http://strugglingwritersbureau.blogspot.com/ The Struggling Writer’s Bureau; an online place to have your poetry and short works of fiction published. -B
http://strugglingwritersbureau.blogspot.com/ The Struggling Writer’s Bureau; an online place to have your poetry and short works of fiction published. -B
RYAN CAN WE PLAY THIS?!
I don’t know if we’d survive….
if this eggplant gets less than 5 million notes i’m going to be so upset
Reblogging because eggplant
Fewer than 5 million notes. Fewer. Not less.
I believe that it is called an aubergine.
IN AMERICA WE LET EGGS BE PLANTS BECAUSE FREEDOM
In Britain we let those AUBERGINES live once we heal them with our FREE HEALTH CARE
NOBODY CARES, ENGLAND
at least America came up with their own word and didn’t steal ours
you used the wrong flag France
France. Wrong flag! i lost it!
Canz we haz Paris now?
Hey fellow bloggers! What are some of your favorite bands/songs/artist/music?
My fellow members of a tribe called cannabis, hello and good-morrow. Shortly shall I venture boldly past the mountains of the southeast; there past the mountains ranges of the heart land dare I to brave a long train ride back to my home state of New York! Who shall join me in melodious celebration?
Bottles Not Bongs:
A Florida Southern Hypocrisy
Drugs & Alcohol have been a prevalent part of the American College culture since the early 1960’s. For decades we’ve been taught with movies like Animal House & National Lampoon’s Van Wilder that binge drinking and recreational drug use are the staple of cool college life. Partying too, has become such a large part of College that The Princeton Review has even added a top party school category to their famous guide to America’s best colleges.
In recent years many collegiate institutions across America have implemented strict policies regulating drugs & alcohol on their campuses. This mainly is to control the youth of America, who, have been shown in all forms of popular media that their college years will be filled with unprotected sex, copious amounts of liquor, and recreational drugs. Most of these policies are fair; having been set up to maintain “a safe learning environment” though one grouping of policies at Florida Southern College is quite perplexing:
“The College recognizes that there are serious health risks, behavioral problems, and legal consequences associated with the abuse, irresponsible use, and/or illegal use of alcohol…because we believe a better learning environment exists without alcohol, alcohol use is prohibited on campus”
Florida Southern College is a dry campus like many of their contemporaries; the small private college of about two thousand undergraduates also has a strong anti-drug policy:
“The College recognizes that there are serious health risks, behavioral problems, and legal consequences with the use of illicit drugs. Therefore, all members of the campus community are expected to understand that the illegal use and abuse of controlled substances is absolutely at variance with the mission of the College. The use, possession, purchase, and/or sale of illicit drugs on campus is prohibited.”
The college has a very similar stance to the possession of controlled substances on campus as they do with alcohol; the school will not have it on campus. Though it’s not the practices of not allowing alcohol & illegal drugs on campus that has me scratching my head; the said penalties for breaking the ban are the policies needing to be called into the cross-hairs.
It is the year 2012; that being said we have come a long way from the 1971 National District Attorneys Association’s Conference on Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs that took place in Las Vegas, Nevada. At that time the state laws of Nevada had a penalty of up to 20 years in jail for the possession of marijuana. Hunter S. Thompson wrote in his famous book Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas all about the 1971 District Attorneys conference. A primary focus of that conference was the great danger of marijuana; according to Thompson. In his own style of gonzo journalism, Thompson, was showing how the government was still twenty years behind the drug culture. It is estimated by the United Nations Office on Drugs & Crime that in 2009 between 2.8-4.5% of the world’s total population had used cannabis at least once in the past year; that’s between 125 and 203 million people three years ago.  With the overwhelmingly strong scientific support of the health benefits of and increased national support for the legalization of medicinal marijuana it is rather strange Florida Southern’s penalty for the possession of Alcohol is far less serve than that of possession of marijuana.
In the state of Florida it is a criminal misdemeanor to be in possession of alcohol and alcohol paraphernalia if you are under the age of 21. In the state of Florida it is also a criminal misdemeanor if you are in the possession of marijuana (Under 20 grams). Both of these misdemeanors are punishable with up to one year in jail and (or) a one thousand dollar fine.
Florida Southern’s penalty policy for being in violation of the alcohol ban is as followed:
If a student is found to be in violation of the Cornerstone Tenet One regarding alcohol,
minimum sanctions may include, but are not limited to:
a. First Violation: The parents or guardians of the student shall receive a copy of the
sanction letter. The student shall be required to complete an alcohol sanctions
course and be assessed a service fee. The student may also be referred to the
b. Second Violation: The parents or guardians of the student shall receive a copy of
the sanction letter. The student shall be required to complete an alcohol education
session by the designated administrator and be assessed a service fee. In
addition, the student may be placed on social probation for a specified period of
time. Students may receive social probation in conjunction with other sanctions.
c. Third Violation: Parents or guardians of the student shall receive a copy of the
sanction letter. The student shall be required to attend counseling and be assessed
a service fee as well as the student may be suspended from the College for a
period of not less than one semester. Counseling may be required prior to
consideration for readmission.”
A rather light sentence on a serious matter; unlike marijuana (which in the following paragraphs will be statistically vindicated from various accredited government and scientific studies), alcohol is a far more serious threat to the overall well-being of a college campus. According to M.A.D.D (Mother Against Drunk Driving) online statistics easily found on their FAQ page almost eleven thousand people will die in car accidents this year involving drunk drivers. Another fact from the M.A.D.D page is that an estimated six thousand teens die each year from alcohol more than all other illegal drugs combined.
According to a C.D.C (Centers for Disease Control) report:
“In 2001, excessive alcohol use was responsible for approximately 75,000 preventable deaths.”
The chart supplied to the left was taken from a May-June 06’ article in the American Scientist. The article shows that Alcohol is among the top ten most lethal drugs in the ratio of a fatal dose to an effective dose; where a marijuana overdose would require over a thousand more doses than an effective dose. Meaning if one marijuana cigarette was an effective dose, one would have to simultaneously ingest over one thousand more of those marijuana cigarettes at once to overdose. Alcohol however has a ratio where if one shot was an effective dose; consuming ten shots at once would kill you.
In final proof of the most blatant greater health dangers of alcohol a W.H.O (World Health Organization) report stated:
“Approximately 2.5 million people die each year from alcohol related causes”
Once more no such statistic exists for marijuana.
No person with half a heart would ever wish violence upon another person. With thoughts of empathy fresh in mind we venture into the dark side of alcohol; violence and aggressive behavior. In the Journal of Addictive Behaviors it states:
“Alcohol is clearly the drug with the most evidence to support a direct intoxication violence relationship….Cannabis reduces likelihood of violence during intoxication.”
Consumption of alcohol has a direct correlation with acts of aggression. A Harvard School of Public Health study conducted research that found that seventy-two percent of college rapes occur when the woman is too intoxicated to refuse. Marijuana use is almost a statistical non-existence with causing emergency room visits/injuries an article in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine said:
“Alcohol use in the six hours prior to injury was associated with [an elevated] relative risk compared with no alcohol use. Cannabis use was inversely related to risk of injury.”
From all view-points alcohol use is statistically linked to the increase in the likelihood of rape, the cause of aggressive behavior, and the cause of millions of deaths world-wide every year. To say that marijuana is far safer and less dangerous drug than alcohol is an understatement like no other. Cannabis has never been recorded to cause a death, according to studies has an inverse relationship with likelihood of injuries, decreases likelihood of aggressive behavior, and of course, the too numerous health benefits. As you can see in the chart above alcohol is comparatively almost as bad for you as Heroin.
So why does Florida Southern College’s penalty for the possession of marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia far surpass the penalty for the possession of alcohol and alcohol paraphernalia? A possible answer is that the campus’s conservative administration has joined the crusade against the extremely misunderstood cannabis. The following is an excerpt from the Student Accountability Process section of the Florida Southern College Student Handbook:
If a student is found to be in violation of the Cornerstone Tenet One regarding drugs, minimum sanctions include, but are not limited to:
The Dean or designee may select to have the case heard by the Student
Accountability Committee. As a violation of the drug policy, the minimum
sanction will result in suspension. When responsibility is clear and convincing or
admitted, the Dean may impose college suspension without further proceedings.
Parents or guardians shall receive a copy of the sanction letter.”
Florida Southern College will suspend anyone violating the ban of marijuana at minimum; yet the college will give you three chances with alcohol. Florida Southern College claims that its policies are set in place to have a better learning environment and for the safety of the students yet the college takes a stance on alcohol and marijuana that has the severity of the substances reversed. Marijuana is a harmless recreational drug; alcohol is a substance that leads to increased instances of rape, high occurrences of injury, and death.
The solution however is not as simple as many would think; some would suggest stricter policies on alcohol as a possible answer. The best suggestion would be switching to a three strike system with marijuana. Law enforcement officials all across the country have been quoted saying the twenty-one years old drinking age is quite unenforceable. Florida Southern’s Greek Quad suites are a perfect example of this. As a student of Florida Southern it is almost impossible for me to go a day where I have not heard of one of the crazy fraternity parties going on in the Greek suites every single night. Students often joke that Florida Southern College is the “The wetest dry campus in America.” I have heard security guards, RA’s, and other assorted faculty state openly that if you are under the influence and quiet they will not pursue you for disciplinary action. The inability to enforce the older drinking age and the administration’s inability to keep the alcohol off campus will always be an issue. With this is mind stricter regulations are not what the college needs; the answer is in fairness; marijuana is the safest of all recreational drugs and there will always be users. A three strike policy with regards to marijuana at Florida Southern College would end the hypocrisy that the administration has woven into college guidelines and promote a more progressive student friendly environment. In fact, the number of stories of sexual assaults and cases of alcohol poisoning might decrease if more students were not forced to turn to the more dangerous drug, alcohol. The use of illicit drugs & alcohol will never be gone from the college scene. With that being said the policies of colleges across the country should take into account the dangers of the substances; universities need to get their facts straight before deciding on policies that directly affect so many students. With that in mind I will leave you with one final statistic, 599,000 students were injured in alcohol related incidents in 2007; there is no similar statistic with marijuana. The choice is yours; choose wisely.
 Florida Southern College Student Handbook 11’-12’ II.A.2
 Florida Southern Student Handbook 11’-12’ II.A.3
 Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas - Hunter S. Thompson
 Florida Criminal Statute - §893.13(6)(b), Florida Criminal Statute - §562.111, Florida Criminal Statute - §775.082, & Florida Criminal Statute - §775.083
 Florida Southern College Student Handbook 11’-12’ III.D
 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 2008 Traffic Safety Annual Assessment Highlights DOT 811 172. Washington DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2009. http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811172.pdf
 Hingson, Ralph and D. Kenkel. Social and Health Consequences of Underage Drinking. In press. As quoted in Institute of Medicine National Research Council of the National Academies. Bonnie, Richard J. and Mary Ellen O. Connell, eds. Reducing Underage Drinking: A Collective Responsibility. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2003.
 U.S. Centers for Disease http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5337a2.htm
 Hoaken, Peter N.S., Sherry H. Stewart. Journal of Addictive Behaviors. 28, pages 1533-1554. Drugs of abuse and the elicitation of human aggressive behavior. Dept. of Psychology, University of Western Ontario. Dept. of of Psychiatry, Dalhousie University.
 American Journal of Emergency Medicine, July 12, 2010.
 Jack E. Henningfield, PhD for NIDA, Reported by Philip J. Hilts, New York Times, Aug. 2, 1994 “Is Nicotine Addictive? It Depends on Whose Criteria You Use.”
 Florida Southern Student Handbook 11’-12’ III.E.1
 National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Task Force on College Drinking, 2007.
Hey all 102 of my crazed followers. Check out this blog and some of the awesome baller stories it has. Plenty of awesome facts, and smoking stories:
Sunday, March 12th 2012 sometime around 8pm
I got a text message while I was over at my buddy Chance’s apartment. We were sitting in our makeshift office; which at this point contained a few mismatched chairs, a desk, and a small glass table that sat in the middle of the room. I fucking loved that glass table; that’s the only real reason to mention it. This elegant old thing had most definitely been through the ringer. Its wood had faded and the table’s second level that sat a mere four inches from the floor, bore the significant chew marks from Chance’s little dog. The most beautiful part of this old wooden end table was its glass center that was jaggedly cracked on one of its side. Almost every day I came into our office that glass was covered in the guts of fallen soldiers; their brown insides and the dusty white-grey residue was always a reminder of what our work entailed.
The text I had gotten was from one of my fraternity brothers (Daniel) about the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day party.
“I’m recruiting you for my four man team in the Beer ‘Lympics at Kevin’s house on Saturday.” The text message read on the cracked screen of my FX Sharp cellphone.
I looked at my phone in a hushed excitement. I quickly responded that I humbly accepted my chance to compete alongside my brothers. I would join the team.
Wednesday, March 14th 2012 sometime around 6pm
I got a phone call from one of my fraternity brothers over at Chance’s apartment. I departed from the office; pardoning myself from our usual war-game. I exited the apartment with Chance’s dog a tiny little puppy barking as I gently closed the front door behind me.
“What’s up James?” I asked.
I had not been expecting a phone call and my mind was quite hazed. Quietly allowing my mind to drift onto thoughts of the further soldiers that would be lost on this fine warm evening in Lakeland I seemingly missed the first few seconds of James’ response.
“…..so would you?” I heard James’ voice spit out through the speaker of my phone.
“I’m sorry James; I didn’t catch that. Would I do what?” I quickly remarked hoping he would not notice that I had drifted off.
“I said would you want to come up with and perform the opening monologue to the Beer Olympics on Saturday?” James’ voice crackled once more through my phone.
For a few brief seconds my mind raced with the endless possibilities.
“Sounds like fun. Count me in.” I replied.
A chance to speak publicly would never go undone.
Saturday, March 17th 2012 11:30am
Groggily I woke up to my phone’s alarm going off. I grabbed the ringing vibrating phone and sat up.
“11:30! Fuck!” I shouted as I leapt out of bed.
The Beer Olympics began at noon. I quickly gathered the materials needed to shower and raced to the decaying bathroom of Dell Hall. The shower stalls were located behind a disgusting row of three stalls. The tiles of the shower stalls had weathered quite a beating in the twenty years they had been in use. I quickly turned on the water which spat out of a faucet at its own lackluster pace. Quickly I washed my hair and body knowing I had very little time. I finished my shower and rushed back to my room. Contacts, deodorant, teeth brushed, hair brushed, button-down shirt, jeans, socks, shoes, cologne, sunglasses; I was looking fly.
11:46am Text to Brandon: “Hey man can I bum a ride to Kevin’s?”
11:50am Text from Brandon: “I’ve got a full car.”
11:51am Text to Brandon: “Damn. Lol I’m stuck at school. :P”
After my last text to Brandon I got a phone call thirty seconds later.
“Hey Brandon.” I answered.
“Hey Ryan, where are you?” Brandon asked.
“I’m over at Dell; why?” I asked hoping that the answer would involve me having a ride to the Beer Olympics.
“I’ll be over to get you in five minutes.” Brandon said before hanging up.
I quickly grabbed my brown messenger bag and made sure I had a few soldiers still ready for battle. I spied the shiny red bag and could tell that the pack was still full; pleased I checked my appearance in the mirror and then left my room.
I walked calmly out to Brandon’s bright red mustang. He hadn’t lied when he said his car was full. A beautiful little brunette sat in the passenger seat of the two door red stallion; she immediately had my undivided attention. Brandon sat in the driver’s seat hurrying me along, three of my buddies sat squished together in the back seat. Three distinct options began forming in my mind based on previous experiences with full small two door cars: passenger seat, trunk of the car, and back seat. I could end up paired with the short haired cutie, stuffed into the trunk, or squished into the already squished back. Only one of those choices seemed like a decent option; though figuring my luck wasn’t that good I had resolved myself to being stuffed into the already cramped back seat.
“You’re gonna have to lay across the guys in the back Ryan.” Brandon said with a smirk.
Sadistic bastard; I thought to myself. I knew that this would now be quite an awkward journey; lying across the laps of two of my fraternities pledges and one of a brothers. The pretty girl in the passenger was even more beautiful up close then I had previously thought. She stepped out of the car in a blue shirt that was sleeveless with the words “get naked” printed on the front; her tight form fitting black jeans followed her legs down to her tiny feet that bore flats with no socks. She stepped out of the red mustang her brown hair shinning in the brilliant sunlight; a little blond patch dotted her hair on her right side.
It was a beautiful sunny March day in Florida; this girl opening the door for me and giving me the up down had really gotten me pumped. Now we all were cruising along in Brandon’s sweet red stallion which made the trip with my feet dangling out the passenger window seem quite bearable. We arrived at the parking lot across the street from Kevin’s house; rule was you never parked in front of Kevin’s house. I escaped from the sweet red mustang turned clown car and stretched out enjoying my new found freedom. It was then on this beautiful day I remembered I had a speech to make that I hadn’t written.
“Fuck!” I muttered to myself.
I sat down Indian style with my back up against the back of the car next to us in the parking lot. My brown messenger bag appeared with remarkable speed and I quickly began rummaging for a soldier. I continued my search for the necessary items for my procedure and when it was done had my knife, a black binder, swisher sweet, bag of fun, space case, and a bright chipper attitude. Brandon, Luke, Tim, Jimmy, and Nicole all passengers in our recent clown car adventure stood and watch as I prepared the soldier for battle. With a flick of the knife and the hands of a trained craftsman I had the man ready for battle in no time at all.
Saturday, March 17th 2012 1:53pm
James and I were on our way back, with Brian, from the liquor store; riding in James’ red Jeep Cherokee. We had stopped at McDonald’s on the way back because Brian had complained that he hadn’t eaten all day; attempting to cover up the fact that he drinks like a little girl. I chuckled to myself at the prospect of all this underage drinking. What college in America was all about I thought to myself. The soldier’s valiant battle still fresh in my mind as we arrived back at Kevin’s house from our trip to the liquor store. As each one of us entered the house a triumphant cheer erupted. Carrying two gallon jugs of OJ, a half-gallon of Cranberry juice, and a two liter of regular coke we entered the house as returning heroes. I saw Nicole, that gorgeous little brunette from across the room and I once more gave her a once over.
“Damn.” I muttered as I walked to the kitchen.
Kevin and the rest of the gathered masses which was group of about twenty people had been quite busy in my absence. Shots had been distributed to everyone and the opening ceremony was about to begin. I quickly made myself a rather strong screwdriver and proceed to take a large gulp. The alcohol stung that great sting as it smoothly rushed down to my stomach. Some tall fat man with glasses I did not know handed me a shot. I set down my screwdriver; sad to be parting with the drink so soon and ascended to the top of a conveniently placed wooden chair. The shot in my left hand my phone in my right I stood atop my chair waiting as the opening ceremony of “The Beer ‘Lympics” began.
Goodnight to the friends far off my horizon.
Who sail on ships to their very own shores.
I shall think on the day,
we shall be drinking together.
Singing our songs all drunk and amused.
Goodnight to friends who have left and departed.
Who wander alone
all lost and confused.
I shall think on the days,
when we wandered together.
High on that good shit with nothing to do.
Goodnight to the lovers I know and remember.
Who’s beds I’ve frequently perused.
I shall think of the days
when we were together
laughing and loving our nights through and through.
So here’s for the nights we shall never remember.
A poem for evenings that ended to soon.
For surely we’ll surely be soon together.
Smoking and drinking beneath the new moon.
I started my novel a few days back and I got the first chapter written. Here it is for your reading pleasure. Comments and feedback will be much appreciated.
Chapter 1: A Family Matter
Many years ago before magic left our world there lived a kingdom of five realms. To the north in the barren ice lands, Frenden, right near the very edges of the realm stood the Crethian Academy; here in the academy the ancient order of The Mages of the North Circle trained among themselves behind their ever locked doors. West of the Frenden tundra the landscape became speckled with hills that eventually rolled into mountains. Many a weary traveler had become lost in that mountain range that was home to the elusive Northern Dwarf tribes. The forest Leatra crept across the realm taking dominance over the central and eastern portions of the continent. The great wood housed the Elf Kingdom who lived high up amongst the trees in the Elven capital city of The City in the Trees. Just West of Leatra lay the only port city in the realm the merchant city of Shendas, but to reach the city of Shendas first you must cross the great desert of Kiran. The desert is filled with vagabonds, rogues, and worse yet the infamous Poison Dagger crime syndicate. All lay poised to quickly end any inexperienced travelers’ hopes of reaching Shendas. Finally, at the southern edge of the realm lay the Plains of Rahnn. To the East, the plains were under the rule of the Kingdom of Men where House Shaqe controls the throne. The plains to the East became the Grundelstin valley as you progressed Westward becoming the Mountains of Grutis home of the Southern Dwarf tribes.
The world of men was under the protection of the sun god Rahnn. By his command, the Kingdom of Men ruled over the five realms; each realm maintaining control over its land and its people but ultimately power fell to the hands of men. The Kingdom of Men was ruled by House Shaqe whose line stemmed back to Rahel, King of the Sun God, many years have passed though since Rahel walked the halls of Castle Shaqe in the capital of Sundrous. Rahel was married to the beautiful Therna, a noble lady of the Kingdom of Men. Together Rahel and Therna would have two sons: The eldest Arnathor would grow to be a cunning warrior, a tactical genius, great leader, and an honorable man. The second Thell who was born eight years after Arnathor was a devious natured thing; he was a sadist that found no greater pleasure then to manipulate people. Thell would go on to murder his father to assume the throne at age twenty two. Arnathor had been misled by Thell to leave the realm, only to return to banishment. For twenty five years Arnathor built up his resistance and then for two years waged a war for the throne. When the dust of civil war had lifted, Arnathor’s wife lay dead and Thell’s reign of terror was ended. Banished from the kingdom Thell was set loose in the uncharted zone with the hopes that he never would be seen again.
The Kingdom of Men now had the leader it would need to rebuild its kingdom, restore glory to its name and once again regain control of the five realms. That is where our story begins. You see, it was the dawning of the third age coming about by the coronation of Arnathor, son of Rahel, as Rightful Heir to the throne of Men. The bloody civil war ended and Thell’s reign now the faint beginnings of a memory. But Arnathor was unsettled. He had not slept in two nights, and a fortnight since, dreams had haunted him. Visions of a man long since dead crept slowly into his mind.
“They’re nothing but dream Arnathor,” the forty five year old man muttered to himself, “forget them. They mean nothing.”
Arnathor paced slowly around his chambers. A large bear rug sat on the floor in front of a large bed, a fire place lay against the wall opposite the bed, and other assorted tables were strewn across the room. Shaqe sat in a large recliner near the fire place on this late evening. He tended the fire and let out a sigh.
“Today is the day I am to be crowned king,” he said to the brown dog that was almost indistinguishable from the bear skin rug on the floor.
The old dog lifted his head and let out a resounding bark before returning to his former state of sleep.
“Much help you are,” Arnathor said with a laugh.
A cold breeze swept silently through the chamber. Arnathor shuddered.
“There’s evil present in this night. To have such cold chills on this warm summer’s eve.”
Still unsettled by his dreams of late, but sure he could do nothing about them Arnathor resolved to sleep. After all, tomorrow was his coronation. Sleep came soon to the restless Arnathor, but once more was he haunted by mysterious dreams of people gone and of things that no mortal can understand.
Arnathor rose early, preparing himself for the coronation a few hours before dawn even though the ceremony was not to take place until noon. The middle aged man then left his chambers and went for a walk in the gardens behind the castle. The garden faced the East and Arnathor watched a lovely sunrise. It was spring time in the plains of Rahnn. Winter’s touch having just left and flowers were blooming. The garden’s hedges that had been barren for so long were now dotted with the faint beginnings of rose blossoms. It was a beautiful sight thought Arnathor quietly to himself as the sun rose. The sunlight’s beams reflecting off the dew touched flower bulbs causing small rainbows to form in the light morning fog. Undoubtedly the castle’s occupants would be experience sneezing fits for the next few weeks. But Arnathor felt it was worth it so long as he could have his early morning walks around the castle gardens. The soon to be king had always had a love for the beauty found in nature. How glad he was to have his coronation on a day like today.
Later on in the Great Hall of the Fallen the coronation ceremony began. The court and nobility lined the great hall and many a man from all across the Kingdom of Men stood outside the castle in honor of Arnathor and his triumphs. The banquet hall lay adorned with the finest flags and regalia of the Kingdom of Men, two long red oak tables engraved with the golden insignia of the kingdom stretched across the length of the room on either side; at the far end of the wall stood a platform and on it sat the high throne with an end table to the left of the throne. A smaller chair sat next to the high throne which was currently occupied by Queen Therna. Red carpet had been laid in the center of the hall, reaching from the entrance to the throne platform. The finest chefs in all the realm had been summoned to Sundrous to prepare the coronation feast. Pheasants, steaks, stuffed pig, and much more lined the tops of tables for never before in the world of men had ever such a grand celebration been prepared. With all of the honored guests seated and feasting the ceremony began. The trumpeters by the entrance to the hall heralded their resounding call and all in the hall rose to their feet.
“Announcing the arrival of his royal majesty, the honorable prince Arnathor Shaqe,”
The hall erupted in a roar of applause and cheers before returning to silence.
“It is he who by right of blood is today to be crowned King of the Five Realms.” The herald shouted.
The hall once again burst into cheers but this time the huddled masses were silenced by the trumpeters letting out a roaring fanfare. It was then that Prince Arnathor, clad in his brilliantly glimmering armor, walked slowly out and down towards the throne platform. His illustrious silver armor softly letting out a tink sound as he was gently grazed by the white roses the nobility were lofting at him. Shaqe’s cape gingerly touched the floor as it followed behind him; the cape of course bore the red and gold insignia of the Kingdom of Men, adding credence to the title he was about to be bestowed.
“I’m to be king,” Shaqe muttered to himself, “and a good king I will be.”
Having reached the throne platform Arnathor removed his sword from its sheath, presented the blade, and then knelt. Queen Therna rose from her seat atop the platform and addressed the crowd.
“For twenty five years tyranny ruled the Kingdom of Men. For twenty five years, men whose idle brains would rather placate then fight gave in to the wants of a tyrant. For twenty five years slavery and hate ruled our realms. How much liberty were we willing to sacrifice to find solace in our lives? Too much my friends. Too much. Today we pass on the crown to its rightful heir, the first born son of Rahel, the hero of the five realms Prince Arnathor.”
The old queen slowly approached Arnathor, the only son she had left, and removed the sword from his hands.
“Arnathor, with this sword I charge thee to defend the honor and glory of the five realms. I charge thee to seek out threats to our land and pacify them. I charge thee to uphold the ancient and beloved traditions of our people passed down to us from Rahnn himself.”
Therna used the sword to knight Arnathor before placing it down on the end table on the platform. Then with her old hands she grabbed the golden crown of Rahnn. Legend had it that many years ago when the gods of the worlds walked among man, dwarf and elf alike that powerful magic was present in the five realms. The gods warred among themselves for power in this world and when Rahnn defeated the forces of darkness pushing the shadows back to their world he bestowed the crown to Rahel. Encrusted diamonds lined the edge of the crown leading up to the largest ruby known in the kingdom of man, the sun stone. Myth said that the sun stone possessed the power of Rahnn himself though many believed it just a large jewel.
“With this crown, I do hereby declare you King and protector of the five realms.”
The crown had barely touched down upon Arnathor’s head before the Great Hall of the Fallen was filled with the jubilant shouts of those gathered. The hall contained the joy and hopes of hundreds of people all who believed firmly that Arnathor would be the savior the kingdom needed. The newly appointed king rose and turning towards his new subjects he smiled and spoke.
“My friends, honored guests, and loyal subjects, twenty seven years ago our realm lost much more than just a king. My brother plunged our lands into chaos when he robbed us of my father, our king. He burned bridges with our neighbors and thought only on himself. Our kingdom became filled with vile decadency at the expense of our friends and our people. I say no longer, no longer shall we live in a realm that ignores the needs of our weak and poor. Today is the day we stand together to make our world a better place for all the realms.”
Once more the hall filled with noise this time thundering applause before Arnathor raised a singular hand.
“I want to live in a kingdom that Rahel would be proud to be a part of, a kingdom that leads the five realms, not sulks in the dark. Here today we start a new age, the third age of the five realms of men, and here today we reaffirm our freedom.”
The rest of the evening went by rather uneventfully. After his speech and the rousing cheers of long ‘live the king,’ Arnathor made his way through the jubilant mass of onlookers with people stopping him left and right to shake hands with the newly crowned king. There was tugging, pulling, and overall need for the people to touch Arnathor which displeased him greatly. I am just an ordinary man the new king found himself thinking. A peaceful lull swept across the lands and a calm feeling was found in the castle. The celebration of the coronation slowly faded away as the night took hold. Slowly the people of the castle made their way to their beds; the guests tired after a long and hard day of nothing but celebrating. Once more Arnathor found himself sitting up alone in his chambers poking the dying fire.
“I’m king now. Not that anything changes.”
Once more the middle aged man addressed his dog that seemed to find much pleasure in lazing about on the bear skin rug. With a quiet bark that he seemingly only let out to appease his master the dog rolled over and went back to sleep.
The fire had burned down to mostly embers and the room grew dark, as midnight was here. Arnathor sat still in the chair near the fire, falling in and out of a light sleep.
A ghostly voice echoed throughout the room. Unsure at first if he was awake or dreaming Arnathor stood up and looked around the room. Satisfied that he was alone and shrugging the idea of a mysterious voice off of his tired shoulders, Arnathor made his way to bed.
This time the sound was unmistakable. It was the voice of a man. Arnathor shot up, the sound of the voice still present in the air.
“Who are you?”
He shouted into the dark room yet no one answered. A small chill slowly made its way up Shaqe’s spine. There was no one in the room yet twice he heard a voice call out his name.
The disembodied voice spoke again. A cold sweat was now beginning to form on Shaqe’s furrowed brow. Fear had set in, yet there still was the faint taste of curiosity. He grabbed a robe from the floor, almost as if it had been left there for him and began fumbling around by the end table near his bed for a few seconds trying to find a candle and then a match to light the candle. With this new light source established, Shaqe quickly scurried around his room making certain there was no one but himself and a now very confused dog who, in Shaqe’s haste, had been kicked and stepped on quite a few times. Content he was alone and determined to find the source of the voice hauntingly calling his name, Arnathor set out into Castle Shaqe.
The cold stone of the castle echoed Arnathor’s lightly placed footsteps all throughout the halls. Yet the calming presence of the night in the castle seemingly had lulled the guests into a deep slumber. He wandered aimlessly at first slowly creeping through hallway after hallway. Arnathor paused in the kitchen and even contemplated making himself a quick snack before shrugging off eating this late as a possible reason for his current predicament.
“Maybe if I cut out some of the late night snacking I might not have such strange dreams.” The tall man said to himself.
Arnathor had been walking for quite some time before he found he had stumbled once more to the gardens out back of the castle. Near the gardens behind Castle Shaqe lay the tomb of the dead king. Rahel’s Tomb usually could be seen in the moonlight; but tonight the sky was clouded and the calm of the castle left Arnathor as he walked towards the tomb. The cloudy sky made the night dark and whistling winds now were rustling the foliage around Castle Shaqe. No longer was Arnathor thinking of the quiet and calming beauty of nature he had earlier found in the gardens. This time the movement of shadows cast by hedges and trees of the garden danced on the ground forming an eerie dance cast on the ground. Arnathor pulled the robe closer to his body and pressed forward towards the tomb; the cold wind cutting through the cloth and chilling him down to the bone. Closer and closer to the tomb until finally Arnathor reached the crypts door.
“What am I doing out here?” Arnathor questioned himself knowing the door to the crypt was always to be kept locked. But tonight when Arnathor’s hand pressed against the stone door of the crypt the heavy door slid easily back revealing a light source from below. The tall blond haired man stood there for a few moments weighing his options in his head. It indeed was strange that the door to his father crypt had been unlocked, and indeed it was strange a light was seemingly coming from within. Eventually Arnathor’s curiosity got the better of him; setting the candle in his other hand on the ground Arnathor then proceeded to walk down the staircase into the tomb.
The tomb of Rahel was constructed in the standard way of the time. Housed in a dome like structure made of solid stone the entrance way is a set of two engraved doors each with a stone pillar on the side. Following the doors there was a staircase of about twelve stone steps going down to the vault in which the body was kept. Shaqe had reached the middle of the staircase when he heard the stone doors slam shut behind him. Instantly knowing he had made a grave mistake that he could do nothing about he continued downward towards the vault. It was here inside the vault that the body of his dead father was kept inside a stone sarcophagus. Arnathor upon entering the vault surveyed the room. The vault was a room no bigger than twelve feet by twelve feet. It had an arched ceiling reaching about ten feet high and lit torches were hanging in metal mountings attached to the four stone pillars that stood in every corner of the room. A small stone platform was in the center of the room and on it sat the stone sarcophagus that housed the body of the dead king. Directly behind the sarcophagus stood a statue of Rahel decked in full battle armor and a small plaque that read:
Here lies the dead king Rahel the Mighty and Honorable.
Who with the help of Rahnn God of the Sun did bring peace
and happiness to the lands.
Arnathor looked around at the inside of the empty tomb. Nothing was out of the ordinary until a gust of wind emerging from everywhere blew out the torches.
“What kind of dark magic is this?” Arnathor shouted into the darkness.
“My son…” The disembodied voice echoed loudly inside the vault.
“Father..?” Arnathor called out in the dark.
“..I am a shade of things passed. Not long of this world am I” Said the ghost of Rahel.
In a brilliant flash of light the ghost of the dead king Rahel emerged from the statue.
“What brings you here spirit of my father?” Arnathor asked the shade.
“With warnings that your brother Thell recently banished is not yet gone” answered the ghost.
“What do you mean?” Arnathor said pleading with the shade to reveal more of what it knew.
“Far to the East in a castle hidden by constant night is where your brother wandered. There in the dark recesses of that place a hidden evil had laid dormant. That evil had slept for centuries until it felt the presence of something it had so long craved…men. The evil has no face, it knows no fear, and its presence poisons everything in touches in the end killing everything. Shadows the vilest of this evil’s minions have entered the world and realms already. They take people from their homes and feast on their life force sucking the light out of them.”
“But what can I do? Father I am just one man?” Arnathor said.
“You must assemble the finest warriors from the Elf and Dwarf kingdoms. You must first ride West and seek out Draedis of the Southern Dwarf people. A blood debt was owed me by his father. Arnathor you must then ride north into the Kingdom of the Elves. It is deep in the woods of Leatra, Arnathor, where you will find the Chainmail of Terra, Goddess of Earth. You will need the protection the chainmail can grant you if you wish to defeat the evil coming from the East. After you receive the blessing of Terra find the Elf Teella; her knowledge and skill at archery could cause problem to even the most skilled warrior. She also is well versed with animals and her help will be pivotal if you wish to succeed. It is then when you have assembled your companions you must ride north to the Ice Bridge of Lundrous. The Mages of the North Circle will be waiting for you.” Rahel’s shade said.
The shade slowly turned and pointed to the statue.
“Teimǜr the Sword of the Sun God waits here for you. Ride fast and hard my son.”
As the last word left his dead lips the shade of Rahel vanished as quickly as he came. The vault that should have been dark was now lit by the glowing blade of Teimǜr. Arnathor slowly walked up to the statue until he was mere inches away. The glow of the blade now was unmistakable. Arnathor reached slowly over and grabbed the sword by the handle and thrust into the air.
“For you father” He whispered before disappearing from the crypt and making his way back to the castle.
Figured I’d write a bit.
It feels as though I’ve left something behind. A constant nagging feeling that, somewhere, I left something important undone. What was this mysterious thing left, and why does it carry so much importance?
Once again I’m awake until five in the morning because of the unrelenting feeling that I’m looking for something or someone. My subconscious, now in full control of my biological clock begins running a muck with my sleep schedule. I begin to wonder whether or not I’ve been drowning my feelings in a pool of narcotics and self-loathing. Has it truly been over a year? As mind scourers the fading memories of yesteryear I try to think back to happy times.
I fucking hate being stuck in my own head at 5 in the morning.