Between the Bluffs

The hardest thing about falling in a canyon is:

Getting out. Continue reading “Between the Bluffs”

Fixin’

Incomplete.

Which, in their book, translated to:

Obsolete.

Useless.

Worthless.

They were going to throw me out. As if I were trash.

As if I weren’t human.

Weren’t alive.

They were going to throw me out because I’d somehow become “incomplete”.

That’s how they saw it.

But, luckily for me, they weren’t the only ones looking. Continue reading “Fixin’”

Haunted Nevermore

There are cracks in the wall.

I can hear the creaking of the floorboards. See the rot from the water that leaks in. Here, the floor isn’t sturdy. You could fall right through—the boards are as thin as wet paper. Here, there isn’t much shelter from anything. This old, desolate house. Oozing and creaking and moaning along with the things that fill the walls.

Where do you think the cracks came from?

Obviously, they came from them.

They spill out some nights. Flooding the house, over and over again. Playing like a song on repeat. Scratching and screaming and scurrying over the ceilings. Wailing and terrorizing and eating away at the souls of others. Desperate and jealous. Creatures that haunt, that steal, that kill—all for pleasure.

These ghosts…

I was raised with them, you know.

I grew up here, in this house.

It screams at me.

These monsters…

And I hear the rhetoric again. The chanting that always filters through the screams. Words that float through the panic, through the muck, through the mire of spirits unrested. I hear their demand. The threat of what’s to come if I don’t heed them, if I don’t obey. I hear the words, carrying from the house to this faraway place, and I suppress a shudder.

Protect the ghost. Continue reading “Haunted Nevermore”

Spirit Unrested

I’m not sure how to handle this. What I ought to do. Where I can go from here. How to recover.

What do you do when everything you built was a lie? When the house turns out to be made of glass and then—surprise, surprise—it shatters? What foundation can survive on sand? Who builds a house that washes away with the shore?

What do you do when you live like that?

What can you do to save yourself? To save what you’ve stored away? What you’ve built?

Could there ever be reckoning from a betrayal that runs foundation-deep?

I…

I don’t know.

I don’t think so.

How could you ever trust that broken ground again? What could you ever build there? What kind of dangerous contraption could stand on something like that?

What can I recover?

Continue reading “Spirit Unrested”

Wishing Well

I watched him.

For years, I watched him.

Wandering into the forest, the boy with rags. Holes in his soles. He’d wander in, following the old rocks. Leap the fallen logs. Meander through the fallen leaves until, at last, he’d find it.

The well.

And, that poor boy—do you know what he’d do?

Toss a copper.

Make a wish.

Throw offerings into the well.

Hope that his prayers said before the stones were heard. That his wish would rise off the water, echo into the heavens.

Tossing his living into the well. Continue reading “Wishing Well”

Warrior’s Way

Expectations are always hard to meet. You never know when exactly you’re overshooting, or coming up short. When people place expectations on you, you just kind of…

Go for it.

And what happens, happens.

You either succeed.

Or.

Fail.

Usually, there’s a pretty clear sign when you’ve met someone’s expectations.

Or when you haven’t.

There are very few people who are understanding about it. Who don’t live to be let down. Very few who get over themselves enough to realize that achieving their expectations doesn’t matter.

Not when you really, truly try.

Continue reading “Warrior’s Way”

Top Dog

When you’re walking alone at night through a park and you hear a large noise in the bush, your first thought is usually:

I’m about to die.

Especially if you’re female. That’s definitely your first thought.

I was no exception to that. Especially when my pup started barking. Growling in that too-cute way that only puppies can.

Poor guy.

He was so small, and a cockapoo on top of that. There wasn’t an ounce of him that was scary. Not a single bit.

The thing in the bushes didn’t seem to disagree.

As I stood there, hoping it was a rabbit or a cat or a possum, it emerged.

And it wasn’t any of those things.

It was worse.

Much, much worse.

Really, it only reaffirmed my fears:

I was going to die. Continue reading “Top Dog”

A Fine Race

Time is running.

It is running.

Forward and forward and forward.

Faster than lightning. Faster than bullets. Faster than planes, trains or anything man can make.

Time is always running.

And where is it running to? Where does it go? Where does it intend to stop?

I don’t know.

And I won’t find out.

Time has been here before me. It was here before my father, and his father, and his father before him.

And it’ll be here after.

I’m no fool.

I won’t be able to outrun time.

But I can’t stop trying, you know? I won’t give up, because it isn’t time for that yet. If I gave up now, it wouldn’t be right. Nothing would be right.

All I can do is try. Continue reading “A Fine Race”

Lion Rising

Rise.

I’ll never forget the last words of that man. The one who stood above the rest. Who called himself a man, while others claimed him a hero. He was the type of man that would stoop to tie your shoe for you, even if you were older than five. The type of guy who didn’t mind picking trash out of parking lots, even if no one asked. He was the type of guy who listened before he spoke, thought before he acted, and only raised his voice to shout encouragement.

Rise.

It was only one word.

In the end though, that’s all I needed to him from him.  Continue reading “Lion Rising”