The Reckless Sick (Anywhere But Here)

“Are you crazy? I’m not staying here that long!” Harla protested at the unfavorable news.

“Sweetie, calm down. People can hear us.” Margaret was always worried about reputation and the impression her family left on others.

“Oh, my God. I don’t care if people can hear me, I’m in a freakin hospital. If we go home now, we’ll never have to see anyone here again.”

“Harla, we’re not going home. You have a problem, ok? You’re sick.”

It shocked Harla to hear her father raise his voice to her even if it was slight, he was usually so quiet and often avoided arguments. But this was different, she deceived them. She hurt not only herself but those closest to her and to his chagrin, she didn’t seem to care. Who was she? He felt as though he didn’t know her anymore. Maybe he never did.

“Dad, I’m fine. I promise to keep it under control from now on.”

“Under control? Do you even recognize yourself? Because I don’t.” He glared at her in complete disbelief before walking away.

“Dad?”

“It’s just hard for him to see you like this, sweetie. You could be more compassionate to his feelings after all you put him through.” Margaret stood silent, studying her daughter’s frail state. She blamed herself. How could she not notice such drastic changes in her daughter’s attitude and form. Anyone on the outside looking in might gather that she hardly cared enough to know what was going on in her own home. She decided she had to fix her family. “I’ll talk to him, you just relax, dear. And please eat something.”

It was difficult for Harla to feel empathy for very long when everyone kept telling her to eat. Is it really a sickness if you have control over it? Does she have control? She was starting to believe her parents might be right which was a dangerous thing to admit in her mind. No. No! She’s not sick. She wouldn’t admit to anyone, especially not herself.

Suddenly, she noticed something. She looked around the room and realized she was alone again. Well, if she was going to be stuck in this godforsaken hospital, she might as well explore further outside her room than she was able to yesterday. She stealthily snuck on the other side of her door and past the nurses, as if they cared enough to pay attention to patients walking around aimlessly. They weren’t her babysitters. Her sly maneuvers were unnecessary but still, she felt as though her parents would pop out of any corner and ruin her moment of short-lived freedom. She walked along the halls swiftly unsure of what it was she searched for. If she found a door that led to the outside world, that wouldn’t be so bad. And now that she wore actual decent clothing, she would fit right in with the everyone else. Just as she spotted the elevators and started towards them, a nurse darted around the corner and sped past her pushing a child in a wheelchair causing Harla to back up abruptly and bump into yet another person.

Will not a day go by that I don’t bump into somebody in these wretched, white halls? She thought to herself.

“Sorry, I’m a known clutz in these halls,” she explained before turning to face the person she backed into and immediately recognized him as the original boy she bumped into just the day before. “Oh, my God, again? I’m really sorry.”

“Hey, it’s cool. Look, no chips. We’re good,” he said with a cute chuckle, holding his hands up on display.

“Why are you still in your hospital gown?”

“It’s comfy. No, I’m still recovering from surgery and it’s really hard for me to dress and undress myself. Then the family wants to help and it’s just a nightmare.”

“Gotcha. Wow, surgery. That’s serious.”

“Nah, not really. I get out of here in a week. What about you?”

“My parents are making me stay here for another three days.”

“That’s not so bad. Where are you headed?”

“Trying to escape,” she admitted with her eyes on the elevators.

“Already? Damn, you’re impatient. How about I show you around and you won’t cause a panic from being M.I.A.?”

She shot another glance at the elevator door as it closed and sighed softly. “Sure, exploring a hospital sounds fun,” she spoke in a sarcastic tone.

“Eh, it’s no rave but it beats lying in bed all day.”

After an hour of Levi showing her the entire pediatrics ward and introducing her to some of the other teens admitted there, he walked her back to her room where her parents paced frantically fearing the worst.

“Harla! Are you crazy? You can’t just up and leave every time we walk away. You were gone so long this time, I had the whole hospital searching for you,” Margaret scolded dramatically until she saw Levi walk up next to her daughter. “Who is this? A new friend?”

“Yes, and you’ve already done an awesome job at embarrassing me in front of him so thank you for that, Mom.”

“I’m sorry, ma’am. I was just showing her around and we lost track of time.”

“Well, you’re very polite. Maybe some of your good manners will rub off on Harla.”

“All right, we’re done here. Bye, Levi.” With that, Harla closed her room door on him before he could respond. Then she turned to her mom in disapproval. “That was thoroughly humiliating.”

“Harla, that was extremely rude. That poor boy was so nice to you and you just slammed the door in his face. Well, there goes your only chance at a good friend. I mean, my god.”

“Dial down the exaggeration, Mom, he’ll be back. Where else is he gonna go, honestly?”

The next day was slightly more tolerable for Harla since her parents had to go back to work. They were reluctant to leave her alone in the hospital but the nurse assured them she would be fine. Margaret tussled with the idea as if she had the choice to stay but finally she left and Harla was instantly relieved. She roamed the halls freely uncertain of where to go.

Anywhere but here please.

Surprisingly she didn’t see Levi and she wondered if her mother was actually right about driving him away with her unpleasant attitude. She rolled her eyes at the very notion of her mother’s dramatization of the situation being even remotely accurate. As luck would have it, she returned to her room to find a piece of paper taped to the wall by her bed with a note scribbled on it.

Meet me on the roof after dinner and bring snacks. You owe me. – Levi

She smiled as she read the note. It was early and she found herself counting down the hours until dinner for the first time ever. After she ate a few bites of meatloaf and mashed potatoes, she grabbed a few bags of chips and cookies from the snack machine and raced to the roof. Her mom was right about one thing, he was her only chance at friendship right now and she’s never had a real friend before. She tried not to pity herself as she opened the large door leading to the roof. She felt a cool breeze blow through her tiny figure as the door swung open and her first sight was Levi sitting up against the wall watching the sun set in the distance.

Little Fairies (Part 4)

His eyes wandered about her as if to learn who she had become since he last saw her. She used to be this carefree being, fun and full of passion, but now she was cautious and guarded. Easton’s disappearance had turned her into something she wasn’t and Charlie was strangely determined to get the old Nixie back. Why did it matter to him? She was right, they barely knew each other but that wouldn’t stop him from trying. He couldn’t shake the overwhelming feeling of being responsible for her since it was his best friend who loved her and left her. But more than that, he needed her to believe that Easton wasn’t a bad guy, that he wouldn’t just abandon them so suddenly without a reason.

“What? Why are you looking at me like that?”

“Like what?”

“I don’t know, like you just realized you don’t know me.”

“I don’t. You’re different now.”

“Is that bad?”

“I don’t know yet. But I kinda miss the old you who used to do cartwheels in the sand in your underwear and then complain about sand in your bra-”

“So I would skinny dip in the ocean. I remember those nights.” She passed the joint to him and he inhaled deep then exhaled softly, sending out a smooth stream of smoke that hit the windshield and floated back in their faces just before seeping out of the cracks of the slightly opened windows.

“Do something. Something crazy that would wake her up again and shock the shit out of me.”

“Like what?”

“If I tell you what to do then you wouldn’t be surprising me.”

“Can’t we just chill?”

“Where’s the fun in that?”

She sighed with smoke spilling from her mouth and nose as she contemplated her next move. She couldn’t resist his charming smile, it completely captivated her attention. The radio was playing quietly and a song from her past filled the space between them with its low bass and fast beat. A smile creeped along her face and she took a long hard drag before exiting the car. “Turn it up!” She yelled from in front of the car.

He turned the volume up pretty loud and his lowlights on to see her better with. He couldn’t hide the smile that spread across his face as he watched her body move to the beat of the blaring music. She was good, too good. He never knew she could dance to hip hop, it wasn’t exactly their favorite genre to listen to with the group but this was an old school tune so she must have learned it before they ever met.

Every move was perfect like they were engraved into her brain and her body was a mere puppet being manipulated by a skilled hand. Soon the song ended but she didn’t come back inside the car. As a slow song played next, she continued dancing in a more sensual way with her hips swaying seductively and her hair flowing in the cool breeze. She removed the jacket her mother cautioned her to wear, slowly sliding it off her arms and onto the ground. It was then that Charlie noticed she wasn’t wearing a bra as he caught sight of her nipples hardening in the coolness of the night air. He quickly looked away reminding himself that she wasn’t his to look at. But he was high and she was still dancing and he could feel his self control growing weaker with every passing second. He laid eyes on her again, watching her feel the music with her soft curves. He was a stone statue sitting there ogling a girl who wasn’t meant for him. His smile faded and desire took its place as he licked his lips wanting more of something he couldn’t have. He fought the urge to grab her with all his might until his brain was compromised by lustful thoughts and overpowered by a strong stirring deep inside of him.

“Fuck it.” He said to himself in a low groan and stepped out of the car faster than he could contemplate his actions. He sauntered to her and met her promiscuous smile with his own hungry smirk. He didn’t utter a word, he only grasped her waist and pulled her into him. She threw her arms over his shoulders and tickled the back of his neck with lingering fingers. He leaned in close but stopped before touching his lips to hers.

“Charlie,” she whispered his name like it was all he needed to hear to taste her lips.

Instead, it did the exact opposite. He pulled away and shook his head trying to wake up from the daze she held him in.

“What’s wrong?” She was confused, nothing had happened but he was upset, guilty even.

“You’re not mine, that’s what’s wrong. We should go.”

“No, I don’t want to go home.”

“Get in the car, Nix.”

“No. It’s not your job to worry about me. You’re right, I’m not yours but I’m not his either. He left, he’s gone. I’m allowed to move on.”

“So why haven’t you? You’re stuck in this state of sadness. I see you moping around the halls, getting high in between classes and hanging out with jerks like Trevor. It’s like you’re not even real anymore, you’re a freakin’ ghost.”

“So, what are you doing with me right now? Trying to fix me? To save me from myself?”

“No! I don’t know. Yes. Is it so wrong that I want to help you be you again?”

“If you’re doing it for him, then yes. Wake up, Charlie. He’s gone.”

“He’ll be back, trust me.”

“Oh, my God. You’re the one that needs to move on, not me. He’s not coming back. You need to know that.”

“He wasn’t supposed to leave without us. We had a plan and he wrecked it all. All we had to do was graduate and then we could go anywhere. It doesn’t make sense that he would just leave us behind like he did. He’ll be back, I know it.”

“Excuse me if I don’t share in your wishful thinking but he broke my heart so I’m done talking about him. We were having fun before we started arguing about.. him.”

“Easton. What, are you afraid to say his name?”

“I hope he doesn’t come back and then we won’t have to explain to him why your hand was on my ass a minute ago.”

“Good God, you’re insufferable. Just get in the car so I can take you home already.”

“We’re not that far, I’ll walk.”

“You’re not walking. Get in.”

Nixie didn’t have the patience to argue anymore and she wasn’t waiting for him to grow a pair of balls and kiss her the way he wanted to before he gained a conscience. She grabbed his arm and pushed him up against the car with her full lips, holding him there longer with her soft tongue exploring his mouth. He didn’t fight it, he couldn’t. He wanted it just as badly as she did, maybe even more. Of course he wanted it more, she was a sight dancing provocatively for him in a tiny, see-through tank and itty bitty shorts. He wondered if she skipped out on wearing panties too but he battled with the urge to slip his fingers under her jean shorts to find out. Just then, she pressed her chest against his so he could feel her hard nipples poking him softly through his shirt. She was really nudging him past the point of no return and he needed to intervene quickly before he crossed that invisible line that couldn’t be ignored for too long.

It was too late. She moaned softly in his mouth and he lost the strength to hold back. He lifted her by the thighs and squeezed them tightly in his firm grip. She wasn’t some stick-skinny girl, she had a great body with luscious curves and he loved that about her. For a thin frame, she had thick thighs and a juicy ass that he couldn’t wait to bite into but he told himself he wouldn’t let it get that far since she was only fifteen.

Fifteen, fuck! He dropped her to her feet and turned to open the car door for her, then he looked at her and said, “It’s late. Let me get you home.”

“Are you serious?”

“Dead serious.”

“Fine.” She slipped into the passenger’s seat and crossed her arms over her chest.

Suddenly, she was quite aware that her nipples were visible through her shirt and she felt ashamed for throwing herself at someone who didn’t seem to want her. He picked up her jacket from the ground and brought it to her so she could cover herself back up.

What has gotten into her? She never threw herself at Trevor after all the times he tried something. So why was she all over Charlie? Besides his soft lips and blue-grey eyes, his strong arms that could lift her up with one swoop and his sexy smile that held her gaze, he was just a guy like all the rest. There’s nothing special about him. She kept feeding herself that same line the entire drive home but no matter how many times she recited it in her mind, it didn’t stop her from seeing him in a different light than the rest of them. He was different and she couldn’t fight her attraction to him.

Only The Wild

This is an erotic excerpt from my unpublished work called, Only The Wild. I hope you all enjoy.

 

He plucks the flower and offers it to me with a charming smile. I breathe in its sweet aroma and place it carefully in my hair. A lock of my hair falls over my face and he brushes it behind my ear. I silently wish for a kiss and he studies my face as if he can read the words off my lips. He gives me a soft, long kiss and my hand travels through his hair.

“I missed you,” he whispers on my lips.

“I needed to see you,” I admit with slight desperation.

“I’m here. I’m always waiting for you.”

We always meet somewhere new and spend hours talking and holding hands. He tells me things that would break a normal heart which leads me to believe he’s no ordinary soul. He doesn’t seem to be one who would hold back or take his time on anything but that’s what he did with me. In his stories, he’s reckless and chaotic but with me he’s a different person. I can’t tell if he’s cautiously waiting to trust me or if he’s genuinely taking it slow.

Our first kiss was like a scene from a movie. He took me to the lake and we reminisced about how we first met. He held me in the steady water under the stars. He leaned in and I thought he would finally kiss me, but he didn’t and I realized, he was scared. He was scared I would leave him like everyone else in his life. He only touched his forehead to mine and closed his eyes. I held his hand to my heart so he could feel it race from his touch. His eyes were fixed on mine when suddenly we felt the pitter patter of soft raindrops splashing on our skin. We looked around and smiled at our luck.

“We’re already wet,” I stated the silver lining.

It was as if I spoke his life’s motto that no other person has ever quite understood. “You’re something out of a dream,” he said with a grin and leaned in once more, this time with purpose. His kiss was strong as if to make up for lost time. His lips indulged in a craving he denied himself for far too long. As the rain continued to fall, we were swept up in the magic of that moment.

I’ve never had a first kiss quite like that and they only get better. Every kiss from his lips is a thrill and I lose all inhibitions. As the memory of that night envelops my senses, I utter, “Take me away.” Just as the words spill out, he lifts me up and kisses me harder. My legs wrap around him and a car horn honks as it passes us.

“Not here, come with me.” He drops me gently on my feet and takes my hand. We race off just a few blocks down the street and into the woods where we stop in front of a rustic, little cabin.

“This is your place?”

“Mhmm,” he barely speaks as he opens the door and pulls me inside.

He presses his lips against mine, kicking the door closed behind us. He leads me into his bedroom where he stops and kisses me wildly. There’s a heat between us that can’t be contained. We melt into each other on the bed as our clothes slip off our bodies. He kisses me all over and I moan softly. His touch is sensual and strong. He takes his time exploring my body with every passion-filled second. I’ve never made love in such a way that satisfied every inch of my skin. His hands grope along the smoothness of my back, moving to my sides and over my breasts. His tongue tastes every part of me and his eyes watch my every move intently as if he refuses to miss even the slightest second of pleasure written on my face.

The way he stares at me with such hunger while his face is buried between my thighs has me wondering how long he’s been starving for a closeness like ours. His warm breath stimulates my senses and clouds my thoughts as I moan louder for him. He reaches his hand past my stomach to grab my breast and my legs involuntarily clasp his head tight from the intensely satisfying sensation brought on by his skillful tongue. He grasps my knees in an instant and spreads my legs apart, forcing me to revel in the excitement of pure euphoria. My hands find their way to his head and he holds them in his while the green hue in his irises grow. I pull him over me, my delicate hands still in his strong grasp and he hovers for a mere second before sliding his entire length inside of me. He wraps his hands around my dainty wrists and softly pins my arms down over my head, then he glides his hands down my arms and sides. They travel my skin like a map leading him to my heart. He cups my breasts and buries his face in them, licking each nipple as he pulls out slowly and pushes back in a little faster. With each thrust, he slides quicker and deeper, working me to the sound of my moans. His stare alone is electrifying and I ask myself if this is still a dream as his touch and this pleasure feel incredibly real.

He lifts himself up caressing his hands underneath my legs and stretches them over his chest, resting them on his shoulders while his hand sneaks between my thighs and his thumb rubs gently against my clit. A combination that brought me close to climax and caused my legs to quiver. He could see it on my face, though I’m sure my loud screams gave way to my near orgasmic release and he grinned with self pride just before he dropped my legs, spreading them open and crawling over my trembling body to kiss my supple lips. He continued thrusting roughly now using the headboard as a clutch, biting his lip while watching my breasts bounce. He couldn’t hold back much longer and groaned deep as we climaxed together. He fell on top of me and rolled off, careful not to crush my weary body but his fingers still felt along my curves and soon were lost in my black hair.

The passion didn’t end with the sex. He held me naked for hours while we talked and laughed. He continued kissing my neck and shoulder while we shared our stories. I turned on my side to look into his golden hazel eyes and was utterly entranced by the green specks in them as he stared back.

“You’re my only, Dani,” he paused as he laced his fingers with mine. “When someone finds their only, they’re connected to that person. The connection doesn’t break or fade. It’s forever, we’re forever.”

“I’ll never lose you?”

“Never.” His tone changed from serious to playfully romantic as he started kissing me all over. “My favorite spots to kiss on you are the random freckles I find. They’re hidden everywhere, like here.” He kissed my neck. “Here and here.” He kissed two on my back; one on my shoulder blade and one on my lower back. “And here.” He kissed one on my hip. “And my personal favorite.” He moved slowly down and said, “Here.” He breathed sensually as he kissed my inner thigh. I trembled with every rousing kiss.

He was incredible in every way, I didn’t want the night to end. I fell asleep in his arms and I didn’t dream up a thing. It was utopian.

Little Fairies (Part 3)

Nixie rolled another blunt and placed it between her lips, reaching over Trevor for the lighter. He awkwardly smelled her as her hair lightly feathered his face and she gave him a look that said, “No way in hell.” He backed off and waited as she took a couple puffs but to his vexation, she never passed it to him as proper weed etiquette would have it.

“Puff puff pass, baby. It’s my turn.”

“Huh? Oh, this isn’t for you.”

“But we’re sharing.”

“We were and now we’re not.”

“Why are you such a bitch all the time?”

“Why are you such an asshole?” She looked at him like she might just throat punch him for daring to speak to her that way. Truthfully, she considered it but fortunately for him, the pot was doing an excellent job at calming her mind and she was ready to leave before he could ruin her much needed high. She took an arrogantly long puff just to tease the aggravated boy staring back at her. She took it a step further by blowing her smoke in his face with a brazen smirk just before standing to her feet and walking away, leaving him all alone on the beach with no girl and no weed.

“Where are you going? I drove you here.”

“I can walk, thanks. Enjoy your sober night.”

She trudged across the sandy beach floor and found the street in a matter of minutes. Walking home wasn’t her ideal method of commute but she would find it more tolerable than rounding up the others and enduring the car ride listening to their lips smacking and incessant giggling. It’s not like she couldn’t let loose and have fun too, she just didn’t mix well with this group and the last time she ran wild along the beach with them, she met her match in Easton. He got her, and nobody ever gets her. And then he left without so much as a goodbye. Oh well, that’s what men do, they leave.

As she walked home remembering her sad past and smirking at how ridiculous it sounded to be in high school and to have a “past,” a car pulled up beside her with the brights on showing no end to the road ahead. She stopped and looked inside the window that was already rolled down.

“Need a ride?” A boy asked from inside.

“Maybe.”

“You don’t have to be difficult, Nix. Just get in.”

She froze involuntarily at the sound of her nickname spilling from another boy’s lips. Her mind flashed back to a time when Easton was the only one who called her that.

***

They lay on his bedroom floor dreaming of their future together. It didn’t matter that she was only fifteen and he was barely seventeen, that didn’t stop them from making plans to run away and forget this place ever existed to them.

“I’m going to save you from this life, Nix. You don’t belong here and this town doesn’t deserve you. I’ll give you more someday, I promise.”

“Why do I believe you?”

“Because you’re the only person I never lie to.” He leaned into her and kissed her like no boy has ever kissed her. She knew this was the passion that most girls had to wait years before tasting yet here it was smeared on her lips and pressed against her chest because Easton kissed with his whole body.

***

“You getting in or not?” The boy asked, once again interrupting her thoughts.

She slipped out of her trance and into his car. It was strangely clean for a teenage boy’s car which gave her the impression that it actually belonged to his parents.

“Mystic Lane, right?”

“How do you know where I live?”

“Relax, Nix, it’s me. I’m not exactly a stranger. Besides, I don’t know which house is yours, just the street.”

“Why are talking to me like you know me so well?”

“Really? Do you not remember that we used to hang out all the time or did those memories disappear when he did?”

“What? Why would you bring him up like that?”

“Jesus, you’re so on edge. I’m allowed to talk about him. You’re not the only one he left behind.”

“Charlie, that’s right. I forgot-”

“Forgot what? That he had a best friend outside of your little shared world?”

“Ok, I’m sorry. Do you want me to get out? I can walk, I don’t really care.”

“No, don’t be stupid.”

“Why are you so annoyed with me? I’ve barely said anything.”

“It’s been three months. When are you going to join the rest of us in reality?”

He was entirely too serious and she wasn’t high enough for this surprise confrontation. “Do you care if I smoke in here?”

“Of course not. Remember when we used to hotbox in here?” He asked with a laugh. His face turned serious though and he added, “Shit, it’s like you’re not even you without him.”

“Can you stop bringing him up, please?”

He pulled up to a stop sign and looked directly at her, “Do you have to be home right now?”

“Nope, just have nowhere else to be.”

“Well, now you do.” He turned the car around just as they reached her street and suddenly she knew where he was taking her.

She locked eyes with his and smiled with a look that said, “I remember.” Then she slipped the joint between his lips just like the old days when their group would smoke and drive until they reached their spot.

Little Fairies (Part 2)

Nixie strolled through the house watering her mother’s many potted plants, each with its own individual name, before making her way to the dinner table where Tania sat, ready to devour her meal. Their home was like a museum for mythical beings. Anyone who were to walk in their little house might feel as though they’ve stepped into an enchanted fairy dwelling from Serafina’s porcelain winged figurines to her stringed lights hung along bed posts, lamps and walls in no particular order. Her delightful little quirks were what made her so unique and wonderfully eccentric and her daughters preferred her that way, for the most part.

Nixie scarfed down every bit of her food and ran to the door in a hurry but Serafina urged her to grab a light sweater before bolting out of the door and into the cool, crisp night. If she was being honest with herself though, it wasn’t the weather that made her wary since it was practically summer and where they lived, it was almost always warm out. No, it was Nixie’s outfit that was cause for concern. While she gave her fifteen year old daughter the freedom to express herself fully, she was still a mom and seeing her daughter walk out of the door barely dressed made her a bit uneasy. She was so thin and beautiful and the boys around town were no romeos. Little heartbreakers and womanizers riddled the neighborhood and the last thing she wanted was for Nixie to become some helpless victim. The Castle women were no damsels in distress.

She quickly ran to her room to grab a small jacket just as her mother requested of her and raced back out in a matter of seconds. Nixie was always good at respecting her mother’s wishes, she was many things but impertinent was not one of them. She was deep, pensive, daring and a hell of a sketch artist. She preferred drawing with thick pieces of charcoal as opposed to charcoal pencils. She felt one with the rock as she manipulated it to create her ideas and bring her imagination to life on paper. Something about feeling the messy, natural substance staining her skin in a rich, black dust gave her an organic sentiment that she treasured more than her skillful ability to create a descriptive scene or detailed portrait. She kept all her sketches hidden in a big yellow binder stashed under her bed for easy access, not to mention it was the quickest way to store it when she was done for the day.

Yellow happened to be her favorite color, not because she was a cheerfully spirited person but because it was everything she was not, bright, sunny, happy, you get the point. She had packs of clear page dividers and each drawing was carefully placed in one to preserve its authenticity, not that she believed her work to be of the highest standards and worthy of praise but just that she cherished each one like they held a piece of her broken heart in the shading of their precise silhouettes.

Tonight, she would be meeting with Trevor and some school friends to smoke weed on the beach and listen to music while a few of them pair off to wander aimlessly along the sandy shore in search of a nice secluded enough spot to have mediocre sex because sex on the beach is seemingly thrilling or at least it is to a group of teenagers who have no place else to explore their lustful desires. Personally, Nixie was too logical to buy into a fad like that as the idea of rolling around on a sandy floor, allowing the tiny, sharp particles to stick all over her damp skin and become lodged between two slipping body parts, rubbing them raw as salt water entered the mix to burn the already irritated flesh, all the while spilling forced moans from within to give herself and the poor boy she was entangled with the illusion that what they were experiencing was actual pleasure did not seem like a good time to her. Trevor wasn’t so foolish to believe she would be up for it either. He only invited her out for a taste of her exceptional bud since her connection provided the highest quality weed and he was an awfully elusive man for a drug dealer. Apparently, he only keeps in contact with people he knows and trusts and if they’re willing, he’ll allow them to sell to others on his behalf so he doesn’t have to meet new people because he’s that paranoid. It’s evident he gets high his own supply and too much of it at that. While Trevor has the money to buy his own stash from her, he prefers to bum off of hers as long as she’s willing to share.

Nixie’s not so naive to believe a guy like him would really go for a girl like her but he has a car and she loves the beach and she argues in her head that it’s more fun to smoke with a friend, if you can call him that. They have known each other since second grade but he’s not exactly a nice guy and definitely not someone she can trust with her secrets like you would a friend so maybe they’re simply peers who occasionally toke together to avoid being high alone. Whatever he was to her, it wouldn’t last long and she was okay with that. He wasn’t the same boy she played on the swings with competing to see who could reach the highest tree branches with their toes. He became one of those jerks who strived to be cool, popular, accepted and she couldn’t be mixed with trivial issues as such. She had her own problems to deal with such as her mom’s next wave of manic depression and scaring off the next brat who bullied her little sister for wearing her fairy wings to school for the fifth week in a row. But she felt she could finally breathe now that summer was swiftly approaching and she wouldn’t feel obligated to fill her days with school friends who actually believe they’re wild and free in a town like this. The only place that’s freeing to her is the beach but the sex-crazed group rolling around and moaning dramatically were making it hard for her to enjoy the cool breeze splashing against her face and the aroma of the moonlit sea swarming her senses. She needed to escape this scene and fast.

The Reckless Sick (Running On Empty)

Running On Empty

The weekend holds so much promise of careless mischief and wild teen parties for the small town kids of Whisper Woods. They’re scattered throughout town catching late night movies, laughing over burgers and shakes, cleverly sipping vodka from water bottles in the neighborhood parks, beating high scores at the local arcade or making out in the alley behind it. Everyone has a safe place to commit the oldest sins. One girl in particular prefers her vices done alone in the privacy of her own home.

The savory smell of roast beef and steamed vegetables filled the air, casting a powerfully blended sense of utter starvation and dizzying nausea on Harla as she sat motionless, afraid to make the slightest movement for fear she would faint right out of her seat. She stared off unaware of her fingers picking at a loose string hanging over her lap from the tablecloth set before her.

“Sit up straight, Harla,” Margaret commanded in a soft yet firm tone.

“Sorry, Mom.” She sat up briskly without a second thought and felt a wave of vertigo overpower her every sense.

Don’t faint. Don’t fall down.

As if she could control it with her thoughts alone. Just then, her mother set a plate of food in front of her, smiling briefly before sitting down across the table. Her portions were significantly less than what was served on the other plates. Margaret noticed Harla hasn’t had much of an appetite lately and preferred not to waste a perfectly good meal on her knowing it would only end up in the trash. Harla looked at the meat smothered in a hearty gravy, trying to hold back an obvious look of disgust. She couldn’t fathom how it could look so delicious and so revolting at the same time.

“Eat, girl. You’re too skinny. Isn’t she too skinny, Margie?” Richard pointed out blatantly.

“Oh, leave her alone. She just has a small frame. She gets it from me.” Margaret shot a proud smirk around the room as if waiting to be praised for her slender figure.

That was Richard’s cue, “Of course, darling. You look wonderful.”

Somehow, conversations in the Fox household always revolved around Margaret. She was quite the attention seeker, no doubt leaving Harla feeling like an old, faded piece of furniture discarded in the back of the most unused room in the house. Her mother’s ego was far too sickening to withstand any longer and she quickly shoved every last piece of food in her mouth before placing her plate in the sink and making her way to her bedroom in a very rhythmic and rehearsed walk so as not to draw attention to her swift exit. As soon as she made it to the room she locked her door and waited, finding anything around the room to distract her for just a moment longer.

As soon as her parents turned on the television, she snuck quietly into the bathroom just down the hall. She closed the door gently making no sound at all, she had it down to a science. Where to step in the hallway without making a creak, how slowly to turn the door knob so it didn’t click, waiting for a loud commercial break when her parents would talk amongst themselves so her heaving couldn’t be heard by even the most sensitive ears.

She stared at herself in the mirror. It was more of a glare actually as she detested every flaw she could think up. She studied her figure, lifting her shirt up midway to see her flat belly starting to sink inward. She thought she would be satisfied with the image staring back at her but it wasn’t enough. Why did she still look so big? Why could she pull at her skin when there was barely a trace of fat? Nonetheless, she was proud of herself for sticking to her guns and refusing to give up so easily. Soon, very soon, she will be beautiful enough. She will be so thin that there will be nothing left but skin and bones and for some reason, that’s beautiful.

But tonight, she would overdo it and life would change instantaneously.

Margaret and Richard laughed at a silly ad playing on the television when they were startled by a loud bang from inside the hallway bathroom.

“What was that?” Richard asked as if Margaret would know more than he in this instant.

Suddenly, Margaret’s face transformed and she wore a worried expression as she blurted out, “Harla!”

They rushed to her bathroom, opening the door so abruptly that it bumped forcefully against Harla’s leg. They pushed the door open a little wider to find their daughter passed out on the floor with the stench of vomit emanating from the toilet bowl and polluting the air.

“Oh, my God! Harla, wake up! Wake up, sweetie, wake up now.” Margaret was immediately hysterical, holding her daughter’s listless body in her arms and lightly tapping her face.

“Honey, calm down. We need to get her to the hospital. She could have a concussion. Get her a bag ready, I’ll carry her to the car.” Richard lifted his daughter with ease, giving no thought to her lightness as he strapped her in the car and sat in the driver’s seat trying with all his might not to look back at her lying in the backseat unresponsive. He was weak though and he turned his head briskly. It was a huge mistake, the biggest because as soon as he laid eyes on her face, the tears streamed heavily down his face and his head bobbed as he cried for the first time since his mother died when he was only thirteen. He couldn’t bare to see his little girl like this. Even if she was no longer his little girl, she was still his and still she was. Margaret practically threw herself in the car, glancing briefly at her husband. She did a double take when she saw him silently sobbing with his head resting against the steering wheel. He turned and gave her a look of defeat.

“Oh, Richie. She’s going to be okay but we have to get her there quickly.” She tried to sound brave but the tears falling from her glistening eyes spoke otherwise. She had never witnessed him cry in the whole nineteen years they’ve been married and it scared her to see him vulnerable.

He wiped his tears away with his jacket sleeve and shifted into gear. The car bolted out of the driveway, screeching down the street of their quiet, little neighborhood. He drove like a madman, marking the streets with his brand new tires.

“Careful, Rich! She’s falling off the seat.”

“Well, pick her up.”

Margaret climbed in the backseat to sit with her daughter, holding her close and checking for a pulse every few seconds. The trip felt long and she thought they would never reach their destination. Finally, they arrived at the nearest hospital and pulled up to the front so fast, he almost didn’t see the wheelchair rolling out of the doors with an elderly lady in it. He flew out of the car and opened the back door to help his wife and daughter out. They rushed her inside leaving the car running just out front with the doors wide open.

“Rich, I’ve got this. The car.” She pointed just outside and his attention shifted.

Soon they were impatiently settling in the waiting room to hear news of their daughter’s condition. After an hour, a Dr. Peck called them to the back to see her.

“Your daughter is going to be fine, the blow to her head wasn’t too bad but she is very weak. It’s not surprising since her blood work shows a loss of vital minerals. We have her on an IV in the pediatric ward where she’ll stay for a few days if you decide to keep her here. I recommend that you do. She’s suffering from slight malnutrition and drastic changes to her diet can be dangerous.”

“What? That can’t be. She eats every meal. She doesn’t eat a lot but she does eat,” Margaret assured the doctor. It was apparent they didn’t know what was going on right under their noses.

“Did you know your daughter has an eating disorder?”

“Oh, God.” Richard dropped his head in his hands.

“No. No, Rich, it’s not rue. It can’t be.” She gazed at her daughter in the hospital bed, disbelief was written across her face as she put the pieces together.

“She admitted it to one of the nurses when she came to. I don’t think she was aware of her surroundings though and she fell back asleep soon after.”

“I told you she was too skinny. I knew something wasn’t right.”

“No,” Margaret whispered to herself. She couldn’t believe any of this was happening. She never saw it coming, never noticed the signs. What kind of a mother doesn’t see the signs?

“She’s in a bad state but it’s good we caught it before she could experience serious risks such as heart failure…” The doctor’s voice trailed off. Margaret couldn’t hear anything, just the sound of her own heart beating fast. She placed her hand on Harla’s chest timing her faint heartbeat to her own. Looking closely at her, she could see just how thin her daughter really was and closed her eyes in anger for not seeing it sooner. She planted herself in the big chair next to her daughter’s bedside in hopes that she would be the first person she sees when she wakes up again. All she could do now was wait.

 

To be continued..

Little Fairies

I remember the first time I realized fairies were just a myth. I was twelve. I know it sounds ridiculous to believe in mythical creatures at that age but if you grew up with a mother like mine, you would’ve believed in them too. She used to take me and Tania in the woods behind our house at dusk and we would chase them around the brush trying to capture them in mason jars. She made us believe they were real. It was like the magic sparkled in her eyes and you couldn’t deny her truth in the moment.

One time, when I was ten, I told her they were just fireflies. She told me if I kept the jar by my bed at night, they would turn into fairies but only when I fell asleep because we weren’t supposed to know that they existed among us. It wasn’t until I was twelve that I pretended to sleep, I was so good at it that I almost believed it myself, and I watched the brightly glowing jar carefully in the mirror across from my bed. The fairy never appeared and I knew it wasn’t due to my performance, I was dedicated. I opened the jar and held the flickering light in my hand, studying it meticulously. The last of my hope spilled from my eyes and slid down my cheeks as I realized it was just a bug, nothing more. That was the last night my mom lied to me because after that, I never trusted her stories again.

I worry about Tania and how her eyes still light up when Mom tells her stories of the fairy world. I can’t tell if she’s just humoring her or if she still hopes there’s a fairy land somewhere out there. Maybe she needs those stories to make up for our troubling reality. I know I did. I don’t know why I’m reminiscing, I guess I just hate being lied to and ultimately disappointed.

I miss when times were simpler and I called on the fairies for their magic and strength when Mom would spiral out of control, breaking vases and flower pots around the house and cutting her feet on the scattered shards, leaving bloody footprints and tiny puddles of lost tears on the floor for me to clean. Then she would mourn her dead plants and apologize to them when she finally left her room days later. She would hold me tight and cry in my hair, promising never to skip her medication again and whispering over and over, “I thought I was okay. I’m not okay.” My eyes would swell while I held back my tears, knowing the moment wouldn’t last long. But I believed her then. I believed in her. And then I gave up on her.

I stopped crying over those incidents when I stopped looking to the fairies for help. I just grew up and learned to deal with problems instead of wishing them away.

“Supper’s ready, Nixie.” Serafina stood at Nixie’s bedroom door, smiling fondly at her oldest daughter.

Nixie closed her journal and set it down on her nightstand. There was no need to hide it, her mom never went through her things. Serafina was a strong believer that every girl was entitled to her secret thoughts and she encouraged Nixie’s independence. In fact, she envied it since she herself harbored an unhealthy fear of being left alone to waste away while the world around her carried on without her. With Nixie pulling away and slipping further through her fingertips, she clung tightly to Tania’s adolescence, feeding into her innocence in hopes that she would never leave her. But all little girls grow up and she knew she would have to face her mountainous fear someday. Just not today.