I am alive.
The breaths are caught somewhere in my chest, and they scrape as they part through my lips – there is a thrumming I can only feel in my skin, and not on it when my fingers reach for a pulse. I cannot feel through my fingers, only in bone and muscle:
It is a longing for movement, I believe. My hands speak to me what they feel they should do, dance, shake, and take flight. They never tire of movement, and they tell my legs so. My legs cannot accept, so only my toes follow, touching light and rippling air. My legs long for it, the bone is in a waiting sort of silence.
It becomes a longing for movement, for kinetics. I want fire in this room, or outside, where the rain’s just ended to another starry red night. I want to burn books and read them as they turn to ashes – I want to get mad and drown myself in something cold. I am fixing my words, and how I think I sound like I long for death but it’s hard, hard, so hard. I am simply alive and alone.
My hands crave for some new life – a television to flicker on by itself or the stars to explode into victory (in memoriam, aeternae). I exist only through a pulse, and I can’t feel it anymore. It’s under my skin, but I press fingers on it, not in it. Hands feel nothing, but the cradle of my skull feels so much more: a longing for motion, for some kind of change. Breathing is difficult and my heart does not care – fueled on by a sweetness I’ve not tasted in a millennia. The pulse is the sea, persistent and changing with the moon, but I feel alive.
This is not happiness. I don’t feel terror lying here. There is no anger, depression, excitement or free-falling emotion in this. Simply a pulse and a few words that are pushed forward by restless fingers. They are impatient, and they move without consent, moving, moving until I have felt nothing more than hunger. Craving movement, kinetics, and motion – a reason to feel this way, a reason for the rush of blood down the line of my chest, down the center.
There is no reason to this. I do not like it.
You’re 8 feet deep and no closer to drowning
when the old pool’s had another reclamation:
knotted between the fingers of spray-paint, a
bit of mold, and nature. A bit of water does no
harm when it’s facing the sky and old Persian
ceilings, though the splinters of empty desks
and chairs may slice at your feet as you walk–
the dip is empty of that old laughter that once
ricocheted past the windows at summertime.
But in the day, it’s easy to pretend that people
still swim around your head: there can be faces
and there can be summer when you’ve sat in
your smudged puddle and looked at your words
in blues, yellows, and reds. The cold of vanilla
on your tongue is ancient, though that doesn’t
stop you from seeing yourself fall from the board
and into the colder chlorine-water and down
your hair drifting over your shoulders and light
shifting above you.
The day is locked away in a tower
by night’s resolute torments—
it (always) waits to be saved, its soft skin
and its silken gown growing colder
with every fall of the sun.
A brave knight will slay
the night’s last dragons, and
he will climb the tower and the ivy,
his heart between his fingers:
he’ll gift it to the princess, and she’ll
give herself to him,
a rose for a rose,
and a sigh for a
And when darkness returns
just after the day’s skirts have
disappeared over the horizon,
the last nightmares will have at last gone:
only shadows trace their memory
and they need no mourning,
for they were never there.
It is only when knight and lady
have taken to the skies
and touched nebulae and stardust
so far from the golden earth,
when they have spiraled
towards the white canvas
beyond their hands and their fingers
and spun in dawn and color—
it is only then
that the world begins:
shrill voices downstairs,
old t-shirts and sneakers.
The day again trapped in a tower,
the night far behind,
the knight awake in his bed.
the agony’s been in the streets,
little silk threads making us all
dance a jig and a waltz in
a hundred billion bottles,
empty on a counter.
a man standing alone on the
surf, waiting for time.
yellow walls and a yelling match.
high water comes, and so does hell:
and we trap ourselves in glass,
carried by the tides til dawn.
oh yes, indeed, she leads a very merry dance:
in my truest of hearts, i find that i can envy
any young girl who can make love to a name
and readily play a man’s heart like a fiddle,
in a gleeful disregard of any and all sense,
for a lingering gaze across the room.
indeed, it is from across the oak wood room
that you first see her red skirts twist in dance,
the sweet red wine leaving you without sense,
and her bright smile pricking me with envy;
it is to no one’s surprise that after you fiddle
with your cuffs, you advance and ask her name.
her bowed lips gift your ears with no name,
but behind that coquette, you leave the room,
with the incessant shrieks of a man’s fiddle,
and cheers as our patrons begin, again, to dance:
once more, i burn, and forevermore, i envy,
i crave your desire, your desire without sense.
she’ll lead you to the moonlit garden, i sense,
taking hostage your heart and her sweet name;
this tryst, dearest, is one thing all would envy:
the chance to sweep her skirts from the room,
to touch her red dress, to join that a merry dance
and to forget the ceaseless shrieks of a fiddle.
for a moment more, your heart she’ll fiddle:
something even the roses and the lilies can sense;
in the night’s silver glow, she’ll spin and dance,
and again leave you with no kiss and no name,
enkindled with mirth, skipping back to the room
to another man, drowning you only with envy.
they sigh no more, these ashes of envy,
they cease their keening with the fiddle
as, cheerless, you stand only by the room;
though i still desire and dream, without sense,
that you may one day ask for my name
that sometime, you’ll ask me to dance.
i desire your envy, your love, and a dance
to the fiddle’s shrieks; (i’ll even tell you my name)
and the room will spin: nothing will make sense.
Here’s looking at you, kid,
and the last moon we’ll ever have
in this city’s starry lights:
a train at midnight will drag the
streetlamps and paint
the darkness with shaky streaks
splashing into the faces
of brief lives and strangers,
and we’ll dance again amongst
the stars and the faces
we’ll never know.
The curtains are blue. They are fucking blue, and no one is going to tell him that they are a sign of his depression and the enormity of his intellect and calm. No, he isn’t fucking calm, he isn’t sad: the curtains are blue.
He sits in his grey chair, and no, it did not represent his dread and boredom with life, no sir. When the room lights up at his daughter’s entrance, it isn’t because she is his light, it was because she flicks the switch on her way in. There is a smell from the kitchen, and his wife, with her black curls and her red dress – she’s going out with her friends, a sign of the decline in their relationship, obviously – is stirring hearty soup in a pot.
She pours it, hearts and souls alike, into two bowls.
And then she leaves.
The television is on, and the books pushed open against the dining table. The light buzzes above them like the teenagers next door. He watches the news and his daughter looks at the stars, and they both burn their tongues on soup.
She takes a shower while he reads a book about impromptu fantasies that says that a man had once dreamed he was alive, and had discovered that this was true. Another dreamed of living, only to remember that he was not, and was in fact the main character of a story: he promptly fell into the cold plight of words. His life was brief, but so was his death.
Both men are stories now, remembered only by an author and a reader. One man is a word, and the word becomes mind-flesh and dream-blood in the weavings of cognition and recognition. For them, there is no leak in reality, not against the five-way mirrors that guarded existence: for him, it is the same.
And suddenly, the curtains aren’t quite so blue – they pale and they darken beneath the coat of aged dust. Touching them, he comes away dirty. The television and the soup remain by his side as his lovely wife in red smiles without him and his daughter sings softly beneath a steady jet of water. He sits before the television for a few more minutes, reasoning against the weight sinking to the sides of his eyelids. Retirement is easy.
When the lights are out and he is alone in bed, the colors blend together, and he realizes that he has become literature.
the skin tans on her extremities
and it is the yellow of old paper,
touched and turned by the world
at its pretentious fancies:
her fingers are darkest, having traced
a million outlines and written entire
worlds of ink blots and monochrome
stories onto a laptop in a lifetime
of an afternoon;
the soles of her feet are stained with
their own footprints, marked solely
by the cobblestones of London,
the plastic of Manila, the asphalt
of Los Angeles, the tar of Beijing
and the tiles of her bathroom.
but as we near her center, her chest,
we find that the skin is white,
unstained by sunlight and the world:
beneath that flesh is
breath and lifeblood, always moving,
she hides it beneath cotton and wool,
locking it in glory of white wine and the
wonders of society; she wraps her heart
in a design of protection, putting it to
sleep in the waking world.
she dies one day, never knowing that
it always woke when her eyes were closed,
when it was night and she was alone,
and that it tugged the tears from her eyes
as she slept.
So there’s this essay contest.
I don’t want to join. Teachers force me to join. So I join.
I make sure to sabotage myself: create the greatest brain flatulence the world has ever seen. Put your shoddy writing to work.
The glorified fart-essay still gets in the finals.
WHAT AM I DOING WRONG.
by Chuck Wendig
Seen a lot of folks giving advice to so-called “aspiring” writers these days, so, I figured what the hell? Might as well throw my dubious nuggets of wisdom into the stew. See if any of this tastes right to you.1. No More Aspiring, Dingbats
Here are the two states in which you may exist: person who writes, or person who does not. If you write: you are a writer. If you do not write: you are not. Aspiring is a meaningless null state that romanticizes Not Writing. It’s as ludicrous as saying, “I aspire to pick up that piece of paper that fell on the floor.” Either pick it up or don’t. I don’t want to hear about how your diaper’s full. Take it off or stop talking about it.2. Kick Your Lowest Common Denominator In The Kidneys
You can aspire to be a lot of other things within the writing realm, and that’s okay. You can aspire to be a published author. Or a bestselling author. Or a professional freelance writer. Or an author who plagiarizes his memoir and gets struck with a wooden mallet wielded by Oprah live on primetime television. You should aspire to be a better writer. We all should. Nobody is at the top of his game. We can all climb higher.
Take me away from
time and reason –
far away, so the pointed fingers
and accusations aren’t as sharp, aren’t as mean.
Wipe the splinters off
the plane of my black, and
let me lay on some white sand
and sunshine instead,
and watch the world spin without me.
Free me from the uniform,
from the confines of
Throw the books out the window
and down the skies of an English garden,
and into the Trevi fountain – never to be found again.
Let me smell the smoke in
black cities and let me
drown myself in
It takes three seconds.
The door closes.
I nearly get run over twice, crossing the street. Once, when a woman shoves papers in my face (I don’t want to go to college I don’t want to learn how to drive I don’t want to care), and again, when I’m pushed ahead (no u-turns, but they turn anyway).
There’s the smell of fried oil and dirt and questions. There’s the taste of smoke on the tip of my tongue, and someone on the bus feels like it too: there’s skin grazing the side of my arm ever so gently and the little pimples rise at the phantoms of knowing and caring and giving a shit about it.
My stop is next.
I say nothing.
And we move, because that is how the world works: in an endless litany of could, would, should, and what if.
It begins like this:
There are people on the street.
Some are wearing shiny leather shoes and grand old watches on the frailest bits of their wrists.
(Have mercy on us.)
Others are in line for the next bus to a town I’ve never even heard of. They are about as tired as I am of the smoke and the spare change.
(Pray for us.)
The avenue is a foundation of holes and bus horns that leave me half-deaf. The ground’s slick with gasoline and mud, and there’s a plastic bag and a photo caught in the slime.
A girl and a graduation cap.
There’s filth in her hair and on her skin, and a bicycle runs her over, and she’s still smiling at the world beyond the paper because she doesn’t know yet and she will never know.
(Christ, hear us.)
The way home is longer than I remember.
So school’s back, and shit just got serious.
I gotta get the hell out of there. To Ateneo, UP, La Salle — I don’t care. I just need to graduate before the nuns finally realize that I’m not going to conform to every single one of their ideals.
How the hell do you do that when you’ve been put on the spot (a very important spot in the world, in the eyes of several people) that may or may not make a bit of noise?
Well fuck if I know.
I’ll find a way.
Title: We are the Light
Characters: M!Philippines and Alternate History!Philippines.
Warnings: Unbeta’d, as always.
Summary: Juan dela Cruz and Aurelio Gallora share a birthday.
There aree bottles on the counter. One is empty, and another is coming to the same fate. The last bottle sits innocently in front of Aurelio’s guest.
He’s awake, and he groans to show it.
“I had to be sure that you are who you say you are. I’m not sorry.”
“So you shot me straight in the heart just to see if I would survive.”
“Absolutely. I live for the dramatics.”
It’s baked and it’s dry: it burns.
“Outta the way!”
Three flaming steel balls flew through the space his head (and therefore his brain, don’t forget that) had just vacated. They roared over him, and he felt a wayward flame lick the back of his neck as they pass. At that, a horn blared.
Slowly, Max picked his head and his pride from the sand, turning to the iron flagstick – dented back by a golf ball. Fire rose from its base, a small hole in the ground.
A hole in one.
Someone had gotten the frigging golf ball into the frigging hole in one try.
“Ace! 450 kilometers per hour.” The announcer’s voice was bursting at the seams and pressing into the world’s ears – broadcasting to a million televisions and radios.
A billion viewers.
A billion people who actually care.
“Forrest Lynx wins the International Golf Championship!”
Mr. Lynx, professional golfer, punched his fist into the air with a savage yell. His hybrid club was still a bright red – whether from the speed it had swung or the fire on the ball it had smashed through the air would remain a mystery.
The crowd went wild.
Max groaned along with all of the other competitors, who had been too slow and too weak, and who were already putting their clubs away. One man tossed his club at a cabbie, stomping the ground in frustration and kicking the sand away. The Moon reporters had already made their way to Forrest Lynx for terrible interviews, and ISBN was already bothering the losers.
This was the IGC, for Pete’s sake. The aim was an Ace or Survival – avoiding the flaming golf balls that the rest of the competitors would aim at the hole once more (or if you were unfortunately talented, you). It was chaos once the golfers dashed down the course with their clubs in hand.
It had ended quickly. That was all Max could be thankful for. Around him were unfortunate golf balls that hadn’t even made it to the Russet (it had been a while since it had been called the Green), still aflame, and still two kilograms.
Well, there went the chances of professional golf dying out and of him having an excuse to quit. He’d never get to Broadway at this rate – in fact, he probably wouldn’t make it home the next time around.
Oh, the woes of That One Guy Who Puts Out the Flaming Golf Balls After the Games.
The name of the game is snap, and snap the game goes: in the minute and in the sound, the world changes and the earth spins nine other ways. The night sky is a mine, and its stars and planets are jewels held by one line of vision and one eye that’s convinced that the monochrome is a rainbow. Time’s a mess here, and we’re stuck with infinity and one last grain of sand. The sky’s split into the dawn and the dusk, and the black tides wash sugar on the shore.
But there’s enough thought in a second to power a city, and enough seconds in infinity to split the sky into dusk and dawn. The earth tilts and spins, but it’s never felt. The monochrome is Casablanca and Ingrid Bergman. In an hour, the Big Bang returns for an encore.
[The Big Snap will never sound quite as impressive.]
Pour water over some salt, and it’s a sea. Pour the black tides over some sugar, and it’s tea on a cold afternoon in front of a computer: I see things, but I never comment.
Translation: Everyone’s leaving, but my mind’s still stuck at hello.
The world shimmers in every second, and in every second, I’m here.
I imagine the world pausing in its splendid rotations, and I imagine what it would be like to sit frozenin front of a computer for a million years without even knowing it. I imagine what would happen if everything froze in the tropic’s heat and in the melting pot of skin and bones that I’ve become.
There will be a moment when I look up at the screen and see the red zags beneath a misspelled word or a phrase poorly typed down. And the mistake will burn and it’ll seethe, and I’ll seethe with it with the frustration of a cat drowned in rain.
The electric fan won’t matter anymore – there won’t be a breeze. the fact that I can’t turn on my air conditioner won’t matter. the fact that my previous sentences both started with “the” won’t matter.
It’ll just be the words, and the keys beneath my fingers.
There’ll be the sweat between my legs. The stray pieces of hair reaching out to my forehead. The dirt on my knees and elbows.
I won’t breathe. My heart won’t beat.
I won’t die.
And because of this moment, and because of Einstein, I’m going to be forever.
I’m going to live, and I’m going to die over and over – I’m going to die, and I’m going to sit down and write some crap over and over until I’m born and I die again. I’ll wipe the sweat away, and I’ll get up to close the door, and I’ll live.
I’ll glance at the screen, realize my mistake, and look away. I’ll enter a space after a sentence that’s only just ended, and backspace when I realize that I haven’t thought of what’s next.I’m going to see my name on a receipt beside the bed – I bought another waste of time, of thirty hours of my cyclic existence.
My back is a curve and my head tips my spine lower – my brain tells me to straighten the way old women tell me during birthday parties. Kurt Cobain will sing to eat my cancer, and I won’t know the name of the game, the song, and the dance we’re leading.
Dear God – Universe, existence, deity, higher being, whatever is out there —
Thank you for killing me and throwing me back.
Thank you for letting me live.
Tagged by Trish. No idea how to go about this, honestly. Uh. Here I go.
1. My favorite number is nine. Not because it holds much significance for me (other than the fact that it was once my class number), but because of this terrible idea I once had about personifying numbers.
Eight would be a curvy lady with a lot of love to give; Seven would be slender, and rather random; Four would be an unpopular teenage girl who wants to be loved; Two would be a woman version of the Okay face or something; One would be a misunderstood bitch who’s got the weight of the world on her shoulders.
Nine, on the other hand, would be pretty normal: not slender, but not quite chubby. A healthy sort of body. She’s got a round face and she’s not overly attractive. I can imagine the loop of the number containing a rather large brain or something (though I am aware that brain size doesn’t denote intelligence). I dunno.
I put too much thought into this.
2. I’ve been blessed (damned) with schizophrenic art skills.
I’ve lied to people about this before, though there is a good reason for it. For the most part, my so-called skills are non-existent. However, depending on the subject and on my mood, I can easily make pretty good sketches and drawings (though I favor just scratching things out on a piece of paper with a Unipin).
Normally, I’m complete crap at art, though. Many who have seen my work will attest to this. I remember this one time where I was asked to draw a horse. The result: a rather large creature resembling a donkey, with bunny ears, an Eeyore tail, and chunky hooves.
Recently, however, I managed to come up with ink drawings of a mountainous landscape, my interpretations of “Pyyrhic victory” and “sword of Damocles”, and three different Pokemon (Mismagius, Dialga, and Volcarona, the latter of which being my favorite pokemon in general).
Case in point: I tried to draw Professor Calculus a few minutes ago. He looked like a Chinese lumberjack. I regret nothing.
3. I have nice hands.
Or so I’ve been told. My father is a photographer (as a hobby, but he makes a bit of money selling pictures on the internet), and he likes using my hands as models in his pictures. He and one of my teachers at school have described my fingers as long, without being too thin or whatever.
Personally, I think they look like sad and wrinkly sausages.4. My name was supposed to be Stephanie.
My mother is a woman you can get a lot of laughs out of. Not because she has a tendency to get into accidents or trip over anything, but because of the things she says. She’s pretty charismatic, and will often be either incredibly witty or extremely corny. And she’s smart. I can’t forget that.
She’s really smart. She’s got a good (relatively) good memory.
So, to witness her actually do something facepalm-worthy is rare, and I’m glad to say that I caused one of these moments the moment I was born.
For weeks, she had been set on naming me Stephanie. However, right after she had given birth to me, she was so tired that she actually forgot!
[My name is Patricia Anne, just so you know. As you might have noticed, there is a very distinct difference between the two names.]
5. I have a stuffed toy named Pandy the Panda.
One of my first trips out of the country was to Hong Kong. It was there that I met my best friend, Pandy the effing Panda.
[What a creative child I was!]
I purchased the stuffed toy at Ocean Park when I was four, and she’s been with me since then (I’m sixteen now). I find it difficult to sleep when Pandy is not in the same room, at the very least.
She didn’t come with clothes when I first bought her, but I took to buying her little dresses when I was nine. Now, she has a rather formidable set of clothes, with some actually handmade!
A lucky little panda (unlucky at the same time, considering that she probably thinks I’m nuts).
6. I only started writing (relatively) recently.
When I was twelve. I’ve been writing for four years, I’m still crap. Dear God. I’d actually show you the shit I came up with back then. When I started out, I was addicted to Twilight, so it was purely first person vampire romances set in places I’d never been. After that was a work about time travel that had terrible characterization and pretty shallow characters.
A contemporary of those terrible ideas is shitty poetry about virtually anything, with words like “pretty” and “nice” used liberally. All of them rhymed terribly.
I got better. Or I like to think I did, considering that I came to my senses about my poetry: I stopped writing it. On the other hand, I started writing fanfiction. I wrote for Artemis Fowl and for Kyou Kara Maou!, originally. I’ll admit that I pulled a stint with Twilight, too. That ended quickly, thanks be to whatever deity is out there.
Honestly, I didn’t want to join the writer’s club of my high school purely because I didn’t write poetry. Instead, I decided to try out for the school newspaper —terribly ironic, in retrospect! I was actually supposed to be a features writer, and now I can’t write anything (non-academic) that isn’t at least 75% creative. They didn’t accept people that year, though, so I ended up in the crappy film club.
The next year, the school newspaper fused together with the writer’s club. I tried out as a features writer, and ended up in the literary pool by accident. To be frank, I’m not quite sure why they let my rubbish into the club, but for some bizarre reason, they did.
My writing went through cosmetic surgery. I started writing poetry like a maniac, and my prose got better.
The next school year, I was literary editor. Again, I don’t know why they asked me, though I suspect it had something to do with the lack of qualified juniors that had applied for editorial positions (I mean, come on. Asking a useless sophomore to take the position after the summer? They musthave been desperate.)
And it’s all gone on from there. My writing is as crappy as ever, but I’ve got some experience, now that I’ve been an editor for about a year. I’ll be a senior next year.
There are so many things I find wrong with my writingnow, let alone with my work back then. Looking at my work fromlast monthis enough to make my own heart burn a little.
I’ve cast a veil over my progress as a writer. It’s a rather depressing subject of contemplation, and I don’t make it a hobby to throw insults at myself.
7. I’ve visited about fifteen different countries, excluding my own. (Stop-overs not included).
Not to mention the fact that I like going back to certain places and moving around to certain cities or provinces within a country.
I’ll admit that I’m well off in terms of finances (having two very intelligent parents who live separately can do that), but a lot of these were because my mom had a lot of business trips when I was younger. Because of these assignments, I went to school for about two years in Jakarta. Before that, I had been to Hong Kong and Singapore. Sometime during my stay there, I went to Bangkok.
After I came back to the Philippines, I went to several places in the archipelago like Cebu, Boracay, Palawan, Davao, etc.
When I was ten (I think), I visited the States. Several places around California, and in Nevada (no kudos to whoever guesses where).
I went to Beijing for the Olympics in 2008 (my mom got a few free tickets because her company was sponsoring it that year), and joined a tour around Europe the next year. If I’m not mistaken, we visited seven countries in one swoop (eight, if you count the Vatican).
After that, Australia. Twice. Gold Coast and Sydney.
Macau. Hong Kong.
I’m planning on heading to Batanes next week, and Hong Kong again next month. I might join my mom on her business trip to Boston later this year, depending on my schoolwork.
Yes, I am well aware of just how lucky I am, thank you very much.
Uh. I don’t know many people. I’ll just tag the ones I do know.
Here I am, and here we are
as it always will be in these
where wolves are every passing stranger,
and the symmetry of our bodies and our
hearts hold the trophies
of sacred (secret) scars,
and the keys to an unlocked liquor cabinet.
I detest that bitterness of red wine
and the green bottle of cheap Chinese
champagne that we got last
Christmas – and they hate me as much
as I hate them when they fail
to drown my sorrows,
when my sorrows have learned to swim
in that tired intoxication of nothing—
a nothing of great importance
that sleeps with me
beneath blue blankets
in the dark, and we stay up all night
dreaming of parting and finding something,
to wake an old soul from its sobriety
or to find an obsession and
tear at it til morning.
the static and the radio
will wake me in its incense,
and I’ll smell the smoke of prayer
and the chants will chase me
in the quiet, telling tall tales of a
magic I used to spin by the yard
and sell by the dozen.
My executioner wears white
as penance – though he does
hide his axe beneath
his snowy cloak in an endeavor
of the appearance of virtue.
We talk when it’s quiet:
It’s always an argument.
He’ll stare into my eyes, and
I’ll look into the clean slices
of black on monochrome or
the blank on blank of a white
page, slashed with grids and
The ultimatum rolls in with the wind,
and it curls into my hand like it, too.
Drop the pen, he’ll say,
and we’ll make merry on
an invisible tide of space
and things we don’t really mean.
And I’ll say,
I’d rather stare at you some more.
And, uh, that wasn’t meant to be a
compliment. Get out. Please.
The threat rolls with the wind,
and into his hands, and he’ll stare
into my eyes, and into whatever
may hide in them.
When it’s quiet, we’ll speak once more,
and it’ll begin with a conversation
wrapped in the white of his cloak:
once or twice, we’ll spin a yard of
tall tales and sell them by the dozen.
We’ll chase the chants,
and breathe in the smoky prayers
and their rosy incense, we’ll wake with
the static and the radio:
my thoughts from obsession
my old soul from sobriety
and my inspirations to blue blankets
in the dark, swimming in that
tired intoxication of nothing:
of swimming with sorrows and
swallowing cheap champagne from China
from a locked liquor cabinet
to which I never had the keys:
instead, I have trophies and sacred scars
hidden away from the wolves and
every passing stranger,
every face I cannot know:
as it always was, and as it always will be,
in these tired hollows, where we
shoot out the stars,
and drift in dreams and wanderlust.
Title: Happiness is a Warm Gun
Characters: OC!Intramuros, F!Philippines, and a very unlucky man
Warnings: Style experimentation. Vague death and blood. Unbeta’d, as always. Also, this is an AU.
Summary: Salazar kills yet another man for the woman who owns his heart. Based on stilletopink’s lovely art and idea.
Preview:There are two men in the study, him and the corpse, and he isn’t sure who’s colder, whose blood has got more iron and ice in it.
The Temple Run mania has cooled down for now. I’ve delayed myself in writing that fanfic, though I have indeed made it to around 7,000 words. What the hell.
This is really weird. Nobody reads Temple Run fanfiction.
Then again, people rarely read Hetalia Philippines fanfiction.
And Saralegui fanfiction.
Why do I always write for unpopular characters or fandoms?
I’m writing Temple Run fanfiction.
I wrote 4,000 words in one sitting yesterday.
Please help me. I need to stop.
When I was a young girl, people told me I looked like winter.
They would speak of my skin and just how pale it was against the darkness of my hair, the white of fresh snow and Queen Ann’s Lace. People spoke of my eyes, both the grey of crisp newspapers and of mercury sinking low on a thermometer.
I loved it.
And I loved winter, too.
At the beginnings of every winter of my childhood, I would take a walk in the morning, when everyone was still in bed, though the sun would have already risen over the plane of ice – the frost would often bite my hands because I always forgot my mittens. I’d run off where the drifts got deeper, hidden by the trees of the woods beside my house.
My parents didn’t know.
It was one morning that I actually did have something to put on my hands – Father had given me his old gloves after he discovered that my hands were frost-bitten one morning, making sure to find a way to pin one woolly glove to each of my coat pockets to make sure I’d never forget.
The warmth had only pushed me forward through the snow – each flake a little diamond glittering with beam of light bouncing off it. Not long later, I found myself quite close to a statue.
Or, at least I thought it was a statue at first.
He was an exceptionally tall man: his arms and legs long and willowy – yes, willowy! They reminded me of tree branches, stretching below his torso and his spindly fingers dragging against the snow — and a black suit tailored to fit him and only him.
Where his face should have been, there was only pale skin.
Truly, I’d thought that it was a statue and never hesitated to touch the starched cloth of the black suit. It was when I noticed that he was actually breathing that I realized that I had bothered a grown man with my childishness!
Even after I’d tried to apologize several times, the tall man said nothing, but I could still tell that I was forgiven. After more silence, I had sat down beside his form, which stood completely straight, and introduced myself.
After a few days, I had finally started talking to him. He never said anything back, and he never moved, but speaking to the cold air still felt lovely against the tip of my tongue. I came by every morning for a short chat about my dreams – they were always silly, and when they weren’t, I’d make them silly just so I could see him laugh.
He never did. But he was there every morning, in the same spot, breathing softly, standing motionless with his spindly fingers limp against the blanket of snow.
I, being only a girl, made the grave mistake of telling my parents about our neighbor in the woods. The reaction was immediate: they told me I was wrong, and no one ever shied away from a chance to remind me that I was only a child, barely a few years into a dull world of black and white. For a while, my parents would wake early to walk with me in the morning frost and always be on the look-out for any tall men wearing dark suits.
When we found no one in the forest after several visits, my parents told me about how going into the woods alone was dangerous, and that no one lived in there. People didn’t spend whole days standing in winter’s cold, after all.
So I stopped talking about it, and that pleased them.
They didn’t know that I still stepped out to see my neighbor in the early winter mornings for several years. He would always be standing in the same spot, never really moving – just breathing, always breathing. That was enough for me as I told him all about my dreams and my yesterdays.
[I always thought that he looked a bit sad whenever I mentioned my tomorrows.]
But as the years passed and the snow melted, my skin grew paler against the green grass and the pink blooms that burst from the ground. My hair was longer, and even my eyes warmed at the soft touch of the sun.
One day, I didn’t take my walk in the early morning: a boy had invited me to spend the winter somewhere the sun actually felt warm. It was the first time anyone had invited me anywhere, but my parents had insisted that I go along: the boy’s family was very wealthy and well-respected in town, after all. I couldn’t say no.
By the time I had returned, I was smitten with David, and I found that I didn’t have the time for early morning walks in the winter anymore. Within a few years, I was married and living several hundred miles away. And not even a year after that, I was with child and could rarely visit my parents’ house.
And now that my hair is as grey as my eyes and my skin is now as week-old snow, my cheery snowman’s smile withering away from my lips, I find that I regret a few things: that I’ve been confined to the warmth of fireplaces in the winters, that a few dreams of mine have been placed behind some books on the shelf, and that I eventually believed everything my parents told me when I was a child:
That I never met someone in the frost all those years ago. That imagination should be left only to children. That magic doesn’t exist beyond words and pictures. That the world is itself and nothing more and nothing special.
—but I know better now, and that has to count for something.
[Ican’tbreatheIcan’tbreathIcan’tbreathe— Oh God, I can’t breathe. I can’t. I can’t. No. Please stop staring. Please stop. Please.]
Um, good afternoon everyone. My name is – my name isn’t important, but I’d like to thank you and, um. Yeah. Um, on behalf of our group, I’d like to thank you all for your attendance of this humble event, and thank you for your consistent support. We couldn’t have done any of this without you. Please remember that.
[What are they looking for, what do they want from me? I can’t look anywhere in this room without someone else looking back – eyes dark, eyes bright, eyes dull, and eyes burning – they’re waiting for something, but I don’t know what. Why can’t they just look away or—]
Well, this is also just to say that you are now all free to go downstairs for your food, which is ready for you to eat, or you may actually leave already – not that I asked you to or anything! It’s just that it’s very late, and I’m sure that you’re all very tired from the program we’ve only just sprung on you and —
[Shut up right now and stop rambling! You’re making a fool of yourself!]
- Mom: We're going to Batanes.You're not allowed to change your mind about this.
- Me: Okay.
- Mom: As in, I'll kill you if you suddenly decide that you don't want to go.
- Me: Okay.
- Mom: Are you sure about Batanes? You really don't want to go to Vigan or whatever?
- Me: Yeah, ma.
- Mom: I'll go reserve the tickets, then.
- [A few nights later.]
- Mom: Trish, I have news.
- Me: What is it, ma?
- Mom: Patricia, this might upset you.
- Me: What is it, ma?
- Mom: We're going to Boston.
- Me: (slaps hand on forehead)
And may I just say that she’sgorgeous?
My life has just slumped down onto a matress from that blitz of speed and momentum that’s spun it in circles for the past few weeks.
Finally, there is time to breathe.
Finally, there is time to sleep.
Finally, there is time to read.
Finally, there is time to write.
My vacation and my future seem a bit brighter today. I’ve got a few ideas kicking my brain into work, which may, in turn, push my fingers into typing said ideas down onto a computer. I might travel to Boston next month, which I honestly wasn’t expecting. I’ve got a film project waiting for me, and a possible volunteering-thing at the Mind Museum that’s just opened in Taguig.
[Most importantly, I’m finally allowing myself eight hours of sleep a night. Huzzah!]
Goodness, I’m so tired and so excited a the same time.
when your fingers
aren’t knotted to hers,
they knot in the
stream of brown
(mahogany – or perhaps
dark chocolate, your
insist and insist)
left by the
strands of her
hair and the
of her green
as we lie in the south lands
of our once esteemed kingdom,
the ground trembles once and
it tears into
twice in our dirty
palms and fingers -
your voice is
and then it is
n o t h i n g,
and you never, not once,
when nature itself has forsaken
the verve of your spindly veins
and the gold in the curls of your
we again taste the poison dripping
from my very words, the
an aged king’s hands, and the
duplicity of that desired justice.
I gave you all in good time.
they say that they found
two skeletons the other day:
entwined in an embrace
of bones and skulls tilted
close in what might have
been their final kiss.
(before the binding poison
had begun to eat away at
the warmth in his flesh;
before the dagger’s steel
had plunged into the pale
skin beneath her wedding
no one is surprised: they
were only twenty-five miles
away from verona, where
balconies had been climbed,
masks had been discarded,
and where lips had mimed
two unsoiled hands in prayer.
Shoot me from a gun
and up the lines of
space and the hands
of an analog clock.
Higher than the sun
(no time, no time left)
I spin and burn in an
orbit of broken glass
and cheap oxygen;
out of sight,
out of mind,
out of chances.
Someone push me out a window.
School sucks, as usual. I got my card grades: They weren’t bad, but they weren’t exactly fantastic. Lot of’em went down though.
I mean, sure, I’ve been getting good scores as of late (LOL, I actually got 50/50 in a math long test, only for the score to be ruined bby a ten-point-add-on that I failed magnificently; it’s 54/60 now), but I’m still having a hard time with nearly everything and asdfghjkl.
I totally gotta tell you about this field trip we had to Antipolo, though. It’s a major integration between a hella lot of subjects that allowed us to go to complete a few obstacle courses. This entailed several things: I trekked up a hill thrice, fell into an eel-infested lagoon twice, walked across a tight-rope, crawled through enough mud to turn me into a blob of brown, slid through a nasty combination of said mud and soap water.
I’m going to be entirely shameless and say that my underwear was white that morning. After I got through the mud crawl, the cloth was completely brown. Disturbing.
In other news, I’ve got deadlines coming up for Club too, and I don’t like them. At all.
We’re to write 10 pieces each for two themes: Immobility and Lost in Translation. Eight poems and two prose pieces. I know I shouldn’t complain, considering that I set the deadline and I gave the minimum count of pieces, but I really don’t want to do this.
And it kind of shows in my work ethic. I’ve been writing fanfiction instead of trying to reach the quota.
[For anyone curious of Still Waters: Juliana dela Cruz cannot become any more of a Mary Sue, Salazar is a douche, and Juan Luna kills his wife. I’m reading over my work, and God, everything seems so mechanical, and it’s turning me off from my story, and I have no one but myself to blame for this.
Oh, the horror of writing the middle of a story. I absolutely hate this part]
It’s great that I’ll be skipping a lot of classes this week, though. On Thursday, my school is half-day to distribute some awards to teachers (I may get to visit my old school! Whippee!), while on Friday, the school is celebrating a feast day of our saint.
LOL. I’m glad for pointless holidays that our school makes up.
However, I am not happy about the fact that the school is requiring me to come by on a Saturday again. This time, they’re making us have a Fun Walk at FIVE AM IN THE MORNING. God, what is going on with these people.
Yep! I just end up ranting here, more often than not, though. But that’s fine. I suppose.
My club moderator gave us a few exercises to do last Friday. The forms were pretty simple at first : tercet, quatrain, couplet, etc. However, as I near the bottom of the list, I find my brain stretching thinner and thinner.
I suppose I didn’t really read these exercises through as well as I thought I did, because. Uh. I think I want to die now.
Why? Oh, because last three forms on the list are the Sonnet, the Villanelle, and the Sestina.
I know that the sonnet is relatively simple. I can totally roll with iambic pentameter, but I absolutely abhorr rhyme schemes, and asdfghjkl, the results were terrible. I only like rhymes that are coincidental, for crying out loud.
I’m still trying to figure what on earth I’m going to do about the villanelle and the sestina, though. Just playing with different phrases following the respective forms is a nightmare for me. The sestina especially.
I know I can probably come up with a decent villanelle, given enough time to think, but the effing sestina makes me want to jump out a window because I can’t pick any words because words are pretty and I can’t possibly choose just six to repeat over and over when there is a dictionary full of them.
/is possibly the bitchiest writer ever
/that is all I have to say
Title: Still Waters [Part One]
Characters:Juan Luna, Jose Rizal, F!Philippines, and F!Spain.
Warnings: Unbeta’d, as always. Technically Nyotalia, but for one character. My F!Philippine’s first appearance.
Summary: Juan Luna has painted Julian dela Cruz three times — once, on a penitent morning, and twice, as the sun pressed against the white of her sleeves and the bend of her lovely neck.
It was in Europe that he finally discovered many inspirations: from his own trials sprung plaintive scenes, from his worries sprung tragedies, from history sprung bloodshed, and from a Muse sprung a portrait of a gorgeous woman.
This Muse would come into his life, though how long she stayed always varied. Every woman was different — sometimes, her skin was an Iberian white, a Mediterranean broze; some weeks, her hair fell down in curls that beckoned him forward like the green fields of Madrid, or were held up in tight pins so typical of those frm the grey streets of Paris.
That being said, Juliana dela Cruz was not his first Muse.
[Aw, screw 75% finished.]
I’ve been having a lot of free time lately. Enough to get me back into the groove, anyway. I managed to get on a writing marathon last Sunday, and it seems that I’m only interrupted by the need for sleep: not homework, not a project, or whatever else usually distracts me.
I’m about 75% finished with my piece for my F!Philippine’s first splash through the comm. I hope no one throws stones at me for not calling her Maria or Maria Clara OTL
Goodness, is she different from Juan. I thought she could just be, indeed, a female version of him, but noooo. My brain had to keep me up one night and tell me all these things about her. Screw that.
Oh well. Back to work.