Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Sorry I've been MIA lately. I've started a new project that has taken up most of the spare time that I used for blogging. Once I'm caught up with my new project, there will be new blog posts!

So.... hang on everybody! I've got a lot more material to share with everybody! :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Health - Dropping the Diet Coke!

I feel good lately. By coincidence, when I’m feeling good, I develop an urge to be healthy.
Is it a coincidence? Probably not. I’m afraid to delve into the depths of that association, but I’m sure there’s a negative connotation there to the days I’m feeling bad & not wanting to be healthy …. Lol.

Anyway. I’ve been performing some self analysis on myself lately and I’ve been thinking back to the way I’ve been on diets all my life, only to fail and gain back all the pounds I lost… The ones of us who have been there, know that failing a diet makes it a lot harder to even try another diet plan again, and if you do, you expect to fail. It’s sad that we’re starting something new without enough confidence to think that we’ll be victorious.

So I’m thinking to myself that all I really want, is to be healthy. I don’t want to go on a diet that’s eventually going to end, leaving me to fend for myself in a non-diet world that’s just bulging with temptations on every corner. I want to be healthy, let’s say 90% of the time. That leaves 10% of unhealthy time, a time where I can indulge in cookies and cheetos if I so wish. (And I know myself well enough to know … that I WILL wish to indulge in cookies and cheetos from time to time….)

I’ve also come to the conclusion that it’s hopeless to drop ALL of your bad habits at once. When I do that, my body goes into shock and complete chaos… all kinds of cravings start bombarding me from every direction. It’s hard enough dealing with one type of craving, but if multiple hits you at once, that’s a recipe for failure. I can stand strong for a little while but then I’ll cave in to one, or all, of the cravings eventually.

So…I’m going to start out by dropping Diet Coke from my diet. Although it has no sugar, I know that there are some side effects associated with diet coke, besides the obvious side effect that is a heavy addiction! Insulin resistance is one of the side effects, which is in fact associated with PCOS, an infertility condition that I was diagnosed with last year.

I need to find other sources of drinks to replace my Diet Coke habit. For dinner and lunch, I don’t always want water with my meal. I have found that seltzer water is a very good substitute for Diet Coke because it has the bubbles & is a bit more exciting than just plain water, but it’s still water, so it’s good for me.
During the day, I have started drinking tea. I do like a bit of caffeine during the day. I don’t drink coffee and I don’t need much caffeine, but I find that tea was a good substitution for the Diet Coke during work hours. I try to focus on healthy types of tea, such as green tea and white tea, but I like a variety so I’ve also got some chai tea in my desk. I don’t use any sugar in it, just a drop of milk.

As of today, I have not had a Diet Coke since Monday 3/23. I want to go 1 month without Diet Coke before I drop something else from my diet. If I’m doing good in two weeks and feeling brave, I may up my game and drop something else from my diet, but we’ll see. The weekends are the roughest ones. If I can make it through a weekend without diet coke, then that’s a big victory.

Let’s hear it for seltzer water and green tea!!!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Tattoo Journey - Part 6: The right cat!

Here she is...the undead cat who roamed the farm for 20+ years...

So I've got my photos, now I just need the $$ and the courage lol....as well as a trustworthy artist :)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

T'risstree - A Tale of Silver, Onyx and Rubies - Part 2

Note: This is is part 2 of this story. If you haven't read the first part yet, I suggest you visit the following link: http://lailaroknian.blogspot.com/2009/03/trisstree-tale-of-silver-onyx-and.html and catch up on the tale:)

Also, let me remind you that drow are evil in nature... that's all I will say. I will write more about the drow race at a later time, but if you wish to read more about them now, I advise that you google it... it's a fascinating race after all :)

Anyway, please enjoy the second part of this story, there will be 1 or 2 more parts following in the next coming days :)


If Malice had hoped for T’risstree to show any sign of breakdown, she had to be sadly disappointed, as there was no indication of remorse or sorrow. Viconia brought a new
melee trainer in and T’risstree trained with him faithfully every single day. Malice kept close watch, but soon found it to be a waste of time as Triss cared about nothing but the technicalities of how to best swing her swords in order to do the most damage.

“T’risstree, can you tell me the appropriate formula for shooting off a fireball?”
Viconia was tutoring the girls in their arcane studies.
Triss shook her head.
“It was in today’s homework Triss,” Viconia sighed.
Malice replied to the question and looked at Triss with a wide grin.
“I wont stoop down to her level,” Triss thought to herself, but the sword clinging to her thigh almost felt alive and she had to restrain herself from poking Malice’s eyeballs out.
“T’risstree, you must be punished. You are not paying attention like you should. Our goddess will be disappointed.”
Triss lowered her head.
“Xas jabbress,”[1] she muttered.
“You will be locked in your room without sword practice for a week. Study your books and come back to me with knowledge of magic.”
“Xas jabbress.” T’risstree got up from her chair and bowed before Viconia then headed out the door. As she turned around she locked eyes with Malice. If looks could kill, both would have been out cold on the floor that instance. Instead Triss turned around and walked quickly back to her room.
“Malice will get hers,” she muttered. “She better watch her back.”


It wasn’t the last time T’risstree would be punished for being lazy. She was known for having a mind of her own, and through the following years she spent a lot of time in her room. She was by far the fastest and the best fighter in the house, and quickly she climbed the ranks to the top. Whether she was a good mage or not, she knew how to get her way, which she often did. So did Malice for that matter, who was keener on the arcane arts rather than melee, and in that way they completed each other.
However, the bitter rivalry between the two did not fade. On the contrary it increased rapidly, and soon the entire House of Xyldynn knew the two were enemies and started taking sides. The rivalry turned into war and the House of Xyldynn stood divided.
Viconia was saddened by the event. The day two females had been born into the house had been the happiest day of her life, yet now the two were bitter enemies, and instead of bringing the house to life like they were born to do, they were tearing it apart.

“Jabbress T’risstree! They killed Zaknafein.”
One of her assassins came running and informed her of yet another tragic murder that had taken place.
“Should we go get revenge?” The young male was eager to please his mistress and was already whirling his knife around while licking his lips at the thought of stabbing someone with it.
T’risstree sighed. This had grown out of proportions and she didn’t know how to end it. The opponents would kill one of her servants, and she would kill one of theirs.
“No,” she finally said. “This is getting out of hand. We can’t keep doing this, it’s leading nowhere but to extinction.”
T’risstree went to her room and started pacing back and forth. This blood feud was starting to depress her.

In an attempt to cheer herself up she tried summoning visions of elven faces as her drow army stormed their camps, tears running down their elven cheeks while they were pleading for their petty lives... her slender hand elegantly twirling her sword around, before burying in their flesh one last time before she would walk away with a victorious chuckle. The thought put her in a good mood for only a short second.
Triss sat down and looked at herself in the mirror, which was one of her favorite pastimes. The reflection of her glistening red eyes was gazing back at her as she picked up a silver hairbrush and started grooming her long, thick silver-white mane. Finally she shook her head, sending her hair cascading down her back like a moonlit waterfall.
She reached for her jewelry box and let her hand slide into it. All the nice golden chains and necklaces she had collected through the years seeped through her fingers like it was water and she sighed. Gold was usually a cheerful sight, but this time she just closed up her box without even picking out a piece to wear.

T’risstree walked across the floor and opened the door out to the hallway.
“Xas jabbress, lu'oh shlu'ta usstan kla'ath dos?” [2]
She was pleased to see her pets come running as soon as she showed herself.
“How can you serve me?” She repeated his question with a smirk and put an elegant finger under the drow servant’s chin, cupping his face between her hands.
“Come with me jaluk,” she purred. Willingly he obeyed her and followed her back inside, where she closed the door behind them and had her way with him.
There was always a cure for boredom, even if it was temporary.

The following day, Viconia sent out summons for T’risstree and Malice.
“Girls, this can’t go on,” she said. “You are causing major conflicts around here. Warriors who once used to be friends are now killing each other.”
Malice chuckled and T’risstree just shrugged.
“Survival of the fittest,” she said and glared over at Malice.
“Well, you either fight it out, figure it out or I throw you out, I’ve had enough,” Viconia snarled. “And may I remind you, once you’re thrown out of here, there is no way back in!”
The words had the effect of a cold shower and T’risstree stood up and drew her sword.
“Let’s do it,” she sneered at Malice. “Let’s see what you’ve got.”
“Not here,” Viconia said. “I will arrange something. A challenge. The winner stays, the loser goes.”
“Goes where?” T’risstree asked her. Viconia just gave her a long look and T’risstree had a feeling she didn’t want to know.
“It will be the end of you,” Malice hissed and pointed at Triss.
Triss just laughed in her face, then spit on the floor in front of her.
“Whore,” she sneered before she spun around and ran out the door, realizing that whore was too much of a compliment for a lowlife scum like Malice.
“You belong with the light-lovers,” she yelled, and her intense voice echoed down the hallways and it silenced them all. They shuddered with fear.
It was win or lose and it was life or death. Actually, it was life or worse than death.
It was life or the abyss of eternal suffering.


T’risstree spent the next days in her room preparing for whatever would come her way in the contest. At least the killing had stopped for now, but the tension between the two groups was unbearable.
Finally the day of the contest arrived.
T’risstree and Malice were sitting across the room from one another.
“Vendui’ dalnilnuk.” Viconia’s voice broke the stifling silence and they turned their attention to her.
“I’ve been thinking long and hard to find out how to best test you. I know you are both excellent fighters, staging a battle would not be much help as I suspect T’risstree would win the melee battle and Malice would win the arcane battle.”

She walked up to T’risstree and handed her a brooch, then continued over to Malice and handed her a similar item.
“I will send you to the world of the light-lovers. Neither of you can bring anyone from here. We have wounds to patch up thanks to you two. While you’re away, the drow army will be brought back together again. The one of you who succeeds will return to a united house and be matron in the House of Xyldynn.”
“What exactly are we supposed to do there?” T’risstree asked.
“Survive,” Viconia smiled.
“Easy,” Malice shrugged. “I’ve been there before.”
“Your brooches are your teleporters. Rub it three times and act as if you were casting a portal and it will send you up to the surface. Rub it five times, and it shall send you back to the Underdark.”
Viconia sat down in her chair.
“Good luck girls,” she said.
“Can I pack some money and some clothes?” T’risstree asked and the matron nodded.
“Pack some necessities and return to me. I will send you both out at the same time.”

T’risstree was nervous. It sounded like a simple task, but knowing what was at stake, and seeing that the task came from Viconia, she realized it would be anything but easy. She packed some clothes, her swords and a purse with some gold coins and returned to the matron. Malice joined them seconds later and they were ready.
Viconia muttered some words under her breath. A big white light flashed before T’risstree’s eyes and she felt as if she was in the middle of a gigantic explosion.


When she opened her eyes again, she was sitting on the ground in a place she did not recognize. Malice was sitting next to her.
“They sent us to the same place?” T’risstree wheezed. “I don’t want to see your ugly face.”
“Fine,” Malice said and got up from the ground. She brushed some leaves off her coat and marched off in to the village. Luckily it was dark outside already. Triss knew she needed to find a place to stay before daylight came to blind her.
She pulled a big coat over her tiny body. It had a huge hood attached to it, which she pulled over her head and tied up so that nobody could see her face unless they looked closely. Swiftly she covered her hands with a pair of gloves before heading in the same direction that Malice had gone, towards the village.
She was almost there when Malice came running back out with a horde of angry villagers after her. They were spitting and waving knives at her. T’risstree chuckled and turned around to watch the spectacle just in time to see Malice making a fool out of herself. She blasted a fireball at the crowd that was chasing her and ran into the woods.
Triss knew her rival would be safe in the forest, since Malice, like most other drow, was an expert at stealth and hiding.
“That was one of them dark ones.” She heard someone talking to her. “Nasty dark folk bring nothing but trouble, I assure you.”
Triss looked up to find a hefty pale matron standing next to her.
“I know what you mean,” she spoke softly. “Excuse me, do you know where I can get a room for a few nights?”
“Sure thing honey. You look freezing cold the way you’re bundled up, let me show you to the inn.”
Triss drew a breath of relief and followed behind the woman. The vision of Malice running for her life followed by a group of light-lovers amused her still, and she had to bite her lip not to laugh out loud.

As soon as Triss was settled in, she tore the big coat off and took a deep breath. It had been hard to breath being so bundled up, but well worth it. As soon as she had taken all her outer clothes off, she realized she was hungry and sighed as she started putting it all back on. It had only been a few minutes and already it was starting to get tedious.
“This is no competition with Malice being so brain-dead. I’ll have to go help her,” T’risstree thought. “What fun is it if she’s defeated that easily? There’s no way I’ll have her deny me some good competition!”
She walked back downstairs. Stealthily she vanished in to the kitchen and stole a loaf of bread and some cheese. She knew she could just buy it, but where was the fun in that? After filling her pockets in the kitchen, she headed back out the city gates and into the woods.
“Malice, where are you?” she whispered.
“What do you care?” She heard an angry voice reply.
“Told you it wasn’t going to be that easy,” Triss said quietly.
“So?” Malice came out of hiding.
“Cover yourself up,” T’risstree sighed. “I knew you were dense, but really Malice! I’m not going to give you that many chances to catch up!”
Quickly Triss spun around and headed back to the inn, and by the sound of it Malice was following right behind her, still not covered up.
“I’ll use my own tactics,” she triumphed as she brushed by T’risstree and strutted back into the village. Triss heard ruckus as the villagers spotted Malice once again and expected to see Malice come running back out in a matter of seconds.
However, Malice never came back out and curiosity got the upper hand of T’risstree.
Leisurely she walked over to a corner and watched Malice in action.
“It’s terrible down there,” Malice sobbed. She was a great actress and had the entire village in the palm of her hand. “I can’t stay there anymore, and I guess I’m not welcome here either so I don’t know what to do.”
All the light-lovers were quiet.
“We’ll take you in for a bit honey,” Triss heard a voice say. “You may have lived a sad and pitiful life up till now, but we’ll take care of you.”
“Are they that stupid,” T’risstree muttered to herself and just about jumped out of her skin when someone joined her on the bench.
“Isn’t it terrible,” the newcomer said. “How they treat them dark skinned ones.”
T’risstree decided to take advantage of the situation and pulled her hood back.
“It is indeed,” she said in a sickeningly pitiful voice and turned her head to face the light-lover sitting next to her.
It was a young male, most likely in his late 20s. He had pale blue eyes, fair skin and blonde hair and seemed taken back by the company he found himself in.
“You are a dark one as well,” he stated.
“Nice observation stupid,” Triss thought to herself but nodded at him with an encouraging smile.
Malice had turned around and their eyes met. A glimpse of jealousy flew across Malice’s face until another young man tapped her on the shoulder and took her hand, leading her towards the inn, where it seemed like the young drow would both be staying for a while.
“What’s your name?” The male asked her.
“T’risstree,” she answered him.
“That’s a pretty name,” he smiled. “Mine is just plain old Andy.”
She turned and looked him in the eyes.
“You are very handsome,” she cooed and let a finger run across his face. He turned slightly red under her touch, and was breathing fast and swallowing hard.
“Perhaps… perhaps you would like to join me for a meal,” he stuttered.
“That sounds nice,” she said softly, even though her pockets were bulging from stolen baked goods from the kitchen.
She grabbed his hand and he escorted them to the inn. At a table next to theirs sat Malice with her foolish admirer, and by the looks of it he had swallowed her bait completely.
T’risstree realized they could have some fun with the light-lovers while they were here. There was nothing or nobody present at the moment that couldn’t be used and tossed aside later.

Malice’s story spread quickly around town and T’risstree knew she owed her thanks for making it easier to walk around without hiding in the big cloak. It was amazing how gullible these people were and T’risstree had no problems taking cruel advantage of their hospitality and kindness.
“It’s their own fault for being so stupid,” she thought to herself and ignored the pull on the heartstrings every time she pick-pocketed someone or stole another item from a store.

She let Andy off easy the first night. He followed her to her room where she gently kissed him on the lips and sent him on his way.
On the third day, T’risstree finally let Andy come inside with her.
“I want to know what a light-lover is like in bed,” she cooed and his kind blue eyes lit up with expectation.
“Really?” he smiled and ran a hand through her silver-blonde hair.
“Really,” she purred and pulled his head down towards hers. She pressed her lips against his and gently played with his probing tongue while he slowly undressed her.
Triss eagerly reached for his clothes and found his pale, naked body totally unappealing.
“Oh, you’re so sexy,” she lied and his soft chuckle filled the room as he carried her on to the bed and started stroking her dark smooth body.
For about an hour, T’risstree laid on the bed, moaning and groaning, pretending to be having a good time, while he took his sweet time with the foreplay before he finally made love to her.
“You dark elves are tigers in bed,” he panted after he was done.
T’risstree cringed at the word “dark elf” but didn’t say anything.
“You’re not bad yourself,” she bluffed and bit him on the neck, while thinking how she couldn’t wait to get back to the Underdark and to her loyal, feisty lovers that were all waiting for her there.

[1] “Yes mistress”
[2] “Yes mistress, how can I serve you?”

Sunday, March 15, 2009

T'risstree - A Tale of Silver, Onyx and Rubies - Part 1

Note: This is the first few chapters in a short story I wrote about T'risstree, who is a drow character I used to play in various games though the years. For anyone who is unfamiliar with the drow, they are an evil race (although some "good" drow have sprung up through the years), which is why this story is on the darker side.

For further information on drow, you can google them. Some of the language in this story is also drow.

Zebeyana took a last quivering breath. She felt as if she was ripped in half for a second, and then there was nothing but peace and quiet in the room. A sharp cry penetrated the quiet night, and Zebeyana was afraid to open her eyes.
What was it? It had to be a girl. It had to be.

“Ol zhah natha jalil!”[1]

With a big smile, Zeby opened her ruby colored eyes and welcomed her newborn baby girl into her arms. The future of the House of Xyldynn was finally secured, and so was her own life. She peered down at the tiny body that was lying on her chest. The baby’s skin was black like onyx and a pale trace of silver white hair was showing itself at the top of her head.

“T’risstree,” Zeby whispered. “We have been waiting for you.”
She let her fingers run across the tiny face, tracing around her small pointy ears before she embraced the little one completely and hugged her carefully.
The baby was so tiny, Zeby was afraid she would break if she hugged her too hard.

A door flew open, and in walked another dark skinned elf, followed by a cold wind gust. Zeby lifted her eyes to examine the visitor. The only telltale of her current emotion was her red eyes, which were reduced to glowing embers, expressing intense hatred. Apart from that, she kept a cool ice-queen posture.

“Ph' dos kr'athin?”[2] He sounded impatient.

Was she ready? Would she ever be?

Softly she planted a kiss on the baby’s forehead and handed her over to the male. She was determined not to break down in front of anybody, but felt as if she was being ripped apart for the second time that morning, and this time there no remedy for her pain. As she saw him walk out the door, carrying her baby girl, a cold, empty void spread within her and even though giving birth to a girl had saved her from a certain death, she felt as if she had nothing left to live for.


“Vendui’ dalnilnuk,”[3] T’risstree greeted her fellow study companion with a fake grin.
19 years, in human time, had gone by since she was born and she was now a young woman.
“Vendui’” Malice muttered.
The two exchanged a look that was less than friendly and sat quietly side-by-side waiting patiently for matron Viconia, who normally taught them the ways of the arcane circles.

What Zebeyana had been unaware of at the time of T’risstree’s birth, was that another female drow had been born only minutes before T’risstree entered the world. The matron was pleased to see more females in charge. She had feared for the future of Xyldynn and now she was certain that the House of Xyldynn would continue to grow.

“Vendui’ dalharen,”[4] Viconia strutted into the room and T’risstree focused her attention on her teacher, following her every move with her piercing red eyes.
“Vendui’ jabbress,”[5] Malice smiled and T’risstree rolled her eyes.
“What are we learning today?” T’risstree asked.
“Ladies, I’ve brought along one of our males to teach you how to hand the blade,” Viconia said. A silent movement in the doorway caught T’risstree’s attention.
“Usstan tlun Amalika,”[6] he said with a gleam in his eye. Confidently he pulled two swords out and juggled them around before handing one to Malice and one to T’risstree.
“Showoff,” Malice muttered and T’risstree chuckled.
“Takes one to know one,” she whispered before she got up from her chair, waving her sword in the air.
“Careful jalil,[7]” Amalika warned her and grabbed her arm.
“You can’t tell me what to do,” T’risstree snapped at him.
“If you wish to kill yourself, go ahead and do as you please. If not I suggest you listen to him,” Viconia said and Triss could hear Malice snickering behind her.
“Fine,” T’risstree muttered, angered over having been reprimanded in front of the male.

The next few days Amalika taught T’risstree and Malice how to swing their swords. T’risstree found herself enjoying these lessons far more than the arcane studies, whereas Malice was rather clumsy with the knives. She had cut herself three times already, whereas T’risstree was pleasantly scar free so far.
“You are ready for a second weapon.”
Amalika came up to her one day as she was practicing, and her eyes lit up at the compliment.
“Really?” she smiled.
“Really,” Amalika said.
He brought a shorter sword out and presented it to her.
“Bel’dos,”[8] she purred and let a finger run down his chest. Her red glare looked up at him, glowing with lust. Amalika seemed flattered by her come-on.
She had grown up to be a beautiful young woman. Her long hair was thick and silver-blonde in color, her body was tiny but curvaceous still and everybody had a hard time resisting her sparkling ruby eyes.
Amalika went on to show her how to fight with both hands. He wasn’t unaffected by her advances. She was constantly rubbing herself against him, and he simply wouldn’t have been a man if he showed no reaction.
Quickly she chopped through the air with her swords, then spun around to face him.
“Do you want me?” she cooed.
“How could I not want you,” he gulped.
“Then let’s put our swords away,” she smiled and he could do nothing but obey.
T’risstree tilted her head and glanced up at him with her irresistible smile, and he knew he was lost. She kissed him before plucking her clothes off one by one, revealing her perfect dark-skinned body to him, then she moved on to his clothes, and soon they were naked and passionately committed to one another for the three nights that followed.
On the third night, Amalika exited T’risstree’s room, still in a state of lust and unaware of the piercing look that was following him as he quickly walked down the corridor.
“Whore,” Malice sneered as she turned away in disgust and envy, but the plan that was brewing in her mind made her laugh.


T’risstree was sparring with Malice. It was a boring task, but someone had to do it. Malice had improved her sword skill, but was no challenge to Triss. To make better use of her time, Triss automatically swung her sword from side to side while daydreaming of what was to come later that night. She had grown fond of Amalika and they had made a habit out of meeting every night.
“Ladies, you’re looking good.”
Amalika emerged from the hallway and studied the two women dueling. For a second he pretended to be interested in the actual swordfight, before he shoved all pretences aside and openly stared at T’risstree as she gracefully swung her petite body out of the way of Malice’s attempted attacks.
“I’m tired,” Malice yawned and lowered her sword.
“Finally,” Triss commented and put on a sexy smile before turning towards the drow male. “Do you have time for some more… exercises?” she grinned as she slid towards Amalika, halting only inches away from him.
“Always,” he smiled and glanced quickly to the side, making sure Malice vanished out the door, before he melted between Triss’ hands and lost himself to her.
They had just gotten dressed again when Malice stormed back into the room.
“I must have lost my amulet,” she excused herself. “Do you mind if I look for it?”
“Not at all.” Triss pretended not to care about the interruption.
“Did you see it?” Malice asked them. “It was silver with a red stone…”
While they watched Malice search for her necklace, Amalika boldly placed a strong hand on Triss’ thigh. She looked up at him with a sensual smile while grinding against his hand.
“I can’t get enough of you,” she purred.
“Yes my mistress,” he pleaded and she locked eyes with him and knew she owned him.
“I can’t find it,” Malice pouted.
“Come with me male,” T’risstree commanded Amalika and he bowed his head and followed her out like an obedient puppy. They reached her room and she started removing his clothes for the second time that day, when an amulet fell out of his pocket.
It was silver with a red stone in it.
T’risstree gasped.
“Amalika?” She looked at him.
“I don’t know how that got there,” he stuttered.
“She placed it there,” T’risstree frowned. “She’s a jealous bitch… she has every right to be.” T’risstree grinned and clung to his body.
“Get rid of it and come back to me,” she said and he nodded and vanished out the door.

Minutes later a scream sounded from the hallway and Triss stormed out of her bedroom, just to see Malice lecturing Amalika.
“Thief!” Malice turned triumphantly to Triss, before quickly replacing her triumphant expression with one of despair for the rest of the crowd to see.
“Thief! He stole my amulet!”
Other curious drow had arrived at the scene when Matron Viconia made a graceful appearance.
“Young lady, what happened?” she asked Malice.
“This thief stole my amulet!” Malice pointed at Amalika.
“No I didn’t, I didn’t take it…” Amalika’s onyx-colored face was drenched in sweat and he was tugging at his white hair in frustration.
“He did take it! I had it before sparring class this morning and all of a sudden it was gone. I caught him with it, he was carrying it in his hands!” Malice was furious.
“What punishment do you wish for?” Viconia asked the young female drow. Malice’s eyes were glowing bright red as she turned and looked T’risstree directly in the eyes.
“Death,” she said. “A lesson needs to be taught!”
Triss gasped.
“He didn’t take it!” T’risstree sprung to his defense.
“You choose to believe the male over me?” Malice sobbed and put on an extraordinary performance, highly believable to everyone else. “Are you insane? He’s scum.”
T’risstree looked at Amalika who shook his head and put his finger to his lips, quietly telling her not to defend him. Her body trembled as it restrained itself from crying.
She would get in trouble if she chose to be on his side over Malice’s. It was his word against Malice, a male drow against a female drow, and there was no doubt whose word carried more weight.
Quietly he sunk down to his knees and put his swords on the ground.
“T’risstree? You’re good with the sword, maybe you could do the honors?” Malice’s cold eyes were staring right at her.

T’risstree looked at the crowd gathering around them. One day she wished to be head of this house. If she walked away from this, her chances would be greatly diminished, and they would have Malice in charge of their lives, which would be worse than death.
Proudly she swallowed her tears and her fear while calmly approaching Amalika, who was kneeling before her. Her voice was crisp and clear as she spoke.
“You shouldn’t have taught me quite as much,” she said as she grabbed one of his swords from the ground. He looked up at her with a smile and winked at her. She wished she could close her eyes, but she had to look in order to aim properly. They locked eyes and with all her strength and great speed she swung his sword, aiming for his neck. She watched in horror as the sword penetrated his skin and heard the subtle thump as his head hit the floor and it was over. Quickly she gathered his remaining swords from the ground before she ran into her room and threw up.

“It’ll be easy from now on,” she thought to herself. “Because from this day and forward, the only emotion that is allowed to penetrate my shell, is hatred. And I hate! I hate! I hate!!”
She was chanting to herself while staring into the mirror. Her eyes never shone so bright before but they were cold as stone.
“I hate…” she whispered.

To Be Continued.........

(Translations for the drow sentences used above:)
[1] “It’s a girl!”
[2] “Are you ready?”
[3] “Hello sister”
[4] “Hello children”
[5] “Hello mistress”
[6] “I am Amalika”
[7] “Girl”
[8] “Thank you”

Friday, March 13, 2009

Red Shoes

I’m wearing red shoes today.

You may think “so what?”, but to someone who has tried all her life, and succeeded at that, to stay invisible, wearing red shoes is a big deal.

About two years ago, I attended a weekend seminar called “World Works”. I can’t explain how great it was, it has to be experienced, but it is a place where you work on yourself, you are forced to come face to face with yourself, good and bad, and if you are alert and soak up the tools and the knowledge they provide you with during this seminar, it will help you out once you’re released into the real world again. It was exhausting but it felt great.

It was here that I found out, with the assistance of one of our coaches, that I had become invisible. I didn’t realize how hard I had been working at becoming invisible, but apparently I had been very successful at it. Believe me, I had to dig into places I didn’t want to dig to come to that conclusion and expose feelings and hurt that had been locked up for years.
I was forced to think back to happier times. A time where I had not been afraid to raise my hand in class to tell everybody about my weekend. A time where I hadn’t been afraid to have everyone looking at me while I played a part in a school play or played a solo on the recorder. When did all that stop? When was it that I decided that it was better to be invisible?

When I was 12 years old, I was uprooted from my childhood town and moved across the country. If you’ve read my previous blogs, you know I’m from Norway. In Norway, people don’t move much. They pretty much stay in the town they are born, where their parents were born, where their grandparents are born… People don’t move much at all. That makes it very difficult on the few of us who are uprooted like I was and replanted in a new society… a society where nobody needs a new friend because they grew up there and they already have everyone they need. I did make friends eventually, but I was still an outsider. Everyone around me had pretty much grown up with each other, and I had 12 years of internal jokes to catch up on. That truly is a task that is impossible.

My dialect was different because I had grown up in a different part of the country. I’ve also always been bigger than average my whole life, so my weight has always been a sore spot. Physically, I developed as a woman fairly early, and that didn’t go unnoticed by all those adolescent boys that I went to school with. I was constantly teased, squeezed and harassed over all these issues. Maybe under normal circumstances, this wouldn’t have been so bad, but I was the new kid in school, I was alone and I was different. I was vulnerable and I was an easy target.

I look back now and I realize that the guys who gave me the hardest time were ones that had worse problems on their own to deal with. At the time though, I was a teenager, and I wasn’t experienced enough to understand that much.
So, invisibility became my defense mechanism. I no longer raised my hand in class, even when I knew the answer to questions being asked. No more did I rush out to tell anybody about my weekend. Instead I did everything I could not to get noticed at all. The fear was that if I was noticed by anyone, I’d get picked on. After all, it was better to be invisible than being teased.

I mastered the task of being invisible. Looking back, even to my university days, I didn’t really make as many friends as I could have because I was hiding from the world. Sure I went out to parties and I did make a few very good friends, but I realize now that I missed out on a lot of good people just because of the stealth mode I was in. I even took it a step further and decided on my very own, without even consulting with anybody at all, that I wasn’t worth anybody’s time. If two of my friends hung out together without me, I felt it was because they didn’t want me along, because they were better friends with each other than with me, so I naturally took a backseat. If I had taken the initiative to step out from the shadows and involve myself, I probably would have discovered that this wasn’t the case at all. I just wasn’t making myself available to them and their friendship.
After all, who was I? Just an outsider, an overweight chick with a weird dialect. College, however, was a melting pot of all sorts of people from all parts of the country. We were all outcasts and loners and I didn’t actually stand out at all, except for in my very own mind.

My choice to be invisible has inhibited me in life. Even now, when I’m aware of this tendency of mine to blend in with the walls, I can’t change it overnight. I still head for the rack of black clothes when I shop. God forbid I wear something brightly colored so people can see me or even worse, they may actually stop and make me the focus of their conversation for a minute. Maybe they’ll even compliment the color of my blouse, thereby pointing out the unusually bright color I’m wearing, and I’ll think “damn, I’ll never wear this again!” People tell me I should show some cleavage because “I’ve got it so I should flaunt it”, but how can I show off something that I was teased for through so many years? I like big sweaters and black clothes, but I’m trying to break from that comfort zone, now that I’m aware of why it is a comfort zone to begin with.

I should point out that fate decided to play a prank on me by making me a baseball fan and my team of choice came to be the Anaheim Angels, whose team color is bright red. Go figure! So I wear red, as long as it has a team logo on it. It’s almost as if I have to justify or have a reason to wear red, because I don’t want to make it seem like I’m wearing red to seek attention. I’m wearing it to support my team, that’s all!

So back to these shoes. I saw them last week in an Adidas outlet store. They were on super sale and they were the only ones left of their kind! $15 for a pair that used to be $70 (who pays that much for shoes?). They were red and black with white stripes and they looked really cool, they just really stood out. (See the irony here??)
So I tried them on, they fit like a glllllllllove (any Ace Ventura fans out there?). Here was the dilemma. They were red.
Red shoes! Really unique! They’re really going to show when I wear them! But they looked so cool. I decided that whether or not I would ever wear these shoes, $15 was still a good deal so I ended up buying them.

Today is casual day at work. We’re allowed to wear sneakers.

My red sneakers were glaring at me from the kitchen table when I came in this morning. That is where I parked them last week after purchasing them. I thought “oh what the heck, I’ll just wear my white shoes to work and I’ll wear these red shoes tomorrow when I won’t be seen by people I know”. What a copout!
Then I walked right past them. I had to pass them again on my way to the bathroom and then once more on my way back to the kitchen and I swear, it was as if this pair of shoes exerted their influence on me.
Finally I grabbed them and put them on. All of a sudden I didn’t care if they attracted attention (from people I know nevertheless!). They’re red and they are fabulous. I have literally taken another step away from the shadows, in my brand new bright red sneakers.

So… hey everybody! Look at me!

I’m wearing red shoes today!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Tattoo Journey - Part 5 - a photo is on its way!

Ok, so my dad dug through some photos and sent me a few, but unfortunately they didn't have the cat I was thinking of for my tattoo. The photos he sent brought a lot of memories back however, and I was tempted to settle for one of the cats I saw on there.... (of course I know and remember them all fondly :-)).
BUT ... I didn't want to do that, unless we absolute can't find a photo of the right cat.

My mom emailed me this weekend and said she had found a couple of photos of Gurimalla. (Reference my earlier tattoo posts for info on this cat...). So granted that these photos show her face well & are of the right cat, I suppose that means that part of the battle has been won :-)

So we'll see.... I'll keep everyone updated on the progress, once some is made... (Mom is coming for a visit in April and I will probably have those photos then....so we'll see.... :))

Flames of Demise

I'm not sure where the following story came from. There is this fascination I have with personifying the Grim Reaper and writing fantasy stories about him and his encounters with various characters, some end good, some end bad. I don't consider myself depressed or anything, I just have a vivid imagination and I do love fantasy, sometimes on the morbid side.

This story is slightly r-rated, it contains some adult language. Although it's not a lot of it, if that is something that offends you, I suggest you skip this particular piece :-)

Thank you.

Flames of Demise

It was the day she went to the lake. Naturally it was a cloudy day. An odd shade of blue was painted across the sky and a bright spotlight shone through its canvas, causing little beams of light to slash through the dark layer. The intense dabs of light shining through the moody clouds created a mysterious and depressing atmosphere. A total eclipse would have been brighter. The lake had adapted its body of water to the sky, imitating its shades and colors. Light waves danced across the surface as the breeze gently brushed across the water. It never seemed to get tired.

Her mind drifted back to the first time she had seen him. The first time she had wanted him. The first time she had wanted him to want her.
Casually he had entered the bar as if swept in by a wind gust. His overwhelming presence had filled the room, which all of a sudden felt tiny. When his onyx eyes crossed paths with her gaze, she drew a quick breath and sent him a quivering smile.
A look of surprise flew across his attractive face when she acknowledged him, and with a short nod in her direction, he continued pacing through the place, obviously searching for someone else. Although he disappeared out of sight, he never left her mind.
The next thing she knew, she heard his his deep voice ordering a Jim on the rocks from the bartender and she could sense his presence with every nerve in her body.

“Hello.” It was as if she was lost in a trance and she heard her own smoky voice work its way up her throat, exerting the single word of greeting.
Slowly he turned his head, acknowledging her only with a short nod and an unfriendly greeting. His blunt rudeness became him. Nervously she started a conversation with him, which turned out to be nothing but a monologue of unanswered questions.
“Do you dance?” she asked him timidly.
God he was so good-looking. She let her eyes wander along his body, up to his thick obsidian-colored hair, which was gathered in an elegant ponytail, reaching him far below his broad shoulder blades. Handsomely dressed in black from top to toe, raging about 6’8 from the floor, he had to be the tallest man she had ever seen.

“Yes.” His reply was unexpected and caught her off guard and she realized that he had finally surrendered to her persistency.
They merged together on the dance floor. She embraced his upper arms with her fingers and felt his strong muscles bulging underneath his elegant, black jacket. His arms tightened around her waist, pulling her close while he gracefully whirled her across the dance floor. The fabric in his jacket caressed her warm cheek while she pressed her groin ever so subtly against his crotch, and she noticed a light yet flattering movement underneath his black slacks.
“Please don’t make me want you.” His whisper against her ear had been brief and quiet.
She wasn’t sure if he had said anything at all. His sorrowful gaze was pitch-black, forcing her to reflect on his few spoken words. She stayed in his arms until the song ended, then he gently escorted her back to her seat, grabbed his Jim on the rocks and left her side.

Longingly she followed his every move while he held another woman in his arms. As she observed the woman’s lips, passionately embraced and wrapped up with his, she felt a sting of jealousy, a sting which only grew more intense when he took the woman by the hand and guided her into the ladies’ room. As he was about to close the door behind them, he turned around and looked at her across the room while slowly shaking his head, clearly mouthing the five words, “Don’t make me want you.”
She leaned her head back, trying to tame the tall flames that were eagerly licking at her inner flesh, realizing that only he who had ignited these flames could extinguish them.

An overwhelming desire and a longing for him overshadowed all her inhibitions as she left her barstool and walked across the floor to interfere with his little rendezvous in the ladies’ room. A sharp odor met her in the doorway and she nearly tripped over a stiff woman lying on the floor, her cold eyes were staring straight up into the ceiling and traces of dried up blood trailed from her nostrils and the corner of her mouth. The man of mystery was nowhere to be seen.

“Oh fuck!”

The sight of the dead woman had made her utter the F word, and she slapped her hand across her own lips before covering the corpse with her jacked. Whimpering, she ran back outside to retrieve help before anyone else stumbled across the body. However, the news about the dead woman in the bathroom traveled fast, transforming the cozy and up till now mellow bar into a dungeon of chaos.

“I told her to stop snorting that shit,” a cold voice sneered next to her.
She understood it was an acquaintance of the deceased and promptly she made a selfish inquiry about the man that the woman had been dancing with before her encounter with death. The stranger next to her shrugged and gave her a puzzled look.
“You need to stop snorting that shit too miss,” the voice stated.


A roaring fire had been sparked that night and she was seeking to have it extinguished. She sighed and picked up a rock, then tossed it in the lake. Her eyes followed the perfect circles that were quickly multiplying, spreading from the core of where her rock had landed. She wondered if the rings ever stopped or if they just kept drifting forever.

After the incident in the bar, her expectations to see him again were extremely low alas she kept her hopes high. The glowing furnace in her stomach was a constant reminder of their brief encounter. Never during her 23-year-old lifespan had she ever desired someone so intensely. Only his smooth, cool hand could suffocate the flames he had torched within her.

Then one night, as she was sitting in a local cafeteria, eating her dinner, and she almost choked on her hamburger when his big, tall figure placed itself on the chair across the table from her. He looked at her with disappointment in his eyes.

“You want me.”

She started denying it but he stopped her lies before they left her tongue.

“Don’t play with me.”
His sentences were short and to the point.
“Do you want to know how I know you want me?”
She nodded in response to his question, but he shook his head. “I can’t tell you yet.”

Her hazel eyes were drawn to his black gaze and she reached out for him, trying to pull him closer. She desperately wanted to taste him. His mouth was hovering over hers, not even an inch away, and she could feel hot bursts of air against her lips for every word he spoke.
“Don’t do it baby.”
He seemed to need all his strength to pull away from her, and all of a sudden she felt cold and even lonelier than before.
“Did you kill that woman?” The question escaped her before she could squelch it.
He shook his head.
“You let her have you,” she commented, blushing slightly as the jealous undertone in her voice had to be obvious.
He nodded and reached out for her, gently playing with her long, black hair, twirling it around his strong fingers before he let his hand run across her pale face, down her cheekbones and across her neck, where he stopped and pulled away.
“Strangle your desires. You’re much too young for me.”
Then, as quickly as he had appeared at her table, he was gone.

She asked the waitress if she could identify the man that had accompanied her just a minute ago.
“No ma’am,” the waitress replied hesitantly, looking slightly amused at the inquiry. Suddenly the food tasted like cardboard and she had become strangely aware of the fact that she was eating alone. As she left the coffee shop she heard the waitresses’ giggling behind her back.
“They’re just jealous,” she muttered. “Because he doesn’t want them. He wants me…”


With a sigh she removed her shoes and buried her toes in the sand.
Despite the cold air, the sand was still warm from the sunrays that had been baking it all day.
She shuddered as the wind carried a drop from the lake in to shore, splashing it gently on to her naked feet. Carefree she leaned back in the sand, just looking at the waves as they were dancing around, playfully bobbing up and down, and occasionally a loud splash would break the silence when a hungry trout jumped up to catch his dinner on the water surface.

“You don’t listen well, do you?”
She was studying her grocery list, making sure she didn’t forget something, when his quiet whisper interrupted her. The sight of him fueled the flame inside her and suddenly she found herself fighting back her tears.
“I need you,” she whispered and he shook his head.
“No you don’t. Please don’t say that,” he begged and pulled her close.
His warm embrace soothed her soul and provided comfort. She wanted to stay in his arms forever.
“You’re making it hard for me to stay away,” he mumbled and buried his face in her soft hair.
Her restless fingers caressed his strong body and she felt his big hands exploring her curves. Then, as if he caught himself doing something illegal, he pushed her away with a frustrated sigh.
“Darling,” he said breathily. “You shouldn’t enjoy my touch like this. I shouldn’t be lusting after you. Be strong and walk away from me.” He left her shivering and sobbing and she left the store without asking anyone who he was, as well as abandoning her basket of groceries. Food seemed redundant all of a sudden.


She didn’t know what she had expected, but she certainly hadn’t expected to see him standing in her apartment, casually and natural, as if he belonged there. She didn’t mind. He seemed distraught.
“How did you get in?” she asked him.
“You let me in.” His frustrated tone of voice told her that he was about to crack and suddenly she felt better than she had in years. “This is my last plea and final warning. I can’t resist much longer.”
He grabbed her by the arms and shook her violently. Her head was bouncing around on her shoulders like a bobble head doll. She didn’t stop him. At least he was touching her, a touch she had longed for since the very second she laid eyes on him.
“I want you,” she mumbled. Her head was spinning and he stopped shaking her. “I really want you.”
Big sobs shook her petite body as she reached out for him.
“Please don’t,” he whispered and closed his eyes, wobbling like a crumbling fortress.
“Don’t you want me?” Her thick voice was barely audible and she stared at him until he looked at her again. She stared deeply into his eyes, looking for answers.
“No,” he sighed, but his gaze told a different tale.
She had pushed him over the edge. “You want me!”
Her whisper was one of triumph, whereas his following confession was one of defeat and despair;
“Yes. Of course I want you.”
He embraced her and she sighed happily. “Kiss me.”
He drew a quivering breath and surrendered at last, lowering his face and hungrily engulfing her sweet mouth while his tongue slithered in between her lips. Her mouth was an inferno as he embraced her tongue with his, swirling it around under the rooftop of her mouth, and his breathy groans exuded a mixture of pain and passion. Her soft body clung to his, taunting him with her feminine delights as they sprung alive under her thin summer dress and his throbbing manhood cringed in protest as he tore himself away from her.

“I am only visible to those whose desire for me is stronger than life itself.”

He sighed and kissed her warmly on the forehead. Her consciousness faded, leaving her in a daze. A warm fuzzy feeling worked its way through her torso, lulling her to sleep, but her desire for more breathed life back into her. She rose again the next morning, desperately lusting for his touch.


The dark sky above her contracted and squeezed out a drop of moisture which landed on her cold cheek, merging with a warm tear that was working its way down from the corner of her eye to her chin. Just minutes ago, the lake had provided comfort and relaxation to her exhausted soul, but now it seemed threatening and alluring. She curled up into a fetal position, wrapping her arms around her knees while rocking back and forth, trying to create enough friction to provide heat for her shivering carcass.

She closed her eyes. A few more drops drizzled from above, but since they didn’t seem to bother her much, they left her alone. Someone was staring at her and with a seductive smile she opened her brown eyes to accept his advances.
He was standing out there, in the middle of the lake. He appeared to be glowing under a grim reflection from above and a spine-chilling atmosphere had wrapped itself around them. With a deep, satisfied sigh she walked towards him. The cold water that was seeping in through her clothes didn’t bother her. Her fiery blood kept her warm. All she could feel was her desire to be with him, and he was standing there, welcoming her into his open embrace.
A wind gust lifted his big coat and it was flapping behind him like a black sail. At that moment he resembled royalty.

By now the water reached up to her chin and she kept walking, even though her feet couldn’t touch the bottom any longer. She just kept walking with her eyes glued to his handsome silhouette, and like a powerful magnet, he was pulling her out towards him. Finally she reached him and he took her breath away. With a last shivering gasp she landed in his arms. His tongue wrapped around hers, teasing it and tasting it while he guided her home, leisurely spiraling downwards through the water at a peaceful pace. He stripped her of her soaking wet dress and she felt his wet mouth on her puckered nipples. She struggled for a moment to get his clothes off, but finally they were both naked.

For a second it occurred to her that she was buck naked in freezing water, yet she wasn’t cold.
On the contrary, everywhere he touched her he lit a new fire and she could almost hear the cool water sizzling as it cradled her blazing body.
“Welcome baby,” he groaned as his big iron rod slid into her dripping melting pot.
She captured his lips with hers and he was bucking against her, eagerly molding her narrow cunt to his widened cock. Lusty groans of passion emerged from the depths of her lungs as he fucked her while they were spiraling faster and faster down towards the base of the lake. Her breath came in loud, short gasps as he let her experience what she had desired since day one; a long, nice, earth shattering release. He plunged into her one last time and with a loud scream he fired thick, hot streams of burning lava into her core. Her pleasure-ridden body was trembling fiercely as he filled her up with his boiling essence, and he surprised her when he kept pumping her, even after he was spent. By now they were whirling around so fast, she could no longer recognize her surroundings. They were bucking and riding each other all the way down, and as they reached bottom, he started pulsing again.
She expected his hot lava to fill her up once more, thus the freezing ice water that he launched into her womb made her scream. It kept shooting from his groin, seeping up through her veins, stifling every flame in her smoldering carcass until she finally reached the bottom of the lake with a soft thump.
“Baby.” He smiled down as she lay on the bottom of the lake.
Her cheeks were turning blue and her teeth were shattering between her dark lips from the freezing temperature that now possessed her body.
“I hope it was worth it.”
She couldn’t see him anymore, but she felt a last ice-cold kiss on her lips and she smiled.
“Yes,” she mumbled with the last of her strength. “I finally got what I wanted. I’m happy now.”

His big black eyes were sad as they watched the young woman drift away. As always, it was depressing when they sought him out voluntarily.
“Feared by most, loved by a handful,” he sighed.
Nevertheless, by the time the sun had erased the dark clouds above and the lake had settled once more, with rejuvenated soul he abandoned his latest desire to fetch another.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I Wrapped Myself in a Blanket

(Some of you may have read this one before as it's one of the stories that were accidentally deleted a few weeks back...if so, just bare with me, new material is on the horizon!)

Note: The following story is not a political piece in any way, shape or form. It's simply a reflection of emotions and thoughts I had after the 9/11 tragedy happened. Like many authors and creative beings, I dealt with it through writing.

It's not that I want to remember these bad times so badly... it's just that I think it's important to bring it back now and then so we don't forget the emotions and the unity and everything we experienced as a nation in the wake of 9/11. This is not a master piece. It's just a random blurb of emotions and thoughts.

"I wrapped myself in a blanket and woke up to a war zone."

It was late Monday night. I started yawning louder and louder and finally I brushed my teeth and went to bed. As always I wrapped my big soft comforter around me, fluffed my pillows and sunk my head into them. I snuggled up to my husband and closed my eyes, soon enough I was sound asleep. On the opposite end of the country, someone else was just getting out of bed as I tucked myself in. Performing her usual morning ritual, she made her morning coffee and read the morning newspaper before it was time to wake the kids and her husband and get them all out the door. As her kitchen started populating and coming alive, she watched as her kids fought over the last scoop of cocoa puffs, and her husband was on his cell phone while getting ready for the day's meetings. A car horn honked from outside and he looked at his watch and sprung from his chair. He normally carpooled to work with a couple of friends. They all worked in the same building, so it made sense. "My ride is here. I'm late,” he said."I'll be back late tonight, who knows how long these meetings will last." He gave his wife a quick kiss on his way out. She was standing on the doorstep, waving until the car had disappeared into the horizon, then she went inside to get the kids dressed and sent off to school.

In a hotel room not far away, a business man was packing his suitcases. His eyes softened as he picked up the bright red fire truck he had bought for his son, the stuffed animal he had picked out for his daughter and the diamond earrings he had gotten for his wife. Gently he caressed each gift and a smile spread across his face as his thoughts went home to them. Then he packed up the last items and zipped up his suitcase.

Two doors down from him, yet another hotel guest was busy packing their suitcases as well. He spoke on the phone in a foreign angry language. Sweat was breaking out on his forehead. He tried wiping it away with a restless arm, but new sweat kept pouring out. His hands shook violently as he packed his shaving kit and dropped it into his carry-on luggage. He was constantly looking at his watch. A sly smile spread across his dark face as he left the hotel room and flagged down a taxi. With his hand he patted the outside of his jacket to make sure the plane tickets were still there on his inner pockets. Boy, wouldn't it have been embarrassing to forget the tickets. "Master would be displeased with me," he mumbled. "But master will be pleased with me." His phone rang and his stomach turned. He felt like throwing up all of a sudden. His partners were already waiting for him. He waved at them as he entered the airport. They all looked at their watches. Nervously. But they were excited when they headed for the check-in line. They had a flight to catch.

I was sleeping. People were kissing goodbye before scattering in every direction. Some even scattered before they saw each other that day. Friends and families were saying their good-byes at the airport.

"Call me when you get there to let me know you're safe"

And I was peacefully asleep; unaware of how busy our country was in another time zone. I probably had a nice dream. I don't remember. All I remember was quiet. All I remember was the earth shattering sound of the telephone, cutting like a knife into my comfortable world of dreams and relaxation. From a distance I heard the answering machine pick up and I heard our friends’ voice.

"Oh my God!"

The seriousness and desperation in his voice slowly woke me up. I thought he was in trouble somehow. And he was. We all were. Vaguely I heard something about New York being on fire. I didn't understand what was happening. My husband grabbed the remote and flicked the TV on, just to see one of America's landmarks on fire. Still struggling to wake up, still struggling to understand what I was seeing there, I witnessed the second tower of the world trade center collapse like a row of dominos pieces. And there were people inside.


People talking on the phones with their clients. People chatting with their fellow colleagues, discussing where to have lunch. People writing up reports while thinking of their wives and girlfriends, fondly remembering what a good time they had last night, making sweet love in the candle light after a nice dinner and perhaps wondering if he should buy her a rose bouquet on his way home from work. Or would she prefer chocolate instead? Fathers thinking about how they have to get out of work early tonight because they have to take their kids to soccer practice. People in meetings, discussing how to get as much money as possible out of their new clients, how to best please and suck up to someone to land that million dollar contract that's floating around and is up for grabs. Women! Some married, some single. Some wondering if he will call them back after last night's date, or if that was the first and last time they saw him. Tourists. Tourists who have been saving up for years to finally be able to visit the United States, enjoying a piece of the big apple before they move on to other destinations. And then. Nothing matters. They didn’t have lunch that day. He never made it home early for his kids’ soccer practice and at home sat his wife, who would never receive his roses. Everybody lost out on that million-dollar contract. She never received the phone call from the guy she was out with last night, or if she did, she wasn’t there anymore to pick up the phone. We were left with terrible grief and a billion thoughts whirling around in our minds.

I'm angry. I'm angry because someone is so heartless and so evil and such a big coward, that he sends other people to die for him, to kill thousands of people, to break up thousands of families. To break our hearts. I'm angry because he used other human lives as weapons; ingeniously he programmed them and sent them out to kill. These people, because of him, that is all they know. And they think they are doing something good, they think that killing thousands of people gets them in favor with God. And he himself sits in his cave without getting his hands dirty, mastering his puppets. Because it's a puppet show. They are nothing but puppets. He is the master. They are his puppets. He pulls the strings. And they dance. I'm scared. I'm scared because someone with great intelligence, a great sense of perfection and coordination, was able to plan this and execute this, without anyone knowing about it. They all kept quiet. Yes, hints were dropped. But who would take it seriously. And if anyone took it seriously, who would've known. Just who … apart from the puppet master … would know. Not even the puppets knew. They were nothing but cold steel weapons in the hands of an assassin. And it scares me, because what if he has other tricks like these up his sleeve. No matter how prepared we could have been, can we ever be prepared enough? Is it possible? I feel privileged. I feel privileged because I still wake up every morning next to the person I love with all my heart. I feel privileged because I can still tell him every night and every day how much I love him. I feel privileged because I have friends around me, who I can talk to, who I can hang with, and we comfort each other. I feel privileged because every morning I wake up and my dog is there, wagging her tail, just happy to see me. She has nothing but good in her heart, she doesn't know evil the way we do. She just wants to love us. And that's a privilege. To be loved. I'm proud. I’m proud of the way everyone is handling this catastrophe. I’m proud of how fast planes were grounded and how they probably prevented this disaster from growing even bigger. I'm extremely proud of our firefighters, police men and emergency crews. How they faithfully work day and night to find survivors and bodies. How they see horrible things in this line of duty that will haunt them for years to come, yet they keep digging. Faithfully. Hopefully. I can't begin to imagine what their nightmares are going to be for the rest of their lives and I pray that people will never forget to support them and listen to them for the rest of their lives, to help ease the pain. I bow my head in respect. I'm very proud of the President of the United States. The pain he must be feeling inside is as great, if not greater than each and every one of us. Yet he stands strong and firm on his podium, leading the nation through this crisis with a firm and strong hand, while planning on how to respond, seeking to please and seeking to revenge. Yet he too is nothing but a man, flesh and blood, with feelings and emotions like the rest of us. I'm proud of news reporters. They are working day and night, bringing the nation together from east to west, so we are all able to unite somehow, and mourn together. They work 24/7 to bring us the latest, to make sure we know what is going on. They bring us all the emotions and they reassure us that we are all a part of a big and strong unity. I feel helpless. There is so much I want to do. I want to take each and every one of the victims in my arms. I want to hug them, comfort them, make sure they know that they have support from the entire world. Yet no words can ease their pain, no words can bring back their loved ones. This empty hole they have inside of them will be a part of them from now on. Maybe it will fill up little by little, but it will never fully close. I see the pictures on TV, I see people crying and asking for information on their loved ones. And all I can do is bow my head and cry with them. I feel guilty. I feel guilty because I'm thinking about myself and mundane situations that I need to take care of, when there's families that have been torn apart for no reason. I feel guilty for thinking about the WebPages that I need to get done, what is a webpage, what is a business, its nothing but cold money. I feel bad for being upset over the fact that my parents aren't gonna make it out here to visit me, yet so many people aren't ever going to see their parents again. Or their kids. Their husbands, their wives, their brothers and sisters and friends. And there's sadness. There's tears threatening to break through every moment I hear the national anthem, every time I hear a memorial song or see another picture of another victim.

I just want to wrap up in my blanket and go to sleep again, just to wake up to a normal Tuesday. But the giant empty hole in the Manhattan skyline is a constant reminder. If I wrap myself in the blanket and go to sleep, I will still wake up to this horrifying sight that has been haunting us for days. The world will never be the same. God bless America.

© Laila Roknian 2001 - no permission is granted for reproduction in any manner