Tag Archives: home

Safe Haven



I had none.

School, where children

bullied relentlessly

was an escape from home.

Church, which was

supposed to be a place

of sanctuary

and worship was instead

another battleground.

Home was a confusing

mess of lies

and emotional abuse

for years.


At home,

my grandparents

didn’t believe I was being

treated badly

on all fronts.

I was shouted at constantly

for doing things

that should’ve been

considered normal.


I wanted my mommy.

You’re going to your


I wanted my mommy.


“Daddy” was someone

I was sent to when

my grandparents wanted

a weekend to themselves.

I repressed my memories

of him,

but they came

flooding back

when I write.

And I have

to keep my head


to stop them.


My mother, I wouldn’t

see for months at a time.

My mommy took me to Starbucks

for hot chocolate.

My mommy took me doll


What did you do with yours?

Nothing. I didn’t see her.


Momless crybaby!


School was a fucking


Classes were easy,

socializing was hard.

Everyday I sat beside

someone who made fun

of me.

Made fun of:

My lisp

My being over sensitive

Being friendsless

Being awkward

Being bisexual


Bisexuality is not a fucking choice!


Church made accusations.

You’re a sinner:

for being a child

for not fitting in

for having a talent

for having no talent

for caring for schoolwork

for being bullied

for being on the lowest rung

for being a girl

for being gay or bi

And you’re going to Hell.


My peers eventually

stopped bullying


I guess a black

eye and split lip

is enough to

change minds.

The church kept


My grandparents

noticed me getting

a mind of my own,

a sign of

growing up.


They cracked down.


Eventually they gave

up forcing me to church.


I have a safe haven now.


It is not in my mind

or my heart.

Those still need



My safe haven

are two, strong

arms holding me tight,

belonging to the man

whose ring I wear;

My friends who

noticed my changes

and helped me accept them;

Hollins University where

the grass grows green,

the teachers like Charlotte

Matthews and Lawrence

Wayne Markert are these

epic, supporting people, and

where the new friends I’ve

made—like Patty, Lauren, Lucretia,

and Shoshana—know

how to love like sisters.


I have found my safe haven

and I hope I can be one

for my baby.

A Moment in Time

Kristin stared at the television, confused by what she saw. There was some sort of cheerleading movie on and while it appealed to the girly-ness of her character, it also frightened her a little. She quickly switched to BBC America where Doctor Who had already started. Matt Smith was running around with the Doctor’s new companion. Kristin enjoyed her. The girl reminded her of a souffle that was just about done. It still needed to peculate in the oven, but it would be perfect when finished. Her phone vibrated, surprising her enough to launch her in the air. Cursing silently to herself, she hoped her mother wasn’t faking her out again.



“Honey its me! Bye!”



God, was she tired of it. She looked at caller ID. 555-5555 She answered, holding the phone to her ear as she turned the volume to the Christmas Special down.


“Hey, Kristin! Its us!”


“I know! Oh goodness. Okay, so I’m not really sure what’s going on right now in my life,” she sighed, falling back on the bed. After talking to her friends, J and David, she realized that she wished she could be in the same room, discussing the Christmas Special together.


As we live we grow

As we grow we learn

The greatest things

We learn which causes change


There are powerful things

That causes pain

Things that causes us

To remember


The ring of a mother

Who lost the battle

Of a lifetime


The picture of a man

Whose life went out

Right before Christmas


We learn about loss


There are powerful things

That remind us

That we have to go on

For ourselves and others


A warm smile

That makes you glow

From inside out


A ring around your finger

Tying you together

As your heart glows


We learn about love


These are the things

That shape us.

Clara’s letter to herself in 20 years

Dear Clara in 20 years,


Please don’t be afraid to let your children explore. Don’t let yourself down for forgetting anything you wanted, what I want now.

Please do the right thing. I have a bad feeling about what the future will hold.



Letter to 14-year-old Clara

Dear 14-year-old Clara,

God, what I would do to go back to then. At least to change one thing. Things do get better, but you have to leave that stupid village. Its a bad place for you, Clara. After they killed Father, there was nothing left. You’re old enough to take care of yourself. You just survived an attack from the Raptors. Get the hell out of dodge.

Don’t make the mistakes I did. I stayed, tried to fit in when I knew I couldn’t. Mother found another man and created another family. Don’t get attached to Em. She’ll be fine without you. I know she’s only an infant, but you need to stay away. You’ll get into the Tree Folks if you leave now.

Please think about it.



True Home

Someone was bound to have noticed my escape the moment my feet hit the ground, but it would never matter because we live in that kind of neighborhood. You know…. The ghetto. We hadn’t been here long when I met Edmond. We had hit it off splendidly in history class where I outsmarted Mister Fisher, who turned out to be Edmond’s biological father. Edmond introduced me to his stepfather, Emperor Edwardic (or Edward for short). He showed me the wonders of the Vampyre subculture and I’ve been hooked ever since. Which is what led me to sneaking out via the window.
I ran the twenty to twenty-five blocks to the higher class district where I paused at the tall gates of Villa de Vampyre, named for the gothic castle look you see in all those Vampyre movies. At least all but those horrid Twilight movies. Seriously, why change something that’s already working so damn well?
The guard let me in with nothing more than a wink and a wave. He never spoke. When I asked why Edmond told me that it was a story that would destroy my soul. I never asked again.
I walked up the long driveway that seemed to be as far a walk as the walk to the villa itself. The front door was a basic black, but had gold trim in the shape of bats and wolves. Emperor Edward never believed those silly legends about wolves being evil.
“Its because I’m evil incarnate myself, my dear… vic- I mean friend of my son,” he had said.
Remembering our meeting always brought fond thoughts to mind. Here, I feel wanted. It feels like family here. No God forsaken father who never really wanted me. No mother who blames me for all that goes wrong. This is where I’ve felt I belong since I first met Edmond. The door opened.
“Welcome, my dear Karmin.”

The Ride Home

If she says one more thing about my “F” I swear I’m going to murder her in her sleep. I’ve only been out of school for a few minutes and Mom is already busting my chops. Doesn’t she know that math is my toughest subject? She should, I mean I told her. She knows I can’t multiply to save my life. Why is she staking so much on a single subject?

Shouldn’t she be taking a chance to find out that I’ve been bullied? That non one believes me when I report it? Shouldn’t take a chance to find out the teacher was taking advantage of half the class’ ignorance about the subject to berate us? I love my mother, I think. I’m not really sure how I feel. I know I used to. Of course that was back when I was eight.

I peer at my watch. Only a few minutes has passed. Why do I have to deal with her now? My plans for the weekend are ruined. There will be no watching TV until I pass out or hanging out with my Masque de Vampyre friends at Hot Topic.

“Don’t expect to go anywhere. All you have to do is get one fucking ‘A’ in math. What is wrong with you?” she growls. I roll my eyes. Like she cares. I know that she’s with another man. Someone to make my dad jealous. Like Dad would care. He stopped coming around years ago. I definitely hate him.

“I don’t give a shit,” I say. I’m used to her. Gotta be after living with her for nineteen years, my entire life. My mother doesn’t seem to care. Why would she? I’m just some kid she got stuck after the man she thought loved her walked out on her.

How the hell will I sneak to the Masque de Vampire? I enjoy going to the ball. A long, navy blue ballgown and the crystal chandelier. The ballroom is positively beautiful.

The ten minute drive home feels like six hours, like always. Maybe I should just move out. I can’t afford an apartment, but the excellent Vampyre Emperor would help me. I could stay at his hous until we can find a suitable place to live. Emperor Aron has many more resources than these Mortals, these Humans could ever have. Mom would freak if she knew I’m apart of this “strange” world about Vampyres and the beautiful exchange of blood.

Walking up the steps of our little, brown shack at four-fifteen in the afternoon seems more like a punishment than being locked in my room. When locked in, I’m left alone and I can escape. The shack has thin walls that can be knocked down just by knocking on them. I’ve done it before. A couple of times on accident, actually.

“Karmin, are you listening?”

“Yes, Mother.”

“Why are you being so antagonizing?”

“Good job, Mom. You actually used a word with more than three syllables.”

“For God’s sake, Karmin!” she gasped, closing our wonderfully thin front door.

“God has nothing to do with it,” I mumble.  The three steps to my room are nothing more than three seconds. Three seconds of our painfully pink kitchen that mom had decided at one point was the central part of our universe, though we have no stove or oven, just a sink and a microwave. The time it takes my mother to lock me in is about twenty minutes. My door opens towards the kitchen, but has no lock. So Mother wraps the chains around two posts that are about the same height as the door and locks the chains. The chains rattle as she pulls and yanks. She always forgets the window. As soon as the clanging stops I leap.