Rebirth of the Phoenix
The final story draft in my Phoenix Odyssey trilogy is now online, for the next week. Check it out: http://www.darkbolt.com/writing/PO3-Rebirth.pdf
This scene goes by so fast, but it was so breath-taking.
I am under
and pervading your
your veins ache
for me but
let me tell you..
The next time
we shall be
Silk ribbon forged with trust and heartaches, bound your wrist to mine. We believed it to be strong as steel, that it would endure anything. It almost did. What you didn’t expect was that I would be the one to sever it, to leave you empty-handed and wanting, while I held all the cards. Our sacred link was never prepared for the cut my hand would deal, the ends frayed and unraveling until only the silk-thin strands remained, insubstantial threads that were insufficient to maintain our bond. I will lose you to the world, clutching the remains of what was once revered, now scattered to the wind, and wholly broken.
I just wanted to eat dinner and read Tumblr, and I see this in my peripheral.
You say you hear to come and save me
Normally heroes can be super but it was something more that you gave me
But it was also something you gave him
Rekindling something that we used to have, hmm those chances slim
Whose was there when you needed it?
Who was there when you felt mistreated?
Who was there to have to your cake and eat it?
You ain’t never gonna find somebody like me
You’d be third eye blind finding somebody like me
You use to them but ain’t no love in me
I hear what you’re saying and girl it’s clear to see
That you should clearly think of somebody like me
Who else could spill this ink like somebody like me
Let’s just party til we can’t ain’t no love in me
So don’t come looking for love
Baptised in dirty water
(slightly NSFW and triggering content)
His sins lay etched in the skin, under microns of layers that maintained the creature he believed himself to be. Pristine and perfect had always been his convictions, but the staining said otherwise, evidence of his wrongdoing.
With the first, he believed she had said yes, believed it was just a mole upon the tip of his finger.
With the second came the intoxicating night of furious, sloppy passion, and his concern grew into infection.
With the third cumming on his fingers on a crowded train, he pressed the stained left hand deeper into his pocket, to hide and satisfy the heat swelling within his pants.
The fourth had marked the end, unable to continue hiding the visible signs of his sins, and brandished them for all the world to see.
There came no fifth, no sixth, once everyone saw what he had to show for himself. Until they realized what he was capable of.
What he had done.
It’s easy to stare at the moon and see why so many fall in love with its face. Imperfect and marred, its eerie glow is still enough to hide the secrets we keep between the sheets. An flawed lover in the dimmest of lighting is perfect by comparison, a reflection of what we want to see in the faces of those we hold dear.
But who does the moon gaze upon but those who have found each other? No blemished face to be made smooth for the pale green satellite, no one to call her their own. Loved by many, but not the one she is seeking.
When I met her, Maybelline was a mess of a machine. She was reduced to a sputtering remnant of her former glory, given over to rust in a trailer park driveway. Broken down, worn out, like some small-town, honky-tonk barmaid. The windows were stuck down all the way, leaving her soft leathery insides exposed to the elements. The dash cracked and peeled in long, fleshy strips as a result. When I got behind the wheel, I’d cling for dear life and pray the concrete blocks holding the busted seat in a vertical position wouldn’t clunk out of place in the middle of traffic. The windshield wipers only worked half the time and the windshield was half-cracked anyway. Luckily on the passenger side. Two out of four hubcaps were missing. The front right tire was a wobbly donut.
Maybelline winked at passing cars with her single headlight as I navigated through the still dark towards my third shift duties. The stretch of road between the trailer and the truck stop where I worked as a night clerk was narrow and quiet. And painfully straight. It made me feel agoraphobic. All the space, all the beige. The way the wind whipped up strong and sudden, pushing and bullying Maybelline and me across broad lanes on the flat high way. This land looked foreign to me, a girl with deep roots that stretched across states back to green hills and hollers, back to a land of Mamaws and double first cousins and familiarity. Back to Kentucky.
For forty miles a day, I was alone for the first time in my life. Except for Maybelline. Together we floated down that eerie highway through a moonlit ocean of corn. As we drifted over dips and pot-holes, I teased -
“One of these days…” I’d say to her, over the blare of oldies from busted speakers, “One of these days I’m gonna’ replace you with a Volkswagen named Brunhilda.”
She’d sputter and backfire in protest. I’d laugh. Maybelline and me got along pretty well. I was in the wrong place and she was from the wrong time.
The day she died wasn’t just like any other day. It started out better. Relief from my midnight grind came early. I whistled my way out to meet Maybelline in the parking lot at 4:30 in the morning instead of 7:00 or 8:00. I’d like to say that the end was dignified. But it wasn’t. The ill-fitting spare tire I’d forgotten to replace on my last pay day popped in a loud, obscene way as soon as we hit the first curve on the outer road. Maybelline veered towards a concrete ditch and I jerked the wheel the opposite direction. I’d like to say I was thinking fast. But I wasn’t. I was trying my damndest not to slide out the always open window.
The ditch on the other side of the road was a softer sort of devastation than the concrete gulch I had managed to avoid. Covered in freshly-sown, bright green grass it separated Maybelline and myself from the highway that had already began to buzz with traffic. The ditch we landed in was fuzzy. Like my memory of the event itself. My head collided with the patch of once fashionable faux wood in the center of the steering wheel. The horn was stuck on when I came to.
“It’s not your fault. Airbags weren’t standard in 1986,” I groaned to Maybelline as I hauled myself unceremoniously out the window and collapsed in a slightly bloody heap, leaning against her.
She continued to emit broken moans. The horn weakened and waned and whimpered. An automotive death rattle hissed its way out from the busted radiator like so much steam. Her frame was bent and my wrist was broken. I knew I would recover, but it didn’t look good for Maybelline. She was doomed to be hauled away and dismantled piece by piece, picked apart by swaggering, junkyard vultures. My good arm drifted up to stroke the car who’d been my salty, old gal pal.
On the other side of the outer road, the other side of the deep concrete ditch that would’ve undoubtedly killed me, tired patrons filtered out from the seedy motel to see what all the fuss was about. Tweakers and whores watched me puke and weep in the sunrise shadow of “the world’s best synonym for quality”. I cried because I couldn’t remember the area code in my new area. I cried because there was no one to call anyway. I cried for a white headed old stranger with a crooked smile reduced to ashes in a shoe box. I cried for Maybelline. A crumpled Cadillac that used to have a name.
if thqere was ever ua tvree to spaek naames to trhe birds
it woulod zbe bof the leaves thgat sing so sweetly
yet the birds do not hiear for their ears zare so small
ankd thwey caonnot hear anythign above tiher own jdin.
(I chose the title for this article based on my opinion that the reaction I describe is really over the top, and entirely unnecessary. We have room in our lives for both sorrow and joy. And the fact that the bit of joy that was singled out to be criticized is the bit related to the Royal family smacks of what we Jamaicans call “badmindedness”! Feel free to disagree with my opinions expressed herein, but your disagreement isn’t going to make me change my mind. It’s time we strike a balance, or at least pay lip service to it. An unbalanced world is a world caught in the malestrom of insanity. We’re already on the brink. Pull back, for God’s sake!)
The world is in a state these days. We can all agree on that. The child who was killed in a bus accident on the I87 on the way to New York City from Quebec City is one reminder that our existence is precarious, no matter where in the world we are from. The 298 people who lost their lives because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time, and fell out of the sky, are another reminder. And in case we still missed the message, the image of dead children on a beach in Gaza presses it home.
And yet, our existence is NOT all sorrow and pain. There are moments of light — babies are born to happy parents every minute of the day. Others take their first steps. Cancer goes into remission. Operations are successful. People marry, buy homes, get their dream jobs. And everywhere, in all these instances, there is celebration.
The thing I find disturbing is the suggestion, in the way some people respond to items in the news, that because tragedy is abroad in our world, that we should ignore, or worse forget, the joys that make for a balance. I’m talking specifically at this moment about a small article I happened upon in which William and Katherine, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, released a photograph of their baby boy walking.
The comment that disturbed me was one which said, in effect, that the story of the little royal one’s first steps has no place in the news when people are dying in Gaza, and planes are falling from the sky. There was even the suggestion that somehow the Royal family has managed to selfishly snatch the limelight from these more worthy themes because of their narcissistic need to be seen.
While I won’t deny the urgency that needs to attend these tragedies currently unfolding, I find the story of a child’s first steps, no matter whose child it is, to be a welcome respite from the consternation, anger, and sorrow of the stories which take pride of place in the news. And I refuse to let anyone make me feel guilty about that. If I’m allowed to coo and oooh and ahhhh over the family of my friends, permit me the same latitude in ooohing and aaahing over little Prince George’s first steps.
For God’s sake — and for the rest of us — get a bloody grip!!!
Roots, separate integral foundations for the mightiest of trees, merging to become one solid. Sturdy. Rigid. Cohesive. Unyielding. You’d believe the roots forgotten, unseen beneath the ground, but they are mirrored in the branches above, allowing the world to see what they truly are, how important their functions, to creating such a majesty.
The epitome of class.