End of the World

Good afternoon, darling!

I want to share with you something that had severe negative emotional effects and mild physical ones on yours truly. It’s going to make me a bit vulnerable, but the raw and painful experiences are the ones that we connect with or so I hear.

Without going into too much detail…

  • I made some decisions against my better judgement.
  • I lost a lot of friends (not through anything that was really my fault).
  • I heard something at a youth conference (of all places) that disturbed me for a long time.

All this combined led to a crazy amount of negative impacts which I think I won’t go into at this time.

But one of the things that stuck with me and is something that I’m still trying to shake is this fear that the world is going to end. If I look at it from a big picture perspective, it’s not so bad, right? It’s not that everything will be destroyed, but that everything will be made beautiful and perfect and glorious. But it also means that crap happens first. Things have to get really bad before they get really good.

And I would lie awake at night, wondering when it would happen, what would happen. But you know what? I have little to no reason to believe that this is going to happen any time soon. What have we got going? Wars, murder, the beheading of innocents, children getting shot in their schools, parents murdering their children, children murdering their parents.

This has all happened before. It’s nothing new.

History repeats itself. Where once children – babies – were burned alive to appease the pagan gods, we now murder them before they’re born and turn a blind eye.* Wars have been raging for forever. Murder: Cain and Able.

I have no valid reason to believe that the world is ending. 

Do you?

The thing is, even if it were, what’s the point in worrying about it?  We can’t change it. We can’t stop it. All we can do is make the world around us a good place to live. That’s what I kept trying to tell myself a year or two ago, but I couldn’t quite believe it for a long time. So if you’re there, it gets better. I promise. Just hold on.

Do you ever flip to a random passage in the Bible? I did the other night and stumbled upon this. It comforted me a lot and my prayer is that it helps you too.

Thessalonians 2:2-3

Anyway, this is something I felt I should write about. Maybe it will speak to you, maybe not. I hope this finds its way to whoever needs it. ❤

Love,

Rana

*Note: I do not judge those who have had an abortion. I love them and my heart goes out them. I realize that I cannot agree with their decision, but that does not mean I have to hate them. ❤ If you have had one and are hurting, seek counselling, love. ❤ You can get better.

P.S.

This Christmas season, we’ll see a lot of Salvation Army red buckets and hear them jingling bells. The SA has admitted to believing that it’s fine to have an abortion under certain circumstances on its website. If you believe abortion is wrong under //all// circumstances, you might want to find some other organization to contribute to. (And there has never been an instance where an unborn baby needed to die to save the mother. Sometimes, the mother needs surgery and the baby dies in the process, but these two situations are completely different. One has the intent to kill, the other has the intent to save.) #tangentover

Advertisements

The Hunger Games: The Mockingjay: Part 1: A Review

SPOILER WARNING. CONSIDER YOURSELF WARNED.

Last night, I had the privilege of seeing The Hunger Games: The Mockingjay: Part 1. I read the books a while back and don’t remember if it followed the book closely, but I feel that it had a huge impact.

The first two books/films were necessary in setting the scene for the third installment in the Hunger Games trilogy/series and definitely had impact, but this one just seemed like a major wake up call. As I watched, I kept seeing parallels between that world and ours.

I’ve written about it before – we read to see ourselves. And I definitely saw us.

  • I saw us in the pain and hunger – not so much for food as much as hope. Hope is something we lack so much in today’s day and age. We’re constantly being bombarded by noise and products – we’re constantly wrapped up in the superficial. Things that make us happy for a fleeting moment. But in the long run, we’re left empty. Our energy has been sucked dry by nothing and we allowed that to happen.
  • I saw us in the murder. In the scene where rebels were shot, all I could think of was ISIS. You either convert or you die. You either do as President Snow wants or you die. Seeing any connections?
    • Is it true faith if it’s forced? Is it true patriotism if it’s done out of fear?
  • I saw us in the massacres and death. The hospital in District 8. I thought of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta tending to the wounded, dying. And now, as I think about it, the Rwandan Genocide. Guys, we’re all equally human. But, I suppose, not equally humane.
  • I saw us in Peeta’s (or was it Peeta’s? 😉 ) urging for peace (peace or submission?). I think it was too late for peace. I think there does need to be a rebellion before we can attain a long-lasting impact with positive effects. People are dying, there’s injustice, morals grew corrupt and that’s what we need to combat.
  • I saw us in the relationship issues. Okay, I promise this isn’t going to be cheesy. I try to steer clear of that. Oh, and please get over the Team Gale and Team Peeta spat.
    • Gale + Katniss = mutual need for survival. Take away the mutual need. What have you got? Maybe two friends. Maybe not. The glue between them was a recipe of one part need and one part time (they had a lot of history – supporting each other, feeding their families, etc.). I don’t know that their ideals were always the same. But maybe more on that another time.
    • Peeta and Katniss, however, I believe embodied true love. Love in the most realistic sense. They’re not a Cinderella and Prince Charming. They’re both messed up and they both are willing to give up their life for the other. That’s love.
  • I saw us in the corruption. The people have less power than the government and that’s always a recipe for disaster. As the old quote by Lord Acton goes, “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” I don’t think I need to expound on this point.
  • I saw us in the selflessness and sheer humanity. When we’re suffering, when we’re all stripped of our titles, riches, popularity points – everything – we see what we really are. We’re either monsters hungry for death or we’re people fighting for the ones we love.
    • Katniss isn’t a very likable character, but she embodies certain ideals we all want. When it comes down to it, she’s courageous – scared, but going to push forward. She loves – not perfectly, but selflessly. Oh, and she can sing. I’m so jealous of Jennifer’s voice.
  • I saw us in Peeta. Though he was tortured, he still loved, he still risked it all. And, just as in the book (if I remember correctly), the longer he was in the enemy’s clutches, the worse he looked. It’s so true with us. Smoking could be an enemy. Negative thoughts could be an enemy. While not all of our demons have physical effects, they all have internal ones. They all hurt us ’till they get down to our souls and, if we’re not strong enough to destroy them, they’ll destroy us.

I hope that was comprehensive and left you with something to think about (as is always my hope).

A huge thanks to Suzanne Collins for her time and effort in writing The Hunger Games trilogy as well as to the whole film team in bringing it to life. You can read about death and imagine it, but until you see it, it’s hard for it to have as large of an impact. I cannot wait for the last installment in this film series. The books were amazing with a message to match and now the films are doing a great job in helping us visualize horror and truth.

Listen. I can’t get enough. I think I’m going to buy this when it comes out tomorrow on iTunes.

Don’t forget to like, comment, rate, and follow!

God bless!

Rana

High Fructose Fantasies

Hello, my darling!

I apologize for the irregular posts. I really should get myself on a schedule, but, ah, that would require effort and planning ahead – two things I’m not particularly fond of. So we’ll just stick with this spontaneous thing I’ve got going on.

Today, I just want to kind of throw some thoughts out there. It might be a bit scattered, so hold on tight. 😉

When we were young, we thought we’d be the popular kids with everything figured out. Don’t pretend like you never had those fantasies. We all High Fructose Fantasiesdid.

And now what are we?

What happened to the kids who weren’t afraid to love, to try things, to make mistakes? What happened to the kids who thought they were going to change the world?

I guess they grew up.

I used to day dream all the time. I used to think about my future.

Now, not so much. It’s getting better, but I used to dread thinking about the next day because it was so overwhelming. It still is if I think too hard or far. It just seems like once you hit high school, things go by so fast.

You’re expected to do, like,

  • 529,720,762,759 hours of community service
  • 5,000 hours of internship
  • decide what college to attend
  • what you want to do with the rest of your life
  • make friends
  • keep friends
  • lose friends
  • love
  • hate
  • get broken
  • pick yourself back up
  • have fun because childhood is the best time of your life but why aren’t you acting like an adult
  • cry but not too much because people will ask what’s wrong and they have their own problems – bigger problems so yours mean nothing
  • laugh
  • dream big
  • no, not that big you idiot because only special people can do that (basically, you’re obviously not special)
  • be yourself
  • no, not like that
  • do your homework
  • stop talking so much, no one cares
  • why are you so quiet, I want to hear what you have to say
  • get involved in extra curricular activities
  • but maybe you should drop them because you obviously need an A+ in all of your classes and you seem stressed out
  • and don’t forget to shower and sleep somewhere in between.

Why don’t we dream big anymore? Because there are only 24 hours in a day  and it’s spent doing s o  m u c h  n o t h i n g.

Why do we really need A’s? I work way too hard for a letter. After that, what? I go to a nice college so I can hopefully get a job in the field I studied for. So much of what I do rests on hope that’s not even my own. Is that okay? Is this really how I want to live my life? I just don’t understand why that’s the only option. *shakes head*

(This is not to say that I’m advocating for rebellion against parents/guardians when they tell you to work hard and get good grades. I only mean that you should think for yourself. Respect authority, kids.)

Back to the point: we don’t dream anymore. Our hopes been sucked dry by an uncreative society’s chaotic and bland version of reality. And we so readily conform to it. Our new dreams are no longer that of a hopeful child with starry eyes looking to a bright future. The only dreams we now dare to hope come true must be possible and probable. Anything else will get you hurt.

Our new dreams, though, terrify us into paralysis. We’re afraid to dream too big. We’re afraid we can’t achieve the success they have. We’re afraid. So afraid.

Why don’t we dream big anymore? Because there are only 24 hours in a day and-

Guys, there are only 24 hours in a day.

Don’t waste that precious time being afraid. If you’re afraid to wear that leather jacket because you’re afraid to break out of the t-shirt and jeans standard you’ve created for yourself, have courage. Do it. Go for it. What’s the worst that could happen? Flushed cheeks and maybe a comment on how wonderful you look?

Small changes add up. Make them.

They don’t have to be life changes. Maybe just a little one. Live on the edge. Chop your hair off, wear striped pants, smile at a stranger.

Summary: society’s version of dreaming is going to keep your from making a move. So screw society and do your own thing. Dream. Hope. Love.

[/thus end Rana’s random thoughts]

Much love from a kid who’s just as confused (if not more so) as you.

Rana

Channel Your Fears into Your Writing

For a fantastic proposition, read ’till the end! 😉

Ana/Elfie touched on something important in the comments the other day. She said, “A personal opinion on the ‘sadistic’ one is that as humans, we’ve all been through pain. Writing is a way to relieve that, look at it from another angle and heal. And I’ve read things that have been painful, but in the end have lifted me and helped me heal, making me a better person.”

They say writing can be a sort of therapy, and I completely agree.

I’ve dealt with depression before off and on since I was about 13. It’s gotten better and I’m fine now, but back then, I didn’t really have anyone to go to right then and there when I needed to talk. Communication with my best friend was limited and the friends I had in the area were/are too innocent to talk to about what I was dealing with.

Writing helped me to deal with all that immensely.

Desensitized, as many of you know, is on hiatus. But I learned so much from writing that trilogy. I was able to channel my fears, anxieties, phobias, and everything else I was feeling into those three books through the characters and they were some of my best cast. They were pretty real to me and my readers loved them as well (at least, they said they did 😛 )!

Here’s a short list of what struggles they dealt with:

Ashland = depression, self-harm, suicidal thoughts, family.

Cael = leadership, feelings, beliefs.

Kody = drinking, smoking, being serious.

Blade and Core = self-doubt, lack of faith in their friends.

If you can channel your emotions into your writing, you’ll have a more believable cast of characters, and a more realistic story.

Characters are the most important part of any story. If you can get your readers to relate to them, you can get your readers to love them. A plot can be shallow and crummy. A novel can have a gazillion plot holes, but those can be covered up by the characters.

I’m not saying go ahead and have a crummy story with fascinating characters and be done. Do your best. I’m just saying the characters will cover up a bunch of mistakes.

Other people have gone through the same things you have. By inserting your fears, thoughts, and emotions into your characters, your readers will have an easier time relating to them. That’s what you want.

People aren’t as happy as they act, they’re not as carefree as they seem, and they. have. problems. We all have problems. People are broken. You can’t live without getting broken.

And that’s why we read. We read to know that we’re not alone. We read to grow. We read to go on the adventures we otherwise never would have been able to. We read to be princes, princesses, heroes, villains, peasants, lords…

Make a list of all your favorite characters from any show or book. I’m 99.99999999999999999999999999999999999% sure that you’ll find something in them that you see in yourself. Whether it be that faked smile, that waning sense of hope, that utter despair, that one fear, that one struggle… it’s there. We like people we can relate to, who deal with the same things we do.

Create characters people will find truth in. Don’t beat around the bush. Just be honest. In a world that crams lies down our throats and shoves impossible expectations at us, be honest. We’re not perfect. We never will be. Show people that being imperfect is okay.

————————————————————-

Fantastic proposition: Ciera is a talented, lovely young lady who has achieved so many goals and done so many amazing things that all I can do is sit here and be jealous. 😛 She would like to collaborate with other writers and start a young writers community, which she would like to release this summer!  It will be a place to submit and share your work!

For more information, visit her blog, The Write Things.

God bless!

Rana

Updates, Snippets, and the Cast of The Reset

Helloooooo, all!

I’m babysitting my four year old cousin and not feeling well. Also, I’m tired.

What better time to write a blog post, right?

Update #1: THE HOBBIT IS SO AMAZING I CAN’T EVEN! NO SPOILERS, JUST ASDFGHJKL!!!!!!!!! It didn’t follow the book and I was a bit worried that Peter Jackson would totally butcher it, BUT I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER. Okay, the first one didn’t set high standards, so I wasn’t expecting much, but THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG. *spazzes*

My 11 year old cousin thought Thranduil was a girl until he spoke. O__________________________o I thought he was an interesting character. I hope to see more of him and the other elves in the third and final installment of The Hobbit. 🙂

My 12 year old sister liked Kili best. Hm, wonder why…

Update #2: There was a Christmas dinner and show at my church Saturday night and it was amazing! They all did such a wonderful job. ^_^ It wasn’t the typical Christmas play either. They went all out, had “commercials” which advertised used carts “cheap as dirt” because they were so dirty and other things. 😛

Update #3: My grandma is an amazing lady. Just throwing that out there. She had me, my sister, and cousin sleep over, then took us to see The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, which preceded a lovely lunch at the Pita Pit.

Update #4: Yesterday, I was babysitting the four year old, as previously mentioned. Two years ago, I changed my first diaper. (It wasn’t mine, I promise. I’ve long since stopped using those things. It was her diaper. Just felt the need to clarify that.) Since then, I have never changed another diaper and have never felt the urge to. I couldn’t get within three feet of the kid without gagging and I’m not exaggerating. We had no wipes, Mom was taking a nap, and I was the only one mature (and brave) enough to handle the situation.

My cousin laughed at me and so did my sister as they ran back and forth from the kitchen with paper towels. Lovely family.

After nearly choking on the putrid scent and getting human child feces on my hands, I was done. No more butt-wiping for me.

And two years later, that same girl is sitting on the couch, watching Dora the Explorer (and I didn’t remember how annoying it was) and coloring, when she looks up and says to me, “Rana, can you get me some different underpants?”

I was sitting there, like, “x_x Why (dare I ask)?”

“I pooped my pants.”

I’m just sitting here going:

She gets in the bathroom and says, “I’m joking.” I stand there, staring at her until she finally gets it. “That’s not funny, right?”

Yeah, I’m a Sherlock fan, in case you haven’t noticed. 😛 I said, “Not dead” in theaters when we were watching DoS. Because I’m that kind of a person. 😛

Update #5: I’m loving The Reset. January… just… I fangirl over him. ^_^ A big thanks to Lisa for fangirling with me. 😛 And to Mirriam for getting excited about his name and face with me. XD

This boy is so lovable. ❤

Here’s what he looks like:

eefb1944ea81a46a988df0a5ac55f3e2 Isn’t he lovely? ^_^

Anyway, I’m having so much fun writing him.

Onto the snippets! 😀 I’m doing a lot ’cause I have 13 chapters already and I love this so much. XD I was trying to choose only my favorite parts, but the whole book is my favorite part, so there’s a bunch of snippets. 😛

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“I want to be done,” I whisper, dropping back into my chair as I stare at the picture of a handsome gentleman with blond hair and blue eyes.

“I apologize, Miss Holden, but that is no longer an option for you,” Fanon reminds me. He doesn’t seem sorry at all. He’s just like Fëar. Emotionless. Dehumanized.

“As if it ever was,” I retort.

“It was,” Fanon tells me, glancing up from a file on his desk. “Before you joined us. Now if you don’t mind, I have work to do.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“You’re gonna regret that in the mornin’,” Silas warns me, interrupting my thoughts and bringing me back to the present.

“Then I’ll just sleep ‘till noon.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“I don’t look any different than when you saw me yesterday morning.”

“Not to the untrained eye, anyway,” says Fëar. “But I can tell, Alias, m’darlin’. I can always tell. I’ve had since the beginnin’ of time to practice reading people and I’ve grown quite good at it.”

I sigh. “Stop reading me. It’s rude.”

He shrugs. “As you wish.”

“Okay, Westley.”

“Good movie, that. You and your date should watch it sometime.”

“He’s not my date. I don’t date my targets,” I groan as I pour myself a mug of coffee and sit down at the table.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

A girl on the stool next to mine elbows me with a sly grin on her face.

“Isn’t he a dream?” she asks, nodding in Silas’s direction.

I smile back at her and nod. “A perfect nightmare.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“I don’t want to kill anymore.” I grind the words out through my back molars.

Fanon leans in and clasps his hands on the desk as he speaks. “You don’t have a choice.”

“What can I do to get out?”

“Nothing.”

“No, there is way, isn’t there?”

“Well, I could release you from your bond, but I don’t feel much like doing that. Or you could find someone else to take your place. But then you’d still be bound for a year so there would be double the blood on your hands. And there would be no way to redeem yourself after you died, an occurrence which would take place immediately once the year was up.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

My cell phone buzzes on the table.

I flip it open.

“YOU HAVE 1 TEXT MESSAGE.”

I open it and read the message.

“Hey, srry ill be a few mins l8. –SV”

That makes me want to puke. Really?

You seemed like such a wonderful person until I read that text message, Silas.

“Don’t worry about it,” I type with my thumbs before pressing the send button. A yawn stretches my mouth.

“A yawn is a silent scream for coffee, or so I hear,” the barista calls to me. “Can I get you anything?”

I smile at the young lady. “Sure. What kinds do you have?”

She begins rattling off a long list consisting of espresso, double espresso, cappuccino, Americano, café latte, extra shot, and flavored coffees. I inquire as to what options the latter might include.

“We have hazelnut, caramel, vanilla, cinnamon, gingerbread, honeycomb, and mint,” she replies cheerfully.

I run through the list in my head a couple of times before looking back at the brunette.

“What’s your favorite?” I ask her. I’m horrible at making decisions.

“Well, I’m a vanilla person, so I’d go for that. But the caramel is good too.”

“Can I do both?” I ask.

She laughs. “I can try!”

With that, she sets to making my caranilla coffee and returns with a steaming mug of it. I take a deep breath and let it out in a contented sigh.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“It’s rude to break into people’s houses, Fanon,” I shout.

“I didn’t break in,” he replies, appearing in the middle of the living room.

I roll my eyes. “You’re in here uninvited. It’s the same thing.”

“No, it’s not. Breaking in implies that I forced myself into your house, which I did not.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“Alias, darling,” he says slowly, “have you read about the old legends?”

Where is he going with this? I wonder.

“Which ones?” I ask instead.

“On the elves,” he replies without looking at me.

“No,” I tell him. “I’ve read quite of a bit of Tolkien though, if that’s what you’re referring to.”

Fanon chuckles. It’s a deep, throaty chuckle that sends shivers up my spine. He pulls a book off the shelf. Its cerulean cover sports golden letters that form to create the title.

The Truth in the Legends

Fanon begins to read a passage located somewhere in the middle of the book.

“In the old legends, Elves were not the honorable creatures Tolkien led people to believe in. They were powerful, dangerous, and beautiful supernatural beings who are more than likely to harm humans than help them.”

Fanon stops and I stare at him, my jaw hanging open. The fact that he read “are more likely” rather than “would be more likely” bothers me. The way the text is written implies that these creatures are real.

The man continues.

“The word ‘elves’ comes from a Germanic term that translates to ‘nightmare.’

“Now, dear Alias, in light of this new discovery, please keep in mind that if you disappoint me, I will hurt you. The Bank isn’t a game. It’s a business. I would appreciate it if you would treat it as such. From now on, stop playing with your targets and just perform the job. It will be easier on you.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I tear my jacket off and go through my arsenal which is comprised of five blades, not counting the one lying somewhere downstairs in a puddle of blood.

The spear-point will be for Silas and the drop-point for Mirai. I’ll try to do them at the same time to avoid causing one of them the agony of watching their only loved one die.

I’ll spare them the agony I’ve dealt with these past two centuries.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I hold onto Alex tight, knowing he’ll be gone at any moment. “Elizabeth Barton is dead,” I tell him.

“You could have been Mrs. Elizabeth Wilkins.”

“No, I couldn’t have been,” I sigh. “I would never have left you to this life. I would rather die every day and live in hell so you could be saved.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Fëar crosses his legs and hovers in the air, his elbows on his knees, his chin in his hand.

“Well, we hate humans, basically. So anyway we can hurt them, we will. Immortality is one of those ways. Killing the conscience is another. Though that doesn’t matter much until the soul leaves the body.”

I look up at the navy blue drapes that ensure no sunlight gets in the house. The thick material does its job well.

“So you live to see us hurt?” I ask, yawning. “That seems like a really shallow motive.”

“Oh, there’s more,” Fëar says, flashing me a wicked grin. “You humans don’t know it, but we control the earth.”

I blink. “What?”

“Oh, yeah. President of the United States? He’s the same as you. Of course, we do make exceptions for leaders. They have to die so no one will start to wonder.

“The assassins are all one of us. Most of them fake their deaths, some of them we kill if we think they’ll start telling the world about the Bank.”

“What other leaders do you own?” I ask.

“Well, the politicians are easy to win over. We’ve got some kings and queens.”

“Don’t they have to kill?”

“Yeah. But they do it differently.”

“How so?” I lean forward, curious.

He grins, revealing a set of perfect, white teeth. I notice his bicuspids are sharp. Sharper than any normal person’s. Almost vampirish.

“Do you drink blood?” I ask suddenly, forgetting my previous question.

He sits back, the grin fading. “Absolutely not,” he answers. “No.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“Are you in trouble?”

I nod. “Been in it for two hundred years and I guess it’s not stopping today.”

“Wait, what? Have you been at the bottle?” Silas raises an eyebrow.

I laugh bitterly. “I wish that was as far as my troubles went, but no. You have to understand that I don’t like this.”

“You don’t like what? Just get to the point!” Silas watches me so closely as if he’s trying to pinpoint the problem somewhere on my face.

“Oh, how much longer must I sing this song?” I mutter under my breath. “It’s an old tune and was never catchy in the first place.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“Hey, God,” I mutter. “Um, You know what I’ve done. You know I don’t want to do it but have no other choice. This is kind of like a slave contract sort of thing, I guess. I don’t know what to do. I’m lost, okay?

“Like that goat or whatever You talked about finding even when You had the ninety nine all safe and stuff. I’d like to be found again so if You could pick up that lost people detector or whatever You use to find us, I’d appreciate it.

“I’m willing to give this whole faith thing another go if You’ll just get me out of the Bank.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“Why do you hate me?”

“I don’t hate you,” Fëar says. “My feelings toward you are worse than that.”

I had been heading toward the couch, but stop and cast a confused look over my shoulder. “What’s worse than hate?”

“Use.”

“What do you mean?” I curl up on the couch and watch his face.

“Hate simply means I wish ill for you, but use is much worse than that. It’s wanting to hurt you for my personal gain. You might enjoy it for a while, but I’ll only put up with you until your entertainment purposes surpass your usefulness.”

“Sometimes, I think you’re my friend,” I whisper. “But then I have to remind myself that I have no friends and even if I did, you couldn’t be one of them.”

Fëar chuckles. “Smart girl. Yes, you are smart, m’darlin’ but you’re stupid at the same time.”

I sigh. “Oh, go away.”

His chuckle echoes throughout Stone Cross Manor even after he disappears.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

NOW FOR SOME SCENES WITH JANUARY BECAUSE I LOVE HIM SO MUCH.

In the park, a man with vertically striped pants (almost like the kind Fanon wears, but in thinner stripes), a coat, some arm bangles, and a black cowboy hat covering half of his face. He appears to be sleeping so I brush past, but his hand reaches out and grabs my wrist.

“Ay,” he says, glancing up at me from his one visible eye. He doesn’t uncross his legs which stretch out on the park bench.

“Let my wrist go, please,” I say, in too much of a nice mood to get angry.

“No, not yet,” he says with a distinct American accent, and sits up. He fixes his cowboy hat and straightens his belt which is old and worn by the looks of it.

“Can I help you?” I ask. I stand far enough away to be able to move if he stands to get closer.

“You might.”

A blue printed scarf peeks out from beneath his dirty white shirt which is covered by a denim jacket. To top it all off, he wears a threadbare wool coat. It all adds up to make an interesting statement to say the least.

His face is one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. It’s dirty, but he has angular features, a straight nose, full pink lips, and it’s all framed by long strands of black hair that escaped his loose ponytail.

“What might I be able to help you with?” I ask when he doesn’t continue.

“Don’t know yet,” he says, eyeing me.

“I beg your pardon. I don’t understand.”

He flashes me a white, but slightly crooked smile that I find just darling. A few seconds later, I find myself smiling back at him.

“Would you care to sit with me for a while?” he asks me.

I know I shouldn’t, but I’ve got nothing to lose, so I sit beside the young American man and he releases my wrist.

“I thought you were sleeping,” I tell him.

He laughs. It’s a pleasant sound. I haven’t heard a genuine laugh from an adult in such a long time. If Silas ever laughed, it was because of some hidden nervousness or insecurity. Not like this man’s. It’s clear, loud, and real.

“Most people do,” he tells me with a wink.

I smile and nod, unsure of what else to do.

“Do you need money?” I ask.

He lets another laugh ring in the foggy air. “Oh, please,” he chuckles. When he doesn’t explain the humor in my question, I prompt him for an answer. He looks me in the eye, still grinning. “I don’t need money!”

I blink. “Forgive me for being so frank, but how do you not need money? You’ll freeze before the winter sets in if that’s the only outfit you’ve got.” I gesture toward his thin jacket.

The strange man continues grinning as he leans backward. His right arm rests on the back of the bench. He rolls his first two fingers in a circular motion to prompt me to go on.

“And it baffles me that you would sleep out here on a park bench in the cold if you have a flat or somewhere to live.”

Another chuckle escapes his lips. For some reason, it goads me on.

“No offense, but you’re quite filthy too,” I point out. “If you had enough money to live like a decent person, you would be much cleaner.”

He just keeps smiling. But the light in his brilliant blue eyes tells me he’s laughing at me.

“Plus, you-” I stop and shake my head as he begins to laugh again. “What’s so amusing?” I want to know.

“You put so much faith in something so unimportant,” he explains.

“I don’t understand. Yes, money isn’t the most important object, but without it, life is a lot more difficult.”

The man leans closer to me and whispers, “That’s what they want you to believe.”

I lean backwards and place a hand on his chest to keep him out of my personal space.

“What’s your name?” I ask. He leans back.

“Jan,” he answers. “It’s short for January.”

I wrinkle my nose. “January? Is that your real name?”

He shrugs. “I was born in January. That’s all I know about myself.”

“What do you mean?”

“I was put in the orphanage right after I was born, so I don’t know anything else. They never named me so I named myself.”

“Who never named you?”

Jan sighs and taps the side of my head. “Not very bright, are ya? No one named me! Not my parents, and no one in the orphanage.”

“Oh,” I say lamely.

“What’s your name, beautiful?” Jan smiles at me. He holds my gaze and doesn’t look away, even when he’s speaking. It’s a bit unnerving.

“Alias,” I answer.

“Is that your real name?” he asks, mimicking the tone in my voice when I had asked him that question.

“Wouldn’t you like to know?” I respond, with a grin.

“Yes,” he says. “Yes, I would very much like to know.”

“Why?” I stop fingering the folds in my scarf. I hadn’t realized I was doing it until now.

“Because I’m a creeper.” Jan rolls his eyes. “I’m just curious, is all! No need to get so defensive.”

I smile at him and pat his cheek. “Cute.”

“Who is?”

“You are.”

“Why?”

I laugh. “No one acts the way you do. It’s cute.”

He shakes his head. “I’m not cute.”

“Then what are you?”

“I’m a loner who happens to be very attractive.”

I smile at Jan and he smiles back. “I’m willing to bet self-confidence is your best quality,” I say.

January shakes his head. “Nope. Humility is my best quality. Couldn’t you tell?”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“I think the longer you live, the shorter your Christmas list gets because you begin to realize that the things you want, you simply can’t find in a shop.” He shrugs and puffs out his cheeks.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“You hungry?” I ask him. “Can I take you out for supper?”

He raises an eyebrow. “Did you just ask me out on a date?”

I shake my head. “No. I asked you if you wanted some free food.”

He spreads his hands out. “Hey, I’ve never not accepted a free meal. But what’s the catch?”

“No catch. Just food.”

“Unless, of course, we eat fish. In which case, there must be a catch for there to be food.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I smile at him. “All right, what do you feel like eating.”

“People,” he mutters. A large man shuffles past the back of his chair and knocks the back of his head with his elbow.

I lean forward. “I’m not sure what you’re used to eating, Jan, but human beings are not on the menu.”

He laughs. “No! I was just-” He gestures to the man. “I was commenting on people’s manners, is all. Or rather, just people in general.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I smile. “What? You don’t have friends?”

“Nope. It’s just I, myself, and me against the whole world.”

“Same here.”

“Then maybe it’ll just be us against the whole world.”

I look up at Jan. “You’re sweet, you know that?”

He grins and sticks his tongue in his cheek. “Yeah, I think so.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“What do you want?” I moan.

“Some fun,” he hisses.

“Find it somewhere else. I’m not a Happy Meal.”

A low chuckle sounds in the back of the elf’s throat.

“I don’t need you to be happy,” Fëar clarifies. “I just need the meal. I’ll find the pleasure in it somewhere.”

“I’m not on any menu,” I snap. “Go away.”

He steps toward me and crouches before the bed. His hand stretches out and tucks a loose strand of my dark hair behind my ear. I stare into his pale blue eyes, rimmed with red.

“You still haven’t gotten me the blood I wanted,” he whispers.

“I just killed two innocent people,” I tell Fëar, wanting so much to be able to cry. “I can’t.”

The elf’s hand is on my throat in less than a second. His strangely beautiful face is just centimeters away from my own.

“We made a deal,” he growls. “You’re not backing out, love. I want blood in return for the blood I transferred to your account last time you decided you didn’t want to kill. And, beautiful, if you don’t, just know that I can make your life more miserable than you ever thought imaginable.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

the_reset

Okay, I don’t know why it turned out so small, but this is my lovely cast. ^_^

Starting at the top left corner and going clockwise, we have Fëar, Fëar again, Stonecross Manor, Alias, Alias again, Silas Vealy, Fanon, Fanon again, some weird blood-smoke thing, the Stalker who I have yet to name, January, and January again.

I hope you enjoyed that horribly long post. Every time, I plan on writing something short and sweet, but then I get going and, well, this is the result. 😛

Now I have a question for y’all.

God bless!

Rana

The Reset

Let me start off by saying, “wow.”

Like, fo’ real. My last post got shared 141 times on Pinterest. O_O

I’m shocked. And I’m happy. ^_^ Thank you so much, guys! I love you! xD

I asked my mum last night if I could respond to comments, and she said no. *sigh* But I promise you guys that when I can, I will. And I will enjoy it. It bothers me that I can’t get to know you. *sniffle* But please don’t let our lack of communication stop you from commenting. I really do read all your comments and I enjoy seeing what you have to say. *hugs*
And now, I’d like to present to you my newest plot bunny! *drumroll* The Reset!

I’m horrible with blurbs, and I know that’s horrible because I’m a writer and writers are supposed to be good with words. But I’m still learning and condensing a whole novel into only a couple hundred words is painful. There’s so much more to it than just what’s in the summary. :/

But anywho, I’ll try to write a blurb. 😛

Alias Holden lives in Stone Cross Manor located in Ulverson, Cumbria, UK. To save her fiance from a life of sin and agony, she takes his place in the Bank which is run by elves, who, contrary to popular belief, are not the noble creatures Tolkien portrayed them to be. According to ancient legend, they are powerful and supernatural beings who are more likely to harm humans than aid them. The word “Elves” comes from an old Germanic term for “nightmare.”

Alias has not been human for two hundred years, kept alive by the strange powers of the elves. She is made to kill periodically in order to continue living without the physical pain she normally would feel at two hundred and twenty four years old. The blood from her target would be transported to her account, but she wants out.

Unfortunately, the Bank won’t release her. They tell her they own her soul, but she doesn’t believe it. Alias has tried simply disobeying orders, but Fanon (the head of the Bank in the UK) sent shadows, voices, and physical pain to torture her until she completed the job. Alias is determined to get out, but has no idea how…

Okay, so there’s more than that, but like I said, I’m horrible condensing something huge into only a couple hundred words. 😛

And now for a snippet! Okay, it’s actually chapter 1, so a bit more than a snippet. 😀

The mirror shows no reflection as I stare – no – glare at the glass. There hasn’t been a reflection for two hundred years yet every day, I go back in the hope of seeing something. Anything. But every day, I wake up only to greet disappointment at the door.

It’s been my only company for these past two centuries.

They say I need to change, to open up to people, to make friends. But change hurts, and I’d have to cut myself open to make friends. Friends who die as soon as I begin to care.

It’s a curse.

A bloody curse.

I tear my gaze away from the mirror and storm downstairs to find Fëar sitting in my dining room, a steaming cup of tea in his pale hands. His legs are elevated to show off his muddy boots resting on my beautiful cherry oak table. The familiar black cat rests in his lap.

“What do you want?” I snap, not in the mood for any sort of conversation.

“I came to see if you’ve discovered anything,” he yawns.

“I haven’t. Now go away.”

“My dear girl, you didn’t even look. I’d bet my cat on it.”

The feline looks up at me with that strange golden eye. The other one is hidden by an eye patch.

“What do you want?” I sigh, pouring myself a cup of coffee.

“I want his blood.”

When I turn around, Fëar is standing right in front of me. His voice sounds like the red liquid he desires oozing out of a wound.

“Then take it,” I snap. “I don’t want it.”

“The last time you said that, Alias, you ended up making a bloody mess. Quite literally.”

“I don’t want to do it anymore. I told you that already.”

“You have no choice,” he hisses as one of his slender hands wraps around my arm. I cry out in pain as his fingers constrict the blood flow. “If you wanted to save him, you have to make some sacrifices.”

“Haven’t I made enough?” I scream more out of frustration than pain. “I haven’t seen my reflection for a very long time, Fëar.”

“You’re hollow inside.”

“I haven’t been human for two hundred years,” I snarl.

“I told you the consequences before you agreed to suffer them,” the tall, pale man growls. His fierce, glassy blue eyes are bloodshot and rimmed with red eyelids. “You know how to reverse it. Do it if you want it so much.”

“But who’s to say the next time I put this gun to my head it won’t go off?” I snap. “It’s too risky.”

“Your choice,” Fëar shrugs. He releases my arm and steps back. Something like an invisible sheet wraps around him and a second later, he reappears in the chair at the table, his feet propped up on the wood once again.

The one-eyed black cat rubs against my leg. I watch it with distaste.

“You told me once,” I tell Fëar, “the less you care, the happier you’ll be.”

“How’s it working out for you?” He sips his tea.

“It’s not.”

“Then you’re doing it wrong.”

“I don’t want to kill my conscience,” I tell him. “I don’t want to lose the one part of me that’s still human.”

“Alias, you’re confused!” Fëar laughs. “You’re living these lives all wrong!”

“No,” I say. “I’m not living lives. I’m taking them. And I’m not interested in it anymore.”

“The only way to get out, is to take many more. The only way to stay in, is to take only a few.”

“And I can’t die.”

“Tough, isn’t it?” Fëar looks sympathetic for a moment, but I know he can’t really be feeling that way. He’s incapable of feeling whatsoever. “You’re still so human. It’s a tough phase. You’ll get over it one day.”

“How do you ‘get over’ having to kill every person you care about just to keep from losing your soul? It sounds like that’s more of a way to lose it.”

“It will make sense in time, my darling.” Fëar takes one last sip of his tea. “Just wait.”

“What? Like two hundred years isn’t enough?” I scream at him. His lack of emotion rubs me the wrong way.

“You’re still young!” he soothes, standing up and coming to me. His arms wrap around my smaller body. I breathe in the distinct scent of lavender and lemongrass. Fëar always smells like that. Actually, all the Bankers smell the same. It’s a soothing scent.

“Alias,” I hear Fëar whisper, “you’re doing the right thing.”

A second later, the man, his dark blue scarf, black top coat, and top hat, as well as the black cat are gone. They disappeared, leaving me to my own devices.

I smile.

And that scares me just a little bit.

Hope you enjoyed that! 🙂

God bless!

Rana

P.S.

Tomorrow, we’re celebrating my little sister’s birthday, so I’m making a Reese’s Peanut Butter cake. Be jealous.

ALSO, I’M GOING TO SEE THE HOBBIT!!!!!!!!!!!! 😀