LIGHT: A Poem

There is LIGHT within your darkness

There is hope within your fear;

You can break free from the ties that bind

and the demons always near.

 

You can destroy your self made hell

you can leave your self built prison.

You can decide which way to steer –

the direction that will help your mind clear.

 

But there is a catch; a price to pay.

You must let go of your self hate.

It won’t be easy or pain free,

but you can’t afford to just let it be.

 

You need to find out from where it comes,

why it’s here and why it leers

into your life, into your heart –

how it’s gotten so damn smart.

 

It figured out how to make you tick.

It figured out how to keep you sick.

 

Only you alone can stave it off;

only you alone can kill it.

Only you can find a way –

you can’t afford to let it stay.

 

Because “YOU” are no longer you alone.

You now have a legacy.

Part of you is your beautiful boys,

and as they grow they’ll sense your misery.

 

I will not finish these words I write

because this is not the end.

Your journey is far from over.

The first step is in your hands.

 

Are you listening? A short piece of fiction inspired by the word "listen".I wrote this for Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop for Prompt #1:Write a blog post inspired by the word: light. 

I am not a poet, and I know nothing about writing poems or if this even qualifies as a poem!

These words flowed out of me quickly, and I have the original written words that I wrote years ago (2010? 2011? 2012?) for my brother, who at the time only had a boy, not boys.

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Since then, years later, he finally realized that he had a problem and went to rehab. Though he’s not perfect, he’s still my brother and I love him with all of my heart. Every day is a struggle for an addict, and I hope these words wrapped around his heart in his darkest hours last year when I finally gave them to him, and I hope they gave him some comfort.

Waiting

She awoke suddenly, the traces of a nightmare still lingering. She sat up, and immediately grabbed her head. There was a screaming pain running from the back of her head down her spine. She felt a goose egg sized bump near her forehead, and realized she had no idea where she was. She tasted blood.

It was dark – nighttime? No. She began to slowly understand that she wasn’t in her own home. Where was she? She tried to stand, and realized she was on the floor. A matress on the floor in a completely black room. Maybe the nightmare was real.

She tried to feel around, and her hands struck a wall in front of her. She ran her hands along the wall and realized it was cinderblock or something similar. No windows anywhere. No carpet underneath her feet, only cement. Within just a few feet, she met the corner of two walls. She continued to feel her way around the room, and determined it wasn’t even a room. It was more like an oversized closet.

She started around again, panicking and realizing that she couldn’t find a door and there was nothing else in the room.

The clothes she had on were torn and wet. From her own sweat? Or was it blood? Water? She tried to smell her blouse, but couldn’t detect any odor.

She called out a loud hello, with no response. Banging on the walls would be useless. She screamed a terrified HELP, and was not surprised by no response.

Bits and pieces of the nightmare were coming back to her in glimpses as quick as the blink of an eye. A man. A stranger? Her running. Her cell phone falling from her hand as she tried to dial 911.

Oh my god, this is real, she thought.

And what scared her more than being in a pitch black room in an unknown place, was the fact that there was nothing left to do but wait.

Are you listening? A short piece of fiction inspired by the word "listen".I wrote this for Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop for Prompt #5: Write a blog post inspired by the word: wait. But there’s more to this story than that. This past weekend while we were barbecuing at my mom and dad’s house, I was under the palapa in their backyard. I was standing underneath a ceiling fan that fell and hit me! It left a huge bump and bruise in my hairline on my forehead. That bump and the word wait actually inspired this very short piece of fiction.

Summer Vacation When I Was A Kid

Remember summer vacation when you were a kid? It sure was different than summer vacations today! Here are some differences that I've noticed.

Waaaayyy back in the day, long before kids texted their friends if they wanted to talk to them and “playing” actually meant going outside and, well, playing, I was a kid. I remember summer vacation, and wish my kids could know the same ones,too.

Summer vacation memories are still some of my favorite memories from my childhood. I spent my days outside during the summer time (and after school when we were in school) playing – not sitting in front of the TV with a video game.

I played ‘Statue Maker’ and ‘Simon Says’ and ‘Freeze Tag’ on the front lawn with all the other neighborhood kids, not Minecraft.

I was a kid that rode my bike or walked all over the neighborhood.

I read books under the tree in our front yard.

I was never home, and definitely never inside, most days during the summertime. I don’t even think our parents knew where any of us were. There were a ton of kids on the street where I grew up, and we all just kept moving from house to house.

During summer vacation, the only rule for my sisters and I was that we all were expected home when we heard the call for dinner (or when we got hungry…whichever came first), and again when the street lights came on.

I had a pool in my backyard. In the morning, we’d get up and put on our bathing suits. We would be in the clear, cool water from morning till night. I don’t remember even using towels to dry off. We would just run around in the backyard when we were done swimming, and the water evaporated in the heat. Or we’d lay on the concrete to warm up and dry off.

If I wasn’t in the pool, I was running through the sprinklers, playing car wash with the hose and my bike, or making it rain with the hose while everybody ran around in the rain.

I used my imagination to play; we’d play house and store and drive-thru using the little window in the living room that opened up to the backyard.

I was a kid that lived in a house where TV was a reward, not a babysitter. If there was something on that we wanted to watch? We had better been sitting down at the right time to see it or we’d miss it.

I wasn’t allowed to lay around or play on a computer all day. We also didn’t expect for our parents to keep us entertained all day. I was expected to keep myself busy and “find something to do”. And most of the time, I was go-go-going from the minute I woke up in the morning until the moment I went to sleep at night.

Summer vacation sure has changed. My kids want me to provide 24/7 entertainment and are not happy unless we are doing something or going somewhere. I wish they could know those lazy summer days.

What is your favorite summer vacation childhood memory? How were your childhood summers different from your children’s?

Are you listening? A short piece of fiction inspired by the word "listen".I wrote this for Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop for Prompt #4: How is Summer Vacation different for your kids than it was for you growing up?

 

I wrote this for Shell’s Pour Your Heart Out, too!

Are You Listening?

“Are you listening to me?” She listened to the words coming out of his mouth, not really registering them.

“I’m not in love with you anymore”

“…affair…”

“Megan”

“moving out”

“divorce”

Megan? As in Megan, Megan? Her best friend of 30 years? The one she first told when she started her period, had sex for the first time, fell in love, and found out she was pregnant? That Megan?

He kept talking. She was listening, but had already started to think of all the things that would follow this conversation. She wasn’t really surprised by his confession but she was surprised about Megan.

The rain tapped gently on the window. She noticed that the yard needed to be mowed. He was too busy on all of his “business trips” to take care of it. Had he really been traveling? Or was he spending all of that time with her?

The breakfast dishes in the sink had to be done. She needed to vacuum. And she had a hair appointment. So many things to do.

“Are you listening to me?” he asked again, this time not so kindly.

But she couldn’t respond. There were credit card payments and they had just bought airline tickets for their summer vacation with the kids. The kids! How would she tell the kids?

What? She said quietly.

He looked at her and asked her if she had anything to say.

She could kill him. But how? In his sleep maybe, a knife? No, too messy. Cut the brake lines on his car like they do in the movies? She realized she had no idea where or what they were, and she couldn’t Google it because the police would find the search when they confiscated her computer. Or maybe she could kill Megan. Go to her house for drinks and poison her? Where do you even buy poison? No, she could never get away with murder. She’d watched enough of those police shows to know that.

She listened to the silence, thinking that she may actually be going crazy. The silence is deafening when you actually listen to it. It’s noisy and chaotic. It screeches constantly. It’s like white noise turned up to top volume.

Maybe she could just play the bitch and take him for everything he’s worth, leaving Megan with nothing. Maybe she would sell his coin collection, just to spite him. Trash his car. But there was an easier way…

Okay. She said standing while looking directly at him.

“What does that mean, okay?”

Whatever you want it to mean Tom. It sounds like you already have your mind made up. I can’t do this right now. You said it wouldn’t happen again. The last time it happened and the time before that. You said that you had changed. You PROMISED me that you were done with the lies and sneaking around and cheating. So okay. I’m done. Just go away.

He stood to leave. Presumably going to Megan’s. She was too exhausted to deal with it all again, so she wouldn’t.

After he left, she stood staring at the front door. He had carried her over the threshold the day they bought the house. She had carried their first, second, third, and fourth children through that door from the hospital. She collapsed in that doorway the day she found out her mother had passed away. The kids went out that door to school, dates, and eventually to begin their own lives.

She walked slowly, a death march up the stairs to the room she’d shared with him for over 30 years. She went to the bathroom, turned on the faucet, and filled her water glass to the top. She took the sleeping pills out of the medicine cabinet, and carried the water and pills to the nightstand that they’d refinished together.

She dumped all of the pills out, slowly brought her hand to her lips, and put them in her mouth one by one. They were chalky and bitter but she didn’t mind. She chewed slowly, adding a new pill each time there was room. And then she drank that glass of water, happy that it was the last time she’d have to deal with that bastard she called her husband.

Are you listening? A short piece of fiction inspired by the word "listen".I wrote “Are You Listening?” for Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop for Prompt #1: Write a blog post inspired by the word: listen. Interestingly enough, the last time I wrote fiction it was inspired by Mama Kat, too!  The title? Sounds of Silence. What a coincidence, huh? 

You can find more of my fiction here.

The Window…To Be Continued?

One of my favorite things to write is fiction. I always have stories swirling around in my head. Usually it’s a sound or a scent or just the thought of one thing and I’m writing an entire story around it. In my head. Not usually on paper.

I first started actually putting these stories from my brain to pen and paper back in 2010, when I wrote my first piece of fiction titled The Window. It was the first time that I allowed a story out of my head. And it’s rough…what I thought a story should be instead of just writing what I felt. Since then, I’ve written 11 other pieces of fiction. All of them dark. Sad. Not happy. So if that’s not your thing, don’t check ’em out.

But the problem is I have all these stories in my head. Some I’ve actually started drafts of and not finished, and some that are lingering there…waiting for me to do more with them.

When I write fiction, I just catch a quick glimpse of something. Like I said it’s usually a sound or a scent or a thing, sometimes a “scene” that I’m peeking in on. I don’t know the characters when I start the story, and I never know how it will end.

But since I wrote The Window 5 years ago…a mere 700 words…the story has always felt incomplete. Like there was more that needed to come out. Like there is a real story there. I don’t plan to ever write a novel. But I’d love to expand on the beginning and see where it takes us.

And that’s where you come in. I need your help. I guess I’m wondering what part of the story did you like…or not like? What do you want to hear more of?

Remember those “Chose Your Own Adventure” books from when we were kids? That’s how I feel right now. I feel like the story could go in a few different directions. I thought it might be fun if you prompted me with an idea. Maybe prompt isn’t the right word. What I really need is some direction.

Since I always write such dark stories, should I try for something lighter? Do I just start writing and see where it takes me? I’m out of practice! I haven’t written any fiction since 2012, and I’m feeling a bit leary about trying again. Does that sound weird? It’s like the fact that I always write such dark things scared me away from something that I love to do.

I’m stuck. Let me know what you think! Should I continue with the story or start one of the drafts I already have?