Waiting For Lions

They didn’t speak of him. Not at all.

The king with the white mane.

A notch hanging off his ear.

Ridges gouged around his eyes.

He sat in the corner, silently. Watchfully. His tail swishing mindfully as the others ignored him. Steering clear of him, because of his odd color. His strange scars. Or, maybe, because of the way he seemed quiet. Daunting.

He was an anomaly, honestly. Something to marvel. To ponder. Something to observe, take in, and marvel.

And yet, there he was.

Abandoned.

Forgotten.

Alone.

There, in the corner—away from all the others—he sat. Just the tiniest bit of sunlight shrinking in his eye.

The white lion. Continue reading “Waiting For Lions”

Consuming Silence

The landscape is loud.

Riotous.

Colors and shapes and shadows all merging together. Creating one giant, mess of a landscape. Vomiting rainbow pastels and flowers that bloomed with a literal burst. Busying your eyes with trying to sift through the strangeness. The colors this planet tries to portray as “natural”. Bright blues, and vivid pinks. A forest that visually screams.

This place feels so…

Loud.

And yet, as I walk on, I can feel it. It’s palpable. If I wanted to, I could reach out and touch it, that’s how strong it is. How apparent.

Silence. Continue reading “Consuming Silence”

Battle Born

I can feel the wind.

I have seen the clouds form and break. Seen the sky crack and crush thousands. Watched the earth shatter and split, spilling hundreds of lives right into the abyss. I have heard the war cries, heard the drums, the clanking of shields and the splintering of spears. Watched the dark beasts rise, and seen the dragons of blood and bone call us to Hades’s grip.

I have seen all these things. Watched death vomit its curse up, over whole fields, whole towns, whole cities.

I have seen many, many battles.

Fought in many long wars.

I can feel the wind rise, and die. It’s breath becomes just a whisper on my skin.

Dying out.

Just like the rest of us.

Just like me.

I have won this battle, but…

I don’t think I’ll win another.

I’m done for. Continue reading “Battle Born”

Share of Hearts

The knock was gentle. Timid. Meant to be heard, but not to disturb.

I knew who it was, of course.

So, of course, I let him in. Continue reading “Share of Hearts”

Mourning Stones Do Not Mourn Alone

I wasn’t sure whose grave I found that day. When I traveled up, into the mountains. When I stumbled upon that clearing, yellowing in the wake of fall. When I found that tombstone, carved, but unmarked. I’m not sure whose grave I found that day. Not at all.

All I knew was:

When I saw it, I was drawn.

And, as I drew closer, I could feel it more clearly.

And, as I felt it more and more, it weighed heavily on my heart.

I felt sad that day. A new mourner to stand in front of the unmarked grave. A new sadness to throw at the foot of the stone.

As I stood there, feeling it—that thick, heavy weight that came with loss, that came from poking around a hole that could never be filled—I was suddenly struck. Filled with determination.

I would be a proper mourner for this stone. For this sorrow I felt. Even if it meant mourning alone.

I was going to come back with flowers.

I was.

The very next day, in fact.

And when I came back, I was still unsure of whose grave it was. But, I was glad that I came.

Because I was not the only visitor that day. Continue reading “Mourning Stones Do Not Mourn Alone”

Wandering the Dark

Flashes of light. Words that burst into the dark, that puncture its stranglehold. That fight against the waves.

What lies in the dark?

There’s you, and there’s me, and there’s something else here, too, isn’t there? Not something that can be seen, or touched, or felt in any physical way. But it’s here, isn’t it?

You can’t see me.

You breathe.

Inhale once, exhale again. A whisper comes out, distorted through the dark. Not loud, and not powerful in the exhale. But that isn’t what matters.

It’s the inhale that brings the strength.

You breathe in my name. Let it go, just a little. Soft words in the dark. Tiny fragments of light. A star in the ever-distant sky. Not a lot.

But it’s enough.

Enough to guide you north. Continue reading “Wandering the Dark”

The Reaper, My Love

We were kids. Couldn’t have been older than six, that’s all I know. That’s as far as my memory can reach.

It’s more than far enough.

We were kids, and we were sitting in the barn. Staring at a dead mouse. Well, it wasn’t really a mouse. Not quite yet, anyway. It was still fairly pink. Poor thing. It was trying to be a mouse. It really was.

But it fell.

Instead of crawling or walking or scurrying how mice do, it fell from the rafters. Without even a single sound, it fell.

Failed.

We were kids, and we were staring at the mouse, a giant lump in my throat and a stone in my stomach. An ache spreading through my joints as I thought about how such a small thing had died so soon. He hadn’t even really lived yet, the poor little thing.

And that was when he said it. Staring at the lost life before us, his expression receded in his sadness, he said it.

“One day, I’m going to be the Grim Reaper.”

It was a bit of a bombshell.

So, I’d said, “I thought you were going to be a lawyer.”

As somberly as he could—neither of us really understood it at the time—he said, “Mom says they’re practically the same thing.”

Continue reading “The Reaper, My Love”

Star Collision

“Do you know why I brought you here?”

I don’t.

One minute, I was in my room, sulking. And now, I’m somewhere else.

Somewhere else entirely.

The stars shine beneath my feet. Like standing on a glass aquarium, only, instead of sharks, there are millions of fires burning. Lights that flicker and don’t fade. That burst, but don’t explode. A brightness that I can’t describe, that shines brightly like a thousand suns to create a million rainbows to light up a thousand thunder storms. It’s the top of the world, the mouth of heaven. A place anyone would be mystified by.

It’s glorious.

But I still don’t know where “it” is.

Or why I’m here.

So I shake my head at the man. The man who had the funny markings on his face. The white-hot glowing eyes. That angelic smile.

That angelic smile that looks so accepting. So knowing.

So soft.

“Let me show you,” he says.

Honestly, I don’t know how he can show me anything at all.

It’s far too bright here. Continue reading “Star Collision”

Selfless Instinct

Endure.

The sound blasts through the sky. It makes the birds stop and blocks out the sound of any semblance of sense. Those in the immediate area lose it, while those far enough away run for their lives. Uncertainty fills the air.

Endure.

It’s a command.

It doesn’t come from above, nor does it come from below. It’s a call. A demand. Something that can’t be ignored because it isn’t a phone ringing, and it isn’t a dog singing. It’s not loud, and it’s not soft. It is what it is.

It comes from within.

Endure.

So I do.

I take my cues from myself, and I turn, and I run.

I endure. Continue reading “Selfless Instinct”