January 2020

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He's a charlatan, a fraud, too fond of the sound of his own voice. Was, I mean. He isn't anything now. People like that are useful, but only until everyone else gets sick of listening to them. Now we crown a new puppet and it all begins again.

- - - - -

She used to believe every horse was secretly a unicorn, but people couldn't see it because they didn't know how to look. She doesn't think that anymore, but she still sees magic everywhere. And it's really there. It's just a different kind of magic.

- - - - -

One in the chest at close range and he hits the deck heavy. His dog spits out a sharp yip and it's not exactly a witness, but I don't like loose ends. I lower my gun... ...and tuck it back into my waistband. Well, I guess I have a dog now.

- - - - -

You fear the usurper, the instigator of the coup, the leader of the revolution, but you don't feel the poison of the reassuring and unquestioning 'yes' sliding into your vein. The greatest threat often looks like the safest path. Tread carefully.

- - - - -

Hazy memories of school science lessons, learning about types of energy. For her, kinetic would always be dancing and potential would always be leaning over a cliff edge. Now the sea roars below, tempting, and she doesn't remember the last time she danced.

- - - - -

It goes beyond a shared inquisitive nature, this collective curtain twitching. We're all informants here, whether we want to be or not. You tell them what you know, even if you don't know anything. The most favourable terms come to those who speak first.

- - - - -

The warrior stares into opaline cataracts as dry words rustle past dark-stained teeth.

"A slip of a girl when last you came," says the seer. "For what do you search now, commander of armies?"

The warrior whispers, "Only peace. Please."

- - - - -

Midnight again at the water's edge, cold questions and bare feet in dark salt ripples. Still, he finds me with blood-scented knuckles and breaking glass echoes. We flourish under different conditions, but we bury our secrets together and this is home.

- - - - -

Too long yearning for acceptance that's never going to come, wishing for approval too conditional to really be worth anything. There's nothing left to lose or leave behind. Fuck it. Time for a change. I make the call. "I've made up my mind. I'm in."

- - - - -

- Your perfume, vanilla and jasmine
- The anxious heartbeat of your watch ticking
- The knife you sharpened three times yesterday

Things I remember about the moment before we killed him, before we left, before we started living again.

- - - - -

Last night was like a warning shot to the back of the head, but still you dig in your heels, obstinate, determined to deny reality and insist on your invincibility. Hang up on every close call if you want, but I'm not sticking around to watch.

- - - - -

I can't even make myself look like I care anymore. I'm done with the rigmarole of feelings, hand-holding, all that bullshit. We're not here to make the world a better place. We're here because it already isn't and I just want to get on with things.

- - - - -

Held by a cacophony of wild, tumbling water, a roar of foam and gravity. A rainbow hangs in hovering spray and fingertips slide over slick rock edges, gripping comfort. Waterfalls catch tears and laughter all the same, and wet hair whips in strands of joy.

- - - - -

She wished on stars, white feathers, floating dandelion seeds, fallen eyelashes. Miracles can happen, but she wanted to help. When he opened his eyes for the first time in years, she whispered thanks to two magpies, a black cat and 11:11 on the digital clock.

- - - - -

We peruse the range of caskets as if one is better than another, as if ornate brass handles or a polished hardwood finish will ease the loss. You whispered of willow and tree roots, but the people throwing money into graves demand mahogany.

- - - - -

We imagined tremendous  bangs, ear-splitting roars, wild explosions. Destruction should be loud, shouldn't it? Except it wasn't. It was silence, sudden, silver and cold. Now we crave birdsong and breathe poison at the quiet end no-one expected.

- - - - -

They say whatever you send  out into the world, you get back with some extra. In the solitude of the lighthouse, the warmth of lives saved reaches to me across miles of cold ocean and I'm never alone here, not really.

- - - - -

A rosy glow warms the horizon and bleeds into the clouds, staining the sky, spreading, reaching, pushing back the night. Birds call between branches and the forest wakes around me, stretching wide. Rivers can always be trusted to flow. 

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