Investing in Space Piracy: A How To Guide {short story}

Hello Readers,

I’ve been taking a Creative Writing course with Northstar Academy at the tail end of the summer and I really enjoy the assignments we have. One of them was to write a short story and we were given very loose rules for it, so this is what I came up with.

Because space + pirates + sci-fi spaceship dragons = epic.

Investing in Space Piracy: A How To Guide

But first, a collage.

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Not that Rhye was superstitious, but it did strike her as ironic that only a couple hours after she loudly proclaimed every ship in port as “useless flying pieces of metal just waiting to be pirated and made into scrap” her own ship, Kestrel, decided to let a few screws loose. She always knew that her ship was a bit wonky, but that added to its charm and speed. Not today, however. She knew she should have said something derogatory about her ship to cancel out the karma or something. She quickly mumbles something about the leaky oil, hoping that will work.

It might not have been her words at all, she reflects, remembering the cup of coffee that was knocked out of her hand earlier by a shift in gravity. She should really get this stuff checked out.

Whatever the case, she decides after a couple minutes of musing, she has a problem on her hands. Placing a comm to any of the captains from the shipyard was out of the question, there was too much pride on both sides for anything to get done. That and she had robbed about eighty percent of them. She turns on her sonar in a last ditch attempt to see if anyone is nearby. If not, she’ll have to bail in the escape pod, and Rhye really wants to avoid that. Kestrel has been her constant companion for years and if she can repair her or retire her in style, that is what she will do.

That’s odd, she wonders, blinking at the sonar. A ship far larger than any she has ever encountered and it’s only reading one life form.

She hums in consideration, winding her finger around her thick black curls, tapping her other on her purple lips. The groaning of her engine and the sparks behind her make the decision for her. Rhye winces as she guns the engine, whispering an apology to Kestrel as they make their way over to the gigantic ship, which she has dubbed “Bogey”.

Rhye raises her eyebrows in respect as she reaches the blip on her radar, deciding that as huge as she thought this ship was, it is really simply monstrous. The shape reminds her of pictures in stories she read as a child, and she smiles as she remembers. That’s right.

“A dragon.” She whispers, feeling the thrill of the word tingling on her tongue as she eyes this blue metal monstrosity. She grins, crossing her fingers for luck before flipping on the comm switch.

As far as Mondays go, James’ day was going very well. His smuggling operation was a little before schedule, giving him some wiggle room to find a way to make some more profit on the side. He even hums as he goes about checking his accounts.

But then the intercom begins buzzing.

He answers and gets static in response. “Can’t read you, over. This is Wyvern. Repeat message.” He really hopes it’s not the cops again.

“I have an urgent matter to speak to you about. Also, what kind of call sign is Wyvern? It’s like a weird Latin word or something.” Her voice is casual, tinged with confidence and a bit of panic. James breathes out in relief; it’s not the cops.

“It’s simple and to the point.” He shrugs in response, glancing at her ship out of the window. Simple and black, emblazoned with a dark blue bird, talons outstretched. “What do you need?”

She leads with “I have a mutually beneficial proposal to my current problem.” he smirks, cutting the rest of her explanation off.

“I’m not exactly the marrying type, love.” James glances around his gigantic metal dragon, frowning as he notices her ship, The Kestrel, sputtering. “I’m assuming this problem has something to do with the fact that your engines are failing?” He drums his fingers against the sleeve of his worn leather jacket.

“Funny.” She mutters, before her voice turns cold as the floors of James’ ship and blunt as an old tomato knife. “How would you like to invest in piracy?” He toys with the idea of telling her that he’s calling the cops, but he has the feeling she already knows his operations. She won’t fall for the cop trick, as he has enough to lose by it. He hums thoughtfully, running his finger along a spotless console, wiping imaginary dust off on his jeans.

“Well, that depends…” He lets the end of his sentence trail off suggestively, looking off at her ship and smirking as she paces.

“This negotiation is going to have to be fast, Wyvern.” She mutters, dragging her feet as she stalks along her white floors, her trench coat flying out as her black hair whips in her face from the speed of her pacing.

“Alright, so let me get this straight.” He pauses a second, running his fingers languidly through his blonde-nearly-white hair, grinning as she huffs with frustration. “You want me to become partners in your piracy business and you plan on using my ship as your vessel until your own ship is repaired?”

“Seventy-thirty partners, yes. And I would only be using your ship for a short time. You would be well compensated.” That edge of panic is back as her ship tilts back and forth and her words begin to slur together. She adjusts her black shirt so that she has an excuse to look away from his ship.

“Fifty-fifty or nothing. I can’t trust that you’ll compensate me so I want half my payment now to be sure that I’ll at least get something.” James says, glancing out the window and hoping she agrees. He’d rather not watch her burn up in the atmosphere.

A long pause follows and he considers comming her again and lessening the blow of the deal. Forty-sixty or something.

“Fine.” She snarls, and he raises an eyebrow as she gets in her pod, shooting off towards his ship.

“Welcome aboard, Kestrel.” He bows and she rolls her eyes, her shoulder hitting him as she walks roughly on board.

Little does he know, he’ll never quit pirating.

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Writing Music!

Hello Readers,

I am posting after only nine days!

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Seriously guys, I am impressed.

Though the only problem now is I have no clue what to write about.

Just great.

So until I find a good subject to write a whole post on, I’m going to give you some music recommendations. I listen to these songs while writing and they help me battle writers’ block on many occasions; but they just aren’t working currently. May they help you with cleaning or whatever task you must do.

  • morocco by moon taxi
  • simplify by brendan james
  • suit and jacket by judah and the lion
  • songs in the night by the gray havens
  • viva la vida by coldplay
  • the wolves by ben howard
  • life in color by onerepublic
  • visceral by john mark mcmillan
  • scars by james bay
  • the lucky ones by brendan james

Let me know what songs you enjoy!

~Ruby Sky

 

 

 

 

 

Writing and School: A Survival Guide

Hello Readers,

Just in time for Camp NaNoWriMo, I have a handy dandy sort of helpful(??) guide survival guide. Prepare to be amazed!

Step One:

Look At All That You Must Accomplish… AKA Panic

 

Love and Other Drugs
Mope and groan. Look at your plot, look at the pile of school.

After you have sufficiently been overwhelmed, move onto step two. It gets better from here.

Step Two:

Sort Out Your Priorities. 

 

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Be Obi-Wan, not Padmé. Do not be Padmé. You got this.

Look at what you need to get done that day, and please, look at it realistically. Factor in snack breaks and inevitable probable procrastination. Know your limits. Do not think things like “I can do five math lessons in an hour and then figure out that one plot hole in ten minutes.”

That. Will. Not. Happen. Realistically.

Trust me, I tried.

Step Three:

Start On The First Thing.

 

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I’m not dramatic, you’re dramatic.

You’re laughing, aren’t you? “Wow, Ruby, I had no idea I was supposed to start. Thanks for adding that to the list.” You’d be surprised at how many projects are never finished because they were never actually started because the person got too lazy and procrastinated.

The beginning is the hardest part of any project. The middle and the end are beasts as well.

Make yourself begin. Whether it’s googling that math formula that you need to memorize, writing the first sentence of a book, or finishing that latin homework you forgot about over spring break.

Because once you begin, you feel guilty if you do not finish.

Step Four:

Let Yourself Have Breaks, But Not Too Many or Too Long.

See, you start out with great intentions of only having a ten minute break or a couple breaks. And then you wind up an hour or twenty breaks later explaining yourself to the pile of work that needs to be done and you look something like this man below.

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I never take too long breaks, what are you talking about?

And once you take too long or too many breaks, you start to crave the sun and fresh air. You want to talk to people.

Once that happens, you can’t go back to chipping away at your block of work. So do yourself a favor and limit the breaks. You can go lay in the sunshine when you’re done.

Step Five:

Work For The Allotted Time Period.

Once you have figured out how long you want your “work day” to be, every day, work for that entire amount of time. Plus breaks and whatnot. But don’t decide that you’re going to end earlier that day and go later the next. Do your best to have a rhythm. School and writing can be juggled chaotically, but still juggled. You’ve got this!

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Very important advice.

Step Six:

Once The Work Is Done, We Don’t Think About Work. 

The work is done. It does not matter anymore. Work has no hold on us. We are free. Free as a bird. Until tomorrow morning.

All joking aside, this is actually very important. Placing what you must do tomorrow out of your mind once you can do no more is actually healthy. You stress less, you can relax more, and you can get more done if there is an end in sight.

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You can be like this guy for the rest of the evening if you want.

 

Step Six:

Sleep!

Pretty self-explanatory.

 

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If only I could fall asleep that quickly.

Hope this was able to help those of you writers who were frantically looking for this guide. I got your back. 😉

 

~Ruby

Eight Times Professor Snape Was Extremely Relatable

Hello Readers,

Don’t worry, I have a serious post in the works, but I felt like doing something lighthearted and fun today. I was thinking about how I really related to a couple scenes with Severus Snape, so I decided I would put them all in a blog post because I had no other ideas and I need to write a post.

Pure brillance.

So let’s get to it!

  1. When He Made His Students Pay Attention

 

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 Me if I was a teacher.

2. When He Taught Life Lessons

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When I find myself in times of trouble, Professor Snape comes to me… 

3. When He Stopped Drama With Three Words

 

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Oh, how I wish I could tell people this. 

4. When He Quieted A Room

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If only it worked this well for me.

5. When He Was Trying To Get Something And People Were Brats

 

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I’m looking at you, Lupin. Withholding the map, indeed. 

 

6. When He Was Honest About Not Knowing Things

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Though this is right before he duels Lockhart and wins easily. So perhaps it was less “I don’t know” and more “You don’t know”.

 

7. When He Demanded 100% Honesty

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If only I looked that intimidating while demanding honesty.

8. When He Was Protective of His Knick Knacks

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Everyone has been in this position. 

 

And that concludes my post for today!

~Rubix

 

 

 

Penance-Part Three

Hello Readers,

I have another part of Penance for you! With the craziness of NaNoWriMo being over, I was able to finally pull together a short chapter. Penance is most likely going to be just a five parter story, so we’re a little over half way!

You can catch up on the other two parts here:

Any Landing You Can Walk Away From…

White Lies

Oh! I made a collage:

Porter.jpg
Porter.

 

Smoke in the Graveyard

 

I pull out the somewhat junky typewriter I bought off an old woman for 50 bucks. I dust it off a bit and set it on the card table in the middle of the kitchen. Myrtle’s blanket lies on the chair, looking as dirty as always.

 

She’s off at school for the day, and the apartment is quiet.

 

I find that the lack of noise makes me wary.

 

I fear I’ve gone soft.

 

Soon enough, the tapping of the typewriter fills the little grey apartment, bouncing off the ugly orange couch and reaching into Myrtle’s small room. The words spill from my fingers choppily as I type with two fingers. I wish I could have learned how to type before being chucked to earth.

 

Oh well.

 

I’ve got two or three pages done when I decide to break for lunch. I need to get another job. I can’t raise a kid and eat like a normal person on this kind of money. I eat my salami and cheese sandwich, walking into my room and sitting on the tough mattress.

 

I chew my stale bread, trying to choke it down with milk.

 

How am I going to get a steady flow of cash? I sigh a little, crumpling up my napkin and shooting a basket into the tiny trashcan. I miss. Again.

 

Just like my life. Thanks Council.

 

I’m taking a walk. That’s what they said you’re supposed to do when life gets crappy. Take a walk and you’ll either meet an old millionaire or some blond will come and sing about love and everything will look better.

 

Ah, there I go again, being a “cynic.” Myrtle says I need to work on my optimism. I say the rest of the world needs to work on being realistic.

 

So I’m taking a walk. Maybe the council gives brownie points for not ripping curtains in frustration?

 

It’s not as if anything exciting is happening in the outside world. The teenagers are cruising up and down main in their cars or hanging out in the parking lots. The adults are drinking coffee and laughing.

 

Oh, and none of them can see me. So I have to make sure I don’t run into anyone. Which is very irritating. Also, cars can’t see me either, so my chances of getting run over go up to not very good odds.

 

I look over to see a kid smoking a cigarette, a tear leaking out of his eye barely as he walks down the gravel road, smoke curling around his face. I find myself somewhat curious as to who he is and what he is doing.

 

So I do what any self-respecting person would do. I follow him, obviously. That and it gives me a break from my money problem.

 

I follow him over a stubbly dirt path, nearly tripping on a couple rocks but saving myself from pitching forward just in time. The consequences of that could be disastrous. Weeds grow along the sides of the path, their little yellow flowers reaching to grab and suck the sunlight away from the rest of the world.

 

He kneels down at the grave, a bunch of weeds plucked in his hand and a cigarette smoking in the other as he crosses himself. Laying the weeds down at the foot of the tombstone engraved with a single name.

 

Alejandro.

 

He smiles wryly as he sits down in front of it, smoke curling from his mouth to add to horrible gray fog that seems to cover the world.

 

“It was three years ago today, Dad.” He says, laughing a bit. “Three years ago that you died and left me to care for the girls. Well, guess what, Angela got out of this no good town real quick with the kids, but she left me. Told me I was a man.”

 

He stops, chuckles ruefully, glaring at the tombstone. “I was fifteen.”

 

The tears leak out as he brushes them angrily away. He perches on the end of the grave, pulling at the grass. “I’ve done the best I can, Dad. I miss you.”

 

Silence walks around, handcuffing me to the ground and wrapping him in a straight jacket.

 

He throws the grass at the grave along with his words. “I hate you for leaving me. I hate her for leaving me.”

 

I walk over, silent and quiet, and I don’t know what exactly possesses me to do it, but I place an arm around his shoulder. He jumps a bit, and turns his head until our noses are almost touching. It’s a bit uncomfortable.

 

“Is… someone there?”

 

“Yes.” I breathe out, quietly.

 

“Who… who are you?”

 

“I…” I shrug a little. “I am a man out of place.”

 

“I’m talking to thin air.” He laughs, looking at his cigarette. “I’ve lost it.”

 

I always hated those dratted cigarettes. I nab it out of his hand and snuff it out. “Lost it or not, I’m here, and I would prefer not to get lung cancer.”

 

“How…”

 

“Future, kid. Time travel.” I do jazz hands but then remember he can’t see them. Oh well. I always do like a good jazz hands.

 

“Don’t call me kid.” He rolls his eyes.

 

“Well, what’s your name?”

 

“Damian.”

 

I nod. “Name’s Porter.”

 

“Porter the invisible man?”

 

“Yep. You got a problem?”

 

He blinks a bit, settling back into the invisible comfort I offer. After all, I am only air.

 

“I’ve got an apartment up the street. Ask the brilliant African American girl with really tangled hair for directions if you need to.”

 

“Why?”

 

Turns out, there are a lot of answers to that question. And he will learn all of them in a few short days. My first week as a bodyguard had been going smoothly. Sadly, that was not to last.

 

But then again, we can’t have my life get boring, now can we?

 

Ha.

 

The answer to all those questions lurks by a grave, just barely slipping out of his Chameleon blanket.

 

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

 

The world goes darker for a moment, and I panic, reaching into my pocket for a gun and swearing when I can’t find a thing.

 

Just great.

 

So, this is part three of five (hopefully). How will Porter get a job being an invisible man? Who is the villain? Will Rubix ever stop asking questions? 

I Actually Won Something!

Hello Readers,

 

NaNoWriMo was this month, and I didn’t really tell many people that I was doing it because I wasn’t entirely for certain if I was doing it until the last week. It all started when I was talking with my dad and telling him about how I was probably only going to get 45,000 at the most cause I was pretty behind. My dad, being well, the way he is, responded with “You’re so close. You can do it!” I responded with, “YES. YES, I CAN!”

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Well, after I did this for about two hours, I began to get down to business. 
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There was lots of this as well. 

And I did. It took 8,000 words in two days and being exhausted the next morning. It took a horrible ending to my novel and tons of random scenes that I didn’t need to have because I had to write words. But I did it.

Actual footage of what my hands look like when I type 4,000 words. And just like he was typing, not much of it actually made sense.

Hence the reason why another installment of Penance or many blog posts have not been put up this month. I ran out of words at the end of the day.

The novel that I was writing is called How To Break The World, and I am hoping to get it to at least 60,000 words once I have written the second draft. It’s actually going to be part of a trilogy that I am going to write.

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Look at that wonderful cover. Bask in it.

How To Break The World has been an idea in my head for a very long time, but I just recently decided to write it. It’s part of a trilogy that has not been named and plotted out, but that I will hopefully be able to make brilliant and detailed.

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Basically me. With everything.

 

A brief synopsis:

If you’re reading this, that means the plan went wrong. What’s the plan? A last ditch effort to restore our society. We’ve been told we were gods so many times that we’ve begun to believe it. 

The Æsir came to me, practically begging for help, wanting me to fix their mess. I was still imprisoned at the time, so they made a bargain in that ratty cold cell. I got out, and they got me. So the plan was born. We decided to forget everything. All of us. All of our history, our traditions, our brotherhood would be forgotten. Fine by me.

We start anew. We become human. We become like you. 

But if you’re reading this, that means somebody other than me cheated the system. 

Good luck, you probably just broke the world, whoever you are. 

So, the premise of the book is that the Norse gods are not actually gods, but advanced alien humanoids that were worshipped by early people. However, if you tell somebody something enough times, they will believe you, so they began to believe that they were actually gods. The government of the Æsir doesn’t like this, so they decide that everything needs to change. Which is where Loki comes in.

And that’s really all I can tell you for now.

~Rubix

 

 

Penance – Part Two

So I was in the car for a while, so another part got written! Yay! Probably after this it’ll slow down for a bit. Sadness.

Anyways, we last left off with Porter discovering that he’s essentially a “guardian angel” for a kid named Myrtle, who happens to be a technological pioneer.

Also, Myrtle is the only one who can see him.

You can read more about this here.

(oh and see the author’s notes at the bottom)

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White Lies

“This is where you live, hon?” I raise my eyebrows, surveying the broken down apartment.

“Yea. My uncle’s in there.” She shrugs, looking somewhat embarrassed, scuffing the ground. The shoes I thought were new before, I realize are just men’s shoes that are too big on her feet. 

“Ah.” I nod, remembering. 

Myrtle Bloom, saddled down with an alcoholic uncle who barely lets her go to school. It’s a sad story to read, really. If I were back on my couch at home reading her biography, I might even frown a little longer than normal.

But it all seems much more real when you can smell the whisky and see the broken chairs because they can’t afford any more. It’s much more real when a little kid that barely knows you is shrinking to cling to your side. You don’t see that in a biography, now do you?

Oh Myrtle, we’ve got to get you out of here. She’s stuck to my side like a parasite and I don’t have the heart to shake her off. Which is odd, cause I’m the type of person you’d think would shake off small clingy children. I normally would too, but this is different. 

“HEY!” A low voice yells, whisky running off his voice like water as he stumbles through the hoarded trash to find me.

“What’re you doing with my niece?!”

Ah, so he can see me too. Thanks council, it will make punching him in the face that much more fun. Perhaps it’s just Myrtle’s genetics that have the ability to see little ol’ me. Who knows? Who really cares?

“Child services, sir. We’re taking her away.”

Yet another lie I don’t feel bad about. That makes two in the past day. Nice. Or not, depending on your worldview. 

She tenses beside me, if she’s waiting for a no or a yes, I don’t know. I hope it’s not the former. I squeeze her shoulder and she relaxes a tiny bit. I get a better look at her overweight uncle.

Dreadlocks lie around his face, outlining those calculating beady blue eyes. He’s wearing a Hawaiian shirt stained with alcohol and he just reeks of it. His tan shorts are blotched with spots and I wonder how Myrtle’s made it this long semi normal and educated. The kid’s tougher than I thought. 

“Great.” He mutters, walking back.

“Wait, sir, I need you to sign this.” I say, quickly grabbing in my pocket for a crumpled adoption paper that the council handed me before throwing me to Earth.

They also gave me some money.

So thoughtful of them. Always preparing me for any outcome. A crummy adoption paper in case her uncle was still around and hadn’t drank himself to death, and enough money to last me a month or three. 

He grabs a pen out of the junk heap that he calls his home and quickly signs his name, transferring legal rights over to yours truly. Myrtle blinks a little bit beside me. I put my arm around her shoulder. Ugh. I don’t do touchy feely things.

“Get your things, kid.” I have never been so glad to leave a house in my entire life. 

She nods, sniffling. I don’t think she shares in my utter joy.

He just gave her away like she was nothing. I don’t normally find myself feeling sorry for people because they deserve what they get, but I feel sorry for Myrtle Bloom. 

“She’s a handful, that girl.” Her never sober uncle remarks, taking another swig of his bottle. I turn around. 

“I’ve been told I look scary right before I punch people between the eyes.” I remark, as calmly as if I were talking about the weather and not his physical wellbeing.

He blinks, staggering back.

Ah yes, being a guardian angel is pretty fun. 

Myrtle comes out with red eyes and a ratty blue backpack stuffed with clothes and a broken radio. She carries a faded green turtle blanket that looks like it’s been cried on and rubbed in the dirt. 

“Come on, Myrtle.” I say louder, giving her uncle a look and clenching my fist where he can see.

When she’s alongside me I kneel down and whisper. “Whatever you do, kid, don’t look back.”

She nods gravely, hugging her blanket to her chest to stop the leaking from her eyes. It’s funny, how you forget how young she is until she does something so utterly childish. I sigh a little bit. I’m not a nice person, but not even I would make her walk alone from her only family.

I put my hand out and she grabs my fingers in a death grip.

I am already regretting this decision. 

“I didn’t think he’d let me go that easy…” She says quietly once we’re down the road.

I sigh. Time for a motivational talk. I kneel down, looking directly at her eyes.

“Myrtle Bloom, I am not very good at talking, so I’m going to make this short. You are a wondrous creation and if you think for a second that your uncle gave you away because you are trouble or bad or it’s all your fault, then you are by far the stupidest child I have ever met.”

Pep talk over. 

She laughs a bit, rubbing at her eyes. “You’re funny, Porter. Thanks.” She gives me a watery smile.

Uncle Morris down, millions of more things life will throw at Myrtle Bloom to go.

She had a hard life.

It’s almost cruel, the way the council is making me pay penance. Scratch that, it’s the most unfunny joke that’s been played on me since Harold Creech made me think he was dying for three months. 

You save a life and mess with a timeline, and guess what your penance is? Decide what crap you’ll allow a little girl who just wants to be normal go through.

Thanks, Council, no really. If I didn’t already hate you, this might just clinch the deal.

Thankfully, you’ve already got my hatred, and all this does is make me even more sure of it. 

“How’re we going to live?” She cocks her head. 

I calculate about how much money we have and what an invisible person can do for work.  

“We’ve got enough for a couple months of apartment rent and groceries.” I think out loud, never so thankful that everything was cheaper in the 80’s.

“I can work.”

“No, out of the question. You are going to school.”

“What can an invisible man do for a job?” She says, dragging her blanket behind her as I wrinkle my nose up a bit.

I am definitely buying a washing machine. 

“Well, I can cross off acting.”

She laughs like it’s the most funny thing that’s ever come out of my mouth. My lips quirk upwards a bit as I wonder why children are so easy to please. 

“You could write the movies.” She says, laughing.

Wait. That’s an idea. I could write science fiction, borrowing from my own future and normal life and putting artistic license on it. 

“I can be a novel writer and an editor.” I say, rubbing the stubble on my chin thoughtfully. 

“Aren’t writers kinda…” She cocks her head, making a “crazy” motion around her head.

“A bit, yea.” I shrug and then my eyes widen. “Don’t you have school?”

“Today is Sunday. You really must’ve hit your head hard.” 

Oh right, back then they didn’t have school on the weekends.

“Know any cheap but not ratty apartments?”

“Down by Jen’s house, there’s a good complex. Pretty decent prices according to Mrs. Harrison.”

I nod. Now, just to figure out how to buy it invisibly. Perhaps I could pretend to be an eccentric person who is scared of people and just communicates over mail?

Yes, that’ll work.

“Got any paper?”

She pulls out a notebook and a pen and I begin to scribble my note in the margins.

“Take this to the manager.”

“Do you think it’ll work?”

“Money talks, hon, even if I don’t.”

She shrugs and puts her things by me, running off past the houses, streaking like a bolt of purple lightning, her jacket flying behind her. 

The End

Author’s notes: So I don’t really know exactly where I’m going to go with this. I have a vague idea of scenes I will write and who my villain will be and an eensy bit of dear ol’ Porter’s backstory. If you have an suggestions or ideas of what you think might happen or should happen, please tell me!Image result for so long farewell gif

Penance-A Story Beginning

So I came up with this beginning earlier today, and thought “Well, since everyone else is doing serial stories, why don’t I try my hand at it?” So if all goes well, and if people like the idea and the story, I might just do a serial story.

Cue fireworks of excitement.

Anyway.

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Any Landing You Can Walk Away From… 

I cough, the taste of dust and bone colliding down my throat and filling my lungs as I hit the ground with a crack. 

That can’t be good. I wince a little, feeling my tailbone. Hopefully I didn’t break anything?

I dust myself off, blinking at the sun that tries to scald my dark eyes and rubbing the dirt from my head. Oh well, you won’t be able to see it too much, since my hair’s already a dark shade of brown. 

Where am I?

Memories start flooding back into my head, memories of the council, of who I am, of where I am. Of what I have done. I clear that answer from my head, it won’t help me here. Best not to dwell on what we can’t change.  

“Porter Langston, by the power invested in me by the People and the State, you are exiled to Earth. Your penance? You must keep Myrtle Bloom alive and well, and protect her with your very life.”

It rings in my ears, vibrating through my cranium. It’s my only mission now. More important than my name, my age (25), my loves, my fears, my hopes. Myrtle Bloom is now my priority.

I don’t know how I feel about that.

I brush my hand over the gravel, looking up to see…

Nothing, really. Ordinary life. Kids are walking by, chattering loudly, women are walking by talking about men. Men are walking by talking about cars. But nobody sees me. How does nobody see me? I don’t remember dying. I wave my hand in front of my face.

Yep, still flesh and blood. So invisibility is out.  

I look around somewhat frantically to see a little girl watching me, her green eyes calculating but not unfriendly as she scuffs the dirt with her shiny new shoes. I suppose she can see me. I make a face, just to be certain. She laughs. I guess that’s a yes. 

Apparently I should become a comedian. I’m too relieved to be irritated with her. 

I look at her, trying to figure out where I know her from, because something about her face…

OH.

Oh.

…oh. I remember now. 

I resist the urge to puke as my stomach turns in on itself. The infernal organ has a habit of doing that when it is least convenient. 

This is the girl that will make or break my life. The fate of my entire life rests in these scrawny dark hands. Tiny hands, matter of fact. 

I’m not sure I like this.

The green eyed girl’s name is Myrtle, and as of now, I’m her guardian angel.

“Who are you?” She asks, watching the expressions flit over my face like an old black and white slideshow.

I turn my head to stare at her. Brown meeting green in an odd contest.

I lick my lips nervously, which is odd. I never get nervous. Not like this. I get “hm this could be bad” nervous, not “shaking knees and dry mouth” nervous. “My name is Porter.”

“I don’t want your name.” She rolls her eyes. “Who are you to me? Why are you here? Nobody comes here, and if they do, nobody comes here to see me.”

Smart kid. 

“I’m…” I blink a bit, trying to figure out how to explain the future of the worlds and how there’s not just us and the council and everything to a little girl in a town back in the 80’s. This is a lot harder than I thought. 

She finally just rolls her eyes and walks her dark wiry form over to me and thrusts out a small nine year old hand.

“My name is Myrtle Bloom, and I’m going to change the world.” She grins at me, like she’s so amazing. I would be irritated, except I know who she will become, and yes, the girl is “so amazing”. 

You have no idea how much you’ll change everything, kid, no idea. I shake her hand back, marveling at how small it is in my calloused pale one. 

“Are you a ghost?” She asks, raising her eyebrows and looking at herself, her chest heaving with anxious breaths. “Am I dead?” 

“No, no, sweetheart, you’re not dead. I’m not a ghost. What made you think that?” I’ve been told I’m quite pale, but that is just offensive. I’ll have you know I tan a bit in the summer. 

“Nobody else can see ya.” She cocks her head. “They’re all looking at me like I’m some sorta crazy child.”

“Who I am is really complicated, and I can’t really explain. But somebody cares a lot about you, so they sent me to make sure you grow up alright.” Yes, this is a good explanation. Way to go, Porter. I just get done clapping myself on the back when she, as children are wont to, asks a hard question. 

“Was it my parents?”

“Yes.” I lie.

I don’t feel bad about it either. Oddly enough, I do normally feel bad about lying, if you can believe it. You probably don’t. 

She smiles a bit. “Kinda stupid, though, having a protector nobody can see.”

“Nah, honey, it’s better. That way they don’t see me comin’.” I let a grin stretch over my face. Ah, that feels better. Stretching out the old face muscles. 

She grins up at me and I smirk back. Smirking is like grinning, but more secretive.

Perhaps being a “guardian angel” won’t be so bad after all. The kid’s pretty smart, after all. It’s not like I’ll be babysitting an idiot. 

I have a feeling I’ll be taking that statement back soon. 

She winks at me, as if she knows what I’m thinking. “So, Porter.”

“Langston. Mr. Langston.” 

“So, Porter,” She continues, blatantly ignoring me. “I’m assuming you’re either a time traveler, an alien, or something else.”

I blink.

“So?”

“Time traveler.” How did she…

Never mind.

“Nice. Bring any nifty gadgets?”

“No.”

“Some future man you are.” She rolls her eyes. “What’s the point of the future if it isn’t all fixed up?” 

Hon, I keep asking myself that same question. 

Because honestly, the future is more messed up then the past.

The End (for now? Maybe?)

Image result for What could possibly go wrong gif tenth doctor

Everything Begins Somewhere

Hey there Readers,

Every once in a while, I’ll get an idea for a random scene or a random story beginning, so I thought I’d write a couple of them down and show you.

The first time I saw fireworks, I was six years old. It seemed as if we were at war with the night, sending bursts of raging swirls to combat the icy blackness that threatened to swallow us. I watched the war that raged between man and nature.

The colors bloomed across my vision, sending bright spots dancing across my eyes like wayward fireflies. I heard cheering but it sounded muted, having become white noise to the explosions that littered the sky like confetti on a dirty street.

I think it was those bursts of color, streaming fearlessly to combat the inky dark that I was told was where the monsters and bogeyman lived that first inspired me to be great.

Other people have heroes, but I just had fireworks.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The lights flickered on and off, reflecting off the slightly bruised watermelons in the cart. The odd chatter floated through the air, clashing with the loud Taylor Swift single playing.

I suppose it was an ordinary day, but I thought something could happen. Something always does, doesn’t it? Something odd that makes us wonder and marvel.

I guess you could say I live for these odd moments, these conversations, the things that make this world seem more alive, more colorful for a brief moment.

Today, my burst of color was a conversation. Tomorrow, it could be a person.

Who really knows?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Laughter, the smell of hot koolaid, and an impromptu reading of “Phantom of the Opera” filled my senses as I looked in the mirror at my dyed hair.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A frantic phone call, worried I had messed it up, only to hear a reassuring low voice on the other end. All was well, I was forgiven, and it ceased to exist.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Cold snow fell, dewy on her black hair as she stood and laughed at the world that had scorned her for so long. It was not a bitter angry laugh but a laugh of pure joy, of knowing what and who she was. She was not afraid anymore. What was there to be afraid of?                                                                                                                                                                                              

  For she was loved.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I met him on the old playground, remembering days spent there as a kid. He sat beside me on the swings without a word, the rusty chains squeaking under him as he sat on the cracked green seat. 

“I heard about your friend…” He said, his brown eyes wide with sympathy that I don’t know if I wanted to see or not.

I sighed a little, determined not to cry this time. “Yea.”

“I’m sorry.” He said, looking back down at his feet. Mine still dangled. Cons of being short, I guess. 

“So am I.” I finally looked at him, standing up and he followed.

He hugged me as I cried. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I held him tightly before handing him back to his mother after cleaning him up, looking down into his baby blue eyes and soft black hair, knowing that this was a miracle.

“You’re a mother now.”

She cried and I held her hand as she smiled at her new baby boy. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~Rubix

 

The Evolution of Superheroes

Hello Readers,

Disclaimer: I do not know my superheroes extremely well, but I consider myself an interested party. I apologize if I get any facts wrong. 

Most of you, at at least some point in your life, have looked up to or admired a superhero. (Yes, Sam, even you, with your whole “I don’t like superhero movies” thing.)

Now, superheroes have been around for a long time, but I personally think it all started with the creation of one alien.

Superman.

Yea, I know, I wondered how he got that curl to stay like that too. Maybe Kryptonian hairspray?

Superman was… for lack of a better word, ‘perfect’. He had all the powers, he was the best good guy ever, and we loved it when he was first made. We wanted a god, so we got one. We got an unattainable alien with super strength, laser vision, and he never made a mistake.

That’s not to say he wasn’t good, he was. But his goodness began to wear on people. They wanted someone more human.

Now, there are two superheroes who can be labeled as the one who answered that call.

As these two are from rival superhero companies, this is a fan art I picked up off of google. But these two were probably the first superheroes to mess up. Majorly. Especially Batman, talk about bad life choices…

Spiderman was the most “ordinary” superhero at the time. He struggled with juggling normal life and superhero life, not to mention how much of a shock and change it had been to him in the first place. He messed up, he doubted himself, he didn’t always get the girl. Spiderman was… “normal”. He missed questions on his homework sometimes, he lost to the bad guys.

Spiderman represented our humanity.

But Batman, well, he’s another story (literally. Completely different company.). Batman was dark, he was brooding. Basically the embodiment of “tall, dark and handsome.” Batman was sick of all the crime in his city, so he became the Bat. He took on the villains, but sometimes, it was a little hard to differentiate between the two.

Batman was our darkness that we wanted to make better. And he succeeded, he made himself a better man. I mean, he raised how many kids over the course of his life? The guy eventually mellowed out a bit. (When you’re raising a bunch of orphan sidekicks, you tend to get a little softer).

 

And now, we still see this pattern.

 

We want a hero, we always will. We see this pattern over and over, good triumphing over evil.

I don’t count people like Deadpool or Deathstroke heroes.

Because they aren’t in it to save lives. To save human souls.

We started out with a god, but he was too high for us, so we made someone we could relate to. And we continued, every superhero representing something different in us.

But no matter what changed,  good always triumphs over evil. Bad news may sell well, but movies with the villains winning? No.

That’s because there is something so human in us, so hoping, that someone will come to save us. That even while the shadows lurk around the corner, there is an angel of light ready to save us from the dark.

Now, this is when most people would say something along the lines of “in the end, really, you’re alone. Nobody will save you.”

But someone will.

His name is Jesus. And I know that we make so many comparisons to him being like Superman, but he’s really not like that. He knows pain, suffering, loneliness. He has been tempted, he has been persecuted. He has humility.

Everything that you’ve felt, that you’ve struggled with, he’s been there. He knows.

And he overcame it.

So I suppose, if we are to look up to anyone, it should be him.

Can’t you see it? Can’t you see?

Everything, everything good points to him. Everything good comes from him. Because somewhere in us, we know, we hope, that someone will come to save us.

So, in the end, when the shadows loom and stretch and try to swallow you whole, there’s an angel of light coming.

~Rubix