World War I

She begins to shrink
Transforming into a mouse
Hiding in the dark corners of her house
Letting questions pour over her
Like the rain running down a hot tin roof
Its loud and fast
Yet to her, she sees it all
Watching as the causes turn into effects
Then rippling out
Crashing against the walls of solitude
She is troubled
Caged, she can’t escape
No matter the struggle or the will
There is no rescue
Nothing can free her
But as small as she has become
Only she can seek liberation
Within her own damnation

© 2015 Jessica Santos

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The Beginning of Something

Eyes open to a dreary summer’s day. Clouds cover the sky and a hint of rain is carried through the winds. A storm is definitely brewing. But that’s not the only gloomy image at play.

Inside a quiet house is a woman who awoke and saw the sunless skies. Her face showed no expression but her eyes revealed the truth.

The night before had been filled with turmoil. The enemy had used weaponry that blasted her walls apart. She had left for bed knowing that she had survived another day but only so that she can fight again. For no one had released her of the baggage that weighed heavily upon her shoulders.

Rolling out of bed, she sighs and slowly goes about her morning preparations for the day ahead. Walking by her full length mirror, she glances at the image. There is a frail woman with wrinkled skin, greying hair and pained eyes staring back following her every move.

Heaving forward, she continues her routine and makes herself a cup of tea. Maybe that’s what she needs, a cup of hot green tea? But when she takes a sip, it does little to relieve the cold in her bones.

Like the floor boards that creak beneath her feet as she shuffles around, the cold has settled upon her. It has shriveled up her being leaving a hollowness throughout the majority of her body. Deep within, one can feel the woman she once was curled up and crying for help as her body does what little it can to rescue itself.

Through the window, a chilly breeze sweeps in and rushes about her. She use to run out and play with the storms elements but now she stands in her kitchen where she looks out the window and watches the little sprites prance in glee.

She does want to join them.There is no doubt that she wishes to dance to the thunder claps, splash in the water and search through life with lightning guiding her way.

But she makes no move to do so.

She continues to stand in her kitchen, only this time she has looked away from the window and rested her gaze on a picture. A picture that was taken not too long ago of a woman whose eyes glisten with cheer as a man with loving eyes gaze down at her child-like being.

Reaching out, she brushes a finger against the image as if her touch could bring it to life and replay the memory. And indeed it does.

Her mind is filled with the memory of walking along a beach and holding the man’s hand with a smile on her rosy cheeks. She shrieks in delight as the water washes up and covers their feet. He takes the opportunity to pick her up and carry her even further out into the ocean. Like kids, they tease and play with no worry as to the consequences.

Just as he leans in to kiss her soft delicate lips, the image begins to distort and she is brought back to the present. Living in her memories is no way to live but she can’t help but wish for such an outcome.

Picking up her mug, she holds it close to her heart as she walks back to her bedroom. Passing by the mirror, she sees the old lady still but she cares not for the image that it displays.

Her bed beckons her to return to its soft clutches and she is completely willing to oblige. Once she is back in its arms, she places her mug upon the bedside table just as a young man’s arms wrap around her and pull her close to his heart.

As if by magic, her heart senses his beating rhythms and matches them perfectly. Slowly, the tides of pain ebb away at his strong force but she wants to conquer her own battles and she knows of only one way to do so.

Moving out of his grasp, she stretches out to grab her laptop. And as the little mechanism roars to life, the storms begin.

© 2015 Jessica Santos

A Life for A Life

She knew not of the many secrets that he held but she did know of hers. True to herself and her heart, she held him close to her bosom. Afraid to lose and afraid to be lost are two simple things that can throw a woman behind bars.

Sadly, she was beginning to go down that path. He had left in fear of his own mistakes. But, what he hadn’t known was that by allowing fear to wash over, he was creating the biggest mistake he had yet to make.

Now, hanging from the branch before her was a noose. She had taken all afternoon to ensure its perfection. Braiding the rope with tears of sadness and pain, it became a powerful weapon. It held her hope, her love, and hopefully soon her very life.

Taking a naked step through the dead Fall leaves that littered the floor around the tree, she made her way to the stool that rested below death’s door. With eyes dried, she calmly looked out from behind the stool, admiring the soft glow as the sun began its descent.

Certain that none would hear nor see her helpless body traverse from this life to the next, she stepped up onto the stool where the rope dangled before her. The breeze softly blew the rough threads in the air to brush against her delicate salty skin.

She trembled.

Then, a bird called out singing a gentle sweet song. Listening to the delicate melody, she attempted to cry again but nothing left her eyes.

Now was the time.

Reaching out, she grabbed hold of the noose. With one last look through death’s door, she took a ragged breath.

Upon closing her eyes, a single tear in both eyes clouded her last sight of the world around her as she leapt up to plunge her head through the ropes choking grasp.

Crack!

Thud!

A dull pain spread throughout her body. The noose didn’t catch her; instead, she landed face first on the grass below.

Looking up, she saw the wind lift the leaf litter around her and swirl it about like a tornado with her as the eye of its chaos. Confused, she searched around her for an answer. And there, lying beside her, was the branch that held the noose. It had broken off from the tree as she jumped to meet her untimely death.

Scrambling to where it lay, she picked it up and when her eyes looked through the circle of the noose, she bore an incredible sight:

There he was alive and well. Drinking away his life, he cared not for a single soul, not even his own. Then, the image changed and there she was alive and well. Raising two kids with another man, she cared for her one true secret. And as if the woman in the noose knew of her own curious eyes, she looked up at her despaired self and raised a glass in honor of her as she patted a pocket that rested atop her heart.

With one swig from her glass, the image was gone, and, once again, she was alone under the tree. The leaves had stopped and the sun was gone. All was still but her beating heart. As the night grew colder, the rhythm began to steady. Soon, she stood and in the moonlight, she went home to where a familiar stranger awaited her swift arrival.

© 2015 Jessica Santos

She-Wolf

Watch her
Be careful not to tempt
Those eyes are cut like slits
Seeing crimson bits
Looking to the dark heavens for death’s descent
For far below lies one in torment
Under her claws is where they lie
And far above is where the vulture cries
Calling out to comrades
Beckoning them to come near
Yet when they do, she strikes fear
Lashing out with a might roar
One cannot help but feel the gore
Streaming down her face is not a tear
But your last breath as you despair

© 2015 Jessica Santos

Tony (Originally Written on June 23, 2015)

I hear he’s just like me
With stripes all over
A powerful roar
And lonely for most of the year
So I must seek him
Confront my brother
Once I do
I’ll tell him
We earned our scars
Our black markings
Each one serving as a reminder
Though I must fill in their shoes
And he…
Well he obtained them
A true fighter
Yet there he stands on two feet
And I with four paws
Each equipped with razor talons
And don’t forget my glistening whites
I am a feared, ferocious mighty beast
Never did I ask to be
But here I am
He is an agile, intelligent quiet human
Some consider his kind to be monsters
And indeed they are
But I don’t call him that
We created our own image
Standing out from the crowd
Supporting each other to live on
So as he guards my body
I guard his spirit

© 2015 Jessica Santos