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I was lucky enough to be selected to study English Literature and Creative Writing for second year of University at Columbus State University in Georgia, Atlanta. The costs of international studies is very expensive, if you are feeling generous any shrapnel would be appreciated, absolutely no problem if you don't. I will be posting pieces of prose and poetry in return.
Maybe God is sitting in Heaven right now waiting for us to text back, doing his hair and makeup the mirror.
Maybe he just wants to go out dancing and forget about his responsibilities for a while.
Maybe he just wants a normal life. A 9-5 office job. Zero hours. Zero powers. Zero stress.
Maybe he’s a self-conscious, pimple-faced, acne-ridden, stretch-mark bearing, thunder-thigh mess.
Maybe he’s a heart-broken lover-boy with attachment issues.
Maybe he doesn’t believe in himself, because after all its people like me that aren’t sure if he even exists.
Maybe he’s embarrassed. He showed us his art and we laughed in his face, crunched up the paper and smashed the frame.
Maybe we’re his mistake.
Maybe we should give him a break.
Maybe we should talk to him instead of at him.
Maybe we should ask him how he is.
Maybe we should focus on ourselves instead of trying to impress him.
Maybe we should be ourselves instead of trying to be him.
Maybe we’re the unjust ones.
Maybe we’re ungrateful. He gave us everything. He gave us his everything and it still wasn’t enough.
Maybe he’s sorry.
Maybe admission to Heaven is only free because God is lonely too.
Stepping Out (Prose)
Today was the day I would reclaim everything. Reclaim what time has taken from me. Reclaim what was mine.
I pushed open the casket like some sort of archaeologist on the hunt for treasure, my treasure being daylight. Finally, after all these years I was back. Back on Earth. Back on solid ground. Nothing could stop me. As I stood staring at my coffin I caught a glimpse of how reckless time had been with me; my face was mangled; skin corroded showing pieces of skull and maggots were everywhere. My body was dishevelled and misshapen. The rigor mortis made movement excruciating, like nothing I had felt before, but I was too transfixed on the second chance I has been given to dwell on the pain. I had a mission to complete and I would not waste another second. I dusted myself off with the bunch of flowers that lay next to my old home. Attached was a letter that simply read ‘I miss you.’ It was my little girl’s writing I could tell straight away by the calligraphy. I tried to cry but was unable to. I pondered where she was and who she was. Surely, she was not the same innocent little girl I left her as. I didn’t even know the time, for all I know she could be a fully-grown woman with children of her own; I gasped at the thought. Why had time stolen me from her? ‘I’m so sorry Alice,’ I repeated to myself. What kind of cruel joke was this? How could you take a father from such a beautiful and small girl? I promised her I’d always be there for her, I promised I’d always protect her but instead I let her down. I let her exist in such a broken world, full of violence and pain, with nobody to turn to. What kind of man was I? I was nothing more than my father’s son. Just another stupid kid who made promises he couldn’t keep. I tried to compose myself and decided to leave the graveyard, heading left into town. I searched my pockets for money, but they were empty; ‘how am I going to get home?’ I pondered. I sat on the corner of the streets and began to beg. Nobody even acknowledged me. I guess I couldn’t blame them too much. I was a shell of a man, bones only partly covered with rotten flesh. I wouldn’t have stopper either. After a while I gave up begging and continued walking. A buzz was generating from the petrol station LED, the closer I got the more deafening it became. It had been silent for so long; the noise of living was going to take some re-adjustment. I perused the aisles of the petrol station, looking at all the delicious food I couldn’t afford, I touched the inners of my stomach; I hadn’t eaten in so long, or at least I thought, I still did not know the time. In the bathroom I splashed cold water on what remained of my face and finally took a good look at my reflection. My hair was completely riddled with maggots, the tatters of skin that did remain were so pale. I had to face up to the fact I was no longer the man I once was, I had become death. It was time to embrace that notion.
I started pulling off what remained of my skin; it was so coarse, snapping and crumbling into the sink. My inners were now fully out, I was nothing more than bones, I was now what time had forced me to become. I walked back into the shop, greeted by gasps of horror, people were unable to move; stiff with shock, barely able to cover their nose from the stench. I hadn’t even thought of the smell, I guess it was unworldly. I was so hungry, I asked the customers if they would help me, but nobody did, nobody moved. I had to take it myself. I used my exposed ribcage as a shopping trolley; stacking rows of chocolate and crisps in neat piles and ran for the door. I was expecting to be chased but as I looked behind me nobody was there, I guess they where all too scared. I liked that. I had a new sort of power my alive self never had; I struck fear into everyone who came into contact with me. The world was mine. I sat on a roadside bench and began my feast, I watched my reflection in passing car windows, I saw everything; how the food fell down my smooth throat down into my bare stomach; It was a sight to see. I did feel bad about stealing, I thought I would have outgrown it by now, but I had no choice if nobody cared enough to help, I had to care enough to take it myself. As I finished my first meal as death I continued on my journey. Down an ally I saw two boys and I was reminded of an all too familiar smell; a smell that had stolen a significant amount of time from me. I approached the delirious, spaced-out boys and simply asked for one toke, the response was laughter and confusion. I’m not sure why this bothered me so much, but it did. I pushed one of the boys to the ground and began hitting him with a fury of bony fists. Blood started to seep out of his mouth, the other boy begged for me to stop and I obliged; throwing him to the floor and giving him a similar result. I stood up and stared at the bloody mess I had made, I gazed at my hands as blood dripped down; finally, some moisture. I picked up what remained of the joint but as it touched my brittle teeth if burst into flames, what a waste. I felt less bad about beating up those kids then I did about stealing, it was a rough neighbourhood – what did they expect?
I was so thirsty now, everything about me was so dry; I needed moisture. I needed a drink. I headed into my old local bar Roberts in efforts to quench my thirst and avoid the police sirens in the distance, inevitably coming to ruin my fun. I went up to the bar and ordered a triple Jameson with ice, I chugged it down in one swift motion. The bar tender looked up at me asking for money; I laughed smashing the empty glass into his eye, blood gushed everywhere. I felt nothing. Until I saw her, standing at the end of the bar in the shadows, away from the any glaring eyes. She oblivious to my brutality. I felt a strange sensation overcome me and grinned devilishly; I had always found time to fuck my fucking life away. I grabbed her by the wrist and pulled her further into the darkness, the adrenaline was too much; it was ecstasy. I ripped off her silk dress exposing her to the night, the scent of a woman was enamouring. I started to kiss the back of her neck as I caressed her thighs, the rush of excitement was too much, and I had to take her. She tried to cry for help, but fear and shock muted her. Tears balled down her face, but I did not care. I had my way with her and pushed her into the better lit area of the bar. I laughed at her embarrassment and misery as she frantically covered her naked body with the remains of her dress, cursing the patrons of the bar for not helping her. I left the bar in a chipper fashion, but the night was still young; my mission could wait till the morning. I was ready for some fun, some real fun. I knew exactly where to go; The Den, my favourite nightclub. It was time to relive my glory days again, it had been for too long. As I got to the entrance of the club I saw two bouncers blocking my enjoyment. In front of me in the queue was a young couple, the girl had a small purse on a long, thin chain. I simply yanked the chain and sent them on their way, I opened her purse to find money. I gave some to the bouncer and in return he had the audacity to try and brand me with ink, I choked the two of them up against the wall and as their life ceased to exist I headed in. I again ordered a triple Jameson with ice, this time paying for it. I was getting tired I had spent the whole day walking, fighting and fucking, I needed a break. I sat down at an empty table and began to root through the girl’s purse; Emily Addison, born 18th June 1995. I quickly discarded her identification and to my surprise I found something I thought I’d never see again. It was two leery looking pills.
I woke up not remembering a thing. Feeling nothing more than a headache and a sense of shame. I had done it again. The evils of temptation had always been my downfall. I could simply never say no, and I always just took whatever I wanted. I thought dying would have taught me my sinful ways needed to change but I guess old habits die hard. I had never felt more like a failure then I did at that moment. I had never felt more like my father then I did at that moment. Sat in the gutter, with rain falling on my shoes I knew I must change forever and never look back. How could I protect my daughter from the horrors of the world if I was one of the horrors? I began piecing last night’s antics together in my mind. What was I thinking? I had been gifted a second chance and I spent it murdering, raping, stealing, drinking and doing drugs. What kind of man was I? I had single-handedly ruined so many lives in such a small amount of time. I again tried to cry but was unable. What was wrong with me? Why hadn’t I gone straight home to see my daughter? I missed her so much, and I had squandered an opportunity to see her. I was a failure as a father. I was a failure as a man. I thought about going back to the graveyard, stepping back in the coffin and spending eternity in darkness, it’s what I deserved. I wondered if my daughter even missed me and if going back was the right thing to do, re-opening sealed wounds, and for what? My own selfish pleasure? I didn’t deserve Alice. She was perfect. So beautiful. So precious. So kind. So loving. I cringed at all the states she had probably seen in me, but in every memory pictured no matter how inebriated I was I could never remember her looking at me with anything but love and acceptance. How did I help create such an angelic creature? I was nothing more than Satan spawn. I stopped dead in my tracks. I was now thinking like my father. Thinking about abandoning my child again. I knew how hard life was without a father figure, I didn’t want the same for Alice. Sometimes just showing up is enough, and at the moment that’s all I could offer. I started to feel a sense of hope, I felt like I truly was going to change and not only be a present father but a great father. The kind of father you see picking up their child from school, on time, asking them about their day and taking them out for ice cream. The type of father I had never been. The type of father my father had never been. It was time to get my act together. Time to find my baby and protect her from the horrors of this world, I was so close. I could almost hear her voice. Oh, how I long to hear that sweet, sweet voice, hug her and tell her everything would be alright. I was so scared though. What would I say to her? How would she react? Would she be happy to see me or try and kill me for all the misery my existence and death had brought upon her? No matter how hard it might have been I knew I had to do it. I couldn’t go on without seeing her even if it was for one last time. I fantasised about how she had grown in my absence. Was her hair still a crazed, curled mess? Had she finally got all of her teeth? Could she finally pronounce her ‘S’ words properly? She always made me laugh. I loved her more than anything. I was ready to be there for her and do whatever was best for her even if that meant leaving her. I hoped she could look past my new appearance and see it was her father. I hoped she could see how sorry I was for everything millisecond of misery I had caused. I hoped she could see I loved her more than anything, but I was hideous; on the outside and on the inside. Could she ever love me? Did she ever love me? I was riddled with anxiety. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and began walking home. It was finally time to see my little girl. It was finally time to finish my mission.
Suddenly I was there, stood outside my own house a stranger. I nervously opened the front door; ‘Hello?’ I muttered gently. ‘Hi Dad.’ Wait what? That’s my daughter’s voice, how could that be her response? But there she was in all her glory my little girl. Tears streamed down my skull as I wrapped my arms around her; ‘I love you so much,’ I uttered. She gazed at me confused; ‘you’re being weird Dad.’ I was so confused why was she not scared? I began looking around my house, everything seemed the exact same. In fact, the fridge was just how I left it. Drawings on the outside and milk, butter, orange juice and Jameson on the inside. It was like I never left. It was like I just stepped out.
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The best sister in the world.
Jun 6, 2018
Put another poem on here as good as that one and I will donate again. Absolutely smashing it. Proud.
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