A Breath Into Silence

United States

Papermate gel pens and scotch-brite notebooks.

~Camp Nanowrimo Winner 2020~

INFP | 17 | she/them

Message from Writer

Hello! Thanks for checking out my writing!

Published Work

Flash Fiction Competition 2020

apparently he's supposed to have all the answers

"Hey, tell me. If somebody offered to make you into a god...?"

She stares at him, blue eyes sharper than the sky, fingers tapping against her knees. He knows what she's referring to, but answering is hard so he nibbles at his lip and stalls for time.

"I don't envy the gods," he says eventually, dodging the question like wise mentors always do.

He wonders why the hero nods like what he said makes perfect sense, but there's a goddess to stop and a destiny to fulfill so maybe her standards for advice are a little low right now.

she spends her nights drunk to ward off eternity

There are many things you can forget over the centuries, and human warmth is one of them. How do you hold on to somebody when you know they’re going to fade away? Blue hates it, that knowledge of when you meet a mortal’s eyes there’s a chance that as a god she’ll blink and they’ll be nothing but dust escaping from shaking fingers.

They call her the god of selfish love, but Blue hates that title just as much as she hated all the titles that came before it. Is it truly selfish to try and capture happiness? To press yourself against somebody else in an attempt to ingrain part of them into you forever and ever and ever? A thousand nights go by, each with another face, another set of eyes, another pair of hands clasping Blue’s within their own, promising meaningless things like secrets and love and eternity.

Eternity is horrible. Blue rejects their gifts and presses their...

heroes do not have to fit the mold, you know

She is fleet-footed as she darts across the sky, bangles clanging and heels sending up puffs of clouds when she leaps. The sky is her domain, she its queen, clothed in loose garments the colors of clouds hit from above by the sun. Her eyes reflect the golden glow of the sunrise between her eyelids, round her pupils in ever-brightening rings. This a daughter of the sky; this is the goddess you are looking for.

She pays no heed to you ringing the bells and burning candles, rubbing your voice hoarse, too absorbed in her own universe to answer your call. There are storm clouds on the horizon, and she leads them on, wild lightning on her lips and her flowing clothes now shift shift shit, coal and sleet-grey, navy at the edges. The rain drowns your appeals.

The mountains tremble with thunder, rock hearts remembering how to sing, forcing you to topple onto the ground with scraped knees and...

Letter Writing Competition 2020

to those I left behind

To my dearest abandoned characters,

I know you shall never read this, and it is both comforting and the most painful thing I have ever borne as a writer. And maybe it is because I know you will never read this that I will be able to finish this ugly little confession done to appease my aching heart. It is not fair, what I have done to you over the years, and I'm sorry.

Yes, this is the moment where I finally apologize.

To Alexis, forever wandering the halls of the land of the dead in fuzzy bunny slippers, I’m sorry you’ll never actually reach your scheduled trial to determine the fate of your soul. It’s just that I got distracted with my own appointed things and there was only enough time for one of us.

To Rayna, dragon daughter. You never got a story, just a fragmented scene, and I know I should feel bad for that but I don’t,...

the most selfish of the gods

“Do you ever get tired of it?” Nyo asks, and there are rings under her eyes, like maybe she hasn’t been getting enough sleep again. She seems to droop where she stands, her scales dangling from her fingertips so that they dance dangerously within reach of the ground.

Lara rescues the soul from Nyo’s grip before she does drop something, and cradles it in her palms. It’s warm, and glowing, full of life and light even after its body died, and Lara admires that.

“Tired of what?” she asks, because goddesses of death don’t get tired because there’s no need to do anything, really.

“Tired of —” Nyo pauses, a frown creasing itself into her face, frown lines etched on her brow so that her blue eyes turn deeper than the blue of the ocean. “You know what, forget it,” she says, “you wouldn’t get it even if I explained it.”
Lara nods agreeably and turns away, the edge of...

he cries when he sings her song, did you know that?

“I think it would be really sad,” she says, biting her lip as she stares up into the endless night sky, “if somebody were to fall in love with another person — only, one of them’s mortal and the other isn’t, and instead is a god or some sort of being like a god. Wouldn’t that just be one of the saddest things?”

He’s looking at her again, how her profile is caught up in the moonlight spilling down from the sky — he wants to make a song about her to play on his lute, to trace her presence into his life long after she’s gone, since the gods keep telling him his time with her is drawing to a close.

“Yeah,” he says, and it’s a quiet little whisper that gets eaten by the night whole, swallowed up gently like it was never there at all, “that would be really sad, wouldn’t it?”

on words, on language, on regret

I grow up with my cousin, hitting the pine trees in the backyard with sticks like we're warriors. There is never a time when I cannot trace her face in my mind's eye, straight black hair and tilted eyes and that beautiful smile. She lives in another state and I always leap from the couch when her family's car comes rolling up the driveway. 

Father speaks in another language sometimes, his r's rolled and his n's pinched up into ñ's, and I scream at him to speak English daddy! and maybe it's my memory fading but who knows I might say Hablo ingles, daddy! just as many times. It's shame clogging up my conjugations, the fear of messing it all up that stops the syllables passing from my lips. Just like that, there go the attempts to raise a bilingual child. 

And when my cousin comes in the door, clumsy Mandarin but proud eyes, the shame curls...

the crime was looking up for truth

I want to make a mirror, reversed: what is the opposite
of your crayon-bright fireworks against the night sky?
pop-pop-pop! go the rockets - did you know the cracks
really do sound the same as gunfire? live down the street from a shooting range
long enough and the scent of gunpowder is too familiar. let me tell you
what it feels like to lie awake at night with that unwanted revelation;
it feels ugly. this is what the mirror is for, because I want to see myself
beautiful. I want to see myself ugly. it all depends on the perspective.
and have you ever walked into school to almost run into a cop?
hand on his holster and badge on his chest. you are afraid of him.
buzz and gossip goes down oily; the best medicine tastes disgusting so
open up! doctor's orders. this is to cure you of your childhood
delusions; we don't all hold hands and sing songs....

you'll dream about her sometimes, and of reclaiming the piece of your heart she stole that night.

And who are you to question the gods like this? She is bending over you, breath ragged and eye bright, lightning smiles and rainy eyes, and her authority is as great as she allows it to be.

There her dress, and draped across the floor in a glittering path of gold and silver is her jewelry, all of it. You unclasped each necklace with tender love, taken in by the way her lips parted so gently close to your neck, let the metal slide between your fingers and clatter forgotten to the hard stone floors as she took you into her arms.

And now you are laying on the bed, staring up into her eyes, tracing the lines of her face with your vision, your fingertips, your hands. She pulls at your clothes with greedy fingers, grasping at the buttons and zippers with insistence, and who are you to stop her? You don’t want to stop her.

“I could make...

I may type like a dinosaur but I think 24 hours is a good turnaround for q&a answers

The great news is that I've gotten my hands on a computer and can now go back to agonizing over blank google documents. So some semblance of my normal activity levels should return.

The good news is that I finished answering these Q&A questions really really fast (I may have been working on my answers as the questions came in over the past few days). Thanks for being good sports and asking me some questions - so here are all the answers!

Questions that were asked repeatedly:
If you could live anywhere/ vacation anywhere, where would you choose?
I really really really want to go to Ireland. I can't quite explain why I want to go there but the closest I've come is that it feels like it's calling me home (as in I've had dreams of it before I even saw a picture of it)? It's very strange and I'm half-convinced I'm making this up simply writing this. I...

burying the ghosts

“So, where do you want to go?” Barat asks, unsure of himself. He fidgets with the strap holding his instrument tight to his back, like maybe after two hundred years the leather might forget how to hold itself together. Ariya takes no notice of his discomfort, and if she does see how Barat grits his teeth he thinks she might maybe - just maybe - be taking a small bit of pleasure from it.

She lays down in the meadow, spreading her arms wide so that they become swallowed by grass and wildflowers, like she’s part of the land or maybe the land is a part of her. Ariya smiles blissfully at the general direction of the sky, eyelids fluttering down until her lashes are brushing the dark smudges underneath her eyes, and she looks so happythat Barat can’t himself to remind her they need to move on. And anyway, where are they going to go? If the god’s...

a thousand paper memories

 there are times when you forget.
there is much you forget but this especially, the way paper can fold
between your fingers, crackling along false seams.
it yields. small shapes and perfect angles, just how you asked for it.
the truth is that you don't even need to see the way the sticky note bends anymore;
there is trust between the two of you, unspoken agreements about ancient arts,
and in the end it all comes down to this:
you fold your friend a crane and she gives you back a dove.

the thing about fate

And the final battle is over, and he just wants to sleep. Gods, Barat just wants to sleep and sleep and sleep, until the stars finally sink down to blanket the whole world with silver light. But he doesn’t get to sleep - only heroes get such peace in their happily ever afters, and Barat is no hero. At the least he is not a hero in the traditional sense - his hands have held no sword, at least not for a long time. No, not a long, long time and Barat hates himself for how well he remembers the feel of the grip in his hand.

The world is resetting itself around him, readjusting to the shift in power. The goddess is sprawled out before Barat, sleeping deep in a bed of flowers with her black hair so reminiscent of a pool of ink sprayed around her head. There are shadows under her eyes and her nails are bitten...

whale songs

 you and i dreaming gold
let me dance in the sky and take flight / among the stars
will you sing? your sorrow / fills bitter tongues. hey did you know / space is so big and so vast
i found some friends there who let me dance / among the whales of the stars
and someday i will collapse with silver / starlight stranded on my lips
you and i dreaming silver
let me sing a serenade! my voice soars / like birds on the wind
will you sing? with your sorrow / i see clearly once more. and when i wake
with deep holes / in my chest i will ache for your voice. i will sing that
hey did you know / space is so small after all.
our whales they sing in shades / of sun
they gild the whole world / in another light. in another life.

she has no name

She will never have her own story. Did you know that?

Of course, thinking about her is hard and so nobody blames you for minor transgressions, slips of the tongue. If you saw her you would name her Lady Earth. Lady Earth, of the rivers and the waterfalls, flowers blooming in the depths of her collarbones and vines around her feet - but no, you have not heard of her.

The lady you just saw between the trees is not the earth goddess. Her name is not Lady Earth. Did you know that? Her name flutters away, flower petals on the breeze, scented like lilac and morning mists. You will never say it quite right. This is not your fault, this mere slipping of the tongue, teeth catching syllables with stuttered stops.

Her name is many things. She is many things.

But for now, call her Lady Summer. The Fairy of Spring, the Autumn Lady. Name her the Winter Duchess,...

what they prayed for

“It’s just that I’m worried for you,” Elyion tells Haiya, picking at his nails. “Now that Rae’s gone, I don’t know if any of us are safe.”

Haiya reclines further in her deep blue divan and raises a carefully manicured eyebrow. Elyion shifts uncomfortably in the opposing gray divan and bites at his lip, telling himself that it’s foolish to be self-conscious about being concerned, and generally failing. Haiya laughs quietly at his discomfort, at the way the shadows around Elyion's feet have begun to roil and stretch.

“There’s nothing to worry about. We are immortals, Elyion,” Haiya says lazily, stretching herself like a cat. “I’m sure your little goddess is just fine.”

“I watched it happen,” Elyion snaps. He grips the arm of the divan hard enough to snap it off in jagged pieces, and scowls when he sees the damage. He runs a hand over the furniture and restores it to a pristine state. Elyion's shadow...

you used to choke on pills

 it goes down bitter, choking hands on your throat;
the bile creeps up and the sky tilts down. did you know
how to miss something before it was gone? now it is gone.
small medicines in the cavity of your stomach;
things you used to not know how to swallow go down with ease.
and it is gone, gone, gone. where did the
eternal summertime euphoria go? stand on the ledge,
scream at the sky and the clouds, and it is summer again.
the world will break through the hazy clouds; you know
exactly how to stretch your hand towards that distant future
and now you tear away the film of memory, clinging
to the tear tracks on your face. the small medicines cannot cure
the things in your heart, but they stop the burning in your gut. did you know
how to miss something before it was gone? now you know.

tell it like a legend

Barat has walked along the roads for years, centuries, going where his feet take him and nowhere else. He has played in taverns and bars and under the stars, for giant crowds and only for himself, his hands deft on the strings of his instrument.
The funny thing about being immortal is that you get a lot of practice at everything. Barat can dance and sing and he’s practiced the art of putting on a different face until he’s become a master.

But even masters of disguise must drop their masks sometimes, and there are times where he’s excused himself from a round of applause after renditions of “Raehyos and Elyion” or “the Kanaya” to go scream at the stars. Barat's jaw aches after smiling for so long, and it takes more effort than he could have ever imagined to steady his hands enough to not drop his instrument.

But he’s a bard, now, free and under the night sky...

when a god loves you

She watches him from afar.

The other gods make fun of her from that, but Kiva does not particularly care. She doesn’t like being in the mortal realm, not after the mortals killed her forests for their War, and no amount of teasing will force her to step foot on the mortal world again.

She peers at him through rips in space and time, from the corners of shadows and the reflections of sun on water. He is unaware of her peeping, but Kiva doesn’t mind.

Unlike some of her fellow gods, Kiva feels no need to declare her gatet from the top of the world. She can’t help but feel that hiding his destiny from him is a kinder thing than telling him he will die a heroic death.

Arthur is a wild boy, born of the forests. Is that why Kiva is so attracted to him? He pulls her into gravitational orbit without a hint of a struggle. 

the shadows have eyes

There are voices and eyes in the shadows.

Barat does not like them, these unwelcome visitors who follow him wherever he goes. They snatch at his clothes and grasp at his ankles with snagging fingers, and their voices echo in his ears no matter what he does. He closes his eyes and prays to the gods for relief, but none comes and Barat has never really believed in the gods anyways.

His mother gives him concerned looks when she thinks he is not looking, her brown eyes filled with worry. It is justified - the other village children do not run from the shadows and speak in raspy voices carved hollow with fear, and they do not have Barat’s eyes.

His eyes. His eyes. Oh gods, his eyes.

“Have you ever seen such green?” the women whisper among themselves. “Unnatural.”

“His mother was unfaithful,” the men whisper among themselves. “Nara does not have such eyes, after all. It must be...

daughter, son, and godkiller

She is found abandoned on the doorstep of the Collegium library.

She used to think that was a strange thing. Why abandon life? But in these times, Boros tells her later, it is common practice to abandon the daughters you do not want in the foolishly vain hope of living to bear a son. 

Boros claims he will love Ariya like a son, but she is not sure she believes him.

Ariya is better than any son. She is stronger, faster, crueler and cleverer than any son could be. Could a son bend in half, flexible to the last joint, in response to a swipe aimed at their midsection with a wooden practice sword? Could a son hit the mark on a target every single time? Could a son recite all the history books in the Collegium libraries from memory?

But Boros says that this is not what makes a son more desirable, and Ariya cannot compute. Her mind will...


for a land that doesn't exist

Dreams are beautiful things.

So are the stars.

So imagine, then, dreaming of the stars. They are not our stars - not the constellations we have known for millennia - but they are still somehow so very familiar. Do you need to know something to be in awe of it?

There is a voice in your ear, whispering names and legends, and you let yourself lean into the sound of that unseen narrator. A small folk tale is all it takes to enrapture you.

This is not your home. You know this. But it is your home.

Have you ever seen these kinds of trees before? They are so tall, so proud. Leafy boughs and scented pine and twisting ivy and it is all so green even in the moonlight. The lake in the distance is crystalline, filled with stars and moons upon moons of silver light, and it laps against the shores with immeasurable patience.

It is all so...

they sit down for tea

When the goddess of the sun and the goddess of the sky sit down for tea, it can only be assumed that something catastrophic is going on. They are, after all, not the type to become friends with each other - Naya is too bright, too reserved in her golden glory, and Sherele is too flighty, prone to fits of fancy. They do not even wear the same style of clothes - Naya is fond of long, flowing dresses and woven gold around her arms, but Sherele loves no such clothing.

She is sprawled in the air, motionless, her short top barely brushing the top of her navel. and her low-slung pants flutter in an imaginary breeze. She raises one perfectly manicured golden eyebrow at Naya and says, “This is a surprise, sister.”

“We are not sisters,” Naya says, her words sharp and cold as they tumble out of her mouth.

“But we rule the same world,” Sherele says, lifting...

she spits on your grave

Nyo does not understand the heart. It is too fickle, she too fleeting. After all, the moon is not a permanent thing. And who is she, bitter moonlight, but impermanence incarnated?

They call her a goddess of war, but war is a notion of the heart and Nyo cannot comprehend that. She is unfeeling, cold. The scales of justice do not tip based on love or hate, and Nyo keeps the scales cradled within her palms.

She is the one who judges the damned. Is that why they all fall in love with her, adore her?

He comes to her each night, and she turns him away. He is the commander, the master of the armies, and he is in love with the goddess of the night. He is in love with the goddess of war, and Nyo wants him to leave her be, because she does not want to love him back.

Love is an emotion, and Nyo cannot...

moon #ikara

dancing in the moonlight, wings spreading
from your back. it is a triumphant existence
and we spin in circles, drinking in starlight

let me paint you in starlight

You exist in the small things. The rays of sun spearing through the clouds, the sound of the trees on a windy day. The taste of raspberries, the scent of tomato vines. The final moment after an orchestra finishes playing, the faux-velvet seats, the scent of leather. You exist in the small moments. Rainstorms, quiet nights under the stars, shared laughter, and people making food together. There is nowhere to go where you aren't already there.

You're curled up in the corner, building a small shrine to yourself with your blankets and pillows, wonder and whispers. In this moment, you are the deity of lost things and quiet wishes for better tomorrows, and you wear a crown of stardust over your messy hair. In this moment, you are infinitely finite, and in this moment you are enough.

Poetry and Spoken Word Competition 2020

euros, melancholy

he is a reflection, always less than he wants to be,
caught in his own selfish wishes. euros is a god
captured by comparisons. who could ever love the younger twin?
he weeps; with tears of melancholy rains
his gales blow bittersweet. there is no relief
when there is no acknowledgement.

euros is never enough in the eyes of the world. where his brothers find fame,
he does not. he cannot even find his own season,
instead ending summers and beginning winters. 
forever he is stealing the harvests, 
stealing the blessed winds of his brothers when they are not looking
so that the winds die out from behind the sailors. the ships fall silent in the seas.
euros wishes for his brothers to be lesser,
but at night the bards still sing of his siblings with honeyed praises.

he is a god, cursed to immortality. euros will spend an infinity 
watching his reflections warp in ponds. unlike narcissus,
euros loves...

danse macabre #agustdv2020

You are drowning in the world, and the world is drowning in you. It is as simple as that. It is as complicated as that.

Did you ever know what you were missing? In those missing heartbeats and those hitched breaths was there an epiphany? Your fingertips brushed something ethereal, ephemeral, and to this day you are unsure if you had an encounter with life or an encounter with death. 

Selfishly, you wish to know it was death all along. He dances in your mind, skeleton feet making music on the graveyard grass, and his eyes rattle in their sockets. Bone on bone on boneand it burns your ears. Death is an ugly creature, his tendons worn through and his muscles hanging scrappily from arms. His teeth are painted black, and what is left of his tongue drips oily paint down his chin. Others would be terrified. But you know death, and death knows you. You have shaken his...

she loves only herself

Alya betrays her sister with little less than a second thought. It is not that she doesn't love Aisha, for Alya’s heart becomes tangled in emotion at the thought of her sister, but that Alya loves herself more. Her father’s death is Aisha’s fault, no matter how hard Alya’s sister tries to deflect the blame. To run from gunfire is not something Alya’s father would have done - Aisha does not lie to Alya, but Alya refuses to believe the truth.

The winter is harsh, and the summer is cruel to Alya’s world. The sun that once raised their crops burns them to crisps, and although Alya has learned of the hammer and the tongs from the smith in the town, she is not yet strong enough to beat the metal into shape. Her mother is dead, has been dead for many years, and Alya knows that it was from a wasting sickness but now under her breath she blames...

the strong will be remembered

He is less than he wants to be. Alessi is always dragged down by the details, but those who crowd around him lift him on gilded pedestals. They are so willing to ignore his faults and exalt his flaws. 

“Strong-arm,” they cry out. “Alessi Strong-arm, King!”

Alessi is no king, but a pretender can still wear the crown all the same. He lets himself become drunk on the glory and lets his followers gild him in gold.

He is the son of a mortal god. Alessi II knows he is lesser, but he carries his legacy with pride all the same. He dines at the same table as a living legend, drinks the same wine. He conquers in his father’s name and it is enough. He rules in his father’s wake and it is enough. Alessi is destined for greatness, if only because his father was destined for the same.
Cal is bitter, acidic, a raging tempest and...

they are both cowards

She had always had strange dreams, Aisha knew. Normal people didn’t dream of gods and monsters and drinking bitter sunlight, of things beyond their understanding that were still, always, so familiar. Normal people didn’t catch glimpses of what could be when they closed their eyes - they only ever saw fantasies, beautiful pretty lies and hopes, captured behind their eyelids. 

There was always a sickly sweet taste on Aisha’s tongue when she woke, and she had come to associate it with truths she didn’t want to know. How do you look somebody in the eye when you’ve seen their darkest secrets in your dreams? But no matter how many secrets she saw unraveled, how many broken bones and final goodbyes Aisha saw, it was always the worst with her father. Aisha had seen his death, the cruel bitter thing that it was, and she hated herself for it. Death hung over her father's head, a dark cloud even under the...

she cannot save herself

Red has known fear before in her life - it is a familiar companion twisting its way through the bones of her ribcage. This rapid heartbeat and pulsing ragged breaths tearing through her throat are nothing, this fear is nothing, and she tells herself she is stronger than this aching feeling in her chest because she's felt it before. She's wrong, of course. Red has always been a liar, and her heart knows it all too well.

Gods are supposed to be immortal - that's what all the world had said for thousands of years. This blood in Red's veins is proof - starfire and burning ichor that curse and cure in equal measure. How are you supposed to die if your blood spilling out of your veins heals as it drips down your wounds? Red has always loathed eternity, but it was an empty loathing, lacking energy and spirit. She wanted to live until the stars died, wanted...

if the world is gilded in gold, they are blind to color.

 you learn in the smallest stumbles
how defeat tastes in your mouth. and you loathe it,
for it stings like pineapple on your tongue. it stains your heart
worse than the blackberries running their juice in rivulets down your fingers.
but just like the forbidden fruits, these defeats are nothing
against your human will.

you are too wild for the others' tastes. like the lotos
you are too much of an escape for their souls to bear to see.
you threaten to overtake the defeat they stumbled under
with wild abandon. you run your hands through the dirt,
scream in joy at the rainy sky. what is more dangerous than you?
they tell you that they hope you understand.

they put you in small rooms with whiteboards and black expo.
in brisk strokes the world is painted black and white
they do not stop until your eyes burn. it is too much.
you long for the world the textbook photographs...

he can only destroy

Sai’el passed through the world in silence - it, in turn, passed him by. Centuries spun past, delicate like sugar, crumbling to ash and dust when he reached out to touch them. There were moments where people called out to him, and Sai’el came down from above to lend them a fraction of his power. He grew flowers to save those he loved, but they burned up his mortals from the inside out, until they were only bitter jealousy and tempests of flames. 

So those who had once turned to Sai’el  stayed away, out of his reach. Sai’el burned everything he touched - perhaps this treatment was only fair, then.

But the longing grew in him, no matter how hard he tried to snuff it out. He was fire incarnate, burning passion and greedy-eyed, and Sai’el wanted more. But he could never get enough, never. It tore him apart.

He was isolated, sentenced by his own nature to burn...

that time where I met my writing hero

It was back in 2016 when I first met my writing hero. But of course I didn't know that the author in question would be a hero in my eyes. I had won second place in a writing contest for a small convention and had been invited to go (so of course I did). One of the guest judges, a man named Brandon Sanderson, had just gotten up to speak at the opening ceremony.

If I'd known how much that speech would change my life, I probably would have tried to record it or something. Memory is a faulty thing, you know. You can only replay a phrase so many times in your head before you begin to wonder if you just made the whole thing up. Of course, I didn't know Brandon Sanderson's speech was going to be anything of the inspiring sort when I saw him. Why would I? He was, at the time, just an unassuming man...

and still, I am missing half of myself

Sometimes I dream that I can fly. Sometimes I have wings, sometimes I don't, and almost invariably in my dreams I find myself plummeting toward the ground, uncontrolled freefall. The ground rushes up to swallow me whole, and I can never remember the impact. I wake up, curled on my side, gasping for air as my traitorous heart thunders in my chest.

Sometimes I dream that I am painting the sky. Always the same rose-gold hue of the clouds before sunrise, seen from up high instead of from the ground. My fingertips brush the clouds and stain them gold, but I flee before the sun can touch me. I wake up, my mouth stained with a sugary aftertaste, and trace the ceiling with my hands like I can reach the sky if I just try hard enough.

There are the sea dreams, too. I simply float on my back, staring into the starry night sky. Water slips through my lips,...

the forgotten children

Arthur wasn’t his true name or his first name, but then again it didn’t really matter what or when he was first named. His mother had died at his birth, her final breaths rasping gasps for air, and she had not named him.

The midwife had not named him, either, too busy crossing herself with runemarks and whispering prayers to whichever pantheon she believed in to spare a thought for the child who had just been born. The true miracle came not from the gods, but from the fact that he did not die from neglect in those first days, and instead clung to his life with steely determination. But even after fighting for his life, he was not named, because he had already been forgotten about. Arthur grew up, nameless, but that was no good in Ikla, the forest kingdom of elven runes. Everybody had names, and names in names that hid their true nature. True names, false names,...

her blessings are also her curses

Raine buries her brother in the way of the Mer - she lets him out to sea. She has no boat to lay him in, no flowers to throw at his feet. She just lets him float on the waves, and the receding tide brings him out to sea. Each wave pulls her brother farther away, and Raine closes her eyes because it’s too much like losing him again.

Jack’s hair blends in with the water, and his old tattered white shirt looks like sea foam. He disappears before he has even left Raine’s line of sight.

And the ocean is pouring out of the cove, coming back again. And Raine sits on the beach, drowning in open air, begging the sea to take care of her brother’s body. She closes her eyes, tighter and tighter, until her blue pupils are hidden from the sun’s prying rays.

“I’m sorry,” the woman in the white dress says. The skirt of her...

she cannot save you

Starfire. Warm. Kind.

Kind? Has it ever been kind?

Red wants to be kind, to be warm and welcoming, and to sing her children to sleep under the gentle blanket of the night sky. And the starfire in her soul will spin out golden songs, threads of legends and beautiful perfect lies. 

But starfire has never been warm, only cold and bitter and biting at Red’s throat. Cracked lips, dry eyes, and a rasping voice - never warm, never warm, and as much as Red wishes to she can never be enough for these people in front of her.

“Lady,” he cries out to her, as if she is something distant and remote that he cannot touch. “Please.”

And Red sits on her throne, cloaked in silk and silver and gold. The metal sits heavy on her throat - no matter how beautifully the blacksmith hammers the gold the necklaces always sit like chains. She looks at this man, kneeling...

your name will be forgotten

The sea is coldest when it laps against the northern beaches, rushing in and out in spraying foamy tides. There is no mercy in its rushing waves, in the spray of salt and the whistling wind coming across the cliff sides. The castle stands high above, golden light fighting the endless dark, and already revelers are coming, drunk on the promise of something more than what they already have.

And Blue stretches out her arms, begs the northern night to take her whole, take her whole.

The forgotten nights, the bitter lonely days. Solitude stretching in front, behind, in the gaps between the seconds. Blue watches time trickle through cupped fingers, snow falling on the highest mountain peaks and silt floating back into the ocean. And where does she fit, where does she fit?

The ball will be extravagant, masquerades and sheer dresses and pointed shoes. Blue puts on her rogue, lines her eyes with black and pulls her hair...

Willow #ikara

I met her under the morning sun
as the summer flowers bloomed
She wore a crown atop her head
of ivy tipped with dew

Her eyes were green, her branches strong
Thickly grew her leaves;
She danced alone on the river's edge
and swayed in the summer breeze

I heard in my dreams a song of ice and fire

I suppose you always expected me
to be a bard of the tragic type, listening to dreams
that left me singing poetry of the ages with a tongue
of silver. But I have never sung in tune, and
these hands of mine do not fly across the strings,
only tumble through the chord changes with drunken melodies.
I cannot sing of your heroes because they are not mine.

Icarus, oh Icarus; wings of wax and broken things,
do you know what it feels like to be free? Plunge into
the unknown, brush your hands among the stars, and I suppose it doesn't matter
but someday I want your story to have a happy end.
Even so if I can tell that story, it will be a lie;
my tongue and my truths ever interchanging.
And do you know what it feels like to be free?
Stars above, sea below, and yet we always focus
on you, tumbling through the in-between.

the woman in the white dress weeps seawater #kickoff

The woman is quiet, and beautiful. Her curly black hair ripples in a cascade down her back, the depths of the sea and the darkest corners of space. She wears a feather earring in one ear, white and gold, and a tiny golden stud in the other. Her eyes are blue, bluer than anything Raine has ever seen in her life. They are quiet eyes, sad eyes. But they crinkle at the corners.

The woman doesn't dress like anybody else Raine has ever seen, but Raine has never left the Archipelago. Perhaps in the outside world people dress in loose dresses that are just strips of fabric crossed in the front, hooked around your neck and joining a skirt that billows around your feet. It must be there that this woman gained her otherworldly grace, her piercing presence, her ancient timeless face.

"I am sorry," the woman apologizes to Raine, and her voice echoes with the rolling surf. "Are you...

Novel Writing Competition 2019

Sai'el, of the embers

Salya isn’t supposed to be in the woods this late at night. But she loves the sound of the crickets at night, and the way the fireflies dance under the stars, and the sound of the trees in the moonlit breeze. She pushes her hands towards the stars that hang so low under the canopy of the dark sky, and imagines she can brush her fingertips against their warm gentle glow. It feels like safety, and home, and a word she can never describe.

The sun on her skin sings to the magic in her veins, the magic of ashes and quiet embers. Salya savors the final moments of sunlight and soaks up the summer heat, and her skin almost glows. But eventually the sun sinks below the horizon, and the sky stains pink and blood-orange. Salya means to head home, and she is walking along the path homeward when she sees the flowers. They’re in a patch by the...

memory #ikara

suns, stars, moons, void, ash, dust
sky and sea and earth and ground,
things we have forgotten to time
lost things we never found

haiya; goddess #ikara

she's dancing in infinite skies, trailing galaxies in her wake like spun sugar. and the comets swirl by, parts of her dress that fall off as she twirls. she laughs, and the universe tastes like cinnamon and smoke and it swirls like it has a thousand secrets to share if only you ask-

and she is an enigma in an enigma, and maybe that's okay-

and she sings, her voice trilling among the stars.

closed #ikara

broken, shattered selves reflecting in tidal pools
mouths sewn shut; black twine and
cruel lines and it goes
on and on and
on until I
lose my

small mortalities #ikara

if I am to fade away into the dawn, let it
be in a cascade of flower petals, the spray of the sea,
something quiet and not too flashy -- don't let me
disappear with a bang
don't let me leave you alone, creating a twisted tale
of sorrow and loneliness in my wake

a green scotch-brite notebook

I have this stack of notebooks in the corner of my room. they're all the size of regular library books, with bound spines and beat-up covers. these are my writing notebooks, and they are sacred. i carry at least two around with me at all times, like some sort of obsessive hoarder. take one out, write in it in pen so i can't erase my mistakes, and squirrel it back in my bag. 

between those pages, worlds take shapes and stories are told. i have written poems that have brought me to tears, and poems that show me how far i've come as a writer. these are my writing notebooks, and they are sacred. i never ever let anybody read them without express permission. i never ever talk about them. 

it's like, if i talk about them openly, they'll lose their magic. 

and then somebody asks about them. i'm sitting on the floor of a classroom, applying stickers i've been slowly...

Fantasy Writing Competition 2019

Fynn and Loki

Fynn wasn't expecting a strange boy to suddenly appear in her room. Then again, she wasn't expecting much of anything to happen at all. It had been one of those summer days where absolutely nothing interesting had happened at all, and where there was no sign of anything interesting happening anytime soon. The temperature had remained at a scorching 83 degrees all day, with no clouds or breeze. The sky had remained the same pastel-blue since sunrise.

Fynn hated those summer days. She hated that strange feeling, as if the world had been paused mid-second and left there. She also hated the heat, since it forced her to sweat it out in her trademark gray cardigan. It had been her friend's, and now it was hers -- a gift. Fynn hadn't gone a day without it for years, and she certainly wasn't going to start because of some weather (even if it lasted for a quarter of the year).


Earth spins on in an eternal orbit - I pass the pen to you and let the stars carry me away

We have reached the end of the story, and you put down the final page with a sigh. That sigh echoes through space and time, through mountain halls and starry nights, through abandoned castles and fluorescent-lit classrooms, until it comes rushing back to this room at the end of the world. 

"And so it ends," I say, because I have given all my words to the paper and ink in your hands. And when the Moon crawled over the horizon, and shone down on the final manuscript, I had known this was the way it ended. Now I sink down into my chair with my own sigh, scrub my face with my hands.

You frown, shove the papers in my face. "But that can't be the ending!"

"There once was a boy named Evan, and a boy named Ash, and they faced their problems together. Is that not an ending?"

"Yes, but what about --"

"That's not my story to...

Venus passes by in orbit ----- we pick up the pieces and learn to heal

The knock at the door comes at two in the morning, and if Evan hadn't instinctually known who it was he would have let them stand on the porch. But he does know, and so he unfolds himself from the chair in front the the television, pausing his videogame mid-battle, and goes to open the door. He brings a blanket with him, because the night's cold and he hasn't heard the telltale rumble of a car engine.

She's shaking when he opens the door, tears running down her cheeks in tidal waves. He doesn't ask questions; he never does. He walks out to her, unfolds the blanket. Wraps her in it and coaxes her aching feet across the threshold. 

"Would you prefer tea or hot chocolate?" he asks, gesturing to the kitchen. Ashley stares at him, a ghost in her own skin. He can count her bones under that pale skin; she is fragile, delicate like a bird.

Evan sets...

Mars #ADM.Poem

Close your eyes, don't look at our
travesty of an ending, buried six feet under in cairns of stolid stone,
marble forever left to tarnish under the heavens and their mocking light
    And turn away, close your ears,
ignore the shouts echoing from men with black-hole mouths and
women with eyes that burn into your heart;
I will hold my funeral now, and this is my elegy written by
pain and heartache just like it was always meant to be.
        Let there be --
    Do not let the standard flag!
we march to war, darling, to the beat of those ancient war drums.
Somewhere Mars is reveling in the chaos we cannot escape,
and I am afraid I do not wish to leave the cause, now,
        My dearest, I --
    not from me, but from you; your words echo hollowly
down the halls of my heart, and won't you let me go? bury me with the ghosts.
    This was...

Mars beats his war drums ----- I left you behind in the castle on the hill

    Close your eyes, don't look at our
travesty of an ending, buried six feet under the inkwells
we so foolishly substituted for our voices.
    And turn away, close your ears,
ignore the shouts echoing from men with black-hole mouths and
women with eyes that burn into your heart;
I will hold my funeral now, and this is my elegy written by
pain and heartache just like it was always meant to be.
        My dearest, I --
    not from me, but from you;
words echo hollowly down the halls of my heart
where the left aorta now stands unfulfilled,
and won't you let me go? bury me with the ghosts
    This was my choice to make, and I pulled the plug;
we will not watch the world fall down around us together
because I have placed you safely with the stars in your eyes;
glitter brightly in the night sky
so that you are my final vision of this world.

Uranus wishes to cast away his omnipresence ----- we resolve to change the end of this story

It begins in the night, under the light of the moon

The moon is rising, slowly, his eyes winking open to stare down at the quiet land below. He yawns, not entirely awake yet. The Sun, that good beautiful golden Sun, shakes him awake--

She sinks below the horizon, her eyes already drooping down. The Sun is tired, now, after yet another day reigning in the sky. It is time for the Moon to reign. She wishes to keep watch over the creatures of the Earth a little longer, but she can never stay awake.

The Sun sinks below the horizon; the Moon rises to take her place.

For a time, it is peaceful. The wind whistles across the landscape, rustling the trees and sweeping the fields. But suddenly it encounters something it does not expect--

The creatures of the wood are caught off guard when the wind comes up short before the two humans. Curious, they raise their heads from sleep,...

I wanted to share my high school with you, but all I came up with are shards of a greater whole

things found in my high school, in no particular order.

i. paint

When they rebuilt our high school, they doused it in white paint. The fluorescent lights glare down from the ceiling, casting gray shadows on uniform cinder blocks. Our locker bays are held in place by ghostly white bricks, the navy lockers a beacon of color in a sea of its absence. Not that anybody uses the lockers, really. We drag our backpacks back and forth through the halls, zippers and tags and water bottles denting and scratching the walls. When the paint peels, we look underneath it curiously. But it's just more white paint.

ii. bleachers
When they rebuilt our high school, they had to rip up the old bleachers in the gym. Nobody was sad to see them go; the wood creaked and squealed under our feet as we clambered up them for pep rallies. We saluted the end of the old oaken boards with something like...

Jupiter shakes his fist ----- the storm begins to brew on the horizon

i. children. we were young and free, scraping our knees on hot asphalt and coming home bruised from the trees we climbed. "boys will be boys," they said, and our parents shook their heads at us; we shook our fists at them when they turned away. the band-aids on our elbows became battle scars, proof that we were victorious. 

ii. kindergarten. we lay restless on the floor, closed our eyes and pretended to sleep. we wreaked havoc with paint and marker, painting the classroom into the adventure-land we craved. we were inseparable, like always, evanandash foreverandever.

iii. elementary school graduation. your parents didn't come to see you graduate, but mine did. it was okay, you said, fists clenched like you were going into battle. we gorged ourselves on ice cream after; chocolate-chip-cookie-dough and double-chocolate in alternating stacks. diplomas and sticky hands and battle scars still on our elbows from all our tumbles.

iv. middle school. we...

Somewhere in the Solar System, Pluto mourns ----- the words we want to say will not allow themselves past our throats [TRANSLATED]

Dear Evan,

Sorry, but my phone is dead and it is the middle of the night and I was looking up at the night sky and I just could not help myself. Because do you see that sky? The Milky Way is spread out before our small insignificant town, each star glowing with its own light. It felt magical, Evan, it really did. 

Sometimes I wish I could freeze time and just share these magical moments with you.

I know why you sent me that first ciphered note, even though you have always been too shy to admit it outright. It happens to be the same reason why I am writing this note now, staring at the night sky. There is something in this world that is wonderful and amazing and sometimes you just need somebody to share it with. 

There is something special about the act of putting pen to paper and just letting yourself bleed out until all...

We whisper tales of Neptune's exploits ----- sometimes the stories we tell sound better than the truth

The following piece of paper was found in a rain puddle. When dried out, only the following words could be made out.

He had gone//////////////////////// to the trouble of///////////////////////////////////////
///////////////////////////and I guess/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////convinced people/////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Unknown to its owner, this paper had fallen from his backpack on his way home. While you, the readers, cannot decipher it entirely..... this narrator can (perks of being the narrator).

This was originally a story about a boy's grandfather, who reportedly went "Looking for Neptune" and can still be found to this day in the sea spray on a misty day. But the last sentences.... well....... not to spoil things, but to spoil things.

"My grandfather was found two weeks later wrecked on a small rocky island, starved to death. It turned out he had been drunk the whole legendary...

Leyilo - #SciFi

The night was creeping in on the horizon when the young man appeared from nothingness onto the deserted plains of the planet Leyilo. There was no warning, no explanation. One minute, the crystalline plains of Oliya were filled only with humming blue crystals delicately spearing the heavens. And the next minute, a strange being was standing there, his very arrival absorbing the song of the plains. The sharp pop that came with his entrance echoed, bouncing itself into oblivion.

The man stood for a moment, head tipped back to see the stars appearing in the night sky. And then he collapsed into a heap on the ground.

It would take Oliya’s residents a day to discover the young man. It would take the man five more days to wake. And as he lay, sleeping, it quickly became clear that something was strange about him. 


The inhabitants of Leyilo were familiar with foreigners appearing unannounced on their planet - it...

Somewhere in the Solar System, Pluto mourns ----- the words we want to say get stuck in our throats

[existing in the bottom of a trash bin, crumpled severely, is this letter. There is no specified date]

Topn Ovpi,

Qjnny, lsr hy kcjio dq topt pit dr dq rco hdttgo ja rco idbcr pit D wpq gjjfdib sk pr rco idbcr qfy pit D esqr ujsgt ijr cogk hyqoga. Loupsqo tj yjs qoo rcpr qfy? Rco Hdgfy Wpy dq qknopt jsr loajno jsn qhpgg diqdbidadupir rjwi, opuc qrpn bgjwdib wdrc drq jwi gdbcr. Dr aogr hpbdupg, Ovpi, dr nopggy tdt. 

Qjhordhoq D wdqc D ujsgt anoozo rdho pit esqr qcpno rcoqo hpbdupg hjhoirq wdrc yjs.

D fijw wcy yjs qoir ho rcpr adnqr udkconot ijro, ovoi rcjsbc yjs cpvo pgwpyq looi rjj qcy rj pthdr dr jsrndbcr. Dr cpkkoiq rj lo rco qpho nopqji wcy D ph wndrdib rcdq ijro ijw, qrpndib pr rco idbcr qfy. Rcono dq qjhorcdib di rcdq wjngt rcpr dq wjitonasg pit phpzdib pit qjhordhoq yjs esqr ioot qjholjty rj qcpno dr wdrc. 

Rcono dq...

Dear WtW members: a thank-you letter [50 followers]

Dear WtW members,

    It's been over a year since I first joined this site, and I have never regretted it. Because I have found something precious in the people I have met here; the pieces I have read; the feedback; the contests; the kindness I encountered. For that, I will forever be grateful.

Recently, I reached 50 followers. A milestone of my writing career on this website, and a marker of just how supportive you, the Writers of Write The World, can be. I can never hope to express how happy this community has made me; it feels amazing to be able to share my writing with other writers. 

It was you who inspired me to write my very first piece, titled Lora, and to follow up with my poems. All of you have inspired me at one point or another, and pushed me to become a better poet. It was you, sharing your favorite books, that...

Mercury burns brightest in the sky ----- you told me it would be so

        hey are you still coming
            to the club party?
            i'm considering skipping

I'm not going. It'll be too loud,
                                                                      and I'm too high-strung.

        if you're not coming
                to the club party tonight,
                i won't go either

Evan, you've been looking
                                                                    forward to this for months.

        well, i was under the impression
               that i'd know somebody there
    It's Space Club. You know
                                                                every single person attending.

        we both know that's a lie.
                ash, the only person there i know
                is you.

       i don't think i'm going, either
                i'm just terrible around people,
                and you know that.
                everybody there terrifies me.



It had been almost five days since anybody had visited Karin, and she was beginning to get lonely. The constant day-to-day normalcy of the hospital was lulling her into a stupor, and she was afraid that if she let herself get lost in it she’d never be truly awake again. Not to mention that a wall can only be stared at so much before being dismissed as boring. So Karin not-so-subtle people-watched people outside the hospital.

And sometimes, doing this, Karin felt an ache - the type you get when you are left out. The sun shone outside her window; the days were beautiful, even when it rained. Sometimes there were children playing in the distance that she could see from her 13th floor window, and she wondered if one of them might have been her long ago if she hadn’t gotten sick. People walked around together, all of them bound with unbreakable bonds… unlike her family- all torn...

At Home


There's a place where I belong,
where the skies are golden and blushing and

the sun is just dipping below the horizon and

the stars are just peering out from beyond the atmosphere
to see if it's time to come and dance


I can never seem to reach it,
as hard as I try,
so a long time ago I settled for a small little corner with
the blanket made by my former friend
where I lose myself in a small black keyboard and

I learn to craft words that stand as replacements
for the worlds I lose sight of when I wake up
to face the unforgiving light of the sunrise and

those stories that dissolve like the rain
on the sidewalks slowly come to life again


soon enough, those worlds
will form a horizon where the sun sinks down
to allow the moon it's turn and

when it's time I will finally be able

I answer my #askthewriter questions

So a little while ago, I wrote this piece called I do #askthewriter and am social and as promised here are my answers to your questions! But first, I just want to thank all of you who asked me questions for reaching out! :)

Okay, here we go!

1) Do you watch Marvel movies? 
    I was practically raised on them, so yes. I love Guardians of the Galaxy (volumes 1&2), Antman, Antman and the Wasp, and the original Avengers movie the most.
2) Have you read Harry Potter? 
    Yup! I've also watched all the movies. I've managed to collect all of the books from free book carts from my local library. 
3) Do you prefer reading or movies? 
    Depends on the genre. I can't watch horror, but I can read it. I love animated movies more than the comic book/manga forms. Whenever there's a book-to-movie adaptation, I'll try and see it. I try and...

It turns out Saturn is beautiful after all ----- but I've run out of words to describe it


A long exhale. "Ash, help me set up the telescope."

Rustling, crunch, crunch, shhhh-shh--ratatata-shhhhh-------------------shhhh-------shh----- 

Rusty bolts protesting against adjustment ---REEEEEEEEEEEEEEECH-----

"Evan, where's the socket wrench?"

The sound of metal smacking against a palm.
REEECH, shh-ratat-shhhhh-------ratat-------------------shh---------------shh
The sound of an owl in the distance

"Hey, the viewfinder's actually right for once."

grooooaaaan, hhh-haaaa--hhhh-haaaa
Shuffling, crunch-crunch, ratatatata-shhh----shh------ratatatataratatatata-----------shhhhhhh----------------------------

"......Is that Saturn?"

"...Move over, lemme see, Ash."

Shuffle, crunch-crunch-shhhhhhhhh

"Wow, yeah."

The wind fades into the distance.


The Novel I'm Writing in 12 Songs

Saturn by Sleeping At Last
                "You taught me the courage of stars before you left"
                             Let's face it, Garen, it's you.
The Scientist by Coldplay
                "Questions of science, science and progress"
                            You know where this ends, don't you, Aiela?
Blood Red Roses by C21 FX
                "The depths, they wouldn't claim her"
                            Cardinal. Honestly. This is your angst song.
Clocks by Coldplay
                "Tides that I tried to swim against / have brought me down upon my knees"
                            Galithan. Oh, Galithan.
The Sound of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel
                "But my words like silent raindrops fell"
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For by U2
                "But yes, I'm still running"
                            Sage, this is you in 4 minutes and 37 seconds.
Here I Am by the Boxer Rebellion
                "I follow blindly, however unlikely"

The Peace of Wild Things

Hand-painted starlight

The sky stretching overhead
becomes a canopy of hand-painted wonder
and the trees live and breathe,
rustling about the latest breeze and sighing out a whisper

The corn shakes itself just a few 
blinks of peaceful over the way
and somewhere there is a deer stip-stepping,
leading their herd on a search for a sliver of the fading dusk

There is an owl, 
beginning to sing
Perhaps it's on the roof
perhaps the sky

A shooting star arcs across the darkness,
leaving behind it a trail of secrets
and stardust and fire and wishes
and it winks before heading on its way

The grass murmurs quietly
and the crickets inside begin to sing their soft soli
to the fireflies overhead,
who flicker to the beat of night


“In January”

In June

Green carpet spread out beneath the sunshine,
swaying in the breeze -
the scent of cut grass lingering as blades flop defeated
on the hot asphalt

crossing the driveway without shoes, feet still wet
from the garden hose, listening to
birds chittering at the empty feeder

Sky overhead is blue-blue-blue like a robin's egg,
commandeered by cumulus clouds towering above

there is the smell of hostas blooming,
and the sharp scent of tomato, too;
my stomach rumbles and I sneak a raspberry
from the patch in the backyard, savoring
its tart sweetness while it lasts


Monster Flash Fiction Competition 2018


Listen closely. There once was a girl with no past, and she turned into a monster. Nobody knows how, but there are rumors - they whisper of a man with coal eyes and a smile of ice and daggers.

They say she lost herself on the night of the Red Dawn. Wouldn’t be surprising if that's true. If that was the moment when she turned from human to monster.

Do you know where she is? No? I can tell you. She hides in the shadows, the floors, the walls. She might be listening right now.

Be careful what you do, or she might come for you, too.


It’s been a thousand years - a day. No - it’s been a moment between breaths, one where a microcosmic universe is created and destroyed. Yet, at the same time, it has been forever. Because it isn’t possible for such a moment to be so small. It shouldn’t be so easy.