Tuesday, May 27, 2008

She stared at the blinking chat screen, dreading the question she saw before her eyes.

"What's wrong? :( "

She slowly typed the 3 words she wanted to say to him more than anything, but quickly backspaced and started typing again.

"Hold on...I've gotta go get something to drink."

God that's so lame! She thought. She sat there in silence for a few minutes, trying to find the courage to tell him what was really wrong. For starters, he lived about 2,300 miles away, and she had never actually met him. Secondly, she was falling in love with him and she wasn't sure if she could, or even wanted to, stop herself.


On the other side of the country, he sat at his computer desk, staring at the screen and waiting for her relpy. Neither knew it, but they were both thinking the same thing at that moment.

He loved here, of that he was sure. What he was unsure of however was how to tell her. He would be closer to her soon, he was going away to school in the fall about 4 hours away from her. He couldn't wait that long go tell her though. Without thinking about it again, he quickly typed a short message into the IM box and signed off before she could reply. He was almost afraid of her reaction, and he could hardly believe what he had just done.


Her eyes darted back to the screen when his message popped up. With a shaking hand she clicked on the blinking box. Her breath seemed to catch in her chest as she read what he had written and she began to cry. Tears silently slid down her face as her smile continued to grow, and she was still shaking as she kept re-reading his message.

"Jess I've gotta go for the night, but I want you to know I'm always here for you.

I love you."

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Prompt: Write a story in which a ghost serves as your main character. Your character died in a tragic accident and is watching his/her family live on without them.

Carrie watched the ceremony in silence. She couldn't believe it was here already. It seemed like just a few days ago she had started her freshman year of high school and now she was watching her graduation ceremony. Tears slowly slid down her face as she watched her twin brother walk across the stage and get his diploma.

She never though she'd have to watch this from the audience, and here she was standing in the back of the auditorium watching her entire class graduate without her. The only thing that upset Carrie more than not actually graduating was the fact that the person who had prevented her from sharing today with everyone was now walking across the stage to get her diploma.

Just 3 months prior, Carrie had been on her way home from work around 10:30pm. She was sitting at a stop light, not even 3 blocks from home when it all happened. She had seen something in her rearview mirror that had caught her eye, and she looked back to see headlights quickly coming at her, and before she know what was happening the night was shattered by the sounds of tires squealing, metal crunching, and horns blaring.

Almost instantly Carrie found herself watching the scene happen in slow motion from the sidewalk. She watched as her own car was shoved into the intersection and then crushed by an oncoming semi. Carrie's attention snapped between the scene of her own lifeless body being pried from the twisted metal skeleton that used to be her car and her family huddled and sobbing across the street from the crash. Carrie knew exactly what hat happened, and she couldn't help but be so frustrated at not being able to tell them what had happened.

Shannon's brakes had failed. There was nothing she could do about that. Carrie wasn't mad about that, or at Shannon at all for that matter. How could she be? What she was mad about, however, was that all of her dreams had been destroyed in that crash. She had been accepted to her top choice University with a full ride scholarship for soccer, and she was well on her way to being a journalist like she had always hoped to be. Starting in the fall she had an internship with a local newspaper editor who would be able to get her ready for anything.

Carrie's thoughts drifted back to the ceremony, and she barely heard the last few lines of the speech being given by the class valedictorian, which really would have been Carrie.

She waited outside for everyone to emerge from the hall, and was curious to see her family's reactions to the flowers left on Derrick's car. Obviously Carrie couldn't tell them they were from her, but she was sure they would understand somehow. She and Derrick always had this connection about certain things, and she had been seeing things through his eyes since the crash. Derrick hadn't said anything to anyone about it, nor had he let Carrie know that he knew what was happening, but he knew everything his sister was doing still. He couldn't always see her, but he always knew when she was there. He had found it a bit strange at first, but the thought of his sister still watching over him comforted him after a while.

Carrie watched as their whole family swarmed around Derrick for hugs, pictures, congratulations and the whole 9 yards. Derrick stood back holding two diplomas up for the camera, his own and the one Carrie would have received. Carrie could tell he felt uncomfortable, as Derrick never liked to be the center of attention and since he had no one to share today with all eyes were on him. After what seemed like hours, the family separated and said their goodbyes before leaving the school. Derrick had insisted on driving on his own, and he hugged his parents goodbye before they got in the car and pulled away. Carrie watched him intently from behind, waiting for some kind of reaction to the flowers.

"You know I can still hear you, right? I've always been able to, ever since, you know..." He trailed off. The accident had devastated him, and he found it extremely hard to talk about it, even to his dead sister. "I can....I can still see you, too."

"Derrick?" Carrie asked cautiously. Derrick turned around slowly and looked her directly in the eyes.

"Do you have any idea how hard this is for me? I mean, I know it's hard for you, being...well, y'know...."

"Dead?" Carrie finished for him. "Yea, it's not exactly a walk in the park for me either. Why didn't you say anything to me before?"

"Because I thought I was dreaming it. I didn't want to say anything until I was sure I wasn't dreaming. Now that I know I'm not, well, here we are."

The pair talked for nearly an hour before they were interrupted by their parent's calling Derrick to see where he was. Ever since the accident they were always more protective than ever. They had lost one child, and they were going to do everything in their power to make sure they didn't lose another one. Derrick assured them he was fine, and that he'd be home shortly.

"I've gotta go. D'you want a ride?" He asked cautiously.

"I'll beat you home even without the car." Carrie said with a smirk. Even though she was dead, she still had that competitive edge about her that she and Derrick had always shared.

"Not if I can help it," Derrick grinned and jumped in his car.
15 minutes later Derrick burst into his room, and went to crash on his bed but stopped in his tracks when he saw his sister already sitting there.

"What the hell! How did you manage that?" He asked in awe.

"Derrick...I'm a ghost. Do I really need to explain that?" She laughed.

"I guess not. That's just creepy though," He said chuckling.

"How is this not totally weirding you out?" Carrie asked him. "I mean, if it was me and I was talking to my dead brother I'd be freaking the hell out."

"Well, I told you earlier....I've been able to hear you, and almost read your mind ever since the crash...and I was certain I had seen you, but I wasn't totally sure so I never said anything to you, or anyone else for that matter." Derrick said, as if it was totally obvious.

"So...you leave tomorrow, don't you? For your internship?" Carrie asked, quickly changing the subject.

"Yea...my flight leaves at 8:10am, so we'll have to be out of the house by about 6am. And it's a 13 hour flight, and you know how much I love flying." Derrick joked.

"Heh. Yea, you and planes get along really well..." Carrie laughed at the thought. She knew her brother hated flying, and the thought of him spending 13 hours on a plane by himself was a bit amsuing.

"Yea..." Derrick started to say, but trailed off. The two sat in silence for a few mintues, both trying to think of something to say.

"Not that I have anywhere to go, but I should really let you sleep. It's after midnight, y'know." Carrie said. As much as she wanted to spend time with her brother still, she didn't want to keep him up.

"I know this is gonna sound really weird, but can you meet me there? I mean, I'll have my own appartment, so it won't be that weird if I'm talking to a ghost..." Derrick said a bit sheepishly. He was never one to ask favors of anyone, but he really wanted her to say yes.

"Well...I mean....sure, I guess. It's not like I have anything else to do," Carrie said grinning.

"Great! I guess I'll see you tomorrow then...right?"

"Sure...see you then."

Derrick blinked and she was gone, but he slept well that night knowing he hadn't really lost his sister, and that she would be waiting for him tomorrow night when he finally arrived at his new place.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Inferno project

This was a project for my Classical Lit & Thought class senior year. We had to write another canto for Dante's inferno, and this is what I came up with =]


Emerging from the icy depths of the center of Hell, the poets find themselves slowly making their way to the final layer in this pit of despair. Dante is puzzled to see a beautiful spring-like landscape, surprisingly dotted with what appear to be struggling animals in the distance. Dante soon realizes that these animals are the tortured souls of the BETRAYERS and BACKSTABBERS.
Among the tortured souls the Poets quickly recognize BRUTUS again, and BENEDICT ARNOLD. Although unable to converse with these two individuals, Dante and Virgil discover a young boy disconnected from the others. While speaking with the boy, Dante is able to connect with him and begins to wonder why a boy who did so much for the one he loved would be trapped for eternity in despair and torture.
Upon closer inspection to the souls, Dante and Virgil become aware of the clear intent of the punishments given. Virgil explains to Dante that the large sacks of rocks they are forced to carry on their backs are in place of the guilt they should have felt when they did the unthinkable. Because they were so unremorseful, the souls are unable to enjoy the beautiful scenery through the constant river of tears flowing down their faces. With the final circle of Hell behind them, the travelers push forward to finish their journey.

Emerging from the final cold, icy round
My master urged my weary body to finish the journey
I scanned the landscape, and nothing but beauty was to be found.

Perplexed as I was, my master insisted we press on
And he did nothing but push my fatigued soul through
The final moments before we reached the new dawn.

Far in the distance I saw what seemed to be animals of some kind
But upon further inspection I soon discovered
They were the tortured souls of those that had no remorse on their mind.

Stumbling through the maze of souls
My master pointed out those we had already encountered
And then those new to torment that would unfold.

We discovered a young boy no more than sixteen
Distanced from the group
And appeared not wanting to be seen.

Approaching him slowly I began to wonder
'Why is he here? What did he do?
What great force is keeping him under?'

Cautiously I approached him and asked:
"Son what is the meaning of your torture?
What possibly occurred in your past?"

Looking at me, he gasped for air and replied:
"Sir it is nothing but love that keeps me here
And for my one and only love I have died.

He continued: "For her I gave my everything,
And received this eternal torment.
She did not wish to hear my reasoning.

"I was unsure of her love for me, and hard as she tried
I did not listen to her when she begged me to not worry
Because of my insolence, for an eternity she cried.

"On a subject of little matter I was concerned,
And the subject would soon be my demise.
Without her consent I began to search for the answers for which I yearned.

"When I had found the answers for which I had searched,
I sat in doubt of what to do with what I had in hand.
As I made my way to confront her, on edge I was perched.

"Unsure of where next I should turn
I spoke my mind to her
And her cold eyes began to burn.

"I asked her if anything was wrong
To which she replied that everything was fine
And stood in silence for almost too long.

"I confronted the notions I had formed
As she stood still in silence,
Only to be faced with what I had been warned.

"My love calmly told me everything had indeed been alright
Up until this moment when I had forced upon her
She said goodbye and raced off into the night."

I sat in admiration of the courage this boy had,
For the task he had completed was none to easy.
For him I had one final question, of this he was glad.

"My dear boy what is the meaning of all this sorrow?
Surely you must have some explanation for why
All of this would come from one moment to be borrowed?"

To this was his reply: "In all of this I was too vain.
I only began my search for my own benefit,
Not once thinking of what would cause her pain.

"I thought only of myself and what it would bring me,
If I were to know these few simple things.
I never stopped to consider what those simple things could be."

"My child what ever happened to your love?
There must be some answer to your suffering,
Could she be somewhere, lying in wait above?"

"It is quite possible, Sir,
For I was never able
To again speak with her."

With his final response he wandered away,
Forever plagued by his eternal love
And determined to protect his heart from decay.

I turned to my master and began to speak,
But he silenced me quickly
And pointed straight up to a mountain peak.

"That point is where we need to be,
For our time here is running short.
Our pace needs to quicken, we have more to see."

With one last glance back at those we had passed,
And still seeing the young boy separated from the pack,
I speculated the answers to the questions I had asked.

To my master I spoke: "What is the meaning
Of this torture we have seen?
Surely there is some reason in this being?"

"My son there is a reason for everything.
But this reason is something that cannot be explained,
Nor can it be taught by means of a simple thing."

My teacher turned back to me and urged me to hurry.
Contemplating what I had seen,
I knew there would be more to our meaningful journey.

Lagging behind my master I wished to stay.
Possibly to speak with the boy again,
Or to further understand my role in life's play.

With one last look behind me, I moved on toward the stars.