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

I carried on…

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Image Credit: Anton Best (notnA)

Shrouds of soft yellow, draped from the lamp posts, illuminated the edges of the foggy morning.  They offered just enough light to make navigation possible, but not enough to show the hidden dangers lurking just beyond their glow.  The heavy marine layer swallowed most of the pre-dawn earth in a blanket of glittering darkness.  I carried on despite the unknowns.

The lamps gave off no warmth to ward the morning chill.  They did little ease the trembles in my flesh as the threat of unseen terrors raced through my nightmarish thoughts.  They did more to showcase the failings of our technology than to stand as heralds of our greatest triumphs.  Their creators and architects had long since gone to their graves, and yet society had done nothing to improve upon them.  I carried on despite our failings.

The path before my feet was splotched by the consistent castings, a checkerboard of dark and light.  My steps lingered under the glow of the lamps and hastened in the intervals.  My footfalls turned to whispers in the fog when they would have normally rung in echoed clarity down the street and that dullness infected my mind as well.  I knew there was nothing to fear, there was nothing waiting to nip and rend in the chill and blurred edges of my sight, but I was afraid.  I carried on despite that rampant irrational emotion.

The soft yellows faded before the end of the street, completely lost in the clouds that had come to nestle the ground.  My destination lay beyond where the world ceased to exist.  Each step exposed a little more had remained despite my inability to see it but the possibility remained that I would reach a point where that no longer remained true.  The next step I took could bring me to the brink of nothingness and my momentum could carry me over the edge.  I carried on despite the knowledge that each step might bring my fall.

…..

I sat down to write about the fog that swirled in dark mists of mystery around me as I walked to my truck this morning.  The words swirled as well as they reached the page, mirroring the images from my memory, and the story from thought to ink took an unexpected turn.  I had meant to merely capture the beauty of those soft lamps lighting my journey and instead I spoke to darker and more meaningful truths of our world.  I carried on despite the turn because truths need to be spoken.

uncertain motives

He watches me, from his perch in the sky, as I walk into the morning.  His presence is comforting.  His presence is terrifying.  Is he there to protect?  Is he on the prowl?  Does he do anything but watch?

He is the hunter, after all.  He could be hunting the beasts hiding in the shadows around me or he could be hunting me.  How far does his star sword reach?  How sharp is its burning blade?  What other weapons does he have and how skilled is he with them?

The legend is just an imaginative push away from jumping free of the sky.  And when, not if, he does will he stand beside me and guard my journey or will he quickly strike me down before leaping back into the heavens, dragging me behind as another trophy to add to his collection.  I wouldn’t make much of a trophy, but the possibility still exists.

Sometimes it is the smallest of adversaries that prove the fiercest and most dangerous.

Trembles in the shadows that plague my path draw my attention.  There was movement, I know there was, but there is nothing my eyes can see.  The demons that haunt my dreams roam freely just beyond my sight.  They deepen the chill of the morning.  They make my skin crawl.  The hunter above could easily rescue me from their grip of their fangs and talons if he chose.  I let my eyes turn to the sky as his unknown motives are momentarily less worrisome than the flashes and tremors on my plane.

However, I don’t gaze upon the hunter too long.  I don’t want to draw attention to myself.  I don’t want to make eye contact.  He could be my salvation.  He could be my destruction.  His presence is comforting.  His presence is terrifying.

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Image Credit: University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR)

a windy night

I feel the cool caress of the sheets, twisted about my contorted body, and the sensation helps me stumble from my thin sleep.   My eyes blink away the vivid colors of my dream and absorb the darkness of the room.  All is quiet, all is still… except for the demons loosed from my imagination.  They stir in the shadows and their nightmarish whispers swirl around me.  The monsters are at the window trying to get in.  My breath sticks in my throat.

There are no monsters, there is just the wind, singing bawdy sea shanties, dancing across the window.

The normal, though jubilant, ocean breeze running its course from the sea to the inland foothills shouldn’t be enough to coax forth the worst of my demons.  It is harmless.  It is playful.  Alone, it poses no threat.  But, it is never alone.

Anytime the winds come wandering up from the coast to browse voyeurishly through my neighborhood, they bring the past with them.  They bring the memories of the harsh and biting desert winds from my youth.  They bring the monsters that haunted my nights then.

I try to breathe normally but the air rattles in my lungs and I’ll can manage is a sharp gasping.  My pulse races after drinking heavily of the intoxicating adrenalin that has flooded my body.  My gaze frantically searches the shadows for the threat I know is there.   I don’t dare move.  I don’t dare close my eyes.

The room suddenly explodes into contrasting angles, wrought by my distorted depth perception and rampant fear.  The shadows are larger and closer than they should be.  The pools of light sneaking through the cracks in the blinds shrink away until they seem more like the forgotten tangent of a false memory than something concretely real I could cling to in my terror.

The darkness presses down on me, suffocating me, and I’m six again.  Blown sand, picked up from the miles of empty desert and carried to my house by an unseen force, taps at the window, urgently seeking ingress.  Does it want to escape the horrors of the night?  Or is it the horror trying to get to me?  The pressure of the storm sucks at the same window and the moans and groans echo in my mind.  The demons are calling for me.  Their giant maw wants to strip the flesh from my bones and devour my soul.  The long shadow arms break free of the corners and reach for me.  I can feel the twisted talons inches from my body, preparing to rake across my skin.

I turn my eyes away from the window, towards my only possible exit to safety, towards my last hope of surviving the nightmare and my gaze is met by the ghost from the hallway stepping through the open door into the room.

I want to scream.

I turn, the sheets no longer cool against me, and assess the clock to determine how much of the night is left.  I ignore the ocean breeze and the haunted memories that traveled in its wake.  I close my eyes and focus on calming my heart, on deep breaths, and on trying to salvage some peace and rest.  When all but a small tremor of fear have been banished, I drift back into a thin sleep, awaiting the hint of rising sun that will set me free.

THE CLOCK

I visited The SisterWives again today to share … well, I’m not really sure how to describe it. It was inspired by memories of when I struggled with Insomnia a few years ago. Step on over, give it a read, and share your thoughts.

The SisterWives

I am what you would call empathetic. I will read, discuss, or overhear something that will invariably cycle itself over and over inside my brain as I am trying to find sleep.  Most nights my mind is a steady stream of notions that pace themselves with my husbands quiet snoring.  So, it is no surprise, that I was able to empathize with the submission we received below from Matticus.  For some people the night is a time for rest, rejuvenation, and a time for emotions to re-calibrate; but for others it is a time of anxiety and dread.  Do you have trouble with insomnia?

After more than half a year of sleepless nights I found, for me, it was a major contributor to my depression.  Learning to turn my empathy into compassion went a long way towards finding sleep again.  In other words, I am learning to soothe people in…

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