Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Mist

The Mist

The loneliness was creeping in
The blackness and the cold
She had tried so long to stave it off
Unspoken would be untold. 

She did her best to find the light
Working to stay afloat
There's nothing to do when darkness comes
The captain stays with the boat. 

The creeping monster would rear its head
A mist that seemed to smile
Inching toward her in the day and night
Ever patient, all the while

The monster knew to bide its time
The question only of when
For she was his, they had conceded
Both underworld denizens.

She felt his presence before his face was shown
Like a shiver down her spine
A cold wind blowing from the sea
A heavy swallow of the brine.

She breathed a sigh of impending doom
Knowing which path this was to lead
Preparing herself for the approaching dusk
As if her soul was part of the devil's deed.

She braced herself and carried on
Her optimism still flickering through
"Perhaps it will pass and be just a shower"
Perhaps it won't leave her broken and blue.

She trudged along, each day getting darker
The monster approaching with skill
She turned her cheek and gave her back
But she knew he was coming in for the kill.

"How many more times of this can she stand?"
She asked as she was swallowed up whole
A person can face only so much
Before the darkness has taken its toll.

She remained in the cloud, in the dark, in the mist
Living, but joy being barred
Until the day she was finally released
Her being a little more scarred. 

She could not explain to the people around
The extent of what she was feeling
They knew she was off or just a bit moody
They knew not that her mind was still reeling.

Another episode like this, she thought to herself
And something must surely "give"
One can't continue on in this way
This was not the way life was to live.


Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Event

Hi Readers:  I'm trying out a new writing experience.  The below story is inspired by a song, but in no way is a continuation or background to the song.  It's a companion piece.   
My hope is that you read the full story, and then listen to the song that inspired the piece.  I selected a You Tube video that has scrolling lyrics and not the actual video for the song.  I hope you enjoy.

The Event

Her face was wrinkle-less; showing the glow of a woman in her early 30's, a woman not yet creased by time, but also aged to reveal a certain knowledge. Her eyes were a light brown, almost hazel, and still had a spark to them. Oddly enough.

Her long auburn hair was usually put in an Up-Do on special occasions, but the decision had been made to wear it down today. It suited her better. She looked a bit softer and more angelic, for lack of a better word. It flowed in loose waves down her back and chest, curling up perfectly at the ends.

Her makeup was done with the utmost care and scrutiny. This was no day to do a slap-dash job. For such a fair complexioned woman, a soft color palette suited her best. Peaches and blushes were required. Reds and harsh pinks drowned out her natural beauty and made her look harsh and cold. She had always wanted to be able to buy that perfect shade of red lipstick, and her makeup drawer at home still carried at least 20 tubes of varying shades. All of which made her look like Cruella DeVil. Without the charm.

Mascara was applied quickly but effectively. The brush grasping each eyelash, applying a thin coat to define her eyes. Her brows were filled in expertly and a light shimmering brown eyeshadow was applied over each lid. Her face was complimented by the makeup, not overtaken by it. A knowing hand completed the finishing touches. She had always loved getting her makeup done.

Her dress had been chosen for its femininity and sentimentality. It was such an event, that the dress required some thought. While not her favorite by far, it was one that her Mother had bought for her, and had so admired her in. A dress that was chosen for her for this specific occasion.  A lightweight eyelet dress, with an empire waist and light pink sash. She had always felt like she should be wearing pigtails and holding a lollipop when she wore it, but it made her mother happy. It was the perfect dress for this event, as it was neither extravagant nor dowdy. Neither Showy nor plain. It zipped up the back and had faux pearl buttons to hide the zipper.

Adding the finishing touches, she was almost complete. All that was left was to put on her necklace, bracelet and earrings.


Groups of small circles, consisting of 4-5 people each, stood whispering to each other throughout the room. Like a cocktail party where no one is yet buzzed enough to actually start a conversation with a stranger. People clung to those they knew and eyeballed those they didn't. These things are always so uncomfortable. No one is good at them.

More people arrived and glanced around for a familiar face. Those who couldn't find one took a seat, or walked with purpose out in to the hallway, making an unnecessary call.

She was at the front of the room. Flowers surrounding her - her face a sea of calmness.  Positioned next to the podium and before the crowd. As more and more people arrived, the chairs in front of her were taken up, with the first row reserved for her family and friends.

A brief speech was made by her mother, a retelling of some old jokes with a few uneasy laughs coming from the audience. Then the procession began.

One by one they gathered 'round her. You could hear one after another say, "They really did such a beautiful job. She looks at peace  So young to die."

The satin pillow matched her sash.

Arms of an Angel , by Sarah Mclachlan

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Hold On

Hold On


Hi Readers:  I'm trying out a new writing experience.  The below story is inspired by a song, but in no way is a continuation or background to the song.  It's a companion piece.   

My hope is that you read the full story, and then listen to the song that inspired the piece.  I selected a You Tube video that has scrolling lyrics and not the actual video for the song.  I hope you enjoy.

She sat in her idling car, twirling her ring absentmindedly. Dark clouds were beginning to roll in, but she wasn't seeing them. Her mind was in other places. In other times. Happier times. Or at least, less unhappy times.


She had met Charlie when she was 24. She was his waitress at the local diner one night, and it was near-closing time. He was 28, and as charismatic as they make them. He could sell water to a drowning man, as the saying goes. He certainly sold her. It wasn't that he was necessarily good-looking, or even exceptionally bright. He was neither tall, nor short. Heavy nor skinny. He just had that spark. That magnetic personality. The moment she first saw him, he seemed to glow from within. She imagined that this is what meeting a celebrity in person must feel like. He was like no one else she had ever met, and she was hooked the moment they locked eyes.

Charlie was a smooth talker, without being cliché. He could make you feel that you were the only person that mattered. Not only in the room, but in the whole world. He had danger in his eyes, there was no mistaking that. His eyes were a light brown that seemed to be lit up from the inside. The night they first met, they flashed with specks of gold and amber, and she thought they were the most beautiful eyes she had ever seen in her entire life. She later learned that they could turn black as tar in a flash.
Their chemistry was instantaneous and the relationship moved forward at a pace that worried her friends and family. She shrugged them off, telling herself that they didn't understand what it meant to really be in love. After 3 months, they had already moved in to his place - a run down 1 bedroom house on a dirt road, a road that had no name. Looking back, she admits to herself that she wasn't so fond of living "nowhere". How can you call your house a home if you live nowhere? At the time, though, she just called it romantic.
The first few months were paradise for her. Even the month they spent without electricity because Charlie said the "Goddamn Company had lost his payment." Who needed electricity? He would just buy his beer cold from the liquor store and drink it up before it got too warm, anyway. Charlie was very economical that way.
After a few months, when the phone was shut off, she asked Charlie if the bill had been paid. She always gave him her waitressing paycheck and all the tips she earned from the diner - that should certainly have been enough to at least cover the utility bills along with the groceries. His reply was a quick and hard punch to her cheek. She didn't even see it coming, and ended up on the floor, her tooth knocked loose. She knew Charlie had a temper. She shouldn't have questioned his ability to provide for her. Men have their pride.
He tossed a dirty dish towel on top of her, and told her to clean herself up. And while she was at, she should scrub the "Goddamn kitchen floor, since her Goddamn blood was all over the place." She heard the front door open and slam, and the car spraying dirt and rocks as Charlie put it in reverse and sped away. She lay there awhile, then got herself up to her knees. Her waitress uniform had spots of blood down the front and she tried to rinse it out before the stain set in too quickly. She couldn't afford a new uniform. Maybe she could place her name tag over the bigger spot. Or say that it was a pie stain. She'd think of something. She had in the past.


Time passed, months turned in to years. There were good times, she can't say there wasn't. The good times were always appreciated fully, since the bad times became more and more frequent.
4 years in to the relationship, she happened to catch a glance of a woman, her reflection appearing in the diner mirror that was behind the customer counter. In that brief moment, she felt automatic pity for the face she was looking at. In those seconds, she knew that the woman she was looking at was old beyond her years. That she had once been a pretty girl, but the pretty had been stolen. She could tell that the woman was merely surviving. It's amazing the thoughts that can float through ones head in microseconds. It took no time at all for her to realize that she was staring at her own reflection. In between the pity and the realization, though, a change had finally started.
She made a promise to herself, right there, staring at this strange face in the dirty reflection, that she was not going to live like this anymore. She made a promise to start saving her tips and start planning an escape
Charlie would never actually say he was sorry for his outbursts. He would come home with a trinket or two to show his remorse, without saying he was remorseful. A watch, a teddy bear, a small token of some sort.
A ring.
Charlie had suspected something was up. He had sensed a "change". So he did as he always did. He bought her a gift. A ring bent from a spoon. A ring that he said "Was a promise that I will always scoop you up." He thought this quite clever. She smiled to show she found him clever and sweet. It was a bit too small, so it skinned her knuckles as he pushed it down her finger. Even then he was beginning to lose his cool.
It's beautiful, she had told him.

She sat in the parking lot, still twirling her ring. Over time, the ring had loosened up and now spun on her skinny fingers. She had driven 50 miles at least, and knew none of Charlie's friends would be way out here. She had saved enough money, and the car was in decent shape to take her where she needed to go. But where was that? Where was her final destination?
She decided to check into the Riverside Motel and figure things out. It was turning cold and she couldn't sit in the car all night deciding her next move.
She got a single room for the night, in the dingy motel on the highway and turned the radio on. Charlie never let her listen to the radio. He always said those "Goddamn people don't know how to make Goddamn music." Charlie was a failed musician and had nothing but scorn for those who actually received airplay.
The thought of this made her get up and start dancing. Swaying, really. She hadn't danced in years and it felt so good. She felt free.
She didn't know what her next move would be, but she knew wherever it took her, it wouldn't be to a road with no-name.
Hold On, by Tom Waits