1. Prescition


    A barrier curves around to contain plants, these who seem to yearn for escape.

    She awoke to the shrillness of a whistle alerting all to an arrival. Soon after, she is stepping from the train into this next place with its entirety new to her; it feels unfamiliar, though not altogether alien, dappled in hopefulness—a shapeless haze of perfumed tobacco hanging stubbornly in the air between the befuddled craze of rushed faces.

    Like a dusty chapel, this station, with peppered light peering in through tall windows which stand majestically all around her as she comes to the door of her carriage. Whilst exiting the train, she cannot help but stare up at these limpid sentinels with a smile, her reverence leaving her awed yet awfully unaware of her footing as she clumsily stumbles down the thin stairs from the carriage onto the platform below.

    Her body now a crumpled thing upon the concrete, she lifts her head from it to view her surroundings, only to discover that she had become immediately derisable, just as suddenly as she had arrived. For as soon as she had moved into the atmosphere of this new place, she found herself amidst the tickled gasp and hushed japery of strangers, themselves having witnessed her misstep, their amusement causing her to blush with ripened embarrassment from her splayed and toppled state.

    She senses the cheeriness she had been feeling drain from her, like a rain’s rivulet through a gutter grate; her gleefulness at having arrived slipping deep into the darkness of a sewer, an ebullience now fouled and washed away. Resigned and resolved, she picks herself up from the ground, brushing away whatever grime had collected upon hem and sleeve, strongly fearing that this was not the place for her.

    Already, without a purposed word or deed, she is shamed. There is no correction to be had, no second attempt to be made. As mocking jeers echo in her head like startling cracks of thunder, as her heart strains from beneath its pace, sorrow finds its place within the vacancy of her once more. She apologizes to the blurred air and she climbs the stairs, returning to her recently departed compartment where she awaits the whistle to shriek the disinterested news of her departure, the train slowly moving from the station as if reluctant to carry her. She apologizes once more—for perhaps we are just tired, she says to her self—and she sadly gazes into the morning’s gauziness from behind the teary pane of a carriage window, its glassiness dipped in the delicate bluishness of dew.

  2. First Vacivity


    A bench tries to hide in shadows as the brightness creeps in, exposing all.

    And therein lies what must be deemed most crucial, that mistaken moment, those misused minutes. There was a period when purposefulness may have been implemented, though it had already seemed too late then, as if all trains had departed leaving her alone at the station, without even a scribble of instruction, her own name now a memory threatening to be found missing along with everything else.

    The problems began when she separated from what surrounded her, herself becoming something of a forgotten fragment as she slowly drifted away from the center which bonded all that she had known. The odd thing was that she had not moved from where she had been, she had made no decision to flee, initially. The world shifted itself without her, it would seem, though to her it felt like she had been pushed, that something wished her gone, and so she found herself floating away by a force not her own.

    Although once her separation had become complete, once she had felt herself severed entirely, she began to help herself along the way. Thus she became more distant, more removed, and seemed to be working only towards this ambition, herself drifting further and further away at a velocity ever-increasing. Once she became cognizant of just how far she had travelled, how far off the world now seemed, it dawned on her how difficult it might be to ever return—if so wished—and she found herself stranded completely, gasping for air, choking on the thinness of possibilities.

    She crossed her legs into a lap with her elbows at her knees and dropped her head into cupped hands, trying to make sense of it, all instruments proving themselves worthless, this realm unnavigable in its sparseness. She softly taps a code into her forehead with fingertips depleted of sensation, the space now constricting and causing her to choke as her sightless eyes roll back and towards the sky, the sickened Nothingness exhorting for something more as she struggles to decipher its diseased desire, a hunger deprived, a last thread strained to the point of split, and she whispers faintly before fainting: “Tomorrow shall find itself differently than this one before it”.

    The morning is never as pleasant as it pretends to be. The sun sneaks in from between curtains, falling onto motionlessness, the day dancing its demands into her mind as she grasps herself in gripped stillness until it can no longer be denied. The emptiness remains and she wanders in circles, patterned into the floorboards, cyclically meandering without meaning. A wish insists for a brightened spot upon the horizon—any indication of an arrival—the chance for these fragments to find themselves attached to a purpose or possibility. That she might be pulled back towards worthiness! That she might find herself rejoined, reminded, and carefully washed ashore once more! The thought of it is too much for her to bear and instead she throws herself into the disappearance, an evaporation, the myth of her Self but mist, with any remaining idea of her now absorbed by the immensity which she had left unexplored.

    The shadow of a tree consoles three pipes as they vent nothingness to a division.
  3. A Syrup, Thinned


    Kodak HC-110 BW Developer – New Formula in 2019!

    The results amazed me; they are exactly the same! Kodak promised “Same Great Results” and with this test that is exactly what they delivered.

    I was crestfallen upon discovery of the developer’s new bottle when taking delivery of HC-110 today… This timely bit of heedful research has gone a long way to assuage the fears of newness and helps alleviate any potential confusion as per dilution.

  4. Eveniency


    A branch descends, its leaves asking to drown. Wires scramble to harness the air as it expands to consume.

    It had been years or days, perhaps mere moments, as she drifted upon these waves, undulating as if she were one of them, yet remaining entirely apart. Her life preserver had done just that, but she felt far from buoyed as she floated there, ridiculous and contemptible, thousands of kilometers from anywhere. She had become an insignificant speck bobbing pitifully amidst the vastness of the dark sea, this fluid void, a stirring sense of emptiness within which she found herself subsumed.

    This was her plight and she knew it well. With the threat of drowning looming forever near, almost as an inevitability, she idly spent the time fiddling with her thoughts as if they were playthings, building them up and then tearing them down. She became preoccupied with broken possibilities and lost potentiality, reorganizing the fractured phases of her life so that they flowed with a certain gracefulness—without the dams and waterfalls, droughts and floods, the turbulences and evaporations which had brought her to where she presently persisted as nothing more than a distorted and discarded thing.

    Her imagination felt like the cruelest of collaborators, though it was her only friend. The rocking of the waves caused her to sway uncontrollably, as if compelled by some lazily abusive rhythm—a clockwork tormentor who had become entirely bored with her. She thought on and on, until she became desperate and tears appeared, her frustration with this predicament becoming outwardly evident as she scratched and tore at the skin of her arms, the salted water of the sea reddening around her as she bobbed and wept, her disappointment in herself increasing alongside her growing resentment.

    She watched an ocean liner pass by on the horizon, it moving slowly along the edge of the earth as if balancing on a wire. She gazed at it yearningly, the tug of longing for a mere semblance of acknowledgment pulling her into a descent, her head dipping below the surface of the water as she struggled with this unbearable sense of distance. These sightings of jubilantly buoyant voyages had begun occurring with more regularity and their frequency had come to frighten her: For as each passed by unwittingly, her despondency grew accordingly, until each passing vessel became but another arrow in her already-bristling heart—her hopes contorting and congealing into a hatred ever more hardened with each passage of another bothersome boat.

    She kicked and batted at the water in order to turn herself away from where those tempestuous provocations moved in the distance. Through drying tears, she looked out upon the stars which filled the sky before her, their sparkle becoming kaleidoscopic against her watery eyes. She traced fragmented shapes with her finger, following the glimmer of one star to the next until gently gleaming pictures formed all around her, images like pointillistic witnesses wishing her well. These constellations of commiseration soothed her with the softest strokes until she lost herself, her sullied being lulled into a fathomlessness, the murky water taking her unweighted mind as its own.

    And just at that moment, above all which had evanesced into an eddy, an empty lifeboat floated by absentmindedly. It lolled upon the waves as if waiting, its only marking that of a name stenciled faintly, the name of savior she shall never know.

  5. Tudiculation


    A birdhouse standing out amongst a standing of spindly trees.

    Beside a pond, it begins. The corpse of a bumblebee beneath a flowering clover, perhaps a poisoning by prosperity’s petty pluck. Over there a fortunate head had become undone, a scene replete with legs bent horribly. The shrillness of cicadas emanates from tranquil treetops—these witnesses—their shriek a winsome reminder that winter remains something faraway. The joy of its hesitation allowing for a certain serenity, yet it remains as little more than the folly of procrastination.

    Alongside a pond with a trying book, each page reread a dozen times. The voices resonate and vibrate like pestilence, fields strewn with a reverberating plague. Wait feverishly for a minute more or less, for it will surely pass like pyrexia echoing in the night. An insatiable hunger like something clawing, never quelled. Now found pushing through the resounding pressure as it drapes, like clouds—this shroud.

    That adorable pond abandoned, like an ugly child left behind. How desperately it is missed, these terrible reminiscences. A traipsing escape to the still vacancy of a cell, this freest of imprisonments. Continuously they come like waves of vexation, these loathsome vociferations. Deny them and they multiply, ignore them and they become implored. An opalescent insect makes its way warily along a balcony rail, like a beautiful visitor bearing the perfect gift of an ardor shared betwixt.

  6. Mitiscent


    A weed grows out from the shadows where a the venting of decay lurks.

    Morning comes later now,” she said, the toes of her bare feet sensing the reassuring firmness of the floor as she lifted herself from bed. The darkness of the room felt richly dense as she moved through it towards the window, the amber light of the streetlamp below spilling in as she opened the curtain, revealing the world’s ignorance of her.

    A difference had come to her during the night, though she had been unaware of its arrival when it came. The change felt soft, like the removal of some uncomfortable garment, though she could not help but doubt its intention. “I have been deceived by you before,” she said to the softness; “you are not, by necessity, a friend—neither are you sufficient as one.”

    The clock ticked angrily from its home on the wall behind her and her heart paced itself accordingly. She had been unable to move herself from the window and a shadow stretched from her sharply as the sun rose to expose her self to its plot. This difference felt deliberate, an adjustment of yesterday’s conclusion to demand newness from this day as it approached.

    Whatever shall I do?” she asked her shadow, it stretching even further from her as if oddly repulsed. “Must I accept this change as a benefit, pure and simple, and go along with its suggestion? It feels wrong, somehow, though perhaps that is little more than my innocence recoiling, my experience of life toying with me devilishly. Has it not been my plan to make rearrangements, to do things differently, just as this difference is asking of me now?”

    She became unglued and thusly moved, herself having split in two as she stepped from the window into the rooms of her day. The floor felt evermore reassuring beneath her, as if it were the sole thing to be trusted, and she became overwhelmed by her gratitude for its presence. Perhaps there was a possibility within this difference, just as its softness suggested. Perhaps the warmth of its embrace could be perceived as genuine rather than somehow deceitful—as she had led herself to believe. She became one again as she bled into herself, a faint smile spreading across her face.

    Her shadow blurred into the wall behind her, it no longer requiring definition. Her perception moved from within to without and the world turned to recognize her, as if it knew her all along. “Perhaps I am not as terrible as I believe myself to be; perhaps I should treat myself with the selfsame tenderness that this difference has offered me. Could it be that I might exist outside of my own being, that I am somehow worthy of breathing?”

    The day nodded as it consumed her shadow entirely, for there was no longer a wall to hold it. The clock quieted itself, then slowed, and moments became manageable as she inhaled and greeted her self as if for the first time, her feet finding soil beneath her, her heart to hold as her own—herself comforted at last.

  7. Revealing


    Beatrix Potter’s secret, coded journal took an admirer thirteen years to translate.

    As codes go, Potter’s wasn’t inordinately complicated. As Wiltshire explains, it was a “mono-alphabetic substitution cipher code,” in which each letter of the alphabet was replaced by a symbol—the kind of thing they teach you in Cub Scouts. The real trouble was Potter’s own fluency with it. She quickly learned to write the code so fast that each sheet looked, even to Linder’s trained eye, like a maze of scribbles.

  8. Hypenemious


    A cacophony of leaves and branches as all grows in the shadows.

    As if already sensing time’s inevitable descent into winter, a diminutive butterfly flitted nervously amongst the remaining flowers blooming at the water’s edge. The pale yellow wings would momentarily turn to a brilliant white whenever the sun discovered a sliver in the expanse of gray which had been cast over the day. The butterfly moved from flower to flower haphazardly, unable or unwilling to select a perch as it found itself tossed toylike by the afternoon wind.

    Her forefingers traced circles into her temples—if only I could bore holes into here; she thought, from behind closed eyes.

    The colorless flowers languished tiredly along the bank. Drooping slightly from bowed stems, the long months of long days spent reaching towards the sky with yearning blossoms had brought them to an exhaustion. An end to it felt nearby, as the brisk wind provided the flowers hope for a finality, the crisp promise of demise.

    It having chosen a friend or conceding its fate, the butterfly alighted upon a suitable bloom. It remained there, exercising its wings slowly, opening and closing them as if each movement spurred pain, until all became still at last.

    Her forefingers slid onto her face to meet their siblings as she began to slowly grind the palms of her hands into the sockets of her eyes—if only I could drive them out of here; she thought, from where her thoughts steadfastly remained. Forever bedeviling, forever churning, her ruminations forever refusing to lighten just enough to be caught and sent aloft by this imperviously disinterested wind.

  9. A Chancing


    Flowers bell as if grasping at nothingness; trees stand near, aghast.

    The book had come to her by way of an abstraction, presented deliberately yet with the gifting hand unseen. The manuscript had been found upon a park bench which she frequented regularly, a seemingly discarded thing, yet with a delicately designed ex libris bearing her name.

    She opened the book gingerly, fearing it densely difficult, though at once she found comfort in it. She became lost within its pages as it filled her head with novelty, ideas which heretofore had remained beyond her grasp, disparate understandings now correctly connected and complete.

    However, she found simple errors within the book, obvious oversights made without malice—misplaced or misused marks here and there. From somewhere beyond herself, she felt an urging to make note and then right said wrongs—to rectify and replace—and so she blinked differences into existence, believing this course to be kind.

    Just as soon as she had made her emends and rightly repaired all flaws, the pages became obscured by bleed, like window panes glazed in soot. The characters of the book had become smudged and unintelligible, swamped and smeared, themselves now lost within the faintness of a gray opaqueness from which no meaning could be discerned.

    She blanched and froze, her eyes wide with dismay above a mouth agape, horrified by what had happened. It had been her lone intention to assist in bringing to perfection that which had been offered, for had she not been instructed to do so, had not another prompted her towards an editor’s position with pointedness and precision?

    She closed the book and returned it to where it had been found, beside her on the bench, her heart now heavy with sorrow and regret. Though within her remained the fanciful notions which had been granted her, that knowledge bestowed before the tragic disappearance of its conveyance, her cheeks now reddened with shame.

    She looked out over the lake as voluminous clouds lazily made their way across the sky, trees reaching to greet them as their leaves readied themselves for a conclusion, the rippled water of the lake twinkling as it lapped at the rocky shore. She abhorred herself absolutely for having tried, yet another lesson learned, the day draining out of her and into the soil at her feet.

    A lone florescence reaches out, asking.
  10. Scaevity


    Grasses wafting in the wind; all silenced, never known.

    She had been sitting on the floor in the corner, facing the walls, minding her own mind. She carefully mended memories with needle and thread, patching the damage, suturing the heartbreaks which had been known to allow leaks of aches and pains into her days.

    A bell sounded from somewhere far off, like an omnipresent demand, and she winced. The chime was low and hollow, a single peal which resonated slowly, deeply; its tone like a dark tar, melting into her, a thick heaviness like drowning.

    Her pupils were like stars, not round, they unwound like a bobbin. They shrunk to pinpoints as the sun forced its way into the room; the white walls whimpering as they brightened. She shuddered within her shadow, then crawled towards the light to shutter it out.

    September had become a neighbor, once more.

  11. Pessundated


    A thin, solitary leaf bends across a wooden footbridge.

    Along a path, the wind rushes then retreats; reeds sway rhythmically, suddenly. There was nothing spectacular, nor had there been; an emptiness of notion, for once. And then, a poisoning. Raindrops fell sporadically, threateningly; a grimness descended slowly, the path now felt long and tired.

    Why had such sour clamorousness risen above the calmness of a silence, to what end had it required such a starting interruption? The hours became broken then, moments crafted from the remnants, each a shard into what had been a mended mind.

    There had a been a path before it and it continued afterwards, though it was not the same. Merrily along, it had wandered with a subdued innocence, humming, then damaged by the bitterness of an intrusion—a stranger, a strangeness, a strangulation.

    It shall always feel unwelcome, that involvement, that malefaction. Like a puerile pebble tossed to shatter the stillness of a pond: it punctures then reverberates in waves, progressing through an entirety until each molecule has been moved by it.

    A path once meandered without intention, but now it runs straight with purpose, like an arrow into the heart of all it meets. The wind brushes gently against the rippling water, putting everything back into its place. A softness, a return to absence, a quieted mood.