Posted by: littleluluwrites | May 6, 2010

Future Gazette

Andrew Peterson

A tall businessman in a dark gray suit ran through the large terminal at Pittsburgh Airport. He glanced at his watch.

“Oh shit!” said Andrew Peterson to himself. He had five minutes to catch the flight to Kennedy Airport and the gate was at the other end of the terminal.

Peterson ran on. Finally, he reached the gate where he was to catch his flight. He looked at the schedule over the service desk, praying he was not too late. It said Flight 509…designation…Kennedy…Canceled.

Peterson stared at the schedule in surprise. He was hoping he would not be too late for his flight; it appeared that he got his wish.

He approached the girl sitting at the desk. She looked up and smiled.

“Good morning, Mr. Peterson. Do you have another convention?”

“Yes, Susan. However, my flight was canceled.” Peterson gave the girl his tickets to looks at.

“I see. The New York area has been hit by severe thunderstorms. Let’s see if your problem can be solved.” She looked at the computer and punched in a code.

“Flight 203 to Albany is still departing in three hours as scheduled. We can arrange for you to get a rental car to get to New York. There is also another flight that is scheduled to leave to New York at the same time. If you want I can make reservations on both flights.”

“Thank you, Susan.”

“Anything for you, Mr. Peterson.”

Peterson decided to pass the time in the airport’s bar. He ordered a draft of beer and angrily handed over more than two dollars.

“Ridiculous price,” he muttered to himself, loud enough for the bartender to hear.

He drank the beer and a second one. He left the bar with a dollar tip on the counter.

Peterson walked towards the gift shops that he had passed before. He looked at the various shirts and gifts on sale-things he would not want for himself, but good for a present for someone.

Then he went into the bookstore. He went over to the business section and looked for specific books. One title caught his eye. It read: “Oil: The Life of Andrew Peterson. Peterson looked through the book, then put it back on the shelf. He already had a copy in his office. “Well-written,” he had thought to himself. The author, nervous about lawsuits, allowed Peterson to read the manuscript before publication. Several changes were made and both men were satisfied-the author having his book on the Best Seller List and Peterson having only the positive aspects of Peterson Oil in print.

Peterson left the bookstore and went next door to the newspaper stand. He picked out a crossword puzzle book, two packs of gum the Wall Street Journal and a newspaper that he thought was “The New York Post”. He paid for his items and walked back to gate 31 to get a status on his flight.

Susan was still at the desk. “Back so soon, Mr. Peterson?”

“How is the weather situation in New York?”

“Still bad.”

“Does it look like it will let up within the next hour?”

Susan punched up a code on the keyboard. “I have bad news, Mr. Peterson.”

“What is it?”

“Flight 103 to Kennedy has just been canceled.”

“Is the Albany flight still going?”

“Flight 203 is still departing on time.”

“I will take that flight.”

“It leaves in an hour from gate 25. We will have a rental car reserved for you. Just ask at the Hertz counter.”

She exchanged his old tickets for the Albany ones.

Peterson walked towards gate 25 and sat down in one of the hard, uncomfortable seats.

He opened his newspaper to the business section. This was usually the first thing he read. Then he turned to the sports section. “Mets lose to Pittsburgh 1-0,” passed before his eyes. His eyes went to another article and then jumped back to the previous one.

“What is this?” Peterson said to himself. “The Mets did not play last night. They were supposed to play the Cardinals, but the game was rained out.”

Peterson closed the newspaper and stared at its title.

“Jesus Christ! This is not “The New York Post.” It is one of those trash papers. How can people get away with writing papers called “Future Gazette?”

Angrily he threw the paper in the trash can.

“May I have your attention please,” said the nasal voice over the loud speaker. “Flight 203 for Albany is now boarding at gate 25. Please allow parents with small children and handicapped people to board first.”

Peterson stood in line, with his ticket ready. Soon he was in his seat, already forgetting about the newspaper.

Alas, if only Peterson had noticed the date on the newspaper, then he may have carefully read the articles, finding a specific one.
**************
The morning after Peterson boarded the plane headed for Albany, many people were doing their grocery shopping or were commuting by bus, train or car to work. Some of these people had a daily ritual of buying newspapers. Some read “The daily News”, some The Wall Street Journal,” and some “The New York Post”. The copies of “The New York Post” was the exact copy of “Future Gazette”, the paper that Peterson bought the day before.

The first “Post” headline that caught most people’s eyes was “President of Prestigious Oil Company Dies in Plane Crash.” The article went on to say:

Andrew C. Peterson, Jr., son of Andrew C. Peterson, SR,. and Catherine F. Peterson, was killed when the plane he was a passenger on crashed. Flight 203, on its way to Albany, New York, crashed shortly after take-off, when one of its engines blew up. Peterson, along with the 50 other passengers and crew members died in the crash. There were no survivors.

Peterson, President of Peterson Oil, originally had reservations on Flights 509 and 103 for Kennedy, New York. However, due to severe weather conditions, he caught the doomed flight to Albany.

Peterson began his successful career in oil twenty-five years ago…

Joe Smith

Joe Smith was a very rich man. This was unusual because he he was not a successful businessman like Andrew Peterson (who by this time was forgotten except by family, close friends and associates.)

Joe Smith was a compulsive gambler; a lucky one. He won almost every bet he made. To learn how he got those gambling skills, we have to go back in his past.
****************

Joe Smith was a loser. He barely got his high school diploma. After that, he went to college and dropped out two years later, after changing his major several times. He had trouble finding work, and when he did so, he did not keep the job for long.

One morning, after a fruitless search for work, Joe stepped into a church. There were no services at this time of day. The door were unlocked for people wanting to pray or read passages from the Bible. Joe sat in a pew at the back of the church. He clasped his hands together, bowed his head and attempted to pray.

After a few minutes of groping, he said, “Lord. Help me get money for rent and food. That is all I am asking for. Please, Lord. It it be thy will and in the name of your son, Jesus Christ.”

Joe stood up and walked out of the church. An old man approached him on the street.

“Want a newspaper?”

“Sorry. No change.”

“Take it,” the old man said, handing Joe the paper. “You pay me when you get money.”

“Thank you,” Joe said, taking the paper. He started walking away, but was stopped.

“Before you go, a word of warning. Read the paper carefully.”

The old man turned around and walked away. Shrugging to himself, Joe walked back to his place with the newspaper rolled up in his hand.
****************

At his apartment, Joe was reading the newspaper-whose title was “Future gazette-while eating a peanut and butter sandwich.

“What is so special about this paper? It is just like any other.”

He glanced at the date on the paper. It was June 5.

“Today is June 5.

Joe turned the pages of the paper. In each upper corner it read, “Future Gazette, Sunday, June 5.”

“I do not understand this. Today is Saturday. It is as if this paper was printed one day in the future. It must be a misprint. But wait a minute, they have the winning Lotto numbers listed-they should be in tomorrow’s paper.”

Joe got up and went into his bedroom and got some change from his jar. He ripped a piece of paper from his notebook. He went back to the kitchen and wrote the winning numbers down.

“Well a dollar and a dream. I have a hard time picking the numbers anyway. I might as well try these. Even if I get four winning numbers, I can at least pay my rent.

He left the apartment to go to a local store.
************
6:00 a.m. the alarm clock rang. Joe got out of bed. He knew he could not get back to sleep.

he went into the kitchen and started to heat a kettle of water.

The store would not be open until 8:00 a.m. He wanted to know if his luck had changed.

“If I won the Lotto, there is so much I can do. I can pay all my bills. I can move to a much better neighborhood. I can improve my wardrobe; it would not be necessary for me to look for bargain sales. I can even travel.”

The shrill whistling of the kettle brought Joe out of his reveries.

“Stop thinking like that,” Joe thought to himself. “Do not think about the future until you are positively sure about it. How many times have you been disappointed when something happened the way you did not want it to be?”

Joe put a teaspoon of coffee into a cup of hot water. Then he added some cream and sugar. He drank the coffee and the caffeine suppressed his hunger.

Finally, 8:00 a.m. came. Joe went into the bedroom and got more change out of his jar. Then he went out of his apartment and walked towards the store. It was brisk for a day in June. However, it was not a long walk.

Joe went into the store and pick out “The New York Post”. he knew the Lotto numbers would be listed. He paid for the paper and walked back to the apartment. He decided to wait until he was inside to check out the numbers.

Once inside, Joe placed the paper on the already cluttered table. He opened to the third page and got his Lotto ticket out of his pocket. He looked at the various winning lottery games:
Daily No. for Sat.: 639
Win-4 No. for Sat.: 2821
Keno nos. for Sat.: 7, 8, 11, 12, 14, 25, 26, 32, 40, 43, 44, 47, 48, 50, 56, 59, 62, 68, 72, 76
(and finally)
Lotto 54 nos. for Sat.: 3, 4, 5, 10, 53, 54 Supplementary no.: 49

Joe’s eyes went back and forth from the numbers on his ticket to the ones in newspaper print. They matched up!

“I won!” Joe yelled, jumping up and down. “No more job hunting! No more worries about food or rent.”
*********

A week after Joe’s big break, he waited outside the church where he had first met the old man. He needed to speak to him. He started to walk away, but then caught a glimpse of a familiar figure at the end of the block.

“Is it him?” Joe asked himself. “I believe so.” He began to run towards him.

“Excuse me, Sir.”

The old man turned around. “Yes? Are you talking to me?”

“Do you remember me?” Joe asked. “You gave me a newspaper just over a week ago. “Future Gazette” was the name of it.”

“Yes, I remember you. Did that paper help you?”

“Yes. It has helped me win a large amount of money. The only problem is I did not know what to make of the paper. I did not believe such a paper existed.”

“You do not believe?”

“I believe now. The next day I bought a copy of “The New York Post”. It was an exact replica of the one you gave me.”

“I take it you want another paper.”

“If you have another one, yes. I will repay you for your kindness. If you want a new house, I will be able to help you.”

“No. Use the paper to help you, but also help others. Many people are in need.”

“I will give money to different organizations. I will make donations to the church.”

“I will tell you what to do. Do you have a mailbox?”

“Yes, I do.”

“Each night when you are finished with the paper, place it in the mailbox. Then in the morning a new paper will be there. Do you still have the paper I gave you?”

“It is in my apartment.”

“Good. Use that paper.”

“You warned me to read the paper carefully. Why?”

“One person carelessly threw the paper away. If he had the patience to read it, he would still be alive today.”
***************
Joe Smith built up his riches. He was able to play the Lotto, bet on the horses and bet on sporting events with confidence that he would win. He invested money in the stock market, knowing when to sell.

Joe grew wealthier and wealthier. In a few weeks time he went from a two room apartment in a bad neighborhood to a beach house on Fire Island.

Joe kept his promise to the old man. He gave some of his money for housing development improvement projects, the church, the Red Cross and other organizations.

He lived a life of bliss and happiness for over a year. Then one fateful day, the paper arrived as usual.

Early one morning, Joe came home from a long night of gallivanting in the clubs. He checked his mailbox before going into his house. The new edition of “The Future Gazette” was already there.

Humming, he carried the paper into the house.

“I wonder what new fortunes are in store for me?” he said to himself as he plopped himself on the couch.

Joe’s humming stopped abruptly in a gasp of horror. He stared unbelieving at the headline:

Rags to Riches Playboy Joseph Smith Killed in Firebombing.

“It has to be another Joe Smith. It just cannot be me.”

However, as he continued to read the paper, he knew his fate was getting bleaker and bleaker. The article explained about how he made his money through gambling and the stock market. His death being accidental was considered very unlikely-it was believed that a bomb was in-placed in his Ferrari (Investigation still pending). Possible suspects included drug lords and casino racketeers.

Joe threw the paper from him.

“What in the hell am I going to do?” he said to himself with tears filling his eyes. “I do not want to die. I can not sit around and wait for the person to plead with him. I will not be able to convince him I am not fixing the games. I wish I never heard of “Future Gazette.” Then I would never had known that I was going to die the next day.”

Joe head jerked up. “Wait a minute,” he said to himself. He got up and walked to the paper. Turning back to the article, he reread it.

“This date is not tomorrow. This is to happen in a week. There is enough time to prevent my death. Didn’t the old man tell me to read the paper carefully.”

Three weeks later Edward Bauer entered his new house in Southern California. He was carrying his copy of “Future Gazette.” A short time ago he had been running for his life. That was before he had resumed his new identity. Before he had been known as Joe Smith.

When Joe had found out of his untimely demise, he got to work. He packed several bags of his most prized possessions and clothes. He would have to leave a lot behind. However, in several weeks he would be able to replace everything he lost. Then he caught a cab to Kennedy Airport and purchased a one way ticket to California.

After a few days, Joe was able to get his money transferred to a bank in California. He was able to restart his dream and was soon living again in luxury. He had his name changed so that it would seem as if Joe Smith had disappeared from the face of the earth.

Ed was wiser than Joe. While he used the “Future Gazette” to buy and sell stocks, he rarely used it to gamble. When he did make a bet on a sporting event, he made sure he would lose sometimes so he would not draw the attention he did when he lived in New York. As long as he won more money than he lost, he would still be able to build up a fortune.

Edward Bauer would continue to live in this state, until the “Future Gazette” informed him that it would be wiser to depart.

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Posted by: littleluluwrites | May 6, 2010

My Day Off

I am trying to fit everything in and not get overwhelmed. I spend WAY too much on the Internet and not get a lot done around the house. So I am trying to get some sort of schedule-good luck too me on that LOL!-for different activities.

The first thing I do when I wake up is check my baking and 401 k information and move money around and plan on what bills to pay-gee I better not stop at the casino this week. This does not take too long.

I am scheduling an hour of play and I went on pogo and finished my challenges for the week. They were very easy-it’s a good thing because my Club Pogo membership runs out tomorrow. I can renew it on my next payday. Still doing good and I was able to wash dishes in between.

Then I go on face book, my space and Twitter to build my network. I link my writing to these site and the more followers I have, the better.

I am also setting a limit to an hour of writing a day-but typing this blog out does not count.

Right now I am making my shopping list for dinner. My daughter wants braised pork chops and I want to make some cookies-low calorie ones.

When I get back from the store, I am going to finish the dishes and laundry. Then I want to work on my writing. I am rewriting a chapter of my book, The White Knight. Once I polish it up, I am going to post.

For the rest of the day, I want to get an hour of exercise, and hour of Bible study and read. I am currently reading Helter Skelter and have about 100 pages to go. It’s interesting a Christian reading about Charles manson. But I think any Christian should read this book since it will give them an understanding of how dangerous cults can be.

Oh I forgot to add an hour for drinking coffee, no wonder why I keep running to the ladies room. Lol!

Posted by: littleluluwrites | May 5, 2010

Will E Books Ever Supercede Traditional Books?

First let me explain what an e-book is. Ha! Ha! Most people who are on the Internet already know what one is, but here goes. They are electronic books based either on traditional books or are written by people like you
and me to provide readers with information for a profit. For example, somebody might write an e-book on some of his grandmother’s favorite recipes. The e-books I am talking about are the ones people read for pleasure, such as Stephen King.

Will e-books ever supersede real books? That is an interesting question. I am forty-four years old and have been an avid reader since I was ten years old. When I was not in class or running for the track team, I always had a book in my hand. Whether it was “Nancy Drew” or “Judy Blume” I was always reading, even when I went on long car trips with my parents. When I was younger, I averaged a book a day. Today, I do not read as often as I can because I work full-time, am married and have two teen-aged daughters. Still, I like to sit down with a good book once in a while.

The problem I have is I tended to go to different stores, garage sales and flea markets and buy books. While some of them I would read and pass on to somebody else, there were some that I wanted to keep. The problem is, our house is small and eventually my collection of books would continue to grow and force us to move.

With the rising sales of hand held devices, I decided that I should invest in one to read e-books. While I could sit at my computer and read an on-line novel, this did not cut it. I wanted a more portable device, one that I can carry around with me.

I finally decided on a Palm Tungsten E2, which fit into my budget. Now I can carry an entire library in the palm of my hand. This is an excellent piece of technology.

Advantages:

1. Excellent memory – if my battery dies, I will not lose information. This is great because I tend to forget to put it on the charger.

2. Memory slot – You can buy memory cards for the Tungsten E2. I have a 100meg card, but there is also a 1gig card. So basically, I can have at least 80 books on one card.

3. Very user friendly – once I knew what I was doing, it is very easy to use.

Disadvantages:

1. I have a tendency to forget to put the Palm on the charger. Sometimes, I am in the middle of a good book and, all of a sudden, the Palm shuts down

2. My Palm only takes e-books in PDF or e-book reader format. Each hand held device has a different type of format. Therefore, I might have to search the Internet for a while until I find an e-book in my
format.

3. E-books still cost money. I have to shop around looking for the best price. For convenience, I go to fictionwise.com. However, their prices are almost what I would pay if I purchased a real book. They do offer discounts and free books if you join their book saver club. You can go on websites that have file sharing such as limewire.com. However, many of those e-books may not be legally shared.

4. Cats – I have to mention this. My Palm has a hot sync cable which allows me to transfer books that I download to my Palm. One of my kittens chewed the wire in half. There were no local stores that have this. So I had to order a new one on-line and have to wait a few days until I get it.

While I love my Palm and find it convenient and easy to carry, I personally do not see e-books superseding real books. There are more readers in the world than people who have the latest technology. I even like sitting down with a book with my cat on my lap. I love browsing the public library and Barnes and Nobel. It is a habit of mine to buy a book and then to sit down and get a cup of Starbucks. There is something very nostalgic about that.

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Posted by: littleluluwrites | May 5, 2010

The Silence

The moon was in its fullest. Regardless of the few clouds that passed before it, the moon cast its rays upon the earth’s surface, reflecting off a small lake. A dirt path led from the woods and encircled the lake.

Occasionally, a deer would walk up and get a drink of water. Other times fish would jump and cause ripples on the surface of the lake, the moon’s light catching each ripple. The sounds of birds calling and rustling of feathers were heard throughout the stillness of the night. In few weeks, most of them would be heading south to avoid the harshness of winter.

Down the path, a figure could be seen approaching the lake. It was a young girl. She was too much into her thoughts to notice the signs of wildlife around her.

The girl approached the lake. She picked up a stone and skimmed it across the surface. Then she stood staring across the water. A deer looked up from drinking and stared at the figure. It decided it had nothing to fear, because the figure did not move. The deer finished drinking, and then walked back into the wood line.

“How could they do this to me?” the girl thought angrily to herself. “I thought they were my friends! But they only invited me to their party to make a fool of me! They made fun of me and thought I did not realize it! But I did! Why did they do it? Is it because I am so different from them?”

The girl picked up another stone.

Inside her, a voice spoke,

“Do not be sad, in a short while, everything will be fine.”

“Bah! Do not give me that,” said the girl heaving the stone into the water. No sounds of a splash reached the girl’s ears.

The reason for this was because she was deaf.

II

Michelle Willams had been deaf for most of her eighteen years of life.

She lost her gift of sound when she was near the age of two, after nearly dying from a serious illness.

The parents were greatly relieved when Michelle was able to recover from the illness, that they did not realize that anything else was wrong with their daughter. However, they became concerned when she did not respond to sound or their voices, as she had done so before the illness. So they brought her to Dr. Graveter, her pediatrician. He preformed tests on Michelle and the results showed that she
was hearing impaired.

Michelle’s parents took care of her as best as they could. They learned some sign language and tried to teach it to their daughter. They pointed out several objects within their home and sighed what they were. They tried to get her to pronounce the words, but were unsuccessful.

Michelle’s parents wanted to protect her from being hurt by the outside world. They did not want their daughter to know that she was different from the other children. However, they overdid it. They did not bring Michelle to the playground, because they did not want the other children making fun of her. She had very little interaction with other children.

When Michelle reached the age of starting school, her parent got advice from a friend. She worked at a school for deaf children.

She convinced Mr. and Mrs. Williams to let their daughter get professional help. She told them that it would be the best thing for Michelle; she would be able to interact with other children.

The parents consented and allowed Michelle to get the help that she needed.

They also felt as if a big burden was lifted from their shoulders.

Progress was slow at first, but then it sped up. The professional teachers first had Michelle learn the alphabet. Then there were words. Next it was speech. Getting Michelle to speak was the difficult part. However, the teachers used positive reinforcement.

The teachers found out that Michelle loved M and M’s. At the beginning, each time Michelle made a sound, she was given a piece of candy. Then she had to say a word. Next she learned to speak a group of words. Then complete sentences. The amount of reinforcement was continuous at first, and then the frequency was decreased slowly, so that Michelle was reinforced every few times.

Eventually, the use of reinforcements ceased altogether.

For several years Michelle stayed at the school. She learned what the “normal” children were being taught. She learned how to read and write. Also, she was able to read lips well.

The parents then decided to take Michelle out of that school. She had reached Middle School age. They felt that she needed to interact with people with a public school. They were not as over-protective as they were before.

Up to graduation from High School, Michelle did well in her classes. With an exception of a few, the students accepted her handicap. She made several good friends. She usually had at least one person in each class to take notes for her. She passed her classes with high grades and was accepted to several colleges.

Up to the time she went to college, Michelle did not feel hindered by her handicap. She thought she was doing well in life. However, she wanted to be more independent. Her parents had offered to pay her college tuition.

However, Michelle did not want to take their money.
She felt that they had done enough for her already. So, she saved money from jobs throughout High School. After graduation, she took a year off and got a full-time job in the supermarket. With that money and financial aid, Michelle was able to start her college career.When Michelle first arrived at her dorm, some of the students were shocked to have a deaf person living with them.

There was some hostility, but it was mild. Michelle had known what to expect since she started going to public school. There would always be a few people who were anti-handicap. So she was not worried.

However, before a month went by, things started to get worse. After the first week, Michelle’s roommate, Felicia, moved out. She told Michelle that she had nothing against her. She made an excuse that Residential Life had made a mistake in room assignments. She was supposed to live with another person.

So Felicia moved out. No one else was assigned to move in. Michelle pretended that she did not mind. Having a room by herself was better than sharing one.

There were a few people who Michelle considered to be friends. They all were from here dorm-Annie, Kathy, Margaret and Keith. Besides from these people, Michelle did not consider any others as friends.

She had trouble with some of the classes. For the first week no interpreters showed up during the classes. She also had trouble finding a reliable note taker. Finally, she paid other students to make copies of their notes for her.

Besides for these problems, Michelle seemed to get along well. She enjoyed her classes. She went to several social events. Though she only had a few friends now, she decided if she joined a sport or club, she would make more. Actually, Michelle enjoyed the college until the night of the party.

A few days earlier, Keith went up to Michelle after a class they took together.

“Michelle,” he said, facing her so her she could read his lips. “There is a fraternity party on South Street, Friday night.” Most of the people on the floor are going. Do you want to go?”

“This is my chance,” Michelle thought to herself. “I will be able to meet many people.

“Yes,” she said to Keith.

“What time?”

“It starts at seven. Dress warmly; it is going to be held behind the house. It might be cold.”

III

The night of the party came.It was a short walk. When Michelle and Keith arrived, there were many people there. Music was blasting and even though she could not hear it, Michelle could listen by the vibrations. Margaret and Kathy were talking with some guys.

“Look!” said Margaret.

“There is Michelle!”

“I do not believe she showed up,” said Kathy. Keith and Michelle came over. “I will be right back”

“Bill and John,” said Kathy. “This is Michelle.” Then she introduced Michelle to them.

“I am going to get a beer,” Bill said. “Anybody else want onr?”

“Yes,” Kathy and Margaret said.

“What about her?” he asked indicating Michelle.

“Ger her one too.”

Keith came back and talked to Michelle. Bill came back with the beers.

“I will give the freak her beer,” Margaret said.

“Quiet,” John said. “She might hear you.”

“No. She is deaf.”

Keith did not hear any of this. If he had he would have given the two girls his piece of mind-the two girls Michelle obviously considered to be friends. Michelle finished her beer. Keith took her cup.

“Want a refill?”

“Yes, please.”

Keith walked off towards the direction of the keg.
Michelle walked towards her friends. They were still talking to the two guys. Another girl had approached the group Kathy noticed her.

“Aren’t you Felicia‚Äôs roommate?”

“Yes.”

“Did she ever tell you about Michelle, her old roommate?”

Michelle stopped. She knew the subject of their conversation. She was at an angle so that she could read their lips.

“The deaf girl? Felicia was uncomfortable living with her.”

“Why, because she is a freak?”

“No, she never said that.”

John said, “Come on now. She is not that bad.”

“Why don’t you take her into your room, Bill? She is probably desperate.”

“I thought you were her friend.”

“No! What a laugh. We are only using her. Is the traditional Hell Time being held?”

“Of course! What would a party be without it? What are you planning to do to her?”

“Nothing bad. Maybe throw her in the pool, throw eggs at her or get her very drunk.”

Michelle knew what they were saying. She was trying hard not to let the tears that were already forming, run out of her eyes.

A hand touched her shoulder. She spun around and glared angrily at Keith. He had heard the end of the conversation.

Michelle spoke, though with some difficulty. “Do not touch me, you bastard!”

“What are you talking about?”

“I thought you were my friend! You and those bitches have tried to make me look like a fool! I will not have that! I am not a freak! I will show you!”

Michelle stormed away.

Keith went after her and grabbed her arm.

“Michelle, wait.”

“Let me go!”

She pulled to free her arm. Then she walked off again. Somebody had stuck a foot out and tripped her. Michelle went falling to the ground. Several people around laughed. She got up and ran towards the street, the tears running freely down her cheeks.

Keith ran after her, yelling-forgetting at that moment that she could not hear his words.

When Keith reached the street, Michelle was nowhere in sight. She had hidden on the side of another house.

Keith went back to the party. He found Kathy and Margaret.

“What the hell did you do to Michelle?”

“Nothing.”

“Bull! Something happened and she blames me!”

“You act as if you did not know. Why do you think we wanted her to come in the first place?”

“You were planning to put her through Hell Time? What a mean thing to do.

“Well isn’t that why you invited her?

“No! I invited her because she is a friend. And if anything has happened to her it will be your fault.”

IV

Michelle walked for a few hours after leaving the party. She did not want to return to the dorm so she would not have to face the others, especially Kathy and Margaret. Eventually, a chill in the air made her decide to go back.

When she got back, Michelle decided to walk five flights of stairs instead of using the elevator. When she reached her floor, she looked through the window on the door. She saw Keith taping a note to the door. She waited until he went back into his room.

When he was gone, Michelle went to her door. She read the note. “Michelle, please come see me when you get in. Keith.”

“Never,” thought Michelle to herself. She did not take the note off the door. She would let Keith and the others worry.

She went into her room, turned on the light then closed the door and locked it. She sat down at the desk and took out a tablet of paper. The she began writing a lengthy letter to her parents.

On Saturday, Michelle woke up late, almost noon. She had stayed up late writing the letter. Five pages-front and back-had be written. She started out that she was going to transfer to another college. Then she put all her complaints down in words. She was going to mail it later.

Michelle grabbed a few books and left her room. Nobody was in the hallway, though somebody was using the shower.

Michelle rode the elevator to the main floor. Then she left the building and went to the library. She liked doing her class work there because it was peaceful and had no distractions.

She sat in on of the stuffed chairs and started reading from one of her text books. After a while she felt tired. She closed her book, leaned back in the chair and closed her eyes. Michelle slept for a while. When she woke up, she noticed she was hungry; she did not eat much that day. She picked up her books and went to the cafeteria.

After eating, Michelle decided to return to her room. When she got up to her floor, she remembered that she did not lock her door. When she opened it, Keith was standing at her desk, reading the letter. Michelle slammed the door. Keith looked at her, startled.

“Michelle,” he said, “I did not hear you come in.”

“What are you doing in my room? I want you to leave!”

“No! I was worried when you did not answer my note.” He showed Michelle her letter. “What is the meaning of this?”

“You had no right to read that! Put it down!”

“You can not give up that easily,” Kieth said desperately. “You are not the type of person to hide from trouble.”

“It is none of your business what I want to do. If I attend another college, then maybe I will get the respect that is so lacking here.”

“Give it some time, Michelle. When people get to know you, they will like you?”

“I am only going to wait until the end of the semester.”

“I am sure you will change your mind by then.”

“Maybe. Look, if you think I am about to forgive you for what happened last night, it will take a while. I trusted you; I thought you were a friend.”

“I did not know taking you to the party would be a bad idea. I wanted you to have a good time. I did not want to hurt you.”

“Bull! I knew what Kathy and Margaret were saying about me.”

“I knew you did. But I never thought that they were like that. I thought they were your friends. If I knew about them, I would not have let them do anything. Please Michelle, believe me. I am your friend.”

Michelle turned her back on Keith, blocking him out.

Keith grabbed Michelle’s arm and forced her to look at him. “Michelle, don’t make me angry with you. I told Kathy and Margaret off after you left the party. They used to be my friends, but not anymore; unless if they change.”

Michelle tried turning from him, but he was stronger. “Damn you, Michelle! Why do you think I am trying to make you stay? It is because I like you.”

Michelle was too shocked to say anything.

“All I am asking, Michelle, is for you to give me a chance.” He took her hand and held it.

Michelle felt that Keith was telling the truth. “I believe you” she said.

Anytime you need to talk or just a shoulder to cry on, you can count on me. I will be there.”

Posted by: littleluluwrites | May 5, 2010

Cosmos

“This is it! I am here!” Leeanne thought to herself as she stepped out of the teleporter and stared at the massive building in front of her. Cosmos, the largest restaurant in the world, even far exceeded the size of the place people called “The Mall of America” in the year 2000. Floors and floors of different varieties of food; too far to walk from one end to another. Looking upwards to the sky, she could not see the top of the building.

“How am I ever going to find him,” Leeanne asked herself. “He did not tell me where to meet him. There is no way I can find him in this crowd. I do not even know what he looks like.”

This was a blind date that her co-worker had arranged. From previous dating failures, she decided to meet Jacob at a neutral place. This way, if this was like the last blind date, she would never have to see him again. She had already made the mistake once by letting a date pick her up at her apartment. A total geek, but she went out with him because she did not want to hurt his feelings. Then he kept showing up and calling her, wondering why she never returned his calls. Not again, if this date did not work out, she would just disappear into the crowds. She would not give him her coordinates.

Marianna, her co-worker had kept pestering her to go out on dates more often. While Leeanne preferred to stay home and read books and teleport to different parts of the world, finally gave in. She got tired on the constant reminders of “you are getting older. Nobody will want to date you then. It is not normal for a twenty-one year old to not have a boyfriend. Hell, most women your age are already married. Look at me, I have been married for a year and I have three grown children.”

True it was not like ancient history. A woman would have to carry around a baby inside her for nine months. She would have no idea if the baby would be a boy or a girl. Then she and her husband would have to take care of the baby for many years while he or she grew up. With today’s technology, a husband and wife can decide the sex of the baby, put it in a test tube and within months have an eighteen year old boy or girl. She, herself had been born three years ago.

Yet, before she got settled down with a husband, she wanted to experience life for a while. Plus, while Marianna had proven to be a poor matchmaker so far, Leeanne had her own insecurities about herself. She was not sure if men would accept her for who she was.

While Cosmos was over 500 miles away, it was easy to get to. All she had to do was type the coordinate into her computer, step into her teleporter and she was there a few seconds later. This restaurant, built just a few years before she was born, boasted of food from different cultures of the world, even ones from ancient history. Yet this was the first time she had been here. She never found the sense of eating food when she had pills to provide her the nutrients she needed. She had the typical ones for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Plus she had the one that would help keep her hydrated. She did not see the sense of sitting down for an hour, or more, to eat a meal where taking a pill would take just a few seconds.

Well, this is where Jacob wanted to meet her. She might as well try to enjoy a meal at Cosmos. She walked through the massive double doors.

She stopped and looked around in shock. While the building itself was impressive, the inside itself was even more so. The place was crowded with people. Who would believe that this many people would rather eat food than just take a pill? It was as if the entire city was inside. Four people near by were arguing about what to eat.

“I want Chinese,” said one.

“I want seafood.”

“I want Mexican.”

“We can have all three,” said the woman. “Just take the pill.”

“Pill,” Leeanne thought to herself.

She watched as each person in the group ate a pill. Then they each got on a hovercraft.

“Chinese is at coordinates 195241. Let’s go there first, Mexican is not far from there.” The group of people drove off on the hovercrafts, floating inches from the floor.

“I hope they do not hit anybody with those,” Leeanne thought to herself as they drove off.

“Hello,” a thin blond woman approached Leeanne. “Welcome to Cosmos. I am Julie 097643. Are you waiting for someone?”

“Yes. A Jacob 137830. However, I do not know where he is.”

Julie looked at the computer she was carrying in the palm of her hand. She spoke into it, “Jacob Lewis. Here it is. You must be Leanne 438596.” Leeanne nodded her head. “He left a message that he will be here in two hours. So you have time to explore Cosmos by yourself.” She handed her a card. “He wants you to use this while you are waiting. It has 20,000 credits on it. Come over here and I will get you set up.”

“Get me set up for what?” Leeanne thought to herself as she followed Julie to a group of hovercrafts.

“This one will do,” Julie said as she stopped in front of a red hovercraft.

“I have to operate one of those?”

“This must be your first time here. There is nothing to worry about; these are quite safe. This restaurant is too big for you to walk from one end to another. Why it is over 300 square miles, with hundred of floors.

“Put this bracelet on, I have your name typed in. When Jacob arrives he will know you are here and will tell you where to meet him. This hovercraft knows where each area of Cosmos is. For example, if you want to eat pizza either speak ‘pizza’ or the coordinates into the microphone. The hovercraft will take you there.”

“I do not know how to drive these. What if I hit another hovercraft or a person?”

“Nothing to worry about. These have built-in sensors. They know what is all around them. Just do not be in surprise if your craft suddenly rises high in the air. All you have to do is hang on to the handlebars and let the hovercraft do the driving. Oh, I almost forgot,” Julie said. “Here is your pill.”

“What do I need a pill for?”

“It is a Satiation Suppression Pill. You will probably want to try different type of food at Cosmos. This pill lets you eat what you want and you will not get full. You only stop eating when you want to.”

Leanne swallowed the pills and suddenly she felt a funny sensation in her stomach. “Hey! I think I am hungry. What should I try first?”

“Mexican,” she spoke into the hovercraft’s microphone.

The hovercraft rose into the air and took off. Leeanne held tightly to the handlebars as the craft sped at breakneck speeds, everything passing below her in blurs. “I am going to fall off!” she screamed. Then she realized that there was a safety shield that kept her from falling as the hovercraft took sharp turns.

Soon the hovercraft slowed down and came to a stop. She got off and looked around. She was standing on sand. “This is a beach! I have never seen the ocean before!” People were lying around on blankets absorbing the sun. Some were in the ocean swimming and riding surf boards. She walked up to the deck, where people were eating.

“Welcome to Cosmos, Mexican. What would you like to eat?” a dark skinned man, wearing a sombrero, asked.

“I never had Mexican. What do you recommend?”

“Sit down here. I will get you something you will like.” He returned a few minutes later with some burritos, nachos and salsa. “Enjoy your meal at Cosmos.”

“This is delicious,” Leeanne bit into the Taco, relishing the first bite. “Oh boy, this is hot,” she said as the tried the salsa. The waiter returned with more water and cornbread.

“I am sorry, I should have warned you about the salsa. Here is you bill. I will charge it to your card. Do not worry about tips. They are included.”

Leeanne walked back to the hovercraft. She still had some time to kill before Jacob arrived. She punched in some coordinates into the hovercraft. She was not sure where it would take her; she wanted to be surprised.

Once again the hovercraft was soaring through the air. Soon Leeanne found herself in a cold place. Snow was everywhere and people were running around throwing snowballs at each other. A polar bear approached her and said, “Welcome to Cosmos, North Pole. Would you like a snow cone?”

Leeanne would have loved one, but this part of the restaurant was much too cold and bitter for her. Maybe if she dressed warmer the next time, she would come back. Shivering violently, she walked back to the hovercraft.

“I never noticed this button before,” Leeanne said. “I wonder what it does.” She pressed the cruise button. Instead of speeding off, the craft rose a few inches off the floor and moved at a slower speed. This way Leeanne was able to see what food Cosmos offered more clearly.

She passed a sign that said Hobos. Men wearing torn and dirty clothing were sitting around garbage cans that were on fire. It looked like they were eating beans out of a can.

Another time she passed a sign that said Cannibals. “I don’t even want to eat there,” she said with a shudder as she passed.

She spent the next hour cruising Cosmos, sampling foods from different parts of the world, and even from different planets. Overall, Leeanne enjoyed what she had seen of Cosmos. She would come here more often.

The bracelet on her wrist buzzed. “He must be here.” A message showed up on the screen: “Meet me at Eden. Jacob.”

She spoke into the hovercraft’s microphone, “Eden.”

The hovercraft sped off once again to the center of cosmos. Then it rose up into the air. Higher and higher the hovercraft went up. Leeanne passed balconies of people eating their meals. Finally after going what seemed like 110 floors, the hovercraft glided to a stop. She got off and looked around. She was in a tropical rain forest.

Yet it was not like the tropical rain forest she had read about. Usually these were cold and wet. There were so many trees that they blocked the sun’s ray from reaching the ground.

In this rain forest, while there were trees, there were not too many. She was was able to look around at all the beauty. The sky was the brightest blue Leeanne had ever seen, a beautiful rainbow arched across the entire forest. Looking around, she noticed all the animals. Typical of rain forests, there were lions, tigers, zebras, monkeys and gazelles. However, the predators were not hunting they prey. In fact, they were playing with each other and getting along. She even noticed other animals, that usually belongs in the snowy environment, such as polar bears and penguins being in this garden.

Leeanne jumped as a tiger rubbed against her. He lay down at her feet, purring. Hesitantly, she reached down with her hand and petted his head.

“How do you like Eden?”

Leeanne jumped at the voice behind her.

“Are you Jacob?” she asked, looking at a tall man with curly black hair. “Marianna did a good job this time,” she thought to himself. “He is cute.”

“Yes I am.”

“This place is beautiful!”

“This is the top of the restaurant. I always like coming here because it is so peaceful. Hardly anybody comes to Eden. I am not sure why. Well it can gives us some privacy, where we can get to know each other a little better. Follow me, I have a place for us.”

Jacob led Leeanne to an apple tree, where a tablecloth was spread out on the ground. “Our food will come shortly. I always prefer picnics than sitting at a table.”

She sat down under the tree and studied Jacob. He appeared to be a quiet person; in a way he looked like he was a little sad. She glanced over to a stream nearby. Mermaids were playing in the water.

In a few minutes, centaurs came carrying baskets of food. As she stared at the creatures that had the upper bodies of men and the lower parts of horses, she thought, “I never knew they existed. I thought they were just from stories made up centuries ago.”

One centaur poured glasses of wine and handed them to Leeanne and Jacob, while the others spread out the food on the tablecloth.

“This is delicious!” Leeanne exclaimed biting into a chicken leg. “I never realized that food tastes so good.”

“Unfortunately people do not know what they are missing. While taking a few pills a day keeps them from going hungry, they are not enjoying the taste of food. With their busy lifestyles, they think that it is more convenient not to eat food.”

“I have to agree. This is the first time I have eaten food. Now that I have, I want to eat more.”

While they ate, Jacob and Leeanne talked, telling each other about their jobs. Leeanne decided that she liked Jacob. She would be interested in going out with him again. Yet he seemed guarded about himself. Sometimes when she asked him a personal question, he seemed to change the subject. She had talked freely about a couple of her dates and he did not mention anything about his.

The effect of the Satiation Suppression Pill were starting to wear off and she was starting to become full.

“I had a very good time,” Jacob said as they finished eating ice cream cones.

“Me too,” Leeanne said. While at the beginning of this date she had decided she would not tell him where she lived, she decided she wanted to go out with him again. Not alone was he handsome, he was mysterious. “Do you want my teleport address?” she asked.

Jacob was silent and slowly shook his head. “I am sorry, but we can not date anymore.”

Leeanne was silent for a second, “I understand. It is just that I thought we hit it off.”

“We did hit it off. However, it would not be fair to you if we did get married then you watch me as I grow older and age.”

“I don’t understand,” she said.

“I am twenty-one years old,” Jacob said. “However, I have been living for twenty-one years. My parents were poor and could not afford to have me born in the hospital like most people are born. They had learned how babies were born in ancient history and decided to have a baby the “natural” way.”

“How is it different? We are both twenty-one years old.”

“When I was born that way, I did not have the anti-aging gene. I am going to die at a much younger age than you If I am healthy, I can live well into my eighties and possibly a bit longer. See it wouldn’t be fair to you. You will not even begin to age when I die.”

“Actually, yes I will,” Leeanne said. “People born in the tubes can live for a long time, one hundred fifty to two hundred years. In my case no. You see, I was born without the anti-aging gene. This is a very rare condition; the odds of this happening are one in a billion.”

“Are you saying that you will grow older as I get older, age as I do?”

“Yes.”

Jacob smiled, making him even more handsome.

“I guess this changes things. Leeanne, do you want to go on another date with me.”

Leeanne smiled, happy that she met Jacob. “Yes, I want to very much.” Jacob embraced her and they began kissing.

Posted by: littleluluwrites | May 5, 2010

If Not For You

My life is a waste,
I thought to myself one night.
No accomplishments to my name,
No lives saved,
No lives impacted,
By my existence.

I wish just once
I could reach out
And just help somebody,
Where they would remember me.

A voice spoke in my head,
“You have affected many.
However, you are unaware
Of what you did.

“Do you remember the girl last month,
Who did not have enough
Money at the store?
It was only change.
But she remembered,
And will grow up to
Be very generous.

“Do you remember the boy
Who fell off his bike last month?
You helped him clean his knee
And put a band aid on.
It was only a scrape.
But he remembered,
And will grow up to
Be a Doctor.

“Do you remember yesterday,
At the library where you helped
A teen find something to read?
It was only a book.
But he remembered,
And will grow up to
Be a famous author.

“You see,” said the Lord God.
“Your life is not a waste.
You have touched many people.
They will not be
What they are in the future
If not for you.”

Posted by: littleluluwrites | May 5, 2010

The Man in My Life

I have a man in my life,
He is perfect in every way.
When I mess up,
He does not put me down.
He loves me unconditionally, though
Sometimes I don’t love him back.
He helps me with all my problems.
He is there for me,
Even when I want to be alone.
He always listens to me,
Even when I am complaining.
He sees me as a beautiful woman,
Even though I have many flaws.
The man in my life
Is perfect in every way.
Including the holes in
His hands and feet.

Posted by: littleluluwrites | May 5, 2010

Formed From Clay

I was formed
On the Potter’s Wheel.
Molding me from clay,
He shaped my very existence.
My life was formed from
His own, tender hands.
I look in the mirror
And see His creation.
What I think are flaws
Are His intentions.
He sees me as a
Perfect object, free from blemish.
Through life, as I become cracked,
He gently fixes the fractures,
Hiding the scars.
To Him I am an object of beauty,
Totally different from His other creations.

Posted by: littleluluwrites | May 5, 2010

Torn Apart and Put Back Together

hide from the forces
That are tearing me apart.
My soul is fractured
And in many fragments.
My life is in pieces
And can not be put together.
I come across obstacles,
But stumble over them.
How can I go on?
I am so overwhelmed.

Falling, I catch myself.
I open my eyes.
I see the pieces of my life
Scattered like a puzzle.
I realize what I must do.
My life needs a major overhaul.
Adjustments must be made.
I must make a change
Even though it will be difficult.

I take one day at a time;
Things seem bright each day.
I believe in myself
And follow my heart.
Putting the final piece together,
My life is whole.
Never again will I close my eyes
And lose sight of the beauty of
My life and this world.

Posted by: littleluluwrites | May 5, 2010

No Hope For Me

Broken promises,
Crushed dreams,
Something is amiss,
No hope for me.

Lack of faith,
Lost of self-esteem,
Lack of self-confidence,
No hope for me.

All is lost,
I can’t go on,
I am too weak,
No hope for me.

But wait a minute,
A Bright Light in the darkness
A strong sense of comfort,
There is hope for me.

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