It’d already been two hours, two hours of staring over the lake without a single word between us. Kevin’s long, tapered fingers grazed each blade of grass. Each stroke was delicate, deliberate like a breath brushing against the hairs on my neck. He was captivating in a way that I believed only I understood.

Or was lucky enough to witness.

I could never admit how much I loved watching Kevin DeLong simply exist. Everything about him was like normality accented. His hair was coffee grind brown, eyes mossy like a green wych elm and the rest of him tall and his swimmer’s body looked as if God had molded him a second longer for a reaching advantage. But it was the never turning corners of his lips that held my attention.

He always had my attention.

Even on campus, I could make out his silhouette in the corner of my eye. His figure had always been unique. Hunched shoulders and long legs that had a tendency to carry him across the quad like a wraith. Five years of knowing him, and it was just today that I finally got an inkling to his thoughts.

He looked up briefly, turning those jaded eyes towards me. I smiled brightly, and he brought his arms to his knees and looked over the bright lake. My brain fired off guilt neurons, and my heart raced as I recalled following Kevin here and the unimpressed look on his face.

I realized then that I’d never sat this close to him before. Ben had always been in between us. Linking us.

He croaked out some unintelligibly words before clearing his throat to try again.

"So are you liking…" I leaned in to catch the rest of his sentence, but he just exhaled the last word, as if he’d given up on speaking entirely, "…college."

"Do you really want to know?"

He laughed, an act I counted as a personal victory, “No, sorry.” Then he frowned, emotionally - an expression I hadn’t witness until today. His forehead knotted a tight maze of wrinkles, scrunching up between his brows, and I wondered what the cause was. I didn’t have to wonder long.

"But Ben would have made me listen."

"Well, Ben would’ve made me talk," I replied.

Kevin snorted. “Yeah… That fucker.”

Venom hide in between the words and his breath, and had Kevin been talking to anyone else or about anyone else, I wouldn’t have caught it. But I did, and so I put away my next words for another time. The moment stretched as our eyes slowly adjusted to the sunset, and the lake that was once glistening silver blue ripples turned black, becoming the body of water that, without consideration to us, had swallowed our best friend.

not 100% the relationship dynamics I wanted (or rather not at this location), but a reddit WP inspired me.

Sep 14
the sand elysium (pending novel title)

You start with “Is anyone there?” until your voice gets sore and heartbroken. Then you burst into short, half hearted but panicked screams “Hello!!?” before your throat is drier than the Mercury’s last colony. That’s when you decide not to speak at all because you are most certainly the last person in the universe. 

Well, that’s how I like to imagine how the last other person on earth is surviving now. It’s the most sane scenario I can think of to give reason to my own existence. Because between the psychotic dreams of black fog swallowing my consciousness whole and the fear that finally finding another human will only bring companionship in the form of something no longer recognizable, I find myself wondering why. When the night falls and phantom knocks echo behind doors I’ve never opened, I fall fitfull asleep wondering if this continuation towards oblivion is worth it. 

When the governments started shutting down, when cities became more like graveyards than survival hubs, most people chose to stop going on. It wasn’t as if going on would have been any harder. It was just opting to be simpler. At least in the very beginning, before suicide was justified, it was. But for others, going without connections wasn’t considered easier.

You couldn’t keep your spouse accounted for. Couldn’t compare whether or not Farmer A was cheating you in comparison to Farmer B. Couldn’t really be 100% sure without the voice of millions other confirming through one source while ignoring the other six hundred million who had a different opinion.

And that’s how I watched hundreds of people chose to end their lives. My heart races whenever a loud thud, followed by a dust cloud, disturbs the silence. It used to be bodies, but now it’s just the involuntary decay of everything.

It’s hard to tell if the sun is getting any closer anymore too. I think that means the end is going to happen any moment. The days are longer, hotter, and honestly the only reason I continue on is because every morning I wake, my source of water has shrunk back several miles.

Exploration for water is the highlight of my existence now. Walking along the edge of what I think is the Pacific Ocean, towards what probably is Antarctica, and having the title of “last human on earth” is a pretty impressive feat that I boast to no one. 

The sun doesn’t rise gently anymore. It greets my closed eyes like curtains yanked open by my mother on a Monday morning. Only I don’t groan the way I used to. I don’t even have the energy to. My lips are too chapped to purse, and beads of sweat have already started to form and drip down my chest. And as always, the first thing I notice is that the water has retreated again.

I pull my hair back and pick up my things - a light blanket fashioned into a bag, carrying a bottle, a knife and inedible foods - and start the hike.

Maybe I’ve come so far because of my apt for solitude. There are some days I miss the interactions, the laughter and the music. I hum the songs I can remember, but the tunes fall flat, and my throat gets dry, so I pretend in my head.

Most of all, I miss the warmth of another body. Or maybe just the idea of having one, seeing as I never had someone to call mine. A single body to walk alongside. To make new memories even in this emptiness. To have someone make a difference.

But no one, except one, has ever been able to outdo the sights of waters. Even before the end of the universe, water has been absolutely breathtaking. The sharp waves, soft ripples… the multitude of deep dark blues and sea greens crashing against each other in conflicting harmony has always calmed me. There was always a strange high that grew within me whenever I saw white foams undulating like floating islands on traveling waves. And so reaching the new edge of this slowly-becoming-a-pond ocean still gave me a reason to keep living. Just one second of these waters, and those hours of walking have become a faded memory.

Truth is, I’ve found that the end of universe has been no different from being in the busiest thread of it.

The silence is just as loud as the nonsense. Both life and death irritate me as much as the other until I find myself standing at the edge of the water again.

As I bend my knees to take a sip, my name breaks through the silence. It’s dry and forced, almost an unhappy cry, and coming from the other side. A figure, blurry and moving, undoubtedly a product of a mirage, comes forth, and I wonder if my time is up. 

But it comes again. My name.

Then splashing. 

And I feel lukewarm droplets hit my cheek as the face of the one person - that same one and only - collapses in front of me, knee deep in the considerably shallow waters. A heat like no other scorches my back, and I don’t know if it’s the sun or my body flaring up to the touch of the only person I ever loved holding my face. 

I look back into those two round palettes of blue jade and stormy skies. And as the water beneath us diminishes, my eyes, for the first time in a long time, willing gave back to the ocean. 

Sep 14
the end of the universe

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. 

Mar 17
a ghost theory about hell

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.

Dec 18
its wolfsbane, love

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.

Dec 13
unicorn talk

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.

Nov 22
missed connection, san francisco 22/11

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.

Nov 6
every body is a candle dying

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

Oct 1
games in the dark, teaser

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. 
Sep 5


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. 
Sep 5


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.  

Sep 5

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. 

May 3

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.

Apr 25

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.

Mar 13