Pit and Pendulum

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[trigger warning: suicidal thoughts and self harm]

I used to be weak

Days would pass when
My thoughts were tainted
By dark slender claws.
Piercing my ankles, they
Dragged me further and further
Into an abyss more formidable
Than the ocean. So deep
Was it that at times no stray
Beam of light could find
My vampiric skin.

I was alone and forgotten.

No sensation; not old
Nor hot, just dark.
There were times when I
Could take the darkness of
The Pit; times when I knew
There were worst things
Then feeling nothing, seeing nothing.
But there were also times when
The Pendulum would slow, when
I could no longer bear my silent
Agony. All I wanted was peace.

China lips are only so strong.

On those days when the Pendulum
Slowed, when the numbness consumed
All that was good in me, I tried
To seek comfort in a more
Permanent darkness.
But knives never pierced the skin,
Pills never passed my tongue,
Rope was too course and hard to find.

This I saw as weakness.

But soft, light broke through
And shown down into the Pit
Where I dwelt, revealing to me
A secret. What I had seen as weakness,
An inability to quell the fear was in fact
An ability to survive my circumstance.
Weakness didn’t stop me.

I was strong all along.

Prompt for August 26: Droplets

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[prompt from http://daily-writing.blogspot.com/ . Characters and story from one of my novel ideas]

The amber colored sky reflected off the leaves, tinting the green gold in the fading autumn light. The calm before the storm, it was so beautiful in its short-lived serenity. Its fragility was the true treasure.

Just like life.

I remembered a time when I feared the frail quality life had. After seeing so much life fade away, washed in blood and evaporate like dew on leaves before my very eyes, I dreaded how short life could be. Fate was cruel in this singular way, giving us the ultimate gift and then taking it away before we fully grew to appreciate what we had and experience it all to the fullest.

From the other side of the clearing, I saw the approaching accumulation of light; my father’s army. I saw the life of the Renterrans shining through the trees. From my distance, I couldn’t tell which would survive the day and which had reached the end of their time.

The first drop of rain landed on the bridge of my nose. It slowly ran down and landed in my left eye. Fate’s assurance that my gift, my plague for most of my life, was given to me for a reason. It was in Her plan all along that I would aid Candra and betray Renterra. And just in case I started to doubt Her plan again, another drop fell into my right eye.

The light of Renterran lives grew closer as more and more water droplets began to fall around me. If only it was just rain that would fall this day.

Prompt for August 16: Four Lines of Prose about when Push Comes to Shove

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[prompt from http://daily-writing.blogspot.com/ ]

Even though his feet were rubbed raw and he could feel his blood congealing around his toes, staining his skin, he continued to run. He needed to get away from the horrors of the war. He didn’t want to stay in the camp anymore, learning how to shoot his friends’ parents and others his own age.

He just had to keep running until he reached a safe place or he couldn’t run anymore.

Prompt for August 15: Something or Someone Explosive

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[prompt from http://daily-writing.blogspot.com/ . Characters and plot are from a novel series idea: Hand of Fate]

As I looked into the sneer of the man my friends despised, all I could think of was the slack, opened-mouthed expression Cris wore as his life force was taken from him. I felt heat radiate from my stomach, down my arms and into my hands. The small dark hairs on my skin stood up on end.

“And now I will do to you what I did to the renowned warrior of Candra; the one who couldn’t be beaten and yet fell so easily.”

Adrian lifted his arm in my direction. I could feel rather than see him reaching deep within himself to activate his gift.

I wasn’t paying too much attention to him, however. The heat tingling my palms turned from the barest brush of a sunburn to the scorching rage of a rocket’s blast. I commanded the clouds to form above me, begging them to turn the deepest shade of grey.

Just like Cris taught me, I thought of a warm blanket wrapping itself around me, shielding me from Adrian’s power. My barrier, Ignatius’ famed gift, would protect me from him. All I needed to worry about was revenge.

“Say goodbye to your precious Candra.”

The heat at the tips of my fingers flared as lightning began to rein down upon that horrid Renterran king. For the first time, I used my gift to inflict pain on another person. The shock on Adrian’s face as the first bolt hit him square in the chest, right where Evander’s arrow had struck Cris, weakening him, was deliciously sweet. I knew what electricity could do to a person. Hell, I’d even smelled the singed fur off a cat that found its way too close to a tree in a storm.

But then I thought back to all the stories I’d heard about what Renterrans did to Candrians during the war. I remembered the tears contorting Todd’s typical smiling face after he heard of the death of his fiancée. I remembered seeing Corvinous fling himself in front of nocked bows after he kissed Lupe’s still lips one last time.

I thought of Vitus and how he was raised, never knowing an ounce of love from the man standing frozen before me. How a man could treat his own son in such a way…no one like that deserved any kind of mercy.

I kept Cris’ face in my mind as I commanded another bolt of lightning to strike Adrain, this time in his back. He arched in such a way, almost resembling like the crooked trees in the courtyard outside the Candrian palace. His teeth were clenched together, his eyes seemingly welded shut. I smiled and let loose another bolt from the clouds above. Again and again I struck him, even after he could no longer stand. His jolting body amused me. I giggled, first slowly, then louder.

By the time his body was black and charred, I was laughing uncontrollably. Inconsolably.