Gone

Trapped under the door, I did my best to push it off me. The weight pushing down on the door was too powerful, so my attempts were unsuccessful. After several hours and several brief naps, I was able to push the door off of me. Dusty and dirty, I pat my clothes, creating clouds of filth. I walk through the door frame and look back at the defeated door. Curious to what knocked down the door with such force, I continued limping forward. I look to my left and see claw marks etched into the wall. There were toughs of hair and streaks of blood clearly visible to the naked eye outlining the marks. I was not sure if the blood came from me or the creature that tried eating me. I scanned my body and I was unscathed: only a few scratches.

What the hell was that? Many thoughts bounced inside my throbbing skull. I made it through the mess and stepped outside, making my way to the front porch. I expand my sight, open my eyes wide, and fixate on two broken trees. It looks like Godzilla came with a big ax and chopped them down. After further inspection, I notice a string of giant footsteps. I walk toward the trees and stumble into a small hole. I quickly realized I was standing inside just one footprint of this creature. I stick my finger in the muddy print and stare at it as if I knew what I was looking for. I head back inside for the night.

I never mind being alone but to have my life ripped away from me was unexpected, to say the least. It started the day the meteor came falling from the sky. No one saw it coming. Out of nowhere, a small planet-sized meteor came and smashed the entire state of Idaho. Shortly after, people in neighboring states went missing. It was not long after that my life changed for the worst. I was living a relatively normal life; I had a family, a job, and a future planned. It’s been a year since I have seen anyone. Every night following the meteoric crash, I would hear hoots and howls. I had many sleepless nights wondering where my family went. Wondering didn’t get me answers. Now was the time for action; I remembered the scratch marks, large footprints, and broken trees and knew danger was near and very real. I just wasn’t sure what the danger was.

The sun comes up, and I rise to my feet. With my minor limp, I drag my left foot with each step. Looking out the front window, I notice that a few more trees were knocked down, and there were twice as many footprints. Fortunately, my truck was untouched. I hobble in and drive to the nearest city: Seattle.

The freeways were completely empty. It looks like the cars on the freeway took the role of being claw machine prizes. 150 miles later and still no cars or humans. As I pull off the freeway and into Seattle, the first thing I noticed was that the Space Needle looked like a titanium candle. Large flames were kissing the sky.

I get out of my car and hobble closer to the center of town. The closer I got to the Space Needle, the sicker I felt. I look around and see empty streets and vacant stores. I take one step into the flaming needle and step in toxic sludge. I try to lift my foot up, but can’t. My shoe is glued to the floor. I look up and see pieces of rubble fall down. A large beam almost hits me, as I unstick my foot and roll away. I was out just as fast as I was in. I get up, look behind me and see the Space Needle collapse. Green sludge oozes out the sides of the structure. A piece of radio-active slime lands on my lip. Against my better judgment, I lick my lips. My tongue slowly retreats in my mouth. My lips close, and my pupils expand to the size of a dime. I have to get to my truck.

Back in my truck, I grip the steering wheel with all my might. The veins in my arms become visible. A few more veins make an appearance on my forehead. Blazing down the freeway, I shift my focus to 400 meters in front of me. A colossal figure takes one step and clears the width of the freeway. I look up and see that it has human-like features. It’s almost as if a human adopted the size of King Kong, except this creature, was covered in green slime. The truck hit maximum speed. A minute passes and I slam the gas pedal to the floor to get a closer look. I parallel park beside the creature’s left foot. It matches the size of the footprint found at my house. Surely, this was the creature that attacked me the other day. With the truck in park, I foolishly step outside to get a better look. I look up and see the large gargantuan hovering over me, with its face leaning into mine. Shaking in my boots, I do my best to stay still, in fear of causing discomfort. It feels as if an eternity passes. The timid creature lowers down, scoops me up, and raises me to its face. I am the size of its nose, so I was afraid of getting inhaled. The creature let out an audible grunt. I look deep into its eyes and see a large, slimy tear fall from its enormous eyes.

“Are you okay?” I ask.

The monster’s head shakes side to side and points to the collapsed Space Needle. Its eyes told me that something was wrong.

I extend my hand and stroke its large nose, “It will be okay. If you help me, then I will help you!”

The monster shook its head up and down in agreement. It lowers me down, and I enter my truck. I notice that my skin is starting to glow. I look in the rearview mirror and see that I was changing. Buttons started popping off my shirt as my body started growing rapidly. Within a few seconds, the truck I’m in explodes off of me. Not before long, I was standing eye to eye with the creature that was just holding me. I lost my ability to speak. I tilt my head at the creature and reveal my palms in frustration. The creature shrugs its shoulders. I became the creature I feared and hated. How did this happen? It taps its wrist indicating something about time. After tapping a few times, the creature points up to the sky. I look up and see a flaming ball coming right at us. The closer it got, the blurrier my vision became. In a flash, life left me; I saw nothing but white.

BEEP. BEEP. BEEP

“Sir, are you okay?” A faint voice said.

I open my eyes and see an elderly nurse feeling my right wrist. I am in a hospital bed of some sort; I can’t recall what led me here.

“Sir, you had another episode. You locked yourself in your room and said there was a big creature coming after you. We had to break the door down and sedate you because you were uncontrollable. You did suffer some minor injuries” the voice rings through my ears.

With a question written on my face, I ask, “What do you mean I had an episode? Where am I?”

The nurse grabs my hand and looks directly into my eyes, “Sir, you are home. You are at Meadowhill Psyche Ward. You have been here for over 10 years. Well, since your family dropped you off.”

“M- My family? Do you know where they are? I need to save them from the creature!” were the words rolling off my lips.

The nurse shook her head in slight disappointment. Without answering or skipping a beat, she grabs a pill bottle from the cupboard, takes a few pills out, and puts them in my hand, “Here. Take these. They will make you feel better.”

I swallow the pills without conflict, close my eyes and drift away. Just like that, I was under a door again, the same place I started.

BALL

The discolored worn leather makes

for a better story. Cutting my hands

and diving for you on the hot asphalt made

my therapy at first appear dangerous,

but nothing else matters when it is

me and you. Timeouts rarely helped,

because time in this game counts

and sometimes runs out when

when the ball drops. The clock is watched

and clicks slower when I have

you in-between my dedicated hands.

Escaping to the hardwood with you

to the dust-filled court made my

problems seem miniscule. The pressurized

leather circle of hope eliminates stress

and shoots any doubt down through

a safety net weaved together by

individual strands working as a team.

Across the floor I cannot see anyone

and the path is clear, can I trust

my team mate to perform under stress?

The question is important because

someone can take you to the top

and others will make you quit

and miss. You give and receive attention,

but it betters me in the end. You provide

answers to questions that confuse me.

On Sundays, or on vacation miles away,

I find your home, bring your circular body

and forget the reasons that brought me there.

I pull the trigger and burn the nylon,

glow in the dark or chained, You have the

scent of waxed wood and years of history

that was built by people in situations

only you’re familiar with. The scar on

my left eyebrow is proof of how much

of an impact you left on me.

Dreaming I was on the team that treated

you the best. You wanted me when others didn’t

and that is why I continue to use you.

You have brought many friendships

and a valid reason to ditch

a Math or Science class early. Legends

once used you as a tool to make it out,

make it in, or be someone in the world.

And when I think about our relationship,

all I can do is smile because of the long walks,

brisk jogs, and exhausting sprints we did.

I place you in my hands and close my eyes,

say a few words before I throw you towards

the back of the iron, putting it all at the line.

And when I hold my hand high and

my breath long, I know I won because I

as I took a shot, I let go.

Hi I Am…

I am from strangers overcrowding

a small military room, from Top Ramen

noodles and Welch’s jelly. I am

From constant breezes shaping

younger generations. I am from Evergreen

trees envy for green and power,

the thick shells of grown gooey ducks.

I am from fresh French Dip dinners  

on Thursday night and an entanglement

of thick hair. From Cody, Eva, and Heather

posing as clowns, lions, and monkeys

for Halloween, I am from the crazy

on my Dad’s side working in my favor

and the dangerous and creative on my Mom’s

side providing a vibrant life. From the

anything is possible and the express yourself

no matter what. I am from a home that spent

Sunday mornings eating wings

instead of growing them, watching the Hawks

felt more natural than the possibility of

a higher power; the power I felt I needed

came from myself. I am from Newport News,

Virginia, From the blue sky that made up

my great great Grandpa’s German eyes.

From the busted lip of my sister when

I realized my golf swing was unpredictable,

the gash on my brother’s hand when I realized

I’m not cut out to be a ninja and from

when my sister, Sporty Spice, I mean Heather tried

to become a Spice Girl. I am random pictures

thrown in a very valuable cardboard

box. I am from the black ink that bleed out

of my Dad’s unreliable pen and the worn down

shoes passed down that did not have souls,

even though we did.