A Wanderer’s Journal. 

‘The line between myself and the dreary, rain-soaked road became smaller each morning; until finally I found myself knee deep in sludge. My steps turned into a heavy, sloppy rhythm. Each night I sat by the fire and wondered if the road would dry by tomorrow’s noon. Sadly, I was always met by the same rainy morning. 

“Sludge again, eh?” I would ask the morning light. The silence after that question always seemed to have a smirk about it, as if to laugh at my misfortune.

I did not hate the road for turning soft, nor the rain for causing it to be so. I often thought of cursing the sun for hiding.

– An act I did frequently in the earlier days.-

However, I find I lack the energy for that now, with all the trudging along the same muddy path for a few years and all. 

No one seems to know when this blessed road ends. I hardly have any idea myself. I grow weary of it. Won’t stop me though. I’ll still greet the morning with a smile. 

– Smile probably meaning a jolly grunt of “oh good. Rain again.” –

I meet few travelers like myself. Occasionally, I find another soul, trudging along, same as me. It warms both our hearts while we walk along for a little while. Eventually we part ways, silently acknowledging that our journey’s lead us down secluded roads; much like this one. And much like this one, I sometimes find the peace and beauty in my rainy morning. 

So. Cheers. To another “sludge again, eh?” day.’

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Fleeting Fragments. 

‘There comes a point when you run out of words to express it. It just exists. It simply is. Only you are truly aware of its’ reality. Others can speculate, but rarely do more than scratch the surface. They don’t know the heart of it. You lose the words that once brought it to light. 

Even in little excerpts like this one…the sense it makes is fragmented. You understand it. You feel it. You think it, yet your own mind has betrayed you; building the only wall standing between you and the world. 

You must become whole again.

That is your determination. Only then can you bring it to light. Only then can you avenge the brokenness inside. It drives you, but a part of you knows you’re only pushing yourself further off the edge. That’s where this thinking leads you. Lost me yet? I’m treading into territory behind the wall. 

Some of us are broken. Some of our souls are looking for another soul that knows our heart. Just one. Day after day of feeling that there are none left. Surrounded by beautiful hearts, but none left who understand. 

This is the fragmented journey you have found yourself on, no? 

I guess there are still those who understand, then.’ 

-K.S

The Story is Set. 

‘I cannot just throw my voice into the chaos of shrill ringing, like-minded noise. I see a world around me, drowning in the thoughts and feelings of everyone. No one reserves their true emotions; none hold back their beliefs. In ways this is good. It is equally bothersome.

 I have this dream. I burn for this. I am consumed by the idea of my own being bringing something of value into the darkness. I cannot, however, just throw my self into the middle of chaos at the rise of every sun; repetitively writing my heart into the rut of white noise. I will not. Not for fear or doubt that a single voice can bring change. The words have to be precise. They need to come from so deep inside, the fires of hell would stop in their wake. 

I care. I care so intensely. There is yet to be a cause, or a dream I resonate with more. No religion, group, or organization has captured my heart in the same way. I will find a way to express the words. One day. I give too much a damn not to.

My pen will find the hearts of those consumed by this. Until that day, I will continue to process my darkness so that those who find themselves lost in this hellish pit, can realize they are never alone.’

The Dormant Bookcase.

“Wandering near the top of the hills, he looked out over the city. It still slept as the morning dawn was slowly lifting the sky. Breathing in the cool air, he started to realize something. He still felt the presence of the young boy who was ready to bring the sun to it’s knees. Deep underneath the layers of fear; behind the walls of self-doubt years in the making. There still lied a pair of eyes set in deep blue, filled with adventure. Bent on not only seeing the world, but changing it. 

He pictured this dormant boy as a bookcase, filled with dreams & pages untouched by fear. Dust had collected on some of the shelves, true, but the books remained whole. Sometimes, on a particularly pleasant day, some of those dusty books would crack open their worn pages, sending small clouds of dust into the motionless air. He would start to feel a burning motivation; a driving desire to give it his all. Dreams forgotten, flooding his mind again. 

Few moments made him feel quite this alive, save those filled with fear, or love. He smiled warmly and inhaled deeply, savoring the moment. As he let out his breath, he prayed the dormant boy would stay. Eventually, it would.

Never having left, the young boy’s heart had not abandoned him. It had simply grown older. More worn by the weight of the pain it had endured. More guarded from the hurts gathered from the passing of years. As the young man gazed briefly into the dusty books…their pages prayed he would stay. Just a bit longer than last time.”

 

Iced Interrogations. 

‘I wrapped my heart up and puffed air into my lungs to keep it warm. The normalcy of this process had made it more understandable, but nonetheless trying. 

Each time their icy tendrils came to draw the life out of me, I had to decide to keep going and adapt accordingly. They never came the exact same way twice, scouring every inch of my heart, mind, and soul for weakness. I learned more about myself through each of their interrogations. New strengths. New beliefs. How little I actually believed in some things. 

The process, though painful, I must admit strengthened me. I went through it far more times than I would’ve liked, but so did we all. To this day, I can still sense the cold, icy presence of their questions…and to this day I find I’m faced with a slightly different heart than before. 

The Analyzers. 

‘We came like a fever in the night. No one was outside our reach. We changed the eyes of our hosts; twisting their vision into paranoid, hurt tellings of the world around them. 

They looked upon all that had gone wrong and we found every possible angle things could go wrong again. They remembered their hurts for a second and we convinced their hearts the same pain lie in wait behind every corner; in the eyes of those around them. 

Knees turning weak, they soon began needing less and less of our help. They became frozen, over thinking every thought they’d ever had; over turning every moment of their small lives. 

Rarely, did our hosts return to the individual they were before we intoxicated their veins with our venom. Even their leader, the one they so boldly boasted had such willpower, became vulnerable to our efforts wearing away at his mind. 

Fear must’ve allowed himself a smile the day we broke that man. We were his front line. We were his first and last resort. Doubt. Distrust. Anxiety. We slowly seeped it all into their heads. We divided them. We won another day for our Master. Fear would now lay waste to what little remained of their sanity. 

So we thought. Alas, we were wrong. That is for another day, however, because that day…that day was ours. That day belonged to The Analyzers.  

The Written Winter. 

‘The falling of cold comes suddenly and meets the skin with a sharp remembrance of what is to come. 

We were imprisoned in the dead of Winter’s icy reign. Left in cells deep beneath the ground; the reason behind our belief that even the world’s core cannot escape Winter. 

It’s truly a task, keeping hearts warm in those conditions. Constantly observed and beaten for being different; being gifted. 

The frozen grime and our own blood lining the walls around us. The first Winter was the hardest, coldest even. To this day it’s memories haunt us on the return of the biting chill on the air. 

There was one Winter colder. Just one. You’ve read about it I’m sure. The year we faced the darkness around us and the fear in our hearts. The year we finally clawed at freedom and grasped it. The Written Winter. 

To No One. 

‘I often wonder if they found the oldest of my scribblings, that they’d change their minds; if maybe they would see a side of life they hadn’t understood before. 

Alas, the hands of time cannot be forced backwards, for that is not a gift I possess. They won’t ever know the first words I wrote, from the rawest emotions I’d ever felt. 

Lines from before the War cannot undo the pain we have felt, nor ease the suffering endured. I have only here and now. I can do naught, except write to them from where we all stand now. We can escape, perhaps. Get out of this cycle. Wherever we may end, I only hope it is a bright future. 

One where the words we write, hidden or not, can change what’s to come. For the better. Where the words we write are not simply pain cried out in secret, but hope poured out in brilliance. 

If you have found this note, know you have found something very old. Something left in the dark damp of a cell, deep beneath the stones. The scribblings of what had once been a man, convinced his words would never reach another; certain this was just another cry to no one…’

Sacrificed Lights. 

‘I cried out from the depths of my soul, but they weren’t listening. Their minds could only hear my screams as muffled agreement to their twisted reality. 

I tried to tell them it was me, their friend, their companion; sadly they saw only danger in my eyes. They stepped closer, weapons aimed at me. I took another step back. The edge was creeping closer. I tried to figure out where I’d lost them. 

Fear had set in quick with these ones. They’d let their fear of death cloud their minds until all they saw was darkness in other’s faces. Never really knowing true light inside their bones, they’d gone careening over the edge of fear without an outside source of light. 

Soon it would be me plummeting over the edge. I did have one option left, though I’d been hoping to save it for a much darker night than this. I would offer them the light stored in my own heart. I could only hope it would be enough to turn their own hearts back into those of the friends lost somewhere in those cold, cold eyes.

I believe I saw some color return. A flicker of hope, before I was lost in the free-fall. Soon my light would float into the depths of the night sky, joining it’s fellow lights; guiding those they fell for, hoping they’d live on to fight the fear another day.’ 

Strength’s Pain. 

‘To be strong; to have that sort of inner strength, can be one’s own personal torture. 

Choosing to keep going, because deep down you know you can handle the chaos inside. 

It didn’t take long for some around me to break. They chose falling apart quickly for they had not yet been forced to endure great loads at once. The burden was too much. I’d been there a year already. The darkness, the mold, the thirst that never gets a chance to be quenched; I was used to that. 

Every now and then though, a day would come along and I would feel like breaking. It would become too much. Still, I would remain strong. The younger ones had come to look to me as a leader, someone to encourage them through such pain. I no longer felt like I had the luxury to break down. I was more than happy to be a source of hope, but my soul was not, nor is it ever perfect and whole. 

Silently I chose to crack. An inch here, a seam there. Never losing it all at once and never around others. I wasn’t raised to be someone who feels superior or more equipped to handle struggles. I still question why I chose solitude over letting them see and help me pick up pieces of myself in those moments. Why my strength felt like more of a burden to my back than wind to my sails. 

For even the strong have weakness and need a hand to help them. Some say true strength lies in numbers. I’ve watched this truth unfold before my very eyes and I’ve witnessed the beauty in fighting alongside another. 

Still…every now and then, strength infects my mind. A darkness clouds my head. I need only let the cracks show and look to the Light, but I tarry; leaving myself to my own methods of self destructive habits. Watching as my strength withers and I am left with only cold vulnerability.’