrace

To the sun’s warm kiss upon my face

I sit restless beneath these leaves

Sprawling branches shield as eaves

Guarding against light

Yet yielding to wind’s blight

My elm she stands tall

In winter and in fall

Showdown-Daily Prompt

     Raven black hair pooled in thick coils about a moonlight pale face. Her exposed arms revealed rigid cords of muscle and a latticework of scars. They betrayed a past she had shed and let fall from her like so many sakura blossoms in the shadow of Spring. Draped in a nightingale robe pulled closed at the waist with black cloth, she made ready for what was to come.

     “ What I do, I do for you.” She took the intricately carved pendant that adorned her neck in a gloved hand and brought it to her lips, “Righteous lives do not go unavenged.”

     Heavy oak doors branded with a field of copper tigers groaned open before her. Two men of immense stature and breadth marched into the room armoured in the painted steel of the Palace Guard. They each carried a dragon-tooth blade across their back.  

     A walking execution

     The thought cut through her mind but she shoved it back down into the pit of doubt that tore at her heart.

     They aren’t who you came here for and they won’t stand in your way.

     The gilded behemoths stopped their approach and became still as a windless night just feet from where she stood. Through the tiger doors came the echo of sandled footfalls.

     She steeled herself and steadied her breath.

     At her hip hung her metal courage. She gripped the sword’s midnight hilt and turned intense eyes toward the doorway.

     Ringed in lantern light the silhouette of her opponent emerged from the recesses of the Imperial Court. Stepping into the room, she could see his person in full. A delicate face with deep set, amber eyes that burned with the same ferocity as the dragon that curled around his robes looked on her with weary disdain. Iris purple and sunrise gold, the colors of the Tatsuasaki family, breathed life into his silken garments.

     The Crown Prince of Mimashitochi.

     And the man that butchered her family.

     The dire sentinel to the prince’s left pulled at the scabbard on his hip. He drew forth a blade as dark as a raven’s wing and presented it to his master. The prince stepped forward, sword in hand, and slashed at the air in practiced motions. The midnight edge carved the air in a flurry of movement that would have been elegant had they come from any other hand.

     “They begged, you know? For me to spare their wretched lives.” The prince lowered his sword and faced the girl that watched him in silence.“ They say cowardice is a symptom of spoiled blood. Perhaps now I will be able to rest easy knowing the blight of the Sonikari line will die with you.” He leveled the sword’s point at her chest and spoke his final words, “Shall we end this?”

Daily Prompt: Symptom

Boring Bloodshed

Headlines flashed across the screen

Reds and blues light up the streets

The anchor’s coat a blithe green

She ran through the story with no retreats


Down the corner

Just past Grand

Assembled many a mourner

For a murder quite bland

The Letter- Daily Prompt

When I finally tried to read what you wrote, I don’t know, it just didn’t register as real for me. I sat there staring at the words but there was no meaning behind them.

Just scratches on a page.

We’ve kept your room for you. We know that it doesn’t matter now, but it didn’t feel right to go and throw it all out, you know? Why couldn’t you just talk to me? Or Dad? You were always out with your friends, why didn’t one of them try? You didn’t have to fight this alone.

When they called it had already been three days. You were pinned against some rocks about twelve miles out of town. They said you must have done it at Jameson Bluff. I tuned out after that.

I think I’m going to go read your letter now. Maybe I need the closure. Acceptance sounds good right now.

Daily Prompt:Acceptance

Time To Conquer-Daily Prompt

He stood at the edge and watched the alabaster rapids surge in anger below.


His lungs filled with pine suffused air. The sun sat heavy on the horizon to the west. Long ribbons of plum and vermilion laced the sky, bathing the terrain in their lavish shades. The rustle of the trees and the roaring of the river were the only sounds that penetrated his ears. The inhabitants of the forest that would normally scutter underfoot or soar overhead, were deafeningly quiet. He scoured his pockets to make sure he didn’t forget to leave the note; he didn’t.


It was time to conquer this. It was time to fall.


Daily Prompt:Conquer


A Monster In The Night- Part II

“My grandad once told me that our concept of tragedy is wrong. My neighbor’s entire family died in a car accident. Drunk driver, rainy road, it was awful. And, when I said it was a tragedy, he told me I was wrong.

     ‘That’s the problem with people today,’ he slid his glasses from his puffy face and started wiping them, ‘they have a deep misunderstanding of what real tragedy is.’ It was lazy, almost uninterested, the way he said this. It was like Grandad didn’t even care that four people just died.

     ‘Real tragedy’, he sighed, ‘is when we lose great people in horrible ways. There’s a sense of glorious waste when a tragedy happens. It’s not just some Tom, Dick, or Harry of the street getting stabbed,’ he paused to fit his glasses back to his face, ‘or a family of inconsequentials getting hit head on by a loaded bar fly.’

     I didn’t know how to respond, so I just stood there paralyzed by the sting of his words. He looked me up and down, snickered to himself, and clamped a calloused hand around my shoulder.

     ‘Susan, honey, you got a lot to learn about the world. Things only gonna’ get worse from here.’ He turned and sauntered his way down the path, back to his two-story cabin at the bottom of the hill. If he had known how things would turn out, I wonder if he’d think differently about tragedies. Or maybe he saw himself as inconsequential. Probably. Maybe that’s what he thought of us also. I’m not even sure what I’m trying to say, but I…” Susan’s voice waned and she slumped down further into the plush ottoman. Dr. Wilson who had been listening in silence reached forward and cupped Susan’s knee in a delicate grip.

     “I think that’s enough for today. We’ve made great progress, I’m extremely proud of how far you’ve come since you started here.” Dr.Wilson had a gentle voice. The kind of voice that can get a person to open up and spout their entire life story. Perfect for a therapist.

     Susan’s meetings with her had been a weekly occurrence for the past three years. In that time she’d revealed enough to give Dr.Wilson the impression that she was getting somewhere with here, but not enough to actually make her understand the whole truth. That’s not to say that Susan didn’t like her therapist. She might be the only adult she can talk to without wanting to scuttle away; she might even trust her. But, that doesn’t mean that Dr.Wilson needs to know everything about her past. It would be too hard and Susan didn’t want to burden another person with her malignant psychological baggage.

     Susan rose from the hole she had burrowed into the ottoman and offered a limp hand to Dr.Wilson. She accepted and took it in both of her own hands. “ Please, remember to call me if anything comes up, okay? My line is always open.” Dr.Wilson gave Susan’s hand a reassuring squeeze before releasing it.

     “Right, of course, anything. I’ll be sure to call Doc,” Susan chirped. She slunk her way out of the room and let the door shut behind her. The lobby was deserted if you didn’t count the receptionist, which she didn’t. If you get paid to be there it doesn’t count, Susan thought as she crossed the drab waiting area. The carpet was a dusty brown and the walls a sickeningly plain white. Really made you feel at home.

     Susan was about to turn the corner that leads to the entrance’s automatic doors. Before she made it, however, the door to Dr.Wilson’s office squeaked open behind her.

     “Remember Susan, just a phone call away,” She placed a hand over her chest as if she needed more ways to emphasize that she cared, “ Be safe out there, okay?”

     “Got it Dr.Wilson. Anything happens you’ll be the first to know,” Susan traced an x across her chest, “Cross my heart.”

     Dr.Wilson nodded her approval and ducked back into her office. Susan hesitated. She wanted to make sure that there weren’t going to be any more offers of support. After a minute she decided that there would be no more appearances from Dr.Wilson and shuffled back towards the entrance. Susan appreciated how much she cared, but she knew that was the wrong road to go down. When Dr.Wilson said “anything”, she didn’t really mean anything. That was an offer made with the understanding that Susan might call once or twice outside of their meetings, but that’s not how it would play out. If Susan called her every time she felt overwhelmed or every time she felt like it wasn’t worth getting up, Dr.Wilson would never be able to put her phone down again.

     On her way out Susan gave a shy wave to the receptionist, who responded with a lively “See you again next week!” How people could be so happy, even if they were faking it, eluded her. Susan stepped from the air-conditioned building that housed a host of offices besides Dr. Wilson’s, and into a blistering Oregon afternoon. October third and it’s 76 degrees out, how is a girl supposed to deal with that?

     “God, I wish global warming wasn’t actually a thing like that orange mess keeps trying to say.” She muttered this into her chest as she tried to unzip her jacket. The zipper was stuck and she tried in vain to pull it free. After a few rounds of furious tugs, Susan conceited.

     “Fine, have it your way.” Susan gripped the ragged bottom of her jacket, “ we’ll just have to do this the hard way.” She swung the jacket overhead and tore it from her body. Susan’s hair was frazzled and in the flurry of movement her phone was flung from her pocket.

     “Aw, crap,” Susan reached down and plucked the phone from off the cement, “at least you were already cracked I guess.” She gave the phone a quick once-over and didn’t find any new damage. She moved to slide it into her back pocket when it erupted in a quick succession of buzzes.

     “I swear if this is Dr.Wilson sending me a message about ‘calling her anytime.” Susan punched in her security code and scrolled to her messages. It wasn’t Dr.Wilson, but a name she hadn’t seen in her inbox for over a month. It was from Tabitha. And it said she was coming home. Today.

Along The Way

We used to write songs together

You and I

Huddled beneath a field of stars


Your voice would fill those nights

The delicate summer winds

Carrying the melody through the air


But we never did get the feelings worked out

It was never the right time

Or it was the perfect time


Even if it didn’t make sense

We made it work for awhile

But then my letter came


And then your audition came

Soon I was off to Uni

And soon you were on tour


Somehow it ended like this

Along the way, we lost ourselves

Along the way, we lost Us