My Voice

hand at a computer

I have a voice.  

A voice not mouthed.

One expressed along an artistic highway

from my brain through my fingertips.

Exiting onto paper, instruments or canvas.

For everyone to hear 

My voice is loud and soft.

My voice is dark and colorful.

My voice is high and low.

Often left to ones interpretation

and with hopes of stirring emotions.

Yet, it is my voice.

Expressed through my brain.

Yet from my heart.


For it sings and speaks

in music, words and color.

My voice I give to you.

From my fingertips

to your heart.

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This fiction was written for Picture it & Write.

Till we meet again.

Good Day.

Mind of Shoo

Bigfoot’s Grave

Andre and Freddie.  Future fifth grade neighbors in a small southern town.  Their houses sit side-by-side on a dead-end street ending at the west side the Bayou Teche. The boys are frequently found gallivanting around their neighborhood and in the nearby woods along the bayou. To them the neighborhood is their playground.  They spend their summer swimming, riding bikes, building forts and fishing.  It’s not unusual to find them chasing fireflies in the early evening or catching crawfish in the ditch bordering the nearby elementary school.  Or mowing the neighbor’s grass to earn spending money. The adults in the neighborhood call them inseparable. They were best friends.

Today, after a ride to the Phil-a-Sac for an Icee and bubble gum, the boys peddled their sting-rays to the end of their street. They layed their bikes off the side of the gravel road and walked to the banks of the bayou.  They sat down on the edge of the wooden dock with their feet dangling in the murky water.

“Hey Andre, take your gum and put in the bottom of your icee like this,” Freddie instructed, pushing his gum down to the bottom of the cup with his straw.

“But it makes the gum hard Freddie.”

“So what. That’s why it’s so cool!”

“That’s dumb man,” Andre replies before sipping on his straw.

The sound of slurping was interrupted by a passing boat pulling a skier.  A quick wave from the boys turned to giggles as the boat left behind a wake that splashed against the dock.  The spraying water cooled them from the muggy afternoon, if only momentarily.  The passing boat causes a blue heron to take flight in front of them, adding color to the green woods across the bayou.

“Hey man Freddie, check this out” Andre says as he stands and pulls three large keys from his back pocket.

“What are those?” Freddie asked.

“Keys to my kingdom,” Andre responded.

“For real? Those are cool looking.  Like something from Scooby Doo!  So, what is this kingdom of yours Andre?  I don’t get it.”

“Well, it’s like this.  You know how in old times, when there were castles and stuff Freddie.”

“Sure I do.”

“I want my own kingdom.  So in my mind I made up this castle for me to escape to with the biggest door and lock there is.  And this key here is the only thing that can unlock it.  I have a moat around it with sharks!

“Sharks Andre, for real?” Freddie interrupted. “There can’t be sharks in a moat.”

“In my kingdom they can.”

Freddie stares at Andre with a puzzled look.  “So where is your kingdom?”

“Bigfoot’s Grave!  Follow me!”

Andre begins running along the bayou with Freddie close behind.  They quickly reach the edge of the woods, both hunched over and out of breath.

“What about our bikes man?” Freddie ask.

“Oh, they’ll be fine. Aint no one ever stole them before. Now follow me Freddie.”  

The boys follow the trail into the dense woods.  They evade countless briar patches and spider webs till the reach a big wooden door leaning against a huge fallen oak.

“Here we are Freddie.”  

“How did this door get here man?”

“I found it up against the bank of the bayou down there about a week ago. It looked cool so I pulled it on land and put it here to dry.  It looks old.  It had these keys in the keyhole.  So I made this my castle.  Isn’t it neat?”

Freddie is looking at the door perplexed.  “You dragged me all the way here to show me a door?”

“Noooo.  Follow me.”

The boys step to the side of the door and squat down next to one another.  

“We have to crawl underneath the oak dude.”

“After you Andre.  I aint going first.”

“Chicken!” Andre says laughing.  

The boys disappear behind the door and under the oak tree. The space makes a perfect little hidden room for the boys to sit.  

“Why did you take me here Andre?”

“I have a secret to tell man.  Promise me you won’t tell a soul.”

“I won’t man, I promise.”

“Pinky promise?”

“Yes pinky promise.  And I swear on my grandma’s grave too'” Freddie replies.

The two extend their pinkies to each other and move their hands in a handshake type motion.

“I saw my step-father beating my mom the last week.”

Freddie’s face turned red.  He can’t muster the right words to respond.  He stares blankly as Andre continues.  “I heard arguing from their room, then mama came running down the hall.  I peaked out my door just as she turned to him and he hit her man.  She fell against the wall the onto the floor. He jumped on top of her and continued to hit and yell at her.”

Freddie finally manages to stutter a somewhat coherent sentence, “did she, you, was she, did you tell the cops?

“Naw man, I’m too scared.  I just closed my door and cried is all.”

“Andre, I just.  I can’t say a word cause I can’t understand why he would do that.”

“After they went back to their room, I came to Bigfoot’s Grave to be alone.  That’s when I found the door with these keys and built this castle.  I don’t want to be in that house anymore man.”

The boys spend hours in the castle talking about anything and everything.  The dark subject was not revisited. Instead it was back to talking about kid stuff.  Bikes, fishing, football and even kissing!  

The boys enjoyed the rest of that summer together.  They visited the castle often spending hours talking and dreaming.  Later in the summer, Freddie began noticing bruises on Andre from time to time.  He never asked questions, just came to the only conclusion a young boy could.  Two weeks before school began Freddie’s mom brought him into the living room and sat him down. “Freddie I need to tell you something.  It is not going to be something good.”  

“What is it mama?  Did someone die?”

“No son, but Andre and his mama left their house.  They moved to Houston this morning and asked me to tell you. They won’t be coming back.  I’m sorry son.”  She reached over and hugged her son tightly.  She could feel the tears on her shoulders yet heard no crying. “I don’t know why on earth she would leave so suddenly.”  

“He is my best friend mama.  What do I do?”  

“Andre asked me to give you these.”  She pulled the keys to Andre’s castle and handed them to her son.  “He said you would know what they are for.”

Freddie grabbed the keys and ran out the front door without a word.  He sprinted down the street and along the bayou. Into Bigfoot’s grave he ran until he reached the castle.  He sat alone and cried all afternoon.  His heart hurt more than anything he had felt before.  

The castle door eventually disappeared from its location in Bigfoot’s grave.  In time, Freddie’s pain did as well.  With time he healed as all people do when losing a friend. Freddie thought of those days with his best friend often. He missed him. His childhood. The castle.  He never saw nor heard from Andrea again.  He’s now just a memory.  He understands that he not only lost his childhood friend that summer, but his innocence too.  Freddie became ancillary victim of the horror that is domestic violence.  He also kept his promise to Andre by keeping the secret between them. He never told a soul.    

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This fiction was written for Picture it & Write.

Innocence Lost

Creative Writing Prompt: I want My Legs Back. Picture it & Write February 17, 2013. |

I was thrown to the ground after loud thud.  As I sit up I try to focus on anything in front of me but can only see a dust cloud. I reach to adjust my helmet.  There is blood on my hand. Suddenly a figure approaches me in what seems like slow motion.

“Are you ok?”

Why is his voice so muffled?  Who is he?  My mind is spinning.  I see the dust behind him slowly clearing.

“PFC Graham, are you ok? Answer me!”

PFC Graham?  What is he saying?  I lay back onto the ground, the hot sun blinding me.  I reach my hand to block the sun from my eyes. Again I notice the blood.  “My God,” I thought.  I’ve been hit.  That thud was an IED.  The mysterious figure is our patrol corpsman Coleman.”

“Holy shit, am I ok?”  I feel my body start shaking as everything starts making sense.  I was on patrol and we were hit.  I hear men yelling all around me. I sit up quickly. I see Marines moving frantically across my vision. I look past Coleman to see Private Elken on his stomach crawling towards me.  Through the caked dust on his face I see his pain. His helmet no longer on his head. At this moment I realize my hearing sounds normal. However, the situation before me is anything but normal.

Earlier we moved out on a morning patrol on the outskirts of Fallujah. As we waited for orders to move out I joke with Elken, a tall white kid from Lawrence, Kansas.  We have been in the Marines together from boot camp through infantry training. Afterwards we both are sent to 2nd Battalion 2nd Marines at Camp Lejeune.  Four months later we’re in the desert of Iraq. Marines before us captured this city after intense battles with the Iraqi Royal Guard.  For the two of us, we are in a combat zone for the first time. Today we both lay on the desert floor.

“Graham dammit, are you ok!”

I look Doc Coleman in the eyes and say yes.  I am a little stiff as I reach for his hand and lifts me to my feet.  I look down and notice my weapon on the ground with blood on the stock.  I feel fine, my vision is normal and my senses have returned.  “Doc, I’m fine.  What about Elken over there?” I say pointing to what is now a group of men around him.  I reach down, grab my weapon and sprint that direction.  I push a couple of Marines aside to reach him. He has two corpsmen attending to him along with our company gunny.  As I look down at him, he is now on his back. His face covered with a mixture of blood and sand.

As if there was only one voice out of the chaos in front of me, I hear “we need to apply a tourniquet to each leg ASAP!”

The gunny turns quickly to Lance Corporal Flemming, the company radio operator and yells “get me a medevac Fleming. Right fucking now!”  He turns back to Elken and says “we’re getting you out of here Marine.  Hang in there dammit!”

My body turn numb as I see Elken’s legs are gone below the knees.  Everything slows down as if my mind is drugged.  I begin feel a slight pain in my arm that I hadn’t felt before. I try to make sense of the scene in front of me. How can this be? I stare at Elken’s face.  Does he see me? Does he understand the extent of his injuries? What is he feeling?

“Get the hell back everybody, get organized with your squads!  We have this handled'” Gunny instructs the bystanders.

My mind hears his instructions but my body doesn’t move.  My eyes move between Elken’s face and the corpsman working on his legs. I want to say something to my friend but words never escape my mouth.

“Graham, get the fuck away,” someone yells to me.  I feel a hand grab my flack jacket and pull me backwards.  I turn and take a few steps forward.  I am again in front of Corpsman Coleman.

“Let me see your arm Graham, I see you are wounded.  Move your arm for me.”

“Doc man.  Elken, he’s hurt man, what the fuck!  What’s happening Doc?”

“He’s being taken care of.  They’ll get him outta here.  He’s fucked up man but he’ll live.”

Live.  What is living for Elken now?  What is living for any of us now?

As the corpsman tends to my shrapnel wound I can’t get the sight of Elken on the ground out of my mind.  This is crazy. The suddenly realization of combat is numbing.  There was no speech or manual to explain the horror of this morning.  I can’t stop thinking why am I here as I am lead to a field ambulance. Soon I will be in the safety of our makeshift base a few miles away.  The numbness doesn’t escape me as we ride away from the morning patrol.  I say nothing as my wound is cleaned and bandaged.  I think of my parents back on our farm in Iowa.  I hear the sounds of birds in the morning and the cows mooing in the background. It all seems surreal to me.

After we arrive on base I walk into the medical tent with Coleman.  I sit on the examining table waiting to be seen by a doctor. I understand the magnitude of this morning.  Of combat. Of me in combat.  It is nothing you can imagine it to be and much worse that I could have envisioned.

I will live with that vision of my first combat action forever. After nearly a year together Elken and I will be seperated.  I begin to cry as I realize that he is going to leave this country without his legs.  His life altered forever.  In an instant.  In a country far away.

I will eventually leave also, but without my innocence. I am forever changed.

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This is a work of fiction.  It was written for Picture it & Write

I urge people to join in, comment with your paragraph of fiction to accompany the image. It doesn’t have to follow my story or reflect the same themes. It can be a poem or in a different language (provide a translation please). Anyone who wants to join in, is welcome. This photograph will be reblogged under Ermisenda on tumblr and added to the Picture it & Write gallery on Facebook and Pintrest.

Shattered Images

Joseph finishes his writing for the evening. He places his pen down gently next to the paper as he takes a last sip of wine. He rises from the chair and takes a seat on his couch. “Time to relax and forget about the evening” he thinks.  Time to enjoy being. He then looks up and places headphones on his ears and turns on his iPod. The Cure’s “Picture of You” will play over and over again. Now time for his daily fix, a necessary evil that haunts his every being. He tightens the rubber band on his arm, exposing his vein for easy injection. He grabs the eight ball off his coffee table ready for injection.  A quick poke of his needle and the deed is done. Minutes pass and Joseph’s body falls onto the couch in somewhat of a fetal position. His eyes affix upon a half filled glass of wine on his table.  The background slowly becomes a blurry glow of colorful lights.  Is this real or just his imagination?  The music at this moment is so clear, as if the singer is directing the lyrics directly o him.

“So delicate lost in the cold You were always so lost in the dark.”

He tries to focus on the blurry colors in his line of vision but it’s not working.  It is as if these are the only lights in the room. He feels his body begins to shiver as if he were cold yet finds himself sweating profusely.  “What is going on?” He can’t tear his eyes away from the glass.  The colors behind it are haunting him.  Why can’t he make them clear. He hears more lyrics from the song.

“If I had only thought of the right words I could have held on to your heart”

He thinks of what he wrote just a few minutes earlier. The words on the paper next to the glass still in his view.  The colors behind it still won’t go away.  The letter is dark.  A few hours before there was a second glass of wine along with his. Now that one lay shattered next to the front door of his studio apartment.  Wine slowly running down from where the glass impacted.  He stares at that image momentarily. It reminds him of blood from a horror movie.  His eyes shift back to the wine glass.  Alone on the table.  Alone.  Like he is at this very moment.  Music blaring into his ears.  His mind memorised by the colors behind that glass.

“There was nothing in the world that I ever wanted more Than to feel you deep in my heart”

Everything begins to become blurry as he hears one last line of this song.  The music slowly fades and the room becomes totally dark.  He lay motionless.  The photo of the female who earlier walked out the door lay on the floor next to the couch.  She now gone from his life.  Now life has gone from him.  

“There is nothing in the world that I ever wanted more Than to never feel the breaking apart, my pictures of you.”

This is a work of fiction, written for:

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This was written for Picture it & Write

I urge people to join in, comment with your paragraph of fiction to accompany the image. It doesn’t have to follow my story or reflect the same themes. It can be a poem or in a different language (provide a translation please). Anyone who wants to join in, is welcome. This photograph will be reblogged under Ermisenda on tumblr and added to the Picture it & Write gallery on Facebook and Pintrest.

Changed by Time

ballet slippers in the forest

She dances no more

her body changed over time

no longer able to flow

graceful and effortlessly.

Like the young ballerina 

she once was.

She hold hands no longer

her body changed over time.

Her lover long gone

never to reach for her hand.

She aches for the comfort and love

felt when their hands met.

As they once did.

She no longer sees the beauty

she once did reflecting in her mirror.

Her beauty once accented by jewels

Now just accentuate the years

and pains her body now holds.

No longer the desired woman

Her lover chose for a lifetime.

She is no longer the woman she was

those many years ago.

All alone she is void of desires,

dreams and a future of hope.

She is alone in the world

not knowing a soul.

Saddened by the figure in the mirror

She no longer knows.

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This was written for Picture it & Write

I urge people to join in, comment with your paragraph of fiction to accompany the image. It doesn’t have to follow my story or reflect the same themes. It can be a poem or in a different language (provide a translation please). Anyone who wants to join in, is welcome. This photograph will be reblogged under Ermisenda on tumblr and added to the Picture it & Write gallery on Facebook and Pintrest.

A Clown in the Room

I sat next to her bed on a cold winter morning.  She looks as beautiful as ever.  So peaceful in her sleep.  Like she can live thousands of years.  The stark reality is that I know she can’t.  She’ll be lucky to live hundred days.  As I sit and stare at my lovely wife the nurse walks in.  “Time for her medication Mr. Moseby.”  She awakens my wife, who looks over at me and smiles.  

“I brought you something Helen, ”  I said.  I stand up and walk over to the head of the bed.  She thanks the nurse after she swallows her last pill.  Then she turns to me with her beautiful eyes and smiles once again.  My heart pounds as she looks into me.  I feel my body overcome with emotion.  The way she looks at me.  She always did that to me.  Our eyes meet and there is no one else in the world but the two of us.

“Look what I brought.  This beautiful picture of us from before we were married”  I tell her.  I look at the picture briefly before I show her. Our bodies  are entangled together into one.  So elegant.  The emotion of the moment captured in one snap of that camera years ago.  When I look at that picture now I see the young us but with a reflection of the current us.  She is still as beautiful as the picture in my eyes.  Sure time has taken away so much from her.  But when I look into those eyes of hers it’s as if it was the first time.  My body tingles and my heart races with joy.  

I slowly hand her the picture.  She looks at it and smiles.  I see her face change.  She looks so loving at this moment.  A smile slowly comes upon her face and she reaches her fingers to the picture and runs it across our bodies trapped in time.  My whole body is tingling in anticipation of her comments.  She looks at that picture so lovingly.  I know she remembers that moment.  I can tell she feels the feeling we had when our bodies were woven together.  

She slowly puts the picture face down onto her chest.  Her smile goes away and her chest rises and slowly retreats downward.  Her eyes are affixed to a spot on the ceiling for a moment then she glances and says “I remember.”  She smiles and grabs the picture and hands it back to me.  “Why is there a clown sitting in the chair of my room?” she ask me.

The moment is gone.  I exhale loudly as my heart suddenly aches.  She is gone again.  Gone into her world of her mind.  A world that no longer includes the man and woman in the picture.  Gone to the world of Alzheimer’s.  I feel all alone.  

“The clown is not in your room dear.  Only in your mind.”  This will mean nothing to her.  Like that photo meant nothing.  Although for one brief second, I felt she remembered.  Then she was gone.  Back into a different world.  I know the reality.  It will never dismiss the pain.  

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This is fiction.  It was written for Picture it & Write

I urge people to join in, comment with your paragraph of fiction to accompany the image. It doesn’t have to follow my story or reflect the same themes. It can be a poem or in a different language (provide a translation please). Anyone who wants to join in, is welcome. This photograph will be reblogged under Ermisenda on tumblr and added to the Picture it & Write gallery on Facebook and Pintrest.