Category Archives: Original Work

For original art, writing, or poetry.

EmotedLlama wrote something?

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I’m really not sure what’s gonna go on this blog with no sporks. I might start doing reviews again and I’m gonna try to get NekoShogun to post the haiku he’s been writing. In the meantime, I wrote a 1,000 word short story that I will share now.

Beep. Beep. Beep.

Adam’s breath was ragged, even as he slept. It seemed he was asleep most of the time, anymore.

Malcolm sat in the hospital room chair. Past the bed Adam laid on, the room’s small table stood laden with wilted flowers, cards, books—but Malcolm’s gaze rested on Adam.

He lifted himself off the chair and stood over Adam, eased his head up off of the pillow and slipped it out, set his head back down. Malcolm picked up the pillow and gripped it, hard, till his fingers were numb. He took a long breath and brought the pillow down on his son’s face.

 

Malcolm stepped out of the hotel lobby. The street outside was deserted, save for a figure lounging on the bench outside the hotel.

“Can you leave me alone?” he said. “Just this one time.”

She turned to face him. Long, bronze horns glinted in the moonlight. “This was your choice, Malcolm.”

 

Malcolm weaved through the crowd, eyes darting to take in his surroundings. There was no reason for someone to recognize him, but he felt conspicuous in the bright red jacket—just the first thing he’d grabbed at the store. He kept the hood up and figured no one would get a good look at his face, anyway, and why would they suspect him? Nobody trying to stay hidden would wear something so noticeable.

There were two cops to his right. He ached to quicken his pace, to glance at them as he passed.

“Hey!” one of them called. Malcolm delved deeper into the crowd, just in case.

His gaze was fixed on the alley he would take, narrow and empty, then his eyes flicked to the alley to the right. The horns towered over the crowd. No go.

 

Malcolm blinked. The policewoman stood in front of him, face steely, hand on her gun. Why, Malcolm didn’t know; he wasn’t dangerous. He wasn’t a murderer.

She spoke again, but her words fell on deaf ears. He took a step forward. His foot found steady ground in the sky and the city was just a distant mass far below.

 

Malcolm was drenched by the rain. Nobody else was even out, umbrella or no—not in this downpour, and all he had was the jacket. He shivered, his teeth chattered. His arms were clenched, hugging himself not to gain warmth but to avoid the cold. He felt like death.

 

“What does it matter?” Malcolm said, interrupting the previous speaker. “He’s dying either way.”

All eyes went to him. The already serious atmosphere turned morbidly somber. The whole thing was morbid.

“Let’s change the subject,” Pete said. Uneasy smiles. Ignoring Malcolm.

Brush away the expectation of pain: it’s the only way to cope. Malcolm could never bring himself to do it.

 

White rooms. Adam’s bedroom. It wasn’t long before the former were more common. It felt a shame, to Malcolm, for his son to waste away in a place that wasn’t even his own. Slowly, the former was filled with the contents of the latter.

 

Beep. Beep. Beep.

Malcolm hadn’t seen the end that time. It was the best part and he’d been punished on top of his punishment to not see it.

His hands were clenched on the pillow. He cursed her, inwardly, and brought it down.

 

Malcolm was in the crowd. Every time he blinked he saw the horns, tormenting him. Blocking his escape.

He passed the policemen, stopped. Pulled his hood down and turned to face them, but neither were looking his way, springing in action to chase a purse snatcher. Malcolm watched them for a moment before walking away.

 

Malcolm stepped out of the hotel lobby. It was drizzling. His jacket hung from the balcony above his head, meant to dry in the sun. It wasn’t as waterproof as expected.

“You chose this. You should have anticipated the consequences.”

Her sharp fingernails dug into his neck. She stared into his heart for what felt like an eternity as he spluttered and clawed at her hand, should have passed out from lack of oxygen but just stood there, conscious every moment of the pain. And not just that in his neck.

“You’re weak,” she said, tossing him aside. He fell into the sky.

 

He stared at the stars above him. His neck ached. He looked away.

He went back in the house, stood in the doorway of Adam’s empty room. Pete was with Adam tonight. He said that Malcolm had been spending too much time at the hospital. Malcolm knew he was right, but it was another thing to admit it.

Pete understood, and he didn’t pry. Let Malcolm bottle it all up and, gradually, wilt. His empathy was letting his husband die with his son.

 

Malcolm stood on the balcony and looked down, over the railing, just in time to see a police officer enter the lobby. He pulled off the jacket and draped it on the railing and turned around.

 

Beep. Beep. Beep.

Malcolm sobbed. Adam’s breath rasped, in, out, in, out, dead in every languid pause.

 

Blackness surrounded him. Then the horns emerged, the vacant eyes, the teeth protruding straight from lips.

“I…” he said. “I won’t repent. But, I…”

She nodded.

 

Malcolm stared at the policewoman. She flinched at his gaze, tightened her hand on her gun. Tears fell from his cheeks and pattered on the ground, the pathetic things they were.

“Sir,” she said, and he stepped forward and she pulled her gun and he shoved her to the ground and ran.

And fell. He watched the stars as the hotel room balcony, distinct by the red jacket laid on its railing, found itself farther and farther away. His back cracked against the ground and his head hit and pain exploded.

 

Beep. Beep. Beep.

Malcom’s tears fell on the pillow. His breath was nearly as painful as his son’s and his knuckles were white but he didn’t loosen his grip.

Then, slowly, he did just that. His hands shook and he nearly dropped the pillow and he squeezed it to regain his grip. He carefully, slowly, laid it on the bed, put his hand under Adam’s head and slid the pillow underneath.

Beep.

Malcolm let out a deep breath and took a step backward, placed his hands on the chair’s arms, sat down.

Beep.

And he would go on sitting there.

Beep.

Forever.

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Haiku #34

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So I’ve been posting haiku one at a time as I write them over on tumblr, and now that I’ve got a few I figure it’s time to collect them here.

*

Untitled

Sometimes words fail me.

They jumble, crumble, turn to

Dust as they spill out.

*

Unrequited

Always, I miss you.

And yet, when we’re together,

I feel so alone.

*

Breath

And maybe we were

Fast and fleeting as a sigh,

But at least we breathed.

*

Untitled

I look in your eyes

And know what drowning feels like,

Breathless and alive.

(originally part of a larger piece)

~Michael Vest

Haiku 33

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Smiles

In the quiet we hear

Unspoken apologies.

Smiles return to us.

 

Midnight

Another midnight,

Another day spent wasting.

“Tomorrow,” we sigh.

 

Lost

I walk in the back,

Following, lost in my head.

Silence is easy.

 

Gray

Gray sky cold and wet.

Winter settles once again

To brood for a day.

 

Old Man

Hands taken idle,

The man sits and thinks and waits.

Death is a long sigh.

 

Bleak

Why do thoughts turn grim

When fed on love and kindness?

Why see life so bleak?

 

(Not Even a Little Bit) Weekly Haiku 32

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So NaNoWriMo happened, and as a result haiku didn’t. But now it’s not, so they can. Or something.

Haze

The sky a dim haze,

All cloud and orange city glow.

Then wind sweeps away…

*

Cold

The cold grips me tight,

Sinking deep within my flesh.

A soft breath of wind.

*

Silence

Silence covers me

Like a warm quilt in winter.

Alone, I can think.

*

Still

Wind chimes and water

Fill the air with soft music.

Summer lingers still.

*

Ideology

One mind follows first,

Then on and on more tumble.

Like a storm, they rise.

 

~Michael Vest

Weekly Haiku 31

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Still Sick

So much is waiting,

But I sit, too tired to move;

The day trickles by.


Mistakes

Alone in my bed

I echo the day’s events,

Each mistake laid bare.


Moon

On the roof we lay,

Staring up at starry depths;

A quiet moon rises.

     

Sigh

Dead leaves stain the ground;

A cool breeze carries autumn

Like a gentle sigh.

(Sort of) Weekly Haiku 30

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Peaceful Sky

Warm light, long shadows;

Dark, distant clouds on the edge

Of a peaceful sky.

Noise

Suburban soundtrack;

Menagerie of noise fused

In toneless song.

Oasis

Hot, wet oasis

Amidst winter’s arid chill;

Shower wash me warm.

Harbingers

A gray sky rumbles;

Crows feast on the offered seed

And squawk prophecy.

Woodpecker

Spark of red bobbing

In a canopy of green;

A bird, house hunting.


All haiku copyright © 2013 by Michael Vest

~NekoShogun