a ghost theory about hell

I found this in my journal. Don’t remember writing it. Maybe it’s part of a story. Maybe not. 

"Hell’s doors are always open. There’s always enough room in hell, and they welcome everyone with open arms. But what people don’t know is that hell is so much more like earth than heaven will ever be. Hell has hills and valleys. There’s also thrones and slaves. There’s power. Granted it’s all made of fire and ash, and filled with eternal suffering, but there’s control and the knowledge that someone out there is suffering even more. I’ve longed to resign myself as a human of hell. The point is, ‘Where will I be when I’m there?’ Choking on fumes or the queen of the damned. I don’t know about you, but I rather be a suffering queen than a whipped slave. And if I’m already going to hell — what does morality have to do with me?”

I think this is the perspective of an absolutely evil character I’m creating in my book. She’s fascinating. 

its wolfsbane, love

Either way, we never left the bed - a place he continuously voiced as safe. A place he littered with a ring of chaotically weaved aconite. These flowers found their way into my home like butterflies to honey, hanging over my kitchen window, on the doorknob and in vases I never bought. This little obsession with these purple fairies, Simon explained in the rare moment we had time to talk, began because they reminded him of me. Even at the full blossom, they looked wilted. Even in their most delicate state, they had strength.

unicorn talk

We were smoking outside a bar that made decent Pisco Sours. One pack of cigarettes between the five of us, except Four didn’t smoke because he claimed to be on a “cleanse.” Purifying detox. Whatever that meant, because I’m confident he did a line right off the bathroom counter five minutes ago. 

Two and Three were friends of One and Four. I was just meeting them now. In my hazed state, I took in the plaid shirts, dark jeans, sandy hair and eyes the color of stormy ocean waters in Hawaii. Their pupils were dilated to take in all the moonlight they could. Both had scruff that reached up the side of their jaws and lightly down their necks. They could’ve been twins. Or I was excessively drunk. They were white. They might as well have been twins. 

One was a cold mix of Mediterranean and Irish. He’d been the one I was mildly attracted to the entire night. Slightly more tanned with dark hair that couldn’t qualify as black or brown; compared to the rest of the company - save for Four who only won out because of he was clean shaven - he looked like a baby. He’d bought the cigarettes and acted like a perfect gentleman, which frustrated me in the way failed directions did. When he asked if I wanted to smoke, I thought it’d just be us two. Weren’t guys supposed to be the aggressive one? Take initiative after all the shameless staring I was doing? 

Or am I just robbing the cradle, I thought as he relit a match and brought it to my lips with a shy smile. Ah, smoke for my genetically prone to blackened lungs.

"So where are you guys from?" A drunk man leered openly from across the street. I flipped him the bird and he balked. Feminine crudeness is always turn off. "First time in the city?" 

The taller twin, Three, nodded. Granted he was at least a foot taller than me, but his baby blue eyes held an innocence that needed to be shattered. Most of all, I had already lost interest in his answer. I exhaled over my shoulder.

"Manchester," he replied.

His voice was so pleasant. Polite, with that English accent tinging the end of his sentences in a way that alluded charm rather than heavy assertion. 

"Nice. My favorite band is from Manchester." 

That was all I could say. I had no interest in getting into football facts or delving deeper into a city I would never ever visit. Especially when I would never see or recognize these people again. 

"Yeah?" Two piped, mildly interested, "Which band?" 

"The Slowdown. You know them?" I cringed. My voice had become a chameleon, mimicking their accent. 

They took no notice. One nodded. The act only caught my eye because I was forever aware of his presence like a dark silhouette in the distance. Four, not so much, he was more like a shadow, in the corner of my eye, but basically equivalent to the pavement.

"The tall one, we went to school with him. He’s from Seattle, isn’t he?" his voice was free of inflection, drawing me in the way anomalies and abnormalities did. "He’s…" 

"Sexy," I finished. All the guys, One, Two, Three, and Four, stared at me in surprise. Holding the smoke in my mouth, my eyes darted back and forth. "What?" I said, releasing a thick cloud.

The right corner of One’s mouth twitched. I wanted to kiss it. 

"Sexy wasn’t my description for him. I was going to say eccentric." 

"Eccentric can be sexy. Look at David Bowie," I fired back. 

Four came out of nowhere. “True that.” 

See, I said with my eyes. If the gay man thinks so, then it must be true. 

One laughed with his eyes. No sound. Just a crinkle around the edges as the faintest acknowledgment of our mutual attraction. I felt small. An unprepared lawyer in front of a biased court. Sweat formed over my skin, and the winter breeze sent a shiver down to my bones. I was a child battling for affection. 

And attention. 

Rashly fueled by alcohol and a nicotine high, I just wanted to be taken seriously. Right from my heart came a potent combination of emotional exhaustion and depression. “I’d let him be my first,” I said much more casually than intended. 

Two, Three and Four spluttered all over me. 

"You’re a virgin?" 

I raised the cigarette to my lips. “Yeah, why? You’re going to accuse me of acting like a major slut?” Elbow resting against hip like the sassy girl I was ready to become.

One snorted. I suppressed the urge to stab him with the glowing end of my cigarette. 

"No, no," Three muttered. "Just didn’t think virgins existed in this day and age." 

"Every child is a fucking virgin, you moron," Two exhaled, his smoke a thin stream into the air, "at least most children until the age of fourteen."

"Fourteen? Who has sex at fourteen?" 

One had a second cigarette between his lips. “Evidently not you,” he mumbled, lighting it up quickly before I could vindictively flick it from his fingers. 

"I’m sorry. At fourteen, I was too concerned over the fact that I’d started bleeding between the legs."

With my hands, I made an obscene, spraying gesture between my thighs. Shit. Definitely piss drunk.  

"Yeah, puberty," One said. Whatever I’d said about him being a gentleman - gone. He’d just morphed from quiet cute idiot to an attractive dick-head. "Most girls consider that as a sign that their body is ready to take a man."

Tension grew palpable. You’re drunk, Mara, I repeated to myself, trying to calm my sky rocketing blood pressure. He’s drunk. They’re all coked up. Drink, and whatever, it’s okay. 

"Don’t be a jackass, Mark," Two interrupted. 

"Maybe we should go back in for another drink," Four said. Three agreed. 

One shrugged. He turned to me. I felt sick to the stomach. This whole night, my head had never been turned any other direction but towards him. “I’ll help you get rid of it,” he offered. 


"…the fuck?" 

"Your virginity." 

He spoke like we were talking about the last Oreo on earth. Only he’d licked it thoroughly before giving it to me. 

"I don’t need to get rid of it,” I spluttered. Shock cut through the mind-fog. “It’s not a problem or some disease I need to be saved from.”

One smirked.

"Mark…" one of his friends warned. Which one? I couldn’t say. All I had was tunnel vision. Pure tunnel vision with no bright light at the end. They talk about climaxes that way. A hurried moment that builds blindly in the dark with rushed stacks before a white light comes out of nowhere and throws your body into outer world sensitivity. 

My breath was gone. My cigarette burned so close to my fingers that it seared me. Every nerve in me throbbed with clarity. “Shit,” I cursed, dropping it onto the floor. 

"Just a warning, losing your virginity hurts. You probably will bleed." The right side of his mouth was high into his cheek.

"Stop it." Two voices now. "Mark."

His grin was toothy, cheeky in a way that should be endearing. Confidence dripped out of him like an overflowing glass. Four years earlier, the naive, pre-educated university me, would have rapidly found his words coaxing.

"I’ll be gentle though. If you want me to be."


Four years back, a thousand hours less of erotica and angry comments, the words “I can be gentle” would have me on my knees. Instead, I boldly stepped into his personal space and let his beautiful hazel eyes lock with mine. 

"The hell will my first time be with you. Losing my virginity isn’t supposed to hurt, you fuck." His eyes were stunned to one hue. "The reason girls cry when you put your sexist dick up in them is because you didn’t get them wet enough." 

Low blow.

"What would you know? You’ve never had sex. Most girls I’ve taken bled. You know blood proves virginity right? Unless you lost your hymen on a horse back ride or something." 

Rolling my eyes so far back, I nearly had an epileptic fit. “Have you been having sex? Girls bleed cause you tore their fucking hymen, and fun fact: Hymens stretch. If you made them bleed, it’s cause you fucking shoved your misogyny in too hard instead of going slow, like a putting on a condom. That’s. Why. It. Hurts, you piss fuck.”  

Everyone outside the bar was staring now. The cold air cleared my head and suddenly a rush of blood filtered its way to my face. It burned. I must’ve been tomato-red. Two and Three had the same hot, possibly just as red as mine look. My god, were they reminiscing all the poor girls that’d once been underneath them?

One stared at me, mouth agape.

"Fuck me," I whispered beneath my breath. It was still loud enough for One and Four to hear. His lips were still sexy. I still wanted to kiss him. How ironic. I shook my head and headed back into the bar. Completely anti-climatic.

Smoking is overrated.

As always.

missed connection, san francisco 22/11

You walked by me this morning wearing a black shirt and black shorts that reached right above your knees. Your legs are thin, but not skinny jeans thin, and there wasn’t much hair. You have brown hair that’s short in the back and curls up in the front… I think. I didn’t get to see your face.

You have a tattoo of a musical bar line wrapped around your arm. Notes to a song you like, I suppose. My first thought was to say, “Nice tattoo,” just so you would turn around.

But I didn’t. Not because I was shy, but because making you a reality would destroy a fantasy. So I let you walk ahead until we parted ways.

every body is a candle dying

Mara: And I hate you for that, you know?

Simon: I know. I’m sorry.

Mara: Well, apparently, it’s better to have loved and lost than never loved at all.

Simon: Is it?

Mara: Maybe. To be honest, those words were originally written about a best friend, not a lover. You can replace lovers… but not close friends.

Simon: That’s so much worse though… because when it comes to you, it’s still relevant. If not more.

games in the dark, teaser

Thanks for following me for the last god-knows-how-many-years of my life. I’m back on my feet and working on a novel, 30-some pages in, so cross my fingers that I’ll be still working on it through OCT/NOV. I have an editor who’s going to help me through the chapters and a friend who is willing to beta read. This isn’t exactly the genre or style of story I want to write, being YA-ish and supernatural themed, but damnit, I’m writing and I can’t give that up. I haven’t decided how this story will come out or be released, but I decided I owe you guys teasers. They’ll come ever now and then from each chapter in no particular order.

You can read it after the jump. Enjoy! 

Read more


it’s all about us part i
"I’m sure you don’t really smoke," he said to her. She was holding the box delicately with a distance that doctors took to diseases. He took the time to observe her, from her tightened collar bones down to the screwed tight fist, and noted that everything was an act. Gently, he reached out as a request and as he predicted, she complied, opening the box and retrieving a stoke for him. He thanked her, her eyes never settling off of him, as he pushed it between his lips. 


it’s all about us part i

"I’m sure you don’t really smoke," he said to her. She was holding the box delicately with a distance that doctors took to diseases. He took the time to observe her, from her tightened collar bones down to the screwed tight fist, and noted that everything was an act. Gently, he reached out as a request and as he predicted, she complied, opening the box and retrieving a stoke for him. He thanked her, her eyes never settling off of him, as he pushed it between his lips. 


it’s all about us part ii
"You should stop smoking," she said to him. He held the fag between his lips, inhaling slowly and exhaling with the essence of winter’s breath. She twirled the box in her hands, ruining the cigarettes individually, and stared at him unabashedly, never blinking. Her large doe eyes held his attention while her bare shoulder blurred into the background. As he inhaled again, she coughed, "You really should stop." The cigarette box clattered on the table, leaving her hands entirely. 
He laughed, “Why don’t you take one with me,” at her when she blushed and said no. 


it’s all about us part ii

"You should stop smoking," she said to him. He held the fag between his lips, inhaling slowly and exhaling with the essence of winter’s breath. She twirled the box in her hands, ruining the cigarettes individually, and stared at him unabashedly, never blinking. Her large doe eyes held his attention while her bare shoulder blurred into the background. As he inhaled again, she coughed, "You really should stop." The cigarette box clattered on the table, leaving her hands entirely. 

He laughed, “Why don’t you take one with me,” at her when she blushed and said no. 

it’s all about us, part iii

He could hear ringing in his ears, the kind of ringing one was only supposed to hear when the world was quiet. Only the world was full of life, more alive in this very moment than ever. Neither flinched as firecrackers whizzed by, a panicked apology yelled in their direction. This was their personal war.

Her jacket hung loosely, baring her shoulders as she crossed her arms. She refused to look at him, to give him the satisfaction of guilt, the extra push to plead for the final time. "Prove it," she said, her face now void of all emotion. 

Although this wasn’t her first time, she swiftly plucked the cigarette from behind his ear and lifted a lighter from her pockets. She deflected away from him as his hand swung out to grab it from her. “Come’ on,” he was visibly upset, “you don’t need to do this,” but she lit the cigarette anyway, inhaling deeper than she ever had before. 

"Prove it," she repeated. 

He shoved his hands into his pockets. “What do you want me to do?” 

"Promise me you won’t do it again." 

"I promise." 

She laughed, smoke coming from her lungs and out her nose. She reminded him of a dragon in slumber, a dragon tossing from nightmares only to wake up and burn the first thing in its sight. “I don’t believe you.” 

"I’ll do anything," he moved to touch her, but stopped when she gave him a blank glare. He repeated, "I’ll do anything for your trust again." 

He hated watching her smoke. It was a self destructive process that he had taught her, strictly out of amusement. Pride had swelled in his chest the first time she failed to breathe properly. She hacked and returned the cigarette immediately. Watching her smoke with ease only served to remind him of how much he had failed her. 

"Put it out," he looked up as she thrust the cigarette towards him, but as he reached for it, she spat, "using yourself." 

Her eyes were cold. Devoid of the life and innocence he had once attributed to her. Of the life and innocence he had striped of her. Her fingers were steady, and the embers of the cigarette burned slowly in the dark. He watched the ashes blow in the wind, remnants of what they had. But he would do anything to gain her trust again, and so he slipped the cigarette from her fingers and repositioned it towards himself. 

Where should he make this permanent scar? He didn’t give it much thought as he turned the glowing end and pressed it slowly into his left wrist. The heat scorched like a slow hot blade carving itself into him. He had wanted to keep his eyes on her, but the initial pain was so unbearable that he shrunk into himself. 

Her eyes widened once before narrowing again. It wasn’t until the cigarette was completely out that she moved her gaze up. Neither shed a tear as she slowly walked towards him and lifted his hand. Her tongue quickly wetted her lips, and she gently placed a kiss over his wound. He felt the sting of her slick lips before the pain dulled. 

But it wasn’t until the crippling sting of her salty tears that he understood, and he would never forget this was how she felt.  

high hopes

If I were to forget myself tomorrow, I hope the memory loss is so complete that I won’t be able to recognize the years on a person’s body - how it makes their hands feel, not soft but of interrupting ridges; how age is a visible ripple prolonged by time. I hope to never remember origins, to wake up in a place where I won’t recognize the one taking care of me is near death. Whether Death is taking him or if he is to act as a liaison for it, I just pray that there won’t be an inbred voice hissing, “This is not right.” 

It’s the only way, I imagine, that even evil can be pure. 

Only the gory bits. The dismembered limbs and segments of your body that remain in pieces, totally incomplete. Those are the parts of you that I love, like poloraid photographs shot aimlessly in the dark. Where I see your white nape, like the trunk emerging with leaves as a tree with brown leaves. Your hands, boney, veiled and hard, tapping against the keys of a piano or a wooden floor, make music more lovely than the sound of your voice. The expanse of your arms and the negative space around them controls my focus. I do everything in my power to memorize frozen images of you. To keep the separate, away from being whole.

under renovation, restricted access

He had followed her through a pitiful self-invitation and wondered why he was feeling like an outsider. It was her, Charlie and me, he thought, in that sentence itself, there was a conjunction and a dog in between them. Where did this idea come from? He trailed behind her as they hiked up a hill, wandering off path and into disrupted fields. She spoke to Charlie softly, whispering as if they were the only two there. And they kept going up hill, over rocky mountains and hills, but he couldn’t interrupt her. He felt like an intruder, and he continued to feel so as they reached the cliff, where his girlfriend paused, and without a word to him began screaming until her throat was raw.

The thought to ask her came to him on a morning like this:

She was slipping on a pair of raggedly sweats that did not flatter the legs he loved so much, the ones that made him feel proud whenever she wore skirts, but by the time she threw on her high school pullover, he found himself wondering why his girlfriend didn’t have better taste in workout clothes. He lifted himself up and watched as she bent down to release Charlie from his crate.

"Oh, you’re up early," she turned around, a slight blush coating her cheeks as he watched her tug at the hem of her grey pullover. She kept her head down, retreating into the shape of a ball as she mumbled, mostly to Charlie, "We’re going for a run."

He squinted at his phone. The light on the screen was brighter and bluer than the sky outside. “Jesus, it’s five in the morning… Come back to bed.”

Charlie was scraping at the door with urgency as his girlfriend chewed her lip. He noticed how big and bright her eyes were without makeup, and realized then that by the time he got out of bed she was usually already dolled up for the day. Right now, she looked younger, like a child who had gotten caught watching Saturday morning cartoons.

A piercing bark came from the ball of fur, and his girlfriend smiled weakly. “It’s alright, I’m up already. And he needs to pee.” She quickly crossed the room to kiss him on the cheek. “I’ll be back soon, okay?”

He slid back into the bed, nodding as she jogged out of the room, Charlie rushing right behind her with a happy tail. Parts of the bed, like where her body was, was still warm, and he settled onto her side, falling asleep while waiting for her to come back.

cycle, repeat until dry.

Jamie woke up early in the morning, the same way she always did, with her glasses on her face and her laptop on her chest, which was not the way she slept. She could’ve sworn she had taken her glasses off, and left her laptop underneath her bed, but the bright flashes of online shopping under the private sessions of Safari, and a fully charged battery said otherwise. Without giving much thought, she swept everything off her body, adding it to the clusterfuck of washed and unwashed laundry under her blankets. 

She got ready the same way she always did: Brushing her teeth, washing her face and debating whether or not she had enough time to take a shower. By the time her debate was over, she decided there wasn’t enough time and so she sprinkled some baby powder in her hair, dusting it around until her hair was no longer grey. And she finished this ritual the same way she always did, wondering why the bags under her eyes were so grey when she had been sleeping so much. 

Jamie had an app for that. To keep track of her sleeping pattern. Every night around 10pm she would activate the app, turn her phone face down on the bed and crawl under the covers, shivering underneath all the dirty and clean clothes until she finally passed out from exhaustion and the cold. The app was supposed to graph the quality of her sleep. The more blue, the more REM sleep, the more green and orange, the more she was awake or in light sleep. And normally she would’ve been ecstatic to see chunks of blue, but normally she woke up with her glasses on her face and her laptop on her chest.

After her manager commented on her dismal appearance, Jamie found an online Yahoo answer that suggested recording her sleep. So that night, Jamie dug out an old webcam, and sat cross legged on the floor for hours, reading the manual and troubleshooting the damn thing until it was way past her usual hour of sleep.

Her eyes kept drifting shut, not in a heavy lidded sense, but in an overwhelming trance-like state where deep breaths unlocked a strange feeling of comfort that settled from her head to the soles of her feet. She let her eyes close for a second when her laptop let out a sharp “ping!”



Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping.

The sound continued incessantly, sometimes merging as one rapid chorus, as Jamie slowly made her way towards the offending machine. She rubbed her eyes, squinting past the bright screen to see flashes of conversations popping up. The ringing kept going, and the popups would flicker in time with the sound, expanding across her screen faster than her laptop could register them. It wasn’t until a good minute later that everything settled down, and when it did, Jamie found herself looking at her reflection on a webcam with a live stream of lewd messages underneath, telling her they were ready to “fill her” loneliness.

The part you are now reading is not a fictionalized event of my assumptions.

my father’s reading room

I led him, not by the hand as I imagined so many times that I would’ve, but by putting one foot forward and keeping as closely ahead of him as possible. I knew I was beyond nervous - any girl would’ve been - in such a tiny corridor coated in a warm amber glow, the idea of getting caught made my breath shallow and loud, like a tornado blowing through my already asthmatic prone respiratory system. My hands shook so much that the candle flickered and the wax kept threatening to spill over my skeletal hands. I felt his body come in, blocking the wind, and suddenly I became so hyper aware that I eventually just held my breath and charged ahead. I must’ve been too fast because he cried, “Hey, wait up!”

"Sh!" I hissed harshly. Although my voice was naturally much softer than Tony’s, the sharp look on my face must’ve got to him because for a second his eyes were frozen and so blue and then they quickly mellowed into the beginnings of a smile. He was grinning widely, and I felt like the greatest treasure in the world, greater than what we were about to discover. I couldn’t help my squeaky protest, "What…" 

"Nothing. Keep going."

He gave me a little push at the small of my back. I still remember how his hand felt against my body. Even though I’m not much of a rock, and I’m definitely not a pushover, there was something in the way Tony spoke and the way he paid attention to me, that made my breaths shallow. His presence was like warm hands working at drying clay, bringing my voice back to malleable material.

We eventually got to my father’s reading room without making too much noise. I blew out the candle before opening the door, a crack just enough for me to slip inside without making the floors creak. Despite Tony’s thin frame, he was caused the wood to groan with hunger. Even on his tip toes, I thought the room was going to bottom out and fall through.

As soon as the door closed, I whispered, “Help me find the light switch, it’s along the wall, near the door.. somewhere.” I started gliding my hands along the door frame, giving the wall a thorough feel-up when I found the switch and flipped it up. The brightness shot through the dark and blinded me for a second before my eyes readjusted themselves. That’s when I saw something even more beautiful than the sight of books and collected dust. It was the sight of someone else enjoying it, in awe of it… the sight of someone who made me breathless falling in love with the sight of the things I loved too.