distorted time

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days have turned into weeks.

my sense of time has become distorted

underneath a blanket of

long nights full of hours meant for sleep

that rarely comes.

and I can’t help but wonder,

are you awake too

do you see me when you close your eyes

or are your demons larger than me

leaving me in their shadow

as nothing more

than an already fading memory

“Or perhaps it is…


Originally posted on These Things:

“Or perhaps it is that time doesn’t heal wounds at all, perhaps that is the biggest lie of them all, and instead what happens is that each wound penetrates the body deeper and deeper until one day you find that the sheer geography of your bones – the angle of your hips, the sharpness of your shoulders, as well as the luster of your eyes, the texture of your skin, the openness of your smile – has collapsed under the weight of your griefs.”
— The Space Between Us

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Why I write

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The process of killing one’s own fictional character is an interesting thing. It is like saying goodbye to a piece of your own self in some ways. But then you get to reinvent that piece all over again. And that is why I write. If there wasn’t a little piece of me in every character I have ever lovingly created over the course of my life, then they would simply have no soul. After all, how else am I to leave my mark on this world, to show that I was here?

The Visitor (Part 3)

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It was almost dawn when the first pain struck, forcing her eyes open and a cry of agony from her lips. Clearly there would be no easing into it, no niggles, no gentle build up, only the sensation that the child in her belly had awoken (or been awoken) and wanted out, as quickly and as forcefully as possible. She shouldn’t have expected it to be any less than this. With every wave of pain that overtook her body over the next unknown period of time, it could have been minutes, it could have been hours; she was no longer entirely aware of reality other than the immediate one, it was as if she was being punished by some unseen Gods or otherwise. And after all, did she really, truly deserve anything less, or more merciful?

Look at me, little Ana.”

Rainé held her hand firmly and Eyla stroked her belly, her eyeless face cocked at an odd angle staring up at Ana, but the voice belonged to neither one of them. She groaned and squeezed her eyes closed, thrashing her head from side to side. No, not now, Gods please, not now. She wouldn’t look, she wouldn’t listen. She couldn’t. There was work to do. If she did nothing else with this life, she would at least see this through, and deliver her child into the world before she left it with as much strength as she could muster. There was no time left for reminiscing, regrets, sorrow or otherwise. For weeks, months even, she had been completely devoid of energy, even of awareness of her surroundings, of nothing but tiredness. A weariness so deep that she simply felt empty.

Liar, liar, LIAR!”

Had she imagined the girl screaming? Here she was, now, quite calm, oddly so, in fact, despite the current situation. Had it been real, Eyla should be … there was nothing. No anger, no fear, jealousy, there was simply no energy at all around her and this confused Ana. But no, she couldn’t think about that now. Oh Gods, there was that pain again, and so soon following the first? She thrashed her head around on her pillow, biting her bottom lip so hard that her teeth pierced the dry parched flesh there and she tasted a bitter, warm rush of blood in her mouth.

Minutes passed, and then hours. All she was aware of was the pain, ripping through her body as if it was some kind of independent entity and it would tear her apart, rather than some thing that was happening to her, something she was feeling. There was no control left, barely even consciousness. In fact, so long passed that it wasn’t until the room was dark and she became aware of candle light in her immediate surroundings and not natural sunlight through that window nearby that Ana wondered how much of what was happening was real, if any of it.

Am I dead already?

“Stay with us, Ana. That baby needs to come out. Don’t you give up now, not now, not yet…”

Raine’s voice. No, she wasn’t dead yet, but she shook her head weakly at the words, at her sister’s insistent encouragement, and whimpered. She couldn’t do it. She allowed her eyes to open only long enough to silently plead with her, and if Raine saw the desperation in the other woman’s eyes, she didn’t show it, but only reached to squeeze her hand firmly, nodding stiffly.

“You will do this, Ana. Or so help me, I will follow you to whatever Hell follows this and make your eternity a nightmare, myself!”

A giggle issued forth from Eyla then, the only single other sound that Ana had heard in hours, and she felt the girl lay her cheek on her belly, and all she felt was cold. A cold that was at first skin deep but seeped into her slowly and then spread slowly at first, and then became all encompassing, a small patch of cold turned into something that filled her entire core with an unnatural feeling of almost lifelessness and it was at that moment as the child wrapped her arms around Ana’s belly and the last pain struck that she began to scream.

“Ow!  Hurts, huuuuurts, stop!”  She started to thrash around, kicking her arms and legs, trying to get away from the hands, the fingers digging into her skin, sinking into her body. “Please, no, please…”

And the last thing Ana saw when she looked down was the manifestation fading, disappearing, and with each second the pain grew. One long, seemingly endless test of her strength as Eyla faded away before her eyes, and it was then that she did lose consciousness, truly.

Look at me, little Ana. It’s time to remember. We’re almost there. Wake up.”

Breakfast at McDonald’s

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I’ve had too many idle hours tonight to do not much else but think. I don’t generally like to necessarily dwell on past things, but there are certain times when things come up and I’m pretty comfortable with allowing the thought process to take it’s path these days, reflect on it (whatever it maybe be), give it the attention it wants and then it goes on it’s way again. Things don’t sting even half as much as they used to. Memories and scenarios replay in my mind now as if I am watching through someones eyes other than my own. It’s very much a case of being on the outside looking in.

You’re probably wondering where I’m going with this, and the truth is that I’m not certain where this ends. But only that it will end; for now, at least.  I just had an out of the ordinary thing happen yesterday that I wanted to share.

My mother and I went out for breakfast yesterday morning at McDonald’s. It’s something we do sometimes, and a few months back it had been a weekly thing, but we hadn’t done it for quite some time again until yesterday. It’s always at roughly the same time, though, when we do go, and on the same day of the week, and often there are faces there that become familiar because they are doing the same thing.

A woman came in with her daughter and sat near us. We’d seen her a handful of times before. We always say hello to each other, exchange a little bit of small talk and then get back to our own conversation between ourselves. She is about the same age as my mother, this woman, maybe a little younger, and her daughter is grown, but she doesn’t or can’t talk. She needs assistance to walk in the right direction, to sit down, even to eat. But the woman seems happy enough to chatter away to her anyway, while she’s having mouthfuls of her own breakfast in between feeding her daughter. And for whatever reason, she comes to sit at our end of the table and starts to talk, a lot. She isn’t upset, or angry, or even stressed. She just talks. And my mother and I listen for a long time.

We walked out of that fast food restaurant, looked at each other and I cried. I felt so humbled.

I reached a point where I had actually made plans to put her in my car, and I was going to drive us both off a cliff. I was just tired of being tired, and having to fight so hard to just get through each day.”

To be fair, out of context and without retelling the entire story, that woman’s words seem more than a little bleak, and maybe even odd, because after all, how often does a stranger tell you such things? But for a period of time, at that table, none of us were strangers, and she told a story that I needed to hear. The straight forward honesty of that unusual and unexpected exchange was exactly the perspective I didn’t know that I even needed.

I’ve been fighting now for over two decades. Fighting to just live. To be here for more than just existence for existence sake. And I’m still fighting for it. It’s not as much of an uphill struggle as it once was, admittedly, but it is by no means an easy road, still; not even close. I could think back even further than adolescence but going back that far is really not terribly productive as a lot of things that happened back then were out of my control. I was a child. But, I left home at aged 15, and from then on I was forced to “grow up” fairly quickly out of necessity. I was forced to make a lot of life choices, and some of them monumentally important ones; that I can’t change, often. Still, they were my choices, and for better or worse they have shaped who I am now.  I can’t regret them entirely, because I had no guidance and was only doing what I thought was best at the time.  Even then, with hindsight, I was still a child making grown up decisions, because I had to.

From time to time I sought out friendships and hands to hold along the way, but all proved not only unworthy of my efforts, but incredibly destructive and damaging, mentally and physically. I have to remind myself at times that I am literally lucky to even still be alive in some cases. I’m not sure that I believe in God, but something or somebody must have been looking out for me in the greater Cosmos, because I’m still here, and others who have faced less are not.

I have to be grateful for that, even when I don’t want to be.  I have to.

You lied.

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Suddenly the child was simply just there. Ana’s awareness of the girl’s presence woke her suddenly, her eyes flicking open, startling her momentarily and she blinked several times to clear her fuzzy vision. She reached for the girl’s hand with the arm that lay above the covers, but Eyla’s small hand was already on Ana’s belly, just resting there, and the girl had her eyeless face cocked at an odd angle just staring, or seeming to, at the woman’s middle.

“What is it, Eyla?” She asked the girl, and the voice that she heard she almost did not recognize as her own. It was hoarse and weak, almost a whisper.

“Can’t you hear it?”

Ana frowned and shook her head slowly. She’d been vaguely aware of the sound of footsteps earlier while she’d been dozing before the girl woke her up. Rainé left at the same time every morning to go downstairs and arrange to have something made for her sister to eat, even though it had been days, if not weeks since she’d managed to more than peck at anything solid. But the room was silent now.

“Hear what?”

The girl raised a finger to her lips.

“Ssssh, just listen.”

She began to stroke Ana’s belly then, running her small hand up and over the bump and back again, slowly. She repeated the movement just a few times before she felt the baby inside her stir, and she winced when it kicked up against her ribs. Eyla giggled, and at that sound, Ana shuddered involuntarily. There had never been anything pleasant about the child’s laughter. It was a sound that she had heard many times before, and one which she had never been able to get used to. It took her back to the first night that she’d been made aware of Eyla’s very existence, and as much as she had tried to forget that, she could not, and would not. There were things, after all, that once seen could not be unseen, seared into one’s memory until the end of their days. A simple giggle was enough to bring that all back, and swiftly.

She squeezed her eyes closed and made a small whimpering sound as the baby kicked again. Eyla’s hand stopped moving and she bent her head down to press her ear against her mother’s belly.

Ana opened her mouth to ask what she was doing, but the words simply would not come out this time and she sighed wearily instead. She reached down and rested her hand on the top of the girl’s head, stroking at her hair, and the two of them stayed that way for a while before Eyla sat up again and slid off the bed in one quick movement to stand nearer the woman’s shoulder, peering down at her from her scarred eyeless sockets.

“Mommy?”

Ana’s eyes flickered open again.

“Hmm? What is it, Eyla?”

“You lied.”

The girl’s voice sent a violent shiver through her. The anger and resentment in her tone was unmasked, truly, and there was something else in it that Ana had heard before, but which had never been directed at her, and perhaps this frightened her the most. It was malice.

“I would never lie to you.”

“But you did.”

Ana frowned and looked at the girl, shaking her head slowly, confused.

“You said I would always be your favourite girl.”

A weak smile curled Ana’s lips.

“And you are, and always will …” Her sentence was cut off before it could finish by the girl suddenly shouting.

“Liar!”

And all at once the light that had begun to fill the room, the first light of dawn that came through the bedroom windows each morning was gone, replaced by pure darkness. A darkness that she’d seen once before, long ago, and the very air that she tried to breathe now was thick, oppressive, constricting her lungs as the girl’s screams got louder.

“Liar, liar, LIAR!”

And with the last scream from the child’s mouth, she jabbed her finger at Ana’s belly.

“She’s your favourite, she is! You LIED!”

As her head started to swim, and her ears felt as if they might actually explode from the inhuman roaring coming from the girl’s mouth and the other voices that echoed hers that filled the room now, the child flung herself down at the side of the bed, sobbing, Ana started to scream as the first pain struck.

And then once more there was silence.

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