memory was

(Continuation of story that started on June 28th.)

Part III

The vibrant autumn sunsets were numbered. The harvest season was coming to a close and the markets were slowing down. It was early evening and unusually calm. The days were dark. The nights were colder.

She sat at the couch by the window at a perfect distance from the fireplace and turned the envelope over. It was the finest paper she had touched in months,and yet, a little over a year ago, it had been only natural that paper would feel so exquisite, like cream with a beautifully contrasting dark maroon seal of a certain nobility stamped onto it.

She ran her fingers over the seal again with a melancholy dismay. It had arrived. Against all her far-fetched fantasies that they would forget, they hadn’t.

“…why won’t you come home, dear? We miss you. They’re calling you a coward. You must stand up for your name and your pride! It’s only natural that you should want to avenge your parents. And the child…

…haven’t told anyone. If you are in danger, I shall send help as discreetly as I can. It will be no embarrassment to the name…

…matter of great humiliation to the name of…

…must return, child. The pride of…

…the royalty scorns…

…back at once…

…dishonour…

…disgrace…”

How they managed to be so ridiculously naive, she did not know. She folded the letter carefully along the creases and stared at the envelope for a second, wondering when her hands had toughened and her touch had grown delicate. The person she remembered would never have thought twice before tearing the envelope and stuffing in into the fire. And there she was, holding on to it like it was precious treasure.

She walked quietly into her bedroom and pulled open a drawer by her nightstand. Here, she had kept her only belonging. A crumpled piece of paper with a hastily scribbled note.

“Second winter after the Announcement. Floating island. Find Lumina. She’s your little sister. We will come to you as soon as  safe. Don’t go home whatever happens. Run away. Stay safe. Love, Mum and Dad”

She lay on her back on the bed and read it over and over. A hooded figure, she guessed a girl, about eleven, she had guessed from her hand and her stature, had stuffed this into her hand during the Second Announcement. She had not heard from them since. Winter would begin any day now. Time was running out.

He sat by the fireplace with two large mugs of hot chocolate and gazed intently at the flames. Gentle footsteps announced her into the room.

“Chocolate?” he asked, still staring at the fireplace. He did not know why, but it felt like it was what he should be doing.

“Hm.” she said, distracted. He tore his gaze away from the fire. She looked worried…no, haunted.

“You alright?”

He had never seen her as disturbed as she looked now. Of course, he had noticed how she almost told him something about her parents, her aunt, the delightful chocolate cake back home only to stop mid-sentence and try to laugh it off with a queer look in her eyes.

She looked at him, momentarily with surprise, then, with a look of warm admiration that he had never seen on her before; and he remembered how her delicate brown hair had felt between his fingers and – snapped back to the present. He gently grazed her hand as she sat down beside him. “What’s wrong?”

She handed him the letter, and then the note, and watched with distant mix of tenderness, awe, fondness and adoration as his long, dark curls fell over his brilliant eyes while his head tiled slightly to his right in concentration and the firelight lit his face.

This was what she had to lose.

The first snowflakes drifted elegantly across the window

T. E. Pyrus

[P. S. Winter is come.]

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to your horizon

(Continuation of story that started on June 28th.)

Part II

The sunshine made her eyes twinkle and it appeared to him as if it were a pure miracle that they matched her hair so perfectly. It had been three months since the first day by the sea.

His aunt wasn’t one to pry. She had readily shooed him upstairs onto the attic and announced, cheerfully, that she must have his room and to approach her if she ever found herself in need. He stood in shock as she procured a bunch of clothes practically out of thin air and proved herself the warmest soul in all of existence.

It was that morning that he had begun to train her to farm; she had a job, he had help. It was also the first time he had noticed how breathtakingly beautiful she sounded when she laughed and how comically disappointed she had looked when he told her that it wasn’t usual at all for farms in his town to have dogs and watched her astonishingly endearing face light up like a candle in the dark when he told her that they did, in fact, have a fluffy orange cat who owned all of the land on this side of the forest.

The sun was growing chilly and they were done spring cleaning for the day. He had just assured her that she would really have to wait until May for pretty lilacs and couldn’t help but smile at her pout-frown that might have been annoying if it weren’t for the the way her hair stuck out above her right ear when she tied it up or how she dusted her delicate and very slightly toughened hands on her pants; she had downright refused to farm in a skirt. It wasn’t convenient enough.

“It really is a tragedy, isn’t it?” he exclaimed as he let out a clearly exaggerated sigh.

“Oh, but it is! Shakespeare would surely be proud if he had thought of this one!” Her wide-eyed expression had an evident touch of mischief that spilled over and left them with peals of helpless laughter.

“There’s something I want to show you.” he stated when he stopped to catch his breath, “Follow me.”

He led her into the woods, a lovely place indeed, although not so dark or deep as one might expect. The spring had melted the frost. It was a cheerful place. Quiet, alive and cheerful. The grassy path wound around trees and through sunshine and shadow.

About six and a half minutes later, they stopped at a large, flat clearing.

“It’s cold stone.” he declared with a hint of dramatic pride, “The dungeons underneath hold all your fears and sorrows.”

“Pray, what drives you, dark creature, that you persevered to bring to being a masterpiece as this?” she asked, her voice rising and falling as she responded with increasing display of waving her hands about, attempting a pirouette and finally setting herself down on the dark stone platform, giggling.

He doubled up in laughter and shook his head in amused exasperation as he lay down beside where she was sitting.

She looked down at him “Do you-“

“Shhhh. Watch.” he interrupted quietly, pointing upwards to where the clouds painted a picture in the sunset.

She watched their shadowplay, astounded, until the sun slid behind the trees and the breeze grew chilly. He had drifted off to sleep. She gazed down at him in wonder and awe. She had never met someone so gentle or funny or warm-hearted or beautiful or, she smiled tenderly, quite so random or so absolutely crazy.

“I love you, you darned idiot.” she whispered.

“Look who’s talking…” he mumbled in his sleep, with a hint of that bewitching lopsided smile.

She ran her fingers abstractedly  over her silver leafed charm bracelet, smiling blissfully as she watched the sky fade. Her shadows could wait.

T. E. Pyrus

[There’s more.]

as i looked out

Part I

The silver leaf on his bracelet complemented his dark green eyes. He stared past it at the horizon, bending and blending the sunset into the sea with his arms around his knees, his worn out fingers intertwined.

It had been a while and he let his thoughts lead him back to the time when his only love was that of the sea; the cluster of dark, jagged rocks that stood solemnly around him had seemed like pillars to his castle of solitude.

It was almost sundown when he reached the castle; the harvest was hard work this year and his bruised and bleeding fifteen year old hands could only help so much. Last year, they had lost his uncle, the only father he ever had and the best he could ever want. Now it was him and his aunt. He wished he was stronger, that he didn’t need sleep…

He bent over to catch his breath and placed his hand against the rough stone and murmured a vague apology for his delay.

“How did you…?”

He yelped and stepped back, almost tripping over his own feet.

“Whozair?!” he said wildly as he struggled to stay calm and readied himself to run, just in case.

She stepped out from behind one of the taller rocks, looking mildly amused. Her eyes were wide and twinkling; intimidating. Her once-white dress that was torn at her left shoulder and ripped off up to her knees looked far too expensive to be from anywhere on this side of the kingdom.

“You’re only a boy…”, she said in an unfamiliar dialect that made her voice ring in a way that reminded him of the warmth of the fireplace on a snowy Christmas night. She was about his age, he guessed.

“And you’re only a girl. Something tells me that I’d be mistaken to assume that you chose to enjoy the sunset hiding behind a rock in a wrecked dress.” he said rather amused, now that his fear had vaporized.

“Something tells me that you wouldn’t have one to spare although you’d make quite a lady with your delicate wrists and practically luminous green eyes. Were you ever turned into a cat?”

He pulled his hands out of the pockets of his worn out and faded denim pants and folded them across his chest as he leaned against one of the rocks, surprised, and more enchanted than offended.

“A black one, like my hair. Primary job was to rebel against the moon turning white after new moon.”

“You’re bleeding,” she offered, imitating his tone.

“Wha… oh.” No one ever bothered, let alone noticed his battered hands before. It was only normal where he lived. He wondered if he should feel uncomfortable or even offended as he felt warm familiarity begin to melt his hardened expression.

“Are you planning to stay here? It’s getting dark.” He decided not to ask her about why she was here or where she came from. She could take her time. It had probably not been a whimsical decision, he realized as he noticed the plain silver rings on her ears and the silver charm on her bracelet. Her hair fell untidily braided down her right shoulder chopped unevenly, possibly singed, halfway down to her shoulder. She had secrets and he wouldn’t pry.

She lowered her eyes and shrugged, pulling hopelessly at her tattered dress to shield her from the wind. He realized that she was extraordinarily beautiful. It wasn’t the kind of beauty that stood out but a mild glow that seemed to suggest a wildfire within.

“Here,” he said, shrugging his old jacket off. Something like amazement flashed in her eyes for only a second and she quietly murmured a hesitant ‘thank you’ as she tried it on. The words sounded tentative and foreign. Her smile was almost imperceptible.

She took his hand as he told her about the town, the weather and the lake reflecting the starlight. The evening steadily enveloped the sky as they walked home; he could spare some food and blankets. He couldn’t remember the last time he had talked so easily. She couldn’t remember the last time she smiled.

He opened his eyes to the sound of the waves. The sun hesitated above the horizon.

He took a deep breath. ‘Any minute now,’ he thought to himself as he let it out in a half sigh and his green eyes broke into a hopeful smile.

The sea mist ruffled his dark curls.

T. E. Pyrus

[P. S. To be continued. Hang in there, folks.]

ink stained

She rubbed her thumb lightly over her ink-stained fingertips and closed her eyes. For one last time, she shut out the memories, clenched her jaw, then, as she took in a deep breath, loosened it and gave in.

The first memories of them walking out of class together without a word, stepping on every second step while skipping down the stairs in sync and those secret half smiles that she feared that she had noticed alone came in flashes like a Charlie Chaplin movie

“Memory is only an orange-sunset shadow.”

She remembered the overwhelming sensation of warmth and belonging and wild dizziness when she realized that it was more that affection…

“And feelings are shadows without the sun”

She laughed softly, then choked down the lump in her throat as she thought about how she liked to watch him and the elegance in every move, perfection in every darned thing and how she had wondered how a clumsy human bumping into awkwardness, lost and tripping over logical thought could seem so absolutely flawless.

“But beauty lies in the eyes of those who refuse to see otherwise”

And then she had tripped and fallen down a rabbit hole. Alice tried some mushroom, our little human tried too hard. And he had slipped away, slowly, then all at once until expressions ceased to exist. She had watched petrified and he walked into the distance and wondered if she had imagined those imperceptible glances over his shoulder.

“And you were a flawless clockwork miracle”

Eventually, she decided she had. The glances were lost. So were the quiet conversations under the desk. Dead memories can’t feel, she told herself fervently as she reached out one last time… or was it twice… or thrice, perhaps; ego shook her and sighed to herself in the back seat.

“With your glass eyes too perfect”

She had stumbled along, fumbled about for Ariadne’s thread, wove it into a bracelet and a devastating sense of dread, agony and helplessness washed over her when she realized that, just maybe, it was all in her head. It was when she knew for sure that it didn’t matter. It was all in the past at any rate.

“And when amnesia dropped by, she told him, beseeching,”

But she remembered the blue. A blue bracelet of satin ribbon, a blue M&M, blue and his warm laughter from years ago, almost faded, almost lost into the void, echoing ever so slightly that she thought, maybe, it was all a finger-painted water-coloured canvas of her imagination. And she left it at that.

“But machines don’t have a favourite colour…”

Her tears smudged the faultless words on the parchment.

T. E. Pyrus

page break

It’s funny how you can fall in love with a song about a break up. Funny how staring at squiggles of light on the screen can turn you fuzzy and warm on the inside. Funny how your head feels like it’s floating idly over your shoulders and your neck stops existing when you’re tired. Funny how a million thoughts rush through your mind in a second and, all at once, you realize you can’t hold on to any of those thoughts for just about long enough to decide to write about it.

Empty walls, illusions, shoulder-blades that hurt, an idea for a tee-shirt, the stars, hopes, dreams, procrastination, perfectionism, panic, precious , the letter ‘p’, pancakes,  poetry…

Fleeting glances, a word, a sentence, confusion, opinions, disagreement, theories, sarcasm, laughter, semi-agreement, hope, stumble, fall, confusion, decisions, clenched fists, words forced out, realization, sigh, acceptance, a half-smile, cinnamon eyes…

And I’ll be hiding
My subtle smiles
Between shade and semi-darkness,

Hand my heart out
By street corners
To footsteps that double-take,

Paint the ceiling
With blue feelings
That tied ego to frustration,

Paper airplanes
Made of sighs
And watch them sail across the lake;

Wear chain anklets
Like a trophy
In a world so topsy-turvy,

Tingling fingertips
Trace eyebrows
Of fear: wild and gay,

Paint my shoulders
And eyelashes:
They’ll never see right through me,

And when you’re lost
And I’m forgotten,
Maybe, look…look away…

(A Page-Break In A Love-Letter)

T. E. Pyrus

yo marshmallow!

Have you ever thought about how yo-yos are literally one of the greatest metaphors for realistic life. I mean, think about it: there’s always somebody who will let you fall, someone who’ll pull you down and somebody who will try real hard to pull you right back up.

Also the one who let you fall might not have meant to leave you hanging. To be very honest, gravity doesn’t think straight; it curves space-time, so you can hardly blame the poor fella. It’s not an easy feat to pull a yo-yo back up. It might take weeks to get it right. And until then you just try your best to crawl up the string and to understand that the little yo-yo’s person is trying her hardest and the best way you can help is by being a marshmallow.

Here are some other things you should probably know about the yo-yo mode:
Bounces can be found in the lowest of times, when one only remembers to reach for the sky. (P. S. Thank you, Dumbledore.)
It’s difficult to balance at the tip but it’s okay to be unstable, transient and fallible even at your highest.

That’s where the marshmallow-mode comes in… You see, marshmallows are sweet, spongy, sticky and bouncy little warm-hearted, long-tempered punch-bags. All the qualities of a perfect being. When success feels so far away, frustration follows you like a shadow.

Frustrated shadows don’t like marshmallows. And that is where you upgrade to marshmallow-mode and swing to the rescue! Worst case scenario: you’re toast. Still perfect though. Nothing can ever change that. While the marshmallow-mode is a little sticky, it’s all about understanding, accepting and bouncing right back to a warm cuddle.

“Myself is thus and so, and will continue thus and so. And why fight it? My balance comes from instability.”~Saul Bellow

T. E. Pyrus

transcending dimensions

Do you ever lie on your back under the sky and think about all those sunsets you missed and the beauty in the word ‘exhaustion’? It’s one of those rare words that sounds exactly like it should: like a sigh after a long day’s struggle through social etiquette and accidental sarcasm and you’re wondering if eyelashes are supposed to be heavy.

Thinking about heavy, you notice the ever-so-light clouds that seem to be absorbed in their frolic, soft pastel sketching as they form and reform. You watch their light-hearted caper evolve into profound shadow play and the princess rides a young dragon to battle against the reptile-headed tiger cub to rescue her childhood friend who turns into (literally) her lover who falls behind the veil and leaves her a patch of starlight with his final breath as she falls to her knees, watching her own self dissolve into a rearing unicorn.

The unicorn looks at the starlight with slight concern before she decides to take a look into the past. the crocodile pulls the fairytale woodcutter into the lake and leaves his axe for his daughter who cradles it as if it were a child, and so it was. And then it wasn’t…for the boy had been taken by the dragons. The wind echoed with the young mother’s sorrow.

Little boy and his best friend crawled out doors and followed the firefly in the dark and found themselves in the dragons’ lair. Thrill replaced the blood in their veins and little boy asked little girl to wait until he signalled. Tiptoeing wasn’t nearly enough. Terror washed over him as he stumbled into a baby dragon who barely reached his elbows and gazed up at him with a vaguely amusing blend of curiosity and amazement.

Little boy called out for little girl to run, run home and stay indoors, for the clouds were growing dark and the wind, fierce. Little girl ran back home only to find the town deserted. The dragons would strike again, they thought, and no one wanted to risk it. No one would take them back. The dragons offered to let them stay. Little boy graciously accepted while little girl quietly took to the forest instead.

Time always has the last word. When the great war between the dimensions began, not-so-little girl hears that not-so-little boy lives not so far away with his family of dragons and between tears and ecstasy, hurries over to meet him. Minutes grow into weeks and companionship grows into love.

Not-so-little boy urges not-so-little girl to try to stop the war. A spy has powers. Not-so-little girl reluctantly reveals that their entire town, among millions, had been wiped out by the other dimension.

A thunderclap finds her vulnerable.She had been discovered and she knew she was as good as dead. The reptile-headed tiger cub swipes straight for not-so-little boy and he cries out, again, for her to run, run home – this wasn’t her fight.  They only wanted the dragons. But she charges into battle alone and not-so-young dragon joins her with equal ferocity with all her hopes tied to the slightly increased probability that she could save everyone.

Hopes and spirits soar high but fate decides otherwise. Not-so-young dragon blows enchanted fire right at reptile-headed tiger cub but the winds shift and it blows towards the edge of the Mist Lake instead; silvery and pretty though it was, the mist was deadly. As chance would have it, it was exactly where not-so-little boy had been trying to steer the youngest little dragons towards the safety of the forest. Not-so-little boy stumbles and falls into the misty veil, almost in slow motion, as he flings the little dragons away from the mist; they would survive the flame.

The reptile-headed tiger cub had fled. Not-so-little girl reaches out in vain, then,with a cry of deep anguish, falls to her knees.

The tears that flow, soothing, are a little too real. ‘Rain’, the little-too-real folks called it.

Exhaustion is a beautiful word.

T. E. Pyrus

a pocketful of posies

I shall take this precious moment to subtly remind you that the only thing that is ever constant (outside the event horizon) is constant change. Well, not all that constant anyway. Human beings don’t particularly like change. Especially changes that directly affect their habits and emotions.

Now, our little human here doesn’t like change at all. As she trudges along the sidewalk under the pale yellow streetlights in the pouring rain, her head throbbing painfully and the sky echoing her hurt, she spots a little change on her right shoulder. She tries over and over to flick it off but soon realizes that, much like Riptide-the-ballpoint-pen, this little change refuses to stay away. So little human stuffs it in her pocket and waits for a day when the little change isn’t all that heavy and the sun is warm on her shoulders and the breeze can dry her tears.

When the skies are calmer, she decides to take a look into the pockets she had long forgotten. A hair-tie. A whispered smile. A washed out photograph of him and the kitten. It sure has been a while…the little fuzzymeow is all grown up now. A crumpled voice in her head, blotted in places where the ink had run when the rain and the tears fell in chaotic harmony. The sea-glass pebbles and the sunsets on the beach; sunrises on the city skyline.

Nostalgic smiles draw tears and paint them in with watercolour shades of heart-ache and brush strokes to guide her as she stuff it all into her back pocket and walk away from the park by the museum and into the forest again.

It’s time she knew each shade of autumn by its name again.

T. E. Pyrus

fractions of forever

The autumn leaves had drifted in the chilly glow of the streetlights and now carpeted the streets. Snowflakes steadily covered up the warm hues. Creating space seemed less and less like an impossibility. Footsteps, greetings, the ringing telephone, breakfast, coffee, tears and breakfast later, summer dims down and the trees decide to dress-up to be the sunset for Halloween and nobody who has ever had all permanent teeth misses Christmas anymore… or New Year… Or their own birthdays…

The thing about life is the longer you live, the shorter a day is in the perspective of the number of days you have lived. By the end of today, I will have lived five thousand, seven hundred and seventy-seven days. Tomorrow will be one in five thousand, seven hundred and seventy eighth (1/5778) of my life. The day after would be one in five thousand, seven hundred and seventy ninth (1/5779). With each passing day, the significance of a day in a life reduces, fading -1/n(n+1) per day (where ‘n’ is the number of days lived).

So essentially, when you have lived two days, while the first day was basically all of your life, the second day is a half of your life, the third day is a third of your life and as the days get shorter and your life in the past grows longer, what seems like only yesterday turns out to be months ago.

Immortality would be a difficult burden. One would probably tend to overlook the little joys of life. Boredom, frustration and exhaustion would eventually lead to insanity.

Insanely yours,
T. E. Pyrus

Beethoven and the oneirological-dazzle

I wonder what the world would sound like if it was normal social etiquette to sing words out instead of to say them. Formal places could expect people to respond in tone or in harmony. It would make quite a Disney movie, wouldn’t it? Sound Of Music would be a reality and maybe people could spontaneously burst into synchronized and (un)choreographed dances and baby elephants and ducklings could join in rather abruptly on queue…

Speaking about abrupt changes, what if it was possible to switch your mood like switching a light switch on and off? One that comes along with a dimmer and when the two-hundred and fifty-six terabyte negativity storage overflows, you can switch it back off for a minute so it runs out in punches and blows and you’ll left with the blissful, floating on faded purple clouds and listening to the softer tunes of Beethoven’s symphonies and ballet dancing with a marshmallow.

What might actually be better is if you could change another person’s mood with the flick of a switch. Wouldn’t I absolutely love to slip some confusion into certain people’s emotional-range-of-a-teaspoon brains.

Of course I’d love to slip in some anonymous tickles and unexplainable ecstasy to some absolutely wonderful people and watch them from a distance as they try to explain, with sparkling eyes, about the unheard joke their glass of apple juice told them right when they were about to take the first sip.

If I had an unlimited supply, I’d add in one of those violent magenta balloon shaped candies with glow-in-the-dark polka dots that tend to carry light doses of oneirological-dazzle. (P. S. Oneirology = dream.)

Then there are those people whom you’d give anything to strangle, for only a minute, however, and then about six minutes and fourteen seconds later, offer them a free dose of oneirological-dazzle while confessing your undying love and adoration for them. In my experience, these are many of the most wonderful, fuzzy, random-awesome people who love mauve marshmallow clouds and monochromatic rainbows.

Warm and fuzzy tidings.

T. E. Pyrus