#AtoZ2016 : O Is For Outside

There is a place I wish to be.
If it were left to me
It’s a place I’d be most every day.
A place that’s part of me.

A place where I feel whole again.
And so very much alive.
A place where I feel everything
The air as it flows past me,
Across my palms,
And through my fingers.
What an amazing thing.

If I close my eyes,
And clear my head,
I can remember what it’s like.
And I want more.
So much more.

There is a place I wish to be.
A place that’s filled with color.
Greens, and browns,
Blues and reds.
I have no words to name them all.
They are more than I can count.
And I know my eyes long every day
To see them once again.

There is a place I wish to be.
A world filled with the sounds of life.
The songs of birds,
So many kinds.
Frogs,
Crickets,
And other things.
As they sing their songs of life.

I long to hear the sounds of the trees
As the wind moves their branches,
And rustles their leaves.

There is a place I wish to be.
A place that’s real.
So much alive.

That place isn’t here,
Inside this room I’m in.
This room where I write.

It’s not the place I work at.
Filed with artificial light.
And filtered air.
Where nothing moves.
Nothing breathes.
Nothing is alive.

It’s not some place
Made by mortal hands,
Of all to mortal men.

There is a place I wish to be.
A place I feel alive,
And free.

I wish to be

Outside.


It’s April 19th, and I’m a still one day behind on the A to Z Challenge for 2016. Only 11 more letters to write stories for this month.

Please, go explore the A to Z Challenge, and the sites of others who are participating in this adventure.

#FlashMobWrites 1×23 : Carrion Flowers

I turn the volume up and listen,
As the music screams inside my head,
“Criminal
The Suffering
It makes me think like a
Criminal
When we’re alone.”

And I am alone.
I’m always alone.
I walk, in silence.
One mile down.
Two to go.
I embrace my isolation.
It’s all I truly have.

Gray clouds fill the sky.
There is anger in them.
Bottled up.
Trapped.
Seeking a way out.
An escape.
Release.

I can taste the water in the air.
Feel it on my skin.
Thick.
Clinging.
It would push most people indoors.
Not me.

I feel the grin on my face.
The gleam in my eyes.
“Bring it!
Bring the pain!”

The music changes,
Then changes again,
And again.
Never ending.
I hear the words once more.
I more than hear them.
I feel them.

“This is where I redeem myself
When I show that I’m not blind.
Can’t follow the cattle people.
Not one of the Kine.”
The beat,
The rhythm,
Drives each step.

Who cares how many steps.
Who cares how long it takes.
Who cares what I have to do.
What the day brings.
Work.
Life.
It all falls away.

And I feel.
Escape.

The second mile falls.
With it, the damage in my shoulder
Begins to talk to me.
Another would take the five-pound weight
Hanging on his wrist
Off.

I’m not another.
I hold on to the pain.
I know what it means.
Why it’s there.
And I know,
Like the walk.
The pain is all I have.

I focus on the music,
The rhythm,
The beat.
Walk to the beat.
To the beat.
To the beat.

I hold on to the pain.
Knowing the truth.
It won’t kill me.
Unless I let it.

And come the next day,
As I walk once more,
That pain will be gone.
All that will remain is a memory
Of what it took,
What I had to endure,
To survive.

In a life
On a world
I never made.

333 Words
@LurchMunster


This is my entry into #FlashMobWrites 1×23, hosted by Ruth Long and Cara Michaels. Please, go read all the stories in for #FlashMobWrites 1×23. You might find something you like. But if you don’t read them, how will you ever know?

#MWBB 45 : Runaway

Shelly saw him sitting at a table, by himself. “Damn, he’s cute.” So, she wandered over. She knew what she wanted. What she always wanted. One night. One chance to feel alive. To feel real. No strings. No repeat. One night.

She walked up next to him, “I don’t want to drink alone.”

He pulled the chair next to his out, but said nothing. Shelly took the seat. They both sat there, listening to the band, watching the bodies on the dance floor. She started tapping out the rhythms of the music on the table. He watched her.

“I wanna dance!” She stood up, and grabbed his hand to pull him to the floor. He resisted for a moment, as if thinking. Then, let her lead him to the floor. She didn’t know if he could dance. She didn’t care. All she wanted was an excuse to touch him. To put her hands on his shoulders, back and chest. To bump her hips into his. An excuse to feel alive for the night. Before she returned to reality tomorrow.

He let her lead. Let her do what she wanted. Touched her shoulders, her back. Met her hips with his.

They danced. Shelly loved it. Loved the motion. The contact. She loved being touched. She loved to touch. To feel. Alive.

When the music changed, and a ballad started, the floor filled with couples. He grabbed her, pulled her close, pressed his chest to hers, his hips to hers. She drank in the smell of him. The feel of her head on his shoulder.

They danced until she needed another drink. She led him back to the table. He ordered her drink, and his. She drained it. Leaning into him. Letting her hands move. To his thighs. To his stomach. To his belt, and more.

“Let’s leave,” she whispered in his ear.

They went to his place. Shelly got what she wanted. One night. To feel. To be alive. She wanted everything. She did everything. Tasted every inch of him. Felt every inch of him. One night. To lose control. To groan. To moan. To whisper, “More. More. More.” To cling to the motion. Back and forth. In and out. One night to feel whole. One night her emptiness left her. One night she wasn’t alone. One night she felt alive.

Spent, she pretended to sleep. And waited for him to sleep. Then, she slipped away. Got dressed. Left. One night. That’s all she wanted. One night. To feel alive. To feel real. Before she ran away again. To hide in a world where nothing was real. And no one felt a thing for anyone.

No one would ever hold her again. No one would ever touch her heart. No one would ever make her cry. No one would ever hurt her again.

Like he had.

She’d always make sure of that. She’d always run away.

485 Words
@LurchMunster


This is my entry for week 45 of Jeff Tsuruoka‘s Mid-Week Blues-Buster flash fiction challenge. Please, go read the other stories in the challenge.

There Are Days I Forget

There are days I forget.
Days I get lost.
Days like today.
When I feel empty.
When I feel wounded.
When I feel drained.
When I feel all wrong.

There are days I forget
Now.
Here.
This moment in time.
This place.
When I remember everything.
When I can’t find my way
Out of my past.
Out of what’s already done.

Other times
I get lost other ways.
Worrying about too many things
That haven’t happened.
That are not happening.
That may never be.
Lost in wondering about a future
That I can’t possibly know.
That I can’t possibly see.

And I can feel my jaw clinch.
And my pulse begin to race.
I can feel my anger build.
Fueled by all my fears.
And all the experiences
Of my life.

The seeds of self-doubt
Sewn so many years ago.
When everyone I knew
Told me I couldn’t be
Me.
Told me I had to be
Them.

It’s on days like this,
When I’m so lost.
So confused.
Remembering my past.
And worrying about things
That haven’t happened,
And may never be.

It’s on days like this
I have to sit down.
And stop.
And breath.
And close my eyes.
And remember.

Now.
This heartbeat.
This breath.

They taught me long ago
The air is invisible.
You can’t feel it.
You can’t see it.
How can you know it’s there?

Like so many things
I was taught
In the life that was,
What I learned
Was all a lie.

For I know
As I sit here on my own.
And I close my eyes.
And simply breathe.

I know.

I can feel the very air
All around me.

I can hold out my hands.
Spread my fingers out.
And I can feel the air
As it flows across my palms.
And between the fingers
Of my hands.

How can anyone believe
The air isn’t really there?
When you can touch it.
When you can feel it.
Everywhere.

So I sit,
Silent and alone.
On the sofa
In my home.
And I close my eyes.
And breathe.
Just breathe.
And feel.
Everything my body feels.

And it only takes a few heartbeats
For my body to remind me
Of the truth.

All I have,
And all I am.
I now.

In this breath.
In this heartbeat.

And there is nothing else.

There is no past.
It’s gone.
It’s done.
No one anywhere
Can go back and fix
Anything that’s happened
Already.

No one anywhere
Can even fix what happened
In the last heartbeat.
In the last breath.

There is no future.
Because it hasn’t happened yet.
And while it’s possible
To extrapolate,
And project,
The events that might happen,
Based on what’s happened
In the past.

But there’s no way
To guarantee
What will happen
In your next heartbeat.

So I sit here.
And I breathe.
And I remember.
Now.
This breath.
This heartbeat.

I sit here
And remember
Me.

The Day After

It’s always the day after an event
That disturbs me the most.
Because.
Usually I’d just let it go at that.
Just say because.
But today,
I try to explain.

I can take the easy way out
And just say,
“It’s an ASD thing.
With my autistic nature,
It’s just the way things are.”
But that doesn’t help anyone.
Certainly not me.

Where to start.
How to explain.
I’ve tried.
I’ve tried for years.
No one understands.

After Columbine.
After the USS Cole.
After Oklahoma.
After 9/11.
After Norway.
After Virginia Tech.
The list is endless.

I always react the same.
I wonder what it is
That everyone around me feels.
Because.
I don’t feel a thing.
Not one damned thing.

My best guess is
It’s an empathetic reaction
That people have.
One of those social skills
I wasn’t born with.
And just can’t seem to learn.

I want to say something.
I do.
But everywhere I go
On the Internet.
Facebook and Twitter too,
It’s all the same.

People saying endlessly,
“My heart bleeds for those of you
Whose lives this storm’s destroyed.”

And I don’t understand.
I don’t understand at all.
Because they were not hurt.
Their lives
Remain unchanged.
How can their hearts bleed
For people they don’t know,
People they have never met,
People a thousand miles away?

I don’t understand at all.

I try.
I do.
I try.

I’ve watched the way people behave.
I’ve listened to the things they say.
I’ve studied their body language.
The moves the make.
The details in the things they do.

I can fake it.
I can imitate it.
I can pretend to feel like them.
I can blend right in.
So no one will know
That I don’t feel a thing.
Not one damned thing.

I end up putting everyone at ease.
Everyone feels better.
Everyone relaxes.
It’s as if their view
Of the world
And how it works,
Just got reinforced.

But I end up in hell.
Wondering how long it will be
Until someone finds out the truth
About me.
That I don’t feel a thing.

It’s not that I don’t care.
It’s not that way at all.
I care for those around me
More than you will ever
Understand.

It’s that to my rational,
Logical,
Linear mind.
The people hurt in an event
Such as the hurricane this week.
Are just like the people living
In Syria.
Being mowed down relentlessly
By their own government.
Or the people that die
Every day.
In car accidents.
Or the children beaten to death
By their own parents.

I don’t know them.

It’s sad,
I know it’s sad.
That these things happen.
I understand that.

And there are times,
Oh, there are times,
When I wish I felt
What other people felt.
So that I could understand,
And know,
Why people react
The way they do
To such an event
As this hurricane.

But instead.
I don’t feel
A single thing.
Not one single thing.

God?
Why did you make me so
Cold?

Sometimes

Today, the isolation I live with
Cuts me to the bone.
Leaves me with a choice.

Sit here
And feel the pain
Of having no one to talk with.
No one to laugh with.
No one to cry with.
No one at all.

Or bury the pain
Beneath other things.
Housework.
Dishes.
Laundry.
Mowing the yard.
Anything at all
So I don’t have to feel
Alone.

She’s at work.
And will be.
For another 8 hours.
And many times
When she comes home
She’s tired.
And we don’t talk.

But I get to hug her.
If only for a little while.
I get to watch her.
To see her smile.
To see the light
Within her eyes.

I watch Twitter relentlessly.
Reading tweet after tweet.
Knowing all I’m doing
Is observing.
Knowing I don’t understand
The conversations going on.
At all.

I watch Facebook endlessly.
Waiting for a new post
To show up on my wall.
Even though I know
It won’t mean anything.
Anything
At all.

At times I wander
To the book store
Down the road.
Where I examine
Magazines.
And books.
Galore.

Sometimes I walk
Through the aisles
And displays
At the local Best Buy store.
Picking up,
And putting down
Items all the time.

Sometimes I even visit
A fast food restaurant.
On my own.
And watch other people there
Spend time with each other.

I think they call it socializing.
But I’m not really sure.

And all the while
My hands scream out in pain.
“Let us touch something
Alive!”

I gave up screaming
Many years ago.
No one ever heard.
There was no one to hear.
So I don’t scream
Anymore.

People tell you that the pain
Goes away with time.
And that with time
You make new friends.
Add more people
To your life.

They lie.

People group together
For a reason.
It feels comfortable to them.
They understand each other.
Each knowing
How the other feels.
What the other thinks.

They like the same TV shows.
The same movies.
The same restaurants.
Even the same drinks.

They know what to say
To each other.
How and when to speak.
When to laugh.
When to smile.
When to cry.

And they stay away from people
That can’t behave like that.
That just get it all wrong.
Or even not quite right.

They say,
“He’s just a little off.
Eccentric.
A little strange.”
And they avoid that person
After that.

Everyone just goes away.

They say,
“You can’t be that way.
You can’t do that.
You know what to do.
You know what you did.”
Even if you don’t.
And once they’ve said those words.
To them.
You’re gone.

Not one human heart I know
Wants to be alone.
Wants no one to talk with.
Wants no hand to hold.

It’s an endless isolation
I’ve lived with
All my life.

And every now and then
I find someone
Living with the pain
I live with
Every day.

I worry about them.
For they are not me.
They have not survived
The things I have survived
In the life I lead.

I know I’ll survive.
I know I’ll be OK.
I’ve walked through the depths of hell itself.
And lived to tell the tale.

But sometimes
Even I can feel
The isolation I live with
Every day.

It never really goes away.
Never has.
Never will.

Sometimes
All I really feel
Is pain.