Origins-Scene 6

“Pine trees rise through the clouds and soar up into the blue skies, bush clover spangled with dew drops sways in the autumn breeze; as I dip cold, pure water at the edge of the stream, a solitary white crane comes lolloping my way.” ― Baisao, The Old Tea Seller: Life and Zen Poetry in 18th Century Kyoto

Crane

White Crane

   Legs and arms arched in elliptical patterns of illusion like a ballerina’s Black Swan to my ugly duckling. The attack crashes through my arm block hammering my chest and pushing me backward. The buzz saw legs disappear and reappear behind my ankles in a sweep that swings my feet up and over my head. I hear the wind rush from my lungs before I feel the crush of breathlessness and pain from my unceremonious drop to the mat.

   “Dear God, Girl. How did you develop such speed and strength in that sweet little body of yours?”  I spoke to the stoic face offering me a hand up off the mat.

   My pride was ignoring the fact that someone sixty pounds lighter and seven inches shorter just whipped my ass in less than three seconds. My senses whispered there was more to my lovely Sentinel than she told me. The more I improved during our endless training sessions, the more she raised the bar, and the more pain I felt as she drilled me into the ground.

   “You try to plan, to see, to act. This slows you down and distracts your subconscious. I move in the moments of your blinded thoughts. Empty your mind and let the Dragon fight.”  Faith spoke with confidence like one accustomed to winning her battles.

   “Come, Nae Yong, I have something to show you.”

   “Is this going to hurt, Yobo?”

   “Yes,” she said with a certainty that ran a chill down my back.

* * *

   We hiked up to the peak of the mountain behind the house on a narrow path of crushed rock. The trail wound passed small statues that represented the twenty-eight Chinese astrological mansions. Stone gardens along the way marked the imaginary passage of time through the centuries of the Black Dragons.  

   We made a turn out from under the trees into the vast expanse of the pale blue sky diving down like a bird of prey into the dark sea at the edge of the horizon. Around the corner was a stone wall with a substantial timber-framed opening.  The timbers were painted red with gold calligraphy representing the seven virtues of the warrior. An imposing Dragon statue guarded the entrance. Faith stopped to read the virtues to me.

   “Nae Yong, tied to the virtues is the number seven buried deep in the psyche of every person. It is a lucky number in the east and the west. Seven is Yang and represents togetherness and the essence of life. The Warrior lives not as a single entity but as a team. Each person shares the nature of their life with their comrades.”

   “Over here,” she pointed, “is rectitude followed by courage and benevolence. At the top, is respect and on this side is honesty, honor, and loyalty.” Faith turned to me and paused as I took it all in before she continued.

   “This is our noble code that sets us apart from the citizens of the Black Dragons. Sentinels are like the old knights of western history. The Dragon Emperor is our King Arthur, and we are the knights of the round table. Our duty, our honor is to serve the Emperor and his Dragon Masters. To die in the service of our Masters and the Emperor is the highest honor we can achieve. We dedicate our life to the noble act of selfless service.”

  Faith’s dark eyes cut through me with a predatory gaze. She had this air of confidence and strength that was alluring in the depth of my subconscious. Still, there was a pause in my thoughts as I considered whether I was her Dragon mate or her prey.

   “Do you accept the challenge of our noble way of life, Nae Yong?”

   “Yes, Yes I do, Yobo. I haven’t wanted anything more in my life,” I replied with every bit of courage left in me. I felt I was about to step through a portal to a way of life that would lift me out of the dark pit I’d thrown myself into. To cleanse the dirty disgrace of my actions from my soul in those last days in Africa would free me to live, love, and fight again.

   “Then you must learn the way of the Dragon and take his blood in your body. Once you do that, you can never return to your old life,” She said in a firm tone.

   “I’m ready,” I replied.

   Faith nodded and turned toward the entrance and stopped beneath the gaze of the obsidian dragon. It looked down on the path like a wise old wizard, its eyes were yellow agates that glowed from the light of the sun.

   My spiritual guide kneeled at the feet of the dragon and placed her head on her hands. After a moment, she rose and bowed again in a time-honored ritual of respect for the symbol of her society of Dragons.

   I repeated the task with a sense of following the steps of many great fighters that went before me. I felt connected to this shrine and to the Black Dragons. It had the feel of coming home after a long journey.

   We passed through the gate to a circular pad of grass. The seaside plunged into the water more than a thousand feet below. The breeze blowing off the water rushed up the cliff creating a sound like the hum of monks in a temple. Faith’s hair lifted in the breeze that swirled around us and danced in beckoning waves.

   On the backside, pines with twisted trunks and limbs grew like spirits frozen in distorted poses. They stood there for hundreds of years emoting their last moment before the constant wind and rain locked them in their submissive shape.

   The sky grew solemn as the sun fell low in the sea. I watched as light glinted off the stones that marked the boundary of earth and wind. My Sentinel motioned for me to come to her. At that moment, two white cranes sailed by with open wings. They drifted on the currents rising from the cliff on their way to rest for the night. In Faith’s Dragon culture, the white cranes represented immortality and strong bonds.

   The scene and a thousand thoughts passed through my mind. I approached the person that was fast becoming a mythical creature in my subconscious. We put the pieces of our conversation away and sat in silence as the sky changed to a navy blue with a blaze of orange at the horizon.  

   The twisted pines trembled in their protest of the rising breeze that came as a cold breath across my goose-pimpled skin.  We sat cross-legged together and looked out across the dark sea. The water glowed with the bioluminescent lines of white-capped waves that came to us on the trade winds. I thought of Faith’s Mongol ancestors traversing the steppes on their ponies as the shifting lines of foam moved toward us.

   “Yobo, what was it like to accept the dragon’s blood?”  I asked in a whisper as I sought the warmth of Faith’s body in the chill wind. Her hand reached under my chin to my cheek as she kissed my face. It felt like a request for forgiveness for what I was about to hear.

* * *

   Rose stroked Faith’s hair with a brush into her manicured fingers. She made sure her thick hair was free of tangles. Deft fingers twisted the nervous child’s hair through a decorative hair tie. Rose stepped back with an approving smile.

   “You are such a cutie-pie, my little Sparrow,” Rose cooed causing Faith to smile.  

   Jasmine wandered around the clinic behind Master Chingis’ house looking at all the buzzing equipment. A couple of women in white smocks and cloth masks busied themselves with their work as dark eyes above the masks followed Jasmine’s every move.

   “Will it hurt, mother?”

   “No, my Sparrow. You will only dream of another world, and when you wake, you will begin to feel stronger in a few days.”

   “I’m scared.”

   “Jasmine and I are here with you. You can hold our hands, and we’ll sing to you while you take the treatment.”

   Jasmine sauntered over and flipped Faith’s ponytail to tease her. “I can’t wait for you to join us, Little Sparrow. The Dragon’s blood is like honey in your veins. Everything will smell brighter and taste better especially a man’s flesh. You’ll see.”

   Rose gave Jasmine a look that caused the older girl to move back from her Dragon Sister and drop her head. The corners of her mouth turned up in a disguised smile as some secret pleasure snaked through her mind.

   A young man in a doctor’s smock walked in and went straight to Faith seated in an examination chair.  He was kind to her and joked with her about school.  He handed her a stuffed panda and told her it would keep her company and that it was a brave panda.

   “Don’t worry,” He said with a disarming smile.

   The women finished collecting their vials and equipment. They approached from behind the chair as Rose and Jasmine stepped aside. The courtesans knew what came next. The look on their faces was empathy for the child and the excited knowledge she would soon be one of them.

   As the doctor entertained Faith, the women began to prep her. Faith looked on as they strapped her down. She was fine until the chair back lowered. Rose watched as the child she raised as her own whimpered. Her eyes looked wild with fright darting from one face to another seeking reassurance. Frantic fingers clutched the smiling panda.

   What they didn’t know was Faith had watched the Dragon consume Rose and Jasmine over the years. She had no fairy tale illusions of what her fate was. Rose’s little Sparrow was only eleven years old. She was already aged and experienced beyond her years.  

   The doctor placed a mask over the frightened child’s mouth and nose. He held his face close to hers so she could see him. He smiled and talked while one of the technicians stroked her arms and hair to calm her.  Within a few seconds, Faith’s eyes grew still and dull. The color drained from her face, and she took on the pallor of a corpse.

   The doctor’s demeanor changed. He ordered Rose and Jasmine out of the lab. The doctor and his technicians stripped Faith’s clothes. They inserted a catheter and a breathing tube. Next came the intravenous drip that would deliver the DNA of the dragon. Other probes and wires were attached and inserted here and there in Faith’s sensitive body.

   “Are we ready to start the IV?” The doctor asked with impatience.

   “Yes, doctor, “ one of the technicians replied.

   The deep red liquid eased down the tube toward the needle in Faith’s arm. The doctor watched with intense eyes. Within seconds, the young patient’s blood pressure skyrocketed. Her temperature elevated as her skin grew clammy.

   “Apply the shock treatment,” barked the doctor.

   Faith convulsed as the transformer hummed, cycled off, then hummed again. There was no turning back. Another Dragon Sister crossed the threshold into the way of the Black Dragon.


Image source: famille.ne.jp

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125 thoughts on “Origins-Scene 6

  1. Oof, this had me on edge. I have trouble with medical scenes especially involving IVs as I tend to get squeamish. At least you didn’t mention the needle. The masks with dark eyes…the strapping onto the table…thank goodness for the smiling panda! I needed that.

    I like how you split this up between present and past. And the humorous beginning with the ass-whipping was a nice touch.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the treatment scenes lend themselves well to psychological attack on the reader. It even creeps me out while I write it. We tend to see medical treatment and staff in a different light than something diabolical. When we twist that role around it really feels truly evil. But, with the Dragons, nothing is ever as it seems – good or bad. LOL! I’m glad you like the sparring scene. I’ve got stories and I can tell you that I learned quickly not to judge an opponent by size or gender. Mistakes in judgement always experience pain adjustments. Keep an eye on the panda. He’s a central character in the story. He doesn’t say much but he shows up a lot in the scenes. 😀

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        1. That poor panda gets a real workout from Faith. I love those stories too, especially when it’s me that survives. I had to choose a line of work that attracts incredibly large alpha males. They tend to deal with complex problems with simple, quick, and effective methods. They just crush the problem and it goes away. I tried very hard to never be a problem. I tell people I was a leopard that ran with lions. Lions like to clean their teeth with leopards after a big meal. They kept me on my toes. 😉

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  2. This is so odd. The last previous notification did not show me this note … Ugh!

    Oh, I am happy that you are going to try Tai Chi. It is slow, excruciating practise but it is good. To move about every bit of muscle in your body every day like that makes you even flexible even if you are 100 years old! LOL No joke on this one because my grandfather had lived his life until 120 years of his age and he did Tai Chi, drank loads of water, eating much veges & fruits, and fishes! What a healthy old man he was.

    Kids did try to bully me at school, but as soon as they saw that I was in Karate club everyone got scared. That was enough for me cause I don’t have to do anything against them. LOL

    But as a samurai, they don’t show themselves attacking anyone unless they go to the battle field. That is the only time when they will show themselves, exposed to the world and get killed easily. Samurai are at best doing the element of surprise and attacking in the shadows and you won’t know if anyone shot you with a poison dart. You shall never know who did it, either.

    Ninja are to be feared still until today because some secret societies of their own has their top assassins and you can never know who they are because they leave no trace, nor evidence of some sort. Even the police feared them. But warriors suppose to be protecting their folk, but in this case they are only protecting either their clan, families and their Masters. Even among themselves, they ought to be careful because a human heart can change into that of an enemy worse than you can imagine. To think that your enemy lives exactly under your own roof … Freaking scary, really …

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    1. Very good points, Sherrie. In my life I have seen some of our mightiest warriors struck down easily because someone surprises them and they have no time to defend. End of story. Assassins and proud warriors don’t live long lives in the light regardless if they do good or bad. One side always seeks the power by eliminating the other. Your grandfather is also amazing to live to 120 years. That is very rare for most societies. My grandfather is 101 and his family members have long lives up to 107 but it isn’t a good life unless one maintains health and sanity as your grandfather did. I hope to go another ten years. It is a short time but enough time to prepare and to find time to live and enjoy good moments. maybe in that ten years I’ll finish the Dragons and publish it. Then when people read it and say who is this fool, I’ll be safely underground so their mean words can’t find me. Bwaaaa haaaa haaaa! I will be a ghost and hopefully Carrie won’t have to come after me with her sword. 😀

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      1. I guessed, that my grandfather lived that long not only because he ate healthy food, but because also he do Tai Chi and moves and worked a lot. Not to the extreme, I mean, but he is active. And also plus that they lived deep in the jungle and drinking mountain water that flows down from up there as we lived close the foot of the mountain. There are no pollution in that place and even until today that area is still too far from the grasp of modern world. I love it that my village still holds on to their old world and tradition despite the world around them had changed so much. Except that, there are more concrete houses were built in the villages. But not much changes done except for the modern gadgets at home.

        I pray for the long life and of good health for you, Daniel! Stay fit!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you so much for the prayers and good wishes for health. That means a lot. More than I can say. I do promise to keep marching no matter what. I love the vision of your village. I’m sure it’s challenging life because one must work hard to sustain life but in such a pure and beautiful place it would all be worth it. I’m sure it is closer to how people should live and how our bodies were designed for nature living. Thank you and big Cyber Hugs. I shall pray for your good fortune and health as well. Chris too!

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          1. I too, must do more in the next future to come. It is not easy to keep up with you schedule when you have a job and kids under one roof. That is why it is important for me to always have short trip somewhere or short vacation to feast on new beauties and finding inspirations of my own to refresh my mind, thoughts, heart and soul.

            We try our best to stay fit, Daniel!
            Praying that our Three Blogoteers LIVE for FREEDOM and of good life!

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            1. Yes, Sherrie! What a wonderful way to say it. We will stick together, our merry band of Blogoteers, motivate and inspire one another and be a good listener when needed. Here’s a toast to Tai Chi, good green tea, ginseng, magic mushrooms, and a long, happy active, and prosperous life. Woo Hoo! 😀

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                1. Awesome to the max Sherrie. Someday we’ll get there even if it’s in one of our stories. Oh! I’m having my green tea with roasted rice right now. Can you see all the drops on the screen where I spilled it? Geez, where is my supernatural mushroom cleaner when I need it? 😆

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                    1. You got me started back on my green tea every day at lunch and i feel better already. I love Ramen with chicken, egg, and cheese with vegetables chopped up very fine. That is Asian Mac-n-cheese comfort food. I like all Asian noodles and rice with mung beans. Yummmm! I could make myself hungry right now.

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                    2. Did you know Ramen is a favorite food for the soldiers in the US Army. We take cases of Ramen with us. You can make it anywhere. We could add whatever we had to it and have a quick meal that gave us good energy. It was our secret weapon. LOL! 😆

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                    3. Oh, I did not know of this. The first time I heard it from you. As kids, we ate Ramen noodle just like that and my mother would shook her head. But it tasted really nice just as snacks. My kids do the same too, often enough that they left just the packets of spices on the cabinet. LOL

                      Ramen noodle are known as the warriors food too. They all eat noodles! hehehe …

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                    4. Here at every Asian shops and even the normal Western shops has all the Ramen noodles. I prefer to buy it at the Asian shop because it is way cheaper and they have many other choices of noodles from different Asian country. Just pity that they have not yet those noodles from Malaysia. My goodness! Those are really good. I had a few of Thai noodle, but my kids does not like some of its spices. But the normal Japanese Ramen noodles are their favourites.

                      You know, do you realize that in every martial arts movies, the warriors always eat noodles or rice? Make them all powerful, don’t you think? They don’t eat potatoes or something! LOL

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                    5. LOL! Noodles are the fuel of champions. I eat all kinds of noodle dishes and black rice, brown rice, and white rice every day. If I don’t have it, I miss it and don’t feel right. maybe if you can get some of the Malaysian noodles from your family or friends and show the shop keeper, they can order some for you to keep in stock. I’m sure your family wouldn’t be the only ones to enjoy them. I was surprised on my last visit to Heidelberg in 2008 how many Asian people live there, have shops, and also how many Asian tourists come to Germany. I made good friends with some of them because I walk into their shop and speak their language to them and they get a big shock and I get a big discount 🙂

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                    6. OMG! Heidelberg is where my mother in law used to stay and we visited her there often enough. Now, she had moved up to Nordsee with her new boyfriend and bought a house nearby the sea.

                      There are many Japanese up there living in Heidelberg and for one reason because one of the university is up there and there are loads of students in that place.

                      Our favourite place was to always have a long walk at the Philosophengärtchen.Philosophengärtchen.

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                    7. Oh yes, nice memories there for me. I miss the lifestyle. It was very soothing to me at that time. I lived in Augsburg then Ludwigsburg and later Kornwestheim. For a while I was on a small team of only 7 soldiers and we were always on the move and were hardly ever on a military base. This was the time I would stay in Munchen, Neu Ulm, Bad Tolz and Rosenheim/Bad Aibling. My work was hard but my off duty time was great.

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                    8. I got to learned a patriot as well and he always wrote of his past love stories in short writings & poems. He remembered his time with his buddy soldiers down at Sachsenhausen in Frankfurt and drank too much that evening! LOL

                      It seems you lived everywhere in Germany. Not even I live everywhere in this country, but I was often up there in France to visit my dearest cousin who lives closer to the border between Metz and Dijon. Not sure if this year I might drive to her because our summer holiday plans seems to be full of activities and she flew off to Malaysia the last week to visit our family already. So, by the time I return home from vacation, she is already at home in France. I think we might not cross each other’s path this time …

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                    9. Oh yes! I really did go all over Germany. I visited Sachsenhausen too. This was a favorite hangout for American soldiers stationed in that area and lots of partying and beer drinking took place there. Also, my head quarters was in Pirmasens near Zweibrucken. We used to sneak away to France in Bitche. We always laughed about that name because of the English meanings. Oh, that is a shame to miss your cousin but maybe there is another time. I always enjoy seeing family.

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                    10. I had once an ex-soldier boyfriend who stationed in Germany. But the relation lasted only three months as we both could see that it goes nowhere. He will soon be send off away to Afghanistan at that time and he has not the plan even to dive too deep into any relationship and I saw to it that I am not ready, either.

                      But we became good friends over the years and he is still not getting married. Don’t know what is with him because he was the only one that has not a girl yet. Sometimes he joked on it that perhaps he is a gay! LOL

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                    11. I think a very few men think enough of the woman and respect her that he doesn’t want to harm her with his military lifestyle. It is a hard life on a woman to have her man always gone never knowing if he comes back alive or the same person that left. He probably knew that and didn’t want to put you through it. It means secretly, he has a deep respect for your life and happiness. When his life settles down, he will too. that isn’t the only reason but I saw it enough in some men. Most of the younger ones want to find something to mate with and it doesn’t matter if she knows his name or not. They aren’t the ones to have a relationship with although they don’t mind paying the bill for whatever fun is to be had.

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                    12. Oh, dear … I remembered when I got to learned to know him, his friends were all surrounded by multiple female friends and they look more like cheap whore than normal girls. Except for one of his buddy who has a German girlfriend and she felt the same way when we get together at the pub with the others.

                      I remembered we laughed on it because she was so relieved that a normal girl like me was in the group and she hangs with me too, the whole evening. The other soldiers were like licking and kissing the girls in both arms – does not matter which girls, but for as long they have the female company, they act like they are in No Man’s Land.

                      But still, gladly that as soldiers they do take care of their brothers when something went wrong and as possible to hold on any buddy that tries to punch and start a fight. But that evening was kind of peaceful, the least.

                      I remembered how embarrassed he was when I watched his buddies acted like idiots and he apologized for their strange behaviour. LOL

                      And when one of them get too close to me he would get up and start to shove him or them away and told them to leave his g

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                    13. Oh gosh! I’m sorry you had to witness that bawdy side of military life. It has never been different even in Roman times. It is the same everywhere soldiers live. These girls are often damaged for many reasons but they find the soldiers easy targets. For their attention the men will do anything for them and usually it’s about money and material things that the girls want. They will find a man and live together until he is deployed or sent away on orders somewhere else and then the next night they are in the club letting a new man paw them like a dog in heat. This is not a nice thing for a good woman with self esteem to see. But your boyfriend sounded like a decent man especially since he too wants to protect you from the others. But it is this bonding they have, even in such circumstance that comes out on the battlefield where they willingly give their life to save their brothers and sisters in arms. It’s a strange part of the human animal.

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                    14. Okay, in Roman times it was waaaay different than now, I think. Unless if you are in a sex palace! LOL

                      But at the Roman’s house, it is a terrific fact to know that they do that in public, openly. Crazy time. And the rape of the servants – oh, gosh, I remembered it when we learned that in history and the boys thought that in a sultan’s brothel is even better than the Romans because the servant girls or concubines are treated slightly better. I cannot really agree with that. Any form of sexual harrasment or rape are just morally wrong and disgusting.

                      But those soldiers are of good boys. They are really like brothers and they take care each other like a family. But when one of their buddies have a wife and kids, even girlfriend, they take care of them as if those women are their own sisters and the kids are like nephews and nieces to the guys.

                      I saw that when they met their families and friends. I highly respected these guys in so many ways.

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                    15. Oh yes, the military families are very close and the older ones look after the younger ones. I agree about the treatment of women in any times and of course in Roman times it was very brutal. When the Roman soldiers create a camp in a foreign country they would bring local girls into the camp to work in the barracks doing cleaning and cooking or whatever, but also they slept with the soldiers and a soldier would then protect the girl. But, many were treated brutally and killed. This was found out from archaeological excavation and actual writings found that were daily logs or journals left behind. So really, it is about that “camp follower” phenomena that happens when men take to the field of battle. When the men are young and they are very physically fit and full of their hormones and alcohol, they will do some very wild and crazy things. I know as a Senior Sergeant, I was always trying to be their father and also their boss. I had to save a lot of them from their crazy mischief. They respected me because I was fair with them but I would kick their ass in a heartbeat if they crossed the line with a little too much mouth and bad behavior. 😉 If I saw them mistreat their wife or girlfriend or any woman, I would ask them if they treated their mother this way too. If they said yes, then I gave them a lesson in proper manners they would never forget. Sergeant’s Charm School for naughty boys was not fun.

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                    16. I saw one program on tv not so long ago, where a few women were interviewed trying to find their long lost soldier lovers. It was pretty interesting to know that they never met or heard from the guys for more than 20 or 30 years or so. Especially these women are from the 60’s and the 70’s when back in those days in Germany streets, for example, it was normal to see so many American soldiers walking about. Now, we rarely even see one military men or women anywhere – except for the police, of course.

                      Back in those days, when men and women are fascinated about the Army and think it was cool to be in love or in a relationship with anyone of them. A few of these women did get pregnant, but the boys never get to know their kids.

                      Years later, when the world has changed so much and the technology has become more advance and there is thing so-called Internet, had made it possible to do RESEARCH, you can finally, perhaps, find some of those lost ones …

                      When I watched that program, I cried too many times to see of their reunion, especially those soldier men who has never has the chance to get married, they were in shock to know they have child on the other side of the world. When they met, that was so EMOTIONAL. One can see that the patriot are the ones who are really getting into the emotion and the child, of course, as if they are the missing puzzle in their lives.

                      My kids would shook their heads and shove a box of tissues on my lap and said, “Mommy, why do you torture yourself by watching such program? You should watch Bugs Bunny or Tom & Jerry, or Furry, Furry Cute Creature that makes you laugh and happy.”

                      And then my 12 years old son would responded to his siblings and said, “Because it is a woman’s matter, you idiots. You don’t understand them.”

                      Then his 11 years old sister would replied. “Or so you know that or what?”

                      And he responded with a naughty smile. “Yes, I do. I have a girlfriend that taught me on that matter.”

                      LOL wah ahahaha … Their conversation had cause me to burst with a roar and the kids were shaking their heads even more.

                      And they would said to my son … “Oh, dear God … whatever happen to Mommy. She needs therapy!” LOL
                      wah hahaha …

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                    17. That is so priceless how your kids express themselves and care for their mother. I’ve heard of many of these reunions in Korea and Vietnam as well. It means a lot to find these connections. It’s almost like your live couldn’t go on until this one part was completed. One of my coworkers who died not long ago had a Vietnamese girlfriend from the war and a daughter and son. He found her somehow and would go to see her every years and visit with his children and grand children. They were happy although they could not live together as a family. He didn’t abandon his responsibility to them and tried to make sure they had a decent life and knew he loved them. Not every story has a happy ending but it is good that a few do. The soldiers do not think of the future and so there can be many regrets and many memories to live with; good and bad.

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                    18. Yes, and what a rich and beautiful family you have. Raising a beautiful family is like the zen garden. The balance and harmony, the beauty of it only comes from a lot of hard work and many sore muscles and dirty hands. But to step back and melt into the garden’s magic is the greatest reward and seeing one’s family grow and become virtuous and good natured is also the greatest reward.

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                    19. Yes, this is very true. I remember seeing a comment from you and I followed back to your website and you wrote a story about a boyfriend and his motorcycle and how he lost his life. That story touched me. I felt that irony and sorrow and so I commented on it and was surprised you answered very quick and with openness about it. And so I followed you. Then I found Chris on your blog and the three of us were soon The Three Blogoteers. That was probably 2014 or early 2015, I think because I hadn’t been blogging for very long. Soon after that I started the Dragon tales. Right away, I knew you and Chris were special people and you both treated me very well. I felt a real kinship. It’s a beautiful thing and we help each other and make no demands. A true friendship that feels rooted deep in the soul. Now I feel like Chris is my younger brother and you are my sweet little sister. I have to make sure as older brother that I hold up the honor and integrity of our Blogoteer Band of transhumanists- hamsters, otters, and Dragons. 😀

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                    20. Yes, that story on my late boyfriend … I think, he was my only true love in the past … and even now. But then that LOVE was not meant for me. Instead, I had failed twice a love life in this lifetime of mine …

                      It is something I cannot explain or how, but I understand there are reasons behind it all. I was meant to be out of my old life and be here in this place. I don’t know why that LOVE did not make it but I know today that it was my one true love … It saddens me deeply that now I am in a shaky situation.

                      But then, I am very thankful and grateful, and very patient and in wisdom that I acknowledge that these all my gifts in life – either both the unlucky and lucky ones. I embraced them FULLY in my arms and this is my life, and it was and is MINE.

                      And since that writing, we three has become closer later. I know that we came across each other’s path for reasons of its own as well. To me, you both are the perfect and true friends of mine in this lifetime.

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                    21. I think perhaps our friendship serve as the light in our dark corners. It doesn’t take much light to navigate the dark but there must be some light or we will lose our way. I know I cannot be sad when I read the comments and posts from You and Chris. It always makes my day so much better.

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                    22. We never know who the pure soul is. They hide in the form of a person we least expect. We have the true bond. The body may fail and the heart stop but the soul remembers and seeks the other soul here and in the beyond.

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                    23. And dance around with buns afire???
                      LOL That line sounded very much like the 70’s songs. Back in those days they can make any songs out of anything … like ‘I like to wear my blue jeans on’ … or ‘Hello darkness my own friend’ … or ‘The Day Ted Nugent Killed All The Animals’ … LOL

                      Think of it, Daniel … the No 1 Hit Song .. Supernatural Magic Mushroom or Bun Me A Fire, or I Got Tomatoed By She-Devil, etc …

                      Hillarious!
                      And it ended with the lyric … I can’t wear my blue jeans on …
                      That was after being tomatoed, of course! LOL

                      (⁀ᗢ⁀)

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                    24. ha ha ha! Today without me saying any word, my coworker talked about eating magic mushrooms in a joke and I started laughing. He didn’t know why i thought it was so funny. I told him when Sherrielock Holmes tomatoes his naughty buns he would understand. That had everyone laughing.

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  3. Very interesting Daniel! When they brought Faith in to insert a DNA I felt as if I was there watching her. Great job drawing a reader right into the scene. Her eyes looking from face to face, looking for reassurance – at that moment I saw little Faith doing that:)

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    1. I really felt that too. Ana, my dear Romanian cousin and writing mentor, commented on that too. She also wrote a novel based on my life story and put it into a fictional story which she published. She used Hyperion for the protagonist too. This part is based partially on my observation of medical treatment of children in combat zones. They are often deeply traumatized and when being treated by our field medics they are very apprehensive. They accept help but are very unsure and they look back to every one looking for a familiar and friendly face. I find children are very courageous in the long run. They are so resilient under the worst conditions of life. I give Faith this resilience and courage but as a child she still feels extreme confusion and anxiety about what is happening to her. Who is friend and who is foe? Who will she trust and who will comfort her? She doesn’t know. Rose nurtures and cares for her, but Rose also has her demons to deal with. This is the basis for how the story tries to elaborate these fears and emotions while trying to find their way through it together. It isn’t pleasant but life itself can be very unpleasant at times. It’s how we make it through those tough times that defines who we become. Thank you so much for this great comment, Natasha.

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        1. That is so true, Natasha. The children can only endure decisions they cannot make them. We should always keep the children and the innocent in mind when we choose a course of action that impacts them.

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  4. Very interesting chapter, Daniel.

    I had actually written an extremely lengthy and what I considered interesting comment both on what you wrote and the conversation you and Sherrie had.

    But what happened when I tried to post the comment on this lousy public library computer?

    It said comment could not be posted.

    And it was so long.

    I’m not going to repeat myself.

    But I did post a long and analytical comment on this chapter of yours, Daniel.

    I can’t use my smartphone much because I can only use free wi-fi because my mobile company axed my service for failure to pay. Plus I have to find places to charge my batteries for the phone since I don’t want to do it in the homeless shelter. Not all people there are dishonest but there are probably a few.

    And it appears these lousy public computers can’t handle long and scholarly comments.

    The most Evil of all Dragons must realize in this year of evil with all the attacks now occurring throughout the world- I’m going to have to shut this guy Dracul Van Helsing up because he’ll use his geopolitical analysis to interpret what I the Black Dragon am doing and pass that information on to his fellow bloggers and readers.

    The best way to shut him up is to get him in a homeless shelter, cancel his mobile phone service and his only recourse to the Internet is lousy public library computers.

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  5. Oh, oh, oh! I swear the imagery of Faith in the first part, her being Hyperion’s mentor and her reverence for the Dragons reminded me of Hannibal and his Asian aunt whom he actually fell in love with and who taught him so much (“Hannibal Rising” was the title, I think.) Only that, unlike Hannibal, Hyperion is kind, he comes across as a pleasant personality, and he’s sooo lovable!
    “Everything will taste better, especially a man’s flesh.” I loved it! It says so much. While what follows is chilling and it actually hurt (seeing before my mind’s eye a little girl searching for reassurance in the eyes of her trusted ones, and then going through pain and terror with no one to save her) was blasting to me. I know that’s necessary in order to make her stronger, and capable of shredding to pieces any terrorist, but, as in real life, transformation and growth hurt and require great sacrifice.
    From this chapter I took away a sour-sweet taste that brought both Hyperion and Faith closer to my heart. Keep’em coming, cuzz!

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    1. I absolutely adore this comment because you really get the story on a deep level. It’s a crossroads for me as a writer. To write holistically my reader must feel life’s emotions even though the story is fictional. To read and feel the horror of the character’s situation and rejoice at their victory over adversity or feel the sadness of their loss means the reader connected and that is what I desire most, a connection to my reader through the story. I feel it is a relationship easily harmed by a poor job. My struggle is to find the balance and once discovered to seek mastery. It’s a long process for me but I have the rest of my life to do it. Faith’s treatment is out of her control. She is left to endure and survive. And clearly we see she is a magnificent and strong woman with the capacity for love and nurturing her lost hero, Hyperion or Nae Yong (my dragon as she likes to say)

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  6. Oh, dear … the last part is spine-chilling … I wonder what had happened in her past that made her different than the others dragon sisters of hers? It reminded me the same thing that of what my family had done to my father when he was entering man-hood. They had this family tradition where there is a ceremony must be done with the ancient ritual to served the child to enter their maturity world of both the physical and spiritual. It went wrong from the beginning of the ritual and it did not ended well.

    My father told me they had drugged him with a certain flower where it was crushed and smoked. He must smelt it and then he has to go through the test of Illusion. It is something he cannot really explain to me and for one thing is that it is a thing of which my father detest and go against (not only because of the drug use) but also the test was a dangerous one for a child even at the age of 13-14. Few did gone mad, actually, who are not strong enough to endure the test and drug effect make the hallucination worse for some. Because it was then when the shadows turns out to be demons and your beloved became the real enemy. It was a trial to test your ability to chose between the right and wrong ones, and how you can train and trust your instinct. If you pass that test, the drug has take no effect on you, anymore. That battle can last half and hour.

    You’ll be lucky enough to get out of it completely normal. But my father told me he went sick for months on after that and it had effected him deeply both physically and spiritually. His body reacted negative towards the drug itself and I know until today they still uses these ancient tactics to put the few test on these so-called the ‘warriors’ or samurai’. You are to learn to serve your own demons and both the good lights inside of you.

    My father was glad that I do not have to go through there and he never really like to tell me on what had really happened. But what my uncle told me that there were many fatal mistakes could not be undone after that incident … Horrible to think of it because I cannot imagine of what my father really went through in his past …

    I pray that his Soul will rest in peace …

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    1. This is a remarkable part of your father’s story, Sherrie. Almost no one knows of these rituals because most are secret or isolated from view. The rites of passage exist in every culture today and in the past. The more remote the culture the more terrifying the test can be. In just one example of my own, I would be beaten by my father if I showed emotion or pain. I could be beaten bloody for any infraction of discipline or unmanly behavior although I was only a child and no concept of manhood. When I was older, if I fought someone to defend my honor or my family’s honor and lost the fight it was a terrible disgrace and those were the worst beatings I ever received from my father. Failing to defend honor was a fate worse than death. It made me tough and fearless. I would stand and fight until unconscious or the victor. This served me well in times of war or severe physical and mental challenge. It taught me how to hate and to desire the bloodlust to kill. I had to develop my innate desire to be more than a human animal. I had to seek spiritual healing and wisdom outside of this kind of treatment. But the other half of that life as a child left me with a permanent feeling of being dirty, undesirable, unlovable and unable to express my deep held desire to explore my humanity and love. Those feelings never left me but I have learned to live with it and to know that outside of me there is a beautiful world to explore. The suffering of Faith is a symbol of how we are transformed by our suffering but there are those that will rise above to a greater understanding of life and there are many more that will die mentally, spiritually, and physically. Perhaps this too is the process of natural selection where only the strong survive and the weak perish but no one comes to the other side without profound change. This is part of my spiritual growth over time and I have no idea what my life would be like if I hadn’t been compelled as a child to be a Warrior. I felt I was bred to follow my family tradition that all males fight for for duty, honor, and country. Since 1188, I have traced my lineage and in every generation I found the records of service and coat of arms granted my forefather for his bravery and service. Even my son fought and is a veteran of war. So, in my case it was like my destiny was chosen for me and my training began at age 5. I also pray for your father’s peaceful rest. He earned it with a remarkable life and Warriors respect their brethren that serve as the true example to follow. Your own experiences mark you as a true Warrior and I hold you in the same deep respect. I also thank you for sharing your story which is rare and beautiful as it is hard and challenging.

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      1. Oh gosh … they do the beating in ninja. My father told me he was beaten numerous time in practise where they all face the walls and the master would beat their back one after another. It was tradition, he told me. Long ago he never thought of it wrong – he thought it was one of the practise (of course, it was). It was awfully painful but as a young boy, none of them would complaint and they shouldn’t.

        But he told me that the ways of samurai is not never brute force or outward strength and is about exploiting weaknesses to outfox larger, more powerful opponents while distracting their attention to get the upper hand.

        My father had mastered the Ninjutsu in his own way. He cannot be the higher master like his own father or grandfather, or the ancestors before him, for there are rarely True Master who mastered certain martial arts.

        There are those secret scrolls and uses of ancient tools of which the modern days does not know even they exist. Some are kept secret until today as to keep the family secrets from prying eyes of other clans or enemies.

        I shall never know much of it, but I know a few of which my fathe think it is important to keep as my own inheritance of martial art knowledge. I am honoured that he had given that much trust to entrusted me this true knowledge of which until today I cannot master …

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        1. You bring up a good point, Sherrie. I never took the extreme difficulty and physical pain of my training in the military personal. I knew it was necessary to prepare me. With my father’s treatment he always explained that he was making a man out of me and that men had to be able to take it and focus on performing the man’s duty to job and family. As a child, I did not understand him but as an adult, I understood a lot more. He fought in the Korean War and that experience forever marked him. He was raised by my grandfather who was born in 1894 and fought in WW1. His father fought in the American civil war and so on in the distant past. Their experiences made them harsh and cold to the inexperienced and they knew the horror of battle and their treatment was backed by insistence in hard labor and competitive sport. We were required to compete in track and field, baseball, football, and shooting sports, field craft, and hunting. We did not have to like it. We had to do it. I started Judo at age 8. And one time was forced to fight each boy in my gym in every level. This was punishment for my arrogance born of skill. I was about 14 at this time and I fought for a solid hour until the older bigger boys came in the end and they taught me a very painful lesson on humility. But, I fought them all and never gave up. Later, I took Tang So Do then Hapkido as my main discipline. Hapkido was my favorite and I learned it from an 8th Degree Korean Master in Korea. He was a revered master and national figure in Korea. He was also the Korean Head couch for the Olympics in Tae Kwan Do. He was mythical and magical in his ability and I learned a great deal about fighting and the Warrior Spirit from him. He was a true master and laughed at Americans for their easy shame of giving high ranking belts to simple good technicians not true warriors or masters. It is a time honored tradition to keep one’s skills and techniques a secret. To know your enemy’s ability is to defeat him as your father knew this. You keep yourself hidden while you study your foe and learn his secrets. Doing this allowed me to surprise my enemies often and devastate their ranks in a way that their minds and bodies were defeated if they were lucky enough to survive. You never want to give an enemy a second chance to fight you when he is wiser and prepared. Therefore you must eliminate his chances of returning to the battlefield. This was a generalized view of the philosophy I learned and is slowly lost to the modern concept of soft pedaling the horror of war and thinking we can win without strength, determination, skill in weaponry and tactics. We delude ourselves by thinking we can remove the pain and suffering of conflict. This only makes it easier to start wars. The old ways of strength and benevolence tempered with advanced skill cloaked in humility are all but lost. But, you and I will not forget. 🐉🐉

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          1. I was never given a belt from my father because we have none. I was taught by him as any father would do. He did trained also my other brothers, but they seem never really into it. They were lazy boys. Only one brother who was closer to me, where else my other brothers are bullies. So, actually my childhood were never an easy one.

            My parents are both the farmer workers, hunters as well as craftsmen and shopkeepers. They never are really at home. Once in every two months, then my parents would spend the least two months time maximum to stay with their children and then leave again because of work. One has to earn the money, you know. And so, it was my grandparents who took care of the kids between those time while the parents go to work.

            It was not a lonely time for me, either, because I am busy at school, anyway. I do homework and studied hours into the late afternoon and then every evening I practised my martial arts.

            The truth is, my father never did teach me martial art in the first place. It was my Chinese grandmother (the mother to my Mommy) and she taught me basic Tai Chi for a year, I think. Later, my father took interest to show more as he saw to it that I was the ONLY CHILD of his who took so much dedication in martial arts. Actually, he did admit it that he never has the pleasure, nor the wish to teach me martial arts as it pains him. He has his reason.

            The day he taught me martial art, it was the day he found out my older brothers bullied me for years and he did not notice it. He was away at work and I was at home being bullied by them and they dragged me, hit me and even scars me because they are naughty children at that time. They are lazy and my aunties always scolded them, but they never listen. One time my father saw that I was in pain and he saw the bruises on my back and back legs. I didn’t realized of this but he saw it as I was swimming in the village river. He was outraged and he was mad at what they did to me because he asked my aunties what had happened to me and why I had those dark ugly bruises. Before he asked them he knew I was hit by someone that bad enough to leave those dark bruises and he knew it when people lie to him …

            He drew out his sword and about to run over at my two brothers, shoved them outside the house, threw them on the ground as he hit them many times with the head of the sword. He never attempt to hit them with the blade, but he was so, so angry. He even slapped them many times because it was their responsibilities to take care and to protect their little brothers and sisters. It was then, for the first time my father felt that he had failed himself and my mother, and mostly his children for neglecting us. But he has never neglected us.

            He cast my two brothers into the boats and yelled at them. My mother came down with their things tied in clothes and threw those at their feet. They are told to go to their other uncle and auntie that lived at the end of the river at the other village. They are force to look for a job and earning for themselves because they are already nearing 18 and dropped out from school.

            My father could not believed it that his own two sons beat his little girl and I never have the idea even to complaint or say a word to him all those time. He did asked me, but I just shrugged because I told him it was not important and so I never tell them. My grandparents never really notice, but they knew it that my two eldest brothers has always been the bullies. Too many times when harsh punishments are the only way to discipline them, but it was never had any effect on them.

            Ten years later when our grandfather died, that was when the two brothers return to the village and came to visit mother and father, asking for forgiveness. The two of them had changed so much in those ten years and they became real men. One of them is a pastor and still a pastor today. Where else my second brother is an engineer. They are married and had children of their own.

            We are not that close but we are still in good contact until today. When I asked them about that incidents, both of them could not really give me the answers on why they bullied me or anyone else. All they could say to me was …”Well, we were silly kids, you know. We know no other life outside of that until father cast us both out of the house. It taught us both the respect and regrets … It took us in a very short time to learned out lessons.” Until today, they do still feel the deep guilt on what they did to me.

            My third brother is living here with us in Germany. The only family member I have from my side and he worked at the hospital as the Anesthesiologist Assistant. He almost got married the last year but then the girlfriend left him for a richer businessman … Uh, poor brother. He is the closest to me, ever, and he has been my anchor and protector. Not sure what would I do without him here on my side …

            To speak on martial arts, like I told you, the first was I learned Tai Chi from my grandma. Later, my father taught me few basics from everything from Ninjutsu and any karate form and a little of Kung-fu. He never taught me just one martial art and he combined all those into one form of his own and he taught me only that of importance to him, I believe.

            The most difficult one to learn was when my father introduced me the Kenjutsu – the art & science of swordmanship. It was the hardest ever and I was hit by the wooden sword all the time. I got bruises all over my shoulders, arms and even my fingers. Too many times when my finger nails were plucked off from its root. It terrified my mother and that was the only time when she scolded my father for endangering my beautiful fingers. LOL I got to laugh at that time because she said that he was ENDANGERING my BEAUTIFUL FINGERS??? hahahaha …

            Later in the years, I learned all of these on my own and the one I loyally learned until today is Tai Chi to hold me strong in both mind and body.

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            1. Oh, Sherrie! Your brothers were very naughty indeed and they deserved a good tomatoing for mistreating you all that time. Your father had to give them that lesson to change their mind and ways. Young men can feel a terrible silent rage inside from hormones and the only way to tame it is with a lot of busy activity. This is when boys turn to men and if they are lazy and disrespectful it is a short step to criminal mischief. They probably didn’t understand what drove them to abuse you but it was their choice to do it. My older brother and I protected our two sisters like demons. No one was allowed near them unless they said it was okay and asked us to give them room. Still we stayed close by. My younger sister and I are very close and I carried so much guilt because she was assaulted after I left home and was in the hospital for a while. My older brother took care of teaching the man that did it proper manners. It was a terrible and painful lesson. My older brother is ten times the man I am. He lifts 150 kilos of weight to warm up before he goes to the heavy weights. 300 kilos makes him grunt like a pig but he lifts it with his legs and back in what we call a dead lift. He was a master in the dark arts and trained Special Forces how to fight hand-to-hand. If you hold a gun on him from 3 meters away he can take it from you and shoot you before your mind sees him move. It’s unbelievable but he has done it many times in training. He knows the secret arts. I was never any match for him even though I was very well trained. I actually trained for 30 years straight but I was injured too many times in the Army and had to quit all of the things I loved to do. Still I was far better at the Warrior arts than soldiers half my age even though I was broken in so many places I couldn’t count them all. Experience, technique, and wisdom taught me how to last while the young ones burned themselves out too fast. I only learned the basic levels of swordmanship and we used the wooden swords. We didn’t wear any protection. The sensei expected us to use our skill to avoid injury. I know what you mean about that sword. In the hands of a skilled fighter, the wooden sword could do a lot of damage. The split bamboo swords would pinch and cuts us too. Cutting the mats was my favorite time. But, I never had the time to devote to mastery although I do wish I had taken that time to do it. Today I make custom knives for fighting. I have a good reputation in the Army for making legendary blades. I tell people my knives will cut you from one meter away they are so sharp. 😀 I’m glad you had the motivation to seek your advancement on your own. Whether we are fighters or not, the spirit of the blade and martial arts like Tai Chi is as spiritual as it is physical. To me it tunes your spirit to the mind and calms the heart. So the way of the Warrior doesn’t mean you must fight because the warrior more than anyone wants peace and it is the responsibility of the Warrior to keep the peace through strength. I love these discussions. Your experiences are so rich and vivid.

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              1. Every brothers and sisters have some similarities to these of what I had been through. I am glad that my children are not bullies. Just that at home they know it that have more than enough love and security from their parents. My twelve years old son is quite protective over his sisters as well. He never like it when boys got to close to them and he watched over them when they are outside.

                He even watched over me when we are outside together. He is taller and stronger than me. At eleven years he got muscles already and that because he trained karate every day for hours on when he is at home. He do weight lifting as well in his room and he do Tai Chi with me often enough in the garden. No one watch us over there. LOL

                Tai Chi is not easy as anyone think and people said it looks ridiculous as if we are old dancing people in the field who has mental problem or something. I heard that so many times from passers by in the park when one sees a group of middle age people doing Tai Chi, the young ones make jokes out of it.

                I am glad my grandmother taught me Tai Chi in the first place. She said it helps me with the dancing. That is because she knew I love to dance and so it taught me the strength of both mind and body. And at the same time I learned both the strength and the weaknesses of my opponent as well. It is really weird to move about with those who tries to attack you and using their own strength to finish them off without me wasting my energy at all. It took me years to learned that skills and my grandmother can topple anyone easily without no problem. LOL

                My dangerous grandma! LOL

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                    1. Bwaaa haaa haaaaa! That is perfect development of Sherrielock. I think her mastering the ancient spanking art of Bootie Tomato Do is where she gets all of her mystical powers of Whackity-Whack. This made my head elves choke on their cinnamon rolls laughing so hard. 😂

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                    2. Bewaaaaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa! Gak! Sploof! That made me laugh so hard I can’t see for the tears in my eyes. What a scene that would be. That was a real coffee spitter there, Sherrie. 😂☕️🐉💨

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                    3. He seems to be adapting although it isn’t easy or a lot of fun. I do hope he finds a good job soon. That will cement his future for him while he creates his vampire masterpieces.

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                    4. I’m making a prediction that next week everything is going to change. Good will and good fortune will befall our Blogoteer brethren. And later he will buy us all cruise tickets to the South Pacific where I will likely be eaten by dragons while sleeping off my supernatural mushroom tea. 😂☕️🐉

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                    5. I’m sure Chris will be okay. All he needs is an opportunity and a little good will and he’ll be on the road to stardom. When he is famous and spends all his time in the hot tub with Renfield, Amadeus, Michelangelo, and his favorite Dominatrix in the black latex bikini, I wonder if he’ll remember us little people. 😛

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                    6. Bwaaa haaa haaaa! After all he has experienced lately, getting tomatoed by Sherrielock will be a pleasure. He and that naughty Renfield will have to share so Sherrielock doesn’t get exhausted. She has a lot of spankings to deliver. 😂

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                    7. That is going to be one awesome story and maybe a YouTube breakthrough video. Maybe even a Hollywood movie. Nobody will remember Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie after Chris and Sherrielock walk the red carpet. 🍅🍅🍅😮

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                    8. In all seriousness, You and Chris have given Sherrielock Holmes life and she is a fascinating and entertaining character. I really do think she could carry a true novel on her own or be a leading character in all kinds of effort to keep that rascal Renfield and his boys and girls on the path to transhumanist vampire glory. Her story would be fascinating and fun. Another best seller, no doubt.

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                    9. By all means, Daniel, I may have created her, but it was Christopher who brought her out into daylight the first time he wrote on her immortality and of her husband … I think, it is best when Christopher write on this Sherrielock Holmes because I could not write that sort of story like him. He has this talent to create a weird political, dark humour comedy stories unlike others. I will always ready the cleaner all the time before I read him.

                      Recently, he wrote stories on Wilkie the cat. I hope all things are alright with Christopher where ever he is now …

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                    10. I agree, Sherrie. Chris’ unique talent to bring such colorful character to life is a rare talent indeed. I know he would be a successful author if he gets the right break. But, it’s hard work and it doesn’t come knocking on your door. When he can manage to get his work to the right agent, he’ll see things get better within a year or two. He just needs a way to hold on until then.

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                    11. I just wrote to him a short email, asking him if he is alright and he did replied. I tried to call him, but I have forgotten that they cut off his handphone service and so I cannot get through. That is a pity because I would love to speak to him, the least. I think he will be so happy to hear my voice, then. For now, we can only write to each other – like those old days, you know.

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                    12. Send him a voice file in the email reading your poems. He would love that. Yes, it is like the old days when we couldn’t contact anyone except by a letter or phone if they had one. Now without our smartphone, we don’t know how to breath or continue living, LOL!

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                    13. I did asked him if he has his Toshiba laptop still because it would make his writings easier because he can using the device as it has wireless access. He can bring it to the cyber cafe rather than to go to the library all time.

                      When I got separated from my ex many years ago, I have nothing but a handphone. But back in those days they don’t have wireless access yet. It was only for emergency. At home the least I have a mini tv for the girls to watch cartoons and movies. But I have no phone and no internet for a couple of years. I was trying to save money and I had a part time job as an assistant librarian at the university which was the most boring job ever. LOL And I was just sitting at the entrance desk to put in student cards and out – that’s it. It got nothing to do with the library work at all – but sure the least I have the job. And three times during the late evening I went to worked as a waitress of which was more the fun as I have connection with few of the good clients and they gave me generous tips. And I was moving all the time here and there and I love my Italian boss – he always call me little girl and speaks Italian in between even though he knew it I cannot understand him.

                      After the two years of struggle and money saving with loads of patients, then I allow myself to register for internet service and bought my first laptop as well. Then, I discovered the world digital journal websites and writing cafes online.

                      But that at that time, it taught me lots many different life lessons that formed me to be who I am today. Does not mean bad days ruins you, you know. Because this is life and life is what it is – just that only us has to know how to manage it and chose the right way to go.

                      And I hope Chris will find his his own way as well …

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                    14. I can just picture you sitting quietly at the library desk and punching a card or two then your secret night life as Wonder Waitress where your special powers could be used. You are so right. Our struggles don’t have to ruin us. I have many good memories of harder but simpler times. It’s fun to look back in my dusty head and remember some of those times. I do often wonder how I lived through it all. Definitely, I have a guardian angel. I’ve met her many times when she saved me from myself. It’s always a good idea to make friends with and listen to one’s guardian angel. I’m sure Chris has a guardian angel and hopefully he knows his angel by the first name already.

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                    15. Interesting you mentioned a guardian angel, Daniel.

                      I’ve read two books at the shelter library written by Jesuit priest Andrew M. Greeley that were published back in the 1980s.

                      The first one I told you about was the fellow who had psychic visions back when he was younger and then stopped using them and then they were recurring again in his adult life.

                      But the second one was about an atheistic particle physicist who discovered that he had a guardian angel and a female one at that.

                      And he learned the name of his guardian angel.

                      Unfortunately I must confess I don’t know the name of my guardian angel- be they male or female.

                      At least my heavenly guardian angel.

                      I do know the first name of my human guardian angel who’s female.

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                    16. Guardian angels come in many forms. That is very interesting that I would mention that at the same time you read about it. That is surely a sign. The spiritual Angel doesn’t show themselves until you need them. And you must truly need them. But once they reveal themselves you should get to know them. The best time to meet them is that place between awake and asleep. I say this from time to time. You only have to believe and that is good enough.

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                    17. LOL You know, when you said of my superpowers could be used … hehehe … That was what most people said of us Asian girls. Back then, I remembered so well when people’s jaws dropped when they heard I got multiple jobs all the time and barely really sleeping. I even do part time jobs back in those days when I was a student – not only at that time when I was separated from my ex-husband.

                      The Western men finds this intriguing and fascinated that we, small Asian women has such power and energy to live such a life. But the truth is, much of these people does not know what really drives our motivation to do that and that financial was not the ONLY problems that most Asian women are facing in Western countries.

                      Unlike others Asian girls, I have the education but when I was a student, I don’t have a certificate yet to allow me to have access for a better job. I just need a job so that I would able to buy me some school materials and saved money for some exquisite food from time to time because most of the time I ate too little because money was not much to buy some luxury.

                      And yes, I think eventually Christopher will meet or get to learn an angel somewhere soon … I had a few angels who meant so much in my life who had been helping me on the journey for a better life so many years ago. Although, we rarely contacting each other, still these few people are the reasons why I am HERE today as well …

                      I pray that there is an angel or more are there waiting for Chris to come across their lines … He will somehow has to learn to open his heart more to the world rather than to hide behind his shyness and I know he is not that social because he told me so. I guessed, most of us NERDS are like that.

                      I got to learned to changed myself in time because I have the courage just to open my mouth, starts asking questions and becoming friends with a few chosen friends I thought are the best people to trust … In time, Christopher will learn these from his new experiences in life. I pray that he has still the courage and be brave …

                      Liked by 1 person

                    18. Yes, in all my travels in many countries it was the Asian women that were the strongest mentally and physically. I live in the Asian culture now for 26 years and will die among my Asian brothers and sisters. The women are magical to me. They outwork all men and women around them that aren’t Asian. The best so much pain and sorrow with a quiet dignity and grace that is superhuman. They are my inspiration for the Dragon Sisters. But to be sure, there are women of all race and culture that exhibit remarkable mental, physical, and spiritual strength in the face of challenges we men cannot imagine. So it is in the animal world too. I hope Chris does find such an angel that inspires him. It is never impossible although in our minds we will feel a lot of doubt. To believe and have faith is the magnet that bonds our angel to us.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    19. Indeed.
                      Does not matter where the women came from or what colour or religion, or tradition they came from, a few I know are kind of materialistic types. That included a few of the women in my family too.

                      They just hate it when I started to lecture them about finance stability and saving money. Eh, no! No one listen, really. And that annoys their mothers – who are my aunties, of course. But then I told my aunties that I tried but their daughters or daughter in laws are greedy. So, they are adults and they must know on what they do. Later, regrets comes in quite too late for some. Uh, huh. Yeah …

                      And there are few silly Asian women I know who does take advantages of the their husbands, either they are from their own folks or married to a foreigner.

                      There are some women and even men, of course, are like that. We are after all, just human … And some acting more like Gali-Gula! Eh, I mean, Caligula! LOL

                      Liked by 1 person

                    20. LOL!! I really liked Chris’ Gali-Gula. The history of Caligula is actually fascinating in that he started out normal and people had great hope he would be a good leader but he became ill and when he recovered he was demented. His libido, like his father’s and father’s before, followed the same patterns of excesses that made even the Marquis DeSade shrink away from it. Ultimately, Caligula was assassinated like those before him. Whether true or not, it is a prime example of how men and women come unbalanced when the physical world of the five senses is the only thing that drives the conscious thoughts. We fall into excess as we seek ease and comfort. We sacrifice our values and morals to have the pleasures we think we need to enjoy our lives. What we get is ruination and damnation. Who will want a man or woman that can only serve their own pleasures and comfort and not the sacrifice for the greater good of family, friends, village, and nation. Caligula was a great teaching point of the emptiness of such a life.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    21. Actually, it was I, who told Chris of Gali-Gula because at school I cannot pronounce his name right. So, I came out with the name Gula, as in Malaysian language it means ‘sugar’. But that Caligula is no sugar!

                      Yes, he was demented to an extreme point where one cannot say how did that effected his emotion. He became a real evil just like Hitler. Hitler did experimented on people as well, trying to create superhuman, maybe. Who knows what he is trying to do … Indeed, there are a few of these evil men and women … To imagine those terrorists too, who gunned down people just like that in public or run ’em down with a truck – that is not okay!

                      I think they were never really human. Must be some sort of demons in flesh, born wrong since in the first place …

                      Liked by 2 people

                    22. That is so cool that you gave Chris the muse for his story. He did give you credit and it was so entertaining. Yes, I don’t know if demented is a strong enough word for those megla-maniacs. But, those demons will run free on the earth until we find the courage to do what it takes to stop them and send them back to hell.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    23. I did told you that ONLY CHRIS write like that. Truthfully saying, until today I have not met anyone that can write like that. Christopher has his own style and I really love. Everyone of us here are special in our own ways and our own style of writings. If we all do the same thing, it would be boring, isn’t it?

                      Christopher is one crazy guy, really! LOL

                      Liked by 2 people

                    24. Christopher can be the next Frasier producer. He will make a weird sort of comedy tv series known in history. With all the green cheese, the Pacific Island, the Transhumanist, tomatoes, buns and tomatoes, supernatural mushrooms, etc …

                      Only the nerds can understand it! LOL

                      Liked by 1 person

                    25. Waaa haaa haaaa! I honestly think he could sell his screenplay. That would be a great job and he would be set for life after that. I would pay for cable TV just to watch his show. 😀

                      Liked by 1 person

                    26. I think the hardest thing on earth for people to do is take that leap of faith in oneself and trust that they will work it out. Fear of failure can stop us cold. But, to leap from the comfort of the plane and plummet to earth trusting your parachute will open never works if you think about it. You have to jump when the door opens and think about it on the way down. 😉

                      Liked by 1 person

                    27. Failure is the THING that I’d been through a lot in life. At first, I would have cried my heart out, scream my head off and then came the moaning … and the groaning … and self-pity. Uh! What a struggle …

                      Later, I have learned with that pain, I acknowledged the fact that the ways of Life is like this. There is no guarantee, said my father. But it is the worse for you if you never try. And he always reminded me of high expectation and that the danger of it that it might the VERY THING that can damage you, permanently. He is right, you know.

                      I hold on to good hopes, to beautiful hopes and wonderful hopes. But never to hold on to fake hopes. There is a differences to that and it took me years to understand its lessons.

                      It was my own high standard of EXPECTATION of which are, of course, quite almost unrealistic. But one are allow to dream of better dreams, yes, but never to let dreams consumed much of your heart and thoughts. It can clouded your judgment in life and you shall fall because of your own PRIDE. Ah … PRIDE … one of the greatest sins of all. So that was why Lucifer fell, isn’t it? Because if his pride.

                      Now, I do not want to be fall by my own pride …

                      Liked by 1 person

                    28. Very good points, Sherrie. I used to say, “Have no expectation and you’ll have no disappointment.” The truth is, we do have expectations and we experience disappointment when those expectations aren’t met. Then the pride. Yes. Our pride is a source of pain at times. This is where I always thought of the balance of both was needed. It is good to expect things when it’s reasonable to do so. But, as you said, high expectation can lead to bitter disappointment. We must always find a balance. And pride in oneself and pride in accomplishment when it is modest and humble is a good character trait. The false pride of braggers and fools leads to the dark side without any pause or rest. So to me, balance was key to living through the pain and sorrow that ultimately comes no matter the noble virtues we live in our day to day life.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    29. Yes, in this life there are expectations, of course. Expectations that I EXPECTED from my kids, for example, on certain conditions regarding their education or school, self-discipline, of good manners and of kindness, of honesty and humility. Other things are not that much important. The matter of a good heart is much important than anything else and that one must learn to be HUMBLE too.

                      Never an easy thing for any children. Even adults themselves failed their own expectation of their own. So, my father would always said, “Be humble, be gentle. Nothing else you can do if you are frustrated. But, never give up.”

                      Liked by 1 person

                    30. Yes, although it’s a real challenge sometimes to be humble and gentle when one is frustrated, your mind never makes good decisions when angry and so it is best to let the frustration pass and then think about what to do. Like in fighting, it is the cool head that sees the path to victory.

                      Liked by 1 person

                1. That’s very interesting, Sherrie. It’s good that your son seeks development while he is young. That will help him a lot when he is older. Hapkido is also a martial art that is predicated on using the attackers momentum and joint locks to disable and kill the opponent in as few moves as possible. There are no wild kicks or punches in Hapkido, just direct attack with not a lot of moving around. We were taught to use three moves. Receive the attack, stop the attack, disable the attacker. The first moves break and dislocate joints and injure nerves to fix the attackers mind on his pain and injury instead of his attack. Before the mind recovers, the attacker is killed or disabled depending on the defenders assessment of the need for deadly force. We had to practice at full speed to develop a sense of timing and so there was lots of pain and body slams to the mat. It scared the hell out of all the Tae Kwon Do students. Pads don’t help you with Hapkido. I would have a great time watching your grandmother topple some smartmouth talking bad about her Tai Chi. 😀

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. I know Hapkido from a good friend of mine and he is our neighbour as well. I didn’t know he do Hapkido until I saw him practising in his garden. And he saw I do Tai Chi in my garden as well. He wanted to do Tai Chi with me, but to my surprise he could not. He is not flexible and his arms are hard and firm, and he cannot dance with the flow. He did try! LOL

                    I never joined any martial art club until I went to high school which is situated in the town. There we have all access to many things we never have in the village. I instantly beg my father to agree with me joining the karate and shaolin club at that time. But later, I have to chose one club only for my father could not afford to pay two martial clubs and also I have other clubs like Biology, English, French, Mathematic & History. So, I got to chose karate as it is a little cheaper than Shaolin.

                    I cried many times when my Shaolin friends told me that they are going off to Korea, Japan or to China for a few weeks or a few months to do training with that school, this school, with that Master and this Sensei. I was like WAAAAAHHHHHH!!!! LOL I was so jealous. hehehe … But then I am still that grateful to my parents for giving me the BEST they can all those while and that I have the opportunity to learned Karate, the least.

                    I quitted training about 13 years ago when I got into a dark phase in my life and I was lack of lust, nor the mood in training. I was down into deep and dark depression, was that broken and lost, helpless for a couple of years … until I had enough it. The joy of having my girls again that gave me the inspirations to move forward in life and I started to do training again. I was nearing my 30’s at that time and it took me a longer time to regain my old skills. But I did managed it in a year only. That was hard training and by the time my father saw me, he was surprised to see how strong I was and he saw that I got muscles in my arms again. LOL

                    But now, even if I am in my dark phase again, I am not that old Sherrie I used to know from years back. I am now older, wiser and stronger than I did before and I had been down that road before. So, I am up to life and I am ready for new things right now in my life …

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. I think your neighbor should continue to learn Tai Chi and practice his Hapkido. It is essential to have a strong but fluid and flexible body or one is severely constrained to what they can do. I watched an old Korean Hapkido master beat 5 young men easily although it is only sparing and not real so it is controlled to avoid injury, still he easily defeated them and they were sweating hard from attacking that old man. He was in his 70’s at the time. He was very flexible and light on his feet with perfect balance and timing. What I liked about Hapkido is it is very energy efficient. You stay in a 3 meter circle and do not jump and spin and kick and punch yourself to exhaustion. In a real fight where you are either going to live or die, it must be over in seconds and it must be violent. There is a huge difference between fighting for one’s life and the art of competition. In the real fight you will not use a lot of different moves and techniques. The first move must be the critical move that changes the advantage to you or your risk skyrockets that you will lose no matter how good you are. The old Samurai practiced killing in a single blow. If the first blow was not successful then their rigid techniques and expectations of an honorable opponent left them vulnerable to the person that thought outside the rigid style of their fighting. The Ninja’s and other empty hand styles developed this flexibility of many weapons and many techniques based on the situation. Many people take martial arts and it is good for the body and mind as well as the spirit but the master who has taken life knows that there is no advantage in a long fight. I admire your journey. You have chosen wisely as I would expect from the spirit of Sherrielock Holmes. For you, it is elementary my dear, Sherrie. 😉 I was looking into taking Tai Chi. My daughter is a fitness guru. She offers Tai Chi as one of her programs and has me interested. You have convinced me to do it. I don’t have to start good at it. I can be very lousy but it’s okay. For me it’s a lifetime investment, not a quick fix. When my daughter was 16 she wanted to learn martial arts because she got bullied a lot by boys and girls that had rich parents. They would ask her if he ate dog meat and was she going to be a Korean whore like her mother. This disturbed us a lot so I began teaching her how to throw someone with wrist grabs. She then took Thai Kick Boxing which is brutal and aggressive. She is like me from my past. Now at 25, she climbs mountains, canoes, hikes, bikes, and fights. She is still a beautiful lady and at 25, the boys no longer say mean things. They talk sweet to get close to her and then she tomatoes their naughty buns. You would be proud of her. Perhaps she studies the way of Sherrielock Holmes too. She is also a very good artist and won several awards from international art shows. She is like the woman samurai. She balances her zen life with her training and art. I attribute her physical and spiritual growth to the Asian community. All of those kids that were bullies are still stupid and dull while the Asian kids are now grown to be engineers, scientists, lawyers, and doctors as well as accomplished musicians and artists. Non of it was easy and there was heartbreak and pain but it didn’t stop them from achieving their goals in life. This is the lesson your kids get from you too. If they know of your struggles and pain they also know of your wisdom, dignity, and grace. They also know you can tomato anyone’s naughty butt too. 😀 You are my hero, Sherrie. When I grow up, I want to be like you. 😀

                      Liked by 1 person

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