I’ve often thought about Paul Revere.
Not because I thought of him as a hero. In fact, I know almost nothing about him. Just have heard about his famous midnight ride. His holler, crying through the town. Alerting the people.
Riding through the town, yelling at the top of your lungs. Hoping someone—no, everyone—hears you.
In the dead of night, when your voice is the only protest. The only thing piercing through the dark. A last line of defense against what’s to come. Against the impending attack. The looming doom.
I think that, maybe, Paul thought to himself—at least once:
I hope they believe me. Continue reading “Midnight Ride”
If there was one thing in this world that I believed, it was:
Nothing should be believed wholeheartedly.
If you believed in something with all your heart—be it someone else, like a friend or a spouse, or be it a creature like the Loch Ness Monster, ligers, or the Tooth Fairy—it made you a bigger target for hurt. For disappointment.
Never believe in something with all your heart.
It’s safer that way.
Plus, who believed in anything with all their heart? That’s just… weird. Bizarre. A completely foreign concept.
How could anyone be so confident?
So wholly certain?
You have to have a little bit of doubt… right? Continue reading “Wings of Disbelief”
“At three thirty-seven tomorrow, I’m going to get attacked by a dragon, and I need you to save me.”
The words were so strange that they actually managed to draw me out of my book.
I looked at Cliff and blinked a few times. As if I might wipe away the serious look on his face. As if I might blink, and he’d stop giving me that look that asked for promises.
But it didn’t work.
“What?” I asked.
He nodded, then repeated the statement.
“Tomorrow, at three thirty-seven, I’m going to get attacked by a dragon. I need you to save me.”
He didn’t have to say it because it was written plainly, all over his face.
He wasn’t. Continue reading “Timeliness, and the Importance of Timing”
This place is so cruel.
Light shining only through darkness. Day only reaching out after the light. Beauty only existing because ugly things take root here.
This world is so cruel.
And I’ve known that. For so long—all my life in fact—I’ve known it. Lived it. Experienced it.
Why did I think I’d get away from it?
That I could outrun this, my greatest fear, and still reach the light?
Kind of stupid, really.
What a dunce. Continue reading “Dive”
“Listen, I did it right.”
“Uh huh, sure you did.”
“If you’d done it right, it’d be working, now wouldn’t it?”
“Listen, if I did it right, and you bought doubly-dead parts, it wouldn’t work no matter which way I put them.”
“Excuse me? You’re going to try and put this on me? You cheeky bastard.”
Continue reading “Reviving Passion”
Find a way.
The motto of my life. A directive given at birth, much like a plague or a hereditary disease or a birthmark.
Find a way.
Not to get your way. Sometimes your way is wrong. No, don’t find a way to get what you want.
Find a way to earn something.
To make people feel at ease.
To be the thing that lifts their spirits.
Find a way to make a difference.
I think that’s what Dad always meant. He never directly said it like that, but I still think that’s what he meant. When he was egging me on, encouraging me, wanting me to help. To give people something to look forward to. During training and during his lessons, it’s what he always said. Usually, he’d say it right before I was about to give up. On the tenth mile, or during the fiftieth set, or in the middle of my rope climb. I’d hear him call out to me, the words lost in the fog of fatigue and in the roaring of my blood in my veins. I’d look at him, confused, panting, and then he’d say it again.
Find a way.
I hear it now, in his voice, as I stare death down. As I look this threat right in the teeth.
I’ll find a way Continue reading “Wayfinder”
Deep in the heart of the beast.
I can feel it in my bones. Connected by every vow, every minute, every moment I’ve spent thinking about you. Laboring over you. Spilling blood and secrets to keep you safe. To get you back.
I can feel it.
You’re still there.
You still struggle.
I can feel it, but.
There’s nothing I can do from here. Absolutely nothing.
Nothing but send the thought—no, the will—your way.
Find a way. Continue reading “Belly of the Beast”
Wishing upon stars wasn’t something I did as a kid.
But it was something she did.
All the time.
Every night we were together—having sleepovers or hiding from our siblings outside—she would always look at the sky. And she would find a star, and she would make a wish.
Sometimes it was the first star. Sometimes it was the last. Sometimes she’d make up an excuse, right on the spot, as to why you could be allowed to wish upon that particular star.
Not that I minded. I didn’t wish, and I didn’t know the rules.
The ones she made up were just as good as the ones those other people made up.
Once she announced that she was going to wish, she would close her eyes.
Shut them real tight.
She’d mumble under her breath, things I could never hear. (I wasn’t allowed to know, that would break the wish.) And then, when she finished her wish, she’d open her eyes.
And she’d smile.
Starlight blinking in the backs of her eyes. Thousands of tiny suns, unable to refuse her their light.
“You know what I wished for?” she’d ask.
“No,” I’d say.
“Good. It’s a secret,” she’d tell me.
And I never pried. Never did ask what she was wishing for.
I kind of wish I had. Continue reading “Star Power”
“What if I forget?”
It’s not a question said calmly. It’s not whispered, not gentle. There is no soft edge.
The question is a knife.
It slices through the air, desperation bleeding from the open wound. It stings around the edges as the wound registers, as the pain becomes real. As the wound becomes solid, tangible.
It’s a solid wound. A steady one. One that, unfortunately, had to be placed.
But not for the reasons you’d imagine. Continue reading “Red Rivers and Flowing Strings”
The woods are not a place for playing.
Not at night.
I tell every one of them that. Every one of them that comes by my hut. I do everything possible to make it clear to them:
Be home by sundown.
Don’t stick around.
Don’t wait for night.
Because the night is waiting too. Continue reading “Dark Preys at Night”