Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Old Bus Stop

I promised you a story, didn't I?  Well, here it is. In my LA class, each quarter (of the school year, AKA nine weeks), we submit a free choice of writing. This is what I wrote for mine. If you all want, I'll continue this on here. This story was written while I was listening to this music:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OeOqYR1fXPg , and inspired by the fact that in some movies by Hayao Miyazaki, train stops/lampposts/buses are often used as important things/places, like in the Spirit World in Spirited Away, my personal favorite movie, or the Neko Bus in My Neighbor Totoro, which partially inspired the bus in this story. Read and enjoy. Lastly, sorry if the spacing's all wonky. I typed this in Google Docs, and was too lazy to do real reformatting on Microsoft Word.

Ada hurried through the streets..  It was cold out, and the setting sun didn’t help at all.  She had missed the bus that would take her within reasonable walking of her house, and she didn’t feel much like sprinting across the city in the dark in the dark.

The chill bit through her old jacket.  Ada gritted her teeth and tugged the fabric tighter around her.  She couldn’t complain much, though.  It was better than being stuck outside in a dress.  She still couldn’t understand why her mother was insisting that she wore dresses.  It wasn’t the 1600s anymore, for God’s sake.  But for whatever reason, her mother was stuck in the past, and so Ada wore her brother’s old clothes.

There weren’t many people out now, which was odd.  This was downtown, wasn’t it?  She realized that, having gotten lost in her thoughts, she hadn’t been paying attention to where she was going and didn’t know where she was now.

“Great,” Ada mumbled, brushing her hair out of her face.  She stopped in her tracks and thought about her options.  She could try to find her way back, but there was a chance she’d get even more lost by doing that.  She could look for a phone box and call her parents, but she wouldn’t be able to tell them where she was.  Or she could ask someone where the nearest bus stop was.  After a few moments of deliberation, she decided to go with the last option.

The problem was, there was only one person around now.  Ada didn’t believe in the saying, “Never talk to strangers,” but she would have felt more comfortable doing it in a crowd.  She didn’t exactly have many other choices right now, though.

Ada walked up to the person.  “Excuse me,” she said in what she hoped was a confident voice, “do you know if there’s a bus stop somewhere near here?”

The stranger turned to face her.  It was a boy around her age.  He stared at Ada quizzically, making her feel like she was being examined.  She shifted uncomfortably under his piercing gaze, tugging her conductor’s hat lower over her eyes.

The minutes stretched by.  Just when Ada was about to give up and walk away, the boy spoke.

“I know of one a few minutes walk from here,” he said slowly, as if he was uncertain if he should be telling her this or not, “but I don’t think you’d like to go on the bus there.”

“No, it’s fine,” Ada told him, relieved he had finally spoken.

“Are you sure?” he asked.

Yes,” she sighed, exasperated.  “I really need to get home.”

The boy hesitated for a moment, then shrugged.  He pointed down the road.  “It’s that way.  Just keep walking, you can’t miss it.”

“Thanks.”  Ada turned to start walking.

“Oh, Ada, wait!”  She spun back around to face the boy.  He rummaged through his pockets, then held a small slip of paper out to her.  “You’ll need a ticket.”

“I have a pass...” she said, puzzled.

The boy shook his head.  “No, trust me.  You need a ticket.”

“Alright?”  Ada took the ticket hesitantly.  Now, usually when someone takes a piece of paper from someone else, they feel the pressure of the other person’s hand release.  Not this time.  In fact, the paper didn’t even feel all that solid to Ada until the boy’s hand released.  She stared at it for a moment, before lifting her head and giving the boy a shaky smile.  “Thanks.”

He smiled back at her.  “No problem.”

Ada hurried off.  She felt the boy’s gaze on the back of her head, but something else was bothering her.  Only when the gaze was no longer on her did Ada realized what it was.

“How did you know my name?” she called, looking over her shoulder.  But the boy was gone.

Ada rubbed her eyes gently.  Pale blue shapes had been appearing in her vision for a few minutes now, and it was getting annoying.

The ticket the strange boy had presented her with was still clutched tightly in her hand.  She didn’t know why, but she felt that if she let go of it, it wouldn’t be real anymore.  It was a silly thought to have, especially now that there were more people about and that she was beginning to recognize where she was again.

The bus stop suddenly came into view.  The boy had been right - there really was no missing it.  The metal pole was very tall - at least three times Ada’s height.  It’s dark gray paint was worn, but not chipping.  A old-style lamp shone from the top of it, and a second lamp hung from a beautiful swirling arm about three quarters of the way up.  A few decorative metal vines and leaves were placed here and there, like on the swirl and below the top lantern.  At eye-level with Ada was a large old sign.  It was cracked and bent, but the word “BUS” was still very clear on it.  The pole was captivating.

Ada tore her eyes from the bus stop and gazed around.  She frowned.  She most definitely knew where she was now - in fact, she passed through here at least once a day, and she had never seen the bus stop before.  But it seemed familiar to her, in an odd way, as if she had seen it during her childhood and couldn’t recall it clearly now.  A nostalgic feeling overtook her, just as a large pale blue shape flashed through her vision.  She scowled and rubbed her eyes again.

It didn’t seem as though the bus would come very soon, so, after checking both ways up and down the street, Ada turned and watched the people walking down the sidewalk.

“Carlos!” she cried, suddenly recognizing one of the people as her older brother.  He ignored her, however, and kept walking.  Ada frowned.

“Hey!” Ada shouted after him.  Still nothing.  She scowled and ran after him.  As soon as she was within arm’s distance of Carlos, she reached out to push him in the back.  Her hand didn’t collide with her brother, though.  It just slid right through him.

Ada skidded to a halt.  Carlos kept walking, and her hand slid out of his back.  She would have screamed, but them something even more miraculous happened.

As he walked, Carlos began to fade from a detailed person to a pale blue, translucent silhouette.  Ada blinked rapidly, trying to see if it was a trick of the light.  It wasn’t.  She gazed around frantically, but all the other people had faded as well.  She was the only person who was still solid.

A soft rustling noise came from behind Ada.  She turned slowly, almost scared of what she might see.  Instead, she was entranced.  It was something  she had never seen before, something that didn’t exist.  On all fours, it was shorter than the bus stop, but Ada was certain it would be taller than the pole if it stood on it’s hind legs.

Ada studied the creature carefully.  It had a snowy white plate for a face, complete with a sharp beak and two large, black holes for eyes.  From behind the plate sprouted large, pale tan feathers, creating a sort of mane.  The feathers got smaller quickly as they traveled down the creature’s long neck.  They continued along it’s lean body and down it’s dragging tail.  Large wings sprouted from it’s back.  The legs were feathered down to the knee, where they turned smooth and white.  The feet were a mix between human hands and bird feet - five fingered and jointed, but with long, hooked claws at the end of it’s toes.

“What are you?” she murmured softly to the creature.  It swung it’s head around to face her, boring into her with it’s dark eyes.  For some reason, though, Ada didn’t feel threatened.  She instinctively knew that thing wouldn’t hurt her.  It gazed at her for a while longer, before simply walking past her.  She stayed perfectly still as the creature passed - not out of fear, but out of respect.  She didn’t even turn around to watch it when she heard it spread it’s wings and take off.

Ada walked back to the bus stop just as the bus turned onto the street.  She only jumped a little when the headlights blinked to reveal startlingly green cat eyes.  The bus rolled to a stop in front of her.  Ada gripped her ticket tighter, silently thanking the strange boy she had encountered earlier for giving her the chance to see this wonderful place.

The bus doors, which were shaped rather like butterfly wings, swung open.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Math, My Savior - A Poem

Numbers roll through my head
Shapes are drawn in my mind
Delight and satisfaction course through me
When the answer I do find

Chasing away my inner demons
Woes, angers, and other dark things
Variables, numbers – it all takes over
And I relish in the peace it brings

The answers stick out, bright as day
Never failing to be there
Even though the searching may be tough
When I figure it out, I don’t care

Postulates, theorems, formulas,
Deductive reasoning, it’s all perfectly clear
Like an invisible map only I can see
It’s something soothing, always near

Algebraic equations and geometric symbols –
Sometimes seems rather confusing
And when I explain a problem to someone
Their expressions are quite amusing

A safe haven from the rest of the world
One that I carry around in my head
The math comes so easily to me
And it softens the hardships that lie ahead

Friday, October 7, 2011

Three MORE Poems [Long author's note]

Three more poems. So proud of myself. I wrote these at, like, 8:00 a.m. because I was on a bus going somewhere with this group thing I'm in at school, so I had time to write and didn't have any classes today~. I realized why I write so many poems at one time: Either I'm in a writing mood, or not. If so, yay, things get done. If not, well....it sucks. But yes, three more poems. Now, I want to explain these ones, so this thing here will be kinda long. But anyway. The first poem is based on a drawing I did. Simple. The second poem is about global warming. I truly believe that this is a topic most people do not pay attention to, even though it is a big thing in our world. The polar icecaps are melting, and we aren't doing anything about it. The third poem is about a lonely wolf who is forced to live by itself and wander far from home because of deforestation and human industrialization. This is another topic I think we need to pay more attention to: the protection of endangered species. Anywho, read, enjoy.

I - Silent Oppression

An angel spreads her golden wings
Thinking only of wonderful things
The raw joy of flying high
So to the ground she says good-bye

Gripping hands suddenly appear
She tries to scream, but there is no one to hear
Dragging her down from the air
She struggles hard, but her restraints don’t care

The hands cover her mouth and eyes
Muffling the angels pleading cries
Fingers dig into her frightened soul
On her heart they tug and pull

Sobbing, yet unable to make a sound
The broken angel fades away on the ground
Of the cause of her death, there is no suggestion
Such is the curse of the silent oppression

II - Polar Hourglass

Dripping slowly at first
Becoming faster, and
Water droplets trickle down
Instead of the usual sand

An intricate golden hourglass
Set upon a pedestal so high
The ice is melting, animals dying
While humans just pass on by

Ignoring what could affect us
Most eyes skip right over the bad
But for the few who do care
The loss is overwhelmingly sad

Soon something has to be done
Before we drown in a sea of our mistakes
It’ll be too late to do anything
When the polar hourglass breaks

III - Wanderer

Through a deep green forest
Soft, secretive, and silent
A lone wolf wanders

Without a pack of others
No friend or family by its side
The lone wolf wanders

Slowly the forest is chopped away
By humans who just don’t care
Yet still the lone wolf wanders

Spring turns to summer
And summer turns to fall
While the lone wolf still wanders

Fall becomes winter
Cold, dark, and harsh
And on and on the lone wolf wanders

Through night and day
All alone, yet so strong
The lone wolf wanders

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Three Poems

Here are some poems. The first one I wrote today, the other two I've written sometime in the past month or so. I've written a lot of poetry I haven't posted. I don't even like these ones that much, I don't think of them as poems, really, but they're the best of what I've written, so I'm posting them. The others may or may not be posted. See if you can pick out the references to one of my previous poems in "Dance of the Dead" ;D (note: the titles of the first two poems were made up on the spot, so they're not that good)

I - Torn Open

Sadness and anger filled up to the brim
Trying to see while the lights go dim

Clinging to hope with trembling hands
Tripping and falling while trying to stand

Drowning in an endless sea of tears
Eaten alive by childhood fears

Poison seeping into a broken soul
Burning in a fire, but feeling only cold

Blooding spilling without any end
Silence being the only friend

Ashes scattered without a care
Quaking under judging stares

Flesh clinging to stark-white bones
Trying to keep what once was its own

A broken mind, dyed crimson red
Thinking of what could have been said

Hope drifting far out of sight
Leaving behind an endless night

Slowing dying, torn apart
Embracing darkness with a heavy heart

II - Senselessness

Trying living
No beginning
No ending
Just zigzagging

Spinning around
Barely on the ground
Not hearing a sound
Just spinning around

Turning corners
Establishing borders
Just turning corners

Crying softy
Just crying softy

III - Dance of the Dead

Alone in the graveyard
With the mist rolling in
Among the towering tombstones

Begins the Danse Macabre

“For one night,”
Death says
“You will rise again,”

“And take part in the Danse Macabre.”

All walks of life
Child, king, pirate
Join together tonight

For the Danse Macabre

Child, tonight you are equal
To any adult
Tonight you may just dance

In the Danse Macabre

King, you tyrant
Tonight you will be cowed
And shown the suffering you’ve caused

By the Danse Macabre

Pirate, sir, lay down the gun
Don your eye patch proudly
And we will dance

Together in the Danse Macabre

And when the night ends
So will the dance
No reminders remain

Of the Danse Macabre