Hour 12 – My Closet

My father’s screams get louder as my mother scrambles to help his pain.

I can’t take the sound of my big strong father in agony, and I cover my ears.

It doesn’t help.


My heart races as panic rises within me.

I’m afraid to leave my bed but I gather the courage and run to my closet.

It is my safe place.


I close the door quietly behind me and the sounds beyond become muted.

My breathing calms and my heart returns to its normal rhythm.

I am safe here.


There are no monsters inside my closet because those are all beyond its door.

No one looks for me when I hide here, no one cares.

I am safe here.


Eventually, I hear my parents leaving for, I assume, the hospital.

They have forgotten I exist, which is sometimes for the best I have learned.

I am safe here.


In the morning I will get up, get dressed, feed myself, and wait for someone to come.

Eventually, they will send someone for me.

Until then I will be safe within my closet.


– Diana Kristine

Hour 11 – The Thicket

Into the thicket I go, following the fairies of old.

Away from pain, away from strife,

Away from evil, away from life.

Into the thicket I go, following the fairies of old.


– Diana Kristine

Hour 10 – The Cow

I rub my eyes and struggle to free myself from those moments between sleep and awake.

I hear it again, but I know this time that I am truly awake.

It is the sound of a cow right outside my window.


I don’t own a cow, nor do I live anywhere near anyone else that does.

I don’t even live in the country where one might just happen by.

But there it is once more, a cow, it is definitely a cow.


I pull myself from beneath the warm blankets and walk to the window.

As I open the blinds, there it is. A cow. And it’s looking right at me.

It moos again as if it wants something from me.


There is no one else around as it is just barely dawn and I don’t know quite what to do.

I decide to get dressed and see if it is injured, or stuck, or something. I don’t know what.

And I hear it moo again. More urgently. Perhaps rushing me?


I reach to open my bedroom door, but I jerk my hand back instantly.

It is burning hot to the touch.

The cow begins mooing more insistently if that is possible.


I feel the door and it too is hot to the touch and that is when I see the wisps of smoke curling under the door.

My house is on fire!

The cow’s mooing is getting louder somehow.


I stumble to the window where the cow is waiting, and I struggle to get it open.

It has been painted shut in some past redecorating project of mine – I panic.

The cow moves to the window.


I watch dumbfounded as the cow puts its head down and runs straight into my sealed window.

Glass shatters around me.

I shake off my disbelief and make my way out the window.

Sirens in the distance are getting closer.


The firefighters ask me if anyone else is in the house as they check me for injuries.

I tell them no, but I want them to make sure the cow is ok.

Later, at the hospital, I was told that no one ever found a cow.


– Diana Kristine

Hour 9 – The Diagnosis

The tremor started gradually.

Hardly noticeable to anyone but me.

But it spread beyond my hands and now threatened to swallow my entire body.


Doctors, tests, needles, scans, and then waiting.

The waiting is the worst part.

The not knowing; the wondering if my life is over or if I will be cured.


Today the wait is over.

I struggle to put on my jacket as I walk out the door.

It is early, before sunrise, and I trip over a bucket I forgot to put away the day before.


I finally make it to the other side of the carport.

My hand quakes as I try to buckle my seatbelt.

Even in the dark, I know my elbow is bleeding from the fall and my mood darkens further.


I watch the sun begin to stretch across the bayou as I drive past.

Knowing will be worse than the waiting.

I turn my focus back to the road ahead as I draw nearer to my death sentence.


– Diana Kristine

Hour 8 – Hello From Earth

Hello from Earth.

Are you out there somewhere on one of those twinkling stars?

Are you looking out into the vastness of space back at my star?


Hello from Earth.

Do you know I am here looking up at you?

Do you have advancements that we have yet to make?


Hello from Earth.

Do you wonder who else is out there on all those other planets?

Or are you content within your own place?


Hello from Earth.

Are you trying to build rockets and spaceships to try and reach us?

Or is that something you have yet to dream of?


Hello from Earth.

I hope to meet you one day and that we can become friends.

Until then I will wait and look up and imagine you waiting and looking up at me.


– Diana Kristine

Hour 7 – The Swing

It is a wooden board held aloft by a double cordage of rope.

The wind pushes the spirit of the girl who once was like an invisible hand.


Once it stood on rough, dry ground where the metal poles were moored,

But now a sea of sunflowers root it in place.


The breeze carries the faint sound of the girl’s laughter from long ago,

It can be heard between the silence and the sun.


The girl is gone now, too old for childish games,

But the swing waits in the company of the sunflowers hoping for her return.


– Diana Kristine

Hour 6 – The Earth’s Edge

I keep walking.

It has been years but I couldn’t tell you the exact span of time.

I have lost track.


The landscape changes.

It remains very much familiar to me with its colors, shapes, and vegetation.

And yet foreign.


I keep walking.

This path I am on will continue until either I reach the edge or my starting point.

I am unsure which it will be.


The horizon widens.

The heavens seem closer now than they were when I began.

I do not know why.


The landscape disappears.

I cannot see the land ahead; it seems to fade into the sky this time.

This is new.


I see the end.

I have discovered the edge of the earth and it is wonderous.

Terror fills me.


The vast expanse of sky.

It turns my fear into awe as I move slowly toward the edge.

I must see what is below.


I drop to a crawl.

I am too afraid to continue walking and being closer to the earth gives me a sense of security.

My hands curve over the edge.


I sink to my belly.

I scoot forward to peer cautiously over despite the vibrations of terror that shoot through me.

I lay still.


I cast my eyes downward.

And I am overwhelmed by the beauty that I see continuing without end both above and below.

I take a deep breath.


I exhale.

Exhilaration fills me and I push my body forward until I am surrounded by blue expanse.

I am falling.

Hour 5 – The House

It is time to go.

The past lay hidden in the walls.

All other memories have been removed.


I can hear the echoes of our history,

They speak to me and beg me to stay.

But I must move on.


These walls sheltered me and kept me safe.

They hold my secrets and whispered fears.

But they won’t tell.


My life began within these walls,

And it was here that others’ lives ended.

But still, they remain.


I’ve grown and these walls began to press in on me.

Secrets from others threaten to overwhelm me.

But they will not defeat me.


It is time to go.

My future waits in a new place,

A place where fresh memories will be stored.


– Diana Kristine

Hour 4 – The Bride

The girl stands still before the closed doors in front of her,

Her hands shake a delicate petal tumbles to the red carpeted floor beneath her.

She feels the satin ribbon around the stems dampens with perspiration.


The girl turns her head slightly careful to not undo the elaborate perfect curls,

Her father’s sparkling eyes meet hers and he gently pats her hand that grips his opposite arm.

She relaxes her grip slightly and exhales slowly.


Her planner orbits her smoothing the layers of lace, tucking in a stray hair,

And fluffing the long train behind her before standing in front and ensuring all is ready.

The planner smiles broadly at the girl who nods.


The planner whispers into a small radio and the girl feels her father stiffen slightly beside her.

The music begins as the double doors swing wide.

She is frozen until she looks at the end of the aisle and sees him.


Her vision blurs behind tears of joy as the crowd rises and turns toward her.

She takes a breath and steps forward.

The girl moves down the aisle to walk toward her new life.


– Diana Kristine

Hour 3 – The Pit

Cold, invisible fingers wrap around my bare arms.

I try to blink away the inky veil in front of me.

I feel a warmth crawl down my leg and onto the rocky ground beneath me.


I try to move as an agonizing scream ushers forth from my lungs

And then silence as it wafts up toward the daylight peering in from above.

My surroundings press in around me.


The reality crushes me as I force my mind awake from unconsciousness.

He pushed me and he has left me.

The man I love has abandoned me to a cruel end.


A romantic hike during my dream vacation and it was all a lie.

He fooled me and I allowed it.

And now I will die for my stupidity.


He wanted to explore somewhere no one else had been.

He talked me into following him deep into the forest.

No one comes this way. No one will find me.


A vise restricts my throat as a sob pushes through.

I want to live. I am alive and I want to live.

Hopelessness washes over me as my heart pounds in my ears.


I see the sun through the trees at the opening to the pit above me.

Life continues unaware that I am helpless.

I can do nothing to save myself; all is lost.


As my eyes adjust to the blackness, I can see the blood pouring from my wounds.

My leg lays at an unnatural angle and the pain radiates through my entire body.

I take a breath and wish it all away, but it remains unchanged.


I am growing tired now; my life leaks from me and pools in the dirt.

The ground laps it up greedily.

I cannot stop it. I am helpless.


I no longer fight against the weight of my eyelids and let them close.

I slump back against the wall of the pit.

I breathe out and let the pit swallow me.


-Diana Kristine