The raven-haired boys come on the twenty-eighth of every month, when our city grows ill. The buildings will begin to peel, copper under skins gleaming like blood under the gasping sun, and they will navigate their way between them to Central Square, where it is the driest of all. There, the streets are ashen--parched. Dust fills their creases, unforgiving. Beside them, sewers open their gaping mouths, waiting for water that will not come. And then, there are the water towers; the structures that have spread the name of our city to millions of households abroad. "Gleaming tokens", they've been called, but gleam is the last thing they do. Looming stout and unimpressive over the twelve acres of Central Square, they smile at the everyday passerby with chapped cement lips and scar-ridden faces. Wry.
But the boys, they are unlike our city. They are beautiful, like birds, with
I have this thing with skin. I want to peel it off. All of it. At first, it was just the easy skin; you know, the skin over your lips, around your nails, on top of your knuckles. After a while, I started peeling at, well--everything. I thought that maybe, if I grew new skin, I'd be a different person. Back then, I didn't know bruises stained all the way to the bone. I thought it was just your skin that bore the hurt--the shame. So I tried to peel them off, the bruises. I'd take the kitchen knife and run the edge up and down my skin, telling myself that once it was over, I'd be pure; the bruises would disappear, and my secrets would be gone. It was kind of like skinning an apple, except instead of being red on the outside and white on the inside, it was the other way around. And how beautiful the inside of an apple looked.
But, it didn't work that way. Bene
Valentine'sDayatSpringbrookFor most people, the worst thing that can happen on February 14th is a little bit of heartbreak and a maxed out credit card. But, for the residents of Springbrook Camp for the Young and Unstable, suicidal roommates, barbaric parents, overbearing psychiatrists and way-too-creepy-to-be-funny sexual advances are all things you have to watch out for on a holiday such as Valentine's Day. I know what you're thinking: "You're one to talk. You're a resident at Springbrook, too. You're probably just as messed up as everyone else here." Well, maybe I am on some deep level, but I'm functional. Even more than that, I was functional before they decided to put me in this place. I guess just like people aren't ready to accept gay love, they aren't ready to accept a boy's love for fire. It wasn't like I'd hurt anybody--I'd gone inside all the places and checked for people before ligh
CharlotteWhen you grow up on the crooked side of town, you become a sort of expert in the science of naming the alcohol on people's breath, determining a person's drug of choice just by their appearance, and deducing what kind of abuser someone'll be just by the way they look at you. You learn that words are unreliable, and beatings on holidays inevitable; and eventually, you learn that heroes, despite all the stories you hear, don't exist. They're just that: stories. Fiction.
Most importantly, growing up in the cyanide district, you develop a lot of foresight. As it is with any art, practice makes perfect. An artist will learn the right lines after drawing enough wrong ones; a mother will better raise her second child after making all her mistakes with the first one; and just like that, I learned, after being hurt enough times, to be able to tell when it's coming--when something bad's gonna happen. And that, that's th
You know how they say there are moments in life, exact moments, where you make the decisions that determine the rest of your existence? And during these moments, you're fully aware that your life, from then on, depends on the choice you make? Well, that's a load of crap. That fateful ninety-degree midsummer day after second grade, I woke up in my power ranger pajamas with no clue whatsoever that hanging out with Riley Thomson, the new kid from down the street, was going to change my life forever.
Now, it wasn't like I'd wanted to hang out with Riley. In fact, I thought he was weird, just like I did any kid too scrawny for his own good. Hey, I was seven. Plus, he had a scary dad. I don't mean stern-face-broad-shoulders scary; I mean scary as in he had beady little eyes, a greasy face and a smile so creepy it was better left unemployed. Again, I was seven.
But, moms being moms, I was forced to
I'm your donorIf you're getting this letter, I'm already dead. Either that, or that good for nothing Dr. Maynard just cheated me a bag of gummy worms to satisfy that sweet tooth of his. But I'm getting away from the point. So here it is: you're the lucky bastard who's getting my heart. Excuse the language, I'm not usually this rash, but hey, what's a dying girl to say? Which brings me to my next question: why do you need a new heart anyways? Were you a murderer in your past life? Do you have a bad soul or something that makes it so that your own heart won't work properly? I sure hope not, because if you are a bad person, and you end up getting my heart, I'll haunt you forever. No joke.
But, from the looks of your photo, you don't seem evil. They won't let me meet you because they think we'll get too attached. "They" as in the doctors, which is ironic, because
handsDavid often had trouble discerning who he loved more, who he'd loved first--if he'd even loved in the first place. After all, they were both projects. Sick little projects. Two people he'd tried to fix because he didn't know how to fix himself. It sounded pathetic and vindictive--it was pathetic and vindictive.
In the end, it all came back to Melanie. Melanie with the angel's face and the heart to match it. Melanie whose definition of love involved many a psychiatric term in conjunction with a set of brain parts. Melanie whose heart needed a transplant. Whose hands were trained to heal like his were; whose smile made everything alright--for the patients and mostly, for him. Melanie who, like him, had been taught not to believe in miracles--only the correct response at the correct time. Except he'd tucked those truths away. Kept them in a small corn