Intro

Iv'e been writing for basically as long as I've been drawing, but the thing that really got me kick-started was a creative writing class I took in my senior year of highschool. I still don't write as much as I draw, and I start projects more than I finish them, but I hope that the quality makes up for the quantity.

Writing

You're so far off I can't remember you anymore
It's like I didn't even have you in the first place
The scissors of age snipping at your stitching
Weakening the blanket of defenses to hide under
When I stay up late into the morning
Collecting the cloth that remains
Contemplating whether I should continue to grow up
In a world over indulging in death until there's nothing left
But whispers and rubble at the bottom of the sea
Starting my life picking up the pieces of what my forefathers forgot
With nothing but scraps of the red-tinted past to support me
Mourning the time before I cared
Mourning the time to understand
Mourning the presence of loitering trauma
Mourning the memories of you
Slowly slipping out through the tears
Until my blanket
Is nothing
But holes

Light filters in through the trees as my back rests against soft grass. The air is pleasantly warm, and the sun heats me further where it hits my legs and chest. An easel sits abandoned across from me on the grass. It practically begs me to finish, but I feel more than content to just stare up at the sky forever.

I don't quite remember how I got here. One moment I was walking through the trees, admiring the dense plant life or the occasional bird, and suddenly I was lying down in the grass. I always seem to end up here, no matter how determined I am to paint. It's a wonder how I even finish my pieces with how much time I spend relaxing instead of working.

If only mom could see me now, living the life of a starving artist instead of starting a family like she wanted. I don't blame her, most people around my age would have about five kids and a house they own by now, but I'm content with just an attic and relatively quiet housemates. I'm content with many things I've noticed. I guess that's my major flaw, always being content, not reaching towards anything more. I can't help but feel vaguely disappointed in myself.

That's dad speaking, infecting my soul with his ghost, defying god just to shame me. Before I moved out, mom had already been nagging me about 'starting my life,' but it just got worse after his death. She was probably guilt-tripping me, hoping to get some grandchildren before she keels over too. The best chance she has of that is raising another child.

Why can't she understand that this is my life? I'm fine, I'm content, the attic is roomy, and there isn't much dust as long as I keep up with it. The people I live with are friendly, not too talkative, but they're not ghosts either. They don't ask questions, and I don't ask them. Not to mention the tranquility of the forest; it's a dream come true.

I can only wonder how persistent mom would have gotten if I hadn't moved out. Just thinking about it makes a swirl of anxiety and annoyance start in my chest, and now my mood is ruined, great. The sun feels too hot, and the serene atmosphere just annoys me. Relaxing always ends up like this, I get too comfortable, and my mind wanders. I now remember why I brought the umbrella, and I can't help but scowl at the sky as I adjust it. It's now covering most of my body, getting rid of the oppressive heat. That's better.

After lounging for another moment, I sigh and sit up, resting back on my hands and glancing over at my easel. It was initially supposed to be a landscape painting of my surroundings, but the green is too bright, the sun's rays are the opposite, and half the canvas is an unfinished white. Despite it all, It looks better than if I had finished it.

With my painting done, I get up to pack my things away and head off in the direction I had come in. It's about time to leave this train of thought at the station for today. Maybe I'll become famous one day and show mom how successful I had become with a dusty attic and some easels to my name. Maybe dad, wherever he is, will stop infecting my soul with this soul-crushing feeling of disappointment in myself. Maybe I will start a family or get a house or have more than just the attic. Maybe being content is a good thing.

The bustling restaurant is alight with noise, dirty plates clink as waiters carry them away from tables, and the sizzling of cooking food can be heard through the kitchen doors as they pass in and out. The wood floors are a light brown, occasionally broken up by a carpet, and the colors painting the walls and furniture consist of muted reds and browns. It looks lived in at best and rundown at worst.

Booths are lined up against the edges of the space, partially hidden by tables and the people sitting at them. That's what Kane blames her lateness on when she sits down at one of them. Ashton is already sitting, tapping his fingers against the table impatiently. "That's bull, and you know it, it's like five steps from here to the entrance" his tone doesn't match his words, and his face is pulled up in a grin instead of down in a frown. "Stop complaining. I got here, didn't I?" Kane smiles back and looks down at the menu being pushed at her.

"We should've just gone to my place; too loud in here," Ashton grumbles.
"You don't have any food at your house."
"Incorrect, there are eggs in my fridge" Kane gives Ashton a look.
"5 months past the expiration date" Ashton's face pales.
"Did you eat one of them?"
"I didn't know! You may need to take me to a hospital" Kane just laughs.

The rest of their conversation goes along the same lines. The waiter comes to take their orders and then returns to leave them their food. It stops after that, but the silence isn't awkward; both parties are too focused on eating to talk. Kane finishes first and waits a moment for Ashton to be between bites to speak, "So ... did he do anything new I should know about?" The air turns tense after that, and Ashton frowns. "Do we have to talk about this..." he pauses to look around the restaurant, eyes calculating
"... here?"
"When else could we? You're planning on doing it, like, tomorrow."
"Not tomorrow. We should wait until the body is lukewarm, at least. It's more believable."
"Don't you think we should do something a little less ... severe? I mean, yeah, the guy's an asshole but, I don't think he deserves to go to prison." Ashton pauses for a moment, still staring out at the rest of the room.

"You know damn well what he deserves," Ashton's voice is thick with a swirl of emotions, and Kane feels guilt form a bubble in her throat.
"Yeah, but ..." She's grasping at straws.
"You already agreed to it, don't make me look for someone else. You're the only person I trust with this."
"We shouldn't," Kane blurts it out, barely waiting for Ashton to finish his sentence.
"... What?"
"We shouldn't do it ... I don't- ... I don't want to have that kinda shit on my conscience-"
"Why would it? It's not like the dude's nice or anything"
Ashton cuts her off and begins to raise his voice but thinks better of it, glancing around the restaurant again. "Ashton," her tone is firm. "Stop, you're like my dad. We're doing it."

Rage fills Kane like boiling water, burning away at the guilt clogging her throat, "y'know, this is something about you I've always hated. You can't take no for an answer," Ashton goes to respond, but Kane doesn't stop, talking over him, "and you also don't think through anything. I don't even know why I agreed to this in the first place. I could go to jail! You could go to jail! You really think potentially ruining your life is-"

Ashton slams his hands on the table, cutting off Kane's rant. "It'll be fine; I'll be fine, perfectly fine! You're seriously blowing this out of proportion! Do you know how happy I'll be after he's gone? Don't you care about that? You're way too cautious for your own good, Kane." He spits her name out like a curse, and the boiling in Kane's chest turns to molten lava. "No. I don't think I am. Nothing he did could justify this! Ashton, you're ... you're insane!" Ashton's face reddens, and he grits his teeth.

He looks like he's going to say more before a nervous waiter walks up, their polite customer service smile plastered on, "um, excuse me, could you please quiet down? You're disturbing the other patrons." Kane takes a deep breath before looking up at them. "No worries, we will. Sorry to bother," her voice is artificially polite, the previous anger hidden in plain sight. The waiter nods and walks away, leaving the two in deafening silence.

Ashton looks out at the busy restaurant, and Kane stares down at her hands, twitching restlessly against the table. "Sorry," Ashton mumbles out. Kane doesn't respond, and abruptly, Ashton stands up, "I'll do it by myself." Kane turns to look out the window, "Hey, Listen to me. I said I'd do it by myself." Kane ignores him, and Ashton deflates with a sigh, "Have fun with the rest of your life without me." He walks away, Kane lets him.

I must look highly suspicious, hurriedly glancing around at everything in the crowded club like I'm the one being assassinated instead of the assassinator. The stairs up to the second floor and door are empty when I glance at them one more time before refocusing on my empty cup, who's sitting on the bar in front of me. I check my watch and let out an indignant huff. It's still a while until my partner is supposed to arrive, and I'm already anxious about them being late.

I stew in my thoughts for a while, running over the details about the club and the target. I start to calm down, too focused on thinking up plans than worrying needlessly. I recheck the time; it's 10 minutes until they have to arrive. Jarringly, the anxiety comes back full force when I slowly realize I don't even know who my partner is.

Instead of panicking, I try to remember their page in the debrief file and the attached picture. I close my eyes in concentration, a bad move, I know. It's a wonder how I haven't been fired or killed with how vulnerable I make myself with that habit.

The first thing I remember is their name. It's Finn. A pseudonym, no doubt, everyone involved in this type of work has one. They have short slicked back inky black hair, and there are a few stripes of grey starting at their temples, though they couldn't have been any older than their late twenties. They have tan skin with a weird purplish tint to it, like they're constantly out of air, and Their eyes are a dark brown, concealing their pupils and making them look even more alien. They weren't smiling in the picture either. Instead, they glared dead center at the camera like they wanted to stare into the soul of whoever witnessed the picture after it was taken. It still gives me chills, even as a memory.

Despite all that, the most prominent thing I remember is their freckles. It was kind of jarring to see someone who looked like they could kill millions and sleep peacefully at night have something so commonly associated with innocence. Or at least, that's what I told myself when my mind kept drifting back to it.

"Hello," an indiscreet voice spoke up behind me, breaking me from my thoughts. I look up from my seat to greet it, and a frankly terrifying person stares back. Spit gets stuck in my throat when I nervously swallow, and I splutter a bit before responding with my own shakier greeting.

There's a pause as they glance around at our surroundings, "morning star." The code, it's Finn, "thank god, I thought I was about to get knocked out." The joke didn't land; the thin line of their mouth didn't even twitch. They move right along, thankfully not drawing attention to it.

"Do you have the earpiece?" I tune into it for a moment, checking in with the guy on the other side, before nodding. "I'll be back in a few minutes, keep tabs on the target while I'm gone," they didn't wait for me to respond before turning on their heel and disappearing into the crowd.

I manage to catch glimpses of Finn weaving in and out of the mob. Their antarctic expression artificially softened whenever they interacted with a drunk party-goer or a friend with heavy air quotes. Though it didn't make them look mean or superficial, it made them look professional or maybe even sophisticated. Like a monarch standing on the balcony of their million-dollar mansion, watching as all the peasants passed by. Ok, maybe just a little mean.

I watch as they pretend to trip and instead place a tracker on what I recognized as our target's bodyguard, and suddenly I felt inept. When I watch them work, all the years of experience I have under my belt crumble in the presence of their expertise. Like I'm some fanboy instead of supposedly being just as capable as them.

"Any updates on the position of our target?" Finn's voice was low, smooth but with an almost hidden edge to it. I jump and whirl around to look at them. I didn't even notice when they walked up; the way they moved made their footsteps near-silent.

I tune into my earpiece, taking that moment to avoid their intense gaze, "no, she's still on the second floor." their face chills impossibly further before they turn to look at the glasses behind the bar. "What's she doing up there?" they mumble to themselves, lost in thought and completely unaware of my presence.

The bartender walks up after a moment, but they just dismiss him with a flick of their hand. Obviously, they're a regular, but I don't think they come here for drinks or music. In fact, Finn looks like they don't get out much at all. The casual suit they have on looks too new to have been worn more than a couple of times, and the shallow wrinkles around their mouth indicate more frowning than smiling. I tune into my earpiece one more time, receiving the same answer before speaking.

"Do you get out a lot?" Finn snaps their head up to glare at me. "What?" Their quiet voice starts to strain against their anger. "I don't know, it just seems like we have a lot of time on our hands, and since you're my partner, I wanted to get to know you better." Their glare morphs into confusion, then an expression that's too guarded for me to figure out, "I'm here to do my job, not participate in a relationship."

The silence that follows is deafening, and I awkwardly avert my eyes to stare at the hazy reflection in the glass of my empty cup. After a moment, I glance back, and their face is completely blank, dead, their body still. However, there was a certain ... movement behind their eyes, a torrent of emotion that they couldn't seem to silence like the rest of them. Guilt caught in my throat like tar. Obviously, I had struck a nerve.

The tense silence is suddenly broken by a frantic "he moved!" from my earpiece. Finn must have noticed the surprise on my face because they break out of their trance and demand, "what? What is it?" Their voice has that smooth edge to it again, and I can't help but feel like they're hiding something by talking like that.

They stare at me, and I stare back, trying to give them the most apologetic look I can muster as I try to make sense of the frantic blubbering of whoever was on the other side. The emotion I noticed hidden behind Finn's eyes was abandoned in favor of getting a lead on our target, covered under a thick layer of snow.

"The target's moved, uh ..." I trail off as my earpiece suddenly goes silent, the guy's borderline screaming sickeningly cut off with a wet slice "... coming down the stairs, get ready." Finn nods and stands up from the bar. I catch the glint of a needle hidden in their hand before they get swallowed up by the crowd.

The diner is crowded today, I noticed as soon as I walked in and asked for a table. The loud chatter and clinking of silverware were the second obvious clue. The first obvious, of course, was to just look around, at all the people filling up the usually empty tables, and the frantic wait staff not used to the abundance of patrons. The third obvious would be to come here every Friday, buy the same food, let it go cold, take a couple of bites and leave, like me. But I don't really do that anymore; look around. Not because I went blind or now prefer to keep my head down. I have a habit.

I do glance every once in a while. Usually at a table or above patrons' heads. Although, the food isn't appetizing, and the ceiling has no decoration. I know I could afford a restaurant without chefs that want to get fired and water damage on the ceilings, but I don't really mind. Guess I've grown attached to this place. The only reason I'd leave is if someone started to recognize me, and as far as I know, the people who come regularly don't know me. I also don't go out of my way to try and keep track of them either. Everyone who comes to the diner is a fresh face, or, at least, an old face with new paint.

The fear I have of being seen and acknowledged is counterintuitive, to say the least. I don't have a straight answer for it, but, I guess I watch people because I want to be a part of what they have. Even those who eat alone seem immensely happier with themselves and their solitude than I ever will. Although, there is this ... person. What they look like evades me every time I try to really think about it, but whenever I see them I immediately just know. They always sit in the same booth seat, almost directly across from mine, in the corner with their head down. From my glances, it almost seems like they have the same habit as me. The need to look and the overwhelming want for human connection. It can be easily seen on another's face, especially when you're familiar with it yourself.

The moment I noticed their presence was the moment I felt a kind of kinship with them. We're both lonely, and desperate, but too scared to try to reach out and take it. I glance up, search the restaurant for the familiar face, and catch it. They've been staring, looking, at me. We hold each other's eyes, but it doesn't feel awkward. There is understanding in it, in the fact that we both know what we do and why we do it. They break the stare and I go back to looking down at my cooling soup. The waitress comes around a couple of times asking if I want the bill. On the third pass, I request one.

My nature is your entertainment's front
I have flesh and blood that you like to hunt
My home is what you to take pleasure in
I make goosebumps appear on your skin
What am I?

You think you're better than my bloodline
You think we're not alike in design
You believe in gods made to be appeased
You act like this and then assume I'm pleased
What am I?

We come from the same ancient molten soil
Our ancestors were one, as thick as oil
We both know where our existence comes from
Our eyes have bore witness to the same sun
What am i?

You think the whole world is your property
I won't be satisfied in poverty
You ignore our needs, still stuck to your throne
I am monsterful, one of the unknown

The clock ticks by
The bright white hurts my eyes
It can't go undone
I Have to

It reaches my heart
Perched on the veins
Infecting my brain
Swooping down
To snatch up my foresight
I Have to

My desk is cluttered
My bed is unmade
My eyes drift away
Avoiding the inevitable
Trying desperately to hold onto the last shred
Of myself
Of what I'm supposed to have wanted all these years
I Want to be able to Want
I don't Want to

Wanting to Having
My life incomplete
My white bright onus
Catching it
Browning at the edges
Burning it away
I Have to

The marine has always intrigued me.
        Salty Sea burning my eyes, turning green.
Hopping from shore to shore like a beach flea.
        Making me cry, cutting through to the chine,
Of a place of death and money to make,
        Of what the seven Seas are becoming.
Old ship in the distance, missing a strake.
        Ears catching on to hear a faint humming.
This song ... it's unearthing a memory.
        My mom warning me away from the Seas,
From the song that lures and its lechery.
        "Waves can soak into sand, drowning beach fleas."

To us, it can never stop in motion,
Water's will in that basin-The Ocean.