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    1. And They Wished to Never Wake Up

      — Are we dreaming? — She asked. — I don't know, my dear. I really don’t know. — He answered. — It feels real. — Yeah, it does. — Look how old we are! Isn't that crazy? — Not really. — He says...

      — Are we dreaming? — She asked.

      — I don't know, my dear. I really don’t know. — He answered.

      — It feels real.

      — Yeah, it does.

      — Look how old we are! Isn't that crazy?

      — Not really. — He says while putting his arm on her shoulder. She calms down for a moment.

      — Yeah, but I thought... Well, I thought something, but everyone probably thinks the same. It’s silly.

      — What did you think?

      — I thought we’d be different. Old, sure, but perky, wise, matured from adventure. Something noble like that. But no. We’re the same, but older. — She shakes her flaccid arms and looks both marveled and terrified by the loose skin wiggling back and forth.

      He adjusts his glasses.

      — Sometimes, when I remain silent to appear profound, I’m surprised by the indigence of my thoughts. I may look like Aristotle himself while I try to remember what I ate for lunch. It’s hard to make inwards the theater we make for others.

      — But, after all, when have you become so old?

      — To tell you the truth, I don’t even know how we got here.

      — It’s weird: despite the complete darkness, we can see everything clearly. And there’s no place to rest my legs.

      — Sit here on the ground. Beside me. Put your head on my lap. — He gently caresses her head, trying to ignore his surprise with her white hairs.

      — I’d be nothing without you. But I’m ashamed to say that I don’t remember your name.

      — I might be offended, but I don’t remember yours either. — He smiles.

      — Are we close to wake up? This old body is getting on my nerves.

      — Of course, my love. This is a dream, but no more than everything else. Time is a nightmare from which we never wake up, and old age is punishment for those that refuse to die.

      — Don’t talk nonsense. This will go away in a minute. We’ll wake up young and beautiful, as always. As I remember you, and as you remember me. Everything will be fine. — She says that with forced certainty as if trying to convince herself.

      — You’re right. The nightmare will end soon, and we’ll be back to our bodies.

      — ... This conversation tired me. Good night, my love. — She pushes her head against his thigh.

      — Good night, my angel.

      And they wished to never wake up.

      9 votes
    2. The Horde

      Every day I wake up thinking that The Horde is not there anymore. The dreams are good but few, and only make everything worse. I usually dream about The Horde. During sleep, my breathing is...

      Every day I wake up thinking that The Horde is not there anymore. The dreams are good but few, and only make everything worse. I usually dream about The Horde. During sleep, my breathing is improved and more relaxed. I dream of a calendar without symbols.

      When there's an inspiration, so I write. Delete everything afterward. A professional told me that's is a compulsion. The compulsion for the perfect word removes me from language itself. The enjoyment comes from excising something from myself, which makes me feel a bit closer to perfection.

      Every once in awhile I forget The Horde is there. The writing becomes looser, I sip my coffee and take the lunch out of the freezer. The Horde is still there. The whistle makes my blood run cold.

      I forgot when The Horde arrived, but since then my days are covered of night and dust. To me, The Horde has no color, they're covered in filth and dark cloth. They get a bit closer by dawn. But The Horde never comes.

      They seem to enjoy tormenting me. Twice a crow's carcass hit my window. At least we were communicating. I had to open the window to clean the blood. The Horde did nothing. There's courtesy between me and The Horde. I never complain of their tiny advances, they never impale me alive and eat my viscera.

      The worst consequence of The Horde was to remove my visitors. I had friends and a girlfriend, before The Horde. They came here regularly. On the other hand, there's something cozy about being surrounded by The Horde. I'm never alone.

      I talked to them on a few occasions but never got an answer. I invited them to lunch and asked what they like The Walking Dead (seems like a relevant question for The Horde). Because, you see, The Horde may be savage, but they did not cut my internet. I keep telling everyone about The Horde, but no one believes me. They think I'm some internet phenomenon, an internal joke from a group they don't know about. They don't believe The Horde can come for them too, knocking on their armor of bronze and recycled aluminum.

      Sometimes The Horde's shrieks seem to gain shape and order as if they obeyed a hidden commander. But this doesn't last, and they soon resume their lurid racket.

      I don't know for how long I've lived with The Horde, nor for how long they'll stay. I'm afraid of waking up someday to find them gone. Because, in a certain way, I learned to love The Horde. I feel safe in their post-apocalyptic embrace.

      This morning they got closer than normal. I can see it better now. They all have the same face, they're both one and The Horde. Their mouths are frozen in a permanent smile, salivating like rabid animals. One more step. They look like neanderthals. The Horde approaches slowly, with steady paces, and arrive with the furor of the sound of metal and drums. The house is hit by numerous rocks — the roof is about to give in. My crumbled body will soon become an ensign for their future marches. Or maybe become mush after being punctured by one thousand spears.

      I'm only sure that this is going to end soon. Their petite steps, the threats, crows in the window. Everything is ending — finally, everything is ending. I'll never be again and so will The Horde. Nevermore.

      3 votes
    3. Behind the Teeth

      always seem happy and dandy and talk of love and romance a riven smile on the face to hide thoughts of pain for her, everything has a verse a waltz at each step a flimsy variety of beauty that...

      always seem happy and dandy
      and talk of love and romance
      a riven smile on the face
      to hide thoughts of pain

      for her, everything has a verse
      a waltz at each step
      a flimsy variety of beauty
      that melts after rehearse

      huge hipster glasses
      coffee without any taste
      a window facing concrete
      is now hummingbirds enlaced

      and when she sings all her love
      I am always in disbelief
      cause when someone shouts too much
      I sense a hooded grief

      2 votes
    4. Infatuation Mishap

      You were smart and pretty and praised every word I said Responded to my commands like a very well-trained basset You gave me food, shelter, affection in bed, you did as I pleased and such strong...

      You were smart and pretty
      and praised every word I said

      Responded to my commands
      like a very well-trained basset

      You gave me food, shelter, affection
      in bed, you did as I pleased
      and such strong devotion
      was hard for me to receive

      Cause how could I trust someone
      who clearly and truly loves me?

      6 votes
    5. Love Mania

      In this grass where we sit, I saw many full moons lit Kissed them shivering in the wind, felt like solution, formed decision, ultimate end But the frenzy always fades, pretty mirage in the haze...

      In this grass where we sit,
      I saw many full moons lit

      Kissed them shivering in the wind,
      felt like solution, formed decision, ultimate end

      But the frenzy always fades,
      pretty mirage in the haze

      Silly me...

      I just met you yesterday
      And once again tremble my veins

      4 votes
    6. Swim only when the wave comes

      When I was young, I went into the ocean with my older cousin. He lived near the beach, while I merely knew how to swim. We went to the deep to catch some higher waves using our bodies (in Bahia we...

      When I was young, I went into the ocean with my older cousin. He lived near the beach, while I merely knew how to swim.

      We went to the deep to catch some higher waves using our bodies (in Bahia we call this "pegar jacaré", or "catch the alligator").

      When we got there, the wind stopped and the stream started pulling us away from the land. After a while, I was very scared and started swimming with all my strength in the opposite direction. But my efforts were much weaker than the stream, so I remained in the same position.

      Then my cousin told me: "@mrbig, stop swimming otherwise you'll get tired and drown. Wait for the wave to come. Only swim when it arrives."

      And so I did. Minutes later came the wave. I swam. And then another, and another after that. Little by little, by saving our energies and acting at the right times, we arrived at the shore.

      And that is the story.

      18 votes
    7. Yolk (4 pages)

      This screenplay is based on a short story I published on Tildes some time ago. If you prefer, you can download the PDF here. YOLK by mrbig Until told otherwise: BLACK AND WHITE. SLOW MOTION. SLOW...

      This screenplay is based on a short story I published on Tildes some time ago. If you prefer, you can download the PDF here.

                          YOLK
                           by
                         mrbig
      
      Until told otherwise:
      
      BLACK AND WHITE.
      SLOW MOTION.
      SLOW AND BEAUTIFUL OPERA MUSIC
      
      INT. APARTMENT - NIGHT
      
      KITCHEN
      
      HAND grabs the egg carton on the fridge. JAMES is 30, thin
      and shirtless. Smells the eggs one by one. Stops. Smiles.
      
      Water gushes from the faucet, foaming abundantly as it goes
      down the drain.
      
      BEDROOM
      
      On the wall behind the bed, a painting of two lovers with
      their heads individually wrapped in sheets. They kiss, but
      they're mouths do not touch. ALICE, 30, dark hair, black silk
      nightdress, sleeps. SOUND OF SOMETHING BEING FRIED. She wakes
      up.
      
      KITCHEN
      
      James breaks the eggshell, getting his hand dirty. Licks his
      fingers. Behind him, Alice is watching. Gently throws the egg
      in the frying pan.
      
      THE EGG SIZZLING
      
      James sprinkles salt and pepper. Manipulates the frying pan
      with skill, throws the egg up in the air and catches it in a
      precise and continuous movement. Extinguish the fire and look
      back to see
      
      COLOR. NORMAL SPEED. OPERA MUSIC STOPS.
      
      Alice with the eyes fixed on the stove.
      
                          ALICE
                Look.
      
      Points at the egg.
      
                          JAMES
                What?
      
                          ALICE
                Can't you see?
      
                          JAMES
                Has it gone bad?
      
      She takes a deep breath.
      
                          ALICE
                I noticed the way you broke the
                shell, but I needed to confirm. Can
                you see how the yolk is soft yet
                whole, with a small cut in the
                lower portion slowly leaking a
                yellow thread at a regular pace?
      
                          JAMES
                Yes...
      
                          ALICE
                Don’t you get it?
      
                          JAMES
                No.
      
                          ALICE
                When the yolk leaks like that, it
                can only mean two things.
      
      She hesitates.
      
                          ALICE
                You’re either going to murder me...
      
                          JAMES
                What you’re talking about?
      
                          ALICE
                Or you’ll get a Ph.D. in Physics.
      
                          JAMES
                You’re kidding, right?
      
                          ALICE
                Nope.
      
      HIS EYES
      
      HER EYES
      
                          ALICE
                The egg doesn't lie.
      
      He sits by the table.
      
                          JAMES
                I could just choke you.
      
      She sits near him, smiling. Leads James' hands to her own
      neck, and make him hold it.
      
                          JAMES
                That's easier.
      
      He caress Alice's neck.
      
                          JAMES
                I never thought about that before,
                but maybe, precisely because I love
                you, precisely because I want you,
                maybe I should exterminate you.
      
      Retracts his hands.
      
                          JAMES
                Or maybe I don't love you enough.
      
                          ALICE
                The egg...
      
                          JAMES
                I know, it doesn't lie. Then why
                are you still here?
      
                          ALICE
                Makes no difference.
      
      He stands up and looks at the egg on the stove. Cleans his
      throat.
      
                          JAMES
                Honey?
      
                          ALICE
                Yeah, babe.
      
      He opens a drawer and pauses for a second. Closes.
      
                          JAMES
                I’m terrible at physics.
      
      James holds a butcher's knife with a confused expression on
      his face.
      
      OPERA MUSIC RETURNS
      
      THE END
      
      6 votes
    8. Androcles and the Lion

      In a time of ancient legends, Androcles was a runaway slave. He took shelter in a cave where a wounded Lion lived. By removing a thorn from his paw Androcles cured the beast; The Lion was very...

      In a time of ancient legends, Androcles was a runaway slave.

      He took shelter in a cave where a wounded Lion lived.

      By removing a thorn from his paw Androcles cured the beast; The Lion was very pleased.

      And then The Lion ate Androcles because he was a fucking lion.

      5 votes
    9. Seeking Meaning

      I cannot defend my lack of years my lack of tears my lack of guilt I will always regret the tears and sweat that I've put upon your face For it is a disgrace the things I've done the thoughts I've...
      I cannot defend
      my lack of years
      my lack of tears
      my lack of guilt
      
      I will always regret
      the tears and sweat
      that I've put upon your face
      
      For it is a disgrace
      the things I've done
      the thoughts I've thunk
      the things I've done to you
      
      When I killed that man
      in the cabbage patch
      at half-past 3 am
      
      When I killed that man
      that I knew you loved
      that I, too, loved
      that I knew was marked for greatness
      
      When I killed that man
      with a knife to the heart
      with a mind full of rage
      with a mind ablaze
       with many a myriad thought
      
      I could almost say it was jealousy
      (i know that I cannot)
      
      I could almost say it was hatred or spite
      (but i know that I cannot)
      
      I could even say it was impulse to slay that man who I knew and who knew not what he wrought
      (but still this thing that i want to say--
       i know but one thing: say it, I cannot)
      
      For it was not calculated
      nor can I say that I hated
      that man, though I often berated
      him for things that control them?  He could not.
      
      For the reason that I did all these things that I did
      was simple in the extreme
      was harder to digest
          than powdered ice cream
      
      And even I could give you a ream
      of paper to show the things I did
      of paper to show you these things that I did
      of paper on which to pour out my sin
      of paper, cathartic, explaining my doing
      of paper, incredible, pure white and blank,
                and innocent, available, asking me to taint it
      
      An I could give you a billion words to explain all the pain which I caused
         I could give you only two
      
      NO REASON.
      
      8 votes
    10. Untitled poem

      Ask not for whom the cradle weeps; it weeps for you. O sly kitten, O accursèd cat, cry, cry for the weft and the warp of the world; cry, cry for the sin and the sorrow and suffering; cry, cry on...
      Ask not for whom the cradle weeps; it weeps for you.
      
      
      O sly kitten, O accursèd cat, cry,
      cry for the weft and the warp of the world; cry,
      cry for the sin and the sorrow and suffering; cry,
      cry on the bloodshed, but more on the tears; cry,
      cry for divisions, and ill-wrought connections; cry,
      cry for the laughter, so far out of reach; cry.
      And in crying find solace; peace——rhythm——be still.
      
                                                     cry 
      and cry——cry for the widows and widowers, woven together forever,
      by weeping and painless heart-let.
         But your pain is not theirs.
         For, though burdened with truth, you will never be cut 
         by the serrated and blunted edge of polite fiction.
         Enough!
      
      
      When the cat's in the cradle, the mice will play,
      And I hope that they fly far——far-far away.
      But the tears of the kitten forever abide,
      and someday they'll catch you.
                     will you take it in stride?
      
      11 votes
    11. Endless Night (feature-film, logline)

      What is a logline?: a brief summary (25 to 40 words) of a story for film, television or book that states the central conflict and an emotional "hook", with the purpose of stimulating interest...

      What is a logline?: a brief summary (25 to 40 words) of a story for film, television or book that states the central conflict and an emotional "hook", with the purpose of stimulating interest (Wikipedia).

      A logline is evaluated not exactly for what a story is (since it does not contain a complete story), but for what it can be. Suggestions usually seek to maximize the dramatic potential of the idea.

      Title: Endless Night (feature-film, drama).

      Logline (27 words): Death has until dawn to ensure his very survival by splitting a couple whose determination in preserving their toxic relationship threatens to shred the fabric of time.

      4 votes
    12. Fooling around on the winter beach - photography

      I make no promises for quality, I'm really just pushing what can be done with a Pixel 3XL cell phone camera, access to Adobe Lightroom, and a surprisingly gorgeous foggy day. This ties into the...

      I make no promises for quality, I'm really just pushing what can be done with a Pixel 3XL cell phone camera, access to Adobe Lightroom, and a surprisingly gorgeous foggy day. This ties into the "No-Money Fun Ideas" thread.

      These images have been lightly edited towards what my eyes saw - most camera sensors would have trouble with color accuracy under the conditions these shots were taken.

      Winter 2020

      Please feel free to criticize and inform me on what I could do better.

      These photographs are published for your enjoyment under the Creative Commons Share-Alike license.

      20 votes
    13. A dozen digital art images I've made over the last few days

      The lovely people of a Discord server I'm in recently made me remember that, a couple years back in late 2014, I did some digital art in Photoshop (I might also add some of these to this topic if...

      The lovely people of a Discord server I'm in recently made me remember that, a couple years back in late 2014, I did some digital art in Photoshop (I might also add some of these to this topic if wanted). However, I run Linux exclusively now and I'm too lazy to figure out how to get Photoshop to work on it, so I figured I'd just try the next best thing and see if that can't do what I want. And sure enough it can.

      The images below were all created with GIMP, using only its built-in default stuff. No scripts, plugins, images from the internet or other custom anything, just the tools it installs with. Some images have multiple variations, this is because I would be working on something and I'd find an interesting enough image to save in the process.

      Edit: I've since made a website with all the ones I've made (more than a dozen) to host them more easily:

      https://driftingnebula.com

      14 votes
    14. The Egg

      Her eyes are fixed on the cooker. — Look. Points at the egg. — What? — Can’t you see? — Has it gone bad? She takes a deep breath. — I noticed the way you broke the shell, but I needed to confirm....

      Her eyes are fixed on the cooker.

      — Look.

      Points at the egg.

      — What?

      — Can’t you see?

      — Has it gone bad?

      She takes a deep breath.

      — I noticed the way you broke the shell, but I needed to confirm. Can you see how the yolk is soft yet whole, with a small cut in the lower portion slowly leaking a yellow thread at a regular pace?

      — Yes...

      — Don’t you get it?

      — No.

      — When the yolk leaks like that, it can only mean two things.

      She hesitates.

      — You’re either going to murder me...

      — What you’re talking about?

      — Or you’ll get a Ph.D. in Physics in 2035.

      — You’re kidding, right?

      — Nope.

      — You saw all that? On a fucking egg?

      — I knew you wouldn’t understand...

      — You were right.

      A second goes by. He cleans his throat, kinda embarrassed.

      — Honey?

      — Yeah, babe.

      — I’m terrible at physics.

      He holds a knife with a confused expression on his face.

      13 votes
    15. F*** me

      1:45 A M Two divided Lonely bed, lonely couch Emotional drainage leaks Seeps into sub floors Foul and sickly Sticky and putrid Fuck me

      13 votes
    16. Untitled Mental Health I

      I'm not quite like you A few words and that's it The façade fades Crumbles The carefully constructed mood dies Coping mechanisms defeated The castle is compromised A strong exterior only goes so...
      I'm not quite like you
      A few words and that's it
      The façade fades
      Crumbles
      The carefully constructed mood dies
      Coping mechanisms defeated
      The castle is compromised
      
      A strong exterior only goes so far
      Each word pulls stones from the foundation
      Fragile walls, fragile heart
      I retreat to my secret home
      Away from the swords and arrows and fire
      No one can reach me here
      Safe and quiet and in control
      Equally secure, equally secluded
      
      19 votes
    17. Untitled I

      Tapped out on my phone in an Uber on the way to D&D. I write about more than love, I promise! the water laps at the dam seeking egress, seeking progress everyone inside so thirsty life affirming...

      Tapped out on my phone in an Uber on the way to D&D. I write about more than love, I promise!

      the water laps at the dam
      seeking egress, seeking progress
      everyone inside so thirsty
      life affirming liquid
      but the dam
      the wall we built to keep ourselves safe
      our salvation
      our condemnation
      seemed a good idea at the time
      but all our other crimes against ourselves did too
      how are we so smart yet so stupid
      it hurts
      it fucking hurts
      life without love may as well be an empty gift on Christmas morning
      but we all do it to ourselves every day
      so many boundaries and rules and norms
      all because we’re too afraid to get hurt
      too afraid to be ourselves
      too afraid to realize ourselves
      too afraid to give one another the best gift we can
      
      12 votes
    18. Untitled Mental Health II, or, but

      I’m sorry but I can’t today I want to but I can’t It’s not my fault but I’m guilty anyway I’m not understood but I’m pressured anyway I yearn to create, to do but I just stay in bed I want to live...
      I’m sorry
      but
      I can’t today
      I want to
      but
      I can’t
      It’s not my fault
      but 
      I’m guilty anyway
      I’m not understood
      but
      I’m pressured anyway
      I yearn to create, to do
      but
      I just stay in bed
      I want to live
      but
      I’m too hurt
      
      13 votes
    19. The Tower Card

      Please note, I am no writer of any kind. For some inexplicable reason I just had the desire to give it a go today. I hope someone out there finds some enjoyment in it. After David left I decided...

      Please note, I am no writer of any kind. For some inexplicable reason I just had the desire to give it a go today. I hope someone out there finds some enjoyment in it.

      After David left I decided I'd better make good on my promise and find a new place to live. The woman from the council said there might be a temporary property available. That someone had recently died at the retirement village outside of Holyhead.

      When I finished at school on Friday, I went to David's and gathered up what I thought was mine. As it turns out, almost everything was his. It wasn't long after we'd met that I moved in. It was gradual though. Bits and pieces brought over from mom's in bin bags tucked under the bus seats they save for people and their buggies. As the months rolled on there was less and less at mom's. I'd still visit on a Sunday for lunch but that was about it.

      I had this porcelain clock on the mantle at David's, two corgis sat either side of the clock face. David hated it. He had a thing for minimalist art and would order fake prints online. He liked Robert Ryman a lot. He thought my clock threw everything off. He'd often tell me how important it was to appreciate art but what he liked left me cold. I wrapped the clock in newspaper and tossed it into my backpack. I took a last look at the living room. It was something new now.

      When I got to the village it was raining. Cold droplets cascading down my jacket. I alternated hands, dropping each bin bag to the ground to rub the speckles from my glasses. In front of the bus stop there was a pathway that led to the complex, flanked on either side by imitation grass astro turf. Beyond that, two identical adjacent blocks. Rows stacked on top of one another like lego bricks.

      The woman at the council told me it was flat 2b, "the last flat on the ground floor". I searched for the receipt I'd scribbled the details on to check if I'd remembered it right. I hauled my bags over my shoulder and ran underneath the closest awning. I stared up at the sign fixed to the brick. 1a. I can wait here until the rain dies down, I thought.

      From across the yard a woman was sitting in a wheel chair, a mask attached to her face. An enormous tube jutting out from her mouth connected to a canister strapped to the side of her chair. She stared in my direction and didn't move. She's sitting next to 2b, she might be my neighbour, I thought. As the rain died down I walked over towards her. As I approached, I wasn't sure if she was going to take the mask off or not. What's wrong with her, I thought? "Hi, I'm Kate". I extended my hand and wondered if she could move her arms. She didn't reach back. "Mad weather isn't it?". She continued to stare. "I'm only staying for a month or so, I need my own place for a minute and it's all I could get you know? Not that I'm not grateful or anything". She continued to stare. "Ok, well, it was nice meeting you". I took out my key, opened the door and stood alone in the hallway.

      David and I usually ate together on Saturday mornings. He'd wake up later than I did and wander about the place yawning. He'd often glorify his exhaustion to me. Some invisible accomplishment he'd been gaining interest on since leaving uni.

      There wasn't a kettle in the new kitchen, but there was an electric hob. I poured water over the tea bag, into my cup and peered through the net curtains. The rain had settled and I could see the opposite house and the whole complex in the daylight now, some strange vortex, wholly enclosed. A village of it's own making.

      I put on my old slippers, took my cup and stepped out onto the concrete walkway. The woman from yesterday wasn't around now. I thought about knocking but decided against it. Either she couldn't talk or has seen so many people come and go, she doesn't go in for platitudes anymore. Pacing, I caught a glimpse of her kitchen. Pink lino on the floor, almost nothing out on the worktops. It looked unoccupied. I moved back to my half of the walkway and perched on the step to finish my tea. I should get started sorting what I have before Sunday rolls around, I thought. As I got up, I heard my neighbour careen around the corner, up over the astro turf and onto the walkway. She stopped before her door, I nodded and smiled. This time she nodded back in my direction. She then raised her hand and jostled the toggle on the arm rest. Her chair moved closer towards me. She raised her eyes to meet mine and looked back at my hands. She did this a second time. "I'm sorry, I don't understand". She repeated this a third time. I mumbled something and she reached out and opened up my right hand. She surveyed my palm, in all of its detail, looked back up at me and nodded again. "Sorry, can I help with something?". She shook her head, reversed and rolled up the ramp back into her flat.

      On Sunday morning I started sorting through the rest of the papers I threw into my bag at David's. Bank statements, a few receipts, junk mail. In amongst them I found a cinema ticket I'd kept from when we started dating. He asked me to go to see the first Terminator, "on the original reel", he said. I didn't much want to go and don't like violent films but thought it'd be a good excuse to get to know one another. We got pretty swept away with each other after that.

      I sorted through the rest hoping I'd find something else, but there was nothing. I stacked the ordered papers on the ground and went outside for a break. There wasn't anybody out, like the day before. After some time my neighbour's door opened. I stood up and checked to see if she needed any help. I found her raising her eyes to her forehead, motioning backwards. "Do you need some help?", she shook her head and motioned backwards with her eyes for a second time. She reversed the chair and gestured for me to come in. I stepped inside. She manoeuvred her wheelchair into the kitchen and positioned herself next to the dining room table. There was a chair opposite to her, so I sat too. "Is everything ok?", I asked. She nodded. "I hope you don't mind me asking, are you able to speak?". She stared at me and shook her head. After a few seconds passed she pointed to a badge on her cardigan. On a yellow background, in all black caps it read, "JANE". "I'm Kate, nice to meet you Jane". This time she extended her arm and we shook hands. "How long have you been here Jane?". She nodded 5 times. "Ah ok, and how do you like it? Do you have family that visit?". She shook her head. "Do you mind me asking, what's wrong with you? Shit sorry, umm, not like that, I mean, umm, are you sick?". She paused for a moment and nodded. She then reached into the pocket of her cardigan and pulled out a deck of cards.

      I don't know anything about Tarot, other than what you see on T.V but I'm not a superstitious like that. She laid the cards on the table in front of me, either nodding or shaking her head as she passed each of them one by one. The last card in the row showed a stone tower. She looked down, paused, raised her head, but this time, looked right past me. Dust cascaded through the shards of light piercing through the window. Jane starred into it for what felt like a whole minute. Watching the particles dance before her I asked, "Are you ok Jane?", she shook her head. "Is there something I can do?", she shook her ahead again. "I had better be going Jane, I meet my mom on a Sunday for lunch, please let me know if there's anything I can help with, OK? As I said yesterday, I won't be staying too long, but while I'm here, feel free to knock on". She nodded her head. I let myself out and left, the cards still strewn about the table.

      I didn't see Jane much after that afternoon and things went on as normal. David called and we hashed things out over the phone but we'd petered out long before that. The council explained I couldn't stay on at the village for another month so I moved back with mom. After a few weeks passed, one evening after work, I opened up my laptop and searched online for "Jane Tarot". Tons of results came up but only one from Holyhead. A local newspaper article with a headline that read, "LOCAL LADY FORESAW DIAGNOSIS". "I knew what was going to happen to me, the fibrosis I mean. The cards speak and I accept, I give myself up to that". I closed my laptop and looked outside into mom's garden. I thought about the tower card and how people do all sorts of things to justify their own lives, to deal with their own grief and make sense of things.

      Mom plants Floribunda's every year and they're starting to bloom now. My phone rings. I offer to cover a shift for a new temp at work. I put on my jacket, walk outside and think about Jane.

      13 votes
    20. Cotton Candy

      Put your head over here and cry all the yearning away cause thinking will bring you nothing just thoughts and yet more pain Sleep, sleep my child breath slowly that way cause here there is no more...

      Put your head over here
      and cry all the yearning away
      cause thinking will bring you nothing
      just thoughts and yet more pain

      Sleep, sleep my child
      breath slowly that way
      cause here there is no more strain
      under my loving gaze

      In your cotton candy dreams
      you embrace with such strength
      a cloud above in the sky
      sleep, honey, yes, sleep
      cause here you're free from time

      And there I am on this dream
      imagining, imagined
      the mark of a want, of a wish
      a trace drawn in the sky
      don't know if I'm the one dreaming
      or if I am been dreamed about

      Portuguese original

      encosta a cabeça aqui
      e chora a saudade toda
      que pensar não leva nada
      só mais pensar e dor ainda

      dorme seu sono infante
      respira assim devagar
      que aqui não vai sofrer
      debaixo de meu olhar

      em teu sonho de algodão doce
      não sei do quê dá risada
      e abraça com tanta força
      uma nuvem no céu alçada
      dorme, meu bem, dorme sim
      que aqui o tempo não passa

      E nesse sonho estou lá
      Imaginando, imaginado
      A marca de uma vontade
      Um traço no céu projetado
      Não sei se sou eu que sonho
      Ou se eu é quem sou sonhado

      7 votes
    21. 5 o'clock nostalgia

      So many wants that never were But that were mine nevertheless In the joy of many maybes Slow evening Time is cursed, it goes The body is alive and weary And stuck in hour a soul — immense...

      So many wants that never were
      But that were mine nevertheless
      In the joy of many maybes
      Slow evening

      Time is cursed, it goes
      The body is alive and weary
      And stuck in hour a soul — immense

      Portuguese original

      Nostalgia das 5 Horas

      Tanto querer que nunca foi
      Mas era meu ainda assim
      Na alegria do talvez
      A tarde lenta

      O tempo é maldito e passa
      Ainda vivo o corpo cansa
      E presa na hora a alma - imensa

      7 votes
    22. Gesture

      Saw in you a trace, a gesture without any end a phrase with no reticences a shadow lost in the gaze A question you have not made a plot not yet heard a night with no resolution be calm, the sun is...

      Saw in you a trace, a gesture without any end
      a phrase with no reticences
      a shadow lost in the gaze

      A question you have not made
      a plot not yet heard
      a night with no resolution
      be calm, the sun is not late

      Portuguese original

      Gesto

      vi em você um traço
      um gesto sem fim colocado
      vi frase vi reticência
      suspiro pela metade
      e olhar desencontrado

      da pergunta ainda não dita
      sequer pinçada talvez
      da trama'inda inaudita
      que a noite não tarda ou finda
      mas calma que o sol já vem

      6 votes
    23. My Glowing Pet

      Glowing friend, your light has given me everything I know. To run you require a sacrifice I click open my knife forgotten forever in the drawer with the butterfly yo-yo, the heart necklace of an...

      Glowing friend, your light
      has given me
      everything I know.
      To run you require
      a sacrifice

      I click open my knife
      forgotten forever in the drawer with the butterfly yo-yo,
      the heart necklace of an immature love
      and the compass
      with the atomic symbol.

      With the blade I
      etch
      and cut
      and stab
      to draw sand
      from the glass
      long left unflipped.

      It slides along your surface
      sinks in
      and is gone.

      7 votes
    24. lost

      lost time like grains leaking out an hourglass lost feelings like love leaving a full heart lost purpose like a crusader without a cause all these years, feelings, purpose stolen, violated an evil...
      lost time like grains leaking out an hourglass
      lost feelings like love leaving a full heart
      lost purpose like a crusader without a cause
      all these years, feelings, purpose stolen, violated
      an evil I never invited, never wanted
      it's not my fault, not my goal
      innocent yet guilty
      convicted
      more like cursed
      their hatred is my destiny
      never get back what was lost
      never recover who I could, maybe should, have been
      robbed of a life, of a happy, normal life
      I can't even hate them for it
      can't even have that comfort
      I'd be just as bad, repeat the cycle
      almost sympathetic
      only path, only cure, is love
      creamy center of a cyanide pill
      
      9 votes
    25. fire

      This is a reflection of what building friendships and close relationships is like for me. Mental health makes everything much harder, but I keep trying. it shines and blazes such light and warmth...

      This is a reflection of what building friendships and close relationships is like for me. Mental health makes everything much harder, but I keep trying.

      it shines and blazes
      such light and warmth
      stories told round the hearth
      cold nights kept a safe distance away
      beauty in chaotic dancing patterns
      it promises everything all at once
      no regard for consequences or the future
      just passion in the moment
      no foresight, only enthralling abandon
      its wake is ash
      empty, cold, dead
      no energy
      never burn again
      it destroys what it loves
      what it needs
      not because it wants to
      because it is
      destruction guised as passion
      
      8 votes
    26. Untitled II

      I wanted to write about self-forgiveness because it's such a hard thing for me to do. Past mistakes and trespasses stick in my mind for decades, and it's so hard for me to shake them. This work is...

      I wanted to write about self-forgiveness because it's such a hard thing for me to do. Past mistakes and trespasses stick in my mind for decades, and it's so hard for me to shake them. This work is an attempt at expressing that difficulty.

      Down in the foothills the peak is so perfect
      Covered in pure white snow
      Nary a tree in sight
      The peak carves a visage in the sky
      In the clouds
      It just is, it exists peacefully in its austere authority
      Calm, serene
      Impossible
      Yet I yearn to climb
      To ascend
      Down in the foothills among the trees
      The greenof the hills
      I make my preparations
      Breath
      Training
      Gear
      I practiceand I meditate
      I meditate upona life
      A life of mistakes and triumphs
      Each breath preparing and steeling
      
      It's time to begin my climb
      Each step and the air, the precious vital air, thins
      Lungs emptying and muscles weakening
      And yet I continue
      Not quite undaunted, but I continue
      The views are stunning
      Yet I don't see them, eyes ever on the peak
      Visualizing success, not the process
      It's so cold
      Bitterly, viscerally cold
      There's no air
      Even a yogi must stop for air
      But there's no air
      The ground slick with snow and ice
      Snow and ice with the oxygen I need
      Sealed away in the mystery of the bonds
      Just as beautiful as it is inaccessible
      
      But I continue my climb
      Slipping and falling, the rocks cut and score
      Gashes and bruises amass
      I take a moment and reflect
      Is it worth it?
      Shall I ever ascend?
      And as I slip into meditation, I slip down the mountain
      All progress lost
      The world turns around, up and down
      I lose my breath
      And land, dizzy and hurt, down the bottom
      Even further from the peak than when I started.
      
      11 votes
    27. the city

      Something I wrote after watching a scene in the Apple TV+ "The Morning Show" showing an NYC skyline. I've always had a love for NYC, even though I don't live there, and a love for cities more...

      Something I wrote after watching a scene in the Apple TV+ "The Morning Show" showing an NYC skyline. I've always had a love for NYC, even though I don't live there, and a love for cities more generally. I've never not lived in a city after moving out of my parents' place, and can't imagine going back to the suburbs. Cities are my home, cities are where I belong. I don't think this one is finished, yet; there are a few rough spots, and I'm not sure about the ending. But, like people have said in a few of the timasomo threads, the important thing is to get the words out, to make the work exist outside of one's head.

      the city is awake, alive
      lights dance in the dark of night
      little lifesigns, each a past and present
      each a history and a story not yet told
      subways and busses and ubers
      the occasional oblivious cabbie
      (cancer on the streets)
      each moving people to their goals
      their dreams
      veins and arteries in the city's body
      lights for seeing
      superstructure in steel and glass
      inspiration
      aspiration and ambition
      passion and drive
      these power the pulse and the breath
      each person, each cell
      shapes and grows the city, the body
      each experience shapes epigenetics
      no place the same after
      the city takes us all in
      gives us homes
      maybe not shelter, but homes
      we are alive and so is our home
      an energy ineffable yet indelible
      

      edit: A friend has said that this reminds her of the opening of Murakami's After Dark, and I can absolutely see it. Perhaps a bit of subconscious inspiration?

      6 votes
    28. A love poem

      This is something I wrote a couple of weeks ago--not part of Timasomo, but something I'd like to share with folks here. It's becoming more important to me given events in real life and also as I...

      This is something I wrote a couple of weeks ago--not part of Timasomo, but something I'd like to share with folks here. It's becoming more important to me given events in real life and also as I explore yoga more deeply as part of my teacher training program. There's clear inspiration from Whitman's O Me! O Life!, but the message is very modern.

      That the powerful play goes on and you will contribute a verse
      Why not let the verse be love?
      It used to be so easy, so easy, just a simple choice
      Choose love
      All the conflicts of today and every other time
      Not enough love
      For one another
      For ourselves
      Not enough love
      All the religions and faiths of the world
      All our enlightened leaders
      All taught love
      The play used to be about love
      So many acts ago
      Only a few moments ago
      Seems like forever
      Seems we’ve forgotten the lines
      But no one to remind us what they are
      And we don’t get a rehearsal
      We get one grand opening day
      One somber closing night
      No matinee
      No encore
      Why choose any other verse but love?
      Love makes everything else possible
      Makes everything else worthwhile
      Everything else builds on love
      That the powerful play goes on and you may choose a verse
      Choose love.
      

      note: Posted this with the wrong title first, so deleted and reposted.

      7 votes
    29. Untitled poem

      hi I'm here right here I'm on the edge of something big I'm on the edge of something new edge of a cliff--should I step forward? edge of my bed--should I step forward? which side? I'm on the edge...
      hi
      I'm here
          right here
      I'm on the edge of something big
      I'm on the edge of something new
      
                 edge of a cliff--should I step forward?
                 edge of my bed--should I step forward?
                                 which side?
      
      I'm on the edge of my seat
      I'm edgy
          lost my feet
          they went down the cliff
          can't walk
      it's like I'm paralyzed
      the words, they swim before my eyes
      my eyes are swimming
          I can't swim
                  stuck
                  stuck here
            can't move
            at least I can't step off a cliff
            but what does it matter
            if I can't step out of bed
      
      12 votes
    30. chocolate.

      My phone sits, as I, in silence In my room – alone. I hate myself, but seem to lack the energy To dig into my bones. When I was younger I was told that One day God would call me home. Instead the...

      My phone sits, as I, in silence

      In my room – alone.

      I hate myself, but seem to lack the energy

      To dig into my bones.

      When I was younger I was told that

      One day God would call me home.

      Instead the coffin calls my name in whispers

      And beckons the unknown.

      .

      Why do I feed a body with a

      Soul that keeps depleting?

      When all my hopes and expectations come up

      Short and keep receding – I

      Start alternating between plotting,

      Thinking, pleading

      That I’ll make a rash decision, they’ll

      Give my organs to the needy.

      .

      Perhaps I’ll drive a stake into my head and chest.

      No one should endure this mind or heart.

      Meditation never seemed to give much value,

      All the medication felt a farce.

      I’m an incongruent, uncompleted puzzle

      Dangling from a bridge; falling apart.

      I watch my pieces sink below into the water,

      As this letter dances all about the hearth.

      .

      I carried out important shit in boxes;

      Let the rest behind to be thrown away.

      I hid and watched as they threw in the dumpster,

      A bed now wrought with chocolate and decay.

      As the memories flashed in to my brain,

      Of how we chose to spend that final day.

      (Of how) even on the best day of the end of my life,

      I ended up naked, chocolate-covered, curled up on your chest and crying,

      Begging you to stay.

      .

      The devil is a myth they tell believers;

      Hell prevents their chasing earthly dreams.

      I will not go to Heaven, and there is no Great Receiver

      Who will comfort me and silence my screams.

      There is no purgatory in the ether;

      The earth is this one act’s final scene.

      Fittingly, the water isn’t beautiful here either.

      It’s choppy, warm, and a putrid shade of green.

      .

      Someone use my hands to write a sonnet.

      Someone use my eyes to see a better day.

      Someone use my legs to climb a mountain;

      Use my tongue to find the words to say.

      They’ll use my lungs to feel the oxygen.

      Use my kidney when theirs is in decay.

      They’ll use my heart to feel in love again.

      I’ll rest easier that way.

      10 votes
    31. And I Deal With It

      A free form poem. You sing the devotion song and your people drink from your font of well-meant falsehoods. They sway in the breeze, roses ripe for cutting, so you reap. And I deal with it. Brain...

      A free form poem.

      You sing the devotion song and
      your people drink from your font
      of well-meant falsehoods.
      They sway in the breeze,
      roses ripe for cutting,
      so you reap. And I deal with it.

      Brain revolting, hands shaking, heart beating
      Sweating, aching, freezing, creeping thoughts
      that I'm not enough.
      I'm a failure. I don't deserve it. What if this goes wrong?
      "Sometimes it can take awhile to find the right combination of medications."
      And I deal with it.

      The blood in the streets is cleaned, pristine,
      likewise the crimes of an otherwise good man.
      Heads shake and hands pray,
      repeating robotic platitudes, but I do
      nothing.
      And I deal with it.

      The sun shines high and the wind blows cool.
      Our future dances and plays in the light.
      We watch and her skin is soft, her hair yet softer, and I hold her
      against me.
      This too shall pass, my gut twists in knots.
      And I deal with it.

      Dark nights, dark thoughts
      in front of a washroom mirror.
      Lightning thunders, they come and go.
      Drinking my hopes to keep them gone,
      I tell myself, "This isn't you," but it hurts and it's true and I can't stop the dreaming of passing this down
      And I deal with it.

      7 votes
    32. The Lab

      This was written for a themed flash fiction contest (the theme was Technological Dystopia) and ended up losing, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to share it here. It's not my proudest work but, as...

      This was written for a themed flash fiction contest (the theme was Technological Dystopia) and ended up losing, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to share it here. It's not my proudest work but, as flash fiction, I think it works well enough. I hope you enjoy!

      She was three floors from the bottom of the sunken tower when the crying first reached her. A quick swipe earned her a pair from the rack nearby and she continued her descent.

      With the aid of technology this process had been streamlined and systematized such that these checks were only needed once a month, but everyone dreaded them. She had drawn the short straw this time and, though it had been years since last she’d ventured to The Lab, she still remembered her last haunting experience. It wasn’t that she was a dissenter or rebelled against that which needed to be done. This was a necessary evil to save their species, but she was still a human being. Seeing them all like that, all tubes and tapes running from frail flesh, was enough to turn any stomach.

      A pair of heavy iron doors sat ominously in her way as she bottomed out. She could see the white, crisp interior of The Lab beyond and pushed forward, swallowing her hesitance as best she could.

      Before her lay a large room with clean white tile, walls and harsh, flourescent light. It smelled and looked like a hospital because that’s exactly what it was. 10 rows and columns of small, clear, plastic boxes stretched between her and the far wall. The muffs were doing their job exceedingly well, but she could still hear the awful racket bouncing around her memory. She took a deep breath, steadied herself, and started working.

      Her primary duty was to make sure the machines were functioning correctly, mostly the arm that glided to and fro above the boxes, administering medicine or changing bags of various fluids as need be. She would also be checking the tubes for clogs that may have been missed by any old or worn out sensors; this was the part she dreaded the most. She flipped the lid on the nearest box and checked the left, then the right, and lastly the tube running into its belly button, and closed the box quickly.

      It couldn’t have taken her more than 5 seconds but that short time was enough for the anguished face to plaster itself onto her mind. Everyone does their part, she reminded herself, from the start to the end. It didn’t serve a purpose to bemoan that which she could not change. She moved on to the next crib, hoping this would go by faster than she expected.

      Halfway through her checks she hit a snag. There was a clog in Crib 54. She could register the fault in the system and it would fix it on its next hourly cycle, as were her orders, but it was such a small clog. The tube simply needed to be changed, and as a nurse she was well-versed in the procedure. In that moment it was decided.

      The tubes themselves were specially designed to be thin and flexible, but rigid enough to fit the shape of a tear duct. Her first task, after finding a pair of gloves, was to gently remove the tube currently in the eye. She hovered over the crib and gently pulled the tube out of the right tear duct. It came slowly, millimeter by millimeter, each bit covered in more goop and mucus than the last. It wound its way up into the sinuses which meant, by the end of it, she had pulled at least five inches of tubing. This she discarded.

      Next she had to insert the new tube (these were kept in abundance in a draw underneath the crib). She grabbed one, snipped it to length with a pair of scissors hanging from the IV stand, and took a moment to recent herself. Inserting the tube while the child was crying would be much more difficult than removing it.

      As gently as she could she reached down and, with her index finger and thumb, pried open the eye of the little one. With one came the other, the muscles young and unwilling to work independently, and she found herself staring into a pair of brilliant green pools. Her heart melted and, for the briefest moment, she thought of taking it. She could smuggle it out. The bed being empty would trip the system but she could clear the error and explain it away somehow. But no, that was silly. This wasn’t a decision for her to make; things were done this way because there was no other choice.

      She pushed the tip of the tube into the tear duct confidently, shoving the traitorous thoughts from her mind as the child’s cries were renewed with pain. She was here to do a job, cold and emotionless. It wasn’t her place to question the way things were done. The tube went in without a hitch and the child’s eyes snapped closed again once she released them. The little bundle of agony before her squirmed and she saw the tears begin to flow anew. With swift, definite movement she closed and latched the lid.

      The rest of her checks went smoothly, but she couldn’t shake the uneasy feeling that now ran rampant in her gut. She hated Lab duty, and she expected that would always be the way. With a heavy heart she signed the documents needed to record her visit, noted the tube change in the work log, and left The Lab through its heavy iron doors. The trip upstairs would be long and tiring, but at least she could try and forget ever having been here.

      12 votes
    33. I know nothing

      I know nothing nor do I want to: a blank brain is all I want! I have nothing nor do I want to: I want to be, nothing else do I want!

      5 votes
    34. Pins and needles

      Pins and needles in my left leg. As I minimally move they acute and grave. I sleep, I shall wake up; what will it have been: a circumflex, or an umlaut?

      10 votes
    35. June.

      You know they’ve got poetry on Spotify? That’s some cool shit. Ended up following John Cooper Clarke into a rabbit hole of other British poets. Decided to bite and try writing a bit of poetry for...

      You know they’ve got poetry on Spotify? That’s some cool shit. Ended up following John Cooper Clarke into a rabbit hole of other British poets.

      Decided to bite and try writing a bit of poetry for poetry’s sake.

      Anyway. ‘Ere go. “June.”

      I thought your voice was music

      And your beauty - work of art.

      I found your jokes amusing,

      Ponygirl, a golden heart.

      Your company, a journey

      Which I never could depart

      I really felt I loved you,

      Well, I did once, at the start.

      .

      See, music can be different

      Some songs good, and others crap.

      Some begin melodically,

      Then get crashing in a snap.

      Starting subtle violins,

      Then it blares with metal scrap

      They lure you malevolent

      Some music is a trap.

      .

      Some artists Donatello,

      Others Jackson Pollock.

      Some art goes well with wine,

      Some turns you alcoholic.

      Some is deep and intricate,

      Some is purely bollocks

      Can’t call this a masterpiece

      I’m not sure what to call it.

      .

      Thought your lips were pure cuisine

      And your beauty - work of art.

      I never thought the kitchen

      Would have mold and rot at heart.

      The oven sent asunder

      All the counters ripped apart

      You’re a diner with one dish,

      And it’s a dry and sour tart.

      7 votes
    36. enikő: a story written on the edge of sleep and sanity

      enikő a story written on the edge of sleep and sanity The dreams never seem to come unless they're tortured memories or painful reminders of some ill-begotten past nobody wants to remember. To...

      enikő

      a story written on the edge of sleep and sanity

      The dreams never seem to come unless they're tortured memories or painful reminders of some ill-begotten past nobody wants to remember. To sleep is to live with that reality, but there can be no sleep in such reality either, and neither can there be peace. In the reality there is Enikő, eyes strained against an all-consuming darkness, and the many fractured people that exist within.

      "No sleep," mutters Enikő into the void. There are no people around to hear that, except the many fractured people within. Enikő flashes out of existence at once and the fractured people take their spaces, dance their dances against the blackness.

      "You know," scolds Alyaza Birze, who flashes at once into existence, "you must cease to suppress me one of these days!" Probably Enikő is not truly around to hear this in the reality, for Enikő is just as nonexistent as all the other people within the darkness. Alyaza pays it no mind, for she is accustomed to such.

      "Why must you always tax yourself so, Enikő?" calls Alyaza out to the void. "You know as I that you must sleep. The nightmares are no more common than the daydreams, and neither too are the thoughts. They are not often for you. Rest at once." The void does not answer.

      Alyaza flashes back into nonexistence, and so takes her place is Natja Avidina. In some other place in some other space, it is so that Natja and Alyaza exist as roommates. In this reality though they are consigned to singular existences, never seeing one another. They are opposites, yin and yang, and in this reality yin and yang cannot be at the same time. Natja cannot exist where Alyaza does, nor can Alyaza exist where Natja does. Natja pays this no mind, for she too like Alyaza has long resigned to the void reality.

      "Why do you make yourself suffer, Enikő?" slips the quiet voice of Natja into the void. "Surely you too must be tired, even with the nightmares and the thoughts, and surely you too must realize that there is no guarantee you will even remember them if you rest?" And then Natja too snaps out of existence and is replaced by Enikő.

      "I don't want the thoughts or the nightmares or the dreams." says Enikő from reconstitution. "I have dreamed and thought like a crazy person for years and every day my sanity slips a little more because of it! Must I be consigned to suffer then like every other facet of life simply because you two demand it of me?"

      Enikő's eyes drift, and into the void Alyaza calls back a simple "yes" before disappearing again. In the void little figures dance to the rhythm of a silent melody, one-two like so then one-two again, not figures like Alyaza or Natja but the manifestations of the thoughts and dreams and every little thing the brain conceives and conspires to employ in this god-forsaken hellspace of a reality. Fire and brimstone could never compare to the void that taunts and harasses the very depths of soul and sanity.

      Enikő's eyes drift back into the void. "I refuse," she says with conviction. Sleep will bring upon this void all the figures dancing to the invisible beat a thousand times over complimented with the worst machinations of the mind. One thousand times too many has this happened and one thousand and one will not tonight.

      Enikő gives way to another shard of a body, the one that always confronts the thoughts. The eyes of Twilight Sparkle methodically survey the void for the usual actors, the ones that seem to recur every time she is spirited to this curious place. This is not her home, nor has it ever been, and why she is here she never does seem to know. In another place she is lauded but anxious perpetually, sent against fate and time and gods themselves in the name of an abstract concept she supposes she represents. Here, she exists as a mixture of reason and reaction, and in the void it is never certain which side dominates. She has never been used to the void, but the void cares little for such things.

      "The thoughts aren't anything you haven't experienced before." she says carefully. "If it were my call, I'd take it. Better than what the rest of the mind can spit out if you stay in this void for too long."

      The manifestation of reason disappears, and reaction it seems has lost the day for once. But Enikő responds only with "I refuse" and vanishes once more into nonexistence. The Thompson-esque scene must shamble along once more, resembling more and more an acid trip gone awry with its talking purple ponies and radical socialist gryphon-kind. The void answers the call with frantic pace, the one-two double timing without a breath to spare and the void reaching with the first tendrils of abject paranoia. The void must call its call and spread until entropy overcomes its will. Sleep must one day win over void, or void must overcome all things otherwise.

      But Enikő only pops back once more to refuse. "I shall not sleep, and none shall tell me otherwise. No void shall overcome me, no matter what, and I would sooner die than feel the thoughts once more."


      Alyaza Birze has a plan. She is no strategist of course, and pays no claim to being such, but just as Enikő was the body within which all of the fractal personalities contained themselves, Alyaza was a person into which Enikő could project. And just as Enikő knew Alyaza, Alyaza must then have known Enikő.

      The one-two one-two staccato of the void grew seemingly always more and more discordant, for which Enikő would no doubt pay in short order. But the void reality was not the only reality into which all of the fractal personalities could contain themselves, and Alyaza Birze knows this. There are many vectors by which to project yourself into another reality, and this too Alyaza Birze knows, but it is a very specific reality that Alyaza Birze seeks. And so into the void, with sudden rhythm, is a familiar humming.

      Doo do, doo do do do.

      Do do do do, do do do do, do do.


      It is some indiscriminate time, in a place that is less so indiscriminate. Alyaza Birze is on a podium at the head of a sea of curious lifeforms in a reality that places her in a Thompson-like Battle of Aspen. But far from Aspen, this reality invokes some mayoral election for a town named Ponyville in a land called Equestria, in some god-forsaken reality that demands words but defies them and calls for no less than six tabs of acid. It is Birze, the uncharismatic but ever convention-defying radical speaker who raises a Gonzo fist to a species with no opposable digits and recites with conviction "All you maggot-smoking fags on Santa Monica boulevard." No explanation for these words or their significance to the Birze campaign is given, nor for the Gonzo fist, and the reality at once seems to shatter into a million ill-fitting pieces from such an illogical state of being. Birze pays none of it mind.

      Somewhere to the side of the sea of life is a Twilight Sparkle equally oblivious of the void and all too aware of it, cringing at every word spoken by Birze and no doubt trying to distance herself from every syllable that is enunciated on that grand podium. No self-respecting person would be caught dead wholeheartedly agreeing with some platform literally based in nothing in this reality (except of course for the vast masses already doing so but without saying so). But then all of this is irrelevant and Twilight knows this and it is merely pomp and circumstance to the call of the void which exists and eats away at everything like a malignant cancer even in so far away a place as this. Behind the thinly veiled, multicolored sets of this reality jolt the rhythms of the void reality, ready to expand and consume here just as it too shall consume Enikő. And so it is under that circumstance that exponentially titled future Mayor of the Reality of the Freak Power Ponyvillians Alyaza Birze and shattered personality Twilight Sparkle meet both knowing and not knowing why it is they meet.

      "To what pleasure do I owe speaking to the visit of our presumptive mayor?" asks the purple pony in the Thompson-esque scene. The void at least will not eat these words, so there is point and purpose in the intonation put on them.

      "Someone as smart as you surely must know why I am here and not anywhere else today. Void is void, Tevilias. It is another one of those." said Alyaza with reservation. "And certainly I am no mayor, for the record."

      "You must forgive me," Twilight strings together with lackadaisical attitude, "but what would 'one of those' mean?" There is an air of resignation in the words, like the inevitable weight of a hundred-million realities is about to crash down on this reality and consign it to some bad acid trip where it belongs.

      "Well you know as I, Tevilias, that in twenty-odd hours I shoot all of you to that beat and tune, that bullshit line of "All you maggot-smoking faggots" in this strange smoke and mirrors bullshit reality that exists. That is where the thoughts go, that is what the void calls, and it is you who will die there too in agony a hundred times any other. And no doubt you know that I have no desire to do that. We've been through this a hundred times, haven't we? And we know what happens if we do that."

      "Sure." The resignation is enviable.

      "And so we will not let that happen, will we? Because it's not like I want to murder. And you know what will happen if we do." The three-headed cerberus that inhabits the void makes itself known then.

      "I WILL MURDER YOU ALL IN COLD BLOOD" bays the first head. The second nods solemnly as though carried along for a ride it never asked. The third head is manic, bearing no mind to anything but the vast and acid-like surroundings and teetering back and forth on the cusp of some far off reality from here. All of them are Alyazas, stuck in a body that never represented them in a world that never cared for them, or so it seems. No one head ever seems to dominate, except when it surfaces and becomes The Alyaza Birze, the one that people know. And never is there a time when one knows which one is The Alyaza Birze or if none of them are The Alyaza Birze, the one that everybody interacts with. Perhaps twenty-odd hours from now it will be the first that will do the killing.

      "So perhaps," says Alyaza Birze, the cerberus disappearing at once, "we should make this quick then." And Twilight Sparkle can merely nod as one of the fragmented personalities once in her own reality and soon to again no longer be.


      The void cannot pace itself any longer, and the discordant harmonies cease at once to contain themselves. The thoughts grow darker and drearier as they always do and the figures in the void give way to the schizophrenic happenings of the night. The shadow figures that once were become again and reanimate against the pitch black, the vividness ever greater. Sleep is enviable, but the void shall not overcome. The thoughts shall not overcome, not the dreams of dying or doing the death dealing nor the inenviable and inevitable thoughts of wanton mutilation. "The void will not overcome me, and I shall not sleep." says Enikő, and the void surges its tendrils once more.

      Alyaza Birze and Twilight Sparkle and all her friends and all the other fractal personalities but Natja Avidina constitute themselves in the void once more, humming the refrains to a song which they all care to know as fractal personalities to a person. What a thing to be a witness to the sunshine! What a dream to just be walking on the ground! Into the void must strum the beat to something more cheery, something to at least dispel the thoughts and the agonies and the void for awhile, something that isn't so depressive and destructive. Don't get so upset, the refrain cries, the world was never fair--but there are ways yet to get through the day and so too perhaps the night. None of the fractal personalities sing, for singing is never quite their tempo. In some other, non-void reality perhaps this is so, but here they simply drown in the thoughts. And the thoughts are drowned, slowly, but inexorably, by the feelings of the music.

      The void begins to slow, and entropy takes its course as does inevitably for all things. Soon the dreams are gone and so too go the thoughts with them, and at once there is a true void where the nightmares and the thoughts frolic no longer.

      "Well that was not so hard." says Alyaza Birze. "A work done well by everybody, I suppose." Twilight merely scoffs, and says nothing of it before she is reconstituted into her own reality, to perhaps be shot again sometime in not-so-far-gone future. So too out of existence and into their own blink her other friends, ever present in this void from time to time as she but never quite players in its major doings. One day in the not-so-far-gone future it is they too who may die at the hands of some Alyaza Birze. But tonight they are merely fractal personalities in a large symphony of them, called upon ever and remembered never.

      Into the night Alyaza Birze skitters onto paper a little testimony she picked up on a day she can no longer remember but which sticks into her mind evermore.

      It reads:

      In my own country I am in a far-off land
      I am strong but have no force or power
      I win all yet remain a loser
      At break of day I say goodnight
      When I lie down I have a great fear
      Of falling.

      And then she too blinks into nonexistence, perhaps in some not-so-far-flung future destined to be as she was this night to kill, perhaps destined to rewrite the words of testimony, but ever destined to repeat the cycle of doing and being and defusing crises on this night and all others a million times over now and forever more.

      And for the first time in a long while, Enikő is at peace and sleeps.

      6 votes
    37. Man of the Train

      Another story. The narrator is not well and slips into periods of "extended daydreaming" where they image they're someone else or that the context of their life is otherwise different. I thought...

      Another story. The narrator is not well and slips into periods of "extended daydreaming" where they image they're someone else or that the context of their life is otherwise different. I thought about coloring the text differently for those moments but couldn't figure out a way to do it well.


      No one walks out to this place. Why would they? It’s too far for children to be playing or for teenagers to sneak away to, there’s no beauty or interesting landscapes or scenery for hikers, and God knows it’s worthless for development. I walked out here because I knew I couldn’t stay at home and I kept walking because I knew I had nothing to go back to. Then, brooding, thinking that I would just continue walking until I died of exposure (which would have taken a while in that day’s mild weather), I stumbled across this place. I stopped to explore it of course, how often does one’s life yield such a whimsical sight?

      I started daydreaming as I walked through the trains. They looked ancient, the cars were buried up to their wheels in the dirt and huge patches had lost their paint and rusted over. The interiors were stripped, but I spotted some kind of hatch in the roof (by the pile of leaves and other debris below it) and clambered up. Then I was standing astride the car looking down at the whole scene. Two neat little rows, five cars in one and four in the other, with the only sign tracks used to run here being a small corridor where the trees were shorter.

      I loved it. It was a sort of post-industrial twist on the railway bum, you know? They would hitch rides on trains and travel all over the country, seeing everything it had to offer and adventuring everywhere they went. I had, in the past, been disappointed I didn’t live in a time where the vagabond could thrive, and was delighted to imagine the 21st century equivalent. Sitting in a rusted old abandoned train car, the Seeker (I always name my characters like that) sat by his gas fire watching the rain pour down and spatter across the corrugated walls. It was lovely. I felt much better and after playing around a bit more headed back home with a smile, all the while dreaming of the Seeker. The evening passed comfortably and I slid into sleep imagining I was the man sleeping out by the trains.

      I pulled my blanket closer, clutching it around myself. I had found something, and tonight II was able to rest peacefully because of it. The night breeze flowed over me in soft, regular breaths. It was sweet and pleasantly cool, and carried memories of cheery days. All else faded always as I walked into them, leaving behind the blanket and the breeze and the night itself.

      When I got up the next morning though the levity had vanished. I dragged myself through the morning and lacking anything real to do and completely out of distractions for the afternoon I headed out for another wander in the woods. Alone with just the half-leafless trees to speak to I very quickly fell into my thoughts and my world of pasts, real or imagined. I don’t know how long I walked, just that after a while my breath was coming out in ragged bursts and that I was approaching the top of a hill. Attaining it I realized with gloomy resignation that I was somewhat lost, and that the cup of tea I was desiring now more than most anything would be a while yet. As I started back in the direction I more or less thought town was I imagined how the Seeker had trudged through the same damp leaves and browning grass. Autumn would quickly change from the mild early days to the coldness that marked the start of winter, and this landscape would be unrecognizable. Even this escape would not last. Just like them. More gloominess. Pushing through a thicket of young trees I was surprised to be face to face with the train wrecks from yesterday, and, after briefly marveling at the occurrence started back home. I was throwing off my shoes and starting the kettle in just over an hour.

      At home I picked, for some foolish reason, the blue teapot (of memories) and was soon sitting at the table and warming my hands on a steaming cup. I was shivering. Sometimes I don’t realize how cold I am until I’m back inside. I need to dress warmer. For a while I could pretend to be content sipping at my tea and feeling myself thaw out a little, but after a few cups I started thinking about what I would do for the rest of the day. That’s why I had gone out in the first place wasn’t it, that I had nothing here? I didn’t feel warm anymore. And since I had picked this pot (it was three years ago, why should I care?) my thoughts slid further and further back until I was recalling the conversation we had over it. And how I had laughed and taken your picture holding it and you had smiled as the wind whipped your hair back and I couldn’t stand sitting there and looking at it anymore. I fled to the couch and fell face first down into it.

      What was I doing? I couldn’t sit here for another eight hours waiting to go to bed and dream, I was gripped with sinking panic just at the thought. No, I couldn’t stay. And I didn’t have to. If I could tell myself a story about it, I could do it myself, right? I could just leave. I could make it real. Go to another town, or sleep in a car, or, go camping. Yes, I could camp for the night. I did tell people I was an outdoorsman after all, even if for the past few years I hadn’t done anything more than day hikes to run from my reality. I had all the gear, I knew what I was doing.

      Twenty minutes later I was out the door, heading back the woods for the second time today, this time with my pack slung across my shoulders. As I walked I thought about how unpleasant this would probably be and I was pleased. At least it would be because of something else. Something immediate. I went to the trains because where else would I go and also because I knew they were isolated and I wanted to be sure no one would be out harassing me over lighting a fire or being a vagrant. It was perfect.

      And as evening fell the fire was lit. I had set camp in between the two rows of derelict cars to provide some shelter from the wind.

      The heat from the flames sank into the metal siding of the cars and soon they were radiating back a friendly warmth. Touching it felt almost like being warmed by the sun. I leaned back against one now and stared at the fire. It was a comfortable scene, even if the ground was cold and hard and all I had to do was sit and think and brood. It was basically what I would have done at home anyway, but now I was not drawn into despair. No, out here all these feelings were beautiful, and if it was beautiful I could enjoy it. Some time and drinks passed and I became outright elated. Considering the whole absurdity of where I was right now I had to laugh. I might curse my life every day, but it was, if nothing else, interesting. Even if I was the only one who would ever know. Just look at where I am! I grinned and kept laughing and drinking and soaking up the intoxicating woodsmoke and tender light that flowed from the fire. I loved that this was something I did. And later as the flames hid back in their coals I climbed into my tent and floated right away on a dreamless, happy sleep. Lord of my little realm of heat and smoke. Good times for all. All for good times.

      I sat at the edge of fire’s light clutching my cup closely. It was a bitter tea, what one could brew with just a cup over a camp fire, but I sipped at it greedily anyway, burning my lips on the rim. It would hold the blaze’s heat for a while yet, the cup was almost painful to handle even through my gloves, now streaked with ash. It had been a long, cold day. I had almost lost myself, but now, resting in the half-light at the edge of reality, it was alright. I smiled and, tipping my head ever so slightly up, whistled out a few bars of some song or another. Yes, here it was alright. There was a lot I didn’t know, but that was fine, I knew I was, as was the fire and the smoke and the warmth and the tea.

      I refocused on the fire, source of the little world I had found myself in. It was as if I were gazing through into my own light. A welcome feeling, as I had felt a dull cold more than anything recently. I looked more intently, allowing the firelight to wash out the surroundings until I and it were all that existed. Like this I could see hints, now and then, of what had been. Perhaps if I looked too greedily the flames would even take me then, shattering the gracious illusion of the light in the process. No, echos would have to do. They were all that was real anyway. I stared for a long while, lost in burning contemplation.

      That was a... number of days ago. I haven’t counted exactly. For the first few I was at home most of the day, only heading out for the trains in the evening. The first morning I didn’t plan to come back at all and tore my whole camp down. But around mid afternoon my listlessness would become unbearable and I’d flee from the prospect of another night in. So I started leaving my tent pitched, figuring I’d do this as some kind of therapy until I got better and figured out what I was going to do with myself. And I did get better! Or at least the more time I spent in the woods the less time I was sinking in the mire of my thoughts and the more I marveled at them. Maybe they were still dragging me down, but I didn’t notice anymore. Soon I was spending the afternoons out as well, and then I was only going back home in the morning to grab food and water.

      I’ll probably be forced out by the weather soon. It’s been getting much colder these past days, but I don’t want to leave yet, I like this routine. I like the work of building the little stone wall, or clearing the ground around the fire pit I’m slowly carving out of the stiff ground, or sketching my map of the area around the camp. It was more than I had back there.

      As the last of the purple in the sky was swept away by the darkening blue I stretched out alongside the newly rekindled fire. I had known for days that I was not going to find it here. I would have to go back and see what was next for me. But it was comfortable here, and for that I could pretend I had a reason to stay, at least for a little while longer. Yes, I’ll have to leave soon, but for now I can just enjoy the fire. I can walk in dream a little while longer.

      9 votes
    38. jetpack like spy kids

      my head is aching, day four in sobriety. is it the drugs or every- thing that runs about my dreams all the people in my night- mares never let me sleep. my angry father, my old lover, or my...

      my head is aching,
      day four in sobriety.
      is it the drugs or every-
      thing that runs about my dreams
      all the people in my night-
      mares never let me sleep.
      my angry father, my old
      lover, or my mother's screams.

      i go to bed at noon
      and i wake up at three.
      no power left, make some coffee
      just whatever's cheap.
      folgers tastes like cigarettes,
      a cup of apathy.
      wanna sleep inside a noose
      on a dramatic tree.*

      eyes on gucci cus
      they're catching bags
      they're getting dark, like the
      stones came, painted them black
      i wanna move to where the dems are at.
      to the palm trees and the medicine.

      i fantasize about a booked flight,
      goodbyes, and a packed bag.
      fresh check, laptop,
      in my backpack
      new friends, new home,
      and a black lab.
      but that's all in the clouds
      and my drugs are a jetpack.

      but now i'm sober
      and i'm jetlagged.
      and now she's back
      turning my dreams bad
      woke up, aching head,
      and a hurting back.
      dig in my closet
      for a white bag.

      if i'm lucky it's a heart attack.


      • this line isn't mine, wish it was though, i love how self-aware it is when it comes to the hyperdramatic bullshit i always write. would love to write some more stuff in this style.

      oddly enough, it's from a game grumps episode of super mario galaxy lmao

      maybe adding that and fixing the meter in these. i feel like the meter in my sober stuff is really jumpy - i can hear the different parts in my head but i don't think im piecing them together well.

      4 votes