Day 18: The Daily Post – Mythical

Mythical

Myth: noun – A widely held, but false belief or idea.

I believe in love like I believe in stories of Medusa, of Perceus, of Icarus.

Love is a story told in a hushed whisper,
believed for as long as the darkness lasts,
wiped out by sunrise and rationality.

Hero – he breaks his sword on masculinity.
Heroine – she walk the ground of feathers and complains of sore feet.
Villain – jealous lover, typically.

Beginning
Middle
End.

Same story a thousand times over,
told so much the audience groans
at the narrator for

something new.

Love isn’t new.

Love is older than the Greek Gods themselves.

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Day 6: Section of a Story

Stepping through the clinical hallway, I felt the eyes of the other prisoners on me, judging, assessing my potential value. Should they use me for their escape plot, sexual slave or comrade against the prison dictators? Or was I better off feared, avoided until the backstabbing became too much and vengeance was needed? Even I couldn’t answer that anymore.

The fist latched onto my shoulder forced me into a slow, marching pace, showing me off to me fellow inmates. I glared at the wall, unblinking to prevent the fearful tears that threatened to spill down my face. Crying was forbidden here. Comfort and weapons and love and crying, to be replaced with roughness and wit and diffidence and stone.

“Stop,” came the harsh call from the guard on my shoulder. We halted in a single beat, regiment and uniformity already instilled on my by the formality of this place.

I looked at him. “Ah, home sweet home for the next eternity. Do I get a welcome mat?”

A low, warm chuckle came from inside the cell. “Not quite. But I might be able to make you feel quite welcome indeed. Roomie.” She laughed again and the sound terrified me.

The guard scoffed. “Little bit early to be flirting, ain’t it, Burrell, you just met the kid. ‘sides, you’ll have plenty of time for introductions in the morning,” he added, rolling his eyes. He gave me a little shove towards the cell, bearded face relaxed and bored. “Right, this is yours, 9906, so make yourself at home. Burrell ‘ere will make sure you get on alright in your first few days. Don’t fuck around and we won’t have no problems.” Slinking backwards, he watched as I looked into my all-expense paid accommodation.

The word tiny is often used to describe prison cells. It doesn’t come close. I’d say there was no room to swing a cat, but with two of us already living in there, the cat wouldn’t have fitted in the first place. A pair of bunk beds lay against the right wall, the top one a slab in a morgue. At the back sat a metal toilet that appeared to be moulded out of the floor, it was so tightly bolted down. There was no toilet seat. A sink with one tap crouched next to the loo.

And that was it. That was the expanse of my new house. Honestly, the decorations my new roommate had put up already made it more habitable. Speaking of my new roommate, she coughed as I surveyed my surroundings.

“Quit staring, you’ve got a shitload of time to take in this breath taking view –“she paused as the guard clashed the transparent door closed behind us and told us to “shut the fuck up” before he monitored shower time. Despite myself, I blanched at the thought.

Burrell sat up and threw her pale head back laughing. “Don’t get your dildo in a knot, he won’t really do that. Jengo just really hates brining in the newbies. Don’t fuck around and you’ll stay on his good side.” She grinned. “Safie Burrell, current occupant of cell 157. Good to meet you.”

I stared at her. That name… it was so familiar but darted through my memories, swimming away everytime I tried to reel it in.

Her grin faltering, she sighed and shrugged her slender shoulders. “I’m trying to be nice. You won’t get much of that in here, so might wanna take it while you can. Who are you, tall dark and rude?”

Shaking myself out of my momentary daze, I muttered “Kaliah Hina.”

 

Thump! Burrell fell out of bed.

“Kaliah? As in, Hawaiian Kaliah?  As in, 24 years old, favourite colour orange, had a cat called Carter growing up and stabbed her asshole boyfriend to wind up in prison, Kaliah?” She stumbled to her feet, grabbing the metal ladder with grasping fingers.  “Can it really be you?”

“Safie…” The unfamiliar name tasted sweet on my tongue. “Nope. Fuck off is this real. I’m… I’m going to sleep now. Goodnight Safie.” True to my word, I rolled over and promptly passed out, unable to see her shocked and heartbroken expression any longer.


 

And that’s the introduction to a story I’m currently writing. It’s not all set in a prison. Most of it isn’t, actually.

There’s no name for it yet – it’s currently saved on my laptop as “weird ass prison story thing.”

I really hope you liked it. Please leave me feedback, because I have the feeling I’m going to be working on this for a long time.

Day 4: A Poem

I’ve been sitting on this one for a while, editing it as I waited for a good time. With the recent announcement of the expansion at Heathrow, and the continual discussion about fracking, I thought now was a good time. Hope you like this one! See you tomorrow.

Breaths of Green Air

The unrepentant, angular and angrier tink of metal on metal

Disrupts the slumbering melodies of dreams and wishes,

To achieve global dominance.

For our ancestors, the gleam of cogs and whirring of

Smoke filled factory floors

Was the unreal, was just as unimaginable and unattainable

As the brush strokes and ashen sigils which now appear magically on paper.

 

If beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder,

We are all living as Moles under this cursed earth; repellent

Blackness spreads on water, crisp air replaced by a mockery

Designed to trick our lungs, and we burrow further into the burning,

Acidic soil.

 Unlike our counterpart, there will be no kindly Rat to

Pull us from our filth into the beauty of the world.

The rats are the rulers of the wasteland.

 

Plastic calling to plastic, metal against metal,

These thoughtful bullies face off against themselves,

Each the devil spawn of a separate Lucifer (of

Which there are hundreds across the globe) who vie for title of Ultimate Sin.

 

Living without each – now as impossible as living without air.

Untainted air, that is.

Our lives consumed by mines and drillings and toxic convenience;

We know no better.

Safe in bubbles of tar and viscous, rainbow fluid,

Ignoring the sounds of coughing, choking, CPR,

Death.

 

From the Heart.

Nothing goes as you would expect it to.
Things go wrong, things go better,
but nothing goes right.

That isn’t how the world works.

A perfectly innocent crime,
say, a few hushed words to a ‘friend’,
can leave you both handcuffed to the
remnants of your friendship.

Jokily spoken, words drifted out
and intended to be forgotten
are pecking at the pair of you,
sharp beak breaks the bond and quick:

lonliness

consumes all of you.

So far away, through the lens of a camera.

Not like you planned.
Was there a plan?

The Route I Planned.

I planned a walk down a narrow lane
full of yellow weeds that looked the same.
If not for the heroic, fallen tree in my way,
I’d have reached my tempting goal yesterday.

Instead I wondered through a field,
brushing the grass feathers that refused to yield.
Scolding sun smiling upon my neck
as I foraged a path they’ve yet to trek.

The flowing field rolled further on
coming to halt near a cottage, whereon,
dithering at the striking pink gate,
I went in to knock the window and wait.

A young girl answered, her hair in plaits
and, in her left hand, splintered baseball bat.
The bat she held, dripping red with life
was the reason I offered her my only knife,

Silvered handle, blade sharp and ready
she took it gladly; I held her steady.
One whispered sentence, my eyes fierce and burning
“I wish you the best in your time of mourning.”

My stroll continued in the obnoxious sunshine,
leading me towards a looming, tutting line
of glaring trees, ever green and oak,
while my hand shifted quietly underneath my cloak.

Leaves green and gold, the colours of memory
wafted their solemn, warning song over me,
stumbled, fell into a fenced off clearing,
I found a caravan with a horse, and old woman jeering.

Peering from behind a gnarled, bitter Willow,
I spotted an innocent, a young man who, though
his fists were spotted with the bruises of time,
was marked by the sadness of a blameless crime.

The old woman exited her caravan of torture,
to throw an empty bottle at the man – he grew smaller
in every conceivable way a human could.
I stalked his shadow through the creeping wood.

A river, turbulent in it’s hurrying motion,
was his destination. He stopped beside with a healing notion.
Crack! The branch alerted him to my spying
so I handed him the toxic vial – “Keep trying,”

I told him, my words clear as the water,
“Her life is worth less than the pig gone to slaughter.
Be resolute in your actions and happiness is yours.”
“Thank you,” said he. ” I’m sick of the wars

my actions bring down.” And as he said that
he put the glass vial underneath his hat,
to be squirreled away for a time of great need,
like the next time vicious words make his soul bleed.

Out of the wood, I walk further astray;
the path is found at the ending of day.
Back on my map, I collapse to the ground,
my thoughts turning to those I had found.

Strength cannot be created nor destroyed,
though this bitter career to which I’m deployed
may sap my soul and purge my force,
the light of their lives is worth it, of course.

I took a walk through the lives of the deserved
and ensured their dreams and freedom were preserved.
I took a walk, at the expense of myself;
my own dreams and future still left on the shelf.