Sunday, 24 September 2017

Trailing

On this night of all nights...

The piano struck a chord, the notes floating in ethereal bliss above the sound of the waterfall just past his door. The pianist. Her breath caught in her throat as she gazed upon his dishevelled state, the ragged state of his nails seeming to complement his attire. She wasn't sure what part of her could notice such a small detail, but as the mournful notes rang through the bare halls, they seemed to tease her forward, elude and entangle her senses, until her steps formed glimmering puddles across the dark floors.

His gaze never faltered from the keys his fingers barely seemed to touch, but his eyes closed at each strike, the shivers running through his very bones and seeming to tangle and entice his body to elicit breath.

This was all he was, she knew, all he had been...for memory fading. And memory did fade as she neared him. Every step a fractured cascade into another world, another life, where all she had been and was rippled away on the breeze, unbinding from her form in ribboned wonder. She turned her head to watch a flow, and some part deep within her felt surprised as she saw it simply halt, ruffling in the air as if time had no sway over it. She found herself nodding, it was simply as it should have been.

He was watching her. How she knew she could not tell, for his motion had not changed, his eyes blinking at each languid strike...but somehow he was. The third eye of the world had glanced at her and she had never noticed, even as she shivered. But the siren's call was a man in a tattered shirt playing a piano in the shadow of a waterfall. The madness of reality had tilted to sane and she had stepped beyond its pale echo, with the aid of a bridge she had never seen.

The Oracle (Dark Blue pt 2)

Lucial threw down her keys and took off her jacket, ending the day with a long sigh and a blank stare across the room. The lounge was in order, as ever, the fluffy pillows enticing with their imitation goose down on the long, soft sofa. But with a shake of her head she got herself moving and trudged over to the kettle, kicking her boots off as she went.

The cool tiling was refreshing under her socked feet and she felt life returning to her limbs as her toes softly pattered on the floor. The fridge didn't have much going for it at this hour, but she hummed softly as the kettle boiled, perusing the shelves for hidden scraps and parcelled packets. Eventually she spied a half-empty pot of humous and the hank of leftover uncut white loaf. "That'll do," she murmured, retrieving the items and setting them on a plate.

The tea took forever, as usual. Or perhaps it only felt like forever as the couch was calling. Still the bread was tasty, though it missed something with the humous, and she would have killed for some tomato soup. Or at least poked someone, she amended in her mind.

The clock ticked back and forth, pendulum in name and nature and an odd thing for a modern apartment, but oh so relevant. He would be coming soon, she knew, and he would want answers.

The television flicked on with a cascade of light and sound, and she let it suspend her as she settled onto the couch. She knew what she would be watching, and indeed had looked forward to it for the entire day. The comforting mellow tones of the love interest as he walked around the city, running errands on his way home for the night, washed over her with the title music.

Lucial supposed he was actually the hero of the story, the protagonist, but somehow she had never seen it that way. He was the love interest, she...or well the heroine at least, was the protagonist. She smiled as she felt herself nod at the thought, at least in the movies Lucial thought of herself that way. Real life always ended up shockingly disparate.

She rolled her shoulders and slipped into null mode, the second stretching out interminably. The movie paused itself in an odd muting of light and sound as she made her way back over to the fridge and fished out some more food. The lazy use of her power made her chuckle, but she wanted to get as much of the film seen as possible before he arrived. That was a good reason to stop time, right?

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Dark Blue

Callum dipped a finger in his drink and stirred it, his digits finding the little pieces of coconut and slowly crystallising them to ice as his other hand played idly with the fire. Curious news in the paper again today, he mused as he sucked his finger clean, his moustache flaking with frost at the contact.

His eyes narrowed suddenly and he flicked the cooker off and scanned the page, picking out the odd configuration of adverts amongst the articles. That made three. Three times in the five days he had bought the paper, one every other day. And how many before that? How many times before had it been repeated? There was no way of telling without a lot of digging, and Callum had no time for that now.

Quickly he crossed to the study, a small room made tiny by the sheer amount of clutter stacked and strewn around the large chestnut desk in the centre. Callum swept aside the remnants of his last project, the brass metal tubes clanking as they rolled about, and pulled out a local map, laying it across the table. With infinite care, he laid the newspaper page over it and with a pin, marked out each of the adverts. Then he pulled out Monday and Wednesday’s editions from a nearby stack, spilling it across the floor in the process, and did the same.

When he pulled the papers away he had his answer, clear as day. It was almost an afterthought to pull on his long blue trench coat, and his hands found the latch on the furnace far too easily. His fist gripped a hot coal, feeling the heat sink into the pit of his stomach, the roiling nauseated feel of its need to escape, before the euphoria of release as his other hand slowly passed over his face, the mask freezing his visage.

He stepped towards the door and lifted his hat from the peg; as it settled on his head he felt himself settle into his skin. Somewhere, a child needed saving.

Somewhere, someone needed Dark Blue.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

In His Eyes

"How is Hrasta?" Foxfire asked after a moment.

"Fine, she's giving the ship a once over and making sure everything is working as intended." Caid's face turned sombre. "I think this is a little calming for her, since when she woke her memories...were not good ones."

Foxfire nodded, falling into pensive silence for a moment. Then she smiled and reached out to caress Caid's face. "Mine could not have been better," she said. Caid blushed, and Foxfire realised that was part of what drew her to him. He looked at her in a way that no one else had before, as though there could never be anyone better, anything else. With wonder and complete contentment in his eyes. "What would we ever do if I had no mission, hmm? Would you stare at me all day like that?" she asked him gently.

"Never," Caid said with a smile. "And we'd never go for walks together, we'd never travel or explore, we'd never eat wonderful food and laugh with friends. We'd never run down streets and poke in corners looking for the secrets. We'd never curl up together and just watch the world go by. We'd never go to new places, new worlds, we'd never run into danger or be bored. We'd never bicker or fight or be scared." Caid chuckled. "You'd certainly never threaten to throw me out of an airlock." His expression softened. "We'd never be sad. We would never cry. We would never try to have children, or watch each other die."

Caid took Foxfire's hand in his own. "And I'd never stare at you like the world is in your eyes."

Foxfire clasped his hand tightly. "Do you promise?"

"I promise," Caid whispered, leaning in and kissing her tenderly.
  
 ~'~

Something about how I feel always informs these kinds of scenes. I know I can never have something as wonderful or idealised as this, but I can't helped being moved to writing it. I know it's schmaltzy, but...a part of me wants to see it more than anything.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Don't Talk About...

It's been a strange time for me recently. Feeling high, feeling low, chasing after people, trying to let them go. But somehow it feels like a point at my life where things are really moving forward. I'm writing better than I have done for a long time, and actually getting through one of my novels, I hope. This will a huge milestone for me, because that's what's really been holding me back all these years - not finishing.

They say the world is full of people with great talent who never finish what they started, who never go all the way, whose wings are clipped before they get there. That's not going to be me. I'll take what I have and leave greatness to the others, because I've never felt so...determined...to do this than now.

And that's a strange feeling for me, because I've had a fear of failure for probably my entire adult life, and to step forward and not simply be thinking that I'm going to do this at some point, but instead it's going to be now, today, banking into this...is something my head struggles to come to terms with. I can bank into a dream, but banking into reality...now that's a whirlwind.

Today I woke up with the strange feeling that I wanted to reach out a hand to someone and say: "You met me at a really strange time in my life, Marla," as the entire landscape of the world changed around us.

And I realised again, that I always wanted to see what happened afterwards.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Snippet: Lover's Quarrel

Foxfire ground her teeth. "I'd prefer not to have someone on my ship that has a problem with me."

"I don't have a problem with you," Caid growled. "I am trying to work through something right now."

"I don't want someone who needs to deal with the way I look," Foxfire told him bluntly. "I am what I am, and make no excuses for that."

"You think I'm angry because you look different?" Caid rounded on her, suddenly furious. "Your soul crackles with energy that blazes brighter than the sun, a magnetic maelstrom that pulls me unceasingly towards you. When I look at you I can barely see past that magnificence; oh is your nose pert? I didn’t notice. What colour are your eyes? I can’t tell because I’m already lost in them. How full are your lips? The only thing I see is that sly smirk I’m already in love with.” Caid’s chest heaved as he rattled off the list and he sucked in a deep breath, trying to control his emotions. “I'm angry,” he said quietly, “because I was close enough to you to hear your heartbeat, to feel your breath in my body, and you didn't feel close enough to me to share such a basic part of yourself with me.” He took another breath and realised he was shaking. “I gave you all of me why didn’t-”

Foxfire hushed him with a finger over his lips. “These are only words, Caid,” she told him quietly, though her eyes burned with fire. “If you want to share my life you have to show me more, be there when I need you, be there when I want you, be there when I wake in an unfamiliar place from a serious injury.” She smiled wryly. “And not make me have to chase you down to see you.”

Caid’s eyes were serious. “You almost died,” he said, the emotion in his voice as deep as the sea.

"I told you it was dangerous,” Foxfire reminded him. “And that was the easy part.”

Caid wrapped his arms around her fiercely and Foxfire felt herself melt into his embrace. “Silly human, was that really so difficult?” Foxfire whispered.

“Sorry,” Caid murmured thickly.

Believing

I want to believe, that one day there will be a shining beacon in the sky that blazes over our world, and just simply says "Live". And the message beyond that would be you in particular, yes you, live.

Don't believe in the construct any further than it helps you achieve your goals in this world. Don't believe in the social machine that tries to crush you every single second while growing up, that tells you that you have no place in the world, that there's enough, that you're not needed, that it's already done. Don't let the others who are jaded push you in the dirt, and make it stick to the soul of you. Brush yourself off. They are the lesser ones, not you. It's no trial to not believe in life. It's no trial to give up. It's no trial to be dedicated to nothing. And it's a crime against the very spirit within you to be all those things. The world of them. The world is hate and lies, and violence and death and rage and that little tiny pettiness that crushes you when your spirit tries to stand. That puts its boot on your shoulders.

Don't listen to the world.

Listen to the love. Listen to the kindness. Listen to hope. Listen to the dreams. Listen to those tiny voices that cry out in the night. Listen to the lights. Listen to yourself.

Don't be the world. Don't be another faceless victim, because then you really won't matter any more. Or ever. And you'll pass that hollow idea down as you fall. That idea that dreams are impossible, unless they are petty and mean and step on other people. That money if your only saviour. That kindness and compassion are not reality.

Don't believe it. Don't let it take root in your soul, no matter what you have to do. Run, hide, lock that part of you away, pretend, lie, make them think you are one of them. Put on the face and do the dance. But don't for a minute believe it. In your soul you know the truth, even if it's the hardest thing to keep alive, don't forget it. That this world is built on hope and dreams and everything in between. That this world is bleeding beauty into our souls even as we fill it with hate. That dreams, real dreams, crazy dreams, dream that have grounding in what we know, dreams that startle the mind and blaze across the sky, all these dreams are possible. Are necessary.

Life isn't about being hammered down until you convert. Life is about blazing until everything shrinks back at the light. About standing tall until you bleed, because the one person that sees you is the one that will join you. About doing all the little things until your muscles scream and your teeth ache. About waiting one more day.

Life isn't going to be easy. It's going to be hard. It's going to be tough. But if you look at it just right, you'll hit that alley that leads forward. To something greater than you ever dreamed.

You can't give up before you get there.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

One Justifies One's Path

It was as though I looked out upon a sea of faces, and every eye was shining. Their hearts filled with the dream of an impossible hope, a life filled with meaning and excitement and passion that the very stars could not contain. And every dim and darkened candle in that place rose up, for it was as though someone had lit a torch in every heart, and their souls blazed brighter than the sun.

Her Voice as Lightning Tamed by Silk

I wrote in a love interest today. She thought she was a moth but she was a butterfly with wings of majestic iridescence and beauty.

She didn't see me, though. She saw right through me, past my heart and beyond, and she knew better. I knew better. Everyone always knows better.

I don't care about better. To live is to be in the moment, to hope, to love, to feel beauty, even in the midst of despair. Everyone always knows better. Everyone always sees reality.

I hate it.

But I don't want to be a false light in the dark. I wish I could wish it away, awry, anew, and not be anything to you. To leave you alone, let you be, but I don't understand that part of me.

The part that every day I look at people and wish I could tell them they're beautiful, because they are. And have them know that in the depth of their soul nothing else matters except that light in themselves. That they sometimes can't see, but still shines like a lantern for others.

And that one person I want to hold and say "If you knew it, you could light the world with your smile, like you light my world."

But I don't know her. I don't want to be a false light in the dark. I want to be the sun that never burns her, just holds her in my heart.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Burn

I said something to a friend when she was feeling like "a puddle that didn't belong in the world" (I know, what an awesome turn of phrase!).

The world will always try to hammer us down. Sometimes it'll come sideways, sometimes from our friends, sometimes from our loved ones, sometimes it'll be from ourself. Sometimes we won't know why. But every time we have to remember who we are, what we are, and more importantly that we have to live, to burn, to be strong. 

The world is like radiation on our skin, it doesn't care what shape we are, it doesn't matter how we feel, it just impulses against our bodies with unceasing action. And the only thing we can do is take it, and use it and grit our teeth and say "This is me! I don't give a crap, I'm going to be here! And I'm going to keep being here until the end of my days. And even then, my spirit will endure this harsh world, wondering its soul and giving happiness just as I did in life. As those people live on, and pass my will to others. I will never die. I will never cease to be. The will never be me again, but I will be always."

And with that small, and so profound defiance, the world will change, and shimmer, and tremble. And that radiation will turn to glorious sunshine. Radiant and beautiful and warm as the maker's touch against our skin. Nothing else will, but all the universe really wants to hear is "I AM HERE. I AM ALIVE. I AM." And it responds will all the joys that we have. 

This life will never be more than it is. It doesn't have to be. If we take it, it will hold more beauty and wonder than we can contain.

The Phoenix's Fall

"I fell down today.

It was swift and it kicked me in the face like a blow from an elephant. I couldn't control myself as my heart convulsed. Desire, raw need, flooded me, and the swift pain of its denial was like a hand clamping around my soul and squeezing. I could barely breathe...

This doesn't happen to me. I'm smarter with my feelings. A voice inside whispered "she doesn't want you," and the echo that came down through my soul was as sharp and practical as any thirteen year old could be. This is why you don't do this. You don't touch those things, don't go near them, don't look at them, do not listen to them.

Don't fall for them.

Some things, you have to work against every day. You know this. You've done it before, you can do it again. Remember who you are. Remember what you are. Strip back that veil until you are nothing. Until that raw and bleeding heart of yours has nothing left in it. Crush it inside you until it is dust. And do it over and over and over until you don't know why you do it. Until you can't feel a single speck of that life, that hope, that love.

Until you die.

Dust and ash are all you are. Dust and ash are all you need to be. Ticking over in the hourglass of time until that person moves on. Until that blazing sun in the sky leaves you alone to your crying madness.

For madness is what it is. Sanity doesn't strike you in the dead of night like this. It doesn't attack you where you're most vulnerable. It doesn't take everything that is best in you and turn it like a knife in your hand.

Sanity isn't what you use against yourself.

Spinning in my mind, the wheels click back and forth. Don't do this. You know what's coming. She's moving and you are static. She is fire and you are earth. She will flit to another star just like the wind, and you don't have the soul to be that friend. Standing by. Watching the emotion fall off your face and into someone else's embrace. You were never that person, not then, not now.

And swiftly, draw that circle around you. Gather those ashes about you. You are nothing, from nothing, to nothing. That means you can be anything, from all to everything.

There's only so many times you can break me.

And break me.

...and break me.

Until I fall down.

But don't be surprised when I get up again. This cloak of flame is my soul, and those ashes are embers of my heart. In them I burn and flicker and hunger for life. Like a coiled serpent those fragments will sweep around me, biting through the skin and into the soul beneath. With every pinprick of pain my stance is firmer, my step surer, my heart lighter.

My soul brighter.

If there is no sun but you in my heart, I will put your blaze to shame. I will take that other life and lay it down gently as a babe and say goodbye. It shouldn't have been, but it was beautiful, and I don't hate it. It shouldn't have snapped me in a moment, it shouldn't. But I can only marvel at a world with such things in it.

Such people as you."

- Serestra Cain; Deserter, Outcast, Saviour.