kids like us speak a secret language
not necessarily of bruises.
we speak a language of the difference
between closing the cupboards
and closing them angrily.
we speak a language half child, half grown up,
rolling words and vomit over our tongues
trying to disguise the taste of last night,
to outlive tonight, to dare to hope
for a better tomorrow.
kids like us rip dead plants out of
barren soil and say it looks like us,
say we’re used to feeling wilted, say
we’re used to being thirsty, say we’re
used to people looking at us like we ruin
the scenery. kids like us make up stories
where the flowers bloom again, where the
dandelion is just as happy as the sunflower,
just happy to be alive.
kids like us have an ancestry, a broken or
not-so-broken line of battered kids and absent-
angry-alcoholic-abusive owners. we can trace our
scars all the way back to our great-greats, maybe,
watch the way they travel from parent
to child to child to child to child, and it makes sense,
and we weep for our forefathers, but we can’t hate them
kids like us find each other, use the scars like road maps,
sometimes we want family and sometimes we just want
to lock ourselves in a room together and cry it out,
swapping stories that sound like battle tales and always end with
“and then it never left me, and I never left it, and I’ll always be
the boy on the couch or the girl on the floor and I don’t know
how to grow into anything else, anymore.”
kids like us hate being called kids, feel like
we never got to live kidhood, like adulthood
escapes us in the bathwater where we rinsed the blood.
it’s like we never know what hit us. we crowd around
the campfire light of our parent’s computers and
whisper our stories to each other. look at this boy,
he’s a damn dead dandelion too, let’s prop him up
a bit, make him something beautiful. this is how
we deal with it, with little dead flowers.
kids like us speak these languages and tell these stories
as a way of being. surviving makes it sound brave. we
never survived anything that wasn’t already in us, in our
families for generations, stretching past the dawn of time
to the first person to ever look at a child and say “I am hurting
and so will she.”
kids like us have outlived that legacy a thousand times over
and by god, I hope someday
my kids won’t have to.
can hear it already. It’s barely dusk. It’s screeches are penetrating my walls,
calling for a reaction. I can’t look, or it will know. Once it can see me, I
can’t react. Can’t move. There’s nothing that can be done. I just have to wait
all started when I was a kid. Seven years old, to be exact. I grew up right off
of a small town. My dad was a farmer, so surprise, we lived on a farm. My
family owned around 150 acres of land, most of which consisted of thick woods.
I would often have friends come over and my dad would light a campfire and tell
horror stories to us all. I remember one time he even made my friend pee
himself, so we had to go in for the night. However, my dad never told me this
one. Maybe because it wasn’t fake. Maybe he held onto this one because he was
hoping I wouldn’t have to live through it. I’m sorry Dad, your effort failed.
night, at the age of seven, I woke up in the middle of the night. At first, I
didn’t know exactly why, but around 30 seconds after I awoke, I found my
reason. I can’t forget the first time I heard it. I thought my ears would start
bleeding. The yell was extremely high pitched… And so loud.
It sounded like what you might imagine a young woman would sound like if she
were being brutally murdered, except it sounded like her mouth was right next
to my ears.
I couldn’t hear myself think. It would screech for five seconds,
then be quiet for 30. I was petrified, I couldn’t move. Remember when you were
a kid, and you would hear something just out of your view, and even though you
knew it was nothing, deep down you were still scared and couldn’t move? Well,
it was kind of like that, except I didn’t know I was okay. I was scared, right down to my bones.
a couple of minutes of the screeching, I finally started to get up. I was too
scared to not know, and it sounded like it was coming from the edge of the
forest. I sat up in my bed, and swung my legs over. I lived on the second story
of my house, so in order to see the ground I had to be closer to the window. I
started walking towards the window, another shriek caused me to wince and
cower. Before I recovered, I was wrapped into a bear hold, a man’s hand
covering my mouth. I tried to fight back, tried to yell, but the hand prevented
my noise from being too loud.
voice calmed me down as his hand began to loosen from my mouth. It was too
late, though, It had heard me. I saw it then, on the
edge of the woods. It looked kind of like a person, but it was much taller. At
least 12 feet. It’s arms and legs were the length of people. Its features were
hidden by the darkness, It’s silhouette standing eerily still in the moonlight,
but its eyes… They were piercing, bright, vibrant white dots in the
distance. They were looking right at me.