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A Spider in My Garden

There was a spider in my garden
And I’m terrified of spiders
As everyone typically knows
So I did what anyone would do
I tried drowning it with the hose

Now this spider in my garden
It must’ve been a special kind
It absolutely refused to drown
You see, it clung for dear life
Not letting me put it down

The spider that was in my garden
Made me wonder about some things
Humans also cling dearly to life
Not so different from the spider
Holding on even during strife

We are the spider in my garden
We are a persistent species
Building legacies and homes
Not taking our last breath
Until that designated time comes

There’s still a spider in my garden
Even though I don’t like it
As long as it leaves me be
I’ll leave it to survive
Because living is the key

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The Abandoned Light

Abandoned stairs

The sky turned a gray he had never seen before, causing the forest to dim; something inside him whispered to find shelter. His eyes scanned the moss-covered trees. He paused. Fully turned in all directions.

He didn’t know this part of the woods.

An over-grown trail led west. He almost missed it, it hadn’t been used in so long. Moving branches and foliage out of his way, he traversed in silence. In fact, this whole region of the forest was quiet. Not a single animal or insect sounded their respective calls.

He stopped. A set of stone stairs lay before him, leading to a black doorway. His heart raced. Causing him to breathe in quicker. Moist earth permeated his nostrils. Putrid algae and decaying trees followed. Then…ash.

Studying the sky once more, he looked back at the door-less entry to a stone building forgotten in time. Left to the clutches of nature. So much so, he hadn’t noticed the rest of the structure at first. And as much as common sense screamed no, something pulled him inside.

His right foot mounted the first step. Dust, leaves, and ash being stirred in who knew how long. He wasn’t positive the staircase wouldn’t crumble beneath his weight. But he had to know what was inside.

He stepped on the second stair.  Then the third, the fourth. Careful to avoid the jagged stone that somehow survived years of the tender care of the elements. Fifth, sixth, seventh. The toe of his hiking boot caught a thick root, sending him down onto the final two steps.

On hands and knees, he lifted his head. The darkness of the doorway was much closer now. He swallowed. Why did he feel so compelled to enter this dilapidated place? Yes, he sought shelter from what he assumed was a storm, but certainly, there was a better place than this.

However, he pushed himself off the wet stone. Wiped his bloody palms on his shorts. Mounted the eighth step. Then the ninth. Finally stood on the landing taken over by fungi and ivy. He still couldn’t determine the building, but he assumed it was an old home. Built so someone could find solace among the silent trees.

One deep breath prepared him to cross the threshold. Two paces, and he was enveloped by the inky blackness. It took three seconds for his eyes to adjust. And in the distance, he saw a light. Light that must’ve streamed through a gaped hole in the ceiling.

He held his breath. Slowly placed one foot in front of the other. The wooden floors creaked and moaned, clearly unhappy about being disturbed. He prayed there were no missing boards.

A wet, acidic stench clogged his throat.

The ray of light was within reach, and he paused. Thick particles floated in the air. What had he been breathing in? The ancient debris of this abandoned home? It seemed like something more. He coughed and choked, stepping into the light to see if he hawked anything up.

A surge pulsed from the stream of light.

This part of the forest returning to its undisturbed state.

The light had claimed another victim.

And added more ash to its home.


Please

Please don’t leave me. I need you to come back to me. I am so sorry. I need you to come back. 

My hands shook as I hit send. As they had been shaking for the past two weeks. I had sent similar messages over and over. Hoping for a response. I wouldn’t receive one. He was in a hospital bed because of me. That’s why they wouldn’t let me visit.

An hour passed. No response.

Rubbing my face with a hand, I unlocked my phone. Opened up the messages.

Please come back to me. You have no idea how sorry I am. Please don’t leave me.

Send.

I love you more than you know.

Send.

I buried my phone in my pillow. Hugged myself as tears fell. I didn’t think I still had the capacity to continue crying.

My phone chirped, nearly sending me off the bed. Kept chirping. A call? My heart raced as I slid over the accept icon. “Hello?”

“Look,” it was his sister’s voice, “the only reason I’m calling you is because he’s dead.”

Everything inside me screeched to a halt. The phone slipping from my fingers.

Her choked voice lined with hatred. “Yes. He’s dead. We will be having services, but you’re not invited. If you show up, we will call the police. This is your fault. You need to know it.”

“I love him more than any–” The call ended. I stared at my phone, jaw hanging open. What? Why? How…? In a blind rage, I rose and hurled my phone across the room.

Three days passed.

I stared at the cracked screen of my phone. Opened up the messages.

I refuse to believe you’re dead. Please come back to me. They wouldn’t let me visit. It’s my fault. I love you. I’m sorry. Please come home.

Send.

Sending.

Incomplete.

A red message appeared: This number is no longer in service. Message will not be sent. If you believe this to be an error, please call our support line.

Sinking to the floor, I sobbed into my phone. “No!” The device fell from my grasp. I held my chest. Barely able to breathe. “Please don’t leave me! Please….”


The Origin of Rose

7-20-2013-10

This year for Christmas, I was able to see my great great-aunt. In all honesty, I can’t remember the last time I saw her, but I know it’s been too long. Several years, at least. I always felt a special connection with Aunt Rose. We share the same birthday. This year, she’ll be ninety four. Unfortunately, my mom didn’t find out until after I was legally named. She still laments she wish she knew so Rose could’ve been a middle name for me. Hence my author name. I adopted Rose in remembrance of my aunt. Fae was added because I liked the sound of the two names together. On Christmas Day, I found out that my aunt has also been a writer. She had apparently written over a thousand stories and drew pictures to go along with them. This soldified my desire for my pen name. Regrettably, none of the stories were saved when my extended family moved her to a nursing home. I mourn for the loss of those works. It’s been four years since I declared myself a writer, and no one told me of my aunt’s gift. She used to write me letters. Long letters with excellent cursive, signed with her name and cartoon drawings of her face. I doubt she remembers writing such letters, much less her stories.

When my immediate family and I visited her, she couldn’t remember us. Didn’t recognize our faces. I won’t lie. It was hard. I wanted to speak to her, but I never found my voice. I’ve come to terms with the fact that may have been the last time seeing her before she dies. My only regret is I couldn’t even tell her I loved her. All I could think of was, “Would she remember?” She barely recognized her sister (my great-grandma), who will be ninety. Until it came time to leave. Then she remembered her sister. Begged her not to leave her alone. It took everything I had not to cry in front of my family. My sister remained with our great-grandma to say goodbye. I couldn’t. I should have. How could I muster the words to say goodbye? Would she have remembered if I did? Will she remember that I was the only one who didn’t talk to her? But what was I supposed to say? She claimed she didn’t know us. I didn’t know how to respond. But I can’t blame her.

Alzheimer’s has been hitting her hard these past few years. It’s been a downhill struggle from what I gather. She used to look at our pictures and tell us she prayed for us every night. This time, however, she couldn’t remember our pictures. We probably overwhelmed her. There were many times I could tell she was scared. She didn’t want us to leave, but it was hard for her the little bit we were there. She wanted so badly to remember. I could see it in her eyes. It frustrated her.

I don’t know much about her earlier life. I know she immigrated from Italy and was married. She was devoutly religious, attending church every Sunday. I know she was a school teacher for at least forty years, and her students loved her. Many visited her in the nursing home until she couldn’t recognize them anymore. I know she loved birds, flowers, and the sweet things of life. Loved to smile. She loved to hear what we were up to in life. Last she remembered of me, I was in college. That was four years ago. I dropped out after the first semester. I wish I could tell her I’m aspiring to be a published author. That I have a blog I post stories to, and people are interested in reading them. I’m not sure if that would make her proud, but I like to think it would. One of the best things I will remember about her is she’s one of the sweetest ladies I’ve had in my life. However, she is Italian, so she can hold her own with the best of them. But she only wanted everyone to succeed in their dreams. She was supportive of whatever we wanted to do. I suppose that’s the teacher in her.

If my life hadn’t been so crazy the past couple years, I would like to think I would’ve seen her more. Like to. I can’t change the past. Who knows what the future holds. I know I’ll miss her immensely when she’s gone. My only hope is I can keep her legacy living in my pen name and my own stories and art. It’s hard. There hasn’t been a step in this post that I haven’t cried. Though there hasn’t been as many steps as normal. This is pretty much unedited and raw emotion. On that note, I apologize for grammar and/or spelling errors. I need to deal with these emotions, and the only way I know how is through writing. I’m trying to get this done as quickly as possible so I can mentally move on. I can’t think of anything else I need to share at the moment. I think this is a good basis. I wouldn’t wish Alzheimer’s on anybody. It not only affects the patient but their family. I sincerely empathize with anyone who has gone through this experience. Especially more than once. I have no closing words, so I’ll just end this here.


Home

When are you coming home?

A text message I never received an answer to. I only wanted to know so I could prepare accordingly. It was his birthday; I wanted to surprise him. I had it all planned out. He would come home, I’d welcome him with kisses, listen to his day. Then we’d go somewhere nice. One of those fancy places that charge a huge chunk of change for a small serving of food. Then we’d go to his favorite park, stroll for an hour or so. Go home. Maybe have some fun if he was up to it. A nice night.

After an hour, I assumed he was busy with work. After two, I grew antsy. He was normally good about responding. Three hours rolled around. I occupied myself with laundry. Then it was time for him to be off. No call or text. Even when he went somewhere with his buddies, he always let me know. I gave him another hour.

Nothing.

I tried calling him. It only took him twenty minutes to get home. And that was with traffic. The phone rang and rang until the voicemail answered. I left a cheery message. Maybe there was a wreck. Another thirty minutes passed. Where was he? My worst fear crossed my mind. Was he cheating on me? I couldn’t subside the feeling. He had to be cheating on me. It was his birthday. He would do what he wanted. That had to be why he was ignoring me. I left another voicemail. Told him I was worried that I hadn’t heard back from him. Told him I loved him.

The only woman he talked about besides me was my friend Carla. Who was conveniently single. Oh, that good-for-nothing, two-timing…. I calmed myself. There was no proof he was with Carla. Not yet. I quickly put on my shoes and grabbed my keys. I’d go to her house. If he wasn’t there, she could comfort me, give me advice. If he was there…I wasn’t thinking about that scenario. His phone had to be dead. There. That settled it. But I was still going to Carla’s. I opened the front door.

The tree in front of our house was so beautiful. It stood tall and strong, tested by many winds. The bark was rather smooth. Leaves full and vibrant green. It was one of the most magnificant trees I had seen. But something was different this time. Something was…off. Then I realized.

My husband dangled from a branch, hung by emergency jumper cables he kept in his car. My keys fell to the concrete porch. I couldn’t think. Couldn’t breathe. Faint sirens blared from somewhere in the distance. There may have been neighbors yelling. I couldn’t tell. Somehow, my feet took me to him. His lifeless eyes drilled into my soul. Judging me from another life. All I could muster was why. What would drive him to such lengths? Swallowing, I noticed a piece of paper in his left hand. I took it. The sound of the unfolding deafening everything. On it were six simple words:

You never gave me a home.


Haiku Compilation III

Face fears without blink
Standing strong against the wind
Never be afraid

Overcome sadness
Push through depression of death
Life’s greatest journey

Ball of lies spinning
Unraveling the secrets
Eager ears listen

Lifehood full of lies
This is how it always ends
Never knowing truth

Walking unknown paths
Defeaning waves of sorrow
Never return home

Heartbeats made of glass
Bone made of metal and ore
Living or dying

Waiting watching kind
Forever waiting watching
Until time has come

The evil temptress
Toying with human purpose
Time a cruel goddess


When the Sky Bled

A gentle patter made me lift my eyes from the torn pages bound in my hands. I gazed out the window. How could it be raining? Daylight shone brilliantly in my single bedroom home. Placing the book on the floor, upon which I sat, I crawled to the window. Peered through the glass. Light rain fell. How could this be? Curiosity reigned every nerve. I threw open my door and sprinted out into the open. Turned skywards. There were no clouds. Yet, water touched my skin. Moistened soil reached my nostrils. It was, indeed, raining. A fat drop landed on my arm. I studied it. The liquid wasn’t clear. It shone the same color blue as the sky. Shielding my eyes, I looked up again. The blue rain strengthened and soon soaked me. Everything else the droplets touched tinted the color of the sky. This was certainly a phenomenon. I desired to alert someone, but no one was to be alerted. It had always just been me. So I stayed in my spot. Lifted my head once more. The blueness above slowly faded. The sky was bleeding. It bled over everything. Gave its essence to the earth below. But why? Why would the sky choose to do such a thing? I continued watching. The sky turned stark white. That was when the bleeding stopped. That was when I realized I had been alone for a reason and my reality was not real. I pivoted to retreat to my house, but I could not go anywhere. A devilish, grinning figure stood before me, seductive voice uttering simply, “Hello.”


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