What Are You Afraid Of

I’m afraid of countless things,

Like loss and hurt, above all.

I can count my dreams like counting the stars,

They will never cease to follow me.

What are you afraid of?

The dark of the night?

Or do you fear the empty spaces?

My head flows with dismay and disaster,

But what should I fear more, the questions, or the answers?

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Defining a writer

There’s nothing more painful than reading success stories, while your unfinished project remains open for the fifth year.

It’s probably best not to read into how J. K Rowling’s success came out of the blue, but I suppose there’s some inspiration to take from it. After all, if we don’t believe we can get somewhere, then there’s no point in doing anything at all.

I’m forever flicking through countless articles of what makes a writer a true writer, but in all honest, most of them are filled with over the top money making schemes that takes away what is essential in the art of writing – personality.

What is the point in trying so hard to work out the ways of the novel? What do we benefit from taking lessons on how a certain character should act? Not much, in my opinion. There’s a delicacy involved when creating your own world. It is literally taking a part of your self, and bleeding it into electronic ink so finely, that you can call it your own. Taking away the creativity and adding in structured lessons you found online, is just taking away what makes you a true writer.

Yet, there are other issues I need to face other than originality. Patience and determination is just a few amongst dozens of others. But perseverance is the most important. One day, I’ll get there, and I’m sure it will be awful and lacking of all correct structure and dialogue. But it will be mine, a part of me that I plucked out so carefully, and crafted it into something worth my own time.

As usual, I’m babbling, but I hope there some form of clarity to be found. Don’t define your stories based on what other deem useful. Write about what you want, not what you think is essential.

Nothing Feels Right

Nothing feels right,

My clothes feel like skin that shouldn’t be there.

The air feels intrusive like microscopic invaders,

Nothing feels right.

I don’t want to open my eyes and see my life broken into hours,

Nor do I want to fall asleep and enter a new world with the same horrors.

Today is a new day, only with added memories,

And even those don’t feel like my own.

The Final Angel

I hide behind my hair to stay away from the view. I can hear my mother’s frail breathing as she gulps down the air, only for her to find that she needs even more. I dare not look, as I’m afraid that a single glance will be the last. I’m afraid to even listen, but my head is forcing me to cling onto something, even if it pains me.

“S… Sarah?” I hear her forever tiring voice call out my name. I’m frozen in my seat, so much so that I don’t think I’ll ever stand again. She calls for me another time. I shudder, but refuse to look up. I know what is it come, but I don’t think I have the strength to say goodbye.

“Sarah, sweetheart, please…” My father’s comforting voice appeared just beside me, along with a reassuring hand. I can hear the hurt in his voice; can almost hear the tears forming. I shook my head defiantly.

“Come on, now, remember what we talked about?” He stroked the back of my head. I could feel myself falling towards him, desperate for the safety of his embrace… but nothing would be enough to make all of this fade away.

This morning, my father knelt down beside me, his hands on my shoulders, smiling so delicately it told me something was wrong. He told me about “The Final Angel”, as he had always done since I could remember, and how she was there to take care of us all once we had reached the end of this life.

I remember asking all sorts of questions all those years ago: “Why do we have to go?” “Is she an evil Angel?” “Is she coming for me?!” My father would always laugh and hug me, saying “No, sweetheart, she’s not evil; she’s just there to show us the way. She’s like a light in the dark, a lone flower in the dessert. She’s there to make sure we are safe”.

Safe… I think to myself over, and over, and over. How can she make sure we’re safe if she’s taking us away from those we love, allowing them to be alone forever.

“Sarah…” The pained voice of my mother came once more. Come on now, Sarah…  be brave… you’ll regret it if you don’t go over…

I force my hands away from my knees, and part my black hair, pushing both sides behind my ears.

Thank you.” I heard my father whisper in my ear as he gently kissed my cheek. I stood up, my legs trembling. I was surprised that my feet held my body up as I stepped forward. The steps were shaky, but they were brave.

“There’s my sweet girl.” My mother turned her head to the left to see me as she smiled weakly. She was so beautiful, even now. I tried to speak, but my voice croaked. “Shh, shh, don’t worry, I’m always here.” She was just able to lift her arms up to signal a hug. For a moment, I hesitated, finding myself stuck once more, but a word came to me yet again. Brave.

As quickly as my feet would move, I leapt forward into the arms of my mother, burying my head between her shoulder and neck. The tears finally emerged, and my, were they more defiant than I.

I could hear my mother shushing me, trying to calm me as he hugged me as tightly as she could, which wasn’t very tight at all. She was weak. She needed help… She needs taken care of…

My mother broke from the hug rather suddenly, as though she were sick of my presence.

“Don’t go…” I managed to say as I rubbed my already red eyes.

“I’m afraid I must.” She smiled at me, this time strongly as though nothing had even been wrong. My father held me from behind, wiping away the tears I had missed. “I’m proud of you.” He sniffed as his tears began to fall.

“Sarah,” My mother giggled, which took me by surprise. “Would you believe it if I told you she was here?” My mother grinned, pointing to nothing.

“Who’s here?” I asked, looking into the empty space.

“The Final Angel!” She beamed. “She’s come to take care of me.”

It was then that everything made sense. My mother wasn’t sad, she was happy. She knew that this wasn’t the end, so, perhaps she’ll be ok. After all, she’s not alone.

 

Recall

I can feel my heartbeat. I can hear it when I lay on my chest as though it was in my ears. It tells me that I’m alive, that I’m still ticking, but it also tells me that I’m getting older. And that terrifies me.

After each and every beat, I age, and I’ll keep aging until my heart stops beating. That’s when I’ll know I won’t age further. But, my body will keep on changing. I want to be buried. Where? I don’t know, but I do know that I want my body to remain intact for as long as possible… even when time begins to set in on my corpse.

I often repeat a saying to myself: For time is not the giver of life, but the dawn of the end that follows the knife. I like it simply because it’s the cold truth; Time eventually brings death to things that are alive, just like a knife could do once it makes contact with something or someone. Time. That’s my enemy. I’d give anything just to slow it down a little. I would of course love to step back in time, to see my grandma again, but time waits for no man, and my life must keep ticking away… but I just wish it would slow down a little.

I’m 21. Twenty. Fucking. One. I remember standing in front of a mirror in my bedroom at my dad’s. I was about 11 or something like that. Age didn’t matter then. But something else did. I remember seeing myself in the poorly lit reflection, my hair a little too long for my liking, my green eyes gawking back at me, and I remember feeling this odd sensation as I realised that I was actually alive. Yes, I know it sounds silly, but to me it was an odd experience. I understood some ways of life, and I knew that the chances of me ever existing were slimmer than you’d think.

There was a moment then, where I tried to think back. I thought back to a stupid time like 10,000 BC. And there was nothing. N.O.T.H.I.N.G. Not even darkness. It’s like when you’re asleep, having a dream, and once you wake up, you’ll try and recall the dream for a while. But sometimes you can’t. Sometimes, you see nothing, not even black. It was in that moment where I began to realise that it might all end the same way it began. With nothing.

Writing Challenge

Ahead of NaNoWriMo, I’ve decided to create some practices that may help you push for that daunting 50,000 word mark.

At times, when I’m writing my novel, I struggle with specific events in which a character react in a certain way. I often find that the dialogue between multiple characters can merge into one, as though it were the same person speaking. Developing a thought process is key to a strong character that your reader can learn to adore (even if it’s an antagonist).

So, here’s a little challenge that can help you through:

I want you to write about your character in the process of dying. Now, I don’t want you to set the scene, or describe some event in which your character meets their final fullstop, no, I want you to simply writing about their thought process: what are they thinking? Who are they thinking of? Are they afraid, do they believe in an afterlife?

This method has helped me get the best out of my characters, as it encouraged me to understand how they would speak and react in different situations.

 

I hope this helps you, and I’d love to read what some of you wrote! (I’ll be happy to publish anyone’s work on my website if they wish).

Good luck for next month!Shield-Nano-Side-Blue-Brown-RGB-HiRes