Notes of fatherhood #1

I wrote previously that there are things that people always tell you about children that are just straight out lies. These lies are not only about certain feelings or things that happen but more closely related to certain actions limited to your kid. I know this sounds like it makes no sense what so ever, but bare with me and all shall be clear.

When your kid is born it can only communicate through one things. That thing being crying. So it cries when it is tired, when it is hungry, bored and whatever else you can think of. This unfortunately means that you will lack quite some sleep at the beginning. The lack of sleep leads to you doing and saying things you don’t mean simply because of the stress and annoyance that a lack of sleep is accompanied with. In the army this is for example a very efficient torture method (or maybe not only in the army). But I digress, the tiredness that leads to the eruptions of emotions is something that is quite normal but annoying, and because both parties are on edge controlling these outbursts can be difficult. However, one thing I never could understand was why people would assume that a relationship that has hit hard times, might be better with a child in the picture. If anything the opposite is true. A relationship that has hit the rocks will never be better when a child is involved, it will be worse! But that is another matter all together.

When children cry they do so in a very interesting frequency that lets your teeth chipper, your nostrils shake with horror and your head ring in a tone you have never ever heard before, and most likely never want to hear again. Oh and those that say they sleep through it (Yes YOU! YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!) are lying! There is no way in hell you can sleep through that incessant crying, but wake up when there is some music playing in the background. You not going to see the kid means not that you are asleep but that you are too tired to get up and push the responsibility on the other person.

Actually if the person sleeps through it then run a test. While asleep take some music with some shrilling noises and play it next to that persons ear, we will see if they wake up then. But back to the matter at hand. The crying can stop on its own after a while or continue on for years (yes I mean years). Naturally the first thing people say when you ask them how their nights are, they always smugly reply that their child is sleeping perfectly every night. At that moment (although I know I want to smack them in the face) test that matter. Come once unannounced to their house at a time when the child is supposedly asleep. It is then that suddenly you will hear the excuses: Normally he is asleep already. I don’t know what’s gotten into him, he always sleeps right away…

So why lie?! Well that’s the real question, and I don’t have a real answer except that people always want to be considered good parents. It doesn’t matter if they lie or not they want to appear as really good parents. The one thing people tend to forget is that we all learn how to be parents while doing it. And most of us have multiple jobs (mother/father next to the normal job) which means we can’t spend that much time learning how to do everything. So need to get a book on the matter go ahead, if that works for you but don’t forget that every child is different and no manual can tell you everything. One other interesting fact is that everyone can be a parent, there is nothing that you need to pass, no degree no nothing. But if you want to adopt then you need to pass a multitude of tests and channels and you are never guaranteed any result at the end. Unless you are Madonna…

The run aournd

Some place where the sun is but a yellow ball in the sky

And no sound echoes in the rivers of night

Animals walk without fear in their heart,

shades of colors feast for the eyes

When those who stare can only see the run around

Places as far and wide as the universe spins

to edges of the mind where only the children can sing

Far into the land of mist they travel

in a water basket of musty old bagles

Where those who care only find the run around

In a gentle grasp of a wave gone wrong

the chalice of gold is now lost yet found

nothing good from darkness can come

but still it is near ever to be bound

And those who can feel find the run around

Note: A little poem that came from nowhere, settled in my mind and left to be here…

The problems with the best of lists

I have been looking at new lists as of late, to try and find something new to read. I looked through the great google for support but the lists that come up were always the same kind of lists. One factor in it was that I wanted something good and not the same old drivel that people put out. The other factor is what is considered good or the best, is always limited and this is where the same things always pop up. The worst in all of these is comic books. I love comic books and consider them to be an essential part of modern literature. However, there is so much garbage out there that it is hard to find really good ones. And when you take the time to actually go through the sites and review and so on you find the same names over and over again. It is always watchmen is the greatest single work of art in existence and bla bla bla. I am getting tired of everyone being such a frank miller fan or an alan moore junkie. Sure they were great at their day but its not like no new comics are coming out. More importantly there are so many other things out there that are great that the whole fetish with the older gen, is frankly getting a little old and mundane.

This is why there should be a site setup with some recommendation database basics. Where users could just put their favorite comicbooks or graphic novels and a list with what other users liked would be given or similar categories. I wait impatiently for such a site to come, interestingly things like that already exist for the world of manga. Which is a great way to discover new manga, if you are into manga that is.

So if there are people like me out there that are looking for good tpbs and cant find them here is my short list of things to read (and its not marvel or DC! because let’s face it they really are a one trick pony. A good trick, but still only one). So let us begin with Image which shows the most promise there are several really good books out. Chew, morning glories, witch doctor, luther strode, todd the ugliest kid, whispers, end of time…, grim leaper, saga, whispers and thats all i can think of at the moment. Dark horse is another great publishing house and from them I would really recommend colder, the secret, rex mundi and the goon. Now here is to hoping a recommendation site will actually find its way into existence.

An ode to the death of rats

The night was dark and gloomy. No stars were visible across the densely clouded sky. The cold wind of winter howled occasionally as it made its way across the empty streets, stirring some noises into the otherwise quiet streets. Behind the noise of the galloping wind was a tapping sound. It slowly grew stronger as it made its way through the street towards a wide bridge, where it abruptly stopped. The noise belonged to two heavy-set gentleman who were carrying a third individual with them. That individual seemed less at ease but that might be have been due to the fact that his feet were encased in cement. The two heavy-set men were about to heave the incapacitated men off the bridge and into the cold river below, when a set of quick steps echoed through the streets.

The heavy-set men stopped and looked around them to find that the quick steps belonged to a strangely clad gentleman who had was wearing a colorful red robe and a large pointy hat with the word wizzard on it, his face was decorated with a large brown beard.

The three people on the bridge forgot everything for a moment; what they were supposed to do; who they were, and just stared open-mouthed at the strange manifestation that stood in front of them.

‘I am very sorry to disturb you, but could you perhaps tell me when I am?’ asked the strange ‘wizzard’.

Noticing that his colleagues were somewhat lost in their minds, trying to make a piece that shouldn’t be there fit in their world, the encased person took the opportunity to speak and try to convey as many signs as possible to the ‘wizzard’ that he needed help urgently. The signs manifested themselves as winks, eyebrow raising, little fits of coughing and other such tricks. ‘You are in 1955… huuehuumm…’

‘Oh!’ the wizzard seemed to ponder at this and stared back at the gentleman. ‘So this might be roundworld right?’ he asked.

The incapacitated gentleman was becoming increasingly anxious. He tried everything he could think of short of crying out for help and nothing seemed to be working. ‘I guess so… I don’t know!’ He answered angrily. ‘But we could talk about it all you want over a pint?!’ he said smiling a large and nervous smile.

The wizzard stared at the gentleman and said ‘No thank you, I’ll be running away now. Thank you.’

This seemed to break the spell and the two heavy-set men finally moved from their position. Understanding that this might be his very last chance the gentleman called out ‘Aren’t you going to help me?!’

‘Oh no!’ answered the wizzard ‘I can’t risk something happening to me.’ and with that the wizzard was gone his quick steps quickly nothing more than an ancient memory.

The heavy-set men turned back to the job at hand.

‘Can’t we talk about this? I mean this was so weird, why don’t we just laugh it off in the pub?’

The men looked at each-other and silently agreed that going to the pub was a very good idea indeed. They heaved the gentleman over the edge and walked towards the nearest pub where they had a good few drinks. The gentleman’s plunge into the water was witnessed by no one except a pigeon who happened to fly by. What happened after the plunge was also witnessed by no one. Not even the pigeon. A strangely clothed person took off his pointy hat and robe and jumped into the water…


This is my little ode to Terry Pratchett whose work I admire and cherish. May you rest in peace and may death and the death of rats welcome you into their domain.

End of a dream

As many have probably heard by now, Terry Pratchett, the master of discworld and one of the most loved and best known authors around the world, has passed away. He was fighting with Alzheimer for a while now and it has finally after a struggle won. Alzheimer, however did not mean that Terry Pratchett stopped writing, not by a long shot. After being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2007 Terry Pratchett wrote making money, unseen academicals, I shall wear midnight, snuff, raising steam and the shepherd’s crown all in the discworld series. Next to those he also wrote: Nation, Dodger and with Stephan baxter: the long earth, the long war and the long mars.

The reason I list all these books (and its not even all of them), is to show one simple yet prominent characteristic of Terry Pratchett. The incredible stamina and perseverance he had. The incredible strength that made him such an incredibly witty, funny, dramatic, and simply amazing writer. Think about it, how many people do you know who can write so many books consistently, while struggling with Alzheimer. Naturally the disease progressed slowly, but still to be able to write at such a pace with such vigor, is simply perplexing to me. I know enough people that struggle to write one book in a year or two, and here is the great terry Pratchett putting every single one of us to shame. His quality never really diminished, certain books you enjoyed more than others but the quality of his work was always there and although I didn’t really like Nation, I loved Dodger.

I grew up reading his books and they taught me everything about a world very different from our own, where the world is flat and carried by four elephants on top of a giant turtle, across space. A world unlike anything I have ever read previously and yet so familiar I could almost taste it.  It is this familiar feeling that I so associate with the discworld. This feeling of knowing its a strange world and yet everything in it is as though it was just in my back garden. That is the charm and wisdom of Terry Pratchett. To me he was the greatest fantasy writer and now the world is poorer for his loss. I am poorer, and more than that I will always treasure the memories and the legacy he has left. It somehow feels slightly unreal because there was always a new book coming out, always a discworld fix to fill my need and now that he is no more there is a hole that will for quite some time remain empty…

The strange ways of things, an update of sorts

I haven’t had too much time to write lately and as someone who isn’t a professional writer it is always a pain when one can’t write. Simply put it is because the only way a person who wants to write can improve, is by writing. So if you don’t have time to write you can’t improve or publish anything on this blog of mine. So what I thought I would do was to write a little opinion piece on water.

So next to it being the single most important ingredient for our survival (we are mostly water after all), did you know that water is never really water?

Ok tricky I know, if water isn’t water what the hell is it?

I’ll clarify, water is considered to be H2O so two molecules of hydrogen and one of oxygen. However water is in a state of flux you should say. It is more accurate to say that it is 2*H2O and that is equal to one molecule of OH (one oxygen and one hydrogen) and H3O (three hydrogen and one oxygen). This balance is what gives rise to an alkali or an acidic solution. The so called pH is a scale we use to measure the H3O content. So water as it is, is never just water it is almost like it is two separate bit intrinsic solutions that play with one another for dominance. Anything you add to the water will affect it and anything that affects it will likely change the delicate balance.

When is water actually water?

Well never, water is notoriously difficult to isolate or purify to only H2O without anything else in it. And even if you manage to get to H2O it will be split between H3O and OH so not the water that you know or learn about.

Water is in a way the most simple molecule but in actuality it is also a very strange one.

In the future maybe i’ll do some more nerdy posts about science or other things.



For those who missed my Halloween story here it is in all of its bloody gore

Originally posted on Dreams and landscapes:

Blood was spilt. The once white room was now covered in dry coagulated blood, it was everywhere, leaving dark red traces making it look fake as if it wasn’t real but rather dried out paint. The bedroom and bathroom were both covered in it; it even reached parts of the ceiling.
Jack stared in shock at the dried out blood, it was mind blowing that one person could go to this length just to harm another. He, together with a forensic team, was looking at the strangest crime scene he had ever seen. Pieces most likely of human flesh were scattered through the bathroom, the body was cut into so many pieces it didn’t even resemble anything remotely human. The person who committed this atrocity had taken his time making sure every single piece of tissue was cut many times over. One thing was still missing however, bones. The tissue…

View original 4,860 more words

Chapter 4 – Saci

Josh and Anna waited for Boris to continue and say something else but Boris just kept quiet and kept his thoughts to himself. They now knew as much as they could, they knew that they were stuck here in Scriven and the real question was what next? What could they do to get back home. The only clue they had and the only person they could ask was standing right in front of them.

Anna and Josh shared a look and it was Anna that turned to Boris and asked ‘Do you know how we could get back home?’

Boris didn’t answer immediately he just stared towards the distance at nothing in particular and eventually said ‘To get back home you will need to move your physical body there.’

‘Like teleportation’ Josh interrupted.

‘Teleportation?’ wondered Boris ‘I am not familiar with that word.’ He added looking at the two.

‘It is the term people use, when they immediately transport themselves from one place to another. Although I don’t know if it is the same thing to go through one universe to another.’ Boris answered.

‘Ah, yes. To do that you need someone that can open the space between universes.’ Boris said ‘Not an easy thing to do, I am not even sure it is possible without help from the side you want to get to.’ He added pondering the issue.

At this both their faces dropped.

‘Don’t look so sad’ Boris quickly said ‘there are people who can do, this teleportation you speak of, but I am not sure that they can bridge two places.’

At this both looked slightly less depressed, but they still had no tangible answer for their immediate concern. So they kept their hopes to a minimum and just listened carefully.

‘The most obvious example I could think of, would be the Djinn. They continually go through places popping up and causing trouble. They could do it, but to get a Djinn to help you is another matter all together. The only way you can get a Djinn to help you, is by getting the artefact they are attached to, usually something old and inconspicuous looking, like rings, chains, lamps or lockets and pendants.’

‘So where can we find a Djinn’ asked Anna excitedly.

‘Beats me.’ Answered Boris simply, he eyed them both and added ‘But at least this gives you a starting point.’

‘Could you come with us?’ asked Josh hopefully.

Boris looked at him his eyes squinting, Josh felt as though he was being scrutinized, finally Boris answered simply ‘No.’

Josh was slightly taken back by the answer. He though that Boris would have helped them on their way, he surly didn’t expect him to just answer negatively, especially after all the answers he had given them and all the help he had already given them. He lowered his head slightly and decided it wasn’t worth making a fuss about it. Instead he said ‘could you point us in the right direction then? Maybe a place where we could find some answers, or clues to where we can find a Djinn?’ he asked.

Boris stared at the two his eyes sparkling in mischief. ‘You are asking me for advice?’ he asked.

‘Yes’ Josh answered.

‘Well, you should go to the cities of Muspelheim, Xibalba and Irkala, there you should be able to find some answers.’ Boris said smiling a wide grin that looked slightly frightening. ‘It will be difficult to find them though, but I think if you keep walking towards the forest,’ he said pointing towards the east at the outline of which a forest was just visible. ‘you might get there.’ he added cryptically.

‘What do you mean “you might”?’ demanded Anna.

‘Well the Djinn are not very sociable to say the least, in fact they loath company so they reside in little pockets in space that they create in inconspicuous and difficult to get to places, or things. Those cities are the first difficult places I can think of that might offer you some answers.’

‘Are you sure, you won’t come with us?’ asked Josh again.

‘Not in a million years’ said Boris ‘actually make that an indefinite number of years’ he added after thinking it through.

‘It isn’t anything dangerous, is it?’ asked Anna

‘Oh, no. I am sure that a couple of smart ones like you will be able to handle anything thrown at them with little to no problem.’ At this Josh smiled, Anna had a doubtful look on her face that stayed there for an uncomfortable time.

‘If it is easy then why won’t you come with us?’ asked Anna.

‘Because you could say you are now in my home. And with all due respect to you too I do not want to leave my family behind for a journey that could take weeks to complete.’

‘Weeks?!’ exclaimed Anna.

‘You want to get back home, even if you knew exactly what you needed to do and where and how to use it, you still have to get it and use it which won’t be easy. But now you don’t know where to go, or what to do and even if you do there is no guaranty you will find everything and get it to work. So yes weeks is very logical.’

‘Alright, thank you very much for everything.’ said Josh, extending his hand and shaking Boris’s hand vigorously in one big swoop.

Anna on the other hand didn’t share Josh’s enthusiasm; instead she just stared at Boris carefully and said ‘If everything goes according to plan we won’t see you again. If it does not, we will’

Josh stared at Anna in shock, not sure what to do with Anna’s threat. To his pleasant surprise Boris just smiled and said ‘May the sun follow you on your way.’

Anna and Josh started walking in the direction that Boris had pointed to. Josh was waving back to Boris for quite some time while they walked at first Josh could still recognize Boris’s figure standing in the fields but quite quickly he was just another part of the scenery, unrecognizable. Anna walked on, she didn’t look back, her back straight, she walked on firmly and unconditionally towards the forest, unflinching and not turning back to face Boris even once.

After they had walked for about 30 minutes Anna suddenly stopped in her tracks and turned to face Josh. ‘Do you think Boris pointed us in the right direction?’ she asked him her eyes stern and her face set firm.

‘Why wouldn’t he?’ answered Josh.

‘I don’t know,’ answered Anna her face deep in thought staring at the sky. Finally she faced Josh again and asked ‘but what should we do? Continue walking towards the forest or walk to the west instead to the mountain range.’

‘I think we should continue in the way that Boris told us.’ answered Josh.

Anna looked as though she was about to argue, than thought the better of it and without a second word she turned around and continued her march towards the forest. Josh stared at her Anna’s back, she wore what she always wore to school, a red and black shirt with blue jeans. It was simple but probably comfortable and it suited her. It fitted well with her character while dresses probably didn’t. Josh didn’t really know Anna, he was never the extravert type of person but he did want to get to know Anna a little better. Although with Anna it was always difficult, she was always a very closed and introvert person. She kept to herself and never talked to anyone, as far as he knew she had no friends in school. He always thought they were a little similar, he never talked to too many people either, but the big difference between the two of them was that he at least had some friends, and good ones at that.

Josh stared at Anna’s back again and thought that maybe Anna was playing a part in school, a theatrical role and that maybe she was a different person when she was at home, maybe she liked to wear dresses and skirts when she was at home for example. At school there were no real rules for what they were allowed to wear, as long as it wasn’t too revealing. Many girls wore skirts to school but Anna never did, she always wore the same kind of shirts and jeans. Josh was sure that skirts and dresses would have suited her too.

He tried to speak to her several times previously but she never really answered back to him. Or she was just being outright distrusting and simply pushed him away. That wasn’t going to deter him though, he kept at it and slowly she did open up slightly. Although maybe open up was pushing it a bit. It was more like she now tolerated his presence rather than shoed him away immediately. She still didn’t say much though, but it gave Josh the impression that even she ever wanted or needed someone she might call upon him. He was after all the only person in school she communicated with, even if it was only on rare occasions, so he really was the only her only option. He tried to come to terms with the situation and where he stood when Anna abruptly stopped and he very nearly bumped into her.

She turned to face him again and said ‘I think Boris lied to us’

‘Why would he do that?’ retorted Josh slightly resentful

‘I don’t know, but did you see the sly smile he gave us? It was a sneaky smile. I have a feeling he was not telling us something, almost like he wanted us to get into trouble or something.’

‘But Anna that makes no sense, he was helping us already by answering all of our questions. I mean he didn’t have to do that, but he did.’ Pleaded Josh

‘Exactly, he didn’t have to answer any of our questions and he could have told us anything and we would have believed him. Because the truth is we are stuck somewhere and we know nothing. So maybe he has some kind of secret agenda, I don’t know yet.’

‘That makes no sense, maybe he was just nice. Or if we assume he wasn’t nice then maybe he didn’t really care if we knew or not. Either way the only thing we can do now is go wherever he told us right?’

‘No. That is not the only option, we can choose to go the other way and make our own decisions based on what we saw. I mean, yes we are in some strange place, but no we don’t need to believe Boris. I don’t trust him.’ Anna stared at Josh waiting for him to talk her out of it, but he didn’t. Instead he just stared at her, waiting for her to make the decision.

‘Well?!’ Anna asked looking directly into Josh’s eyes.

Josh stared back and then quickly lowered his eyes to the ground ‘I don’t know. I think he was just being nice. And honestly the forest sounds better than the alternative.’

Anna stared at the view in front of them: to the left stretching as far as the eye could see was the forest, the first option. To the right was a stretch of sand and in the back of it far beyond was a large mountain range. The tips of the mountains were covered with a small layer of white snow. She tried to clear her mind and think which way would be better when she was interrupted by the growling and grumbling noises of her stomach. She stared at her little black wristwatch.

The black wristwatch was a gift her father gave her for her 8th birthday. Now a few years later she still had it and she wore it constantly. She only took it off when she went to sleep.

The time was 12:00, normally at school this was when she went outside took out her sandwich and ate it in silence, now though everything was different. She didn’t let it show but when Boris said that their journey might take weeks she was frightened. She quickly pushed that little part in her down and shut it up, but it was like trying to hush a waterfall, she could still hear it echoing in the far recesses of her head.

Three weeks? We have to survive on our own for three weeks? That is impossible! What will you eat or drink? Where will you sleep? And what about your father?!

She knew the voice well, it came to haunt her mind on many occasions and it was doing so now showing her; her failings, her insecurities showing her everything that could go wrong and worse of all it showed her, her dad alone, lost without her.

She bit her tongue trying to keep her emotions away, keeping her emotions in check. Over-thinking the situation was useless, she had a current problem and she needed to solve it. She tried to think of the situation objectively, tried to think what direction would offer the best solution or at least the least problems. She had to take into account that food could be a very real problem. Their first concern should be food and because they had nothing with them they needed to go somewhere where there was more chance to find some. If she looked at it that way the decision was easy to make.

‘I think we will go to the forest.’ Announced Anna finally ‘but not because Boris told us to go there. I think we should go there because that is our best chance to find food and maybe water.’

Josh smiled and simply said ‘that’s good thinking, I’m actually getting hungry. Do you think we will find food?’

‘Sure we will, who ever heard of a forest that has no food in it?!’

‘Yeah you’re right, we will find something for sure, I just hope we will also find this Djinn thing.’

‘For that we first need to get to the forest and don’t kid yourself it will be long.’

‘Alright’ said Josh his face set in unprecedented firmness and determination ‘Then we should get going.’

With that they stopped talking and focused on spending their energy on making their way to the forest. They weren’t sure how long it would take but they were now at least set to the same goal and with their destination clear a new determination guided them along the way.

About an hour or so into their march Josh started walking next to Anna instead of behind her. Anna was glad for this change; she didn’t much like walking in front of him, it just that she made a decision and went with it, for some reason it was as though she was the natural leader of their little pack. She didn’t want the role of leader or its responsibility that came with it, she thought that just taking care of herself was difficult enough. The only reason she was in front up until now in the first place, was because Josh for some reason known only to him decided to walk behind her rather than next to her. It made her feel slightly better knowing he was walking next to her.

They were walking for hours and they were becoming increasingly tired, so Josh suggested they should take a short break. There were no trees to offer any shade from the sun so they just squatted on the grass and took a short break to rest their legs. Anna stared at her watch it showed the time to be 2 in the afternoon. Anna hadn’t eaten or drank anything from 8 in the morning when she had her breakfast of cereals. Worse than the hunger however was the thirst, she was really thirsty now. Walking in the hot and warm air left her particularly parched. Her throat was dry and she felt an uncontrollable itch developing in the back of her throat in a place where she could not reach. She craved for a glass of fresh orange juice, or even a glass of cold water. She was never really a fan of water, she preferred juices but now she could do with some fresh water.

‘We shouldn’t wait too long, or it might be dark.’ Said Anna ‘plus the longer we wait the thirstier we will become.’

‘I am not that thirsty’ said Josh ‘and I have some orange juice in my pocket.’

‘You do?’ exclaimed Anna in surprise ‘Maybe we can drink a little?’ she asked.

‘Well I want to keep it for an emergency.’ Answered Josh. ‘Are you upset?’ asked Josh when Anna didn’t answer.

‘No’ she responded ‘I am just really thirsty but I understand. We should keep it until we feel we can’t go on without it any longer.’

Josh nodded and breathed a sigh of relief.

Anna allowed herself a little smile ‘what?!’

‘I just thought you might be angry with me.’ Answered Josh smiling a broad smile. They sat down for several more moments enjoying the temporary silence and rest before deciding it was time to get up and get going once again.

An hour later the first features in their immediate surroundings began to change. The grass around them was the first thing they noticed changing, at first when they sat out the fields were green and lush with a fresh smell hanging around, now though the lush green grass was becoming drier, the green fading into a dry yellow straw. The closer they got to the forest the drier the ground was which according to Anna made no sense. A forest needed water to prosper and from looking at the grass it looked as they were steadily heading to an area that had less water. Maybe the rainfall diminished but there was an underground current running that the trees were tapping into suggested Josh. With the uncertainty looming around them like a veil they marched on, somewhat reluctantly but without choice now. They were too far to change course and so stubbornly against their better judgment they trod on heading closer to the forest, that now seemed rather dark and uninviting and not at all the little piece of hope it seemed only moments ago.

The closer they got to the forest the more things around them changed. At first the ground changed from a fertile green grass to dry weeds and then completely dead barren with nothing growing in it at all. The ground turned hard and dark brown full of lumps and uneven, it was difficult to walk on it. But it wasn’t just the ground that changed it was the air around them. At first they hardly noticed but as they got closer to the forest it became more apparent. The blue skies were slowly turning into grey and the air around them which smelled fresh was now becoming stale, heavy and humid. The ominous feeling that they were heading to a place of darkness only intensified. They stopped just in front of the forest in unison and stared.

The trees were dark, dense and it was difficult to see anything through the thick brush of branches in front of them, anything at all. It was as though shadows danced in front of them blocking their view so that they could see nothing beyond the branches that blocked their passage. Anna and Josh stared at one another, they were feeling reluctant to enter the forest now that they were face to face with it, but neither of them felt like saying anything out loud. All thoughts of food and thirst were now of no concern as they faced the strange forest. They shared another look and then Anna stared coldly at the forest, searching for signs of weakness. She sighed and then took a step forward. Josh wanted to grab hold of her hand to reassure her as well as reassure him that everything was fine, although he knew the feeling deep down in the pit of his stomach told him to stop kidding. He wanted to walk calmly beside Anna but his feet were telling him that only a fool would enter a forest that was this dark when it was still light outside. But it was too late already Anna had already entered the forest and he had to quickly catch up to her, now if only his legs wouldn’t stay rooted to the ground he could get a move on. He tried to call out to Anna to alert her to his predicament but he was surprised to notice that when he tried to do so no sound would come. He tried to shout as loud as he could, but nothing happened. His voice just like his feet was not working properly. Fear slowly crept over him not because he was now rooted to the spot without any way to call for help, but because Anna now walked into the forest alone without him.

He pulled with all his might at his now frozen and motionless legs, trying to get them to cooperate but it was of no use. It was like trying to pull a truck. Josh tried to move the rest of his body only to find that it too was now beyond his control. Slowly but surely his body was not his to control anymore. It wasn’t as though he felt a numbness coming over his limbs it was as though all form of feeling was just gone. After his torso and hands were similarly irresponsive, came his neck and head until finally the only thing that he could maintain some control over were his eyes. He could blink and move them left and right without any problem; the rest however was now just flesh. He expected his body to fall forward but it didn’t, he was standing perfectly straight like a lamppost frozen to the spot.

Josh stood there for several moments where nothing happened, he was still breathing which meant that all the involuntary muscles weren’t similarly affected and for the moment there was no one around him. The feeling of dread slowly faded and there was not a lot he could do now anyway except looking around. He was concentrating on the sounds around him. When they first arrived this close to the forest he thought that all sound was gone, that they entered some closed environment, but now that he had some time to listen he noticed that wasn’t the case. There were sounds around him they were just muffled, as though his ears were padded with some gaze. He didn’t recognize the sounds he heard but they were definitely there. Soft throaty chirping sounds and other strange things that didn’t seem to go together, such as a gul-gul-gul sound similar to the sound you make when you drink combined with a tssss sound which sounds like a can of coke opening. Josh couldn’t make much out of the sounds but they made him slightly uncomfortable, more so because he couldn’t move and was now a target for anyone.

Several more moments passed and Anna still didn’t notice he wasn’t behind her or perhaps she was similarly stuck. Or maybe someone had taken his place. Maybe a monster of some sort transformed itself into him and was now walking with Anna. The thought of Anna being in danger made Josh increasingly anxious when suddenly standing there in front of him was Anna staring at him. Her mouth was opening and closing and it took him a while to realize that she was talking to him. Only he couldn’t hear her, whatever she was saying the forest was swallowing the sounds, or maybe his ears had been affected after all. Anna was becoming increasingly angry with Josh, he could tell because she was now opening her mouth wider when she was speaking and her face was contorted with a frown appearing above her nose. When Josh didn’t respond she put her hands on her hips muttered something and walked straight towards him and then just before she could reach him she looked like she hit something, she stumbled backwards in surprise and took a good look to see what it was that she hit. When she stumbled backwards Josh could hear a hearty laugh close to him, but he couldn’t see anything what it was. Anna probably couldn’t hear anything or if she did she did not appear to take any notice of it, instead she walked carefully towards Josh, arms stretched forward.  Then just before she could reach Josh she stopped and like a mime miming a box she did the same. There was a wall or something between the two of them.

‘Is this it?’ asked a voice behind Josh ‘I thought I could get at least a few more funny moments from the both of you.’ The voice sighed and then just as though nothing had happened Josh had control of his body again.

Josh flailed his body back and forth in joy taking immense pleasure at the simple movement he could now do. He had a big smile on his face as he quickly walked towards Anna. He checked once just to be sure and sure enough the invisible wall had disappeared.

‘Anna, thank god you’re ok, I was stuck in the position you saw me in and I couldn’t move or anything and I thought maybe a monster pretended to be me was walking with you and…’ Josh trailed off because Anna wasn’t looking at him she was looking open-mouthed at something behind him. Josh completely forgot about the voice that was talking when he was stuck. He was so happy to be able to move normally again that the voice and more importantly its owner completely vanished from his mind.

He turned around afraid of what he might see and stared open-mouthed at the creature that was standing in front of them. It was humanoid only it was standing on only one leg; he was wearing red pants and had bright red hair, other than his pants he was naked his skin dark brown. He was holding a pipe in his hand which he was lighting; when he lifted his hands Josh was shocked to see that there were holes in his palms. After he lit his pipe the creature turned his attention back to the two of them.

‘So humans huh’ he said puffing on his pipe ‘I have not seen any humans for a very long time. But where are my manners, let me introduce myself I am Saci.’ The creature said and reached out his hand.

Josh was the first to close his mouth and snap out of his trance. ‘Pleased to meet….’ Josh couldn’t complete the sentence because before he could reach the creature he fell flat on his face the wind completely knocked out of him. The creature burst out laughing. Josh got up slowly and looked at his sport shoes. The laces of the one shoe were tied together with the laces of the other shoe. Josh sat and started undoing the knot ‘did you do this?’ he asked.

‘Me?’ answered Saci feigning innocence.

‘Why did you lock Josh up?’ asked Anna. It was the first thing she said to Saci and her voice was venomous.

‘Because it was funny! You should have seen your face you looked like you were about to explode when you thought the boy wasn’t answering you and then when you hit the barrier that was just priceless.’ The memory of the moment sent Saci back into a fit of laughing that ended with him laughing so loudly he halfway started coughing. He hit his chest several times and then said ‘this pipe will be the death of me.’ This was apparently again very funny because he launched into another fit of hysterical laughter.

‘Comeon let’s go’ said Anna ‘This Saci is a nutter.’

‘What is a nutter?’ asked Saci.

‘It’s a crazy person.’ answered Josh.

‘Hey’ objected Saci ‘I could be offended by that, but I am an optimist so I gather it means that I am a genius in disguise, because everyone knows that the true crazies are all geniuses!’

Anna and Josh turned their backs to Saci and were about to enter the forest when Saci interrupted them. ‘I would not do that if I were you.’ He said cryptically.

‘You won’t do what?’ asked Josh.

‘I would not enter the forest.’ Answered Saci simply.

‘Why noug…’

Saci burst into another burst of laughter.

Anna looked at Josh his speech sounded slurred ‘Are you alright?’ she asked.

‘I m fn m ong s nm’

‘Oh your tongue is numb.’ Anna said trying hard not to crack and smile.

‘O gn na ma mt s nm’

Saci burst into laughter again his eyes were tearing. Anna was biting hard on her lips trying not to laugh herself there was something about Saci’s laugh that was contagious. She took a deep breath and looked at Josh. His tongue was sticking out of his mouth and he was now drooling. His eyes were said and he looked like he was begging Anna for help.

‘Saci, could you please do something about Josh?’ she asked the laughing Saci. He nodded.

‘That’s much better.’ Said Josh smiling. ‘Could you maybe stop doing these pranks on me.’ Josh asked.

‘Oh come now this is a joyous occasion for me I have not seen humans in centuries or is it longer than that? What is more than a century? Well whatever it is that is the answer.’

Josh looked at Anna she didn’t seem to understand it either. ‘What does that have to do with pranks or with what you are doing to me?’

‘What you have never heard of me?’ Saci asked in surprise.

Both children nodded their heads.

‘But I am famous. I am a legend in South America and in Europe. Have you really never heard of me?’

‘No sorry.’ Answered Josh.

‘Well I was always known for my pranks and I was an adored figure across continents although for some reason at first everyone feared me which was weird, but we all straightened it out.’

Josh and Anna shared a look, they had both never heard of a Saci. It was clear though that he had some strange powers and that he knew about earth.

‘Why shouldn’t we go into the forest?’ asked Anna again.

‘Because it is dangerous if you do not know your way around it. I would suggest to go back home, where you came from. There is nothing here. No humans, that is for sure. I have seen many creatures though. One thing I will tell you, do not try any pranks on the creatures in the forest they do not take jokes lightly! Which is strange in and of itself because how else can you take a joke?’

‘We can’t go back home’ said Josh ‘we are stuck here and Boris told us that the only way we might get back home is by teleporting there. So now we are searching for someone who can teleport us there.’

‘Well you are lucky you ran into me first because it could have been a lot worse you could have run into a dingonek or a unicorn.’

‘A unicorn?’ exclaimed Josh ‘I love unicorns’

Saci stared at Josh strangely ‘are you sure you are a boy?’ he asked.

Josh looked embarrassed and stared down to his feet.

‘Alright enough of this can we now enter this stupid forest? I am hungry and thirsty and tired from all this walking.’

Saci scrutinized Anna ‘are you sure you are a girl?’ he asked. When she started to look slightly embarrassed as well Saci burst out laughing again. ‘Do not worry you little heads I shall take you to my home and you shall be fed and on the morrow I will explain the forest and the things that lie in it and if you still feel like venturing into it I shall at least make sure that you are in good company.’ With that said the saci looked around the two and puffed on his pipe.

Josh and Anna stared at one another, they didn’t have much choice in the matter and it was better to be in the hands of an otherwise harmless prankster then in the arms of an unknown danger.

‘Alright Saci let’s go to your place.’ Said Josh.

‘Excellent’ and with a puff of smoke they were gone from where they stood.

Living without

Something strange has happened to me as of late. The strangeness is not so much a happening as it is a realization of something. This realization occurred to me after I lost something and what better format to tell you about this than right here. I have never noticed it before because living without something is very hard to do when you have never lived without it. Let me give you an example: prior to losing your sense of smell for example you never notice what an important part of your life it plays, this is true not only for certain senses that we lose but for many specific things that happen to us. We are creatures of habit and our nature tells us that we will always live they way we do, it is when we lose something that suddenly our world is thrown into disarray and we are somewhat at a loss for a remedy.

For me it was a relative small change, I lost my voice. After I lost it though I noticed how much I actually use it in communicating with other people and how difficult it must be for people who have lost their voice to adapt to the new situation. People that are born without a sense have had to content with that situation their whole life, that is not to say it is easier but in a way they don’t know what their missing. If you lost a sense irrelevant of what that sense is, you know what your missing and you have to content yourself with either having to live without forever or for a short period of time.

What I find even more interesting in this whole endeavor is that people don’t care. I mean we as a civilized and progressive society are continuously looking for ways to improve our way of life but for some reason we just don’t seem to actually care too much about the things that are happening around us, be it people who are down on their luck or other such things. We will give little notice to them or when we do we will simply give some money to some organization, but more importantly is that they do not interrupt us and do not become involved in our lives. We want the problem solved in a way that means we don’t want to be bothered by it and the best thing would be to just push it under the rug. However, after some time the lumps will prevent you from walking straight and as usually with these temporary solutions, you need to adjust somewhat to accommodate a more permanent solution that will benefit everyone involved. For the general public this means whisking the problem away for the ones who have the problem it means learn to live with it as quickly as you can. How cruel and how ignorant that may seem. Me my voice will come back unfortunately for many of us that will not happen and maybe the most important thing is use your senses wisely, you never know when it will disappear on you. Worse then losing something is having something and never use it…

The truth that lies

I want to write something about a subject that people always lie about. I am almost sure you wouldn’t guess the subject I am about to write about, simply because it so close to everyone’s heart that they never think they actually lie about it. So what is this subject in one word children. The whole process from labor to child birth to raising children is so full of lies that it is incredible how we become normal individuals at all. I know this might seem a little controversial but let’s break this down and I am sure you will see at least some points you will recognize.

1) Labor

The lies in labor are always the same. These involve famous quotes like “it will all be worth it in the end”, “there is hardly any pain involved” etc etc. I think people forget the pain that is involved or you would never have another child in the first place. But next to the pain there are so many other things that make it strange. For example why are pregnant women not telling one another the truth about the problems the annoyance and all the other things? They are largely ignored or they find too imbarancing to talk about. Next to that there are other discussion points involving the surgery and the labor itself but I will not go there now.

2) Baby’s

Let’s talk about the biggest lie of all… When you have a child its a lot of hard work! No one tells you these things but its true. Children and baby’s most of all will put a strain on your relationship and/or life in a way that will be new to you. Things will undoubtedly change and some of it will be good don’t get me wrong but some of it will be bad. If you have a baby that’s a good sleeper that already will be a good thing because the additional strain of a chronic lack of sleep won’t put you in a position to say stupid things to one another and communicate by screaming. If you are alone things will be worse still. Next to that is the feeding which if you have a baby that eats well is great if he doesn’t then great more problems.

There is one other little truth which goes to the dads out there. The mother has a connection (in most cases) to their child which is instant. The dad does not, the connection with the father comes later and there is no problem in admitting that. There is also no reflex involved in taking care of your child which is something people tend to forget. In most cases you need to figure things out and you will make mistakes on the way, which is only normal. The annoying part is that people never tell you these things they usually just look at you funny if you are having problem or if things are not going as smoothly as they should. But let’s face it if everything was going smoothly for everyone why is there post labor depression? Why are there so many broken relationships and so on and so on. There are so many more points I could criticize here but I think the most important part is that we as a society should support one another and not just criticize and talk about how everything is so easy. Because there are many things that are not easy and there is no easy guidebook and unfortunately everyone can have children.

3) Lies we tell to children

When a child grows up he asks us questions and here starts a problem. There are a lot of things we decide are too complicated for children and so we tell little lies, or because we don’t really know the answer or because we think its too complicated to explain. So we tell what we consider are white lies. “Dad how does the TV work?”

“Well there is a guy stuck in the TV that tells us everything you see and when you turn it off the guy dies!”

Alright so that’s a joke (I hope) but still there are many lies we tell that we learn as a lie ourselves. Things like how many senses do we have. Answer is NOT FIVE!!!

We all know the normal five: Hear, See, Taste, Feel (touch), and smell.

If you think that’s it just think about how it is that we can keep our balance without falling, or how do we know where we are in space even when our eyes are close (this research actually led to a noble price in 2014 which you can read about here:

Another few interesting ones are pain, temperature (difference between hot and cold) etc.

This is just one little example these lies are very different to the lies we tell to make someone feel better. For example “Ofcourse there is a Santa Clause”  and all the other things that we say to comfort our loved ones. Those are different lies which I won’t consider the same as the ones I explained previously. There are many other examples like this and if you want to know more examples there are many good books on the subjects which are great reads and usually quite funny, because many of the lies we tell we don’t even know are lies.

Oh and who came up with baby’s are bundles of joy?! They are definitely not a bundle of joy! But just to put a positive spin into all of this when your child laughs it is the most beautiful moment, and when he recognizes you and wants to kiss you or be in your arms these are all moments you should cherish because just when you get used to that they stop. And you wish they could be small again instead of Teenagers… But that’s a whole other bundle of trouble…