Home: A Pantoum

 As I walked among the towers of glass

My feet dragging step by step,

I walked ‘round clouds of foul steam, only wanting

The cool grassy breeze of a place thousands of miles away

My feet dragging step by step,

I’d let tall weeds slip through my fingers,

The cool grassy breeze of a place thousands of miles away

Brushing my hair with a gentle touch

I’d let tall weeds slip through my fingers,

Pick flowers for my mother, while she,

Brushing my hair with a gentle touch,

Would make me glad I was home.

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The Door

Colors. Colors everywhere. Red on green on silver on gold, with accents of white wherever I looked. Every other imaginable hue was on the festive ties of the men and the flowing dresses of the women. The foyer was packed with familiar faces, all of them smiling down at me as I slipped through, asking how was school and did I like the fifth grade. I love it! Fifth grade’s great! Oh, no thanks Uncle Jerry; I’m too young for wine.

I was the most wonderful kind of lost. Not the kind of panicked lost in the supermarket when I desperately whipped my head at every aisle in search of my mother’s face; I was with Dean, so I was perfectly safe. My friend quickly wrapped his warm hand around mine before I was swept away by more prying aunts and uncles, his chubby fingers still sticky from the sweets we had somehow nicked from the desserts table. He had done a terrible job of trying to wipe away the raspberry preserve smears on his flushed cheeks. I, on the other hand, had no trace of my stolen goods; I may have been only ten, but I considered myself to be quite the professional dessert thief.  Continue reading

My Space (& Prompt)

Long time no see, friends. Here is a poem I wrote during a meeting for the &, my school’s literary magazine. More to come soon.

~~*~~

This is MY space

It’s my cozy home base

My own favorite place

In this own space of mine

.

I have my own planet, you see

It’s feasible when you’re as wealthy as me

So affluent simply enough to be

On this private planet of mine

.

It’s within my own system, of course

A star system of plenty of power and force

You can dance and sing and even get hoarse

On this vast star system of mine

.

My galaxy was more of an expense

But at the time, the purchase made perfect sense

Who wouldn’t want their own space that immense?

In this far-away galaxy of mine

.

But,

.

It gets a bit lonely in my universe

It’s hard to find someone with whom to converse

Perhaps it’s no blessing but only a curse

Living in this empty universe of mine

6 Words 6 Times

I have not been very committed to this blog recently because schoolwork does that to a person. In lieu of an Isabella dream, here are six six-word stories fashioned after Ernest Hemingway’s flash fiction story: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

Warning: I wrote these in twenty minutes at a meeting for my school’s literary mag meeting, so prepare to be only slightly impressed.

Also, screw full sentences.  Continue reading

The Levers

I woke up to the smell of must and wet concrete. I didn’t wake up to any sights, because for a few minutes, there were none to see. There was a pounding in my skull that made me clutch my head so hard that at first I didn’t notice the warm sticky liquid clinging to my tousled hair. When I drew my hands away, the pain subsided a little, but as my eyes adjusted to the dark, my panic mounted as my eyes focused on my bloodied hands. What in the hell happened?

“Hello?” I called out in a hoarse voice. My throat felt like someone had lined it with sand and hung it out to dry. After about a minute of coughing and swallowing, half of the sand was gone, and I tried calling out again. No answer.  Continue reading

Princess of Thieves

Duck.

The branch hit my face anyway, its knobby bits scratching at my cheeks. Then another one hit me, and another. I ran into that forest knowing that it would be hell for me, but the important part was that it was hell for him too. I could hear every time a branch hit his face, far behind us, grunting and yelling with frustration.

Snapping branches and the rustling of leaves came from right beside me, too. I knew Jared was slowing himself down to let me keep up, and I would’ve felt guilty about it if there was time to feel anything at all besides the adrenaline pumping through my legs. That, and the backpack that bounced with each leap I took, rattling the precious contents inside. Jared’s backpack rattled too, but in a different way. More like children’s woodblocks tumbling together.

The shouts of rage were coming closer. All we were doing was making him more mad, and I knew that the chase was coming to its terrifying close. Adrenaline had gotten me this far, but after what seemed like hours, there was only so much my body could do.  Continue reading

Murder, It Wrote – Part 3

This is a continuation of the story started earlier in this blog.

For Part 1, click this link:

or Part 2, click this link: 

~~~*~~~

“Lung, what do you mean?” I asked, uselessly twisting my head to work out where he was. He seemed farther away than he should have been, as if he were in another part of the van.

“I mean, Detective, that you’ve been played. How do you think those two guys found us as fast as they did?”

Lung’s voice had changed completely, even from when Seeder and I had entered the bar. It was a sneakier voice, smarter and more calculating. I really had been played.

“Alright,” I said, stalling to take in the situation. “Why didn’t you just kill me and Seeder then? And why kidnap me?”

“We’re not kidnapping you, Detective,” Lung said in his new, sly and silky smooth voice. From the sound of it, he was now sitting in the front seat, next to the giant who had thrown me in the van. “We’re bringing you straight to headquarters. There, we’ll make sure your faithful partner hasn’t followed us. Then, we’ll kill you, since you know too much. Then the boys will clean things up, I’ll somehow manage to escape alive, and go straight to the police station, where I’ll tell the tale of how you bravely tried to get us both out alive, sacrificing your life in a shoot-out. You’ll be a martyr, and I’ll be a free man. Even Seeder will help me out, once he reports that I was indeed kidnapped. Poor guy bought the whole damn thing; I think he even pissed himself when Giant filled his car with holes. They can’t possibly look at me as a suspect for much longer after the whole ordeal is done.”  Continue reading

Murder, It Wrote – Part 2

This is a continuation of the story started earlier in this blog. You can scroll down to read it or click this link: 

Check back here this Wednesday, July 2, for the final installation of this story!

~~~*~~~

“Ok, I gotta ask,” Jimmy said as he poured me another drink. “Are these code names you’re using because this stuff is confidential or something?”

The man next to me just kept staring at me as if after five minutes, he still couldn’t believe I was a homicide detective. Men.

“Nope, I swear on my life those were their names. Just listen, Jimmy, it gets better.” I turned around to Stan, who was, as I expected, sitting completely still, drink in hand. The man even had his ear cocked in my direction. “I hope you know you’re not allowed to copy names, just ideas,” I told him. He immediately snatched his pen in embarrassment and started pretending to write.

The man next to me, who decided to then introduce himself as Isaac, insisted that I continue, and for once I was on his side.

“So who’s ‘bad blood’?” he asked me. He looked like a child hearing about dinosaurs for the first time. I looked over to his beer glass, which was slowly but surely disappearing. Continue reading

Murder, It Wrote – Part 1

In an effort to write a story with more planning and action in it, I wrote something a little longer than I had anticipated, so here’s the deal: this post contains the first of three parts of this story. The next will be published on Monday, June 30, and the last will be published on Wednesday, July 2. It will be a bit confusing because of the format of all blogs, but I will post links to send you back to the previous parts. Happy reading!

~~~*~~~

“A shot of the hard stuff, on the rocks,” I told the bartender. I don’t know why I bothered telling him now. If I told Jimmy to give me a Shirley Temple he’d still give me a whiskey. He was a pretty good bartender. The kind that would’ve offered me a light like in the old days, even though I don’t smoke.

“Rough night, detective?” he asked after the ceremonial thud of a full glass on a slab of beer-soaked wood. “Peter loves Jenny” was carved a few inches away from my drink.

“You have no idea,” I told him. I looked around to check out the rest of the bar. More specifically, I was looking for faces. Didn’t want to upset any former clientele when I started flapping my big mouth. I had a bad habit of doing that after some of my tougher cases. Candle light in a room wrapped in dark wooden walls and red velvet curtains didn’t help me recognize faces much, but at least I could tell the place was fairly empty for a Thursday night.  Billy over in the corner was still drowning himself in rum, even though his wife left him more than a month ago. Stan was in his usual spot too, scribbling madly into one of his leather-bound notebooks and clutching onto his scotch. I always wanted to ask him if he ever published anything, but according to Jimmy it’s a sensitive topic. A group of tourists were sitting wide-eyed in the middle of the floor, and they seemed utterly unable to stop pointing at everything in the bar, from the curtains to the people.

It was beginning to get stuffy, so I slipped off my trench coat. While I usually went to Fives in my regular slacks and blouse, I had been to a party earlier that evening. Jimmy whistled under his breath when he spied my blue dress. Naturally, I snapped at him and told him to shut the hell up, so he went back to cleaning glasses with a chuckle. Continue reading

Out of Time

I flew for a long, long time. My golden wings never seemed to get tired, and for what seemed like miles were fields of green and gold, flat as the Midwest. Maybe this was the Midwest. I decided to fly higher. I had no plans to become another Icarus, but as the ground became smaller and the sky became even more infinite, it brought a thrill that could not be compared. The sun beat down twice as hot and twice as glorious, and I even dared to shut my insect eyes for a few seconds to just feel. After years of being strapped down by the law of gravity, the freedom was indescribable.

When I opened my eyes, a spot of darkness in the distance winked in and out of my vision, wrapped in clouds. I flew toward it until it was close enough for me to see that it was. And there, about a hundred yards ahead of me, was an enormous floating castle. I had entered my childhood once more. Continue reading