Title: A Voice Inside Your Soul
Word Count: 4249
Rating: PG-13 for themes of depression and suicide.
Jonah was barely through the door when his mother called out to him. Can you sit down for a minute, we need to talk.
We need to talk. Nothing good ever follows those four words. He took a deep breath, jammed his hands in his pocket and said, “Sure thing.”
His mom was in the kitchen, bustling about mixing something in a saucepan. It smelled like hot chocolate. It was ninety-five degrees outside and his mother was making hot chocolate. She only did that for two reasons: It was actually cold, or she had something to say that required a cushion to soften the blow. Jonah tried to think of his school work; if there was anything he was slacking in bad enough to warrant a parental intervention. But no… No, he was fairly certain his grades were up to snuff. He wasn’t an ace student but he got by. Continue reading
Title: Growing Certainty of Over
Word Count: 804
Notes: Written to the prompt Recovery also reposted because wordpress ate my formatting and despite my best efforts, I could not fix that entry.
Her childhood bedroom is almost exactly as she remembers leaving it: pastels and stuffed animals and a shelf full of terrible body sprays painstakingly curated from over priced stores in the mall. Her bed looks too tiny – threadbare little mermaid quilt smoothed into place, beckoning her back, beckoning her home.
This is her life now. She sat her bag down, small and lonely and grown up though it was. Terribly out of place in this room of the past.
Word Count: 430
When you are seven you make plans to run away to Neverland. Your bag is packed, hiding under your bed with your piggy bank and all that’s left is to wait until the family is suitably distracted for you to escape. It’s not that they’ve been bad to you, quite the contrary in fact, and it’s not that you want to escape them so much as you want to sate this strange catch in your chest every time you breath. Continue reading
Word Count: 242
You press your hand against the hole in her chest. Her breath comes in lurches and gasps – wet and sticky and brimming of the end. You press harder against the wound; praying and hoping and doing all you can- all you know to do- to try and save her.
She says something. The syllables lost to the guttural bubbling of blood that leaks at the corner of her mouth. You want to close your eyes, want to look away to remember her as she was not so long ago (safe and whole and alive and vibrant and warm beneath your hand.) She tries to speak again, you think she might have said “go” or “stop” but the words are still nonsense and besides, both of you know you can’t leave her like this.
“I can fix it,” you tell her, trying for a smile. “It’s alright, I promise, I can fix it.” But you can’t stem the blood, you are helpless here. You feel her pulse flutter beneath your palm and lie to yourself that it’s improving.
She lifts a hand, pale and shaking and presses it against the place where your heart should be. It comes away red and sticky and you know. You know it’s not her blood on her fingers and she smiles for you, with you, you both wear identical lies stretched across your faces. And this time, this time you hear her when she says, “you can’t.”
Title: For Love of Sea
Word Count: 993 words
Notes: Brief mentions of domestic abuse piece inspired by the legend of the selkie
“That’s all the mail?”
Bree flinches at the question, the key in her pocket nearly pulsing with dread. He knows. “Yes,” she says. Her voice stays even and nonchalant by some miracle. He knows, he has to know, damn. “Were you expecting something?”
What did she do with the box? The invoice was shredded and shredded again and flushed, so that’s not a problem, but for a wild moment she can’t remember what she did with the damn box.
Owen shrugs, plopping into the chair at the counter with an audible noise. “Nah, just seems like there should be more to life than bills.” Bree doesn’t relax until she hears the beer can hiss open. She manages to toss a smile over her shoulder. Continue reading
Title: The Other Mirror
Word Count: 886 words
Notes: Inspired by The Snow Queen
Inside the lodge it is dark and cold. Sadie’s breath frosts in the air as she looks around; there is no fire in the hearth, no candles to provide illumination. Everything is stillness and death and a queer blue light touching the whole room. She rubs her hands together and tries not to brush against anything, already knowing the cups are frozen to the counter and the inviting couches are nothing more than blocks of ice. A harsh wind blows outside, howling unhappiness to the world. She’d already tried the door, thinking the storm would be better than this eerie nothing, but the knob had stuck fast no matter how she twisted and pulled. Continue reading
Title: The Box
Word Count: 551
There is a box left upon her doorstep. It’s not the normal delivery kind- all thick cardboard with scribbles and messages and a this end up decorating the bottom half- it is instead a politely sized box with a lid the color white and a hank of lavender ribbon tied around its middle.