"Why live in reality when you have your imagination?" Kio

A Demon in her Domain

October 14th, 2005, 6:32 p.m.

Pontius, MI

Kennedy Reficul was in one of her moods again. Not ‘moods’ as in she was moody or something, but ‘mood’ as in her common mood. In fact this mood was so prevalent that it practically enveloped her personality.

This mood was depression.

Leaves sang musically, crunching under her feet, being erased from existence. She was like an ambling, lost child. But she already had a destination in mind.

She shouldered her backpack and opened the looming iron gates, entering a Tophet, a Sheol, a Hell — whatever you want to call it. But she always thought of it more as purgatory. In fact she did a lot of thinking in the graveyard. Kennedy visited so often that she usually anticipated her friends greeting her upon arriving. This was where she came to think and to calm herself when depression swept over her. Death was always the topic of conversation. Sometimes she would talk to her friends about it, thinking she could get a firsthand story of the subject. Her friends would only respond occasionally, but when they did, their knowledge and advice was invaluable.

Well, here she was again.

Kennedy sat next to one of her closest friends; his name was Nat Sa. An odd name, she always told him, but he was from a different era, from a different world, so Kennedy never thought much about it.

“Hi Nat,” Kennedy coughed.

Nat regarded her.

“It’s good to see you again,” continued Kennedy.

Nat commented that he just saw her yesterday.

“Yes, yes, I know. But this morning, a film of gray seemed to be covering the world. So I’m back.”

Nat sighed and told her that she was always welcome in this neighborhood — it was practically her second home.

Kennedy smiled. “Thank you. This cemetery is where all my closest friends are. I can count on you to listen to my problems.”

Nat chuckled in response, saying that it was nothing. He had enjoyed getting to know Kennedy over the past two years.

“Yes, this town gets rather lonesome.”

Nat frowned and told her that maybe she should—

A scream flooded Kennedy’s ears. It shattered her thoughts and stabbed at her eardrums. Both Nat and Kennedy covered their ears and crouched down.

Seconds later, the shriek died off.

An arm clenched around Kennedy’s throat as she tried to breathe. After a few staggering gasps, she controlled her panic. Turning to Nat, she ask, “What was that?!”

Nat was unresponsive. He was probably gone. Perhaps the knives whistling in the air scared him off.

Worried, Kennedy sought out her other friends. She peered into their abodes and called their names. None were there.

Kennedy frowned. Ice whispered around her shoulders, and she shivered.

And then: “KENNEDY!”

She spun around, eyes wide, scanning the area, searching for the source. She wanted to call out and ask who was there, but fear paralyzed her, clawing up her throat and grabbing her tongue.

Kennedy crept among the tombstones, careful as a cat stalking her prey. The loudest and most frightening element was the silence. It tore through her ears, taunted her, emphasizing the possibility of noise. It surrounded her, closing in from all sides…kind of like a pack of cats stalking their prey.

Twigs snapping. Leaves rustling. Something was moving behind her. Kennedy whipped around, only to be met with nothing. No one.

And now someone was coming at her from the left. Her heart leapt into action. But no one was there when she turned.

Twigs snapping. Leaves rustling. Something was moving all around her.

And then she saw it. Coming after her, with a possessed, demonic complexion: it was her — it was Kennedy Reficul.

Not knowing what else to do, Kennedy dashed off.

Now she was the rabbit, or the chipmunk, or whatever it was being hunted by the pack of cats.

Weaving around the maze of gravestones, tears spilling down her face, Kennedy darted across the cemetery, which seemed to have grown in size.

“KENNEDY!” called her devilish counterpart.

“STOP FOLLOWING ME!”

Where to hide? Where to hide?

Kennedy was in a part of the cemetery that she had never seen before, which was odd, because she knew that she had previously explored it all.

She came to a sepulcher that she had never seen before. The entrance was cracked open.

A moment’s hesitation was demolished by another scream. Kennedy stifled a sob and stumbled into the sepulcher.

Darkness. That was the only thing that existed. Darkness. And silence.

Kennedy fumbled for the mini flashlight on her backpack. As soon as the light flickered into existence, she jumped. Cement walls surrounded her. Cobwebs embellished the corners of the room. Films of dust glazed every surface, like a coating of paint.

And then there was the coffin. It was on a pedestal, a few feet off the ground. Sealed shut, keeping whomever’s body safely tucked away.

And then she noticed it.

The date on the tombstone:

Birth: June 6th, 1960.

That was her birthday.

Kennedy.

For a moment, Kennedy thought that this voice was inside of her head, because it sounded exactly like her own.

But it wasn’t.

And then she thought that she might have unconsciously spoken her name aloud.

But she didn’t.

Kennedy Reficul looked back down to the coffin and nearly fainted from fear.

Where was the cover?

Kennedy Reficul cracked her eyes. Every inch of her body was stiff, rigid, as if she had not moved it in years. The effort just to focus her vision was insurmountable. Kennedy did not feel quite right. She had no energy. Her skin felt dry and cracked all over. She couldn’t swallow; it was like her throat was filled with sand.

Kennedy sat up, and as she did so, she heard her paper skin splitting all over.

One glance at her body and she realized why.

She was white as a ghost. Her skin was wrinkled like origami. She looked down at the brittle xylophone on her chest — she was just skin and bones.

Kennedy touched her head — her hair was gone, the skin on her scalp paper-mâché.

She looked around her, and her confusion grew. Questions seeped into her mind: Where was she? What was this cold, dark room she was in? Why was she sitting in this box — was it a coffin?

And then Kennedy looked up. A breath was stolen from her.

In front of her was—well, Kennedy Reficul. But not a pale, wrinkled, deteriorating Kennedy Reficul. A live, healthy, present Kennedy Reficul. Kennedy’s twin stared at her, terrified, as if she were looking at a ghost.

Which she was.

Both Kennedys screamed.

Kennedy Reficul grabbed the cover of the coffin and hurled it onto Kennedy. As she dashed out of the sepulcher, she didn’t have time to look at the cover, which now had a new engraving:

Birth: June 6th, 1960

Death: October 14th, 2005

Kennedy teetered through her home, sobbing and gasping. The graveyard was still absent of her friends. They were scared off. Just like Kennedy had been.

She didn’t even know where she was going. She didn’t recognize her surroundings. Where was she?

Kennedy found herself on the edge of the sidewalk. The world whirled around her. Her eyes unfocused; she was looking through a camera lens. Her breathing was that of a dog in the summer heat.

She collapsed on the ground in exhaustion.

And stayed there.

Five minutes.

Ten.

Forty.

Not a living soul passed by her during that time.

And it was as if the sound of another’s existence triggered something in her.

Triggered her mood.

Not ‘moods’ as in she was moody or something, but ‘mood’ as in her common mood.

It would scratch at her brain and shove its way into her mind.

And she suddenly remembered where she was.

The sound was a car. It came breezing down the street with pop music blaring.

So Kennedy stood up.

She watched the car with darkness in her heart. Darkness and eagerness.

It came closer.

Closer.

So Kennedy did what any other depressed, mentally unstable person would do.

She stepped in front of the car.

***

October 14th, 2005, 8:56 p.m.

Hell

For the first time, Kennedy Reficul was able to meet her friends in person. With them, she happily burned for eternity, alongside her kin, her brother, Lucifer.

[Date unknown]

Kio

A Stream of Thoughts

I sit in front of the Athletic Center, just after softball practice.

As I sit here, waiting for my car to arrive, it gives me a great chance to think.

Thinking.

What a strange thing thinking is.

To think is letting your mind wander. It lets your thoughts escape. It lets you psyche flourish. I gives beings the chance to experience the intelligence. To give passion. To feel emotion. To be curious. To wonder what else we don’t know.

What else is out there.

What else is out there that we don’t yet know? That we haven’t discovered?

A hundred years ago, it is almost like we knew nothing.

Yes, we did know nothing. Compared to what we know today.

A mere hundred years ago. Oh, how different life was.

And a hundred years before that, we knew less.

And a hundred years before that.

And a hundred years before that.

In actuality, a thousand years in the future, people will think about how dumb humans were in this time.

It is scary to admit, but we know nothing.

We think we know a lot, but no.

What a difficult concept to grasp, the infinite things that we do not know.

And yet, we will never, ever get a chance to know it all.

Thinking is such an interesting thing.

As I continue to think, I can still feel the warm, bright sun being absorbed all around me. I can hear the quacking of geese in the Charles, right next to me. I feel a slight breeze against my skin. I hear the shouts of the baseball practice directly behind me. I can feel the rough, hard texture of the tree trunk that is supporting my back. I can feel the soft, slightly wet ground beneath me. It is a perfect April afternoon. It is perfect. It is beautiful. I can just sit here, writing whatever comes to my mind. No one will read this. This is for me. I have a blank piece of paper in front of me and I can do whatever I want with it, which is the freedom and beauty of writing. This is no formal short story or novel. It’s mine. My words. My thoughts. My emotions.

The birds chirp.

The slap of the bat rings.

The conversation of middle school students is a mere murmur, since I am sitting on this perfect day.

I really wish people could appreciate days like this better. Sometimes it is hard to really think and appreciate something so beautiful, so nice. But what I am doing right now is sure helping me appreciate this. My surroundings. Now. In the moment. All I am doing now is describing what I see. What I feel. What I hear. What I smell. How I feel. What is going on around me. The perfection of nature.

It is one of these great days, sitting outside, absorbing the love and wonder that is mother nature, that is perfect for me to think.

Thinking.

What a mystery something like this is.

When do people actually sit down in an atmosphere like this and just ponder this. Ponder thinking. How? Why?

Questions.

So many questions.

Questions that we may never answer.

Questions that we may answer, but yet those answers…

Will lead to more questions.

That is how life works.

We find the answer to one thing, and then another question is created from that answer.

And that is why we will never know everything.

The answer to one thing always leads to another dimension. Another perspective. Another reality. Another universe.

Why is it like this?

Why can’t there just be a stop? A stop to knowledge, a stop to the elements and contributing factors to it?

What if …

Do humans create more knowledge? Yes? No?

We discover it, of course, but can we create it? Do we create it without even knowing it?

Of course there are innovations but what about just new …

Stuff?

Another question that we don’t know the answer to.

Or do we?

Maybe I don’t have this knowledge, but others do. Do they know it? Do they know they have that knowledge? Have others thought like this.

I may never know.

Just another thing to add to the list of questions.

Humans are quite ignorant. Everyone is.

The definition of ignorant is: lacking knowledge or awareness in general.

So, you can’t call someone ignorant if you know nothing about anything and everything.

We. Know. Nothing

We.

Know.

Nothing.

Nothing.

I really should be studying. I have three tests tomorrow.

I have to learn things. One of the infinite things I do not know.

I’m going to do that now.

***

Today is a new day. It is yet another beautiful day with the sun shining. It is even warmer. I am sitting in generally the same spot, but next to a different tree. I can hear the yells of the Varsity Baseball game, as they face their opponents—I think it is Thayer. The sun is shining, the air is warm, the breeze is crisp.

It is another perfect day to think.

Thinking.

[Date unknown]

Kio

When I Grew my Chains

I grew my chains

When I was ten

Most people

Grow their chains around then

You grow your chains

In times of despair and pain

When you cannot be yourself

And society drives you insane

You try to break free from your shell

And be who you really are

But Society shuts you down

Keeps you from getting far

Insults; judgments; remarks; gossip; backstabbing;

Close minds

I want to be who I am

I tried to show the world me

Society destroyed it right away

To tarnish my hopes of being free

My chains grew right after

They grew within days

I shrunk away

The sorrow as the price I pay

I lied

To fit in with society, to be a copy of the others

I hide

My chains, ashamed to be different

I cried

Day and night, trying to rip the chains off

I wanted to die

I now just wait

For my chains to disappear

To terminate my sadness

To rid of my fear

In order to do that

I must be just like all the rest

To forget originality, opinions, views, ideas

Put acting to skills to the test

I must fake my way to happiness

And to make my chains vanish

Though I will not be myself

My chains, at least I can banish

But for now, I just cry at night

And each morning I wait and see

If these chains—these terrible, horrid chains

Would finally leave me

[Date unknown]

Kio

Society's Commands

Wake up early every morning; always pray to God; God isn’t real; be active and play many sports; be a well rounded individual; learn to play music; try new things all the time; you have to be able to manage your time wisely; you may have to drop some of your hobbies to live your life; you live your life through your hobbies and what you love; don’t drink alcohol; alcohol is fine for you; never do drugs; don’t smoke, you will be killing your body; look both ways before crossing the street; it’s okay to just run between the cars—that’s life in the city; you have to do well in school; as long as you try you best, it doesn’t matter how well you do; always be dedicated; sometimes it’s okay to take a break in things; unless you wear these clothes, act this way and think like this, you are abnormal; be different from other people, no one will care; you will be ostracized if you are different; you get what you deserve and have worked for; sometimes life isn’t fair; you always have to be doing something—you can’t be a lazy bum sitting around all day; dress modestly, especially at church; if people don’t like you, then that’s their problem; get enough sleep; always be the best version of yourself; if someone insults you, they are just intimidated of jealous of you; if someone insults you they have a valid opinion; people who compliment you usually don’t mean it, they just want you to feel better about yourself; but you complimented me a few minutes ago; but that’s different because it’s me; you shouldn’t spend so much time looking at a screen; follow your dreams; if your dreams fall flat you have to stay strong; don’t be afraid—fear is defective courage; unless you are a size zero, you don’t have a nice body; God made everyone, therefore, everyone is beautiful; you told me before that God wasn’t real; if you think someone did something they did not, your mind tricked you and you are wrong; be polite to your elders, they are higher up than you; didn’t God make everyone equal?; yes, but some should be respected more than others; chew with your mouth closed; you don’t have to take your elbows off the table; find a way to express yourself; sometimes people need to keep their emotions bottled up; keeping emotions bottled up is unhealthy; don’t let all your anger go on someone you love, if you do, it won’t matter because they love you enough to let it go; it’s normal to have anxiety; why would you be so overwhelmed by society’s commands?; people have different opinions, respect them; sometimes it is okay to disagree with people’s opinions; are you okay? Don’t take society’s commands too seriously; always put others before yourself; you come before anyone else; people’s opinions vary and things contradict each other, don’t think about it too much; get good grades, even if you have to kill yourself working for them; it’s normal to feel depressed, everyone gets depressed at least once in their life; someone your age should not feel depressed, it’s not normal; don’t go walking at night alone; eat your greens; it’s normal to have thoughts of suicide; why would you be thinking of suicide? you have a problem; listen to what people say; society doesn’t care; no one cares; do whatever you need to do to cope with society’s commands…

Why did you kill yourself?

[Date unknown]

Kio

The Robbery

They were ready. They had been planning this night for so long now. It was all set up—the scam. They were ready and knew what they were doing.

It was late, late at night. The cool of the crisp fall air was surrounding their shivering bodies. They had disguised themselves in dark outfits—so no one would know who was taking it. They made sure not to show their faces.

The dark night cloaked them as they silently made their way around the small, suburban neighborhood. Strangely enough, most of the people in the neighborhood had retired for the night.

The wind swirled around them, running through the trees, disturbing the leaves. The moon glowed with intensity, high up in the night sky. It was the only flashlight they needed. The sparkling stars were slightly more hidden than usual, almost as if it was time for the stars the turn in for the night as well.

They were greedy adolescents who were about to take from another for their own satisfaction at the dead of night. Well, all times when this happened, they took from another at night.

The group made their way stealthily through the mostly deserted streets. The damp ground scrapped their shoes.

Finally, they found the target.

The group was ready, their faces concealed, prepared to steal.

One of them walked quietly up to the steps.

But the owner of the house—she was ready for them.

She threw open the door quickly, seeing her visitors.

The boys saw that the woman was already for them, so they yelled:

“Trick or treat!”

[Date unknown]

Kio

A Day in the Forest

It has a presence.

It has a breath.

Sparks of sunshine freckle the surfaces.

Pure, golden drops of sun, and they are mirroring such beauty.

The rays come poking out of holes of the canopy.

The light…

It shifts .

It swims.

It dances through the leaves.

The dappled beams filter about, exchanging interactions and embraces, as they continue their infinite life.

Steam kissed the stream; simmering about, pearls besprinkling the air, and finally the steam spurts up

Time twists by.

Darkness beings to place sheets on its canvas.

Moonbeams streak over the canopy.

The forest becomes cooled, shielded by night.

The forest’s breath hints through the vines, whispering amongst the crumbling decay.

At night, the forest, the stream, seemed more solemn.

The stars winked in and out of the gaping, desolate, expanse

Soon enough…

The shafts peak their heads out from behind the horizon once again.

And instantly…

Rain. The sky avalanches its wrath.

The inky-ebony mouth cries tears, which batter and beat the habitat.

Pearly beads spider-web, encasing the dim, dank trees.

The branches of the skeletal figures throw their limbs about barbarically, their fingers grasp at the native lands of the tears.

This somber, shadowed king is bright with its regal magnificence.

The thunder moans, groans, agonized by the instantaneous, deafening stripes that slice the universe in half.

The roars of the thunderclaps seem to be tumbling away, on course for earth’s basin.

And then …

Silence…

Ending a day in the forest.

[Date unknown]

Kio

Reflection

Staring up at the ceiling of the jail cell, he lay on his dirty, uncomfortable cot. Here he was, day five hundred thirty seven. In prison. Nothing had changed. His routine was the same. Wake up, mourn over his depressing life, eat, mourn, eat, mourn and then go back to sleep.

Knowing that he was never getting out, he was sick of this place. No one would willingly choose a life in a cell. Unfortunately, he was caught. And there was no use trying to deny the fact that he did it. He willingly admitted it. He was even proud of it. He didn’t care what they thought. In his own eyes, he was a great man. He was a king, a conqueror, a god. He was superior.

And yet, here he was. Sitting in the jail cell. The label forever etched into his existence: second degree murder.

The victim, he deserved it. The murderer knew the victim deserved it. The funny thing was that he couldn’t remember why he deserved it. He wasn’t sure why he wanted to kill the victim, or what the victim had ever done to him. He just knew, for his whole life, that this man needed to be killed. So he killed him.

And he was proud of it.

Of course, it came with a consequence, having to spend the rest of his like in this crappy cell. But, in many ways, it was definitely worth it.

The man stood up and stretched, his back sore from lying on the cot all day. He wandered.

He made his way over to the sink. He splashed water onto his stubbly face. And he looked up in the mirror.

He smiled, satisfied with what he saw.

For the reflection revealed and angel.

***

She watched as serpents of smoke coiled into the air, exhaled from her friends’ mouths. To fit in, she took in another smoke. She didn’t even know what drugs she was smoking. She knew that she felt pretty messed up though. Her two companions coughed, both wearing sleepy, satisfied smiles.

“How you doin’ there?” one of her friends asked her, his voice scratchy.

“Great,” she lied. What she wanted to say was something like I think that we’re all making very poor decisions right now, and this will certainly affect our health, and I really don’t want to be friends with you. But she had to fit in. She had to obey.

So she took another smoke.

“Sweet,” her friend agreed, nodding absent-mindedly.

“This your first time doin’ this?”

She coughed, choking slightly. Then nodded.

“Well, you’re a natural.”

“Good to know,” she murmured. “Um, question: is what we’re doing right now, like, illegal?”

“Depends on how you look at,” replied one of her friends.

She sighed, smoke pouring from her mouth. “I’ll be right back.”

She walked into the dingy, dirty bathroom of the nasty building they were in. She clutched the sink, trying to push down nausea, which was not coming from the drugs. It was coming from the fact that she couldn’t stand what she was doing with herself. But she couldn’t stop. She had to please these people. She had to be … like them.

She looked up at the cracked mirror, shocked at the reflection.

It showed her with these people. Doing their every will. Victimized. The reflections showed that she was their slave.

***

“Honey, what did you eat today?” her mother asked her.

The girl shrugged. “A sandwich.”

“What was in it?”

“I don’t know … probably just peanut butter and jelly or something.”

Her mother eyed her. “How do you not remember?”

She shrugged. “I don’t pay that much attention to it.”

Her mother sighed. “Seriously, honey. What did you eat? The truth.”

She stood by her answer, knowing the truth would be too much for her mom. “I ate a sandwich. It was peanut butter and jelly.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes, mom.”

Her mother looked tired. She looked almost frustrated. There was a gut feeling in the girl’s stomach. Her mom knew. Her mother had to know, because the girl looked so drastically different. Her mother knew, but she just didn’t want to admit it to herself. So she kept it to herself in fear of the truth.

Because what was the truth?

The girl had barely eaten anything.

She hadn’t been eating for a while now.

Her friends were worried about her, saying that she was anorexic. Which she was, but the girl didn’t like the label, because it created a generalization.

Her mother simply stared at the tile floor. “Go upstairs and do your homework. I’ll let you know when … when supper is ready.”

“Okay, mom.”

The girl picked her too-thin body up from the chair. She slumped her backpack on, which, to her, felt like she was carrying a car on her back. To most, the pack would be light. She trudged up the stairs. By the time she made it to the second floor, she was dizzy and faint, puffing with exhaustion. She went into her room and deposited her backpack on the floor and changed out of her clothes, which were at least two sizes too big for her now, and put on pajamas, also too large.

She walked into the bathroom and caught her reflection in the mirror.

The reflection showed a tubby, overweight girl. A girl who still needed to lose more weight.

***

The woman walked into her assistant’s room. She sighed, loudly and took off her large sunglasses. “What do have today?”

Her assistant, fumbling with papers, looked over her boss’ schedule. “You have a meeting with the director of the new movie you’re co-staring in—”

“Which one?”

“Uh, the one about apocalypse, I believe. And then you are having lunch with that other celebrity, uh, what’s his name? He won those Oscars?”

“Yes, yes. I know. Continue.”

“Right. Of course, ma’am. You have a photo shoot later this evening, and then an interview at night.”

The woman groaned and fell onto the chair, faking exhaustion. “Ah, another loaded day.”

“Yes. Your life is very difficult,” muttered her assistant. “Three houses, twenty cars and partying with famous people. Must be tough.”

The woman glowered at her assistant. “It’s not always easy being famous, you know. Don’t judge me until you have walked in my shoes. Plus, I keep you employed.”

“Yes, ma’am. My apologies.”

“Wake me from my nap when I have that whatever it is you told me I had to do.”

“Will do, ma’am.”

“Good. Make sure no one disturbs me.”

The woman slammed the door to the adjacent room shut. She tossed her bag on the ground and kicked off her heels, which were giving her sores. Hobbling over to the bathroom, she sighed as she let her hair down and took off her makeup.

She stared, disappointed, into the mirror.

For, in the reflection, staring back at her, was a fraud.

***

“Hey, did you remember to take your pills today?” his older brother asked him.

He just sat on the couch, doing nothing. Not feeling like answering.

His brother poked his head out from the kitchen. “Did you hear me?”

“Yeah.”

“So? Did you take your pills today?”

The boy didn’t respond. He just titled his head ever so slightly and gazed out the window, a feeling of overwhelming lethargy washing over him.

“You didn’t take them, did you?”

The boy shook his head. “I don’t want them.”

His older brother groaned. “Dude, you can’t ignore taking them because you don’t want to admit to yourself that you have a little … problem. Come on. You’ll feel better afterwards. And—I just had an idea. How about this: I’ll take you to the movies or something tomorrow, okay?”

He didn’t respond.

“Remember: only two pills. Do not take more than that.”

A bottle fell onto his lap. Somewhere on it, the label said, ‘Antidepressant.’ The boy didn’t bother moving.

“I have to pick up a few things at the market,” his brother told him, walking into the room, twirling car keys on his fingers, dressed in a jacket and jeans. “Don’t do anything until I get back. I swear, I’ll only take, like, five minutes. Ten at most. Call me if you feel … unwell or something. Call me if something happens. You know what, just call me, even if nothing happens, just so I know you’re still doing okay. Cool? Now take those pills. I’ll see you in a minute.”

He patted his brother on the back and trotted out the door.

The boy could hear the car engine start and then fade as his brother drove away.

He just sat there, in silence. In annoyance. In sadness. In frustration. With his life. With these pills. With his stupid depression.

The boy stood up and walked around for a moment.

He looked up. He stared at the mirror in horror.

The reflection showed him. He was in a mental asylum. He was going crazy. He was doing unspeakable things to himself. He was pulling his hair out. He was never leaving his dark room. He was killing himself.

The boy could feel hot tears creating permanent burn-marks on his face. He screamed, because he did not want to see or accept this truth. He picked up the bottle of pills and hurled it at the mirror with all his strength.

The mirror shattered.

But the truth lingered.

***

She marched furiously into her house, purposefully letting the door slam wildly behind her. Her boyfriend stomped in after her, screaming, “You’re such a whore!”

She whipped around to face him, tears embellishing her eyes, “You can’t call me that! You understand nothing!”

“I can’t believe I ever trusted you with anything!” cried her boyfriend. “You’re running around with, what, three different guys?”

“They’re my FRIENDS!” she screamed. “You’re just so paranoid! You can’t trust me for one second, but I have done nothing but remain faithful to you!”

He kicked her chair aside and advanced, his face scarlet, erupting with the boiling insanity of rage. He held the look of a madman in his eyes. “You’re lying!”

“I’m not!” she wept, trying to back away from him. He was frightening her.

And then, her boyfriend marched up and struck her. On the face. Hard.

She stumbled back in surprise, cradling where he had hit her, just below the eye. Her expression became panicked as she looked back at him.

Her boyfriend looked shocked too, as if someone else had been controlling his actions. As if he didn’t expect that to happen. He started to move towards her, whispering, “I—I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean … I don’t know how—why—”

She straightened and, still cupping her eye, screamed, “GET OUT!”

He looked apologetic. Sorry. Regretful. “Look, I didn’t—I—I promise—”

“NOW!”

She started stomping towards him, sobbing, shooing him out of the house, locked the door behind her.

She collapsed on her couch. Cried for hours. Because she didn’t deserve that. She had been telling the truth.

Later, when she got control of herself again, she rose and walked over to the mirror in her bathroom to see if her eye was turning blue yet.

The reflection shocked her.

For there she stood, bruises littering her entire body, her face completely deformed from beatings.

***

“Good morning, dear. How are you doing today?”

The boy looked up from the book he was reading. He shrugged. “Same as usual, I guess.”

The nurse bustled around, making sure that all his readings were okay, checking the flow of oxygen, asking tons of questions, the same questions she asked every day, which, every day, had the same answers.

“I’ll come back in a few minutes with some breakfast for you, okay?”

He nodded, not taking his eyes off of the book.

Once the woman left, he sighed, looking around the small hospital room that he had all to himself. He’d been here for—how long? He wasn’t sure. He just knew it had been a long time. And he would be here for a long time. That is, unless he died soon.

But yes, it had been dreadfully boring in this room. Not to mention disheartening. The hospital always had crying family members. Screaming children. Sobbing. People praying to some god that he was certain didn’t exist. If there was a god, a good god, why was the boy stuck here? Why did he have to go to sleep every night, wondering if he would ever wake up? Why did he have to always be in such discomfort and pain? Why was this even fair? No. He definitely didn’t believe in a god, even though the rest of his family did.

Where was his family anyways? They were here last night—they practically lived at the hospital, since he had to live here.

He grumbled and started to take to his book again, when the nurse returned.

“Here you go, dear.” She tried to sound happy. She tried to smile at him. All the nurses and doctors tried to pretend to be happy, for the sake of the patients. He could see right past it, though. He knew they must hate this job. It was probably the most depressing job ever, having to go around making sure people didn’t die, and if they did, it was their fault. Having to tell families bad news every day. Having to watch and tend to the saddest people on the planet. Every day.

Anyways, he always pretended that the nurses’ happiness cheered him up, to make the nurses feel better. So, he put on his own fake smile and thanked her.

All smiles in the hospital were fake. There was no such thing as happiness here. And everyone knew it, but they never admitted it, because they were afraid that other people truly believed in happiness here. But no one did, so joke was on them. It was pointless.

The boy pushed the tray away from him. He wasn’t in the mood to eat. He rarely was.

A handheld mirror was sitting on the desk beside him. He hadn’t looked at his reflection in a long time, knowing he would see a hollowed out shell of a person.

But, for some reason, he decided to look into the mirror today.

He picked up the mirror and gazed into it. No, the reflection didn’t show the abandoned remains of a once-healthy person.

It showed a grave.

[Date unknown]

Kio

Disembodied Soul

August, 2013. Two-thirty. Melody Lane, Chatham.

Moon rays cascade through the transparency of the window next to my bed. I can’t sleep. My internal clock continually ticks away, every moment marking another snapshot of my life wasting away.

I can’t take it any longer. I have to do something. Swinging my legs over the bed, I draw myself up, stride down the stairs and out of my home. Taking one look at the empty vacancy surrounding the house, I plunge into the dark void, across the sparkling grass, to the road.

Gravel under my feet crunches musically, creating a unique beat for me to walk alongside. In the endless sky above me, gems wink in and out of existence, as the canopy of trees filter out their presence. I turn right, onto polished pavement. The hilly road escorts me through a maze of antique homes, memories permanently plastered against their rotting walls.

As my feet guide me across the falling slope, a sea of grassy marsh outstretches to my left, alit by the yawning figure of the moon’s gaping maw. The moon’s teeth are intermittently sprinkled around the surface, craters blemishing the otherwise glossy surface.

A soft lapping noise begins to tickle my mind. As I draw closer, I start to see the vast Atlantic Ocean. The sea greets me enthusiastically, as mountains of water explode against the sand. Crescents of white foam, which glow in a bath of moonlight, arc around the peaks of waves. The churning, bustling personality of the water calms me, as I make my way towards it, sand cushioning my feet.

Eventually, I reach the open beach, a lake of sand and rocks. I sit down and watch the waves attack the sand, as they tumble atop the coastline. Lying down and feeling the chill of the sand against my skin, I watch the stars slowly migrate across the sky and listen to the shouts of the waves, arguing and clashing with the sand.

A veil of tranquility settles over me. Nature has taken me in, not as a captive, but as a guest. I feel as if I am being waited on, pampered.

And in this moment in time.

I have truly reached an enlightenment.

As a disembodied soul.

Time begins to tick.

Seconds become minutes.

Minutes become hours.

And I sit up, realizing that I may have overstayed my welcome here.

The horizon is blushing, encasing the sky in bloodied rubies. The once inky beach has turned into white marble. The irate sea is now a calm vastness of melted gold.

I am pained to have to leave behind this serene utopia, this tropical Eden, this impeccable Olympus, this earthly heaven.

It feels as if I am carrying the weight of this world as I pick myself up and trudge through the heaps of sand, back the way I came. I pass through the weaving grass, tangled so that it seems as if nature is trying to inhibit me from leaving the beach.

The hills seem taller, the pavement seems colder, the walk seems longer. Eventually, a crunching noise shatters nature’s music, as my feet step back onto the gravel path. In moments, I find myself walking through the damp, wilted grass of the property, through the ghostly house, into my room.

I collapse onto the squeaky bed.

And fall asleep.

As my body and soul become one.

August, 2013. Five fifteen. Melody Lane, Chatham.

9.11.15

Kio

The Concept of Death

What is going on?

I grab a hold of the wall in front of me. I try to steady myself. The grey, blank surface supporting my hands is swirling in front of my eyes. My feet were unsteady. I couldn’t breath.

What is going on?

My breathing is cut short. I have little feeling in my arms. My chest is rapidly expanding, trying to grasp for air. Any air. For some reason, my lungs just won’t fill.

What is going on?

I start to shake. I collapse on the ground. Yet, I can’t even feel the ground My underneath me. My hands grasped the ground, searching for something to give me support.

What is going on?

Black dots start to obscure my vision. I can barely see the kitchen table or even the glistening light. The cold tile floor is becoming hot. Hotter by the second. It starts to burn my skin, but I can’t even scream. Nothing will come out of my mouth.

What is going on?

I can barely move now. I barely have any feeling. I am paralyzed. I try to wiggle my fingers and toes. Nothing happens—or at least, I don’t feel if something is happening. The sound of the dishwasher fades away, but somehow I know that it is still running.

What is going on?

My panic is growing. Me fear is increasing. I am so scared. Is this a dream? Is this an illusion. Is this my imagination? Is this fake?

No. It is not.

What is going on?

Suddenly, I felt myself sinking into the floor. This must be a hallucination. Everything turned black.

Yet, it was peaceful. It was like falling into a cloud. A cloud of black, empty, nothingness. It was refreshing in a way.

I closed my eyes. I didn’t choose to do so. It just happened. Like I was being forced. But it still felt natural. I went deeper and deeper, and I stopped questioning what was going on. I knew by then.

It was about time too. I had been getting old. I knew it was only a matter of time before it had happened. I never really knew what it would feel like. No one does. No one can come back and tell us about it. My next question was what would happen next? An afterlife? A utopia? Rebirth? I had never really been religious, so I never really had an idea as to what would happen after this. What was to come? It is still a mystery to everyone who has not experienced this. Would I be able to communicate with others in my situation? Even relatives? Who knows?

I patiently waited for something to happen to me. It seemed like ages (it probably was) before something happened. I really had not expected this, though.

It seemed to be happening for hours—the pain, confusion and satisfaction, but I know it was really only a minute or two. Eventually, it was all over…

And it happened.

After that, what happened is when…

Actually, I’ll keep that to myself. You’ll find out when your time comes.

[Date unknown]

Kio

The Hourglass

It sits there, thrumming the seconds away, showing entrance to the future;

You can see each grain elapsing through the portal to the ever waiting

the abyss of opportunity; And yet, we can still see shadows in

the abyss: silhouettes of the possible and shapes of the

impossible; They all lie there, waiting; waiting;

mocking; And you can only glimpse the possibility

through the glass; It gives you the

direction for which existence

goes: Forward; You must take

the bitter plummet into the

abyss; And the glass

controls fate

completely;

It is the deity

of Time, the god of

Fortune, the father of the Future;

And yet, how is that even fair? Time

devours everything, the mind, the soul, the

body, the existence; Why should any one thing

get to have so much authority…over all that survives

…all that breathes…all that can feel Time’s whisper freshening

then weakening its growth? Yet Time does a fairly good job

of upholding life’s role; Look at the glass; The sand is all sitting at the

bottom; The hour is up; The only fate awaiting the glass is to be turned again;

And it will sit there, thrumming the seconds away, showing the entrance to the future

[Date unknown]

Kio

Beautiful Bracelets

These beautiful bracelets I wear on my wrists,

they are permanent—I wear them night and day.

Not by choice.

They are forced upon my wrists, connected by a shackle and locked with a key that is thrown away.

Whenever I try to be liberated—

to snap the chain

by breaking my shell

and being who I truly am,

I simply can’t.

And I still wear these bracelets—

oh these beautiful bracelets,

a gift from society.

[Date unknown]

Kio

Now that you are gone from my life,

the only piece of you that I am allowed to keep

is the part of your soul that was good.

Sadly, without it,

you are a monster.

3.4.17

Kio

She did not even realize,

that the darkness of the world,

had filled her skull

and was seeping into the cracks of her brain

and killing her mind

until it was too late.

3.4.17

Kio

Look into my eyes.

And you will find despair.

Now look into her eyes.

You will find the stars.

Oh, there is nothing more that I want than to possess my own galaxy, for her stars twinkle. She sparkles. The stars give way to the galaxies that clutter her mind. Bright and dazzling. When she speaks, star dust makes up her words.

Yet humans know almost nothing about the universe.

And it is the same with her mind. it is a mystery to all. The only way to peak at these miracles of space are through the lenses of a telescope. Or the lenses of her eyes.

3.3.17

Kio

Nothing haunted me more than the sound of your voice. It was your voice that told me that you cared about me. Your voice that showed such kind words. It was also your voice that told me lies of betrayal. That manipulated me and my feelings. Your voice is what I hear in my nightmares. The sight of you. Your touch. That's not bad. I can pretend that those aspects of you were genuine. I can't pretend that your voice held the same fake honestly, because the only thing that spit from your mouth was venom disguised as an elixir. And that is worse than a poison, because, with an elixir that is disguised, you expect that something good will come from it. But then you see its true form. The venom. And usually, it kills you.

3.2.17

Kio

Don't open your eyes. You don't want to know what is out there in the world. The world is full of chaos, crazy people, hate, and those who wish to tear you down.

Don't open your eyes. It really is not worth it. Trust me; I opened my eyes long ago, and I mourn over that decision each time I have to open them again.

Don't open your eyes. The only peace you will find is in the bliss of ignorance. The darkness that shrouds your solitary, covers you. It is a protection. Do not think of it as a lonely hideout, think of it as a rejuvenating sanctuary.

Don't open you eyes. For, if you do, you will only see monsters.

Don't open your eyes. It is human nature to see and discover that which we do not yet know. But more often than not, the knowledge we obtain, ends up causing destruction.

Dont--

...

You opened your eyes? You opened your eyes.

Well?

Do you regret it yet?

3.1.17

Kio

Remember not to ask,

for no one wants to hear

the burdening words

that always seem

to burst from your mouth.

3.1.17

Kio

Her eyes are nothing less of pearls, rounder, brighter, purer than the pearls around her neck. Golden droplets seem to line her face, making her glow. It's like she is eternally in the spotlight. It's like heaven put a halo around her. Her hair is a waterfall of sunlight, caressing her shoulders, cradling her body in its protective warmth. Her hands are soft, smooth, fingers long and nimble. Skin paler than the snow. Her lips full, sparkling, pink like the blooming spring rose.

Her lips are a barrier for so many secrets. Her hands hold back when she is in need of help. Her hair hides her from the world, as she is ashamed of what she knows. Her delicate face is nothing more than a mask to her. But her eyes tell the real story, when the rest of her is hidden. Her eyes show her true self, behind her flawless, goddess-like exterior.

Her eyes show her despair.

3.1.17

Kio

She was blind. Not in the sense of her vision--in fact, her vision was perfect. But she was still blind, and she didn't even realize that she was blind. Blind to his verbal abuse. Blind to how he took advantage of her. Blind to how he used her, played with her life she was a toy, only to toss her aside later.

And the saddest part was that when he disposed of her, she assumed that she was the problem.

She could never regain her sight.

2.27.17

Kio

"The Other Voices"

I sit alone in my apartment. Dusty and old with rotting walls and a putrid smell, this has been my home for the past several weeks. Though, the apartment isn’t really mine; I don’t pay for it. Some entrepreneur lives here, but she is away on a business trip. Upon hearing of this, I broke into her apartment and have been living here since. It’s free housing, and no one has suspects a thing. And it’s right near where the victim lives.

You should not be residing here. You know better than that.

Shut up! I know that I know better. It’s just something that I need to do! And anyways, after tonight, I will be gone. I will flee this city.

That’s exactly right. You need to get the hell out of here. Revenge comes first. Safety second. Sanity third.

That’s ridiculous. You should leave now while you have the chance. This isn’t a good idea.

Clutching my head, I yell at them to go away so that I can hear my own voice. They quiet for just a moment. Taking advantage of the silence, I stand and walk over to the bureau, which used to have the entrepreneur’s clothes. Now in the bureau is the handgun I stole a few cities ago.

I have been a nomad for years. Not fleeing, but chasing. Chasing someone who—

Someone who deserves your forgiveness! Someone who has a family to look after! Someone who should live!

Someone who let your sister die and didn’t even care. Someone who needs to be punished.

I smack my head a few times to make them stop. Staring at the gun, I suddenly feel pain in my stomach.

Shake the pain aside, you coward. This is something that you have been planning for years. Don’t chicken out at the final stretch.

It’s not chickening out. It’s saving yourself. And saving the life of another. This is the perfect opportunity to walk away free.

But you will never be free! Can’t you see that? The death of your sister has kept you chained for nearly a decade. You will not be free until you avenge her!

I throw the gun back into the drawer and slam it shut. Marching over to the entrepreneur’s nightstand, I kick it over in fury. Upon impact, the lamp smashes and breaks, littering the carpet with shards from the bulb. Gazing at the mess I made, once again, I question my decision-making. I pick up a shard of glass, shaking. Clutching the shard so tightly in my hand, it begins to cut me, but I don’t even notice until—

You’re bleeding! Drop the glass! Stop it!

Suddenly realizing that my hand is soaked red, I drop the bulb shard in shock. “I am not even aware of my actions anymore,” I whisper.

No. You’re not. And you are certainly not in the state of mind to be making such huge decisions, like KILLING SOMEONE!

That’s not true at all. You have known for years that you have wanted revenge. I appeared the day your sister died and have been hearing all of your thoughts since then. I can confirm that you absolutely want to do this.

I have known you for the exact same amount of time, and I have heard all the same thoughts. Trust me. This is not the right choice.

“CAN’T YOU TWO EVER AGREE?!” I shout at them.

My burst of anger quiets them.

Ignoring the broken nightstand on the floor, I pace around the small apartment, trying to sort myself out. Thankfully, they let me think for a minute.

“Okay. I’m going to do it.” I decide.

No!

Good!

As they start to argue with each other and me, I snatch the gun, climb down the fire escape, and try to ignore their bickering.

This isn’t a good idea! You need to turn around now! Just—

Oh shut up. You know in your heart that this is what you need to do in order to get relief.

I silently agree. This situation could only solve itself if I murder—

STOP! Murder is not going to solve anything! It will complicate the situation! Your problems will multiply! The authorities will be after you, and—

But you have been running for years, place to place. You are a master of forging identities. You are practically invisible, which makes you the perfect person to avenge your sister.

I jump down from the fire escape and, keeping my head down, walk along the streets. Darkness capes over everything. Only streetlamps and buildings light my path. Many people are still out at this time of night, but I blend in perfectly, stealthily weaving between groups. I am still vaguely aware of the argument that they are having in the back of my head.

Weaving throughout the streets, absentmindedly pushing past people, I walk for another twenty minutes until I reach the edge of the city. The apartment building looms over me, practically inviting me in. I smile to myself, feeling my heart speed up.

A long breath escapes my lips, and my chest stutters and shivers as I try to release my anxiety.

You know why you have anxiety right now? Because what you are about to do is wrong. Because you know that you will regret it later.

No. It’s just adrenaline.

They begin another argument. I stroll around the side of the apartment building, searching for a fire escape. At the end opposite of the street is a rusty ladder. Carefully placing one foot on the rung, I begin my ascent. The Creak! shocked me at initially. Leaning on the ladder, I bounce a few times to make sure that it will easily hold my weight. The squeaking of the metal is not reassuring; I do not want to draw any unnecessary attention to myself.

And why do you not want to draw attention to yourself? Because you don’t want to get caught COMMITTING MURDER! See?! You know that you shouldn’t be doing this!

But it’s something that needs to be done. Don’t hesitate now. Just do it. Use that adrenaline.

I continue to ascend the screaming ladder, counting the stories as I go up, making sure to stop at the right floor. At the sixth floor, I tug the nearest window. It pops open easily. I roll into the apartment. Given the lateness of the hour, I expect for the apartment to be dark and quiet. Instead, I find an overweight, balding man, staring at me in shock. The television is blaring behind him.

We just look at each other for a moment. But before he can make a sound, I take out the gun and shoot him.

His lifeless bodies collapses to the floor with a loud thud, shaking the room.

My lungs work rapidly, as I frown at the corpse.

Well … there is certainly no turning back now.

That’s not true. Yes, you have taken one life tonight—but that is enough! Stop here! Go turn yourself in. Or at the very least, flee the city so that you won’t hurt anyone else!

I let them argue it out for several minutes. I cannot movie. I cannot take my eyes away from the person that used to be.

“What have I done?” I whisper to myself.

Don’t stop now. Keep going.

You have the power to cease the madness. Listen to me. This is your last chance to get out of here.

I step over the body, making my way to the kitchen. I find a six-pack of beers. I drink three in the span of minutes, all the while hearing Stop! Stop it! No! and That’s alright! Drink it up!

I finish and try to focus my vision, as everything around me is dancing. Shaking my head vigorously, I try to whisk away the blur. It is useless. I drop the fourth, half-drunken beer, and it smashes on the floor, sending its sour contents and fragile casing across the cool tiles.

I wipe my mouth and gaze at the mess I made.

“Someone else can clean it up,” I slur. Stumbling back over the body, I murmur to myself, “This is quite an adventure that I am having. Good for me.”

That’s right. It’s all an adventure.

You’re going on a killing spree. This is insanity. You need to get a hold of yourself.

“Ah, shut up,” I yell. “What do you know? You think that life is about letting things go and giving people what they want. Well, that’s not fair. You need to make things fair when necessary.”

Yes, you do! If someone owes you a few dollars. Or if a friend ripped your jacket, you expect them to buy you a new one! But taking another person’s life is too serious.

I see no difference. It’s all the same. Your sister’s life was taken away, so, naturally, they owe you their life.

No. This is too big of a decision. Someone’s life is more important than—

That’s exactly it! Your sister’s life was too important to let go Something small like a bit of money or clothes can be ignored—they don’t matter. But this does matter.

I nod my head. “I completely agree. Let’s go.”

The door slams open too loudly, and I teeter into the hallway. The doors seem to be moving back and forth, as if I am underwater. My eyes squeeze shut and open abruptly, in hopes of stopping the dancing lights, floor, and walls. It is no use. The colors meld together.

“It’s going to be tricky finding the right apartment if the world is loopy.”

I giggle and begin to make my way along the floor. My feet are quite heavy for some reason, dragging across the carpet; I am unable to pick them up. I sway back and forth—is my body being pushed by the wind? I stop, straighten, lick my finger and stick it in the air. No draft. That’s odd. What is pushing me over?

You’re drunk, asshole. Pull yourself together and find the apartment.

“Oh yeah. I need to find the apartment,” I gurgle. “Could you direct me there?”

I can. Take the stairs down—

Be quiet! Listen to me. I will lead you the right way.

No, I can help you. Trust me.

My head spins. I try to clear my mind by banging my head on the wall. It is no use.

A door opens farther down the hall. “What’s going on out here?” An older woman walks out and gapes at me. “Are you alright?”

“I’m … I’m looking for an apartment. It’s apartment … what apartment is it?”

21 C.

“21 C.”

“Oh, you need assistance,” the woman clucks, shaking her head. “Don’t worry, dear. I can take you there.” She grabs my shoulder and leads me through the kaleidoscopic hall.

“Thank you miss,” I lean on her shoulder.

We stop at the door.

“Why are you visiting at such a late hour?”

“Oh, it’s kind of a long story, miss,” I reply. “You see, the person living in this apartment is responsible for the death of my sister. So I’m here for revenge.”

Seeing her rolling her eyes, I realize that she didn’t believe me. So I take out my gun.

Her face drops. Her eyes widen. Her jaw slacks. She begins to back away slowly.

Before she can make another move, I shoot her three times.

She drops dead.

There is silence.

Then, I cannot believe you just did that. She was trying to help you.

It had to be done. She knew too much. She could have been a witness.

I nod. “It was only necessary.”

Shuffling through my pockets, I take out a key, clumsily shove it into the lock, and let myself in. Flipping on the light switches, I attempt to orient myself in this apartment that I once knew so well. Tripping over my feet a few times, I walke into the bedroom, where I find the victim, fast asleep. After I flip on the lights, I scream, “GET UP, OLD MAN!”

Upon hearing my voice, he tosses and looks up in a fright. He gasped. “W-what are you doing here?”

The time to stop is now. Put the gun down and walk away. I am begging you.

You’ve made it this far, killing two in the process. One more won’t matter.

It matters to the life of the person.

THINK OF YOUR SISTER!

SHE WOULDN'T WANT THIS.

I smile kindly. “Hi dad.”

He stays paralyzed.

I fiddle with the safety on my gun. “Do you remember ten years ago, when my sister killed herself?”

He doesn’t reply.

“And do you remember the letter she left?”

My father puts his hands up. “Please, don’t do anything rash.”

“Oh I already have. Your neighbor down the hall—the old lady? Dead. Your other neighbor, fat baldie? Dead. You? You’ll be dead too.”

Please stop! The voice is practically sobbing.

“Please stop!” his voice is practically sobbing.

No! This is perfect. Now take out letter.

I do as the voice commands. “Why don’t I read you a few excerpts from the note that she left?” I clear my throat, keeping my gun pointed at my father so that he cooperates. “‘I am sorry that I had to do this. It’s just that I cannot take dad’s tormenting any longer. I feel that he hates me, doesn’t believe in me. My dreams in life will never be supported by them, so there’s no point in trying.” I look at him. Then crumble up the paper and throw it at him. Walking closer to him as he convulses in terror, I scream, “YOU WERE THE CAUSE OF HER DEATH! SHE BLAMED YOU! AND I BLAME YOU!”

My father is crying now. “Please don’t do—”

Stop it right now! Don’t do it!

DO IT!

The gun explodes. My father is now lying on his bed, bleeding out.

I stare at him as he dies slowly. It is like watching a particularly interesting movie. But in this one, I already know the ending.

I check is pulse. Nothing.

And I smile to myself. And collapse to my knees, body shaking, heart racing. It’s all over now.

“Guys,” I whisper. “We did it. It’s finally done. Can you believe it?” I wait for them to reply. But I hear nothing. I frown. “Hello? Where are you guys? I did it.” Silence. My breathing increases. I scratch at my head and claw at my hair. “Hello?! HELLO?! Where are you?!” They do not reply. I cannot even feel their presences inside my mind. “PLEASE DON’T GO! I NEED YOU! I DON’T KNOW HOW TO FUNCTION WITHOUT YOU!” I scream and hit my head harder and harder. I tear my hair from my head. Still, nothing brings them back. I fall next to my dead father, sobbing with hysteria. “No. You can’t leave me alone. I have no one else. I can’t live w…without ….”

I tense. An idea tickles my mind. “Since you guys no longer exist, if I then no longer exist too, we could still be together.”

Reaching over my father I take the gun. I bring it to my temple.

And then I’m gone.

2.20-27.17

Kio

When she looks up into the sky

and sees the dark, grey clouds,

she nods contently,

because at least the weather knows how she feels.

2.25.17

Kio

Please do not think that

just because I don't hear your words of hate

does not mean I can't feel them.

2.25.17

Kio

Oh for all I wish,

is that the yelling that weaves through the windows of my house

that bounces across the floors

that fills the hollowness of the walls

that shoots out the windows

that vibrates the foundation

that shakes my heart

to silence itself for once.

2.25.17

Kio

All he needed

was for the whispers

to stop

taunting him.

2.25.17

Kio

You ask yourself why you feel so much pain.

So I ask you why you are still with him.

You ask yourself why you feel so empty.

So I ask you why he does not fill your heart.

You ask yourself why you can't feel like a woman.

So I ask you why he treats you as a sub-human.

You ask yourself why you feel boxed in.

So I ask you why he won't give you the key that unlocks your own prison.

You ask yourself why you fear him.

So I ask you if he has given you reasons to fear him.

You ask me if it will get better.

And I tell you that's the question you need to fix yourself.

2.24.17

Kio

Take time

look at yourself

question what you see.

Think really hard,

Dig deep.

Figure out what you are looking at.

You probably won't be able to interpret it.

And that's okay.

Most can't.

But if you keep trying consistently,

Maybe every year. Maybe every ten.

You will find something new each time.

And that will prove

growth.

You just have to be willing to look.

2.23.17

Kio

He tells himself to cancel his thoughts.

Because that's what a man is supposed to do.

He makes himself ignore his emotions.

Because society told him so.

He tries to bottle his feelings.

So not to burden others.

But he did not realize

That once you push all the feeling to the bottom,

It gets more and more concentrated there,

Until one day,

It explodes unexpectedly

with such force that no one can ignore it.

And all the emotions hit him at once.

But it's too much for him to take.

It would be too much for anyone to take.

And he can't help it

But

the explosion of emotion

ends in his death.

2.22.17

Kio

Irony

You can’t see it, you can’t touch it, because it’s probably not there.

Residing in darkness, it never leaves its room.

Yet you convinced yourself that it consumes you, which is only fair

Sometimes it creeps out, with its shocking stare,

You are awed at how it so stealthily harnesses you

You can’t see it, you can’t touch it, because it’s probably not there.

In these moments when it attacks you experience its scare

how much of this is your own creation, your imagination true?

Yet you convinced yourself that it consumes you, which is only fair

Your constant worry of hurting someone else, you can no longer bear

He might fall victim to its horrors, as you already do

You can’t see it, you can’t touch it, because it’s probably not there.

On most days you cage yourself in to protect yourself and others of care

On your rare good days, you ignore the presence of its clues

Yet you convinced yourself that it consumes you, which is only fair

This agonizing torture you made yourself share,

It is the fear of isolation, the fear of being alone anew

You can’t see it, you can’t touch it, because it’s probably not there.

Yet you convinced yourself that it consumes you, which is only fair.

1.?.17

Kio

Mirage

You realize that it’s you upon close inspection.

But you’re not quite sure what you see.

You look into the reflection.

Is this what they call free?

But you’re not quite sure what you see.

This is not the person you expected.

Is this what they call free?

This is not truly you, the stranger that is reflected.

This is not the person you expected.

You question, do you even know this person?

This is not truly you, the stranger that is reflected.

Your own self-knowledge continues to worsen.

You question, do you even know this person?

You are a mind living in an alien body.

Your own self-knowledge continues to worsen.

In reality you are bright and open and gaudy.

You are a mind living in an alien body.

On the outside, you are closed and dark.

In reality you are bright and open and gaudy.

To others you can’t show a true spark

On the outside, you are closed and dark.

It’s not your fault, there’s nothing you can do.

To others you can’t show a true spark.

But can you show yourself in true?

It’s not your fault, there’s nothing you can do.

You turn back to the mirror.

But can you show yourself in true?

But still, nothing becomes clearer.

You turn back to the mirror.

Trying to figure out this enigma.

But still, nothing becomes clearer.

You forever feel the weight of this stigma.

Trying to figure out this enigma,

You look into the reflection.

You forever feel the weight of this stigma.

You realize that it’s you upon close inspection.

2.?.17

Kio

Where I Used to Live

On this day, walking through the stormy clouds,

the rain falls roughly to icy ground.

I shiver as the cold surrounds my face.

The air is clouded, making foggy puffs.

I hate this. Home is where my soul belongs.

Ahead there’s the abandoned theater, black

as night. A spooky horror, empty shell,

a lonely spirit stagnant in its life,

not live, a dead representation of

forgotten stories. Housing my old home.

I used to live there, homeless, broke, and lost.

The year was ninety eight, and I had lost

my job, my wife, my kids, my home, my life.

I’d been a rich and happy man. But when

my wife divorced and took our kids I just

had fallen off the rails. No friends could help

and in my shame, my career came to die.

With nowhere left to go, I found a new

abode. This cinema was the only

location that would not could not reject.

The theater was just like me, broken, dark,

and thrown aside by greedy public eye.

We were a perfect fit. It house me in

my bleakest days. And in return I cleaned.

I took great care in loving it and all

its ugly flaws. Well here I am back home.

I have a real home now. And yet, it’s not

the same. It really doesn’t feel like mine.

This old and scary theater is where I belong.

The theater it is where I used to live.

The theater it is where I want to live.

2.?.17

Kio

Where Your Terror Originates

What makes up the monster beneath your bed?

Your faults, your hatred, your anger, your fears.

This monster mocks you, wants you dead.

Each of your failings together have bred

the monster which nightly collects your tears.

What makes up the monster beneath your bed?

You and the monster have fought battles of bloodshed.

Yet he never understands the tortures you hear.

Because this monster mocks you, wants you dead.

You have tried to reason with the monster, with the tears you have bled.

But nothing you say will make his conscience clear.

What makes up the monster beneath your bed?

The monster laughed as you screamed and clutched your head.

When you were at your worst, he made sure to always appear.

This monster mocks you, wants you dead.

But you and the monster have left so many things unsaid.

So your relationship will forever be severe.

What makes up the monster beneath your bed?

This monster mocks you, wants you dead.

2.?.17

Kio

Haircut

Her face melded into an expression of amused shock,

as I told her that I wanted it short.

“Short? Is your mother going to be okay with that?”

Craning my neck in frustration,

I longed to exclaim,

Why should it be my mother’s choice?

Instead, I plastered on a smile

and forced a laugh.

Dry, hollow, filled with air,

it was clearly fake.

My hairdresser shrugged.

The scissors glinted,

reflecting the light shed by the ceiling.

A slow, decisive snip sound attacked my ear, just behind me.

A long lock of curls fluttered to the floor,

floating through the air easily,

twisting and turning, like a ballerina.

I mentally bid it goodbye,

watching it, a part of me,

die against the cold, rubber-matted floor.

The first of many ringlets I would betray.

Time dragged on,

and my curls kept embracing the floor.

My head was lighter,

no longer being pulled down by the extra hair.

The warm feeling on my back,

of the carpet of hair covering my shoulders and torso…

gone.

It used to be a cascading waterfall, a sprouting fountain.

Now, my hair slept at my shoulders,

tickling my skin, dancing with the breath of the wind.

The words, “What do you think?” echoed behind me.

With a squint and a head scratch, I replied,

“Well, it certainly feels different.”

2.?.17

Kio

Moving Backwards [Version 2]

He yells and screams, and in shame she cries.

Never did she expect such an outcome.

“A slut, a cheater!” These insults shoot from his throat.

In fear, she yells that it meant nothing.

But he doesn’t believe the lies.

Both know their time together will soon end.

She cannot wait for this day to end.

Facing her lover, “I need to go,” she cries.

She gets up for the door, and he stays lying

On the couch, curious of the outcome.

“What’s the problem?” “Nothing.”

“I just need to get home,” she murmurs, the words caught throat.

After more and more drinks, a burning appears in her throat.

Suddenly, in the bar, at the far end,

Is her old friend, for whom she thinks she feels nothing.

But he charms her, making her laugh until she cries,

Out of the blue, he mentions an unthinkable outcome

To their night. “Will it be alright?” “Yes,” she lies.

In her bedroom, she still lies,

Unable to get the reality from her throat.

A life with her husband should not yield this outcome.

She was bored of him, tired, and it needed to end.

Until late at night, she cries,

Because her long relationship actually means nothing.

“I’m not marrying you for nothing,”

She assures him with a smile, as they both lie

Together. In response, he cries,

“The day has finally come,” passion echoing from his throat.

Happily, she cannot wait for this day to end.

Never does she expect such an amazing outcome.

An ordinary day results in an extraordinary outcome.

From such a regular week, she expects nothing.

And suddenly her loneliness comes to an end,

As she meets the man for whom her heart lies.

In nervous excitement, her speech gets caught in her throat.

But he charms her, making her laugh until she cries,

Years later, she misses him, and her throat aches as she cries,

She tries to convince herself that nothing was truly behind her lies.

Never did she think this outcome would bring back a lonely end.

2.?.17

Kio

Moving Backwards [Version 1]

An ordinary day results in an extraordinary outcome.

From such a regular week, she expects nothing.

And suddenly, her loneliness comes to an end,

As she meets the man for whom her heart lies.

In nervous excitement, her speech gets caught in her throat.

But he charms her, making her laugh until she cries.

The day has finally come. In his arms, she cries.

Never did she expect such an amazing outcome.

“The day has finally come,” passion echoing from his throat.

“I’m not marrying you for nothing,”

She assures him with a smile, as they both lie

Together. Happily, she cannot wait for this day to end.

Years later, she needs this marriage to end.

Until late at night, she cries,

Because she realizes that her heart no longer lies

With him. A life with her husband should not yield this outcome.

She realizes that her long relationship really means nothing.

And she is unable to get the reality from her throat.

After more and more drinks, a burning appears in her throat.

Suddenly, in the bar, at the far end,

Is her old friend, for whom she thinks she feels nothing.

But he charms her, making her laugh until she cries,

Out of the blue, he mentions an unthinkable outcome

To their night. “Will it be alright?” “Yes,” she lies.

Hours later, she feels guilty from all of her lies.

“I-I need to get home,” she murmurs, the words caught throat.

Her lover sits up on the couch, curious of this outcome.

He sees that she wants this night to end.

As he opens his mouth to protest, “I just need to go,” she cries.

She rushes out, trying to convince herself that the night meant nothing.

In fear, she tells her husband that it meant nothing.

But he doesn’t believe the lies.

He yells and screams, and in shame she cries.

“A slut, a cheater!” These insults shoot from his throat.

Both know their time together will soon end.

Never did she expect such a horrific outcome.

Years later, she misses him, and her throat aches as she cries,

She tries to convince herself that nothing was truly behind her lies.

Never did she think this outcome would bring back a lonely end.

2.?.17

Kio

Let those words about society

that you've pushed down in your stomach,

causing you discomfort and anxiety

break free

to tell the world

how you really feel about it.

2.23.17

Kio

My dear you must realize

That losing something does not mean it's a loss.

And being alone doesn't mean you are lonely.

Letting something go does not mean you watch if fall. It means you feel yourself rise above.

Giving something up lets others have the opportunity to gain.

Falling down means the next step has to be getting back up.

Seeing with blurred vision gives you a new perspective

Even if your vision is blurred from your tears.

Walking off the path simply means you are creating your own route.

Being put down by others just means that you're already above them.

Just because the puzzle pieces don't fit, doesn't mean there still won't be a beautiful picture. The pieces just need to find their proper match.

My dear these words you've said all seemed so sad. I just put a bit of a spin on them to make them bright. Now, it's time you did the same with your life.

2.22.17

Kio

Can't you just

for once

understand that I too

have something

that is worth

the time?

2.22.17

Kio

Just because

she easily opens herself up and believes in you

doesn't mean

that she wasn't hurt in the past,

because perhaps

her trust

is the only thing keeping her hopeful

for a better future.

2.17.17

Kio

This is what has become of her.

Her hair is mostly gone, from her having pulled it all out due to the self-torture.

Her ears always have something on, over, or un them, because she wants to block out the voices.

Her face is gaunt and her body frail. Fragile not only from the weight loss but also because of the bombardment of self-hate.

Her legs shake, since every moment she thinks about giving up and dropping dead.

Her arms shiver, anxiously await another one of her attacks.

Her bones are visible.

Her lips cracked and dry from all of the murderous loathing she spits at the mirror.

Her skin is covered with cuts and lines from her only "friend."

Her eyes are the most telling, however. They are lifeless, exhausted, desperate, begging for help from anyone.

And of course, beneath the surface is the most damaged part of her: the mind. The reason behind all of this.

But no one dares trying to sort through the demons that live in there.

So they remain. Unaffected. Simply growing stronger each day, attaching more of her until

...

it consumes her.

And she is no more.

2.17.17

Kio

His body felt foreign for reasons unknown. She had loved him, kissed him, touched him innumerable times before, and then, his body always felt welcoming, comfortable, homely. But in this moment, as he held her in his arms, she felt that she did not quite belong. She shifted back and forth thinking, Maybe he is just holding me awkwardly. But no matter the shift, no matter the turn, he always seemed to not want her.

"What's wrong?" he asked finally, addressing her squeamishness.

"Something feels...off," was her reply.

He frowned at her. "Ah," musing.

She wanted to meet his eyes--she really did, but she worried that she would not like what she saw when gazing into his soul. "Do you think that something is off too?" she tried.

"No. Everything feels jut the same," was the reply.

And suddenly, she broke down crying. She wasn't sure why, but something just overcame her. She realized that this isn't what she had thought it was. She was trapped in a vicious cycle of straining, manipulating, and destroying her mind. And body.

"Babe," he hugged her, but she pushed him away. "What's wrong?"

"Something's happened!" she cried. "You--you did something awful! I don't know what, but you did!

He stared at her. She couldn't meet his eyes. "Are you really just accusing me of something based on the fact that you feel awkward next to me? Do you realize how ridiculous that sounds?" His words were hollow. And she could tell. He tried to hug her but was pushed away.

"I trust myself. I trust my gut."

"That's insane," he yelled, losing his patience.

"Then prove it to me," she begged. "Prove that you have not done something wrong. Can you promise that you've been loyal?"

He paused. A few heart beats passed. "No."

"I knew it!" she shrieked. "I knew that something was wrong, yet you were hiding it!"

"I wasn't hiding it on purpose. I wasn't a secret."

"And what is it that you have done?" she demanded.

He stepped towards her. "I've been torturing you, holding you captive for almost three months. And your mind, in order to cope with this reality, your mind has invented a scenario where I was your clingy boyfriend. And I just went along with it so that you wouldn't suspect anything."

She stared at him. And blinked.

Her eyes were blind to the bruises and scars and burns littering her body. She could not tell that her mind had cracked and was tricking her. Her nose could not detect the musty smell of the dusty basement--her cage.

He grabbed her arms and chained them to the wall again. He kissed her on the head, muttering, "I'll see you tomorrow when I bring your meal down.:

And as he left, she called after him, her voice continually getting softer and softer until it disappeared along with her existence, "Wait! Honey! Don't leave! Don't be mad at me! I'm really sorry that I accused you of doing something wrong! I take it all back! I love..."

2.10-16.17

Kio

The clock won't stop.

The clock won't stop. A mockery, a tease, a bully.

It haunts you, unchanging.

No, never to be altered.

Even the rick, the powerful, the healthy,

they all fall victim to it.

All have one common enemy.

Time.

It slows for none.

It devours everything in its path.

Land, trees, animals, cities, people, the universe.

For time is the ultimate God.

It has authority over everything in existence.

This is what we fear.

Because in the end,

the clock won't stop.

The clock won't stop.

2.7.17.

Kio

The whispers trail about her skin, tickling her as they brush up against her legs, arms, chest, neck, face. The whispers bite at her ears, nibble her hair, mocking her, just trying to make their presence clear. The whispers flood in from the walls or her room. Some stay clinging to the wall. Others fly off at her in attempt to attack. The whispers have fused with the air around her and are one with her atmosphere. They are inescapable. She recognizes the voices of the whispers. Every single one. They are all of the people whom she knows, has know, will know, and thinks she knows. And many of the whispers have her voice.

The whispers all say the same thing to her.

"Just kill yourself."

2.6.17.

Kio

The time is so slow. At east in this moment it is. Not just slow, but stopped. He and I had been waiting to be intimate with each other. And just now, as we sit alone in my apartment. He asks me. And that's when time stopped.

I love him--he knows that I love him. He loves me--I know that he loves me.

So what is holding me back? I want to say 'yes.' Both of us wants me to say 'yes.' But the words are choked up. I can't feel any sound against the sandpaper in my throat. Struggling to breathe, I finally gasp out:

"I think we should break up."

Both of us are horrified at the words but only I know that they are a lie.

2.1.17

Kio

I woke one day and looked out my window. I couldn't tell what it was that I saw. It was a place that I did not recognize. Yes, this had been my city for over two years now but was it my home? I knew the different smells at each street. I knew the different people and entertainers scattered around the blocks. I knew the train schedule and map. I knew the small, underground shops, cafés, and clubs. I was so used to it. And I loved it here so much.

But something was missing.

...someone.

I thought I need to find someone

in order to feel complete.

To feel

at

home.

1.30.17

Kio

Sometimes I wonder what remains in our air. Things happen, but we don't realize that things stay. Everything that ever was remains cycling throughout the air. The shouts and curses of a broken family. The words "I love you." Echoing, pained sobs, as a depressed woman sits alone at night. The cries of pain from those being hurt, tortured, abused. Laughter from jokes. Giggles of newborns. Sighs of love, affection, and passion as well as the sighs of exhaustion. Bonding words and binding words alike. They all entered our air, our earth, our atmosphere.

And they still remained fossilized artifacts that just cannot be retrieved.

But still.

Proof of what was.

1.27.17

Kio

Twice in life I had been in love. The first time was with who I had been. I suddenly realized that I missed my old self. I realized that there was a spark, a yearning for me to return to myself. I missed who I was. And the worst part is that the love only came after my old self was gone. And I know now that I cannot get it back.

The second love was with who I will be in the future. I can see a transformation ahead. I do not know when or how, but I have come to love what will soon be. The worst part is that I love something that does not yet exist.

For now, I am stuck with who I am. A period between two lovable selves. In limbo. And the lack of love at the moment is

so

very

adamant.

1.25.17

Kio

Two months ago, she told him that she was in love. What happened in those two months? She was laid off, her father died, she was in a car accident, she couldn't pay rent, and her boyfriend left her. She thought that she had been in love. She had told him that she loved him. She had opened herself up to him. She had been vulnerable. And she always assumed that he was there helping, even if she couldn't see or hear him. And he let this happen. How? Why? As soon as submission, he let this occur. Maybe he really did not love her back.

Why? I thought that you were supposed to love all of your children, God.

1.23.17

Kio

I remember that he asked me a question, but I did't know what it was. I tilted my head up and just nodded absent-mindedly.

He raises his brows, a smile slowly creeping onto his face. "Did you even hear what I said?"

"Not really." He chuckles and grabs me into his arms, his embrace warm, safe, full of love and care.

"You've got something on your mind." It is a statement, not a question.

I sigh, suddenly aware of the truth in his words. "I guess you're right."

Hugging tighter, swaying easily with me, "Want to tell me what it is?"

"I don't think that I even know what it is."

I can feel him smiling above me. "I think that you really do know what it is, but you just don't want to admit it to yourself."

"You're right," I murmur. "As usual. You know me so well still, even now. Isn't that odd?"

"I really don't think it's that odd," he admits, letting go of me and planting pecks of kisses all along me neck and collar bones. "I mean I knew you better than I knew myself back then, when we were in love."

I protest, "We still are in love! That part has not changed."

He grins. "You are right. The love is still there. So...what's on you're mind then?"

"Well..." I choke on the words as they come out. "I still love you, but...you're not here...You're dead...And I'm talking to myself, or talking to nothing--I don't really know. Either way, you were my rock, there to steady me, and, now that you're gone and the cause of my stress, well...I'm going crazy."

He nods slowly. "Yes. I'm dead. But that doesn't mean that I'm not still with you. Nor does in mean that you are crazy."'

I smile and cupped his face in my hands. "Dear, as much as I love you, that does not mean I believe you."

1.18-19.17

Kio

He grabbed her face, clutching it in his hands. And kissed her passionately.

He grabbed her face, clutching it in his hands and screamed horrid words at her.

She drew him in her arms, embracing him in a warm hug.

She drew him in her arms, just to stab him in the back.

He stopped her hand at the restaurant as she reached for the check. He insisted that he would pay.

He stopped her hand, gripping it tightly and pushed her down.

She gave him a late night call, telling him how much she loved and missed him.

She gave him a late night call, creating some lie as to why she wasn't coming home tonight.

He shouted her name into the wind, exclaiming his love.

He shouter her name into the wind, cursing her for betraying him.

She covered up whenever other men were around, staring at her, for his sake.

She covered up the clues of her true motives for late night returns.

He showered her with gifts, compliments and love.

He showered her with venom, hate, and punches.

She told him that she and that other guy were just friends, jokingly to tease him.

She told him that she and that other guy were just friends, trying to defend herself.

His face turned red, embarrassed from her constant public affection.

His face turned red as he spat accusations and screams.

She gave him a gift, a display of her love.

She gave him a gift, a hopeless grasp at an apology.

She found another.

He found out.

She lied.

He hit her.

She cried.

He demanded a divorce.

She refused.

Staring at him deep in the eyes, she told him that she loved him.

Staring at him deep in the eyes, she questioned if she ever actually loved him.

Looking her over, he wondered if he believed her.

Looking her over, he quietly agreed.

1.11-13.17

She shivered as the cold, biting wind snapped at her uncovered neck. Her breath appeared as a misty cloud. Her body shook. But not because of the temperature. She shook because she was afraid. Knowing what was about to come. Knowing the pain and agony that she was going to both feel and cause. It was the anticipation of the situation keeping her boiling.

His front door opened. He came out, dressed well, business causal. His toothy smile greeted her, as he draped his scarf around her to stop her shivers.

She built up the words to break his heart.

But they came out all wrong: "I love you."

Inwardly she gasped, realizing that she just signed up for many more weeks of despair.

1.9.17

Kio

You wait for the tears to fall.

The tears to fall.

The

tears

to

f

a

l

l

But they don't come. You wonder why. You are sad enough to be crying. You feel the emotions. You think that a good cry will force the despair from you. And you will be better once again.

That is not how it works.

You are too exhausted to cry. Too exhausted to feel emotions. The tears, the depression, it all takes so much effort and energy. So what do you do?

You sit there.

The pain is still present.

Yet for some reason,

You can't feel it.

1.6.17

Kio

Her hand glided along the cool glass of the window frame. It was slightly damp, pearly drops clinging to the smoothness. She looked inside the window. Beyond, through the portal was the life that she could have had. The one that she desired so dearly. She saw herself with a husband and two young children. They all sat around the dinner table. Talking, laughing, loving. Glaring inside, she tore away from the window. Fits of rage surged as she banged her hands on the glass again and again until it shattered. The portal disappeared forever. She lit a cigarette and stalked into the distance, back to reality, the like she was now destined to have.

1.5.17

Kio

Everything written is by me. Kio. Any written work taken and used or published elsewhere without specific permission will result in legal action.

Photos not mine. Credit to owners.

Created By
Kio
Appreciate

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.