Friday, December 19, 2008

Chapter One: Fate Unleashed

A lone man stood in the center of a grey plain, his cloak flapping in the wind. Bodies, the bodies of defeated men, littered the plain like so many scars on a patch of skin. What had once been dry earth was now soaked with the blood of thousands. The sorry remnants of banners drifted on the cold wind and above in the dreary sky flew a cloud of ravens, ready to pick the remaining flesh off the bones of the dead. Storm clouds roiled in the distance, and their dreary gray coloring was reflected in the eys of the desolate man.
Who would have thought...that simply the outstretching of Fate's hand would cause this? he thought as the wall of clouds raged towards him. The gods were fools to trust in Fate. A weak man like could he be trusted to determine the course of the universe? They were all fools! FOOLS!
Because of their foolishness, he was now alone in the world. His followers now lay on the unforgiving earth, their lifeblood poured out for a lost cause. As the rain began to pour down upon the battle field and landed in cool drops on the faces of the dead, the man pulled out his sword and drove the hilt into the moist ground so that the blade angled towards the heavens. After drawing one final breath, he lowered himself towards the keen edge of his sword...


Snow drifted down from the heavens, blanketing the peaceful countryside in cold white sheets. The stars shown down especially clear that night, for it was a special night, and all the universe had awaited it for countless ages. For reasons unknown to them, people across the land felt a surge of hope, but also trepidation. All the spirits in the abyss below sang in anticipation, their ethereal forms flitting about through the darkness. Though it was the most important event in the course of time, it was going to take place in the most unlikely location. In the heart of the countryside, surrounded by thick woods and rolling hills was a small wood house. Golden light seeped through the windows and glittered on the snow; a tendril of smoke curled out from the chimney and slithered up towards the waxing moon. A glow of warmth emanated from the cabin, and to anyone outside, it seemed the most ordinary sight.
Suddenly, a woman’s cry broke the stillness of night and the chorus of spirits below fell silent in anticipation. The wailing continued well into the night and then, almost as suddenly as it had began, it ended. In place of the woman’s cries were the indignant and fearful wails of a newborn child. For a time, there was only the one child, but then in was joined by another in a harmonic duet. Twins had been born! But…was this what the entire universe had been awaiting?
Inside the house, a dark bearded man sat beside his wife, each of them cradling one of their children. Most would expect for their faces to be radiant with joy, but it was not so. The mother and the father’s brows were both creased with worry and their eyes showed fear. It was almost with desperation that they clung to their children. The door to the bedroom suddenly slammed open and a magnificent group of men and women strode in gracefully. These fair men and women were the gods themselves in their radiant armor and fine robes; their hair flowing behind them. The new parents, unlike what most would have done, bowed their heads gravely and placed a hand over their hearts. The gods acknowledged their gesture absently, for they were studying the twins.
“Thou hast produced beautiful children, fairest daughter,” intoned a silver haired goddess. “Thy labor hath brought about the fulfillment of a prophecy uttered in antiquity. Now,” the goddess turned to the father, “the time hath come for thy task to be fulfilled, Fate.”
A sweat broke out on the man’s forehead and his lips quivered. “Holy Kye, surely you know that I cannot make such a choice! What if I choose wrongly?”
“If the path you choose proves wrong, this planet will be cast into utter darkness, and all manner of evil spawn will be born,” warned a younger god.
From the bowels of the earth came a deep rumble which gradually warped into a dark chant filled with foreboding.
“Behold! The Hour of Fate is upon us!” announced Kye, raising her arms triumphantly. “Now is the time for the choice to be made; for you, Fate, to lay your hands on the child whom you deem fit to be the Herald of the Gods, the One who will convey our wishes to the diverse peoples of this land.”
“I cannot do it!” Fate cried, burying his face in his hands.
“The time has come! You must make this choice. Even if you choose wrongly, it would be better than to not choose at all,” another god spoke sternly.
Visibly shaking, Fate stood and gazed down at his sons, his face contorted with indecision. Who would he choose? And when he did, how would they know if he had been right or wrong? All the deities of the land stared at him with perceptive, calculating eyes. Those who did not bare so great a task would have been overjoyed by the gods’ presence, but Fate was not, for he had known since the day he was born that this day would come, and that the gods could not help him in his choice. The new father closed his eyes tightly and he invoked the names of the gods. One of his hands rose slowly and inched towards the firstborn child. The gods watched with growing anticipation and fear, their nimbuses of light flickering with their conflicting emotions. Ever so slowly, as if it were the passing of an age, Fate’s hand groped towards the dark haired child who lay nestled in the crook of his mother’s arm, studying the fair folk around him with bleary, half closed eyes. Finally, Fate’s hand came to rest on the child’s brow, but none dared to breathe yet, in case they should miss something. All pretense of calm gone, many of the gods began wringing their hands in impatience and running slender fingers through their silky hair.
Fate opened his eyes and smiled, albeit nervously. Then suddenly, the entire house was cast into shadow. All the candles flickered out, as if blown by unseen breath, and the fire went up in a spray of sparks. A gasp ran through the room and nerves were wound like lute strings. From the abyss, a frantic, manically joyous chorus shook the plates of the earth. Mountains tumbled down, killing thousands in their wake. Cities with grand towers were leveled by rivers of fire which flowed down from the summits of Cthra Turin. Great waves washed coastal towns off the map in a matter of minutes. All this happened around the tiny cabin, where the most powerful beings in existence were huddled together, locked in companions’ arms in terror, cowering into corners. All the motion came to a screeching halt, nearly jerking the cabin’s occupants to the floor. Silence reigned. The last star in the night sky winked out and the snow no longer glimmered.
“Perhaps…it is done,” whispered a wide-eyed goddess, her knuckles white from clinging to the birch handled spear she held.
As if in answer to her words, the cabin walls blew apart into thousands of splinters which – fortune smiled upon them – flew outwards. A dark inky liquid began to bubble up from a tear in the earth and it stained the snow like blood as it flowed towards the gathered holy beings and the terrified mortals.

To be continued upon request...

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Teen Advice Blog

There's a new teen advice blog, No Question Left Behind. It's written by teens for teens. Go check it out. Then go tell all your friends.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Lament of Aniren del'Imorandh
The moon rises in the east
The sun has been trampled under foot
Will you still fight on my young warrior?

You are battered and scarred
You fight not with sword alone, but will
I stand before you, ready to let you slip into eternal rest
But you still fight

Even though I tell you it is in vain
You fight on
The enemy has awakened
His eye has turned to you, my warrior
Will you sill fight on, my young warrior?

Your army is dead
Your mount falters in its step
You walk across a barren desert
The sun scorches your back
Why do you fight on, my young warrior?

Give up the fight
I told you it was in vain
But see, you turn away from my words
You disappear into the horizon without a trace
I am left here, alone to wait for you
Why…why do you fight on?

Cold metal rises and falls
But it does not strike you
You are a shadow in the night
You are terror in the day
What is this animal you have become?

I pray and plead with you, but you do not head my words
You have turned your back to the light
Your eyes reflect the blackness that you have sunk into
Death has marked your heart with its star
Why do you not fight, my young warrior?

I reach out to you in your plight, but you cannot see
Why do you not turn back to me?
A lament I wrote for one of my books. Enjoy!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Overcoming the Darkness: Shattered, Part 3

Overcoming the Darkness: Shattered, Part 3
By Catherine

An alarm clock suddenly shattered her sleep.
Violently sitting up in bed, Kitari looked wildly around the room, trying to process everything as quickly as her brain could manage. Everything around her should’ve looked familiar as soon as she opened her eyes, for she had lived there ever since she could remember, but her mind was in a hazy state, which was hard to get out of.
“It couldn’t have been a dream,” she thought. “It had been too real.”
She pulled the covers off of her, turned, and sat on the side of the bed. Muttering to herself, she glanced to the left of her, the corner of the room, wondering if Jakara had taken her back. Her eyes suddenly fixed on a dark figure in the corner; a figure who was now staring darkly at her.
Druian was leaning against the wall, drumming his nails against his cheek. His appearance had not changed much since yesterday, except for the fact his grin had grown larger since the early morning.
“No, not a dream, my lovely,” Druian replied to her statement, though he knew she had not directly spoken to him. “Did you get a good rest? I hope you didn’t.” He stopped leaning on the wall and walked to the center of the room and folded his arms. “So I hear you know my future plans for you and me?” he suddenly said, giving her a frightening glance.
“I,” she stammered, “I really don’t know what you’re talking about.” She glanced worriedly around her, wondering where Jakara had vanished to.
“Kitari, my dear, leave the lying to me. I heard what Jakara, your little butterfly, told you early this morning.” He walked towards the end of her bed and sat down. “He was correct.”
Silence. Dark, horrible silence filled the room; you could see the fear brewing in Kitari’s eyes, as her body started shaking. She started sobbing, putting her head into her filthy, bloodstained hands. All of the emotions she had bottled up inside flooded out of her like a raging river.
“Leave, Druian,” a glowing figure said, as it materialized in the room.
Kitari’s tears turned into tears of joy.
“So Jakara was finally able to break my spells around this room?” Druian laughed hysterically, pounding his fists against Kitari’s bed. “You know, those spells were more to protect you from bodily death then from the chance that you might save her.”
“You will pay for keeping me away from my duty, Druian,” Jakara said, lowering his arm and drawing forth his sword of light. Shining like a bright star, the sword blinded Druian for a brief moment, but he cast a dark cloud around himself, blocking the light from his eyes.
“I’m so scared,” he said dramatically. “A candle may be lit in a dark room, but it only sheds a little light. The darkness overpowers the light.”
As he was saying this, Druian made a motion with his hand and a dark purple—almost black—mist slowly seeped out of his left hand, forming itself into a long, jagged blade. He made another motion, and two sharp rocks formed in his right hand.
“We shall see whether I am a candle in the dark, or a forest fire in the dead of night,” Jakara said, stepping towards the enemy.
There was a brief moment of silence, as if time itself was holdings its breath, and then everything rushed as if in fast forward.

To be continued...

Friday, September 7, 2007


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Sunday, August 5, 2007

Overcoming the Darkness: Wounded, Part 2

Overcoming the Darkness: Wounded, Part 2
By Catherine

The breeze mysteriously came back to life, and Kitari could hear the crickets singing again. The owl continued its hooting, relieved that the evil presence it had felt was no longer a threat.
Getting up from the wet grass, Kitari walked down the long, winding path. It was now in the very early morning, and the temperature was colder than what she preferred. She could still see the stars. “Those lovely stars,” Kitari thought as she gazed upon them, “so free and far away from this madness. This chaos has gone on for far too long. I can’t take it any longer…”
“We will make it, Kitari,” a voice whispered behind her back.
Kitari spun around, with a faint smile on her face, as she saw a figure which had just started to materialize. The shaggy white hair came down to the angel’s ears; his violet eyes sparkled with laughter, even though there was a hint of sorrow; his transparent skin seemed to shine unnaturally in the moonlight, while his white garment flowed all around him.
“I knew you’d come back,” Kitari said, stepping forward to give Jakara a closer inspection.
What she saw made her face turn a ghostly white. Both of his pearl-white wings were torn, with violet blood oozing from the wounds. Peering at his face, she gasped when she realized that there was a ‘Z’-shaped gash running down his left eye.
“He didn’t injure me ba—” Jakara began to say.
“You’re wounded badly!” she shrieked, jerking her hand towards him and touching the skin near his wound. “Here, come home with me. I’m sure I’d be able to bandage it all—”
“No, Kitari!” Jakara gently pushed her hand away. “These wounds will never heal.” He sighed as he looked at Kitari’s confused gaze. “Demon-inflicted wounds do not heal that simply. I would need to go back to my Master and have the healers look at me, but that would mean—”
“Leaving me,” Kitari finished. She knew it would somehow come to this. Druian was right. He would slowly let go of her, and when that happened, Druian would be able to take control over her. She was weak, fragile… everything that would permit her to become demon-possessed.
“When will you leave?” Her voice was nearly choking, holding back the tears.
“I never said I was going to leave you, Kitari.” Jakara looked down upon her, with a boyish smile on his face, revealing a row of sharp white teeth. He tried not to grimace as he slowly fluttered his wings. “I’m sure I’ll be fine. I’m not leaving you, no matter what. You need protection from Druian.”
“Thank you,” she whispered, meaning it with all her might. She still couldn’t bear the sight of seeing his glorious wings like that. “The wound, on your face, does it hurt much?”
“It brings me much sorrow, but not too much pain.” He blinked slowly, hiding his violet eyes from her sight. Focusing on her again, Jakara took his turn to do the observing. He gasped. “Kitari,” he murmured, reaching his hands for her arms, “this has to stop… the cuts, the scars…”
“Yes, I know, but—”
Jakara put his finger to her lips, silencing her, and said, “There are no buts about it. Druian is going to pay for this.”
Kitari lowered her face, making her able to speak again, and continued the sentence which had been interrupted. “But if you can endure those wounds inflicted upon you, and claim we are in this together, I then shall take some of the bodily injury also…” Her voice hushed into a whisper as she saw confusion slowly twist onto his face.
Jakara retorted, “Kitari, don’t be ridiculous! Don’t even think such things!” Walking her down to a fallen tree log, which was on the side of the dirt road they had been standing on, motioned her to sit down. It was now nearly four in the morning, and, even though he wasn’t tired, he knew she was exhausted. “You’re the one whom Druian wants to overpower. For what purpose, I don’t know if I can tell you. I don’t think you could grasp what he could possibly want with you of all people. You are under more pressure and evil than I think even you realize, Katari.” His lip trembled; he took hold of her hand firmly. “If he takes over your body, he would be capable of such evil as to put you to death, or even something worse than death…”
“Wor- worse than death? What do you mean?” Kitari looked puzzled. Nothing she knew of was worse than death.
Sighing, Jakara dropped her hand, as though he was not ready to tell Kitari the truth of the situation. He looked up to the stars, pondering over how this had come into being. He had been protecting this child ever since she had come into existence on this Earth.
Fourteen years after she was born, a sudden evil presence, barely detectable, had crept into her soul. He had felt it, though unaware of its danger, had let it pass out of his thoughts. What a mistake he had made; the evil had grown. By the time he had a chance to look back into the quickly growing presence, it had been too late. She had almost been completely overtaken. That night, the night of her 18th birthday, he had faced the demon in one-on-one combat inside the girl’s soul. The demon had nearly overpowered him, and he had been left weak, barely able to cast the demon out.
He had not yet completely failed her, though; this was not the end. He would defeat him, making up for the times he had ignored her pain, the times when she had complained about bad dreams.
“Jakara, what will Druian do to me, if he takes control?” Kitari repeated, bringing Jakara back to Earth. She couldn’t take the silence anymore; she needed to know.
“I am,” he trailed off, but then became firm, “suspecting he will tempt you into evil by telling you he can offer you godly power, until your spirit cannot bear it anymore. Your spirit will weaken. Once you give fully into evil, he will possess you, causing you to fall down and worship pure evil, as if it were my Master: pure good. You will come to not only love the unlovable but you will think you need it. Being possessed, you will not hesitate to do the deadliest and most vile things known to exist. You will die like that, and what’s left of your soul will go down into the Abyss, forever to be tormented.”
He looked at Kitari, hoping he had made the right choice in telling her. Her face looked as if it was in shock; no, she was in shock. He had known it would be too extreme for her to handle, but it needed to be said; she needed to know what they were truly up against.
“I don’t feel so good,” she said, her eyes opened wide.
Kitari suddenly went limp, fell off the log, and hit the wet ground.
Quickly, feeling bad he didn’t react fast enough, Jakara went to Kitari and lifted her limp body into his arms, softly moving the brown hair out of the poor girl’s face.
Jakara whispered a prayer into the heavens, his lips barely visible in the moonlight. He hoped his prayer would be heard and answered; it would make things much easier.
His prayer was answered.
A large purple spiral suddenly flashed into sight in front of the two figures, which looked like the sun compared to the darkness around it. It was a portal, which Jakara needed to transport Kitari to a different location.
Jakara unfolded his wings and took flight, soaring into the portal with the unconscious Kitari still in his arms.
She never felt the soft covers thrown over her body.

To be continued...

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Overcoming the Darkness: Demon Claws, Part 1

Overcoming the Darkness: Demon Claws, Part 1
By Catherine

The young teen was sitting on the grass, soaking in moonlight, with a concerned look upon her face. Her long gray dress was being tousled by the crisp breeze, sending it twirling around her feet.
She was hoping he was strong enough to defeat the ever-growing evil inside of her. She wanted the nightmare to end. It had been going on ever since she was fourteen, but now it was out of control. Why hadn’t Jakara listened to her all those years ago?
“No,” she thought, “he’s fading. It’s as I feared; the demon is too strong.” She opened her eyes in fear with the feeling of goodness leaving her, and the evil sinking into her being. “He can’t be gone. Jakara promised me he would never leave…”
Kitari glanced up into the star-filled sky. He was not gone. Not yet. He had been able to keep back the darkness for now.
The stars looked down upon the fragile child, murmuring to themselves what her destiny could possibly be in the world below them. Where would this all end? Would Jakara lose this battle, or would he triumph into victory? Would he lose her to the demon?
These stellar thoughts came down and filled her head. She pondered over them; she wanted to know the answers.
“He will fail, Kitari,” whispered a familiar voice. “He will slowly let go of you and you will fall into darkness.” Growing slowly louder, it continued, “And I will enter in, overtaking you, when you no longer have your precious angel to look after you.”
Suddenly a dark form, clothed in black, materialized in front of her. Kitari, looking at the tall figure, grimaced. This was not the first time she had encountered her living nightmare.
“You didn’t defeat him; he’s still with me. You have no power over me when he’s still alive, and you know it,” Kitari said coldly.
Druian stepped closer to her, exposing his body to the moonlight. He was wearing a cloak; his head was hooded, causing shadow to cover his face. His breath came out slowly, in an almost wheezing-like way. It was steaming, and looked as if it could be dragon’s smoke coming forth from his mouth, in slow, agonizing bellows.
“That will soon be ended; he is weakened. I have fought him inside your soul. He barely managed… this time,” Druian said. Shining through the shadows, as if they had a light of their own, his cold, yellow eyes pierced into her fearful blue ones. “He will not escape defeat next time. Do you hear me?”
“I hear you, you demon-filth,” said Kitari. “But even if I hear you, it doesn’t mean I believe you. Jakara will crush you into the dust!”
There was a true, terrorizing silence between them, as though good and evil were having a staring contest with each other.
Kitari looked away, giving into the fact she was weak. She couldn’t describe with mere words how much she loathed Druian, with his long silver hair, pale skin, and dreadfully sharp nails.
Shivering, Kitari knew in her heart her dearest companion, Jakara, an angel of light, hardly stood a chance against this powerful demon. He had fought many battles for her, but nothing like him. His powers were slowly dwindling, and there was no way he could go back to his heavenly home to regain the energy he had lost. Not all angels could battle evil like this alone.
“Nonsense,” Kitari thought to herself, putting up walls in her mind, in an attempt to hide them from Druian. “Jakara’s loyalty for me will last through this battle, even if it almost sends him into the Abyss. This is one of the things he was created for. He said so himself."
“What are you thinking?” Druian shouted at her, flinging her back into reality. Slyly, he brought his fingers next to her arm, using his black nails to scratch the pale skin, drawing blood. “You know I don’t like it when you hide your thoughts from me, my lovely.” He grinned evilly, and moved his nail slowly down her arm. “You don’t want your dear Jakara to suffer when he sees your mutilated arms, now, do you? That is, of course, if he ever shows his face again.”
Kitari grimaced, looking down at her bloodied arms. She was used to the pain. Her arms were marked with the many scars he had given her. “I don’t care what I look like when Jakara comes to me,” Kitari winced, “just as long as he comes.”
“I’ll see to it that he doesn’t,” Druian hissed.
With that, he materialized back into thin air, his presence still haunting her heart.

To be continued...

Monday, July 23, 2007

Dragon's Flames: Concluded

Dragon's Flames: Concluded
Theresa Margaret

Several weeks after her capture, Eliana tried once more to see Peter in the mirror. Muttering under her breath several words of power, a faint sketch of Peter’s face appeared in the glassy surface. “He must be getting close,” whispered Eliana. She could only see people if they were close to her. The closer they got, the clearer the image.
Unknown to Eliana, Peter had discovered the castle where she was held prisoner and sent a message to her. The sparrow that landed on her windowsill later that evening told her the news.
Eliana, rejoicing that Peter had found her, told the sparrow, “Escarlata is a vegetarian. Maybe Peter can use his potion to create or transform a dragon who, like Escarlata, is a vegetarian. Perhaps then Escarlata will set me free.”
The sparrow flew off quickly to give Peter the news. “That’s wonderful news!” he exclaimed as he drew the potion forth from his tunic. He looked at the words written there and carefully read aloud, Escreetion por mangyc loluth freeyiz dugronette. He jumped when a large, full grown, male dragon landed next to him.
“I am Petruchio, Vegetarian Dragon, at your service.”
Peter grinned and said, “I am trying to rescue my fiancĂ© from a dragon quite like yourself. Will you help me?”
“I will do anything you wish,” replied the dragon, bowing his great head to the ground.
Peter led the way towards the castle in the far-off distance, and the sparrow hurried to tell Eliana of the news. As Peter drew closer, he began to worry of what Eliana would think when she saw him again. I hope she is able to see that I am still me underneath this hideous exterior. I don’t know what I would do if she refused to marry me. He had no more time for worries though since they had finally arrived at the castle.
To Peter’s suprise, Escarlata and Eliana were both waiting to meet them. Escarlata eyed Peter and Petruchio warily. Eliana looked startled when she first saw Peter, but she slowly recognized his smile and sparkling eyes underneath the scorched skin.
“I see I did my work a little too well,” said Escarlata after a long silence. “I apologize, Sir Knight. And who is this?” she asked, turning to Petruchio.
“Petruchio,” replied the love-struck dragon. “At your service forever, my lady.”
“Are you a vegetarian?” asked Escarlata, suddenly filled with curiosity.
“Yes, my beautiful dragon. Will you have me?”
“Yes!” exclaimed Escarlata. “My greatest desire has been fulfilled!”
She was just about to leave when Eliana quietly said, “I offer my congratulations to you, Escarlata. But before you leave, may I ask a question.” Escarlata nodded, and Eliana continued, “May I leave your castle now? I have enjoyed my time here, but I would like to return to my homeland and my love.”
“Of course, my dear. Run along.”
The two dragons turned and left. Eliana turned to Peter, and, able to contain her love anymore, ran to him and threw her arms around him. Peter, though at first shocked, quickly embraced her. After a long while, Eliana stood back and asked, “Peter, I care not about your outward appearance, for I know that you are a good man inside. But if you wish to return to the way you were before Escarlata burned you, say the word, and I will do all I can.”
Peter could only nod his head as he wondered how Eliana could heal the well scabbed burns. Eliana closed her eyes and raised her hands. Faintly whispering words of a forgotten language, Eliana began rocking back and forth. When at last she opened her eyes and stood still, Peter stood before her, as handsome as he had been the day they had parted. Eliana, however, felt something depart from her. As if something had been used up and disappeared forever. She smiled, knowing that her magical powers had been the sacrifice for Peter’s healing. She did not, nor never would, regret it. Together they rode back to their land and lived happily ever after.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Dragon's Flames Continued

Dragon's Flames
Part 2
Theresa Margaret

Every town he rode through shunned him. The women screamed in fright; the men turned away in disgust; the children jeered at him yelling, “Monster! Scar-face!” Luckily, his horse still recognized his good heart beneath the now gruesome exterior. Although the burns had hurt at first, the pain was no more.
Where can she be? wondered Peter as he rode in search of his beloved Eliana. I hope she is still alive.
Suddenly he found himself in an open glade. A small, thatch cottage stood at the far end, and smoke puffed from the tiny chimney. Peter dismounted and tied the bridle to a nearby tree before he knocked on the door.
“Enter,” called a high, crackly voice. Peter took a deep breath and opened the door. Nothing could have prepared him for the sight he saw unless it were seeing his own reflection. A woman so old, so ugly, wrinkled, yellowed, and decrepit had never walked the earth nor would again. By instinct Peter divined that she was a witch or at least a fortune teller.
“What is it you desire?”
“I am seeking the fair Eliana, good lady,” replied Peter who wisely kept all remarks to himself.
“I see. I shall help you as I may.” Peter bowed but said nothing as the crone continued. “This map will show you your way, and this potion will give Eliana’s captor her greatest desire. You have only to speak the spell written on the bottle. Farewell.”
With that the crone turned back to her slow knitting, and Peter, whispering a grateful thanks, returned to his horse. He jumped onto his horse and began galloping down the route marked on the map. He glanced at the potion given him before stuffing it into his tunic, and a big grin rose on his face. At last I will be reunited with my love! Thank you so much whoever you are! The horse sensed his master’s glee and spurred himself onto faster speed.
Meanwhile, Eliana had slowly become good friends with Escarlata over the several weeks that she had been in the giant’s castle. Eliana told Escarlata of her whole life withholding only her magical powers which she was very careful to use only when she was utterly alone. Still she wished for her love and her freedom. She wisely withheld these desires from Escarlata, but still she yearned for the hopeful day when she would be able to live her happily ever after life with her true love.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Dragon's Flames: Part 1

Dragon’s Flame
Theresa Margaret

Picture This: A young girl in an emerald green dress picking flowers. A scarlet fire-breathing dragon swooping down and carrying her off. A brave knight chasing after them after getting his face scorched by the dragon’s flames.

“Release me, you hideous beast,” demanded Eliana as she flew high above the clouds.
“Never. You are my prisoner, and if you don’t keep quiet and do as you are told, I shall eat you,” replied the dragon smoothly and coldly.
Eliana closed her mouth, but that doesn’t mean she stopped thinking. No, indeed, she would find a way to escape sooner or later. So Eliana remained quiet as they approached the ginormous ruins of a deserted giant’s castle.
The dragon promptly released Eliana when they reached the castle and said, “Welcome to my home. I am Escarlata, and I will show you to your rooms.”
Eliana obediently followed Escarlata, but all the while she was eagerly scanning her surroundings, searching for a possible escape route. Upon entering her new rooms, Eliana instantly knew that she would at least lack for nothing during her time in the castle. There was everything a person could need or desire stored up in those few rooms: books, food, clothing, bedding, washing materials, etc.
“I would like to explain why you are here,” said Escarlata as Eliana turned to face the dragon. “You see, unlike most dragons, I long only for companionship. I’m allergic to meat of all kinds, but I have yet to find a dragon with my food tastes willing to be my mate. So I bring people here to be my companions. You are the first of several who have not died of fright.”
Eliana said nothing, but moved by the silvery tears creeping into Escarlata’s eyes, she laid her hand on the scaly skin.
“Good night, my dear.” Escarlata left the room and locked the door. Eliana lifted her hands, pointed at the food stuffs, and muttered indistinctly. Immediately her favorite dinner began to cook. Satisfied that she had not lost her powers yet, Eliana explored the room.
Meanwhile, we have left the poor, scarred knight roaming the countryside in search of his bride-to-be, and that is where we shall leave him.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Daughtry Review

Though he wasn’t successful in snagging the title “American Idol” in 2006, the talented singer, Chris Daughtry, has been very successful in making a name for himself. He has come out with his band, Daughtry. His band’s self-titled debut album is definitely one of the best debuts that I have heard from an American Idol contestant.

Daughtry isn’t a Christian band, but some of the lyrics in their album could be directed towards Christianity. In most of the songs, as most secular artists, their songs are directed more towards relationships, breakups, and such things, but Daughtry does not use inappropriate language or ideas in their songs, unlike most secular artists.

The songs themselves are very well-written. What impressed me was when I saw that Chris Daughtry had actually taken part of writing the songs, even some of them by himself, which, I believe, is the way to go. The songs are his in a sense, and thus he got to “know” them before going to the studio to record.

Daughtry doesn’t get too hard rocking. There is actually a lot of acoustic guitar in some of their songs. The tunes are very catchy, and I often find myself humming them far after I listen to the actual song. If I compared Daughtry to any other secular band, I would say they sound most like Nickelback, but with a more soothing tone.

Their album has been very successful. It grabbed the No. 1 position on the Billboard album chart after its ninth week of release. Currently, Daughtry is in the No. 5 position, having been on the chart for 28 weeks, while all the other top 10 have been on for way less.

When the shocking news had come that Chris Daughtry was voted off, and not Katharine McPhee, I was hoping that he would come out with an album anyway. He did, and it was more than I had expected.

Over all, Chris Daughtry’s band, Daughtry, is one of the best things America has gotten out of American Idol.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Padre Kino and the Indians, Part One

From Trisha, age15:

Okay so I wrote this story when I was like 10 for my history co-op, I haven't read it in forever or done any editing to it since I entered it in the fair so hopefully it's not to bad, but I thought I'd share it with you guys. This is the first couple pages:

Padre Kino and the Indians
A story about the Mission Nuestra Senora De Los Dolores
The sun was setting and just about everyone was in his hut at the Nuestra Senora De Los Dolores Mission. Except for a man walking along a stream. He was a padre named Eusebio Francisco Kino, who was a solidly built man and five-foot-six. There was also a Pima Indian girl walking with Padre Kino. Her name was Marie Margarita. She had brown eyes, dark brown hair, and was nine years old and looked like any other Indian girl.

While Padre Kino was walking he was thinking of all the good things that God had made and how good God had been to him. Marie Margarita was thinking a little differently though, she was thinking of the first time she had been at the Mission.

It had started when she was around eight years old in the wintertime. She still had her Indian name, Cactus Flower. She had become sick with influenza. So her parents called the medicine man. He did what he called his magic, but of course it did not work. Cactus Flower just got worse.

Finally, Cactus Flower’s older brother Brown Coyote suggested taking her to one of the padres. He said to his mother and father, ‘‘the padres have helped lots of other Indians like my friend Snakeskin. Why could he not help Cactus Flower?’’

His mother asked Brown Coyote, ‘‘Have you ever met any of the padre’s?’’
Brown Coyote answered, ‘‘Well no, but I have heard that they will be able to help Cactus Flower.’’

His father and mother hesitated, but after a few days, when Cactus Flower was near to death, they took her to Padre Kino since there seemed to be no other thing to do. When they got Cactus Flower to the Mission her parents asked one of the padres whose name was Padre Kino if he would take care of her and try to make her well again. He said he would. So Cactus Flower stayed at the Mission for a few weeks, resting.

While her parents waited at their Indian village, they sent Brown Coyote almost every day to go to where the sick Indians stayed to see how Cactus Flower was doing. Also, while she was there some Catholic Indians came to visit the sick Indians. One day they came over to were she was laying and began to talk to her. They told her about the places were the padres stayed and what they did. After their visit she could not sleep because she was thinking about all that the Indians had told her.

When she saw how happy the Catholic Indians were to be around the padre’s she wished that she could be like them and with them. So the next time she saw a Catholic Indian she asked if she could talk with Padre Kino. The Indian told her that he would try to make her request possible because the padre was very busy and left.

After a few days Padre Kino found time to come and see Cactus Flower. He entered the hut and said to Cactus Flower, ‘‘I heard that you wanted to see me Cactus Flower. Is there some thing you wanted to talk to me about?”

“Yes Padre Kino. I want to ask you if you would teach me to become a Catholic like you have with some of the other Indians?” said Cactus Flower.

“Well, of course!” Then in a more solemn voice he said, “But you know you can not get baptized if you do not learn your prayers, songs, learn about the one true God, and you must learn the Spanish language. You must also learn to read and to write. You also need to learn some math. Do you think you will be able to do all those things? It will take a couple years and a lot of hard work.”
I guess it's not to bad for a ten year old :), I'll post some more of it next week.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Spiderman 3 Review - Caution: Spoilers

Spiderman 3 Movie Review
By: Theresa Margaret
Peter Parker, the icon of NY, is finally on top of the ball. He’s going to propose to Mary Jane (MJ), and everyone loves him. But life takes a turn for the worse. Harry has inherited his father’s curse and is the New Green Goblin. He is sworn to kill Peter because he still thinks Peter killed his father. He and MJ seem to grow farther and farther apart. A new villain, Sandman, has sprung up and seems unstoppable. And an alien substance has bonded with Peter, enhancing his aggression and revenge.
After hurting MJ and making a fool of himself, Peter realizes that he must get rid of the substance. In a church, he painfully pulls the alien substance off himself. Unfortunately, it falls on Eddie Brock, photographer vying for Peter’s position at the Daily Bugle. Eddie is transformed into Venom, and together with Sandman, he plots Peter’s downfall.
Venom hangs MJ high in the sky, suspended in a taxi cab by a black web. Peter, on his way to save her, swings by Harry’s house to ask for help. Harry refuses, and Peter leaves.
Peter/Spiderman arrives on the scene and does his best to save MJ, but the Sandman and Venom together prove too much for him. Then, in the nick of time, Harry appears and saves Peter. His butler had told him the truth about his father, and Harry was now forever friends with Peter. Together they fight the villains. Tragically, Harry jumps in front of Peter just as Venom throws a sword at him. Harry falls, and Peter finishes off Venom. Sandman repents and flies away peacefully.
Peter and MJ watch as Harry dies. Peter and MJ get back together, and the credits roll.
The special effects in this movie were amazing. The villains were fantasticly evil. The acting was, on the whole, superb. MJ was a little too self-pitying, and Peter did act like a fool while under the alien substance’s grasp, but they turned out alright.
This movie was definately more violent than the first two, and it deserves its MPAA PG-13 rating for sequences of intense action violence.
On the whole, this was my most favorite of the three films. The message of redemption and the fact that you always have a choice rang true throughout the entire film. I would recommend this film to anyone, over the age of 13, who enjoys action films or the previous Spiderman films.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Acquire The Fire

A few months ago my friend Chanda invited me to go with her church to Acquire The Fire in Detroit, I have wanted to go the last couple years but it just hasn't worked out, this year it did. This post is what I thought about it...

Friday afternoon we left my friend's church around 1:30, about 15 teens and adults packed into two vans. We had a three hour drive to Detroit, it was filled with lots of rowdiness and anticipation. We got to the hotel we were spending the night at and unloaded all our stuff, we grabbed a quick dinner at Mc Donald's then headed to Ford Field. We found a parking lot by Ford Field and walked to the doors, after we picked up our tickets and made sure everyone was still with us we found our seats. The crowd was huge, 40,000 people, energy and excitement was just filling this huge arena. After the opening ceremony with flag bearers and rope dancers the worship band Hillsong United started playing. They were a good band but the songs they played nobody knew. So even though the music was beautiful the crowd just wasn't being drawn in. After the worship music we watched a full length skit about what goes on inside a teenagers head. It was cute but it got kinda long and repetitive. Then when the skit was over our main speaker Ron Luce took the stage, a passionate and intelligent man who's speaking is entertaining yet dead serious, I enjoyed his speaking very much. At the end of this sermon there was an "altar call", something I just don't really understand. Then to finish off the night Skillet came up and rocked the arena. We pushed our way through the huge crowd as we made our way to the vans, we drove back to the hotel and crashed for the night.

Saturday morning we were all up at 6:00 so we could shower and pack up before 7:30, then we headed to Mc Donald's for a hot breakfast. We went back to Ford Field and found our seats again. Ron Luce got back on stage and gave us another great sermon, even bringing a boat up front for a prop. Then we had some more worship music until lunch. We went back to the parking lot for a picnic lunch we'd packed the day before. During lunch we had the usual entertainment when you have a group of energetic teens, bird chasing and water chugging. After lunch we headed back to our seats just in time to hear Hawk Nelson do their warmup. Then we had some more speakers and worship before Hawk Nelson rocked the stage, they were the best band playing that weekend. After the finished we went upstairs to their merch table, the crowd was crazy, Kirby and I ditched before it got to bad, Chanda stayed and risked her life for a t-shirt. After that little adventure we listened to some more speakers then P.O.D came on, they were really loud and really good. When they were done it was time for dinner, so we headed back to the vans for another picnic lunch and included entertainment. After dinner it was decided that we were gonna leave early instead of staying for the closing ceremony. We packed up the vans and headed home, the ride home wasn't as loud as the ride there, it was filled with prayer and sleeping.

Overall I thought the weekend was good, I really enjoyed the speakers and the music, but I felt like it was lacking something, nothing was really great, nothing stood out as special. I was told by several people that last year was way better than this year, but even still I thought it was lacking. Maybe I just don't understand enough, but the "altar call" I felt was insincere, it didn't hold the power and respect it should have. Maybe I just don't understand the whole "being saved" aspect, but I felt out of place and wondering. Something else that kinda bugged me was that abortion was only mentioned a couple of times the whole weekend, and only by a guest speaker. They kept talking about mission trips, and saving the people in third world countries, but what about the thousands of babies in this country murdered every day. Now, I have nothing against mission trips, I think they're wonderful, and if I ever get the chance to go on one I'll be there in a heart beat. But I also believe they're on an equal level with pro-life activities, you don't have to travel thousands of miles to save innocent lives. I will definitely go again next year if I'm invited, hopefully it keeps getting better and better.

I'll end this with my closing thought. Jesus said "if three or more are gathered in my name, I am with them", so when 40,000 people gather in His name shouldn't we try and make it the best it can possibly be? I believe my generation is the generation that will change the world, so whenever somebody has the attention of thousands of teens I believe that the most should be made of it.