the moon

Wisps of fog spread beneath the slivered moon and the light tower winked and blinked as it swept its circles. He welcomed the sight, a sign of familiarity, of routine, in a dark morning that had been anything but. Nothing had gone according to plan since he’d woken, hours before the sun was even considering making an entrance. That daily occasion was still far off. The winks, the blinks, the fog, the moon all seemed to laugh at his futile attempts to find balance. He’d laugh too, if he had a voice.

He could still remember the taste of words but could not remember the sound of his own voice. It was one more odd thing about him in a list that grew daily. He had kept a list, pen on paper, for a bit but when he realized he was going to need more paper to keep it going he had abandoned the endeavor and had begun to accept the truth. He no longer minded being weird, eccentric, outside the norm. It was routine he still craved. And it was routine that was failing him. He’d blame the slivered moon but that wouldn’t solve anything, and it really wasn’t the moon’s fault.

In all likelihood, the disturbances in his morning were his own fault. All the odd things that happened around him usually could be tracked back to being a result of his quirks. He couldn’t easily see the direct connection that morning but that didn’t mean it wasn’t there. One time he traced a day gone wrong back to a toenail he had failed to pick off the ground and place in the trash where it belonged. That one bit of carelessness had caused a whole day to go sideways. Afterwards he had researched having his nails permanently removed, to avoid such a disaster in the future, but the procedure was prohibitively expensive and no reputable doctors would perform it anyway.

The fog thinned further and the tower faded in the distance behind him, leaving only the moon to shine down on his progress. He liked the moon. Always had. It represented something magical, even if that sorcery was based in science. Its influence on the world was something he appreciated, longed for at times. He didn’t want the attention it received but he wouldn’t mind its importance. His jealousy of the moon was another of his oddities he had made peace with.

The dark sky cracked in a thousand tendrils of light reaching away from the east and he smiled for the first time all morning. Finally the sun was rising and perhaps that could turn his day around.

the reason

They say to never walk alone at night and he was the reason why.

For as long as he could remember, the urges had always been there.  When he was younger he was too weak, too scared, too dumb to figure out how to act upon them.  As he grew older, stronger, and smarter, he figured out how to use the system of laws and regulations to his advantage, to hide within plain sight so he could then act upon his instincts without getting caught.  And once he had started, it wasn’t fear of punishment that guided his hand and ensured he followed his own, strict, code to get away cleanly each time.  It was the knowledge that if he were caught, he would never be able to act on his urges again.  That would surely kill him.

Not that he had always been so methodical and meticulous.  His first had been clumsy despite how well he had planned and prepared.  But, he had gotten away with it and over the years that followed he grew calmer, more confident and improved his technics until he was flawless.  As perfect as a human ever could be.  Despite the monster he was, he was still human.  His tastes just ran slightly askew of what society deemed acceptable.

He relished the feel of the night, the adrenaline of the hunt.  He liked to watch their eyes go wide with fear and surprise.  He enjoyed the power he could wield in the shadows, stifling screams with ease, taking what he wanted.  He didn’t run away from his crimes like a coward once he was finished.  He savored the moments and when he was done he walked away calmly, fulfilled.  And then he slipped back into the cloak he had learned to wear over the years, his shield against prying eyes and ears, his beloved darkness, to wait patiently for more prey to venture his way.

They say to never walk alone at night and he was the reason why.

just a normal drive

It is surreal, on my dark morning drives, to travel down empty stretches of backroads where the only light is provided by my car pressing forward towards the coming day, to then have that serenity distorted by the glowing fields where crops are being blasted with LEDs to mimic daylight and therefore hasten their growth.  The immense and intense light glares and blasts skyward to spread beneath the ever present marine layer, amplifying the impact, the disturbance of my peaceful drive.

Then again, people do need to eat.  And the lights are on an organic farm.  No pesticides.  No genetic modifications.  The lights are an experiment to see if the farm can produce better food faster under improved, mostly natural, conditions.  I can’t fault them for that.  The needs of the many outweigh my own desires for a pleasant drive through the morning darkness.

And yet, I do fault them all the same.  We are selfish creatures.  The people who will benefit from that food are abstract and in the moment, all I really can consider is my own grievance, the own detriment to my night vision, to my drive, to the start of my day.

But then the lights fade away and I’m left in peace again and all is right.

crackle

The leaves crackle as they scrape across the asphalt on the dark, crisp morning.  Autumn is stalking me from the dark shadows of my deserted alley.  It makes my skin scrawl and sets my teeth on edge.  I hurry my steps to the presumed safety of my car, because like sheets as a child, the glass and door provide the illusion of safety.  I half expect a monster to pull free of the darkness and crash against my car, unleashing the fury it has to hold in check nine months of each year.  In my imagination it roars in gusts and scratches the glass in flutters of falling leaves.  I ignore the ghosts of my mind, start my car and pull free of my spot.  My headlights splash against the corners and send the monsters scurrying away.  My tires grind the leaves into the pavement.  Soon the sun will rise and the air will warm and then my mind will be free of its morning haunts.

Crack

Author’s note:  this one is pretty dark… and I feel like I should mention on the outset, this isn’t me and you don’t need to worry about it.  I’m exploring characters and I had the first line in my head.  As I put the words down the rest sort of filled in to explore the theme of the echoing “cracks.”  So, trigger warning for suicide.  Skip this one if that will set you off.  And, don’t worry about me!  Everything is a-okay in the kingdom!

Another Author’s note:  Feels like there has been a bunch of darker posts recently.  Feels that way because I wrote them all at the same time and have since scheduled them out across the month.  I can’t promise that I’ll write anything happier any time soon but I have noticed the trend and I will make an effort to turn some of these things into something a bit lighter.

………………………………………………………………………….

I opened my eyes to a world bathed in colors I couldn’t name. I blinked and the world remained. I breathed and my lungs filled cleanly. I snapped my fingers and the crack echoed between my ears before fading to nothingness.

Crack

Crack

Crack

Crack

Crack
Crack

I woke with a start. I kept my eyes squeezed shut, though. I didn’t want to see that it had only been a dream. I didn’t want to miss the colors. As long as my eyes were shut I could ignore the cacophony and the oily air. But then a crash from outside echoed across the room and my eyes flew open.

Crack

Crack

Crack

Crack

Crack
Crack

Another accident. Another twisting of metal and flesh because of one reason or another and none of them worthwhile. I didn’t need to rise to see it. I could hear the horns and shouts and cries of pain. Son the sirens would come and drown out all else. I would smell the blood and fire but still only see the drab of greys of reality.
I longed for sleep to take me before the worst of it. To sleep. To dream. To return to the beauty of would could be if only…
But sleep did not come. Would not. Refused to come.
I knew how to force it though.
A rope. A fall. And then…

Crack

Crack

Crack

Crack

Crack
Crack