the scarlet room

what happens in the room, stays in the room

On How To Win When You Lose — March 10, 2015

On How To Win When You Lose

Cards

Diane hated coffee. Yet, every morning, at the exact same time, you could find her at the local coffee shop, sitting at the exact same table.

On this particular day, she was feeling particularly chirpy. Maybe it was the strong smell of coffee, which she paradoxically loved. Maybe it was that stubborn ray of sunshine that came through the window and ricocheted against the light of her bright red hair, making the shadows dance like a kaleidoscope of tiny butterflies. Most likely, it was simply the fact that he was there.

Jack was not quite the average Joe. He had that bad boy look, a cross between James Dean and River Phoenix, that makes all the good girls swoon. Diane was no exception. Her ivory skin flushed as he approached and sit across her. He was the Clyde to her Bonnie and they never, ever lost.

Tommy and Gina arrived five minutes later. They brought the deck and they swore that this time they would make it. Jack winked at Diane and confidently said, ‘let it roll’. A thousand stories were shared at that table. A thousand stories that only the two of them could hear. A million words. A hundred secrets hidden in the exchange of a seemingly casual glance.

Diane played her last card and hoped for the best. According to her calculations, there was still a trump card out there somewhere. The queen of hearts was on the table, reminiscent of a damsel in distress. Jack followed suit, no salvation there. And even though Tommy was down on his luck and had nothing but a deuce of clubs, Gina brought the pay home – the trump card was hers. As was the hand. And the game. Jack and Diane looked at each other and smiled, ‘Oh well, life goes on…’

They lost for the first time. But did they really?

Blood Countess — February 22, 2015

Blood Countess

Vampire

On the day I met him I was feeling down,
Almost hitting the ground,
But he caught me before I could fall.
I had no idea at all
Of how much it would cost
And before I knew it my soul was lost.
It had flown away,
Eternally alive I would stay.
My face turned white
And for the last time I saw the sunlight.
Now I seek for blood
While they sink in the flood;
I became a countess
And my victims are countless.

[Photo © Victoria Frances]

On How To Kill It — February 15, 2015
On What Could Have Been, But Wasn’t — February 14, 2015

On What Could Have Been, But Wasn’t

Look Outside

“I never thought I’d be sitting here without a story to tell…” Zoe whispered to herself in a defeated undertone, as she admired the patterns the clouds formed outside. Stunning geometric live art that nobody else seemed to pay attention to.

The plane was almost full, but other than the two kids that were sitting in front of her, everyone else was too busy to look outside the window. A few people were reading. Some were secretly praying for the plane not to crash. A lot were avidly playing with their expensive gadgets. Most of them were… well, sleeping!

“No story to tell…” Zoe repeated. Her vivacious hazel eyes were still lost in the beauty of what now seemed an awful lot like snow. The plane was now flying right between the clouds and that was quite the view.

Zoe had always had a way with words, but right now she was at a loss. Her expression was as undecipherable as the way she was feeling. They had not yet invented a word for it. She sighed. This was not at all how she’d imagined things would go. She’d pictured that moment in her mind quite a few times. Different places, different scenarios, slightly different words that in the end led to the exact same moment. All of her daydreams had one thing in common; the moment in question was always nothing short of magical.

Sometimes there was dancing involved. A lot of times there was the moonlight and the ocean as witnesses. Most of the times there was nothing but the sound of two hearts beating in unison.

Outside the clouds had disappeared, giving place to the earthy colors of the countryside. The plane landed smoothly on runway number five. It was the moment for those that had been praying to start thanking their respective gods. They were back. Zoe was back. No adventure. No magical moment. She was back without a story to tell…

On Lessons Learned — February 8, 2015

On Lessons Learned

George Bernard Shaw once said that there are two tragedies in life. One is to lose your heart’s desire. The other is to gain it.

11:11… I wished for you and I’ve learned what it feels like when victory tastes like defeat.

Red lights everywhere, danger signs I blindly chose to ignore. I should have walked away a thousand times, but a thousand times I stayed. Sweet irony. Words… cold. Confusion. Actions… contradictory. Illusion. Emotions… hollow. Bittersweet delusion. And a strange willingness to overlook moral principles and personal values, until I became someone I was not. All in vain. Poisonous secrecy… fatal.

Nothing

(Be careful what you wish for…)

On How To Make Decisions — February 7, 2015

On How To Make Decisions

Driving

They say that when you have to make a hard decision, you should just flip a coin. Why? Because when that coin is in the air, you suddenly know what you’re hoping for.

She always kept a coin in her pocket, just in case, and she flipped it like a pro. But this time she didn’t need no coin to know that she had made the wrong choice. She got in her car and went on with her very own little ritual. She adjusted her seat, turned the radio on, found her favorite station, and checked her flawless makeup in the rear-view mirror one last time, before starting the engine.

It had been raining for days, but no drop fell from the sky on that perfectly clear late afternoon — she was close friends with the weather maker. The radio played songs from the 80s and she turned it up full blast. She knew the words by heart and she always sang along, even though she was off-key most of the times. She didn’t mind. Her car was her stage and the audience — a washed up nameless teddy bear and a fairy doll with a broken wing, circa 1991 — absolutely loved her.

Everything was perfect, except for the fact that it wasn’t. Something didn’t feel right, but she couldn’t quite put her finger on it. There was nothing wrong with her breathtaking, well thought out outfit and it was certainly not the weather. And yet she just couldn’t shake that sharp sense of impending doom.

A little voice inside her head kept telling her to make a u-turn. The truth is she was torn, she had been for a while. That annoying little voice just kept on going, louder and louder. [ ♫ Should I stay or should I go now? / If I go there will be trouble / And if I stay it will be double ♪ ] She did her best to tune it out.

Suddenly, as unexpectedly as snow in Paraguay, that song came on the radio, and the very first chords played on that jaded guitar hit her like a clap of thunder. In that moment she knew. She was on her way to meet him, but it was you she wished she were driving to…

On How To Be Without Being — February 4, 2015

On How To Be Without Being

NotYou

This is not a love letter. This is not even a letter! No paper, no carrier pigeon.

Please note, this is not for you! I don’t want you to read it. The truth is I don’t like you. I don’t like you very much at all. I don’t like the way you challenge me and I don’t like the way you me make me laugh without even trying. I don’t want to talk to you. No words, no rhyme.

You never cross my mind, I couldn’t care less about you. In fact, you mean absolutely nothing to me and I definitely don’t feel a tornado inside of me at the mere thought of seeing you. No emotion, no desire.

Heaven knows I don’t want you to kiss me, I’m no Sleeping Beauty! I really really don’t wish you were here right now. And I sure as hell don’t wish you were mine… only mine. No, not you. No faith, no magic.

Remember, this is not for you! I am not willing to fight against all odds for you. I am not a “tinker”, I cannot mend your broken spirit and I will most certainly not try to fix you. No tools, no time.

I do not wish to be your last thought right before you fall asleep and you are surely not the first thing I think about when I wake up. I am not her and you… you are just not the one. No spark, no fire.

I will not write a fancy closing and I will not sign it, because this is not a [love] letter. And most importantly, this is not for you…

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