This is just a little piece of writing that I am working on that I submitted to a literary magazine. Who knows if anyone will ever read it — will anyone ever read my stories? It felt good to submit, maybe I will try with larger works….screenplays? Won’t know till you send it off.
Hearts. Forever. Mine.
Word Count: 3,047
It was a summer where lottery fever was all-consuming. Everyone wanted their lives to change and they all walked around with their golden ticket in their back pocket and their future dreams in blueprint form. While everyone was distracted with five lucky numbers Tatton Smiles was gazing at that outline of the mountains as one of the last summer sunsets concluded. He was considering his fate in life. He had smoked something called “Emerald Mist” earlier and it made his thoughts scatter like the dots of people below him. The summer carnival was on going and he would trade views of the mountain to viewing the spinning lights of the ferris wheel which sat perfectly in the mountain shadows. He was high above the commotion, on a hill, located somewhere in a fantasy.
He was dreaming of someone finding him alone with his baseball cap loosely covering his thick brunette hair while he was playfully chewing on his bottom lip. He was in a trance from the lights and circling thoughts of the previous hours and most importantly – his appeal. He didn’t know if he was desirable, no one told him. Who would he even ask? A smell of approaching rain was suspended in the windy air. His mind was elsewhere, looking for danger, finding only laughs of fair goers. He wanted someone; green eyes, rough voice, older for younger, someone from the movies, chiseled jaw, fresh haircut. He showered earlier, soap dripping from body, he imagined someone lost in his aroma. He was obsessed with finding unquestionable love. Fixated, he held himself with sloppy chimerical thoughts nightly. Imagined the figure of his desire lulling his name. He imagined a rough voice, whispering darkly “Tatton” which caused his spine to quiver and his eye to twitch. So distracted by his frenzy for a taste of love he forgot to heed the warnings that a serial killer was on the loose.
Frantic news reports flashed across television screens. A night stalker, killer, repulsive monster, pernicious mind. Warnings. Deadly touches, manipulating victims. Fatal decision to enter the dark. Stay indoors or you will die tonight. He had an ideal victim type and the killer quested nightly for the perfect prey. His victims were young usually between the ages of eighteen to twenty-one. Legal. Preying on the lost, preying on similar identities. Investigators would find the bodies with the shoulder blade missing. A devastated mother searched for her missing boy to no avail while her nightmares were amplified in the unknown. They found photographs of his victims. Two photos for each. One photograph being a close up of their upper body, no shirt, with their eyes closed while looking peaceful in overexposed lighting. They looked so comfortable that one could mistake them for being asleep, but they were dead. . The second picture would be the body. Ghastly shredded and now apart of one of those “true gore” websites. The cadaver was destroyed and mutilated beyond recognition. Authorities initiated a man hunt to end the massacre but the killer eluded apprehension.
Tatton, however, turned off all those cautionary reports to NOT go out tonight. High, overlooking the carnival below all he wanted was someone, someone like him, who felt like him, touched and hurt like him. It was worth the risk of death to try and find it tonight, or perhaps he was just clueless. He never really watched the news – ever. All he was concerned about was feeling electric tonight and beautiful. He was just that type of boy who could love anyone, no matter what they did. Another portrait of desperation. As he descended away from his viewing point he missed the looming eyes watching him from the shadows.
Wide open laughing mouths greeted anyone who entered the carnival. Psychotic sparkles of lights – up close, blinding, suffocating — sent Tatton’s focus blurry. Children played joyfully as Tatton watched from the gate, scanning the crowd for somebody, anybody, to be close to his body. His eyes strained on the children laughing. Their merry intrigued him. As if he knew an apocalypse was on the horizon he wondered his own youth and how he was losing each memory, all the time lost. Alone he walked past groups of endless people. Inhaling smoke from cigarettes freshly lit and covering his ears from the roar of the mechanical beasts that loomed over him. A soft “thank you” came from his lips as he purchased a vanilla ice cream cone. Walking to a peaceful spot he sat and enjoyed the coolness slide down his throat. He was in the perfect position to view everyone at the carnival other than the eyes who followed him there.
In the distance and in the shadows of a fast moving roller coaster standing in-between two purple gates stood the figure of a man. Rugged, muscled, soaked in mystery. Tatton noticed him almost immediately. He investigated the shape, the outline of a god he thought. Intrigued, satisfied, he stared into the darkness with pick me eyes. Hoping for a signal. The figure just stood there, menacing, teasing, inviting. Tatton’s eyes glowed. Heart stopped, staring. TRASH BLOWN BY THE WIND took his attention and startled his senses. He turned to see a glimpse of people laughing, at him? He turned back, gone. The figure was gone. Confused and alarmed he stood up dropping the vanilla cone into the dirt he was more interested in searching for the mysterious figure in the crowd. A loud thrash from a guitar sent his heart into a panic. He was there, it was him, the man of his dreams. He pursued the encounter.
Chaos, bodies of all types, dramas. Soundbites of life. Distortions. One time he thought he could hear demons screaming, scratching at his ears. He could see the back of his head, maybe, or was that someone else? A woman said hello in his direction, but was directing it toward someone she actually knew. Frustrating slow bodies and smells of strangers. Flashes of that man he saw earlier. Gulping in confusion Tatton continued through the forrest of sun burnt flesh. As he made his way through the crowd it seemed to get increasingly tighter, harder to maneuver. Murmurs from all directions. As he turned in circles he swore he saw flashes of his dream man at every direction, was he magic? Then, he lost him for an unwanted length of time. Panic ensued, did he find someone else? Feeling nauseous he attempted to escape from the hysteria. He managed to stumble out from the maddening lunacy and whimsically twirled around in the opening freedom. Isolated, a frown on his face for he had expected his mysterious counterpart to be there. Disappointed he wandered off.
Sometimes when you are alone your thoughts become the darkest and that was what was happening for Tatton. He heard a strange – slurping – noise in the distance somewhere, but didn’t think more of the sound as he drifted farther away from the carnival. The sound of screaming was lessening and the infections from the day were inflicting his mind stronger than before. Worries, stresses, pains, sometimes he was just the saddest boy you ever knew. At times he was just lost in thoughts of nothing, ignoring, hoping the bad thoughts wouldn’t return and suffocate his ability to enjoy life. He was worried about his family and himself. The pain they felt and that he felt. The memories they’ve lost and the memories he knew were gone forever. What did it explain about him? Social interactions and relationships bugged him too. Why was he alone? Never confident in his sexuality he always looked away when he caught someones eyes as he couldn’t believe that they would want to be looking at him. He wiggled off the thoughts for a second and tried to snap out of his depression by convincing himself he was over reacting. Often that is what everyone does.
Tatton continued walking trapped in his puzzled floating mind when he knew someone else was there. In the distance, illuminated in a street light and barely was the man from his dreams, no the fair, that’s right. He was losing his head. The stranger’s face was covered by a shadow, he could be anyone, anything. For the first time Tatton wondered if he was in danger. He continued walking, the man did not move from his circle of light. Shoes kicking gravel from the trail, slight breathing and heartbeats were the only sounds. Tatton got closer. Then, from the shadows came a rough that said “Hi” flirtatiously . Tatton caught off guard doesn’t respond and nodded his head as he walked past. “I saw you looking at me” the voice seemed to float through the air and land perfectly in Tatton’s ears. Tatton stopped and turned around with a sour face. “I’m sorry” which was answered by a “Don’t Be”.
Smell of blood. Tatton staring in wonderment. Toothy grin that a tongue rolls over in the darkness. Green eyes that glowed like an animals, his moan sounded like a growl from a beast. Later, their arms would be tangled, maybe, if it all went right. . Tatton was confused, shocked, lost in black forests he had never visited. Fantasy was becoming reality, blurring a line that made him itchy. He frantically wondered why he ever wished for this. At times we all shouted at stars about our wildest dreams that captivated us into knowing there was more out there, more for us, never ending. The chance for change and hope that this current state is not the end. Never considering of what we could lose by wishing for a perfect future. Innocence. Visitors from our past, locked out of the current. Times lost in the hardware shift. Did anyone ever really find love that would last forever? We never thought about suffering for that moment. This moment. Now, all too real was actually happening. It was dangerous, strangers meeting, in the dark, secluded. Nobody knows about me and you. Hair raising. Tatton blurted out nervously “You look strong, I thought you could protect me”. The stranger couldn’t help but grin. Charmed the stranger said “From him? Right? The Night – What is it now? Stalker, Monster, Killer. How do you know it is not me?”
Then from somewhere deeper in the darkness came a revolting masculine gargled scream. Pulsating pain, viciously tearing apart the atmosphere. The sound was so conveniently close and placed at a coincidental time that both parties wondered their place in the universe. Tatton’s eyes were feverish, curious, laughing with sudden fear. Tatton screamed out “HELLO” frantically in hopes to help. “I don’t think you should do that” was whispered by the stranger who was also staring into the night with an unsure glance, curled lip, confusion and anguish.. More silence. Darkness. Sitting like a duck. Tatton went into a frenzy with his body nervously convulsing, he didn’t want to die. He quipped out “I just turned eighteen” like a frightened child he turned to the much older stranger with watery eyes. The Stranger grasped Tatton’s shoulder calmly and nodded with understanding as he didn’t want to die either. Branches breaking in the distance, sound of running, stomping. Skin crawling muffled pleas. A creaking. Then nothing. Horrible nothing. The two strangers stood alone true identities revealed listening for any explanation. The Stranger gulped as Tatton whimpered. “Let’s go” was uttered and both agreed to do just that.
The stranger in the dark had a tattoo of a heart with no name locked in chains imprinted on his upper bicep near the shoulder. Out of the darkness the stranger was revealed to be a real person, not a killer, not the monster or a one time sexual endeavor. Benjamin. Soft face, grinning mouth. Wit for days, flirting and charming nature. Protective. Forest eyes that blinked appreciative kindness. With a cracked tooth on number 29. The two spent the night together. A long night that seemed to last for eternity, doing silly things, holding hands at one point, swinging emotions. Buying candies and balloons. Shared cigarettes and a joint under the bridge. Still inviting danger. Slow down the night, make it remain is what they were wishing. They were laughing, enjoying, embracing, looking, smiling. At each other. Finding that connection is so rare. Even it didn’t go anywhere, they would always have this one night.
They shared a sloppy kiss at midnight. It didn’t last long before fireworks blasted into the black sky separating their joining. They both mused that the fireworks were for them, their meeting. They clutched each others backs and were holding harder with each escaping boom. They both melted when their eyes returned, both enjoyed the familiar. We all look for ourselves at times, unknowingly. After the kiss, after that moment of connecting, their thoughts drifted to the end because thats where thoughts always go when things feel good. None of us can enjoy anything. We are all dedicated to foreseeing futures without hope, without taking that chance. Losing that stranger in the dark. Imaginations go from happiness to dread real quick. We tighten the belt ourselves as we waste away without really ever getting what we wanted. Perhaps we only deserve a second, a second to feel so beautiful.
Although their joining united two souls who needed one another in fantasy they were in different places in reality. Both knew that beyond this night their relationship might not look good. Missed calls and reluctant goodbyes. Weeks, months, minutes spent apart. Increasingly their thoughts went from excitement to worry as they knew the night eventually would produce an end. That they wouldn’t spend forever together. Forever would end tonight.
At times they would look off into the distance, lost, sad, scared. Remembering the scream in the night. Wondering who it belonged to and who made them hurt. Speculating if the other could protect them in a time of crisis. Morbid thoughts filtered both of their minds of death and when the time would come; by the hands of nature, luck or man. They would both rejoice in the idea that the scream brought them together in a pure way. That it was meant to be, written in the books. Beyond the land of sexual fantasy. This was all supposed to happen. Only one would admit it though. The night was a blur and they were saying goodbye before they wanted.
Benjamin took Tatton home. They were silent as they zig-zagged through empty morning streets. They both questioned out loud the idea of seeing each other again which was responded by silent baiting. Staring. Hoping the other would take the lead. They stood outside of Tatton’s parents home for quite awhile. They were joking and giggling possibly out of sleep deprivation. Tatton saw the circles beneath Benjamin’s eyes and appreciated the night they had wasted. Benjamin played with Tatton’s messy greasy hair and stated that he should get some sleep. “You too” Tatton alluringly whispered. They both wanted to run away on the utterance of the goodbye, to forget it all, to be consumed with each others being. Yet, they were pulled away. Promises. Neither could know that this would be the last moment together. Perhaps it kept both of them alive with hope much like we all keep wishing, hoping.
Tatton entered his home in the early morning just before six a.m. He had to sneak past his parents bedroom to get to his room. With their door creaked open and his shoes carefully placed at the front he maneuvered himself to his bedroom. Through his blinds he paced awkwardly in his room, confused and lost he was wanting to chase after those moments that felt so good. He laid down, staring at the ceiling imaging him and the events that surrounded him. Future with him. Future smiles and glances. He couldn’t help but burst out laughing with a smile of disbelief . Did that all really happen? Just like the movies he mused. He screamed into his pillow and tried his hardest to fall asleep. He fell asleep and dreamed chaotic flashes of dreams.
It was as if he hadn’t fallen asleep though as the doorbell rang exactly two hours after he laid down. Unfairly ripping him away from the comfort of pillows and blankets. It rang once, sending stomach churning echos through the house. It sent Tatton’s eyes open in panic, confusion. Was it Benjamin? Running through the house he heard the rustling of his parents from their bedroom. Who could that be? He made it to the door first. He opened it to reveal…..a strangely constructed cardboard box with soaked sides. His face drooped with curiosity. The box had to have been freshly dropped. He curiously peeked around the neighborhood but there was no signs of anybody. It was a present. He kneeled down and lifted the note that was taped to the top of the box. The note revealed a blood stain which made him instantly repulsed with dread. He opened the note and mouthed the words on paper.
“Hello. I saw you. Last night. Sorry I had to kill your boyfriend. But I saw you first. Not in the park, but earlier. On that hill. What were you thinking about? I wanted you then but you moved too quick and then I couldn’t find you. Oh how afraid I was that I would lose you, perfect angel. Then you were with him. All night. It made me sick, I wanted to be HIM. I will forgive you because I want you and I want to love you forever. I dreamed you. You are my type even more than the others. And I want your heart to be mine forever. Don’t tell mom.”
Tatton would then open the box to a gruesome discovery. For inside the box was the severed left shoulder of someone: “his boyfriend”. Ripped away from the body, mounds of bright red flesh exposed, dripping blood still. Filleted muscles, peeled skin. He knew it was Benjamin’s – the stranger, the dream man– because of the tattoo of the heart without a name which seemed to glow in front of Tatton’s eyes mocking his desire for love in the morning sun.