Corrosion of Elements

water-heater coils

The picture above depicts two heating elements.  They are from the inside of a water heater.  The one on the top is a new double-coil, and the one on the bottom shows what three years of corrosion can do to an element in a water-heater.  The corrosion was caused from calcium in tap water, though I thought it could have been caused by fluorine.  One way or the other, the lower element was why I had no hot water for a while, and the above element works nice when I have it on.  I posted the picture because I found it to be interesting.  From what I understand, about one in fifty hot water heaters endure a special phenomenon.  As they are all grounded, some can posses a magnetic charge that allows the elements to repel additives or contaminants contained in tap water.  Such a water heater can last for over 40 years.  Most will need their elements changed within five, however.  One way or the other, I am happy that the hot water heater works again. 🙂


To My Followers, February, 2015

This month is a wonderful one and monumental in so many ways.  This post is a more personal one, it is to keep you from leaving the blog I so love and admire.  I keep this blog up and going for one reason – to celebrate the art of great fiction.  I originally created jcm3blog to share stories with friends/loved ones.  Now, it is what I have to present a story to the world when I simply cannot withhold it.

It may be a while; however, before I cease to quickly write down an idea and leave it; I am helping present a writing contest for Oval.  Proud to do such a thing, we have received many submissions.  Great literature is profound.  It is not always easy to find the time to praise it.  I plan to make time to do such a thing, somehow, anyway.  Thank you for following my blog; I enjoy thinking of writing as a hue of science.  English can be appreciated best by those who have tried to know its entirety.

Most of the preliminary work we have done on Oval and what I do on the web can be seen with the twitter posts below.  If it is quite some time before you see a story I do – for jcm3blog – remember, we will be here for as long as possible.  I love to write.  Creating great fiction is a passionate pursuit of mine.  When I do, I make it known here.  I am still working on a revision of my first book and the journal I kept while finishing it; those items will get more attention in July.  Thank you for your time; remember, if you leave a comment on this blog, it is appreciated, mediated.  Tell us all your thoughts on writing; happy blogging!

The Desk

The Desk

Alone, I sat.  I wondered, “What are the real differences in coffees, anyway?  I know I like mine cold… I can ‘slam’ it and go.  No noisy gurgles originating from sipping.  Arabica blends and over thirty other kinds of coffees – I still think they are all highly similar.  My favored ‘South American Espresso’ blend is still hard to outdo, according to me.”

Thoughts on coffee dominate a percentage of my mental effort during the day.  I enjoy thinking of sociology and money, too.  I ask me, “How can I better myself and others?”  Today was going to be a good day; I had plans.  A favor for a favor, I only needed one other person and I could do this terrible and horrible deed that no one would ever be able to forget.

I, at one time, was down on my luck.  I asked a stranger, a student in law school, if he would buy me a meal.  He did.  I gave him my information, told him that if he ever needed a favor to let me know.  I told him that I am an honest man, a man true to my word.  He said, “I am a creative person.  Are you sure you mean it?”  I told him, “I am an honest man.  I mean it.”

Four years went by and I received a phone call from a probable sexy secretary with an attractive voice named Vanecia.  She said her boss was a lawyer who needed a secret favor, that she had a note.  I picked the note up from a stranger at a specific time at a familiar intersection in the city.  The note said:

“Here is your first favor; fulfill this task successfully and I will contact you in the future.  I will pay you for the next tasks, if you accept them.  Your goal is to enter into the insurance building on 14th and Tree St.  Go to the 22nd floor and find an office with the title ’22-A Office 10-Z’ above the door.  It should be unlocked.  There will be a large desk with the name ‘Mr. Hardens Gilma’.  Throw the sizable desk out of the large window to the streets below.  Exit the building via a stairway unseen.  We will be in contact.”

I would have done this alone, however I needed some anonymous muscle.  During the years I was away from the law student, I worked a great deal.  As an odd job, I swept out a bar for its owner early every Saturday morning due to its busy Friday nights.  I asked him for the help; the person he sent to help me would meet me at this very cafe at 8 am, I got here at 7:30 and began drinking a pot of coffee I paid for in advance.

It was 7:55 am and a man of enduring build approached me.  I was wearing a white shirt with an “X” marked directly on my chest, so he could identify me.  He asked me what my name was.  I told him it might as well be unspoken.  His code from the bar owner was to say that he had been looking for me.  “I have been looking for you,” he said.  “Good,” I said, “I saved you a cold coffee, down it.”  He happily did it; I was nice.  He drank one more cup of cold coffee, said it was not too bad that way.  I would have drunk more, yet I already met my own expectations for my morning coffee requirement.

We left the cafe and he kept pace with me.  A sturdy man, he was also in shape.  We jogged 3 blocks and made a right onto Tree St.  We jogged about half a block to the insurance building and entered.  We walked past various people.  A woman behind the front receiving counter did not even see us.  She was on the phone while reading a magazine.  I pushed a button to ride the elevator up.  The building was approximately 60 stories tall; the stairs were right next to us.  I took one look at my “all-knowing yet not wired whatsoever friend” and decided to just take the stairs.  The elevator would take too long.

We took the stairs and found a forked vestibule on Floor 22.  The hallway went left and right, so we chose to try going to the right.  We walked past various offices with differing titles and found the correct title with relative ease after having seen half a dozen or so.  We entered the large office.  No one was there.  We found the desk!  A small plaque with the name Hardens Gilma was there.  I saw the one window large enough for the task and pointed it out to my companion.  He saw it and knew what to do.  We both got one end of the desk and ran towards the window with it.

With all of our might we thrust the large desk through the window.  It fell its approximate 20 stories to the streets crashing into broken parts on the pavement.  People stood back as if they had never even seen such a thing.  They then carried on.  I shook hands with my companion, and we jogged down the stairs and out of the building.  I tipped him the few dollars I promised the bar owner I would.  We were not caught; the lawyer contacted me on another day; and the day was fine.

An Adventure of Anh

An Adventure of Anh

One time there was a female named Anabeth Garza.  She was nearing thirty-five; she was pondering her life, considering death.  She walked late in the night to a closed fairground.  So dark was the night, so quit in its loneliness, the moon lit her way, albeit.

As she found her way to the monkey-sized puppet in a box, she noticed a small orange bulb in the lower back of the “vending mechanism” to still be on.  “Anh” inspected the back of the large box, noticed it was not plugged in.  “The machine must have stored energy from a busy night,” Anh thought to herself, “That or it is magical.”

She reached into her pockets thinking she just may, by some crazed off-chance, have a coin.  She did not.  She looked below the machine and found one.  She deposited the coin in the machine and the small monkey spun around in a glowing light.  The monkey was well-dressed, as if ready for dancing on a stage.  It looked directly to Anh and said, “No one is looking.  What is your tentative wish?”

“‘Tentative’,” Anh thought to herself.  This was sure to be some form of hard-to-appreciate fun adventure.  “I want to be 12,” was the only thing she could think to say.  She said it before the monkey’s glow disseminated, and warped immediately to small school in Southern Mexico.

“This is a run-down heap,” she thought to herself, as she was surrounded by Mexican students in a classroom with a chalkboard and a clock on the wall.  “They have  a clock,” she noticed.  “Es ocho,” said the teacher, starting class at 8.  Anh only spoke English, though she may have known a few words from the Spanish language.

The day was sure to be an adventure.  Anh noticed that the other students mostly kept to themselves or distracted each other; she could stay mostly quite and say only  a few words like “Si” and “No.”  Lunch came and they all ate beans and rice with milk.  Anh was surprised that the small meal hit the spot.  Recess came.

During recess, Anh played on the swings with another young girl she sat next to and was close to from class.  They were swinging and not saying much.  Anh noticed, across the playground, a larger, heavy-set boy was taunting a boy and a girl.  Anh instinctively went over to see why.  The boy did not have much of a reason, appeared to Anh to be being mean for no real cause.

Anh tapped the boy on the shoulders and he turned to her as if he knew all about it.  “Leave them be or I will beat the breaks off of you,” said Anh.  The larger boy pushed Anh and she fell to the ground.  Her friend begun to run from the swings to where Anh was to try to stop her.  “Anh!” she cried, “Do not do it!”  Anh stood without brushing off her nice outfit, leaped into the blow she delivered to the bully, landing the blow with the lower part of her palm.  She made contact to his brow directly between his eyes, hearing his skull crack.

Anh landed on her feet, ready to see what the big boy was going to do, as he fell to the ground crying with blackened eyes.  Anh’s friend caught up with her and Anh apologized by saying, “Lo-ciento.”  Her “amiga” was disappointed, though somehow understood.  Their instructor found them and Anh endured meeting the principle of the small Mexican school.  He was bilingual, said that she should have informed the instructor and to conduct her actions differently next time.

Anh agreed, hoping the bully learned his lesson.  She warped back to the puppet in time to see light condense from its immense brightness to a small glowing orange bulb.  The monkey looked as though it went to sleep.  “Wow,” thought Anh, and she carried on.

A Jog for More

A Jog for More

One time I was scheduled off for the day and woke just before sunup to go out for a run.  My trusted cold glass of coffee with a shot of syrup nearby, I drank it down.  I put on clothes good enough for the venturous goal, a pursuit of, yet again, undue fatigue.  I made my way down the stairs outside and jogged down the city sidewalk for a while, a few blocks.

New to the city, I continued my exploration.  I decided to dart down a random alley, as if something was running with me.  I took a few steps to catch my breath walking, and I picked my pace back up as if on my way to the other side of the city, altogether.  The alley was interesting and wet.  A danger due to friction, I was cautious not to lose my footing.

As the alley was nearing an end, I would be coming out onto another main city street.  I ran by a young woman crying.  She had her head between her knees as she sat on the ground.  “What a waste of time,” I thought to myself.  She was possibly seeking attention; I walked over to her just in case I could actually be of help.  I knew better than to fall into some form of a trap or foolish ploy.

Are you okay?” I asked.  She looked up to me with a furious and evil stare saying, “No! No I am not!”  “What happened?” I asked.  “I was jogging down this alley, slipped, and lost my headphones.

That is terrible.

It would not have been so bad, had I not been waiting all morning to hear a selection of heavy metal tracks.  I really wanted to rock hard and get some good exercise in this morning.  Oh no, however, I lost my headphones and they fell through the grating back there.

Can we get them out?

No – I checked.  They are gone.

I thought about this for a second; my heart went out to this young girl.  She was either a great actress, as some are, or she really lost her headphones.  I decided to believe her story.

Little did you know;

fire breathes from my soul…

I am a bringer of rock and roll.

Here and on this day we can make our own.

She stood up and helped me climb up on top of a dumpster close to the corner of the more busy sidewalk nearby.  She looked at me as if she was thinking, “I will go first, and then you chimb in.  We will wreck this crowd.

In a low tone she sang, “Out from the depths of evil, I do come…

I yelled, “Never will I sympathize!

From the darkness I am strong;

“I drink the blood of evil all day long;”

“So join around, and hear our song;”

“Bang your heads, and dance along;”

“Your off to work;”

“You will buy it, too;”

“The devil in me;”

“Must live in you!”

By this time their were some people below us enjoying our new song.  It was naturally best to sing at the same time and repeat the words so that our crowd of people could enjoy it, too.  We both sang,

“So come along, sing our song, you can move those bones and live your day long!

So come along, sing our song, a fight-for-some-evil and we will die to live strong!”

The crowd sang, too,

“So come along, sing our song, you can move those bones and live your day long!

So come along, sing our song, a fight-for-some-evil and we will die to live strong!”

Then, we all sang the new improv one last time, singing,

“So come along, sing our song, you can move those bones and live your day long!

So come along, sing our song, a fight-for-some-evil and we will die to live strong!”

We both were helped down from the dumpster and I could tell she was at least happier and somehow motivated.  I did what I could to depart on a positive note and said, “I hope your day gets better.

As she was laughing, I thought she gave our singing a complement when she said, “Do not quit your day job!”  She smiled, jogged on.

The Ride Back

The Ride Back

I had asked for two days off in a row; permission was granted.  Where was I to go?  Photoblogging!  Of course people of adventurous natures get into it… me too.  I took pictures of anything and everything with my new camera – it could hold over 1,000 photos in its memory.  I had enough footage to spend the next year with in editing and web display.  People would definitely like to see these photos; I was in action!

It was the trip back that I remembered the most, albeit.  Out of all of those sites, all of the crazy positions and smiling people in those parts of America, it was the ride back that I remembered most.  She was tall and thin, speechless.  She was blonde.  What was her name? I will probably never know.  I needed a place to sit on the bus; I smelled her from the door.  She did not smell bad; I liked it.

I caught a faint smell of flowers and sweat as I opened the door.  Only two things smelled this way – sex and summertime.  Surely I was not able to sit by her.  She was listening to her headphones, a trance mix.  There were other seats, she motioned for me to sit next to her, offered one of her headphones to me.  So I sat with her for three hours listening to trance music, as she placed her arm on my shoulders.  It was summertime, and that was the best bus ride of my entire life.

An Artifact

An Artifact

“This class blows,” said Henry.  “Everything blows according to you – blondes blow but you do not dislike them, do you?” replied Ron.  “No, I do not dislike blondes,” admitted Henry.  He was the more intelligent of the two; Ron thought he had to try to know. He was forced to put forth at least a minimal amount of effort, where Henry sometimes did not even begin to need to. Henry, at times, took his various gifts of intelligence for granted. It was no big deal; it was his way of knowing more with less stress.

The class they happened to be early for was an Archaeology class. It was two weeks before spring break on a Friday; their instructor was from India. His hobby was training for half marathons. The professor arrived (finally), and all entered the class room. Professor Rauckbon said:

“For these few weeks I have been giving you various assignments on research and study. We have been the travelers of a digging study program, found small items for documentation and study. I am thinking today will be a more fun and a less arduous approach. I am thinking… today is movie day. It is a day for showing and telling, a surprise fun and easy day for us all. Why did you not know about this showing and telling? Because I am the one doing the showing, as well as the one doing the telling. So sit back and enjoy what we can do with one of our school’s newest projector mechanisms.”

The professor happily turned the lights off with a remote and operated the projector with yet another remote.  He was originally born in India and spoke over seven languages.  His video was an impressive collection of films documenting historical sites in India, both famous and rare.  He displayed archaeological sites rarely mentioned to mainstream media, including a secret grave site for old religious leaders from thousands of years ago.  His interesting story involved a handcrafted artifact.

The artifact was a sacred object of very old Indian religion.  During those times, in that specific region, religion and the afterlife involved mostly the respect of items considered to be holy or magical.  Only a blessed item could be used to cause intentional re-incarnation.  Before known documented history, the region went to war with a neighboring community.  An approximate two to three thousand men on each opposing side engaged in a bloody war.  The death toll of the war numbered in the thousands.  The sole leader of the region containing the burial site was said to have used the artifact in war to take the life of multiple enemies in one current situation, while reviving his deadliest war heroes.

What made the story interesting to the professor was the idea of modern progress and the notion of the artifact’s “new” location.  A very large house of worship had been constructed during modern times; it contained a secret underground structure with catacombs, tombs, and protected structures for hiding national items sacred for historical or religious reasons or both.  Common thieves had robbed the grave site in modern times; the government of India recovered these items and hid them under the more secure modern temple.  Due to economic expansion, a large skyscraper was built on top of the old burial site.

Hard to explain for the professor, he related that, Geologically, the site was an excellent place for the eighty story building because of the prehistoric bedrock below it.  A highly secret, rare organization could still, in theory, access the actual grave site of the war heroes of long ago beneath the skyscraper.  The office building was an approximate 400 yards in perimeter before including any surrounding structures.  It was very big.

The professor went into detail in regards to the magically religious artifact.  It was a small white monkey, hand carved and polished from the tusk of a ceremoniously fattened elephant’s tusk.  It was clothed in melted and cooled 24-carrot decorative gold.  The artifact’s brow sported an uncut diamond; its eyes were identical rubies.  The rubies were said to glow in various ways, showing powers, dangers, and or actions performed through the item.  It was a surprise to the professor that the artifact was used in a war over territory.  He thought the war would have been over the magical artifact, instead.  It was said to have gained its eternal powers via a dark Indian priest – he died too give the precious little monkey its magical powers.

By this time, 80% of the class had fallen asleep, completely.  Ron and Henry were both paying attention, intently, however.  They would be sure to discuss the knew knowledge of an old Indian artifact after class.  They were not the only students paying attention.  Two students in the back row wrote down the names of certain cities; they exchanged looks.  These two guys were not up to anything phenomenaly wonderful, that was for sure.

The class adjourned.  “Those guys were up to something,” said Henry.  “Of course they were,” said Ron, “What on Earth could it have been?”  “They want that artifact,” said Henry.  “I doubt they can get it,” said Ron, “It would be well worth their time, in this lifetime, to try, though.  The item would have to be of great worth.  I would guess that there is the chance that it is actually spiritually enhanced or magical.”  “It would not surprise me,” said Henry, thinking.  “What is on your mind?” asked Ron.  “Spring break,” said Henry, “I bet if they try to go to India, it will be then.”  “India?” asked Ron.  “They are after that monkey,” said Henry, “I am sure of it.”

Days went by and Henry and Ron continued to do well in school.  The artifact was on their minds; they saw and overheard the two other Archaeology students planning their spring break trip to go to India in the front study area of their school’s largest library.  The two students planning had no suspicion of Ron and Henry’s thought.  Ron and Henry followed the two other students to a travel agency that evening; they purchased tickets to fly to India as the other two students had.

Mexico…” said Henry.  “I agree,” said Ron, “India will be much more fun than a repeat trip to the infamous Cancun.  I cannot wait.  I am bringing my new digital camera for picture taking.  I cannot wait to see what my fellow bloggers post in consideration of my attempts with the photography of distant lands.”  Ron and Henry would fly on the same airplane, land in a big city in India, stay in the most inexpensive resort hotel there, and track/follow the two students attempting to partake in crime.  That was their plan.

Ron and Henry thought their plan to be a long-shot.  The other two classmates were definitely going to try to take the artifact.  Whether they could even acquire it was more than half of the problem, the rest was stopping them or helping authorities in India catch the terrible college students during spring break.

Many things went as planned.  The two questionable young men flew to India.  So did Ron and Henry, with information on the other two students from the travel agency.  All four rested through one night, Ron and Henry woke up before dawn to see a mind blowing sunrise.  They found and followed the other two.  The two questionable individuals had attained secret information on the modern religious structure.  They assaulted and bound two guards, entered a door with an electronic key/pass-card.  Once in the catacombs, the two had  a small amount of time to find the stone storage structure which contained the ivory monkey.

The two bad-guys had attained a map; they found a large stone box.  They used a nearby pry-tool to open the box; it contained a few skulls of old war heroes, some ancient religious texts, some old jewelry, and an artifact or two.  One of these small items was a little bottle used to preserve a dead-person’s blood sample for religious reasons.  This item frightened one of the thieves, the other one shook him by the shoulder so they could get the monkey and go.  The scared one took the monkey and put it in his small backpack; they ran to escape.

It would not be easy for the two criminals to escape.  They did so, however.  They were chased by government officials and religious leaders.  They made it to a popular part of the large city and were somewhat safe from the authorities there.  They did not escape Ron and Henry, though.  The criminals went to a large shopping mall to safely plan a nonchalant route back to their hotel.  They planned to fly back to the states and sell the artifact for as much as possible.

Ron and Henry found the two in the shopping mall.  The mall was near the criminals’ hotel.  Henry snuck up behind the student with the backpack and opened it.  Ron reached in and grabbed the monkey; they walked away.  The criminals noticed the open backpack.  Where was the artifact? They did not know.  The criminals were in shambles, and they were surrounded by authorities and arrested on counts of violence and improper entry.  No one knew where the artifact was other than Henry and Ron.

The two intelligible college students considered themselves to be the good guys.  They flew back to the states with the spiritual item; they would know what was best for the artifact.  Ron and Henry got the item back to the states safely.  They gazed upon it in Henry’s living room.  He split his rent with four other students.  His housemates thought the monkey was cool; Henry kept it on a mantle.

Summer came and Henry’s housemates had all gone back to where they were from for work-related purposes.  Ron, like Henry, stayed in college over the summer to take more courses.  They had time in the evenings for study.  One night, the artifact came up in conversation.  “It has been sitting on your mantle there for weeks like a 5$ dust collector,” said Ron.  “I have not thought much about it,” said Henry, looking at the monkey.  Its gold was impressive; its eyes were mysterious.  Henry stood and beheld the artifact.  He sat it on a small table in the center of the room.

Ron gazed upon the item, as did Henry.  “I think we can talk with it,” said Ron.  “How?” asked Henry.  “I will try a way,” said Ron.  He gently pet the top of the ivory artifact’s head, and its eyes began to glow.  Henry and Ron both immediately sat back in their seat on a sofa.  They were not too scared.  The two students were rather curious instead.  A spirit floated up out of the monkey.  It was a female elephant.  “Who are you?” asked the elephant.  Henry was speechless.  Ron never really knew what he was talking about, anyway.  He said, “I am Ron, and this is Henry.  We are amazed with your history – we know little about you.”  The nice elephant blushed, slightly, and said, “I have helped many a man in war.  I have helped many a woman in love.  My powers are rare and desired.  I can fulfill untold desires.”  Henry still did not really think he was experiencing anything real.

“We are more interested in what you want,” said Ron after thinking hard and fast with his attention focused on the female elephant spirit.  He figured she would disappear if he lost concentration.  It had happened before with other spiritual conversations.  “If you must know,” replied the elephant, “I want to return to my original tomb.  I was there to protect an old warrior from spiritual malevolency.  I want to go there until certain resolutions from this side are resolved permanently.”  “Then what will you do?” asked Ron.  Henry was still gazing upon the elephant in awe.  “I am not so sure,” said the elephant, “I am not very selfish, resolutions of these sorts can take a great deal of time.  At least we have made progress over there.”

“Amazing,” said Henry.  “You talk after all,” said the elephant, “Thank you for protecting me.”  She was beginning to return to the monkey.  “Wait!” said Ron, “What is your name?”  “Imalia,” whispered the elephant, and she faded away.

“Well that does it,” said Ron, “We have to bring that back to the site under the big skyscraper.”  “Maybe I should just keep it,” said Henry.  “For what?” asked Ron, “The terrible war you have to wake up for in the morning?  Cannot quite re-incarnate your soldiers without a bashful elephant spirit?”  Henry was trying not to laugh.  “What is so funny?” asked Ron.  “Nice belt” said Henry, “Was that on sale?”  Ron looked down to find that he had put on his girlfriend’s belt by accident, earlier.  It was pink with little sparkling plastic gym-stones.  “Very funny,” said Ron, “Mine now, ha ha.”

“We do not have the money to go to India, again,” said Henry, we already had to borrow to get there the first time.”  “What if we borrow again?” suggested Ron, “When we graduate, we can borrow even more.  We will call it ‘Grad School’.”  “Very funny,” said Henry.  “I guess we can figure something out,” said Henry, “We will have to formulate a plan for a trip before fall classes begin.  Well will bring this magical elephant-monkey back to where it wants to be.  We will visit a prehistoric tomb.”  “Awesome,” said Ron, “I cannot wait to take more photos for blogging.”

The two planned it all out and made the trip to the giant skyscraper.  It was their turn, this time, to have to bound a guard.  They put a t-shirt over his head to keep him from being able to see them.  They returned the artifact to its proper location and escaped unscathed.  Once back in the United States, they finished their graduate studies and went to work for large corporate entities.  Ron saved a photo of the artifact being placed beside the old warrior’s bones in India, showed the photo to his old Archaeology professor with a self deleting file.  The professor was amazed.  He could only guess as to whether the photo was actually what it highly resembled.

daily prompt, antique antics

My Bags!

My Bags!

“Six hours will not be too long,” I thought to myself.  There would be plenty to do around the airport.  I went and tried out the coffee – its flavor was uniquely predictable, as always.  I put about six grams of sugar in it with some ice from the nearby soda machine.  I sat and thought for a while; why not write a story?  I was going to walk around asking for a pen and possibly find some napkins or something to write on, and I heard a woman scream “Ahh… He has my bags!”

I looked that way and saw a man running with a carry-on bag and a purse towards the front of the airport.  He normally would have been able to be stopped by the facility’s employees, however there were none by the door he was headed to.  I sprint in a dead run towards the man; he was sure to get away.  I ran after him, anyway, and, as luck would have it, the woman’s purse got caught in the door as the man was escaping.  I tackled the man in the revolving door like I was playing football, and attendants with hip radios were there in moments.  I tried to get a good look at the man’s face, however they carried him away in cuffs.

The woman thanked me, and the guards checked me out to make sure that I was fine.  “How can I ever re-pay you?” asked the woman.  “With a handful of cash,” I said, “Just playing.  I am glad he did not get away.”  The woman was fine.  I borrowed a pen from someone who said I could keep it, and a college student happened to be nearby to give me some paper to write on.  I wrote down everything that had happened, as well as a few thoughts on writing and pleasing a literate audience.  I checked the huge clock on the airport wall, I still had four hours.

There was a blind man near me, we spoke for some time and I fell asleep.  Time passed, and I woke up in time to board the airplane, finally.

Personification and the Wicked Night

Personification and the Wicked Night

One time there was a class of students.  They attended a college course on creative writing. There were prerequisite English courses for the class; many business and English majors took the course. Art and film majors commonly signed up, too; the two professors teaching the course were well-known novelists. The course’s seats where usually scheduled full early – many students on the campus found the class to be intriguing.

In this class of students, there were two students and a teacher who had a conversation early one morning. The professor was only 29 and still very pretty. She was well endowed.  Not too endowed, the professor was a pretty dirty blonde. The two students went to see her early one morning.  They had finished their assignments and went to see her for help with an extra composition they were trying to submit to a fiction magazine.  Ms. Banks was the nice professor’s name, and the students’ names were Jasmine and Malachai.

“I hope she can help us,” said Jasmine. “She can,” said Malachai, “She is a very brilliant person among people who are. She will guide us in the right direction; she will give us the ingredients and the recipe. All we will need to do afterwards is to bake the cake.” “Do you think we are wasting her time?” asked Jasmine. “No,” said Malachai, “She will be interested in our enthusiasm. If I feel we are ‘out of place’ I will get us out of there, and we can consort with another person. I will even let you do the talking. I am confident she will hear us out.”

Jasmine was not expecting to do the talking; she figured Malachai would. She was happy to, though; she was very interested in some form of direction for her and her writing partner. Their professor’s ideas would most certainly help them. The two students were attempting to submit a draft to a magazine for a writing competition; they just wanted some advice. The students were waiting outside of the professor’s door at 7:50 AM.  Ms. Banks had one whole hour scheduled for student communication during this time. The two students knew not to bother any other students with actual needs; no other students were there, yet, anyway.

They heard Ms. Banks coming up the wooden stairwell. “Good morning!” she exclaimed, fumbling around with her writing satchel and documents, a pen in her mouth, and the keys to her office. Who knew why she had a pen in her mouth? No one, really – she was there on time.

“Come in, come in,” she said, and the three happily walked in and sat down. “What brings you guys here, today?” she asked, “I have already received your assignment for Friday. Is this about some necessary re-write?” “No ma’am,” said Jasmine, trying not to look down her professor’s shirt. Ms. Banks was a naturally attractive woman to many. “We are here to ask you for some advice with a writing competition,” said Jasmine, looking over to Malachai. He nodded in approval; she had stated these things well.

“A writing competition?” asked the excited professor, “For who? Where?” “We found the competition online with a web search; we wanted to do some creative writing. If we are published, we get a free two-year subscription to the magazine and an opportunity for a more competitive contest.” “Alright,” said the professor, “What genre are we going with, here?” “Well,” said Jasmine, “That is one reason why we are here. The magazine, ‘Other-Lands’, publishes mostly fantasy or sci-fi stories with minimal advertising. We want to write a small story with about 2,000 words, however we cannot decide on the characters. We thought we could use elves or astronauts, however whatever we came up with just did not work out. The beings we considered had already been considered by so many other works.”

“I must say I am impressed with you two – you really are into writing and have put some thought into this competition. The periodical must be a smaller publication; I have not heard of it. Let me see…” said Ms. Banks; she was thinking. Malachai’s original worry that they could be wasting time with these questions was out the window, as were his gazes into nothing, for the most part. Jasmine gave him a quick look-check. She wanted to make sure that if he was staring he at least knew about it. Lucky for him, he was looking at the books on the professor’s window seal – not what Jasmine still had in mind, somehow.

“All of those fantasy characters and you guys need help,” said Ms. Banks, “What about personification?” “You mean like talking animals?” asked Jasmine, “Like Aesop and his moral lessons with animals?” “Sure,” said Ms. Banks, “Anything that can come to life can have a dialogue and an interesting action plan for a plot – even a protagonist.” Jasmine looked at Malachai who was almost asleep. “Well?” asked Jasmine, Malachai would at least have to approve or comment on these things, otherwise he might as well be a stone statue from a library garden.

“I was paying attention,” said Malachai, “Personification is the best answer I have heard. I had not even thought of it. We can use some animals or objects, bring them to life, and let them return to their previous state, somehow.” “Are you going to put these lifeforms in outer space?” asked Ms. Banks in honest curiosity. The professor had directed her attention to Malachai and Jasmine accidentally look right down her shirt. Jasmine looked to the ground, trying not to think too much about what she would not mind personifying. “What do you think, Jasmine?” asked Malachai with some guess as to what Jasmine was thinking. “I imagine we could work something out,” said Jasmine looking back up to her professor, “Thank you for your help, Ms. Banks.”

The two students readied themselves to leave. “I was happy to see you two; I know how well you are doing in my class and others. Keep it up. Remember not to let your extra-curricular fun affect your real efforts regarding higher learning. I have another exciting writing assignment for you on Monday.” “Yes ma’am,” they both said. “I think I am going to major in journalism,” said Malachai, accidentally, he really loved to write. “Good luck to you both; bring your story to me at 4 PM on Friday, here, and I will proofread it.” “Okay,” they both said.

The two made it down the old wooden stairwell and split up after making some plans. The story was not going to be too long of a composition; they did want it to be impressive, however. They had plenty to do during the day including classes and part-time jobs for their university. Malachai and Jasmine had planned to meet at a dining hall at 7 PM; it was hamburger night. They would eat and write out a story afterwards over the dining hall’s generic yet edible coffee.

They ate, got their coffees. “Alright,” said Malachai, “What are we going to bring to life, and how is outer-space going to have anything to do with it?” “I like looking at Ms. Bank’s breasts,” said Jasmine. “They are nice,” replied Malachai, “I guess anything can come to life, in fiction.” “What if we bring some rocks to life to fly shrink rays to outer-space an zap asteroids?” asked Jasmine. “That is fine,” said Malachai, “Where is the story; what is the climax?” “It can be mostly a narrative,” said Jasmine, “The rocks could work for a teenage scientist trying to collect and study space matter.”

“What happens for audience attention, though?” asked Malachai. He was approving Jasmine’s idea and thinking, too. “What if one of the little space travelers accidentally zaps another one? Not being a big huge asteroid, the little flying pebble is handicapped to a smaller and inadequate form?” “That is okay,” said Jasmine, “I think it will be good, though. It will be good enough to submit to ‘Other-Lands’.” “Okay,” said Malachai. They took turns talking and writing and wrote the story. It seemed a little long, but they developed a main character, described the setting, and told the story. It was 2024 words, once done, and both students agreed that the concluding paragraphs were pretty well written.

Time had gone by, and it was about 11:45 PM. “We should give the story one last revision, and we can type it up on the computer together tomorrow after dinner,” suggested Jasmine. “Sounds like a plan,” replied Malachai. He almost blushed – he thought of her, sometimes.  “Would you like to go over it out in the garden of the library?” asked Malachai. “That sounds a little spooky,” said Jasmine. “I will protect you from harm,” said Malachai with manly happiness. Jasmine smiled, grasped his hand, and they walked to the garden of the nearest library.

The two read through the document by the light of the moon and only found one or two able-to-be revised errors. Almost ready to go off to bed, they noticed the various small statues in the shadows of the garden. The one closest to them was an old stone statue of a wiry Irishman. It was a replica of an immigrant who came to the nation to study the English language and biology. He had donated to the original construction of the library, there, and the little structure highly resembled a leprechaun. It was only moments passed midnight, and they heard a shrilling and decipherable whisper in the night’s gentle breeze.

“Speak a limerick to him to see his fun; bring him back before his damage is done…” “I know you heard that,” said Jasmine. “It damn near freaked me out,” said Malachai. “Why did it not freak you out? Do you think that was a ghost?” asked Jasmine. “No, no,” said Malachai,”‘Ghost’ – do not even be so silly. That was some ‘other’ form of howling spiritual voice in the wind sometime around midnight.” “Very funny,” said Jasmine, almost pale in fright, “Well?” “What do you mean, ‘Well’?” asked Malachai, “You doubt my ability to speak a poem? Little did you know, with all my attempted prose, I am quite the ‘anti-poetic’ master.” “You could not speak a rhyme with a ghetto-blaster!” laughed Jasmine. “Oh yeah?” said Malachai, and said,

“There once was a little man of concrete;
he danced and moved about on his feet.
The people were there,
but who could care?
We brought him back and put him on his feet.”

Impressed with Malachai’s improvisation, Jasmine almost was not watching the little statue. He came to life! He took one dead stare at the two students, as if he were gazing upon a ghost for the first time, and took off in a dead sprint towards the dining hall. Malachai and Jasmine instinctively ran after the little fellow. There were pretty female students standing around talking. The last thing that Malachai and Jasmine wanted to see happen was the little man being seen by other students.

They almost caught up to him, and the stone leprechaun hid behind a tree in the shadow of a university lamp-post. Malachai and Jasmine were right on him, but could not quite run and catch him.  They would be seen by nearby students. The naughty little guy was trying to see up the skirt of a female student. He could not, though so he inched closer to her to try to raise up her skirt. As he got closer, Malachai inched closer to him. In an instant, Malachai snatched the little guy up and brought him over to Jasmine behind a tree.

“You are quite the dirty little man,” said Jasmine to the leprechaun who did not speak.  Malachai and Jasmine brought the statue back to where it was and it turned back to stone. The name below the small sculpture was Ed Lear.  Malachai and Jasmine needed to return to their dorms. It was getting late. They neared each other and kissed for the first time, just on the lips, and went back to their rooms.  Their story would do fine.

A To Do List

A To Do List

Having found out about the death of my unknown aunt, I re-read the check.  Sure enough, it said, “$1,000,000.00.”  What was I to do?  I wrote a list of things to do:

  • Clean out house and throw everything away;
  • Form a list of debts and pay them;
  • Buy a small car;
  • Research +$100,000 investment opportunities;
  • Invest $500,000;
  • Drive to a beautiful new estate;
  • Purchase proper writing equipment and start a book press;
  • Decide on opening a small diner; and
  • Live well.

After having done these normal things, my life would sure be nicer.  I would probably go study English at a university to pursue becoming a professor and novelist.  I would also consider painting techniques with oils and other mediums.  I cannot imagine what other people would do.  I would even consider the purchase of a small houseboat with a new word processor – I love to write.

We are always constrained by various forms of inadequacy or poverty.  Once no longer poor, what would we do?  We can hope, for each other, that we would choose to live a good life and be nice to each other.