Inside My Eyelids (3)

At work, Monday, I remembered my Mother, and the time she read one of the stories I wrote. A story about a lonely, depressed guy, who crashed his car, and got himself killed. And how it was his escape from the hell that was his life.

My Mother, bless her, practically threw the story at me. “Why do you always have to write such awful stories? Why can’t you write something happy for a change?”

I wanted to scream, “That’s not how it works! That’s not how I work! I can’t write what I don’t feel!” But, she was my Mother. I spoke without knowing what else to say, “I’ll change it.” Then, I did. Same car wreck. But he gets through it uninjured, no one else gets hurt, and he wakes up to life, and decides to become a better person.

“Better.” That’s what she said.

I smiled, and nodded, “See? I can do that,” while my brain screamed, “What else do you want me to say? It’s what you wanted!”

It was one more detail in life that turned everything into a game. A stupid, silly game, all about making everything happy, and fun. And the movies on the inside of my eyelids responded, as people started smiling, and singing happy songs, as they cut each others hearts out.

221 Words
@mysoulstears


It’s Week 396 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Whatever it is that’s writing itself, wrote more words. 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 weekly.

#NaNoWriMo – A Clip From Heartsong (an unedited work in progress)

Kellie and I visited the cemetery the day after they put Lillian’s headstone back, where I’d modified it. I knelt by Lillian’s grave, placed my hand on the runner of roses, and cried. My daughter was gone. I knew that. I also knew it was almost time to say goodbye. All I had left was to Jillian’s headstone. After that, I’d be able to say goodbye to them.

“Lillian, sweetheart, there’s something I have to tell you.” My hand rested on the headstone. “I want you to know, you don’t need to worry about me.” I reached for Kellie’s hand, pulled her forward. “I want you to meet Kellie.”Kel

Before Kellie could say anything I continued talking to Lillian, “See. I’ve met Kellie. So, I’m not alone here anymore.” I smiled, through the tears. “She’s my best friend. And I love her.” I spoke to Lillian like she was there. To me, she was. “I met her at breakfast one morning.”

“We became friends, started dating.” I patted the headstone. “Yeah. Me. Dating. I bet you never thought that would happen.” I paused, then continued my one-sided conversation with Lillian, “Now, don’t be mad. I know. She’s not your mother. But I know your mother would understand.”

“See, Lillian, Kellie’s moved in with me. We live together. We call it our home.” I smiled, wiped my eyes, cleared my tears, “We call just about everything ours. Our home, our cars, our money.” I did my best to smile.

“You know I’m slow sometimes.” I knew Lillian would laugh at that. “And it takes me a while to figure some things out.” I stuck my hand in my pocket. The small box with the ring inside rested in the palm of my hand. “It took me a while to figure out how I feel about her.” It was time to go for it. “I figured that out when I made a fairy for her.” Kellie almost blushed at that. “And you know, I don’t make things for people without a reason.” I took Kellie’s hand. “I told you I love her.” I paused, looked into Kellie’s eyes. Something I wanted to do every day, forever. “And I know your mother would approve of what I’m about to do.”

I stayed on my knees, shifted to face Kellie. Then, moved one leg forward, so I was on one knee. I put my hand back in my pocket, wrapped my fingers around the box. “Kellie, my love.” I pulled the ring out, opened the box, and held it out to her. “Will you marry me?”

She knocked me over as she threw her arms around my neck, and we wound up on the ground, in one heck of a kiss. When she finally came up for air I managed to get out, “I take it that’s a yes?”

“Yes!” she screamed and kissed me once more. “Yes!”

I got to my knees, helped Kellie to hers, then patted the top of Lillian’s headstone. “Well, Lillian, what do you think? You’re not angry are you?”

To this day I swear I heard her answer, “I’m so happy!”

It was my turn to kiss Kellie. And that’s exactly what I did.

And the voice between heartbeats said, “It’s almost time. Listen to your heart. It will tell you what to do. It won’t ever lie to you.”

We left the cemetery and headed back to our home. That’s what it was. What we wanted. Our home.

#MWBB – Week 2.16 : Buena

Jack looked at his handiwork, hanging from the wall. Two people, one man, one woman, both naked, both posed where he wanted them. He wondered if the wall was more alive than them. He carefully checked the wall for damage and stains. “Can’t have those. They’ll ruin the scene.” He quickly wiped away any bloodstains he spotted on the wall.

Things had gotten easier, with time. He’d run out of nails, and glue when had made his first masterpiece, it took more than he expected to get their poses right. Of course he had pictures of them. He had pictures of all his work. This was his fourth masterpiece. It wouldn’t be his last, there were others to create. There were so many possible ways to pose two naked bodies.

“They wonder why I use bodies, I know,” Jack spoke quietly to the couple in his latest masterpiece. “Because bodies are more realistic than paint, or clay.” He adjusted the woman’s hair, carefully brushing it out of her eyes, then adding more hairspray to hold it in place. He checked their body positions, making certain their body parts fit together properly. The woman on her back, stuck to the wall, her legs jutting out. The man between her legs, his hips thrust forward.

“I really must find a better way to keep them in place,” he shook his head, looking at the strips of wood, tied to their limbs, holding their arms and legs in their eternal poses. “One that doesn’t show as much in the pictures.”

Jack took pictures from every angle. Shots of body parts, and full body shots. “It’s important to capture both the details, and the entire picture.” He stopped several times, to adjust details in the poses, “There, that’s better.” And he resumed taking pictures. “That should be enough.” He shut his camera off. “See, Mother? I am an artist. You said I wasn’t. You said I’d never be good at anything.” He pulled a faded picture of his mother from his camera bag, and faced it at the bodies. “See, Mother? See? I make beautiful works of art, don’t I.” He carefully placed the picture in his camera bag.

He made certain the curtains to the room were open, so the world would see his work when the sun rose. Then, he turned out the lights, and headed home. He locked the room as he left, and carefully placed a small, wooden plaque on the door. “Buena #4,” he read the plaque, “The fourth in a series of masterpieces.”

He smiled as he walked the hallways, to the stairs, then the building’s exit. “It was Buena, indeed. I wish everyone could see that. Could understand that.” He sighed. “I do good work!”

Jack went home, and used all his hot water in the shower. If felt good to let the heat soak into his shoulders and neck. He could feel his muscles relax. He ate a small breakfast, and washed it down with a glass of orange juice, the kind with pulp. Real juice. Not that processed crap. Then, he stretched out in his bed. As he drifted off to sleep, he started planning the body positioning of the couple for Buena #5. “It will be my greatest work.”

Jack slept well that night.

549 Words
@LurchMunster


This is my entry for Year 2, Week 16 (Week 2.16) of Jeff Tsuruoka‘s Mid-Week Blues-Buster flash fiction challenge. Please, go read the other stories in the challenge.

I Intend To Find Out

My doc asked me a tough question today. “Mark. Don’t tell me what you think. Turn off the logic. Turn off the reasoning. Tell me how you feel about that.”

I couldn’t.

Yeah. Me. I couldn’t. Me, the guy with all the words, and I couldn’t say how I felt. “Angry. Hurt, Wounded.” I rambled on, single words leaking through the filters in my head. “Denied.”

Denied.

And it’s not the denial everyone knows about, everyone understands. I’m not denying the truth. I’m not denying evolution exists, or the universe is 13 billion years old. Nothing like that. I’m not denying people consider me their friend. Not denying I’m good at what I have elected to do in my life.

I’m denying me. What I feel. I’ll start my explanation with a story, like I always do.

When I was in 8th grade, we moved from Annapolis, Maryland, to Chesapeake, Virginia. With the move came a change in school systems, and a change in available classes. On the day my Father took me to Deep Creek Middle School, to register for classes, and continue my 8th grade education, I had to make decisions about classes. On the spot, in the moment decisions.

One of those decisions was specific to Math. In Annapolis, I’d been taking “Introduction to Algebra.” Chesapeake didn’t offer Introductory Algebra. So, I had to make a choice. Take regular 8th grade math, which everyone knew I’d cake walk through. Or, take Algebra. Real Algebra. Where I was 6 weeks behind the class.

I suppose a sensible human would have taken 8th grade math. But a sensible human would not have raced through the decision process I went through. I didn’t think about myself, and what I was capable of, or what I wanted to do. I didn’t consider being afraid of taking Algebra. My decision process was very direct. I considered my Mother, and my Father, and what would make them proud of me.

I picked Algebra.

By the time I was in 8th grade, my decision process already denied what I felt and wanted. What I felt and wanted was expendable. What I did was what I believed made those I felt were the important people in my life proud of me, happy with my decisions.

I told my doctor, today, I buried what I felt in my backyard, so it was hidden, and no one could see it, or find it. Not even me.

There are many more stories. I shared another one with my Doc today. Told him why I decided to get his help, and start therapy. It wasn’t a decision I made. The truth is I didn’t want to find help. Because I knew, if I found help, I’d have to deal with everything.

What did I do? How did I end up finding my Doc? I sent three e-mail messages. One to Gina. One to Judy. One to Lorrie. Three messages to the three people I trusted at work. I didn’t ask my family. I didn’t ask my friends. I couldn’t. Don’t ask me to explain why. I can’t. I don’t know why.

I cut a deal with myself. If I got no responses to the e-mails, or if I got three negative responses, or three, “It’s your choice to make” responses, I would avoid therapy. If a single response from one of those three messages said, “Yes,” I’d get help.

All three responses came back positive, declaring I needed to get help.

I kept my end of the bargain. I got help.

I’ve been asking myself lots of questions these past few weeks, because I’ve known I had another step to take in my life. Another journey to make. More to explore. And today, I’ve started into that strange world.

I don’t know what I feel. I know basic things. I know when I’m hungry. I know when I’m tired, even though I don’t always admit I am. I know when I’m in physical pain, though I don’t always admit how much.

But I don’t know what I feel.

“How do you feel about that, Mark?”

“I don’t know.”

I want to write. More than I can explain. More than I can understand. It’s an irrational thing. It doesn’t make sense. There’s not a procedure for writing. Read ten books on how to write a novel, and you still won’t know how. Writing is a personal thing. I don’t write the same way you do. I don’t write the same way my writing friends do. I write my way. My friends each write their own way.

But writing also frustrates me. Hell, it infuriates me. Because it’s not predictable. I can’t tell what I’m going to write. When I sit down to write a flash fiction story for a weekly challenge, I don’t know what will happen next. I don’t know what I’ll write.

What I write could be funny, scary, moving, touching, frightening, or infuriating. It could even be about butterflies and ants and other insects, long after humans have followed the dinosaurs into oblivion. I don’t snap my fingers, and presto, words appear on my computer screen.

In that same way, I don’t know what I feel. Oh, I know if I’m happy, or sad, excited, or bored, I now the obvious. Just don’t ask me how I feel about something. Don’t ask, “How do you feel about that, Mark?” Because I can’t answer. Because I don’t know.

And it’s going to take a while for me to change what I learned so long ago, when I learned to deny myself. When I learned to bury what I felt. When I learned to say, “I don’t care how I feel. I’ll do what I need to.” When I learned my feelings were expendable.

And they were.

Until 4 years ago.

When everything I buried in the backyard started surfacing, and I couldn’t stop it.

I wonder who I am.

I intend to find out.

#VisDare 49 : Devoted (Taran’s Tale, Part 32)

After the videos, Alice spoke. “Cynthia is my mother. Leighla is my daughter.” She looked into my eyes, and I got lost in hers. “I have a son. The hordes took him.” Her blue eyes became wells of sorrow. “I’m afraid,” She pulled away from me. “Of what I feel.”

I knew not to touch her then. It would hurt her. “I’m from the caves.” It was time to tell her. “But I lived alone. Alone.” Her eyes wouldn’t let me go. “I read the books of the ancients. I left the caves to find a new life.” I let my eyes return to hers. “And I have.” I tried to smile.

“Me?”

“No.” I couldn’t lie to her. “Me. And I’m afraid. Of what I feel.”

I slowly offered her my hand. She slowly reached for it, and what we both felt began to grow.

146 Words
@LurchMunster


This is part 32 in the continuing story I’m working on for Angela Goff’s Visual Dare. Please read the other entries in this week’s Visual Dare challenge.

The entire story, from part 32 to part 1, is located here.

#55WordChallenge : The Fence – Part 29

Taran laughed. “You’re one of Jessica’s descendants. The Horde kidnapped you when you were an infant.”

“What?”

“It broke Alice’s heart.”

He took me to his garden, to a tree with a broken heart drawn on it.

“She drew that. Years ago. I promised her I’d find you.” He closed his eyes. “And I have.”

55 Words
@LurchMunster


This is Part 29 of the serial story I’m working on for Lisa McCourt Hollar‘s #55WordChallenge flash fiction challenge. Please, go read all the other entries in the challenge this week.

The entire story, from Part 29 to Part 1, is located here.

#55WordChallenge : The Fence – Part 23

“Alice is fine.”

I had to ask, “Alice is your mother?”

“Flint. Alice is our mother.”

Leighla laughed, and I saw a younger version of her. Long grey-black hair and deep brown eyes. She wore a headband that meant something, but I didn’t know what.

Taran smiled, “You’re remembering who you are, aren’t you, Flint.”

55 Words
@LurchMunster


This is part 23 of the serial story I’m working on for Lisa McCourt Hollar‘s #55WordChallenge flash fiction challenge. Please, go read all the other entries in the challenge this week. It’s flat amazing what gifted writers can say in just 55 words.

If you wish to read all the parts of the story, they are in order, from most recent to first, here.