How I lost my ability to give a damn.

Listing to tell a deeper story:

A rhinoceros beany-baby in one of my kindergarten classrooms: It was hard keeping track of all the stuffed animals I brought to school each day. A deck of Top Trump cards about safari animals in the playground: I suspect one of my classmates stole it from my bag. About one hundred-million hairbands, scattered everywhere I’ve ever been: I think it’s a normal girl thing though. My confidence at the door to fifth grade when the other children found out I was half American: I didn’t even know what a yank was.

I lost my friends when America appeared more in the news: America was a weird and mythical place to us, overseas. My pencil case, up on the shade of the bleachers: The bullies made a game of throwing my things up there. My chance to become friends with the other half-American at my school: Her parents transferred her too because of all the bullying, her name was Annie. I lost my kiss-virginity behind a portacabin: too bad it was just a dare on the boy’s behalf. One of the most important things I miss-located in my young life was a ‘life’: Computer games became more popular, and I spent as much time as I could, sucked into cyberspace.

I lost sleep for the first time when I was just ten years old, and still haven’t found it since. Time with my little brother: I was a recluse in my angsty, preteen phase. Opportunities to go out to parties or meet people: All I needed were the friends I made on the internet. A BFFs necklace I was given by a ginger girl that was also the victim of bullying: She didn’t know what a yank was either. Trust in my biology professor on the last stretch of middle-school: He said that I probably ate a lot of fatty food because I had ‘Murica’ running in me, when confronted he told me to get used to it.

I lost the bullies when I moved to an American school: Gained new ones that picked on me for being a Brit. Patience was left at the door of sophomore year: I had to say ‘water’ in my funny accent to all my other classmates about a hundred times each. Even more confidence left me at the start of each new course in High school: People treated me like something cool to show their friends, but they never wanted to get to know me past my pronunciation of words.

I lost my ability to give a damn when I entered college: I’d heard it all before, and I was just going to be me whether people thought it was weird or not. Fear is nowhere to be found, but I did locate the backbone I lost in Middle School. Loneliness: Being proud of myself opened doors to meet great people, and even fall in love.

Comparing Imagery and Mood

Depression

The leaves fall dead. Upon the frozen ground is where they now lay, withered and useless, no longer part of something big or beautiful. It’s amazing to think that when tree and leaf are combined, a spectacle of majesty is formed; when separated, both variables seem naked, cold… sickly. The foreground blends into the background as the canvas is washed in grayscale monotony. All the colour and life is sucked down beneath the ground, suffocated by the sleeping, white precipitation. As if someone were to imbue the very air with tiny little needles, it was difficult to breathe, for fear of the cold to choke your throat. The usual flowery smell that once lingered around the nostrils, was now too strong to even stomach. I daren’t sit upon my usual bench; the bench that told a hundred stories past, now just a few planks of wood nailed together and covered in frost. We have a lot in common: the bench and I. From where I stood, I could see the same old bird house, hanging from the same old oaken branch. The birds that lived there were probably far away from here for the winter. I wish I had more in common with the birds than a rotten bench. Where are the songs of magpies and robins? The music is replaced by whatever leaf one happens to step on: a crunch as the deceased flora take their final breaths beneath careless feet. All I could taste was the salt in my mouth from a runny nose and leaking ducts. How many more times was I going to wander down this same path, expecting it to be different each time?

Happiness

Oh, what a wonderland. Snow as far as the eye can see made it hard to tell where the land ended and the sky began. Everything around me screamed of Winter. How differently the park seemed without colour, but it retained its own splendor even so. The naked trees stand like a flock of zebras lined up in one long row, striped and proud. They watch as their old leaves are trod on whilst they prepare to bloom green when spring arrives. The infectious sound of crunching prevails throughout the air, daring the passersby to rhythmically plan their next steps or keep to a steady metronome. Even if it hurts to breathe in the frigid atmosphere, I do it anyway just to take in the full aroma of old bark. If anything, the cold merely adds a bit of a kick to it. Never usually do I come here alone, but today felt like a better day than any to visit the ancient memory bench. It still was as I always remembered it; dented with age and marks which each told a story of their own, and I knew all of them. The layer of ice wasn’t enough to stop me from sitting down. I knew my trousers could stop most of the moisture from travelling to my skin, though I wouldn’t mind too much if it did. The birdhouse was still around too, hanging valiantly from the stalwart oak’s branch. The magpies and robins were away on holiday, soaking up the sun on southern beaches. I await their songs like an adamant fan, but for now, I shall simply hum until their return.

Hopeless

I had to write this for a University assignment. I had a good ol’ chuckle.

Bio

That changes everything…

I

Coming home from a long day, I usually expected the rhinoceros-charge of Biggles at my knees, but not anymore. He was a good cat, lived a little longer than he was supposed to. His favourite fish was salmon; his favourite toy was a squeaky mouse with a little copper bell on the end.

II

Time goes by slower when you’re alone. The ticking of the clock feels like it sometimes pauses a second longer than it should. My food tastes blander; the birds chirp duller; I sleep longer. For the first time in my life, I realize I’m getting older and there’s nothing I can do about it.

III

About a month after the passing, something strange happened, something that would rearrange all the pieces on the chess board for sure. As I made my daily commute home from the offices, there came an odd noise from a bush. It was helpless; it was pathetic. After locating the source, all it took was pulling apart a few bushel branches to reveal it.

IV

Bundled in a heap was a ball of wet white fur. I’d have thought it was a dead bird if I didn’t notice its jaw moving to produce a squeak from time to time. I hesitated; could I possibly go down the same road as Biggles? Should I put myself through the same distress when it all must come to an end?

V

Perhaps I’m too kind, or perhaps I’m a sadist. I promptly called this new pet in my life: Hope. That wasn’t the only thing ironic about her… but I’ll get to that later. She filled the void in my soul that had been clawed out by the first cat in my life. She walked so funny; hoppity hop, scuttling across the floor like some sort of rabbit-crab hybrid. Oh, the chuckles she forced out of me.

VI

The clocks ticked normally; food tasted better when eating it with a smile; birds sang songs I’d never heard before, or ever cared to listen for; sleep came in naps, cat naps, with my new favourite friend.

VII

One time I took her to a park and a hawk swooped down and took Hope away.

VIII

I learned my lesson.

The Worst Day of my Life

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Bio

It was almost four years ago, but I still remember it as if it happened this morning. There I was, sat in my big, pink, fluffy, Hello Kitty pajamas. I’d pulled an all-nighter just to play video games with my friends overseas. Despite being exhausted, I was giddy from all the fun I’d had for the past, countless, hours.

“I’ll be right back guys, gonna grab some food.” I said, putting down my thick headset. I had to de-tangle myself from the many wires which connected to the various things sat on my desk. Once freed, I lazily trod down to the kitchen. Through the large windows in the sacred-grounds-of-food, I could see my parents swimming in our pool and enjoying the Florida sun. I hissed, feeling my nocturnal eyes burning at the mere sight of golden rays embracing the outside world like a dry, hot blanket.

After standing in the light of the fridge (the only light I will accept) for what felt like ten minutes alone, I eventually decided that I had no energy to actually cook something… or even put a sandwich together. Microwave food it is! Swinging open a cupboard, I nabbed the closest thing to me… a tin of hoop-shaped tomato-soaked pasta. It was an easy preparation process; I’d been doing it since I was at least eleven.

Step 1. Grab can opener.
Step 2. Latch can opener onto can.
Step 3. Twist can opener to open can.
Step 4. Dump contents into bowl.
Step 5. Use spoon to scrape any stragglers into bowl.
Step 6. Put spoon to the side, and set the can in the recycle bin.
Step 7. Put bowl in the microwave.

You’d think, after years, and years of doing this, I would eventually remember it off by heart. But no; This story has only a slight happy ending.

After putting the bowl in the microwave, I waited… and waited. “Beep beep beep!” It was ready after a record-breaking one-minute fifty-nine.

Step 8. Remove bowl from microwave… CAREFULLY.
Step 9. Pick up spoon…..

Pick up spoon… Spoon? Hello? Where is spoon? In my tired stupor, I decided not to actually use my eyes to try and find my dear old pal’, spoon. No no, I decided to use my left hand to aimlessly wave around in an attempt to find spoon. It happened in the blink of an eye. It felt like a prick by a needle, then suddenly the empty can was on the floor. But wait, wasn’t it supposed to be in the bin? Oh and well well well, look who comes rolling out of mister can!? SPOON!

Drip…. Drip- A pitter patter can be heard. As my eyes went to inspect the source, I certainly was not prepared to see what I saw. The pinky on my left hand was severed at almost a ninety-degree angle. The can lid had sliced cleanly through it. I screamed like a dolphin out of water and cradled my wound, trying to slow down the red waterfall which relentlessly poured from it. It may or may not be an exaggeration, but I cherish this story with an air of drama unbeknownst to any other.

My parents could certainly hear me from outside and rushed in to see what had happened. They panicked around me, thinking I had lost a finger, or electrocuted myself or… or something!

“Don’t touch it! Don’t touch it! Don’t touch it!” Was all I could scream as I jumped up and down. I knew nobody was going to actually touch my wound, but I was as protective as could be over it. After much convincing, I allowed my dad to see my pinky.

“Holy smokes!” Was the last thing I wanted to hear. Next thing I knew, I was being rushed toward the emergency walk in at the local doctors. The second last thing I wanted to hear was that my nurse didn’t speak much English. As she tried to clean up my finger, I kept asking questions-

“Is it bad?” – “Yes.”
“Will I need stitches?” – “Yes.”
“Will it hurt?” – “Yes.”
“Is there any other way?” – “Yes.”
“Do I really need stitches!?” – “Yes.”

By this point, I was really psyching myself out. I would take literally -anything- other than this. The bin nearby was almost full with bloody bandages, the sight made me throw up. Luckily the nurse was able to grab the bin of bloody bandages and thrust it in my face so that I could throw up in there instead… oh and what a lovely view of bloody bandages. She also bonked the top of my head with the side of the bin.

I was getting drowsy from all of the crying and screaming I was doing. I refused to let my doctor actually assess my finger and do anything with it. This is the case with all of my doctors, as I refuse to be in the same room as a needle.

“This is a nightmare… Remind me to take a day off next time you come here.” I could remember him saying. A few of the nurses were laughing in the corridor, which only made me angry. I know full well I was making a big deal out of nothing, but when you have a phobia… you have a phobia! Eventually I felt sleepy enough to let my guard down. It took my dad having to hold down my arm for the doctor to actually do anything with my poor little finger.

During the process, pictures were taken… I refused to see them until my finger was fully healed. It truly looked like a little pork sausage cut in half and squirted to death with ketchup.

After it was all done, my parents brought their grown-ass daughter a big slurpie and some chocolate for being such a good girl. To this day, I now have a lovely spiral-shaped scar that runs up my left pinky. It serves as a reminder of my worst day ever. The day I got stitches for the first time, when I have a dire needle phobia.

I made the above-photo to commemorate the day I stopped eating hoop-pasta (TOTALLY AVOIDING COPYRIGHTS). When we got home, I daren’t even look at the cold bowl I had prepared two hours prior… and dumped it in the sink with a sense of justice.

Three’s a Crowd

Prompt came from HERE!

Bio

It went off without a hitch. It seemed almost yesterday I was scraping corn out of the bottom of a week-old can, and now I was laying in an actual bed with a belly full of steak. Admittedly, I didn’t do much work in the whole scheme of things, but if it wasn’t for my good pal, Jerry, I’d still be trying to fork that last piece of corn. I don’t know how he did it, but he took Annie and I with him… and that’s more generosity than I’d ever show. Heck, if I knew how to do that computer-mojo of his, I’d be flying solo all the way… other than the eye-candy I bring along, of course.

My stomach didn’t feel right though, was it the steak? Or was it the anxiety of being a fugitive? Either way, it was time to plod along to the johns and sort my business out. I had to creep past the room Jerry and Annie stayed in, their door was open, so I had to be extra quiet. Down the hall was the bathroom, which I eagerly entered and went straight to unbuttoning my snug jammies. As my pants hit the floor, I could hear hushed, yet fierce arguing from the kitchen nearby. I’d have to clench and hold in my ‘business’ if I wanted to hear what was going on. Pressing my ear to the bathroom door, I’d have to forget about my backdoors for now.

“Why did we have to bring him along in the first place?” I could hear Annie hissing. The shuffling of clothing and quiet smacking of bare-feet on the tiled floor soon followed, suggesting the two were very close together. Already, my eyes were wide as could be. It felt as if they were going to involuntarily pop out at any moment.

“Annie, Annie…” Murmurs smooth-talking Jerry. “Do you honestly think I was going to bring him all the way?”

“Well what?” Replies Annie, sounding upset and confused.

“Kyle’s too dumb to realize he’s the scapegoat. How else were we going to get away scott-free?” Before much else could be said, an embrace of bodies is heard, signaled by a soft shuffle of fabrics. “I’m paying a guy to make it look like he took Kyle out and made off with the cash. No-one’ll suspect a thing.” He sounded so sure of himself.

At this point, I’d completely forgotten about my need to go to the bathroom. Steadily, I lowered down to the ground, setting my bare arse on the freezing-cold surface below. I felt my wrists trembling, and my lips quivering up a storm. I had to wait for them to move back to their bedroom, before I could do anything at all. Business at the johns would have to wait- I had to move now. Buttoning up my pants, I plodded back to my room and commenced packing what little items I had brought. The money was in Jerry’s room, but at least I’d bought a few quality items in our short escape.

The last noise I wanted to hear then came. The squeak of a poorly oiled door. And then- “Kyle?”

The Beautiful Voice

Prompt by Brian A. Klems at http://www.writersdigest.com/

Prompt here!

Bio

Tick… tick… tick… tick… the sound of my wristwatch seemed many decibels louder than it actually was. Mixed with the anxiety-filled thud of my heart ringing in my ears and throat, every little sound around me was amplified to the nth degree. It has been six years since my last date; I can only hope I make a good impression. Working the nightshift at an art-gallery as a security guard really didn’t offer me much opportunity to meet any sort of lady. After hearing that simply remarkable voice over the phone, I simply had to end the crippling loneliness.

My best friend thought it was strange that she agreed to meet me for dinner just a mere week after hearing her voice. We have texted back and forward a few times; she seems fairly normal to me. There aren’t any immediate issues I can see at all, other than the fact that she won’t send me any sort of hint as to what she looks like. I’ve sent a picture or two; she seems to be quite interested in me, that’s a bonus I suppose.

Here I am, on my day off, waiting in the lobby of a well-reviewed Italian restaurant which was conveniently placed equidistance between both of our apartments. She’s a little late, but I can forgive her for now, the traffic was pretty awful when I was out there. I pulled up my phone, figuring I should probably send her a text.

“Table is under ‘Strous’, want me to order you a drink? : )” Would the smiley-face emoji be a tad too much? Do I look too eager? I’d better delete it.

“U pick, in traffic. Srry.” Came the response just a few moments later. I wasn’t expecting the reply to be so sudden, perhaps she was more eager than I. Raising, I nod to the hostess and allow her to take me to the designated table.

For the first few minutes, I rearranged the table a few times over. Constantly, my eyes were flickering toward the entrance, trying to guess if the next woman walking in was my date. Excitement and dread filled me at the same time. I was becoming pathetic. The mere clop of heels caused me to stiffen in my seat and brace myself.

The voice, the silky smooth voice on the phone is what kept me there. The sound was ever so angelic, ethereal, surreal, divine, like honey dripping from a wooden spoon. It was sweet, yet mature. I could imagine only a beautiful creature could ever possess the vocal chords of a cherub’s harp.

“Steven?”

I could hear it now, louder than ever. My eyes lull around the table, dazed in a state of wonderment.

“Steven?” Repeated the voice, this time, I looked up.

There she stood, yet, there she didn’t stand. The voice was unmistakable, but something didn’t seem right. At a height of six-foot-three, she certainly towered over me by a few inches. Her skin was pale, but certainly by the help of the plastered makeup which frosted the cake which was her face. A bold, leopard-skin minidress clung to her… very, curvaceous body. A crown of curls spilled from the top of her head, dubbing her the Queen of trailers, if I ever saw one. Fake, bright-pink nails draped from her fingers, pointed and long like the talons of an overgrown bird.

What have I gotten myself into?

My Mattress

Writing Practice!
Prompt provided by a friend.

Bio

It’s such a minuscule thing that we overlook… mattresses. I didn’t notice their potential until I switched from a cheap one to a slightly more expensive brand. Before, I used to toss and turn at night, finding it impossible to fall asleep, but now I am out like the flip of a switch. Springs stuck out at awkward angles in my old bed. I could feel each and every little gear under the thin fabric straining as I lay upon it. Sometimes if I moved in the night, it would make a very typical ‘boiyoing!’ sound and wake me up out of random. It was stiff and uncomfortable, anyone else whom slept in it complained that they never wanted to ever again. Imagine throwing a sheet over a crocodile’s back, that was about as comfortable as it got. Times changed however, it was certainly time for an upgrade. My new mattress feels like a cloud when I lay upon it. Instead of laying as stiff as a board, I am now comfortably lounging on cushions of delicate feathers. I can’t feel a single spring, that was the most significant thing about the change. I didn’t realize how comfortable beds could get. My mood has improved in the mornings, and my eagerness to go to bed has increased. Alas, every time I go to work, I am faced with the awkwardness of staring my old mattress dead in the springs when I pass it in the garage… it shall not be missed.

Mochaman

A new professor came into my Creative Writing classroom today and gave the following prompt:

“Combine a profession and quirk, build off of it!”

This was a silly little exercise to practice quirky characters and development, I have no plans on expanding this in the future.

Bio

Vigilante + Pours coffee on flowers.

Monday… if ever there was a day to hate more, there wasn’t. In the bustling city of Chicago, there was no doubt that the collective mood of the citizens made Mondays all the more worse. Cars beeped endlessly at exactly 8am on the dot, trying to make their ways two blocks down the road by 9am (which was plausibly impossible sometimes.) The sidewalks were filled with children in backpacks, making their ways to school in the most sluggish of manners. Even the birds sat on the telephone wires seemed irritable and far too exhausted to wake up for their 9 to 5 job of defecating on vehicles below them.

Everything was going so lazily… but not for one man. He was the man Chicago didn’t want… and he was also the man that Chicago didn’t need. Mochaman was his name. Five years ago he was all the rage to take pictures of, dressed up in his Vigilante-Superhero getup… but now… now he was just the bane of all Mondays.

People made an effort to cover their flowers with plastic sheets or boxes every Sunday night, just to avoid his weekly ritual of ‘watering’ them. Watering? What was so wrong with that? One might ask. The water… was coffee.

Weather

Homemade Prompt!
“Describe your most favourite weather.”

Bio

I’ve had a ridiculous case of ‘overly-European-skin’ my entire life. Meaning I only have two shades of colour: pale, and red. I would love to enjoy the beach, skipping under the summer sun in a bikini, but it wouldn’t be worth it to spend the following month as a recluse lobster. Over years of conditioning, I have found that my most favourite type of weather is overcast. The temperature outside is moderately warm, but with a cool breeze. There is no sun to blind me, so I can keep my eyes as wide-open as I desire; my sight is in it’s prime state. I can get away with wearing shorts, or maybe even a skirt, and not suffer the goosebumps that come with the chill of a passing gust of wind. I am content… comfortable. If I want, I can put a jacket on; I will not swelter. My hair can either be up or down, it will not matter, for it will not make me feel hot and bothered. When I am indoors, I would like to hear the soft rumble of thunder, but let there be no crackles or flashes of lightning to cause me to gasp. The heavens are a tribal orchestra; the crescendo of thumping clouds and the andante pitter-patter of loud raindrops perform their chorus upon my windows. May my room be made chilly from the cold water as it lowers the temperature of the little space in which I sit, but allow my blankets to enhance the experience with their ever-warming embrace. I want to turn off all electronics; all man-made, synthetic, un-natural noises must cease.
…This is comfort at it’s finest for me.

Try This 2.1

From ‘Imaginative Writing’ by Janet Burroway (4th Edition):

Try this 2.1:
“Pick two words and invent an image that suggests each word.”
E.g: Rumble, Sick.

Bio

Rumble:
It was a sound that was most unnerving, that it nearly made the very ribs in my chest shake and involuntarily cause the pit of my throat to itch. It was a sound that instantly made me hungry, as it egged my stomach on to reciprocate the noise. It was a sound so deep that if made close enough to the ground, small pebbles might toss and turn with the low-frequency of the vibrations. It was at that moment that I knew I could not forget, accept, or forgive it. When I look at him, all I can think of is that disgusting, deafening, ogre-like belch he made on our very first date. I cannot move on from this moment, and I cannot see him in a different light. There will not be a second date.

Sick:
You knew today was not going to go as accordingly to plan as you first intended. All sniffles turn to snuffles, and all snuffles turn to snortles. It just had to happen on the day of your big interview. You read somewhere online that hot honey-water helps, but you desperately needed that lemon-juice to get rid of the rusty, rotten pasta taste off of the back of your slimy tongue. You know? That taste that comes with sleeping while rivers of phlegm drip down your throat in the night, giving you a belly-ache in the morning. Should have gone with the honey-water; now you’re not only snortling, but you’re also vibrating your tonsils together as if you’re trying to start up a stubborn lawn-mower. As you try to present yourself as… graciously as possible to the interviewer, you can’t help but notice their glance constantly dropping to your nose: You think there’s an endless stream of liquid pouring out of each nostril, but you’ve rubbed the skin so raw there that you can’t actually feel a thing. In truth, they are just distracted by the fact that you could guide Santa’s sleigh in the most blistery of white-winter nights.