A River In My Blood

© Hannah Sears

© Hannah Sears

It’s not like anywhere else on earth. But I guess everyone says that about home. It’s not exactly a slice of heaven, and sometimes—ten months outta the year that is—it’s ten times hotter’n hell. But, when you smile at someone, chances are they’ll smile back. There may not be a barstool waiting for you in a place where everybody knows your name, but they’ll all act like they’ve known you forever soon’s you walk in. If you drive for half’n hour, you’ll see a cow or twenty. But a burger from a radioactive orange and white steepled drive through is better’n any filet mignon.

There’s something about the heat there, too—it’s a season more intense than what it’s called. It’s more than “summer.” It’s baking concrete and the salty tang of sweat. It’s ice-cold beer sweating on a picnic table and the kiss of iced tea on sun-pinked lips. It’s stinging fingertips and burning tongue from peelin’ crawfish all afternoon, freeing the ivory butter-soaked and spice-filled meat from flag-red shells and sucking the heads for that punch of cayenne, for the hell of it. It’s crispy golden french fries and buttermilk ranch that never saw the inside of a squeeze bottle and is thick enough to eat with a spoon.

It’s raindrops big as everythin’ else here—quarter sized drops that run down bare shoulders and sizzle on the blazing ground.  It’s the windows down with the wind blowing in and the seats sticking to your legs and no speed limit sign in sight. It’s sunsets with colors they haven’t invented names for yet; names no one would understand if they hadn’t seen it. It’s that bruised purple-blue of a blue-bonnet, the searing line of red-orange like a welder’s torch. It’s roads you could drive with your eyes closed because there’s somethin’ inside that would pull you right back home. It’s the siren-call of a steel guitar and the deafening thrum of cicadas. It’s heat-lightning storms with that dance in a blue-black sky.

It’s knowing you could drive for hours and still be inside the lines.

It’s knowing just how long it takes to leave. And that you never really do. 

Genesis of a Story

Fingers fly across the keys, bringing to life dark, dripping forests and the sultry sea breezes of far off dreams.

Darkness falls on the fingers, but in that other world the sun blazes to life, gilding faces and eyelashes and snowcapped hills with honey-gold light.

The sounds of passing cars fade into the darkness, replaced by the whistling wind through the naked, rattling trees and the whinny of velvet-nosed horses.

Their breath rises in ghostly wisps of steam, floating away in the wind that blows over mountains, valleys, rivers, oceans.

Clouds roll in superficial swiftness across the sky as characters are born and draw breath and perhaps die on the canvas that is their lives, their world.

The fingers pause. The chest rises and falls.

A battle is fought and won; the earth is stained with blood and the air rings with the eerie cries of the dying.

A baby squalls in the arms of its mother, its ragged mewling cries as herald its entry into the world.

Life is created, life is stolen.

There was day and there was night.

The first Chapter.