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Cecilia FliesFive stories high doesn’t sound like very much until you’re standing on a plank extended out over a swimming pool so small and so flimsy even toddlers give it a wary eyeball.
“I don’t like this, I don’t like this, I don’t like this,” Cecilia repeated to herself as she took that last step to the end of the board. “No, no, no, crap, crap, this is bad. What am I doing?”
Down below, a couple hundred people sat in the stands around the center platform. Their heads leaned back, gazing at the tiny ballerina balancing precariously above. Cecilia only looked for one person in the crowd.
There! A glimmer of glitter, silver and white, the unmistakable sequins of her friend and guardian angel, Lina. Cecilia couldn’t see her face, but she imagined her as she always was, book of spells on her lap, reading the familiar words.
It was Lina who made Cecilia fly. Lina who made the tiny ballerina a star, so much so that she had become the face on
Deal With It“There,” Philip said, and stuck the tip of the pick axe in the dirt.
“Are you done? Took long enough.”
“Oh, pipe down, Mack, I did what I needed to do.”
“All you had to do was kill him, dude, I think this is a little excessive.”
The younger man turned his head as Philip kicked body parts into three separate holes, then picked up the hoe and helped fill them without looking.
“Well, I can’t sleep at night if I know somebody I killed could come back.”
Mack stopped the hoe and looked up at Philip in shock. “You mean, you do this because you’re afraid of…of zombies?”
“It’s not likely, but the fact is, it could happen. Not gonna take my chances. When you’ve killed as many people as I have, kid, you have to find some way to deal with the ghosts in your head.”
“All right, whatever, but I really hate your coping skills.”
Happy AccidentsSometimes I wake up in the morning, blink against the blue light coming in the window, and forget for just a second that the rest of the world is dead.
When I was a kid, I read stories about how some of the best inventions and discoveries resulted from accidents. “Happy accidents,” my mom called them. I grew up hoping that one day I would be a scientist, and “accident” into something incredible. I achieved my goal—I’m not unhappy and it was something incredible.
Three months ago, I walked into my lab like I do every day, coffee in one hand, cell phone in the other, ready to work. An hour later, the entire lab went up in a puff of green smoke. I managed to make it to my safety bunker before the explosion went off, but by the time it was safe to emerge, the damage had been done.
I stayed in the bunker a month, waiting for my detector to tell me that it was safe to exit. When it still hadn’t gone off after a month and my food supplies were running
StrangersLauren laid on her bed, scrolling through stories on some paranormal website her sister raved about. Standard fare, really—ghosts, demons, nearly-there-but-not-quite photos, clearly faked photos, curses, unexplained deaths—nothing to make Lauren so much as lift an eyebrow.
She clicked on one story labeled “The Stranger” and skimmed through it. “Yada, yada, cursed because she was unbearably nasty, morality tale, etcetera, etcetera,” she said as she glanced through it, then closed her laptop with a sharp click.
Sighing, Lauren slid off the bed and grabbed her coat, heading down stairs and out the door. Seriously, rotting her brain believing that crap, she thought, and pulled her coat closer to fend off the chilly drizzle.
Five blocks to their favorite ice cream place; she met her sister there every week, and she hated it. She would have to pass at least three homeless people only to listen to her sister talk for an hour. At least she could get t
ChupaSheila crawled out of bed, eyes barely open, and slammed her hand against the alarm clock. After a trip to the bathroom and a half-hearted glance in the mirror, she shuffled her way to the kitchen.
Then, just as she had every morning for the past fifteen years, she poured herself a cup of coffee and thought, for the millionth time, what would I do without coffee on a timer? Then leaned against the sink, letting the aroma work its way into her system, and watched out the kitchen window.
This habit resulted from the hummingbird feeders her mom had put up before she died, and out of respect for her mom and, she had to admit, some personal interest, she kept them filled during the warmer months. Most mornings, a few hummingbirds would zip around the feeders, and she would start her day with them, marveling at their speed.
As she watched, two hummingbirds came up to the feeders, a blue and a green, and a territorial fight broke out, one chasing the other in huge arcs around the feede
Becoming a ManThe day my mother brought home a brand new book for my brother, I knew something had happened. He was too young to know, though. “Aces!” he yelled, grinning, when she put it in his hands.
I didn’t look at him; I looked at her. The joy of the gift didn’t mask the sorrow in her eyes. The deep wrinkles branched out from the corner of her eyes like leafless winter branches, and the exhaustion etched in the lines on her forehead read loud and clear.
Somehow I knew, without a word. I waited until she walked into the kitchen and followed her. “He died, didn’t he?”
She let out a shaky breath and started putting the other things she’d brought home away. “I can’t hide anything from you, can I?”
“Late last night.” She set down a magazine, and I glanced at the back cover. Ham in a can. I wondered what it tasted like for a second before I remembered what we were discussing.
“So what now?”
Permanent Relocation“Well, here we are, floating in a tin can in the middle of space.” The stocky blonde with short hair shoved her bag under the sparse bed in the room.
“Funny, I thought it would feel different,” said the brunette behind her.
“Welcome home, ladies,” said the tall, severe woman who showed them to their room. “Dinner’s in an hour, and we don’t wait.”
When the door was closed, the blonde laid down on the bed. “What’s your name again?”
“Stephanie, but I like Stevie better.”
“All right. Nice to meet you, Stevie.” Pearl pulled out her things, putting them in the small dresser beside her bed. There wasn’t much—some clothes, toiletries, a few books, and some pictures. Stevie noticed that she shoved these under the clothes. The curvy brunette sat on the bed when she finished and looked at the blonde across. “So why are you here?”
“Had to get
BoomI ran for my shotgun as soon as I heard the blast. No way I was going to get caught off guard, no sir. Another one followed the first, insistent, and with the sound of crackling that could only mean shrapnel.
Great, and I’m in my pajamas. I loaded the shotgun and walked with a purpose through the living room. The patriotic music from the July 4th concert still played from my radio—fitting, I realized, and I stood taller.
The last notes of America, The Beautiful rung out loud and true as I opened the door. As soon as I stepped outside, light and sound assaulted every sense. I refused to waver, and I shook my gun and yelled, “Come and get it, you pansies!”
The booming intensified, and I raised my gun. I might not be able to see my attackers, but if I shot in their general direction, I could provide covering fire for our boys. Good thing I brought extra rounds.
I leveled my gun at the tree line, knowing that whoever lead the charge of those exp
Helper“Forget the car, Gene, it’s gone.”
“Cars don’t just get gone, Marsha.”
“Yeah, well, people don’t just get gone either, do they?” the blonde looked out into the woods. “But twenty years in this business and I’ve gotten plenty of people just gone.”
“You’ve been doing this for that long?”
Marsha looked up at him in perplexed amusement. “You mean the gray roots and the wrinkles on my hands don’t give it away? I’m touched.” She turned and started walking back down the highway, muttering to herself. The short, stocky guy behind her hesitated, then followed.
“Why do you do it?” he asked as he fell into stride with her.
“Sometimes people need to go. Someone’s gotta help ‘em.” Gene nodded silently, and the two walked on for a while until Marsha turned down a small path into the woods at the edge of the highway.
“Well, I appreci
when you find yourself
in a crowd of familiar faces,
the struggle for breath
You Will PayI can taste the fear upon you:
The cold sweat in your palms,
The eyes that dart at shadows,
And the lips that are forced into a tightened smile.
You wait beneath the blankets,
Shivering each night as the anxiety rises.
You gasp at the slightest sounds and quiver...
For you are afraid of the curse that comes.
In your mind you see what you have done to me.
You watched as you ripped my tongue
And stole the very voice from my soul!
But even if I am without a body,
Even if I can no longer hold a knife to your throat.
Fear alone is enough for me to silence you,
And I will NEVER allow you to be heard!
MazeLost within myself
Looking for a way out
This cannot end like this
Trapped in my own mind
A maze with no exit
I keep running and running
But I always end up
In the same place where I began
Inner DemonI harbour a monster,
It lingers deep within.
It wants to escape me,
To tear free from my skin.
It gnaws at my insides,
And hopes that I'll give in.
It works hard to tempt me,
To lead me into sin.
It wants me to suffer
To feel its wretched sting.
But I stand true and strong,
I will not let it win.
The nights are the hardest,
In bed I pray and sing
To the Lord God above
To rid me of this thing.
But instead it remains,
My monster still within.
RustThe dwelling rust
swells this hollow garden
and somewhere in the yard
a tire swing goes flat
against the skyline.
It chokes the autumn light
in the silo,
the crush of
mums and ragged berries
It bubbles in the percolator
steeping still life
in the caul
of early morning -
the red-brown crumbs
of breakfast toast and jam
growing ghosts upon
And deep inside
I still hear you waking up
the soft salute
of morning voices
stirring the wind
outside my window.
Slaves of the deadSlaves of the dead
to find another land,
but they couldn't stand the desert and the frost.
Some died, some returned.
For those who returned
the masters had prepared a special punishment.
Their memory was wiped off.
They became thieves,
without ever understanding why.
They just felt it was the right thing to do.
Croon.And you will have my arms around you
long after the first frost
silences the crickets
that played us to sleep
through our first summer,
and their children
and the children of theirs
will play those same songs
as creases form and deepen
beside our eyes.
And I know this because
of our childish jokes
and because of the words
we are writing.
there’s something about
these kisses hitting their marks
from thousands of miles away
eliciting rouge beneath pale;
I see on your face
the dumbfounded grin
I feel spreading across my own,
our bodies built
scattered by the hand of fate
between two states.
But it is love
who is determined
to complete our picture
and it is love
who shall have her way.
Red Light ReduxHaving a truck
Paint me red
Is the strangest feeling
I’ve ever felt.
I’ve seen myself melt away
Like a mid-summer’s ice cream
While my personality screams
To be noticed. Every wall that once
Stood between me and reality
I am finally free.
Until they strapped me down
And sewed back my hands to my head.
My heart to my mouth.
My legs to the earth.
The taste of freedom
Rests gently on my tongue,
And I’ve been trying
To no avail.
LegacyI live behind reinforced walls
and a guard clad in armor of fear
for each door.
A fortress built from bricks of doubt and disappointment;
mortar mixed with the ashes from the pyre
on which I sacrificed myself
and remade myself
in the hopes that this incarnation
might be something someone could appreciate.
I grew in a garden of imperfection
in which I was the most imperfect;
no one ever said, "You aren't good enough."
But they did say,
"Boys don't like fat girls,
you'll never find a man if you don't lose weight."
I heard: "You are unlovable."
They said, "You'll never succeed
if you don't do your homework--"
nevermind that I had the highest grade in the class.
I heard: "You aren't good enough."
I burned those messages into my flesh
every time I looked at my reflection
and believed them.
Now, 30 years of rebirths later,
this incarnation still believes
she is unlovable,
and this incarnation still believes
she is a failure,
even when my child,
my precious baby girl,
takes my face in
MercyOh sweet God how the grassland
ignites in moonlight tonight
I must thank you for creating
her tangled fingers' slow pace
through the handsome rain Her
trochaic kinesthesia to rhythms
in Stravinsky's The Rite of
Spring Is this how you meant
for us to love you Yahweh
Tumbling clumsily down hills
of sheets into perpetually
immutable silence I could love
you like that I think I've been
practicing on this Savanna
for days and months Lost in
her crystal canvas Rolling crests
and troughs And when she touches
me Oh fair Lord I'm dragged into
your city past Gethsemane's
pulsing green and gold
Please hold us together
under this luminous stretch
Oh Father We are live
unclothed Our reflections awash
with the skin of your sun
Life is but a DreamWe are just unnourished frail bodies,
overfed with white lies and short-lived-euphorias.
Books filled with black letters,
etching lurid images into our utmost dreams.
Veering us from the big picture...
the one we fail to paint ourselves.
Our fists much too busy with fights,
that we are bound to lose.
Too occupied in line waiting,
for creativity to be let loose like a stray dog.
As if we will find home in this pursuit of happiness...
but we only enclose each other in small rooms
with nothing but old laptops.
How many times I've guessed which letter could it be...
Which letter could it be?
To free us from havoc-stricken-thoughts?
They come and go, unending like 24 hour subway stations.
There's no break for this lonely man,
heaving every breathe of stale air
into my overused lungs...
Living in confined walls of flesh
held up with brittle paper-mache bones.
Which day is it that I will burst out from this cage of a life?
And hover with the Gods found in carefully binded bo
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A two-time Community Volunteer for the deviantART Related category, Anne is well-known as a positive, helpful force. She is the community's resident expert when it comes to CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), and her personal gallery offers a wide variety of tutorials for new and experienced coders alike. In addition, each winter she hosts a calendar project encouraging members to create Journal designs for all to use, bringing more creativity to the community.
It is with immense gratitude that we acknowledge Anne as the recipient of the Deviousness Award for October 2014. Read More