Author and artist K. Leigh sets out to create one small piece of written work every other day, accompanied by spurts of either found or made imagery that fits narrative aesthetics on the uneven days. This is a living document art piece that explores thought, emotions, social topics and more.
Micro-fiction in blistering technicolor. Searing truths in purple prose. Writing-work that can't live elsewhere but deserves its own space to shine brilliantly in a tech-art piece. Enjoy the work. If you love it, there's plenty more planned and far more where that came from:
A knob-kneed youth in a petal-pink frock stands before a white pool. The pool is a circle in opals, cut perfectly by red-orange earth. The red-orange earth extends as far as the eye can see and blurs into a yellow, box-like sky. That box-like sky is alien, immutable and neon.
The youth dips a toe into the water. It’s cold, like milk. It clings, like oil. It scalds, like acid. With every step, their bone-limbed body bleeds ink until they quite simply cease to exist.
They leave behind only the frock and a curious mark: a brushstroke smile. There’s happiness to hiding in milk-soup.
You approach the pool.
You will never not approach the pool.
But you can choose to never enter it.
A hero is bestowed with a quest, either by fate, birth, happenstance, etc. The hero is possibly a stand-in for the reader.
For this reason they are: plain but obsessively/dangerously lusted after, smart but average, unremarkable but powerful, and/or perfectly imperfectly mediocre.
A guide appears conveniently. They are likely marginalized in some way and very wise. They set the hero on the path, they likely die to create emotions, and then more events happen. Maybe a romance occurs.
If the genre is YA, there will be a black screen that falls into place from beyond the void. If the genre is adult, there are likely flower euphemisms or descriptions of sad tits. If the genre is queer, but written by a cishet, the sex is both bad and weird.
The bad guy is very bad. We know this because they do bad things, are bigoted stereotypes of evil, or they impede the good guys. The good guys are very good. We know this because even if they do bad things, the author doesn’t care.
Marginalized characters die whenever because they’re plot devices. Mental illnesses explain demons or make the villain[s] more evil. Black characters aren’t real in historical fiction.
The good guys win, the bad guy loses and everyone claps
I have half a mind to eat you entirely someday. From the top of your head to your unruly brows, cleaving a strong neck to your sun-kissed shoulders, sliding the angle of your elbow with a wet mouth, sipping fingers like wine, edging the collarbone, clasping pink between my teeth, darting a gentle tongue to the valley of your navel, running my nose along the ravines of you that draw me to your freckle, a journey to your very toes—and of course a stamen that blushes at me.
I don’t ever remember wanting to consume someone like this. I don’t ever remember wanting to sit inside someone for very long, either. To rest in your head for all its sweetness. To hold you and be held by you. To sleep, at peace finally, to sleep and fear no old ghosts because you breathe and exist and hold me.
I have half a mind and you don’t fault me for it, but you could if you were anyone else.
But you choose not to.
I am a coward. I drape some colorful, chloroformal pageantry on what I think and it becomes a painted shroud. Not unlike a pretty, painful, glittered something-said, but indirect.
It’s always indirect.
Indirect means I get to live.
Honesty is dangerous. I can only ever be uncowardly in certain ways, one of which is hate. For ages, I thought that was all. It took truly being loved to know another flavor of it.
True love wasn’t known at the start of all things. It wasn’t even the best of times for me and mine. It was when my partner, a then-coward, wounded me in a way I shouldn’t have survived. Instead, he let me hurt him back.
Honest, loving, aching, sobbing, hurt and hateful, with weak, stupid slaps and fitful, terrorized screaming, he let me. He loved me enough to promise a never-again. Then he loved me enough to forfeit life if he couldn’t keep it.
I’d never had anyone promise their life to protect mine. I’d never even had anyone love me enough to let me show honest pain, even.
True love affords honesty, but that’s the only other flavor besides hate, I’m afraid. I will keep the indirect protective prose, because I was not born an artist, you see.
I was born vulnerable.
We’re all estimated like a thin slip roll at the checkout.
Held between the fingers to scrutinize for the worth of it all, or the lack thereof.
Exceptional estimators dabble in espionage for survival and only that. We know smudge-finger inkers would leave off the tax and that’s where they get you.
It’s logical I’d be a spy with a pink paper mask to avoid exorbitant fees.
When one is submerged they might think to ask for help. Thinking for help and asking for help are two very different things, you know. If you’ve become accustomed to asking and never receiving, you might not think to ask ever again. You might not even dare to think at all. I merely float until there’s enough congealed energy to kick. Maybe once, maybe twice, and then after hours, there’s the shore my body sails to, all on its own.
Landing, beached and mostly deceased, the curious ones marvel at the genius of my passage.
Such a self-reliant mermaid. Such a marvelous journey.
Up on my arms, body numb and blue, all that’s left to do is pull myself across the hot sand. They clap, as they always do, and maybe congratulate themselves for being there. Yet there’s never any pull, is there? No true risk for the heavy, half-dead body. I no longer think to ask.
Most people never notice when someone says all the right words but barely moves unless beneficial. Like a slow-rolling boulder until convenient, yet even then, they’re a synthetic slab of earth that wouldn’t know natural tectonics if magma made an introduction. Sadly cursed in seeing every meager mountain for exactly what it is, I’m left scrutinized before I raise my tool. For nobody likes a quarryman defacing such proud symbols of shining solidarity.
People assume those like me brandish a wordsmithed axe for gold, as though the cracks have anything unfoolish to begin with. In truth, the careless stones crush if left alone for long enough. Dominating the skyline foreverly, they’re liable to slide when provoked without looking at what’s below. Tiny, tended plots suffocate and die. Gentle earths trampled are starved of seminal rains, left loveless and unseen, because the stone is grand. The stone is great. The stone only moves to secure itself, leaving nothing but nothing for nobody at all.
Save your sympathy for the smeared flowers those like me pull free with old tools and older hands. The mountains do not need it.
Imagine, if you will, the loneliest person. Whoever that is in your mind, hold it there. Maybe they’re the guy who never talks to anyone, who sits alone, eats alone, lives alone. Maybe they’re the woman who puts career above all else. Maybe they’re the question mark, sifting through life on a dotted line that won’t ever let them fly free of it. In truth, those are tropes of loneliness found in television. The reality is much stranger.
I am an alien in these odd human lands, sifting through their social fiction. I surround myself with people, a traveler from another world, I learn their speech and flatter them. Until I talk of space. Then I’m shot and killed for being indecipherable.
I am a demon in these frail human lands, affected yet assumed malignant. Their mortality is curious. I entertain, ply with gifts and forsake my own nature for their comfort. My nature, which is dangerous competency. I grow a single horn and I’m exorcized.
I am a robot flying above these primitive human lands, trying my best to force a landing on a yellow dotted road. I extend a hand to take someone with me and I’m shot with a rocket for all the useless effort.
True loneliness doesn’t look lonely. True loneliness is a desperate attempt at being human and never succeeding.
Never be too trusting of someone who can’t dabble in a little gleeful nonsense.
The serious take their fun as seriously as a frontal lobotomy. Without it, we’re all wildly inflexible. You can’t trust the seriously unamused to ever hold your heart in confidence, for that’s a flexible, gleeful nonsense-object.
I have, not once, related to womanhood in the entirety of my life. I don’t know what that word means to begin with. How does the experience feel? Is it kittens and pink? That certainly isn’t accurate. Well, is it gestational? That isn’t right either. Womanhood would then be defined, personally.
By someone that isn’t me.