Sam woke up inspired

Sam woke up inspired by the dream he had the night before. Creeping out of the room. He didn’t want to wake up anyone else in the house. His sisters were still asleep with their partners and Nadezdha wouldn’t be awake for at least another few hours. She always slept late and he was an early riser.

He quickly closed his eyes to connect with her and see if she was unusually awake at this time. Not wanting to disturb her if she was deep in REM sleep. That would never be beneficial for their already tetering relationship.

He instantly heard “I love it when you connect that way. So quietly and gently. It makes me tingle all over.”

“I am so happy to hear that. You know I am.”

“I know you are, my love.” Nadezdha was awake. 

“My mind has been wandering again. Those paths are so dark, with browns and blues. To hide is easy and see the bad and not the good. It takes me back to the night we talked properly for the first time.” Sam was singing out the prose beautifully as Nadezdha interrupted quietly.

“I daydream of it as often as you do and it makes me miss your smell.”

“I miss watching you flow effortlessly around. Smiling and laughing at the smallest thing. Making me feel completely safe watching you gaze my way while you talked and laughed with friends. Always seeking my engagement. I sat back though. Not wanting to intrude. I enjoyed watching how you interact with other people and then would be so soft and shy with me. It didn’t take long to disarm you though because you really wanted to talk to me when we had the chance.” Sam was reminiscing about the night again. Like he had a thousand times before.

“You give me smiles and eyes. I melt into them.” Nadezdha was blushing and Sam could tell. 

“It makes me feel that good too.” Sam reassured Nadezdha. “I am talking about my nervousness. My uncertainty at whether you would be interested, but I watched and waited. The way you and I engaged in conversation was mind blowing. Simple sentences and hand gestures. You settled those darker places for me and gave me a sense of completeness.”

“That’s got to be why you never give up then?” Nadezdha asked.

“Definitely.” Was all Sam needed to think, then back into comfortable silent contemplation.

Every cloud has a silver lining

Every cloud has a silver lining,

It’s about finding the blue in the grey,

In your dreams and your memories

Find your mind

Cause I need music every day.

The truth can help you now.

So close, it’s closer with every day.

Perception is a personal thing

For me, it started out with numbers

Cause they are simple to play.

Picking up the broken pieces and painting over the forming cracks

Doesn’t fix the broken heart 

You pushed to the empty side of the tracks

This I show to the world

You have taught me to love

Having taught me to see

There is nowhere I go where you cannot be

Time we have spent apart

You are still in my heart

As you have always loved me unconditionally

Never judging my faults

Helped me stand where I fall

Growing closer in spirit though distance is far

I have learned from the pain

We have lived through the same

Thought processes are inherently to blame

I love you the same all the years

From conception through all of our tears

I will love you forever, I know

Unconditional love has helped me to grow

This you know

This is real

This I show

To the world

Not a Thought From the Wildlife

Paradise lost was what they thought. Maybe a great way to begin their story, perhaps a chance to interlude the drought with some way of picking up spirits would be a better solution, Stepan thought.

The day was young. The birds were still chirping in the trees. 

What were their thoughts? 

Stepan looked out longingly. Waiting for them to provide the answers.

They didn’t help much at all. Just chirping and cavorting. The way they always did. 

Singing for something he didn’t understand. Again and again. Over and over.

Nothing significant from the wildlife again. Just the incessant noise. Was the constant whirlpool floating through Stepans head as he worried about where they were acquiring their water from today. 

Sick again. A slight wheeze in Stepans chest made him aware of the fact that his energy may run short again today while he hunted for supplies amongst the wreckage. 

There were tanks to his left. Damaged, or destroyed. 

They had been struck by an unknown amount of munitions, but it must have been enough to knock the socks out of them.

A row of approximately 30 tanks. Lined up beautifully when in full working order. Now, a pile of twisted metal and shattered like a sweetmeal cracker at the bottom of a bag.

Stepan crawled into another wreckage. The plants wrapped around his ankles and hindered his access, but the machete made from the wreckage a few months ago was sturdy and meant he could access this end of the row of tanks easily.

Beating the metal with the hilt of his machete to scare off the birds so he could enjoy the silence seemed futile today. No matter how many times he slapped the side of the tank he was searching. The birds persisted with their incoherent chatter.

They were all chirping and wailing at the same time. Trying to fill the sounds of the surroundings with their cacophony of song.

Stepan decided not to worry too much about it. It made him feel comfortable that there was bound to be no one else in the area. Since none of the songs were alarm calls. Like there had been before other engagements over the years.

They must have nested nearby and were out performing the same scavenging function he was. At least it meant they were reasonably safe. For now.

Only a few other scavengers had been seen in the area before. Slow and laborious movements had proven their ending at the end of Stepans rifle. His viewing platform above the row of tanks up the incredible incline of a hill to the east of the valley had seemed unnecessary to his companion, Daisy. It was essential in keeping them safe though and he would only ever tell her he was scaring away the birds from their roosts so he could focus on the movement in the area when he had had to deal with intruders in their safe space time and again. 

“Always scaring those birds” shouts came from outside the tank Stepan was tucked inside of. “I don’t know why you are so worried about these beautiful crows anyway, Stepan.” 

Daisy was outside. Stepan grumbled to himself again.

“You shouldn’t be down here. You know that.”

“Always thinking I am better off not helping you, huh?” Jested Daisy.

“Always telling me I don’t want your help, huh?” Stepan replied.

“Not time for one of these discussions again, I suppose.”

“Nope.” Stepan knew where that discussion headed, and did not want to start a day’s scavenging by upsetting Daisy. He held his opinion close to his chest.

“Okay. So, where are we going today? North might be fun?” Daisy remarked.

“Maybe? You know I prefer to go where the wind takes me. So I am downwind on my return.” Stepan replied. Poking his head from inside the burned out tank to be greeted by the smiling face of his companion.

Daisy had been balancing silently on top of the tank waiting for Stepan to lift his head from inside.

“I followed you here again.” Daisy remarked “You should really practice your evasion after leaving camp”

“Yeah, yeah.” Stepan wasn’t impressed.

He tucked his head back inside the top of the tank. “Not the place to be hanging around on the roof of these destroyed vehicles really.” He remarked to Daisy. Feeling slightly coy and mischievous. He banged on the side of the tank again.

“Always making me jump.” Daisy quipped. “Or at least trying to.”

“You are wise of my methods now aren’t you Daisy?” Stepan asked jokingly.

“Maybe?” Daisy was being her usual aloof self.

Just as beautiful as she was stealthy. Daisy was the polar opposite in looks to Stepans hardened exterior. Dainty and petite. Her blonde hair was scooped back and tied loosely in a bundle at the back of her head. Easily 2 feet long. She wasn’t too fussed by keeping herself neat and tidy, but she definitely appreciated cleanliness.

She stood roughly 5 feet 4 inches tall and loved to wrap herself in thin layers to warm her thin limbs. Long layers under shorter layers and a few of those down to her combat boots. Worn and battered, but loved nonetheless. They helped her keep up with Stepan on longer treks in search of supplies and she had mastered tiptoeing quietly in such heavy boots expertly.

The risks they would take on their searches were negligent to her. She had seen most of her friends carted off at the beginning of the long war. Taken to places she had no idea where they were. So she had stuck with her one remaining friend, Stepan.

They were both similar ages. With a tough but not disadvantaged upbringing. Stepan had been head boy of the school opposite the convent which Daisy had attended when the war had begun. Daisy was a year away from leaving to attend University in Moscow.

Alone in the dark

The cart was tipping from side to side as Stepan pulled it along the now beaten and potholed road. The streets had been empty for as long now as they had been filled with life. Very few people remained amongst the rubble and wreckage of the city he called home. 

Was it really a home if he knew he had to keep moving, changing and adapting to the places he had to stay. The places he had to become the person others were looking for. Never feeling like he could embrace himself and always alone. He decided to search the rubble of the first set of buildings he had come across in a long while. 

Tipping the cart on its side. He grabbed his gloves and clenched them tightly in his fist, feeling the leather and fabric crease and groan under his hardened and calloused fingers. The steel bar he had to help him dig through the rubble had definitely seen better days. Battered and beaten. Covered in scars from use and abuse over the years Stepan had used it to dig through the remains of the homes and industrial buildings he looted for supplies to stay alive in the harsh environment he was born into.

Stepan knew nothing else. Survival was his only goal.

He had known the hollow empty feeling of slow starvation. The pit in his gut which crept slowly deeper. The dull ache of pain inside which crawls its way into the outer limbs. He never wanted to feel so hollowed out by existence again.

A floating sensation took over all of Stepans body.

“Oh no!” Stepan fell, and the rubble which surrounded him fell at the same time.

Was it a booby trap? A decaying building? Or just a misplaced boot on a bombed floor. 

The dust was thick after the fall. Knocking loose his feet off the bricks and debris, Stepan slowly crouched from his seated position. The Slav resting state. Haunches back he waited for the dust to settle so he could assess his situation.

“The cart is one storey up.” Stepan recounted to himself after falling only through one floor. “There has to be a staircase somewhere? I only fell one floor, probably through damage to the structure of some kind.”

As the dust settled into a fine mist in the air, Stepans’ eyes adjusted to the change in light level. He saw before him an abandoned encampment.

“Who would sleep here?” He asked himself out loud.

A few empty gas canisters on the floor and a pile of clothes which had been used to bed down. Stepan did the same routine.

“I’ve never been here before? So I am a little bit confused.” Stepan started talking in case someone was there and could hear his reasoning. “How do I get out of here? So I can leave you in peace and not be afraid of me.”

“I have a cart upstairs. A few things you may need. I can offer you in return for crashing through your roof!”

“It wasn’t what I intended to do. Nor am I here to steal. Just investigating the area.”

“Investigate away.” Stepan hears the voice in the blackness and dust. “Just don’t let me drown in this room. Take me with you. Please.”

The thin Russian accent of the softest whispering voice Stepan had ever heard. 

“What’s your name?” Stepan asked, wondering if he was being too loud because the quiet whisper was far off but completely audible. 

“I’m Daisy. I’ve been down here a long time. I heard shouting a few days ago, I think? There was a vehicle. Was that you or your friends?”

“Daisy. I’m Stepan.” Stepan sighed with relief.

“Nice name.” Daisy cooed as she crept from the back of the room silent as a mouse and farther to the right than Stepan had realised.

“I don’t have friends.” Stepan answered Daisy’s question from before. “But you heard a vehicle? That is interesting.”

“It was louder down here I suppose but it seemed like a dozen buses.” Daisy paused. “Crawling slowly and methodically down the road.” Daisy explained, cautiously now. She was unerred by the fact that Stepan was alone. Her cautious approach was immediately noted by Stepan.

“I haven’t seen a working vehicle in a while. It must have been a truck.”

“Perhaps. Maybe something bigger?”

“That would surprise me. Most bigger vehicles got wiped out over a year ago at the big battle.”

Where to begin?

Where to begin? Life. The hardest battle you can fight. You, against yourself every step of the way.

What happens if you care too much, or love too much and trust everyone you meet?

There are a multitude of possibilities and a million choices to make along the way. Mistakes are going to happen. The good times will be great times, and the bad times will be the worst.

Maybe, just maybe, you’ll search for someone to save you from sadness or despair. How are they going to find you? How are you going to reach out and let them know you need that help? 

Will you fall and stumble along the way? Of course. You’re only human.

Starting from the beginning would be too arduous. The challenges and choices wouldn’t make sense until the moment of enlightenment. 

A breakdown. A mental breakdown linked to all the issues and problems he created and the moment the memories would flood their way back to the forefront of his mind.

The mind. Complicated and beautiful. The dark places with closed doors. Maybe they are a form of amnesia, maybe they have been locked to never be opened again. Some of those locked doors need to be opened to rectify the issues of the past and make solace with his demons. 

He can’t fight the demons of the past forever or it will break him and he will never ever achieve his full potential. Maybe he still hasn’t achieved that, but every day is a new day. A new challenge, a new fight.

The start of a new journey

The hero archetype has been known throughout history, and their story follows the hero’s journey.

It is the cycle of being sent out on an adventure, encountering troubles and challenges, reaching a final symbolic death and rebirth, and finally returning to their former environment with newfound knowledge and understanding.

We see this countless times in stories, in mythology, and in religion. Today it is my turn.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

— Chinese philosopher Laozi

I’m setting off on a journey to understand my personal goals. Where I need to find the strength and conviction to write regularly and enjoy my writing process.

I have written factually before and think it is about time for me to branch out and show some of my written works to the world. Small anecdotes to begin with, and this should be followed by my longer works. I hope to publish them to press, but who knows? Maybe this is my pathway to finding solace in my writing.

I am ready to grow. I am ready to share my experiences and musings.

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