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Hadriel
01-31-2012, 09:59 AM
Well, I'm really happy there's a place here where I can display my writing!

I consider myself to be an amateur writer. I've gotten the basics, I guess, but I still need lots of work here and there to achieve the standard I want. Anyway, here's a few of the writings I've done in the past year or so. These are the ones I consider my more accomplished works.

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Drifted Away

I was only nine years old when Grandpa became bedridden. He could only roll about in bed painfully while my family watched on. He suffered from asthma attacks almost daily, and I could see the pain etched into his sallowcheeks and gaunt face. He was like a withered rose, waiting for the rain to wash it away. Waiting. I think he wanted the rain to wash him away.

Every day I would keep him company by his bed, talking to him, trying to get him to read books - anything which would help him get better again. He never did. On certain nights Papa and Mama would stand by the doorway and watch me as I tried in vain to get Grandpa to listen to me. Mama was in tears, and all Papa could do was to look with sadness and regret. That was all we could do, actually.

It was sometime during the first few months that Grandpa started having a recurring dream. Sometimes when he woke he would tell me about it.

"I'm... on a boat," he would say weakly. "A boat... drifting off... to somewhere... far, far away. An island... far, far away."

At first Papa and Mama told me not to worry about it. "It's his mind's way of escaping reality," they told me. So I watched on as Grandpa kept telling me about his dream. I watched on as it took him over entirely.

"Where's the boat... ?" I heard him say one time when he woke up.

"Grandpa!" I called out. "You need to eat!"

"No... no... I need to get back... to the boat," he muttered, forcing his eyes shut. "I need to get back... to the island... far, far away..."

I struggled to wake him, but he seemed to want to sleep. I poked his cheek, pushed him, called out to him, until Papa had to come and tell me to stop.

"Don't tire Grandpa out, my child."

"But Grandpa's being taken away from us!"

"Taken away from us? Nonsense. Grandpa is right here."

With that, Papa turned and walked away, caught up in his own business. I stared at him desperately. Why didn't anyone see the trouble Grandpa was in?

Weeks passed, and Grandpa's condition became worse. He seemed to drift in and out of his sleep, rarely eating his food or medicine. It was only then that Papa and Mama became concerned.

"See? Grandpa's being taken away!" I wailed at them.

"We should get a doctor," they mused, ignoring my innocent cries for help. Grandpa was in danger!

One afternoon a week later, Grandpa woke up. It was rare for him to even wake up anymore. Quickly I ran to his side.

"Grandpa!" I called out. "Are you alright?"

"What... what's this?" Grandpa could only say softly. "Am I dreaming?"

"No, Grandpa! You're awake!"

"No... no... I can't sleep on a boat... It might sink..."

"Grandpa, no! The boat is the dream! This is real!"

"Little girl... Who are you?"

I was shocked and frightened. Didn't Grandpa remember me anymore?

"Grandpa, I'm Anne, your granddaughter!"

"Grand... daughter... Who are you? Why are you... on my boat?"

Tears filled my eyes as I tried to persuade him that he wasn't dreaming.

"Why...? This boat... isn't big enough... for us..." Grandpa muttered. He tried to push me off the bed.

"Grandpa, it's me! Your granddaughter!"

It was then that Grandpa did something I would never forget. He shoved me off the bed and I landed on the floor. As I looked up, all I noticed was him staring at me, eyes clouded in confusion.

"Who... are you?" he asked piercingly. "I do not know you... You are no one... It's just me... me and this boat..."

I could only sit there, crying, watching as Grandpa tried to force himself to sleep. "I need... to get there..." he mumbled.

I could only watch.

Another week passed and Grandpa was in a permanent lifeless daze. He stared blankly at the ceiling, and I didn't know whether he was awake or asleep. A doctor came and hooked him up to a machine which kept beeping. The beeps were irregular, sometimes becoming faster, sometimes becoming slower. I didn't know what it was for.

One night, as I sat there at the edge of the bed watching him, he suddenly spoke again. His voice was only a whisper.

"I can see it..."

"Grandpa!" I cried, clasping his hand.

"I can see it... "

"What can you see?"

"The island... I see it..."

His hand gripped mine slightly. I held it to my chest, looking at him teary-eyed.

"I'm there... The island is right there..."

The beeping suddenly stopped, and all I heard was a constant high-pitched noise. Grandpa's grip seemed to relax. I wondered if the machine was broken.

"Grandpa?" I asked. He seemed to be sleeping again. I nudged his side. "What's wrong, Grandpa?"

I heard the door down the corridor open quickly. Papa and Mama rushed into the room, fear in their eyes. Mama broke down in tears while Papa quickly took out his phone.

"Grandpa?" I asked, nudging him again. "Papa and Mama are here!"

He looked at the ceiling with unblinking eyes.

"Grandpa?"

Mama hugged me, crying. It was then that I knew. Grandpa had drifted away in his sleep. Drifted away to that island. Drifted away in his dreams.



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Freak

She watched him as he ambled about in the park. He faced away from her, waving his arms playfully.

"Oh my god. What's wrong with him?"
"What happened to him?"
"Stay away from him, dear. Don't go near him!"

She heard the other mothers speak. Voices of shock, overlayed with disgust. The visual spectacle was even more pronounced: a mom looked away, her face scrunched up. Another desperately tried to cover the eyes of her little girl. They both cast vicious looks at her son, and although he seemed not to notice, she felt the eyes vicariously piercing her very soul.

One of the mothers turned to look at her, eyes full of repulsion. She quickly turned away as the mother muttered something under her breath. Looking at the street behind her, she bit her lip in anger mixed with sadness.

Soon she heard footsteps on grass approaching her, and a small hand grabbed hers.

"Mommy, mommy!" he called out.

She turned back to look at him.

"Mommy! It's so fun!"

She could barely see his mouth moving behind his large disfigured nose. One of his eyes bulged out, staring at her unblinkingly.

"Come and play with me too, mommy!" The abomination spoke again.

"No, it's okay," she replied sadly.

He stared at her, his disfigured face full of concern.

"What's wrong, mommy?" He asked.

In the distance, the mothers were staring at the pair in disdain. Why couldn't they understand - understand that even abominations have a heart, that even abominations can love, that even abominations deserved to be loved?

"Nothing's wrong, dear," she replied, a single tear trickling down her cheek.

Her son's eyes widened in horror at her display of emotion. He grabbed her jacket.

"Why are you crying, mommy? Is it because you are not loved?"

Looking at him, she felt her vision blur with tears.

"I'll still love you, mommy! I love you!"

Biting her lip, she nodded.

"But mommy, do you love me?"

Here he was. Her son. A disfigured abomination. Her heart told her to love, yet her mind screamed at her to reject this freak. She was troubled. Sad. Despairing. Yet she knew it best not to leave a child hanging. The doubts still lingered in her mind, by-products of countless sleepless nights of self-reflection. Self-reflection of how this came to be and how she should react to it. She knew that, sooner or later, she would be confronted with this question, and now was the moment. Did she hate her son for his disability, or could she love him for who he was?

"Dear, I..." she began, tears in her eyes. A roar echoed throughout the park as a truck drove by, but through the cacophony she was able to relay her answer. Her son stood there, staring at her in wonder, reacting in wonder.


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Fifty

The snow fell on the sidewalk as I sat leaning against the wall, thankfully shielded from the snow by the roof jutting out. On my right, the empty alley echoed, perhaps a reminder of how lonely I felt. I could smell sweet aromas from the restaurant on my left. It was brightly lit, and now and then I stood on tiptoes to see through the window inside. There were families inside, eating dinner. They were happy, but I was not. As I sat back down, tummy growling in hunger, I would glance at the basket of matches beside me that I had to sell. For a year I had been like this. Homeless and hungry.

A bell rang and the door opened, throwing a yellow light onto the snowy pavement. A man stepped out into the night, patting his tummy in contentment. He looked at the street for a moment, and then turned towards me, walking down the sidewalk. I quickly scrambled up with the basket to initiate the conversation I had attemped many times every day, but almost never had a chance to complete.

"Mister, mister!" I called out. The man stopped, looking at me. He seemed to notice my shabby clothes and dishevelled long hair. "What is it, girl?" he asked.

Holding out my hands with the basket of matches, I asked earnestly, "Mister, would you like to buy some matches? Only ten pence for five!"

The man paced on the spot, trying to keep out the cold. I heard his boots scrunch on the thick snow as he considered my offer. At last he took out his wallet. I looked at it with envy.

"I'll take ten of them," he said. Ten matches. This was more than anyone else had ever bought before. My eyes gleamed.

"Thanks, mister!" I said happily. The man looked around in his wallet, and a troubled look came over his face.

"I don't seem to have change," he said, taking out a fifty pound note and showing it to me. "Do you happen to have some?

My heart sank. It was over. No matches would be sold tonight. I would go hungry, sleeping in the little dark alley.

"No, mister. No change," I replied, crestfallen.

He sighed. "Let me check my pockets," he said. "Here, hold this note for me first."

He passed me the note, and I looked at it in wonder. I had never seen so much money for a long time. The man rummaged through his pockets as I looked at the note. Suddenly, I felt a barrage of cold snow hit me lightly from the front. I put my bare hands to my eyes, shielding them and rubbing my face. As my hands went down again, I realized that the man wasn't standing in front of me anymore. I saw his back, walking away from me along the pavement. The fifty pound note was still in my hand.

"Mister!" I called out. "You forgot your money!"

The man kept walking away, walking towards a street corner.

"Mister!" I called louder. "Your money!"

As he got to the corner, the man turned, looking at me in the distance. He smiled and waved, then he disappeared around the corner.

"Mister!" I called out again. "Mister!"

But my voice rang out to no one, along the deserted street, echoing down the alley beside me.


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Trick

It was that time of the year when kids would gather in herds and march down the sidewalk. A party of monsters, most of them badly-dressed in makeshift costumes meant to resemble any kind of apparition possible: Ghosts, mummies, vampires, even fairies. Carved pumpkins sat on each lawn, each with a different design, lit from the centre by a lone wax candle. Some of the houses even had decorations: Lights and all that stuff. Every time the children passed a gate, they would march up to the front door and knock, chorusing, "Trick or Treat!" And they would get some. Usually small candies from the old folks next door, or perhaps a scare from one of the more adventurous residents a few houses away. But not him.

He leaned against his front door from the inside, glancing out the window now and then to see where the children were. Now, they were four houses away. The room was cool, cold even. As cool as his thoughts, as cool as his state of mind, betraying not a sign of the trauma he had experienced the past year. A divorce, then the death of a sibling, and those just made up the tip of it all. He had been fired from his job, and had been arrested and jailed earlier in the year for a crime he had not commited. It seemed that life itself was trying to gang up on him, trying to assassinate him from all sides, at any opportune moment. Life had changed from the honeymoon moment in a human's existence to an unbearable hell. His every waking moment was a nightmare, every day a traumatic dream in itself. It gnawed at his sanity and threatened to fragment his soul. That Halloween morning, he had decided: Enough was enough.

Peering out the window again, he saw the children approaching his neighbour's house. They laughed in glee, oblivious to the dangers and horrors of the world they would grow up to experience. Halloween was nothing compared to it, and yet they laughed on. Mindless fools without a single care in the world. Today, however, he would give them a taste of this real world. Today he would give them a taste of how cruel this world could be.

On the table beside the door was a small black pistol. It had been loaded with exactly one bullet. He took it and held it gingerly in his hands, midly comforted by its weight, as well as the smooth cold metal which pressed on his skin. This pistol gave him control, something he had lost long ago as he was swept into the cascades of life. Every last vestige of control, of authority: All of them had been swept away by the rushing torrents of the world he lived in. The hell he lived in.

He heard his neighbour talking to the children in delight at her front door. She was a nice old lady, retired, yet he knew that she had gone through it all. And how she managed to get through it without her sanity disengaging always remained a mystery to him, to the point where he was convinced she had lived a pampered life, a pampered adulthood. Unlike him. He was the mongrel of the working world, rejected by all, maligned by all, marginalized by all. He would never experience happiness in this god-forsaken world.

He heard his neighbour's front door close, and then the soft pitter-patter of children's footsteps down the stone pavement, back to the main walkway, where he knew they would march for a moment before they turned and entered his property. They were expecting a trick or a treat. They would get none. Or perhaps he could consider it a trick, seeing the blood splatter, seeing the body slumped on the floor. The doorbell rang, and he tightened his grip on the pistol, his finger placed precariously on the trigger. He heard the footsteps marching up to his door, the sound of juvenile giggling echoing in the cool evening air. Peering out of his door's peephole, he admired their childish abandon, their disregard for the severity of life. Not any longer.

Pushing the barrel of the gun against his temple, he waited for the children to knock on the door. They got closer and closer, approaching what they thought was just another house. His finger wrapped around the trigger, anticipating the moment when he would pull it. This would be a Halloween they would never forget.

The door knocked, and he pulled the trigger.


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Present

It's that time at the end of the year
To reflect on our past
To reflect on the year that has gone by
Retrospective introspection

It's that time at the end of the year
To focus on the future
To focus on what the new year will bring
Prospective introspection

But truly, it's that time of the year
To be thankful for what we have
For the past is the past
And the future is the future

But the present is the prime
A gift from God to us
It's the gift of what we have now
The present of the present


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And now, for one of my most recent works. This was for the WOTF with the theme "Cold", a WOTF which unfortunately disappeared due to recent events.


Malady

The beach on a hot summer’s day
Outside warm, inside a dreary cold
Her heart frozen – a solid block
Chained down with a solid lock
Bearing an agony untold
As she wonders, “Why did it go this way?”

A man once loved, once hers
Now a shadow in the winter dusk
A pillar gone - the burden shifted
Onto her shoulders, no longer lifted
The chains now covered in rust
Lamenting this solitary curse


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Comments and critiques are highly appreciated! (>^_^)>

Kojo
01-31-2012, 10:04 AM
nice comeback! :bow:
for WOTF stuff, let's wait for D if we can put back those entries/posts made here at GO.

CrescentOfLight
01-31-2012, 10:28 AM
Nice work.