Subway men shoving old ladies into walls for five minutes of asses on a dirty public transportation vehicle seat because they’ve worked a 14 hour shift and their feet are blistered and they deserve to sit, goddamnit.
Walk past homeless humans and animals and keep our pockets and wallets close because we all have debt and it’s not worth sacrificing yourself to save someone else and so we return to crawl into our beds and shout out our windows at them crying for food because their inconveniences are not our problem because if it was, then we’d just be homeless ourselves.
Avoiding parents as having to talk to them induces headache when they disagree and complain on our choices and our appearances and our success and no amount of accomplishment can surpass the amount of disappointment they inevitably culture comparing the different channels of reality and expectation, and that’s their fault anyway and why do we have to work past their problems if they cannot work past ours.
Listening to lines scream into their headpieces and rant and nag and rave because they’ve been here for over three hours and it’s cold and their toes are losing circulation and they just want to get inside and it’s so terribly unjust.
Drive myself crazy wondering how practical our actions are juxtaposed against how much we’ll regret them when we die tonight.
a fire or a meteor or the plague and our skin will burn up and our minds will shut off and the earth will end, and that’d be okay, because it’d be better than everything ending except for you and the last thing you remember doing in the pre-apocalyptic life is disputing credit card charges with rude obscenities and gestures and spittle spattered across your chin from rage and fury.
After he was gone, I avoided going out to eat a lot. Even with friends.
For some reason, I was only comfortable cooking my own food.
Burritos and sushi were the worse, oddly enough - we’d never shared them.
We’d never been to out to any of these restaurants.
But I avoided them as if we had.
It took me a while to put it together and narrow down the flavor:
That earthy, tangy, fresh flavor.
It must have been in his shampoo.
Guacamole would bring me back to his bed, curled around his head, arms and legs in an entwined web.
Pushing locks from his cheeks as he slept.
It would take a bomb to get me to the coast again.
Ever since that night we licked the sea off each other’s lips,
I haven’t been able to stand it.
I don’t know how to describe the taste of the sea.
Someone who calls it “fishy” has only smelt dead fish, which may accompany, but is not itself the smell of the sea.
It’s salty, heavy, fresh. It smells like life. It tastes like algae, seaweed,
It is crisp and pungent, and unforgettable,
like the beat of his blood against my lips.
He was dead before I knew him. That’s the first thing you should know.
The second thing you need to know is that I killed him.
Most people make the biggest impact posthumously. The splash of death paints a better image for the living. What a sufferance that those ideas worth talking about only formulate when the one who would have been most passionate is buried. If they’ll never know they’re remembered, why do we put more effort in remembering them so passionately?
If I hadn’t killed him, someone else would have. I supposed I’ve always been one to jump the gun. Maybe, my life would still be salvageable if I’d waited patiently for the revolution. But I’d come into my powers with a rapidity that left my world spinning, caught up in the taste of adrenaline in my own veins and the jagged lack of self control. Momentum is a dangerous thing.
You could blame the guiders for not protecting me. I didn’t know who he was at the time, and they had not spent a sufficient amount of time training me whatsoever. I was not ready to be presented to his lordliness, and they should take credit for taking me in completely unprepared. Of course, they’d just say, “That doesn’t give you an excuse to kill him!”
You would have killed him too. Maybe not right away, even after you saw they way he tortured those children. Room after room of them, mangled limbs broken to regrew entangled around themselves, hung by their ankles for days, hung by their hair, their small underdeveloped fingers plucked from their hands, and the mess of miniature organs bloody and glittering on the floor, and the way he pet them as they squirmed and winced. Maybe not even after you heard their whimpers for hours, as if never ending.
But you would when you saw the child dangling from the tip of his knife, still alive, still conscious. That boy’s resiliency was awing. Despite the knife in his gut, he did not cry out, or even flinch. He refused to show the fear his torturer depended on. ”I’ll break you,” I could hear him whispering to the boy, who stared off over his shoulder. “Break you, break you, break you. I’ll do it.”
"Just give him some time," his servants whispered to me from the door. "Lord Yaj likes to put on a show." We never got to introductions, though.
The boy’s eyes connected with mine as his body was shaken back and forth with the blade. The hatred burned at my flesh like a venom. I could feel him willing me to be in his place. I could see him memorizing the lines of my face, another royal here to relish in his pain. Here to support the Lord Yaj, which as initally why I was sent. To never be forgiven. I stared back at those swollen, dark eyes, thousands of years older than the body it belonged to. I could feel his abhorrence like a heavy drowning weight, felt myself squirming under his look. Where his entire life was naught but humiliation and pain, naught but a slave to a man whose only enjoyment is making children cry out, his stubbornness was inspiring. I was ashamed to be standing before him, and humiliated I hadn’t done something earlier. Who was I? What the fuck was wrong with me, that I was even considering groveling to this cruel lord?
I snapped. I don’t remember much of attacking Lord Yaj, but I remember his throat in my hands and the blood around me. The look of shock in the boy’s face as the guards dragged me away. My ears thrummed numbly, unable to distinguish screams and my vision blurred from the use of the newfound powers.
I woke up here, in this dungeon. It’s funny I’m back again.
And we just look at him like,
It was not the best time to be dawdling. They would figure out, soon enough, which way we went and be coming to claim us. It gets tiring always running from some form of punishment or another. Between defying exile, execution, and infection… I couldn’t exactly remember the last time I’d been able to relax. The adrenaline pumping through my veins was a familiar fire that was losing its edge, my sense of survival beginning to numb my desires to panic. Gendry was running ahead of me, and then he wasn’t and my face was in his back. “Hey!” I shrieked at him. “Move it.” I shoved at his shoulders, but when he didn’t budge I began to stomp my way angrily around him. “We don’t have much time, if you want to live. Or whatever.” He said, “It can wait.” His voice was even, and though it was deep to begin with, the guttural undertones were new. His strain was plain in the tight lines of his jaw. I hadn’t heard him talk like that to me. Actually, I tried to recall if I heard him directly, solely, to me at all. Mostly he just stayed quiet, staring. I hopped back from foot to foot, fists clenching, unclencing. “Now’s not the time, really. Please, can we talk and walk?” He shook his head back and forth slowly, purposefully. “This is the first time we’ve been alone.” “So?” “So, I can ask.” “Then, ask it faster, please.” I saw him swallow his pride - literally, as if it were palpable, a physical thing in the back of his throat. I saw his tongue swell around it and his jaw swallow it, deep into his chest. “Don’t you remember me?” What a wasteful question. I shouted, “We just met!” Something dropped from him - his shoulders sagged, his face drooped, his eyes bore holes in the floor. I didn’t have time to question, because that’s when we heard the foot steps. Patterned, even footsteps. A stampede of them readying and growing in volume exponentially. In a move so swift I had no time to squirm, he swung me over his shoulder and was racing down the tunnel, moving faster and quieter than I would have done in my own. He carried me in his arms like you would a sack of potatoes, over one shoulder and balanced in the tuck of his elbow. I didn’t really try to fight it. The conversation had gotten me spooked. Who was he? Had we been right to trust him at all?