[Poem][Stripes]

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Stripes

            You steal my fur but not my stripes.

                        My stripes are my soul, they are mine,

                                                And you will never have them.

            Come with your guns and your knives.

                                    You take my skin off, bleach my bones,

                        Harvest my organs but you will never be me.

            Your children, your grandchild, and children’s children,

                                    Will never know me…

            You destroy when you should save,

                                                            The majesty of my skills, to hunt, to survive,

                                    To care for the cubs that you too hunt for.

                        I teach them my ways, my skills,

To survive not only the wild, but to survive you.

You will never own them either.

            Your children, your grandchild, and children’s children,

                        Will never know them, they will escape them too,

As I do with you now.

                                  My story is old, I have outlived you so far.

There are those that will fight to protect my cubs,

                                                When I cannot protect them or myself.

                But if you corner me, I will protect mine.

                                                              I will live beyond you.

                                                              You will never be me.

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[The Project][Part 3]

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Time to meet our newest character…

 

The pattering of rain made it difficult for her to hear, there were too many colours echoing through her ears. Nearly 23 years of hearing colours and she still had not been able to come to terms with her condition. It was not exactly something you could really describe in any words that other could understand, other than realizing that she was vastly different than everyone else she knew. So she learned to keep her mouth shut and simply say she had hearing loss.

It was not a lie exactly; it did become difficult to concentrate on listening when there was too much ambient noise around her. The lie came from what sounds she could and could not filter through her ears and that was the part that was the most difficult to explain to those she had attempted to tell in the past. Some nerve in her brain had decided to malfunction and connect her sensory systems together, and when her senses crossed the world became unmanageable. Learning to deal had recently become her sole purpose because, like all young women hope for, she had met her soul mate.

Love was an emotion she thought she would never encounter again since her mother had passed away because of all the exclusions she faced simply by needing to handle her condition. He seemed to have just turned up one day out of nowhere, and for some strange reason, he stuck around. She still could not wrap her mind around why he wanted to, she was so… But it didn’t matter it seemed. Well, it all was ‘as it seemed,’ all of it was questionable because she couldn’t just come out and ask him the questions that swirled around in her head. They were far too personal to ask him, just yet.

Her temples started to ache from all the mental questioning and stress she was imposing on herself. She needed to concentrate on making the colours stop in order to give her some peace for the night. She moved the arm chair and coffee table away from the center of the room and sat on the cold wooden floor, legs crossed and palms facing up upwards on her knees. She shook her head and cracked the stiffness from her neck. She closed her eyes and imagined white.

White was the only colour that gave her any peace in her mind. She didn’t know why but white gave off no sound at all, and it wasn’t as though she could ask anyone why that was, so it remained a mystery to her. She had only discovered this anomaly when she was priming the walls of her bedroom white when an episode of colour assaulted her ears.

[TheProject][Part 2]

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Think Mave will find what she has been searching for tonight?

The Project – Part 2

It was always a shot in the dark, she knew this but currently standing and manually scanning crowds was the only way to mass process data. Unless evidence or a lead appeared to point her in a particular directly, to be able to organize a directed scanning on a smaller group of people, this was the only way. Being the only individual placed on the Project now, she had to monopolize her time to the fullest if only to prevent her superiors from having another agent on her assignment. This would be what defined her career, she knew that, and she did not anyone else even remotely taking an ounce of her accomplishment, if or when it was completed. The last thing she wanted was someone else coming up with a breakthrough on the Project, which was in itself a selfish desire but she knew that the purpose of this was no medical or weapon related. If it were, she may have been moved to accept more agents in discovering a result sooner. Maybe.

There came a small sound from her pocket, almost inaudible among the abstract noise of the city street. The beep of the instrument in her pocket sounded again, slightly louder and at a faster pace. It took her a moment to realize what was taking place. She could hardly believe that at random, she may have found her life’s work, walking on a street, the very street she was standing at. She straightened and began to slowly pivot her body around in a circle, scanning the crowd with her eyes though unsure of who she was looking for. Her hearing was at full attention, listening so intensely at any change of the instrument in her pocket. She could not risk taking it out and looking at it, people these days were too suspicious of anything that could be concealed in one’s pocket and later pointed at one’s body with the potential intent of harm.

The device began to beep wildly, making Mave’s slowly rotating movement jerk into complete stillness, her eyes wildly searching the crowd of faces in front of her. They all looked so normal, as though then belonged in the crowd of flesh and blood, but one did not belong. The faces were moving too quickly for her to visually scan each with her naked eye. With great haste, she pulled both hand from her coat pocket and, holding her right hand at stomach height, she used her left hand to clamp down on her wrist. A small green light glowed through the thin skin under her hand and a strong wind blew through the crowd.

Mave’s mind raced as the individuals around her seemed to freeze in their aimless walking. She closed her eyes and, with her inner eye, took a picture of the crowd. She knew her best chance of finding her subject would be to scan each face and identify who caused the device to alarm her. This would take time, time she did not have at the moment of contact. Mave knew her subject would be in the picture. She knew her career was sound. She knew her success was only a matter of time.

[On Finishing and Going Back to School]

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Come May 2014, I should be returning to the world of post-secondary school and it has gotten me thinking about my time away from university. What have I really done with my time? Have I accomplished anything of worth? At first glance, I would have to say ‘no, I don’t think I have,’ which is a little disappointing for me.

However, I did keep myself employed (though in retail) as I was recovering from being severely ill, which I will go into another time. I mainly focused on keeping a steady income and trying to enjoy my time away from the institution of the education system. As time passed, I came to a slightly disturbing realization: I missed school. I missed the unlimited access to knowledgeable professors, the structure of having classes planned out for you, the constant flow of new and familiar faces campus provided. I also realized I was wholly unprepared for leaving that environment.

I think that the majority of us young people are unprepared for the massively unstructured life outside of school. Being prepared goes far beyond having employment and being able to afford basic needs. You could look at it like a pyramid: at base level you’re in school, live at home have a part-time job; mid-level, being in post-secondary programs, living on campus/with parents/renting an apartment, with a part-time job; top-level, going through additional schooling (Master, PhD, etc) or a full-time employment but still renting. The point of the pyramid is the position our parents expect us to aspire to: full-time, high paying career, a nice home, and thinking about starting our own family. Well, other than telling us that we need an education to attain that point, does anyone really explain how to reach there?

I say no. Many of us expect to own a house or property once we are older… Has anyone explained how much of a down payment you need, or even how much money you should expect a house to cost each year? How about the cost of property tax? How about filing taxes in general? How about investing your money? What percent of your income per month should you be saving? At what time should you being saving for retirement? There are so many questions that young people have but only know of the internet to find answers, and we all know how reliable the internet can be.

Would you like to know where I found out quite a bit of this information? I love to death but it was certainly not my parents. I gained many of these answers from two T.V. shows: ‘Til Debt Do Us Part and Property Virgins. By watching quite a few episodes, I was able to learn the basics of managing my income, how much and what I should be spending my money on, how much I should be saving for years from now, and the cost of buying and keeping up a home. How to deal with these expenses and dealing with debt are lessons we need to understand as soon as possible.

Many students have loans and OSAP to pay back once their semesters are over. Did you know a student loan coverts into a regular loan when you turn 25? This means the structure of the loan changes and the pressure to pay it back increases. Here is a common misconception: you have two loans or credit cards, one is $5,000 at 5% interest, and the second is $7,500 at 3% interest, which should you pay off first? Many would say the second because the amount is higher, but they would be wrong. Chances are, by the time you pay off the higher amount, more interest would have accumulated on the lower amount, potentially growing it to higher than the $7,500 loan. It is small bits of knowledge like this that could save students thousands of dollars of in interest. Paying the minimum on your debt will never see you out of it, which means you’ll never  be able to afford, comfortable, the things you want in life.

I was lucky; I was able to find some of the answers myself because I left the T.V on after watching some other program. These are just scratching the surface of the things parents should be teaching their children. I’m sure some parents believe our schools should be teaching children this. Well guess what, they haven’t started yet, so what are parents waiting for?

Having been extremely lucky and exceedingly grateful that my father has paid for my schooling, I don’t have to struggle with massive debt just yet. Now he was, and still is, a smart man because he contributed to an education savings plan for myself and my siblings so there would be money available for post-secondary school. He also instilled in us a strong work ethic and not to settle for anything less than we deserve. That is the effort that parents need to be investing into their children’s futures.

That work ethic though, I did not see much of it working in my retail position. Granted, you could say, ‘It’s only retail,’ but if you can’t put the necessary effort and energy into a remedial job and develop your drive to excel, how can you expect that drive to manifest when you finally get into the career you want? There is no much give and take to achieve what you want but unless someone who knows all this takes the time to share, nothing is going to change.

At the beginning of this I stated that I miss school and perhaps it is because I have experienced the reality of living in our world as it is outside of childhood. I managed to learn everything I’ve stated and more, so really… I guess the last six months have been a little more productive than I thought.

[The Difference between Night and Day][Part 2 – Conclusion]

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Interested in reading what happens to the twins? Well here you go!

The Difference between Night and Day – Conclusion

~

            As the sun rose the next morning, so did Sol and Luna’s arguments. They did not want to waste time creating a solution in which they both could agree upon when they both knew the other’s pride would not allow for a peaceful resolution. They both knew however, that whatever they could come up with, Morpheus would do much worse. The only problem though, laid in the fabric of their being: they could not agree on anything.

At first they argued about why their likes and interests were better than the others. This lasted for hours and became extremely heated. To decide who was right in saying they were the better, they wanted to ask an unbiased outsider. The only problem with that was no one stayed around them once word of Morpheus’ impending plan for the twins reached their ears. They knew that if the twins were unable to come up with their own solution, then they deserved whatever Morpheus had planned for them. Besides, they knew that his plan has something to do with the upcoming celebration, and no one wanted to tamper with their surprise.

When Sol and Luna could not find anyone to ask, they resorted to more arguing, but now did not limit their arguing to their differences, but on how they could never agree. They became so infuriated with each other that they parted on rough terms once again, leaving only one day remaining to come up with a compromise or face the unknown of Morpheus’ mind.

~

            As the sun rose on the twins’ second, and last, day, the tension of their arguments from the night before lingered and intensified. Unfortunately for them, they would not meet one last time in order to make one last effort to find a compromise they both could live with. As Sol stood by the edge of Mount Olympus, looking over at the mortal world below, Luna was lingering on the opposite side of the city, also looking down at the mortal world. They had come to the silent agreement that they would allow Morpheus to decide their fate.

~

            The day came and night fell, and their time was now up. In complete silence, they walked to the iron gates of Olympus to await Morpheus’ compromise, or punishment. He was already waiting for them with a small dagger, a bronze goblet, and a black, silk bag. The twins were nervous as Morpheus appeared calm and sure of this upcoming decision. “I see neither of you have been able to convince the other of a compromise. Is there anything you have to say? Have you learned anything for the past couple of days?”

“With all due respect, we need more time,” Sol stepped up, a look of needed understanding on his face. He only asked because he did not want to appear weak to his superior.

“No, we do not, Dream Lord,” Luna spoke with attitude directed at her brother. “The only thing that as have agreed upon is that we need your guidance in order to cease our constant conflicts.”

Jealousy seemed to exit Sol’s eyes like daggers into Luna. “Enough! You both are right. I will aid you in finding more time to think of your actions and debates, and for a solution.” Morpheus poured the contents of the silk bag into the goblet and handed the dagger to Luna. “The blood of both twins will allow your unbalanced personalities to find purpose.” Luna placed the blade of the dagger in the palm of her right hand, closed her eyes and braced herself for the cut. She closed her hand over the goblet as drops of crimson blood fell from it. Sol took the dagger from Luna, cleaned it on his sleeve and cut his own right palm. Morpheus swirled the contents of the goblet, and the world darkened for Luna, and brightened for Sol.

Neither of them quite understood what happened, but then Morpheus’ voice pieced through the empty space. “Night and Day is forever apart. Luna, you are the Moon, and Sol, you are the Sun. You shall be kept apart always by Time, except for twice a year when one will eclipse the other. Perhaps now you two will learn to understand that both of you have importance and that no matter what, you both are equally important.”

~

            Ever since that time, Sol and Luna only see each other twice a year when they are allowed to talk and argue all they like. Morpheus was honoured for creating Night and Day, and all immortals and mortals alike marvel at this new faze that was set in motion.

The End

 

Pst…. Perhaps… A Part 3?

[The Project][Part 1]

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Thought I would mix it up a bit and post something new I’m working on that is completely different from my earlier story. Let me be completely honest with you, I have no idea where this story is going to lead… and I’m excited for that! 

Very rarely do I plan out the plot lines of my stories and I am sure more experienced writers would say that this is not the correct approach to writing anything. I compensate by re-reading and editing the heck out of the story afterwards and end up adding in more to the story. It seems to work well for me and hopefully, with more practice, the quality of my stories will improve. 

Enjoy!

The Project

            The work that I now had planned was extensive, there would be no time for anything else and I have to admit, I was quite looking forward to that. With nothing else to concentrate on, my mind would be able to fully consume itself with the Project. It would be perfection.

            The notion of scaling down the Project to one person had been my idea, and it was a good one at that. I just never thought it would have been me assigned to complete it. There was no problem in me being assigned to the Project. I was fully qualified and knowledgeable about the prospects to come from the completion of certain tasks that had been scheduled.

            Having been assigned this task over all others must have meant the company had faith in my ability. Even more important, they believed I was worth staking quite a large sum of money and resources on my ability. Perhaps if I were not so thrilled at receiving this chance, I would have been nervous beyond comprehension.

            Finding the perfect living specimen for the Project would be my life’s achievement.

~                                  ~                                  ~

            The sunrise was over; the reds, yellows, and oranges just finished fading away into the darkening starlit night sky. The evening was cool and calm for an expedition into the city where there was ever an abundance of people. The masses at night, looking alone for people to be with together in places they would never travel to in the daylight. They found comfort in groups in the iron jungle of the large city, having little to no care about the dangers they risked blindly looking for someone to share it with.

            Mave was not like that and could never imagine herself purposely seeking out another being to spend time with that had no other, useful, connection to her life. There was no reason to add another being into her life unless there would be some use to having them around, otherwise it just proved to be a waste of time, or so she believed. She leaned against the iron light post at the edge of the busy street corner, the people streaming on all sides of her, her light of sight clouded in every direction. She did not need her eyes to see however; she needed her instruments to work quickly, and above all, accurately.

            It was well past midnight and there was still an abundance of people out on the streets. She had only been standing in this particular location for about 5 minutes, not long enough for any stragglers to notice her extended presence amongst the constantly moving waves of people. She tried not to stay in one place for too long, unfortunately having to constantly move had its benefits and possible failure always looming over her head. There would always be that lingering chance that if she moved too soon or not soon enough, her instrument could completely miss her intended target never to cross it again. This is how Mave spent her nights, all her nights, scanning the crowds excessively attempting to raise the statistical percent of finding the single specimen that was out there.