otra vez: the encore

are you still happy sleeping alone?
you keep texting me in the middle of the night
forgetting my phone is on silent
and probably always will be

as silent as my lips are
every single time that you confess a longing
before I sputter into guffaws that ripple through my stomach
go big or go home, I guess

do I haunt you in your dreams?
a figment of what was, what could have been
a terribly outdated shadow
lurking at the edge of the chasm of time

has the dream me ever asked you for help?
begging, screaming for a different future
we are two completely different people, you and I
you wish differently
you wish I was more like you

we don’t need yet another you

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from the OTHER archives: Socks, Part 4, Chapters 6-8

Whew! I just got done ironing out a huge plot wrinkle in TWLF. Now, instead of 80 chapters like I originally planned, it spans 59 chapters. True, I could probably afford to shove a few more scenes in there… but would it really be worth it? The extra scenes wouldn’t add much to the story. Gotta keep that action moving.

The wind blew across my sun-streaked face, the remnants of the blueberry pie lingering on my tongue.
Wait a minute- when was the last time I had had blueberry pie?

I love it when my senses decide that they’re going to start making completely random crap up. The Grim Reaper waiting for me in the shower, people calling my name when there’s nobody who actually needs me, random tastes that I haven’t experienced in months or years provoking my appetite…

“What I did then does not matter,” I heard myself saying. “What matters is now.” And what I was doing now was soaring above the clouds.
I’ve been hunted many times, I heard myself thinking. I’ve cried myself to sleep many times, threatened many times, forced to go to Oblivion many times…
But does it all matter?

I was getting away from the real world. Through the tunnel, past the Field of Bad Things, and then they couldn’t get me, for the time being…
I woke up in a haze. I saw bright lights and indistinct people and my vision was swimming. I saw crisp white sheets and myself in some clean clothes for once and someone coming towards me-

It doesn’t look like your escape from reality went too well. Next time, I would suggest decreasing the dosage so that you don’t end up in the hospital.

“Algeria, are you ok?”
It was Abbey. She had come from who-knows-where doing who knows what.

What do you think, Abbey? What do you genuinely think, if it appears that Algeria is in some sort of hospital bed? Do you think that everything is all daisies and puppies?

“Wherrrre ammmm I?” I slurred. I felt slow and crazy and silly all at the same time. I felt like the inside of my mouth was covered in molasses, and my brain too. It all added up to something; I wasn’t sure what.

It all adds up to 42. Trust me on this.

“You’re at a hospital, far away from Soona Bris, if that makes you feel better,” Abbey replied. “You had moderate to severe burns all over your body. It’s a miracle you’re still alive. Looks like the sedatives haven’t worn off yet.”

Thank you yet again, Captain Obvious. Thanks for telling instead of showing, G. It really helps.

“Burrrrns,” I slurred again, not on purpose. “Theyyyyy dooon’t huuurt rrrright nnnowww.”
“At least now you aren’t going to be tempted into fighting anybody,” Abbey semi-cheerfully intoned.

Somehow, even though my tired daze, I don’t think that “semi-cheerful” and “intoned” are words that belong together. Ever.

“I know that the first eight years of your life weren’t the best, and you either seize up or start going haywire when you see anybody that looks like somebody from Soona Bris,

Ladies and gentlemen, the original triggered.

but now you can’t do any of those. For now, anyway.” She glanced over to my right. “Rave and Riki are still under right now. You got the worst of the burns. You sure wake up fast, though.” Abbey glanced over her shoulder. “I have to go now.”
And she was gone.

Some supportive aunt, Algeria thought as she closed her eyes again. No explanation of how my friends are doing, exactly. I need answers.

It was morning of the next day when I came out of the haze and stopped feeling slow and silly. Emma was by the door with a clunky brown package under her arm.

I have the feeling that one of the worst and yet best mistakes of my life is about to happen.

“What’s that?” I asked Emma. She strode towards my bed and I sat up, all the while keeping an eye on her. Not literally. You know what I mean.

Can you stop? We get it. You’re not being literal.

Emma didn’t say anything but instead plopped the package on a part of the bed I wasn’t sitting on and started to open the package.
“Oh, looky here. A laptop,” I said in my best weird accent

when Emma was done opening the package and getting rid of all of the wrapping junk. Both the trash can and the recycling bin were now overflowing with wrapping junk. “Why do you have a laptop?”

That’s a good question. Even better would have been “why are you visiting me when we barely know each other? How are you visiting me when I live in the dream realm and you live in the real life realm? Are you dreaming right now? If so, why such a mundane scene when you could be flying over buildings, fighting fantastic monsters, maybe even transitioning to get rid of the dysphoria you’ll suffer in a few years?”

“I wanted to show you something,” Emma replied. She opened it up and started typing gibberish. Well, that’s what it looked like she was typing. Gibberish.

It’s called Spanish. Get on Emma’s level.

“Take a look at this,” Emma slowly exclaimed as she pushed the laptop closer to me. A browser window was open to some blog.
“Read it,” Emma said in a much more serious voice.

Hoo boy. Next time’s gonna be fun- a blog post within a blog post on a blog?

blogception

warning: change ahead

There’s something in the air.

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And no, it’s not turkeys- although we saw plenty of those on the way there.

Over the past few months, there has been an impending sense of doom hanging over my head with no specific due date. It’s like I’ve forgotten to study for a big test right around the corner, like there’s some important date that all my peers know about and have been preparing for but that I’ve been left in the dark about- maybe on purpose, as I’ve never really been liked by my peers, maybe on accident.

Do you know the feeling?

I spent the day in a new town yesterday. Let’s call it Wychester as I don’t want to accidentally dox myself in the extremely minuscule chance that someone from Wychester reads my blog and particularly cares about the senior girl moving in to a small abandoned loop of road. We were originally going to be spending the day there in order to see a musical taking place at the school my father works at, but the day grew infinitely more interesting to me when we got a call from a realtor asking if we wanted to look at a house.

The impending sense of doom was that, at the end of my junior year at high school, we would be moving to this Wychester so that my father didn’t have to spend multiple hours in a commute to and back from his job. It would help my younger brothers, my parents said. I concluded that everything else, like the friends that I’d just finally been able to make and the town that I adored, would just be collateral damage.

There’s something in Wychester’s air, something that I haven’t yet been able to describe. It’s part loneliness, like I know that I’ll be emotionally isolated. High school has never been nice to me. Pair that with subpar social skills (although I’m improving all the time!) and the climate of a bunch of hormonal high school students that I know nothing about, and you’ve practically got yourself a recipe for a depressive sort of bump in the road of life. It’s part wistful longing, like I know that I’m caught between a rock and a hard place and wish that it wasn’t so, even though I know that there’s no other way that these cards could have fell.

There are so many memories in this house here. How am I supposed to leave them all behind? Merely taking the objects with me won’t help much- it’s like trying to pull a bug out of a spider web. A trinket tipped over and resting on the same bookcase it has for five years isn’t the same as moving the trinket, placing it on a bookcase somewhere else, and then trying to emulate the tip. Something feels forced.

And yet, something inside of me is eager to get out of this house, out of this stale city. Things are too predictable here, this section of my mind says. Too much same old, same old kills a writer, and the air of Wychester feels like a fresh breath after being underwater for too long.

But my mind doesn’t particularly like having to deal with conflicting feelings, so it invents characters like Nox and Adelaide Audette and Lank from Walmart as methods to escape them for a little bit. They exist somewhere in between imaginary friends and anthropomorphic emotions. Maybe they’ll get fully-fledged stories one day, or at least more than a passing mention in a disorganized blog post. They won’t need boxes or loads of packing tape to come with me. They follow me everywhere- even to places where I would much rather prefer to be fully in my own mind. Would they follow me to Wychester, to the large living rooms of the  second house we visited?

There’s change in the air.

iri (the great move)

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I pack up my things solemnly
taking a good look at the walls around me
this house will not be my home, I should have vowed
because then I would believe the words now

this has happened before
but not by choice- the home was unsalvageable
I have spent two years in this realm
maybe not this home, but this land

the walls slowly crumble down
brushed into the trash bins of life
nobody expected it to stay up so long
nobody expected it to disappear without a trace

nobody really cared about the home anymore
two years is a damn long time
filled with parties that slowly waned away
until the land was bare of people
filled only with ghosts void of pleasure

goodbye, old home, old frontier
it was nice knowing you

from the OTHER archives: Socks, Part 4, Chapters 2-5

You know, writing is such a delicate and magical art. Just with a few keystrokes, I can implant images in your head, make you entertain ideas that you wouldn’t have been exposed to otherwise, and evoke empathy for people you’ve never met in life.

With that being said, if my writing now (which will undoubtedly be edited over several times) is akin to a group of small fairies making sure that everything is right and yet somehow off in a wonderful way, then what we are about to witness is the equivalent of a YouTuber basement dweller who attempts poorly designed satanic rituals while naked and flopping his man boobs everywhere.

Don’t look that man up, please. The Internet’s darkest holes should not be poked.

Midnight is around me, bathing me in darkness while Riki’s body is outlined in the light of the street lamp-
“Wake up, poet.” Rave was still a little, well, you know. “We came to get the box for the stinky princess.”

What she’s doing, Rave, is actually called prose. But I didn’t expect you to make that distinction, now that I think about it. The only education you would have ever gotten would be from your juvenile owner Laura.

“Oh, yeah, that’s right.” I was still pulling myself out of my daydream.

It would better if you just pulled yourself out all at once so that you wouldn’t make awkward sentences and drag yourself out to the reader. Just a suggestion.

The lady in the blue nightgown wanted us to get a box containing something she wouldn’t tell us from an abandoned building that used to be a firework factory. I could sense that she wanted to see if we would survive something, but she was very good at hiding what we were supposed to survive.

Insert all the allahu ackbar jokes here that you want. I don’t want my blog taken down for “religious harrassment” today.

The inside of the factory was dark, as it was the middle of the night.

It smelled like an egg explosion and there were chemicals strewed everywhere.

The word you want is “strewn”, not “strewed”.

The most prevalent of the chemicals was a white one that created sparks and rapidly caught on fire when Rave’s foot slipped on it.

To be honest, Explosive Cocaine sounds like a crappy scene band that would have gone around on MySpace friending everyone.

“The building’s on fire!” Rave screamed at the top of her lungs over the roar of the flames.

“We know!” Riki and I shouted at her. “What happened to the exit?”
Then strong arms pinned mine behind my back and a familiar voice spoke in a nonchalant voice, “I happened.”
I looked behind me, and who was trying to keep me in the blaze?

Audience, your options are A) me, B) a random stranger who has a vendetta against Algeria, or C) a firefighter who wants to save her life.

Guess.
Come on, guess!
I dare you to guess.
No?
You don’t want to guess?
Fine. I’ll tell you.
You ruin all of the guessing games I try to have with you.
Gosh.
I’m just trying to have some fun.

Audience, you only have five seconds left of time. Select quickly, or you may lose your chance of winning a million dollars.

It was Tomorrow.
See? I keep my promises. I told you, didn’t I?
I’m not a liar.

That’s not one of the choices, Algeria. You’re disqualified.

Her piercing gaze drilled into me (not literally) as she gripped my wrists tighter.

Algeria, I think that the audience can handle a simple phrase of speech. Your condescension is throwing readers off. You’ve made my blog stats sink in the past month that I’ve been doing this.

The blaze around us grew even hotter and more tortuous until I could almost feel my skin crisping.

Stop it, then.

“Riki!” I shouted over the growing roar of the flames. “Take Rave and find an exit somewhere!”
“But-“

How is she still in the flames? You would both be suffering in some pretty severe pain from the burns by now. How are you still able to form coherent sentences?

“Just go! You have a better chance of surviving if you stop hanging around me!” Riki hoisted Rave up onto her shoulders and dashed off to an unknown part of the building, looking for an exit. When I was sure that they were safe from Tomorrow, I kicked my leg sharply behind me and the grip on my wrists loosened as Tomorrow fell to the floor, in pain that she would not have been in a couple of months ago when I first saw her creepy.

So Tomorrow’s got a dong now? Why is her crotch suddenly a hit zone that works? And didn’t you try that move when you were fighting in the stadium? Why does it work now when it didn’t then?

“Where are you?” I screamed as loud as I could as I dashed away from Tomorrow and in the direction that Riki and Rave had gone to find an exit. I turned the corner and climbed up a boiling metal ladder that was mounted onto the wall, burning and blistering my hands in the process from the heat.

Being that the hands have some of the most sensitive skin in the whole body, I highly doubt that you would be able to get up that ladder. Besides, couldn’t you just fly out if you’re so indestructible?

“Where are you?”
“We’re over here!” A faint cry emanated from behind me. I turned around and saw Riki and Rave knelt before a charred window, desperately trying to undo the latch that prevented them from escaping outside.

You’d all be either unconscious or dead by now.

“Here! Let me help you with the latch!” I rushed over to the window and quickly unlatched the latch, then stepped back as the air whooshed with changing air pressures. The smoke blew past us as it raced to get out of the window.
“What do we do now?” Rave was screaming. “You’re the only one that can fly. What do we do?”

Jump like the rest of us plebeians.

I had an idea. I grabbed Rave and held her tightly around the waist as I jumped out the window and started flying away from the burning building. Riki was getting ready to just jump out of the window.

Wouldn’t the blood loss from the burn wounds you’re sustaining keep you from exerting that much effort without fainting and plummeting? Just a thought for next time, G.

We flew a while away from the building until I got tired. We found a relatively clear patch of land and I crash-landed, rolling over and over with Rave until we came to a stop.

I was under the impression that you had a thing for Tomorrow, Algeria.

“Now what?” I whispered as I realized that I was worn out and I had burns and bruises all over my body. Rave was already drifting off into Oblivion or La La Land- I couldn’t tell.

Now what?

Now, Algeria, you have to wait for medical care. After treatment, you have to get out of the country. No exceptions. You’re a targeted girl now.

Maybe I could finally go hide in Alaska like I was planning to before I got tangled in all this mess.

All of a sudden, I was overcome with a desire to just lay down and rest for a while, just as I could see the fire helicopters coming to extinguish the fire and save us from the middle of nowhere.
And I closed my eyes.

I would introduce a drinking game for this, but I care enough about my readers not to attempt to induce alcohol poisoning. I think I’m going to go reignite some old interests now and drown my sorrows in them.

otra vez

your voice plays over and over
you’re everywhere, you’re lurking beside me
my mouth can’t translate how my heart feels

but now you’re coming down
I’m not sure why I felt the way I did
or why you did what you did
maybe the police will interrogate you well
in your pillowcase prison

do you have any more snow
the thoughts won’t let me breathe
smothering my nose like the light of the early morning
my thoughts are a melted puddle

with arms open wide and hearts on my sleeve
stitched up with silver severed string
I step out onto the driveway
I’ve got a long drive ahead of me

kancero (factory of basement dwellers)

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I feel like I need to take a shower
after strolling through the land of six-year-olds
who know nothing of maturity or etiquette
getting off on the kill

what a horrid way to waste away someone’s childhood
making falsities of friends as brittle as the wind
you’all never hear their voice again
yet you persist with their company

why? why do you do these things?
does the kill exhilarate you somehow?
virtual points stored on devices far away
wiped away with the next deluge and forgotten forever

they say that nothing on the internet is ever really deleted
but that doesn’t hold here in this wasteland
none of this will come to any fruition
the idiocy of the babes continues

(and if you think that mass flagging campaigns are the way to go
when you’ve been a rude prick and know it and have lost an argument
then I have no pity or sympathy for you)