Now I know its been quite a long time since I’ve posted. I’ve been busy and figuring out stuff in life. I saw the new Jurassic World movie 6 times in cinema and loved it more each time. Its my best movie ever. What I want to post up today though,  is the first bit of this story series I’ve been working on. People tend to underestimate much much depression can ruin a young person’s life. I’ve been writing a series of accounts in the form of voice recordings made my a highly depressed kid. When I’m finished with the series, there will be a positive message which I hope can save lives some day. So I will just post up the first two ‘recordings’ they are fictional and I hope you, who ever you are, who is so kind to read my work, will like it.

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VOICE 001

Call me Smiddy. If you ever see me, you will never guess my age. At this moment, I’m not sure how much I believe this, but my judgment has been so clouded by others’ opinions that when I look myself in the mirror the sight of the person staring back is enough to drag me back to the time I called The Before. You can get me when I tell you I call the present, ‘The Relapse’ and the hypothetical hamburger patty, The After. I would like to tell you that I wasn’t always this depressed, but that would be a lie. The apotheosis of lies. There were never a time where I remember actually looking my age, and this fluctuates like temperature readings from a high school chemistry experiment gone horribly wrong. I can never guess if this is the reason I’m depressed, or a consequence, but I’m more certain that the world would not let me off the hook so easily by giving me one solid thing to fixate as the root of all my problems… and boy, do I have problems. Craig, buddy, what is your earliest memory and is it a nice one? I hope it is. I hope you remember being held by your mother being loved. And Craig, how old are you now? You know that I turned twenty a few months ago, right?  I feel old. I can remember way back when I was a kid of four years, but in such early stages of The Before, I don’t think the depression started yet. It was the period where life was mocking me at my primitive aspirations and gaging up for the beating of a lifetime. But for that time, I was safe, normal… carefree. Or that’s what I want to think. Buddy, not today. It’s too soon or me to tell you those thing. The only thing that I can allow myself to say is that problems have a funny way of triggering depression and I think your age factors in.

Just to make it clear I was never abused by my Family. My mom stays at home and works hard, my dad does an honest day’s work and by older brother is an idiot. It’s too long of a story to tell in this sitting and there is no abridged version. The story of my life is messed up. What if by me telling you, all my depression does indeed leave me but it infects you? Something so strong does not just dissipate, evil doesn’t simply disappear. It is transformed into another viral form and infects someone else and I don’t want it to be you. We’ve been through a lot through the years since I was eleven and you were always the strong one… wait… so I guess that makes you about twenty two now. But you still look eleven, you never grew up. How didn’t you grow up, bud? It’s all confusing but buddy just tell me to stop if it too much for you to absorb, OK? I appreciate your sitting in while I make these recordings. There were never a sorrier pair of boy-o chums like us when I was eleven! But look at me now. Depression caught up to me. I hate that word: depression. It sounds almost childish and stupid. Imagine going to the hospital and instead of telling them that you have, say, diabetes, you tell them that you are depressed. The receptionist will look over your shoulder at the kid with the broken wrist of the woman with the horrible rash. Nobody cares about how you feel inside and I think emotional pains are much worse than any bodily harm. Except burns, I hate fire I think I can attribute all my sorrows to a fire. Fires are not a sign of purity, they are little devils waiting for the opportunity to ruin your life! But it had nothing to do with causing my depression. I ruled it out years ago. Depression is the effect of accumulating a lot of bad experiences, and I think you will understand what I mean in time. I can’t go on. My head is spinning again buddy. I think I’m beginning to lose it. I need to curl up for a while. I will be back, I promise I will follow this through. It’s just that this is all very strange. But I will.

End of Recording.

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VOICE 002

I loved writing stories. I started when I was 17 and this is what got me out of ‘The Before’. Well to be entirely honest, it helped me while making changes in life, but it was a book I read what started it all. That book is private, so I wouldn’t tell you the name, but I will tell you this. The book had seven main characters each having seven unique aspects which society saw as flaws. Many people believed the novel was a scary horror book, but to me, the only thing scary was how much my life was too similar to each of the characters. I was a walking, breathing freak show. Those characters became my brothers and sisters, I loved them and cheered them through their journey immortalized in 25 year old typed pages. I started to write short after reading that book. My high school English teachers said I had a skill, but to me, writing is a discouraging profession. Getting published is like winning the lottery especially if you live on an island in the middle of nowhere and you are a looser. They say a character in a story captures part of an author’s soul, so I’ve decided I’m gonna read excerpts from stories I wrote years ago. The thing is I am ashamed of my writing but not my writing ability, and I just put all my stories on a folder on my computer and haven’t opened it in two years. I never let anybody read my stories, because I don’t want them seeing the pain I transferred to the pages I write. It embarrasses me. But Craig buddy I think it’s time I shared some of these stories for you, and my tape recorder.

I’m looking at this paragraph here buddy. It made me smile remembering it. In the fictional world kids are fearless. I have this philosophy: Such raw power of belief is the root of being a child. The same might that causes kids to climb tall trees and houses, speed down busy roads in the nearby town on bicycles twice their size, dive into deep rivers and lakes… if fuels adventure; safety, hurt and fear have no value in this new, unregimented world of youthful innocence and exploration. Some may choose to hold on to this ability well into their twenties, or lose hold of this raw power in their late teens when college, romance and adult responsibilities snatch it away and replaces vibrancy with a subtle adult version that they call ‘maturity’. Others loose it way back when they are little kids and they live lives of depression. Like me.

So here’s the first part of it, let me see what I wrote two years ago:

“The bicycle wheeling the kid down Richmond Street rushed him past junctions and infrastructure almost completely void of traffic and people. Aaron gave an entirely new meaning to the phrase tempting faith as he crouched on his seat and zoomed towards his peculiar destination regardless of blind corners and the occasional motorist that would swerve at intersections to avoid putting the boy into a casket. The training wheels unseen even under the orange street lights give him stability and confidence to pump the pedals faster without fear of losing his balance and sprawling painfully onto the roadway’s grater-like surface. Once he got rolling there was no stopping him!  He crossed the junction where Amour Street met Keith on Richmond and freewheeled for three minutes down the sloping gradient, enjoying the cold air mildly assaulting his face as he gained even more speed. He then turned smoothly onto Chancellor Street which lay on the park’s periphery for about half of its circumference and slowly reduced speed until he slipped of his seat and walked with his bike through the deserted park entrance.”

I loved it. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be Craig. I guess I never had a childhood, not literally, but I never did fun things which kids did, and I guess this depresses me. I can only re-experience those kinds of fun by reading stories I wrote, but I know it is not real and the emptiness of my childhood eats me up every day.

This is the last paragraph I will read for you today. Not all my writing described acts of beating the devil, well, in the figurative sense. I remember writing this one when I felt invisible, and hurt. I can’t really describe how deeply depressed I was on that day. It was during the peak of ‘The Before’ when I was only sixteen. I will let my old words paint the picture:

The knife’s shadow was a ghost on the wall. Ryan started to shake violently. He was on the verge of a near mental collapse and would find nothing to reassure him. He decided to pretend to faint. “Yes, then they might leave me alone.” But his shaking worsened. His body just cannot remain still so he knew it won’t work. His throat then got heavy and burned while his eyes emptied tears which began to cloud his glasses. His breathing was hick-upped as he cried loudly. The man holding him threw him onto the floor and started to pound his boot on any inch of the boy he can find. Every stomp squashed and pinched his flesh; Ryan dragged his hands towards his face, trying to protect it, sobbing harder than before. The other men joined in. The boy writhed on the wooden floor and tried to claw his way into the corner of the room. His shirt was torn from his skin with every kick and his glasses hurled towards the lifeless, assaulted, body of his mother next to him, as the beating continued. “This is not happening… can’t be…” Ryan mustered his last thought as he saw a bright flash and the sound of thunder masked by pounding feet faded into nothing.

There you have it.

I don’t want you to think that these recordings are a Diary, where I just record hurt and pain. Then you would not want to listen to them. I’m not exactly sure what they really are myself, but I know for certain it’s no diary, and Craig told me it would help. I trust Craig. I hated the concept of writing journals, I see it as a waste of creative energy. That’s the reason I choose to write stories to express my feelings all those years ago. I harnessed the depression and directed it into something creative which I thought would make me famous, or for the time being, a looser with a talent. I long lost interest in writing, and accepted that I would be just another nobody in the eyes of others. I guess this depresses me. I think I talked enough for today, thank you for listening.

End of recording.

There you go. my friends, good night. Hope this is the start of something that ca one day impact on lives 🙂

The Occurrence

Posted: December 29, 2014 in Short Stories
Tags: ,

tsunami

By: Richard Silver

Note: It’s been a long while since I last posted, but here is a short story I wrote back when I was a teenager, yup there may be some course language in some parts  (If this offends you, ignore), but this is fiction, enjoy:

The occurrence transpired on the third of February. I was fourteen years old and my family was three of the two hundred and ninety eight citizens of Little Denmer when it happened. It started as a normal day for most of the islanders but that particular Monday was intended to be a special day for my family- or just for my parents. I just couldn’t see how they can celebrate. I mean, just how many times can you visit the same old sights and same old sounds without cracking or at least losing some of your marbles? Dad took time off from his work at the construction yard with hopes of enjoying his fourteenth wedding anniversary with my mom. Yeah, I did the math years ago seeing that my birthday was still two months away. The night before, I overheard the folks planning to go places the older couples still referred to as ‘rad’. They were in the kitchen, my mom washing the dirty dishes while my father leaned out the back door puffing a cheap cigarette.

“Early lunch at the Grierson’s?” he said. I snickered remembering the local kids called Little Denmer’s only fancy-prancy restaurant- the G-spot.

“Yeah, ‘cause I intend to sleep-in late. Cody’s a big boy, he can eat cereal for breakfast and make a sandwich for school.” Good for her, I figured, she deserved some sleep because she got up two hours before sunrise for the past decade and a half.

“Then we’ll go to that place where we first met…” It started to get creepy. I stopped eavesdropping from the livingroom and stole myself up the stairs into my room, afraid to hear stuff that can scar my view of the folks.

The next day I awoke to a most peculiar sight- a green parakeet pecking at the window, seemingly wanting to get in. I looked at its small black beak and beautiful plumage with my head still planted on the unfinished math assignment I had attempted the night before at my desk. Mrs. Abigale’s gonna have a bird, I thought and laughed at my witticism. It flew away. I resumed the assignment, surprised to discover that rest was the tonic I needed for my math influenza.

I rode my bike to school that faithful day. It took three minutes- and that’s the beauty of living in a small island with such a tiny headcount. The sun was glorious and its heat felt cool upon my face. Wind fought against my wavy hair. The day seemed impeccable. The Crenshaw Silverton Academic and Vocational Institute was about to play a much greater role for the islanders than just teaching kids. It sat like a lion, on a plateau facing the water channel and the distant urban horizon of Denmer Island.

The day lost its grace when Mrs. Abigale entered our classroom promptly at fourth period and slammed her purse on the teacher’s desk. Something which was becoming her new habit. She didn’t look at the five children as she walked to the back of the class. There was a rumor drifting through the corridors and classrooms for the past month that she left her husband after she found him bedding the school’s nurse. We knew no more details and we didn’t know if it had any weight, but she was as good-spirited these days as a rabid dog.

“Dude, does her skirt look shorter today?” a pain-in-the-ass kid called Jacob Newman asked from the desk in front me.

“How the hell should I know? Do I look like her tailor?”

“Man, it really compliments her ass.”

.   “Ewe” said Karen Emery, nudging me with her elbow.

“Dude that’s fucked up,” said Billy, the boy on Karen’s left.

“You know that right.” I said to Bill.

“Come on Cody, Bill, you can’t tell me she doesn’t turn you on even a little bit.”

“Heck no! Man, that’s disgusting.” I said.

“Man, like your internet’s down?” Bill asked. We giggled as quiet as our diaphragms would allow. “Dude, you have to be really fucking desperate to want to hit that.”

“Balls,” Jacob said, “roly-polys are the best! With all that meat, they’ve got to be tight”

“Dude, you’re a virgin,” I said, “plus you’re forgetting one thing, this is Mrs. Abigale, Mrs. Abigale, it doesn’t take 20/20 vision to see that she’s got more than a couple of screws loose.”

“I hope to get lost in one of her screws if you know what I mean-”

“Jacob, Cody, Bill, come.” Mrs. Abigale’s voice lashed out from behind us. Damn it the bitch sneaked up. She preferred to stay hidden, like a cottonmouth anticipating the right opportunity to strike. We were in her jaws the moment she caught us talking.

Karen’s face grimaced, and she whispered, “See you in the afterlife, Code-Man.” I was entertaining thoughts of stabbing the vexatious kid in front me on the shoulder with my compass when the terrazzo floor shifted beneath my feet- a sudden jerk, like the pull of a rug while you were still on it. By the sound of it, many kids, including myself spilled out of chairs as if we were hit by the shockwave from an atom bomb. I forgot all about Mrs. Abigale and Jacob Newman. A shocked silence veiled over the school for five seconds, then the uproar began, one which was never entirely quelled in the hours to come. We scampered to windows, pushing at each other, to witness the titanic pillar of grey smoke ascending from the urban mainland, about twelve miles away from us. We watched with mouths gaping.

“That’s where the Denmer Chemical Research Facility is,” a kid called Dana Brimshaw said in awe.

“You mean was,” said Jacob Newman with his nose squished onto the glass. The word earthquake break-danced around the room. The island’s tsunami sirens shrieked their piercing wails, a sound I only attributed to apocalyptic scenes from disaster films I paid twenty bucks to see in the old Duncan Provenance Cinema, years ago.

“Come on, too the roof,” our teacher said grabbing her purse off her desk, “Come on!” Many had already bolted for their bags when the loud wehhhhhh began. Two of us remained by the window.

“Holy fuuuuck,” Bill Sanders said.

“Guys, get over here! You got to see this!” I said.

“Bill! Cody! Leave there now!” Mrs. Abigale said as the school bells began to cry an incessant screech equaling that of the sirens.

We didn’t budge. Over the racket of alarms, sirens, chairs being dragged, tables being pushed, kids yelling at each other in excitement and fear, I heard the distinct clop, clop of Mrs. Abigale’s high heels getting louder and faster.

“I said get away from those windows,” she said seizing us by the back of our necks with her meaty hands.

“Get your meat hooks of me you bitch.” Bad Boy Billy screamed.

“Miss Abigale-” I said

What did you say to me?” Mrs. Abigale said.

“Please look-” I said.

“Bitch, bitch, bichity bitch!” Billy taunted.  She let go of me and lifted her hand to strike him, probably like how she struck nurse Mills, who rocked sunglasses and a black eye until a week ago.

“Mrs. just look out the bloody window!” I said, desperate for her attention.

῀῀῀

Denmer Island was essentially a giant platform of undulating, igneous rock jutting out of the Mid Atlantic, roughly the size and shape of New Jersey. The capital city, Merin, was the industrial backbone with a population of two and a half million. Only recently did research and scientific exploration institutes began to replace the towering smokestacks that was once the skyline the citizens of Little Denmer awoke to. Today, however, Wendell and Jenifer McCain, lifelong residents, witnessed the newest addition to the horizon as they walked along the white, sandy coastline, rekindling their youth.

“This is the spot you were,” said Wendell, his hands on his wife’s still trim waistline, pulling her towards him, “when I bumped you and you fell.”

“And when I looked up I lost all thoughts of cussing the man who was so clumsy,” she giggled like a twenty year old girl, her breasts squeezing against his chest. They began whispering to each other, mouths a centimeter apart.

He lowered his hands and she said, “Not in public dear, we don’t want to get arrested for indecent exposure…”

“Let’s go somewhere… secluded, -not home- it’ll make it more speci-” History repeated itself so many years later as Jenifer fell, but this time with her husband in her arms. The sea roared then huffed, sucking the water away from the couple.

“That didn’t feel like an Earthquake,” Wendell said, as they helped each other to their feet.

“Honey, we’ve got to move!” said Jenifer, then fell silent as an explosion threw a massive dust cloud above the distant city. The tsunami sirens roared to life.

“Jenny, run!” said Wendell pulling his wife’s hand, “to the truck!”

They ran twenty yards back to the Grierson’s where they had, not even fifteen minutes ago, enjoyed the same meal they had the on their first date. Their old ’98 Chevy pickup was the only vehicle in the car park. Other motorists were already hightailing through lawns and shrubbery, penetrating into the island creating their own roads. A boy and a woman loped out of the restaurant towards them.

“Please, mister my girlfriend is pregnant, give us a lift!” the guy said, he looked no older than nineteen. He was holding her wrist and she seemed to be in a flurry of panic. She had at least ten years on the kid.

“Climb on,” Wendell said, pointing to the back of him as he started the truck. “We’re going to the High School.”

“But that’s too close to the water!” the kid said.

“Our son’s there!” Jenifer said, “Stay here if you want.”

“You people are crazy!”

Wendell drove off, burning rubber on the Grierson’s asphalt. They never thought of the couple again.  Once they cleared the wall that blocks the car park from the roadway, Wendell’s jaw fell, almost comically as he saw the new horizon.

῀῀῀

Mrs. Abigale’s hand froze in mid strike. “Jesus, our lord and savior,” she said. I squinted my eyes and pressed my face onto the glass- multiple smoke billows strewed across the skyline. It resembled London city after a World War II German air raid, except, like huge canal ways, tones of water surged through the city. The channel pulled up its watery skirt to expose about a quarter mile of sea floor ahead of us.

“When that water recedes from the city, it’s gonna to be our problem,” I said.

“Man, it looks like forces of nature really wanted to kick Merin’s ass,” Billy said. And as if those forces of nature wanted to tell Billy they would much prefer to decimate Merin’s ass, the geography of the mainland underwent a sudden transformation that was swiftly blocked from our view. We stuck around no further, the wave was coming.

Jacob, Dana and Kate had already left the classroom. The deserted corridor resembled a prison after an intense riot. The staff evacuated most of the students to the rooftop, as indicated by a collective, indecipherable, vocal hum, high above our heads. At some point during the commotion the school bells stopped clanging but the ghastly sirens persisted. The three of us ran until we reached the staircase, Mrs. Abigale, like a champion in those heels. I know who would have won the he teachers’ race at Little Denmer’s Family Day this year if it had one.

“Man did you see that? Tell me you saw that! The city sank into the bloody water! Jesus!” Bill said. I knew we had more pressing concerns surging towards us.

“You’ll be underwater if you don’t shut up and keep running!” I said. Mrs. Abigale began reciting Hail Marys as she sprinted. I scaled three flights of steps, clutching the rails, afraid that my legs would go jelly. Bill beat me in the race, scrambling up the ladder from the fourth floor to the roof and pulling me up halfway. He helped Mrs. Abigale whose high heels were clearly not designed for that sort of activity. I stuck my head over the concrete banister in time to see a monstrous forty foot wave bearing down on the island.

It gushed up the beach in seconds and grew another five feet. The wall of water crushed Boathouses, beach houses and the countless palm trees that all seemed unnaturally lanky when I was a little kid exploring the beach’s ambiance. It washed a pickup truck, doing a hundred, right off the road as it ascended the plateau towards the school. The plateau, made of impermeable granite, buffered the base of the wave, but millions of gallons spilled onto it and rushed at us. We braced ourselves for deadly impact, holding onto each other, with our feet planted to the best of our abilities. Many faces contorted into screams and cries as the tsunami’s roar obliterated all sounds.

The water slammed into the building which possessed monumental inertia. I lost my footing and collapsed onto the concrete, together with most of the others, just as the ocean surged up the sides of the building and spilled onto the roof. It would have claimed my life at that moment if I hadn’t held on to the length of steel pipe I braced my foot against just as the wave struck. I saw Dana Brimshaw being washed into the charging ocean, her hands splashing and grabbing at objects that weren’t there. I saw the drowning of many other children I walked pass on corridors and stood with in cafeteria lines. Still holding onto the pipe, the water covered my head and I fought for one last breath. I swallowed mouthfuls of dirty salt water and felt a commanding urge to let go and be taken by the Atlantic to wherever it wanted to carry me. To relive the moment of peace and beauty which had awoken me. To a place of eternal youth.

Hope yall liked it, I know there is much room for improvement, but  I am new to this laterz net people 🙂

Picture reference:

https://www.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-tsunamis

Metabolomics studies entails the analysis of metabolites or chemical processes that occur within the metabolome. The following piece attempts to illustrate the contributions of metabolomics in medical research, in particular Type 2 Diabetes mellitus studies and how this can improve treatment or open a gateway to discovering new treatment strategies.

Currently, metabolomics requires a wide variety of costly scientific instruments (which requires skilled usage) due to complexity of the metabolome and the analytes’ vast chemical diversity. Consequently, few laboratories are equipped for such studies, and reproducing results and the establishment of ‘standards’ have become a challenge and a limiting factor. Regardless, infancy is not a dead end and metabolomics have proven to be valuable with regard to hyperglycaemia studies.

Type 2 diabetes is an ailment characterised by the inability of the body to properly use or respond to insulin (insulin resistance) and is brought on by complex environmental and genetic interactions. Among the genetic causes is polymorphism in many genes in which each variant contributes less than 1 percent of the disease risk. Note, the group ‘genes’ are a constituent of the metabolome.  Furthermore, type 2 diabetes is influenced by organ dysfunctions such as impaired action of insulin in adipose and muscle tissue as well as the liver over producing glucose. Recent technological advances in allowed scientists to delve deeper into the new field of metabolomics with the aid of analytical techniques such as Mass Spectrometry (MS) and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR).

With regard to diabetes, MS and NMR have been used to determine the glucose dependent release of insulin from the beta calls in the isles of Langerhans in the pancreas. The beta cells release the insulin within seconds of detecting the glucose. The NMR analysis led to the discovery that the release of insulin is related to pyruvate carboxylase mediating exchange with Krebs cycle intermediates and dysregulation of these metabolic pathways occur in dysfunctional beta cells. Furthermore, even more recent studies indicates that Krebs cycle intermediates increases when the beta cells are stimulated by glucose. In other words, amplifying the signal to control the release of insulin from beta cells are mediated by the by-products of pyruvate/ isocitrate cycling.

MS bases profiling have been useful in determining that insulin resistance (and hence diabetes) can be brought about by having a diet rich in fat since beta oxidation would be insufficient to deplete the vast amount of fatty acids in the body, causing mitochondrial stress. In a study comparing an obese sample to a lean sample, it was discovered (via MS based profiling) that insulin resistance is directly correlated to an increase in the catabolism of Branched-Chain Amino Acids. Metabolomics has therefore discovered a precise group metabolites which if specifically treated, has the potential to control Diabetes. The results of experimentations utilizing rats suggested that with a high lipid diet, Branched Chained Amino Acids independently contribute to acquiring insulin resistance.

In retrospect, metabolomics have opened up a new aspect of disease identification and treatment by determining relationships between the components of metabolic pathways and which metabolite potentially influence the ailment more than others. In isolating these factors, specific novel treatments can be researched and developed based on the new wealth of information revealed about the disease, made possible by this new branch of Life Science.

Reference:


James R. Bain
Robert D. StevensBrett R. WennerOlga IlkayevaDeborah M. Muoio, and Christopher B. Newgard. 2009. “Metabolomics Applied to Diabetes Research, Moving From Information to Knowledge.” Diabetes 58(11): 2429–2443. doi:  10.2337/db09-0580. Accessed November 30th, 2014. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2768174/ Read the rest of this entry »

hey internet peps!

Well, its been quite a while!!! Been super busy! I had no time to read any new books, or review any ones I read last vacation. Regardless, My friends and I did this video project for a biochemistry course and i wanted to share it with you guys! It might only open on a laptop and i would appreciate feed back on places where it might not be accessible to be viewed… Take a look guys! My pal Travis Peayarlal did the editing, and I acted as the really talkative alien lol,

 Compact time tables, busy schedules, unhealthy fast-food, waking late at nights (to complete assignments, not to study- that’s another thing) and all those stuff you hated about high school is back to hunt you for another few months. Still, I found time to go with a group of pals to watch a movie last night. I wanted to write an entire blog entry on this movie, but time prohibits (tomorrow midterms begin). The flick’s called The Maze Runner, and it was a breath of fresh air for modern teenage/ young adult movies. It was filmed in classic 2D which was still awesome and when those monster scenes kick in you just kick back and enjoy fine cinematography. My friend told me a kid from Game of Thrones acted in it and I recognized Eustace from Chronicles of Narnia- Voyage of the Dawn Treader! Obviously I am not gonna give spoilers but a brief synopsis:

The_Maze_Runner_poster

   A group of teenage boys trapped in a thriving settlement enclosed by four large walls- beyond the walls a huge, changeable labyrinth. They don’t know how they arrived there, and the only way to out seems to lie in escaping the maze. Sounds simple? Here’s the catch- what ever trapped them there each night releases large, bio-mechanical scorpion-like monsters to prowl the maze. It’s not pulp, don’t worry. To survive, they must stay in their settlement at night and send their fastest and strongest  to map the maze and find a hope of escape at day. they must make it back before the day ends …. Why were they trapped? Who did it? Could all this wicked be good? Watch it and discover the film adaption of the first novel in a series written by James Dashner! I will be reading that book series this Christmas Vacation and would happily review them on Richie College Kid Silver.

I know my post is much shorter than usual, but I must leave now to study of a test tomorrow (my first midterm for this academic year)…

But check out this movie, It is an amazing blend of Lord of the Flies and (it may just be me, but) one of the Predator movies…. Regardless, it’s awesome and preforming quite well at the box office!

Laterz Internet ppl!

089fc3c99cb067ff3669903061e0f8fa

This is just a weird photo i found on the internet, not the real thing…

I was fighting up about what to blog about for the past fortnight and if some event should occur that warranted such an activity, I think I should grab that opportunity. If you followed my earlier entries, you would know that I enjoy reading horror novels during my brakes from college, and high school a few years aback. But how many of you believe in things like haunted houses, malevolent spirits, creatures that walk the night? I sure didn’t. It was really fun, exciting entertainment- and that was all it was. After all, I’m a science student, believing things of such a sort would be just absurd… but what if you really saw something…

Well, to be fair, what if you really believed you saw something that cannot be explained. Do you just say, like Richie Tozier from Stephen King’s It, something along the lines of, ‘Well if I did saw something, that was yesterday, there is no rule that says I have to dwell on it for ever’? Of course, that’s a fiction novel it never really happened. But it’s just so relatable at the moment… How do you satisfy your curiosity? How do you spend those insomniac moments trying to summon sleep at nights, but to no avail? How long will you sleep with your lights on and door opened? Most importantly, how do you come to terms about what you saw when you never even believed in it before? These are not rhetorical, I’m stating them plainly since I don’t have the answers.

When do you start thinking it was a hallucination and you just imagined it? If you know, do share your answers with me and my readers. If you believe it was as real as day turns into night, share your experiences. If you have an explanation for what I am about to describe aside from saying a stress disorder, do say:

For three nights before the event, I worked into the early hours of the morning until there finally came a night that I could get some early rest, which I gratefully took. My dorm room is at the ground floor of the building and the view outside my window is two cars parked one in front the other and on the other side of the cars is a wall, then another apartment complex. A really boring view. The property is completely enclosed by four walls, not short enough for a grown person to hop over with ease. The only way to enter into the property is through a really creaky gate that I can hear clearly when someone is entering or leaving the premises. There is a bright light bulb outside my window (for the safety of the parked cars) positioned in such a way that at night, if someone walks past my window, I would see their shadow on my curtains. My bed is so close to my window, it is practically beneath it.

That night, at 1:27am (I remembered because there was a digital clock on the desk next to my bed), awoke to a loud pounding on my window: Bam, Bam, Bam, Ba, Bam, Ba Bam! This sequence repeated at least four times, I would never forget how it sounded. I was fully awake at the start of the third sequence, skated to the edge of my bed (furthest from my window) and suddenly remembered that a fellow dorm mate had told the guys downstairs that he had experienced the same thing a few nights before. As the last bit of pounding ensued, my chest grew heavy as I realized I saw no shadows on my curtain. About two seconds after the pounding, I rushed, drew the curtains and looked up and down the garage, I saw no person, thing or unusual shadow. I know I was too fast for someone to run and hide.

Needless to say, pounding like that gave me the creeps. I ran across my room (not a really large room), turned on my light and bolted out my door into the dark corridor. I was struck by the dilemma of whether or not to knock on doors like a loon in the middle of the night but I decided, what the heck, and frantically knocked on the door of the guy who said he experienced the pounding on his windows a little while back. Now, I could have went to sleep that night with minimum fright if I hadn’t witnessed what I had next:

The guy’s room door is next to mine, so there I stood in the corridor, just outside my door, the boy is walking out of his room, looking all sleepy, I was saying (and stuttering, yeah I stammer a bit) about something pounding on my window, and as I looked back into my room, I saw it.

Through the gap in my curtain from when I separated it earlier, I saw this dark form, with feet just touching the top, side of the car, except that it was not standing there, but it was lying horizontally, connected by the feet, as if some sort of freaky projection from the car’s side. Its hands were cupping its entire face, (featureless except for two white ‘eyes’) and it looked straight at me, just floating there. Unlike the characters in the books I am accustomed reading, I didn’t froze, but ran towards it, where it slid down and, this will sound clichéd but, it disappeared. All this happened in about two seconds.

About a minute later, (too long in my opinion), three of the boys including myself ran out the apartment and circled the building. We found nothing. Sleep was hard to come that night, and the following night. Speaking of the following night, I heard scratches at that window which woke me up again, but I was too weak to act on it. I left the apartment to spend the weekend at my parents as I am accustomed doing.  Today I will be back in the apartment.

In my nineteen years of existence, I never experienced anything supernatural or paranormal, even when I was sleep deprived and stressed for exams back at 16, 17 and 18. Could I have imagined it all? Yes, it is a possibility, but I believe that possibility is very unlikely. When the line between fiction and reality becomes blurred by the irrational, how does one go on living a normal life? Especially when they know no one will believe their strange story, unless they experience it themselves.

   I’ll say right off the bat, every aspect of this novel is alluring, from its eerie cover that enchants your eyes and mind, to the hidden treats awaiting discovery within its pages. Published by Quirk Books (Philadelphia) back in 2011, it was Ransom Riggs debut novel which climbed all the way up to number 1 on the New York Times Best Seller’s List! It is one of those tales that has the power to fascinate readers across the generations even though it is classified as ‘Teenage’ or ‘Young Adult Fiction’.

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   The choice I made to review this novel instead of any of the other eleven I read during the summer (not to impute the works of the other authors, some were quite fascinating!), will be evident once you read the first page of the prologue. If you are teenaged, or ‘young adult’, (or literally both, like me!), the idea of being hurled out of your ‘ordinary’ life into an astonishing adventure is still quite mesmerizing. As I read, I couldn’t help but be reminded of books I enjoyed as a younger teenager that had that same ingredient, such as The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis and the enchanting Harry Potter series, by J.K Rowling. It is quite clear, as you march through the chapters of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, that the book is also directed to a more mature audience than little children. It’s a scary tale, a gem in modern teenage horror. When I pondered the creepy artwork on the cover, I expected a clichéd haunted orphanage tale, but boy, was I surprised about what unfolded! I like to consider it a coming of age tale since the primary character, 16 year old Jacob Portman, must make decisions his ‘ordinary’ self wouldn’t even have comprehended. It’s about self-discovery, adventure and friendships.

Two amazing books from my 'kidhood' lol

Two amazing book series from my ‘kidhood’ lol

   Probably the most extraordinary aspect about this book, is its layout. No, I’m not speaking paragraphs, pages and chapters, but the author’s unique usage of vintage photographs to guide the reader throughout the novel. Don’t worry, older folks, it’s not a ‘picture book’. The photographs used are authentic, vintage and mostly unaltered (as stated by the author after the tale, under the section: ‘Photograph Credit’. These add to the reading experience since on one page, Jacob will be looking at a photograph (which seems to happen quite often!) and as you turn the page, there it is! I mean, how amazing is that?!

some of those creepy photographs...

some of those creepy photographs…

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   Character development was very well done, and if you still have trouble visualizing one of the many characters (or just remembering one of them), I am sure there is a photograph that will be very effective! I remember, resorting to the photos to keep track of some of the characters and their ‘peculiarity’ once or twice during my reading. It’s really quite neat. 🙂

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A character- A boy with his bees.

   You probably want a bit of plot details, but for this particular novel, even the tiniest detail after the prologue and first chapter would be a spoiler. What I can tell you is, Jacob Portman grew up listening to extravagant tales his grandfather claimed to have experienced as a child in an orphanage before World War II. As he got older, he stopped believing those tales of monsters and… Ahem, potential spoiler averted! NEAT, where was I… Yes, a tragedy occurred in Jacob’s family that led him to seek out the origins of those tales- a small island of the coast of Wales that has its own secretes, terror and enough adventure to warrant sequels! The second installation to the Miss Peregrine series , Hollow City, was released on January 14th of this year and picks up exactly where the last one ends. It is just as thrilling and delves deeper into the world of Peculiarity (that’s an entire novel waiting for me to review lol). Even more good news, a third book is in the works and it may be released next year!

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   So guys, buy this book, rent it from your library or whatever, but just read it! I give it a solid 5 out of 5 (yeah, I read a lot and also encountered novels that made me wonder how and why it was even published). I really don’t want to give away plot details (as easy as it would have been lol). It is a pretty intricate tale and for those who take my advice to read it, you will thank me for not spoiling your delight as you discover an all-new world within the pages of this book. 🙂

   I look forward to my next post, probably something college-related… I will try to blog weekly, but no promises, ok? lol I have to put my academics ahead of entertainment, at least until the new semester is over.

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    *Cough* 14 more weeks *Cough*

Aite, take care internet world!!!

Picture References:

http://www.vicentinedesign.com/2012/01/11/wednesday-reads-miss-peregrines-home-for-peculiar-children-ransom-riggs/

http://www.factpile.com/767-narnia-vs-harry-potter/

http://fangirlsoffiction.blogspot.com/2014/07/miss-peregrines-home-for-peculiar.html

http://mystmusician.wordpress.com/2011/10/26/miss-peregrines-home-for-peculiar-children-by-ransom-riggs/