"And it hurts remembering how it felt to shut down" -Hayley Williams

"What does it mean to you?"  Kori let her fingers slide over the keys, the sweet melody fading into the solitude.

"It provokes resilience; a constant struggle to keep my tactics accommodating on a fine line of right and wrong.  My mind wanders forlorn and broken in search of normality....but I have to accept, that I am not normal and life will go on.  When my fingers stroke these keys, my conscience travels a fatal journey.  Composition is and was my escape."

"And it allows you to...."

Luther raised his defined jaw shadowing her high cheek bone from the dreary sun.  His eyes gradually sought her presence then the wide window from which the early morning rain leaked.

 "You're not here, and I'm not sitting amongst these ivories, this is all in my head."

Kori's jaw dropped, blackness filled her rosy mouth as she blinked the absence of her beautiful sapphires transitioning them to a peculiar burgundy.  From her lungs exalted a shrill cry and Kori began shredding into Luther's torso; decant ruby fluid laced her cheeks.


A cold sweat, a new normality of Luther's as he rose in an extremity of haste clutching at several pieces of his torso.  The yanking and tearing continued for a shortage of seconds as he fought to chase the memory away.  Luther exhaled stridently, the repetition of this nightmare for the past month was eating away at his psyche.  He had to let go, she was ruining his life and he barely knew her name.  Although, he couldn't help but tell himself he knew her like the book he had finished last night...front to back.

Stepping lightly among the hallway timber, Luther ran his hand across the back of his neck beneath the natural black and nearly imperceptible auburn mane lying amid his shoulders.  This was going to be the last hallucination that haunted his conscience or he was going to die a highly anticipated death.  It seemed like every corner he turned, his eyes would pinch shut in fear of seeing the girl that never actually existed.  After nearly a month of research on a Kori Fehn in and around Fort Lauderdale, FL, it was time to accept that she was that reminiscent part of him that wouldn't be shut off.

"Why are you closing your eyes Lex?  You know I'm here and you have to accept that I'm not going away."  Her voice, it made every hair stand erect on his body and his epidermis chill as bitter perspiration seeped over his back.

Instead of saying something like, "what do you want from me?", or the famous, "you're not here, I can't here you" Luther turned away from the grimace and headed down the stairs.

Ignoring her was the easy part, fighting her control was the hardest. 

"Morning honey."  His mother met him midway down the stairs and kissed his forehead.  The smell of coffee and White Musk drifted through his nasal cavity and made his head swim.

"Hey mom."  Luther said bleakly as he clasped the banister, hoping his mother wouldn't notice the tension building under his skin.

"Honey don't forget about your history report due this morning and the Pre-Cal assignments you missed from last week."

Luther nodded as he raced down the stairs, Kori catching him as he lay foot upon the carpeted entry to the front door.  Her hands running over his waist before she cradled his neck in the bends of her arms.

"Lex, really now....don't you think if you're mother was so concerned about your school that she would at least have checked on you last night while she was in her business meeting?  Hmm...?"

Kneeling at the door, something caught his eye dangling from the mail slot.  Catching the envelope in his hand, Luther walked towards the kitchen, neck craned at he opened the sealed contents.


Dear Ms. Arik,

                We are pleased to inform you your order has been fulfilled and your shipment will arrive within the next business week.  Please note that your next payment is due May 6th.  We appreciate your service and hope you stay with us for years to come.


                                                                             J.R.  Reese

                                                                                       Home Furnishing Planet


Luther immediately turned the envelope over; the letter was from last Wednesday, how could it have arrived so late?  From his peripherals, the den came into view.  The letter fell from his grasp as his eyes took in the sheer reality and conviction of the Baldwin Grand Piano casting a shadow that met the tip of his toes.  Fear rose within his trachea but he swallowed it down.  Luther parted his dry lips to call for his mother, but instead he drew in a heavy amount of air. 

The window just off the far left of the room allowed the early morning sun to seep through allowing the shadow creeping over his feet.  Rain drizzled over the sleek glass playing a number with the ivory keys that stole his breath....and all around him, he could hear Kori's shrieking scream as she tore into him. 

Hands fell over his shoulders as a chin rested upon them also.

"You like it?  It came from your great grandmother's basement.  I tracked it down, and there it is.  A piece of our heritage, a piece of your past."

Luther felt as if his lungs would shrivel and his heart stop.  This stunned state kept him immobile and his emotions frozen on his face.  His body began to shiver, his hands began to shake.  "No, take it back."  Ice cold, his voice seeped over his lips....his words stabbing into his mother's heart.

"Luther, I thought you would like it.  Honey, you used to tell me everyday when Grandma Betsy baby sit you that the woman in her pictures was so pretty.  That was Granny Darla, you loved her so much."  His mother stroked his hair as she spoke softly to him.

"I never knew her, mother!  Please just....get it out of here."  Never meaning to hurt his mother, Luther tore from her grasp and pulled the double doors to.  Relief over-whelmed him as the shadow disappeared and the piano rid from his sight.


Raising his head to gaze upon his stone face, Luther examined himself in the foggy reflection.  Everywhere, from his chest, wrapping around his back, and down his waist, lacerations scarred his flesh.  Closing his eyes would bring back the unbearable sight of Kori ripping into him, so he chose to stare himself down.  Why did he let her in?  Why couldn't he stop her?  These questions were irrelevant to his aching mind.  His conscience ate at him unwillingly; it was something he couldn't control.  The doctors called it schizophrenia, but that was just a name for what doctors thought they understood.   Saying he had schizophrenia and experiencing pieces of his life with Kori made everything else but the word seem surreal.

Luther knew she was real and no medication or therapy could rid him of her.

"Lex, why do think so hard about me?  I'm just a woman stuck inside of this shitty man that thinks of nothing more than to rid of me!  If I could change fate I would!" Kori screamed into his ear.  "I HATE YOU!  DO YOU HEAR ME!  I HATE YOU AND I WISH YOU WOULD RELEASE ME!"

Whipping around to her, Lex caught her wrists in his hands.  "AND I HATE YOU TOO YOU FUCKING BITCH!"

The two stared into each others eyes, rage eating at their core.  Hammering thuds bounced from the adjacent wall to the opposite...



"Luther!  Luther!  Honey are you alright in there...Luther? ....

The End

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