The Keyboard

To create a story is to create a world and characters so vivid that the reader cannot bear to accept it as only fiction. To create a story is to allow the reader to breach a space that fundamentally belongs to the writer, and as they peer into its depths, it becomes its own reality. I’m awed that it is me who lurks behind a keyboard and builds worlds, that it is me who toys with the nonexistent reader’s emotions and plays god to my characters. Despite being wholly unqualified, I try to create stories that will entrance readers and lure them into the make-believe.

The story’s foundation is built in the writer’s imagination, in isolation and darkness, hidden and inaccessible. It begins as an idea that is so easily blown beyond reach. The barest brush at the edge of one’s consciousness and then nothing at all, a wisp of smoke, a dying flame, a final breath. The idea is sneaky, a small mouse hiding and darting across the edges of vision when no one’s looking. To capture the idea, one must be constantly vigilant, hunting and prepared to pounce. The pen sets the trap. At the briefest whisper of an idea floating by, the pen is touched to paper. It rips across the page. It constructs an inescapable prison to store the idea so it will never be forgotten. The keyboard bides its time in the background, preparing for the war it anticipates.

Once captured, the idea is welcomed into the brain. In the mind, the idea festers. It swelters and parasitically feeds on thoughts, leaving no space for anything else. It grows like a fungus, and you allow it, nurture it, cherish it. The idea is a needy infant. It requires constant care and attention to grow. The mind is the mother, willingly throwing all of herself to the idea. It soon eats too many thoughts and is too large to contain within the mind anymore. Pieces of the idea overflow and escape and the mind frantically tries to recapture them, but there is too much. The idea can no longer be contained. It demands to be free, yet the keyboard continues to lie patiently in wait. Brief notes are scribbled, but the keyboard remains mostly untouched as the idea grows into something worthy of it.

Pen cannot keep pace with the flood of ideas that pours from the mind during the exodus. Something always escapes while the pen is preoccupied with decadent flourishes. One must turn to the keyboard to find what the pen lacks: speed. There is something beautiful about the pen, about thoughts flowing in one’s own hand, but as speed increases, legibility is sacrificed. Even the most perfect words are worthless if they cannot be deciphered. The keyboard is cold and mechanical, but endearing, as it never once falters at the barrage of letters that spill from the fingers in a hurricane of story. Every flailing limb of the idea struggles and pushes to escape first. They tug and demand and pull the consciousness every which way. The keyboard is attacked, the fingers venomously striking the letters, matching the speed of the rushing ideas and the keyboard’s hunger for words. Clicking fills the air and becomes music.

The idea is sloppily captured on the page in the rush. Word vomit is splattered to the edges of the sheet, contradictory and directionless and pointless. There are ugly words and cloudy images that must be refined or excised. My mind changes from a loving mother to a soulless surgeon. The love I felt for the leaching idea becomes clinical detachment as I appraise the words with a critical eye. With cold efficiency, I slice into my story, butcher it, maim it, the backspace pummeled, even as my heart cracks and shrivels. I raze my story, decimating the contradictory, the directionless, the pointless, with knives and guns and bombs and keys blazing. It becomes a war zone. Unrecognizable. I assault the keys, my anger expressed through the ferocity of the frantic strokes. The keyboard finds a cruel joy in the vicious destruction of all the words it ever loved.

And then I slow and melt from the violence-starved butcher to the artist. I paint over the fractures with beautiful words. The keys are pressed slowly, gently, each letter carefully considered and caressed. The furious typing is replaced with a graceful dance as the story grows. I nurture the story, feed it and love it once more with beautiful words until it blooms into something lovely, but this time my love is requited. The story sheds its ravenous hunger. It is content and complete. It no longer impedes on my every thought. It settles, finally placated. I breathe a sigh of relief, the battle over and casualties counted.

All throughout the creating and expelling and destroying and rebuilding of the story, the keys clatter. It’s deafening. It’s a wild dance of only the hands. A key is pressed lightly and the finger moves on. There is no proof that the key ever changed except for the letter that has burst into existence like a firework. The letter’s moment of glory is immediately surpassed by the next letter that appears, then the next and next, like bullets fired in quick succession. It quickly becomes nothing on its own, insignificant, but powerful taken in tandem with the other letters. The keyboard hungers for these words. It will become enamored with a beautiful turn of phrase, a romantic. It will encourage a mediocre one to flower, a friend. It will ruthlessly slaughter an inadequate one, a slayer.

The keyboard, a thin, unassuming sheet of squares, is so much more than what it seems. It houses the twenty-six letters, a meaningless jumble of symbols that combine into an innumerable number of words, which are combined in endless, infinitely different sentences and paragraphs and pages and stories. The keyboard allows stories to be told, to exist. It allows worlds to be created and demolished. It is the conduit through which stories can leave a writer’s mind and come alive. And yet, unlike the story, the keyboard does not gloat nor posture. It elegantly accepts praise and continues to work, bearing the vicious tirade of punching fingers as it destroys and creates from ruins.


Connect with me on Twitter @arachnid_weaver.

Writing in the Middle of the Night

The middle of the night is the perfect time to write. I lay buried under blankets, staring into the deep darkness, my eyes dry and unblinking, and I travel worlds in my mind. I can let go of my earthly obligations to be a functioning human bean and transcend the boundaries between this world and the one I’ve created. It’s when plots solidify and worlds unfold.

This intense thinking, of course, comes with detrimental effects to my sleep and therefore harms my daily functioning. I slog through the day on far less sleep than I should have since I stayed up late into the night daydreaming (also known as teleporting).

Despite doing much of my writing in the middle of the night, I think I’d prefer to be a daytime writer, but alas, my mind seems to be otherwise occupied during the day. I simply can’t stare off into the distance melodramatically for hours.

Aside from sleepiness, writing at night comes with many other drawbacks. As most of the writing happens in my head, I forget much of it the next day. Not only do I forget it, I forget about its existence, as well, so I don’t even attempt to retrieve the idea from the depths of my brain.

When I think of a lovely idea, I get up and write it on a sticky note, which I stick to my night table. This way, writing at night works like a filter — or my own laziness is the filter — because I can only be bothered to write down the good ideas and the bad ones are discarded and quickly forgotten. But it’s sad that the mediocre ideas, the ones that just need a little love and attention before they become adequate, are tossed too. (It should be noted that what I think are good ideas with my sleep-addled brain usually don’t seem so great in the morning.)

The sticky notes are becoming a problem. I usually leave them on the nightstand and transcribe them to my computer on the weekends. But sometimes, when I’m lazy, they just stick to my nightstand and collect dust. And the sticky notes quickly build up until they’re covering every inch of my nightstand, usually three or four sticky notes deep. At this point of the sticky note apocalypse, I move on to sticking them onto my bed frame. And the process repeats itself. It hasn’t gotten that bad yet, but I imagine if this trend were to continue, the walls near my bed would be next and then the sticky notes will slowly encroach on every part of my room, spreading like a fungus, until my room becomes a sticky note paradise. But don’t worry — I’m not the stereotypical potential serial killer yet.

Names and Saying Them

I have the horrible habit of, in my head, calling people by the name of what I think they look like instead of their actual name. For example, there could be a person named Butter, but I think they look more like a Jelly, so I’ll call them Jelly (not out loud, of course).

I’m making an effort to stop. I consciously use their actual names in my head were I to think of them. It’s in that brief moment when you first see someone when things spiral out of my control.

ARACHNID: “Hey, Butter… elly!!”

BUTTER/JELLY glares with the fire of a thousand flaming suns at ARACHNID. ARACHNID spontaneously combusts.

It’s a nightmare when you call one of your closest friends by something other than their name (that is also not an applicable nickname).

Except for a few mortifying instances, this issue thankfully doesn’t occur often because I tend to never use people’s names when I’m talking to them.

PEOPLE: Hey, Arachnid!

ARACHNID: Hi. (Note the lack of “People”)

I never really thought about not-saying-people’s-names until a few weeks ago. I can’t remember what prompted me to think about it. Possibly someone said my name and I thought, Huh. I never say that person’s name. Or maybe I was trying to get someone’s attention and my usual methods were insufficient and I had to scream their name, and it felt awkward in my mouth. When I usually try to grab someone’s attention, I put my sock on my hand, along with googly eyes that are always conveniently located in my pocket, and throw a spectacular puppet show. Sorry, just trying to get your attention, dear reader. Making sure you’re not yet bored out of your mind and simply skimming these words for any sort of emotion to break the predictable mundaneness of daily zombie living. When I usually try to grab someone’s attention, I tap their shoulders. If that fails, I’ll wave my hand obnoxiously in their face or simply give up and flop over like a deflated version of those dancing balloon people thingies outside of car washes.

On the rare occasion that I use someone’s name, I more-often-than-not stumble over it like a bunny leaping over a boulder the size of Mount Everest (I’ve lost track of that simile. OH WELL). It’s not how it looks. I know your name, I really do! Just… AHHHHH. I can pronounce words.

I think the name I stumble the most on is my own. You never really say your own name often, and with such little practice with it, I’m terrible at saying it. I can barely eke out the traditional pronunciation, and even then, I have to repeat it back to you; I can’t come up with it off the top of my head. But, as my name is my own, I get to decide how to say it, right?

Is it A-rack-nid, like a horrible hacking cough, or is it A-rah-ch-nid like that itchy rash?

The main reason I decided to go with a pseudonym (Yes, I’ll admit, it’s a pseudonym. My parents did not actually name me Arachnid Weaver. But I will deny it if you ever ask) is because the name on my birth certificate is a pain to pronounce. It’s not the worst out there, but whenever anyone asks me how to say it, I usually have to repeat it multiple times, and even then, it’s a fifty-fifty shot.

But sometimes even I don’t pronounce it right (according to the pronunciation I prefer. If we go the traditional route, I never say it right).

I was always trying to escape my name. When I was four, I asked my mom why they didn’t name me Golden Girl (I’m glad they didn’t. And, yes, four-year-old-me wanted a superhero name. She didn’t yet realize that they had secret identities. She thought Spider-Man’s parents named him “Spider-Man” as a powerless infant). When I was in kindergarten, I’d occasionally put a name other than mine on my papers (probably a pain for the teacher to sort, but at least I was consistent). When I was ten, I wanted to legally change my name for my birthday (I didn’t).

Not Human

In early elementary school, up through third or fourth grade, I’d thoroughly convinced myself that I wasn’t human. Humans were far too mundane, to unmagical for my tastes. I was absolutely certain that one day I’d wake up and my true magical potential would emerge and I wouldn’t be a lowly human anymore. I was just waiting for that day to happen and simply passing the time in my human life. My humanity was a placeholder for my true magical self.

On top of believing that I wasn’t human, I would search for magical beings everywhere. I remember intently searching for leprechauns every St. Patrick’s Day with my friends. My house had a pond in the backyard, and of course there were mermaids in the shallow pond. They were lurking under the surface, biding their time and waiting for me to sprout my tail so I could join them.

All mythical creatures weren’t created equal. Mermaid, for instance, I’d take over human any day, but it wasn’t preferential. While mermaids did have their underwater cities, I didn’t want to leave land forever. Therefore, I would be a shapeshifting mermaid so I could still come to the surface and get ice cream on the weekends.

For fairy, which was mythical creature I most wanted to be (a human-sized one, not a small one. I didn’t want to be crushed underfoot.), I imagined having wings and practiced flapping them so I’d be prepared to fly whenever they grew. I practiced folding them away and fluttering them gently when I walked. I could feel them, and I could almost see them. I was so convinced they were real that I’d even briefly considered jumping off our second floor to test them.

In third grade, I was convinced that the existence of my canine teeth indicated that I was actually a vampire or a werewolf. I couldn’t decide between the two. I managed to persuade my friends that this was true as well. It turned out they were harboring doubts about their humanity too.

When I finally came to realize that I was a mere mortal and would never sprout magic powers or wings, I turned to writing. I wrote many “novels” about mythical creatures. I wish I still had them, but most I’ve lost and some I destroyed.

In third grade, during writing time, our teacher would give us a prompt. She usually wanted us to talk about our real lives and experiences, but I decided to do my own thing and write fiction. My novel was about these three cat-fairy sisters going on a quest of some sort to save their mother. I was so excited to reach twenty pages in my composition book.

I also wrote a picture book in third grade. It was about three friends at a vampire school going on an egg hunt for solid gold eggs. It was a competition between their whole school. A race. I remember one of the eggs was stuck on the roof of the school, so they decided to blow it down. And plot twist/cliff hanger: one of the characters is actually a werewolf. *Mind blown* This was revealed by one of the eggs having a werewolf engraved on it.

Slight detour from fairy tales: In fourth grade, I wrote about a fork who was terrified of being used. It’s about how fork are superior to spoons. I hold this belief strongly to this day.

Then back to fairy tales in fifth grade, I wrote a bunch of fairy tale retellings with the villain as the misunderstood protagonist.

I also wrote a “novel” about shape-shifting mermaids. I was super excited when I hit a thousand words. *Looks at ~800 word blog post written in half-an-hour. Looks at ~1,300 word essay written for English yesterday.* This novel was written in lieu of whatever assignment we had in the computer lab. It was also my first typed story. I deleted it after it devolved into overpowered characters, no real plot, and shell phones. I wish I hadn’t.

In sixth and seventh grade, I diverged from fantasy and wrote my first dystopian, which I didn’t finish. It was about a terrible war that destroyed human life. The main character was Annie, a normal citizen who struggled to make ends meet, whose parents just laid hopelessly in bed all day watching a blank TV, and only ate peanut butter & jelly sandwiches (except the bread was secretly cardboard). The other main character was Nikki, who was a privileged girl not really even aware of the war with an aloof, uncaring father. Plot twist: the father started the whole war. Annie and Nikki would band together to stop her father, but at the end, when it really counted, Nikki would choose her father over Annie and the war would continue. The end.

The Nightmare of Dentistry

I went to the dentist today. I despise the dentist.

But I have no cavities! Aren’t you so EXCITED that I have no cavities?! *Jazz hands*

I dislike the dentist so much because of the way they put their fingers in your mouth. Yes, they wear gloves, but still.

It’s also really wet. Yes, that drool sliding down your chin is yours, but it’s still spit. And it belongs in your mouth. And what about that suspicious clear liquid on the dentist’s glove? Is it water, or is it SPIT? My spit, but STILL!

Even more than doctorism, dentistry is one job I could never do. Day in and day out, you’re just sticking your hands in people’s mouths. So applause to all the dentists of the world for risking their sanity in order to keep people’s mouths cavity, pain, and dirt-free. *Claps*

ALSO. If there are any dentist out there reading this, please educate me on the rules of dentist-appointment etiquette. What the heck are you supposed to do with your tongue?!

  • Put it at the bottom of your mouth?
  • The roof of your mouth?
  • Follow the fingers/tools? This is what I tend to do. I try not to, but it’s not a conscious thing. Sometimes I remember not to, sometimes I don’t. But if I were the dentist and the patient were doing this…
    • Arachnid the Dentist (screams): AHHH! THE TONGUE IS ATTACKING ME!!! (Runs out of the office, leaving the patient strapped to the chair with multiple sharp objects in their mouth.)
  • Curl it up at the back of your mouth?
  • Lick the dentist’s tools?

When I’m at the dentist, I feel like a puppet. A very stressed puppet. Because here I am at the dentist’s mercy (I mean, if they wanted to, they could stab your mouth with those pointy tools) with sweat dripping down my back and the bright lights glaring at my eyes, masked dentists leaning above me with sharp tools at their disposal, thinking about all the other mouths these tools have touched (It’s the same principle as using a fork a restaurant), while the dentists are conversing with each other like normal human beings, occasionally asking you to tilt your head or open your mouth wider.

Why Diversity is Important in Media

I am an Indian human (technically Bangladeshi—but is that nationality? (Is it even my nationality since I was born in Canada? What IS a nationality? (I think my nationality is either Canadian or American and my ethnicity is Bangladeshi, but that is probably incorrect)). What even is the actual term for my race [I just did some minor Googling and I couldn’t find anything. There are multiple races from Bangladesh] I always just went with Indian (Bangladesh is on the Indian subcontinent) or generic brown).

So I have the average black hair, black eyes, and brown skin combo. But when I was a kid, I thought I was blond with blue eyes.

Seriously.

This wasn’t a color identification issue. If you gave me paint swatches, I could tell you black, brown, yellow, smaragdine, blue, etc.

This was because I had no idea what being blond with blue eyes actually meant. (Or what an Indian person was.) I thought it was a unanimous characteristic for hair and eyes. All hair is stringy, and all hair is blond. All eyeballs are round, and all eyeballs are blue. I watched a LOT of Barbie movies (and Dora the Explorer) and Barbie is blond with blue eyes. Therefore, all humans are blond with blue eyes (or they’re talking animals [thanks Dora]).

Person trying to teach me colors: What color are your hair and eyes?

Mini Arachnid: Blond and blue. (Note that Mini Arachnid has a giant mass of tangled black hair and giant, unblinking black eyes.)

I remember in kindergarten we had to fill out a questionnaire with our eye colors. I don’t quite remember what purpose this served. The options were brown, blue, and green. I chose blue.

When my parents corrected me…

Mini Arachnid (jaw drops): WHAAAAT?

So I asked them what their eye colors are, and they said black. This ensued in another round of dramatic gasping because black wasn’t on the list of options. But their drivers’ licenses listed their eye colors as black. So clearly someone was lying.

So, in conclusion, diversity is important because it prevents confusion among young children.

 

The Horrors of Highschool Homecoming

It was really loopy.

I mean loopy in all ways possible. It’s probably the only word I can use other than the ambiguous “fun”.

My friend, LeRain and I walked around from the gym to the cafeteria for the first hour, talking to her band friends while I regretted my class decisions. (I didn’t take band because I’m trash at ze flute and drawing interested me more.)

It was kind of boring at that point and the only thing that saved it from being that way was the yummy ice cones and this physical Angry Birds game. So the game basically went like this: step on the wooden thing and try desperately to knock down a tower of plastic bricks. Easy, right?

Wrong. It was so hard for me, even with my eight-inch heels (that’s a story for another post) to get the bird to hit the building. I knocked down the tower once in the twentyish tries I had. At times like this, I question why angry birds don’t have wings.   

After that, I met up with my other friend, Ash. She was dancing with her friend, Zip and introduced her to me. We danced a bit in the gym then went to the cafeteria since we were a bit tired. This was when the loopiness began.

Since the Gatorade was an odd grey color, we joked around that it was laced with illegal substances. We laughed so much that Ash spilled some of her drink on her dress. A guy passed by and said that it looked like a private part of the human body and snickered.

In an attempt to cover it up I gave her my Spanish crossword (which was due the next day) and tucked it under her dress so it looked like a bib. We walked out of the lunchroom then, Ash looking magnificent.

Outside the cafeteria, I saw a girl who had THE SAME EXACT dress as me and I just started laughing so much because of all the odd events that were somehow circulating around me. The girl probably thought I laced my own Gatorade with illegal substances because that’s what I sounded like at the time. I managed to say “Nice dress,” before promptly making my exit from her glaring radius.

Later, Ash, Zip, LeRain and I all went to the gym and played a game similar to Mad Libs. We danced more afterward, joining a dancing circle of freshmen doing stupid dances. Once in the middle, Ash danced like a goddess, but then was suddenly bombarded by two girls doing a sickening butt-slapping dance. Luckily, all was back to normal when this person went in the middle and started to do the chicken dance with incredible finesse. I think now I fully understand why people call highschoolers “weird”.

Lastly, LeRain and I did a slow dance to “A Thousand Years” since we were both third wheels to a couple. The song was a nice end to the rather loopy event.

I Accidentally Dented My Wall… With a Comb

This week has been a long series of mishaps and general clumsiness. But after I got over the sheer mortification, it’s actually kinda funny.

So. STORY TIME.


How I Dented the Wall With a Comb

I was doing my homework this weekend, and a comb was on my desk. Now, this was a rather hefty comb. And I got very annoyed at this comb for being on my desk. (I know, I know. The comb’s only fault was existing. It didn’t deserve its fate.) So, I did the only rational thing and decided to get it out of my sight and into the closet. But… I decided to throw it into the closet instead of calmly walking it to the closet. Cuz, yeah. Maybe I was a bit frustrated. And true, I wasn’t frustrated at the comb. I was angry at my homework, but I couldn’t very well rip up my homework. So I threw the comb at the closet. And I’m not particularly athletic, and I don’t have particularly good aim nor descent hand-eye coordination. So, I completely missed the pile of clothes at the bottom of my closet and instead hit the wall. And I kinda sorta made a dent.

BUT.

At least it’s not a hole.


How I Nearly Killed a Flute With My Clumsiness

And a few days before that, I was in band class, sitting between the people who sit to my left and right. We will call them Leftie and Rightie for simplicity. So I turned my stand and knocked Leftie’s flute OFF OF HER STAND.

Leftie, unlike me, has very good reflexes and lovely hand-eye coordination, so she somehow, like a SUPERHERO, managed to catch her flute MIDAIR, while I was shouting “ohmygodI’msosorry.”

BUT.

Five minutes later…

I knocked my stand over and Leftie AGAIN manages to catch it in midair.

AND.

Half an hour later…

I knocked my flute into Rightie’s stand and dented it. (The flute, not the stand. Which is unfortunate because I’d rather the stand was the dented one.)


How I Burned a Bunch of Rubber in a Botched Chemistry Lab

In Chemistry, we’ve been doing a lab. Lovely, lovely, lovely lab.

Yesterday we didn’t finish the first trial and today we didn’t finish the second. But that’s not the point.

After heating a crucible, we set said very hot crucible down right next to the rubber tube that feeds the gas into the bunsen burner. And then the rubber melted.

LOVELY.

The end.


So. School’s started, and I’m doing homework almost every waking minute.

My schedule:

  • 6 am: Wake up.
  • 6:30 am: Go to school.
  • 2:30 pm: Come home.
  • 3 pm: Start homework.
  • 9 pm: Hopefully finish homework.
  • 10 pm: Go to sleep and start this whole horrid cycle all over again.

So. The blog’s been a bit neglected, unfortunately. I’m hoping that I figure out the secret key to doing homework faster (Do any of you guys know?). In the meantime, my plan is to schedule posts ahead on the weekends (but to do that, I’d need a weekend that’s not packed).

Accidental Shoe Thievery

After reading this post, I was reminded of a story from years ago that I completely forgot about.

Years ago, Spinette, some mutual friends, and I went to the temple for some celebration/holiday or something or the other. In temples, it’s customary to take off your shoes before you enter. I really hate doing this because sometimes the floors are wet with mystery liquids, but that’s beside the point. So everyone leaves their shoes in this big, communal pile of shoes outside of the door. It’s common for your shoes to be stepped on, be buried underneath piles of stranger’s shoes that you then have to dig through to find your shoes, or other shoe-related horrors.

Anyway, after the celebration/holiday thingie, Spinette and I were planning to go to our mutual friends’ house. They’re a family of three sisters, Leaf, Leafie, and Leafster, the oldest of whom is two years younger than Spinette.

The Leaf Family and my family left to go to their house before Spinette and her family did, so we were at the house for a while when Spinette entered.

 

When Spinette was leaving the temple, she discovered that I’d left my shoes in the communal shoe pile, so she, like any well-meaning, helpful friend, brought them with her.

 

So when they opened the door, Spinette was holding a pair of blue sandals similar to the ones that I was wearing.

Spinette: You forgot your shoes!

Arachnid: … Those aren’t mine …

 

Spinette’s dad went back to the temple to return the shoes to the communal shoe pile.

Partying in New York and Other Social Struggles (and a rant about school)

Hello, nonexistent peeps!

So as you may know, I recently went to my cousin’s wedding in New York. The wedding was really different from my other cousin’s wedding in Bangladesh. While the Bangladesh wedding was strictly traditional and tedious, the New York one consisted of three straight days of partying with much alcohol involved. While I don’t enjoy parties (or people in general) I did have fun discovering a new version of people-watching: Drunk people-watching.

The drunken peoples did many, many idiotic things. It was hilarious.

One dude was very, very drunk and he was dancing flopping like a fish out of water. At one point he fell asleep on my cousin’s shoulder, and my cousin just let him stay there. After that, he fell asleep on the floor for a bit before finally sleeping on one of the tables at the banquet hall.

The drunk peoples also wriggled around on the floor doing a “snake dance”.

Before people got overly drunk, there were some social struggles. I was wearing an off-the-shoulder dress at the party, and an older lady touched my shoulder and asked if it was the style or if it was ripped. I usually keep my sarcasm inside my head with strangers, but I was annoyed, so it kinda slipped out and with a little extra bite. I said, “No, it ripped” with an unspoken Of course it’s the style. This is obvious. And it’s rude to ask people if their clothing is torn. *Shrugs* I was feeling mean. And then EVERYONE within earshot gasped. My mom tried to play it off because I had, in fact, just ripped my skirt.

Soon after, I was retrieving my food from the buffet and I was trying to pick up the naan, but I dropped the tongs on the floor. I tried to get the waiter’s attention while the line was growing behind me. The lady behind me told me to just put it on the table. As soon as I exited the line, a new waiter arrived and put the tongs BACK IN THE FOOD.

and I didn’t say anything.

At the actual wedding, I wore a dress that weighed a LOT. I’m certain that if someone weight trained with it, they would grow some serious muscles. (Is that the proper terminology?!) My mom said that I could change out of the dress after a couple hours, but then she accidentally left the normal dress in the car, which was driven away by a valet-dude. But I convinced my mom to let me wear my sneakers with the dress. So people were drunk. Other people got married. One of my cousins asked his wife who she was. One cousin tried to give away his credit card. One person I don’t know was feeding people desserts from a communal spoon. Etc. Many cousins wriggled on the floor pretending to be snakes.

There was also this priest-dude. In the middle of a ceremony, he got a phone call. He talked for fiveish minutes, in the middle of the ceremony. “Yep. Hi. Sup. Yeah, I’m marrying some peeps right now.” And then after the phone call, he started the ceremony over again.


Bonus: A Random, Unrelated Rant.

So yesterday, we got our schedules for school and mine was pretty messed up. They kicked me out of the honors math program and put me in precalculus instead of honors precalculus. This is because I’m doing the class as a tenth grader with eleventh graders and the upperclassmen get priority for honors. Because I’m in regular precalculus, all the honors precalculus homework that I spent the summer doing is now obsolete and the year after, I’ll have to do Calculus AB instead of Calculus BC like the honors kids.

On top of that, instead of a biology class I REALLY wanted, I got health and architectural design, which a super bummer because no one likes health (which I’d planned to do over the summer) and I’m not interested in architecture. So instead of the biology class, which is full, I asked for Physics, but that’s full, too. So then I asked for Spanish 3, but that doesn’t work either. My friends who also wanted the biology class all ended up with Physics. This is awful because I wanted more science.

I am like cookie monster. I want math/science.

GIVE ME.

I’m upset.

The Sunshine Blogger Award

Greetings, people of the universe! I should probably be finishing my summer homework… but here we are.

I was nominated by the unique and awesomazing (which is totally a word) Have You Ever Noticed? You nonexistent guys should check out this hilarious blog that points out all the things you’ve never noticed about your life.


RULES

  1. First of all, thank the blogger who has nominated you and link to their blog in your post.
  2. Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger.
  3. Nominate 11 more blogs, who you think should be given this award.
  4. List the rules and the logo of the award on your post or in your blog.

THE QUESTIONS

  1. What is one dish you like to cook?I have no idea how to cook. I can make cereal, toast, and pb&j. Of those measly three, cereal is my favorite. (FROSTED MINI WHEATS. GIVE ME.)
  2.  How would you describe your favorite pair of shoes?Suede, tan-colored combat boots with faded soles that haven’t fallen apart yet.
  3. What is the best thing that you did last week?I walked through a forest. (But this “forest” was next to a highway, so the illusion was kinda broken by the sound of the cars honking and rushing around.) It was a ton a fun and it smelled really good.
  4. If you could have lunch with one author (living or dead) who would it be and why?Leigh Bardugo because she created Six of Crows.
  5.  What kind of snack do you like to add to your ice cream?Whipped cream. Whipped cream is basically warm ice cream. My favorite ice cream flavor is mint chocolate chip.
    • Also, whipped cream is totally a snack.
  6.  If you could return to any decade and visit a movie set, which would you like to see and why?Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. It’s my favorite movie and I’d love to see the magic in real life.
    • Harry Potter because Hogwarts.
    • I just finished watching Les Miserables yesterday and I loved it, so I’d like to see that set as well.
  7. What is a song that makes you smile?Mama by My Chemical Romance.
    • “Mama, we’re all going to die.” The lyrics just make me happy.
  8. What advice would you give to your younger self?Try cotton candy. I swear you’ll love it.
  9. What is one food you just can’t eat?Mayonaise.
      • Story time!
      • One time, my cousin went to a restaurant with her coworkers and she had pasta with alfredo. She adored it, so she wanted to recreate it for us. Except there was one mixup. She thought that the alfredo was mayonaise. I was skeptical because I HATED mayonaise, but her excitement was contagious, so we couldn’t wait for the weekend when she would make us this delicious pasta. She went out and purchased the igredients and made dinner for the entire family that weekend and she was so proud.
      • But the pasta was heaped with mayonaise and I gagged at the first bite. My dad made me finish the entire bowl.
  10. If you can earn a gold medal in any sport, what would it be and why?I seriously doubt that I’d ever get an aluminum medal in a sport, let alone a gold one. I’m very unathletic. So, my sport is waffle consumption.
  11. What is something you wish you could add to your blog and why?Animations! I don’t have the time or equipment to do them, but I think animations would go wonderfully with a lot of our posts.

Short People Problems

Clocking in at 5’2″, I’m generally regarded as a short person. I’m shorter than most people, so I have to look up when I’m talking to them (but I usually just end up talking to their chins) and I have trouble reading menus or watching plays over people’s heads. You know, the usual slew of short-people problems. (Not that tall people don’t have problems, too.)

In elementary school, whenever we had assemblies, the fifth graders would sit on chairs in the back and everyone else would sit in neat rows on the floor in front of them in descending order of grade with the kindergarteners in the front row. In theory, this is a good idea because older people are taller, right? So, hypothetically, if the older kids sit in the back, they’ll be able to see over everyone else’s heads because everyone else is younger. For me, at least, this didn’t really work out. After kindergarten, I was always seated behind taller, but younger, students, so I never got to see anything. (Another flaw in this plan: those freakishly tall kindergarteners that make me jealous of their height.)

Being short my entire life, I’d come to accept that this is the way it will be forever, no matter how much I hope and wish and stretch and dream.

Until I went to Bangladesh.

It turns out that Bangladeshi people just happen to generally be even shorter than me, and for the first time in my life, I got to experience being tall. I got to look over people’s heads, I got to look straight at (or down at) people when I was talking at them. I got a taste of being tall, all 5’2″ of me.

And I never wanted to go back (to being short). But I’m back in America, the land of tall people, and here we are again, short.

But this isn’t the shortest I’ve ever felt. When I lived in Kentucky, the general population seemed to be significantly taller than the general population of Michigan. When I walked through the hallways, I was stuck staring at people’s shoulder blades instead of the backs of their heads. I had trouble finding my classes because I couldn’t see anything except humans. Whenever I talked to sixth graders, they were always shocked that I was in the eighth grade. Every single one asked me twice to double check and when I assured them that, yes, I am, in fact, an eighth grader, they always responded with a “but you’re so short!” In Michigan, while I am on the shorter side of average, my grade is never questioned.

Warning: This following segment will feel contradictory to the rest of the post.

While I’ve always felt short, I’ve never felt extremely short. As I said, I’m on the shorter side of average.

Mare Barrow from Red Queen, as I recently learned, is a fellow 5’2″.

Mare Barrow, as it states over and over over the course of the four-book series, is extremely short. She barely makes it to the shoulders of most of her acquaintances.

Which begs the question, “How ridiculously tall is the general population of Red Queen?!” and “Was this entire series developed to make me feel bad about my height?”

“Where Babies Come From” According to Mini Arachnid

Before my brother was born, I thought that babies were things that people just had or didn’t have. Like hair.

I guess I just never stopped to consider, hey, where did this baby come from? just like I never stopped to consider, hey, where did this couch come from?

When my mom was pregnant with my brother, my parents told me that this future person was inside my mother. *Explosions of insanity* Like, did she eat him? Is that ethically correct? I don’t think I fully comprehended this until she gave birth, though.

I remember the day before my brother was due, my mother was basically a hot air balloon. If the baby is that big, then how does it even get out?

So I asked my mother, “How does the baby get out?”

And my mother and my cousin shared this look and neither of them answered. So I started guessing. “Does it come out of your mouth? That’d be so uncomfortable. Would you be able to breathe? Does it come out of your butt? Is poop a baby?”

At this point, to stop me from going any further, my mom said, “They’re going to cut it out of my stomach.”

This, obviously, horrified me. I imagined some evil cartoonish surgeon taking a huge, rusty knife to my mother and then stitching her back up like a zombie.

I mean, this was kinda true because she had a c-section.

So then four-year-old me kept thinking. Because that’s healthy. What triggers a pregnancy? I decided that it happens spontaneously. Like you’re just eating breakfast one day and bam you’re pregnant and you instantly become a human blimp. But then what’s stopping my mom from having another kid? I was not happy with the first one; a second would be a nightmare.

Little Arachnid: “Mom, what’s stopping you from getting pregnant again?”

Arachnid’s Mom: They gave me an injection so I won’t have any more kids.

Well, okay. Good enough for now.

Until people started asking if Scorpion got his nose from his dad and his eyes from his mom. I understood how Scorpion would get his eyes from his mom because I mean, he was inside her. But how would he get anything from his dad? My dad wasn’t pregnant. Maybe it’s from kissing. Like, in all that icky salival exchange noses are transferred to babies. But no. Then they wouldn’t have actors kissing each other on Good Luck, Charlie because then they’d all have kids! It’s all probably transferred through the air. Because after they get married, the dad and the mom live together, so then air particles are transferred and that’s where Scorpion gets his nose.

 

This explanation worked for me for years until we got back from a baby shower and I started thinking again.

If babies have to be surgically removed from their mothers, what did cavemen and dolphins do? Because they don’t have hospitals.

Babies must come out of their mother’s belly buttons! What else would belly buttons be used for? Right? Right?

Untitled Part 1

I stir the tea with a red lollipop,watching the brown swirl into a soft velvet. Clink! The “pop” part of the snack fizzes into a flurry of small, soapy pink bubbles as I hit it against the inside of the ceramic cup. With a playful smirk, I carefully lift up the white stick remaining, noting it’s end, burnt in a hue of electric purple.

I call, “Olth? Are you responsible for this sorcery?” My smile twitches, in a state between proud and furious.

Olth skips down the curved stairway, her black sneakers blending with the dark carpeting of the steps. A grin cuts through her oddly geometric face, teeth sharp and pointed. She nods, “Yes. I am. I was hoping you would drink it, first.”

“I’m not that gullible,” I say, my lips in a mock pout.

“You were about to…Allete, I mean, just look at your lollipop!” She snickers, her tall shadow towering over me. Even if she was a bit bigger, I was older and the more responsible one. She giggled a bit, her nonsensical joking followed by a cute sneeze. It reminded me of her young years.

“Wait. You just sneezed…” I stutter, my panicked side kicking in, “Where is the teapot?”

Olth’s yellow, somewhat reptilian eyes dart to the maple wood table, now empty with the exception of the poisonous drink. Her sharp teeth curve into a frown, skin paling from a purple-grey to a lighter shade. She seems to shrink.

“You teleported it, didn’t you?” I grit my teeth, clenching my fist.

“Yep,” she mumbles. Even her words seem small.

“Where to?” I ask, releasing my anger into a somewhat petty guise, stroking her hair like a dog’s fur, hoping desperately that Olth would impress me again and actually know to where she teleported the item.

“I don’t know,” She whispers, microscopically.

“You are such a chore,” I whine, whipping out my broomstick and witch’s hat. I put the hat on, muffling my messy chocolate brown hair. Olth was always jealous of it (she only has unidentifiable white noodles after all) so I pull some out of my cap, clearly agitated.

Sinking in guilt, the tall reptilian girl sulks towards the circular gold framed window, unlatching it to let in the cool May air.

Olth and I board my broom, with me in the front, ready for lift off. A puff of wind elevates us into the sky, blue and dotted with white puffy clouds.

“What’s wrong?” I question, gazing at Olth’s expression, as sad as melting ice cream. She whimpers. I can’t stay mad at her, so I tuck my hair back in my hat and say, “It’s alright. We’ll get the teapot before anyone drink out of it. Focus on searching, okay?”

Olth gives me a foxy smile, getting to work, her jet black pupils becoming slits in concentration. With her, I scan the town, glancing between the clotheslines, the brown brick buildings and the slinking smoke-stack trains. The breeze plays with my hat, threatening to to let it drop to the ground. I fight the urge to fix it, maintaining two hands on my broom stick, flying responsibly.

“I don’t think the teapot is up here,” Olth tells me, tapping my shoulder.

“Oh!” I waggle my eyebrows, “Do you want to dip down? For losing a teapot?”

“Am I that predictable?” Olth giggles as I ascend upwards above a cake white layer of fluff. Tiny dew drops sprinkle our faces as our broomstick pokes a hole in the cloudscape. My bestie yells in exhilaration; the sound of an adorable mix of a snake’s tongue and a kitty’s growl.

“Are you ready?” I declare.

“Y—”

I dip down before she can finish, the wind tearing at our faces, stomachs dropping as we went hurdling towards the ground. The broom fans out, losing a few yellow hairs. With a rush, our vehicle turns from vertical to horizontal, our legs only two inches from the brick.

“Woohoo!” I pump my fist up, energized and swiftly turn my broom towards the building, going up and down between colorfully decorated clotheslines. I howl in laughter at Olth, watching her battle a woman’s undergarment, trying to claw it off her face, “Fllll-y a bbit slewor!” she screams.

I fly a bit faster, just for kicks and giggles. “That’s what you get for losing the teapot,” I say, my voice hanging off the edge of “pot” as if asking a question.

“Tek thiz off mi faece firrst!” She demands. I stop the broom, tossing the undergarment away with ease.

“Better?” I ask.

She nods.

I look both ways, although there is no broom traffic today and in the midst of honking cars, I see a curious looking man sitting on a mini-fridge, moving the dinosaur magnets on the front as if they were puppets in a play. He opens the fridge, taking out a can of cola and for a split second I spot…

“THE TEAPOT!” Olth yells, shaking my shoulders, “The man! The mini-fridge!”

I take off, swooping under a billboard sign before landing on the sidewalk. We run over to the man, but as we do he stands up and picks up the fridge.

“No! That teapot is ours!” I yell.

He takes a long, hard look at us, his eyes squinting into nonexistence. Slowly, he bends down.

“Thank you!”Olth cheers, giving out a toothy grin.

And he gives the fridge to a little child on a red bicycle.

Olth and I exchange “what the blobfish” glances before jumping on the broom and racing after the pint sized kid. He cycles through a bustling road of traffic, the wheels on his tyke moving much faster than they should be.

Cars all around him stop and honk; some even crash into each other in a desperate flee to avoid the little devil. Our broom zig zags behind him, my partner in crime grabbing for the fridge and failing to do so on every account. She finally latches onto kid’s bicycle handle, attempting to squirm her way to fridge without falling off. Her hand brushes the side of the fridge, her hand glowing purple. She starts to say something under her breath but before she can, the boy accelerates, pulling Olth’s white noodly hair.

“OUch!” she screeches, in full on hyena type sense, “Stop that, kid! That teapot is ours!” She grabs onto the very edge of the mini fridge, body over extending between the broomstick and the bike. I take siege of her hips, as the child pedals frantically, dragging us behind him. In the end, the kid sends us tumbling down, Olth breaking my fall and I breaking my broom’s fall.

“Hey,” The little man’s voice is much deeper than expected, “What are you doing here? Why does a witch and a stupid animal want this prized petite fridge for, huh?”

Olth growls.

“We want the teapot inside…please,” I tremble as he walks up to me.

“Ha!” The kid lights up a cigarette, “You’re a such a peculiar witch. Most witches I know don’t even have sense of humor.”

“What witches do you know, you stupid kid?” Olth roars, covering me in an instant.

“Many,” He responds with cool, calm composure, “But, I certainly don’t know any of your kind. You are interesting.”

“So… can you at least check the fridge for a teapot?” I ask, my voice tiny against the verbal fighting.

“Only in exchange for your creature,” He bargains.

“She’s not a creature,” I declare firmly.

“You didn’t let me finish, you snob,” He states, “I was going to say ‘Only in exchange for creature and for you to come to the market with me!'”

“Why would you want that?” I shoot a question at him.

“Because you two are entertaining and we need entertainers for the auction tonight. The idiotic poor men always get bored and cranky.” And he deflects it, swiftly.

The Floppiest of Birthday Flops

And so begins the prescheduled posts while I’m in Bangladesh.

This post is a bit different from my usual ones because I’m going to be talking about my real life outside of the blogosphere. Yep, that’s right. I am a real person who isn’t actually a robot inside your computer writing witty posts.

So, as you may know, my birthday was on June 5th. Birthdays are interesting things. Days to celebrate a person’s existence and their aging into a raisin, which is a true accomplishment that most people hope for someday, only to eventually die.

My last two birthdays have been flops as well, so I was hoping for this one to be absolutely amazing. Two years ago, we were in the process of moving from Michigan to Kentucky, so my birthday was somewhat forgotten and I didn’t have a celebration nor party. Last year, my actual birthday happened to fall on the first day of finals, so the actual day was lost in a slew of studying. I did have a party, but it doubled as a going away party because I was moving from one city in Michigan to another city in Michigan the next week, so it wasn’t the happiest of occasions.

I was psyched for this year. (Except for the fact that birthdays force one to confront their own mortality.)

It was floppy. Both my actual birthday and the party.

I feel like I’m being kinda whiney. The intention is for it to be humorous. *Flings humor at you*

A Random Pun From The Internet: What do you call a thieving alligator?… A CROOKODILE. *Ba dum crash* *Crickets*

So as I’m writing this, it’s 6/18/2018, which is also the day after father’s day, which is also the day after my birthday party. I invited about fifteen people. Many of them couldn’t come because of father’s day or other random things they had to do. A couple of people canceled the day before my party.

So overall, we had me, my brother, and Spinette. And we had THREE GUESTS.

And we had three pitchers of drinks.

Ten chairs.

A relatively large cake.

Three pizzas.

And six people, three of whom were me, my brother, and Spinette (people who are obligated to come).

*Crickets*

At one point, one of them asked when everyone else was going to get there.

My response: *Crickets*

We had fun. It was just kinda…awkward.

Am I allowed to have a redo?

(Also, Spinette got me My Chemical Romance and Twenty One Pilots t-shirts along with a new cactus! I don’t currently have a picture of the new cactus because Spinette is cactus-sitting them while I’m in Bangladesh.)

What should I write?

I recently got a new notebook. Unlike all my other notebooks, I actually want to fill this one with different stories and things, but I want my entries to be consistent.

I want this notebook for something specific so I don’t throw it away or forget about it.

Also I want each entry to be fast to write so I can do it every single day.

Arachnid has told me to write about our two characters: Tick and Tock. They are sisters that have an odd relationship with one another, weird appearances and peculiar tastes. Tick is the older sister who often delves into trippy, mind-bending worlds when she drifts off to sleep– which is very often. Tock, on the other hand, is the feisty, fiery and very violent younger sister who sports a deadly scythe.

While this is an awesome suggestion, I feel like probably won’t stay with it, especially when the terrible disease *gasps in horror* writing block comes in.

I’ve been thinking to make the journal into a cool thing where I write a one page story a day. With summer coming up, I’ll have some time to write too.

What do you guys think?

She’s Having a Baby?!

So last Monday, my cousin’s wife had a baby. I didn’t know she was pregnant.

Sure, big families can be fun with the endless stream of people who are obligated to like you. But they can also be a burden.

When you near forty cousins, there’s a problem. Many problems, in fact. Such as no one telling you that one of them is having a baby. And not being able to remember said baby’s name.

One day your mom will tell you that one of your closest cousin’s has a new wife (He got married?!) or is having another baby (He’s married?!).

And you can never remember a week later that they got married or had a baby.

 

Or sometimes you’ll be at a party and some random stranger will come up to you and the following conversation will ensue:

Stranger: Hey, Arachnid! I’m your aunt! I saw you when you were three. You used to run around without clothes on. Remember?

Arachnid: Oh, hey…yeah. I totally remember that. You’re my favorite relative! How could I possibly forget you? Uhh… Remind me how we’re related?

*Stranger that claims she is your relative holds out her arms for a hug.*

Arachnid (Thinking): Who in the blobfish is this random dude? I’m supposed to HUG her?!

*Arachnid awkwardly shakes the stranger’s hand*

 

I often have difficulties remembering all the members of the Weaver family (There are so many!). I ask my parents beforehand whenever we go to visit family. I still can never remember their names, though.

Most of my cousins are a lot older than me, and they’re all getting married (I’m going to go off on a little tangent about arranged marriages now. One of my cousins is getting married this summer. It was arranged. They talked on Facebook for NINE DAYS when he proposed to her. And she said yes. THEY HAVE NEVER MET IN PERSON. *Ultimate face-palm. Face-palm so hard I accidentally decapitate myself*) And my cousins are all getting married to people with even BIGGER families and then I have to learn all of their names.

A couple months ago, a large portion of my family went to my dad’s brother’s son’s son’s first birthday party. One of my cousin’s friends came to the party and he asked my cousin how he was related to the Birthday Boy.

Friend: How are you guys related?

Cousin: Uhh… He’s my mother’s sister’s husband’s brother’s son’s son.

Friend: …

 

I need to make a flowchart or something to keep track of everyone.


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I Never Learned About Stranger Danger

Most children are taught at a young age about ‘Stranger Danger’. It’s the time when their expectations for a perfect world full of good people are dashed, and to add salt to an already-burning wound, their childhood is crushed like a fresh leaf underfoot.

Their wonderous, big-eyed, childish glow is muted by the fact that not everyone loves you. That not everyone holds your wants and needs and safety close to their hearts. That not everyone will hold your hand when you cross the street.

It’s when you start to look around at the world and you see kidnappers and murderers and thieves and rapists lurking behind every innocuous and smiling face. When you stop talking to strangers and making friends outside of your comfort zone. When you cling to your parents, your courage crushed and your fears multiplied ten-fold.

But, of course, there are always exceptions. Children who choose to believe in humanity. Children who believe that nothing bad can happen, no skinned knees or scraped wrists, as long as they don’t cheat on their next vocabulary test. Oh, they’re aware, of course, of strange men in white vans giving free candy to children. But stuff like that is the work of fiction, or it happens to faraway people. Never at home. Never to good children like you.

These children know that danger exists. But they won’t recognize it when it tries to hide.


My parents attempted, like most other parents, to teach me about stranger danger and the faults of the world. But I did not believe them. Why would anyone hurt me? I’m so adorable. I’m invincible!

Another lesson of theirs, however, did seem to seep into my skull. They told me that if anything bad were ever to happen (they never specified, but I assumed they meant skinned knees and scraped wrists) to tell the nearest adult.

Adults are to be trusted. They are always good and they always know better.

I, as a child, believed this full-heartedly. I had experienced first-hand the cruelty of children, but without much contact with adults aside from my teachers and parents, I had no reason to disbelieve my parents’ words.

Children are so awful, how could adults be the same? I was sure they out-grew their monstrousness at some point.

Thankfully, nothing bad ever happened where I had to trust my life to some random adult. I mean, there was that time I got lost at the Target and I was mentally preparing myself to do some stranger-talking, but my parents were just one aisle over. So…

Anyway.

When I was in second-grade, I was visiting family in Bangladesh. We were at my cousin’s house, which, as I remember it, is a single apartment building. Behind the building is a forest and in front of it is a field and the area isn’t densely populated aside from the people living in the single apartment building.

The field was absolutely packed with forget-me-nots and they would always stick to your clothing when you walked anywhere and there were tons of puddles that made an excellent jumping ground.

One day, my cousin, my brother (Scorpion), and I were playing in the field, just doing what children do. My parents and my aunt were in the house, just doing whatever it is that adults do (probably gossiping over tea). My cousin was about ten, I was seven, and Scorpion was three.

We were having an amazing time, running around and splashing in puddles, the air humid and hanging heavily, plastering sweat to our faces, when a random man on a motorcycle appeared on the road in front of the apartment.

He was wearing a black jacket and dark pants and we’d never seen him before. He asked us if we wanted a ride on his motorcycle. But he could only take two of us. His motorcycle wasn’t large enough for all three.

My cousin, Scorpion, and I quickly discussed who should go. All three of us wanted to go, obviously, but we had to decide who would be left behind.

One of my uncles has a motorcycle, too, but he rarely let us go on rides with him because he thinks it’s dangerous. But motorcycles aren’t dangerous. They’re fun. And how could something so harmless hurt?

Eventually, we decided that Scorpion and I would go since my cousin lived in Bangladesh and would occasionally get a ride from my uncle. But Scorpian and I lived in the States and a motorcycle was novel for us. Straight out of a comic book.

We asked my cousin to tell our parents where we had gone.

We were so very considerate and cared so very much for our safety…

Scorpion and I climbed onto the motorcycle, seated in front of the mystery driver, all laughter and giggles. How lucky we were for a benefactor to magically arrive and whisk us away for fun without warning.

The ride was exhilarating. I could feel the wind combing its fingers through my hair and I could smell the damp earth as the motorcycle ate it away.

But the ride continued for longer than I had expected. We were bordering on fifteen minutes. The wind turned cold and the earth turned sour. I realized how fast we were going. How much distance we had covered.

I realized I didn’t know this man’s name.

My brother was still laughing.

I started to fidget. I asked, “Can we go home now? I’m getting tired.”

The man didn’t look at me. His dark eyes were glued to the road. “Don’t you want to ride a bit longer? It’s so much fun.”

Scorpion replied, “Yeah! Let’s keep going.”

I am starting to panic, but I keep a blank face for my brother. I hold him closer.

My cousin had told me stories of infants stolen in the night. Their organs cut out and sold. I’d seen the blind men without eyes on their faces, nothing but empty sockets. I thought that she had been trying to scare me. She’d told me of little girls and boys taken and never returned. Their families grieve, but they move on with time. The little girls and boys tortured for more, more, more.

The anxiety in my stomach grows, building into a monster, clawing at me and scraping away at all self-control. I can feel the pieces flake off onto the road and they are run over by the motorcycle’s wheels, torn up by the wind, and left in the ground far behind me in a moment’s time.

I breathe in. I breathe out.

Faster, faster.

But then, I see it.

The field with the forget-me-nots and the puddles where children play.

The man slows and stops. He helps my brother down and then me.

My family is waiting, my cousin in the front.


This story is the inspiration for my short story, A Dreamer in The Darkness. Getting on that motorcycle was a really stupid idea. I was in a strange country so far away from home. I couldn’t read in the language and I could barely speak it. So many things could’ve gone wrong, but luckily, they didn’t.

Sam, the main character of A Dreamer in The Darkness, is based on me as a child. His story is what could’ve happened.

The Awkwardness Of Holding Hands While Walking

So I was telling a story to Arachnid about this moment… and I didn’t really finish it.

I’m going to ramble about awkwardness and hands and terribly scarring moments in my life. Be warned. Parental advisory is advised.

We were talking away under the trees as people started to litter into the building.

That’s when Fishy grasped my hand.

It was wildfire, but as the awkwardness dumped onto me, it was a bucket of freezing water. I could feel eyes peering at us like we were scum. Lightheaded with embarrassment I tried to look at Fishy, to register her emotion, but I couldn’t get past the tall obstacle of her shoulders towering over my vision.

And we were walking.

“Hey,” I asked, adding to the rather one-sided conversation I was rambling on about (how her hands were like a heater) “I’m cold.”

She put her arm around me. I relaxed due to the warmness of her hands but then realized the large lump of additional awkwardness in my throat.

“Actually…” I mumbled, “Let’s link arms.”

“Sure.”

I felt like an uneven staircase. Her elbow didn’t exactly bend where mine did due to severe height differences.

“Uh…” I started.

It didn’t take another word. She let go, then grabbed my hand, her fingers slowly interlocking.

I held back the urge to scream. The level of PDA between us at that moment changed from a slowly increasing linear graph to a rapidly growing exponential one.

Third Grade Mishaps (Blood Included)

Third grade, like all other grades, is a horrible year. The pressure begins to ramp up, you’re homework gets due dates, drama, etc.

I did lots of stupid things in third grade, such as color my teeth blue with a ballpoint pen; color my entire hand blue with a ballpoint pen; lock myself in my room for hours at a time without food, water, or bathroom breaks to watch ICarly; contract the stomach flu; throw up in the hallway and walk into a random classroom with vomit all over my hands and face; throw up in the hallway again; write a short story about vampires; etc. The list could go on for ages.

But today we’re going to talk about a particular story that took place in third grade.

Like every other mostly sane person, I am in an ongoing war with mosquitos. Mosquitos are horrible (they’re important to the ecosystem but horrible to people). They are horrible and don’t you dare disagree. They suck your blood like greedy vampires and leave itching bumps that swell to the size of plastic Easter eggs.

Mosquitos, on the other hand, love me. They leave everyone else alone and make a feast of me.

Everyone always tells you never to scratch mosquito bites, but I’ve never been one to listen to everyone. But in this case, at least, I should have.

I got a mosquito bite on my left forearm and it swelled to a respectable size. And I itched it. I itched it until it bled.

(Mosquitos are one of the reasons that I despise spring.)

But, thanks to magic and a Band-Aid, the bloody wound eventually scabbed over.

(This post’s about to get somewhat gross. Squeamish readers, click off now.)

Another activity that I participated in as a naive child was the picking of scabs. *Shudders* Don’t worry, dear readers, I don’t do this anymore.

The scab was about a half-inch long (“How do I know this?” you ask. I still have a scar) and it covered a half-inch long wound. (I’m going to call it a wound. It makes the story more dramatic.)

During class, I did the inevitable and picked off the scab.

But, of course, it started bleeding profusely. (What else did I expect?)

So here I am, blood gushing from an open wound, my right hand clapped over it to try and stanch the flow, and my teacher, under the premise that nothing was wrong, merrily teaching away.

Thankfully, a few minutes later, she gave us time to work. I went up to ask the teacher for a Band-Aid, but there was another girl in front of me. I waited patiently behind her, still bleeding.

She needed a Band-Aid as well. For her papercut.

The nightmare then began.

Me: Uh, I need a Band-Aid, too.

Teacher: I’m sorry. We’re out of Band-Aids. Is it an emergency?

Girl: That’s fine. I don’t really need one.

Me: … Yeah. I guess it can wait.

It could not wait. It definitely could not wait.

Soon afterward, the teacher began to teach again. (It is her job, after all.)

And I’m still sitting there. Bleeding profusely.

I lifted my right hand to check if it had stopped bleeding. Nope. And my right hand was coated with blood.

At that point, a classmate, let’s call him Earl Omega, looked right at me. I held eye contact and glared at him with the full force of the laser-firing armada located behind my eyeballs.

I can’t remember what happened afterward because third grade was so long ago.

And now we’ll never know if Little Arachnid ever got that Band-Aid or not.