Glancing down at his mobile, Harry decided against replying, instead busying himself with knocking the nearest pillow out of his way, falling back onto the couch. He didn’t know what was wrong with him today, perhaps it was knowing that in two days he’d be hundreds of miles away from home and wouldn’t be returning any time soon, or maybe he was simply stressed from everything Management was putting them under. Either way, Harry was thankful Lucas had said he’d come round — when he was like this, Harry hated being alone. It gave him too much time to think, and that was never a good thing. Especially not when he’d just told Lucas about his Dad and Charlie, both of whom brought up memories Harry hated and loved at the same time. With a small sigh, Harry heard the sound of the door click and pushed himself up into a kneeling position on the couch; resting his head against the backrest, watching Lucas carefully. “Hello,” he greeted, offering a faint smile to the figure by the door.
Let me tell you about a girl
A little girl, with long corkscrew curls that shone in the sun
Whose eyes were the brightest and whose smiles were the widest
Who laughed the loudest and talked the most and made friends with anyone she met
Let me tell you about how she hummed under her breath, and could never sit still
And how she was lit from within by a bright little light, golden and soft
How she tapped out a rhythm wherever she went, and danced as she walked to a beat all her own
Let me tell you about her rosy cheeks that matched her rose-colored glasses, shiny and new, and how she saw the best in the world, and wasn’t afraid to fight for it
Let me tell you about months and years that passed by like eons, and how she smiled and smiles but her eyes slowly dimmed
Let me tell you how she grew up lonely, how her rose colored glasses cracked and warped and broke, until no light shone through
And she saw the world in shades of gray
Let me tell you about curls that got thick and tangled without help to brush them each morning, until she chopped them all off with scissors in the bathroom one night
and how she spiked them up with gel in the day, and dyed them all the colors of the rainbow, and left them just long enough to hide her face
Let me tell you about how her smile twisted into smirks and small, rare things, about how her tone quieted and turned to biting remarks and other sharp-edged things
And how she read all she could find, and lived in a land of books, and thought of the places she’d go and the people she’d see if only she could find her light again
Let me tell you about hands, not thin and long and elegant, but short, stumpy hands, always covered in paint, stained grey and black with pencil and charcoal and rainbows of chalk
Let me tell you about the sidekicks, the untold, ‘unimportant’ stories that never saw the light, about those who give their all and
Let me tell you about the ones who will never be heroes, about the ones who live in shades of gray, and the ones who see in black and white
About the ones who smile and the ones who smirk and the ones who frown
About the ones who lie and the ones who hold to the truth like a liferaft in a storm because it’s the only thing they’re sure of and it’s all that keeps them afloat
Let me tell you about the villains before they were villains and how the heroes aren’t always what they’re cracked up to be
Let me show you a world of gray where even the ‘good guys’ aren’t good guys and the villains may just be right
Let me show you my world, the world inside my head
A world where nothing is as it seems and the cast of characters with no two the same grows endlessly longer
And let me tell you how layers and layers of fantasies build up like paint over white walls
Let me tell you about disappointment and regret and shame and silence, about lies and truth and how sometimes you can’t distinguish one from the other
Let me tell you about the forgotten ones, the abandoned ones, the children drafted in the adult’s wars, about the ones who die in the trenches, in sidewalks and gutters and fields and in white rooms with grey floors, about the ones who don’t survive the night
And those who never even saw the dawn
Let me tell you all the things inside my mind that I can never quite get out, that come into my head and stick like honey and run down the walls and grow like flowers and moss and vines and trees that grow so tall and thick the light can’t shine through
Let me tell you all the things I can’t express, and let me show you all the things I think
Let me show you emotions in colors and colors in words and words in a song and a song in a world that grows and grows and never ends
Let me show you all the things no one else has bothered to look at, all the books no else will read, all the drawings that are never what I imagine never quite good enough for my high standards
Let me show you all the places I have been and all the things that made me who I am, and let me speak to you about the things I have never said before because no one has bothered to listen
Let me sing you to sleep in a wordless tune that got stuck in my head centuries ago and never quite left
Let me tell you
Let me show you
and I will let you.
Little Talks [part 1]
His hands are shaking.
That’s the first thing he notices when he opens his eyes.
He stares at them in a sort of abstract awe, disillusioned by the idea that his muscles might be so fallible as to betray him in such a way. He did not order them to shake, did not decide for himself that he wanted his hands to shake.
How dare his body disobey him in such a way?
Clenching his fingers together into half fists, he takes in a breath, and lets it out with a deep sigh.
It’s dark in the room, dark enough that he can’t see anything but his own skin. He’s not certain why that is, but it doesn’t quite seem to matter, so he rejects the thought as one without any particular meaning.
He blinks several times, his body’s natural reaction, an attempt to adjust to the dark.
It doesn’t seem to work, the lighting doesn’t change, and he pushes that away as well.
Not like he wanted to see in the first place.
Jerking his head from side to side, he cracks his neck, stopping in a side position. His neck stays tilted to the side, with his eyes pointed up towards what might possibly be a ceiling. It’s certainly not outdoors, from what he knows about the structure of rooms, and it makes sense to assume that he’s inside a small, concrete building.
He sniffs the air, verifying that conclusion by the odour of the room.
It’s dank, and he can faintly detect a hint of wet moss.
He smiles softly, closing his eyes again, as he basks in the light of an absent lamp. His neck continues to shift now, from side to side in an odd pattern, as if he can’t quite manage to keep it still, but is giving it his best effort.
As if his neck has a mind of its own.
“Where am I?” he asks the darkness, expecting an answer in the same way he expects there to be air for his next inwards breath .
It doesn’t seem to come at first, the silence just as deafening as it was before he’d returned to his conscious thoughts.
But then it starts softly, as a quiet hum, a faint whispering rumble of something that doesn’t quite finish itself on the level intended for human ears.
In the black, his eyes widen a fraction, the white of them shrinking down considerably in competition with the skin of his face.
“Interesting,” he murmurs, fading into a hum that matches the sound from around. His lasts longer than the first one, the tone changing and shifting as he pushes his throat harder.
After a moment, he seems to lose interest, and his eyes retract to their previous state. His ears, no longer quite so tuned towards noise, act as if they’ve shaken themselves awake from something, before drifting away again.
The sound of ringing fills his ears to replace whatever else it was that he heard, and he closes his eyes.
Why shouldn’t he?
Sleep doesn’t come for him as he thought it might, and before he knows it, his eyes have opened again, full and wide.
He grits his teeth, shrugging his shoulders defiantly against the cold that he can now feel.
“Your point?” he asks, eyes latching onto something unseen straight in front of him. “I’m not going to apologise,” he continues, muttering as his eyes travel downwards into a downcast position. He doesn’t appear repentant in any way, more devious than anything.
Whatever he sees in the dark seems to understand this. The room around him makes not a whisper of a sound, remaining still and untouched.
It makes his fingers itch, and he looks up again.
“All right, all right!” he shouts without warning, his voice agitated and fierce. “So I fucked up. What’s your point?”
This gets him a gentle, cool breeze, that seems to pass through his skin and into his very bones.
“Really mature of you,” he grumbles out, not even all that bothered at this point. It’s only a small amount more to add to the cold, and he can’t find it in himself to care too much about it.
He lifts his hand in front of his face now, the left one, until the thumb is touching the very tip of his nose. His eyes cross to focus on it, and his lips twist into a snarl.
Something is wrong with his hand.
What, exactly, is what he can’t figure. He considers biting the tips of his fingers, until his teeth draw blood, to see what colour will drip down, but his arm suddenly feels like a dead weight, and he drops it to his side.
The hand hits something hard, creating a thumping noise, and he frowns, unsure of how he feels about it.
“Well, you’re a peculiar little thing, aren’t you?” he mumbles, drawing his lower lip into his mouth and chewing on it for a moment.
His eyes drift shut again unconsciously, and his breathing evens out automatically, as if timed to the exact second of the closing of his lids. His lips, moving in perfect sync with a beat he can’t quite seem to catch, begin to feel hot, as does his tongue as it rests inside his mouth.
A sigh rises to his lips, frustrated and bordering on grumpy.
It feels as if his every move is being countered by the thing in the dark, something bitter that takes pleasure in thwarting him.
“…I’d ask if you were intending to communicate solely through the use of hand signals…” he breathes out, his eyes fluttering underneath their cover of skin. “But, considering how little I can see, I don’t really think that would work out well on my part.”
His lips part into a smile now, reticent and seemingly oblivious as he begins humming again.
A response doesn’t come, for his words nor for his humming, but it doesn’t stop him. As an accompaniment, his knee begins to jerk up and down, his heel hitting the floor — wood, no marks, fresh, clean, newly laid out — on every third downward motion.
The smile has faded from his lips, but his lips remaining parted as he breathes shallowly through his mouth.
The moving knee stops suddenly, the motion ending abruptly with his knee still raised in the air.
There’s a noise, something that draws his head towards the general direction from which it seemed to come.
“Yes?” he drawls out carelessly, knowing what will come without having to think about it.
The answer is a quiet tapping, four times, on what could be the pane of a window. It stops quicker than it started, the noise moving backwards as if it had never played at all.
“All right.” He smiles again, faint and resigned, licking his lips carefully. “All right,” he repeats, “I’ll do it. Name your terms.”