From the dirt smeared reflection of the fading sun shining outside a living room window, you can trace the silhouettes of three sullen teenagers sitting at a bus rest. Blowing smoke from their cheap Seneca cigarettes into eachother's faces inadvertently, while attempting at conversation. Talk about all you can(more) eat cancer! One of them with blistering blue eyes begins to stare off distantly in the opposite direction facing a vacant parking lot. A young woman emerges in his periphery with short magenta hair and clothes two sizes too big. A grin forms from the crevasses of her bubble gum colored lips.
His blue eyes intensify from a cool blue to a deranged electric cerulean. Spastic as usual, he begins to shout as he coughs up a fresh batch of fumes into her pores. " Oh my God, Emily! You have to hear about what Donnie did today!"
"Can you remember to cover your mouth next time you decide to cough near my face Jeff? Before I have second thoughts about ever seeing you again..."
" You know Emily, you're such a fucking bitch sometimes. Some things can't be cured. Whatever, I forgive you. (She playfully slugs him on the shoulder.) ...Anyways, as I was saying, Donnie did the stupidest thing today!"
"What else is new." Someone sitting beside him rudely interjected.
"Stop insulting me Derek, you might make me cry." Scoffed a big nosed guy with disheveled sandy brown hair.
In unison like an angry hive mind, his friends yelled, "Shut up Donnie!"
Immediately afterward, Donnie erected his middle finger into the air and waved it patriotically.
" Why don't all you godforsaken kids shut the hell up and let me enjoy my evening paper. Get a job!"
Cigarette dangling from his chapped lips, Donnie retorted, "Go fuck yourself!"(less)
"Tajima! Get over here!"
"Catch me, A-zu-sa!"
Hanai grits his teeth and jumps over the couch, nearly landing on his back as he slides. Somewhere in his house, Tajima is holding his journal (his NOT diary) and is probably reading it. The only thing Hanai can look forward to(more) is that Tajima's one of the slowest readers he knows, and so hopefully he won't reach the end pages anytime soon. "Tajima!"
Silence, but he hears loud footsteps upstairs. He charges up them and freezes.
"-and he can't even hit a home run! Azusa, you're writing about me?"
Tajima's not mad with what he's reading; Hanai's confided in him before, has apologized for being so competitive. "Stop! You're just skimming!"
Wherever Tajima is, he has total control over Hanai. "I'll buy you lunch tomorrow! Put it down!"
"Nope! Izumi already owes me!"
But Hanai can hear him in his room, and walking in, he catches a glimpse of the smaller boy ducking into his closet.
"You can't even see anything in there."
He sees a light under the door. "Stop using your phone!"
Tajima whips the door open suddenly, still quiet. He's opened to one of the last pages in the book. "What's this?" Tajima asks, as if he hasn't /just/ read it. He holds it up to Hanai, who's suddenly...afraid of the book. He doesn't want to see what he's written, but Tajima's insistent.
'I said I hated him, but what if I was just lying? I think I was. I think I like him.'
Embarrassing. Hanai looks up to Tajima's face, still strangely serious.
But then Tajima laughs loudly, makes Hanai jump, and drops the book.
"Who cares? I like you, too!"
In the end, Hanai learns that chaos rules.
So does Tajima. (less)
The golden toilet was a mess. He sighed and pulled on the gloves which pulled up to his elbows. Eros hated cleaning Venus's toilet.
The bucket of celestial cleaner could kill anything known to man, mythical beings or gods yet Eros was still pretty sure it wasn't an(more) adequate cleaning agent for Venus's bathroom. Used toilet paper caked a corner of the room, a pool of unknown liquid was under the counter but not near either the sink nor the toilet. Strange stains had collected around the area where the trash can was. Pubic hairs, both trimmed and shed were everywhere. The tub was a soap stained mess. There were no towels. The sink had a veneer of pink stain that was what the gods called blood.
Eros opened the toilet lid and saw splatter stain worse than the month previous. He winced. Then the smell hit him right in the nose, a sharp stab right up the nose of Underworld vile. He started to wipe it away but couldn't wipe the smell away faster than he could nearly vomit.
"A goddess." Eros sighed out and then inhaled through his sleeve.
While cleaning the toilet Eros noticed a whole pile of toilet paper jelled together with what he concluded was a collection of piss, makeup and menstrual blood. He picked it up with more toilet paper and pushed it into the toilet pressing the lever and watching it clog up the drain. The already shit stained bowl backed up and nearly ran over.
Eros fluttered out of the bathroom to fetch the toilet plunger. Venus was sitting on the couch munching on grapes.
"I hope it's not too much of a pain." Venus said.
Eros didn't respond. He retrieved the plunger.
"A fucking goddess." He said under his breath.(less)
Sakuma sits in the living room, eyes half-closed as she glances at the others sitting in the room.
She's only in middle school, but she doesn't think she could ever be happier. Shiori is dusting the shelves, humming a song she says she remembers from the radio. Suga(more) is patrolling, though for what, nobody knows-or they act like they don't. Sakuma can hear Shiori whispering to him sometimes, offering him something to drink, something to eat, and her company. He declines politely every time and tells her to please continue singing. Shiori laughs.
And least (but most) favorite of all, Mochizuki is sitting at the end of the couch, absent-mindedly running his hand over Sakuma's leg while he reads a magazine to himself. Sakuma lets her eyes fall closed, reveling in the feeling. She wishes it could last forever, maybe, because she's happy and she doesn't want to miss that feeling of.../something/ curled in her stomach. She's so happy it hurts, like she ate something bad (or maybe something like too much candy).
Judging by his voice, Mochizuki is, too.
He laughs. "Why?"
"'cause I'm happy."
"For no reason?"
"Somethin' like that." She finally opens her eyes, grinning at his helpless smile. His hand on her leg stops and she-embarrassingly-stretches her foot across his lap. He continues then, and she closes her eyes again, letting out a content sigh. "I kinda like this," she says.
"All of this."
Mochizuki pauses, as if thinking, and then lets out a soft breath. "Me too," he finally agrees, chuckling. Sakuma begins laughing, too.
Footsteps from farther away.
"Something funny?" Shiori asks, voice both curious and relaxed. "No, no. We're just..." Mochizuki trails off.
"We like it," Sakuma says for him.
"All of this."(less)
When I feel the sleep paralysis coming on, I grip the sides of my bed. The room swirls around me, the space and white noise blurring and churning, and I open my mouth to cry out. I know I'll only be be able to muster(more) an airy whisper of a shout, but the ribbons of sound anchor me to my room and keep me from collapsing in on myself. But this time when I part my lips, the soft trill of a guitar tumbles into the air, and I'm falling faster than ever before.
"You shouldn't be here, girl."
I open my eyes. I'm lying on the ground, surrounded by a darkness that feels thick, weighted. *Ffft.* The light of a flame illuminates his face -- gaunt and translucent, with eyes like glittering scarabs.
"Where am I?"
He begins to walk around me.
"Your new home."
He snaps, and behind him a blood orange door glows like a hot coal and then disintegrates. The deep strum of a string ricochets around us.
"You are between the present and the future."
He snaps again, and another door lights up, this one shimmering like fools gold, and then turning to dust. Another sound, this one higher pitched, resonates through me.
"And these are your fates. When you were born, you had thousands. Before you fell, you had twelve. Now that is not the case."
Another snap. I can barely see this door, because it's a chalky black. A dank smell fills my nostrils and a string sound like a scream expands and recedes as the door molds and collapses before me.
"When you expose yourself to the rift, your only fate is madness. Madness, or stasis. They are one in the same."
routines kill. that much is certain. when you've been doing the same thing over and over it doesn't feel like you're in a circle, it feels like being on rails, receding into the distance. when you've been doing the same thing over and over day after day it doesn't(more) feel bad, it feels normal. routines kill. that much i know. (less)
Twelve Strings pluck gently as I float downstream
Eleven strings hold me back while I try to swin back
Ten strings trapped my soul when it tried to flee
Nine strings trapped my joy when it would perish
Eight strings kept my hope from dying of suffocation
Seven strings(more) kept my fear alive and well
Six strings whispered "You're going to Hell"
Five strings yelled "You're lost without your shell"
Four strings holding myself
Three strings crushing my Shell
Two strings calling my name
One string deciding my fate.(less)
We were locked in this dance once again, in a ferocious battle of wills, her blue eyes staring deep into my souless stare as if she could see a human being beneath the putrid husk I was forced to grow.
My thoughts, a second ago so focused on her(more), decides to wander around, and I discovered that independent of how much I hated her and independent of how much she hated me, I still loved her and she still loved me.
But there was no turning back.
The music was gently playing, to the ecstasy of the others around, all while we silently agree to part ways once we get done. The truth is this isn't the first time, or will be the last.
It's of common knowledge that our relationship is toxic, and yet we keep struggling with it like a salmon in a waterfall, it's only natural.
I kiss her goodbye with a strange mix of affection and aversion, and so does she.
Stare at the void and the void will stare back at you, they say.
Her once blue eyes turn to the darkest black as our contact was once again broken, I still don't know if she shot me a kiss before fading once more, back to the nether from where she came. She will come back.
She needs to.
It's the only thing keeping me from fading with her.(less)
Some say animals have a strange talent of knowing how to get home from the wildest of places. For example a poodle in Mexico, a poodle who grew out its first white curls in Minnesota, could pad along with its head high and pretentiously pedigreed mane flouncing all the(more) way back to the Gopher state. Unfortunately, this isn't the case for most humans. Like the one currently squatting under a dead tree, lost and lost alone. That human is me. I don't oscillate around a single center point, my ancestors didn't think it very important to grow an internal compass. Fuck. Me. It's starting to rain. Above me, homely geese heaved their rounded bodies up in the air and made their way home. I wouldn't really want to be a goose, but they had the hidden GPS thing really going for them. I stuck my thumb out to the road, sacrificing the slightly warmer crossed arm position. Hey! That's something most animals don't have. Thumbs. Sure is great to be human.(less)