Posts Tagged writing

I Can’t Stop the Bleeding

At that moment I was twelve going on twenty. I’d jumped so far forward in life my head was spinning but, in a strange way, it was all starting to make sense. But it was making sense in a way that made no sense at all. As I looked across the table at my mom, her tears dripping onto the Formica-topped kitchen table, I wondered about love, I wondered about God, I wondered what life was all about. And as all these things raced around in my mind, they began to form the new me—the soon-to-be-a-man me. I suddenly realized, and I admit a tinge of fear accompanied the thought, that I had to—somehow—protect my mom, my brothers, and my sister. From my dad.

~~~~~

The above is an excerpt from a book I began writing last November. I abruptly stopped writing the book, due to a very unexpected circumstance. Most of you are aware of what happened but if not, you can read my post, The World Stopped Turning, for the details. But there’s more to it than that. I simply didn’t, and still don’t, know if I can write the rest of this story.

But, a few days ago, I began reading a book, not by but about, Ernest Hemingway. As I read it, I was inspired, not by his talent, or his person, but by his pain. He was a tormented man, and he was not afraid to display his frailty to the world. He said this about writing:clouds and mountains HemingwayI’m certainly no Hemingway, but I bleed, and I cannot stop the bleeding. I’ll let you know when the book is finished.

Just A Boy

 

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A Soft Knocking

A Soft Knocking” was originally a rather long short story, which I whittled down to just under 500 words for a contest a few years back. Every time I come across it, I can’t resist toying with it, and on one of those occasions I re-wrote it in poem form. It’s rather long for a poem but give it a read if you’ve got the time. I think you will find it quite entertaining.

A Soft Knocking

In my very bones I could feel the morning dampness

   My dark and dreary world having steeped in slow rain

      Throughout the long and silent night

writer at desk 

The lamp flickering on my desk

   cast a warm glow upon my work

      But did nothing to ease the chill in the room

 

A faint ringing in the distance

   A carriage bell

      Not something I often heard

         Rushed a chill through my veins

 

Then a woman’s scream sliced the cold morning air

 

I moved quickly to my window

   And with trembling hand eased the curtain aside

 

A coffin-like visage approached

   The light snap of a whip sounded

        The steed… paying whip no mind

            Continued at a slow trot then fought the bit with turn of head

                 When the driver pulled back on rein and brake sliding the coach to a stop

 

I turned away

   Knowing with sick dread the carriage had come for me

      Then… wishing not to see, yet knowing I must

         I turned back to the window

 

The driver stared forward

   Face hidden by shadow of brim

      The stallion looked over its shoulder

         Eyes wild and gleaming

            Snorting steam from black nostrils

As…

 

The door swung slowly wide

   And a slender leg clad in white silk stocking

      Appeared at the coach door then fell to the muddy road   

         A river of blood flowed from the severed limb

 

Again, I turned away

   An angry fist squeezing my heart

      And I knew with instant dread

         Never more…

            Would my pen scratch the page

 

I heard the “Yaw” of the driver

   A crack of the knotted whip

      The scream of the beaten steed piercing the damp air

         Like an ice pick

            Through a warm beating heart

And then…

   There came at my door…

      A soft knocking

 

My aged eyes watered as one icy tear trickled

   Slowly… down my rugged cheek

Then…

   Not knowing how I’d arrived there

      I stood looking at the great door

         My mind fighting to stay my hands

             As they moved toward the bolt

 

And … once again… there came…

   A soft knocking

 

Of its own accord

   The door swung slowly open

      And from behind me

         A small hand gently pushed

 

I tumbled into the deep blackness outside my castle door

   Light had fled my world

      Tumbling… tumbling…

         I floated through the darkness

            Lungs burning as I breathed

               The vile substance in which I flew

 

Suddenly…

   I knew with solemn certainty

      It was the taste

         The smell

               The feel…

                  Of ink

 

I knew, too…

   Who it was had come to fetch me

      ‘Twas all those of whom I had written

            In my years at the desk

               Those whose lives I had created

                  Then… taken

                      Oft in brutal fashion

                          In the dark stories I’d told

 

But the cruelest of my acts

   Was the shunning of the one in white silk stockings

      Who wanted naught from the world but my ungiven love

 For this sin

   I will forever hear

      As I tumble through my madness

         … a soft knocking

 

Copyright © 2012 C. Mashburn

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The Timer

The timer beneath the corner table just turned off the light.

It rained all through the night, and even though the blinds are up and the window open to let in the fresh cool air, the heavy clouds hanging low above the city make the keyboard hard for my old eyes to see. And yet, I am compelled by… well… actually, I don’t know why I brought up this blank page and began to speak onto it. My mind—as old (it seems older) as my eyes—keeps wondering why I’m doing it. It’s not like I have Me writinganything important to share.

It seems this is how I reflect on things, and I often stop as quickly as I start, realizing I have nothing to say—to me, or anyone else. But once in a while—a great while—something comes out of the thoughts that flit about and then hide. And so I let my mind and fingers ramble, wondering as I do if something of substance and meaning might dart from the recesses and grab someone by the soul?

I keep thinking about the timer… and the light.

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I Am A Mountain

I’ve always considered myself a loner, and there have been many times throughout my life I’ve wished I could just walk away, go up into the mountains and live off the land. Sometimes, I just want to get away; not from people really, but from the confusion and chaos we’ve made of this world. A world where important things like love, honor and truth have become lies; and half-truths, deceit, and hate have been embraced and accepted. Read the rest of this entry »

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Silent Raindrops

When I was a little boy, and I’d get hurt, I’d cry. Many times my dad would tell me to stop crying or he’d give me something to cry about. And I knew the slightest whimper or sigh would bring his fury upon me. I learned that silence–and dry eyes–was the way to avoid further pain. To this day I seldom show pain or angst in front of people. Except, that is, when I write. Read the rest of this entry »

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Miss Audre

I’m a writer—not a very good one, I suppose—but it’s what I do. My senior English Lit. teacher—Miss Audre Chapman—stirred me to write, and though I did nothing with the stirring for most of my life, it never left me. For better or worse, I give her credit, and thanks, for what I do. She’s gone now, but she lives on in the minds of the young students (at least this one) she inspired. Read the rest of this entry »

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Maybe This One

Sometimes opportunity knocks and for varied reasons we choose not to answer. The usual excuse is fear—fear of failure, or of being disappointed. And then there are those times when we choose to move across the room of safe familiarity and open the door; perhaps due to encouragement from a well-meaning acquaintance, only to find beyond the open door a world not meant for or perhaps simply not ready for us or what we have to offer. But if we love to ride, we must climb back into the saddle and continue down the path. We will never reach our destination if we cease to move toward it. Read the rest of this entry »

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Hot Stuff!

Kellie must’ve run out of ideas for us to write about, because for her Free Write Friday, she’s left it up to us to pick a subject, simply suggesting we write about what we’re passionate about. But, I’ll give her a break; she’s busy promoting her awesome new book, Magic in the Backyard, and I know how time consuming that can be! So here you go; my passion: (drum roll, please)… Hot Stuff! Read the rest of this entry »

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Kellie’s Free Write Friday!

Hey y’all! My friend and fellow blogger, Kellie Elmore does a thing she calls Free Write Friday on her blog—Magic in the Backyardevery Friday. She puts up a topic or a picture, and invites other poets and writers to submit a story about the prompt. I really enjoy participating in it, and thought perhaps some of you would like to join in. It’s not too late to get in on this weeks topic, New Year’s Resolutions. Read the rest of this entry »

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