Amber Rain

The cool breeze played with my loose curls, causing them to tickle my face and neck. Soft notes from a guitar carried faintly to me. I smiled and closed my eyes while lifting my face to the warmth of the sun. Only a few whispy clouds were left in the sky. I found myself a quiet bench, rusted and deteriorated with age, but sturdy nonetheless. The garden spread itself before me, showing its delicate flowers that wafted their sweet scent to me while the leaves waved in the wind. I took in a deep breath, filling my lungs entirely. The air felt lighter here; in the city the pollution sat in my lungs like heavy syrup. While I exhaled I concentrated on feeling all the cells in my body, wiggling my toes within my dirtied shoes all the way up to the warmth of my scalp. My concentration broke when I swiped at my nose which was red with the cold. I heard the crunch of leaves behind me and tensed, though I didn’t turn around.

“You could run you know, I could just tell them I couldn’t catch you. You don’t have to do this,” she pleaded gently to me.

I sighed. “It will be okay, Melanie. I don’t love you any less for this, you’re just following orders.”

I listened to her suck in a ragged breath. “What if we run away together? Just the two of us, Grace. No one would have to know.”

I stood up quickly as anger and frustration flared up on my face. As I faced I grabbed her hand that weakly grasped a knife. “Don’t you think I’ve already thought of that? Of everything? There’s no way out. So just kill me,” I moved the blade up to a place between my ribs that would get the job done the fastest.

She swallowed hard and tried to look away, “I can’t look at you while doing this.” I grabbed her chin softly and turned her face to where my eyes looked deep into hers.

“I love you, Melanie.” And with that, the blade entered my ribcage swiftly. My legs crumpled beneath me as her arms caught me and she knelt with me in her arms. Her tears ran down her cheeks and dropped onto mine. My blood seeped into her clothes and stained her skin. She removed the knife and brushed a curl from my face, leaving a bloody smear.

“I love you, Grace.” She wiped her knife on the grass and sheathed it. She removed her jacket and shirt before washing her skin in the nearby stream. She pulled a separate bag from the bushes and put on fresh clothes. Her face was blank as she reached the gardenia bushes and stopped to look at them, reaching out casually to brush the soft white petals. She plucked it delicately and placed it on my wound before disappearing into the forest as an amber rain of leaves was shaken from the trees.

Your Sweet Assassin

Inseparable

I watched the muscles strain in his arms as he struggled to keep me from falling. I remembered how easily those arms swept me up and carried me around. I watched his lips form a grimace as he leaned out of the cab of the truck. Those lips that were so soft against mine and whispered sweet nothings to me in the middle of the night. The truck slid an inch farther off the broken highway and I screamed as he started to lose his grip on my arms. I saw him slip farther out of the truck. Tears rolled down my cheeks through the grit and dust. “You have to let me go.”

“What?” he yelled at me; I knew he couldn’t hear me over the fire and explosions below me.

“You have to let me go!” I yelled up at him, my voice cracking at the end.

“I can’t let you go! I will never, ever let you go again! I promised you a long time ago and I’m not going to break it!” He tried again to pull me into the truck with him, but only succeeded in letting me slip down further. I heard another explosion and felt a rush of heat on my feet.

“Please! If you keep trying you’re going to go down with me and I couldn’t stand to die knowing that you could have lived!” He gritted his teeth and started trying to pull me up again. I swung my legs at the wheels and got just barely a grip and launched myself into the cab. I clung to him and wheezed the smoke and heat out of my lungs. I kissed him over and over in the cab of that truck. I loved him so much in that moment. He was my everything and there would be nothing without him.

“I love you so much,” he said as he pushed a curl behind my ear. I started to say the words in return as the most horrible screech formed all around us. The truck fell from the ruined highway.

And that is when everything and nothing mattered all at once. I saw every moment we had spent together and every second we would not live to see.

As we plummeted to our deaths, together, I thought about his big round eyes, and his smile, and everything that made me love him more than anything else.

I didn’t see the fire. I didn’t hear the explosion. I didn’t hear the gunfire. I didn’t feel the flames. Because I was already gone. And so was the love of my life.

Your Sweet Assassin

I See Without Seeing

I

am

burning.

I think this slowly, as if my thoughts were yawning while they said this information. It doesn’t quite bother me right now, this sense of burning. I am barely conscious anyway. My eyes see without seeing. My ears hear without hearing. I feel without feeling. But I suppose that’s not true. I see the smoke, and the flames. I hear a distant sound. Like when the wind howls. I suppose that is me screaming. I feel the tingle of my nerves dying. That is what my body is doing. Dying. I should be worried. Concerned at least. But my mind has been ruined already. Scarred, shredded, bruised, beaten, however you want to say it. And the mind cannot exist without the body, and neither can the body exist without the mind. Unless you count floating in between existing and death in a coma. But what is the purpose of being alive without living?

So here I am, my mind fading from my body, my body being burned away from my mind. How did I get to this point? I cannot remember. I cannot remember many things now. I cannot remember my parents faces, or their names. I cannot remember our house, or what city we lived in. I could remember my name yesterday, but not today. All I know is that I am burning.

I will not linger much longer. I feel the warmth from the flames in my bones. In my numbed state they feel soft, smooth, like it wants to give me one last comforting touch before I succumb to death. Because I will have my death. I will welcome what most fear.

My eyes grow tired. I am so tired. I want to sleep. So I give in. The darkness washes over me slowly. Like wading into a warm ocean. Only I am not moving. I am so tired, I am asleep now. I must be. There is no light now.


A small child plays with a red rubber ball in the front yard quietly. A man watches calmly from the porch with a smile on his face. He sips at a mug. A woman yells from within the little brown house. He moves quickly into the house, as if expecting the call. A few moments later a visibly pregnant woman and the man walk together to their small car. She looks slightly pained as the man helps her in. He calls to the child urgently, though kind. The child runs on stubby legs and drops the ball. When they return many days later, they are no longer three, but four.

Life exists only with death.

Your Sweet Assassin

My Fault

“He says it’s all my fault,” I sob the words into his shoulder. He rubs my back softly, whispering that it’s not true into my ear. He picks me up gently and sits with me in the overstuffed recliner. He knows its my favorite place in his house. My feet burn in my shoes; I ran to his house after the latest fight with my foster dad. He kisses my forehead tenderly, then my nose, and my mouth. The sensation grounds me, and I start trying to cage my emotions. I wipe my eyes roughly. I refuse to let my hands continue to shake. I entirely shut off my emotions for ten seconds. Ten, I bite my lip, nine, I close my eyes, eight, I breathe in slowly through my nose, seven, I feel his fingers push a few hairs away from my face, six, I exhale slowly out of my mouth, five, I unclench my hands, four, I tell myself I am not worthless, three, I open my eyes, two, he looks in my eyes to tell me he loves me, one, I say I love him. And I smile wide. Because I am still alive, I am still happy, and I will be okay. 

He, my foster dad that is, could be cruel sometimes- physically and mentally. I’d gone through so many families since I was given up at birth, but this one was by far the worst. The whole family was dominated by this one cold-hearted man. His wife tried to act like she wasn’t terrified for the children, but I still saw how she flinched at every movement of his hands. They had two little kids who trembled when he walked in the room. Most of the bruises and cuts I got were from stepping in front of them so I could protect them. It made him so furious when I did, like I was preventing him from administering some twisted form of justice.

I cried in the middle of the night, quietly, but the sobs still racked my chest. I cried for his wife, who could not leave because he didn’t allow her to have a job. I cried for the kids, who would never know what a healthy relationship was. I cried for my boyfriend, who worried every night that by morning I could have been fatally beaten. And sometimes I even cried a little selfishly for myself, who had been dealt such a lot in life.

Your Sweet Assassin

 

Because I Love You

You are wearing your makeup differently today.

It’s subtle, I can barely see the extra blush on your cheeks from across the street. I wonder why you did it. Are you going to meet someone? A man? Did you do it for me? I bet you did it for me. You do love to impress me, even though you look beautiful without makeup. That one time I came to your house late at night because we hadn’t spoken all day, you didn’t have on any at the time. It makes me wish that you never wore any every day. But I know you love wearing it, and I love you, so I won’t ever tell you that you shouldn’t wear it. Besides, being one of the few people that have seen you like that makes me feel so wonderful.

I hate when you talk to other men. Am I not good enough for you? I used to be. We used to talk all the time. And you were so nice to me, always polite, always pleasant. Why do you even want to talk to them? I’m sure they don’t care about you like I do, and definitely don’t love you like I do. It frustrates me you won’t talk to me first anymore, and I get so angry when you tell people about me. They just don’t understand. I’m looking after you is all, trying to be the best friend you can have. Because I love you.

I walk a bit behind you on your way to work. I got fired from there after you told everyone about how much I was caring for you. I wish I still had a job there so I could watch you work, the way you bite your lip when you’re thinking hard. Now I work across town, and I’m on my way to being fired because I walk you to work everyday to make sure you’re okay, which makes me late most days. But its worth it. All of it. Because I love you.

I don’t speak to you in the mornings because once you told me you are too tired in the mornings to talk. I talk to you in the afternoon almost every day though, so I can ask you how work was and who talked to you. We never have enough time to talk though, enough time for me to be around you. I like talking to you in person because many times I can smell the hints of the green apple shampoo in your hair. Sometimes though you don’t want to talk so I respect your space and walk a few steps behind you. Because I love you.

I think you are beginning to avoid me now, though. You spend more and more time at work, or at home, where I can’t make sure you’re okay. I don’t understand why you don’t laugh like you used to. It makes me sad that you are so sad now. I wish you would let me help you, so I could care for you the way I should be. I know I could make you much happier than any other so-called man could. Because I love you.

Sometimes I wonder what you would say to me if I actually talked to you.

Your Sweet Assassin

Trust Me

The ground was hard underneath her. Bits of hay poked her through her jeans. One of her legs was bloody and swollen from where she had been shot earlier in her thigh. The cloth was soaked through and stuck to the wound. Her hands were tied behind her waist. The barbed wire bit into her wrists and a trail of blood ran down into her palm and gathered there. Her knuckles were torn and bloody; they stung every time they brushed the ground.

She used the heels of her boots to push herself the last inch towards the wall. She felt gently for the edge of the busted pipe she knew would be behind her. She started to saw at the wire, but the more pressure she put, the harder the barbs dug into her already tender skin. A tear rolled down her cheek, tracing a path through the grit and dust on her face. She gritted her teeth and forced herself to keep cutting until she felt it give. She brought her hands in front of her, and she bit her lip when she saw the damage she had done. She patiently pried the points out of her skin before trying to slowly get to her feet. She started to crumple when she put weight on her leg. She backed against the wall, breathing hard. Before she caught her breath the door opened.

A woman in a floor-length Victorian-style dress sailed into the room, looking extremely out of place in the dirty, run down barn she had found herself in. Her hair had a certain amount of wild appeal to it, not elegantly placed, but gave her clear face an intense effect. Eyebrows arched perfectly over dark eyes, so dark that they looked almost black. The woman smiled sweetly before offering her arm to the injured girl. Hesitant and distrustful as she was, the girl refused.

The smile subtly changed to a smirk before the woman spun on her heel and began to walk out of the room. She stopped before she had gone too far, and reached into the folds of her dress. She pulled out a dagger, gazing almost lovingly at it while she ran her thumbs along the edge. “You know darling,” she said softly, “it didn’t have to be this way. Next time I see you, honestly you should trust me a little more.” The corners of her mouth lifted on the last words.

She threw the dagger.

It connected with a thud in the girls chest and stuck. Blood immediately covered her chest and she slid down the wall. Her vision clouded and her eyelids drooped. As she watched the blurred form of the woman walk out the door, her eyes locked on the objects floating down from the rafters. Blood gurgled from her throat into her mouth as she tried to name them.

Rose petals.

Your Sweet Assassin

I Didn’t Know

Her~

“I love you,” he says quietly as I hang up. I say what, but I’m already talking to dead air. I sit there in shock. Was I supposed to hear that? Did I even hear that? What if he said something else and I’m freaking out over nothing? I was so confused; my world felt like it was spinning out of control.

The rushing sound in my ears got louder. I swayed on my feet as I walked to the kitchen and threw out my arms to steady myself. I reached out to the countertop and locked my elbows so I wouldn’t hit my head on the counter if I passed out. My breath sounded ragged and alien in my mouth. I felt distant from my body, and I blinked over and over to try to get rid of the clouds in my head. I turned around slowly until I felt the hard granite countertop behind me.

I slid down carefully until I touched the cool tile under my hands. I tucked my legs to my chest and wrapped my arms around myself. I rested my head on my knees and closed my eyes. It felt like someone had thrown me to the ground and knocked the wind out of my lungs. I couldn’t catch my breath for the world.

Him~

“I love you,” I say quietly after I think she’s hung up. But now is when I hear the sound the phone call ending. I breathed a sigh of relief, how glad I was that she didn’t know my true feelings. I was happy being her friend, but I wanted so much more. Not knowing how she’d react made me fearful of telling her the truth. I sat down on the floor, mind full of possible ways she’d react.

“No, you aren’t mature enough, serious enough, tall enough.” I closed my eyes, trying to block out the fears. But how great would that be? To have her, hold her, for her to be mine. No more jealousy attacks, no more panic about whether some guy would swoop in and take her away. I loved her smile, her laugh, and being the reason for both, and I loved how smart she was, and bright, and talking to her in the evening.

“But no, ” I told myself, “you can’t. Don’t ruin what you have. She’s your best friend.” I stood up and got some water. I stared at the glass for a moment when it hit me. The dial didn’t sound until just after I said those powerful words. I started breathing faster, my heart pounding. “She heard it,” I thought to myself as sweat started to trickle down the back of my neck, “She heard it and won’t talk to me again.” I paused, “But… I wonder if she loves me too?”

“No,” I said to myself, “She likes other guys. Why else would she talk about them so much?” I sat down, staring at the empty glass thinking over and over, “Did she hear me or not?”

That single question stayed, filling my mind until early morning, keeping me from sleep.

Your Sweet Assassin

 

Always

She was running.

Her heart beat loudly in her chest and her breath was short as her bare feet pounded the earth. The tall grass that normally would have felt so lovely caressing her calves now felt like a million lashes on her skin. Her hands were fisted at her sides and her arms swung rapidly as she climbed the incline of the meadow. She raced across the grass, closing the distance between her and the thick forest in front of her. She heard laughter behind her as she tripped on a root and fell to the ground. She scrambled to get up and started running, but not quickly enough. She hit the ground hard again as she was tackled. Hands latched onto her left ankle and her nails dug into the ground as she was pulled backward. She would have screamed but her throat was too raw from the cold night air. All she managed was to whisper a scared no.

Hands gripped her waist as she was thrown over someone’s shoulder and a blindfold covered her eyes. She tried to lash out around her but her hands and feet were bound quickly. She heard a thump from below her and winced as she heard a sword being drawn. Metal clanged as she was tossed to the ground. She ripped off the blindfold and saw the soldiers attacking someone, but the angle was all wrong. She rid herself of the rest of her bonds and jumped up. Soldiers fell one by one until none were left. A panting man stood looking at her holding a bloody sword. She ran to him as he dropped his weapon and grabbed her up. She wrapped her arms around him and buried her face, which was now soaked with tears, into his neck. He held her tight as he walked her away from the mess and sat down.

“You came back for me. You shouldn’t have done that.” She managed to whisper to him.

“I’ll always come back. Besides you were supposed to wait for me, that was the plan, remember?” He kissed the top of her head while he spoke softly.

“The plan wasn’t going to work. Look at you, no reinforcements. I love you too much to wait around for something bad to happen to you.” She tossed the words out nonchalantly.

He lifted her chin so he could look her in the eyes to say, “I love you too, always.” She smiled up at him.

He looked at her curiously when she hiccupped once and the smile faded from her face fast. A tear rolled down her face and she pulled his face towards hers into a hurried kiss. He pulled his hand away from the small of her back when he felt moisture on it. It came away a deep red. He looked over her shoulder and saw the shaft of an arrow protruding from her back. He looked at her increasingly pale face and his eyes watered. “You’re going to be okay. Just stay with me, okay? Stay with me, love. Please, stay. Don’t leave me. You’re my everything. Please don’t leave me. I need you.” He picked her up and started carrying her towards the woods. Her eyes fluttered shut. He set her down gently and held her until her heart slowed. He cried over her still warm body and let out a raw cry.

Your Sweet Assassin

One Night

“Hey.”

The salty night breeze blew her bangs in front of her eyes. She tucked the curls behind her ear, even though the wind blew them back within a few seconds. She was leaned over the banister of the ship, staring into the black depths of the ocean and listening to the sounds of the party on the deck just below her. It was the last night of the cruise, so close, she thought, to when she had to go back to her own life. Back to the same routine, school, home, sleep, school, home, sleep. But right now she was free. And she had allowed the rough edges of her personality to show the way she never would have at home. Yet, to her own surprise, she had made friends. They loved her wild nature at the time, the one that didn’t think twice about what she looked like, who she talked to, and what kind of impression she made. Her thoughts finally circled back to the present. And now… now there was a guy she didn’t know was standing in front of her. He said something but she couldn’t remember now.

She didn’t know what else to do so she gave an awkward laugh and said, “Hey.” She glanced at his eyes but quickly looked away when she realized  he had been and was still staring at her. After a moment she followed it up with, “Sorry, I’m just lost in thought right now.” He gave her an easy smile and told her not to worry about it.

When he started to back away she straightened up and asked, “Where are you going?”

“Oh, I don’t want to ruin your last night by intruding,” he said apologetically.

He started to turn but not before she reached out to stop him, “No, no. Stay.” He grinned and leaned on the banister next to her.

“I was wondering were you went- you weren’t with everyone else,” he said without making eye contact.

“Yeah, I just wanted to get some air for a minute or two, it was getting a little crowded in there,”  she said as she stuck her hands in her pockets.

He looked at her now when he said, “Oh, you wanted to catch a night as beautiful as you.” She felt the corners of her lips lift in a smile but she turned around before he could see. “So why are you really by yourself tonight? This night is beautiful and all, but its the last night of the cruise, you should be having fun.” He turned around as well and leaned back against the banister.

“What, you don’t think I’m having fun?” she asked in a teasing tone.

He turned and looked at her, “Well you seemed like you really enjoyed being around everyone else, and yet you’re out here, alone.”

She sighed. “Wanna crash the ice cream bar instead?”

“Mhm, no, I think I’d rather sit here with you and talk,” he looked her in the eyes. She shook her head and gave a small smile.

She looked up to say, “Do you ever feel like when someone meets you, they don’t actually meet you, they just meet who they think you could be?”

“I think I meet who the person wants me to meet. I can think all I want but in the end, you come up with who you want me to meet.” He looked out at the water before continuing, “To be honest though, I’d rather meet the real you, not who you just want to come off as.”

She thought for a moment. She looked him in the eyes and flattened her lips out into a grim line. And then she took a deep breath. “You really want to know me? You want to know all my flaws, all the things that make me imperfect? I don’t think you really do.”

He faced her and looked her in the eyes, “If thats the real you, then yes.”

who you are quote-1

Your Sweet Assassin

The Short Cut At The End Of The Street

It was an odd day.

But it hadn’t started out that way. In fact it had started out quite ordinarily.

It had been a quiet morning, fog lazily hanging low over the road, refusing to move even when the occasional truck lumbered past. Spurts of rain keep the ground moist and the puddles fresh. All in all, a pretty dreary morning to say the least. It was a day that you wouldn’t expect much from, and more than likely this wasn’t a day that would surprise you by suddenly becoming interesting or even a bit unusual. So of course, with nothing to expect, Maribelle trudged down the street towards the old run down library. On rainy days such as this, the library smelled faintly of mildew no matter how many candles the ancient librarian lit in protest. But this matters not, for on this particularly extraordinary yet seemingly ordinary day, Maribelle never made it to the library.

Maribelle often took the short cut off the end of the street through the Woods. Everyone else knew the woods were a dangerous place to go. Their mothers had all told them to never enter the woods alone, but Maribelle had lost her mother when she was just a toddler. And with no parents and no siblings to tell her otherwise, Maribelle continually wandered around in the Woods without the slightest care.

As soon as Maribelle stepped onto the forest floor she knew the Woods were different today. She felt the air tremble and she involuntarily shuddered in response. She started to stiffen. Only when she took another step that crunched some brittle leaves and it echoed across the entire expanse before her did she realize how utterly silent the Woods were. And it was a strange silence. A normal kind of silence had just a bit noise, just a bit that it was quite comfortable to be around. Yet this was a silence so devoid of noise that Maribelle’s ears began ringing.

Her instincts were roused immediately. When she could no longer hear the sounds of the forest they kicked into overdrive and began telling her she needed to act. They screamed at her to turn around, to leave, to do anything to escape the silence. And then the screams turned into a wail, the wail turned into a siren, and the siren turned into a overall tone that wouldn’t cease to echo in her mind. Finally she shook off the feeling of dread in the pit of her stomach just enough to turn around. She sucked in a breath when she saw that her path had been erased from behind her.

She felt hot breath on her neck, making the hairs raise and goose bumps to spread all over her skin. She felt a sting on the side of her neck and then a warm, moist puddle spread from the top of her neck down and onto her back. She tenatively touched the back of her neck and her fingertips came back red. She was tempted to look up.. but she started getting dizzy from blood loss. It continued to rush from her as she fell to her knees, then onto her hands, until her eyelids felt heavy and she succumbed to the darkness but not before a red rose petal floated past her nose and landed beside her in the puddle of red staining the ground.

I leave red roses for you,

Your Sweet Assassin