Along the shallows of the stream

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Along the shallows of the stream

where tadpoles bob and fairies bathe

and children linger crafting dreams

in places which she yearns to stay

 

She hid a note of moss and seed

so fancied thoughts might never fade

that those come after eyes agleam

could play forever in that shade

© EMMI LAWRENCE (5.16.2018)
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In the Darkest Hours

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I lay in that bed. The sheets cold. The heater off. Winter at its depth. A chill seeping in through the bottom of the door. A whistling outside the window. The stars beyond covered with clouds. And the light from the streetlamp creating a glaze upon the glass, a frosted smudge.

I lay there. Waiting. Wondering if he would return. My mind too focused on that question, as often as it seemed to come.

There’d always been a swath of feeling when that doorknob finally turned. When the keys jangled as he cursed the fact they were stuck once more and wouldn’t turn without much coaxing. Even now, I wondered at it. Had it been relief? All those times. All those hours, waiting, wondering, unable to sleep until I heard him arrive home.

He’d been warm when he entered the bed. A heater. A furnace. And even though I hadn’t been cold, I’d turned into him. Felt the hair upon his arm tickle against my shoulder. Hear his annoyed grunt as he shifted away from the stubble on my chin. We never stayed like that. Never woke up entangled in each other’s arms. Always broke apart sometime in the darkest hours before dawn and never found one another again.

I wondered if that was where this feeling crept from. The darkest hours before dawn. Waiting to see if this time he wouldn’t return. If this time, he kept his foot on the pedal, drove past our building, onto empty highways that would lead down a different path.

And for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out if the feeling that swept over my body, tingling through my veins when that doorknob turned, wasn’t relief after all, but disappointment. Or even dread. That I would hear his irritated sighs. His exhausted groan as he turned over in the sheets. The blanket tugging, feeling far colder than any empty bed.

I thought back to when we’d first met. When I’d been working on the corner. Serving food and drink in the evening hours after classes. When I’d hide flashcards in my apron and study as the hours grew long and the tables empty.

He’d come in, like clockwork. Thursdays. Always Thursdays when the beers were cheap and the smoke lifted above the bar so thick it was visible from outside the windows.

Work meetings, he claimed. His fellows were coworkers and the conversations easy and comfortable. Networking, he murmured later with an exhausted smile and lips that held the scent of spicy wings I’d served earlier. We’d speak, at first just small talk. About the weather, hot and cold. Him asking about the classes I took and wondering over job openings he saw. That was how we got to working together. Me, grabbing a hold of his offer to toss my resume to hiring managers in his office.

How long had he been planning on wooing me? How long until I finally realized what he was after? How long until I’d wanted him in return? Continue reading

You have the thirst

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You have the thirst
though not the power
You claim the courage
Yet waste your hours

You have a dream
But not the will
You live a life
Yet aren’t fulfilled

You have tomorrow
but lost today
You see the goal
But not the way

You find your voice
When no one hears
You face your faults
But not your fears

You’ll wake too late
To live your dream
If all your time
Slips through the seams

So take this day
Shift out of park
And through the years
You’ll make your mark

© EMMI LAWRENCE (2.1.2018)

~ ~ ~

There was this moment, over a decade ago, where I went from ‘someone who wanted to write’ to ‘someone who writes.’

We talk a lot about things we want to do, things we’re going to do, but so few of us actually get to doing them. And every so often, even if we’ve conquered these moments in the past, we still need reminding to stop talking and start doing. Reminded me of that awesome Shel Silverstein poem. Hopefully I can post it here without getting into trouble:

All the Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas
Layin’ in the sun,
Talkin’ bout the things
They woulda-coulda-shoulda done…
But those Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas
All ran away and hid
From one little did.

© Shel Silverstein

The Garden of Lust and Bone

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The garden, if that innocuous word could be used in this situation, held a grandness that surpassed anything he’d ever seen. Not that he was a garden connoisseur or had ever bothered to stop to gaze in wonder at the trees.

The morning glories blooming along the stone walls during this early hour did little to cheer him, for they were just another obstacle in this well-intentioned, but likely fool-hardy quest.

The self-proclaimed queen–really, little more than a half-bred fae with marginal skill but deadly precision–would likely not take kindly to him sifting about in this expansive garden of hers. But she had her hands, and likely other parts, filled with some other ignorant youth who had decided her beauty somehow outweighed the warnings of all those who loved him.

Which meant Ethanial could conceivably get in and get out before a morning’s worth of bedroom activities found the lovely woman out on her veranda with her newest conquest.

He did not so much scale the wall as he climbed a thick lattice that had been erected at random intervals. The flowering brush scratched at him and the thick scent of cracked vines followed him up and over. He paused, hands lost within the foliage as he twisted to glance across the garden. Though there wasn’t much to see, not from this height. The trees, plums and apricots and taller walnuts spreading branches out grandly, blocked much of the underside of the garden, but he could see the moss-edged stone paths here and there erupting from underneath the canopy.

He hopped the last few lattice holes and narrowly avoided trampling a line of jasmine. To the right, where the stone path meandered out of sight, he saw the slim edge of the veranda off the back of the fae woman’s home. The lights remained dim, but here in the garden blue will-o-wisps blinked.

“I’ll not be but a few moments,” he muttered to a cluster of the wisps when they hovered close. He waved a hand through them, scattering them back about the garden where they continued to linger, but at a distance.

Rubbing the tiny scratches on his arms, he moved away from the house, keeping just off the stone path so his footsteps would not echo. Randomly, he’d pause and touch the dirt, sensing the death and decay that led to sweet-smelling blossoms and heavy growth. He could feel them, bones of long lost youths, men too short for the world according to some.

He would pause just long enough to ascertain that no, this one wasn’t the naive young man he sought. And then he would move on, weaving through the garden at a quick pace. He was careful where he stepped, not wanting to be too obvious in his passage, but not too careful, for he didn’t worry whether he trampled some living thing, for life, really, was a passing entertainment. Nothing to worry over when death could be undone just as simply.

He passed a wooden wheelbarrow with an overflowing strawberry plant, then a fountain made of the same stones as the paths. The water bubbled, a noisy, irritating sound that grated on his nerves more than it calmed them.

The garden seemed never-ending. The dirt beneath Ethanial’s feet filled with past lives stolen long, long ago. It became hard to concentrate. Hard to determine whether he truly was in the right place, all these lost souls blending together as if they’d become one in their tortured end.

He decided that it wasn’t so much the similarities of their deaths that made them difficult to distinguish, but the lustful art they had produced in life within this very garden. Men just turned from boys pushing into the most beautiful woman they’d seen, thrusting against her as she clutched at the dirt, twirling slender fingers through flaxen hair.

Flaxen…that was their word for her bright hair, its softness trailing against their chests, slipping through their fingers.

Ethanial hesitated. Shivered.

He’d responded, not to the desire running rampant among the underside of the garden where it was rife with emotion, their ever-present desire for that woman. But the muscled thighs that had pushed forward to enter her, the curves of shafts of all sizes and shapes, the flat stomachs that had tensed as they’d caught themselves before falling against that bosom.

“You’re a lustful garden,” he muttered, eyeing the wisps as they floated closer. “No wonder men still fall to her charms.” Continue reading

Ode to Coffee

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Oh, delectable nectar
poured forth from the gods
of mechanical interest
on laminate mods

You eliminate languid
pain and frustration
and manipulate outlook
for the day’s estimation

As linoleum creaking
I move to dispense
that recovery method
for last night’s unrest

In supplication I come
my knees bending deep
while declarations intoned
devotions most steep

I administer liquid
my cup overfilled
that invisible tugging
for now to be quelled

My anxiety wafting
far from the night’s storm
Our reality shaking
I conquer the morn

© EMMI LAWRENCE (1.25.2018)

~ ~ ~

The addiction is real :)

Is this the same as when rock stars sing about drugs? XD

Festival of Fools

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You stand on the shore of the defenders, the sand coarse against your feet and the summer air heated despite the sun still deep beneath the horizon. With your friends you paint green stripes upon your arms and tie green cloth about your swim-ready shorts. The air is filled with quiet laughter, eager anticipation and yarns spun by older defenders who had played within the holiday for many, many years.

A sense of calm wraps about your heart as the barest hint of light begins to creep over the world. You can sense him, standing there, on the opposite shore. Out of sight, but never out of mind.

Slim shadows mark where small schooners and dinghies and even non-wind-catching craft dot the bay, but the largest of all, that Barge of Delights, seems an ominous presence in the predawn hour. Port controllers drift further off, toward the entrance to the bay where the ocean currents ran rougher.

In front of you, just past the lapping waves, sways a platform, bending and dipping and every so often disappearing completely: the first stop along the Broken Pier. The true entrance into the Festival of Fools.

You’ve never stepped foot on it before, that platform, or any of the ones bobbing in the waves after it, a trail, like breadcrumbs, that cross the bay, connecting the defenders along this shore to the invaders on the other.

They would wear red and gray. Headbands about their foreheads, ends hanging down bare backs or braided or folded in new-fangled designs. You’d braided one, the red strip down the center, the gray to either side. You’d given it to him, your heart hammering in your chest.

He’d taken that band. He’d be here today. You are sure of it. Continue reading

Micro Poem Collection #2

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Thunder carved
And lightning born
Steel sharp
With perfect form

Oceans part
The waters shorn
Wild heart
Gives chase to storms

~~~

What rage he feigned, to hold his reign
Feats of glory, swollen stories
So legends claim a perfect name

~~~

At the base of my spine
I trap a shiver
As the glint in your eyes
no longer glitters

On the curve of my cheek
the tears turn silver
For the want of your touch
you don’t deliver

~~~

Though damp lines down his face are creeping
I see a strength in his gentle weeping
A steady heart, his head high keeping

~~~

She’s starlit pure and angel kissed
Where checkered halls in time persist
Her pearl bloom in earthly hearts
Tears fervent men of sense apart

© EMMI LAWRENCE (2018)

The Immortal Lover of Lake Phanta

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In the soft soil along the banks of the jungle-hidden Lake Phanta, just past the curve where the Creeping Falls gurgled, lay an aged bottle. Stoppered with browned wax and coated with a mottled decor of muck and algae, the bottle sat lodged, its squat bottom stuck between the twisted roots of an ancient willow.

The narrow neck popped free when yanked, leaving behind a perfect ring of thick glass. Just inside, kept clean and supple for centuries, a note unfurled.

With the rush of the falls echoing across the lake, a young man plucked the note free with two fingers and unrolled it, the broken bottle quickly forgotten at his feet.

It read:

To my first love,

We’d met in the morn hours, before the sun awoke, while the birds cooed their greetings. The falls drowned out our voices, claiming our lusty sounds as its own. The jungle paths remembered our footsteps, echoed them through the trees. The moss-lined curves between the roots cradled us as we slept in each other’s arms, the scent of our lust embracing us just as surely.

No one ever found us, not in all the times we’d discovered ourselves over and over again. At the time, I’d been thankful for that privacy, you my hidden secret that kept me running wild rather than taking up the burden of responsibility. Continue reading

Sunday Stories Update

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Most of February was spent in short story mode, which made me do a lot of reflective thinking for the coming years. While I love writing short stories, love how some of the ideas I get for them end up within my novel-length projects, I don’t like how much time they take away from me completing longer projects.

During times when I’m working on shorts, I’m heavily distracted from those longer projects I need to be finishing. Jumping back and forth ruins productivity because then I’m not steeped in just one project and must constantly be looking things up and re-acquainting myself with plot lines and character developments.

I thought I could solve this problem my merely limiting my blog post stories to only flash pieces I could knock out quickly. Unfortunately, after striving to do this in the past month, I’ve come to the conclusion that a story’s length is just whatever it wants to be.

So I’m making the announcement now that come 2019 I shall not be publishing short stories every month on my blog anymore.

This does not affect this year’s plans, as I already have a number written or in stages of being written, so 2018 there will still be a short story published the first Sunday of every month. Including tomorrow! (I’m excited about tomorrow’s because the picture for the prompt was sooo pretty and it’s one of my favorites that I’ve finished so far this year!) :)

I’m toying with a few other ideas, but I really want to focus on novel-length output, so I’m not announcing anything just yet. I want to have time to consider different options because while I like giving free words, I also know most of you are generally more interested in reading extra bits about characters you already know and love rather than newbie characters introduced and forgotten about within the space of a few short words.

So there’re possibilities, but I can’t promise anything just yet because I don’t want to get ahead of myself.

If you’ve stayed with me during this long post, I’d like to add that Pup Games is on sale for this weekend only for .99$! There are a lot of other Fantasy and Sci-fi titles also available for .99$ a piece, so if you’re a fantasy lover with or without romance, you can check out the promo here:

~Emmi

He watched the wretched

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He watched the wretched
Through a dirty pane of glass
Thinking himself blessed
Above the lower streets of crass

He thought his insight
Beyond their moaning plights of pain
Some heraldry of light
Rather than wishful grasps for fame

No boots of leather
Within those alleys black did stride
Only stormy weather
Could he see while locked inside

Gifts of gold and silver
he did bless with a scrawled line
an altruistic giver
who never met those he defined

That day a cleansing rain
exposed missed truth, the unseen whole
Dirt spots upon the pane
Could never mar such lovely souls

© EMMI LAWRENCE (1.22.2018)