He looked up at the cimmerian sky and shouted, flinging his emotions up into the heavens, hoping that maybe God would cast down his net and gather the scattered fish that were his thoughts, collecting them again, rearranging the pieces. The papers were clenched in his fists and he ripped them to shreds. His hands shook with fury and disappointment. He had been cheated. Every since he could remember, he had been planning his trip from Morrocco to Spain, to escape the wretched life that he had there. He couldn't ride with the other poor individuals on tiny, crammed rafts, but had meticulously worked to plan his escape. He had used every last cent, his heart had drained alongside his pocket, but it was all worthless now. The man whom he had paid to acquire a boat had run off with his money. He had nothing. The wind moaned with him, and the river that curved in the valley below him turned deep gray as if laced with a contagious sorrow.
My heart beat so loudly, I could hardly hear my own footsteps against the wood. And how that wood creaked! It threatened again, and again to give away my position. The sun was setting, casting long ominous shadows down the hall, and my own shadow stretch in front of me, creeping along with me like my partner in this crime. The cimmerian hallway seemed alive with the darkness. My nightgown tickled my ankles and for a moment, I felt a presence behind me. I whirled around, but nothing, no one was there. My shadow on the ground copied my every move, and it almost made me laugh how scared I was. I proceeded further, the floor groaning and creaking under my weight. I opened a door but was disappointed to see that it was only the closet. I sighed and started to go back to my room. I was just imagining things--this was my first time at my grandmother's large yet remote estate. But just as I was about to close the closet door, something shifted. It was if the shadows inside were gaining depth and I couldn't look away. I was drawn to the darkness--a strange instinct tugging within me. Then something happened that to this day, I still can't explain. The darkness turned, gaining shape and definition and red eyes were staring straight at me.
A dash of spice, a pinch of cinnamon
Don't forget the flour, the eggs, the lemon
Normal ingredients for a normal recipe
But what about concocting a disaster?
A hydra of worries, insurmountable, crushing pain?
How do you bake anxiety, how do you measure self-gain?
Do you add a teaspoon of greed, or perhaps a cup of fear?
A sprinkle of malice, a quart of timidity
A tablespoon of hate, a gallon of stupidity
How do you grind insecurities and disbelief, the icing on the cake?
The finishing touch, deadly candles with black flames, quake
If chaos, betrayal, and destruction is what you're after,
How does one concoct a disaster?
The book was held up against Emily's face and she hunkered down behind it, giving the illusion of studying ferociously. As soon as her Chemistry professor picked himself up, stretching and yawning like a great big bear, and meandered out of the library and down the hallway, she sprung up, like a caged animal and raced out of the library, and out an obscure back door. Rodney, James, and Lilja, other thrill-seeking college students just like her, were already waiting for her, and Amber was in the driver's seat, the engine of her bright blue jeep rumbling impatiently. As soon as they saw her, Rodney waved and he and James jumped in the back seat. Lilja gave her a hug before climbing up on top of the jeep, while Emily sat in the passenger's seat by Amber.
"What took you so long?" Amber asked.
Emily shrugged, the excitement of the evening beginning to intrude upon her. She looked at the bright neon lights that marred the deep blue twilight. She watched the strident colors blur as the jeep picked up speed and drove away from the college campus. She and her friends were living the life of lotus-eaters, dreamers, fantasists, indifferent to the stark reality of the world. They were party people and wild animals with a primordial lust for adventure and disobedience.
The winds shrieked and moaned as if mourning for a lost loved one
The air trembled with heat, as if inside an oven
The Sahara was alive and dead with the everlasting sands
Golden shards of crushed stone that spread out in all directions, nearly swallowing the majestic blue sky above
Far ahead, was the crocodilian guise of an oasis, shivering distantly as the heat radiated from the sun, rose from the ground, everywhere and nowhere
The sun's rays seemed to grow legs, running around, racing and playing tag upon the sands, scorching the plants and bleaching the bones of unfortunate animals to a pure white
The plants hunkered down in the soil, grasping for drops of water, while the stillness soaked the air with peace and loneliness
The Sahara was alive and dead with the everlasting sands
The Jade Buddha sits regally on his throne, an immortal being, frozen in the waves of time, legs crossed peacefully, and regarding the world through an all-knowing lens.
Flowers garnish the altar, and candles stand proudly, their rosy warm light flickering over the shaded alcove.
The air is thick and full with the deep smell of incense, tickling the nose like a persistent mosquito.
The sun flickers in at a slant, casting an ethereal mood over the entire scene, as if someone had stepped off the edge of reality and was in the realm of the gods, the deities, the supreme beings flowing in and out of forms, dipping into the shallow existence of the world before retreating to heavenly perches again.
The Buddha watches, just the mere form of a greater power.
The indecision grips your stomach like a vise, squeezing so hard until you can hardly breathe
Is this how all choices are like? One or the other?
Must we be forced to conform to the patterns of society, adopt the pretense of the perfect being?
Casting our ballots to support one idea or the other? Like good citizens, or like good conformists?
But really, we don't have a choice, do we?
Lies roll off deceitfully truthful tongues--we can be whatever, whoever we want, we can believe what we feel, we can be daring, artistic, different
But can we?
Or is it just the people who have the strength, drawing from a drying well with every moment of their lives must live with the terrible consequences of being something that doesn't fit into the perfect little box?
The little boxes lined up in rows
The ways of this world crisscross across the oceans and deserts
Like tripwire, one step and you are caught
The arrow came whizzing at her, so close that she could feel the slight woosh of the displacement of the air. She leaped over the bush that confronted her and immediately tucked into a clean roll, barely dodging the angry hunter. She immediately stood up and kept running, tearing her way through the thick growth of the forest that surrounded the wall of the Federation. She knew she was breaking many rules with what she was doing, but she could no longer live in silence. As she ran, her mind, in its frenzied state went back to the man who was dead. Just the mere thought of the man's glassy, dead eyes and the blood that dripped from the small wound on his chest. She had never seen Federation weapons in action until that moment, which had only been twenty minutes ago. She could hardly believe that she and the rebel movement had just performed the worst counter attack of a lifetime. Everyone had scattered after the weapon they had been building for months had been detonated. But the ma hadn't survived. She squeezed er eyes shut, trying not to remember the life in his gray eyes and the way that he tossed his dark hair when he was trying to be cool, which drove her crazy. She opened her eyes again and tried to focus only on running. She tried to focus on detaching all emotion from the man. She couldn't even bear to say his name. He was dead. Nothing to her now. Remembering the details of her lover would only make the pain worse.