#SwiftFicFriday Week 83 : Longwood Gardens Picture Prompt

Walking the streets for days got me nowhere. I didn’t even have dreams at night that helped me find her. That’s the trouble with my gift, I suppose. How random it is, how it suddenly puts something in my head, out of the blue, and changes everything.

After a week of walking, I needed a break. Deborah told me to go watch the water in the lake at the park, and to walk among the trees and flowers. She knew me, and knew how much that would restore me, rebuild me, so I could keep looking.

If I’d ever learned what my own feelings were, I would have known my heart was telling me I needed that visit. But, I never was able to figure out what I felt. Sometimes, Deborah had to figure it out for me.

I’d walked among the trees, and spent hours touching them, their bark, their leaves, the ground they grew from. Sometimes, I thought they talked with me, told me about all the time they’d seen pass, the people that came and went, some who came frequently, and grew old, and stopped coming. Others, who came once, like they were checking a box on a bucket list, and never came back.

“You know, anyone else would call me a Fruit Loop. Listening to the trees.” I swear they laughed.

Eventually, I found my way to the lake, fake as it was, just a hole dug in the ground, surrounded by rocks, to help it keep its shape. It had a little man made waterfall on one end. The trees had taken a liking to it. Made the entire place look more real.

I sat on the grass, and watched the water, and trees.

And just like that, I knew where she was.

298 Words
@mysoulstears


It’s Week 83 of #SwiftFicFriday, hosted by Katheryn Avila. I’m wondering what the heck is going on with this story. There seems to be only one way for me to find out. Anyway. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #SwiftFicFriday. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who show up regularly.

#ThursThreads Week 468 : It Takes Me Back

The streets were always swarming with traffic. Honking horns, racing engines, screaming tires, and all the rest. No one walked. Walking got you killed. Yet, there I was, walking. One block this way, three blocks that way, then a block back on the other side of the street.

It was all I could do to find her, the one who was calling for help. I didn’t have a name, or a description. Didn’t know her size, race, hair color. I didn’t know anything, except she was one of the hidden.

Like me.

The only way I had to find her was to sleep, and hope I found her in a dream, or to walk everywhere, and hope I  wound up where she needed me to be. It was the same way I’d found Deborah, and so many others. Some strange, hidden ability to know where to be, where to go, to help someone who needed help.

“It takes me back to think about it.” And it did. Back to my past, like the first time I wound up somewhere I needed to be. I didn’t know it was a gift, then. Didn’t know I was one of the hidden. I’d done what felt right, followed my instincts, let my emotions guide me. And I wound up finding someone who’d been shot, and dumped in an alley, hidden from sight, and left there to die.

That was the first time I’d helped someone.

242 Words
@mysoulstears


It’s Week 468 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. The prompt told me to write this. It didn’t ask. It ordered. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who show up every week.

“Burn The Sun”

Oh, look. Here I am, again, arguing with the voices in my head. Well, anyway, that’s what everyone else calls them. To me, there’s the program scripts I use to process life, and the behavior of other people. Those are the voices that fight. The scripts come into conflict, and they don’t negotiate with each other. No. They have at it, just like the different humans in life that don’t agree with each other have at it.

And I get to pick up the pieces, and try to make heads or tails out of the chaos, and piece things back together.

Today, lots of the voices are being rather vocal. The loudest one is one of the newest, one that didn’t really exist until everything in life changed all at once in 2010. That’s the voice that’s screaming, “Autistic! I don’t get it! Never assume I can!” That’s the one the loud music is trying to calm right now.

And I’m just trying to remember to breathe, so I don’t go into a panic state, and do something silly like try to wash dishes while standing on one foot, using one hand, just out of sheer spite for the world.

Even then, it’s a given I’ll end up on the stationary bike tonight, putting in 45 minutes of time, just like I did last night. Covering who knows how many miles again. Think I hit 11.1 last night. 45 minutes. Never really worked up a sweat.

That’s the thing with using exercise, endurance training, as a method of coping with the stress of trying to figure out how to keep from throwing bookcases at people (yes, I said book cases, and I mean entire, 5 shelf units). You end up with endurance levels that are stupidly high. Not record setting pace, as in I can’t set records for distance covered in the time. But I can cover the time for days on end, maybe weeks on end. Just trying to stay calm enough to work in this fucked up world.

“Burn The Sun”. Lovely song. No words. No words at all. Raw emotion. Captured in music. Gotta love Edge of Paradise. They do some amazing music. That’s what I feel like doing right now. Burning the sun. Burn it all down. Fix everything. Get rid of all the insanity. All the stupidity. All the duality. All the fighting, and arguing, and everything else. Burn the sky. Take it all back to bare dirt. Let life start over, ‘cause hell, humans have totally fucked it up, haven’t we.

With these people, say this. But with these people, say this instead. And with this group, say this 3rd thing. Because. All 3 are right. You heard me. All 3 are right. The magic trick is, they’re not right at the same time. Which one is right is dependent on which people you’re dealing with. And the best part? Even the people you’re dealing with can’t figure that out. No. They have to scream, and claw, and fight, and argue, and punch each other in the face, and burn down houses, and hang people from trees, because those people can’t figure out what’s right.

Sometimes, I’m just done. And that’s when Burn The Sun shows up. Or something like it. I hit that wall. That mythical “straw that broke the camel’s back”. And I have to back out, or go all Sith Dark Lord on people.

Then there’s the language itself. Yeah. That language is about as precise as using a 50 megaton nuke to kill a fly. “Humans”, but NOT those humans, or those, or those. “Christians”, but not those, or those, or those. “Disabled”, but not those, or those. The imprecision that lets everyone who hears or reads the words interpret them almost at random. “He said this!”, “No! He said this!”, “Both wrong!” With the guy who said it going, “What’d I do? What’d I say? Shit, I’m not ever talking again! Because this chaos ain’t worth it!”

Yeah. And these humans, damn near all of them, don’t have a clue what it’s like. ‘Cause. Autism. To them, this is how it is. How it’s supposed to be. Pure chaos unleashed. Always fighting, arguing, having wars, making 400 billion religions, all of which claim they are the ONE right religion, having cultures that declare other cultures don’t exist, because those other cultures aren’t like they’re supposed to be.

The chaos. And the insanity. And I see it everywhere. All day long. Every day.

Someone stands next to me at work, and I’m like, “OK. Now what do I do. It’s ad-lib time! How do I behave? What’s appropriate? What’s not appropriate? Do I need to observe facial expressions, and eyes, and do some kind of mythical mathematics that tells me this is a special case, and I need to respond in a different way? Do I need to detect things in their tone of voice that I can’t even hear? And then there’s body language. Do they look like they need to throw something? Or hug something? Or take a machete to someone? Or something else?

And I get, what, 1 second to figure all that out? One second? Really?

Can you say, “Take a wild ass guess!” because that’s what it comes down to. Taking a wild ass guess. Safe solution, shove hands in pockets, and make sure your appearance says, “I’m paying attention to you.” Most times, that works. Except, of course, when they don’t want you paying attention, at which point, too late, you already fucked that up.

How come everything has to be “these humans!”

No, wait. That’s where the language is imprecise again, isn’t it. Even when speaking of “these humans in particular”, it isn’t necessarily all those particular humans.

Sometimes, I just can’t. Like now. So, Burn The Sun it is. And maybe dishes. And a long session on the stationary bike. One that goes until I can’t walk without wobbling.

All this, because I can’t figure out something someone else tells me is so simple to figure out.

Human society. A train wreck. And no one has any idea how to get off the train.

#ThursThreads Week 464 : And I Can’t Do That

Deborah was true to her word, like always. After I banged on my piano keys for a while, my head started to clear, and I started doing the math about what happened. “Maybe it wasn’t an electromagnetic field.”

“It wasn’t,” she sat in her chair, next to my piano, with my dinner on a tray in her lap. “It was one of us. One of the hidden.”

I didn’t say anything, I didn’t need to. She was an empath, a complete empath, one of the hidden herself. She knew everything I felt, and used that to piece together a lot of what I thought. She handed me the tray of food.

After I half emptied the can of soda she’d got me, I picked up the sandwich, looked at it, then at her. “One of us, huh?”

She nodded, “I felt so afraid. So desperate.”

“We need to find them, don’t we. Stop them before they do this again, and maybe kill someone.”

“No. You need to,” I could count, on one hand, how many times she’d said no to me, and have fingers left. “She needs help. And I can’t do that.”

“She?”

Deborah had one of those looks that said, “Yes,” and at the same time told me she was done talking about it. “How did you know which building to be in?”

She knew I couldn’t answer, that it was hidden, even from me. Something I felt, but never understood. “She’s calling for help, isn’t she.”

“Yes.”

250 Words
@mysoulstears


It’s Week 464 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. The prompt told me to write this. It didn’t ask. It ordered. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who show up every week.

#SwiftFicFriday Week 77 : Practice Your Music

Deborah had tried to talk me into staying at the hospital a few extra days, “Just to be safe.” I wouldn’t have it. A Fruit Loop out there somewhere able to crush buildings with air wasn’t a good thing, and I couldn’t let such a being run wild. Besides, they’d dinged me up, and tried to kill Deborah. Even though everything still hurt, I got out of the hospital. They made me sign a waiver, not for the first time.

Of course, she knew. She knew I was angry, and worried about her, and about air being used as a sledge hammer. Just like she knew she’d never talk me into staying in the hospital until the doctors let me out.

She drove. I knew better than to demand I drive. I knew she sensed every ache and pain I felt. It was that empathy thing. Something about her I could never figure out.

After we got home, she made me take a nap on the sofa, with the TV playing some random program, hoping I’d sleep. I remember I did drift off to dreamland, but the dreams didn’t go well. Something about watching a solid wall of air crush people that made me wake up.

She was right there, next to me when I woke. “Here. I know what you need.” She helped me to my feet, and led me to my piano. “Practice your music.”

I did. Like I said, she knew. That empathy thing, you know. She understood the music healed me in more ways than medicine ever could. It even cleared my mind, so I could see the pictures, hear the words my brain wanted me to. So I could understand what I needed to understand.

“Practice your music. I’ll bring you dinner in a bit.”

300 Words
@mysoulstears


It’s Week 73 of #SwiftFicFriday, hosted by Katheryn Avila. I’m wondering what the heck is going on with this story. There seems to be only one way for me to find out. Anyway. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #SwiftFicFriday. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who show up regularly.

#ThursThreads Week 460 : What Did You Want Him To Do?

“He was too limited to figure out the truth, you know that.”

I shuffled my feet, “Apparently.”

“I told you to take no actions. Let me handle it.”

I nodded, “Yeah, you did.”

“So you acted anyway.”

I shrugged.

“What did you want him to do?”

“You know damn well what I wanted him to do. I wanted him to learn. To wake the fuck up. To see that reality doesn’t work in the black and white way he thinks it does.” I was angry. I’d grown tired of the insanity of people, of their inability to accept the truth, their insistence on believing what they wanted to believe.

“He’s not grown up enough to understand.”

“Maybe we should just kill his stupid ass, and make the world a better place!” I was really angry.

“You’d commit murder of another because they are trapped emotionally, and mentally, in a maze they can’t even see?”

I looked at the picture of the doctor I’d all but killed. “Apparently.”

I sighed, and kicked the ground, “I know. I’m no more grown up than he is.”

“You have made a mistake. They happen. Learn from the experience.”

I nodded. “I should undo the damage, shouldn’t I?”

“I will undo the damage. You will resume your studies on Earth.”

That was better than I’d  expected. After all, injecting a biological weapon into a human to demonstrate to them that chronic pain is real, by leaving them in chronic, permanent pain, was judging someone else.

250 Words
@mysoulstears


It’s Week 460 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. The prompt told me to write this. It didn’t ask. It ordered. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who show up every week.

#ThursThreads Week 459 : Can You Give Me An Example?

Once the police learned I was conscious, of course they had questions, mostly about, “Why were you there? What were you looking for? Did you find an explosive device?” The idiots kept asking that same set of questions, endlessly, like some robocall message on an answering machine that repeated all day, every day.

“She had a feeling.” I kept explaining that. They kept ignoring that.

After an hour of answering the same questions over and over again, they finally shut up. That’s when Deborah spoke, “You guys don’t know what happened, do you.”

“A building got bombed. You two were inside. Maybe you set the bomb up, and didn’t make it out.”

I’d have laughed, but laughing hurt too much right then.

She’d laughed in their faces. “It wasn’t a bomb.” She nodded to me. It was my turn to speak.

“It was a wall of air. Crushed the entire front of the building. No damage to anything around it. Just the building.”

“Explain to us how that works. Can you give me an example?”

“Works like crushing a can with your foot.”

“Seriously? Crushing a building with air?”

Everybody looked at Deborah. They knew she felt things, sensed things, they couldn’t. I did what I always did. Protected her. “Yeah. Air. Probably used an electromagnetic field to make it.”

They left, with the always expected, “We’ll be watching you. Don’t leave town.”

“I see they’re as silly as they always have been.”

Deborah nodded, “Some things never change.”

249 Words
@mysoulstears


It’s Week 459 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. And I have no clue what the heck is writing itself. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who show up every week.

Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2021/04/04 (Week 193)

It was another week before I got out of the hospital. Something about life threatening injuries, broken bones, internal bleeding, something like that. All I knew was it hurt like hell.

Deborah had explained everything to me, during that week.

“You remember where we were?”

I didn’t.

She’d held up a picture. “It was a pretty little place.”

I did recognize the picture. “The old Hamlin building. The one they want to make a historical site.”

“Not any more they don’t.” Deborah held up a picture of what was left of the building.

“Holy shit. What the fuck happened?”

The entire front of the building was gone. I had no other way to describe it. The rest of the building was damaged. There was no fixing this building.

“I remember you said it was too late.” She’d nodded. “Then everything went black.”

She nodded again, “And the wind screamed.”

I thought about it, trying to remember, “Yeah. The wind screamed. I’ve never heard anything like it.”

“Me neither.”

“What was it. Bomb? Gas line? Some kind of space laser from up there somewhere?” I’d waved at the ceiling.

“No one knows.”

“What?”

“No one knows. There’s no focal point, no point of origin, for the blast.”

“Can’t be. There has to be a point of origin.” My head had started to hurt. I didn’t need to be thinking that hard, and I knew it.

“Normally, yes. There’s no blast pattern either. No place on the front of the building with more damage than any other.”

“Can’t be. Uniform damage across the diameter of the blast doesn’t happen.”

“I know.”

“Then was it some kind of planned thing? Where everything was planted, and set to go off, and do the same damage everywhere?” I was thinking a planned demolition would have done the same damage across the entire front of the building.

“Harvey. There are no traces of explosives. None. Of any kind. Plastic. Thermal. Nothing.”

“No explosives?”

“None. They even called in the feds. And the feds found nothing.” Her eyes told me to stop asking what caused it. “No one can explain what happened.”

“Then how’d the building blow up?”

“Look, OK. Look at the picture. The building didn’t blow up.”

She was right. The damage was catastrophic, but was exactly the same kind of damage all the way across the front of the building. Nothing beyond the front of the building was destroyed. Knocked over. Jumbled. Glass broken. Papers blown toward the back of the building. Looked like you could clean everything up, and have a building someone had used a big ass saw on to lop off the front, so you could see a cross section of the interior.

“That’s not possible.”

Deborah had nodded. We’d sat there, neither one talking, for a while. I’d finally looked at the picture again, “And yet. There it is. It obviously happened.”

“It’s like your injuries.” She’d nodded at me. “Like how they describe your injuries.”

“How do they describe my injuries?”

“You don’t remember?”

I’d just frowned at her.

“OK. Let me tell you what they said.” She’d paused, to organize her thoughts. “They said it’s like a uniform shock-wave hit you.”

“Uniform?”

“Yeah. The same strength top to bottom, left to right.” She’d paused again. “Almost like you got hit by a wall of some kind. The doctors said it was like a wall of air ran into you. And because you were in the way, the air hit you, and didn’t reach me. Like you punched a hole in it that I fit through.”

She’d paused again. I’d looked at the picture again, and something snapped into place in my brain. “Crush damage.”

“What?”

“The damage to the building. It looks like crush damage.”

It was her turn to stare at the picture.

“Deborah. It’s like someone stomped on a soda can. And crushed the entire front of the building.”

She’d looked shocked. Then her eyes had lit up. “That’s it! That’s what I was feeling!”

There I was, once more wishing I could understand what she felt. She was an empath, yes, but also something more. Sometimes I thought she could feel what the world around her felt.

“Harvey! That’s it!”

“What?”

“It was a wall of air that crushed the front of the building!”

All I could do was stare at her.

727 words
@mysoulstears


The 3rd part of a story that’s writing itself, and telling me what to put on the pages. I have no idea where this is going. Part 3 is for Week 193 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge. You can learn about Miranda’s challenge here. The stories people share for the weekly challenge are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed.

#SwiftFicFriday Week 73 : Was It Worth It?

It took a while, but I finally convinced myself I’d been asleep long enough, and should wake up, and get back to doing whatever needed doing. I opened my eyes, and looked around.

I was in a bland looking room, with beige walls, a flat white ceiling, and a floor I couldn’t see. Because I was also in a bed, flat on my back. Without looking, I managed to figure out I had something stuck in my right arm, held in place by tape.

Deborah noticed I was awake, “Oh! Welcome back, sleepy head!”

I would have said something, but I hadn’t remembered how vocal chords worked at that point.

“Glad you’re back among the living.”

I managed to turn my head a bit to the left, toward her, and my eyes the rest of the way, so I could see her.

“Don’t worry about talking. I know.” I don’t think I ever mentioned how much I loved her smile. “Just like I knew you’d wake up when you were ready.”

Someone appeared next to her and shined this bright damn light in my eyes, and checked my pulse. “We were a bit concerned when you got here.”

That’s when I remembered how to say one word sentences. “What?”

“Do you remember any of what happened?” I realized Deborah was holding my hand. “Or have you blocked it out?”

“Boom…” That’s all I could say.

“Yeah. That sums it up.”

I pretended to smile, “OK?”

“I’m dinged up,  a few bruises, and a concussion. But OK.” She held my hand a bit tighter. “You made sure you got in the way.” Her eyes looked nervous. “Was it worth it?”

“Yes.” It was time to try more than one word. “Keep you safe.”

298 Words
@mysoulstears


It’s Week 73 of #SwiftFicFriday, hosted by Katheryn Avila. Hard to write when you’re running on empty. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #SwiftFicFriday. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who show up regularly.

#ThursThreads Week 457 : Did You Feel It?

“Did you feel it?”

I looked at Deborah and shook my head, “There you go again. Asking me if I felt something that’s invisible, not the wind, not the air pressure, not the temperature, not the ground shaking.” I shook my head, “I didn’t feel a damn thing, and you know it.”

“I…”

I cut her off. “You know I have you around to feel all the stuff I can’t. ‘Cause I can’t ever feel it.”

“I know.”

“Crap.” I’d have hugged her, and told her I was sorry, but I knew it wasn’t that time, or we didn’t have that kind of time. “What’s coming?” I did the simplest thing I could, and put my hand on top of hers. “What do we need to get ready for?”

She was quiet. Too quiet. I knew from her eyes, and the way her jaw was clenched, she was thinking, trying to figure something out. “This is new.”

“Crap may be too weak of a word?”

“I don’t know. I’ve never felt this.”

There were times I wished I was an empath, and could feel what she felt. But I knew, if she couldn’t identify what it was, didn’t know what it was, it couldn’t be good.

“I’m not taking any chances.” I stood up, and started to the door, dragging her with me. “We’re getting out of here.”

“Too late! It’s here!”

The sky went black, the building shook, the windows exploded, the wind screamed.

I woke up days later.

250 Words
@mysoulstears


It’s Week 457 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Trying to break the ice that’s encased my writing. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who show up every week.