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- Wes Kirk
Beyond the Door
I walked down the silent hallway, derelict wall hangings drooped to the floor around every corner. The dust lay thick over the furniture that was scattered across the house. Thick streaks of black and red were smudged into the floorboards that groaned with every slight movement. I moved further down the hallway slowly, every so often glancing back the way I came. My eyes feared the oak door at the end, it reeked of death and despair. An odd light seeped through the cracks of the aged frame, flickering more often than not. My footsteps reverberated and echoed through the abandoned rooms. There was little to no light around me, the only glimmering was of a broken fitting above me that dimmed with each passing moment. I slowly approached the door and gingerly reached for the handle, frozen in absolute terror, my hand refused to move. The longer I stood there, the more my mind ran wild. I heard whispers behind the door and a constant scratching on the wood, like someone was desperately trying to escape. A loud and piercing shriek shot through me as some unseen force slammed against me. Still holding onto the handle, it began to twist.
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Free: Edited Version
I ran down the barren hallway of white clean tiles stacked neatly, with no problems or dents, no sign of use or that anyone had ever entered this pristine building, even though it was where I had live the entirety of my miserable life. this was the place of my nightmares, and the only home I’ve known for the last fifteen years of my life. I didn’t know what I would face to see when I reached the outside world, but I knew it had to be better than the torture I had faced here. Soon, I was passing through the doors of the white building, and the sunlight hit my face again for the first time since I couldn't remember. I kept running though, and I heard the alarm start to ring just as I got out of eyesight. By the time the guards came out of the doors, I was long gone. I was finally free, and though I had nothing, I was on my way. I was finally, finally free.
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Flow of Thoughts
My mind is clouded at this moment. I have nothing to write about but the craziness that's happening in my head. Thoughts that cannot be expressed by words, and feelings I do not possess the linguistic skills to project. I am at a loss for words. I don't know what to do with the pile of unimportant mind occupying thoughts. Should I entertain them, or should I meditate them away to have a clearer mind to focus on what is "more important"? Certainty has long left me and my bouncy, sporadic thoughts and opinions. The more I learn, the less I know. My sentences are incoherent, unrelatable, and plain insane, at times. Like eye-floaters, they're there, but when I chase them, they're gone.
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- Piper Draconi
My afternoon fix
I pulled in through the back alley, parking my truck near the dumpster. I licked my lips in anticipation. What will I get this afternoon? I walked around the side of the small building structure, following the gold sticker arrows, pointing to the entrance. The air suddenly filled with the strong aromas of coffee, spices, and sweet chocolaty tobacco. Looking down at my watch, I could see I only had twenty minutes, to shop around and pick out something new. I enter the cigar shop, and was greeted by an attractive man in his 40's, salt and pepper haired slicked with pomade, combed neatly to the side. He smiled, his warm dark eyes somewhat taken aback; I would assume, by a self-assured middle aged female in his cigar shop. I returned the smile with a gleam in my eyes and a question on my lips "Are you the proprietor?" He paused for a moment; looked down at the ground concentration pressing his brow, before responding. “Yes, I'm, what can I get you today?" I'm looking for NUB". The proprietor chuckled and said "I should let you know, NUB doesn't work here". I laughed uproariously; as I do with most clever retorts delivered to me. "Is this cigar for you?" he asked. Confidently I responded "why yes, I've been an unapologetic cigar smoker since the age of 18". He subconsciously clasped his hands in glee. "Well welcome to my shop". The proprietor shared with me the many potential ways, my patronage to his shop could benefit me and my passion. I made my selection at his suggestion, shook his hand after introductions were made, and waved goodbye as I headed to the exit. I stepped out into the sunshine with a sealed tin canister containing my NUB; anticipating the evening Sunset, when I will light my treat and melt my cares away.
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Work In Progress
Work in Progress
It was perfect. The hour, the setting and even the community. All soon to be frozen in time on a piece of paper. It’s all part of a project of mine. Every day for the past 2 years I have been capturing fragments of time on paper. Every minute element of an event, creating a document of some portion of my life. A biography of sorts. But it’s not. It is a work in progress.
I’m Matt Coy. I was just an ordinary 12 year old, living in Hayward, Wisconsin trying to capture life. Looking back, it’s not that hard. It was a matter of being observant and noting the minorities that were apparent. Not with images but in words, to create a perfect blend of dialect and picture.
It was a mild morning in the May of 2011, 2 years into my project. I was standing on a beach at dawn noting some fish coasting through the water the sunlight illuminating their glistening scales in such a way that you could almost see them as individuals each with their own personality. All of them. I pulled out a scrap of crumpled paper from my pocket writing down the details as I saw them. Capturing the moment more so than to tell a story but rather to convey feelings to others.
Later that day I returned home. My room was just as I had left it. The leather cover worn with age, a pen resting atop it. I picked up the pen and wrote. This is what I did from time to time. Added to my journal continuously, filling its pages with word after word. I spent entire days doing this. Writing vigorously not stopping until my hands throbbed so much that I could no longer write.
The next day I returned to my usual habits, heading out early to look for more to write about while still living my usual life. Summer was ending soon so I had to take advantage of the weather while I could. I ventured further into the woods that were near my house than normal and noticed another person there.
“Hey!” I blurted out, not realizing how loud I shouted. He ignored me for a second but then I called for him a second time “
Hey!” I shouted again!
“You talkin’ to me?” he retorted.
“Well who else is here?” I reposted
“No one I guess, I never really talk to people,” “I just live out here admiring nature.”
“That’s something else!” I replied, “I wish I could do that.”
“Hey I haven't asked your name yet.” He said. “Jack, and you?”
That was the first time that I had met Jack who it turns out I would remain meeting with him even through the present day.
That night I returned home with a new addition to my journal. Resting there the same as always exactly as I had left it. I wrote with my usual vigor until long after the sun set.
Soon following Jack and I started going to the woods often and I began to meet new people, continuing to write about my experiences.
The rest of the summer went like that I went to visit with Jack in the woods ever so often and I continued to write. Then the summer ended and I began to document that and school and the meeting of new people.
The start of that school year went well meeting new people and learning new things. All was fine until I was pulled out of class early one day being notified of an accident...
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- Piper Draconi
The night visitor
I awoke at 3 a.m. from a deep sleep.
It was in my room again, last night; the heavy presence of someone standing next to me.
I live alone with my two dogs; both were fast asleep at the foot of my bed. The cold drizzle of fear ran down my spine. Psychology paralyzed from the extreme terror of the unknown, for what seemed like hours. This presence, is it here to strike me down? What will come next, Heaven; hell; or the eternal sleep? Are Angels real? Will God send me a winged soldier from of heaven to come down to swoop up my soul into the warm glow of white clouds and the song of trumpets? My breathing’s becoming labored; ice has formed around my heart, beads of sweat at the tip of my nose. I’m having a panic attack. Thoughts of aliens, pyramids, Anubis standing at a sand colored alter with a dagger for a sacrifice; I am no lamb. My hands clasp the bed sheet with a death grip, “I am not afraid of you” (a lie). Strength propelled from my gut, I jumped from my bed; sending my dogs into barking hysteria. I darted across the room to find my salvation; a ten dollar floor lamp from Walmart. The dark energy instantly dispersed. Where to? It does not matter, so long as it stays away.
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Cheating on life
Unable to lay on her back filled with purple and red bruises, she sat for hours on the floor next to the bed where she corrupted monogamy, holding cigarettes that burned unsmoked between her fingers like dards. Eyes were as blank as snake's, but behind them the last night was being played by the projector of her brain over and over again. The wooden house was crackling like log on fire, mourning the end of summer. It couldn't be coincidence that the weather and human relationships grew colder with winter's arrival. Her thoughts appeared, vanished and changed between them as fast as a roller coaster. Heart beats, breathing and blinking were the only movements of her body during this self-torturing ritual. The smoke and smell of cigarettes and incense filled the room as hours passed, conjuring ghosts of a long lost past, failing to appease her memory. The minimalist decoration of the room consisted of cocaine traces on notebook covers, weed and meth pipes scattered on the mattress. Foot steps were getting closer. The door handle took ages in her head to move. A shadowy shilhouette (which she didn't have the nerve to look at) entered the smoky space; the accomplice of her betrayal, ready for the next round. There were no words nor looks to be exchanged. Roaming the room, her eyes looked for her clothes. Target locked. She jumped inside her party dress and left, shoes on her hand, guilt on her shoulders. Weeks passed rapidly and blank, she was safe untill the dreadful absence of blood threw her in despair. Her sentence - a positive sign on the plastic stick - costed her fifteen dollars in the closest drugstore and the remaining peace of mind she had. Silence