"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security is mostly a superstition, it does not exist in nature." -Helen Keller

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Ok, so this is just something random I thought up! it doesn't really make sense (well...it does to me, I suppose), but I just thought I would share it and see what opinions you guys have! Any constructive criticism would be much appreciated:) All the stuff in here is symbolic to me in different ways, but I can't really tell you what everything means or it would take away some of the mystery.;)

Story walked down the long hall. Her soft black shoes made no sound on the hardwood floor as she strolled along, a canvas bag over shoulder. Her head was held high, her blonde hair pulled back from her face and her eyes shined with determination. She had a destination in mind, but she couldn’t help slowing as she passed the first door on her right.
It was larger than a normal door; about ten feet tall and four-and-a-half feet wide. She glanced at the sign on the door that was slightly above eye-level. It read: SCHOOL. Story shook her head, vaguely wondering why that was the first one she passed and wishing it wasn’t so big. She sighed, and continued on her way.
She passed another door, slightly smaller than the first one. The sign on this one read: FRIENDS. She smiled and reached forward toward the handle, about to open it, but then she stopped.
“No,” she said to herself. “I can’t…but maybe later.”
The bag over her shoulder moved and she jumped. She opened the top and peered inside. Glaring at its contents, she snapped it closed again. Looking forlornly at the FRIENDS door once more, she turned and stumbled over a small white rabbit hopping in front of her. Another brown one followed it and they sat back, looking at Story with glittery black eyes.
“Drew, Kitty, get back to your room!” Story exclaimed, pushing a loose hair out of her face in exasperation. The two rabbits seemed to exchange glances, but stayed in front of Story, unmoving.
“Fine. I suppose I’ll have to take you myself.”
Story set off down the hall again with the rabbits bounding behind her. She passed a couple more doors – LYRICS and MEMORIES -- with only a small glimpse in each of their directions, and stopped when she reached one marked: IDEAS. This door was decorated with drawings, notes, and quotations. Story smiled at it, and reached for the handle. She hesitated slightly, knowing that she had a mission, a reason for coming here, but aware of the fact that she could easily live her whole life in the room before her. She adjusted the band of the bag over her shoulder and pushed the door open.
“Get in, you two!” She said to the two rabbits, pushing them in with her foot and following them inside. She closed the door behind her and faced the enormous room.
Three of the six walls of the hexagon-shaped room were lined with bookcases from floor to ceiling and a ladder sat next to each one, for easy access to the books at the top. Story felt a sudden impulse to rush towards the shelves, but pushed it away and bent down to pick up Drew and Kitty, holding one under each arm. Against two other walls there were shelves as well, but not filled with books. They were lined with boxes with an assortment of labels on them and stacks of paper.
The last wall was empty except for a collection of pictures and photographs. Sunsets, beaches, flowers, clouds, snowstorms, thunderstorms, forests in all four seasons, and rivers plastered the wall. Story almost forgot what she had come in to do as she stared at the pictures. They seemed to come alive the longer she watched them. The clouds drifted around the lucid sky and the ocean’s waves crashed on the sandy shore. As lightening flashed in one of the pictures, Story remembered that she had only a limited time to spend and that she couldn’t spend it there.
Still holding the two rabbits, she brought them to a free corner and placed them down gently in a basket. Inside the basket there were other rabbits of all colors; no two looked alike. Story smiled tenderly down at them. She looked at a small cage above the basket of rabbits and waved to the two canaries inside it. They chirped prettily at her and she grinned. Turning around, she almost tripped over a cat that had come up silently behind her. She reached down to pet it, and was knocked over by a large dog that had bounded out of nowhere.
The wolf-like animal tackled her and began to lick her face.
“Chip!” She laughed, pushing the animal away. “Get off!”
She sat up and rubbed its head affectionately before standing again.
“I’m sorry you guys,” She said to the animals as she turned to depart. “I can’t stay right now, but I promise I’ll be back again.”
Checking to make sure she still had her canvas bag, Story quickly left the room of IDEAS and continued on down the hall.
She had almost reached the end, when she had the strongest yearning to enter the room to her right. She had known this was coming; the last room had always been the hardest to leave unopened. DREAMS.
“Just a few minutes won’t hurt, will it?” Story asked no one in particular as she moved toward the door. Her hand was almost around the handle when her bag gave another stir. Story jumped up and stepped back from the door. Her eyes lingered on it as she walked forward again. There would be a time for that later.
She had reached the end of the hall. She looked up at the ceiling and spotted what she had come for; a small trapdoor with a sign that read: ATTIC. A string dangled down from it and she reached up and tugged. The door opened and a ladder unfolded slowly. When it touched the ground, Story put one foot on the bottom rung and tested the frail-looking ladder to see if it would hold. It didn’t creak or shift and seemed to be able to hold her weight, so Story put another foot on the next rung and so on until she had climbed all the way up.
She pushed herself into the ATTIC, and stood, brushing off her knees.
“This place is a mess,” she said in a whisper, glancing around at the crowded room. There were no windows, but light seemed to filter in from somewhere.
Story studied the room; this was the one she knew the least well. She felt a sense of déjà-vu as she looked closer at the objects sitting abandoned on the floor or tables. Her eyes were drawn first to a dress form. It was just a dressmaker’s mannequin; there was no head or limbs. On it was an unfinished dress. To most people the cloth would have appeared a dirty off-white color, but as Story approached it she could see words woven into the material. Her eyes widened as she read them, and she stood there, staring at the dress for several minutes. When she realized what she was doing, she stopped and studied the dress from afar again.
“This is much better than I remember it being…” She said thoughtfully. “I should finish this.”
With a contented smile, she turned away from the dress, making a note to come back to it soon.
Next to the dress in the corner, a pair of goggles sat alone, covered with dust. Story rolled her eyes as she caught sight of them, but didn’t stop to reminisce. Next to the goggles, a tiny harp sat on top of a stack of yellowed sheet music. Story paused next to it, debating whether to pick it up.
“I’ll come back to it.”
She walked to the back of the small room with some hesitation, slowing down as she neared it. This was place she hated coming. But she had to.
She walked toward a lump in the corner, and her eyes fell on a small table with a white net draped over it like cheap lace. On top of it were three shoelaces and a spilled bottle of black nail polish, long dried and stuck to the table. A ripped and dirty purple fan lay next to the items and Story shook her head in disgust.
Suddenly, the bag on her shoulder gave another lurch and fell to the floor. Story dove to grab it, and as she knelt down she spotted something beneath the table. A rose, lifeless and withered lay by itself, except for several dead flies. Its original pink color was slightly visible, but extremely faded. The edges of the petals and leaves were brown and shrunken. Story suppressed a shudder as she stood up again.
Leaving the rose behind, she stopped in front of a lump in the corner. It was covered by an old wool blanket, which Story pulled back to reveal a trunk. There was no lock, so Story opened it easily.
Inside, among old papers filled with distorted words and sketches, there was a doll dressed in blue and white, its yarn hair pulled into pigtails. One of its button eyes was missing. Before, this would have been the most chilling item in the ATTIC to Story, but now she picked it up without hesitation and looked closer at its dirty face. She brushed it off, adjusted its dress and set it down gently in the trunk once again.
Next to the doll, a lone blonde hair was barely visible. Story picked it up with the tip of her fingers and paused. She bit her lip thoughtfully, and then spotted something else in the trunk; a box of matches. She set the hair down long enough to light one of the brittle matches. She picked up the hair again and held it above the small flame. With a deep breath, she dropped the hair and it caught fire quickly, turning to ash and vanishing.
Story blew out the match and after making sure it was cool put it back into the matchbox, which she returned to the trunk.
After digging through the papers for a moment, Story found what she needed; a small wooden box. She undid the latch and saw that it was full of marbles. She dumped them out into the trunk, where they rolled along the stacks of paper and settled at the bottom. Story then put the empty box down and reached into her bag.
She carefully pulled out the item that had caused her so much trouble; a small draw-string pouch. It was a deep blue, the color of the ocean and was made of a silky material. It jumped slightly in her hand and she gripped it tighter so as not to lose her hold of it. She looked at it through her fingers and felt slightly gloomy as she put the pouch into the box.
“I might come back for you,” She said and closed the lid and latched it. “But I probably won’t.”
With a sigh, she lifted a stack of paper, placed the box underneath it, covered it up and closed the lid of the trunk. She thought she heard a small thump come from inside and grimaced. She reached into her bag again and pulled out a lock and key.
Story locked up the trunk and covered it once again with the blanket. After she had done so, she felt as though the whole world, or at least her world, was suddenly at peace. She smiled, turned around and walked back through the ATTIC. She stopped, however, when she reached the small harp. She picked it up and placed it gently into her now-empty bag.
She stopped next to the dress.
“Later,” She said. “I promise. I’ve just got to figure out what pattern I’m trying to follow.”
With that, she knelt down at the trap door leading back to the hallway. Before climbing down it, however, she stopped and looked at the key in her left hand. Her eyes found the trunk in the farthest corner. She closed her eyes and threw the key into the depths of the ATTIC. Without taking time to see where it landed, she climbed down the ladder. If she was meant to open the trunk again, she would find the key.
When she reached the ground, she pushed it back up into the ceiling, closing the door. She turned around to face the hall again, and had barely stepped forward when she again spotted the door marked: DREAMS.
Her already large smile widened even more and she pushed it open confidently. A blinding white light shone from the room.  At that moment, she felt as free as she had ever felt in her life. She didn’t know how long it would last, but wanted to make the most of the feeling while she still had it. As a warm summer breeze blew out of the door and over her face, she stepped into the room.


Quote of the Day:
"My life has a superb cast, but I can't figure out the plot."
-Ashleigh Brilliant

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

First Post of 2011!

Happy New Year! I know I've been gone for a while, but I never said I'd be consistent with my posts. ;) I hope you all had a good Christmas! The post of today is about one of my favorite parts of the holidays.

Every year around December there are Christmas parties. This year I went to two of them, one for my mom’s side of the family in Bluffton, Ohio and one for my dad’s side, in Cleveland. Though these two Christmas parties differ in many ways – the food, the people, and the place, to name a few –  there are some similarities between them, the most prominent being the activity of the evening; the White Elephant gift exchange.
If you don’t know what a White Elephant is, I’ll explain: Everyone who wants to participate brings a wrapped present. One difference between the two White Elephant’s I participated in this year, is specifying the gift. At the party in Bluffton, when someone puts a gift on the table with all the others, they specify if the gift is geared more towards a woman or a man. If it doesn’t matter who the gift gets to, they just write “anybody” or “neutral. That’s helpful when you choose a gift, because that way a girl won’t end up with a tool set and a man won’t end up with a scented candle.
After all the gifts are laid out –under a tree or on a table, depending on the party – everyone draws a number and they either go lowest to highest, or in any order they want. When your number is called, you choose a gift and open it in front of everyone. That right there is my least favorite part. Sometimes, as is most often the case with standard White Elephant exchanges, the gift is a joke or embarrassing in some way. That isn’t always the case, but I always dread getting something that makes everyone stop and stare. The reason for opening the gift in front of everyone else, apart from the hilarity that sometimes ensues, is so the next person in line can see what you got. Then, when their turn comes around, they can steal any already opened present, instead of opening one themselves. When you are stolen from, you only have one option; open another present. This can go on until all the presents are opened.
At the Bluffton party, I remembered that there tended to be more “funny” gifts. I always get a little nervous when it comes to my turn. But this year, I tried something different. I brought a gift to add to the exchange, and then I picked the same one when it was my turn. That way, I was getting something I knew I wanted, and there was zero risk whatsoever!  I knew there was no danger of being stolen from either; I was the only Glee fan at the party.
At the Cleveland party, there was no specification as to whether the gift was better suited for a man or woman, but there was a theme as to which gifts you should buy for the exchange. The theme this year was “warm” and I brought a pair of gloves to add. I didn’t open any presents at that exchange, I stole from my cousin. He had opened a zebra-patterned coffee cup with a mini ceramic zebra stuck to the bottom of it. I knew he wasn’t about to get attached to it any time soon, but I would’ve stolen it regardless. I guess I’m just nice like that.
I love White Elephants, despite the looming fear of being embarrassed in front of my family. You always end up with something you like, even if you’d never get it for yourself…well, with the exception of me and my Glee CD. They’re my favorite parts of Christmas parties, and even though there’s the threat of ending up with frying pan,  creepy Santa doll, or embarrassing T-shirt, what’s life without a little risk?


Quote of the Day:
"Flowers are weeds too, once you get to know them."
 -A.A. Milne