Vignette #33 “Listen to Yourself”

Life is not for the weak.

That much I have come to know.

It will pull you. It will push.

Life is hard. Living, though, makes it worth it.

It’s about the extra bit of cream you put in the coffee that was bitter from the start. It’s about the light hearted movie you watch instead of typing the report that night. It’s about taking a little time to sleep in even though the sun is glaring on your face. It’s about the friends and family that are there to hold you close when winter winds blow and bills demand attention and the work never seems to end.

If you need a break. You take a break. That’s it. In whatever shape or way you choose.

Life is not for the weak.

It will pull you. It will push. It will drag you down to the darkest depths of the ocean and bring you so high out of the atmosphere that breath is no longer an option.

But breathe you must. Because you are alive and therefore you are not weak.

You are strong.

So listen to yourself and when you need to breathe… take that break and breathe.

Otherwise
you
will
break……

Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

©2020 Jai Lynn

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“Wildfire”

“I’ll be right back.”
you said.

I hadn’t seen you
almost all day.

(like you were avoiding me…)

Yesterday
I had been
your world.

(did you know I had something to tell you,
something I needed you to know…)

I had to talk to you
even if just
for one
minute.

(did you mean to leave me behind?)

They say
if they want you
you will know.

(did I misread the signs?)

I was wrong,
I guess.

(I just saw what I wanted to see…)

But you
could have been
upfront.

Why
did
you
lie?

(“I’ll be right back.”)

Baby, I’m not
a back burner
kind of girl.

(“I’ll be right back.”)

I’m the fire
in the woods
that will
burn
the
world
down.

You’ll come back,
and I won’t be here.
But every
charred sight
you see,
every
ash
left behind
will remind
you
of
me.

Photo by Zoltan Tasi on Unsplash

©2020 Jai Lynn

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“Red Cardinal, Black Feather”

Red cardinal,
black feather,
storm clouds,
sunny weather.

Nerves of steel,
back straight.
They may laugh
but it’s too late.

Red cardinal,
black feather,
broken bones,
red strings sever.

Feelings high,
the rest low.
Queen’s don’t always
dress in gold.

Red cardinal,
black feather,
heart of ice
with a liquid center.

So many
broken bones…
and children laughing,
throwing stones.

Red cardinal,
black feather.
Lopsided crown
never looked better.

She’s too good
for this world.
Straightened rose glasses
from a vision once twirled.

Red cardinal,
black feather.
She decides
to be better.

Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

©2020 Jai Lynn

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“Heartbreak Boy”

Shutters closed,
floors bare,
dark house,
your kingdom of despair.

Halogen lights
watermelon rinds
your real kingdom
has straight lines.

Two sides,
two yous
one heart
shaded in dark blues.

It’s so obvious
to those who care.
Your soul’s in need
of desperate repair.

Tired eyes,
silent cries
you are
dead inside.

(Why don’t you change?)

(How do I fix you?)

(I shouldn’t have to fix you.)

When
will
you
realize?

Photo by Rich Smith on Unsplash

©2020 Jai Lynn

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“Where Is the Eye?”

I thought
I could handle
it
when I wished
for you.

I just
wanted a friend.
Someone
to be around.
Someone
to hold onto.

It didn’t matter
if you liked
me back.
I just thought
being near you
would be enough.

And it was…
for a bit.

Who knew
feelings
of a drizzle
could grow
into the rain
of a storm
that would spin
and spin
and pour
and pour
until I realized
all my thoughts
were drenched with
you.

I was naive.

My heart
can’t handle
this hurricane.

And you
have no idea
that I’m drowning.

Photo by Shashank Sahay on Unsplash

©2020 Jai Lynn

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Flash Fiction- “Deja Vu”

I saw you first. That was usually the case.

But I thought it would be better if it was the other way around. Maybe then that would change things. I did believe everything happened for a reason. Even if I didn’t understand why.

Your back was to me. Again, as familiar as my own hand. Too tall, too skinny that’s what my mother usually said when she saw us together. But you had always been higher off the ground than me, and always thinner than a reed blowing off the wind from the ocean. At least for as long as I’d known you.

“I had a dream last night.”

You turned around immediately at the sound of my voice, your eyes finding me and following till I was standing right next to you. “Oh, really?” I couldn’t remember the last time we greeted each other properly, maybe it had only been that first time we met years ago.

“Yeah… you were in it.” Walking down the boardwalk everything looked the same. The bumper cars were bashing in the background and the kids were screaming from the mini roller coaster that didn’t tip upside down. How we wished it would tip upside down.

By flinging your hands in your pockets I knew you were going to go along with whatever game I was playing. The joke was there was no game. But I didn’t know how else to say it. It was quiet until you filled in with “Did I do something weird?”

I grabbed your arm and pulled us over to the line for the ice cream stand. You didn’t protest, which I considered a victory. “Not particularly.”

“Then what?” We stepped together as the line moved.

“Well… I guess you did say something weird.”

“What did I say?”

It was our turn next to order. I wished the line had been a little longer, and the previous orders more complicated. But, how complex could it get when there were only four flavors to choose from. They changed everyday but you never knew what you were going to get. “In the dream we were at the boardwalk, and we were getting ice cream just like this.”

You pushed your sunglasses off your face and gave me a good long look. “What did I order?”

“Butterscotch.” I smiled. “And I got mint.” Our turn now.

Pistachio. Mint. Vanilla. Butterscotch. Those were the choices.

I swallowed slowly. “See.”

The girl at the counter smiled. “What can I get you?” She looked very happy, but I felt a little worried.

Then you said it. “Butterscotch.”

“Pistachio. Please.” I said instead. I knew you were confused. Well. I had a reason. “Just go with me. I’ll explain.”

“What did I say to you in this dream?”

“Something awful.”

The girl came back a moment later with our ice cream. I didn’t try to fill the silence. Neither did you. So the counter girl said “$4.44 please.”

You paid, slapping down the money before I could even reach into my pocket. “I got this.” I know you do. Taking a big bite off the top of my cone I turned away. This time you were following my back, and I led you down the slope to the beach. “Don’t you want to eat at our table?” Your voice was out of breath, probably because it was hot and I had just power walked the long stretch to the ocean on adrenaline alone.

“Not today.” If I could change as much as I could then that would help. At least I thought so. My ice cream was already halfway gone. Yours looked pretty much untouched. It was even starting to drip onto the sand. The water was easier to look at. I looked so far the ocean and the sky were one. I knew you were waiting for me to say something.

“In the dream we were sitting at our table and you told me-” but I never finished the sentence. A piercing scream rose from the ocean and there was only enough time for us both to glance at the little blond head that disappeared under the waves. Our boardwalk was so small there was never a regular life guard on Sundays. That didn’t stop people from swimming.

“Darien!” It was my turn to scream, but your ice cream had already fallen to the sand.

“I have to go.” And my heart lurched. No. No. No. “She’ll drown.” No. She won’t.

By the time I moved to go after you, you were already in the waves and no matter how fast I ran I couldn’t catch up. You just got further and further away…

“No!” I yelled. “You will.” But it was useless, and then the water swallowed you whole. This time it had been the waves. They reached you quicker than I could. And then the little girl was next to me.

“He didn’t even say goodbye.” she said. I brought my fist to her face but then, my eyes blinked open. I was awake and the beach was gone. It was my bedroom.

And I was alone.

Every night this happens. Every dream feels real. No matter how I change the scenario you still always go.

It’s just a dream… and I know you’re right next door. The universe though won’t stop showing me how with each and every nightmare it’s like seeing you for the last time.

Photo by Heather Barnes on Unsplash

©2020 Jai Lynn

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