Refrain (lyrics)

She called up said, Can I come down? 

He said, You’re welcome anytime your around,

and when she hung up she smiled real slow, 

said it’s been too long since she walked that road. 


And when she got to thinking about those past times, 

she hardly remembered the passed wrongs never made right, 

and she forgot how she used to think,

Why you gotta hold out on loving me? 


Why am I something to refrain from loving, 

Why am I the dirty secret under the cover?

I was always just something on the sly, 

What do I add up to to the passer by? 

What’s so wrong with loving me? 


She went downtown in her best dress,

said time has passed and I’ll show him yet,

he thought, my oh my how times does slip 

the first time he had her he’d never forget 


But when he went to kiss her after the show 

She kissed him back and pulled away real slow, 

She could almost remember the wrongs from the past

So she tried to say no, but he just laughed, 


Why am I something to refrain from loving? 

I’m the dirty secret swept under the covers, 

when you were the one that didn’t want my love. 

I’m the girl you never said you knew 

and time after time I wore the shoe. 

What do people see when they pass me by ?

What’s wrong with loving me? 


It means more to me than it does to you,

but he laughed and said, that couldn’t be true. 

How easily she could be swept away, 

If you love when you’re lonely there is no other way, 


so she kissed him back and hoped for the best

as he peeled back her pretty dress…


Well he refrained from loving me, 

said nobody chooses what’s given for free. 

What I gave as a gift he took as a ride,

no reason was left just my own hurt pride. 


Said she learned her lesson, and the girl got grown, 

when he called her years later she stared at the phone 

he left a message, said she’d been in his head,

but you can rekindle feelings after they’re buried and dead. 


And you gotta refrain from loving me, 

cuz I’m dirty, dirty, you made me see. 

What I had I thought was so sweet, 

but you took me for face value and for my body. 


You Don’t Need to Believe to be Haunted

You Don’t Need to Believe to be Haunted

Avah’s mouth hung slightly open, and she was stock still, staring down the corridor, into the darkness that stretched beyond the small halo of her flash light. She turned her face towards Jack in creaky pivots, until her wide shiny eyes were beaming at Jack.
“Did you hear that?” she mouthed, her lips exaggerating the words. Jack nodded slowly, her eyes measuring his every moment. She often scolded his clumsiness, or his loud step that would echo in these abandoned places. He nodded so her barely stirred the air, and she slowly turned her pale face back towards the corridor, her pallor looking a bit morbid in the current setting.
Jack had been lying. He hadn’t heard a damn thing. He was tired, and these games were old. Although, he had to admit they were no longer games. He watched as Avah’s eyed danced everywhere in the dark ahead of him, flicking like a wild animal that knew it was being hunted. What had started as a dare had clearly become an obsession for Avah. Jack did not know how to break it to her. He was never the confrontational friend. In fact, he was often called a ‘softie’. He did not know how to tell his best friend that she was becoming a mere apparition, like the very ones she hunted. Or the very one, in particular.

It had started as a dare on an autumn night, the night of the season’s first snow.

“I bet it is haunted,” Cara said as she rubbed her finger over her bottle neck. “Go check, Aves. Dare ya!” Cora laughed.
“Hell, we’ll all go,” Dean laughed, sucking on his cigarette, reveling in the fact that his parents finally knew he smoked. He seemed to really enjoy the sense of freedom that came with openly waving the butt around on his front porch while his parents slumbered upstairs.
“What, are we seven?” Avah scoffed, sipping on her Angry Orchard.
“No,” Jack joked quietly, “we never will be again.” Everyone was quiet for a moment, thinking about the silly shenanigans that they were rapidly outgrowing. They were all seniors, and the year was already slipping by quickly with the shift of season. Greg leaned on the railing across from Avah, and he smiled at her when she looked up at him. She blushed.
“Fuck it, I’m going,” Dean flicked his cigarette and headed down the street. Cora watched him a moment before laughing and running down the snowy pathway.
“Don’t leave us just standing here!” Avah called, rolling her eyes at Jack before they both jogged after their friends.

“You know, me and my brother do this sometimes,” Greg told the group as they stood outside the door of the place.
“Do what? Butt fuck in abandoned buildings? Homo!” Dean punched Greg in the shoulder and bound up the stairs, pushing through the front door. Cora followed with a little less pomp, and Greg looked back at Avah before he started up the stairs. Jack watched as Avah hurried up a few steps to fall in next to Greg, and he trailed the whole group in.
Jack started as Dean jumped out from behind the front door at him.
“Boo!” Dean cackled and loped back to the front of the group, and Avah elbowed Jack with a small smile, reminding him to take Dean with a grain of salt. Dean had a way of getting on Jack’s nerves, and Dean did not try his best to do otherwise. Jack smiled at Avah, not taking for granted the brief moment her eyes seemed to hold him, seemed to see right through him, know him and keep him so very grounded.

“There’s one place up closer to Broadway,” Greg was telling Avah in the corridor. Dean was checking out a big bedroom on the second floor, and Cora was circling the room, while Jack leaned in the door way and tried not to eaves drop on Greg and Avah leaning on the wall just outside of the room.
“I went there with my brother when I was really young,” Greg was saying and Avah was just smiling and nodding in the gloom, letting him weave his proposal. “I’ll take you sometime. It was an asylum at one time, run by nuns.” Jack looked over at the two of them, not quite believing the bull pouring out of his friend’s mouth, but Avah’s eyebrows were curved with interest and she nodded as Greg asked her if she’d go with him sometime.
“It’ll be way creepier than this place,” Greg tapped on the wall, and just then Dean let out a howl insidet he room, snapping Jack’s attention immediately.

“Just kidding guys,” Dean laughed, slinging his arm around Cora. He put his hand on his belly and gave a good chortle before leading the gang out of the room.

Avah was not light hearted now. Jack gnawed at the inside of his cheek as they crept towards the end of the hall. Avah was scanning the rooms that they passed, and she stopped a moment out side one, surveying the few remaining doorways between them and the end of the hall. Jack did not want to go up to the second floor, he prayed she would just duck into the room on her left and get some snooping done and be over with the night. The hairs on the back of his neck were rising as they stood in the dark silence. He hated when he got freaked out like this, but it was not because he believed in ghosts, it was because Jack feared the dark. He would never admit the few times his pledge to not-believing faltered because of some his experiences in these creepy dumps, so his fear of the dark grew as he reminded himself time and time again it was not paranormal but his irrational fear of the dark.

Greg had died. Cora and Dean had started dating, and Avah and Greg had this weird deep connection, and Jack was the dorky best friend, a little bit closer with Greg and Avah. He had known Greg since they were five, they were neighbors. Greg and Jack both met Avah when they were in high school, when she moved in on their street, in between Dean and Cora, who’s families moved in during their middle school years. By then the four of them were a solid pack, and Avah had melded in seamlessly.
High school, they were inseparable. Jack thought back to that time in the haunted house, how they had stayed up the whole night after, and Greg split a butt with Jack at two in the morning, how alive they had felt in that still hour.
Jack didn’t move as Avah turned to face the door on the left. Jack noticed her skin was somewhat glossy with sweat, and he wondered if she was hot in this cool autumn weather. The nights had been cooling off as summer began to taper into fall. Jack himself was a little chilled. Avah chewed her cheek, and looked back at Jack.

He wanted to tell her to stop it, let’s just go.
“Evah,” he whispered, and her head snapped in his direction, scowling. He ignored her.
“Let’s get the fuck out of here,” he whispered, and she shook her head, squaring her shoulders. What he really wanted to shout into the eerie silence was that she would not find Greg here.

Greg leaned against the door way. They were on the second floor of the mad house by Broadway.
“The nuns used to beat the patients with rulers. Leave big ole cuts from the sharp edges.” Avah passed through the door way and rolled her eyes at Greg, her hips full in her tight jeans. Hooked his arm around her waist and pulled her to him, his eyes dancing. He flicked off the flashlight and whispered,
“You think the looney’s will mind this?” Avah laughed as he kissed her. He pulled away for a moment to laugh too, before quieting her in the dark with another kiss.

Avah was shaking. Jack was staring at her dumb founded.
“Avah, this is insane. You’ve clearly come down with something,” he was whispering furiously as she flapped her hand at him. She moved down to the next door way, more to get away from Jack than to keep going. She sort of wanted to leave, now, too, but she was so sick of Jack hounding her. He had less and less patience, and she could not put into words how badly she had to look.
She did not know why, but when Greg had died, she knew he was lurking around in one the places they had always visited. He never had to tell her, but she could feel it that first night he had taken her ‘ghost bustin’ ‘ in the asylum, he truly believed there were spirits in some of the places. He had confided in her that his brother had died in a drunk driving accident, and he’d believed his brother was still around somewhere.
Jack may have been the only other one who knew that about Greg. He also knew that it was the same beliefs that had infested Avah’s heart as she cast around the dark ahead of him. The hairs on his arms were rising, and he thought it was more because Avah was getting him riled up, and the dark. He turned at a noise in the hallway behind him, but thought it must be nothing. Never the less he moved closer to Avah, who was still visibly displeased with him.
Now she was definitely sweating, although Jack could almost see his breath. He was getting pissed, and he wrung his hands as Avah poked her head in the door way.
“It’s really late now and you look sick as shit,” Jack was not going to say a thing about the creepy situation, just woo her home.
“Let’s go, get something to eat and tuck in for the night. What do you say, because you don’t look well. It’ll hit you like a train in the morning.” Jack looked hopefully at Avah. She pulled a piece of hair matted to her sweaty cheek away.
“No, we aren’t done.” She glowered at the dark doorway before storming through it, leaving Jack on the other side. He hesitated a moment, the pitch black a solid wall in front of him, and just as he perked up the courage to plunge through the barrier, the door swung shut in his face.

Avah pounded on the door from the other side. Jack kicked it and pried at it.
“It won’t come free, Avah!” he shouted.
“What?! What the fuck!” She kicked the door from her side
“Try the windows,” Jack shouted, but Avah did not reply. He pushed on the door again, but it would not budge a bit.
“Avah?” he shouted frantically, and then heard her knocking.
“There are bars on the windows!” she said. She resumed battering the door from her side, and Jack took survey of the things in the abandoned corridor, trying to think of a clever plan.

The battering abruptly stopped and Jack perked back up. He pressed his ear to the door and knocked.
“Avah?” he called. The hairs on the back of his neck and legs started to stand again, and he was suddenly aware of his breath hanging in the air again. He wondered if it had gotten colder or if he hadn’t quite noticed his breath so distinctly. He listened for a sound from Avah but there was nothing.
Suddenly there was a sound of something snapping against flesh, and Avah howled in pain. It sounded like something was repeatedly striking Avah, and she howled and howled over and over in pain, and Jack frantically clawed at the door, screaming for Avah.

“Avah!” he hollered, ramming the door with his shoulder, “What is happening to you, Avah, hold on I’m coming!” Avah just wailed. At one point she banged furiously on the door again, but not before it suddenly stopped, and you could hear her howl from the other side of the room a mere moment later.

Jack dialed the police. By the time they got there, the howling had stopped. Jack was in a heap outside of the door, and they gently pried him away, their multiple huge flashlights lending a clarity to the dark haunted corridor that he hadn’t been afforded in the fearsome moments before. He shivered in the light, suddenly very much aware of the edges where it met the dark. The officers moved him outside to one of their cars while the brought out the stretcher.

He wrote his statement, and he in it he did not lie. Jack told them that he heard the distinct noise of something hitting her. He likened it to a ruler snapping against flesh. The autopsy revealed that the wounds very well could have been self-inflicted. They later found a ruler in another room of the building, with Avah’s blood on it. They deduced that the wounds could have been from the sharp side, never the less, still could be self-induced.
The papers exploded, and the one question everyone asked, was, how did the ruler get in another room? Fingers were pointed at Jack, who had all but disappeared into his house after the funeral. People shouted that he had loved her all along and that was motive enough, men have done crazier!
Cora even noted to Dean when they were reading about their friend’s death in the paper,
“I don’t know, Dean. I mean, I never would have thought it, but would it surprise you? He always loved her a lot, ya know? No one’s been the same since Greg died…” to which Dean retorted,
“I don’t think anyone was as fucked up after Greg’s accident than Avah, though. She was a little out of it, I think she’d do it to herself before softie would harm a soul. Jack’s good shit.” Dean tossed the paper across their kitchen table.

Jack hid in his house. He spit on the autopsy report when it ruled her death suicidal. He remembered her howling in pain. He could hear the swish of something… something else bringing down that ruler on her. Sometimes he dreamed that it was in fact his own hand. He would wake from these terrors in a cold sweat, and do a round to make sure all the lights in the house were on, and that there were no corners full of shadow where any ghosts, of loved ones, or others, could hide.



Avah froze in front of Jack. He could see the white of her eyes in his flashlight, he focused on her as she stood statue still, her narrowing as she took in everything down the vacant hall in scope of her light. Very slowly, she turned her head to look at Jack, and whispered,
“Did you hear that?” She mouthed,
“Ya,” he mouthed back, although he was lying. He had been so focused on Avah that he hadn’t heard a thing. He didn’t believe in ghosts, anyways. The bigger issue here was that he did not, in fact, like the dark. He thought he hid it well, however Avah was more suspicious of his hidden fear than she let on. She caught him staring up at the shadowy buildings she had been pushing him to investigate with her. He was her best pal, and she certainly was not going into these places alone.
“Let’s keep moving deeper,” she stepped hesitantly forward, her boots quiet on the tiled hallway floor.

Jack wondered when these adventures would end. If he was being honest with himself, he was sick of going into dark places, losing precious hours of sleep to be hauled around dark spooky corridors and vacant houses that smelled like mold and were becoming increasingly freezing in the autumn nights. What had started out as a sort of dare, or joke, was becoming an obsession for Avah. He had seen it in her the first night they had all broken into the neighborhood haunt, drunk and exhilarated with the thrill of the first snow.


Dear Past Shannon

Dear Past Shannon

You are already different from the person who wrote the title of this post. Yet I can guarantee one thing has not changed, you still have not written a damn book, or continued the pile you’ve started. You are always daunted by the task of finding the story in yourself. You have the idea, the character, maybe, but you get lost in the meat of it all and you are so very afraid of trying to muddle through it.
All the pretty places you dream of, you can go. Not only physically, but you can create these Eden’s with your pen. Do it, darling. You dream of sipping mocha with other writers, going to dinners where you congratulate friends on publications, and snowy days on some meandering stone path way, and you could do it. The thing is, you GOT TO DO IT!
You may have felt trapped the last, oh, decade it feels, but it is a mere moment in time, and if you would use that moment to only better yourself for the next, then you would still be making progress.
Make a few boards, line out some dreams and aspirations, as well as some of the big book ideas scratching at the caging of your brain, and get to it. One moment at a time, move towards some of those goals .

With the most love for all our being,

The Shannon You Won’t Be in another Mere Moment


I feel so annoying when I gush about guys. Which I probably do a lot. But when I gush about a guy that I really like, then I feel even more stupid. I’m not good at gushing. I feel like I repeat the same things a million times. 

“No, I like, really realllly like this one. I DONT KNOW, I just realllly like himmmm. I just like him a lot. AWwWwwW I miss him so much. I likeee likeeee himm.”




Assuming you feel some remorse
for leaving me,
I dare beg you not to,
for I think I did not love you,
but I loved your hands,
for they reminded me so simply
of the hands that cupped
my mothers sweet cheek
when I was sure what love was,
before I had any inclination
that it would be something I too
wished for.
When you first snaked your arm
around my neck, I never looked
you in the eye,
rather caught the sight of your thick hand,
riveted with life and labor,
hanging off my shoulder.
I thought, what large hands you have.
It was your hands that held me,
not your gaze,
when you folded me neatly on top of you,
and flowed all through me,
seemingly stitching me up
as your hands ran down the seems of my waist
and the slippery fray of my pleasure.
How they reached out for me,
across a table,
pushing a lit tea light out of the way,
casting aside romance to hold me,
my small soft hands in yours.
The day you cast me away
it was not with your lips
that left slick trails for your fingers to trace,
but your hands,
crossed heavily in your lap,
so still with resolution.
Burly and still as if the lines of life
stopped flowing for a moment through you
so I could grasp the meaning
of your hands,
creased so silently in your lap.
And in the night it was not your voice
or your pretty eyes that haunted me,
but the ghost of your hands,
ticklig me in the breeze,
following my undoing seems,
and my soft hands could not scratch
away the corroded trails
your fingers once traced.

It’s My Party

      Well, no party, but it is my birthday. I’m watching 20/20 and writing this because that is how cool I am. Also, my mountain is inescapable at the time being. No one could really get up and down and so now that we are all up, we are certainly not going back down. So. This is it. I am 22 and now I will certainly never be getting younger, and I know any one a minute older than me hates me for saying that, but I get to revel in the tragedy of being 22 for at least this day, and maybe at least a full week after.  It is all downhill from here. 


       Anyways, the best part of my birthday is all the people who wish me well. I appreciate every one of them and I love to hear from all my pals around the world and I love to spend time thanking almost each and every one of them. I make sure to!