Mar 22
zazu's picture

The silence before you speak

The silence is small,
Forgotten in the chaos.
The pause of barely a heartbeat.
A breath between the words,
A frown a second before the smile.
The little moments that make us wonder what you're really thinking,
Why there's always a calm before the storm...
Why I can always tell when you're lying because your left eye always twitches up to the ceiling in the space before you speak.
The moment before you open your eyes...
Or you wipe away the tears before you think we've noticed your crying.
I know  those are the moments you tried to hide before anyone else sees,
Or notices the awkwardness or glances.
You've become pretty good at making your thoughts practically invisible now...
The little details that tell a whole story,
In the silence before you speak.

Mar 18
zazu's picture

Upside down and backwards

Isn't it weird he's always laughing?
Shouldn't he realize that there's a time to make jokes and a time to keep them to yourself?
Why does he not seem to care whenever serious stuff happens?
Why is he always the first one to break the silence when something bad happens with some dumb remark and a cheesy smile?
That's what people say about him.
Sometimes their comments are meaner...
Somedays he looks more alone...
But I always thought I understood him.
The fact that tense situations make him uncomfortable, I mean,
That he doesn't mean to laugh when something's sad or awkward, but he can't help it.
He's just the kid that can't stand the silence.
Humor is just his way of dealing with the bad and the scary and hard things, 
But it isn't his fault.
Mar 17
zazu's picture

On days like these

Life is always different in the movies.
When crisis comes there's always a hero.
When the underdog has it rough,
he somehow manages to find the kind of friends that everyone wishes they could have.
When someone dies it's always more dramatic than in real life.
When the shy, quiet kid starts singing their voice  always sounds perfect.
Suddenly the quirky kids are the cool ones.
Everything seems so obvious.
You've figured out the mystery before the main character has, because they're always the last ones to know.
You love the characters and their stories,
But then there's some you hate. 
If you care enough you'll always end up feeling sorry for someone in the end.
I wish you could do that in real life,
That you could know everyone's side of the story.
That you could have best friends like Ron and Hermione,
Or a family as cool as The Incredibles,
Feb 10
zazu's picture


He plays his air guitar for an imaginary audience,
Craning his neck back and closing his eyes,
Pretending to play an especially high note...
Bopping his head in time to the consistent beat in his mind.
Longing for the feel of the spotlights glaring down on his face,
To hear the crowd cheer...
Screaming the words to a song that he wrote,
Extending their hands to hold him up, as he does a trust fall off the stage.
He's paralyzed from the waist down.
To anyone else watching, they don't hear what he hears when he plays his guitar, or imagine what he does...
But if they could glimpse inside his mind
And be alongside him whenever he hears the electric guitar blaring from the radio,
Then they would understand that, really,
He's already a Rockstar.

Feb 08
zazu's picture

the marginalized

Everyone will know at some point what it's like to not fit in.
Some people will know the feeling more often though...
Becoming used to having backs turned in their direction. 
Not minding so much when they're ignored, because it happens a lot.
Maybe, it's nothing personal. Maybe it is...
But there are always people who know better, when the kids leave you alone at recess,
Or when you get pushed down against the sidewalk and the gravel burns your palms like fire.
It's no big deal.
Maybe it was at one point... but not anymore.
Circles will be closed off to you, and name cards switched, and all the whispers in the world...
People pointing at you, and laughing, and all the voices in your head chanting,


Everyone will know the feeling eventually.
Feb 07
zazu's picture

A glance around the table

     The one on the left is Tony—the one leaning back in his chair, so that his feet don't touch the ground and his fingertips are the only part of him touching the table. He grins up at the ceiling and then over at Michael Jenkins, who's sitting beside him, picking at the dirt under his fingernails. Michael smirks back like the two are sharing some kind of unspoken joke; or really they're just waiting for something to happen. Like that time when some kid threw apple sauce at the cafeteria wall... or when that boy's sister pierced his ears in the hallway. Anything with action is better than sitting still and listening to the special ed teacher keep you and four other kids after school, to talk about the importance of executive functioning skills.
Dec 26
fiction 0 comments challenge: Reach
zazu's picture

reaching up

     The snow has melted, and the ground is bear and dry. Crumpled, delicate, leaves get blown across cracked dirt roads. Their autumn color now faded into a subtle and drab brown. The sky looms overhead, a pail, blue, with scattered gray clouds and the sun that peaks out from behind as the clouds travel slowly across the horizon. Everything appears still and undisturbed. The trees stand tall and unmoved as the sharp, frigid wind wind blows against their cracked, raw, branches that are speckled with different shades and reaching outwards in any direction away from their trunks. Some of the branches at the tops of the trees look as if they are thin fingers reaching for the sky. Stretching up, up, up...
Dec 19
zazu's picture

Everyone loves Lilian Trint

No one seemed to notice the girl who sat behind me in math class, until she left.
Until her name was whispered down the hallways of our school like a foreign language.
I didn't think that people could care about someone they never knew.
They never bothered to smile at her in the hallways, the way she would smile at them, like maybe she cared...
I don't know.
I never talked to her, but I always knew when she was there.
Even though she wasn't the sort of person you would remember.
She moved to Florida...I think.
My homeroom teacher commented offhandedly today how "everyone loved Lilian Trint..."
That was the girl's name I guess.

I don't think I understand that at all.
I don't think she was disliked...but that doesn't automatically mean that everyone loved her,
does it?
Or maybe everyone knew something about her that I didn't...
Dec 14
zazu's picture

pink chalk

"Look, it's lava!" Emerson exclaims in alarm, pointing with her small hand to the narrow stream ahead, flowing with the bubbling amber liquid, that seems to shimmer more radiantly in the darkness of the cave. Emerson takes a deep breath, her small shoulders rising slightly, as she allows her gaze to focus in on the barrier ahead of her. There's a slight pause, and then she begins to run, her blond pigtails bouncing behind her. Emerson leaps over the lava, the the boiling magma barely lapping up to engulf her bear ankles. Safely on the other side she beams, triumphant. "You can do it!" She calls back to me in encouragement. Suddenly, a prius pulls into view, and the darkness from the cave vanishes instantly to be replace with sunlight, that radiates off of the cars shiny blue paint, making it sparkle. A women in the drivers seat, rolls down her window, pulling up beside me.
Dec 08
zazu's picture

Thoughts on my sleeve

I sit on the steps in front of my house.
Doing absolutely nothing except breathing, (obviously), and chewing a piece of gum that is beginning to lose its flavor.
My dog runs across the front lawn, for seemingly no particular reason, barking like crazy...probably at the neighbors' ghost from next door...but that's just my theory.
I look up into a piercing blue sky. Speckled here and there with little white clouds.
I drum my fingers against my thigh, and pull my baseball cap lower over my eyes, looking at the random words I've written in sharpy on the underside of the brim.
Sun... Wow, the sun is bright today.

I hear feet tapping on the sidewalk and look up briefly.