Tears In Heaven

I know the pain you feel is great
Your heart almost refusing to beat
Your lungs refusing to fill themselves with air

The hopes you had for me now shattered
Dreams never realized My time with you cut way too short
So I wait for you here

As we walk these streets of gold
Worshiping our King of Glory Know that I will never be far from you

You will hear my voice in a soft whisper
Carried to you on the lips of a butterfly
You will feel my gentle kiss
As a raindrop hits your cheek just so

You will feel the strength of my embrace
As the sun warms you from above
You will feel me play in your hair
As the wind blows gently by

My laughter will be brought to you
Without warning and dropped into your ears
Familiar things I used to say
Will be said by others, even strangers

You will never forget me
I will live on in each one of your hearts
Memories of me will just come to you
That’s me visiting you and touching your hearts

I will also visit you in dreams
Though they may be painful at first
You will come to treasure those times too

I’m sorry to have left you so suddenly
I tried to stay and fight
I wish I could have said goodbye
But you know that I loved each of you dearly

The pain you’ve had to endure
The tears you’ve shed for me
Have filled many bowls here on heaven’s floor
Just know your prayers were heard

Even though you think they were not answered
I assure you, they were There are no tears in heaven, no sorrow
Nor are there any broken hearts

So I send my love to you
On the gentle and fragile wings
Of the majestic and beautiful butterfly.

By Brenda Matteson

Screaming In A Whisper

A five-year-old self, long blond hair, and bright blue eyes. Shy beyond measure. Innocent of the evil around me.

Walking up wooden basement stairs, nothing out of the ordinary except the purpose I’m down here. I don’t even give it a second thought.

As I ascend the steps, my foot gets caught up in the wooden plank. As if my foot has found a hole and slipped through. Struggling with great difficulty, I try to unpin my small foot. As I look at my foot, it becomes wedged in what looked like a cinder block. It is then I hear his voice. A monstrous and evil sound.

I pictured in my young mind an image of him, which frightens me to this day. He has sharp jagged teeth, long and matted black hair. His eyes glow with orange and red. His nose not even evident on his face. His fingers are long and sharp. Absolute terror grips my mind and body.

I continue to struggle with the stairs. The plank finally releases me, however, the entrapment of my feet on the steps continues. My legs are becoming weak, feeling as though full of concrete.

I can’t scream out for help. Fear paralyzes my throat and lungs. Tears well up in my eyes and streak down my cheeks. Too young mentally to handle any of this.

His voice becomes more like a guttural growl. And he’s making his way up the stairs. I can’t see his face yet, as he’s still wrapped in the shadows. But he is close enough that I can hear him breathing.

I continued to struggle but finally make it to the door. Wrenching at the knob meets me with resistance immediately…locked. My voice returns and I begin to scream, but the sound stops at my lips. It’s as if I’m screaming in a whisper.

I yank at the door, but it still doesn’t budge. I can feel his breath on my neck. Doing what all young children do…I cover my eyes with my hands. If I can’t see him…he isn’t there! But…he is there!

Feeling his hand touch and then grab my arm, my body clinches, as he jerks me back down into the shadows.


Sidenote: This is a recurrent dream I’ve had ever since I was a small child. It’s less frequent now than it has ever been, but it still wakes me wanting my mother!

Til The Very End

The sun barely hung onto its place in the sky.

Darkness slithering in to chase the light away.

My friends and I welcome the shadows.

Our place to be tonight is in a shallow forest nearby.

Running in and out of the trees hiding from each other.

Things changed quickly as darkness settled in.

I thought he was my friend

I never thought he’d turn into a mean backstabbing psycho.

But the moon changed him as it rose higher and higher.

His fingers were long and thin.

His face covered in the dark soil of the forest.

He smelled of animal feces.

His eyes were dark and sunk into their sockets.

Dark gray-streaked hair crowned his head.

His laugh and voice were menacing.

We all ran in different directions trying to escape his wrath.

Some fell victim to his chaos quickly.

The rest of us were determined to survive the evening.

I watched as he took my brother down near an old fallen tree.

As he fell he hit his head on a low branch and blood poured from his temple.

A deep yelp escaped my brother’s throat followed by laughter.

Running non-stop, my lungs ached and burned.

Wrenching over, my dinner plunged to the rich soil.

My head spun in circles and nausea gripped my throat.

It was harder to see now that the sun lost its footing above.

The moon…not as bright as the last few nights but still able to cast shadows.

Another scream and laughter, another friend falling to his chase.

I can’t hear any of my friends.

I’m tired, sweating, and completely out of breath.

I can’t see him but I know he’s close.

A twig snaps to my left.

Spinning around I see him and he’s smiling.

I begin to slowly walk backward then turn to run.

I can hear him catching up to me.

I scream, trip, and fall in the brush.

I hear his laughter one last time as he grabs my arm.

His final words to me, “Tag you’re it!”

Found Out In Left Field

Laura had been watching Ron intently. She knew something was coming that was out of character for her husband. She had also seen him pause on the drawing of their happy stick family. She too teared up. But knowing all of this, she began nagging Ron again.

Ron thought You will never learn. You are going to run your mouth until the day you die, which will be today. He closed his eyes and took deep slow breaths. 

He walked over to her with the staple gun in hand. Grabbing her lips and pressing the gun to the top, he squeezed the handle. Empty round, staples jammed. She began screaming immediately. It was all he could do to hold her head still. He hit the handle one time to test the gun. A staple shot out of the gun and into the wooden floor next to Laura’s foot.

Placing the tip of the staple gun to her top lip again and squeezing, the staple entered her lips with a jerk. He stapled her top and bottom lips to her chin. Laura screamed out and ripped her top lip in half all the way up to her nose. Blood poured and pooled on her shirt and lap. It was difficult for Laura to form words, but she still ran her mouth, spraying blood onto her husband's shirt and face.

He stepped over to his workbench and laid down the staple gun and grabbed the nail gun. He shot a round into her arm from five feet away. Her face was still red but not from anger alone.

Laura couldn’t imagine what was going on in Ron’s head. If she could get out of this, she’d make him pay! (She still wasn’t getting it)

Grabbing Laura’s face, he pried her jaws apart. Placing the nail gun head into her mouth, he shot her tongue three or four times pinning it to the roof of her mouth. She gurgled and coughed out blood. Laura was crying uncontrollably and gagging on her own blood as her mouth filled quickly.

As Ron stepped back, he noticed her eye growing blood red. One of the brads had pierced her right eye. “I couldn’t have planned that on my best day, he thought, Oh wait, this is my best day!”

He lumbered over to the pile of wood scraps and picked out a piece of plyboard that was round. Nail gun still in hand, he walked over behind her. He placed the round board to her head and pulled the trigger. The compressor kicked in, air moving through the hose, and nailing the board to the back of her head. Laura passed out instantly.

Ron walked around to the pile and chose a 2 x 1” board about three foot long. He nailed this to the round plyboard and to the back of the chair. He then stepped away to think about his next move.

Laura woke with a slow and weakened state. Realizing she could no longer freely move her head nor could she speak, she moaned weakly and tried to look around the garage moving her eyes back and forth quickly. But because of the brad in her eye, she had to rely on peripheral vision. She couldn’t see Ron. “Where is he,” she thought.

Laura was in a great deal of pain, all over really but especially her mouth and the back of her head. The taste of blood made her heave. Vomiting now would be really bad. 

Suddenly there was a noise, a slight cough behind her. 

Ron stood and came around where she could see him. For the first time, she realized how stressed and sad he was. All she could do was look at him with concern. The realization came to her suddenly, she had driven him to do this. But she never would have imagined he could be so cruel and violent.

Ron noticed that her countenance had changed. She now had no anger written on her face, only soft concern. How dare she? He needed to make her angry at him again. There was no way he could continue to torture her if she maintained this soft composure. 

Grabbing the staple gun, he grabbed her ear and stapled it to her head. No reaction except a wince and a muffled cry. Tears flowed freely and she didn’t become angry.

Funny how you can love someone so much and somehow, somewhere you lose the love. Tragedies of life change people in drastic ways. Love becomes a bitter taste in the mouth. It’s a sad truth.

Ron could only look at her, and he could see and feel her regret. And now he felt his own regrets too. He looked at what he’d done, he was horrified. No way he could live with himself after this.

Ron walked outside and called 911. Told them his wife needed help. When they asked what was going on, he said, “I tried to kill her.” Giving the address and where to find her, he ended the call.

Slowly, he walked back inside his garage. He grabbed his pistol and placed it in his mouth and pulled the trigger as he stood in front of his wife.

As published in Sirens Call issue 42, Dec 2018

Empty Loneliness

Voices, visions, faces, and pain swam through her mind at a quickened pace.

Her heart is made of gold, but her mind chaotic,

Her arms…empty.

She just wanted to be loved the way she loved.

To be respected and to be shown goodness.

In some other universe, maybe she would be.

But in this one…she doubted she’d find him.

The world loved to play games with her, encouraging and teasing her just to drop her.

What did she have to do to be loved? Pretend to be someone she’s not?

Beauty? She had none, not physically anyway.

Ugly to the bone? She fit that bill perfectly.

Goodness, kindness, acceptance, and love? That would always be who she was.

But though men say that’s what they want, skin beauty is all they truly desire.

Work, play, and love as hard as she can, but they place little value on her.

She’s just a non-impressive face in the crowd. The crowd made up of the normal to spectacular beauty.

Her face, her love, her voice…forgettable.

Not deserving of anything in return, only disgust.

She has so much to offer others,

but no one wants what she has.

So her arms remain…empty.

But filled with loneliness.

Brenda Matteson