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Inspiration Monday: Playground Battles

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In battle, there are two kinds of people. The strong fighter in the front and his weaker counterpart slightly behind. This is the expected stance because the fighter will protect his brethren; the weaker one is then free from the possibility of danger.

Yet on the playground this fact of life was meant to be void. Only it never is; we are always fighting. We fight against our enemies, we fight amongst ourselves. Some people even fight themselves.

I’ve been fighting since I was seven. How about you? The thing is, some people can pretend they’re not fighting. They look like all they have is allies. I wonder if life is really that easy for them? The ones who stand on the front lines seem to have it the best. They fight hard and out in the open, but keep the same allies for the longest.

I prefer to stay in the back when the fighting starts. Skirting forward as time goes on, you can even win the battle. I’ve actually won against a front line fighter  once like that. I guess…fortune just favors the coward, huh?

This post was an Inspiration Monday post on the prompt “fortune favored the coward“. It’s an old prompt but I guess I needed another kick because it was inspired by the anime My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU.


VoiceWeek #2: The Rockstar Lifestyle

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So I completely failed at completing the challenge on time but…here it goes!

Read Part 1!

The huddle before the show always got my adrenaline running. It was the time when the whole band looked each other in the face and promised to give it their all. It’s like an oath.
“Go hard!”
We all roared in unison, once again for no apparent reason, before raising our hands and breaking the circle. Then, we all ran out on stage. The agreed pattern was always: newest member first and the lead vocal last. Because, no matter how you looked at it, people always relate to the singer. Maybe because they can sing along. So basically, when Jared flies on stage the fan girl’s heads explode. Of course we all have our moments. I’m the lead guitarist that pumps up the crowd during our signature songs. Tommy, our drummer, has his drum solos. Linda, our bassist takes care of everyone during the slower moments, keeping  the momentum going. And well, Jared is Jared so it’s always entertaining.

I usually go out around third. Because the first roar really needs to be big and the middle is well, the middle ground. That’s when you feel safe with what they give you. You can pretend they’re just a little tired from screaming so loud at the beginning so they need to relax before the final chaos. Which is true. But it still nags me.

I took a breath and then jogged out on stage. A cheer greeted me pleasantly enough and I waved at the crowd. Since it was a daytime concert I could see absolutely everyone in the crowd. A few younger girls near the front seemed especially glad to see me. They were jumping up and down holding a sign saying something like “Riley’s the craziest!”. I stuck my tongue out at them and did my best to look wild. They loved it.

VoiceWeek #1: The Rockstar

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I’m doing VoiceWeek again this year!

I didn’t even care that I had to camp overnight in the rain outside a stadium. I just had to see them play live. Of course I did, it’s my first chance to see them in my hometown! I have been their fan for  seven years of my thus far short life and never once did I get to see them live. And aren’t they something amazing live?

Anyway, it was the most exciting thing in the world to give in my tickets, get my bracelet and race towards the front with my best friend. The stadium filled in quickly so pretty soon I was squished up against the barrier, trying not to touch anyone else but failing miserably. It’s always the waiting part that’s difficult because you’re excited to begin with but slowly boredom creeps in. Especially if the band’s late and you’re waiting around an hour after the show was supposed to start.

That didn’t ever happen with this band.

Unless, you know, there was a hurricane coming or something. Which is good because it  would probably be dangerous for the band and the fans. Suddenly the music stopped for a second and my eyes were glued to the stage. They’re coming out! They’re coming out!

I think I got some hearing damage at that point.


Speechcraft [Inspiration Monday]

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So, this is really old. But, you might have gathered I’ve been suffering a little writer’s block/procrastination lately. Anyhow, here it is. Let me know what you think in the comments:

Microphone head

Microphone head (Photo credit: sparetomato)

You’ve heard of witchcraft right? That weird thing people do with the spirits that can make people do strange things? Yeah, that thing. I think I’ve discovered another form of it: it’s called ‘speechcraft’. Stop laughing, I’m not being ridiculous. If you saw that woman you would think she was getting a little extra help too. I have never seen another person who can talk like her. She can make everyone like her, dash her opponents to the ground leaving no hard feelings and reprimand her followers to yield great results. What kind of person can do all that? It’s magic I tell you! 

Here she comes now: high heels, pin-straight hair, glowing smile. I can feel the spectators around me straighten up a little in their chairs. Is this what they have been waiting for? As soon as her name is announced a deafening roar of applause surrounds me. I join in, a little jealously, before she walks up to the front of the stage, her microphone clipped to her shirt. 

“Hello, how are you all today?”
A roar. I wince a bit, not expecting that.
She pauses, then smiles, “Me too.”
Against my will, the corner of my mouth lifts upwards.

I don’t know if it’s her glowing smile, or her graceful gestures or maybe even the earnest look in her eyes magnified on the big screen. But there’s some magic when she speaks. The very fact that she could engage a crowd, make them listen and absorb even a little bit of what she was talking about was amazing. Humans have short attention spans. Well, that is except for mindless entertainment; although, again you’re not really paying attention then either. So how in JKR’s hidden notebooks can she make something as mundane as environmental issues engaging and interesting? 

As she closed off her speech, I was compelled to clap, as I always was. My mind wandered a little now: thinking back to the speeches I made as a student and then as a professional. Those speeches were horrible in comparison. I stated facts with no interest and carried them with no humor. I did everything wrong. I was a bad speaker. Not so bad in person-in conversation at the bus stop-but during a presentation mind-numbing. I got up grudgingly and walked up to her.
“Great job. Everyone loved it. We should get going to the next place now.”
I gestured for her to go ahead and wrapped up with the event organizer. It’s bad business practice to show envy for your client.

Toes on the Line – Part II

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Read Part I here.

I was told that in the last century, war was dirty, loud and filled with the stench of blood and gasoline. What determined the difference between then and now, therefore is the lack of any dirt of any kind. War now is silent, quick, scentless and tense. Once minute you are there, and the next you cease to exist. Gone: literally nothing left. Not even an atom. For most people the idea would be terrifying. For me, it’s exhilarating.

My weapon of choice is a definite disadvantage in this sort of climate. Other weapons are of the same form as the war we fight: silent and immediate. A bow and arrow, however well engineered, will always be accompanied by the whistle of the arrow flying through the air. “A rookie mistake”, I was told, repeatedly. But it was not a choice I made absently. I chose the arrow and will choose the arrow because I want the challenge. If you can still hit a target when you tell them you’re coming, then you’re good.

I’m that good. I’ve been that good since the age of nine.

A soft, low whistle signaled that it was time to go. Simultaneously, the left side of the truck bucked a little and every mercenary on that side flipped out of its interior. I closed my eyes as the wind whipped my face. I was pointing directly at the ground, arching my back slightly, I flipped over. My parachute clicked open as I pulled out of the dive.

The ground hit my feet roughly and I rolled over, trying not to get tangled in the parachute. The soon-to-be battleground was covered in crouching figures draped in fabric. I cut my way out of the parachute and stuffed it away. Now was the time for the mission to begin. 

Wordlessly, we stepped into line, covering each other’s backs while also looking for possible lookouts. It was so quiet here that the hairs on the back of my neck were standing up. I felt eyes on me and glanced upwards to my right. Movement. Swiftly, I took him out. I doubt he even saw me draw back my bow.


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Music guitar

Music guitar (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

He stood in the cold of the back alley where he spent the last six years of his life. Clutching a battered guitar case and a backpack housing his life, he left. It was a long time coming. Did they think that they could treat him however they wanted just because they were his blood? Parents- what does that even mean anyway? Anyone could become a parent. He could right now if he wanted to.

He couldn’t feel his nose. This year’s winter has been cold. His life has been cold. His world has been dark. Except for one thing. Just like half the boy’s his age: that one thing is her. The one that makes him feel like this life is worth living. She makes him feel like he deserves better family than he has.

So, he left. He wants to go to her, but he can’t. He has to find somewhere to sleep. Somewhere warm. The tunnels? No. There’s one other place nearby. He’ll need a bus fare tho. He looks in his pockets; by some miracle he has just enough spare change to get to his safe house. The gods must be with him.

He hands the indifferent bus driver his fare and finds the only empty seat at the back of the bus. He looks down so no one will notice how young he is. No high school kid should be traveling around alone at this time of the night. He looks out the window and wonders if he can really do it. Still clutched in his right hand is the precious guitar that he saved up money working at the video store and restaurant for.

Money. He would need that too. But now he’s run away, he can’t go back to those jobs. He had quit that very morning. Well, he had made sure to get fired anyway. He wasn’t stupid. They would know something’s up if he just quit out of nowhere.


With nothing more than the bagel and cup of coffee he had devoured that morning, he was getting desperate. He had to find some way to make money – just some way. A gush of steam from a vent he was passing startled him. He was in the main square. Today it was quiet. Usually there would be someone playing here. He used to come to watch every somebody play their songs, other people’s songs, everything. Now, the square is empty.


‘Hey! Are you the performer?’

‘What?’ He realizes he still has his guitar with him.

‘Well, come on! We’ve been waiting already!’

He begins to protest, but realizes that this is his chance to be that somebody. Prove the world wrong. Prove his parents wrong. Make her proud. Although he hadn’t heard from her in days. Couldn’t be helped, he had to get rid of his phone. He nods at the middle-aged man.

A deep breath and he sings. He sings about her. How he feels about her. How she is with him. How he wishes she would be with him. He sings about his parents. His birth. His life. What his life would be. He sings it all, and he pours his heart out into the audience. In their eyes, his heart is pure. In his own, it is faulty.




INMON: Ailing Mind :: Really?

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Yes, I’m back. Though not as frequently 😛 Here’s this week’s attempt:

My hands shake and I can’t stop them. I don’t want to stop them either.

“It’s not my fault. Everyone’s so scary! “

Everyday is like this. Everyone’s shadows look sinister and demanding. Somehow it’s the demanding part that scares me the most.

“What do you want from me?”

I ask this question daily too. Usually I’m met with strange looks, as though I don’t know what I’m talking about. That’s the really infuriating part.

“Leave me alone!”

I need to curl up into a ball and hug my knees to my chest. Gran taught me how to do it when I was little and I’ve been doing it ever since. It’s the only thing that calms me down.

“It’s okay.”

Slowly, people pass by my forced blockade and slowly I enter my own world. Here, everything is clean. I’m alone, but it’s not scary. I can’t hurt myself after all. No one can hurt me. I’m not afraid of snipers and spies and terrorists on top of it all. It’s peaceful; like falling asleep.

“Why are you doing that?”

I’m already out of my happy place.

“It’s nice.”


Maybe we’re all the same.

Live, Nerd, Repeat

Making life better through the perfect application of humor and nerdery

Kurayami Monogatari

Would love a comment every so often <<

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