New Poem: We’ll Never Learn

(Photograph by Melissa R. Mendelson)
We’ll Never Learn by, Melissa R. Mendelson
We spent hours clearing the land,   tearing at the past wherever it might stand.   We cut every shard of grass down to its root  and crushed every seed with the bottom of our boot.  We ripped and clawed until the earth bled.   We deprived the past of what it was fed.   We broke its body and its bone.   We tore the soul from its home.   When finally satisfied, we covered the land in lie,  leaving the past alone to die.   Now, if someone tries to dig up the truth,   it would be like looking for a dinosaur’s tooth,  and the land would be tight with fabrication.  And we would succumb to that medication,   believing every fiction that is told.   Read it now - fake news being sold,   and what of the past but a defiant tree  breaking slowly through the earth, threatening to be free.   And we will be waiting with our axe,   sparing the generations to come that may ask  haven’t we learned from our mistakes  because if we do not, it would…

Ghost in the Porcelain Novel Excerpt: Chapter 12

“Mommy, your hand is shaking,” Chelsie said as she held her hand. “Is it? I didn’t notice,” and Beth walked toward the front door.  She took a deep breath in and pulled out her house keys.  She sighed and unlocked the door.  Darkness greeted her, but nothing else.  Still, she lingered in the doorway, and Chelsie bolted into the house. “Chelsie, wait,” she screamed, but Chelsie didn’t listen to her. Suddenly, Beth heard the phone in the kitchen ring.  She cursed under her breath as she stepped into the hallway. She was about to turn on the lights when Chelsie beat her to it, and Beth blinked as her eyes adjusted to the light. And she hurried into the kitchen to answer the phone.   “Hello?” Beth’s voice shook.  “Hello?” “Mrs. Evans?” “Yes. Who’s this?” “It’s Doctor Castel.  You okay? You sound out of breath.” “Yeah. I just walked into the house and heard the phone ring.  Everything okay with Kelsey?” “Well, that’s why I’m calling you,” and Beth felt her heart drop.  “Kelsey’s doing a lot better…

Poem: Burnt Sand Castles

Burnt Sand Castles by, Melissa R. Mendelson
All the land around me is afire,   burning down to their heart’s desire,   and all my memories lie in ruin.   That’s what we get for assuming  that they would just be satisfied,   but all it did was feed into their lies.   Now, we plant the For Sale Sign,   and they continue to buy their time  to turn this ash into clay  and build a world for only them to stay.

Horror Short Story: Tears of a Clown

Tears of a Clown Melissa R. Mendelson
The cold beer felt good against Paul’s hand.  He nursed each sip as he sat back in the loveseat, staring at the man seated before him.  He savored each taste, running the man’s words across his mind.  He heard of small towns having their secrets, and some of those secrets were dark.  But what this man was telling him went beyond drama, and he didn’t believe in the supernatural.  He only believed in the cold beer in his hand. “I know that you are new to this town, Paul.  This town, Poenitet has its secrets.  Actually, it only has one secret,” the man sitting before Paul said. “Does that explain the adults dressed as clowns here?”  The man before Paul nodded.  “Does that explain why each family has their own clown?”  The man nodded again.  “So, what happened to your clown?” “Dave?  He died. Heart attack.  No one saw it coming, which is why I am here, Paul.  I heard that you were looking for work, and I am willing to pay you.  Just name your price.” “Matt,…

Movie Review: Clara (2018)

We spend our lives adrift, but we hardly notice being lost.  Instead, we set our sights on the furthest star, and we throw ourselves against the wall because we have to believe that something better waits on the other side. Or maybe it is all random, and we are nothing but particles, dust.  Our lives ebb and flow in so many alternate ways, and loss cuts us deep.  And we’re disconnected, never realizing that the strangers who find us are leading the way back to shore.  Their stories are fragments, little rocks to fall into the holes that have eaten away at us, and their foundation builds us back up and returns our hope.  And we regain our footing, only to slip once more across the jagged edge of tragedy, but instead of falling do we cling to their words, their vision.  And we see what they see, and no longer are we adrift but anchored to them.  And we move forward, throwing the past to the waves and saying good-bye, never expecting an answer back, but somewhere in the distance, the uni…

New Lyrics: I Went Upstairs in Darkness

I Went Upstairs in Darkness by, Melissa R. Mendelson
I went upstairs in darkness. The children were all in bed, Dreaming their innocent dreams, Only to awake after the sunrise.
I went upstairs in darkness. The shadows gave me peace. I took that moment of quiet To cry myself to sleep.
Chorus: This world is erratic. It haunts me every day. The news is onslaught, And I get down on my knees to pray. It’s the nights that I welcome. It’s the nights I wish to stay. The world seems so quiet, But its silence fades far, far away.
I went upstairs in darkness, Leaving my worry behind. The television’s on static, And the telephone wires are tied.
I went upstairs in darkness. Please, just let me be. I need to find an escape, Where I can only be me.
Bridge: I went upstairs in darkness as this world circles my home.  If I turn the lights on, I’ll see all that is wrong, and I just need some time alone. Before chaos kicks the front door in and all the children scream for school, I want to sit in this corner and listen to t…

Dystopian Short Story: I’m Not Sorry

I’m Not Sorry Melissa R. Mendelson
Emily stood beside her bedroom window and watched her fellow peers board the school bus.  Most of them ignored her or didn’t realize that she was watching them.  Two older boys noticed, and they turned her way.  And one gave her an ugly grin, and Emily touched the jagged, red scratch on her right cheek.  She watched the other boy smack his friend on the shoulder, and then they boarded the bus.  And the bus disappeared down the street. “I’m not going to work today,” Emily heard her mother say.  “I’ll stay home with you.”  Emily knew that her mother was standing behind her near the bedroom door, and she was waiting for an answer.  “Do you want to stay in today, Emily?” “I don’t care,” Emily sighed.  “I just don’t want to go to school.” “Well, you can stay home today, but you have to go back tomorrow.” “Do I have to?”  Emily turned and looked up at her mother.  “I really don’t want to go back.” “Emily, you have to, and your father would want you to.  Could you…

Short Story: When The Pennies Fall

When The Pennies Fall
(Inspired by Rest Haven, Monroe, NY) Melissa R. Mendelson
The birds wake me up in the morning with their chirping and flapping.  I hear them inside the walls.  I always wondered how they got in there, but it was a familiar, comforting sound.  There was no sound today.  That bothered me.  Summer was not over yet, and they usually left right before winter.  Then, they would return, telling me that spring was on its way.  They should be chirping and flapping right about now, but they weren’t.  And the silence broke into a symphony of snores. Becky had started to sneak into my room at night.  She didn’t want to startle me by crawling into the bed.  The bed was also small, so she slept on the arm chair to the left in the corner.  I didn’t know she was there until she started to snore.  Sometimes, she would even talk in her sleep.  At least, she would try to.  It was like she was chasing conversations with a ghost. The breakfast call sounded from the kitchen and marched up …