The Midnight Healer

This is from the first chapter of my WIP, which is a story within a story.
The story told of a healer, so great at her job, that it was believed she could grant wishes and cast spells. She would credit her herbs which were harvested under the moon, she claimed the moon amplified their medicinal qualities. She was well-known for abilities, along with the immeasurable kindness she carried in her heart. Thus making her beauty incomparable to any, causing many suitors to swoon after her despite the fact she was a widow with three young children. She could not bear children with her only love, the irony that the only thing she could not cure was his infertility. She was a mother without children, the cruellest trick life played on her. Alas, she was not discouraged and would later bring in the strays which came to her.
After the loss of her great and only love, suitors flocked to their lonely island to meet her, despite the deserts and oceans crossed, she would decline every opportunity presented to her. Coming from far and wide, all more impressive than the last; rich men, beautiful men, famous men. None of these mattered to the woman, not even when a prince was among one of these well-travelled types. A spoilt, dastardly prince, nonetheless, called this by his own people but he hoped that with the proposal, he would finally garner the approval which would gain him his throne. After yet another rejection, the rude prince cursed the healer, referring to her as a “clear commoner”; much like the many born in his village. Suffice to say the prince was run out of town after he tried to strike her.
Another account told of a traveller, who washed upon their lonely island. He had nothing; nothing to live for, not even memories to rely upon, his consciousness didn’t even return until a week of being on the island. The woman nursed him, as she had done for many others. When he awoke, looking into her kind eyes, he was driven to insanity by his perceived love for her and without even knowing what belongings were, he knew he must have her.
It is important to note that despite the differing accounts, this particular part has a unanimous ending. The amnesiac faced countless rejections and in his disillusioned state he started to believe she would become his if she could understand his loss. In that epiphany he set ablaze to her house, the flames consumed the home that her past love had built, containing the many memories that her family provided her and her almost-magic herbs. The house taken hostage by the inferno, also imprisoned the most precious lives she had come to mother. The soft-spoken peaceful lady immersed in a blind rage and drove the nearest sharp object through his heart, killing him where he stood. In the dead of the night under the brightest of stars she wept, mourning the life she lived and the children she raised. Every soul in the village heard her, even the animals were startled by the sound of a mother mourning her children. Despite the loud cries, not one person saw her, not that night nor the nights which followed. Even when sky was clear, the moon could not be seen, disappearing in the night along with the healer. Each night they would search in complete darkness. Finally one night, long after her children’s bodies were extracted and buried, the weeping which struck sorrow in the hearts of every man, woman and child stopped and with that the moon was finally sighted, radiant and alive.

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Eternal Damnation Has Never Been So Sexy

Every piece of vampire fiction since 2008 and the emergence of a certain book has caused the same carbon copy of every plot to exist in the same way. A handsome “high school” vampire falls in love with an average sad girl who will later entangle into a love triangle. This is no shade to any authors because this gave my preteen years so much excitement to gush over these stories with my friends. The annoyance of this to me and the apparent number of people who are sick of it could be summed up in one word: consistency. After this has been repeated so many times, overkill is the only word I can think of. By the end of a trend when people jump on the bandwagon it results in repetitiveness and lazy writing.

It also destroyed the idea of monster stories, they’re no longer a homage to terror. Now, if these monsters were not sexy or a romantic interest then they are reduced to a mindless one dimensional villain. So when did monster stories not become scary, when was it better to be the monsters we once feared?

Therefore in preparation to me wanting to write a vampire fiction which I want to read, here are plot devices I wish to no longer see in vampire fiction:

Issue #1: They only attend high school:

Before anyone @s me, I know exactly why they take place in high schools; it is aimed at kids these age however it makes no sense. If you were 100+ there is no way anyone would want to redo high school over and over. The first time was bad enough, I imagine the tenth just gets even more tedious. There’s nothing knew to learn and you are spending time around people who are in a completely different place. They are too much of your junior who have high school problems which you can’t relate to. As someone in my 20’s I find my teenage problems trivial, so someone living for at least a century must find it grating. You are so out of touch and honestly it will make you hate yourself an humanity even more.

I’m not even going to delve into how predatory it is to be involved romantically with someone 90 years your junior, especially when they are not even adults.

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Issue #2: Love overcomes everything with no struggle:

The male vampire in his natural habitat is a soulless cold killing machine but quickly switches to a big cheesy fluff-ball with no development simply with the love of a good woman. Cute, right? WRONG . Let us not forget the endless killing these beings have done and pain they have caused to mostly innocent people but we feel sympathy for them and root for them because they are in love. They are not good people still, there is no guilt and no struggle. This gives two additional points which are wrong with this. Firstly, the time scale, they haven’t known each other for long at all but are willing to risk it all. Secondly, is the ill writing of the woman, who is portrayed as so bland and void of nay personality, an object created purely to with the sole purpose to fall in love with him, which eliminates the anticipation if they are going to be together.

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Issue #3: The absence of any weaknesses:

The general tropes for all vampires have gone and they have quickie solutions as to why they are seemingly indestructible. Some of the older tropes were pretty cheesy, let us not lie to each other, the most iconic and hilarious being garlic or sleeping in a coffin. There’s no reason for this besides aesthetic. but there seems to be no real threat if vampires lived among us because sunlight doesn’t hurt them and holy water is a myth. They aren’t creatures of the night or eternally damned because humanising them is important.

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Issue #4: The sudden appearance of every other mythical creature:

It tends to be predominantly werewolves and then this results in a rivalry between them which often times develops into a frenemy relationship. This isn’t limited to werewolves, there are witches, doppelgangers, and mixes of all of these, the inter-species breeding is something else as well. One can apparently not exist without the other and it often distracts from the main issues. It gets a bit tedious and ineffective having undeveloped characters of different creatures and heavily rely on gang wars for no reason, the overkill is real.

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Issue #5: Immortality is always deemed as a good thing:

I have never been able to relate to this. They always think of immortal life as a goal, they believe in souls and know they are damned but every lead human is fine with this. Immortality would mean watching your loved one die and not seeing them because they will see you do not age. The main characters often times do not have terrible home lives and a loving family but are willing to give it up easily. I am not going into detail about the idea of living forever because it sounds depressing. There will be a point where you are content for it to end. Also the idea of actually living as a vampire doesn’t sound great; no taste of food, having to drink blood, fighting this and then hurting people.

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Issue #6: Family is of the utmost un-importance:

Aside from the person they are going to fall in love with, everyone else in their life is irrelevant. I would get it more if they had a terrible home life, no aspirations and future, which meant vampirism is the best option but that is hardly ever the case. The main characters usually have pretty good home lives and if not they have other things going for them. Family hardly ever makes an impact on their decision and I find that hard to understand and believe.

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Issue #7: BEING SEXY!

They are always the best looking in the room, stand out good looks, models. The talk of the town. Is there a requirement that you have to be a certain level of attractive before you can be turned or does turning make your bone structure reconstruct itself and become automatically thin? They never talk about them being average let alone plain. But seriously if I saw someone pale, translucent almost, and thin, never fluctuating in weight, I would think they were sickly. Especially if people hardly see them eat, or function as a normal person. But hey, sex sells.

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(Of course, I am putting in a gratuitous shower scene as the last image.)

 

I Guess This Is My Life Now

Eyes fluttering open before dawn,

Continuing the endeavour till way after dusk,

I sometimes forget what that fire looks like,

How much it burns,

It’s so odd how the memories feel so distant,

What if this isn’t the life I wanted?

 

 

But am I

smart enough

strong enough

bothered enough

to break out this perpetual circle of disdain and futility

Why Are We So Afraid of Feeling?

I know this is not true for everyone, especially since I am posting this on a site for writers who live off emotions and empathy. Also some people are more emotional than others and are more willing to share this with others; which I admire in a strange way. I am often quite taken aback by this, I wonder how they can be so open with someone who they still deem to be a stranger, yet still are willing to disclose such intimate details of their lives. In contrast to myself who, for the longest time, wasn’t able to share with my closest friends that I couldn’t be around them sometimes because I would rather be at home in solitude, staring at the ceiling as tears ran down my face. Even to this day when I mention these less than amusing events, I laugh it off as a joke. That doesn’t sound healthy but that is how I cope. That is how I don’t fall back into that state because it beats not acknowledging it at all.

The only way I recovered from those times was by talking about it, and even if I talk about it in a lighter tone, it helps. But why was I so scared of talking about it prior to this? Why was I so prideful not to talk about my emotions and prefer to sit in a dark room rather than come to terms with my own emotions?

Did I think I was weak for having these emotions?

Did I think I was strong to not accept these feelings?

Was I worried people would think I was weak?

Why did that matter?

Since when was acting like a human a bad thing?

It seems that basic things such as emotions and empathy are deemed as weaknesses.

And I struggle with this preconception so much.

However I’m learning.

Slowly.

The Loss of Innocence

I remember back in the day when I first started to write, my mind would wander and go to the same grotesque and predictable story line so would often just go to a random word generator and use these words to create a story. With the lack of inspiration but need to write lead me to try this once more. The words were as follows:

  1. achieve
  2. proper
  3. glimpse
  4. swarm
  5. retired
  6. temptation

The golden years that I once lived were now dead and buried. The words echoed in my youthful ears: untapped potential. Layabout. Nothing to achieve. No reason for being.

I remember being young. I remember the colours and the hope. Everything was once so vibrant, so new. With plenty of experiences to look forward to. Even the most mundane people were interesting. The teacher the kids would run up to and hug. The family friends who used to come bearing gifts. Even a simple passerby. There was no past, nor a future. It was the now. I lived in the now. I lived.

Those were the times of innocence. The times of purity. When no one could fault me. Even as I grew and learned to be proper with age, I knew that innocence had not left me. Not yet. The feelings were still wrapped in purity, in the form of stolen glimpses and passed notes.

The end of the innocence came too soon, in that moment I finally realised nothing would be the same again. It involved a car, carrying my loved ones but before they could leave it,  it began to fill with screams and fear instead. I remember the blood and the smell of a smokey metal. The men in the neon uniforms which now looked grey, they found me clutching the corpse of the people who protected my innocence for so long, who prayed that I never grow up without them. Those people were never to be seen again by a freak accident or God, or any higher force beyond any comprehension.

Therefore a child of only eleven stands with a suitcase of the few belongings and the weight of the world on their shoulders. I stood at that doorway expecting a swarm of people who used to greet me in my old life but instead an empty room with strangers filled with empty promises. Those people who once bore gifts, only offer hollow apologies. They remind me that I am alone.

Finally at the door is another chance of a place to call home. A promise for the future. A newfound innocence. A family that promised a home after so many declined.

There was the moving from the life I knew to become the new person they want. The abandonment of the past, of the possessions, of myself. Assuming a new identity as a thinly veiled attempt at a new start.

When finally I settle in. The parties start. The memories gap. Those weeks that just become a blur. And these strangers are the ones I call my family. Even though I don’t remember them without a cloud of smoke. The visits with the man with clipboard stop because they don’t seem to care. He has retired or most likely died but like many things I guess I will never know.

As the number of cigarette burns increase, the number of empty bottles scattered around the mattress on the floor. The number of places I have called home has diminished but the places I’ve slept have increased exponentially.

Finally not long after those teen years end in the fast lane, I am used up and broken from the life I now live. The amount of intoxication couldn’t blind me from the hurt or the inevitable self destruction. As I look over at the last bottle of pills on the 23rd floor of a strangers apartment complex and the temptation for the end just intensifies.

A Rare Display of Some Much Needed Positivity

I’m trying to dash a little positivity and self love on my blog (and life) instead of it being littered with cynicism and self deprication, which has been on it for years. So for the usual self pitying posts and sad thoughts read anything else on my blog except this one post. I will still be as cynical as ever but I can put it on hold for one post.

In theory, 2018 should be a hard year for me. Someone like me who is a little bit of a loose cannon emotionally, this should have been a toughie. It was like starting from zero. I graduated in 2017 and had failed to secure a job in the new year and continued a job where people severely annoy me (not the workers, they alright but never underestimate the stupidity of the general public).
I work part time with so much time in between, whilst all my friends are either working full time or are still studying. While I have all this free time by myself, I should feel alone or I should feel empty. Especially when all my life I have been busy Monday to Saturday. It was easy to feel sad.

But for once I haven’t. Where I could feel sad and procrastinate and ignore my choices in life. This was truly the time for self reflection to which I still procrastinated. But guilt-free procrastination with no consequences, I didn’t know such a life existed.

Not too many people get to know themselves, understand what they want; instead life is thrust toward them without a breather. I still don’t know what I want but I’m closer.

I had no need to procrastinate so my creativity depleted in a very negative way. I learnt I do my best work when I really should not. But when in my life will I ever get this opportunity to do whatever I want? Wake up, write, do whatever, whenever. This was it. It was a new start.

I did apply for a lot of jobs with no outcome, just plenty of rejections. I have to admit I didn’t write or draw as much as I want because I was simply so uninspired but I didn’t just stay in bed and watch shows I don’t really care about.

Finally after many months of wihtholding exercise, it was time. Self improvement had to begin so self loathing could stop. No more self deprication, well only for humour purposes. Purely because I had so much time I didnt know what to do with, I started to exercise whenever I could, forcing myself to do it even when I didn’t want to. Eventually it became part of my schedule. And months on, I have never felt better. I have never been completely happy with my body, my stomach never be flat enough, my arms too much area of the bat wings, not having a singular chin. I lost a few kilos (not nearly as much as I wanted to) and felt good. The weight stopped being a problem, I didn’t have the need to contantly weigh myself because I was feeling good. I fit better in clothes, I fit into clothes which I couldn’t squeeze into for years. I couldn’t see too much of the impact but literally everyone else could. Regardless, I was getting more comfortable with my body even if I couldn’t see the results like everyone else. Then it happened, I was exercising one day. and I felt- MUSCLES. Like muscles I’ve never had before. It didnt matter that the weight was coming back because I liked how my body was turning out. Like I am a long way from my ideal and even though I am exercising, my diet needs to follow.

I was doing a good job keeping myself happy and healthy. I wasn’t feeling down or depressed. I genuinely felt good. It was like those years I spent feeling like shit were so distant. When, in reality, they really weren’t. The feeling of sadness seemed so strange to me, like even if I wasn’t happy, being sad was always automatically followed but now it was contentment and just living. With that mindset things felt like they were falling into place. I was getting somewhere on the job front too. I was getting some interviews and assessment centres and then eventually I got a job offer. An actual good job in engineering.

(Also why is it when I got a job more offers were coming through. Too little too late bud.)

That is pretty much my life right now. It hasn’t been too crazy or eventful. But its been good. I needed it.

Nameless

I have always hated my name. I can’t remember the last time it was said without spite or malice. It held no meaning, nor had a definition that could be found. At most it was a mess of letters. My father seldom said my name but on those rare occasions where he did indeed utter it, it would only be to scold me or worse. I haven’t heard my name in for a significant period of time either, not from my mouth or anybody else’s. The prominent memories, or only remaining memories, being me laying face down on the bloody ground with sharp pains shooting across my entire body while chocking back tears, a scene which became all too familiar. Over time I learnt the tricks that would not annoy my father, therefore he had no reason to mention my name, whilst everyone else in my presence is too hung up on pleasantries, resulting in them calling me sir or prince.

But now I sit here, in front of a woman I admire and quite possibly love, as I hear as my name rolled of her tongue so beautifully. She said it so nonchalantly in the middle of a conversation, such an innocent setting. Yet I am rendered speechless. As I pause not knowing how to reply, she repeated my name again. Not knowing the effect it had on me. Completely unknowing that I could have cried from the mere sound of it. I haven’t heard it in years and I had completely disassociated from that name.

Then I remembered, the person gave me my name, not my contemptuous father. No, the first lady who loved me and who I had lost too young, had gifted that name with love. I once felt that love from that name. She had picked it out, so carefully, especially for me. “Your name means bravery, bravery to love and to fight. You’re so brave and so strong, my son.”

As my name was repeated in the present day with such care, said with love and it will again from this moment onward. My new beginning had started from that minuscule moment.

I love how she says my name. I love my name.

Waking Up From A Nightmare

The long exasperated gasp from air,

Followed by the hyperventilating,

The moisture from your forehead and on the side of your eye a singular tear,

As you burrow further into the sheets the flood from your eyes are just beginning,

The lines between reality and fiction are blurred before the first light,

The nightmares may not be real,

But the tears, sweat, fear all cloud your sight,

And the fear is the truest existence you feel.

So in the end you wipe your eyes,

And whatever is coming from your nose,

Just to lay back waiting for sunrise,

Remembering why you no longer wish for dreams.

An Excerpt From Something I’ll Never Finish 

What has been written is what I found today in one of my notebooks for a character I created, who you will clearly see is very cynical and kind of mean. This must be at least 4 years old. 

It’s simple really. There is no real reason as to why I am who I am. No one has done me any real wrong. There aren’t any traumatic experiences on system for me either.

The real experiences occur everyday, the traumatic experience I talk of is life itself. How people are conquered, humans are fragile and stupid. I guess this is what makes me cynical because there is no reason to be happy. Happiness is just an illusion. Any person, any character in a book or any being in a movie will without fail wish for happiness and wish they could see a beauty in the world. They would gladly revoke everything they believe in and betray themselves for this illusion. Then, this is called a happily ever after.