Radiate.

“You sure you want to go in?” He smiled down at me, a mischievous twinkle in his eyes.

I glanced up at the abandoned house. It looked like it was straight out of a movie. Scraps of wood covered the windows, some in tact, others rotting and falling off. The house looked like it was barely supporting itself, leaning slightly to the right, much less being able to support two people walking through it.

Did I want to go in there? Oh hell no. This is how horror movies started. That house radiated creepiness and I had no doubt that there was at least one ghost in there.

So, was I sure? Nope. Not at all. Tony patiently smiled down at me, his hair starting to collect the water from the drizzle around us. He reached out for my hand and took it gently in his. A tingle spread from my hand through my body. I was sure about wanting to impress him, and if I said no, he might just take me home and call it a night. I was sure I didn’t want that to happen. So, instead of listening to my gut, I clenched my teeth together and put on the most convincing smile I could possibly muster as he continued his story.

“I heard the ghosts in here are looking the next addition to the family. Legend is, the house waits for the next addition of the family to come, and then it takes them. But, if it doesn’t think you fit, then it lets you go. Plenty of people have come and gone, I’ve only heard of 2 missing since I’ve lived here,” Tony told the story with brazen casualty, sending a shiver through my spine.

“Two?” I whispered, my voice unable to power a clearly spoken word.

“Yeah, it was in the news about 5 years ago. This kid and his mom were going in the house to look into buying it to fix it up, and they never came back out. But, I suppose anything could have happened to them, it is in bad shape,” he shrugged, pointing to the lean of the house, “We’ll be careful.”

I swallowed down the lump in my throat, “Let’s go before my logic takes over and I run all the way home.” I squeezed his hand and pulled him towards the door. As we walked up the steps to the front door, carefully avoiding the termite-infested rot, a sense of dread and unease entered me. My hand immediately started sweating. I stood, facing the front door. He let go of my hand and reached for the handle whispering softly, “Here we go.”

The door swung open slowly, screaming in protest after years of stationary content. Tony swung the flashlight around the house, revealing dusty sheets draped over furniture, cobwebs, and rodents who had made this house their home. As the rats scurried back to their dark holes, Tony stepped inside, looking back at me with mild excitement.

“C’mon! Don’t be scared.”

I stood motionless at the doorway, my sense of unease growing. I was breaking all of my carefully crafted rules for this shaggy-haired football player. His lips raised in a lopsided grin, watching my hesitation. I stepped inside, and the moment I did, I knew I had made a terrible mistake.

The door violently shut behind me. I whirled around and tried to catch it mid-shut, but it was too late. I whipped my head around to look at Tony, who was smiling, “Finally!” He looked different now, his face sunken in the dark, his eyes expressionless and fixed, his perfect teeth seeming to have rotted in the second it took for the door to close. I gasped.

“Welcome to your new home. We’ve been waiting for someone like you to join us,” he lifted the flashlight up, the light radiating from the beam, illuminating an old portrait of a small family, two parents and a teenage boy that looked exactly like…

“You?” I choked out, my realization being met with an evil cackle. As he brought the flashlight down to my skull, the portrait changed before my eyes. The parents shifted to be next to Tony and I, and we had our arms out, on the shoulders of two children who had not yet been chosen.

via Daily Prompt: Radiate

Infuse.

What do you do when you wake up one morning and realize the life you are living isn’t the life you want? Not off by a few details, but off by every detail. It isn’t just that I want to move to a different state instead of being rooted to the one where it all began. It’s that I’m doing the wrong job, I’m not spending time doing things I enjoy, I can’t remember the last time I’ve laughed until my sides hurt. My life has become an obligation over an adventure.

Maybe it’s my generation. “You millennials,” people say frowning, “don’t understand the way the world works.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told that I have a job that pays me enough, I have a roof over my head, I should be happy. Or how many times I’ve heard that I should be satisfied with what I have, that this is just the way life is.

This is the way life is? Wake up, go to work, suffer through the day, come home, and relax for a while, and do it again all the next day. Ideally, you’d get some healthy eating and exercise in your day, or some other type of productive activities that make you better as a person. Then, weekends are filled with things you’re obligated to do. When you do have some extra time on your hands, you don’t know what you even want to do, so you waste time watching TV and laying on the couch.

This is where the years of school got me, the crippling student loans? I spent my time wishing school would go faster just so I could get to this point? A life infused with mediocrity and routines? Some of my peers seem to have figured it out–traveling, working where they want, being happy. But can you trust anything you see on social media? We live in a world where we compare ourselves to others, but the version of they want us to see. We take social media pages as a description of lives, but (most) people only post the best parts of life, the sharable parts.

How can we infuse life with real happiness? Happiness in every part of life, not just in the sharable moments. I want more than this. I want to change my life. But, like so many others, I don’t know where to begin. So, for now, I’ll continue the routine and hope that one day, instead of waking up realizing I’m not where I want to be, I’ll wake up thinking: “This. This is what living should be.

via Daily Prompt: Infuse