Hi everyone; this is just a little snippet I wrote the other night when I couldn't sleep and finally cured myself of writer's block...the characters featured here are from my story Translucent which you can also find on FP. So if you haven't read it, it will probably give some more background on the characters and their relationships. I feel the need to warn my readers that while this entry doesn't contain anything explicit, there is brief imagery of cutting. So if you find that sort of thing triggering, you might want to skip it. Thanks guys! Hopefully I'll have a new chapter of Translucent out very soon. :D Love!

-Jack


Bloodflowers

Forrest cautiously entered the dark room that smelt of vanilla candles and stale sweat. He knew it wasn't the kind of sweat that lingered after one of Leslie's wasted nights at the bar or at a frat party in the surrounding neighbourhood; it was probably the misfortunes of withdrawal kicking in. Indivar had witnessed Leslie's symptoms long before anyone else, refusing to let anyone see him despite that most had turned Leslie over some odd morning to find that he had thrown up on himself or the downstairs couch. Forrest was one of the few that had seen Leslie through many rough times – depression, frustration, drunken rambles, bar fights, passing out outside of the bar, passing out on the floor, and at least once before, withdrawal. Although it had once astonished Forrest that someone so young had their life controlled by a bottle, he had since decided that all he could do was accept it and try to gently nudge Leslie in the right direction. The two were close, but he felt that it was the duty of Leslie's family – who, unfortunately, weren't aware of the nineteen-year-old's addiction - to intervene. Perhaps they had simply chosen not to acknowledge it.

Forrest challenged the room, taking his first step inside. As he crossed the floor, which was busy with dirty laundry and a few papers here and there, he spotted Leslie's figure on the bed, hunched over the pillow that he clung to his underside. The sheets were neatly draped over his lower back, slightly damp from sweat. For a moment, Forrest admired Leslie's tiny frame; his right shoulder blade glinted in the dim light, and he wondered how it was possible for him to appear even more fragile. Sometimes the sight of Leslie's collarbones, hipbones, and so on reminded the other boys of just how prone Leslie was to breaking. It was as if he could crack open and curl up into a ball to recover. His pink hair stuck to his neck in small tendrils, and his face was turned into the mattress, towards the wall. There were no more empty bottles scattered on the few surfaces of the room than when Forrest had come to check on him at noon, something he found to be hopeful. Truthfully, it was more likely that he hadn't put in the effort to arrange for someone else to buy him liquor.

Careful not to wake up Leslie, Forrest sat down on the bed. The boy's breathing beside him was soft and quiet; hopefully he was dreaming of pleasant things despite all the torment that sometimes seemed to plague his sleep. Even through his physical pain, Leslie seemed peaceful; the whirlwind had been silenced if only for a few hours.

Forrest carefully lifted Leslie's arm, which had been resting on his side. As he craned his neck forwards, he could see a row of red lines carved across his wrist. They were deep with the exception of a few hesitation marks, and still appeared to be irritated and swollen. At first, he was alarmed by the sight, as Leslie usually resorted to other ways of releasing his anger, but he quickly realized what was behind his friend's change in behaviour. Usually, Leslie had no shame in practicing disruptive behaviour, keeping up his friends or even waking them up on occasion. To say the least, he enjoyed causing a fuss in the household. He freely poured out his feelings in the hopes that perhaps someone would catch on and finally tell him off, tell him that he was going to die if he didn't change. The difference now was that he didn't care – he wanted to be left alone so that he could gently disappear from the world and separate himself in order to do so.

Of course Forrest had thought Leslie's sudden absence to be unusual, but he hoped that holing up in his room for a few days to be his way of dealing with all of the feelings he usually discarded. Perhaps he was coming to understand and accept the events of his past, and mustering up the strength to find a new way of life. They were all possibilities until Forrest saw the marks on his arm.

As he watched the soft sleeper, Forrest began to grow tired himself. He crawled underneath the sheets and curled up against his friend, wrapping his arms around the pink-haired wonder. When Leslie stirred beside him as if he had been unpleasantly disturbed from his sleep, Forrest hushed him.

"It's okay; go back to sleep. We'll talk in the morning."

Lulled by Forrest's low, soft voice, Leslie turned to face the wall again and fell into a deep slumber.