Waiting patiently to be picked up from their metal beds. Longing to have cold shelves to be replaced with warm hands. Tender flesh caressing their pages. Whispered conversations. Papers bound and spines bending. Each one smells different. That beautiful sound of one sliding off the shelf. The distinct scratching of finding a new reader. The scent of knowledge surrounding students, stories accenting the air. Religious Radicals of Tudor England.
Student Center Dining Area:
Scratching chairs singing the melody of lunchtime, carefree laughter and conversation the harmony. Humanity’s dance sweeping around me. The feeling of being a single person at a table while also being part of a collective unit. Timelines intersecting briefly, halting for sustenance. Knowing that someone enjoyed food at this exact spot because a fortune sits here staring at me–almost like someone purposely left it there for others to see. “Never forget how much you are loved.” I am both myself and another patron, the background character of a hundred different stories. People walking past me, knowing I exist, but unaware of who I am. Perhaps to them I am faceless, just a flash of light against the backdrop of their lives. I want to be swallowed up by the sounds; I want everyone to know that I am here. Each of us wishes it to be known that we are here.
Dearest Gazebo who stands amongst the human dwellers, we walk your grounds while you are stationary. A being who offers safety from rain and also a stage. Kindly watching the play of humanity. You keep us safe in your shadows. Amidst the construction, you offer serenity. To look at you, I feel a connection to a time long passed. Your spire reaches into the air, roof unfolding in tiers with a beautiful lattice trim. We wait on these steps to hear you speak. Tell us a story of all who came before. By crossing into your wall-less body, I can feel an imprint of myself being made on this space. I have joined the story of your world, adding myself to your narrative of humanity. A piece of my life forever entwined with yours.
The television was on, but I wasn’t watching anything that was on it. Outside the trees danced around in the wind, and it was something that I wished vehemently that I could feel on my face. I was tired of being trapped inside of the house like a porcelain doll that would crack into a million pieces if I ever was let out of an adult’s sight. Unfortunately, this was the price I had to pay for being what I was. When I had been born, there was no celebration like all the other children would get from the relatives that gather around to welcome the new life. No. I was born to these two people who didn’t have the capacity to love me. How could someone carry my tiny body around inside their belly for 9 months and not feel any sort of love for me I will never be able to conceive. My mother killed herself not long after I came into this world. Something about not being able to cope with what she had brought into the world. I personally don’t care; it’s just one more thing that I will have to learn to deal with later on in life. Love is hardly a gift that is given to those like me, demons. When I was about 13, my grandparents decided to tell me exactly what I was, and how I came to be on this planet. I didn’t get that normal speech about the birds and the bees, nothing special or awkward for me. I learned that my mother had been kidnapped when she was only 16, three years older than I had been when the story came out. The person, or rather thing, that had taken her was known as a Yoviach, a demon who was notorious for taking away human females who were not protected. When my mother had been tossed back onto the doorstep of my grandparents it had been with her pregnant and completely insane from being held captive. They refused to allow her and since they weren’t able to believe that some fairy-tale creature had taken her away in board daylight I was able to be carried to term. A female Yoviach is something altogether different from the male counterpart. I am not someone who will go make off with men in the middle of the night and hold them captive for years. No, my gender is highly coveted by the demons that sire us upon the humans. We females hold much power over the way the elements work within the world, and we are able to use these powers in ways that would eventually kill off all of the humans that live within this world. I am wanted, and so I must stay inside. There are times I wonders if my life is worth it, and then I realize that if I didn’t exist the world would fall apart since there must be some sort of balance between me being here and the males constantly siring more of myself. How odd that I can be part of something so much bigger than myself.
I was always told that if I followed my heart I could never actually do anything wrong. Well that was nice in theory, but sometimes your heart is the most vile part of your entire body, and all it does is fuck everything up. We grow up assuming that everything we do is going to lead toward the best of outcomes, this may be true for some people, people who have the ability to always come out smelling like roses. As children we don’t really know what things are considered right and wrong, only what our parents or elders etch out as a moral code. My code was shot to hell from the beginning, and no matter how many ways you look at everything I have done I cant blame all of it on my upbringing. They will say that I should have known better, that to endebt my life to people who would later be some of the most significant people in the world — no matter that they are still rather unknown — was an idiotic choice. When you’re young power can be a hell of a drug. Everything we do will inevitably tip the scales for one side or another, and many of us signed on for this job when we were barely old enough to tie our own damn shoes. Keep to the shadows, and carry out the missions. That was the way things are supposed to be done. Don’t ask questions, follow the directive and claim your payment. Sometimes we would have to kill, other times we would infiltrate an organization in order to bring it to its knees. Some people call us mercenaries…. we call ourselves The Catalysts.
I rose quickly through the ranks and became the Catalyst Queen. People would never know my face, but my name was spoken everywhere, and usually in hushed tones. Funny enough, I thought that this meant I had finally found my place in the world. Maybe I thought being feared meant I had garnered that respect that all Catalysts craved. How wrong I was. Not only did no one know who I really was… but people seemed to sense that there was something off about me. Maybe it was the stench of a well placed secret that would soon begin the next war, or perhaps the lingering aroma of power.
(Story idea perhaps…. or just a little light musing)
Bright orange bricks that have seen too much sun…. perhaps they were once a bright red like all the others that litter the campus, but that’s the point right? Age is a beautiful thing when we think about colleges. We want that aged look on these buildings.
I count two windows that are propped open to let in the chill of that winter air, or maybe to displace the feeling of claustrophobia that can overcome a person once they are trapped in this place for too long. That feeling of not being able to leave, and no matter how far forward you seem to move there will always be a cloying stench of failure wrapping itself tightly around the throat, skin blanched from the need to dispel the grotesque mass lodged there.
One lone bench. Separated from all the other offered seating and resting carelessly in a corner. At first look, you would suspect there to be the feeling of lives unlived. Two windows rest on either side. This bench can see all that is happening at all times, constantly being a part of the scenery while never having to interact with the main story. One could get lost in a book and still have the noise of others surrounding them, never letting a person get too caught up in their words and losing touch with reality.
Snow. It is winter, just after the snow storm that only happens every 3 or so years. Massive rocks, covered in moss are now sporting a new covering of soft white. They appear to look like turtles who have been covered in a map. Perhaps this is what people think of when imaging the Isle of Tortuga. That large turtle that supposedly supports all of the world upon its back. Even the one sitting right outside the glass panels of the wall I stare through seems to be of a turtle design. Unintentional I am sure. What if that is what we look like to others in the cosmos? Nothing more than a bright patch of white snow splattered haphazardly across a rock.
In total, the entire picture is one of beauty. A serene scape that only occurs once in a lifetime.. perhaps in ever. Never will the snow fall in precisely that same pattern, and I will never be here to capture the life that exists in even the most seemingly lifeless tableus. Leaves are dancing, enjoying the wind that has allowed them the chance to do a final dance before laying peacefully on the ground in order to make way for those that will be born in a few months time. True beauty is found here…..