my short story titled “Flashlights”

Uncategorized, writing

Here’s a short story I wrote a few years ago. I love looking back on these to see the progress that’s been made. Enjoy!

 

I propelled myself backwards, cramming between boxes and crates. Jagged pieces of wood and the vertices of cardboard cut and scraped my bare arms as I shoved further to the back of the warehouse. My back hit the plaster wall with a thud and I curled my knees up under my chin drawing my cut arms around them.

 

Jesse was about 30 feet away from me, crouching behind a huge shelf of auto parts. She motioned to me she was coming over, and I motioned back not to. It was too dangerous, they we already in the warehouse, searching every nook and cranny for us, and they had guns.

 

She was breathing hard, huffing as she scuttled closer to me. It was so loud I swear it was echoing throughout the iron and concrete labyrinth.

 

Foot steps clacked on the cement floor emanating through the air. Jesse froze and my breathing halted. Chatter could be heard just outside the building, oh no, they’ve found us!

 

My brain, like a merry-go-round starting spinning backwards. Recollecting every inhuman thing this people did to us, and others. The experiments, the conditions … the torture….

 

Well I was done with it, and so was Jesse. So we ran, which would explain why we were cornered in this scrap metal prison with really no way out.

 

The memories caused shutters to ripple through me and I had to concentrate on not shaking, that would make noise. And noise could cost me.

 

The air was filled with tension and fear, almost liquid. Jesse’s movements were fluid as she slunk behind a forklift, just 15 feet away now. She stopped there, her back against the machinery as the steps increased in volume. They entered in the opposite side of the room, behind shelves and equipment. They were dressed in black, men and women clutched guns and talkies. The metal from one caught in the flickering light of a fluorescent high above and flashed, as if to warn us of the impending danger.

 

I sat up and kneeled quietly, my fingers digging into the cardboard of the boxes in front of me.  Narrowing my eyes I spotted a woman a little ways to the right of Jess, and I mouthed the words ‘don’t move’ to her.  But I could tell she was starting to itch with desperation. The woman glanced around and headed off in the opposite direction of her.

 

Flashlights beamed around, trying to search us out. I ducked as one beam narrowly missed my head. I raised my head slightly so my eyes could catch what was going on.  I could only imagine how she felt, I could feel my muscles coiling tighter, wanting to spring, to jump up and run.

 

She couldn’t take it anymore, as the woman turned her back, Jesse bolted.

 

My arms flailed frantically, I screamed ‘turn back’ though no words actually escaped my mouth.

 

A single shot was fired, a through and through. Jesse crumpled to the ground, and my hands flew to my mouth in an effort to silence the screams that followed. I daren’t move. As one of the agents bent over the unmoving girl that was my best friend, reality hit me.

 

I leaned back against the wall and sobbed quietly to myself. And it was in that moment I realised I would never get out.

-Collins

 

My poem titled “Drawing Lines”

poem, poetry

 There are lines we draw in the sand,
And lines we draw in our hearts,
Places where actions speak louder than words,
Are excellent places to start.
If you draw lines in immovable things
And reinforce them with cement,
You’re doomed to stay right where you are,
Lonely in sadness and contempt.
Sometimes draw lines tentatively
In places they can be washed away,
Because if we draw lines in curious faces,
It’s in others our lines will stay.
-Collins

Get to know me 

excerpt, excerpt of the day, writing

 Here’s an excerpt from the new story Turner and I are working on. Enjoy getting to know Erika.

“You… you can see me?” he stammers.
I roll my eyes. “Of course I can see you. You’re dead.”
The guy’s expression saddens and he draws his legs into his chest, wrapping his arms around them. “I guess that confirms it. Paolo can see me and—“
“That’s the name of the weird patient who just stares at me all the time?”
“What—“
“What are you doing near my collection?” I ask, cutting him off. “Are you trying to steal it?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he says, his tone thick.
I gesture to the women’s washroom. “You’re bored already and you want to steal my things. We’ll I’ve got news for you. It’s off limits. Now beat it.”
He stands slowly, using the wall for support. “I won’t steal anything. I’m no thief.”
I look him up and down. “Your ensemble says otherwise. Now if you’ll excuse me I’ve got to add this necklace to my stash.”
He arm shoots out, grabbing hold of my wrist. “Wait, please.”
Turning, I pull my wrist from his grip and huff. His dark hair falls in limp waves around his face and swishes against his cheeks as he stumbles back a step. “What?”
He rubs his hands together as if he’s trying to keep warm. “Are you dead, too?”
I laugh. “That’s a dumb question if I’ve ever heard one. You just grabbed my arm didn’t you?”
“Yeah.”
“I can see you and talk to you right?”
His eyes lower. “Well, yeah.”
“Then obviously I’m a ghost just like you.”

-Collins

My short story titled “Bottles”

short story, story, writing

Clara stares at me, her eyes glinting accusatory question marks. She stands in the doorway and the light that slips between the blinds falls across her face. She looks very tired. “Where were you?” she asks, her voice small yet hard.

“Out,” I say, not lifting my eyes from my lap where I grip a glass with whiskey in it.

This doesn’t bode well with her, and she crosses her arms. “You were out drinking again weren’t you?” I remain quiet and lean back further into my chair. “James?”

“Mind your business, Clara,” I reply unkindly. I tag a swig of my drink and feel the buzz starting to numb my mind. I know I’ve hurt her feelings but I don’t care. I don’t care about much anymore.

“You are my business. You’re throwing your life away!” she shouts suddenly. I would have jumped if I weren’t so drunk.

My mouth presses into a line. “Calm down, woman.”

Clara rakes her fingers through her messy hair and her eyes are bulging now. “I will not calm down. You are destroying yourself, James.” I eye her through drooping lids as she marches across the dimly lit room and shoves her finger in my face. “You will never find your answers at the bottom of a beer bottle. You’re destroying this family!”

For some reason her remark enrages me and I throw my drink onto the floor. It shatters loudly and Clara jumps back. “I don’t care,” I mumble.

A look crosses over Clara’s face, like clouds moving across the sky, and she screams shrilly. Her frustration with me is obvious and she holds her head in her hands and sinks to the floor. She continues to scream unto she dissolves into tears. “I can’t do this anymore,” she whispers over and over.

I feel as if I’m watching an act on a stage, like I’m sitting in the audience, separate from what’s happening in front of me. I’m present, but not, at the same time. Not in the way she’d like me to be. The edges of my vision are blurry now and I feel warm all over. I don’t how Clara can be so upset when it’s so warm.

Clara stops crying abruptly and stands. Her cheeks are wet and flushed. “I don’t have to take this. I know I’ve done everything I could, but you just won’t change. You are drowning in your booze and I refuse to drown with you.” She smiles, and it looks almost deranged. “I’m leaving, and I’m taking our son with me.”

Our son? The words move slowly through my head, like a spoon moving through Jell-O. “You can’t take our son,” I cry, alarmed. “He’s my boy!”

Clara steps back as I stand from my chair. “You lost your right to call yourself a father long ago.”

I’m angry. I reach for Clara, but she sidesteps me and I trip over the coffee table. I crash to the ground and land in a heap. My palms are burning and when I lift them I have to blink a few times to focus. I see bits of glass. “Clara!” I yell.

I hear footsteps racing down the hallway and work to get up but the ground keeps moving on me.

More footsteps and a small voice accompanying them this time. “Daddy?”

I begin to weep. “Don’t take my son.” I flinch as I hear the front door slam and then the car start. “Don’t take my son, dammit! I can change,” I shout, beginning to sob. “I can change!”

I plead in the empty house for a long time, until what Clara says would happen, happens. I grab the whiskey bottle from beside the chair and begin chugging.

-Collins

 

status update

life, Uncategorized, writing, Writing, status update

Some exciting news to share! Turner and I have sent our manuscript for Betrayal Comes First to an editor, and have taken the first steps in self publishing. This was the most nerve wracking move we’ve made thus far, but we have to admit, it also feels pretty damn good. A book is only worthwhile if it can be shared with other people. We hope to share it with all of you within the next little while.

-Collins

My poem titled “Stained Glass”

Poem, poetry

Sometimes we break a little

And the cracks let the light in
We resemble stained glass 

Like windows in old churches

They’re chipped and broken

But they glint with beautiful colors

They remain standing

Despite the damage they’ve endured

And somehow we still look at them in awe

It’s the same with people

The most beautiful are the most resilient

 

-Collins