Strawberry Perfume

Hello. 

That’s the only word I can ever manage to say to her, but it never gets a response. She floats by me every single day as if I’m a ghost or something. I know she sees me, but for some odd reason, be it egotism or repulsion, she refuses to even spare a glance my way. I’m not one for love and I’m not the kind of guy to chase women, but I want this one. No, I NEED this one. I utter my “Hello” as usual, but the girl with the blonde hair and strawberry perfume just floats on by.

What the hell, man? Is she a lesbian? Does she have a boyfriend or something? Well today we’re going to find out. I’m not one to chase women, but that’s all about to change. 

She exits through the door and I slither my way through, keeping just enough distance to see her and not be seen myself. The door shuts behind me and I’m outside, surrounded by the thousands of New York City skyscrapers, rude pedestrians, and honking taxis. The girl crosses the street and the crowd swallows her whole. Damn it, I’ve lost her. 

But wait… it’s in the air, I can smell it. That unmistakable scent of strawberries. I follow the scent and make my way across the street as well. I can see the mane of blonde hair flowing down her back and tossing through the crowd. She’s moving quickly, as if she’s afraid of something… or someone. Has she noticed that I’ve been following her all this time? Maybe, but it’s unlikely considering that she seems to be running to a particular place. She zigs and zags through the crowd and makes a sharp right turn through the double glass doors of a building.

Her perfume is my guide as I zig and zag through the crowd. I slam into a photographer and he falls backward into the crowd of people and many of them fall like dominos. Finally, I find the door she went through and push my way through. I’m standing in a lobby and I can see an elevator across the hall that’s just started closing. I can barely see her as the doors close shut. The indicator on top of the doors says that she’s traveling to the fifth floor. 
A security guard near the front door asks if I need help, but just as he utters the word, I spot a door leading to a staircase on a nearby wall. I have no time to waste. I push the door open and storm up the stairs. I’m skipping two, three stairs at a time, and I almost lose my balance, but I keep moving to the fifth floor. I push through the doors just as her elevator opens and she makes her way out and down the hall. She pulls out a key, goes to a door three rooms down, and opens it. Now is my chance. I sprint down the hallway and stick a foot in just as she closes it. I push the door back and step inside. Her face is a mask of surprise. 

“Who are you, and what the hell are you doing here?” She asks. Panic explodes in her eyes. 

“I say hello to you every single fucking day, that’s who I am.” I respond. My voice rises uncontrollably, but I don’t care to adjust it. 

Suddenly, she smiles. A devilish little smile. Behind her lips sit two rows of razor sharp wolf teeth. It all happens so fast. She morphs and her ears become pointed and dog like, and her body grows dramatically. Her clothes shred and fall to the floor, replaced by hulking muscles. 

My eyes grow wide. No, no, please. No! I run for the door, but she knocks me off my feet and pulls me back by my legs. She looks me in my eyes. “Hi.” she says. 

The last things I remember are the scent of strawberry perfume and two rows of sharp teeth coming for my neck. And then everything goes black. 

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Why I Write 

  

I originally started writing to get my thoughts and feelings off my chest, but during this journey, some amazing things have happened. But I would like to tell you about a terrific Norwegian kid named Markus who has helped change the game. 
I met Markus on Twitter a few years ago, due to our mutual interest in the Inheritance Books by Christopher Paolini. We ended up discussing a lot about books, tv, movies, and life in general. One day, Markus found my blog, this blog, and started reading… And you know what? He hasn’t stopped. He would often send me supportive messages telling me that I wrote a great short story, or that I wrote a blog post that helped to get him through a tough day. 

As I wrote more and more about my experiences and personal battles, Markus would tell me that my writing helped him get through the struggles in his own life. He would often send me feedback on stories and give me suggestions on what to write next. He’s the reader that every writer dreams of having.

 
  

In the beginning of my writing journey, I always said that I wrote to release my feelings and free my soul onto the page. But now things are slightly different. Markus’ feedback has made me realize how heavily words can impact others. I’m no longer writing for my own freedom, but also for the freedom of others. 

Throughout this journey, even more readers like Markus have sent messages and left comments about how my writing has helped them, and when I see these messages, I can’t control the tidal wave of pride that surges through my body. I’m no longer writing for myself. I’m writing for you. I’m writing for us.

How many times have you had a bad day and you needed something to pull you out of your slump? Where did you turn to? The arts. Movies, tv, music, and writing. 

The power to help and inspire others is a major responsibility. We can all give someone a helping hand. It’s our duty as human beings to improve the lives of those around us. 

Markus’ compliments and feedback have helped me in more ways than I can count. I always tell him this, but I don’t think he understands exactly how much he has assisted my writing. His kind words have often lifted my days and they give me motivation to keep going, even when it’s been difficult. Writing is a mind-nubingly difficult task, so to know that you’re doing something right is priceless insurance to keep going. As Dory would say, “Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. What do we do? We swim.”

Dear reader, a simple comment or even the smallest bit of feedback can really turn someone’s day around. Whether you’re reading a great story, or if you see someone at the mall wearing a nice pair of shoes, you should let them know how you feel. I appreciate the time that you have spent reading these blog posts and sticking around for this crazy journey. I can’t help but notice how supportive you’ve been, and for that, I am forever grateful. Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to read these posts and all the rambling nonsense that comes with them. I have some serious plans for this blog and we are going to have tons of fun this year. Be prepared to have more fun than you ever thought was humanly possible. 

Writing is powerful magic. It withstands the tests of time and traverses the world’s oceans. It evokes feelings of centuries past and paints pictures that no other art can emulate. With great power comes great responsibility. I’m no longer writing for myself, I’m writing for you. I’m writing for us. 

Things Are Changing

  

Something happens as we get older. The script flips. Things that once seemed forever are now only temporary, or cease to continue. I have a few friends who are going through rough patches is their lives because they never thought that the metaphorical roof over their heads would ever collapse. 

I have a friend who lives in another country. We used to spend hours talking and laughing every day, but we heard each other’s voices at all in the past few months. He’s going through a few tough times at home and now he basically has to start his life over again. He’s moving from his house, looking for a job, and just trying to sort his life out all together. He’s even had to sell some of his most precious belongings so he can raise enough money to live the life he dreams about. Like the rest of us, I’m sure he thought that life would be straight and narrow, but that is never the case. 

There are few things in this world that are forever. Sunny days are bound to turn rainy. Rainy days are bound to turn sunny. That’s just the way the world is, has always been, and always will be. Things change, but those events do not define who we are. It’s what we do about them that make us. Sure, things may be tough for you right now, but as long as you hold your head high, stay calm, and tell yourself “I’ve got this,” then you’ll be even stronger when those stormy seas become steady once again. 

Even when things are going well, it doesn’t hurt to prepare ourselves for an unexpected event. Nobody predicts a divorce, a layoff at work, the death of a loved one, or a frozen bank account. Anything can happen at any given time.   

In the past year, I’ve meet new people and I’ve lost others. I’ve found out who my real friends are, and I found out who really didn’t deserve to be called a friend. I’ve learned to appreciate what I have now instead of wasting these precious moments living in the future. 

Life changes. Seeds grow into trees, people change addresses, and even the strongest empires will eventually crumble. No matter what challenges you may face in your life, it’s not what happens to you that matters. It’s what you do about it. And to you, dear reader, I wish you a thousand years of success and happiness. 

“How it was ain’t how it is. How it is ain’t how it will be.”

A Pocketful of Memories

  

“A man’s real possession is his memory. In nothing else is he rich, in nothing else is he poor.”

I just saw that quote in the intro of one of my favorite tv shows and my jaw dropped into my bowl of chips. No matter how good or bad things are going for us, our memories are always intact. They are travel companions, long lost friends, and places that are long gone. 

Many times throughout the day, I like to just kick back and reflect on all the people I’ve met so far in my life. Each person has a story to tell and an experience unique only to them. I think about the laughs we shared, the sorrows we empathized, and those moments of comfortable silence between us. I think about the places we’ve been and about the places we planned to go. I hang on to these memories because they are usually all I have left. 

A few of my former friends can’t be reached as easily as before. I’ve moved to a few new states, and a few of them have moved as well. Sometimes relationships just break apart as people get older. No matter how it happened, it’s just life. Nowadays, the only thing I have left of those mythical people is a pocketful of memories. 

I don’t just remember the people who I’ve come across. I think about the simpler days when I was little, playing Nintendo and throwing fireballs at Bowser on Super Mario 64. I think about when I didn’t have to worry about the trivial things in life like calling phone companies and answering the doorbell, only to be greeted by a longwinded and rather unpleasant door-to-door salesman. I think back and compare 10 year old me to the 22 year old me. As a side note, my 22nd birthday was on October 5 and I made more memories to cherish for many days to come. I think about how I’m fundamentally the same person I’ve always been, although my worldview has changed a bit from experiencing new scenarios and new people. 

I remember a lot about my childhood, but sadly, some memories are blurry like a ship on the horizon that will never reach the shoreline. I often wonder about those lost memories as I try to remember how I felt on a particular day and how I reacted to certain life events. How would I ever recall my feelings, my joy, my boredom, or my sorrow? Well, here is the fun part. 

I’ve decided to go out and buy a journal. I used to keep one when I was in elementary school, but I (regretfully) threw it away after the kids in class found out and made fun of me for it. Ah, the cruelty of school children, eh? I want a journal with a lock and I’ll be the only person who knows how to break the code. I want to look back on my experiences ten years from now and re-live these days like they just happened five minutes before. 

If anything important happens on a particular day, I’ll jot down the date and everything right before I go to bed. I’ll paint pictures with words in excruciating detail. 

Starting today, not a single vital detail will be left out. I wonder what 28 year old Daevone will think about 22 year old Daevone. I’d love to see how much I’ve changed throughout the next few decades and maybe, just maybe, even millenniums. 

With that being said, what about you? Would you consider keeping a journal so you can remember the good times and the bad? The positive and negative people who taught you priceless life lessons? The taste of Mother’s homemade cake on a cloudy Sunday morning? That picnic in the park with the person you would turn out to marry?

“A man’s real possession is his memory. In nothing else is he rich, in nothing else is he poor.” 

Happy Halloween! 

We Fear What We Don’t Understand

miss-understanding

I remember it like it was yesterday. Yes, I know that’s a cliché, but for all intents and purposes, it works. I was in my literature class, sitting in the furthest corner of the room away from the door, chatting with some friends during the free time our teacher had given us. It was a diverse corner of the room, and many of my friends had parents who were immigrants and still had a strong connection to lands outside of the United States. On this day, the subject of religion came up. Among us there were Muslims, Christians, Hindus, and Wiccans, and we spoke about the differences and traditions between each of the religions. We spoke about holidays, sacred days of worship, and even prominent figures within each religion. It was a real learning experience for all of us.

My teacher overheard our conversation and cut it short, saying that the topic of religion was forbidden in her classroom. The second the words left her mouth, I knew that she was afraid. It’s admittedly a touchy subject and if the wrong thing is said, a fight could have easily happened, at least in her eyes.

My friends and I were having an innocent and insightful discussion. Nobody raised their voices, argued, or anything even close to that. We were all open minded individuals, seeking to learn something new about each other. Of course, religion is a sensitive topic in any part of the world, but we all kept both ears open.

I bring this story up because it serves as an example. No matter which religion or part of the world my friends came from, we were all accepting of each other’s beliefs. What someone believes is their reality. It is true to them, so a belief can never be wrong in the eye of the beholder. Our belief system is what makes us who we are today and structures the way we interact with the world altogether.

The world would be a better place if we sat down and got a chance to know one another. We can learn a lot when we keep our ears open and our mouths closed. Understanding is the key to peace and happiness between us all.

Just look at the way children interact with each other. They don’t judge and willingly accept world that comes toward them. A child is lightyears ahead of an adult when it comes to being a good student.

Through an open minded approach, we can understand, and then sympathize with one another. Our bonds become stronger and the bridges of friendship are build right before our eyes.

People fear what they don’t understand, so make it a point to learn. You will find out that there is nothing to fear and that this world is much bigger and more glorious than we could have ever anticipated.

Broken Bottles

My head felt like the ocean, like tidal wave after tidal wave was crashing against my skull. My eyes were reluctant doors on rusty hinges, but once they opened, I wish I had kept them closed. There were holes everywhere. Grotesque circles, roughly the size of marbles.  Continue reading

Nobody Hears You Scream

  

She appeared every night. She stood at the foot of his bed and watched him sleep; weekdays, weekends, holidays. No exceptions. He didn’t know her name. She never spoke a word as she glared down at him, unblinking, not moving a muscle. 

On the first night she appeared, Peter had just come home from a night at the movies with some friends, drank a steaming cup of cocoa, kissed his mother good night, and went to bed like he always did. He took off his watch and put it on the dresser, in the same place he always put it. He changed into his pajamas and put his clothes in the hamper the same way he normally would. He wriggled under the blanket and went to sleep immediately, just like always. 

He didn’t dream that night. His sleep was more for rest than entertainment, so only the darkness behind his eyelids greeted him. At least until the middle of the night. 

His eyes popped open, and that was the first sign something was wrong. On this night, his eyes were panicked and paranoid, desperate for an exit.

2:13 AM flashed on his alarm clock. He had gone to bed only three hours ago, so why was he already awake? Something trickled down Peter’s brow and he reached a hand to wipe it. Why was he sweating? He wiped his wet hand on his bed sheets and noticed that there was someone else in the room. 

An old woman with skin like a weathered plastic bag stood at the end of his bed. Her eyes were abysmal, and if you stared too long, they would probably suck you inside, never to be seen again. Her mouth was a violent line and her nose was shaped like a fishing hook. Her moss-like hair hovered just above her bony shoulders. The woman reeked like a New York City dumpster, ammonia, and gasoline. Peter’s body tried to gag, but couldn’t. 

“Who the hell are you!?” He tried to say, but no sound would come from his mouth. His eyes darted, horrified as he tried to repeat the question, but the words died on his lips. The woman and her abysmal eyes stared back, still as a statue. 

“ARRRRRRGGGHHHH!” He tried to scream at the top of his lungs, but his voice box failed him. This was unreal, he had to go get help. Peter tried to sit up, but his body remained pinned to the bed like it was tied with ropes. He tried to swing his legs over the bed, but they wouldn’t budge. Panic set in. He couldn’t leave his room and nobody could hear him scream. His windpipe tightened. It was like someone was choking him; hard enough to watch him suffer, but soft enough to keep him alive.

Who was she? Why was she there? Would she kill him? Sell his organs on the black market? Steal his soul? 

But she just stood there. Blue electricity radiated off her figure and adrenaline vibrated through Peter’s body.

The minutes and hours moved at a snail-like speed until the sun shone through Peter’s window. The incoming sunlight flooded the room and the old woman vanished into thin air. Her disappearance left Peter gasping for breath. He put a hand to his chest and felt his marching band of a heartbeat, relieved that his body could move again. Shaking, Peter swung his legs around the edge of his bed so he was sitting. He collapsed his head into his hands and sobbed.

Of course, his mother didn’t believe him. She said something like “That’s what you get for watching those horror flicks, it’s all in your head,” but he knew the truth. No matter how many times he told her, she wouldn’t understand. He couldn’t tell his friends either; they’d just say he was imagining things and tell him to “Man up, dude.” 

Ever since that first time, Peter awoke every night to the creepy old woman at his bed. He never knew her name. He never knew why he couldn’t breathe or why he couldn’t move. He never knew what she wanted with him. But one day, that woman would speak, and her words would change Peter’s life forever. 

-Daevone Molyneux

Never Sleep Again

  

I can´t remember the last time I slept. I think I live a normal life, like everyone else. I’m a regular woman with regular hair and regular friends. I have a regular job, with a regular car, and a regular apartment. I don’t party often and I live in a quiet neighborhood where police cars are as uncommon as four leaf clovers. But I will never sleep again.

I can’t remember when the nightmares started, but all I know is that they never stopped. My mind loves to torture me with many levels of hell and to sleep is like playing a game of Russian Roulette. I’ve been eaten by goons and goblins. I’ve fallen down an abyss so dark I couldn’t see my flailing arms and legs. Strange creatures break down my door and carry me off to strange lands where I’m forced to forever serve them. I see myself killing without control, for no reason whatsoever, as if I need a fresh coat of blood on my hands like my lungs need oxygen.

I wake up screaming every morning and for the last few days, my nightmares have followed me in my everyday life. I can’t help but check over my shoulder every few seconds for goblins and gargoyles. I don’t eat steak with knives anymore, as I’m afraid I might have murderous thoughts. 

I’ve thought of getting help and seeing a psychiatrist so I could get some peace of mind and some shuteye, but that would do more harm than good. They’d think, no, they’d know I’m crazy and they’d send me to live in some nuthouse in the middle of nowhere. I can already feel my neighbors’ ridicule. “You remember Janice down the road? Well she went mad and claims that ax murderers had been stalking her. I always knew that owning so many damn cats was bad for your health.”

The best thing to do is stay awake. The nightmares have started to creep into my day, but that’s nothing compared to what I go through when I close my eyes. For now, I have a cup of coffee and a three month bulk supply of 5 Hour Energy. 

I’ll do whatever it takes to make sure I never sleep again. If that even means cheating death, so be it. 

Secrets

  

The following story is inspired by this poem by Markus Røe:

  

Life is a funny device, the way a simple action can complicate everything.

There was a clown living in my closet. A clown, a real clown. It walked and talked, hell, it even breathed.

I always slept with my back to the closet, but ignoring the clown only served to make things worse. 

The skeleton under my bed groaned and rattled its shattered bones, screaming and begging for mercy like the day I took its life. 

Weeks prior, I sat in a dark room, tears staining my shirt. The light bill wasn’t paid and I had to carry a candle everywhere. I drowned in debt, and the danger of eviction hung over my head. The landlord pounded on the door like a one man SWAT team. I didn’t have the money, and asked him to give this starving artist some more time while my paintings sold. He stormed his way into the apartment, raising his voice and making threats. After that, I just… lost it. 

I googled “How to get away with murder” and did what the helpful articles instructed. And that’s how I wound up with a skeleton in my bedroom. 
The clown in my closet might have been a sign I was crazy, or a slice of karma there to bite me in the ass.

Although the landlord was no more, his skeleton was very much alive. It taunted me through the day, but that was nothing compared to my trouble at night. When I tried to sleep, the moans and groans grew louder, even louder than the day I killed him.

To achieve sleep was to win the lottery, but I never escaped the nightmares. Blood blinded my vision while bloodcurdling screams of loved ones deafened my ears; Family, friends, and children alike. Unbridled rage consumed me and I killed them all. No ands, ifs, or buts about it. I awoke the same way every time, my bed a swimming pool of sweat and the skeleton rattling with laughter. 

And then one night I couldn’t take it any more. I shot out of bed, the floorboards squeaking as I approached the window at the far wall.


I kicked through the window and peered to the New York City lights below me. The wind violated my clothes as I jumped off the ledge.

My body was a potato splattered on the concrete, awaiting the flood of news cameras and police tape that were sure to follow. 

Saltwater Sorrows

  

There’s a boy in my village who behaves like an old man. He sits, silent and reserved in a corner, looking toward the village gates while other children run and play, causing mischief.

I do not know his name, nor do I believe he has one. I have never spoken a word to him, and I doubt he even knows who I am. I watch him twice each day as he goes to the beach and stares out to the ocean for two hours and returns to the village with his head down.

He does this when the sun comes up and when the sun goes down, every day without fail, rain or shine. He stares at the waters as if waiting for something – or someone. 

I watch as he removes a golden locket from his neck and stares into it, tears flowing into the sand. Even a hardened old bag of a man like me gets choked up from the sight, especially since I’m the cause of the boy’s pain.

You see, normal people walk by and think nothing of the boy with the locket, but they don’t know his story. Not like I do. 

I am not proud of my past. I was the saltiest pirate of them all, or at least I wanted to be. Since I was a child, I admired a band of pirates in the village. When I was 30 something years old, I worked up the courage to approach them. I can still feel my nervous knees shaking from that day. They were a rowdy bunch who never smiled and looked at me like I was the scum of the earth. But the captain was different. 

He put an arm around my shoulder and blew cigar smoke in my face. I choked and fought every urge to cough the smog from the lungs. He told me I could join his crew, but I had to go through an initiation. 

We sailed out that same night. We anchored behind a boulder and watched as a young couple said goodbye to their son on the shore, likely promising him they would return in a few hours. They sailed off. We followed. 

The captain handed me a knife and jerked his head toward the ship. His desires didn’t need explanation.

I dove into those waters, invaded the boat, and climbed back on our ship, covered in blood that wasn’t my own. The men slapped my back and cheered. We celebrated and I ate more that night than I have in my life. 

The happiness faded when I returned home and saw the boy. He seems to appear wherever I am, as if by chance. My heart drops whenever I see him. He never speaks to anyone, and only indicated his desires with hand movements and shakes of the head. I can never stand to be in the same room with him. I watch him from afar instead and although it was so long ago, I still feel the weight of his parents’ blood on my hands. 

I’ve thought of approaching him on the beach to tell him that his parents would never return as they promised, but I can never bring myself to do it. I’m afraid of something that I can’t identify. Is it the ghosts of his parents or is it the little boy himself?

My past haunts me in my nightmares, and when my eyes are open. No matter what, I see the boy who waits and wishes for a dream that will never come true.