for no decipherable reason except the obvious one, i can't do anything aside from wake up on weekends and pour hot coffee down my throat and then promptly return to my position in bed, curled around a laptop, streaming the most shallow plotlines into my barely cognizant brain. it(more) doesn't matter what i stream. it only matters that i vegetate in front of the light-filled object, move as little as possible and wait for the throbbing in my head to pass.
not sick. slept well. this is just what it looks like during the weekend after the first week of teaching.
are you drunk? my roommates asked. no, really. you seem drunk.
last week i met the 6th graders and they were lovely energetic kids with sponges for brains. my brain on the other hand is tired. i walked into a classroom and said things again and again until i wasn't sure who i said those things to. i wrote those things on the board. i tapped the desks of kids off task. i complimented students who were prepared. good job for following directions.
for now, it is enough for me to show up to work. it is enough for me to buy groceries on weekends, do laundry, make lists from the bed. soon, hopefully soon i will leave bed in pursuit of other adventures.
teaching is the big adventure, and it takes everything i have to do it well. i'm excited because this is real and its happening, but also because on monday morning, the children will shuffle in again, and it will feel right. (less)
I picked up the pen hesitantly, rolling it between my fingers between taking a deep breath and, with a loathing glance at the man before me, signed my name at the bottom of the paper.
"Congratulations," said the man, his strange features twisting into what was supposed to b(more)e a smile. "You have officially sold your soul to the devil." (less)
He followed you. He always follows you, even though you're caustic, even though you're a coward, he follows you like you're someone worth following.
That was probably his first mistake.
(more) Your mistake was thinking he'd actually listen and take the opportunity to escape while you held them off. It's probably what you would've done. But no, of course the bastard comes back for you, of course he salvages your piss-poor plan, and of course he's the one that gets stabbed saving you from your own stupidity.
He's laid out on the dirt, barely conscious. His shirt, torn and filthy, has been tossed aside so you can actually see the damage. The fire still rages behind you, but you're pretty sure if you move him any more his chances of survival will plummet exponentially. There's blood everywhere and it's not stopping, and you're wracking your brain about what you're supposed to know about tourniquets and pressure and gauze and shit, there's no supplies, there's no time, and he's still bleeding.
You look at your sword.
You look at the fire.
"Hey," you croak, voice hoarse from the smoke. "You look like absolute shit."
He huffs, and you can almost hear his signature smile. "Your bedside manner is terrible."
Gripping your sword, you take a deep breath. "I'm gonna try something. I'm gonna try something and get you out of this alive, and it's going to hurt like a bitch, but you gotta promise me you're gonna stay with me, okay? "
"'Course," he mumbles groggily. "Who else is going to look after you?"
After checking for splinters, you shove the handle of your pocket knife in his face. "Bite this," you advise, and you get to work.(less)
How many of them would have become Doctors? Teachers? Or great men and women who's passions would have made the world flourish like never before?
Individuals who will have everything stripped away from them in an instant. All their dreams, belongings, and everyone they've ever known or loved(more). All turned to ash.
What about those who have never known love... true love! They will never have the chance to experience that one thing that brings life such unbridled meaning and purpose to life.
And the children... oh god the children...
"You are certain that this will end the war?"
"Sir, a move this bold cannot be ignored. Surrender will be the only option afterwards. We'll be saving the lives of thousands of our soldiers in the process."
What a fickle and seemingly unimportant object. A basic tool used day in and day out with little care or thought towards implication. But today, it and a small scribble representing my consent stands between it and destiny. Do I have a choice? And if there is a god, can he forgive me for what I'm about to do?
There was the paper. There was the pen. All that was needed was a name.
"Sign right there, Sal."
Salamander Theoman looked over the paper and frowned. "Don't you know what my name there will do, Col? What I'm doing?" he asked.
"All I care about(more) is it getting done," answered Col. "It's up to you to see it through. I've considered the implications and believe it is the right decision. The population needs to be restrained. The death toll is too high, and we need to keep everyone protected. It's for their own good."
"What if they rebel? I don't want my neck on the line, and I certainly don't need more people getting themselves killed."
"They won't if they know what's good for them. If some do rebel, I have ways to quell them quickly. Sign it."
"What if a Niux rebels?"
Col sat silent for a moment. He looked out the window, seeing the courtyard of the Council building and viewing the city. There was a fire. "Then Gods help us."
Sal took the pen. "The Gods do not help us. We must help ourselves. If the Niux do rebel, there'll be death to pay. Prepare your men," he wrote on the paper. 'SALAMANDER THEOMAN.' "It's time to end this war once and for all."(less)