When We All Fall Asleep… Chapter 2

The sun was glorious this morning, Denny decided, even if it didn’t feel very warm today. She strolled casually across the grass behind her friends, Vera and Jasmin, indulging in a little selfish “me-time” before catching up with them.

Not everything always had to be about them, now, did it?

Even though, they did seem to be pulling away from her, ignoring her, as a matter of fact.

“Well, that’s just rude.” Denny huffed, but received no response.

What the hell were they talking about so intently, anyway?!?

“And did you see what she had on?” Vera glanced quickly at Jasmin, “that brown was never a good color on her, what was up with that?”

“Oh, I know, right?” Jasmin’s hands flew up in front of her,like restless birds. She always talked with her hands when she got worked up over something.

“This whole thing, honestly…” Jasmin choked up as a tear rolled down her face. “I just can’t…”

“Jas, it’s almost over, honey..just hold on.”

Denny stomped right up behind them, sliding into the backseat of Vera’s car, seemingly unnoticed! What the hell! STILL?!?

“Hey! Look at me! I’m right here!”

Nothing. Not even a glance.

This had to be a damn nightmare, Denny decided.

“Well, I’m just going to wake right the hell UP, then! Because this is bullshit!”

And she pinched her arm.

Nothing. Not even a twinge.

Wait.

Not a twinge?

No pain?

WHAT?!?

Denny was seriously thinking about having a panic attack, when Vera’s car came to a stop, and both girls got out, Denny sliding out right before the door slammed in her face.

And then, they walked off.

Into – a freaking CEMETERY?

AW…HELL NO!

No. Nope. Noway. Denny wasn’t having it.

This was so not on her to-do list for this week.

“Dearly beloved, it is time now to commit this precious child back into the Lord’s keeping…

Ashes to ashes….

It’s a dream…I’m going to wake up in my bed,and it’ll be time for school…its JUST A DREAM!”

“Dust to dust…”

THUD.

THUD.

THUD…..

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When it’s Dark, Look for Stars

I’m having a really hard time starting this post, because I’m crying while typing, so please forgive typos… I really want to get this out in one shot, though, so I’m gonna keep going.

Tomorrow is the 10-year anniversary of my sister/friend Midnite’s death.

It’s a big milestone, but it still doesn’t feel as though it’s been that long. It feels like yesterday, the way my pain rates right now.

I knew I was going to be walking into a dark place emotionally tonight when I got home.

And then, I stopped to get my mail.

Now, to back up a few days.

There’s a woman whose blog I follow, Jenny Lawson, otherwise known as The Bloggess .

On March 20th, she posted a blog about reaching out to others, and trying to bring some sunshine into their day. She opened her comments to her followers, and let us decide if we wanted to participate too, sending love to each other.

I admit, I picked a few, and sent some things out.

And, I participated, but didn’t really expect anything.

But – of all days…

Today…

I got 8 pieces – 8 PIECES of MAIL FROM STRANGERS.

Telling me I was worthy.

Telling me to keep going.

Telling me I was worth it.

Jenny Lawson…you don’t know me. You’ll probably never see this post, or know what you’ve really done for so many of your readers with your blog.

But, I’ll tell you this.

You will never know just how far your words can reach.

All the way into the darkness.

When We All Fall Asleep… Chapter One

Run….

Insistent, the voice in her head growled harshly, while London’s feet struggled to keep the pace barefoot through the darkened forest.

She knew if she stopped, it would find her, catch her. So she ran, stumbling over rocks and roots, catching her pajamas here and there on brambles, branches tearing at her wild hair. Scratches littered the skin that was visible, dots of blood beading on the surface.

She knew she was leaving a trail a mile wide for it to follow, but couldn’t seem to help herself, the panic so thick on her tongue she could barely swallow.

Water, if only she could reach the water. Maybe she could throw it off her scent… Buy some precious time.

Downhill…yes! Go downhill! That’s where the water would be, right?

She swerved to the right, almost wiping herself out as she twisted in the leaves and angled down, grabbing a sapling to propel herself down faster.

There! A glint of silver in the moonlight!

London bit back a cry as she crashed through the tree line to the edge of the river, not wanting to give it any more hints as to where she might be.

First, though, to throw it off…

Luckily, the river here was low enough she could cross without too much danger to herself. Plenty of rocks and handholds on the other side to get herself out, and she was on the far bank, and scrambling up the next hill on her hands & knees, pausing to wipe her bloody hands on saplings.

Once at the top of the hill, however…she slowly worked her way back down the hill, using those same hand and knee marks, backwards, until she reached the river’s edge, and gently eased her way back into the water, only to start floating downstream.

….There….let that thing…try to find her now.

The water was frigid, but London didn’t even care. It would wash away the mud and blood, and the stink of fear,that had been clinging to her. She slowly ducked down into the water, wetting her whole self, lifting back up only far enough to get her head out of the water so she could see while she treaded her way downstream.

Suddenly, behind her, she heard the forest explode with angry snarls and breaking noises.

It was coming. Fast. It was going to SEE HER.

A deafening roar split the night as it caught sight of her and started pounding into the water, heading RIGHT FOR HER!!

London made a small strangling sound at the back of her throat and turned quickly downstream, pushing herself through the icy waters. She had to get around that next bend! Ducking under the water, she swam as hard as she could, but she had to surface quickly, it was just too cold! She couldn’t do this much longer…she had to surface…

She had to…surface…

“LONDON!”

“Wake up!”

“Hunh…? Whu…I’m up…”

“”Yeah, sleepyhead, it’s about time you surfaced. Get up. Time for school.”

Chasing Daylight

My head turns

Darkness falls

Unexpectedly, like a hammer

I collapse inward

Imploding

Over, and over, and over

Repeatedly trying to claw my way out

Only to fall back again

Unable to gain purchase

Fingernails torn to the quick

Mud, and blood

Smeared in my hair

On my face

Metaphorically speaking

Pale

Drawn

Insomniac

I receive no joy from food

Or speech

Or drink

Or touch

Smell

I try to sing, only to stop halfway through

Trailing off into silence

Where did it go?

I wonder…

I turn my head

Chasing daylight

The Guest ~ Flash Fiction 9/30/18

There was a nuclear explosion going off inside her body, and no one knew it but her.

Mostly, it didn’t bother her, except once in a while the atoms would split in uncomfortable ways and would make her sick, but she could hide that.

She’d always been rather a sickly child, anyway. Growing up hadn’t changed that, much.

“Oh, you know, I just had something that disagreed with me for lunch,” she’d smile softly and wave off concerned looks in her direction.

And she’d quietly patter down the street to the store, or to her home, or wherever she was headed.

It was a good thing she didn’t have to work in an office, she thought. Too many questions, too many strangers in her business, when she really didn’t have the time for any of that.

And the nuclear explosion carried on, creating new worlds and collapsing old ones, deep within.

She’d known, almost the moment it happened, what was going on. That she was forever altered, there would be no going back.

She could almost hear the tick tick tick of a miniscule clock… counting down.

To what result, she wasn’t precisely sure, but she knew the sound was growing in strength.

Which meant, time was growing shorter.

And she needed to prepare for all eventualities.

There were preparations at home that needed to be made, she knew. Things she needed to have purchased and sent to the house, papers that would need to be signed at the lawyer’s office.

It was a good thing she still had mother’s money to help with these things. Granted, she had a decent job, working remotely from home, editing for a publishing company out east, but that job would have to be terminated soon, and then mother’s inheritance would make all the difference.

It was what had allowed her to keep the family home, after all.

But, enough, she shook her head ruefully, a slight grimace on her face.

It was time.

The nuclear explosions within wouldn’t stop, and she – had to be ready for the fallout.

“I’m home,” she called softly, as she dropped her house keys on the foyer table.

The front door slid closed with an almost silent click, shutting out the neighborhood noises.

And a rumble rolled through the house, rolling around her in a welcoming embrace.

“I wasn’t gone that long, it’s alright. And I won’t be going anywhere else today, so it’s just us, luv.”

Flames flared to life in the fireplace as she maneuvered through the parlor, shedding her cardigan, and laying it across the top of the couch.

“Ah, thank you. It is starting to get a bit chilly outside, I do appreciate the thoughtfulness.”

She plucked the book she’d been reading from the table near the couch, and sank down into its generous cushions, reveling in the relaxation of her own home.

“It’s never as nice out there as it is here with you, you know. If I didn’t have to go out occasionally for things, I’d never leave these rooms.”

Stretching her feet out, she laid her head back on the pillowed armrest behind her, and closed her eyes for just a moment.

“Mmmm, that feels nice. You know my feet always love your attention,”

Gentle but firm massage stroked her toes and instep, working its way up to her ankles, sliding her slacks up to push on her calves. Delicious. That’s what it was.

“I do love the way you take care of me, you know that, right?”

A deep rumble of assent was all she got in response, but she knew he heard, she could almost see the smile on his face, even with her eyes closed.

“You’ve always taken care of me, I know that, and that’s why I want to take care of you. I’m almost ready. I’ll have everything here next week, and then we can finish this. After everything you’ve done for me, I want this for you too. For us.”

She felt a hand move from her leg, up to her stomach, where the explosions were going on. On and on and on.

A thumb rubbed gentle circles around her navel, fingers splayed in an arc across her abdomen, warm, holding her, but not pressing down.

“Not much longer, luv, really, and we’ll have forever. But, I suppose, I should really continue my studies, to make sure I get this perfect.”

And opening her eyes, she turned to the bookmarked page in her text to read.

Demonology – Invocations and Summoning Into Being

Where have I been, Where am I going, Who am I now?

I used to write a lot of funny posts on my blog.

Mostly about my kids, but some about just – life, my past, growing up, my teenage years, shit I did when I was young, you know, normal funny things you remember.

Like the time I made my ElderDaughter a costume for Halloween that was a slice of pumpkin pie, just as she wanted. It was fun, and everyone adored it. It goes into the “Best memories” box.

And getting a foal to fall asleep in my lap. Also, going into that same box. I was a horse whisperer up until my 20s, when I stopped having contact with them, because my parents didn’t have any anymore, & I moved away after having ElderDaughter.

I used to write about all these things.

Until I stopped.

And I don’t know when that happened.

I don’t know when the depression started to take over, when it started to color everything in gray, including my writing.

I know it’s fucking depressing to read this shit all the time.

It’s depressing to write.

But if I don’t get it out of my head, and down onto the virtual “paper”, it continues to burn me up from the inside. It gnaws, and grinds at me, knotting my stomach, making me physically ill until I find myself back here, releasing the poison.

And no, simply writing it isn’t enough. I have to actually push the “publish” button to start feeling better.

Does that make me a masochist?

That I need the outside validation for my feelings to be read?

I wish I could just jump back into being that person I used to be. The one who had people to take care of. She was happy, taking care of her little nestlings, after kicking out the grown cuckoo of an ex.

I want to be happy again, I truly do. I’m so tired of this constant dragging feeling. I’m so drained all the time, as though something outside of me is sucking the energy from my soul.

I don’t know how to climb out of this.

I don’t know how to shift the balance from depression to happiness again.

It’s so difficult to do this when you’re working at it alone, but I won’t burden anyone else with it, so – there you go.

I think I’m going to start, by telling the people I care about how I truly feel about them.

It’ll probably scare some, because most people don’t do this unless they know they’re dying.

I am, in fact, dying, we all are, and who knows when it will happen?

I’m not guaranteed tomorrow.

I’ve lost too many friends over the years – I’ve learned that lesson well.

So, I’m going to start telling people how I feel.

No obligation for response, none necessary, none required or expected. No response even really wanted, to be truthful, because I’d probably end up either horribly embarrassed or hurt.

Either way, not a pretty color.

So, where have I been? I used to be happy… Naively, I thought it would last forever.

Where am I going? Not a fucking clue. Not yet, at least. I am, however, going to work on digging my way out of this hole, even if I have to rip my fingernails to do it. And I will be continuing to journal here. I have to. This is my sanity. Whether anyone reads it or not.

Who am I now? I am a 48-year old woman, desperately seeking a way foward, toward the sunshine.

I’m tired of the rain.

The Journalist & the Journey

I want to place a caveat here, because I write a lot about my depression & my anxiety.

I am not looking for sympathy when I write about these things.

I write about my anxiety and my depression to get them out of my head, to make them leave my body in the only way I know…because I’m so damned uncomfortable talking out loud about it.

I honestly get very shy and squeamish whenever someone brings it up to me in person, and will more than likely blow the conversation off.

(There is a small, very small, number of people who can get me to talk about sensitive subjects without shutting down, getting irritable, or making jokes about it & laughing it off)

But, I can write them down, here.

Even knowing that there are people out there, who know me in my real, everyday life, who read these entries, I can still put these raw, personal posts here, and somehow – feel comfortable with it.

I don’t know how that works, but it does.

It’s my form of self-therapy.

I’m the journalist, and this is my journey. No particular destination in mind.