36th #Motivation Mondays Challenge Entry

Wakefield Mahon hosts #MotivationMondays each Monday. This week, Alissa Leonard was the judge. Alissa was gracious enough to grant my work of fiction an Honorable Mention. Please go visit the Motivation Mondays site, and read the wonderful entries from all the other writers. This week, the prompt was “I never thought I’d see you again.” Here’s what I wrote.

———-

“I never thought I’d see you again.” She held a 9mm Glock. Pointed right at me. “Why didn’t you die?”

I remembered the flash of light, so brilliant it blinded me. It was followed by intense heat. My clothing had simply caught fire in that heat. My hair. Then my skin. Then, the shock wave struck. Blew out the fire. Hell, blew me clean out of the car. Through the steering wheel, then the windshield. Across the hood, onto the pavement. Parts of the interior flew out with me. Landing on the pavement.

One of the most painful experiences of my very, very long life.

I’d loved her once. She’d been there when I needed someone to love. Like each of the others. My marriages and relationships usually ended in mutually beneficial separation of some kind. In the worst case, I’d had to pay support for a couple of decades. That had ended soon enough. She’d grown old. Died. End of support requirements.

But this time? A bomb? In my car?

“What did you use?”

“C4. Why aren’t you dead?”

C4. Well. That explained how the car had been destroyed. With me in it, of course. It had been a bitch to stand up and walk away from that one. But then, I couldn’t exactly lie there on the pavement, and wait for emergency personnel to arrive. Have you ever had to explain to someone why you’re alive when you should be dead? Why your body was healing right before their eyes? So, yeah. I got up and walked away.

I laughed. Looked at her gun. “You blew the hell out of my car with C4. While I was in it. And I’m not dead. You really think you can kill me if you shoot me?”

The gun wavered. Then steadied once more. “No one’s bullet proof.”

I sighed. “Yeah. That C4 hurt. Stung like a bitch.”

“Why aren’t you dead?” There was that question again. “No one could have survived that!”

I laughed again. “No one human could have survived that.” The gun lowered a bit. She was confused. Understandable. But the gun returned to pointing right at me. She was tough. I’ll grant her that.

“Why aren’t you dead?” she asked again.

I shook my head. “I’m not human, dear” I knew she’d never leave the room alive. I wondered how many humans I’d had to kill over the centuries to keep my secret. One more wouldn’t matter. Quickly, my body shape shifted. Clothing, hair, shoes, arms, legs. And I separated into my constituent parts. Several million parts.

I imagine my disembodied voice was quite disturbing to her. “I am Legion, dear. Legion the machine.” My body parts spread. Like a cloud. Filling the air of the room. Enveloping her. Then consuming her, as I used her as raw material to repair myself.

My 22nd #SatSunTails Entry

Rebecca Clare Smith has been gracious enough to grant me an honorable mention. #SatSunTails is always a tough challenge. The 22nd round was no exception. Please, by all means, go read the stories of the other entrants. The prompt was “deepening intent”. The picture prompt was colorful. Here’s what I wrote.

———-

Autistic Me

22nd #SatSunTails Picture Prompt

I rode a few of the rides. My hair blowing in the wind. My guts moving from gravitational and centripetal forces. The world spinning in circles. Colors all blur into a chaotic rainbow. Sensory overload always made me feel alive. Let me escape my isolation. If only for a little while.

I watched people, with a deepening intent to learn how they behaved. I was broken. Something in me was broken. Thought if I studied enough people, I could figure out what. And fix it. So I wouldn’t have to feel the ache of loneliness and isolation that I knew was my fault.

Note : Concerning MenageMonday #39. In case the first attempt isn’t werewolfie enough, I’ve written a second one. It’s posted below.

———-

The sheriff had kept the peace in the town for centuries. Until that thing fell from the sky. No one knew what it was. It fell when both moons were full. Two days later, in our feeding frenzy, our prey had not run from us. We would soon learn why.

At first we found only skeletons, stripped of all meat, bones scraped clean. We set out to find out why. Our scouts explored the area. They found the thing that fell from the sky. There were shiny white things walking around outside of it. There were cages, with animals in them, and tables with animal parts on them.

The next day members of the town began to vanish. The animal skeletons stopped showing up. Our skeletons began to. A few days later, the white things came into town. They took dozens of us away. They even took some of our pups.

The sheriff was barking mad. So mad he couldn’t talk. Just bark, and growl. And howl at the moons. We could not let that stand. We formed our pack. The sheriff was our alpha. We would attack those white things just before dawn. We would make them pay.

200 Words
@LurchMunster

22nd #SatSunTails Entry – Autistic Me

Picture Prompt for 22nd #SatSunTails.
The text prompt is “deepening intent”.

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I went to the carnival because I knew I was supposed to. It was a social activity. Ride the rides. Spend time with peers in the same age bracket. I’d shown up alone. Like always. Called everyone I knew. They were all busy. Like always.

I rode a few of the rides. My hair blowing in the wind. My guts moving from gravitational and centripetal forces. The world spinning in circles. Colors all blur into a chaotic rainbow. Sensory overload always made me feel alive. Let me escape my isolation. If only for a little while.

I watched people, with a deepening intent to learn how they behaved. I was broken. Something in me was broken. Thought if I studied enough people, I could figure out what. And fix it. So I wouldn’t have to feel the ache of loneliness and isolation that I knew was my fault.

She’s Crippled By Fear

She told me,
“I can’t get involved.
I can’t care.
I can’t do anything.
But pray.”

And that night.
When our conversation
Reached it’s end.
My heart ached
Within my chest.
And my soul
Cried so very many
Tears of pain.

I have wondered
Since that day.
How deeply she was hurt
When everything in her life
Came apart.

I know she got divorced.
I know things didn’t end well.
She raised her daughter
On her own.
The father was simply gone.

I know there are other things
That just went wrong.
And I know those things
Left scars
Upon her heart and soul.
As they would
On anyone’s.

But the words she said to me
That day.
I’ll remember them
Always.
They will echo in my memory
Through the rest
Of my days.

For to me
They said one thing.

“I can’t risk being hurt again.”

And each time I think of this,
Each time I think of her.
And the words she shared
That day.

My heart aches once again.
And my soul cries more tears
Of pain.

For I’ve learned
Pain is a part of life.
One of the many things
That defines us.
Grows us.
Tempers us.
So that we become
Who and what
Life meant for us to be.

Pain is just emotion.
Like laughter.
And like tears.
Like anger.
And like joy.
Like everything
We feel
In our hearts.
And souls.

I would not be the person
That I am today
If I had done everything I could
To avoid,
At any cost,
More pain.

I spoke two days ago.
Of a friend of mine
That’s passed beyond
The veil of life.
She’s gone.
And I’ll never hear her voice
Again.
She’s not there
To share stories with.
I’ll never make her laugh.
I’ll never have another chance
To see her
Face-to-face.

I watched what she endured
In her last months and years
With us.
Here on this Earth.
In the life we lead.

And I watched
As people left.
They quit talking
With her.
They went away.
Left her alone.
Isolated.

Sometimes people do things
That are so heartless.
And so cruel.

The simple truth is
They all left
So that they wouldn’t have to hurt
When her time here
Reached it’s end.

And my heart aches for them.
For the truth is
I have memories
Of my friend
That they don’t have.
And never will.

Because they were afraid
Of pain.
Afraid of being hurt
Once more.
The kind of hurt
That makes you cry.
That brings tears to your eyes.

And shows how fragile,
And how fleeting
The lives we are blessed with
Really are.

She spoke to me one day.
She said these words to me,
“I can’t get involved.
I can’t care.
I can’t do anything.
But pray.”

And every time I remember
The words she said that day
My heart aches in my chest.
And my soul cries tears of pain.
For I know
She’s going through her life
Crippled.
By her fear
Of being hurt again.

And I know
Also,
She’s not alone.
She’s not the only one
That’s turned their back on life,
And is running from the thought
Of being hurt again.

I just wish there was a way
I could show here what I see
When I look around.
And watch the things
That people do.

I just wish there was a way
I could explain to her
What the words she shared
With me that day
Mean to me.

Pain is a part of life.
It’s another things I feel.
I see no reason
To avoid it,
Any more than I
Would go out of my way
To avoid laughter,
And smiles.

It’s just a feeling.
And feelings
Change.

Remembering The Pain

There’s an old saying
Almost everyone knows.
“If you can remember
How bad you hurt
The last time you did that.
You’re not ready
To try again.”

And I sometimes wonder
How badly I got hurt.
Because after two solid years
There are things
I refuse to pick up.
Things I just don’t do.
That I did.
Right up until the end
Of the life I had before.

To this day,
I find it very difficult
To even think
About those things.
Much less
Actually do them.

I haven’t written
A single line of code
For anything.
In two solid years.
And every time I think
About doing so,
My hands begin to shake.
And I remember.

I remember October,
Of 2010.
I remember November
And December too.

So it would seem
That I’m not ready yet
To pick up the things
I used to do.
To used the skills
I carefully developed.
And crafted.
And grew.
For nearly 30 years.

But that’s OK.
I know someday.
When the time is right.
When I’m ready.

I’ll take out  my skills,
And I’ll use them
Once again.

It’ll be like sharpening the blade
Of a knife that’s been stored
Of several years.
That’s grown dull with age.

I’m almost to that point.
I know that.
I can feel it
In my bones.
I can tell by how very long
It’s taking me to decide
What I want to do.
What classes
I wish to take.

I don’t want a career.
Not in the sense
That it’s defined
By damn near everyone.

I’ve had one of those.
It damn near killed me.
And I ask all the time,
Why would I want another?
Why would I want
To go through that again?

Yet, I have to wonder
Every now and then.
How badly was I hurt
In the work I did before
So that it’s taken me 2 years
So far,
And I still can’t do the things
I did at work
Back then,
Without remembering
The pain?

More Beautiful Than Any Rose

Tonight.
My heart aches.
For a family I have never met.
A devoted husband
Who’s lady love
Is gone.
The children.
And the grandchildren.
That will never see her smile.
Never know her hug.
Never hear her laughter.
Any more.

Except within their hearts.
Their souls.
Their memories.

Tonight.
My heart aches.
For I have one less friend
Than I had yesterday.
One less voice for me to speak with.
One less soul here on Earth
That understood me.
And accepted me.
The way I am.

She was one of my best friends
Of all time.
We met in high school.
A lifetime ago.
I remember her smile.
The magic light I always saw
In her eyes.

God,
She was so very much
Alive.

After high school
We went down separate paths.
And lost each other.
For a while.

Until January.
Of 2011.
When my doctor told me
“Explore. Mark. Explore.”
And I tried out Twitter.
Then Classmates.com.
And Facebook.

And one day.
There she was.

I tried to call her
Once a week.
I failed.
But when I did call her.
We would talk.
As long as she wished to.

I loved to hear her voice.
To listen to her laugh.
I remembered her smile
From so very long ago.

I learned she was hurting.
Disable.
She hadn’t worked
In a long time.
It was hard for her to walk
At all.

I did what I knew to do.
I did what I am.
I wrote some dreams for her.

I know.
That’s part of how I got hurt
Two years ago.

But I’m not afraid to care.
I’ve learned so much since then.
I’ve learned
Pain is part of life.
Without it,
I’m not whole.
No one is.

I’ve learned how much fear
Plays a role
In everything that I see happening
Around me.

I’ve learned the meaning
Of the words,
“Damaged people are dangerous.
They know what they can survive.”

And I made the deliberate choice.
To be her friend.
To call her.
And talk with her.
And send her dreams
I’d captured,
And placed on the written page.
Just for her.

She was my friend.
And I was not afraid at all
That one day she’d be gone.
And I’d have to deal
With all the pain
Of missing her again.

I was not afraid.
Because I knew.
I knew the value
Of the gift she was
To me.
A gift given freely.
From life itself.

I knew that long after the pain
Of the words,
“She’s gone.”
My memories of her
Would live on.
In my heart.
And soul.

Those memories
Are priceless gifts to me.
And if I hadn’t made the choice
To face down the pain
Of the words I heard this morning.

I wouldn’t have
Those priceless memories
Of her.

And memories
Are all I have.
They define
Who I am.
What I believe.
What I feel.
The world
I understand.

I would rather have the memories
I have of her today.
Than have tried my best
To avoid all the pain
Of the words,
“She’s gone.”

As I close my eyes tonight.
I know I’ll dream sweet dreams.
Filled with memories
Of laughter.
And of smiles.
And of stories shared.

With someone
Who will always
Be my friend.

Thank you life.
Thank you God.
For her.