Battle Scars

You’re scared of your battle scars fading

Because they’re a memory of what you have survived

You feel that they’re an anchor

Keeping you alive

While on the inside you are warring

A long, hard, silent fight

In which your mind throws flaws like arrows

Through the eternal night.

 

Instead of relying on your scars to keep you alive

Let me be a lantern, I’ll be your light

I’ll help expel the darkness

Within your war-torn mind

You are my best friend

And I’ll be here for you ’til the very end.

The Nightmares

Glass crunched as my car was shoved across the lanes of the freeway by another driver, who had merged into me without properly shoulder checking. My car spun as his car hit mine causing another car in turn to ram into me also, this one making my car flip. A loud ringing noise tore through my ears like a terrible banshee foreboding death. All I could see was the colour red before my eyes felt too heavy to hold open.

This was the beginning of the end.

I wake up to the persistent shrill of a small bird cooing in the new morning. As I sit up I am struck by the lightness of my own body. It feels like I’m floating though I’m not. I’m sitting in an emerald forest surrounded by small, curious birds watching me. One asks me, are you awake? I yawn and answer, “Unfortunately.”

He pecks my arm and a sharp pain stings through to my bone. I yelp instinctively. “What was that for!?”

He cocks his head to the side, jumps around, and says, “You’re lucky to be alive.”

I feel my lips tighten into a frown. I didn’t feel lucky. In fact, I felt a dreading sense of purposelessness loom over me like a sour type of sticky goo that had somehow found itself smudged across ones body. It was on mine and deep within the cracks. Why was I here

The small bird squawks at me.

“Yes?” I hiss.

“Time for the next scene.”

Everything becomes black. Darker than any black I have ever seen in my life until now. And, suddenly, I’m standing in the middle of a rushing river in high tide. I dip my fingers into the water and the water turns red like blood at my touch. I feel my heart skip a beat and fear wash over me. I fight against the waves to get to shore and as I finally reach it, I fall. I fall through the sand and my eyes are overwhelmed by blinding light. As my eyes begin to focus, I realise that I’m falling in reverse… upwards instead of downwards and towards the roof of a skyscraper in the middle of a busy city. My body lunges forward with the impact as I land on the roof. My hands sear as I land on them too hard. An elderly lady walks out to me and offers me a choice between two pills. One pill that will make me sleep forever in a dreamless state and the other that will heal me. I choose the first one hoping to escape this series of weird dreams. The woman maintains a poker face as I bring the pill up to my mouth and swallow it.

I’m lying in a bed in a whitewashed room surrounded by surgeons. One checks her watch and says, “Time of death: twenty-and-thirty-six-hours.”

I sit up. “What? I’m awake now!”

“It’s a shame,” the doctor begins, pocketing her watch, “I know this one could’ve made it but she gave in instead of fighting to live.”

“No? I’m right here!” I yell, waving my pale hands in front of the surgeons’ face. I sigh and sit down. A sense of dread shimmers uncomfortably down my spine. I turn in the bed and there is a lifeless body. My lifeless body. Instinctively, I scream. Then, I do something crazy. I throw myself at my body.

And, I’m sucked into an eternal and dreamless sleep.

Dear world, I have acne…

Dear world,

I have acne.

It really shouldn’t be a problem since it’s not really anyone else’s business but, unfortunately, people seem to involve themselves and make me feel like shit. So I’m speaking out.

I wash my face every day. Twice a day. I use toner, I moisturise, and I put hardcore benzoyl-peroxide-containing-gel on my spots. I’m even taking the pill to control my acne. I’ve been getting pimples since I was twelve, it got bad around fourteen, really bad at seventeen, and when I went on the pill the pimples disappeared for two years. But now (for whatever reason) they’re back. And, no, I haven’t significantly changed my diet.

The other day my mum told me that some colleagues at work have expressed their concern for me… I’m letting myself go, apparently… Not putting as much effort into taking care of myself… I asked her if it was because I’ve broken out in acne and not wearing make up anymore (stopped wearing make up to keep pores clean). She couldn’t answer that because the answer was a yes. And, honestly, I’m not surprised. When my acne was at its worst, I used to get people offering me advice weekly… While I acknowledge that people only had the best intentions and were just trying to help, I must say it actually hurt so much to have people commenting on it so often, especially because I was already trying everything they advised.

I guess, if anyone is still reading this rant at this point, I must beg you…If you see someone with bad acne (or any visible issue which looks bad) please, please don’t comment on it. Just suck in a breath of air and ignore it. Chances are they hate it and if you try to help (meaning you’re acknowledging how obviously bad it is) you’re probably only going to hurt their self-esteem.

Teacher Fired Over New Tattoo

She fumbled with the silver crucifix around her neck. Her eyes were distant and her face blank. I wondered what she was thinking about. She wore a soft pink dress and her hair was wrapped up in a bun, making her look fragile like a rose petal. Her face was contorted, as if deeply worried. Curious about what she was thinking about, I approached her.

“Morning,” I said. “My name’s James.” I extended my broad hand. She blushed, shaking it.

“Hi.” She all but whispered.

“Are you okay?” I asked.

“Yep.” She nodded, eying me suspiciously.

I looked around me for something to talk about. We were standing on a platform at a train station. There was a newspaper stand only a few metres from where we stood. The headline read: Teacher Fired Over New Tattoo. The front page was covered by a large photograph of a fire-breathing dragon tattooed over the top of a woman’s back and across the shoulders. I thought that would make good conversation so I brought it up.

“Hey, do you think it’s fair that teacher got fired over having a tattoo?”

She stared at me blankly. “What?”

I pointed to the newspaper. “You know, are tattoo’s unprofessional?”

She started fiddling with her necklace again. “No,” she replied sharply.

For some reason I had expected an innocent woman like her to be solidly against tattoo’s so I probed some more.

“But it’s a dragon and she’s a teacher?”

She looked at me again; this time meeting me squarely in the eyes. “So what if it’s a fucking dragon? It’s just a picture of a mythological creature. I don’t think it’s fair they fired me over the stupid tattoo.” Her dainty fingers then slid the zip of her dress down slightly and she turned her back to me revealing the lick of fire emerging from the dragon’s mouth. “And for the record, it’s none of your god damn business.” She then gave me a dirty look and moved down the platform, away from me.

As the train rolled into the platform, I felt stuck there. My feet were glued to the ground as I gawped after the woman, my feelings a mixture of shock and awe. And I learned an important lesson: Never judge a book by its cover.

Tendrils

With tendrils strangling me

I turn the music loud

To muffle falling tears

and send away dark clouds.

As the chorus begins

My wrist sears from the pain

Inflicted by fresh cuts

and invisible strains.

When the music ends

Nothing remains.