Instead…

Who says, who says you’re not worth it?
Who says you’re not perfect
Who says you’re the only one whose hurting
Trust me, that’s the price of beauty,
Who says you’re not pretty?
Who says you’re not beautiful?
Who says? –“Who Says” by Selena Gomez
 

Why were people so heartless? So eager to cast someone, anyone down into the dirt and mock them as they flung stones? Why did they only feel better about themselves when they were destroying someone else?

It didn’t always end in death. Oh no, it was far more fun if their victim lived on, that way they didn’t have to find another to trap in the entanglement of their chosen entertainment.

Even those that had once been in the dirt were eager enough to squash someone else beneath them so that they knew that, for all their pains, there was someone worse off.

What would it take to stop this cycle? To change it so that pulling someone up and out of the mud would make you feel better instead of shoving them back down in it.

Is it even worth it some days?

Only you, yourself, can know the answer. It’s not the same for everyone, because some people just need time away from it all to rest. To step back and do something else, worry about anything else, because they’ve been int he trenches so long, that they’re starting to forget that anything else ever existed in the first place, let alone that they can make it.

In the end all it takes is time. Time that you use yo out-stubborn, outlast and out-believe that your way is the correct way in the first place. Because there’s no other way to do it.

Not that I’ve seen.

This mini-rant was inspired first by a post from Oliana that I read today, Sense of Loss, but the rant isn’t just about what was contained in her post. It was further pushed out because of this week’s Three Word Wednesday prompt.

There are many, many, many different ways to hurt someone, to push them down.

If only we had more ways to pull them back up instead.

Different Phoenix, Different Ending – Reflections Traces Prompt #12

Sometimes she wondered how different life would have been for her had she the power to chose her own outcome. She had loved a man so much, much more than he had ever deserved, though that was something that she had not known until later in their life together. They’d had children, so many children and she thought they’d been happy.

It was only later that she learned there was more to life, their life, that she had not known about.

Her kind were often thought of as a blessing or a curse, depending on who was talking.

To her husband, she had been a blessing both in children, long life and in personal power. Those who came to their home to speak with her husband were always awed by his wife, though it was unintentional on her part. It was just what and who she was.

In many tales, it is said that those of her kind will die and then become reborn from their own ashes, ready to rise once again in glorious fire.

For her, she would die upon an altar, her children and grandchildren and great grandchildren around her and her husband standing over her. In her death, her children, some of whom were very sick, would gain some of her life force and heal from it. She had chosen this. She was old and if her death could have a purpose, then she would be grateful, even if it interfered with the original sequence of her kind’s death.

Her rebirth would happen not right away, but scattered throughout the lifetimes of her descendants. What she hadn’t foreseen was the outcome of that supposed one-time sacrifice. Every death thereafter would further seal her fate to what had once been her family but was now nothing more than her slavers.


Original concept for this particular story is actually a little old. I have some scenes for this story written down somewhere in another collection of shorts. When I saw the Reflections Traces Prompt for this last week, I thought of this story. It has no connection to my other long-standing story in Phoenix ‘Verse.

Ringing Silence

The room was quiet and Mary sat staring out the window. The lights were out and her sons were asleep though she could hear the sounds of Terrence tossing and turning even from down the hall.

A small smile graced her mouth, he had never been a particularly quiet boy.

The smile faded just as easily as it had come, but he was far more guarded then ever before. He hadn’t been happy when his parents had separated. No one had been happy, but it had been necessary for the work that Warren was doing. Matthew hadn’t been happy either, but he hadn’t been as vocal about it as Terrence.

Terrence (Terry as he was more and more insisting on being called) was rather translucent about his feelings though Matt wasn’t far behind. This was the reason (other than their young ages) that the boys hadn’t been told about the plan. They were the children and they had responsible parents, parents who could conscience the idea of putting that kind of pressure on their sons.

They wished this hadn’t been necessary at all.

Mary shook her head, these thoughts wouldn’t help her. She looked down at the black clothing she was still wearing though her shoes had been placed by the door as always. It would be some time before she changed out of these clothes and into a pair of Warren’s sleep clothes, ones that he had left behind when he’d initially moved out.

It was eerie how little like him they smelled.

(She had only been wearing them every night since the separation had begun. The boys hadn’t known as she always went to bed after they did and woke long before they started to stir for the day.)

Once she had changed into the sleep clothes, she reached down to where a pocket in the pants would have been located, her hand seemed to disappear into a pocket though if anyone had looked closely (there was no one else in the bedroom) they would have realized that the pants had no pockets. Once her hand came back out, it was holding a simple golden band. It was larger than the one she still wore on her hand.

Mary slipped it over her thumb and spent the few hours she tried to sleep turning the large ring over and over with the fingers of her right hand.


Inspired by the words from this week’s prompt in Three Word Wednesday.

Broken Promise

Warren looked up as they entered his house.

(It wasn’t really home. No one was here with him. Sometimes, when Terrence was home, it was home. But as soon as his eldest left the building it went back to just being a house.)

Some of the thugs were obviously dressed up in the colors of one of the more violent gangs that lived in their city, but Warren knew that they weren’t members of the gang in question. For one thing the Nautilus Gang were a lot louder when they were attacking someone. They weren’t afraid of what they cops would do to them, oh now. They relished going up face-to-face with the cops.

This group had entered his home silently, taking care to disable his complex warning system. Something that could only be done after careful study. Again, not something the Nautilus Gang would bother with, especially for a middle-aged man who was separated from his wife.

“I think you know why we’re here.”

Warren didn’t dignify that with a response. He was only glad that he’d hidden the disk with all of its information in a spot that they would never look for. It was likely that his son wouldn’t find it soon either, but he knew that his wife would.

(She was aware of what he was doing, was aware and supportive about it, even though they were publicly separated and ostensibly going through the beginning of a divorce. Mary knew what he had found and how to find it.)

“You won’t get away with this,” Warren finally said after an hour of them searching for it and taking their frustrations out on him when he wouldn’t ‘help’.

“I believe we already have, Mr. Ginnis.” came the arched reply.

Warren closed his eyes for the last time and thought of his family. He hoped that all of his work would keep them safe.

(“This won’t be forever, Mary. I’ll be home as soon as this is taken care of.”

“How long will that be, Warren? What about the boys?”

“It will work out. I promise.”)

‘I love you Mary, Terrence and Matt. I’m sorry I wasn’t able to keep my promise.’

“Tell them I came, and no one answered, That I kept my word,” he said.
– Walter de la Mare, The Listeners

Written for yesterday’s Light and Shade Challenge prompt: http://lightandshadechallenge.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/light-and-shade-challenge-monday-30.html

“Dawn” by my mother

My first books of poetry were given to me by my mother. At the time I was studying different styles of poetry in elementary school and found that I loved it, even if it was one of those things that I wasn’t the best at. It wasn’t until several years later, when cleaning out some boxes from the storage room, that I found a slim red-covered notebook with ‘A Collection of Poetry’ written on the front page in my mom’s elegant cursive.

(Seriously, her cursive is so beautiful that it reminds me of calligraphy. I lament the fact that cursive wasn’t as important during my learning years as it obviously was during hers.)

Inside of the notebook held a lovely collection of works that my mom had written throughout her life. Many of them were written for people that I have never met, but my favorite one is the first one inside the notebook. It goes as follows:

Dawn
 
I saw my daughter just today,
All rosy pink and new.
My precious little gift from God
Shone fresh as morning dew.
 
I saw my daughter just today,
Her chubby hands still held
Her favorite doll, a circus clown,
All ragged, smiling still.
 
I saw my daughter just today
With pigtails curling round,
And tied with ribbons, white and pink,
Dressed in my evening gown
 
I saw my daughter just today
With rouge and lipstick on,
High heels and all the latest styles:
My little girl was gone.
 
I saw my daughter just today,
A woman now, full grown.
Her beauty took my breath away;
Oh, how the years have flown!
 
I saw my daughter just today,
So still and white with death.
I pled with God with all my heart,
“Please, do not take her yet!”
 
I saw my daughter just today,
She talked of memories sweet,
And of tomorrows we will share
When once again we meet.
 
I saw my daughter just today,
A promise in her eyes.
“Someday I’ll be with you again,
We’ll say no more goodbyes.”
 
I saw my daughter just today.
“Keep close to God,” she said.
“Draw comfort from the things He says
And death won’t be so sad.”
 
I saw my daughter just today.
“It’s time for me to go.
My love for you is always here
Because you loved me so.”

She wrote this for her cousin when she lost her daughter. I don’t think I was even born at the time. She says she was cooking dinner at the time she received the call from her sister-in-law. Mom had to stop what she was doing, sit down and just write this.

“It just flowed.”

I still can’t read this poem without crying no matter how old I have gotten and how many times I’ve traced her words.

Written for Suzie’s Weekly Challenge: http://suzie81speaks.com/2014/06/08/weekly-word-challenge-books-poetry-and-prose/

Summer Ends

Summer had come and gone,
She realized she’d not see him again.
Their time together had been sweet
And she knew her memories would never be beat.
 
But now it was fall.
Time to move on,
Her mother said, 
Just don’t forget
That he existed.
 
So every summer beginning
And every summer ending,
She visits him at least once a week,
Clearing his headstone for a speak.
 
“I had so much fun!”
She’d say quite gaily,
“I thought of you during the while,
And I knew that you were thinking it too.”
 
She’d speak and speak and speak
And never have enough time to say
That she wished he was still here,
Sitting beside her today.
fwf2
image: http://magicinthebackyard.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/fwf2.jpg?w=610

Written for last Friday’s FreeWriteFriday: http://kellieelmore.com/2014/05/09/fwf-free-write-friday-quote-prompt-5/

Grief-stricken

She screamed out her anger, her rage and her grief.

The winds ripped around her, destroying whatever they could grasp in their wispy fingers and shredding anything that stood against them. Ice spiked out from her and were reduced to hard needles in the whirlwind.

She doesn’t look up to view the destruction she has caused, is causing. She doesn’t care.

In her arms lies her child, his eyes blank and his features slack.

Rigor mortis has not set in yet.


Written because when I’m tired and my head aches a certain way, this scene will not go away.

This was also written quite a bit ago and couldn’t decide if it would settle itself into my Former Guardian universe or not. It just sort of floats around my head from time to time and is incredibly depressing.

Unbroken Friendship

For you I will 
Run as far as
I can to get help.
Even with three broken vertebrae
Nothing will stop me from
Doing what I can to save you.

Written in honor of a brave young woman who tried to get help for her friend after their car rolled in Southern Idaho a week ago Saturday night. They had lost their cell phones in the roll over and only one of them was able to drag herself out of the wreck.

I don’t know the name of this young woman, but I do know the name of her friend. Dakota was mentioned in my Stake Conference as she was the grandniece of one of my Stake Presidency. He mentioned her and her friend during a talk about the worth of souls.

Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God. -D&C 18:10

This friend reached the house they’d left and was able to alert them about the accident. Unfortunately, they were unable to get there in time to save Dakota who died of a broken neck in the accident.

I have tried to look up any information about the accident or the girls online and have failed, but I still felt the need to share this part of their story.

How many people would drag themselves from a wrecked car and run miles with three broken vertebrae in order to save their friend?

Martin Cobb – A True Brother

True courage is standing up for what you believe in, even if it means laying down your life.

True love is choosing the welfare and well-being of others before you take care for your own life.

One little boy tried his best to stand between his sister and the person who would hurt her. I know that many little boys and little girls do this often for their siblings, for their friends, for the people that they care about. For many it is standing by the side of that person when they are being bullied or made fun of or being left out.

This was not the case for this little boy. He gave his life defending his sister from a fate that I would not wish on any.

I salute you, Martin Cobb. You will be missed by a world that had just discovered you.

And the Kind shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. -(Matthew 25: 40)

…and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. -(Matthew 10:39)

For more info: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/crime-courts/police-charge-teen-death-8-year-old-boy-killed-helping-n96291

Inaction to Decision

Sometimes the sun goes ’round the moon.
There isn’t a lot left to do,
He’s been found again and again.
Even more ripples in the sand, growing and growing and growing.
 
Before it all they’d been so close,
Even apart they’d known they were united.
Siblings in all but blood,
Their souls knew one another as soon as their eyes met.
You wondered how you’d make it through.
For years and years they fought side by side
Only for it to change in the blink of an eye;
Right and wrong changed in his mind.
 
Lost and confused, he didn’t know which way to turn.
A far away dream or the life he’d always had?
Silly though it may seem, he found this life was not
The one for him; he chose to drift away.
But now we’re standing face-to-face.
Years went by and she did not stay his hand
Only stepped in after the damage was done,
Undoing what she could and mourning what she can’t.
 
When finally she was there, catching him in the act.
Events slowed to a crawl and his face morphed from glee to disdain.
Not going to stop me? he asked, taunting her with her inabiltiy.
The moment passed and steel encased her heart.
Just when I thought our chance had passed.
Anceint responsibilites flooded her mind and she knew she could
Never let him complete another actions like this.
Don’t think, she spoke with ice, that inaction equals inability.
 
Silvery light tinged red flooded her hands
And a sword sharp and ready grew within the plam.
Vengence was not on her mind as she swing the blade
Even though this man in front had killed her brother before all else.
Deadened eyes still wept as the dance of death began.
You go and save the best for last.
-Vanessa Williams

Inspired by the song “Save the Best for Last” by Vanessa Williams running through my head all morning. It would not leave me alone and this story/poem demanded to be written as a result.

Also, I’m slightly mourning the lack of Trifectra prompt/challenge for this week even though I understand the reasons behind it closing.