Archive for the ‘Creative Writing’ Category

The Boy from the Stars

May 9, 2012

The date is March 9, 2032, and I am 42 years old. My son and daughter lie cozily in their beds, looking up at me with innocent eyes.

“Dad, can you tell us a story?” my son asks.

“A story?” I reply.

“Yeah, a story!” my daughter exclaims, sitting upright in her bed.

I take a second to think.

“Okay, I know a story,” I say calmly, placing a chair in between the children’s beds.

“Is it a sad story?” my son asks softly.

“Yes, there are some sad parts, but don’t worry–”

“There’s a happy ending,” my daughter interjects, completing my sentence for me.

I smile, and wait for the children’s full attention.

“Okay, you can start now,” my son says, holding his stuffed lion.

Sitting back in the chair, I take a deep breath, and begin.

“There once was a little boy who came to Earth from the stars. He was a pleasant boy, and was very bright, too. He enjoyed playing games, watching cartoons, and drawing pictures just like every other child his age. In fact, the only thing that made him different from all of the other children was that he came from the stars, since most of the other children came from Earth.”

“Did he look human like all of the other children?” my son asks.

“Yes, he looked very similar to you, son,” I reply, “but no one else knew that the little boy wasn’t from Earth, not even his parents. In fact, the little boy didn’t even know himself until he was older, so he spent many years feeling like an outsider, but not knowing why.”

“That sounds horrible,” my daughter says.

“It wasn’t so bad for the little boy,” I reply. “He had a loving family and plenty of friends to keep him company, but he always had a feeling deep down inside that something wasn’t right in the world, like there was some big secret that was being hidden from everyone.”

“What kind of secret?” my son asks.

“A big, nasty secret,” I reply. “A secret so horrible, that people didn’t even want to tell anyone else if they found out.”

“Why not?” my daughter asks, concerned.

“Because unlike most secrets, this secret controlled the entire world. It was the reason why there used to be wars, homelessness, hunger, and poverty. It was the reason why people used to live in pain and suffering, and little did the boy know at the time that he would end up spending the rest of his life fighting to uncover this secret.”

“So what was the secret?” my son asks.

“Shhh! Listen to the story!” my daughter interjects.

I pause for a moment, waiting for the children to refocus.

“Are you ready to listen?” I ask calmly.

The children nod their heads in silence, and I continue.

“Once the little boy entered high school, his perception of the world began to change dramatically along with his growing body. He was a teenager now, and everything that he once knew to be true was no longer relevant. Girls were developing into women, boys into men, and all of a sudden there was much work to be done and responsibilities to be upheld, yet nothing had really changed. He was still that little boy inside, who had so many questions, but couldn’t find any answers.

Eventually, he became so upset and confused with the outside world, that he even quit doing the things that he loved, and stopped being friends with the kids that he had known for years. The boy’s father wasn’t sure what to do about the boy’s sudden change in behavior, so he was sent to receive therapy sessions with a psychiatrist.”

“Is that what a shrink is?” my daughter asks inquisitively.

“Yes, a common nickname for a psychiatric doctor is a shrink,” I answer.

“So what happened next?” my son asks.

“After two sessions with the psychiatrist, the boy was diagnosed with clinical depression and prescribed anti-depressant drugs. His mother and father argued endlessly about the diagnosis, and the boy ended up living separately from his father, as a result.

The boy felt very much alone during his first two years of high school, and although he was friendly with other students at his school, he mainly kept to himself at home. Luckily, the Internet became popular and easily accessible at that time, so it served as a great outlet for his creative abilities and allowed him to find other people online who were like him.”

“I would have been his friend,” my daughter says endearingly.

“Me too,” my son agrees.

“I’m sure you both would have been great friends with him,” I reply proudly.

“In the boy’s third year of high school, his social life started to change. He was 16 years old now, and had successfully crossed the threshold from child to young adult. He was more confident in himself, and was able to meet a new group of friends who shared similar interests with him. He was even spending time with girls, and going to parties! Things were truly looking up for him, and after his senior year graduation, he even managed to rent a beach house for a week with his friends to celebrate the completion of their grade school career. It was truly a wonderful time for him, as he was no longer a little boy, but a young man.”

“So what happened to the horrible secret? Did it go away?” my son asks.

“No, the secret didn’t go away, it just took a backseat for a while,” I reply.

“What did the boy, err, young man, do next? Did he go to college?” my daughter asks.

“During his years of working with computers in high school, the young man developed formidable skills, so he decided to enroll at a local college, and continue his studies in interactive design. A couple of months later, though, he realized that college was no longer a pursuit that he was interested in, and decided to drop out.”

“Why?” my son asks.

“Well, during his time at college, the young man quickly learned that paying large sums of money and investing numerous hours of time into subjects that had nothing to do with his career was not reasonable. The old college education system was structured in a way that forced students to pass preliminary courses before they could advance to ones that they were interested in, plus, the young man was already able to find all of the information that he needed for his studies on the Internet.”

“So what was the point of going to college?” my daughter asks.

“There really wasn’t a point besides the social factor. College was great for meeting new people, but other than that, it was pretty much a waste of time, at least for someone who was interested in working with computers.”

“Well, that’s stupid,” my son comments.

“Yes, it was rather stupid, and once again, the big secret that the young man had wondered about as a boy suddenly popped up again in his mind. He wondered why the education system was structured so poorly, and didn’t understand why it was so expensive.

But interestingly enough, shortly after he left college, when he was just 18 years old, he received a job offer at a local design studio from a former classmate. So even though his experience of college education was unsatisfactory, the pursuit to achieve his career goals still paid off.”

The children giggle at the irony of the statement.

“As the young man worked at the design studio, the big secret started to become even more dominant in his mind. Even though the design studio was run by good people, it still had a negative atmosphere. There was always pressure to meet deadlines, and the drive to make money rather than fulfill passion was what fueled the company. So once again, the young man found himself unsatisfied.”

“Did he quit?” my daughter asks.

“He didn’t quit, but due to financial constraints and creative differences, the owner of the company ended up letting him go, anyway.”

“So he got what he wanted, then,” my daughter comments.

“The situation worked out perfectly, and the young man found himself seeking a new path once again. Now that he had professional experience under his belt, he had some insight on what it was like to be an adult. Waking up early, working on a schedule, traveling frequently, all of these things were a great learning experience for the young man, but he wondered if that kind of life was all that was in store for him now.

For months he read books and did research online to find out more about the meaning of life, and choose another path that was more in line with his values. So after months of soul-searching, he eventually decided to travel to Thailand in Southeast Asia, and teach English to children.”

“All by himself?” my son asks.

“Yup, all by himself,” I reply.

“Wow, that’s amazing!” my daughter exclaims.

“It was quite an outrageous decision, and the young man’s parents, despite their initial fears, allowed him to go. Now 19 years old, the young man set off for Asia in February 2009, and ended up staying abroad for three months. He met a bunch of new people from all around the world, gave English lessons to foreign children, and experienced a whole new way of life that was completely different from his own.”

“That sounds like an adventure!” my son says.

“Yes, the trip was certainly an adventure, and when the young man returned, his entire worldview had changed. He acquired much wisdom from his journey, and although he still wasn’t exactly sure what he was supposed to do, he felt that he was in a much better place than before.”

“So what did he do next?” my daughter asks.

“After taking some time to explore his next pursuit, the young man was now 20 years old, and his father suggested that he take an alternative education course called the Landmark Forum.”

“What’s that?” my son asks.

“Basically, it’s a course where people go to learn about the meaning of life, and try to understand who they really are. The course provided a major awakening for the young man, so he also took the next course in the program. After that, he felt even more awakened, and the big secret that always lingered in the back of his mind started to unfold. He realized that chasing after superficial things like money and power was not really important, and that living in service to others was what he was really meant to do.”

“Well I could have told him that!” my daughter exclaims, making everyone laugh.

“He even realized that his entire culture was based on lies. From the moment he was born, he was taught that he had to work hard and earn money to survive, regardless if it made him happy or not. He was constantly reminded in school that making mistakes was bad, and fear was drilled into his mind. He was told that being creative and thinking differently was not acceptable, and that the world was simply the way that it was, and there was nothing that he or anyone else could do about it.”

“That sounds horrible,” my son says sadly.

“Yes, it was horrible at times, but when the young man finally realized the truth, he made it his mission to make sure that no child would ever have to go through what he did again. Unfortunately, he still had to earn money in order to do the things that he was interested in doing in his life, so he ended up getting another job, this time at a local software company.”

“Oh great, this doesn’t sound any better than the last one,” my daughter says.

“Although it wasn’t all bad, after eight months of working in a toxic office environment bombarded with corporate greed, arrogance, and monotony, the young man decided to depart the company, and strike off on his own. At 21 years of age, the young man started his own company, vowing to never subject himself to the demeaning will of another human being again, or at least as much as he could help it.”

“What did he do in his company?” my son asks.

“He did all of the things that he always dreamt of doing. He did artistic, humanitarian, and spiritual projects, and always worked with people that shared his values. He cultivated a fun, healthy, and inspiring environment, and shared his success with everyone. He followed through with his mission to end intolerance and wrongdoing on Earth, and no longer felt so lonely as a boy from the stars, as he worked together with thousands of other benevolent souls on the planet to build the world of his dreams.”

“I knew there was a happy ending!” my daughter exclaims.

I give her a smile, then walk over to the bedroom door.

“So what happened to him? Is he still around?” my son asks as I turn off the light.

“Yeah, he’s still around, and living happily ever after. Good night.”

The children doze off peacefully in their beds, and I close the door.

Boy Meets Girl

December 10, 2010

At night, a boy walks alone through the city, cold and scared. As he walks, he stares down at the cracks that divide each palette in the sidewalk, making sure not to step on any of them. Not one. Eventually, he approaches what appears to be a girl, sitting alone on a bench at the corner of the block.

“Hello,” says the boy with a smile.

“Hi,” mutters the girl quietly, facing the ground.

“Are you lost?” asks the boy, concerned.

“No,” says the girl. “I’m waiting for my dad.”

“Where is he?” asks the boy.

“I don’t know. He probably forgot about me again,” says the girl.

“Oh,” says the boy, looking down at the ground.

“What about you?” asks the girl.

The boy looks back up at the girl, “I’m looking for my mom.”

“Where is she supposed to be?” asks the girl.

“She told me to wait for her at the end of the block,” the boy says, “but I’ve been waiting for more than an hour.”

“Oh,” says the girl. “Are you scared?”

The boy nods his head.

“Well, it’s okay,” says the girl. “You can stay here with me.”

“Really?” asks the boy.

“Of course. Here, sit down,” says the girl, making room on the bench.

“Thanks,” says the boy, sitting down next to her.

Minutes go by as the boy and the girl stare off into the street in complete silence.

“You know what I think?” says the girl.

The boy turns towards her.

“I think we were supposed to find each other.”

“You think so?” says the boy.

“Yes,” says the girl, putting her hand on his, “and I think everything’s going to be okay.”

The boy looks down at the girl’s hand on top of his, then looks back up at her.

“Me too,” says the boy with a smile.

Three Kings

December 7, 2010

Three men live together in an apartment in the city. Upon opening the refrigerator, the first man says, “Oh, how terrible, we have nothing to eat!” To which the second man replies, “Avast! For we have all of the food that we will ever need. With God as our supplier, our appetites shall never go unfulfilled.”

Soon thereafter, the third man enters the room with a large trash bag, having just arrived home from a business trip. “Look at what I have brought!” the third man says. The first man then opens the large trash bag, and sees dozens of little brown paper bags within it, filled to the brim with assorted breads, bagels, muffins, croissants, and other delights.

“My God,” the first man proclaims, “our prayers have been answered.”

“And to think,” the third man says, “the bakery was going to throw all of these away!”

In Moderation

November 17, 2010

There are times when a man must say, “Hey, I need me some inspiration, some creation!” and in that time, he reaches out to that special friend who is an enabler.

He says, “Here ye, I need me some of that medication, and I need it now. Chop chop before I break your unroyal kneecaps, peasant.”

And in that time, the friend speaks to the dragon, and he says, “Dragon, yes Dragon. You. With the scales and the fiery breath. You smell like a hooker’s toe, and it’s time to play a little game.”

“What is this game that you want to play, man-boy?” the dragon says.

And the man replies, “Oh, you didn’t just go there. Did you. Or did you? Because if you did, then we have to go hand-by-hand and foot-by-foot in a bout of wonder. And mystery. And sandwiches. Yes, sandwiches! Of the turkey flavor! And quite possibly, if you didn’t stop staring at my curly blondelocks of lion master hair, then we’d have ourselves a showdown.”

The Campus Nazis

November 17, 2010

It is about 7:00 PM when I arrive at Jay’s on-campus apartment. Not only is this the first day of the new school year, but it is also Jay’s birthday. After a long day of working, I’m pretty beat, and am looking forward to a nice cold brew. As I approach the apartment building, I see two apartments on the ground level. I read the names of the residents posted on each door, but none of the names match my friends’.

“Hmm, must be upstairs,” I mutter.

I walk up two flights of stairs until I reach the second floor, and read the names of the residents on the door to the right.

“Nope, not this one either.” Must be the one on the left.

As I walk closer, I begin to hear rock music booming within the bounds of the apartment.

I smile, “Yeah, I’m pretty sure this is the place,” I think to myself.

Not even looking at the residents’ names, I knock on the door. A few moments later, I’m greeted by a semi-buzzed Jay. He’s wearing his usual blue jeans, a band shirt and stylish black sneakers.

“Sup, dude?” he says with a smirk as we shake hands.

“Not too much. Happy birthday, man.”

“Ah, thanks. Come on in.”

I walk in, and am immediately greeted by Jay’s roommates, all of whom I had met during the previous school year. Derek, a tall and lanky rocker type; Mike, a mid-sized, low-key hardcore guy; and Cory, a large, almost bear-like stoner.

As I settle in and grab my first beer from the mini-fridge, I take a look around the apartment. There are basically two areas: the front which contains an adjoined living room and kitchen, and the back which contains four bedrooms and a bathroom. Scattered along the walls of the living room are various movie posters, and empty beer bottles litter the floor and table tops. It’s the kind of place only a college guy could appreciate. It’s perfect.

We drink and bullshit for about two hours, then head out to the campus pool party. We are all filled with plenty of alcohol, so we try to keep a low profile as we make our way down the campus. I stop two blonde girls walking by us, partly to ask if we’re going in the right direction, partly to flirt with them.

“Hey, do you guys know where the pool party is?” The pool area is about 100 yards ahead of us, clearly in sight.

“Yeah, it’s right up there, where all of those people are. You see it?”

“Oh yeah, that would make sense,” I say jokingly. She gives me a smile.

Unfortunately, the girls are heading back in the opposite direction, so we just move on. We pass by a few large groups of students socializing amongst themselves before making it to the pool area’s gated front entrance. Mike and Cory decide to stay back for a couple minutes, so Jay, Derek and I head in without them. As we walk through the door, we are blasted by a stream of hot air, produced by the indoor pool’s heating system. Not being dressed in proper swimming attire, and being filled with enough alcohol to burn down a fucking bridge, the three of us get uncomfortably hot, very quickly. For about 5 minutes, the three of us contemplate the idea of getting in the pool.

“Dude, fuck this. It is way too hot in here, and I’m not taking my clothes off,” Jay says, obviously annoyed.

Derek agrees. “I don’t know, man. I don’t think it’s worth it.”

I muster one last attempt to change their minds. “Yeah, you guys are probably right. But all I have to do is take my pants off! I can swim in my boxers!”

A few seconds later, two coeds who are apparently pool staff members, approach us.

“Hey, are you guys going to get in the pool?” she says nicely.

“Why, do you want me to take my clothes off?” I say with a flirtatious smirk.

She doesn’t buy it. “Uhhh, no,” she says with an air of annoyance.

The other girl steps up, “Have you guys been drinking tonight?”

“What, are you kidding? We don’t drink,” I reply sarcastically.

Girl #1 steps up again, “I don’t believe you, I can smell the alcohol.”

Now I am pissed off. I tried to be nice to these girls, but they are ruining my buzz, and that is crossing the line. Besides, we weren’t even doing anything wrong.

I take a second to reply, then it just explodes out of my mouth like a bullet, “What are guys, fucking Nazis or something?!”

It takes a second for the girls to comprehend what I just said to them, then they grow as red as bulls, “WHAT, NO! WE DON’T KILL PEOPLE, YOU ASSHOLE!”

“You guys need to leave, NOW!” Girl #1 says, absolutely furious. She grabs my forearm and tries to pull me outside, but I don’t budge.

“Oh yeah?” I say, egging her on.

Jay and Derek finally come out of shock from the situation and end the confrontation.

Jay grabs me, “Ok, we are leaving now.” The three of us quickly walk out without looking back.