My name is Isa Mercy, I want to share a story about my life which is more like a mystery. I was born from a family of seven, and I'm the second born child, and my parent were very poor; The Isa family is a very happy family except from the fact that we lack money, money was a major problem for us. My parent lived opposite my maternal grandmother , most of the time I get to stay with her. My grandma was not happy about how we were living, so she wanted us to live a good life,go to good schools and become something better in future My grandma has a lot of niece in the city that are doing well, so she talked to my parent about it and encouraged me to go live with them, which I eventually did; though it wasn't easy for us all. Few months later I started living with my mom's cousin in the city with her two children, and I was 10 years of age then. Before I started living with my aunty, I noticed that there was something that was different, I was different from my siblings,besides in terms of behavior, attitude, complexion and even with the food they eat, and I was a weakling besides even my grandma calls me air in her native language because I have no energy in my body, and most of the time I always feel that I was picked from the bush cause everything about me was totally different from the rest of my siblings; even though it never really borders my parents besides I was more like their favorite child. But my dad's best friends didn't like me much and I didn't like them either because whenever they come around they will always tease me of being different from my siblings, and they don't know where my parent picked me from and they keep saying that whenever they come and my dad will just laugh about it that is all a joke even though I didn't see it as one. So whenever they leave I will ask my dad why I'm I so different from the rest of my siblings and he will always say,is the things that make you different from others that makes you special; so whenever he says that I will feel happy and special again. But when I was with my parent I always feel that one of them was not my biological parent especially my dad. Years past I stopped thinking about who my biological father was actually, I didn't care anymore but I started praying to be adopted by a rich parent; besides all my life I've always wish I had a rich parent, I always get jealous whenever I see rich dad's and mom with their kids, I will always wish I was their child. In Nigeria children without rich parent are regarded as worthless, their like a nobody,a lot of people look so down on them, besides these were one of the things I suffered from living with people. I've lived with people for years besides I even got a middle name which is "somebody whose father does not have money" . which is very painful and that's why I will always wish of being adopted by a rich parent. Living with people is very hard especially when your parent has nothing to offer, you "I'll suffer all your life . One of the things that have made life easy and fun for me is imagination, I always imagine having a rich parent and living a good life and what I want to become in future. Besides whenever I'm not thinking about those things I'm never happy. years passed; I was still praying and hopping to be adopted a rich parent, until May 10th 2020, when I got a shocking revelation. I've lived with my aunt for years, I'm very familiar with her and her siblings, and all her siblings are are doing well like her, but out of all her siblings,is only her younger sister that married a rich man, the man is known as the riches in-law in the family, and his very friendly and lively with people and his name is Bobby and he owns a very big house that can accommodate allot of people. So every holiday we'll always wish to go there, until it became a routine,every holiday we'll always go there and spend like two weeks there with his wife and three children, and whenever we go there I always admire him and wish I had a rich dad like him; until may 10,2020 , when I had a dream that Bobby was my biological father and not Isa . The next day I prayed to God to prove it to me if Bobby was actually my biological father, and God did and not just once but in several occasions God proved it to me that he was my biological father. Months past I went deep into the case and I discovered that Bobby and my mom with my aunty and her siblings were all neighbors until he got married to my aunt's younger sister and moved to the city. The shocking part of it is that he knows that he has a daughter somewhere else but never border to go look for her and all this while I've been praying of having a rich dad not knowing that I actually have one, but it's so sad that he never even try coming to me and I also don't wish to go to him either .
She lay sprawled on the couch as sunlight slowly warmed her body. For Agnes, it didn't get any better than that. Everyone told her that she was gorgeous, and she knew she was: one foot tall, piercing copper eyes with the softest black hair imaginable that covered her entire body, and a resting facial expression that can only be described as a person impatiently waiting to speak with the manager. Gorgeous was the only word that made sense. The humans, or staff to Agnes, shouldn't be back to the office until later so she planned her day: napping until whenever the hell she felt like getting up, eat some food, and wait to glare at her staff when they walk in the door. “DING DONG!” Agnes jumped and stared. She knew that sound. That sound came from somewhere above and usually indicated that her staff was arriving. Why are they here? She didn't even get a chance to take a nap or have her fourth breakfast. Agnes rolled over, sat back on her legs, and glared at the front door. The door slowly opened and one of the humans walked in. They walked over to her and Agnes, a gracious host, allowed three (only three) strokes of her hair before she needed to get on with her day. Shortly after, the other human came home. What the hell is going on?! Why are they both here?! Both seemed frantic which was amusing to Agnes. She kept hearing “COVID” and “stay at home”, but Agnes isn't bilingual, so she ignored the words while purring at the chaos. Time went on and Agnes saw the days getting longer. WHY ARE THEY STILL HERE?! Everything is all wrong! Agnes is unable to sun herself in her favorite spots because one of the stupid humans put something called “desk” in her morning nap spot, the other is on the phone CONSTANTLY, and both are here…. every…freaking…day. What did she do to deserve this?! Agnes acknowledged that she could have been nicer, allowed for more hair strokes (employees deserve bonuses), and could have encouraged autonomy but damn it she had a schedule! While she did her share of complaining, she did notice some perks with them being there. She was able to get her favorite snacks throughout the ENTIRE day, began a rigorous cardio routine because the humans released the very fast red bug from the small silver tube that flies along the floor while Agnes sprinted to keep up, and she finally trained them to stroke her hair in a way that was enjoyable for both parties. One of the humans also made space on the thing called “desk” which has now become her primary napping spot. Agnes missed her alone time, but she started to see the benefit of working with her employees. As time went on, Agnes noticed the humans weren't as annoying as they were before. In fact, she enjoyed their presence! She greeted them when they walked into the room, allowed for them to pet her as many times as they wanted, and couldn't wait to nap with her staff on “desk”. Subtly, her staff would be away from the office for periods of time which worried her, but they were still at the office most of the time. This changed when the word “vaccine” started to creep into her ears. Being the most intelligent of her kind, Agnes learned that “vaccine” was going to allow her employees to leave the office for longer periods of time. She became frantic. Does this mean that the one named “Ben” won't be talking to her while they are both at “desk”? Will the one called “Michael” not be giving Agnes snacks throughout the day? What's going to happen to the little red bug in the tube if they are not released? She needed to know and was determined to keep her staff at the office indefinitely. Agnes created a three-step mission that would interfere with anyone attempting to leave. First, she planned to throw her entire body weight on their clothes before they change. There was NO WAY they would be able to move her. Next, she would sit in front of the kitchen counter where her humans get something to drink. Clearly, they wouldn't dare to move past. If all else failed, she would rub her hair against their legs while purring to emotionally manipulate her staff. The staff loved the silkiness of her hair. Unfortunately for Agnes, her plans haven't worked, but she is hopeful and consistent. Each day, Agnes continues her efforts to keep her staff at the office, and each day her staff thwarts her plans. While this may be defeating for some, it is not for Agnes. She knows that they will be coming home and knows that they will be so happy to see her when they walk through the door. Agnes fondly remembers playing video games with her staff, weaving between their legs while they are cooking, watching movies that scare the one called “Michael” while making the one called “Ben” laugh, and waking up from her many naps to see her staff working away. Today, Agnes sits on “desk” and watches her humans walk out of sight. She knows that they will be back, tomorrow is another day, and her plan will work. But right now, Agnes can't help but wish that they were still here.
It was a warm Saturday morning in late July 1996. I was 9; almost 10. The birds were chirping in excitement, the morning dew, fresh and still, dripping from the tree leaves. I had been prepped hard for this day. Daily memory “drills”, 6 hours of schoolwork and 2 hours of home tutorials 3 times a week, learning new words and watching for current affairs updates from the local TV news. Like an athlete, I was primed, ripped and ready for this day. No stone was left unturned. My teachers rated me so highly, my parents never expected any less. I had progressed quickly through the 1st chain link of the famous 6-3-3-4 National educational system, with a “double promotion” in Class 4. Time was a blur. I kept outdoing myself, excelling in my grades and beating the competition. The National Common Entrance examination that year had been a great success, I was the best in my examination center, though one of the youngest candidates. I scored 503/600, if I re-collect. I was sure to get admitted into both Federal high schools selected. However, I wanted a lot more. Parents/Guardians were told to drop off their kids/wards at the school gate, so I parted from my mum with last minute pep-talks, prayers and "pocket money" (the favorite part). With the accreditation and registration processes completed, I was allotted a classroom and seat number. The exams started right on time. The first part – Mathematics & Quantitative Reasoning - was a landslide victory – I crunch numbers in my sleep. I needed the Part B of the exam to go just as well – English Language, Current Affairs & Verbal Reasoning. I knew the pass mark needed to secure a place at the International School, University of Lagos, one of the most prestigious high schools in Nigeria. The Part B section started after the lunch break. It was all going well till I hit a roadblock. There was an essay question, which read, "write an essay, about 150 words on 'Nigeria of my Dreams' ". I read the question again. I read it a third time. “This must be a mistake”, I thought. It didn't sound right to me. I looked around the hall, with my naive, pearly eyes. No other candidate seemed bothered. The room roared on in the ambience of a properly invigilated exam. I felt I was in trouble. How was I supposed to react? Where do I start? Do I have to fall sleep to come up with this dream? Don't we all only dream at night while we sleep? What if the heavens refuse to give me this dream within the required time frame? How do I select a specific dream, dream that dream, wake up and write about it? Would I wake up on time? I just had about 2 hours to write this exam section. I gazed at this problem statement, flipped, twitched and steered. Finally, my guardian angel whispered in my ears. “Leave this section, write the other sections and come back here”. I scrambled through the other exam sections, filled and shaded answers as the clock ticked away. Just as I finished and moved to get back to the essay question, I heard those 2 magic words, “Pens Up”. I felt it was all over. I had let myself and many people down. What would I tell my parents? How do I explain that we were asked to dream and write about it, and I couldn't do either? How could this be happening to me? “My teachers must have left this out; they did not teach me”. That was my conclusion, with my tail firmly tucked between my legs, as I walked towards the school main gate. I squinted from a distance to see if my mother was there waiting. I knew she would ask how I fared and would try to assess my body language. I had learnt not to lie to her pretty early, I wasn't taking a chance this time. I only managed to get a few in till I flew out of her nest to build mine. I happily told her that Part A went well. She knew my capabilities, no surprises here, smiles all round. Then to the bad news, Part B. I told her what happened. She listened intently, laughed and told me what was expected by the examiners. The scales instantly fell off my eyes. How was I supposed to know? I wish they framed it clearer. Could I possibly go back and fill this section? Of course, only in my dreams. I was consoled with an ice cream cone and we drove back home. My father laughed and sympathized with me but was confident I would make the pass list. The next few weeks were a nervous wait, a heavy weight. The hours and days gently strolled by. I could not bear the thoughts of failing an entrance examination into a prestigious school. My mother had left her senior teaching position at a State Secondary school and took a few steps down the career ladder to accept a teaching role at this school, just to ensure that my father only paid discounted school fees for my siblings and I. How could I let her down? How could I let us down? Finally, the news broke. I passed the exams, went on to pass the interviews and was admitted into ISL, UNILAG. I was overjoyed and relieved that I had kept my own side of the bargain. My younger siblings also made the cut in their times.
Smiling with one knee on the ground, his elbows resting on his legs with his hands outstretched, showing the whole world gathered in this small diner the diamond engagement ring glistering in the bright light before mouthing those four words. "Will You Marry Me Mabel" he confessed. Absolute shock ran straight from the top of my head to the tip of my toes making me rooted to the spot with my mouth hanging open in the most unladylike manner. I am completely blank and thrown off guard by his question that he must have taken my silence as part of the euphoria that comes with such an important question, so he pushed some more. "Mabel, Please Say Yes" Mark's voice pierced through the fog covering my mind snapping me out of that state of silence. I looked down into the depths of those soft black eyes that had captivated my heart from the first moment I met him, pulling me in unconsciously and holding me prisoner even till this day two years later and I saw undying love, devotion, trust and happiness, all playing in a loop as he stared at me waiting for an answer and the whole room faded away leaving just me and him. My heart bleed for the evil I was about to commit to a man who did nothing wrong but love me unconditionally for who I was. A man who took great care of me in my worst days and was my rock and pillar when I needed it. He was my Knight in shining armor, a shoulder when I needed comfort and a soldier when I needed rescue. Being my safe haven will be the understatement of the year, he was a man with a heart of gold and I was about to burn down his world to ashes. The first tear dropped… Springing to his feet, He immediately enveloped me in his arms and cocooned me with his warmth while the reassuring strokes of his fingers moving up and down my back made me calm. "Shush Honey, I didn't mean to overwhelm you with all of this" he crooned softly in my ears which sounded like a lullaby. The time felt right and I want to spend every waking moment of my life with you wrapped in my arms. I am so sorry for springing this on you, I just wanted today to be special and memorable as it would signal the start of our new life together. You are the light of my life Mabel and I want to spend the rest of my days with you. The dam I had been restraining all night overflowed and spilled out… FULL FOLDER HERE.... https://www.dropbox.com/s/lqm3ckkk8rlpdya/TWISTS%20AND%20THORNS.docx?dl=0
Everything that has occurred is reminiscent of what makes us OURSELVES.As a species of the human race, the number of things you can lose will increase, it never ceases to zero. Even after demise, one is oblivious of free-will or destiny in this topsy-turvy realm. Reality check: I'm back to my phase space, contemplating a nuanced interaction with a girl. I find myself in the middle of the street on my way to school. Defying destiny is just my forte, but how far can it go! A new random girl (say “Mayuri') walks up to me, asking me to recite a poem for her, which I do gladly. Days pass by and her disappearance is perturbing my mind & lo & behold, she shows up, dispirited. I catch up to her to figure it out, I come to know about how traumatizing local “civil wars” could be. She asks me to be her best friend if that's fine, to which I concur. It's ridiculously outrageous how CHOICES can delineate someone, yet, we may never accord with the same. Being able to love without bounds might be the best feeling EVER, that is, while it lasts. Things started to get better for the both of us. I, helping her with her insecurities; her optimism & smile could make me forget the anxiety that my life's problems could give. But appearances can be pretty deceiving. Brutal fights in her family affected her devastatingly, she was doomed, despite the infinite love and care that I could give her; neither was I old enough to be able to be with her, nor was she mature enough for that and she, being from a lower “caste” was often humiliated in societies & public rendezvous. Even her parents forbade me to even SEE her, but I knew she needed me desperately. Both our lives had been a menace, entirely contrasting realms when we're not together, but the synchronization gave exceptional stability for some time. Through another girl, I came to know about a certain incident that shattered her, figuring out how addicted she was to drugs. Not that she loved having them, but rather forced by a group of guys. I confronted her, but she just lied as usual, saying that it was just a rumor. She deluded me as she wanted my happiness, never caring about herself. I trailed her past school-time one day, unearthing the secret “warehouse” of the drug mafias, composed of late teenagers. I summed up everything in that time-frame and premeditated tactfully, as I had to put a stop to their plans, when she'd leave for the drugs again. Unfortunately, I was captured, but then, I was elated they didn't have any weapons. She begged for my life, but they said, “Your life is as good as over”. That's when the police arrested them all, my bad they arrived a few min late; I fractured my ribs, legs as I was thrashed. She realized how passionately I loved her, but she just left me in the hospital, saying “good-bye”. I got out of the hospital in three weeks, she's still hiding her scars behind a smiling face, I promised her to never be so reckless again and she agreed for the last time. It was an arduous endeavor to get rid of her drug addiction, but she didn't ever take a drug again, just for my sole sake. Her parents never cared about her; her voice was suppressed all-her-life, something that changed ever since she loved me. For a few months, I was really busy; didn't see her since the closure of school. Much later, I discovered her freaking nightmares, dozens of suicide attempts in just 3 months, for which her parents blamed me. I gave my all to make it right, for I knew, if our love could rival that, it could eclipse any power in the world. I spent as much time as I could, only to “our” parents' dismay. I discerned she had potentially A FEW YEARS left (because of "Aplastic Anemia") and that I could NEVER ever see her again; she was going to be miles away. I decided to take my life; luckily, I BARELY dodged a 140kph car on the highway as I foresaw that I had to do WHATEVER it took to make her know LIFE, but I wanted her to see and feel it for herself, as my love was the sweetest “poison” for her. I had no choice but to shift to my LAST RESORT. The sole attainable way in those grim conditions was effective “brainwashing", without her ever reckoning the same. Gradually, I made her abhor me, yet in the process she found her “true self” & her vanquished pride, self-esteem, which she had lost. I lost my EVERYTHING, a broken man now, as I kept losing everything one-by-one. Lately, I came to know about her SURGERY outside the country in the COVID-19 phase. Although ~10% chance of success for her operation, gladly Mayuri made it out alive, but now she doesn't even feel I EXIST, but rather all her suffering was because of ME. No one would never know, but I DID resuscitate her with my love, instincts and showed her LIFE. This story may just fade into the dark, but my undying love for her never faded, even if I'm non-existent for her. I open my eyes, wipe the tears rolling down my cheeks, prepare myself to endure my “revolution” for the making of a new, bright WORLD!
This pot has been on the stove too long. Ignored by everyone in the kitchen. No one wants to pay attention to the froth spilling over the edge. Even I did my best to stay oblivious. My oldest told me to prepare. 'When you go to the store,' he'd tell me, 'just pick up an extra can of this or that. And make sure to get hand sanitizer, bleach, and alcohol.' He's always been a germaphobe, so I didn't listen. He's also been a bit of a conspiracy theorist. He also works in the Emergency Room of a downtown hospital in a massive city.
The Bethlem hospital for the mentally insane has existed since the year 1244. Originally an alms house for Holy Land Crusaders, it became a dumping ground for the incurably insane. The bestial care became public entertainment in the Victorian era, conditions so horrendous that it earned the nickname of ‘Bedlam'. Available in paperback on on Kindle.
I nibble on a cookie, my eyes transfixed on the puffs of smoke emerging from the peak of the volcano. My lips catch my breath before it can escape into the cool air. An ominous rumble echoes from within the shadows, and we watch in awestruck wonder as glowing orange chunks spew into the sky, racing past one another and grasping at the stars. Just out of reach, the embers relinquish their dream and streak back to earth, tumbling down the steep embankment until the shadows devour their brilliance. I wish I could watch this forever. It's early, but I say goodnight and duck into the tent, pulling another sweater over my head before burrowing into my sleeping bag. The rumbling lulls my eyelids to a close and I drift into sleep. I first notice the cold tickling my nose, and then the ache that clamps down on my shoulder as I roll over and dig for the watch inside my backpack pocket. 3:00 a.m. My fingers fumble for the zipper and I wiggle out of my sleeping bag, stuffing it into its sack and then sitting on it until the last hiss has escaped. I cram my feet into my hiking boots as I stumble to the door, shuffling along the edge of the path as the sand threatens to pull me down the precarious slope. Grabbing an outstretched hand, I pull myself safely into the light of the crackling fire. My backpack sends up a cloud of dust as it hits the ground and I puff hot air into my hands before bending down to tie my laces. I grab a bowl of oatmeal and a spoon, squishing between two others on a rickety bench. As the bowl begins to thaw my stiff fingers, the oatmeal glides down my throat with ease and smolders in my stomach like the embers in the fire. I've only just scraped the last remnants of breakfast onto my spoon when the guide calls for our attention. “Time to get moving if we want to make that sunrise!” He gestures up the volcano, our path cloaked by a blanket of shadows. With my backpack snugly fitted against my shoulders, I slip into the line and I run my fingers over my headlamp, fumbling for the button. For a brief moment the light shines and I can see how caked with dust my boots are, but then it fades and dies. Quickening my pace, I follow closely at the heels of the person in front of me, scrounging for what leftover light I can put my feet in. As we walk, my boots slowly begin to materialize out of the darkness, and I turn and pause for a moment. A warm orange glow is beginning to stretch across the purple clouds that cascade like ocean waves, and the glistening lights strewn across the hillsides are growing dim. Running out of time. My breath and feet fall into a rhythm for the next hour or so as we trudge up the winding path. As I emerge from a cluster of trees, the wind strikes my cheeks with sharp lashes. The burning only intensifies as we continue to scramble up higher, finally catching a glimpse of the other side of the volcano. I try to scrunch my face, but my numb cheeks hang lifelessly. Clenching my hands around my poles sends pain shooting through my fingers, but I grimace and wiggle them more. “Let's wait here for the others to catch up,” the guide announces as we duck behind a large boulder. I struggle to unclip the strap from my waist and tug open the zipper with my mittens on, but taking them off isn't an option since they're the only thing keeping my fingers from falling off. I yank another sweater from my pack and pull it over my head. I suck in a breath but the icy texture makes me shudder and regret it. By the time the last person has snuck behind the rock, I am eager to get going again. “This is the last stretch,” the guide comments, motioning up the formidable, steep hill. The sand collapses beneath my feet and I plunge my poles in ahead of me, pulling myself on top of them. I pause for a moment until I feel steady again. Two steps forward, one step back. Repeat. My eyes track the person stumbling upwards in front of me. Just make it to where they are. Good, that's good. Now up a little farther. I coax my shaking body from one checkpoint to the next, and my feet cry out in relief when they hit solid dirt rather than sand. I did it...I can't believe I did it! As I try to take in the view, I meet my friend's eyes and my lips explode into a grin as we throw ourselves into each other's arms. I shuffle closer to the edge of the volcano and sit down on a boulder to watch the sky. At last, the sun finally peeks over the horizon and warmth begins to stretch across the sea of clouds, casting sparkles across the hills. I can't help but wonder if the sun waited for me to get to the top before unveiling itself. The bottom of the clouds are bathed in warm yellow, while the tops are drenched in a deep violet that bleeds into the sky like a waterlogged painting. This is more beautiful than I ever could have imagined. The frigid air now feels exhilarating in my lungs. As I sit and gaze at the glowing horizon, I realize—I didn't conquer the volcano, I conquered myself.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. It has shaped me like these hands have sculpted countless bars of soap into monstrous faces. I'm a soul condemned to suffering, and these hands are the instruments of my torture. I'm a mountain that has finally become a pebble in this old river of life. For every ritual there's a habit, and for every habit there's a ritual. The most sacred ritual involves my hands, a tap and a bar of soap. I've sacrificed true love, watching it flow over my hands, drip down my fingers and disappear down the drain. I've watched my smile become a symbol of deceit. I've seen myself dying a thousand deaths in the soap-speckled mirror above the basin. This bathroom is my shelter, my sanctuary, my temple of self-worship and self-destruction in which I'm a selfish god. It's both my blessing and my curse. OCD is all I've ever known, and it's all I've ever wanted to forget. I double-check doors to see if they're locked and I'm still not sure why. Perhaps it's a futile attempt to keep my inner obsessions and compulsions out. I turn the key in the keyhole and I somehow feel reassured that everything is as it should be. I want to live forever. I want to end it all. I want to be present and absent and nothing at all. Everything goes away but these obsessions and compulsions remain, attached to me like a second shadow. I've blamed my father. I've blamed my psychiatrist. I've blamed everyone except myself for this invisible cancer eating away at my soul. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. I love it. I hate it. I guess it's as much a part of me as this old river of life is a part of the dead sea. Sometimes I feel like drowning, and sometimes I feel the urge to come up for one last breath. Either way there's hope in hopelessness. There's always hope, or so I'd like to believe.
King Henry VIII ruled over England from 1509 until 1547. He married six times, struggled with the Catholic Church, dissolved the English monasteries, started wars on a whim and executed more than 70,000 of his subjects. He was a complex mix of proud athlete, spoilt child and sexual predator, yet still became one of history's greatest English kings. The young Henry Tudor was never meant to be king it was supposed be his elder brother Arthur, the first born son of King Henry VII who won the crown from Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field in Leicestershire in 1485. King Henry VII, was very frugal and closely managed England's economy by raising taxes so that a prosperous kingdom would be passed to his son. England was always in danger of invasion from its powerful enemies, Spain and France. The king was determined to diminish this threat through a marital pact with Spain thus assuring a long lasting peace. Prince Arthur was to marry the King of Aragon's daughter, Catherine of Aragon which would cement the two countries in friendship. They were married in 1501 but Arthur suddenly died of the sweating sickness a few months later. This made the young Henry Tudor heir to the throne whilst Catherine of Aragon became an expensive embarrassment for both England and Spain. Prior to his brother's death Henry Tudor had lived the life of a wealthy young nobleman, he had enjoyed all of the privileges but avoided the responsibilities of an heir to the throne. He had lived an outdoor life, hunting and fishing, Henry excelled at physical sports such as archery, swordsmanship, wrestling and even tennis. He had become a free spirit. In addition Henry had a keen brain, finely nurtured by the best tutors in Europe which he shared with his brother. King Henry VII died in 1509, the young Henry being only eighteen years of age. Prior to his death the father had grave concerns about Catherine of Aragon and the possible collapse of the peace with Spain. He considered marrying young Henry to her, but the Catholic Church, the primary English religion, would not countenance such an option. His only hope was to persuade the Pope in Rome to issue a special dispensation based upon Arthur and Catherine's marriage never being consummated. The Pope eventually did this as a favour to the king rather than being based on proven facts. However, the young Henry initially refused, as a very pious religious scholar it conflicted with his Catholic teachings, although he finally recanted when requested by his father's dying wish. King Henry VIII and his Queen Catherine were crowned on 23rd June 1509 at Westminster Abbey. At the time Henry VIII was a fine specimen of six feet one inches tall and powerfully built. He had striking red hair and small watchful eyes. Living in an age where the average man rarely grew past five feet six inches, the new king must have appeared as a giant when moving amongst his people. Henry started his reign with good intentions. He recognised his father's rule had imposed excessive taxes and fostered corruption in the offices of power, he also saw the strain suffered by the average family when merely struggling to survive. To prove he would make things change he immediately arrested two of his father's most hated tax collectors and had them publically executed, he then redistributed a proportion of the taxes previously extorted from the poorest in society. This new king and queen soon became much loved, but Henry, unlike his father, was a spender. Fine clothes, expensive jewels, lavish settings and elaborate ceremonies became the order of the day and the kings court quickly became a running party for the most rich and famous nobles in the land. Still young, athletic and wallowing in self glory, Henry was hailed as the most handsome king in Europe. He was also a proud and boastful sportsman who would challenge any takers when an adoring audience could be attracted. Queen Catherine was also adored by the people in her own right and they were delighted when she fell pregnant at the thought of a male heir joining the fold. The king in readiness arranged great celebrations and jousting competitions, plus he had written hundreds of letters announcing the new prince's arrival. But when the child was born a girl, Mary, all such festivities were cancelled and the king's feigned joy of a first born soon faded. The king desperately wanted a son to follow the Tudor line and the queen's next pregnancies were miscarried or stillborn. Catherine was getting older and Henry took solace in his mistresses. One, Elisabeth Blount, gave him an illegitimate son which he acknowledged as Henry FitzRoy (son of the royal Henry), he was groomed for succession in the absence of a proper Tudor boy. But getting rid of Queen Catherine became the ‘Kings Great Matter' in a Catholic world where divorce was forbidden.
I recently lost my car (which I used to live in). I am currently living in low-income housing. I haven't worked in five months. I have no money for transportation (bus, or getting a ride from someone). I have had to cancel several job interviews because of transportation issues. I am currently taking several medications, one of which is critical for me, I haven't had them in over a month because I can't get transportation to the pharmacy and I don't have a dollar for the co-pay. I currently volunteer at a non-profit (it's within walking distance from my building). I won a funny (easter) bunny picture contest from radio station 104.7 (WAYZ). The prize was a $50 AC&T gift card. AC&T is a gas station/convenience store. I have no way to get to Greencastle, PA to pick up the card. I asked them to mail the card to me, but they said they couldn't mail it. So I told them to give the card to someone else. I am hoping my story will inspire someone perform a selfless act of kindness or to volunteer. No matter had bad your situation is, someone is always worse off than you.
"It's a bird!" "It's a plane!" "No it's...a star?" A fallen star, shining a bright white is descending in the air towards the New York City ground where everyone can see. It gets closer towards the ground within every passing second, and terrified screams echo in the busy streets from the by passers all watching in shock, curiosity, and fear of what this star could mean. Cars and individuals hurry to run away from under the star so they wouldn't get trapped underneath it when it finally hits the surface. Boom! An explosion erupts from a freshly formed crater, silencing all screams and sending every observers' ears ringing as they cover their faces to avoid debris and dust coming from the ground. Officers blow away the smoke and lean over the edge of the crater to see what sort of object has disrupted their town. But laying helplessly was no object, no star, no bird. Instead, it was a child, with weird markings on it's skin, indicating that they were definitely from another world.
My thirteen-year old grandson and I are flying together for the first time. Rainy England to sunny Spain. I hope to take him to Thailand to visit family there but first, secretly want to test his flying skills. I quickly learn he also has a hidden agenda; for the first time in his life to really, test my nana patience. During take-off he grabs my hand. In recent weeks he's been dodging family hugs and kisses - unless it's a pally high five you're not coming in. Talking him through any turns and tiny bumps I try further distraction with Pringles and Uno. “If you let go of the armrests we can play Uno. You'll give yourself cramp. Here, have a Pringle.” He gives a look I haven't seen before. One suggesting I'm a stranger. “Huh? I always sit like this.” Countless memories of him lounging disagree. Thrown, I use a wrong word. “Please, you'll give yourself dead arms.” I'm a jinx now. “Well, that won't matter if we crash, will it? All of me will be dead.” “Love, chances are we're not going to crash so it will matter when we land. I'm ancient! I can't carry all the bags myself!” Clearly, today I am ancient and, no longer funny. He looks away, sighing. “God.” But I do keep standards. “Please don't say that.” Which today he ignores. “Jeez. What's the time?” My patience rubs. “Please stop asking the time. Asking the time every five minutes won't get us there any quicker.Try to enjoy it! We're flying!” He's staring, “Don't remind me.What was that?!” “The wheels being released.” I sing a high-pitched joy, sweet joy. “We'll be landing soon!” Refusing my hand, he makes one last-ditch effort to pooh his teenage pants. Gripping knuckle white on the armrests he scrunches his eyes. “God. I hate landings. Landings are evil.” Distracted by his ears popping, something else on his loathe list, he misses the landing, looks up to see the cabin doors being opened: The ultimate despicable act, “Why are they putting the chute out?” Pettily I throw him the stranger look back. “Eh? Oh, they're not. We've landed, they're attaching the steps.” “God. I hate it when you don't know you've landed.” Had he been younger when we arrived in Barcelona I wondered if he would have done his happy dance. He used to do his happy dance whenever we'd had a tube journey in London and resurfaced back to fresh air. Arms and legs flying everywhere, singing nonsense at the top of his voice. Older, he reacts differently to stopping here. Waiting to disembark, “Hurry up. I need the toilet.” Highly likely, he refused to go an hour ago even though he said he was bursting. Queuing at Passport Control, “Get a move on. I'm starving.” Probably also true, he didn't eat anything because his hands were superglued to the armrests the entire time. Outside, standing for the coach transfer, “Whennn? I'm melting.” Remember this? I've brought him from rainy England to sunny Spain. FOR A SUNSHINE HOLIDAY. My patience flies. I lift my face skywards. “Me too. Lovely, isn't it? Can't wait to take my shoes off.” By way of some small sympathy I suggest he move to stand under shade. He stands his heated ground, “I want to see when the coach comes.” I dig deeper, “Would you like another drink?” As does he, “Nah, I want a shower.” Nah? What is nah? I flip a funny. “Nah? Lazybones! That's only half my name!” Deadpan, he comedies too. “Alright, Sal.” I ask, during our transfer to Calella, what he's looking forward to most. “Swimming pool? Beach? Paella in Calella?”. In a bid to lighten the mood again I pronounce my last option as flamboyantly Spanish as possible. Not colourful enough. “Getting there. The music he's playing is driving me mad.” I agree, try again. “Then Paella in Calella?” My foody persistence elicits a half smile a semi-agreeable palm wave, “As long as it hasn't got mussels in. I hate mussels in paella. They look… dead.” I give him that one, “They are.” My standards however, thrive, “Hate's a very strong word.” That old chestnut. “You always say that.” Here's a new one. “I don't really do beaches.” Too much to say, much too much. I bite my tongue, “Paella in Calella it is then!” Dramatically hand gesturing I accidentally flick him in the eye. “Ouch!” He bursts out laughing, playfully punches, “Nana! Stop beating me up!” Our travel agreement for the rest of that day can be summed up thus: Don't expect him to eat mussels or take his shoes off on the beach. Don't expect me to take his moodiness to heart or keep mine on. Naturally, he throws curve balls. One of them, “Do buses run from Barcelona to London. We could get the bus back?” is still winging its unquantified way through the airwaves somewhere. Another, “Nana, don't take this the wrong way but I think you might be going a bit deaf.” whooshes closely behind. Three months later, still honing our foreign flight compatibilities but now at, long haul speed, we arrive safely together in Bangkok. Our seven weeks stay in Thailand is anything but dull; some of our selfies even show us smiling.
Mackenzie St. Laurent April 23, 2018 Every thought is a battle, every breath is a war, and I don't think I'm winning anymore - unknown. This was how I felt approximately only 16 months ago. In December 2016 I tried to commit suicide. But I rose. I thought about my family in what I thought would be my last moments of life and it saved me. Depression is more than a feeling it is a cancer to your self esteem and your will to live. I was seven when I was exposed to the world of depression and anxiety - little did I know my life would fall apart. My sister was diagnosed with depression and anxiety in June 2013. But, she had already tried to commit suicide before. Just seven months earlier my father had been diagnosed with polymyositis which is an auto-immune disorder where your white blood cells attack your muscles. The doctors had to shut off his immune system so that his white blood cells would stop attacking his muscles. Needless to say, this really messed with my mind; I lost my childhood at the young age of 7. I started to have a little bit of anxiety in second grade, every time the class would get a call I thought it was my mom saying my father had died. When I entered fifth grade I did not care what anyone thought of me; my self esteem was easily 100. When I left fifth grade it was 0 I had no self esteem and naive little me thought it would get better in three months. I was could not have been more wrong. I came into sixth grade like a scared little puppy with it's tail between it's legs. I ended up quitting school a month into the school year to do online school. That did not work out but those 10 months out of school was one of the things that saved me. Now I am stronger than I have ever been and happier than I have ever been. Sometimes the girl who's always been there for everyone else, needs someone to be there for her. I still have depression I still have bad days but I know that my friends and family will always save me no matter what because, I AM LOVED!