Its midnight and the demons have arrived to feast on the select bits of happiness I collected throughout my day.nThe fragmented, the torn, the slices and chunks of captured time and moments where I almost trusted, almost smiled will soon be chewed up memories I can't hold onto. They aren't rightfully mine. Just another tease by the fates just another broken promise on today's dead end road.n Gone will be the tiny space I call freedom and possibilities. They, the hideous ones called Guilt, Shame and Regret devour, they feed, they take. nMoments I thought I could keep will be ripped from me. A place labeled happiness doesn't exist for me. I'm just the pig drowning in the swamp for everyone to step on and succeed.n The demons know this. They dance their tortured jig in this revelation.n They are here. It's time, for tonight they can.......they can. Tonight.nn- Shauna Woodbury
A cheap night. nIt was always the same thing. A dirty street, across from a muddy park, down from a polluted river. nShe would sit on the bench at the transit stop with her brown bag poison. Sometimes she would hold it up to the sky, as an offering; sometimes she would just drink it.nAfter a few choked back slugs she would begin to sing. A throat warble, really, but she tried. nSongs about heaven and songs about horses. nOne night as I was watching her party for one, it began to rain.nIt rained hard. She wasn't phased.nAgainst sanity, I ran to her with an umbrella and a blanket. nI didn't think, I just threw it over her and sat next to her. nA dark, time saturated, deep crevassed face looked at me and I thought she was going to spew venom. I side slid to the far end of the bench. nShe took a long, thick, deep drink from that wet, tearing brown bag, sputtered up some liquid mixed with the midnight's own tears on her lips and she began singing. nIt was a snappy tune I didn't know but I found myself clapping along.nShe offered me some bagged beverage. I declined.nShe stood up, looked around and took a bow. nHer ragged clothing was layered with newspaper to keep warm. nShe let my blanket fall to the wet muddy grass and she put down her drink.nShe tipped the hat she wasn't wearing in my direction, waved to a non-existent audience and smiled a dirty, wrinkled, toothless, open-mouthed smile. nShe then wandered towards the woods letting strips of newspaper fall behind her. nI ran to gather the papers to give then back. I figured she would need them. I bent down to pick them up and when I stood upright, I looked for her. I didn't see her. Anywhere.n I felt mildly sad and defeated. I had tried to help and even had a good time, but, she just left.nI picked up my blanket and umbrella and went home.nI still had the newspapers.nI tossed them on my table by the door and went to bed.nMorning. Birds. The rain had stopped.nFor a second, I smiled, knowing I may see this interesting woman again. Or would I?n I trudged down my stairs. nThe table by the front door had the newspapers. Dry.nI read the headline and article following it. n' Madeline Trechnya, divine, sultry, smoky songstress has died. nMadeline, 78, was found dead on a inner city bus bench.n Causes are unknown, but a final entry in her songbook reads, 'I will carry on. No crying, only song. For you there is joy and love, for me there is heaven above. Drink our drink, sing our song; we don't have long before the rain, before the black morning train' nThe photo was of the woman from last night. The paper was from 1964.nNext to my table was a wet brown bag with an empty bottle in it.