Stab you in the back, but I can’t do that without piercing the sword through my own chest first. I can’t make you bleed without causing a rupture in my own heart. How can I hurt you when your wounds cause me pain? I want to bring storms, cause earthquakes but I’ll end up damaging myself more than you. But I’m okay with that. I’m okay with tearing myself apart just to see that tear cascade down your cheek. I’m okay with burning away my existence, just to see that frown tug at your lips. I’m okay with fading, at least I’ll take away a part of myself with you.
Do you ever cause destruction to yourself just because you want to cause damage to someone else? That’s one of the most toxic traits you can have. Where you’re willing to rip yourself open just…
Zarah heard screams, then pounding – silence. What happened? Her hands and feet were tied. The room was dark but she could see shapes. They did not move.
“Zarah?” A voice called.
Zarah didn’t know who could know she was here. What should she do? Was someone coming to rescue her? Who else could be looking for her? Her kidnapper knew she was here. But, if he sent someone to torture her more, she wanted to stay hidden.
Just then a small critter, which she couldn’t see in the dark, ran over her leg. Automatically, she tried to scream, but the gag stopped her, yet her legs jerked without thought. Her feet hit something solid. She heard something above her make a sound, something off-balance. She couldn’t see what it might be. Would it fall on her?
Metal fell on the cement floor beside her. A door opened.
My mate and I found the perfect location for our new home. We built to our specifications to meet our needs. That’s always an exciting time for me. I love the anticipation of new views and new life. When our home was completed, I settled in for the birth of our children. Before they could be born though, a huge, fearful creature intruded and I had to flee for my life and safety.
“I hope they didn’t leave for good,” the man mused as he saw the two robins fly away from the nest they had just built in the bush right outside his window. Earlier, he had looked closer and saw one of them sitting on the nest. Had the eggs been laid yet? He was excited to watch their progress. Had they flown for good? He hoped not.
They never returned.
A Fair Trade
“I’ll trade you all of mine for only a portion of yours, a tiny portion,” the middle-aged man said casually to his friend.
“No way in Hell!” His friend exclaimed. “I’m sorry, but that kind of trade would do me no good.”
“Sure it would. You would gain a wider experience. You could see from a new perspective.”
“Nope. I’ll keep my limited experience and narrow perspective.”
“Well, don’t say I didn’t make the offer.
“You offered,” his friend laughed. “And, I was smart enough to turn it down.”
“How about five minutes?”
“Five minutes of Hell can be a real eye-opener.”
“Look at it from my point of view. I’ll take just five minutes of a childhood feeling loved and cared for. I have no idea what that might be like.”
“I feel for you, but I can’t. Sorry.”
They parted, unable to bridge that gap.
Herrmann was surprised to find himself in 1951 on a farm in Kansas. Still trying to make sense of it, he’s grown fond of grass waving under wind, trees and moonlight. His work has been published in print and online, even some of both in languages he can’t read.
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.*
Every damn day. This life, a daily grind of excruciation.
Always having to adjust mentally, physically and emotionally.
Moving through my day as cautiously as possible.
Pushing through the pain, feeling productive & proud.
I’m beyond the agony when I’m able.
But some days I have no spoons and I go
Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave**
*Source: “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T.S. Eliot **Source: “Dirge Without Music” by Edna St. Vincent Millay