tell me if you dare

Did you notice?  Did you care?
Will this suffice?
Is there even anyone out there?

The words are.  They never leave.
They whisper, “You’ll go far.”
But leave me on my own to achieve.

I was quiet, mostly.  I tried to hold my tongue.
I battled my doubts valiantly.
I have no idea if I won.

I’m still here.  I guess that’s something.
Though here has me riddled with fear.
And I believe my resolve is crumbling.

Did you notice? Did you care?
Was there something you missed?
Tell me if you dare.

the mirror

The knife hung loosely in his right hand.  He continued to hold it because it felt right in his grasp, but he no longer gripped it as tightly as he had been moments before.  There was no longer a need to do so.

Yes, he thought, it belongs in my hand.  It completes me.

The blood running down the length of the blade had begun to pool at the tip and drip to the floor where it soaked into the greedy carpet.  The fibrous material couldn’t get enough, lapping it up and storing it away.

He followed the drips down and saw the growing stain.  He pondered the blood soaking into the carpet and wondered, have I had enough?

He smiled then, both inwardly and allowing his lips to curl up at the edges.  It felt right to smile, too.  He briefly worried that his grin would give away the depths of his sin, that his outward appearance would match the burning fire in his soul.

He moved his gaze up from the growing circle of red in the carpet to study his reflection in the mirror.

His smile was cordial and inviting, his eyes were still piercing blue and full of life.  He was still the charismatic person that had drawn so many people to him over the years.

I appear normal.

But I know that I’m not.  I will never have enough.  I will never stop until they make me stop.

He set the knife on the edge of the sink reluctantly, carefully, with reverence for the tool he continued to use, for the item that had finally set him free from the darkness within his heart, and began to wash away the blood from his hands.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Word Count: 290

This week’s Trifecta Writing Challenge:

APPEAR
1a : to be or come in sight <the sun appears on the horizon>
b : to show up <appears promptly at eight each day>
2: to come formally before an authoritative body <must appear in court today>
3: to have an outward aspect : seem <appears happy enough>

panic

A noise woke me from my slumber.  I call it slumber, not sleep, because I had only been dozing off and on throughout the night anyway.  We’d tried to go to bed early, tried to be good knowing the hectic days we both had ahead of us, but as is often the case: that knowing that we needed to be sleeping made it that much harder to actually sleep.

The noise had been a crashing sound.  Something in the room or the adjacent bathroom being knocked over and tumbling down to the ground.  A cascade of noises, really, with a solid thump to cap it off.  The cats, I thought as the last strings of my tentative hold on sleep were severed completely.

I checked for pressure, weight, on my feet or next to my legs and found none there.  That absence solidified the truth of the situation, the source of the noise.  Definitely the cats.  What are they doing up so early?

Maybe it’s not early?!  Panic hit me like a ton of bricks.  My chest heaved with the blow, my mind reeled, and my arms flailed towards my clock.  Am I late?  Did I sleep through my alarm?

I pulled the clock towards my face, so I could read the time without putting on my glasses.  4:38…  My sleepy brain took a moment to do the math.  I still have 22 minutes I can sleep.

I heaved myself back into a sleeping position, pulled the blankets back up under my chin and sighed heavily.  And then I stayed there, awake, listening to the cats getting into trouble, until the alarm went off and I got up to start my (now even) long(er) day.