Five//A Short Story

flight sky earth space

 

“Five,” I whispered, buckling myself securely into my seat and laying my head back. I looked around the white cabin and waved at my Russian colleagues, who looked equally as nervous and excited as I felt. This was it–the big mission; history was being made, and we were a part of it.

 

“Four.” I closed my eyes, and suddenly I was back in my room as a kid, mapping out the glow-in-the-dark stars on ceiling in my head as I leaned back against the pillows. “And so,” Mother said, a quiet smile playing on her lips in the darkness, “Great Grampa Neil was the first man to ever step foot on the moon. And, someday, someone is going to go to Mars, and they’ll say the same for him. And then a planet outside this solar system…”

 

“Three.” I steadied my hands on the armrest and went over hundreds of thousands of memories that brought me to this day. My kindergarten interview, in which I stated that I wanted to be an astronaut. Receiving my first telescope. My high school graduation–I was inducted into the National Honor Society and was named valedictorian of my graduating class of two hundred kids. My senior trip to Kennedy Space. The college entrance exams. Tough, but worthwhile. After all, college got me here.

 

“Two.” My father’s picture flashed across my eyes, and chills sped up my spine as I thought of my hero I had never met. The grandson of Neil Armstrong. I closed my eyes and could still see the fire and smoke of the explosion I had watched on news clips years after the actual explosion–the explosion that had taken my father’s life.

 

“One.” Up in front of my face from where I had taped it on to a computer fluttered a picture of my mother, a hero in her own right. A hero who fell in love with my astronaut dad, and, even though the stars had taken him from her, pushed me to go explore them. And I was, I thought, grinning like the schoolboy I still was at heart. I was going to Mars, just like we both had always dreamed, hoped, prayed.

 

“Zero. Blastoff.”

 

—abilene

Advertisements

Ceilings//Original Poetry Summer 2018

Composed in my head August 25th, 2018

 

I lay in my bed and stare at the ceiling

Mere inches above my head.

Cracks weave their way around the popcorn paint.

I look around. Ceiling meets the walls

I am closed in. The world starts to move.

I feel trapped.

 

I lay in the grass and stare at the ceiling

Miles and miles above my head.

Deep blue cracks weave their way between specks of stars.

I look around. There are no walls.

The sky ceiling is limitless. And beautiful

I feel free.

 

–abilene (the poet)

He hears my cry

Have you ever been stuck?

 

It feels like you’re drowning in a decision, unsure of what to, unsure of how you can fix a situation. You know what’s wrong but there’s no easy way to change it. It’s frustrating…

 

 

/////

 

Let me tell you a secret. Lately, my writing has been a lot like that.

 

I’m working on the first draft of one of my WIP’s, The Alley Runners, and recently I felt like I hit a wall. There are two main characters, equal protagonists, and though the book is still in the early stages, I’ve been struggling. My protagonists personalities and feeling have been running together, even though, in my head, their personalities are different. Their character arcs are beginning to mesh. Keep in mind, this is only the first draft. But I didn’t want to toss at all the work I’ve already done, and I wasn’t sure how to properly map their character arcs, and so I had a dilemma. Do I really start all over again? And if I do, how to progress, because I love the beginning of my story? And if I map my character arcs, do I want to map them for a series, or for the single novel? If I decide I want this to be a series, do I want Though He Slay Me to be a stand-alone novel, so I don’t have to worry about writing two different serieses (that’s totally a word) at the same time? How do I write from two different yet similar point-of-views? AUGGH!

 

These were the thoughts I wrestled with late at night when I was trying to go to sleep. I just couldn’t find peace. My novel kept me awake, whispering to me in the back of my mind. An hour went past, and I still couldn’t sleep. Another thirty minutes. What do I do? I thought. It was beginning to weigh on me. I couldn’t get these nagging thoughts out of my head, and I was near tears in frustration. What did I do?

 

I prayed.

 

I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me earlier. I kind of just brushed God aside when I first laid down earlier that night, whispering an I’m-sorry-but-I-have-better-things-to-do prayer. The kind that doesn’t get any higher than the ceiling. But this prayer, this prayer was different.

 

 

I’m sorry, Jesus. I don’t know what you want me to do with my writing, but I give my books to you. Whatever you want me to do is OK with me. If it’s Your will that they never get published, great. My intent with these is to glorify and honor You, so I’ll let you decide what I am to do with them. Please give me your guidance and your grace. Hear my cry, oh God, attend unto my prayer. From the ends of the earth will I cry unto Thee. When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I. 

 

That last section is taken from Psalms 61. It happens to be my church’s favorite Scripture song, and has proved to help me in many times of distress, and that was one of them. Suddenly, I knew God had heard me. Everything I was worrying about clicked together. I don’t know how to describe it. And I knew exactly what I was going to do with The Alley Runners. I’m still not sure about sequels, but I have faith that God will show me the way. Isn’t God good?

 

My point is, we don’t always know what’s going to happen next in our lives, be it tomorrow, next week, or next year, but we serve One Who does. He’s left us many promises in His Word telling us not to worry, that He is in control. Yet we take them for granted, or only think about them in times of trouble. Let’s start believing them.

 

 

I’m so grateful I serve a God who hears my cry.

 

 

–Abilene (blessedly assured)

 

 

An Explanation

Hey, y’all. I’m actually posting at the end of the month (like I stated on January 2nd that I would). Ironic, isn’t it? Well, it may not be to you now, but it will be at the end of this post….muahahahaha.

 

goblin king laughing GIF by LEGO

just kidding….maybe 😉

 

Anyway. This post is going to be a sort-of apology, because I made a promise that I couldn’t keep. If you want to read the post I will refer to and quote in this one, click here.

 

 

My Dilemma

So, my friends and fellow bloggers, I would like to say that I am sorry. In my first post this year, I stated this gem:

 

at the end of each month, I tell y’all how I did: how much water I drank, how far I ran, how many words I penned, how many posts I wrote, how much money I saved, how many books I read, etc. Then, at the beginning of each month I will restate my monthly goals with renewed vigor. (Ha!)

 

And do you guys think that happened?

 

……

 

 

that 70s show lol GIF

 

…..

 

 

Doing scheduled goal-update posts every month was fine….until it got monotonous. I felt like I was saying the same things over and over again with no change, and I’m sure it was boring to read. So I quit, cold turkey. I didn’t say anything to you, or really to myself. I just stopped. And I feel guilty leaving you all hanging. So, without farther ado–an announcement!

 

 

For the second half of the year, I’m doing quarterlys!

 

 

Yes, I know there will only be two. Yes, I know this is kind of a late announcement after doing doing goal updates for longer than I’d like to admit. But I have to do something. I don’t want to abandon my resolution completely, so I’m merely modifying it.

 

 

So. In the works for next a month are a couple of book reviews, a writing prompt. Some fun things. Maybe a devotional. And I’ll see you all then.

 

 

—Abilene

 

 

How To Train Your Dragon//Movie Review

How To Train Your Dragon

On DVD please :) the sequel would be great as well :)

First Viewed: June 22, 2018

 

Apparently I’m one was one of the only people in the world who had not seen How To Train Your Dragon. Weird, right? It’s not like I’m over obsessive about animated movies at all….

 

 

Plot: This movie was not lacking. My only complaint was that Hiccup and Astrid ended up together…not a bad thing in and of itself, but it was totally cliche and predictable. Anywho, this tiny Viking outcast shrimp named Hiccup becomes a superstar by training a dragon, a long thought enemy, and saves his village.

 

 

Acting: Well, this movie is animated, so….. (the voice acting, however, was fantastic)

 

 

Script: It was fine. My favorite line from the whole movie:

america ferrera dragon GIF

 

 

Cinematography: Good, but not surprising because it’s a DreamWorks film. (But for real, who doesn’t love DreamWorks?)

 

 

Characters: Euhh. I didn’t really care all that much for Hiccup or Astrid. They were okay, I guess. But I LOVED TOOTHLESS. HE IS SO CUTE AUGH.

toothless GIF

 

 

 

 

 

So, fans of Toothless, what were your favorite DreamWorks films as a child? (Mine was The Prince of Egypt) And should I watch the second film, and/or read the books? What are your thoughts?

 

 

Ciao!

 

~Abilene (the dragon trainer)

 

how to train your dragon GIF
he is just so cute i can’t handle it

Summer Reading

School’s out and has been out for three weeks I’ve just been lazy and haven’t posted this and I’ve very excited to share with you the list of books I’m going to read before school starts this fall. The only problem with the list is that several of the books are first books in different serieses (that’s totally a word don’t judge me) and I can see myself reading one, getting caught up in the series, and only reading said series for the rest of the summer. Fortunately, I am a fairly fast reader (if I stay off Pinterest, that is) and can possibly read one book a day if I’m not busy and the book is not extensively long. Anyway, here’s my list.

 

 

 

Apocalypse Dawn

Because I found this at a thrift store and APPARENTLY IT’S A COMPANION TO THE LEFT BEHIND SERIES? Therefore, I must read it.

 

 

The Secret on Ararat

I just finished the first book in this series, and let me tell y’all, I cried. Sadness galore. But now I must read the next.

 

 

 

Black Beauty

Somehow, I’m not really sure how, I’ve made it to almost sixteen years old without ever finishing this book. Not that I really want to read it at this point, it’s just that I want to be able to say I’ve read it.

 

 

 

Will in Scarlet

Image result for will in scarlet

I have a major crush on Robin Hood and love re-tellings of the age-old story. Skimming through the juvenile section of my local library, I spotted this and thought it looked like it had a nice spin on the classic tale. Needless to say, I’m very excited.

 

 

A Hitch at the Fairmount

Image result for a hitch at the fairmont

I love espionage-y adventure novels, and this looked like a good read. Plus, Alfred Hitchcock shows up in it? Sounds good to me.

 

Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables ~ Vintage Book

I have read this one. I read the entire series, excluding The Blythes Are Quoted. But it’s been awhile, and after my failed attempt to re-visit old Anne last summer, I decided to try again.

 

 

Alex Rider: Stormbreaker

OK, I'll admit it. I really enjoyed these. They're great for when your brain needs a break (Dead Week reads anyone?).

Because who doesn’t love fourteen-year-old spies with a tragic backstory?

 

 

What are you all reading this summer? Have you read any of the books on my list? Do you have any big summer trips?

 

lots of love,

abilene (the bookwyrmish bibliophile)

 

Enemy of Evil: Chapter One

“Stop in the name of der Fuhrer!”

The footsteps of the soldiers pounded behind me and matched the rhythm of my pounding heart. The forest, I knew, would be the only place I could elude the Chancellor’s army. With no money and only worthless German citizenship because of my blatant rebellion against the Nazis, I was as good as dead. But I had a reason to fight to stay alive. It was on my back.

 

“Hans,” my reason whispered in my ear, “are the soldiers going to kill us?”

 

Gisela had a rough life ahead of her, I knew. She was only a baby when the Chancellor rose to power and could remember no life other than the one in Hitler’s regime. Seven now, she was my only sibling and I had deep feeling that she deserved a chance to live in peace–peace that Hitler would never bring.

 

“Hush. No. Not if I have anything to say about it.”

 

We were almost to the edge of the woods now. The city patrol following us had no idea what the significance of the forest meant. I had grown up playing there with my best friend, Benjamin, and knew all the deer paths and shortcuts. That was before Benjamin was taken.

 

The year is 1940 and the world is deep in a terrible war, comparable to the Great War, which happened long before I was born. My father, however, served in the Great War when he was not much older than I am now. It was in the middle of wartime France that he realized he had a knack for weaponry, which put him on the road to success when he returned home to a defeated Weimar Republic. Now he works almost directly for der Fuhrer, the man who destroyed everything right that ever was in Germany.

 

I may sound bitter. It is because I am. I had not seen war until I was seventeen. Then, suddenly, it was all I heard or saw. Children were dragged from their homes, women shot in the streets, men herded onto freight cars like cattle. Everyone, though, embraced the solution to the so-called Jewish problem, except for the Jews themselves. They didn’t have a say. And so, Benjamin, the person I was closest to in the world, was dragged out of my life on a cattle car to a concentration camp. A concentration camp that my mother helped plan.

 

My mother and father, loyal devotees of der Fuhrer–thoughts of them turned my stomach. All of the bloodshed they had caused overwhelmed me, and they had turned me in as a traitor of Hitler. I wore the title with honor, and allowed myself to be taken to the jail, where I “awaited” my death. I escaped with several other dissidents and doubled back to my home city, practically kidnapped my sister–though once she realized it was me she was more than happy to come–and now we were on the run for our lives.

 

Shots rang out, cracking the night air, and I ran harder, the image of what would happen to Gisela if we were caught spurring me onward. The forest loomed closer. I lifted Gisela up onto my back further and leaped over the small creek that guarded the forest’s treeline, and before I knew it we were in. My feet found the well-known paths in the darkness though my eyes could barely see. Gisela whimpered, and I knew we were safe–for a little while.

 

After I had slowed, I gently let Gisela down and let her walk beside me, her small, warm hand in mine, her other still tightly clutching a stuffed animal to her chest.

 

The original trails in the irrgarten, or maze, were winding, meandering things that crisscrossed several times. Benjamin and I figured they were game trails, paths of creatures such as deer. Fortunately, we had tamed the maze as much as it would be long ago. The trails Benjamin and I forged were not necessary new, but they were definitely altered.  I knew them well–my footsteps in them now reminded me of the ghosts of my past–Benjamin, his sister Eliora, their little brother Aaron. Our romps in the woods flashed before me. I saw the first night we ventured into the maze’s night, the fear on our faces. Now the darkness comforted me, settling around me like a blanket that shielded us from the prying eyes of the Nazis.

 

I remembered the night before the Gestapo came to take Benjamin’s family away. Long before their bookstore had been forced to close, accused of selling “contraband items”, but both Ben and I knew the real reason. It was because he was a Jew. Eliora had been fired from her job at a nearby factory, and the neighborhood children shunned Aaron, calling him a rough translation of ‘star boy’ because of the bright yellow star stitched upon his jacket. Gisela and I had both been forbidden to talk to any of ‘the lesser race’, but I had no trouble justifying breaking that rule. Not when my parents were the uncivilized. Not when my parents were the Nazis–the killers.

 

The day before Benjamin was dragged out of my life, my father had hinted that soon there was going to be a raid, and so that night I met Ben in the woods. “I made Ben a promise” I said out loud to Gisela. “You remember Ben, don’t you?” She nodded. “Ben and I had a promise that no matter what happened, we would take care of each others and our own families. I couldn’t keep Benjamin and his family safe,” I swallowed as my voice started to crack. “But I promised him that I would keep you safe. That’s why I took you.”

 

“But what about Mama and Vati?” Gisela turned her face up to me, tears welding at her eyes. Her linen nightshirt caught the moonlight and made her appear as a phantom.  “They’re part of our family, too.”

 

“Gisela,” I began softly, “I know you don’t understand this, but Mama and Vati aren’t good people. They have done mean things to people like Benjamin, the people who were the yellow stars. That’s why I had to take you away, so you wouldn’t grow up and be a bad person, too.”

 

“Mama and Vati aren’t bad!” she nearly yelled, and I covered her hand with my mouth.

 

“Shh, we must be quiet, or the soldiers will hear us!” Off in the distance, a dog bark sounded. I threw the little girl up on my back and started to run until I hit the stream, then followed it south. An hour later I slowed, my back aching and my legs soaked to the waist. For the second time, we had lost the soldiers. I hoped it would stay that way, that the soldiers were off our trail for good, but I knew it wouldn’t.

 

 

 

 

We came out of the woods to a farmhouse that belonged to former friends of my parents, who would have nothing to do with them after they found out they were Nazis. A glance at my watch told me it was nearly two in the morning, so instead of knocking I left a note on the back of a receipt I found in the breast pocket of my shirt tacked on the door, and Gisela and I trudged out to the barn. We slept in the hay loft, my hand tightly wrapped around Gisela’s wrist so I could be sure nothing would happen to her. Her steady breathing relaxed me, and I dreamed of a different place, a different time, when my father and mother were good, honest people and we were all together. And I awoke, knowing that that could never be, that I would never see my once-loved father and mother again.

 

 

(Authors note: To clarify, this story is and will be hastily written and briefly edited. The chapters will be shorter than conventional YA fiction chapters but, I hope, will not be lacking in content. This story will continue to be posted whenever I finish the next chapter, which will be extremely erratic, and I’m sorry for that. It mainly serves as a break from the full novel that I’m writing, titled The Alley Runners, as a way to rejuvenate my mind so I can go back to actually working on a novel I’m serious about. This story will probably be full of factual errors, but at this point I’m not extremely concerned about the facts as much as the story itself, as I have too many things to research in my novel. Thank you all for understanding! ;D)

 

 

~abilene (the authoress)