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For my Sister

When I look into your eyes

I see myself, reflecting back

Not only because they are the same hue

of darkest brown

But because their glistening fervour

matches my own

And in those eyes

not only do I see my face

weighed down by the days that I missed

the school plays I couldn’t go to

the Halloweens I didn’t see

your first day of school.

I see your heart breaking

Your aches that you are too young

to know what they mean

and so

You smile

Front two spaces of teeth

empty

Because the teeth tottered out of your mouth

when I wasn’t looking

And your unspoken anger

I feel when you latch on to me

before I step on to a bus

Your slow-building anger

I feel thicken your voice

when I can’t reach the phone

Your burning, bleeding resentment

That you only show

when you tell me I miss you

Make me wonder

if dreams are worth it

If mine meant that I had to leave you behind.

A Clean Kill

7:00 pm

The mascara wand runs over my lashes, bending them upwards, giving me the look of a doe-eyed rabbit. I grab my crimson lip-stain, roll it over my lips, smile in the mirror. The corners of my lips don’t pull as far upwards as they used to.

My roommates chatter loudly in the hallway outside my room, calling to me to come and join them.

7:00 pm

The television thunders and roars as Crosby shoots another goal. I crack open my first beer of the night, cheering with the crowd inside the screen. My roommate is curled up with his girlfriend on the other couch. I touch the cold space next to me, taking another swig of my beer.

9:00 pm

My roommates and I dance and bounce to this week’s top 40, the house shaking with our drunken excitement. Glenda pulls me into the bathroom, our arms tangled together in ecstasy.

“Make sure I don’t text him tonight,” she says, handing me her phone. “You gotta make sure!”

I look through her phone, finding her conversations with him. “He’s asking what you’re doing tonight,” I slur, the letters fading in and out of my misty vision.

“No!” she screams, grabbing her phone back as she sits down on the toilet. “Don’t tell him. I don’t want him to come over!” she says.

“God, Glenda, why do we have to pee together,” I leave the bathroom in disgust, pulling my own phone out of my pocket. No new messages.

9:00 pm

The scent of beer hangs like a viscous cloud over the room. The game is almost over and four more friends have joined us for the night out. We cheers to a winning game, grab our coats, and head out for the night’s hunt.

11:00 pm

We finally stumble into the bar, find an open booth, and slide in. Misty eyes of hungry boys graze over our bodies.

My eyes lock with one pair in particular. He smiles coyly, showing a bit of teeth, but not enough to indicate enthusiasm.

I adjust my hair and flutter my eyes in his direction, smiling back.

11:00 pm

            The belle of the ball has just stumbled in, like a straggling deer. Not quite as pretty as her friends, her clothes fit a little too tightly, and she gawks around the room in subtle desperation.

I bare my teeth just a little, careful not to give too much away. She takes the bait.

11:10 pm

Oh man, he’s getting up from his table! He’s walking over here! Play it cool, play it cool, fix my hair, play it cool, pretend not to notice…

11:10 pm

            She nervously twitches and plays with her hair as I walk over to her.

“Hey there,” I smile, pointing at the seat next to her. “Mind if I join?”

“Go ahead!” she smiles a little too widely, shifting over, squishing her friends into the wall as a result. They all snarl and roll their eyes.

 

11:10 pm

            He asks if he can sit down. I pretend not to care, shrugging my shoulders and moving over a bit.

I can feel my friends gawking at us, analyzing our entire interaction.

“So where ya from, cutie?” he asks, leaning in closer.

1:30 am

We awkwardly stumble our way into my bedroom. I’ve got his warm hands in mine, and he wraps them around my waist as soon as we shut my bedroom room.

His fingers are a bit too tight around my waist, as if he’s afraid I’m going to slip out of them.

His warm lips hungrily pull at mine.

1:30 am

She wastes no time in taking me to her bedroom and promptly shutting the door. I quickly wrap my hands around her. I can feel her twisting slightly, so I pull her closer.

I bend down to kiss her, devouring her slowly.

8:00 am

I can hear her snoring peacefully as my eyes flutter open. Her room is a tornado of clothes, hers and mine mixed together.

I can feel her warmth beside me, and I smile. I slowly get up from the bed, throw on my clothes, and gently shut the door behind me.

I let the sunshine wash over my face as I step outside, breathing in the shimmering rays.

8:00 am

I try not to breathe too loudly as I hear him stir beside me. I fake a soft snore, nestling my face further into my pillow. Bruises from the night throb on my breasts and back. He gets up swiftly, puts on his clothes, and leaves the house without so much as a glance behind him.

The sunlight slants in through the blinds of my window. I shrink away from them, checking my phone again. No new messages.

Once there was a girl with eyes blue like the sky.

When asked where she was from, she began to cry.

Her voice was like honey and she sang to the trees,

she flew through the town like a soft summer’s breeze,

I loved her but one day she just died.

 

My pen hovered over the page, sweat beading on my forehead and the nape of my neck. My breathing stuttered and slowed, stuttered and slowed. I closed my eyes to steady myself. Then I began again.

Once there was a girl with eyes blue like the sky.

When asked where she was from, she began to cry.

Her voice was like honey and she sang to the trees,

she flew through the town like a soft summer’s breeze,

I loved her but one day she just died.

One day she just died.

She just died.

Just died.

Died.

 

My head spun as the words filled my eyes; the weight of the black letters sat on my chest like a thousand pounds of cement. I dropped to the floor with a cry of panic.

“Jimmie!” Sheryl’s voice echoed through the hall as she ran into the room. “What’s wrong?” she dropped beside me, rubbing my back as I clutched my head in fear, trying to stop the words from crushing me.

She looked over at the desk, seeing pages and pages of the same poem written over and over again in my hand. She sighed. “Again Jimmie? Geeze, give your hand a break.” The strong scent of marijuana clung to her breasts as she pulled me into them, hugging me tightly. “She’s gone, Jimmie, she’s been gone a whole month. She ain’t ever coming back.”

“She’s dead,” I mumbled.

“By now, probably. Who knows. She probably just went back to wherever the hell she was from.”

I jerked her aside and abruptly stood up, knocking her off balance. She fell flat on her bulbous behind with a thud. “You bitch. Maybe you should just go back to wherever the hell you’re from. Oh yeah, I forgot that they kicked you out of hell. Guess you’re just stuck in this run-down town like the rest of us.”

She stood up, and in one swift movement, swept all of my papers to the ground while spitting in my direction. I remained motionless as she stomped back to the living room, back to her real lover, her bong.

Damn dirty bitch, I thought as I opened my window and looked across the dark sky. How dare she spew that kind of bullshit about my Nina. How dare she. I grabbed the flowers from the vase sitting on my windowsill and crushed them in my fists, the image of Nina’s broken body behind my eyes, lying in a pool of dried blood, a psychopath standing over her with a machete, or a gun, or maybe a kitchen knife. Who knows.

Sheryl crawled into bed beside me around 4 in the morning, her breath rank of alcohol as she whispered into my ear to wake up and fuck her. Like always, it was numb and passionless; a dried up old whore on top of the town recluse, both once again falling prey to the flesh.

She drifted into sleep quickly and easily, unlike me.

At nine in the morning, I woke up, after once again spending most of my sleep dreaming of a barn with Nina’s dead body lumped in the corner. The places my imagination drifted to while unconscious was unnerving.

I sat back down at my desk and began sketching the dreary barn from my nightmares. Its walls were of a dark wood, its floors grey concrete; from the ceiling hung strings of paper. To finish the sketch, I drew Nina, eyes wide and frozen like lakes of ice, hair as dark as ebony, mouth hanging open with dried blood at the corners, hands and feet bound together with coarse rope, as if she were an animal being taken in for slaughter.

I again let out a scream of panic, causing Sheryl to run into the room and hold me again.

“She’s dead!” I screamed, pulling her closer. “She just died!”

After a while, she pulled away and drew my face to hers. “How do you know?” she asked, brows furrowed in bemusement. “Why do you think she’s dead?”

“What?” I mumbled, pulling away.

“That she’s dead? Most just thought she ran away. How come, from the moment you knew she was missing, you thought she was dead?” Her voice was low, careful.

“Because she loved me!” I screamed, once again pushing her aside and stomping to the window. “She told me how much she hated her family! She told me what her father did to her! She told me about all of the times her mother just left her places. Forgot her. And she told me that being with me was the first time she ever felt safe. Safe. Why would she leave safety? Why would she leave? No. No way. She wouldn’t just run away. She would never just run away. She would never just leave me.” I drew in a deep, shaking breath, my vision blurring.

“Nina was just a slut lookin’ for a good time, she didn’t love you,” Sheryl scoffed. “She was using you for a place to crash and someone to keep her warm at night.”

“Shut up!” My voice tore through the room, piercing Sheryl in a way that made her tremble. I shoved her against the wall, my nose pressing against hers, my breath heaving in through my mouth. Her eyes glinted with flashes of panic, but she stood her ground all the same. “You,” I whispered against her wrinkled face, with foundation cracking off of her skin and her eyes lined with black like a raccoon. “are the slut. You, are the whore. You are the dirt underneath my stinkin’ shoes, and you deserve nothing. Get the fuck out of my face before I kill you.”

I expected her to scream, or cry, or kick me. I expected her to start trembling like I was. But Sheryl, for all of her faults, was not one to show weakness. She just stood there, cracked a grim smile, and shook her head. “You got issues, Jimmie, and clearly you got some things to remember. Nina was a slut, she probably just got murdered by one of her dealers that she owed hundreds or thousands to. Get over it. Get over that slut.” With that she left the room, slamming the door to the bedroom and not coming back out. That was one of the things I loved about her, she never showed fear or vulnerability.

I started laughing. Laughing so hard that my stomach hurt. Laughing so hard that I fell to the ground and couldn’t breathe. Laughing so hard that I didn’t even hear Ralph knocking on the door, or walking into the house, or standing over me with a puzzled expression on his face.

“Shit!” I yelped when I saw him. “How long have you been fucking standing there?”

“Just a few minutes. What’s so fuckin’ funny?” he asked in his high-pitched, whiny voice.

“I saw your face, that’s what.” I stood up and sat back down at my desk. “Where’s mom?” I asked. “Been tryin’ to get a hold of her for days. Dad keeps sayin’ she’s at Bingo. Can’t be at Bingo all the time.”

“Bingo is code for Aunt Sally’s. Mom and Dad have been fightin’ like crazy. They should just get divorced already.”

“Fightin’? ‘Bout what?”

“You, mostly. How you’re a neurotic basket case who can’t get over a girl that left you.”

“Didn’t leave me, Ralph. She died,” I murmured, my energy levels falling below the line of normal.

“What’s this?” he asked, picking up my sketch.

“The barn I keep dreaming about. It’s the one I keep imagining Nina’s corpse rotting in.”

“Shit man, looks like Aunt Sally’s barn at her old farm. Remember? She used to rent it out for parties and wedding receptions all the time since it was so beautiful, that’s why it had those paper streamers hangin’ from the ceiling always. We used to play there as kids.”

“What?” I asked, trying to recall this barn. “Can’t remember it.”

“No, I swear. Looks exactly like it. You’re probably just unconsciously recalling it, Jimmie. Don’t worry, Nina will come back. She ain’t dead. She probably just needed a break, like Sheryl needed from me,” he said in tones of hopefulness.

I bit my lip, looking up at him apologetically.

“Anyway, just wanted to see that you were okay, man,” he patted me on the back, squeezing my shoulder. “I’ll see ya later, okay brother?”

“Yeah man, I’ll see ya,” I said, walking him to the front door and closing it behind him.

I walked back over to the bedroom and began pounding on the door. “Jesus Sheryl, you still haven’t told Ralph you’ve been staying here? If it comes from me, he’ll have my balls. You gotta tell him.”

Only silence came from the other side of the door. I opened it, stepped inside. The room was freezing cold. The window had been thrown open, and Sheryl, gone. “Shit,” I muttered under my breath, realizing that she had run away. “Gotta find her before she does something stupid.”

I ran outside, shouting her name. I went up and down the block, nothing. I went over to her sister’s house. Her sister was just as lazy as Sheryl, sat on her ass all day and collected disability checks for an ailment she was cured of years ago. “Where’s Sheryl, Dolly?” I asked her. “She ran away, again. I gotta find her before she tries to hitch a ride to California and ends up in Mexico.”

Dolly laughed, a throaty guffaw that made my dinner from the night before stir in my stomach. “Good old Sheryl. Every time she’s upset, tries to go down to the Golden state in hopes of marryin’ Clooney. I think all that blow really scrambled up those brain cells of hers, if she had any to start with.”

“So you don’t know where she is?” I sighed.

“I might. She might be visiting cousin Susie. Just got married to some Chuck or other, probably went to hit her new husband up for cash.”

“Got an address?”

She scribbled it down on a receipt from the Beer Store and handed it to me. “Now you be good to my sister, you hear? She ain’t no trash that you can be throwing around.”

“Yeah screw you, Dolly,” I bolted from the rank smelling house before she had a chance to throw something at me.

It took me a half hour, but I finally made it to Chuck and cousin Susie’s. They lived on a small farm just outside the town, quaint little place that seemed so familiar. I stopped and observed the area before approaching the house. The fields were a yellowish colour, seemed like no one had taken care of the place in a while. No crops were really growing, just a small forest in the distance, lined with thick evergreens. I spotted a small barn amidst the field, dark and gloomy like the one from my nightmares. I looked at the house. Then back at the barn. Back at the egg-shell coloured house of my Aunt Sally’s that we used to visit all the time as kids. Woman died of a heart attack; bank must have reclaimed her place and sold it. That was the barn Ralph was going on about.

I spotted Sheryl through the window of the small house, laughing with her cousin in the kitchen. Curiosity filled me, and I began creeping over to the barn.

A memory hit me like a bullet through my brain, instant and painless, but shot me dead. “No,” I whispered, quickening my pace. Once at the gate of the barn, I ran my hand up the door frame, analyzing its rotting wood, my body becoming sweaty very quickly. “No…” I continued.

As I entered the barn, the bullet somehow embedded itself further into my brain, causing more memories to sputter out like a leak from a pipe. “No!” I screamed as my legs became numb and I fell to my knees.

There, in the corner of the run-down, rotting barn, lay Nina’s decomposing body. The smell overwhelmed me but I continued to crawl towards her corpse.

“Nina!” I cried, crawling still, the smell burning my eyes. I reached her body and swept her up in my arms, holding her as I gasped for air. “Why’d you try to leave? Why’d you try to run away from me?” Her ice cold eyes looked up at me, the blue now forever frozen.

Beside Nina lay the machete I had used to murder her, covered in dried blood.

The barn grew cold as my memories continued to flood back, and I continued to gasp, haunted by the screams of my dead girlfriend.

Wishes

There is a wind, where a wish might be

Through the leaves of the barren, in the hollows of trees

I found my wish, amongst your flames

Though the weather is frantic, your fires are tame

 

I saw a light, somewhere far

I whispered to nighttime, to where you are

While you’ve disappeared, and we’re so far apart

you’re always here, in the folds of my heart

Ch. 1

Once an unmitigated member of the heavenly skies, I am now bound to the Earth as if my wings are anchored to the molten rivers of the Earth’s core.

There is but one other who has fallen as low as I, but his name must not be spoken.

This all began when I fell to the ground in quiet solitude, flung from the clouds of Paradise into the dark back alley of a Toronto based Burger King. I lay covered in rain and dirt, and closed my eyes against the tsunami of despair filling my lungs. The blackness beneath my lids gave me hope that this might all be a nightmare, that I would open my eyes to the vast warmth of God’s abode.

God turned out to be a shrivelled up homeless cat sitting on my chest, attempting to chew my grime covered wings. I threw the cat off of my body with a shriek and pushed myself against the wall.

The rain pelted against the dumpster beside me as I looked up into the ever-pour. Blackness engulfed the skies as coarse thunder filled my keen ears. The zigzag of the downtown traffic filled my peripherals.

I looked down at my hands. Pale, translucent hands. Made for the clear skies, but shrivelling in the rain.

I sat in silence for a few moments, contemplating my next move. I decided to first get out of the rain. I pushed myself up onto my feet and walked out into the street. The passers-by all gawked and stared, craning their heads to get a glimpse of me.

It was then that I realized how cold, and exposed, my breasts were. He could’ve at least given me clothes before hurling me into the depths of the Fallen world.

I sighed and pushed my way through the crowd, as people shrieked at my wings or shouted at me to take off my stupid costume and find some real clothes. I shoved my way into the Burger King, dripping wet, butt naked, with a set of wings tucked against my back. They were now only visible from behind.

The folks at Burger King stopped eating to stare at me. I rolled my eyes and walked up to the counter.

“I need some clothes, please,” I said, staring into the eyes of this freckled faced elf boy who was trying his best to look me in the eyes.

“I- I’m sorry, miss, but we sell food here, not clothes,” he stuttered.

“Excuse me!” shouted a stout man as he stalked up to me with eyes pulled into slits. “If you do not leave this establishment right now, I will call the police!”

“Just try it and see, you lump,” I spat.

“Hey, hey, here, I’ve got a jacket you can borrow,” said another man, walking up behind me and handing me a jacket.

“Thank you,” I smiled, pulling it on. It fell to my knees, covering up almost everything, and had soft fur lining the hood and insides.

“I’ll help you outside,” said the boy, gesturing towards the door.

I gave the stout man another glare before following the boy out into the rain.

“Sorry, I didn’t want things to get ugly in there,” the man said, rubbing his thumb to his scruffy chin.

“That’s alright, thank you for the jacket,” I said, pulling it tighter around me.

“Yeah, about that, are you… alright? Can I help you get somewhere, or find someone?” His eyes flashed with curiosity.

I sighed. “No, I just need to find a place that will give me clothes.”

“Here, there’s a salvation army right down the street who can probably help you out, let me take you, it’ll be on me,” he guided me down the busy sidewalk into a small store lit by soft yellow lights and cluttered with boxes of clothing.

The man walked up to the counter and handed the woman behind the counter a bill. He walked back to me with a small smile.

“You can go ahead and pick out an outfit for yourself,” he said, rubbing his face again. “Including a jacket… since I’ll be needing mine back, unfortunately.”

“Alright,” I said, pulling out a sheer blouse from a basket and holding it against the light for inspection. “These aren’t very good quality,” I mumbled.

“Yes, well,” he shrugged.

“It’ll do,” I huffed, pulling an outfit together and handing the man his jacket back. I began to pull on my new clothes in the middle of the store, much to everyone’s shock and dismay. I looked down at my new tank top, jeans and button-down lumberjack shirt. The man handed me a bright red jacket from a hanger in the corner.

It had no fur.

“Well,” he said, pulling on his jacket, “I hope you find your way okay, but I’ll have to be going. Also, you have wings taped to your back, just so you know…”

As he ran his hand through his copper hair, I suddenly remembered who this man was.

“Alastair!” I shouted, pointing at him. “Oh wow, you’ve grown up!”

He looked incredulously at me. “I- I’m sorry? How do you know my name?”

“How’s Shima?” I asked excitedly.

His face coloured with bewilderment.

“Are you two married yet?”

He blinked rapidly and took a step back. “Um, actually, she dumped me a couple of weeks ago, but… who are you?”

My face dropped as confusion and agony filled my insides, and my world began to flood with the ice-cold despair I had been holding back inside my lungs.

~~Ch. 2 to come

Ocean Floor

The waves of the ocean

Ebb past the sinking sun

turning to mist

devouring the Earth

Blue current fills your lungs

as the bubbles etch

and pull

and burn

receding

retreating

until you’re floating

to the ocean floor.

~~

I love images of water, I think it’s one of the greatest tools used in poetry – water imagery. It can covey so much. I like to use drowning as a metaphor for so many things.

Tomorrow’s a special day. I don’t know why, but I know that something will happen. I like to believe that I can feel when my life is about to change. I think that my life is about to change.

I did something this weekend, something I’m not proud of. I don’t like the anger and jealousy I feel at seeing or hearing about other girls with him. I mean, he’s not even mine.

So, I tried to get back at him. Except… he doesn’t know, and even if he did, he wouldn’t care. So really, I was just getting back at myself.

This is why I can’t be a villain. Because every time I try to hurt someone else… I just end up hurting me. Or, is that the fate of all villains?

You’ve heard it here, folks. I have declared a path for myself. I am the villain, at this current stage of my life. The other woman.

-Pancakebliss.

The Cold-Blooded Killer

There once was a boy of twenty-nine
His eyes were jewels and hair so fine
He smiled at me through crooked lips
My insides died when we first kissed

The wind howled strong when he walked by
He turned calm seas to raging tides
His blood could turn the world to frost
Just one touch, and warmth was lost

Then one night, he touched my face
And said, ‘Just one night, won’t you please?’
So I shut my eyes and kissed him slow
He pulled me close, did not let go

I woke to sounds of muted steps
And heard the door shut as he left
I called his name, but he was gone
And I, so cold, in the breaking dawn

~~

I hope everyone is having a great holiday, and have a safe and fantastic new years!

Kisses and Hugs and lots of LOVE to all of you <3 :)

~Little Miss Pancakebliss

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