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Kame-ing Home

For the third time this week I woke up to the sound of her voice calling my name from downstairs. “Kame!” she yelled. I hated when she didn’t let me sleep in. We had only been living with each other for a few months now and since then my life has been pure hell. Everyday I have to wake up and take care of her like shes a damn baby. I tell myself I can’t live like this, then again I can’t leave her alone, especially not since the accident… nothing has been the same.


“Be down in a second sweetheart.” Kame replied slowly getting out of bed, making his way toward the bathroom. I splashed some cold water on my face and looked at myself in the mirror. My face was pale and there were blue bags under my eyes. I took my time getting ready hoping Kate wouldn’t scream my name again. I made my way down the stairs, one foot then the next, trying to keep the old wooden steps from creaking incase she had fallen asleep. Oh how I hope she is asleep. Turning the corner from the kitchen into the living room, I heard her sneeze and from there I knew what I was in for today. I turned back around and trecked back into the kitchen. I grabbed the meds I knew she needed today along with glass of water. Ever since the accident Kate had to take over 20 pills a day and even with all of that she still lived in pain. She can’t remember what happened that day only 6 months ago but at night she dreams about it. She wakes up in terror. Sweat pours down her beautiful face and her blue eyes turn red.


We can no longer sleep in the same bed. She mistakes me to be someone that hurt her and she tries to hurt me. Though, during the day things are easier. I can talk to her and laugh with her which reminds me that she is still the same Kate I married 2 years ago. Our honeymoon was the best! We went to Thailand and rode elephants everyday. We slept with families in their mud huts and we even saw what the tsunami did to the families and communities in that surrounding area. We played with the children and talked about how the day we adopt would be the best day of our life. We planned to have our own children first and after they grow up a little bit we would adopt.


I checked the fridge for who would be coming to see Kate today, luckily there was nobody on the schedule. I was so bad at being in charge of all of this but who else was going to do it? After she took her medication and I helped her shower we decided to go out to a late lunch. Taking her out was the hardest by far. Just getting her into the car was a struggle in itself and making it in the restaurant was a miracle each and every time. Not only were both of her arms broken but so was her pelvis, not to mention the cuts and the bruises which would lead to scars that covered most of her cold body. The waitress came and took our order, and she could tell something was awkward between me and my wife. She then asked in my wife was okay and what had happened to her. I was the only one who truly knew what happened well other than her of course. We decided we would just tell people Kate got into a very bad car accident.


After lunch we went straight home and I made sure Kate was comfortable watching Say Yes To The Dress and I decided to try and take a nap. Ever since the accident it was hard for me to fall asleep, of course this time was no different. I closed my eyes and everything from the accident just replayed over and over again in my head. The image I saw most was the green alien that picked her up from our daily walk around our new neighborhood. It had three big, nasty looking eyes and a huge mouth. It was like nothing I have even seen before. It came alone and just sweeped Kate right off of her feet. “Stop thinking about this!” I told myself right before I got up to check on Kate again.


She was asleep so I turned on Sports Center. As I watched the highlights I missed every second of every moment I spent on the ice. Ever since Kate’s accident, I haven’t been able to play at all. I had to tell the team and all my coaches Kate and I were in a car accident. They believed it and sometimes would come visit me. When they came to visit I would put on a fake boot and would wince in pain every time I got the opportunity. I missed playing more than anything. I missed getting checked by my opponent and the way I felt when I scored a goal in a tight game. If there was one thing I could do for the rest of my life it would be to play hockey. I know when I come back they are going to put me back to the semi-pro team in Philadelphia and that is really the last place I want to be. Kate moaned and mumbled “Turn this off Kame, you are only making it harder on yourself, remember that.” I got up, pressed the power button and chuckled. I can’t believe I actually listened to her.


After dinner I cleaned up Kate’s wounds and gave her the meds she needed to take at night. We watched a movie and ate some ice cream. When she started dozing off, I put a blanket over her and made my way upstairs. I laid in “our” bed and looked around “our” room. None of this felt like “ours” anymore. It was either hers or mine. This wasn’t the time to contemplate on our relationship so I closed my eyes and tried falling asleep.


I felt myself falling asleep until I heard Kate’s voice in my head. She was screaming. “KAME help me! I need you, help me!” She didn’t realize we were both helpless. There was nothing I could do. The little green thing had already had her in a death grip. There was no way in hell he was letting go. He dragged her by her hair at incredible speeds but her screams sounded so close. She kept telling me she needed help and I tried to follow behind them but there was no way in hell I was going to reach them. She was gone. That fast the love of my life was gone. Right before my eyes.


That night I couldn’t sleep, I sat on the couch with my feet up and tried to focus on things that didn’t have anything to do with Kate. I watched the Penguins play and tried to eat my favorite kind of ice cream but I couldn’t. I felt sick to my stomach. I asked myself if she was ever going to come back. I asked where she was. I asked if there was something I could have done. I asked so many things that I didn’t have the answer to. I don’t remember much more from that night considering I drank quite a bit.


I woke up the next morning expecting Kate to already have coffee made and my clean clothes laid out on the bed. I contemplated on what I should do next? I could go to the police but they would never believe what happened. I could get some of my teammates to come look for her with me but I can’t let them all find out how bad things really are. I finally decided I had to go about finding her on my own.


I made my way to the spot this all happened the previous night. There was nothing in my sight which made me nervous. I already wasn’t sure what to do and this made me want to give up even more. I paced up and down the street and tried to ignore all the stares that were aimed in my direction. I made my way closer to the store at the corner. As I approached it, I felt a strong gust of wind hit me and I stumbled backwards. I looked up and suddenly everything was black and I was somewhere I had never seen before. I heard a voice but I couldn’t make out what they were saying. I tried to focus in here and the voices became a little clearer.


“Well hello there sir.” said Gus, the alien.

“Hello…” relied Kame, his voice uneasy.

“It’s nice to see you finally came to look for your wife. We are taking very very good care of her, as I’m sure you would too. She is waiting to see you.” said Gus.

“So are you going to tell me where she is, or should I find her on my own?” replied Kame.

“Oh, no. I will gladly show you where she is, just follow me.”


I followed Gus and observed everything we walked passed. My stomach was so uneasy but I knew it was all going to be worth it since I would soon see Kate. My nerves were only getting worse as we kept walking. I saw tons of people including children. They didn’t seem in their right state of mind either. They were just walking back and forth in a little clear space. They were alone and nothing was in their space. They didn’t even seem to see us walk passed. The rest of the area was dark and I looked down to tons of stories of the same thing I saw up here. We were walking on a little path with no railings. Someone slide on the right of me and I almost fell off the edge.


Finally, in the distance I saw Kate. She looked sick. She was pale and her hair was tied up tightly. She looked at me and we made eye contact and when I tried to smile at her and blow her a kiss she looked away in disgust. I asked myself if this was really Kate? Or had they done something to her that made her not remember me?


“What did you do to her?” Kame asked Gus

“Nothing, what makes you ask that? replied Gus

“She won’t even look at me in the eye.”

“I’m not sure what to tell you young man. We did nothing to harm Kate. We took a little blood and added another type to see how she would react. She seemed to have taken the reaction well, we also gave her some of the food we usually eat so she wouldn’t be hungry,” said Gus

“So why does she look so skinny and sick?” asked Kame


I was beginning to get angry. I knew Gus was lying to me and for Kate to get better I needed to know what he had done to her. I continued to ask him but he repeated the same things. At this point Kate was crouched over on the floor with her head between her knees. I walked over towards her until Gus and one of his little alien friends grabbed me by my shoulder and pulled me backwards. I hit the ground with a hard thump and Kate looked up startled by what had just went down. My anger reached the point where I could no longer contain it. I grabbed Gus and his friend and threw them off the side of the path. I watched them fall until their tiny bodies faded away.


That was my moment. I ran into the room Kate was in and picked her up as carefully and gently and I could. She was shaking and crying. At this point I wasn’t sure if she knew who I was but that didn’t really matter. I used every ounce of energy I had in me to run as fast as I could back the way we came from. I looked over my shoulder and I saw Gusx10 running after us. I tried running faster but they were picking up ground pretty quick. My shoelace became looser but I couldn’t stop and in that exact moment I fell. Kate flew out of my arms and off the ledge of the path. She hit the ground with a crash. I kept running as fast as possible until I reached her. She was back at the store I had first gotten taken from.


“Kate, love, are you okay?” Kame asked.


She wasn’t saying anything. I didn’t want to move her but I had to. Her head was bleeding a little bit and I laughed to myself… “I wonder which kind of blood this is?”


We made our way to the hospital and when we got there they took her away from me right away.


“Hello sir, we are going to have to take your wife for a good examination, we will be back to update you on how everything is going,” said the nurse, trying to make Kame feel as comfortable about everything as possible.

“Thank you, I really appreciate it,” replied Kame with tears filling up his pale blue eyes.


Sitting in the emergency room waiting area I had time to think. The most important thing on my mind was Kate and whether or not she was okay but I also thought about the aliens and I hoped they would never come back to bother us again. I remember seeing all the kids and adults there and it hit me that this isn’t some freak accident that will never happen again. It is something real that is taking over. This could happen again and we must do something to stop it. As I began to come up with something in my mind, the nurse came back.”


“How is she?” I asked the nurse eagerly.

“Right now she isn’t doing well. She has a slight concussion and needed 20 stitches in her head. She also has a broken femur and her pelvis is shattered. Other than that she is suffering from internal bleeding which we now have under control. She will need emergency surgery on her leg and pelvis in a little while but she would like to see you first.”

“Yes! That would be great. I would love to see her.”

“No problem, just follow me. She is still pretty out of it which I am sure you expect.”


I walked in the room and saw Kate laying in the bed. She looked better than before. She smiled at me and I could tell she remembered who I was. I walked over to her and grabbed her hand and kissed her forehead. I checked to make sure she wasn’t intubated before I sparked up a conversation. She wasn’t, so I began.


“Kate?” I asked.

“Yes baby? I’m okay now. I really am. The pain is under control and I’m just so happy to see you here. Are you okay?”

“This is not about me. Really. I’m just glad you're feeling better. Do you remember what happened?”

“Not really, I remember being taken and then after that everything is a blur until right now.”

I woke up. Sweat was pouring down my face. My sheets were on the floor and everything was all over the room. I ran down the stairs to check on Kate. She woke up startled by how I was acting. She didn’t say anything because she knew what it was about. I felt dizzy and turned around to leave the room. I made my way back upstairs and laid on the floor of the bathroom. I couldn’t move. My body just wouldn’t allow me. This is something I tried to tell myself over and over again. I couldn’t be with Kate after all of this. It wasn’t fair to either of us. I just no longer felt the same way.


I forced myself to get up. The walk from the bathroom to “our” room felt like eternity. I packed my stuff up, everything I knew I was going to need and I left Kate our wedding ring and a note on the bed. The note didn’t say much other than I just needed time alone and I would come back if it was right. I told her I was going to the store and I left. I needed to think of somewhere to go. I walked passed the store where all of this initially went down. After thinking about all of that again I made my way to the police station. It was time to confess everything I just witnessed.


They sat me down in a room and told me to wait for someone to come so they could listen to my story. I sat and waited for what seemed like forever. I reviewed what I was going to say in my head until the detective finally walked in.


“Hello sir, how are you this morning?” the cop asked shaking my hand sternly.

“I’m holding up, and you?” Kame replied.

“Good, so what happened?”

“Well….”


That is when I told the cops everything that happened. They didn’t believe my story and told me I was crazy. They set me up with a psychologist and told me that I might had a mental illness which is leading me to make these things up in my head and dream about them as if they were happening in real life. I went back home and Kate and I talked through everything.


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A Universe's Story

“Welcome to our universe. A place where personality determines your destiny. A place where violence is not an issue because we have split our people into four different planets based on their personality, meaning no one will disagree and no one’s ideas will clash. A place where all thoughts and words are recorded through internal diaries/journals. Welcome to our four planetas; welcome to our universe. There are a few things you must know before you take the journey to our universe. Reginas and Rex is the planet for the proper and superiors. Feroces is the planet for the fierce and almighty. Mitis is a planet for the quiet and gentle. Ignotus is for the mysterious and unknown; the ones who don’t quite fit into any other planeta.” says an electronic voice far in the distance.

Aria rubs her eyes to make sure she’s not dreaming.

“What’s going on?”

“You have been chosen to look over Adrea and Silas, who have just turned eighteen,” replies the voice.

“Why? What is so special about being eighteen.”

“In our universe, eighteen is a very special year. It’s when the children become adults and they can finally be placed into the planeta they belong in.”

“When do I get to go back home,” asks Aria. She wipes a tear from her eye.

“Don’t cry darling. This is a chance to learn about your universe’s past. You will leave when you have your answers.”

“I AM IN THE PAST? What year is this?”

“It’s the year 3004. You’ve dreamt about the past, I’ve seen it, and now you’re here. You’re here because you are a curious one. You will be back by morning. Time goes a lot faster here. All you have to do is listen and you will hear the thoughts of Adrea and Silas.” The electronic voice shut off.

Aria sits and listens closely.


Dear Diary,


I wake up to a pounding on my door. Today is the day. There’s a sort of tingling in my fingertips and a churning in my stomach. Are the other 18 year-olds feeling as nervous as I am today? I’m about to chose my future. I may wake up 3000 light years away tomorrow morning. I may wake up and find myself in the exact same bed I’ve slept in for the past eighteen years. In the same 20-story brick building that I’ve lived in for eighteen years. What will I do if I have to spend the rest of my life in this hell hole? I’ve spent so much time locked up in this building that I swear I know where every single outlet and every sneak exit is. I’m bored, tired and so ready to find myself. I can feel it in my bones that my life is about to change.

I’ve never felt a sense of inclusion or belonging. While my roommates take three hours to get ready it takes me less than 10 minutes. They come out wearing short dresses that squeezes every inch of skin on their body into one straight figure. They wear so much make up that it makes me cringe. I can tell some of them don’t feel comfortable, but they’d do anything to fit in. It’s quite sad.

I don’t care. They look at me funny when I walk into the mess hall. They giggle when I trip and fall flat on my face in poise class. But I don’t care. I know that in a few days I will never see these people again.

But then I think again… Did any of the last eighteen years of my life matter? Instead of getting ready for the most important day of my life, I’m laying in bed writing in my diary. I should go. I should look nice today. I want to make a good first impression.

Hopefully I’ll be in a new bed tomorrow night. One that isn’t quite as big and fluffy because it makes me feel lost.

- Adrea


Dear Journal,

It’s Monday morning. But not just any Monday. It’s the Monday where I get to move out. I woke up three hours ago, even though I don’t have to be ready for another two. This is not like me at all. I usually am awaken by the yelling outside my door telling me I’m the only one still sleeping. I never get a warm shower because I’m too late and all the warm water has been used up, but today was different. The water was so warm that the steam fogged up every inch of the mirror. I stepped out of the shower and wrote the lyrics to “Feeling Good” by Michael Buble across the front of the mirror. I sang “It’s a new dawn, It’s a new day, It’s a new life for me, and I’m feeling good” all the way back to my room. I got a few glares and grunts from those who were still half asleep but I didn’t care. It was a good day and I was feeling hella good.

The longer I wait here, the more anxious I’m getting. I wonder how many Feroces are eighteen this year. How many will be joining me at the Annual Planeta Induction? Where will I be placed? Will I be Rex, the superiors? Will I be Mitis, the gentle? Will I be Ignotus, the unknown? I know I won’t be staying in Feroces. I haven’t proven myself tough enough. I’d cry before every shooting class as a kid. I was not afraid of getting hit by the sword, but of holding such a dangerous weapon. I really hope I’m Rex. They take fencing and archery classes instead, which is much more my style. I would be at the top of the chain. I once heard they live closest to the sun because they are the most worthy. I’ve also heard they drink wine and eat grapes every night. They live like royalty.

My biggest fear is being sent to ignotus. No one hears anything about that planet. It’s the farthest away from the sun, meaning it must be cold year round. Cold and dark. Very few get sent to Ignotus, so I bet it’s lonely.

- Silas


Dear Diary,

It’s cold and dark here. Where am I?

- Adrea

Dear Journal,

This is the last place I want to be.

-Silas


Dear Diary,

I’m trying to remember what happened in the past twenty four hours. I woke up yesterday as usual, in Regina. But this morning I am in Ignotus. Or at least that’s what I’ve been told. The breeze here is a little stronger and a little colder but I actually don’t mind it. It’s refreshing.

Oh! The Annual Planeta Induction. Let me tell you all about it. All the Reginas lined up in the Aqua Ballroom. We were each assigned a number and slowly but surely they got to 2948230. My number was called. My heart was pounding so fast in my chest that I swore I’d faint before I could get to the Induction Room.

An old, grumpy-looking man stood in the doorway. He handed me a sheet of paper and told me to go inside. I went inside and sat at the only desk in the room. It was situated right in the middle, nothing else surrounding it. I flipped the paper over to make sure nothing was on it. I was very confused as to what I was suppose to be doing. Then all of a sudden a voice came out of no where. A voice I’d heard before. I think it was the voice I’d been hearing in dreams the past few nights. The voice told me to take the paper and look at it very closely. I put it down on the desk and all of a sudden little pictures started to appear on the page. At first they were very faint and I thought I was just hallucinating but slowly the pictures became clearer and clearer.

After telling the voice what I’d seen in the pictures, I was sent to a new room. This room was completely empty except for a single door. I opened the door and behind the door was the spaceship that would take me to my new planeta. My new life. My heart was beating faster now than it had when my number. If that’s even possible. I stepped inside.  No one had told me what my results were. I didn’t know where I was going. All I knew is that I wasn’t a Regina anymore.

My whole life I thought I’d be a Mitis, but something felt different today. I don’t know exactly what it was, but there was something in my stomach, not butterflies, but drums. Not just a tap, tap either, more like a boom, boom. I sat so quietly in that space ship that I could hear every organ in my body working. The pounding of my heart, the wheezing of my lungs, the ticking in my brain. I could hear it all over my silence. This is why I belong in Mitis. I am quiet and reserved. I like being this way. I really don’t mind it most of the time.

-Adrea


Dear Journal,

I think the system made a mistake. I woke up in Ignotus this morning. Ignotus was not even an option for me. Or so I’d hoped. I’m praying that a spaceship will come to Ignotus and rescue me. An officer from the Induction committee will step out and tell me they’ve made a mistake. He is going to tell me I don’t belong in this eerie place. But of course, it doesn’t happen.

So I’m part of Ignotus. This is my new home and my new life. All the new inductees are gathered to learn the ways of this planeta. The first thing we are told is that everyone will stay here until Visiting Day. Visiting Day is the day we get to use the planeta’s spaceships and go to the other planeta’s to visit the friends we’ve left behind. I wonder where all of my friend’s are. I bet Brutus is in Rex. He was always a very proper and poised kind of guy. Claud on the other hand, will definitely stay in Feroces. He belongs no where else but with the strong and fearless.

They told us we’re here because we’re unique but I think it’s bullshit.

- Silas



Dear Diary,

The first thing I learned about the Ignotus life is that each member was placed here for a unique reason. Supposedly, it’s the reason we never hear anything about this planeta. We are put here because we possessed something greater. Something better than the confinements we tried to hard to fit ourselves into. Maybe it’s the reason why I’ve never quite felt that I belonged and why even on the morning of I had absolutely no clue of where I’d be placed.

I think I’m going to like it here. It’s quite refreshing. There are so many different faces and personalities. I wonder if I’ll ever get to know all of these people. I think there are about 2500 new Ignotus. Some look excited to be here but some look so confused and frustrated. I would’ve been happy anywhere, as long as I didn’t stay with the Reginas.

My eye catches the eye of a boy, who looks especially angry. But his anger is a soft and tender kind, not stiff and resilient. I can tell that deep down he isn’t the tough looking guy who puts on an exterior because that’s what he was taught. I’ve never even seen this guy before but the way he looks back at me makes me all tingly on the inside.

- Adrea


Dear Journal,

I don’t know who she was, or where she came from but she was beautiful. Not in the way I’d ever seen before. Her skin glowed in the light, her hair dark hair flowing in the wind, and her eyes… Oh her eyes. They were this deep blue, like the depths of the ocean. She wore a velvet dress that hugged her body in the most pleasant way possible. I wanted to go closer. To say something. Or even just to take in the beauty. But something was holding me back. This wasn’t like me at all. Back in Feroces, I could go up to any girl and I swear I had the best game, but today I couldn’t do it.

Next thing I knew she was walking over to me.

“Hi,” she said in the most delicate voice I’d ever heard, “I’m Adrea.”

I stumbled to find words. I didn’t know what was happened. This never happened to me.

- Silas


Dear Diary,

I know I shouldn’t have but I giggled. I giggled at his uneasiness. But not because I was making fun of him, but because it was adorable. He shifted his weight from side to side and I could tell he was searching for words he said a thousand times before.

Finally he replied, “Hey, I’m Silas. It’s very nice to meet you.”

We’d been paired together for daily assignments, which meant we were going to spend a lot of time together. I was grateful I’d been paired up with someone who seemed to be just as awkward as I am. Our first assignment of the day was to gather our belongings and choose a room. I chose my room and Silas chose the room right across from mine.

His excuse being, “We need to be close together, since we are assignment buddies.”

I giggled again because who else says that kind of stuff? I was falling head over heels for this boy and I didn’t even know him yet.

- Adrea


Dear Journal,

I think this may be the first girl I’ve been shy around. I hate it, but I also kind of like it. Her laugh is so delicate and sugary. Every time I see her, I feel a little taller, a little more aware of life. It must have been an angel sent from above that paired us together on that very first day.

Our next assignment is to create a piece of artwork. I am in no way an artist, but they think because we’re “unique” we must all be creative. I hope they aren’t expecting much because this is not going to go well.  

I knock on Adrea’s door and ask if she’s ready for the daily assignment.

- Silas


Dear Diary,

I hear a faint knock on the door and fly out of bed. I must’ve slept right through my alarm this morning.

“I’ll be out in a sec,” I call in a sort of panic.

“Oh. Take your time,” he hesitates.

It’s been three months. We’ve settled in pretty nicely. Each of the new Ignotus pairs have gotten a new daily assignment everyday. This will be the last time until they give us permanent jobs. The point of these daily assignments was to find what we excel in. Being an ignotus means your talents are hidden deep within you and they have not yet been discovered. Some pairs have discovered their talents. Some are still searching. Silas and I would be part of the latter group.

This is the last chance. If we aren’t fit for today’s assignment we will be set for re-evaluation, which would mean another ride in the spaceship and another three months of adjustment to a new planeta. I don’t know if I could do it.

- Adrea


Dear Journal,

Adrea walks out of the room and we head into the art studio. The room smells funny and I already don’t feel like I belong. We walk over to the man who is silently spinning his clay pot. He tells us to chose anything in the studio and start working.

I walk over to box of paints and paint brushes. Anyone could tell that neither Adrea nor I knew a single thing about art. We had an hour to create a masterpiece. But how were we suppose to do that with no experience whatsoever.

I tell Adrea we should split up and each try until we find something that works. So I pick up the paints and brushes from the bin and walk over to an aisle. Adrea finds some new clay and sits down next to the man at one of the potter’s wheels.

I try painting a tree, then myself, then the view from the window. But each attempt fails miserably.

- Silas


Dear Diary,

I tried everything. I made a pot. I made a vase. Nothing is coming out the way the man’s pottery had. We have 15 minutes left and the clock is ticking faster and louder as the seconds went by. I’m panicking. We are about to fail our last challenge. I wass finally settling and now we’ll have to pack our bags and leave.

5 minutes left. I throw out all the old pieces of clay and took a new batch. This will be my last try. I gather my things and now 4 minutes to go.

- Adrea


Dear Journal,

3 minutes and 59 seconds. That’s all the time we have left. I rip off the picture I was drawing of the landscape and I just stand there. I watch Adrea as she rushes around trying to put something together. In 2 minutes and 15 seconds the judge will come by to see our art. I stare at Adrea’s delicate body, her silky hair and I know I can’t lose her to another planeta. I close my eyes, her image implanted in my mind, and I just start to paint.

- Silas


Dear Diary,

We are down to 60 seconds and the timer starts counting out loud. It drives me nuts. I throw the pottery and walk over to Silas. As I get closer I can see the details of his painting. It’s amazing. It’s… of me. I was astonished. The clock keeps counting down. 5… 4… 3… I want to shake his shoulders and tell him to hurry up. 2… But he’s so into it. 1… BEEP. Time’s up.

- Adrea


Dear Journal,

BEEP. I jump at the sound of the timer. Time was up, but my painting was is finished. The judge walks over to my painting. He praises it but tells us it would not do. We are going to be shipped back to be re-evaluated.

I hear a faint cry and turned around. Adrea is on the floor, palms pressed hard against her face. She cries so quietly, I almost don’t realize she’s there. I walk over and kneel by her side. I know exactly how she’s feeling. I’m feeling the same exact way. But I have to keep it together. I don’t want to show her weakness. I gently push her hair back behind her ears and kiss her cheek.

- Silas


Dear Diary,

“It’ll all work out okay,” He whispered in my ear.

And I want nothing more but to believe the sweet words coming out of his mouth, but I can’t do it. He gave me his hand and helped me up. We walk back to the rooms and pack our bags. This is it.

I look at the red and gray uniform I’ve worn for the past three months and start crying even harder. I have made friends here. I feel at home for the first time in my life. I have a sense of belonging and now it is all being torn away.

- Adrea

Dear Journal,

We sit in silence on the spaceship. I take Adrea’s hand and interlace my fingers into hers. I tell her we are going to get through this together and that no matter what we will go together. We will not let each other go. If I’m not mistaken I catch her smile, just a small one, but I’m sure it was there.

- Silas


Dear Diary,

I must’ve fallen asleep on the spaceship because I woke up in the re-evaluation room. All I can think about was being separated from Silas. We are going to end up together. We have to.

- Adrea


Dear Journal,

All I have to focus on was Adrea. We will end up together. I don’t think I can live without her. I have gotten so used to waking up every morning, knocking on her door, and going down to the creation room and completing our daily assignment together.

- Silas


Dear Diary,

I am in Mitis.

-Adrea


Dear Journal,

I am back in Ignotus when I wake up.

-Silas


Aria rubs her eyes and she’s back in her bed. She jumps up and runs into the kitchen.

“What year is this?” she asks her mother, who is making coffee.

“It’s 4820… Honey, is everything okay?” her mom replies.

“Oh NO! No, everything is not okay. Silas and Adrea aren’t together anymore. It’s all wrong. The system messed up.”

That night as Aria is sound asleep, the voice comes back.

“Aria, Silas and Adrea’s fate will forever be a mystery. However, we do know that the universe is now one because the system failed. All personalities are meant to live together, to fight, to love, to conquer, and to disagree. We should not be isolated from the rest of the world. This is why your universe is now one. There is a myth that says the planetas came together as one because Silas and Adrea’s love was so strong, it pulled them back together.”



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Capstone Khari Evans

Project abstract:

For my capstone I wanted to have a project that was reflective of my interests in engineering. The goal, to create a arm will add 100 lbs lifting capacity to the user. I did this by using a system of pulleys and springs to create a mechanical advantage. By doing this project I now have  deeper understanding of some aspects of physics and about different materials and what I can and cannot do with them. In the end , I created a arm that works.

Bibliography:

http://iqa.evergreenps.org/science/phy_science/ma.html

http://physics.tutorvista.com/forces/pulley.html

http://www.ropebook.com/information/pulley-systems

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulley

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9T7tGosXM58

http://science.howstuffworks.com/transport/engines-equipment/pulley.htm

http://www.homedepot.com/

http://www.ropebook.com/information/pulley-systems

http://www.education.com/science-fair/article/moveable/

Honus. "How to make air muscles!."Instructables. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Feb. 2014. <http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-air-muscles!/>.

From this site we learned the properties of something we call an Air muscle which is something we came across in another search. Air muscles contract and expand and can be used for to pull 400 times their own weight depending on their size. Many of them even work when wet. Another name for them are acutators.


Chewee. "Pneumatic Muscles." Instructables. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Feb. 2014. <http://www.instructables.com/id/Pneumatic-Muscles/>.

Pneumatic Muscles are another kind of air muscles they can be used for even more things because they can come in different shapes. They can be used in pulleys and also work when wet and even under small amounts of damage


Mikey. "Air Muscles: Make an Artificial Muscle Robot Controller." Instructables. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Feb. 2014. <http://www.instructables.com/id/Air-Muscles-Make-an-Artificial-Muscle-Robot-Contr/>.

This is a instructable for a complex system of air muscles that are all controlled through a system of circuit board. The muscles can be monitored using the circuits and also operated the same way. We mostly wanted to observe a complex system from this link even though we don't plan to make a circuit board in our own.


Krasnow, Ben. "Tutorial: How to build an air muscle and use it in a force-feedback joystick." YouTube. YouTube, 17 Feb. 2011. Web. 4 Feb. 2014. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkaVsoEd6Vo>.

This is another application of air muscles which is what we are really set on using at this point. In this video someone made a very simple air muscle in a joystick and how the system can be measured and used in a plane or helicopter


Daerdan , Frank, and Dirk Lefeber . "Pneumatic artificial muscles: Actuators for Robotics and Automation ." Publications of Brussels University Department of Mechanical Enginering. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Feb. 2014. <http://lucy.vub.ac.be/publications/Daerden_Lefeber_EJMEE.pdf>.

This is a publication of a document about the effects of a pneumatic muscle and how the displacement of the muscle works.


"Air Muscle." Air Muscle. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Feb. 2014. <http://www.efunda.com/sponsors/inventables/AirMuscle/AirMuscle_Intro.cfm#PageTop>.

Air muscles mirror what human muscles do. Air muscles, similar to actual muscles can only pull when air is pushed into them and aren't really meant for pushing. Another muscle or alternative needs to be used to create a force in the opposite direction.


"High power military robotic Exoskeleton." YouTube. YouTube, 26 Nov. 2007. Web. 4 Feb. 2014. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hkCcoenLW4>.

This video is a purposefully made leak of military tech that utilizes hydraulic pumps and pneumatic muscles in an entire suit that can move cargo a lot more efficiently then people ny themselves.


Channel, Intel. "Student-designed Upper-body Exoskeleton Provides Augmented Strength." YouTube. YouTube, 12 Aug. 2013. Web. 4 Feb. 2014. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D184ntU5XFw>.

This was done by students at UPenn, and this is a more complex version of what we hope to accomplish in our own exo-skeletal mechanical advantage. This arm is lightweight and can give the user an addition 40 pounds of force that they are able to carry.


"Titan Arm." Titan Arm. University of Pennsylvania, n.d. Web. 4 Feb. 2014. <http://titanarm.com>.

This is the website from the video above that shows discussions with the studentsand more examples of the way the arm can be used. The arm itself, is something that doesn't wrap around the arm like some other designs we have observed.


"Arm and Hand." Mars Science Laboratory:. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Feb. 2014. <http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/mission/rover/arm/>.

The robotic arm used on a rover has the same three joints as that of a human arm and can move almost just as much. It isn't an exoskeleton in anyway but it was useful for seeing how inanimate objects can mimicking humans.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pneumatic_artificial_muscles






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The Hunter

Hard eyes glared up at him from behind an oaken counter. He paid no mind to them or their owner as he swung his legs over the rusty stool and dropped into its seat. His boots clicked down onto the bronze pole that served as a footrest. Jackson reached up and took his broad hat from his head, setting it down on the stool to his right.

“Gimme an ale. Somethin’ strong and dark. And a hunk of bread if you would be so kind,” he said. The barkeep continued to shine the glass in her hands for a moment before setting it down.

She was a pretty maid, couldn’t have been more than ten and seven with auburn hair that hung down to her shoulders. The soft flicker of a fire burning in the corner of the room brought out the green in her fierce eyes. She grabbed a tankard from the bottom shelf behind her and unstoppered the great wooden barrel that hung over the edge of the bar. A thick, dark mead flowed from the hole where the cork had been and drained into the glass below. The lass ripped some bread off of a hard white loaf behind the counter and set it on a tray with the ale beside. She slid it down towards him with a scrape and tapped the bar twice with her fingers.

“That’ll be two coppers for the ale, one for the bread, and another ten if’n you’ll be wantin’ a room,” she said with a cold stare. Jack took three coins from the purse at his belt and slid them to her over the countertop. He wouldn’t be needing a room tonight. Not if everything went as it should. He took a swig from his tankard and looked around the room, sweeping over the chairs scattered across the room and huddled around the hearth. The dusty men occupying them stared back with hard defiance. All except one. Do I know him? The man stared shiftily down at his boots as he drank from a rusty tin mug. He looked to be about twenty years of age with oily black hair hanging down to cover his bulbous nose and hideous twisted lips covered in scars.

It was not the most pristine of establishments. In fact, it was just about as dusty and forlorn as any of the saloons Jackson Blake had visited in his day. But if catching outlaws was a religion, this rusty bar was his Shangri-La. That’s Long Bill Waters, sure as day. I’ve never seen a bandit so ugly. Looks like he's got five or six friends in tow.

Jackson finished his drink with a few slow gulps and slid it down the counter to rest in the barkeep’s hand. The men around the fire were talking in hushed voices now, glancing occasionally in his direction. A few of them looked nervous, fidgeting as if they were waiting for something urgent. Jackson didn’t like that any more than he did the silver-grey six shooters that hung from each and every belt in the circle.

He casually reached down to his hip and felt reassuring cold steel beneath his grip. He was ready for whatever they might bring. This was not his first rodeo.

One of the men stood slowly and sauntered over to the bar, his boots clicking on the hardwood floor as he walked. He sat down next to Jackson’s hat and ordered a whiskey, straight. He cast a fleeting glance over in Jack’s direction, lingering just a second too long on the pistols by his side. They’re looking for trouble, but so am I.

“You been to Fort Griffin ‘bout this time last year? I’m lookin’ for a friend of mine. Might be you can help me find ‘im,” Jackson spoke up. The man fidgeted his gaze over to meet Jackson’s.

“Can’t say that I have. As to yer friend, I would need name or a face.” Jack reached into his pocket and set a crumpled piece of brown paper on the bar.

“Just so happens I have both. You seen this man before?” Jackson noticed the man’s neck tense as he unfolded the paper and stared at the face looking back at him.

“Son of a bitch…” The man’s hand shot down to the pistol at his side, but too late. Jackson’s own six-shooter was already in his hand and leveled at the outlaw’s chest. POP! POP! The first round caught him in the shoulder as he tried to rise. The second slammed into his chest right over his heart. He let out a soft gasp as his head hit the floor. The barkeep screamed out of shock and dropped the glass she was shining, glass shattered over the floorboards.

Around the fire the men were jumping out of their seats, drawing guns and kicking chairs out of the way. Bill Waters fired the first shot as soon as his finger found the trigger. The bullet whizzed past Jack’s head and buried itself into the shelf behind the bar. The barkeep fled the room through the back door as Jackson vaulted over the counter to take her place. Dozens of bullets screamed into the thick wood around the bounty hunter’s head as he huddled beneath the bar. The sound of their exit was so thunderous he had to grit his teeth to keep from crying out. I need to shoot my way out of here. Wait for an opening, stay alert.

By then three of the five that stood around the hearth had run out of ammunition and stopped to reload, kneeling on the hardwood floor. Jack took notice and drew his second gun from his belt. One, two, three. He jumped up, guns barking. A bullet struck through one bandit’s throat at the navel, sparking a fountain of red that sprayed in every direction. Another grazed the shoulder of the man next to him and knocked him from his feet, where Jackson finished him off. But for every shot the bounty hunter got off, his remaining targets sent three singing back through the air.

Jackson recoiled from a round that buried itself in the wood next to his arm on the bar and another ten that whistled past his head. He ducked back behind the counter. The outlaws continued to fire while he shoved six rounds into their chamber’s and caught his breath, protected by the thick wooden counter. This’ll never work. Those that are left won’t fall for that again. Jack unstoppered a bottle of gin that rested on the shelf behind him and took a long swig.

Suddenly the gunfire ceased and a cold silence filled the room. Smoke from both sides of the bar floated up to the rafters. “Bounty hunter!” a deep, gruff voice called out. “We’ll give you a choice now. Lay down your weapons and come on out here and we’ll spare the girl. Keep firing and my next bullet goes through her skull.” The girl. Dammit, how did they get to her? This’ll cost me.

He raised his hands over the edge of the counter and slowly rose to his feet. “I’m comin’ out.” Four bandits and one bartender stood in a semicircle around a scene of demolition. Blood pooled under a pile of what had once been chairs but had been reduced to firewood by the scrambling gunmen. The girl was unharmed as of yet but they had her surrounded, steel bared.

Long Bill flicked the barrel of his pistol over in Jack’s direction. “Walk.” He pointed to a spot on the floor in front of him. Jack climbed over the bar and walked slowly over, both palms raised. “You put up a hell of a fight, hunter. But we canyon boys have seen a fight or two in our days, and we’re not so easily incapacitated as it were.”

Jack looked over to the girl standing in the midst of their group. She caught his gaze and held it for a brief moment. He saw a flicker in her eye in that second, a look that frightened him. “Just you wait,” her eyes said. “Wait and see.” Jackson felt a knot twist in his belly. Ah, shit. She’s gonna try something.

Bill Waters took a step forward and raised his gun to level with the bounty hunter’s teeth. “Now, seeing as that you have surrendered, we will be doing whatsoever we like with your life and gold.” Jack swallowed back the nervous tension that had reached the back of his throat. He felt suddenly cold, then hot, as chills swept over his body. How am I gonna get out of this? The outlaw turned back and nodded his head at the barkeep girl behind him. “And hers.”

“You promised,” Jack scrambled to his feet in protest and advanced on Bill’s posse.

“Whoa, there cowboy. Back on up now,” Bill cocked the hammer of his pistol. “Now what we promised and what we intend to deliver are not one and the same. Being as we are humble thieves and murderers ourselves, we do not place too much emphasis on keeping promises. We’re bandits, you should know that. Are you ready to die now, boy?” Behind his shoulder, the girl inched forward. Jack looked down at her hands, which were removing something black and slick from the folds of her gown, he thought it to be a knife.

Jack cocked back his head and spit full in the outlaw’s face. “Well I guess that answers that,” one of the posse offered.

Bill raised his pistol again and made Jackson return to his knees. Jack closed his eyes. If you’re gonna do something, girl, do it quick. He looked back up and stared Bill dead in the face, defiant. Long Bill laughed, “I’ve never had much of a pension for allowing last words and the like, but…”

Suddenly the girl’s hands snaked out and Jack could see the object entwined within. If only for a fleeting glance, he could make out silvery circles raised over a a slick black surface. The length of the small flat rectangle was strewn with lines running from beginning to end. Small bright lights shone from one end, flashing on and off.

“What in the hell…” One of the posse began. But the room was suddenly filled with a shrill, high-pitched whine which seemed to echo off of the rafters and fill Jack’s head, his eyes, his chest. He sank to his knees and clasped his hands over his ears. The lights were shining violently now, throbbing red. Only the girl remained standing, seemingly unaffected by the sounds or the lights. The outlaws lay flat on the floor, rolling around and covering their ears. How the hell is she doing this?

Suddenly the lights and the sounds ceased. An eerie silence replaced them, and the light from the fire dimmed. Jack started to rise before… SCREEEECH! What looked like tiny lightning bolts flew from the end of the black device and shot out in every direction. Jackson was lifted off of his feet and thrown into the far wall, crashing violently against the wooden panels. A chair exploded onto the floor next to him and an empty tankard slammed into the small of his back.

He lay there on the floor for what could have been thirty seconds or an hour before he rolled painfully onto his side. He tried to open his eyes, but found that smoke filled the air thick and black. Off to his right someone was coughing as if they meant to die, so, Jackson crawled in that direction, bumping into rubble and burning chairs as he went. By the time he reached the source of the noise, he managed to open one eye and could see the room burning and collapsing around him. Three bodies lay atop one another underneath a fallen roof beam. Another had made it as far as the front door before he had died of burns, gunshots, or some combination of the two by the look of him. Jack crawled over to where he had dropped his six-shooters and gripped them tightly in his hands. He would do well to keep them around.

The coughing was coming from Long Bill Waters. He had fallen in the confusion of the blast, getting trapped by cascading debris, and lay with a pistol in his hand underneath the collapsed beam. Thick red blood clung to the skin of his chest, and flowed grisly from his mouth and left ear. Jackson kicked the pistol away and bent down over the man. “Your days of murder and rape are over, but not entirely by my hand. I’m sorry.” He raised his gun and put a bullet through the man’s brain. The blood spattered up into Jack’s face, and he wiped it from his brow.

Just then the rubble by the door shifted and a pair of dusty hands clawed its way out of the pile. Another one’s still alive. Jack looked back over his shoulder to see if he could find the last of the bandits, but when he looked back the pile was moved and the hand was gone. Shit, how did he move so fast? Through the smoke-blackened window he caught a glimpse of auburn hair fleeing towards the stables. Shit, how did she move so fast? He clambered over Bill’s body and went out of the door.

He limped slightly as he ran. The blast had slammed his leg into the wall with bone-shattering force, but he was hard to break, and recovered quickly. A crescent moon lit his way around the back of the burning saloon and into the barn doors.

She was saddling up a mottled brown palfrey when he caught up, her fingers working deftly over the old leather straps. Either she didn’t notice his footsteps crossing the stable threshold and creeping up behind her, or she did not mean to finish what she had started. Jack, however, was not given to such luxuries. “Where are you stealing off to with that horse? I have some questions that require answers.” Jackson cocked back his pistol to help make his point.

She turned and stared him down. “I’m done here. There’s work elsewhere for me. For you, too, it would seem.”

“So you’re a hunter.” Jack couldn’t believe his own ignorance. Of course she was. He lowered his gun, but didn’t put it away. “You know you didn’t finish Long Bill off. The credit’s mine.”

“I figured as much after I heard that shot. Thing is, I was headed out of the door when that building collapsed.” She turned back and resumed working on the saddle. The young mare whinnied. “Got trapped beneath a falling beam and couldn’t see much on account of the smoke—”

“How did you do that. I’ve never seen something so powerful.” Her silence told him more than her words could have. “Well you’re a fool if you think I’ll let you walk out of here. Not after that.”

She faced him and laughed quietly. Her eyes sparkled green in the moonlight shining through the open doors. “Good thing I’m not walking.”

And suddenly a pistol was in her hand and she was hurling bullets his way. Jack felt a force strong as a train rip into his stomach and knock him off his feet. A blinding pain rose up to his head and he screamed in agony. She swung up onto the saddle and kicked the horse twice in the ribs, galloping out of the barn. Jack realized he still had gun in one hand, and squeezed two rounds from the barrel. The first flew through the night sky past her head and off into the desert. The second slammed into her leg above the thigh and drew a dark stream of blood that shone in the blue moonlight. But she held onto the saddle with a yelp of pain and rode off towards the distant hills.

Jackson rolled to his side and pushed himself up to sit. The pain was nauseating, and he turned to retch in the straw on the floor. Taking leave of his senses, he drew in a sharp breath that sent a new wave of pain rolling over his stomach. He struggled to his feet and found a saddle on the wall. I can’t let this go unpunished. She won’t get away.  He hobbled over to a lean grey horse in the corner of the stable and threw the saddle up. He groaned his way through the straps and up onto the mount. In the distant moonlight he could see the dust from her trail rising into the night sky. Warm blood slicked down the side of his shirt and fell onto the ground in large drops; his head swam. He kicked the horse in its side and rode off after her.

At first the trail was easy to find. But as the soft sand turned to clay and rock, her trail all but disappeared. The only distinguishing path left was the rare drop of blood that fell from her leg and shone deep purple against the brown and red ground. She went to the hills, and he followed.

Jack caught her on a red sandstone butte three hundred feet above the desert floor. His horse made it only three fourths of the way up the trail before it became too steep and rocky to navigate. He continued on foot, passing a mottled brown palfrey along the way. The top of the butte was covered in green moss that proved a soft foothold; his boots dug into the soft ground. She was sitting on a twisted log facing away from him, the ground before covered in a pool of slick red. His own blood still seeped from the wound in his stomach, but he gritted his teeth and pushed forwards.

“End of the road, I fear. This is as far as it goes.” Jackson called out as he advanced on her seat. “That was a helluva shot back there. You almost did me in, but you’ll find I’m a bit harder to kill.” She stared ahead, ignoring his words. She still had a small pistol, but it lay on the ground in front of her.

Jack reached the log and hobbled around its side, using one hand for support on the rough, dry surface, and the other to nest the six shooter glinting in the moonlight. “You see, the truth is that I like a good fight, under the right circumstances. I like it almost as much the reward when I win. But you meant to take that reward from me. I’ve been tracking Long Bill Waters for longer than you’ve been playing this game.” Jack reached the front of the log and aimed his pistol at her head. “The game’s over.” She stared off into the distance, her hands resting on the dry wood to her sides. Talk about dignity in defeat. “Are you hearing this? I said it’s over.”

She made no move or sound. Jackson moved to her front and saw his error. She sat slumped over, the light gone from her emerald eyes. Her head drooped down into her navel. She’s gone. Jack breathed a sigh of relief. He didn’t much like executions. He holstered his pistol. It should be just about morning now. He turned towards the coming light. But if he was looking for a sunrise, he didn’t find it.

Hard eyes glared up at him from behind a shiny six shooter. He stared back. His mouth gaped open in shock. “You’re wrong, hunter. The game’s just begun.”

“How did you…” but Jackson stopped himself before he started. Of course. He had seen it before, at the saloon. “You’ll pay for this.”

“You’ll have to catch me first.” She squeezed the trigger. POP! A brief flame burst from the barrel sending a hard bullet screaming through the air and through Jackson Blake’s left eye. Darkness crept up to cover the world.


— - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - —


Jack Masterson awoke in a cold, blue room with white sheets pulled up over his chest. His eyes felt heavy with disuse and his arms were leaden weights sinking into the firm springs of the mattress. It was daytime, the yellow beams of light streamed through the windows and thin curtains. He blinked to adjust his vision and pressed a small blue button to his side to raise himself into a seated position. “Game Master!” he croaked, his voice cracking and sharp to ears.

Electrical nodes attached to different spots around his chest, legs, and arms. The control cap sat heavily on his head, and he reached up feebly to pry it off. The wires that covered his body took slightly less effort to pull off, but even that proved to strain his fingers and wrists. He was reaching for the last pair on his legs when the game master came running in on two stubby legs, dressed head to toe in regulation blue.

“Masterson? What happened, you were first in the rankings since last week!” The man sputtered. He gave him a quizzical stare. Jack glared back and swallowed to clear his throat.


“I think we have a hacker.”


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I thought you loved me?

images

By: Symone McCollum 

It was a warm summer day in Funnyton village. The sun set perfectly on top of the hill while the cool breeze blew to ease everyone’s mind of how hot it was earlier in the day. The birds flew in the sky as though they were chasing each other. The stray cats were roaming the streets trying to find a place to stay cool. The kids were playing hopscotch in the street and the parents were home reading books. This suburban area was always peaceful, full of perfect people, and quiet. Little did the people of Funnyton village know that their lives were going to change quicker than they could imagine.

My family was perfect. There’s me, Anna, my mom Sally, my father Steve, my two little brothers Jake and Jaaz, and our dog Kenny. My father is a successful surgeon and everyone in town always goes to him when they feel bad about the way they looked. My mother is a house mom and takes care of my baby brother Jaaz. My mother and father have been married for 25 years. My mom had me when she was 19 and my father was 21. They often tell me that they fell in love the moment they laid eyes on each other.

“I can still remember how your mother looked the first time I saw her. She was wearing a pink shirt, half off her shoulder, half not. She had on these blue high jeans with these gold shoes. Her hair was in a brown curly fro. Her hair was blowing in the wind. When she noticed me, she kept trying to fix her hair after every breeze of wind. I thought it was cute. Man, your mother was gorgeous.” My mother raised her eyebrows as she walked into the room.

“Was?” my mother asked.

“Honey, you were and still are,” he said as he gave her a big sloppy kiss. Yuck! I walked away and went into my room.

I laid down on my bed, plopped my white earphones in and put on my favorite Beyonce song. Suddenly, I heard a big bang outside of my window. It sounded like thee tree outside banged into my window. I got up and went to open the door and crawled out onto my patio. I looked around and nothing was there. Thump! I looked around again and saw nothing. I plopped my earphones back in my ear and was walking back into my room. As I grabbed the handle I felt a hand grab me from behind. I tried to scream but it’s hand was over my mouth. I turned around to see who it was, and it was my boyfriend Mike.

“Jesus Mike you scared the crap out of me,” I yelled. I smacked him on the side of his face playfully and he laughed.

“I just wanted to surprise you.”

“Well congrats. How’d you get up here?”

“I climbed the tree,” he laughed. “I know you’re in trouble but I wanted to see you. Glad I got you not to scream before your parents heard us. Can I come in?”

Mike and I walked into my room and he started kissing on my cheek. I’m still a virgin and Mike knows I’m not ready for anything but he tries to test me anyway. Sometimes I like it, but sometimes I just want to talk to him without any of the extra stuff.

“Knock it off Mike. You know how I feel about that.”

“I’m sorry Annie. You know I don’t mean it like that.”

“It’s fine,” I said as I was pulling my shirt back up. “What did you come here for?”

“Well... sit down.”

I didn’t know what he wanted to say to me but I kind of didn’t want to know either because I knew whatever he wanted to tell me wasn’t good. Mike can usually settle for FaceTime calls when I was in trouble, but since he wanted to be face to face meant a lot.

“Whelp, what is it?” I asked calmly while plopping on my bed.

“You know those things you can’t control? Like the weather or when your mom tells you no?”

I raised my eyebrows. “Um, yeah. There’s a lot of things we can’t control like how you’re preparing me for this speech but won’t get to the point. What’s going on Mike?”

“Remember when we first met? Up at riverside park. You were walking your dog and noticed me staring at you on the bench? You kept trying to push your hair behind your ear but it was too thick so it just kept sliding?” Mike asked me. He started smiling, so I couldn’t help but to smile back.

“Yes. And Kenny kept barking at you so you got really scared and wouldn’t come up to me.” I laughed. I had to gather myself before my parents came upstairs to figure out why I was laughing so hard.

“I wasn’t scared Annie, that dog is just crazy?” He said while laughing.

“Yeah right. So what is the point of your story?”

“I just want you to know that I love you, no matter what. I will never leave your side okay? And I need you to promise to never leave mine. Promise me, right now Annie.” He looked down at me and his face was serious. His light face now showed cheeks that were red and his eyes now resembled eyes of hurt.

“Did you cheat on me Mike?”

“Dammit Annie! No. Just promise me.”

“I love you Mike. I will never leave your side no matter what. I promise.” I kissed his cheek. “Now, tell me what’s going on?”

“You know how I’ve been in and out of the hospital for months now. And they’ve been doing tests with my heart but yesterday they finally told me that I had a cardiac tumor. You know what that is right?”

I blacked out. This couldn’t be real. No, it can’t be. This had to be a joke. I felt my face go hot not because I was angry, but because I was shocked. My entire world was crashing down before my eyes. The love of my life could be dying! What could I do? What do I say? No...here they come. The water works.

“Babe, stop crying. It’s going to be alright.” He caressed my hand. He kissed my forehead and I decided that I had to get my shit together. If he was strong, I needed to be too.

“What are you going to do? Like what’s the next step? Is everything going to be okay? What did your mom say? What’s going to happen to you?” I started crying again.

“Annie, I am going to be okay. I promise. My mom is fine, she is dealing with it like we all are. But, that’s not all that I had to tell you. I met with this other doctor after I found out the news and he told me something different than my regular doctor.”

“What was it?”

He rubbed his chin. His face turned red and he turned away from me.

“The second doctor, James, told me that there was only one option. He told me that...”

He stopped. I held his hand and told him that everything will be okay. His face was full of tears before I knew it. I didn’t know what to do. I mean, I could easily be selfish in that moment and cry too but it wasn’t about me. It wasn’t about his mother or his family, it was about him. His life was on the line. I didn’t want to push him anymore, so I just laid his head on my chest and let him get it out. He’d let me know when he was ready to.

After he left, I sat on my bed looking up at my ceiling. My ceiling was painted with yellow stars from when I was a child. These were the stars I looked up to when something bad happened in my life. Like when my parents were talking about divorce, my dog died, and when my cat ran away. When I looked at these stars I kept thinking about Mike. I kept thinking of ways I could help, but realized there were none. Maybe I could give him my heart...but then I wouldn’t be alive. I just didn’t know what to do, but I promised to be there for him through whatever, and I’m keeping that promise.

Later that night, I kept calling Mike but he wasn’t answering his phone. My hands were starting to shake. A broke out in a sweat a few times while trying to take a nap and get my mind off of him. Suddenly I got a text in the middle of the night that said “open up.” I ran to my bedroom door as quick as I could to make sure everyone in the house was asleep. I heard my father snoring louder than anything else and knew it was safe to let him in. I tiptoed down the steps and went to the front door. I opened up and he was standing there. His hair looked like he placed acid on certain places because they were going bald. His eyes were red and puffy and his lips were dry. I hugged him.

“Come in,” I said.

He placed his bookbag down at my feet and hugged me. He kissed me on the forehead. His lips felt soft but rough. I held his left hand and with his right hand he picked up his bag and followed me into the house. We sat down on the loveseat and he laid down on my lap. I wanted to ask him why he didn’t answer me earlier, but I wasn’t going to say anything until he brought it up first. He kept rubbed my arm. His hands were soft and moist. I knew it helped him cope, so I let him rub away as I caressed his ear. After about ten minutes of silence and rubbing, he finally sat up and looked me in the eyes. His eyes looked like he was in pain. I tried to look away but I couldn’t. I wanted to know what he was going to say.

“I’m sorry about earlier. I went to go see the first doctor this morning and the second one in the afternoon. I’m just now getting back in town. Neither of them had any good news for me man. I don’t know what I’m going to do.” His face turned red. He put his face into his hands and left it there. I held his thumb in hopes that he would continue his story.

“The first doctor said I have a week to live. We caught the tumor too late in and it was no pills or anything they could do to prevent it. The only option we have besides me just dying is to have a heart transplant.”

“What’s wrong with getting the surgery?” I asked.

“It cost one million dollars Annie. I don’t have that kind of money. My mom doesn’t have that kind of money. No one can have that much money in a week man.” His eyes started to water but I wiped them before anything fell.

“What did the other doctor say?”

“Annie, what I tell you, you can not tell anyone. Can you promise me that?” he held my hand.

I knew something was up, but nothing could be worse than trying to deal with his death if I lost him. If the doctor had any news that could save him, I was game.

“I promise.”

“Well, I went to the second doctor and I went into there scared of my mind. Annie, I’m afraid to die. It’s too soon for me to die. So, when I went to him he told me the same thing as the other doctor but he offered me one more option. He said that I can have someone else’s heart but I would have to get it on my own and the machine. The machine costs $10,000 but he said I didn’t have to buy it if I knew what he meant.”

I didn’t know what to say. “Do you mean...steal someone’s heart?”

He looked at me and grabbed my hand. “Uh, yes Annie.”

I brought my hand back from him. My face got hot. My hands started to shake. I started to get up but he grabbed my arm.

“So who’s heart can you get?”

“That’s the thing. And you can not tell anybody! But... I took Joey’s.”

My heart stopped. Joey was Mike’s little brother. He was only seven. Before I could even talk I started crying. I tried to get up and run away from him. He was no longer the boy I knew and loved. He was a monster! I know he’s sick and needs help, but how could he end his little brother’s life?

“So where is Joey?” I asked while tears poured from my eyes.

“I hid him in the basement. Mom thinks he ran away... I feel terrible Annie I really do but there was no other choice. He was right there.” He started crying. “And you promised to help me out and be there for me. Remember? Remember Annie? I need you right now. I need you to get that machine for me. Please Annie there is no other option. Do you want me to die? DO YOU WANT ME TO DIE?” He started yelling. As he yelled, tears poured down from his hazel eyes. I wanted to hold him, but I couldn’t bring myself to. He was a monster.

“You are a monster Mike. You killed your little brother! Anyone you could’ve chosen and you killed him! What is wrong with you!? You’re a monster. I hate you and get out of my house!” I pulled him by his shirt off the couch and tried to push him towards the door. He didn’t put up a fight. He let me. I started slapping his chest crying in frustration. How could he do that to his little brother. And imagine what he could do to me!

“I’m sorry Annie. I’m sorry. But you promised to help me. You have to help me.” He grabbed my arm to stop the blows. He put his hand on my chin and lifted my head up to look him in the eyes.  When I looked at him I saw a little boy afraid of what was about to happen. There was a weakness in his eyes I couldn’t help but to feel for. I pulled my head away and asked him what he wanted from me.

“I need you to get the machine for me. The place is right up the street. They only have one security guard so it’ll be easy to sneak in. I can’t go because I’m becoming weak. I will get caught. Once I get this machine I’ll be alright Annie. Please. All I have to do is put the circular machine on my brother’s heart. It’ll suck his heart into it and hold it in place. Then, I place it on my heart and it sucks my heart out, shoots it on the ground and puts his heart in the place of mine. The doctor said it’s painless. Please.”

He kissed my forehead and held my hand. I couldn’t look him in the eyes though. Now I was stuck. Should I save my boyfriend’s life? Should I report him for killing a child? Would he betray me? Would the machine accidentally take my heart instead? I didn’t know what to do.

“If you do it, it has to be tonight Annie.”

“I’m sorry. I can’t Mike. Please, leave.” I took my hand away from his and opened up the door for him. He bent his head down and turned around. Then, he faced me, kissed me on the forehead and turned back towards the door.

“I never meant to hurt anyone Annie. I love you.” He walked out and I closed the door behind him.

As I laid down in my bed, I started crying. I wanted to know what could’ve happened if I would’ve gotten the machine for him. I would’ve saved his life, but I would’ve been committing and condoning a crime. I loved him, but because I loved him I needed to let him go. I didn’t want to apart of that. I kept thinking about him until my eyes closed. When I woke up the next morning, my mom was sitting at my bed side.


“Mom? What’s going on?” I stretched out across my bed and rubbed my eyes. She sat there with a blank face. Her eyes were red as if she was up all night. Her face was pale.

“Something happened with Mike. Get dressed I’ll meet you downstairs.”

Although I was done with Mike in my mind, I wasn’t done in my heart. I brushed my teeth as quickly as I could, threw on a top and some shorts and ran out my door downstairs. I grabbed my mom’s arm to get her attention because she wasn’t facing me, but she didn’t turn around.

“Mom? Hello? What’s going on! Look at me!”

When she turned around I jumped. Her eyes were now black. Her nose was missing and her mouth had green snake like features coming out of a hole. Her skin was purple and when she opened up to say something to me, it came out as a dry moan. Within seconds, she fell out on the couch. Her eyes closed, she lay there still. I ran around the house to find everyone else. I found my father in the kitchen, laid out across the table. His face was turned towards the wall. When I titlted his head towards me, his eyes were opened but he wasn’t moving. He looked exactly how my mom did, but the snake things in his mouth were still moving. I left his head dangling over the table and ran to find my little brothers in their rooms. They were still in bed sleeping. As I turned around to run and find help, Mike was standing behind me. He looked like my parents, but stronger and taller.

“Mike... what is going on? Did you do this to my mom and dad?”

He started walking closer towards me. “Yes. You hurt me Annie. I had to hurt everyone around you. Your brothers are next, then you.” He kept walking towards me.

“Before you kill us, how did this happen?” I asked, backing away slowly.

“Joey had a a good heart, but I grabbed the wrong machine. The one I took was nuclear and instead of leaving Joey’s heart as it was, it leaked nuclear acid on it that formed me into this monster. If you would’ve gotten the machine for me none of this would’ve happened. I just needed you for one thing Annie. How could you hurt me?” He kept walking towards me while his snake like features were snapping towards me... ready to bite.

Without hesitation, I took the baby’s stroller in the room, swung it at Mike and he fell back. I grabbed the boys and we ran downstairs. Mike wasn’t too far behind us.

“Come back here!” He shouted.

We kept running. I pushed the boys out of the way as Mike kept chasing me. I ran into the kitchen and saw my father had a knife in his hand. I snatched it and kept my body turned away from Mike. When I felt him on me I turned around and put the knife into his stomach. I twisted it  and as his soul was escaping his monster features disappeared and his regular face was showing. When I realized it was Mike and not a monster. As he fell to the ground, I ran.

I grabbed my brothers and we ran out the door and up the street. We didn’t stop running. I didn’t know where we were going. I just had to get out of there. As we were running away the only thing I could hear in my ear was Mike’s voice saying, “Annie...why couldn’t you help me? I thought you loved me?”


4 Comments

Echo Freedom

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After 30 years of fighting, he finally was able to rest. It was over. The 8 Space Rings blew up, one after the other. Watching that these weapons of destruction go down was the best thing that Humanity could feast their eyes on. Soldiers cheering, the women and children crying of joy and happiness. They were finally free... Free... free. It kept boggling his mind, as he walked towards the exosuit remover. It was his time to remove his battle armor and discontinue his life of fighting. He thought it was over...


Echo was a boy that didn’t develop correctly. He was short and weak compared to the other boys in the orphanage. His story same as the others, parents died, no one would take him, orphanage. He was picked on because he was the smallest child of the orphanage. The orphanage reeked of mold and dirty clothes. The attendants would ignore the fights, brushing it off with “Boys will be boys” or “they’re just playing.” One day the boys were picking on Echo and he had enough of it.

“Hey tiny, what’s the matter?” One of the boys said, pushing Echo

“No...Nothing.” Echo replied, submitting to the push and fell.

“Why don’t you ever stand up for yourself? Oh I forgot, cause you’re a small shit!” The boy said, as others laughed circling around. Echo stood up

“I..try. But you guys are too big.” Echo looked up at the boy

“You don’t do anything small fry, that’s why we are better than you. You’re parents died because you don’t stand up for yourself, you don’t do anything right. They DIDN’T WANT YOU AND COULDN’T LIVE WITH YOU!” the boy scolded Echo. Echo clenched his fist.

“Don’t say that, that’s not true, they loved me. I think they did.” Echo grabbed his pencil.

The boys surrounded Echo and began to taunt him about his parents not wanting him. As they continued Echo ran and tackled the biggest boy and stabbed him repeatedly with the pencil straight into his throat. The blood drenched the boy’s shirt and bed, and Echo was covered with his blood. The others watched in disgust and shock. The boy who was stabbed, bled to death. People walked in.

“We will take that one.” a soldier said, pointing at Echo

“But he’s the smallest and... OH MY GOD!” the attendant finally looked at the dead boy.

“We are going to take him for killing this boy.” the soldier said with a straight look.

They left the room as the attendants quickly went to the boy.

“You know why we are here for you right?” the soldier spoke, looking at Echo

“Was it because I killed the boy...” Echo softly spoke, looking to the ground.

“Your parents wanted us to recruit you into the Military if they ever were to die. You are going to be put through school full time with private tutors helping you in every way.” The soldier said, getting into the car.

“But what for? I am only 7. I don’t know anything about war.” Echo replied

“But you killed the boy, did you not?” The Soldier questioned.

Echo said nothing and was being taken to a military school on planet Gohma. Put through school till he graduated college. He went through tactical plans, studying the enemy, fighting tactics from CQC (Close Quarters Combat) to Long Distant Fighting. He study how things on most ships should work. His final test was to put him through the injections. He was 20 years old and he was going through the injections as the syringes slowly pierced his skin. The steroids going throughout his body, his body reacts to the steroids, taking affect on his cells, the nanomachines going into his bloodstream regulated the way different proteins reacted to his muscles. More oxygen flowing through his blood to strengthen his entire body. He left the table where they injected him. He was different, Echo felt as if he was ready for anything.

“What happened.. How did I become like this?” Echo asked.

“It’s a prototype of an enhancer that we wanted to use to create perfect soldiers. We will monitor your behavior while you're in the field. “ The Doctors said.

Echo walked over to a commissioning station  and as he was walking, he seen a suit made of some type of metal. It was in pieces.

“Is that going on me?” Echo wondered.

The suit was green, it had black veins lining throughout the entire body. He walked up to the suit and wondered.

“Are you ready?” one scientists asked.

“I am...” Echo blankly replied.

He stepped onto the platform where he put his arms into holders on the 11 and 1 o’clock sections of the commissioning station. The robotics arms moved in sync putting on both his right and left sides. The pieces fitting perfectly to his body were drilled shut together. There was an open spine section that they place a central nerve robotic spine which drilled into his spine and wrapped around it. This connected every thought he had to the suit. He was one with the suit. He got off the platform and turned towards the helmet. He grabbed the helmet and looked into the visor.

“This is the last time you will see light with your real eyes. Are you willing to give that up?” said a scientists.

“What is the point to asking such a question if I’ve already gone this far?” replied Echo.

He put on the helmet and it tightened around his head, fitting firmly. There was an open slot in the nape of the suit, where they inserted a chip that held a human-artificial intelligence core.

“What is that? Echo asked.

“This is the first ever human cell generated artificial intelligence. Responsive, Efficient, Adaptive, Cunning, Human. REACH.” The scientist said, with a smile on his face. Echo grinned.

Echo took the chip and inserted it into his head. The entire suit made a noise and moved. Echo had full control over the suit. It was time.


15 Years after Echo has been commissioned...

“Sir! We are taking heavy fire! Please come when you can!” Marine said over the radio.

“Spartan, I need you to get out there and bring our boys back to the LZ point! ASAP” commanded the Lieutenant  

Echo went forth with the mission that he was assigned. Being that this is just another rescue mission that he was use too.

“Don’t you think you should take some caution when doing this SUICIDE JUMP!!!” Reach whimpered

Echo jumped out of the aircraft and dove straight down into Enemy territory. He landed atop an alien, where he shot it straight in the head. The others aliens looked back and began to shoot at him with their plasma weapons. Some semi-automatic and others rapid fire. Echo ducked for cover. Scouted for different routes and found the easiest way through. He threw a grenade and ran through. The battled lasted merely 30 minutes. Echo’s mastered a lot of his skills over the years and began to command his own fleets. War to him was becoming dull and the same. Years pasted as Echo was aging. He grew older, yet still vigilant. He was a soldier, that’s what the army expected of him. One day, Echo was called back to the HQ of United Nations of Space Control. As he arrived to the docks of the HQ, he looked around. Different variations of the Super Suit that he wears. He looked around it amazement and shock.

“I thought I was the only one.” thought Echo

“I can’t believe they made this many in this time, now everyone would have one.” Reach remarked.

Doctor Hastings walked up to Echo.

“Remember me?” Dr. Hastings asked

“Sure do doc, remember you and everything else like it was yesterday. How come there are so many now” Echo replied in awe. Dr. Hastings leads him into a lab room.

“Remember when we said we were going to monitor you after this research? So we did and the results were phenomenal! We wanted to continue research and we were granted by the government to make 1000 more soldiers following you.” Dr. Hastings said with excitement.

Echo walked over and notice they were heading towards a commissioning station. he was wondering

“Are they going to do something to me?” Echo thought.

“Echo, I have something to ask you. How would you like to finally rest. Like rest with no worries of war.” Dr. Hastings asked.

“That is something I haven’t heard in a while Doctor. I would love to, but I cannot stray away from my duties of being a soldier.” Echo replied

“You can finally live your life. Plus the armor that you wear is an old out of date model. It will deteriorate soon if you do not take it off. You are marked from head to toe with battle scars..”

“Something you cannot take away from me sir.” Echo interrupted. “But if you wish to decommission me, then I will let it be sir.” Echo said. Dr. Hastings readied the commissioning process.

As the robotic arms came down, there was an explosion.

“RED ALERT, RED ALERT, WE ARE UNDER ATTACK.” the loudspeaker repeated.

Echo and Hastings are heading towards the main control deck to figure out what’s happening.

“Doctor, please you need to get on the Autumn, it’s the only place where they won’t find you.” Echo said, Hastings following his orders.

The Aliens breached the blast doors leading to the commissioning area and began to destroy the machines. There was a small amount of the soldiers that were due for commissioning only had parts of their suits on and tried to fight against the aliens. The soldiers began to fall one by one. Until there were only the ones that had a full suit on. They fought to cover Echo and Dr. Hastings. They escaped.


The Autumn was a transportation ship designed to carry large supplies of different weaponry, vehicles, and soldiers to different sections of the galaxy. This was a perfect ship to escape during an attack because it had just enough fuel to use slip-space travel to get good distance from any problems. The Autumn slip-space traveled into a section where there were no planets around, just asteroids. It was empty as one could say. There was no life.

“How the hell could they find the HQ?!?” Hastings angrily said

“Sir, we didn’t know that they put trackers on our ships from our last encounter.” a soldier replied.

“There shouldn’t be a way that slipped from under our noses! You are soldiers and should be more attentive to these things!”

Hastings put a lot of thorough research into the commissioning of Spartan Soldiers, for it to just be gone. Not even the soldiers that were to be commissioned survived. It all had to be started from scratch.

“You still have me sir.” Echo said

“BUT YOU ARE JUST A PROTOTYPE!!!” Hastings shouted. “You weren’t even suppose to live during the injections. You were a mere guinea pig for military use. We didn’t NEED you, we used you because you killed a boy and there was nothing for you to even go to in life. If we were to let you be, you would’ve been in jail for murder. You are the broken one, the one that no one will ever think will live to see the light of day. You are nothing!” Hastings shouted to Echo.

Echo stood staring at Hastings while other soldiers stood around in silence. The silence was interrupted by a plasma beam. From the window air there was a hole in which space vacuumed. The blast shielding shut close to keep the vacuum from getting worst. In that collection of minutes, Hastings gripped his neck as blood spewed from the hole in his throat. He dropped to the floor looking at Echo. Echo took his pistol and shot the doctor directly in the head to put him out of his misery. The soldiers, in cover, questioned him at first, but understood.

“They followed us..” Echo said.


“RED ALERT! RED ALERT! ALL PERSONNEL EVACUATE VIA ESCAPE PODS” loudspeaker repeats. Echo and his squad began to move towards the escape pods.

“Sir, we have to get you off this shi... BOOM!”

An explosion from a plasma grenade blows a section of the ship where members of Echo’s squad were vaporized, body parts all over. Echo couldn’t believe what was going on, it was something he never went through often. The blast had his suit locked due to the electromagnetic pulses going rapidly throughout his body. The aliens walked towards his body speaking their language.  He thought about what happened back at HQ, how he was going to finally be decommissioned. Finally be at peace, resting, possibly Die happy. What he thought about as the aliens were dragging him.

Free.. Free... Free....” it repeated

In a burst of energy, he hit both the aliens that were holding him, took a gun, and shot the window leading to space. He took a deep breath and jumped. The vacuum sucked him out and he was left free falling from the Autumn. To conserve the oxygen in his suit, he froze it. Just before complete freezing, Reach directed him towards a nearby planet. The planet was his last vision before he was completely frozen..


“Echo! ECHOOO!!! WAKE UP!!” Reach distortedly said.

Echo woke up as his suit began to heat him up. He crashed landed on a shore.

“Where are we?” Echo said.

“Due to my calculations... hmm, that’s weird, it’s not giving me a set location” Reach responded.

“Doesn’t hurt to reach some high ground to get our bearings, let’s go towards that mountain.” Echo said, Reach calculating time.

“ETA 45 minutes. Sounds like a good idea.”

Echo began his journey. Neither the two knew what was on that planet or what the planet had in store. Echo crossed over chasms, through rivers, around cliff faces. Finally they arrived to the mid point up the mountain.

“Sir, are you getting..tired?” Reach asked

“I am beginning to feel a little fatigued.” Echo replied.

There was a low pitched noise that Echo spotted out, he began to walk towards the noise. Echo began to get tiresome and wished he could sleep, something he didn’t get much of. He collapses.

Waking up, he notices a strange figure at a distance, he reaches for his knife. The figure walks up to him as he tries to stab. It grabs his hand and disarms him. Echo gets up and tries to fight with the figure. It wasn’t human for sure. It was a metal being with a glowing light emitting from the heart region and other regions of it’s body. It glowed throughout the body. Echo tried to fight the being and lost. The metal being knocked him down and out. Echo blanked out.

Free... Free... So close but it’s just too far, to be free...”

Echo opened up his eyes, he seen more of these metal beings. They were surrounding him.

“Why do you come here human?” one of the beings asked, Echo still in a daze

“Why do you trespass when we told you long before to never come back again. The civilization of before time do not wish to tamper with the corrupt beings that were born from our genetics. You are all are nothing to us. Be gone human.” said the leader.

“Who are you..” Echo whispered

“Who am I? The leader in which brought peace to this land from the uprise of the mutants we call you humans. I am known as the Oracle.” it answered.

It grabbed Echo by the throat and lifted him up, he began to scan the structure of Echo. Noticing that Echo’s physical structure has been tampered with he questioned,

“Who did this to you human?” The Oracle examined.

“It was a doctor, he is gone now..” Echo said gasping for air.

The Oracle brought Echo to a chamber. It was filled with weapons and scraps of metals.

“What is this place?” Echo questioned

“This is the Warrior’s Battle Room, we are here to battle.” said the Oracle.

Echo knew this was a test and the Oracle was dead set on seeing if this is his last battle to put him to rest. The Oracle raised his fists and so did Echo. They fought, Echo still tired, did not keep up with his opponent. Echo thought about what he was close too

Free.. freedom.. rest...” he thought, as the Oracle punched him straight to the floor.

Echo was disorientated. He couldn’t fight anymore, but he got up every time he was knocked to the ground. There were others of the beings watching him, surrounding Echo and The Oracle in the room. They were watching his every move.

“Sir, you’re going to have to fight if you want to live. Please sir, give it your all.” Reach shouted.

“Alright, I’m going to finish this fight.” Echo said determined.

As the Oracle stood in front of Echo, he said

“Pathetic human, you cannot defeat your creator, tis impossible. I have the upper hand. You might as well let me finish you off where you stand.”

“No. Not today, not ever.” Echo replied, ripping off a part of his helmet.

Echo rushed the Oracle and began to hit him with a barrage of attacks. The Oracle surprised at his explosion of energy. The nano machines in Echo were living on their last line of breathe before they would shut down. Echo began to grapple the Oracle and started to rip off pieces of his body. Metal shrapnels went flying in the distance. The Oracle broke loose and punched Echo to the point his armor began to break and shatter. Echo’s body had openings. The armor that was meant to protect him and shield him finally broke, it need rest, just like him. Reach couldn’t connect to Echo’s thoughts. There was lag and Echo couldn’t take anymore.

“Have you enough boy?” The Oracle asked

“I still have enough for one more fight, this is it, give me all you got.” Echo replied, coughing blood.

“Is this where you find your peace? Fighting? You are the soldier they wanted you to be. You are the monument to all your sins. You are the one that brings and causes death to others. But in all this catastrophe, you find peace among it. Why?” The Oracle said.

“It’s because I was picked to do so.” Echo shouted, running towards the Oracle

“Foolish boy.” The Oracle thought, dodging, pierced his hand through Echo’s chest.

Echo coughed blood, gasped for air and had nothing to say. He smiled.

Finally Free.. It’s over, finally over. Free.. Free... Free...” Echo thought.

Echo reached for the Oracle’s head and went limp. He was dead.

“Humanity is the root of trouble, they are the newborns of the universe. They do not know what is wrong nor what is right. They fight and fight till they grow themselves extinct. They will never find peace within themselves, ever. War is all they know, that is in the genetics. Emotions that have no meaning, aggression that has no purpose. Deaths for no reason. They wonder why they are hated by other beings.”

The Oracle stood over Echo’s body,

“You truly are a soldier, now you are at peace.” The Oracle remarked, reaching to close Echo’s eyes.


1 Comment

"Speedy"

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In 1946, one year after World War 2. After observing Earth for countless years, aliens have decided that humans are two destructive. This is due to the aliens promise to preserve planets and after seeing the destruction of the Atom bomb determine that the risk for allowing humanity to continue was too great. Using a device the aliens have that can determine the path that a species will follow. The aliens have seen more of the destructive wars that are fought by the humans as well as all of the damage on the environment that will be done in the future. The new war began on New Years day with the aliens demonstrating their technology by sending soldiers with protective suits that are powered by oxygen. This combined with their laser weapon technology quickly put battles in their favor. The aliens send their troops from an armada in ships that are in space right outside the gravitational of earth. In charge of all the ships is the mothership that is lead by the main groups of aliens in charged. In an effort to save humanity all nations teamed together to face off against the threat. However, humanity is losing this war, with the remnants of society that were able to make it to safety are now living in Antarctica in bases under the ice. Those that were not lucky enough to be rescued try to survive their extinction in the place they once called home.  As a form of respect for their culture the aliens have captured some human in order to study and experiment them. However those who have manage to escape after experimentation have notice that they have become something beyond human. Humans who have special gifts caused by the experimentations. It’s with one of those humans that our story begins.




As I wake up to the bright light in front of my face I look around the room I’m in. Bright lights, symbols I can barely translate, and aliens who look really mad that I’m awake. The aliens are looking as they always do with their full gray skin with the large eyes and that’s it. An odd thing that I never understood with these aliens is that the same areas on the side of their heads that these aliens used the hear are the same things they speak out of. It’s really annoying because the sound isn’t focused to sound as one voice, so instead it sounds like two people talking at once. Really aggravating and impractical. Then here I am, laying down on this table tapped wearing my same baggy red shirt and old worn out coat. It’s not that I like wearing this old stuff it is just that no one makes clothes anymore in any areas except for the main civilian areas. So i’m stuck wearing the same clothes that I worn since the attacks began. Good thing I haven’t grown at all. Otherwise I would be in a lot of trouble.

“So is this the fourth or fifth time you guys have captured me? Cause I honestly stopped counting.” I say to the aliens in hopes I can get them to slip up.

Getting captured has been very aggravating for someone like me, Everytime I get captured the aliens bring me to the same kind of ship, and try to do the same tricks that they always do. They forget that I’m one of the test subjects that escaped during their experimenting. I notice now that my trick worked as the aliens look at me in an attempt to figure out who I am. This clears up two things to me, one, this alien does not know who I am which leads to two, he does not know of what I am capable of. So I begin using the curse these freaks gave me as I vibrate my molecules fast enough to break the holdings on me and before they know it, I’m already running to the exit out of here.

It takes over a minute for those idiots to figure out i’m gone and the alarm goes off, but that shouldn’t be a problem. The plan is always the same when I’m getting out of one of their bases, find the map thats always at the same spot right in the middle of the ship, find the flight deck, knock over everyone I run past just to freak them out. It’s been like this the last three or four times and I doubt it will be any different. The aliens hate changing any parts of anything they build or create. But yet their fine with changing people they don’t know, like humans, those hypocrites

Making it to the map I see all of their different symbols. Thankfully I’ve looked at this map enough times to know the symbol order for the flight deck. “ Let’s see flight deck, right there. All I have to get through is the test labs?” I must not be putting those symbols together correctly. What kind of idiots would put the area where you test prisoners right by the exit? Running now I see the exit in my sight and I realized that these aliens are those idiots.

Seems like there aren’t guards at the exit yet, which means I’ve broke my new track record. With the extra time, how about a look around the lab. Let’s see what words I can make out. I see this earpiece in a glass container and vibrate my hand through to grab it.

“Let’s see I can make out the first four letters as tran, so let’s hope that means translator. Suddenly I can make out the intruder alert that’s being shouted over the alarm.

“Sweet it’s a translator. If I was a character in a story that could only have the readers understand the aliens language by my understanding this would be super convenient.” Having decided that nothing else is of convenient value I head run to one of their ships and escape.


First things first, so I’m not followed I need to turn the cloaking on. That way I can just quietly cruise down to Earth. Just because I can move fast, doesn’t mean I like speeding my way everywhere. As I look down at Earth, and you know what’s interesting? Even when these aliens are on a mass extinction of a species, they still act as eco-friendly as possible. They plant trees, clean rivers, and other eco-friendly things. You wouldn’t be able to tell there was a war going on the planet if it wasn’t for the well….war part.

“Stupid war” I say to myself. I was starting my first year of college when the war began. I was on my way to my parents house for a New Years break only to find that everyone I knew was gone. I quickly was capture by the aliens and became “speedy,” the apparent name that was given to me by what’s left of any gossip in this world.

Snapping me from my thoughts is the super loud sound from the alien ships communicator, all of the ships get the transmission from the aliens mothership, even if one is missing in action. I guess they just assumed no one would ever be willing to steal their ships.

“Did anyone find the missing test subject?” says what I assume is some high commanding officer in the aliens army.

“No. He got on one of our ships and flew away.” “It’s best to assume that he has turned on cloaking and is on his way back to earth” Said an alien who I assume was in charge of the flagship that I had escaped from.

“Should we send scouts to find him?”

“No, it doesn’t matter if he escaped or not. That was the Fifth time we caught him” (I knew it was four or five times) “ We will find him again. Besides we need all the troops ready for the attack on their base in Alaska. The drills will be ready soon.”

Man, the aliens found the base in Alaska. The Alaskan base doesn’t have many civilians there. It’s mostly a military base. It’s where the army keeps it’s stockpile of weapons for the war against the aliens. I’ve heard the base is underground in the ice, which means that those drills are not going to be good. This would be the part where my conscience tells me to do the right thing for absolutely no reward. Well I guess it’s time to be the good guy so it time I speed towards earth.



This is why it sucks to be one of those alien test subjects. Sure I escaped certain death from the aliens, but all other humans are afraid of me. Which shouldn’t be a problem, but I don’t want to hurt any human, or make myself look worse than I already do. So I can’t run when they come to arrest me. Which is why i’m in this easily escapable prison in Canada. If I don’t tell the person in charge about the ongoing attack we’ll all be, well actually i’ll be fine. It’s all the people at this base and eventually the people at the antarctic base that will be in trouble. But according from the Knowledge I got from my parents before they were well killed was that if you don’t at least try to help those in danger, the grief will kill you later. So running out of here is unfortunately not yet an option. I notice the door far away open up and an old man started walking towards my cell. He had a scar across his face which was partly covered by the eye patch over his right eye. I assume he’s seen his share of battle and it cost him his eye. However if it’s from the last war or this one I guess I’ll never know.

“You should know by now that the alien’s escaped test subjects are seen as threats for humanity.” Says someone who i hope is the guy in charge.“ I assume by the the burn marks on your shoes that you must run a lot. Which means that you’re the one my army calls speedy.”

“ Yeah that’s me. Which means that you are aware that I can get through these bars very easily.” I say as I vibrate fast enough to walk through the bars.

“ Yeah I know which means you’re here for something and that‘s what i’m here to find out. I hope that you aren’t here to help the aliens which gives me enough reason to trust you.”

“ I guessing that ‘trust’ is why there are no armed guard in this cell with us. I have information thats super important and is a matter of life and death. At least for you and your army it’s a matter of life and death.  “ I was recently captured again by the aliens and as I was escaping I found this translator, I say as I point at the earpiece attached to the right ear. “ As I was flying back to earth using a ship I stole from them I heard them talk about an attack on this very base. They said they are using some special drills they developed.”

The general had all the color drain from his face, but quickly regained composure. “ I was worried we would have an attack on this base. My scouts recently saw signs of another attack, but I had no idea that it would be this close. Do you have any full proof that they are going to be attacking here.”

The nerve of this guy. “What, you don’t believe me? But no the only thing that I have is what I heard over the radio.” The general turned away for a second to think to himself, but then quickly turned back around.

“ It’s not that I don’t believe you, but we have two problems. One, people hate test subjects like you. So the chance that they will believe you telling me all of this is close to zero percent. Especially if with claim that the device in your ear is a device that can translate what they are saying.  The other problem is that we have no idea what the machines that they are using to drill through the ice look like. So it’s going to be hard for us to prepare for something that we don’t even know what it looks like.”

“So then what are you going to do? I told you what you needed to know so I’m outta here.”

“ We are going to need to find proof about the machines. I’m going to need your help to find them and I can guarantee they will be some form of a rewards.” Once he said that he peaked my interest. Nothing is better than doing good and getting a reward for doing it. However considering the only thing these military guys have our weapons. Not something that I need nor am I a fan of.

“ So what would this reward be. Not like money is necessary and considering I can move faster than any weapon you can shoot, I don’t need any weapons ether.”

“The reward would be a chance to start humanities faith in the test subjects like you. With your speed you should be able to find and steal the blueprints for the machines and give us the edge in the next battle. After my army learns to trust you and the other test subjects we will be able to team up and win this battle for humanity once and for all.”

You know if my conscience was bugging me before to help just people who might be kill. It’s increased by ten when the topic of the other escaped test subjects are brought up. So as much as I’m not gonna like doing this I’m gonna have to.

“ I’ll do it. But we have another problem. The blueprints are more than likely on the mothership, and it’s not like they’re just gonna let us fly up there.” The general look at me and laughed.

“ Well that will be the simplest part of this mission. Everyone that is captured by the aliens in this area are assumed to be for the military. Due to this they get taken to the mothership for a more advanced interrogation. So in other words the plan is for you to get captured. Which from my understanding you are very good at.”

This is not going to be fun.



Random fact, The projectiles that are fired from the aliens weapons move a lot faster than any of the bullets fired by any of the guns are earth. The reason why I know this is that I just recently broke out of the same kind of containment room that was just like the last room I was captured in. However the aliens seem to know me by now so I was quickly fired at. I zoomed fast around corners knocking over the aliens I run past. This mothership is way bigger than of the other ships. There are so many corridors and I have absolutely no idea where I am. To make matters worse I realizes that I’m running to fast and no longer I have any shoes, but that’s besides the point. I need to find their battle plans room to get the blueprints for the machines down below.

After running around for way too long (for me that’s like two minutes). I realize that I need to treat this like one of my usual escapes. So what better way to find this blueprint and my way outta here while i’m at it then to find a map of this place. So going by my knowledge of all the other ships that there’s a map into the middle. So I head into what I hope is the middle and make my way through the ship.

I gotta admit I’m impressed. Well I was right about my theory on the middle on the ship having the map, but the middle of this mothership is literally the map! This place is absolutely huge. But thankfully the spelling for all the rooms are the same so it’s time to head to the battle plans room.

Now I’m on my way to the battle plans room, and that when I notice that there’s no guards shooting at me anymore. Plus that loud intruder alert noise that I usually hear isn’t going off. Maybe they just assume that I was pulling one of my usual escapes and that I’m already gone. Well aliens, I find the lack of trying to find me very insulting. But no matter I’ve made it to the battle room. It’s what you would expect from the average battle plan room. Large table in the middle with the plenty of chairs around it for meetings with a Monitor at the front of the room projecting what I think is the machine I’m looking for. That suspicion of if it is the device or not is quickly changed as i see a clear diagram of the drill digging into the ice. So I quickly used the device given to me to print it out. Plus for added measure I took some photos of it using the camera the general had given me. You know what would be handy? A camera that can take colored photo. But considering these aliens don’t even have colored technology.  So i guess that technology is impossible to get.

Now that is done it’s time to head to the flight deck. Running through the corridor it makes me wonder, what if the ships they have there are the flagships that I normally escape from? That would be awesome and regardless of what anyone says. If that ship is there I am taking it and it will be mine and no one is going to tell me otherwise. Finally I make it to the flight deck and what do I see one of those flagships waiting to be taken and more guards then I have ever seen in my life.  They aren’t even taking prisoners this time they start firing away and quickly I dash towards the ship. If I can run as fast as I think I can I should be able to make it to the ship before they even know what hit them. I run past the guards, knocking them over just in case as I make my way to the ship. Running through the flagship interior I know so well I make it to the drive console and fly on out of here, Now I can sit back and relax as I fly close enough to the base and run to deliver the blueprints. All of my troubles are over...except for the alien that I now see is right behind me.

“Thank you translator or I would have never realized this dude was behind me” The alien was now laying on the floor presumably dead. It’s not that I wanted to kill him, I just didn’t want to take that chance of him being around. But still I hate getting my hands dirty. So this is what happened. I was sitting back getting ready to relax when all I hear behind me is;

“It seems that I’m the only one smart enough to stay in the obvious ship you would take. It seems I have the upper hand now.” The alien said which what I assume was a smug for look at them. But that look quickly faded as I ran toward him, grabbed his gun, and shot him before he even realized what happened. However now that this minor conflict is over with, it’s time to head down to earth.


“Speedy” managed to make it towards earth and give the general the blueprints he’s looking for. This helped breach the fear wall that was blocked between humans and the test subjects working together and after the successful defence of the base in Alaska, humanities military showed that they have what it takes to fight back. However the results of this war are unknown for Speedy because after his help with delivering the military the blueprints and not taking no as an answer for the ship, Speedy decided to take his ship and head to other planets to see where life will take him. With the common misadventure every now and then. However where he goes there are always those that are never going to forget what the boy that can run fast did for the world.
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The Boarded Mansion

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“Stay where you are, I repeat, do not move, I am a Federal Air Marshall and when this plane lands, I promise you that you will never step out of a prison again”. I told him over and over to release his hands from his chest.

“I am a US Marshall, I repeat, take the vest off and hand it to me”.

He stared deeply into my eyes while his hands remained on his chest as if he were to click the button that would kill us all instantly.

“This is the Philadelphia Air Traffic Control, United Airlines Flight 93 do you read me?” As I stared around me, everyone was hysterically crying.

“Just tell the babies I love them, please Sonny, I need you to be the new man of the house, watch over my baby girls and mommy okay?”, said the man on his phone three rows down from the cockpit.

I needed a plan, how am I supposed to save all 44 people aboard. I`m the only US Marshall on this plane, it`s my responsibility. As I thought of a plan to save us all, a crowd of passengers pinned one of the hijackers to the ground and took his vest off. The other three  hijackers were not paying any attention to the commotion in the back, people had been screaming ever since they knocked the pilots out. As they focused on getting the plane to what seemed to be The Pentagon in Washington, D.C., 4 other men and I were coming up with a plan to take down the other hijackers who were directing the plane. It was not going to be as hard because the only hijacker with a bomb was already pinned down to the ground.

“I say we just go in and each one of us grab one of them and put our fighting skills to the test?” said one of the men.

“I agree, it`s now or never, we have women and children on our hands”, I said.

All of us ran into the cockpit and started to attack the hijackers. It seemed as though 10 minutes of chaos had gone by till I realized we had all of the hijackers down.

“Flight United 93, do you copy, do you copy?!”

“This is John, I`m a man aboard, we have gotten all of the hijackers down and will try our best to land this plane at the nearest airport”.

As I pointed my gun to the hijackers to keep them from moving, the other three men that helped me get the hijackers down were driving the plane. As they were directing the plane, I was hearing a beeping sound coming from the cockpit.

“Is everything okay John?”, I screamed at them.

“John!”

None of the men were answering me. I could feel the plane going down rapidly. As the plane was going down, the passengers began to pray and cry even harder. I knew I was going to die. For some reason I continued to point my gun at the hijackers, I never laid my eyes off of them. I knew if I did, they would try to kill us before the actual landing did. The plane was going faster and faster, I`m not exactly sure why, but I could feel the plane getting closer and closer towards the ground, cockpit first. My eyes were locked on the hijackers so was my gun, but my mind, my mind was far far away. My mind took me back to when I was a child, ten years old to be exact. I lived in a beautiful house with my mother, a house that for some reason I never got to see the outside of, I was always locked inside. Why didn’t my mother let me go outside? Why did that question come to mind right before I was about to die? Then it hit me as I was staring out the windows of the plane, that Unites Airlines Flight 93 was crashing into a park.


All of the sudden, I`m staring off into a crowd of people panicking, I'm on top of a building, and I have the same stance as I did on the plane. However, I was no longer on that plane. The same exact stance. Eyes alert, same clothe on, gun still in hand, and pointing to whatever stood in front of me. It was evident that I was no longer in the same place when I heard a woman shout

“Up there! Look, everyone look! There`s a man up there point a gun! He shot the president!”

I put the gun down and start to run, I was already too late.

There were already a crowd of police men chasing after me. Why was I running? I did not shoot the president. Oh, what was I saying? They would never believe me. I had a gun in my hand, and directly pointing at the man who was shot and killed on the ground, they would never believe me. Let alone believe that only four minutes ago I was on a flight that crashed, or did it crash? I`m running for my dear life, as if it were me that killed the man, or the president as the woman had yelled out. I was so confused, but trying to figure out what was going on was the last of my worries, I had to run away from these cops.

An hour, gunshot wound, and what seemed to be 5 miles later, I had succeeded in getting away from the police officers. I was laying inside an old boat house soaking my wound in the water that was coming in through the bottom. It was dark, and I didn’t think anyone would be coming by, till I heard a voice and saw a light through the cracks of the old wood.

“Is anyone there?”

It seemed as to be a voice of an old man. As I looked the the crack, it was an old man. He was carrying his flashlight and walking his dog. I needed medical attention, it was either speak now, or remain in here and bleed to death.

“In here” I whispered out.

“I`m in here.”

He opened the door to the boat house.

“You the man they been lookin’ for?” He asked.

“I didn’t shoot him, I swear, I need help. I have been shot”.

“Wait here”.

He ran back to his house. He came back with a wheelbarrow and a younger boy. They managed to put me in, as they carried me in the house, I seemed to have fainted. A great sleep later, I woke up in a room. As I looked around, the old man was sitting there waiting for me to wake up.

“What`s your name son?”

“Bobby, my name is Bobby Wahlberg”.

“You shot President Kennedy son?”

“Kennedy? What do you mean President Kennedy? What happened to Bush?” I asked. “Bush? Son what in the world are you talkin’ about?”, he glared at me with his eyebrows together.

I could see the lines on his forehead as he stared at me in confusion. Old man is really twisted if you ask me. First, I shot the president. Second, it was president John F. Kennedy, yeah right.

“Did you shoot the president or not?” he rose from his chair and came closer to my bedside.

“No! I did not shoot the president okay! Look, I have no idea what the hell is going on. You would never believe me anyway.”

He sat back on his chair again and began to stare.

“Believe what? I have seen some crazy things in my lifetime. I do believe that you didn’t shoot the president. I have always had an ability to distinguish a lie from the truth. I believe you. Now tell me what you know.” He put his glasses on, and stared into my eyes.

“Well go on son.”

“All I know is that I was in a plane yesterday, it was about to crash, I`m a US Marshall that`s why I had the gun. I was pointing it at hijackers and then, then, I`m here. I don`t even know where I am. What the date is. I don’t know anything”.

He stared off into space, a minute late, he responded.

“Well, I have heard some crazy things in my lifetime I tell ya, never this. It is Saturday November 23rd, 1963 and you are in Dallas, Texas.”

I started to vomit once he said that.

“How, wait, what?”

“We have to get you out of here, they think you killed the president, and if they find you here, oh boy, it won’t be good for any of us. There`s an old mansion about 6 miles up, I can drive you there. A woman named Angie and her two kids are staying there. They’re in hiding just like you.”

“Angie, humm, that`s my mother`s name.” I look at the old man with the first smile on my face in two days.

“They could sure use your help. I`m Nazi by the the way.” He shook my hand and smiled back.

“Well Nazi, thank you.”

“Here you are. Let me walk you in and introduce you.”

Nazi walked ahead with his dog Charlie and I followed. The house had to be about 10,000 square feet and three levels tall. It was the biggest house I have ever seen in real life. The windows and doors were all boarded up, no wonder the family has yet to be found. “We have to go in through their lake house and crawl through.” Nazi said to me and kept walking.

Once we crawled through and were finally inside. The outside of the home did not do the inside any justice. Hard wood floors, white clean walls, large curtains, antique furniture, and best of all silence. Then, it suddenly hit me. This was my house! This is the house I lived in when I was ten years old! My mother would never let me out of here!

“Follow me, it`s 1pm they must still be in the learning room.”

As Nazi was talking, I remembered. Mom also had a learning room for me and my brother Mason, this was all too strange.

“Bobby, meet Angie, Mason, and Bobby. Wow, Bobby meet Bobby, how funny.”

As Nazi was talking, I could feel myself fainting again, and surely enough I did.

I was staring at myself as a child, my mother, and my older brother Mason who died when I was ten. I had returned to the year my only family had died. Words could not explain the feelings inside of me. I wasn’t sure whether to be happy or afraid.

“Bobby are you okay?” Angie, my mother had asked.

“I`m, I am okay Angie, thank you. I`m sorry I am still feeling a little dizzy from my gunshot wound.”

I decided that I would keep this to myself. Nazi didn’t believe that I came from the year 2001, I know he didn`t. There would be no reason in telling him. No one knew my mother and my brother Mason better than I did, so I definitely knew that they would not understand. This is an advantage, a do over. A do over at trying to save my family from the horrible fire that killed my family.

“Bobby” called out Nazi.

“Yes?”

“No not you Bobby, the other Bobby” Nazi looked towards my direction.

“You gonna be okay son?” he frowned at me.

“Yeah I’ll be okay. This is pretty good for now thank you.” Nazi walks towards the exit way and begins to crawl out.

“So, Angie, why exactly are you guys stuck in here?”

“Oh honey, that is the longest most unbelievable story on the face of this earth. Boys why don’t you head up and work on your paintings. Follow me into the kitchen Bobby let`s gets started on supper.” She walked towards the kitchen as I followed.

“Did you choose to be isolated in here or is there an actual reason?” I asked her.

“Well, we were put in here by the government. They claim that my baby boy Bobby is going to time travel. I mean can you believe that?” She laughs out loud but with worry in her voice. “Time traveling? Who in their right mind uses that as an excuse? The boys don`t even know why we’re in here. I refuse to confuse them in any type of way. So I just tell them that we’ll go out there one day, and for now we will just focus on learning. Nazi is a farmer who works for the government, he checks up on us about once a week.”

As she’s washing the dishes and talking on and on about the reason`s for them being in there and giving me information, I freeze in shock.

“Wait a minute, Nazi works for the government?”

“Oh yeah he knows all about it, he’s the one who proposed the idea to the government. They say he can predict the future, that he predicted that Bobby would come back and cause harm, and the government being the dummies they are, listen to everything that he has to say. What`s wrong Bobby?”

“Nothing nothing, It`s just a lot to take in”.

“Oh don’t worry about us honey, me and my boys are better off here than in that screwed up world out there.” She was smiling as she told me that, its as if she were happy that we were in there.

I never remembered mom being unhappy. If it weren`t for the fire that I know would be happening, I would have found a way to escape and just let my family be, but I must save them.

The past few days have actually been some of the happiest days of my life. I have to admit, it`s incredibly weird hanging out with myself as a child. I was so nerdy. My favorite activities were painting, reading, and knitting. How in the world did I become a US Marshall? Mom, well Angie, cooked breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Home sweet home, I missed my family.

“Boys, are you up there practicing?” Angie yells out at younger Bobby and Mason. “They’re putting on a talent show for me in a week” she tells me.

Then it hits me, in the middle of the talent show is when the fire erupts. I have exactly one week to get my family out of here. What will my plan be?

“Oh, Nazi is stopping by today to drop off some groceries too, do you need anything Bobby?” she asks me.

“No, no thank you I`m just fine.”

Every time I think of Nazi it makes me upset that I didn’t take him out when I had the chance, he lied to me. He knew all along who I was. Not only did he actually believe my time traveling story, but he knew it would happen, long before I did. Nazi had been expecting me.

“Angie, Bobby?”

I could hear Nazi`s voice downstairs. My plan is to not let him know that I know about his abilities. I must remain clueless. If not, it`ll ruin the chances of me getting my family out of here.

“Hey there Nazi” I grin at him.

“How are they treating you Bobby son?” he grins back.

“Amazing, Angie and the kids are great. How`s the search going? Are they still out looking for me?”

“Oh yeah, they’re looking for you like crazy.”

I just listened, even though I knew that was a lie, they probably already know I`m in here, but I continue as if I don’t know. About fifteen minutes later Nazi leaves. I have yet to figure out how I am going to explain to mom what`s going on. Do I tell her about the time traveling? Or do I just tell her that she and the boys have to get out?

“Bobby what’s bothering you? You have been awful quiet all night.”

I love when she worries about me, nice to have mom back.

“I`m okay Angie, I just, I need to talk to you Angie” I grab her hand.

“What`s going on Bobby?” she replies as she pulls her hand  back.

“You and the boys are in great danger. Nazi, he`s no good, it doesn’t bother you that they are keeping you in here, with such close surveillance? Angie I could help you.”

I search her face for an answer, but this is a face I have never seen before.

“Angie?” still no sign of an answer.

“How dare you come into my house and try to me what to do? Me and my boys are just fine. Yes, the situation is nonsense, but we’re in a great state. We live in a beautiful home, and everything is provided for free. Thank you for your concern Bobby, but your opinion is not needed.” She closes the door shut loudly.

Now there really is no hope, I`m going to have to drag them out of here one way or another.

There was only two days left till the boys talent show. It`s been awkward between me and mama since she last stormed out of my room. We make small conversation at dinner, but that’s about it.

“Pass the salt please?” she asks me without looking up from her plate.

I have no idea what has her so bothered. If she doesn’t feel as though she’s in danger, that`s it, end of story. It could have easily been dropped, but it`s more than evident that there`s something that`s still bothering her. After dinner, I walk in the kitchen as she`s doing the dishes.

“Angie what is wrong?”

“Bobby, I know who you are. I know everything. Your time traveling. That you`re my son. I know everything Bobby. This is a process that you will never understand as many times as I try to explain it. This isn't the first time you have been here. It was an ability inherited from your father. Every lifetime that you have, you come back here trying to save us. Whenever you’re about to die in your normal life, you time travel. You time travel to whatever your thought is right before you’re about to die. I haven’t seen the adult version of you in about two decades, I guess you must have been thinking of this time when you were about to die. Do you understand Bobby? I know what the future looks like for me and Mason, it`s nothing to look forward to. Each lifetime of yours is nothing to look forward to either. Every lifetime, Nazi and the government burn down the house trying to kill you specifically and stop the cycle, somehow you always end up escaping.” she looks at me and begins to cry.

“Mom”

I look at her and begin to cry myself, I can’t remember the last time I cried. That was also the first time I had hugged my mother in 38 years since I’ve hugged my mother. So much for them burning the house on the day of the day me and my brother would be performing for mom, I could smell the fumes coming from upstairs already.

“Mom I have to get you and the boys out of here!”

“Don’t you understand? This is going to keep happening if you don’t die. There is no saving us. We will keep repeating these steps over and over if you don’t die with us. Bobby there is no point.”

“Yes there is a point! There is a point. Don’t you want to keep living?”

“I have. It’s not a good life. I have lived it over and over and over again. I know what’s it’s going to be like. Bobby please. Do us this favor will you?”

I stood frozen. Do I really have a life worth going back to? Why should I have to watch and feel the pain of my brother and mother dying every lifetime that I do have. Many might say living over and over is a blessing, not for me, this is a curse. As I lay with mama, myself, and Mason, I could feel the fumes getting to me.

“Mom? Mom!”

She was already gone. I couldn’t stop coughing. As I lay there, for an odd reason I thought of my last death experience on United Airlines Flight 93.

“Just tell the babies I love them, please Sonny, I need you to be the new man of the house, watch over my baby girls and mommy okay?”, said the man on his phone three rows down from the cockpit.


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Unification

Large_Gray-Alien-Digital-Sculpture

Chapter 1: Hopeless

Still, not a single drop of rain had fallen on Zeta Village since the end of the Great War. The sun was baking away the last breath of life from the once fertile soil and the last gallon of water stored before the Great War evaporated into thin air. Soon, villagers abandoned their daily duties and slowly walked with blank expressions towards the top of the mountain. No one said a word, they were silent like corpses. What came into view was a shrine. It was old, the stone bricks are filled with cracks from the years of drought. Depressing and vacant as it seemed, there was also a  hand crafted sculpture of Jesus covered with layers of dust on the concrete floor.


One by one, the villagers stepped in, with their emotionless expressions, they uttered their prayers as they struggled to open their dry, bloody lips that were glued by their thickened saliva. After, five minutes of effortless prayers, the elders dressed in brown and grey linen shirts lined up in front of the villagers. One of the most wizened elders came to speak with a cracked voice.

“Thank you all for coming here at the shrine,” said one of the elders.

Hearing no enthusiasm from the crowd, the elder reverted to his usual poker face and continued his announcement.

“As you all know, the last gallon of water evaporated today.” The elder tightened his eyebrows to think of a way to comfort the crowd about this unfortunate news. The elder sighed when no forms of alleviation came to mind.

“So…we elders proposed a plan this afternoon.” After eyeing the villagers from left to right as to see their reaction, he continued. “ It was call the U Plan...it is uhh…we will gather everyone’s urine to be use as a water source.”

Some of the villagers glanced sharply towards the elder’s eyes as to verify what they just heard. Looking at the the elders’ seriousness in their expressions as to conclude what they said is true, each and everyone of them bursted with opposition.

“What...are you serious? We need to fucking drink each other’s shit, you better be out of your mind!” said the pot smoker who  sat at the back corner.

“Yeah, we didn’t just elect you elders to come up with some disgusting solution like that.” said Saren, the woman in the wheelchair.

The crowd soon heated up with arguments against the U Plan.  

“Yeah, you can’t do that….That is one disgusting stuff. Fuck that. What is the reason to live in this world when there is nothing to live for...and...and...and what is the point of disgracing ourselves like this..huh?”

Behind all the elders, Elder Exon, with his hair well combed and well dressed slammed his staff on the ground.

The roaring crowd suddenly fell silent.

Elder Exon went to the back of the shrine and came out with a pot. “Now, in the pot, there is urine. I will set an example for you guys.” He opened the lid, an odious odor sweeped around the shrine. He use a Micro Filter to separate harmful bacteria from the urine. Then, he closed his nostrils with his hand  and gumped down a mouthful. He stopped momentarily to ensure that he will not throw up. Soon, one by one, every elder got a chance to drink the urine. But, the youngest elder could not  hold down the urine and puked on the floor.

“Seemed like we can’t do it after all,” said the pot smoker.  

And if you people have so much to complain, then that better mean that you have solutions better than the plan, right, ” Elder Exon said.

Elder Exon pointed to the pot smoker, “Jason Mcmurphy, what is your solution?”

Stuttering, Jason replied, “I….I..”

Cutting Jason off, Elder Exon continued, “Huh, seems like what you can only do is to smoke pot.” Jason wanted to rebuke, but can not deny the truthfulness of it.

Moving on, the Elder pointed towards Saren, “What is your point?” the Elder Exon asked.

“Elder Exon, my point is that drinking urine is not an option.”

“Then, what is?”  Elder Exon asked Saren with his hands crossed.

“That we should fight our way to Percipulous State and take back our land that was lost in the Great War!” Saren replied.

“And what do you think that will work? Saren look around you, can you see the state we are in? We have limited food source, we are down to eating insects and craving tree barks. Look at my stomach.” Elder Exon violently flipped up his clothing and the structure of his skeleton was clearly visible with a bloated stomach. “Look at this!” “Look at this!”

“At least we could die honorably on the battlefield,” said  Saren.

“Saren, our only weapons are some brittle tree branches and what did the Percipulous State have? Huh. They allied with the aliens and they are blessed with advance technologies. Look at the sky.”

All of the villagers, including the other elders glanced up the sky simultaneously. “That is the reason why we don’t have water, those people in Percipulous put a transparent cloth over the sky of our entire village that could absorb any moisture from falling on our soil! They fucking control our survival!”  

Elder Exon stopped for a catch of breath as the situation was now dying down. Finally calming down, he announced his final remarks, “Either you go with the plan or you will die of dehydration.” He signaled the rest of the elders to exit. The shrine reverted back to its previous silence and soon, one by one, the villagers exited out without any words of hate or frustration. They were silent, emotionless, like corpses.


Chapter 2: Where is my Baby?     

It had been well off into midnight. The moon still hang high in the sky. The night seemed to be the same as day, quiet as usual, leaving only the chirping sounds of crickets. But there was a sudden scream in a distant house, “My baby! No, my baby! No!! Please don’t take him, please!” Saren yelled in her sleep. Her partner, Chris, woke up by his wife’s agonizing screams, turned and tapped her shoulder. “Saren?” He stopped for a response. “Saren?” He got out of bed and walked towards the other side of his wife. Saren woke up with tears streaming down her face.

“What happened?”asked Chris.

“My baby, my baby is gone! Samuel! My little Samuel. Our baby is gone, Chris!” cried Saren.

With a moment of silence, Chris burst into tears as the topic was too sensitive even to this day. The day that all of the children were taken from the Zeta Village by the Percipulous State as an order from the aliens.

After Saren’s energy was totally drained, she calmed down.

“Chris, remember the day that Samuel got taken away by the aliens?”

“I could I  forgot about that day. That day we hide Samuel under an old well, hoping that the aliens would not found  him.”

“Yeah, but then they found him using those device that make every non-living things transparent to prevent anybody from hiding. ” Saren paused for a moment and resumed his recollection of the events. “I was in the yard that time, Chris.”

“Yeah.” Chris replied.

“As soon as the aliens found him, a human-like spider went into the well and wrapped Samuel in spider silk. And then, Samuel called mommy, mommy and I just...I ran to Samuel. I...I..I...tried to unwind him from the silk and I cried mommy is here, mommy will save you.” Then, one of the aliens with a turquoise complexion and sharp teeth tore the lower half of my legs off.” Saren said.

Saren patted the cutted spot of her leg and she cried, “But, I am the leader of the A-squad, who fought in the Great War and I can’t even save my precious child. Do you know how pathetic I was? She violently hit her legs. Chris rushed to grab Saren’s arms. “Are you nuts!”

“How am I going to find my child? Huh. You or the elders? You are a coward and the elders are all scaredy-cats!” Saren said.

Chris slapped Saren.

“You are not the Saren I knew during The Great War. The Saren I knew was an audacious woman who will not shed tears even in extreme situations,” Chris said.

Saren stormed out of the house in her wheelchair.

Saren stopped in shock on the middle of the road. “Samuel? Samuel, is that you?”

“Mom, “ the boy replied.

Saren smiled warmly for the first time in the last twenty years.  

“Chris, come out, it is Samuel. It is Samuel! It is Sam….Ha!” Saren yells in pain as Samuel’s razor sharp claws digged deep into her flesh.”

Chris came out and faced the horror in front of him.

Samuel dashed in front of him in the speed of light and beheaded Chris.


Chapter 3: Aliens Are Coming

In the distant, over the borders of the Percipulous State, silhouettes of monstrous creatures began to make their way down to the barren lands of Zeta Village. One of them appeared to be more humane than the others, but have scaled, silver wings. His face was youthful as a 15 year old teenage boy. However, the traces of humanity ceased as he opened his mouth that was filled with teeth as that of an T-rex, brown and curved inwards and like a white shark, endless rows of teeth that might be reaching all the way down to his esophagus.

He flew to the back.

In the back was one alien who was tall and slender. He was covered with wrinkles and have a grey complexion. The three behind him were short with round black eyes and bloated green bodies. The flying creature landed in the front of the elder alien and greeted him. “Mr. Maoski. Can I please talk to you in private? “ the creature asked softly.

“Insolent fool! How dare you demand some private time with our commander!” said the three little aliens simultaneously. Mr. Maoski signaled his minions to stop.

“Please accompany me to that tree over there, Hollow.” Hollow gestured his hand to allow Mr. Maoski to go first. They settled down under the tree onto the grassy field.

“What do you wish to talk about?” Mr. Maoski asked.

“Why are we going to the Zeta Village? Hollow replied with his eyes fixed to the  ground.

“Hollow, even though  I personally merge you with a phoenix in the Static Laboratory in Casitllo and our relationship is like father and son, it could not change the fact that you are once human. You could not overstep your boundaries.”

“Why did you even created me anyway? Is it to be one of your prawns?”

“I would not say prawns. Prawns could be thrown away after their use are over. However, even after you are dead, Hollow, your body will still contribute to our experiments by cloning your cells to make dozens of you. You will be forever beside me.” Mr. Maoski replied. He then get up and walked towards the ranks.

“I will not be beside you if you are forever gone, ain’t I?” Hollow said quietly.  

He flew onto the starry sky towards Percipulous State.


Chapter 4: Betrayal

Hollow flew over the circular walls and into the City Hall of Percipulous State. Inside one of the big polished windows are several young councilors who are having a conference meeting.

“We know we shouldn’t gave human embryos to those aliens in the first place, “ one of the councilors said.

“Then, who was the person who eagerly gave the aliens all of the human embryos and babies from Zeta Village, Mr. Saounding?” asked confidently by one of the councilors.   

Avoiding the topic, Mr. Saounding cleared his throat and start the meeting with the real topic.

“Right now, the aliens have forfeit the contract to keep peace with Earth and try to conquer our planet by turning all humans into mutants by using human babies and embryos that we gave them 20 years ago. They even took babies off off the streets of Percipulous State, soon it would be our turn. Is there any solution to save mankind?”

The room fell silent. One man shook his head. Another man with the white suit picked up his cigar and avoid any eye-contact. A man who sat in the far end scratched his forehead and fixed his mustache. Suddenly, the window shattered. It was Hollow. He stood monotonously on the windowpane. The men took cover under the table, afraid that they will be harmed by the flying glass created by the impact of Hollow’s steel wings. After the impact resided, the men crawled out of the tables. They stopped as they saw the silhouette of Hollow. They froze in their crawling positions as cold sweat dripped from their faces.

“Good evening, councillors of Percipulous State. I am Hollow, the Commander of the Class A81 Mutants Squad.”

Hollow stepped down from the windowpane and walked on to the green carpet.

“I have no thoughts of disclosing your treacherous plans to Mr. Maosaki nor do I have the time to kill.” Hollow gestured his hand to allow the councilors to took their seats. Clumsy, the councilors attempted to move to their chairs.

“What..what business do you have here, in this late hour?” the most revered councilor, Mr. Bourgah asked with a trembling voice.

“I am here to give you councillors a plan to kick the aliens out from our planet.” Hollow replied.

“And why would you do that?”

“You do not need to know that.”

“What is the plan?”  

Hollow handed Mr. Bourgah a bottle of blue pills in a golden container. “These pills will save us.”

“What are these pills?”  Mr. Bourgah asked.

“Pass them to any humans who have the ability to fight. These pills will fundamentally change their cell structure by reverting them back to their child stage where there are existence of stem cells that could be manipulated to that exist in a  mutant. After nine months, their bodies will transform into a mutant with animalistic powers.”

“You aimed to transform all of mankind into mutants?”

“Eventually,” Hollow replied.

“Then, humanity would be doomed! That is insane...” Mr. Bourgah said.

“There are no single circumstances which people could have what they want. I am sure that either one of you would chose to be the the aliens’ slaves for eternity, or do you?” Hollow replied.

The councilors shaked their heads.

Hollow dripped several liquids onto the councilors’ brain, after seconds, the liquid sank under the councilors’ skull.

“What did you put on us?” Mr. Saounding asked.

“Not much, a brain transmitter that will send me every least bit of your thoughts to me,”Hollow replied.

“You…” the councilor swallowed his words when he saw Hollow’s eyes glowed from golden to blood red.  

“Well, distribute the pills to the abled men and women. Train them to battle and do not spill a single detail of this plan or I will activate the bomb that was built inside the transmitter.”

Hollow flew away.

“Guess we need to do what we are told.” Mr. Bourgah said.


Chapter 5: The Training  

The councilors started to search people from all over the city to test out the pills in secret by disguising the search as a promotion of a new drug .The doctors specially hired by the councilors keep a close eye on the people who will actually receive the pills. The doctors called those people to stay in the hospital for a close watch for 5 days. The chosen agreed, having no knowledge that they will turn into a mutant and will not see their families for 9 months. In the first month, each individual fell ill and have severe reaction to the pills. In the second month, the patients fell into a coma. In the third to the sixth month, the people’s body structure changed. One man transformed into a creature like a lizard with an abnormal long tongue that stretched 100 ft long when the he sense danger. One girl transformed into a moth like creature with four brownish-black wings and an antenna to transport surrounding information directly to her brain. In the ninth month, their abilities began to mature and the people started to regain their consciousness.

With their appearance altered, they complained about their cruel transformation into mutants.

“Doctor Anderson, you need to explain this!” said Kelly, the butterfly girl, furiously.

“This is the top secret experiment that will help us kick the aliens to their own planet, “ Doctor Anderson replied.

“But, you should tell us beforehand. You could not toppled over our rights like this!”

“We could not tell you because the councilors want us to seal the existence of the experiment as there might be a chance that the aliens or mutants might know.”

“But, still… you shouldn’t use your people like that without their consent. You are using our bodies for your own purposes. That is wrong! I want to change back into a human!. A normal human being!”

“The experiment is reversible. Once it was done. It was done. I do apologize for not getting your consent, but it is not the time to wine like a child.” Doctor Anderson replied.

“Do my family know about my transformation?” Kelly asked.

“We contacted them about your transformation three weeks earlier.”

“What did they say?”

“They are killed by the mutants that invaded Percipulous State.”

Kelly fell silent and cried on the floor.

“If you want to revenge your family, then stand up like you are their child and fight.” Doctor Anderson said.

On the far end of the room, a nurse dressed in all white opened the door.

“All the mutants are awake, Doctor Anderson, ” the nurse said.

“Thank you, Sarah. Please bring them over here.” Doctor Anderson replied.

Moments later, the mutants gathered in the room. Kelly regained her composure goes front row of the mutants.

“Maybe, Nurse Sarah have already told you about the reason why you turned into a mutant. It is to kick out the aliens who tries to dominate our planet. Let me not waste my time here. The mutants had already invaded Percipulous State. We will train you into professional fighters for six weeks. Please be patient before trying to go out and kill those mutants who are considerably stronger than you. You will now be under a group called The M100, “ Doctor Anderson said.       

While the training began, the councilors are busy making decisions to secure their last layer of wall from the invasive mutants.

“What are we going to do. We don’t have enough people left?” one of the councilors asked.

“We have M100!” replied by the councilor who was wearing a white suit.

“The training took 6 weeks to complete, you think the mutants will be mercily leave us alone for that long, “ said Mr. Saounding.

“ We could...we could unite with Zeta Village.” one of the councilors  said.

“But, will they they agree to an alliance?” said Mr. Bourgah.


Chapter 6: United

During the mutants invasion, most of the survivors fled to Percipulous State, after hearing that there was a secret plan that might kick the aliens out of Earth. The villagers from Zeta dug a tunnel under the ground with an old technology called the driller which put extreme pressure on the surrounding rocks that are weathered. Soon, the villagers escaped to Percipulous State. The councilors greeted them with ill faces. But with the situation at hand they greeted the villagers.“We are pleased to welcome you to Percipulous.”

“Here are the trained mutants who will help us kick the aliens out.” Mr. Saounding said, pointing to the mutants beside them.  

“Hold on, people. You can’t just welcome us like nothin ain’t happened. Those twenty years, we have been starving. Matter of fact, you gave the aliens our precious babies,” said Elder Exon.

“Hey, look here, we are trying to make an alliance, kay?” one of the mutants from M100 said.

“Woo. Woo.Woo now who is talking here? How are we suppose to know that you guys did not make a secret gain from this alliance,” asked Elder Exon.

Terrible memories resurfaced in the villagers’ minds.

“How are you going to repay us for our suffering? Can you bring back our sons and daughters who are transformed into monsters?” the villagers asked.  

The councilors from Percipulous filled with anger, clutched their hands into a fist.

Then, the Great Councilor make his way into the angered crowd and put his hand on one of the councilor’s clenched fists.

“I am the Great Councilor from Perciuplus. It was me who gave the aliens the suggestion to steal your children away from you so my citizens would have their children. I am trembly sorry.”

After hearing the councilor’s apology, the anger of the villagers did not subsize. Grabbing handfuls of sand and dirt from the ground, the villagers threw it onto the Great Councilor. Some men even tried to beat the The Great Councilor onto the ground but was stopped by M100.

“I am trembly sorry for my past mistakes. If I could do anything to make this alliance happen, I will. What would you like me to do?” The Great Councilor asked.

“You should kill yourself!” an old woman with a crane said.

Then, all of the villagers followed, “Yeah, kill yourself! You pig! Give us back our babies! Send yourself to the deepest part of Hell!” they said.

The Great Councilor revealed the knife hidden under his clothes, and stabbed himself straight on his heart. Stream of blood poured out of his chest.

The villagers are dumbfounded as they never anticipated that the Great Councilor would actually kill himself for the alliance.

“I accepted this temporary alliance,”Elder Exon said.

There the alliance was formed. More mutants were created and under the protection of Hollow, the M100 escaped from being found out by the aliens. But, with the advance technologies and abilities processed by the aliens, the time is still young for humans or otherwise now, mutants, to kick out the aliens from planet Earth.

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The Story of Diamond Philips

The Story of Diamond Philips

Stream: Fire

By: Jules James


The name is Diamond Phillips and this is a story about what I went through during the year of 2100. I will start off by telling you about myself. I was born on February, 29, 2083 in West Philadelphia. I lived with my father, Greg Phillips, but I called him Wawa because he told me that’s where he was when he found out Angela, my mother, was about to give birth to me. Wawa worked as a contractor who builds houses and hospitals. He was born in West Philadelphia too but we moved to New York after his wife abandoned me and him. Me and my dad got along perfectly, we're like best friends. We told each other everything and we always hung out. I must say I loved that man to death. His death would tear me down from the inside out.

Now, the lady who gave birth to me was Angela Martin. She was from South Philly and also was a drug addict. She died in 2097. It’s not much I could say about her for the simple fact that I really didn’t know her. All I knew is before 2100 came I didn’t like her much. My reason for this is because I never had a mother figure in my life and I blamed that on her. I never saw my mother in real life, only in pictures. When Angela's funeral came I refused to go because when I needed my mother she wasn't there for me so I thought that I wasn't going to be there for her.

Other than Wawa, I had no other family in my life, but I do had this friend, she was my best friend. Her name was Mia but people called her Mo, that wass her dyke name. At first she was hard to get along with but by the end of sophomore year we ended up becoming best of friends.

I was also raised as a Christian. I questioned myself of whether or not I still was a Christian. I still went to church, once in a while but the person I was drew me from that religion. During 2100, I was single but I also was bi-sexual. I never had sex with a guy but I did with a girl once, only for fun though.

My relationship life wasn’t the best. I’ve had 18 “boyfriends” altogether but only 1 real boyfriends, the others only wanted to fuck. And I only had 1 girlfriend, sadly we didn’t work out.

Enough about the people around me, I’ll continue telling you about me. During the time of 2100, I was in 11th grade and I attended Turner High and I received good grades such as A’s and B’s. As much as I didn’t want to do the work I knew I had to just to keep my father happy. I was all he had, I didn’t want to be a disappointment to him.

I was smart, quiet, defensive, persistent, emotional, and I had anger issues. I was a basic young girl who tried to finish up high school, had no hobbies and no favorite sports. I hated the way I looked and the reason for that was because I looked like my mother. I was scared that I was going to be just like her and I didn’t want that. So I thought if I changed how I looked then I would be different from her. When I was 17 I was 5’4: I had tattoos on my chest, arms, and thighs, I had to cover up the skin that was just like my mother’s. I dyed my long black hair to blonde and I cut it. I was full in the chest and butt area, and I wore makeup all the time. My goal was to get rid of the look of my mother as much as I could no matter how much I had to change the way I looked. I mostly wore all black and my clothes were fitted just enough to show far my beautiful curves.

There’s one more thing you should know before I start my story. Everyone other than Wawa and Mo didn’t like me and the reason for that is because I was different and no one actually tried to get to know me. That was the reason I kept my distance. My happiness was all that mattered.


Now I’ll began my story:

I ran. I ran at an incredible pace so she wouldn’t see me coming. I flew through the cold, hard metal doors of my school, which created a strong breeze that hit everyone that was in my way. I went inside every girl’s bathroom and I looked in every stall but she was no where to be found. After I went in all of the bathrooms I then went to the place she had to be, her rusted 25 year old locker. Her locker was the first locker installed inside of our school. People call it the ancient locker.

When I got there, there was a group of people there, including Tia. We were both dressed alike, we were in fighting clothes with our hair tied up. I was the one who had to break the intense silence.

“You was talkin’ a lot of shit yesterday, why you so quiet now?” I said putting my book bag on the ground. I’m not going to lie, she was a brave bitch but so was I.

“The only reason I ain’t saying anything is because I prefer to use my hands other than wasting my breath with you.” She turned around to everyone behind her and said something that turned all of my sanity off. “Don’t worry about her. She just mad because I saw her mom yesterday for the first time and that was more than how many times she saw her mother. I put up a picture of her on Tweinstabook. Y’all should go see it.”, She said.

As she laughed, a boy with his phone out, it was set on video mode, asked, “Wait, but didn’t her mom died like three years ago from cocain?” She turned back around to me with a smirk on her face.

“Oh yea, oops. Maybe it was another dirty ass old crackhead that I saw then.” Everyone behind her gave out their “ooo’s” and I didn’t want to hear anymore of the bullshit.

Before I knew it my left hand was connected to her nose that stood out more than  her hard effort she put into her Tweinstabook pictures trying to expose a butt that never existed. Lucky for me she didn’t know how to fight and I found that out by noticing the only thing she was doing was pulling my hair, like that was never been done to me before. But because my head was down and I couldn’t see her face, to aim at it some more, I had no choice but to knee her in a not so delightful place. That one hit brought her down on the ground, which gave me the advantage to get on top of her and start fisting her face in a few times.

I heard kids yelling, videos being taken, flashes, and a lot of other loud things that, for no reason, made me angrier which made all my hits on her face harder. But then I heard Officer Smith work his way to us. He pushed his way through the crowd so he could try to get me off of her.

When he finally came and got me off of her I looked her dead in her bloody face and said, “Try talkin’ about my mom again, bitch.” She covered her face and started to weep. Officer Smith and I walked away while the blood drops off my fist followed me.

I got suspended that day. They sent me home after the fight and suspended me for a week. When I was on my way home I thought my dad was still going to be asleep by time I got there and I would just explain to him what happen when he wakes up. But I was wrong. When I got home he was getting himself ready to go somewhere. He also had a bag packed.

“Wawa, where are you going?”, I asked putting my bag down slowly, hoping it wouldn’t touch my knuckles.

“Did you forget what today is?”, he asked. After a few milliseconds a nebulous look appeared on his face.

“Why aren’t you in school right now?”

“I’ve gotten suspended. It’s a long story involving a fight. I’ll tell you later.” I tried to change the subject quickly.

“So what’s the special occasion?”, I asked

“Your mother’s 3 year death.” I rolled eyes then quickly painted a polite smile on my face.

“I hope you have fun at the graveyard daddy. I’ll see you when you come back.”

“Oh well I’m going to stay in Philly for a day so I won’t be back until tomorrow night.”

“That’s even better, I’ll just stay with Mo tonight.” I was on my way to my room to pack some clothes but then Wawa stopped me.

“Wait, there’s something I wanna talk to you about.”, he said in a low voice, trying to sit me down.

“What is it?”, I asked. He pulled out this hackneyed paper from out of his back pocket, it looked like it was there for years.

“I’ve had this information for a while and I was thinking maybe,” he began to hesitate “... maybe you would like to go back in time?” I was confused with where he was getting at.

“Why would I do that? What’s back there for me?”

“Your mother.”, He said gaving me a sharp stare in my eyes.

“What?No... I won’t... I refuse...I...” I couldn’t complete any of my sentences. I was too appalled by his suggesting. Why in the hell would I ever go to see her?

“I don’t wanna hear it. I’m your father and I command you to go see her tomorrow. Do you understand me?” Wawa said with a loud tone of voice.

I had no choice by to reply by saying, “Yes Wawa.”

“Good. Now it will cause $1,000 so here you go.” He handed me a thick envelope that said, “Back in Time Money”.

“Now with this, you will go to the Franklin Museum, to the Time Machine exhibit, and give the people the money that’s in this envelope. And when they ask where do you want to go you have to say the first house on 58th and Christian Street on March 10, 2084.”, Wawa explained.

“Why this date?”

“This was the day she left.” This was a lot to take in. One part of me didn’t want to go because I didn’t want to see her face or hear her voice. But another part of me wanted answers to all my questions. I didn’t know what to do but I knew someone who would help me, Mo.

After Wawa left , I went upstairs to pack my bag and then I texted Mo to tell her that I was on my way over her house to spend a night.

When I got to her house she was home by herself. When she opened the door for me she only had on black and white ball shorts, a black sports bra, and white socks with Nike sandals. Her hair was wrapped in a bun and she looked like she just got out of bed, which made sense since she skipped school that day. But even though she was not there to see the fight between me and that girl she still had people there to tell her about it.

Time was going by fast and all l wanted to do was go take a shower and talk to Mo. And that’s exactly what I did. After I got out of the shower took of my clothes that was covered with my blood and Tia’s blood and threw on my pajama shorts and the matching shirt that came with it. I went to meet Mo in her room so we can begin our long talk. When I entered her room she was sitting on her bed.

“Come here girly and tell me what’s going on.”, she said as she patted on her bed. I took a seat next to her and my mouth began to run. It felt like it was running at 90mi./hr.

“Well, you know Tia, like the bully she is, she started talking about my mom. And you know how I get when people start to talk about my mom, I snapped. I had to fuck her up because she just kept running her mouth. She wouldn’t shut up. So after they suspended me for a week I went home and I saw my dad about to leave. He told me he was going to Philly to see my mom at the graveyard for her third year death and he is going to stay there for a day. But then he was like he want to go to the Franklin Museum to use the Time Machine to go back in time to go talk to her and I just don’t know if I should go or not. HELP.” When I was finished saying all of this I was out of breathe but Mo was just laughing. I think the speed of my talking was amusing to her.

“You lucky I’m your best friend cause if I wasn’t I don’t think I would have understand you. But anyways, I’m going to skip over the fight because that is totally irrelevant, but we are going to talk about going to see your mother. I think you should go see her. “You lucky I’m as good of a friend as I am or I would’ve not been able to understand anything you just said. But anyway, you’ve been in a hundred fights because of her and I think you should talk to her about how you feel. And you can’t say that you don’t feel anything because you wouldn’t fight for someone you don’t care for. And you know you have questions for her so why don’t you just...”, before she had the chance to finish her speech I stole a kiss. Both of our soft lips connected and the kiss that I thought was only going to be just a peck for maybe 20-25 seconds ended up being a long. passionate,  love kiss that lasted for hours.

After a few hours into our kissing, I detached our lips from each and looked her in her eyes.

“If you really want me to go see my mother than I will.”, I said in a low, soft voice.

“To be honest, what I really want is you.” She spoke just as soft while smiling and leaning in for another hours long kiss and a cuddle session. And that is how we end our night together.

She woke me up the next morning around 10 o’clock and told me I should get ready to go the museum before it gets crowded and she was right. I threw on my black crop top with my black tights and I put on my make up and repacked my bag and I was ready to go. But before I left, I gave my girlfriend a nice “think about me” kiss and then I was on my way to the museum.

When I got there it wasn’t crowded at all but when I my turn came I was hella nervous. After I gave the workers the money for the use of the machine and I told them where I wanted to go, they told me somethings I should know before they started me up. The workers told me that I only have 15 minutes inside the past and nothing longer. They also told me to not do anything that could negatively affect the future, basically don’t kill anyone. After the workers was done explaining everything. They put me inside the machine and strapped me in. They closed the door and told me to count in my head to 30 with my eyes closed. I started counting as I heard the machine start up and I felt the air blowing through my hair.

When I got to 30, I was there. I was standing right outside of the house my mother a banned me and my father in. Then I saw her. I saw her long caramel soft legs exit the door with her perfectly curvy shaped body following it. Her long black hair that was put away into a ponytail and her incredible ass was the last to exit.

I went behind a bush as she came down the stairs and waited for a G bus to take her away from me forever.

“Hi Angela.”, I said. When she looked at me I could tell that she didn’t know who I was.And she seemed high by the abject smell of weed in her breath and the redness in her eyes.

“Ummmm.... Do I know you? Who are you?”, she asked.

“No you don’t know me... Well you do but not as much as you should. I’m Diamond Phillips.” She gave me a hard stare.

“What?”

“I’m your daughter but from the future.” I was emotionless at first because I didn’t know how to feel.

“Oh my god, it is you Dia. What are you doing here?”, she asked.

“I have so many questions I want to ask you. Like why are you leaving?Do you even care about me? Did you...”, she stopped me.

“These are questions I never wanted to hear you ask so that’s why I’m leaving while you are or while you was young. But I guess the U.S. figured out how to created a time machine. But I do owe you an explanation. I’m leaving because I want to find help for myself. I didn’t want you to grow up with a crackhead mother so I’m taking myself to rehab for a few years.”, my mother explained.

“I was forced to grow up without a mother. When you was finished with rehab why didn’t you come back?” Tears was flowing down my face.

“I had plans too. Maybe I did try to come back. Did y’all happen to move at anytime?”

“Yea, we moved to Brooklyn a few months after you left.”

“I probably tried to come back but y’all was probably already gone. I left for your life and and for mines baby girl. I have nothing but love for you. I would never want to hurt you.”, then she started crying.

“Mom, I love you but you physically and mentally destroyed me when it came to me not having a mother figure in my life. I forced myself to change my physical appearance because I was sure that if I looked like you then I would be like you and I didn’t want that. I want to be there for my child, when or if I have them. But now that I know why you  did what you did, I can’t be mad. All you really wanted to better your life for your family.”

“May I give my beautiful daughter a hug, please?”, she asked.

“Yes you may mom.” We hugged and cried on each other for 5 minutes.

Then she asked, “So I have a question, how is our relationship right now?”

“I'm sorry to say but you’re dead back in my time. This is my first time seeing you in person. You died when I was 14 years old. I had so much hate for you that I didn’t even go to your funeral. But not my dad. He still love you so very much. He went to your funeral and he go see your gravesite every year.” I started to fade.

“MOM”, I yelled.

“ Baby girl, I want you to remember this one thing, I will never go a day without thinking of you. I love you baby.”, she wiped away her tears as I slowly became transparent.

The last thing I was able to say was, “I love you too mommy.”

I was back. The workers unstrapped me, let me out and told me to have a good day. I was happy. I finally knew the truth about my mother and even though I really only knew her for 15 minutes I was glad that I took that time to get to know her. I cried happy tears all the way home and when I got there I told Wawa about it all. I told my girlfriend too. She was so happy that I went, and I was too. Knowing that my mother never went one day without thinking of me helped me become a better person to the people around me, a better wife to my wife, and an awesome mother to my daughter. And this is all because of my mother. I love you Angela Martin, I love you mommy.
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“The Portal Ring”

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Having a family is a dream for many people. The thoughts of coming home everyday after a long hard day of work to a loving family is a wish to be fulfilled. Making something that you’ve built from love is a blessing, and thats what a child is. Putting all hope, faith, love, and care into a tiny baby to help them grow into the person who has it all. To someone who people look up to, who has a future, who has a good life. Knowing that there is no such thing as a perfect, you still will try everything in your power to have something as perfect as possible. Someone you always wanted to be, its now the time to try and make that happen. Watching a baby grow, from being born, to crawling, to their first words then to their first foot steps. The moments are precious and are meant to be cherished forever.


When someone has a child they will do anything in their power to keep them from falling, getting hurt, and from losing. Making sure they are always happy and having what they want, when they want it. Even if that means you doing things that you never wish to do but will anyways because you’re doing it for the light of your life. Even though you may not be capable to do so, you’ll still try your hardest to make sure that it will happen. Having a child can change a person forever. The way they think, to the way they do things, to the way they love and see things. Making you finally see the light of the gray years that passed. In the darkest days. The feeling of a full heart, just for a tiny baby. That feeling of having a child will make you happy every second of every day. Even when there are fights, miscommunications, regrets, and tears. Your child will always know where home is.


But what if you aren’t able to have that. The ability to make a love child. You’ll do anything to have the capability of creating a beautiful creature.  You’ll do anything to have that, even if that means taking in someone else's child as your own. Thats how Maria and John saw it. And thats exactly what they did. They wanted a child, no matter the race, the gender, healthy or sick. They’d love it as their own. Never giving up on something that meant so much to them.


John was a Doctor, one of the top plastic surgeons around. He performed over a thousand surgeries, where all were very satisfied. He made enough money a year to help support his small family that he always wished for. He had it all. Because being one of the younger doctors on his field and being very talented at what he did, he was a bit more liked, with his age and his charming looks. Maria on the other hand was not as good looking as John. She didn’t make as much money as he did and wasn’t as liked. The thing is, John didn’t care about her money, he made enough to make both of them stable. He didn't care about her appearance. Looks didn’t matter to John, he was completely fine with Maria’s appearance. The way someone looks shouldn't be the reason to start a relationship with someone its the way you feels towards and about them. Matter of fact, he liked the way she looked, she had a different kind of beauty. The way she spoke gave him chills. Her words grabbed a hold of his heart which made it no longer his, but hers. It was love at first sight for the both of them. The thought of him not being with her broke his heart, he couldn’t imagine life without her. Thats when they finally decided after three years of happy strong marriage, it was time to expand their family with a baby.  


Trying for a few months, many doctor appointments, injections, and tears, it was impossible for the them to ever have a baby. Maria’s body could not stand the what was needed when trying to have a baby. She was devastated, broken down. She tried so hard, did everything in her power she could to try and conceive, but nothing worked. A long month of grieving, barely able to eat, barely able to speak, John finally rose the conversations about adoption. A big responsibility, long process, questions, and wonders. Where they up for it? Caring for another person’s child. Having to face the fact that they are not the child’s birth parents. It was all too much but despite all the fears, they began the process of really being a family. Almost a year being past, the adoption was almost final. John and Maria were now going to be the new parents of a healthy baby boy by the name of Jack. Jack Mask was his name, no one really knew where Mask originated from but they weren’t going to change who Jack really was. Like they said, they’ll love him no matter what. For some odd reason, though the name was different, it fit him. They finally got what they always wished for.  


Everything was great, Jack loved his new home and Maria and John loved being parents. As time flew by and Jack was growing from a baby to a developing boy it was time for Maria and John to start thinking about schooling for Jack. For some odd reason, Jack wasn’t as comfortable with other children, not comfortable with people in general. There wasn’t a problem with family because they knew Jack since he was a baby, but you couldn’t bring different people around Jack because nothing ever turned out right. He would spaz out, shouting, kicking, crying, and no one knew what to do to stop him. The only way for Jack to really calm down is to get the people he saw as strangers out of his presence. Maria and John didn’t know what to do anymore, it was either bring new people around Jack and hear him scream and shout or it was having no communication with anyone when it come to Jack having to meet new people. After several doctors appointments to see if anything was actually mentally wrong with Jack, but there wasn’t. After a few weeks of John and Maria consulting about their son about school there was no other choice than to place Jack in homeschool. There were scared about the whole face the thoughts everything not working out right enough to keep Jack in home school because he didn’t have the ability to stay focus, or the ability to memorize things that he’d learn and then recap by doing a project or taking a test. But all they could do was try. At first, John and Maria didn’t know how to homeschool Jack, they both worked. While John was performing surgeries, Maria was cleaning houses so who was going to teach Jack. Thank god that Maria’s sister Jamie somehow joined into the conversation and suggested to John and Maria that she could homeschool Jack while they are at work with his cousin Alex. They seemed to get along well since they are around the same age and understood each other, agreeing with aunt Jaime to homeschool Jack Mask, the situation of schools was no longer a problem.


Everything seemed to be working out fine, Jack was doing better in school then John and Maria expected, he averaged out in grades as a’s and b’s which is good enough for them. Alex and Jack seemed to get really close as they began to see each other everyday for school. But the only thing is that Alex was loud and outspoken where Jack was always the shy one who kept to himself and came to a whisper when he actually spoke once in a while. John and Maria seemed to be okay with the fact that Jack was shy and to himself most of the time. He was comfortable with who he was and that is all that matters. One day while Jack and Alex were at school, Alex suggested to do a project about halloween because of it being early October, he liked the idea. Jaime being okay with that she gave a project of researching about any halloween character and then make them with some type of arts and crafts. Alex did no what he wanted to do at first, he was stuck between a ghost, a which, or a vampire. Where Jack did know what to do his project on. He never really went out for halloween except once but something bad happened and Maria and John never let that happened again, but that was when Jack Mask was only one years old, so he doesn’t remember anything that happened that day. John and Maria don’t like to talk about it so they try to keep it in the past. Jack always had a thing for people in colorful mask, dark clothes with bright ascents, with velvet material. He was looking up different types of monsters that are “seen” around halloween time. He came across some type of monster that caught his eye immediately. It was called the “joker mardi gra monster”, this monster was all that Jack loved. Searching up pictures of this creature, Jack fell in love with the whole look. He began researching about this mysterious creature. He researched day and night, and when he wasn’t he would draw pictures of the monsters. One picture he drew that his mother found was a family of these “people”, she was a little curious but she didn’t ask Jack about it because she understood he was a young boy and was exploring in his own ways. In the drawing, there was tiny words spread around the paper, but in a way to understood what it said in a sentence. “I will come home soon.” Maria didn’t understand what it meant, she just thought he was playing but thats when everything started to change.

Jack would stay in his room on the computer he received for his school work, he would sit up all day and all night on this computer. One day while Maria had off from work she went into Jack’s room to see what was going on while he was at school and went into his history just to see what he has been looking up all this time. The history list was full of google searches saying, “what am I going threw?”, “Feathers growing from my face”, “Body suit growing from nowhere”, “Joker”, “Mardi gra”, “Monster”. She was confused and didn’t know what to do or say. She questioned on whether or not this is just a stage her son was going through or something serious. But because Jack didn’t approach her with anything, so she thought is was best to just leave it alone.

The next day it seemed like everything was changing about Jack, his appearance, his mood, his voice, everything. Being new parents, Maria and John thought he was just going thru an early stage of puberty or something along those lines. But it wasn’t, it was something way more than that. The next morning Jack went down to the kitchen to get breakfast, he was thinking about either cereal or pancakes, walking into the kitchen and saying “good morning” to his mother there was a loud smash of a plate and a horrible scream that came from his mothers mouth.


“Jack, you scared me, why do you have that ugly mask and outfit on? Where did you

get that at?” Maria said while cleaning up the broken dishes.


Jack’s father ran down the stairs in alarmed from hearing the bloody scream;


“Whats going on down here? Maria why’d you scream like that, is everything okay?” John said while trying to catch his breath.


“Look at the costume your son has on!”


Jack then turned around facing his father in confusion,


“What costume? I have no costume on, what are you talking about?” Jack said while slamming his hand on the counter in anger.


“Where did that come from Jack, get that off before you give your mother a heart attack, I fix faces not hearts.”


Jack finally went to the mirror in the living room to see what his mother and father was talking about. Being a little hesitant to look in the mirror to see what they were talking about he finally gain the courage.


“No, its happening! Why me? Why mom why?” Jack screamed while tears were streaming down his face.


“What do you mean sweetie? Just take the outfit off, you’ll be fine, here I’ll help.” Maria said while smiling coming getting close to Jack.


“Stay away mom, please I don’t know what can happen to you if you touch me, don’t even look at me!” Jack screamed and cried crawling backwards to get away from his mother.


Jack knew this was going to happen soon enough, he thought it was just some stages but it was real. It was like all those dreams that he had. He became what we was researching, as joker mardi gra monster. From all of the research that was done he found out that these type of monsters as well as many others come from a place called Halloween World. Its a place like Earth but is different in a way where they have monsters instead of humans. They sip on witches brew instead of wine. They eat worms and cow eyeballs instead of spaghetti and meatballs. They are all around different from what a human is and does. But to get to Halloween World you can’t just take a plane there or drive a car, in order to get into that world you need to find the portal that leads the right way into the element. Unless you actually know where this portal is you can not find it until you are giving the ring of worlds by someone who actually lives in Halloween World.


Jack told his mother and father everything he knew about what he was now and the place he had came from. It was hard for him to everything out so he went to grab his computer to show his parents a video he found about the type of monster he is now. Though it was all so much to take in, they had to except their son for who he was now. They were still going to love him like how he was before all of this happened to him.


Months past by and Jack didn’t go to school anymore, it was all too much to take in and hold. So during the day he would continue to research how to go over to the Halloween World to see where he really came from. Why his real parents gave him up. And what he has to do to go back to a normal ten year old boy. Not having to wear this colorful, feather, shiny mask every day without taking it off. Not being able to remove this suit that was now his new skin. He wanted to know so much about himself from what he knows already. He knew that the only way from him to know everything is until he gets to the other world. He needed that ring.


Today was the day that everything was going to happen, Jack was going to get his ring, he was going to cross over to the other world and see what he really came from. Who he came from and why’d they let him go. The day was October 31st, halloween and Jack’s life is about to change. But Jack, Maria, nor John knew what was going to go on. Maria and John finally agreeing on letting Jack out for halloween again since he’s older and he actually wanted. Jack was going out trick-or-treating with his cousin Alex then after treating for all their candy to rot their teeth, they were going to go carve pumpkins at Alex’s house. Alex was going to be a mummy, he was so excited because his costume actually looks pretty real. Jack on the other hand can’t change his costume because it wasn’t a costume it was his real skin. Only because of how unique it was and how much it resembled halloween, he was okay with wearing it and going out.

While getting ready at Jack’s house he started to feel weird, like a sick feeling.

“Ahhhhh, ohhhh, ugh, ow,” Jack cried then falling to the floor.


“JACKY, are you okay? Whats wrong? Want me to go get your mom?” Alex said with a panic.

“I just don’t feel that well, I’ll be fine just give me a second.” Jack said while holding on hand on his stomach and the other over his purple lips.

Jack didn’t know what was going on. To him, it felt like someone was twisting his already twisted intestines. Like someone was holding and not letting go of them, holding them like they were trying to save themselves from falling in a body of water with sharks. After a half and hour or so Jack felt completely fine. It was weird. One minute he was in complete pain but the next he was completely fine. It didn’t make sense but now that it was gone, he was not even going to question it. Jack finished “getting ready” and it was time to leave and explore the world for the first actual time by himself, well with his cousin Alex. After Maria and Jamie being good mothers and telling their children what and what not to do they finally let them off to get their candy. So many things were running through Jack’s head and not knowing if it meant anything important or was it just a state of fear. He couldn’t put in words what he was feeling inside. There was a mix of emotions running through Jack Mask. The one step out of his front door and it all hit him. Reality hit him hard in the face and he knew where he had to be. Not with these type of people who he really is not. Not these people who are nothing like him. He needed to find a way to get back to where he really belonged, he needs that ring, but where does he find it at? Then he started to remember everyone who put a good impression on his life. His caring father who took him in, his loving mother who even though she didn’t give birth to him she still cared for him as his own. He thought about the two people who didn’t judge him at all when helping him grow and become better, his aunt Jaime and cousin Alex. Alex, his only friend. He could just up and leave Alex alone, that was his best friend. He loved Alex to death and would never want to hurt him but it was either the change to see where he come from or staying with the family that took him in. Cared for him. Fought for him to be theirs.


Jack try to put all the emotions and thoughts behind him to try and make the best  out of have some fun with his cousin. Trick-or-treat to get all the candy a kid could ever wish for. Walking down the street with Alex, Jack looked back and glanced at his house for one of the last times ever, turning back around to find a tear rolling down his face.


The boys were out trick-or-treating for only about a hour or so and their bags were filled to the brim. A ton of people ran up to them to complement how amazing their outfits were. They were pretty happy about what they have received for the night so they decided to head home.


“Alex im not feeling that good so I think I’m just going to go home instead of your house to carve pumpkins, we can just do it tomorrow after lunch!” Jack said while holding his stomach.


“Okay just have aunt Maria call my mom and we can do that and make sure you have you mom check your candy before you eat it, you know, just to make sure everything is safe,” Alex said with eye glaring onto his big bag of candy. Both walked the separate ways to their own houses without looking back.

Jack finally got to his house, waiting a few minutes to enter the house he looked at him candy bag and notice something. It was a shiny red rock sticking out in the middle or the candy that he received.


“What the hell is this?” Jack said to himself while reaching down into the bag to retrieve the mysterious item.


Jack eyes opened wide with his mouth following, it was a ring. Could it be the ring he needed to get the Halloween World. Sticking the ring in his pocket and then walked in the house like nothing ever happened.


“Hello sweetie, how was it? Did you have fun with Alex?” Maria said with a large smile on her face fixing a little snack for Jack.


“Good mom, I had a lot of fun, I’m not that hungry so I don’t need my snack, actually my tummy is hurting a little bit I think I’m going to go lay down and try to sleep.” Jack said while holding his stomach with both hands.


“You didn’t eat any candy did you sweetie, you know i'm suppose to check every piece to make sure everything is okay with it.”


“No mom I just think I ate something earlier to mess up my tummy.” Jack said while throwing the bag on the floor and running up stairs.


Jack ran to his room closing the door fast but silent. He didn’t want to worry anyone in the house with a loud bang. He went right in his pocket to examine the ring with a closer eye. He pulled it out and and as soon and his eye hit the ruby that was on the ring it glowed. Bright lighting up the whole room with a red foggy light. There was a bang in his closet randomly with a beep, there was silence after that. Jack jumped up and went to his closet door to see what was going on in there. He took a moment to gain the confidence to open the door. After thinking of what could be in there he finally opened the door. There was now a blueish purple light that was shining. There was a swirl or different colors just hovering over his shoe rack with a an inscription on the wall. It looked like scribbles but for some reason he was able to read it right away. “Once you come, you can never go!”, Jack finally found the portal that leads the the Halloween World. He knew that it was either a choice of staying with the family who took him in as his own, continue to be freak in the world or “normal” or go and explore where he really came from. Thoughts were running through his head and tears were running down his face, he didn’t know what to do.


The lights started to dim after a while and another encryption appeared onto the wall, “Now or never Jack!” Jack knew this was his last chance to meet the people who made him so different, to see where he really came from. He stuck a finger in the portal, it was cold but a sense of relief. Out of no where the portal was starting to close and suck Jack in but Jack still didn’t know what he wanted to do. He tried to pull the half of his body out of the portal but it was too strong. In a matter of seconds Jack was on his way to Halloween World leaving back his family, his thoughts, his memories, and all the love that the people who took him in as their own stayed.
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Phoenix Final Art Post

This is the last art journal write up thing I have to do for the year... It's been quite a ride. I'm disappointed that I couldn't get Photoshop working on this computer. Something about reinstalling the application. So the majority of my work posted here will be sketches. So here's what I've done!



~ Kisiyume Concepts 1 & 2


- These are concepts for the Kisiyume in the story I've written. It can be found here! I've put as much detail into these sketches as possible and made them look more like animals than they are humans. I've provided details of the Kisiyume and what you must know about them in the first image, and I put the information of the different genders in the second picture. I like this mainly because of the fact that this is very technical art about a character or characters. I have two more pictures of concept art with this kind of data analysis, both of them being of specific characters.


~ Jade


- I think you all remember Jade? Well, this is a different Jade. I know this seems odd, but, rest assured, this Jade follows the lore of the story. She’s a scientific experiment in this story, who had escaped in order to leave the abusive confinements of the cells in the underground laboratory. I was unsure about exposing her in the concept so I gave her a blanket, that does follow the story’s lore. 



~ BR-347H


- This is another character of the story who the main character and Jade will meet up with in the sequel. He’s a mute Kisiyume who works with a woman on a television show. He had a majority of his memory taken away from him during experimentation, as well as his voice. He can’t say much about the situations he’s in because of the shock collar he has around his neck, but, when the time comes in the story, the truth about his past will be heard.


~ Skhen


Now this is something that isn’t related to the story. The arms and other anatomy to this character, Skhen, isn’t pretty. Like, at all. And the writing is goofy as well. But the thing is, the face had a lot of patience put into it. I thought that it would be nice to showcase the face. I liked the face. I should do more with this.

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"Hanging by a Shoestring" SLA Photo Show Top Pick for First Friday

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Despite financial chaos in Philadelphia public schools, SLA managed to launch its first full-year high school photography program. Come join us on FIRST FRIDAY  (June 6th) at The Neighborhood House in Old City​ to celebrate 75 gifted student artists who won't take NO for an answer. 

Meet and mingle with the artists themselves, and learn how to support their upcoming $10,000 capital campaign to finance the future of the program via INDIEGOGO. (igg.me/at/SLAphotolab).

Philadelphia photographic and art luminaries Zoe Strauss and Paul Cava are acting as official judges for the show, and there will also be opportunities to sit for professional portraits by the students in their Great Hall Studio as well as purchase prints.

This is a Free Event.

The Neighborhood House
20 N. American St., Old CIty



 



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YATW Blog #3 Agent of Change Teen Violence

Hey everyone, it’s Devia again! If you’ve been keeping up with my blog posts on youth violence, you should know that I’ve been researching on youth violence. For my first blog, I mostly wrote about what my topic was and why it was important to me. Also, it spoke of what caused the majority of youth violence and teenagers’ participation in violent behavior. For my first blog post, click here. My second blog contained information on my piece of original research. For that, I conducted a survey marketed towards teenagers in questions that could help the reader and myself better understand what goes through the average youth’s mind. To access my second blog post, you can click this link.

This blog is the final piece of my English class’ “You and The World” project. To conclude the segment, we had one last mission; become an Agent of Change. To become this ”Agent of Change” it was our sole duty to not only research and write about our important topic, but to help to better our issue. This is just us getting involved in our topic, trying to be of service in any way we can, any way that we can think of. For my Agent of Change part of the project, I chose to spread the word. Even though this blog is helping get the word about youth violence, it still isn’t enough. I needed to do something else, something greater than just this blog to spread the word. Around my neighborhood, I’ve been posting up papers and posters that support anti violence in youth. I’ve also spoke with my peers at my church on this topic.

I know it isn’t much, but it’s more than what somebody else didn’t do. By putting up posters and flyers, the word to help subdue youth violence will disseminate. First, through my neighborhood, then the city and from there, there’s no telling what could happen afterwards. There’s no telling how far my anti violence campaign will go. With that, the additional piece of my Agent of Change work was with my church group, where I briefly spoke on my You and The World project and youth violence itself. I hope that it was good enough to subordinate anyone that I spoke to to partake in youth aggression. Furthermore, I hope that the people I spoke with can follow in my footsteps to help spread an anti violence campaign in youth. I’m fraught with satisfaction based on what I’ve been doing. I feel as though everything that I do is serving a helping hand in detaching violence and aggression from teenagers.    

Other things are also being done to discontinue teenage violence as well. Various organizations and clubs have programs that help prevent youth violence as well. For example, the city of Philadelphia has conducted a project, located as a pdf here, designed to become a bulwark, stopping violent behavior from reaching youth beforehand. The plan is a multiple step project whose focal points are broken down into the categories of Education, Training and Employment, Meaningful Engagement, Health, Detention and Diversion and a Safe Environment. The city’s main idea is that by doing things to prepare them for the future, distract them from violence, and help promote safety, youth would more likely be prone to a nonviolent behavior. Furthermore, there are an array of clubs and programs that teens can join that influence a stray from violent behavior. One of those organizations being PAAN, the Philadelphia Anti-Drug/Anti-Violence Network, which strives to help reduce the violence in youth.

Even though I did a lot of work, I still wish that some things were to be done differently. If I could change anything about my project, I would change how much I worked as an Agent of Change. I think that I could have done more to promote my issue to others. I could have scheduled more opportunities to speak about my topic to others and maybe helped out in an organization as a volunteer. Everything is okay though because I still think that no matter how much I didn’t do, I did enough.

Lastly, I would like to thank everyone who helped me while I was trying to do this project. I would like to thank my teacher, Mrs. Dunn, and my student teacher, Ms. Lucy, for assisting me and answering any questions I had about the project. I would also like to thank my old teacher, Mr. Crain for helping me to get more people interested in my issue. I would also like to thank everyone who’ve read my blogs and been keeping track of my issue.

Thank you!


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Negative Space

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Negative space is the space around the picture that defines it. It surrounds the positive or subject of the picture. I found the negative space in the cut out by outlining the actual picture or positive space of the image. In the stool drawing the negative space was everything that was not touching the table in the center of the room. When an artist sees in negative space it allows he/or she to define the picture and find delicate pieces on what we should concentrate on. Negative space is useful to an artist because it creates more definition to the image.


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Joseph tartaglia capstone

http://jtartagli8.wix.com/crave-more

web link ^^^^

http://jtartagli8.wix.com/sciencebehindlaugh#!blank/c9y7


The reason i'm going to use this for my capstone is for understanding of comedy, i've created a way for just about everyone to understand the science behind laughter, and using this method will help us construct better story lines, scripts, and jokes, knowing the a secret to comedy really does improve you're way of thinking and you're understanding of what really makes us laugh. i created this system after a series of times studying the way i react to laughter.


gilly, richard. N.p., 24 08 2003. Web. 31 Jan. 2014. <http://www.openculture.com/2009/10/ira_glass_on_the_art_of_story_telling.html >.


Now this is a source i'm going to use as an example to the people in the group, i'm going to show them the videos on the website and expand on the information on the videos with our own creative way of writing the stories, using our idea combined with this information on the site/video, will help us improve our way of story writing, because there are stories that are good and stories that are bad, and they are head to know sometimes (especially when you're the one writing it, sometimes you're ego gets in the way and you don't follow the structure, but that doesn't mean all stories have to be the same, all I'm trying to do with this info, is try to make the videos/films move with the story more and more perfectly as we create videos/films


http://www.imdb.com


(A website used to give information, nothing specific yet)


To give information about certain movies because this site gets really deep with actors, films, directors, producers, etc. anything to independent films to popular films, Imdb could gives us clips, photos of behind the scenes, and personal pictures that the actors/director puts on the site them self.


http://www.meetup.com/


(A site used to find people, no information but information on finding people with common interests)


could use this site to find people that are particularly good at one thing involving a movie and use them for that par, (probably going to switch out these types of people ever video, besides people in the main ILP) It's going to help by learning to work with different people, getting people inspired to do it, and make people feel creative changing the way their wired so they can be more confident within themselves.



Scottman, Ron. Truth in Comedy: The Manual of Improvisation. Las Angeles: independent, 1999. Print.


Although learning a script is important, it is more important if the actor feels natural saying it, saying the script exactly could make an actor nervous, but giving them the freedom to say what comes natural but get the point across, it can work, but not in all situations, but it's important if they can improv so this book is good with that.


Brigade, Upright. Upright Citizens Brigade Comedy Improvisation Manual. newyork: newyork times, 2004. Print.


I want to have this as another source of improv because this book has different methods and newer methods to add on to the truth in comedy but i believe that they are both equally important to the independent film group.


Straczynski, J. Michael . The Complete Book of Scriptwriting. Cleveland: penguin, 1997. Print.


This book will help me format a script better and it will show us all different types of writing we could do in that sense, i will also learn more about moving a story forward instead of having a bunch of pointless scenes i could have a really good steady flowing movie. so i don't have to cut out scenes after i shoot them i will just have all good scenes 


 Zemeckis Robert. Back to the future

Movie. 1985. Universal studios

 


I'm going to make everyone in the group watch back to the future because i believe that it's a perfect movies to the last detail, when it comes to imagery, and scriptwriting and story telling, it has all the elements of a perfect movie, and the group will watch it and i'll explain how the scenes are set up and how there are deeper meaning to great movies.


wilson, Jack. N.p., 4 11 2008. Web. 31 Jan. 2014. <http://zimmer.csufresno.edu/~candace/basics/shooting.htm >.


I believe that this site will teach us the right shoots we should use in certain scenes wither its a close a medium or whatever, this site will inform us on the shots we could should and shouldn't use. as opposed to one shot scenes which won't make the movie interesting. and more theatrical. 


jake, shmitt. "information please camera shots." camera shots. N.p., 7 4 2011. Web. 31 Jan. 2014. <Pearson Education>.



I believe it is very important that we get a better understanding on the sounds and audio parts of the editing process, the audio is very important, i could make, or break you're film, and if you are sloppy with it, no matter how good the camera shots are, all together the film will be bad, so we must study this more





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