Hi! I'm just getting started in writing, and I'm posting some of my experiments and other short stories here. Offline, I'm working on building my "rejection slip collection" with other stories.

Please enjoy the short stories and writing experiments I've posted here. I always enjoy constructive criticism.

I'm very interested in improving my abilities as an author, and I like to experiment with different genres and story ideas when I write. A lot of what I'll be posting here will be somewhat unfinished, I figure I'd rather post and learn what I can than have something never get written because I fret too much about how it will turn out.

Thanks for coming!

10 December 2009

A Story Based on the Naruto TV Show

She sat quietly next to a grave. Staring. But at nothing in particular. Long red hair, toseled and messy. Bright green eyes, red and bloodshot. Slouched posture, bowed shoulders. But, inspite of all this, she had an air of confidence about her, like her life was suddenly congealing into some definite meaning. Like all those nights of staying up late reading, studying, like all those days of heartache and pain, like all those times she was shunned, would have a purpose now. A purpose she had been waiting for for years. A purpose she knew to be hers at the academy, when she heard the name "Haku."
The girl straightened and stood up, her pose stong and defiant now. She pulled a kunai out of her pouch, then, with the slightest hint of hesitation, drew it across her up-turned palm. She pulled the knife back and let the blood drip on to the ground infront of her. Let the blood drip onto the dirt where two rogue ninja were buried, where the only mark of it being a grave site was the large sword planted into the ground. The one site she had been searching for, preparing herself for. The blood dripped. The girl brought her hands in towards her chest, then began making rapid handsigns. Tiger, dog, ox. She did them all resolutely. Then, she dropped to the ground, slamming her hands into the dirt of the grave.
A blue light began to emanate from the girl's form. Began to engulf her, then plunged through her arms into the ground beneath her hands. A single bead of sweat ran down the girl's face. From her hairline, to her cheek bone, to her lips, to her chin, then to the dirt. Another followed in the same pattern. Then another, plotting it's own path, landed to the side of the other drops. Slowly, the blue light dimmed from the girl's arms until it dissipated entirely, leaving the trembling arms as the girl struggled to hold herself up.
She sat back, her arms limp at her sides, her head lolling towards her shoulders. Suddenly, she brought her arms up. The dirt flew away to reveal the form of a young and beautiful boy. The glowing, blue form. The girl dropped her arms and fell forward into the grave where the boy lay. His eyes flew open, the blue disappearing with his closed eyes. He caught her.
"Niju!" The harsh voice of the teacher called. A small girl jerked her head up, her short, red hair bouncing comically as she did so.
"Hai!" She called. Niju turned around to face her parents.
"Do well, Niju!" her father said. "Make us proud!"
"We love you. Write often," her mother whispered. Both parents drew her into a tight hug, then quickly let go. Niju beamed, bent over to grab her duffel bag, then huried towards the teacher. The teacher let a soft smile drift onto his face.
"You'll miss them, won't you, Niju?" he asked the little girl. She nodded.
"Bye, mommy! Bye, daddy!" she called, waving frantically. Her parents waved back, then turned around and walked away.
"Sensei?" The little girl looked up towards the teacher.
"What's your name?"
"Iruka. You can call me Iruka-sensei, if you'd like."
"Iruka-sensei." She said it distinctly, without the slightest hint of a lisp. Iruka was going to like this girl.
Niju spent most of her time living in the library. Between classes, between meals, sometimes even during meals if she thought no one would hector her. It was lunchtime currently, so Niju was in the library, elbow deep in books.
"'Theory of Handsigns'?" Niju looked up into the face of her teacher.
"Hai, Iruka-sensei. I've read most of the books on chakura, now," Niju replied. Iruka raised his eyebrows. Niju's eyebrows compressed her forehead into a frown. "Would you believe, that's the same look the librarian gave me?" Iruka lowered his eyebrows, then grinned. He reached down and ruffled Niju's hair.
"You should eat lunch," he said.
A vein pulsed in Iruka's forehead. He stared down a student who was, quite unfortunately, ignoring him. The young student was doodling on a piece of paper while whispering a conversation with another nearby student.
"Yamashi-kun!" Iruka barked. The boy jerked up.
"Hai, sensei?" Yamashi, the student, looked as innocent as he could as Iruka stared him down. Yamashi shrunk back. Shoulders rolled in, head bent forward slightly.
"Would you care to tell the class what I was just talking about?" Yamashi's shoulders rolled forward even more. "Perhaps you could answer a question? How many chakura points does the human body have?" The class giggled as Yamashi muttered quietly to himself. Iruka angled himself so that he was facing the whole of the class. "Anybody?" The people in the first row abruptly stopped talking. The rows behind quickly followed suit. The class fell silent. One lone hand rose tenatively.
"It depends on whether the person is fully grown or not, sensei." Heads slowly turned around to face the small girl with her hand raised. Niju drooped her head as she watched heads turn towards her. She quickly popped her chin up, again, then lowered her hand, rest it next to her pencil and heavily written on paper. Everyone quickly turned back to the front of the class.
"A good point, Niju. Thank you. If the rest of you had been paying attention..." Iruka fell into his standard lecturing mode. One hand held behind his back, leaned back at a slight angle as his mouth took over the whole of his consciousness. Niju picked up her pencil, once again.

04 December 2009

The Small Boy

It was a particularly normal sort of day. The type of day you expect to take a nice long walk on, then have a picnic afterwards. Sammy was a particulary normal sort of girl who read fantasies avidly and daydreamed of wonderful romances where she would be rescued by a handsome prince. Presently, Sally had set about to looking through her mother's library. After she had been searching for quite some time, she happened to come upon one set of books that caught her interest.
"'The Chronicles of Narnia,'" she read. Curiously, she flipped over one of the books and began to read the description. By the time she had finished reading it, she was convinced that she must read this set of books or forever regret not doing so. She picked out the first of the set and set out to her lawn to read.
One month later, Sammy had finished reading 'The Chronicles of Narnia.'
"Oh, mother!" she said, "Why haven't I been to Narnia?"
"It's nothing more than a fantasy book, Sam. Don't take it to heart. Besides, you need to help me with the dishes."
That night Sammy dreamed. She woke up to find herself in a field full of heather, swaying softly in the breeze. She sat up, partially alarmed, but soon very delighted.
"Oh!" She clapped her hands together with joy. "I must be in Narnia! What a wonderful occurrence! Aslan must be around, somewhere." She looked to and fro to sight the lion, but could not find him. "I suppose I must find him with the help of some of the fellow Narnias," she said. So she set about to walking towards the edge of the field. Sammy walked for what seemed to be hours. "Where-" she panted, "are you, Aslan?" She looked around, but the field of heather did not seem to be any smaller in either direction.
"Come," a small voice said. "Follow me." Sammy turned around to see a boy of about seven standing behind her.
"Follow you? But you're just a boy!" Sammy said. "What is your name?"
"My name is Aslan. Come, follow me."
"You're not Aslan!" Sammy laughed. "You're just a boy! Aslan is a big, great lion! He can smite his enemies down with one paw!" Sammy turned away and continued walking, humming pleasantly, in the field of heather. The next morning, she awoke to the sound of her alarm clock. She couldn't help but feel slightly disappointed.
Thomas was a studious young man. He didn't like to go out much, but he liked to understand everything perfectly. He was the sort to read the dictionary just so as he could understand the encyclopedia. One day, when the weather was rather dreadful and grey, he decided to go looking for some new books in his father's study. His father had recently recommended a series to him called 'The Chronicles of Narnia.' Not being one to want to disappoint his father, he searched out the books and began to read them. It took all day, but Thomas read the series.
"Father," Thomas said at dinner, "Why is there a lion in the books?"
"Ah, hmm, well. I'm sure it has something to do with finding your inner strength, son. Best to do some research on the subject after dinner." Thomas nodded to his father and began to think to himself. He helped his sister put away the dishes, then sat down at his computer to look up the lion. But no sooner had he gotten the computer on, then his mother hollered at him to go to sleep. So Thomas obliged his mother. That night, Thomas dreamed. He found himself in a large dark forest full of trees. He looked around. He could not seem to recognize what type of trees he was surrounded by. When ever he looked closely at one, it would seem to grow fuzzy upon inspection.
"Come," a small voice said. "Follow me." Thomas looked around to face a small boy.
"Who are you? You seem familiar."
"I'm Aslan. Come, follow me."
"You are not...just Aslan, though. Let me find out who you are before I follow you." So Thomas woke up, and set about to researching Aslan.
Cloe was a small girl of about six years old. She always loved to look at flowers and kittens and pretty jewelery. But she not only liked to look at pretty things, she also liked to look for pretty things, and find out more about them. Her parents never missed an opportunity to use Cloe's curiosity to teach her. They had begun to read to her a set of their favorite books, called 'The Chronicles of Narnia.' Cloe would always sit and listen attentively to her parents as they read. As they were reading one night, Cloe was a little sleepier than usual, ans soon faded off as her parents's reassuring voices flowed over her. She awoke in the middle of a desert, hungry and thirsty. Cloe started to walk, but quickly stopped for the harsh pain that began in her head.
"Oooh," she said quietly.
"Come," a voice like unto Cloe's own said. "Follow me." Cloe looked up to the voice. A boy a little older than her stood with his hand outstretched towards her.
"Why does my head hurt?" she asked. "It feels like the time I fell on my head on the playground." The boy looked pained.
"Will you follow me?" Cloe stood up.
"Yes." Cloe took the boy's hand. Her head stopped hurting. While Cloe walked with the boy, her parents shook Cloe's sleeping body.
"Cloe? Cloe, baby, wake up!" They sat her up carefully only to watch her slump down again.
Kevin stood at the entrance to a church building. He looked up at the stained glass windows that adorned the church's every side. He had dreamed that a small boy had led him out of the middle of a burning building. Since his dream, he had read every book he could think of to help him figure out his dream. He had read a series by C.S. Lewis, he had read the Bible, he had read the Curran, he had read almost any religious book he could lay hands on. Now, finally, at the end of his search, he new who the small boy was.
Sammy woke up abrubtly. She looked around, hoping to fins the source of what had awoken her. In the corner of her eye she thought she saw a small boy. She looked, but saw nothing but her bed room. She heard a faint whisper say: "Come, follow me." She looked up to her window and saw a small boy standing outside. He beckoned. Sammy shook her head.
"You're not Aslan," she said. She stepped out side of her room to find her lost shoe. The last thing she saw was her mother charging her with a bloody knife while her father lay on the ground.
Thomas looked out his window to see a small boy looking in at him. The boy beckoned.
"Just a second! I almost know who you are." Thomas began to turn back to his computer. The boy beckoned more frantically. Thomas took one last longing look at his computer monitor, then began to climb out his window to the boy.
"Thomas!" A loud voice yelled. "We know you're in there! Come out, now!" Thomas recognized the voice of his next door neighbor. He also remembered that his neighbor had been convicted of attempted murder and locked in prison a month ago. He scrambled out his window faster. His bed room door began to open. Thomas lept out the window and ran.
Cloe woke up in a hospital bed surrounded by her parents and several nurses.
"Baby! You just survived a stroke!" Her parents looked at her lovingly.
"The boy showed me where to go," Cloe said. "He saved me." Her parents looked slightly confused.
Kevin looked away from the glorious stained glass windows to a small, rickety set up of the nativity scene. Even He started out somewhere, Kevin thought. He started out as a small boy, probably no bigger than my little guys.

An Explication of "The Tyger" by William Blake

From the very beginning of the poem "The Tyger" by William Blake, its first lines instill a sense of wonder and awe in the reader. I, as a reader, sense that the Tyger has more to it than its physical description. Could William Blake be using his rhetoric to be telling us about the human spirit? William Blake himself seems to be questioning the Tyger, as I am: "What are you, Tyger?" The fifth and sixth lines ask what could have put the fire in the eyes of the Tyger. The fifth line answers round-aboutly by questioning what "deeps and skies" put the fire in the Tyger's eyes. The poem goes on asking what kind of person made the Tyger. The poem gives an elusive answer to those that are looking by asking about characteristics of specific tools. Another elusive answer to a question the poem poses to the Tyger lies in the question itself: "In what furnace was thy brain?" A furnace is something used to heat or melt metal; something to remove impurities.
Although the poem is filled with questions about the Tyger, the questions are formed in such a way to seem to say that the Tyger has come to its present state through its experiences. The "deeps and skies" described can be thought of as low points and high points in life, as a "deep" is something low, and "skies" are always above. William Blake asks the Tyger: What did you experience to get like this? He doesn't specify whether "this" is good or bad, but just asks out of seemingly general curiosity.
So where did the "fire" come from to light the Tyger's eyes? When I see a "fire" in someone's eyes, I tend to see a strong will-power and determination. How many times have you heard of someone having a fire in their eyes when they get excited and motivated about doing something? And where did the Tyger get this burning from? The "deeps and skies," the poem answers.
The poems asks questions about he tools that were used in creating the Tyger. Because of the tools that the poem asks about, you can get a general sense of what type of person created the Tyger. From the furnace that contained the Tyger's brain, to the hammer that the poem asks about. A black smith works metal into the shapes that he wants, whether it be a sword, a shield, or, in this case, a Tyger. A black smith can usually get metal that was hard and brittle to become soft and pliable his hands. No matter what the previous shape of the metal, the blacksmith can always get the metal to become what he intends it to be.
If one considers this in the terms presented here, then the blacksmith has formed the Tyger to best deal with the "deeps and skies," or the experiences. "On what wings/ Dare he aspire?" On the wings given him by the blacksmith. Birds have wings to fly. Usually they fly to get somewhere or to get over or away from something: to fly over "deeps and skies." The wings of the Tyger can be used to overcome, quite literally, the experiences. To join the skies, or to fly over the deeps.
The poem "The Tyger" may, at first, appear to merely be about the physique of the Tyger, but, as I have evaluated it, I have found that the Tyger can represent so much more. If the Tyger goes through the "deeps and skies," or experiences, has been created just so, and has been given wings to overcome, the Tyger is truly a gifted one. Many similarities can be drawn from everyday life that relate to this poem. I know that I have come across many "deeps and skies" in my life, and that I had the ability to overcome and learn from each of them. I have found, upon analysis, that the Tyger is a metaphor for people. People with their gifts and strengths, made just so so that they "can on wings aspire."