Magic

Image Credit: Katerina Bodrunova

Image Credit: Katerina Bodrunova

When we dance, it’s like magic

I can close my eyes and just imagine
A perfect time, the perfect place
No distractions, No regrets
Two souls intertwined; you and I
Happy; as in love as we both could be

The world is gone; fading

And I can’t breathe

But none of that matters

Because when we dance, it’s  like magic

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Jar of Hearts

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So, I wrote this listening to Christina Perri’s ‘Jar of Hearts’. I wrote it from a different perspective than I normally would and just tried to let my fingers do the work instead of over-thinking it. I enjoyed writing it, and i hope you enjoy reading it.

 

Tonight is darker than most at the cabin, mostly because the power is out. Once again, the store owner has been unable to pay the light bill, and we’ve been cut off. No worries though, we’re used to the dark now, as it comes more often than not. Thankfully, it’s the rainy season and the weather is a bit cool. I especially enjoy being seated just opposite the one window in the small store. It’s flung wide open tonight, and I embrace the wind that wafts in freely from time to time. Yes, I’m perfectly fine. I’m more worried about her, really.

She’s hunched over her tiny desk in the corner of the store, pawing through pieces of paper by the dim light of a candle that will either burn out soon or be put out by the gusting wind. She’s been at this for nights o end now, searching frantically for her whatever it is she’s been so keen on finding. It hurts me that I can’t help, that I can’t reach out and hold her. I will her to turn around, to come embrace me like she does when she’s really depressed, but she doesn’t. Instead, she keeps going, pulling drawer after drawer open and emptying the contents.

The sound of thunder tears through the silence in the shop and a crack of lightening briefly lights the room. The shelves rattle briefly, jars clink and I shake along with them. The thunder seems to faze her as well. The candle she’s holding slips out of her frail hand and hits the floor. The light goes off, and we are once again drenched in complete darkness. The soft sound of rain hitting the roof is joined by sobbing. My heart breaks and I desperately want to go to her. Another crack of lightening lights up the room, and I can see her tear-stained face staring right at me. It hurts me to see so much pain in her eyes, but as much as I can’t go to her, I can’t look away.

I can’t hear the rain, or her sobs. The room is eerily quiet. I just know something’s coming. What I don’t know is if it’s good or bad. It seems like forever since she’s been this way. Undoubtedly, constantly being on the move has had its toll on her, but we’ve learned to survive; to be fine. Now, it seems like our past is back to haunt us.

“Open up!” The pounding rivals the sound of the raging thunder outside the shop. “I know you’re in there.” Shaking again, I’m genuinely frightened.

She glances at me briefly before lifting herself off the floor and going to the door. Sighing, she places a hand on the knob and turns the key. Before she can pull the door open, whoever s on the other sides pushes hard, knocking her backwards and causing her to stumble a little. Composing herself as best she can, she squares her shoulders and stares right at the visitor. “Why are you banging on my door like you own the place?”

The laughter that fills the room is unsettling. It is deep and soulless, and fills me with chills. “Lady, if you don’t have what I came for, then I do.” His words might as well have been knives.

When she speaks, I hear her struggling to remain calm “I don’t have it yet… I need more time.”

“More time?” A low chuckle that’s just as empty as his laughter “Guys, you know what to do.”

A group of men I hadn’t noticed troop past him and into the store. In the blink of an eye, they are pulling shelves down and sweeping the table, wrecking everything. “You can’t do this!!” I can hardly hear her midst the chaos. Everything is crashing down around me. One of the men appears in front of me and reaches out. “No!” She screams “Leave that alone.”

She lunges at the man holding me now, and he smacks her across the face. “Don’t be stupid” Stepping over her, he walks towards the man I now know is in charge. “Look at this.”

I’m trembling now, more out of fury than fear. Seeing her on the floor, shaking and crying, helpless, it sparks something inside of me. The man with the evil laugh comes closer and examines me “You’ve been holding out on us, ey?” He spits on her small form. The straw that breaks the camel’s back. As he reaches out to collect me from his comrade, I let myself slip. Neither of them is fast enough to catch me, and I come crashing down.

With all that is within me, I will myself to burst. It works and I find myself in a million separate pieces. Fuelled by rage, I shoot myself upwards at her assailants, burying myself in their eyes and exposed body parts. I’m not sure if it’s enough, but I hope it can at least buy her some time. I can barely hear anything and my vision is getting blurry. I manage to hear the men retreat, and I think I can see her still curled up on the floor.

The sight is somewhat enchanting, her lying there on the floor, surrounded by the coins that were once mine to protect. Suddenly, it gets really warm and the coins start to glow. Not just the coins, but the entire room. I’m overwhelmed with a feeling that’s neither joy nor sadness, trapped in a neutral plane of emotions as I listen to the steady crackling around us. Is this what peace is?

Picture Perfect

*** Lana Del Rey – Video Games ***

Seated at your vanity, your hand shakes as you line your eyes with the dark liquid you only despise more each day. You take your time, making sure to apply it as perfectly as you can. You have to look perfect, because he likes it just so. “Please.” He had pleaded. “Do it for me.”. Like you had a choice. You thought you would be used to it by now, but you’re starting to realise you will never be.

You’re walking down the aisle, your father by your side, towards the most handsome man you’ve ever seen. All you can think about is how incredibly lucky you are as you grin from ear to ear, and he beams back. You can’t believe you’re marrying him, because he’s too perfect. But he loves you for you. Simple, plain, timid you. He’s swept you off your feet and filled your head with thoughts and promises of an amazing future together. As you exchange your vows, you think about all the wonderful times you’ve had together and smile even more at the prospect of an even more amazing future. “I promise to obey and submit myself completely to you, as I obey and submit to the Lord.”. You can’t wait for the ceremony to be over, to be his in the eyes of God and man.

Your face is now heavily powdered, your eyes are dark, and your lips are red. The hair on your head is blonde tonight, and not the usual brunette. As hard as you try, you can’t recognise the person in the mirror. He calls out to you from the bedroom, and you can hear the impatience in his voice. It’s always a mistake to test his patience, so you wipe the lone tear that is racing down your cheek, spray on some of the perfume he loves so much, and stand. With one final desperate glance at the vanity mirror, you head for the door. Tonight you will lose yourself again, like you’ve learnt to over time. The clicking of the heels you have on echo at the back of your mind as you try to empty it of all thoughts. He grins as you open the door and stand before him in the leather bodysuit he had picked out.

It’s a beautiful day in the park. The birds are chirping in the air and above you, the grass is green, the flowers in the trees are blooming, and you’re stretched out on a mat with your fiance, staring up at the sky. You’ve had a wonderful picnic, and you’re discussing your future together. You tell him you want to go on to teach at a nearby university once you get your degree, and he asks if you’re sure that’s the best move for the family the two of you are about to start. “How will you take care of our seven kids?” He asks playfully, twirling a strand of your hair around his finger. It hurts a little and you flinch, but you smile at him anyway and tell him you’ll teach sunday school at the church instead. He let’s go of your hair and stares at the sky, and you think to yourself that there is no way you’re having seven kids.

The sound of your baby crying wakes you up. You’re too exhausted from the night before to get up, but he’s yelling at you to go shut the baby up. Slowly, you start to rise out of bed, trying not to strain your already sore muscles, but he’s anger takes over and he kicks you off the bed. He gets up and storms out of the room, and experience has taught you to go after him. Your heart pounding furiously against your chest, you race to the nursery and find him smothering the baby with a pillow. You beat feebly against his back, and he sweeps you aside with an arm. Better me than the baby. you think as he approaches your petite, trembling form. He picks you up effortlessly and shoves you towards the cot. “Shut her up!” His voice thunders across the room, and you pick up your baby. There is no way you’re going to let him kill her like the one before. He leaves the room, and you sit on the floor, rocking the baby back to sleep.

Carnival music is playing really loudly, and the air is filled with laughter and excited squeals from little children who have probably had a little too much sugar. Your friends and fellow church members are gathered around you, commending you on successfully planning such a brilliant fund-raiser. They are pleasantly unaware that the shades you have on are more to hide the bruise on your eye than to block out the sun. You smile and thank them as your husband’s voice comes over the PA system. You smile and wave as he implores the crowd to congratulate you on a job well done. Pain wells up in your heart as he goes on to give a hypocritical speech about how important it is not to regard women as second class citizens. You hold back tears as he uses his “love and respect” for you as an example of how women should be treated.

The baby is finally asleep, and you lay her back in her cot. Your movement is almost robotic as you make your way back to your bedroom. You enter and find him lying face-down on the bed. Carefully, quietly, you retrieve his pistol from its hiding place in your underwear drawer – you’d hidden it theremonths ago after he had threatened you with it. Of course, he’d beaten you thoroughly when he couldn’t find it, but at least he hadn’t killed you. Standing at the edge of the bed, you point the gun at him. Your mind is consumed with thoughts and memories you wish would go away. Everyone had told you how lucky you were to be marrying such a good man. You call his name once, and he doesn’t respond. You think about how much you hate the person he’s made you become. How hard you try to please him, but always seem to fall short of his idea of perfection. You call his name again. Still no answer. You pull the trigger. Once. Twice. The red below him spreads quickly, soaking the beddings, and your heart smiles for the first time in a long while.