Poetry

Poem: “The Last Man Standing”

He is standing there . . . still like a well-crafted statue.

Loyal to his assignment, never moving.

A faithful witness, dependable and true.

A reliable timekeeper, he is never late.

The rains never faze him. The winds never shake him.

His face as pale as white ash glimmers through the darkness of the night.

His stark features make him stand out from others of his kind.

Clad in classic all-black attire that carefully wraps around him like a meticulously woven cloak.

His countenance slightly changes with each passing night but his exuding beauty still humbles me every time.

I marvel at his presence, I stare just for a little while longer before I walk away.

He basks in the attention of his audience.
Young and old, they are all captivated by his spectacular image.

Cool, calm, and quiet.

Composed even in the face of the dangers of the night.

He rests his eyes on me, and I feel safe under his protective gaze.

His bright silvery eyes reassure me.

He stretches out his hand to help me find my way home.

Stories

“The Most Hated boy in the World”

I thought I should share a draft of the first chapter of a novel I’m currently working on, about a young boy who faces abuse from the people he trusts the most- his family. It is based on true events. The title is as above mentioned.

Please feel free to leave comments and suggestions.

Chapter one – “To the bone”

As he searches for warmth in the depths of his pockets with his diminutive hands, a bitterly cold breeze violently slaps him across the face. The weather has been particularly unforgiving this week, and today is no exception. It’s a damp foggy Thursday morning and The silhouettes of the people walking in front and beside him slowly diminish and disappear into the mist. Young and old bodies strut by trying to catch up to the morning rush

Another one of the wind’s companions gives it a go, blow by blow the winds attack as to taunt him, knowing he doesn’t stand a chance against them. One more surge of cold air pierces straight into his eyes, forcing them shut.
A tear begins to fall down his frozen cheek, followed by another and another, tears start to flow like a flooded river during raining season.
He gives out a heavy sigh that seems to fall out of his mouth and warms up the cold air surrounding his face.

He wipes the tears on his face as quickly as he can and throws his hands back into his thin grey trouser pockets. He clenches his fists to trap the little warmth in his hands preventing it from escaping. It doesn’t help that his school uniform is made from horribly rangy fabric. The hefty sack on his back is not making the journey to school any easier either.

Anyway, it will all be worth it once he gets there. He enjoys school and loves to learn. The classroom is his sanctuary. It helps him forget about all his troubles…

Poetry

Poem: “The Deluge”

A large ocean surrounds me
A deep void of darkness is inside me
Waves of doubt crash against my face
Im losing what’s left of my little faith

I’m overwhelmed

My head above the water
Trying to keep afloat
Screaming out for help
I feel the waters tightly gripping my throat

I’m overwhelmed

Sinking deeper and deeper
My limbs are getting weaker
How long will I survive
Before I lose my will to stay alive?

I’m overwhelmed

My body becomes heavier
My heart emptier
I freeze in motion and accept my fate
The ocean floor is my destination
And I will not be late.

Stories

Story: “Call Me by My Name.”

Her heart was pounding, the wind blowing against her thick coily air, and her feet almost levitating off the ground, all those hours of training seem to have finally paid off. She is racing through the sports field. Sprinting passed her competition. She is almost there, almost at the finish line.

That was three weeks ago, and today she is still running, this time not toward the finish line, but toward safety. Running from that sweet lady from the flower shop, instead of lilies, she has a machete in her hands. That librarian who always shushed her and her friends for making noise in the library is the one shouting out the loudest “Get her, they must all die!”. And that postman who used to greet her every morning with a smile is now on the frontline of the crowd, the instigator.

She had been dodging bullets a few days ago, but it looks like people have run out of ammunition, and now they use whatever they can find as assault weapons. At first, it was fear in their eyes, but now it is pure rage and hate. They just want her dead.

This disease has changed many things, but the worst it has done is take away her precious memories. She can’t even remember her name.

As she runs passed the park, a sudden image crosses her mind like a vision. it’s of a man, familiar but strange. He is teaching a little girl how to ride a bike, a pink bike with sparkles on the paddles, and a small white basket in the front. She could hear his soft voice, so soothing, so encouraging as the little girl fell off her bike over and over again. “Never give up, no matter what okay? now go on dear, go on…try again, I’m here for you” he says. Determined, the little girl picks herself up and gets on the bike again. After paddling for longer than she did before and making it to the other side of the park, with the man running right beside her, she shouted out “Daddy, look I did it!”

She slowed down while trying to savor that moment. Tearing up, and looking back at the park she then slipped and fell over a toy, probably abandoned there during the chaos of people trying to leave town when the disease had started spreading.

The mob was coming closer and closer toward her, more determined than ever to be rid of her kind, the infected ones. As she tried to pull herself up, waking from the daydream of what seemed to be a memory of her past, a young man suddenly appeared from the side of the street, took her by her hand, and pulled her up to run. He took her into his white van and they drove off.

Wait…who are you?” she tried to say but her words come out all scrambled and chopped. She is losing her speech now. She is changing faster than she expected. The young man turns to her and says,
“Don’t worry I won’t hurt you, I’m taking you to a safe place, it will all be alright, trust me.”
Did he hear what I said?
She is confused but feels safe enough.
She has no more energy left to fight anyway. Maybe he is her last hope of finding out who she is and finding her family, if they are still alive.

She caught sight of herself in the rearview mirror, she is not an attractive young athlete anymore. The disease has added a few years to her face. Her beautiful golden-brown glow is turning to a pale grayish tone, almost transparent. Cold to the touch. Dark dilated pupils are looking back at her, she no longer has that pleasant hazel gaze that the boy from Geography class fell head over heels for.
She looks to her rescuer in the driver’s seat and notices how handsome he is, with clear skin and dark curly bangs that hung over his big brown eyes. She is jealous of his youthfulness. He is wearing a grey hoody, some faded blue jeans, and white sneakers.
Typical white-boy swag.

She sees they are leaving the city and going into the countryside. The more she tries to speak, the less she is understood.

Twitching and ticking have set in now, a sign that she is almost completely changed.
Her rescuer notices this and offers her some food as a distraction from the thought of her terrible fate. A stale tuna sandwich, and bottled water. She accepts as she hasn’t eaten in days. She didn’t even notice how hungry she was. As she bites into the sandwich the taste reminds her of something, but she doesn’t know what. She struggles to hold on to her fading memories but they are quickly slipping away. The disease is close to killing her, well the old her.

They make it to their destination, a massive
mansion in the countryside. Inside they are greeted by a young couple and an old woman with money and authority written all over her. She could have been the mayor or a town councilor, but she couldn’t recognize her anyway. They seem to be excited to see her, relieved even.

“Hi, my name is Leo and this is my wife Cassie, I’m sure Jonathan took good care of you, right?” The man said smiling, dressed in matching cargo pants and black t-shirts with his wife.

She didn’t realize that her savior had not introduced himself. She glanced back at him.
Johnathan, that sounds familiar.
They lock eyes. The old woman interrupts the moment and says in an authoritative voice, “I am Victoria, nice to meet you.” stretching out her hand for a handshake.

“My…name is…well, I don’t quite remember, I was hoping you would help me with that. I…uh”
She remembers that no one can understand her.

“Don’t worry dear, no need to explain,” Cassie says, she looks a little frightened but tries to hide it with pseudo-confidence.

They pull her into a room set up like a lab.
“Sit down dear” Victoria says.
Who are these people? Are they scientists? Am I their next experiment?
She is uneasy and hesitates to sit. She looks around for Johnathan, he is standing leaning against the door with his arms folded. He looks calm and tries to reassure her with a smile and a nod.

She sits, Cassie tries to strap her in the chair, but she resists.
“Stop! (Hissing)… no, (mouning) stop it, please! (Snarling)”
Everyone froze, she could tell that they were afraid of her but they were still
determined to do whatever it is they meant to do with her.
Johnathan comes closer, kneels beside the chair, and holds her hand. For some reason she trusts him, and without a word spoken she calms down and lets Cassie finish what she started.

Victoria just watches from the corner of the room like she is the one in control of the whole thing, whatever it is.

Leo then appears with gloves on and a needle and syringe in his hands. “This will sting a little.”
Oh well, that’s it for me then. I had a good run.
Taking one last look at Johnathan, she squeezes his hand. He looks into her eyes and says “It’s okay Aisha, you’ll be alright.”
Ais…Aisha, that’s it! that’s my name!
Wait, don’t…how do you know me? how do you know my n…
She falls into a deep sleep.

Review

Book review; After: The Shock (book #1 in the AFTER series) by Scott Nicholson

It has been a week after a solar flare hit the entire planet, killing half the world’s population, and disrupting power grids, internet connections, communication devices, and transport systems. Most survivors have become violent mutants called Zapheads, and the remaining normal humans are left navigating in a civilization that has been brought back into the dark ages.

The protagonist Rachel Wheeler affectionately known as Ray Ray is a God-fearing young woman from Charlotte North Carolina, who believes that everything happens for a reason and that the apocalypse is possibly a test from God. She has lost her entire family and friends but has been successful in surviving on her own so far.

Along the way, she meets a black street-smart young man named Devontay and a 10-year-old orphaned boy named Stephen. The three of them make an odd trio, but they grow very fond of each other while trying to find a safe place to hide and survive. However, It turns out that the mutants are not their only enemy.

Even though After: The Shock is a post-apocalyptic thriller with violence as one of its themes, the author Scott Nicholson cleverly touched on some sensitive issues such as suicide, addiction, guilt, religion, and the meaning of life, in a humorous way which I appreciated and enjoyed. The ending lays a solid foundation for the next book in the series After: The Echo which I am looking forward to reading.

This story opened my eyes to how differently humans experience life depending on their backgrounds and beliefs. I saw how facing difficult situations can test one’s morality, and the most important lesson I’ve learned is that even after we lose everything materially, what will always remain is that which makes us human; faith, love, and hope.

I’m giving this book a rating of 4 stars out of 5. An overall great read.

Poetry

Poem: “This is not a Love Letter”

To my hopeless love

This is not a love letter, rather, I write you with a heavy heart because I know we can never be together. Even so, I am gripped and can’t break free from your charm.

This is not a love letter, but I am incarcerated by your gaze. The truth in your eyes sees right through the lies in mine. I try to hide it, but you are all-knowing. Just a glance from you melts away all my defenses and chokes away all the words from my mouth. I can’t seem to remember how to speak or breathe.

I promise this is not a love letter, however, your rare touch, insignificant as it may be to you, leaves me longing for more. My hands and body quickly free themselves from your embrace but my soul can’t, and won’t let go.

This is still not a love letter, but the sound of your voice leaves me paralysed I lose my sense of self and I scramble to pick up the pieces of my scattered mind. That is what you do to me.

This is certainly not a love letter because we both belong to someone else, but I cannot ignore the passion between us whenever we are together, and the emptiness I feel when we are apart. Tell me what to do in this desperate situation, in this tug-of-war where the battlefield is my heart. How do I escape you or forget you?

This is not a love letter, but it might as well be because my heart belongs to you.

From your secrete love

Stories

Story: “A Letter to My Tomorrow”

Dear Tomorrow

I hope you are well…for my sake.

The thought of you crosses my mind more often these days. It brings me a great deal of discomfort when I speculate about who you are and what you will become.

We are still yet to meet, and so I am curious about your appearance, your thoughts, and your choices.

I wonder whether the deep folds bordering your brilliant eyes will unwittingly expose the things you have seen and experienced. Will I look into those eyes and fail to find compassion and the spirit that once drove you to live a life that even I aspire to live? Has the passing of time helped you see things with more clarity, as they are, as they should be?

Do the unpleasant scars on your delicate hands serve as a reminder to never again dare to even dream? Will you ever master up the courage to change and reach for your dreams once more?

The grey on your head tells of the adventures that washed out the joy, wonder, and inspiration from you.
Does the lack of color suggest a lack of passion?

Do you still run toward the warmth of the sun or have your feet grown heavy, frozen to the ground out of suspicion and doubt? Do your legs still jump for joy when you accomplish a seemingly impossible feat or has fear succeeded in holding you back from even taking a single step?

You think your time has run out, that there are no more prospects left for you to reject and no more calls for you to ignore. Will you rewrite your story or will you live and die this way? Only time will tell.

When we finally meet, I pray that you look favorably upon me, as yesterday didn’t treat me so well.

Concerned
The Present

Poetry

Poem: “Who do you think you are?”

What makes you think you deserve better?

Your tears mean nothing, your pain is nonexistent.
You’re not soft enough, not feminine enough, delicate enough, or even desirable enough.

Who do you think you are?

Why do you think you deserve more?
What you have is sufficient for a girl like you.

Love? for someone like you?

Do you people even know what love is?
All you’re good for is labor. Hard labor, no playing around, no having fun, be serious and you will be taken seriously.

Why are you relaxing?!

you people are strong, with thick skin, born for heavy loads. It’s in your genes. Now, get back to work!

Poetry

Poem: “Chloe”

She was planted on the cold hard ground.

Stomped on, stunted, just left behind.
Suffocating in a dark, cramped space, feeling confined.
The only voice of comfort was her own, her own mind.

She was scattered along the concrete sidewalk.

Expected to take root, expected to flourish.
Neglected, unwatered, unnourished.
Will she ever grow or see the light of day?
Or will she perish and just wither away?

Yes, she was forsaken. Yes, she was shaken. But she was never broken.

Against all odds, she began to sprout.
Shunning all doubt.
Shooting out, aiming for the sun.
She is chosen, yes she is the one.

Budding, flowering, blooming!
Soon all will see her rare beauty, so consuming.
They will hear her song unsung.
Be mindful, her journey has just begun.