Category: Southwest in the Northwest

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Flying

Another free-write. I really like this one. Don’t know why.


She could hear the crowd, chattering and cheering, through the flapping walls of the striped tent. The elephants trumpeted, parading around the ring. She watched it in her mind’s eye, following every step of the routine she knew so well. There; the elephant stood on its hind legs, and the audience clapped. Then; another elephant balanced itself on a ball, and the clamoring crowds applauded appropriately. She recited it in her head the way that some people mentally replay films. The girl had the better experience, however: her mental movies were matched with real sound.

The crowd was good tonight, she noticed. They wanted to have a good time, to laugh, and to be awed. It varied from night to night. Sometimes, the crowds were only looking for enjoyment, and they found it under the big top, more than they could have possibly imagined. Other times, audiences took their seats skeptical, with preconceived notions that muddied their experiences. Some came in angry, unwilling to chuckle or even smile. Others arrived in varying stages of heartbreak and depression. They told themselves they wouldn’t find any fun in the circus, predictions that tended to be self-fulfilling. You get what you expect, she told herself, unless you open your mind.

Involuntarily, she sighed. Open minds were growing harder and harder to find, not just inside the tent, but in her entire world. It seemed that everywhere she looked, there were pundits spouting barbed condemnations. People from the Middle East were terrorists. People of faith were opinionated fundamentalists. Homosexuals were bizarre contortions of nature, and if you didn’t vote, you were a communist.

It wasn’t only adults spewing hatred, either. The children of the closed-minded often grew with visions as narrow as those of their parents. This was obvious in no place more than high school, where bigoted teens were quick to cast their judgments upon classmates that were even the merest bit unusual. A friend of hers had been singled out for tucking his shirt in. Wary of this, she and Nat had tried to keep their love discreet, but the ever-sniffing nose of society found them, and exposed how different they were from the rest.

Though an autumn gust nipping at her bare arms and legs caused the girl to shiver in her costume, the thought of Natalie warmed her insides. Natalie had made her understand the feeling of love, not the petty high school drama of relationships around them. With Nat standing beside her the entire time, she had broken down the walls that had contained her and restrained her for so long. Natalie had helped set her free.

The tent roared with thunderous cheering as the ringmaster narrated the elephants’ exit. Poised, the girl stood waiting for her cue. From within, the ringmaster’s deep silky voice wove the girl’s welcome, and she stepped into the humid tent to the gaze of a spotlight and the gracious applause of two thousand hands clapping.

Adrenaline, the nectar of courage and confidence, flooded her veins once again, and she boldly strode to the ladder.

The ringmaster’s booming tone lent to the audience tales of the girl’s achievements, grandly exaggerated in the traditional manner of the big top. His resounding bass voice painted pictures of death-defying leaps from canyon walls and mountain faces. The crowd, stupefied, listened with awe. They had no clue that the esteemed girl of these yarns, who was currently scaling the skyscraper of a ladder, had a home in the very city they were in.

Being with Natalie had brought the girl more in touch with herself. Soon, she found within herself talents, passions, and dreams she had never imagined she could have. She began playing the harp, something that she would not have been caught dead with a year ago. The local theatre troupe found itself visited by an eager, talented young woman. It was as if Natalie had unlocked a door the girl had never known existed. The summer of that year, the circus came to town. It set up in an abandoned industrial parking lot by the river, and everyone crossing the bridges saw it. The girl went to watch the first weekend it was performing, and was captivated. She found a magic world beneath the behemoth canvas tent, where gaiety was the norm and the impossible was regularly proved otherwise. After the final show, the girl, thanks to Nat’s gentle persuasion, approached the ringmaster and asked if she could audition for a role. He had declined originally, but slowly gave in. The girl auditioned fantastically, and left with the circus for a year.

She reached the platform at the top of the ladder, towering so high above that she could barely discern faces in the audience. Slowly, she reached for and gripped the trapeze, with a silent acknowledgment that this could be the last time she ever did what she was about to do. She stepped to the edge of the platform.

Tomorrow, she would go back to school. Her senior year. She would face the taunting masses, and she would stand tall, proud of who she was and what she had done. The words of the narrow-minded were only that, words, and she was no longer afraid. She was who she was, and no one could take that from her.

She looked down at them. They gazed back up at her, ready to be blown away. All of the women, the men, the children, the elderly; all the blacks, the whites, the Hispanics and the Asians; all the lovers and the fighters; all the believers and the skeptics sat on the edges of their seats, elated, waiting for her to astonish them with the impossible. And there, in a corner, her beautiful face watching the girl’s every move, radiating a warmth she could feel at the top of the ladder, was Natalie, waiting softly and patiently.

The girl took a breath, and flew.

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Literary Sketchbook: The Island

Most certainly influenced by the Decemberists’ “The Island”. And Lemony Snicket’s The End. And my recent surge in fascination with pirates. I blame this on all of them.

Somewhere, in the middle of a black ocean under a black sky, an island slept, the sands of its shallow shores gently caressed by the unceasing tides. Above, in shadowy heavens, the stark face of the moon cast a pale luminescence upon the beach. The waves swept the sands with soft hushes. The breath of the light tropical breeze quietly rustled the leaves of the palms. An air of serenity laid over the island, as if it had never known disturbance and never would.

There were no people on the island. There had been before, however; castaways were no strangers to its shores. Some of them had managed to survive, leaving nothing but footprints on the isle. Others left much more, never seeing their families or homes again. Many had gone mad and killed themselves, either by the noose, by diving off the cliff, or, if they had been lucky, with a pistol. In the end, their remembrances quickly vanished, consumed by natural forces– footprints blew away and corpses were claimed by the earth.

The empty island slumbered. The many exotic birds that lived in the jungle dozed on their perches, their heads tucked into their wings. Sleep caught the few mammals that lived on the island, quietly pulling them into its grasp. Another breeze stirred the palm trees, shaded black with night’s brush. The waves rolled in, splashing the shore. The waves receded, leaving pinpoints of seawater glistening in the moonlight. The waves rolled in, and placed upon the beach a large wooden chest, along with the unconscious man clinging desperately to it.

Schedule?

  1. Honors English 10 – Hammonds
  2. Honors Physics – Reynolds
  3. Japanese 3-4 – ?
  4. Health 2 – Hill
  5. Chamber Orchestra – Stone
  6. Future Focus – Arend
  7. Pre-Calculus – Stidham
  8. Illustrations – Telesmanich

What’s wrong with this picture? Take a look. A good look. Something’s missing.

If you picked “Acting”, you’re absolutely right.

Linguistic Idiocy

 

Stale Content Alert!

This post was written a long time ago, and my views have almost certainly evolved since then. Please keep that in mind while reading, commenting, or sharing.

Alright, this has gone on long enough now. It’s time for me to address something that’s bugged me and many others for a long time. There is no excuse for it, and it only continues because people are being apathetic.

The problem is the continual degradation of the English language, and it’s a problem indeed.

If you’ve ever been on the Internet, you know what I’m talking about. You see it everywhere, in e-mails and instant messages, on forums and webpages alike. It’s also plenty prevalent in the non-virtual world, where people are perfectly content to flaunt their pathetically childish grammar.

Chances are, you’re probably guilty of a couple of these things. Almost everyone does at least one or two.

Stop it.

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All Fired Up

 

Stale Content Alert!

This post was written a long time ago, and my views have almost certainly evolved since then. Please keep that in mind while reading, commenting, or sharing.

Spencer’s really pretty fired up right now, if you’ll pardon the pun.

The topic of the day? Flag burning, and the people who are trying to put a Constitutional end to it.

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Ten Miles on a Bicycle

 

Stale Content Alert!

This post was written a long time ago, and my views have almost certainly evolved since then. Please keep that in mind while reading, commenting, or sharing.

I slugged through breakfast this morning half-awake, anticipating a nice chance for extra rest after my younger brother and dad left. Instead, I found myself becoming more alive in the shower, watching the concept of a nice, peaceful nap slip down the drain. Oh well, I thought, a peaceful shower’s okay too.

I didn’t get that either. My dad called me in the middle of my shower. I begrudgingly turned the water off, wove a towel around my waist, and answered the phone. As it turned out, my younger brother wasn’t registered for the summer daycare program today, and so the only way he could get in would be if there were any cancellations. They were heading home to wait for word of vacancies.

It wasn’t even eight o’ clock yet, and my day was looking like a bad one.

I schlepped back into the shower, thinking of all the things I wouldn’t be able to do if my brother and dad stayed home all day. Finishing, I dressed, spiked my hair, and took the five steps to my computer.

Within an hour, there was a cancellation, and so the two extra bodies in the house were out the door.

I had to go get music for my violin, so I hopped on my bike and headed down the highway to the music shop. After purchasing the book, I decided to take a long way home, and rode a loop back to my house.

The ride itself was enjoyable, and rather uneventful. No psychotic maniacs running after me, throwing knives; no squirrels dashing under my wheel. For the most of the ride, I contemplated the feeling of joy I got yesterday after learning that the girl I’ve had a crush on for the last six months also liked me. While it was a rather childish reason to be overjoyed, it’s a rare one, and so I’m attempting to remember it before it fades.

By the time I was nearly three-fourths of the way home, my legs were aching like crazy, and my mouth was getting sticky from lack of moisture. I managed to pull myself home, opened the door, and made a beeline towards the fridge, where I poured and immediately downed a glass of cold, fresh water.

Upstairs, on my computer, I Mapquest’d my route, piece by piece, and found that it came to about 9.48 miles– which I rounded to 10. I thought I had a good reason to be exhausted, seeing as I’d averaged about a pace of 10-15 mph.

I unceremoniously spent the rest of the day scheming a poster for my local highschool’s mafia, and surfing the web. While my day had started off looking a bit unfriendly, it worked itself out by midafternoon.

Bleh. Awful entry. Oh well.

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