The Big Girl and Her Friend (2)

Htrae is best known for its stardust mines. Whilst it has been equivalent to staple foods for us Traeons, when the settlement of the foreigners first took place, the Federation were incredibly excited by stardust and henceforth Htrae became a part of the Trading Goods Allegiance (TGA)  between the two galaxies. To witches and wizards, stardust was merely a common form that existed in the air by some unexplained force but, for humans it was a strange and wondrous element that did not grow on their home planets. For years, Htrae was the most popular destination for tourism and trade but over the years greater elements have been discovering on neighbouring planets and Htrae has become a friendly and familiar face to those who pass it. The station that connects the neighbouring planets is named Terabithia. From here, vortexes that act as bridges allow travel to and from worlds. Terabithia is a land full of mysterious magic that even ancient warlocks can not explain. It is neither a spherical planet nor a shining star and yet the properties are that of both. The atmosphere is constantly changing and under the permanently dark spacial sky Terabithia miraculously grows large trees and luscious vegetation. Inse who travel often have all said to have sighted different creatures, species or beings so no person knows what really exists.

The girl in our story was said by many wise inse, to have been born spiritually from Terabithia’s power, giving her the unexplainable ability to harness her soul in one entity.

tbc…

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The Big Girl and Her Friend (1)

Since time begun, mankind, or ‘inse’ has been known to be an entity split into two parts.
Ancient warlocks who possess a familiar, modern magic folk and their animagus, in some worlds there exists the human and their daemons and in other exists human and pet. It has become commonly accepted accross the galaxies that man’s soul exists outside of its body, in another  part and usually in the form of some kind of animal or creature.  In each instance, the soul is fragile, loved and nurtured. If neglected, it is reflected through the negative persona they will thereafter possess for eternity, redeemed only through enlightenment. 

Our story takes place on the planet Htrae (pronounced tray) in the Lunar system in the elliptical galaxy in the year 3021. The purebloods of Traeon’s souls exist in a sphinx whose size and character is a reflection of their owners but, after the inaugration of the Federation from planet Earth in the solar system, to our planet in the year 2015, the Traeons have now become, like most other planets in both the spiral and elliptical galaxies, a diverse population. Here it is, and with utmost pride I state, where the new entity of inse was created and placed. For the first time man was kept whole, soul intact, in its original vessel. This story tells of this new inse who was given a many tests and gone through a many trials and tribulations over the time of her life as her soul was invisible, it was as if it did not exist, rather through this story we will learn, it lived very much inside of her and was nothing like anyone had encountered before.

tbc…

Reciprocated

When does anyone ever really know when they’re staring into thin air? Usually it’s not so obvious, the mind glides swiftly from one subject to another, it’s always somewhere else and your body just exists not really having any purpose. Until your mind returns to a thought that pulls you back to existence.

When I felt his eyes staring at me I realised for the first time that I was deeply staring into thin air. Instinct, I suppose, pulled me back to existence. My thoughts were disrupted, I was suddenly very aware that I had been gone for some time. Although no one else seemed to have noticed, he did. At first I didn’t know where the feeling of such a strong gaze was coming from but after scanning the crowd it was quite obvious. He seemed to have been watching me for some time, his eyes were fixed on me and they didn’t shove when finally they met mine. Naturally I smiled, he smiled back. Or was it the other way around? There was a very short moment, so short it’s sometimes hard to believe it happened, when the world stood still. A thousand questions ran through my brain and I thought they may even be answered had the moment been longer. Then reality sat comfortably in between us again, pushing the moment down to the bottom of the pits of our stomachs, for another day and another time.

*****

The bottle spun fast on the wooden table. We all watched it, still laughing a little from the previous round. M____ nudged me.  I sat back against the sofa, she put her head on my shoulder and her arm linked around mine. The bottle still spun, we both watched it.

“What’s it going to be this time?”

“I say we just go with dare. We’ve got all the juice on everyone here anyway I bet.”

“I don’t think we do.” J___ said.

The bottle stopped. We all looked at A____ who hung his head and covered his face, an embarrassed smile grew on his face. J___ and C___ howled pushing him from either side.

“Alright, truth or dare?”

“We said dare didn’t we?”

“No, it’s A____. He always chooses dare. Let’s go with truth this time.”  We all argued about what would be better until A_____ said,

“Alright, alright, I’ll just choose truth. Go on.”

There was a wave of OKs and awws and then we fell silent as we thought of what could be asked.

“Tell us something we don’t know about you.”

“That’s it?”

“Yeah come on, is that it? That’s nothing compared to what you guys asked me.”

“There’s nothing left to ask though!”

“OK well just answer that one, but it has to be something… You know, worth the bottle.”

We all laughed.

“Worth the bottle?”

“Yeah OK you know what I mean. OK come on, we’ll give you 10 seconds otherwise it’s the pool whether you like it or not.”

“Head first.”  We all agreed.

“And if we don’t think your answer is good enough either it’ll be the pool too.”

“OK, OK. Let me think.” We began to countdown, getting louder, the excitement rising – each of us hoping that he couldn’t answer. We reached 1 and there was an uproar as the boys reached for his legs.

“No. No wait! Give me a second! Just let me.. Wait!” They dropped him.

“Alright, another 5 seconds but that’s it.” He scratched his face, as if he knew what came next. Then, very suddenly he looked at me. It wasn’t a glance, he actually looked at me but then looked away. I was reminded of that moment two years ago. Flustered, I looked away too and M____ unwrapped her arm from mine. She leaned closer to him, everyone demanded an answer from him. I looked at him again, scared my feelings showed on my face. I felt my cheeks getting hotter so I coughed and used this chance to get some water.

“Alright, alright! Chill. So. Something you don’t know about me.” He paused for what seemed like forever before he finally said,

“I like S____.” I froze. The room fell silent.

“What?” C____ said. “You’re…. Are you joking?” He asked calmly.

“No.” 

I turn around to face him. He didn’t look at me straight away. I walked back to my spot next to M___ and sat down. Everyone looked at me, waiting for me to respond.

“What…. All this time…?” I ask.

“You mean…You knew?”

“No, I didn’t… I mean… I thought I was over thinking…”

“Wait… So you’re not angry?” Everyone watched us intently.

I got up, grabbing A___’s arm and took him to the patio, shutting the doors behind me.

“Why didn’t you tell me before?” I ask.

“I still want to be friends, even if you don’t like me like that.”

“I do like you. I’ve liked you for almost two years.”

“What?”

“Yeah.”

“No way.”

“What?”

“This is actually really funny.”

“I guess?”

“You could’ve told me too.”

“No, I thought I was reading your signs all wrong.”

“And I thought you just didn’t like me.”

I shook my head but I couldn’t hide my smile. Everyone’s attention was still on us.

“Let’s go in for now.”

“Yeah.”

He smiled proudly and putting his arm around my shoulders like he always did, we walked back in.

#2703 Carrie

Carrie was a beautiful, olive toned intelligent women. For someone like Carrie, it was inevitable that within her there lay deep, dark and dirty secrets. Her natural plump lips, her elegantly shaped collar-bones and her incredibly well kept posture were a strategically devised demeanour. She was almost perfect.

Every morning she would wake on the dot of the hour. Four o’clock, five o’clock, six o’ clock. Never later than six. Sitting up before sliding her legs off the bed and placing her feet in a pair of clean, white slippers. A calculated manoeuvre that her mind was accustomed to. She would fold the sheets as neatly as you can imagine and then stand in front of the mirror blank spaced as she brushed her thick, black hair. This was the only time in Carrie’s day that she did not keep track of. Well, to a certain extent. Her neck would twitch involuntarily shaking her from her zone, reminding her that it was time to move on. To brush her teeth, wash her face, wear her clothes, eat her breakfast and finally leave for work. Each of these acts lasted a mere minute to five depending on her mood. Her mood never appeared on her face though, it was always kept hidden away for herself. Level-headed, organised and emotionless, almost as if she were a robot…. But she wasn’t, Carrie had a living beating heart. A heart that was half black to the core and for this reason, Carrie was a murderer.

Carrie was a twenty year old writer who owned a small fashion company. Recent events had got the best of her, she had reached what some would call a writer’s block and her sense of fashion had become drained and typical ‘workaholic’. Her every day wardrobe consisted of a black pencil skirt, black stockings and smart black heels. Her top half was the only feature displaying some change. From a chiffon, white, collared, sleeveless shirt to a chiffon, white, collared, long sleeve shirt. Every now and then, the white would change to peach, to beige or another pastel colour. Her hair, always in the same high and tidy pony tail. At first, her employees didn’t notice her declining enthusiasm surrounding her outfit choices and when they did, they muttered judgements under their breaths. The sudden shift of Carrie’s behaviour offended them, they believed she had lost her sense of creativity. Little did they know, her creativity was spiralling, it was not that she had lost it, it was directed elsewhere for the time being. After all, there is only one thing worse than a murderer, a murderer who enjoyed being one.

Three months prior came Carrie’s first kill. The prices were high, the quality was high, the demand was exceedingly high, but the stock was low. Carrie’s business provided professional hand-made state of the art fashion. Each item was a unique original piece of her imagination. Since the day she started, she made sure that there were no duplicates of any one item. Soon she would be having to create fifty new pieces for fifty new clients, for just one event. It was a small business, but it grew until it was impossible for her to take it all upon herself. Being unusually stubborn, she made the irrational decision to withdraw her clients’ offer and focus on expanding her collection rather than her revenue. It was the first big kill to Carrie’s company, her employees were certainly not happy. Carrie however, had more pressing issues, her husband-to-be was acting very strange.

Carrie was engaged to an equally handsome and intelligent man. Glowing chocolate skin, chiselled cheeks and a sharp jaw. His inevitable piercing blue eyes were quite mesmerising too and just like Carrie, this man was too perfect. It is safe to say that Aaron made Carrie everything she was today. His eloquent, witty words and a dimple on one cheek had her falling for him in no time. It was not until they moved in together, that Carrie noticed Aaron’s calculative behaviour and strict routine. He would wake up every morning on the dot of the hour. Four o’ clock, five o’ clock, six o’ clock. Never later than six. He would stand in the mirror as he combed his hair and smiled to himself a most peculiar smile. Previously his outfits usually included a new clean-cut silk suit every day, Carrie started to notice he wore his navy one more often than normal. This was not the man she had originally met, fell in love, moved in with and agreed to marry. It dawned on her that this man may not be who he claimed to be. She couldn’t confront him directly though, on the off chance she was wrong. Then there was the possibility that he was obsessed with her and would never let her go. One thing was for sure though, Carrie’s intuition was true. Something was definitely not right with Aaron.

Carrie began to investigate, her creative mind placed her in the shoes of a detective. She worked her way down from the top, cleverly taking time off work to follow his footsteps. She became his shadow, his second, quiet, secret shadow. She watched through her binoculars as he entered his favourite pub and exited out the back. She watched as he looked suspiciously left and right. As he headed to his office and wouldn’t come out for lunch. As he left at the exact same time every day. Soon, she found that this was his immaculately followed routine, down to head turns and handshakes, every manoeuvre carefully calculated. She could not for the love of her, gather what was going on with Aaron. She began to question her own state of mind. Was she becoming overly protective of Aaron? Afraid of losing him? Well, she was afraid of losing him, but were his actions really extraordinary? Oddly the answer finally came to her at a time when she was in her office. An old newspaper lay buried on her desk revealing the words ‘Crystal Bar & Restaurant’. Carrie hoped this was just a coincidence but when she looked at the headline it read something that had the hair on her back standing. She read the article. The times matched up and even if no-one believed her, she knew in her soul she was right. Aaron, oh Aaron. She thought. Who are you?

A week later, Carrie sat at her desk upright, calm and collected. Her arms at a right degree angle, her hands touching her laptop by the palms, her fingers typing away furiously. The news about Aaron’s hobby had left Carrie confused. She researched further, found out more and ultimately felt like a crushed spider sprawled against the back of a slipper. Only writing was able to clear the mess in her mind, well, until she saw his face again. She heard the front door click open, she looked at the clock. He was on time as usual. She listened carefully to each echoing foot step up the stairs, the wind behind the door as he lifted his hand and pushed the door open.

“Hey honey, I’m back.” He said, like normal. As Carrie turned to face him, she saw the peculiar smile on Aaron’s face and the dead body of his victim in her head. She shuddered at the thought. She replied with a weak wavering voice, one that she used before she had met Aaron. Aaron’s head tilted and his eyebrows frowned.

“Are you ok?” He asked. He slowly walked to her, extending his arm to her cheek. Or was it her neck? She flinched.

 “Carrie, honey. What’s wrong.” Aaron sensed the scared look in her eyes, the obvious avoidance of his touch. Carrie ran to the bathroom, locking the door behind her.

“You’ve been acting strange all week. Is there something you’re not telling me?” His voice stern, mono-tone and but a little on edge. Carrie looked at her reflection in the mirror and whispered crazily,

“Me hiding something from you?! More like, is there something you’re not telling me! You psychopathic con man.”

She shook her head and took a deep breathe. When she exhaled, Aaron’s voice could be heard distantly.

“Carrie, what’s wrong. You’re worrying me. I’m going to come in if you’re not coming out.” He’s going to come in? She thought No, no, no. He can’t. He’s going to kill me. He’s going to kill me for sure.

Carrie frantically searched for something sharp. Aaron’s shaving blade revealed itself. She held her hand up with a solid stance, weapon at the ready and took a deep breathe. She listened as there were a few quick running footsteps and a BANG. The door was forced open and in stumbled Aaron. It took Carrie two seconds to close her eyes and do what she had prepared herself to do.

Carrie sat on the edge of the bathtub, staring aimlessly at the dead body in front of her. She pictured the police arriving at her door with noise complaints, entering for a quick check, discovering of the blood bath that had ensued – mainly Aaron’s blood. For the first time Carrie’s mind remained silent. She willed herself to think of what characters from her stories would do but she saw herself running into a brick wall. Attempting the climb and failing, over and over. Thus beginning her writer’s block. What was she to do now after killing the love of her life? She stood up, and looked blankly at her reflection, I must wash. She did just that for as long as she could remember. When she finished, she stood in front of the mirror again and brushed her hair.

Disposing of the body was a somewhat easier task for Carrie. All the tools she required were at her feet. The car, a rug and a reservoir twenty minutes away. The night sky played the perfect cover. Carrie looked at her victim one last time, inflicted with countless wounds. She kissed her hand and placed it on his forehead. She loved Aaron, but only the Aaron she had met, not the Aaron that she had come to know and with that last gesture, it was time to let him go.

Carrie sat in front of her laptop screen just as she did that day. Her fingers however were not furiously typing. The sun set in the pocket of the horizon and the house was silent. Carrie’s strict schedule meant she only had ten minutes left at the desk before she would go to the kitchen to prepare dinner. She knew though, that she wouldn’t be writing anything in those ten minutes because she hadn’t written anything for almost three months. The natural state of order would be for Carrie to use this wasted time to reminisce about her victims but instead; the blank document stayed open as she watched the clock on her desktop and waited. One minute passed, nothing. Two minutes passed, still nothing. Three minutes passed. Then something unusual happened. Carrie may have missed it, if she had been caught up thinking deep thoughts, but she wasn’t, so she didn’t. She felt a breeze stroke her neck. Her eyes widened. The door to her room pushed open.

“Hey honey, I’m back.”

#0103 Min

They catch each others eyes and start giggling. That soon turns into laughter, but there’s no obvious reason to why they’re laughing. Min sits silently as her hands fold over each other once again like always. She’s not always quiet, only around them. They intimidate her when they’re near and their words are more important to her than her own. She listens, waiting for a chance to talk, to state her mind, to show them she is still present in the room. Now, but they start giggling again. Never has she felt more an outsider. They look at her but quickly turn their eyes away. Min’s mind stirs. What are they thinking about, why isn’t it something that I can relate to?  Why do they do this only when I’m around? Or don’t they… Maybe I’m over thinking this. Min smiles patiently, waiting for them to reveal the joke. To include her, to let her in. The three had once been a close group of friends. They would all laugh together and talk about all the funny things they had done and Min didn’t know when this began to change but it did. After time went on she noticed little things. Like when she would say goodbye they were all too busy talking, and when she spoke, the subject would quickly change. Little things that otherwise she wouldn’t have picked up on. Today though as they sat laughing, the puzzle pieces were fitting together in Min’s mind. Counting each moment of humiliation, she belittled herself. Until she felt like a mucky puddle of leftover rainwater, constantly trodden through yet distinctly avoided. She decided she no longer wanted to play a part in their game. Play the victim, be the victim, to humour them and their sick minds. No more.

Min began to make excuses the next time she saw them. They would fake smiles as they walked pass but Min would fake a smile back. They would bump into one another in the stairwells but Min would rush as if in a hurry. For a while this worked, they were wary around Min, cautious of her actions and her quite obvious avoidance. Eventually they decided not to give any notice, pretended they didn’t know her in corridors and ignored her entirely. This wasn’t what she had hoped for, but as a passive aggressive it was what she got. She wanted them to notice her strange behaviour to realise they were wrong. She wanted an apology. She didn’t expect her actions to be a perfect alibi for them to only get rid of her faster. The truth had revealed itself and Min had not only spent her time on wasted human beings, she had wasted it trying her best to avoid them. Every time she saw them from then on, her toes would curl from hatred. Her chest would clench itself inside yearning to be acknowledged, if not as someone who was once their friend but as another human being. For them it was considerably easy to treat her as invisible, soon they didn’t have to avoid her on purpose, it just so happened they had given up all care.

Min tried to make new friends, share new moments and move on from this but one day, early to class they sat alone in the room with Min. Like normal, they ignored her but she had conditioned herself to ignore being ignored and didn’t let it bother her. Five minutes passed. Min heard a little giggle. She looked up at them as they avoided eye contact. Exchanging whispers and small grins they sat and they giggled. One minute passed. Min glanced their way. Her heart beat faster now and a boiling desire to do something rose. To say something, to do something, anything. She looked at them now, glaring as they sat giggling like school girls around Min. Min didn’t like it, in fact she didn’t think she could stand it any longer. Breathe Min, breathe. She told herself and took a deep breath. They laughed. Min’s gaze shot at the scissors that lay on the lecturers table behind her. She grabbed the scissors and leaped at them. Making sure the last sound that came out of their filthy mouths were those disgusting laughs, Min killed them.

Awakening

 

Preface

 

It was a green day. A muddy, military green. The Readers felt an eerie presence in the sky. Something was going to change. Of course, as always, no one knew what exactly, just that things were going to happen. I didn’t believe any of this. Not even when my mother told me today was the first green day in one hundred years.

                                                   

1.

     Every morning at 5am the aluminium curtains fold open, shrieking, yearning to be oiled. The first ray of sunshine falls onto the metallic floor tiles and everything is henceforth uniform.

     We walk across to the iron table, where a robot arm that hangs from the lightbulb serves us breakfast. As soon as we’re done, the Hand walk in to clean up after us. The only change we anticipate is the colour of our Transtainers the next morning. This morning it was a daunting earthy green.

     At 16 years old I was the only one who hadn’t been ‘disturbed’ yet, but if anyone found out, it would call for long disgusted faces and several visits to the doctor. So I kept it to myself.

     Being disturbed was looked fondly on in town. It made you old enough to understand life. You could decide what you wanted to do forever (when you turned seventeen). Whether you wanted to farm, deliver produce or any other mundane job that bored you till your death came. That’s if the Ghosts didn’t take your life first.

     Readers were chosen from the children who were disturbed from an early age like twelve. They had a closer connection to the stars and could feel the Ghost’s wave stronger. Naturally it was impossible for me to become a Reader.

     I didn’t understand how any of this worked, I just obeyed the system and dreamed of the possibilities the world outside this town had to offer. I often wondered were Ghosts even real? Or was this the universe’s way of telling us that the way we are living is wrong? It seemed a bit childish to me that we put so much faith into dead people’s spirits. I always had my doubts.

     I was approaching my half birthday when I started feeling nauseous. Whilst walking to the Edu Hall I started feeling dizzy. My vision started fading in and out. Deep down, I knew it was the Ghosts. Everyone who is disturbed experiences these symptoms but I didn’t think anything of it. These symptoms could have been due to fatigue or because I had not eaten properly. So, I dismissed the idea and moved on with my life. Learning about the stars during the day and then back to our Transtainers for the night. Only six more months to go before I can get out, hang in there, I thought.

     When green day arrived, my mother didn’t want me to go to Edu Hall. “You can stay with me today Alex,” she said.

     We looked out the window while the Hand cleared our table and she surprised me by grabbing my arm. The Readers shuffled about on their tower in confusion. Looking here and there for answers, no surprise my mother was so anxious too.

     “Mother, what do you mean?”

     “I mean, it’s dangerous for you to go out.”

     “Since when? You know what will happen if I don’t go. The whole town will question it.”

     “We’ll tell them a Ghost was here, it’s fine. Don’t go. Don’t go,” she pleaded now with sorry wet eyes, begging me to understand something she didn’t explain. I didn’t want to go in but, I knew the consequences if I decided not to.

     “I’m sorry mother but I can’t let them come here, if I don’t go to Edu Hall.” I said.

     Mother looked down for a second, thinking, then replied, “OK, but promise to come straight back home. Do not talk to anyone. Not today.”

     I tried to ignore her strange behaviour but, her voice echoed in my mind. It took a while but eventually the educator’s voice drowned hers and I had forgotten her warnings by the end of the day. Finally, the Reader’s tower bell rang seven times and the sky began to redden.

     “Walk back together?” I heard from behind me.

     Without a second glance I replied, “Sure.” It was only the boy from the Trans next to ours. We walked in silence, not a single word was spoken until he said,

     “Bye!”

     I replied and we each entered our own Trans.

     “Who was that?” Mother’s face was screwed and pale. I had never seen her like this before.

     “Only the boy from the right Trans.” I started retreating to my bed. I was taken aback by her nervousness and before I thought to explain that we had only exchanged greetings she ordered me to go to bed without a meal. I don’t disobey mother but her disappointment in me had told me I had disobeyed her today. I listened as she scolded me and then finally went to bed guilty.

     It didn’t take me long to fall asleep to my thoughts but I was awakened by the whispers outside our Trans. The curtains were sealed and our Trans was black, it was definitely late in the night. Who could be awake at this hour? Who is allowed out at this hour? My thoughts slowly picked up their pace. Are they trying to get in here? Where’s mother? Why are they getting closer? Where’s mother? The voices stopped. Where’s mother? I lay still on my back and blinked my eyes. Was I dreaming? Was this a dream? What is happening? I tried to open my mouth but it wouldn’t. Mother?

     A low cackle grew in the darkness. My eyes darted around searching for the source. I felt a growl at the end of my bed and a shivering wave over my feet. It crawled up my legs on to my chest and around my arms. I willed my legs to move, my arms to move but they stayed put. I lay paralysed.

     A whispering voice said, We have been waiting for your appearance for one hundred years. Finally our time has come.

     It chuckled a low chuckle in my ear. I squeezed my eyes shut. The chuckling started getting louder until it filled the Trans. I wanted to shout, to scream but my body was frozen to the bed and my mouth just wouldn’t open. Go away, I thought, go away!

     It laughed even louder and tightened its grip. The door began to shake violently and there was a slow drumming beat growing from within the darkness, making its way closer to my bed. Stop! I thought. What does it want from me?!

     The laughter grew loud and then came to a sudden stop. The grip around me loosened and I could finally move my limbs. I looked around for a sign of the intruder but there was none. Only a dark figure that stood by my bed and stared down at me.

     You have accepted to help us now Seaer. That is what you must do. Help us Ghosts. Help us.

Report of a Strange Man

His hair is dirty. A grey white, scruffy, short and middle aged hair style -underneath that old, plain, black baseball cap. A long, pale, wrinkled, gloomy looking face. His cheeks droop so that he frowns, but not so much that it looks saggy. A black pair of headphones hang from his ears. A black slightly puffed jacket with a quilted design, it’s left unzipped. Could be a white or grey worn out T-shirt that he wears with those similarly over worn black jeans. Looks average, average tall height, average stressed middle aged faced and average hands in pockets while walking posture. Average, fitting in, not standing out citizen. But he keeps looking back. From the corner of his eye, not turning his head completely, just ever so slightly so that his eyes come to the corner to watch the slight movements of what goes on behind him. He looks in the reflection to see what’s going on around him, not to look at his own appearance. He watches. Watches while singing but is there music playing in his headphones? Nobody knows. He keeps looking and watching and singing. Why does he do this? What a strange average man.

Thoughts as I Walk

Why is it so crowded? Everybody is looking around as if we’re searching for the same thing. But we live two different lives, we’re strangers in two different books, how can we be? They turn their heads right and left, involuntarily, as you do when glancing. Where else can the head wander when walking? It does what it can to remain impartial to the world. Like the ears that attempt to focus on a singular voice that speaks through one side whilst there are entities of unknown, curious sounds coming from every which way. So the people look around minding their own business, but there I am, minding theirs as well. What are they thinking, what are they saying? Why have they dressed like that? Are they happy? What do they do for a living? How do they get by? Where are they going now? So I go on minding their business.
Then I trip as I come to the end of the sidewalk. A car honks and I shake my head. Where was I going again?

Spirits

“Listen to me!” The sound resonates. The room is empty, not a single piece of furniture is present and the walls are a sterile white. Pure, yet sickening, because everyone knows that nothing in this world is perfect and there are flaws even in the untouched elements that exist. A man stands in the corner. He is clothed in a black robe, hanging effortlessly from his broad shoulders down to his ankles, leaving a trail behind him. It is held slightly tighter at his hips by a plain brown leather waist band that holds no visible openings or seams. Pleats are collected where the belt and the robe touch but then resumes its original flow. Naturally he is an absolute contrast to the room in which he stands. The two touch but never meet and this makes it a cold, hard and tense atmosphere. His words jolt off the walls in harsh echoes as one by one they enter his ears, flow through his heart and into his soul. There is nothing soft about the room, or the man. Both are still and sharp with a certain stiffness about them. The walls stand firm as does he, but the stillness is dangerous. A wrong move could result in tragic death but not moving at all could prove likewise. Whilst the words begin to evaporate, a silence crawls in. The sound, that only a moment ago brought the room to life disappears leaving behind its effects of an after storm. The man’s face is square and tough, with wrinkles on his forehead, although he is not aged. Rather, these have formed from the sufferings in his life which he has so desperately tried to forget. He is well built, proportionate to his weight and some would say he is handsome in his stance, but in this room, you wouldn’t be able to tell. He concentrates on a single point in the corner facing him with his jaw tight and eyes wide, but his emotions are pouring out all over, so his shoulders are slack and body tired. A low hum starts between his temples and grows out and loud towards his ears until it becomes piercing like the sound the machines make when someone dies.

“Stop!” He covers his ears in distress and the word fills the room, hitting each blank space on the four walls. The piercing noise is replaced by the word and the man slowly lowers himself as if in pain, clenching his ears, crouching while his robe gathers like a crumpled paper. Then the words evaporate and disappear just as before. The man stays in his position for a while before he trusts that the sounds have gone. He lowers his hands from his ears and lifts himself up slowly and steadily recovering. He remains again in the silence of the white room and realises what he must do. He cannot speak, if he does then his words will only rebound and inflict pain upon him. He must think, think of the reason he is in this room. His face is worry stricken but he holds his composure as he attempts to clear his mind. He closes his eyes and forms images of small clouds in his head. Each cloud, a part of his life that he remembers. The clouds float around over lapping one another, not knowing where to go or what to do, they are misty and undistinguishable. The man almost loses hope at what he sees to be a mess of entwined feelings but before he lets this get the better of him he raises his right hand. Eyes still closed, he motions an invisible being to stop. The clouds disperse immediately. A muscle relaxes in his face and he replaces his hand to his side to continue his objective.

One after another the clouds begin to disappear until only one remains. It enlarges and the man watches as highlights of his childhood flashes within it. Small memories, seconds long, some happy while others unbearably sad. With each emotion the man feels as though he is present in that time, he smiles when he reminisces and frowns when he remorse’s, but this only lasts for a couple of seconds before the cloud drifts away to his left and in comes another. What the man does not realise that with each passing cloud a small ball of a crystal blue light grows from his heart, filling the room gradually until the last cloud has drifted. He opens his eyes gently, but they quickly become wide when he sees the ball of light that occupies the centre of the room. It shines its light on the white walls that are now covered with black inscriptions. The words decorate the walls in different sizes but the man is not shaken, he is merely intrigued. He was unaware of the power he possessed but the room has brought this out in plain black. He takes a step closer to the wall and brushes his fingers on a single letter P that constructs the word pain. This word is larger than the ones that surround it; crave, split, whole, surrender. Many others that are similar. He brushes his hand along the wall as he observes each word that he comes across in detail. Gently and thoroughly as he thinks of what moments in his life he felt such emotions. When he reaches the final wall, a distinct word catches his eye. It is the largest of all the words in the room and his heart skips a beat as he stops in his footsteps. Acceptance, it reads and the man stares for a while before he lowers his head, the ball of light becomes dim and eventually returns back to its original home, the man’s heart. He walks back to the corner in which he stood before and stands once again with his eyes closed.

“I accept.” He says to himself with a deep breath.

A winter breeze blows through the window, the man opens his eyes. He hovers above his blue mat with his legs crossed over and his hands on adjacent legs, palms up and head high with a straight back. He takes a second deep breath before he slowly unwraps his legs and brings his hands to his side. He returns to the ground and stands up to find his wife still in bed. The clock reads 8. He climbs in next to her and wakes her up with a gentle nudge. She growls.

“What is it?”

“I’m ready to tell you about my past.”