Deleted Drafts “The Etaloniy Story” 3

Five years ago I began writing a story about a girl named Etaloniy Whitlock. The result was quite the disaster of a story. Because it is rather long, I have split what I have of her story into three parts. Part one went up two weeks ago and part two went up last Wednesday.

5: MOM TO THE “RESCUE”!

After assessing the situation, she walked right up to the police officer pinning Clamal to the building. I stand there in complete shock, with my mouth open as I watch her. I force myself to move closer so I can hear her.

“…So you can’t let me take custody over her unless her mother doesn’t show up within twelve hours?”

“Lady, I told you — as soon as her mother shows up, you can transfer responsibility for the offense over to yourself.”

“What happens if any other family members come and admit the family relation?”

What was she trying to do?! I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

“Mom! Mom, can we go to the mall?” I hurry over before she can ask any more questions.

“No, we can’t. If you like you can find an outfit in one of the shops here in the square.”

“Please! Please! I told you — they don’t have the new shirt that I want!” I have to get her away from this police officer!

“FIne, you can go to the mall, but you have to pay with your own money.”

As I walk away I say some things in a language my teacher at school said is called English.

~~~~~

I go home after spending fifteen minutes at the mall, not actually having wanted to go when I remember my cake!

I don’t expect to find the piece I had first cut for myself — Bran probably ate that one. I’ll cut a new piece, eat it, and go back to the square to make sure Mom didn’t get arrested.

~~~~~

After rushing to the square, I look over and see Mom — chained on the police rack next to Preana! I facepalm myself, but resist the urge to go over to her, not wanting to get arrested myself.

6: JAILBREAK!

I call our home with my cell and quickly fill in Bran on what’s happened. I say it in a language I made up several years ago that only my siblings and I know. He knew my message was important as soon as I started using it.

He promised to hurry over to help me get them away from the police.

~~~~~

They showed up thirty minutes (thirty minutes!!) later and asked me in Fintalarkan if I had a plan.

I said I did, but wasn’t sure if it’d work.

“What’s it?”

“Well…”

“Out with it!”

“We get arrested and then pick the locks to escape. Or we can go home, get the rubies that belong to use cause they’re on our property, and after selling them, pay the fees to get Preana, Mom, and Clamal released from jail tomorrow.”

“…Tomorrow! Why not today!” Bran asked.

“Cause on a case like this, meaning one involving Rubies, they’re tried, or taken to court, before put in jail. We have to wait till tomorrow after they’ve had their appearance in court.”

“Oh… Why does it work that way?” Bran hadn’t been to school long enough to figure that out on his own, it seems, even in third grade.

“Because of Wheenman… The monster hates when his precious rubies are tampered with…”

“Oh… I guess let’s go home, then…”

We go home quickly and when we get there revert back to the native language of M’lenkaa, Lenkaan.

When we get there after a long walk, we’re not quite sure what to do… It’s almost dinner time and only Clamal and Mom know how to actually cook… Then I think about the frozen meals that only require being put in the oven at around 350 degrees or 400 degrees.

“I got it! Frozen pizza!”

Life Is What You Make It

I frequently think about my life, what I want to accomplish, what I’ve done so far, and how long I have to do everything I dream of. This will be a series featuring things I’ve written about such things, both poetry and prose.

Ponderings and Purpose

9 January 2018

It’s enough for them to assert

that this, too, shall pass,

that nothing here will ever last

And saying so is absurd.

For how could something finite

outlast that which is eternal?

But that for me wasn’t the

question but the answer.

For how can anything we’ve

ever done outlast a world

that’s just begun

after we’ve left it, gone,

all traces erased,

all paths equal, the same.

A life lived —

regrets and mistakes aplenty,

sure, it’s the same for ev’ryone.

There’s no reason to waste time

pining after a time

that may not come to fruition,

that may be entirely fiction.

We can’t know for certain

but we all love certainty,

so we create it.

Our assertions are flawless,

arguments misguided.

We’re all trying to make sense

of this life we’re all

so lucky to be living

on this wet rock in a

deep vast space

with other rocks and balls of gas

co-existing along with us.

Why are we here?

we wonder,

How are we here?

we ponder.

Sometimes you have to let

all that go, all those

big questions for philosophy

and live in the moment

because this life is the only one

we know for sure we’ve got

and wasting it, letting it rot,

we should be ashamed.

We should live life to the fullest,

not in the sentiment of YOLO —

which justifies stupidity

but for a focus and drive

to make the most

of what we’ve got

because in too short a time

it will be gone.

The Coffee Explorations: Papa Nicholas House Roast

This is perhaps an unusual post for a mostly creative-content blog. I recently bought a French press and haven’t the slightest idea what kind of coffee I like because we only had an espresso maker at my house before. It might be interesting later for me to look back and see what I thought about various coffees while I was drinking them for the first time. For those of you who also love coffee, you might enjoy this post as well.

I also wrote about Starbucks Sumatra.

When I opened the bag of coffee grounds, a pleasant coffee aroma hit my nose. I hoped that this would be a sure sign of enjoying the taste as well. I was not disappointed. I initially chose this coffee at Walmart because it had a one dollar off coupon attached to it with no clue whether it was a good choice. Now I think it was.

Two scoops of coffee grounds steeped in a “four cup” French press in boiling water for seven minutes. After I filtered out the grounds, I poured both cups into my large Harry Potter mug emblazoned with the crest of Slytherin. Yesterday I found the second cup of coffee poured to be a bit thin, and this might be a way to combat that.

I smelled the black coffee; it had a rich smell similar to the grounds. I tend to dislike black coffee because of its bitterness, so I declined to sip it black. I stirred in raw sugar and then heavy whipping cream. Sipped it. It was hot and smooth and delicious.

Without the coupon, it was $5.48 plus tax. I would buy it again, with or without a dollar off. I’ll probably try more of their roasts in the future.

I give Papa Nicholas House Roast an 8/10 for price and an 8/10 for taste.

The Coffee Explorations: Starbucks Sumatra

This is perhaps an unusual post for a mostly creative-content blog. I recently bought a French press and haven’t the slightest idea what kind of coffee I like because we only had an espresso maker at my house before. It might be interesting later for me to look back and see what I thought about various coffees while I was drinking them for the first time. For those of you who also love coffee, you might enjoy this post as well.

When I opened the cabinet with the tea and coffee this morning, I discovered that while I had bought coffee on Friday, my dad had bought coffee as well. Since we had a little of the Fresh Thyme Sumatra left and he had bought Starbucks Sumatra, I decided to make my mixed cup entirely Sumatra.

I used one scoop of Fresh Thyme Sumatra coffee grounds and one scoop of Starbucks Sumatra grounds. When I opened the Starbucks bag, it had a noticeably over-roasted smell to it, especially compared to the Fresh Thyme. The grounds were also a slightly darker color.

Once the coffee was ready, I used heavy whipping cream and raw cane sugar as is my preference. I also have dry hazelnut creamer but I wanted to get a better idea of how this coffee tasted before using it.

Just like it smells, it tastes a bit over-roasted, not a lot, but the Fresh Thyme Sumatra is definitely better. I probably will not be drinking it again after today. Unless I run out of the coffee I bought, which I’ll review tomorrow when I make it.

I give Starbucks Sumatra a 5/10.

If I try it alone I’ll update the review according to how it tastes without Fresh Thyme Sumatra too.

My Birthday: A Reflection

Some of you reading have never met me, but over the next year and beyond you will probably come to know me better, even if it is in a limited sense. Since I only now started blogging, I cannot point you to any posts with more details about the events and progress I am referencing in the body of this post. I plan to do this again next year, however, and there should be a plethora of blog posts about the events I mention in my reflection.

Today I am eighteen. Legally an adult. Wow. I still can’t believe it. It sure doesn’t feel like it’s been that long.

I could take this reflection in a direction similar to Life Is What You Make It, but that’s not what I plan to do. I want to look over the past year and how I’ve grown and some of the big things that happened. It’s really too bad I didn’t start blogging a year ago instead of only a week ago.

Last year about this time I was a recent high school graduate. I had procrastinated calling the local high school about my failed driver’s ed behind the wheel and so did not yet have my license. Once I did meet with the person in charge of the program, I found out I didn’t have to do anything and could go get my license.

I was hired at Panera Bread in late May shortly after graduating, but couldn’t take myself to work until after I got my license in July. Then in August I was hired at Walmart.

For a while I was a bit lacking in direction. I knew I wanted to be a writer, but I was not taking active steps toward it for the most part. At some point in the fall my friend Justine reached out to me about writing for a blog she wanted to start. Initially we had four people, two of them unfortunately had to leave the project for the time being. Justine and I were still committed to starting the blog, and we launched in February. That gave me some focus and it felt like I was taking real steps toward my goal of someday making money writing. Additionally, I applied to Praxis in October for the second time and was accepted. Between Over the Invisible Wall and my acceptance into Praxis, I felt like I had a clearer picture of the near future and that I was taking real steps toward my goals.

Around the same time that I was accepted into Praxis, I noticed that I had a crush on one of my co-workers at Walmart. We had orientation on the same day and were forced to hang out because of it. We’re both very introverted, but we were forced out of our shells in order to complete the various tasks/activities we were given. Over time, we interacted at work and became friends, though we only saw each other occasionally because we worked in different departments. After I became aware of my crush, I thought about whether I was interested in dating as a general. I did want to date him, but I was open to the possibility that he wouldn’t want to date me. We were merely friends and co-workers and didn’t know each other very well. Leading up to the night when I asked him to hang out in the breakroom for lunch and he later asked for my phone number, I noticed that he seemed to like me too. I’m not sure when we shifted from just dating to really being a couple, but we’ve been dating for seven months now. (I omitted his name at his request. He did not want his name included so I wanted to be sure to respect that.)

Less than a month ago I decided to commit to my decision to start a personal blog and launch in July. I knew that if I waited til I felt fully prepared I would never start, so I needed to jump in as soon as possible. At first I was only going to post at least once a week, probably twice, in order to have more time and be “comfortable.” I quickly changed my mind and have been posting every day instead.

So that’s about what my past year has looked like. I’ve taken some big steps forward from unfocused general goals of making money writing to actually working towards that. I can’t wait to see what the next year holds and how much things change between now and then. To everyone who is part of my journey now and to those who will join me in the coming year: Thank you. It’s been a wild ride and I’m sure it will continue to be.

Deleted Drafts “The Etaloniy Story” (2)

Five years ago I began writing a story about a girl named Etaloniy Whitlock. The result was quite the disaster of a story. Because it is rather long, I have split what I have of her story into three parts. Part one went up last Wednesday and part three will go up next Wednesday.

3: SCHOOL

We rushed inside and went to class. It was about the usual junk about our heritage, the Ruby Rains, and how beneficial Shanry E. Wheenman was to our country. (Shanry E. Wheenman was the monster of a man.)

After three hours we had lunch with extra dessert for everybody. (Including the people who brought their lunches.) If only the next day was a real holiday, then we’d actually enjoy the dessert, more anyway.

We went back to class and listened to the teachers drone on and on. Finally school was over, and I rushed to the bus before anyone could say Etaloniy Whitlock. I hurried (as usual) to the very back of the bus. My friends and I always choose the back so we can sit close to each other, and as I’m always the first person on the bus I save our seats.

My friends show up right before the bus is to leave! They burst onto the bus and run to the very back with me. Ameria knows they’re in for it, really bad this time. Ameria is the “leader” of our friend group, she’s not in charge she just helps us settle disputes in an orderly fashion. (Not that we have many disputes.)

“Hey, where were you guys?” I ask.

“We were… uuh it’s a secret,” said Emalagy after seeing Ameria shake her head.

“Why won’t you tell me?! You are always keeping secrets from me!” I almost shout before I can stop myself.

“It… It’s a surprise,” replies Nadolina softly.

“Nadolina! You weren’t supposed to tell her!” says Ameria angrily.

After that no one said anything the rest of the way home. I was glad to ride in silence until the doors opened to my neighborhood. Bran, Maglina, and I jumped out and ran home, eager to see Preana and Clamal.

4: PREANA’S PROBLEM

We arrive home and rush into the kitchen.

“Mom can we have a snack?” asks Bran eagerly. (He’s always hungry so Mom has to pack him an extra large lunch for school.)

“Yes. I made a cake for your snack today.”

“Where is it?” asks Bran checking all the places he thought the cake would be in.

“In the freezer, Bran,” says Mom as she walks out of the kitchen.

Bran pulls out the cake and goes after the knife rack, when I reach out and stop him.

“Bran, you know you’re not allowed to use the cake knife. Let me cut the cake,” I say.

He reluctantly steps back towards the cake knowing that I’m right. He’s four years younger than me, but acts like he thinks he’s four years older than me.

I grab the knife carefully; then head back to Bran. I ask him to get plates as I carefully cut the cake into twelve even pieces.

“I get the first piece!” says Maglina before Bran can, because he always gets the first piece.

“Bran, go see if Clamal and Preana would like some cake.”

“Fine,” he sighed.

He rushed upstairs and knocked on their doors. Then I heard his feet pounding as he came back, panting.

“They’re… They’re… they’re not there.”

“Of course they’re there. It’s been about thirty minutes since school got out.”

“No they’re not there.”

“How can they not be there? By now they are here!”

“Go check for yourself then!” he snapped at me.

I ran upstairs and tried opening Clamal’s door — only to find it locked. I knocked loudly to no avail. I decided to ask Mom for help.

Mom!” I yelled across the house.

“Yes, Etaloniy?” she said coming over to me.

“Clamals’s door is locked,” I said jiggling the handle for emphasis.

“She must want to be alone, sweetheart.”

“Well it’s urgent.”

“Fine, I’ll get the key for you. Meanwhile go tell Preana to come downstairs.”

I walk down the hall and try to turn the door knob. Also locked. “Drats,” I say under my breath. “Preana open up! Mom wants you downstairs!” I shout quickly and loudly.

“You don’t need to yell! I’m right here!” she told me appearing at the top of the stairs.

“Sorry,” I said blushing.

“I brought the key,” she told me, calming down.

I take it and unlock Clamal’s door. I open it slowly and dramatically for emphasis. I look in and find it empty.

“Mom can you get the key to Preana’s room?”

“It should be in Clamal’s room. Although I don’t want you snooping in her things.”

“Mom! I’m worried about Preana and Clamal!”

“Fine. Get the key. And hurry about it,” she gave an exasperated sigh.

I went in saw her key ring on her dresser, and grabbed it and left.

“Found it,” I say as I go unlock Preana’s door. I open it quickly, then walk into her maze of a room.

“Preana! Preana are you in here?” I shout into the messy void.

I wait, still making my way inside, but hear no response. I head back out and close and relock her door.

“Mom, I’m going to town!”

“Wait a second!” she calls after me as I round the corner at the end of the street.

I must find Preana! And Clamal, but right now Preana is my priority.

I rushed to town square covering my head with my hands because it’s raining rubies a day early!

“Oh, Preana! What did you get yourself into this time?” I wail.

I soon reach the town square with bleeding hands (a lot of rubies hit me). I quickly scan the area, and spot Preana chained to a police rack!

(The police rack is like a bicycle rack that police officers chain prisoners to while the officers is arresting someone else.)

“Preana! What happened?” I ask in a stupor. She looks at me with a pained look in her eyes. Her eyes quickly widen and she shakes her head fiercely.

“Preana I can’t leave you!” I tell her, “By the way where’s Clamal?”

Preana nodded her head over to where the police had a teenage girl pinned agains the side of a nearby building.

I gasped loudly, “What happened?!”

“Miss I’ll have to ask you to leave the crime scene,” I gruff police officer told me.

“Can you tell me what happened first?”

“This girl here was inspecting some rubies that belong to Shanry E. Wheenman and smashing them on the ground to obtain the valuable middle section of the ruby.”

“What about the other girl?” I ask pointing to Clamal.

“She said that she was this young ruby thief’s sister and asked if we’d let her go if she returned the rubies. Obviously we couldn’t do that. Right now officers are trying to find the rest of the girl’s family to put them under house arrest.”

“Thank you for telling me. Is there any way I can help you find them?”

“Do you know the family?”

“Couldn’t say. She looks too young to go to school with me as I’m only thirteen.”

“Well then you be on your way then, but if you see any of her family members let us know,” he told me as I walked away.

I pull out my cell phone and call Mom. “Mom, come to the square quickly. Preana and Clamal have been arrested.”

“They what!” she shouted in my ear.

“Ow! They got arrested,” I said enunciating carefully.

“Oh no! That’s terrible! I’m coming to give those police officers a talk.”

“Mom you can’t they’ll arrest you, too!”

“What are you talking about?”

“I talked to a police officer acting like I didn’t know Preana and Clamal. They only arrested Clamal because she said that she was Preana’s sister.”

“I’m still getting Preana back! If it takes getting arrested, then fine. They can arrest me if they’ll let Preana go!” Mom tells me and I know that I can’t stop her from trying to do just that. I’m about to respond when I hear the phone click on the other end, telling me she hung up.

Nooo!! She can’t come to the square! She’ll get arrested, and I can’t let that happen. I scream in my head knowing I’d get arrested for screaming it out loud.

Then Mom showed up in the square yelling at a police officer in another language.

“Mom! Mom, thank goodness I’ve found you!” I shouted in Nargatolan recognizing it instantly.

“This is your daughter?” the police man asked it sketchy Nargatolan.

“Yes, sir. Thank you for your help,” he seemed to understand even if he didn’t speak Nargatolan.

“Where are Preana and Clamal?” Mom asked, switching to another language that was less common in our area.

“Over there,” I responded in the same language and tip my head in their direction.

Mom’s response is almost immediate, and I have to grab her arm to keep her from rushing over to save the day.

“Mom, if you tell them who you are they’ll arrest you.”

“Etaloniy, you should know me better than that. I am not going to go over there and get myself arrested.”

“Then what are you going to do?” I ask, feeling relief.

Deleted Drafts “The Etaloniy Story”

Five years ago I began writing a story about a girl named Etaloniy Whitlock. The result was quite the disaster of a story. Because it is rather long, I have split what I have of her story into three parts.

1: CHANGES

I don’t know how to tell you this. I don’t think I can tell you this! My life is changing rapidly and I can’t do anything about it! Okay, okay, I’ll slow down and explain everything.

My name is Etaloniy Whitlock. I have one brother and three sisters. I also have two dogs (and a cat named Meecklow). My mom and dad are both in their thirties. Oh yeah, and I’m turning thirteen next month. In the dreaded month of the Ruby Rains!

So now I’ll explain how it all started….

Five years ago today I was soon to turn eight when my parents got divorced. I couldn’t handle the news, so, I went to my friend’s house and told my parents I wasn’t coming back. Two weeks into the arrangement I went crying back home — homesick. My mother welcomed me back joyfully. I wanted to see Dad, but Mom said he was on a business trip for about two and a half years.

Mom said Dad would be back in two and a half years, but we haven’t heard from him since. I’m starting to think he’s never coming back.

As if that’s not bad enough, that’s only the start of my troubles! I also have “friends” who are trying to make me sell my brother!!!! They told me that he was the cause of my troubles, so I should dispose of him as quickly as possible. I didn’t believe them of course, but I didn’t tell them that.

Meecklow is another story, but I might as well tell you of his wonders as a cat. Oddly enough he chases the dogs, and they are scared when he walks in the room with them. Meecklow doesn’t like my friends and after a fight with him they’re scared of him. So all-in-all he’s one exceptional cat.

Now for what happens daily to me….

2: DAILY

Ahh, breakfast my favorite part of every day. The reason is simple — the food is delicious (and it’s much quieter in the morning when everyone’s busy eating).

“Good morning sweetheart,” Mom says when I reach the kitchen.

“Good morning Mom.”

“Hey Bran,” I tell my brother.

“Hey.”

“Is Clamal up yet?” I ask Mom.

“Yes, she left for school already.”

“Did she take Preana to school?”

“Yes, sorry you missed them again. You just don’t get up early enough,” Mom told me.

“Well I’m not the only one,” I say as Maglina walks into the kitchen sleepily.

After the morning “glad you’re up” routine with her we all fall silent and concentrate on the food. This morning Mom made cinnamon toast rolls. Cinnamon toast rolls! Those are only for special occasions!

“Mom, what’s today?” I ask urgently.

“The day before the Ruby Rains,” she replies calmly.

“No! No! It can’t be!” I shout at no one in particular.

“Yes honey, just check the calendar,” she said back still calmly.

I get up and do just that. It’s true. Tomorrow the terror will begin as every year. My face pales and I go back to the table.

“The Ruby Rains. Why? Why!?” I shout.

The Ruby Rains are when it rains glistening rubies. That makes it dangerous, but it’s also a time of grieving for the people. This is because during this month a monster of a man took over the country. He’d parade through the streets in clothing decorated with rubies, mocking our pain. It was mockery because during the Ruby Rains over five hundred people die every week!

“Honey nobody knows why. It just is.”

I almost cry, but I can’t, not in front of my mom and Bran and Maglina. Instead I excused myself and went and got ready for school.

I dressed in my school uniform — a simple blue shirt and tan pants — then I don my socks and tennis shoes. I hurried, checked the clock, and rushed out the door. As soon as I was out the door I ran and waited for the bus.

I waited and waited and then it came! I was shocked to see the painted rubies glaring at me from the side of the bus. (This is normal, it happens every year the day before the Ruby Rains.) At the “monster of a man’s” orders the Ruby Rains are celebrated as a holiday, the only non-holiday-ness of this arrangement is that the children still have to go to school.

I jumped onto the bus as soon as the doors opened and went all the way to the back. I then waited for Bran and maglina to show up. They did knowing exactly why I left in a flurry. (They knew this because it happened every year the day before the Ruby Rains.)

The bus hurried to school so we wouldn’t be late. We arrived in about ten minutes with a busload of kids.

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