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CrawlspaceExploring tiny, dark spaces is an unpleasant, and often inadvisable, thing for a young boy to be
doing. The small door in the corner of your grandmother's spare room, for example, is not only offlimits
but the gaping mouth beyond it is also probably full of tiny scuttling spiders which will drop
onto your head if you move.
None of this is going to prevent your older brother shoving you in there, though, no matter how
you curl your legs and try to kick him in the knees. He is a giant in comparison to you, almost adultsized
already. You're nine but look seven. And he has hold of both of your wrists in one hand. The other
hand is crushed
anonymous caller "I love you," she whispered into her pink telephone. Nothing but music and the rustle of paper returned what she thought was an open and honest gesture. "Did you hear me?" she paused. "I said I love you."
“I love you.”
I didn’t think he meant it.
I think boys have cotton stuffed in their ears and songs constantly playing in their head, to drown out your words. But that didn't stop my heart from fluttering perilously like thin paper in the wind. I was frail, then— like a tiny umbrella of one of those silver-tufted dandelions, barely clinging to the bulb, so delicate it could float away any moment into the June
Small GiftsThe cat who lives in my neighborhood brought me another dead lizard.
"It's lovely," I observed, "but you do realize I have no use for that."
"Oh! I didn't know," the cat replied. "It's how we show affection for our humans. If you'd like a dead bird instead, that could be arranged."
"No no, I get what you're doing. It's sweet, really. It's just--"
She paused from grooming herself to look up at me quizzically.
"It's just... I can't do anything with a dead lizard or bird. Except throw it away. Which, by the way, reflects in no way on my appreciation of--"
"Wait," the cat sat up. "You throw them away? I worked my ass off to catch that thing. Least you could do is take a bite." She nudged the small green body with a paw.
"Here's the deal," I began again. "What I really need is money. Barring a miracle, I'll be gone from this place at the end of the month. I'm already behind on the rent."
"But I like you!"
The Power of RejectionA chasm opens between the dream of success and the fear of rejection. It can be impassible, the Grand Canyon of risk deterrents. And so many choose to never cross it, deciding it is much better to stay on the dream side than to hazard having hopes dashed against the cavern floor below.
The fear paralyzes. It rockets hearts into throats, becomes a mountain, elicits a high-pitched shriek of terror at the very thought of trying to take on the possibility of rejection. It keeps drawings secreted away in sketchbooks or songs buried five folders deep on a desktop creations labored over and loved but never given the chance to be loved by oth
50.726217, -2.841747We arrived solemnly at a day masquerading as romance. I emerged from the people carrier and ingested the familiarity of the place; Langdon Woods. Now, those pathways are dug into my palms. Deep trenches scratched into the whorls of my fingertips. Reminders of where I've been.
We walked for a while, hand in hand. You pointed out cashmere blankets of bluebells that bowed their heads as we marched past. I saw them repeat infinitely, a kaleidoscopic tessellation of my many copies of this memory, each slightly different (some faded and well worn). I remembered the bluebells infused with the smell of you.
After a time, we grew weary. Sweat bubble
Of Loss And Measured TimeIt was ten minutes before the accident, and I just told my boyfriend that I love him. He's on his way to my house, and I'll see him soon.
It's been five seconds since the accident, and I'm getting worried. The distance between our houses is only five minutes.
It's been twenty minutes since the accident, and I hear sirens blaring their way down my street. I open the door and run to follow their path.
It's been forty-five minutes since the accident, and I'm watching the ambulance pull away from the mangled remains of what was once a red sports car.I didn't see the victim, but I don't need to. I've seen that car enough times. I vaguely regist
The SketchHe loses his first kiss in autumn. He's twelve, she's just turned thirteen, and at the time he isn't sure what all the fuss is about but knows how special it is anyway.
She's gorgeous, pale-skin, brown hair, dark eyes always filled with happiness and joy the way he wishes he could be. She doesn't want to be there any more than he does, and they grouse to each other about how they don't need a 'special school.' It's the first time he's worked up the courage to say it.
She carries a book too, just like his sketchbook, but she says it's a diary. It's hung with a little lock on the front and he jokes about it being the key to her heart, a littl
The ConnoisseurEvening in the thought quarry is sublime. The newly collected memories are finally digitized. After the day’s work, I relax and sort them, evaluating their body and character.
I load a new one titled “Elizabeth," dated for last week. I open the sensory log and dive.
I see green hills and the occasional flower. Clear skies. The sight has terrific clarity.
I pluck a nearby dandelion. The aroma is sweet and earthy. I take a greedy sniff and feel the sharp prick of a stinger. I tear away the insect. The pain finely accents the fragrance.
I detect powerful enthusiasm for the loneliness of these hills, for the absence of civilizati
ShellsEach wave hissed across the shingle. Each wave flattened itself out in a dying puff of foam and then fell back into the greatness of the sea, dragging the smoothed-out stones with it. How many years must it take for those fist-sized pebbles to become sand? How long?
Frances raised her eyes to the grey sky and wondered about God above those clouds. There were men who said that God’s hand had no place in all of this. There were men that said we had come from apes, step by step, like a boulder being polished by the sea until it was a smooth and perfect fist-sized stone. Those men said that six thousand years was impossible. Six million years was impossible. They said that time was so deep it was like looking into the arc of the heavens and never knowing how far away the deepest darkness was.
Those clocks that ticked on board ship, that spelt out longitude and latitude to anxious sailors, that measured the greatness of the globe – there were not enough ticks in all of the clo
The Virgin House"Let's see eye of newt, boiled bat wings, mandrake root, and- My, my, tears of a virgin? Where am I going to get a virgin?"
"Perhaps you can place an ad in the paper?"
"Hush, Madrina, I'm trying to think." Aggie rubbed the mole on her chin. Her cauldron boiled happily in front of her. "Let simmer for three full moons," she read from her spellbook. "I have time." Aggie turned on her heel, and her robes spun with her. "Madrina!"
"Go into town and find a man named Richard Sphin. He deals in uncanny business. Tell him I wish to order a virgin."
"Can we get a cat scratcher for my nails?"
"Not enough money."
Is that a bite mark? “In here.” Holly pulled her friend into an alley with a crude wooden fence across the opening. “Give me a hand with this.” She grabbed one side of the dumpster. Victoria grabbed the other. Together they wrestled it over to the fence at the mouth of the alleyway.
If they were lucky, that would hold against the pack of deadheads following them. She wished it was heavier. Maybe she could weigh it down with the loose bags of trash lying around. Holly started to ask for help again, but she stopped when she saw the way Victoria was cradling her arm.
“Hey, you don’t look so good.”
The Mechanics Guide to PerspectiveThe Mechanic's Guide to Perspective
Daveo stood in front of the old brown car holding the bonnet up with his right hand, and stared into the greasy engine bay with a touch of resignation.
"Why does he keep booking in jobs like this?" he lamented to Swannie, who was laying out hand tools along the battered stainless workbench of the small mechanical workshop.
Swannie's permanent laconic grin turned towards Daveo.
"That sounds like a whinge to me."
Daveo rolled his eyes and put up the bonnet stay before replying.
"It's not a whinge, I'm just saying..."
"Whinge" Swanny interjected.
"...that he books in too many jobs on old shitboxes like
The Priest and the TimetravelerThomas had not yet finished praying when he heard two loud knocks on the door to his church. Straightening up to answer it, the young priest grew worried. Not even the elderly couple who usually sat in the front-most pew came this early; the sun had not yet risen and his first sermon was still hours away. He was concerned that the visitor was someone in dire need of assistance or quite possibly a bearer of bad news, and so he went to the door as quickly as he could.
A tall gentleman wearing a crisp, black suit stood in the doorway. He let himself in before Thomas could even question what he was doing there, took one irritated, sweeping look
The First Tale: MountainIn ancient days when the island was new, Moon, Sun and Mountain spoke.
In these ancient days, not long since our land rose from the lightless sea, Man talked with these three elements and was given great knowledge. But not all was good. In those days, Mountain threw out great clouds of fire, smoke and ash, so that the HoluKo became sick and their crops grew yellow. Many climbed his face and asked him to stop. Some made sacrifices in the hope that he would cease. Many tried, and all failed, until at last SutaKe came to use his cunning.
Like the others, SutaKe climbed the face of Mountain. Like the others, he braved fire, ash and smoke. And
Leopold Runs So SlowArms out like a flying squirrel, Leopold's Sketchers crunched across the gravel. He felt like he was in one of those comic books his older brother, Chris, was always reading, the ones with the girls in bright, skintight costumes, and the men with bulging muscles and red capes. Leo swooped around his driveway, his lips blubbering together to make the noise of a helicopter's propeller, then making the vehicle go down in flames, exploding in a shower of spittle.
"Look at Leo!" Casey from next door exclaimed, pointing to him from the kitchen window. "He can't even catch up with that leaf!" The said leaf skittered along the pavement, Leo trundlin
DiamondThis thought, it's like a diamond buried in the sand
Still reaching to meet and greet my hand
And whilst waves can crash and sway, it'll sit
Buried beneath the golden grit
The rain can swallow sadness; engulf people whole
But this rain it falls at the centre of my soul
Perhaps I'm not made of stone
We met on the pavement, shiny memory of mine
Your hair was fine
And wrapped in red bits of twine
Yet there was sadness in your eyes
I saw this and invited you to speak
But my smile; cheek to cheek
I remember you now, as you once were
The girl with fair hair
And a shine behind her stare
As if her soul wa
A Letter to SelfHere, I'm writing my eulogy to you; while some leave letters and others leave songs, mine is a gift that I hope you like. It's wrapped with love, and though you've turned away from it in the past - I've seen 'return to sender' far too many times - I'll ship it one last time and hope you understand.
It may seem like a thousand year battle; trust me, I've lived it. Know this and don't fear, because in the end - the true end - you'll lose that anyway. You'll be able to face whatever comes as a friend and whilst I know that's daunting now the moment will pass as deftly as a needle through fabric when the time comes.
It is now I begin to sew.
Come What MayI like grass.
Simple statement, I know. I'm not usually one for keeping things simple, but when I'm here, and you might be, I feel speaking my mind is a little less cluttered.
It's not like anyone hears me, anyway; muttering away to myself under the trees, bathed in the scent of the new daffodils and the low thrum of the bees. You could call it cliché, but a summer for someone who rarely sees sunlight is a commodity as rare as love almost just as cherished.
A summer with a sprinkle of love, however, is gold. We can eat that peppered steak on the crumbling bench, share a vanilla float in the dusk heat or count the different type
Whiskey Laden DreamsBitter eyes and tears might taint a drink, but sitting in this bar alone with your stool pulled out next to me, and the Martini poured regardless of your presence still brings a smile to my face; despite the taste. I'm having a whiskey myself; dry. Yes, I know I don't drink, but every once in a while you need whiskey to solve an intricate problem, and mine is the distinct lack of alcohol in my life.
There are people everywhere and it amazes me how none of them are you, from the woman in the black dress coming down the stairs to the signing couple in the corner, laughing silently. They're not you at all, and that's what's amazing in an
Truly Intelligent DesignI often wonder what God did on the eighth day. I mean, Jesus Christ, the guy (or gal) builds an entire universe in six days and only takes Sunday off? Give them a managerial position. What we've got is someone who, not just imagined something into existence, but created complex laws of mechanics and chemistry in order to see that creation make sense.
The only sensible conclusion we can draw from this is that God's an engineer. I think that s/he's gone all Kurt Vonnegut on us, and self-inserted themselves into their own story on occasion. Somewhere down the line, God got pissed at how slow we were progressing and decided to jump in to show us
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`anmari has been spreading her infectious positivity throughout our community for over 6 years. Throughout this time Ana has been at the core of all things devious, passionately developing an eclectic gallery, helping organise devmeets, participating in chat events and also recently completed dedicating her time as a Community Volunteer. We are absolutely delighted to bestow the Deviousness Award for May 2013 to `anmari, congratulations! Read More