Bedtime Story

This is the bedtime story I promised a friend of mine. It ended up in free-form poem form.

Here you are. XOXO


We lie by the fire,

All curled up in a mixed pile of mugs, legs and blankets

And the storm howls outside.

I can hear the wind

And rain occasionally hisses in the fire.

You sit aloof, apart from the rest of us

Curled in your own blankets

Your eyes illuminated by flames

Your fingers warmed by the mug in them

That is, if your mug is still warm.

Mine is.

You seem to feel my stare—

Glancing up, you smile at me.

You are a picture painted with expert skill, in shadows and contrasts.

My fingers itch to draw you.

I stand up, suddenly,

Surprising myself, as much as anyone.

I sit down beside you, not reaching to hug you

But simply existing beside you.

You take my hand and our fingers twine together.

You lean your head on my shoulder, and sigh.

You are tired;

That much is clear.

I move to make it more comfortable.

I am warmer inside now.

Before, I was as chilled as the storm.

The others don’t seem to notice.

They are still chatting and laughing

Some suggesting a pillow fight.

Only Marc smiles at you, and his eyes soften as they rest on me.

“I think we’re all tired,”

He says.

“Perhaps bed is in order?”

All of the others groan like five year olds

And I can’t help laughing.

I knew how the suggestion would culminate.

“What if Ry sings for you all?”

Marc asks, winking at me.

I roll my eyes.

There is an instant chorus of

“YES!”

And all of them plop back down, facing me eagerly.

“Yes, please sing, Ry.”

You say, nudging me with your shoulder.

“Lie down then, so you’ll sleep,” I say,

Not really minding.

This time, you get up and lie down in the collective pile of bodies.

Everyone is clamoring for something.

I can’t sing them all, I say.

You suggest that I choose.

It is storming outside

But all of us are warm.


I hope you sleep well–all of you. Also, I apologize for the incoherence posted yesterday. That was just basically sleeplessness mixed with ‘Huh, I want to do something crazy.’ So I did.

ANyway.

Sleep well, and God bless.

(Drink cocoa and wrap up in blankets while you read this.) (If you like cocoa, that is.) (If not) (Never mind)

(I am currently so tired I am questioning the sanity of the spelling of the word f-r-i-e-n-d. Seriously, it’s like spelled fry-end.)

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The Weirdest Birthday Ever

Summer days and weird spaghetti

Bolognese and Uncle Nettie

This Birthday’s weird and it’s just begun

We’ve got some hot dogs (literally)—fun.

Water sliding (it’s December, I think)

My Dad bought a whole pool instead of the drinks.

I think it might be Spring, just a wild guess

The fever might explain this mess.

Auntie Suzie brought bumble bees

Grandma wore her beard. (oh, please.)

We’re drinking soda hot, not cold

We’re having ice cream two weeks old.

No seriously, it’s been in the freezer that long

So I can tell that something’s wrong.

I kissed Georgie and she didn’t mind

My brother went skiing (my brother’s blind)

My niece went skating in the melted pool

My mother let me stay home from school.

My hot chocolate acts like Jell-O

The bully from school ain’t such a bad fellow

My old Aunt Pete is getting mellow.

My mother tells me just have fun.

My dad just hands me a hot dog bun.

‘Thank God it’s Friday’ is playing somewhere.

I collapse in an easy chair.

But Jer from school’s acting nice

And Georgie gives some free advice;

‘If the police come down this block

Let’s agree to blame our cousin Shock.’

Life

I’ve been going through a couple sort of harder things in my life right now, including having everything just feel a little bit off. It’s been going on for a while now, and I just wanted to let you guys know. I’ve felt like my writing isn’t up to scratch for a while now–everything, poetry, writing, my short story I just posted–and I don’t really know what to do about it. It just hurts.

Besides, I just may have pulled a muscle in my chest, because it hurts and sort of hurts to breathe deeply, so please pray that it isn’t anything serious.

I’ve been going through some serious self-doubt that I’m good enough for anything or anyone. I feel like I will never get my work published or travel the world like I want to, or do anything extraordinary. I keep writing, of course (how could I stop?) but with all the junk that’s published today, how can my stuff even get noticed, much less compare to Tolkien, Lewis or my other favorite authors? I’ve fallen behind in things I should be ahead in in school, and I’m just feeling drained and sort of alone.
Thanks for listening. God bless.

The Loathsome Prince (Part II)

Breathe, Elyra. It’s just like ripping off a band aid. Best to get it over with quickly.


The girl went to the palace first once in a while, about once a week. As she did, she began to notice little things. She had told the Prince that she loved a certain flower, and that week, when she came to tell him stories, the table was covered with them. When she told him about a moss and a fern she loved to look at, moss and ferns were on his night table. When she told him about a food she particularly liked, it was there for them to eat while she told stories.

The Prince, with little gifts and kindnesses, like dresses for her sisters, a shawl for her mother, tried to make her at home in the room which she soon learned was his sick room.

As the weeks passed and became months, she was at the Palace two or three times a week, and she was not always telling stories. She began to talk to the Prince, pulling the chair closer, or abandoning the chair for a cushion on the floor, facing the Loathsome Prince.

The Loathsome Prince became her confidant, and all of her fears and worries as well as her victories were poured out. Then one day, he asked her to come closer, and as she set her cushion by the bed, he reached out to touch her hair. She did not flinch, though she still feared him a little. He stroked her hair gently, and gave her advice. No matter what her problem was, it seemed as though the pale, loathsome Prince could solve it.

So, she told him all her secrets, for it was nice to have a stranger who knew nothing about her, who would keep her secrets for there was no one to tell them to.

The Loathsome Prince in turn began to return her confidence, and she began to know which stories would make him laugh, and which would make him cry, and she told the happy, funny stories often, for she loved to hear him laugh.

In fact, though the Prince was loathsome, she loved the sound of his voice, the gentleness of it.

She learned, in time, that the Prince loved music, and often played it himself. He would stop playing when he heard footfalls outside, but after a while, he learned the sound of hers, and did not cease playing. So she stood outside and let him finish his playing, and then entered after he finished. And he blinked at her as she entered, and she found that there were tears on her face, for the music was so lovely.

The girl fell to the floor, and began crying without knowing why. The Loathsome Prince set down his violin, and closed the door, and hugged the girl, hesitantly, unsure if it was the right thing to do. The girl buried her face in the Loathsome Prince’s shoulder.

The Loathsome Prince rubbed her back gently, his long, clever fingers making small circles in her back. And she cried there, in the arms of her friend, for a long time.

The girl told him another story that day, but neither of them could seem to stop crying, so she sat on his bed and held him and whispered the story, which had never seemed so sad before.

He played for her often, after that, she pausing outside the door until he finished, and then entering, tears on her cheeks, to tell him his stories. And she began to come every day without knowing how it happened, and her parents, though concerned, did not stop her, for they saw a brightness in her eyes they had never seen before, and a cleanness and kindness in her spirit which seemed to grow with every story-telling visit.

One day, the Loathsome Prince did not play, and she went inside, to find him looking at her deliberately over his violin, and when she closed the door, he began to play. She crouched on her cushion and listened as the Prince made music which was as beautiful as her stories, and she knew it was for her that he played. She cried again, but this time the tears were neither bitter nor sad, but like rain, cleansing and helping and lovely. She cried.

She told him that day that she loved to sing, but feared singing for others lest they mock her music. Her stories were easy to tell, for they were not strictly hers; they were for everyone, but her voice was her own. The Prince smiled and thanked her for telling him, and told her he would love to hear her sing, but only if she wanted to. She smiled at him in return and asked him when his birthday was.

One cold November day, in the chill sunshine, they went out for a carriage ride to the beach and the cove which the Loathsome Prince loved. There, with the birds calling far away, the girl sang for the Loathsome Prince, and he cried as he listened, just as she cried when he played, for it was so lovely and it was meant for the Loathsome Prince alone.

But the next day when she came, he was too sick to play or to talk. She held his hand for hours while the doctors came and went. She met the parents of the Prince for the first time that day. They thanked her again for all the stories she had told the Prince.

She went home and cried for fear that her Loathsome Prince was going to die.

 

The next day, when she went to tell him stories, the pale Prince was sitting up in bed and staring at her gently. “I have to tell you something,” The Loathsome Prince said, and took her warm, healthy hand in both his cool, thin hands. “I’ve been ill all my life, dear one. The Doctors have always said I have but little time to live, and so I tried to enjoy what little time I had, tried to spend outside with friends, but it only tired me and left me wishing to be alone. So they gave me this chamber, and used to open the windows of it all the time, and said I could have whatever I wished here.”

The girl set her other hand over both of the Loathsome Prince’s hands. “So I would read here, until I could not read with headache, and talk here, until the few friends that remained tired of me and left me. No, dear, don’t tell me it was unjust. It was simply their way, the way of many young people, to leave what is mangled by illness and no longer fair. I was miserable then, and ill for a very long time. I heard of a girl who told stories, and I wanted to hear them, to be, for an hour at a time, a real, human person just hearing a story. So I asked them to invite you, though I was too wise, now, to expect you to want to tell me stories. But you came, and you asked what I wanted, and what I wanted then above all else was to be happy, so I asked you to tell me of happy endings. It made me miserable, but it made me better, too, that you came and would tell me stories and now and then tell me about your family and what you wanted.

“I wanted to know you, then, and when you began to talk about yourself, I was happier than I had been in a long time. But I wanted you, really, all to myself all the time, to talk and talk and talk until I could not bear to hear any more, even from you. But I knew better than that, and decided I would help you if I could, with all I had learned of the world. You seemed so pleased with my advice, and I felt useful for the first time in my life. I wanted to do things for you, and so I did, not because of your kindness, really, but simply because of you yourself. Then I let you hear my music—the only thing that is mine, really, in a palace full of courtiers and royalty and gifts and riches—because I wanted to share it with you. You sang for me, and you’ve come every day now for a long time, and I cannot thank you enough for what you have done.”

He smiled at her, and it was the most beautiful smile she had ever seen. “But you ought to know that I’m dying. I’m dying and I’ll be dead in just a few months.”

The girl could not make herself be silent any longer, and she burst out. “No. No! You can’t die! I won’t let you.” She caught the Loathsome Prince’s face in her hands, and kissed him. “I love you,” She whispered, the tears coming down her cheeks.

Wonder showed on his face. “I love you,” She said, and kissed him again. “You can’t die.”

And she did love him; for all that he was Loathsome to look upon. She loved him for the beauty of his voice and the beauty of his music and the kindness he had showed her, and most of all for the beauty of his soul underneath it all.

He took both her hands again, and pulled them from his face. “Hush,” He whispered.

“No.” She said, crying hard. “No!”

He took her face in his hands, and gently made her look at him. “Listen.” He breathed. Then, rather than telling her she was foolish and a child, he said, “I love you too.”

She stilled. The Loathsome Prince, so beautiful for all his flaws, smiled sadly at her. “That is the only reason I am sad. I have been miserable all my life, and death does not frighten me, but believe me when I tell you that I love you. If I could, I would spend my life with you. I would marry you, whatever other people thought, if you were happy.”

“Yes,” she protested. “I would be.”

“Hush,” He said again. “Hush, dear. I will not live long enough to wed you, my darling. I would give the world to have the time. I am quite selfish to feel this way, but I do. I would play my music for you forever. I would spend my life with you. But I’m dying. If we were in a fairy tale, or one of your stories, we could live happily ever after, but we aren’t in a fairy tale. I can feel myself dying. If I could, I would ask you to marry me, and we would marry, but I can’t. Don’t you see, darling?” He said, and rubbed away her tears with his clever, beautiful hands.

She buried her face in her hands, and sobbed for a long time, and he held her, and kissed her hair. Then she stopped crying, and decided she was no longer a child. This was how children acted, not how grown people acted. She was being a child, and unfair to the Prince. She wiped her tears away, and stood before him, older and stronger in only a moment. “No, we can’t be married here.” She said, quietly. “But you can ask me to wait for you. I don’t know if they have Weddings in Heaven, but I’ll wait for you anyway.”

The Loathsome Prince stared at her, once again in wonder. “But I can’t ask you to spend your life waiting for me. I can’t be so cruel. I want you to live, dear.”

The girl took both his hands. “I would, whether you asked me to or not. I might love someone else, but I could never love someone the way I love you. I could even love someone enough to marry them—I don’t doubt that. But this love is too precious for me to give it up.” She said, quietly.

The Loathsome Prince began to cry, silently. She knelt and kissed him again. “If your music means so much to you,” She whispered, “Then do give it to me. Teach me to play, like you do, and I’ll play for you forever, and make everyone see your music. But,” She blinked back tears, and, just above a whisper, said in his ear, “I’ll sing only for you.”

Though both children were unaware of it, the parents of the Loathsome Prince stood outside the door, crying silently for the two children who loved each other so very dearly.

 

The Prince taught her to play, as she had asked, and she spent nearly every waking moment with the Prince. He gave her a ring, as she asked, and she wore it always. She told him beautiful stories when he could not sleep at night, and when he was in pain from the cruel fever, she held his hand. She sang lullabies to him softly when he was delirious. Her lessons grew apace.

Yet, as the lessons grew ever shorter, the Prince tiring quicker and quicker, the girl learned to play for her beautiful Prince, not as he played, but as she herself played. It was haunting, to hear the violin, even in the dark of the night, or to see the girl, lying asleep and exhausted at the Prince’s side, for after a time, she never left him at all.

The Prince was eternally patient, even in the horror of his illness, and was always smiling and joking, though he was too tired to laugh. Others wondered how the girl could stand to be so long in the presence of someone so ugly, but the girl did not remember any longer that her Prince was loathsome at all.

Instead, she saw underneath the scarred skin, to a beautiful, lovely Prince, who was more inhumanly exquisite than any living thing. The days grew darker and darker, and then lighter again, and lighter, and warmer, till the windows were open.

The grass smelled sweet, the birds sang all day and all night, and the flowers bloomed. One morning saw the sickroom, windows all open, a pale boy with hands folded on his chest, who was loathsome no longer. His smile and his beauty, which had been there under his sickness all along, suddenly emerged with his soul leaving. The girl went outside for the first time in literal months.

She ran for miles, breaking down finally, sobbing, for she was weaker and frailer than she had ever been before. It was as though she had been ill herself, for the months of care and sorrow had worn her greatly.

But as it rained, they found her there, sleeping quietly, and smiling as though the Prince was the one holding her.

The funeral was on a warm, bright day, and the girl played the Loathsome Prince’s violin, which had been given to her. She told his story, and all who heard her speak and play cried, for they were made to see an immortal beauty they had vainly overlooked.

In the coming years, the girl became famous for both stories and music, which were sad, but never bitter, much like the girl’s life, for she found great joy and lost happiness. She never resented the coming and the going of her many friends, who all loved her very dearly.

But once a year, in the cold November sunshine, she went back to the cove on his Birthday, and there, alone, only once a year, she sang.

 

It was a warm spring day when she died. She died young, of a terrible injury gotten when saving a child’s life in a fire.

There was no fear of death in her eyes, and her illness, though short, was painful. She was as patient as a boy with beautiful eyes and a loathsome face had been. Her many friends were around her when she breathed her last, and the ring was still on her finger.

She was buried in the sunshine.


This–this finishes the story I began. I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry. You can tell me I’m a terrible person now.

God bless.

The Loathsome Prince (Part I)

This is a fairy story of sorts. It’s a rather sad story, but it isn’t bitter. I thought I’d share it with you as I finished it.


Once upon a time, there was a girl who told stories. Not regular stories; her stories were like actually being taken to the place where the story happened and like living there. Her stories were so famous that in time, she was invited to go to the royal palace and tell stories to the Prince.

The girl had heard strange rumors about the palace and the Prince, but she was still a child, and she honestly believed her stories were for everyone. So she went to the palace.

They took her through opulent corridors draped with gorgeous tapestries and hung with beautiful pictures. The curtains were velvet, and there were so many glass windows that it seemed like there was only a thin curtain between the lovely palace and the world outside.

Then, they arrived in a beautiful room. A fire chuckled quietly in the grate. Hidey holes and cabinets were everywhere. A fascinating blend of interesting flowers and plants, pretty rocks and stones, and books were spread across a mahogany table in the center of the room. Rose vines and weeping willows carved into the wardrobe seemed to leap to life as she entered. Bookshelves were littered with millions of books, green and red and brown, names printed on the covers. But along one wall there lay a curtained bed with one of the curtains drawn back.

When the girl saw the thing inside, she screamed.

The Prince was lying there, his face hot with fever, his long hands trembling. But the fever was not the thing the girl noticed at first. The boy was loathsome, his face marred and scarred, his eyes the only part of his face that were still beautiful.

The girl fell on the floor. The servants were yelling at her.

“Enough,” the Loathsome Prince said. “She wasn’t told about me. Are you alright?” His voice was very soft and quiet, and she got up, trembling and crying, and nodded.

“Draw the curtains. She can tell me stories with the curtains closed. That is,” The boy asked nervously, “if you still want to tell me stories?”

The girl saw the pain she had made the boy feel, written in lines on his face, and she knew his loathsomeness was not his fault. “Yes, I will tell you stories. But you don’t have to draw the curtains. I’m alright.” She bit her lower lip. “I’m sorry I screamed.”

The Loathsome Prince smiled at her, even though it only seemed like a sickening curve of his lips to the girl. “I’m sorry I frightened you. You may leave,” He told the servants. “Please,” He said, trying to sit up. He gestured to a chair beside his bed. “Sit here.”

The girl sat down as ordered, and found the chair so comfortable that she relaxed at once. The chair was pointed, thoughtfully, to the window, so that she did not need to look at the Prince’s face as she told him stories.

“What do you like to hear stories about?” The girl asked.

“Anything,” the Loathsome Prince said. “You can tell about knights and castles, or about peasant girls and boys, or about the animals, or anything you like.”

“But I’m here to please you,” The girl said, “Surely there’s something you’d like to hear about more than anything else.”

The Loathsome Prince looked at the window, and there was such tiredness in his eyes. “Yes,” The Loathsome Prince said. “Tell me something with a happy ending.”

The girl stared at him for a moment, and then, turning to the window, she started a story about a sick girl who loved to draw, and about the peasant boy who went on a quest to heal her.

And when the girl once looked over at the Prince, he was crying silently, looking out the window at a world of rain.


Who do you think the Prince is? Why do you think the girl was summoned to the Palace?

Feel free to tell me in the comments, I hope you like it so far, and God bless!

To Introduce you to Arden

This is a sort of fantasy thing except without powers and just with really cool swordplay and stuff. I’ve been promising myself I’ll introduce you to these kids for a while now. This is an introduction to Arden from Brynn’s perspective. I’ll show you Brynn from Arden’s in a while now. Arden is kind of a cutie pie, if it isn’t eminently clear by the time you’re done reading.

Also, I wanted to thank you guys for all the wonderful support I’ve been getting from you. I got five likes in like four hours after I published something, and it meant so much to me. Also, thanks, Rubix Cube, for always being one of the first to read and like my posts. It means more to me than you know, and you’re a wonderful person!


He had a nice face; clear, compassionate blue eyes; bone structure which although it could not be considered strictly handsome, would indicate quiet strength with a few more years of growth and experience. Nice mouth; firm, with a hint of humor always there; a strong jaw; long eyelashes; dark, scattered hair with a hint of red; and something there underneath it all that Brynn would call trustworthy. Coming from Brynn, it was a pronounced compliment.

             “Sixteen. Why?” She asked, meeting his eyes without hesitation.

            Arden once again paused, as though trying to formulate a coherent reply. Brynn tried to keep her lips from twitching.

            “Well—you’re so—ancient. I don’t mean it in a bad way,” He added hurriedly, obviously fearing to anger her, Brynn reflected with amusement. “I mean… Oh, confound it all. I mean you’re like Sir Cayler, or Lord Roger—I don’t know how to describe better what I see in you.”

            Brynn allowed herself a comical remark. “So you think I resemble an old baron? Much obliged to you, I’m sure.”

            Arden sat up in shock. “No! That’s not at all what I mean. Well—you’re not like a normal girl, but I don’t mean—”

            Brynn cut him off before he could embarrass himself further. “I understand what you mean, Arden.”


Thank you all again!

Bye now! And God bless!

Excerpt (from another thing)

This is a sort of fantasy story with some more modern elements. Not like urban fantasy, more like what-if fantasy.


She pulled the pack from her shoulders and taking the firewood and fuel they had gathered, she struck sparks with her flint off her blade into the center of pine-cones, sticks and dry grass. The sparks fell, and did not catch. Ryin struck the blade against, patiently. Eridun knew it would be a waste to simply use their powers to start a fire. The grass caught, and one of the pine cones began slowly blazing. Ryin moved several sticks over the little inferno.

It was strangely soothing to watch the yellow light dance over Ryin’s skin as she coaxed the fire to life. Soon, it was burning along properly.

“It’s my turn to make the well,” Eridun said. He was less dizzy now, and the act took little power. Ryin glanced at him, and then wordlessly handed him the bottle. With his knife, Eridun dug a small pit in the soil, and poured in a few drops of water. He set his hands beside the hole, and felt the water rushing, tugging, surging below the skin of the earth. He called to it, called it to come and be with the other water. He ordered it to flow.

It came up to him, slow, obedient. It still wanted to flood, but he struggled with it, and it submitted. A gurgle came from the hole, and a little fountain of water spurted up. Eridun caught it with his hands, and scrubbed his face and drank. Ryin buried her face in the spray of the home-made fountain, and sipped. Then she filled a pot with the water and set it up to boil. She pulled out the things they had gathered—herbs, roots, and a few wild onions, and after sanitizing her knife in the fire, she cut them up to add to the water with the basic dried rations.


What do you think? Are you intrigued?

Thanks for reading, and God bless!

Inevitable (A Poem)

This is dedicated to two of my very best friends. You know who you are.

To the girl who laughs and sings and writes, and to the girl who reads and skates and dances, from the girl who laughs and talks and writes and reads too much and knows what she is thinking but does not know what she is saying.

Inevitable


From the moment our fingers touch,

One outcome of many becomes the only outcome of all.

Whatever the universe, no matter how many distinct separate worlds we live in

It is inevitable.

I don’t believe in fate,

But every time you laugh

You give back pieces of my soul

That I neither imagined existed

Nor knew I was missing.

Two halves of the same whole;

Two pieces of a puzzle—

Everything fits once we’ve met.

Our souls twinned on the same star

Our dreams bound by creation and destruction.

We laugh the same laughter.

We cry the same tears.

We are different;

Essentially the same;

Essentially nothing alike.

(But it fits.)

Sunsets splatter the sky scarlet and it changes every instant

Not for worse, but for better, until the first stars appear.

That’s how we are.

Our friendship is irrevocable. For that, I cannot thank the angels enough.

From the moment we meet, we are inevitable.

(Maybe I do believe in fate, if mine is to be your friend.)


Like it? Hate it?
Feel free to tell me what you thought in the comments, and God Bless you all!

Quotes and Nonsense (Take Two)

“We’re all mad, here.”

–Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll

“I’m not a psychopath, I’m a high-functioning sociopath, do your research.”

–B.B.C. Sherlock

“We live and breathe words.”

–The Infernal Devices, Cassandra Clare

“They get away with murder. I can never get away with anything.”

–Brave

“But the caged bird sings with a fearful trill, of things unknown but longed for still.”

–I know why the caged bird sings, Maya Angelou

“She did not complain.”

–(Wait for it, wait for it!) ME. That post-apocalyptic fantasy thing

“Did you believe in your friend? Did you respect him?”

–Captain America, the First Avenger

“Everyone carries around their worst enemies inside them, locked up inside their heads.”

–ME. Something Lena says in the Darkkaster Chronicles

“In the beginning was the Word.”

–God. (Actually, the Bible, John the Apostle wrote it down.)

“To die would be an awfully big adventure.”

–Peter Pan, J.M. Barrie

“Who ever wanted to live forever, anyways?”

–Once again, me.

“I might even get a date.”

–How To Train Your Dragon (movie.)

So, did you get them? How many did you think were mine?