For Better or Worse (Ch 8)

IMPORTANT: HUMAN BEINGS ARE VOLATILE, DANGEROUS, AND EMOTIONALLY UNPREDICTABLE 

***Handle with utmost caution. Do not allow these creatures outside of the included habitat***

Setting her instruction booklet aside, the little girl takes one final look at her “teenie-weenies”, before clearing the tank to make room for her next batch of creatures.

“Sorry little guys!! I know you’ve been having the time of your lives in there, but I’ve got some new teenie-weenies on the way!! Daddy says they are even more exciting than you guys! Much smarter and more fun to play with. I’m sooooooo sorry!!!!!!”

Grasping the enclosure with her trunk, the little girl dumps the entire habitat of human beings into the drain inside her bathroom, flushing them down into the abyss below. 

“Have fun down there!!” She shouts, smiling as the very last human swirls around in a vortex of death. 

“All clean Daddy!” The girl shouts, waiting for her father to bring in her new pets. “These humans were fun.”

For Better or Worse (Ch 7) 

“Ho hum ho hum deedeedee!”

Joyfully skipping around her bedroom, the little girl is singing and humming to herself as her furry pigtails bounce around behind her. 

“Now, what are my teenie-weenies up to today?” She asks, skipping over to the terrarium.

As she peers inside, she sees that her little creatures have erected an enormous statue of her. Chiseled to perfection, the monolith displays her every feature, dimpled smile and all. 

“Wow! Well look at that!” She squeals in delight. “How did you guys do that without me noticing?!”

Leaning back to admire the sculpture, she beams at the tiny inhabitants inside, who appear to be bowing before her.

“You guys are just so adorable. Thank you for my statue!” She says to them.

Entering her room, the girl’s father approaches the tank as he puts his hand on her head. 

“Time for bed, sweetie.”

Noticing the statue, he chuckles.

“And what have we here?” He asks.

“My teenie-weenies built me a monument, Daddy! Look!” The little girl says, pointing to the newly erected obelisk.

“Very impressive!” Her father laughs. “You are clearly a generous God. Now come, let’s get you tucked in.”

“Okay Daddy.” The girl says as her father lifts her up, placing her under the sheets. Kissing her on the forehead, smiles at her before walking out the door.

“I love you, kiddo.” He says. 

“Love you too Daddy.” The girl replies, yawning as she softly falls asleep.

What is a Story “Really” About?

Its been awhile since I’ve written a thought blog, so today I decided to write a little something that’s been on my mind now that the 7th season of Game of Thrones has wrapped.

Have you ever wondered what stories are really about?

I think this is my favorite thing when it comes to writing. It gives the creator a completely blank canvas to express different sentiments, values, emotions, and so on symbolically through a fictional narrative. For example, since I mentioned GoT: I try to think of what thoughts are going through Martin’s mind as he sits down to pen the epic story that he’s created. Of course, there are loads of themes and subtle messages he conveys, but the over arching motif in my opinion is very similar to what I’m going for with my own series, Continuity. There is this huge threat from the North that finally puts things in perspective, and the “world” at last begins to realize how petty all of their differences are. The White Walkers provide the perfect opportunity for enemies to become friends, shedding their menial conflicts.

This is no different than what the Catalyst represents in Continuity. Presented in a different way, the impending doom that the asteroid presents sparks the cooperation of world governments to thwart the disaster. (Spoiler alert), although in my particular case, things don’t go as well as we’d want them to (and who knows what will happen in Season 8 of GoT).

Anyway, this is what I love about writing. It lets you shine a light on things that are sometimes intentionally shrouded in darkness. I could easily log into Facebook, post a status complaining about how people need to get along and stop fighting, but that will get me nowhere. No one wants to listen to someone who is telling them to chill out. But if it is instead approached metaphorically through a fictional narrative, you can almost circumvent that barrier people have and put things into perspective for them. It sounds manipulative, but there’s a very definite reason why great books have changed the world if you look at the historical timeline. And music does it too. Really, any creative medium can achieve this effect.

That’s all for now. Long live Jon Snow Targaryen Daenerys Stormborn Titles KingQueen.

 

For Better or Worse (Ch 5)

“Hidey hidey hoooo!!”

Happily skipping over to the habitat on her table,  the little girl in the bedroom is gleaming over the new cut she’s gotten for her fur.

“Do you like my new bangs, teenie weenies?” She excitedly asks her pets. “I know you can’t understand me, but I bet you do! They’re very pretty. Just like you guys!”

Looking to a small group of less-than-healthy-looking creatures coddled in the far rear of the dome, she grimaces.

“Well, like most of you guys, at least.” She says, rolling her head to the side as she snootily brushes her hair back. “Anyway, you’re gonna love the new toy Daddy got for you all!”

Opening the tank, the girl lifts a box and pulls out a large digital screen which depicts moving images of other small creatures that look just like her pets. The creatures displayed appear to be acting out their own little lives, similar to the ones in the terrarium. Finding a cozy spot to set it in the terrarium, she places the big screen down as the tiny inhabitants flock over in front of it, seemingly enamored as they watch the images.

“I knew you’d like it!” The girl excitedly coos, closing the lid. “No idea why, though. After all, those fake teeny weenies aren’t doing anything that you aren’t already doing yourselves! Why don’t you just watch each other, sillies?”

Happily scooting back to observe the new environment she’s created, the little girl spends the rest of her evening quietly watching them enjoy their new square of moving images.

 

For Better or Worse (Ch 2)

“Rise and shine, everyone!”

Quickly pulling away the large veil covering the girl’s terrarium, she excitedly greets the occupants inside.  

 “I bet you guys are hungry, aren’t you?” She asks matter-of-factly. Walking to the small closet in the corner of her room, she grabs a packet of food and a pale of water.

“And it looks like your lake is almost all dried up! You guys must be thirsty!” The girl exclaims, ripping open the food packet as she pulls back the small square door at the top the glass dome. 

Holding the packet over the center of the little community of creatures, the girl shakes it until all the tiny morsels of food have fallen out. Watching her pets scramble toward the newly dropped food, she smiles as she pours water into the side of the dome where a pond-like crevice has been dug.

“Drink up, teenie weenies!” She cheerfully says, closing the lid.

As she places the water pale back in the closet, she notices that one of the tiny creatures is laying underneath a group of mini tree-like plants, not moving. 

“Oh no!” She cries. “Not again!”

Placing her hands on the glass to lean over the dome, she looks down at the recently deceased pet.

“I told you all to stop fighting!” She tersely shouts. “Why can’t you just get along?”

Returning to the closet, the girl reaches in and grabs a long, skinny pole with a tong on the end. Re-opening the glass lid, she nabs the dead creature and chucks it outside her open window onto the lawn below. 

“If I find out which one of you keeps doing this, you’re gonna be in big trouble!” She asserts, holding the tong up. “Now ya’ll behave while I’m gone!” 

Closing the lid once more, she puts the tong back in the closet, exiting the room to spend the day outside. 

For Better or Worse (Ch 1)

“They’re so cute!”

Looking into a giant glass terrarium at her small colony of pets within, a little girl tugs on her father’s sleeve to get his attention.

“I know, dear. They’re very cute. Now get tucked in, it’s getting past your bedtime,” the father says.

“But Daddy!” The little girl begs, peering back at the many small creatures inside. “Can’t I watch them play just a little bit longer? Look! Aw, look Daddy! Those two are loving each other!”

“Come on now, little girl. You’ve stayed up late enough. Time for bed.” He says, lifting his daughter up as he hoists her into her sleeping space. 

“Okay, okay.” The girl sighs, watching her father place the wide veil over the terrarium to cover it. “See you guys tomorrow!” She shouts gleefully at her tiny creatures. 

Kissing her on the snout, the father tucks the little girl in and turns off the light.

“Good night, little munchkin. I love you.” He says, closing the door until it’s just slightly cracked.

“I love you too Daddy.” The girl replies. Waiting until her father is gone, she lifts her head and peers at the glass dome.

“I love you guys too,” she whispers, closing her eyes before slowly drifting asleep. 

Reflecting on the Greats: Drew Karpyshyn

For my second entry in this series, I’ve decided to highlight someone who has had a particular impact on me in terms of inventiveness and imagination. Many of you will likely raise an eyebrow when you see the name of this writer. Yet many of you, particularly those versed in the realm of science fiction, will nod and smile in appreciation of the writer to whom I am tipping a cap.

As so many others in my generation, my recollection of my life involves a series of great stories portrayed in the form of video games. My kin were raised to the liking of Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong, Crash Bandicoot, the list goes on. For me, personally, I always gravitated toward RPGs when it came to my video gaming habits. I suppose, subconsciously, I’ve always had a writer’s heart – as the story was first and foremost the thing that captivated me in my digital endeavors. Call of Duty is fun for awhile, but for me, I need a the intellectual stimulation of a well-written story to hold my attention for longer than a round or two of TDM.

It is for this reason that I’ve chosen to take a knee in honor of Mr. Karpyshyn. For any that are unfamiliar with him, he was a primary writer behind such behemoths as Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Baldur’s Gate, and (most importantly for me), the Mass Effect Series. In fact, his work on Mass Effect stemmed into several novels, elaborating on the vastly complex and beautifully-hashed-out science fiction work of art.

If you find time to look into his work, I strongly suggest you do so. The environments he achieves, the motifs that are conveyed, and the sheer quality of his writing is awe-inspiring. As a budding writer myself, I’m compelled to send my deepest appreciation for those such as him for setting such a high bar to which I can aspire.

The Revolt Returns: 8

“Hey, what was the name of that new girl again? You know, the brown haired Lenghornian with the exquisite…personality?”

Back in Spam’s newly reconstructed Tower of Management, Will the Wolf ponders the assets of a Lenghornian newcomer with Chilian manservent, Quesadilla.

“I know not, my Lord.” Quesadilla replies. “I am but a lowly Chilian. Our ribs and terrible 2 for 1 specials in those tiny mugs pale in comparison to you Lenghornians. You know I am not savvy to such information. I am nothing if not a loyal subject of my dear, sexy Spam.”

“Ah, valid point, peasant.” Will says. “Perhaps I shall raid their pathetic village and take her for my own. Show her how a real wolf gets down,” he growls with a creepy glint in his eye.

Suddenly, a female voice echos from an adjacent chamber.

“I would find that most unwise, my hairy lover.”

Waltzing out of the nearby walkway, a majestically sexy fox with an inexplicable aura of sophistication joins the pair.

“Assuming, of course, you intend to keep that wonderful wolf manhood of yours attached to your body,” she adds with a wink.

“My love! You know I jest,” Will the Wolf says with a subtle adjustment of his woolly pants, effortlessly concealing his embarrassing blood flow as his gaze glides up and down Celeste the Sultry’s painfully attractive body.

“That’s what I thought,” she says with a smirk and a peck on his wolfly cheek. “Alas, where is our leader? Surely its time to finalize our plans for the assault on the Lenghornian village.”

Interjecting, Quesadilla angrily answers her query.

“Our beloved leader is seeing to her commitments in the North, fox,” he says with an annoyed glance toward Celeste.

As a dedicated Chilian, Quesadilla is fiercely loyal to none but his offensively nasty restaurant. Spam, being the conniving woman she is, wooed the slave and his compatriots through an ingeniously crafted plan to gain Chilian support. Simply put – she informed their corporate management to take the beef bacon ranch quesadilla off of their already disgusting menu. After her suggestion led to quadrupled profits, the Chilian constituents fell right into her perfectly placed trap. As intended, her army swelled and she inherited the mindless servant that is Quesadilla.

“When does she intend to return?” Will the Wolf asks, smoothly deflecting the obvious resentment Quesadilla had directed toward his foxy lover.

“Our liege is scheduled to grace us with her return on the ‘morrow,” the manservant sneers. “Now, you must excuse me. I am required for other, more pressing obligations. Since she has graciously deemed me worthy of such responsibilities,” he adds as a not-so-subtle slight toward Celeste.

Exiting the chamber, Quesadilla hobbles toward whatever tasks he undoubtedly had just made up. Left alone, Celeste grins as she hops into her lover’s hairy arms.

Turning her head toward the sky, she smirks.

“Its time to end this chapter, I think,” she creepily says to me. “I know you didn’t really develop the plot in any meaningful way here, but I’m seriously jonesing for this guy’s…service,” she says with a soft laugh and nod toward the wolf of her dreams.

Wondering how the hell a fantasy character became aware of its omniscient Godly creator, the author types the last few characters of his entry, closing the cover to his laptop with a confused, blank stare on his face.

THC – Let’s Talk About It

So today I read an interesting exchange which sparked a very intriguing perspective.

I noticed on Facebook how there were certain people complaining about a certain tax going up in the Greater Nashville area, and how it was going to  affect families,etc.

And then I thought about that.

So apparently Nashville has an issue. An issue that’s causing them to increase taxes. Okay, fair enough. After all, taxes are supposed to be what we all collectively chip in so we can all collectively benefit, right? We shouldn’t mind them to a certain degree. It’s “fair”.

But then we reach a certain point where its not so fair anymore. We start getting taxed for expenses that maybe most of us don’t even support. So what can we do to mitigate this problem? There are two solutions. One, simply don’t spend money on things we don’t all actually need. Like sports stadiums, etc. Those aren’t necessary for actual survival, they’re luxuries. Or, option two, would be to find the funding some other way. Perhaps a new tax?

I say yes. Option 2. Because you wanna know something TN could benefit enormously from? Tax revenue on marijuana. After all, other states are already doing it. So why aren’t we? We’re letting our old ways, thoughts, and standards get in the way of our own literal progress. In other words, we’re bottle necking ourselves. And other states are laughing at us as we do so.

Some people who read this are probably going to be taken aback, because we’re accustomed to the notion that THC is “illegal”. I would say to those individuals that you should try to think of this from a different perspective. After all, legality and morality are two very different and independent concepts. It used to be “legal” to lynch people of color, for crying out loud.

This isn’t meant to be a hippy “end the drug war” legalization post. This is an honest economic perspective from a guy who actually has a degree in economics. We are literally missing an enormous amount of revenue and funding that we could apply in SOOOO many great ways is we would just let go of this stupid “if you smoke pot you’re evil” mentality.

And America thinks we can fix the world? Let’s get our own priorities straight first.

Introducing Squeak

I wrote this quite awhile back, but since I’ve decided to hold on to book 2, I wanted to share this chapter so I can introduce one of my favorite characters. This chapter is the first in which Carson’s new companion Squeak comes along. If you read it, there’s obviously going to somewhat of a spoiler alert, but I’m pretty sure everyone knows the general direction that the story is going toward. So it won’t really give that much away. Anyway, I hope you like her. She was inspired by a combination of Ducky from Land Before Time and my own pup, Mr. Baxter.

Chapter 14

What the Hell?

Carson, is that you?

The morning after his first night in his new Pod residence, Carson wakes up in his bed overlooking the living area. Rolling over, his inner dialogue wishes him good morning.

Um…who else would it be? Stupid Brain. Can’t take you anywhere.

Yeah…dumb question Carson, my B. Anyway, so we’re on a freaking space plane. Thoughts?

I’m glad you asked. WHAT IN THE HELL IS GOING ON?! IS THIS REAL? That was actually the first thing to cross my mind. But then I consider how much thought we’ve put into all of this, like that signal and whatnot. Then I think about how normal it probably all is. In fact, there are probably a gazillion other things out there in the universe right this very instant, thinking this very same thought, reading this same damn thing, all at the same time. And you and me would never know. Wanna know why? CAUSE THE UNIVERSE IS TOO. DAMN. BIG. Yeah. Them’s my thoughts.

Well smack me silly and tickle me Elmo! Well said my man! You’re probably right. This reality of ours is too big for us to try to think about. In other news, however, is a more pressing matter. What is our plan to reunite with our fair lady? We can’t stay up here forever.

Good point, Brain. You’re so wise. So, about that.

Silence.

Yes?

Well…what’s the plan?

OH! I assumed you understood that I was actually asking you that. That wasn’t a rhetorical question. Idiot.

Hey! Gimme a break here, I was letting you lead. I thought you were going for some sort of cinematic suspense. Sorry. But I don’t know, honestly. I’ve been thinking about it a lot and I haven’t decided. I guess we should ask Xun. But what if the world’s gonna end? Would we want to go back?

I mean yeah. Jennifer’s there, after all. And we love her.

True. And that’s really the most important thing, isn’t it? Love.

It really is. Why else would we do all the crap we do in our lives? Do you think people WANT to work 40 hours a week at a job they pretend to like just so they can pay bills to sustain the life that they’re “supposed” to live? If it ain’t for love, I don’t know what is. 

Man. Deep thoughts. Anyway, the important thing is that we need to get back to Jennifer. She’s seriously the best thing that’s ever happened to us. Deal?

Deal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

`

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ANYWAY!! Time to get up!  

Sitting up in his bed, Carson rubs his eyes as he looks out of the small porthole on the wall at the side of his bed, seeing Earth floating millions of miles away. Seemingly out of nowhere, a strange, high-pitched female voice startles him.

“Looks peaceful, dunnit?

“What the hell?” Carson says, turning around to look at a light purple, grey spotted odd-looking creature in front of him. “What in the world are you?”

“I’m your partner!” The tiny four legged, elephant-shaped thing on his floor says.

“My partner? For what?” Carson asks. “You look like you just walked out of that old Nintendo game. What was it called…Q-Bert!” He adds, looking at the long, one-nostriled cylindrical nose it has protruding from its face.

“Oh, you know. Just stuff.” It says, clumsily hopping toward him. “They give us to you things to feel safe, you know? Like a friend. You’ll probably be here awhile.”

“We ‘things’?”

“Yeah! You know, the things that always come up here when they’re trying out a new species. They always bring some of you things up while they watch you. To get to know you and stuff.”

“Ummmmm…I see.” Carson replies, picking his feet up so the creature can walk underneath them to the porthole.

“Yep! So peaceful.” It squeaks, propping itself against the wall so it can look out at Earth.

Dumbfounded, yet slightly humored, Carson grins at the cute little thing struggling to look out the porthole.

“Here, let me help you.” He says, setting a pile of books that the Organization has provided underneath it.

“Thank you!” The creature says, excitedly.

“So do you have a name?” Carson asks, still grinning.

Turning its head to look back at him, still leaning against the wall, the creature bats its eyes at Carson before replying.

“No, I don’t think so. I think you can name me.” It squeaks.

“I’m sorry. This is absolutely hilarious.” Carson says, sitting on the bed. “Alright then, well are you a boy or a girl?” He asks.

“A girl, I think.” She replies.

“Great. Well, let’s see. You’re adorable. You’re colorful. You’ve got a high-pitched, squeaky voice. You’ve got four legs and a Q-Bert face. Hmm…” He says, searching for an appropriate name. “Tell you what, I have an idea. Run to the door.”

“The door?” The creature asks, turning around off the wall to face him.

“Yep. The door. Run to it.” Carson replies, pointing to the sliding door that’s about eight feet from the creature.

“Okay!”

Swiveling to face the door, the creature begins to hop toward it in an overly exerted effort, sliding onto its face as its reaches its destination.

“Okay, that might have been the funniest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.” Carson says, falling back onto his mattress laughing hysterically.

Regaining her footing and coming to, the creature hops over close to Carson’s feet.

“Did that make you happy? Yay! I think we will get along great.”

Sitting back up and hoisting her into his lap, Carson looks at the little creature’s big bubbly, blue eyes.

“Alright. You need a name. The hopping thing didn’t give me the idea I thought it would. So I’m going with my gut. How about Squeak?”

“Squeak?” The creature asks.

“Yeah! Squeak. It’s perfect. It personifies you. You have a squeaky voice and you’re freaking cute as a button. Squeak fits you perfectly.”

Looking up at him, Squeak smiles as her big bubbly eyes blink.

“Yeah, I think so too.” She says.

“Great!” Carson says, setting Squeak down and standing up. “Now, back to reality. Do I need like a leash for you or something?”

“No, I don’t think so.” Squeak says, hopping alongside him. “I think I’ll just follow you around.”

“Sounds like a plan. You sure do think a lot!” Carson says, laughing. “Let’s go find Xun. I need to figure out when I’m going back.”

Descending the stairs from his unit’s bedroom, Carson sets out to find his abductor. By now he’s become somewhat familiar with the ship, but still hasn’t been able to get his bearings on where exactly everything is located.

Crossing one of the catwalks, Carson and Squeak walk past several strange looking aliens. It’s obvious that the ship is a melting pot of different species, most of which are bipedal and at least somewhat humanoid. Its clear that life evolves in an almost infinite number of ways, made obvious by the sheer diversity of creatures on the ship.

Continuing along the inner walkway, Squeak hops happily behind Carson.

“So where are we going?” She asks, shooing a colorful butterflee off the railing with her trunk.

“I told you, to find Xun! I’m thinking he’s back in the Observatory.” Carson replies, hastening his pace.

Struggling to keep up, Squeak begins to pant.

“Slow down, please! I’m little, remember?”

“Okay, okay. Sorry.” Carson laughs, picking her up.  “C’mon. This’ll be easier.”

“Yeah, I think so too!” Squeak says.

Making their way to the Observatory, the pair finds Xun standing by the window looking out at Earth. Hearing them enter the room, he turns to face them.

“Greetings, Carson. I see you’ve acquainted yourself with your companion.” He says, smiling at Squeak.

“Yeah, seems like I have.” He says, setting the tiny creature down.

“What exactly am I supposed to do with this thing?” He asks, nodding his head toward her.

“We provide them to visitors who display a need for emotional attachment.” Xun says. “As you become exposed to the various species in the universe, you will realize that psychological makeup differs significantly from civilization to civilization. Some require emotional companionship, and your species falls into that category. So, occasionally we provide creatures such as yours here to fulfill that requirement. It isn’t something we always do, but anything that help fulfill your instincts is good in our eyes.”

“I see…” Carson says, sitting down on the long bench in front of him. “So basically you’re saying you’ve given me a pet?”

“Precisely.” Xun says with a smile.

“Gotcha. So anyway, what have you learned about us so far? Any Earth-shattering developments?” He asks, thinking back to Brody’s pun in his apartment.

“None so far.” Xun replies with a slight frown. “We have been observing your current state of affairs from here. As I told you before, we generally attempt to contact the leaders of a civilization when we begin our induction process, but your situation is rather….unique. It seems that the carefully crafted structure of your society has broken, now that your world believes they have only a small time left to live. It has proved difficult for my team to identify leaders among your people amidst the chaos.”

Grimacing, Carson pats Squeak on the head as she curls into a ball to take a nap““.

“Yeah, that doesn’t surprise me. Things kind of crumbled when Yuri spilled the beans on the whole timeline thing.”

“Tell me what happened, my friend. This is quite an alarming situation to which we’ve been introduced.”

Shaking his head, Carson has a gloomy look spread over his face.

“Man, I don’t even know where to start. Like, I’m pretty sure our entire history has been riddled with fights. It’s like our species wants so badly to be good, but we’re our own worst enemy and we keep letting monsters make all the rules. But as far as this stupid asteroid goes, we found it a few months back. We don’t have any sort of super advanced technology or anything like I’m sure your Organization does, so we had to give it our best guess in terms of predicting its behavior. So they told everyone we had like thirty something years until it’s gonna hit. Plenty of time to find a solution, right?”

Nodding his head with an expression of concern, Xun seems genuinely sad after hearing Caron explain the world’s recent events.

“Anyway,” Carson goes on, “the people who you would consider our ‘leaders’ started building a ship. They were going to divert the rock away from the planet to save us. Well, sure enough, one of our species ’bad apples’ decided that he could use the asteroid to solve an energy crises that we have. So he wanted to deflect it just far enough to where it would get caught in our planet’s orbit. His plan was to send ships out to mine the thing. Which actually, now that I think about it, isn’t all that bad. Cause we really need help with that. Only he blew up the ship our leaders were building, and killed a bunch of people to replace it with one of his own.”

“That sounds pretty bad,” Xun says, shaking his head.

“And I’m not even done.” Carson says. ‘If all that weren’t enough, turns out that our ‘leaders’ had been lying to us. The ‘bad apple’ I told you about found out that realistically, we only have about three years until impact. Closer to two now, now that time’s gone by. So when he found that out, he lost it. He told the whole world, and now you see what you see.”

Looking toward the ground, Xun rubs the back of his neck.

“Wow.”

“Right?” Carson says. “Like what else can you say? But this is why I hate that you’re seeing us just now. You’re seeing us at our worst. It’s not really a fair time to judge, you know?”

“Well let me ask you this, my friend. What was it like before all of this?”

Softly laughing, Carson looks up, trying to find an answer.

“Before? Well…truthfully it wasn’t all that different. We’ve had a lot of wars throughout our entire existence. And don’t get me wrong, I’m no historian or anything, but I’ve never really, really, understood the point of most of them. There we’re some that mattered, though, you know? Like ones where people we’re just fed up with how awful they were being treated to the point that they took up arms and literally risked their lives. But for the most part, the bulk of us just want to get along and enjoy life. It’s the bad apples that end up causing the ruckus man. I wish I had a better answer, because I know I’m sort of speaking on behalf of my entire planet here, but I guess it is what it is. We really do have a lot of potential though, Xun. I promise.”

Patting him on the knee as he stands up, Xun smiles at Carson.

“You know, Carson, I am glad to have met you. I believe you will fit in quite nicely with our Organization.”

Looking up at Carson, Squeak shakes after getting up from the nap she’d been taking.

“I think so too!” She says.

“Well I hope this works out, my man.” Carson says to Xun, holding his fist out.

“As do I, my friend.” Xun says, bumping Carson’s fist with a smile.


The Revolt Returns: 6

“Quesadilla! Why is there no salt on my swine?!”

Far to the East, the realm’s new manager Spam shouts at her brainless Chilian manservant. Despite her managerial commitment to Lenghorn, she has diabolically crafted an alter-ego which, in her spare time, she utilizes to control the activities of the Lenghornian’s rivals.

“Apologies, my liege,” the Chilian manservant says, tilting a salt shaker above the steaming boar’s head which Spam is ironically about to consume. Ironically, of course, because pork is in fact an ingredient of actual spam. 

“Hmmph. That is quite enough.” Spam asserts with a dismissive wave of her hand. “Off you go.”

Sneering at his salty contribution to his masters meal, Quesadilla slowly waddles his way out of the massive dining hall, leaving Spam to her own devices.

Mmmm grumble chew chomp pghlegm swallow

Having her fill with the remainder of the swine, Spam stands up and waltzes to the tower’s open balcony, looking out on the lands below. 

Ha! These stupid Lenghornians shall never know what hit them. She thinks to herself, creepily rubbing her hands together. They think they’re the only restaurant in town? Please. My Chilians will make mince meat of these weaklings.

Spam’s rise to power was no accident. After having Netflixed and chilled on many occasions, she has heard the Star Wars plot line play out on far too many occasions. She now knows all too well how Senator Palpatine disguised himself as the leader of the Republic, yet simultaneously led the Empire in the shadows as Darth Sidious, unbeknownst to all. She intends to use the very same tactics against the Lenghornians, cultivating a massive army within the Chilian empire to overtake the pathetic Lenghornian villagers. 

They’ll never know what hit them. 

Suddenly, a deep voice bellows from within the Tower stairwell.

“Spam! Our army is nearing completion. The Lenghornians shall all die!” The voice  shouts.

Swiveling to face the stairwell, Spam holds her hand out, beckoning the voice to present itself.

“Show yourself, General! You know I detest that which I cannot see!”

“Yes, my liege.” The deep voice says as a clicking sound manifests in the stairwell. Seconds later, a jacked hairy werewolf emerges, ducking under the stone doorway leading into Spam’s chamber.

“Ah, there you are.” Spam says, attempting to discern whether he should button one more button on his shirt or if she actually likes the small amount of chest hair that is revealed. 

“Tell me more of my army!” She demands.

“Yes, my liege.” Will the Wolf says. “The Chilians are coming along splendidly. They are as brainless and obedient as the Lenghornian cooks! Muahahaha!” He cackles. 

“Excellent.” Spam says as she adjusts the Lenghornian floor plan into a chaotic calamity of confusion. “Soon we will launch our offensive. No longer will we have to tell customers we don’t have chips and salsa. Muahahaha!”

“You are so wise, my liege.” Will says, bowing his hairy wolf head in respect as he subtly checks her out because he cannot resist a hot manager. “I shall ascertain that our forces are well prepared to destroy the weak Lenghornians.”

“See that you do.” Spam says, dismissing him.

Leaning over the balcony, Spam peers over her lands in anticipation of the battle to come. 

Time for your annual review, Lenghornians. Muahahahaha!!

The Revolt Returns: Ep 4

“Guys! Look what I’ve got!”

Hastily returning to the server village following the completion of his quest, Dustin the Daring waves his spoils in front of him as he struts through the village’s main street.

Hearing the commotion, the servers of Lenghorn gradually exit their huts one by one, finally meeting in the town square. As they all form a group in front of the square’s Breadboard Center Stage, Dustin takes his place in front of them as their new hero.

“Behold!” He shouts, holding the leather satchel carrying the fabled colors of Xavier the Rainbow Unicorn up so all can see. “See what I hath returned with!”

“Oh my goodness, he did it! He actually did it! Our hero!” The group of new girl hires that no one really knows yet but the guys still wonder if they party all say, batting their newly hired eyelashes.

“Yes, I did it!” Dustin valiantly shouts as he reaches into his satchel, seemingly to pull out the colors that were lost in the Forest of Broccoli Florets. Pulling out a glowing container instead, he holds it above to show the Lenghornians.

“Behold! A jar of captured will-o-the-wisps! We shall now have them as our pets!” He shouts with a gleaming smile.

Suddenly, the Lenghornians fall silent.

“What the Hell?” Chris the Comical asks. “Wisps?! We sent you after Xavier’s colors!”

“Oh, right.” Dustin says, quietly laughing to himself as he shakes the jar to stir the annoying wisps. “I just thought it’d be cool to capture these stupid things. They talk so funny, ya know? Hisssssssss. Ha! Stupid butterflies. Anyway, here ya go.” He adds, reaching into the satchel again and nonchalantly tossing the jar of colors to Chris.

As the Lenghornians see Dustin give Chris the colors, the excitement immediately returns.

“Our hero!” The girls say again.

“Quickly!” David the Hard to Come Up With An Appropriate Title says, “We must get these to Xavier!”

“Huzzah!” The Lenghornians cheer. “Long live Dustin!”

Forming a line, the Lenghornians all begin making their way East, just over the Potato Hills toward the land of Mystical Creatures. Xavier retreated to these lands after losing his colors, ashamed of being the only monochromatic Rainbow Unicorn in the realm.

As the group reaches their neighboring lands, they become awed by the fantastical beings they’ve never before seen.

“Look, Pip!” Rachael the Randy says. “Its a mythical Barfly Gnat! I thought they were only real in stories!”

Overhearing the two hostesses with the mostesses, Blake the Bartender leans down to tell them what the world is really like.

“Oh no, dear hosts.” He says. “The Barfly Gnats are very much a part of our reality. We simply choose to subconsciously ignore the little things even though we all know and laugh about them. After all, what could a Barfly Gnat do to us? They are no threat.”

“Wow,” Pip the Pretty Hot and Tempting says. “You are so wise.”

“Aye, he is indeed.” Chris the Comical says, holding his hand up to halt the group. “Stop! We’ve reached our destination everyone! Time to find our friend.”

Seeing the Lenghornians approaching from his Fancy Schmancy Unicorn Oasis, Xavier reluctantly begins to make his way toward them to say hello.

“Hey guys…” He says, his head hanging low.

“Xavier! Oh, how we have missed you!” Stephanie the Smart says, walking up and patting him on his shapely buns.

“Yeah, I’ve missed you guys too. I just…well, you know.”

“We DO know, my friend.” Chris says, approaching Xavier and resting his arm around him. “Which is why we brought you this!”

Pulling out the jar of colors, Chris the Comical unscrews the lid and shakes the magical greatness back onto the coat of the true Rainbow Unicorn.

“WOW!” Xavier suddenly shouts, obviously invigorated by Chris’ application of hues. “Where, how, why, guys?!” He says in bewilderment, shocked that the Lenghornians have gone through the trouble of finding his colors.

“Because we freakin love you!” Chris shouts. “Duh! Plus, how many Rainbow Unicorns do YOU know? You’re the only one I’ve seen, so I’d say that makes you pretty darn worth it.”

“Gosh. Thanks guys. Ya’ll are the best.” Xavier says in profound appreciation.

————————————————–

And so that’s how our hero, Dustin the Determined, saved Xavier the Rainbow Unicorn from losing his colors. Occasionally, the frequency of which depending on the cool down timer of course, our equestrian friend can now use his colorful flow to resurrect a select individual from beyond the veil. Yes, things in the Lenghornian village finally seem to have reached a peaceful, non-oppressive point. They may now enjoy life for what it is. Fun.

But wait.

There are wisps stirring. Rumors, brewing. An uprising, you say? It must be investigated. For all we know is the realm of Lenghorn. And this realm, we must protect.

Dum dum dummmmmm in a really deep base soundddddddd

 

 

 

 

The Revolt Returns: Ep 3

Shhhhhhhh “someonetellthisguytogetthehelloutofourwoods” shhhhhhh

Furthering his trek deep into the Forest of Broccoli Florets, Dustin the Determined looks back toward the small group of annoying will-o-the-wisps that has followed his journey with ever-watchful, glowing eyes.

“Shoo! Stop following me you stupid butterflies!” He shouts as he adjusts the monocle on his eye which is designed to reveal the lost colors of Xavier, the Rainbow Unicorn.

Shhhhhhhhh “wearenotbutterfliesyouslickhaireddummy” shhhhhhhh “wearewispssssss” shhhhhhhh

The luminescent group hisses back at him, their wings continuing to flutter amidst the forest’s eerie breeze.

“Whatever, weirdos.” Dustin whispers to himself. Bending over to pick up a fallen branch, he reaches into his leather tunic’s pocket and pulls out the small Zippo lighter he uses to light candles of Birthday Sundae’s he normally gives to Lenghornian patrons. Setting the end of the branch ablaze, he suddenly jerks around, engulfing the group of whispering pixies in a fiery ball of wonder. Watching their bodies burn until they are a heap of smoldering corpses on the forest floor, he smiles to himself as he holds the flaming branch out to light the gradually darkening path ahead.

“Good job, Dustin! Stupid butterflies.” He asserts.

“Thanks, man!” He replies, patting himself on the back with his free hand. “Alright. Wait, what are we doing here again?”

“Oh crap.” He says, halting his pace to scratch his slick-haired head. “Ummmmm I think we were looking for something. Something…let’s see. Something red?”

“Red! I think you’re right. Or was it blue?”

“Maybe it was both?”

As he continues his questioning…of himself…another group of wisps flutters by, horrified at the pile of ashes before them.

Shhhhhhhh “ohmygodheykilledfrankandsueandcarlandjohnandwhatthehellbrowhyyyyy” shhhhhhh

They hiss, quickly flying away to avoid being turned into a similar heap of death.

“Anyway, I think we were looking for like a horse or something.” Dustin’s endless conversation continues.

Suddenly a mysterious voice from beyond the avoid can be heard from the treetops, jolting Dustin back into focus.

Dustinnnn….. The faint, female voice whispers. Look to the Eassssssssssst….

“What the hell?” Dustin says, looking up at the nothingness above him.

The Easssssssssst….. The voice continues.

“Who’s there?!” Dustin shouts, still looking to the treetops.

Seriousssssssly. The EASSSSSSSST!!!  The now-impatient voice bellows. It is I, the recently departed soul of Miranda the Frequently Checked Outtttttttt…..

“Oh, damn! Miranda?! Why didn’t you say so?” Dustin asks, still looking up.

Shifting into a terse, normal voice, the soul of Miranda the Frequently Checked Out shortens.

“Good Lord, Dustin. I said look to the freaking East! You totally ruined my sexy mysterious spirit-voice.” She impatiently says.

“Oh, right.” He says, shaking his head to snap out of his daze.

“No, its actually to your left.” Miranda sighs, most likely rolling the spirits of her eyes.

Turning to his left, Dustin finally spots a glistening shimmer of rainbow colors through his magic monocle, partly hidden by the trunk of a nearby tree.

“Hey!” He shouts. “That’s what we were looking for!”

Quieting down into her sexy voice of phantom mystique, the hissing soul of Miranda announces her departure, her voice slowly fading away.

My task is completeeeeeee. Farewell, faithful Lenghorniannnnnnnnn……

Walking to the missing colors of Xavier the Rainbow Unicorn, Dustin bends down to scoop them up, sealing them inside the empty can of peppercorn filling he has with him.

“There!” He proudly says to himself with a grin. “Time to head back to the village!”

“Way to go, my man!” His alter-ego affirms. “Hey, did you remember to bring the ocarina so we can beckon Norm the Steed?” He asks….himself.

“Crap!” He shouts. “I knew we forgot something. Oh well. Hey, lets capture some of those stupid wisps and bring them back as pets.”

“Great idea!”

And so, carrying the fabled colors of Xavier the Rainbow Unicorn, our hero begins the long, arduous walk back to his beloved Lenghornians – can of captured wisps in stow. He has accomplished the first quest bestowed unto him with ease.

We can only hope his good fortune continues, for there are vastly trying times ahead….

 

 

 

 

Love & Loss: 5

July, 1943. Sicily.

He is the greatest man I will ever know.

Adam returned today. His first instinct was to barricade the wall, because he knew exactly what artillery strike would be taking place. He came in with that gleaming hair and shimmering smile and told me that he would never let me be harmed. That even though his unit would be bombarding this part of the city, he could not let harm fall to me. He came to me with such love, firmly holding the locks of my hair and kissed me so passionately that I will never forget his grasp. He said he would protect me that night. That he would make sure the bombs landed far away from me. And he did. The bombs landed further away than ever that night.

All because of this Adam…a deeper love I will never find.

Good & Evil

Good & Evil
Chapter 1

I can’t believe this is actually happening!

Well, sort of. Sometimes it feels like I’ve been waiting for ages, but tonight…well, tonight is just filled with excitement! Father says I’m sure to go Right, which makes sense because Mother did too. He told me when she went through the Filing that she was ninety seven percent pure. Ninety seven percent! Can you believe that? I bet I’ll be lucky to be in the eighties.

I should probably be trying to get some rest, but my eyes are wide open right now. I cannot stop thinking of the ceremony tomorrow and how beautiful my gown will look and how proud Father will be and of oh the so many things that are going through my head right now!

I hope Mikal is Filed right too, I can’t imagine what I would do in his absence. He and I have spent such a long time as Youngers together and I cannot fathom a life with him not in it.

Chapter 2

I suppose you’re wondering what that was all about.

Allow me to shed some light. What you just read was an excerpt from the diary of a nice little lady who is about to go through a pivotal point in her life, the Filing. She will be assigned social duties and expectations, a residence, and will become eligible for marital affairs.

You and I should be getting close in the future, as I’ll be guiding you through the goings on at Resurrection. What’s that, you may ask? You probably know it as Planet Earth. See, a group of forward thinking humanitarians thought it would be a good idea to rename the planet, since they started civilization anew. But we’ll get to that later.

Centuries ago, the world was changed in a way that shattered the fabric of society. There are conflicting records of what exactly transpired, but the end result was that the world was conquered and reshaped into one governing culture – an ideaology that favored simplicity, sustainability, and justice. There are a lot of holes in the bits and pieces of information we’ve been able to dig up, but it’s been fascinating to study how humans used to live.

The most commonly accepted recollection is that a conflict began in response to an energy crises thousands of years ago. Evidently the foundation of human civilization back then was built upon the use of scarce,  natural resources. Almost everything that the ancients used relied on these “fossil fuels” to function, which were mined and extracted from within the Earth. The problem was that these resources eventually began to run out and when that happened…well, let’s just say that when that happened, the world was forced to change.

Records show that during this time, Earth was split into separate regions or territories called “countries”. Each of these was run by their own governing bodies, and thus they made their own laws and rules. It sounds chaotic, I know – and it was. The different countries were constantly disagreeing with one another, leading to many violent conflicts which were called “wars”. War seems to dominate the historical records, and can basically be summarized by the following. A country (or one of its inhabitants) comes up with an ideology and tries to spread it across the world through diplomacy. Eventually, they clash with a conflicting ideology, which would lead to the conquering country invading the defending country to win over its constituents and spread its ideals. And so it was for many years it seems, as these conflicts happened all the time. Until, of course, the crises that halted everything else.

The day the energy ran out.

Chapter 3

It happened!

Just like Father said, I was Filed Right! And sure enough, my purity score was in the 80s…but so what?! I went Right! Oh this truly is the best feeling ever.

Now I must wait and see if Mikal will be joining me. He has to! He’s one of the purest boys in our whole annex! He’s always helping people and doing everything he can to be as pure as possible.

I wonder what job I’ll take, now that I’m Right. There’s so many exciting things I could be, I just can’t decide on one! Maybe I’ll join the theater. I think I would love a life on stage! Or maybe I’ll be a teacher, I could help our kids appreciate how wonderful our community is! Oh, there are so many options I just don’t know what to do with myself.

I hope Mikal joins me soon!!

Chapter 4

Here we are again. I presume most of that didn’t make sense to you either.

Well, here ya go.

When Earth was finally stripped of her last little bits of natural resources, people descended into havoc. There was a several year period where folks reverted to their animal instincts, completely shedding cultural “sophistication” and acting like beasts. Quite literally. And it wasn’t even due to the fact that we’d run out of oil. It was simply because we did nothing to prepare ourselves for the inevitable shortage. The masses looked to global leaders as enemies, power hungry sociopaths who controlled the industry so they could line their pockets.

The social collapse wasn’t based on lack of oil. It was based on revenge. Revenge on those who said we would never see this day, that by the time oil ran out we’d be using something else for our energy. No, the collapse wasn’t driven by the knowledge that there’s no more fuel.

It was driven by hatred and malice for the leaders they trusted.

 

Chapter 5

I hate this place.

Mother told me I’m being too harsh. I know better. This place was created out of fire and brimstone, I’m sure of it. Where else on this God forsaken planet can I go? It’s as if the entire world is brainless.

The Filing was yesterday. I went Left.

At first, I was numb. I’ve spent sixteen years doing everything I was told to do. My entire life, meaninglessly spent in an attempt to appease others. How could the city do this to me? How could they assign me to a life of servitude and labor after all the sacrifices I’ve made?

I hate this world we live in. With every fiber within me, I hate it. I have to act. Something must be done to change things for those like me. I am not a bad person, and I do not foster the malice with which I’ve been branded.

I simply cannot allow this to happen

 

Chapter 6

Well he sure doesn’t sound happy, does he?

Rightfully so, I may add. But I digress. After all, you don’t want my opinion, right? You want context. Here you are.

After the collapse we spoke of previously, the world took awhile to get back on its feet, so to speak. Chaos and depravity were the trend for quite some time. Until, that is, a group of leaders came along and seized the opportunity which was laying there for the taking. The chance to rebuild the world, from its deepest roots all the way to its highest levels. And so they did.

Again, it’s difficult to organize the precise events, since it was so long ago. Not to mention that truth is difficult to decipher through the biases of historical record keepers. But the basic story is this:

Four people had a vision for the world. So, after a lengthy battle to the top of society (or what was left of it), they organized the entire globe’s population into self-sustaining, strictly governed semi-cities. Each with its own Enforcer to ascertain that the constituency obeyed the doctrines passed down by the Founders.

The hate-inspired diary excerpt you read a moment ago was one of the people who caught the short end of their society’s stick.

You see, the Founders tapped into the brightest minds of their time, and with the help of some records salvaged from the World Before, were able to pinpoint the chemical processes in the brain that cause individuals to exhibit (what they interpreted) as benevolent actions. Of course this also meant that they were able to isolate the chemicals that caused people to exhibit malicious behavior.

Thus, armed with the knowledge obtained from monitoring their citizens via devices embedded at birth, they rebuilt civilization on the simplest of frameworks. At the tender age of sixteen, all members of society are ushered through what they dubbed the Filing. Those who have “purity ratings” over 75% – meaning three fourths of the chemicals produced by their brains tend to lean toward behavior deemed “good” – are filed to the Right. These members of the community move on to enjoy the more luxurious positions that life offers. They receive higher educations, frequently obtain prominent political status, and maintain voting rights. Those who are not fortunate enough to display these levels of benevolence, however, are filed to the Left. They are separated from their Right peers and live lives of manufacturing, service, and production. Their daily social interactions vary substantially from their old schoolmates, something which we will undoubtedly get to at a later date.

I expect you, my friend, to form your own opinion of this system as you learn more and our relationship deepens.

Such is the world. Until, of course, it’s not.

 

Chapter 7

I don’t know what I’m going to tell Estella.

We were both so sure of ourselves. What am I going to do when we’re separated? I cannot stand the thought of it. We love each other so, so much. How could this have happened? How could they strip us apart, like we’re…subhuman? I hate the Filing. I said it in my last entry, and I’ll say it again. I hate it with everything in me. Someone has to do something.

Our entire childhood has been spent together. The image still burns my mind; her, silently walking to the front of that massive, ornate room. The rest of us, the ones whose names had yet to be called, all sitting in silence as we waited for her to be Filed. My heart warmed as the Panelist shouted “Right”!

I knew I would be standing with her shortly. I knew I would be Filed Right, along with her and the rest of the Pure. I can still see her, slowly turning around as she looked for me in the mass of motionless, sitting bodies still waiting to be called. I can still see her as she was ushered through the doors to wait with the others.

Now, two tortuous days later, I find myself locked in my room with a heart filled with hatred. I refuse to leave, refuse to report to the Overseers in charge of introducing me to my new, pathetic life. Mother tells me that these thoughts are exactly what have put me in this predicament to begin with. But these thoughts are foreign to me. I’ve always kept a Pure heart…always did the right thing. Who is anyone else to say I did good acts solely for the sake of appearance. My intentions were never misguided. I don’t care what they say.

I must face Estella before I leave. I just don’t know how.

God give me strength. I’m going to need it.

Chapter 8

The plot thickens!

Forgive me- you must excuse my whimsical recounts of these sad, passion-infused diary posts. I find it hard to entertain myself after reading such depressing recollections of heartbreak, injustice, and the like. Not to mention the fact that there are millions of other stories just like the one you’re reading. Not because people during this time and age enjoyed keeping diaries, mind you. On the contrary, most people hated keeping one. Unfortunately for them, maintaining a daily journal was a requirement passed down by the Four Founders I mentioned. In an attempt to instill a more accurate view of ones self-awareness, it was law for all citizens to write about their days, thoughts, desires, dislikes, etc. Perhaps even more annoying to most, they were required to read said journal entries often – the intent being that any opportunity to observe your own thoughts from a third person perspective, you learn more accurately who you truly are. Thus, obviously, giving you a better idea of how you can change and become the model human that the Founders thought you should be.

Oh, idealism. Isn’t it wonderful?

Anyway, back to our two lovebirds. I presume by now that you’ve picked up on whose diaries we’ve been reading. Estella, our (sometimes too) bubbly, kind-hearted damsel; and Mikal, her perhaps not-so-self aware love interest. It would be quite a warming tale to be perfectly honest, were it not for a society structured to destroy any hope of them having a life together. I suppose the lingering question at the moment is pretty simple: did that structure succeed in keeping them apart? Oh, the tingle and excitement of uncertainty…don’t you just love it?!

I know I do.

Chapter 9

Oh, what shall I do?!

There must have been a mistake. I cannot accept this. Mikal has been Filed left! I shan’t see him again, and my heart aches when I think of it. All this time we’ve spent in anticipation, patiently waiting for the day when we would be Filed together. How could this have happened? He is pure! More so than me, I know it!

I asked Father what could be done. He says there is nothing we can do to change the decision. Mikal will live a life of production and servitude. It isn’t fair! He always did what was right. Always! How can they possibly say he was not pure enough? He was more genuine than any of the others. And there are so many who were Filed right who are surely less so than my Mikal.

Oh, I know not what to do. My heart yearns for him. The constant pain I feel when he occupies my thoughts is just unbearable.

What can I do?

Chapter 10

Almost makes you feel sorry for the girl, huh?

Funny thing, love. It’s different in everyone’s eyes, wouldn’t you say? After all, are we sure our good friend Mikal here was intent on the benevolence of his little fling with Estella? Or did he just play the game the right way so he could land the beautiful girl? Is that love? Surely something sinister had to be going on under the hood for him to be Filed left, right? If the higher ups had all that science stuff going on, isolating all those “good” and “bad” chemicals, could one really argue the result?

That’s a load of questions, I know. I just can’t help but find myself asking them as I read through these diaries. I often ask myself where the line should be drawn, in fact.

Who’s to say what’s good and bad anyway?

Chapter 11

A curious thing happened today.

I was visited by a Younger who had just completed his Filing. He has graduated from his childish status and was Filed Left to become a Contributor. I recall him approaching me this morning, slowly opening the door to my office as he peered inside with a strange glint in his eye. It was most odd. But he excitedly sat down and actually thanked me for my duties of being an Overseer. He told me he appreciated the Filing and that he now understood why he was Filed Left. He told me our process has opened his eyes, and made him realize what true “purity” is.

It is strange. I cannot recall a time before when a child who was filed Left showed such gratitude. Without fail, my experience with those who are Left has been one of contempt. After all, the process is designed precisely for that very reason. They are bad people, therefore their response when being Filed Left is that of contempt and resentment. Those who instead appreciate our process, and are good, would see their Filing as a lesson, and would respond positively – which is precisely why they are Filed Right to begin with. Isn’t it clear that one’s internal thought process and response to adversity defines one’s true moral value?

The Bad deserve to be Contributors. This is known. They should produce consumables and services for the Good, until it is they who grow to be Good. But it is for this that I am at an impasse. This newly Filed Contributor has shown the trait of one that is good. Has our process failed? Have we condemned someone who is Good? He is the only positive thinker in a group that has never failed to foster anger, remorse, and contempt.

What can I do with this Mikal?

Chapter 12

Damn.

That’s all I have to say at the moment. Because to be perfectly honest, my mind is sort of bamboozled. Okay, so let’s get this straight. That was the journal entry of one of the Overseers that make the rules in this place, I’m assuming. Sounds like our boy is making some moves, huh? Isn’t it cool to be able to just sit back and observe as people’s sly little manipulations play out in front of you? Because I’m guessing Mikal’s a smart dude. And I’m guessing he knows that his only ticket to the girl is gaming the system. So sure, why not pretend that you’re a changed man? I mean Hell, he must’ve done a bang-up job if that Overseer dude wrote that wonderful little entry about him, right?

Yeah, I’m thinking Mikal knows how to play. Which again, makes me wonder what his intentions were with our girl in the first place, but I digress. Maybe its possible to simultaneously be good at the game and be able to love after all.

….or is it? I don’t know.

Chapter 13

She’s going to be mine. I cannot stand the thought of Donavan having her. I must find a way to convince them that I have become Good. That I’m pure.

Today I spoke with the Overseer. I told him how much I appreciated this process, and for opening my eyes. It was something I believe none have done before me. I must do what is necessary to convince them that I am good. The rest just complain, they sit back and they plot their ways of how to break their system. They always fail. They never succeed. It is so much easier, to me, to navigate this system and act the way I am expected so I can turn my misfortune into opportunity. Yes, I will use their system against them. I will make it my own, and through my efforts return to my love…my Estella.

Chapter 14

Well well well, what have we here? Does he love her? What do you think? She’s going to be mine. Sort of an odd term to use, right? Almost sounds like he views her as property. Property he doesn’t want to share, as it seems.

So, here’s what I wonder: does Mikal love Estella? How does he even define it? If Estella’s future was brighter, hypothetically, with someone else, shouldn’t that be a good thing? Because when you love someone, its unconditional. You want them to be happy don’t you? Or is love only present when it serves our own ends?

Its a question that could persist forever. And truthfully one for which I doubt we will ever have a really good answer. Because no one wants to admit these things, for some reason, but they’re true. I think its safe to say that Mikal is only going to “love” Estella if she loves him back. Which clearly she does, based on previous readings.

Either way, he’s a sneaky little bugger isn’t he? Manipulating the manipulators.

Good for him.

Chapter 15

Days and days of work. Raw hands, tattered hair, and dry, cracking skin.

I find pause in my attempts to deceive my arbitrators. My plan to prove my purity has gone awry. The Overseer of my block is not content with the work that we are doing, and he takes out his frustrations on us frequently. The project with which we are tasked, of course,  is that of building their monument. A monument that is dedicated to our Founders. Once complete, it shall overlook the entire community.

The hand that feeds, indeed. For that is how they view themselves. If only they knew how brittle their structure truly is. Recently I’ve made attempts to speak reason to those I know I can trust. Oliver, the bread makers son, agrees that we are living as livestock. He sees our rulers chains for what they are. He knows, as I do, that this way of life cannot go on. We must change this. For there is no greater sin than that of idle hands. This is what must be done. There is no longer a choice. For me. For you. For them.

For my Estella.

Chapter 16

Well now!

Sounds like our guy is falling a little deeper into the depths of depravity, no? Openly acknowledging his attempts of deceit and manipulation? Ballsy move, if you ask me. What if these Overseer people busted his door down and found his journal? He’d be screwed, right? Not that he’s given them reason to, I imagine, but still. You never know.

Anyway! I suppose I should eventually fill you in on a little more background here. Because according to what I’ve dug up, Mikal ends up causing quite a stink. It’s funny, don’t you think? It’s like…you look back at history, and the people we tend to remember are the annoying ones who didn’t wanna follow the rules anymore. Those guys who just got pushed a liiiiiittle bit too far, and then bam. They snap and end up changing everything.

Weird how the world works, no?

Chapter 17

I must say, I now understand why Mikal was Filed to the Left.

Today the Overseer collected all of the town’s new Files, and took us into a room in the Capitol Building where much was revealed. He explained the process of deceit, and how those who are Filed left falsify their behaviors to project the image they believe others desire. It was a taxing day for me mentally, as I never imagined the mind of someone such as my Mikal to be so sinister. He always seemed so…good. Could it truly be that his behavior was not aligned with his intentions?

It is a worrisome thought, and one not without grave consequences. For if it is true, I shall find myself partial to Donovan, which will surely break Mikal’s heart were he to ever learn of my affection. After all, Donovan has been adamant about striking a relation with me and was awarded an honorable position after being filed Right with the Office of Entertainment. The union would be a logical one.

I must think on this for some time, I’m afraid. The thought that my Mikal is capable of such evil is vastly disheartening, yet I cannot turn on him just yet. I must consider the validity of the Overseer’s methods of determining his true character.

Mikals love is complicated, to be sure.

Chapter 18

Oh, Estella.

They’re funny things, these journals. The goal was to obtain the unfiltered thoughts of what’s going on in the heads of individuals. What resulted is a treasure trove of deep seeded, unabridged thought. It really helped those pulling the strings, as being able to purloin entries at will gave them a very accurate picture of public perception.

….oops. Did I just give away a much bigger plot? Forgive me. One story at a time.

It’s the gray area that I’m most concerned with. Why does Estella think Mikal is evil simply for being deceptive? After all, he only wants to return to a life with the one person he truly loves. Is his manipulation indicative of malice? I think not. Sure, misleading others to obtain things we want is an unavoidable component of the human condition that many people frown upon – but in this case, he just wants a life with his love.

Is that evil?

Chapter 19

Pain. It’s all I feel. It’s the only thing that keeps me going in this life of Left. Every day I wonder what Estella is doing. Every day I yearn to convince the Overseers that my mind is pure. But how can I? How can I, when they say they have the tools to look into my thoughts? To measure chemicals and observe reactions. It’s a system I cannot overcome. How can they possibly know what I think? Their faith in this technology will be my undoing.

And yet I cannot concede. My life has but one purpose; I must be with my Estella. My love for her shall never cease. I must find a way to break the chains that bind me, to free myself from this lifetime of servitude.

And so I shall.

Chapter 20

You know, I generally try to maintain a neutral feeling when I sift through these journal entries. Helps keep me sane, ya know? But I have to admit, I’m sort of feeling for Mikal. It sounds like he played his cards just a bit too poorly and ended up getting the shit end of the stick.

Maybe he doesn’t see the good in other men. Maybe he views the world as a blank canvas that’s just waiting to be painted on, and whoever paints the best wins. Is this how life is supposed to be? A constant attempt of trying to outdo the other guy so we can parade our marketability? Depth is a dwindling trait, indeed. But I choose to believe that life is more than that. It’s the experience of experiences; the short window where we get to cram in as much happiness as we can. Because ultimately that should be the goal in all endeavors. To generate happiness. Everything we produce, everything we create, everything we imagine…should be conceptualized to further and better the lives of us as biological organisms. Create happiness. That is the key to life.

Oh, and yes, I know that was a rant.

Sue me.

Chapter 21

I miss him. I miss him so, so much. Earlier today I took a walk along the river and sat at the spot Mikal and I used to catch fish. I recall the time he brought me there for an actual picnic…where we could eat outside without worry of the Overseers finding us.
He set it all up, the crazy boy. We snuck out after curfew and he had everything all planned out. There was even a stocked basket waiting for us when we got to our spot.

And yet I’m now told that Mikal was fostering sadistic thoughts toward me the whole time, and that’s why he was Filed left. They tell me he doesn’t truly care for me, that he merely pretends so he can have me. It just cannot be! He always respected me.

Father is pressuring me to obtain a husband. He clearly favors Donovan. I shan’t argue, but I wish so, so deeply that my Mikal would be the one I wed.

I miss him so much.

Chapter 22

Blah.

Oh, Estella. In spite of my usually whimsical self, I feel for that girl. Imagine it. The one person you love more than anything in the world, stripped from you without pause or cause for concern. Just like that – gone. Not even a goodbye. Now, I say imagine it….but can you really? Truly consider this: who is the one person on the planet you most assuredly could not fathom life without? Think of their name. Think of their face, greeting you with a warm mug of coffee as you waltz into the kitchen after a hot, fresh shower. Think of their smile as they tell you to have a good day, and the image in your head as you think of them while you’re gone.

And then imagine life without them.

I don’t know what’s good. I couldn’t tell you what’s evil. What I do know, however, through my time sifting through your historical records – is that humans have a grand capacity to feel. Now you might be questioning what I mean by that. But I would urge you to instead focus on that statement. What do you think constitutes good and evil? Is it our actions? Or rather, our intentions? Because the two most certainly do not correlate often.

You see, we all justify our actions, as good or bad as they may be. We all have a story we tell ourselves as we lay our heads down which allows us to purge our guilt and remorse from our thoughts. None of us would ever admit to being evil, would we? Of course not. That wouldn’t bode well for our facade, after all.

And as we all know, that’s what matters….right?

Chapter 23

He came into my office again today.

This Mikal, I am sure we have failed him. His attitude deviates so much from that of his peers. He displays behaviors clearly indicative of one who should have been Filed Right. Upon entering, he promptly informed me that the quartermaster of his block was not rationing food properly. At first, I was admittedly tired of the accusation as I assumed it was a ploy to obtain more rations. But what struck me was the fact that once leveled, he was afforded less than before, were he not to bring the mishap to my attention.

Why did he do this? The commissary’s oversight was to his benefit. There was nothing to be gained for his exposure of this error. It is most puzzling. I find myself tempted to submit a revaluation request to this ward’s Governor. I believe our system has failed us, and if we are to accept this society in which we live, we must act when we see egregious errors such as this.

There is much to consider.

Chapter 24

Oh boy.

Seems like Mikal is getting hotter. Sounds to me like he’s playing the game the right way. Even in the midst of all the labor, the hovels, the dregs of society that he’s forced to associate with…it sounds like our boy is maintaining a pretty convincing image out there. Exactly what he needs to convince the Overseers to give him a second look.

Does that make him fake? Does that make him a sell out? I would say no. I mean who actually wants to manufacture gadgets and serve salads all day to people who think they’re better than they are? I most definitely don’t blame the guy for scheming his way out.

And yet, there are those who would say Mikal is a bad person for doing so. That he’s bad for taking advantage of those not willing to modify their image in the aim of bettering his own position. So, my friend (surely I can call you that by now, right?), what do you think? Is it immoral to desire a better position in life, if it’s at the expense of another? If, of course, that person would do the same to you, given they have the capacity. Is it bad to exploit opportunities when others overlook them?

Personally, I believe there is one constant in this torrential equation of morality: that of Estella. She is the only relevant variable amidst all of this, in Mikal’s eyes. Call it Good or call it Evil, but one things for damn sure.

The kid is passionate.

Chapter 25

I’ve decided to go through with the wedding ceremony. With Donovan.

Father tells me that there is no better match for me. That Donovan is in a highly respected position, and is of Pure thought. And while that may be so, I dearly miss my Mikal. They continue to tell me that he misled me, that he only wanted to control me, but I cannot cleanse him from my mind. Mikal and I were friends. We loved one another dearly. I remember, as a child, imagining the day when we would join hands in our own wedding ceremonies.

But now that image is gone. I am left with but one option; that of Donovan. He is a sweet boy, and there are no doubts to his intentions. But there is so much missing, so much more that I long for that my Mikal could provide. We had adventures! We took risks. Walks, runs. There was no obstacle we could not overcome. Until the Filing. That awful Filing.

Oh, Mikal…how I miss you.

Chapter 26

Geez.

All these changes of perspectives keep confusing me. One second I pick up an entry from our girl, the next I’m reading something scribbled by our man. And then there’s a random Overseer entry sprinkled in every now and then. It’s hard to keep up, dammit!

Breathe. I should’ve known that this wouldn’t be easy. That I’d be spending all sorts of time trying to catalogue my thoughts and organize these events. Because it’s not easy, you see. No, not easy at all. As a matter of fact it’s taken quite some time in the warehouse of my fragmented mind to put together these entries in such a timely fashion. And I’m not even kidding. Can you imagine how difficult it would be if you stumbled upon a chest full of single journal pages, no order whatsoever and then to read them, file them by writer and then put them in chronological order?! It’s hard!

Breathe. Phew. Alas…such is the struggle of a story teller, you see. It is the mining of thoughts from the deepest chasms of twisted and tormented minds. The perpetual search for the innermost truths, and the endeavor to expose them in the brightest, most radiant light imaginable.

That is the story of Mikal and Estella.

Because at the end of the day, who are we? Or better yet, what are we? Complex, certainly. We are our thoughts. That is our genuine self. And ironically, the only person who ever knows one’s thoughts…is one’s very own self. Sounds lonely, don’t you think? You will be the only individual who ever truly, viscerally knows you.

And for these two, their thoughts drift to each other even in the most unlikely of circumstances.

That is what it means to be truly, in love.

Chapter 27

I’ve done it.

I’ve been called the Office of the Overseers.They intend to evaluate me for the first Refiling ever. This is my chance. This is my opportunity to return to Estellla. The others have told me how misguided it was to conform to their system, to show appreciation for the hardened conditions we are put under. But I have resisted. I have maintained my strength. My Love. The desire to share my life with that of Estella.I have made history. And I’ve done it for the heart of my one true love. I knew I was capable. I knew it. I just had to persevere. I had to be patient. Now, all my work and sacrifice has paid off. I have controlled my inner thoughts to fool the technology of the Overseers. Now I can take my place on the Right, which has been justifiably earned.

I have outsmarted them, and it is a grand feeling. Tomorrow cannot come too soon.

Chapter 28

Well I’ll be damned, he did it!

Now I’m sure there’s a lot of other stuff that transpired to prove to the higher ups that this guy wasn’t fit to be filed Left, but I suppose the beauty of partial journal entries is that you don’t have to read through all that junk to get to the good stuff. Point is, he did it! Good for him. He manipulated his way out of that horrible life and launched himself into life that he dreamed of.

Or did he?

Blast it. I need to dig through more of this junk. You ancients really should have worked  harder on your record-keeping.

Chapter 29

My God, what do I do?

Mikal has returned!! My wedding ceremony with Donovan has already been completed and consecrated. How is this possible? All those things they told me about Mikal were untrue? He was pure this whole time?  I knew it! But Donovan…I know he loves me. He is such a gentle, respected man. But surely he understands the matter. What am I to do? There is no route available to me which does not end in heartbreak!

I shall consider this heavily. Much is at stake; I do not intend for my own desires to hurt others.

Chapter 30

Hmm.

Seems our girl is in a bit of a pickle, wouldn’t you say? This is tough. What would you do? Mikal, the guy she’s spent pretty much her whole childhood life with, dealt with Hell and deceived his way out the bad hand that society had dealt him. Seemed to me he loved her quite a bit, from what I’ve read at least. Then there’s the other guy. The safe pick. The guy with the clean record, who has all the right connections and can undoubtedly provide a very comfortable life.

So which is it? Do we go Right or do we go Left? Do we attempt to break the system and rekindle a fiery love or do we simply let the cards fall as they will?

I suppose the ramifications must be considered first. You see, this society that these people created was intended to work seamlessly.These kinds of scenarios should have been ironed out, during the original Filing. A mistake has never been made. And yet now, on the dawn of the very first hiccup this Utopia has ever gurgled, we must consider the most profound decision one can make: who’s heart shall I tear apart?

One will see Good, another will see Evil, indeed.

Good & Evil: Chapter 30

Hmm.

Seems our girl is in a bit of a pickle, wouldn’t you say? This is tough. What would you do? Mikal, the guy she’s spent pretty much her whole childhood life with, dealt with Hell and deceived his way out the bad hand that society had dealt him. Seemed to me he loved her quite a bit, from what I’ve read at least. Then there’s the other guy. The safe pick. The guy with the clean record, who has all the right connections and can undoubtedly provide a very comfortable life.

So which is it? Do we go Right or do we go Left? Do we attempt to break the system and rekindle a fiery love or do we simply let the cards fall as they will?

I suppose the ramifications must be considered first. You see, this society that these people created was intended to work seamlessly.These kinds of scenarios should have been ironed out, during the original Filing. A mistake has never been made. And yet now, on the dawn of the very first hiccup this Utopia has ever gurgled, we must consider the most profound decision one can make: who’s heart shall I tear apart?

One will see Good, another will see Evil, indeed.

Good & Evil: Chapter 27

I’ve done it.

I’ve been called the Office of the Overseers.They intend to evaluate me for the first Refiling ever. This is my chance. This is my opportunity to return to Estellla. The others have told me how misguided it was to conform to their system, to show appreciation for the hardened conditions we are put under. But I have resisted. I have maintained my strength. My Love. The desire to share my life with that of Estella.I have made history. And I’ve done it for the heart of my one true love. I knew I was capable. I knew it. I just had to persevere. I had to be patient. Now, all my work and sacrifice has paid off. I have controlled my inner thoughts to fool the technology of the Overseers. Now I can take my place on the Right, which has been justifiably earned.

I have outsmarted them, and it is a grand feeling. Tomorrow cannot come too soon.

Good & Evil: Chapter 25

I’ve decided to go through with the wedding ceremony. With Donovan.

Father tells me that there is no better match for me. That Donovan is in a highly respected position, and is of Pure thought. And while that may be so, I dearly miss my Mikal. They continue to tell me that he misled me, that he only wanted to control me, but I cannot cleanse him from my mind. Mikal and I were friends. We loved one another dearly. I remember, as a child, imagining the day when we would join hands in our own wedding ceremonies. 

But now that image is gone. I am left with but one option; that of Donovan. He is a sweet boy, and there are no doubts to his intentions. But there is so much missing, so much more that I long for that my Mikal could provide. We had adventures! We took risks. Walks, runs. There was no obstacle we could not overcome. Until the Filing. That awful Filing.

Oh, Mikal…how I miss you.

Good & Evil: Chapter 22

Blah.

Oh, Estella. In spite of my usually whimsical self, I feel for that girl. Imagine it. The one person you love more than anything in the world, stripped from you without pause or cause for concern. Just like that – gone. Not even a goodbye. Now, I say imagine it….but can you really? Truly consider this: who is the one person on the planet you most assuredly could not fathom life without? Think of their name. Think of their face, greeting you with a warm mug of coffee as you waltz into the kitchen after a hot, fresh shower. Think of their smile as they tell you to have a good day, and the image in your head as you think of them while you’re gone.

And then imagine life without them.

I don’t know what’s good. I couldn’t tell you what’s evil. What I do know, however, through my time sifting through your historical records – is that humans have a grand capacity to feel. Now you might be questioning what I mean by that. But I would urge you to instead focus on that statement. What do you think constitutes good and evil? Is it our actions? Or rather, our intentions? Because the two most certainly do not correlate often. 

You see, we all justify our actions, as good or bad as they may be. We all have a story we tell ourselves as we lay our heads down which allows us to purge our guilt and remorse from our thoughts. None of us would ever admit to being evil, would we? Of course not. That wouldn’t bode well for our facade, after all. 

And as we all know, that’s what matters….right?

Good & Evil: Chapter 20

You know, I generally try to maintain a neutral feeling when I sift through these journal entries. Helps keep me sane, ya know? But I have to admit, I’m sort of feeling for Mikal. It sounds like he played his cards just a bit too poorly and ended up getting the shit end of the stick. 

Maybe he doesn’t see the good in other men. Maybe he views the world as a blank canvas that’s just waiting to be painted on, and whoever paints the best wins. Is this how life is supposed to be? A constant attempt of trying to outdo the other guy so we can parade our marketability? Depth is a dwindling trait, indeed. But I choose to believe that life is more than that. It’s the experience of experiences; the short window where we get to cram in as much happiness as we can. Because ultimately that should be the goal in all endeavors. To generate happiness. Everything we produce, everything we create, everything we imagine…should be conceptualized to further and better the lives of us as biological organisms. Create happiness. 

That is the key to life.