Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Confessions of a Writing Nerd

Another one from the wayback machine, this one inspired by something that happened to me long ago. In many ways this still reflects on me today, but I know that I've grown much since then and would approach with much more confidence. It'd probably still be a bit of a trial trying to sort out the thoughts, though *laughs*

Karen Jones, Saturday, 19, 2005 @6:00 PM

I remember back in the day when it was paralyzing for me to even talk to another member of the opposite sex. Always stuttering and always stammering and always looking down when I finally worked up the nerve to talk to them. And my first time was probably the time that'll stick out the most, mainly because it was also the most awkward time I ever had talking to a boy.

I remember browsing through my local Border's when I saw some cute guy walk in front of me. I saw the Zelda shirt he was sporting, and knew I had to make him mine. Of course, having brown, shoulder length hair, thick framed glasses, a librarian mode of dress, and being huddled in the corner reading magazines doesn't do much for getting someone's attention, so I followed him as he scanned different sections of the store, trying to think of something I could say to him.

As I trailed him, I noticed that he had a feint, particularly sweet smell about him, one that tickled my nostrils every-time it came to me and put me into something of a trance, so I nodded, knowing that that's what I would tell him about. That is, when I stopped ducking behind stuff when he looked back in my direction.

He came to a stop at the newsstand, and I knew I had to make my move, no matter how my body shuddered when I thought about it. So I moved towards him, my body shivering and my face flushing.

The closer I got, the sweeter his scent became, and the sweeter it became, the more my heart raced, and the more my heart raced, the hotter I became under my white turtleneck sweater.

As I gradually made my way towards him, I saw his broad shoulders, his long, raven black hair that reached down to his heart shaped booty, which only made my legs quiver even more underneath my long, navy colored skirt.

When I came close enough to actually feel his body heat, I said, as steadily as I could muster, "You smell pretty." I saw him lower his magazine and turn his head to look at me. I recoiled a bit, thinking that I had angered him in some way, but then, I saw him smile at me and say, "You haven't talked to a boy before, have you?" I looked down, as I said,"Err. . .no. . . how could you tell?"

He cupped my chin in his hand and held my head up as he said, "I used to be the same way, although when I did it, the girl gave me a cock-eyed look and walked away slowly." I let out a belly laugh and ended up rolling on the floor with laughter. He kneeled down next to me and said, "I see that my embarrassment brings you joy." I kept laughing as I sat up and started chatting with him. The longer I talked to him, the more it amazed me that this handsome devil was once in my shoes.

After that day, we became close friends, sharing stories, helping each other when we needed it, and eventually, becoming boyfriend and girlfriend. In fact, he's taking me out dinner in a few minutes. Gotta get ready and make myself look fancy, and all that. Peace and love, ya'll


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Journey Into Darkness

The coming short story was actually inspired by this song, and is paced to follow it's structure. Listening to this while reading the story should help bring the whole experience full circle, so be sure to give it a try. Hope you enjoy, and if there's anything you wanna say about it, hit me up in the comments.

Among the cherry blossom filled forest walked a man dressed in a black Yukata, chrysanthemums and lilies blooming everywhere. He sneered at the pink and white flower petals that drifted and fell around him.

As he came to the grassy clearing he looked up to the cloudy blue skies, watching solders clad in red, purple and blue Haori wield twin short swords, wearing solemn expressions on their faces. One look at their colorful clothes and he was taken back to when they were fighting each other, near his village.

He remembered the white lights that flashed in the dark night skies. He remembered the smell of the flames that leveled his home. He remembered the screams of his family as they were slaughtered in the crossfire. He then unsheathed his katana; his blade turning darker the more he drew it.

As the soldiers closed in on him he took a mighty swing, decimating them and the landscape, the fauna and flora draining of its color as he fought. Even though he was outnumbered, even though they seemed stronger and even though his chances at winning were slim, he lacked the desire to care and only wanted to destroy all that they had created. And the soldiers knew he was capable of doing so, which is why he had to be done away with now.

They came down on him from all sides, swinging their blades with both utmost precision and utter desperation. As they felt him give way he let out an explosive field of dark energy, sending them flying into the air. Like a violent storm he annihilated his assailants, dissecting them like knives cutting through paper. The solders then tried to come down on him from above but he quickly leapt at the one in front of him, impaling him and leaping off his corpse to slash through the others, grabbing his last opponent from behind and planting him into the ground with a spiral driver. The other solders soon fell at his hands and tried, in vein, to evade him.

With their ranks rapidly thinning he began turning his rage on the landscape, destroying the trees, the lakes, and the mountains with his blade and the energy it tossed around.

From her mountain perch a goddess dressed in a snow white Kimono threw back her flaming red hair, her jungle green eyes watching the pain in his eyes and the anger in his movements as he destroyed all that she had made. She couldn’t stand to see him in such pain and flew down to where he was. As he was about to stab his blade into the earth and divide it in two the goddess made a thunderous landing in front of him, knocking him on his behind. He looked up at her, to see her hair sway from both the winds and her own overflowing aura,  her hand open and extended to him. While his eyes were widened from shock and surprise, they quickly narrowed, and he slapped her hand away.

The goddess took a step back then felt his blade cut across her cheek. Seeing that he didn’t want to make peace she quickly formed a blade of leaves and flowers to block his blows and combat him. Making her way forward she began matching his power, his speed and his fury, as their fighting grew more and more furious with each passing moment. They then rose into the air and continued to duel but he took a brief window of opportunity and parried her swipe to his right, extending his right palm, and firing a volley of shadow balls point blank at her face. They exploded upon impact, but seemed to impact nothing but the air in front of him. Quickly she appeared behind him and clubbed him into the ground below.

He instinctively rolled back to his feet and into battle, but a shower of icicles soon greeted his waiting blade and he ran with all the speed his legs could summon. Looking to his right, he saw the now angry goddess coming at him with her blade at the ready. The attacks kept coming and coming, their swiftness and strength pushing him further and further back. When one of her attacks missed he saw his chance and planted his palm right into her gut, sending an explosion of dark energy into her body, launching her backwards, burning through her defenses and her Kimono. As she recoiled she quickly placed her hand on her stomach, only to see it had been bleeding black. She then cast her clothing aside and wrapped her aching body in the leaves of the forest as she flew towards him; now knowing only one would leave that place.

She wondered why he was planting his blade into the grass until saw the ground around him turn black, the grass turning into black vines covered in thorn. She had managed to avoid several of his thrusts with the vines but soon realized it to be a ploy when the vines wrapped around her feet, gluing her to the spot. He then ran with his blade, and fired several large bursts at her, while the vines withdrew, and cut into her legs.

She gritted her teeth and blocked every blast, letting him come close enough to parry his attack and launch him upwards with a vicious uppercut. As he flew helplessly upwards she followed and with a charged shot of her own blasted him back to the ground. He rolled backwards and regained his compose, quickly running towards her while bobbing and weaving everything she threw out. He managed to knock away her final blast, and come close enough to run her through. He could almost feel the warmness of her blood on the cold blade he held high. High enough for her to land the decisive blow, and put an end to his destruction.

The life left his eyes, and his blade fell into the ground, its darkness fading away as blood fell away from him. Her own blade then broke apart, and gathered around him, her eye closed and her head bowed as she folded her hands in prayer. Flowers and grass grew around his lifeless body, almost as if it was her way of wishing the same peace and settlement for her fallen opponent…

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Breakup and Breakdown of Yuki

From the demons of my past I draw out this short story. I often think about what happens when others are made the base of how a person functions, more specifically when that bases happens to crumble under their feet and leaves them to freefall. Writing this helped me realize what could come about if I didn't resolve my inner tumoils or expressed them before they turned into action and I would hope it does the same for anyone that reads it. I can only hope no one comes to the conclusion that the young woman in this piece came to on that night. Read and enjoy, and as always, lemme know your thoughts in the comments.

Night had fallen as she sat on the park bench, the street lamps shining on her rosy pink, yet sorrowful face. Tears flowed from her hazel eyes as she looked at the picture of her and a slick haired gentleman dressed in a T shirt and blue jeans grasped in her left hand. After a few halted breaths she glanced over at the pink cell phone in her right, and on the monochrome screen, read: "It's over between us" On the bottom right corner of that screen his name leered back at her and she wept even louder than before, her short, wispy black hair now sticking to her face. How could he do this to me? She thought. I thought we were happy together; holding hands, kissing cheeks, making all seemed so perfect...where did I go wrong? She wiped her tears on the sleeve of her cotton, yellow blouse as she dialed up her friend, Asami. I can always depend on her to be there for me when I need her, Always. That thought raced through her mind as it rung and rung, her free hand crushing the photograph. After what felt like forever, Asami picked up and said, "Hello, who is this?" Her voice shook horribly as she responded to Asami's question. "H-hey Asami. It's me, Yuki." 

" Good grief, you sound horrible, Yuki, what happened?"

"He...he broke up with me." Asami fell silent for a moment, then said, "I'm sorry to hear that, Yuki. You gonna be alright?" 

"N-no...not right now. I...I need someone to hold me. I need someone I can talk to about this. I need someone to help me pick up the pieces..." Yuki heard Asami's voice falter as she said, "Gee, I'd like to help you, but I'm a little busy right now..." With a desperate plea Yuki said, "Please, Asami, I really need a shoulder to cry on right now..." 

"Well I don't think now would be a good time, Yuki..."

"Why? Why wouldn't it be a good time to come to you?" 

"Well I have someone over at the house right now, and-" A deep, yet familiar voice in the background interrupted her by saying, "Yo Asami, c'mon! I got the game all set up for ya!" Yuki immediately recognized that voice as belonging to her now ex-boyfriend, and was about to ask who that was when Asami said, "Sorry, gotta go. See ya later, k!" Yuki heard a click, then dead silence. She looked at the bright, glittery pink cell phone in her hands, and thought, You know I think this was the first thing she ever gave me when we became friends. I remember her telling me how used her own savings to buy it so we could keep in touch and stay the best of friends.  She let it fall to the stone walkway and swiftly stomped on it, hearing the now satisfying crunching of electronics and circuitry being ground underneath her sky blue sneakers. She then ripped the picture in her other hand to pieces, tossing it to the winds as she rose to her feet. Tears no longer flowed as she pulled out her switchblade from indigo jeans' back pocket. She glared at it with a focused intent. Maybe I'll get to put this thing to good use after all... A twisted grin crossed her face as she walked into the inky blackness of the night, her destination now set in stone... 

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Book of Memories

Summer be coming like a rocket, where we show off the results of our gym time on the beaches, without shirts or sometimes even pants, so it feels quite timely for me to put this up. This piece actually won me a writing contest a while back, and editing it made me a bit misty eyed about both the past and the future, but in a good way. See if it conjures up some of feelings in you, about the things you leave behind.

Summer, the time where I'm supposed to be happy and full of joy, and yet I'm not. My family is gonna move to San Francisco ‘cause of a job my dad got, that means I'll have to leave all my friends here in Japan behind for good. As me, my parents, and my 3 sisters pile into the van I look to the front door and see my memories start recalling themselves. Watching my littlest sister run to the van with her short brown hair and wide, hazel eyes I saw the little girl in her navy colored school uniform from all those years ago, a grin from ear to ear and perky as the day she began middle school. Wearing an ocean colored tube top and white cut offs my sister glanced over at me, asking, "Aren't you exited, Makoto?" I glared at her with my own now world-weary eyes and said, "About what? Leaving all my friends behind and moving to a country where about 10 percent of the population speaks my language?"

"Aww, you're no fun." I saw her pout as she sat next to me. Sensing it would be a long drive; I rooted around the back and pulled out an old leather scrapbook brimming with photos. As I opened that book of memories, a picture of me and my friend, Hiroko, appeared, and we were posed in front of a DDR machine.

I remember that it was my first time in many weeks after my breakup with my then boyfriend Hiroyuki that I stepped outside the house and went somewhere, trying to forget all the pain he inflicted on me when he left. Before we went into the Game Center she sat me down on the bench out front and said, "Makoto, there are more important things in life than a guy.”

“How can that be possible? I gave him my heart and did everything I could to help him be better, ‘cause he said he wanted to be. Then he went and ran off with some random slut to go join a fucking gang. He lied right to my face to get what he wanted, just like the rest of those men.”

“Just because one man broke your heart, doesn't mean all of them will. Someday you'll meet a nice guy that'll treat you right, but until then don't beat yourself up! He chose his path, and now you can choose yours." A small smile appeared on my face as she said that, tears streaming down my face as she lead me by the hand into the arcade, where I made a total ass of myself on the machines, especially DDR and that Para Para Paradise machine. Ahh, those we're the days.

I looked up to the car window and saw that we were in the middle of a traffic jam, and remembered that I was about to leave her behind, too. I sighed as I flipped the pages, searching for something to get my mind off my misery. Finding nothing, I placed it in my lap and stared at the endless array of skyscrapers outside the window. A few moments later I heard my sister say, "You look cute in that bikini." Upon hearing the word "Bikini" I snatched it from her and looked to see a picture of my white, two-piece clad self with my equally well-dressed friends at the beach, the rocky rise of land behind us serving as our backdrop.

After the pic was taken I took Takashi, the tall, dark, and handsome boy on my right, for an aside. The day before, I found out that his woman was cheating on him with Hiroyuki, and he was devastated. He tried to hide it behind that charming smile of his, but one look into his half closed eyes told me all I needed to know. Trying my best not to stare at his highly developed pecs, I looked straight ahead and told him, "Takashin, I heard what happened and I'm sorry for what she did to you."

"Why are you apologizing?" Struggling to form something coherent I rubbed at the back of my neck and answered "Err...well...she cheated on you, and... Well...there's other fish in the sea...and all that..." I could remember feeling my face flush as I uttered those words. He then started to giggle, prompting me to ask "What? What's so funny?"

"You know, you look cute when you blush, Makoto." I felt the blushing spread even further, stomping the sands and saying, "I'm 17, dammit! I'm not supposed to be cute!"

"Then what are you supposed to be?”

"Well I...uhh..." He just kept on giggling as I tried to think of something to say, everybody now looking at my rapidly reddening body. I finally managed to get out, "Sexy, I guess..." I remember someone from the back of me shouting, "Look everyone, it's Sexy Girl Makoto!" He then smiled as he said, "I agree, you are quite sexy. "

"Oh stop, Takashi..."

 "You know what? I like you. You're kind, cute, and apparently very sexy." He then smiled and walked up to me as asked, "Wanna go on a date sometime?"

"Uhh..sure..." Everyone jumped and cheered when I said that, and Takashi just came up and hugged me, kissing my cheek as he let go. We've been going out ever since that day, and he's made me one of the happiest girls in Japan. And now I'm about to leave that behind, as well.

As I looked up from the book we had arrived at Narita Airport and the sun started to set, almost as if the gods themselves are telling me that my greatest memories are also sinking into the horizon. Before the rest of my family and I took our bags to the luggage check in I put the album in my carry on, so I could at least not worry about my most precious possession getting lost in the shuffle. We dragged our way through the mob of people that apparently has the same plans as us, my dad got into an argument with the clerk about ticket prices and finally got to the check in counter; putting the fate of our stuff in the airline’s hand, thinking that when I see them again I won't be able to see my friends or Takashi ever again. That thought came even more of a reality when we entered our gate and the plane took off, Japan becoming nothing more than a spec underneath us. As that began to dawn on me, tears began to fill my eyes, running down my cheek. I looked at the clouds passing us by from my window and thought, “This is it. I'm leaving behind everyone I've ever loved...” I then opened the scrapbook to the last page, where one picture was displayed front and center: Me and Takashi; holding hands in a park, sitting on the bench.

It was taken the night before I left, and he told me this: “Makoto Kisaragi, I want you to know that this will not be the last time we meet.” I looked at him, tears filling my eyes, and asked, "Why? Why do you say that? I'm going to America; do you know how far that is? And do you know how far away I'll be from you? Do you know how much it'll hurt for me to be without you?" I buried my head into his chest as I uttered those words, and he held me in his gentle embrace as he said, "It's alright, Makoto, I'm here."

"But that's the thing, you won't be here. You'll be gone, gone from my life, gone from my touch, gone from...from me..." I then looked up at him, and he smiled and said, "I knew you we're gonna say that. I thought the exact same thing a few days back. Then I talked to your little sister about it, and she told me something that changed how I saw you moving, and gave me much hope."

"What did she tell you?"

"I can't say."

"But why?"

"’Cause if I told you now, you wouldn't understand." He ran a hand through my hair as he said; "I think it's best if your sister told you. She'll know when the time is right. Until then I'll leave you with these words: I, along with everyone you else you meet in your life, is like the wind." Then he kissed me on the lips and walked off. I was left there a slightly, scratch that, very confused and still heartbroken girl.

I think I woke my sister with my sobbing, because I heard her wake up and ask, "Hey sis, what's up?" I turned to her and said, "Nothing" Although the river of tears kind of gave me away. She then said, "Yeah, sure, nothing." She looked at the open scrapbook in my hand and said, "Can I see that for a second?" I handed it over to her, and she began looking through it, stopping at what seemed like random pages for a moment, but when I looked closer, were the exact same pages I had flipped to that day. She then looked up at me and said, "You miss your friends, don't you, sis?" A small gasp emerged from me as I looked at her, then nodded. She then giggled and said, "Oh sis, why would you miss them?"

"Because we're moving away from them, and I'll never be able to be with them again."

"What makes you say that?"

"Well...we're moving to a different country, and-"

"You can't send them snail mail, E-mails or IMs?"

"Well...I could, but it's not the same." She then made a small laugh and held up the scrapbook, saying, "Sis, what is this?"

"My scrapbook."

"And what does it hold?"

"Pictures of-"

"Wrong. They're not just pictures, they're memories of what you and the people in these pictures did together. This scrapbook holds all the joy and happiness captured on each picture. I mean, that is why you like them so much, right?" Shocked to hear such wisdom emerge from her tiny body, I said with bated breath, "Uhh....yeah..." She then turned it to the last page and said, "And if all these pictures we're gone, would that mean the memories they each hold would be gone, too?"

"Well, I-" She giggled, then said, "Oh sis, I always thought the older one was supposed to know all this." She closed it as she said, "Of course the answer is no, and your feelings about your friends should be the same. I mean, just because you can't see the wind doesn't mean it’s not there, right?" I saw a gentle smile cross her face as she said, "Your feelings about your friends are no different. Yeah, they're in a different country and all that, but as long as you keep what they've done for you in your heart, and I'm pretty sure you do, they'll never truly leave you. Much like the winds, they'll be with you wherever you go. And besides, they wouldn't want you to be sad, would they?" To that, I could only say, "Err....well I guess not..."

"Of course they don't, they want you to be happy, to enjoy living in a new country. So live it up! Make new friends, create new memories, and take new pictures for that scrapbook. After all, what use is moving to somewhere new if we can't enjoy all it has to offer us?" I then started to smile, then said, "You know what? You've absolutely right, Momoko. I've gotta stop all this damn moping and start being happy. America is a very big and very fun place."

"That's the spirit, sis. And besides, a lot of guys over there love Japanese girls and culture, so maybe you could teach them a thing or two." I giggled and said, "Yeah." I then remembered what Takashi said to me the night before,

I think it's best if your sister told you. She'll know when the time is right.

Then I looked at her and ruffled her hair as I said, "You're a lot wiser than you look, lil' sis." She then shot a small smirk at me as she said, "Well they say some of the best things come in small packages, big sis." She looked at the scrapbook and said, "I wonder what kind of new memories this thing'll hold?" I gently took it from her grasp as I said, "That much is uncertain, but…if they're as good as or better than the old ones, then I think I'll enjoy my time in America..."