Astor Snow – Audio Journals

Astor Snow is complicated. She hasn't quite figured out how she wants to navigate this world, but she understands how she feels about the people in it. Learn how she feels about some of her friends and family in her own words by clicking a photo. *Voiced by Francesca Hogan.

Astor Snow – Audio Journals
I Can't Cry Astrid and Moose Cigarettes A Type of Lust Benevolence

I Can't Cry

I can't cry.

Things happen around me that would suffocate an entire world.

Sometimes I'm moving forward, moving my lips and blinking my eyes, and reacting like a normal person would, and inside me there's nothing but uncried tears. It fills me until I feel them spilling from my mouth, and nose, and ears. All vicious emotion. But there's nothing there.

I can't cry, and sometimes I wonder if I'm hollow.

My husband speaks to me and his words seem to blur before they hit my ears. His cocky smile should do something to me. It should make me wither, or gasp, or even just blush a little. But it all feels like requests for responses I'm not equipped to display. It feels like heavy requests, and I just stare, unable to deliver.

Inside me is an ocean of violent screams, of agony I can't release. Sometimes I just want someone to finally see me. To finally understand me and rip me to shreds. Tear me into literal pieces. Release me from being filled, being drowned, being weighted.

I just want to be ripped to shreds. I can't cry, but I can scream.

Astrid and Moose

 

I find myself worrying about Astrid more than I find myself loving her.

 

There are times when I don’t know what love is. Whether I’m feeling it. Most of the time, I feel so confused and suffocated by it when I’m around my daughter. I count the minutes until I can place her somewhere with her brother and know she’ll be fine.

 

Moose has been my escape from the world since he was born. Somehow, he replaced Osh as my instant hero. When he walks with me in a store, his tall 10-year-old body seeming to block me from the outside world, I feel protected. He protects me from mockery, from the fear others radiate around me at times, from everything. My son is more of a man than anyone I’ve ever met, and I’ve had some supermen in my life.

 

Astrid attracts all those terrible things that her brother runs off. She is too cheerful. Too excited about every little thing. She has a type of enthusiasm that I’ve never seen in my bleak life. It scares me. When she opens her mouth and the words jumble out, stunted and twisted, I cringe. Astrid is a natural born victim, and I feel my skin crawl at the thought of people getting ahold of her.

 

What will this world do to Astrid?

 

I am thankful for Osh. For Moose. For her uncle Juke and auntie Noah. Even for Chaunce, though she makes me uneasy on multiple levels. I’m thankful that my children are surrounded by love and protection.

 

But will it ever be enough to protect a girl like that?

Cigarettes

Noah blows smoke into the air more than she breathes. You could watch her from sun up to sun down and she'd go through carton after carton, pulling them from places that can't exist. She's been like that since I've known her. Even as a teenager, Noah pulled cigarettes from between her breasts, or the hem of her skirt, or anywhere. She smoked until her fingers left traces of ash on the things she touched.

I don't feel anything for many people. For Noah, I'd give my eternity.

The minute she found out I was immortal, that I couldn't die, Noah decided she wanted to study me. She told me she'd find out what made me live and she'd join me. "None of that lonely immortal witch stuff," she said. When I protested being called a witch, Noah called me a vampire. Either way, Noah has been by my side since the first day I met her.

We used to share a bed. I'd stare at the ceiling, uncomfortable, with her head on my stomach, and she'd ask me about my life. She was the only one who bothered to. She'd ask me what I wanted out of my new life, what she could give me. I would change the world for Noah.

With every cigarette she breathes, I fill with a deep sense of belief. We will live forever, won't we? If the cigarettes haven't killed her by now, what could?

A Type of Lust

My husband broke a man’s jaw for the simple act of staring at me once. We were at the fair. I shifted uncomfortably in my dress, and mentioned that a man was watching us. With my upbringing, I am always nervous when people watch me. Osh walked over to him and leveled his jaw. The sound rivaled an ax chopping through wood. The...excitement...that went through me rivals the most vulgar of evenings.

 

When we were children, Osh broke a boy’s arm for trying to pull me over to his desk. He managed to still make valedictorian while suspended, studying and wandering the neighborhood with me as if he had no worries. There hasn’t been a moment when Osh seemed worried. And my pride in him, for him, over him...it could destroy the atmosphere.

 

My husband, he watched my mother kill his own mother and didn’t scream. He held me, both of us preteens, and watched in a trance. And my mother patted him on the head after, her hand bloody with his mother’s life. He didn’t move. How he still ended up marrying me I will never understand.

 

And now, sinking deep into myself, I wonder what he’s feeling. He gives me that blank, stunned look too often. So many years of laughter, and love, and a dangerous type of lust seem lost behind his eyes these days.

 

But maybe he has always been this way. Maybe I finally sunk deep enough into this depression to see it.

Benevolence

My mother is the one person I will never understand. I don’t try. I think of her as some benevolent creature, tied down to this Earth without a purpose. Without a soul.

 

My mother used to tell me that I would understand. She would say this whenever she was going to hurt me. I try not to think about the actual hurt anymore. The blades. The big pupils locked onto me, watching for some type of reaction. Maybe there was some sense to be made of it somewhere in her, something she could have told me to make it better. My mother never explained herself, though.

 

But I love her more than anything.

 

Even when I wake up at night, my chest wrapped around itself in pain and fear, I forgive her. I think of her in beautiful fabrics, pulling her long legs up to step over things. My mother never bent. She didn’t believe in stooping down. I spent most of my time looking up at her chin, hoping she’d sit so I could look into her scary eyes.

 

Everything about her fascinated me. She exuded confidence and, somehow, a type of fear that I've never seen anywhere else.

 

She detested so many things. We would stand and watch the ocean for hours and she would tell me all of the things she hated. I told her I hated them, too. Quietly, I agreed with everything she said...even when I didn’t.

 

A man broke into our yard once, his eyes bouncing all over the place, and she watched me. There was a huge ant hill in the yard that she’d been poking at. I wondered if the man was an exterminator. When he connected his fist to my mouth, she was watching. When he threw me to the ground and stomped me, she stood from her lawn chair and went inside to get the ant poison.

 

I’ll never forget the lazy way she walked around us, spraying the ant hill with annoyed gusto. My mother let the man beat me until I finally stood up and clawed at him, and screamed, fought him with everything in my 11-year-old body.

 

“Good girl. Destroy him. Make him regret his decision.” That’s all she said. I fought him, and she watched, until Osh came barreling out of the house and dragged the man from our yard. And I was afraid of her nonchalance. I was terrified of Osh’s strength. But I loved them more than anything.

 

My mother is the one person I will never understand. I don’t try. I think of her as some benevolent creature, tied down to this Earth without a purpose. Without a soul.

 

I didn’t think there was anything she could do to push me away.