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!

06 September 2014

Panda and Castle Sketch

      Panda and Castle Sketch
      A Brief Sketch by Amaryllis Graybill
      Created in May, 2010
      Characters: Big Panda
      Little Panda
      Chubby Panda
      Buff Panda
      Panda w/ Hat
      Scene: Several pandas are collected together, wandering 
      around in a bedroom. The furniture in the room is all 
      much larger than the pandas, even Big Panda. The pandas 
      seem bored. Suddenly, Little Panda notices something.
      Little Panda: Squeak!
      All the other pandas look around. Little Panda is 
      indicating a box overflowing with candy. The other 
      Pandas start getting excited. They all start bouncing 
      over to the box.
      Ninja: Hey!
      A set of hands come out from above.
      Ninja: That's my candy!
      Large feet appear as the hands from above scoop the 
      box of candy away.
      Ninja: If you want any candy, you'll have to buy some 
      from me. This candy is for my school fundraiser. Any 
      of you have a dollar for a candy bar?
      The pandas look put upon. Chubby Panda fiddles with paws.
      Ninja: No? OK. You won't get any, then, I'm afraid.
      The large feet disappear off the screen. Chubby Panda 
      mocks ninja. He waves his paws and acts huffy. Stomps 
      around in a circle, brandishing an imaginary box. 
      Panda with Hat pokes Chubby Panda, then shakes his 
      finger. All pandas' heads droop.
      Buff Panda: Chuff, chuff, chuff.
      Rubs at eyes with paw. Little panda walks over and 
      pats Buff Panda on shoulder.
      Little Panda: Chitter, chitter, squeak.
      Buff Panda nods head. Tissue descends from above. Big 
      Panda wiggles tissue. Buff Panda sniffs at tissue, 
      then nibbles at a corner.
      Little Panda: Squeak?! Chitterchitterchitterchitter-
      Buff Panda: Squeak?
      Buff Panda continues to nibble at tissue. Other pandas 
      begin to sniffle. Little Panda's ears wiggle. Little 
      Panda scrambles up to Big Panda's ear.
      Little Panda: Squeak squeak squeak...
      Big Panda: Squeak.
      Big Panda wanders out of camera view. Loud metal scraping 
      noises eminate from out of view. Eventually, a metal desk 
      is pushed on to the scene, followed by Big Panda. Little 
      Panda scrambles on to the desk.
      Little Panda: Squeak!
      Other pandas turn to look. Little Panda brandishes a laser 
      pointer that seems to have come out of no where. Little 
      Panda places paws and pointer behind his back and begins 
      to pace back and forth across the desk. Intro theme from 
      'The Great Escape' movie starts playing.
      Little Panda: Squeak. Squeak, squeak squeak squeak. 
      Little Panda whips out pointer on emphasised words. Little 
      Panda stands silent for a moment, watching all the eyes of  
      the other pandas wtching the pointer. Little Panda whips 
      pointer behind back again. All pandas' eyes follow the 
      pointer behind Little Panda's back. The pandas continue 
      to stare at the area of chest that the pointer is behind.
      Little Panda: Hrm-hrm.
      All the pandas look up. Little Panda pulls out a sheet 
      of paper and begins to write on it furiously. Big Panda 
      leans over slightly to see what Little Panda is writing. 
      Little Panda leans back and lifts up the sheet of paper.
      Buff Panda: Ooohh......
      Panda with Hat: Aahhh...
      Chubby Panda: Tookee too kee.
      Big Panda looms over Chubby Panda.
      Chubby Panda: Hrm-hrm. Oo-oh....
      The sheet of paper that Little Panda is holding up 
      depicts a crudely drawn stickman-ninja, a rectangle 
      of paper with a dollar sign scratched into it, and a 
      box with 'Kaaandi' written on to it.
      Little Panda: Squeak!
      All Pandas: Squeak!
      Camera cuts to pandas standing around the base of a 
      lawn mower. A large pair of feet appear.
      Ninja: I think you're a little small for that.
      Buff Panda: Hrrrrm! Hrrrrm!!
      Ninja: Um, I don't think even you can move that.
      Chubby Panda: Whrwhrwhrwhr WH-yR.
      Chubby Panda mocks ninja with waving hands. Panda 
      with Hat elbows Chubby Panda.
      Panda with Hat: Yerp.
      Chubby Panda: Mmmm...
      Big Panda leans over and starts nibbling at the grass.
      Ninja: Haaaa... I don't think you can mow the grass by 
      eating it all. That's a lot of grass.
      Pandas gather into a little circle and start chittering 
      to each other.
      Little Panda: Squeak!
      Little Panda points out of view. Pandas follow finger. 
      They all start getting excited. All the pandas race off 
      screen, then come back on carrying a watering can.
      Little Panda: Squeak!
      Little Panda looks up at Ninja. A crack of thunder is 
      heard. It starts raining. Little Panda looks down. Other 
      pandas hang head. They all shuffle off screen after the 
      Ninja, leaving the watering can in view. Camera cuts to 
      next view.
      All the pandas are collected together at the base of a 
      stairwell. They are milling around looking bored and 
      Little Panda: Squeak!
      Little Panda points up the stairwell. All the pandas 
      look at Little Panda, then follow his paw to where 
      it is pointing.
      Chubby Panda: Squeak!
      Panda w/ Hat: Squeak!
      Buff Panda: Squeak!
      Big Panda: Squeak!
      Camera pans up the stairwell to the top to pause infront 
      of a castle. The castle is sparkling and shimmering with 
      a backdrop of clouds behind it.
      Camera blinks back down to the pandas. The pandas shiver 
      Big Panda: Squeak?
      Other Pandas: Squeak.
      Camera fades to black. Hazy scene appears where all the 
      pandas are rolling around in gold and jewels.Camera 
      cross-fades back to pandas. Little panda pops up on 
      the head of Big Panda.
      Little Panda: SQUEAK!
      All the pandas's ears twitch slightly, they shuffle 
      around and look at each other. Little Panda scoots 
      over to Big Panda's ear.
      Little Panda: Squeak squeak squeak...
      Big Panda nods head.
      Big Panda: SQUARJ.
      Pandas stand to attention, then charge up the stairwell. 
      Little Panda continues to ride on back of Big Panda as 
      Big Panda chases other pandas up the stairs. Pandas reach 
      top of stairs and stop. Camera pans over panda faces, 
      then blinks to castle. Blinks back to pandas.
      Chubby Panda: Squeak?
      Buff Panda: Squeak.
      Panda w/ Hat: Squeak?
      Buff Panda shrugs. Camera blinks to castle, then zooms out. 
      Castle is as big as Little Panda and the castle is infront 
      of a cloud patterned pillow. Big Panda shuffles behind a 
      cloud patterned pillow. Buff Panda shuffles to one edge of 
      the pillow. Little panda stands infront of castle. Panda w/ 
      Hat pokes around from side of pillow. Chubby Panda pops up 
      on top of pillow.
      Chubby Panda: Squah-squeak!
      Chubby Panda stands on hind legs and wiggles precariously 
      on pillow.
      Little Panda: Squeak! Chitterchitterchitterchitterchitter-
      Little Panda shakes fist at Chubby Panda. Big Panda lifts 
      Chubby Panda off of pillow, then shakes paw at Chubby Panda. 
      Pillow falls forward on Little Panda.
      Little Panda: Squark!
      Buff panda lifts corner of pillow.
      Little Panda: Squeak!
      Pandas all start giggling. After a few seconds they stop. 
      Little Panda crawls out from underneath pillow. Buff Panda 
      tugs on egde of pillow, slightly pulling off the pillow case. 
      Big Panda sets Chubby Panda on top of pillow. Buff Panda pulls 
      on edge of pillowcase, pulling it off, and setting Chubby 
      Panda off balance.
      Chubby Panda: Squark!
      Chubby Panda regains balance.
      Chubby Panda: Chitterchitterchitterchitterchitter-
      Buff Panda pulls on pillowcase again, setting Chubby Panda 
      off balance again. Chuby Panda teeters, then falls off the 
      Little Panda: Cheep!
      All pandas look at Little Panda.
      Little Panda: Squeak squeak squeak squeak.
      Buff Pandatugs off pillowcase the rest of the way. 
      Chubby Panda sits up and scrambles out of view. Big Panda 
      picks up two corners of the pillowcase.
      Panda with Hat: Squeeee-squeak squeakkoo! Squeeee-squeak 
      squeakkoo! Squeeee-squeak squeakkoo!
      Chubby Panda enters back in view with blue sign. The sign 
      has a drawing of a car with little animals inside of it. 
      Above the drawing is written: Rides! 5¢ Soon, various animals 
      start appearing. They walk up to Little Panda, give him a 
      nickel,or in the case of the seals, a handful of pennies, 
      and then proceed to be tugged  around by Big Panda.
      Animals: Whee!
      Soon, it appears to have been a long day. No more animals 
      are showing up for a ride, and Big Panda is panting heavily.
      Little Panda: Squeak!
      Little panda walks around and pats all of the pandas 
      on the back.
      Squeak, he says to each of them. A large pair of shoes 
      walk into the frame.
      Ninja: Wow, you guys look tired. What have you been 
      up to?
      Little Panda: Squeak sque-
      Chubby Panda: SQUEAK squea-
      Buff Panda: chitterchitterchitterchitter
      Big Panda: SQUARK.
      There is a deep silence for a few seconds.
      Ninja: I see. Well, um, how would you guys like a 
      candy bar?
      All the pandas' eyes brighten up. They all dive for 
      the pile of coins, then push it over to Ninja.
      Ninja: Oh, hey! You managed to earn some money after all. 
      I was just going to give you candy bars, but this is 
      great! I really appreciate this.
      Two large hands reach down and scoop the cooins from 
      the midst of the triumphantly posing pandas. The hands 
      disappear off screen for a moment, then reappear with 
      several candy bars. Each panda bounces up and chooses 
      a candy bar from Ninja's hand. The pandas look around 
      at Chubby Panda as he starts noisily eating his candy 
      Little Panda: Squeak.
      Chubby Panda: Squeak? Chuff, chuff, ch-
      Big Panda: SQUEAK.
      Chubby Panda walks up to Ninja's feet.
      Chubby Panda: Squeak.
      Chubby Panda looks apologetic. A large hand reaches 
      down and pat Chubby Panda on the head.
      Ninja: It's OK. I never took offense at you mocking.
      Chubby Panda perks up, then toddles back over to the 
      unfinished candy bar. Soon, all the pandas are happily 
      munching away and chittering at each other.
      Roll Credits
      Break Credits
      Several fat pandas are lying on the ground. None of 
      them are moving, and occasionally, a moan can be 
      heard from them.
      Continue Credits
      The End

Not Quite Zombies, Last Draft

Lots of people question themselves. You know, with meaningless questions like, "Why am I here?" "Where am I going?" and so on. Well, by now, I think most of those people are dead. Well, not quite dead. I'm not sure how to describe it. You can be walking along, then see this perfectly ordinary looking person walking along. Nicely dressed, well groomed, and all, then suddenly, they turn to look at you, and you know that they aren't really a person. How do you know? Well, I know. How you know is up to you.

The first time I met something like that was a few years ago, back when I was six. My mother and father decided that it was a beautiful day outside, and that we should go to the park. When we got there, the weather was great. I got to run around on the grass, chase after small birds, and then run away from large dogs. There was an old swing set just off the side of the grass, the red paint mostly worn and rusted off. One of the swings hung on one chain, the other chain lying on the ground, the link at the end of the chain bent grossly out of proportion. I would have gone and played on the swings that remained except for the fact that there was a fence in the way, dividing the public park from the private school grounds. So, I just ran around in the grass. My parents were sitting on the edge of the grass watching me, both were smiling. I glanced over my shoulder once to call out to my parents, but they had started to talk to each other. I saw a dark look pass over my father's face as the conversation seemed to intensify. My mother's usually present smile slid away to a distanced look. I stopped running for a second to watch them.

"...another person...left his car keys...nothing in the house to suggest..." I could just barely hear my father's voice float across the grass.

"kids...what about them?...suspected by police for..." my mother said. I raised my eyes slightly from my parents to look at the sidewalk behind them. There was a man standing there, looking at me.

"I'll get you, kid." I glanced down at my parents. My father wasn't looking at me. I looked behind me, but there wasn't anyone there. I looked back over to the man. I smiled at him and waved. I noticed my parents look away from each other. The smiled and waved to me. I shook my head and pointed past them. My father raised his eyebrows and turned around to see the man who had been on the sidewalk. My father stood up quickly and offered his hand to the man as he came up to my parents. The man looked at the offered hand, grabbed it, then wrenched it around. I jerked as I heard a loud crack. The shirt over my father's shoulder started to turn a deep red. I saw my mother scream, but I only heard my father's yell as his arm was released. He fell to the ground, his arm lying near him at a funny angle. My mother scrambled up and started to move towards me, but the man kicked her. She fell over. She looked up to me and parted her lips, opened her teeth, then closed them. I turned away from the man and my mother and ran.

I had only ever watched my father ride on his motorcycle, but I thought at the time that I knew enough to ride one myself. I ran into the parking lot on the other side of the park. I looked over my shoulder once to see the man following me. He was walking, almost calmly, towards me. After that, I didn't bother to look back. I came into the parking lot, looking around frantically. I finally sighted a motorcycle, ran up to it, then tried to climb on. I eventually pulled myself onto the seat, but then found myself looking at an empty ignition. I grasped the handles and started to rock my weight forwards and backwards, trying to get the motorcycle to move.

I guess it was lucky that the parking lot was at the top of a hill, because the motor cycle started rolling off the pavement and onto the dirt of the hill. It gained speed as it rolled down, starting out slow and wobbly, but became less so as it got further down the hill. I realized that I couldn't the direction of the motorcycle when I started tugging on the handlebar to get it to avoid a tree. Either I wasn't strong enough to turn it, or the steering was locked. To this day, I don't really know. But, somehow, I narrowly evaded a collision with the tree. After the tree, the ground began to level out and the motorcycle's speed began to drop.

When I judged it slow enough, I jumped off of the motorcycle. The motorcycle fell over as I started to jump, so I lost my footing and landed head first on the dirt. When I sat up, I could barely see. When I reached up to touch my face, to try to clear my eyes. I felt a warm, sticky liquid on my face. My face started to burn, like if I had stood close to a fire for too long. I wiped my face the best that I could, the burning intensifying with each wipe. I stood up shakily, and started walking.

I don't know where I was walking to, but I can remember that I was mostly walking away. I tripped several times, skinning my knees and elbows. By the time it was dark, I was covered in blood and I was crying silently.

"Hey, kid. Where are you going?" I looked up to see several dark shapes surrounding me. As I let my eyes adjust, I could make out that the shapes were men. Their clothing was loose and torn, hanging from them almost like ivy hangs from a tree. I don't know who these people are, I thought. They may be trying to kill me like mom and dad. I stood staring up at the man who had spoken to me, not knowing what to say, so just staying silent.

"Hey, kid. The man asked you a question. You better talk. I turned slowly to look at the other man who had spoken.

"I found you again, kid." I stiffened. That voice! I looked around at the people surrounding me. They seemed to be laughing to themselves, as if they were laughing at me. Can't these people here him?

"Hey, kid! You paying attention to us?"

"Don't you hear him?" I asked softly, my voice trembling. "He killed mom and dad. Can't you hear him?" Two of the men looked at each other. One of them smirked. He turned to face me, bringing his hand out as he did so. I was sent sprawling on the ground.

"What voice, kid? We was the only ones talking to you, and I ain't never seen your mummy or poppy. Now, you be a good girl, or we'll just have to hurt you a whole lot." I looked up to the man who had hit me. I saw a dark shadow emerge from behind him. I watched as the form slowly resolved itself into the form of a woman. She brought up her hands from her sides, lifted them slowly. Then, almost lovingly, she wrapped her hands around the man's neck and squeezed. The other men surrounding me got wide-eyed as they watched their companion begin to turn blue, watched as he struggled in vain against the woman's grip. One of the men let out a yell. He pulled up his shirt and reached for a hand-gun hiding under his shirt. He pulled it out, fiddled with it a little, then placed his finger on the trigger. A hand reached out of the darkness and grabbed the man's wrist, then twisted it up and around. I watched as the gun fell. The two men who remained, stood dumb-founded as they watched their companion's arm being torn off. I looked at their eyes, and it almost looked as if something emerged from inside of them, peered out from their eyes. They turned and looked down at me.

"I have you now, kid," the taller of the men said.

"I will kill you," the other man said, in the same voice. I lunged for the gun that the man had dropped, picked it up, pointed it towards the taller man, and pulled the trigger. The gun fired, a loud, ringing bang echoed around me. I watched as the gun was propelled backwards into my forehead. The hot metal burned into my forehead. I pulled the gun away from my head as quickly as I could. The man I had shot at, slowly collapsed from the knees and pitched forward. I turned the gun towards the other man as he lunged at me, he leaned down, extending his hands ahead of him. I pointed the gun as close to his head as I could and pulled the trigger again, this time holding my arms stiff. The man jerked back slightly, but continued to fall forward, falling onto me. I pushed at his limp body, trying to move it off of me. The body moved a little. Just enough for me to be able to wriggle out from underneath it. I stood up, staggered slightly, then ran away from the two dying men and their killers. As I ran, I began to see a light ahead of me. The light flickered and wavered, like its bearer it was dancing.

"Help!" I screamed. "Help me!" The light flicked towards me, then began dancing up and down in a sickening manner, growing steadily larger and larger. I moved my legs up and down, willing the muscles to move faster. Soon, I was in the circle of light, I stumbled forward, trying to stop, then tripped and slid forward. I felt a hand grab my upper arm, pull me up to where I was standing, then pull me off the ground. I felt the hand let go. I gasped. Then, there was an arm wrapped around my middle. I felt movement as the person carrying me began to run. My arms and legs bounced up and down, occasionally smacking into the legs of whoever was carrying me.

Finally, the bouncing stopped. I heard heavy breathing above me. I tried to turn my head up, but only succeeded in turning my head slightly to the side. I felt the person's body twist, heard the sound of strained metal, a click, and the sound of creaking. I was lifted to a vertical position, thrust forward, then dropped onto a padded seat.

"Buckle," I heard a deep, crackling voice say. I reached up past my right shoulder, felt a rough and stiff fabric, grabbed it, pulled the belt across my body, felt the metal click into place. The door slammed shut, I heard a jingling, then the car began to rumble. Blinding light shot out infront of us, falling onto a woman's form. The woman tilted her head back slightly, opened her mouth wide enough for her tongue to shoot out and loll against the side of her face. The person beside me straightened his leg.

"Mom!" I screamed. The car pulled forward, ran into the woman.

"It's not your mom." The voice to the side of me said. "Did you see her eyes?" I nodded, rubbing my fists against my eyes. "Then you know." The voice paused. "My name's Jim. What's yours?"

"Talissa," I muttered, quietly. The man laughed.

"What kind of a name is that? Are you ethnic or foreign or something?" I turned the corners of my mouth down.

"No," I pouted. "Mom liked Clarrissa. Dad liked Talia. They made a compr-compr-"

"Compromise?" The man Jim burst out into laughter. I nodded. What did this man know about names?

"What sort of a name is Jim?" Jim stopped laughing. "It's awefully simple and plain."

"Mommy and daddy tell you that, did they?" I lowered my head.

"Told." I sniffed. Jim stopped talking. I listened to the quiet rumbling of the car.

"I, uh, heard gun shots." Jim turned his head to look at me, then turned it back to the road.I rubbed my forehead.

"I killed the men." I muttered. "They were talking the same."

"You mean they had the same mannerisms?"

"No, they talked the same." I lifted my head, then tilted my head down slightly. "I have you now, kid." I said in a deep voice. "I will kill you."

"Do you know what they are?" Jim glanced towards me again. I shook my head from side to side. "Zombies. Just like in all the old movies. Wandering around, moaning, trying to eat your flesh. Yup. We're living in a movie now."

"Zombies don't talk. They did."

"You said they were men."

"Their eyes weren't their eyes." Silence consumed the car again.

"I'll let you stay at my house, if you'd like," Jim said. "I can get some antiseptic for you." I nodded. The car continued to rumble. After what seemed like a long time, Jim finally stopped the car infront of a small, single story house. "Here's my digs," Jim said. I opened my car door and clambered out. "Lived here alone since the girlfriend left." Jim stuffed his hands into his pockets and strode towards his house. Once he arrived at the door, he pulled a set of keys out of his pocket and unlocked the door. He turned slightly, then turned all the way around to look back at me. "You coming, Tali?" I dipped my head down, lifted it again, then jogged forward.

Jim was very nice. He filled a bath tub for me, tested it to make sure it wasn't too hot. As he filled the tub, he talked.

"Always wanted to have kids, you know? Girlfriend and I were planning on adopting after the marriage. Found this nice little house. Has a nice lawn out back." He glanced back at me. I nodded. He turned back to the tub. "She had to leave, though, you know? Business or something. Next I hear from her, she's in a hospital. Some jerk ran her over." Jim lifted his free hand to his face. He wiped at his eyes. "We just wanted a quiet life with a couple kids." He took a deep breath, then looked at me. "What happened to make you so torn up, kiddo?" He stretched out a hand and wiped carefully at my face. He looked at his hand. "Lots of blood and dirt. Did you fall off something?" Jim said to himself. He stood and looked down at me. "The tub is filled now. Just holler if you need anything. I'll bring you some of my sister's old clothes."

He turned around and walked out the bathroom, shutting the door behind himself. I walked over to the tub and dipped my hand in. Then I started to undress. The warm water stung as I climbed in. I breathed in sharply. I reached out to get a bar of soap, then started gently rubbing myself.

After about an hour, I heard a gentle tapping at the bathroom door.

"I have some clean clothes for you, Talissa. Can I come in?" I voiced a soft yes and the door opened. Jim set a pile of clothes on the counter, then bent over in order to gather up my dirty clothes. "My little sister just out grew these. My parents sent them over because Teri and I were planning on adopting soon. I hope you don't mind pink." He looked at me thoughtfully for a second, then left the bathroom again. I climbed out of the bathtub and picked up a nearby towel. I dobbed at my skin assiduous. After I had dryed myself, I smeared antiseptic cream all over my cuts. I picked up a roll of gauze bandages and started wrapping my forehead. Soon, I had bandaged and clothed myself completely. I left the bathroom and climbed down the set of stairs that started at the front door.

The next morning found Jim teaching me how to hold the gun I had gotten from the man the night before.

"Wrap your fingers around like this, see? Now, take your other hand and- no not like that. Get that thumb off of there. Good. OK. Now, wrap your other hand around. Yeah, just like that. Now bend your arms so you hold it like this. Yeah. Now, put your finger on the trigger. OK. Now take it off. Here." Jim took the gun away. He ran his thumbs up and down the gun, then pushed on a switch twice. "That's the safety. With it on, it won't fire. But when it's off," he pushed the switch again, revealing a bit of red, "then you can fire with it. This is a...9mm hand gun. Hmm. What was that guy up to? Anyways," Jim clicked the safety back on. "Enough for now. I'll teach you more later."

It's been about seven months since then. The first few times I shot the gun after Jim's intruction, I nearly whacked myself in the head, again. But, I learned, I got better. Right now, I'm running towards Jim's house.

"Jim!" I yelled. "More are coming!" I looked up to the house. It's still a distance away. I hope he can hear me. I watched a shadow grow in one of the windows of the house. The window slid open, then Jim poked his head out. I glanced behind me to see the people were still following me at a walking pace.

"I'll get you, yet," I heard the all-too-familiar voice say. I breathed out sharply through my nose. I stopped on one foot, pirouetted around, pulled out my hand gun from my hip holster. I set my foot down firmly, took aim at one of the walking people's heads and fired. Fired. Fired, until all were lying limp on the ground. I looked at the dead bodies, thought for a minute, then turned around and walked away. More have been coming everyday. Why am I such a threat? I'm seven. My thoughts followed these lines as I approached the house. I looked up towards the saound of panting.

"You OK, kid?" Jim said, slowing his run to a jog, then to a fast walk.

"Yup, yup, yup." I said cheerfully. Jim narrowed his eyes at me.

"This isn't a game, Tali."

"Sure it is. They come after me, I shoot them!"

"Tali-" I watched as Jim's mouth closed slowly. To the corner of his mouth, I saw a drop of red. I looked up slightly, saw another drop of red, and just above that, a stream of red. My eyes followed the stream of red up to the side of his head. Jim's eyes never closed as his knees collapsed, pitching him forward. I watched him fall, slowly, his eyes calling to me the whole way, "Why?" Then, I looked up into the blank face of an old man. Behind his vacant eyes, I could see someone watching me. The old man lifted a large rock over Jim's head, then let go. I turned away and started running before it landed. I didn't want to see it. Sudden laughter fill my head. Cackling madly. Laughing over the death of my surrogate father.

"Shut up!" I yelled. "You have no right to laugh over his death. Only he can." I shook my head violently, causing myself to stumble and fall. "You have no right," I whispered. I rolled over on to my stomach, facing the old man as he stumbled forward. I pulled out my hand gun, rested my elbows on the ground, took aim, and fired. Over the old man fell. I watched as the blood flew out in almost a perfect arc from the bullet hole.


I never stayed anywhere for very long after that. It was hard to find food that wasn't rotting. It seemed like the presence had taken over nearly everybody. Whenever I had a chance to take a good look into those people's eyes, I did. Each time, I noticed something more about them. The eyes were the person's own, but their's wasn't the only set watching. Behind their eyes, it almost looked like their was a purple smoke. Ebbing and flowing around the second set of eyes.

The more I watch the people stumbling around, the more I suspected that they weren't zombies, not as modern legend has portrayed them, at least. Today, I've decided to look in one of the abandoned libraries. It was a little hard to break the glass of the door, at first, but as the cracks grew through the door, it became easier. The door soon gave, revealing a glittering patch of carpet that crunched as you walked across it. As I walked along the aisles of books, I drug my hand along the shelves. When I looked at my hand, it was still pale, catching a flicker from the dying light outside.

I walked up and down the aisles of books until I came across a book titled Vodou Shaman. I picked it up, glanced through the pages briefly, then set it back down. I turned to the other side of the aisle, picked out another book, flipped through it briefly, then set it down. I glanced up along the book shelf. There were a few screws holding it against the wall. Not quite enough. I turned away, walking quickly down the aisle. I glanced from side to side occasionally, then focused my attention back to my front. Eventually, I came to the end of the aisle. I looked at the bookshelves infront of myself. I walked forward, pulling a chair away from a desk as I walked. When I had approached the shelf, I whipped the chair infront of myself, set it next to the side of it, then clambered on. I stood up and stretched my hands across the top. Then I stopped. I followed te length of my arm with my eyes, stopping near my elbow, then looking out to the wall. No screws or bolts.

Frijoles (Working Title)

Prose Draft#1, 2nd
    Cold, hard eyes surveyed the crowd in the church. Cold hard eyes surrounded by a soft face, passionate, caring, concerned. As the priest gave his sermon, his eyes caught the uncomfortable shifting of several members of the congregation. He placed a mental note in his mind of each of the faces. After the sermon, he approached a man.
    "Hello, there, Dave! How are you, my friend?"
    "Oh, hello, Nathan," Dave said, rolling his shoulders back. "Mmm, can't complain, I guess." Nathan nodded.
    "I understand." Nathan paused to watch a young woman walk by with a baby in her arms. "Good sermon today, wasn't it?" Nathan flicked his eyes towards Dave, then quickly away.
    "Oh, I dunno. I've heard better. I don't like how he always harps on sin. You know?" Dave lowered his eyebrows and shrugged, then looked to Nathan.
    "Yes. I noticed that, too. Always, 'Heaven is a perfect place, only to be gained by those who dedicate their entirety to God, the Almighty.'" Nathan turned his head to look disparagingly at Dave. Dave nodded.
    "Yeah. Always, 'Do, this,' and 'do that.' No looseness. Can't relax."
    "Yes. God doesn't want us to become stressed from serving Him. He wants us to enjoy life. Relax. Take breathers occasionally. Wouldn't you agree?" Dave stuck his hands in his pockets and stretched a leg out.
    "Yeah. That's exactly it. I mean, God does want us to enjoy life. Why be so strict?" Nathan put his hands in his pockets, nodding gently.
    "Yes." Nathan stared off into space for a minute. "You know what? I get together with some people occasionally. We just relax. But, oh gosh, you're so busy, Dave. You probably shouldn't."
    "What? Relax?" Dave tilted his head back. "I could get into that."
    "Oh, we do some questionable things, though. Our priest wouldn't like it much. I mean, you need to focus on your job and family."
    "Yeah. The family," Dave said. Nathan raised his eyebrows. "Getting to be a little too much. Wife is always on the verge of hysterics. It would be good to get some R and R. What exactly is this get-together that you do?"
    "Oh, gosh Dave, I don't know. Relaxing is a little over-rated. You really shouldn't. Your wife wouldn't approve." Dave laughed.
    "What could possibly be so bad that my wife would hate it?"
    "Hey, Dave! Glad you could come!" Nathan smiled at Dave and reached out his hand. Dave grinned and grasped it, giving it a hard shake.
    "Me, too, Nathan. Me, too." Dave relaxed his facial muscles. "So, where can I get some of this relaxation?"
    "Soon enough, Dave. First, come meet some of the others." Nathan placed his hand on Dave's shoulder and guided him out of the hallway of the front doorway. They walked past a set of stairs leading into a brightly lit hallway lined with doors, past a closet door, then finally into a living room. There were several men and women sitting on a couch and several recliner chairs that Nathan had placed in his living room.
    "Hello, everyone! This is Dave. He's going to be joining us tonight for our 'questionable' activity." Everyone in the room chuckled. Nathan smiled, led Dave to an unoccupied chair. Nathan walked over to a wooden chair and sat down. "So, how is everybody?" A soft hubbub began to fill the room as everyone began describing their day. Most started off describing their work, others talking about how their children were doing in school. Nathan listened and nodded, a slight smile lighting his lips. Soon, jokes began to fill the air as men compared bosses and women shared hairdresser stories. Nathan stood up and walked out of the room. Within a few minutes, he walked back into the room carrying a platter with several glasses filled with warm, greenish water. He walked to each person, allowed them to take a glass, then carried the platter back into the room from which he brought it. When he returned, everyone in the room was laughing loudly, giggling, yelling in excitement.
    "And that pastor!" Dave's voiced floated above the rest. "Always, 'do this,' 'do that!' Man! It wears on me! I mean, I am a good person. I don't need people to tell me what to do. My kids are great, my wife's great. It's those other people that need a talking to."
    "Quite right," Nathan said. "Most people aren't as good of people as you all are. You're some of the best people I've met, in that respect. Always doing the right thing."
    "Yeah," a woman piped up. "I mean, that pastor should be talking to, what's his name. Tall man, kinda fat. He's always eating too much. Pastor needs to tell him to stop eating so much. He needs to be told. I'm surprised his wife isn't controlling what he's eating." Nathan smiled a sad smile.
    "Yes. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could help people make the right decisions? Guide them down the right path?" Nathan sighed. "But, people are so close-minded to such things."
    "Well, why couldn't we tell them what to do?" one of the men said.
    "Ah, you see, my friend, people don't like being told what to do. They feel like they're being pushed around," Nathan said.
    "But it's for their own good. I'd be for an idea if it was for my own good."
    "Yes, but you are an intelligent individual. Most people aren't such. They wouldn't see it that way."
    "We should make them see it that way. For their own good, you know," Dave said.
    "Yes. Wouldn't that be nice?" Nathan chuckled lightly.
    "So, what did you think of our little gathering, Dave? I hope we weren't to rambunctious for you," Nathan said pleasantly.
    "Nah. Not at all. Very good enviroment. Relaxing. Easy to talk to people." Dave paused, looking somewhat hopefully at Nathan. "Would it be possible if, well, i dunno."
    "What, good friend? Say what's on your mind. It won't offend me."
    "Well, I was wondering if I ould come again. You know, next week or something."
    "Ah. Well, you lead a very busy life, Dave. Are you so sure? Your family might miss you-" Dave's shoulders stiffened.
    "Pfah," Dave said. "They can live without me occasionally. It's not like the world will end of something. C'mon. When will you get together again?" Nathan smiled.
    Dave stepped out of his car and walked over to his front door. He rustled around in his pocket for a minute, pulled something out of his pocket. He fiddled with thie door knob on his door for a minute, then opened the door. A squeal of, "Daddy!" filled the air. A small girl bounced over from a nearby door and over to Dave.
    "Hey, honey!" Dave reached down and scooped the small girl up into his arms. "What's up?" The little girl looked at Dave, then looked at the ceiling. Dave chuckled. "I walked right into that one, didn't I?" The little girl nodded.
    "Dave?" A thin, worried looking woman wandered into the walkway.
    "Hello, Martha. How was your day?" The woman threw up her hands, then let them fall limply to her sides.
    "Been worse, I guess," Martha said. "How was the business meeting?" Dave smiled upon recollection.
    "Good. It was good. Boss wasn't angry this time." Martha bobbed her head.
    "Would you like some dinner?" Martha said as she walked back the way she had come. Dave set down his daughter and followed his wife.
    "That would be good. What did you guys have?" Martha muttered to herself.
    "Talissa wouldn't eat anything. I think she's sick," she said out loud. "Read somewhere that all healthy children eat lots of food all the time. Isn't normal to be 'not hungry.'" Dave nodded and took a seat at the table next to the kitchen. "Growing girl. Needs lots of protein. She's so thin, though."
    "She's fine, Martha, dear. She's just going through a phase." Martha muttered something about an awefully long phase.
    "And then, this guy! He just walks up to me and says, 'What I do is my own business. Don't go preaching to me, man.'" Once again, several men and women had met up at Nathan's house. Voices filled the air, chittering about what a stupid man that man was. He should listen to the smarter one.
    "You see, my friend? Such close-mindedness fills our time," Nathan said. "He should have listened to you. I think you had a good point. In fact, do you have the gentleman's phone number? Perhaps you could call him right now and discuss it?" The man shook his head, muttering about just what he thought this 'gentleman' really was. "Come, now. Let's not be like that. Approach the man with reason." Nathan leaned forward in his seat. He looked directly in the eyes of the man who had been speaking. "You should call that gentleman. In fact, if you know where he lives, we might just pay him a visit. We could teach him about open-mindedness." Nathan smiled softly, watching the man nod slowly.
    "Yeah, yeah. We should go see him. He's my next-door neighbor. Hey, why don't we go see him now?"
    "Why don't we?" Nathan said. He stood up and was soon followed by everyone in the room but Dave.
    "Should we go talk to that guy now?" Dave said, shifted in his seat. "I mean, you sound ticked. Maybe you should let things sit a while. You know, cool off?" The man glared down at Dave.
    "'Cool, off?' My head is clear and focused now. I'm going to go give that guy a piece of my mind. If you don't want to participate, fine. Be my guest." Dave nodded.
    "I should go home, then," Dave said. "I'll see you all later."
    That night, Dave woke up to the sound of sirens. He sat up. Martha moaned beside him.
    "Go to sleep, Dave. They're not coming for us." Dave lowhttps://mail.google.com/mail/?shva=1#inboxered his eyebrows, thought for a minute, then rolled back over and went to sleep.
    The next morning, Dave listened to a radio report of a near-by shooting. A group of people had come to the door of this man, the news reported informed, yelled at the man when he came out, then one man by the name of Barry Roedin shot him. Neighbors reported surprise and grief at the murder. Barry had never seemed like the type of man to use a gun, they said. Always so calm and soft spoken as long as he had lived in that neighborhood. They just couldn't believe it. Now he was in jail, serving time. Dave reached over and turned off the radio.
    "Death, murder, dispair," Martha muttered. "Doesn't anything good happen in life?"
    "Nope!" Talissa, Dave's little daughter chimed. Martha threw her a dirty look.
    "Talissa, timeout." Martha barked. "Go." Talissa hung her head and moped over to a corner.
    "Martha. She was joking. C'mon. Don't be so harsh on the kid." Dave turned to Talissa. "Go on, honey. Go ahead and play with your dollies." Talissa popped her head up and bounced out of the corner. Martha rolled her eyes and turned to a bowl she was mixing.
    "Your softness will come back to haunt you, Dave." Dave nodded and picked up a nearby magazine.
    "I don't know, Nathan. That shooting last night. That wasn't good. What are you going to tell the police?" Dave said to Nathan later that afternoon.
    "We told them we were having a friendly argument when Barry pulled out a gun and shot the man," Nathan said, raising his palms upward. "We did try to stop him, but he just wouldn't listen to reason." Dave lowered his eyebrows.
    "You know perfectly well that Barry was under the influence of that drug you put into the water. He wasn't in proper control of his emotions." Dave pursed his lips. "If fact, it almost seemed like-seemed like..."
    "Seemed like what? Dave," Nathan said, his voice hardening. "Do say what's on your mind."
    "Well, you were the one who suggested we go and talk to that man."
    "No, Dave. Barry had made up his mind to go and see the man before I said anything. I was simply repeating what he had said." Nathan stared hard at Dave. "I thought it would be a good discussion with that man. A learning experience for him. How was I to know Barry had a gun?"
    "I just don't think that it was right to talk to Barry like that when we were, well, high."
    "What are you going to do, Dave? Will you tell the police that Barry was high? They'll want to know how you knew. And what will you tell them then? That you were high, too? And that's how you knew the symptoms?" Dave looked downwards. "Well, Dave?"
    "I'm not going to come to your get-togethers anymore, Nathan. I'm sorry. It just doesn't feel right."
    "You'll be sorry you chose that, Dave. You'll miss the relaxation." Dave gritted his teeth.
    "I'll manage."
    Talissa woke up to screaming. She rolled over, hugged her teddy bear close.
    "Mommy?" she whispered. A louder scream eminated through the house. Talissa whimpered and slid out from under her covers. She stood shivering for a second, straightened her covers, then slid under her bed. She heard footsteps pounding down the hall way to her door, saw a light flick on, then watched as her bedroom door was flung open. She watched feet walk around her bed, then walk back again.
    "Nothing in here," a masculine voice muttered. "Great. I'll tell Nathan." Talissa watched as the feet turned back towards the door and walked out. She listened as several house doors slammed, a car door slammed, and then an engine started. She listen for several long minutes as gravel crunched, a car acelerated away, and silence consumed the house. Talissa gripped her teddy bear tightly, then climbed out from under her bed.
    "Mommy?" she called softly. "Daddy?" Silence. Talissa walked to her parents bedroom door. At the opening of her parents' door, Talissa saw a puddle. Talissa turned around and ran away. She ran to her neighbor's house. When she reached up to knock on the door, the handle turned, the door opened, and a man stepped outside of the door. He looked down.
    "I need to call 911," Talissa said. The man nodded.
    "My telephone is on the stand next to the door. I'll go check on your mom and dad." Talissa nodded and hurried into the man's house. She picked up the phone. Talissa listened to the phone ring, then was greeted by a cool female voice.
    "I think my mommy and daddy are dead. Can I have some police officers come and check?"
    Talissa sat on her patio and watched as several emergency response people carried two stretchers out of her house. Her neighbor was talking to a police officer. She had just finished answering a few questions herself.
    "Well, sweetie, we know who killed your parents." Talissa turned around to face a police officer behind her. "He was very sloppy. Left a lot of identifying finger prints. We'll get him in jail. And," the police officer knelt down to Talissa's level. "Just between you and me, but I think we can get this guy a death sentence for what he did to your parents." The officer grinned. "Sweet revenge, right, sweetie?" Talissa nodded. She smiled slightly, then turned away. "We can keep you at the station until some of your family comes to pick you up. We have a TV and a bed in a nice and quiet room you can use. Would you like that?" Talissa nodded. She sniffled. The police officer rubbed her shoulders. Talissa turned to the police officer with tears in her eyes. She leaned forward into the police officer's chest, sobbing quietly. He hugged her, patting her softly. "There, there," he said.
    Eventually, Talissa's aunt came to pick her up.
    "Ah, there you are, dear. Come on. Let's get out of here." Talissa's aunt stretched out her hand. Talissa looked up from her teddy bear to the hand. She traced her eyes along the length of the arm, then up to the face. It was a hard face, wrinkles cluttering the once smooth lines, clambering over each other, vying for space. Talissa shook her head. Her aunt raised her eyebrows.
    "Darling! Yo can't stay here." Her aunt narrowed her eyes. She leaned forward and put her hand next to her mouth. "The cops are watching us right now!" Talissa frowned, turning the corners of her mouth down.
    "No," Talissa said. Her aunt groaned and grabbed Talissa's arm.
    "Come on, you little brat," she hissed. "Time to go." The aunt ignored Talissa's screams and hollers as she hoisted the small child under her arm.
    "Let me go, you wicked witch! I'll make them melt you!" The aunt rolled her eyes.
    "Yeah, yeah. Just be glad I'm taking you home." She marched out of the room, out the door, and over to her car, Talissa screaming the whole way, struggling vainly against the rough hold that her aunt had around her middle. When the aunt opened the car door, Talissa increased her struggling and began yelling at passers-by.
    "Help! Help! Rape! I'm being raped!" A man walked by, eying the child with the look one gives to a moldy loaf of bread found under one's old shower cap.
    "She doesn't know what rape is," the aunt explained. The man nodded and hurried off. "You little monster. The whole town is looking at us now. So," the aunt reached across the child to buckle her in, got kicked for her trouble. "I will now-" the aunt reached for the glove compartment door, opened it, grabbed a sock out of it, then stuffed it into the child's mouth. Talissas sat in stark shock, her eyebrow twitching slightly as she considered this new turn things had taken. "Shut you up," she finished. "Now stay quiet." Talissa's aunt walked around to the other side of the car, opened the door, climbed in, then drove away.
# - See more at: http://ninjaobsessed.com/writings/fri.shtml#sthash.kZ2APmIw.dpuf


I rush with frenzied steps aroun'.

"Toh ee ray wah dokoh days ka,"

I ask everyone in the crowded town,

"Kono hito tah chi wa baka."

There are many people that I can see,

But all say, "Wah kari mah sen."

I must say that this is to me

Is really, terribly bothersome.

I am American, it's true.

I'm sure my accent gives me away.

But I may fail to see this through,

If no one will help me today.

And now, to you, I give this lesson to learn,

Learn foreign signs so this day you won't earn

- See more at: http://ninjaobsessed.com/writings/amaportsig.shtml#sthash.seZjpNPl.dpuf

What Would You Do With a Porcupine?

This had not been a very good idea, Bob reflected. Taking up a dare, in the first place, had been a bad idea. Now, Bob felt trapped. Since he really was trapped, in a small, smelly, burning shed, it didn't help his self-confidence. He stood amidst the flames, the heat growing more intense with each passing second. "I wonder what got me here in the first place?" Bob wondered aloud. He thought back briefly to where this had all started. "C'mon, Bob! I dare you!" "Yeah! We all dare you!" "Heck, I'll even double dare you!" "I double dog dare you." "Oooohh!!" True. It had been hard to pass up at the time, but thinking back upon it, a double dog dare didn't seem as bad now. "I'd even take a porcupine over this!" Bob yelled. Suddenly, a little wiggly nose popped out from beneath a crate. The nose was soon followed by a little spiny head. The head was soon followed by a little spiny body, followed by a little spiny tail. Bob stood staring at the porcupine for a minute. If he had been a cartoon character, his jaw would probably be bouncing along the floor, across the shattered splinters of boxes, over the flames, and out the door, probably to be trampled over by his 'friends.' "I said 'over this'!" Bob screamed. "What the" "am I gonna do with a" "porcupine?!" Bob felt something lightly bounce off of his head. "A beach ball." Bob glared down at the shiny, multi-colored atrocity. "Some one is having a good laugh, right now. I can practically here them." Then, Bob froze. He looked at the porcupine, with all its sharp, pointy bits. Then, he looked at the beach ball, with its thin surface. Bob unfroze, grabbed the porcupine, juggling it slightly, then kicked up the beach ball. The porcupine and the beach ball connected. Out side of the flaming shed, Bob's 'friends' were laughing uproariously. Several had fallen to the ground in a failed attempt to breathe. They listened as a string of expletives rose from the shed, leading them to a greater bout of laughing. And then, a large "Pop" emanated from the shed. Sudden silence consumed the group. "Uh, what was that?" one said. No sooner had he finished talking than they all saw the top of the shed burst off, releasing a Bob, a disgruntled porcupine, and a deflated beach ball. Bob watched their faces as he soared away. "Now, what? Huh? Yeah, dawg!" he yelled. "I'm gonna go to Arabia! Yeah! That's right! Ar-" Bob would have continued yelling trash talk, but he now found himself impeded by a downward trend in velocity that happened to take him into a tree. # Several hours later, Bob found himself in a hospital bed. He tried to move, but couldn't. He opened his eyes slowly. He saw several thick casts rising out of a larger cast that seemed to connect to his neck. A puzzling thought. "I didn't know you could do cast transplants," he said to himself. "Those aren't transplants, son. Those're your old limbs with a new skin." Bob turned to face a man in a white coat. "Hey, quack." Bob said. "No, no. Moo. I follow the way of the cow. Nurse Brody here," the man in the white coat indicated a lady to his side, "follows the way of the duck. You must have mixed us up." Bob sat and blinked. Granted, he couldn't do much else. A long silence began to progress. The man in the white coat raised his eyebrows. "You believed me, didn't you?" Bob broke out into laughter. "Wow, thank goodness! I thought you were ser-" "That's the first time anyone has ever believed me! Finally! Nurse! Set this young man up with a dental hygenist." "Yes, Doctor." "Hey, wait! Dental-" The door closed as the doctor and the nurse left. "Bloody doctors and dentists, anyways." "Bob," an eery voice quavered. "Bob." Bob turned his head slightly to see a giant pomegranate floating in front of himself. The pomegranate floated around so that Bob could relax. "I have come to bring you glad tidings of great joy." Bob tried to raise his eyebrows. "Today is the day you will be set free. Free, Bob, freeeeee!" Bob sat and stared. "If you mean free of the casts, forget it." The pomegranate deflated and sunk onto the covers of Bob's bed. "Aw, man! Come on!" the pomegranate pouted. "Everyone always wants to be free! What's so different about you." "Well, I-" "Yes, yes. I suppose it is." Bob looked at the pomegranate. He closed his eyes, then opened them again. Again, he saw the pomegranate. He screamed. Bob woke up. A doctor was hovering over him with a deadly looking needle. "Oops," the doctor attempted to hide the needle behind his back. "Hehheh." The doctor stood hunched over for a minute, looking sheepish. Then he straightened up. He cleared his throat. "Good to see that you're awake, young man! You gave us quite a fright with that scream of yours." "Yeah. I'm glad that it was all a dream, though." The doctor's eyebrows knit themselves together. "Dream, young man?" The pomegranate floated up shyly from under the bed. "P-p-pom-poma-" "I believe the word you are searching for is dental hygienist, young man." "The word I'm searching for will get censored! What the heck is a pomegranate doing in a hospital?" The doctor's eyebrows knit even deeper into each other. "Nevermind." The doctor brightened. And that's when the pomegranate began to bleed. It was a slow bleed at first, then it got steadily heavier and heavier, until it was no longer a room, but a great red sea. Bob stood up. He looked down at his arms and legs, saw his arms and legs. "Ahoy, me Bamboo! What be ye're problem?" Bob looked up slowly. What he saw before him was at first a pair of fuzzy black feet, then fuzzy black knees, then a white belly, with white paws, black muzzle, and wiggly black ears. "I'm Captain Blackfeet. What be ye're problem? Calculus, perchance?" The panda looked hopeful. "Uh-no. My problem is I'm seeing a talking panda." Blackfeet raised his eyebrows, then let out a rumbling laugh. "C'mere, me little bamboo. I'll show ye a talking panda." Blackfeet put his large black paws over Bob's shoulders and led him along the length of the ship until they were at the mast. "This is the Talking Panda, me Bamboo! The here ship! Ain't she a beauty?" Bob's eyebrows floated up until they seemed to no longer be attached to his face, but to float above his head. I am dreaming, Bob thought. Soon this will all be over. He looked at the panda. The panda looked at him. "Will ye, perchance, be me First Mate?" Blackfeet looked hopeful. It's a dream. I will wake up soon. "Sure, Blackfeet! I'll be your first mate!" Bob said. "Now, which side is port?" Blackfeet laughed out loud, he laughed so hard that his fuzzy belly began to shake. Finally, he stopped laughing. "This, me Bamboo, is port." The panda said, indicating with his paws. "And this-" the panda went on to describe the finer points of the ship, going on and on until Bob thought his head would explode. After many hours, Blackfeet stopped talking. "Wow," Bob said. "So, when do we loot people?" Blackfeet smiled. - See more at: http://ninjaobsessed.com/writings/amaportpor.shtml#sthash.mwX0RDrs.dpuf

Dramatic Characterization - The Lost by Julia Britton

In the play, 'The Lost,' Britton uses strong and verbose dialogue to portray all the characters. Isherwood is portrayed as a sad and stoic type as he describes his travels up to the point of the boat trip. Wystan is portrayed as a grumpy and down-to-earth sort of person, since he prefers the relative warmth of the cabin to the cold and melodramatic outside. Because Wystan goes into the cabin inspite of his companion's pleading, it becomes obvious to us that Wystan does not respect Isherwood. He may enjoy Isherwood's company, but he does not put him in high enough standing to give him a respectful answer, even if he won't come out.

Isherwood's uncle, Henry, seems to be a comedic, fun-loving type, not taking much of anything too seriously. He portrays his fun loving nature in the way that he insists on Isherwood sending him detailed accounts of his adventures, to the slightest detail. The uncle appears to be trying to live vicariously through Isherwood, now that he himself has been grounded in Germany. From his varied use of minor swear words, Britton emphasizes his comedic character, calling a lover a 'bugger,' showing that he doesn't even take his relationships with a great deal of seriousness.

The uncle shows his affection for his nephew, Isherwood, in how easily he is convinced in to giving Isherwood an allowance from his eventual inheritance. Uncle Henry laughs with his nephew, day-dreaming with him about what sorts of wild adventures he will have while he travels.

Uncle Henry's character can also be seen in what type of lovers he chooses. He seems to be gregarious from his choice of a strong, large man whom he paid not to wash for a month.

Analysing the Poem I Miss You

The poem 'I Miss You' makes very good use of alliterative verse. It has the steady rhythem of ta-TUM TUM-ta ta-TUM in the first four lines. It then switches to a similar rhythm in the last four lines: TUM-ta-TUM-ta-TUM-ta. The regular stressing of the words forms a very even and pleasing rhythm. This rhythm, I think, is a commonly used rhythm for much rhythmically formed, short, simple poetry. This same rhythm can be found in the jump rope rhyme, 'Cinderella,' although the rhythms are switched as to which comes first. The first and third lines follow an irregular meteric pattern. They start out will an iambic set, to a trochaic set, back to a iambic set again. The second and fourth lines follow a straight trochaic pattern. Then, the last four lines follow just the iambic pattern, making the poem sound finished. The poem then has lines that are all about the same length to keep with the rhythms in them. The rhythm sounds almost musical. If composed to a song, the poem could follow 3/4 or 4/4 time. I find myself tapping two extra beats at the end of each line. There are virtually the same amount of syllables in each of the lines. Each of the lines ranges from six to eight syllables in length. This regular pattern makes the poem easier to follow. Every second line rhymes, forming a nice cadence for me, the reader. The odd numbered lines, however, do not rhyme, but they have a common meter and syllable count which keeps the poem feeling connected. Sometimes, I read poetry that has no common cadence, meter, or rhyme. It leaves me feeling distanced from what the author was trying to say. I feel lost and at a disconnect. The first and third lines of the verse start off sounding cheerful, with the first and third lines ending in up-beats. The second and fourth lines end on a down-beat, adding a mournful sound. The poem ends in a peppy way with every second syllable being an up-beat.

Analysing the Poem Found It

In the poem 'Found It,' I have decided to see if the author applies the rules set forth by Minot in what constitutes a poem. The poem has a very emphasized poetic line. I feel that this is what sets the poem up. It seems to give me, the reader, a guide for how to interpret the poem. An example of this poetic line in the poem is the grouping of syllables. The first and second line of every stanza vary from two to three syllables. Each stanza also contains three lines. It holds a bit of the 'good' that I find to be evident in good poetry because it does have a regularity of line and pacing. This poem uses a lot of imagery to convey its point and implied message. The narrator uses a lot of visuals as she guides us to the Pond of Riddles. The imagery she uses feel disconnected from reality, however. The ivy and poison oak are a commonly used image of secret forests and glades. The way that she uses images are cliched and redundant of other good poems and crummy poems. The Pond of Riddles image that she uses at the end of hers poem find me baffled as to the significance of said Pond. ÒWhy did you lead us here? This isn't the answer to my happiness. It's a pond of RIDDLES. Not answers.Ó So, not only do I not see any significance to the climax of the poem, I don't see how it links up to the beginning. This leads to the density of the poem. The varied mentions of mysterious flora may, to some, be conducive to implied meanings. But when you truly look at the poem, all it is is a poem by an author hoping to stumble upon some sort of unforseen meaning. The set up and application of the poem demonstrates all the insight and intelligence of an elementary-schooler linking together interesting sounding phrases in a little rhyme that he finds quite clever. I find the poem entertaining and thoughtful to the extent that I find myself remembering my elementary school days and that the poem makes me think of criticisms to apply to it. Inspite of the comments in my previous paragraph, the poem does have a few redeeming qualities. The poem had a consistent rhythm and flow. The rhythm it followed was a 'one-two, one-two, one-two-three-four.Ó Very even and predictable, which helps make the poem more entertaining, in my mind. The poem follows a form and rhythm that makes it easy to remember. All ready, I have found that I have memorized most of the poem. Overall, I think that the author of 'Found It' was following the rules that Minot laid out strictly and literally. The poem had a well-defined poetic line and steady rhythm, lots of images with common implied meanings. The only thing that I didn't find in the poem was the use of sounds of words. - See more at: http://ninjaobsessed.com/writings/amaportap3.shtml#sthash.jJD4hsdW.dpuf

Analysing Ken Follet's The Pillars of the Earth

In the novel The Pillars of Earth, the author uses dialogue in several ways. One of the first examples of this is the dialogue of the author, himself, as he gives a description of a town. The dialogue here doesn't demonstrate a specific character through the voice. Instead, he uses the description of the town to convey it's character: from the small, bratty boys, to the old women who scare even the young men.

Another example of dialogue comes from a hanging. The man being hung conveys an unique character by doing the unexpected. The author voices the thoughts of the towns folks by saying that, at hangings, those that are being hung usually curse out those who are hanging them or they pray to God for mercy. The man individualizes himself by singing to his love. The song he sings is a sad one, about how a hunter goes out and catches a lark, and how the lark can't escape. Through this song, we discover that the man has no unreal hopes or expectations; he understands fully what is to come. But, in spite of his situation, he attempts to comfort his love through a song.

Another instance where the author indicates a character through dialogue is when the man's love curses those that tried and ultimately ended up hanging him. She does not inflict a curse on them that will effect them physically, but one that will effect them emotionally. She curses them that their children will meet the same fate as her love. She seems to know that the death of a loved one is more harmful and damaging than the death of one's self.

Another instance of dialogue indicates the main character to be a man is clear-thinking and driven by his dreams and aspirations. The author indicates this through the character's internal dialogue, how he is always going on about becoming the master builder of a cathedral. He talks to his wife about it, and although she is upset by their constant moving around for his aspiration.

Another indication of this character through dialogue is when he is confronted by an angry lord after the lord nearly runs over his little daughter. He is so driven by his rage that he demands immediate payment for himself and his workers. This dialogue indicates that this man is strong, but at his strongest when he is confronted by that which would bring nothing but fear and supplication from others.

- See more at: http://ninjaobsessed.com/writings/amaportap2.shtml#sthash.TlD2OZzY.dpuf

Analyzing Edgar Allan Poe's Tell-tale Heart

In the story The Tell-Take Heart, a very clear and defined viewpoint is used through-out the story. The story is from the vantage point of the narrator, who happens to be the main character of the story. So, I figure that The Tell-Tale Heart is most likely in the first person. The story demonstrates a limited viewpoint in many cases, one of which is when he chuckles, however quietly, but aloud. He awakens the old man of whom he is taking care and watch of. The old man awakens and shifts in his bed. But, the narrator stays in his same place, waiting patiently for the old man to fall back asleep.

When the narrator tries to put his thumb on the metal catch to open the dark lantern, his thumb slips and makes a loud noise on the catch. While the narrator probably presumed the old man to be asleep again, he was surprised to note that the man sat up straight in bed and called out, "Who's there?"

The narrator also tells us of his internal feeling and thoughts but nothing of the other characters other than interpreted feelings, like when he heard the old man's low groan. He said that he knew that groan well, it was one of fear. He explained that he knew the meaning of this groan because he himself had groaned in the same manner and tone in the many nights that he had watched the old man.

Another point where the narrator interprets what is being thought and said through his own perception is at the very end of the story when he is talking with some police officers. He begins to grow frantic, and, thinking that the police officers suspect him of the murder, figures they must be noticing that he is so agitated. He knows what he has done, so, from guilt, he expects that the police officers know what he has done, but are merely torturing him for his reaction. Acting so calm and so composed when they must know that he is wracked with torment and agony of self-conscience.

I love the author Edgar Allen Poe, and I think that his story The Tell-Tale Heart is a very good example of a limited first person view point.

Sam, version 2

It was early in the morning when Marcus got ready to leave for school. Marcus was a sophomore in high school with brown hair and blue eyes. He had just enough time to write in his journal before his mom finished cooking breakfast.

Sept. 1 Today is my first day of school as a sophomore. I wonder if I′ll have any friends this year. Being a freshman sucked. Everyone picked on me. I′ve got to go now, Mom finished breakfast.

At the dining table, Marcus sucked down his pancakes at a rate that surprised his father.

″Slow down, Marc, it′s only the first day of school.″ He chuckled. ″There′s no rush to leave yet.″ Marcus got up, and then took his plate to the sink.

″′Bye, Mom and Dad,″ Marcus said just before he rushed out the door.

Marcus stared, glassy-eyed, at the teacher. He had to keep himself awake until the end of class. The bell rang. He shoved his stuff into his backpack, then ran to the front of the room.

″Thank you for the lesson, sir,″ Marcus said to the teacher.

″Anytime, Timothy,″ the teacher replied.



Marcus walked out of the classroom, then into the hall. He opened his locker and pulled out a stick of gum he had been saving. He put the gum in his mouth, then walked out of the school. He crossed over a quiet street that was near his home to a sidewalk with a retaining wall on one side. Suddenly, a boy stepped out of the wall in front of Marcus. Marcus′s eyes lit up.

″Wow! How′d you do that?″ he asked. ″I wish I could do that.″

″I just do it. My name is Sam, what′s yours?″ the boy, Sam, replied.

″Marcus. Could you teach me how to walk through walls?″ Marcus asked.

″No,″ Sam replied. Marcus looked sad. ″But I could teach you how to fly.″

″Alright! When do we start?″ Marcus said, as he approached his house′s driveway.

″Tomorrow, see you then!″ Sam walked away.

Marcus rushed into his house. ″Hi, Mom. I′m home!″ he said.

″I made a friend today. His name is Sam.″

″That′s nice, dear,″ his mom said from the kitchen. ″Help me with the dishes will you?″ Marcus dropped his backpack, then joined his mom in the kitchen.

Sept. 2 Yesterday, I made a new friend! His name is Sam. He can walk through walls. He′s going to teach me how to fly! I can hardly wait Ôtil after school. I can′t wait until I can fly off buildings! That will be so cool!

Marcus was walking along the wall where he met Sam. And again, Sam walked out of the wall in the same place as before.

″Ready to start, then?″ he asked.

″Am I ever!″ Marcus replied.

″Okay, let′s start low, then we′ll work our way up. Now think a happy thought.″ Marcus got a dreamy look on his face. ″Concentrate on that thought. Now, let go of gravity...″ Sam continued tutoring Marcus like this for quite some time, until ″Okay, that′s enough for one day,″ Sam said.

″Can you come home with me?″ Marcus asked, ″I want you to meet my mom.″

″Okay... but she may not see me.″

″I can see you just fine. Come on!″ Marcus dragged Sam into his front yard. ″Stay here, I′ll get my mom,″ Marcus said. Marcus stepped inside his house.

″Hi, mom. I′m home! Sam′s here, too. Would you like to meet him?″

″Marcus, I want you to clean your room right this instant! You should have cleaned it yesterday!″ his mom yelled.

″But, Sam!″ Marcus started.

″He can wait. Now clean your room! Now!″ Marcus skittered up the stairs like a frightened chipmunk. Marcus′s mom stepped outside.

″I′m sorry, Sam, but Marcus has to clean his room...?″ Marcus′s mom said. She looked around. ″Sam?″

Marcus′s bedroom door opened to reveal his mom. She looked rather worried.

″Sam wasn′t outside,″ she said. Marcus looked out the window.

″I guess he left,″ he said. ″Did I tell you he can walk through walls?″ His mom looked partially relieved, but still somewhat worried.

″Marc, you′re too old to have imaginary friends anymore,″ she said.


″Clean your room, now! It′s a mess!″

″He′s not imaginary,″ Marcus mumbled as his mom shut his door. ″He′s just impatient. That′s all.″ He flung a T-shirt into his hamper.

″I′m not impatient,″ Sam said as he walked through Marcus′s closed door. ″Let′s get this room cleaned. Then we can work on your homework.″ Marcus grimaced.

″You′re worse than a parent,″ he said.

Sept. 9 Sam and I have been working on flying for about a week now. I think I can almost fly. I′ve been getting lighter each session. We are going to try to fly off a building today. I can′t wait! Sam says I should be able to do it. Sam is my only friend so far. Sam′s going to my school today.

″Bye, Mom and Dad!″ Marcus called to his parents as he went out the door. As he stepped outside he saw Sam waiting for him. Marcus grinned. ″Alright, then,″ he said. He and Sam walked on the sidewalk to school. He went past the retaining wall and came to the door of the school.

″Are you sure your teachers won′t mind me?″ Sam asked Marcus.

″Positive,″ Marcus said. ″The other kids do it all the time, and the teachers don′t even comment. I′ll ask if it makes you feel better.″

″Okay...″ Sam said, not entirely convinced it would be all right. The walked into a classroom.

″Sir? Would it be alright if my friend participated in my classes today?″ Marcus asked his teacher.

″Hmm? Sure,″ the teacher said. Marcus grinned.

″See?″ Marcus said. He smirked. ″The teachers don′t worry about much here,″ Marcus said as he walked to his seat. As he walked by the other peoples seats, the students in them gave Marcus confused looks. Sam eyed them all wearily.

″They can′t see me, Marcus,″ he whispered. Marcus raised an eyebrow at Sam. ″Sure they can, they just don′t recognize you. Stop worrying, Okay?″ Sam looked tired as Marcus finished this statement. Marcus and Sam took a seat.

Marcus looked down. And down. And down.

″Your sure I′m ready?″ Marcus asked rather uncertainly.

″Of course I′m sure you′re ready!″ Sam said. ″I′ve been working with you for a week now. You′ve got to be ready. If you can′t, then I′m a very incapable teacher. But I′m not, so you will fly.″

″Why did I even doubt you?″ Marcus said. ″I trust you, Sam. I feel ready, it was just a fleeting doubt. Okay then. I′m ready!″

″Find your happy thought. On the count of three: one, two, three!″ Marcus and Sam jumped...

Marcus′s mom looked around. She could have sworn she heard Marcus. Then she looked up. What was Marcus doing up there?...! He jumped off! She dropped the groceries she was holding and ran to where she saw Marcus jump. She heard a sickening thud.

″Marcus, no!″ she screamed as she saw him lying on the ground in a heap. She ran to his side and collapsed next to his body. She tenderly lifted his head and cradled it in her arms. Tears were flowing down her face. Marcus groaned.

″Mom?″ Marcus said feebly.

″Marcus, honey, it′s me,″ his mom said. ″Oh, honey, I thought you were dead!″ she said as she drew Marcus into a hug. ″What am I thinking? You need to go to a hospital!″ she said. She pulled her cellphone out of her pocket and dialed 911. Ringing, then an answer. ″My son just jumped off a building,″ she said hurriedly. ″I need an ambulance.″

″Where are you, ma′am?″ the person on the phone said.

″82nd street, twenty feet from the intersection. Near the gas station.″ ″Thank you ma′am. An ambulance will be there shortly.″

Sam walked through the door to where Marcus was in the emergency room, in traction.

″You were wrong,″ Marcus groaned. ″I couldn′t fly.″

″You just need more work, that′s all,″ Sam said. ″You were close, almost there! I just know it!″

″No more buildings,″ Marcus said through gasps of pain. ″Not yet, at least.″

″Yeah. I′m really sorry, Marcus. I was so sure that you could that I didn′t notice the danger signs, one of which being you doubting that you can. When you can really fly, you know it. You become so sure that you can do it, that you′re practically flying before you jump. I′m sorry, Marcus, I should have called it off.″ Sam dropped his head. ″I should be in there, not you.″ Marcus groaned.

″It′s okay, Sam. Just don′t let me jump next time if you have even the slightest doubt, if even for one millisecond you wonder if I can actually do it.″

″Right,″ Sam said, brightening up a little. ″Well, I′ll go now. Bye!″ Sam walked out the door. Marcus′s mom and dad entered the room.

″How are you feeling, son?″ his dad said.

″Not great, but okay...″

Dec. 25 Christmas is here! I finally got out of the hospital. That doctor was sure my ribs were still broken, even though the X-ray showed them all healed up. Well, I′m back, and happy to be here! Look out, world, here I come!

″Wow, Mom! A sweater! Thanks! Go on, Mom, open your present!″ Marcus said on Christmas morning. His mom was staring at the present from Marcus in her lap.

″I can′t help but think that you could be dead now, Marc. Thank goodness you′re still here,″ his mom said as she wiped a tear from her eye.

″Oh, come on, Mom, none of that please. Just open your present.″

″Okay, dear... Oh! It′s a family photo!″ His mom drew him into a tight hug.

″Would be all right if I hung out with Sam after breakfast?″ Marcus asked. His parents looked at each other. ″What?″

″Marc, we would like to spend today together as family, please?″ his father pleaded.

″But... but... Okay,″ Marcus said. His parents sighed with relief. ″I figured we could go out for breakfast,″ his mom said. ″Maybe Denny′s, or something.″

″Sounds great, honey, let′s do it,″ his dad replied.

Jan. 7 Well, school′s back in session now. My flying lessons will also continue with Sam. I can′t wait until I can really fly! That will be soooo cool!

″Now, concentrate on that thought. Good! Good!″ Sam said. Marcus couldn′t feel the ground any more with his feet. ″Come back down now!″ Sam′s voice seemed distant and quiet. He felt the sudden jolt go through his feet that meant he was back on ground. ″That was great! I definitely think you′re ready now.″ Sam grinned at Marcus.

″I know I′m ready,″ Marcus replied. ″Let′s go to that building, again.″ Marcus grabbed Sam′s hand and concentrated really hard. He flew Sam and himself to the top of that familiar building.

″One, two, three! Good luck!″ Sam shouted as Marcus fell away from him. That ground was getting a bit too close for comfort, when he felt a sudden jolt run through his body as he flew upward. He saw Sam′s face go past his, but for some reason, he was still looking down. Marcus saw the shining points of the buildings as they went past him. He saw the beautiful sunset. Why do I keep going up? he wondered. He felt another jolt run through his body.

He looked down to see a medic with a defibrillator over his body.

Marcus opened his eyes. He saw his parents faces swimming into focus over his own. ″Mom? Dad?″ he tried to say, but all that came out was: ″Mu... de...″

″Shhh, honey. Don′t talk.″ his mom said. Several minutes later when Marcus had recovered, his dad said: ″Marc, what possessed you to jump off that building? Again?!″

″Sam said I could fly. I believed him.″ Marcus said. His parents looked at each other with sadness in their eyes.

″Marcus, Sam isn′t real. He never was. He never will be,″ his mother said. ″He is real! He′s my only friend.″ Marcus yelled. ″The only one I′ve ever had,″ Marcus whispered. ″I did fly, mom, dad. I saw the sunset, I saw the tops of buildings. I know I flew. I felt it. No matter what you tell me, I know I flew!″

Marcus sat in a padded white room in a straight jacket. He was rocking back and forth. Marcus stopped rocking and looked up to the door. Sam was standing in front of it.

″Long time, no see,″ Marcus said through gritted teeth. ″They say you′re not real. I don′t believe them. I see you for my self: you are real.″ ″Yeah, about that. You′re not crazy,″ Sam said.

″Huh?″ said Marcus.

″I′m only allowed to show myself to one person. I thought I could teach you how to fly. I was wrong. I′ll leave you now. I′ve already caused you enough pain as it is. Good-bye, friend.″ Sam turned around and walked out the door.

″Good-bye... and thanks for being my friend.″ Marcus said quietly.

Feb. 14 I finally got out of the insane asylum just in time for Valentine′s Day at school. I miss Sam. I kind of wish he would come back.

Marcus was sitting at a lunch table alone, quickly eating his lunch so he could get to a class room and wait for class to start again.

″Well, I like him, even if he was at a mental clinic,″ a girl was saying to another girl. The first girl had dirty blonde hair and grey-blue eyes. She marched over to Marcus′s table and sat on the other side from him.

″Hello,″ she said. ″My name is Samantha, but you can call me Sam.″ She smiled at him. Marcus grinned then looked up at Samantha, or Sam.

' ″I used to have a friend named Sam,″ he said to her. He paused. ″Do you like drawing? I can draw a pretty good dog.″