Comfortable Cages – Inspiration Monday

Great prompts this week on Inspiration Monday! I’m out sick right now so I jumped at the break from my boredom. Anyway, here you guys go, I’d love thoughts/criticism/comments, whatever. (:

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Comfortable Cages

My life is simple. Perfect actually. I’ve never been hungry, never been hurt, and never seen the other side of these bars.

Sometimes, it’s a boring life – perfection has a way of doing that to you – but it’s comfortable. They tell me I’m crazy for wanting to leave. Who would want to experience pain and hunger when you have all this? They say. Under my breath I always whisper, Me. That’s who.

Am I ungrateful like they say? Does my discontent just show that I don’t deserve the life I’ve been handed? I promise I don’t mean to be this way. I’ve tried to stop questioning the things that are supposed to be gifts. My curiosity may always be my curse, but I do try to fight it.

They can call me strange, they’re right, anyone can see that. I do feel bad, but this place is wrong. Humans are not meant for this. Perfection leaves us without a reason. Here, I have no reason to get up every morning. Here, I have no reason to live. Comfortable cages leave us all with no purpose. I can’t live this way.

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Breaking Into Prison

Well, I’m finally back! I have a life again. Or, no life again. Anyway, that’s a good thing. I have time to write now. In the last three days I’ve written 5,000 words on a random piece I came up with on an overnight epiphany.
Enough rambling, this post is for my piece for Inspiration Monday this week:
Breaking Into Prison
On the outside looking in.
Constant noise, indistinguishable from a distance. Never ending whispers, gossipy conversations. One wrong step could ruin anybody. Imprisoned in their world of requirements and fettered by their lies. ‘It’s all fake,’ someone says. But they’re wrong. This is very real. The liars who created this world are so caught in it that they’ve become exactly what they say they are. Just remember, everything comes at a cost.
When you look away, it’s easy to remember why you hate them all. Consumed with their own appearance of perfection. You and I don’t look away often though. Looking away means tearing your eyes off the utopia they represent, and returning your gaze to the hell they live.
Getting in among them isn’t hard. Drift along the sidelines being perfect until someone notices you. They devour a chance to be like you, because you and I still appear perfect to them. They need your perfection as much as we need air.
Don’t fall for their lies.
Breaking into prison is easy.
Getting out is the hard part.

New Works

So, lately I’ve been pretty busy between a few big things in my life. Since the beginning of summer, when my blog hit its top hits-per-day, I’ve been through severe writer’s block, lost and found my writing voice, learned some pretty serious graphic design, and my latest project: I’m learning to edit video! I’ll admit, I’m pretty excited about that one. Video editing is something I know I’ll always be able to make good use of.

Anyway, getting a little more on point after the random update, I’ve also started a new longer project. It began as a pet project that I worked on one night while bored, but I think it’s turning into something bigger. A few weeks ago I posted the first chapter and the prologue, but since then I’ve added four more chapters. I won’t post it all here since that would be a huge blog post, but I’d love it if you check it out here.

So yeah, that’s what’s been happening in my world!

World Folding

This is written for Inspiration Monday and Sunday Picture Press. Thank you both for the wonderful prompts. I loved working with the combination so much before when I wrote the Talisman, I just had to try this again. (:

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World Folding

They said it was a gift, our ships let us become rich. However much risk, whatever the cost, the wealth and thrill we plundered made everything worth it. Chances to prove ourselves among the clans, win pleasure and retire to it, maimed but well known for our courage.

Loud creaking timber. A roar of victory from the flames when it snapped and tumbled to the deck. Sickening screams from those it crushed. The moon glowing faintly past the smoke-filled sky. I chose the fate of my life. I bound myself to this ship. They told me I was just a scrawny boy, not worth training. Not a viking. Who has proved his courage now?

It’s world folding. The flames have taken us now. The ship is down. Now I wonder, what good is the glory I cannot revel in? 

Our ship slides into the dark water’s glow, no longer adrift. The moon still shines on us. It is good-by.

Our give is a curse now. It drags us below with it.

I chose this. Just the puny cabin boy.

Screams become pleading gurgles from drowning men.

The water’s cold embrace takes us all.

inspiration monday – the day the music died

Thank you to BeKindRewrite as always the Inspiration Monday prompts are wonderful.

This one’s a little weird, but oh well. The purpose of scribbling is to get stuff like this out of my system.

Lillian’s Song

 Fingers glided across the keys, not pressing, just stroking. No sound escaping. Running the length of her beloved instrument. Jane played through her scales again and tested the keys one more time. She inspected the yellowed sheet music she had insisted that she write. She never needed it. But it was necessary now.

Just make it through, just once.

She stumbled over the opening measures haltingly, with stubborn fingers. Looking up she scanned the piece again. It stretched before her endlessly, an impossible task that had to be done. But it wasn’t impossible. She had taught her how. She could make it through.

Two lines. One of her knuckles cracked. She stopped in embarrassment and lost her place.

Three lines. She half expected something to go wrong. It always went wrong. Stop thinking so hard! She scolded herself as a sour note erupted from the piano. Lose yourself in the music.

Jane focused on the melody. Her melody. Floating through the air while she pressed black and white. Beautiful. Now the harmony. Lose yourself. Melodies and harmonies didn’t matter here. Just play. Her ghost whispered softly, hiding in the notes.

Lillian. She’d come back. For a moment anyway.

Keep playing.

I will, don’t leave me. Jane tripped another note. The music broke. Lillian flickered and disappeared. No!

She played more carefully. Smoothed out the song into a slower, more controlled rhythm.

Lillian was back. Smiling. Willing her to continue.

Don’t leave again.

Keep playing.

She did. The pages turned, fluttering against her hand with every turn. She reached the final lines. They slipped out before they could be stopped. For Lillian.

Stay.

No.

Why?

The music is dead here. 

Resistance

This is the prologue and some of the first chapter of a longer piece that I’m writing. I won’t call it a book, but you never know. Originally inspired by Inspiration Monday and the prompt Patchwork People.

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Flames are telling. They have an amazing gift, the ability to rake burning fingers across someone’s world and strip it of all that is unnecessary. Family, friends, home, appearances, health. They take it all from whoever they can touch. And last night, they touched me.

You’d think I hate them. But I don’t. They were beautiful. Outstretched fingers licked over my hands, arms and later, face. Burning away every part of me that wasn’t needed. Searing away my features and melting the skin away. The flames swallowed me into their warm embrace and crowned me a fire goddess. Intense agony followed and I let the fire take me from its brilliant light into blackness.

Everything was gone.

~*~

B-e-e-p. The white line traced across the screen. My eyes followed it’s bumpy path up and down on the screen. Peaking when my heart thudded in my chest. Falling and bottoming out between each beat. An endless pattern of mountains. I found if I wiggled a little bit the peaks were closer together, and if I took a couple of deep breaths, then stopped breathing altogether, the mountains spread apart. That’s when I knew. The most beautiful, mesmerizing thing in the world, was white lines.

Waves. Up and down, rising and falling. Floating in a never ending pattern. A beautiful pattern. One I wanted to follow. White waves offering to drag me under and relieve the burning feeling of melted flesh on my body. I wanted it to go away. Why was I still burning?

Fingers ran up and down my arms, tracing the lines of stitches and scars. The patchwork of skin on my arms, on my entire body, was me; blanketed in pieces of pure white skin, inflamed red burns, and melted spots they couldn’t repair that showed little pieces of my muscles. My mum used to tell me stories about patchwork people. I didn’t think she meant this though. What I’d become was a disgusting mutated form of what she once described. I was just pieces sewn together, a life they decided to spare.

The parts of my face that weren’t paralyzed moved into an expression of disgust. Then the thought crossed my mind. If I was grossed out by myself, was the rest of the world just as repulsed?

A person came in wearing a white coat while I was thinking. I looked at her and decided who I would make her be. Gray pants. Her hair up in a tight bun. I decided she was too neat and tidy. She looked like a picture standing in front of me, instead of a person. She scared me. People aren’t supposed to be perfect. Only bad people look perfect.

By the time she finished her greeting and told me why she was in the room–to get a blood sample from me–I had decided that she wasn’t real. Either that or she was some sort of demon. Sent by the flames because they wanted me back. But that was too far fetched wasn’t it? I wasn’t a lunatic, right?

Her needles pinched in my arm and she began drawing it back, taking away my blood for herself in a vial of crimson. If my face would have moved I would have glared at her. Or if I had a voice maybe I would have yelled. But I didn’t have a voice. No words came when I wanted to speak, and I couldn’t move my face. I didn’t know why. I just, couldn’t.

The fire-spies took my voice away. I realized. That must have been their name too. It popped into my head so naturally, following the new voices and friends that made their way into various corners of my mind suddenly.

Is this what its like to be crazy? I asked them.

No, you aren’t crazy. Not yet.

The Journey

A piece for both Sunday Picture Press and Inspiration Monday. Because I am a terribly lazy person and didn’t submit an individual piece for each.

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In and out of time, sailing the stars. Nothing meeting everything. Galaxies and their histories floated by without a second thought. Information to be learned, but never kept.

Keeping information here was considered greed. Here no one took their findings back with them. Only death waited for those who ferreted away information. Death and his horse were ever-present to punish those who try to steal away the precious secrets of the universe. They were the things better left unsaid and unknown.

So they said to keep wandering. Through space and time into the next leg of the journey. The forest path that had to be travelled. Past creeks, hollows, branches, animals; whatever they might have been, they continued. Never stop.

The path ran past a terrible place. Nightmares slipped through the barriers of minds to lurk here. Each one to be faced. None of them to be left undreamt. They were created, like fear, only to haunt mankind. All of them. Every single one finds its home here, in the voyage of the undead.

Paths wound into tunnels, running into avenues of white. White walls, white doors, the ones that cast a blue shadow. Each door whispered. Calling promises of truth and home.

The command came. Pick the door. Each hesitated on his chosen handle. Gave it a slow turn. Then cracked it open and allowed light to flood in. Shouts to ring through the alley when loved ones recognized their long awaited friends and families. Long awaited in their return.