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Well, that's it for another week! Before we get too deep into this week's wrap up, please check out this blog entry from Myr.
There has been a lot going on at Gay Authors this week. We've been updating the FAQ and there was a recent update to the site that fixed a few of the issues plaguing members including the one that kept the second page of story comments from being read. You can read about the recent fixes here. Also, there's a possible new blog feature if enough authors are interested, so make sure to check out this thread as well. Now, lets look at the other various news blogs.
***NOTE: All Deadlines are for submission to the Anthology Proof Team
- 2017 Spring Anthology: Jagged Edges / Unintended Consequences - Due April 30th, 2017
- 2017 Fall Anthology: The Fall Out / Secret Spaces - Due November 15th, 2017
Negative Splits by Cia *Premium*
A Different Road by Ronyx
A prompt a week by comicfan
April Musings by Valkyrie
Going to the Movies--NaPoWriMo 2017 by aditus
Kiss Of An Angel by Comicality
Left Without Words by Comicality
Mine! by Cia
Poetry Book by Dolores Esteban
Choices by LitLover
Morningstar: The Malaise by Headstall
Ripped by craftingmom
Hope everyone has had a great week so far and is looking forward to the weekend. What better way to start it off than with brand new prompts! If you've been feeling stuck, or maybe just want to do something a little different, maybe one of these prompts will jump start a new idea. A reminder: Prompt responses under 1,000 words must be posted as part of a collection.
Prompt 572 – Creative
Tag – First Line
What do you mean you are leaving now?
Prompt 573 – Creative
Tag – Trouble
Most people seen Tommy and said he was nothing but trouble. You seen Tommy and called him a friend. At least until Tommy brought a world of trouble to your door, begging for help. What do you do?
For this week, we're going to look at last weeks response to Prompt #571
The phone was ringing. I knew it was just a dream. The phone kept on ringing.
An annoying dream it seemed.
I reached for the phone, and in my dream, put it to my ear. “Hello?”
I knew the voice.
All this drama all this hate,The lies,Back stabbing, double crossing, heat breaking, double taking,Never know, never think,Worried, scared, lost, alone,Tears, cry, laughter dies,Never true, never knew, who to trust, who to love, who to leave, what to feel, what isReal,Everyone is all the same,Lying, crying, stealing, feeling, all alone, on the phone, talking about another one,Just to turn, and to cry,Never escape, never get away, oh please take me away,Rage, anger, burning, like a fire,Everything disappears,Lost, alone, so alone,We’ll be here, oh yeah sure, that is what I said to her,Right back, to the start, loving you, with all my heart,Back stabbing, double crossing, heat breaking, double taking,Oh no, not again, all over,Never over, never true, never knew, who to trust, who to love, who to leave, what to feel, what is real,Sorry, no I’m not, no your not, or you are, and I am, but we’ll do, it all again,Wind blows, every one knows, no one speaks the truth,Imagination, only friend, relationships, on the mend,Round and round, life goes on, long after the thrill of living is gone,Gone,Gone,Far away, I wish I knew, what to say,Make it right, don’t want to fight,Oh but here we go again,Back stabbing, double crossing, heat breaking, double taking,Never over, never true, never knew, who to trust, who to love, who to leave, what to feel, what is real,What is worse, speaking truth, behind their back, telling lies, to their face,Superman, take me away, save us all, from our selves, lock us up, on top a shelf, and throw away the key,This isn’t me, but it is, and its you, and its her too,Back stabbing, double crossing, heat breaking, double taking,Oh no,Here we go,Again…..
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When I was a little nipper, I didn’t care much for reading. I was more about climbing trees, playing sports and fishing. Sitting still and reading wasn’t really on my agenda. In fact school and reading were way, way down on my list of priorities. My grades showed it. I wasn’t an idiot. I just wasn’t interested or connected.
My grandmother noticed and she used her grandmotherly skills on me. She started reading the Hobbit to me aloud on rainy winter days. I’m not sure why exactly but it clicked in my head. I did get interested and engaged. She could only read for just so long. If I wanted more, I had to read it on my own. Sneaky Grandmothers.
That was the very first book I ever picked up- just for the fun of reading. In fact, I remember being depressed when it was over.
That Christmas she gave me the 3 volume set of the Lord of the Rings. I was delighted and my parents were astonished. All of the usual Christmas stuff to play with and I was well into the Fellowship of the Ring By the time school started, I was starting the Two Towers. Teachers didn’t believe I was reading it. I wasn’t getting in trouble anymore for not paying attention. I was getting in trouble for reading the wrong thing in class.
By the time I had finished The Return of the King, several very good things had happened:
- I was no longer reading below grade level.
- I was reading two grade levels higher.
- My vocabulary was much improved.
- My reading comprehension went from average to exceptional.
- My English grades went from crap to excellent.
- I went from avoiding reading to frequenting bookstores looking for more!
In 4th grade my life changed for the better. It’s because I picked up Tolkien and would not put it down.
Why it’s a classic is because it can capture the imagination of a restless boy that never wanted to sit still (probably had ADD) and completely turned him around academically.
The movies are great but they just aren't the same as the books. If you've never read them, they are recommended for kids eight to eighty.
We all need it. We all buy it or grow it. This blog is a few of my pet peeves.
Michael my poor dessert-deprived husband needed some pie. So, rather than ask me to bake him one, he bought one. It cost him $2.50. It came in a box. The list of ingredients did include pumpkin, but it also included 20 other ingredients, several i can't spell or pronounce.
This pie tasted disgusting and very chemically. One bite was enough for me. Mike on the other hand ate his piece and eventually the remaining pie. He paid for that, details not required, but it sure wasn’t worth the money he would have wasted if he didn’t eat it.
I have trouble understanding the resources we waste on ‘food’ like this horrible processed pie and other things that are full of chemicals and additives.
Do we do it because they are cheap to purchase? As a poor person I didn’t waste the little money I had on crap like that pie. Not that I ate well, because I really couldn’t afford to. The best meals I got then were from the missions. But had I had some place to cook, I’m sure I could have eaten better than I did.
Another big problem with our food is looks. How food looks has cost us flavour and nutrition.
Think: Big tasteless strawberries. Sure they are pretty, but have no flavour. So why bother eating them???
I asked the produce manager why we only get these and not local strawberries (in season, of course). He said we have to buy the USA’s strawberries in order to get their lettuce in the winter. Huh!
Imperfect fruit and veg, is a thing now.
You can buy it in many stores for a cheaper price than the perfect option. It’s silly not to sell it or buy it. That curved potato tastes no different than does the smooth round option. Often those go to animal food, or to rot. What a waste.
Last fall Mike and I were in a No-Frills grocery. They had farm fresh cauliflower. They were beautiful, huge examples but they would have been rejected by most stores because of their size and colour. They were on the yellowish side, not pure white. But it was delicious, tasted no different that the white version. They also came with a lot of green. There was a staff member there to cut away the leaves, but I said no thank you. The green helps to keep the head fresh.
Just like tomatoes on the vine. I shake my head when people pluck them off their vines because they don’t want to pay for whatever that vine may cost when weighed. Leave them on, pay the extra 1cent. The fruit will continue to ripen. Mine last for a week or two on their vines while sitting on the counter.
I don’t have the answers for everything.
But we can teach about food. How to buy it, store it and cook it. Sadly few schools do that anymore. Maybe it’s time to bring that back.
But you don’t have to be a kid to learn. And there is nothing as satisfying as baking your own bread, or serving your family a healthy and tasty meal. It’s not hard, you just have to make an investment of time and some effort.
Now… I have a dark sweet cherry coffee cake baking… smells done to me.
The wind is caressing me,
disheveling my hair,
stroking my cheeks
entangling his powerful fingers
in my long curls.
The wind is calling me,
an enticing crescendo:
“Feel me, scent me,
breathe me, listen to me,
you can't see me,
but you know,
you want to ride with me.“
The wind is taking me,
We are flying together,
the world moves around us.
But in the heart is silence.
Certainty: The right place to be,
new adventures awaiting me.
Howdy y'all, welcome back to my neck of the woods. Certain blog posts and a tribute to a fallen dragon have got me thinking lately. The first time I sat down and read a friend of mine's work, I felt an instant connection to him. I had to send him a message and let him know how reading his stories affected me. I was nervous of his reaction. The message sounded a little stalkerish (not really, but could be interpreted that way). Anyways, long story short, this author got back to me and thanked me. We started talking that day and by the end of our conversation, we decided that we were "online friends". I want y'all to know, I have many people on this site that I consider to be an "online friend".
These are the people who we only know through our computers. We've never met and probably never will meet in person. We might, one day, talk on the phone to each other, but that's doubtful. But, you know what? That's perfectly okay. I don't have to meet these people or talk to them to know that there is a type of love for them present. I consider them to be my "online family". We laugh together, cry together, and get pissed at the world together. But, most importantly, we help each other feel accepted support each other when one of our brothers or sisters is feeling down.
I'll wrap this up now by saying...Thank you. Thank you for being my "online family". Y'all are the only family I have that accepts that I'm gay. But, that's a different story for another time.
Lots of Love to y'all,
Updated 9:45 PM EDT Thursday Apr 20, 2017
We continue to ask everyone for patience as we work through the remaining bugs.
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You can always find the latest stories by clicking the Newest Stories link on the Story Extras Menu. (link updated)
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This is a list of open bugs and their status:
- There are some Story search related bugs we're address. Please Report any combinations that are not working, if you find them.
- Activity system is now available, but we are working through bugs. Story related Activity Feeds are still acting strange. Fix: TBD
A whole bunch of formatting and settings still need to be reviewed. Fix: Ongoing
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- When authors super size their font, it looks horrible on mobile devices. We're working on correcting this. Authors should not be putting redundant material, like chapter title's in the story text. That is what the Chapter title box is for. Fix: TBD
- Favorite Authors and Favorite Stories mechanism is being replaced. Currently, it is based on "Likes" of Story on story detail page and author author listing page. We have a much better method we are working on. Fix: Stories 2.1
- Manage Followed Content - Story Authors Database error. The link has been disabled for now to reduce confusion. Fix: TBD
- Moderation Queue is acting odd and we have to manually handle it right now. If you have a story in the queue, please be patient. Fix: TBD
- Story Action feed showing more than Story Added and Chapter Added and is currently not shown. Fix target: Sunday 4/23
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- Chapter Comments that are multiple pages long, when you click next page, it brings to to top of content instead of top of comments and does not show further pages. FIX: Sunday 4/23
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- The print story page displays series info on hover & copyright below chapter text.
- The browse menu widget shouldn't collapse on mobile now.
- Story Table of Contents Images are being removed accidentally because of a fix to a different issue. Fix Target: Sunday 4/23
- Premium tag also displays on story detail page.
- The chapter page title should be “Story Title Chapter # by Author name –Site Name” now.
- The word count filter on the custom sort should now be working.
- Story history hides and shows chapters that have been published or unpublished recently.
- Stories tab on profile redirects to the authors page.
- The "series number" will display on the series badge now as well. With the hover displaying the full text.
- Print story pages design a bit more. It's using some of the themes styling but still basic enough for printing.
- The other series and other stories context blocks have been updated to display the correct chapter count and link as well.
- Rebuild for all the chapter comments in this version to correct the counts
I've included all the recent fixes in Green. We have another update coming towards the end of the weekend or early next week.
Please join the Author Promotion Team in congratulating Aditus as GA's newest Signature Author! Aditus has been a member of GA for five and a half years and was first promoted to Promising in March of 2015. Since joining, Aditus has written a total of 33 stories, including his popular novel, Red Running Shoes. If you want to check out Aditus' other stories, and check out his new banner, you can visit his author page.
Please join us in congratulating Aditus on his well deserved promotion.
Yes, it has been forever and a day since I added anything to the blog. I feel like one of those co-workers who leaves the office for a new job and promises on their mother's grave they'll stay in touch. Then you only see them when lightning strikes and you're in the same place at the same time and you swear once again you'll stay in touch, but in reality you know the demands of your job will never allow for it. That's a convoluted way of saying, sorry I've been so absent, but I've been crazy busy.
That said, I need to say thank you to GA and Caz Pedroso for nominating Chosen of Honorus for story of the month. Chosen of Honorus was the precursor to The Last Grand Master - the first book in the Champion of the Gods series that DSP Publications is publishing. It was/is the book that jump started my publishing career. I owe a big debt to GA for taking a chance on me and giving me the confidence to push out into the wide literary world.
There is a prequel to Chosen of Honorus - First Love - that is available on the DSP Publications site or you can find a link on my website. If you sign up for my monthly newsletter, there is a link in one of the welcome emails as well. If you want to sign up for my newsletter, you can use this link:
In addition, if you like Chosen of Honorus, there are now three more books in the series available from DSP Publication and the last book in the series will be released in 2018. Books 1-3 are also on sale now through the end of April. Here is a link to the sale page on my website:
Despite what I said above about being the co-worker who left, sometimes a little jolt reminds you of what you're missing. In my case, I realize how much I miss the people I met here. I think if I have time to socialize with fans on Facebook and Twitter, I can use some of that time to come here once a day too. I'm going to do my best to do that. That said, the new set up is going to take me some time to get used to so if I miss your comments, you can always email me - Andrew@andrewqgordon.com. I'm usually very good at responding to emails.
Thank you all again. It's humbling and flattering to realize people haven't forgotten you. It's a very good feeling.
PS In case you forgot what I look like or want to see a new picture of 'lil q (way more likely than wanting to see me) I'll post a few pictures in a few minutes. .
Did you miss out on the feature on Monday? You can still visit it here and download your copy of the signature banner featuring Andrew Q. Gordon's story, Chosen of Honorus. It represents this scene chosen by Caz Pedroso as her favorite in the story. Let's find out why Caz picked this particular scene:
Caz Pedroso said ~ I picked it because I like this bit because it shows a lot about Farrell. It shows that no matter how scared, tired, or unprepared he feels he will stand up for himself, others and the things he believes in. And of course I like reading about Horgon getting a dressing down from what he calls soft human. He really should have kept his opinions to himself LOL.
When they finally came to a stop, an older man walked over. Sparing him the barest of glances, the man locked eyes with Miceral. "So who is this you come riding home with, holding him like your mate? It is unfathomable to me that you waited all these years for some silly, soft human."
Miceral tensed behind him. Farrell tried to get free of Miceral's grasp, but the arm didn't budge. "It is disappointing that my father is the only one who cannot accept what Lenore Herself has set for me. Farrell has been chosen by Nerti, who outranks even you in this community."
"First you leave against my direct orders and then you bring home . . ." he motioned with his left arm toward Farrell, ". . . this." Horgon glared at his son.
Using magic, he broke free of Miceral's hug and dismounted. Throwing both arms out to his sides, a shimmering wall of energy surrounded himself and Horgon. When several warriors drew weapons to strike the barrier, peregrines and unicorns interposed themselves around the wall.
He ignored everything going on outside his bubble. When Horgon made a move toward him, he froze the elder Muchari, lifting him off the ground. Levitating himself, he stopped when he could look Horgon in the eyes.
"How dare you treat me like this? Who do you think you are to come to my home and use your cowardly arts on me?" Horgon screamed, trying to free himself from Farrell's spell.
"Silence!" he yelled. "If not, I will silence you myself. I am Farrell, Prince of Haven, Chosen of Honorus and here at the request of Lenore. Other than Meglar, who is trying to destroy your people, I am the last grand master wizard in the Seven Kingdoms and your only hope of survival. If you wish to live, you will not speak to me in any tone other than one having all the respect due one of my station. I came here at the invitation of your Goddess to assist you and your people. I did not fight through Meglar's entire army to have some small-minded person degrade me."
Horgon's eyes burned with anger, but he kept quiet.
He wanted to say more, but a tremendous boom shook the ground.
"That would be Meglar. You live because of this silly, soft human. So next time you open your mouth, keep in mind I can leave and let you deal with that on your own."
He stepped down, turned away, and dissolved his shield with an absent wave of his hand. After he walked a few paces toward Miceral, he released his hold on Horgon, letting him fall to the ground.
Want to read more? Enjoy The Chosen of Honorus with a premium membership.
We might have done something insane. A suspect a lot of you might think so. We have made a mad, crazy, awesome, wonderful, expensive, fabulous, impulsive choice. Again.
Our little Goblin is currently 17 months old, gorgeous, blond, fluffy, blue-eyed, intent on digging in the dirt, playing with his brother Dashi, pointing excitedly at tractors, ‘helping’ water the garden, and getting to know the sheep and lambs at the farm.
So we thought we’d get him a sibling – a real human sibling (which in no way diminishes Dashi’s position as his only older brother).
Yes, we’re insane.
New Baby will be a blood relative of Goblin, and we will be accepting delivery of them sometime in mid August. Goblin will be 22 months old, we’ll have two in nappies, we won’t be sleeping, life will be harder, more expensive, and potentially more stressful.
Why on earth have we chosen to do this? I couldn’t tell you. We love being parents to our little man, neither of us would have life any other way now. So why not?
Sure, every now and then I have a split second desire of student life with clubs and loud music, louder outfits, and flirting with pretty boys. But then, I think the reason I look back so fondly, was because we were young, we’d just got together, and it was fun to be cute and desirable late at night in Brighton. I wouldn’t go back to that life for all the money, all the books, or all the pretty horses in the ‘verse.
I see dads and mums in the woods, by the beach, in town sometimes, with their gaggle and brood of children in different heights, chatting, squabbling, giggling, sharing ice cream, playing games – and I want that life. Our one boy is perfect and marvellous, but I want him to have siblings to fight with and play with. So here we go.
If I seem distracted, that’s why.
As last time, I am not prepared to talk, openly or privately, about the ins, outs, or specifics of how we are going about this, and we thank you in advance for your understanding.
So, anyone got any advice how to tell the Goblin he’s going to have an even smaller person in his life?
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It was a boring day as all the others in school, the only excitement was him.
I waited in my daydream world for the class to end, so I can observe him from the distance.
'Though there`s always her...She got me turned on just like he did. What about both? Meh... You`re a selfish jerkoff...' I thought.
I gazed up on the big green board on the wall...
'Im never going to understand why this math thing gotta be so boring.' And I really, never really understood why, math was always just some method to torture me.
I glanced to my right, looking at her brown shoulder length hair partly covering her face from my eyes.
She`s scribbling something...
'yeah,my friend she`s paying atention to mister boredom on stage. And what`s more..She`s a clean A+ student no way on earth you`ll take her to bed. Thanks asshole.' The arguements went on in my head.
I quickly jolted down what was on the board, and sat back thinking.
Soon the worm decided he wants to spit it out.
'Curse puberty... Oh come on...I`m not gonna do that in class. Want her? Go get her yourself you dick... Yeah...I`m weird.'
A few seconds later I managed to get back in my daydreams, all until the bell rang, meaning I can finally do what seemed to be the only reason I came to school for the last few weeks. Watch him...
Upon exiting to the yard with the crowd of students, I went for my usual seat, the bench just a few steps away from the entrance. The autumn was warm enough to stay outside without any armor against the cold.
I sat back, and placed the earpieces in my ears. No one to distract me. My hands like a programmed machine took out the phone and hit the play button.
Metallica`s Orion started off. 'Insanity you have the green light...' I thought with some kind of excitement creeping into my system.
I sat back, and observed the benches across the yard, a good twenty meters away, waiting for my blond prince to pop up out of the crowd.
'Any second now...'
The guitars played in my ears, and in my whole body.
Some fat guy with two other gorillas popped into my view.
'Go away, I`m not in the mood to watch your sorry asses getting beat up again...I want to see him.' Apparently, nobody could hear someone elses thoughts. Thank the lord for that.
The skinheads...Idiot racists and fascist who are not loyal to even their own ideas.
They named themselves after nazi officers and yeah, you guessed it, fattio was their Hitler, he was only missing the mustache, and minus fifty kilograms. I always called him hamburger, and the others chilly fries one and two.
They really resembled a hamburger with fries.
'Hahaha.....' but my thoughts were cut when Hamburger reached towards my head.
He ripped out my right earpiece.
'Oh no you didn`t...'
I had no options left but to leave the comfort of my seat, and face them... Again. A rather insane idea sparkled in my dark mind. Knowing myself, I didn`t need any encouragement to make it real, but to see pepper put under their noses, was always worth the risk of getting punched, especially when they make my day worse.
"Heil Hamburger!" I yelled at him with my right arm raised like the nazis used to do it. I did my best to keep away from laughing.
His face showed a murderous expression, and that triggered it, I couldn`t help but chuckle.
They used to bully me, and a few of the better students, until one day I caught fattio alone, and beat the living hell out of him. Whether they left the digitrons to be, or kept harrasing them, I didn`t know, and didn`t care much, after all...This is no action movie, and I`m no Chuck Norris.
I quickly grabbed his right hand with mine, while he still didn`t react, and shook hands, then I played the English fool and said "Name`s Churchill...Winstone Churchill." They were bemused. I could read the "Should I spit or swallow?" expression written on their faces. Chilly fries one and two looked at each other, and Hamburger? He was probably rolling back his simple memory to history class where he heard that name. Either way confusion was achieved, so I took the opportunity and punched hitlers fat version in the face with my left. He took a step back covering his stinky mouth.
On these rare ocassions I thanked the lord for wood chopping, and my alcoholic dad who made me work at his construction sites during the summer. The other students grouped around cheering for a fight.
Now just what I need...Circus and cage.
I waited for a response from the nazi officers, None of them moved.
"This aint over you prick!" Hamburger yelled from behind his hand. As I observed his face for a while, I saw there`s blood coming from between his fingers.
'Correct the list. Now he`s also missing a tooth or two. Yeah, now you`re a real cracker...' I thought, expertly ignoring hamburgers threats.
I put back the right earpiece, and sat back, observing the disappointed faces around. Nope. No fighting. Come to think of it, I really wasnt in the mood for detention, or teachers phoning home. No one...I say again no one needed another september afternoon with coppers in that cursed house.
Since both me and myself agreed, that topic was deleted as the skinheads took off to their usual spot in the yard.
I spotted Him. In the crowd which was slowly breaking apart to the usual groups. Cool kids with other cool kids, digitrons with digitrons, and lonewolfs like myself.
But all that was not important to me then. He was watching, that was kind of important. I never actually made any contact with him. First off, my social skills were always like the bloodstream of a snowman(nonexistent), and second there was the question. "What if I blow my cover, and he spreads the word about my...errrr...Illness."
I couldn`t risk it, even though I knew what this will lead to...When either of us would leave town, and not see each other, for years then the regrets would eat me alive. Maybe him too.
A while later I decided it was enough and told the two creeps in my head to shut up, and enjoy the view while it lasted.
That mischievous smile covered his face, and that was enough for me to fall into dream world.
'Cool yourself...Cool your balls off macho man...He wont be going out on a date with you just because you showed the white of your teeth to the enemy.'
I couldn`t help it now. My face was probably red.
'Ugh!!! That`s sooo gay. Snap out of it this instant!'
Despite the thoughts urging me to wake up, I could not. He was too much for my simple mind to handle.
A second later I looked away, praying he didn`t guess what was going on inside me, but I felt his sight burning itself deep below my skin, in to my head, into the secrets hidden in the deepest dungeon of my dark mind.
Yeah, I "always" knew I`m not a 100% straight, and I was okay with that.
Well, that last part didn`t really matter, because I was stuck with this asshole 24/7 and there was no helping the sitaution.
Still, none of that meant that others have to know. Especially not Him.
I took another glance to where he was a second ago, but he was no more.
'Great, maybe you`re halucinating. He didn`t even look at you ever...So forget it. But... No butts... Okay, doze off to your pathetic dream world if that helps you feel better...'
I realized I must have been arguing with myself in my head so loud that everyone around probably heard it, so I just dozed off to daydreams hoping they didn`t hear too much.
Not like it would matter too much... I used to wonder what was the point of my life, when everything around seemed to be pointless. It was all fun, like a video game, but sooner or later you get tired of never reaching the end, or some great reward, so the excitement goes away.
The bell signaled today`s final class was about to begin.
I didn`t hear it because of the music, just observed as the others went back inside through the gates of Hell...
I made a quick search in my memory for the list of classes for thursday.
'Romanian language... Just great. The language of the other enemy outside the school walls... Everywhere.'
Okay, not all of them hated us for being Hungarian...Just a handfull, enough to make me feel like I was surrounded by hatred, and I had the pleasure of meeting that handfull of pricks.
It was probably the fault of skinheads like f�hrer Hamburger. Or just because they knew we did not forget history, and were always aware of this land being our own. On the other hand, fighting over land is like two flees fighting over ownership of the dog they both live on. Still, this situation was without any doubts unfair, and out of hand. Besides they wanted to take this piece when the curse of trianon was born.
I slowly dragged myself back, in to the building to meet my doom for the next hour.
End of transmission.
When I entered the cursed hallway, leaving outside the night approaching, and all its horrors, I went straight to the other end of the hallway, to the compromised safety of my room...
Compromised as in the lock was replaced, meaning I can`t lock them out... 'Great. I wonder what else they did to invade my much needed privacy.'
I had second thoughts about opening the door... I just knew there was something up. Either the drunk face decided to inspect all my "stuff" or the mother animal wanted to spy on my computer. Well the later was impossible, unless she knew my thirty characters long password, which would give her administrator acces, and allow her to open my documents folder, browser, game projects, and find out that I`m not mister perfect bible reading son as they thought I was, and wanted me to be...Oh did I mention the stories? Yeah...That would have been a devastation.
Their son is experiencing same sex attraction... No. They`d send me to hell, and deny that they ever had a son that instant.
I stood at the door for a few seconds, and gave it all a big sigh, just before entering.
To my surprise, everything seemed to be the way I left it, except the computer... Yes, the computer was in sleep mode, and logged off from the admin(my) account...Now I see someone logged on as a guest user. They could acces the windows default games, media player that could play the sample mp3 files, and the default browser, which I never used, I think that`s all I left unprotected, since none of it would give them any clue about my private stuff.
I went over to the pc, and logged off smiling about my secret being safe for now.
'Should I login as admin? Maybe they`re waiting... Nah, quit the paranoid freak act, and login.'
I had no other choice, unless I wanted to risk sleeping.
No. I`d rather confess all my sins to a stranger, or worse my so called family, just don`t make me go there...
So I logged in being careful none of "them" are around to see my password.
The computer took a while, to load my settings. 'Someone dabbled with them.' But as it loaded, I saw everything as I left them.
I opened the media player, the playlist I created the day before loaded. A few minor adjustments to it, and after hitting the play button, I entered my world...Gaming.
An hour of C.S. G.O. later the thought of actually sleeping during the night ran over my head, and quickly disappeared into the flashbacks from a month ago when that happened.
'No...That wont repeat itself again.'
The hud message woke me up
'Fuck it...I`m losing it'
The next round started with a private message from a teammate.
*Wtf happened to you? You had a clean headshot on the creep.*
I really didn`t remember what actually happened before losing the round.
'Oh well...After a hundred kills, I get killed once. Bad luck.'
The next few rounds my team got close to winning them, but we weren`t organized, just lonewolfs..The enemy was...Sort of, well enough to beat us. Maybe that there was five on my team, and seven players on theirs.
Twenty lost rounds later, someone popped in the server, joining the cops, my team.
We lost the next round too.
What kept me playing, I didn`t know.
Then we noticed the new guy used speed hack. He knifed the other team members, all of them right at round start.
'Okay, that`s it. I don`t play with cheaters.'
I disconnected from the server, and started a new game against the computer. Then I remembered the game project I had, so I hit the END button, quitting the game.
'Ugh...Yeah, now I remember why I left it in the graveyard of my harddrive.'
The exp point system had a bug. Something that could be fixed with adding a new global variable to the game, and a question calling for the variable. It was that simple, but I was too "lazy" for setting it up. Basically, I would have had to set the variable to 0 by default, and whenever the level up was obtained, tell the game to set it to 1. Then have a check for the value, then define that if the value is 1 then all exp points collected till then to be set to 0, and the value of the variable to be also 0, until the next level up, so the player wont get stuck in a loop of levelups...
Yeah...I could have also made a more complicated system, that after each level up, the player would need more and more exp points to level up again... But that was completely out of picture. I wasnt going to burn my already damaged brain.
So I was stuck there, thinking what on earth could I do at 12 pm, besides sleeping... Yeah I did that, and by the time I could do it again, I was too tired for it. Besides, that only takes up thirty minutes.
I opened my backpack, and took that half pack of smokes left, carefully stashed between the math, and english workbooks.
I lit one, and stashed the rest back where they were.
The first inhale ran that slightly numbing, pleasant feeling through my body.
Yeah, this shit is going to kill me one day.
One day far in the future, since I only smoked one every single day. No, not because of the "family" just because I couldn`t afford any more. Besides, this way, I always get that sensation, which goes away if you smoke a pack every day. At least that`s what I was told by the other lonewolf, who was my best friend until the day he didn`t come to school anymore, and stopped replying to my messages... A week after he "disappeared" I heard his family moved out of town. Out of the country, out to Hungary... Still, that was no excuse to ignore those skype messages... I guess I`ve learned that time will reveal who is a true friend and who`s not...
I checked my phone there was an unread message.
The Hammer was another geek/nerd, and rock obsessed like me. Mostly obsessed with the old Pokolg�p, who`s frontman was Kalap�cs J�zsef, that`s why the nickname, and when someone decided to beat him up, and he fell, his head resembled a hammer striking down...
How he and I became friends?
Remember the enemy outside, everywhere around?
Yeah one of them decided to beat him up, and take his new phone.
And me? I happened to be where trouble was, and stopped the fight. Ever since I can`t shake him. Maybe he`s got some damage in the head like me, or he got a secret crush... 'Gross!'
Just now I remember he wasnt in school all day.
I opened the message...
"Dennis, could you please bring me the homework from today? I`m sick and stayed home. No one else replied, so I`m guessing I can only count on you."
Yeah... He was always afraid of his grades dropping.
I was curious if he`s still awake, so I sent him a reply
"Yeah, I`ll get off to yours in a minute. Or should I come tomorrow?"
He sent that message at 8:31 pm. Four hours earlier.
I waited, and waited... At 1 am, he replied.
"Come, but we must be quick because of my parents. If they wake...Well you know."
'Yeah, I know...'
What got into me, I didn`t know... Guess I just had to do something, just so I couldn`t sleep. Besides, this way I could learn about the reason of him always following me around.
I took a glance at the bible behind the computer screen. 'God keep the horrors away from me tonight.'
Like it would help.
I logged off of the computer, and grabbed my backpack, opened it and took the pocket knife and pepper spray. Never wanted to use them, but out here, this late...You never know.
With the spray resting deep in my pocket, and the "knife" under my leather jacket, between the belt and jeans I took off into the night with the homework being safely stashed away in the backpack. 'Quest rewards: Information, and extra exp. Plus salvation from the evil in the house waiting for sleeping victims. Oh cut it off..This is the real world...'
Unfortunately it was real, and uglier every second.
The streets were deserted other than myself and I arguing in my head as they guided their ship through the dim light...
There was a good fifteen minutes walk left, even in my fast pace.
Why I didn`t put some music on? I wanted to sense trouble from as far away as possible. Trouble: Police patrolling, the enemy everywhere around, the thing making me neglect sleep, vampires, and the possibility of meeting the three nazi leaders.
Okay the vampire part was just a myth, but like I noted before: Out here, this late, you never, ever know until it happened.
I passed by the sleeping houses, listening for noises. I thought I`ve heard footsteps from behind, and when I turned around saw a shadow for the fraction of a second. Yeah, I guess that would count as paranoia...
Or there really are vampires here, maybe that was the cursed thing of my nightmare world? Nah...Vampires sounded better.
'Heh..Kill one and you`ll be fuckin famous. Or better yet become one, visit your crush and take him...Then be immortal together with him.
Yes Dennis you`re losing it. That was just your tired mind playing tricks on you.'
I could not be sure. Either way Hammer would have probably shit his pants in this situation... 'Ugh! Cut the crap...'
I never understood how some people were nearly two meters tall, and as thin as a toothpick, and what`s more, be nerds... 'Ah look who`s talkin...The owl telling the little bird that he`s got a big head.'
My senses went sharp when I heard that noise again...
I turned around and saw there`s a black labrador following me.
'And what`s that? Satan let out his dog to take a shit? Don`t be ridiculous... Just go give him the homework so he can rest.'
Yeah, maybe Satan wouldn`t like his dog to crap on his carpet, or I was really losing it... but that didn`t matter because the seemingly dead town was alive... The romanians had their nationalist huligans, and there was the great danger that the chatter I heard was a sign they`re again out in the night. That alone is nothing, until they come across me.
I never was an agressive nationalist, but when I heard those insults, and provocations... Well I was triggered to say the least.
I quickened my pace, but the chatter was getting closer from behind. I turned around, and waited for the people to arrive under the streetlight. I spotted a brunette woman with a leash in her right hand, she was probably in her twenties. A short guy appeared behind her.
'Must be satan and his wife coming for their dog you paranoid creep... Did you know? No. Then leave me be.'
I smiled at them and moved on forward, to complete my rather dangerous quest for information.
'Okay, no shadowy figures, vampires, huligans, or nazi officers in sight. Guess I should do more of those short prayers...'
I spotted Hammer`s house up ahead. A two stories high red brick building. Two big windows on either levels, staring at the street. There was no fence blocking entry. The only one problem was that his parents room had a window facing the street.
His room on the top floor, in the opposite corner of the house. and my way up there? Climbing on their neighboors fence, and from there jump for the open window...Well if he would have opened it.
I quickly sent him a message.
"Open your window." I stood there watching... The window opened to the right, and his head appeared in the opening, his slightly angular face seemed to be pale...Or maybe it was just the light of his computer screen, and tv.. He looked around and disappeared. I quickly climbed on the brick wall meeting the wall of their house.
I was just an arm reach from the window. 'Okay...Miss the jump, and you blew it all by smashing into the lower window. Thanks for the encouragement asshole...'
I jumped and grabbed the window. I pulled myself up hoping there were no spectators of my stunt outside. He probably wondered if I was a ninja, or just lost my mind when I crashed inside to the floor of his room with the curtain being wrapped around me.
'See? That was easy... Yeah..tell that to your mother after...forget it.'
"Dennis?" His unsure voice asked. He had a cold for sure...
"Uhhh..You didn`t mention the curtains..." I said standing up, trying to get it off of me.
He chuckled a little and said "You didn`t mention coming in through the window."
'The kid`s right... what a great discovery. Geesh.'
"Yeah...I thought you guessed since I asked you to open it.
Anyway I can`t guarantee that everything from every class is there, but the homework is for sure."
I said sitting back in the window. I threw him my bag.
"Thanks..." He mumbled under a cough.
"Can I?" he asked indicating the smokes.
'You gonna make his condition worse if you let him smoke...But you know what`s it like.'
"Sure, knock yourself out." I said, and observed him nervously lighting one.
I observed as he sat down at his desk covered in his books and notebooks...
The screen lit his face, showing it was a little red.
'Oh god...I wont even ask then... Well don`t draw conclusions...How would you feel like in his place?'
"So...can I ask you something...?" I asked a little unsure, as he was copying the English homework.
"Yes.." He replied without looking up from the notes...
'Okay, just ask, watch his reactions...'
"I know we`re friends and all...But why are you ALWAYS following me around?"
He stopped writing and took a deep inhale of smoke then looked at me slowly blowing it out between his teeth...
"I`m sorry..Just been wondering since you weren`t around today."
I said, thinking I touched something I shouldnt have.
He was a bit confused, and I knew the answer was waiting at the tip of his tongue. I tilted my head to the left waiting.
"No it`s okay... I was hiding it long enough. Well, want the short answer or the full answer?"
"The full answer..." I said, lighting another cigarette... 'Great... Smoke the whole pack...'
He took a deep breath, and turned his chair around facing me.
Now he resembled a school principle in his office.
"Well...Where do I begin?" He started. 'A whole story...Great now you`ll be a therapist or something?! Oh shut up and listen!'
I shrugged and smiled at him, hoping he wont decide to stay shut instead.
"The first reason is you saving my life back at that street fight...And the many other conflicts that couldn`t start just because you were around." He continued a bit more confident.
'Yeah, I guessed that much...What`s the rest???'
"Nobody in the neighborhood dares to touch you, since you beat up Hitler... Mark."
'Oh the Hamburger...was he really such a big shot before?'
"When the bullies saw that we`re hanging out, they all left me alone. This was a new experience...No more fear.
Then there`s the gaming, and the rock obsession."
He stopped, and aparently had second thoughts about continuing.
"Go on..." I said eager to get that answer...
"And...And I like being around you."
'Wow...Someone can bare your idiot self...that`s great!'
"Why didn`t you answer my text immediately, like before...?" He asked out of the blue.
'Well it`s confession time, tell him...Don`t say a word about your crush, or I`ll kill you!'
"My mind was elswhere..."
'Top fuckin buzz this! Couldn`t you just tell him you were gaming? Oh shut up!'
"It`s okay...I know, you were thinking about him."
He must have seen my facial expressions, which probably gave away the thoughts...
"Oh...You didn`t come out to anyone yet?"
'How...What the bloody hell?! Is that guy Sherlock Holmes, or some reincarnation of Einstein?'
I was probably getting redder...
"No, not yet." I answered shortly.
'If he knows...Then anyone else could know...'
"Well consider this as coming out...Which is really awkward." He said.
"Just...How did you know?" It bursted out of me...
He smiled at me, and turnde back to the desk.
"Wasn`t hard...Just had to watch how you look at her, then notice you`re looking at him in a similar way...And you`re always watchig that spot in the yard..."
I was lost in my thoughts and nearly fell out through the window.
I threw out the cigarette.
'This is disappointing...'
"So do you think I got any chance with him?"
I asked...More from myself than him, but I said it outloud, so...
"Just as much as I have with you. Unless...You become one of the cool kids...maybe then you`d have a chance of being friends."
As much as I hated it, Hammer didn`t really speak just so he can say something...
'He`s right. You got no chance with him... Unless... No way. I`m not going to become one of those plastic people... NOOOO! Okay I got it... Geesh.'
"Yeah, I guess you`re right... There`s no way I`m gonna become one of them though."
He looked at me like people look at a lunatic...
"Everyone wants to be one of them...What`s your reason?"
I was a bit surprised... I thought he was aware of the reasons.
"Well most of them is just....So fucking fake they make me sick. All about how they look, how daddy and mommy bought this and that for them and so on."
I said cooling off.
"So what`s so special about him then?"
"I don`t know."
And I really didn`t...
There was awkward silence, just his pen rushing through the page made some annoying noise.
Some time passed when he said something...
"Dennis...? I`m done... Are you sure that was all?"
I asked so he repeated the question.
"Yes, the homework it was all there."
He threw everything back in my bag, and threw it back at me. I put it on my back, and stood up.
"Well, I better get going now. Feel better soon."
I said turning around.
"I`ll send you the server ip, where your mystery guy is playing cs go. Just as a sign of gratitude for saving my ass again."
"You don`t happen to know his real name?" I asked hoping he got the info..
"Just his CS GO name. I happened to pass by them, when they discussed the game. He calls himself Shadow."
I nodded, and threw myself down on the brick wall, then to the ground.
'Well your mystery guy sure is interesting now...'
I was lost in my thoughts trying to digest what I heard...
'Well you annoying dick, lets go home and see if he`s still up, gaming.'
I took the street down towards home...
After succesfully waking my parents with my not so stealthy entrance through my window, I explained how I fell out of bed, and landed two meters away.
After daddio left off to sleep, the power went out...
It gave me the chills, I had the feeling...
'This was not the usual time when there could be a power failure...Something`s up.' I thought turning on my phone light.
'And just how the hell are you going to see if he`s online without the computer?'
I was wondering if this affected only that cursed house, or the whole street...
I signed into gmail on my phone, and answered the email...
"Did the power go out at your place too?"
A few minutes later I got a reply.
"Yes...I think someone hit one of the collumns which hold the cables on the corner with a car. The ambulance rocketed down here just now, didn`t you hear the sirens?"
'Fuckin great. Just my usual luck... Wait..What sirens?'
"No. I didn`t hear anything."
"You need to sleep loverboy, and don`t dream too much about him while you`re awake."
"What`s that? Sticking your tongue at me? LOL"
"Yeah... Now I gotta go, someone`s inside the house."
I grabbed the knife and aimed the light at the door where I spotted the movement while I was typing. Nothing, except the door wasn`t closed, as I left it...It was an inch or so opened.
'So not funny... So what`s gonna happen? You gonna close it, or go outside and see who or what opened it? Why don`t you go and close it yourself? Cause I am you...duhhh...'
Yeah...Now you see what I meant by "You can`t know until It happened"
I should have yelled for help maybe....But I was kind of fed up with this terror, so I walked to the door, and aimed the phone`s led out, then peeked outside...
The hallway seemed empty, so I exited my room, and took a few steps forward. Sweat ran down my back, and fingers clenched tight on my only weapon. The led didn`t illuminate the hallway completely, but I wanted to be sure I was alone, besides my parents... I took a few more unsure steps forward. I saw a black human like shape running out through the front door...
'Fucking insane!!! What was that all about?' I thought when dad face came out on my right from the bathroom. He stared at the wide open front door for a while. It was locked a few minutes ago, with the only key being in their room, in a drawer, and a copy in my room(they didn`t know about that)
"What happened?" He asked me, but I didn`t answer, just kept staring at the entrance. "Someone was inside?" He asked.
I nodded slowly sliding the knife in my pocket so he wont see.
He went for their key, and locked the door back.
I went into my room, and checked if the window was locked up propperly, then pulled the drawers over to the door, barricading the entrance of my room. 'Okay, now check if you still got your copy of the keys...' I threw out all the stuff from the middle drawer, and found the key where I left it.
I was puzzled to say the least... Puzzled and scared...For the first time trully scared. That thing might be something other than human... Whoever or whatever it was I wanted no more of it.
Spent the dawn awake, watching, listening...
No further incidents occured all until sunrise, so I decided to remove the barricade, and take a look.
My system wanted to crash and restart a week later...But it was friday. After school I got the whole place to myself. Normally I`d like that, but after last night and dawn....Well, let`s say I`d still rather get locked up with a vampire than my parents...But the best would be seeing none of them around.
I went to the bathroom and washed my face in ice cold water.
Entering the kitchen, I saw a note on the table...
*We`re off to work early. Eat breakfast, and make sure you get to school in time.*
I wasn`t feeling hungry, just tired as fuck.
'Hell...Might as well head down to that creepy building of education... Ugh! Can`t you just stay home? And do what? Keep waiting for that thing...'
I went back to my room, and stuffed the bag up with all the books and and notebooks. The history teacher. He was kinda cool, one of those people you get along with...Like you knew each other forever. He had a habbit of calling in sick at friday, and he`d usually go with the biology teacher to get their fleshly desires pleased in a cheap motel room. Why did I have to know? Hehehehe...How else would I get a clean A+ in biology? Yeah.
Well the teacher had no intention to give anyone above C or B+ unless the student studied as hard as on some sort of university...Study? You gotta be kidding me. I had other things to do. Besides, what concerns biology...I know the fun part, and know the fun functions of the human body, and I think that was enough to know.
Art... Usually he made us draw. Good thing about friday: everyone could choose what they`ll draw... Though he never said a thing, but I think he had enough of my zombie plague series. What else could you draw when everything around seems to be dead?
'You are creepy that`s why you draw that stuff.'
And the usual math.... UGH!
Yes, you guessed it...I hate that subject. No it`s not hard, it`s easy but it`s booooooooooring as hell. And yes, you guessed it. The 1(F) Made a few appereances next to my name in that subject. The first test resulted in a big B+ and It was the only one. The teacher wanted me to push myself harder, but why?!
'Because it`s my responsibility to teach you the basics.... blah blah. No he wanted to fuck me in the head with that storm of numbers...and make me another goodie good little zombie.'
Probably not, but it was more fun to think of it that way.
Yes, I`m weird, I know...
I put in the earpieces, and headed off with Metallica`s Fight fire with fire song roaring so loud I heard nothing outside my head.
The brutal truth in the song didn`t wake me up, but the fast pace of it did...Sort of.
My blood kept pumping harder every second... Something I loved about their brutal songs. The never fading excitement, and they were all better than those whinny creeps always whining about how they wanted to fuck someone, while there were some computer noises in the background. They call that pop and "music"
'Yeah..The people went plastic, and forgot that music can be created by people playing instruments. And they can`t appreciate meaningful lyrics anymore...Respect to the few exceptions. And that`s your excuse for being stuck in the eighties? Lalalala what?..You`re a jerk...What else is new?'
Trapped under ice started off just after the world got nuclear blasted at the end of the previous song and in my head too.
I looked around to see it`s still there waiting for a chance to kill me.
'Amazing. Just what I need...' I spotted Hamburger up ahead, coming from the opposite direction. I raised my right arm again just to mess with him. He stopped, and watched me, probably wondering how many ways there are to kill me. I gave him a wide grin and headed off to the building, expecting he`ll hit me from behind. Nothing happened. 'He`s probably appreciating his remaining teeth, and has second thoughts about losing them. Why? Would you like to lose yours?'
I saw the Chilly fries group in the yard waiting for their Hitler. I greeted them with their usual arm raising, and smiled in their primitive agression filled faces as I passed by. Chilly one grabbed my right arm, and pulled me back.
'Don`t touch the music, or I bite!'
He raised his arm for a punch.
'I`m dying for this...Hehehehe.' I hit him before he could land his fist in my face, then got kicked in the back by number two.
Pain...Something I got used to and something to make me agressive.
'Bad choice!' I turned around and met face to face with a baseball bat.
'Ugh!!!' There wasn`t much force in the swing, so I recovered by the time he could give a propper swing.
We were soon surrounded by the crowd waiting for a fight. What was so interesting in this primitive fight for survival, I don`t know.
Hardwired started off with another hit in my guts.
I kicked the creep behind me, and stepped to the side avoiding the strike from above...I grabbed his arm and was about to break it, when consciousnes hit me again. 'What are you doing?!' I twisted the weapon from his grip and threw it down full force at his feet. It hit the ground, bounced back up hitting him in the balls.
'Ouch! That hurts even for me... Hamburger...'
Where he was, I had no idea. 'Oh well...One creep less to beat up. Where`s your mystery guy?'
I looked around and walked away towards the building`s entrance.
'There he is... No...That`s horror. Turn away...'
In that second I wanted to be anywhere but there, and see him kiss her. 'Fuck!' My two crushes found each other, and me?
I was out of picture...For eternity.
I stood there, frozen. A tear made it`s way down my face.
'Well what else did you expect?'
A second later the baseball bat found my back. I fell forward.
'Shit!' I got up, and turned around. 'Die!' I ran off after the nazis, jumped one of them.
I caught Fries one. Down on the ground I kept hitting his head into the concrete. "Die!!!" I roared over his "Help!"
Hamburger pulled me off of him. I punched him and kept hitting him until fries two took hold on me, and pulled me away, I got kicked but it didn`t matter, I grabbed hold of his leg and twisted it to the right, then let go and stepped closer to punch him. Someone`s soft hands held my face. I could see and hear but nothing was registered, I wasn`t home.
"Are you okay?" it echoed from a distance... "No..."
It was Monica... The shy girl.
I turned around, and walked out of the yard. I saw him watching from the distance as I left... The world was swirling around. I collapsed. The wall of the school supported my back, the ground was cold, and I was lost in pain... Both physical and emotional.
I knew the cops would show. It was only a matter of time.
The history teacher was waiting for his queen outside, a few steps away... He walked over to me.
"Are you okay?" he asked. What could I tell him.
"No....I`m not." He was staring at me with his worried face...
"Just take her and go, leave me be." I said when the biology teacher popped out to the street.
She looked at me, and asked "Who was fighting inside?"
I glanced at her.
"They wanted to beat me up. I`m so fucking tired of it. So I beat them up."
"You realise I had to call an ambulance because the school nurse doesn`t know how to treat those injuries. They are bleeding badly."
"That is so fucking Great! I hope they die before the ambulance gets here. What? Don`t tell me you pitty some racist scumbags..." I cut in her words.
She had a "WTF is wrong with these kids" expression when she finished it.
"...and they will call the police."
"Yeah... Whatever. Get me to detention, give another reason for my family to hate me, give me to the cops, kill me, I don`t fuckin care...Just leave me alone!"
I wasn`t in control of myself no more. All I felt was pain everywhere, pain and darkness. Everything turned upside down.
"Jude...We can`t leave him here like that." The history teacher said.
"The authoroties will take care of him."
"I wont leave him here..." He said.
"Okay, let`s just go..." She said, then they made me stand up, and practically dragged me to the car.
Facts: The biology teacher was a jew, and neither of them were fans of hitler, or those idiots like Hamburger.
The car rolled down some streets, I saw the buildings and people, but I wasn`t aware where I was or why was I there...Guess just sitting in silence let it take controll. I was gone.
I heard their chatter, but I didn`t understand what they said.
Just nodded when she looked at me.
The pain of never actually getting a chance with either of my crushes, was always lingering in the air, but I just shrugged it off, until that happened. Only then I could feel how much it can hurt. It was a complete rip off, the world for me ended.
Suddenly I found myself in a room...
"Are you okay?"
I looked to the right, seeing the history teacher observing me.
"No... I`m not."
The biology teacher was nowhere around.
"Don`t worry about the cops...We got you out of it all. Jude just left..She called the ambulance so the cops wanted to speak to her. I want to know what was it all about..."
I said weakly.
"Dislocated leg, damaged scull, broken arm, smashed balls... Three pieces of groaning meat, that`s what you left behind, and you got off without a scratch. How`s that possible? That`s no school fight Dennis, that`s self defense, on military level. So?"
I was nodding as he listed the injuries.
"I had a bad day, they wanted to make it worse. That will be enough I guess..." I replied annoyed by this nagging.
Recent EntriesLatest Entry
It was a bad day. I’ve had a few recently. Often enough to know that they don’t get better halfway through; only progressively worse. After lunch, I should have packed up and gone home to bed. I had done that before and it had worked; no one could argue against the logic. The less I do, the less that can go wrong. Why tempt fate by pressing on regardless, when the situation was beyond saving.
A phone call increased my workload; I should have switched it off earlier. The error led to a twenty-mile journey in the opposite direction and another so-called ten-minute job, that turned into four hours. I’ve been doing this work since I left school and I’ve never been able to do a job in ten minutes.
I loaded up in the rain; it had been constant all day and getting worse. I needed coffee and dry clothes, but the coffee spilt and the clothes got wetter. The cup holders on these vehicles are the wrong size for Tim Hortons, American trucks, designed for American cups. Why can’t they make them bigger? Big enough to fit a coffee cup would be good; is this another way of saving money, what were they thinking?
I was already uptight and irritable when I pulled onto the world’s biggest parking lot, sealing my fate. You would think that eight lanes in each direction would be sufficient to take the weight of this city. It’s not as if everybody drives or leaves work at the same time. There’s a good transit system; subway, buses, streetcars, and trains, and it’s nearly eight o’clock, but nothing is moving!
Sixteen lanes of stationary traffic for as far as the eye can see is a harrowing site and my foul mood takes another turn for the worse. These people don’t understand my situation, if they did then they would get out of my way and allow me to pass so that I can get home and rest. I should be doing that; the doctor told me. Instead, I’m stressed, hungry, tired, and wet, and now I’m helping to set new records of congestion on the four-oh-one.
If I die; it’s all your fault! Yeah, you mister suited and booted in the Mercedes next to me. A real estate agent if ever I had seen one. No wonder properties are doubling in price around here; someone has to pay for that car! Who needs a car that big anyway, to carry a stinking briefcase? When the traffic edges forward, I try to keep the nose of my trusty Dodge truck in front of his overpowered glamour car, and I’m doing okay as we speed up to almost a crawl.
I get some satisfaction by leaving him behind, but it’s hardly the brickyard and it was only because my lane was moving quicker. I could have walked and still beaten him, but it didn’t stop me from gloating at his misfortune. See you later sucker! Then to press home my advantage and keep him behind me, I swung into a sudden gap created by a daydreamer, seizing my opportunity with skilful precision. Lewis Hamilton couldn’t have done it any better. Later, as the traffic eases, and we approach highway speeds, he shoots past me on the outside, leaving me for dead, but it doesn’t matter anymore, I won when it counted.
It was late when I got home and the house was empty and cold. I should’ve stayed on the four-oh-one, at least I wasn’t alone. After a shower and some food, there’s nothing left of the day, but perhaps that’s a good thing. I don’t want anything else to go wrong if that was even possible.
I’m at my desk trying to relax; I should have been doing this all day, but my doctor won’t pay my mortgage, so I have no choice. I have to work to live; but to live, I have to rest. It’s a difficult choice, but one that is made easier by my bank statements. I haven’t felt any discomfort for a few days. I’ll live; if only to annoy others. I may even get around to finishing my story. A few weeks ago that had seemed improbable.
Writing was one of the few activities which the doctor had encouraged and it was easy to see why. I use it as an escape route to a more interesting time, where I am able to re-write my own history. It’s therapeutic, but it’s becoming increasingly difficult to distance myself from the main character. There are several projects that I’ve started and shelved and I wonder if I’ll ever be able to write anything else. It was too late that night and I were barely able to stay awake, but I logged in, if only to satisfy my addiction and check on the progress of my latest chapter.
Gay Authors has become another well-worn escape route and one that I am using with increasing regularity. I’ve even made a few friends. Cyber friends, I suppose, because none of them actually know me. We never talk, but type messages and express our feelings with funny little emoticons. They know me simply as Dodger and their only visual reference is a cartoon drawing of ‘The Fonze’ from ‘Happy Days’. The television character is a poor representation of the real me. It’s the perfect disguise and perhaps that’s why I chose it.
It was close to midnight when I sat back yawning. My bed was calling me, but I was distracted by a familiar avatar on the page. It had been a while since I had seen anything posted by Skinnydragon and he hadn’t reviewed in a couple of months. Perhaps this was his long-awaited explanation to everyone and my mood was lifted. I knew that he would come back, he enjoyed the site, he had unfinished work and was a prolific poster and reviewer. There had to be a good reason for his recent absence and when I saw the title of his blog, it made sense.
Skinny’s sorry. Yeah, whatever buddy; let’s see what you’ve been up to? Travelling maybe, busy at work, moving house…illness wasn’t on my list and certainly not that illness.
It was soon clear that this was no ordinary blog, and the gravity of his statement hit me at the end of the first paragraph. I read on until the end, before reading it again much slower, and then once more in tears. I had read every word of every chapter that Skinnydragon had posted on GA, but his final paragraphs were perhaps the most powerful that I had read from any author. It was obvious to me that those words were laced with pain particularly at the end where there were mistakes so untypical of his work.
Dying wasn’t even a probable, but when I noticed the date, it became a certainty. Nearly four months had passed since that blog had been posted. I never knew about it, and had never bothered to find out why my friend had been absent for so long, although I did have a few problems of my own.
He was my first friend on the site and in the early days, we had spoken quite a bit via comments and messages. He had followed my story from the beginning, posting regular reviews and when I needed his advice, he was quick to respond and thorough in his replies. He was a good guy and friends of everyone on the site. It was easy to see when reading the many tributes left on his blog. No longer tired; I stayed awake until the early hours reading and re-reading every one, but beneath my sadness was a constant reminder of what could have been.
‘There but for the grace of God go I’, was something that my mother used to say, and after reading about my friend, I’ve been using those words a lot myself.
It was February 26 when I was admitted to the hospital with severe chest pains. It was a Sunday and I had been feeling ill for most of the weekend. That evening the pain became unbearable, I was short of breath and collapsed. I was fortunate that I wasn’t alone. Most nights I would have been. My friend got me to the hospital, the doctors saved my life and I’m still here!
I haven’t seen the light and I’m not going to start preaching to people or telling you how to live your lives, but I will admit that I was very scared and the initial assessments that I received gave me good reason to be.
The days that followed were dark and with little or no desire to write, I focused on more important and seemingly urgent requirements. I gave instructions to the family for funeral arrangements, prepared a will, and even wrote letters to friends. I never realised how exhausting dying could be, but when I read Skinnydragon’s blog I was able to feel some of his pain. I hope that he had good people around him, and I also hope that his end came quickly, leaving him as little time as possible to dwell on his fate.
I thought I was too young for heart problems; I have a reasonable diet and I’m not exactly overweight, but no one knows what lies in wait for them. While most of us can hazard a guess as to where we will be in five years’ time, we are unlikely to even consider the possibility that we may not be around at all.
I was lucky, within a week my breathing improved and the chest pains had disappeared. I spent the first two weeks of March, in cardiology being hooked up to machines that I was unable to even pronounce. I have no idea what all of this would have cost me without a health card, but I was at least able to see where some of my hard-earned taxes had gone and for once I didn’t begrudge them a penny. The Canadian health service doesn’t suck!
I asked a lot of questions and learnt a lot about the human heart and how complex and resilient it is. I bet that most people are unaware that it can often repair itself to overcome minor defects and there is a good possibility that this is what is happening in my case.
On Friday, six weeks after my collapse, I was delighted to receive a clean bill of health. My heart is not perfect, but it is in a reasonable condition and contrary to the initial assessments there is no longer any need for surgery. I will need to change my life a little, but I am happy that I still have one to change. Others, as we know, have not been so fortunate.
In loving memory of our good friend—Skinnydragon. May you rest in peace, my friend.
Recent events started me thinking. I have made many good friends online, both here at GA and elsewhere. I would worry if one of them went missing with no warning or explanation.
When SkinnyDragon found about his prognosis, he took the time, something he had precious little of, to fill us in.
I am one of those super organized people. After having to make the arrangements for both my parents, then my father in law, I decided that was something I didn't want my loved ones to have to deal with. When I got a diagnosis of cancer, one of the things I did was a visit to our families choice of funeral directors. We discussed what I wanted and put it all in a file "just in case".
My family is well aware of my membership here, but some would prefer to keep GA a more private part of their life. While speaking with Hugh, (yes we are on a first name basis, we have known each other since highschool) he asked what I thought at the time an odd question, if there were anyone my family might not know about that I would want notified in the event of my death. After discussing it, I gave him the info he needed to get to GA and one of the things he will do when the time comes is post a notice here.
Please friends, consider including info on contacting us in your "when I am gone" stuff. If you are in a position where you would prefer your family not know, reach out to someone you trust. It gives me peace of mind knowing I will not just go poof.
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Well, it's here! Barbed Wire Cowboy (formerly known as Studly Ranch Hands) is now available in eBook! It has been re-edited, new scenes have been added, and there has been a bit of tweaking here and there. Here in the next couple of weeks, Barbed Wire Cowboy will also be available in paperback. If you want to be kept up to date, make sure to visit my website, friend me on facebook, or follow me on Twitter or Google+. I'll also be doing giveaways soon, so keep an eye on my site and facebook!
Barbed Wire Cowboy
Length: 85,000 Words
Cover Artist: Mann Ramblings
After having been kicked off the family ranch by his father, Marc Poulson has made a new home for himself as the foreman of the Double R Ranch. His fellow ranch hands are his family, but he’s still not complete without Casey Morgan, his counterpart at the neighboring Del Rio Ranch. In the middle of a feud with his one-time best friend, Marc struggles to understand why Casey would rather take a swing at him than talk to him. He wants to put the past behind them and rebuild what they once had and make their relationship stronger than ever, but Casey is having none of it.
Casey has his own demons to deal with, and Marc serves as a reminder to things he’d rather forget. Casey can’t see beyond the past and continues to make mistakes that put both him and Marc in harms way. After one close call too many, Casey must decide whether his past is more important than his future, or if he can live with Marc walking out of his life—possibly forever.
“EARTH TO Marc, come in, Marc.” Rick made a show of waving his hand in front of Marc’s face. He waited until he had Marc’s attention. “Did you hear anything I said?”
“Sorry.” Marc glanced at him, but the lure of Casey Morgan was too strong to ignore. He returned his gaze to linger on the blond who had walked through the doors of the bar a moment earlier. “I was distracted.” Half of the bar separated them, but he knew from experience that the chances of avoiding a confrontation were slim to nil.
“Obviously.” Their companion, and coworker, Jason snickered.
“What is it with you and him?” Rick’s gaze danced between the two men. “You two can’t be in the same room together without going for the jugular.”
“It has nothing to do with you.” Marc didn’t want to get into it and was desperate to stop the barrage of questions before they could start. “You concentrate on yourself and let me handle my own problems.”
Marc tracked Casey’s progress through the bar until he sat at a table with two of the hired hands from the Del Rio Ranch. As the foreman for the Del Rio, Casey was the direct counterpart of Marc’s position at the Double R. The owners of the two ranches were close friends, and up until a few months earlier, so were Casey and Marc. It was amazing how one thing could cause friends to become bitter enemies, and it was nothing more than a misunderstanding.
“We lost him again.” Jason needed to wipe the smirk off his face.
“Knock it off.” Marc forced his attention away from Casey and back to Rick and Jason. “What were you asking?”
“Never mind.” Rick shook his head. “Since we have tomorrow off it can wait until Monday. No sense in talking ranch work if we don’t have to.”
“Sounds good to me.” Jason finished off the beer in front of him.
Marc swallowed the last of his own drink and headed toward the bar for the next round. Despite being the sole bar in town, it wasn’t busy, and within a couple of minutes he was turning to head back to his table with three fresh beers. As he turned, his shoulder brushed against a newcomer, and Marc turned to apologize, but the words stuck in his throat when he found himself face-to-face with Casey. If he’d realized Casey had the same idea, he would have stayed in his seat and let one of the other two go.
“Poulson.” Casey’s greeting dripped with hostility.
“Morgan.” Fuck the apology. Marc pushed past him but stopped when Casey mumbled something under his breath. His entire body went stiff, and he struggled to breathe through the anger. He should have ignored it and walked away, but it built inside him until he was seething with every breath he took. “What the hell did you say to me?”
“You heard me.” Casey leaned against the bar and tried to stare him down.
“That’s bullshit and you know it.” Marc took a determined step forward. He had a couple of inches on his former friend and wasn’t above trying to intimidate him. Not anymore.
“It’s not bullshit if it’s the truth.” Instead of backing down, Casey straightened up, anger flashing in his eyes.
“I’ve had it with this crap.” Marc clenched his jaw. He’d tried to keep his cool, but if Casey was itching for a fight that bad, Marc was ready and willing to oblige. He ignored the little voice in his head telling him it was a bad idea. Marc plunked the bottles he was holding onto the bar, flexed his hands at his side, and waited. He wouldn’t throw the first punch, but if Casey did, he wouldn’t walk away. “I wasn’t the only one there, and you damn well know it.”
“You may as well have been.” Casey sneered and grabbed the beer the bartender set down. He tried to shoulder his way past, but Marc refused to move.
Marc reached out and grabbed ahold of Casey’s arm to keep him there. “Oh, I don’t know about that. When are you going to admit you liked it?”
With a wrench of his arm he whirled Casey back around. The bottle clutched in Casey’s grasp slipped free, shattering on the floor, and beer splashed up onto their boots. Their gazes collided, and Marc could see the fury simmering in Casey’s eyes. Determined to use his height advantage, he took a step forward until there were a mere couple of inches separating them, forcing Casey to look up to meet his eyes. When Marc didn’t release his hold on him, Casey knocked his hand away.
“Don’t.” As cliched as it sounded, if looks could kill, Marc would drop dead on the spot. “You have no fucking right to touch me.”
“Like this?” Marc reached out with one hand and shoved Casey’s shoulder.
“Bastard,” Casey replied.
“Point being?” Marc repeated his earlier action, this time putting enough force behind it to cause the infuriating man to stagger into the table behind him.
“Go to hell.” Casey growled and turned toward his table.
“I’ll meet you there.” Marc laughed and moved to grab the beers from the bar. He heard one of the Del Rio hands yell and turned a second too late. Casey’s fist connected with his jaw and sent him stumbling back into the bar.
“Fucker!” Marc launched himself toward Casey and placed a couple of well-aimed blows to Casey’s stomach and ribs. It didn’t bring near the satisfaction he’d expected. Instead, regret trickled through him and was enough to throw off his concentration. Casey didn’t hesitate to take advantage, but Marc managed to deflect the blow with his shoulder. He grunted in pain as the next one connected with his ribs. Thank god Casey hadn’t managed to land a shot to his liver. That would have had him writhing in agony.
Shelving his feelings of remorse to study later, Marc shoved Casey hard enough to send him careening into a nearby chair. Taking advantage of gaining the upper hand, he pressed on and within moments Marc was rolling on the floor with Casey as they each tried to gain domination over the other. Marc managed to land a few more punches, but then someone grabbed his arms and pulled him away. His entire body hurt, but he ignored the pain and struggled to get free.
“Fuckers. Let me go.” The more he fought, the tighter he was held. Despite his attempts, Marc was no match for the men intent on dragging him away. Through the haze of anger he saw two men pull Casey to his feet and resumed his struggles, but there was no freeing himself.
The adrenaline drained out of him, and, as his vision cleared, he recognized the two men holding Casey back as the two hired hands from the Del Rio Ranch. He turned his head to see who had him and met Rick’s gaze. A groan slithered from his throat as he looked on his other side and found Jason regarding him as if he was a snake about to strike.
“You can let me go now.” Marc tried to jerk his arms free.
“Sorry, boss man, can’t do that.” Rick’s grip tightened to the point Marc was sure he’d have bruises. On top of the ones he’d have from Casey.
“You’ll fucking pay for this.” Casey struggled against the two men holding him, blood flowing unimpeded from his nose.
Marc glanced at his hands and winced at the blood coating his split knuckles. With his quarry now out of his reach, he allowed Rick and Jason to lead him toward the exit. He couldn’t believe he’d been goaded into yet another fight. Though, if he was honest, he’d egged Casey on as well. Now he had to figure out how he was going to explain the night’s events to his boss, once word got around, and it would. That should be fun. Rick and Jason almost had him to the door when it opened and revealed the lean body of the sheriff blocking their escape.
Renee Stevens first started writing in her teens but didn’t get serious about being an author until her mid-twenties. Since then she’s written a number of contemporary stories, as well as delved into the paranormal. When not writing, or spending time in the outdoors, Renee can usually be found working on GayAuthors.org in her capacity of Admin, Blog Coordinator, and Anthology Coordinator.
Renee resides in Wyoming with her wonderfully supportive husband and a menagerie of four-legged critters. Making the most of the nearly constant negative temperatures and mounds of snow, Renee spends much of the winter months in hibernation with her laptop, the voices in her head keeping her company while her husband works.
When she needs a break from writing, Renee takes to the sewing machine to design, and make, beautiful quilts. When the snow finally disappears, usually around May or June, Renee can be found in the great-outdoors. She spends her time on the mountain, at the lake, and just anywhere that she can do some camping, take some photos, and ride the four-wheelers with her hubby. Once back at home, it’s back to writing.
Has it been two weeks? It already feels like two years. Aside from all the work here, I work full time. We have the same issue with our programmer, but he's on a totally different time schedule. So it adds to some complications in getting these bugs fixed. I'm sorry it is taking so long, but some things are being a bit stubborn. You guys see the ship is moving, but you don't see that the engine keeps randomly spewing oil all over the engine room. I'm just happy we keep moving.
In order to stay somewhat sane, I've been taking a break from working on stuff to enjoy the new game, Mass Effect: Andromeda. I'm enjoying the game a lot, even with all the well documented quirks, shall we say. It is truly funny at times... both intentionally and not so intentionally. (look up duck walk Mass Effect on YouTube)
Hopefully, we'll get these bugs all wrapped up in the next couple weeks and we can focus on the new stuff going forward. There are some pretty nice changes coming in 4.2 version of the forums. We're looking at replacing Chat. The next version of stories should have the previously mentioned "Reading Lists" feature in it that does a much better job with Favorite Authors, Favorite Stories, a To Read List, Your Reading History, and custom lists. (Stories 2.1). The version after that is aimed at authors and making managing story posting a lot easier for both authors and for us with our new Story Queue system. (Stories 2.2). Both of these features were removed from this release of stories in order to get it out faster. Also, we should have a lot less issues with the next updates, as they are relatively minor changes to existing stuff, unlike the giant upgrade we just did.
Once all that stuff is finally behind us, I'd really like to get back to reading and writing for fun.
So, I was fumbling through my stuff, looking for the chip for a wireless mouse for my sister's new laptop when I stumbled upon loads of books I had when I was a 16 year old sausage.
One was filled with prototypes of my story Bffs with the occational weird fairytale-esque stories with talking cats and an angry little prince on rooftops escapades.
But one book hit the feels real hard.
I had kept one notebook filled with my inner feelings and angry thoughts;of those one would expect to see in a teen. The angry verses and hateful phrases were based on the struggles that my family and I experienced some time ago (tho most of my struggles were OF my family). Every page was filled with curses and thoughts of death to all mankind with the occasional sarcastic praise to God's cruel game. At first, I thought it was funny, then disturbing and then it really hit me hard.
The book was completely filled; with only a few more empty pages left. The last entry states my complaint on my seemingly lazy and useless siblings needing the most affection and attention.
With the last few pages left I thought I'd fill for the last time, my thoughts. But this time, instead of angry rants, I drew my conclusion. I simply hushed my former self and assured her that for all the years passed, things have finally gotten better. I assured her that she was capable of loving her family and that now, almost 6 years later, she does; and they her. And assured her that now she is working on a better future and is living comfortably with nice pretty things. I told her that she could now lay her anger to rest and she no longer have the need to despise God. All is well, and hopefully, the future will stay bright. I was finally able to sign the page with my true initials. I was at peace.
I'd like to thank all of the authors who participated in the April Fool's Short Story Contest! There were a lot of great entries and I'm sure it was hard to choose who to vote for. Thank you everyone who voted for your favorite story and a big Thank You to Reader1810 for collecting the votes. Stories will be properly attributed to the correct authors very soon. Congratulations to the winners!!!!
And in a tie for 2nd place!
The first place winner will receive a 6 month premium membership. Sorry all, I have updated this post because when reading over the voting, I missed that another story was tied for 2nd place. The 2nd place winners will receive a 3 month premium membership for either themselves or someone they designate. All winners need to contact me to let me know if they would like their prize and/or would like to give it away to someone else.
And now, time for the big Author Reveal!!!!
Suffer No Fools
Fool Me Once
The Real Me
The world waits in silence—
The kind of silence that one
Wouldn't be anxious for, yet is.
How so must I believe,
Believe that the nagging corners of my mind
Do wander in excitement, in glorious, splendid excitement—
For things that are to come?
The world rolls on, unimposing and unimpressed with what little one supplies it.
Eating it like one would eat an apple—
Or a bit of cheese—
Caring not for what makes up of it,
But the wholeness of the experience itself.
Must we all strive to these standards?—
(But the silence is to stay for we command it).
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Wow, it's been awhile since I updated. I usually don't go that long with this blog. Hmm.
Winter was alright; early spring has been as well. My life has a general pattern right now- work, watching YouTube videos a lot, strolling Netflix, using my employee pass at the movies. On the weekends I have off, I usually will go into the city of Wilmington to catch either a play or a movie at either Theater N or Penn Cinema on the Riverfront. Possibly a beer or two every weekly or bi-weekly.
It's a big cry from my heady days as a young college student, but eh, it kind of works for me. I find lately that I really enjoying being solitary, and not having to expend the energy to be Fun Loveable College Slacker Party Boy anymore. (I can still be that guy every once in a blue moon, but I feel a lot more relaxed now.)
I do think a lot about where I'm going to go next. I've spent almost 2 years at this crummy (but ultimately easy and sometimes even fun) job being a movie concessionaire. Funny that Day 3 I was ready to quit; now here I am two years later at the same place. It's soul-crushing at times, but hey, a boy's got to eat, right?
I don't know what or where or how I'm going to go to that next place. I've gotten pretty comfortable treading water, and it all still kind of works for me.
The 5th anniversary of my grad school graduation is in May. Crazy, right? Thankfully, I did do volunteer work to keep my degree relevant, but I do wonder if I might wind up getting a certificate or something and doing something else. I have to see where things go. I find I don't feel a rush to get there.
In my late 20's, I was so full of anxiety about making things happen and breaking into my field. (I think that's why I had my breakdown when my internship fell apart 3 years ago.) I felt like I was on some kind of timeline.
At my early 30's, I just kind of feel...cool. I guess. Things will happen when they happen. Life has a funny way of dragging you into where you need to go and what you need to do.
Anyway, by some dumb mistake, I'm stuck watching a musical called Once at the DuPont Theater in Wilmington more than I planned on seeing it. I meant to get the Saturday matinee, but I accidentally bought the Sunday matinee. I then bought the Saturday matinee ticket and hoped I could get someone to buy the Sunday matinee ticket off me for twenty dollars off, but no dice.
It kind of sucks because I was planning on going to the season opening of the museum I volunteer with, but if I blow this off, I'm throwing 63 credit card dollars down the drain.
So yeah, it looks like I'll be seeing Once twice. ;-)
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Around four pm, mini-cat became restless. She wandered around the house and followed me everywhere. Then around ten, she had her first contractions. The first kitten, a large black and white, was born at 11:15. Sadly Alpha was dead by the time it was finally born.
The second (Bravo) came an hour later. It was barely alive and we quickly cut the umbilical cord and rubbed it dry with a towel. For a short time, we thought we would lose it too, but it got stronger when we fed it with dry milk for kitten. Whew!
The third, Charlie, and fourth, Delta, came really quick. We had to cut the umbilical cord and rub it dry because mini-cat was busy with giving birth. After Delta mini-cat and her kitten went to sleep in one of three very cozy cardboard boxes and we slept on the couch beside her. You never know...
Around three am I woke up because Nox barked in the next room. He was thirsty. When we looked at mommy and the babies, we found a fifth baby, Echo, lying before the box, crying pitifully. Obviously, mini-cat secretly had another one and left it outside because the others started crying. So, once again, cutting the umbilical cord, rubbing it dry and back to mommy.
All is well so far, they are drinking and sleeping and mommy only leaves them to eat and drink. So cute.
We hope it stays well and nothing more happens. Fingers crossed.
I woke up this morning and Echo was really bad. On the way to the vet, but it doesn't look good.
My laptop is an Acer Aspire E 15, and I bought it in November 2014. At the time, it had Windows 8.1, which was my first encounter with anything Windows 8 related, so it took me a while to adjust to the OS.
I originally bought it for school, it would be my means of writing assignments and researching for my courses. But it didn't take long for it to also be a laptop for leisure-listening to music, watching YouTube videos, or reading GA stories. So it isn't much of a surprise to say I heavily relied on my laptop...
...but of course, that reliability came to a crashing halt in March 2015. One day, I turned on my laptop, expecting it to load the screen where I'd sign in. It didn't. It was stuck on a black screen with the Acer logo. Nothing I did fixed it, I called my brother in law- who's a computer whiz- he couldn't fix it. We called tech support, and they were no help, other than saying we should send the laptop back to the manufacturer for repairs. So that's what I did; at least this happened when the warranty was still in effect, so all I had to pay was the shipping.
In the meantime, I used the college library to work on assignments- which were saved on my student account, so I didn't have to worry about them.
Two weeks later... My laptop was fixed! And better still, my files were intact!
And I experienced no problems, until, that is, Autumn of 2016. I turn on my laptop, and it's stuck on the logo screen... Sound familiar? Well, I turned it off, and I'd deal with it later that day. Well, twelve hours later, I decided to turn on my laptop again, and it was working again. You don't know how relieved I was. However to this day, I still don't know why it didn't respond the first time that day.
And now... Yesterday. It was the afternoon and I was writing my anthology while listening to music online, but my laptop lost connection to the WiFi. No big deal, I simply saved my anthology, closed my apps, and restarted my laptop so when it turned on again, it would connect. Less then thirty minutes later, I lost connection again. I restarted. Less then thirty minutes later, it lost connection again. I restarted, and this is where sh*t hit the fan. This time, my laptop, seeing I've restarted a few times decides to perform a diagnostics. A few minutes later, it tells me my laptop didn't restart correctly, and gives my the choice to restart my laptop again or click advanced options. I chose the former, hoping that a fresh restart would fix it. Nope! So I went to advanced options, and I choose one of them. Did it work? No, it did not. A message popped up saying it couldn't complete the task successfully, and this is where my hearted stopped beating for a second: it told me I may have a corrupted disk.
So yeah, that was my day yesterday.
I've had this laptop for almost three years and it has pulled this crap three times. Is it worth it getting it repaired only for it to crash again? Should I was my hands of this laptop and buy a new one?
**I'm using my tablet, so if you see any spelling mistakes or grammatical errors, its my dang autocorrect.**
I saw this floating around social media today and thought it would be a humorous exercise for GA authors to participate in.
"The opening line of a book is extremely important, as it has to be intriguing and powerful enough to capture the reader's imagination. Then, the second line has to intensify the intrigue. Coming up with these lines can be pretty difficult, yet one writer came up with a second line that would almost always heighten the intrigue to its peak, and the Internet is going crazy. "And then the murders began" - that's the clever line Marc Laidlaw came up with. Add it to almost any opening line and you've got yourself a hell of an intriguing book opening."
So here's the exercise for you: In the comments, write the first sentence of one of your GA stories or poems, followed by the second line of "And then the murders began."
I'll start with my own contribution, from 'Backstage Tryst':
"I rubbed nervous palms across my denim-covered thighs, trying once more to exhale the breath which remained stuck in my throat, unable to escape. And then the murders began."
I look forward to seeing yours!
Sorry all, I know that we missed out on the February discussion day for the current anthology. Before we get started, a quick reminder that the deadline to get your votes in for the April Fool's Short Story Contest is 2:00 PM EST TODAY. The themes for the Spring anthology are Jagged Edges and Unintended Consequences and the deadline to get your story to the Anthology Proof Team is April 30th. So, let's get this discussion started! Feel free to answer any of the questions, all of the questions, and/or ask your own!
Are you planning on participating in the 2017 Spring Anthology?
Which of the two themes are you thinking about using?
Have you started writing your anthology? If so, how far along are you?
If you haven't already started, do you have an idea of what you want to write?
Do you have your anthology planned out?
Do you work from an outline or just write as you go?
If you've already started, would you like to share anything about your story?
If you've already submitted your story, are you planning a second story?