Happy Oblivion

This is a writing prompt by The Poets and The Peddlers about a society who are overly happy about everything but it’s also going to be loosely based on Katy Perry’s music video for her new song Chained to the Rhythm because that’s what it reminded me of.

“Will you go out with me Anastasia?” Dan asked, a big goofy grin on his face.

“Yes, yes, a thousand times yes!!” Anastasia barely let him finish, wrapping her arms around him and they began to kiss passionately, surrounded by happy couples, skipping, kissing, and taking selfies. Finally, they were riding on the bandwagon of love with everyone else. They posed for a selfie with big smiles, posting it on Facebook and Instagram with the caption “Danastasia is now officially a thing!” Within a minute, the likes and comments came pouring in: “OMG that is literally the perfect ship name! It’s fate! That was totally my ship name for you guys! I’ve shipped you guys from the beginning! You guys are so cute! Cutest couple!” As they read each comment, their faces lit up more and more.

“Oh Dan! It is fate! We’re perfect together!” They embraced lovingly and shared in another passionate kiss. 
“Sarah, will you marry me?” Greg asked, with a wide smile on his face, pulling out a ring.

“Oh my God, yes!” Sarah cried happily and Greg eagerly placed the ring on her left ring finger.

“I can’t wait to tell my friends and family!” She squealed, admiring the huge shiny rock on her finger that symbolized her initial Union to Greg. 

They got together and posed for a selfie, Sarah sticking her left hand out to flaunt her diamond, posting it to Facebook, pleased with all the likes and comments they continuously received within minutes congratulating them.

They had taken the first step on the road to a perfect life!

Within six months Sarah had found the perfect dress! 

“You look perfect!” exclaimed her maid of honor. 

“I know!” Sarah cried and she and her bridal party squealed with delight! 

Sarah pulled out her phone and took a mirror selfie with her bridal party photo bombing in the background.

Every aspect of the wedding was planned with joy. The cake was perfect! The decorations were gorgeous! The flowers were beautiful! 

The wedding was a year later and it was perfect! Smiles were on everyone’s faces, including the priest who married them and everyone erupted into thunderous applause when he announced them husband and wife and they eagerly shared in a passionate kiss. Everyone danced to every song, and smile widely as they watched the bride and groom dance to their first dance with wide grins on their own faces. The food was delicious! Everyone had a wonderful time! And Sarah and Greg couldn’t have been happier now that they were officially a married couple. 

After their honeymoon, they moved into their dream home with a little white picket fence and wrap around porch, which was identical to all the surrounding houses in the neighborhood. As they made their way through the neighborhood, they were greeted warmly and congratulated on moving into their new home. 

Within a year they had a baby and they were now the perfect family. 

Greg read his paper while Sarah cooked dinner and their daughter played with her dolls with the TV on in the background announcing an immigration ban, sending all the foreigners back to their home country and keeping them from entering. They all just kept smiling, content in their own lives. 
Yes, I know the last part was very similar to a scene in the Katy Perry music video but I said this was influenced by it. 

The Light of Darkness 

It was supposed to be an ordinary day. We never expected to find ourselves lost in such an eerie yet calming paradise. 

“Let’s go on a picnic!” My sister Emily cried. 

I groaned. I did not want to get up. I was perfectly content and comfortable here lounging on the couch. 

“Come on get up lazy bones!” She teased. “Let’s go on an adventure!”

I rolled my eyes. I had all the adventure I needed right here on my game of Temple Run.

“Come on, I found this really beautiful place online. There’s a lake and a garden full of flowers that surrounds the picnic tables. It’s so magical! Come on, it’ll be fun! It’s far too beautiful of a day to waste inside.”

“Ugh,” I groaned. 

“Please!” She begged. 

I sighed, pausing my game. Obviously she wasn’t going to give up and she couldn’t go without me. I was older with a license so I had to drive to wherever this supposedly magical place was. “Alright,” I acquiesced. “Where is this place?”

“Yay!” she squealed in delight.

It was not a short drive. The GPS took us through mountains, past rivers, over a long rickety bridge and through a dark tunnel. It seemed like an eternity. Then… I saw it. A tall golden gate entrance with security guards dressed in all white standing guard in front. They motioned for us to roll down our window. 

“Welcome to The Garden of Haven,” one of the guards said warmly. “We hope you enjoy your stay. We just please ask of our newcomers to first bathe in our lake before entering into the Garden. He gestured to the lake that sparkled in the bright sunlight. 

Emily and I gave each other a look. Strange request. We hadn’t even brought our swimsuits. 

“Policy,” the guard explained. “Only those who agree to these terms are permitted into the Garden of Haven, he pointed beyond the lake to a garden of endless flowers of every color imaginable. I couldn’t take my eyes off them. It was like they were glued to them. 

“See, I told you it was beautiful!” Emily exclaimed. 

“You weren’t kidding,” I said, still gawking in amazement. I was eager to park the car and surround myself in those luscious flowers. I had been pretty hungry and tired on the way up here but now it was like just the sight of those flowers had fueled me with energy and nourished my very soul. Yet, I still wasn’t satisfied. I needed more. It was like they were a drug. 

However, at the same time, I knew I wasn’t allowed in the Garden until I had bathed in the lake. I wanted to get to the Garden, I needed to get to it, and the only way was to enter the lake. As I looked at the crystal clear blue water, I felt dirty and unworthy of this place. I needed to cleanse myself. Emily and I headed towards the water. We looked around for anyone to make sure no one saw us as we stripped ourselves bare in public. Although it is considered unorthodox to do so, an assuring voice told us it was perfectly acceptable here since we were cleansing ourselves, making ourselves worthy of the Garden of Haven. So, we went ahead and stripped down first to our undergarments, then we slipped out of those too and stepped into the lake. I would say it felt like silk but that would be an understatement. It wrapped us in its sweet warmth and created a feeling of euphoria all over our entire bodies. They tingled in pleasure as we waded deeper into the water. We sunk under, wetting our hair, which shined in the sunlight. We felt no draught as the air hit our skin. There was only warmth that tingled on our shiny fresh newborn-looking skin. It was so soft and looked cleaner than from any shower I’ve ever taken. This was a special kind of water, not like the kind that falls from the skies or runs out our faucets. This was not water from Earth. Where were we? Surely not on Earth any longer. 

As euphoric as the lake felt, as much as we could not get enough of its sweet embrace, we knew there were more pleasures to be discovered and we could hardly wait. We rushed to the shore, our bodies instantaneously drying in the warm sun. Our hair was completely dry when we reached the shore where we found our clothes had disappeared. That same assuring voice from before told us to swim to the other side towards the Garden and there we would find white robes to adorn our newly born flesh. We eagerly retreated back into the liquid bliss, our bodies again being wrapped in indescribable pleasure. We swam effortlessly to the other side where, indeed, two white silken robes lay neatly folded in front of the entrance to the Garden of Haven. They smelled as fresh and clean as we felt. We put them on, eager to be wrapped in the sweet softness of the material. I cannot explain how but when we put them on, they were as cozy as a robe made of soft cotton yet they were indeed made of silk, combining the aesthetic pleasure of silk and the sensational pleasure of cotton. 

The garden of flowers beckoned us in. Flowers of all kinds and colors, some we’d never seen before surrounded us in an endless frenzy  and they were all here for our pleasure it seemed. This was our garden and no one else could have it. The flowers seemed to go on forever but yet we could not get enough. We soon realized we were lost in the Garden. It was so beautiful and part of us wanted to stay, desperately trying to soak up all the beauty of our garden, never fully satisfied but another part of us felt we needed to leave immediately. This was wrong. 

“Stay,” said the assuring voice. “This is your garden.” 

But the more we walked, the stronger our apprehension became.

“We have to get out of here,” said Emily. “I don’t like it here anymore.”

“I know,” I agreed. 

“You can’t leave,” said the voice not so assuring anymore. 

I suddenly had a thought. Was this Heaven or Hell? 

Winter Warmth Turned Bitter Cold 

Fallen snow now strangely brings back that childhood feeling 

Where skies shined bright upon the white,

And winter was so grand.

But all the same,

I think, what a shame, Winter has cast her bitter white spell 

That bitter white never used to be so bitter.

The season of winter seemed to come and and go in the blink of an eye.

The sledding in the snow, hot cocoa to warm us although I was oblivious to the cold that now makes me want to curl up and die. 

I beckon for Spring to peek her sweet head 

through the icy branches and knock Winter dead. 

Oh come warm the bitter breeze,

I’m begging you please. 

I cannot take anymore of this,

I long to sink into your sweet bliss. 

Perhaps the air has grown colder as I’ve gotten older because that is what my heart has done.

I still feel kind-hearted but my mind has started to slip into a dark negative abyss,

Angry at the world for denying my expectations,

When before all things were a revelation. 

Winter could not break through my wall of happiness and glee,

My mind was carefree filled with endless positivity. 

Isn’t winter supposed to be a paradox of sorts?

The air grows cold and our hearts grow warm.

It’s coupled with a time of celebration and love,

We should be thanking God above for what we have and giving back,

Giving back to those who lack,

Those who can’t remember a time of joy. 

So maybe that’s why my mind has tried to remind me that I am capable of happiness.

All I have to do is look back and reminisce. 

The Debt for Happiness 

Happiness, 

Something everyone strives for but never has because nothing is ever enough. 

They want happiness in money but always want more. 

Happiness in love, but find the struggle of relationships. 

Happiness in silence but find they like the noise. 

In order to have true happiness, 

One needs to stop searching and embrace the pain,

For that is the price we pay,

You cannot have a rainbow without rain. 
#aseverythingturnsgrey
This is a writing prompt created by JR Rogue and Kate Savage.

Check out the site for more prompts 

https://jrrogue.com/

A Beautiful Death

Slowly their color shifts from green to orange and red,
Preparing themselves for their annual shed.
Gradually and gracefully they fall all around,
Fluttering in the breeze before gently hitting the ground.
So hard to believe this is death,

Something normally so crude, ugly and low.

But they, they die with such beauty,

Putting on quite a show.
Soon they cover the earth here and there,

leaving their homes dry and bare.

They lay there so lifeless,

become brushed away, forgotten things. 

But not for long for they will be back in the spring. 

Empathy

I watch you sulk,

Hurt in your heart.

That’s such a familiar feeling to me, heartbreak 

I can’t help but feel your pain.

I know what disappointment feels like,

A physical pain,

A punch to the heart,

Shattering it to pieces. 

That’s what happens to people like us with the hearts,

They’re stolen and crushed by those without them. 

Too often we wear our hearts on our sleeves, which slide down it like butter when we find someone who makes our heart melt. 

As foolish as you may feel, you should know there’s nothing wrong with feeling emotion.

We who embrace our emotions: love, joy, sadness are the most authentic of people. 

There’s nothing wrong with feeling sad

Because the tears we cry wash away the blindness of love and we can see clearly that we deserve better

And build ourselves up to be stronger. 

To Be an Introverted Leader

There is no doubt about it, I am an introvert. I like my quiet solitude away from the bustling social scene. I prefer to have close friends rather than a whole smorgasbord of mere acquaintances. I get anxiety talking in front of groups. 

However, I have had some growth. Although the anxiety still lingers, I have become a better public presenter. 

Still, I want more. My newfound confidence in public speaking is a small step in the right direction but I want to become a leader. All my life I have felt inferior to the rest of the world and never saw any opportunity to move forward into a greater sense of purpose. 

I have seen the leaders, these enthusiastic, vibrant, and social beings. Extroverts is what they all are. No way could an introvert ever be a leader. 

But today I met an introverted leader, a teacher. Never in all her years of living had she ever expected she could become a leader, talking in front of groups of students, sharing her knowledge but she has for twenty years now and she loves it. 

And although she is the only introverted leader I have met, there were plenty of other introverted leaders in history. Abraham Lincoln, Rosa Parks, Gandhi just to name a few. 

I, myself, am making silent plans to become a leader. I want it; I want it so I can grow and increase my confidence. Just the fact that I can imagine myself and want myself to become a leader, is progress enough, just as I have made progress through my improved public presentation. And if all those people, including my teacher, can do it when she was skeptical she could, I sure can too and so can you. 

The world needs more introverted leaders to shower our followers with our compassion, empathy, and phenomenal observation and listening skills, something those extroverted, fast-paced leaders do not possess. 

So dream big introverts and we can become the next world leaders!

Dead Runaway 

Eric cruised along the pavement on his bicycle through his neighborhood. The light feathery feeling of adrenaline that coursed through his veins as wind whooshed through his hair felt amazing. As long as he was on this bike, nothing could disrupt the feeling of ecstasy and absolute freedom. 

He was so mesmerized and in his element that he barely registered the heap of gray matter lying directly in his path. However, it came to his attention just in the nick of time before his tires made contact and he screeched to a halt, nearly falling over, the feeling of ecstasy disappated as a new kind of adrenaline hit him for the split second it took to notice the mass and stop himself from running it over. 

Taking a second to catch his breath, he slowly slid off the bike, letting it fall against the curb and went to investigate the obstacle. A closer look told him it was a dead animal. His first thought: a squirrel. Then he noticed a distinct white marking on the tip of the bushy, lifeless tail and in an instant he knew what this was. It was his neighbor Mrs. Flynn’s cat! 

“Jesus,” he cursed under his breath, his hand instinctively going to his mouth which lay gaped open. What was he going to do? How was he going to tell Mrs. Flynn? She would be absolutely heart broken! The poor elderly woman would surely keel over and die of a heart attack at the tragic news! Henry was her whole world; a widow, he was all she had. Eric didn’t have the heart to tell such a poor old woman such devastating news. 

He had to get home and tell his dad first. He would know how to handle the situation. So, he left the dead cat lying there, headed back over to his bike, and pedaled home as fast as he could, the light feathery feeling replaced by an anxious adrenaline. 

“Dad!” Eric called out as he opened the door and rushed inside, shutting it behind him. “Dad, I need your help!”

“What is it son?” His dad appeared at the top of the staircase. 

“Dad, I found Mrs. Flynn’s cat on the side of the road. He’s dead, Dad. I don’t know what to do! How are we going to tell Mrs. Flynn?”

An expression of shock and sadness crossed Eric’s dad’s face. He sighed. 

“Okay Eric,” he said. “First things first we need to bury the body. We can’t have Mrs. Flynn seeing the body. We’ll bury him in her backyard tonight so he’ll have a proper grave in the place he lived but we have to do it discreetly so she doesn’t notice us. Then…” A look of guilt crossed his face. “We have to tell her the news.”

Eric was dreading that but he knew it had to be done. He prayed the woman’s heart could sustain itself amidst the horrific news. 

“Okay,” Eric said reluctantly, trying to hold strength in his voice to prepare him for what he had to do. 
“Come on,” said his father after grabbing two pairs of rubber gloves and a trash bag. “Show me where the body is. We have to get it out of the road now so we have it before it gets dark. It would be dark in a couple hours. We’ll keep it in the backyard until tonight. 

Eric nodded and they headed out the door. They took the car. The body was a few meters away from their house. Eric’s father spotted it before Eric even spoke up. He pulled over in front of it and they got out. Eric’s father instructed him to hold open the bag as he carefully lifted the body and placed it inside. They tied the bag shut and drove off with it, Eric feeling odd having stolen a dead animal off the road and thankful they did not live on a busy street where several people could see what they were doing as they passed and deem them psychos. He just had to remind himself he was a moral person and what he and his father were doing was moral even if all of it, right down to confessing the truth to Mrs. Flynn, felt anything but. 

Eric tried to keep his mind off it, distracting himself with other things until the time came. 

Before he knew it, night had fallen and his dad called him down to do the good but difficult deed. With rubber gloves on, they headed out to the garage to get the bag and a shovel. An uneasy feeling crossed Eric as he held the bag as they drove to Mrs. Flynn’s house, growing more and more as they got closer to the old woman’s residence. 

Within minutes they were there. As Eric climbed out of the car, bag in hand, he tried to slow his heart rate and breathing. He just had to keep telling himself they were doing the right thing. They headed to the backyard by the woods and Eric’s dad got to work shoveling. As Eric stood there mindlessly watching his dad dig up their neighbor’s yard, he began to feel like they were breaking and entering. It was very difficult for him to see what they were doing as respectful, but as he carefully exhumed the body from the bag and gently placed it into the hole his dad had dug, he opened his mind and saw himself paying a respect to Mrs. Flynn and Henry. They had prepared a resting place for him and as long as he was buried here, his spirit would live on with Mrs. Flynn. The thought made him feel much better. 

“Okay, good work Eric,” his dad said after they had buried the body entirely. “Let’s go home and get some sleep.”

But they were interrupted by the back porch light turning on. They froze, Eric’s anxiety rising again. He wasn’t ready to tell Mrs. Flynn yet and certainly not directly in front of Henry’s grave. He looked up at his dad who nodded at him with reassurance. They walked up to the porch where Mrs. Flynn was standing, looking sleepy and confused, squinting under the porch light. 

“Dan? Eric?” She was clearly confused as to why her two neighbors were standing in her backyard at ten o’clock at night. 

“Hi Mrs. Flynn,” Eric’s dad spoke up. “We can explain why we’re here…” Eric could see that his dad, who was normally strong, was having a difficult time trying to get the horrible words out. He decided that he would help him, even though it was just as hard for him. 

“Mrs. Flynn,” he said. “This is very hard to tell you…Why don’t we go inside and sit down.” She needed to be sitting down when she heard this.

Mrs. Flynn looked concerned. “Okay, come in.” She opened the door and led them inside.

 They sat down at the kitchen table

Eric took a deep breath. “Mrs. Flynn…Today I found Henry in the road…” Eric couldn’t look at her. It was too heart-breaking to watch her reaction. “He…he was hit by a car. I’m so sorry.” 

Eric slowly looked up to make sure she wasn’t about to faint. She was on the brink of tears. Eric didn’t know whether to go over and hug her or to just leave her be. He wasn’t close with his neighbor and rarely spoke to her. 

After silently sobbing for a few minutes while Eric and his father just sat and waited, letting her cry, she asked, “Where is his body?”

“That’s why we were here,” said Dan. “We made a memorial for him in your backyard so he can rest in peace here.”

After shedding a few more tears, Mrs. Flynn thanked them. “I appreciate you telling me,” she said. “And for arranging his memorial.”

“Are you going to be alright?” Eric asked, attempting to show some compassion for this woman who was ultimately a stranger.

“Yes, I’ll be fine,” she clearly lied. Eric doubted she’d sleep well tonight. That was another reason it would have been best to wait till morning but there was nothing they could do about it now. 

She knew and that was good. Although Eric felt terrible, simultaneously he felt good for having done the right thing.