VSCO Entry: The Creation of Happiness

I’ve previously released a few of these but I haven’t explained what they are. VSCO, a photography application, has a special feature where users can create journal entries, combining images and words (my two favorite things). So without further ado, here is my next entry about happiness, the elusive emotion.
The Creation of Happiness

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Sleeping with A Corpse

Act II for FLW is underway. Here’s an old section that I wrote, it’s going to be redone soon. 

His hand reaches towards the remote and now the bedroom is silent. He curls into his corner and shuts his eyes, despite the lack of tiredness in his body. For a few minutes, he is quiet, attempting to control his breathing in hopes of falling asleep faster. It fails. He readjusts himself in bed, with his hands behind his head, staring at the fan. He looks over at Her again, who he can tell is still awake by her twitching. “Can’t sleep either huh?” he whispers. Silence. Hereaches underneath the sheets, finding her bare back in the process. She is hot, for a second he believes that he is sleeping next to a fire. “I can’t either” she finally responds. She turns towards him, but the night obscures her face. Her lips are the only thing he can detect in this darkness. “What’s on your mind hun?” ___ asks. His breathing increases and the sheets begin to move in sync with his chest. “You know what’s on my mind. It’s the same thing that’s been on my mind since the beginning. No matter what I do, I can’t stop thinking about him. I can’t. I’ve tried to understand it.” “Shh, talk to me.” her hand found its way underneath his soft hair. “What exactly are you thinking about?” ___ sighed, pulling his head away in the process. “It’s nothing. Forget it, I’ll sleep it off.” “And then you’ll wake up tomorrow and feel the same way. ___, please talk to me. You’ve been so distant lately and I’m not sure what’s happened. You don’t…” tears began to form. “You don’t even speak to me some mornings. I stand at that sink just like you do, every day and yet it’s like you don’t see me. You just stare into that mirror. I’m hurting, and you can’t even see it.” she cried. The pillow absorbed her tears. “Hey I’ve been here. This whole time. I come home every night and I sleep right next to you.” “That’s it though! You don’t do anything else but sleep next to me. All we share now is this damn bed. We don’t even fuck anymore…I don’t know the last time you’ve called me beautiful. I remember, thats all you used to tell me I was. You know, I heard the word before and other’s tried to use it. But…it was you who made me believe I truly was beautiful. Because of the way you would look down at me, when I’m laying on your chest and your hair is frizzled. You would look down and ask me who’s beautiful, and I’d be too shy to answer, but then you’d kiss my forehead and give me my answer. That’s when I knew I loved you, but now…” ___tried to pull her closer but she jerked away instead. “ Now, I feel like I’m sleeping with a corpse too.”

“Origin of Species”

He arrived to the steaming city with those eyes

you know those kind that have only seen palm trees, sunsets and poverty on his island

staring at the boatyard with a suitcase full of his best clothes and a heart ready to set sail on a journey through the alley ways of Baltimore

It was to his liking at first, finding friendships with those who spoke a familiar tongue as him

The Spanish crashing against the buildings like the winter rain until he found an unchanging season situated in the soul of a woman

A southern lamb who had wandered just a little too far from the farm, finding herself without focus in a world where lights stay on all night and families try and live off of pocket change

And somehow these two met, and talked, and fell in love but not sure if they fell into bed first

and I’m actually wondering if condoms were a thing back then because after back to back sessions it seemed that belly was tired of being meek and began swell like the world, taking a tour through the pregnancy

And then came the marriage, a catholic procession

With his black hair and caramel skin, he took the hand of this girl who looked like her world had just reached judgement day

Time passes and clothes begin to get looser and one day the impossible happens

She left…left him in an apartment in Baltimore. Left him alone without a woman to hold in bed after a long day of working at the yard. Left him before he had a chance to become a father to a lovely daughter who would eventually look like him in her old age. Taking away his strong Latino features but not being confined to country lines or customs

But here he stood with tears in the rain

Wondering if he would ever see his daughter, would he be able to teach her his native tongue

or watch a generation of interracial children form their own families from his first planted seed

So he wrote, and wrote and for awhile he got responses…But they stopped answering his questions,

constantly sending heart emojis in the mail only to discover that the message wasn’t able to be delivered so in return he sent a ripped marriage license in hopes of driving away the feeling

The feeling that his own flesh and blood would grow up without ever being able to say she knew her father.

A Conversation Between…

A snippet from my most recent chapter in the upcoming story FLW.

Enjoy.

“Do you remember that night in October?”

“Which one?”

“That night where we went to that party for one of your mom’s friends. It was in some cramped apartment on 35th. You were wearing a black shirt with a white collar and some black pants. I think you had gold in your shoes too.”

“Hmm. Oh you mean that night where we-“

“Yeah, that night.”

“Of course I remember. That was a good night.”

“Just good?”

“Well, maybe just okay.”

He frowned.

“I’m kidding. That was magical. I remember seeing all those people dancing in that tiny room as if they were in a grand ballroom.”

“And there was that one couple. The guy kept spinning his partner around so much that we all thought she was bound to throw up.”

“Right! And then the cat ended up jumping into the punch bowl.”

“The cat did what?”

“Yeah, he jumped right in. He went in white and came out red. Looked like a bloody napkin afterwards.”

“Hm, no wonder that punch tasted so funny. I think I may have swallowed a fur ball then.”

“Gross.”

“It’s good for your skin.”

“Says who?”

“Hmmm, scientists. In fact all of them.”

“Okay, sure.”

She paused.

“What made you think of that night?”

“I always think of that night. It’s one of the few memories I hold onto. I just felt like we belonged there. Surrounded by a bunch of strangers in some tiny complex, all of us having a good time for no reason whatsoever.”

“Yeah, I just remember us being pushed up against the wall during that first song.”

“You just used that as an excuse to get closer to me.”

“So what if I did, it worked didn’t it?”

“Yeah it sure did.”

A moment passed

“What are you thinking about Joshua?”

“I’m wondering if I can make the rest of your life feel like that night, starting now.”

To The Woman on the Metro

She was only on for one stop

But her eyes froze time

Draped in midnight with matching hair,

A thin neck adorned with simple relics

Yet the collarbone showed quiet royalty.

Her hands wrapping around a red rubber band

Frantic

Or graceful

I cannot tell.

Her eyes were invading,

Searching my face for all its slight distinctions

With intimate care

Taking note to not miss details

Cheekbones

Wrinkles

Scars

Before quickly darting down the rest of the train car when exposed.

Silently waiting, to escape from this moment of intense connection

That would very well crush the bones of the other

But,

the doors open

and her shadow fades

before she does

And her silhouette is all that remains

Serial Streamer

There was a slight glare from the light but she continued to look. It was darker than normal this afternoon, the sun seemed to go down earlier. The sound of heels tapping pavement could be heard at the other side of the alley. Instinctively she clutched her keys, placing them between her fingers. Her wedding ring made it difficult for the key to fit but somehow it slid in. Her phone in the other, using it as a guiding light, searching for the apartment number. Sirens wailed in the distance while television noises echoed through the hall. But then it became silent, as if all the oxygen has suddenly disappeared. The darkness from the other side began to shift, slowly at first. Out of the void a figure began to appear, the lights casting a dim silhouette over his face. And then a small light, a set of legs followed by hair and face. A woman. A lost sheep. Somehow she managed to step into his view, just when he was getting ready for the night. She seemed to be the perfect warm up for the approaching festival. Tonight was his night. Under the mask he could only hear his own breathing,

Inhale

Exhale

Inhale

Exhale

Until the rhythm became him, then he would go.

The front pocket of his uniform was glowing, a white phone peeking from under the cloth. He looked to the streetlight, and from under the mask it looked like the light was fading.
She didn’t notice him until he was only a few paces behind her, how quiet he moved. A slight chill went up her blouse, causing goosebumps to stand at attention. It was mid May but between the silent bricks it felt like December. Cold with a hint of the end. She looked at the houses, watching the numbers climb. Her own destination seeming farther, while the end was still following. A Mis-step gave him away, for his feet were in sync with hers. She turned to see a small figure, a teenager. His outfit slightly dirty, the singe of the day’s grime was still on his sleeves. His hands were long, they almost didn’t belong to him. The streetlight flickered and his face appeared, only for an instant. Pale skin and hollow eyes, until two pupils appeared from the dark circles. A mask. She thought back to her husband, and wondered how she would never stroke his chin again.

He walked to his prey, and reached into his pocket. A flash of silver illuminated in the alley. Under the mask he could only see one thing, her. Her body began to grow larger as he lumbered towards her. Suddenly it grew smaller, and her feet began to move quicker. No matter, they always run. He turned to the left and continued down the hall. His phone still sitting in his pocket.
She ran down the halls, screaming for help. It wasn’t enough for the occupied apartments seemed to only house lights. She turned around and noticed that he was gone. A slight trickle began to crawl down her legs, the liquids from earlier making an escape as she searched for hers. Her phone light was now off and the keys were no longer within her hands. She crawled into the pile of trash next to the rusted gate. The smell was only tolerable because her life was on the line, but she still gagged. And then it became quiet, no longer rustling plastic and drastic heartbeats.

His hand reached down

Her hair was snatched

His shoulders bulged as he lifted her

The trash bags rolled off her legs as she was taken

He kneeled next to her and unsheathed his knife.

In the distance a trickle could be heard, a fresh puddle forming in the gutter. In the dark it was colorless, but in the morning the street would turn Crimson. He lifted her body off the ground and tossed her into the trash, the festival was about to begin and he was late. She wasn’t…enough. He reached down into his pocket and checked his phone. His screen mirrored that of the alley, his new canvas. Leftover blood was streaked across the LCD lights and for a second the cells made a kaleidoscope on his mask. A solitary red flash was pulsating in the corner until a hold transmission button appeared. He pressed it and the screen went black. A lone sigh escaped from the nostril holes and a set of words refracted off of his face. The screen read “Lost Sheep” and his transmission ended.

I sat in the corner of my room, numb. Tears unable to fall and words no longer forming. What had I just witnessed? The ending of an innocent life or the craving of a sadistic man. The two accounts both open on my screen, wondering who’s story was the real one. I was afraid, but most of all I was confused. How, how could I watch that? How could I sit still and experience the end of an existence. I wondered who was the real monster as the same night sky began to fall over my bedroom window.

This short came from the idea”what would happen if someone live-streamed a murder?”