nightmares in a dirty blanket

every night, I’m sick.

every day, it gets worse.

how can I sleep, if I don’t dream?

I only have nightmares

no food left to eat,

I can’t leave, I can’t sleep.

So I make myself some tea,

while the nausea eats me.

How can it be? That I still believe?

that something waits for me…

Somewhere…

Bitter and empty, I start shaking

wrapped into dirty blankets,

I’m only nightmares.

Janus

I can’t stop myself from looking at him – snow white skin, hair, dark as chocolate, topaz eyes borrowed from a bird of prey, soft lips, bowed in a mischievous arch – vibrant memories, which won’t  let me sleep, won’t let me close my eyes. Even if I do, I’ll open them up, asap. Feeling his breath, his gaze peeled to whatever there is to be to be noticed in my face.

Even in the darkness of the room, drawn curtains, and the half moon shining… Even in the solid black mist his eyes seems to glow in that strange orange golden light. He seems to emit it, his faces, his mouthes, his shiny teeth… All screaming curiosity.

“What is it?”

“Nothing. I´ve never seen someone fall asleep before.”

“What? Never? Why?”

“I never sleep. So I’m curious.”

“Suit yourself.” Indeed, I’m exhausted, and ´bout to fall asleep. “So you never sleep, hm? Do you – ever dream?” My lips move lazily. The bed sheets still hot and messed up. Feeling heavy on my skin.

“Yes. But mine are different from yours. I do not lose myself doing so.” His voice softens, moves closer somewhere near my left temple. “And when you’ll lose yourself, you’ll be empty – a living, breathing hollow shell. Just waiting.” His voice sounds now like a whisper, moves suddenly from my left to the right ear… Of course -forgot- two mouthes. Two tongues. Strangely, they sound the same.

Can’t open my eyes, sleep burns inside of them. It is a soft warm black, that keeps dripping, dissolving into my mind. “Mhm. What for?” Words drop out hazily, I just breathe them out.

“For me, to do as I please… Shhh, now. Go back to sleep…”

orange

With a low growl she pushes me away, as I try to kiss her. She turns her head.

Just breathe in. Fine! Still angry! Whatever.

I seat myself, in one of those rattan chairs waiting for customers outside the Cafe. “Ah, the sunshine! So nice. I’m fed up with winter. And it’s not only me. The birds are going crazy, specially blackbirds. One of them tried to give me a haircut, flying by. I had to duck.” It really is warm enough to enjoy the sun and the blue sky. “Why are we meeting here again? I had lunch cooked… You know. At least you could have told me earlier.”

“Mmmhm…” She hasn’t ordered anything till now? Waiting isn’t her forte. I wonder… She looks absently to the passers by. Maybe it is something more than the usual trouble. “Now what’s with those coffees?!” Rhetorical. How should I know? She sounds impatiently. Oh, so she did order then. After a nightshifts she’s usually grumpy – caffeine makes her bearable… No scenes in public, she’s not doing that. Neither do I, which may be the perk of meeting here, I guess. Waiter is nowhere to be seen. Her fingers drum on the table.

“I don’t know, maybe the waiter just borded a plane to Brasilia for those beans…” A cheap one, I admit. Well, she’s not relaxing. Neither do I. I don’t need this…

We have issues.

Yes, we both know it. Our relation is – how do I put it – dying. Slowly dissolving into the daily routines of both of us. At least we’d don’t have to talk about it… Here. “You know, something weird happened today. I don’t think you will believe me. Hell, not even I believe it. But it happened.”

She looks at me with that expression on her face, saying “Try me”.

“On my way here, I encountered a group of odd-looking orange man. I parked, and got out of the car. But then, a black van pulled over. The tailgate flew open, and a lot of orange men spilled out. ´Bout twenty, I guess. All dressed in orange, from head to toe. I first thought, this was a – donno – happening, some weird art, an add or simply a prank. But the orange men ran up to every one walking on the street. One of them tugged my hand and scratched me with something on the back of my hand. Here. It stung. See? It left a little mark there, it even bled. I don’t know what it was. He just smiled and said – ‘You’re welcome.’ What do you make of that?! And then, they all ran back to that van and jumped in. The car drove off with screeching tires.”

“Right. I don’t believe it.” She’s pale. “You making this up. Stop with your stories! All lies. All LIES.” She glares now at me.

“What? NO! What lies? I’m not a liar! I’m a writer! I live with stories, they pay the rent and your clothes and food. And this one is true.” I protest. It is true. “God! What’s up with you anyway?”

She looks at me dead serious. “I’ve read the one you left on your desk…” What does she means? I don’t let stuff lie around. Usually…

“It’s about me, isn’t it? That’s why you left it lying around. For me to find it! Since when did you know? Tell me! And you kept silent. For what? If you knew bout me and Andy, why not fighting for us?!”

“What…?” Confused, I try to understand. I swallow. “What did you just say?” Barely audible question. This hurts. It’s not fair. No, it wasn’t a question. I’ve got to sort things out. I’m not staying. Not making a scene, eh? What a fucking joke. “…Why?” No I don’t want to hear an answer. Just go. Go. GO.

I try not to bump into everyone.

The black van pulls up again. It slows down, to match my walking speed. “So… How did you like that luck-infusion? You’re welcome,” grins the man in orange, from the passenger seat. “You know, things we need are not equal to those we want. Now have a good day, sir. Try not to waste the rest of it. It wears off easily, if wasted.” He smiles.

fool moon

Oh, god. Terrible. Ghastly. I’m going to be sea-sick. Or wine-sick, or just… sick.

“Don’t you dare! No! Don’t throw up! I caught that fish! Why did you drink so much wine, anyway?” Her pitching voice drilling itself into my head. More than annoying. Plus… I managed to get myself stuck here, on this boat. With her. In the middle of nowhere, without wind, without oars.

Fuck. That’s what I get. Serves me right, trying to screw her. Being romantic ‘n stuff. I think. I gonna…

“Son of a bitch! You owe me a lunch and a warm bed! You owe me good time! You little shit! Scumbag! Idiot! You brought us here! You prick, get us back! I won’t put up with you another week! I swear I’m gonna kill you.”

“No! No wine for you! No! Bad! Bad girl! Put that plate down. It’s the last one. It isn’t fair! My leg is in splinters. Oh, come on! I can’t even move.” But she’s right. I owe her. Much more than that…

She pulled me out of the water. I would have drowned, mangled up and unconscious. I owe her my life. She has to do all the work. And I just lay here giving instructions. It’s ok. She has every right to vent on me. Surviving that storm was a wonder, anyway. The currents though. I donno where we’ve been drifting too. Luckily we’ve got fresh water from the rain. But no more painkillers. Wine is a bliss. At least passing out from wine is better than passing out from pain. I’d wish I had some better stuff. The night is coming. It’s going to be freezing. Starlit autumn sky.

The full moon is rising above the black waters. It’s going to be nasty.

“If we survive this, I’m going to make you pay!” She yells. I hope we get rescued, before she throws me over board.

“It’s ok. I know. You’re my mad girl…”

bad juju

The pain crawls back – up my side, into my spine, and my mind. It causes a sharp edgy grinding, mauling of electrical teeth on my brain…

My current situation? – Pretty much fucked up.

Badly.

The pain bites chunks out of me, chews and spits me out. Pitching screams from my legs and left arm, through my neurons. Broken bones. Surely. I can´t move, not only because of the chains. Breathing’s hard.

Tied up and bleeding, not the kind of situation I want to wake up in. But just did.

Not alone. There is another one. A man. I remember. Someone swinging a bat. “No. No more… Please… Don’t hurt me…”

He nods satisfied, with the bat stroking over my chin. Luckily I got unconscious. He inhales. ”Fine. You understand your situation, don´t you? I´m the shark and you´re swimming.” He grins. “Now let´s start from square one. Where’s the money you stole from me?”

I swallow. Almost gone. “Not here, not anymore.” Lame answer, I know. He knows.

Natasha.

She has it, most likely. I hope she got away.

“Where’s the woman?” He asks, guessing my thought. “I found her stuff in your house. She didn’t take much with her. You think she’ll come back? For you? You’re crazy. Does she love you or did she use you?”

“… Dunno.” I don’t know. No idea…

He smiles. A patronizing smile. With a nod he asks. “…How bad?”

“Fucked.” My mouth dries up. He’s vicious. I don’t want to look at those mangled limbs of mine. Pretty sure they’re broken, more than once. Some odd angles here. My abdomen hurts- can’t remember taking a blow or a kick… “Don’t suppose, you let me go? If I tell you, I don’t know where it is?”

His throaty laugh moves up and down in the room, behind me. “…No” I thought so. Fuck. The money, it’s almost gone. Natasha brought it somewhere. And forgot to come back. I knew this would happen. “I know, she got to you, under your skin. You’re not the first one, nor will you be the last one. Who am I to judge you…? But you see, there are more important things than sex and women. And I hate being robbed.“

night bird

A Chuck Wending – THE RANDOMIZED TITLE REARS ITS HEAD – prompt

*

Trapped in our nightmares, we let them lead our salvation.

Oh god, there it is. The burn.

Again. In my head.

The pencil runs down at the bottom of the “Happy Lotus” takeout menu. Get out!

This line has been nesting between my ears for month; and now just slipped, wriggled itself from the tip of my tongue. Bad eel. I haven’t been able to exorcise myself from it. I turn it over hundred thousand times. It hurts. It… Hurts.

„Hey! Watch it!“ I bump into someone’s shoulder. Nearly trip over my own legs. „Is that…? You… You need help -“

„- Sorry…“ I’m trapped and maybe, this is where I should seek salvation. It can be my home, if I try really hard. I can duck into darkness. I can make myself small and fit in. I can make myself believe, I know I can. Even if I’m out of luck. And can’t go back. No more yesterdays.

Be honest.

Always. That’s the only thing I can tell you. The only thing you must know. BE HONEST. I’ll tell you the truth. I’m not a good person. I’m a coward. That’s why I run. Even now. I’m done. It burns. The wound in my stomach. Liquid fire from the inside. I’m leaking acidic poison. I’m tainted. One brush of my fingers and everything dies. Have I mentioned? I’m a black cloud to anyone close to me. For everyone I care. You don’t want to stay with me. Not as my fiancee, not as my friend, and not as a colleague.

I’m trouble. A troubled photographer. Never at the right time or the right place. Only today. Ironically. Someone up there is laughing his head off…

Buzzing in the air. Electric owl. The drone is coming closer. Looking for me. Is this where I’m supposed to be? Right here? It’s going to be big, if I survive this. If I get these photos to Allen. If… I – must hide them. Somewhere they’ll never look. Somewhere… Where? The chilly air burns. In my lungs. Numbness moves. Up and down under my skin. So damp. Is it sweat, or blood?

I want to show the world something beautiful.

Dedicated people standing up, having enough. Boiling faces, glowing eyes. Raised fists and shouting voices. Bare teeth. Breath vapor billowing up into the frozen sky. Everybody screaming in rage. Vocals of fear and hate. Ready to set the night on fire. Ready to light the fuse to blow up the stars.

I want to show the world. Strings pulling us, little puppets, making us dance to the rhythm of death, dancing to the melody of lies. Dancing for money. For oil. For …water. Food.

I zig zag the crowd as fast as I can. The engine hum overhead and the burning on my back tells me all that I need to know… I’m being followed. No need to look. They want the photos. My phone has no bars. I can’t even call for help? They jam the signal? My camera  bounces off my chest, as I kick into a slight run. It’s low on battery. Keeps blinking. Almost 450 photos, no one will ever see. Nobody. Maybe not even Allen. He’d understand. If only I could tell him. Still got an empty memory card on me. Switch them. Swallow the full… Maybe. Someone will find it. Not when I’m like … this. Still walking. And breathing…

It’s going to snow. I can taste it, smell it. The essence of winter swallows motions, noises, the lights.

It calms the flow of time. The sounds – they all go away. The snow cloaks… Maybe the last peaceful blanket to cover the sting.

What remains, is the rushing of blood through my veins. Repeated tremors, shaking the very core – pressure pulses of my heart. The world before my eyes blur, ears go deaf. Deaf for the environment, for sounds not coming from within… Is this how it should be? The snow buries memories. Memories of who I am, and what I do… It cloaks the details, the definitions, the outlines… You shouldn’t stay with me. I need some rest. Leave me, go for a walk. Just – let me sit down a bit.

I’m tired…