Fairy dust excerpt

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“Who? Me?” Elijah turned around suddenly.

“No not you you weirdo. Gabriel.”

“Aren’t they always?” Gabriel sighed. “About dream traveling?”

She nodded. “Your dad says you should practice taking us over now.”

“Okay I’m not tired now though.”

Elijah jumped up. “To Lepidoria?

“Sit down! We’re not going now!” Phillis yelled.

“I was just there. I have to be really tired for it to work,” Gabriel said.

“You know, if you wanna get tired, we could race.”

“You could not,” Phillis said.

“You can be our lookout. If you see someone coming, throw a rock at them.” Elijah laughed.

“No.”

“Okay then we should just go to Lepidoria. Like now. Lemme go get the dust.” Elijah leaped from the couch and scrambled down the hall and up the stairs. Phillis shook her head. “That boy.” Gabriel laughed out loud, causing Phillis to grin. “You two always crack me up,” he said.

“Yeah yeah. He’s a pain in the butt.”

Elijah pranced back into the room, holding a full jar of fairy dust. He struggled to get the lid off, making very dramatic sounds and movements as he twisted it with no success. Phillis grabbed it from him. She couldn’t open it either. “Gabriel?”

He took it, sliding the lid off with ease. “Show off,” Elijah grumbled. He grabbed the jar straight from Gabriel’s hands and then proceeded to dump it on him and his sister.

“Elijah!” Phillis screeched. “What is mom going to say? That’s a whole jar of fairy dust, you know what it takes to get one of those?”

There was glitter in Gabriel’s eyelashes, in his nostrils, giving the room a frosty iridescent sheen. Everything was swimming. He blinked and Phillis sneezed. It powdered her afro like sugar.

“It’s in my ears!’ She howled.

“Okay,” Elijah said calmly. “Now try and go to sleep.”

“What!” She yelled.

“Just listen. It’s magic right? So both of you close your eyes and then try to focus on dream traveling.”

“We don’t even have our wings right now,” Phillis whined.

A monarch and a Luna moth perched lazily on the frame of the tv. Elijah pointed to them.

“So put them on. And try to sleep. C’mon. You want to find Miss Wistfaun right? And Gabriel wants to learn to take us all over?”

Phillis and Gabriel nodded.

“So do it then.”

They summoned their moths and closed their eyes. Gabriel inhaled, breathing in a sprinkling of dust. He felt waves wash over him, tingling in his abdomen, and then…

He opened his eyes to see the Creskince cottage sitting before him.

Phillis + Gabriel + Excerpt

Kiera couldn’t pick her up that day so she took the bus home with him. It was crowded, so they stood shoulder to shoulder and clung to the metal bars to keep their balance. There seemed to be an almost electric sort of happiness running through her. They stood in a mass of grumpy people for thirty minutes and all she could do was grin and bump his shoulder and whisper something about all the fairies she would meet. He nodded now and again, letting his book bag hang loose over his right shoulder. She was chatty and upbeat, but his parents still overwhelmed his thoughts. His mother lost in another land, his father losing himself in his own home. He thought about his own mission, and the secrets that kept him from understanding who he was and where he came from.

“Gabriel?”

Phillis looked at him with her deep eyes. He was so into his thoughts that he didn’t notice until she tugged his sleeve and pulled the cord to request the next stop. She took his sleeve and pushed her way through the crowd towards the back door. They got off and walked down the sidewalk. She let go.

“You good?” she asked.

“Yeah I’m fine. Just thinking.”

They got bubble tea from a painted food truck and then spent the afternoon walking around the city in their uniforms. He was tired and jittery but her smile put him at ease. They walked back towards her house where they found Elijah sunbathing in the grass. It was sunny and shifting to an evening breed of sunlight, but the weather grew crisp and bit at their fingertips.

Phillis swung open the gate and dropped her bookbag next to her brotherś head. She leaned down to look at him.

¨What are you doing, weirdo?¨

He fluttered his eyes lazily. The sparse tendrils of the willow tree danced around him idly. He grinned a crooked grin.

¨Waiting for you losers. Are we going to Lepidoria or what?¨ He sat up, brushing the dead grass off his kneecaps.

a farewell to all i’ve known and never seen

I’d rather be with you

Than stay at home

Rotting in my saturday clothes

I’d rather be more you

Less me

Then we’d all grow up more pleasantly

But forget about who we’ve been

And who I’ll never be

Because somewhere in this wintry world

I have colors not yet seen

I still dream in the third degree

 

So remember me

Not for bursts of melancholy

Or scraps of fantasy

Rotten daydreams

Lush whimsy

The hope of being clean

Not for perceived naivety  

Read my poetry

 

These words ebb in my chest

And spurt forth into mess

 

I’m drifting

Wistful introspection

Before and now

And who I’m hoping to become

 

My heart has moved light years since third grade

So why does it stay in the same place?

I still want the same things

I’m still longing for his wings

 

This sweet sampling of spring pacifies me

How different I feel

To fall asleep to psalms underneath my pillow

Sun warming my window

This season of detachment is ending

As my place here is descending

My heart preparing itself

For impending change

 

Three months and it’s over

It’s over

It’s over

I wish I could have been better

Said more

 

I’d rather be with you

Than stay at home

Rotting in my saturday clothes

I’d rather be more you

Less me

Then we’d all grow up more pleasantly

But forget about who we’ve been

And who I’ll never be

Because somewhere in this wintry world

I have colors not yet seen

 

There is no anger left in this human

No bite

No fight

No girlish blight

I’m here and I’m alright

 

Where the sunlight stops

In the morning glaze

And i dream of freckled shoulder blades

One day I’ll publish a tragedy

Or in some eyes

A masterpiece

Dreams

And inner beings

Unspoken things

Drifting sunbeams

This, now

The first ray of spring

 

I paint watercolor sunflowers

And clair de lune

Drifting off

In this cluttered room

Dreaming of june

Oh dear

I leave, very soon

For now

I’ll forget the future

And roam

In this sweet tune

Golden Shovel warmup

Golden shovel poem

(It takes a line from a published poem and uses one word at the end of each line)

Line taken from Sylvia Plath’s Elm 


A potted plant keeps watch and I

Watch it spill over the windowsill as I am

Wreathed with cattails and terrified

By pond scum and the shadow of this

Misty pond mirrored in the dark

Holding the stars and another thing

The bones of a sleeping queen that

Sits in turquoise film she endlessly sleeps

I jolt my bones i wade in myth in

Her legacy, a legend too cryptic for me

 

Gabriel Wistfaun and excerpt from Mothling

 

He sat on his bed in the dark, staring at the street and the rooftops outside his window. It was quiet and nostalgic. He had been there many times before, crossed legged on his bed in the dead of night. When he was very young he would leave his bedroom to crawl into bed with his parents. Those were the sacred days, the golden age of things that would never again come to be. Where he would huddle in close between the two, his mother lifting him up under the covers beside her. Those nights he watched the ceiling and imagined the water stains were little animals who all lived together on the same planet. When the city sounds drifted in from the outside world and in through the window, his father held his hand at the first tremble of fear.

Beau was younger then. Still baby faced. Softer than he was now, in both cheek and heart. Sometimes Gabriel would sit by the sink and watch him shave in the morning. He let him play with the shaving cream as long as he didn’t make much of a mess. Kalare would come in with her Rapunzel worthy bedhead and green nightgown to kiss them both on the cheek. She’d get shaving cream on her nose and she’d laugh like wind chimes and harp chords. Beau would make a face, but then he’d smile when she wasn’t looking. Gabriel would gaze into his parent’s bathroom mirror, the one that took up the entire wall behind the sink. He was so fascinated by his own reflection and the two contradictions that brought it into being.

He was always at his mother’s hip, tugging on her skirt until she scooped him up to carry him around the house. He’d knot his arms around her neck and refuse to touch the ground. Beau would be the one to pry him from her arms and drag him off to preschool. There were unhappy moments like this, but the sweet nostalgia clouded his ability to remember them as anything but beautiful. He yearned for them now, for youth, warmth, and a time where his father did not so fiercely guard his heart.

He laid back on his pillow to stare at the ceiling.

Beau took him to a planetarium once. He was seven or eight, and he remembered the rare sparkle reflected in his father’s eyes. He wasn’t sure if it was due to the sugary stars projected around them, or rather something deeper glimmering inside of him.

Afterwards they went to the giftshop and Beau bought him a pack of glow in the dark stars to stick on his ceiling. They still sat above him, but the paint wore off long ago and no longer shone.

Smelly Hipsters and Art

I feel like this is the weirdest thing I’ve ever written. But it’s so fun. And it’s only the beginning.

Excerpt:

And from his temple, the hair flowed in a quiet whirlwind of dull blonde, tinged gold at the tips and sprouting brown at the crown. He smelled like an art store and never wore clean pants. His socks were always mismatched, some quirky pattern that was just as confusing as the dull smirk he always flashed at old ladies. He reminded me of a tree during autumn, a tree   that was once used to carve initials into.
That was Arnold. He was a weird kid, much too confident with all of his mismatching features, too confident for a kid who grew up stealing half eaten breakfast sandwiches out of garbage bins. People didn’t know about that, and he’d never tell them. His voice was deeper than you’d expect it to be, his nose rounded and his lips pouted. He wore thin rounded glasses, with thick lenses that made his eyes look a bit too large.
But his smile… Toothy and slightly crooked, could make any heart warm to his features.
I met him for the first time at an art gallery.
I had just graduated college with a creative writing major. It wasn’t a great time for me, I’ll admit. I remember moping around feeling largely unsuccessful and unsure that I would actually succeed in becoming the next J.K. Rowling (a childhood dream that rewarded me many a pitying glances) I was living with my aunt, in a nice three story house near a cemetery in Philly. She was letting me live with her so long as I did all the cleaning and cooking. She was a dreadfully lazy lady, and I wasn’t quite sure what she actually did for a living. My sister always theorized that she was secretly a drug dealer, or some kind of illegal saleswoman, but we just couldn’t see her putting that much effort into making money. She was quite overweight, enjoyed Korean dramas and spaghetti sauce plain. But what could I say? She was letting me live in this grand house with her for minimal payment, so all of these things were fine with me.
At some point after I moved in, I started to get quite depressed. I would lie on the couch and stare at the ceiling until drool passed over my lip. I wouldn’t move until my leg fell asleep and I had to shake away the pins and needles. I’d watch the same tv shows over and over until they all blurred together and I could recite the lines before the characters appeared onscreen. A week went by without showering or brushing my hair. My pitts became forests and my legs grasslands. Still, my aunt said nothing. She came home and patted me on the head, murmured something under her breath and then shut herself in her room to eat ramen and watch the bachelorette.
It was like I was trapped in some sort of lucid dream where I couldn’t move my body, I just saw the world moving around me.
On a rather uneventful Wednesday morning, my aunt must have had enough of something because she burst from her room in a rage. Satin pink night robe clinging to roundness, hair curlers and the like, her face a steaming dumpling.
She barked at me, causing me to lurch from my position on the couch.
“Enough. Shave yourself, put on some nice clothes and go somewhere. I’m not letting you back in the house until you come back with proof that you’ve been out with someone.”
And with that, she picked me up by my arms and dragged me up the steps. It was a pitiful sight, something that I now laugh about.
I moaned that I was tired and useless, and she released me on my carpet.
“You’re young. Curvy and thick as a pear under those ratty old sweatpants. Just go out and explore. Get a man and let him excite you. Then you’ll find something to write about.”
I started to say something about how I was a strong independent woman who don’t need no man, but she shushed me and told me that wasn’t the point.
“Then what is the point.”
“The point is you aren’t some foul deformed creature as I am. You have no reason to be sulking like this, it’s sickening. Don’t get a man then. But go experience something you can write about. Here.”
She shoved an envelope in my face. I opened it to find a ticket to the art museum.
I looked up at her quizzically.
“What?”
“Just go. You’re a writer. Writers like weird things, right? There’s weird things there. Now shower and brush your hair out girl, you’re looking like you got a tumbleweed on your shoulders.”
She left me to continue whatever it was she did during the day. I stared at the ticket, not especially expensive. I could have bought an it myself, but for some reason she went out of her way to go downtown and buy it for me. That meant I had to go. I would feel too guilty otherwise. I needed the change of scenery. I was started to lose myself in this strange eggshell blue mansion.
I showered, shaved, curled my hair and found a black dress and tights. I found some soft brown shoes with bows and an opal ring in my jewelry box. It was the most effort I had put into my appearance in weeks. It also made me realize, wow, I really needed to get a job. I hummed on my way out, slinging a leathery purse over my shoulder and across my hip. Art. That always seemed to awaken me during these dry spells. Perhaps I would get a spark for my first bestseller.
I took the bus and walked several blocks until the famous steps from Rocky were in sight. I watched people run up and down them, laughing and playing the accompanying music on their iPods. I ascended them lightly, nearly hopping. It felt so good to be out, to just see the statue and the large, looming architecture.
I went in, went crazy exploring. I wandered and wandered, taking my time to carefully examine each painting. I found myself more drawn to the works with people. The stranger the better. I have always been enraptured by people, their odd mannerisms and expressions that create enigmas worthy of taking place in my stories. I never cared much for landscapes of mountains or lakes. I wanted to see faces and hearts. I stood in front of the wall, apprehending.
There was a loud voice making comments across the room. I paid it no mind. The voice drew closer, moving behind my back until it stood beside me.
“Hello you strange beautiful girl.”
I blinked, unsure who he was talking to, so I stayed looking at the painting. He cocked his head, as if checking for some kind of physical reaction. He got none.
“You’re into nudity then?”
I looked at him that time, making a face. Yeah. A weird guy with blonde hair and glasses stood beside me. His jeans were so tiny yet they still managed to hang loose on him. They were black and stiff, rolled at the ankle and ripped at the knee. They were covered in pink and yellow paint splatters, and his fingers were black with ink. He was strange to behold, perhaps more than the work in front of me.
“There’s a naked man over there.”
“I’m not looking at that one yet,” I said impatiently.
He looked absolutely delighted that I responded.
“You look like an artist.”
“I’m a writer,” I snapped.
“Oh? Really? Wow. Yeah. That’s cool. You need a muse? I’ll be your muse.”
I shrugged.
“Write about the exciting guy you met at the art museum. A real character he was, that Eggbert Noodleham… He was a seahorse carcass of a man, and still managed to carry that body of an arrogant noodle.”
I did my best not to react, but his words were so unexpected that I ended up giving him another face.
He turned away and was quiet for a few minutes before he leapt back into conversation.
“Actually, my name is Arnold.
You are?”
He stuck out his hand. His fingers were twiggy and held little knicks around the short fingernails and pink knuckles. He wore a gold ring on his awkward, jutting thumb.
I stared at his hand, and then his odd grey-blue eyes behind the fishbowl frames. I took it, as one might take a jar of worms a child has excitedly handed their squeamish mother.
“Odette,” I said.
“Like swan lake?” He sounded so excited.
“I guess so.”
“How grand of your parents! You know what?”
“What.”
“I bet you’re here looking for something to write about.”
He did a dramatic wink.
“Uhh… Sure?”
“If you don’t want to write about me… You should come to my art club. There’s a lot more muse worthy people there.”
He reached into his pocket and pulled out a small index card. He held it out as if it were a rose. I plucked it from his hand, narrowing my eyes.
It read:


You are invited to attend
Whimsical illustrators Together
WIT!
Pst. Address on the back

I looked at the messy handwriting and then up at the beaming face.
“We meet on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at four. Come sometime.”
And with that, he walked away with a certain bounce to his step that caught glances from haggard looking adults clustered in the gallery.
I blinked, still holding the card.
I met someone, and now I wanted to go back inside and not meet people ever again.

distance

Doesn’t it hurt?

More in the morning or more at night?

How often will you mock me

You know you are different from me

But you don’t care to love anything too different from you

You will say it’s my fault

For being so strange

I’ll say it’s yours

For being so vain

Either way

Your tongue can’t be tamed

 

Where did you come from

And what do you mean?

I was born in the frost

kept in an isolation chamber for a week

For the first week of my life

No one held me

Coming into the real world almost killed me

So I guess that explains things

 

As a kid

I was the same as I am now

Only different

I always had to be different

 

I was tutus and dancing in the living room for hours

I was writing novels with glitter glue under the covers

Up all night every night

Playing barbies on the carpet

Building houses in the spaces between the drawers

My sister fell asleep on my bunk bed

Before we were ever finished playing

Two little bodies pressed together

Dreaming under the glow in the dark stars

We made worlds

With dolls and pillows

And late night whispers

She says she doesn’t want to dwell on the past

So ewe don’t talk about these things anymore

 

With age, growth

With time, decay

I’m sorry

I’m sorry

I can’t dream it away

 

For all the souls I’ve grown cold to

For all the people I’ve never known too

For me and my stupid head

For all the things I never said

For love I never told

For this heart that refuses to grow old

 

I have been here so long

I’ve heard many secrets

And seen many people

My father tells me that there are two kinds of people

Talkers and listeners

Every talker needs a listener

So people like us

We’re good for something

 

I’m sorry that it’s pretend

That I’m dreadfully human

And not as sweet as I speak

Jittery from too much tea

Poised to breath

Songs and dreams

It’s too much to bear

The hearts here

I know how he feels now

It hurts, doesn’t it?

 

I’ll take it with a swathe of dream dust

A pouch of iridescent powder

It won’t make me feel any better

I miss you already

 

Routine is essential

But chaos is creative

Disorder is human nature

Still

It doesn’t feel right here

Listen

I’m kind

But I’m not blind

And I’m done letting it pass by