Category Archives: writing challenge

Simple Desires chapter 6

You know that moment before the impact, that split second between oblivion and the shattering truth, like that instant in some hospital corridor when the doctor is heading down to tell the anxiously waiting family that piece of news that will slowly unravel the fabric of their existence, these tightly woven memories and constants that will soon change after the doctor pulls at the binding threads.

I’ve always been intrigued and drawn to examine such moments or what I call the ‘’the seconds before the impact”

To this day I still remember my first “seconds before the impact “and unwittingly I thought it would be my last.

It was 2 a.m and Chris hadn’t returned from god knows where , I had completed the evening with my mum so she wouldn’t get too worried and had found out that Chris had rushed out claiming he had an urgent work matter to deal with.

Had he noticed me?

Did he hear me as I came down the stairs?

I kept thinking about that awful scratching sound and the blood…….

what was bone chilling is that Chris didn’t seem to care about the mess,  and part of me felt he sought relief in that mess he reveled in the savagery he was inflicting on his skin

Was his other arm like that?

I sat on my bed unable to sleep until I knew he was home safe, I’d tried calling him but his cell was closed.

At 3 am I heard stumbling behind the wall adjacent to mine, I quickly headed out to the hall unlocking Chris’s door –we had each other’s keys in case of emergency- as I rushed through his disheveled apartment I didn’t have a moment to notice the waning signs.

Chris was never messy, in fact he was agonizingly immaculate bordering on OCD

This wasn’t normal

Something was disturbingly wrong

I headed quietly towards his bedroom bracing myself of what I might see…

“Chris”

He was balled up in the corner next to his dresser, his head was bowed and I could see he was shaking

“Chris” I called again not knowing what to do or how to begin to gather those shattered pieces bundled together in the corner

“Chris, sweetie can you hear me?”

I approached him silently afraid to make a sudden move, he looked like a wounded animal, and then I heard that blood freezing scratching sound again.

“Oh god “I covered my mouth, tears welling in my eyes as he continued to scratch the already raw flesh of his forearm completely oblivious to my body crouching in front of him.

His sleeves were no longer  clean , but instead stained with his own blood , and I got a feeling that Chris had two self-harming states , the controlled one he had at my mother’s house and this frantic unstable one he was having here in the comfort of his own apartment

I called his name again but he didn’t answer. I forced his chin up to see his face but he was so stiff and wooden

I tried again trying to seek comfort in his warm green eyes, but they were closed in a grimace, brows knitted and his mouth was slightly opened his breathing shallow.

I could smell the alcohol in his breath.

Chris never drinks.

I buried my face near his neck whispering comforting words coaxing him out of whatever hell he’s been trapped in.

“Chris sweetie please , you’re hurting yourself , please Chris don’t do this honey , Chris listen to my voice” I kept pleading with him through my tears ,my body was so pressed to him that we might as well been one .

I slowly reached my hand to his frantic one, touching his bloody fingers “Chris you’re breaking my heart Chris please, I’m so sorry I didn’t know, please forgive me”

His sense of urgency slowed down and I took the opportunity to grab at his hands holding them tightly, he tried to struggle resisting my touch but I was so determined to snap him out of it.

I pressed my face harder to his neck “it’s ok, you’re ok Chris, I got you, its ok I’m here I got you, you can stop now “ I kept chanting the words over and over until I felt him relax into me , I hadn’t noticed then of course but later I realized that it was the first time Chris had let me be that near to him or touch him

When I felt him completely relax, his muscles unwinding. I slowly took him by the hand urging him up, thankfully he complied.

I led him to his en suit bathroom and sat him at the edge of the tub, I grabbed the nearest towel and soaked it with water .all the time I made sure I was still holding his hand, I was so terrified to leave him alone for a minute fearing he would return to his self-harm.

I quickly reached for the antiseptic he had in his mirror cabinet, unsurprisingly I found a soothing balm that was also anti scarring.

I cleaned his wound , pressing gently at the raw skin , all that time Chris’s eyes were almost closed as if he was barely conscious to what was happening , I feared the antiseptic would sting but Chris hadn’t even flinched as if he was completely numb,. I applied the soothing balm and slowly wrapped his abused arm in gauze and cleaned the mess we made

My hands hesitated when it came to what I wanted to do next. I slowly reached his shirt unbuttoning it but Chris’s eyes suddenly shot wide in panic

What are you doing? His voice was terrified and shaky, his eyes glazed and unseeing

“Chris it’s ok sweetie, I’m just going to take off your shirt and get you a clean one “I said soothingly

Chris did not seem to comprehend my words his eyes were still wide, cold sweat erupted on his forehead

“Please don’t do this, please I won’t do anything please I’ll sit quietly I won’t fidget “Chris’s voice pleaded with me, his eyes filled with agony

My heart sank and shattered and bled

I realized Chris didn’t know it was me ……..Chris saw someone else in my place someone who had hurt him.

Someone who the mere action of moving caused him to terrify Chris to that extent.

“Chris baby it me, Ceels “I sobbed out

“Chris, its Cecilia you didn’t do anything wrong honey I just want you in a clean shirt “I ran my hands through his soft hair.

His mesmerizing green eyes focused on my face and a bewildered look replaced the terrifying one

“Ceels?”

“Yes it’s me Chris, I’m just going to remove this shirt ok “I kept my eye contact, as I slowly unbuttoned his bloody dress shirt.

Chris’s eyes stayed on me drinking me in as if he thought I wasn’t real, I slowly finished my task and tried to push the sleeves off his shoulders, but he stiffened

“Chris I’m just going to slip it off gently” I said soothingly, afraid he was confused again

But he wasn’t, I could see that at this moment he knew who I was but he was still afraid

I gently slid the sleeves off, shushing him and telling him he’s going to be fine, when my hands pushed at the sleeves removing them from his arms I gasped …….

I was wrong …..The moment I found him in his bedroom wasn’t my moment of impact…

This was.

 

Week 22 – The Phoenix

I can’t look away; my eyes are glued to the scene. I hate what’s happening but I can’t help but admire its beauty. How can you look away when the phoenix is about to burst into flames only to rise again from the ashes! Even as you hear its painful screams, you are hypnotized by that glorious scene that it becomes a siren’s song. You want to get close but you don’t want to risk disturbing the master piece in front of you.

So no, I can’t take my eyes off him and I am not even sure I want to. I have seen him strong and powerful. I have seen him kind and passionate. But this! This is something (of fantasy).

The foundation has been rocked, cracked, and now it is about to fall… I can see the lights dimming in his eyes. He is about to break, go back to the starting point to which he thought there was no return. He is losing himself. His mind is frozen from the shock.

I can’t take me away off him. I don’t want to miss it.

I have been in love with him for so long. I know him from the inside out and every time I knew a bit more, I fell for him a lot more?

To see him like this, broken, crying, is worse than ripping my own heart out.  How can something so painful, be so beautiful?!  why can’t I look away?!

I want to approach him, help him, be all that he needs me to be. But I know he doesn’t want me to. If he has to break, then he has rise again on his own. He doesn’t want any help, and he doesn’t need any. All he wants, is to feel my presence, my belief in him. For the only one who can rebuild him, is himself. Only he has the power. He is the phoenix, powerful no matter what. He will burst into flames and be born again, stronger than ever.

Week 22 – Yearning

There are things I know I’m missing, which can haunt me to no end. I don’t always know what they are nor can I see them clearly at times. I’m thirsty for something, yearning for it – but what? No clue.

What can desire bring me? Will satisfying that itch, that yearning, will it make it all better? Would I be happy then? Will happiness cling to my chest and will peace take board?

I often doubt it. Sometimes when I know what it is I yearn, I know the harm and consequences that may occur. Many have tried to convince me to silence the voices that tell me not to give in to temptation. “What’s the worst that could happen?”

I pride myself on saying “no”, but it’s frustrating and can be insulting when someone belittles my intelligence or beliefs. “Sure, I’ve been waiting for you to give me permission all me life.” When will it be okay to say yes?

There are times I yearn for something not so harmful (you know unless some freak accident kills me, or I contract some unknown disease that will later be named after me). Live by the ocean or the sea, camp out under the stars in the middle of nowhere. Trust a stranger and sleep on their couch. Open my heart, even if for a short while and let myself feel… try things that scare me. I yearn to live. I guess that’s the clearest image most times.

However, it’s the smaller things that can get to me at times. The day to days. The things I miss or wish for; the company, the care, the peace, the noise…the love. I find myself thinking about my mother often lately. I would think of those moments I disappointed her, or the moments I did something that hurt her in some way and I would beat myself up for not being a better a daughter. I wasn’t bad, but I still have those bad memories I thought I had forgotten or let go. It’s the love that I miss the most. I guess I beat myself up because I never showed her how much I loved her – that I appreciated her more than I’d showed.

There are moments I feel I’ve lived too long and times when I feel I haven’t lived at all; that the end will find me all too soon. I hope the end doesn’t find me too soon.

Week 19 – When I Wake

Groggy and sluggish I wake daily
Unable to move my head.
My brain recounts the odd and hyperactive dreams,
That keep me unrested.

I can no longer muster the energy to be spry.
I sit on my bed’s edge like I did back when I was a teen,
Staring at the random grains on the varnished floor
Waiting for my brain to begin ticking.

Cogs are rusty and squeak.
My cognitive faculties deteriorating day by day,
The internal departments unable to communicate as they did,
Once upon a time.

I’ve been avoiding that addictive elixir I call coffee, for many years now
Trying desperately not to rely on its magical properties.
I yearn for the boost and clarity it provides me,
But do not miss the occasional gastric wrenching.
Oh, that Aroma.

Sleep seems to be one of my constant desires,
Yet I fight it for I have so much I wish to do.
‘Wasted Time’ I often think, though I know better.
The ‘wasted time’ still wasted on my lack of energy to do what I wish.

I find myself disconnecting during the day
Just staring off into space.
I may be mid conversation and lose my train of thought,
Sometimes losing it completely.

The whirlpool is strong,
Drowning my mind.
Do I keep swimming against the current and hope for the best?
Or should I just let myself get swept away?

Fatigue… is my shadow companion
Depression is his brother.
Darkness follows their trail,
For a mother cannot leave her children alone for too long.

Fight it all I tell myself,
But sometimes one is too empty
Too empty to wake
To think
To care
And too empty to even drink that aromatic roasted elixir.

If I knew

If I knew where I’m going, I would take what I need and what I’ve always wanted but never had the courage to claim.

If I knew where I’m going, I would spit all those comebacks and justifications that I chose then never to reveal for the sake of propriety or what I thought  was right.

If I knew where I’m going, I would pack lightly, practically, and forsake what was once dragging me behind.

If I knew where I’m going, I would slip out quietly, for once giving up the desire for attention that I desperately sought before.

If I knew where I’m going, I would only look back once ..as tribute for a life once lived.

If I knew where I’m going, I would bottle their laughter, puns and silly jokes

I would box all their unexpected hugs, their knowing nudges, and comfort touches.

If I knew where I’m going I would leave at once, and Leave the mess to be dealt with by someone else.

If I knew where I’m going, I would walk surely, steadily and calmly knowing I no longer, need my thoughts filtered, my expression hidden nor do I need to change the subject anymore,

I would finally stop deflecting.

If I was just sure of where I’m going I would finally be OK

If only I knew where I’m going.

Week 18 – Becoming Self-Aware

I know who I am -kinda, and I know what made me this way, or so I thought.
But now, I am becoming self aware; breaking my very own 4th wall.
I always thought that yes, I am a product of my environment,  but in a different way. I thought that I saw what society was telling people who to be, and I reacted differently,  acted out I guess. I thought I was right, strong, fought and triumphed. 
But now, I have my doubts!
Society has told women that their beauty is what makes them strong,  desirable, and unique. I see girls and women taking complete care of themselves;  hair , makeup and style done to perfection. But on the other hand, I own a total of 3 makeup thingies that my friend made me buy and that I use twice a year when I am forced to. As for my clothes am completely fine with wearing the same outfit for a week, buying the same colors and style. I just don’t care.
I don’t care how awesome I look. I don’t dress to impress.  As long as I am presentable and don’t look like a hobo, I am good to go.
I don’t know why I am like that… I just am.
But who is right?

I see people taking countless selfies of themselves, no one else in the picture. But I find it impossible to do the same. I could be on the top of the highest mountain with a spectacular view, open the front camera, but be unable to take the picture. It just feels like I am doing something wrong, shameful.
While people love having their picture taken, I have always prefer to be out of the frame.
Are they conceited or am I insecure?!

Most people cannot wait to fall in love.  They keep getting involved and having relationships. But for me, it is something that I am dreading. So now I wonder if it is a self esteem thing; I was never loved so I don’t feel lovable.  So as a self protection mechanism,  did I condemn love? But no! I am sure it is a result of my observations! People lie, deceive, live in illusions, break hearts, then move on to the next one. I have long had my doubts about it! I don’t think I have conditioned myself!

But what if all that I thought I was; my strong personality, resilience, quirkiness,  are all not who I really am? What if I have been brainwashed and conditioned? It was just done stealthy by my subconscious!
I have always thought I had fought the current, gone my own way, shaped my own personality. But could it be that at the end, I did go with the flow, it was just a different river?!

Week 18 – Tick Tock

Tick tock goes the clock

Tick tock go to sleep

Tick tock goes the clock

Tick tock wake up

Tick tock goes the clock

Tick tock do your work

Tick tock don’t stop

Tick tock do speak sweet

Tick tock or not

Tick tock flies the clock

Tick tock it won’t stop

Tick tock laughs the clock

Tick tock hear it mock

 

Week 16 – Carla loves Frank

‘Carla loves Frank’ was scrawled on the decrepit wall. The neon pink paint still stood out through the generations of dust piled on top. Sierra gripped her SMG wondering how life must have been back then, before the Infestation. She tried to step carefully through the echoing ruins. Although she had trekked through the halls of the train station several times, today felt different. ‘Stay alert’ she kept reminding herself. She had a feeling she might have to actually use her combat training.

‘Carla loves Frank’ – Wait! Did I get turned around? She thought. Drip, drip. The writing looked darker. Drip, drip. Sierra made her way towards the graffiti. Drip, Drip. As she got closer, the colour became clearer thanks to the dregs of light shining through. She reached out and touched the scribbles. ‘Fresh…blood?’

CLICK CLICK CLACK CLICK. CLICK CLICK CLACK CLICK. TUT TUT CLICK TUT. Click…click…tut…

Sierra’s heart fell into a pit and her insides shuddered – screaming at her to turn around, to run.

CLICK CLICK CLACK CLICK. CLICK CLICK CLACK CLICK. TUT TUT CLICK TUT. Click…click…tut…

The sounds repeated. ‘They’re here…’ More joined in, voices rising. CLICK CLICK CLACK TUT TUT CLICK. With tiny steps, still gripping tight her SMG, she turned slowly, hoping to postpone what was to come. The dripping was now drowned out by the chatter. Sierra faced them, a horde of creatures resembling crickets and cockroaches. Antennae that seemed to move of their own accord with exoskeletons slimy and crunchy.

Sierra gulped down the last of her saliva, unable to produce more. The army stood before her. The Festants had arrived. CLICK, CLICK, CLACK, CLICK. They continued. Her heart pounding against her ribcage, attempting to escape. She knew this was probably the end. She thought about those who waited back at the camp unaware. She knew her mission. ‘I might as well go out with a bang,’ she thought. ‘At least now they’ll have a head-start.’

Gun in hand, she wailed her tribe’s war-cry. Her machine gun screamed, raining metal fury on the monsters. She continued fighting even as her magazine finished, and even as the horde overpowered her. She fought as they tore her limb from limb, but as they were just about to take her heart she thought, ‘Fuck you Carla and Frank’.

Simple Desires Chapter 4

Thump….thump…bang
Cecilia woke up to the rhythmic noise…what the hell?
She sat up from her bed slowly spied at her clock through sleepy eyes, it was 3:00 am.
Where was that noise coming from?
It took her a while to register that it was coming from chris’ side, what in god’s name was he doing in this hour? Didn’t he have his closing argument tomorrow on that big case he was working on?
She slowly stood up and tilted her head near the wall above her bed and stuck her ear to the wall to make sure it was from Chris ‘side.
Ok… Ok don’t judge she was just curious because this was weird, and Chris was such private person.
Then she heard what made her face drain of color
A very soft moan followed by a thump.
She pushed off the wall her face coloring, was Chris…, no he never had a girlfriend or even a girl over at his apartment , well except for her .
She didn’t know why, but she suddenly didn’t feel like sleeping, she miserably grabbed her pillow and the book she was reading from the night stand and headed out for the living room sofa. she didn’t know why she felt restless and honestly a little bit hurt that Chris would trust someone to be with him intimately when she barley felt allowed to touch him freely ,sure they hugged and touched but it was always a calculated move from Chris or her and never spontaneous.
She spread on the sofa trying to figure out why she was so affected by the sounds she heard, Chris was a grown man ,she didn’t have any control over him ,and he was quite handsome to be honest ,his build had changed over the years from tall and gangly to broad and solid and the hours he spent at the gym couldn’t hurt too .
She discovered that chris was an exercise freak, If he wasn’t running he was boxing if he didn’t have time for the gym then he would spend hours on his tread mill at home, she once tried going jogging with him and he freakin lapped her and he did it so graciously with a soft smile on his face , she had expected his green eyes to dance with mirth but he didn’t, he kept encouraging her to join him for more runs .
She huffed annoyingly as she adjusted the pillow under her head, so much for Mr. Celibate, it looks like he didn’t have any problems in THAT area.
“I don’t do relationships Ceels” she remembered her last argument with him when she cornered him about relationships a couple of days ago, well apparently a relationship is being done as we speak!
Stupid Cecelia, you though he was some kind of wounded soul that needed healing, that he had something against touching and intimacy because of a childhood trauma!
She opened her book and tried to bury her feelings and thoughts until she drifted off to sleep but unfortunately she managed with little success.

Shit…shit I’m late!
Cecelia rushed to the elevator stuffing a pastry in her mouth pressing the call button several times, she doesn’t know why abusing the call button will somehow achieve anything but it’s a nervous tick and she was already having a lousy morning that had followed a sleepless night filled with dreams about obscene moans and bed thumping and her yelling at whomever was making the noise to shut up cause some people were single and liked their quiet and moan free life thank you very much!
“Morning Ceels” Chris greeted standing next to her
What the shit was he doing here? He always heads out to work an hour before her
Ceels are you ok? “Chris asked giving her a concerned look.
Oh that’s awesome Cecelia stand there making reaction to your inner monologue like a damn idiot!
“I’m fine, just didn’t sleep well last night”
“Yeah me too, I’m so exhausted “Chris responded rubbing his eyes
Is he fucking kidding me!
“I bet you were “I mumbled
“Excuse me? “ Chris looked confused
“Nothing “I said in a clipped tone
“Ceels are you. I don’t know angry with me? “Chris asked unsure
“Yes …no …ahh “I ran my hands through my long chocolate brown hair in frustration
“I mean you’re an adult, you can do what you want and if you want to spend the night with some leggy model from your posh firm its totally fine, just keep it down next time cause if you haven’t noticed we share a bedroom wall ,so what happened yesterday was not cool “I rushed in one breath
“I didn’t have anyone over yesterday? “Chris answered puzzled
“Chris I heard banging and moaning yesterday at three in the morning, you weren’t hanging pictures that’s for sure “I said sarcastically.
Does he think I’m that stupid? Come on, is he really going to deny it?
I looked up at him and was shocked to see his face drain from color , looking at him I noticed that he did look tired ,and the dark circles around is eyes was a clear indication.
He fell silent maybe embarrassed to be caught after lying.
The elevator dinged and we entered silently, a thick and somewhat awkward silence falling on us.
As we stood by each other, I stole a look at him and saw him adjust his work bag on his shoulders?
Then I noticed it
Under the cuffs of his light blue dress shirt there were deep red bruises slightly turning to purple at the ends.
Chris what’s wrong with your hand? The question slipped before I could help it.
He immediately pulled his cuff and slid his hand in his pocket, a stone wall descending on his handsome tired face
“Chris were you tied?” I asked shocked while invading his space.
“Ceels drop it “he answered coldly.
“Are you into these things?” I continued to question ignoring his warning.
“The BDSM stuff “I asked my face turning beat red
I put my hand on his arm trying to angle him to look at his other wrest.
“Ceels would you stop touching me, I don’t like it “Chris snapped
“I didn’t see you having a problem with that yesterday? “I snapped back after he shoved his hand behind his back.
He looked angry now.
“You know what Ceels it’s none of your business! if I had someone or not, stop meddling and fixing and prying ,if I want to tell you something I will, if not then stay the hell out of it! “ and then the treacherous elevator door opened and he rushed out leaving me quiet shocked from his outburst .
Chris had never shouted at me this way
I felt my throat close as I headed out ,making sure I slowed down so I could miss him , I don’t get it, something is missing ,did he have someone over or not ? And if he didn’t who gave him those marks?
Then a body shivering thought crossed my mind.
Did he do it to himself?
I’ve studied the psychology behind self-harm and how it can sometimes release stress but is that what it was? But from what I’ve read it mostly involves cutting, the person doing it waiting for release in the form of blood easing out of him .but that wasn’t the case, Chris had bruises.

what the hell was going on?

Week 15 – The Peaceful Nightmares

The land of dreams;
Where minds become magical canvases
And thoughts are the world’s mightiest artists,
Creating peaceful worlds
Full of serenity and happiness.

But mine,
Mine is a little different.
It is the void
reflecting my heart;
Empty and cold.
It is the bloody arena
Of lost dreams.
It is the endless parade
Of all my fears
Manafesting the demons of my soul.

It is where I see who I really am;
Lost,
Confused,
Damaged.
It is where denial is futile
And all there is, is brutal.
It is where silence is deafening,
And the screams are empty.
It is where I feel alone
But at home.
It is where the mask falls off,
No need to pretend,
Everyone can see the claws.

My nightmares are the only place where I am me.
They are the home where I find restless peace.