Changing the Narrative
I never thought I’d find myself back here. Even now, the weight of the past, of memories I’d known to be long gone, live on in the subtle creaking of the front porch as I pass the threshold into this tall walled fortress. Though lifetimes had come and gone, with children born and bonds anew, it was impossible to miss the still sameness of the entrance hall. It had always been empty, a show of space, of status for one who didn’t need to use it.
Wish Me Luck
Well, that didn't last long. The chaos dulled as the last school term of 2021 finally, sluggishly drew to a desperate close. Breathing a long, shaky sigh of relief, I promised myself I would not do any more work until after Christmas. I promised this with the knowledge that a few days of rest after this completely nonsense year was well deserved and by no means too much to ask. When I made this solemn vow, I meant it with all of my heart and, I swear, I believed I would stay true to my word...I was wrong.
Vocal: A Path to Freedom
I had never been one to hide myself. As a child I was always the odd one out and by adulthood it had almost become a point of pride for me. I didn’t drink alcohol. I formed and flew paper planes around at parties. I collected the vests of strangers at clubs (it’s funny what people will lend if you just ask nicely). One of my fondest memories with my husband features the two of us quite literally sitting and kissing in a tree. We were absolutely adults at the time. Somehow I’d made it through the majority of my life living in complete transparency.
It was nice while it lasted. For a time I believed they trusted me. For a time I thought myself worthy of that trust. To be fair, I really did try. I kept my abilities and better judgement at bay in pursuit of a more ordinary life amongst those content with an inexplicable degree of mediocrity, considering their own individualised power. After all, they had welcomed me in when those for whom I had dedicated my life abandoned me; thrown me to the wolves so to speak. It was in less than pleasant company that my habit of charming and bending the feeble minds of others to my whim had finally caught up to me. In my carelessness, I had become the perfect scapegoat for a corrupt institution. Even so, this strange, mismatched group of travellers gave me the benefit of the doubt and offered me a new path; one which I was in no position to decline. Somehow they were willing to look beyond the picture that had been painted by ones with far more prestige than myself.
It exists in a few places, for those who know where to look. In the dusty, long forgotten corners of an unsuspecting hard-drive, and hidden deep within the code of some inactive social media account, lies a single, simple photo file. To the uninformed observer, this image would be of little interest. With a slightly closer look, however, a certain truth yearns to be known.
Secrets of the Subconscious Mind
Just like clockwork. That’s what they say isn’t it? Every three years, on the exact same day, I fall into the deepest slumber and emerge within a world quite unlike my own. I walk along the same cobblestone path of this medieval wonderland, the clip clop of the horses carting townsfolk from place to place is always music to my ears. Though the marketplace is bustling with the early afternoon rush, there’s something calming in the clear and simple routine. I almost forget this isn’t my waking world. It feels so familiar.
Laying in Wait
Beneath the blazing Summer sun, the plastic slowly rises. It strips the air from within the endless vacuum, the pained growl rippling across the parched yellow grass. It swells and stretches until it can bear the pressure no longer before finally the rushing air is blocked and the sound replaced by running water. Higher and higher, the water rises, threatening to overwhelm the simple space that holds it until it comes to a staggering halt. At last the pool is ready.
A World of Our Own
The greatest fantasy worlds aren’t the ones we read in a book, or watch on the screen, they are the ones we create with our friends. There is no better escape from the mundane responsibilities of adulthood than to embark upon an epic journey of magic, mayhem and self discovery with some of the greatest minds you’ve ever known. Why watch someone else’s fictional characters experience the pains and joys of such wonderful worlds when you yourself can embody one of your own and create an amazing wealth of memories and experiences with your friends and family from the safety of your own home.
Wash the Shit Shield, Change the World
After a near constant screamed stream of profanities, thrown objects, and flipped furniture, I retreated quietly to my car, a little shell-shocked by the unexpectedly volatile day. I thanked my lucky stars for the best piece of advice I’d ever been given, only then fully appreciating the value of it.