What My Ten Year Forecast Is Looking Like…

When people ask me where I see myself in the future, I wonder  how many people who answer this question actually get it right. Life is malleable, and in order to be a happy person who is content with their life, I think you need to have a malleable plan that can conform to whatever you find important at that specific time of your life.

Buddhists call it your “dogma” or your place in the world. In order to be happy you need to find what makes you happy and make that the central focus of your life. However, as I said before, life is forever changing, and so are you. Your views on things are changing with every new pieces of information you receive, and so I believe that your “dogma” for each part of your life could be different. Being happy is the goal of life – we are all in the pursuit of happiness. Anyways, I am beginning to ramble. So, now that I have lectured you on what I think is important in life (or at least my life though my own anecdotal experiences) let’s get into answering the main question of this blog; what’s MY plan for the future?

As for September I plan to come back to Macnab and take a few extra courses that I had seen and always wanted to take, but didn’t have room in my schedule for. I plan to come back for Auto class, a world history class, a political class and philosophy. All these courses don’t have to do with the profession I plan to go into, but I feel that they will make me a more ‘rounded’ and ‘worldly’ person. I believe that people who know everything about one subject and little about the world are still ‘stupid’ for lack of a better term. I want to be able to know a little bit about everything. So, moreover, I plan to come back to school in September here, and also continue to save money from my job as a hairdresser.

After this phase of my life, I plan to go to university and become a social worker. However, while I go to school, I plan to continue to work on the side and raise enough money to purchase a trailer (off Kijiji – so like 1000$.) This way, while I am going to school I can go on road trips and see different places in Canada on weekends.

Right now I am paying rent at my parents house so I can have the entire basement to myself. This is where I plan to live until I am done school…at least when I’m not living in my trailer.

My dream life would entail being able to have all this come to thurision, and then when I start working as a social worker to save money to buy a small house. This way I can save up to go on trips overseas to volunteer in different countries!

Overall, life is an exciting adventure – and already I feel as though I have lived for a long time, so I can only imagine when my life is doubly as long as it is right now….which won’t take long, I know.

Dream Collection # 2!

Dream-Root

In this dream an old man who never dreams is given a prescription from his doctor for dream-root (a kind of plant that will help him dream.) The old man takes it that night and has an amazing dream! He is very excited, due to the fact that he has never seen, or felt anything like that in his life. He ends up using the dream-root more and more and ends up sleeping whole days away, just because he likes his dreams so much. In his dreams he is young, and can do anything he wants without hurting. In his dreams he is everything he had always wanted to be. He begins to compare his dream-life with his real-life and sees that his dream-life is much better.. People try and tell him that it ‘isn’t real’ but he doesn’t care if it isn’t real to others, it is real enough for him. After awhile, he finds a way to OD (overdose) on dream-root and cause himself to go into a coma so he can live the rest of his days in his dream-world. The dream ends with him being happy and healthy and having the time of his life as his physical body lies in a hospital room with beeping monitors and his friends and family missing him at his bedside. That was when I awoke!

Lucky

I dreamed tonight that there was a girl that was very lucky. She had an ‘angel’ on her shoulder that was making things in her life better for her. Literally. But this angel wasn’t living on her shoulder, he looked like a normal man in his fifties. For some reason this girl goes swimming in a giant hot tub and puts a baby on her back and swims to the other side with the parents permission, but she can’t stay above the water and ends up swimming under the water and almost killing the child, but at the last moment she is able to come up to the surface and the baby survives. (I’ve had this happen with kids before when I was babysitting, so maybe thats why this was incorporated into my dream.) The father isn’t mad at the girl, whereas the mother is. The girl ends up finding her ‘angel’ later sitting at a table in the food court. He tells her that she is doing ‘well.’ She tells him that he didn’t help her earlier that day when she almost killed the child. He says that there is something off about her specifically, not any of the other ‘pledges’ (there are other people in the world who have an angel strapped to them.) He can’t work his magic from far away, he has to be in the same room as her. He says that this is very strange because…and that was when my dad decided to wake me up (-_-.) Perfect timing!

The Hole

Ok! So this dream is one from my past, but I have been thinking about it a lot lately, so I mine as well write it on my blog!

This dream took place when I was five. (I slept with my parents at this time.) I was laying in bed next to my mom when these little garden gnomes would crawl up onto the bed and push me over the side and onto the ‘floor’ but the floor wasn’t there, there was only a hole in the ground that I couldn’t see the bottom of. In this dream, I would never fight back, I would just let this happen and I would always wake up before I hit the bottom of the hole. I had this dream over and over again, each time I would fall further down the hole before waking up until one night I dreamed that I hit the ground and was able to explore the caves and tunnels under the house. After that night I was able to stop having this dream. It was as if I needed to finish this dream before I stopped having it! Strange…! Anyone else have the same sort of thing?

Villains

Since we have been talking about dreams that I had when I was younger, I thought that I’d tell you all about a few more dreams that I remember!

In this dream I was about six. I awoke in the night and crawled out of bed and walked into my parents room because I was hearing whispering. The whispering continued even after I cracked open the door and entered the room. There was a baby sitting on the bed with a cape whispering to three ‘animals’ that sat around him. There was a big black shaggy looking dog, a bear and a wolf. (In this dream I was like a superhero.) I stepped into the room and I saw the dogs nose began to sniffle, “I smell her master,” the dog growled, running towards me. I jumped forward and pushed the dogs eyes into his head, killing him. The baby crawled onto the bears back and ran through the window, “we’ll be back!” The baby hollard and I stood there triumphantly waiting for their return.

Zombie Girl

Here is another dream I had when I saw around 7 years old…

This dream takes place on my front lawn. For some reason me and Brianna were camping on our front lawn. We had a tent and even a fire going, but then something started to wander up our driveway…it was a zombie girl! She walked up towards us and me and Brianna ran for the house. My parents opened the door and me and her piled into the house and called the cops, who shot the zombie to death. It was a scary dream for me at the time, but thinking back…it wasn’t that bad. However, for years after every time I thought of my front lawn, that zombie was what I thought of. It is one of the only dreams that still to this day I can picture with total clarity.

Fight

Today I had a strange dream. This dream was strange because right before having it I had spoken to Ron (my friend) and he had told me that he had a dream about me. His dream was of me getting beaten up and him using a gun to kill the people that did me harm. I had laughed, telling him that I could take care of myself and that I would be the one with the gun. Then I had hung up the phone and went to bed. But, while in bed I dreamed that I was sitting at a dinner table chatting with two people my own age (girls) and two people that were younger (boys.) For some reason my dad and all the rest of the adults, including Ron were in the back room having a meeting that it was very important I not disturb. Everything seemed fine until one of the bigger girls started to pick on me, which soon turned into her beating me up physically. The other girl joined suit and I fought back, but to no avail. One of the boys tried to help me, but he only got thrown back into a pile of chairs. The dream progressed like this, these girls just attacking me one after the other. I dont know why in this dream I was so powerless. Finally, I was able to get the upper hand and run into the room that the adults were having a meeting in. They weren’t happy with me for crashing in, more than they were unhappy with the girls for beating me up! After that we all went back to the dinner table and I kept finding sneaky ways to get back at the girls until they had to leave. The end! I guess I learned my lesson, maybe I’m not as strong as I thought I was.

Wiccan Room

Tonight I had another dream. This one was about crawl spaces and hidden rooms, which is a common theme in most of my dreams. This dream starts out with me at my grandfathers house (where I grew up as a child.) He is making dinner downstairs and I am running around playing when I find a small hole in the side of the closet. It’s like a small hidden space for me to climb in, so naturally I go to explore. Inside the hole there is a small hallway that leads to a hidden door that is just big enough for me, (as a child) to fit in. I open the door and enter the room, which is much larger than the door would have you think. The room was the size of your average bedroom, filled to the brim with interesting stuff! I explore for awhile, but soon the dust begins to irritate my nose and I leave. Once I am outside I see a small window that looks into the room, but instead of a dust covered, dirty room, I see a beautiful shining room lovely lighting and candles lighting the room in a lovely way. I go back through the crawl space and back through the door, but again, I see the same dirty room. This time I enter again, walking around and I find some wiccan books, spell books, and black magic books. One page I find even recites a spell that “hides the truth that is right under peoples noses” which might be why no one ever knew of the room, or its beauty. I turn the page of the novel and see my name written in red inc (which is devils blood. I’m wiccan so I know what my subconscious meant!) I drop the book and stumble backwards. Suddenly the whole room turns back into the beautiful room I saw from outside as a lady from behind me whispers, “you’re the one.” As the lights flicker off. The end!

Write…Write Like The Wind!

Why Writing Stories Is A Great Hobby:

When you were in grade school, or even in high school I’m sure your teacher asked you to write a short story. I’m sure that you complained and told that teacher that you weren’t creative enough, smart enough, or funny enough to do what was asked of you. But, you sat down at your computer that night, stewing over the assignment and by the morning you had a workable idea. Well, I’m here to tell you why writing should be a hobby, and not a chore.

First off, writing can help with stress. Ok, so it’s no big secret that the number of teenagers suffering from stress has gone up over the years along with depression and a skew of other illnesses. Writing, although not a prescribed medication can help to get your ideas and feelings down on paper so they are easier to work out. Studies show that expressive writing can help people with ongoing or severe mental health challenges, (ie. major depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, anxiety.)

In one study conducted by Dr. James W. Pennebaker (a psychologist at the University of Texas) he asked 46 average students to choose between writing about a traumatic life experience or an interesting topic for 15 minutes each day. The test spanned four days. Students who wrote about traumatic experiences visited the campus health center less and also used  pain relievers less often.

If that’s not enough to make you want to grab a pen and paper, consider another study that may hit closer to home! I’m sure everyone has been anxious about an exam/test in the past. That tight feeling in your chest before a big exam, the restless nights sleep before while your heart races in your ears. A study conducted at the University of Chicago concluded that people that write about their thoughts and feelings briefly before a test scored better grades than those who did not!

Another reason to love writing is that it gets you away from the real world and into a fantasy world created by your imagination!  I’m sure everyone has heard that you have to dream or else they will go insane. Writing can become a place of escape, sort of like your own dream world that you have complete control over like some sort of God. You never really have control of what happens in your daily life, whether your loved one dies while in the hospital or lives, but you do have control over the life of your character and the events that lead them to their demise or happy ending.

 

Your life may never have a set purpose, but your book will. The biggest question of life is what it all means, what you are meant to learn in the short years you’re alive. But, with writing everything is explained, everything is tied up in a neat bow. The ending to everyone’s life story is the same – death. But you can choose to end your characters’ story differently. Maybe with a happy ending, or maybe with a sad one. If you’re a control freak like myself, this point will cause you to re-think your hatred of writing!

But, although there are many perks to expressive writing, I’m sure that some will say that they can’t spell, that they are not creative enough or that they simply don’t enjoy it. But what I say to this is that you don’t have to be a good writer to write! (I know, shocker!) You don’t even have to know how to spell, or do simple grammar, or anything. These things are all optional. Writing is for everyone, no matter what age or language. Expressive Writing has no laws or rules, when you’re writing you make the rules and that is one of the best things about it.

At the same time, some may disagree and say that writing is very structured and that if you don’t obtain the necessary skills and degrees, your writing isn’t worth a read. The schools have distilled this standard into your brains, causing people who enjoy writing, but get lesser marks in english to stop and never start again.

This can be compared to a child who picks up a pen and draws a line – who is to say that that art is any less of art than Picasso? Sure art critics will say it’s because their are ‘rules and standards’ that one must abide by. But, doesn’t that defeat the purpose of art? Art is all about creative freedom.

Over all, you don’t need the public’s approval that something you have written is ‘good’ you just need your own. The truth is that you are your worst critique. If you feel that you can’t write, you wont write and you will lose out on all these amazing benefits. Write because it makes you happy, don’t write to please others because in the end, your opinion is all that matters.

Lastly, your characters are your children. The spawns of your writing, and after you have died and your story has come to an end, their story will continue on. They are part of you and they will be alive forever – immortal – and who doesn’t want to live forever?

So what do you think about stories and creative writing? Do you agree that writing is a great outlet for everyone, or do you think writing has to be structured with strict rules?

Pollard Jim, thegardian.com, As easy as ABC, July 28th 2002, Retriv. April 5th 2017.

Furnham Ph.D. Adrian, psychologytoday.com, Writing as Therapy, Aug 29th 2013, Retriv. April 5th 2017.

 

Dreams Collection #1

That Darn Cat!

This dream started with me in my bedroom. I was sitting on my bed listening to music when a cat walked in. This cat was one I had when I was a child, but since then the cat had died. In this dream it was just a kitten. It started to rub against my leg and I smiled, bending over and petting her soft fur…that was when the dream took a turn for the worst. The cat turned to me and smiled in a strange cat-like way, “I got you!” The cat seemed to say, “I got you now!” I pulled back, horrified by the sudden change of events. That was when the colors in the room began to change, the walls turned from bright pink to grey and the wallpaper began to strip off the walls. The world was spinning around me as the cat laughed. I fell to the ground, “what did you do to me?” I asked weakly as the cat smiled and turned away. I concluded that the cats fur was poisoned. That was when I awoke. I have had this dream a lot since I was a child. It is one of my very few reoccurring dreams and I have no idea why this is. All I know is the cat in the dream died when I was five. Why she is haunting me, I know not.

The Pit

Tonight I had another strange dream. This dream was, again, like I was watching a movie. It started with a woman in a court full of people, but it seemed to be taking place in the olden days. If I had to give you an exact date, I would say the 1900’s. She was being prusicuted for treason of some kind, and the punishment for that in this 1900’s small-town setting was to be thrown down a huge hole in the ground with a rope attatched to your foot. No one knew what was at the bottom of the hole, but no one ever returned. The locals thought a monster lived below the surface, kind of like a god that helped their crops flurish when fed with people and animals on a regular basis. Rumor had it that if the rope was too long, you would hit the bottom and break your neck, then the monster would eat you without you feeling it. If the rope was short enough, you would be eaten alive.

The woman in my dream is tied by the anckle and then thrown down the pit. She does not hit the bottom and instead hangs suspended in the air by less than an inch. The hole is rather dark and is so deep that she can not even see the sun shinning down into the hole. She thinks that she is to be eaten and hangs there, but when nothing comes she cuts herself free with a knife in her pocket and starts to exspore. She finds the remains of animals and people. She walks down a tunnel and sees a person in the distance. She runs after them and comes to a room within the tunnel, like a pocket of space within the earth. There are houses, cars, and running water. The person that she finds exsplains that the people who don’t die when they are thrown into the hole live down there. There is no monster to eat them. In fact, they surive by eating the remains of animals that are thrown down the shaft to appeaze the “monster” and they even eat the people that are unlucky enough to break their necks. There is no way out of this hole. That was when I awoke!

Fishy Business!

Today I dreamed that I was in a strange pet store with talking fish and lizards! The lady at the counter kept trying to make me buy some and at first I didn’t want to, but after awhile, the fish and lizards (lots of different animals) began to grow on me. Finally, I decided to buy seven of the little animals. They all had distinct personalities and distinct looks! (I wish I could remember this dream better.) But upon taking them home, I realized that I was not cut out for taking care of these animals. The second I got home and put their cage down they said they were hungry, so I picked a tiny can (that the lady at the store gave me) and put it in the cage on a rock, using the can opener within the cage to open the can, but something went horribly wrong and one of the little animals legs got in the way and cut off! I was very upset, feeling as though I had failed at being a pet-owner, and decided to take the pets back to the pet store. The other animals were not OK with being taken back, but I had to insist. The lady at the store did take them back and I walked out of the store empty handed. Sometime later I went back to check on the animal that had her leg cut off. She wasn’t mad at me, and instead said that the leg had began to grow back…as I walked away she took off the fake leg and sighed. She had lied to make me feel better. That was the end and for once, I know what this dream means…it means that I have to feed my snake, Qupid, in real life because it is about time he had been fed.

Angel

This dream was a little stranger than my other dreams because this one seemed to start in the middle. This dream was like I was watching a movie with actors and scenes! There was a bunch of five year old students on a school bus, the bus driver was an old man with glasses. He was a nice man, always chatting with the kids. He saw some bullying happen between a student named Angel and another student named Taylor. (These names were actually in my dream.) One day while driving he saw Angel get on the bus and sit down. Sometime into the drive Angel walked to the front of the bus with a gun and pulled it on the bus drivers head. (It wasn’t ever clear in the dream what she wanted.) Angel ended up shooting the bus driver and then disappearing. The man didn’t die. He kept driving to the school and let the kids out. The scene skips to the next hour and the old man is being interrogated by the cops. He says that it was Taylor who had shot him, and not Angel. (I have no idea why he wanted to protect her after she shot him.) The cops agree and left, going to look for Taylor. That is when Angel’s mother shows up and asks the old man if it was Angel and not Taylor who had shot him. The mother picks up on some strangeness in his answer and asks him again. This time the old man admits that it was indeed Angel. The mother looks at her watch and sees that it is 8:00. She remarks into the open that this is the time her daughter goes to bed. The mother grows a cape and flies away into the sunset, presumably looking for her daughter who has gone darkside. (I guess they were both super heros.)

The Cook Book – Short Story

The Cook Book

Not everything is as it seems, at least that’s what my grandmother used to tell me before her death a few years back.

She was the most interesting person I had ever met. She was the best at everything, and she even had various awards and trophies to prove it. She was the fastest runner on her school cross country team, the fastest swimmer on her old highschool swim team, and the best cook I ever knew. On Top of all this, she knew things and understood things that no one else, especially my parents, did.

She had some strange quirks, and some beliefs that my parents didn’t want to influence me, so they tried to stop me from seeing her, but no one could keep us apart. I used to tell my mother that I was sleeping over at a friends house, and then go and see my grandma. We would stay up all night eating candy and talking about our lives. She used to tell me the stories of things that had happened to her, people she had met, things she had done. It was the best time of my life, but like all good things this too came to an end.

The day I found her I went over to her house, like I always did, and found her laying on the floor, blood surrounding her body. The police said it was suicide. I knew different.

My grandmother used to tell me that there was magic in everything. She explained that just because we knew the science behind something didn’t make it any less magical. “Things that we see everyday were once considered magical because us humans didn’t know the ‘why.’ The things that we find magical right now, things like eternal life are just things that we don’t understand yet. The unknown is scary for people, so they try and shut it out. Nothing is impossible. Give anything time and it will come to pass.”

I am reminded of the last day I saw my grandmother alive. I was seven, and I had came to her house for a visit, like I did every Saturday. She was sitting in the backyard in her lawn chair. “Hello, sweetie.” She said with a big smile as I approached.

“Hello grandma!” I said, hugging her before sitting down.

She reached out to me, cupped my hand in hers. They were warm – welcoming – I can feel them gripping me now, holding me whenever I feel unsure. She had such strong hands for a lady that was nearly ninety. Not once do I remember her ever seeming fragile. “I have something important to show you.”

“What is it?” I asked giddily jumping to my feet. My grandmother smiled, but it was a sly smile. There was something behind it that was different. I didn’t pick up on it at the time, but now, looking back I see what I didn’t then. She was worried.

“It’s somewhat of a secrete…” she said, her voice trailing off as she stood up from her spot.

I put my fingers to my lips and winked, “I’m good at keeping secrets.”

She smiled, “I know what, my lovely.” She walked forward and opened the back door to her house, ushering me in. We went down to the basement. It was dark and the air was moist and heavy. “Here.” She said, clapping her hands and candles all around us lite up.

“Wow!” I exclaimed.

The candles were all around us in a circle and in the middle of the circle was a book. The book looked old and warn. My grandmother smiled, picking it up and handing it to me, “this book has been in our family for generations, and now it’s yours.”

I smiled wide, taking the book from her and hugging her. “Thank you grandma!”

“No problem, my darling.” She said, patting me on the back.

The two of us went back upstairs and started to flip through the book. The pages were thick, and upon examination I realized that they were leather. The whole book was pitures of various animals with ingredients listed under them.

“What is this, grandma?” I asked, flipping to a page with a rabbit on it.

My grandmother smiled, “all in due time, my darling. You have much to learn.”

She pulled out a lock box and opened it using a rustic looking key. Within the box was a necklace. It was old, like the box, but it was gorgeous. It was some kind of locket, but when I went to open it my grandmother held my hands closed, “open this in your time of need. Never let it go. Hold onto it.” I smiled, clipping the necklace around my neck.

“I’ll never take it off.” I said, hugging her goodbye.

I went home that night with the book. The next day I walked to my grandmothers, but when I went into the backyard she wasn’t there. I shrugged, walking to the front door to knock. I knocked once, then twice, then three times, but there was no answer. This was unlike her, I thought, then tried the doorknob…it was open. “Hello?” I called, walking in. “Hello?” I called again, there was still no answer. That was when my eyes zoomed in on something laying on the floor. My eyes slowly began to focus and I realized that it wasn’t ‘something’ laying on the floor, it was a ‘someone.’ It was my grandmother – her body lay in a hump on the floor, blood seeping into the already red carpet, staining it darker, more ominous. More deadly. I screamed, and then fainted.

I awoke sometime later. As it turns out no one found me, or my grandmother’s body in the time I had been unconscious. I pulled myself to my feet, walking over to my grandmother’s body. Suddenly I felt empty – like all the life had been drained from me. Everything I had was dead and gone, and I was here so alone. Suddenly I knew what had to be done as I gazed upon her body, her throat slit, blood curdling in a pool around her. Emptiness. Suddenly I knew that I needed to get out of town – I needed to run away and never come back. I don’t know how to explain it – it was as if everything became clear in that moment, as if I had aged in the moments I had been unconscious. Someone had killed my grandmother – and the only reason I could think of was the book. Someone wanted the book, and that meant that they would come for me.

I left town. I took the book and the clothes on my back and hopped on the back of a train heading as far away from Hamilton as possible. I ended up in Calgary, and soon after was thrown into a foster home. I claimed to have no memory of who I was, which worked until I was eighteen. That was when I moved out on my own.

In the time I was in foster care I didn’t pay much attention to the book, but while moving I found it again. I touched the leather cover and suddenly was taken back to the day I had received it. My grandmother’s warm hands wrapped around mine all over again. The feelings hit me all at once and suddenly I was in tears.

I opened the book and started to look at the pictures over again, this time seeing them in a new light. The writing under the pitures of animals was ingredients. Slowly I began to understand what the book was…it was a cooking book. Why was my grandmother killed over a cooking book? I asked myself as I read the ingredients over.

“Strange…” I said. One of the ingredients under the picture of the rabbit was…”a thimble of blood.” I put the book down, suddenly being taken back to that night in the basement with my grandmother.

I remembered that the walls were covered with animal pelts…but I couldn’t remember my grandmother cooking any meat for me. Was she a hunter? All these questions flooded my mind, and yet there was no one that could answer them. No one except this book, I thought as I opened it again. “Maybe…” I thought, and then I knew what I needed to do. “I need to cook.”

It wasn’t until a week later that I had all the ingredients together. It turned out that many of the ingredients needed to be shipped in from various other countries, but soon enough I had collected them all.

The recipe called for a fresh, live, rabbit. I read the sentence over again incase I had read it incorrectly, but I hadn’t. I shrugged, hoping in my car and heading to the pet store. I came home and started to boil the water. I put a thimble of my blood into the water along with some different spices.

Finally the recipe called for me to pick the rabbit up and place him in the pan of boiling water. No skinning, no killing. Just alive. I was hesitant as I picked up the rabbit, but I needed to know the answers to these questions I had been asking myself my whole life. This was the moment of truth, and I wasn’t turning back now. I put the rabbit in the water, but it didn’t jump out. It didn’t scream, it just let me lower him into the water as if he was paralyzed.

I closed the lid and let it boil for the required hour. Then I opened the lid and poured the water into the sink, taking out the rabbit and placing it on a plate. I read the next step in the book over a few times to be sure I was reading it correctly, “eat the ears?” I said allowed. “I cooked a whole rabbit so I could eat it’s ears?” I shrugged, taking my knife and gently separating the ears from the skull.

I had never learned to cook, but I had never heard of anyone eating the ears of a rabbit, and I was pretty sure that rabbits were never cooked with their fur still on them. What kind of cookbook was this anyways?

I shrugged, sticking the fork into the ear and lifting it to my mouth. It was chewy, like a hard gum, but it didn’t taste ‘bad.’ I swallowed and then ate the other ear. When I was done I felt no different then when I had started, and the meal wasn’t particularly good. “What was it about this book, grandma that was so special?” I asked allowed, knowing an answer wouldn’t come.

 

Suddenly I heard a high pitched screeching sound. I covered my ears, falling to my knees, but the sound didn’t stop, it just got louder. I screamed, my ears feeling as if they were bleeding and about to fall off. That was when the screeching stopped, the pain stopped and then there was echoes, like I was hearing footsteps, “Kendra!” I heard, my head whirling around. It sounded like the voice was coming from right in front of me, but noone was there.

I stood up, my feet feeling wobbly under me. There was a window in my living room, and across the street I could see into the neighbor’s house. There was a man in there, “Kendra?” I heard again, but this time I realized who the disembodied voice belonged to. It was the man’s voice, but how was I hearing him from so far away? Unless….no that’s impossible…I thought, but then I was reminded of my grandmother, “nothing is impossible.” The rabbit’s ears had given me especially good hearing, like that of a rabbit.

Finally I understood everything. This book was why my grandmother was good at everything she put her mind to – the reason she was the fastest swimmer, and the fastest runner….this was what my grandmother wanted to show me the night before she was killed. She wanted me to use this book like she had. I smiled, “what else can this book do?”

That was when I heard footsteps coming up the front porch of my house, and then before I could react the door burst open and in walked something that I couldn’t explain: it was big, the size of a lion to be exact with legs of a cheetah, but the head of a human and the wings of a bat. I fell backwards onto the floor, crawling on my hands away from the creature. It smiled, walking forward, “what…what are you?” I asked, my voice stammering.

“I’m the one who killed your grandmother.” It said, it’s voice sounded more animalistic than human, but yet I could understand what it said.

“Why? Why did you do it?” I cried, pulling myself further away from the monster.

It smiled, lunging forward. I blacked out.

My eyes fluttered open. At first all I saw was shapes, and then the shapes shifted into creatures. Then everything that happened came back to me, the cook book, the rabbits ears and the monster. My eyes shifted around the room, landing on twenty creatures like the one that attacked me. They were standing in a circle around me, all of them looked different – different animals stitched together in a frankenstein-like way.

“You’re awake.” The same creature that had taken me said from across from me. I tried to move my hands, but I was tied to a pole, my hands behind my back.

“What do you want from me!” I cried, my body shaking with the anticipation of an answer.

“We want what your grandmother gave you.” The creature said in the same animalistic grunting fashion.

“The cookbook? Take it!” I cried, “let me go!”

The animal smiled again, his smile curling up to touch his ears, “if only it was that easy. We have been using the cookbook for quite some time…what we need is for you to kill yourself.” He said, putting a knife by my side and pacing back and forth as he spoke.

I squinted, “why?”

The monster grinned, “you really don’t know do you?” He laughed, then continued, “your grandmother’s blood-line has had the power to use this cookbook for generations. She achieved many powers this way…lightning speed, great hearing, and various other things by consuming different parts of animals. We have been using the cookbook for a similar purpose…but with drastically different results. Our clan’s bloodline is able to use the book, but after consuming the part of the animal we wish to attain, we also develope the corresponding feature. As you can see by the deformities that all of us are afflicted with.” He gestured around the room, “ You have the same power your grandmother did. You can attain these powers without also receiving the feature.”

“But what can killing myself help you with? Why did you kill my grandmother?”

“I’m getting to that.” The monster said, pacing back and forth in front of me some more, “the power that your family processes is in your blood, but like the cookbook in order to pass on the gift it demands sacrifice. I found your grandmother, but she heard me coming and killed herself before I could use her. I went after your parents next, but the gift skipped your mothers generation. That left you…the last remaining heir…but you, little one, proved to be hard to find.”

“So…let me get this straight…you want me to kill myself so your clane can acquire my powers?”

“Yes.” The monster said, “then we each consume a part of your body.”

“What if I refuse to kill myself?”

“We kill you, against your will. If you do it…it will be cleaner, more civil. It’s better than us ripping your body limb from limb and eating you alive.” He sneered, his malevolent grin widening to consume his entire face. He wanted to rip me limb from limb, I could tell by the glare in his eyes. He just didn’t want to look bad to the rest of his clane. If he gave me the option, he looked like a better person.

I sighed, my eyes shifting to the knife that lay at my side. The handle was black. It was sharp, like your regular old kitchen knife that I used each and every day, but it wasn’t your regular old kitchen knife because it was the knife that was going to end my life. It was that, or to get ripped limb from limb.

My hand shifted to my necklace, the one that my grandmother gave me as a child and suddenly the words she told me that last day slipped back into my head, her calming voice playing over and over, “open this in your time of need. Never let it go. Hold onto it.” My hand hovered over it for a moment.

“What’s it going to be?” The monster asked me. And at that moment I opened the necklace, and inside was a small piece of what looked like jerky…and then I realized what it was…it was one of the cook books super powers. It was worth a shot. I opened my mouth, chewed and swallowed. The monster gave me a strange look, and then began to yell into the open, “where did she go?” He screamed, then louder, “where did she go?!”

That was when I realized that what was in the necklace was Camelean. It had given me the power to blend in with my surroundings! I was invisible. I could escape!

I picked up the knife and cut my ropes, and then walked out of the room. I could hear the creatures looking for me, sniffing me out, but they couldn’t see me. I was free!

I ran out of the building and down the street. I saw the headlights only a few inches before the truck hit me, and then it was blackness. Not everything is as it seems.

 

 

The Harsh Call Of Reality – Short Story

The Harsh Call Of Reality:

By Jaimee Petrella

Mary walked down the street, her heavy thighs rubbing together as she walked. It was getting late, the sun was setting and she was still in the downtown core – which was not a very good area at night – and she wasn’t even near where her car was parked! She walked down the street, seeing a store with Mannequins in the window pass her.  For a moment she stopped, looking in the window and then seeing her own reflection beside the standard of perfect. Mary put her head down – her thighs were too wide, her eyes too close together and her face too short – nothing could change that, Mary thought. No amount of exercise could shrink the space between her eyes, no diet could fix her face length. Mary frowned, turning from the windows and walking down the street a little quicker. It really was getting late.

“AHHHHHHH,” Mary heard from the small dark alleyway beside her.

“Hello?” Mary called into the darkness, half hoping that there wasn’t an answer.

There wasn’t one for a moment and Mary relaxed. Maybe she was hearing things, “Help me!” She heard suddenly she stopped in her tracks. She gulped, looking around wildly. No one was stupid enough to be downtown at this time of night, there was no one else that could help her. There was only Mary. She bit her lip, her heart thumping loudly in her ears. She knew what she had to do.

She took her first step into the dark alleyway, then her second, then her third. She saw a garbage can beside her with a Mannequin sitting beside it. The garbage was overflowing with cans, bottles and rotting fruit. Nothing, Mary thought, nothing that she could use as a weapon. Mary walked forward, “is anyone there?” She called out, her voice catching in her throat, her legs shaking with the anticipation of an answer.

“Yes.” A voice said lowly, but Mary couldn’t make out if it was a males or a female.

“What-what do you want?” Mary stammered, taking another step into the darkness. She couldn’t see two feet in front of her, it was as if she was in a deep, dark fog.

“I want what you want.” The voice said coyly.

Mary squinted, “what do I want?”

“You want to be perfect, don’t you…Mary?” The voice said, suddenly sounding closer.

“Stay back!” Mary called out, “I-I have a gun.” She tried to sound strong, but somehow she knew, even though the voice couldn’t see her, it knew that she didn’t have a gun.

The voice laughed, “tisk tisk.”

Mary gulped, then looked back towards the way she came, but for some reason there was no light coming from the exit. No street lights, no sounds to guide her way. There was no way out, Mary realized, her heart beating faster in her ears. There was nowhere to run to.

“I’ll grant your wish.” The voice said suddenly and then she felt something sweep by her, lifting her into the air. That was when she began to see her skin change, the color began to drain out of it, turning as white as a sheet or paper.

“AHHHHHH,” Mary screamed, but she knew no one would hear her. No was one around.

“Be careful what you wish for, Mary.” The voice cued. Suddenly Mary began to feel her skin turn numb, and then paralysis began to take over, the sensation moving up her legs to her torso, and then to her fingertips and finally to her face. She felt the cold take her over, and suddenly she felt nothing at all. I’m dying, Mary thought.

The voice laughed, “you’re not dying, Mary, you’re living the life you always wanted.”

That was when Mary blacked out. Maybe it was from fear.

Anna walked down the street, her legs carrying her over the pavement. The sun was shining on her shoulders and her headphone were blaring music in her ears. Anna walked by a dark alleyway and stopped for a moment, seeing two Mannequins sitting in the trash. I wish I looked like them, Anna thought with a sigh, why can’t I look like her?

Mary sat looking at Anna. Mary couldn’t move, she couldn’t hear, she could only see. I wish I could look like her, she thought, mentally crying, but she couldn’t physically cry, because crying showed weakness, crying made you imperfect, and now, Mary was perfect.

 

 

Blind Ambition

Blind Ambition

Jaimee Petrella

Everything changed in Iris’s life when Sarah, who Iris looked up to her whole life as a role model and parent figure, handed her the gun. It was cold in her hand – lifeless like her mother and father’s bodies not so many years ago. “We aren’t safe here anymore.” Sarah cautioned, her voice low. Bullets were soaring through the air above them, Iris could hear them – the wind rush by – the loud bang as they hit off the walls around her.

“I know.” Iris said, strength to her voice – power – power that she was proud of. Power she had developed by being scared day after day as this war raged on, creating scar tissue as a shield. She needed this – being blind in this world was difficult, but Iris persevered.

Her and her sister were strong together. Her and Sarah had worked since they were young to get out of the slums of Britain and to Canada, where there were rumors of a utopia the computers hadn’t taken over; however, now the war was upon them full throttle. Not only bombs were being dropped by the enemy, but soldiers with guns were invading their homes. They had to leave now, but they only had a percentage of the money needed for the boat ride.

“Just take it!” Sarah yelled, gripping Iris’s hand around the gun. Iris took hold of it and tucked it away in her jean jacket pocket.

“What do we do now?”  Panic entered Iris’s chest. That was when the low vibrations started; the base rocked Iris’s body, making her feel as if she was standing in the midst of an earthquake.

“Run!” She heard Sarah scream, but before she could react there was a ringing in her ears, and then nothing at all as she felt her body fly through the air, knocking her unconscious.

***

 

“Iris,” a voice said, “Iris, you need to calm down.” She was breathing rapidly – sweat was soaking her sheets. Recognizing the voice as her foster mother, Anna, she remembered where she was. Anna had taken her in after her sister had passed the month before in the shootout. “Do you know where you are now?”

“Yes.” Iris breathed, taking a sip of water from the cup beside her, trying to wash away her memories. Her sister was gone – the one person she had in this entire world, and somehow she had blacked out from the moment of the shootout that took Sarah to the moment she awoke in a hospital in Canada. How had she she made the journey alone? Memory was something she had always taken for granted; not anymore.

“Do you want some breakfast?” Iris felt the bed rise as Anna’s weight lifted from it.

She was an older lady, sixty if Iris had to guess. She hadn’t asked because she thought that in-polite. Instead she gagged it from her aura, which was faded, making her believe she was older. Her crackly voice as well as her short, hunched stature, lead Iris to draw the conclusion as well.

“Sure, I have to start my first day of school right!” Iris forced a smile, descending the stairs for pancakes.

***

The desks were small – too small for Iris’s hips. Iris didn’t hate them, although by others standards they would be considered ‘too voluptuous.’ She enjoyed standing out. She was different, and a long ago had given up trying to fit in; to conform to others standards. She was fiery and maybe even a bit stubborn, but she didn’t see this as a fault. This was her strength.

Her red hair was her favorite feature, although she only had vague memories of it from her younger years. “Have you heard of microbes?” A boy’s voice came out of nowhere. He smelled of garlic and made her noise pucker as he spoke.

She retracted from him as she replied, “yes.”

“You have?” The boy said, seeming shocked and maybe even discouraged. “The Academy is testing them, and I got the only apprenticing position. That’s cool, isn’t it?” The boy’s tone fluctuated as he talked, giving Iris the impression he was nervous.

Iris smirked, “microbes are not new news.”

The boy took a breathe to speak, but then the teacher walked in, cutting him off.

The teacher seemed nice – she had a pleasant aroma of perfume and a red aura that was vibrant deceiving Iris into thinking she was youthful; however, when she spoke it was horse, like a 75 year old woman, which Iris learned was her real age after she introduced herself.

The boy didn’t speak to her again that day, but he did keep his gaze on her. She could feel them going over her body. What was he thinking? He was an odd boy, that much she knew, and Iris had enough going on. She tried against her every instinct to ignore her gut.

The next day was when the sickness started. Iris noticed it first with the teacher, Miss Berry. The way her heels clicked down the hall seemed different. The vibrant color of her aura from the day before had faded. Iris had never had anything like that happen before; she was the same person, but she wasn’t the same.

The boy spoke to her again, “what do you know?” He asked. That got her attention.

Iris squinted at him in reply, “about the microbes,” he continued.

Iris yawned, “everyone knows about the microbes. They infected the computers and made them rebel.”

“What are you talking about?” The boy asked, “when did that happen?”

Iris smirked, “are you messing with me? It happened in 2017. Technology dark ages, but everyday is a ‘darkage’ to me.” Iris laughed, trying to make a joke.

The boy laughed, “you had me going, Future-Girl. Would have been better if you had of said it was 2018 or 2019 that it happened.”

“That would be a lie.” Iris remarked.

“A more realistic lie though, because the world ending this year – a little unrealistic.” The boy laughed, his laugh was followed by a rhythmic ringing that Iris had never heard before. “Hello.” The boy said, picking the ringing object out of his pocket and raising it to her ear.

“What -?” Iris said, suddenly feeling her heart speed up in her chest.

“It’s just my cell phone…” the boy said, his voice trailing off as he dropped the phone, “you’re not lying.” He stammered. Iris’s breathe caught in her throat; this was a joke, it had to be. Her face froze, “you’re not joking,” he reiterated.

“What year is it?” Iris asked into the open. The air around her had been sucked out of the room, as if she was within a vacuum. Where was she? She wasn’t in the classroom anymore – she couldn’t feel the tiny desk gripping her hips. Was she underwater? – No – she didn’t feel wet – she was just…floating.

Then a voice came out of nowhere, “2017.”

“How?” Iris asked – it was the only thing she could think of, her mind was moving a million miles a minute. Her tongue couldn’t keep up – as if her mouth was full of cotton, and yet somehow the voice understood what she was asking.

The voice wasn’t distinctly female or male; Iris couldn’t put a gender to it. “I am not a him or a her – none of my race is,” the voice said, seeming to read Iris’s confused mind better than even she herself could, “we have placed you here for a reason – it is the beginning of the end, and only you – with your special blind eyes that can see more than anyone else can stop the takeover before it starts.”

“How?” Iris asked again, wanting to ask better questions but finding the world’s sticking to her tongue as if they had glue on them.

“Use your ability – the microbes are changing people.”

“Changing?” Iris’s mind jumped to Miss Berry – the way she was the same, but not the same. The microbes took over the computers by infecting their hard drives with a virus – maybe that virus wasn’t only able to infect technology…

The voice stayed silent, convincing Iris that she had put together the right idea, but how could she stop it? She had never felt so alone…Sarah, the name popped into her head – how she wished she was here with her to tell her what to do. She would have the answers. “I have to stop it before it starts.” Iris said, before she even realized what she was saying.

“Yes.” The voice said, and suddenly the normal classroom sounds returned and Iris felt the cold ground on her face.

“Are you alright?” The boy asked, “you fainted. That’s not good. It can mean lots of things…”

Iris rolled her eyes, standing up, “for once in your life, shut up.” The boy stopped talking, but then proceeded to scream. His screaming was followed by a loud noise.

Iris was lifted from the ground and thrown over someone’s shoulder. She resisted by instinct, “put me down!” She yelled forcefully pounding her fists across the person’s back and kicking her feet. She was placed down on the ground before the boy (who had been the one carrying her) spoke again.

He was breathing heavily, “my name is George, and I will not shut up.” He said, “now, what exactly is going on here.”

“You tell me what happened in there first!” Iris yelled, climbing to her feet and dusting herself off. “And next time – for your information – I can walk!” Iris cursed.

“Miss Berry – she went crazy – I don’t know.” He said, his voice muffled as if his hand were covering his face, “I just don’t know.”

Iris sighed, “I have a long story to tell you.” She quickly caught him up, and enlisted his help. He worked at the Academy, which Iris knew would be helpful.

When George and Iris reached the Academy it was surrounded by the Sick. Iris could tell the auras had faded – as if a plague had struck them – draining their life force. The virus had taken control of their bodies – even the color of their auras seemed different. “What are we going to do?” George asked, “there are so many of them.”

Iris swallowed, looking at the fading auras – auras – her ability – that was why the voice had taken her back in time. She could see the ‘change’ before anyone else; before it was too late and they had spread too far to be stopped. However, if it was something that only she could see that could save the world from the ravages of war, what was it that she was supposed to be seeing? “I have an idea…” Iris said.

George chuckled, “it’s impossible to get by them!”

“Maybe not.” Iris said.

“There are too many. We can’t do anything. We have to give up.”

“Give up? We haven’t even tried!” Iris said, “they move like bees. They stay together like one mind.”

“So…?” George questioned.

“So, maybe we kill the leader they will all die.” Iris said, reaching her hand into her pocket. Her hand gripped the lifeless object and it seemed to come alive with her touch. Fire burned in her heart as she lifted the gun into the air. Her sister’s name came to her mind – Sarah.

“A gun!” George beckoned, “you’re blind, let me shoot it.” He said, placing his hands over Iris’s that were already taking aim at Miss Berry.  As he touched her flashes of his life streamed into her memories; him taking the apprenticeship, him giving Miss Berry infected cookies…

“You!” Iris screamed, “you are the one behind all of this!”

“It isn’t what it seems Iris, I’m not the bad guy! The Voice isn’t as innocent as they seem,” he argued.

“What do you mean?”

“They took your sight – they were the ones that put you in the way of the explosion that burned your eyes and face. They needed you to be blind in order for you to stop the microbes. Do you really want to help them? They took your life from you!”

Iris took a deep breath, Sarah, this is for you, and pulled the trigger. The bullet soared through the air, through Miss Berry’s fading aura that was extinguished as the bullet entered her body cavity.

The rest of the infected auras faded to blackness, and Iris was once again surrounded vacuum silence. The ringing started again. Low vibrations rocked her body followed by pain – pain in her arm, in her leg and in her head as her eyes fluttered open.

At first it was only the light that she saw, but then shapes followed, and then faces; faces that she remembered from so long ago. Faces that had aged since she last laid eyes on them. “Sarah?” Iris opened her eyes and lifted some rubble off her body.

“Take it easy, the building collapsed.” Sarah said, lifting Iris to her feet. She breathed a sigh of relief, feeling her lungs fill with air. She was alive – this wasn’t heaven. She wasn’t dreaming, and yet – she could see.

Iris looked up at the blue sky, the way the sun shone down upon the wreckage of the building around her.

She gazed upon her reflection in a pool of water below her – her red hair, the same hair she remembered from her vague memories – a tear rolled over her cheek, falling into the water and distorting her image. She smiled, seeing her teeth for the first time since she was seven; it would be the first of many.

 

How I Lost My Voice

How I Lost My Voice – Short Story

 

I count, I watch, I wait. The time ticks by slowly for me, and my best friend Sarah. For almost as long as I could remember – and that’s a long time when you’re as old as me – I have been silent. My voice was lost a long time ago when I was only fifteen years old.

 

I can picture it now, how bright and happy I was, like a light that could never go out. Now, both me and Sarah are old, worn, and scratched beyond recognition.

 

Our story started like every story does. We met, we fell in love and lived our lives together. In our story, we met when I was four years old. Her father found me in a pawn shop and took me home for his little girl’s seventh birthday. Even with the age difference between us, it was love at first sight. I remember first seeing her, the way her eyes lit up. It was as if my life started when I looked at her, like nothing before that mattered.

 

It was my fifteenth birthday that I lost my voice, as I said before. It was saturday 21st 1976, I remember it well: 5:45.56 to be exact. It was a cold night, Sarah was wearing her Green Sweater with the huge pockets, we were walking by a lake when Sarah stopped and looked at me. She smiled, leaning over me with her hand and adjusting my settings, “Where is my alarm?” She asked me, then unbuckled the strap around her wrist and started to fiddle with the settings more. Suddenly my voice sounded, “Beep beep beep” I said and Sarah smiled with her perfect smile, putting me back on her wrist, but right before she bucked the strap she let go and I fell hard onto the cement pavement. I screamed out to her, “BEEP BEEP BEEP” but it was to no avail. Sarah couldn’t catch me, I was already too close to the ground and then, with a sickening thump I sounded my last scream. The last one I would ever sound, “Beep.”

 

Sarah leaned over with horror in her eyes and picked me up. She didn’t put me back on her wrist right away, and for awhile I was worried. Who would want a broken wrist watch? I was no longer good enough for Sarah, and that frightened me. I had never been that scared in my entire life.

Her father took a look at me when she got home, he always was the doctor type. He fixed my cracked face, but my voice was forever lost. Sarah kept me, even though her friends made fun of her. There was never a day that Sarah didn’t strap me on her wrist. We were best friends, even after I wasn’t perfect anymore.

 

The years ticked on and Sarah started to date boys. I didn’t approve , as any good friend would. I tried to help her through the various breakups. I was always there. Always watching. The years kept ticking by, my hands swirling around my face over and over again, year by year, until finally Sarah met a boy and got married. I was even there on their wedding day, although Dan, her husband, did not approve. They had a huge fight the night before the wedding, and I sat there helpless.

“You can’t wear that old thing at our wedding, the paint is chipping off and the face is all scratched!”

“I never take my watch off, ever since I was seven it has been with me. I want it to be there for the most important day of my life!” Sarah replied, and I couldn’t help but smile.

Dan gave in, Sarah had always been persistent. Dan knew that as well as I did. So, that was how I became their maid of honor.

I was also their on their wedding night and their honey-moon. We went to mexico, it was a great trip, except for the kid who tried to steal me and sell me, but Sarah wouldn’t let that happen. Sarah and Dan decided after a few years that they wanted kids, and of course I approved. Little Sarahs seemed like such fun! I smiled thinking about the first time I met Sarah, the way her eyes lit up as her dad handed me to her and told her that I was hers. I was her first real grown-up possession, and maybe that’s why Sarah loved me so .

 

Jenny was Sarah’s first child, and the spitting image of her. She had her bright green eyes and her straight toothed smile. I watched as Jenny grew up.

 

When she was around seventeen something horrible happened. Dan was in a car accident and ended up in critical care. Sarah got the phone call at 7:45.67 on January 22. Dan died the following day, and I was there, comforting Jenny and Sarah like I always did. I was reminded of Sarahs many break ups, but this was worse. It was a whole year before I saw Sara’s eyes sparkle like they used to. It was a relief when I saw that small sparkle reappear, and finally I felt like things were getting back to normal.

 

Jenny is thirty seven now. How time flies! She has a daughter of her own, Mary, she is seven as of today.

 

Me and Sarah sit on the edge of her bed, she has just awoken from a nap. Sarah has white hair now and wrinkles covering her face, but I can still look at her and see the small child I once knew. I can still see the twinkle in her green eyes, and I can still see her soul in the way she smiles. She is still beautiful to me as she has ever been.

 

Suddenly Sarah turns to me and unclips me from her wrist. She takes me off and lifts me to her face, “Hello Wrist Watch” she says, “hello old friend.” She smiles and I smile back. This is the first time that Sarah has spoken to me directly. I always just watch. I am a watch, and so I watch the world go around, “my time is short. You know this. I am old and as all old things, we die.”

I wanted to say, “I am old too.” I wanted to say, “we can die together.” But somehow I knew the way sarah was, how persistent she was. She would never listen, even if I had my voice.

 

“You have been my best friend for many years, and now I want you to be Mary’s friend. I want you to watch over her when I can’t. I want you to be sure that she was Ok, like you did me. Can you do that?”

 

I didnt want to do what she asks. I wanted to stay with her. I wanted to make sure that she was OK, but I also wanted to make Sarah happy. That was what I always wanted. “I can do that.” I thought.

 

And somehow Sarah understood, “good.” She said, and then stood up, walking down the hall and into Mary’s bedroom. It was still early in the morning and little Mary was still asleep, but Sarah walked in anyways and sat on the edge of her bed. “Hello little one.” She said, stroking Mary’s back. Her eyes opened and she rolled over, “what is it grandma?”

 

Sarah smiled, “I have a present for you.” She said, handing me to the little girl, “this is my wrist watch and this wristwatch is going to watch over you and protect you.”

 

“Like a good luck charm?” Mary said.

 

“Yes, like a good luck charm.” Sarah said, “you must take very good care of it. This watch is a little part of me that you can always carry around with you. Never take it off and never lose it. Remember these words.”

 

Mary nodded, “I love it Grandpa.” She said and Sarah turned me over and strapped me on Mary’s tiny wrist. I smiled, remembering the feeling of strapping onto Sarah’s wrist for the first time. Sarah tapped me on the head and gave me a kiss before turning and walking out of the room. Mary sat up and looked at me with a smile, “Hello wrist watch. Will you be my friend?”

I smiled, “yes.” I wanted to say, “yes.”

 

It was then I heard the stickening thump. The sound of a body collapsing to the floor. Sarah’s body. Sarah died that day. It was a heart attack that took her. I will never stop crying, but I will also never stop trying to do what her last words asked me to do. I look at Mary and I can see in her eyes that she will never stop doing what Sara’s words asked of her either.

 

Something Borrowed

Something Borrowed

 

My mother used to say that everything is borrowed. Sure, it may seem like it’s yours – but nothing truly is. In time, all things are returned. Each breath you take you must breath out. Every ball that is thrown into the air must fall back down. You eat things to stay alive, but when you die you return to the earth. You become food for other beings. I liked that saying while I was alive. I liked the fact that in the end, I wouldn’t totally be gone – I would always exist in some form. Now things have changed – ever since my human life ended I realize that still existing is a nightmare in and of itself.

I’m dead, my body is rotting in the ground and I now hate the thought of being ‘returned’ like a borrowed library book to the earth. To be devoured by some animal and used as fuel. Maybe it can be argued that I am no longer inside of my body. Maybe it can be argued that I am a soul, and have no connection to my former self, but it’s hard for me to see it like that when I still feel so alive.

I can still feel the way my skin felt – soft and smooth, I can still see my reflection looking back at me. I remember hating the way I looked, imperfections in my appearance that would never appease me no matter how hard I tried to be other people’s standards of ‘perfect.’ I hated who I was, and yet now all I wish for is to be who I used to be. To be able to look at myself in the mirror and see my familiar face looking back at me instead of just plain glass. You never know what you have until it’s gone – another one of my mother’s sayings that still rings true to this day.

“Anna, you have to be happy with what God has given you! You’re blessed with so many gifts!” I can still hear my mother’s familiar voice say. Even now, nearly forty years after my death.

I can still remember the day my human life ended, and forever begun. You never know how long forever truly is until it is staring at you in the face, like a loaded pistol threatening to go off.

Life is so fragile, and I think that’s what adds excitement. Knowing that you only have a limited amount of time. Waking up everyday and seeing your face age, reminding you that you’re getting closer and closer to the end – but what if you have forever? What if you’re already dead? Excitement died with me.

My days consist of sitting in my empty house, looking out the windows at forever passing me by and waiting for something more. Where is heaven? I have no idea. Where is this God my mother taught me about as a child? Where is this God I was taught about every sunday at sunday school? I don’t know. In death I thought all would be clear – but things are more crowded than ever. I wait for the smog to clear.