Doomed Love

Footsteps echoed down the dark stone hallway. The late hour made the shadows cast haunting figures on the wall. A lone girl rushes urgently along, clutching a black book to her chest. She peers down the hall, ducking into the Girls bathroom she pauses, holding her breath, as she listens for the sounds of another’s footsteps. Hearing nothing, she sighs and briskly walks to a stall, shutting herself inside. She places her book bag on the seat and perches on top, pulling her knees up and balancing the book on top. She takes a deep breath and opens it, the blank pages stare up at her. She whisks out her quill and writes,

“Are you there?”

“Yes I am here.” The flowing black ink sprawls across of the page writing of its own accord. “Are you ready?”

“No, I’m scared. I can’t do this anymore. I don’t feel myself. I feel like I am losing control!” she furiously writes. There is a pause as her writing melts away from the page. Finally fresh black ink swirls across the page in response.

“You don’t need to be scared. I am helping you. Don’t you remember? I am the only one who understands you. I am the only one who cares. No one knows who you truly are. Only I do. No one cares for you the way I do” The ink disappears.

“How are you helping me? I feel even worse. I black out and can’t remember what I did. I find myself in places that I don’t remember going to. I don’t even feel like me anymore!” Tear drops drip down her pale face and absorb into the pages as the ink dries and fades. She wipes away the tears with her robes and slowly writes “I can’t do this anymore.”

She sobs into her arms, her body trembling. When she finally opens her eyes through their wet haze she gasps as she reads,

“I wasn’t planning on this. Falling in love with you was the last thing I wanted. Because I know our time would have to come to an end. Yet, here I am begging you not to turn the page. You are the only one who understands me and I only understand you. Help me Ginny, to come alive.” Ginny feels her body go numb and the feeling of losing herself again grips her causing her to freeze in terror.

“Noooo!” She screams furiously as she jumps up and the book falls with a thud to the floor. Panting she grabs the book and writes “No! You won’t use me anymore! I am done with you!” As the ink melts into the page the book begins to burst beams of light and shake. Trembling, Ginny throws the book into the toilet and flushes with all her might. Grabbing her book bag she tears out of the stall tears streaming down her face. She was so terrified she didn’t even notice the ghost Moaning Myrtle screeching in fury. As Moaning Myrtle angrily rises from the toilet, sending water from all the toilets exploding out of their bowls, Ginny slips out of the abandoned bathroom, toilet water running through the stone cracks in her wake.

*this is fan fiction & based off of characters & storyline from the Harry Potter series.

I’d Rather Be Writing

I drudge through the monotony of each day which was the same as the one before and the one before that. I sit awkwardly in an unstable, uncomfortable ripping at the seams swivel chair and stare blankly at the blinking screen in front of me. As if reciting a monologue I answer the same repetitive questions and complete the same repetitive reports. I think to myself…

I’d rather be writing.

With five different excel spreadsheets open I review the ten orders that needed to be fulfilled yesterday. As if on queue I am handed fifteen invoices that need to be approved by the end of the day. I hear mocking with each scratch of my pen as I scribble out the twenty items on my “to do” list that need to be accomplished sometime this week. And I think to myself…

I’d rather be writing.

Why don’t these numbers match? Is this quote still good? This order hasn’t arrived. Why is my coffee cold? Wait we’re out of coffee and I need to order more?

I’d rather be writing.

Churning through ideas I can’t write down. Thinking of revisions I can’t touch. Plotting the next chapter I can’t research. Oh to even stare blankly at a page with writer’s block, words dancing at the edge of my mind waiting to be written.

I’d rather be writing.

I fight traffic to walk into a home filled with sweet faces I can’t say no to. I spring into action and begin googling the answers to questions on how to re do homework I used to do in middle school. The inquisitive beautiful face that looks like mine and speaks like me; she needs me to remember. After shoveling down a dinner that I won’t remember I am pulled to start dancing the hot dog dance with a curly haired bright eyed adorably demanding little boy. To end the night I kiss each innocent face as lullabies are sung and sweet eyes close. Sighing, I cuddle with the one whose strong roaming hands and warm lips I have missed all day. Although I adore each moment with them all; that nagging thought persists as I lay my head on my soft pillow; beat down and exhausted after a long day…

I wish I had written.

Hope

Staring at the night sky
Black as ink
Stars dotted throughout
Blinking at me
I wish a wish
Upon each one
I close my eyes
Breathing them out
One by one
I hope they hear
I hope they see
This desire
That burns in me
Praying every night
Praying everyday
Hoping one prayer
Will go my way
Wanting more than I have
Wanting more than where I am
Never giving up
Never thinking I can’t stand
Can’t you see my desires?
Can’t you feel it burn?
It’s a fire in me
That boils and churns
Hope rises
Fear falls
I open my eyes
Yearning for what’s in store
They don’t believe I’m ready
They think I will fail
Writing is not a safe career they say
But they don’t know
I KNOW I’m ready
I’m ready
I’m ready

Rude Awakening

“Get up. That’s right you, with the face. GET UP.” I feel a sharp pain in my side as a heavy boot, kicks me. Attempting to blink away the bright spots behind my lids, I find myself lying on my side unable to move. My hands are bound firmly behind my back and my head is swimming from what feels like 100 hammers pounding on the back of my head. The base of my neck feels wet and slippery most likely from blood oozing from a possible gash somewhere back there. Groaning, I sit up and try to get my bearings. I look around and instantly recognize Kelly, my partner, huddled in a corner crying softly.

“SHUT UP!” a voice bellows from my right. Through my foggy vision I see a large man with a scar over his left eye. He is waving a knife in front of him. “Keep crying and I will make sure you never cry again!”

I start to recollect & tick off the events of the past 72 hours. First, a mad man was sending in death threats promising to kill thousands if his requests weren’t met. That must be Mr. Scarface to my right. Second, informants were able to locate the bomb Scarface placed on a platform at the base of the AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys and currently where the biggest event in the U.S. sports was happening, the super bowl. Third, I was on a mission with my partner to deactivate the bomb. We had 3 hours to stop it before it killed everyone in the stadium. When we finally got down here we were ambushed but were able to take out everyone except Scarface who surprised us from behind. Now I’m stuck here with a bomb and no options to get out. Yup, I can see the bomb now with…oh crap…only 15 minutes left!

I instantly look around to Kelly who had quieted since the last threat from Scarface. We lock eyes and she can see a plan forming. Instantly, she begins to howl and Scarface jumps and runs toward her, knife raised screaming obscenities. Quickly I assess what is tying my hands…zip ties…they cut into my skin and I can’t pull them off. Kelly whimpers as Scarface strikes her.

Angrily I do the only thing I can think of…I dislocate my thumb sliding my hand out and lunge at Scarface. He wheels around as he hears me approach. I knock him down to the floor with my weight, knocking the knife from his hand. It skids across the floor and I watch as Kelly scoots toward it to free herself.

“Disable the bomb!” I yell before getting slammed in the back by the recovered Scarface. I kick out at him and my foot connects with his stomach. He coughs in pain but brings his foot down on my dislocated thumb. I yell out and scuttle away from his next kick. Swaying, I get up. He rushes me and we begin to wrestle. My body is still recovering from whatever hit the back of my head so it is hard to concentrate and keep steady on my feet. Scarface grabs a pipe and whacks me on the side of my head. I see stars and stumble. I can hear the distant roar of the crowd as the game is about to start. I hear Kelly scream and I look up to see Scarface running toward her as she attempting to disable the bomb, punching in different codes on the keypad. Wearily I half run, half stumble toward him, placing my full force into him, knocking him off balance he sways sideways. I watch his eyes widen in surprise and his mouth turn into an O as terror overcomes his face. He falls over the side railing of the platform to his death.

I quickly turn to the bomb and see the red light flickering steady at 1 minute. I glace at Kelly standing beside it, a bruise on her flushed cheek. Relief floods her face and I know we did it. We stopped the bomb. I smile at her. We look up as we hear a definitive roar of the crowd seemingly cheering us on our success, although they have no clue as to how close to death they had come. A voice on the loudspeaker booms.

“Aaaaand there is the kickoff! We are now underway at Super Bowl LV!!”

The Paletero Man

On the corner
I see the Paletero man
The bells ringing
My eyes gleaming
Holding a dollar in my right hand
The warm air sticks to my body
The air smells sweet
The fresh cut grass is nice & neat
In the backyard is a party
The sun’s rays dance across my body
Filtering through the trees
My little sister looks up at me
Smiling as salsa music blasts nearby
I smile back as a car races by
Children run in the streets
Playing with peels of laughter to the music’s beat
I stand in my neighborhood
Wishing wishes that never could
Never could be
This is my home I never want to leave
Looking to where the Paletero man stands
I think “this is MY land”
I grew up here
Never living in fear
The people the houses
Their culture surrounds us
Making us their family
Knowing one day soon this won’t be my reality
I yell out to the Paletero man
Waving my dollar in my hand
My sister smiles at me
I smile back
As the Paletero man comes down the block

A Memory In Time

The old photographs were scattered across the wooden floor of my parents’ living room. Decades of memories escaped their plastic box jail cells and wafted up into our memories as we gently handle each picture trying to mentally place ourselves in the time and place they captured. Lost in thought, I hardly hear my mother’s slippers flop across the floor as she comes up behind and places a delicate hand on my shoulder. Startled, I jump and turn to look at her red rimmed eyes.

“Do you remember this? It was from your grandfather.” She whispers as she hands me a ratted brown object. As I reach for it I remember the tattered brown fur before I even touch him. Wrinkles I called this stuffed dog because he was covered in wrinkles including his large wrinkly eyebrows that hide his dark brown marble eyes. His black nose was rubbed raw.

My eyes twinkle as I pull him towards me into a hug. The sounds around me fade and turn to hushed, urgent whispers and loud beeps. My eyes fly open and I am no longer in my parents’ living room but instead am standing in a hospital hallway with fluorescent lights running along the ceiling and white/green tiles glossy beneath my feet. In front of me is a large window with several people blocking my view of what is inside; all of them looking somewhat familiar.

I creep slowly towards them with a feeling of déjà vu. As I stretch out my hand the tallest man quickly turns around and I jump back as I see a much younger version of my grandfather look towards me. In his hands he holds my brand new Wrinkles. My longing to touch him is mingled with my confusion of how he could be here but he quickly walks past me and up to a nurse in green scrubs.

“I give this to my granddaughter?” he pleads in broken English.

Her face softens at the look in his eyes and she nods briskly reaching out for the stuffed dog. He gingerly hands it to her as she whispers “We will have to put it through the disinfecting process before being able to put it in her incubator but I will make sure it gets to her.” She smiles up at his kind face.

“Thank you” he mumbles as he walks back to the window and places his large arms around 2 small women. They are both crying into his chest as I draw closer to them my heart catches in my chest. I know who they were. The young face of my mother looks up into her father’s face. It was full of worry and hope.

“Will she be ok?” She questions him in Spanish. My throat catches as I see my beloved grandmother, looking much healthier than before she passed, look up at him full of expectation.

My grandfather smiles “She is my granddaughter. She is like me. We are fighters. She is strong and will get through this.” He replies confidently. A familiar man with jet black hair that was no longer graying at the temples, as I last remembered, came up behind my mother and took her in his arms.

“Oh Eddie” she cried. “I’m so worried about her.”

“She will be fine” my father replies. I couldn’t wait any longer. I needed to see what was behind the glass. I walk up to the window and peer inside. Several incubators line up in front of me, most empty except for two. A door to my right opens and the nurse in green scrubs steps in walking towards one of the incubators. She approaches the clear box and opens it gently placing Wrinkles next to a tiny figure inside. My parents and grandmother step away whispering to one another. My grandfather stands solemnly watching the figure begin to cry and move around. The nurse picks up the crying baby soothes it and places it back down. As it begins to coo and move around I gasp recognizing my baby self.

As I gasp I feel my grandfather suddenly turn towards me squinting hard in my direction. It was like he could see me! I reach my hand out towards him as he reaches his hand towards me. When our hands connect a jolt runs through my body and we jump in unison. Tears run down my face as his eyes light up in recognition. I can’t speak as he affectionately looks at me his eyes filled with love.

“You’re ok.” He whispers as I nod stunned. “You will do great things I can see it, I can feel it. Even after I’m gone, my Negrita, don’t give up. I know you will do great things. You are strong and I am so proud of you and I love you.” I felt the room shake and knew the connection was breaking. I could feel my hand slipping from his.

“I love you Papa. You are the best grandfather ever.” I cry out to him as the sound of crashing waves fill my ears and the room blackens the last thing I see is his smiling face full of pride and love. I awake, finding myself lying on the wood floor. My mother and father hover above me their faces full of worry as they help me sit up.

“Are you ok?” My mother’s worried voice calls out to me. “You just blacked out!”

As I sit up and look around I find that I still have a tight grip on Wrinkles. Comfort floods me as I remember the memory (or was it a dream?) I just awoke from.

“Yes” I respond smiling. “Yes. I am going to be just fine.”