Song Lyric Sunday – Ashes of Eden by Breaking Benjamin

Before I get into my own pick for this week, I wanted to share a song that I found while trying to choose which song I was going to post this week.  However, I didn’t want to use it as my pick because it is all instrumental and this is all about lyrics.  I’m a huge fan of Game of Thrones and that’s pretty much all I could think of this week, what with winter and the snow and the cold.  Oh, and I decided to actually pick the books up and start reading them.

I decided to check, just on the offhand they had a song out there about winter or the cold, and of course they did.  I absolutely love the music they use in this show, and this one is no exception.  So, I highly suggest you click on the link and listen to the song, Winter Has Come from Season 6.

I’ve been wanting to post this song for a while… Breaking Benjamin is one of my favorite bands and I’ve already posted how much I love their newest album, Dark Before Dawn.  I think it is beautifully done and I highly suggest you check it out.

I decided to go not so literal with my pick (probably because I’ve spoken enough about snow and winter…)  There are other types of cold though… the cold of loneliness and longing for that closeness of another being.  The cold of death.  This particular song makes me cry every time I hear it and the video is a knock-out punch right between the eyes.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.  (Oh, and try to stay warm)

Ashes of Eden by Breaking Benjamin
Written by Benjamin Burnley (Lead Singer)
Lyrics found at AZ Lyrics

Will the faithful be rewarded
When we come to the end
Will I miss the final warning
From the lie that I have lived
Is there anybody calling
I can see the soul within
And I am not worthy
I am not worthy of this

Are you with me after all
Why can’t I hear you
Are you with me through it all
Then why can’t I feel you

Stay with me, don’t let me go
Because there’s nothing left at all
Stay with me, don’t let me go
Until the Ashes of Eden fall

Will the darkness fall upon me
When the air is growing thin
Will the light begin to pull me
To its everlasting will
I can hear the voices haunting
There is nothing left to fear
And I am still calling
I am still calling to you

Are you with me after all
Why can’t I hear you
Are you with me through it all
Then why can’t I feel you

Stay with me, don’t let me go
Because there’s nothing left at all
Stay with me, don’t let me go
Until the Ashes of Eden fall

Don’t let go

Why can’t I hear you
Stay with me, don’t let me go
Because there’s nothing left at all
Stay with me, don’t let me go
Until the Ashes of Eden fall
Heaven above me, take my hand (Stay with me, don’t let me go)
Shine until there’s nothing left but you
Heaven above me, take my hand (Stay with me, don’t let me go)
Shine until there’s nothing left but you


The Song Lyric Sunday theme for this week was to post a song about the cold.  Please feel free to click the link, read the rules and post one of your own.

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SoCS and JustJoJan Day 7 – Trying to stay warm

The last few days have been COLD where I live.  Even so, I sometimes hate the many layers you feel like you need to wear in order to stay warm.  Especially given the fact that it doesn’t really work.  Have you ever noticed that?  I don’t know… maybe I haven’t spent enough time outside lately to really appreciate what a coat can do for you.  When I’m sitting in my car, it just seems bulky and overwhelming.

 

Which is why, I suppose, I debated whether or not to wear a coat this morning, even though it was around 10 degrees outside.  I put on my hoodie and thought, “This should be enough.”  I ended up throwing on the coat, and it wasn’t too overly annoying, but I’m still wondering why I even debated it in my head.

The other morning, I had to stop and get gas and fill a tire up with air.  The wind was blowing and it was so cold, it almost felt like I wasn’t wearing a coat and a scarf and gloves… I guess that’s why it makes me wonder why we even bother.

I went to lunch with my daughter yesterday.  The high was somewhere around 15 degrees, so I was all wrapped up and the only thing she managed was a long-sleeved flannel.  I don’t understand how some people just walk through this type of weather like it’s nothing different and others of us struggle so much.

I sit in our house and freeze my ass off… Since I met my Fiance, I’ve managed to change the temperature he likes to keep it at by about 2 degrees.  Last night, we were watching a movie, so I was in sweats and wrapped in a blanket.  Which meant that every time I got up to do anything, I was shivering.  He very kindly offered to turn up the temperature in the house, but I know him too well.  He walked over and very gallantly raised it by one whole degree.  I didn’t actually see what he raised it to, but I said, “You raised it one degree, didn’t you?”  We were both laughing because that’s exactly what he did.

I truly am grateful for a roof over my head and a relatively warm house to be in.  I’m thinking I may need to look into somewhere else to live in my retirement that is much warmer, although I have said multiple times in the last two months that I am never moving again.  I guess we’ll see how much the cold affects that statement.

Happy Saturday, everyone.  Stay warm out there!


Stream of Consciousness Saturday and Just Jot It January are both hosted by Linda G Hill. Today’s prompt is “coat”.

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JustJoJan Day 5 – The Spangly Snow

It always seems like we get the hard prompts on those days I’m wishing for an easy one.  I suppose this may be one of those posts that doesn’t follow the prompt… but who knows, maybe I’ll be able to fit it in there somewhere.

We finally ended up with that snow storm.  Although, as expected, it wasn’t as world changing as some thought it might be.  It took a little longer to drive to work today, but it wasn’t all that bad, to be honest.  The worst part for me was the cold after the storm.  I’m kind of a wuss when it comes to the cold, so I’m not even going to say how cold it is because I don’t want to get laughed at.  I just really don’t like it.

The upside is that freshly fallen snow is beautiful.  I was sitting in my car at lunch today, waiting for it to warm up, when I happened to look up.  I found myself fascinated by a tree.  Its gnarled, spindly limbs were covered in snow and it was spangly (see what I did there?) with droplets of ice hanging down.  I wish I’d had the presence of mind to snap a photo.

There’s also something so comforting about snow.  It feels almost as if you are enveloped in a freezing hug, but somehow it remains warm and comforting (I’m not sure I’m saying how I feel because I hate the cold… but there is just something about snow).

I was just thinking that there is a long way to go yet before Spring and it reminded me of The Game of Thrones.  Winter isn’t just coming, Winter is here.  I suppose one could be grateful – now that it’s here, we are one step closer to the end.

I’m starting to think this would have made a great SOCS post – it is truly all over the place as I tried to sort through the fuzz in my head and was largely unsuccessful.


Just Jot It January is hosted by Linda G. Hill.  Today’s prompt, time, is brought to us by Judy at Edwina’s Episodes.

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#LoIsInDaBl Day 3 – Snow (As it relates to love)

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I took this picture on Christmas Day. Snow just seems to make that day even more magical, doesn’t it? I’m also trying to remember that there was a point this year that I LOVED snow. I’m hoping it will get me through the next few months…


Love Is In Da Blog is hosted by Bee at Just Fooling Around with Bee. We are combining today’s post with Wordless Wednesday. I know I typed a few words up there, but I couldn’t help it. I had to explain how snow relates to LOVE.

JustJoJan Day 21 – Mittens vs. Gloves

When I think of mittens, I think of cuddly, cozy warmth; but the few times I’ve actually worn them, I felt like they weren’t as warm as gloves. I was under the impression that the heat from each finger would add to the other, thereby creating a cocoon of warmth. What I feel like happened was exactly the opposite.

I don’t know… maybe it’s because I don’t have very good circulation. What actually happened to me was that the tips of my fingers got cold so it was a cocoon of frozen fingers rather than heat. I literally had to fist up my hands inside the mittens in order to try and get them warm.

I sometimes do that with gloves too. I’ll pull my fingers into the middle and make a fist to get my fingers warm. It’s pretty funny when all the glove fingers flop around. What isn’t funny is that the tips of the gloves get cold so when I put my fingers back in, it undoes the warmth I created when I fisted my hands.

I don’t know why, but I’ve been so cold today and I can only drink so much coffee. My coworker offered to let me use her space heater, but I always think those are worse than just being cold. It gets that one little space you’re sitting in super warm, but when you get up, it’s freezing! I’d never leave my desk and that would not be good for my bladder or anyone else in the office, really.

It’s kind of the same idea of putting my hands in fists to keep them warm. At that point, I’m pretty much stuck keeping them that way until I get somewhere warm because putting them back into the finger holes is just cold, cold torture.

Now that I’m thinking about it, maybe I’ve just never found the right kind of mittens. Maybe I need them to be lined with layers of soft fuzzy material – like slippers, but for your hands!


Just Jot It January is hosted by Linda G. Hill. Today’s prompt, mittens, was brought to us by Candy at Rhymes with Bug.

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Flash Fiction – Cold Blood (Part 3 of 4)

Chuck’s challenge this week was to take the second part of someone’s story and write the third part. I read the first part of this story and almost wrote the second part to it but found something else I was more inspired to write. When I read the second part, my first thought was there is nowhere to take this. But I couldn’t get it out of my head and it didn’t take long before I had the third part pretty much nailed down. I’m really hoping someone finishes it. I think I left it open enough for a few different directions.

I have all three parts here for ease of reading and for those of you who haven’t read the first two parts. I suggest you check both blogs out, though. They are both fantastic! Pavowski’s part is in blue, Lauren’s is in red and mine is last in black. My part came in just under 900 words. I hope you enjoy our collaboration so far. I’ll make sure to post the last part if someone else picks it up.

Cold Blood

Cold.

The weather reports had called for cold, but that was the first thing Lem could process, and the only thing, for that matter. Despite the sleeping bag her legs were snarled in, the stocking cap smushing down her short hair, and the two hoodies she had layered up the night before, the cold had seeped into her toes and her fingers in the night, and she could barely feel them.

She sat up, and a crack of thunder sounded in her skull. Too much whiskey the night before; yes, that had been a mistake. And not a drop of water around before bed, either. All the water in their flasks had frozen. Was still frozen, she discovered, turning a heavy flask over. It would have been funny, if her head hadn’t felt like it was tearing into two halves down the middle. She poked Mark to wake him up.

But Mark wasn’t there.

His sleeping bag had been right next to hers when she passed out, but now it was rolled up and neatly secured with paracord in the corner of the tent. Next to it sat Mark’s pack, which was also arranged and collected and ready to depart. But no Mark.

She peeked her head out of the tent — sucking in a sharp icy breath, because god help her, it was even colder outside — and looked around. There, the ring of stones around the pile of ash from last night’s fire. There, the funny little outcropping of trees that Mark had said looked like a bunch of aliens dancing around a maypole. There, the dusty trail leading off into the woods. In the distance, the burbling sounds of the river. But no Mark.

Lem cleared her throat, sending another shockwave through her pounding head, and stumbled out into the grey morning. She tried to call for Mark, but her voice was hoarse and tiny in the predawn mist. It wasn’t unlike him to go for a little explore before she was awake, but something felt off. The sleeping bag, his pack. He hadn’t lit a fire. And he’d had as much to drink as she had, if not more. By rights, he should be the one sprawling on the ground in the tent, unable to shake the fog out of his head. She called out once more, Mark’s name issuing out in a great cloud of vapor. Three crows exploded out of a nearby bush and went flapping off into the sky, cawing at one another and at her pitilessly as the grey swallowed them up.

An hour later, Lem had built a fire and thrown a few sausages in the pan, figuring that when Mark returned she could have a bit of breakfast ready. She’d thawed out a canteen and chugged a good quart of water, and that had helped, too. But the hour had come and gone: she had gathered kindling, listened to the thick sizzle of the gristly meat, and then devoured them herself, all without seeing or hearing any sign of Mark. It was only when she was cleaning up from the meager meal that she started to get uneasy.

Not at the thought of being alone in the wild; she carried a gun and was well-trained in its use. That had been her father’s insistence when she took up hiking, and she dutifully loaded it before every expedition, even though she had never had cause to use it. Nor was she uneasy at Mark’s absence; he liked the solitude of the woods even more than she did, and he would be back soon enough with some clumsy excuse about forgetting to leave a note, and they’d kiss and laugh over it and that would be the end. It was the cold, she realized. The sun was up now, casting long, skeletal shadows through the trees, but it was getting colder. Unseasonable was not the word. The chill was unnatural.

She chuckled at herself as she thought it, and went to pack away her mess kit back in her pack, and that was when she spotted it. It was frozen solid but unmistakable, dark crimson in the dust, glittering with the scattered sunshine; A tiny disk of blood that looked like it might have frozen before it hit the ground.

She bent to examine it, the vapor of her breath seeming to melt its surface just a little, tiny droplets condensing on the angry red ice. Now that she’d spotted this tiny pool, the next one seemed to catch light at the edge of her vision. She rose and walked toward the new spot, and then she saw the next patch of ice… and the next, leading toward that strange snarled copse of trees.

For a fleeting moment, she thought of her gun. Her tent was only thirty feet away, just as far from her now as the weird interwoven trees that had caught Mark’s fancy the night before. It would take only a moment to retrieve it. Then came a sound that made ice of the blood suddenly surging through her veins. The cracking of a twig underfoot, but not under her foot. Under another foot entirely, just beyond the edge of the trees encircling the clearing.

She shivered, frozen to the spot, and looked around at the stand of trees surrounding the camping site. She couldn’t see who it was, and she thought they must be hiding out there. Lem tiptoed back over to the fire and sat down on the rock, as the figure came out of the woods. Her heart pounded against her ribcage, trying to break free of its confines. She could see the outline of the backpack, and a wave of relief washed over her when she saw the dreads on his head—just a backpacker.

“You scared me,” she said.

“I was separated from my group about an hour ago.”

Lem looked up to the sky and realized the sun hadn’t even been up for an hour. Unease crept into her, but she plastered a smile on her face as she looked at him.

“Did you see a man on the trail? About six feet? Beard, probably unkempt hair?”

The backpacker shook his head. She sat on the rock warming her hands by the fire, and she motioned for him to take a seat.

“I’m Ian,” he said.

She grasped his hand, noticing his knuckles were split around the edges, like he’d been hitting something. He followed her eyes, and she stared up at him, darkness staring back at her. She shuddered and pulled her hand back too abruptly.

“I practice taekwondo. Split my knuckles on the punching bag. Your name?”

She nodded, but she didn’t believe him—the same feeling of unease from this morning creeping back to her as she wondered where Mark could be and whether the blood on the rock was his.

“Lem.”

“Unsual.”

“Belonging to God.”

“Huh?”

“It’s what the name means. It was my mother’s maiden name and was stuck onto me like a fungus. Imagine being a girl and growing up with a name like Lem.”

She didn’t know why she was telling him this, nervous talk, because when she looked at him the feeling of dread seeped under her skin. She wished Mark was here, or that she even knew where Mark was, but more than that she wished the gun in the tent was in her hands. She thought about breaking away from the campfire, going into the tent and pushing it into the space between the elasticity of her pants and her skin.  But, she thought, if Ian was dangerous then she would be trapped. Coming out of the tent, he could easily accost her and she didn’t want that. She thought about the split skin on his hands, the blood seemed newly dried and this thought turned her stomach as she thought about the little pool of blood on the ice. It could only be Mark’s.

“Would you like some bacon?” she asked, pointing towards the pan she had left cooling by the fire.

Her breath was still coming out in vapor, but the world seemed to be warming up now that the sun was peeking up from behind the trees. 

“Yeah, that’d be fucking great,” Ian said, and he leaned forward to help himself to two pieces.

“So how does one get lost from their group so early in the morning?”

He glared at her, and she felt an icy prickle, like a hand, trail through her body alerting her to the danger this man seemed to possess. 

“Maybe you should be asking yourself that about—what’s his name?”

“Mark.” When the name came from her lips, she knew Mark was past tense. She wanted to crawl out into the woods and look for his body, but right now she had to protect herself from the monster sitting right next to her. 

“This bacon’s great.” The words from his mouth dripped like acid, despite the benign nature of them.

She nodded, pulling her knees to her chest and rocking back and forth, trying to warm herself up in a childlike pose meant to protect her from things unknown.

“I think I’m just going to go to the tent, put another layer on. You’re welcome to another piece of bacon.”

She set her feet into the dirt, and as she started to push herself up from the rock his hand clamped on her wrist, a pair of handcuffs meaning to trap her to this place. His fingernails dug into her skin, a grip so tight she knew there was no escaping.

“I think you should stay here,” he said through clenched teeth.

Her heart was beating so fast, a thousand tons sitting on her chest, as the reality of the situation started sinking in. Sweat broke out on her forehead, despite the coldness that seemed to drag itself into every pore of her body.  She wanted it to be a nightmare. She wanted to wake up and roll over, feel Mark’s warm skin next to hers and warm herself up with a morning coital.

The daydream faded as she realized Ian wasn’t going to let go. Her eyes moved from his hands, split knuckles, dirt under the fingernails, to his chest.  When she saw it, she gasped.

He had the necklace hanging around his neck—a token from a kill? The Joshua Tree imprinted on the metal, the frayed edges of the shoelace material laying along Ian’s neck, instead of Mark’s where it belonged. She had bought it for Mark at Joshua Tree National Park about a month after they started dating. He hadn’t taken it off since.

And she knew what this man was here to do.

He maintained his grasp on her wrist. With his other hand he trailed his fingers against the exposed skin on her neck. She started screaming, and as expected he clamped his hand over her mouth, the smell of dirt and moisture filling her nostrils.

Lem tried to break away from his grasp, and was surprised when the searing pain clouded her field of vision, and suddenly her world went completely black. This is it for me, she thought. 

How far do you suppose we walked today?” Mark was buried in his sleeping bag, his muffled question barely reaching her own sleeping bag cocoon.

Not as far as you’d like, but that wasn’t my fault.” She was smiling as she remembered walking off the trail in order to pee and getting shit from him.

You only stopped to pee like what? Ten times?”

Oh, come off it! I didn’t pee any more than you did.”

If she could have seen his face, she would have seen his raised eyebrow, his lips quirked in a sarcastic, I-can’t-believe-you-believe-your-own-shit smile.

Wanna come over here and end the night right?”

I’m not getting out of this bag. But you’re more than welcome to venture on over here, sexy.”

God, I wouldn’t even know how to find the zipper at this point. Did we finish the bottle?”

No idea.”

Their laughs echoed into the frozen night for a few seconds after they stopped, and it wasn’t long before Lem’s eyes closed and she found herself floating in a dark haze of whiskey, laughter and the knowledge that her lover was only a few inches away.

Cold.

She started awake to a searing pain in her head that throbbed throughout her upper body. She took in a shaky breath, the cold air sliding down her throat making the pain even worse. She smelled frozen dirt and realized she was lying on the ground, and as soon as she thought it, the memory of Ian rushed through her head.

Oh God, Mark.

Tears welled in her eyes at the realization that not only was Mark dead, she was all alone in the frozen woods, miles from the road.

Why am I still alive?

She had no idea why Ian had left her; no idea how she had survived his attack. But she was awake and knew she had to get to the gun and get the hell out of here if she could.

She laid in the dirt for a few minutes longer listening for footsteps or any sound that would tell her there was someone else around, but the only sounds she heard were the trees rustling in the icy wind and the hissing of the dying fire. As she listened, she started to slowly move her body, trying to feel if the damage was as bad as the throbbing told her it probably was. The pain was centered in her neck and upper back. Had he stabbed her? She didn’t know, but decided it was best to go slowly.

She finally made it to her feet, the throbbing intensifying as she paused for a moment, swaying in the icy silence. She was dizzy and weak, but she fought past it, knowing her only chance was to get to the gun and get moving down the trail. If she could just stay conscious and stay on the trail, she might come across other hikers and possible rescue. She knew it was her only hope. To stay here was to die.

The tent flap was whipping in the wind, still open from when she had spotted the blood and followed it towards the copse of trees. Bending over was an agony that brought tears to her eyes once again, but she knew if she broke down now, there was no way she was getting back up again. She was grateful she had dressed for the cold the night before. Adding layers was another thing beyond her ability right now, even though she could have used her coat. She glanced at it longingly but left it to search in her pack.

As her hands closed around the gun that was still buried there, she closed her eyes, feeling slightly safer but no less scared. She knew she had to be hurt bad enough for Ian to leave. He must have assumed he’d killed her. Shivering, she shook her head slightly only to be rewarded with a stabbing pain in her head. She couldn’t think about it now; couldn’t think about the discs of blood she followed as she made her way out of the tent and away from the campsite toward the trail.

The only thing she had grabbed besides the gun was a canteen. She could barely keep herself upright. She knew she wouldn’t be able to carry a pack and herself down the mountain; didn’t even know if she would make it farther than the next step, but she had to try. Thank God the water hadn’t frozen yet.

She didn’t so much walk down the trail as she stumbled in a haphazard arc, the only thought in her head was placing one foot in front of the other. She held the gun frozen in her right hand, afraid that if she put it away, Ian would come crashing through the trees to finish what he’d started. She tried to keep stock of her surroundings, but things kept going in and out of focus. I’m not going to make it, she thought, as the cold settled in and she started to feel warm and sleepy. The only thing she wanted to do was lie down and close her eyes for a few moments; just a short rest, then she would continue.