The Respite is Over

 

A thick fog that I once knew well

has decided it would return

to where it once dwelled.

Haze envelops and encompasses

old memories and current thoughts

clouding my perspective and hindering

my best judgement.

 

Over a year ago now my mind was clear,

last October. 2014 was the year,

The blinding billowing clouds

that provided shade to my soul

were blown away by a change.

A whole new me,

Unrecognizable but by name.

 

The Change came on slow.

It came as drops of water from

a ceiling, and I the bucket underneath

collecting little droplets

that began to alter me.

And by February I was nearly full

A different bucket than from before.

 

I could barely recognize the person

standing in front of the mirror.

For better or for worse

my mind was now far clearer.

The mist that muddled my mind

no longer cushioned my

ego, emotion, and essence.

 

I had for the first time in a long time

become vulnerable and open.

I allowed people in

and no longer felt so broken.

But it was only a matter of time before

eagerness and excitement faded away

into anxiety, at least not today.

 

In June with the sun shining hot,

a sweltering woman entered my life,

sitting here now, I wish she had not.

She burned away flesh and muscle

exposing my bones and soul.

And she embraced my shambling body

before she let me go.

 

Now all these months later

that pile of bones has slowly reassembled

and it resembles that man who encountered

all that scary change so rapidly.

But unfortunately, his mind has been infested.

A fog has taken over

and returns him to his slumber.

 

Strange Awakening

I went to bed yesterday a child,

And today awoke a man.

My surprise was far from mild.

My childhood took one look ahead and ran

Because this adulthood is scary.

It has frightened my innocence away .

The adolescent thoughts that made me merry

Were replaced with repetitious thoughts of pain.

Waning is the vigor I once had

And I’m not trying to say it’s all bad

I just remember what it was like before I was sad

And I really wish that I could go back.

 

If I Ever Grew Tired

Looking back its hard to imagine

spending my time with anyone else.

We stopped just short of becoming tragic,

and now I have to learn to be by myself.

I know this is the best for the both of us.

So here we are, separate,

And here I am, desperate.

I thought that after all this time

That you would have faded from my mind.

I can no longer resist your mental intrusions

Because for just a moment it brings back the illusion.

I expected to grow tired of these notions

But eons have passed and still I feel broken.

I miss you a lot,

and not a day goes by

where you are not in my thoughts.

You were the glimmer in my eye.

Get Over It

Easier said than done

Considering how far we’ve come.

You snuck up from behind

And swept me off my feet.

Now nightly in my mind I rewind

to when things between us weren’t so bleak.

When you would see my face and smile

While I did just the same.

The joy I felt when I heard your name

has turned into pain and regret.

And I bet, that weeks from now,

maybe even months, or years

I’ll remember your face

and be brought to tears.

 

If someone told me I could forget it all,

Without hesitation, I would heed their call.

Rather than crash into the looming wall

of misery and pain that plaques me

when thoughts of you enter my brain.

Your love left a stain darling

when you flew off like a starling.

 

Just a Piece

I am a puzzle piece.

Born to fit with those like me

to form a masterpiece.

While young we accept this serenity,

But maturation brings separation.

Those who fit into our very being

don’t connect like they once did.

In desperation we fight this feeling,

To no avail, the puzzle is broken.

Stray pieces hope to find another

Place where they can fit.

But what most desire they will not get.

Only the lucky ones find some pieces

that fit better then they did before.

 

Reminisce with Me (cont)

I was startled to wake up to the campsite being entirely empty. Even my tent had disappeared. I stood up and stretched while scanning the surrounding area. I heard a faint giggle from behind a hill, and headed towards it. I soon discovered resting at the bottom of the valley, were Eddie and my uncle holding back some laughter. I threw some dirt at them and slid down the mossy hill.

“You must’ve had a real scare there,” said my uncle, holding back tears of laughter.

I sighed, and looked at Eddie who seemed to be growing tired of the joke.

He looked at my uncle. “Come Daniel, you’ve had your fun, let us keep moving. Only the Silky Steps remain to be ascended before the peek.”

It wasn’t long before we were back on the trail, waiting for the most dangerous part to appear before us. The Silky Steps were so dangerous because the stones that formed the steps were notoriously slippery. Uncle had told me that he broke his spine while climbing the steps. And although I never had an accident on the steps, the possibility always rested in the back of my mind when climbing them.

To think that a man, old and blind like Eddie was to climb the steps made my stomach turn. Trying not to give offence to the man I back handedly commented on his health.

“A man your age would have to be pretty fit and agile to climb these steps Eddie.”

I heard a hearty laugh come from his chest.

“Aye, he would.”

Only the birds were heard until we came across the start of the steps.

My uncle handed me his pick axes.

“It’s your turn to lead son.”

I had never been the lead on the steps before, but I was certainly ready. I began the ascent followed by my uncle, who was followed by Eddie. I put my full focus and attention into climbing the steps carefully. My uncle and Eddie on the other hand seemed to be having a boisterous laugh in the back. No doubt reminiscing about the battle on the peak. Although all my focus was on the climb, I heard bits a pieces of the conversation every so often.

“You sliced him straight across the ankle!”

“They found me retching at the bottom of these steps.”

“Elyse gave most of herself to the cause that day.”

“It all ended here.”

That was the last morsel of memories past I heard before gazing upon the vast country that lied before us now. We had reached the peak.

___

To be continued

 

Meeting my Replacement

 

After weeks of little to no interesting occurrences, this week’s constant barrage of peculiar events has been exhausting .It all started on Sunday while relaxing in my bed for the first time in what felt like weeks, I caught my breath and my thoughts. Between school, work, and errands I find little to no time for myself these days. Ever since I graduated high school and started at community college, the days float past slowly and no longer maintain the vigor they once did. For the moment, I am stuck in this purgatory, waiting impatiently, dreaming of an end to this monotony. I was under the impression that this feeling of unfulfillment came to people in their forties working office jobs. Oh well, patience is the saint to which I pray to nightly, before I dream of a time after school where I am happily employed, married, and situated. As I entertained my grand notions lying on my bed that Sunday afternoon, my phone began to vibrate.

Sydney

“Hey stranger! You looked cute today ; )”

I felt my brows furrow as confusion beset my mind. I had not spoken to Sydney in about a year and had not seen her once today. Unless she had looked through my bedroom window, she could not have seen me, considering I have only left my bed once to go to the bathroom. After unlocking my phone and pulling up her message, I began to respond.

“You probably saw someone else, haven’t gone out today”

It was only a few seconds before her response came through.

“But you looked straight at me!LOL stop playing around cutie 🙂 :)”

Like a ton a bricks, I remembered why I had stopped talking to Sydney. It quickly came back to me that behind her dotty and subtle flirtatious behavior when we spoke, was the mind of a cruel and vindictive woman. We had a momentary romance over a year ago, that ended with a bad taste in my mouth. Her possessive nature and thirst for attention resided in the shadows of her character when she first lured me into her web like a spider. Why she was claiming to have seen me today, only further annoyed me as a stream of foul emotions flooded through my memory.

“Alright ” I replied, hoping it would end the conversation.

To my disappointment, it did not.

???” Was her reply, to which I chuckled and tossed my phone aside. I receded back into my mind, and began to drift.

That night I dreamt my five year old son was walking towards my wife, some beautiful woman I have yet to meet, and we were all happy.

Monday started and went on as any other, and it was not until the evening that another strange incident occurred. Arriving at the local Walmart at around nine, I headed over to the frozen food section for some dinner. While passing the aisle containing bottled drinks, I saw out of the corner of my eye Sydney. I quickened my step to avoid being seen, one awkward conversation with her a week was enough. It would seem that I made it safely to the frozen food section, as she wasn’t trailing me. Sighing in relief, I pulled open the door to the frigid fridge and grabbed some icy pizza. I briskly walked past the aisle where I had last seen her and arrived at the checkout. As the cashier rang up my stuff I saw the back of Sydney’s head. I would have felt the need to hide my face, had I not seen my face standing in front of her.

The world around me was immediately swallowed up, and noting remained. Nothing, except that back side of Sydney, and someone who appeared to be me, standing in front of her. The cashier that was there one second ago, now beckoned me for payment, but I could not hear her. I could only see that mind shattering impossibility that stood just forty yards away. He was like me, but not exactly me. He was leaner, more muscular, and he smiled. He smiled a lot. I stood there with my jaw on the floor attempting to retain what little sanity I had left. Their conversation drew to a close as Sydney took off in one direction, and myself in the other.

The cashier finally caught my attention by poking me with a grocery divider. I handed her my card, and remained silent all the way home.

I closed the door to my bedroom, having not even eaten the dinner I just bought, and laid in bed. My mind ran for what felt like hours before I fell asleep.

The night I dreamed of my times with Sydney.

___

To be continued

 

Reminisce with Me (cont.)

Engrossed as I was in the story, it seemed that old Eddie had entirely forgotten that I was there. It seemed as if he was telling the story to himself, rather than to me as a listener. None the less, I sat content by the fire, propping the shield that had been attached to the pack against a large rock, and got as comfortable as I could. Eddie paused before continuing with his tale. He put his lute down and took a sip of the broth from his bowl. The fire crackled as Eddie re positioned himself, and he looked at me.

“How much did Daniel tell you about the Battle of Fredrickstead, young man?”

His inquiry was accompanied with a look of concern. I replied,

“Only that thirty two men died at his hands that day.”

Eddie for no reason apparent to myself, looked relieved.

“Aye, he did. Most did not die by his hand or sword though.” He chuckled.

“How did he kill thirty two men then?” I asked, having already assumed the answer. The millstones were probably a majority of his kills, but I felt it necessary to entertain the old man.

Eddie took a breath of preparation, “To answer that, I will continue where I had left off.”

He continued the tale.

“The sun had fallen, and most of the men were armed and ready, waiting atop the hills surrounding the hamlet. Daniel and his scouts scurried along in the darkness to a collection of torches which lit up the pitch darkness only slightly. This mass of light in a dark place was the one of the two war parties, the other taking the opposite end of the town, lead by Elyse and Gerald. Your uncle and myself took charge of the one at hand, and Daniel had news of the approaching army. It appeared as if the size of the army had been cut in half, which we later found out to be because that idiot David thought we had gone East and taken shelter in the woods of Wergen. David took his best soldiers and left the rest to search the south, where we were. David’s decision was not entirely misguided though, as some of the men who fled Fredrickstead upon arriving, had been sighted near Wergen. Although they were cowards, they did not deserve to be butchered as they were during David’s fury upon realizing he had made a mistake.  But I digress.”

“Upon hearing the news of half the expecting opposing force, many of the men rejoiced quietly. This angered myself slightly, and I took it upon myself to remind everyone that most of us would still die her tonight. “Less than three hundred fifty farmers, workers, and young men, against four hundred skilled and trained soldiers” I reminded them. The war party grew silent and went back to brooding in the darkness. An hour passed, and the marching of David’s men could be heard. The entire plan rested on the assumption that upon seeing a deserted hamlet, the enemy would spend the night, and then loot in the morning before leaving. Luckily we assumed correctly as four hundred soldiers poured through a small break in the hills and into Fredrickstead. Thanks to our friend Gerald, who had the bright idea to wait until most fell asleep to begin the attack, we waiting until what was most likely three in the morning. One of our men lit the signal, the other war party responded and it was on.”

“If you were impressed by the thirty two your uncle killed, then Gerald’s death count would make you faint son. To start the battle, Gerald and his band of archers had arrows lit by some magic of Elyse, and let loose the fiery birds of the night. The fire that was born of those arrows engulfed the town quickly, which we had made certain it would with kindling and coal placed in precise locations. At least fifty of their men died in those flames. From the tips of the hills, it felt as if we were staring into a massive campfire, and all the enemy soldiers were small anchovies caught in the heat, roasting alive. As we heard the screams of dozens of burning soldiers, our men prepared the millstone for its descent into the blinding light. The enemy had caught on and began to climb desperately and frantically up the hills. They were met with a hard crushing death. Your uncle crushed at least thirty of the thirty two men with his millstones. It wasn’t long before we ran out of the massive make shift weapons, and we began our climb downward into the still hot embers of a town that was alive and well earlier that week. ”

Interrupting the old man I asked “How many men do you think remained when you entered the town?”

The old man pondered for a minute.

“Well, I would say we lost less than ten men at that point in the fight, and upon arriving at the village, we outnumbered them quite a bit, so most likely they had less then two hundred and fifty. The fight in the embers was the most costly for our cause. By the end of it, We had a count of one hundred and seventy nine men, with forty enemy soldiers taken as prisoners. Unfortunately Gerald had perished during this fight, along with countless other great men. Elyse, Daniel, and myself mourned greatly the following day, and we did not find respite until we arrived at Fort Magen after a weeks journey south.”

Eddie became silent briefly, then quickly added,

“My… our first real victory.”

I had become entranced with his tales of swords, stones, and war. I sat patiently anticipating him to continue his story at Fort Magen. He looked at me and yawned.

“Perhaps you will hear the rest of it if we make it to tomorrow night young man.”

He stood up and got into his tent. Shortly after snores from his tent were heard in addition to my uncles. I sat there for a while, imagining the horrors of war. I was grateful to have not known those horrors, but found myself wanting the same glory and achievement that these older men had earned. I could always dream about war in my sleep I realized. It was not long before there were three men snoring in harmony.

___

To be continued 3/8/16