A Summers Day

It was a hot, summers day. She went out to the field. It was filled with flowers, floral, and fragrant. She had a book in her hand and a basket for a picnic complete with a blanket that she’d grabbed from the attic. It was in one of the old trunks that no one did anything with so she didn’t think anyone would miss it.

She’d cut her hair short for the summer. It was too hot for it to be long. Her mother had been furious, but she’d felt lighter when she’d chopped it all into a brown bob.

Millie finished setting up her picnic, read, and ate, taking bites of the sandwich she’d prepared for herself. As she was in the middle of a particularly good part, a shadow fell over her.

Reluctantly, Millie looked up from her reading. She found herself staring into a pair of emerald, green eyes. “Charlie!” she gushed, dropping her book and getting up to hug him tightly. “When did you get home?”

“Just this morning,” he said, “walked all day from the train.”

Millie pulled herself away. He might have been a soldier, but he was still the butler’s son. Even if they had grown up together. She might have been the fifth youngest in a family of five, but she still had responsibilities, didn’t she?

She smiled. “Oh. Well, I’m glad you’re home.”

“Me, too.” He took his cap off.

“How’d you know I’d be here?”

“I simply had an inkling,” he said, with a grin. “Anyway, your father was kind enough to keep tabs on me the whole time. Always sent me stuff if I needed it and….”

“And what?”

He pulled something from his pocket. It was a velvet box, and inside was a ring Millie recognized. Her mothers engagement ring. Millie’s brows furrowed together. “He did say once I made something of myself, I could marry you. That is if you’ll have me. Will you?”

Millie smiled at him, wrapping her arms around his neck, and kissing him deeply. “Of course, Charlie. Of course.”

Winter Break

It was the day before winter break. We stood in the school courtyard, the old, brick building casting long shadows on our faces. Our breath came out in puffs it was so cold out.
You were smoking a cigarette. “That’s a filthy habit,” I told you.
You smirked at me. “Give me something else to do with my mouth then, and I’ll stop.”
I coughed. “Like what?”
Your eyes were blue, and sparkling even though the sun was covered up by clouds. My heart pounded against my chest.
I licked my lips, and stared at yours. “Kiss me,” you said.
Then, I leaned over, and I pulled out a single, Hershey’s kiss from my pocket and I handed it to you. Your bare, freezing cold hands grazing mine as I did.
“Happy Holidays,” I said.
“Happy Holidays,” you said softly back, grinning, “maybe next year, I’ll get a real one from you.”
“Maybe,” I said softly.


We are sitting in your dining room. The table is the same one you’ve had since college, a cheap wooden thing bought at an Ikea. The tea kettle is on, bubbling and boiling. While your Amazon Alexa is softly playing an old song, the title of which I can’t remember. It will bug me for weeks, until in the middle of the night, I’ll wake up with the title in my head.

“What are we?” I ask, softly, so soft I am not sure that you even hear it.

“I don’t know that we’re anything anymore,” you said.

And I grabbed my things, and left, as the tea kettle whistled. Like it was announcing the end of a relationship.

Old Gods

The old gods are pacing in their ruined temples, waiting to be unleashed. While some of them flicker faintly, ghosts of themselves, in and out of peoples memories.

“Remember when we were something?”

“Remember when you worshipped us from everything to death and grain?”

“Remember when you once feared our names?”

We are still here. Still waiting.

Fairytales are gone

There are no fairytales anymore. All that remains are relics, buildings covered in cobwebs, with carpets covered in glass and blood stains of revolutions. Shells of bullets left from battles fought long ago. And lonely ghosts wandering the halls and ballroom floors. Kings and Queens put to the grave, in the ground, where they should be. With a different kind of fairytale to take their place.

One without crowns and dynasties.

The Internet looks for scarlet letters

When people talk about Hawthorne, they talk about him like he’s this dusty, out of touch author. And sometimes I wonder if that’s because people miss the point of one of his most famous works and that’s why we’re where we are at now.

Hester Prynne gets put with a big, bold Scarlett A on her clothing. For a mistake that wasn’t hers alone to make. Marked forever.

And isn’t that what the internet does? It looks for scarlet letters. Sometimes deserved. Sometimes not. And so we’re all Hester Prynne.

Living with mistakes. Sometimes not even ours.

Cinema is a church

I’m not religious. Maybe because I never had any faith I could tie myself to. Maybe because organized religion has hurt too many souls for me to feel anything but apathy towards it. Still, every once and a while when I’m seeking something, I go to the movies.

The cinema. The multiplex. Whatever you want to call it.

I sit in those plush, leather chairs. Or velvet depending on which theater you are in. In total darkness. Sometimes with a friend, mostly by myself these days. And I watch the images dance across the screen. Light and sound moving together, capturing something that never was and never will be again. Introducing me to people and places that have never existed.

Delighting me, thrilling me, saddening me.

I experience the whole spectrum of human emotions in the span of two hours. For two hours, I feel something that I’ve never felt in any kind of church or temple. The feeling of, “Oh, there’s something bigger out there. And someone understands.”

But maybe I’m just sentimental. I am Californian after all. We make movies there. I think it’s in my blood to love them. Anything else would be blasphemy.

Do you think rage tastes like blood?

Do you think rage tastes like blood? If it were a thing that you could consume, would it be coppery, bitter, and metallic? Something you wanted to spit out instantly?

I am so filled with it all of the time. If it were a food, they’d call me a glutton. And I wish I could toss it away, like left-overs gone bad.

But it’s an addiction to this feeling that comes over me like an angry god of ancient times, waiting for some innocent mortal to come down and strike for things that they unknowingly did. While not taking any of the blame myself.

Whatever rage is, I wish I could cut it out of me. It hurts too much to have it. And nothing to do with it.

Two tales of one marriage

When I ask my father about being married to my mother, he talks about it like it’s a faded memory. Like he doesn’t know what was real or what wasn’t. Or maybe he’s hiding something.

And I know he’s hiding something.

Because the memories my mother has told me bleak, desolate nightmares. But if he told me the truth, that would mean ruining the fiction—the love story—he’s invented in his head. And I, meanwhile, am left haunted by the ghosts from the horror story I know it was.