Below This Song, Part II


“Hey! Watch it!”

“Sorry! Excuse me!” Leo struggled through the herds of people, unfazed by the gunshots ringing behind. His heart rattled, blood pulsed his wrists. He didn’t know how much longer he could do this for.

Suddenly, Leo jumped into the street. Didn’t know why he did this. Lights flashed in his eyes. He leapt, landing face-first onto the asphalt, the car flying past his. Leo scrambled back up and stumbled to the other side.

The chase went on for quite a while. Leo weaved through crowds, sprinting across streets. Eventually, he got tired. As he stumbled through the park and collapsed onto a bench. “God…I’m done…I’m done…I don’t care if he kills me…” He turned over on his back. The rain slicing at his face.

Soon, a figure stood over him. “Hello Leo, how are you today?”

Leo was still trying to catch his breath.

“Tired? Imagine how I feel. Running after goons like you all day. Tell me: why do y’all have to run, every time?”

“I don’t know,” Leo said. “I guess it’s just in our nature.”

“Heh. Wish I could believe that. But we both know that’s not true. Say, want to get out of the rain?”

“Does it matter? We’re already wet.”

“Fine…” Moments later, he felt a fist slam against his stomach. Leo tumbled over in the alleyway.

“It would be great if, for once, you fought back.”

Below This Song, Part I

Stone’s Throw

Leo ran across the street, rain cutting his eyes. But, as he got to the other side, he slipped and let out a pathetic yelp.

“Hey!” He looked up and saw a homeless man standing over him, chewing on some cardboard. “Watch where you going. And don’t cry. Makes you look like an Irkling.” Leo swiftly pulled himself, looked behind him at the dark alleyway where he emerged. Maybe he had lost him.


Nope. Leo ducked and pushed past the homeless man, rushed through the throngs of people on the concrete, shoving past bodies. “Hey! That’s not nice!”

“Sorry!” Leo needed some place to hide. Some place to escape. His eyes darted back and something cold slithered across his chest. He saw the pale face, staring like stone, piercing through the crowds of people, towards him.

Oh boy. What is this? Another dumb series? Perhaps, if I decide to continue. What’s it going to be about? Well, I have no clue. Maybe it will turn into some terrible neo-noir, or a sci-fi adventure, or another lousy attempt at comedy. We will just have to see. And, like always, I gave myself a time limit writing this. 3 minutes and 47 seconds, for no good reason. Maybe next time I will give myself more time. We’ll see.

A New Face

Skipping beneath the blues
To a garden she only knew

Stops. There it is, above
The hover of pinks, a new
Face drifting among roses.

Her eyes linger. Will he be
A friend to the garden?
To her? Voices chatter
Among the leaves.

Her smile silences them.
The garden watches.
She moves slowly
To the face pinned
To smoke. Whispers.

She had dreamed
Of a new blossoming.
She leaves her friends
As darkness rattles
The trees. And they feel
As the latest face seeps
Beneath the fingers
Of rose petals and leaves.

Written for The Sunday Muse #114.

After Life

They waited, watching as the old man lied in his lavish bed. Many held tears in their eyes, but the old man just stared up at the ceiling. He knew he was dying, having experienced this variation before. He then lowered his gaze, scanning the faces of his large family as they watched his final moments. But the old man felt nothing. A part of him sighed. He felt bad for them, in a way, but he knew that they would all be gone soon and he would be back on that hill. 

Many lifetimes ago, he was a teenager, poor and alone, standing on a grassy hill when he caught a bolt of lightning and nearly died. But instead of death, he gained something else: an ability to live life over and over again. Each time he died he would reawaken as a teenager on that hill. He had experienced life in various forms, walking different paths. He lived as a rich man. He lived as a poor man. He fell in love dozens of times. Soon, he figured out the many variables he needed in order to “perfect” life. And now, here he was, starting at it, and it was almost over. 

The room whimpered. The old man caught one of his granddaughters staring at him; something stirred within, but it was too little. His eyes cocked back up to the ceiling. He was ready for something new. 

FTWT – The Bottle

“Hello everyone, we’re Armchair Anarchist and–ARE YOU READY TO ROCK ‘N’ ROLL?!” 

A few faces turned but then continued chatting in their groups, martini glasses floating in front of their mouths. 



“What?” Maurice covered the microphone with his hand and turned towards Jamal who was slouched over the keyboard. “What is it now?”

“I have to go to the bathroom.”

Maurice shot him a glare. “What? Didn’t you go earlier?”

“Yes. Well, I tried to, but this hotel is like a labyrinth. I couldn’t find it and got scared. I didn’t want to miss the performance. Sorry.”

Maurice rolled his eyes. “I’m sorry, but you’re just gonna have to wait.”

Jamal stared down at his keys.

“Okay. Is everyone ready?” The rest of the band just looked at him with dull eyes. “Good. No bathroom breaks.” He turned back to the microphone and smiled. “Okay. I know times have been rough, but just remember…ROCK ‘N’ ROLL!” But everyone in the large room either continued chatting or were scraping utensils against their plates. 

Maurice opened the song by chugging some notes on his bass. And soon the drums followed a bit late. And then the rest of the band joined-in, also a bit late. They played a bombastic little diddy, only slightly aware of some of the faces becoming irritated as the walls of the hotel’s multi-purpose room vibrated. 

However, Maurice caught something in the edge of his eye. He shifted towards Jamal; one of his hands awkwardly danced on the keyboard while the other seemed a bit preoccupied. “Jamal,” Maurice whispered to him. “What are you doing?”

Jamal tried leaning over the keys to hear what Maurice was saying, but jerked back when he accidentally hit a few discordant notes. Maurice approached him. “What are you–” And that’s when Maurice realized it. “Are you–is that a bottle?”

“Um…yeah.” Jamal set the bottle filled with yellow-brown liquid down by his feet. His other hand flung back onto the keyboard. “Sorry man, I had to go.”

“Did you just…” But Maurice just shook his head and went back to center-stage. Soon the song was over and he thanked everyone in the room for being there. 

After the gig ended their van rolled back onto the highway. Maurice still couldn’t shake the image of the bottle by Jamal’s feet, ready to be kicked and expel itself across the stage, igniting some sort of spark. Fortunately, that didn’t happen, but Jamal was still stirred by it. He was tempted to let Jamal go, but he was family. And he wasn’t that bad of a keyboard player. He could easily get a better, more experienced player over Craigslist, but he would probably have to pay them more. Jamal, despite his nervous disposition, was happy to be there. It was either this or working for his dad at the bodega, getting yelled at either by customers or by his own father. 

Maurice watched the lights speeding through their windows then disappearing as the road elevated. But, this was no way to become big. In order to be successful you had to make sacrifices. This Maurice knew, but he was also too nice. As a result, he was stuck. He sighed and dug his face into one of the croissants he snatched from the buffet table. The band had been given some food, as a courtesy, but Maurice felt like grabbing something else for himself, he wasn’t sure why. It was slightly warm and a bit bland. But it was good. The only thing he had eaten all day. And the van pressed through the dimming skyline, heading towards another town hundreds of miles away. 

Written for OLWG #161.

Above the Brave

Nothing was ever given to shadows
Tucked into caves,
Their darkened eyes sloped
Across hidden graves
Shaped beneath the jagged waves.

You might say this is no way
To behave, too frightened to meet
The glaives raised in distant fields,
Too empty to be dissidents
Or knaves.

Sullen, dark shapes
Unable to brave the eyes
Better faces once gave,
Now those faces are saved
By the glory of waves,
And the shadows, cradled
And able.

Written for Saturday Mix at Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie.


Sun spilling out
a new air, swimming
‘round the base
of buildings, crowding
the faces of glass

Streets heavy
with a wandering
breath, pressing against
the windows, tugging
at the leaves, the echoes
of steps filling

The young air,
slow now, reshapes
into light housed
in a cold puddle
beneath other lights,
beneath the glare
of a moon held to a place

Small Reaction

We live in a dimensionless age
where creation can spread itself
across the eye, oranges can impose,
particulates can sway, a dream
upheld in an unseen splotch.
But no mind comes of it.
Something stands there, fixed
to itself, as hues battle and chew
themselves, holes blossom,
spewing some violet innards
until darkness shapes.
A small circle, growing, reaching
with its impetuous hand,
fingering for a new glow
but the darkness whimpers
and closes out this dimension,
receiving and receding.

Written in response to Reena’s Exploration Challenge #141. Basically the challenge was to watch this cool video and then write whatever came to mind afterwards.


here’s the poem,
tried to write it
but it came
out odd
I muttered to the air
let the ceiling’s silence
press me back to sleep,
maybe something will
come into the window,
spot what I had
written, and snatch
that lonely little sheet
for you, or maybe
it will disappear
down behind
the cabinets,
or be read
slip beneath
your eye
and whisper