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You were made to sit
and let the darkness fester
let it bubble and burst like
a fetid wound on your skin

until it enveloped you.

And now you’re here
with bleary eyes and stiff joints
febrile with infection, thirsty and your
open palms begging for something

to change you back.

But really, when you take a second
(just one tiny moment) to look down
at the scarred and twisted remains of
the person you were supposed to be

you wonder if it was ever real at all.

Your skin was never clean
Your heart was never whole

It was all just a dream, that other person,
but you are the wound, and the wound is you
and there is no separating the two.
Febrile Wound
It's like sucking the poison out of a snakebite: this is why I need to keep writing.
    The day was as hot as any in mid-July. The brilliant blue sky stretching endlessly above her head was beautiful, but she was beginning to wish some clouds would cover it and ease the baking heat. Matilda sat cross-legged on her porch, her back pressed against the screen door to avoid the sun creeping across the deck. She could feel her shirt clinging to her spine, soaked in sweat. She was wearing her favorite summer dress, the thin-strapped blue one that fell to mid-thigh. It made her look nice, sweet and unassuming, and better yet it was far more comfortable than jeans or shorts would be on a day like today. There was a faded, well-loved paperback clutched in her left hand, but she was using it to fan herself instead of reading. The iced tea she had brought outside with her only a few minutes before was already watered down with melted ice. Even the glass was sweating. Matilda was quickly realizing that the day was too hot for porch reading, and starting gathering her things to go inside.
    She had just fully climbed to her feet when another young woman flew down the sidewalk on a bright pink bike, her long blond hair sweeping out behind her. She called out as she passed, then guided her bike off of the curb and in a great circle around the empty street.
    “You’re gonna get hit by a car, Leslie!” Matilda shouted. Leslie just laughed, steering her bike across the thirsty, browning lawn in front of Matilda’s house. She was tall and skinny for her age, a fact that always made Matilda feel squat and pudgy by comparison.
    She knew that when they started junior year in the summer, it’d be the same as it had always been. Popular, bubbly Leslie would go off to find new boys, new friends, and new ways to scare her parents. Matilda would spend her free hours in the library, or with her teachers, and the world would keep turning.
But for now, Leslie was content to use Matilda, and vice versa. They got along well enough, and during the long, lonely summer out in the boonies, that was all that mattered.
    “Then my parents will sue them,” she said, as if that settled the matter. “What are you doing?”
    “Trying to read,” Matilda said. She scrunched her nose up and squinted at the blinding, blue sky. “It’s too hot. Do you want to go to the pond?”
    “I’ve got a better plan,” Leslie said. “Let’s break into the school and use the pool.”
“How is that better? The pond’s a block away and public. The school’s thirty miles, locked, and I think it’s a felony to break into a federal building.”
     “Are schools federal?” Leslie asked, cocking her head to one side. “Do they count? I mean, besides, we practically live there the other nine months of the year. Isn’t sort of a waste of tax payer money to not allow us inside during the other three? The pool’s just sitting there, whenever the swim team isn’t using it. It’s a waste of valuable resources.”
    She said things like this a lot. Matilda suspected they weren’t her words, and that she was only echoing ideas and thoughts she overheard her parents ranting about at the dinner table. She could find a way to twist anything to justify what she wanted – but it was part of the reason she made such a good summertime companion. It was never boring, and the pond wasn’t really clean enough to swim in anyway.
    “I’m not saying I agree with your weird logic,” Matilda said carefully, “but okay. Let’s go. Just give me a minute to throw my suit on under my clothes.”
    “Why bother?” Leslie grinned, her slightly crooked teeth turning it into a leer. “We can just skinny dip, it’ll be dark in the school. No one inside, no lights, y’know?”
    “Then let me grab a flashlight.”
    Matilda tucked her book under her arm and turned, opening the screen door. The temperature inside was steadily climbing, and she knew it would quickly turn into a sleepy, stifling heat as the sun climbed higher into the sky.
    She moved quickly down the hall to the right of the foyer and to her bedroom. She whipped her dress over her head and changed into her swimsuit anyway, then pulled the dress back over her head. The two-piece wasn’t visible from the outside, so Leslie wouldn’t suspect a thing until they were in the dark pool. She seemed to remember it being in the basement, from the few times she had ventured down into the depths of the school on some errand or another.
    She threw together a small kit of items useful for breaking into a locked high school, knowing Leslie would have never planned that far ahead. Then she wrapped her long, thick brown hair in a messy bun on top of her head and slipped some flip flops onto her feet. She closed her bedroom door behind her, patting the knob for good luck. Then she crossed the foyer to the garage.
    Five minutes later, she was soaring behind Leslie down the wide-open, sleepy streets. She focused her gaze on the back tire of Leslie’s bike and let her mind wander. The wind was roaring too loudly in their ears for much conversation.
    It was an odd circumstance that pulled Leslie and Matilda together in an unlikely friendship every summer. It had been this way since the fifth grade, when Leslie and her family moved in down the road from Matilda’s family. Up until then, no one else her age had lived anywhere close by. She had spent every summer alone and bored, making up stories in her head to pass the time. When Leslie first showed up, she had fantasized about a new best friend, always close by and always available.
    It hadn’t been that way, of course. Leslie had moved in at the start of the school year, and quickly gravitated towards a very different crowd than Matilda’s. She had shrugged it off and just focused on her friends from school. She knew the next summer would be as long and lonely as all the others, and she was learning to accept it. She had understood that she lived “outside of any district’s jurisdiction” since the first grade.
Summer Girls (Unfinished)
An attempt to write fiction, again. Just an exercise in flexing my writing muscles - it's unfinished and probably never will be, but I always appreciate feedback.        
Once upon a time, this place was a safe haven. Between the pieces I submitted and the journals I wrote, I found a quiet space I could make sense of things. I look back now and feel a little embarrassed over how candid and open I was to a bunch of strangers on the internet, but then I remember that I haven't been that open and honest to anyone else (besides my husband) since. The past year (and maybe a little longer) has been a period of complete disconnection for me. I have lost touch with just about everything that once made me "me". I think this was necessary. There's a lot of harsh truths I needed to internalize, and I've needed time to feel and fully accept my depression and the things I've been through. I grabbed little spaces of time before to do this, but it was never enough. There was always more details to attend to, always more things to get done, always another trauma or loss to survive. Living with my in-laws and going to school online offered me the space I needed, and I took advantage of it. I didn't veer off the edge completely - I got shit done, I finally finished my Associates degree. But if I'm being honest with myself, it was a minimal effort and an anticlimactic reward.

After a year of what has felt like just wasting time, I feel starved. I feel dull, like there's a fuzz around everything and everyone. I'm not sure anymore of what's important to me. Major events (getting that Associates degree, getting married) came and went and it felt like I was just a passive spectator. I seem incapable of finding things to get excited about, but never run out of things to feel anxious or scared about. I spend so much time in my head I sometimes forget that everyone I love isn't stewing it in with me too. I lash out and don't know what to tell people when they ask me how they can make it better. I've lost touch with the things that make me feel good, that make me feel like life is worth living. And it's touched everything - my relationships have suffered the most. Particularly my relationship with myself, as corny as that shit sounds.

I guess the point of all of this is pretty simple - I need to change. I need to figure out what I have to do to get back to basics, to get in touch with what connects me to the world again.

Starting is hard. Knowing where to start, knowing what to do next. I want to follow this momentum, keep going. I want to move forward and I want to keep getting better. I've spent a long time sliding backwards, and I'm the only person who can pull myself back up. I'm scared because this isn't the first time I've had this realization, and I always end up in the same place. But I just don't want to be here anymore. There are things about me that I can't change. My past and the trauma I've experienced is not going to go away anytime soon, and certainly not without some outside intervention. But I won't get anywhere near ready to take care of my issues if I don't find the momentum to just do more than survive. And I'm not a kid anymore - there are expectations, both internal and external, that I take care of myself and contribute to my community. I have to be better, and I have to start now.

There's always going to be days where I can't quite do it, where the energy isn't there or I'm just too overwhelmed. But that shouldn't be every day.

That being said, I'd love some writing prompts. If you'd made it this far and are still reading, throw me some words or phrases or ideas in the comments. I'd be really grateful for the inspiration. :)
  • Mood: Isolated
  • Listening to: Dark Paradise by Lana del Rey
  • Reading: HP7
  • Playing: Killing Floor
  • Drinking: Coffee

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Scarlettletters Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2014  Professional Writer
Thanks for faving my work!
(1 Reply)
FuzzyHoser Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank ya! (:
(1 Reply)
creativelycliche Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2013  Professional Writer
Hey! Thanks so much for all the favorites! You're awesome <3
(1 Reply)
FuzzyHoser Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks, Steph! (:
(1 Reply)
ShadowedAcolyte Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013
Thanks for collecting one of my works! I really appreciate it.
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