A July 4th

July fourth
Watching fireworks
Each one, a family
Each one, a memory
Every one a possibility
Only, not for me
The people behind those lights
I will never meet
The moments that they make
Will never require me to be complete
And I’ve been told so many times
Not to make so much of little things
But it strikes me in its tragedy
And the tears take off with failing wings.

Friendless

Oh, you’re such a silly man
Still with all those hopes and plans
Still thinking me unfriendly
Because I haven’t any friends
But I tell you, there are worse things to be
And if someone wanted to be friends with me
Do you think that I would stop them there?
I’m simply loathe to beg and plead
Too quick to think that life’s unfair
That there’s no place for me out there
And if I ever did believe
It would require that someone truly cared.

Everything

Everything I try to write
Feels written somewhere before
And everything I think to do
Is the beginning of another war

Everything I almost hear
Bears the sound of slamming doors
And all the feelings we hold near
Are a poison making us its shores.

Everything that I should know
I know is something past my years
And everything that I could ask
I don’t believe is worth the tears

So everything that I could say
Rarely will I dare to whisper
And everything I must or may
Only comes out as a whimper.

Underneath

Frantically, she tore up the floorboards. “It has to be here!” she half-screeched, as she darted to and fro, searching different places. In the end, she collapsed, crumpling into a heap in the middle of what was left of the floor. Her bleeding fingers pulsed with pain, a reminder, and her glazed eyes wandered to one of the places where she’d torn up the wood. There should have been something underneath of it. A secret passage, a beating heart, a hidden stash with all the answers in it. Dirt, even. She would’ve taken dirt. But instead there was nothing. Just the void, that endless dark. “There should have been SOMETHING,” she whispered, eyes tearing up. “But there wasn’t,” her mind hissed back. Instead of crying, she began to laugh; a mad laugh. The darkness didn’t end at the floorboards.

Damaged

I told myself that I was more together
But all this time I’ve just been damaged
And every time I pulled away
I claimed was so as not to end up bandaged,
Not realizing that only pain
Could be the reason that I sit here ravaged
By a fear that will not go away
Of the loneliness I’ve barely managed.

The Inkwell

“And next week,” the paper read, “there will be a murder somewhere in the East section of The City. More details pending.” Joy Wells sighed at writing such an ominous — and not to mention tremendously unhelpful — bit of news. Normally, the dark and foreboding was her brother’s province, but lately her dreams showed only crimson, and however much she grasped at her usual optimism, she came up blank.

Cynric Wells came in just then with a cup of coffee in hand, and he stopped briefly to read over her shoulder. With a vague nod, he continued on to his desk, sitting and staring into space as he sipped at his liquid caffeine.

“Hey, sis,” he said after a moment, “your dreams told you that Officer Tannis would live a long life, marriage and kids and all that, yes?”

“Yeah, why?” She answered, looking up in confusion from the typewriter she’d been staring at as she wracked her brain for a happier way of sharing unhappy news.

“He’s dead,” answered her brother matter-of-factly.

“What?” She demanded, rising in surprise and horror. “How?”

Cynric took another sip of his coffee before answering. “An earth wyrm. Came right up out of a manhole, believe it or not; swallowed him whole. Now that’ll make for interesting reading for the common folk tomorrow morning.”

“But he could still be alive! Have they–“

“Oh no, Joy dear. I assure you, he’s very dead. Julius doesn’t like it when things happen to his underlings without his say-so, and had the rest search until they found the thing and gutted it. That’s where I’ve been these past few hours. I got a front row seat of theā€¦ operation.”

Joy fell back down into her chair, holding her head. “That’s terrible,” she muttered.

“That’s one word for it,” said her brother, eying her intently.

“Just say it, Cynric,” she groaned.

“Alright. You were wrong, sis. You’ve never been wrong before, and it’s not a good look, for either of us.”

She looked up at him. “You’re blaming me for appearances, when someone — a man we’ve known since we first came here — is dead? I knew you could be heartless, brother, but I didn’t realize you could be this petty as well.”

“Pettiness has nothing to do with it. Your ability has never been wrong before. If it can be wrong once, then why not twice, thrice, three hundred times? And if that’s the case, then I’m sorry to say, sister, but your ‘gift’ is downright worthless, and could potentially even be considered fraudulent. Once is bad enough already. But if this happens again, how long until the whole City starts to lean towards the ‘fraudulent’ answer? Tell me, Joy, have you ever been skinned alive before? Because let me assure you, it’s not very fun.”

“The Inkwell is the newspaper for the entire City. We have friends all over. You really think they’d just turn on us?”

Cynric scoffed. “What do you think happened to the people the job belonged to previously?”

“I thought you said they retired to a unicorn dimension?”

“No, dear. That’s called sarcasm.”

Joy’s face dropped. “Oh.” She took a breath. “So what are we going to do, then?”

“We make darn sure it doesn’t happen again. So… what do you say to a little investigative journalism?”

***

Per Goldie’s challenge. To be continued… Possibly.

Will

For many moments I sat waiting,
So adept at standing still;
So certain all worth chasing
Boiled down to just some time to kill.

But all I’ve lived was just prefacing,
Life a writer with a lethargic quill;
Maybe we’re on to demonstrating
That even characters can have a will.