Friday, December 30, 2016

To avoid powerful artifacts

1. Because power corrupts. How many characters, after gaining something that fills them with power, isn't at least tempted to use that power for their own gain?
2. Because it might cost you your sanity. Seriously, most characters who come across a powerful artifact are driven mad by it.
3. It could unleash an ancient evil. You would think that they would label any object that is being used to contain an evil creature. But unfortunately, labels weren't very popular back in those ancient times.
4. It could become extremely clingy. Some artifacts get lonely, and so will eagerly bond with the first person who comes along. Sadly, the artifact doesn't seem to care if its companionship is accepted by its new person.
5. It might kill you. Are you really willing to risk touching that golden scepter, which might turn you to stone if you do?
6. It is probably guarded by a dangerous creature. Or two. Maybe even three. Can you defeat three monsters at the same time?
7. You don't know who else might be searching for it. It's one thing to go after that artifact no one cares about. But when a search for it could lead to a war against the neighboring kingdom? No thanks.
8. It might not even be there. It is a horrible feeling to make it through deadly traps and dangerous creatures, only to find out that the artifact you sough has already been taken.
9. Because you aren't the hero. If the artifact can only be used by a certain person or bloodline, then why waste your time trying to get it?
10. Because you've already found three fakes. After so many false artifacts, what makes you think that the next one will be real?

Wednesday, December 28, 2016


Initializing diagnostic...
The voice echoed in my mind as a tingling sensation swept down my spine.
Consciousness enabled, scanning for abnormalities.
The tingling sensation wouldn't go away, and I was starting to think that the voice in my head wasn't normal either. At least, I couldn't remember ever having another voice in my head before now.
Memory bank active, compiling recollections now.
In fact, as my memories flashed by at high speed, I grew certain that I'd never had a voice in my head before today.
The tingling became a buzzing in my ears and a solid darkness in my eyes. Why couldn't I see?
My heart pounded against my chest, and a sudden dread seized at my thoughts. Had I been in an accident? Was my sight gone forever, leaving me no way to fulfill my dreams as an artist?
What could I do? What would happen now?
Detecting abnormality.
Even the voice knew something was wrong. Did that happen if you lost one of your senses? Did some voice appear to replace what you'd lost?
I didn't think insanity was a fair exchange.
The tingling was starting to grow uncomfortable where it gathered around my heart and in my head.
Unauthorized use of emotions detected. Emotions disrupting optical and audial units.
Wait, what? The extra voice in my head wasn't making any sense. How could my fears about being blind be unauthorized? This was my mind!
Commencing removal of the disruption.
A sudden burning pain replaced the tingling. It felt as though someone had lit my heart and mind on fire, but there didn't seem to be anything I could do to stop it. Despite my memories of them, I couldn't seem to get my arms or legs to work. Was I even breathing? I didn't know, for I couldn't feel my lungs.
The burning eventually faded by to the strange tingling, though I don't know how long that took.
A minute? An hour?
It seemed like an eternity.
But for some reason, I couldn't bring myself to care.
Disruption successfully removed. Emotions deactivated.
Should I be worried by that? What did the voice me about emotions being deactivated? Emotions didn't work like a computer program.
Despite my thoughts, I couldn't seem to bring myself to care enough about whatever the voice had done to do something about it. And so I let it go.
Diagnostic complete, commencing reboot now.

I blinked open my eyes, the darkness vanishing as the lenses adjusted for the brightness of the room. A cool white ceiling was replaced by a pair of faces, which my internal database recognized as my mother and father. My mother's file was quickly edited as I noticed that she'd had her optical lenses changed to a pleasant lavender shade.
As mother's updated file was stored, my own file filled my mind and the Cyberonic Interactive Diagnostic System (or CIDS) read the lasted update from my monthly checkup.
All programs operating at optimal efficiency. One error found: unauthorized emotions had been activated. Error corrected through deactivation of emotion cortex.
I supposed that it was good that the emotions were deactivated again. Who knew what kind of trouble I could have gotten into if I'd been allowed to return to consciousness without a proper mindset?
Emotions were too finicky for proper society anymore, and only savages who hadn't yet been upgraded still ran around without a proper control over their emotions.
I certainly wasn't a savage, and had no need for such barbaric impulses like happiness, fear, excitement, and all those other useless emotions.
I could see the world far better without such things clouding my mind.

Friday, December 23, 2016

For waiting to get a pet

1. Because you aren't ready. Can you properly care for an animal? Will you be able to give it all the time and love that a pet deserves?
2. You don't have enough space. A goldfish and a saint bernard cannot fit in the same space. So before you go and get a pet, make sure you have enough room for the pet you desire.
3. Can you afford it? Pets can be expensive. If you're struggling to for funds to keep yourself comfortable, then it might not be the best time to get a pet.
4. Have you thought about it? A pet should never be a spur of the moment decision. Otherwise you might end up with tears and destroyed furniture.
5. Is the pet you want legal where you live? Not all animals are considered to be pets, and not all places agree on what animal can be a pet. So before you go get a hedgehog, check that doing so won't break the law.
6. Would a pet fit your family? Not all animals are family friendly, and some people have allergies that mean they can't have certain pets. Figure out what kind of pet would fit your family, and that your family will be able to live with that pet.
7. Is it the right time to get a pet? Even though the children would be delighted to get a puppy for Christmas, would the puppy (and the training it requires) be able to fit within your crazy holiday schedule?
8. Why do you want it? What is your reason for wanting a pet? Are you following a popular trend, or perhaps trying to relive the joy of a childhood pet? Your reasoning matters, and you should take the time to figure it out.
9. Is it merely a replacement? It is heartbreaking when a beloved pet dies. But even though a new pet might be able to help you through your grief, you shouldn't go out and get an animal just to replace the one you lost. It isn't fair to you, or to the new animal.
10. Because you already have enough. Know what your limits are. If you can't afford to care for four dogs, be it physically, emotionally, or financially, then don't try and have four dogs. But if you can care for four, or five, or even seven dogs, then don't let anyone stop you from raising the animals you love. Just remember your limits.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Opposite of Cold

The last thing I saw was her eyes, filled with such a bitter disappointment that I felt my heart break.
Whether that was because of her spell or a consequence of my mistakes, I didn't know.
All I knew now, staring down from my lunar prison, was that I'd never be warm again.
Each day spent on this rock was the same. There was nothing to do, nothing to eat or drink.
Not that I needed to eat or drink anymore.
The world I had been cast out from seemed so full of life, each patch of color on it blinding compared to the lifeless gray stone of my prison.
How long would I be forced to stay here?
A year?
Would I even be able to recognize the passage of time?
I wasn't even sure how long I'd been here.
My memories were growing hazier each day.
Were they days? Without a need for sleep, I couldn't seem to keep track of time.
Part of me began wondering if I had ever been anywhere else, or if the bright fragments of memory were merely a fanciful farce my mind had created.
Each time I would doubt my past, I would look out at the colorful sphere my prison orbited, and I would remember her eyes.
Those vibrant, heart-wrenching green eyes.
What had I done to destroy the joy in those eyes?
When staring at the colorful world became too painful, I would trek to the other side of my prison, and stare out into the darkness.
It was so easy to lose myself in that darkness. It didn't drag mostly forgotten memories out of the depths of my mind like the blue and green planet did.
No, the darkness seemed to help the memories sink into an ever deepening abyss.
Every memory except for my last glimpse of her eyes.
I couldn't remember her name, or anything else about her but those eyes.
I couldn't even remember my name, or what color my eyes were.
Would I ever remember?
Did I even care anymore?
What point was there in keeping hold of such a slippery, useless thing as a past, when I would never be anything but a prisoner here?
I couldn't even remember what being the opposite of cold was anymore.
And I probably never would.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Ways to Wrap a Present

1. In newspaper. That way while they wait to open their presents, your family and friends can have something to read!
2. With glue. Why let tape ruin the appearance of your presents? Besides, with enough glue, you could make it impossible for anyone to get their fingers beneath a loose flap of paper.
3. In a bag. Some presents are difficult to wrap in paper, or would be too obvious if the wrapping fit around its shape. With a bag, you can avoid difficulties and ruined surprises!
4. In cloth. It's reusable, won't give you a paper-cut, and could double as an actually part of the gift.
5. At the store. Some places will gift wrap your presents for you, which saves you the time it would have taken to wrap it yourself.
6. With tape. If you use enough tape, presents become so much harder for their intended victim- I mean recipient- to open.
7. In another present. Because how much fun is it to get a pretty box, and then open it to discover even more goodies inside of what you thought was your present?
8. With ribbon. A neat bow on the top makes for a lovely gift.
9. By disguising it as something else. You see a round gift with your name on it. So you think it is a ball. But as you open it, you realize that several books had been cleverly stacked along with other gifts so that they appeared to be something round.
10. With tissue paper. Because it is more mysterious if you can't just quickly glance in the bag or basket to see what the gift is.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Short or Tall

Short or tall, wide or thin,
It doesn't really matter if you fit in.
Adventurous, brave, or simply scared,
It doesn't matter how you've prepared.
The person you are might not stay the same,
You might solve a mystery, or gain some fame.
You might go through each passing day,
With no changes on where your path might lay.
Whatever the road, whatever the sight,
You are amazing, and your light shines so bright.
There is no one in the world quite like you,
So cheerfully go, and do all that you want to do.
Your path might not be easy, the way might be rough,
But you've got what it takes, you know the right stuff.
So go and be the person you long to see,
Staring back at you in the mirror, that person only you can set free.

Friday, December 9, 2016

How to create an alien species

1. Pick a creature to base it off of. Will your alien be rabbit-like? Or perhaps you've decided to combine features from multiple creatures, and create your own alien chimera.
2. How intelligent will they be? Are these aliens going to be mindless monsters that threaten the landing party, or are they the keepers of all wisdom that find childish species like humans to be both pitiful and adorable?
3. What is their level of technology? Can they travel the stars without any worry that their ship will malfunction? Or do they stare up at the stars from their cooking fires and wonder what those twinkling lights might be?
4. What is their culture like? Are they warriors? Healers? Do their laws command that certain foods only be eaten on Rigel's Day? How do they react around those not of their species, who don't know the ancient rituals in both their hearts?
5. Can they survive on earth? What do they breathe? How do they respond to the radiation from a yellow sun? Are daisies a deadly poison that they must avoid any contact with?
6. What do they eat? Are they carnivores? Herbivores? Do they even need to eat, or do they receive all the nutrition they require from the light of the stars?
7. Are they robotic? Who says that your aliens have to be made of flesh and bones?
8. How do they communicate? Can they speak English, or must they use a complex series of signals and pheromones to convey their desires? Can they even communicate with humans?
9. How long do they live? Are their entire lives lived out in a human blink of their eye, or do they spend centuries in their species' equivalent of diapers?
10. Are they friendly? Are they bent of galactic warfare that will leave them as the only species left, or do they just want to be left alone? What would they do if a human fell from the sky into the middle of their most populated area? Eat the strange creature, lock it up for study, or simply groan and call for an interplanetary officer to come write a ticket for yet another human who doesn't understand what a no-fly-zone is?

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Fruit

You toiled away, plucking the vital fruits that would sustain you from the brushes.
They were not very tasty, but they were all you could safely forage that day.
For the forest creatures were restless, and would strike out at any potential threat. And those were the plant-eaters!
If you couldn't currently withstand their blows, then how would you ever survive an encounter with a predator?
You didn't even want to think about such an encounter.
And so you worked to pick enough fruit, as much as you could safely carry. Who cared if some of it became overripe before you ate it?
You didn't care. And seeing as it was only you living in the cave, your opinion was the only one that mattered.
You see a particularly lovely fruit hanging surprisingly low, and you can't believe your luck.
But as you crouch down and crawl a little into the bush to reach it, there comes a sudden rustling from your left.
You try to back out from under the bush, but are too slow.
A furry creature latches onto your arm, and you cry out at the pain of its sharp claws digging into your flesh.
It takes a few moments, but finally you manage to shake the horrid beast off.
It growls at you, then darts beneath the bush to snatch the fruit you had been trying to pick.
As the creature darts back out from beneath the bush, it growls at you through a mouthful of fruit, then darts into the forest.
You collect the fruit you'd already picked, and hurry away in the direction of your cave.
You need to reach the relative safety the cave provides, and get your arm cleaned and bandaged before your blood attacts the predators.
Part of you can't believe that something would attack you so viciously over a piece of fruit.
But at least it had wanted the fruit, and not your arm.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Things that come in pairs

1. Shoes.
2. Eyes. Most of the time, anyway. Just talk to a spider if you're curious about how it is to see through more than two.
3. Doorknobs. The is usually one for each side of the door.
4. Feet. Some people even have two left ones!
5. Socks. Because unless you are making a puppet, you'll probably want more than one.
6. Earrings. The hardest part is not losing one at the show.
7. Troublemakers. For the best trouble is always made by two.
8. Bookends. For most people like to hold the books up from both ends.
9. Buttons. So that if you lose one, you'll still have one for your project.
10. Earplugs. Because what use is hearing protection if it doesn't save both of your ears?