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NaNOWriMo Story 2015


Hello. My name is Sara. That’s nothing spectacular, I know.

I’ve walked these halls for so long I’ve lost track of time. I’ve seen the seasons change, though, and I don’t know how many times. I don’t look Outside so often anymore; except the nights I go out to the roof and watch the stars.

Days pass watching people come and go, live or die. Days pass watching people try to save other people, and sometimes they win and sometimes they lose. I pass the time watching TV with the other patients, talking to the nurses, the other patient’s families. I talk a lot because I’ve come to hate the silence.

Nights are harder. It’s quieter, there are fewer people, and the nurses like to turn off the TV’s so there’s nothing to watch. I end up in the E.R. a lot then, and let me tell you – I don’t like it there at all. The place makes my bones ache in this terrified sort of way. But I go and sit with the people waiting for treatment, and I hear their stories.

I see the emergency personnel bring in the bad cases. I’ve gotten pretty immune to the blood and gore. I suppose I already was, to be honest.

The thing is, for all my talking, they never answer me.

They can’t see me, you see. They can’t hear me. They can’t feel me. I walk around the hospital alone, and pretend I’m not.

Some nights I wander out to stand at that weird space in the E.R. I’m sure you know the one – that space between the sets of automatic doors. I know before all of this I’d see some healthcare places that had benches in there, or wheel chairs, or even people greeters. Mine had nothing. Dark carpet, dark walls, and Outside would be whatever season and time of day I’d once again missed unfolding.

I tried to leave a few times, but I just “woke” back up beside my bed. I hate seeing myself there, pale and … neat. I was never that neat in my life, perfectly tucked in like that, hair just so. No bruises marked my skin, no pen marks or color, no scrapes or scratches. Nothing that hinted of living life marked me anymore. Just tubes and white sheets, hair too vivid against the colorless pillowcase.

I’d stood there and yelled at myself so many times. Wake up, I’d yell. I’m RIGHT HERE! I’d scream. I begged please, please just open your eyes.

I said so many things. I called myself every bad thing in the book, and then some. I promised everything I could think of, and threatened every threat. But still I laid there, still and silent.

They said I wasn’t dead – my brain was still functioning. But they didn’t know why I wouldn’t wake up. I screamed at them, too. Pleaded, begged, screamed, and threatened – all of it, all over again. Nurses, doctors, interns, family.

They never responded. I couldn’t touch them, and they walked right through me more than once.

You know how when you’re a kid in school you feel invisible – these people or those people don’t listen. Your parents don’t notice this or that. The teachers are oblivious.
Well, this is worse than that. At least then, if you screamed until you were hoarse, someone would notice. If you got hurt badly enough, someone would do something. Maybe if you told someone about what was happening, all the things bottled up inside you, waiting to just explode and bleed everywhere… someone would just do something. Except we often fail to realize, in those times, that people are doing things. Our friends are smiling at us, laughing with us. Our teachers are watching us, listening when we don’t think they are. Our parents are trying their hardest to make a life for you and themselves. We think they don’t want us, and our problems. That we’re a burden to their already complicated lives. Or we don’t even think about the fact they have their own lives.

So we wrap ourselves up in ourselves, but still bump into each other. All over the place, hundreds of times a day, we bump into each other. But unless we break that silence, break that self-containment, we just keep drifting. And I swear, it’s just words, tears, or a breath away to break that.

I wish it were still that easy.

Because now I can see all of that. Now that I can scream until my voice no longer works, and no one hears me. I can try to hit people, I can cry…

And it’s nothing to anyone.

So it’s another night of watching infomercials with the elderly woman in room 304, who talks to herself. I answer her sometimes, but she never notices. She doesn’t even notice the nurses, sometimes, though. She was a sweet woman at one point. Has five kids, eight grandkids, but won’t stop asking for the husband who died ten years ago. She sleeps a lot because she’s sick, and one of these nights she’ll stop for good. I can see it coming, slowly. There is this blurriness to her edges, as if she were somehow losing cohesion, and sometimes I see these flickers of light there.

I swear, it’s the times when she’s the most unaware of the nurses – when that blurriness is worst – I swear she looks at me sometimes. She’s quiet then, pale blue eyes watery and wandering, but she focuses them on me and just watches for a moment.

But then, maybe she’s just seeing her past.

Maybe another night spent with the insomniac ten year old with leukemia. He’s pretty interesting. He’s teaching himself Spanish, and turns his headphones up too loud, so I’m sort of learning it too. He draws these wild pictures of dragons and knights, and his parents have turned a few into stuffed animals I sometimes try to take with me. I’ve knocked them over once or twice, and he looks around quietly and gently says “I’m sorry you’re stuck here.” before uttering a prayer for my soul.

He’s not blurry, not anymore. He was, when he first came in, you see. But it got better with time and treatment, and I expect at some point he’ll go home, soon. He laughs more now.

I could go down to the E.R. and see what mess the city has concocted tonight. Another horrible car accident? Just a night of whatever happens Out There? A mass shooting? A gang fight? A child dying of something or another, or …

You see, in the E.R. you get used to these things. It becomes less about what happened and more about the treatment. How do you save the life of the person or people right there, here and now?

I love to watch the E.R. staff work on my good nights. I like to imagine they did this for me, for whatever reason I’m here. I like to think they worried over whatever happened, trying to put the pieces together to keep me alive. Do they puzzle over my silence, my lack of living? Or am I just another phantom – another patient in the long list of patients they see and try to help every night?

Once in a while I go to the maternity ward.

The maternity ward hurts, too, just like the E.R. does – except it’s a sort of pain in my heart and mind. I look at the babies and I think about how they’ll go off and live their lives – with their parents and other people, drifting around and running into them. People don’t start off wrapped in their cocoons of themselves, you see.
Sometimes I say prayers of my own sort, hoping they won’t come back here for anything major.

I have a seen a few who are blurry, even this young. I sit beside them, and I watch intently. I poke their machines, if they have them. I wake them up by bumping their cradles. I try to make the nurses pay attention. THIS ONE, I yell, SOMETHING IS WRONG.

This one needs you, I cry.

This one is special, I whisper.
It wasn’t run down like some traveling carnivals, but it did have the worn-in, well attended appearance of a long standing much traveled one.

The carnival folk varied from the tradition leery folk to the (also) traditional warm and welcoming sorts. It set up in the shape of a teardrop, with the pointed end being the way into the carnival proper. To either side of this sat ticket and information booths.

People flocked to it no matter where it went. It boasted games, food, drink, rides, fortune tellers, a big top – and something many carnivals long since ceased to offer. The Freak Show.

Despite its worn well used appearance it had a following. People returned each year to see what differences may have come along, and to visit with “old friends” among the staff. People rarely left (short of death) when they joined. Speaking of death – it wasn’t common in this carnival.

The dust and dirt seemed to disappear at night; it became something else entirely. It became a glowing jewel of colors and lights, a place and a way to leave oneself without the risk. Laughter paved the dirt paths and fanned boardwalks, while softer whispers of love and other things twined among the fair goers with abandon.

I spent my nights wandering among those who chose to visit, and most of the time – we turned the places we visited into ghost towns at night. We never sold any alcohol because the heady beats, brilliant colors, the dancers, the workers mixed in the crowd, the ones working the attractions – we didn’t need to.

We drew them like moths to the flame, and we brought them into our world. In the nighttime, at a carnival, we could be free. Because no one ever believed “the act” was more than trick shows, smoke and mirrors, a good story, or simply a carefully worked illusion.

Let me take you there. Drift into the tent of the “freaks” with me. The pale dark-eyed vampire, the skinny tall “bearded lady”. The woman with the shimmering aurora borealis butterfly wings, the woman summoning fire and dancing in it as if it is mere air….
They are all real.

The storyteller in his small amphitheater (his name is Tennyson, by the way) who tells stories so real you’d swear (only in that night, of course) that you could see phantasms of the stories he weaves, feel the feelings of those he spoke of.

Don’t mind the girl with the pale-blue blind eyes, she’s no trouble, but if you do wish to follow her, she’ll lead you to the fortune teller. No charlatan, no lies fall from her lips, but no one wants to hear the dire predictions that are a part of life. So she’ll sugar coat it for them all in love and lust and money; and watch as they leave, saddened that no warning can save you.

The workers too are most often magic. Most are fae, many werewolves and mages, and a few are even other things entirely.

People never see this, though. To them we are all just people. Ragged until the night comes and we entrance and enthrall, the magic more than simply good showmanship.

And we do it because we must. I walk among them to check that things are alright.

No one is being disturbed. No one is talking in dark whispers, dreaming the dark things as they are awake. None of these people – or even my own – are drifting in the dark wrapped in the darker shadows we guard.

I would be the first to know, and the first told, because this is my circus. All of the energy – the laughter, joy, fear, all these strong emotions are a feast for the fae.
But most of it doesn’t go to us. It’s meant for someone else.

They walk around and they seek the thrills, are dazzled and played. The fae give them a high like no drug they’ll ever find. They’ll wake in the morning and some of them will find things they’ll forever carry in silence in the dark, others will find only that they’re curiously giddy. Some simply feel content, or well rested, happy.

Never once do they consider what we may be hiding. Not only what we are, but the reason we never stay.

No one ever realizes what lurks in the dark, sleeping sometimes fitfully under the floors of the big top tent, the sounds of the crowds lulling her dreams, their emotions being used to keep her a prisoner.
Carnival of Tears
Flash Fiction Month for June 3rd, just barely in time.

Prompt used: ReginaLicole 's "A circus like no other"

Flash Fiction Month Day 3
It was just sitting there amid the cast off gold clubs, used sports padding, and scratched broken fish tanks.

It wasn't the normal sort, being scratched and scuffed just like the tanks it sat near. Pearly dark green swirled and mixed with a transparent almost black-green color. Throughout gold flecks - as if made of gold leaf - of various sizes floated.

I don't know what possessed me to bring it home. I didn't need it anymore than I needed the bright blue knee pad it rested on. Still, I picked it up, and it made the rounds of the thrift store as I meandered through, looking at all the other discards and odds and ends.

Thrift stores are really strange places, if you think about it. You never know quite what you'll find. Trash or treasure? Unique or a dime a dozen? Cheap and tacky or privately beautiful?

Maybe that's why I bought it. I love the color green, and it made me think of my childhood with its simplistic shape and clear cut use. It screamed of "I used to do that!" in the same way a swing set forlornly calls to you as an adult. Come, it says, </i>come back to me. We used to spend our time together, you used to love me.</i>

Nostalgia is a funny thing, too.

The bowling ball languished in my trunk for a month before I remembered it was there. It almost caused a car accident as it rolled loose from where it had been wedged for four weeks and loudly reminded me of its presence. The loud thud as I turned a corner and the shudder caused me to (stupidly) hit the brakes. I sort of thought something hit me.

Once things were sorted, and the ball wedged back into place, off we went again.

That evening I took it inside, and spent a few minutes fake-bowling with imaginary bowling pins in my front hallway. Then it was set down alongside the two others perched on a side table in my living room. One of them looked rather similar to this one, except it was colored in blues with the same gold flecking. The other was slightly smaller, matte black with metallic silver swirls. The smaller one also had several kanji decals on it that I’d never really bothered to try to remove, in an electric eye-searing blue.
I swear they were so bright they could glow in the dark.

The evening passed in the usual fashion. Dinner, some tv, and bed.

I woke in the middle of the night to voices. A man’s voice, at first, audible but incomprehensible. It was interspersed with another voice, this one cracking once in a while, shifting from higher to lower – puberty represented in pure tones and the vocal embarrassment of young males across the globe.

This I was used to. I was not, however, used to the light, sweet notes of female conversation that eked its way out into the silence like a nervous night creature.
I got up and crept to my bedroom door in my bare feet. I regretted that decision moments later when I stepped off the area rug in my living room and onto the hardwood floors of the hallway. Cold simultaneously shot lightning-like into my feet while also seeping into them in some weird other way. Down the hall I slunk then peeked around the corner into the living room where the voices were coming from.

No one stood before me in the dark, but the voices continued.

“John, what’s going on?” I asked, wearily. I hoped I was wrong.

“Oh, nothing much. Just conversing with this lovely woman to my right.” Came John’s deeper, faintly English tones. “She was just telling us how she left a dent in your car’s trunk, and how much she hated being stuck among the bottles of oil and jumper cables. She was quite afraid of being scratched, or worse, melted.”

The little one laughed. "I was stuck on the floor boarda during the winter for three weeks with an old crock pot."

Damn it, I bought a haunted bowling ball. Again.

Also, I need to take stuff out of my car more often.
Not Again
Today's Flash Fiction Month Submission - July 2nd, 2015

Prompt: CassidyPeterson 's "You bought a haunted bowling ball. Again."

Flash Fiction Month Day 2
It started with the persuit of beauty. Not of his Majesty, but of HER Majesty. After an encounter with the fae, the Queen began to slip into a bit of madness. First her gowns became more and more expensive and elaborate. Then her makeup, hair, nails and more joined into the fray. After which went her "care routines", until she spent more time in her suite then eating.

Of course, this sort of mental illness takes it's toll, and people eventually got used to seeing her less and less. No one noticed when she stopped being seen at all until months had passed.

And the King began to seem a bit... preoccupied. No one noticed as here and there new girls were hired for the castle - young girls, mostly. Older women who were highly "attractive" to the King's taste (and often a bit "playful") also were hired. They spoke of work as usual at first - laundry, cooking, cleaning. Entertaining as well, apparently.
One of the girls disappeared. We should have been more aware, paid more attention. The truth is some of the girls were dismissed, others continued to work, and one girl simply vanished. She was flighty, thin and doe-eyed. Her family life had not been good, but she had seemed to really blossom with her work and seemed to have gained a sort of... glow.

She had no family left to be alarmed.

It was months later when another girl disappeared. Then two months, then one. People began to worry. No older women were now being hired.

It was when they came back that people really worried.

They looked the same as ever, at first. They had a confidence, though, a sense of being... more. A few of them were more distant. None of the first girls returned to their families, instead finding their own homes among us common folk. It came down to mere weeks that girls would be missing, and then they would simply go back to life as if nothing had changed.

We ran out of the sort of girls that seemed to be typical for hiring. We figured it was done.

And then girls from other villages started appearing in town, gathering in the quiet green spaces and squares.

Some of them smiled brilliant, joyful smiles. Some were shy, smiling timidly. Blue eyes, green eyes, hazel and brown. Black hair, blonde, brown, red - the only common ground was their thinner, taller statures.

As autumn came on, people started to prepare for winter. People began to talk, too. The girls worked as hard as anyone, but they seemed ... better at it. Young children - toddlers and babies - often refused to go near them.

Without the full growth and leaves on the trees, they seemed... taller.

Winter was fairly normal. Illness, cold, wet, dark. We were not short on food, or wood. It was a cold winter, but not a hard one.

Still, people whispered, then began talking quietly. There was worry something was wrong. People started hearing things, seeing things. Whispers, giggles, breathing where no one was. Tiny shadows, whole people, lights in the dark. And the girls...

Some seemed to be constantly sick. They withered slowly, despite having plenty to eat, and good care. Some started ignoring the living, whispering and then out right talking to thin air. One became wild and dangerous, attacking her family in the middle of the night. One simply wandered off into the woods and was found days later, frozen to death amid the trees.

Among the handful of older women, two started to show pregnancies, both of whom also started to share the withering and whispers of the other girls. One simply vanished from the middle of a town square in broad daylight. Another simply fell silent, unreactive, as if the world outside no longer existed. The last one, however, seemed to be in perfect health.

She took to singing at night in the tavern, her own enthralling one-woman show. People slowly forgot how plain she once was as winter wore on. She was kind to everyone, and as winter's grasp gave way to spring, she seemed to bloom.

Spring brought more than this amazing transformation, however. It brought the men of other kingdoms, searching for their girls. Had we seen them? Had they been here? Why hadn't the King been in contact much? Had our winter been so bad as to make it so hard to communicate?

They gathered by the pair, by the half dozen, seeking audience with the King. They went away from their private conference with him silent and glassy-eyed.
We all kept our silence as they left, though. We had kept our silence the whole time they were there, too.

No one really noticed when we all started to hear it. It came so gradually, and seemed... so natural.

When they started appearing in the woods, however... when they started walking among the trees, then the streets, we all noticed. When spring came to drift into summer and they started standing in the corners and nooks and crannies, watching us...

They whispered of the King to us. Of how he had taken them each, and tried to make them into that which the Queen desired. How he called them art, using anything in his power to shape them and change them.

Men from further and further away keep coming on searches for their missing girls, and more and more of them crowd the night and the streets.

Unless His Majesty gets past this delusion that he's an artist, we're all going to suffer.

Worse than we already are.
FFM 2015 - Madness
Flash Fiction Month writing for June 1st. Horror!

Prompt used: Augmented4thUnless 's "His Majesty gets past this delusion that he's an artist, we're all going to suffer."

Flash Fiction Month, June 1st
20min Speed Write, 12/3/14
Song: Sarah McLachlan, "Stupid"
Characters: Brant


Brant tossed the window open and sat on the edge of the sill, looking down across the roof to the streets below, frowning at the breeze that brought just a little relief to the sweltering heat.

She swung her legs out of the window and moved out onto the roof, slipping along the silent well known pathways to wherever she wanted to go. She’d spent how many nights moving this way while the city slept? Unseen, taking this or that – whatever she’d wanted.

She stopped to watch the ends of a gathering in one back garden and then moved on, finally dropping to the streets. It was such habit, the quick smile, a charming little side step, a bump, an apology, and she kept walking. She didn’t even realize what she’d done till she stuck her hands back in her pockets, and her fingers encountered cold hard metal.

She pulled the coins out of her pocket and stopped to look at them. Nothing major, and she’d need more than this tiny bit, but it would have been good start once. She’d always taken a first attempt that earned anything as a good sign, and this was more than the usual change. She took a deep breath, the simple thrill of seeing silver and bronze in her hand playing along her nerves.

She lifted her head and looked around, the tiny tendrils of guilt painting shadows across her emotions. Would he be upset, she wondered, to find her standing there with someone else’s money in her hand?

He’d been a thief once, too, but now he wasn’t. He was what the thieves avoided – guard and guardian. But this was her world – the shadows, the hard edges, the drunks and the hungry, the poor and the not-as poor. This was how she survived.

She dropped the coins back in her pocket, and then she slipped her hands into them as well. A snap of anger flicked across her mind. Why in the world should she even care what he’d think, anyways?

She turned on her heel and swept her hair out of her eyes with a quick, irritated gesture. She couldn’t sleep with how disgustingly hot it was, anyways – she may as well do what she’d always done, and see what the night held. Or rather, what the people in it held… and what she’d be holding at the end of the night.
20 Min speed write
Same story as the 8 & 10 writes. Just another part.
It's crap. Not my art, my life.

I'm on government aid. Not disability, but welfare, until my MH and other issues are sorted enough to figure out where I stand. Even so, I've applied for jobs and either been ignored, or am still waiting to hear back.

My son's birthday is the 12th, and I can't afford anything for him, not even a cake. I got him one toy, an I owe my Mom for that. Next month I have to buy him school supplies, and somehow buy him new some new clothes, and probably should buy him new shoes, but that will have to wait.

My car just died. Won't start. Jumping it won't help, so it's likely the starter or alternator, both of which are $100-$200 parts alone - plus it can't be started so I can't even drive it to a shop.

Then there is the money owed to my mother, my brother, and several past-due medical bills that are heading to collections.

How am I supposed to get to appointments, including the weekly therapy appointments I need to attend to get the welfare? By making my brother take me everywhere, until he gets work. Meanwhile, he has his own appointments, interviews, etc...

I'm tired. The world seems like it'd be better without my problems. I'm not going to do anything stupid, no worries.

I'm selling art. Mirrors or anything else. It'll do no good but the offer is there.
  • Mood: Suffering
  • Listening to: TV Commercials
  • Reading: Nothing
  • Watching: Nothing
  • Playing: Nothing
  • Eating: Nothing
  • Drinking: Cherry Real Sugar Pepsi



Artist | Hobbyist
United States
Current Residence: NW Oregon

32 * Mother of One * Lost, confused, broken
Living one day - One moment - at a time.

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Megido23 Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2014
Thank you for the fav!
Megido23 Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2014
Thank you for the watch!
angelicoreXX Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2014
thx for the watch :D 
Svraka-Machka Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the watch ma'am~
BJDFantasy Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2013  Student General Artist
Thanks for the watch ^u^
lionkingboltlover12 Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
thanks for the fave! :hug:
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Thank you very much for the fav!
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thanks for the fav! :hug:
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Thanks so much for the fav. :)
WhiteKnightNocturne Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so very VERY much for the fave!
Blessings of Random upon you!
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