Liam is well liked everywhere in Neverearth not because of his achievements but in spite of it.

Liam is perfect, it is all he knows how to be, and if there is despair behind it that is his business. Liam notices that his kindness intimidates some of his classmates, so he responds, moulding himself automatically to present the type of perfection they prefer. He modulates his speeches and actions accordingly, and after a while they forget that his eagerness to throw himself in the path of danger used to frighten them, that his curiosity had once been the talk of the school.

He is just like them now, if not always a little above, and he feels himself slipping into the role with despair. It is nothing, really, just as his life is nothing.

He is still as capable as he ever was, spotting the tiniest of inconsistencies and following them, leaping across the landscape of suicidal impulse, but he slows his thoughts, picks his words with meticulous care and is careful in how he presents himself. Hard work, devotion and dedication, not the fact that he simply is willing to die, is the reason he rises above them.

Liam Mirth will go far, they say, and Liam knows it also and does not care. Liam knows that if he just has the right tools he could leave this world, never mind being the greatest wizard, and all his achievements mean nothing with this knowledge.

He knows there has to be a way out, that there must be something else to strive for, but he gave up a long time ago, perhaps even before he fell into Neverearth — what does it matter? He might be broken inside but his veneer is perfect.

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War meant little to them. All they knew was that it took lives and that, in itself, was unjustifiable. That didn’t mean much though; everything grown ups did always was either cruel or unjustifiable, but their War meant both.

All Rue knew about War was that it robbed the softness of eyes and the gentleness of hands; War did worse than end people, it twisted them. And Rue knew this because she had seen it (Mrs Platt lost her son to War – she now used hands instead of heart to deal with Rue and the rest of the children), heard it (no longer could any of them bother between rainstorms and gunfires; this was how Rue knew that even she was War-damaged) and read of it (a selected few from the Home were taught to read at an early age; it all stopped after Enemy bombed System one night; any pretences of peace crumbled along with the wreckage. Rue learned much from the books she could get her hands on; she imagined the rest, filling in the gaps where words and phrases meant nonsense to her—what was Tranquility? It sounded a lot like a sister of Quarantine).

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there are nobody to save us. we are already ghosts here, bearing the weight of memories, regrets, lost hopes and dreams. all the heroes have killed themselves, are killing themselves or have already been killed. the age before death is now a broken film reel — memories, across these hollow sockets, flickering; the bittersweetness of names still linger on rotten tongue, past laughters pelt onto trodden skulls like rain. the doom and gloom of happy days — the blind faith, bounded youth and the world, a war-field in disguise — flood these long spoiled lungs.

and we have all been fools, thinking war was the good against the evil, the light and the dark, the rights and the wrongs; if only reality is that simple.

the real battle begins as evil corrupts evil, light burns light, rights and wrongs forming allies to murder part of themselves instead of each other. that is the war — the fight without soldiers, men nor women — the children, devastatingly alone with no one to turn to, grapple for the wrong kind of attention, because any is better than none at all.

to define war is an offer of alias to the demons in us.

deaths have never been the worst of it; war is about hopes dreams and futures long shrivelled under blood and gore, trodden and rotten beyond the marrow of our bones.

the moment we declare war, we have already lost.

lost child of gloom and gold
holds invincibility.
dark child who snuffs out fate
shall suffer eternity.
mind child of things unseen
swallows past harmony.
— part child oldest of all restores what laws divide.

young love shrivels to tomb
by doom affection owns.
hanging child haunts on under
lay bare over death’s bones.
— wretched soul above below to weep its dying tiber.
— every child broken by trial must borne its own murder.

There is something so much bigger out there, outside these walls, these walls that bar you in, these walls that cage your world.

This can happen to anyone anywhere so the name of the town where Kenneth Grave lives is perpetually redundant.

You, Kenneth Grave, are walking away. You walk away from your friends not because you had to, but because you want to. A schoolmate you barely ever talked to except for “pass the crayons?” way back in kindergarten is dead. It’s on the news, and it’s stupid, because her body had not even been found, yet they are claiming her demise without actual proof. Sure, it may be a matter of confidentiality, but even as young as you are, you understand the world enough not to try to understand it at all. Paradoxical, maybe, but it sure as hell makes living easier. Because nothing ever makes sense anyway, especially not if it’s the humans with their staggering humanity.

If humanity is a specie, there wouldn’t even be a fossil residue. It is that dead, hypothetically speaking.

“Beautiful day isn’t it? No more Helly-Nelly.”

Michael was the one who brought up the topic over lunch, his mouth full of bacon sandwich. The redundancy of your peers is beyond tipping point. None of them thought of showing the slightest hint of their humanity, and they call themselves human?

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