Where No Man Dare Go [1]

In the recesses of my mind,
I lock away my demons.
They’re nasty little bastards,
each one cunning, persistent,
with their own unique personality.

They’re kept behind heavy, iron bars.
Large padlocks are welded shut and chained together;
however… these locks only hold for so long.
Untended to, uncared for, ignored,
pried and clawed at—
they rust, wither, and crack.
They weaken.
And over time…,
the demons begin to slip free and reveal themselves.

The biggest of them,
we’ll call her The Alpha,
is hard to silence for long.
A looming, shadowy figure,
she stands at 20 feet tall.
She wears a mask, though it’s only a half.
The mask covers the left side of her face;
mouth stretched into a wide, toothy grin.
Recently,
it has widened,
Even so,
I find myself pitying her.

Looking at the right side,
it’s not hard to see why.
Her lips are permanently distorted into an anguished frown.
The visible eye is dead, empty.
The light, if it was ever there, has long since left.
As much as I want to hate her…,
I can’t.
Her existence wasn’t her choice.
She was born with me,
has always been with me,
but was simply given life,
given power,
by a demon that is not my own.

Clustered around her,
much smaller in size,
there are many others.
They take different forms,
shapes,
sizes,
temperaments,
demeanors.
They are all unique to one and other.
Of course,
as with any pack,
The Alpha must have her Betas.
Do not, however, mistake my demons to be primordial.
While animalistic,
they are,
in fact,
sentient.
If they weren’t,
how would they know when and where to strike?

Beta number one:
she stands a mere three feet short of the alpha.
She constantly glows a dull red,
though when my pitch-black companion only reveals to me that toothy grin,
Beta One burns a blinding crimson.
She forces The Alpha, despite her status,
to do,
to say,
the worst of things.
To who?
Does it matter?
Not to Beta One.

And despite the stretch of fanged, grinning insanity across The Alpha’s exposed left side,
the pleading,
painful,
desperate,
desire for the release of death nearly emanating from The Alpha’s very being wraps frigid fingers around your heart and squeezes,
leaving only a pit of rage in the center of your chest and the sound of your own heaving breaths as you struggle of find oxygen behind.
Beta One is the danger sitting atop the mountain peak to which The Alpha must frequently,
through erratically,
tread.

Far below,
deep beneath the base of the mountain,
lurking in the crevices of abyss of the ravine below,
lies a sickeningly pathetic creature.
Beta Number Two.

Head hung,
eyes down,
pointed ears drooped,
and narrow shoulder slumped deeply,
he mumbled seeds of doubt into the confused Alpha’s ear.
Though only when weak—
only when her unmasked face is exposed—
can the gargantuan Alpha fall prey to the diminutive creature’s words of despair.
Beta Two stands a full seven feet short of his massive superior.

When Beta Two strikes,
you can feel the same pleading, pained, tortured grasp at your heart once more.
Though now,
The Alpha speaks directly to you,
as if communicating telepathically:
Set me free.
‘End it.
Do whatever it takes.
Just. Make. It. Stop.
please

A desperate plea for freedom.
Every word fills your lungs,
invades your body,
permeates your thoughts.
You are only able to feel her pain,
her blind, frantic search for relief,
whether that be by aid…
or death.

You feel what she feels,
yet you are able to do nothing for her.
She is trapped with this creature,
as with the other,
until he tires himself out,
or some “benevolent” being offers their support,
pulling her away,
when the kicking,
clawing,
and screaming isn’t enough.

It never is.

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I Thought I Had One

‘At least I have one good parent…’
I’ve been telling myself this from the time I realized I never had a father.
Funny thing is,
my parents were [and still are] married.
We lived in the same house.
We did these superficial little things together.

But, …if we’re being honest,
were we genuinely a family?
Fuck.
No.

My father was always absent—
drifting off into the recesses of his own mind,
ruminating on his self-serving need for the gratitude of others,
fixated on this mindless drive to be a caring, devout nurse, loved by every patient and coworker alike,
focused on his sole purpose in life of spreading love to the entirety of world,
…excluding his family.

So, what were we to him?
A wife: secondary income-earner and sexual object.
A daughter: the only thing he created to pass on his genes and continue his “legacy”.
A step-daughter: the seven-year-old came with the wife from the previous marriage.
Apparently,
not a whole lot.
Usually,
it felt like nothing.

Now,
as of February 2016,
a changed man;
a recovering drug addict.
He has a disease,
and just like that…,
it’s as if the last 25 years,
of which 22 I existed,
no longer mattered.
You forgave him quickly.
Easily.

I am so.

Fucking.

Disappointed.

In him?
Sure.
But in you?
More than you can ever imagine.

You were our rock growing up.
You were forced to raise a child, a teenager…
and a husband.
You worked the overtime.
You paid the bills.
You found the money to pay for Christmas,
when there was no money to be found.

You took the brunt of the physical abuse,
for both Sisi and I.
Even if you were so angry because you couldn’t save us from the emotional,
the verbal abuse,
you did everything you could.
You even grew a pair with age;
you’re no longer that meek, doe-eyed woman I called “Mommy” as a kid.

But you can see drug abuse,
unlike an unbalanced brain chemistry,
and because he’s a “changed man”,
your marriage is “better than ever.”
10/02/1993 to Present

“He’s just like you—he has a disease.”
You beg me to open my eyes,
to magically forgive a lifetime of abuse—
my own, your own, Sisi’s…,
all of which I had witnessed first-hand.

But you can see his,
because you can see drug abuse.”
The acid splatters across your skin;
my words—impulsive, resentful—are corrosive.
Don’t you dare compare me to him.
You can’t see excess dopamine.
The flesh on your arms begins to melt away.
The words erode further inward,
exposing more and more of you as I go on.
You can’t see disordered patterns of thought… maladaptive schemas!

Schemas…?
I read the question in your expression,
can see it in your eyes.
The rage condenses in my chest,
implodes,
forms a black hole.
It consumes everything,
beginning with me.

You know what?!
I’d explained it god-knows-how-many-times.
Once again,
you hadn’t listened to a goddamn thing.
Fucking forget it!
Shaking my head,
I walk away.
Again.

What happened to you?
What else did he do to you?
You were ready to finally leave;
for once, ready to think of,
think for,
yourself.

You were ready to do what’s best for yourself

I just…
Who are you?
Please tell me.
At least then,
I’ll know who I’m talking to,
because I’m sure as hell not talking to Audre Annette.

Lilith

This is the excerpt for your very first post.

I smile, looking back on the first time we met.
I was young… only 12.
I was just starting to hurt.
You called to me; however, I wasn’t ready to listen just yet.
You didn’t give up on me though; you were patient.
You waited.

“You didn’t need me then”,
you later told me. “I knew you would one day, and I was willing to wait; I couldn’t abandon you. I would never abandon you.”
You were so kind.
You listened.
You were so non-judgmental.
You didn’t ask for much in return; nothing monetary.
Of course, I could spare what you asked.

I turned sixteen two months ago, in November.
You’ve been back for eight months.
We spend almost every night together.
The agreement is the same: you lend an ear, and I provide payment.
Tonight is no different.

You travel across my skin.
Sting, drip, splash. Sting, drip, splash.
When you’ve had your fill, and I’ve told my stories for the day, I feel a sense of calm.
I watch the stress, the anger, the burning self-loathing that once pitted in the center of my chest, bleed into the water and wash away.
Not a single stain.
You’re smart; porcelain isn’t a hassle to clean up like carpet or even tile.
My secret is safe.
You are safe, tucked away in your box in the back of the last drawer of my jewelry box.
Everything is in place.
I sleep soundly as I always do on the nights we spend together.

…I awake this morning, and as usual, I wonder why I let you do this.
Why I do I let you tell me what to do with my time?
I can wear only what you tell me to.
I can have only the friends that you approve of.
I can only participate in the activities you say are okay; you’re taking softball and choir, my sport and my music, away from me.
You’ve gotten so goddamn demanding… controlling.

I despise you.

With every ounce of my being. 

I almost toss your sorry ass to the curb; throw you away for good.

…Almost…

I want to laugh in your face as you drown in the remnants of your own sin–the rusty brown tissues hidden under random scraps of toilet paper and old face wash bottles…

But then, in that soft, soothing, musical tone of yours, you speak to me.
I see your beauty–the same beauty I saw that first night we reconnected–and the way you glow under the light in which we first met.
You bring the spark back into my life.
You bring the color back to me when it fades and the world falls into a lifeless, monochrome blur.

It never takes me long to realize that I’m a fucking fool.
I can’t live without you.
I’m sorry.

Can you forgive me?

You only want what’s best for me; you’re trying to save me from myself.
Sometimes, I’m blinded by what I see everywhere else.
I forget what you’ve done for me.
I promise, we’ll spend extra time tonight, okay?
Please…, just don’t go.
I don’t know where I would be without you.
Just… stay….

I need you, Lilith.

Journey Through Depression #2: Anger

Soothing… Music is supposed to be soothing.
But it doesn’t work like that, at least not for me, …at least not tonight.
Papa Roach blares in the background,
but not even the blast of the bass subdues the beast within.

Fists clenched,
I search for an escape.
The metallic edge catches the dirty lamp’s light.
I sigh, relieved.
Tonight, I give in.
Tonight, the beast drinks.

Sliced flesh;
tension dissipates.
Sparkling crimson pours from fresh wounds.
The dulled world clears and brightens.

For now,
I feel no regret.
My self-esteem rises, even if only for a moment.
The pudge coating my bones doesn’t seem so bulky.

I smile; my self-loathing slithering down the drain.
My dark angel smiles back as she leaves.
I’ll be back tomorrow.“, she says

Tonight, I sleep well.

Tonight, my dreams are pleasant.

Journey Through Depression #1: Frozen in Time

Laughing again…
They’re always laughing.
Those girls and their annoying cackling.
Boys toss paper balls across the room;
they laugh along with them.

I try not to listen anymore; my eyes shift—
the quiet chick reads to herself, as usual.
The nerdy dude busies himself with his work, as usual.
The teacher scolds my rowdy classmates, as usual.
The clock ticks on, and everyone passes me by…as usual.

I’m frozen in times, unable to push past my own emotions.
The once colorful, luminescent room is now lifeless, pale.
My once-smiling face is flat like soda left without its cap too long.
Eyes no longer sparkle in the dirtied fluorescent light;
shoulders sag under the weight of despairing hopelessness

Thin bodies tremble with repressed giggles,
full lips twisted into permanent smiles.
They drift through life,
their presence drilled into my thoughts.
What I wouldn’t give to drift along with them.

I Always Learn the Hard Way

I always learn easy lessons the hard way.
Genetic flaw, it’s been said.
Not untrue, I suppose.
Take a look at both sides—mother and father.
I… just learned much faster than my mother this time.

“I promise you, things will change.”
Ignorant, youthful hope.
Blind, unyielding faith.
Socialized, cult mentality idolization.
Call it what you like.
But through the eyes of an eight-year-old,
it was simply the yearning for the same father that every other kid had.
Regardless of which option you choose,
Hindsight is always 20/20.

I expected so much more.

The blazing mid-year months just after navy blue caps and gowns.
Another whirlwind of corrosive words; I spat my fair share.
World War… V, now?
The Non-Aggression Pact has been drawn.
Both Allied and Axis powers, each only one country strong, sit with the mediator.
She is silent.

“You never said anything.”
The Axis took on a gentle tone.
The Allied power was lulled into a false belief of fault.

“You’re right; I’ll try harder.”
The Axis claims victory;
A replication of World War III.

“We’ll both try harder.”
An illusion of concession.
The Axis power is cunning.
And though my obedient mind is nearly free from its collar,
I, again, find light where it has long faded away.

I still expected so much more.

Desperation.
Fear.
Disorientation.
Clumsy fingers fumbling, fighting, to spit jumbled masses of text.
Hands tremble and fold.
The mind’s eye falls blind.
The weakened arms of cognition fall just short of the words they seek.

‘Phone call…’

No hesitation… no where else to turn.
The Allied Power seeks out the Axis.
The lips mimic the fingers—fumbling to spit jumbled, broken thoughts.
The Axis responds the same.
The words of the Allies fall on deaf ears.

World War VII, worse than World War VI.
No mediator, however;
The Allied power has grown
While the Axis has remained the same.
They now stand on equal ground.

Stalemate
.

You did not change.
You have not changed.
You never will change.

I should have learned long ago not to expect much more.

Just Let Me Help you

‘… I have to stop… Eventually, someone’s going to notice…’

Violet eyes drifted down to a pale forearm, no longer hidden beneath the safety of the long-sleeved shirt. The fresh wounds of a blade, now scabbed over, were in disarray as if caused by a household pet. That kept the questions away; she could answer their questions with a comical, plausible reply. ‘My cat is kind of an asshole’ followed by a chuckle, or ‘My cat likes to play’, when in politer company. That silenced most, even Karei. Mariko was harder to fool; damn that mother’s intuition. She was ashamed of her habit. She felt she had little reason to do what she did. Yes, she was bullied, harassed, relentlessly in school. She always had been. Save for a small, tight-knight group of friends, those few that were stupid enough to get close to her, she was a social leper—the school punching bag; however, she had two wonderful parents that weren’t even truly her’s. They took her into her home at the age of three and raised her as their own. The two women than had been her mother and “father” after her biological mother had died gave her nothing but love and support. What reason did she have to be so self-destructive? With a weary sigh, she brushed a thumb over one of the deeper wounds. It had just stopped bleeding. Answering her own hypothetical question, there wasn’t a reason. She didn’t know why she kept doing this to herself—kept defacing the body that her mother had given life to and even died to save.

“Hey! Kana!” A smooth, deep, male voice ripped Kana from her thoughts. Glancing ahead, she offered a fragile smile. There he was…again. He always seemed to show up at the worst…or the best? times. His typical, goofy grin spread wide across his face and his hand held high in the air in a cheery wave as he hurried to her.

Kana quickly slid the black fabric back down over her dark secret and rose a hand briefly in return. “Rikishi.” She shyly pushed a strand of pitch black hair behind her left ear. One of the dumbasses foolish enough to choose her has a friend. She never understood why he in particular had chosen her. At 16, he was already 6’3, and the guy was built like a damn brick wall. Sure, he wasn’t human, and neither was Kana, but even for a non-human, that was crazy. White blonde hair, nearly pure white, falling freely to his shoulders, and sparkling clear blue eyes… Of course he had plenty of female pursuers, Kana included. “Isn’t it a little late for you to be hanging around in the human world?” She questioned, lowering her voice. “You’ve been out sick.” He came to sit beside her as she spoke, the grin never leaving his expression. “You know how your sister is. If she catches you out here, she’ll kick your ass. Your mother worries, but your sister… Jesus.”

“Oh, yeah. I know. She tore me a new one the last time she caught me out here when I had that lung infection that landed me in the medical unit back home. I worked so hard to sneak out, and just when I’d almost gotten back into bed, she caught me.” Rikishi chuckled and shook his head, his eyes moving to the full moon sitting high in the star-speckled sky. “I just wanted to make sure you were all right. They’ve been pretty rough on you in class lately from what I’ve been told… You know they tend to mess with you more when your body guard’s gone.” The grin faded. He struggled to manage a teasing smile at the body guard comment, but even that shattered and fell away. His tone softened, eyes drifting from the sky and settling on Kana. He’d didn’t like that he’d been gone for almost an entire school week. Hell, he didn’t even like it when he was gone for a lone school day. His health was absolute shit—his immune system was almost non-existent, he often had some kind of infection, viral or otherwise, meaning he missed quite a bit of school in comparison to most other students, and that left Kana without her safe guard. He always felt so guilty, as if it was his fault that their classmates were douchebags. “I worry, you know… They’re so terrible to you as it is…, and it’s not like those damn teachers do much to stop it.” He scoffed, shaking his head. Worthless bastards.

“You don’t have to do that, dumbass.” Kana rolled her eyes, tossing a back-handed slap to his shoulder. “I’ve been dealing with it my entire life. You know that. Going a few days without my big ass, teddy bear body guard is nothing.” Again, she forced a smile made of cracked glass, ready to crumble at the slightest tap. “You don’t need to be risking your health for me anyway.”

“But what I’ve heard from Aya, despite having to drag it out of her…”, he paused; his brow furrowed, “…I shot a text to Leo and Lucia earlier today. They were pissed. They’re in a different class, so they can’t do much, but they sure as hell told me to make sure I did when I came back.” A massive paw clenched at his side for just a moment, eyes narrowing for just as long. He forced himself to relax. It upset Kana when he got angry. She didn’t like to see that, and she got on him for it aggravating his poor health.

“Don’t. It’s nothing new. You know that. I’m not having you risking your health for me I… I can handle it.” A shard the smile fell away, and the structure wavered. She scratched at the hidden, healing wounds subconsciously. She could handle it…? No. Their words cut deep, even more soon than the blade she put to her skin every night. She was already so broken, even if she really didn’t understand why. Sure…, she’d been sexually assaulted, as she’d say to lessen the blow of the memory, at the end of middle school, but far worse had happened to so many others. Even so, she couldn’t take much more. She was close, so close, to just… making herself disappear. ”It’s all the normal bullshit about Mariko and Karei and not having a father. ‘Freak of nature’; humans get really sketched over the eye color.” She raised a finger to her temple to the icy violet eyes currently focused on that giant. “The typical comments about assuming I’m a lesbian and being told I’m going to hell with my ‘faggot parents.’” She rolled her eyes, brushing it off as if she didn’t care. “Humans and their religion. Have to love it.” She chuckled dryly, eyes drifting back to the stars. She hated lying to his face, and then maintaining eye contact? She needed a break. She couldn’t take it.

“What the hell happened, Kana?!”

Her eyes snapped back to see a wide-eyed Rikishi. A quirked brow in confused, mouth open and poised to speak, to ask what his deal was, but before she could, he had her hand cradled in his own, speckled with blood, and the veil hiding her secret lifted. He had a tissue pressed to her forearm, quickly soaking up the fresh blood from the reopened wound. She looked down, then back up. No more shock. Only concern. Fear. Even panic. Had she had the time, had she been faster, she would have stopped him. She couldn’t though; he was too fast or she was too slow. Either way, she could see in his eyes that he knew exactly what she had done. “Rikishi, it’s noth-,” She tried to stop him before he even started, but he cut her off.

“Why didn’t you say anything?!” He forced himself to speak gently and quietly. “Why didn’t you call me?! Call anyone?! I told you… just about all of us told you… to call, text, whatever, if you needed anything. We ask you if you’re okay every day, and you say yes! This… this isn’t okay, Kana!” His tone was still gentle, the volume of his voice quiet, but it was apparent that he was upset—not with her, but by the fact that she was suffering to the extent that this, that hurting herself, was all that was helping…, and that those bastards in their class were the cause.

“I…” Kana couldn’t bring herself to look at him anymore. Her eyes drifted to the right. What could she say? How could she explain this? He wasn’t stupid. He obviously knew what this was. “…You really expected me to put my bullshit on you, on Lucia, on Leo…?!” She could feel the tears brimming in her eyes, welling over her lower lids, spilling over, and streaming down her cheeks. “It’s not your prob-!“

“Stop with that, goddammit!” He raised his voice for just a second. “It’s not ‘bullshit’, you’re not ‘putting’ anything on us. We’re your friends, Kana.” He was still working to stop the bleeding, pulling a few more tissues from his pocket. It was slowing now. It was deep…, maybe needed stitches, but he knew Kana wouldn’t go for that. “We care. We want you to come to us, especially when it gets this bad… that you’re doing this to yourself just to make whatever pain you’re in stop.” His voice broke. He placed a thumb over the tissue and applied pressure.

Oh, shit. She heard the break in this voice. She risked a glance. There were tears brimming in his eyes now. No. She didn’t want to upset him like that. Annnd they were both crying. Great. “I’m sorry… I just didn’t want… I…” She went silent, trying to figure out how to continue. How was she supposed to explain what was buzzing through her mind? “Lucia and Leo are good friends, but I just… don’t feel close enough to them to talk to them like that, and your health-“

“Fuck. My. Health.” Rikishi cut her off for a third time, pausing after each word. “It’s not so poor that bad news or anything that’s not positive is going to kill me, and I’d rather than another cold or infection than you keep doing this to yourself. For fuck’s sake, Kana…” He raised a hand to turn her face to him. He hesitated for a moment but caressed her cheek, using the pad of his thumb to brush away the falling tears. “I want you to call, text me—anything—next time these thoughts come up. No more of this. It kills me to know that those bastards are putting you in so much pain that you…” He couldn’t even finish the sentence. “And then the useless fucks that call themselves teachers just standing there and not intervening?” He shook his head. “Can you promise me that you’ll do as I ask?”

She stared at him silently. How should she answer? She didn’t want to burden him with that. It wasn’t his problem. She thought about giving him an answer, but she remained silent. She was still thinking. She knew what she wanted to say, but how should she say it?

“Kana, please.” Rikishi plead. “…Don’t make me tell Mariko or Karei. That’s the worst thing I could do for you, but… if you don’t let someone do something for you, I’m going to have to. I can’t let you keep going on like this.” It hurt him to have to threaten her with that, but she was stubborn in her own way. He had no choice. “I’m your best friend, right? And you’re mine. Ideally, you can tell your best friend anything. You’re there for them through the good and the bad and vice versa. Please, Kana… Please… Just let me help you.”

She stared silently, tensing at the mention of telling her parents. No… No. That would kill Mariko. That would break her heart. Karei, well, she wasn’t sure how she’d react. She sat in silence with her sickly teddy bear for what felt like an hour. Finally, she nodded.

“…Okay…” She whispered. “I promise.”