Silence

I sit in the dark tonight.
My cat sits on my lap.
She keeps me company.
I need company tonight.
I grab my music player.
Push the ear plugs in my ears.
Turn it on
And let my music play,
And I close my eyes.

It’s been a hard day.

Songs fill my head,
Drowning out the voices
I hear every moment
I’m awake.
Drowning out the chaos
Of a million different thoughts,
A million different perspectives,
On everything in life.

The differences between people.
Between men and women.
Between the left and the right.
Between Christians of all kinds.
The religions of the world.
And endless chain of thoughts.

Thoughts of right and wrong.
What is right?
What is wrong?
How does who you are,
Where you live,
What you believe,
What you learn,
Affect the definitions
Of right and wrong?

What are morals?
What are ethics?
What is religion?
Is there white privilege?
Is that something we’ve made up?
Is there such a thing
As a rape culture?
Or is that something different people
See in different ways?
Is it sexual harassment when you tell someone at work
They look good one day?
Or is that something our media
Have conditioned us to say?

It’s like this every night.
And endless string of questions.
And endless string of thoughts.
Echo in my head.
No one knows.
No one sees.
I keep it all inside.
Hidden from everyone.
Except for me.

It’s silent in the darkness of the night.
With the lights turned off.
With nothing on TV.
And me
Getting ready for bed.
To rest my weary head.

But it’s in the silence,
In the dark,
When the thoughts I bury endlessly,
Float to the surface.
Shattering the silence of the night,
With endless thoughts,
And endless questions,
From countless voices.
In my head.

That’s when I reach for my music.
Why I turn it up.
Why I use it.
To drown out the questions.
And silence the many thoughts.
That otherwise would echo in my head.
In the silence
Of the darkness
Of the night.


It’s April 22nd, the 18th day of the A to Z Challenge 2015. This is the 18th of 26 pieces I’m writing in April for the challenge. This one’s for the letter S. Tomorrow brings the letter T. I wonder what I’ll write for that.

 

#FlashMobWrite 1×02 : Begging For Thread

All I want’s a thread. A single thread. Of life. Of hope. That’s all. A thread to keep me alive. But, there aren’t any around. No one’s there. I’m alone. Since she left. Until I can find someone else. Anyone else.

So alone.

So empty.

Rosy left a couple of weeks ago. I still hear what she said, still hear our last words to each other. We sat at our table in LuLu’s, our favorite place to eat. She’d had her favorite, the pulled pork pizza for one. I don’t remember what I had. Then, I never cared what I had. We talked like always. How was work. It sucked. I always lied, never told her how I felt. Never told her I didn’t care about work. About what I did, who I worked with. Nothing there mattered. I worked ‘cause I had to. Doesn’t everyone?

After we’d eaten, we sat at the table, and she said, “Let’s talk.”

I loved listening to her talk, so I nodded, and smiled, and got all excited about talking with her. But then, she didn’t talk about anything good. “Tell me what you feel.”

“What?”

“Tell me what you feel.”

“What I feel? About what?”

“Are you happy? Sad? What? How do you feel?”

“You’re here. I’m good.”

“And when I’m not here?”

Have you ever taken one step too close to the edge? Or climbed something you shouldn’t have? You know that feeling of pending disaster? Where you try to touch anything with your toes, and there’s nothing there?

“Well? How do you feel when I’m not here?”

“What am I supposed to feel?”

“How you feel.” Her frown scared me, I didn’t know what I’d done. “Don’t you know how you feel?”

I knew from her facial expression, she wanted an answer. An honest answer, and I knew what that meant, what that always meant. I couldn’t smile any more. “Empty.”

Rosy didn’t say anything, she didn’t have to.

I tried to breathe. “Secretly, I think you knew, didn’t you.” I was a statement, a declaration, me saying, “I know, this is where everything ends.”

Rosy nodded. “How? Why?” She didn’t look sad, or upset. She looked disappointed. “Is there anything to you?”

“No.” I couldn’t lie to her. Hell, I’d tried lying. It never worked. It just made everyone angry. “No.”

Empty, I’d told her. I didn’t feel anything. She’d left me sitting at the table. Her side of the table empty, like me. I paid, of course. I wandered home, eventually.

Now? Now I wait. Through endless empty time. For someone to offer me a thread of life. Just a thread. That’s all I want. Is that so much to want? Is it?

454 Words
@LurchMunster


I wrote this in response to the prompts and song for this weeks #FlashMobWrites Flash Fiction challenge. The weekly challenge is hosted by Ruth Long and Cara Michaels. Please, go read all the stories in this week’s challenge.

#FSF : Ringing

If I pay attention, I hear the ringing, no matter where I am, or what I’m doing, and even in my sleep. I know many people who couldn’t live with the constant ringing I hear, the constant high-pitched ringing that never ends, never fades, never lets up; it would drive them crazy. They’re not me, I know, and they lack the ability to decide the ringing is normal, to decide it’s supposed to be there all the time, to decide to ignore it like I do. I can make it so many things, like crickets singing in the night, an invasion of cicadas, the sound of fluorescent lights, aliens that are talking to me, if I could only understand them. The endless ringing is tinnitus, there is no cure, so I have chosen to live with it, to make it part of life, to worry if I don’t hear the unending ringing in my ears, knowing something will have changed if that ringing ever goes away.


Here’s my second attempt at Lillie McFerrin‘s weekly flash fiction challenge, Five Sentence Fiction. This week, the prompt is ringing.

Please, go read all the other entries to this weeks Five Sentence Fiction. It’s amazing what creative people can do with just five sentences.

Fairies : For Rose (Part 5)

By the fourth day of his journey, Sword was feeling tired. He’d slept better that night, but he wasn’t sure if he was getting used to sleeping in trees, or if he was just so exhausted that he couldn’t help but sleep. He only knew that if he kept heading west, he’d eventually come to the lake, or to the river feeding it. And he knew he had at least 3 days left on his journey.“This is where it gets hard,” he thought. His mother, Oceana, had taught him to be prepared for the middle of things. That time when the excitement of starting had ended, and the end wasn’t close enough to draw you in. That time when you felt defeated. When you felt you couldn’t go on any more. When you felt you’d never, ever reach the end. And you wondered what you’d been thinking when you started.

Sword had never tried anything like this 6 plus day journey to the lake. And he found himself wondering if he should just give up, and ask Musica or the dragons for help. As he continued moving from tree to tree, he found himself wondering if he could make that short flight between trees again. He found himself wondering what the point was.

He wound up falling into a pattern. “Don’t think. Just do,” and an endless mantra of, “Just one more tree.” He was so tired he didn’t even watch the birds, rabbits, squirrels and other animals. He concentrated on just continuing his journey. Tree after endless tree.

He thought he should try something. Anything to pass the time. So, he counted trees as he moved from tree to tree. At first, that helped. It was new. It was a change. “One. Two. Three. Four.” But the counting went on, and on, and on. “956 trees. 957 trees. 958 trees.” Even setting targets for mini-celebrations like, 1000 trees, 2000 trees, 2500 trees, became old.

As he moved from tree to tree, his pace slowed. And he came to a complete stop several times. His journey had gone from, “How hard can it be?” and “I can’t wait to see Rose!” to, “I’ll never get there. This will never end. I’ll be lost in the trees forever.”

Sword took a break during the day. He washed himself in a creek. That felt good. Getting clean. Washing the dust, dirt, tree-bark, and bits of leaves off of his body helped. He found some berries, and he ate them. It wasn’t meat. It wasn’t seaweed. And while the berries did fill the empty space that his stomach had become, they didn’t give him any new energy. He still felt exhausted. And helpless. And beaten.

He climbed back into the trees. And sat down on a limb. Perhaps he should just take the afternoon off. Collapse. Sleep in the trees, and try again tomorrow. Perhaps he should admit defeat. That this journey was too much for him to handle.

That’s when a white owl landed next to him in the trees. There was something oddly familiar about that owl. As if they’d met before. And that’s when the owl spoke. “Don’t give up, young one.” The owl looked right at Sword. “Don’t give up.”

Sword was surprised. And he finally recognized the owl. It was the owl that was always around the fair girl, Dream. The owl, Whisper.

“Sword, young warrior, know the truth. Know that you are locked in battle. A battle to believe. A battle to become what you wish to be. A battle to become the warrior you dream of being.”

“What do you mean, Whisper?”

“Young warrior. You fight the greatest enemy. You fight self-doubt.”

“Self-doubt?”

“Yes. On the one hand, you try to believe in yourself. In what you’re doing. What you want to do. What your dreams are. And on the other, you doubt yourself. Believing you are not worthy. Not capable. Not strong enough. Not good enough.”

Scream nodded. He knew the words Whisper spoke were true. He knew those words explained what he’d been feeling that day. Explained why he had struggled all day with moving from tree to tree. Why he’d been unable to think of anything all day other than how endless the journey was.

“Whisper. How do I learn to believe in myself? How do I defeat self-doubt?”

“One step at a time. One hour at a time. One day at a time.” The owl hooted. “By remembering why you do what you do. By understanding that tired is normal. Exhaustion is normal. And self-doubt itself is normal. But understanding everything you feel is normal. And just what you feel. And it’s OK to feel. And what you feel changes over time. Changes with each step you take. Each hour you breathe. Each day your heart beats.”

Sword placed his hand over his heart, and felt his own heartbeat. He felt himself breathe.

“I just have to feel? To remind myself why?” Scream asked the owl, “How do I do that? When I hurt this way. When I’m this tired. When it seems I’ll never get there.” He shook his head. “How do I do that?”

Whisper spoke once more. “By believing you can. By believing in you. And in the dreams you reach for.”

The owl stayed on the tree branch with Scream for a time. And somehow, Scream started to feel better. “I just have to believe in me. And in my dreams,” he though. And before long, he was smiling.

He remembered, “I’m going to see Rose. And her sisters.” He remembered, “I’m going to get to hold her hand.” He remembered how he felt when he had held her hand before. How it just felt right. Like he was meant to hold her hand. He remembered what it felt like to just talk with her. To just walk with her through the trees. To just stare into her eyes. He remembered how everything was OK when he was with her.

And he smiled. “Thank you, Whisper. For reminding me,” he told the little owl. “I remember now. I’m going to visit Rose.”

Whisper hooted, flapped his wings, and then took too the sky. And as he left, Sword heard him say, “Hang in there, young warrior. You will be OK.”

Through the rest of that day, Sword made good progress, moving from tree to tree. And reminding himself, “I’m going to see Rose.” And somehow, that made everything OK.