"Is that it?" she asked and they told her yes, if she wanted, it was time to click her heels or think happy thoughts or draw a door.
"No, that's not my job," she told them. "He's dead."
And someone suggested why didn't she just open her eyes. "That(more)'s what Alice did."
Alice got locked in a tower, she thought. We had to rescue her. She stayed here, too. "Even if you knew the right stories," she reminded them, "I'm not Alice."
What about her family, they pleaded.
"They don't know I'm gone," because they never knew to miss her, in the first place. "Everyone I love is lost. My parents were killed, I couldn't save my friends, and my brother only sees cakes instead of ghosts."
Go home, they urged her, all the same. Her adventure was over, what more did she want? Hadn't she learned her lesson, like Sarah? Like Wendy and Dorothy? "There's no place like home."
"Wrong again." But painfully right. (It beat quoting Ed Wood, at least, to an audience that would not understand the reference.) "Going back isn't going home. Home isn't real, it's a convergence of stories that never happened here."
She said, "I saved your stupid kingdom, again. With nobody's help, this time. Your faerie tales are wrong and I won't play by their rules. I've never been a damsel. I'm a knight and I'm going to do what I want."
"But, a girl like you, where else could you possibly go?"
She stuck the sheathed vorpal sword back in her belt and flipped up the collar of the dirty white coat she had been wearing for lifetimes. She had never loved Jake nearly as much as Jared or Simon, but she always remembered his words: "There are other worlds than these."(less)
After 10 months of winter
the melt is almost done
and I nod my approval at the receding hairline
of snow in my patio chair
with my shorts and sandals
I dug out of hibernation
(more) and I don't want to be anywhere else but here
"Where would you go if you could go anywhere tomorrow?" Richelle asked him because she'd traveled everywhere she'd wanted to go mainly by herself but on occasion with a friend or lover. Owen looked into the depths of his Sierra Nevada and said, "Anywhere South America, but Brazil for(more) sure." Richelle nodded without approval or disapproval for this cliche. Richelle never minced words and blunt and honest didn't do her candor justice. Owen was in love with Richelle in a way that made him sick to his stomach. She had an idea of his love but was just fucking him for now. Richelle was the definition of a traveler, homebase was Burbank but she never stuck around long enough to grow roots into work or lovers. Owen knew this and loathed his own heart for failing to listen to anyone, especially him. Richelle was Mexican and French and that had really worked out for her. A morena with thick wavy hair and slim curvy body that made 20-something girls whisper shit and her own mother label her a heart-breaker. Owen had color-less-hair but hypercolor blue eyes. He still dressed like a 90's skater which wasn't cute to anyone, but for now Richelle was over looking little shit. Little shit would eventually accumulate into "things" and things become reasons and reasons are people leave.
When Richelle left Owen it was soft radio silence. He reached out a few times but pride kept him from calling or texting after the first few text went unanswered. The last time they hung out he could tell she was anywhere else but there. Fucking half drunk on vicodin they both came but she had already left. Owen knew, that last fuck was like tearing her boarding pass for her. His stomach would feel like shit-long-after-she-came-back.(less)
I wait a long moment before choosing my words. And even then, I speak quietly, fearful that anything I say could have the potential to ruin him.
"Where will you go?"
(more) He looks up at me through hooded dark eyes, smudged with shadows and long hair that falls too far and too messily. His thin face looks even more gaunt and tired than usual, and the lump in my chest expands even further.
"Anywhere else but here," he says. "Anywhere else but here."
"I'll go with you, then!" I cannot help but blurt out. "You're the only thing that's left to me anyway, Rabi. We need each other."(less)
There's an odd, empty feeling that fills up my stomach. Not wanting to do anything, but a strong desire to run and to keep running. I'm sure that both should cancel each other out, but the longer I sit here, the unproductivity increases, and so does the desire to(more) simply get away.
There's nothing particularly wrong with "here", and there isn't particularly anywhere else I'd rather be. This isn't a [romantic] declaration of "Anywhere is fine [as long as I'm with you.]"
Rather, there is [no you,] only me, and this urge to run until my feet come apart.
At the sky, and to fall down together [with who], finally tired
Smiling through tears, but feeling fulfilled
Feeling anything else than this odd emptiness.
"Here" is alright, but anywhere else would be better.(less)
Half a day later his insides have melted, and the knee jerk reaction is gone. I've got him contorted into a sitting position on the sofa, and there's a small, achy sound pulsing through my temple as he breaks each of his fingers.
There are bandages, but each nightmare is worse, and there's a flash of more blood and more pain and the bones have started to heal wrong and every movement of his head sends him screaming.
I am gone.
Rotting emotions and festering wounds pulse like a second heartbeat, and I am scared. We are scared. His aura has gone black and there are no emotions. None. When I touch him he is hot, but on the inside it is barren and cold.
I accidentally break one of his ribs trying to get him into the shower.
By breaking bones, he becomes less and less fidgety, and in my mind I smile as I hear his knuckle crack and him scream, bones still not entirely healed. The marrow is heated, and one night he won't eat.
He doesn't eat. Never eats.
They have come, and I bathe him the night before to be sure that he is not filthy when they take him. Two words flash across my subconscious StockholmSyndrome but are quickly brushed away as I dress him and reapply the bandages to the bruises and cuts.
Mars was a strange planet. Red, very red. Dusty, very, very dusty. Barren as every other planet that wasn't Earth, or at least it seemed that way to the untrained Earthling eye - and yet, pulsing with a strange, violent, bloody sort of life. It was everything they'd been(more) told it was in the science books, and yet, not like it. Well, for starters, they'd never been told to find an actual civilization on it. Much less, more than one.
"Mars is the cradle of Saturnian civilization," the dignitary had told them, when he had sent the Demigods there. "Here you can find the secrets of Saturn, so you may defeat it. But first, you must solve the problems of Mars."
The Martian society had been warring between several different factions with irreconciliable differences, for several years. It had killed vast factions of their people, destroying an entire generation. And a bunch of naïve 20-somethings from Earth were expected to solve this endless war?
"Well, we are expected to eventually solve the Jupit-Saturnian War, which has been raging for Earth millennia," Carlo reminded his compatriots.
"Stop being so friggin' logical," Tommy had responded. "The point is this, blows. It freaking BLOWS. I'd rather be anywhere but here."
"Like Venus, I'll bet," the Demigod of Wood's snarky twin quipped. "With those Pleasure Warriors they keep telling us about. We all know that's what you're thinking about right now, eh? Eh?"
"Shut the fuck up, Leonard," his twin replied. "It's not even that I want to be a particular nice place. Just not this fucking place. Plus, it's fucking cold."
"I can fix that," Saraswathi said, snapping her fingers, lighting a small fire near them.
"Well, fucking great, Saraswathi," Tommy continued. "You going to pack that up and take it with?"(less)