Semele This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

April 7, 2011
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The house across the street has dismantled shingles and shrieks when the tides change. The shrubs have grown in all the wrong places in the night. The view from my window is high above the sun-bleached asphalt; there’ve been nights, to which I will admit, I have stood wondering the preferences of those in the dark; created novellas in my head of my own single eye, beating down, watching through the holes in the walls, recording their circus.



The house across the street has a ring of death encircling their world in the form of great willows; the branches grow ‘round the history of the flat. Like a fortress of bad will I listened as they rumbled in the corridors without the electricity piercing through the tissues of their brains. I let them live their lives with the windows down.



“The lonely days feel like decades,” she told me, “only the drugs fulfill me.” She had a hook in her back and I could trace the outskirts of the wallowed curves with the tips of my fingers. Her hands were tall and lingered over the knot in her neck for a moment; when her eyes lit up she danced; her words flowing out as dragons in the air. “People tell me I dream too much; I’m impulsive and dangerous. But do you ever think maybe I’m just sitting in a room with all the wrong people in the world? She breathed then laid her head back across the patches of green her father allowed in the yard that encircles forever.



But that was thirty years ago now and her bones have become the trees that shade and her long silk hair only dust on the window sill. It had been a circle of death of which she lived. Nothing more than –



“Hey! Excuse me… Excuse me!” A voice from below called in a sort of anxious despair. “D’ya think y’ could help me out here?” She then turned her back, moaning, struggling to drag, with frail hands, the white of her creamy bones sticking out forward on her spine, a single suitcase across the overgrown weeds. “Oh! Why can’t anyone help me out of this mess, just so weak and – “ she moaned, leaned forward so close to the dirt her back was mountainous, rigid, and rocky to climb. The longer I stood listening to her huffing and cackling from above the louder the waves echoed through the concrete walls contaminating the room.



I could, with great certainty, avoid the manipulation. But I thought of Semele with her long dark hair and let my feet guide me down the crooked staircase and into that cackling woman’s arms.





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PJD17 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 24, 2011 at 3:34 pm
awesome job  keep it up  could you please check out and comment on my story Numb. i would really appreciate the feedback
 
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