Author: Julija Petkus

I try to blog sometimes.

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

A short lyrical piece; as always, feedback, thoughts, encouragement, etc. are appreciated and can be sent to sojustmethen@gmail.com

It all started as a regret, or maybe a worry about a regret. Or maybe a worry about worrying about regrets. I can’t quite remember. All I know is that once it started, it grew like a weed in fertile soil. Suddenly the little nagging voices became a cacophony. They turned into raindrops that fell so hard and so fast that they left welts on my skin and blurred everything around me. I thrashed and I screamed in my mostly blind state. I felt my fists sink into flesh, but I didn’t stop, couldn’t stop. I was soaked and cold and lost and confused.

With time the deluge lessened to a shower, then a sprinkling, then a mist. And one day without me even noticing, when the end credits on that drama were done scrolling, the rain was gone. I blinked in the newfound clarity, and looked around. Everything was clear for the first time in a long time and all I saw was emptiness. I knew you had left but I couldn’t for the life of me remember when, or why.

I forced myself to stop looking for you and instead, looked at the mess I had become. With a sigh, I picked up the chunks that had fallen off and superglued, duck taped, stapled them back on as best I could. I saw that I had grown a whole foot in the rain and my heart had a distinct squeak. I had come through better. I reached up to the sky trying to grow even more when I felt a pang in my heart. Confused, I cracked open my chest to see what was wrong. I pulled out a microscope and saw nestled in my sparkling ventricle, a single grain of sand. It didn’t look like much, but I could feel it rubbing and scratching my tender new heart.

At first I was annoyed. I tried to get rid of it. I hawed and I clawed trying to rid myself of it. The more I fought the more I shrank until I was almost the same size as before.

I stopped.

I don’t know when I became such a super sleuth, but I realized that this grain of sand was what was left of the beautiful crystal heart you once shared with me. I realized, that my rain had devastated the landscape around me, and I could not even fathom what it had done to the fragile thing you gave me for safekeeping.

And that’s where I am now. Every time I move, every time I breathe there’s a little itch, a little irritation, but I stretch my hands up to the sky anyway. I will treasure that pinch as not only a memory of you, but as a reminder of what I am capable of. I can’t shrink anymore for fear of wasting away to nothing, so instead I grow.

Besides, I have heard it said that every pearl of wisdom begins as a grain of sand.

Body Language

These are the first two chapters of a YA novel I’ve been working on. It’s a work in progress so I always appreciate feedback.

Chapter 1A

I slide in and out of consciousness. I see family and friends staring at me with tears and frowns and worry etched on their faces. I see nurses plugging me with holes and letting strange liquids into my body. I see doctors reading charts and shaking their head. I see a tray with food on it and a skeletal arm push it away.

I hear nothing. Smell nothing. Feel nothing.

Taste

Nothing.

Suddenly I am dragged into wake-ness. The room is white, blinding.

I hear beeps and buzzes and the murmur of voices.

Antiseptic burns my nose.

The sheets are rough beneath me.

Iron and cotton fill my mouth.

I am in a hospital.

Chapter 1B

Jamie stares at me. “Have you lost weight?”

“Uh yeah, maybe a little I guess.”

She’s silent. “I mean it’s not on purpose! I’ve just been exercising a lot you know and I’m actually happy since prom is coming up and I want to fit in a cute dress and I guess ive been eating less but that’s only because I’m not as hungry because of the exercise…”

“Yeah that makes sense. I’m going on a cleanse before homecoming for sure. I saw this really cute dress…”

I tune the rest of what she says out. I can’t believe she thought I lost weight. I look at my reflection in the windows across from our lunch table and see my fat face. I look at my hands and see sausages growing out of mashed potato palms. But maybe I have lost a little. I feel a spark of joy. Maybe it’s finally working.

Jamie and I take our trays to the trash. She glances at my tray.

“Cafeteria food makes me nauseous,” I say to the unspoken question in her eyes.

“I wish I had that type of self-control…” she looks down at her clean plate.

Then we head off to our separate classes. In history I stare at Mrs. Smith’s potato head and think she should go on a diet. In art, Mr. Jankins and his doughnut belly need to get off the couch for sure. In gym I get a bit woozy and have to sit out, but I don’t really like gym anyway. At the end of the day my mom is waiting outside to drive me to dance class.

“How was school?”

“Fine.”

We drive the rest of the way in silence.

Lets Play a Game

Lets play hide and seek. See if you can find me.

Answer this riddle to see where I am:

All things I devour:
Bird, beast, tree, and flower.
Forward is the way I go,
And there is no way to make me slow.
Peasant nor king can escape my wrath
Mountains and oceans neither my path.

What am I?

Click here when you’ve got it!

Protected: So You Think You’ve Got It, Huh?

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What Goes Up, Must Come Down

There she is, bro-

ken, lying at the bottom of the stairs.

What a mess. Crap…what the heck am I going to do?

Sighing, he walks down the stairs, carefully stepping to avoid the blood.

He stares at the mangled corpse running through his possible options, I could wait until

night and bury her maybe? Or throw her in the lake. I can’t throw the whole

body though…I need small manageable pieces. Where could I

cut her up? He decides that the kitchen would

be easiest, because there he

could clean up the

blood

easy-peasey. And that way he wouldn’t need to cross through any extra rooms. He drags her straight from the bottom of the stairs into the kitchen. He feels a surge of satisfaction messing it up. This had been her space, her pride and she kept it immaculate. He thought it fitting that he was ruining the spotless white floors with her blood. He grabs each of the many knives in their kitchen one by one, testing the weight. Thank god she was a professional chef. He settles for the butcher knife with its heftiness and perfectly sharp blade. Granted, all the knives were perfectly sharp.

“Thank you, darling. Your OCD has saved me quite a bit of time.”

The knife sparkles as he strikes her.

First the arms:

Wrist,

Elbow,

Shoulder,

Repeat.

Then the legs:

Ankle,

Just below the knee,

Right between the ball and socket of the hip,

Repeat.

Finally the head,

Right where the spine meets the base of the skull.

Perfect, she would have been proud.

He wraps up each piece in trash bags with one of the coffee mugs that she loved to weigh it down. They had tons of them and each one had a cute or funny little phrase or picture. He enjoys matching the pieces with the mugs. ‘Hang in there’ with the right arm; ‘fall seven times, stand up eight’ with the left leg; and so on. He puts her favorite god-awful flowery mug with her head. He then piles all the bags on her perfectly clean granite counter, and walks back to the base of the stairs.

There is a large red stain there, and a challenge. The blood has soaked into the carpet and it won’t come out completely no matter how many times it is washed, but then again someone would notice if it was gone. It was a point of pride for her that rug. Persian, cost a fortune and she pointed it out every time someone was over. What to do? If I bleach it, there’ll be a spot and that looks bad, but I can’t get rid of all the blood otherwise…hmm. He decides to clean the stairs while he’s thinking.

There isn’t

very much blood on the

stairs only on the one where she

gashed her head. Here there is a large,

red, glistening, puddle that has

started to drip down

to the stairs

below.

He goes over the area with a fine toothed comb. He makes sure there isn’t even the smallest speck of blood left. This monotonous task allows his brain to puzzle over the rug and figure out what to do.

A slow smile spreads across his face, he’s figured it out.

Clean the blood with bleach and then cover up the white spot by spilling the paint left over from the living room on it. He hated that shade of blue anyway, it was her pick, and it would clash wonderfully with the rug. He bleaches the rug and then take the leftover paint and gently tips it onto the spot. He tries to make it look like the paint was knocked over and then hastily tried to be cleaned up. When he is satisfied with his work he returns to the kitchen to finish the job.

He takes the packages on the counter and packs them into the trunk of his car. He drives to the lake slowly and without incident. Once there he makes sure no one is around and opens the trunk. He takes each bag and throws them as far as he can in the lake

one

by

one.

He hums the whole time.

Buy the mug int eh picture here!

Comic Book Idea Fleshed Out

The car crash that took my legs wasn’t really anyone’s fault. It was winter and the roads were slick. We hit a patch of black ice and swerved into the other lane. All I remember are bright lights and a screech.  Then I woke up in the hospital. I didn’t notice I couldn’t move my legs until the doctors asked me if I could. I was bruised and banged up but somehow it didn’t register that there was pain everywhere but my legs. Some people may have been in my position and been disheartened, and don’t get me wrong I totally was for a little bit, but I couldn’t mope. That just wasn’t me. When I realized that I hated the person I was turning into, I turned to the one thing that had always helped me get through hard times, engineering. I did research and tests and built computer models and physical models. And finally, I had a pair of hydraulic legs. I had to ask a friend of mine for help developing the neural interface, but the rest of the work was my own. And in the end, I could interact with the world in a way that someone with paralysis had never done before.

I knew I had to help others like me, so I started trying to find someone to produce my technology and share it with others who needed it. That’s when Ms. Forseon approached me. She was a striking lady, and I’d never met someone like her. She was smart, funny, charming, and just happened to run a multi-billion dollar tech company. She wanted to make my leg technology available to other paralysis victims, and maybe even develop other limbs and enhancement. She painted a beautiful picture of a world where no one had to feel left out or disheartened by paralysis. I was so naïve…

So, I handed over my designs. The first thing she did was patent all of them, and that’s when I started getting suspicious. Then, some villain who called herself Eon Force showed up wearing a modified version of my design! I went to the police, my parents, my teachers, but nobody believed me! They all said that I was too young to concern myself with such things, and that I should go play with my dolls or something. As more and more villains showed up wearing bits and pieces of my technology, I finally had to take matters into my own hands. I engineered a full suit based on my original legs, and set out to stop evil on my own.

Some concept art:

Eon Force Ms. Forseon, normal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

super hero

If you want to make your own super hero, here are the creators I used: Eon Force/ Ms.Forseon and Cybergirl

Brainstorming Kid’s Book Ideas

Idea 1:

A young girl creates worlds with her mind, but eventually she gets picked on so much she grows out of it. She goes through life trying to fit in until she meets an extraordinary child who shows her the magic inside her again.

Idea 2:

A children’s story told by parents in the Warhammer 40K universe about the Emperor of Man.  The story is meant to teach kids about their ruler and indoctrinate them into the religion. The book tells of the savior of mankind and his wonderful deeds while glossing over the bad parts.

Idea 3:

The story of two changeling children in the Dresden Files universe. They realize together that they are different and special and become fast friends. However, as they grow they discover that one is Summer Fae and one is Winter Fae. They struggle against their ‘destinies’ and in the end discover that friendship can overcome many odds.

Idea 4:

I comic book about a young girl who loses the use of her legs as a child but learns about technology and engineering to create a new set of legs. She is pressured by a big corporation to sell her designs to them, but finds out that they are trying to create super soldiers with her proposed technology. She ends up having to don a mask in order to take down the corporation and save the world from their evil plan.

If any of you out there are artists and feel inspired contact me please. Or if you want to steal my ideas I guess that’s okay too. I don’t really care who writes them but I think we definitely need more nerdy children’s books.