For those who don't know, I'm Russian-Jewish (Jew from Russia). I'm taking a Holocaust class and am, well, sad is the right word. This story is an expression of my feelings. This takes place around teh time second temple is destroyed, on Ninth of Av (I don't know the date in Western sense, but somewhere in August or September possibly) sometime in 70 AD. Adonai is a Hebrew word for God by the way.
Torah is very precious to Judaism by the way and consists of the first five books of Moses (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.) Please be kind and don't make fun of this story or anything of the kind. If this story is inappropriate please let me know and delete it. Thanks in advance. If I insulted anyone else, my apologies.
Life commences, the smoke spiraling into the air, everything in shambles, the buildings of sand demolished, fires raging, screams pierce the skies, echoing through the clouds. Blood seeps into the sand, the purity lost. Human beings flow through, their blood mingling together. The world does not weep, the world does not help. Human beings have done this destruction, inflicting the scars on the souls of others.
Alone, she is alone, watching the destruction of her heritage, taken down brick by brick, until nothing but the wall is left. The men, strange uncircumcised men dance around, their faces mad with happiness, waving brands of fire in the air. She continues to watch, to be wounded internally as everyone she knows is destroyed by their hand.
Judah is leveled, no longer there. Hard to believe that it is not a nightmare but reality comes true. “Adonai,” she whispers, “why have you forsaken your people? Why have you let this come to pass? My family was loyal to you, we worshipped you and have not forgotten your commandments and promises…yet you have not spared us, you have not sent your angels to fetch us.” Tears fall from her face as she attempts to think of a reason, yet no reason was forthcoming. Too late had she learned the most important lesson of all; destruction and strife happen for no reason at all. Nothing changed, and no lessons will be learned, she realized helplessly. There will always be people who love destroying the lives of others.
The images fade, the senses are destroyed. She no longer wants to see what happens, she longer wants to see this destruction. Wishes are not granted, her ears are still open, inflicting cut by cut on her dying soul.
Little by little, everything fades the noises as well. She opens her eyes, seeing death of all shapes and sizes; death of culture, of life, of heritage, and the most important, of the Torah, torn in two. She wants to take the scrolls with her, the reminder of what happened to Judah, of what happened to her, yet she is forbidden. Two men stand beside her, their arms encircling her writs. They order her to march.
She walks last, watching as the Jerusalem fades from her eyes, diminishing little by little, almost disappearing. No matter how far she travels or how far she goes, Judah will always be there, indelible, carved onto the land, a scar.
This is an old story i wrote awhile ago. I feel kind of guilty that i haven't been writing stories due to my school life (Hate 8 page papers and so on...) To be honest i don't htink i'll finish with it, its an incomplete but very true story about my first relationship with a Korean/Korean-American guy. (To make long story short, he lied about some things, and due to one comment he made i distrust everything he told me.) Post script, for those who know about my special friend (the one that answered your questions alcho and another member of this forum,) this is not about him. (Takes place in 2005, I met my special friend in 2008...)
True story of my ex and me. Its an AM/WM story. Its not yet finished, and its also posted in my blog. Enjoy it.
Sunlight of morning, a summer in mid-July. I am waiting for the bus, concrete beneath the feet, a support. When will it come? Music from China moves through my ears. Random thoughts talk inside. Its hot, will I meet anyone interesting? The bus arrives. A ticket is removed, a voucher pass. Step by step, I climb inside; wearing sunglasses, smile on my face. I spot him then, a tall Asian with glasses and a baseball cap backwards. He is bald as well. He is not my type, yet I walk up to him.
It begins then. A brief conversation that leads to unexpected path. He is animated, outgoing. He is very muscular and his clothes remind me of a gangster want to be. I had to leave, walk inside the rail car. I bid him goodbye, somehow knowing I would see him again.
A path of secrets, of lies of deceit, that is the choice I have unconsciously made. I see him again, the very next day. I step inside the bus and there he is again. He is not a college student as I thought him to be. He goes there to pass time. He asks my number. I give him the number, and when he calls the very same day, I am not prepared.
He does not have a phone, he tells me later on. He asks me to come over to his apartment so he would cook me something special. Come over to his apartment? I decline. He says he never asked a girl out before. Then, he says he will be accompanying me to my destination. He had to go soon, the minutes ran out.
I saw him on the station, a gift in his hands. CDs, from his home country are given to me. So you won�€™t have to listen to Chinese music, he tells me. We board the train. Sunlight streams, a day of new beginnings, he sits far from me while I watch the light. You can sit next to me I tell him as I pat the empty chair next to me. Overpowering aura, eyes of laser beams focus on me. Darkness becomes my vision, through touch we become one. His kisses speak desperation, something that aches to be released. His arms fold me to him, unsatisfied demands. Force, conquer overpower. My courtship begins.
We arrive, hand in hand. I have to go now, but I will be back here later, I promise.
A heat wave dances through the city, a city underneath the Southern skirts. Around is poverty; cigarette butts, gnawed chicken bones, and trash.
Downtown. He sits and grins. I�€™ll wait here, he tells me.
You should go inside where it is cooler, I tell him.
I leave then, and return after a few hours. He is still sitting on the bench.
I�€™ve been waiting for you this entire time, he tells me.
We are together then, my hand in his, fingers intertwine like coils of a spring. I am his first girlfriend; he never had a girlfriend before. His first kiss, he tells me.
Day is not over, not just yet. College approaches, a scent of earth invades. Rain, it shall rain today. Library, a buzz of computers, of students playing games and doing work, we sit.
Would you like to see my homepage? He asks.
Yes, I respond. He shows it to me. A picture of him, with hair clouds my sight. A song plays in background. His message is seen.
This is to my church brothers and sisters, he explains. The song, I wrote it and created it.
It is beautiful.
I sing the background he claims as he points out his voice. If I were to come up with a singer his voice resembles most, it would be Craig David.
He shows me a poem he wrote. A poem speaking of love, of the one, a poem I cannot recall. Later on, he would explain that back in his country, he wrote poetry to escape his life. The thought of finding a soul mate drove him on to continue to live. He needed a smoke, we walked outside. Two trees are clouds for a bench, the darkness is enters. Light illuminate outside. I sit. He stands. He sings me a song he wrote, using a tone from another song I cannot pinpoint. He tells me he thinks of me as someone he�€™ll marry, the soul mate he desires.
I go back home then.
Friday arrives, a cloudy day. He calls. We meet amid the scurrying shoppers and stores. We walk, his hand around my waist, looking at jewelry of all sorts; there are diamond rings, opals, emeralds, garnets and amethysts. Eager to show off my knowledge, I point and name the stones. Most of times I am right, others, I am wrong.
Some salespeople think we�€™re married.
Not yet, he tells them as he grins. He is proud of me, I�€™m dating a smart girl, he shouts.
Hours flash as seconds, rejuvenation does not escape, I want to taste everything; the masseuses, going to stores. He is irritated when I ask if I could get a massage.
It is dark, and cloudy, ready to rain. I pay for our dinner; one slice of pizza and a soda to share. He didn�€™t have money. I�€™ll give you a massage, he says as he begins. He is clumsy, unknowing in senses. Shortly after, he stops.
I forget his irritation. We continue to walk. An Asian male stands, the massaging table next to him. I ask him again. He begins to walk away.
Oh God, what did I do? Torn, uncertain of what to do, I run after him, calling out his name, apologizing forever. How could I do that to him? He�€™s upset.
He keeps walking, I struggle to keep up.
Then he stops. Stands. If you didn�€™t run after me, I would have walked away, he says. I stand close. He is not touching me, I, not him.
We walk. Ottoman is near. He sits down, I on his lap.
Gratitude. He did not leave me! His arms go around me. We talk; our souls are together, almost the same. He understands me. How could he not?
Time to go. We walk together, hand in hand, outside.
It is beginning to rain.
He does not have a car, and I do not either.
My parents picked us up. He sits far from me, we still hold hands.
We arrive at his apartments, he does not kiss me, though I try, he resists.
He leaves, as do I.
I look forward to next time.
Monday. Today I�€™ll drive you to college, he tells me. I remember. We talked during weekend about it. Something is inside, eating me from within. I know what it is, anxiety. After college, we will go to Main Event. We will stay for a few minutes. I have to say hi to my friends, he explains. It is fine with me. The station is approaching rapidly. I have my own music prepared. We listen to it together, for the first time. Everything is fine, for now. The heat closed around me, no air to breathe. We walk down. Sit here, he tells me. I do so. He walks upstairs. I sit down.
Minutes pass, songs as well. He appears now and then, making sure I am all right.
Dreams of the Past
Every night he begins to see the wide golden prairies, the sunlight streaming through the stalks as the gentle wind caresses them like a lover. He sees her as well, a delightful smile on her face, picking up wildflowers.
He stands far away, the wetness streaming down his cheeks, wanting to share in her joy of feeling and sensing these flowers, but he does not dare to go closer, not unless he wants to die. Another stands beside her, the one who hates his guts. He does not delight within this simple pleasure, but begins to encourage her to abandon the activity. Don’t do it, he begs her silently, please don’t. He wants to leave her, no longer see this picture of forced happiness, but he cannot, not unless they walk away first.
Giving her up is the hardest thing he had to do in his life. He had little desire to do so, little desire to say goodbye. Instead he hoped against hope for a happy ending, not to end up like the doomed lovers of countless tales that the world loves and craves. To this day he dreams of endings that will not come true, and dreams of life that will not be.
He continues to look at her, seeing at last the red and the puffiness that surrounds her eyes; the smile that seemed delightful is forced as well. Why does it still hurt, he wonders. Everyone tells him the pain will pass that time heals wounds, yet it has been half a year and the pain is still as fresh as if it had happened yesterday. He remembers her begging to think it through, that she will be okay, that she has always been a loner. Should they have been together, she would be reviled by everyone around her. Despite her brave words, he sensed that she would not be able to handle it, and parted with her.
That very night, the emotion was loneliness and togetherness at the same time. Something precious was given and taken from one to another, and memory was there to stay. He was reluctant to leave, to say goodbye, only desiring to stay together for forever, but then remembered the dangers of being with her and with a heart that is like a sack of stones, he parted, tearing the connection that had been forged.
Yet he continued to watch her, to look over her, to make sure that she was happy. He wondered if she knew about him, that he still acted like a guardian angel to her. He hoped not. He sees another look towards his direction; a smirk appears on that face, and forcibly he places his arm around her shoulders, cocking his hat backwards and scooting closer. He begins to kiss her; she resists, but is unable to throw him off of her.
Desire to rescue her from him is strong, but he feels helpless, frozen between life and death and remains standing. What should he do in this situation, when he is too helpless to be the knight in shining armor to the woman he loves? The other tugs at her, his arm forcibly encircles her wrist as he pulls her away from his sight. The forced lovers leave. He sighs, the broken feeling not leaving his heart, but is instead increased. If only, he begins to himself. He hides among the golden stalks, wanting to disappear, to no longer exist within the world that punishes the heart. The desire to be with her is strong, to protect her from the men like the other, to care for her, to be within the happiness that few are aware that exists. He leaves physically, but his spirit remains behind him in the golden prairie as the sun begins to set, the rays gently play with the dark blue water, creating colors and last struggles for life.
The scene changes, no longer there but a swirl of rainbow colors. Faded noises are heard, voices that have not come into focus. She is gone, but not another. She is dead, he remembers now, dead, yet he still dreams of her, hoping that these are merely dreams and not memories finally coming back.
At last everything disappeared and reality came back. He is awake, wetness covering his body, the darkness everywhere. He says goodbye silently, and begins the new day, hoping to forget the memories of all.
Unseen snowflakes circle through the air, the cold temperature falls down, it is night, and the lights are glowing, beacons of hope, lighthouses in the sea of suburban population. Humanity marks the whiteness, the car tires are seen on the road, the footsteps as well, the crunch beneath their feet, that time of magic when happiness is real, when the heart is bursting, laughter on people’s lips, romanticized one-day version of winter wonderland for the population that never sees it. The snowflakes fall under the lights, tiny pinpoints of white that could build a mountain with an amazing strength to stop life in its tracks, yet she feels happy to be sharing such a day with her love.
She watches the scene of white stretch out before her very eyes, watches as the snow covers the trees, giving them a look of unreality, a scene of white wasteland, the snow serving as a landscape to illuminate its emptiness. The trees are frozen, their branches become burdened with snow yet they do not fall, no matter how much weight they carry, and their struggles add beauty as if a hand carved out the bases and added snow for decoration.
She sees her love from afar, the snow crunching beneath his steps, sees as his face lights up, his hands become outstretched and tiny pin pricks of white settle in his palms and quickly melt. He shivers slightly from the cold. She giggles as she walks up towards him, taking his hand in hers, marveling at the way his large fingers enclose around hers, her palm becomes warm from his. She looks up to him and sees his eyes trained on hers, an intense energy sparkles in the air, a desire to run, to make the mark upon the pristine white. He looks down, his fingers go beneath the chin, gently caressing the top, and his thumb plays with the dimple engraved within.
She rises on her tip-toes to meet him, closing her eyes, her lips stretched out for a kiss. She is not disappointed, for he meets her lips with his own, she feels them against her own, a presence of another person, a kiss of soul mates, filling up the longing that was inside of her, giving her this new feeling of satisfaction. The snowflakes settle in her hair, melting from the heat, the lamp light continues to glow, but no people or cars pass through, a feeling of privacy, a feeling of eternity, as if there is no one else, and it is just them in this world, and the world itself becomes their own play toy, the cares falling away, no longer existing.
Soon, soon everything shall return to normal, the world will no longer be theirs, for he will be gone, no longer with her. In that moment she said her goodbye, in that moment she let him go, within her mind he became a bird, flying away from her, as she cried out for his presence.
The moment passed and the lovers left, and the scene began its change, no longer the time of dreams but of reality, no longer possessing that magic that makes life special. Yet, she realized, everything is magic, everything. One day, perhaps, she will find magic yet again, maybe with him, maybe not with him, but she will always remember him.
A dance of leaves begins the swirling colors of faded brown, orange and red flows around the thick tree trunks, creation of circle imminent, the sky white, and sun not able to penetrate its eye through the cloud.
A chill permeated through the air, slight freezing of the branches, the weather between the autumn and winter, indecisive on to stay or move on.
Sound of footsteps, a couple approaches the trees, the colors swirl around them, inviting them to share the secrets, to be part of them, sounds of birds are heard, a crow is seen, wings are visions of black lightning, but they pay no attention to its flight, for they only see each other.
In the weather they radiate of springtime, a time for celebrations and for renewing life, but not for her, for she is dying, passing on. Yet he tries to act happy, tries to make her last memories full of joy. Inside, sadness eats away happiness, a leech sucking away blood, breaking of the heart, unable to let go of his love for eternity. Today, he tells himself, today is a time for celebration, a time for joy, tomorrow I can be upset, tomorrow she might be gone, but today she is here.
Her smile is radiant as a diamond; he checks his pocket, his fingertips feeling the velvety box, and the prize he plans on giving her today, for asking her to be his wife.
He wonders at the right moment to ask, to show her how much she means to him, how much he wishes that eternity would be possible for forever and ever. He wonders if she disappeared, but her warm hand in his shows that she is here, alive and radiant. The leaves swirl endlessly, spreading out to different directions, to different places and fates, the colors are over, and most are shades of brown, with white frost clinging on to them.
People are like that too, aren’t they? The tree is a place, but fate rips them away, and spreads them out all over; some leaves fly together but eventually they are alone, this thought emerged in himself.
A wooden table appeared, the surface wet, few ants spreading out on there and the bench. He took of his jacket, the sting of cold surprising him and spread it out on the bench for her, so she could be warm.
She smiled as she sat down, her delicate hands rubbing each other vigorously. Concerned he put his arm around her, placing her head on his shoulder, his own lying on top of hers.
Words were little spoken, and had no need to be said, to ruin the mood and scenery in the world, he held her hand in his, briefly squeezing it, studying the delicate contours and grooves, the oval nails from her slim fingers, the way they squeezed him, the pulsing life she expressed.
He whispered the words to her, the ones he always wanted to tell. He loves her. A longing look in her eyes, grief mixed in as well. She doesn’t say the words though, but he knows she feels the same way.
Silence again, an orange color runs past them, a squirrel with black eyes, and a tail, the tiny paws seeking nuts. His eyes follow its movements; watch the discovery of the nuts, the sound of chewing the food follows it. She is still, not moving. He glances down, and sees that she is watching the squirrel as well.
Now, now is the time, he tells himself. His free hand reaches into the pocket, digging out the box, almost dropping it. He feels her hand on his, opening the lid, seeing the tiny treasure it contains, something that means more than gold, and something that is eternal, deathless.
Tears fall from her eyes, shining from the radiance of the diamond. Without saying a word he slips the ring onto her finger, uniting the two of them for together. The two continue to sit still, words are not exchanged.
He realizes something then, something that he should have known before. Even should they separate, their spirits will always be united, through the hardest of times and the best of times and even beyond death as well, for that is how much they love one another.
Soon, they stand up and leave, their shadows fade. The scenery remains unchanged, as if nothing had happened, the leaves swirl around the trunks flying out to the ends of the earth, the sky is still dark, a chance of rain and the weather is indecisive, and yet it changed, to the couple the weather changed, appearing more promising, and more fulfilling, if even for a short time.
Darkness creeps, the colors leave the sky, traces of gold remains, giving life to dark clouds. Grasses wave, the wind an instigator, the river a ribbon of fading silver within the water. A vision of him, for this one last night, his gentle smile, dark eyes holding the sparkle of stars, her one and only soul mate.
Touch of water within her eyes, in her hands softness of the bonnet, her nails tracing the lines. The wind passes through, tousling her hair. The air around cooling down, the heat leaving the sky until the next day, she shivers, her hands dropping the bonnet, moving towards the elbows. The sky is darker, golden traces become pale yellow, clouds moving in, gray colored within the blue sky.
Footsteps arrive behind her, soft thuds falling on the dark brown floor. She does not turn around, she knows who it is, her soul mate. Unspoken questions fly through the air, does he feel what she feels, does he know how unhappy she is, that she has to give up her dream of becoming his wife? He knows and understands, what does her heart desire the most? To spend one last night with him is her desire, to always remember his looks, his charm.
Her eyes see the fading color of gold, how soon it will be engulfed by darkness around it. Is that what will happen to her relationship, to her memories, to him even? A shiver passes through her body as she wishes that tonight would become unforgettable for eternity that this color will forever be engraved into the daylight sky, as stars are engraved into the nighttime sky for centuries on end.
Colors of darkness are predictable, almost routine, yet daylight is not. In daylight one never sees anything twice, it has flexibility, yet darkness lacks that. Why is it that way, she wonders. Most legends are composed of night, yet daylight is far more interesting.
Her fingers trace his skin, the color of the sun. A child of the sun she calls him, child of fun and laughter, playing among the grasses, diving into the river. Softness touches her forehead, his kiss of longing; his fingers comb her hair as he continues to plant kisses on her forehead, her cheeks and finally on her lips.
Wetness touches her cheeks, leaking out from her eyes, falling onto her dress. One last night before saying goodbye for forever, one last night to spend in imagining that everything could be different between them.
He falls asleep quickly, his hands wrapped around her, her head on his chest, breathing in then out, the rhythm never varies but the same. His features she engraves into her mind; the closed eyes, thick small lips, his unruly hair tickling the eyelids. Her fingers study his body, remembering the skin color, listening to the heartbeat underneath her palm, the expansion of the chest, and then the decrease as the air left. Finally, she fell asleep.
Bright sunlight greeted her eyes, he was gone. White clouds in the sky, birds singing songs of love and courtship, the river a sparkling aquamarine of blue with silver stars within the water, the colors returned at last, but no golden color, not yet. Not until tonight.
A green color caught her eye. A golden ring with green jade as a stone lies where they sat, and tied to it is a note. From her soul mate.
‘May the ring bring you good luck my love. My mother gave this to me as a wedding present, that should I find a woman I love, I should give this ring to her, and leave the other one for myself. Please keep it and do not let anyone see it. Pass it on to your children when you have them, teach them about the love we had for one another.
‘Please remember the love we had for each other, I hope it will be a source of comfort for you in toughest times. Remember, that just like Mandarin ducks back in my homeland, I will love you forevermore.’
She folded the note and quickly hid it in her bonnet. With the ring she did the same thing. She realized she had no choice, that she had to move on. But she still had her memory of his love for her, the ring and the note.
One last time she looked over the place and realized that although she couldn't see him anymore physically, she could still him in her mind, whenever she wanted. Although such thoughts are of very small comfort in these moments, perhaps in the future they could become bigger comfort.
Goodbye my love, she says silently. I hope that whatever your fate will be, your memories will bring you as much joy as you have given me. At last she left, never to see him again.
Escape, all she wanted was an escape. The path is clear, yet dark, no lantern to hold on to. She stumbles in the dark, injuring her body, unaware of the visible roots ready to trip a person up. She walks upstairs, watching the Van Gogh sky appear in the city, the hurried moon, and the stars larger than life. Her last sight before death, last sight and goodbye for forever.
Wetness streams down, traces of a snail on her face, the footsteps slow and deliberate. She remembers her life, the last moments before today, the first when she became aware of the world. Goodbye, she says, goodbye. She waves in a monotone, almost expectant tone, not voicing herself, unable to continue, unable to live. Year after year, all stretch into a single day of darkness without the shade of light. All she sees is the same, no variant changes.
The clouds darken the sky, silver gray amidst the royal blue, the moon is naked, becomes hidden, invisible, Adam and Eve discovering shame for the first time. Tiny drops of rain pelt down, the palms become wet, a cliff for the waterfall of blue, of where the poetry becomes written, but nothing is written from her, only endless sorrow.
The city streams below her, an endless movie clip of life, the people rushing from place to place, all the same, nothing different about them but the positions of the stars, yet their inner selves are ultimately the same, comparable to the stars. She sees the sea of cars, the train of red and yellow going in different directions yet all ending up in the same place. There is no difference within, only the stars continue to shine brightly in the sky, daisies in a field of the blue ocean.
The rain leaves, leaving the traces of tears from her life. Everything is wet, even she, but she no longer cares. Time to say goodbye, time to never see the life again, time to do something different, and not worry about the wasted years and the endless could have been.
She cannot do it, she realizes all too late. She sits on her knees, the emotions a bottle of champagne, all let loose. She is afraid of the first step, afraid of being alone. Words are brave, but actions deserve rewards. Everyone can say words, often words that are hidden, people unaware of the situation, unaware of the emotions that words come from, but very few follow them through, and very few do what they say.
She sees a stranger, sitting on the bench; his fingers clasp the jade ring on the chain, his ring finger slipping through the hold, his head covered by a straw hat, dressed like a peasant, hiding the identity. A kindred spirit of the darkness, sent out in the rain, the words are silent, no longer spoken. He turns towards her, his dark eyes containing sympathy, and an understanding.
Questions arise, how could he know of her sorrow, of the endless debauchery of her life, of the loneliness and isolation she has experienced? Is he a mirage or a dream within her shattered mind? Could he see the soul inside of her and help her heal, gain some hope for tomorrow so she would no longer be broken?
She does not rise, continues to sit on the knees, the concrete hard beneath her knees, the sharp rocks cut into her knees, yet she is not aware of the pain, unaware of the red spots on her knees. She watches as he rises; his footsteps hesitant, anxious yet he does not stop, and continues to walk forward, the raindrops sliding down his body, the traces are there, a person marked by sadness. She sees it all too clearly within him, sees the pain that is like her own but different. She wonders about it, wonders about the pain within, a sharp knife embedded into this heart. His looks betray him, a seventeen year old body, yet he is older, how, she knows not, she senses it within instead.
His trembling fingers reach for the pocket, the hand becomes invisible, the rain returns, much stronger than before, the wind begins to blow, slow at first, a symphony ready for the performance, but then it becomes faster, excitable, she wonders about the anchor, if indeed it will be her last day before her death, whether or not she will survive today.
She watches his fingers emerge, hidden by the handkerchief he carries within. He gives it to her and walks away. Soon, he is engulfed by shadows, becoming part of them, no longer visible. She watches his back, the path in front of her dark, he battling those shadows. Will he emerge victorious, she wonders, her fingers toying with the handkerchief wondering at the stranger�€™s kindness, why he had done this for her. She was nothing for him, completely nothing, yet he had done this.
She wipes her tears away, the dark letters spell his name and nothing else. Her fingers trace the handkerchief, a keepsake from today, perhaps something to grow stronger from as days go by. Who knows, perhaps she will see him again, perhaps he will become her guide and will help her defeat the shadows belittling her life, will help her realize that being alone is better than being with someone who loves abusing her. But still, today is not that day, not yet.
The storm is gone at last; the moon shines brightly, a Van Gogh moon from the Starry Night. She walks away, becoming part of the endless crowd that knows no difference or similarity between the unknown and known.
It's amazing how you can come up with so many creative writing. I noticed that the replies are mainly single sentence posts. So I thought I'd get someone I know who writes a lot to read Dream and below is her contribution. Hope you don't mind.
I'll start with an advance apology. I've developed the tendency to heavily edit what I'm reading and I'll probably slip into 'beta-reading mode,' and so, an advance apology if you don't appreciate my nitpicking, prodding and poking of your work. As a writer myself, I know I appreciate constructive criticism and hopefully you will to. And hopefully I have some helpful advice to offer.
I have to say that I love the concept you have here, and I love the descriptions and images and how vivid they are. In particular, I love your use of: "...the Van Gogh sky..." It has to be my absolute favourite image/idea in the whole of the story.
Of course, I have some constructive criticism to offer (and also, most definitely, what I loved about the story and your writing -- another advance apology if I've left anything out. I lost my first [rather lengthy and detailed] reply and I'm rewriting this). Some of my points will be personal preferences, and I'll definitely let you know in these cases. (=
I'll start with your use of commas. I have to admit that I, myself, also have the tendency towards the abuse of commas, but I'll press forward anyhow. I have to say that I feel, sometimes, you use commas where commas aren't necessary. Rather, a semicolon or a period could suffice in these situations.
For example: "Escape, all she wanted was an escape." In this case, I feel you probably want a longer pause between, "Escape..." and "...all she wanted was an escape." Sort of like, taking it slowly between A and B. Thus, you could probably use phrasing along the lines of "Escape; all she wanted was an escape." or "Escape. All she wanted was an escape." Just a thought to mull over.
Also, in line with the comma theme, I also feel that sometimes your sentences are much too long. Of course, this is perfectly fine in certain situations, but too many 'much too long' sentences after one another can put a strain on your writing. It can become slightly awkward to read, not to mention confusing to the reader. You could probably break up certain sentences with periods and rephrasing. Idea 'A' to idea 'B' is okay, as is idea 'C' to idea 'D,' but 'A' to 'B' to 'C' to 'D' isn't, and your sentences sometimes link too many ideas that could be broken up.
Admittedly, this is an example a friend of mine gave me in relation to my own, sometimes convoluted and confusing, writing. It is, however, a good example and very good point. (=
For example: "Everyone can say words, often words that are hidden, people unaware of the situation, unaware of the emotions that words come from, but very few follow them through, and very few do what they say."
You could probably break up this sentence into the different ideas presented and further elaborate on them as I'm not quite sure of your meaning in this sentence. I feel your intention with this phrase isn't clear enough. So, "Everyone can say words, often words that are hidden," and "...people unaware of the situation, unaware of the emotions that words come from..." and "...but very few people follow them through, and very few do what they say."
This sentence, I feel you could also break up. From:
"Questions arise, how could he know of her sorrow, of the endless debauchery of her life, of the loneliness and isolation she has experienced?"
"Questions arise. How he could know of her sorrow...?"
"Questions arise: how could he know of her sorrow...?"
Now, this one is simply a personal preference. In this case, I feel that the choice of wording isn't...invoking...enough for the situation at hand. "Wetness streams down, traces of a snail on her face, the footsteps slow and deliberate." I'm not too big a fan of the use of 'wetness' in reference to crying. 'Tears' would probably suffice. Just a personal preference, however.
Of course, I never offer constructive criticism without also offering what I love. I love the romantic overtone used, in spite of her pain, in spite of her ideas of suicide. Perhaps even because of these aspects. I love that this stranger's one act of kindness is enough to bring her back from the edge, however little from said edge. Sort of how this one gesture is enough to let her know that there are still good, caring people in the world.
Again, I also love the imagery you've used, the descriptions: "the naked mood," "Adam and Eve discovering shame for the first time," "the shadows belittling her," and of course, as I mentioned in the beginning, "the Van Gogh sky." Which means, of course, I love that you repeated this idea at the end with: "a Van Gogh moon from the Starry Night." Brilliant! I love it.
Now, this is where I end. I hope I've offered something helpful, after all this. Keep on writing.
The splash of water, the oar dips into the river, the ripples are leftover. She watches the endless expanse of the blue, the sailboats and people playing with water. The green leaves with white opened lilies are there as well, the frogs creating places of rest.
A pebble is tossed, another ripple, the sunset beginning, the colors fading to black, water splashing the canvas, washing away the colors of light. She walks over, her fingers dipped in the water, her reflection in front of her. Her fingers go over the water; a blurry image is created, no longer herself.
Washing self away, making sure it no longer exists, why is it so hard to do? She sees him then; her eyes meet his across the river. His fingers go over the stretch of white, painting something. He dips the brush into another color, the one that matches her clothes and paints them on the white canvas.
She wonders at the picture, if he is painting her. She smiles across and senses that he wants to give her the picture. He dips the brush into the water, turning the clear into green; she watches the color spreading across the clear, eating it away until nothing is left.
The soft steps through the grass are followed; he becomes closer as she walks towards him, studying him carefully from all angles. He is short and slim, almost child-like in appearance with mischievous eyes and an innocent smile.
The noises fade, the river empties out of people, and they all leave for the night. Tomorrow, they’ll return again, soaking in nature, the colors of light and the river itself. Tomorrow again the river won’t belong to her but others. Tonight, tonight is different, the river is hers for the night.
His eyes look down as he sees her; she wonders if he is shy. The words are no longer there. There is something melancholy about him, she realizes. The façade of his appearance hides a melancholy side. He says nothing, does not even rise up his eyes to meet hers. His hands reach out towards her. He gives her painting and before a word is said, he leaves.
She studies the painting, sees in it a dream; a gazebo of brown is painted, peonies of white color surrounding the base. There she stands, dressed in traditional Chinese clothing; he is beside her as well. The scene is that of the river, she realizes. The fireflies in the painting are there as well, along with the frogs. All around the river are painted in petals flying through the sky. A dream, she thinks.
She decides to keep this part of him with her. Perhaps she’ll meet him again, and when she will, she will get his name. She walks away from the lake, watches the comfort fade and the uncertain future begins.
The day I met you magic flowed through the air, for I know that I met you before, even if this is my first time seeing you. My eyes met with yours, you smiled at me, and visions of happiness flowed through, how we are standing before the gazebo during spring time, the dark blue water is gentle, all around are leaves supporting lilies, the cat-tails are there as well, stringing the melody in my heart. The cherry blossoms of light pink hues fly through the air as well, expressing the happiness I feel being with you in all the corners of the world.
If only this happiness could last, if only I believed in positive life but I cannot. Like the doomed lovers we are destined to separate, to walk in our different paths of life. I wonder if I’ll meet you again, if the red string will pull me towards you and the dream I share in being your love. Please forgive me. Sadness eats away at my heart, at not being able to say goodbye to you. I cannot bear watching you become another’s wife and not mine.
I pack in the middle of the night, saying goodbye to my family, hoping they will understand my choice in leaving them. I hope not to see you again, I hope that you shall be happy with another, for I know you love me and were it not for the time would have been mine.
Yet I see you once more, as you follow me. I see you run up to me, tears in your eyes. You ask me why, I try to explain, to help you understand why. Yet I cannot, I see you are crying, your hands wiping the tears away, your slender body is shaking. Please don’t do this, I beg you. Please let me go in peace. You already stole my heart, and I cannot give that to another woman. I cannot resist, I hug you and once more the smell of roses is underneath me, the smell of freshness of life, something that will be lost. I tell you that I love you, will always love you no matter what. You beg me to stay but I resist. I take all of mine belongings and walk outside, hearing you crying outside the walls, yet you do not follow me.
The scene fades out the farther I walk, for you are no longer there in the cabin, my family disappears as well, but my feelings for you alone remain. Soon, the scene is completely gone and I am alone at last, and I start to cry, far away from everything, my feelings for you.
This is the story in my blog This takes place in 1800s, is written from a masculine point of view, and at the time, interracial marriages were forbidden. AM/WF
Touch, a gentle glide of fingers to wrist, holding hands as sun and moon interweave. A tear, a splash of water, many colors within, an image of two lovers, broken by fate, a twist of time, not in favor of the law.
She married. I was not there, but news spread around, from mouth to mouth. By now, I miss her. Her perfume, her kisses, her smile, spread petals in the wind. She is no longer mine, but another’s.
“I will not be yours,” She said as I held her. “I—“ She stopped rapidly. I turn to her, seeing the tears run from eyes.
“I know.” I wipe her tears away. My dream, my first love is leaving.
“Soon we will not be together.”
Peace. Black sky spreads out, silver snow emerges. Chirp, chirp, the crickets are awake. Small lights flash; fireflies emerge, bliss to be out, within the nature. “May I ask for two favors?”
“Yes you may.” I let go of her hand and then turn my head away.
Her touch, warmth radiates, spreads out through me. I turn and see her bright eyes, the fear written within. “I love you,” she whispered, her lips close to my ear.
My fingers rub hers. Ideal moment of lovers, of two people who cannot be as one forever, but can only capture essence from today. “I love you too,”
“I love you. When I marry, I do not want for you to allow my spirit to haunt you.”
She turns away. Peace.
“Why not?” I ask again.
She speaks. She is not facing me. “There might be a girl for you, one who can give you joy that I cannot give.”
“You give me a lot of joy.” I see her shaking her head.
“I cannot give what you need. I cannot be your wife nor grant you a child. I can bear a child, but not yours.”
For a moment I am without words. Seconds pass, I wait for her to continue to talk. She is not talking but is turned away. “It does not matter,”
“I just want for you to have joy in life. I do not want you to think of me.”
“I will think of you, even if you ask me not to, I still will.”
“Please do not let me be your last love.”
“You will be, my first and last love.”
“Why?” She asks. I take away my hand from hers. The sun coming from her hand is removed.
I sigh. “Only few girls from China can come in. And the girls that come are prostitutes.”
Calm. She turns her head towards me, her bright eyes scared. “Would you have the honor of being my first?”
“Why do you ask me that?”
“I don’t want to be his bride, I don’t love him.”
I am torn, a seagull caught in the storm. There are no words I can comfort her with. “Maybe you will love him in time.”
I can see her shaking her head. “He is my suitor. We are together for almost a year…I” she paused. “I do not love him. I feel empty when I am with him. “
There are no other suitors. She and I talk often, meet one another by the night, in secret. “You do not want to be old maid at nineteen?” I ask.
“Yes. I do not want him, I want you.”
“If I will agree, what of your father? He holds hate for Chinese. What will you do if you will expect a child, and your father discovers my part?”
“My marriage is in two months. If I will expect a child, I will claim the child is my husband’s.”
“You do know that my father’s and my brothers’ lives are in my hands.”
“I know.” I see two fireflies chasing each other. “Please trust me. Until the my wedding, I asked to stay with a relative.”
I do not reject her request. Until the traces of gold and red sun, I lie with her, the two of us together as one. When I wake up, she is still lying in my arms, a fairy from a world of beauty. I close my eyes and kiss her cheek. “I want joy for you,” I start to whisper. “I do not want to let you go, to be with another man. I want to hold you in my arms evermore, into thousands of years until our remains disappear, and our skeletons are left.” I see she does not stir. Her eyes remain closed. “If I had many lifetimes, I would spend them all with you, watching our skeletons turn to dust, but still we would be together, as one, forevermore.” Gently I move away from her. I want for her to have something of mine, I think. I pick up my belongings, and see a chain of gold, with two rings. Both of rings are made of gold, heirlooms from China. They look alike, with jade as stones. Jade is a good luck stone in China.
The rings belonged to my mother. When I left China, she gave those rings to me, to remember her and the family that is left back. Gently I remove the ring and take her hand. I feel her pulse beating, a gong in motion. I slip the ring on her ring finger and slip away, unseen and unheard.
Two months pass, and she married. I did not hear a word about the ring I gave, but I did hear of rumors that she is expecting a child. Today, she is not mine but another’s. I still cannot forget her, still feel her spirit is mine, even if she is another’s.
If era was different, I realize, she would be mine, and two of us would be forever
The names are all Korean, and in Korean, the last names are first, and first names are last. Angelo Jang=Jang Chae-Su.
Her picture. On my desk. Her curly brown hair, her large dark eyes. Ray of light, burned out. Dead. The sun sets, darkness returns. I do not turn on the light. I sit in the dark. I would cry, but cannot.
Today. It happened today. The phone call, voice on the other line, telling me she’s dead. Today. My room fades, memories of those times return. Her voice, light as a bubbling creek, her teasing eyes. So much full of life and sparkle. Not anymore.
Who has called? Voice is mysterious, unknown. None know. I asked mine secretary. She does not know. None have called me today, she tells me. If none, then whom have I talked with? She doesn’t know.
The radio, I turn it on. Her song, it plays. Janet Jackson’s someone to call my lover. “Back on the road again, Feeling kinda lonely, And looking for the right guy To be mine…” The song continues. Her song. She always played it. It used to irritate me. But not today. It’s an exception.
I walk over to my CD collection; all sorts of music catching my eye; from popular to unknown, and there I find her CD, lost amidst the pile. I’ll listen to it, just once. Just to remember her, to relive those memories I have.
I slip the CD inside, and close my eyes. She is no longer far away; she is close, very close. My situation is gone, and the past has begun.
-Someone to call my Lover: Janet Jackson-
Twenty Years ago…
Shadows deepened, day is night. Lights weren’t on; they wouldn’t turn on for another few hours. Trees whistle carelessly, the building behind dilapidated and broken down. Home. Orphanage. Small sandbox laid to the side, small children inside. One is a boy of six; small for his age with a mop of black hair and very intense black eyes.
His hands, with unusual control, run over the sand castle he was building, his black eyes scrutinizing every single grain of sand. “Its not right,” he says. “I have to redo it.”
Loud groans are heard. He breaks down his sandcastle, and using a plastic shovel, begins the building process again. Sand grains stick to his shirt, the wind whipping his face. Yet he pays no attention. He continues to build, to perfect. Finally, it is finished. He studies his work, running his hands over the tower, and finds it satisfactory to his standards. He stands up and glances over his peers; two girls and three boys, all Korean like he.
One of the girls, short and slightly portly, wearing two braids, comes over. “Finally,” she tells him. He watches as she turns towards her playmates. “I told you asking him was a good idea!” She shouts. She is six, and is a lot taller than the boy. Her name is Lee June.
“He took too long,” Jang Chae-su, oldest at nine, retorted. Jang Chae-su is tall, slim and muscular. He is known to wear a single baseball cap backwards, along with raggedy jeans and frayed shirt. He is recognized as a leader of the group.
“At least its perfect!” Lee June retorted. “We’re sure to win if it’s perfect.” Jang Chae-su rolls his eyes and leans back. The boy studies his other peers carefully, noting the exhaustion on Oh Hana’s face, a girl too tall for her age with glasses. Her nickname, the boy recalls, is the nerd.
The nerd speaks, treble in her voice. “If we win, do you think they’ll leave us alone?”
“They have to,” Lee June insists. The boy sees her throw a look towards the last two members; brothers Choi Song-Joo and Choi Song-Woo.
“Yeah,” The older, Choi Song-Joo, agrees. He is eight, taller than Jang Chae-su, and almost skeletal.
Choi Song-Woo, at five, is slightly taller than the boy, but way shorter than the girls.
“Yeah,” Choi Song-woo mimics his brother.
“****,” the boy hears Jang Chae-su respond. “The weather might blow the sandcastle.”
“What do we do?” Lee June asks. The group got up with urgency, intent on protecting the sand castle.
“Make sure that nothing happens to it! Cover it or something!” Jang Chae-su orders. He stands up as well. “Younger brother,” he addresses the boy. “Get something to cover it.” Jang Chae-su and the boy were not biological brothers. It is a way of addressing someone.
“What can cover the castle without breaking it?” Oh Hana asks. Out of all of them, the boy sees there is no panic on her face, only calm. He wonders why.
Jang Chae-su thinks about it and runs off. The rest of the group tries to protect the castle from the harsh wind. “Think it will rain?” Lee June demands. None answer. The boy knows it will rain; earlier he felt a raindrop fall on his shoulder. **** Jang Chae-su, he thinks to himself. He’s the one that insisted they all be outside. It’s Jang Chae-su’s entire fault if the sand castle got ruined.
The boy feels the raindrops, at first a few, then gradually more. “We have to get inside!” He shouts to the rest of the group.
“What?” Choi Song-Joo asks, “Kim Min-Jung, what did you say?” He screams.
Kim Min-Jung, the boy’s name. He repeats. “We have to get inside! Else we’ll get sick or something!”
“What about the sand castle?” Oh Hana asks. “Jang Chae-su ordered us to protect it no matter what!”
“I’ll make another one later!” He promises.
“Its all your fault!” Lee June says. “If you weren’t such a perfectionist then we wouldn’t be standing out here!”
“Actually we would.” Kim Min-Jung tells her. “The other group would still not come.”
Sky gets darker, rain becomes never-ending. Kim Min-Jung finds himself shivering and wonders if he’ll have a cold next day. He has a very weak immune system and can catch cold easily. When will Jang Chae-su return? Doesn’t he realize that everyone is cold?
No one is talking; silence swallowed them up. “We have to go now,” Kim Min-Jung insists.
The group groans. “Just give him one minute,” Lee June begs. “Come on, he is our leader after all.”
“What if I’ll get sick tomorrow?” Kim Min-Jung asks.
“Huh?” Lee June asks.
“I catch cold easily, remember?”
“Go get him, rest of us will stay here.” She orders.
“Come with me,” he orders her.
She shakes her head. He rolls his eyes. Lee June is very stubborn, and never listens to him. She does listen to Jang Chae-su and Choi Song-Joo.
He covers his head with hands and begins to run through the pelting rain, the wind that seems to go on forever, the storm itself; deadly. Without warning, the ground gives away, and he wonders if he is flying, when without a warning, hard ground meets his hands and face. He finds himself crying out.
Quiet pain begins to throb in his foot, close to his toes. He tries to stand up, but falls. ****, he thinks to himself, how is he supposed to get Jang Chae-su and remind him that the group is waiting? Everyone is counting on him.
A shape appears, dark, but he recognizes the shape. A girl. “Over here!” He shouts. He watches as she walks over to him, rushing. “Help me,” he asks her.
He sees that she is not Korean, not even Asian for that matter. He finds himself intrigued. Who is that mystery girl? She leans and stretches out her thin hand. Kim Min-Jung doesn’t pay attention to the details of her. “Can you stand up?” She asks.
He shakes his head.
“Wait here, I’ll get someone,”
“Wait!” He finds himself calling out. No answer. The girl already runs off. He finds himself lying on the cold pavement, still raining, the rain droplets soaking into his large shirt, adding extra weight to carry.
Maybe he can stand up himself, he can just try. Again he raises his head, his intense eyes marking the details, noticing the rain, his palms flat on the asphalt. He tries to move his leg, the pain becomes worse.
It is hopeless! He tells himself. Hopeless! ****, ****, how could he be so careless as to slip and fall? He wonders what is going with Lee June and others. How are they holding up? Why do they follow Jang Chae-su? Kim Min-Jung doesn’t see Jang Chae-su as a good leader. Jang Chae-su is too careless and sometimes irresponsible. Yet, he is the oldest, and he does have more life experience than anyone else. “If it weren’t for you, I’d be inside!” He screams to the shrieking winds. Just something to do, to keep waiting for the mysterious girl’s return.
No response. Tiny gravel bite into the fleshy areas of palms marks of red. Pressure builds into his hands, then pain. How long does he have to be here? He doesn’t know. Cannot find a response.
Irrelevant thoughts slip in, then out, warmth returned, he no longer shivered. Why? He can’t find reasons to why. Footsteps. “Hey, you there?” Voice from the north. The mysterious girl! It is she!
“Yeah!” He shouts in return. “I am here.” He looks to the north, and he sees her, and next to her is a caretaker of the orphanage.
The orphanage, the girl, everyone and everything begin to fade. Footsteps approach. Two sets.
Everything disappears, it is no longer raining. He feels himself being lifted and carried. Cold blasts him with a frosty breath. “Are you here?” He mumbles.
“Yes,” the girl’s voice. “Be strong.”
Last words he hears. Everything fades, then returns, but not as themselves.
Rain. Never-ending rain. He is lost, without direction, but he has to survive, has to make sure the sandcastle is protected from harm. If not…he would rather not think of consequences.
He stops running. The earth is still, the rain continues. Wetness seeps in, inflaming him inside. He finds himself no longer cold. Where is the door? Vision fades. Think, he orders himself. Think, think, everything depends on you. Finally, it clicks. Vision returns and he runs opposite of where he ran.
The scenery moves again, trees seem to run backwards, their branches clawing at the sky angrily. **** rain! Spoils everything! If it weren’t for the rain, then he is sure that the older group will visit, and then his group won’t be bullied around anymore.
I wish someone else could be the leader, he thinks to himself. How tired I am of always taking care of everyone and everything. Even at the tender age of nine, Jang Chae-su feels the strain of life.
The wind is much stronger, he notices. A shriek, and Jang Chae-su ducks. What was that? He finds himself thinking. The wind. It has to be the wind. Wait, he orders himself. He stops once again, the fingers traveling to his head. His baseball cap! It is no longer there! ****! It flew away. His most prized possession!
“****!” He screams. He scans each direction, his alert eyes trying to be careful not to miss.
A streak of red flying up, along with the winds. He begins to run after it, his feet leaving the ground briefly to catch it, unsuccessfully. His height can’t help him either. He continues to run, and at that time, the wind dies away slightly.
The baseball cap begins to fall. Jang Chae-su begins to run into the direction, watching as the altitude decreased. Still, it is too high for him.
The wind continues to die away, baseball cap at the mercy of winds. Finally, Jang Chae-su has a chance at catching it. He decides not to pay any attention to the scenery, and jumps up, his fingers grazing it.
Yes! He got it!
The wind still has power, strength. Before Jang Chae-Su knows, the cap is torn away from him. ****! He thinks to himself. A strange shape appears before him, a really weird girl.
She is shorter than he, her skin as white as snow, her eyes sunny and bright, and her hair a mass of dark curls. Her eyes are large though, and they do not possess double eyelids. She looks like an American.
His beloved baseball cap lands in her hands. “Miss,” he greets. He points to a baseball cap. “That is mine.”
Her lips curve upward, she seems to be part of the sun. “Here,” she says as she outstretches her slender hand and gives him the baseball cap. “I’m sorry. I am new here. Maybe you can help me.”
“Yes. I am looking for Miss Lee, a caretaker.”
“Do you know her full name?”
She shakes her head, her curls tremble lightly. “I am new here.”
He says nothing, and gently takes his baseball cap from her. What could he tell her, he wonders. How this is the one orphanage that you don’t want to be at? How dark the future will be? He studies her, and gets an impression that he doesn’t need to tell her anything. She already knows.
Where did she come from? He wonders. What is her name? He clears his throat. “Hi,” he says. “I am Jang Chae-Su, and you?”
“Sonya Lightner,” she replies.
His throat constricts. He wonders why, for this has never happened to him before. “Let’s go inside,” he points to the nearest door. He walks quickly, in a hurry; he sees that she is walking leisurely, considering her footsteps carefully. They don’t talk. He wants to though, to talk to her, to find a kindred spirit. The words he uses, they die in front of her, right before his mouth, his lips.
When was the last time I talked with anyone? He questions himself. It has been a long time. Very carefully, he places his baseball cap backwards.
Unbidden, a memory returns, changes the scene, what he can see. Sand covers the whole field, the sun a blazing inferno. He is small; about five years of age. A tall man stands beside him. “Here you go, Jang Chae-su,” the man tells him. Jang Chae-su knows that the man is his dead mother’s boyfriend.
“Thank you Uncle, I’ve had a great time today.”
The two walk, the uncle holding on tight to his hand. Jang Chae-su senses tension in uncle’s hand. “Jang Chae-su,” uncle says. He stops. Jang Chae-su remains silent. Jang Chae-su feels happy in uncle’s presence. “Here,” the uncle hands him a red baseball cap, in front is Korean flag. “Keep this.”
“Wow, where have you gotten this from, uncle?”
No reply. They get inside the car. “Jang Chae-su,” the uncle begins. “You know that both your mother, and your father, you know that they have died.”
He nods his head. Of course he knows it. Why would uncle think he wouldn’t know that?
He opens the car door window, feeling the breeze past him by. What a happy day this is! He likes his uncle, the gifts that uncle buys for him. “Jang Chae-su,” the uncle begins again. “You know that I am getting married, right?”
“I know, uncle.”
“I have talked with my wife to be about you, and she doesn’t think it’s a good idea if I should keep you with me.”
“What? Why not?” Jang Chae-su turns sharply towards him.
“You are not my son, Jang Chae-su. I only take care of you because I promised your mother I would…”
Jang Chae-su doesn’t say a word. He watches the scenery whizzing by. He knows where his uncle is taking him. To an orphanage. He doesn’t protest. What could he do?
He stops reminiscing. Its all part of my past, and past doesn’t matter anymore, he tells himself. He takes a quiet look over Sonya. What pain has she been through? He asks himself.
They continue to walk forward, until they reach the door. He opens the door, and lets her in. She enters. He follows. A caretaker comes over; short, overweight woman. She is taller than Jang Chae-su, but around the orphanage staff she is the shortest. Her name is Caretaker Seo. “Hello,” she greets Jang Chae-su and Sonya.
“Good morning Caretaker Seo.” He greets her back.
“Who is this, Jang Chae-su?” She asks, placing her plump hands on her hips. He looks down on the floor, studying the pattern carefully.
“I found her outside…” he begins. “She is a new ward, Sonya Lightner.”
He watches as the caretaker walks over, and gives Sonya a once-over look. “I see. I am not in charge of her.”
“I know,” he replies. He continues to stand.
“Seek out Caretaker Lee. She is in charge of Sonya.”
“Where shall I find her, Caretaker Seo?”
Caretaker Seo shrugs. “She is probably in a bathroom or elsewhere.”
“Thank you.” He bows, and walks towards the staff room. He hears Sonya’s quick footsteps. Rain droplets become a barrage of bullets against the windows. He hears a gasp and turns towards Sonya. “What’s wrong?” He asks. She doesn’t reply, but runs outside. His eyes follow her path, running up, and then kneeling. Silently, he is behind. He sees where she kneels, and a young boy catches his eye. Kim Min-Jung. Only then he remembers the errand.
He must have gone after me, Jang Chae-su thinks. And here I am, forgetting my responsibility. He hopes that the group will forgive him. They must, he makes up his mind. We all have to get out of here, have to grow up until we can leave.
After a minute, he sees Sonya running towards him. “I-I must help him!” She screams.
“That guy, he broke his ankle! Jang Chae-su, do something!”
Jang Chae-su thinks for a minute. “Get Caretaker Lee, she’s in the staff-room. The staff-room is upstairs, room S256”
“How do you know?” Sonya demands. She crosses her hands across her chest, and her right foot is crooked.
“Just trust me,” he insists. Now is not the time to get into details. “I will run to my room. I am needed.”
Stairs are near. Sonya races upstairs. Jang Chae-su runs towards his room, and groans when he sees his room; paper is strewn everywhere, along with clothes and suits. His roommate’s things, crossing the dividing line. Why couldn’t he clean up? Why must he make things more difficult for me? Quickly he begins to throw the clothes over to the other side, and then spots the needed container. He grabs it and runs out.
He sees Sonya trying to calm down Kim Min-Jung; apparently the poor guy sprained his ankle, Jang Chae-su jumps to conclusion. He can tell just by looking at the injury. A gift, of sorts. He waits until the two are gone and then races outside, towards the sandbox.
Oh Hana, Lee June, Choi Song-Joo and Choi Song-Woo are guarding the castle, their expressions grim. “Hey!” He screams. They all see him.
“There you are!” Lee June calls out.
“Here’s the container,” He tosses it towards Lee June and she puts it over the castle. It is safe! At last something is going right. “Let’s run guys!” Five of them run towards the entrance, and they make it.
Jang Chae-su breathes a sigh of relief when he sees everyone inside. He decides to go into his room and change. “Jang Chae-su,” he hears his name called. He sees Lee June following him.
“What is it?”
“I meant to ask you, why were you late? I know your roommate is messy, but still…”
He decides against telling them the truth. “I’ve lost the container, and had to find it.” He lies.
Lee June seems to accept it. “Do you think we can play airplanes today?” Airplanes is one of their favorite games, similar to tag, except you have to catch one another using paper airplanes.
“Its rainy,” he points out. “Anyways, I feel tired. I think I’ll go in for a nap.”
“What about school?” She demands.
“Don’t worry about it,” he calls back. Jang Chae-su knows he has no future. At best he’ll end up working in a grocery store for the rest of his life. At worst, in a prison.
“Jang Chae-su,” Lee June tries to argue. He waves her aside.
He is lost in his thoughts, actions. I can’t think about school, he tells himself. I need to make sure that everyone else survives. Only then I can think of myself.
As he is walking, he sees the weird girl again. “Jang Chae-su,” she calls out, her voice high, without trembling.
“What?” He asks and the stops.
“Thank you. Are you going to eat?”
“I’m going to nap. You’re welcome to come along.”
“I’m going to eat. I’m hungry.”
He finds himself silent once more, words dying at his lips.
“Can you tell me where I can get food?” Maybe I’ll get something to eat with her, he thinks.
“I am hungry as well,” he tells her.
A smile forms her lips. They start to walk towards the lunchroom. White walls pass by, barren, empty. Only doors are drawn. No creativity of pictures or paintings or anything else.
Jang Chae-Su hates living in the orphanage. I will never get used to the life here, he thinks. Never, ever.
Seconds tick; he can’t find words to speak, can’t find words to tell Sonya. Her name isn’t American, he finally decides. If not, then what is she? He studies her carefully, and finally speaks, forcing each word out. “How old are you?”
She jumps, and stops. “What?” She asks.
“How old are you?” He repeats his question. He stops as well. He sees her lowering her head down, her eyelids covering up her eyes.
“I’m seven,” she replies. “You?” She asks boldly.
“Nine.” He replies.
“Nine,” she repeats. She starts to walk again, slowly, and carefully. “Will you be ten?”
No reply from him. Is she serious, or joking? He cannot tell. She remains silent, and follows him to the cafeteria.
How can she be happy? He wonders. She seems to have no troubles, no problems on her spirit; she is cheerful, and bright. How can such a person exist here? What is her secret?
His life is dark, full of mysteries, of holes. I want to bask in that light, he realizes. To know what it is like. Will she let me though? Will she be my friend? What if she won’t? What if she’ll go to another group, and two of us will be enemies? I can’t bear that thought.
“You’re a silent one, aren’t you?”
He turns to her. “What?”
“You’re always silent.” She observes. “Its boring.”
He doesn’t apologize. Why should he apologize for the way he is? He stops then, and watches as she stops as well. “I have to go now,” he tells her.
“Oh? Where to?”
He shrugs. “Don’t worry, if its fate, I will see you.” He turns in opposite direction, and she fades from him.
This is a similar story to Last Love. If you'd like to, you can both read each and tell me which one is better. To those who are familiar with my writing style, this is my first attempt at trying it out. So let me know AM/WF, masculine point of view. This takes place in late 1800s, so interracial marriages are forbidden. I believe that this is my very first attempt to write in this style. It was for a creative writing class, write a story with 1 or 3 syllables i believe?
Dreams of Never
A kiss. That is all. Words, to think, to be, to live. All that she wants, she will not get. I am not like her. I am not white. I am Asian, a male, from China. She needs me, I need her. Life is clear. "Where are you?" She says.
"In a dream," I say.
"Yes, the one where we fly away."
She touches me. I kiss her. "Where to?"
Her lips were cold, rose scent spread, elusive glow that I could not touch. My hands slide down the silk sleeves, tight grip rests on her wrists. "All over the world."
"Away from Pa?"
She tears from my grip. "I want to go away, to grow wings, like an angel."
"You are one."
"No, not like my sister,"
I am quiet, seeing her eyes, her lips, and her body. "We will fly away,"
"A dream." Repeat.
"A good dream."
Peace. She walks fast, a sharp edge of a sword. Smell of an apple pie delays, and is wrapped around her. We ate it earlier. My pa left me alone, my brothers left with him. He took all the money we earned to a house of impure girls not far from us. When they left, she came inside with a pie and the two of us ate it at the same time.
It is still here, the smell, the taste of her lips flying faster than the scent of the pie. Full moon is a silver light, an orb I could see, and a feel of being trapped by walls.
I turn away from the moon, and see a table in front of me, an empty bowl far from my reach. That is where the men who do not have wives here with them eat and drink, tell tales of China and of their families; children, wife and parents. No one is here in this minute, only she and I. "Are you still dreaming?"
I came back from dreams and saw her again. "I am, when I am with you."
She grins and sits by my side again. "You are always a dreamer, always think high."
"You inspire it in me."
She holds my hand, her fingers tracing my palm. She circles center of my palm with a nail. "Are we wed in your dream?"
"Now and forever."
I watch her face change from joy to grief. "I want to marry you."
"I do too."
"We can't though."
I do not answer. I turn away, not liking to see her sad. My heart had torn in pieces, and along with her, I want to cry, yet I am still strong, values of valor, loyalty and honor holding me from expression of emotions. "I know."
"I have to tell you something."
I close my eyes, dreaming of things that I know will never be. "What is it?"I mumble, still flying through clouds, with her by my side, dressed in traditional red. We live in the clouds, angels close to us. My arm is around her; her slack body close to mine.
I sense she is no longer slack, but is tense, and she wants to flee. "My pa wants me to get married." I can hear a crack in her voice. My dreams are gone. I am in this era, no longer in a different time.
She lets go of my hand and I see her hide her face beneath her hands. "I don't want to marry him, I want to be your bride."
She is crying, I can see her body shaking, and hear loud sobs from her. I want to tell her that everything will be okay, we will still have our dreams, but I cannot do it. I cannot lie to her. I touch her hand, feel the skin wet from salty tears. "Come on," I beg her, on the verge of tears myself.
"I love you."
"I love you too,"
My head lies against her hair, no longer able to retrieve into dreams of another time. "What should I do?" She asks."I don't want to be with him, I want to be with you."
I don't answer, just close my eyes again, breathing in, and then out, in, out, trying hard not to cry, not to let myself get lost into empty space. I feel her body is still shaking, and hear her crying. I lick my lips, and I curl my palm into hers. I feel salty tears smudging her hand, bonding us to one another. "I love you."
Her body jerks harder and I can see that she tore her hands away from her face and looks up at the ceiling. I watch as salty rivers run down her cheeks. "I wish you would not say that."
I don't say a word.
"Its hard, I do not want to let you go, yet I have to."
My heart plunges deeply, and I almost crush her thin hand with my own. I turn my attention away from her, not wanting to share the common grief between the two of us. Why does she have to leave me? "You have to marry him,"I finally respond.
"You have to, I love you too much, I don't want to make you sad. You and I both know you don't have a future with me, with laws that do not allow races to unite. I love you, and always will. But I have to let you go."
"Don't, I don't want you to let go of me."
As if in pain, my hand tears away from her. I don't turn around; I don't want to see her face. She is lost to me, a dream that never was. I am crying inside, I am losing my love, never to have her return to me.
"You." I stop, not knowing what to say.
"Please don't do this,"she begs.
I start to cry, finally. She is my love, my only love. "I have to. I love you, that's why I have to."
Silk rustles, and when I turn around, she's standing in front of me. I watch as she bends down, and takes my hands into hers. Our last night together, I think, our last time as lovers, dreaming events that can never be. I close my eyes, and kiss her for one last time, roses and salt strong on her lips. My hand brushes top of her hair, feeling its softness, finding strands inside the locks to play with. I gently rub them against my fingers, pressing her body closer to mine.
Tips of my fingers find her ears underneath her hair, and I sense how soft they are, and can bend to my will. I can feel her hands gently rubbing my hair, sometimes stopping and hold of the fingers is strong. I can't let go of her, I think, still holding her tightly. How can I let this dream go? But somehow, I do. We stand up. She looks at me one last time, whispers thank you, and then opens the door.
I see her standing beside the door, gentle moonlight bathing her in strange silver glow. Nighttime insects chirp, mating, sweat forms inside my hands. I have to be brave, I tell myself, I have to stop crying. I cannot let her remember me the way I am now; I cannot let her have these last memories of me as a weak man.
She stands still, her hair every now and then moving. I could see tears in her eyes, and see her chest rising and falling. She doesn't want to leave me, I think. I don't want to leave her, why then must we be torn? Why must I be the sun, and she the moon, our paths never crossing?
Beyond her I see vastness of the field, the darkness swallowing up the gentle flowers. I lick my lips, and almost with force wipe my tears away from my eyes.
"Goodbye," she called out. "Goodbye my love."
The scent of apple pie is gone.
I saw her leave slowly, closing the door on my heart.
This is a pretty different story than what you guys have read. It deals more with inside than outside, but i hope its still good. Let me know what you think.
New Years has begun…again and this dullness is getting on my nerves. Angelique wants me to study constantly, to improve more on language and all I can do is struggle. The weather is beautiful though, white clouds pass through the skies, and I can see the sunshine as well. I want to go outside and play.
Perhaps I can sneak past Angelique while she is doing chores. I have to make sure that Stella is sleeping. Stella is such a tattletale. She always betrays me and Angelique and tells father everything she sees.
She is also father’s favorite unfortunately. Father spoils her rotten and always buys her new things. Angelique tells me that it’s hard to get new things in this time and age.
I remember once when we were in Boston, both Angelique and I were careful not to ask for anything at all. Father even asked us what we wanted dolls or toys or clothes perhaps but neither of us said anything. Stella, on the other hand, demanded everything she saw. And father, wanting to please his daughter, bought her everything she wished for. I couldn’t help but feel anger towards Stella. Angelique too felt anger.
I managed to sneak out for a little bit and when I came back, I saw Angelique sitting down at a table, a worried look on her face. I came over and asked what was wrong. She sighed loudly, her hand touching her honey hair, the hair that I want for myself very badly. “Father’s bringing some celestials over,” she said.
Celestials, ones from China.
“What do you mean?”
“A family is coming over, one father and four sons I believe.”
“Oh.” Nothing interesting about that. Father often brought celestials over to warn them not to touch neither me or Angelique or Stella. “When will they be over?”
It’s almost time for bed, but I don’t think I can sleep. The celestials did indeed come over at 7 PM. They stayed for only thirty minutes. Celestial Father did bring four sons, although father says he has more, one back in China or so I’ve heard. The first three sons were kind of ugly I think. They were already almost adults. The oldest one was twenty I think. Then there was the youngest that was my age, eleven.
He was about my height, unusually thin. When I looked at him, he didn’t meet my eyes but instead looked down on the floor, his hands were clenched into fists and instead of the traditional queue that I saw many celestials wear, he had a bowl-like haircut.
He, like his brothers and father didn’t say a word.
My father began by calling the three of us downstairs. “See daughters?” He told them in English. “You no touch daughters.”
I couldn’t help but wanting to laugh. Father sounded like an idiot to me. I’m sure that they could understand English perfectly.
The four sons, including the youngest one, agreed readily. Father led them outside.
I followed father outside, watching the youngest one’s family. Father didn’t introduce us at all. I think I want to meet him, to hear his name. But how do I go about doing it? That will be tricky to solve.
School has started and today I was walking from school, swinging my lunch pail and holding on to a pair of books that I borrowed from Angelique when I saw a familiar face of the mystery guy. He was sitting nearby, underneath a tree. Curious, I decided to approach him.
Angelique, though, grabbed to my sleeve and ordered me and Stella to go along with her. “You don’t want to be seen speaking with them,” she told me, motioning to where the guy sat. “If you are seen speaking with them, guys won’t even like you at all. And they might kidnap you and do all sorts of stuff.”
“I don’t believe you,” I told her.
“Bridget, I’m doing this for your own good,” she tells me. “Please come home with us now.” I had no choice but to listen to my sister.
Angelique has a chore of watching over Stella. I decide to go outside, hoping that I will capture the sight of the mystery guy. I see him now; he is sitting with his brothers and talking in a language I don’t know. I hide behind a tree and watch as he attempts to eat potatoes and bread, his fingers are clumsy, struggling. His face expresses disgust. His family is also wearing an identical expression of disgust.
I see him look up and his eyes land on me. I feel a burning sensation spreading throughout my body. I think I’m blushing, but I’m not sure, I don’t have a mirror to look at myself. In the same moment he looks down and continues to eat.
I stand behind the tree, waiting until Angelique calls out my name. I go home then.
Stella is asleep, her tiny thumb inside her mouth, her golden hair released and is in waves. I can’t help but touch her hair, and think how precious she looks, her head in my lap. Sometimes I feel such love for my sister that I can’t express it in words.
I can’t help but remember mother, that day three years ago. I was eight and Angelique was thirteen. She was lying in bed that day. I remember Angelique approaching mother and mother, in her elegant tongue telling Angelique to take care of Bridget and Stella. “Your father will need your help, Angelique,” she told my sister. “I will be counting on you.”
I couldn’t understand her words or her actions. What was happening? Father came in then and forced us out. I held on to Angelique’s hand. Angelique herself looked pale, and was biting her lip anxiously.
Later on, I learned of the truth. Mother has died. She died shortly after Stella’s birth.
I want to cry whenever I remember mother. I used to watch her from afar, watching her and Angelique together doing chores or cooking for the family. Mother looked like me, with dark brown tresses and large laughing eyes. She was French who gave her family up for love. My father is from Ireland and was penniless when he married my mother who was a minor aristocrat.
Angelique comes in then, and tells me to go do my homework. “You are the future of the family,” she tells me. “I want you to study.”
“What about you?”
“Don’t worry about me.” Carefully she puts Stella into her lap and I go upstairs to do homework.
I feel sorry for Angelique, that I can’t help her with anything. After mother’s death, father collapsed and no longer pays any attention neither to me or Angelique. All the money he earns and has goes towards Stella or drinking.
Angelique is in charge of everything, from cooking to helping me with my studies. I remember that we used to paint together when younger, usually the skies with stars. I miss doing these things with my sister. I wish we could do them again sometime.
BOOM! BOOM! What are these sounds? They sound near school! I grab my books and lunch pail and run outside without a bonnet. I see some celestials celebrating something; I’m not sure what it is. I will have to ask father what is going. I have to go back inside now though.
I walk together with Angelique back home. Angelique ties on her bonnet and is unusually silent. I wonder if something is wrong. I am still curious about the loud noises though. I begin talking to her.
She continues to stare straight ahead.
I say her name again.
“What is it?” She finally turns towards me and stops walking.
I hesitate, wondering if my questions will bother her. Something is bothering her, she is distracted, but I don’t know why.
“Bridget, what’s wrong?” Her tone is irritated.
“What were the noises?” I ask, scared of her reaction to my question. Angelique looks puzzled, her eyes grow smaller and she begins to pick at her cuticles, a nervous habit when she is worried.
“Fireworks,” she replies and continues walking.
I say the strange word. Again I wonder if something is bothering her. “How do you know?”
She stops once again and gives me her pail and books. “You’re too young to understand, Bridget.” She tells me and walks away. I call out after her but she ignores me. I wonder if this is something I should be worried about, or concerned with. Why is she behaving so strangely today?
Even though I know that they were fireworks, I am still puzzled by Angelique’s behavior. Should I tell father though, or should I not? I what will happen to Angelique if I tell father?
I can’t focus on my studies tonight, so I decide to go outside. I admire the dark silver ground, the sky with stars and clouds. The air is freezing, almost cold. I shiver and then see the mystery guy standing not far. He was not doing anything though, but speaking badly in English.
Even though I know its wrong on all accounts, and even though I know that Angelique might kill me, I still decide to approach him.
He doesn’t see at first, he is focused straight ahead, on the tree. I greet him and he jumps up. His hands are shaking slightly and he is panting. “Yes?” He asks me, trying to recover.
“Sorry,” I say. “I didn’t mean to scare you.”
“Scare?” He asks. “Word means?”
“Erm,” I say, not certain how to translate it into Chinese. I hadn’t thought of what I should do if he doesn’t know any English language. Now the question is before me, and I feel uncertain.
“Okay, is okay.” He tells me. “English name Henry Shen, you?”
“My name is Bridget O’Riley.”
“Teach English me?”
“Okay,” I say. Again that burning sensation in the cheeks as I study his profile. He is nothing like the classmates inside my class. He sits down on the snow covered grass, cross-legged and brought out a blanket. He motions me to sit down on a blanket.
Guys in my class don’t do that for me.
I help him with pronunciation, how to say ‘hi’ and ‘hello’ and ‘good.’ He continues to stare at me, carefully pronouncing the words. I become more and more curious about him, about his family, his life and why his family has moved here. How long did he live here?
I spend an hour with him. “Xie-xie” he tells me. I stare at him.
“What does the word mean?”
“Thank you,” he tells me. He turns away from me and stands up. “Goodbye,” his tone is formal and cold, and, I sense, he is stumbling inside.
I stand up as well and watch as he gathers up the blanket carefully and walks away, not even turning towards me.
Church was today, and I was forced to listen and to go to Sunday school. Even though I’m Catholic, I can’t help but dislike being inside Sunday school, especially in the winter. Angelique tells me that my personality is that of a boy trapped inside a girl’s body, for I never want to sit still but always want to go outside and play in the snow or play tag or something of the kind. The only thing that I have patience to do is to paint.
Today, while I was forced to sit through the endless sermons about hell, (which, you must swear to keep a secret,) that I don’t believe in, I couldn’t help but desire to go outside to play in the snow. I wondered if Stella would want to play with me, but she is such a proper spoiled lady that I daren’t ask her.
Angelique also sat down beside me, her bible open before her. She was biting her lip hard, I could see dots of blood coming out, her eyes in narrow slits. I wondered again if she was mad about being here. She is almost sixteen years of age, and I wished I could see her socialize with others instead of being locked away with us like a caged canary.
After church I came up to her. “Hey Angelique,” I greet her.
She turns towards me. “You and Stella could go home,” she tells me.
“What about you?” This was the second time she wanted to go home by herself. I couldn’t help but worry.
“Just…please go.” She begged me. “I wish you didn’t worry about me, Bridget, but then you always did.”
“You’re my sister,” I tell her.
“You’re a good sister, Bridget; please remember that no matter what happens to me.”
Her speech is frightening me, I think I will stay and find out what is wrong with her. In order to allay her suspicions, I walked Stella home and immediately returned to church.
Angelique is still sitting on the hard pew, her hand clasped before her lips and is praying hard to God. I watch the scene through the window.
I see Father Patrick walk inside and stand beside Angelique. I hear muted dialogue and he walks away. Angelique stands up from her bench and falls on the ground. I hear her beseeching God to forgive her for her sins and to not let her go to hell. Angelique walks into the confessional and that is the last I see that day.
I am home now, writing this episode still fresh in my mind. I wonder what I should do, should I confront Angelique about what I have seen, or should I act as if nothing had happened that I didn’t see anything.
Its lunchtime already and I remember bringing out some fresh oranges to eat. I peel off the skin and start chewing on some tidbits when I see Mark Little walk up to me. Mark is Southern, speaks in a twang and is dressed in expensive clothes. I can’t help but wonder if his family was aristocracy before the Civil War.
“Heya Bird,” he says. Bird is his nickname for me; he claims that it’s much easier for him to say Bird than to say Bridget. Mark isn’t a nice guy in my opinion. He tends to be quarrelsome and often teased me because of my Irish background. He himself is full English.
I chew the pieces from the orange, and taste the seeds that were lodged within. “What do you want?” I demand.
“And if I don’t give it to you?”
“You’ll be ruined.”
“What do you mean?”
“First give me your orange, naw, make that your lunch, and I’ll tell you what I know.”
“Get away Mark.”
He smirks. “You know I can’t do that.”
“Why not? Did your brain fry in the South by the way? You’re having brain damage?” He blushed red and his hands shook. I don’t think I went too far though.
“Grab ‘er!” He screamed. Several of the boys grabbed me and dragged me outside, with me kicking and screaming. “You know, I’m a gentleman, was taught to never hit a lady, but none said anything about half Irish girls, ye know you’re goin’ t’ hell anyways.”
“I don’t even believe in hell.”
He was about to punch me when I raised my foot and kicked him hard in the stomach. He gasped and fell down.
“Let me go!” I screamed, yet the guys continued to hold on to my arms. I screamed for help.
I searched for someone to help me and much to mine surprise saw Henry. I screamed his name.
He ran up to me.
“Save me,” I begged him. He blushed and punched some guys who let go of me immediately, only to fall on him.
I run away home.