Friendzones and Endzones

I don’t want to fall in love with you,

But I don’t want you to love somebody else

Everything will change between us,

I know it’s selfish, but I can’t help myself.

You’re everything that means a lot to me

And I don’t ever want you to change

You’re my favorite regret

I wish I’d waited instead

You remind me what it feels like to be true to me

Please don’t go so far away

I know I can’t make you stay

I’m so scared that you’ll forget me

So please don’t forget me.

Love is weird, attraction makes us do things we’d never do

And we hide from those who remind us who we are

Struck down by things that aren’t true

Compulsive unspoken expectations creating scars

Causing us to hide away

Hide away, hide away, hide away

You’re everything that means a lot to me

And I don’t want you to change

You’re my favorite regret

I wish I’d waited on you instead

You remind me what it feels like to be true to me

Please don’t go so far away

I know I can’t make you stay

I’m so scared that you’ll forget me

Please don’t forget me and all we

Built inside together

You’re the only one who knows how deep I can doubt

I need you to remind me

This heartache won’t last forever

I’m so sorry for always pushing you out

You’re my favorite regret

I wish you’d fall for me instead

You remind me what it feels like to be true to me

Please don’t go so far away

You’re my favorite regret

I wish you’d fall for me instead

You remind me what it feels like to be true to me

Please don’t go so far away

I know I can’t make you stay

I’m so scared that you’ll forget me

I’m so scared that you’ll forget me

I’m so scared that you’ll forget me

So please don’t forget me

Faet & Fantasy : Frozen

Kiena and Breigh spent much time together over the next few weeks, as winter set deeper in. Yule would soon be approaching, which meant the moments they weren’t together, Kiena was busy planning festivities.  The fae celebrated something every few days during the holiday season, and she was continually moving to and fro with preparations.  It was becoming easier for her to create decorations while she was caught up in the motions, and the holidays did not leave her much time to spend time alone thinking.

The forest around them was covered in white.  Kiena didn’t generally do much exploring in the winter months, preferring to stay close to the dell.  While she didn’t mind the cold, she didn’t like the way her wings felt when they were cold, and it took too much time to thaw them when she arrived home again.  This did not stop Breigh from asking her to join him every chance he had.

“The sun is shining, we should take advantage of it.”  Breigh held his hand to Kiena, his eyes bright.

Kiena chuckled, his expression charming and child-like, “You’re a Winter Fae, your wings are made for the cold.  What will you do if my wings freeze?”

“I shall carry you,” he said matter-of-fact, as though he’d already planned every detail of the adventure.  “Come with me, I couldn’t trust any guidance greater than yours.”

“What do you wish to see?  The world is sleeping, and my friends sleep with it.”

“Anything, as long as it’s with you.  Come.  Go with me.”

Kiena coudn’t help feel drawn by the intensity of his gaze, she found herself taking his hand, and they flew together up and away from the dells.

Looking down at the forest, the trees were still.  Their naked branches reaching to the sky, while the ground below slept under a thick blanket of snow.  Sunlight brightened all the world, the world glaring bright back at the sky.

The river glinted, crusted in ice, as though enchanted by the Winter.  Kiena imagined what it might look like surrounded by different colored lights and decorations.

Breigh guided them as they flew, firmly holding to her hand. They followed the riverbed until the reached the waterfall.

Kiena held her breath as they approached, the view of the frozen falls causing her eyes to grow in awe and wonder.

Icicles cascaded one into another down from the cliff above.  A cave behind the water could be seen peeking through the delicate icy teeth, framed as though by magic, with an allure of grace.

Gently coming down onto a frozen plume of froth, Kiena took the sight in.

Breigh watched her intently, his gaze strong and passionate.

Reaching her hand out to touch the ice, she glanced up.  Their tiny bodies were half the size of most icicles, she felt insignificant in the  shadow of another plume of frozen froth above her.  Many of these frozen clusters splayed around them, as though floating in time and space, waiting to fly away.

“Breigh,” she breathed, awestruck.

He smiled, taking her hand, and flying upward again.  Gently guiding her, they danced in flight across, around, up and down the frozen falls.

Kiena laughed, closing her eyes to take in the feel of the brisk wind and listen to the stillness in this glorious place.

She could make out the sound of a low rumbling, as though the ice was breathing.  Her eyes glanced up, as she took over, guiding them to the top of the falls.

The mountain range grew in height beyond the lake, rocky peaks surrounded by  the skeletons of breathless trees stood about the frozen lake.  The gentle rumble caught her attention again, and Kiena let go of Breigh’s hand to light gently on the surface.  She knelt gently down, her hand stretched out to touch the ice.

“The water below is still moving,” she said, her eyes meeting his.

“It is.  The fish are alive below us.  The depth of the lake determines how frozen the water becomes.”

Kiena realized she did not know very much about winter.  Which suddenly she found odd, considering her and Rynn used to spend a great deal of time exploring.

Reaching out his hand again, Breigh beckoned her to him.

They took hands, and on the surface of the ice, Breigh began to dance.  Kiena wobbled a bit, not quite used to gliding on something so slippery and bumpy, she softly fluttered her wings to take her to her toes and hover above the ice until she got used to how it felt.

“Have you ever done something so amazing?” Breigh asked with a wide smile, clearly enchanted with Kiena.

“I have done many things, but this is not one of them.”  Kiena allowed herself to move and glide as Breigh led.

After a few more moments, Kiena began to feel a shudder in her wings.  She stumbled and fell into Breigh.

He caught her, righting her again, “Are you alright?”

“My wings,” she turned, “they’re beginning to feel the cold.”

He picked her up into his arms, “Let’s get you home.  We can come again.”  He smiled at her, before taking off again, heading back to the dell.

She found herself snuggled into his shoulder, wrapping her arms tight around him, not so much worried about falling or being dropped, but for keeping the memory close.  To cherish new experiences with a new friend and remember them with joy.

 

One In A Billion

Look at us.

We’re all trying to stand out and be noticed.

You, with your talents.  Me with mine.

Each of us on a journey to be heard.  Listened to.  To burn brightly after igniting a spark of interest.

We’re all striking the same matches:
I HAVE WORDS I NEED TO SHARE!

Waiting to be validated by a consuming public, who cannot quench their thirst against the raging flames of entertainment.

So we pound away at the keys, telling the stories our vivid imaginations create for us, and we write the articles our fierce opinions derive, and we share the inspiration our souls have encountered.

And then we wait to be noticed by the general public.

Days.  Weeks.  Months.  Years.

Others who have gone before us and somehow managed to be a hit, surely we can too?

Slowly, our motivation turns to ash.  The embers of longing to share, die.

We wonder why we put so much heart and soul into our work, for it to fall by the wayside.

So few acknowledge our existence, even after the hours we put into our work.  We wonder how people go viral, and what on earth they’re doing different than us.
Do they have different friends?
Do they have different connections?
Do they have different methods for gaining access to the millions of people we wish were our audience, too?

…..The answer is, we’re not all pursuing the same audience.

While each of us wish to be accepted for who we are, and what we bring to the literary world, we’re still different.

We have different pursuits.

We have different goals.

We have different messages we want to send.

We tell different stories.
Somewhere along the way, writers begin to join in a uniformity, the answer must be in writing the same way?
“You must write this way/you must write that way.”
“I don’t like to do this, you probably shouldn’t either.”
“Nobody writes like that anymore.”
“I wouldn’t read it, but I guess someone else might….”

Validating ourselves against others, instead of remaining true to ourselves.

The odds feel stacked against us when our words only reach a few people sprinkled throughout the world.

Don’t stop trying, despite the odds.

Yes.  You are one in a billion.

You don’t need a million followers, you simply need to be true to yourself.

Tell your story.  And then believe your story is worth being read, and pursue the audience you long for.

Silent Shadows

It’s cold, and dark.  The shadows are long and I know the demon is waiting.

He’s stalked for years, waiting for the perfect moment to pounce.

Once, I sat in a restaurant at a table full of friends, surrounded by four off duty cops.  The safest place I ever could have been, and yet every willing man in the room stared with that horrifying desire.

The demon stood by the soda machine.  Tall, ominous, draped in shaggy layers of black.  He had no reason to hide from me, why should he?  He stood outside my bedroom window waiting.  Always waiting.

Unable to bear his presence any longer, I left the table full of friends, and the four police officers eating, to run away from him.  Them.  Their lusts loudly resounding in my head.

In that moment, I decided perhaps prostitution wasn’t what I wanted after all.  It had been a flattering idea which gave my abandoned flesh purpose. Serve, submit, succumb, and never have to remember the name.  There were too many names it hurt to remember already.  Ones that promised to care.  Ones that promised to help.  Ones that failed.

I was the problem.

Needy.  They said.  Emotional.  Too young.  Too much.  Too smart.  Dependent.  Depressed.  Trailer trash.  A product of loveless marriage.  A ghost of an existence that wished even God could love me.  What could I do?  Where would I go?  Who would ever love someone like me.

Nothing beats the terror of knowing a demon has decided your fate for you.  The sensation an ice cold chill.  Panic overtakes you as their intentions manifest in other human beings around you.

All one can do is run, hoping you run the right way.  Easy enough to leave a safe place and end up in the wrong place.

The spirit didn’t pursue.  My “friends” didn’t ask why I left.  Nobody would have believed if I’d told them anyway.  Not everyone sees what I see.  Not everyone knows what I know.  And the ones who don’t believe silence with condescension.

I know the spirit lingers, I feel it for the first time in a long time.  It’s a shadow stretching, reaching.  Calling.

Presenting: Dauntless

Dauntless full cover

Dauntless is a coming of age story set against a fantasy background.  When Kacey Alexander turns 18, she finds out that she is a Mage, one of a long line of magic practitioners.  When Kacey’s mother dies, she leaves all of her belongings to Kacey, including a journal that details her past as a monster hunter.  When the details of her mother’s past come back to haunt her, Kacey must learn to master her powers and put together an unlikely alliance of friends to stop an army that threatens to destroy her city.

What inspired it:  I was in the middle of a long writer’s block when I came up with the idea for Dauntless.  One day my roommate Brandon and I were watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  I complained about how TV and movies never had characters like her anymore.  Characters who were strong, sure, but who also had the ability to be weak.  Characters that were well rounded and experienced the full range of human emotion.  My roommate challenged me to write a character like that and, after many incarnations, Dauntless was the result.

Dauntless is a book that lets us know that family means more than just who we’re related to.  The strong bonds that Kacey has with her friends make them just as much family than her blood relatives.  In fact, more so.  Further the struggles that Kacey faces in finding herself in an unknown world mirrors a lot of problems people face when trying to fit in.

Find it on Amazon!
https://www.amazon.com/Dauntless-Thomas-G-Atwood-Jr/dp/1612967256

author portrait

Thomas Atwood Jr was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado. His love of writing was kindled early when his father gave him a copy of The Legends of King Arthur as an Easter present. These presents continued every year and he would devour them all. Soon he was developing further adventures for the characters to go on. When his high school teachers encouraged him to pursue writing, he embarked on a journey that would result in Dauntless, his debut novel.

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Check out his other books also available on Amazon
https://www.amazon.com/Dauntless-Thomas-G-Atwood-Jr/dp/1612967256