Monday, November 22, 2010

a scandal in the bohemian chamber of secrets

 (This is a combination of Harry Potter and Sherlock Holmes)

Harry and Ron sat next to Hermione’s bed in the hospital wing, Harry having just come from Quidditch practice and Ron having come from lunch. They are still trying to figure out how in the world Hermione figured out that the Basilisk was the thing attacking students and hiding in the Chamber of Secrets.  Hermione has a pleased smile on her face despite having just been revived from her petrified state.
“But how,” Harry asked, bemused, “how did you figure it out? Of all the things it could have been… How did you know?”
            “I saw it, and I deduced it. How do I know that you had a hard time at Quidditch practice today, and that Ron had too much treacle tart at lunch?
            “Wh—Hermione, how do you know that?” Ron asked. “You really are a witch, aren’t you?”
            Harry looked out the window to see if the Quidditch pitch could be seen from where Hermione lay in her bed.  All he could see was the vast lake.
            “Unless someone told you, I do not see how you worked that all out,” Harry said.
            “It was so simple,” Hermione said, smiling. “My eyes just tell me that on the handle of your broomstick, just below where you hold on to it, there are several nicks and cuts that were not there yesterday.  Obviously they have been caused by your captain, who likely sent Bludgers your way as a way to keep you on your toes.  Since you usually deftly miss the balls, this is an obvious sign of your head not being in the game this afternoon.  As to Ron’s treacle-eating, if a boy walks into the hospital wing smelling of syrup, with a dark brown stain on his shirt and breadcrumbs on his mouth, I must be as dull as Crabbe and Goyle if I do not call him an over-zealous eater of his favorite dessert, treacle tart.”
            “You never fail to amaze me, Hermione,” Harry said, shaking his head and smiling.
            “But wait. You still haven’t explained how you knew it was a Basilisk, Hermione,” Ron interrupted.
            “The facts were all in front of me. I just had to piece them together. I knew the victims: Mrs. Norris the cat, Colin Creevey, Justin Finch-Fletchley, and the ghost Nearly Headless Nick. I thought, if this is pre-meditated and not random, what do these people have in common? Well, I couldn’t think of a single thing.  Colin is in Gryffindor, Justin is in Hufflepuff, Mrs. Norris is a cat and Nearly Headless Nick is a ghost. While I could not find any parallels between them that would make them targets for the attacker, I thought about what united them inadvertently. In other words, how had the attacker accidentally made a pattern of his victims by attempting to attack randomly?”
            She paused, and Harry and Ron stared intently. “Well?” they asked in unison.
            “Well, I began again with what I knew. And I knew that there was water on the floor where Mrs. Norris was found, Colin had his camera with him when he was found, and Nearly Headless Nick and Justin were found together.  Most conveniently, Colin was found petrified in the position he was in the moment he was petrified, making him literally frozen in time. His camera was held up to his face, meaning that he was attacked while in the middle of taking a photo.”
            Hermione paused again, and Ron broke the silence: “So?”
            “So there I was stumped. Was I going down the right track? Did it matter Colin was looking through his camera? What about the water? Well, I started over. What else did I know? I knew no one had seen this attacker somehow. Also, Mrs. Norris the cat wasn’t frozen in the typical arched-back stance that cats assume when they feel threatened. Assuming she was petrified in the position in which she saw her attacker, she did not even know what hit her since she never felt threatened. So, was this assailant invisible?”
            “Well? Was it?”
            “Maybe, maybe not. I wasn’t sure. I began to think of what other strange occurrences there had been that might have seem unrelated but in fact held the key to everything.” She looked at Harry meaningfully. “Then I remembered Harry just recently finding out he had the rare ability to speak to snakes, and that he had heard voices around the castle.”
            “What does that have to do with anything?” Harry asked.
            “Everything! Whose voice did you think you were hearing?”
            “I dunno… a ghost or something.”
            “Then Ron and I could have heard it, too. But only you could hear it.”
            “I’m not following,” Ron said.
            “Well, at this point I was almost positive I knew what it was. But I needed to be sure. So I went to the library—”
            “Big surprise,” Ron interrupted.
            “—And found after a few hours’ searching a book on rare magical creatures. I found what I was looking for, and sure enough, the creature I suspected it to be fit the description perfectly.”
            “The Basilisk,” Harry said.
            “Yes. This giant snake would explain how Harry could hear it and understand it and no one else could.”
            “But, a giant snake! Surely we would noticed it?” Ron asked.
            “That’s the beauty of it; it traveled through the plumbing. That is why it seemed to be a disembodied voice when Harry heard it, because it was just on the other side of the wall, inside the piping.”
            “That is disgusting.”
            “So this begged the question—how is the snake attacking people? Well, of course, Basilisks have the ability to kill anyone who looks it in the eye.”
            “But—no one died,” Harry pointed out.
            “Ah, yes, because no one did look it in the eye. Not directly.”
            “I’m still in the dark,” Ron asked.
            “Everyone who was attacked only saw the snake’s reflection, and therefore were only petrified and not killed. The puddle near where Mrs. Norris was found saved her life.  What likely happened was that the snake burst a pipe, catching the cat’s attention. The cat would have wandered to the leaking sound, perhaps lapped up some water, and seen the snake’s eyes through the reflection in the water, and before even knowing what she was looking at, was petrified on the spot without any warning.”
            “Makes perfect sense,” Harry said, smiling in awe.
            “Colin only saw the snake through his camera, and the lens protected him from being killed. Justin saw the snake through Nearly Headless Nick. Nick did see the snake directly, but he’s a ghost, and he certainly couldn’t die again.”
            “You did it all very nicely, Hermione,” Harry said, laughing at the ease at which she explained her process of deduction. “When I hear your reasons,” he remarked, “it always sounds so ridiculously simple that I could do it myself, but every time you figure out something else I am baffled until you explain your process.”
            “That’s because you see, but you do not observe,” she said with a smile.
            “Well, I am indebted to you, Hermione. You’re discovery saved my life in the Chamber of Secrets. How can I reward you?” Harry asked.
            “Do you have the torn out page from the book I ripped out with the information on the Basilisk?”
            Harry stared at her in amazement. “Yeah, if that’s what you want.”
            “I want to keep it as a reminder for any time in the future when you two complain to me that library research doesn’t pay off,” she said, smirking.          
And that was how a great snake threatened to affect the castle of Hogwarts, and how the best plans of Lord Voldemort were beaten by a woman's wit. He used to make merry over the cleverness of women, but his followers have not heard him do it of late. And when he speaks of Hermione Granger, it is always under the honorable title of “the woman.”

the gnat upon my letterpress

"The gnat upon my letterpress"

The gnat upon my letterpress
Truly cannot sense
How far apart the world it knows
Is from gods and men.
It sits upon my novel
Walks across the page
The words of Charlotte Bronte
Have become its stage.
And yet it knows of nothing
More than eat and sleep
But it crept across her knowledge
And now is in her keep.

death is a thing unsatisfied

“Death is a thing unsatisfied”

Death is a thing unsatisfied
That creeps into the hall.
He taps you on the shoulder—then,
You smell the urging Gall—

He pulls you back into the Dark—
You hear the final Bell.
The Beast will celebrate the night
As he drags you to Hell.

He steals you from your ill-spent life,
What man cannot—he takes—
You lose the light, the air—yet win
The promise of your Fate—

For once your soul is trapped below,
He rises yet again—
To wrap the hall in Dust—and hide
The footsteps where you’ve been.

It’s not enough to move a rug
To cover up your Stain—
So Death performs his spotless job
And feasts on your remains.


I walked out of the bathroom at the Phillips 66 gas station finally feeling relief after an hour of riding in a car and sitting on what felt like a gallon of pee. Across the store, my boyfriend Freddy was buying gum and a Sunny-D.  As I walked over, the cashier who had had too many plastic surgeries and tanning appointments blew a puff of smoke in Freddy’s face from her cigarette.
            “Have a good nigh’,” she mumbled.
            Freddy held the tinkling door open for me and let me out first.
            “Sunny-D, fruit punch,” he said with a shy smile, handing me my favorite drink.
            I twisted the cap off and took a few gulps, staining my lips and the skin around them red.
            Freddy watched me drink, and we just stood there next to the giant ice machine and the signs advertising cheap Bud Lite. It was a perfect moment.
            “I love you,” he said to my red lips. I swallowed.
            We had been together all weekend, visiting his grandparents in Pawtucket. It was our first road trip; Freddy had just gotten his license three months ago. Why hadn’t he said it to me when we were sitting alone on his grandparents' deck that night? Dang it, Freddy. I don’t want to remember you saying that for the first time outside a store that sells shirts saying “Kiss Me I’m a Redneck.”
            Across the parking lot, I could hear a few men arguing. They started yelling at each other, but neither of us looked over. Freddy kept staring at my mouth, waiting for my “I love you, too.”
            It would never come.
            Suddenly, a man’s feet started pounding on the gravel as he ran closer and closer to us.

            Bang! Bang! Bang!
            Three gunshots. Three bullets. The second one went through my head.
I looked up at Freddy the instant before it happened. His face was white and freckly one second, anxious for me to say those words, and the next second it was splattered with my blood.
We finally made eye contact just before my body collapsed on the pavement.

I didn’t get a choice to pass on. There wasn’t a tunnel with light at the other end. I didn’t get to fight for my life. I was looking up at my boyfriend, worried about my breath, did I zip my fly, and then I was looking down on him and the fallen body that I used to own.
The Sunny-D had spilled and mixed with my blood which was already beginning to pool underneath me. I watched from some high place I had never been before as Freddy dropped to his knees and rolled my body over. My nose was gone and blood flooded out so easily, like it had been wanting to do that forever.
Nearby, a man also lay dead in the parking lot, two shots in his back. There was blood under him, too. In my high place I looked around for him, but I was alone. There was nothing around me. It was like watching a horrible movie in a dark, empty theater, and you can’t feel the seat underneath you.
A black SUV tore out of the parking lot of the gas station and disappeared. The cashier who had assisted Freddy ran out of the store with a cell phone, screaming at Freddy what happened, what happened.
Freddy didn’t leave me the whole time it took police and ambulances to come to the gas station. He just stared down at me, like he was still waiting for me to speak.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

dirpy is dead

UM. This is NOT okay.

Dirpy is dead.

It was a converting website that allowed you to take any file, primarily a YouTube video and make it an mp3 file, which you could put in your iTunes. Basically, it allowed you to be a musical pirate fo’ free. And it was safe, too. The creators took it down. I am NOT okay with that.

Like, this is seriously going to affect my music life. How am I supposed to get music now? Buy it? PERISH THE THOUGHT. I will not waste money on things I know I can steal with no ramifications. I am a survivor in the post-apocalyptic world of Internet, declining CD sales and file share.  Why in the world, during an apocalypse, would I go into a convenience store and try to buy a gallon of milk? I’m gonna be standing at the counter with my $2.64 waiting for a clerk to check me out, when what’s gonna be behind that counter is a drooling dead guy whose nametag says “Ted.” Yeah, he’s not gonna be swiping my Vic card in this lifetime. NO. I AM GOING TO WALK OUTTA THAT STORE. WITH THAT MILK. AND MY $2.64. It’s survival of the fittest out there, and you gon’ die sitting around waiting to be po-lite. A zombie gon’ get you while you waiting for the Quik-E-Mart to put on their friendly lights that say “OPEN.”

Now, equate “milk” with “new Harry Potter soundtrack” and “$2.64” with “OVERPRICED” and “Quik-E-Mart” with “Radio Shack.” Now do you get the picture? Dirpy allowed post-apocalyptic survivors to avoid zombies (aka “The Feds”) by sneaking in and swiping that new album without pay or certain death. Now there is no hope, people. Your ears will starve. They will fall off, shriveled up, and zombies will feast on them.

NO MORE DIRPY? That is completely Un-American. The virgin, innocent blood and gristle hangs from the steely, rotting jaws of those Fed Zombies, and there is no man strong enough to stand up. We will all be devoured by that which unravels the fabric woven by our forefathers. Do you think Benjamin Franklin would have ended Dirpy? HECK NAW! It was the safeguard against all things unholy. Now we must tread in the dark alley between the abandoned gas station and the diner in search of nourishment, hoping to a God that no longer exists that we survive the next five minutes. We must search in places completely unsafe for things we cannot live without. Oh to feast, and to perish moments aft! The food cannot be enjoyed! The music cannot be savored! When their dingy teeth sink in, the smell of death upon them… you know there is no more. YOU KNOW THERE WILL BE NO MORE TUNES.

And that, my friends, is the devastation that awakes me from my happy slumber and calls me to the certain nightmare after the loss of that great pioneer, Sir Dirpy.

we'll see how this goes...

I've never been a big fan of blogs.

It always seemed like a place for pretentious people to record their unoriginal thoughts so they could feel important. But then it feels equally pretentious to say I'm above people like that and actually have something original to say. Before I get myself in a depressing black hole debating whether I'm as obnoxious as "dichotomy" girl from my English class who uses that word in every sentence just to sound important, I'll keep it short:

I just want to post stuff I've already written. Some poetry, maybe a short story here or there, a weird anecdote that happened to me on the bus. A rant. Yeah, mostly rants.

Hopefully putting all my writing in one place will be beneficial somehow. I dunno. We'll just see how this goes.