“Hey, Sensei, are you-“
“Hiro! I’m in the bath!” Seishuu covered himself with both hands, sinking deeper into the water. “Oh, right. M’bad.” Hiroshi turned around, putting a hand over his eyes. “Are ya’ almost done, Sensei? Dinner’s ready.”
“Yes! I’m almost done(more)! Now get out!” Hiroshi heard-and felt-a splash as Seishuu flicked his wet hand at him. He only chuckled and walked out, shaking his head. Even after they’d seen each other naked at the beach-Seishuu claimed it was because he was /in the moment/, since they were daring each other-the older man still acted like Hiroshi was just a child and couldn’t handle seeing any…other parts of him. Hiroshi set the bowls down in the main room and sat.
Seishuu crept into the room in his sleep clothes. “You can’t just /barge/ in like that, Hiro.”
“How come?” As soon as the question left his lips, he could feel himself blush. It seemed to embarrass Seishuu, too, who looked away.
“’cause it’s illegal.”
Hiroshi stared at him blankly. “Sensei, you act like you’d be the one to strip my innocence.”
“Won’t I, though?!”
“Not exactly. I mean, I’ve watched videos an’ stuff like that online anyways, so-“
“Don’t say anymore! I get the picture!”
“Good. Then don’t act so squeamish when I walk in like that. It was an accident, anyways. I didn’t mind.” Hiroshi grinned across to the calligrapher. “All right, Hiro.” Seishuu dug into his food instead, chewing thoughtfully. He spoke again after a minute.
“Aren’t you kinda perverted, then? If you wanna see me naked so badly, I at least need to know why.”
"'cause I like ya, Sensei!"
In response, Seishuu began to choke on his food. (less)
It's an iconic moment, and everyone who witnessed it knows it. Marion steps into the shower, tries to unwind, and never steps out. In a storm of blood and screaming and steam, one person's psychosis changes horror movies for audiences everywhere.
Could this be a movie? Hitchcock was a(more) talented man, certainly, but he was not magic. He could not make someone live his fiction.
I wish he could. I wish he could take the blame for this chaos. I wish for so much right now, but wishing won't unmake this mess. Wish I may, wish I might, but the storm has come and gone and it's left behind the wreckage no one can repair.
Fake stone tiles gleam wetly in the incandescent light. Water droplets slide into the blood. Crimson tendrils flow downward, across the gray walls and into the tub. I watch the stream split around his torso. The water pushes on, not caring if the body it flows against is hot or cold. Hot, steaming hot water splashes out of the faucet above. It sticks my hair to my forehead, clouds my eyes, soaks my torn shirt. I can't stand the raging hiss crashing in my ears.
One large, bloody hand reaches out on its own and yanks the handle up.
Drip. Heavy breathing. Drip. Drip. Ringing in my skull.
I shake violently, trying as hard as I can to dispel the high-pitched agony invading my head. My wild convulsions jostle him, and the tile squeaks as his bruised hand slides against it. He slumps deeper into his unnatural position on the shower floor.
With most of the blood down the drain, the wounds are clearer now. They are cut as deeply into my mind as they are into his body. Unforgettable.
She ran as quickly as she could to the rain shelter and uncovered her head. Her hands were dripping wet. She shook them hard, spraying water droplets in all directions and sat down on the old wooden bench. Outside the shelter, a thick, unending curtain of water kept flowing(more) from the sky, hammering away at the pavement, its shrill flourish drowning out every other sound in the environment.
She kept staring at the rain for some time, transfixed. Millions of droplets fell in a continuous train of motion, giving the appearance of a lot happening but the bigger scene remained the same, like a screensaver. She reached into her overcoat and pulled out her cellphone, hastily wrapped in a plastic bag. She switched it on, and the screen flickered into life, displaying "Sony" in bold, white letters. Then it went black again, and shut down completely.
She put the phone back in the plastic bag, and put the plastic bag back in her overcoat pocket. Her eyes searched the surroundings for any sign of assistance, but her mind knew that there was nobody out there. The only source of light around her was a street lamp across the road that was projecting a cone of pristine white glare on the pavement, attracting all kinds of moths and insects, all of them swirling around it like a ribbon made of silk.(less)
The life of that house always grew in the telling.
Day to day, put a camera in the corner of each room and you'd see people watching TV, people cooking dinner, people playing instruments, people sleeping, loving, dancing. Not altogether unusual.
But talk to them. Talk (more)to them and feel the current of inspiration that gives their words such captivating rise and fall. Go take part in the golden moment being had there. Cook gourmet dinners with them. Tip-toe the line between mundanity and exorbitance. Invent new cocktails. Become just drunk enough to be certain of what's wrong with the world, and then become drunk enough to forget about it. Sing, even if you can't. Play the bongos next to the fireplace. Grow your wings.
Your stories, too, will grow in the telling, until the words that strike you like an arrow to the heart are deceptively simple:
when i said those words that have been lingering on my tongue for so long i suddenly felt that somewhere along the way i've lost it. lost the magic and the mystery and the passion in it. lost the times of joy and laughter and the times of sorrow(more) and tears. when i said the words. when i told you what i've always wanted to tell you i felt the meaning in those words turn to ash. and then you went along with them.(less)
"Have you ever wondered if?" she asked, then pausing as if to reconsider her words.
"What?" The person as the counter asked, obviously amused. "Wonder what?"
(more) "Nothing, nothing." She winced her head signalling this conversation to be over. She gave him her money and left for her seat.
"What was that all about?" Her friend asked. "Were you flirting with the counter guy again?"
She blushed, but said. "No."
She thought about it for a moment. "What made you say so?"
"I dunno, maybe the way the counter guy was looking at you all smiling and stuff." To that, her friend gave her an amused stare.
"He wasn't smiling because of me "flirting"", she countered. "Besides, I think he's gay."
"Nah, he's not gay." her friend looked at him determined. "I would know."
There was no answer to that, so all she did was pick at her food, enjoying each morsel of nourishment in peace. This lasted for about a minute until her friend thought of something to talk about.
"So how's your brother doing?"
"How's my brother doing?" she repeated, confused. "Why are we talking about him?"
"Because he's cute." Her friend declared, before she could mount a defense, she continued, "I kid, I kid."
She didn't know what to be angry about, talking about her brother or kidding about him being cute. He was objectively "cute" though and she didn't want her brother being called ugly. Family pride and all that. "So what about my brother?"
"Is he, you know, okay?" Her friend looked at her, expression unreadable.
She wouldn't say it's not okay, but she wouldn't say he was okay either. "He's fine." she paused, then added, "for the most part."
Silence droned on for at least a moment and then. "Look, counter guy," her friend shouted.(less)
"Patients. We need more patients."
(more) "Yes, we need to stay strong and weather this tough time together. With patience."
"No, not patience. Patients."
"You're not gonna ask what I'm talking about?"
"No, because it doesn't seem like an idea that I should hear about. Knowing your usual line of thought, it's probably dangerous. Either to this hospital or to people in general. And knowing you, you'll probably end up convincing me that it's a good idea. I'd hate to see myself agreeing with you."
"I'm glad you approve. I guess that means I'm allowed to order that experimental drug we talked about last month."
"No. We didn't talk about it. You brought it up for the fifth time, and I struck it down. I don't like my patients going into a coma every time I dose them with medicine. What do you want to do to my patients, Helen?"
"Hey, I'm not Dr. Evil, you know, I care about patients too. This is not a scheme. I've heard they did some new tests on the medicine. Its probability of inducing coma, ACCIDENTALLY, upon every dosage has reduced by 30%, but-"
"But, of course."
"but the same company is working on another drug that they just told me about yesterday, and it's designed to wake people up from the aforementioned "accidentally-induced" coma."
"No, don't do that. Here's another development. Apparently, the drug's new iteration of this drug heals the body 35% faster during the comatose state."
"Yeah, maybe you should have read the report that I had given you before judging it."
"This is wrong. I know we're losing money, but it seems like a step too far."
"We're losing too much money. Don't worry, I'll handle the dirty work."
they say that patience is a virtue; but of course, they say a lot of things... and i'm not a particularly good listener
actually, i am a good listener; i just have the memory of a goldfish. i can listen like nobody's business, all day long if need(more) be. try me. i can out listen anybody, like it were a contest or something. you'll run out of things to say before i run out of listening. just don't quiz me later. in one ear and out the other
probably in the right and out the left. it's the left brain that's the squishy one right? and that would be connected to the right ear, because of course that's exactly how anyone would design it, wouldn't they? right ear, left brain, truly appreciated, and then forgotten forever. although forever sounds kinda negative, and i don't want to be like that. crumudgeonly, luddite, tired, but appreciative
i appreciate your patience. i really do. i'll get there eventually. i'll do my best to catch up. i'm kinda slow, but eventually i'll get there. just don't expect too much and you won't be disappointed. i don't want to disappoint you, although i'm sure there will be times
there are those times, of course, i'm sure everyone has them. i may just have more than my fair share of them, but it's not because i'm greedy. i didn't mean to take them all and leave you none. i'll share. go ahead. have an episode. i can wait. i can be patient, too
"I can't do this."
"This isn't what I had planned."
(more) "Maybe it will make him love me."
My mother says:
"He thinks it's not his."
"I should make him pay me child support."
"I can't do this on my own."
"I'll find a nice guy. I'll make him think it's his."
"I think I'll make a good mom."
My mother says:
"I'm in this alone. There's no one to help."
"Life. It's so important."
"I have to take care of it, soon."
"Please forgive me, baby."
My Mother says:
"Please, please forgive me..."(less)
i remember the way his sun shown in the light, golden flax curling around the nape of his neck and tangling in the butterfly wings that were his eyelashes. i remember his eyes, green as the glass in the windows of our church, glimmering with laughter and mirth. i(more) remember his singing voice, and the low, trembling way he let the notes leave his lips.
his breath was warm and his lips soft, hands strong and marred white with scars, but always strong, always caring.
"let him go, will. put him down, we have to go."
the mud squishes underneath my feet, my fingers numb and cold in the thick of it as i let his body slowly drop from my arms. everything in me trembles with something fierce, and aric is tugging on my arm.
"come on, now," his voice is gentle and soothing, and my knees pop as i rise to stand. "it's okay."
"he's gone," my voice is hollow-- perpetually distant, shaking on the ends of my consonants. "fuck-- he's gone."
"we have to go."
i am cold and wet, and my bones pulse with a dull ache. i lick my lips, and notice absently that they're horribly chapped, pieces of skin catching on my teeth as i pull my bottom lip into my mouth.
"we have to go, will. come on."
god i remember him. i remember his eyes and his voice and the way he laughed and the smell of his cologne mixed with cigarettes and the way he would brush at my cheeks with the back of his hand and the quirk of his mouth before he kissed me and the soft tremble of his voice as he was dying--(less)
A long long time ago, in a galaxy far away, he dreamed that one day he would rise up to be the best that ever was. To be the bestest ever, the goodest ever, the most awesome. But that was before he knew that life just didn't move that(more) way.
He stared at the computer screen. It was haunting him, calling to him, mocking him. It was just not coming to him, the next word, idea, concept or anything, it was just empty.
Empty. He felt empty. Like there was no point, why waste time doing things that didn't really matter. Like eating or breathing or something else that is mundane.
He looked at the time, quarter past nine. He yawned. He was tired. He was doing this all day. He wanted to sleep. He wanted to curl up and hide and go home. He missed his sister.
"Tomorrow, I shall write another word," he proclaimed. Convincing who, he asked himself in his head. He doesn't believe it. Living up to the standards of society is racking his brain. When was life ever this complicated.
The door buzzed. It must have been an hour since he had been staring at the same screen, not doing anything. His stomach grumbled. He got up and stretched. "I need to eat," he declared.
The moon shone brightly, illuminating the ragtag pieces of clothes strewn across the messy floor. He looked at it for a moment wondering if he should do something about it but decided against it. "Tomorrow," he promised, but to who, certainly not himself.
It was quarter past 10 now, and as the cats started meowing and the birds started chirping finally he could put another word in what he was writing. "life."(less)
Shadow: Noun. A dark area or shape produced by a body coming between rays of light and a surface.
Let me make it expressly clear, first and foremost, that I do not hallucinate. I've looked it up. The clinical idea of what hallucinations are, that is. I do(more) not have hallucinations. I do not see things, per-say.
I do have a very real reason to fear the dark. You would too, if your shadows moved like mine.
The definition says that a shadow is a shape produced by an object blocking light from the surface. It follows that a shadow is the same basic shape of the object blocking the light.
It is. They are. Or at least they start out that way.
Moonlight seeps into the room through the gaping maw-like window, passing the closed curtain lips, leaking into my space and painting the wall in its bruised tones as the moon’s dull blue light clashes with the darkened shadows.
The light doesn’t change. The objects don’t move, but the shadow waivers as if it sat on a lake instead of a solid wall. Slowly it grows, creeping its way closer at a maddening pace. It taunts me, forcing me to question myself. Is it growing? Perhaps not.
Just as I decide the shadow is safe, it morphs. The shadow thickens and bends in impossible ways, forming a horrendous shape. It expands and reaches out with teeth and talons, clawing towards my face. I’m helpless to move, forced to watch in silence and endure.
I blink and it’s gone. The shadow behaves as the sunlight flutters past the curtains, lighting the room in a brilliant glow, giving it color and forcing its shape.
Trembling leaves remain, plastered against twisted silhouettes that solemnly bask in a cold, even layer of moonlight.
I almost knew you.
A soft breeze rakes its way through my hair, rattling the too-thin fabric draped loosely over shoulders.
The silence of the night is comforting, centering.
How(more) did it happen that we almost saw each other? How does it ever happen between people, when breath becomes entrancing and you're tempted to look for the source of the disturbance, look right into the heart of it.
How do shadows see?
Our hearts were fire, blanketed. Mine by a child's hope, yours by fear.
It feels like choking on something I never got to taste.
If I die soon, find this, read this, and know.
The moon is really shining now, that same, dull, radiant gleam. Like an all-encompassing smirk, captured and preserved. Captivating.
And the brighter that moon glows, the more vivid those shadows can see.