Wednesday, February 21, 2018



Pasricha, Neil. “#458 Those Rare Moments When You’Re the Only Person on the Beach.” #458 Those Rare Moments When You’Re the Only Person on the Beach, Neil Pasricha, 20 July 2010,

            I was just about to sit down when I saw someone out the window. It was only for a second but I already knew who it was. I quickly exited the cafe. I found him walking right into the parade and quickly followed him inside. I almost gave up on the search because of how many people there were until I saw him.

            “Ale! Ale! Ale, wait up!” I shouted his name but he didn’t look back. After I caught up to him, I reached out and grabbed his shoulder. But it wasn’t him. Confused, I decided to go back home and relax. I mean what else are you gonna do on a Saturday? Be a “productive member of society”? Oh please.

            But that wasn’t the only ghost I saw today. When I was at the grocery store looking for something to eat, I saw another one out of the corner of my eye. I called out her name, hoping to get anything from her. 

            “Madi?” She stopped. So she did recognize me. 

            “Madi, is that you?” Still no response. I was about to walk up to her until she said something that I wish she had said a long time ago: “Goodbye.” 

            When I blinked, she was already at the exit, opening the door. I dropped everything and ran after her. When I got outside, she was on the other end of the block, heading towards the crosswalk. I was about to reach her until I got hit by a cyclist. While on the ground, I looked up and saw her still walking but then she… disappeared? It was at this point that I knew I was officially losing it. 

            I had lost my appetite by the time I got home. I was on my couch, feeling like I just had the worst hangover ever.

            I thought back to my old life before I came to Israel. Thought about my old friends. After they left me, I tried to move on. I tried to put past in the trash. But now they’re back and I have a massive headache to deal with now. I decided to sleep on it, thinking that I would feel better when I woke up. I didn’t. After I woke up though, Aaron texted me. 

            “Hey man, me and the squad are going to the fries place, wanna come?” I texted back saying yes because what else was I gonna do? Plus I haven’t eaten all day so he had me at “fries.” When I got there, I saw Aaron at a table for six, waiting for everyone else apparently.

            “You came fast,” he said.

            “Yeah well my house is just two blocks from here and I’m starving so don’t judge me,” I replied.

            “You ok man? You look like you just got hit by a bus.”

            “It was a bike actually. And I didn’t get any sleep last night. And I think I’m low-key hallucinating,” I said while he was still laughing about the bike.

            “What do you mean you’re hallucinating?” he said after he was done laughing.

            “I mean I saw them today.”

            “Who’s the-Ooooohhh.” he exclaimed after I gave him a look to remind him.

            “You haven’t talked to them in years right?”

            “Uh huh.”

            “They were the ones who ghosted you right-”

            “Yes.” I cut him off before he stepped on a mine.

            “Ok ok, I was just making sure.”

            “Sorry… I just don’t know why they’re popping up now. I don’t even care about them anymore you know, they left me and so I just moved on. I mean it’s their loss; their lives must be so bad right now without me. Why am I even talking about this right now? I don’t care about them anymore. I am a perfectly normal human being without them.”



            “You’re spilling water all over the floor.” That’s when I saw that my shoes were wet after I already filled up my glass to the top with the jug that was on the table.

            “Dang it.”

            “Yep. It definitely sounds like you’re over it,” he said while I was trying to clean up the mess.

            “I know right? I bet that if I saw one of them right now in front of me, I would just be like ‘Who are you?’ ” When I was done, I put my hand on the glass, ready to take a sip.

            Then another ghost literally appeared right in front of me and I crushed the glass out of sheer shock. I felt like I was having a heart attack. It wasn’t Ale or Madi. It was someone else. She smiled at me. I tried to say something but I was choking up.

            “Whoa, whoa, you good man?” asked Aaron. I was anything but good right now. She then started to walk out of the restaurant, wanting me to follow her.

            “Hey Aaron? I uh… I gotta go now.”

            “You just got here like a minute ago.”

            “Yeah, yeah, I know, I know, I just uh… forgot something back at my place. I’ll be right back.” I then ran out of the restaurant, not wanting her to get away like the others. But she was already at the entrance to the beach that was a block away from the restaurant. I sprinted towards her as fast as I could, looking like a madman, but she just kept getting farther away. By the time I got to the shore, she wasn’t anywhere anymore.

            “No, no, no, NO! DANG IIIIT!” I shouted in anger, falling to my knees when I was done. But when I looked up, I saw her near the water. I got up and slowly walked towards her but I still kept my distance.

            “Hi,” She said with a smile on her face.

            “Hi.” That was all I could say. You know that feeling you get when everything seems to be at peace? When everything just stands still? When everything just feels right? That was what this moment felt like.

            And I never wanted it to end.

The Maze

I’ve lost count of how long I’ve been in this maze, but it feels like forever. Every turn I make seems like the wrong turn but I just can’t tell. However, one thing is for sure: I want to get out. At the beginning, it was fun and easy, but now it feels like hard labor. Over time I’ve noticed a pattern: It seems that the more I roam this maze, the more difficult it gets. This explains my increasing want to give up, but I can’t. My mother would always tell me that giving up is like allowing yourself to drown, and my father always told me that the maze might feel tedious, exhausting, and painful at times, but it prepares you for what’s to come. As inspiring as my parents were, it was these thoughts and many others that have infested my head since the day I was born. No matter how hard I try to concentrate, thoughts, ideas, inventions and more keep jumping into my head, distracting me from the task at hands. But it’s different now; now it is life or death.
Today I found a door with “You are nearly there” carved into it. I enter the room beyond the door. Inside there was a watch—situated on a pedestal directly opposite the door I came through—and four more doors, each with a different theme. I walk up to the watch, to discover that there is a timer set for 60 minutes. I pick it up from the pedestal and the timer begins. Seconds later, the four doors open, some of which look fun and others that don’t. I make a quick decision and go straight through the door with “Multi” engraved into it, assuming that there are multiple routes to reach the end. As I anticipated, I see many routes with light at the end of all of them. I make a wild guess and run through the middle one. I reach the end of the middle route and find a button and a riddle “Haste and you will make mistakes, time is limited as the button is illuminated, complete for there is no retreat.” Naturally, I press the button, and the button instantly illuminates. Just then I realize that I need to complete all four routes to exit the maze. So I decide to worry about the riddle later, and without hesitation, I bolt down the route to get back to the room with four doors.
I completed the next three doors without making mistakes. I thought I was done until I got back to the room from the fourth door. The door to the room had words engraved into it, which was bizarre because it didn’t beforehand. However, what was more bizarre was what the engraving said: “Time. Survive. Exit.” Just then I remember the watch I took from the pedestal.
Sweat begins to run down my skin, for there are 15 minutes left. Water starts to enter the room from the door, so I kick the door open and run. The route is different than before but I don’t care. The only thing in my head now is the last engraving. I run as fast as my legs can take me, and after 5 minutes I reach the end of the route, water up to my hips, to find two buttons, one says “Mistake” and the other says “Haste.” Between the two buttons is a door with: “Haste creates mistakes, and mistakes create haste,” engraved on it.
“I don’t understand,” I say, “I just don’t understand.”
The water was up to my neck, tears running down my eyes because I know he is waiting there with his scythe. I don’t know how to accept death, and I never did.
“I don’t want to die,” I say, “I don’t want to die alone. I know I’ve made many mistakes in the past, but I was an impatient kid, and I grew from those mistakes, I swear! And they made me stronger! Please, I just don’t...wait...that’s it!”
The timer is at its last minute. I take my last breath, go underwater, and swim over to the button which says “Mistake.” I press it, and the water begins to lower. I am done, I tell myself. It’s over. I gasp for air, and look at the watch—one second left—and so I said, “just on time.” The door opened; class is over. I’m finished with my first ever timed-writing test in English, and now I can breathe.

The Two Americans

The Two Americans

I could hear the sound made by the heavy leather shoes hitting the grass like loud drums. My hands were shaking uncontrollably. My left leg was getting sore from sitting in the same position. Suddenly, I heard a dull voice coming from behind me: “Sergeant Schneider, when are we moving?” I stood there and made him a sign to keep quiet. The Americans were still climbing up the hill and our artilleries were being taken down by the F6F Hellcats. I was the commander of the 243rd infantry division and our mission was to retreat back to our lines. As we were preparing to get out of our underground bunker, I remembered my daughter’s words before I left the house. She wanted me to bring her a souvenir from France; she always dreamed of visiting France one day. Unfortunately, with the political condition that we had with France at the time, we couldn’t take her there. As I was the commander of the division I had to stand in front of the pack and open the door of the bunker. The old wheel that I had to turn to be able to lift the bolt and unlock the door was full of cracks and, as soon as I placed my hands on it, the paint peeled off on the ground. Before getting out, I picked up a blue rock that was down to my right and placed it in my pocket for my daughter if I ever saw her again one day. I climbed up the ladder to reach the hill. Suddenly I heard a loud gunshot which stunned me and I fell flat on the ground. I recall feeling the hot sand touching my face at the edges of the hill. I can’t remember how long I stayed there for, but when I slowly opened my eyes again, I was on a medical bed. I could feel the balancing of the bed when the two men were walking. The sun was hitting right on my face so I couldn't see them very well. The soldier in front of me was wearing the standard issue American army uniform. The man also had an armband with a cross to show that he was a doctor. I could barely move my head, but the two soldiers carried me away as far as possible from the fighting area. I didn’t understand why or where the Americans were taking me, but all that mattered is that they had saved my life. After walking for a while, the two American soldiers bandaged my left arm which was slightly injured near the elbow and placed a bandage over my right ear which was bleeding from the gunshot earlier. As soon as they place the bandage on my ear, I heard a loud humming as if I was getting shot near the ear all over again. The two men were talking to each other but I couldn’t understand what they were saying. They were sweating heavily and one of the men had only four fingers. We continued walking for another 2 hours until we arrived at a small river. They placed the bed on the ground and motioned me to stand up. When I stood up, I realized how tall the two men were; they were about 6 feet tall. One of the men took off his helmet and started rearranging his hair, which was all straightened from the helmet; he had short bright yellow hair. The man opened his bag, gave me a cup of water and a piece of bread. Then, the two Americans waved at me and said with a funny deep accent: “go dat wey” pointing at a direction and left. I had no idea at the time what they told me, but all that mattered was that they had saved my life. I went next to the river and poured some water on my face. At the time, I didn’t realize what had just happened to me. I was one of the few German soldiers to have survived the Normandy Landings on this day July 6, 1944. I spent the next 10 months hiding in France and trying to survive until the war was over. I went from farm to farm sleeping with cows and stealing their food. I also met a farmer who told me I could stay and sleep at his house until things came down. France was a beautiful country. I felt unhappy when I knew I was in a beautiful country but I had to stay hidden at all times. Almost a year later, the war ended. I returned peacefully to Germany to see my family again. A week after I returned to Germany, my daughter was turning seven. I told her the story about the rock I took in France but lost on my way to Germany, she laughed. After the war, I decided to give up my position in the army and to become a writer. I also changed my name to Wilson, so that people wouldn’t think anything bad if they would find out who I really was. Two months later, My family and I moved to France in a city called Nice. My daughter Elisa was really happy when I told her we were moving, she started crying of excitement and told me she was happy to go to France but sad to leave Germany. I answered: “Leaving Germany doesn't mean we will never go visit again!” She smiled. After two years in France, I already knew how to speak French. We were in love with this country. One day however, my wife wanted to go visit the place where I was saved by the American soldiers. I wasn’t sure If I wanted to go back but we went anyway. We walked along the coast for hours looking at the ruins of the British boats on the sand and the destroyed bunkers by the F6F planes. All these dark memories were coming back to me but suddenly, under a brown oak tree, I see a rock. The rock looked exactly like the one I had lost three years ago. I picked it up and analysed it carefully. The rock had a touch of blue with really sharp edges. I placed it in my pocket thinking about the two Americans who had saved my life. I looked at the clock it was 3 A.M. I put the pen down and stopped writing, closed the book and went to bed.

Someone is watching

Expulmonologist. “There Is No Try.” Http://, 14 Feb. 2014,

Have you ever had this feeling that you are being watched? Not that you are actually being followed, but everybody is looking at you. Even if they are trying to pretend that they are not. While I was thinking about it I bumped into my friend.

“Hey, sorry I was just in my thoughts.” I apologized helping her to pick up the books that she dropped.

“Don't worry. It's ok. By the way, how was the party yesterday?”

“It was pretty good, but I had to leave early.”

“Yeah I know, hope you are feeling better now"

“I'm fine. Thanks," I answered with a feeling that something is wrong. Wait, but how did she know that I was feeling bad yesterday? I told her nothing about the party. I opened my mouth, but she left before I could ask her anything. Well, somebody else must have told her; not a big deal. However, I wasn't feeling right.

My phone rang. This was my sister.

“Hey, wanted to say your new dress is amazing. Would you mind if I take it for today's night?” she was speaking fast and I think she was hurrying somewhere.

“Sure, you can take it."

With a side of my eye I saw something small, a size of the mosquito, flying around me. I became disturbed by this little thing that kept flying around. I wasn’t listening to what my sister was saying, until I realised something. I had this thought, sitting in the back of my head, which I hadn’t thought of at first.

“But how did you know about the dress?” She is coming back from another city only today. There is no way she would know about it.

“I don't understand you. Well, anyway, I need to go. Thanks again. Love you," she finished the call.

I stood in the middle of the hallway with a phone in my hand and staring just in front of me. The feeling of something is wrong was growing every second. The flying thing I noticed before kept bothering me. I tried to look closer to It, at first I couldn't spot anything. However, a second later, I saw more of them. They are very strange. They look like very small cameras. Millions of very small cameras. They are everywhere.They are flying around. I can feel them touching my skin. I can’t run away from those things. Why does nobody else notice them?

“What are those? What are those mini things?” I asked a group of people. They looked at me, as if I was crazy or weird, but nobody said anything. They just left.

“You’ll get used to them. Everyone does,” sad a black cat, whom I’ve never seen before, while sitting on the locker and playing with a small yellow ball.

“But why don't they see them?”

“They do and they don't. They are looking at them without actually seeing them. You'll soon learn how.”

“But…” before I could finish my question, the cat jumped down and said,“I don't have time, I need to go". I don't know how, but my bad feeling disappeared.

“Bye,” I said and then added “Look for your lost green ball near the gym."

The cat smiled, “Thank you.”

Twitch, Twitch, Step

       It was only at 2:36am that the feeling had finally returned to Joel’s limbs, and he had even managed to cut the restraints holding him down, using the knife he had hidden under the mattress just a day earlier. Twitch, twitch, step. Twitch, twitch, step. He was making his way to the door, careful not to make any noise. Twitch. Twitch, step. He was limping, his leg numb from his last attempt at escaping this prison. He was dragged back to his cell by two tall large powerful demons. Kicking and screaming, he begged them to let him go, and his leg got caught on the frame of the door. The room was small and dark. The only light coming in was from the dim hallway through the windows on the eastern wall. Joel dreaded those windows, the glass panes took away what little privacy the room provided, and did nothing to prevent him from catching a glimpse of the monsters, passing by every so often to haunt him. Even when they didn’t come for him, he could feel their glares, piercing through his skull. Twitch, twitch, step. He turned his head to look at the clock hanging on the wall, 2:57am. Contradictory to common knowledge, he knew the monsters came out less at night; the later and darker, the less likely he is to encounter one. He was almost there, and that night, he decided to use the windows to his advantage, looking out for any of the monsters roaming the hallway; it was empty. Twitch, twitch, step. Joel stood in front of the white door and took a deep breath, gripping the cold metal handle until his knuckles turned white. He shakily twisted the handle. Click. His eyes widened, realizing tonight he might finally escape. Opening the door, he peeked through the gap, the hall was still clear, so he took his first step and kept walking until the end of the hallway, where he stopped. Light was visible from around the corner, he recognized it as coming from the wraith’s room; he’s never seen the wraith, but her voice was something that had been carved into his memory. She always seemed to be talking to someone, but he never heard a second voice. He already made it to this point before, and knew he wouldn’t be caught if he crawled for then next twenty steps, so he did. Twitch, twitch, step. Twitch, twitch, step. As he got up from the floor, he heard the approaching voice of the one he had nicknamed ‘The Reaper.’ She could make him see death with a single touch. He hated her: her touch was painful and pierced through his skin as his body gave out until he could no longer move; if she saw him, it would all be over. With nowhere to hide, he could only press his back to the wall and hope she would keep walking straight and didn’t turn in his direction. She wasn’t alone; she was walking with the monster that haunted him the most, always asking him questions, trying to get him to talk, but Joel swore he would never speak. After they had passed he let out a breath he didn’t even realize he was holding, and then proceeded to turn another corner. ‘Just a little bit further’ he thought to himself, shutting his eyes as he passed through another hallway, surrounded by tortured voices; some screaming to be let out, others plagued by madness, telling him to stay. He was almost free. At the end of the next hallway he would turn right and then he would be standing at the door leading out of this nightmare. Twitch, twitch, step. He was walking faster now. Twitch, twitch, step. Twitch, twitch, step. Twitch, twitch, step. He had crossed half the remaining distance. Twitch, twitch, step. Twitch, twitch, step. He had never gotten this far, increasing his speed as he came closer and closer to the only barrier between that house of horrors and freedom. Twitch, twitch, step. That’s when Joel heard her, the wraith, her voice came from all around him, and echoed throughout the silent halls; “Attention all personnel, we are experiencing a code yellow, missing patient. I repeat, code yellow, missing patient.”
“Trans Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in Weston West Virginia.” Steve White Technology Thoughts and Ideas, Steve White, 18 Oct. 2010,

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Aging of the Youth, Youth of the Aged

Picture by Jirka Štrébl (my dad) 
My heart beats faster and faster every second, as the anticipation in the air thickens. I’ll be finally going to school
like my older brother that I always admired. My moms and my grandfather said that they came to support me,
but instead of trying to encourage me, they are taking pictures of me from every angle. I nervously look around
in the crowd for any familiar faces to try and escape this never ending shutter. Hearing the phrase “cheese” over
and over again, stacking up to the emmental-nervosa cheese with extra grated anticipation cheese that I had for
breakfast this morning, leaves me feeling nauseous. My mom tries to tell me to stand next to my brother so she
could take the billionth identical shot, but gets interrupted by a loud “Adriaaan!” shouted by my friend to me
from the other end of the crowd. I always liked my middle name better because I shared it with grandpa, so
all my friends called me by it.
The erased marks left on the blackboard and the sharp sound of the bell ringing, marked the end of my first day of school, washing away all the nervousness I felt that whole morning. The worst part of the day was about to start. My family owns a bakery and we always celebrate significant moments by inviting friends and relatives over to have a feast. Although I usually enjoy these family gatherings, and all the different baked goods, I wanted to go to the playground with my friends.
I squeezed my grandpa’s hand and waited for him to meet my eyes. “I know it’s a tradition to celebrate things in our bakery, but I really wanted to go play with my friends.” My grandpa took a deep breath and opened his mouth to speak, but I cut him off and continued to complain querulously.
“I wish I could be as old as my brother, he never has to come when he doesn’t want to and he doesn’t have to be home by sundown.” My grandpa gave me a genuine smile.
“Austin, don’t” I interrupted him again,
“My name is Adrian.” He looked confused for a second but then continued.
“Right, Adrian, sorry. Don’t rush your youth, enjoy it.  Although things might seem to be unfair to you now, you will come to understand them in time. I spent my whole childhood and adolescence always counting days to a certain event I was looking forward to, and one day I woke up to find out that I’m 80. Yes, being older has its own benefits but so does being young. Your mind knows no limits, and society’s views have not impacted you as much yet so you speak your mind at all times. You know how to have fun without any supplements behind your laughter and everything is new and interesting to you. The things that worry you now, won’t be even things you’ll be thinking about in the future. You don’t even know what I would give to be as young as you are, running in the fields without getting tired, shouting songs from the top of my lungs. To go back to my first love when the feeling of loving someone was so new, completely taking over me making me feel like my head was in the clouds. Don’t waste your youth worrying about aging, because when you’ll be aged you’ll spend it by reliving your youth. ”
I didn’t understand almost any of that at the time, my blank expression probably speaking for itself. I thought that my grandpa was very strange, and forgetting my name also wasn’t something usual, especially since he had the same name as me. He stopped talking, and his eyes shifted back to look at me. His soul returned to his body, drawing the wrinkles under his eyes, on his forehead and around his mouth, and making the shine of fireflies disappear from his eyes. “Come, let’s have some pastries, say hi to the rest of the family and then you can go play with your friends. How does that sound?” I happily nodded and skipped the rest of my way to the bakery.
From that day on, grandpa never called me by my name. He would tell the same stories over and over again, but when it got a little interesting he stopped talking as if he has forgotten what he was talking about. Things were getting worse when he yelled at my mom once because he didn’t know who she was. It didn’t take long for him to not recognize me as well.  
“Adrian Wilson” I froze, reading the name over and over again. The weather forecast said it was supposed to be sunny, but my eyes didn’t seem to stop watering and the world seemed to be desaturated, leaving me in black. I couldn’t bare listening to my relatives saying all those happy stories about him, having the image of him laying in the hospital bed engraved in my mind. Everything that grandpa told me came back to me. I tried to stop the rain from my eyes, meeting his that were frozen in time behind a frame surrounded by flowers. All the words he said before those that seemed to be in a different language or didn’t make sense to me, had a meaning. I went to my moms and hugged them tightly, not wanting to let go.
The next time the name Adrian Wilson will be engraved into stone, I won’t be able to read it.


Editor_J.Kim, Posted By: “3월 20일 마카롱데이 (Macaron Day).”, 8 Nov. 2017,

“Hey, did you hear about the new macaron shop across the street?”
“Are you talking about MARS?”
Oohh yess. Everybody’s talking about it in school.”
“They said the guy working there is hot.”
“Not you, Kev. The owner”
“Yeahhh. The owner is so young. He’s only like 28”
“You’re 18”
“Speaking of you working there, can you give us a discount?”
“If you say no, I’m not gonna share the study guide with you”
“Heyyy that’s so unfair.”
“Then give us some discount”
“I can't, but i’ll reserve a table”
“Okok. Everybody meet in front of MARS on Saturday at 3”
“You don’t have work that day, right?”
“Oh and BTW are you ok Emy? You looked like you had a fever today”
I’m fine. I think. Recently, I’m getting these chills easily and I feel so weak
“That’s why I told you to work out often”
This is why I don’t want to talk to you guys when I feel sick
“I’ll be fineee. Just don’t forget your promise Kev”
“Ofc better than failing the test”


The four of us - me, Emy, Kevin, and Victoria - have been best friends for 10 years in this small crappy village, where you couldn’t find anything special until recently. A new macaron shop came in this week. It’s being talked about by everyone because the macaron has cute and themed designs that vary with every season and event relevant during the month. Mostly the girls and women like it the most, as the owner of the shop is young and handsome. He’s not really my type, but who cares. He’s better than Kevin. Although, one by one, the children in the village are getting sick. And the symptoms started showing on Emy, too.

The small store has orangish-brownish brick walls with a large LED light saying MARS on the outside. The interior is designed like a bookstore including shelves with macarons on the sides, organized by color, size, and shape. In the middle, there is a table for the Summer Season Edition, and the counter faces the entrance from the back corner.

On the day of our MARS tour, for some reason, Emy didn’t show up on time. Kevin saved a table for us like he promised, and Victoria ordered the Summer Season Edition macarons. While we waited for Emy, we ate the macarons and talked about Kevin’s part-time job. The Summer Season Edition had 12 macarons; 4 macarons of 3 different flavors, “fluffy clouds”, “sunny pepper”, and “cool blue.” We got off topic and ended up talking about the hot owner. Victoria said even the way he spray-cleaned the AC was beautiful. Time passed by quickly and the clock struck 4, yet, Emy was still not here.

“Don’t tell me you forgot about our MARS tour”
“You just missed the best macarons ever.”
“BTW those were the last Summer Season Edition macarons coming out this year.”
“Yo those were so good”
“Emy you all right?”
“I’m so sorry guys. I don’t know why, but I think I got a cold”
“Like a really bad one”
“I can’t stop coughing and it’s hard to breathe”
“Whoa why?”
“Weren’t you fine 2 days ago?”
“Oh nooo. Did you go to the hospital?”
“I’m going tomorrow, but if I don’t get better, I’ll probably skip school this week”
“I hope you get well soon”
“Feel better!”
“We’ll come visit you on Monday.”
“Thanks guys, but don’t come. My mom said it might be contagious. My neighbor also felt the same as me, and she’s in the hospital now.”
“Don’t worry. We’re sure everything’s going to be fine”
“Aww thankssss <3”

While worrying about Emy, the three of us headed towards my house to watch the new movie Starfish. Kevin took the very last Summer Season Edition for Emy, and Victoria and I bought some candles and a get well card. I told my mom about what happened to Emy and turned on the T.V. Kevin was busy packaging the macarons, Victoria was writing the card, and I went to the bathroom. We were all so focused on what we were doing, not a single person heard the breaking news.

AC Disinfectants Causing Sepsis In Children

“Hey Kev, can you turn on the AC? It’s getting hot.”

Friday, February 16, 2018


Packa. “Well in Satalice, Prague.” Wikimedia Commons, Wikipedia, Prague, 18 Nov. 2007,,_Prague_Satalice.jpg.

“Good boy,” I said satisfied while Opie majestically went from galloping to trotting. It was a beautiful and sunny December day in Israel. I was riding through the strawberry fields of Even Yehuda, while listening to the songs of innocent birds and letting my thoughts peacefully fly through the air. This was everything I needed. The only thing that brought peace and joy into my world, full of complex problems and difficulties that nobody could solve. Even the psychologists haven’t been able to figure it out, but they just said that they were glad I wasn’t their daughter. But I never really cared because the only love I needed was from my beautiful brown Arabian stallion.
As it got darker I started to ride home. It was always hard and very sad to head home and go from my peaceful time with Opie. Especially because I knew I was going home to tedious and almost sad moments with my parents. It was like nobody could live up to the bond and friendship Opie and I had together - not even my parents. My parents were unemployed and our family wasn’t the best. We didn’t have a lot of money, and we didn’t even have the love to hold the family together. I liked to think of us as “the ones God created to make others feel better about themselves.” 
When I came home with Opie, it was almost completely dark. I silently stepped into the hallway and saw my parents half asleep on the old couch. The lights were dim and I could still smell the food they had eaten several minutes prior to my arrival. I tried to be as silent as possible in attempt to not wake them up, but as I stepped on the fourth and creaky step on the staircase, my mom suddenly called me with an annoying high pitched sound that I never expected she could get out so quickly after waking up. 

“How was school today?” she asked skeptically, knowing that I hated school and rarely showed up. 
I answered with a short “fine.”

My dad began talking with a serious voice, “there is something we have to tell you” he stated. “We have to sell the horse due to our economic problems.”

At least that’s what I think he said. I don’t remember it clearly since as soon as the words left his mouth they hit and wounded me like bullets. My eyes started tearing up and my knees felt weak. “It’s also time to for you to start focusing more on school now,” he continued while I was struggling to stand. Without thinking, I quickly ran out to Opie. He seemed confused even though he was always ready for a new adventure. I climbed on his back as quick as possible and left. I had no idea of where I wanted to go, but I remember that it felt right. I rode faster and faster, while the memory from back in the house flashed before my eyes like a movie scene. Opie galloped as fast as he could, and it was almost like we blended together. I also thought about the peaceful horse ride earlier that day. Back then I didn’t know any of this would happen, and I started to miss all the birds I had seen earlier as I rode through the strawberry fields. I missed the innocent way they flew around with nothing to worry about. Wherever Opie and I were going, we both knew it was going to be a better place. Suddenly, I saw a faint shape of a well and decided to approach it so that Opie could get some water. When we arrived at the well, I discovered that it was empty and there was a ladder going all the way down to the bottom of the well. It was really strange, but without second thought, I decided to climb down. Now thinking about it, I don’t know what made me mindlessly go down, but it is definitely something that changed my life. At the bottom of the well I discovered a place that would become my safeplace. A place where I could go and spend time for myself in times of trouble, and feel well. I found an important purpose to a mysterious and remote well.
Everyday for the next many years, whenever I would feel uncomfortable or my parents were in some kind of trouble, I would go to my well with Opie and just feel well.
So if your family is also in a bad situation and the psychologists are happy you are not their child, you should try to find your own well even though they can be very hard to find. And if you can’t find one for yourself, you can always come to my well and we can feel well together.

Cupid's Touch

“Red String of Fate .” Sketches, Doodles, and Tragedies, Tumblr, 24 Feb. 2014,

I met Hugo on a snowy day in December. I had spent my day pretty productively - I brought together 4 different couples who were fated for each other. I know it sounds bogus that I claim they were truly fated for each other, but I’m actually quite certain... see, I have a gift of sorts. Some have called it a blessing, and others have called it a curse. I’m still not firmly decided on either. In essence, I can see soulmates. I know, some people don’t believe soulmates exist, but I say “don’t shoot the messenger” - you can take it up with Cupid, not me. Nearly every person has a “love line,” or a string wrapped around their wrist that connects to another individual. If both halves of the couple are ready to be in a relationship, I can see their names woven together within the rope. There were only two instances when I witnessed soulmates finding each other firsthand, and each time they touched their love line began to strengthen and pull them towards each other. Hugo’s love line was unique. It extended from his wrist forward and then just…. stopped right in front of me. None of the love lines I’d ever encountered had just ended so abruptly. Even if their soulmate was dead - which has happened - the line is just half as thick as a normal love line. This was something completely new. Hugo figured that something was off, most likely from the expression of utter shock on my face. He seemed to be the sensitive type, so I didn’t quite know how to break it to him, but he actually took it very well. Bear in mind, this was the first marginally interesting thing that happened to me in my two years of matchmaking, so I was very committed to figuring out what was wrong, and (as is to be expected) Hugo was too.

We ended up pulling an all-nighter, reading and re-reading the few books I had on the general topic of love lines, but it’s not exactly something many people can write about. When we weren’t reading, we were discussing theories or just getting to know each other a bit better. He went home that morning, leaving his number and plans to meet at the library to see if they had any books on love lines.(It was a huge reach, but it was the only option we could think of).

I went to the library a little bit early to return the books I had and perhaps find some new ones. I walked around the corner of the philosophy section engrossed in the back of my new book and promptly collided with someone. As I glanced up to apologise, we both laughed. It was Hugo, but something was different. His love line (although still sticking straight out towards me), was glowing a bright red. I felt a swoop in my stomach as the shade of the line began to spread over my face.

“Oh, are you okay? Why are you so red?” Hugo began to rub his head where we had collided as his eyes met mine, anticipating an answer.

“Oh, uh - I…. your, your line is…. It’s glowing. Red.” I stammered out. He promptly turned a proper scarlet to the very tips of ears as he connected that fact to our crash course in love line lore last night.

“So…… maybe we should… uh, talk about that?” He began to fidget with the hem of his shirt.

“I- I’ll…. Can I talk to you later? I’ve got to go… do something. For my mom. Text me and we can figure it out.” 

I turned and veritably fled the situation. On the street everything looked different. All the love lines floated nebulously around me, making my vision faded and semi - hazy. Even the line between a couple that was holding hands and obviously in love was a vague pinkish tone.

We met at a little diner down the street from the library that evening. I slid into the booth across from Hugo; neither of us managing to make proper eye contact.

“I think I’ve figured it out,” I murmured. “Firstly, as you probably guessed, we’re soulmates, hence the glowing love line. But when I left yesterday I realised every other love line was fading, and…” I hesitantly placed my hand on his, and realised how much brighter our love line had become since the day before.

“And ours has only turned brighter, which only happens when….”

“When two people are falling more in love,” He finished quietly, finally lifting his eyes from their intent study of the table pattern. “But I thought…. I thought you can’t?

“I did too, but…. Well, here we are I guess. I do believe it, though. ”

“But if you don’t have your power, everyone else will have to survive without….you know….. What you do, and we can’t have that. What do we do?” He looked at me, his eyes swimming with worry and a hint of what I (perhaps wistfully) could have thought of as love. We both knew the most logical solution, but neither of us wanted it to be true. I had thought hard that afternoon, trying to wrap my mind around the idea that I could actually fall in love with someone. But I realized this morning when we collided in the library that being with him I can be myself, and he makes me genuinely happy.

And I finally knew what to do. This power that I’d been given, it really wasn’t a blessing or a curse. It was a gift, a gift for me because without it, the rest of the world can stumble through awkward first dates and heartbreaks, but without that gift,
I would never have been brave enough to find Hugo or love.

Six O'Clock

Sixoclockbook.” Hugging the Coast: A Celebration of Coastal Food and Travel, 

   Another day, another hour, another minute. I’m desperately watching the clock, waiting for it to strike six. I’ve had enough days filled with this boredom; they’re endless. No one even pays attention to me. I just sit in the corner by myself, watching people walk past me back and forth. Sometimes, they forget my existence, which gets into my head and stays there for days. I feel isolated, like I don’t belong. Why am I even here? Is this my life long prison?

    At times however, I hear a “tap tap tap.” I like to believe they do this to make sure I’m still alive, and somehow, I’m still breathing. I get so frustrated I sink to the bottom swaddled in my depressed thoughts. On some days they move me into a temporary holding pen while they wash my other place. It never gets too dirty though; there’s really nothing in here except for me; not even a friend or a plant, it’s just me. After every one of my tears is scrubbed off of my regular cell they put me back to my natural environment. Since everything becomes so clear I get to stare at my reflection. It’s the only kind of entertainment I find around here. Finally the time came; I watch the boy slowly get out of his seat, and with his eyes still on the computer screen, he reaches for a little round box sitting on a shelf above his bed. He shakes it, then twists it and finally opens it. While starting to walk towards me I get up and start moving, pacing, taking up all the tiny area I have as fast as I can. Afterall I can’t help it; it’s happy time! I get this rush of happiness that makes me so energetic I have to let it out. It’s exactly 6 o'clock, and the boy puts the box above and tilts it towards me. Little pieces of heaven start falling. As soon as one lands I swim for it and eat it with a big gulp, another one flakes the water, another one, another one, and another one. The boy closes the box and puts it back on the shelf. Well, I guess that is that for today. Happy time is over.

    I live in a crystal clear tank with only my reflection there as a source of entertainment. Depressing I know, yet I stay alive. I turn the littlest things around to create moments of sheer happiness that keep me going. Moments like when the clock strikes six and I get fed. I might live a gloomy life but inside I stay bright.