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Society’s Robot – Chapter 4

“You did what?” Rogue asks as I habitually bite my chapped lips. The question seems rough, but not as bad as being slapped. If Zach weren’t opposed to hitting his servants, I know that would have been the case.

“I didn’t mean to let it happen. It just kind of… did.”

I try explaining the situation while Rogue finishes washing the dishes. I express why I had declined Zach’s offer; I need to keep my distance for a while.

“Cassie, you can’t do that. You know exactly what will happen if any of the women coming to the house find out about this.”

I nod my head. The peculiar understanding of a 21-year-old career-servant. In my first home, the grandson caught me crying – I missed my Mother Ester and my friends. He began using it against me. One servant fell in love with her master, and female suitors throughout the home made her life hell, all because she was love-struck. The men are rough, but the women know how we tick. We are one and the same, most of us.

“Why are there so many women around here?” I ask Rogue, wanting to clear my mind of the situation.

“Old man Addison told his son to find a woman to start a life with–” Just then, Rogue is interrupted by John.

“Now Zach doesn’t think his father knows his son well enough to find him the perfect woman.” I nod my head while John continues. “And besides, most women here flirt with Zach but at the end of the night, come to Rogue to satisfy their needs.”

I only reply with a light smile and eye-roll. Rogue is a typical blonde haired, blue eyed man. His eyes are the only captivating part of his body; they can trap you, kill you on the spot.

“Too bad I like guys more than ladies,” is Rogue’s only quick-witted reply.

I have learned that Rogue got his nickname because of his tendency to sleep with any man when given the offer. Rogue is a known rebel among the servants. I feel empathy towards him – he had fallen in love but was given to another household before he could say anything.

“So, what is this I hear about Cassie being mad at Zach?” John asks.

“It was an accident, okay? I didn’t mean for it to happen.” I pick my nails with purpose, thinking more about my knowledge of Rogue.
Rogue is only 27, but far more serious than John who is in his late 30s. John is a trouble maker and takes the role of an annoying older brother. He has black hair, cut and spiked to imitate a younger look. We can all tell his age by his lavender eyes, the way they are dulled by years of experience.

“Don’t worry Cass. I’m just throwing shots ‘cause I’m bored,” he reassures me before he jumps onto the counter, lightly bumping my left shoulder. I smile kindly, returning the favor.

“Cassie, can I see you for a second?” I hear Zach calling me from the adjacent room. I follow his voice and find him, arms crossed, leaning against an antique mahogany table.

“Yes, sir?” He looks at me as he did when we met, pacing around me.

mansion
“In my first home, the grandson caught me crying – I missed my Mother Ester and my friends. He began using it against me. One servant fell in love with her master, and female suitors throughout the home made her life hell, all because she was love-struck.”

“I have a dinner to go to, and I need a date. The women my father handpicked know nothing of me or what I do, but you do.” He gives me a sincere chuckle and looks directly into my eyes. “You know far more than an average servant, let alone a 21-year-old servant.” I nod my head, understanding my knowledge comes from reading and experience.

Zach’s family owned a photography business that he ran away from to pursue the New York dream. He travels the world now. He never had a necessity to learn about the family business, but he took it on as a hobby. Zach knows everything to know about photography.

“What’s your favorite color, Cassie?”

Confused as to why this is important, I only answer with, “Midnight blue, sir.”

He nods his head, still pacing. 

“Do you know now to dance?”

Mother Ester had taught all the girls, but it has been so long since I have even been asked to dance. “I haven’t for some time, sir.”

“Well, I guess I’ll be seeing you once a night for the next few days to improve your skills.”

Hiding my emotions from Zach is difficult, particularly with the beads of sweat streaming down my cheeks, leaving a trail of anxiety. The company at the dinner would much rather see me be beaten than join their high-class society.

“Do you understand, Cassie?” Zach still has his arms crossed.

“I understand, sir.” I continue to count the wooden floor tiles, biting my cheek.

“Good, I’ll see you tomorrow morning then. Good night.”

I watch as he walks up the grand staircase to his room. Concentrating on Zach’s posture as he strides, I am startled by a pair of arms hugging my shoulders.

“Don’t worry kid, everything will be fine. Most of the dinners Zach goes to are only five hours long. He usually only stays for two of them, just long enough to eat and talk and show he is alive,” John says, with his arms still around me.

I return the hug, an impulsive decision only because of my need for the affection, but pull away quickly.

“Good night, John.” I walk upstairs to my room.

Passing Zach’s room to get to my own, I can hear him arguing with someone. I just bite my lip and keep up the pace, fighting the urge to spy. I strip off my dress, put on my pajamas, and lay in bed. Laying down, looking at the stateliness of my room, I think about how this week will be different. I must fake every feeling to get through this dinner, being in his world for only a few hours. The thought of being in his world shakes me to my core. Being in a world where people only care for themselves seems so cold and empty.

Ode To A Desk Doodle

The smudged and abstract set of jaws
Hangs half open with the weight of teeth.
The crude body curls into a cruder spiral
Perhaps a tail, perhaps a shape undefined,
Tightening in on itself until it smears
Into shady gray. Already the decay starts.

You will not last. Your time is short,
A distraction made in minutes and set
To die a careless death in days.
Permanence is a flight of fancy to you,
Immortality a concept impossible to grasp.
A sweep of a hand could wipe you away,
Without even a memory left to hold you.

Were you worth something? Did you
Provide to the hand that so callously,
Thoughtlessly carved you into the world
Some small fraction of amusement?
Some minuscule joy? Or were you
Made and abandoned in the same
Tiny shard of time, a work orphaned
Before it could even hope to be art?

A hand hovers over you
But you do not have eyes
To see it with. Hold your breath
And wait as I consider you.

But I do not wipe you away.
You exist, for some time more
Is that a kindness
Or a curse?

(Inspired by Ode to a Grecian Urn)

Call Me When You’re Sober

Fiddling with a small lighter in his hand,
Sliding his fingers through his ghastly white hair.
His cigarette rests on a shiny red ring which graces
His harsh, red lips.
He is lost, struggling to find himself –
His purpose.
Brown eyes gazing upon the dark road,
He finds himself lighting his fifth cigarette.

Hand resting on the leather gear shift,
So begins the long drive down the highway.
Accompanied by her best friend Captain Morgan
And his favorite chemical –
Acid.
Electric pumpkin hair blows in the breeze.
Down the 20 she drives,
In no search for a destination,
Only herself.

Chance encounters happen every day,
Opposites attract, as do similarities.
Clashing and meshing,
Like a puzzle piece.
That girl, that boy,
Fit perfectly.

needles
“Their bodies unable to carry the weight of love, Addiction setting in.” Photo from: http://www.treatment4addiction.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/drugneedles.jpg

Days spent,
An opener on a bottle cap,
Cold ones drunk,
Injections into the veins,
Munchies and a craving for shitty Mexican food.
Telling stories of adventures
Thought to have happened,
But now never will.
Eyes redder than the blood
Flowing through their veins.
Bags under their eyes –
A lighter color than their lungs after the first pack.

They tried finding themselves,
But only found each other.
Their bodies unable to carry the weight of love,
Addiction setting in.
Destruction of themselves,
Their love for the substances
Tearing them apart from the inside and out.
Maybe if they had met,
They wouldn’t have turned to the poison for love.

Resolutions

Resolutions on lined yellow paper–

One–
Eat more dairy, fruits, vegetables.
Ate six bags of nacho Doritos.

Two–
Exercise and walk more.
I sit in a dark room
And stare at a screen–
Hours pass me by.

Three–
Keep up my GPA.
I missed class last week
And no regrets.

Four–
Stay focused.
Was I doing something?

Five–
Destress when necessary.
I could ram my head
Against the hard wall.

notebook
“Three– Keep up my GPA. I missed class last week And no regrets.” Photo from: https://images.ttcdn.co/media/products/137120-77ea30e7eaf14dabb8ad98155345dc62/s/winzydesign/yellow-black-and-white-chevron-single-section-hardback-soft-spine-blank-journal-notebook-0.jpeg

Six–
Be friendlier.
It is so lonely to cry.

Seven–
Do things I love.
Shut down computer
And restart.

Eight–
Keep things tidy.
A thick layer of dust
Blankets my shelf.

Nine–
Stay organized.
I’ve lost my mind
Somewhere between
Route 460 and I-95.

Ten–
Be Myself.
Who’s that?

Senior Photo

graduation cap
“I look at the girl in the photo, Innocent and young. I don’t remember her” Photo from: https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51QFfuJyTbL._UX385_.jpg

Could this have been me–
This girl seated here
Before a blue backdrop,
Hair parted to the side
And a headband like a tiara,
Shiny, youth-blue eyes,
Skin smooth, cheeks rosy?
She has a smile
With brace-straightened teeth;
Eighteen
And starting life.
Months after graduation
I sat in the studio.
A straight-haired woman
Placed my arms
Across ebony folds of fabric.
I can hear the flash of light
And feel the stiffness of my arms.
I look at the girl in the photo,
Innocent and young.
I don’t remember her
Face, her
Hands, her–
Do I know her?
Is she still me?
Can I recollect that girl
Forgotten?
Should I let her stay behind?

Society’s Robot – Chapter 3

Life at Mr. Addison’s is conventional. Having been here for almost a month now, I am learning the daily goings-on of the house. For the past week, I have looked through the kitchen and noted everything I will get today on my trip to the market. Zach only eats organic foods, and they have to be farmed within a 300-mile radius of our home. The intricacies of his diet do not bother me; I think of it as exciting. I always loved going to the marketplace with Mother Ester, whenever she decided to take children with her. My treks to buy groceries remind me of those times.

Zach had told me, “My servants always have the best,” as his tailor measured my chest a few weeks ago. I leave the house on my way to the marketplace in my new purple knee-high sundress, with a sweetheart neckline. I feel so out of place, almost like I do not own it. The more I ponder, the more I realize I don’t.

Getting to know my fellow servants over these few weeks has been interesting. Philip, the butler, has worked at the Addison residence the longest, a few years before Zach was born. Rouge oversees cleaning the dishes and washing clothes for the residents. John is the mastermind behind the upkeep of the home, and he organizes everything Zach plans. Philip mentioned once that there were only male servants, which is nothing particularly unusual. It seems the late Mr. Logan Addison slept with the female servants when his wife was attending business elsewhere. Mrs. Malinda Addison never minded his infidelity; rather she minded his choice location, in the room to the left of Zach’s.

Philip spoke of Mrs. Addison’s hospitality, how she extended it to anyone who strolled into her castle. His voice trailed off while an unmistakable gleam shined in his brown pupils. He articulated more with his eyes than I have ever heard from any mouth. He would marry her if he could.

John pulls out an old bike to take to the market. I enjoy bikes far more than any stuffy car. With the beautiful weather and three-mile journey, the fresh air will be lovely. List gripped between my fingers, I leave eagerly for the market. Shopping combines relaxation and work. I always see people I grew up with, peculiar only because of the distance.

mansion
“Zach only eats organic foods, and they have to be farmed within a 300-mile radius of our home. The intricacies of his diet do not bother me; I think of it as exciting.”

The smell of fresh bread and strawberry tarts replace the unmistakable stench of the roadside when I arrive at the marketplace. Walking around, looking at the fish and fruits and deciding on their quality, I can’t shake my mind from those strawberry tarts. I think I’ll buy some before I leave. I find myself surrounded by the separated booths of small businesses and bored, single women with riches to spare. Regardless of the disproportion in wealth, I’ve never noticed a difference in taste.

I keep to myself, showing my status as a servant. Mama Ester told me that you should never show any human emotion – wealthy owners know each other, and it’s dangerous if you upset the wrong person.
I’m unenthusiastic about going back to the Addison home after my charming day at the market. The open space is a breathtaking contrast to the jail cell feel of a home.

After setting the bike in the storage unit, I carry the groceries into the door closest to the kitchen. The bags are heavy, but I don’t mind labor; I’m used to it. Usually, when my hair gets into my face or I slam my head into the door frame, I just keep walking.

Walking into the house, I hear laughing from the sitting room. I know quickly it is Zach’s, in harmony with the laughter of a woman. I fear that I will not be working for a bachelor much longer. At 25, he is probably enjoying his evening with a woman he will marry and have too many children with. Then he will bombard the home with more servants like me. I’ll continue to hide in this lonely castle, or perhaps he will sell me before that happens. Don’t feel, don’t react, and don’t get attached to the stories told to me as a young servant. I sigh lightly and put my groceries in cabinets, remembering this mantra.

I’ve never experienced an attachment to anyone, except Mother Ester. You will always be attached to the woman who raised you. I know Zach is trying to make this a home for me, but this is not my home. My life is not a fairy tale. So lost in my thoughts, I hadn’t noticed Zach standing next to me. He startles me when he says, “So, when did you get back?”

Looking over to him and placing a tomato on the counter, I reply, “A few minutes ago, sir. Not too long though.”

He nods his head and takes a seat on the counter, next to my groceries. He looks like a teenager waiting for advice from his mother.

In the unexpected silence, I continue to put away the food, his eyes following me as I travel along the spacious kitchen.

“You seem too comfortable doing this?” he says, breaking the silence with his curiosity.

I’m guessing by the sound of his voice he is confused why someone my age could be so comfortable shopping for a stranger, particularly after receiving nothing in return.

I retort with, “Well, I should. I’ve been doing this since I turned 15.” I don’t bother to look at his face; I already know it is one of absolute shock.

“But you were just a kid then, you couldn’t have possibly enjoyed your work?” Zach says.

I sigh and finish putting away the last of the groceries. One as affluent as Zach could never understand what I went through, just to end up someone’s servant. Taking this into consideration, I turn to Zach and say, “Look, I recognize you don’t understand. With no mom or dad to care for me, I was never a child. My life doesn’t seem perfect, because it’s not.” I place the grocery bags in a crate to be washed and used for the next market run.

“Please excuse me, Mr. Addison. I have much work to do,” I say to him and walk quickly to my room.

I collapse on my bed, realizing I had broken one of the rules.

Standing

I made one mistake–
To tell the truth,
It helps to believe
The door is slammed shut
In my face.

Keep your mouth shut–
I never said anything of value,
You’d remember.
Kick and scream–
I run
Past the gate and
Down the road
So you don’t hear me
Whisper.

To be seen and not heard–
I’ve walked on tiptoe
All my life.
Chastise and lecture–
I leap
Over fields
So you won’t know I’m
Singing.

You don’t know the meaning
Of hard work–
I’ve spent sleepless
Hours reading and typing and writing
And working to pull myself
Out of the hole
You tell me is home.

girl writing
“To be seen and not heard– I’ve walked on tiptoe All my life.” Photo from: www.culturacolectiva.com

I worked every day of my life–
And I was grateful
Until today
You called me
Fool–
For wanting more–
More
Than trashed up trucks,
A wrecked house,
And more cracked eggshells
To creep over.

Get out.
Gone and running–
I fly
Farther than the sky
So you won’t see me
Standing.

Rising Song

If I told you once
I loved you–
I don’t think I foresaw
A life held back
Against a cold hard wall.
You suffocated me
With sparkling chains of words
I tried in vain to embrace.
I was grasping at an empty vessel
Of half-meant hopes and dreams,
And ‘almost like a dream’ meant
Nothing
If I could not catch my breath
From running aimlessly to escape.

A young woman’s escape–
I leave a trail of breadcrumbs behind
As I run out of the monster’s howling lair.
You carried me away
From the truth of a thousand lies
And wounded me with blows.
The skin is thick on the scars
You dug into the mental flesh
Of my blood-stained heart.
The places you struck me
Will heal with the falling snow.

Ring off finger
And flung away.
My finger can bend again–
I was numbed to the bone
From hypothermic waste.
Screeching,
I flung open the bars
Of the prison in which
You held me.

Your heart’s key–
I never meant to unlock
That door.
I threw the key away
Somewhere in the garden,
As drifts of white
Danced in the solemn breeze.

You denied me life
And pushed me inch by inch
Into a living grave.
I was a foot deep in mud
Before I hitched myself up
And braced my feet against the wall.
I won’t say it was easy–
The grips at the bottom
Were hard to cling to
And you were there holding me down.
I made it anyway
And overcame.
Your smug face shuddered
And collapsed into itself
Before the smoke cleared.

That smile was a dream
I attempted foolishly to keep.
As the flames of your fire
Scorched the meat
You had me cook for you,
The bonds of female servility
Were already crumbling
At our feet.

running in woods
“I was numbed to the bone From hypothermic waste.” Photo from: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com

As you held me down sweating
Against tear-streaked sheets,
I watched the window open
A crack to let the wind in.
As you pulled away and stood
At the door beckoning me to follow
Down the hall of portraits
Of faces smiling in false confidence,
I leaped at the chance
To fly out the window
And baptize myself in
Melting banks of snow.

You can swing at me again–
Your broken dagger was
Never too sharp anyway.
I won’t be hurt again
By untended wounds.

When spring comes,
I will run barefoot
Through the woods
With the sun beating down
And the wind following
My movements
There
And never back again.

Swallowed In Fear

Laughter pierces our silent night
As we explore
What lies beneath
Its ebony canvas.
You groan at the abundance of clouds
But I still spot scattered stars.

Warmth surrounds me as
Our fingers tangle together in loose knots.
I begin to melt into you—
But your hands are ice
(That’s why they’re shaking).
You tighten the knots and
We joke, tease,
Laughter replacing tension once again.
This time our faces inch closer,
Closer,
Close enough to see
Sparks of dread, desire—
Dreadful desire—
Begging to erupt.

starry cloudy night
“You groan at the abundance of clouds But I still spot scattered stars.” Photo from: https:media-cache-ak0-pinimg.com

Afraid of lighting a fire
We can’t control,
Reverting to a practiced posture as
Frigid as the air enveloping us,
We hide behind each other’s uncertainty,
Letting the radio talk for us on the drive home.

My toothbrush now scrapes
Across gingiva and enamel
While my mouth is left wondering
How these words
Swallowed in fear
Would taste in your mouth…

Dearest Mom

Selina knows her tragic flaw. Aristotle’s the Poetics forces her to introspect. If characters in delicate and complex novels have a tragic flaw, what separates her from the likes of Hamlet with his ambition or Oedipus with his pride? Her flaw was never one of evil or ill-intent. Selina is kind to all who cross her. That’s it.

Meeting her coworkers after work is always the highlight of her long, dragging days. A diverse bunch, always down for a shot of Tequila. Selina takes her kindness to damaging heights, making her naïve. She is well-versed in the world; having a mother like Georgianna, you had to be.

Her coworkers fail to show after work at the usual bar, but she needs a drink. Sitting at the bar with a half empty glass filled with an amber poison, Selina isn’t thinking clearly. After calling an Uber, Selina dreads going to her empty, bohemian flat. The elevator ride is the worst part, second is the way her key decides when it will work. She fumbles with her key in her drunken stupor to unlock her door.

“Success!” she screams, slurring the ingenuous word.

Pouring herself into her 500-square foot apartment, she throws herself onto her silk sheets. Savannah, Georgia has treated her well, with its hometown vibes.

“Drunk, again? Guess the fucking apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,” a woman says from across the room, raspy and hoarse.

Darkness conceals the voice, but Selina isn’t dumb. “You can’t smoke in here, I’m sorry,” Selina says with an indifferent sigh, eyes locked on her low-hanging ceiling.

“You’re not my mom,” the silhouette shrieks.

“Obviously. Why are you here? It’s been a while, no calls, texts, not even a letter. How have you been?”

“Tired, always,” the shape says. It steps forward, revealing a middle-aged woman, smoking a Marlboro Red special blend.

“Mom, I love you, but I’m wasted. Can we do this tomorrow? If you need a place to stay, please stay here. I can take the couch,” Selina tells Georgianna.

“Fine, we can talk about this tomorrow. Thanks for the place, babe.”

The two switch places and Selina is relieved she splurged for the more expensive couch. She has been taking care of Georgianna since she bought her flat. Serves her right, staying so close to the drug-riddled lady.

Morning rapes their eyes, jarring Selina awake. She is not shocked to see her mother on the bed, spread eagle, naked. She fixes breakfast for two and gently wakes her mother, thanking God it isn’t a weekday.

After eating their breakfast together quietly, Georgianna breaks the silence. “I need your help, baby girl.”

“With?” Selina replies, head lowered with half-moon eyes.

“I’m in trouble, bad. I need your help. I know I fucked up, but I need your help.”

“Mom, whatever you need, just tell me.”

“I need to get away from here.”

Selina knows what her mother means, a repeated trip across town, more vacation days wasted, just to escape whoever is looking for her. “Okay, where do you need to go?”

“This isn’t like last time. I fucked up bad,” Georgianna has an unfamiliar shame twinkling in her dilated pupils.

“How bad, Mom.”

Georgia
“Savannah, Georgia has treated her well, with its hometown vibes.” Photo from: http://www.sta-design.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/04-Blog-Savannah-Image-05.jpg

“I need to be far away, for a long time.”

“I can get you as far away as Pittsburg,” Selina compromises. “I can’t take off more than a week.”

“Done. Thanks, babe. When can we leave?”

“In a few hours. It’s not that far of a drive.”

They get in the car, Georgianna carrying all she has in one hand. After driving 5 hours, Selina sees flashing blue lights in her rearview. Her dark complexion forces goosebumps to rise to the surface. She pulls over to the caution strip, calming herself with each bump. The car eases to a halt, and her mom dives out of the car.

The police officer drags Selina out of the car, slamming her to the ground.

The large, burly man with shiny shoes screams at dispatch, almost incoherently into his radio, “Backup requested, suspect in custody and one running. Location: Blacksburg, corner of 460 and Orchard Street. Fleeing suspect is wanted for suspected felony: murder and attempted murder.”

Selina feels her heart drop, examining her mistakes.

Lucifer’s Own Pandora’s Box

She has a personal, destructive beauty, one not many can fall for. He is the only one to see it. With her red eyes and ebony wings, Aria holds Lucifer’s heart. Her love for the devil is only outweighed by the corruption inside her.

Lucifer ignores it, for a time. He understands she wants the same sensation he felt when he fell from grace. Only until she became his personal Pandora’s box did he take notice. Heartbreak, disease, famine, death. Aria has control of them, and much worse.

“My love, you must stop this,” Lucifer tenderly whispers, grasping her by the biceps with pleading eyes.

Aria growls and shoves him away. “You don’t tell me what to do!” Eyes like rubies in sunlight, her anger stems from his need to control her.

girl and box
“Her love for the devil is only outweighed by the corruption inside her.” Photo from: http://pre14.deviantart.net/152d/th/pre/i/2013/063/d/f/pandora_s_box_by_sirocco_rc-d5wybx3.jpg

Lucifer knows he can fix her, but only by using the hope lying at the bottom of the box. He grabs her arm with a jerk and takes her to her fallen meadow. Lucifer holds Aria close until their skin seems like it will fuse together.

He speaks the only words that will free Aria. “I free you from my hold and the hold of God.”

Aria is left limp in his embrace, eyes fluttered shut. All that is left of her wings is a handful of feathers at his feet. A blush returns to her cheeks, and her slate-colored nails are replaced with clean, uncolored ones. Aria’s hair turns to a light chestnut as Lucifer holds her in his lap. She is mortal, human. He strokes her cheek as her eyes open, revealing two eyes of sea green. The only words to have broken the devil were her first mortal words of freedom.

“Do I know you?”

Free and Fierce

fire
“In the dead of the night, the brilliant flames were alive with a seemingly insatiable hunger for fuel and fodder.” Photo from: http://forest.ambient-mixer.com/images_template/7/a/5/7a5f2da770d424198f5fe0e88b573b10_full.jpg

The night was alive with crackling light and shifting shadows. In the dead of the night, the brilliant flames were alive with a seemingly insatiable hunger for fuel and fodder, eating through the wood and the walls. The people outside on the ground stood in silent awe of the gold and orange flames that danced in the windows of what was once their home. They could do little else. They had been roused from the depths of sleep by the heat and the smoke, going from groggy to completely awake and alert in a second, only to have the adrenaline disappear from their bodies as they made it to the safety of the street. No one had seemed to be hurt much, and the fire had only just begun to roar in full force. As if it had waited for the last resident to leave before it feasted.

Free of any human chains to slow it down, the fire seemed to start anew, growing and blazing with a strange ferocity. It burned brightly and quickly, tearing and clawing its way through the apartment building. The entire building would be gone in seconds, but for the residents on the street, it seemed to take an eternity. Every flame slowed to a crawl, creeping up through the windows and along the walls. The flames seemed to gently brush against their prey before slipping into the wood to consume it from the inside out. Black spots of destruction blossomed forward, spreading out in a slow wave like a drop of ink in water. It would spread and spread, becoming wider and greater while it weakened itself, until it began to crumble away from its center to its very edge, the ash falling through the air like snowflakes and dancing in front of the viewer on the street.

The Hardest Choice

Just a sip—
That’s how the addiction began.
They said it’d fix everything,
An elixir for my inhibitions.
I was passed an overflowing glass of something
And I eagerly downed this liquid god
To atone for the sin
Of being boring.
Happy medium? Too mundane.
I’m only happy living by extremes
And now my happiness is attached to
An extreme buzz
With lows just as intense.

drink
“I was passed an overflowing glass of something And I eagerly downed this liquid god.” Photo from: http://media.salon.com/2014/03/alcohol-1280×960.jpg

Maybe it was the regular blackouts
Or the sleazy boys who got too friendly
Or that time I vomited for two hours
While the world was spinning like that toilet bowl—
But I slowly realized my judgment had been flushed away
Long before my nausea.

As I walked away from the glamorous lifestyle
Of underage drinking,
Once-friendly chatter faded
And soon the loudest thing around
Was my own footsteps.
In their own coded dialect
They screamed to me—
Sobriety might be boring
But if it keeps you alive,
It’s worth it.
I didn’t argue—
Now I just keep myself busy.

Anxiety Catalyst

The airport has always been a catalyst for my anxiety. The walk to the small plane, the trot up the stairs. I could die, ya’ know.
Sitting down in my window seat, I whisper, “At least I can see the clouds.”

The 6-month-old next to me should be kicked out for disrupting the small peace found looking out of my prized window.

airplane
“The 6-month-old next to me should be kicked out for disrupting the small peace found looking out of my prized window.” Photo from: https://www.scienceabc.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/airplane.jpg

A man with duck shoes stomps through the small isles. I imagine he doesn’t know his circumference. The empty seat next to me is praying for its vacancy, but all in vain. He smells.

A three-hour flight, next to a man that smells. Great.

The window seat has its disadvantages. The corner where one’s feet would go is rounded, allowing for virtually no foot room. In a fair assessment, the ceilings are 6 ½ foot tall, allowing little room for error.

The longest flight of my life had to be next to a man with incomprehensible body odor, a 6 ½ metal ceiling, and an infant screaming beside me.

Lucifer’s Beauty

She never meant for anything to happen, for anyone to get hurt. Freedom was all she searched for, but she traded one master for another.

Aria’s usual dusty pink feathers are now laced with black coal. Her nails, once a familiar bright red, are stained with a dull, senseless gray. Her heart is beating for the evil that has taken over her body instead of for the compassion and honesty that used to devour her.

“My dear Aria, you should have listened to Gabriel when he warned you of the fall,” Lucifer whispers deviously as Aria changes from the angel of love to something… else.

Stock for deviantart members only
“Her heart is beating for the evil that has taken over her body instead of for the compassion and honesty that used to devour her.” Photo from: www.more-sky.com

As Aria sees Lucifer’s smirk, her vibrant green eyes turn to a fiery red, her bright blond hair to tresses of dark curls. Lucifer kneels and holds her head in his rough hands.

“My beautiful girl, you’ve come back for me, haven’t you?” Lucifer says with certainty.

Aria replies with a grin so devious her canines appear. “Of course my love, who would not want such a man at their side?”

Pulling her close to his body, he strokes her changed, pale cheek. He remembers the softness of her skin, even though it had been a millennium. Staring into Aria’s eyes for only a second before making up his mind, Lucifer takes his prize back down to hell with him. His first love has finally returned.

The demons inside her would never rest, forever cursing their love. The second time, no one would be safe from the fires of hell.

Society’s Robot – Chapter 2

Sleep is a luxury to me, as it is frequently interrupted. As expected, Philip wakes me. Following him down the majestic wooden staircase, I see Mr. Addison waiting, tapping his foot on the beige carpet.

“What time did I fall asleep?” I ask Philip, trying to conjure a definite sense of time.

“Around nine,” he replies with certainty.

The large grandfather clock beside Mr. Addison reads 11:54. Judging by the lack of sun from the stained-glass windows overhead, I guess it’s nighttime. I suddenly remember why I could fall asleep. I grew bored, as I am not familiar with having nothing to attend. I take the valuable time to rest, physically and mentally.

The man waiting in his dining room appears no older than I. His dark hair looks to have never grown past his chin. His five o’clock shadow leaves me struggling to guess his age.

“Mr. Addison, this is Miss Richards, your new servant,” Philip introduces me, and Mr. Addison turns slightly, showing me his entire face.

I stare into his rainforest-green eyes and notice a scar sitting over his left eye.

“Ah, yes. Thank you, Philip, you can retire for the night.” Mr. Addison smiles.

Philip bows his head, walks to the back of the house, leaving Mr. Addison and me with only ourselves. As I try to avoid Mr. Addison’s gaze, I notice a flower pattern running along the room, stopping at each doorframe.

“My mother’s idea,” Mr. Addison noted. I blush because he notices my avoidance.

Mr. Addison must remember his mother by the framework; he stares at it reverently. “She adored flowers and convinced my father to have them all over. The only thing more dear to her heart were her children,” he says.

I nod my head slowly and clench my clasped hands.

“Please sit, Miss Richards,” he says while pointing to the chair behind me.

With a light chuckle, he grabs the plates nearest to him and walks toward me. “You are the first servant to have been close to my age since my parents were here,” he tells me as I watch for the subtle signs of permission to speak.

My eyes grow large as I notice him setting a full plate in front of him and me. I can’t help but salivate as I wait to be invited to eat.

“Hopefully you won’t find me a bad employer. I haven’t noticed any gossip from my servants,” he says playfully.

I nod my head in response and play with the hem of my shirt.

“Oh right… um, you may do as you please, Miss Richards. It’s only when there are others around that I will ask you to act appropriately,” he says matter-of-factly, like a schoolboy attempting to be the head-of-the-house.

mansion
“Following him down the majestic wooden staircase, I see Mr. Addison waiting, tapping his foot on the beige carpet.”

I feel safer now, having been shown kindness, and I start to eat some of the food. For almost twenty minutes, we eat in silence, I having no desire to talk and he appreciating my company. I catch him sizing me up, playing guessing games with my history. I imagine him asking if I had been abused before and that’s why I do not speak. The less complex answer is I have nothing to say.

“I have one rule, Miss Richards,” he says, wiping his mouth with a cloth napkin. “Call me Zach, never Mr. Addison.”

I nod slightly, taking in the one rule. Zach sighs casually, sitting back to look me over. I see no point in looking back so I finish my meal. I eat until I can’t anymore; this is the largest meal I’ve eaten in the last year! My last home was beautiful until the master’s son took over, treating me like the servant I am. He refused me food but always stood behind his parent’s rule: never beat a female servant.

“Tell me something about you, Miss Richards,” Zach requests. He supports his chin with calmly fisted hands, resting his elbows on the marble table.

Tell me something about you….I haven’t the slightest clue of what to say. Nothing about myself could be as interesting as the man in front of me.

Playing copycat, I reply, “I like being called Cassie.”

He nods respectfully. “Okay, Cassie, what do I need to know about you?” Zach says, trying to dig deeper.

“I’m allergic to lemon juice and bees,” I say as I remember Mother Ester telling me that notifying owners of allergies is always a good idea if you have nothing else to mention.

He says, “Good thing I hate lemon juice and my gardener keeps bees away from the roses after spring.” He chuckles lightly.

“I also like to read.”

He leans forward, straightening his posture. “Maybe one night a week you can sit with me in my study and read before we go to bed,” he says with a smile.

My grin seems to overpower his as I reply, “I would like that, Mr. Zach.”

He pats my hand lightly and says, “Rogue will get these things for us, but I’ve had a long day. I assume you have too.” He stands and sets the dishes neatly atop one another.

He’s right. Leaving North Carolina that early in the morning after having served my previous home’s party, arriving at my new place, and meeting my master has drained me.

“Yes, Zach, you’re right,” I murmur and stand up, pushing my chair in.

“Good night Cassandra.”

I bow, returning the good night, and retire to my bedroom. I decide Mr. Addison is a sweet, gentle man. However, as a veteran servant, I know first impressions can be deceiving.

Oh, How I Love You Broccoli Man

Dark earth piles up in neat rows–

Vegetables grow

In tall palatial columns–

A tantalizing treat

For the hungry young boy alone.

 

Over the fence and up the path,

Until he stealthily grips his prize–

A verdant head of broccoli.

Starved from days unfed,

He scarfs it down, collapsing

To hardened earth below.

 

Frost chills him to the bone

And an ominous wind moans

A witch’s curses from afar:

Ye dared partake o’ me produce

And ye shall be cursed to poison broccoli

Forevermore!

Whoever loves ye shall partake of the broccoli

Purged from your stomach

And will not die.

 

The lonely boy searches

For fifty years to find his love.

Youth is his until

A day when the sky is grey

And the sun is hidden

And the wind blows fierce–

He sees her!

A quiet girl with golden hair

And eyes of sea waves.

mirror
“We will meet again In the other dream.” ‘And she fell through The rippling mirror.” Photo from: www.vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net

He vomits and retches out

A head of verdant broccoli.

He fears the maiden

Will not accept his bouquet.

 

He catches her by her shirt tail

Pulling her into

An antique dwelling and in

A dark cavern hallway

Asks her,

“Do you care for broccoli?”

 

She replies to his timid inquiry,

“Of course I do! Why shouldn’t I?”

And gobbles it down in haste.

The boy watches in anticipation–

Lo and behold

She does not die!

 

A soft breeze whispers past

As he solemnly attests,

“You are my destined one!”

He pulls her close to him

And as he kisses her

A foul taste fills her mouth

As he falls apart like brittle clay.

 

“We will meet again

In the other dream.”

And she fell through

The rippling mirror.

 

The Life of a College Dog

With the beautiful weather and abundance of homework, Iris loves Radford’s campus almost as much as any hiking trail. What dog doesn’t love a puppuccino and endless belly rubs?

Here, we see a pupper in its natural habitat.
Here, we see a pupper in its natural habitat.

Normally, I’d say let sleeping dogs lie. However, we’ve got an entire day planned. She’s secretly lazy though.

Look at her, dude.
Look at her, dude.

Peering majestically, in search for a treat nowhere in sight, Iris kinda likes it here.

Because who doesn't love a gorgeous day and a good novel?
Because who doesn’t love a gorgeous day and a good novel?

Starbucks is usually her hang-out spot. Sorry if she begs you for some food – she’s kind of a dog.

Watching us Zipline

After hours of reading, Iris hits the RU Able facility to watch us zipline and run around to her heart’s content.

She curls up beneath my piano, signaling a say well spent.
She curls up beneath my piano, signaling a day well spent.

A snoring puppy is always a success. Go team!

Wanna see more of Iris? Happy Birthday; here’s last week. http://www.ruwhim.com/?p=52028