Don’t give up. You’re doing just fine.

A little voice is speaking. Soft and barely audible as I strain to hear it. Faint like a whisper, echoing into the cave of my ear:

“Don’t give up. You’re doing just fine.”

Words tumble from my lips as I argue with this little noise. Every reason for its contradiction is real, and the memories of all my crucified hopes threaten to snuff it out. Other voices, bolder and louder, screech the agonizing reminders of all the times I have tried and failed. 

My thoughts dance in my head, waltzing to the tune of the shrieks. And they are the thoughts of one who has stumbled and fallen, who got up only to fall again.

“Don’t give up. You’re doing just fine.”

The voice is as faint as ever, but still it speaks. Neither arguing, nor contradicting the others. But this time, it calms me enough to lower my restless body to the ground. 

Not long after, all I feel is my heartbeat and the movement my lungs as they trap and release air. I place my hand on my aching head, my thoughts clearing a little as a welcome breath of cool wind caresses my face.

“I won’t give up,” I hear my voice whisper. “I’m doing just fine.”

I dedicate this post to all who have been here. Whatever you strive for, whatever seems out of reach, it is my hope you will listen to that little voice we all know and too often ignore. 

Be well,

-Beth

 

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Is Blogging Helpful to Aspiring Writers?

My hands tread over my laptop’s keys in vigorous strokes. The delicate clicks of plastic tickle my ears as the buttons compress beneath my fingertips. All the while, words pour out like a flood before my eyes. At last, I get to read what I have thought, and the words are good.

The intoxication of writing is known well by every writer. Without it, I may not write. What my mind held in is avalanching through every syllable, and suddenly, every emotion has found a vent.

Before this blog, my writing was confined. Unseen by others, read only by me. Since its creation, I’ve changed. Suddenly, sending queries to literary agents isn’t as scary.

Coincidence? No. My confidence is a muscle that has been strengthened by you, my readers. Every ‘like’ you clicked, every moment you took time to comment on my work, has and is changing my life.

Thank you.

-Beth

 

 

Two Little Tacos

Two little tacos on my plate

Be three, I wish, that would be great!

I ate them, and there’s plenty more.

The two could quickly turn to four.

My hand grips my fork as I think of that third.

The intoxicating thought! I’m being lured.

But I closed my eyes and thought of the scale.

The numbers don’t lie, the truth is unveiled.

I sigh and concede my stomach is sated.

My meal is over, my hunger abated.

I push the plate aside and drink from my cup.

Today, that scale number will not go up.

Fighter

Fighter

I step onto the battlefield. Unarmed, I join the fight.

Almighty God from Heaven above! Save me from this plight!

Searing pain fills my gut; from where I know not came the blow.

What kind of pain can do this? Agony is all I know.

I fall on my back and wait for the next—and surely, Reader, it came!

This time it struck my heart, my core, and it was the greatest of all pain.

Hot breath wafts my face; the gurgle of laughter tickles my ears.

“You are mine now,” a triumphant voice confirms my worst of fears.

It was not a man or beast that struck me; No Devil was my bane.

Heaven and Hell had no part to play in my agonizing pain.

I opened my eyes and saw my foe, Doubt held her ax with glee.

All this time I barely fought, and the war—the battle—was me!

Doubt’s mouth curled, her eyes sparkled with the evil she planned.

She raised the ax above her head, and I raised my hand.

I grabbed the blasted ax, right at its sharpest end.

But no cut met my palm, nothing that needed to mend.

Doubt doubled back with a cry; her eyes wild with disbelief.

She screamed as I had, yet now she shook like a lowly leaf.

I took the ax and struck with blows I never thought I could do.

“You’re gone!” I shout my triumph. “Never again shall I know you!”

The battle is over, and Doubt’s mangled corpse lies at my feet.

The joy I have is bliss, Reader, for I did not know defeat.

But Doubt is healing, she will be back, just like the night follows the day.

Her blows are heavy, the pain is real, and sometimes they don’t go away.

But if she turns your goals into a battlefield

To arms, my friend, and press on! May you never yield!

-Beth

Lady Death

Darkness knows her; all is well.

She will lead you straight to hell.

Her eyes are covered, but she can see

All that you ever wanted to be.

The light is snuffed out without a trace

Keep your head down lest you see her face.

Lady Death, we know you not; only your sting

And the agony of misery you bring!

Do not linger; stay in your lair.

All who trespass her home, beware!

(I drew this last night, and thought she needed a poem. Thanks for stopping by!)

 

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R.A.W.

The principal’s office was a quaint place I had never been in. It had desk, a window, and some pictures of his family hung all around in little frames.

Principal Donaldson took a seat behind the desk and bid us all to grab a folding chair. When we had all settled down in front of him, he spoke again.

 “Please tell me, one by one, what happened just now?”

 “I’ll go first,” Danika said quickly, throwing me and Kaius a nasty look. “I was just sitting there, and…”

She faltered for a moment, blinking her eyes as she seemed to recollect. “Kaius is so hot,” she said at last. “I wanted him, but he rejected me…no one should get to reject me…”

Principal Donaldson raised his eyebrows as the she and the other girls went quiet as well.

 “What does that have to do with the assault?” he prompted. “What happened with Kyle?”

“Kaius called me stupid and revolting,” Danika continued, “so Kyle punched him. “Kyle’s so nice. I wish I had asked him out…”

 “Oh, for God’s sake,” the principal moaned, closing his eyes. “Is that why Kaius punched him?” he asked me.

 “Yeah,” I said coldly. “Principal Donaldson, shouldn’t you be calling our parents before asking us questions?”

 “I want to know what happened before the parents meddle,” he replied, and now he, too was blinking oddly. “They can be troublesome, and I want a solid report to give to the police.”

 “Principal Donaldson,” Kaius said suddenly. “A man has a right to defend himself, correct?”

 “Yes,” he replied promptly.

 “And Danika just told you Kyle punched me first, correct?”

 “I did,” Danika said dreamily. “You’re so handsome, Kaius.”

Reader, by now you’re probably guessing what I was guessing. And you’re right. Kaius didn’t twiddle his fingers, or do anything out of the ordinary, but there was a definite presence about him. I was somehow excluded and watched dumbfounded as the scene continued.

 “You seem like a clever young man,” Principal Donaldson murmured as Danika and the other two girls made kissing noises at him. “Not one to start fights. You’re a good kid.”

Kaius smirked. “Thank you. Will you tell that to the police?”

He nodded. “I certainly will.”

 “What are you doing?” I whispered as Kaius’ smirk broadened.

 “It’s all right,” he whispered back. “I’m not hurting them.”

The police came by shortly, handcuffs in hand and ready to take Kaius downtown. However, they hadn’t taken their second step into the office before the Principal stood from his desk.

“This young man was only defending himself,” he said. “I’ve had it from these witnesses,” he pointed at Danika, the two other girls, and me. “They have all stated Mr. Knudson attacked first.”

“Mr. Knudson is on his way to the hospital with a broken jaw,” they said. “I’m afraid we can’t just…”

 “Kaius,” I said uneasily as the cops paused with the incoherent blinking. “Um…”

 “I’ll explain later,” he said soothingly, “don’t worry.”

 “We’ll need to fill out some paperwork,” one of the officers said at last. “With the testimonies, and you’ll need to call the parents for that…”

 “Of course,” Mr. Donaldson, nodding. “Let’s do that.”

The parents arrived, and they were all treated to the same dose of whatever Kaius was doing. Except for Paula, who wasn’t pleased.

She walked in with a huff and glared at Kaius at once. “So, you couldn’t stay out of trouble?”

 “Don’t be so hard on him, Ms. Dunham,” one of the cops said. “From what I’m hearing, the young man was a victim of an attack! He had every right to defend himself…”

Paula threw me a questioning look, and I nodded.

“Well,” she said with a sigh. “Let’s get this over with, then.”

It took a long time. The cops wrote up a report, and after we signed some papers, we could finally leave.

 “What truly happened there?” Paula asked Kaius as soon as we were in the car and on our way home.

 “Just a truth charm,” he replied. “No one could lie about what happened.”

 “A truth charm?” I repeated. “How would that even work, exactly?”

He shrugged. “It’s not complicated. When casted, the ones under its influence feel an overwhelming desire to speak the truth.”

 “They seemed high,” I said. “Like they had just taken a drug.”

 “They were freed from the need to hide things,” Kaius said. “It would give anyone a happiness, I’m sure.”

“Kaius, that’s terrible!” Paula scolded him. “How long will that charm last?”

“It is limited only to the situation,” he replied. “So, for as long as it is an issue, I guess. Don’t worry,” he repeated as Paula and I cringed. “It won’t affect their personal lives. And a little truth is good for them.”

I sighed. “Well, at least they didn’t arrest you.”

“That would have been awkward to explain,” Kaius agreed.

Paula groaned. “Just when I thought this couldn’t get any weirder…”

The day proceeded to be dull and uneventful. Mostly because we spent it in front of the television. Kaius was now obsessed with documentaries and watched as many as I could tolerate. I let him watch them all day, hoping he would forget the inevitable.

But it was a hope doomed to failure. As soon as Paula said goodnight that night, he turned to me from his chair.

“Are you going to tell me?” he asked pointedly.

“About what?” I asked aggressively.

He gave me a hard look. “Today, you writhed from that idiot like a worm from a hook. Why?”

“Kyle got drunk at a party,” I said coldly. “And I had to spray him with pepper spray. That is all.”

“Did he hurt you?” Kaius asked, his face darkening.

“He never got the chance,” I said icier still. “I pepper-sprayed him.”

Kaius looked at me, his eyes narrowing as if trying to detect deception. Luckily, my phone rang in a perfect diversion. I took it out of my pocket and gasped.

“Who is it?” he asked.

“It’s Piper,” I choked, my hand shaking.

Kaius scoffed. “Just block the damn number, Rose. It’s not worth—oh for shit’s sake,” he moaned as I pressed the “answer” button.

“Hello?” I said, cringing.

“Rose,” Piper murmured uneasily, “have you checked Kyle’s status lately?”

“I’m not friends with him, Piper,” I said stiffly. “Why?”

“He-he sort of told everyone about Michael Wilson.”