Archive for April, 2014

The beautiful woman hummed to herself as she took a walk through the peaceful suburban landscape that she called home. The day was warm and sunny with just a slight breeze now and again, just how she liked it—and just how it always was.

Kelli waved to one of her friendly neighbors. She just couldn’t ask for more. She was in her prime, physically fit and attractive, married to a loving husband, financially well-off, and mother to two wonderful children. Of course she had one boy and one girl. That was always how she thought it should be.

I love you, Kelli. I just miss you so much. Why can’t you come back to me?

Well…there was one thing she would change about her seemingly flawless life: The Voice. The Voice came to her sometimes. It was always a man’s voice. At first she thought it was her husband’s voice, reverberating from the depths of her being to make her feel less lonely and less afraid, but the blurry, far-away quality made it just enough different that she was at times doubtful that was in fact whose it was. She couldn’t quite remember when it was that The Voice started. It seemed like it had always been there, like a repeated dream that hovered on the borders of her consciousness.

No one knew about The Voice. It was Kelli’s one tiny little secret. If she told anyone, they would think she was insane, and in Kelli’s perfect world, there just wasn’t an option to be insane. And what would they ask first? “Well, what does it say?”

What it said was at times sweet, at times churning confusion. There was always the reassurance of love. But hauntingly, it also told her of another world, one she didn’t know but sounded frighteningly familiar, a moment of hazy déjà vu and jamais vu.

Joseph, Andrew, and Elliot have been really busy, but they promised to come and see you soon. I told them that they must…well, let’s not talk about that now, huh? *a sound that was half sigh, half laugh* Not that it matters, though, right? That’s what they tell me, anyways. How are you doing?

She was doing just perfectly, thank you. She couldn’t wait to get back home; her Lily wanted to go dress shopping before dinner. How she loved to go dress shopping! When she was younger, Kelli would set up a store for her little dolls and pretend she was clothes shopping with her daughters; now she was able to go real shopping with her little girl.

As Kelli stepped into the door, her beaming husband greeted her with a kiss. “You girls enjoy your time; don’t worry about us. I will get dinner for me and ….”

Kelli frowned. Did he say their son’s name? Had her ears just given out at the last second? She had heard it, right?

“Honey, are you all right?” Her husband frowned in gentle concern at the confused look on her face.

“Oh, yes, thank you.” Kelli carefully smoothed out the wrinkles on her face. “We won’t be late, I promise!” she said.

“Please, take your time. I know how hard it is to make time to spend with Drew.”

Her handsome husband smiled lovingly at her, but Kelli felt sick to her stomach. She had heard him incorrectly, was all. She was letting The Voice twist into her husband’s words. There was no reason to panic.

Kelli braced herself and forced the anxiety away. She was through with anxiety. In her younger years, all through her schooling, she had been a mess. Overweight, shy, anxious, depressed. She had dated this one guy, who had loved her so much that she just couldn’t say no when he asked her to marry him… No, wait, that wasn’t right. Slight beads of perspiration broke out on Kelli’s forehead and temples. She did say no, because she knew what would happen if she said yes. She had dreamed it, and she just knew it was true. They would have a small house that was cold and worn; they would try for the little girl she wanted, but they would always end up with boys, boys who were rough and dirty and had no time for their mother (unlike … unlike Sonny. That was his name, right?), and he would always have a slightly-higher-than-minimum-wage job that kept the bills paid but forced her to pick up part time jobs here and there. That wasn’t what she wanted. She *had* said no, and now she had the life she dreamed of for so long.

Kelli wiped the back of hand across her forehead and forced a smile. Then she pushed away all of the negative thoughts to the back of her mind and went to find Lily.

“Oh, honey, before you go, here’s the key.”


“Yeah. You know…the key to the door.” Her husband stretched out his hand, holding out a key to her. It looked like an old key, silver that was tarnished with brittle teeth that looked like actual teeth. The top was loops and swirls, very ornate. As she stared at it, it started to look like a clock of some sorts.

“But…whatever is it for?” she whispered, refusing to take it even as he came closer and closer.

“The door, silly.” His smile never wavered, but the room seemed darker.

“I have a key to the front door, darling,” she said, clearing her throat lightly and trying to smile.

“Not that door.” His head tilted to indicate something to her left. Kelli’s eyes followed his nod. There was a door there, very out of place compared to the rest of her carefully planned out and decorated house. It was off-centered in the wall that divided the kitchen from the dining area. Like the key, it appeared old; unlike the key, it didn’t seem like it had ever been used.

“Aren’t you going to open it?” her husband asked, putting the key right in front of her face.

“No,” Kelli whispered, but then she said it more loudly as she quickly backed away. “No, no, you keep it. I don’t want it.” Then she turned and ran to Lily’s room.

A week went by, and The Voice was getting more and more frequent, and more and more disconcerting. She did not care about The Voice’s problems, but she was helpless to completely block the words from her mind. How did no one else hear it? Or did they, but they were all silenced by their fear of being condemned as insane?

The boys are all here, honey. I wish you could just open your eyes and say hello. One last time? Please? *muffled sobs*

Frustrated, Kelli threw down the dish-towel and cried, “I don’t care; I don’t care; I don’t care!”

Two days passed before The Voice said something very different from the things it had said before.

I just don’t know what to do. No, that’s a lie. I do know what to do. I just don’t know if I have the strength to carry through with it. Would you forgive me? Your mother said I would be setting you free. I hope she’s correct. You know, she’s become a devout Christian since it happened. She tells me how you will dance in Heaven.

She didn’t know this other mother, but her mother was always a devout Christian. She never drank or smoked or swore. She taught her daughter how to be a real lady, even if it took years for her to reach the level of perfection she reveled in now. Her mother was only ten minutes away, the perfect distance to not be suffocating but to be helpful as a baby-sitter when needed. Kelli tried to focus on the date she and…her husband were going on later. They were going to her favorite restaurant, and she had a brand new dress to wear. Afterward, they were going to dance to her favorite record and drink some expensive wine. Perfect.

It was only another day before The Voice brought everything crashing down. Kelli was eating dinner with her beautiful family when she heard it. At first, she pushed the sound away by forcing herself to listen to her Lily go on about her school day. But soon the words coming out her mouth made no sense. Kelli bit her lip, and her concentration was broken long enough to allow The Voice access.

I pray for you every day, and I will never stop praying for you. I love you so, so much Melly.

Kelli’s stomach tightened into a knot. Her name was Melanie. How did she forget that?

I will take care of the boys. You don’t have to worry.

To her horror, Lily’s face began to drip before Kelli’s gaze. Drip, drip, dripping down until it was unrecognizable.

I’m so sorry. I hope I will see you again someday. My love, my life. What will I do without you?

Heart pounding, Kelli’s lungs expanded and contracted in double time to keep up with her ragged breaths. Her husband’s smile turned malicious. Her golden son picked up his knife to cut his meat, but suddenly he gripped it in a threatening manner. The tip pointed toward her throat.

The doctors say it is time. I didn’t know if I should stay or go, but I promised you once that I would be there until the end. I won’t let you down. Here, I will hold your hand even though I know you can’t feel it. They tell me you can’t hear me or feel me, and for a while I refused to believe it. Now it’s time to stop lying to myself. Goodbye, Melly… Oh, my God, goodbye.

Kelli’s eyes filled with tears. Oh, no. She remembered now.

Raw, unadulterated terror slammed into her. No, no, no! No, she remembered! Melanie made to leap from her seat, but her dissolving family crowded around her and held her down. She couldn’t feel her limbs, couldn’t move anything. Even her breaths were taken away, made not her own. No! She tried to scream, tried to cry, tried to yell, but she could not make a sound.



{Here is the origins of this short story:

Inspired by a video on youtube that went through 10 theories about why we may not exist, which I posted on facebook and which sparked a few discussions with friends. I combined the idea of ‘what if this is all a dream or a simulation that we’re living? How could we tell the difference because our only reality is what we experience through the five senses and how our brains interpret it’ with the idea/theory that right before we die, we relive our lives or live out the rest of our lives. In this case, Melanie (or Kelli) is in a coma for an unknown reason. What if her mind was still alive enough to carry out her near-death life she always dreamed of?}


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I could hear the shouting again. A man’s voice and a woman’s voice, one shrill, one deeper, both loud and angry. Furious. Demanding. It made me sick to my stomach.

I slowly walked over to my window and leaned my head against the frame. It was a large window, one with a seat attached to it so I could sit and read, but I was only kneeling on it right now. I stared across the small yard that separated the house I lived in and the neighbor’s. Their name was McKey. The daughter was looking out of her window and right at me.

We both listened to the screaming, so loud it transcended all of the walls and ceilings and grass that separated us. She was pretty. I wondered if she thought I was handsome. I wondered what she thought of all of that yelling and cursing. As if she read my thoughts, she said something. I couldn’t hear her, because she wasn’t as loud as the shouting was, and the windows were closed.

“What?” I said, hoping she could hear me or else read my lips.

She mouthed the words again, but I couldn’t read them. I could never read lips. Suddenly the yelling stopped, and she turned and walked away. A woman appeared in front of her window and with one look at me, abruptly pulled the shades closed.

I wondered if she was able to sleep at night.

It was a week before the fighting started anew. Perhaps my friend is back, I thought as I hurried to my window. And there she was, radiant and gleaming in the sunlight. We stared at each other, and before I could decide if I should try to talk to her again, she mouthed more words that I couldn’t hear or read. But this time, I thought more quickly and I grabbed some printer paper and a pen. As big and dark as I could, I wrote, “What are you saying?”

There was a pause, and then I could see her also pick up a piece of printer paper and a pen like mine, and the words appeared on the paper: I will be a bird someday and fly away.

Wouldn’t that be nice? I mused. No more screaming. No more cursing. No more anger that maybe had something to do with you or maybe didn’t, but either way it was a part of you in a way that you would never forget.

Only two days passed before I could hear it again. Why did it have to be so loud now? Before it had been stony silences that had been so noticeable because of the awkward aura around both participants. Now the word “divorce” was being whispered in the wind, but I ignored it. Nothing I could do about it, was there? Just close my eyes and forget it.

But she wouldn’t leave it alone. She was across from me again, staring into my window and into my eyes. She mouthed the words, and this time, since I knew what they were, I could read them plain as day: I will be a bird someday and fly away.

I decided to mouth some words back. I needed to be rescued. “I can’t deal with this anymore,” I whispered, knowing she would know the words. She opened her window slowly, so slowly that I could see every movement, could predict the next movement.

I took the key out of my pocket that my grandmother had given me. My grandfather had built this window, and it had a strange lock on it. My mother didn’t think a window so low to the ground should be able to be opened like a normal window, in case someone slipped in unnoticed. So he built in a lock so it was more like a door than a window. I possessed the only key, and so I slipped it in and turned it until I heard the click.

When I looked back up, she was closer than I expected. Her hair glistened black, so black it was almost iridescent. Her eyes… As she drew ever closer, I became a bit frightened. Her eyes were almost coal black, but shiny and full of intelligence. Come here, come here…

Her hair was wrong. What was wrong with me?

And then my door swung open. I hadn’t noticed that the screaming had stopped, because I would have been prepared otherwise. Once the words stop, one storms off and the other feels like they should check on me. But all that happens is that they shift awkwardly from foot to foot until I quietly ask if they could leave. But now the door was open and my mother stood there, mouth agape.

“Charles!” she screamed for my father. Taken aback by the surprise and fear in her voice, this time my father came barreling toward her.

“Is that a raven?” he sputtered. “How did you get it in here?”

She was heavy, her talons digging into my flesh until beads of blood welted up. She was free, at least. Perhaps someday I would fly away, too.

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I know the feeling: you’re watching a really awesome movie with someone, but this someone just can’t let anything go. This doesn’t make sense; they can’t do that in real life; there’s no way they could have made that jump; on and on and on. My parents are like that sometimes, and it does get annoying. While I sometimes find myself in the mood to rip apart the more imaginative parts of a movie, there is one thing that I just cannot “suspend my disbelief” for at all–movies that rely on time travel and time travel paradoxes to further their plot. I don’t necessarily mean movies that have universes where time travel is possible or where a character just goes back and forth in time, necessarily. I mean that ones that need that as a focal point for the plot to even exist. If you still don’t know what I mean, think back to or go and watch the original 1984 (I believe) “The Terminator” movie with good old Arnold.

I watched it for the first time last night. My husband insisted that I needed to see it. Overall, it really didn’t do much for me, but that’s only because I really like character development and character interaction and the psychological aspects of it, whereas this movie was more of a gun people down and blow things up kind of movie. Which is fine. It was good in that aspect. And I did like the overall idea of the plot. However, these time paradoxes they create never make sense when I start thinking about them. This is when whoever I’m talking to in person shouts, “It’s a movie! Stop thinking about it!” But really…in most movies, most things make sense. Other than, you know, in horror movies how people decide to check out eerie noises in the basement by themselves. That doesn’t make sense. But for the most part…the characters work and react in a logical semblance of a world similar to ours.

In case you haven’t guessed, there will be many spoilers for this movie so I can demonstrate my point. Don’t read more if you don’t want to know.

So I figured out way before Sarah and Kyle slept together that Kyle was going to end up being John’s father. It wasn’t that subtle, I don’t think. So I started thinking about this way before it was even an issue in the movie. John said his father died before the war. Kyle ends up dying before the war so he can save Sarah. Fine. However, if Kyle is John’s father…well, how does John end up befriending Kyle in order to send Kyle back to save Sarah? In the first line of events, no Terminator was after Sarah, so clearly Kyle wasn’t the original father. However, John apparently hears these recordings that Sarah makes so he knows who to send back to save Sarah (Kyle states that he volunteered, but it sounds like John pretty much prepped him for it along the way). So…how does that work? For Kyle to be the original dad, he has to exist in Sarah’s timeline without being put there. But if he’s part of the original timeline, he can’t die and then be born later so John can befriend him. So…huh?

Also, my husband explained to me the other movies, thinking he was going to work it out. So we apparently find out later that Skynet was invented from the chip that someone took from the Terminator’s head in the first movie. So, wait, what? So…how was it invented in the first timeline? If it was invented another way, then it being invented in the second timeline from the Terminator chip changes everything. Nothing would happen the way it did in the first timeline. At the very least, the timing would be different from here on out than from what they explained was the timing in the first one. So confusing.

But do you see the inevitable time paradox loop that emerges? In order for everything to stay the same: Skynet has to be invented from the chip, which means that the Terminator has to sent back in time, which means that Kyle has to be born after the war so he can go back in time so that the Terminator will be killed the same way, which means that Kyle was killed and then reborn, which just keeps looping and looping and looping up and around itself until you get irritated because no sense was had from any of this!

Which is why I hate and cannot watch time paradox/time travel movies. I’m a very imaginative person, but I’m also fairly logical, and this idea just doesn’t not mesh into my logical brain. The only way time travel in that aspect works is if everything happens, someone gets sent back in time to fix something or whatever, they change or do what they need to do, but then time “rehappens” in a different way. The storyline would make sense to me (and maybe it says something like this in a later movie and my husband didn’t mention it?) if there is no loop. Skynet turns out differently; Kyle is never present in the future; John looks different because his father changed; ect. Maybe it does. But the idea of the recordings make it sound like it doesn’t happen that way. Leave the loops alone.


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