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3.26.21

We are blurry face

A generation without a name

A youth without a cause

A kingdom without a reign.

We are blurry face

A community of confusion

A gathering of emotion

An army of fatalists

We are blurry face

A generation looking for identity

A youth looking for a cause

An army waiting for a leader.

And we care what you think.

Shipwrecked

This life is hell, I accept the lie well.

The inner circles are farthest from God,

but the nearer the edge you’re perpetually drawn, 

the more it feels like turbulent waters. 

Drawn onto a ship at an early age

I sat back and grew as a battle was waged

A war for my heart, my faith and my life,

only I could chose to end the strife

I made my choice, cast my lot

with the One whose love my heart most sought

And for a brief moment, a gasp

happiness seemed to last

But with age came questions and with questions doubts

They crowded me, weighed me, shouted me down

In the madness the hull was split

I ignored the help, the offered hand

The others were rescued, strengthened, protected.

This world, it churns and rattles, 

thrusting you into His grasp

then casting a line to lure you away. 

I know the claim is radically unsound, 

but fear and hatred swarm all around. 

No one hears my anguished tears 

dripping silently from my fears. 

I writhe beneath the weight of my failures 

watching successes expand other’s grandeurs. 

I’m hopelessly lost in this current of despair. 

Life is an ocean, God is the land,

one day I’ll learn to not plant my feet in wet sand. 

While the salt poisons me and drains away at my life 

I’m stuck watching others walk towards His light. 

One day I’ll smell the flowered grass of Heaven 

but until then I’ll be swimming with the heathen. 

Foundations of coral, sand, and rocks gash, 

suck and tear at my tender feet as I struggle. 

Anything seems better than struggling to shore 

until a new curl of blood taints the soft ocean floor. 

Slowly, slowly, slowly, I feel more lowly, lowly, lowly.

What will it take to find my feet dry sand 

and how on this earth will I make it to land? 

I see rafts and buoys bobbing around 

and yet I never feel like I’ve been found. 

Will I be one who’s been buried at sea? 

Soul in God’s hand but body lost for eternity? 

I’m tired and drowning, 

my thoughts are clouding,

This life is an ocean, a faint taste of hell

God’s home is a foundation, a safe haven to dwell

Too young to walk home, I wish for a line

something to take me into the bliss of divine

the rhyming and rhythm are a breath of grace

fanning and healing my exhausted face

anchoring me to this world for a time

until God is ready to cast me a line.

Brotherhood

This is what happens when you do your homework before class…and don’t feel the need to listen to the professor. Yup. I’m responsible. So responsible. For my own tears at 2 AM as I’m typing this story up, but whatever. I miss writing for the record, hopefully I’ll return with more, though.

“Carlos, Carla, we need you, get up, come down.” Amanda hammered on the twin’s door as sirens split the night silence. Two tousled, blonde heads replaced the door. “Big Baby’s gonna blow, we need you to decode it.”

The twins exchanged looks. “You decode the bomb, I’ll run the back-up.” Carlos hugged his sister.

“Remember to speak clearly and slowly, little brother.” She kissed his forehead before the two split and bolted down opposite corridors. Amanda hesitated before following Carla.

“You can do it—” 

“Get out!” Carla’s fingers flew over the keys of her computer. “Get out, just because I am the best doesn’t mean I am successful.”

“Stage 1 successful, Stage 2 bypassed, engaging Stage 3.”

“Copy that, Carlos.” Big Baby’s beeping intensified behind the glass. “Amanda, I want everyone on the next three levels evacuated, they have 20 minutes to pack.”

Amanda stumbled around a desk and turned her back on Carla. The image of her blonde curls cut short above her ears, her loose pajama shirt hanging off one shoulder, her bare feet…were burned into her mind.

Each beep echoed through the compound. Seconds beat their half times. Minutes blurred the eerie silence together. Carlos watched the compound in the distance.

Twenty minutes passed. Twenty-one. Twenty-two. Amanda’s team sent a blur of head lights into the mountains. A heavy knot tangled inside Carlos. He raised his phone to his ear. “Compound cleared.”

A tear trickled down his cheek as he heard the heavy breathing from his sister’s chest. Three more minutes passed. A deep sigh rushed through his speaker.

“Carlos…”

“I’m still here.”

“I only have…45 seconds.”

“I’m counting.”

“I’ll wait for you.”

“I’ll be coming.”

“Take your time. Don’t come too early.”

“I won’t.” His breathing hitched. “There’s no plan B?”

“This was always every plan. Carlos?”

“Yeah?”

“It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness.” Her voice was cut off in a loud explosion. A gust of wind knocked Carlos backwards. The phone lost connection as a heat wave followed.

Carlos covered his face as ashes and flecks of debris showered him. “That is not weakness. That is life.” A deep sob tore his throat as he sat up and strained his eyes through the ashes…maybe his sister’s spirit was lingering in them.

“Carla was my older sister, as many of you know. What may not have been made clear was that…she was my elder by two years. Carla and I are not twins.” Carlos scanned the sea of black sitting in orderly rows, glittering with tears. He smiled weakly. “It began as a joke, actually. Her given name was Charlotte. Mine is Carlos. When our parents passed, she took it upon herself to protect me and that is when we truly became twins. We’re identical.” The sea of black swam as tears suddenly rushed over his eyes. Carlos swallowed and brushed them away to continue, “And she did that. There was some rivalry over who was the better hacker or coder. She always sacrificed the title, but when we accept the truth, Carla was better at everything. She was kind, loving, protecting, competent, the fastest coder this world has seen. But even the best person can’t stop time. We knew that night one of us would stay…and it would be her.” Someone sobbed and buried their face in their hands. Carlos looked away quickly, “It may sound cruel, it may seem…unfair…but her last words were “I’ll wait for you…Take your time. Don’t come too early…This was always the plan…” And, “It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness.” She wasn’t able to finish the line, so I’ll do it for her, now. “That is not a weakness. That is life.” Knowing this, I want everyone who knew here or heard of her…anyone touched by my sister…to strive to be more like her. That’s why she left and I stayed. I haven’t reached my purpose, yet. That’s…that’s all.” Carlos bowed his head. The words fell short, but the conclusion ebbed into the chests of the mourners. Carla passed because it was her time…and they had not…because their end was waiting.

Motivation

“How do you do it?” I watched her fingers fly through the machinery and create her new invention. “How do you find the stamina and…inspiration for all of this…?” Shiny metal fused beneath the bloodshot eyes of my friend. Her very breathing seemed fraught with more purpose than her lungs could handle. 

“Anger.” She glanced into my eyes and I closed my mouth to the spluttering I knew would frustrate her more. Dust had settled over the shelves on the uninhabited side of the workshop. Normally I would be tripping over mugs and spoons on the floor, but one solitary bowl, full, untouched, rested on her cluttered desk. I didn’t want to know what it once held.

She had turned to what seemed to be an entirely different project. Her computer display filled with code and I looked away, I hated watching her type with her eyes closed. It shouldn’t be possible to be that sure of your own words. “Anger doesn’t do this. Anger…isn’t so methodical.”

“Methodical?” She threw her head back and laughed, fingers skittering away over the keys. “Trained, yes, experienced, yes, methodical? Ha!” She smacked the laptop shut and returned to the 3-D printer where I finally noticed another dish—her water bottle. That at least seemed used. She gasped and set the bottle down before rubbing her eyes. “You mean motivation?”

“Of course, I mean motivation.” I punched in her password and opened the health app on her phone. “What could possibly feed your motivation—”

“Anger. Don’t bother with that, I haven’t slept in…” She counted on her fingers, shook her dazed head and tried again.

“Three hours each for the past four days. Don’t take that fit bit off. Are you at least eating…?” I glanced over the charts on the app. Minimal sleep, losing weight, the only thing keeping a healthy plot was her hydration.

“I think so. But Lucy, motivation will eat anything, there just has to be enough of it. The more it can eat, the more it grows, the more it grows, the more you have. Different motivations eat different things, they can be picky…” She reached over and turned her phone off in my hand with a psychotic smile. “Mine…runs off of anger, primarily.” She swaggered back to her welding and flipped the visor over her face. Her voice echoed strangely. “I’m sure if I had enough love…or desperation…even hunger, it would work for that…but see, there’s never been a call for it, so I’ve never been able to experiment.”

I tossed her phone on top of the computer and rolled my sleeves down as the sparks danced all over the room. “Grace, don’t talk like that, you can’t just…treat…abstract thought like it’s sentient!” I had to shout over the noise she was making, but she carried the conversation like any other.

“What do you mean I can’t? What if it is? What if motivation is like…it’s like a virus or a parasite and some people are more infected than others? But instead of it feeding off of an emotion, that’s just what we excuse it as? Oh, he went and killed everyone out of grief, oh, she worked so hard out of love, blah, blah, blah.” She laughed again and set her tools down, flipping the visor up to look back at my stunned face.

“Don’t talk like that.” I swallowed hard. She always seemed insane during these spells…

Grace laughed and tossed the tools aside to pick up the computer again. Her fingers flew faster than my neurons as I began piecing together her three very disjointed projects into one puzzle. “You know I’m joking. I’m always joking.”

“You’re literally insane.” I did a little circle of unbelief and near-terror while she laughed again.

“No, you’re literally baffled, I’m potentially insane. Look, Lucy. It’s not gonna be much longer. I just have to—” She got up and started breaking her whole plan down. It was so unbelievable it went right over my head and I couldn’t even figure out what she was doing, but I grasped something along the lines of…over achiever for Harvard combined with rocket science and quantum physics. Maybe she discovered nuclear fusion. Not that I’d be able to recognize that when I saw it…or even know if any of those things are related…

“Hey, hey, look. Just give me a date. I can understand those.” I pulled out my phone and rubbed my nose wearily.

“Uh, area code 423-654—”

“That’s not a date?” I blinked, feeling as crazy as she looked. Did I ask for a date? What date did I ask for…I was thinking, I promise to be in bed on November the 22nd

“Are you sure? He’s cute.” Grace laughed again. She laughed so hard, she sat down against a bookshelf and clutched her sides. Tears streamed down her greasy cheeks and I groaned.

“What day will you come to a stopping point and when can I make sure you have showered, eaten, and are in bed for the next…let’s say eighteen hours.” I stood over her exasperatedly.

Grace stopped laughing and smiled wearily. “I promise, I’m not that crazy…just enough to keep me going…” She sighed and looked around at her desks from the new angle. “I think…give me two more days. It’ll be done in two days. Full 24 hours, though, I want all that time.”

“Yeah. Yeah, sure you do.” I helped her to her feet and rubbed my face. “You also stink. I’m bringing air fresheners in here. Maybe thirty or so.”

“Get the pine kind.” She walked stiffly to the crazy machine that followed her fingers and her tired body flew back to alert. I picked up my bag and started to leave. “And Luce?” I paused and turned back to her. “I, uh…I appreciate it.” I grunted and turned back to the door. I was almost through it when I heard, “Love you.”

I smirked and nodded. “I got your back, girl.”

~~

“Woah, woah, woah! No, way!” I stood in front of a kindle sized screen and watched as a program sorted through all of my files. 

Grace yawned and shrugged indifferently. “It’s bigger than I wanted it to be, but the—”

“Grace, you literally created Jarvis and all you can do is yawn and complain about the size? You created JARVIS?! Can you fly?”

She looked at me like I was stupid and snorted. “I have had 42 hours of sleep in the past 14 days, I withhold all rights to yawning and no, I cannot.” Her hair dripped onto her shoulders, the first shower in those 14 days it looked like, too. Her skin was still pale and dark circles hid under the hollows of her eyes, but for all of that, she was looking saner. Tired, but rational.

“Okay, but you still made JARVIS.”

For the third time, my name is Garret.” The kindle blinked yellow with the computerized voice and the screen stopped blipping little file icons around.

“Subtle, Gracie, real subtle.”

“Lucy. I’m going to bed. Play nice with Garret.” Grace started to trudge out of the kitchen, tugging the bathrobe closer around her shoulders.

“Wait, wait, wait, what about the other things? There was the big metal thing with shiny metal and stuff and then there was the 3-D printer, what was all that for?”

She turned to me like I was crazy and then groaned. “That…that was a trellis for the garden. And the printer was…doing a lot of things. From making pieces to the games we broke to the screen for Garret.”

I blinked. “But I thought they all went together. It—It looked like it all went together, you’re kidding me, right?”

“You know…I would much rather be insane like me than just…stupid…” Her eyes said the rest as she shuffled down the hall to her bedroom and thumped the door. I smiled awkwardly at no one and sat back down on the kitchen stool.

“I’m not stupid, I’m just…”

A Hufflepuff.” The kindle-thing blipped at me and I scowled.

“Excuse you…”

“You should go admire the trellis. Personally, I think it would make a magnificent coat rack, but I’m sure you could find more creative uses—” I huffed and left the kitchen. Brilliant. She essentially created a disembodied Grace with a man’s voice.

I may have squealed, though, as I cranked the car. “She made JARVIS!!”

Pastimes- Library

“She made a mistake.” Voices whispered softly like the rustle of pages in a silent classroom.

“She won’t be coming now.” A papery crack split the rustling hush of the large room, but the girl didn’t notice. Her eyes darted from left to right, left to right, lips parted in concentration.

“Why would she make that kind of dumb mistake?” Another crack rent the air and her fingertips smoothed a page down gently, massaging out its creases before her eyes darted left to right again.

“How long do you think it’ll take this time?” Her knee bounced excitedly under the table as she cocked her head to one side. Her hair fell with it, forming a curtain against the light of the lamp.

“Who knows? Minutes? Hours? Days? She could be stuck for months!” She licked her finger and slid it across the paper. It caught and folded to the other side and her eyes took in a detailed drawing before darting left to right.

“Maybe it’s our fault. If we hadn’t brought her here—” The cardboard case fell shut and her fingers pushed it away as she reached for another.

“She knows better. It’s not like it’s a real addiction.” The cardboard cover fell open and her eyes began darting left to right, lips parted, breath short and soft, knee bouncing excitedly.

“Isn’t it?” She had appointments to meet…but the book was just too good. She had a few more minutes.

The Next Step

So Christi’s story has ended and my high hopes for my next story have fallen…it isn’t finished, of course. While I finish it up, I will try to keep consistent scheduling habits–unfortunately, my college courses have begun and my longterm vision for this blog is hazy.

Until further notice, I hope to continue the “Musings” thread on Fridays. They are relaxing little word projects for me and I end up writing several in a sitting some nights.

As for my Sunday and Wednesday posts…well, there’s the difficult part. I had hoped for another serial story, but those aren’t cooperating. I do have many short stories laying around my computer and I am considering posting those. Do I plan to have any semblance of consistency? Eh…no. Until the completion of any of my work in progresses…anarchy shall rule this blog. Anarchy or the whims of my schedule. (Sometimes they feel the same, no?)

Anyway, many thanks to those of you who have been reading Christi’s story. 🙂 The statistics tab was incredibly motivating at times. Let me know in the comments what you most enjoyed in the past several months! Today, we start another adventure.

Christi 16

The Life

Dear Christi,

I’m so glad to hear about your father’s heart, I was praying for him. How is Clay? The little on one the way? I’m so glad he’s been open to talking about Christ with you. I’m keeping him in my prayers.

I want to thank you for your help all those years ago, by the way. It’s been a long road, but now I think I’ve actually recovered from being in the military. I’m full, again. I have all of that passion and love in my heart and I tear up just thinking about how great a role you played in that process. Don’t laugh at me. We both know I’m being ridiculous, only one of us feels the need to point it out. I’m being honest, here, you should be glad. God is using me to reach others, but he used you, an unbeliever no less, to reach me. I feel alive again. I feel whole. Thank you.

In my last letter, I mentioned how Susanna struggled with a definition for love and whether she was lovable. Could you send me your definition? I wrote it down somewhere, but like you said, my notes finally maxed out my brain. Carter is grappling with self esteem, still. I’d appreciate if you’d continue to pray for him in your small group. He was making so much progress, but now I can see him sliding backwards. 

Bobby is so much help, by the way. He manages to connect with the young men better than I. Thank your parents for raising such a useful man.

With love

In Christ,

Hailey Marsy

The End

And so it ends…Any closing thoughts?

Christi 15

As this story nears its completion I would like to apologize again for its roughness and whatever inexperience of mine has bled into it. And thank you for reading. One more post to go, after this, and hopefully, another story will be soon to follow.

The Voice

I woke, I ate, I breathed, I lived, but I had no life. As an experiment, I passed my autonomy to another. That was not death. It wasn’t so wrong…but the way I handled it. The losing motivation and all other sources of meaning. That began my decay. Under Kalia, though. There I became a living corpse. Without memories, feelings, or conscious purpose, I don’t believe I was a person. It was a cruel state of being because I never died…I never ceased…I only continued to lose myself. When I joined the IMA I regained autonomy and purpose, but my drive was still gone. I believe that was the beginning of rebirth. When I received my journal again, I regained my emotions and many past experiences. I could empathize with others and I had something to define me. But I don’t believe I ever came back to life until I found my family again. That is when all the pieces of my life merged. I went from a shell, a living corpse, to a woman. I never lost hope…I just lost sight of it…and I lost memory of it.

Question Entry 34

I asked “What is a Living Blank?” so many years ago. The answer is I still don’t know. I can never fully remember my life as a non-entity. I also asked, “Are we living corpses when we forget all our past and who we are?” And I think the answer is yes…but not in the way I meant it, then. We are corpses searching for a defibrillator. There is hope and it is tangible…we have just forgotten along with everything else.

Dancing

The little light casts a shadow behind you.

You’re dancing in the dark

The little breeze chills the air around you

You’re dancing in the dark

The little puddle cools the canvas against you.

You’re dancing in the dark.

The little owls chant nearby you.

You’re dancing in the dark.

The little raindrops refresh the air inside you.

You’re dancing in the dark.

You’re dancing in your heart.

You’re reaching, stretching, pulling, growing.

You’re recreating a delicate art.

You’re dancing in the dark.