Eden: a Myth

I don’t know how to tell you this.

It’s not like you’d believe me or anything.

I once was, and before that, I was not.

If I told you I remembered the moment I was formed, you’d call me a liar, and I am anything but. A whooshing sound like a strong wind gusted over me, but this was before we knew wind. She told me it was formless when She began. She even described to me how she scooped the waters together in the cup of her hand and separated the liquid from the air- water from sky.

The next day, She gathered the waters to dwell in one place and then, distributed the land. She created trees and shrubbery and flowers and plants of all kind. She did not stop. Animals still needed to be shaped. As though She was molding clay, She formed all these things.

She explained that to create me, She used dust and the Breath of Life. Sometimes, I doubt She is capable of all this.

But to doubt is to show faith.

She told me to believe.

And so, I did.

After She explained my task-the maintenance of the garden, a deep longing for sleep consumed me. She warned me not to eat from a specific tree. That was easy. She told me to name the creatures. That, too, was easy. All the tasks seemed reasonable. The demands? Not the type to splinter my soul. But the ground was warm and soft, my head was heavy, and I slept.

The rays of sun warmed my naked ass, and yet, I feared nothing. She had created me from dust and the Breath of Life.

I did not feel it, but she opened my flesh, and from it, she stole a bone that was pleasing. This bone was called a rib, and when my flesh concealed the bones once more, I had not missed what was taken. This was the first time she had taken from me. She had given me so much. The least I could do was give a rib. In exchange, she gave me a companion.

I had never seen a beast like this: She told me the beast resembled me, but it was beautiful, and I was not beautiful. Her loveliness blistered me, yet I did not feel a warmth to my cheeks like the Creator Goddess described. I wanted to run my hands over her skin and feel its smoothness under my callouses. I longed to touch her bare flesh and feel it rise and fall beneath me.

It was though I was breaking into several pieces all at once because I wanted to teach her the animals I had named, but I also wanted to be very still and simply breathe with her.

I did not want to restrict her freedoms. She reminded me so much of the Creator Goddess. Their voices rose and fell in the same patterns. Though I had not seen the Creator Goddess yet, She was vast. (Much too vast for me to comprehend.) Subsequently, this beast was vast in her beauty. Understanding her was like trying to describe how the Creator Goddess separated the air from the water. This creature’s voice flowed over me like a babbling brook.

I let her explore. I wanted her to seek whatever it was she chose to seek. She reached her hands out to touch the animals, explore their furs and hides, and marvel at the beauty of plants. But she was the gift I never deserved but desired. I had never seen beauty like hers. Not in the peacock’s plumage or the giraffe’s great heights. The way her hips swayed when she walked? It was extraordinary.

I watched her, but I did not try to keep her like I kept the flowers.

I did not want to possess her. Own her.

The flowers I wanted to shower her with grew taller than both of us, demonstrating to me that I was not in charge. I never was. I was unable to hold the cool waters I wanted her to feel caress against her skin could not be contained, but it was right. It was good.

I walked without direction. I aimed without path. She traveled in one direction and I, the other. It was not intentional. If I had set forth intention, I would never be separated from her. Except that rib. That rib separated us. She came from me, not from the vast She who created everything else in this garden.

She went alone. I heard her speaking to one of the animals, and I thought this to be good. It was wise she learned their names and who better to teach them their names than the animals themselves?

I did not listen, but her voice floated, the syllables breaking apart and separating. I could not hear individual words, but these syllables were delicious, inviting. I wanted to learn her body as intimately as my own. There was a reason she was created.

I was not to be alone in this world.

She ran toward me, her legs flying up barely touching the earth. Her excitement was contagious. That laugh-luxurious. The way she threw her head back as she collided into me intoxicated me. I was under her spell. She thrust a small fruit into my hands. Its coloring was the color of the sky at night. I had not seen a fruit like it before, but I had not explored the same places as she. She found places deep within the garden I had not yet seen.

She fed it to me, its nectar sticky as it dribbled down our chins. We smiled, our gazes soft upon each other. The moment was blissful, but it was just that: a moment.

I wanted to devour her. Swallow her whole. I wanted to take back what was mine. This garden was not meant to be shared. She was never meant to be. Her voice? Far from melodious. It was the sound of claws scraping against my own flesh. She had destroyed me. She had stolen a rib from me, and the wretched woman bared her teeth to me in a smile like it was meant to be a forgiving feature. She was hideous.

I could not drag my nails against her skin nor could I flay her. She was not my creation. She was not mine to destroy. But she had slept against my skin: bone against bone. She had been my rib, and now, she was formed. A monstrosity.

Why did I ever find this repulsive creature to be attractive? I wanted to cover her. Throw leaves over her and create a pyre.

The vast She that created me did not make mistakes, then why was this woman looking at me with desire in her eyes? She had fed me the fruit of knowledge, and this was knowledge I could not untangle. I could not imagine touching her. Being so near her that I could smell the cologne of her musk made bile rise to my throat.

She was disgusting.

An Untitled Short Story

I was walking one way, and I walked past you. You were hand-in-hand with another girl, and I don’t even know if you noticed me. I had never seen you with that girl before, but she looked so happy. Who could blame her? You were holding hands with her. It probably felt as though time had stopped.

I always liked love stories.

I know whenever we held hands, whether it was in the courtyard or in the car, I felt like I was your girl. It felt as though time had stopped. I felt like the only girl in the world. I remember the way you talked about my eyes like they were the most magical thing you had ever seen. You talked about them like they were beautiful.

But we both know you hate eyes like mine.

I still remember the last time I saw you before I saw you with that girl, her nervous smile giving way to the fact that she liked you. The last time I saw you before that, you had told me you loved me. You had driven away in the rain. It was late at night, and we were happy.

All we have are our memories, and like most things, the memories are fading.

Some day, all I’ll have to remember you by is the faint smell of your soap and the scar on my finger.

Dream

As you may or may not know, the novel I am currently revising is about a young woman whose dreams begin to interfere with reality.

This idea germinated in my head for years and finally, I have been editing it and revising it so I can submit it to agents.

The reason this idea came to me is because I am enthralled by dreams. When I was twelve, I had a series of intense nightmares, and my brother bought me a book on dream interpretation. Ever since then, I have studied dreams and bought a lot more dream interpretation books; I even have an oracle deck, which features common dream symbols and their interpretations.

Here’s a dream I had a while ago. My friend Dlvan and I were talking about dreams this afternoon, and I remembered this one I had several months ago. At the time, I thought it was more like a vision than a dream, and I had a professional dream interpreter interpret it for me.


I thought some of you might be interested in reading about that dream.

Life was a whirlwind: people deserting me, families I used to work with shaming me, friends leaving and spreading false rumors, etc. My family was angry with me because I owed them money.

Interpretation: This represents my anxiety, what I am feeling presently.

Everywhere I turned, people were mad. This part was semi-lucid because I kept thinking, “I’m in bed. I’m going to remember this and write it down. I’m going to learn from this. I’m in bed. I can feel the night breeze.”

I ran up the stairs through a class in a lecture hall.

Interpretation: The upward path I was on represents success.

At the top of the staircase, there was a figure I could not see. He apologized for putting me through trials. I told him that I nearly died. I told him that people rejected me and hurt me in many ways.

I told him that he was responsible for things being messed up.

Interpretation: This figure represents a scapegoat, a person who takes the blame for the uncertainty I have in letting others down.

The lecture hall represents the feeling of being “lectured” about morality.

Furthermore, my explanation to this figure about nearly dying and people rejecting me represents that I cannot handle the rejection he is placing on me.

This figure represents a lesson I must learn.

The figure smiled, emanating a powerful, white glow. It was so luminous that I could not see beyond him. I ran through the light and entered a cafeteria.

A girl I knew when I was younger stood in the doorway. She was a friend who later became an adversary. I told her what I told the unseen figure, “I withstood all my trials and found that I am my own hero. I did it all on my own, and I’m still standing. I discovered I can do it on my own.”

Interpretation: The cafeteria represents a place of nourishment and nurturing. I am trying to please this person who stands in the doorway, Judgment. She does not represent Good nor Bad. She is my Experiences. Because of her, I have taught myself to be cautious.

She tells me though I can do it on my own, I don’t have to, then hands me a stone.

She tells me I must polish the stone. She did not give me any further instructions on how to polish the stone, simply that I must polish it.

Interpretation: Her lesson is twofold. She is both advising me and giving me permission to reach out to others. Though she has failed me in the past, others will not necessarily follow suit.

The stone represents Truth. How does one polish a stone? By tumbling it and removing the dirt.

What remains is Truth.

She told me that I will know when my task is done. She told me, “You will know your destiny after you polish the stone.” She also told me, “You saved him from his own noose.”

I held the rock as she faded from sight. As she faded, I heard her say, “Put it under your tongue.”

Interpretation: I saved him by telling him he needed to heal himself. Holding the rock represents me holding my truth. She is telling me to keep my truth a secret.

I saw a beautiful man like no one I had ever seen before. He emanated a radiance, and I felt my heart swell.

“Not this one,” a voice said.

I kept walking and arrived at a staircase that sloped and curved beyond my line of vision.

I walked down the stairs to arrive at a landing. From the landing I could see, the stairs led to a hallway with a door.

I began to choke on the rock under my tongue. I nearly swallowed the stone (the Truth) that I held in my mouth.

Interpretation: The voice is that of Judgment. She has returned to warn me that the first man was not the right man. The sloping staircase represents an unclear path. It could lead to a great success or a terrible downfall. The hall leading to a door represents the unknown as well. The door could be an escape out or a prison within. I do not enter the doorway, so, whether it is an escape or a prison is unknown.

As the stone tumbled around my mouth, a man with dove-white skin, dimples, and an amazing jawline ran up the stairs to meet me. He watched me gag on the stone, wanting to assist me but unable to help.

I finally coughed and choked up the stone (the Truth). It had tumbled into a glimmering tiger’s eye. The man too transformed but became harder to see. He was still beautiful, just harder to see.

Interpretation: I walked down to meet him, yet he walked up to meet me, but we still met in the middle. By walking down to meet him, this represents I must lose something to meet him.

He held in his hands a noose, and around his neck, he wore a placard that said his name.

The voice said, “He is the one.”

Interpretation: He has removed the noose (a leash), and by doing so, the man is finally free. Judgment has again presented itself to say he is the one, but something has changed. He is free, and of his free accord, he ran up the stairs to meet me and underwent his own transformation.

The dream is saying I must hold my truth until it is polished and clean. When the time is right, I must choose between speaking it-freeing it from my mouth-or swallowing it.


Wow, that is a powerful dream; I originally wrote about last September, and yet, as I rewrite it, I can remember the exact details of the dream as though I dreamt it last night. My main character has some fascinating dreams as well; some of them based on dreams I have had over the years, but none of her dreams are quite like this one.

If you like dreams, be sure to keep following my blog to hear more about my characters and my original debut novel.

Afterglow: a Short Story

Warning: This short story is an abstract expression of what it feels like to survive domestic violence. If you find this subject matter potentially triggering, please do not continue reading.

Fingertips against cheekbones. The result? A bruise or a caress. Her flinch is noticeable but only if you look for it. A stained-glass heart shatters, and it could create a mosaic. A human heart breaks, and it could create lace of invisible scars.

Abused Woman

The door slams, and she trembles like a leaf before its descent to the ground. It’s the aftermath you expected but did not deserve. She tried to warn you that beauty like hers is a fragile kind. You did not listen. The words fell on empty ears. She may as well have been speaking into a conch.

Tell her she’s beautiful.

Woman With Red Bruise

Hold her close like a glass angel.

Whisper you love her just the way she is.

Will she ever learn that your love has no bounds, that bruises fade?

The scars are just as fabled as the laugh lines. This is all history, and you’re determined to turn the page.

“I’m scared,” she whispers, clinging to you in the dead of the night. You reach a hand up to stroke her hair, but she shudders as though she was left out in the cold.

Keep watch for progress.

Hope things will be different.

An entire year passes, and she still wears these scars as though announcing her surrender.

You beg that one day she will be strong enough to move on.

Her eyes widen like saucers and shimmer like broken glass.

“Do you remember what love really feels like,” you ask, but before the words are gutted from your lips, her chin trembles and tears trail down her cheeks.

You don’t expect her to reply, but she does. “Patching craters in the wall his fist made. The cracked dessert plates that only needed to be washed. Blood is red, violet is a bruise, I get the love I choose. Love is whispering and pleading, the tears no one saw.”

“You experienced love before him,” you insist.

Memory is a distortion. We exaggerate and undermine, even destroy events. Like the dodge-and-burn technique you learned in a high school darkroom years prior.

The stretch and pull makes memories as pliable as saltwater taffy.

Woman in White Crew Neck Shirt Saying No To Violence

“I once wore a hibiscus bloom in my hair. I felt like a flamenco dancer. He said the color made him sick. I think it was my happiness that revolted him.” She never speaks his name.

Not in all the time you two have been dating does she say his name aloud. Not in therapy. Certainly not to you. It creates a myth out of a coward. A villain worth noting, but not naming.

“Saying his name is like crunching through lightbulbs,” she admits, “fractured filaments split between my teeth.”

One morning, you notice the tissue-paper thin petals of a hot pink hibiscus on the dark hardwood.

Red Hibiscus in Bloom

You hear her humming her favorite song in the bathroom, her feet bare on the tile floor (not fearing shards of glass from a time past).

When you go to snake an arm around her waist, her skin feels warm. Inviting. In the past, your presence was an intrusion. You were as wanted as a closet monster. The hibiscus in her brown curls casts a rosy glow on her cheeks, and her eyes sparkle as though they were made of diamonds or stars.

Your insides feel as though they are fizzing over, effervescent like champagne bubbles.

This is what love feels like.

Although her heart is in repair, the pieces create a mosaic of beauty. Though the pieces are bright and glimmering, they are still broken. Still they have jagged edges. Yet you see the beauty in each individual piece.

Brown Low-top Sneakers

Repair this broken heart.

Mend these wounds.

Do not despair.

There is hope.

There is beauty in the afterglow.

If you or a loved one is in danger or is in an abusive relationship, there are resources. Please call the national domestic violence hotline at 800-799-7233. You are not alone. Please do everything you can to insure your or your loved one’s safety. You are stronger than you know. There is hope.

Saturday!

Hey, y’all!

What are you doing tomorrow?

I’ll tell you what I’ll be doing:

Celebrating the release of the newest anthology I’m in and PFP’S birthday!

Come join the fun from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. Stop by when you can. I’ll be in the spotlight starting at 1 pm CST. http://bit.ly/PFPBirthday

3 YEARS OF PUBLISHING EXCELLENCE!

Phobia! Anthology Release

Hey, y’all! I just wanted to let you know some exciting news; the anthology “Phobia!” that my short story “Something Beyond” is featured in can be ordered as of a week from today!

That’s right!

Next Friday, April 22, 2021, you can preorder a copy of Phobia!

If you order from me, you can get an autographed copy of it. Please let me know if you are interested.Thomas tried not to picture the bony fingers gripping pens and scrawling out fears as if a man with a wardrobe of bespoke suits and shiny shoes could save them.