At Night

“Demons don’t dance in the daylight. Keep your door locked at night.”

He turns to lo leave. I feel my heart leap like it wants to escape through my throat. I resist the urge to grab his wrist, to make him stay. “Will that k-keep them out?” I stutter out, because I can’t not ask. He looks at me over his shoulder, raises a single brow. “Locking the door?”

He shrugs. “Not if they really want to get in, no. But it sort of makes you feel better.”

He leaves. Fingers shaking, I lock the door behind him.

I don’t feel better at all.

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Pthalo

A story.

Once, on a glorious, Saturday afternoon, where the sun was steaming and there was not a cloud in the sky, a boy named Malik was walking along the seaside, gathering shells. He was so excited. He had never been to the sea before.

Malik was so excited, in fact, that he walked far away from his mother, who he assumed was still just behind him. He didn’t notice when she was no longer there, and he hardly noticed that he had wandered far from most of the crowd. Malik’s whole world existed of these seashell treasures (they were more numerous further down the beach, he noted, which was probably why no one was walking here) and he had just happened upon a particularly large one. It was curved in on itself, huge, pink and white with pointed spindly bits on one end. He’d never seen anything so magnificent.

“Amazing. Do you know what you’ve found?”

Malik turned at the sound of not his mother’s voice, but a man’s. He was wearing a white t-shirt and shorts, his hair tousled in the seaside breeze. He smiled. He looked friendly.

“…A shell,” Malik answered shyly. “A big one.”

“Yes,” the man answered, leaning down on his knees so that he was eye-level with Malik, “but do you know what kind of shell? It’s called a conch. And they’re the best and rarest kind. They’re magical.”

Malik’s eyes widened. “Really?”

“Really. Put it up to your ear. You’ll hear something beautiful.”

Malik did. He held his breath, listening hard. “I don’t hear anything,” he said after a moment.

“Keep listening. Close your eyes, that may help.”

The man suddenly looked very serious, so Malik decided that he too should take this seriously. Grown-ups knew what they were talking about. He closed his eyes and held his breath. The sun beat against his eyelids, making the world a blur of red and orange. The breeze was loud in his other ear so he covered it, giving the magical conch all of his attention.

He thought he heard something.

“Keep listening,” the man said when Malik threatened to peek. “Keep your eyes closed.“

He thought he heard… something…

pthalo

(a sort of snippet from ‘Pthalo’, the story I am working on this month for NaNoWriMo)

Fuchsia Kisses

I am the night sky. Stars burn themselves into my skin; the moon is a fickle mouth upon my chest. Opening, closing. Smiling, frowning.

I am black and white.

But you are the day time, and you are constantly covered in color, color, color. Radiant reds, pastel pinks, violent violets. Brilliant oranges and soft yellows, subtle shifts from hue to hue to hue. And blues, so many blues. Blues like a robin’s egg’s shell, like the eyes of a child, like a sapphire gemstone.

You are my beginning and my end.

You welcome me with fuchsia kisses; you send me off with a crimson caress.

 

 

Paths

“Why not?”

I can’t believe you’ve asked me to do this.

“Are you scared? Are you afraid of me?”

…I can.

“It’s not that I’m afraid of you,” I say. “It’s that I’m afraid of where you’re going. I see the path you’re headed down and I see that it’s in the exact opposite direction as mine. That’s what terrifies me.”

“How do you know which way I’m headed, let alone yourself?” Your voice is like velvet even when you’re angry. Smooth and just slightly condescending. It’s too rich for me. “You say yourself that you have no idea what you’re doing with your life most days.”

You smile, all white teeth and full lips, but it fails to sway me. Not this time. “I don’t. Not really. But I know what I’m not doing, and I can’t do that. I can’t follow you.” I shake my head and for the first time I turn away from you. A different path, the opposite direction.

“…I guess I was wrong about you. You’re nothing but a coward.” Your voice has become sharper at my rejection, losing its saccharine smoothness. Your words cut into my back as I walk away. “You’re just afraid!”

And you’re right. I am afraid, but not of you.

I’m afraid of what you’re becoming.

Holy Mornings

You deserve the dew, the breeze, the morning sun.

Those holy mornings where we would walk barefoot on the damp grass are my most cherished memories. Cool skin and cooler air, the dawn light reflecting off the droplets and making the water look like gemstones. They would cling to each blade of grass before falling like tears, evaporating into the air, or being squished beneath our toes. You would smile beneath a rose-gold sky and your eyes would glow so warmly.

You deserve countless sunrises like that. I wish I could them to you.

If I could pluck the mornings from others and bring them home to you, I would. Not all of them, of course; I would never steal all the daybreaks from one unfortunate person. I know you would never want me to be so cruel.

No, I would just take one – a single morning from everyone in the world (they wouldn’t miss just one, surely?). I would take them as gently as I could, swath their sunrise thoughts in my arms and carry them to you so tenderly. Then you would have a morning from everywhere, from north to south, from east to west.

You deserve them all.

I wish I could give them to you.

Starlight Satiation

You satiate me.

You are the heavens in these skeletal arms, you are the cosmos in these shaking hands. You are saccharine starlight, so sweet, so divine, so good. I could pull the true skies apart – leave you unscathed and instead reach my talons upwards, tear open those celestial bodies and make the heavens themselves weep… but those crystalline tears would be flavorless compared to you: mere water to your liquid gold.

Everything you are consumes me… and it seems only fitting as I consume you, too.

When you’re here.

When you’re not.

Your radiant luster clings to my palms long after you’ve gone, your seductive sheen gets stuck under my nails – evidence that I’ve clawed just a bit too deeply, that I’ve taken just a bit too much.

It’s never too much.

I dip my own fingers in my mouth and taste the lingering notes of rapture.

I lick my palms clean and drink every remaining morsel of paradise.

Soon, too soon, achingly soon… my palette is cleansed, my tongue, dry.

I’m left thirsty again.