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The Blues

 He walked slowly down the road into town. The slight breeze cooled him only a little as it brushed against his bare arms. They day was humid, and the sun smiled down from the early summer sky. The town was not busy as it was the middle of the work and school day. Soon some of the cafes would start to see lunch customers, and there were a few people inside of the shops, but it was not nearly as busy as it would have been on a weekend. He wondered if he could do what he needed to do in town without… “Hey! Your left arm is blue!” the speaker was a man about his age. He was dressed in a long-sleeved button-down shirt, his goggling eyes rimmed by glasses with dark frames. “Everybody’s left arm is blue,” the newcomer said with a sigh. This had happened before, many times in fact. “We don’t talk about that,” Glasses said. He unconsciously rubbed his hand down the sleeve on his left arm. “We are polite and we wear long sleeves. You… you bear your blueness for the whole world to see!”

The Loving Little Puppy Dog

She was an adorable little fuzzball, all wriggly and scrappy. She loved truly and fiercely and without limit all that surrounded her: the soft green grass, the scent of flowers on the wind, the taste of chicken bits the small humans fed her when the tall ones weren’t looking, her brothers and sisters, and everything else besides. Mostly, though, she loved the humans. Some were big and tall. They came to bring food and water, and she ran up to them with a wagging tail and twined herself around their legs. She lived for their warm caressing and the praise they would give as they whispered, “Good girl!” Others were small and fast, like her. They would throw balls and bones, play tug-of-war with the rope, and race with her until they tumbled together down the sloping green hills all loose blades of grass and dirt and love. As she grew, her love grew also, but she found the world was not always kind. Sometimes the bright blue skies would turn gray and pour cold, driving rain upon her. T

Make-Believe

 Author's Note: This short story is part of my dystopian anthology series called "Panicdemic." You can find another story from the anthology on  this post .  *** Her mommy and daddy loved her. That’s why they had decided to keep her safe. She was lucky, luckier than anyone else in the world, than anyone she saw on TV or News , than almost anyone she talked to online or on her phone. She was safe. That’s what they told her, what they had been teaching her since she could remember. At first, she learned this through the glass windows and from the large, Michelin man suits that called themselves her parents. Now that she was a big girl, she had her own phone and laptop, so she could log on and see her mommy and daddy’s faces for the first time. The suits did not allow for that, and it had been hard to make out their faces through the hazy blue lights from the purifiers near the windows. Mommy had explained to her that out there in the world there was something called “ge

Creating Darkness

 In a world bent on valuing only light, We create so much darkness By leaving anyone with any sort of difference, difficulty, or pain Alone, By causing shame and inauthenticity as we label certain people “Deviant,” By deciding certain expressions of humanity are more valuable than others   We all dream of better futures, But we judge and devalue those who make choices that are different than our own, Slander and malign those who, Through no fault of their own, Have lives that are less than our perfect ideal, And if anyone has been through anything at all, We force them to hide it because it might make us uncomfortable   We deem some worthy of our time and others unworthy of our effort Chasing happiness, light, life, and joy, We create so much sorrow, darkness, death, and agony Because of what we do not value, Who we do not embrace, And the overall message we send: You are not, as you are, worthy; you do not, as you are, matter   We create so much darkness when we convey these messages,

Paper Boats

We sail in paper boats on the sea of human experience, To islands of hope and beauty Where the sunset kisses the purple sky with tinges of orange and pink And dolphins laugh as they play with us on the seas that lull us to sleep in the tranquility of their rhythmic waves, And places of sorrow and terror As tsunamis of agony threaten to overwhelm us in the storms of injustice and circumstance And we can, at any moment, be dashed upon the unseen rocks, Which are the choices of other people That appear out of nowhere in the darkest of nights   We do not know how fragile our ship is Until the first wave overwhelms us Or the first rock scrapes against the bow And we plunge, unexpected, into the ocean, Unsure if we even know how to swim   Once we know the fragility of our own existence, We work hard to chart paths for ourselves on cosmic maps, Hoping to find more islands of happiness than reefs of despair, And yet the engines in our paper boats can only do so much, For they cannot fight the

Darkness

 I am the darkness nobody wants, The one you spend all your time avoiding, praying against, declaring goes away, I am the one you rebuke “in the name of Jesus” I am the risk that’s not worth taking, I am the pain you’d rather ignore, I am the inconvenience of suffering   I am the hurting child whose pain is scorned by adults who have too much to deal with and think my grievances petty, I am the grieving person who is no fun at parties, I am the unashamedly broken whose shards mirror your own so much that you must thrust me away from you lest you remember your own brokenness, I am the anger that threatens to roar at the injustice of systems and policies that oppress, but which must be quieted and tamed because of the fear of my intensity, I am the sadness of overwhelming loss, I am the horror that there is more suffering to come, I am every negative emotion that you labeled as “sinful” and “lacking faith,” And all of the coping mechanisms that are used

Embracing the Negativity

 Positive vibes only, Speak beautiful words, What you focus on, you create, Be more positive, Your thoughts are seeds, grow flowers not weeds   Any world built upon these concepts Is built upon a graveyard of suppressed fears, traumas, anger, and resentment, Which will eventually curse the beautiful city With the rottenness of duality and unexpressed emotion, Rising from the darkness, Anger will come and destroy the illustrious edifices Bitterness will waft noxious fumes over the parks and the houses, And the streets will run with the unshed tears of the child you were When first you learned That the world isn’t fair or loving or kind   Your world will be one of all of the horrors Perpetuated by the unprocessed traumas that were perpetrated upon you By those who were not allowed to process their own experiences, And so they turned to hurting others as they were hurt Because they, too, built their worlds upon the idea That pain is best kept hi