10/07/14 | By

From Midnight Meanders, written by Annika Jensen and published by Lodestone.

William Spencer is troubled not only by stereotypical teen angst, but by an invisible disease that seems to be picking his mind apart day by day, leaving him with an unyielding hollow emptiness. His strange, yet somewhat effective method of coping involves many late-night walks around his sleepy neighborhood, armed with a pen in his hand and a poem in his mind. Midnight Meanders seeks to reveal the true actions of the teenage mind, not just regurgitate assumptions made by adults. It passes through the stages of anxiety and angst; of pessimism and encouragement; most of all, of discovery. As William journeys through his own mind, revelations are made, relationships are broken and restored, and a faith that once seemed extinct is rediscovered and renewed.

It wasn’t uncommon; William very often felt this way, and all that he knew is that it wasn’t a good feeling. Not sadness or anger, but more like the lack of happiness, or even the lack of feeling. It started with the weight, and the strange tugging in his chest, and got progressively worse until he could feel a ringing in his ears like a frustrated scream. It frightened him at first, not knowing what he was feeling, but over time William had managed to deal with it, telling himself, “Nothing’s really wrong, so I don’t need to feel nervous.” Still, he couldn’t hide the idea from his mind that something wasn’t right, and it had been that way for a long time.

William crossed the street parallel to the curb, and meandered slowly down the sidewalk, in no particular hurry to get home, even in the ample rain. He reached out to touch the branches of the neighboring trees gently as he passed, a small collection of rainwater running off each leaf and grazing his hands. William always knew that if they could talk, trees would tell the best stories. They saw everything around them, every event that had happened within their visual range, and heard things that no one was meant to hear. Although they seemed still and sleepy, there was life to them, he knew, and they could make you wonder.

A dark violet cloud pushed its way in front of the half moon, casting dancing shadows on the ground as William walked to the faint beat of the music drifting from his headphones. He passed a small yard, overgrown with weeds and untrimmed grass, one large weeping willow shading the house. It cried with the rain. He looked up suddenly, surprised. A faint sliver of light streamed from the door before it shut quietly, leaving William with one eyebrow raised, stopping to see who had walked out. Or maybe in, he thought.


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