Dracmere’s Fight

I wrote this story for a school assignment. And I’m kind of proud of it even though I cut out so much of it so it wouldn’t exceed the word limit. It was still more than a hundred words above the word limit when I turned it in though. I think. Anyway, here it is.

It’s been 1 month since Alluria won the war against us. And 15 days since they found me in an underground bunker and took me prisoner. It’s dark, damp and cold in here. I’m dirty, weak and hungry. I’m slowly going crazy. My calculations of how long it’s been since everything, are probably wrong. I have no real sense of day and night here.

You coward! You hid underground while your people fought for your country! You didn’t deserve to be Queen!” I can hear my step-mother’s voice yelling in my head. For once, I agree with her. And with everybody else in my mind, screaming obscenities at me. Insulting me. Joking about me. “‘Ganymede the Destroyer’. That’s what we should call her.” “You’re the reason our country, our beloved Dracmere is dead! You’re a traitor!” The voices in my head are terrible company.

I hear footsteps and the jangle of keys. I see a burly figure opening my cell door. I hope with all my heart that they’re getting me out of here. I’m not disappointed. They put me in a large, significantly brighter room with no ugly iron bars. And I’m not alone.

There are around 15 people staring at me. I walk in and the guard locks the door behind me. I notice they’re Dracians. They’re my people. Or rather, ‘were’ my people. Suddenly, I’m afraid they’ll recognize me.

“Hi. I’m Vince. What’s your name?” He holds out his hand for me to shake. He smiles at me. He has ink black hair, prominent cheekbones and a warm smile. I grin before taking his hand. They don’t recognize me. I probably don’t look like me. With my dirt-caked skin, my ugly, knotted brown curls covering half my face and my overall disheveled appearance, I’m not ‘Queen Ganymede’. I’m relieved.

“I’m Raine.”, I say quickly, surprising myself by speaking normally after being alone for so long. Raine was my mother’s name. It was the first name I thought of. Probably because I spent the last few days wondering whether I’d caused her death. She’d died of an unknown illness. There is no way I could have caused it. It’s strange what happens to a person when he’s left alone with his own thoughts.

I take a quick look at everyone. They’re all scruffy and thin and wide-eyed. I’m the same as them now.

Vince starts to introduce everyone to me. I only manage to register a few names and faces. He sits me down on the floor next to him. Redheaded Rudy (that’s what they call him), a buff man in his mid thirties with red hair, starts to speak, disparaging the image of ‘Queen Ganymede’. And I don’t know whether to laugh with relief because he doesn’t know I’m right there or attempt to defend myself. I smile awkwardly and listen.

They say I betrayed Dracmere. I didn’t. What I did was let myself be hidden and safe from the events of the war until it was over. I suppose being a coward isn’t that much better than being a traitor. But my intention was to not get hurt myself. I didn’t intend to let Dracmere get destroyed. I believe my motivations make me slightly better than a traitor. What’s left of Dracmere doesn’t believe it. They hope I’m dead. That makes me wish I actually was.

A woman named Alexis starts to speak. “They’re offering us a choice. Embrace their language and culture or stay here until they decide what to do with us.” “Well, I’d like to get out of here and live my life. And if moving to Alluria and becoming one of them is how to do it, I’m all for it.”, Rudy says.

“This is all my fault.”, I mutter and Vince catches it. I cover my mouth immediately. Vince leans towards me and whispers. “I know who you are. I believe you’re not a traitor. But if you wanna make amends for what you did, now is your chance. Convince them not to give up.” I realize he’s right.

I stand up and clear my throat. “Listen,” I say. They look up at me. I’m a stranger to them right now, but for the first time, it’s better than being their Queen. They have more of a reason to trust me.

“We can’t give in to their threats.” Vince smiles reassuringly. I go on. “We lost the war. We lost friends, family. They took away our country. But we can choose whether or not to let them take away our identity. If we take their offer, become one of them, they win. So we need to hold on to what is ours. Our language, our culture.” I feel my words making a difference. There’s a murmur of agreement among them. Vince stands up. I feel a strange sense of admiration for these people. Except it’s not strange. I may barely know them, but I can tell they are some of the bravest people in Dracmere.

“Those of you that still want to take their offer, go ahead. The rest of us need to take control of our lives again. When those guards come back, we need to be ready.” He holds out a hand to me. I grab it. The others hold hands too. Rudy stands aside, hesitant to join the rest. Vince holds out his other arm. “We need you, Rudy.”

The energy in the room is suddenly different. 15 pairs of eyes are focused on Redheaded Rudy. He shares a look with Vince. I know nothing of their relationship, but that look tells me enough. They had gone into the Allurian war together, watching each other’s backs, following each other into hell. And they are going to do it again. I understand their bond because I had had a similar bond with someone. Someone I’d lost. I know from that look that Rudy is going to join us.

They guards don’t take long to appear, bringing our meals. They seem unnerved by the rebellious energy of the little group of people holding hands and taking a stand against the Allurians. One of the guards draws his sword.

In that moment, Rudy squeezes Vince’s palm and says, “Dracmere’s not dead yet.” He lunges at the guards and everyone follows suit. The Allurians had underestimated this little group. We’re more powerful than anyone would’ve thought. So no, Dracmere’s not dead yet.


Top 5 Feel-Good Shows

5. Glee

I can feel people judging me right now. But trust me. There’s a good reason Glee made it onto my list.

The only reason I started watching it was because I wanted to see what Harry Shum Jr. And Grant Gustin were like on it. I never intended to watch the entire thing. I got through all 5 seasons pretty fast. It’s partly because I skipped most of the songs.

But here’s the thing, it had a decent story and a number of great characters. And even though it had a kind of clichéd premise, it was worth watching. Because Glee deals with controversial topics like bullying and sexuality in such a heartwarming way. It’ll have you cringing at times, but sooner or later you’ll end up getting really attached to the characters and the story. It was something I never thought I’d like, but I did.

And although I skipped most of the singing parts, Glee does have some awesome covers of great songs. It really surprised me and it just had to make it onto this list.

4. On My Block

This one’s got only one season so far. It’s a Netflix original. I’m dying to watch the second season because I just loved the first one. It was funny and beautiful and I couldn’t help falling in love with it. It’s about a quartet of teenagers just entering high school, trying so hard to hold onto their friendship through the downs of their lives in their neighborhood.

There’s a long wait to the second season and it ends in a cliffhanger so brace yourself if you’re watching it.

3. Castle

Castle is a show that’s important to me. Very important. It probably holds second place in my favorite tv shows of all time. Sherlock takes first place.

You could watch any episode at random like I do once in a while. Or you could take your time and watch all 8 seasons. Either way, it’s amazing.

I love crime shows. I’ve also taken a recent liking to comedy. Castle’s got both. And even though I didn’t watch much of comedy earlier, I’ve been a Castle fan for a pretty long time.

It’s about a crime fiction writer named Richard Castle who meets a cop named Kate Beckett and wants her as his muse for his next novels. He uses his popularity to get the opportunity to tag along on her cases and they end up solving them together.

Every episode’s got a different crime so you don’t necessarily have to start at the beginning. But the relationships between the characters develop through the episodes so it’s worth watching in order. It’s always been my go-to show when I need something that’s serious and funny at the same time.

2. Friends

You might’ve already assumed this would make it onto the list. Friends is a classic. You’re totally missing out if you haven’t watched it.

Honestly though, I liked How I Met Your Mother(HIMYM) better. I only recently binge watched both. I’d been missing out for a long time.

Anyway, I’m not including HIMYM because after a point, it got really heartbreaking. From season 7 onwards, there were so many episodes that made me want to cry. In general, I was way more attached to the HIMYM characters than to the Friends characters.

But Friends is a classic. It constantly has you rolling on the floor, laughing. It’s one of the best feel-good shows to ever exist.

Before I get to number one, there’s somethimg I have to mention. If there are a lot of really funny or light hearted or feel good shows that I haven’t mentioned, it’s because I haven’t watched many. I haven’t watched ‘Modern Family’ or ‘Parks and Recreation’ or ‘New Girl’. Trust me, I’ll get around to watching those. I’ve just already made up my mind about these 5.

Crime and Dystopia are my favorite genres. I wouldn’t be watching anything light at all if something hadn’t forced me to sit down and watch Friends. Now that I realize how much I like the genre, I have a lot of shows to watch.

1. Brooklyn Nine-Nine

I fell in love with this show so quickly, it’s crazy. I watched every episode like the world was going to end if I didn’t. It’s hilarious, it’s got great character development and good storylines. I think it’s the best feel-good show out there. It’s like a constant ray of sunshine. It clearly goes above my usual favorites and it’s raised my standards so high, I’m not sure I’d like anything else as much.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine totally gets to be on top of this list. But that’s just what I think.

The Patient

Salut mes amis! So I write these kind of incomplete short stories that I think are pretty good. I’m a good writer(not to toot my own horn). Anyway, this is one of them. I like being the person who posts the randomest things on her blog. I can write anything, I guess. So I’m adding my short stories to the list of things I can write here. So, yeah. Here it is.

Dr. Pillsbury softly tapped the arm of her cream leather chair. She looked into the doleful grey eyes of her patient as she tried to get him to talk about his feelings. “Did you ever want something so badly that you were ready to do anything to get it? Even kill for it.”, Mr. Riverton asked. Dr. Pillsbury fidgeted with the pearls around her neck. “Do you want something that badly right now?”, she asked. “Why can’t any therapists ever give straight answers? You’re always being cryptic or replying to questions with your own ‘rhetorical’ questions! Yes. I do want something that badly.” Mr. Riverton looked down at his large feet, seeming a little embarrassed.

“For once, Dr. Pillsbury, just answer my question. Have you ever wanted something so badly you would do anything, I mean anything for it?” “Yes. I have.”, she replied with a straight face. She betrayed no emotions and no thoughts. Her whole job was about her patients and she focused on getting them to deal with themselves and the deep, dark parts of their minds.

“Tell me then, Dr. Pillsbury. What was it you wanted?” Samuel Riverton stared at her, waiting for her answer. He sat opposite to her, just a little distance away. His hair was dark and curly, she noticed, unlike her own blonde locks. He was a big man. He had broad shoulders and a burly figure. He could overpower me easily if it came to that, she thought. He scared her. She didn’t know why. He licked his lips slowly. It made Anne Pillsbury uncomfortable, but once again, she showed no emotion.

“I don’t talk about myself with my patients. At least not unless I think it will help.” “It will help. More than you think. So please, tell me.” Mr. Riverton pulled his couch a little closer. He observed Dr. Pillsbury’s face. Her dark eyes, the wisps of golden hair around her heart shaped face, the curve of her eyebrows, her full lips, the faded scar on her chin. He noticed everything as she spoke.

“My sister’s boyfriend. I was in love with him and I wanted him. I did some terrible things to get him. So yes, I have definitely gone through what you seem to be dealing with right now. So what is it that you want?” “No. We’re not done talking about you, Dr. Pillsbury. How did you get him? Your sister’s boyfriend.”

Anne hesitated. She didn’t like the direction the session was going in. It was almost like she’d switched places with her patient. But she answered anyway. “I doctored some pictures and made it look like my sister had cheated on him. Then I comforted him after he dumped her. He fell in love with me and then married me. But I regret what I did. The guilt eats away at me all the time. Now let’s get back to you, Samuel. What do you want so badly?”

Samuel smiled slyly. He leaned forward so close to her that she could feel his warm, minty breath on her face. “You. Anne Pillsbury. I want you. And I’m willing to do anything.” Anne jumped back, her eyes wide. Samuel laughed, like he had expected that to happen. His maniacal laughter rang in Anne’s ears.

The sound of his terrifying cackling was the last thing on her mind before Samuel lunged at her with a knife in his hand and slit her throat. She bled out on the floor as her whole life flashed before her eyes. Every horrible thing she ever did consumed her mind in the last few seconds of her life.

Samuel waited to see the life leave her eyes. He put her carcass in a body bag which he wrapped in the large carpet on the floor. He’d been waiting for that moment. He was going to stuff her pretty head and mount it on a wall. He walked out the building just like he had come in and disappeared into the crowd with a rolled carpet on his shoulder.

Ready Player One(novel)

This has been pending for a while because I read the book weeks ago and it’s been longer than that since I watched the movie. Yes, I watched the movie before I read the book. I never usually do that. Anyway, I loved both. The book and the movie are quite different from each other, but they’re both great. I’m reviewing the book though. Clearly.

It’s a science fiction novel by Ernest Cline. The first book he ever wrote. It’s amazing for a debut. The story is set in a point in the future when the world is a mess and is on the verge of collapsing and the people escape their terrible lives being immersed in a virtual reality called ‘The Oasis’.

When the creator of the Oasis, the eccentric genius, James Halliday dies, he brings the world’s attention to an easter egg hunt he created within the Oasis, winning which would change the person’s life completely. He hides three keys in the Oasis that unlock three gates consequently, eventually leading to the digital easter egg. The first to find the egg gets an immense fortune and complete control of the Oasis. The announcement of the Easter Egg hunt gets the entire world in a mad rush to win it.

After years of barely any progress in solving Halliday’s clues, an unlikely teenager named Wade Watts finds the first key, bringing him instant fame and attracting some dangerous enemies who’d do anything to win.

The book has so many references to pop culture, famous movies and books, some of which I’m familiar with. Wade Watts is an instantly likeable character with his awkwardness and his extensive knowledge on Halliday and pop culture which he flaunts quite frequently.

The concept is brilliant, the story is gripping and the book has you completely involved in it for however long it takes to finish it. Despite the fact that I watched the movie first and it ruined the experience for me a little bit, it was definitely a good read.

It’s totally worth reading. If you want to watch the movie though, go ahead. It doesn’t stick to the book exactly, but it was pretty amazing. It’s a Steven Spielberg movie. It can’t not be amazing. I absolutely loved it. But read the book first. It’s always better that way. I’ve honestly got to read more of Ernest Cline. He’s a good writer. Trust me. He’s good.

Panic! at the Disco’s new album is out!!!! If I haven’t mentioned my obsession with them before, I’m mentioning it now! P!ATD is absolutely amazing! I’ve only really been into their kind of music for the last few months. It’s an ‘alternative’ band so it’s a lot louder than the stuff I used to listen to. And although I’d heard a couple of P!ATD songs before, I wasn’t that into them. But as of now, I’m officially a ‘sinner’ (that’s what we’re called). It’s awesome!

They change up their tune a lot so their songs don’t all sound the same. The lead singer and only remaining original member, Brendon Urie has a mindblowing voice! And they’ve got some killer music videos! What else could you possibly ask for?

My tastes, particularly in music, change a lot. But I can totally tell that Brendon Urie and Panic! at the Disco are going to be a long term obsession. And their new album is out!! It’s called ‘Pray For The Wicked’ and I’ve already listened to the three songs they released earlier and loved them! So this fangirling was inevitable!

Anyway, the point of this post was to make a playlist of P!ATD songs along with a few other songs I’m currently listening to. So here it is.

  • Emperor’s New Clothes (P!ATD)
  • Miss Jackson (P!ATD)
  • Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time (P!ATD)
  • The Ballad Of Mona Lisa (P!ATD)
  • Death Of A Bachelor (P!ATD)
  • Collar Full (P!ATD)

and there’s a lot more of that, but now I’m going to get to the other songs by other bands and artists.

  • Quarter Past Mindnight (Bastille)
  • Pompeii (Bastille)
  • My Boy (Billie Eilish)
  • Bellyache (Billie Eilish)
  • Dance To This (Troye Sivan ft. Ariana Grande)
  • Entertainer (Zayn)
  • Girls Like You (Maroon 5 ft. Cardi B)

And yeah. That’s about it for now. Au revoir!

Fictional people and worlds

I prefer fictional people to real ones. That’s the sort of person I am. No offense to any of my friends reading this. Fictional people are amazing. No matter how flawed they are, I would rather spend time with them than anyone else. And that means that I tend to get emotionally attached to them. Particularly ones that I actually invent. They’re fully developed, amazing, very real people in my head before I’ve even put them down on paper. Sometimes they get a little lost in the process of me putting them down on paper. But that doesn’t matter too much to me. If I can’t show people how amazing these imaginary people are, whatever. At least I know.

Sometimes, I wonder how writers kill off their characters and make it seem like it was the easiest thing to do while leaving millions of readers devastated. I know I would have to kill one eventually if I keep writing. But I’d have to make that death count. Like really count. I will never let any of my good characters die in vain. I swear.

You know how fictional characters have the most amazing lives? They’re full of drama or adventure or near-death experiences or other things that are as far from normal as one end of the universe is from the other. My exaggeration is a little over the top, but you get the point. I can’t help being jealous of them because my life is seriously mundane. It’s as mundane as anything could get and it’s boring. If being bored was a talent, I’d be the most talented person in the multiverse. The point is, the word “Boring” defines my life.

So rambling about how awesome fictional people are is my average interesting day. Stuff doesn’t get more exciting this. Rarely, if ever. I forgot why I started writing this in the first place, but I’ll tell you something. This post perfectly sums up why I spend so much time reading and writing. I’d rather live in an imaginary world all the time than in the real one. Reading and writing help me do that. Besides, the real world is a terrible, terrible place.

Why parent-teenager relationships are terrible

Here’s a question that occurs to a lot of people. Why is it so difficult for parents to be friends with their teenage kids? Seriously, why? Why is it that when we hit puberty, our friends become way more important that our parents? We don’t talk to our parents anymore. We don’t think they get us. We don’t think they’re cool. So here’s my opinion on this.

The thing about being a teenager is that we want to be treated like adults, but we’re still treated like kids. And yes, we’re moody and hormonal and stubborn, but even our parents were teenagers once. They’ve been through it too. That’s got to count for something. Except it doesn’t seem to help them when it comes to connecting with us.

One reason why is because they’re from a different time. When they were young, they didn’t have so many distractions as they so often remind you. They didn’t have gadgets and video games and bla bla bla and they went “outside” and played with their friends and bla bla bla and listened to music that wasn’t loud and offensive and bla bla bla. You get where this is going. But here’s the thing. I think that my parents’ generation is annoyingly opposed to change. They refuse to adapt. They think everything in their time was way cooler than things now. I’m not saying this applies to everyone or that it’s a bad thing really, but see why it’s difficult for them to connect with us? But, hey, it’s not entirely their fault though. We’re not ready to try and listen to the sort of music they like or try to do things the way they used to. We’re not trying at all. But come on! They’re the ones who want to be involved in our lives. We’re not asking for it.
Speaking of being involved in our lives, some of them try too hard. They make too big a deal of everything. That makes it difficult for us to want to communicate with them. About anything. They interfere in everything particularly things that you’d want to handle yourself. And it’s so not cool when you get your parents involved in something serious at school because then you’re just a snitch.

And that last statement leads me to peer pressure. I wish it didn’t exist, but it does. And peer pressure is what gives you an idea of what’s considered cool and what’s not. Adults seem to forget that peer pressure exists in school. It’s what leads us, sometimes, to think our parents aren’t cool. And it also leads us, in some cases, to do things we probably shouldn’t do. And in cases like that, it’s probably good for parents to get involved, but I think they need to give us a little room to figure things out for ourselves first. We want to be treated like adults, remember? We want to feel like we can take our own decisions and deal with things on our own. And I think we need a little bit of that freedom. To make mistakes and learn from them. But yes, we also need to know our parents are there for us in case we mess up really bad.

My point is, we want our parents to try to understand us and connect with us, but we also need them to give us a little space and a little freedom to feel like independent individuals who can do things on their own. And sometimes, we don’t need them to be our friends. A million times more than that, we need them to be our parents i.e. responsible adults who can reprimand us for doing stupid things because they love us and want us to learn.

Gun control in the U.S.

So you probably know about the school shooting in Florida. If you don’t, you’ve clearly been living under a rock. Let me drag you out from under that nice, shady rock. So, on the 14th of this month, a 19-year-old named Nikolas Cruz killed 17 people in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. He had mental health issues. And he’d been expelled from the school. And he planned a shooting. And it turned out to be one of the worst school massacres.

I don’t live in the US. What Donald Trump does has no direct effect on me. These shootings are horrible, but they happened in a whole other part of the world so they don’t directly affect me. But no matter where in the world you live, you give a damn about what happens in the United States. I don’t know why everyone cares so much. But that’s just how it is. Even I care. And because I just love inflicting my opinions on people, this is what I think.

This incident isn’t surprising. When I hear “Shooting in the US”, what I end up thinking is “Again?”, because it just keeps happening. And every time it happens, it’s like a wake-up call for the US, but it doesn’t last very long because the country just falls asleep again. Gun control debates begin, but they don’t get anywhere. This happened after the Las Vegas shooting, this probably happened after all of the other, previous shootings and it’s happening now. Gun control debates that just go around in circles. This time, we have victims of the shooting advocating gun control. Teenagers who were there and saw people they know die. You’re thinking something good might happen now. You’re thinking maybe some laws would be changed and that they’d make it more difficult for a person to get a gun. You’re thinking they’ll finally do something about it.

But then President Trump comes up with the ingenious idea to train and arm teachers to prevent school shootings. Wow. Students and teachers were shot at in a school. They saw people die. They had a barrel of a gun pointed at their heads. So why don’t we bring more guns into the picture? Yeah. Great idea. President Trump sure is a “stable genius”. No offense to anyone who actually supports the guy or whatever.

Now I’m going to come to the fact that there were cops outside the school a little after the shooting started. They did nothing. They just stayed outside. And to hear Trump talk about how he would’ve run into the school unarmed if he had been there was ridiculous because personally, I don’t think he would’ve done anything.

Anyway, if it isn’t clear enough already, I support gun control in the U.S. Not that my opinion matters much because I live in India. It doesn’t really affect me at the moment. I want to go to the U.S. later so it’ll affect me then. Unless they do something about it now.

But it seems to me that it’s too easy to get your hands on a gun in the U.S. And there are too many people dying because of that. No one’s talking about getting rid of guns entirely. That’s not what should happen. They’re required sometimes. Self-defence and all that. I get it. They just have to make the gun laws more strict so that a 19-year-old with mental health issues can’t get a gun to kill 17 people in a high school. And so that any other kind of shooting doesn’t happen either. I mean seriously, how many more casualties are there going to be next time?

Normal is boring.

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings -Maya Angelou

‘I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings’ is the first book in a series of autobiographies by the African-American poet, writer, civil rights activist and my namesake, Maya Angelou. It is the most well known and most critically acclaimed book out of the 7 autobiographies. The book talks of Maya’s childhood and coming of age.

It barely took me any time to fall in love with Maya Angelou. Some friends of mine joked about it, saying it was because we shared a name and I’ll admit that maybe that’s a part of it (I am sort of obsessed with my name), but it’s also so much more than that. Maya was incredibly inspiring. She was strong and intelligent and persistent even through the toughest times in her life.

Being an African-American in Southern USA during a time when racism was rampant, it was difficult. Despite having to deal with racism, Maya also constantly felt like she didn’t belong anywhere. Her parents abandoned her and her brother when she was only 3 years old and she spent her early years in Arkansas with her grandmother. For a while, ‘white’ people barely seemed real to her. But later on, she started to feel the effects of racism. Due to her feeling of not belonging anywhere and the lack of any sort of physical affection in her life, she went through a horrible experience. She was raped when she was 8 years old and she didn’t even know enough to realize that it wasn’t her fault. She blamed herself for it and refused to talk to anyone, but her brother after the incident. The incident made her precocious and affected her life in ways she wasn’t quite equipped to deal with. But she pulled through anyway.

Maya had strong women in her life to look up to like her grandmother (Momma) and her mother (Vivian Baxter). She endured everything that came her way. She shunned the racist ideals in the world around her and as an act of defiance, she became the first black streetcar conductor in San Francisco. She went through so many things and came out stronger. All of this made her so inspiring. The book, ‘I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings’ was beautiful and it gave me a look into the early stages of Maya’s life while also making me aspire to be strong and brave and amazing like she was. Even her poems are very meaningful and the one I took a particular liking to was ‘Still I Rise’. The first few lines lines of the poem are:

You may write me down in history

With your bitter, twisted lies.

You may trod me in the very dirt

But still, like dust, I’ll rise.”

She’s my most recent obsession and she is absolutely brilliant. I have 6 more autobiographies and a lot of poems to read which I’m totally looking forward to. The cool part about this is that we share a name! That’s awesome! Even though ‘Maya’ wasn’t her actual name. You’ll know how she got the name if you read the book. Sharing a name with her doesn’t make me any greater as a person, but I know that I want to be like her.