zero

The number zero as it’s known

seems to get a bad connotation,

seen as a number of emptiness,

and a symbol of being alone,

yet it is a such a calm number,

circular and truly never-ending.

 

temptation

temptation is ugliness in disguise,

ready to fool us every time,

a rabbit hole deeper than we remember,

stumbling in the darkness,

yet we strangely know the way,

ready to recognize temptation,

that which drives us mad,

but mad with pure pleasure,

and as we rip off its disguise,

we see its ugliness come through,

and we’re quick to escape,

the way in which we came,

for fighting is not always fruitless,

as this is a battle we can win.

Her Own Story

*This is another short story I wrote today based on an online writing prompt exercise.* 

Rian was just settling in for the evening after a long day at work. She worked in an office doing the cubicle gig, but unlike notorious office-themed movies suggested, her job was quite stressful. It was much more than the water cooler jive (though that did happen) and many days she just came home wondering why she didn’t do something a bit more…relaxing.

She loved her routine when she got home though. While it was mostly the same every day, it brought a smile to her face. That’s all that mattered right? She came home, showered, threw on her most comfortable set of pajamas and plopped herself down in front of the television with her dinner. Which was usually something cooked by Chef Microwave, yours truly.

But the pinnacle of the evening was the television. Rian loved spending the evening scrolling through various streaming services on the hunt for a new horror movie to watch. Yes, there are lots out there, but that is the excitement of the hunt right? There’s simply nothing more exciting than a horror movie for Rian. Perhaps she’s seen mostly all the good ones, but every now and again there was a diamond in the rough.

Horror movies just helped Rian wind down after a hard day. Maybe it was the intense storylines that seemed more drastic than whatever happened at work that day. But she suspected more than anything that she loved a really good scary story. The story had to be extra gory, extra suspenseful, and moreover different than all the others. A really original storyline was so hard to come by. Even the slightest difference in detail could make a story be different than the last one told.

This is what she searched for while flipping. Where’s the slightly different part of the story? Where’s the other perspective? It’s like how people who love to read books want to read as much as they can. They want to hear all the stories they possibly can. The horror movies did this for her. It gave her the rush of a new story, a new killer, a new victim.

While this seems like a lonely life, Rian preferred to live alone. The peace and quiet within her own apartment was something that just couldn’t be matched. She didn’t socialize much and usually kept to herself. This was by her own doing since people…well people suck. She had no regrets about her peaceful life in her own little world.

But even with such isolation, Rian was observant. Perhaps her endeavors while watching her films taught her this. Always be aware of your surroundings, whether you’re a victim or a killer. Both perspectives warrant a need for a keen eye. Rian kept her keen eye on everything. From the people at work to the people around her apartment complex. She’d like to think that nothing happened without her knowing about it. Simply from just being observant.

Which of course, she noticed when the neighbor moved in a few apartments down. This was just recently, as in this past week. Tall fellow, younger than her she supposed. She wondered about him slightly, as she got a strange vibe from him. Something that just didn’t sit right. The fact that she couldn’t put her finger on it bothered her even more.

As she sat thinking about the new neighbor, popping popcorn into her face, there was a loud knock at her door. There was never a knock at her door. Ever. No one came to her apartment for anything. All the mail went downstairs and she got it herself. Absolutely no reason for a knock. Yet there it was, rapping again impatiently.

Something drew her to the door nonetheless. As she made her way across the room to investigate, she grabbed her gun from her hallway stand drawer, tucking it behind her back in her right hand as she approached the door with her left hand. Of course, she had a gun, she was a girl living alone and you could never know what may happen. She saw what happened in the movies. No way was she going to end up like that.

Peering the peephole, she saw the new neighbor. His hair was wet and he looked frantic. She chose to speak through the door. “What do you want?” There was a sigh from the other side of the door. “We don’t have time for this right now lady.” The voice was manly enough, deep and roughed, despite him looking younger than her. She shifted cautiously from one foot to the other.

“What exactly do you mean? I have no idea who you are.” She spoke firmly, clearly and with intent. He heard him scoff from the other side of the door. “Yeah, you do know exactly who I am.”

She squinted to herself as she thought. Was this guy high or something? He’s clearly got the wrong apartment. She went to work every day and came home every day to unwind, nothing in between.

“You’ve got the wrong apartment buddy, sorry to disappoint you.”

Another scoff from Mr. Mysterious. “Rian, you know that’s not true. Now open the door.”

She looked stunned and caught off guard. How did he know her name? She supposed he could have checked her apartment number and matched it on the name board down in the lobby for the mail slots. But why?

“That’s a lucky guess about my name…but seriously, you’re at the wrong apartment.”

“Okay then, Rian. What about the movie you just put on? The one where the camp gets rustled by the slash killer, but it’s not quite like the famous franchise, a dip in the storyline just as you like?” Through the peephole, Rian could see him grinning.

She was clearly shaking now, as he couldn’t have possibly known that. “How in the world did you know that?!” She raised her gun a bit in defense.

“Just open the damn door Rian, there’s a problem over at my apartment that I need your help with.”

She hesitated but somehow felt like she should follow him. What could possibly be in his apartment that he needed her help with? The curious nature of this situation made her tuck her gun in the waistband of her pajamas and cautiously open the door.

The man was still grinning but relieved she finally opened the door. He was plainly dressed but sweating. Everywhere. He motioned with his hand for her to follow him. She left her door cracked and followed him down the hall. She wouldn’t be gone long. There was no need to lock the apartment door.

As they approached his apartment door, there was such a stench coming from under the door. Rian put her hand to her face. She instantly knew this was some sort of mistake. It’s a good thing she brought the gun. As he opened the door, the smell only got worse. Rian gagged as they entered the apartment.

When they entered, she looked around for the source of the smell. Actually, for anything. The entire apartment was empty. There wasn’t a single stitch of furniture or decor in the apartment. She looked over at the man who had brought her and he continued to smile. The smell just became overpowering, yet Rian was strangely getting used to it quicker than she’d like to admit.

“I can’t find the source of this smell. I’ve only lived here a short time and well the smell is just here. I’ve practically been racing around inspecting every inch and crawlspace available!”

Rian eyed him, wondering how this strange bird came to be in her apartment building. She had her keen eye on him for sure, but why didn’t have he have any furniture? Maybe he still had it coming?

She chose her words wisely as she looked at him. “Well…has it been this way since you moved in?”

He nodded, preoccupied with scanning the room, just looking at the vastness among them. But for what? She continued to follow him room to room and still, they found nothing however the smell still remained. It lingered deep like mold that won’t go away.

The more she thought about it, the smell seemed to be coming from the guy himself. That couldn’t be possible, she hadn’t smelled at her apartment. But maybe, just maybe, she just hadn’t noticed. She shook her head. No, she saw everything. That just wasn’t possible.

She tried to get closer to him to smell and as she got closer, the smell intensified. It was coming from him, the stench was seeping out of his pores. He seemed to be decaying from the inside out, decomposing if you will.

Rian took a moment to assess her situation, what in the world was going on. She shook her head to clear her mind and as she closed her eyes, she heard someone calling her name. When opened her eyes, she was surrounded by dim lights and drab walls. There was a metal bed in the room with her and she was strapped to it.

Nothing made sense right now. What has happened? She was just in the room with the guy at her apartment complex. And worse of all, her movie had been playing and she was missing it. The straps dug into her wrists and ankles and as she glanced down, Rian realized she was in a hospital gown. When did she get here?

She heard voices coming from across the room. They were trying to whisper, but she heard them all too clearly.

“No, no, that isn’t necessary. She just had a dream again. The same one about the guy in the room. I think she’s having a moment of memory from the murder.”

Another voice, much deeper and manly spoke. It strangely sounded like the guy in the apartment’s voice to Rian. “You think the guy she killed is haunting her?”

The other voice responded with hesitation. “Yes, it could be a manifestation of guilt, but considering her condition and diagnosis, she shouldn’t feel any guilt. This usually happens when someone is out in the rec room watching a horror movie. I’ve told the staff about turning on that stuff.”

The man spoke again, “The horror movie made her have an episode? That seems a bit naive to blame it on the horror movie.”

The other voice had an edge to it as it spoke, “No, I am not blaming the horror movies. She just has an obsession with making her own story. She’s already accomplished that. But she gets reminded of her story sometimes and that gets…problematic.”

There was a long sigh from the other voice. Rian couldn’t see where they were coming from but knew they were in the same room. They weren’t wrong…she wanted her own story and she supposed she finally got it.

Short Story: The Death

*I decided to write a short story today based on a writing prompt exercise I found online.*

To witness death is possibly the most horrific thing someone can encounter. While it is a normal occurrence in the cycle of life, that fact doesn’t make things any easier. In fact, one would argue that makes it harder. Coping is something that leads to so many other things; drugs, impulsiveness, alcohol. It always transpires in people differently. That’s because we’re all human yes, but we’re all very different people with very different perspectives.

Ah, perspective. This leads me to talk about my own death. The one and only time I experienced death. While this seems like a terrible situation, I assure you it wasn’t. In fact, while death in the most literal of explanations means to expire, exist no more, and leave this wretched Earth, it can also transpire in other fashions.

It all started the day I started seeing things in a different light. We all have a contrast that the world around us comes in, the everyday shuffle of how things are and will ever be. We try to adjust the brightness or even more so, enclose ourselves in darkness. But nothing truly changes. Until it does. Until one day, the light changes itself and presents itself in new shades.

When this happened to me, the shades were painful and stark. My eyes seemingly staring into direct sunlight. Where was the darkness I was so used to? While the world turned outside of my sightline, everything within it stood still. It was like I awoke from a cocoon into unfamiliar grounds.

This newfound sight wasn’t exactly new. I knew it surrounded me before, but I was finally seeing it for the first time myself. This sight, this light blinding the way, was more than what it appeared as on the surface. Everything I thought I had known before just dissipated. This seemed to be because I realized that nothing mattered.

To say nothing matters is not saying that life is meaningless. Quite the opposite as you will see. Life is more meaningful than meets the naked eye. Only when the depths of sight are reached, do we realize just how meaningful it truly is to us. This comes from realizing nothing matters.

Before my death, before this transformation into seeing everything so differently, I let so much bother me. So much just scratch at the surface until it dug right in. And for what? To stew and steam about like a teapot let loose among a flame?

Before you make any assumptions, this is not a religious experience. By no means at all is this a matter of being “reborn again”. The shedding of my outer self was, in fact, more like getting rid of that which ailed me. The darkness cloaking me was stifling me. I let my old self die so my own life cycle could regenerate.

Someone, somewhere once said, “Life is too short to be angry all the time…” and that truly is a golden phrase. Anger comes from so many places that it shouldn’t. Standing in line at the grocery store and other trivial things are so cumbersome. But so are the things we can’t control. My new light, my death into new life, has shown that none of that matters.

Quite frankly, witnessing my own death into this breath of fresh air has shown me everything that does matter. Another overstated phrase that exists for one reason or another is, “It’s the small things in life that matter…”. Yes, yes it is. The first cup of coffee in the morning, boldly hot and crisp against the tongue. The fluffed pillow at the end of a long day along with the soft covers pulled up tightly.

But moreover, the way that the pit of your stomach no longer feels knotted up like a fish caught in a net. The way that even though your brain still travels at lightning speed, worrying as we do so naturalistically, you know at the end of it, you can tell yourself it will be okay. These are the small things that add up to something bigger…to the things that really matter.

How does this happen? How does the light get to us so we can all witness such deaths? There isn’t a definitive answer to this. There just isn’t. I witnessed my own death and started my new life with eyes boldly open and ready to appreciate everything little thing that makes me feel so complete.

Depressed Depression

my depression got depressed,

about feeling so down,

never a smile around,

teetering on the lip of the drain,

peering down to darkness,

that was the void deep inside,

no end in sight the longer I stared,

and my feet greased with butter,

slipping down the drain,

where could my footing land?

Instead of looking down,

I stared straight ahead,

there’s light above the drain,

and air to breathe fresh yet again.

 

oceans

we’re oceans embodied by flesh,

wave upon wave crashing about,

visions of vast open spaces,

that occupy our minds,

finding peace in the rhythm of the waves,

that continuously roll, foamed and bold.