Thursday, February 28, 2013

You must be mistaken...

You must be mistaken
I'm not he
The guy haunting your memories
The wasted life you see...

Once my veins bore the flow of
his brew of guilt mixed with regret
But the angel came and wiped my brow
And his shame seeped out like fever sweat...

You must be mistaken
That's not me
The fool bound to your expectations
Yearning to be free...

I woke up in his skin one night
I thrashed and thrashed to cope
But someone loosened up the knots
And cut his bonds of rope...

Friday, February 8, 2013

Not Quite #fridayflash fiction - Alice by the Sea

There must be tens of thousands of little girls called Alice in the world. Some of them are not so little and not so innocent, but if we wrote down stories for every Alice that lives, breathes and swallows pills, they could fill a library, all by themselves.

But ask yourself this, how much mileage can you really get out of 'one pill makes you tall' and 'one pill makes you small' withing beginning to repeat the pattern, again and again and again, like a row of warped mirrors in the madhouse.

I'm going to tell you about an Alice that simply got fed up with it all and took a Path of Whispers, away from all the White Rabbits and Mad Hatters and Murderous Queens until she came to the sea.

The wind blew her perfectly brushed blond locks into a wild nest of disarray and the spray of the ocean splattered the unblemished pinkish white skin of her bare feet. She was happy, but still the possibility of being discovered loomed like a distant storm cloud on the horizon.

She did not bring much, but she still had two pills left and without hesitation, she popped the pill that makes you small under her tongue. That was the one that always shocked your senses - a swiftly impacting sensation that made you feel as if your weight had abruptly tripled. Followed by your ears popping and then a disorientating light-headedness, as if the see-saw that had just plunged, now swooped back up again. And finally, that dry burning at the back of the throat. Yep, that was the pill alright.

... and grains of sand were now sharp pebbles and rocks of quartz... The cold brine of the sea, the stabbing sunlight. Everything overwhelmed, as Alice stumbled to find the nearest haven of sanctuary within a sea shell.

Its smoothly curved pearly walls were easy on the eye, except in those places where they caught a glint of sun. That hurt. The surface felt good on her cheek, but the best and worst thing about the shell was the music you could only hear from the inside...

I know you've probably held a shell to your ear, but this is very very different. A secret that shells have kept very well is that they only let you hear what they want you to, and that corresponds roughly to what they think you expect to hear. A roaring whoosh and most people will wander off, none the wiser.

But each shell distills the vibration of the waves to a fine and delicate series of melodies that never escape. Each shell tunes the vagaries of the wind to secret arpeggios that might have been the undoing of Paganini and each shell blends the harmonies of the shifting sands outside to something rare and exquisite.

Before Alice, no human had ever been an audience to the overpowering symphony of the sea.

Madness conducted the little spikes of intensity that rose and fell, drilling against the inside of her skull during the first movement.

There was no interval, no break, but the shifting carried her to a scary sort of sane that gnawed and grinded relentlessly against its confining prison of bone.

Then, it broke barriers and spilled....

Her mouth was open and her throat vibrated with a high-pitched fluting whistle. Was she still listening to the music or had she become it?

Sensing a new element, an enhancement to its features, the shell had worked the dimensions of Alice into its music, bouncing new improvisations off her form. That was the way of the shell. It employed everything within its environment in the greater quest for audial excellence.

The girl thought tone was god and tried to move towards it. Then she decided that tone was the devil and tried to move away from it. Because the music surrounded her, the results were exactly the same.

She crawled towards what felt like the heart of the sound, its crescendo whorling around and around, in colors she could almost see.

The music changed, becoming cold and wet. The vibration of tone lingered in echoes, but it was passing. She had found the mouth of the shell, but outside, she still felt as if she had no skin, no hair and no face, even. She was nothing more than a pulse that continued to go ah-ah-ah-ah-ah, without end. She could not even tell whether she still crawled or had stopped. She might have hugged herself, had she been able to locate any of her limbs.

She had no awareness of time passing, but after a while, she realized that the music had shifted from being an event to becoming a memory. She felt her fingers curled around her toes and slowly the rest of her body came back online.

She opened her eyes. She had to brush rags of hair the color of sleek seaweed from her eyes. Her skin was tinged green, hands and feet webbed. The girl called Alice swallowed hard, but then she remembered that she had wanted to be different.

Something grubby and white stuck to her palms. She stared at it for a long time before realizing that it was the remains of the pill to make you tall. Painstakingly, she licked her hands until they were clean. Then she got up and walked into the wild and the deep.

(t.y.m.... thank you to my inner muse and guide for coming through for me, once again)