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About Literature / Hobbyist Official Beta Tester Rosella LewisFemale/Saint Kitts and Nevis Groups :iconword-smiths: Word-Smiths
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The Beauty of Words

Featuring the works of the talented members of the dA lit community. :heart:


If - Rudyard Kipling

. . . If you can dream---and not make dreams your master;
If you can think---and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build'em up with worn-out tools; . . .


2,383 deviations

July 24th

Mama married Daniel today at a church in Daniel’s home town of Gilchrest.

The church was packed. Mostly Daniel’s people. He comes from a large family, the majority of whom live right here in town. On Mama’s side it was just me, Allie, Aunt Helen, my Cousins Julian, Tristan and little Sadie and Mama’s coven Sisters; Simone, Louise and Hanifah.

Everyone loved the decorations which is gratifying, considering all the work we put into them. The theme was the four elements with a nod to our African roots. The church has four seating sections divided by columns and each section got a different element while the front of the church, where the altar and chancel is, incorporated all four.

The ceremony itself got mixed reactions. Judging from the comments, it was a lot less ‘traditional’ than people here are used to. I heard things like ‘Well, that was interesting.’ And, ‘Bet she’s a liberal.’ I also heard that Daniel’s parents were miffed about Mama not taking his last name. None of the Duplessis women in my family has ever taken their husband’s last name and if the groom himself isn’t fussed about it, I don’t see why it’s anyone else’s concern.  

Mama looked amazing in her wedding dress of course and this is the happiest I’ve seen her in a while. Understandable since Daniel’s a pretty great guy. I just wish I thought it was going to last.

How long before the newness of him no longer excites her? How long before his expectations for their marriage start to chafe? Will she ruin him like all the rest?

Daniel has no idea what he’s getting into. But in time he will.


Long day. Hot and sticky and a more than a little overwhelming. Almost 2AM and the revelry is showing no signs of winding down.

The wedding reception is taking place at Verity Gardens, an old villa that’s been converted into a fine dining restaurant. Two huge, white tents are set up on the front lawn of the villa to accommodate the number of guests, most of whom are now drunk.

I’m tired of new faces and awkward small talk. I’m tired of the dress I’m wearing, lovely as it is, and my head aches from one too many glasses of champagne, as well as the constant drub-drub of music several decibels too loud. I reach my limit when someone’s drunkle asks me, for the third time, "which one are you again?"

My sister Allison and I are fraternal twins but we look enough alike, in both face and figure, that people who don’t know us often think we’re identical.

The differences between us are subtle but detectable to anyone paying attention. I’m an inch taller, my chin a bit squarer. My lips are fuller and wider than Allie’s. She’s got straighter teeth, the better smile. We’ve both got Mama’s nose but Allie's got a mole on hers and wears a septum piercing. Same milk-tea complexion. Same eyes; wide and coffee-dark but the expression in them is what really tells us apart.

Allie finds me hiding out in the sitting area of one of the restaurant’s cozy bathrooms. She looks as tapped out as I feel. “Goddess, I’ve been looking for you for like a half an hour. I need to get out of here Cara or I swear I’m gonna kill that kid.”

“Who? The Petersons' brat?” Unzipping my purse, I put the journal I’ve been writing in inside.

“Yeah, him.” She turns from splashing water on her face to huff a breath. “You know I like kids but I’ve got no patience with little pervs.”

“A perv? Isn’t he like six? What exactly did he do?”

“Snuck up behind me at the dessert table and squeezed my ass.”

I raise my eyebrows. “A full on grope? Like he knew what he was doing?”

“Oh, he knew what he was doing. He kind of smirked and ran away right after. He’s lucky I don’t have the energy or I would have gone after him. Maybe duct tape his little ass to a tree.”

“You tell his parents?”

“No. They're letting their child run around at 2 in the morning so I’m pretty sure I’d be wasting my breath. Honestly, some people shouldn’t have kids.”

“Or husbands,” I mutter unable to help the train of my thoughts.

Allie’s gaze meets mine then shifts away but not before I glimpse the shadow of torment lurking there. We both know the real cause of her agitation, the secret only she and I share.

“Yeah.” She takes a deep breath then yanks me up off the chair. “Com’n. You can pretend to be a bluestocking some other time.”

“Where are we going?”

“The lake. I could use a good cooling off.”

Rock-paper-scissors determines who gets to drive. I win and we head off in one of the rental cars Daniel hired for the occasion. A gibbous moon races ahead of me, through scudding clouds, as I make my way down the hard-packed road that leads to Tandem Lake.  

Allie and I are singing along to Behind Blue Eyes as I park. We're neither of us great singers but our voices blend well together and we always stay on pitch. When the song ends, I leave the radio on and the keys in the ignition in case we have to make a quick getaway.

We’re not supposed to swim in the lake without a lifeguard present. We’re definitely, especially, not supposed to be here at night.

According to Daniel, the lake has a reputation for tragedy. Some folks even believe it to be cursed because of the number of persons who've either drowned or gone missing over the years. Just recently, a man named Wheeler went out fishing in his boat and never made it back home.

Standing side by side with our toes just touching the water, we gaze out onto the lake. The silence is cool and deep and there's a sweet breeze blowing. Trees soft-edged in shadows surround the basin and on the opposite shore is what looks to be a short dock. Moonlight limns the surface further out but everywhere else, the water’s a forbidding black.

“How deep do you think it is?” Allie wonders. I’m still dressed but she’s already stripped down to bra and panties.

“Dunno. Deep enough that they couldn’t find this Wheeler guy.”

A burst of static from the radio makes us both jump. It smooths out a moment later and the Bee Gees’ How Deep Is Your Love comes on.

Allie’s startled-cat expression has me hooting laughter. My face must have worn the same expression ’cause she starts giggling at the same time.  

“Maybe Wheeler is trying to tell us something,” she says when she catches her breath.

“Nah, I think he’s just trying to Dee Jay.”

Allie snorts then splashes water at me with her foot. “So, we going in or what?”

“My zipper’s stuck,” I reply. She helps me free the section of teeth caught on my dress liner and soon we’re both in our underwear.

We wade out past shore together and I shiver in pleasure as the cold water hits my skin. When we’re about shoulder deep, I do a couple of back strokes and feel my headache seep away.

“I overheard Mama and Daniel talking this morning,” I say after a while. He’s trying to convince her that we should move down here and shocker of shockers, I think she’s actually considering it.”  

Allie’s silent for a long while. She bobs alongside me staring off into the dark. When she speaks her voice is so soft, I strain to hear her. “Not surprised. He's never been all that comfortable in our house. I think because it is ours, you know? And I can see how living here might appeal to her. She gets to play lady of the manor and we get to pretend we’re all one big happy family.”

Eyes bright and bitter she turns to look at me. “What am I going to do Cara? I just . . . this whole situation. There has to be something wrong with me.”

“Stop saying that. You can't help how you feel. Just give yourself some time.”

“Time won't fix this Cara. Sometimes, you just know.”

Desperation in her eyes. Resignation in her voice. I search for words, a temporary salve for a suppurating wound. “Another year and we’re off to college.”

“I’ll probably have done something unforgivable by then. And speaking of college, I’m not even sure I want to go. I’ve been thinking about opening up a hair salon but I’ll need a loan to start. I know she's not going to help me but do you think Aunt Helen might?”

I shoot her a look. “You act like you don’t know Aunt Helen. She’ll say it’s a great idea, blah, blah. Then she’ll talk to Mama and Mama’ll convince her otherwise and that’ll be that. But if you’re serious about the salon, I’ll help.”

“Appreciate the offer but I know you have plans of your own.”

“I’ll be an investor―a silent partner.”

Allie half-smiles. “You, a silent partner? Miss I-have-an-opinion-on-everything?”

I open my mouth to say . . . something but then I feel a tug, strong and deep, right through the center of me, as if my insides had been tethered without my knowing then given a good, hard yank. I look up. My thoughts scatter.

A boy stands near the water’s edge; a tall and motionless chiaroscuro staring out at us. I can’t see his face and yet his gaze pulls at me.

The magic in my blood surges. I can feel it in every pulse beat, battering against my skin. Without stopping to think, I start swimming for shore.

Allie pulls me back. “Wait! You don’t even know who that is.”

“It’s okay,” I tell her. “It’s okay Al, I’ll be fine.” I hear my own voice, calm and collected which is far and away from how I feel. My curiosity is alive and my head is singing with excitement. I have to talk to this boy.

I head out to meet him. Allie follows close behind.

The boy remains unmoving as I approach. I stop about three feet from him and we do the dance of silent appraisal.

I peg his age at eighteen or nineteen. Blue t-shirt, jeans and black moccasins. He’s got a lean, sinewy build with dusky, smooth skin and black, close-cropped hair that I just know will feel like silk bristles beneath my palm. His cheekbones, lips, jawline and every angle of his features seem especially carved to my taste.

When our gazes connect, every hair on my body stands on end. He’s got the hungriest eyes I’ve ever seen, apart from my own.

“Hi, I’m Seth.”


“Nice to meet you, Cara.” He says my name like he can taste it. His smile sizzles up my back.

I am now terrified by the intensity of my attraction. Is this is what it feels like to fall? Empty and full, all at the same time? Aroused and vulnerable? Acutely self-conscious and fumbling for words?

Come on Cara. Say something else. “So, um, what are you doing here?”

“There was a disturbance in the force,” he teases. “I came to check it out.”

“Is that a line from Star Wars?”

“Yes. You’ve seen the movies, right?”

“Not on purpose.”

“Ah. Well, I won’t hold it against you.” He moves closer and my awareness goes into overdrive. I catch the scent of him—something woodsy-sweet, masculine and wonderful.

I want him. I want him. I WANT.

“Where are you from Cara?”

“Pallas Falls. We came here for a wedding.”

“Who got married?”

“My mother was the bride.”

“You don’t sound too happy about it.”

I shrug. “It’s a done deal. My feelings are irrelevant.”

Seth nods. “Family’s messy. I get that.” There's a flicker of something hard and thorny in his eyes and I know there's a story there.

“Do you live around here?” I ask him.

“Used to. On the Southside of town.”

He’s close enough now that I have to tilt my chin to look him in the face. I like the way he doesn’t slouch. My eyes light on the strong, brown column of his throat, the edges of a tattoo at the neck of his shirt, up to his gorgeous mouth. There's a tiny scar on the left corner of his upper lip and I am fever-sick with the urge to trace its groove with my tongue.

We lock eyes again. The silence between us grows fraught. I shiver a little as my wet hair drips down my back.

Allie clears her throat. She's got her arms folded and her expression is one of wry amusement. “Hey, I really hate to interrupt this scintillating conversation but could you like, exchange numbers or something so we can get going. It’s late and we have to get back before we’re missed.”

Seth looks at Allie for the first time. She in turn is giving him a hard stare. She’s taking his measure and I watch carefully to see how he looks at her. We’ve met far too many guys who treat us like a ‘two for one’ type deal. But I don't detect any heat or interest. My relief is profound.

When they’re done sizing each other up, Seth turns back to me and says, “Can you come back tomorrow?” There's a quiet, hopeful plea beneath the words that makes my body hum.

“Sorry. We leave town tomorrow morning. Well, technically later today. I’ll give you my number and maybe you can call me sometime?”

Seth's eyes turn bleak for a moment. He backs up a couple of steps and sighs. “I'd like to but I can't.”

Confused by his reaction, I start to blather. “It's okay if you don't have a phone. There's always the Internet. Facebook or―” He's shaking his head so I stop talking.

“I can't call or contact you through the Internet. I'm lucky you can even see me.” He pauses, a look of consideration on his face. “But you're not exactly ordinary are you?”

“I don't understand. Why wouldn't I be able to see you?”

Seth looks past me into the trees. His whole body radiates tension. Apprehension kicks me in the gut.

“Usually, the living can't see the dead. That's what I am, Cara―you're talking to a ghost.”

“No,” I say. Only the sound gets stuck in my throat. No-no-no. Hoping against hope, I reach out to touch him. My fingers pass through his chest. There's nothing to feel but the sudden bite of cold air.

Disappointment robs me of breath, makes me want to fold in on myself and weep.

“I really wish I could have felt that,” Seth says softly. And before I can say or do anything else, he disappears.

Allie's laugh jags through the silence that ensues. “Oh Cara, I’m so sorry. I don’t mean to . . .” Another spasm of laughter. There’s a bright note of hysteria running through the sound. “Aren’t we a pair? A righteously fucked up pair? I’m in love with Daniel and now you’ve got the hots for a ghost.”

She goes off again then a moment later, she breaks into quiet sobs. I stand unmoving, eyes closed, struggling for calm. I reach deep and weave it around me like a cocoon.

It's probably for the best I tell myself. Breathe in. Breathe out.

No good can come of such volatile attraction. Breathe in. Breathe out.

You are not going to cry.

My palms itch. Power surges through me like an adrenaline rush. The cocoon is not going to hold.

I cast around. There―a pile of rocks that look to have been used for a fire. One by one I break them apart. The air vibrates with the force of energy I unleash. The sharp, unlovely music they make tempers my frustration by degrees.

I don’t stop until all the rocks have been pulverized then I retrieve my dress and head back to the car.

Allie is there waiting. Sometime during my tantrum she’d made herself scarce. She’s sitting on the passenger side hugging her knees. Her underwear is a wadded ball on the floor and she’s back in her bridesmaid’s dress. I dress as well then slide behind the wheel. On the radio an old, jazz standard plays.

I’m about to start the car when Allie says, “I feel like this is my fault.”

I frown and turn to look at her. “What are you talking about?”

“All those times I came to talk to you about Daniel, in the back of mind I was thinking, she's never been in love. How can she possibly understand? So I kind of wished that you would fall in love with the wrong person just so you'd know what it feels like.”

A wry little smile twists her mouth. “You know what they say, misery loves company.”

The impulse to slap her comes and dissipates in a rush. I punch her shoulder instead. “Get a grip Allison Grace and stop feeling sorry for yourself.”

“Ow!” Allie’s eyes go wide with pained surprise but she rallies quickly and thumps me back. “You first.”


“Ass for brains.”



We break into chuckles, our mirth brief, then I take her right hand in my left. Hands clasped, we sit drawing strength from each other the way we’ve always done. We’ll be okay because we have each other.

Okay will have to do for now.
The Breathless 2
The Breathless 3-3-
July 25th
Gilchrest has an online Newspaper called The Informer. I find Seth’s death notice dated December 10th after less than a half an hour’s search.
Seth Ignacio Thorn aged nineteen, deceased December 3rd 2008. Born November 19th 1989 in Aberdeen, South Dakota to Mika Owens and Paley Thorn also deceased.

He is survived by his uncle, Dennison Thorn.
A short memorial service will be held on December 11th at the Ackerman Funeral Home at 1pm.
I know it’s him because of the photo that accompanies the notice. Time slips sideways for a moment as I stare at his face.    
It's not a recent picture. His hair is longer for one thing. Shaved at the sides but styled in locs that reach just past his shoulders. He looks skinnier too, the breadth of his shoulders apparent but not quite yet filled out. A boy on the brink of manhood, brimming with potential. But
The Breathless 4-4-
July 26th
I am a trapped and wounded blackbird. Beak broken, unable to make a sound. Panic presses down upon me. It has a shape and weight that I pray to forget. I'm not a bird after all, just a little girl and the lips on mine are taboo. The net tightens where I am neck boundcan't breathe! Darkness seeps into my tears . . .
I wake up gasping, my fingers scrabbling at my throat. But there's no constriction. Nothing to feel but my own sweat-slick skin. Dreaming. I was dreaming. It takes another moment for the realisation to sink in. 
My room comes into focus. Hazy afternoon sunlight light and the ceiling fan spinning sluggishly overhead. The frantic pounding in my chest eases. I let my limbs go slack and wait for the last vestiges of the dream to dissipate, for my body to stop shaking.
It's not just a dream but a memory. One that has haunted me on and off for years. When Allie and I were eight years old, our father



July 26th


I am a trapped and wounded blackbird. Beak broken, unable to make a sound. Panic presses down upon me. It has a shape and weight that I pray to forget. I'm not a bird after all, just a little girl and the lips on mine are taboo. The net tightens where I am neck boundcan't breathe! Darkness seeps into my tears . . .

I wake up gasping, my fingers scrabbling at my throat. But there's no constriction. Nothing to feel but my own sweat-slick skin. Dreaming. I was dreaming. It takes another moment for the realisation to sink in. 
My room comes into focus. Hazy afternoon sunlight light and the ceiling fan spinning sluggishly overhead. The frantic pounding in my chest eases. I let my limbs go slack and wait for the last vestiges of the dream to dissipate, for my body to stop shaking.
It's not just a dream but a memory. One that has haunted me on and off for years. When Allie and I were eight years old, our father tried to strangle us to death.    
Prior to his attempt at filicide, we'd never met the man. Our mother only ever spoke of him once:



We'd just finished an early dinner. Mama sat in her favourite armchair with a glass of wine. Allie and I were sitting near her feet, obeying her command to play quietly.
Bored with making paper butterflies dance, I asked the question that had been buzzing around in my mind for a couple of days. “Do we have a daddy Mama? Tris says everyone has a daddy even if he doesn't live at home.”
Mama didn't answer right away but her eyes seemed to flare brighter and there was the strangest expression her face, like she was trying very hard to not to feel whatever she was feeling. She took a long sip of wine then said, “Of course you have a father. His name is Jeremiah Sage. You get your eyes and complexion from him.” She paused, hooded lids half-closed, gaze unfocused.
“Did something happen to him Mama?” I prompted. “Is that why he doesn't live with us.”
She studied us for a moment, her face soft. A rare glimpse of genuine affection. “You wouldn't want to live with Jeremiah, baby girl. He . . . is a dangerous, unstable man. He didn't deserve to be anyone's daddy so I hexed him and came away.”
Setting her wine glass down she reached over to Allie and retied a loose ribbon in her hair. “Now girls, your Mama doesn't always make the best decisions when it comes to affairs of the heart but in this I did right. You are mine and I will always protect you.”
My sister and I exchanged glances. Neither of us were telepathic but we knew what the other was thinking just the same. We wondered what our father did to make him a Bad Daddy and if by hexing him, Mama meant she punished him for being bad. It was a novel idea to us that grownups get punished too.
We were just past kindergarten age at this point, old enough to be aware that our family was different from other people's and to keep those differences a secret but still too young to know much about the Art.
“What's a hex Mama?” Allie asked.
Mama smiled a not so pleasant smile. “A hex is a dark spell. What some people also call a curse.”

I wanted to ask more questions but she forestalled me saying, “When you're old enough to learn spell casting, I'll explain a little more. Now put away your toys and go get ready for bed.”




Here's the whole sordid truth:
Jeremiah Sage was a sadist who enjoyed torturing kids. He had a special tune that he would whistle to compel his victims. Make them do unspeakable things.
Mama found out. She wanted to kill him but hexed him instead. The spell took away his powers and made it so he would never be able to touch a child again without agony.
But Jeremiah was a patient man. He thought long and hard about the best means of revenge. To confront Mama would be foolish. And he had to find her first. Her and the children she'd denied him.
Eventually, he did find us. We were snatched one afternoon on our way home from school. A man, a van and a needle. It happened so fast neither Allie and I had a chance to scream, let alone try to run. Jeremiah couldn't touch us, so he'd gotten an accomplice. Someone as warped and twisted as he.




I remember―the smell of damp and old dust, the creak of cooling timber―coming to; dread in my belly and a foul taste in my mouth. It was dark, the air hot and close. My hands were bound tight to a chair and something that felt like rope encircled my neck. I called out for my sister and felt enormous relief when her muzzy sounding voice somewhere close to me replied, “I'm here.”
My thoughts tumbled over each other. She's alive! Where are we? What's going to happen? Does Mama know we're missing? I want to go home.
“Are you okay?” We asked in unison.
“I can't move my arms,” I told her. Tears pricked the corners of my eyes. “They feel kinda numb.”
“Me too,” Allie said. “And I think I peed myself.” In a fierce voice she added, “I hope I pissed on him.”
“I hope he chokes on his spit,” I said matching her tone. Giving vent to anger made me feel a tiny bit better. “Do you think he's holding us for ransom?”
“I dunno. Maybe.”
There was something she wasn't saying. The slight hesitation, the worried maybe gave her away.
“Allie, what's wrong?”

“H-he took my underwear. Maybe because it was stinky. Did he take yours?”
My heart lurched. Suddenly I was glad to count a wedgie among my lists of discomforts. I didn't want to think about why our captor might've taken her underwear. I didn't want to think about him at all. “No, I've still got mine on.”
“Oh, good,” Allie said. But there was no relief in her voice.
The sound of a door opening and closing made me stiffen. Footsteps thudded down wooden stairs. More than one set of footsteps or was that an echo?
Yellow light flooded the room, leaving me bleary-eyed and blinking. The footsteps approached then stopped. I heard Allie's sharp intake of breath. Seconds later, a figure came into my line of view. Bare chest. Stained jeans. A bearded man with deep, dark empty eyes.
I was looking into the face of my father for the first time.
The man spoke. He had a rich, vibrant voice. Its cadence slow and coaxing-sweet. The kind of voice that commands attention. He told us things. Who he was, things he'd done, things he'd like to do. Said he was sorry he missed our formative years and that our cunt of a mother had underestimated him. I will never forget the awful, eagerness behind the words, “I can't participate but I can watch.”
The man who'd grabbed us stepped forward, a nasty smile on his sun-burnt face. He pointed a finger, wagged it back and forth between us saying, “Eenie meenie, miney mo.”
Pain and terror followed. But obviously, we survived.

All it took was a moment. One instinct―to live. In my extremity, I gained full access to my powers. Something that wasn't supposed to happen until adolescence. The fiery pain around my neck was briefly superseded by a monstrous cramping in my belly, followed by a gush of warmth between my thighs. My time of the month had begun.
But something else was blossoming inside me; dizzying, glorious, overwhelming. I tried to scream as all of my senses turned hyper-acute but the noose had tightened again and there was no air.
The awakened power inside me crescendoed, my bones thrumming with the force of it. Then clarity. The rush of knowing that I was not helpless after all but full of primal, transcendent power. I let it loose and in the end, Jeremiah and his accomplice were dead.
Mama found us not long after. Jeremiah must have known she would or we might have been tortured for much longer. Still, he'd taken us far enough away from Pallas Falls that she'd never had found us had she not been what she was.
She found us curled around each other on a moldy, moth eaten sofa upstairs, dozing fitfully, too weak and injured to move. Gently, she shook us awake. I peeled open my eyes and stared at her not sure if she was real. There she was, still and slender, scythed from ebony. Her face tight set, eyes shiny with the volatility that waited just below the calm.
I reached out for her, instinctive, and almost wept when she reached back.
She held us for what felt like far too brief a time then examined our injuries. The bite marks and cattle-prod burns. The bruises and contusions on our faces where we'd been struck repeatedly. The raw, swollen skin on our necks that was still oozing blood. As she looked us over, her face got more remote. When she saw the blood staining my underpants, the vein in her forehead began to pulse.   
Finished with her examinations, Mama took a small tin of Titiba salve from a pocket of her jeans. She rubbed it onto our injuries in turn then spoke a few words of healing. Almost instantly, most of my aches and pains eased.
“Where's Jeremiah?” she asked. Her quiet voice had a crack in it.  
Allie told her. “Dead. Cara burned him to ashes and the other man too.”
Mama looked at me then as if seeing me for the first time. “Do you know how you did it Cara?”
I shook my head, the taste of salt and pennies still in my mouth. Then knowing it was significant somehow I said, “I think I got my period.”
Face alive with a new expression, Mama glanced at my bloody clothes again. She looked scared and excited all at once. “I'll be right back,” she said.  
She went down into the basement and was gone for quite a while.
I started to drowse again. My whole body drooped with fatigue. Allie sat rigid next to me, staring into space, only relaxing when she saw Mama reappear.
What she did down there or why she went, I'll probably never know. She never explained and, at the time, I was too traumatized to care. All I wanted to do was go home.



Getting out of bed, I remind myself not to let the past matter. There are a few down-feathers on the sheets and on my forearms that I brush onto the floor. My skin feels itchy and tender, my muscles stiff and achy. These dreams often take a physical toll.
A quick shower then I head for the kitchen pantry. On the highest shelf is a canister which contains some very special herbal leaves.
Canister in hand, I pause to debate; should I roll a joint or make tea? Either way, the effects are the same. The nightmares will stop, for a time. The bad memories will lose their sting.
No more leering faces. No more of Jeremiah's dark sweet voice in my head. I can try to forget the stony-slick pith of hate he left inside me. The way I smiled when it was his turn to scream.
I'm on my third joint, riding a nice little high when Allie comes home. She finds me sprawled on the Family Room sectional watching Iron Chef. As she enters the room, I see that Rags is with her. They both look great, if a little sweaty. Allie in her white, eyelet summer dress and Rags in a snug t-shirt and cargo shorts.
Rags short for Ragbone―real name Nicholas Balfour―is a mutual friend of ours. One of the first friends we'd made when we started Pallas High. Six foot four, honey-hued freckled skin and wavy red hair currently worn in a messy bun. Pale lashed with sunset-blue eyes. A gorgeous body kept in shape by dance, surfing and yoga. He's also smart and sweet and the most chill person I know.
Allie gives me a searching glance, checking to see if I'm still mad at her then plops down on my left.
Rags greets me with a smile then takes a seat on my right. “Didn't know you smoked,” he says, eying the joint with interest.   
“Only occasionally.” I flash a grin. “Medicinal.”
“You guys smell like barbecue,” I add, noting that the smell of smoke was not just coming from me.
“Salisha had a thing,” Allie replies. She toes off her sandals and props her feet up on an ottoman. “Then her Ex showed up and picked a fight with her Why. Rags and I were already leaving when the cops showed up.”
I snort a laugh. Allie and I have a running joke about Salisha's taste in boyfriends. How she always seems to go from douche to worst.
“Still, it was fun while it lasted,” Allie continues. “DJ Sami played and there was a raffle for tickets to PPE.”
PPE, short for Purple People Eater, is the hottest nightclub in town.

She goes on to say something else but my attention has shifted back to the screen. It's the plating portion of the show and I'm full of admiration for the culinary skill on display. No matter what the secret ingredient is they always make it look like it tastes so good.
“Everything okay?” Rags asks quietly. He's gotten off his shoes as well and is in full comfort mode, a cushion at his back, one between his knees and another cradling his head.
“Yup.” I take a last hit off my joint then flick it into an ash tray.
“So, what are you doing for the summer?”
“Shhh,” I say, turning up the volume on the tv. The judges are tasting and soon they're going to announce the winning chef. Nine times out of ten I get it right.
This is not one of those times.
Stupid judges.
I hand the remote to Rags and indulge in a long stretch.
He rests it on his leg then says, “A few of us are going up to Aurora next Friday. Trevin's dad rented us a couple of cabins so we can spend the whole weekend if we like. Think you'd be interested? If you don't have plans that is.”
I toy with an earring, considering. My only 'plans' involve some quiet time with a new book I've been dying to read, a marathon of my favourite show, the occasional run to the bakery for soft pretzels and a visit with a Private Investigator who's supposed to come by next Tuesday.
“Who all is going?”
“Me, Trev, Maxie, Xiomara and Curtis.”
I slant a suspicious glance at my sister. “You're not going?”
“Can't. I have appointments next weekend remember?”

“Uh-huh. Since when does doing hair for broke ass friends count as appointments?”

“I get paid. Sometimes. Com'n Cara, except for the wedding you've hardly been out of the house. Everyone keeps asking about you, wondering if you're okay.”
I sigh, knowing that I did sometimes come across as anti-social. I don't date so half the school is convinced I'm gay and afraid to come out. Others believe I'm asexual. But I'm good with letting people believe whatever they want.
Allie's not, which is why she's urging me to go on this trip.
Mind made up, I turn to Rags and fix him with my sternest look. “I'll go if you promise you'll keep Maxie out of my hair.”
“Deal.” His pleased little smile makes me feel better about agreeing to go.
“Good. Do you know how many beds we'll have? Do I need to bring a sleeping bag?” 
“Trev says each cabin has two bedrooms.”
“Then I'll bunk with you if you don't mind.”

A glance passes between Rags and my sister. One I can't quite interpret. Then something occurs to me. Rags broke up with his longtime girlfriend in January so he could be looking to hook up. Maxie's into him, or so I've heard. Xiomara's new to Allie's crowd so I'm not sure of her status but I think she's single too.  

Not wanting to cock-block I say, “If you've already made sleeping arrangements then I can bunk with one of the other girls.”
“Nah. It's cool Cara.” Am I imagining things or does he look just the tiniest bit flustered?
“Alright,” I say in my cheeriest voice. “Just fyi. Sometimes, I fart in my sleep.”
Without missing a beat Rags grins and replies, “No worries. So do I.”
The Breathless 4
Sins of the father and mother. How will they come home to roost?

Tell me the scariest thing that ever happened to you or scariest story you've ever heard. 

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Rosella Lewis
Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Current Residence: St. Kitts
Favourite genre of music: Anything that moves me
Favourite style of art: Fantasy, gothic
Operating System: Vista
Skin of choice: His
Favourite cartoon character: Batman FTW
Personal Quote: In matters of taste, there is no dispute


Nothing Gold Can Stay - Robert Frost

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf,
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day
Nothing gold can stay.


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RobCarriere Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks for the fav!
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Hope you have a great week as well.
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Thank You very much for the :+fav: on autumnal by vw1956 :)
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