I've been counting the hours, as if waiting for my own execution. Hours, days, weeks... biding my time, dreading my fate but awaiting sweet relief. I was never read my rights, I guess I put those behind me awhile ago. A priest never came to my chamber, I wouldn't ask for forgiveness, why should I? My friends? You think they would remember me now? My family offered me their sorrow, their feelings, their blessings but nothing stuck to the empty husk my mind once settled into. My consciousness has long faded, it was beaten, tortured and destroyed by the fear and anxiety of my life.
Those people I call family had chained my mind long before my body. I resisted at first, their attempts to persuade me were shrugged off as disgusting and ridiculous. I fought them tooth and nail, even as a child. I would have spat in my face for becoming what I am now. In grade school I never gave resistance a second though, I would fight any enemy big or small. And the big battles? Ha, those are the ones that really meant something, really made you feel alive.
Alas, the odds were against me, I was fighting a sea of monsters with nothing more than a strong spirit. Even the strongest of spirits, the hottest of fires can eventually be put out by this horrid sea, by the rain of ignorance and the cold touch of death. It wouldn't be a swift death, either, it would be like a plague, slowly creeping to your heart, destroying your mind and body before finally delivering the fatal blow.
So, I gave in, I let go, I admitted defeat. And as that first chain clasped onto my body, I felt it was a serpent, I still fought even realizing my struggle was futile. But as the second one went across my back, and the third around my neck I started to find comfort in them. I almost praised them, wished for them. These chains, they kept me alive, they stropped me from self-destruction! I never thought, I never even begun to think I would find such pleasure and comfort within them.
For ten years, I sat in the dark cold cell and I waited. I welcomed more chains, if not for the chains themselves I would have done so with open arms. But that is a bad thought, the chains saved you! How dare you ask for anything more! What do you expect to gain from thinking like that? Tomorrow was the day, if I remembered what enjoyment felt like, I would have told myself to enjoy the time I have left.
The morning greeted me with a cold sweat. I wasn't greeted by a jailer, no, I woke up in my own bed. The chains were still wrapped around my skin at every possible crack and crevice. When I was moved out of my room I felt I had died a little inside. They took me in and did the unthinkable, what I had feared most.
They buried a key deep within the lock that kept the chains fastened tight around my legs. I couldn't decipher it, was that fear or excitement I felt? Either way it beats the apathy I have felt for this place for far too long. The cold walls of my room, the ugly scenery and the routine of the chains. I came to realize as the chain fell to the ground. Sure, some of these chains made me happy, maybe even saved my life. But whether the chain holds you up or puts you down, a chain is just that: a chain. It will hold you down one way or another, through pleasure or pain. I think it is far past time to get these chains off me, my mind has been in slumber far too long.
Saturday, July 13, 2013
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Greg was a very steady person. He found comfort in having a routine, a schedule and to break away from it caused him some distress. Although he didn't consider himself obsessive over his routine, he preferred to not change it. The unknown made his palms sweat, his breath shallow and tied his stomach in knots. The very idea of traveling, changing jobs or meeting people made him nauseous.
Although Greg considered himself as stable as his schedule he had always suffered from anxiety and depression. When he was younger he would tell himself things he didn't like or didn't want to do were boring. Anything that wasn't fun to him wasn't even dignified as a possibility, a true brat! He lived a life of only things that would entertain him, make him happy or bring him pleasure. However he found, after a year had past, that he found less pleasure in things, his appetite diminished and the nights grew longer.
Greg barely ate, slept, sometimes he felt he couldn't even breathe. His heart was either beating so fast he couldn't hear it or it had stopped all together. This wasn't working, this fun life he was living. His shadow was growing longer and when he looked at the stars he felt the darkness of the night sky was consuming them. “Perhaps...” he thought to himself, “living a fun life doesn't mean living a happy one.” With this thought he decided to seek help and get rid of the fun in his life. Entirely.
As the years went by he slowly became more and more afraid of fun. Fun was too unpredictable, unstable, volatile. His routine was easy and safe. He worked, cleaned, cooked and ran errands for himself to keep busy. It was simple and there were no surprises with the right amount of planning. He convinced himself he would live a bubble of contentment for the next few years, maybe even the rest of his life.
But there are some things you cannot plan for, that you cannot control. And while some people call this destiny or fate the reality is that you have a lack of power over your environment. Even with this in mind Greg was shocked when he got a call from the hospital. His sister, Alex, must have also seen the stars being engulfed in shadow. When Greg saw them he wanted to run and hide but to continue his life. Alex found the darkness too hopeless, it overpowered her sanity and very will to live.
Greg could live without the stars but could he live without his sister? And even then, could he allow the darkness into his memories, his mind again? By the time he hung up the phone he already felt his body being poisoned by his own shadow. He felt insane movements from his heart, he felt sick and started gasping for air. It took all his willpower to force himself to sleep that night.
Shortly after that night he found himself walking down a cobblestone path lit by dim lampposts. He couldn't remember how he got there but he remembered he was on his way to see his sister. He wondered if the hospital was even open this late at night. He checked the digital watch on his wrist but the battery had died. Had he forgot to replace the battery? Why didn't he plan for this? He decided to look up at the sky to see if he could find a sign of what time it was in the moon. The second his eyes focused onto it it shuddered and faded into the sky with a puff of black smoke.
Now he was starting to feel it, the darkness was coming. His palms were sweating and his mouth went dry. Greg swore he felt someone glaring at him and as he looked over his shoulder he saw a silhouette standing just out of range of the lamppost. The body was too dark to see, all Greg noticed was bright yet cold eyes of the character. They looked like orbs floating in the night surrounded by blue rims. Just as he looked into its eyes it took a step toward him. Once it stepped into the light of the lamppost the bulb burst and he could hear glass hit the stone. The silhouette didn't even flinch and just continued to approach him.
He felt an aura of dread loom over him and before he had time to process what was happening he turned around and ran. That glare had pieced his consciousness and hit his innate sense of fear. He ran faster than he had ever run, he was running for his life. There were many lampposts along the path and he could hear them shattering, and then exploding behind him as he ran. At first it sounded like a glass cup breaking on a tile floor but after a minutes (or had it been seconds?) it sounded like artillery shells hitting the ground behind him. It was following him, no it was chasing him and it was gaining speed!
He saw the hospital before him less than 100 yards away. He knew if he turned to look at the figure it would catch him so instead he put all his energy into sprinting toward the door. He felt that the presence of others would help him defeat the shadow or perhaps the shadow couldn't destroy the light of a whole building. As he reached for the handle and burst down the door he nearly fainted when he saw the silhouette towering above him.
“This is the end” he thought. He slumped to the ground and was ready to accept his fate. “This is the end...” He repeated, “It's going to take me!” He took this into consideration but rather than weeping he frowned. Rage was swelling up inside him. Why should this shadow take his life? It had already destroyed his happiness, nearly killed his sister and took away the stars. Just as the shadow lunged forward to strike Greg he noticed a fuse box on the wall. Channeling his anger he reached for the fuse box and flipped the switches in an instant. The lights came on slowly at first but then shot down like bullets piercing the shadow's body.
He gasped and jolted forward in his bed smacking the back of his head on the bed frame on the way back down. “A dream... It was... a dream?” he asked himself in shock. Maybe it was the bump on his head but he felt it wasn't any mere dream. He thought to himself quietly for the next few minutes.
Greg soon realized this was indeed a dream but it taught him something very important, something life changing. All the time he spent running from the darkness had only fed it and made it stronger. In the dream, the silhouette couldn't exist in the light so it destroyed the lampposts to continue chasing him. Through pure instinct Greg realized that light could defeat the silhouette.
He knew he couldn't simply point a light at his problems and watch them vanish but he understood what the dream was trying to teach him. It was trying to teach him two things. First, he couldn't just outrun his problems whether it be by changing his life, disabling triggers or physically running. Second, he had to fight the darkness not by drudging through it but by actually attacking it.
Greg knew exactly what he had to do and he wouldn't have to do it alone. A week later his sister was discharged from the hospital. He packed his things, quit his job, got his sister and flew off to New York. Maybe this was irresponsible but sometimes your needs outweigh your responsibilities. The darkness had taken fun from him and hope from his sister but it could have very well taken their lives. The purpose of the trip was to bring some joy to them and to help his sister realize there is someone you can always look to, always talk to.They were terrified when they arrived in New York but when Greg looked up at the sky he had never seen brighter stars. And when he looked at Alex he had never seen a brighter smile. They had both become as radiant as the stars fighting the darkness in the sky.
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Desolate Earth: by Ian Macfarland
September 11th, 2537. Diary of Adam Walsh,
Earth has become a battleground of unnatural disaster. Studying history makes me think we would have eventually killed off each other. Who would have guessed our own planet would be the one to wipe us out? It may come as a shock to some but to me it isn't surprising. On this very planet that gave us life, in our own bodies we have white blood cells. The main purpose of these cells is to wipe out bacteria, infections, and parasites. Aren't we just parasites to the earth? We do nothing but take, infect, destroy and pollute this world. Turns out killing everything without bias works even better than penicillin.
It's a shame too. We claimed to have so much knowledge, that we had an advanced consciousness, basically saying we were "more alive" than other species and yet we couldn't even save ourselves from self-destruction. We were arrogant and foolish. Perhaps more than anything, however, we were ignorant. Ignorant of our planets needs and blissfully unaware of its desperate cries for help. Even now we still cling onto the earth for life.
You have to wonder, what were people thinking? History books boast about these mighty governments and countries of all kinds that were created to protect their people and their interests. Yet, in an effort to appease their citizens requests for comfort, forgot their duty to protect them. I guess at some point people decided they would be either comfortable or die trying. Well, I'll tell you one thing, I'm not comfortable and I sure as hell ain't going to die anytime soon.
It was the first sign of life I had seen in three months. I couldn't help but stare at it for a bit and just drift off. Knowing someone else was out there gave me hope although I couldn't help but assume the worst. Comfort is one luxury we've lost but more importantly we have also lost the company of others. Loneliness just isn't battle you can win here. Everyone is a risk and a gamble. You might see someone down in the tunnels occasionally but nothing more than a stare or a greeting is exchanged, on a good day.
One thing Adam got wrong is that the governments of earth may have been the one thing that saved our species. Two programs were launched once the surface became unsustainable for life. Since the late days of the common era human population was becoming larger than the earth could support. While advances in farming, science and technology helped us live this long it was the space program that really gave people hope.
The space program was the first to start although I'm not sure if it was a success. Scientists theorized earth would not be able to support the population for long so it was decided to seek a habitable planet elsewhere. To make this possible advances had to be made on growing food, sustaining animal life and recycling water without natural elements or occurrences found on the earth. With all of these capabilities the first space shuttle holding around 25,000 was launched in 2393. Many other space shuttles decided to follow suit and abandon their own home in hopes of a better future. It is said in our history books that each space shuttle flew different directions for a higher chance of finding a suitable planet.
The second program was an underground city – Subterra (meaning below earth). It was theorized by scientists and meteorologists that, with proper insulation and applied science, life would be easier to sustain underground. This was because of the scorching temperatures and horribly high humidity from the oceans evaporating rapidly. Those who stayed on the planet either stayed behind out of loyalty or perhaps they were poor and foolish, I haven't really figured that out yet. I can't imagine anyone would throw their hat into this mess.
I almost gasped as I shook myself out of the meditative trance I was in. It felt like falling down in a dream only to wake up and jolt your body forward. I decided I should scavenge the room for food or other supplies. I turned around and all I remember was hearing a 'clang' sound and feeling blood run down my head into my eyes. I hardly caught a glimpse of the person who assaulted me but I saw it was a young woman. My vision was getting blurry and I was about to pass out but I swear I heard her crying.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
The Introduction to an Introductory Post.Hello, Ian here! This post is really exactly what it seems like, an introduction. I just want to make a post to get started, introduce myself and lay out a few ideas for future reference. I'll briefly touch on my life, current projects and purpose of this blog. I wanted to write this introduction for both any future followers/fans and for myself to have something to look back to. Hopefully I can look back at this one day and remember what my purpose and state of mind was.
Me, Myself and I!
So, what is unique about me? Well, lets start with the basics. I've just graduated from high school through an online program and I am enrolled at Pima Community college. Currently, I'm unemployed and have been searching for work just over 6 months. Like I said, simple but possibly interesting to some!
On to unique aspects of my life. While I don't consider or define myself as a depressed person I do suffer from some anxiety and depression. Around the time I was 15 I was isolating myself from the world while doing online school. At the time I didn't realize it but this was making me really depressed, killed my appetite and alienated a lot of my friends. I tried therapy and medication but really the only thing that helped was changing myself consciously. Of course I appreciate therapy and medications for giving me the confidence and courage to take those first steps. More than anything I am so indebted to my close friends and family who helped me through a hard time.
As I said, though, it was a big effort on my part, I started changing and questioning aspects of my life. I started putting down my controller and looking for different things to do. I decided to volunteer at an animal shelter nearby, the Humane Society of Southern Arizona. I've been volunteering there for about two years now and have met a lot of nice people! Volunteering really made me realize that there were always options, I didn't have to just sit at home and stew in depression.
This is just a condensed version of that period of my life as I don't really like writing or talking about it much. Who would? I'd much rather write about fun, interesting things! For example, I'm currently studying Japanese in my free time because I plan to become an English teacher in Japan. My first experience with Japanese, well, anything was anime. Anime was a stepping stone into research about Japanese culture. From there I started becoming enamored with everything from cooking to language. I've always liked to write so my plan is to either transfer, from Pima to the University of Arizona, into a teaching degree or perhaps become an author (if I have the skill and confidence) and then travel to Japan. No matter where life takes me, I definitely want to see Japan. No questions asked.
In addition to volunteering and studying Japanese I also have a couple of hobbies. I like to play video games in moderation unless in a social setting. How can gaming be social? Basically my friends and I will bring our computers over to the others house, set them up and game until we drop. If were only going to do this once in awhile I think its important to go all out! I also love cooking. As I mentioned I really like Japanese culture so I have made many of my own Japanese dishes like onigiri (rice balls),sushi, fried rice and some others. Finally, I also go to the gym 2-3 times a week for strength training. This doesn't really need an explanation but, yes, I lift.
This Blog and My Current Project.This blog is highly adaptable and will probably change more than I can plan for. I really have no idea where I will be into even a year or two, what I'll want or who I'll become. In just the last two and a half years I've changed so much, my whole life and personality have evolved. Who's to say that won't happen again? As far as I can see right now I will be using this blog for my writing but the reason I call it "Unexplored" is because I don't quite know what lies ahead. Personally, I find this really exciting!
You already know what I do on a typical day but I have said very little about any content for this blog. The reason behind this is because I've only just gotten a few ideas in my head. Right now I'm starting on one story with another in mind. Nothing is set in stone or permanent but this is what I have so far, after a week!
The topic I'm working on is a Sci-fi story about the Earth becoming, basically, uninhabitable. 500 years in the future human "ingenuity" has violated the environment for so long it has left the planet a mostly lifeless husk. The surface is nothing more than a desert too hot for life to evolve or for humans to walk on without special equipment. I haven't really started on where I want it to go but I have some ideas for how humans remained on earth, how our species survived, and how things got so bad. I came up with this story thinking about how much we mistreat our planet with all the chemicals, pollution and garbage we produce. Sometimes it almost seems like we are parasites and the Earth is our host.
Another topic I was exploring but never started on was a psychological sci-fi story about a person being trapped on an island. All I know is that I wanted there to be little to no human contact, the person would be on their own and would undergo an evolution that turned him from a normal human into an almost primitive or animal being. Maybe this is inspired by my own life but it would be much more of a drastic transformation.
Anyways I think it should be fun to write even if they only turn out to be short stories. If I ever landed something that I thought was really amazing I would definitely make a career out of it! Cheers for now, I'll be around again shortly.