Category Archives: Poetically Speaking

Sometimes life inspires us, and poetry is our only response.

Crawling Out

How do you crawl out of a situation that you have gotten yourself into? What if the situation is in your mind, and your responsible for the dangers you’ve placed there?

This is what has happened to our protagonist, Collin. His anger has built an elaborate banquet hall of feasting on the hateful and bitter emotions he thinks are actually helping him. Collin is blinded to the understanding that he is bringing shear chaos to his life instead of order.

When this happens to us there is nothing else we can do but follow what Collin does in the rest of this chapter. If you find this interesting and would like to purchase the whole book Tunneling, you can order it on this blogs page or go directly to amazon and type in Tunneling Pamela J. Peterson. 

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Chapter 21   “Crawling Out”

 

She entered a banquet-size room, carved from a single mountainous rock and fit for a castle. The banquet hall was so elaborate, ornate, and grand, her presence was swallowed up by the epic overtures already set in motion. The ceiling was breathtaking. It was buffed smooth with brilliant paintings covering every square inch, like Michelangelo’s masterpieces in the Sistine Chapel.

She took a closer look and found a rather twisted representation. In the center, where Michelangelo might have painted the finger of God, a huge, crimson-colored serpent lay. Lightning encircled its lifted head.

A chill ran down Hallie’s spine. The serpent’s eyes appeared to be staring with pure fury right at her. Of all the creatures above ground, the snake was the one she feared the most.

Instead of orderly pictures, divided and framed, of well-known biblical characters posing in stories, mass chaos reigned. Darkness encompassed the massive serpent, and a blocked sun looked more like a black hole behind its prideful and arrogant stance. Hallie sensed the ominous presence of danger and slipped around the granite walls as opposed to walking boldly down the massive center.

Then, for the first time in what seemed like months, she locked eyes on Collin. Though his back was toward her and a ways off, she knew it was him. Despite her wanting to bound out and grab him to safety, her legs locked up. Go on, go on. What are you waiting for? Don’t be such a wuss.

 Hallie gazed across the room once more to Collin. This time she took in the whole scene. Collin was seated at an enormous banquet table, and at the head was the most hideous, slimy creature Hallie could have ever imagined. She shuddered from head to toe.

An albino slug, with mucusy, yellowish-white arms and legs and at least seven feet tall, sniffed the air for food, or people maybe. It appeared to be blind, for a milky film enveloped its eyes. Its jelly-like body and bloodstained talons tapping the table terrified Hallie as did its gluttonous and oppressive appetite. The monstrous albino snorted out some kind of orders to mutated gnomes, who obliged by handing it plates of delicacies.

She inched away from the wall to get a better look at what was being served and was astonished to see her brother being treated as a much-honored guest. Hallie inched closer, clueless how to rescue her brother.

The gnomes announced the food on the trays as if in a trance and placed them before Collin to consume. They listed the most mouthwatering dishes, like roasted rack of lamb and garlic mashed potatoes covered in a rich sour-cream-and-chive sauce, four-layer chocolate mousse cake, and raspberry crumble tarts covered in French-vanilla ice cream. Hallie could almost taste the dishes as the amazing aromas entranced her and made her unable to think about anything but joining in their feast.

Then she got a good look at what was really being served.

The spellbinding words not only conjured up tastes and smells, but also sight. The delicacies Hallie had thought she saw were actually nothing more than dirt, grubs, maggots, and other such bugs. She watched in horror as the gnomes went right to the dirt walls themselves and scooped up platefuls, announcing it as real food.

Her stomach lurched, and she gagged as Collin raised a wriggling worm to his mouth and slurped it down like spaghetti. Collin and the slime-secreting albino gulped up all kinds of ground pieces of earthy muck served on silver platters and pawned off as delicacies.

 

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Soul-tied

In this chapter, Collin and Hallie experience what is feels like to have their souls (emotions) wrapped tightly in knots. In Collin’s situation it is the relationship between his father he is trying to break away from emotionally, since his father broke away from him physically. Hallie is fighting off all the emotional insecurities she holds onto. They are lost in two separate tunnels underneath their creepy old house. Collin’s drawings, that have come to life,  torment both him and his sister, Hallie. They are symbolic of the emotions we put into our drawings and how much control we give them. After all they are only ink on paper, but just like our emotions they can grow to enormous proportions and torture us.

I chose this portion of the chapter to share with you, because it shows what the battle over our emotions look like, and how to overcome them. The song that Hallie hears was actually spoken to me word for word when I asked the Creator what do you want to say personally to everyone who is battling with their own insecurities.  Honestly I was hoping for a cool one-lined quote, but I was quite overwhelmed at how much the One who created all of us had to say to us, and what He really thinks and feels about us.

Chapter 20 “Soul-tied”

How could this be happening? The bigger-than-life pen-and-ink drawings were actually moving! Hallie recognized the owls right away. The twin freakish sketches from Collin’s room. She remembered the first time she had seen them and felt like they were mocking her.

But they were just drawings—right? Pure fear wrapped its tight fist around Hallie’s courage as the very lifelike creatures came against her. 

“This little waif of a thing is what we were sent to destroy,” the crude owl spoke. His words sliced notches into her mud-caked sweatshirt. The one with his mouth wired shut looked down at her with such mockery and arrogance, she felt as if she were standing in the school assembly completely naked.

Crude released an onslaught of insults. “You, child, are the most repulsive, ugly, and awkward-looking piece of crap I have ever had to lay eyes on. Are you sure you’re a girl? I mean have you ever actually checked? Cuz I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but all I see is a mutated, hairy monkey.” Mouth Trap snorted and cackled.

Every time Hallie studied her form in the mirror, that was exactly what she thought about herself. Closing her eyes tight, not wanting to give these creatures the satisfaction of her tears, she saw her reflection plastered on the back of her eyelids. It mocked her with her flat chest, thick hairy eyebrows, and dark fuzz parading over her upper lip. The repugnant sight held her down like a bully’s knee pinning her to the ground, and she couldn’t think of how to fight back. Shoulders slumped over and head drooped down, she allowed her hair to shroud her face in shame.

As the grotesque owls kept pointing at her and hurling insults, a demonic guard dog crawled closer, growling and snapping at her. No chain held it back so all she could do was cover her trembling arms over her face and cry repeatedly for it to stop.

Then her greedy uncle appeared—in the form of a spider. With his crooked fangs, he spoke more tangled-up words of self loathing and rejection than she thought she could bear. He hissed close to her ear, “You never were much to look at. Is this what you’ve made of yourself?” He took a long, painstaking pause to peer down his nose at her with disapproving eyes. “Nothing? No wonder your father left you. He deserves so much better than the likes of you. Wouldn’t you agree?”

Hallie quivered, speechless.

“You know, a graceful and elegant daughter. One who understands fashion and can dress herself in something other than smelly boy’s clothes. If only he could have had a daughter who knows how to carry herself in all situations. I bet he would have taken you on his business trips and showed you off. He could have been so proud of you. Shame, really. Instead he got a clumsy, gangly half breed that can’t seem to do anything right.”

Hallie could take no more. She sobbed as every word he hurled at her pierced her soul.

Then the spider creature aimed his next fiery arrow straight at her heart. “You know that’s why your father bought you all those beautiful dolls from all over the world, don’t you? Surely you didn’t think it was because he cared?” Uncle Grimm chortled. “He had hoped it would teach you how he wished you to look. But unfortunately you never got the hint, and now it’s too late. He’s gone. You poor, fatherless thing.”

The growling guard beast inched closer with every word spoken. Fear of the words really being true, of people really viewing her this way, of wanting to tear at herself almost as much as the gargoyle did overwhelmed Hallie. She wanted a release from the pent-up pain, to cut out the hurts and let them pour out like blood from a gaping wound.

Then, barely audible, a song bubbled up from somewhere deep inside, like water from a gentle brook.

You are more than enough, My perfect one.

I love you.

I made you.

You deserve so much more than this.

Let My love be perfected in who you are.

Allow Me to chase away all of your fears.

Nothing you do or don’t do can change who you are.

You are beautiful, intricately made by My perfect design.

Do not let fear define who you are or are not.

I made YOU to BE feared.

My DNA runs through your blood, I am yours and you are Mine.

Believe in who I am. In all I am.

I am life.

I am about overcoming.

I am about victory.

I am about rising out of the center of the earth, death, and the grave.

I am to be feared, and I am jealous,

 I am coming after your enemies like a raging inferno, unstoppable.

No one messes with My beloved. No one can tear Me away from you. Only you.

I don’t need you. I want you, so desperately.

I define you. I make you. I restore and redeem you.

You are Mine and I am yours.

My love for you is as constant as the flow of water.

It was, it is, and it will always be.

I will never stop loving you.

I embrace you, I blanket you, I forgive you.

My love never fails, so you can never fail.

When the song subsided, she looked around at her enemies that still set upon her in a biting and feasting frenzy of words, but this time it was as if she held an imaginary mute button and could silence their painful and poisonous words. It was almost funny, like turning the sound off a horror movie to find it no longer held her captive to her fears. Now the only creature she took notice of was an iridescent blue butterfly that fluttered off her shoulder onto the box in front of her.

(I am sorry to say I am having technical difficulties and cannot get my chapters to post)

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September 21, 2013 · 3:50 pm

Soul Searching

Had my first book signing at Barnes and Nobles yesterday before my friend and illustrator, Nick moved away. It was so fun to see our book in their bookstore. I don’t know what was more exciting, hearing my name mentioned over the loudspeaker, or offered a free coffee from their in house Starbucks. Actually, their pumpkin spice latte was not in yet, so honestly seeing our book displayed next to the Dr. Who paraphernalia was pretty epic. We sold about 15 books or so, and signed for about 3 hours straight. Nick, like always was the rock star everyone flocks to. They are mesmerized by his art work, and rightfully so. He tries to tell them about the book but they would rather tell him how amazing he is. I roll my eyes at him, but secretly I hope it is sinking in this time, so he will finally believe he is as brilliant as they say.

There were great conversations stirring and many wonderful friends that came to support us making it feel like a mini party. The great response was partly do to God answering my plea for lots of rain so people would feel like going to a bookstore and reading instead of camping on Labor day weekend.  I started to feel a little guilty when as I was signing peoples books and they would tell me they were headed out to the lake or out of town but it just seemed like a reading day so they came here instead.

Chapter 18 is called Soul Searching because Hallie must search her soul to find her abducted brother. In this chapter every item has a symbolic meaning. From the crimson rose petal that symbolize our bleeding heart, to the tears of our magnificent Creator that rains down to wash away our hurts with his own compassion. When we realize He mourns over what we do and He has the strength to change the circumstances then we can dance over our adversity.

In the previous paragraphs Hallie’s spirit has been taken up to heavenly realms where she has seen the level of warring angels and demons over her brother and then finally to the Creator’s throne room to actually see the face of God in a celestial constellation.

Chapter 18 “Soul Searching”

 

Hallie looked down and saw pavement—her spirit inhabiting her body once more—but the earlier notes had fulfilled a masterpiece of completion inside her thoughts. Closing her eyes to drink in the amazing revelations she had just experienced, she felt the soft summer wind caressing her cheek in the fresh darkness, gently guiding her down the road towards the forest. She continued on the path until she waltzed by an inviting walkway with an elaborate arched trellis covered in red, climbing rose bushes. The rich fragrance called to her senses, and she continued the journey onward.

 

 In front of the two tall pillars on each side of the entrance were large bleeding-heart bushes, abundant in lavender heart-shaped flowers. A sign above the trellis read Crudus Amore, Latin for “bleeding love.” As Hallie passed through the archway of roses, the curling wind scattered red petals, which gently floated down, landing upon her. They melted like large snowflakes of blood, staining her white T-shirt. As the crimson droplets continued to seep into her clothing, an intense pain of brokenness stabbed her heart. At this moment the sign above made complete sense. Looking at the thorns twisted among the prize-winning blossoms brought thoughts of her brother, whom she deeply loved, twisted up in torment, lost and out of reach. The thorns pierced and tore at her haggard emotions, and Hallie grabbed her chest and stumbled through the tunnel of roses, doubling over in pain with a new understanding of what her brother was feeling at this moment.

 

When she finally reached the end, just above her head a supernatural rain cloud welcomed her. Static electric charges of lightning had built up inside, making it flash and glow, until the intense energy released in a loud thunderclap. A soft and refreshing rain poured down and drenched Hallie, washing away the stains. The rain soaked into her skin until it saturated her heart.

 

Then the rain called out to her, “We are tears that formed from the heart’s cry of the great Creator over your family’s brokenness.” The penetrating rain dripped into deep, torn crevices of her wounds and healed like a cool salve on a burning scrape.

 

She was not alone in her pain. The Creator wept and cared for Collin even more than she could understand, and His pain washed away her own. His compassion overshadowed and protected her passage.

 

The rain turned delightfully warm mixed with the night air. Her healed heart soared, and she danced with hands outstretched, full of joy. She could still feel her Creator twirling her spirit under the heaven’s skies.

 

A warm and gusty breeze blew, and her dancing subsided along with the rain as her once-soaked body quickly dried. Standing still against the powerful wind, Hallie was directed by the whispers carried on it to a dry and barren forest, full of bony, outstretched branches that covered a vast distance. She walked closer. The trees became a labyrinth of mazes, and she followed the dry wind through the path. The limbs glowed white as they reflected the moon’s mysterious sheen

 

 

 

 

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Twists And Turns

tree emblemChapter 16 titled, “Twists And Turns,” is when the book really takes a turn into the darkest bowels of the story. Hallie is discovering dark and angry truths about her brother while also discovering bone chilling clues about his possible kidnappers. I had a lot of fun researching the history and genealogies of gnomes. I remember getting so excited after a whole day of discoveries that I told my friend all about the gnomes that night at dinner. She grabbed my hand with deep concern in her eyes and asked me, “You know gnomes aren’t real right?” We still laugh about that today.  Sometimes I do get so into my imagination I forget to crawl out to dwell in reality. Thank God for friends that help you out;)

Well I hope you enjoy excerpts from this chapter as much as I enjoyed writing it:

Twists And Turns

Hallie lifted up the box and read the word BLOODLINES on the very front. Snug inside the box rested an ancient book. She dug her hands in and scooped out the innards. Turning the sepia-toned pages with respect, she understood that its contents were what the title on the box announced: bloodlines of the entire gnome genealogy.

The teen sat against the half wall and rested the book on her lap, examining the names by scrolling her finger down the pages. This book’s gotta explain more about these monstrous gnomes on that box—some kinda mixed race that probably has Collin in its clutches right now. From the disturbing pictures, this hybrid species seemed capable of just about anything.

She stood up, waiting a minute for the circulation to come back into her cramped legs, and then boosted herself up through the hole in the wall. On the other side, she straightened up, gawking at what she saw. Gaping back at her was a colored mural of a huge tree with its leaves withered, and dangling at the end of each bare branch were hanging children. Most of the dying children appeared to be ten or older. Even if this painting were placed in the most prestigious art studio, it would be morbid and sick. But displayed in a buried underground tunnel used to hunt and trap children was bone-chilling and terrifying. Staring in disbelief, Hallie noticed new paint, making one boy stand out brighter than the others. He looked exactly like her brother. Arms crossed, he scowled, blinded to the dangers that were choking him to death.

Deep sobs gushed from Hallie’s throat. How could this have happened? And what depths was she going to have to reach to find her brother? Was it too late? Was this demented mural Collin’s fate, sealed in this God-forsaken crypt like a foreboding prophecy? Swallowed up in the belly of Collin’s nightmare, Hallie fell on her knees, weeping. She found it hard to breathe, her head pounded, and then nausea overtook her.

“Where are you?” she moaned. “Where—are—you! WHERE! ARE! YOU! . . . FATHER!”

She trembled, her ears rang, and sweat poured down her back. “Were we merely playing a game of make-believe? Are You just an imaginary friend I’ve dreamed up to hide away the loneliness? Are You? I can’t do this on my own! When I believe in You I am fearless, powerful. Without You I am just a frail shell of what I wish I could be.” Hallie, empty, slumped down. Then she heard a soft whisper, “Look up.”

A chord of hope struck in her heart, and she lifted her eyes back to the mural. She caught a thin glimmer of sunlight supernaturally streaming down upon the highest branch of the blackened tree. At the very tip, instead of a withering leaf, hung a vibrant green chrysalis with a delicately painted girl emerging, face toward the sun.

The girl was Hallie.

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I have discovered that when I am searching for meaning in situations or reaching goals there are TWISTS AND TURNS as well.They are sometimes disturbing or often times hard places that make me feel like I want to give up. If you feel this way too, let me encourage you to keep going because the TWISTS AND TURNS in your life are usually the very important information that you can see God transform you to overcome those obstacles or can lead you to your destination. It is darkest before the dawn, and hope is the strength we need to turn the corner.

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Dropping Out

pg1-2 journalHave you ever heard the proverb, “Two are better than one, because when one falls into a pit the other is there to get them out.” This came from the wise words of king Solomon. I have always taken these words to mean; when the one you love is fallen into hard times don’t fall into the pit with them, because they will need you to help them out. This is exactly why I chose to go back and forth from the brother’s to the sister’s perspective in this excerpt from chapter 15.

I have found through experience with my son’s depression it did no good if I freaked out and wallowed around with him. Many times I would feel guilty for being happy or enjoying my own journey with my Creator. But those revelations God whispered to me  gave me the strength to help comfort my son.

I tried to portray that in this scene with Collin falling asleep under the piano while listening to his sister play out the new found joy within her heart she has just discovered on her own journey at the waterfall. When helping my son with depression, I realized I couldn’t live his life for him, but I could help him. Many times when our loved ones fall into depression we take on their battles as our own because of guilt. We think we are to blame. When I discovered I was the Creator of heaven and earth’s daughter, and all the love and power He has is also mine,  I was able to help pull my son out of tough situations, just in the same way Hallie  first learns to receive the love from her heavenly Father in the previous chapter before she can give real love back to Collin. This will be the key in finding a way to help him where there seems no way out.

Chapter 15 “Dropping Out”

Collin finished his sandwich and tired of his room. He grabbed his sketch pad and brought his dirty dish to the kitchen, looking for another spot in which to draw, a little bit closer to his sister. Hallie played the same notes again and again at the piano. He settled on the thick carpet under where his sister was practicing. As he camped  underneath the piano, he let his anger have control again and again, like the repetition of his sister’s notes. Finishing the shading on his walled-up father, Collin made the strokes of his pencil darker and more intense as his mind wandered back to his real dad, who had always looked passed him but never right at him. Had his dad ever stopped what he was doing long enough to ever look him in the eyes? Even in this picture where he was trapped, his father still would not look at him. He only concentrated on his own pain. But what about the pain he had caused Collin when he ripped out his small and frail heart with neglect?

SNAP!

His pencil broke under the weight of too much pressure. 

***

The chords Hallie played sounded like rushing water, peaceful yet rhythmic and constant. She was transported back to all the euphoric feelings and earthy fragrances of her experience at the waterfall. I can’t believe how much this piece sounds exactly what I felt while the Creator spoke wisdom into my soul. It’s as if the notes are retelling the story on my piano without me.

***

The resounding music enveloped Collin, making him feel as if a cloud of angelic voices surrounded him. With emotions raw and eyelids heavy, Collin closed his eyes. Lying under the piano, he rested his head on the soft carpet that was warmed by a beam of sunlight from the nearby window. Feeling secure with his big sister near him and her music encompassing him, peace washed over his mind, and he nodded off to sleep.

***

        A hundred feet below the warmth of the sky, the cold, damp earth was unsettled by shovels and pickaxes. Short, angry gnomes dug a path that followed a pulsating root that grew out from the claws of the piano legs themselves.

        Centuries ago, carpenters had discovered special trees that only grew in woods inhabited by forest gnomes. These carpenters carved claws on the furniture created from these trees as a sign that those particular pieces were still alive. Such furniture, if not moved, would in time grow roots into the floor and sink down into the earth, becoming like a telegraph system that sent messages about the human emotions that soaked into the wood back to the gnomes. Negative emotions like hatred, fear, or depression would weigh heavy, thus making extra-long and thick roots that grew deep into the mutated gnomes’ underworld. These corrupted gnomes spent their lives searching for these unhealthy roots to capture the source of their negativity.

        Now they dug, following the roots to confirm a bite on the other end. As they followed the roots weighed down with the heaviness of Collin’s drawings, they made steady progress. Hallie’s music, no matter how beautiful and uplifting, could not ward off the heaviness the roots were feeding on.

***

The music crescendoed with each note, Hallie’s fingers pounding more vigorously still until she slammed her hands down for the finale. At the same moment, the floorboards cracked as they split and gave way. Collin let loose an earth-shattering scream as he slipped into the cavernous maw of the floor and disappeared. What on earth! Hallie jumped off the bench and peered down into the hole. The distant tortured screams of her brother echoed, and a fading light followed it down the abyss. “Collin!” her voice finally choked out in a scream. Hallie closed her eyes tight and called out to the Creator.

***

Rocks and loose dirt crumbled all around Collin as he screamed for his life, flailing his arms and legs around like a beetle trying against all odds to right himself. He reached the bottom with a slam knocking the wind out of him. He couldn’t breathe, let alone scream out anymore for help. As his blurred vision began to focus, he noticed lit torches that surrounded his befuddled and frail body and succeeded in gasping in a much-needed breath. The pungent smell of his enemy’s thick, musky odor—What was that? Decayed venison meat?—mixed with stale sulfur, assaulted his nostrils.

As his vision was restored, Collin stared in horror at calloused faces concealed by long, patch beards and pointed hats.

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Wisdom in Waterfalls

waterfall 

I dreamed up this chapter from an amazing hike in Oregon my husband and I took down to a refreshing pool of water made from a powerful waterfall. During this hike the Creator was talking continuously. In this chapter I merely recorded all of His wisdom He shared with me. It was quite a magical time, from conversing with butterflies to sitting and listening to an  ancient tree tell tales of his childhood. 

Chapter 14 

“Wisdom In Waterfalls”

Up ahead was the footbridge with a sign that read redemption’s bridge. Jagged rocks jutted hundreds of feet below, and the other mountain was over two hundred feet across the ravine, but no other way to the waterfall seemed possible. The name began to make sense. She could not pass through the mountainous rocks to get to the other side without this bridge. It was the link that carried her over from yesterday’s mistakes to the cleansing power on the other side.

Hallie held onto the roped banister to guide her steps till she reached the end. Promise welcomed her on the other side. Full sun shining, birds flying, and a gentle meandering path rolled out a carpet of adventure.

Her thoughts formed in such poetic speech to the One who Charisma said had made all this by His creative handiwork that she surprised herself, and she poured her cares out before Him from the deepest part of her heart.

“Creator, I feel You tugging at my soul, like a friend pulling me onto a thrilling carnival ride. At the top of this mountainous rollercoaster, I chase my butterflies down, gaining momentum with each leap of faith. I reach my arms out to You, and there is no one to cheapen this moment. I am all Yours, and the rush of love I feel from You is like a storm of warm tropical winds that wrap around my frame to set my heart in the right direction. No endurance needed, just flying down the hills of promise as a young girl runs into the arms of her father. Will You be there at the bottom to catch me?”

I attached this small part of the chapter to share in the allegory of REDEMPTIONS BRIDGE. I always picture Jesus as the bridge between our failures and shortcomings to God’s righteousness and promises. Just like the mountainous cliffs in Tunneling without a way to pass from one side to the other, we also cannot pass to perfection without accepting what Christ did on the cross. He was the true sacrifice that paid for all of our sins and willingly gave us a new start.

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Tunneling

Tunneling is the title of my first YA novel. This chapter I am sharing with you is probably one of my personal favorites because it introduces the vines that are hidden in Collin’s walls and entangling his dwelling almost like a living breathing character itself.  Because Tunneling is an allegory Collin’s room symbolizes his personal dwelling (his mind). When anger builds and he slams the door, it brings the destructive vines alive, which are usually hidden just behind the surface of the white washed walls.

When destructive reasoning is not dealt with in our own lives we are creating vines that grow and eventually entangle us to such a degree is it hard to see our way out.

Later in this chapter Collin finds a hidden cave and while something continually calls to him in the bewitching hours of the night, he finds himself compelled to tunnel to the source of his hurts and angers that throb like a deep-seated migraine.

Excerpt from chapter 12:

journal 6

Chapter 12

“Tunneling”

                                               

Collin stood in the doorway of his bedroom , with anger pulsating through his veins like a machine gun firing over the enemy’s camp.

The trip to the beach had only been a week ago, but to Collin it felt like a lifetime. He had slipped back into hiding out in his room. He didn’t know how to handle his anger, so it was just simpler to separate himself. This time his frustration was about his sister’s overreaction to his art. Venomous hatred throbbed in Collin’s mind over her cruel comment.

How can they demand so much from me? What right does Hallie have to call my drawings a bunch of freakish crap? She’s the pile of freakish crap! The way his mom and sister whispered and giggled between themselves while cooking dinner, like they could get on with their lives and advance to “happily ever after,” all drove him crazy, while he stood so alone in the dead center of his anger, not knowing what to do.

Slam! He threw his door closed with such force, a slice of wood splintered off. Crack!

The vibrations of ice-blue veins flickered once more.

What is going on?” He went to the door this time with more curiosity than anger and closed it once more.

Nothing.

Frustrated and at a loss for words, he grabbed the handle. This time his whole body shook. He really wanted to pulverize something. He balled his hands into fists, and just because he had to release his continuous pent-up anger, opened the door and slammed it as hard as his contracting muscles would allow, hoping his family could hear him this time.

Again the tremors surfaced in the wall, but this time the veins made a permanent impression through the paint. Collin walked over to one of them, took up his pickax, and hacked open a piece of the wall. As his ax struck the target, a crawling vine flinched, splintering the drywall as it came to life.

The vine slithered out of the crack he had made. His slamming of the door seemed to be bringing the consuming vines to life. As he grabbed the vine, he felt the pulsations through his hand, but it was irregular, like Morse code.

A response sounded from deep under the floorboards. Collin’s skin crawled, and his breath hitched. The hideous scraping and scratching in the walls, which only appeared when everyone else was asleep, had returned.

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Captured Moments

Don’t you just love capturing the relaxing moments in life and soaking in the magic and wonder of enjoying your loved ones without worry and fear. To me the best way is at the ocean. The powerful waves remind me someone bigger than me holds my life together so I can let all my worries and frets go and just be hypnotized by the amazing roar of the surf.

In chapter 11 of Tunneling, the Brandon’s are experiencing the same magic, and maybe a spark of a little something else. Hope you enjoy this excerpt from the next chapter called, “Captured Moments.”

Chapter 11:

As soon as Katie’s eyes locked on to the ocean, a peace as thick as the fog rolled over her, and all of her cares dropped off her shoulders like vacationers dropping overloaded suitcases.

Collin ran out for a long pass as Hallie threw half her body into hurling the Frisbee out to him. Jumping up, he caught it right before it reached the water’s edge. Her son locked eyes with her, including her in the game.

“Mom, wake up!” He flung the disc, and she surprised them by catching it behind her back. Her kids hooted and hollered for her. She laughed out loud and watched her children loosen up for the first time in months. Katie’s eyes watered as she watched Collin snatch the Frisbee from his sister and run away backwards for her to chase him.

“Hey, Mom, think fast!” Collin yelled and hurled the disc back at her.

She grabbed it, and they tossed it back and forth with Hallie jumping in the middle to try to snag it. After about an hour of back-and-forth monkey-in-the-middle, Katie noticed a man flying an elaborate kite.

“I’m going to bow out and take some pictures for a while.” She ran back to get her camera and before heading to the kite saw Hallie and Collin jogging over to the bizarre-shaped rock formations Katie remembered from her youth. They were bent over looking into some holes that must have filled up with water. She snapped a few pictures of her kids tidepooling and knew that would keep them busy for a while. How many anemones and starfish had she found when she was a kid out here? Too many to keep track of.

The gracefulness of the kite, which looked like a huge swallowtail, mesmerized Katie. The bright turquoise and reds danced on the wind currents with the two extended whimsical tails swirling delicately behind.

After taking fifty or so pictures, she set her focus on the tall, thin man flying the wild bird on a string. He had a weathered, scruffy face and piercing blue eyes that were intent on following the swerving kite. Even his worn jeans matched his disheveled but stylish hair.

Everything about this moment was picture perfect. As she clicked away, she became more intrigued with every detail of the man, until he turned to her and those brilliant blue eyes stared into hers. She shivered and on an impulse, shot the picture, then jumped back as if caught stealing his soul without permission.

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Rising Above

In chapter 10 of Rising Above Hallie is learning how the basics of learning her scales during a piano lesson is just like practicing love to help her brother overcome his anger. Love concurs all, but it is not just an emotion, it is a choice.

Chapter 10  “Rising Above”

While the two sat on the bench, Charisma placed a music book in front of Hallie. On the cover was an old 1950s drawing of Jack and Jill skipping up a hill.

Sighing, Hallie muttered, “You’ve gotta be kidding me.”

Charisma smirked and gave her a sideways glance. “I take it you think this is too juvenile?”

Hallie bit her top lip and furrowed her brow in frustration. “Well, yeah. I’m fifteen and I’m way beyond Jack and Jill.”

“Other students usually say the same thing. They have high hopes of all the beautiful classical pieces or fast-paced jazz music that they envision themselves playing, but after a few months they get tired of practicing all the basics and just give up. Don’t get me wrong, vision is great, and if you persistently practice, the vision will become a reality.”

Charisma opened the book to the notes on the scale and showed Hallie where each note was on the piano. Next she played the whole scale back and forth on the keys like fluid pouring in and out of glasses. “Now you try it.”

Hallie’s fingers tromped across the ivory, far from tickling them.

“Again.” Charisma had Hallie repeat the scale until her fingers began to move naturally up and down the keys.

“There.” After what seemed like hours, Charisma was finally satisfied. “I want you to practice these basics every day, and along with that, I want you to practice life’s basics every day as well—which is to love. Practice loving your brother, Collin, unconditionally throughout the day. This is the only way you will be able to find him again. All the anger in the world is no match for love.”

Charisma placed a fragile arm around Hallie’s crunched-over shoulders until Hallie looked straight into her eyes. “This love can also melt away fear and brokenness.” Her teacher placed her hands back onto the keys in a demonstration. “At first it will probably feel clumsy and awkward, in the same way learning the scales felt to you. But the more you practice, the more automatic love will become.”

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Roots of Discord

COVERI wrote this chapter to show the correlation between Collin’s anger and his room. Only when the angry emotions hurl his door closed, does the room come to life. Vines are amazing creatures. I have them all over my back yard. And like Collin who planted them by his anger, I have literally planted them just out of my pure fascination with them. After one week these baby vines have already stretched out there wispy green stems and curled around my fence. Collin’s anger is wrapping around everything in his life, and getting entangled into every area where he dwells.
Hope you enjoy reading this small expert of this chapter as much as I liked writing it:

 

Chapter 9
Roots of Discord
He slammed the heavy basement door, which boomed shut and jump-started a pulse in the room, literally bringing it to life. The pale, paper-thin wall displayed branches of wild vines that reverberated just underneath the white-washed paint like an old man’s veins bulging from his frail skin.
Collin saw a shock wave from the corner of his eye. “What the—”
He whirled around to catch a glimpse of the throbbing walls and forgot his anger as cold sweat broke out in tiny beads on his forehead, sending chills down to his clammy palms. The bag of chips slipped from his grip, spilling potato shavings everywhere. He reached out to touch the wall with his tremulous hand and groped the damp barrier. The wall breathed—he actually felt it sigh. “How the freak is this happening?”
Collin traced the main branch of vine behind the paint until his hand swept against an invisible ridge. Shaking his head, he followed the hairline crevice of a small rectangular outline.
“It has to be some kinda door.” The sound of his voice echoing against the walls reassured him that he was really here and experiencing something supernatural. Collin dug with his fingertips, trying to grasp the door enough to pull it open. Instead he encountered a whisper of a vine that pushed its way through the crack.
Yanking his hands back, Collin wiped his drenched palms on his threadbare jeans and squinted his eyes to get a better look and make sense of it all. It’s just like the one I found upstairs wrapped around my desk.
An icy cold shiver ran up his spine, and his neck hairs froze.
The whole house is infested with this stuff. It’s flippin’ everywhere! Stretching his arm once more, he tugged at the fragile green cord until it broke off in his hand. Tickling his palm, it instantly withered and died. Collin made a fist, crushing the ashen remains to dust. As he watched the dust particles fall, a sinking weight punched him in the gut. He was equally dead and lifeless, separated from his own family.

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Filed under Charisma Speaks, Inspirations, Poetically Speaking