I require your assistance, and for this I require you to remain in the state that you are currently: delusional.
By no fault of your own. Not a fault at all, in fact. True sight is dangerous. To discern is to die. Do you see the complexity of the situation? You must see enough to comprehend metaphor, but you cannot believe what you see. You must realise the truth, but only in the capacity of falsity. The first step is to recognise it. For instance:
There are not words.
I do not exist.
I am here only because you think I should be, and if you believed those words then I would no longer be here now; there would only be you. But you did not, and that is good. That is what I require from you: perception in disbelief. It is not the sight that will blind you, but the belief. You must assume against your better judgement. You must see through the eyes of a sceptic. Continue Reading
Dear mom and dad,
I hate it here at Camp Wynnaquett. I really, really do. I hate it more now than I did in my last letter to you. Please come and get me, I want to go home. It’s not just the other boys picking on me anymore. Scary people are hurting kids and camp counselors too. Some of the counselors are gone. Like missing gone, not just not hear gone. No one knows where they are and that made everybody even more scared.
And I hurt my leg. Yesterday while swimming in the lake someone bit me on my left leg. I felt someone’s hand grab my foot and then he bite me. The counselors said I imagined it. The grab, not the bite. Someone really did bite me, honest. But the counselors said it was just a turtle bite. They said it wasn’t really that bad and they put bandages on me but it still hurts lots. They said I was just scared of the stories the older boys were telling about Timmy Swanson and that I just imagined someone grabbing me, but that’s not it. Really it’s not. Also, I think the camp counselors were lying when they said that. I saw them look at each other after looking at my leg and they looked scared. Later I heard Matt, the nice counselor I told you about, say that it sure wasn’t any turtle that bit me but Randy, the head camp counselor told him to be quiet. Continue Reading
You saw it coming, the clouds of gray over the horizon, massive fortresses in the sky. The neighbors shrugged and said it was merely a storm brewing, then took their potted plants inside. But what storm brews like that?
Smart thing to do is hunker down at home, board up the windows, triple-lock the doors. And that’s exactly what you do, because God knows it doesn’t look good. The dogs whine and scratch at the doors, but you’ll be damned if you let anyone go outside. All Hell is going to break loose. While there’s water to be had, you fill up water bottles. The lighting dims. Damn lights are going to go out, so you gather a flashlight and batteries, and as an afterthought, grab the gun from the attic. After setting up the dusty old thing you call a TV, you sit down on the couch in front of it. The signal is messed up; screen’s fuzzy around the edges. You smack the TV upside the head to clear things, but it only becomes worse as the minutes roll on by.
Then everything shudders. Continue Reading
Perhaps I would have believed the stories had it been a pomegranate, and not an apple. An apple was an apple. A pomegranate, however, was desire. Each seed bright and pure and sweet, running red like blood into your mouth with every bite, that hint of bitterness that followed.
Knowledge was always bitter. Even when it was sweet.
I stared at the mists swirling across the window pane. Each evening they came and each morning they left with no trace save the taste on my tongue. The sunlight could not keep me inside, and neither could the moon-glow. The mists could.
I had tried, the first night, to go back. I had braved the mists and kept walking — into the shadows and towards the soft lights that glimmered just that one step across the boundary. And I had made it.
But the wind smelled of marsh grass instead of water lilies and the trees glowed from without and not within. Even the light was too bright, too false and cheery, as if seen through a silver mirror. The light hurt my eyes and the memories hurt my heart.
I did not again go back.
© Rachel Faye Lipsy
Rachel is a recent college graduate currently working part-time for a “green” production company. She also works for a program that teaches elementary school students about science by giving them marbles and cardboard ramps and styrofoam balls to play with. She will read anything that doesn’t run away fast enough. Her fiction work has appeared in Depth magazine.