Thin

That’s all I want to be. I can’t stand to look in the mirror because all I see is a giant monster staring back at me.

I eat too much and am ashamed so I don’t let my body digest but then, why, even after I have thrown up all that food, do I still look like a monster and why is everyone around me so concerned that I am too thin?

This is a response to the word of the day writing prompt by thedailyprompt

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Ashes to Ashes

It was the summer of 2011 when Rose was diagnosed with stage 3 leukemia. Clearly Laura and Steve were devastated. She was only four years old. All the same, they were thankful they’d finally found an answer after over six months of nose bleeds, countless bruises that appeared out of nowhere, the sudden weakness in their normally active little girl, and the significant amount of weight loss despite eating adequately.

The good news was the doctors would begin treatment immediately at no cost to them although they would have emptied out their entire bank account if it meant their little girl would survive.

Unfortunately, there was bad news. They had to wait at least five years until it was safe to say the leukemia had disappeared. It was standard procedure for leukemia.

So, for the next five years they had to live on edge with anxiety, wondering if and praying for their little girl to wake up the next day. It sent both of them into a deep depression they and their loved ones feared they’d never escape.

“Come out tonight, let’s have dinner, get your mind off things,” offered Laura’s good friend and coworker who hadn’t seen her at work for weeks.

“No,” Laura declined. “I need to be with Rose.” The thought of leaving her daughter’s side was enough to send her into a full blown panic.

Steve gave the same refusal to his friends who offered a night out. His daughter was his whole world and he would be absolutely devastated if something happened and he was not there holding her hand. It was as if they both felt that by never leaving Rose’s side, they could prevent the unspeakable. Neither of them could say it but they thought about it each and everyday.

At the same time, they could hardly bare to watch their angel suffer brutally through treatment, the continuous sleepless nights of nausea and sickness. This was just too much for a child to bear. But something even more terrifying happened one night.

Rose had been going through a year of treatment, which began to seem like more torture for her parents than Rose herself who seemed to develop a sort of strength against and immunity to it, treating it like just part of her daily routine, and she said something that scared her parents into not wanting to leave her side even more.

“Mommy, I heard God’s voice. He said I am going to Heaven.”

Laura felt tears trickle out of her eyes and down her cheeks. She shook her head and then embraced her daughter tightly.

“No,” she said. “The doctors are taking care of you. You’re going to stay here with Mommy and Daddy. You’re going to be okay.”

Rose shook her head. “I’m going to Heaven and I’m going to come back a beautiful rose.”

Laura and Steve were confused and heartbroken. Why was their little girl saying these things? She was too young to be talking like that. Yes, they were religious and told Rose about Heaven and God but she shouldn’t be thinking about going to Heaven now. She wasn’t ready. Denial. That was the first stage of their grief. They ignored their daughter’s words. They were nonsense. She wasn’t dying, the cancer was. They even found her dying wish endearing. Of course, her name was Rose so that’s why she wanted to be a rose. But the more she kept talking about Heaven and her request to be turned into a rose, the harder it was to ignore.

Steve went for a drive one night, speeding down the freeway, feeling anything but. He screamed, he screamed at God, wanting to know why He was taking his daughter away.

“You just gave her to me and now You’re taking her away?! Why are You doing this?!

Laura took her anger out on others and her marriage with Steve began to suffer because they were both angry. They needed to be coming together at a time like this but instead they felt isolated, comfortable alone in their grief, selfish and unaware that the other and not to mention their loved ones were all going through the same depression.

More months went by and Rose began to look even more frail, her skin pallid and clammy, which made it all the more real they were losing their little girl and the treatment the doctor’s promised would work clearly was not. Nevertheless, Rose appeared mentally stable, not at all afraid of what awaited her. One night Lara and Steve witnessed her talking to herself, or rather talking to God.

“My parents don’t understand that I have to go with You. That’s where I belong. Can’t You help them understand I’ll still be here? I tried to tell them they have to turn me into a rose and I’ll still be with them.”

After they realized there was no turning back, the bargaining stage began.

“Please let her stay and I promise I’ll quit drinking,” Steve had a bit of a drinking problem that he used to cope with the pain. It left him numb.

Laura promised she would do more charity work and go to church more often.

When their prayers weren’t answered, they went back into depression and Steve did quit drinking because he was already numb from the depression. They were both so numb they couldn’t cry anymore. Their minds had chosen escape from everything.

Before they knew it another year had gone by and by this time the doctors had stopped treatment because all it was doing was making Rose sick. The cancer was winning and Laura and Steve knew that. There was nothing to be done now. The final stage, acceptance. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, they chose to now focus their preparations. They wanted to have the funeral soon after so they made the reservations and they requested their daughter be cremated. When they did research on planting flowers in human remains though they found it was almost impossible. The contents of the ashes would be too deadly, a far from optimal environment for new life to form. Of course, it made sense. It was a paradox what they were trying to accomplish, growing life in death. Well, at least they would still have the ashes. That gave them comfort but should they tell Rose she couldn’t have her dying wish? They were afraid it would break her heart. That was all she wanted. This thought encouraged them to not give up. They prayed for a miracle. She had to come back as a rose and the more determination they felt to try, the more they believed it was possible.

So, when the day came when they had to say their goodbyes to their little girl, of course it broke their hearts but their determination numbed the pain slightly as they believed their daughter wasn’t really going to be gone. They had her cremated and within the ashes they planted a single rose seed. They put the ashes in a brightly lit window and watered it daily. The ashes were kept in the window every day except for the day of the funeral where they transported the pot of ashes to the funeral home where thankfully there was a brightly lit window up by the alter. They told of their daughter’s dying wish, which everyone thought was beautiful. They knew everyone thought it was impossible though just like they once had but something told them there would be a miracle one day and a rose would blossom out of those ashes.

Months went by with no luck, which turned into years and by then they had stopped watering the ashes. They had now lost hope.

But on that fifth year, on a warm summer day, they came home to find a rose bud poking its head out of the ashes. Laura saw it first, sure her eyes were deceiving her but Steve saw it too although he was skeptical when his wife had told him. There it was plain as day. They had to tell people of the miracle. They invited friends and family over and they had a celebration of life. In no time they ended up on the news, which they didn’t mind. The world needed to know of their miracle. Soon, the rose started to blossom rapidly and it was the biggest most beautiful rose they had ever seen. It was their Rose.

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 and felt 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.