Carpus | Quick Piece

For my entire life, I’ve lived in Abington with my family. When I was little, I loved playing outside with my sister and we would fantasize about fairy realms. I always played the fairy queen and my sister would play the peasant, but in the end, she would always be the fairy princess. I remembered long hours where we would dart around the woods, pretending we were fairies. As we got older and our imagination evolved, I became a fairy ice queen and my sister became the fairy fire princess. We ran so fast and often that our bodies grew strong. In times like these, we would forget about our destiny that often haunted us when we were little. Whenever we had to attend council meetings, we tried to convince our parents that our fairy kingdom was going to collapse and that they desperately needed us. They would convince us that the fairy police force had it taken care of and we would sadly head to the council meetings with our family. At the meetings, the mayor would talk about our Carpus fate and updating us who had successfully completed their deeds, who was currently taking part of it and he would end the meeting by motivating us to take part in it because it was our fate. I still remember when my parents first talked to us about it. They explained that the two names on our wrists were the two people that would shape me and my sister’s lives. My parents would tell the story of how they found each other. My mom held out her right hand and Brandon, my dad’s name, was there. On my dad’s left hand was Cindie, my mom’s name. They talked about how they helped each other find their enemies. I remembered asking my dad why they even bothered to find their enemy. He said that even though they’re your enemy, you have to identify them so you can clear their name. I still never understood why, but I understood this growing burden that I would soon have to take on.
My sister and I went to school and started seeing more people who had people’s names tattooed on their wrists, but didn’t know who were their soul mates or enemies. People would talk about what they think would happen, but since they didn’t have much time, there wasn’t much we could do. I just stared at my wrists and wished that they would go away. On my left wrist was Maryrose and on my right wrist was Lucius. They were both written in an elegant script that was a different style than the two names my sister had. They were blockierand there were rumors that the style that the names were written in described your personality. I didn’t feel very fancy. Our teachers would always remind us about our deed, but I would take my eraser and try to scrub it away. My wrists became bright red from all the scrubbing I would do and my classmates started calling me Lobster for some reason. My sister tried to back me up, but when she started getting called Crab, she backed away from me. Ever since that, I stopped talking to her. We would only tell each other that dinner was ready and we would silently retreat from our rooms and quietly eat, our parents uncertain of the situation.
One night, she bought up her fate. She proudly announced that she had already found her soul mate. My parents sat up straight and started asking her questions. Apparently she met him at the restaurant she worked for and when they met, their tattoos faded to the grey that indicates that you were successful. She stuck out her hand and her left hand was faded to a grey that matched my parent’s status. My mother’s shaky hands caressed my sister’s hands and gently kissed it with her soft lips. “Well done, Jenni. Well done.” my dad whispered as tears brimmed his eyes. He knew that his daughter wasn’t his anymore. “Tonight, we’ll head to the Council meeting and meet your soul mate.” my mother finally said. For this entire time, I sat with my hands under the table, furiously rubbing my wrists until they were raw. Without a word, I walked away from the table to my room and started to cry. I already heard stories at school of how they had also found their soul mate. Some of them even found their enemies and talked about epic battles. One of my friends even found their soul mate and she would constantly talk about how magical it felt. I still hated the Carpus fate. I lay in my bed and stared at my wrists. “What if I never find you guys? What if it takes me 50 years to find you? I’m sorry I’ll make you wait that long.” I muttered. “You’re just lazy, that’s what. You’re not even trying.” I heard my sister say from my door. I leaped from my bed and shouted, “You really think so? Do you really think that I want this stupid fate stuck on me ever since I was born? Heck, I didn’t ask for this!” She shouted back at me, her face turning bright red. “Don’t you want to be happy? Don’t you want to be successful? For all I know, you’ve failed!” I took a step towards her and rolled up my sleeves. “You don’t know me, bitch! And you? You’re not the same anymore. You would never be worthy of the fairy realm anymore.” I said, hoping that some childhood nostalgia would remind her for who she was. She laughed loudly, her high pitched squeal echoing throughout the house. “We’re not in the fairy kingdom anymore. Wake up! It’s the real world where you have to face your problems.” I lifted my hand up to her face just as my parents raced up the stairs and stood shell-shocked of the scene unfolding in front of them. My mother let out a whimper, but neither of them reached out to stop us. It was already too late and whatever’s been said has already done its damage. My sister closed her eyes, ready to take my blow, but something held me back. I simply whispered, “I guess everything we did together didn’t count then.” I lowered my hand and retreated to my room. I could hear my sister shouting at my parents and her door slamming shut, shaking everything violently. I started packing immediately; throwing everything important into my backpack so my mind left no room for reflection. In the distance, I heard my parents begging me to come out so we could talk. The noise quickly died down. I let the only noise I make be a whispered good-bye. I walk out of the house, seeing the entire house shrouded in an unusual quietness with the reverberation of my parent’s hurried whispers leaking through their walls. I walk until I reach the opposite sidewalk and drop my bags. I hold up my scripted wrists in front of the house, seeing my sorrow-filled sister’s silhouette in the window and close my eyes. I shout to the skies, “I’m coming for you, Maryrose and Lucius!”

Part 2: Maryrose and Lucius

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Reflective Space | Quick Piece

(I’m really sorry about the absence. Quick piece breakdown coming in the afternoon.)

When Briana walks, her hair quietly ruffles around, making itself aware in the world even though her firm gaze says otherwise. Her gait is strong and her mind is set on where she wants to go, but her lost fingers only find security along the hem of her skirt. To her left, she spies a businesswoman making an exchange with her employer through her sleek phone while ordering herself a latté. The businesswoman’s black pantsuit and red lipstick makes her subtly stand out and she didn’t have to utter a word and she would still be the center of attention. Briana’s mind drifted back to the grimy sidewalk and for a brief moment, she pretended she was the businesswoman, poised and chic. She stumbles over the curb and her dreams shatter. A jogger breezes by her and she catches a whiff of her deodorant. A fresh mango paradise appears before her and she looks up and watches the jogger dodge traffic. The jogger’s bright orange workout tank top shimmies down the street and her florescent pink Nike sneakers pound their way into the city’s sidewalks. Briana remembers when she used to run, but stopped when work just got too busy. She really missed the flow of the wind against her face and the strength she felt after running. For a brief instance, she pictured herself as the runner. Her usually loose hair would be tied up in a sleek ponytail and she would be donned with the best running gear. She would simply breeze through everything effortlessly and still manage to carry a smile. Briana caught herself apologizing to a pedestrian as she nearly walked into him because of her dreams. “I’ve got to stop doing this.” she quietly muttered to herself. She buzzed herself into her apartment and kicked off her heels. The old couch groaned under her weight as she flopped onto it and she sighed. “I can’t really help it though. My life is so mundane.” She continued, pausing afterwards to let the walls absorb her words. There was really nothing she could do about it. She’s tried diets and ended up sitting on her kitchen floor, sobbing with empty containers by her side. She lets herself eat whatever she wants because she would rather preserve her happiness instead. She tried running and cycle class and even a yoga class, but she would always retire to her favorite shows where she can happily clutch her stuffed rabbit and smile with tears brimming her eyes. She likes to tell herself that the tears are from the rom coms she loves to watch. She’s tried dating apps and gets a jolt in her stomach when she actually gets an arrangement to go on a date. Out of all nine restaurants she’s been to and the twelve men she’s met, all of them ask too many questions. She tells herself that she really cherishes silence, so at the end of the date after he’s paid for the food, she would politely smile and lie saying that she’ll see him next week. She’s back with her chips and salsa and The Office. “This is just where I belong.” she says as she brushes the crumbs off and heads towards the bathroom. Her mirror is covered with landscapes of mountains from the west coast to lakes so clear that it defeats glass. She found that every time she looked at the mirror, her well appreciated smile would shrink and cast too many shadows onto her face. She told herself that mountains are lovelier so she would rather look at something that would make her smile. She finishes and stares at her hands as she starts to wash them, the suds forming small colonies as they plummet into the drain. She peers up at a small section of the mirror she’s left for only her face and checks to see if any shadows have appeared on her face. She finds herself holding her head high just like the businesswoman she saw earlier. She holds up her right hand to her ear and pretends to make deals. Her brow furiously furrowed in concentration as she desperately tries to seal the deal. With her left hand, she peels back a mountain so she could see her hand better. She closes her imaginary phone and peeks at herself. She didn’t like how she looked, too stern, too serious and found it mundane. She pulls back her hair as tight as it goes and quickly changes into a tank top. She poses in a running stance and tosses some water onto her face. Puffing hard, she pretends to have just finished first on a race and waves to the crowd, throwing kisses and catching roses. With her right hand, she peels off a couple more mountains and lakes, placing them gently by her lipsticks. For the next hour, instead of finishing up the fourth season of The Office, she takes on many roles. She found herself posing as a teacher she admired to a co-worker she watched from a distance because of her wardrobe. Mountains and lakes started piling up by her lipsticks until Briana found herself looking at herself head on. She stood still. Her clothes lay on the floor, having caught a glimpse of herself in between her roles. With her left hand, she gently pats her nose she long despised for it’s length and traced it down the length of her face. With her right hand, she caresses her stomach, feeling every smooth and rough surface. Looking up again she whispers, “In this reflective space, I hereby declare myself, Briana as the queen of the lakes and mountains. Hell yes! I am just as beautiful as the mountains and lakes themselves.” Her voice rose and with a single thought; she decides to send a final one barreling around her apartment. “In fact, I am Briana Mcnair and I’m pretty fucking awesome and beautiful!”

1 Corinthians 5 | Bible Study

Hello again!

Sorry about this very long absence in this series. For a while, I got too caught up in other things and put more time on my Sunday and Tuesday posts. Well, I’m back with the Bible studies!

1 Corinthians 5 – Paul Condemns Spiritual Pride

In my opinion, this passage is pretty harsh. Paul is basically calling everyone out for their sins. He starts off the passage by talking about a man who committed sexual immorality with his stepmother and instead of repenting, they are so proud of what he had done. “You are so proud of yourselves, but you should be mourning in sorrow and shame. And you should remove this man from your fellowship. ” 1 Corinthians 5:2 (NLT)  Paul continues by talking about judgement. He instructs the church to get rid of the sinful man so that he may be saved when the Lord returns. He accuses the church for boasting or bragging. He makes an analogy about how the sin is like yeast and it has the ability to infect the entire batch of dough. If you know how yeast works, it’s a microorganism that feeds off sugar as a food source and in turn, it releases carbon dioxide to make the bread rise. Even though it’s small, it can make a large batch of dough rise. If the sin is removed, then the bread will be “what you really are”. He finishes off that paragraph by saying, “So let us celebrate the festival, not with the old bread (old leaven) of wickedness and evil, but with the new bread (unleavened bread) of sincerity and truth.” 1 Corinthians 5:8 (NLT).

He goes on to talk about judgement again. He reminds the church to not associate with those who commit sexual sins, are greedy or cheat people or worship idols. He tells the church to not associate with anyone who claims they are a believer, but they do all the above anyways. “Don’t even eat with such people.”  At the end, Paul says to get rid of whoever is sinning and that it isn’t his responsibility to judge outsiders except for those in church. “God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, ‘You must remove the evil person from among you.” 1 Corinthians 5:13 (NLT).

In my own interpretation, I don’t think Paul really means to kick out whoever is a sinner since we’re all sinner. That would leave an empty church. I think he means to be aware of what’s happening in the church so that we may correct them, get rid of the sin. That way, the sin wouldn’t influence the rest of the church, the dough. Church shouldn’t be a place of judgement, but it also shouldn’t harbor sins. I think we should be critical of the sins and gently rebuke whoever is committing the sins so that we may influence a good environment within the church. We can’t be blatantly blind to what’s happening.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s Bible study!

Stay tuned for the next chapter!

Alice

 

The Pain We Carry | Quick Piece Breakdown

The Pain We Carry

This piece was written in response to everything that’s been happening in the States. Rewind to last Thursday when I decided to catch up to everything that’s been happening. Personally, when these things happen, I avoid news outlets at all costs. It really pains me to see our country hurting and torn between viewpoints. My first emotion that came to me was anger and then sadness. I didn’t understand why things were happening or why they were still happening. It seemed like there was this ball of anger rolling around now. It would be really difficult to put it to an end now, so it’s going to take large measures. I thought about how I was going to address this situation and I knew how to do it carefully so the right idea would be expressed.

It starts off with the narrator standing under rain signifying pain and loss as well as anguish since the rain is harsh. It’s obvious that it’s raining hard, but the narrator doesn’t really pay attention to it. It’s more of an expression, an epitome of my emotions. There’s a inner monologue within the narrator about what to do with the rain. They could chose to go home where it’s safe or to continue standing there. They lean towards just remaining as they are and adding to the rain. I cry, “It has rained for 10 years and I’m so tired! We are all tired. Right now, I speak for the world. We want the warm, golden sun again!” In this piece, the sun represents love and happiness since the rain represents pain. In the end, the narrator goes home, but they aren’t afraid because they had a chance to free their voice.

The main point I wanted to be taken away from my piece was: The pain we carry silences our voices to the point where we struggle to venture outside. Basically, with everything that’s happening, we don’t really know what’s true and false. We don’t know what’s right and what we can do to really help instead of just putting more anger.

As for what’s happening right now and what we can actively do, let’s remember all the victims and families lost in all the tragedies that has happened in the past couple of years. I know that slowly, but surely, justice will be served and something will be done. The best we can do right now is to pay our respects.

Thanks for reading!

Alice

The Pain We Carry | Quick Piece

The rain falls without mercy and I stand under its harsh raindrops. The cold seeps onto my skin, adhering my shirt to my body. My anguish is no match for the weather. It’s more of an expression, an epitome of my emotions. I trace the path my tears left on my cheeks, their trails mingling with the rain. I feel a wave of warmth come and go followed by a wave that made me stand up straight. A voice draws me home, but I still feel like I’m drowning, not deliberately of course. I question any motive to walk home, but I remain under the storm. I know for certain that I don’t want any part of this storm, but anywhere I go, anything I say will add to the turbulence. I open my mouth and bare my teeth. I lunge forward with everything I have and throw up my arms. My voice cracks and I force it out even more until it screeches through the night. The golden orb in the street lamp quivers and my fingers follow the sacred dance. The rain pauses and hovers in the air, listening to my cries. My feet tremble, but my voice remains steady until I grasp for air. I cry, “It has rained for 10 years and I’m so tired! We are all tired. Right now, I speak for the world. We want the warm, golden sun again!” The rain continues falling. The thunder rolls again. The lightning strikes the ground, ten feet from where I stand and my hairs stand on their ends. My entire body trembles and I quickly shut my mouth. I say nothing for now. It’s too dangerous. I jolt my feet awake and begin my journey back home. I know for sure I’ll dry on the way there even though the sun isn’t making its debut anytime soon. The pain we carry silences our voices to the point where we struggle to venture outside. For the rain, I let my voice out. For the storm, I try to calm it by raising my voice above it. For the sun, I want to encourage it to come back. Maybe I have the power. Because of the rain, I am no longer afraid because my voice has made an imprint after it had been numb for so long.