Shop Forum More Submit  Join Login
About Varied / Hobbyist M.K.HarlanFemale/United States Recent Activity
Deviant for 1 Week
Needs Core Membership
Statistics 6 Deviations 5 Comments 20 Pageviews
×

Newest Deviations

Literature
The Poor Man's Doctor
I eat dinner with the man across the aisle, though he doesn’t know it. We each take bite after bite, never speaking. I made a mistake with him, years ago. He does not recognize me now, but I recognize him. He needed to make a choice. He refused and now I must clean up his mess. My mess. Tonight, I must fix it and tonight I must provide that choice again to another who will take it.
I chose wrong with the man across the aisle.
It is not my place to make choices. This is something I have had to learn.
It is rare that I witness the birth of any man. Life is not my business. It is not my place. But this man was born like any other.
I remember the woman’s eyes as she pushed, struggled to birth the man across the aisle. Her fourth child. She was ill, sickly all her life. When she’d discovered she was pregnant she had been so proud. By the time I met her, though, she was afraid. Her three children, no fathers, waiting outside the room. A boy of fourteen years, another only t
:icontheglasswriter:theglasswriter
:icontheglasswriter:theglasswriter 0 0
Literature
First Snow
A vague smile crosses my face as the first snow falls.
I turn away from the lies reflected in the window pane. The snow in the field behind the hospital is unmarred, I won’t be the one to take that away. I slowly walk to the chair beside my wife’s bed. The white linoleum looks gray in the dim light. Dirty. The cards at the foot of her bed are years old now. There is only one bouquet of flowers on the tray which I replace every week. No one else sends them anymore. My phone sits next to the flowers, dead for days now. I drape a mottled afghan over her feet.
April’s eyes are closed, peaceful. I take her left hand, the right is full of tubes and needles. There are bruises under her eyes. She hasn’t had enough sleep. Three years isn’t enough.
“Jack?” The doctor stands in the doorway. “We need to talk,” He says while the door behind him.
I don’t take my eyes off of April and the oxygen tube covering half of her beautiful face. I cl
:icontheglasswriter:theglasswriter
:icontheglasswriter:theglasswriter 0 0
Map of Cenedal by theglasswriter Map of Cenedal :icontheglasswriter:theglasswriter 0 0 My Dragon by theglasswriter My Dragon :icontheglasswriter:theglasswriter 5 0 Hope Noel by theglasswriter Hope Noel :icontheglasswriter:theglasswriter 5 0

Favourites

Watercolor Marbles #8 by DEstebanez Watercolor Marbles #8 :icondestebanez:DEstebanez 83 6 Henna Dragon by AnhuiPrincess Henna Dragon :iconanhuiprincess:AnhuiPrincess 60 9 Jungle Chimera (Contest Entry) by AnhuiPrincess Jungle Chimera (Contest Entry) :iconanhuiprincess:AnhuiPrincess 47 21 Halszkaraptor by Hyrotrioskjan Halszkaraptor :iconhyrotrioskjan:Hyrotrioskjan 464 43 Handmade Fully Poseable Baby Fennec Fox! by Wood-Splitter-Lee Handmade Fully Poseable Baby Fennec Fox! :iconwood-splitter-lee:Wood-Splitter-Lee 2,202 127 bookmark by Kay-Ra bookmark :iconkay-ra:Kay-Ra 834 38 Painting Joan of Arc by DonatoArts Painting Joan of Arc :icondonatoarts:DonatoArts 4,452 138 Siren's Lament Fanart by MuchCat Siren's Lament Fanart :iconmuchcat:MuchCat 21 1 The Siren's Lament by fiammeis The Siren's Lament :iconfiammeis:fiammeis 33 8 [Fan Art] Pele of Siren's Lament by SkellyCat [Fan Art] Pele of Siren's Lament :iconskellycat:SkellyCat 16 3 Siren Lament set by alydicea Siren Lament set :iconalydicea:alydicea 57 23 Lament of Innocence by BadGuy85 Lament of Innocence :iconbadguy85:BadGuy85 96 28
Journal
Protest and Act Now! Save Net Neutrality!

Today, DeviantArt has joined hundreds of other sites across the Web to fight for net neutrality, but we need your help!
Net neutrality protects open and equal access to the Internet. Without it, Internet Service Providers — like AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon (among others) — could begin to charge extra fees, engage in economic censorship, and control what we see and do on the Web by throttling sites, apps, and other online services.
Why is this important? On December 14th, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will vote to gut the protections for net neutrality.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Call or write your Congress person and demand that they stop the FCC from gutting net neutrality. Call and write to congress.
Share messages on all of your social accounts begging people to join the protest now. There is no time to waste.(NOW OVER) Protest
:icondanlev:danlev
:icondanlev:danlev 2,074 4,595
Siren's Lament by Ironshod Siren's Lament :iconironshod:Ironshod 10,596 937 Tape it Back Together by yuumei Tape it Back Together :iconyuumei:yuumei 66,106 9,911 cold fall day by Yllande cold fall day :iconyllande:Yllande 308 7

Groups

This user is not currently part of any groups.

Activity


So... this is an exciting moment that deserves to be documented. It's been six years since I last painted and that was for a high school art class. I've since graduated with a bachelors in English of all things and while I'm trying to start a freelance writing business, I got an interesting question from someone.

They had seen "Hope Noel" on facebook, my blog, and instagram while I was working on it, as well as a few paintings I've done for Christmas gifts and haven't posted anywhere yet. They wanted to know if I would do a painting for them as they'd just moved into a new apartment and need wall art, hoping that I was willing to do freelance art as well.

Long story short, they offered to pay me a fair price, supplies and a small amount/hr. that I work on it, frankly I probably would have done it for just the cost of supplies because I'm really a writer and painting is just a hobby, but they also said they would write me a review if I liked. So, yesterday, I officially accepted my first ever commission as a painter!!!! :D

I'm really excited right now, I'm practically jumping out of my skin!

Now, I just need to figure out how to integrate my writing directly with my painting and I'm all set. 

(I'm painting a 16"x20" Rooster... but I have full creative license/interpretation on this rooster.)
I eat dinner with the man across the aisle, though he doesn’t know it. We each take bite after bite, never speaking. I made a mistake with him, years ago. He does not recognize me now, but I recognize him. He needed to make a choice. He refused and now I must clean up his mess. My mess. Tonight, I must fix it and tonight I must provide that choice again to another who will take it.
I chose wrong with the man across the aisle.
It is not my place to make choices. This is something I have had to learn.
It is rare that I witness the birth of any man. Life is not my business. It is not my place. But this man was born like any other.
I remember the woman’s eyes as she pushed, struggled to birth the man across the aisle. Her fourth child. She was ill, sickly all her life. When she’d discovered she was pregnant she had been so proud. By the time I met her, though, she was afraid. Her three children, no fathers, waiting outside the room. A boy of fourteen years, another only ten, and the littlest girl at three. They could hear their mother’s screams and they huddled together when I walked into the room.
“Are you a doctor?” the little girl asked me, with eyes wide. “Are you going to help my mama?”
I stopped, unaware they could see me. This was my first day on the job. This was the first choice I was to provide, to guard.
“Yes,” I had answered, gazing into her tear stained eyes. And I had believed it. But in the birthing room there had been a different plan. She needed to die, the mother of those children. The mother of that little girl. I looked her in the eye as she gave one final push, as the man across the aisle came into this world, screaming and crying. I watched as the light began to fade from his mother’s eyes. I took her hand, but I did not take her. I made her promise to do everything in her power to make sure that her boy became a doctor. And become a doctor he did, but not the doctor he needed to be.
His tailored suit and handmade shoes are out of place here.
Red seats line the chrome bar and the black and white tiles of the floor haven’t changed since the sixties. A waitress appears with the check and I dig in my pockets for my last bills. I have enough for the meal and a dollar tip, crumpled, worn, and covered in dirt.
I get up to leave. They don’t want me here. They don’t know who I am, but they have their suspicions. Everyone always does and everyone is always wrong. No one sees me the same way as another person might. The man across the aisle does not see me at all. This is not as it should have been. He missed his choice. He never stared into the darkness and it never stared back. His mother lived.
I made a choice, and I robbed him of his. I do not get to make choices. I only protect them.
I exit the diner onto the cold city streets, ambling along, biding my time. I have nowhere to go for now. Later I have a job to do, but for now I have time.
I walk with the woman as she finds her way home. This is a new city to her. She doesn’t know that I walk with her, but we are both alone and she looks more than a little lost. I make sure that she reaches her destination. Her shiny black shoes, pristine hair and designer clothes, and fresh manicure undisturbed. She will make a choice soon. I have kept it safe. It is because of me that she chose this city, this place.
She notices me as she walks into her apartment. She stares for a moment. She meets my eyes. Something inside her knows and she looks away as quick as she can. It won’t be long before I meet her again.
I walk down into the subway tunnel. The whistle of the trains and the smell of the sewer do not bother me.
I stop and pat the stray cat huddled in the corner where she has given birth to her first litter not more than an hour ago. She purrs and allows my touch. She knows that I am not for her this night, not for her babies.
I step onto the train and sit with the young boy on his way home from baseball practice. It’s his first time by himself on the subway and he glances at the other passengers . The lights flicker and he sees me sitting across from him. I smile and he looks at his shoes, wringing his hands together. There are holes in their sides, the solid areas coated in dirt and grass stains. He’s had them for a long time and they are small enough to be uncomfortable now. It makes his feet hurt to play in them, but he knows he’s good enough to make it out if he keeps trying. So he continues, and he saves his money until he can get a new pair - one that won’t hurt his feet.
He will grow to be a great man. Because of him no child will ever have to wear a pair of shoes that’s too small for them. Because of him the world will become a better place. Because of this I will not take him today. I am not for him. He has already made his choice. I am not the one to make it for him, no. I am not required for a choice like his, though I had a hand in it. It is because of me that he suffers, but it is because of his suffering that others will thrive.
The old woman at the end of the car watches me with curiosity. She knows. She recognizes me, but she says nothing. She knows that her time will come and she knows that I will not come for her. She will affect little. My job is choices. I am there, always, always there. The important choices, life and death. I can see the tapestry of life. I can see where it is worn and frayed. I can see the threads and I can see where they end and where they begin. The fates may spin and measure, and cut the threads, but I am there to see that they are woven. I am there to see that choices are made and that the weaving is strong. Because of the choice of the man in the diner, the tapestry is weak. The one I am for tonight – he will make it strong again.
The train comes to a halt and I step off. I reach into a pocket and I drop the last coins I have into the open guitar case, the blind man playing for change. His music takes a somber turn as he hears my coins drop into the case. He feels that I am there, standing, listening to him play. He begins to play with a beauty that few are able to master, and people gather, but none stand close to me. They don’t want to be caught in my net, not tonight.
I leave him to his music. He will eat another night and he will live for a while longer.
I walk on, looking up at the sky, waiting for the clouds to release the rain that they have withheld for so long. A few drops fall and land on my upturned face. Water is neither dead nor alive. It is both cooling, soothing, and terrifying to many.
I do not enjoy the work I must do, but that is no matter. Someone must do it, and that is me. It has always been me. But tonight – tonight there is something different. Tonight, is important.
The hospital lights do not hurt my eyes as I move inside. The children’s ward. I walk to the foot of a bed, surrounded by a family. “I’m waiting for Uncle Jim,” the child says. “Then everyone will be here.”
Her mother looks to me, hope in her eyes. “Don’t let my daughter die.”
The door to the ward opens and Uncle Jim walks in. He hurries to the child’s bedside, a teddy bear in hand. He smiles at the child, but he sees me and his face falls. He knows me as only one who is about to make a choice can know me.
“I’m not the doctor you’re looking for,” I whisper. I move to the child’s side and take one hand as Uncle Jim takes the other, his eyes leaving mine only to smile at his niece.
“I waited for you, Uncle Jim. I wanted to say good bye. I love you.”
She takes a few short breathes before the monitor lets out a continuous, droning beep. I close my eyes and turn away, letting her hand fall to the bed. They do not see me anymore. It’s better that way. They call for a doctor. They call for several.
Uncle Jim still sees me. As I leave, he leaves too. He takes me by the shoulder. “It’s my fault. I wasn’t there. I should have been with her.”
I smile at him. I know the choice he will have to make, even if he does not. This death will either change his life or end it. I took the life of this girl so that he could make a choice. “Another day, James. Perhaps tomorrow.”
I leave the hospital, exhausted, and still my work is not finished. So much to do.  I continue on, though I can feel the anger that comes with a night like this, it rises in my heart. Someone has to do it, but that does not mean that I enjoy it.
I sit with the homeless man in the park, waiting, biding my time for an hour or so, postponing the inevitable. He does not know that I sit with him. He does not notice me. but I am as homeless as he. I have nowhere to go. Nowhere that I rest my head. I do not rest. I can never rest. This is only a reprieve as I look up at the stars. Now that the rain has stopped, everything smells alive. The crickets sing and the stars are out in force tonight.
They look down at me and at my work. They do not care what I do, they are so far away, so many of them, I took them long ago. Some are still there, but many I have already spoken to. They do not fear me. They know what comes next. They know what happens when they move on. They know that there is a chance, however slight, they will become something more. They understand their potential. Humans are the only ones that fear me. They do not understand, and they fear what they do not understand.
I continue on.
As I walk a young boy stops to stare at me. “Are you a doctor?” He asks as I draw near. I stop a few feet from him. This is the question I have been waiting for.
“I am,” I reply. And it is the truth. This is my purpose tonight.
He looks around. “My Papa, he’s sick. We can’t afford to have a doctor come look at him. We don’t even have a car to take him to the hospital. Besides, last time we tried they said we didn’t have enough money to get him the surgery he needs.”
I watch his eyes as he works up the courage to ask me for what he wants.
“Will you come home with me? Will you look at him?”
I smile a little, trying to give him even the smallest glimmer of hope. And it is a lie.
“We can’t pay you. But he needs a doctor soon.”
I smile again, trying to ignore the knowledge of what I must do. The exhaustion is overwhelming, but I cannot stop now. “Take me to him,” I offer my hand.
The boy takes it. He is only eight years old. His Papa promised to take him to a football game when he turns nine next month. I let him lead me by the hand to his home.
It is small, in need of repair. He leads me inside where his mother sits with a stack of bills at the table. “Where have you been? I told you not to go out after midnight.” She stops. “Who is this?” She sees me holding her son’s hand.
“He’s a doctor, Mama. He said he would help.”
“We can’t pay him,” she chides the boy. “I am sorry sir. He should not have made you come all this way.”
“Where is your husband?”
She frowns but the light of hope sparkles in her eyes. If her husband can only see a doctor. He might live. But this too is a lie. I am meant for him.
I follow her to the room that it appears they all share. Two little girls share a small mattress in one corner while the father lays on a mattress in the other. His breathing is slow, strong for a moment, and then he struggles for another breath. I walk over to him and kneel on the ground. The mother stands in the door, holding her breath. But the boy comes to my side.
“I want to be a doctor too,” he whispers.
I look into his eyes. He will be a great doctor one day. Because of him the world will be a better place. Because of him, no one will die like his father again He has only to make a choice, a choice I must provide. “You will be,” I whisper to him even as I take his father’s hand in mine. I close my eyes as I feel his pulse slow to a stop. “He is not in any pain. Not anymore.”
The mother rushes to her husband’s side. The boy stares at me with sadness on his face. “You didn’t do anything. I thought you were a doctor.”
From behind the boy his father stares at me. He stands tall, stronger than he’s ever been. But the boy cannot see him. “I am a doctor.” The father nods at me. He knows what will happen now. He knows why he had to die. They all do, always. “I am a doctor for the dying.”
“He wasn’t supposed to die,” he whispers.
“Everyone dies.” I look away as the wife begins to cry and cough. I watch blood come out of her mouth. It will not be long before I return here. A choice must occur and it cannot do so without a catalyst.
I am that catalyst.
I continue my journey. It does not end here. It will never end as I step out onto the street with the rising sun. There are more choices for me to protect and provide.
A vague smile crosses my face as the first snow falls.
I turn away from the lies reflected in the window pane. The snow in the field behind the hospital is unmarred, I won’t be the one to take that away. I slowly walk to the chair beside my wife’s bed. The white linoleum looks gray in the dim light. Dirty. The cards at the foot of her bed are years old now. There is only one bouquet of flowers on the tray which I replace every week. No one else sends them anymore. My phone sits next to the flowers, dead for days now. I drape a mottled afghan over her feet.
April’s eyes are closed, peaceful. I take her left hand, the right is full of tubes and needles. There are bruises under her eyes. She hasn’t had enough sleep. Three years isn’t enough.
“Jack?” The doctor stands in the doorway. “We need to talk,” He says while the door behind him.
I don’t take my eyes off of April and the oxygen tube covering half of her beautiful face. I cling to the constant beep of the heart monitor, grounding myself in the unreality of my life. I start to pick on a thread in the blanket and then lay my hand still on her leg. The IV drip marks the silent passage of time.
Thirty drops in every minute. One thousand and eight hundred in an hour. Forty-three thousand and two hundred a day. Forty-eight million, eight hundred and eighty thousand, eight hundred drops since the day she arrived.
I see her chest moving up and down with the ventilator. I don’t dare hope that her eyes will open. How long has it been since I last saw her violet eyes?
The doctor places his hand on my shoulder. I don’t bother to shrug it off.
“Jack, it’s been three years.” He hesitates and I hope he won’t say it. “Her brain activity – for weeks now – it’s minimal, barely keeping her body going. She’s not suffering, but she’s not living.”
I hold April’s hand a little bit tighter. “No.”
“Jack-”
I shake my head furiously and jerk away. “She has to wake up.” I press her hand to my lips and wonder if she can feel the hot tears that fall down my cheeks.
“Life support is all that’s keeping her here. Haven’t you mourned long enough?”
This isn’t the first time we’ve had this conversation. I get to my feet, gently placing April’s hand by her side again. At the window, I stare at the unmarred snow, remembering a different time, a different place.
I’m a kid again, forcing my feet into boots a year too small, not bothering to change out of my pajamas. The sun isn’t out yet. I snatch a pair of mismatched gloves from the box by the door. Scooby-Doo peeks out of my unzipped coat.
I slam to a halt on the edge of the old wooden porch, my toes less than an inch from the untouched snow. Apple trees line one edge of the yard. The leaves fell weeks ago, the apples used to make all sorts of sweet things. Our antique mailbox stands out at the end of our driveway, illuminated by a single street lamp. Snow is piled on top of it at least six inches high. Starlight reveals the untouched snow where the morning commuters have yet to mar its innocence.
I glance back through the door into the dark interior of our house. Mom will kill me for this. I turn back to the yard. The porch lamp lights a wide swath of the pristine snow, not quite reaching the circle of light.
The snow calls me forward, begging me to come and play.
“I need to go for a walk.” I don’t grab my coat, but I leave the hospital anyway. As I walk I let my mind wander. How many times had I thought she wouldn’t make it, only to beg God for just one more day, one more smile, one last glimpse of her eyes? I laugh. “Once more will never be enough,” I mutter to myself.
My puffy coat and snow pants make it hard to climb the hill. I have on so many layers I can barely put my arms down at my sides. My hands grasp my blue plastic sled as tight as they can through thick mittens. “Just one more time!” I call to my mother.
I can almost hear her eyes rolling. “Fine, but only one!”
Now, walking these city streets I stare at the still dark sky. The wind hits me like a slap in the face. How long has it been since I was last outside? Two or three days at least. They let me shower in my wife’s bathroom; she doesn’t use it. I’m a writer; I do my work by her bedside.
Three days ago it was sunny, warm, an Indian Summer. My shirt and jeans are just a bit too thin for this new weather. I don’t stop to admire the unmarred snow; there is no ceremony to which I take my first steps onto each new swath.
I look up and among the high rises and see a small building, only three stories, thin and narrow between the larger buildings. Phoenix, I read. It has an old tavern style sign displaying a logo of a cup of coffee with what I guess is supposed to be the mythical bird itself rising from the steam. It’s a strange name for a coffee shop, I think. I pause for a moment to consider. The cold gets the better of me and I step inside.
The fresh smell of espresso wafts into my lungs. More than that, I can smell eggs and bacon cooking. It’s warm and cozy in here. The tables are everywhere, close together, but still far enough apart that I can isolate myself. This is the kind of shop I used to do my writing in. Now I do all of my writing in the hospital, waiting for my wife to wake up.
There is a small window flanked by an espresso machine on one side and a pastry case on the other. There is a second counter behind the main one with all the barista’s supplies.
As I venture in I note down little things about the place, perhaps I will use it in a story. Black counter tops. Tables with cast iron legs. It feels like Mom’s kitchen back home. The barista has violet eyes. I pause, staring at the girl behind the counter. She smiles. “What can I get for you?”
Her voice sounds like a high school cheerleader, bubbly, full of optimism and life. I blink as I realize that her eyes are brown, not violet. April’s eyes are violet. “Uhm… can you do coffee? Black? Preferably a dark roast?”
“No problem! What size?” She smiles wider and doesn’t look at me like I’m crazy for wanting real coffee. I appreciate that.
“Do you have real sizes or should I find a Latin dictionary?”
She laughs. “Small, medium, or large?”
“Large,” I say. I hand over my debit card.
She swipes the card and then hands me a cup of coffee. She smiles at me. “Have a nice day.”
I walk over to a table and sit, slowly sipping the hot liquid. The barista is cleaning her workspace. The only other person here is an old man, eating a plate of scrambled eggs and toast. He catches me looking in his direction and waves me over. I just stare at him for a moment. He is maybe my father's age with graying hair and sun-tanned skin. He would be about my height if he was standing. He waves again.
I stand and walk over to him, sitting opposite in the indicated chair.
“Bit nippy to be without a coat,” He says.
His eyes are the color of hot chocolate.
“What’s your name, son?”
“Jack.”
“Tony.” He looks me up and down. “I don’t mean to be rude. You look like hell, kid.”
"Long night," I say quietly, taking a sip of my coffee.
“Wife got you sleeping on the couch?” He looks pointedly at my wedding ring and then at my wrinkled clothes.
“A chair actually.” I’m surprised by the bitterness in my own voice.
Tony ignores it. “Breakfast? How do you like your eggs?”
“Scrambled,” I say before I can stop myself.
The old man smiles widely. “A man after my own heart.” He waves his hand at the barista. “Mae! Get me another plate of eggs and toast for my friend please.”
“No, I couldn’t,” I try to protest but he waves me off.
“On the house. It’s rare that we see anyone in here before the sun comes up.”
I stare at him for a minute, trying to decide if I should take up his offer. Before I can make up my mind the barista, Mae, sets a plate of scrambled eggs and toast in front of me. “Thank you,” I say out of reflex. She smiles at me again.
“Been married long?” Tony asks, continuing his breakfast.
“Five years, last month.” I take a bite of my own eggs, appraising the old man, trying to understand his questioning.
“Any kids?”
I hesitate for a split second. “No,” I answer a little too sharply.
“Why not?”
“Never the right time.” I glance at my right hand, what’s left of it. I lost my thumb and first two fingers in the accident three years ago.
“Do you want kids?”
I shovel another forkful of eggs into my mouth, stalling. “I thought I did,” I answer carefully.
“What changed your mind.”
I do not answer. Instead, I get up to leave. "I don't have to answer your questions."
“Stop. Sit.” He says with authority.
I sit back down, feeling a bit like a dog.
“Eat.” He says this last word kindly. “You look like you need it.”
I pick up the fork with my left hand. I don’t take my eyes off of Tony. Mechanically I shovel eggs into my mouth. He motions for Mae to refill my coffee.
I stare at Tony for what feels like an eternity, “What happened?”
I sit back, my heart sinking at the memory. “There was snow…”
I can barely see past the hood of the car. My right hand is behind me, holding April’s as she screams with the pain of labor. “It’ll be alright. We’re almost there,” I say over and over again. I’m no longer certain if I’m speaking to her or to myself. I can just barely see the green of the light.
I meet her wide violet eyes in the rearview mirror. “It’ll be okay,” I whisper.
“Let’s try an easier question,” Tony says and I realize that I haven’t said a word. “How did you meet your wife?”
I don’t know why I’m telling him these things, but I answer anyway. “It was when we were kids, the last run of the day. My mom wouldn't let me stay out any longer. I was going downhill so fast. Out of nowhere, this girl appeared. She was hauling a pink sled up the hill behind her."
I slam into her, knocking her off her feet. I hear something crack and our mothers screaming. We’re already sitting up when they arrive. They look us over frantically and the girl’s mom yells at mine. “Teach him to watch where he’s going!”
Mom carries me to our car, still clutching my blue sled. As Mom is about to snap the buckle on my seat I shout. “No! Wait!” I jump from the car, sled in tow and run to the little girl getting into her mom’s car. “Here!” I thrust out my sled with one hand. I hold it at arm’s length, afraid she won’t take it.
I feel the sled leave my fingers. When I look at her she smiles at me. Her eyes were purple; I’ve never seen purple eyes before.
“My name’s April.”
“Jack,” I say stupidly.
“April! Get in the car!” her mother shouts.
Tony’s voice brings me back to reality and I realize that I’ve trailed off again. “Sounds like you were meant to be.”
“There was an accident a few years ago.” The memory floods into view.
“I remember looking from the rearview mirror and my wife’s eyes to the road. But it was too late. The semi was going too fast and his brakes didn’t work. I hit mine, but the ABS didn’t kick in. We sped forward and when the semi hit us we went backward. I heard April scream. I don’t know if it was pain from the labor, the accident, or both. She tried to brace herself against the back of the passenger seat. When I woke up…” I whisper this to Tony, afraid that if I speak too loudly something inside me might break. “She’s still sleeping.”
“The baby?” Tony asks.
Mae replaces my paper cup with a mug. She smiles at me and I know that she’s been listening. Her brown eyes turn violet for a moment in my mind. The baby is so small. He opens his eyes, violet like his mother’s. But that’s all that I really see of him. His bones are broken and his organs bruised and ruptured. He’s alive and that’s a miracle in and of itself. That he can open his eyes this once is an act of divine power. He smiles at me, just a little, holds my little finger in his hand. The tubes covering his face mask him from me. That first and last time he will ever open his eyes.
“He died from complications thirty-seven days after the accident,” I say quietly, deciding it best to keep that memory to myself.
Tony raises an eyebrow at my specificity. “Your wife is still in a coma?”
“I work at the hospital so I can stay with her.”
“What do you do?” Tony asks politely. I think he senses my pain.
“I’m a writer, but I do some editing on the side.” I shrug as I take a gulp of coffee, then cough and nearly spit it out. It’s hotter than I anticipate.
“Must be good at it, no side job.” He ignores my miscalculation with the coffee.
“It’s enough.” I decide to ask my own question. “What about you? Not many men your age own coffee shops.”
He laughs and his eyes twinkle like Santa Clause in the old movies. “It wasn’t always a coffee shop. Place used to be a bar. My dad owned it. He drank too much when I was a kid. It was the whiskey and women that killed him.” He paused, thoughtfully. “Killed my mother too. I decided I wouldn't let this place be the cause of any more families falling apart. So I remade it, instead of making people forget, it's here to wake them up. From the ashes, they shall rise." He chuckles. “I thought it was clever.”
I nod, not sure what to say for a moment. But there is a question burning in the back of my mind, one that I need to ask. “How did you do it?”
“Do what?” He sits back in his seat, finished with his food.
“Move on.” I bite my lip.
"I didn't, not really. At first, I wanted to get rid of this place, but that wasn't going to work. Sometimes we don't move on. Sometimes the only thing we can do is change."
“There’s nothing for me to change.” I look down and the sight of my disfigured right hand sickens me, a constant reminder of the accident. I can’t get away from it.
“We’re sorry, Mr. Borden. But your hand was badly crushed. The fingers were unable to be reattached We had no choice but to remove what was left of them. You might regain some use of the remaining fingers, but the outlook isn’t all that bright.”
I stare blankly at my hand and then at the doctor. “My wife? I was holding her hand.”
“She’s in a coma. There’s still brain activity for now.” He pauses. “We were able to deliver the baby. If you wish to see him, now is the best time.”
“I have a son?”
“There’s always something in life that needs a little change.” Tony smiles thinly.
I stare at my empty plate. I think about the doctor and what he’d told me only a little while ago. I stand to leave. “Thank you,” I don’t know if I’m thanking him for breakfast or something else.
“Somewhere to be?” The old man watches as I walk to the door.
I turn back. “Something I should have done a long time ago.”
I leave the coffee shop, but I don't turn back to the hospital. Instead, I wander the city streets, occasionally walking into a small shop or a department store to look at the shelves. At every store, I leave intending to turn back and go to the hospital, but I don’t. I just keep wandering. I pay for a bus fare and ride for a few hours, watching the people that get on and off. The children seem excited about the snow, the parents frustrated and distracted. People rush about, tapping their feet impatiently as though it will make the bus move faster. Their lives and jobs are so important that they don’t spare even a moment to look up from their phones. I skip lunch and dinner. As the sun starts to fade I return to the hospital, a long and winding route.
As I cross the street the world looks new somehow, despite the end of the day. I pause, there are children playing in the field. There are several half-made snowmen and countless angels. They’re currently engaged in a snowball war with forts and everything. I smile a little. I had forgotten the magic of a first snow. I’d forgotten the magic of life itself.
I set one foot in the snow and smile at the crunch it makes. There is still so much that remains untouched, so much of the world left. I turn back to the hospital, going no farther than that first step.
I walk up the stairs to my wife’s room. Six floors. The doctor is taking notes from the machines. He looks up at me. I take April’s hand in mine and kiss her forehead. My words come out in a whisper. “I have to let her go, don’t I?”
“I can only give you the options.”
“I can’t keep her like this.”
“Are you sure?” The doctor places his hand on my shoulder again. “We have people you can talk to.” But he knows that I’ve already been through all the counseling I can stand.
I hold April’s hand to my cheek, letting my tears moisten her palm. “I’m sure.”
He squeezes my shoulder. “I’ll get the paperwork.”
I nod. He leaves me to sit beside April. I sweep her hair back from her face and continue to hold her hand. “I love you.” I bow my head in acceptance, letting the tears fall. “I’m ready.”
The doctor returns. Before he can hand me the paperwork April’s heart monitor stops beeping, becoming one droning note. I stare up at the single green line. They push me away as nurses come in. “Let her go,” I say quietly. But I know they have to try.
I don’t keep track of how long they work.
A nurse calls it. “Time of death:  8:37 pm. December 18th.”
But she’s already been dead for three years and thirty-seven days.
I close my eyes and a violet eyed girl smiles at me behind my eyelids, holding a beat up blue plastic sled in one hand. Holding her other hand is a little boy, three years old. His eyes are the same color as hers. He smiles at me too. There is a vast expanse of new snow before us. I look at the hill as she turns to it and see three sets of footprints that brought the sled up. Two large and one small. April holds the sled out at arm’s length, smiling. I take it. One more run. I look to her again, hoping she’ll come with me.
She shakes her head and I understand.
Map of Cenedal
This was a rough map I created while procrastinating as I worked on a high fantasy series. It's the only digital art I have ever done, it was also done without the use of any of the usual tools, only my MacBook and that was not easy... so I'm proud enough to share it here!
Loading...
My Dragon
#2 Pencil on Computer Paper.

I drew this as a part of a story I was writing in order to fully understand the type of dragon I was describing. (I have my own lore for dragons in that story... never been one for using other people's lore.) This was drawn in Spring of 2015 During a mythology class that I didn't pay nearly enough attention in.
Loading...
So... this is an exciting moment that deserves to be documented. It's been six years since I last painted and that was for a high school art class. I've since graduated with a bachelors in English of all things and while I'm trying to start a freelance writing business, I got an interesting question from someone.

They had seen "Hope Noel" on facebook, my blog, and instagram while I was working on it, as well as a few paintings I've done for Christmas gifts and haven't posted anywhere yet. They wanted to know if I would do a painting for them as they'd just moved into a new apartment and need wall art, hoping that I was willing to do freelance art as well.

Long story short, they offered to pay me a fair price, supplies and a small amount/hr. that I work on it, frankly I probably would have done it for just the cost of supplies because I'm really a writer and painting is just a hobby, but they also said they would write me a review if I liked. So, yesterday, I officially accepted my first ever commission as a painter!!!! :D

I'm really excited right now, I'm practically jumping out of my skin!

Now, I just need to figure out how to integrate my writing directly with my painting and I'm all set. 

(I'm painting a 16"x20" Rooster... but I have full creative license/interpretation on this rooster.)

deviantID

theglasswriter's Profile Picture
theglasswriter
M.K.Harlan
Artist | Hobbyist | Varied
United States
I am a writer and painter looking to improve my skills and become a professional, full time artist and writer. I have a degree in Creative Writing, and no formal education in art, but it's something that I love to do.

www.patreon.com/mkharlan
Interests

Comments


Add a Comment:
 
:iconking-of-dark-titans:
King-of-Dark-Titans Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2017
nice dragon!!
Reply
:icontheglasswriter:
theglasswriter Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2017  New Deviant Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks!!!
Reply
:iconking-of-dark-titans:
King-of-Dark-Titans Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2017
A pleasure creative artist! :D  
Reply