a year in stories::forty one

Okay, been a while since I put one of these stories up, but I thought I’d get one up today. Eleven more for the year still to come, and I guess I’m not counting stories from A Call to Artists. Anyrate, a little bit of other business to handle, too. Haven’t really made a proper post in a while. I still need to talk about the last two seasons of Lost, too.

But first, a few interviews have gone up in the last couple weeks:

Gears by Alex Pruteanu. Interview published 19/9/2013.

Piano Rats by Franki Elliot. Interview published 11/9/2013.

The freelancing’s going pretty well too. I’m ghostwriting a book right now, for which I should be making more than enough money for the month, which is amazing. It really is great doing work that feels good to do, rather than just doing work because you have to make money. I mean, I need to make money too, but this is definitely preferable.

Along with the freelancing, I’m moving into selfpublishing. You should see a few things before the end of the year, and then several things next year. I think I’m going to try to do what Carlton Mellick III does and generate things pretty frequently. Maybe even I can make money that way. But I’ll get to more about that as it gets closer.

Also, got some hopeful news from Ste Erikson about my novel coming out from Perfect Edge Books next year. Hopefully it turns out well.

But, eh, I guess that’s enough for now. Sort of bullet point update, yeah?

Pretty when you Cry

She was sad often. I made it that way. She was prettiest when devastated. It’s not a kindness, but I love this part of her. Her pain, the agony, those tears. There will be no absolution for me, and that’s not what I intend in telling you, but I need to tell someone, and you’re sworn to secrecy, yes?

No, save it, Father. I know the whole thing. I’m a proper Catholic girl, for the most part. I mean, like most, I’ve done drugs, enjoyed the bodies of other. I’m still a virgin, in a sense. I’ve never felt that way for men, if you get me, Father. No, I know what you’ll say, what the church says, but the Pope seems relaxed, yeah? But I don’t want to talk about sex, drugs, violence, and rap music. No, just, okay? Just hold on, Father. I need to speak this or I’ll never be able to live with myself. I just need to tell you.

I can’t tell her. I’ve tried. Lord, how I’ve tried. Every time I see her cry, after the sublime vision she becomes, after we curl together and fall apart, I trace her face in the dark, running my fingernails gently against her jaw, dreaming of the day I’ll make this end.

It’s not just that she’s becomes beautiful, it’s that when she cries, it’s like dreams come to life. No figuratively or metaphorically either, but actually. Whatever comes to me in sleep becomes a part of my life.

It started on accident. Of course it did. Couples fight, especially when still new and bright and lovely. She wasn’t ever really my type, not at first. She bit her nails and they were gnarled and short and barely there. She was tall and gawky with thick circular glasses. Her hair, bright and trimmed tight with a thin pointed nose. For some that’s heaven, the dream. But for me, her squared hips and and thin legs carried no appeal. This changed, obviously. We got to talking and things changed. I liked her awkwardness, her crooked smile, the complete lack of femininity in her. I didn’t know then if she was into me, because it’s always a bit awkward to bring up, yeah? But she was the aggressor and I was pliant in her hands, against her mouth.

We fought though. I don’t remember what about because the fights are never the important parts. It’s what happens next that matters. What happened is she cried and when she cried everything changed.

The way she looked didn’t exactly transform or anything like that. But the air around her shifted, or, like, it took on a sheen of the fantastic. She glowed. Again, that’s not a metaphor. She glowed in this blue light. She was the bluest light and she was there, crying for me. Because of me, really. It hurt me to see her sad. That should go without saying, but I’ll say it again. I hated seeing her sad, but I loved to see her cry. Knowing I caused her pain, it’s the moment I knew I loved her, that I had fallen deeply and accidentally in love with this awkward girl. But there was a sense of awe, too. Her tears filled this hole in me I didn’t know was there. A hole I had carried maybe forever, long before this life. A hole in my very soul. I know God doesn’t do that to people, but it feels that way sometimes. Like God’s light doesn’t shine on me or for me, and everything’s blackness and horrible.

But when I saw her crying, it was like being washed for the first time, like God’s light was for me and because of me.

When we made up and I slept, I dreamt of flowers spread over the sky, raining petals onto the earth, and in the morning the world felt new. I can’t explain it better than that. Every touch, every sight and sound, each smell was a new sensation, and when she touched me, I quivered. Electric from just her presence, as she wiped the sleep from her eyes and, well, Father, forgive me for getting carried away. I know those details aren’t for here. But you see, Father, her hold on me–I love her. When I talk about her, even, I just get caught up. But to put it short, when I was with her that morning, I had visions of that dream. Visions of a many flowered sky blooming across the air, raining petals to earth and the earth rose new and beautiful and serene.

That must sound crazy, and maybe it is, but that was only the first time.

She made a child with her tears. She’s real, the child. She’s two, and she’s beautiful. Ours. I never told her this, but it’s biologically ours, too. I can’t say how that’s possible, but you can meet her, if you don’t believe me.

But now she has to see her mothers fighting, crying. I know she won’t understand that I what I do is like a sickness. I’ve become addicted to her creative energy, to the life she can build for us. When she died, the dream brought her back.

So you see, it’s not just for me. It’s for us. It’s a way to improve life, not only for us, but for everyone.

But it tears me apart. You see this, Father. You can hear my voice crack and break. I love her, but I hurt her over and over, and I do it for us. Or, I tell myself I do. There’s certainly a benefit for us in doing this, but what’s the real cost? Is it just sorrow?

Father, I know the Bible’s no use for something like this, and the church has no teachings like this, unless you believe that she’s a miracle worker.

I do. We can show you. Maybe we should show the world, but I’m afraid I’ll lose her to the rest of humanity. She’s so good. Too good. And if everyone knew what she was, what she could do, then what would happen? Would we force her to suffer for all of us?

She’s not Jesus, Father. She’s not God, and she won’t be able to carry all our sins. She won’t be able to save us the way He did.

I don’t mean to ask for forgiveness, because I can’t promise that this will end, or even if I really want it to. I mean, I want the pain to end but I want to live in her light, that bluest light she washes me in.

Forgive me, Father. I’ve sinned. I’ve sinned against the woman I love, but I can’t promise I’ll ever make it right. I can only promise to try. To try to keep her happy and safe.

I’ll try, Father. I’ll try. But save your absolution. I’ll be back, and by then, I’ll hopefully have this all sorted.

Goodbye, Father. Be well, and please, keep this to yourself. I’m counting on your vows.

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