Wednesday, May 17, 2017

#9: All Good Things Must Come To An End

The electric doors slid open with a gust of air, Joon tumbling out with the hysteric crowd. Her feet stumbled beneath her, mind racing faster than her legs could carry her.

"Jennifer!" Someone was calling, but Joon's ears were ringing too loudly to respond. She didn't look behind her. She didn't look back at the IKEA bleeding out with people now escaping, she didn't look back at the woman calling for her with a name she knew wasn't hers. She didn't look back at the guilt building in her chest, thinking of her parents she could barely remember. Phone calls, red blood, metal handcuffs. A circus, a monkey, a scream. Star Wars macaroni in her pale hands. David Bowie blasting in her ears. Is there life on Mars? Drugs pumped into her until she couldn't even remember herself.

Joon could barely feel her legs but she kept running. The sky was dark, stars twinkling above her with bright light. Joon had always loved the stars. She grew jealous of them, their spot high in the sky, away from all of the world. They kept twinkling. She kept running.

Joon couldn't  remember why she was running now, but she knew her name wasn't Jennifer, and she knew someone, something had taken her. She reached into her brain, prying away at the cobwebs to find something, anything to remember.

The Winthrop town buss noise of the incidents occurring, the stars still shone above.

Suddenly there was a bright light in her eyes, shoes still hitting the cement sidewalk.

Joon swore she heard a thump in her ears, then a screech of tires. She finally looked back.

A girl lays still as stone in the street, a car close to her. Headlights blinded her vision momentarily. Someone was opening the car's door.

Joon turned away. She was tired of looking. She was tired of saying sorry. She was tired of being a shadow in the town of Winthrop. So she kept running, her body floating away. Joon Rawlings was getting out.

Monday, May 8, 2017

#8: All Boxed In

Locked inside yourself
Footsteps on the tile floor
Don't stop to look back

Her hands brushed along the plastic coverings of the door nobs on sale, eyes trailing over the rows and rows of lampshades. Shoulders and arms brushed passed her, bustling to get to the sale before the day is up. For whatever reason, the town seemed to love lamp shades and door nobs with a passion.

"Jennifer Rawlings to the registers. Jennifer Rawlings to the registers!" The intercom rang in her ears, her head whipping up towards the ceiling where the sound bursted from. Jennifer's heart stammered in her chest. She walked forward, head feeling dizzy like a feather fluttering from a tree top. Her fingers fumbled at her sides. They were looking for her.
People continued to rush past her, but now in the opposite direction of the new products.

Hushed shouting echo through the isles. Her friend said that a quick trip to IKEA would be a nice change. Jennifer has grown tired of her room, a window leading to a empty courtyard she wasn't allowed into. She hated the needles they put on her arms every morning. Fingertips on her skin, crawling across her shoulders, neck, spine. Sometimes her mind went away, far back in her brain, foggy glass that she tried to claw at. They were doing that to her. But something stopped her before she said anything.

The people around her were growing frantic, yelling and running towards the door. Jennifer knew they were looking for her. She wanted to run. Her body floating through isle after isle of furniture, kitchen ware, windows.

"We're locked in. It's a hostage--" She heard someone yelling. It sounded far, so far away. Red cheeks on a rainy day. David Bowie blasting in her ears. There was screaming, Jennifer knew it was there. Somewhere behind what they had done to her. It was yelling, and crying, and blood. It was colors and scrubbing hands until they were raw. It was opaque glass, and she was clawing, scratching at it.

"Stop! Stop it!" Her mind screamed and burned. Her mouth never opened.

The hysteria was quickly growing in the store, and in Joon's heart. Joon. Her name was Joon. She saw the women running towards her from down the isle, coming right for her. Joon felt her converse shoes hitting the tile before she realized she was running. She had to get out.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

#7: Somewhere Over The Rainbow

She giggled, a high pitched, sugar coated, rainbow filled giggle. Birds chirped above her head in the willow trees.

"Jennifer!" Thats' what they were calling her now.

They're giving out free waffles at Karnival diner, hurry up!"

Jennifer skipped towards her friend, leaving the quaint little Farmer's Market.  Jennifer hummed to herself as they passed by a pond. Her eyes couldn't seem to leave the water, as it reflected the yellow sunlight from the beginnings of spring. Something seemed strange about it, like she'd been there before, a shuddering icy texture on her fingertips. She opened her mouth, something on the tip of her tongue. Metal on her wrists. A tapping memory in the back of her brain.

"Jennifer!" Her friend called.  That's what they told her to call her. "Come take your medicine dear."

Jennifer hummed, skipping forward to her friend, taking the two bright orange pills into her hand. She popped them into her mouth with another giggle. They had her on new meds these last couple weeks. They moved her into a new room, with more color, and a window. No more white walls and bars. It mad her feel light, like she could fly right into the stars that appeared in the sky by her new window each night. Sometimes she forgot where she was, or where they were taking her. But if felt nice, so she didn't mind.
It was hard for her to remember where she used to be, what she used to do. But it's nice to live in the present. Isn't that what they always say?

She liked to look at all the colors surrounding her around the town of Winthrop as they headed for Karnival. Blue, green, red orange.

If Joon listened close enough, she swore she could almost hear the sound of someone screaming. She ignored it.

Underneath the stars
Bated breath as we wait for
what we can't remember

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

#6: Still Waters Run Deep

"Your mother is here." A man's voice said. Joon's head pounded so hard, her pulse throbbed down her neck.

"Joonie," Her mother's voice rang out as she entered. Cold hands wrapped around Joon's wrists, pressing the silver tight handcuffs closer to her raw skin. She had been rubbing against the cuffs so hard the guards were forced to tighten them.

"Joonie look at me." Her mother repeated. Joon couldn't escape this anymore. There was no where left to run. Joon's eyes flitted up, pupils dilated. A tall man holding a brief case stood behind her mother, hesitantly waiting.

"This is our lawyer, Oscar. He's gonna help us get you out of here. sweetie." Her voice was so sweet, it could rot teeth with just one bite.

"Why would you want to help me?" Joon shocked herself as the words bubbled out.

"Because I love you, we-we love you, and miss you and you've been gone so long. You're not taking your medicine Joon, and we didn't know where-"

"Why would you help me when I killed him? I did it, there's no way to deny-" Joon couldn't finish her sentence, refusing to look at the woman with matching green eyes and frizzy hair.

"Joon, you don't understand. You're sick."

"No you don't understand! I killed him! He- the blood- my hands! How can you look me in the eye and l-lie to me!" She felt herself screaming, tears welling over and dripping down her cheeks. The guards ushered Joon's mother and Oscar out, telling them patiently to come back again tomorrow. Colors flashed before Joon's vision and she gripped the edge of the table so she wouldn't tumble to the floor.

Time seemed to fall in and out of focus, and Joon found herself watching the stars and moon from the window outside the door as a guard tied the shoes of her skates. They were allowing some of the calmer convicts to ice skate out of the pond behind the prison late at night. Joon was shocked that they miraculously had her size.
The crips cold air sent shivers down her spin as her metal skates tore thought the ice. Her body floated through the air, stopping at a choppy gap in the ice. Joon looked down to see a shallow hole, large enough to have held something. Curiosity bubbled in her brain, but she tried desperately not to think of anything at all.

She looked back up to the sky, puffs of white breath falling from her lips. Joon had always loved the stars, but tonight she hated them.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

#5: Happy Holidays??

"Joon, please call me back. We're not mad, or upset. We just want you to come home. That's...That's why we've sent out-"  Her thumb pressed against the end call button so hard, her finger tip turned white.

She hadn't slept in over a week. Every time her eyelids fluttered close, Joon saw blood, and striped pants, and her father. Colors began to mix together before her eyes, her red hair greasy with lack of washing. Foot steps echoed down the hallways of her apartment, police still lingering from the Halloween turned nightmare murder party.

There was a knock on her heavy metal door, keeping her safe from people and predators. If only there was a way to keep out the thoughts. Joon's body floated towards the sound, unlocking the latch and revealing a brown cardboard box. She took it inside, colors mixing together in front of her.

Suddenly, the box barked. Joon's eyes flew open at the sound. She opened the box, that held a small brown puppy, no more than a month old. It barked again. Joon's stomach leaped forward, and she grabbed onto the table so she wouldn't fall. The note attached simply read: From your Secret Santa.
Joon promptly took the box still carrying the puppy, opened her door, and put it back outside of her apartment. And then she blacked out.


When Joon reopened her eyes, she immediately shivered.  Wind blew against her bare arms, goose bumps multiplying. She looked up and saw the huge rusty water tower, WINTHROP PLACE written in black. She heard her father's scream pierce the air, and Joon whipped her head towards the noise. In the distance, she saw red and green lights hanging on a Christmas tree, surrounded by people. Was is already December? She grasped at her hair, trying to remember how she'd gotten here. Her vision blurred, ears ringing from her father's voice. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry.

Snow crunched underneath her shoes as she walked home, shivering uncontrollably. Jingle bells rang softly near the old abandoned pool. She placed her shoes by the door of her apartment, and put in her ear buds, David Bowie blasting out the voices in her head.
Joon didn't hear the hard knocks on the door. She didn't see the officers come in, but she felt the cold metal handcuffs around her wrists, and suddenly the words rang out in her ears; "Joon Rawlings, you're coming with us."

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

#4: Who Done It?

Her feet carried her, until her skin was too cold to stand the winter winds; the most bitter season in Winthrop's history.
Sometimes Joon saw her brother's hands enclose around hers, gently soothing, only to evaporate into thin air.  They tried to tell her to come back, to stay. But she knew they would never look at her the same way. Her father screamed.

Her orange bottle of pills still stood unopened on her counter, as Joon's body floated by the yellow caution tape surrounding the scene of the Winthrop pool. The voices had been calling her to come here, to look at what she'd done.
Joon had been furiously writing to a ghost, blasting David Bowie into her ears, when another invitation arrived at her door. A murder mystery party on the apartment's 7th floor.

She wore a black skirt with a white top, her frizzy red hair tied into a bun with an apron tied around her waist. An alternative waiter with glazed over eyes. Joon assumed she looked presentable, for she didn't own a single mirror. No one could recognize her in the shadowed town of Winthrop.

The 7th floor was dimly lit, people in different costumes roaming. She saw a man with stripped pants and a top hat pass by, his green eyes unblinking. The man was so striking, he seemed to come straight from a freak show. He was shadowed by a similar looking man, with a real live monkey on his shoulder. Purple and blue hallucinations thickened in her mind. Her father screamed.
She saw one little girl at the party, no older than 12, clad in a butler's costume. Wasn't it a school night?

At 9:30 there was ringing in her ears, she saw stars. A sky so overflowed with bright, golden light.
At 9:31 the light went pitch black. Her skin felt tight like rubber.
Joon's brother called out to her. There was a pool of blood. He hands were shaking with crimson. Her father screamed. He told her to stop, to drop it, but she couldn't hear him. 

"I'm sorry." She said it. She said it and wrote it again and again. No one was listening.

The lights flickered back on, as did Joon's hearing. A pair of stripped pants lay on the floor, worn by the man with the monkey on his shoulder. There was a pool of blood by his head.

A scream erupted from the room. But it wasn't her father's, it was her own.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

#3: You're Invited

Stars are in constant conflict with themselves. The collective gravity of all it's mass is pulling it inward. If there was nothing to stop it, the star would just continue collapsing for millions of years until it became its smallest possible size. Joon, like a star, was in constant conflict with herself.

She had chickened out of going to the circus, too focused on self-destruction. So just as the sun rose, Joon watched the tent fall. Joon pulled her blue jacket tighter to her small frame. She held the invitation in her hand, re-reading the words over and over. Someone had invited her to an environmental forum? "Your'e Invited...", The syllables on the invitation brushed goosebumps all over her arms.

A plum hat and stripped pants pass by her as dusk grows near, the man's mustache curved into a wicked smile. A girl's drops her grocery bags, white milk splattering the pavement in flashes as Joon's body floats by.

She'd been in Winthrop for over 6 months now. No one had any idea where she went, for she never left a note or letter.

She held 4 markers in her hand tightly as she walked. Blue, green, red orange.  Joon had began to write on herself. Words and ideas covered her forearms, the Star-Wars macaroni had been scribbled multiple times. Joon still couldn't find any.
She found herself at the community green house, a man wearing a scarf was briskly walking out of it. She bumped into him, her ghost-like body floating without her control.
"Are you okay?" the man asked. Wind whipped around him, his hair dancing gracefully. For a moment Joon saw a blotch of blue by his right ear, and  darker blue trailing down his upper neck to his scarf. He gave her a cramped smile, a flash of sharp teeth made her breath catch. The hallucinations had apparently begun.
Joon closed her eyes to make them leave, and found herself in front of the bar. The sun had set in the sky. Blue, green, red orange.

There were brochures inside, advertising Energy Star washing machines. She picked one up to have something to hold. She gazed up at the lights on the ceiling. She listened to the sounds of the people pitch energy efficiency. Joon heard muted yelling in her skull, her dad yelling for her to stop. Her brother was crying big fat tears.
She'd been in Winthrop for over 6 months now. No one had any idea where she went, for she never left a note or letter.
Her apartment was 70.12 degrees. Her pencils were lined perfectly on her desk. Her arms and hands were scrubbed raw and clean, washed 6 times with yellow soap. Her fingers itched to draw again. Blue, green, red orange. Blue, green, red orange.

'Dear Dad,' Joon wrote, 'I'm sorry that I killed you.'