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When Heven Does Not Hurt 44.
"Are you comfortable?" Christine asked, fussing over Erik's body as he sat buried in the sofa. She had found as many pillows as she could and had refilled his cup of tea more times then he cared to think of. "Do you need anything more?"
"No. I am fine. Please, continue your story, my dear," he said, shifting uncomfortably under all of the attention.
Christine sighed, causing Erik to only tense more, afraid of what her next, fateful words might be.
"Erik," she started, "do you remember when you told me about the bag of life and death?"
Erik closed his eyes against the memory, ashamed of his outburst and his irrational moments of anger following her attempt at suicide. He was beyond himself when he found her on the floor, wallowing in her own blood, so of course he would be irrational. It was just, humiliating that he, Erik, the magician of the Persian court and the Czar's favorite toy was incapable of keeping cool when the one he loved most needed him. And Christine did need him that
When Heven Does Not Hurt 33.
Erik was dreaming. He stood from Christine's bed and wandered into the hallway on wobbling legs.
She was in the kitchen, preparing some kind of stew. Her golden hair was tied up gently to the top of her lovely skull. He approached her silently, reaching for her with his horrible fingers. His thoughts drifted to the kisses she had given him, and to the ones she had allowed to give to her.
It is merely a dream, Erik, he reminded himself. Christine is with her viscount. She will never know.
He snatched at her waist, pulling her flush against him. She cried out, jumping slightly in the air. Erik growled.
"Even in Erik's dreams Christine fears him. No matter how Erik adores Christine she still shuns him like the animal he is. Like he deserves. She will never love him, never! Oh, woe to Erik!"
He pushed her further against him, closing off all means of escape. Curls touched his face, smelling strongly of the flower sent that had once permeated her veil. The smell was much stron
When Heven Does Not Hurt 22.
The first thing that came to Erik's attention as he woke was that he was not in his coffin.
The second was that he was in a silken robe and light, cotton clothing when he was certain he had been in his dress suit the night before.
The third, most important thing was that an angel was sitting in a chair beside the bed, her head burrowed into a novel. Her foot seemed to tap the rhythm of the words into the floor.
"Christine!" he rasped, the burning in his vocal cords strangling the sound of his surprise.
She looked up, her curls swinging slightly before her eyes. The moment she cast her eyes on his face she stood. Panicked, Erik seized her skirts with deft fingers.
"Do not leave " he whimpered.
She unhooked his hands from her dress, patiently pressing them back onto his chest.
"Please. Erik would do anything if Christine would not leave him alone in the dark!" he said.
"I am not leaving, Erik, truly. You are ill and need care. I am going to the other room to f
When Heven Does Not Hurt 1Erik was waiting to die. Christine had promised she would return after he died.
"She will be here soon," Erik whispered his mantra over and over, rolling the words on his dry, corpse tongue. "She will be here soon."
It had been a week since he had met with the Daroga at his little flat. Three days had passed since he had crawled silently into his coffin to await hell. Erik is already in hell, he thought wildly. It is hell without Erik's Christine.
The silence in the house by the lake was think with Death, empty of the music that once ruled the darkness. Nothing existed in the cellars but Erik's home and the miles and miles of corpses left behind from the Commune. And the rats, Erik reminded himself. How ironic, a corpse entombed in other corpses.
He could not muster enough strength to laugh, so he opted to concentrate on every swell of his chest, hoping that it would be his last.
A sound colored the darkness for a moment, startling Erik.
Perhaps a rat has found its way into Erik's home
The Writers BurdenWriters heed your calling,
Bare arms for your right,
Take up your pen in action,
And prepare yourself to fight
Working until distraction,
In you heart it's true
For these things inside
Make the words part of you.
Writers heed your calling,
Words from your fingers slip,
To put bread into your mouth.
For art you would once happily flip,
Will keep you from moving south,
The cold of winter beckons at your minds door
Make sure to prop it open
so they can come inside.
Writers heed your calling,
You read long past stars,
making you intelligent
with words meant to be ours
but beware Astonishment,
for he is a rouge
who bottles you up
and eats you whole.
Writers heed your calling,
remember the meaning of your life,
the point behind it all.
that even in through the strife
you can't afford to fall.
Brush writer's block aside,
take charge of what you know,
and put the hate behind.
Writers heed your calling,
Trust your fellow man,
that when you are writing,
other's are writing your battle plan.
High SchoolBlank white walls,
Lockers sigh as they open,
contents sliding out,
like water in a stream.
You learn things here,
get new information
even if you don't want it
as the sky beckons from outside.
People rush by worried about
and romantic relationships.
They don't notice me,
I blend into the barren walls.
Doors engulf them,
sucking the students into the darkness.
There are so many things akin to,
The JungleMenagerie of hogs and cattle,
No returning from the machine,
Squealing hogs, swooping penalty,
Scraped, severed, slit, cut, chop, jerked
Screaming, crying, and squealing.
Skinning, chilling, boiling, labeling,
Carcasses inch-deep in blood,
Sinclair, Upton. The Jungle. New York: Bantam, 1981
Striking When I first watched the 1943 version of Pride and Prejudice I was already a huge fan of the book. It wound around in my mind like coil, curving and digging into my brain in some palaces while lightly brushing in others. Not surprisingly, I watched it alone, while my parents were out and I found myself captivated by the actors in the movie. The women weren't today's kind of beautiful. The ideal, big breasted, skinny women that men are supposed to fantasize about now days. They were curvy and a healthy kind of plump.
Their features were striking. I love that word, striking. I won't ever be gorgeous, but I have been called striking. That is my word. The one used to describe me. I am not plain or beautiful or ugly. I am striking. Maybe that's why I love older things. Back in the early 1900s, the more striking you were, the more people looked at you, the more you got to sing and dance. The more you got to be an artist and let your hair down as you
Bird The people in my neighborhood stare at me. It's not because I'm crazy like Jordan, who lives down the road in the blue house that her father repainted before we stopped being best friends. She would bounce down the street like springs were tied to her shoes, smiling with crooked teeth that she would hide when you smiled back with your teeth that were straight like cream, brick walls in your mouth.
I am a different girl, some say. Her head is off in the sky with the birds, flitting around ideas that don't make sense, no matter how hard she pulls on them with her beak. She doesn't chirp like a bird, but she sings. They don't talk about it when I'm there, but I can see it in the place in the center of the eye that betrays all lies and feelings. I'm good at hiding that place inside me. That way no one knows that inside I'm braking into tiny, cutting pieces that tear gashes into the deepest part of my soul. Torn into small fragments of myself as the
ClockThe grandfather clock's face turned down, sad. There must have been a bad moon. Time is an unhappy business, abstract, misunderstood. The clock had stood in the same spot for 200 turns around the Sun. And it never became more fun, than it had ever been. Clock remembered the families, the parents, the children, and also the childless, the unmarried, the loveless singles. He was good at remembering; it's what he was for. Happy times and sad times. Times. Time. What a sad business.
Lancelot Price 2014 July 26
Old Thoughts from New PeopleThere's sunlight on the empty road, but he supposes there isn't much to it, really: photons generated in the explosion of nuclear fusion, suddenly flying, an accident of fate to land here, at this moment, where his eyes had evolved to pick it up as visible light. It isn't fake, exactly, but that didn't mean it was real. He didn't think it meant much of anything.
He walked along the solid yellow line on the highway, occasionally putting his arms out as if he were balancing on something precarious, embracing a childlike desire to pretend that the world around him was more than it appeared to be.
He wore a jacket despite the summer air, and his poorly cut, short black hair stuck up in an unmanicured parody of the magazines that stuck out of the bag that hung off his shoulders. He seemed at peace with things, with the silence, with the sun. The road stretched on ahead and it stretched back, but for him, it may as well have not been there. He could have been walking into the ocean. It didn'
To Bruges You know, my mother always told me that I should learn how to play their game, how to just fit in. Not one of my strong suits, I always preferred to stand out. But in this I desired isolation, of sorts; I wanted to exist on the top of a staggered rock formation looming from the seething sea, I wanted to stand there and watch the sky swirl and devour the sun, I wanted to exist in an eye of a storm. It didn’t matter what storm, just a storm, so that, if I am bothered enough, I could eject myself from my momentary haven and out into the insanity of life. I snapped my head back into focus, the stairs, right.
With heavy feet and uneven gate, I managed my way up the spiraling steps, the pulsing red hue of crisis lights swallowing my face in crimson. My hair matted against the pounding rain, lungs aching from the trek, finally I found myself face to face with my door, a little slit of darkness from the peep-hole, the fading 315 hung s
SmallHave you ever felt small? Have you ever looked up at the giants, and realized how much the word "bug " describes you so perfectly?
Maybe it was when you saw the girls in the bathroom gossiping about God knows what. They didn't pay a lick of attention to you. You went about your small business while the giants talked about giants.
Possibly, you felt small when your alleged teammate mate the game winning goal for the hundreth time, and that very night you go home and punt that ball clear through the net, knowing those are the only goals you've ever made. Celebration dinner for the giant, another sleepless night of practice for the small.
My favorite is the giant in the family. Their fifth boyfriend just broke up with them, and the sixth is ringing up her phone right now. Ten guys asked her out today. You don't even know what another human being's lips feel like. Mom comes home and laughs with the giant about some little thing at work. The small puts on their headphones and waits for dinn
The JourneyThose first moments as you open the door, and you feel the warmth of the sun beating on your face, are when you begin to realize the journey ahead of you. The birds chirp, not out of joy, but out of pain, as the blistering heat makes them simmer and cook. You wipe the sweat from your brow and adjust your collar.
Those first moments as the subway doors open before you, and you feel the smoke and the black air swarm your lungs, are when you realize it's too late to go back. Your fellow passengers cough and sneeze and infect the air around you, and it's all you can do to take the handkerchief from your coat pocket and shield your mouth from breathing in the filthy toxins of this place. A blind man savors the black air and dances with his saxophone by an overturned hat filled with cash. You convince yourself that his music is in commemoration of your voyage. The doors close behind the last passenger as he scurries to the closest seat.
Those first moments as the subway doors close behind yo
Time and ChoiceThe clock's tick-tock was circular, as was the clock. The notion of time passing, going in circles and repeating cycles, in anticipation of the event – which is bound to happen, has already happened, and is in the process of happening now.
Standing at the crossroads, there's a different nightmare at the end of every road. The nightmare is unavoidable. Even going nowhere invokes its own different kind of nightmare; an unchoice is a choice in its own right.
It was time to choose, and all the dreamer could hear was the tick-tocking of the cyclical clock – a reminder of the unrelenting, unforgiving flow of time; he could stand still forever, but time would not. This was therefore impossible.
Looking left and right, and then straight ahead – even back where he'd come from – which way would it be? He procrastinated, anticipated the unknowable, and finally while gazing up into the clouds, he came to a decision.
Life is not limited. There may well be paths ready made an
Genetic Ownership"James was more than a good husband and good father, he was a good man…" Jacqueline said as she stood in front of the small crowd all dressed in black. Her smile was serene and empty, as was the smile on everyone's faces. Everyone's, that is, except for the young woman's in the front row. The black veil she had one could not hide the pain, the fear, the fits of sobbing that made everyone nervous.
"Sara, shhh! You can't let them hear you!" said the boy next to her in a hoarse whisper.
"I know…" she whispered back. "I… can't help it!" She shrank back and leaned into the boy.
At the pulpit, Jacqueline continued. "I was so proud of my husband when he spearheaded the Epigenetic Futures initiative, which has changed our world, our way of life." She looked down at her children with that same serene smile, despite the fact that her daughter continued to sob.
In the back of the church, one of the large doors opened just eno
Her bad seeds.The gardener had dark circles under her eyes.
She told me seeds need to be tucked away.
"you acknowledge the bad seed and each word is a drop of water that nurtures the rotted thing.
From there it grows from the pit of your stomach.
It branches out until it's filling your insides with the crunch of dead leaves, but this isn't all.
It grows into your now shaking fingertips and roots your weak legs into place.
The stem gets stronger, pushing against your insides until you can feel everything twist and knot in all the wrong ways.
Eventually it'll impale your heart. This is when it's too late to go back .
From here it won't need your help to sustain itself. The seed is now a parasite.
It won't feed on your blood. It needs you alive. Rather it'll feed on your colour.
With every spasm of that weak organ in your ribcage more colour will drain from your gaunt face. Your cheeks lose their glow and your smile loses it's luster.
It's still not done growing yet.
It edges up your raw asophogus, and
The Mirror GirlI am crouched over myself, trying hard not to fall over. The nerves in my feet send telegrams to my brain, screaming at it to stop me from moving. I hate this, I hate this, I hate this! My mind is on repeat, the recording forever replaying, over and over. The other girls can just move and she smiles and claps, her fingers the only things that move faster than this endless tempo of music that sets my nerves on edge. I glance at the clock. An eternity until I'm free.
"Moorea!" she shrieks in that voice that is too sweet to be human. To pink to be real. "There you are. Will you try the steps, now?"
I shake my head, praying that it will come off so I won't have to step out there in front of all the other girls and stare at myself in the mirror that seems to portray different people than the people I know. The girl in the mirror who grimaces stares me in the eye. She feels the same thing I do and I can take comfort in that. At least she understands. She turns as I do, the same awkward, clun
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