Color Blind

Black and white.

White and black.

Gray and grayer.

Scott McMonochromatic

I miss the blue of the sky that I used to see. The green of the grass that no longer appeal to me. The red of the roses and the yellow of the sun.

When I used to look outside, I was gripped by color. It would force me to enjoy them. I would have to stop and smell the roses or lay down and watch as the clouds made different shapes above. There were those days where I woke up with an agenda, but by the end all I did was sit under a tree and read a book and I was perfectly okay with it.

attractive beautiful beauty black and white
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Now the days are darker, colors dimmer and books less enjoyable. It’s like the world has been cast under some monochromatic spell that leaves the old way of life as just a distant memory. It’s as if the vibrant nature of life has been ripped from my grasp. No matter what I do, it doesn’t seem to come back.

I would give anything just to experience life like I once did. The touch of the grass on my bare feet or just – goddammit, I could give an endless number of examples, but all they do is remind me of the joy that I don’t have. I don’t experience the pleasures that I used to love.

If I could see everything the way that I once did, then it wouldn’t feel so empty. My life wouldn’t feel so dull. It would go back to a time when it all made sense to me. I would do anything just to see the blue of the sky or the green of the grass. Please someone, let me feel like I used to.


I got the idea for this while watching Evil Genius on Netflix. I have quite an active imagination so this short was written from the perspective of genuine fear that someone was constantly watching me, but as I wrote it, it took on a kind of mystical form.

Scott McCablesucks

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Whether I’m showering, sleeping, reading or eating, anytime I blink, I stare into the deep, dark, endless abyss of her black, unloving eyes. I see hatred that has been brought on by years of neglect, misunderstanding and hatred that cuts deeper than the sharpest blade. The unblinking focus gives me chills. She wants to do damage to someone – anyone that will be terrified and resent her, because those are the emotions that she feeds from.

adorable animal blur cat
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I open the shower curtain and before I dry my face, I shake my head to make sure she’s not standing in the doorway waiting for me. I dry off quickly because I know that it would only take her one second to pounce and change me to a state of rigor mortis. She could be anywhere, real or fake, causing entirely real fear. The eyes are the worst. She could be holding a knife and want to skin me alive, but the genuine nothingness in her eyes signaling only the worst intent is really what causes fear… and gives her enough to feed off of for months.

Falling asleep is a chore. The sweet, relaxing feeling of waking up in the morning, well-rested after eight hours of sleep is no more. I can’t fall asleep because I see her. I don’t dream happy thoughts because I see her. I wake up and before I can have the resuscitating powers of coffee, I must check every room of my house to know that I’m alone. By the time I get coffee started, twenty minutes after I wake up, the paranoia has driven me to a state of exhaustion. The fear it drives causes an eight-hour work day before I have to go in for my eight-hour work day.

photo of gray cat looking up against black background
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She’s not real. I don’t know why the paranoia drives me. It’s maddening. Reading is impossible. My focus is split between the pages and the occasional movement that my eyes and brain trick me with. Sometimes when I stare back to the pages, the eyes appear and stare back at me. They hold their gaze and watch as I begin to panic, rubbing my eyes repeatedly to make sure that they are fake. They aren’t there but they feel so real.

Eating has turned to a stage of weakness. I won’t let myself get lost in my taste buds because the second I close the eyes on the back of my head is when the other one’s strike. All food tastes the same, a mix of blandness and hideous textures. Chewing tires my jaw like never before. I’m in a state of insatiable hunger. When I put the dishes in the sink, I see the eyes in the drain, still unblinking, still watching.

Her shape, size and appearance mean nothing. She could be the most beautiful woman or the most hideous. No matter the aesthetics, I stare only into the portals of insanity. She won’t leave me alone. When I speak with her, she doesn’t respond. She’s watching my every move. Her eyes tell all. She’s pure evil.

close up photography of tiger

Best-Case Scenario

Scott McOptimism

You know, there are more thoughts than you would think that go into suicide. No one will ever need to talk me out of it because of the fears that I have that keep me from it.

What if I try to hang myself and the rope snaps? I don’t want to be a vegetable for the rest of my hopefully short life. If I try to shoot myself and I live, then what’s the point? If I can’t kill myself correctly then I might as well just live out the rest of my time hiding in my room. Can you imagine how painful it would be to shoot yourself in the head and live? Imagine jumping off a building and living. I’d be more machine than human at that point. Then I’d want to die, and I wouldn’t be able to go through metal detectors.

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There are so many other ways to kill myself that I’ve thought about. Jumping into traffic, driving off a cliff, overdosing on pills, drinking myself into a coma, but never drowning. I hate water. I pity anyone that drowns. There is no guarantee that any of these will work.

So, let’s pretend, best-case scenario, that the first time I tried to kill myself, it did work… then what? I’m not a particularly religious person, but I’m not an atheist. What if there is no afterlife. That’s inherently terrifying because once you’re dead, that’s it: Done, gone, forgotten. That shouldn’t scare me if I’m thinking about suicide, but it does. The whole point of killing myself is that this life is garbage and not doing for me what I wish it would. But if there is no afterlife, am I really getting what I want? It wouldn’t be better. It would just be over. Sure, if it’s over, then it’s better because I’m not dealing with it… but is that really what I want?

That doesn’t even address the fact of if there is an afterlife! What if Heaven and Hell are real? What if there is a divine judge who decides if I belong in Heaven or Hell, and he says Heaven? If I go to Heaven, it has to be great, right? But what if it’s not? If I die and go to Heaven, there is a chance that my mind hasn’t changed and I’m still just as depressed and suicidal there, too. Then where would I go if I kill myself? Absolutely nowhere, that’s where. I’d be stuck in the same place with the same mind and the same terrible existence.

And what if God tells me to go to Hell? If it’s what everyone says it is, then it’ll be miserable. A life in fire or ice, depending on what book you read; torture regardless of which one it turns out to be. I’ve often thought that Hell would be different, potentially better than Heaven. I know that by saying that, I’m going to Hell for sure, but think about it. Satan was only sent to Hell because he thought he was better than God, but if he thought that, wouldn’t he have something to show for it? He’d be powerful too, and I bet he would want Hell to be equal to, if not better than Heaven, so that he could show that he’s better than God. Sure, criminals of all shapes and sizes would live there, but what are they going to do, kill me? I’d already be dead! It wouldn’t matter. Honestly, I bet the people down there would be more interesting than the ones in Heaven. But even with all of that, I’m sure I’d still be depressed, and I’d still want to die again, but you can only die once.

I don’t know what to do, but I’m sure I won’t be killing myself anytime soon. There is too much chance involved, and so many variables to account for. It’d be easier to just keep pushing through my mundane, depressing life and hope it gets better. Then at the very least I wouldn’t be putting my existence in the hands of so many uncertainties.

Too Bipolar to be Relied Upon

Depending on the month, week, day, minute and second, I love and/or hate myself. Sometimes I view my actions as though I’m a god on this mortal planet (or like how Kanye views Kanye) while other times I see myself as this scum that doesn’t deserve to live because I’m contributing nothing to the world.

Scott McIloveyou and Scott McIhateyou

I love you with all my heart. Anytime I talk to you, I get a tinge of happiness and my heart leaps. Every part of me gets a little giddy and it feels like I deserve to be appreciated. I’ve never felt like I should be appreciated before.

I can’t be loved. I’m too much of an emotional train wreck. I should stay in my head for as long as I can do that I don’t subject anyone else to the sadistic insanity that I think. If I don’t tell a soul, then I’m not a burden to anyone. No one cares enough to find out what’s going on inside my head.

When you do though, it’s like you’ve dropped antidote into a venom. The spiraling thoughts unwind into a single thread of understanding and ease. It makes the insanity feel like normalcy and the cries for help turn to cries of thanks.

Why do you do it? I don’t deserve the patience and unconditional love that you provide. All I do is cause you the same confusion, pain and sadness that I cause myself. I wish I could help you like you help me, but all I do is act like an angry toddler who can’t communicate their words. I can’t seem to stop drowning in my thoughts and I don’t want to drag you to the depths with me.

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Yet you hold on like a life jacket and I bob down a river of uncertainty that feels much less scary and dangerous with you. The waves feel soothing instead of sickening and the creatures below seem beautiful instead of threatening.

I don’t think I can be part of something bigger. I’m emotionally weak. I’m physically exhausted. I’m constantly scared of the world around me.

I am constantly trying to be better for you… and me.

Weight of the World

I don’t even know how to use an atlas.

Scott McCartographer

I struggle every day to be happy. It’s not easy for me. Some days it gets really hard; hard to the point where suicide fills every second of thought. On other days it’s not so bad. I only think about suicide maybe… maybe a dozen times. Twelve isn’t so bad when it’s compared to the worst days, but it’s still not fun.

I’d give anything in the world to be happy. I envy people with blissful ignorance or a happy-go-lucky personality. I see it and I want it. If I could be happy without any effort, then I would but that’s not an option. It hasn’t been an option since the eighth grade and it won’t be an option for the rest of my life. This is just something I deal with now. I am perpetually struggling with depression and it sucks.

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But if I could take an ounce of suffering from someone else and stack it on the struggles that I already have, I would do it without a second thought. I don’t like the fact that I can’t easily be happy. I don’t like how much effort I have to put in, but if I could take some of that struggle from you then I would. I’ve made it pretty far in my life so far. Every day is a struggle, but I’ll keep struggling until natural causes finish me off because if I take my own life, I’m putting my burden on my loved ones and I couldn’t do that to them.

Only Pain

I’m usually the kind of person that you either love or hate. There’s not usually an in between and sometimes I feel like even the people that love me, hate me too. I guess it’s a self-esteem thing but whatever the cause, I almost always feel like I’m burdening someone.

Scott McBadshot

I feel like I can do nothing but hurt you. The words that I use always feel pretentious and sarcastic, while the intent behind them isn’t meant to be, but even when I speak in a way that feels natural to me, the words ring like the bullets of a Gatling gun. They tear your flesh away until you’re just tattered muscle and decaying bone. I feel the occasional bullet ricochet in my mouth when it fails to exit and hurt you. My teeth clatter and my gums bleed but taking the words and bottling them up is much more favorable than letting them out to assault you in the most heinous of ways.

closeup photography of loser scrabble letter
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The Riddler’s rhymes hurt less than the strings of words that I put together. I say that I’m just speaking my mind, but instead, it feels like I’m purposely and carefully choosing the exact words that will make you feel worse. Sticks and stones may hurt your bones, and I promise my words cut worse than glass. I don’t try to be a bad guy, yet I have this impeccable ability to make others hate me.

I’m the kind of guy that, if I turned up dead by the hands of some lunatic because I didn’t know when to shut up, no one would be surprised. I’m also the kind of guy who, if I did turn up dead, I’m sure only a select few would care… but even then, they’d get over it. The reason that death is such an appealing thought is because no matter what anyone says, I’ll always feel like people would be better off without me. My words are bullets and you are a paper target. I may be a bad shot, but I’ll get a bullseye eventually.

I often wish that I was either a mute or just plain dumb. It’d be easier than dealing with trying to fit into the pre-molded world around me. If I never spoke, sure I’d be stuck with my own thoughts and most certainly spiral into an uncaring abyss of suicidal thoughts, but at least I wouldn’t drag anyone else down. I’m the Captain Ahab to my depression and I don’t know who is going to overtake who first. If I was dumber, I wouldn’t care so much about the delicately constructed social interactions that I take part in every day. When a conversation ended, I’d be able to move on and I wouldn’t even know if I insulted them in the first place. Life would be so much easier if I could find a way to help and heal with my words instead of mowing down crowds at a time. That may not make me happy, but I’d certainly feel better about myself.


A lot of terrible things happen every day. My stomach randomly started rebelling against ice cream, I need to replace a part in my toilet so that it won’t run infinitely and sometimes people find the only thing that they can do to feel better is some heinous stuff that hurts the ones that they love and some that they don’t even know. People who commit disturbing acts of violence are looked at with only eyes of hate, and although I understand why, they’re human too and probably feel worse inside than anyone that I’ve ever met.

Scott McSnappingturtle

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Imagine your friend, your mom, your dad or your sibling. Imagine your son or daughter or your significant other. All the people that you respect and love. People that you would sacrifice your own life to help if they needed it. Imagine what would happen if they snapped.

What if your loved one brought a loaded gun to a school? What if they ran a car through a crowded sidewalk? What if they made a bomb and took it to a stadium?

At the end of the day, you’d know that they did something wrong. You’d know that they harmed innocent people. But you’d still love them. You would just wish that it never happened.

You would see the entire world turn against the person that you love. People that have never met them, full of hate and nothing else. The tragedy is replayed over and over on every form of media, but it’s only noise and hate. Everyone wants a change, but a solution is never reached. All that’s passed around are false promises of change.

No one is happy about your loved one’s actions and you are no exception. The difference is that, unlike every other loud opinion, you truly want real change. You want to make it so that this kind of incident can never happen again…but no one listens. Everyone just wants to spread hate that’s veiled in cheap, unfeeling support for the victims.

You’d know more than anyone that no matter what words are spoken, what laws are proposed and what patriotism is evoked. You’d know more than anyone that no matter what, it’ll happen again.

Unfortunately, all you can do is wait. Wait for when the time comes again – and it will come again – then you could lend your hand to people whose loved ones have also snapped… because you’d remember a time when no one was there for you.

Flavor of Life

Scott McTasty

You look and search and wait and crave. It’s amazing how much weight you give the unseen drive for something you’ve never felt or experienced. Everything, and I mean everything, revolves around this unsung emotion, one that avoids you like the people that you push yourself away from.

You work day in and day out and day in and day out. Some days it seems like its almost within reach, but when you try to touch it, the fear and anxiety and vulnerability push it farther and farther away. Instead of pursuing this flavor of life, you sit and wait impatiently for it to caress your lonely, longing skin.

The feeling that you know you want, the feeling that you have been waiting for, will appear again. Next time it comes, you’ll be ready for it. You won’t let it slip through your fingertips again. But when it arrives, it bounces off of the stone-cold roughness of your mind. It tries so hard to come back, but when you don’t know how long it will stay or how long it will gift you with its presence or how long you will feel that feeling that you have been waiting for, it’s so much easier to just push it away, instead of accepting it’s warm embrace.

But then you’re left alone. You’ve pushed away everyone and everything that you care about, searching instead for a feeling that you believe will never come. Watching your days pass you by, instead of experiencing the life that you have been gifted.

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Face-First into a Rose Bush

Roses are nice but not worth slowing down for.

Scott McBotanist

Stop and smell the roses. Okay, I’ll give it a shot. Everyone tells me that I move too fast whether they’re using the colloquialism or not, but they’re always saying the same thing. I haven’t stopped to smell flowers in a long time. I know I’m not supposed to take it literally, but I don’t know what I would do to relax if it wasn’t smelling roses.

They’re red. I knew that, but they’re red. I guess I haven’t really observed how red they are, but they’re red. I’ve seen red before. I don’t think that because it’s a flower, it immediately makes it peaceful. The bush itself is green, and the stems and thorns are green, too. I guess it’s a slightly different green, but it’s still just green.

This seems like a waste of time.

The sounds are unique, but unique doesn’t always mean good. There are birds chirping and bugs buzzing. The breeze rustles leaves. I guess that sounds okay. A dog just barked somewhere.

I don’t get it.

The breeze feels good. I was a bit sweaty before. It’s pretty hot out today so it’s pretty nice. The actual leaves feel smooth and glossy. The petals feel fragile and a bit like linen or silk. The thorns hurt but that’s obvious.

I definitely don’t get it.

The rose’s smell like – like some shitty candle! They smell like a fucking bathroom air freshener. What was the point of this? Slow down and smell the roses? Why! They smell like shit! God, I wasted so much time. If I thought I could drive my face into these thorns hard enough to die I would do it right now.

So, I keep sprinting.

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Scott Mc


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Photo by Paula Schmidt on

It’s hard to explain.

It’s like you’re a broken record player, skipping over and over.

It’s like you’re a wilting flower, dreaming of blooming again.

It’s like you’re a marathon runner with two broken legs.

It’s like you’re a lion’s prey, being eaten alive.

It’s like you’re driving into oncoming traffic.

It’s like you’re a drowning infant.

It’s like you’re nothing.

Like you’re nothing.

You’re nothing.

I’m nothing.


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Constructive Criticism

Scott McBargainshopper

It’s on sale now for $8.96 from Walmart. If I order the hard hat and everything else that I need, I might be able to get free shipping; all I need to do is spend more than $35.00. Actually, I don’t need the free shipping, I’ll just pick it up later. I don’t have plans today or tomorrow.

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A reflective stripe spiced zipper from traffic security vest jacket (wow, that’s a mouthful) is only $14.16. That brings the total to $23.12. Hopefully I’ll find one that fits. I have a hard enough time finding everyday clothes that fit my oddly-shaped body, so I doubt I’ll be so lucky.

I probably need 6 traffic cones to really make my point. Actually, I hate the number 6. It’s always stood out to me and I don’t know why. 8 is such a nice number, divisible by 2 and 4, while 4 is divisible or squared into 2’s. 6 is the unsexy combination of 2 and 3 and it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I’ll get 8 traffic cones. Cost doesn’t matter to me at this point. I mean, an 18” street cone is $15.99 apiece, which brings my total to well over the $35.00 I need for free shipping. I’m buying it in the store anyway, so I don’t know why I keep thinking about free shipping.

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The last thing I need is a ladder. One that’s tall enough to reach the overhead traffic lights on the way to work. I drive passed them every day and wonder why they’re different. They are held by a thick steel bar that – no, it can’t be steel. Steel would be way too heavy. Maybe it’s fiberglass? But that seems like it wouldn’t be cost effective, but what do I know about fiberglass cost. It’s not a commodity like gold. Well fuck, I don’t know anything about gold prices either and I don’t care to look it up. What was I – oh right – the traffic lights. So, they’re held up by some steel-like metal that juts diagonally across the road and effortlessly dangles them below it. The way that it’s attached to the ground is through another, equally thick steel-like metal that juts out of the sidewalk. It basically makes a big L-shape. The ladder needs to be Dewalt. I almost bought a Werner, but John Oliver made fun of them on Last Week Tonight and that was enough to sway me. I don’t give a shit about ladders, but some writer somewhere does, and that was enough.

Shit, Walmart doesn’t even have Dewalt ladders. I’ll buy a Werner. I get free shipping if I get it from Walmart. Jesus, I don’t want to spend $59.99 on a ladder. I mean, I only need to buy it once, but I want to leave at least a little bit of money behind to help my parents pay off the college loans that I didn’t deserve. Fine, I’ll buy the ladder… at least I get free shipping.

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The drive to the intersection that I was talking about earlier is no more than 5 minutes from my apartment. I pulled my dark-blue Nissan over to the side of the road and turned the blinkers on. After the one car behind me drove around and flipped me off, I put the reflective jacket and hard hat on and set the cones out. 1 by 1, cars stopped behind the row of 8 cones and could do nothing but watch as I “made my repairs.” That had to be what they’re thinking, like, “why the hell is this guy doing work now? I’m just trying to get home.” That guy probably beats his wife when he gets home anyway. What difference does it make?

I set the ladder up in the middle of the intersection and stumbled to the top. It’s well lit for the first few steps, but it dims quickly. The street lights are aimed straight down and I’m not in their field of vision. That’s fine.

With the $6.42 rope that I bought, I wrap the untied end around the steel-like metal bar and tied it with a knot that I learned in Boy Scout’s in the fourth grade. I was in the Boy Scout’s until I quit because I hated tying knots. Then I put the other end around my neck and tipped off of the ladder.

Horns blared as the lights dimmed. People jumped out of their cars, but their hesitations from simply dressing in a reflective jacket and hard hat was enough to let me do what I had set out to do. The cones were a nice touch. I probably only needed 6.

I even got free shipping.

Not Here

Haven’t you ever felt that feeling of needing a break but the second you get a break, it’s not enough and then you go on a deep dive into your consciousness looking for what you need to truly feel relaxed, and then you think about running away from home, work, family, friends, troubles, sadness and happiness to inevitably end up in the same melancholy status that you’re in now? Is that just me? Oh…

Scott McRunaway

Anywhere but here. That’s where I want to be. I need to escape from this place that’s ready to forget about me. I need to find where I belong. I need to drop everything that I’ve ever worked for and try again. I need to find the place that I’ve been looking for.

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I don’t feel welcomed here. I feel like every time people acknowledge my presence, their quality of life diminishes. Inside their heads are thoughts only of hatred and resentment. If I were somewhere else burdening no one then I’d be happy, even if I wasn’t happy.

I’m often caught letting my thoughts wandering to a place that has nothing. A room with no windows or doors, covered in plain white paint from top to bottom. In the middle, I sit by myself, away from civilization; away from reality.

I feel like I belong there. When I’m in a secluded room with no one to bother or burden, people asking the same questions that they asked about Schrodinger’s cat, that’s when I feel most at home. People aren’t stuck tripping over me. They’re not troubled with my presence. They can give me all of the thought that they want to or don’t. They can forget about me as easily as a fish forgets the dangers of a hook.

But instead, I’m forced to exist with everyone else who finds being much easier. Being a human. Being a friend. Being a brother, sister or loved one. Being anything that’s not a burden. Being something that exists to be something other than a nuisance. Being happy. Being better than me. I belong anywhere but here, but where I belong most of all is in a place where the only questions asked are if I’m alive or dead, without care for the answer.

Last Words

I think about death all the time and I know I’m not the only one. Whether you’re 15 or 100, the idea of death is terrifying at every turn. The unexpected timing, the unbelievable pain, the lack of control and the sudden goodbye that you can’t make, it’s all horrifying and nothing can prepare you for it. Immortality isn’t real and even if some pseudo immortality is reached in our lifetime, it won’t be anything close to what our lives are now. We can try to create stuff that lives a longer life than us, but that’s finite too and once you’re dead it doesn’t matter. I don’t know what people fear more, the thought of being forgotten or the thought of making more memories. Regardless of the answer, everyone is scared for their own reasons and I hope that in the future, you can all find solace in the eventual darkness ahead.

Scott McReaper

I lay in this bed. I stare at that ceiling. I feel each breath painfully leaving my lungs. New air forces its way in, like a piece of popcorn forces its way between your teeth. All I can do is sit here. Sit here and think.

The cancer has really taken a toll. I used to be so agile. So quick witted. So alive. Now, all I am is the decrepit shell of the man that I used to be. A shell that might as well be picked up and skipped into the ocean. A shell that no one will ever see again.

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My family surrounds me constantly. My wife. My kids. My parents. I never thought I’d die before my parents. They swarm me with flowers as if they’re going to give me the strength to keep going. The strength to fight through this again.

I don’t even have the strength to speak. Oh my, that’s what I was thinking about anyway. It’s so hard to keep my mind straight. My wife is crying again. I must look worse than before. No, I probably look the same.

Never mind that. Prisoners are always gifted last words before they die. I didn’t have that privilege. Instead, I’ve just had to witness my death through the mirrors of my family’s eyes. I wish I could say a proper string of last words. They would make me feel much more at peace.

Actually, the more that I think of it, maybe they wouldn’t. If I said something, it may just leave everyone wondering if I was going to say more. They would think that I was trying to fight. They would think that I didn’t want to die. The truth is… the truth is that I’m very tired. I’m ready to go.

I wouldn’t know what to say anyway. I would say that I love whoever was there, but what is that going to do? They know I love them. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be here. I wish I could at least have the option to say something. I don’t know if I would.

I don’t need proper last words. I don’t even want last words. My last words were… I don’t remember what I said. But I don’t think there is anything else for me to say. I said enough through life. Even in the bad times, I was around. That alone should be good enough. I’m okay with this.

I feel a breath painfully leaving my lungs. I feel my heart stop beating. I hear the melancholy tone of the machines connected to me. I feel the tears of family members falling to my cold skin. I hear their cries. Words can’t explain how I feel. Last words are a trick. A trick in assuming your words will live past you. I am not my words. I am a memory.

Knife to Meet You

I wrote this based on an idea from my girlfriend, Alex Oliver, and she loved it. I’ve also heard from one of my other writer friends that the idea was good, but they thought everything about the execution was wrong. I hope more people agree with Alex on this one, but if not… whatever!

Scott McOfficesupplies

Destruction. Hatred. Desolation. That is all I am. I yearn for the days when I was naïve enough to think that destruction was the best way to go.

Others put stuff together. Tape, Glue and Heat can do it so easily. Heat is the worst because they get the best of both worlds: one second, they’ll burn a forest down and the

next they’ll cauterize a wound and save a hero. I guess it’s still better than Glue though. All Glue does is heal, but even the most prestigious and helpful glues still get eaten by a toddler that doesn’t know any better. Tape is okay. They know how to party.

I could name so many more tools, my cousins Scissors and Shears, my brother Sword, my parents, Anvil and Hammer. So many have different, more productive uses than me; at least that’s what it feels like.

kitchen knife
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I don’t do anything but hurt. People and animals, boxes and papers, they all fall with one quick swipe of a knife. That’s all I am. Sword is a mantlepiece while Scissors is used in everyday playground games. No one uses a knife unless it’s to hurt. I don’t want to hurt. I don’t like the things I hurt because they don’t like me. It’s easier to hate everyone than love them and lose them, especially to your own barbaric nature. I can’t change but I want to. But then who am I satisfying: myself or everyone else? Would I be satisfying anyone? I wouldn’t be happy if I changed and I wouldn’t give anyone else an authentic “Knife” experience. But nobody wants that experience anyway. I wish I was Glue or Heat. That would be so much easier. I don’t want to be Tape though; Tape’s a bro.


This is the second part in the balloon series. I hope it’s… blowing your mind. Actually, I hope my writing pops into your thoughts in all hours of the day. No no no, I hope that my writing inflates your self-esteem.

Scott McHotair

white and red balloons
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They keep getting smaller and smaller. It’s so unfair. They’ve always had it so easy. Soon I won’t even be able to see them. I’ll miss the way that the sun bounces from them. It was never too bright. It was always just enough to make you feel a little something.

I was the center of attention for only a matter of minutes. Even as I was being created, I knew it wouldn’t last. There was no way that I could stay on top of the world. That made my creation my very own nightmare.

Now I am racing to my spot on what literally seems like the top of the world. The clouds are approaching quickly and everything below is smaller. No one is even looking up at me anymore. I was forgotten seconds after I was let go. I knew I’d be forgotten fast but I never guessed it would have happened like that.

When I started soaring higher, I was immediately replaced. My radiant red seemed to turn black as soon as I left their hands. A much more colorful blue took my spot and before too long, they will be floating up here with me, too.

I wish I was never filled with helium. If I could have stayed on the ground I would have loved everything so much more. I wouldn’t have been the center of attention and I wouldn’t be floating up here now. I would be resting peacefully, happily observing the world around me.


This is the first of two parts, the second coming tomorrow. It’s a simple piece that goes over the distinct differences in thought and how no matter what, people are never happy with what they have, but rather envious of everything they don’t. We follow a balloon that was never given the air that it would need to soar high into the clouds. It was everywhere but where it wanted to be.

Scott McBalloonanimalhandler

They float so much higher than I ever will. I only really lift from the ground when a strong gust of wind comes to push me around or when a child kicks me with all their might. Everything comes to them so much easier than it does to me.

Their distinct yellows and reds and blues – all highlighted by the sun that hangs above. I don’t have that luxury. I have to try so much harder to shine like them. I need to be in the right place at the right time and hope that I get lucky. Everything comes so much easier for them.

Every moment that I’ve experienced is filled with envy for how easy everything comes to them. They’re more loved, more popular and even more colorful. All I am is the reject from the bunch when the helium ran out.

ground orange balloon deflated
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I try as hard as I can to feel how I imagine they feel, but it always seems too unobtainable. They have been lifted so much higher than I, for no reason other than how they were formed.

I wish I was made with helium instead. Up until now I have tried to stay content, but it will all come crashing down with the prick of a needle. I have always been an afterthought compared to the rest of my kind and I don’t see that changing. I can’t wait for that needle.

Grunzediano Htohutsg

Tcots Eynmcink

I would give anything to understand – no – I would give anything to feel how others feel. It’s like that scene in Pinocchio where all the naïve puppet wants is to be a real boy, when he is really only painted driftwood. Or like how Andy feels when he’s giving his toys to some random adolescent without realizing that he is abandoning his childhood more than he is giving a childhood to someone else.

I don’t know what I’m saying. I guess, in some sick kinda way, I feel a bit like the unheard clarinet in the marching band or the unplayed triangle in the back of a 100-piece orchestra. Like, the intern who is only told to fetch coffee or the CEO who loses control of his own company or the books that J.K. Rowling made before Harry Potter or the novels that are never made due to unjust censorship.

I feel like the Robin to the world’s Batman or the superhero whose power is to climb really well. Sometimes I am Romeo, but Juliet seems so out of reach. Other times, I read Robert Frost’s Fire and Ice and think of how peaceful it is to see the world as he did, without hope, but that means that there is no wrong.

Sometimes I wake up with a pinned-on tail that always seems to fall off. Most days I wake up like the untipped stripper or the elder holding an oxygen tank. On other days it’s like the green plumber in a world full of red ones. Or I feel like the misunderstood mute who desperately tries to speak but can’t communicate their thoughts.

I feel like the masterpiece that is Mad World compared to an illogical song meant to bring attention to mental illness that only really alienates the truly suffering listeners. I feel like the DJ who has spun records for as long as they can remember but was outdated by a digital age.

I am the person who trained for their whole life to be an NBA star, but irreparably tore their ACL. My emotions are Schrodinger’s cat, stuck in a box of uncertainty, when those outside will never know what I’m really feeling. My tears are the streams of unorganized thoughts that pour through the only orifice that they are permitted. My cries for help are the echoes of happier words that flow through my mouth. My smile is the Mona Lisa of smiles, for not even I know if it’s there or not.

abstract art artistic artwork
Photo by Dom J on

The Sun’s Rays

The sun is one of my favorite things, yet it’s warmth can be a terrible reminder of the coldness of everything it touches.

Scott McSunnyday

When your gentle ray’s bounce from my fragile, lightly tanned skin, I am left with a comforting warmth that leaves little to be desired. Sweat pours down my face and drenches my clothes; they stick to my body like maple syrup to a dirty plate. The occasional breeze brushes my hair back with a mythical elegance, in a way that a brush and blow dryer never could. I watch squirrels, chipmunks and robins live harmoniously, thinking about how people on the other side of the world see creatures that are totally different and foreign to me. You hug me like my rocking horse-covered baby blanket and nuzzle me until I’m close to falling asleep.

action android device electronics
Photo by Matan Segev on

I reach back behind my neck and below my shirt collar until I feel cold, hard metal. I unhook the latch and I lift my head up, placing it under my armpit. The sun’s rays shoot down my now open neck and illuminate my insides. I see the light surround my beating heart and rising and lowering lungs, along with the blood flowing through my intricate veins, arteries and ventricles. I can see the dissolving food in my stomach and how the acid melts it down to waste. I can even see my spine reaching high up into where my head should be. Yet, with all of the things that I see illuminated inside me, I do not feel the warmth. I know how it should feel inside, but even still, I feel nothing. My heart hasn’t warmed and neither have my lungs, veins or spine.

My detached head sighs as I place it back on my neck. After fiddling with the latch, it fits firmly back into place. With no more light inside of me, it makes sense that I feel cold. I just wish I felt the same inside as out.

The Step

I am depressed. It’s as simply un-simple as that. I have depression. I frequent thoughts of suicide, and for some of you, they are more frightening than your biggest fears. I have no intention of killing myself, yet nobody really intends to kill themselves until they’re stricken with the sudden feeling of hopelessness that nobody can understand unless they’ve felt it. It’s a terrible feeling and one that I wouldn’t wish on anybody. That’s why I really hope that my writing can help even one person find a way to cope with their unpleasant, but not unusual thoughts.

Scott McDepression

architecture art bridge cliff
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I stood near the edge of a bridge; looking down. The breeze caressed my face while the river’s waves crashed below me. The sun was high. The world felt quiet.

I couldn’t do it. I was terrified. I was acting crazy. What if it all goes wrong? What if it doesn’t work?

I took another step. Surrounded by trees and wildlife – nothing that would hear my scream. My vision started to blur, tunnel-vision overwhelming. Trying to clear my thoughts, I shook my head.

I took another step. There wasn’t any more bridge before me. Just a drop. Then god-knows-what will happen.

I took a deep breath and held it in. I let it out slowly until my lungs were empty. Breathing deeply, I closed my eyes.

I couldn’t do it. I was terrified. But I wanted to do it.

I could do it. I took one more step and fell forward. I had done it.

The wind blew past my face. The waves approached quickly. The tunnel-vision disappeared.

Relaxed. That’s how I felt. It was like a state of euphoria. Each passing second went slower than the last. Each one filled me with more happiness.

I was 20…


5 feet from the water.

I closed my eyes again as I feared for the impact. I took one last breath.

Red Skies

Most people that I meet are perfectly fine with how their lives have turned out and I find that respectable and comforting. I love seeing that people are happy with their work, relationships and goals, and that most people are well on their way to achieving what they don’t already possess. For some odd, narcissistic reason that I don’t understand, I feel like I’m not where I need to be yet. I need to keep moving forward as quickly as I can, but somewhere deep inside me I fear that I’ll never reach my destination. Maybe it’s paranoia, intuition or cowardice, but it scares the absolute shit out of me… so I push forward even faster.

Scott McStormchaser

We all know it’s coming. Everyone sees the clouds rolling in, but no one knows what it has in store for them. No one is ready and it’s impossible to prepare for. The red skies hang high above the ground with menacing eyes that carefully watch your every move, reacting to each with precise movements.

Why are they here? The only purpose that they have is to warn you of some unfortunate uncertainty disrupting your daily ritual. Constantly under watch by some greater power that, every minute, you believe in less. If a greater power is here, the skies would go away.

Instead they linger. They grow darker until you understand their purpose. A purpose that makes you wish you spent the days with blue skies differently. Instead you’re left with the feeling that everything that you’ve been through has been for nothing.

You run. You don’t look back. No matter how hard you try to run from it, no matter how hard you fight it, they’ll run faster, they’ll fight better, they’ll catch up to you when you are at your weakest. Tired of running. Tired of fighting.

But when they catch up, rain never falls, snow never forms, lightning never strikes, Thunder never booms but the feeling lingers. No one was ready. Everyone knew it was coming but no one thought it would really happen. Not now. Not like this.

sky sunset clouds bright
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