The Hell Butterfly

Creative Writing

Thin

I am a paper-thin outline of skin.

This, all that remains,

all that contains my nerves

and veins,

a micron-thick flesh shape of myself.

Muscles so skillfully removed

no incision can be seen

upon my blueprint skin.

Bones left to dust,

a powder in my almost

empty shell.

I am a trembling structure.

Flaking, crumbling, collapsing.

I am undone.

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Eat, Sleep, Repeat

Food makes me hate myself.

Through sleep-crusted eyes I wake every morning and remember

that I must eat breakfast.

It is 08:33 and I’ve already woken once and fallen back to sleep

partly because I know that I must eat today

and I don’t want to.

I wonder what “breakfast” really is.

The first half hour of my day is spent

poring over memories of what I had the day before

so that I can find inspiration for the morsels I must end my hunger with.

I can’t remember if I even ate breakfast yesterday.

Walls in my brain erected from thoughts of eggs on toast,

cities built in seconds,

cement paste measured from

two parts breadcrumbs, one part tears.

It takes a lot of work to knock this network down

and in doing so force open the hinges of my jaw

to allow food in against my better judgement.

Two rows of white knights standing ready marching in a rhythmic beat

in time to up and down as mastication transforms bacon pieces into guilt.

Maple-glazed disgust dissolving in the chaos of a bite-sized slaughterhouse.

The Unholy Trinity of Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

make the walls of my castle tremble.

Take their name in vain and–

UNDESERVING.

GREEDY.

SHAMEFUL.

–they will eat you alive.

I find Hell in streaks of ketchup,

traces of my sins in upset stomachs caused

by eating three whole meals in a day.

I wash myself clean but I can still feel oil in my pores and as I scrub

I shed a layer of my skin but I can still feel the salt in my veins

and I scrub harder still until I’ve carved away enough to expose my bones and then…

…and then…

My friends ask why I cover up my mirrors.

I tell them that I’m superstitious.

Purple shame hangs heavy under eyes that can’t and won’t make contact with their own reflection,

afraid of what they might see staring back at them.

I’m terrified of laughing in front of people because,

when I laugh for real, my teeth reveal secret snacks snuck in

when nobody is watching.

I live in a nightmare woven from threads of my sanity.

I am a slave to food.

When I wake up I think of food.

At breakfast I think of food.

Before lunch, food.

Lunch, food.

Snacks food dinner food

dessert food food food

fucking food fat fat fucking fat!

I fell in love with the pangs that struck me

hard inside my abdomen.

I guess I’m just waiting for it to break my heart.


-Stifle- : Daily Prompt

This life of mine

has been forever spent

under the thumb.

Her thumb.

His thumb.

Your thumb.

The thumbs of anyone

and everyone

who has appendages

that hurt enough

when pressed

into the back of my neck.

 

Can I make my own decisions?

 

The mask is clamped upon my face again.

Once more the turn,

the hiss of gas,

and you pump Blame into me

like deadly mercury.

I pull away

because you make me.

I try to reach for you,

for all of you,

and your response is

“you are hurting us”.

My pain is negligible.

My opinion unimportant.

“You are hurting us”.

 

Can I not express my pain?

 

In bedtime stories I resented Alice.

I never liked that girl.

I preferred the intricacies

of tea parties

and pocket watches

and mice in teapots

and happy unbirthdays

and twirling through dreams

contemplating

why a raven is like a writing desk.

I could never sleep then

and cannot sleep now.

I lie awake at night

and stare up at plastic stars,

stuck there long ago,

and make a wish

as one falls to the ground in the blackness.

My hands are shaking.

You did this to me.

I could never speak then

and cannot speak now.

You will not let me.

One more inhalation

forced through my throat.

I breathe because I must

and Blame pumps into me

like deadly mercury.

 

Yes, sir.

No, sir.

Three bags full, sir.

“Compliancy becomes you.”

 

You taught me to

do as you say not as you do

and so I shut my mouth.

I say no words that are not

scripted for me.

I play my part fantastically

and the world applauds the show.

Not my show,

yours.

The audience whose name is Terror

congratulate you

on a job well done.

I am returned to my cage.

I am your crazy girl

putting on your show

in felt top hats

and sequinned coats

and chase magician’s birds across the stage

and so disgust you.

When I go out on-stage

you tell me “break a leg”

and hate me when I don’t.

You see me eye the hangman’s noose

and roll your eyes.

Not one of you believe

that I could.

 

Can nobody tell me why?

 

I call to her.

I call to him.

I call to you.

I call to anyone.

I call to everyone.

I break my silence and scream

“tell me why!”

Not one approached me first

with answers

I have always wanted

yet waited until you

broke my resolve

and I needed you.

You do not see that I am scared,

that I desire,

that I love and hate you all.

You see only

broken wires

and equipment unplugged

and so you fix it

in the only way you know how.

“This will make you better.

This is all for you.

You are hurting us.”

Blood trails from my ears.

 

Can you forgive me?

 

Once more the turn,

the hiss of gas,

and you pump Blame into me

like deadly mercury.

 

This post was inspired by the Daily Prompt: Stifle. As such, this piece is entitled the same.


Lament

When thoughts of you pass by me,

as ships in the night upon a foggy ocean,

I see not your purpose,

but the wake you leave

and the mists you stir

as you disrupt the peace of the sleeping sea.

You draw attention enough

to warrant a closer look

and so I grab

binoculars

and stare

at you.

You.

You who said

you would never betray me.

You who said

you would always care for me.

You who said

you just thought I’d like it.

I bet you said that

to the albatross as well

before you shot it in the head

and ended it forever.

You wear it like a scarf,

and I the matching glove,

wrapped around you

and your little finger.

Or was it forefinger?

It matters not.

 

When thoughts of you pass by me,

the ocean parts

and flows in

heavy droplets

upon my cheeks

in shapes of you.

The thunderous sea

caves in on me

and innocence in gilded treasure boxes,

unlocked with your master key,

are drowned within it.

“I’m doing this for you my love.

I do it all because I care.”

I cannot hear your voice now but

the words remain unchanging

in a memory etched with images

of you

and your deceit.

I grasp at my chest,

lungs heavy now that

they are vessels for the sea.

The skin beneath my cotton shirt

crawls as though to get away

from fingers reaching, grabbing,

a firm yet gentle stabbing

of a child’s heart.

My breast, it heaves,

as I try to force oxygen in

around restraints you put me in.

Cold hands become my prison.

 

When thoughts of you pass by me

I cast my gaze upon the water’s edge,

seeing my own face besmirched

with memories of you.

I beg my love, Poseidon,

to embrace me the way you did.

I fall into him and he takes me.

I pray that he will cleanse me,

yet below the surface now,

as underwater eddies clutch at me,

I see the albatross.

I reach for it

but I am ripped away by currents

far too strong

to fight.

I am engulfed by him.

 

You said I’d asked for it.

You said you did it all for me.

Through cotton candy filters

did my eyes and ears perceive love

in a rusty playground,

in the bedroom of a memory,

on bricks of grey beside the stream,

when awestruck over steam-trains

laying in your arms.

When thoughts of you pass by me

my rose-tinted glasses turn

into sharp cranberry.

My eyes begin to sting,

an ocean flowing once again

to make me drown.


-Gemini-

There is a room that occupies my brain.

Impossible to count how many walls;

the architecture more complex than the humble cube.

The walls are either far too dark

or bright to see the edges,

yet I know that they are there.

Always a corner in which to cower

or ensnare.

On one side the walls are black.

Not even shadows linger here,

snuffed out like candles

by a foreign hand.

This is where my old friend Darkness dwells.

The rasps and whispers of Its many voices

speak to me in words

that I don’t understand.

Je te hais (I hate you)

I can’t hear you.

Je t’adore (I love you)

She cannot hear it either,

slumped

in Her onyx echo chamber.

—-

She is a blinding sight to see,

piercing as She is

with ashen curls that drift in eddies

to the tainted floor,

petticoat as pure as uncrumped snow

and paper skin of alabaster.

Her face is stained with Her mascara tears

and like neglected porcelain

She peels away

in flakes:

The Girl in White.

Forlorn the eyes that long for Her forever home,

banished as She is to the eternal dark.

Looking, though She cannot reach it,

yearning for return to the place where She belongs.

Her melancholy gaze fixed at the feet

of the usurper.

Her outstretched arm allows Her fingertips

to brush the very edge of those two worlds,

but not to cross it

and, tilting up Her aching neck, She cries

for She must kneel

while cruel Misfortune stands above,

unfurling painted lips,

and laughs.

—-

As fire’s smoke chokes the nimbus,

so too the soot-shod traitor smothers the light

of the second half of the room.

Mon petit nuage (My little cloud)

Viens ici (Come here)

I can’t see you.

Tu me dégoutes (You disgust me)

Allez-vous en (Go away)

She cannot see it either,

pupils dilated

in Her ivory temple.

—-

In this gleaming world, She draws the eye

like a moth to flame,

death’s head upon Her wingéd back.

Lustrous locks of poker-straight obsidian

hang about Her neck.

Black too the irises that drink

with a thirst unquenchable.

She does not belong here,

feeding as She does upon the fading light:

The Girl in Black.

Her laugh peels out like church bells.

Straight-backed and confident She smirks

down upon the betrayed.

She knows that this is not Her world,

yet she cares not, hardened as She is

from a lifetime formed of smoke and shadow.

At last cruel Envy was thrown aside,

no more drowning her tormented eyes,

and in Its place rose bitter Victory.

Once more the tolling of the bell

as The Girl in Black throws back Her head

and has the last laugh.

—-

Daily do I visit this room.

Sometimes it is the voice of The Girl in White

chiming awful sadness,

calling me to release Her,

bloodied and whimpering,

as Alice through the looking glass flooding

saltwater salvation at Her aching knees.

Sometimes the sawing screams of The Girl in Black,

shrieking words relentless in their wounding,

talons gouging at the others’ eyes,

gripping tendrils in Her raging grasp,

spitting fire like the Devil’s chord

from Her forked tongue.

Sometimes the silence pulls me in,

to which I find Them sat, cross-legged,

across from each other on the line

that separates the worlds.

There is neither hatred nor fear,

no games at play,

no plan afoot for torture or escape.

They simply stare and in this moment

they are one and the same.

This temporary bliss a haven

long-desired, yet short-lived.

—-

The war continues in the room in my brain.

It does not end, and never shall.

Indivisible,

my Sun and Moon.

Intertwined in the infinite hunt,

fuelled by Love and Hate,

my Gemini.


Red Versus Blue

Value of the gold of gods

diminished in the eyes of men.

Atrocities of blood long shod

Convince us not to start again.

Death, destruction, fear and doubt,

A people running, hiding scared.

Glass in the throat. We cannot shout.

It’s war and we are unprepared.

Electric tongues of famous faces

spit their lines amongst deaf ears.

They try to shock, their lies leave traces;

lightening scars awash with tears.

Athena won’t you come to me,

explain the reason for this woe?

She will not come, our destiny,

to take a seat and watch the show.

Smothered in a napalm blanket,

tiny hands begin to reach

up into the flames that drank it.

No more children left to teach.

Through echoes of the promised land

the sound of drums attempt to tell

the story we don’t understand:

we are the reason we’re in Hell.

They arm themselves with dictionaries

for words too striking to ignore.

They slip them into policies

they don’t explain, but kill the poor.

Cry me a river, grab an oar.

O, Amphitrite strike me down!

They took our freedom, then took more.

Faith can’t save us. Let me drown.

There is a lesson left to learn:

do not succumb to this defeat.

Through glass walls we watch it burn

and play our mantra on repeat.

“O, woe is me, this world is cruel.

Please, no more, my heart will break”.

We make our coffins, fit to rule,

and lay down in them. Our mistake.


– The Line –

O, why must I be Hamlet?

Two feet walking step by step

along a line that is paved with blood.

Poison in my heart, pierced.

To my left I see a family,

all smiling like they mean it, yet

plotting,

plotting my demise.

I must deny you, sweet girl.

The right is all-destroying Darkness.

Though true, it’s right, but is it right?

Whether ‘tis nobler to agree,

or disagree,

or walk the endless walk of Time

and His cruel agony,

perhaps soft Sleep will tell. To sleep

perchance to dream. Dream forever.

O, Ophelia, why can I not choose like you?

Sleeping with the fish, warm in the riverbed,

I envy you.

To sleep the final sleep, it’s true,

may not have been your choice.

But you could make one.

The crazy girl that sung

and danced

and broke out in hysterics just because she could,

because your fate was sealed by foul lips

that uttered words like nails to your coffin.

You were so pretty. They thought it a waste.

You made the choice to take it, crushed

though you were by the weight of your rejection.

Forgive me,

I could not, cannot, choose.

I walk the line once more, my dear Ophelia.

I do not, will not, drown.

My eternal Princess of the deep.

I am but Hamlet,

and I’ll never choose.