Archive for August, 2007


It Happens

Silently, the intruder entered the temple unseen. He went up two flights of stairs to the room where he knew his target lay. He turned the knob slowly, and luckily for him the door was unlocked. Too easy, he thought. He’s practically inviting me in. He entered the room and closed the door behind him. The room was dark; illuminated only by the dying light of a single candle which was nearly burnt out. It took his eyes a moment to adjust to the lack of light. Then he crept to the bed slowly, making sure to not wake up the figure sleeping in it. For all his caution, however, he failed to see the pen lying on the floor in front of him. He stepped on it and stumbled, nearly falling on the floor, regaining his balance at the last moment. The damage was done, however. His stumble had resulted in two noisy footsteps.
 
***
 
s3c0ndh4nd, meanwhile, had been sleeping soundly in his bed. Suddenly he heard a noise very close to him, and woke with a start.
 
"Who’s there?" He asked instinctively.
 
"An old friend." The intruder replied.
 
"That voice…" Said s3c0ndh4nd, "Could it be?"
 
The figure remained silent.
 
"W-why have you come?" asked s3c0ndh4nd, suddenly fearful.
 
"Not for a cup of tea, I assure you." The intruder revealed the dagger which he had been concealing beneath his cloak.
 
"No… Why?" Said s3c0ndh4nd, becoming ghostly pale at the sight of the blade.
 
"Why, you ask me?" The assassin chuckled. "I thought we were friends, and we were, weren’t we? Such good friends. But then you had to betray me. You turned against me. You put shame to my name and made a mockery of me. Me! Your friend! Well now its my turn! Any last words?"
 
"Could things have been any different?" s3c0ndh4nd asked weakly.
 
"Possibly. Its a shame that you’ll never know."
 
And with that, the assassin plunged his dagger into s3c0ndh4nd’s chest repeatedly, cutting his internal organs to ribbons. s3c0ndh4nd began screaming loudly, and so the assassin slit his throat quickly to get the job finished with. s3c0ndh4nd began sputtering, but soon stopped, and was silent. The assassin quickly fled the scene, and the world slowly faded to black…
 
 
 
 
 
***
 
 
 
Gasping for breath, s3c0ndh4nd awoke with a start. He surveyed his surroundings and blinked his eyes.
 
 
 
It was all just a dream…
 
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Life Before Death

Two young men named Salvatore and Adriano were walking down a road. The two were best friends, and had been for nearly their entire lives. Adriano said to Salvatore: "You know, one day we need to take our fathers to Las Vegas. They’d love it." Salvatore was in agreement. His father, Elvio, and Adriano’s father, Renzo, had both expressed a desire to see Las Vegas. The men agreed that they would take this trip in the following summer.
 
But, problems arose. Between helping to raise their children and working, the two men realised that they would have no time to take this trip. So, they postponed the trip until the following year.
 
The following year, the same problems came up. Same with the year after that. And so it happened that the two men found a way each year to delay the trip for another year. It wasn’t that they didn’t want to go, it was just that they couldn’t seem to find the time.
 
The routine continued for several years.
 
Then, one winter, Renzo was diagnosed with cancer. The doctors gave him 6 months to live. It was immediately clear to Adriano that he would never be able to take his father to Las Vegas in his condition. He had put it off until it was too late.
 
Salvatore, meanwhile, was horrified by the news. Within 48 hours of the diagnosis, he had booked a trip to Las Vegas.
 
Upon his return, Elvio described the trip as one of the greatest times of his life.
 
 
***
 
My friends, most of the time when I write a short story like the one above, I use fictional characters in fictional situations, although the characters and situations are usually based on real ones. However, the story above is entirely true. Renzo died barely 72 hours ago. His funeral is less than 7 hours away.
 
 
So you see, the fact is that any of us could die at any given moment.
 
Death works 24 hours per day, every day, and take no holidays. His victims have no minimum age requirement. Often, he gives no warning when he is near.
 
How then, do we defend ourselves against this invisible, invincible monster?
 
We can’t. Obviously.
 
So what we must do, then, is enjoy life before it is taken away from us. We cannot leave until tomorrow what could be done today.
 
Even though I believe that in most situations, you should use caution when making decisions, I recognize that there are certain situations where you just have to say "Fuck it, what’s the worst that could happen?" and be a little bit impulsive.
 
What’s the worst that could have happened to Adriano had he taken the trip earlier?
 
Could his wife have left him? Highly unlikely. Would you leave your husband or wife because your husband is spending time with his family?
 
Would he have suffered financially? A little, but he was a successful business man, nowhere near bankruptcy.
 
Would he have experienced or caused someone else any physical, emotional, or mental pain? Very unlikely.
 
You see, being cautious keeps you safe, but being overly cautious prevents you from having fun, and living your life to its full potential. 
 
You have something to accomplish in life, right? Why not start with it today? What’s stopping you? What’s the worst that could happen.
 
You are alive right now, but it won’t last forever. Don’t fear death. Enjoy life so much that death fears you. Seize the day.

Pah.

I don’t normally write about my own writing process, but I’ll make an exception tonight.
 
 
I had a brilliant idea for a blog on the subject of morals.
 
"This is going to be a good one, I can feel it."
 
 
And so I started typing at around 12:15 am.
 
At first, things went very well, and I remained confident.
 
 
Then, without me noticing, I began to deviate from my topic, but I continued typing. By the time I noticed, I had gone onto another topic entirely.
 
"God dammit. I’ve gone and made a splice!"
 
And into the trash it went.
 
Seeing one of my writings fail is a lot like having a miscarriage. Incredibly depressing and infuriating at the same time.
 
*Sigh*

Pressure

Two friends named Matt and James were walking down the sidewalk at dawn. Suddenly, Matt said to James "I’m thinking about getting high this weekend." James had always been strictly against drugs, and so to hear his best friend say this shocked him. He didn’t want to upset his friend, however, so he said "Sounds like a good time, Matt"
 
Another pair of friends named Emily and Olivia were walking down the same sidewalk at dusk. Said Emily to Olivia "I’m thinking about getting high this weekend." Olivia had always been strictly against drugs, and so to hear her best friend say this shocked her. "No!" She replied. "You can’t do that, you’ll mess yourself up! If you smoke weed, I swear I’ll never speak to you again anymore!"
 
 
 
Now then, who handled the situation better? James, or Olivia?
 
 
James, obviously. He was calm and collected, wheras Olivia was immature and bossy about the whole thing.
 
 
 
But this creates a problem. You see, that weekend, Matt went on to smoke weed, wheras Emily did not. James seemed to have handled the situation better, but he had no effect on Matt’s action.
 
How then do we affect our friends’ actions without bossing them around?
 
The answer is: We don’t.
 
 
 
 
Many of us, though not all, have a tendancy to try and shape our friends the way we want them to be. Our friends are to be seen beside ourselves after all, and so we have an image inside of our heads as to how the perfect friend would look and act. We try to shape our friends in whatever image we see fit, whether it be encouraging them to try new things, or discouraging them from trying others.
 
The problem comes when we, like Olivia, take away our friends’ ability to choose.
 
Now, you might say "Wait! Olivia did give Emily a choice! Emily had to choose between drugs and her best friend!"
 
But is that really a choice? Think for a moment. Would you choose any material thing over a human being who has been your friend for years? I didn’t think so.
 
So there really is no choice there.
 
 
What, then, is the correct action to take when a friend expresses a desire to do something that you don’t want them to do?
 
 
First of all, you must be honest. Express the fact that you dislike what your friend is doing. Be blunt. Say "I don’t like that idea at all."
 
Secondly, do nothing else. 
 
What does this accomplish? It puts no pressure on your friend, but it lets him or her know how you feel.
 
The beauty of this is that if this desire of theirs isn’t very important to them, they may just take your feelings into consideration and decide that making you happy is an even greater joy than this desire of theirs.
 
If this desire is important to them, they will go through with it despite your wishes, but you will know that it must have been important to them because of this. You would feel guilty if you took something important away from your friend, no?
 
Treat your friends well. If you fail to do so, they can be gone in an instant.
 
 

Crying Shame

A few days ago, I felt the familiar feeling of an idea for a writing brewing in my head. This one was a mere wisp of an idea, but I decided to start writing anyhow, just to see if anything would come out. Something did in fact emerge from my head that night, yet it was not a reflection, but a poem. 
 
I haven’t written a poem in nearly a year now, so I was quite excited at having produced one, albeit a rather short one.
 
Now then, I dedicate this poem to a friend of mine, two years younger, who is just now experiencing what he believes to be love (and it very well could be love. Only time will tell). However, he is afraid of revealing his feelings to the girl whom he likes. You see, the two are friends, and he is afraid that telling her how he feels will ruin the friendship. Not an uncommon scenario by any stretch, but one which I felt compelled to write about, however briefly, and so here it is. It is called Crying Shame, and the credit for that title goes to Melissa, because I seem to have lost my knack for entitling poetry.
 
Crying Shame
 
 
Is she out of your league
Or are you out of hers?
You can’t step forward
Without making things worse.
 
There’s nothing left here
Save an unexplained fear
Of losing again.
It clutches your brain
And it drives you insane
How you two are still friends.
This shit never ends.
And you can’t shake the feeling
That this life has no meaning
But you won’t tell her so
No you won’t let her know
Because you’re scared that she’ll go.
 
So is she out of your league
Or have you just gone crazy?
Are you too tired to move
Or just too fucking lazy?
 
Its a different race now,
And this one lasts forever.
Because six months ain’t enough
If all ties will be severed.
So chin up boy, because its now or never.
The lights and the stars in the sky above,
They sing and they smile and they whisper "Its love"
But you won’t tell her so.
No you won’t let her know.
Because you’re scared that she’ll go.
 
-s3c0ndh4nd 08/04/07
 
 

The Raltian Coin

Very far away from the temple lies the Kingdom of Raltia. Long ago, the Raltians crafted a coin made out of pure Raltium in honour of their god, Ralts. The god Ralts blessed this coin, and proclaimed that whoever should flip this coin and land on heads would receive their heart’s desire, with no strings attached. The only rule was that a person could only flip the coin once, and if the coin landed on tails, the person would go home empty handed.
 
The Raltians, being a highly educated people, knew of the great masses of people who would flock to Raltia once news of this coin spread. As such, the Raltians created a nearly impossible test of endurance which would have to be passed before one could flip the coin. The test would last seven years, and involve the person having to slay Dragonians, outsmart Kazams, and defeat Mirapods in staring contests, among other nearly impossible feats.
 
After seven long years of tests, a person would then be considered worthy to flip the coin.
 
 
My question to you is: Are you content with the 0.00001% chance you currently have of seizing everything you’ve ever wanted? Or would you go through these ordeals for that single coin flip, and those 50/50 odds?
 
 
 
Sadly, as you may have guessed, there is no Kindom of Raltia. The Raltians are but a myth, and Raltium is not on the periodic table of elements. No god named Ralts has ever blessed a coin. In fact, no god named Ralts even exists. The Raltian Coin is merely fiction.
 
 
 
 
Or is it?
 
 
 
 
At a young age, a girl named Mia decided that she wanted to become a singer. Now, being an educated young girl, she knew that the odds of her getting lucky and winning American Idol were 1/1,000,000. However, being a singer was her deepest desire, and so she decided to put a massive effort into fulfilling her dream. She took singing lessons 3 times per week, she practised singing several hours daily, until her voice gave out, she auditioned for lead roles in school musicals, and she sang in talent shows whenever possible.
 
A funny thing began to happen then. More and more people began to hear about Mia, and as this happened, a curious thing began to occur. The zeroes began popping off of the end of her odds. 1/100,000. 1/10,000. Soon, people in her community began to recognize her talent. 1/1,000. People began showing up to events just to hear her sing. 1/100 Shortly thereafter, she became famous within her own community for her voice. 1/10. Then, one day, a man came to Mia’s house asking to speak with her parents. He wanted to be her manager. 1/2.
 
And though it took her a whopping seven years, Mia did it. She went from having nearly no chance at all to having even odds at fulfilling her dream. One flip of a coin, to seize all that she ever wanted.
 
My friends, there are only two instances where effort is a bad thing.
 
If you have no goal at all, then effort is pointless.
If you have no chance at all, then effort is pointless.
 
But if you have even a ghost of a chance, then I urge you, put effort into your dreams, and above all, persist! Do not give up halfway through simply because you encounter difficulty. Continue forward!
 
If you have made it half way already, then you can make it the other half.
If you have made it a third of the way, you can survive for a second third, and by then you will be more than halfway finished, and the final third will be cakewalk.
If you have made it a quarter of the way there, then you are a mere quarter from being halfway there. Do not give up your efforts!
 
And what if, after seven or more long years of struggle, you flip the coin, and it comes up as tails?
 
Then, you have tried as hard as you possibly could have, and you should have no regrets. You are a better person, simply because you put effort into your dreams.
 
 
 
But I don’t think that you even need to worry about landing on tails.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
If you truly have put your best effort into your aspirations, and from the bottom of your heart your deepest wish is for them to become reality, you may just find that the Raltian Coin is rigged in your favour.