Being a Voice for the Voiceless

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There’s always a point in time where every horse owner will have to make a hard decision on behalf of their horse or horses whether it be to change their diet, change their exercise, or even the worst: the decision to euthanize. It’s never easy to be the voice for your horse, as it is never fully known whether you are making the correct decision or not. Here is my story about being the voice for my horse, Lukka.

For those of you who don’t know her yet, my horse, Lukka, is pictured in my blog. She is a 19-year-old (almost 20) grey Egyptian Arabian mare standing at about 13.3hh (hands high; each hand is four inches, and the horse is measured from the ground to the point where their neck meets their back called the withers) and loves to jump. I have had her for almost a decade (it will be 10 years in November), and she very much is my heart horse (a horse that you are so connected to that you cannot fathom life without them). Our bond is unbreakable to the point where if something is wrong with her, I know because I usually get sick or injured too. We just know.

Last Thursday morning, I went to the barn like usual. I walked Lukka to the arena to play with Treasure and Puff like usual. They played around like usual. Nothing was out of the ordinary. After her play time with her brothers, I took Lukka to the tie-up rail to tack her up for our ride (tack is the saddle and bridle and any other gear that you would put on your horse before a ride). Nothing unusual happened until I went to clean her hooves out. When I got to her back left leg, she held it up and did not want to put weight on it after I had cleaned it out. I hadn’t ridden Lukka in a week because it had been way too hot, and I was still doing a lot of wedding stuff, since my wedding is on Sunday. I thought it was just her arthritis that was bothering her, since that leg is riddled with. Ok, just walk her out today and get the blood circulating again I thought to myself.

We started walking to the arena, and I notice that Lukka is lagging behind me, which is very unusual. I look behind me, and my horse is a tripod on three legs. This was not an arthritis thing. This was a serious thing. I looked at her leg, and there was a huge bump of swelling that was not there before. I turned her around to go back to the tie up to untack her (I wasn’t about to ride her lame), and after a couple of steps, she stops and refuses to keep moving out of pain. Her stall was only 20ft away, so I begged and pleaded for her to make it to her stall so that I could untack her there. It took me almost an hour of coaxing her to get her back to her stall. I quickly called my friend, Heather, so that I could have an extra pair of hands, and called the vet to come out and x-ray her leg.

Both Heather and the vet worked around Lukka’s leg to get radiographs at different angles. It’s truly amazing how everything is portable nowadays. After the vet finished taking the radiographs, we found that Lukka had fractured a bone in her back leg. The fracture is called a Lateral Sesamoid Fracture which is where a piece of the bone gets fragmented off and cannot be pinned or fused back into place. My heart sank. What had happened was a new horse came in and was put next to her instead of Treasure. She was not happy about it and kicked the stall panel in between them so hard, that she fractured the bone in her back leg.

I had three options to choose from: the dreaded euthanasia, surgery to remove the piece of fragmented bone, or never being able to ride again and just living as a pasture puff (this one was only if she could be comfortable while doing this). After talking to the equine surgeon at one of the best equine hospitals in California, we vetoed the third option because she would get worse and worse over time, and her life would be shortened considerably. Also, since the bone was fragmented, the piece of bone could be dislodged into her bloodstream and go straight to her heart, which would kill her. It was not an option. We talked about euthanasia, but both me and the vet knew that Lukka was not ready for that. She is way too lively and even tried not to show her pain. Euthanasia was not an option either. The only option was surgery to remove the piece of fragmented bone. The surgery is usually successful and the horse would make a full recovery after months of stall rest and hand walking, but since Lukka is older and considered a “senior horse,” she would never jump again, which kills me to think about. Lukka lives to jump. That is her job, and she loves it so. I had to do what was best for her, so I looked her straight in the eye and asked her with my body language and tone of voice if she would be ok with no more jumping. She told me that it was ok. She wanted to spend more time here on this earth.

I talked it over some more with friends, family, and with Shawn, and we all agreed that surgery would be best. The surgeon said that since I take such good care of her, she would probably have 10-20 years left after the surgery if she stayed in great health. Lukka’s surgery is scheduled for Friday morning and is taking place over an hour away from home. She is not allowed visitors, so she will be alone for two to three days after the surgery and will most likely be able to come home during my wedding (I have a friend who is going to trailer her home for me). I feel so stressed and in utter turmoil about the events that have happened these past couple of days, but knowing my baby will keep living and will eventually be rideable again makes me feel better about the decision that I had to make even if it means giving up jumping.

I apologize for not being so active on here during this time, but my mind is in a different place, and with the wedding around the corner, I just have been checked out from everything. Thank you all for your unconditional support. It’s both much needed and appreciated right now. Until next time, happy trails!

-NotYourAveragePerson

New Jobs and Opening Doors

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I have some exciting news: I got a new job! I had an interview yesterday at the synagogue that the Rabbi who is officiating mine and Shawn’s wedding is at. Today, they called me and said that they were offering me the position. I am so incredibly excited.

The role is Office Assistant, and I’m going to be doing a lot of different tasks that are new to me and will give me great experiences (such as learning to use Quickbooks). The best part is not just the hours, which are nice, but it’s going to help me to connect back to my Jewish roots.

Monday is my first day of training, and I am so excited to start working again. I was getting depressed just sitting on my ass all day and waiting for job opportunities to call me back.

Here’s to new beginnings, and until next time, happy trails!

– NotYourAveragePerson

Bedbugs, Biowaste Hazards, Active Shooters, Four-Car Pileups, and the Bachelorette Party of a Lifetime

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This past weekend, I had my bachelorette party (I’m getting married in two weeks), and let me tell you, it was the best bachelorette party ever. It included a little bit of everything that I love: horseback riding, “drunk” bowling, great Korean BBQ, yelling at people, and dirty board games with a sleepover and brunch the next morning.

The morning started off swimmingly with a trail ride around Norco and Riverside, CA. I know you’re wondering why I would want to do this since I have my own horses. It’s because not all of my friends have horses or are horsie people. A lot of fun was had when one of my friend’s legs were so much like Jell-O that she needed a moment before she could get off of her horse. We also had some very interesting conversations during the ride (the guide definitely thought we were crazy. It was wonderful).

Right after horseback riding, we went to bowling in Norco at the Bowlero off of Hamner Ave. I promise I’m not getting paid to put them in this blog post, but they did an absolutely amazing job with setting up our private spot including snacky food and alcohol. Shout out to the bartender there who made me specialty drinks even though she wasn’t supposed to. I won’t say her name because I don’t want her to get fired. Our names on the scoreboard were the theme of “Bitch,” so we had Boss Bitch (me), Queen Bitch, Crazy Bitch, Mom Bitch, Coffee Bitch, and Any Bitch. You can say that a lot of fun was had!

After we bowled, we went to the motel to check in and shower before dinner. We didn’t see anything bad with our motel room, so there was nothing all too exciting there. We headed to dinner at Gen Korean BBQ where we waited for an hour and a half to be seated (we took the opportunity to go to Starbucks during this time, naturally). Once we sat down, it was go-time. I don’t think I’ve eaten so much in my life. Everything was delicious, and it had been months since I had Korean BBQ.

We made the journey back to the motel (it was the Howard Jonson on Hamner Ave. in Norco, CA), which is where everything started becoming interesting. While I was in the bathroom, my maid of honor found a bed bug on the wall of the motel, which of course she crushed. By the time I got out of the bathroom, we found a live bed bug on the carpet as well. We took pictures of these, and my maid of honor complained to the manager. The manager begrudgingly moved us to a room that was half made up with no comforters on the beds and only half a roll of toilet paper in the bathroom. This wasn’t the worst part about this room. We started checking the beds for bedbugs, and to our horror, we found blood stains on the sheets, bed skirt, on the lamp shade, behind the lamp on the wall, on the wall next to and behind the TV, and on the wall of the bathroom. We ran the heck out of the “assault room” and went back to the manager to demand a full refund so that we could go to the Hampton Inn down the street.

Upon meeting the manager, he first demanded if we used anything in the room to which we said, “no, we were only in there for literally five minutes.” Then he motioned for us to follow him to the room after my maid of honor tried showing him pictures of the blood stains all over the room (he ignored her). We followed him to the room, and he accused us of using the bed. We explained to him that we did not use the bed, but we did check for bed bugs because of the previous room we were in. He started yelling at my maid of honor saying that we had no right to look for bed bugs and that we needed to tell him first. We both yelled at him that it was legally our right to check for bed bugs. I was pissed. No one yells at my best friend like that. He started accusing us again while also re-making the bed and shutting off lights in the room (probably to try to sell it again without cleaning it. We noticed that a lot of the furniture was moved around to cover up the blood splatters. Eww).

After that, I told him that he legally had to give us a full refund or we would call the police because he had promised us a full refund before we moved to the “assault room” if the new room was not to our liking. He told us he would give us the full refund, but then started trying to harass us again about the room, so I finally said, “We are done with this conversation. C’mon, let’s get our refund,” and we both started walking back to the front office. As we were walking, the manager called us bitches, and my maid of honor said, “excuse me, but what did you just say?” The manager ignored us all the way to the front office, then begrudgingly gave my maid of honor a full refund. Never stay at the Howard Johnson on Hamner Ave. in Norco unless you want bed bugs or to be assaulted. The Hampton Inn down the street is so much better.

After checking into the Hampton Inn, everything was great! We drank and had a fun, dirty-game night with the game “That’s What She Said,” then went to sleep.

The next day, we went to brunch at Black Horse Tavern and Grill in Norco, where we found out that there was an active shooting on the next street up from us, and the shooter was on the loose, so we were on lockdown for about an hour, then we found out the shooter was running towards my place of residence, so I called Shawn and told him to lock all of the windows and doors to our apartment and to let the dog loose (because he is super aggressive, and nothing gets past him). Once we got off of lockdown, we left to take my bridesman to the airport (yes I said bridesman. I did not stutter).

While we were driving on the 91 freeway, the traffic stopped suddenly when a police officer blocked the freeway due to a huge accident that was a four-car pileup. We waited for a good forty minutes until we were given the “all clear” from the first responders. I hope everyone was ok because one of the cars was missing its back end.

We finally made it to my home after a long weekend of fun and adventure. My maid of honor kept apologizing for “ruining the weekend,” but I told her that this was the best party I have ever had. It included everything that I love: horses, bowling, Korean BBQ, yelling at people, and great conversation with some of the best people I know while waiting on lockdown and in traffic. This was definitely a party that I will never forget.

Thank you for reading about my crazy adventures, and until next time, happy trails!

-NotYourAveragePerson

The Hunter

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He howled and waited in silence for a moment, but there was no answer.  He knew what this meant.  His brothers were dead, killed by the hunters that chased them out of their dens.  He was the last one alive now, and he knew he had to be careful if he wanted to survive.

Things weren’t always this way between the humans and werewolves.  There was a time, not long ago, where they coexisted and even helped each other.  Against common belief, werewolves did not hunt humans.  They hunted small game such as rabbits, squirrels, the occasional bird or two.  Sometimes, during the harsh winters of the mountainous region, they would hunt deer and elk to bring back to the den.  The farmers and lumbers in the area were thankful for the werewolves.  Before farming or tree cutting season started, the werewolves would transform into their human form and meet with the humans to verify which animals needed to be hunted and which to stay away from to prevent the farmers’ crops from being eaten and keep the lumber jacks’ cutting areas animal-free. 

An accusation changed it all.  One day, a farmer’s son was attacked and killed by a feral dog that had wandered onto their property while the farmer and his wife were in their small, ramshackle home.  No one saw what happened, but the humans saw the mangled body of the small boy and assumed the worst.  When they showed up at the den carrying pitchforks, torches, and rifles, they attacked before the werewolves could even defend themselves against the accusations.

A few of the pack were killed that night: mostly the elderly and the young pups newly born.  Many were injured.  Everyone was scattered.  Once the pack was able to reunite, they tried fitting in with the humans, but their mannerisms and diet would give them away as well as their appearance.  Werewolves had bright, yellow eyes and looked rugged as humans with long, scraggly hair on their heads and sharp features.  They wore nothing but loincloths.  The biggest giveaway was that they were only able to turn into their human form for a few moments at a time.

There was no hope for the werewolves.  Slowly, they were hunted off one by one until it was just Ralph and his two brothers, Dolph and Hemming, but now, there was just Ralph alone to fend for himself against the humans.

He slinked off into the shadows of the forest to find some brush to hide in for the night.  Padding his way through the forest, he came to a thicket of large trees that were so dense that even he had a hard time maneuvering through them.  He stopped in the middle of the thicket, looked around, and spotted a large tree covered in a bed of moss.  He walked up, padded at the moss, circled a few times, then curled up and went to sleep covered in the shadows and moss.

~   ~   ~   ~   ~

He awoke to the sounds of footsteps and voices.  He didn’t need to open his eyes to know that he was surrounded.

“The two we caught yesterday said that there was only one left in the pack.  The dumb shits thought that if they gave us the information we needed, we would leave ‘em livin’, but there ain’t no way I’m letting them wolf-beasts near my family,” one of the hunters drawled in the familiar voice of a farmer he once knew.  “You seen what they done to ol’ Greggor’s boy.  That ain’t happenin’ to mine!”

Ralph started slinking through the shadows of the trees, trying to sneak around the humans.  Tears stung his eyes as he mourned the loss of his two brothers and the rest of his pack.  Once the voices were mostly behind him, he picked up the pace to a steady trot, being careful not to make a noise.  After a few more moments, he was certain the hunters were behind him.  He ran as fast as he could, not looking back and barely looking forward.  He couldn’t hear or see anything except the blur of trees as he rushed past them.  He was going to be free.  He was going to live!

BANG!

THUMP!

Everything went dark and quiet as Ralph sprawled in pain on the floor of the forest…

~   ~   ~   ~   ~

Ralph slowly opened his eyes and blinked.  It was dark.  Pain cascaded through his right back leg, up his hip, and through to his back.  He knew with an injury like this, he wouldn’t be able to walk or run for at least a few hours’ time until his healing mechanisms kicked in full force.  That didn’t matter now, though.  He faced a large fire and was restrained by ropes.  Two bloody carcasses hung from poles off to his left.  He knew their scent as his brothers.  He blinked, and a farmer came into view.

“Well, aren’t you a sight for sore eyes, eh?  Thought you could git away from us, huh?  Well, ya shoulda known we’d git you.  We trapped the whole forest.  Sent scouts out to cover the area.  That leg of yours ain’t getting’ you nowhere now.”  The humans didn’t know that werewolves could heal faster while they were in wolf form.  Ralph thought to himself that he had at least that advantage.  If he could stall them for a few hours, he would be able to heal and try to break free.

“Those are my brothers, aren’t they?”  Ralph asked in his raspy growl of a voice.

“I don’t give a rat’s ass who dem varmints are.  Your kind killed my kind, and that’s all that matters now.”

“What if we didn’t.  You’ve killed hundreds of us.  All innocent.  We tried telling you what we saw that day.  It was a dog.  Not a wolf.  If it were a wolf, we would not have left a body behind.  We eat our kill.  Bones and all.”

“I don’ believe one lick of what you’re sayin’.”  The farmer turned, “Boys, how should we handle this one?”  The farmer sneered, and the restraints on Ralph tightened.

There were choruses of suggestions on how they should torture and kill Ralph.  In the end, the decision was made that for every previous wolf that they killed, they would cut him with a knife, and the final slice would be the one to end him.  After the slaughter, they would hang him on a pole similar to his brothers.

The farmers and the townspeople gathered around, hoisting and turning him to face his brothers’ dead bodies.  He could see that they were cut open from neck to belly, their entrails sliding out in a tangled mess.  This was another form of the humans’ torture. 

He looked around at the humans.  None of them looked at him in a friendly manner.  They just squinted in hatred.  The men and boys held sharp knives.  One after the other, they came up and sliced at him.

After the seventh cut, Ralph slumped over, taking a shuttering sigh.

~   ~   ~   ~   ~

The following morning, a postman riding atop a horse wandered into a desolate village.  No one came out to greet him or ask for mail.  He thought it strange how quiet everything was.  There was nothing except the animals grazing in the fields beyond where the farmlands were and swarms of flies around the village, hungry and looking for food to devour.  The postman rode on thinking that maybe they were having a town meeting in one of the barns.

As he started to nudge his horse forward, it stopped and shied away, then planted its hooves, unwilling to move from the spot it stood.  The postman grew uneasy.  He got off and led his horse to the nearest hitching post, then continued on foot to the farmlands behind the village.

After walking for what seemed like an eternity, the postman finally approached the first building on the farm.  He walked up to a big, brown barn made from wood and instantly smelled a scent that he was hoping not to.  He slowly raised his hand to swat at the flies as his other opened the latch of the door.  He pulled the door open and gasped in horror as he found the remains of a single sheep on the floor.  The sheep drew his attention from the rest of the scene in the barn and was enough to make the postman turn and run as fast as he could in the direction of the village to see if he could find help for the poor, unfortunate creature.

As he ran from the barn, his gaze found a clearing a short distance away with three figures standing in it and dense thickets of trees on three sides.  He ran for it, hoping that one of these men would be able to help.  As he got closer, he noticed that something was not right.  The figures had not moved.  He slowed to a walk and crept behind a nearby tree to wait and see if anyone would call out.  He waited, then shouted.  No one answered.  He slowly moved through the dense thicket of trees, scared to make a sound.  Maybe he could catch a glimpse of what these men were doing and why they were not answering him.

The postman reached the edge of the thicket and peered past the tress in front of him.  What he had seen in the clearing was not three men, but two dog-like beasts gutted and strapped up on poles.  The third was not a beast, but it looked to be human-like.  When the postman looked closer, he saw that by the looks of the ripped and shredded clothes, it was a farmer.  It looked like he had been sliced down the middle by a gigantic claw.  His entrails were even more of a mess than the beasts’ and dangled in front of him in knots of guts and drying blood.

The postman didn’t care to stay and look for more people.  He ran faster than he had ever before to his horse that was left in the village, then rode to the nearest building and looked through the windows.  All he needed to see was the blood strewn across the walls to know that this village was ravaged and killed by some beast.  He turned his horse and stated the long trek home at a faster pace than usual.

Ralph slinked out from behind the barn, licking his lips from the remnants of his feast of rabbits and chickens.  There was no one left to care for them anymore, so he had put them out of their misery sooner rather than letting them starve and suffer.  He headed towards the forest and disappeared into the trees…

Puff the Magic Dragon

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For those of you who know me, you would know that I now have three horses (well, two and a half). For those of you who don’t know me, well, now you know I have two and a half horses. I know you all are wondering what I mean by “half” of a horse. I got a Shetland.

If you know about horses, you are probably thinking shit, Shar. Good luck! Most know Shetlands as “Shitlands,” “Shit Heads,” and “Tiny Equine Monsters of Doom,” but I think of them as another wonderful challenge.

I first met Puff almost two years ago when I went up to my friend’s residence in Leona Valley to try my horse, Treasure. My friend had just received this cute little chocolate palomino pony with bright blue eyes that she was going to break and possibly train as a little jumper. I had thought to myself wow, that little guy is cute! I can’t wait to see what becomes of him. Never in a million years would I guess this cute little Shetland Pony would become mine.

It just so happens that my sister had two adorable twin boys, but before they were born, my sister let me know they were coming right before the New Year. Over New Year’s Eve, I messaged my friend and let her know that I was in the market for either a small pony or miniature horse that was rideable so my nephews would be able to grow up with a pony, and it would double as a companion pony for when Shawn and I bought a house later on down the road. My friend’s answer was “Well…I still have the Puff Pony…” I jumped on it and told her he was mine (yes, I did phrase it like that).

He came to me with a lot of baggage including, but not limited to not wanting to lift his feet to be cleaned, being awful with dewormer, awful for vaccines, awful bareback while riding, and awful for the farrier. He was also incredibly green under saddle and only had about 20 rides on him, and he had really awful trust issues with humans (don’t worry; all of this was disclosed to me beforehand, so I knew what I was getting myself into). He had been bullied a lot before my friend got him. She also disclosed that his previous owners would put people that were way too heavy for him on his back just to see how long it would take to buck them off (his weight limit with a saddle when he is fully muscled is 140lbs according to the veterinarian that checked him over for me). He is only slightly bigger than a miniature horse, so I could only imagine the pain he went through, and I made a promise to him and myself that I would never put him in that situation.

Within two weeks, Puff learned that it was not scary to pick up his feet, and he does it automatically for me. All I need to do is reach down, and he picks up his hoof for for me to clean. He follows me around like a puppy and has really become my little buddy. He’s gained a tremendous amount of muscle and weight with me and is so happy living his best life now. Last week, when the vet came to give him his vaccines, they told me that he was ready to ride. We had our first ride in the round pen with my bareback pad that has stirrups, and Puff was absolutely amazing. He had one buck that was completely my fault, and he did a lot of starting and stopping, but he really got it at the end and moved consistently.

I can truly say that I love Puff with all of my heart. He’s really won me over with how smart he is and how genuine he is with how he’s feeling. Puff wears his heart on his sleeve. I’m so excited to see where this journey takes us. I couldn’t thank my friend and her team more for all of the hard work they put in him and for giving me the opportunity to be his owner, as he wasn’t just going home with anyone.

If you are interested in continuing to follow our story, Puff has his own Instagram. Feel free to give it a follow. It is @puff.the.shetland and is updated constantly with the latest news about Puff.

Thank you for reading my pony ramblings, and until next time, happy trails!

-NotYourAveragePerson

San Diego Comic Con 2022: A Reflection

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As most of you know, my dad and I have been attending the San Diego Comic Con for a decade (2022 was our 10-year anniversary). What started as a daddy-daughter tradition became a family tradition as of five years ago. This year, we had the pleasure of attending San Diego Comic Con for our tenth year running.

Sadly, we were not expecting to find that there weren’t as many vendors or attractions as previous years, let alone, people. I wouldn’t say that it was a complete disappointment this year because we still very much enjoyed our time there, and I was able to get my annual plushies and books as well as a present for Shawn, which I will not disclose because he might read this later (nice try babe).

Here are a few of the differences that we noticed this year. Every year, they have a Preview Night on Wednesday where they open the exhibit hall while also showing previews (or the first episodes) of new and upcomming shows upstairs in Ballroom 20. This year, they only had the exhibit hall open for three hours and no previews to show. In 2019, they had many (close to 100) big panels that filled Hall H to the brim. I barely made it with my friends to see Supernatural for the last time the cast was attending Comic Con, as the series ended that year. This year, there were only a few big panels, and Hall H was only at three-fourths capacity at the most. 2019 was their busiest year with record attendance of over 160,000 people. It was shoulder-to-shoulder, wall-to-wall people to the point where it was uncomfortable and hard to breathe. This year, there were no crowds, no massive lines…it felt empty. I could go on and on about the changes between previous years and this year, but I will leave it there. You catch my drift.

The last two years, the San Diego Comic Con lost massive amounts of revenue due to COVID, and I am hearing that they even lost money this year. It is going to take a couple of years for them to break even from the massive financial blow that COVID caused. As someone who watched Comic Con grow for ten years, it was very sad to see it so reduced.

Even though it was not as big and grand as previous years, I still had an enjoyable time there. My dad had the strength to go for two days, which made us all very happy, and I went for three days. My sister, my baby nephews, and my brother-in-law went every day, and they dressed the boys up in the most adorable costumes for each day. The best part was that less crowds meant that it was easier to move around and go from place to place. I would not call this a complete failure but a restart.

Comic Con is starting up again like a phoenix rising from the ashes, and I am looking forward to watching it grow a second time. Here’s to many more years of SDCC!

-NotYourAveragePerson

The Woods

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He knew they were there.  He saw them before, heard them beckoning to him from the woods.  How many were there?  Who knew?  He felt unsettled by himself in his home surrounded by them.

He paced back and forth in the small kitchen of his one-story house.  He stopped and turned suddenly, staring out the kitchen window.  There it was again.  Their words telling him to go out in the dark, into the thousands of trees.  Into the woods.  He heard them.

His old bones creaked.  His old joints cracked, but he made his way slowly to the window anyways.  He didn’t see anything…just the pitch-black trees against a dark background in the night, but he heard them.  Their wails, their pleads for him to join them.  Like always, they were ignored.  He never listened to them.  He turned and walked back to the reclining chair in the living room that creaked whenever he sank into it.  After a few hours of watching late-night shows, he went back to his room and went to sleep.

The next morning, he waited for his caretaker to take him to his appointments for the day.  He looked out into the trees of the surrounding woods.  He thought he saw something out of the corner of his eye, but when he turned, nothing was there.  They would taunt him ruthlessly morning and night with their desperate pleas.

He was asleep on the couch chair with the TV on yet again.  It was late.  He should have been in bed, but he wasn’t about to listen to the voices again.  He turned the volume of the TV up.  They had been pursuing him before he slept at night.  He needed the TV, or anything to drown them out.

“You can’t get rid of us.”

There it was.  The voice.  It was right in his ear.  He woke with a start, disorientation setting in until he realized that he was still not in bed and was in the living room.  They were taunting him again.  They were here…

“Come join us.”

Those damn voices were so persistent.  Groaning with the effort of getting up, the old man scuttled to the kitchen window, peering out into the darkness.  This was the last straw.  He would confront them and tell them to leave him alone.  Those damn voices needed to stop.  This time, something was different.  He saw them.  For the first time, there they were.  The ghostly figures were slowly approaching from beyond the trees.  They kept appearing, disappearing, playing tricks on him.  They would fizzle out of sight just like television static, then reappear somewhere else in his line of sight.

But there they were.  He couldn’t see well enough to count them in number, but they were there.  He blinked his eyes repeatedly in hopes that they would leave, but they were still there every time he opened them again.  Some were even closer than before.  He tried turning the lights off, closing the blinds, but every time he would look over, he would see them through the cracks in the blinds.  They would not leave.

When they saw that his trivial ideas to get them to go away didn’t work, they motioned for him to come with them and said, “Come out and play.”  It was innocent enough.

Children.  They were children, pale and shimmering in the dark.  They even looked innocent and sad, maybe even lonely.  The old man turned to walk to the front door to see what they wanted, and a chaos of cheers exploded around him.

Hesitating, he slowly reached out for the doorknob.  When he turned the knob, opening the door slowly, he saw them running, screaming in every direction.  One approached him.  It reached out and grabbed his hand, dragging him into the game of chase.

He didn’t know what else to do, but to run with the children.  What would be the harm in it?  He could trip and fall, break a hip, he was elderly after all, but he didn’t want to miss out on the fun.  Plus, they wanted him, which was more than what he could say about anyone else.  So, he ran out into the swarm of children.  His hip was surprisingly fine, his joints didn’t do their usual creak and pop.  In fact, he felt young again.  He was young again.  What was once an old, grumpy man who was stricken down by his woes was now young and innocent once again.

~ ~ ~

The nurse came to the door the following morning and let herself in.  The house seemed eerily quiet as if no one had resided in it for a while.  She searched all of the rooms, looking for the old tenant that she took care of daily.  She gave up the search and went to the kitchen window.  She looked out and screamed.

The New Jersey Police Department jumped on the case.  They were at the old man’s house within minutes.  They quieted the young, frantic nurse down and walked to the back of the house.  What they found was a disturbing sight.

Out in the swampy backyard surrounded by trees was the old man lying face-down, shovel in hand.  Surrounding his body was a circle of what looked like the remains of children, all in different stages of decomposition.  An officer approached the scene and determined that the old man was as dead as a doornail.  What an odd scene.  All that anyone knew was that the old man lived by himself.  No background, no story, no life.  Now he was dead and gone.

He’d killed them in his younger years, then grew old off the radar, away from any communities, away from people.  All who came by was the nurse that was assigned to him daily.  He had no one.  No friends, no wife, no kids.  No one…and now he was off the hook.  He grinned as he slowly dissipated into the woods…

– NotYourAveragePerson

When One Door Closes, Another Door Opens

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Yes, that’s right. I’m back to writing again. Unfortunately, I lost my job in marketing recently thanks to inflation, and corporate decisions to lay off anyone who had not been working there for at least a year. You would think that’s bad enough, but wait, there’s more. Even though I was able to sign up for unemployment, they decided not to grant me unemployment benefits due to the fact that I still work part-time as a tutor. It gets even better…I own three horses, and Shawn and I are financing a wedding in August. What’s wrong with this picture?

I became very down on myself like as if I wasn’t good enough, then I became very depressed. I didn’t know what to do. I never felt so useless in my life. Shawn is so amazing and stepped in to cover rent, the wedding, and the horses for me until the academic year started. I am so incredibly lucky to have such an amazing guy in my life. Sadly, I still felt bad about not being able to contribute.

Like the cliché saying says, “When one door closes, another door opens.” I let myself be depressed and grieve, but then I got off my ass and started applying to new job opportunities. Now that I knew what I wanted, I started applying to jobs I would be qualified for that would make me happy. For example, I would love to work remotely or hybrid, but if the company was close enough to home, then I would be happy with going in to work in-person. I started applying not only to marketing positions, but also writing, editing, and social media positions.

As my job search continues, I’m starting to feel better about myself and about my qualifications as a person. I’m qualified enough to love myself. I’m allowed to be happy even in times of disarray. I can still be me. The more I apply to these opportunities, the more determined I am to grow my experiences. I don’t need to be depressed, disappointed, or down on myself. I have three beautiful horses, an amazing dog, two very sweet fuzzy potatoes, a great little vigilant hamster, and an amazing man in my life.

I’m determined to continue growing as a person and finding my path in life. Thank you for following my blog. I’m hoping to continue posting on here with some new spooky stories soon and some horsey updates. Until then, happy trails!

– NotYourAveragePerson

Spooky Scary Stories (A New Category)

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As many of you know, I’m starting to dabble into the short story scene. Even though most of them seem bogus and untrue, you would never know with the life we live today…haunts and creepy crawlies are all around us. There’s no hiding from them…

I know a lot of you are waiting for my first story to drop, and lucky for you, this will be happening soon. No promises on when, though, as I work 65 hours a week currently. I wish I could say that I do this tirelessly, but that would be complete bogus, as I’m always tired and falling asleep during movies (those of you who have witnessed this, you know who you are). I digress…

Welcome to the new category on my blog. As you can see, it is called “Spooky Scary Stories.” If you can’t guess what that means or what it may entail, then I’m sorry, but I cannot help you.

One of my favorite genres to watch and read is horror. Give me your ghosts, witches, murders, etc. I’ll watch and read it all. When I started writing again, of course, my go-to was my favorite genre, horror. My goal is to send chills down not only your spines, but mine as well. Who doesn’t like a good spook?

Without further ado, welcome or welcome back (if you followed previously) to my blog. As you can see, it has been a while.

Let the hauntings begin…

Despite my ghoulish reputation, I really have the heart of a small boy. I keep it in a jar on my desk.”

Robert Bloch

The Worst Piece I’ve Ever Written

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I’ll be honest.  I’m not the best writer, but I was faced with a challenging task this quarter.  This task was to write the worst short story that we could in one class time.  Fine.  I’ll write how I normally write, but dumb it down a bit.  Here it is:

Dead Lizard (The Worst Story I Could Write)

“She’s dead,” He said, holding her hand.

“She can’t be,” She said.

“She is. I mean look at it,” He said. He held up the cage for her to look inside. Sure enough, the lizard was belly-up dead. The site made her cry.

“Why, Andrew. Why?” She yelled at him.

“I don’t know why, Tina. I just found it this way. It’s not like it was my fault or something!” He yelled back at her. His face reddened because he knew it was his fault that the lizard was dead. He just didn’t know how to tell her. While he was looking after the lizard, he ran out of food for it, so he decided to feed it some Hot Cheetos he had found on the ground. How was he supposed to know that it would kill the lizard?

Tina took the cage and yelled, “Wake up, Lizzy!” She shook the cage and he cringed at the sight of the stiff lizard jolting around.

“Would you stop that? No matter how much shaking you do, it won’t bring it back to life!” He yelled at her, grabbing for the cage. She yelled and jolted the cage, hitting him in the head. They started fighting. The cage was dropped and forgotten.

End

 

Yes, the shittiest thing that I could think of: a dead lizard named Lizzy…so original am I.  I read this out loud to the class and my awesome professor, Dr. Drissi, actually said that it was too good to be a bad piece.  Guess I fail at writing badly…