Feathers & Scales

-Polar+

1.

It was late, the time of night where shadows scaled the skyscrapers. Two sat on the bed, a freshly lit cigarette in the tray next to the ceramic lamp. Ashes scattered over pages of an open book, cosmic dust daring to become permanent like the pen. A laptop screen was the only source of light for the two, save for the embers glowing next to empty frame.  The two sat, allowing their chests to rise and fall at the same rhythm, instead of speaking (words were pointless). Or maybe they were afraid that any secrets spilled through soft lips would end in separation again. This fragile fragment of time, this inkling of borrowed eternity they shared was the only proof that they, had once, existed. But the end-as it always does-happens before the act can be noticed.

Soon reality would return, desperately reminding them to find their future in today, but for now they were together. And that’s all that mattered. Her momma had been right the entire time. All the touches shared, the quiet whispers in the dark, the shattering of a broken heart that continued to beat, it was real. But so were her scars, his eyes, her smiles, his mistakes, their beginning. The rain drop slid down the edge of the chilled window, forcing the two to break the silence.

 Fin,

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Lilith’s Wish

(Forget-me]not

1.

“What made you send that?”

“Rough night, ignore it.”

“I can’t ignore something like that.”

“You should, you’ll only get hurt.”

“Hurt? It’s too late for me to do that.”

“It takes time.”

“Is time going to stop you from drunk texting me?”

“It won’t happen again.”

“I know, but you’ve already ruined my day now.”

“Sorry…”

He laid on the edge of the sofa, sharing the cushioned space with a girl with cheeks made of moonstone. The beauty of her cheeks, matched only by the innocence in her chest; old enough to love, but not old enough to notice a broken man. A simple invitation sent by her, and now he was comfortable on her couch. And somehow they moved to the bed. And somehow the clock read 3:07 AM. And somehow the words escaped his mouth. “Can I stay with you?” “Don’t you have a girlfriend.” “Not anymore.” “Then yeah,” she whispered as his shirt glided to the floor. Their bodies remained at opposing ends, save for the moments they met in the middle. But he hadn’t anticipated the magnitude of his choice,  deciding to sleeping (with) next to a stranger.

2.

“Time knocks like a tax-collector,” is what her mother told her when she buried her father.

“All ripples start from somewhere,”  is what her mother told her when she opened the envelope.

“Truth is both poison and the antidote,” is what her mother told her when she said goodbye.

“Doors close for a reason, it’s up to you to find another one that’s open,”is what her mother told her when she started moving on.

3.

Dreams at his doorstep, all of his desires sitting on the brick stoop of his porch. He was ready to chart his course. Because of the end, he now had a beginning; and the sunset, how beautiful. Her smile, how beautiful, it’s what he loved the most. Or her tattoo, the thick lines contrasting against her silken shoulders. To be back in her arms, was that proof that it was real? All he wanted was a spot, a place to claim for his own, and he’d found it at the end.

Shapeshifter.

The harsh wind licked the dusted snow off of the poorly constructed cabin. Positioned a few meters away from the edge of the cliff was the construct rocking along with the blizzard. Ice crept in through the gaps in the roof. A young man with an overgrown beard threw open the door and hurried inside. He wore a leather jacket with fur around the shoulders, a wooly hat, and had a pair of rugged binoculars wrapped around his thick neck. Using the lens, he peered out over the other side of the mountain. “We’re safe,” he frantically said to his younger brother, cautiously positioned against the wood. The eldest pedaled back from the frosted window, and slowly doused the oil lantern sitting on the floor.
“You got it, right? I saw you attack it with your knife, right?”
“I think, it was moving so fast I couldn’t even tell.”
“What’s that on your back?” the younger brother weakly whispered. The eldest quickly reached for the fire prod before removing his coat and bringing it to his nose.
“It smells like…sulfur,” he said.
“Was that some bear?”
“I…I don’t know. I can’t even describe it .”
The wind’s speed started to diminish as the indigo moon crept behind the peak of the mountain. “I shouldn’t have brought you up here, this is all my fault,” the eldest said.
“Don’t think like that,” the younger exhaled.
“No, it is, I should have waited until you were healthier before we did this.”
“If we would’ve waited, I may never have done this climb,” he passively smiled. “You know I wanted us to go on this trip, we’ve talked about it for too long.”
“Always the optimist, even in the face of danger,”
“Right…” the younger replied. “What do you think we should do? Bar the doors?”
“Smart idea. Whatever is out there, it’ll have a harder time getting through the door if we block it.”
“Did you get a good look at it? the younger curiously asked while gasping for air.
He shook his head, and specks of crystallized sweat bounced onto the frigid boards.

The eldest rose to his feet and began rearranging the furniture to barricade the entrance. He angled the massive dresser towards the door, tilted the circular table to block the exposed window, and broke the lantern to scatters shards of glass in front of each possible entrance. Sitting in the corner, the younger brother watched in awe at his resourcefulness.
“This reminds me of old times?” the eldest said while wiping his hands.
“Oh…does it? How?”
“Remember how we used to play in the woods. I’d build a fort, and you’d sit around waiting for it to be complete. We’d stay out till the sun went down, and we’d play that one game. I forgot what it was called,” the eldest said.
Shapeshifter…”
“Ah, that’s it. You always wanted to be it too,” he chuckled.
“Mhm.”
“Those were the days…everything was so simple back then.”
“And then I got sick…” he confessed.
“And then you got sick.”
“Who would’ve thought,” he coughed, “that ma and pa gave me the bad genes?”
“Don’t blame them,” he stated.
“I’m not. Nobody is to blame but myself, for being so weak,” the younger paused. A gale cut through the logs and stung their sullen eyes. “That’s why you wanted to bring me up here, right? To show me I wasn’t weak.”
“Guess you figured out my motive, huh?”
“I am the smarter one, remember?”
“Is that so,” the eldest laughed.
The repositioned furniture slightly creaked as the night progressed.
“Do you even want to take a guess at what that was?”
“It had two legs, and it stood upright.”
“I thought I saw a tail or something attached to it. But I don’t know any animals that stand on two legs and have a tail.”
“Ever heard of a kangaroo?”
The younger leered at his brother, “you think a rabid kangaroo is chasing us across the Appalachian trail?”
“No, but it is an animal with two legs and a tail.”
“Yeah yeah, so we have no clue then,”
“Do we need one?”
“Not really, so long as we survive,” the younger confessed.
“We should escape, first thing in the morning.”
The younger nodded before dropping his head back onto the wood. “I’ll take first watch so you can regain your strength. You’ll need as much of it as you can if we have to make a quick escape.”
“Wake me up when it’s time to switch shifts, or if you hear anything. I don’t care if it’s just an icicle falling off of the roof, wake me up.”
The eldest snapped his fingers, before reaching for the cast iron prod in front of the fireplace.
In the stillness of the moonlight, a slight echo rang from outside of the cabin. The youngest just managed to drift off to sleep, before the echo resounded. He frantically jumped out of his nap, but reached for his side immediately afterward; his muscles were spazzing once again. “Did you hear that?”
“No, what was it?”
“Sounded like a shout. Shit, do you think it found us?”
“Doubtful,” the eldest said.
“What about our tracks?”
“The blizzard probably covered them by now, even ol Ham-bone and his bloodhound nose couldn’t find us. And we put them lights out as soon as we came in.”
“Right, I forgot about that,” he exhaled. The silver moon shone its light through the window, flooding the cabin with ivory. As the beam crawled from one wall to the next, the younger brother picked his head up for just a moment to notice his shadow across the floor. His sickly frame was barely visible; the radiation had eaten away at much of his muscles, leaving a crackling skeleton in its wake. The youngest twirled his wrists, watching the darkness give form to his figure once more before glancing at his brother; his eyes trailed the floor until they reached his sturdy boots. The eldest peered through the sliver of the window that was available, gripping the metal prod. The moon retracted behind a slight wave of snowy clouds, but for a short second, the younger brother failed to recognize his brother’s shadow. Along the floor were the shades of his boots, the iron in his hand, and even his hat; but in the areas where his body was visible were absent.
“Hey, bro-“
“Shhh,” he interrupted before placing his bony index finger over his lips.

The youngest remained quiet as he watched his brother from his corner of the bleak cabin. The remaining light from the moon dissipated, leaving them in complete darkness.
Huff. Huff. Huff.
Trying to control his breathing, the youngest clasped his shaking hands together and tightened his fingers around each other.
Huff. Huff. Huff.
A low growl came from outside the cabin that caused the younger brother to lose his rhythm. Unable to see his brother, he forced his buckled knees to curl, giving him enough momentum to rise. Using the wall as support, he nudged himself closer to the entrance, hoping to catch his brother. As he leaned against the sturdy board, the growl increased in volume, whatever was outside, it was coming their way.
“Brother, brother, where are you?” the youngest whispered. When he experienced the gnawing silence, he assumed that his whisper wasn’t loud enough, but he couldn’t even hear his brother breathing. The growl suddenly changed into something more of a shout, a primal cry. “Brother, please help,” the youngest whispered once more. Footsteps shuffled along the boards, and suddenly, he felt a frigid hand against his shivering arm. He had recognized the grooves of his brother’s hand before he pulled him down.
“It’s outside,” the younger stated.
“Yeah, I heard.”
“What should we do?”
“Maybe wait?”
“Right, the entrances are blocked. There’s no way it can come in.”
“Exactly…” the eldest voice had a sinister tone in it.

Continue reading Shapeshifter.

Adam’s Dilemma

DSC_0162.jpgLib[re]

1.

A ribbon dancer, twirling with salmon-colored tails in the wind; or a child in summer, blowing bubbles out of a plastic circle. Diary, don’t you know, she is free. Curious and careless as the summer breeze, beams of the horizon kissed her cheeks. Days were finally hers to own, proving that sacrifice can be soothing. Her bond was now gone, a half-broken anchor, disguised as a relationship with a half-empty vessel was set loose in the waves of time. Her eyes set upon the crystal sea, seagull feathers falling from her flapping wings as the shores of (his) story, faded in the briny mist.

2.

The sunrise reflected against the phone screen propped next to the soaked pillow, light scattering across the thin layer of skin that separated his mistakes from his mind. Awake. Already drained before daybreak, the current in his elastic veins carried alcohol and emotions throughout the night. He pushed the pillows off of the edge and searched the mattress for his phone. A light. Her name. The static letters provided the boy with enough visibility to see his faults.

“Fuck”.

Laying flat against the springs, he stared at the revolving fan and began piecing together the illusion from the night before.

Bar.

Dance Hall.

Hallway.

Crimson walls, crimson floors,  white columns, black dresses. A meeting ground for the moral-less and the lonely, and he happened to be there. And she was too. Obsidian lips curled around the rim of a frosted glass, as she reminded her reflection what it meant to be beautiful. How long had it been since he tasted her lips? As the inebriation settled in, his rationality sent one final message to his soul. The sculpture in front of him, may have been crafted by the same hands, but it was not the Athena he once worshipped. Her frame faded into the shadows, leaving him alone with the image of his former lover.

3.

The joint pressed between her lips, igniting her passions once more. How easy the smoke dissipated, like shadows, like dust, like feelings. Each day carried her farther, lazily drifting along the banks of time.

Was their love a fairy tale, a story to be told to drowsy children?

As the thought ascended with the haze, she realized that the dream she once held degenerated, forcing her to settle. The nights spent on the couch, the countless lunches, the small talk that polluted their phones; what did all of it really mean, if she was capable of continuing without it? Essentials…she repeated to herself, taking another pull of the fresh joint.

Eve’s Drop

Sp/l-it

1.

The rain quietly rests on the window sill, watching the scene unfold before it’s crystalline eyes. A silent film with two figures, man and woman, sitting on the edge of a bed. Lips moving, bodies shifting, jerks and jolts as irreversible lighting strikes their hearts. A moment, now space expands. An otherworldly pressure blanketing the bedroom, pausing just above their tears. Two becomes one faster than droplets sliding down the stained window.

2.

She walks into the bedroom, her feet crumbling under the weight of calcified guilt. Crawling out of clothes that smelled of regretful cigarettes and old books. Standing above a rotted coffin, buried under soiled sheets;  a resurrected corpse now occupies this space, the same bed where they used to lay.  Unaware, she’s created a Frankenstein of her former lover, made with pieces of men who want nothing but to feel warmth.  How deftly mad was she, to bring him to her sacred garden and attempt to place a lost soul in this new body?  And this man, this monster would never leave now. No, she had given him life, who was he to turn away from that?

3.

He stepped out of the rented taxi, neck scented with cologne and a touch of starch. A finely shaven beard, chiseled from ear to chin. He a was a man, and ready to do what men do, and indulge themselves. Listening was a bore, and whisky always made his lips run loose. He approached the crowded bar, scanning over the bottles like a falcon above the forest; but no prey appeared. Reaching into his black denim, he unveiled a leather wallet containing enough money for him to face his fears, or so he believed…