Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Train Car

From where I stand I can see a hobbling man gripping tightly onto the shoulders of a young boy. They stumble blindly with no direction or apparent purpose, yet when I approach them, it is almost as if they could feel my presence before actually seeing me. Before I even manage to expel coherent words, the old man removes his hand from the shoulder of the boy and swiftly grasps my own. I feel a searing pain, so much so that I have to close my eyes and grit my teeth to keep from crying out. The pain ends abruptly, and I am left branded with the words "WHAT WILL COME WILL COME/EVEN IF I SHORUD IT ALL IN SILENCE." Immediately I stumble backgrounds and start giggling. That's pretty cliche man, a blind dude and a kid with ducktape.

A little freaked out, I head on over to my favorite tree in Howell, a dear pal of mine. I hear such a loud shriek. Apparently a grave has been disturbed. Freshly packed grass overturned, and a jade necklace dangling from the red splattered cross. The necklace looks weirdly familiar, but I couldn't quite place its owner in my head. I sneak forward to some bushes in order to catch a glimpse of the conversation between the priest and the officer.

"I don't see any signs of digging"
"What are you suggesting Officer Phillips"
"It seems, it se- oh god"
"What? Spit it out already"
"Whoever this is, they must have clawed their way out from the inside."

Without warning, I collapse to the ground, letting the spinning world fade to black. The only thing that seems to wake me up is the excruciating pain radiating from my heels. I scan around the what seems to be a train car, like the true detective I am. It’s dark, illuminated only by the sliver of light filtering through the crack in the door. I can already tell this place is dangerous, and a prolonged stay in this dismal train would be bad news bears. I hear a drip coming from behind me, and slowly rotate to see the cracked fingernails of a hand leaking blood, attached to a man with a well maintained combover.


Sunday, November 6, 2016

Chocolate Bar

I stand there alone, missing the presence the strange man that offered me the elusive coffee in the middle of the water crisis. That is what I was in really, a crisis. Yet somehow that man looked into my eyes with empathy written all over his face, which calmed me in a way. There is at least one person out there who understands. I consider chasing after him, I mean with that cane he couldn't have gotten very far, and he seemed like a man with loads of stories. Perhaps a bit bitter at the world, but interesting nonetheless. So I run. I am running down the winding paths of Howell park, wind billowing in my shirt, skin tingling just enough to make me feel alive, and I search for the only person that has given me any kind of meaningful interaction since I have been here.

That is when I see him, stunning blue eyes producing fat rolling tears cascading down his impossibly high cheek bones. Even though I had seen Sharon cry just about a million times, it was weird to see this man in such a vulnerable state. I figure he probably doesn't want to be bothered at the moment by some random teenage girl, so I head to the gas station in search of some cheap and very satisfying junk food.

I pick out my favorite Cookies and Cream Hershey's bar, and get ready to head home, when I see him pull in to get some gas. Figuring it must be a sign, I go muster up enough courage to make my way to his car.

"Excuse me sir, I would like to just thank you again for the coffee" I yell flagging him down.

"Yeah of course. Seemed like you needed it."

"Oh absolutely, it's been a rough few weeks here. Some really weird things have been happening. Anyways, I came to give you this chocolate bar, because if there is anything that can come close to coffee it's chocolate!"

"That is very kind of you." He almost timidly accepts my chocolate, and I can tell he isn't entirely familiar with other people helping him out.

"Well I am going to go now just to check on my host mom, but it was a pleasure to meet you Mr..."

"Evergreen. Barnabas Evergreen."

"Goodbye Mr. Evergreen." I turn and head to the Victorian with a grin creeping across my face.

Friday, October 28, 2016


By 8:30 the next morning my host mom, Sharon, was pacing frantically throughout the kitchen, making brief pauses only to feel Steve's favorite recliner. That thing was on its last leg, so worn that there were clearly defined marks made by each of Steve's butt cheeks. A knock startles us.
"Oh my word!" Sharon exclaims, clutching her hand over her chest.
"It's him! Oh thank God." I exclaim, throwing the door open unsure what to expect Steve to look like. Would he be disheveled and covered in sweat? Perfectly combed over still? Yet instead of seeing some form of Steve, I am greeted by slightly plump lady with a towering beehive.
"Well hello dear, aren't you just precious. Are your parents home sugar?" Her southern twang is seemingly unreal, matched only by those seen in movies.
"Uh yeah my host mom is here" I manage to mutter back.
"Well I can't hear you through all that mumbling, now can I? Anyways my name is Loretta. I am from Southern Living, and I am here to interview the residents of this fine apartment. I suppose you will do."
"Is it him Rebekah? Is it my Steve?" Sharon shouts still clinging to the recliner.
"No Sharon, just someone here to interview us from Southern Living."
"Unbelievable. Where on Earth could this man possibly be? I have to go find him." Sharon finally detaches herself from the recliner and comes toward me and beehive hair lady. "Oh hello ma'am. Please do come inside. I am just headed out, but Rebekah here can take over."
Everyone calls be Bekah. My name is Bekah.
Beehive lady makes herself right at home, situating herself on the couch with various recording tools and notepads. "Alright dear let's jump right on in. Clearly by your accent, you ain't from round here, so what brings you to the great states of 'Merica?"
"Oh I'm just a foreign exchange student" I shrug trying to keep my answers as short as possible so I can shake off beehive lady. Even though Steve isn't my dad I feel a strange connection to him, enough so that his disappearance shakes me. I twist my pinky ring anticipating her next shallow question.
"What do you like about this town, I mean as opposed to wherever in Europe you're from?"
"Britain. I don't like it here as much. Kind of strange. Weirdly formulaic. Then the pattern breaks and it is confusing."
"Oh dear, I can't say I know exactly what you mean. Formulaic? I guess we can move on to the subject of decor! I notice you guys have quite a homey house. Nice big recliner! What inspired the feel of the house?"
"I couldn't tell you. I have only lived here for a month or so. But if you'll excuse me, I don't mean to be rude but I really must go now," and without even waiting for her over top response, I bust out of there and head for the calming paths of Howell Park.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


I still do not know the name of this city. It is foreign and unfamiliar, despite my living here for three weeks now. My host dad Steve leaves every morning at exactly 7:48 am and returns at 6:17 in order to make his 9-5 job in a "timely fashion." My host family is so set in their routines it is ridiculous, and unlike the unpredictableness of bustling London. At school cliques are preexistent and seemingly very hard to infiltrate, which leaves me utterly alone. In order to pass my time I've taken to walking through Howell park, which is surprisingly picturesque. Large sprawling oaks line cleared pathways leading to a rusty playground, which is perfect for swinging and contemplating life.

I am swinging and wondering how Steve's combover remains perfectly positioned on his head throughout the duration of the day, and conclude that it must be gelled to his scalp when I hear a pop! I jump a little bit in my swing, and turn to see each light go out one by one, like a row of dominoes. An eerie feeling washes over me. Afterall, the park is directly located next to the cemetery, which is filled with looming tombstones casting shadows on the grass. Grabbing my backpack I get the heck out of there.

By the time I am home dinner is on the table. Even though it is the same meal of meatloaf and mashed potatoes served every Tuesday, I am surprisingly relieved by the regularity of its presence. The power outage is a weird change in a very permanent city which scares me somehow. I shake it off and sit down to eat, which is when I notice the emptiness of Steve's seat across from me.
It is 6:32.