First Ever Short Story

This is a very rough draft of the short story I wrote for my British literature class. It is a story of Pilot, Edward Rochester’s canine companion in Bronte’s Jane Eyre. Enjoy!

Pilot’s Journey

I

Sprinting and sniffing, the brothers search for elk with the steadfast desire to please Master. Angus runs swiftly while Kieran stumbles behind. Kieran knows that Master is often displeased with his skill compared to his brother’s. Hunting comes more naturally to Angus; he hunts with elite focus and can catch prey in a matter of minutes.

 

“Angus has a gift” Kieran remembers Master saying to the butcher after last week’s hunt, “this dog is a gem destined for greatness. His brother, on the other hand, well, he was the runt of the litter. He can’t seem to please the good Lord even if he wanted to.”

 

Kieran knows that master only keeps him for the sake of Angus. Once, when Master noticed that Kieran’s hunting skills were not improving, he took Angus hunting alone, but Angus refused to leave without Kieran. The two brothers had been inseparable since puppyhood. They were adopted together by Master, and they have not left each other’s side. The two were furthest apart when Angus ran ahead of Kieran during hunts, but Kieran knows the comfort Angus has when he follows. However, this knowledge does not take away Kieran’s feeling of inferiority. During training, Angus simply picked up faster than Kieran. That will never change. No matter how hard Kieran tries, he cannot please his Master like Angus does. Everyday, Kieran cannot help but feel resentment growing in his heart.

 

As the day’s hunt goes on, Kieran continues to stumble over rocks and roots, finding it more and more difficult to catch up to his brother. Suddenly Kieran hears Master shout for joy. Angus must have made the first catch. “That’s my boy, Angus!” shouts Master as he gathers up the fresh kill, “Kieran, you prig, catch up boy!” He begrudgingly catches up, greeted by the stench of a dying elk. The brothers walk back with Master and their prize in tow.

 

At home, Angus and Kieran rest by the fireplace. Angus lays his head on his brother’s neck and falls asleep.  Kieran remembers that, regardless of his weaknesses, his brother needs him. To Angus, Kieran is his most precious companion. No number of hunted elk nor any praise from Master could change their bond. Kieran fills with warming comfort, and he falls asleep next to his brother.

 

The morning of the next hunt begins like any other. The white-furred Angus hunts fiercely while his brother falls behind. The obstacles in Kieran’s way seem harder to overcome than usual. Kieran’s tiring muscles struggle more and more to overcome every branch and pebble he comes across. Meanwhile, Angus jumps over each obstacle far better than the last. Kieran notices Angus’s determination and concludes that his brother detects the next unfortunate elk. Moments later, a low, gurgling growl catches Kieran’s ear. Kieran can tell that this growl did not sound like a growl from his brother, nor anyone of their kind. Kieran stops to observe his surroundings. At a far distance away, Kieran starts to see a dark, amorphous shape become clearer, approaching Angus’s direction. However, Angus’s focus and determination prevents him from noticing the approaching threat.

 

Fear and hesitation overcome Kieran’s body. Is it possible to catch up to Angus at this point? Despite his slowness, his clumsiness, his fear? Kieran begins to cry out loudly to Angus; maybe his brother will notice his pleas, but Angus proceeds in his direction. Meanwhile, Kieran notices that the dark, growling creature is getting closer to Angus. The shape is clear enough now that Kieran can see white foam dripping from the mouth of a monstrous, hound-like creature. Kieran’s racing heart does not match up with the rest of his body, which remains stunned. Kieran trusts in Angus’s skills. “Angus can fight this one off,” Kieran thinks to himself. Eventually, Angus crossed paths with the creature. Kieran watched Angus collide with the rabid beast and fight for his life.

 

Angus puts up a good fight. The two continue to wrestle and growl until the creature got his mouth around Angus’s neck. Kieran heard a high-pitched wail from his brother, and his heart sank. Then, a gunshot went off and the beast fell to the ground. Master approaches the scene, speeding right past Kieran to Angus and the creature. Kieran quietly follows Master, avoiding attention at all costs. The creature lies on the ground whining, foam still dripping out of his mouth. Master stepped on the struggling beast’s neck and broke it. “Damn wolves,” Master mumbles under his shaking breath. Angus also lies on the ground, whimpering and twitching. The only damage Angus received from the fight was a deep bite on his neck; the red blood from his wound taints his white fur. Master lifts Angus and carries him back home. Kieran can hear Angus’s whining and suffering throughout the long walk back, but he has a sense of relief that his brother survived the attack.

 

In the shed by the house, Kieran watches Master lay Angus on a table. He cleans Angus’s wound and wraps a cloth around his neck. With tears dripping off of Master’s eyes, he says a prayer over Angus and goes back into the house, completely ignoring Kieran. Kieran refuses to leave Angus’s side. Guilt now drives Kieran’s every action and thought. Kieran could have saved his brother. If Kieran were faster and stronger, Angus would not be where he is. Hours passed before Angus gained consciousness. Kieran’s tail wags uncontrollably as he notices his brother begin to move. Maybe it’s not too late, Kieran hopes. Angus attempts to stand on the table he was resting on, but his muscles are too weak to hold him up. He collapses again with his muscles spasming out of control. Angus starts to breathe heavily, and foam begins to form at his mouth. Kieran begins to bark wildly, hoping master would return to the shed. Master runs in and sees Angus’s state. Master says no words, but tears did not stop streaming down his face. He walks over to the rifle hanging on the wall and loads it. Kieran is once again paralyzed. Perhaps Master will kill him for not protecting Angus, Kieran thinks. Kieran, however, understands. He deserves the death coming to him. He has proved himself absolutely useless to everyone, even his own brother.

 

The rifle fires, and Angus’s whining stops. Silence fills the shed. Kieran sits still in the corner, staring at the table where Angus lies. “Lord be with you,” Master whispers, standing over Angus, leaning the gun against the table. Walking solemnly, Master leaves the shed. Kieran hesitantly approaches the table. He observes the newest wound on Angus’s chest, round with a dark red center. Blood leaks out of the wound forms into a pool on the table. Angus’s eyes remain open, but they are filled with a vast emptiness. Kieran jumps on the table, standing over Angus. He paws at Angus, whining and barking restlessly, hoping his brother would awake at any moment. Kieran pleads to exhaustion, and then collapses over his brother. He closes his eyes to see only darkness before him, imagining that his future will look no different.

 

II

Kieran now lies in a crate on a boat heading towards England. With Angus gone, Master officially had no use for him. The day after Angus’s passing, Master put out an add in the paper looking to sell a dog “with limited skill but good character.” A week later, Master received a letter interested in purchasing him for five pounds. Before much time passed, Master had him loaded on a ship and sent away.

 

A note hangs on Kieran’s crate marked with the name of his new master. The boat docks shortly after boarding, and the men working on the ship eventually unload Kieran and his crate. Kieran sees a small family standing on the deck; a man, a woman, and a small girl. Kieran notices that this family showed great amounts of excitement as the men carried his crate of the boat. The man approaches a man working on the boat, pointing to Kieran, he says that Kieran is their package, and the worker hands over the crate. The man gets help carrying the crate over to a carriage, where Kieran will stay in a dark compartment for the next few hours.

 

Light finally sheds on Kieran as the door to the carriage compartment opens. Kieran starts to wag his tail for the first time in weeks. He can smell the fresh air filling his lungs. The man opens the crate and Kieran jumps out of the crate and carriage, stepping foot on the land of his new home. Panting and running in circles, Kieran cannot stop himself from feeling overjoyed with his new beginning. Due to his increasing hunger, however, Kieran calms down quickly. Kieran starts to observe his new surroundings. He notices the vast fields of crops behind the small cottage before him. The man invites him inside.

 

As Kieran walks in the cottage, he sees the woman and young girls that were standing at the dock when he arrived. The woman tries to keep a hold of the little girl, but the young girl manages to escape her mother’s embrace and runs up to Kieran. Kieran is paralyzed. He had never been approached by such a being in his life. She appears as a human, but her height matches him at eye level. He noticed a smile upon little girl’s face. As she starts to reach her arm out to him, he flinches, not being able remember the last time someone caressed him. The girl remains persistent, and Kieran eventually allows her to touch him. Her hand gently runs down his fur, stroking him from his head to his backside. This sensation is so foreign to him, but he begins to feel his heart beating with a new kind of warmth.

 

“What’ll his name be, Emma?” asks the man. The little starts to giggle as she continues to pet Kieran. She ponders for a short period of time before she shouts out the name, “Goliath!” Her face lights up as she calls out his name, “Goliath! Goliath! Goliath!” The man and woman laugh and smile as well, looking at Emma with adoration. Kieran, on the other hand, has not clue what or who Goliath is. The Girl will not stop shouting the name “Goliath.” She gives him a big hug and says, “I love you, Goliath.” During her embrace, Kieran realizes she is talking to him. His heart again fills with joy as he accepts his new identity.

 

The next morning, Goliath wakes up at the foot of The Girl’s bed. Despite the rays of light shining through her window, his new companion still rests peacefully. Goliath comes around to the side of her bed and puts his cold nose on her cheek. She wakes up giggling and smiling. “Oh, Goliath!” she says as she puts her arms around his neck. Her embrace lasts a while until The Woman walks into the room. “It’s time to eat your breakfast, Emma,” she says calmly with a hint of assertiveness in her voice. The Girl gets up and moves into the room where The Man and The Woman are sitting at a table. Goliath finds a place in the corner of that room to sit and watch their meal proceed.

 

“Would you like to help me in the barn this morning, Emma?” The Man asks as The Girl joins the table.

“Can Goliath come?” she responds.

“No, my love. Them kinds of dogs have hunting instincts. I am afraid he might eat up all the chickens and goats.”

“Yes, Papa.”

 

The Girl would not react with contemptment towards her father. For she knew, even at a young age, that without the money made from the animals and the plants, she would not even get to have Goliath in the first place.

 

Before The Man and The Girl leave for barn, The Man sets a bowl of beef stew in front of Goliath. “Figured you might be hungry,” he says to him. Goliath immediately began to gorge himself. He had forgotten how hungry he was coming off the boat the previous day. The joy of his new companion numbed his hunger. His heart had not felt so full since he last rested with Angus by the fireplace. Goliath continued to eat until he could lick the bowl clean. Once his food had gone, he laid his head down and began to drift into sleep.

 

The glow of the fireplace lights the room, and he could feel breathing next to him. He turns around to notice a pile of white fur lying next to him. Angus. He stands up to look down at Angus, trying to wake him by nudging him with his nose and prodding at him with his paw. Angus does not move. Gunshots go off, and the floor begins to seep with blood. “Kieran!” He hears. “Kieran, you useless bloke. Where are you?” More gunshots. “Catch up you filthy prig!” The fire from the fireplace expands and the room gets warmer and warmer. He watches the flames swallow Angus, then the fire begins engulf around him. He collapses, and lets the fire consume him.

 

“Goliath!” He opens his eyes. “Silly Goliath! Are you dreaming?” says The Girl as she stands over him. “I betcha  he’s dreaming about chasing those goats and chickens!” says The Man who was standing behind her. The Girl starts to giggle again as she leans over to pet Goliath who had not stood up since she awakened him. Despite her gentle touch, his heart is heavy. He had thought he saw his brother again, but even his own dreams were filled with the reality that his brother would never return.

 

III

One year has passed, and Goliath has rarely left the Girl’s side. Everyday he wakes up at the foot of her bed and wakes her with his cold nose to her cheek. Goliath’s heart has never felt so full, but nightmares still pang his dreams. One night, Goliath dreamed that he was the creature that attacked Angus the day he died. Goliath could feel the foam dripping from his jowls, and taste Angus’s flesh in his mouth. Goliath awoke the Girl that morning with his sobs. He felt the comfort of her arms around his neck. Every time he feels her embrace, he wishes he could feel her comfort forever, and that he would never sleep again.

 

Her embrace would soon leave him.

 

It’s a sunny, June day, and the beams of sunshine through the Girl’s window. Goliath rises to nudge her with her nose. As Goliath and his companion enter the kitchen, he sees a woman sitting at the table, and not the woman who is usually here. This woman seems old and stern, with her head and her nose held high, and her eyes looking down on the world below her. “Good morning, Emma,” says this woman. The Girl responds cordially, “Good morning, ma’am.” Then the Man walks in, “Hello, Emma. I see you’ve met your Aunt Edith. She will be watching you for a few days while your mother and I go into town to take care of some business with the farm.” The Aunt turns to the Girl and smiles, but she pays no recognition to the large, black creature standing beside the young girl. “Oh I forgot to mention, Edith. Our Emma finally got that dog she’s been begging for,” says the Man, “those two are as inseparable as ever.” “Oh joy,” responds Edith, “a mangy mutt.” Goliath can sense Edith’s disapproval of him. Her presence feels much like Master’s did when he was still Kieran; cold and distant, with heaping dollop of apathy. The Man says goodbye to the Girl and Goliath and leaves with the Woman.

 

While the Aunt is around, Goliath spends much more time outside on the land than with the Girl. Goliath spends the first night outside alone. He barks and scratches at the door to possibly get a chance to go inside. Aunt comes out and gives him a whip on the backside with a book and goes back inside. Goliath begins to understand that he is unwanted within the house, and he falls asleep on the porch.

 

Goliath sees a the Man and the Woman in Master’s shed. They are weeping as they look down at the table where Angus died. However, Goliath sees not Angus lying on the table, but the Girl. She looks as if she is sleeping peacefully. She even begins to smile, as if she is having a beautiful dream. The Man and the Woman walk out of the shed slowly, still weeping. With the Girl remaining still on the table, smoke begins to rise and flames start to engulf the shed. A loud wail comes out of the Woman, and the Man lets out heavy sobs. The air fills with the putrid stench of burning flesh. The house burns to the ground, and all that remains is a puddle of blood and ash.

 

“Stop your whinin’ you mangy mutt!” Goliath awoke with the Aunt standing over him, beating him with the same book. “Your crying has kept me awake for the last twenty minutes! I’ve had enough.” Goliath stands up and looks at the window. He notices the Girl staring at him sadly through the glass. His heart fills with some relief. His nightmare did not come true, but he still wishes he could feel the comfort of her embrace.

 

Later in the afternoon, a letter is delivered to the house. Through the window, Goliath can see the Aunt open the letter and start to read it. After reading, he could see her head bob up and down, as if she was sobbing. “Emma!” she cries. “Emma, my darling, come here!” The Girl enters the room, and the Aunt asks her to sit down. Goliath sees the Aunt reading the Girl the letter, and then the Girl begins to cry. Goliath wishes he can comfort his companion like she comforts him, but all he can do is watch from the outside. All of a sudden, the Girl stands up and runs towards the door. She runs outside to where Goliath has been watching the scene. She wraps her arms around him more tightly than she ever had before. This time she needs him. She needs him more than ever. He can feel her warm tears dripping through his fur and onto his skin. “Mummy and Daddy,” the girl says, “They’re gone. They were in town when it happened. They were getting some dinner when the building burned down. They caught fire too. They’re gone.” All Goliath can truly understand is that the Girl is suffering loss. He can sense her sadness. He knows the pain she feels, and he wishes it could disappear for her. He hopes in his heart that he can be there to comfort her when she cries in her sleep.

 

VI

Days later, Goliath is sitting outside when a stagecoach pulls up to the front of the house. He sees the Girl walking out of the house with a trunk. When she sees him, she drops the trunk and runs right over to him, wrapping her arms around him for the last time. “I’m going away,” she says to Goliath. “Aunt Edith is sending me to a school. A school for…girls like me…poor with no parents.” He felt her tears again, dripping from her cheeks and onto his skin. “Oh how I wish I could stay!” She sobs some more, hugging him tighter. Goliath sits there, sensing her sadness, and wishing she could not feel pain. The Aunt eventually tears the Girl away from him. “Come on, Emma. You must go now.” As the Aunt walks away with the Girl, she gives Goliath a kick in the side with the heel of her shoe. Goliath falls to the ground and muddles over in pain, whimpering quietly. The stagecoach leaves, and the Girl is nowhere to be seen. The Aunt comes up to him, kicking him now with the toe of her boot. “Git up, you rascal!” she shouts at him, “go on! She’s gone now. Shoo!” She starts to push him away, kicking him every time he resisted. Goliath has become so overwhelmed with heartbreak and confusion, however, that he resists very little. The Aunt pushes him so far, that he begins to walk away on his own. She obviously does not want him to return to the house, and without the Girl, he had not desire to anyway.

 

Goliath walks in no particular direction. His feet drag on with no hope as his sadness slowly turns into apathy. He thinks about Angus, and he thinks about the Girl, but he feels nothing. Then suddenly he feels the Girl’s tears drip onto his skin again. His heart rises to his throat as he turns to see the girl, but she cannot be seen. He feels water dripping onto him more and more intensely, and then the rain comes pouring down. Filled with disappointment, Goliath keeps walking through the stark wilderness as the rain pours down. He could not see in front of him very well at all, but he can no longer care about what lies before him. Growing more and more tired and hungry, Goliath spends days walking throughout the wilderness. He dreads the idea of making any encounter with a human, so he proceeds to avoid all signs of civilization.

 

Goliath knows that he has no reason for living, and no way of surviving. He collapses onto the ground, and he sees nothing but black.

 

V

Opening his eyes, Goliath realizes that he is no longer on the ground. He notices that he is instead in a man’s arms. The man is breathing quite heavily, and Goliath can feel his chest moving up and down. The Strange Man puts Goliath in a nearby stagecoach then sits next to him. “Don’t worry, you ugly chap,” says the Strange Man, “you will be fed soon enough.” The stagecoach rolled on and Goliath blacked out once more.

 

Goliath awakes next to a smoldering fireplace. As he stares into the flames, he pictures Angus and the Girl walking into the flames together, turning into ash. The resentment in Goliath’s heart becomes unbearable, and he starts to whimper miserably. “Quiet down, you mutt!” says the Strange Man, “eat something for Christ’s sake!” The Strange Man sets down a slab of raw meat before Goliath, however, Goliath’s sadness overpowered his hunger. Still lying down, he turns away from the meal lying before him. “If you do not wish to eat, so be it.” The Strange Man leans over and caresses Goliath’s head. “You miserable thing. Perhaps you will keep me company in my own misery.” The Strange Man walks away, leaving the meet beside Goliath.

 

An hour passes, and Goliath’s hunger starts to become more noticeable. He feels weaker by the minute it seems, and his entire body aches. Goliath uses his small amount of strength to lift his head and sit up over his dinner. He takes a bite out of the meat, and tastes its savory flavor. He starts to salivate, and his tail begins wag slowly, causing a “thump, thump thump.” Bite after bite, Goliath eats faster until his meal completely vanishes. LIke magic, or a miracle from God, Goliath’s strength returns to him.

 

“Well, you filthy beast, it looks like you have your appetite back!” The Strange man says as he walks into the room, “it is good to see you in good spirits.” The Strange Man sits on the ground next to him, resting his arm around Goliath, and gently stroking Goliath’s fur. The Strange Man has such an odd tone to Goliath. He feels uncertain about trusting this human. The Strange Man seems affectionate and kind, but at the same time, he seems dangerous and off-putting. Goliath had surely never come across a human like him before. Reacting to his uncertainty, Goliath decides to defend himself by snapping at the Strange Man’s hand. “Ow, you rat! It looks like you have your fierceness back too!” The Strange Man laughs and wags his hand, shaking off the pain. Then the Strange Man stands up and guides Goliath out of the room. “Come on, you filthy Gytrash, let’s get some rest.”

 

The Strange Man leads Goliath into another room. On the floor of this room lies a large, red pillow at the foot of a bed made for a king. “I made you a place to sleep,” the Strange Man says while guiding Goliath to this spot. While still hesitant, Goliath carefully lays down on the pillow. His body immediately feels a rush of comfort come over him as he lies down. With a wave a relaxation coming over him, Goliath’s eyes become heavy, and he drifts into unconsciousness.

 

The smell of smoke fills Goliath’s nostrils, and his eyes snap open. A blood-curdling scream lets out, and Goliath stands up, more alert than he has ever been. The Strange Man snores loudly on his bed, noticing nothing. Goliath jumps on the bed to wake the Strange Man. Goliath paws and prods at him until he awakes. “What is it, you filthy mutt?” the Strange Man says groggily. Goliath barks and runs to the door. He continues to bark until the Strange Man stands up and follows. Goliath uses the nose to detect the fire’s location. Anywhere the scent of the fire weakens, Goliath guides the Strange Man towards. Eventually Goliath leads the Strange Man outside to safety. Goliath notices how the Strange Man observes the outside of the large building, trying to figure out where the fire is coming from. Puffs of smoke spill out of the highest point in the house, and the Strange Man immediately runs inside. Confused, Goliath follows the Strange Man back into the building. He runs quite fast, but Goliath can keep up with him easily. After climbing several flights of stairs, the two of them eventually reach the location of the fire, which had just been put out by a woman the Strange Man calls Poole.

 

“What happened in here, Poole?” the Strange Man asked.

“Do not worry, Sir,” the woman responds, “she only caught the curtains on fire. Lit em’ up while I was resting my eyes. Everything is under control now.”

 

Goliath could feel the presence of someone else in the room. A chill goes down his spine, and his hairs stand up from his neck to his backside. He turns to look into the corner of the room, and he sees the outline of a dark figure. The figure starts to move and dance and laugh, making the most disturbing commotion. Quivering, he starts to growl and snarl at this figure. He can feel a sense of danger in her presence, similar to how he felt when the beasts began to approach Angus that day. This time, however, Goliath refuses to let fear paralyze him. He jumps fiercely towards the hideous shadow. Upon reaching it, he clamps his mouth down on its arm, gripping as tightly as possible. “Get away, mutt! Get away!” The Strange Man cries, pulling Goliath away from the monster. “While she is quite the monstrosity, we don’t harm her.”

 

Goliath follows the Strange Man down the stairs. As they enter the room with the large pillow, the Strange Man kneels down and looks at Goliath. “You were very brave tonight. I knew you would be a good pal. You saved me and guided me to safety. You are like my steer, my pilot. Yes! That’ll be what I call you. Pilot.” The Strange Man grins and pets Pilot on the head. “And you can just call me Edward,” continues the Strange Man, “that is, if mutts like you give humans names.” Pilot’s tail wags, “thump, thump thump.” For the first time since the Girl, Pilot’s heart feels content. A new companion, a new identity, and a new start. Pilot shall never leave Edward’s side, and Edward will always need steering from his Pilot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Portrait in Words

I decided to play with the five senses in my writing. The incorporation of not only sight and sound, but taste, touch, and smell, allows the readers to fully experience the scene the speaker stands in. Enjoy!

I sit on the back porch overlooking the shoreline of a lake surrounded by hills full of trees. As the golden sun sets over the lake, the sky bleeds with hues of orange and pink. The water in the pond has a stillness that not even a statue could imitate, and the leaves radiate colors of deep brown, crimson, and yellow. My nose and cheeks have turned a slight shade of pink from the cool, crisp air. A mug of fresh coffee warms my left hand as I pet the dog cuddling beside me with my right. I take a deep breath in through my nose. The scent of burning hickory combines with wafts of cinnamon and nutmeg leaking through my kitchen window. The scents smell warm, but the air feels cold against my nostrils. I sip my coffee. It tastes bitter, with a hint of sweet hazelnut. I can feel the hot liquid dripping down my throat, warming me from the inside out.

I stand up and walk along the edge of the lake. The leaves and twigs crunch under my boots, and I hear the dog’s collar jingle beside me. She rubs up against the side of my jeans and I crouch down to hug her. Leaves and twigs are tangled in her fur, but she still has a gentle softness. I stand up and notice that the sun is getting closer to the horizon. Shades of deep blue and purple begin to take over, and the pinks and oranges gradually weaken. The stars start to glimmer subtly one by one. I walk towards my cabin and see a warm glow through the windows. Inside my family gathers around the dinner table. I step inside and blood starts to rush back to my fingertips and my toes. While I take in the joy radiating within the room, I slip off my boots and remove my hat and scarf. My grandmother greets me and gives me a hug. I steadfastly return her embrace.

The dining room is filled with golden light. There is a long rectangular table set with plates, forks, and knives. I see the dinner spread on the table, and notice that I had been starving. On the table lays hot rolls, seasoned vegetables, oven-roasted turkey, brown gravy, and my favorite, sweet potatoes. Every scent of the meal dances before my nose. The family gathers around the table and my father says grace:

“Gracious, heavenly father, we just thank you for today and all that you have done for us. Please bless our food as we enjoy this holiday meal. We thank you for giving us the opportunity to all be together. In Your name, Amen.”

My Baptism Poem

I was baptized on September 25, 2016. I wrote this to God to praise Him for the work He has done in my life and to declare that Jesus is Lord.
You were with me all along.
You knew of every struggle and every strife.
You waited patiently as I turned away from You constantly,
and You held my hand as I wandered through the darkness.
I had no idea you were there.
My senses were numbed by my sin,
But You shocked me with Your relentless love,
And blood flowed through my body once again.
My heart was once cold and rigid but now beats with a lively spirit;
It changes everyday as I grow closer to you.
How can it be that I am worthy of Your grace?
There can never be a truth so good, so lovely.
I owe You my whole life, Lord.
Today, I am honoring you
And all You have done for me.
Today, I will bathe in your Holy Water and dedicate my life to you.
May all that I do be in Your will. Thank you so very much, Lord. Amen.

Thinking: A Poem

I think of you often.

On the car rides home

And the long walks alone,

I think of you often.

 

When I hear that song

And remember you’re gone,

I think of you often.

 

From the day we met

To the moment you left,

I think of you often.

 

You think of me little.

There’s not much to say;

The love’s faded away.

You think of me little.

 

When your new love smiles

As she walks down the isle,

You think of me little.

 

Your life is brand new.

You’ve moved on, it is true.

You think of me little.

 

 

Poem dedicated to Drum Corps

I trip, I drop, I stumble, I fall.

The weather attacks me

With no guilt at all.

My skin is burned,

My hair is a mess.

My silk gets stuck

To the sweat on my chest.

But then I look up,

And imagine the crowd,

The crowd stands before me,

Cheering and wow-ed.

With flag in my hand

And heart on my sleeve,

My sheer dedication

Has no reason to grieve.

I stand with my drum corps

Proudly and strong.

With family around me,

Nothing goes wrong.

Fans scream our name,

They chant only for us.

We perform with dignity

Until we get on the bus.

Onward we go,

To rehearse one more day.

This show is our life,

Nothing gets in our way.

We fight, we push, we work hard, we crawl.

Together we stand and get through it all.

Poem

She doesn’t see what I see

A life so full and sweet

Her heart is always mourning

She’s staring at her feet.

 

The gifts I give are plenty

So pure and bountiful

But what I see as lovely

She sees as dark and dull.

 

I always stay by her side

I’m reaching for her hand

But when I think she’ll take it

She shouts a reprimand.

 

She asks me why she has none

And tells me I’m not near

But when I try to reach her

She only sheds a tear.

 

I strongly wish for her heart

For her to call me Lord

But she won’t open her eyes

The way she did before.

 

When she was young and reckless

She knew her heart was whole

Her trust in me was steadfast

Until she lost control.

 

I told her not to worry

That it would be okay

Her anxiousness took over

Her trust had flown away.

 

Since then I’ve fought to keep her

To show her I’m the way

Her stubbornness may linger

Until her dying day.

 

But I refuse to give up

Regardless of the pain

My grace for her is endless

Her heart can love again.

 

The Spoils of Babylon: One Intense Melodrama – Scholarly Work

In 2014, Matt Piedmont and Andrew Steele created an IFC miniseries known as The Spoils of Babylon. Imdb.com understandably categorizes this star-studded miniseries as a comedy. This seems obvious due to its ridiculous toy backdrops, mannequins posing as characters, and intentional poor quality acting. The Spoils of Babylon was hypothetically created by author Eric Jonrosh, played by Will Ferrell. He opens the show introducing what he calls a masterpiece based on his best-selling novel, The Spoils of Babylon. However, Eric Jonrosh never describes his piece as a comedy. After looking closely at this comedic series, it becomes evident that the fictional creator, Eric Jonrosh, did not intend for his masterpiece to make his audience die of laughter. His goal was to create an emotional, melodramatic work of art.

Looking at the melodramatic genre, Jonrosh did not fail to fit this category. Comparing the miniseries to the Shakespearean tragedies Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth, two classics in the melodramatic genre, The Spoils of Babylon surprisingly shares many characteristics. Thinking about the overly passionate Romeo or the intensely selfish Lady Macbeth, the psychological breakdown of Macbeth, and the heart-wrenching forbidden romance between Romeo and Juliet. The exaggerated characters, intense psychological destruction, and highly emotional plots make Shakespearean tragedies famous and world renowned melodramas. The Spoils of Babylon do not fail to include these aspects.

The series stars Tobey Maguire as Devon Morehouse, the adopted son of Jonas Morehouse, played by Tim Robbins. Devon starts off as a young man walking in the middle of nowhere with no memory or name, and very little self-concept. Once adopted and raised by Jonas, he grows into an extremely intelligent and passionate man who feels passionately for his sister and often performs long monologues over the philosophies of life. Running parallel to Shakespeare’s Romeo, Devon also makes rash decisions to fill his empty stomach with passion and ends up losing his life in the process. Realistically, most men tend to think more logically, making characters like Devon or Romeo seem over-the-top and unrealistic.

The leading lady of The Spoils of Babylon, Cynthia Morehouse, performed by Kristen Wiig, also has an inflated personality. She comes off as a selfish and determined woman from the start of the show. Kristen Wiig’s young character introduces herself saying “I plan on being rich and powerful and beautiful and rich someday.” Her character lacks empathy or concern for anything besides money and her only love, and brother, Devon. Greed and lust consumes the character’s life and influences her decisions. Cynthia’s character is comparable to Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth. Both female leads refuse to stop until their selfish desires become fulfilled. They manipulate and murder the supporting characters and lose their minds along the way, leading to their tragic deaths. The characters’ lack of empathy far outweighs the characteristics of an average woman, causing them to fit the mold of an extravagant melodramatic character.

The characters of The Spoils of Babylon experience intense psychological breakdowns throughout the series. The loss of sanity occurs very commonly in the melodramatic genre, especially in Shakespeare tragedies. While the characters of Shakespeare’s plays and Jonrosh’s The Spoils of Babylon lose their minds in different ways, it is obvious that these characters lose their sanity in some form and for the same reasons, solely over excessive guilt or grief.

Macbeth hallucinates Banquo after Banquo’s murder because of the guilt and shame he experiences in killing him as well as King Duncan. His wife, Lady Macbeth, sleepwalks and reveals her secrets because of her guilt for plotting Duncan’s death. Devon Morehouse becomes addicted to heroin because of the grief he feels over the death of Lady Anne, later he becomes a drunkard due to the heartbreak he faces when he cannot love his sister. Cynthia Morehouse goes on a killing rampage, mourning the loss of Devon and the potential loss of her riches. Each tragic character has an unfortunate meltdown in their own way, adding to the melodramatic plots.

A huge aspect of the melodrama genre involves highly emotional plots. Both the audience and the characters experience intense sensations of euphoria, devastating heartbreak, jealousy, anger, and everything in between. From Star Crossed love to tragic deaths, The Spoils of Babylon and Romeo and Juliet are one in the same. Devon and Cynthia’s forbidden love entraps them on an emotional roller coaster for the remainder of their lives very similarly to the love of Romeo and Juliet. Both couples are filled to brim with joy when they are together but fall into deep despair when they are apart and realize the inevitability of their tragic fate. The main protagonists’ untimely deaths bring grief for not only the supporting characters but the audience as well.

The heartbreaking deaths of supporting characters incorporates more intense sorrow to a melodrama’s plot. The deaths in both Shakespeare and Jonrosh’s stories involve the slaughtering of characters left and right. Romeo kills Tybalt, Cynthia’s son murders Devon’s daughter, Macbeth murders Duncan, Cynthia burns Lady Anne to the ground, the bloodshed seems almost endless, and piles grief unto the protagonists and to the audience as well.

While The Spoils of Babylon is a hilarious comedy, it is important to appreciate how much work the original creators put in to qualify the series as both a comedy and a melodrama. The overly dramatic characters, deteriorating sanity, and fierce emotional plots make both the classic works of Shakespeare as well as The Spoils of Babylon a melodramatic experience.

 

 

 

My Ex-Boyfriend Got Engaged and This Is What I Learned

I was lying on my couch studying when I got a text from my mom saying: “call me.” I dialed immediately, when your mother sends you a text like that, you don’t just ignore it. “Hey, mom? Is everything okay? Did someone die?” I ask. “No. But I have some news. Someone got engaged,” she replies with a dissatisfied tone. “Who?” I replied, and at this point I honestly had no idea. “Guess. It’s an ex-boyfriend.” Oh jeez, I thought to myself. My first guess was my first boyfriend from high school but my heart dropped when she said “think more recent.”

Nine months previously, my boyfriend at the time had broken up with me. (In reference to the cinematic masterpiece, When Harry Met Sally, let’s call him Joe.) The relationship ended not-so-peacefully. He broke up with me over the phone and I said some very hurtful things in response. Since that night, I have remained single, never taking on another romantic relationship. As time passed, I got busy, made new friends, devoted to my faith, and matured immensely. Objectively, Joe breaking up with me was the best thing that had ever happened to me in my early adult life. However, the news my mom had just seen on her Facebook newsfeed still threw me for a loop.

When my mom had told me to “think more recent,” and the cogs in my brain began to turn, so many thoughts and emotions rattled in my head. I felt like I was living that scene in When Harry Met Sally where Sally finds out her ex, Joe, was getting married. “All this time I’d been saying that he didn’t want to get married, but the truth is, he didn’t want to marry me. He didn’t love me,” Sally sobs. No other words could have resonated with me more.

Recovering from a breakup and recovering from the news that your “Joe” has moved on come with two separate sets of grief. While the split itself is quite painful, there is nothing that reveals the painstaking reality of a breakup more than finding out that your ex is dating, or marrying, someone else.

The comparison game is the most difficult part of facing this kind of news. Wondering: “Is she prettier than me?” “Is she more emotionally stable?” “Is she smarter, more charming, or nicer than I am?” “Does his family like her better?” I pondered every single one of these thoughts, but then I realized the truth of the matter: I had no way of knowing the answer to these questions. Who was I to judge a relationship I knew nothing about, a relationship I wasn’t even a part of, and that had absolutely nothing to do with me?

Of course it is painful to see Joe moving on, getting married, and living a totally different life, especially with only nine months in between our breakup and his engagement, but there is no reason for me to be angry at him either. I am not writing this to bash on him, or for anyone reading this to get angry at him and have sympathy for me, but I am writing this because I am not the only one who has or will face this reality, and there is definitely good that comes with the hurt.

The truth is, since our breakup, I had always held on to this tiny bit of hope that we would both get our crap together and reunite. I had held on to the delusion that he would see how good I was doing and want to get back together with me. I even imagined that he would show up at my dorm or my work wanting me back. But truthfully, my life is not a romance movie where the couple miraculously makes up at the end and lives happily ever after; and I think hearing the news of Joe’s engagement helped me realize that.

Even though it still kind of stings, I now know that it is time for me to move on. That doesn’t mean it is time for me to get a boyfriend right away, but it means that I need to mentally and emotionally let go of Joe. I need to stop letting my thoughts wander to the possibility of reconciliation, but instead concentrating on what is yet to come. He will take his own walk through life and so will I. It was a privilege that our paths happened to cross at all, even if they never ended up merging. I do not hate him or wish him the worst for his marriage. His choices are his own and I have no control over his life, and as time progresses, I will become more and more at peace with knowing the truth.