Monday, June 8, 2015

(11) old earth

Old earth was childhood.

The light that passed through the tree branches as she walked to school. The sound of pencil on paper. Laughter. The taste of the apple her sister always packed her for lunch.

The bliss of knowing one was safe.

Reading stories before bed, the mint of toothpaste. The way the wood planks of the old house settled, the way the radiator ticked. Window seats and birds singing the next morning.

As she grew it got a little trickier. The morning news. Packing lunch for herself. Wrestling her hair into a nondescript ponytail because why bother. The grumbling of the car engine turning on.

The scratch of pencil on paper accompanied by the quiet phone notifications. Math problem after math problem on an old notebook. Kids talking.

The sound the car keys made when they were tossed on the counter. The leaky faucet. The turning of pages.

News report after news report, the sound carrying from upstairs. Hurricanes, wars, death, sadness. Creaking of floorboards.

Then life.

The chatter of kids on a street corner, the way the cold wind urged them to continue conversations inside. Clinking of glasses at a restaurant. The cry of joy when someone found out they got into the university they wanted. Pool balls hitting each other to spiral off in separate directions. Sports fans on TV.

The way glasses always slide down his nose. The scuff of boots on pavement. The bubble of boiled water when it’s cooking something. Laughter, hands moving through hair.

The way he always said her name. Scarlet.

Staying up late to watch the comedy channel. Messaging each other back and forth all day, even during class. The way he talked about how he was going to college far, far away from where they were. She said it was a little early to be thinking about such things, but she might go to school out of country. It was what her sister did.

The crackling of the fireplace during winter. The smell of first snowfall. Frost covering the window until she couldn’t see through it. Leaving dishes of leftovers outside for the cats who liked to visit.

Thinking of space. Of flying away and never returning. He mentioned she should get a tattoo, something relating to flying. She said she’d think about it, but she never did.

The smell of hot chocolate and textbooks. Twitter alerts lighting up the dimness of the room. Glue and newspaper clippings splayed across the floor. Quiet chimes from earrings, audible only to those who wear them.

The confusion when there was a crash. The panic when the garage caved in, relief when she found out no one was in it at the time.

The safety issued when her sister came home and told her everything would be ok. The glittering of the sunrise on the frozen lake, the way the rest of the world moved unhindered by time.

It was the week he went missing, only to return besides himself with unease, that Scarlet knew things were beginning to change for good.

Friday, June 5, 2015

(10) rebirth

whether you’re a brother or whether you’re a mother,
you’re staying alive, staying alive
feel the city breaking and everybody’s shakin
but we’re staying alive, staying alive
ah, ah, ah, ah, staying alive, staying alive,
ah, ah, ah, ah, staying aliiiiiiiveeee

It wasn’t how Steve had expected it.

It took Marcy screaming for him to realize anything had actually happened. The sensation was sudden, a shock, but it didn’t really hurt until he looked down and realized oh God there’s a knife in my chest.

The pain became almost unbearable. He tried to struggle away, but the attacker wasn’t keen on letting him go.

The knife went out-- slick pain oh ssssssshit shit shit shit-- and then struck once more, this time in a different position.

How much time had passed?

Steve’s veins were still pulsing, maybe from adrenaline or pain-- was that feeling really pain-- and something knotted in him when the knife twisted and

Maybe he blacked out or something of the sort. Things got a little faded. Maybe he was on the ground. Someone was looking at him from above, grabbing onto his shoulders.


Then light invaded his senses. Life. Confusion took hold of him until Steve realized this was a familiar feeling.

He’d jumped. He didn’t remember jumping… did he?

He wasn’t alone. He was on a street, like something out of the 1930’s, old timey cars and all. There was a park on the other side of the road. Steve was on the sidewalk in front of a few apartment buildings, it looked like.

A crowd was gathering, people pointing at the kid sprawled on the pavement. Whispering. Looking concerned.

What happened? Was this… was this what happened when Marcy got shot?

When she died? That means he must’ve…

He died? Oh.

A big belatedly, Steve looked down and instantly tried to cover up the massive blood stain on his shirt. No wonder people were staring. God, his hands were stiff. Also covered in blood… like his shirt.

He just had to wear white today, didn’t he? This was a nice shirt too, fuck. He was going to wear it to his cousin’s wedding, and-- not the time, dumbass.

Scrambling to his feet and curling his arms around himself, the teenager tried to grin. “Hey there.”

The crowd looked affronted.

He could maybe try to unbutton the shirt? But the shirt under it was white too. That wouldn’t help. He didn’t think these people would appreciate it if he went entirely shirtless, either.

A groan came from the ground not that far from Steve, and that’s the person who stabbed him.

The teenager let out a squeak and flinched so forcefully he literally bounced backwards a few feet.

Someone came forward from within the crowd. Long coat, billed hat. Police club. Built shoulders and the attitude of someone who wanted to get issues over with quick. He demanded something in a different language that decidedly wasn’t from Steve’s Earth.

The crowd around him shuffled as if they were afraid to say. Was there tension between the police and the people? Understandable, but really not the time to be thinking about that.

Steve skittered backwards a few feet, inadvertently drawing attention to himself from the policeman. Whoops.

The man opened his mouth and scowled, saying something else. A brave onlooker said something in response, which in turn made the police a little confused.

...Yeah, Steven really could not understand a word that was going on. He took a hesitant step backwards, and when no one said anything, he took a few more.

The police only raised his voice to a shout when Steve was practically halfway down the street, sprinting as fast as he could go.

He needed to get back home.

at first i was singing that song because i’d successfully finished the school year but then i realized it kind of matched this part and i was like yes, perfect