Unfamiliar Stars–Alexis

       He was furious, veins pounding in his temple. Every muscle in his body was taut. He was clenching his jaw tightly. Frozen in this aggressive stance, hand held at face level. Like a cobra, he was poised to strike at any moment. His eyes, the same deep hazel brown as mine, glared down at me, burning with a vengeance.

     Oops, I reprimanded myself silently. I shouldn’t have let him get to this level. His fuse is short, especially with us undesirables around, but I could have avoided his rage… this time. Usually, I am smart, tip-toeing around the demon inside him whenever possible, but when he threatened my little brother, my protective instincts exploded.

I stood up quickly, jerking my young brother out of our father’s grasp, and I stood in front of him, his forever shield. Nothing and No one will get to him. My quick tongue initiated this conflict; my quick tongue needs to find a way out of it.

“Donnie,” I said hardly moving my mouth. “You need to go.” Continue reading

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Fountain Under the Stars–Alexis

I waited for her outside the old building, the building that was known for being old and nothing more, named after people long since forgotten. I leaned against the steep, cracked stairs and read my statistics book, which if you’ve ever had statistics you know was uncomfortable and dull. I heard the door open and her laughter filled the air like music. I instantly smiled, an involuntary reaction, kind of like a moth flying toward the fire, knowing that it’s danger but not being able to stop its wings from taking it there.

And that’s Katrina Elizabeth George, my fire, my blindingly dangerous light.

I looked up from my book when I felt her standing in front of me. There she was, large brown eyes waiting expectantly.

“So,” she began. “Do we have a plan for this evening?”

I shook my head, “I guess we can just go out or something.”

“No, we always do that… Let’s not decide right away. We can walk down by the riverfront and go from there?” Continue reading

Grandma’s Gloves–Alexis

I was walking down the narrow path overgrown with weeds, wrestling with a basket of food. This long, meandering trip is the only solace I get from the usual storm of stress. It’s difficult taking care of your family when they can no longer care for themselves; it’s difficult watching family age and die off when there is so little to begin with.

I see the willow tree in the distance, the same tree I used to sit beneath as a child wondering why it was constantly weeping though it had no reason to. It didn’t live in the unforgiving world that man does. But, there it sits, weeping and whimpering and longing just like man. Doesn’t it know that it’s etched into an immortal plant safe from us? I wish that I could stop there today, curled into its knotted shoulder so we could cry together… But, what adult has time for that? What adult has time to feel?

There was a slight turn in the road toward a rather large river. If you followed the river, it emptied into a large lake with water calm as silk, calm enough to learn to skip smooth stones that blanketed the banks. There wasn’t much time to skip stones, to gaze pensively into the liquid mirror. I sadly climbed the bowed bridge and ran my hand along the splintered banister.

Almost there, I thought as I decended the other side. She’s so far out of my way… But, this is what you do for family.

The path snakes right, then left, and right again through a valley of sunflowers and into the dense woods that form an arch around any wanderer, protecting them and their secrets. No matter how hot and bright the sun rages, nothing can penetrate these woods.

And it hits me, as it always does at this point in my trek, how fragile and sickly she’s gotten the past few months. She’s not herself, just a shell, an encasement, that’s housing a virus that won’t leave. Death happens to us all. It’s quick and merciful. I don’t understand how she can go on fighting. Why would she want to? No pain, no struggling, and she could reclaim herself from the void clutching her from inside. If I were her… I’m not sure I would…

And me “helping” her by stringing her along, tethering her to a painful world. For what reason?

The bark of a wolf jolted me out of my thoughts.

Continue reading