The ROUGH in rough draft my W.I.P.

Bren calls me on my lunch break every day. Today she must have been busy. She’s always busy. I waited by the phone for a few minutes, thinking she may be washing her hands or in the bathroom. Nothing.

“We’re going out to get food. Would you like to join us?” Pam rested her forehead against the door, sweetly smiling at me.

“I’m staying here. Thank you.” I must have groaned or the expression on my face gave it away, because she took a seat at the chair meant for clients. 

“Is everything alright?” I looked into her cobalt lightning eyes and I surrendered. I didn’t think twice when I rose to my feet and kissed her supple lips. Pam wore a cherry flavored lip gloss that made my lips feel slippery. My hands flew across her chest and I moaned upon thrusting inside her, made simple by her summer dress. Pam didn’t fight me, perhaps she too was sexually frustrated. Pam untucked my dress shirt and nearly ripped the button loose as she scratched my back and kissed my abs. The flurry of motion and intense passion made the world disappear for a moment. I could swear I heard  someone outside, but I couldn’t concentrate on it. Nor did I care.

“I knew you liked me.” Pam moaned as she quivered against me, my climax quickly approaching. I said nothing, I didn’t even look at her, as I watched the wall behind her and groaned. Her birth against my girth was an exhileration I long since felt. The rush of excitement faded as we seperated and fixed our indiscretions. I looked up and realized the door hadn’t been shut all the way.

“Shit. I fucked up.” I sighed. 

“I should go.” Pam said. I think she realized she made a mistake also. This time she closed the door behind her. I resumed to my fixation on my phone, when I realized, Bren called me. I felt like a salmon and I looked like one too. I took a few minutes to compose my alibi, then wrote it down while I still felt confident she would believe me. 

“Hey honey.” I said. I took advantage of the numbness from the vile act I committed. The beginning of an affair is arguably easier than facing the fact later down the road.

“I just wanted to let you know that I will be in surgery late tonight. I won’t be home to make dinner. Would you like me to send over some money so you can order food or is leftovers good?” 

“Leftovers.” I said. A one word response would have driven me up the wall, yet she glossed over it. She hung up without saying “I love you”, and without asking “how is work going”? 

“Elias,” Pam said, “George would like to speak with you.” I cursed under my breath. I know exactly what he is going to tell me. Pam and I sat in his office, an office adorned with his personal achievements about his perfect life. I could only imagine the skeletons in his closet. 

“Elias, do you know why we’re meeting?”

“I’m assuming it’s because I am about to be fired.” 

“No, I was going to say that Pam here is moving in a month. I wanted to know if we should promote from within or hire a new secretary?” I stared at him, speechless.

“Actually George, I quit.”

“Wait, what?” Pam looked at me as though I had stabbed her in the arm.

“I’m leaving. I’ve been unhappy for a while and my marriage is falling apart. I’m moving.”

“I had no idea. I’m sorry to hear that, is there any way you can stay at least two days until I can find a replacement?” I shook my head, glared at Pam, and walked out. I vaguely heard Pam mention that should would stay and pick up some slack. I already knew she wanted to leave because I embaressed her. 

When I got to the bus stop, I realized I am an idiot. I single handedly ruined my integrity and quit my job. I would soon lose my marriage. Bren will hate me. Hell, I hate me. Is it a mid life crisis at twenty-five? Who knows? 

I opened the door to Bren’s house. I never felt as though I belonged in her house. I did not contribute to the mortgage, as this is her childhood home. Bren inherited it from her mother a year ago. I think that’s when this whole mess started. She refused to put my name anywhere on her bills, or her mortgage. In fact our finances are so seperate, my car is paid on my wages. Where is it now? My brother uses it more than I do. He pays the insurance while I pay the monthly payments towards owning the damn thing. Bren owns her car, paid in full, from a lawsuit she won against her ex husband. I should have thought my failures through before acting upon them. 

The most terrifying phrase to hear from your partner is “we need to talk”, and that’s what she said to me. I knew it was coming. I think we both knew it was coming. 

My coffee was quickly cooling as I took a drag from my cigarette, she was on her way soon. I would hear it, I’m sure of it. I felt the calm before the storm. I could see the clouds approaching, and could hear the thunder as the garage door open, then close. Bren is home. 

“Hello sweetheart. How was work?” Bren appeared normal and Cherry, but for how long?

“Hi Honey. Work was annoying. I had to deal with Amy. You know how I feel about Amy.” 

“What did you want to talk about?” I asked. I wanted the explosion to happen sooner rather than later.

“I recieved my bonus today and I thought we could go to dinner. Where would you like to go?” 

“That’s it?”

“That’s what? Were you expecting a different question?”

“Yes. Sorry. What’s the name of that one restaurant we went to for our anniversary?”

“You must have good news for me. You only take me to Spike’s Steakhouse when there is good news.” Bren remained oblivious to my unease. Shit. She still had no idea. I must have a problem. 

“You could say that.” I said. My coffee is now cold, and my cigarette is now extinguished. It’s going to be a long night. 

“How was work?” She returned the question. I couldn’t admit my failure to her. 

“Work dragged.” I neglected to elaborate, a bet I often made. I bet her, in my head, that she wouldn’t ask further and we’d fall into our normal routine. 

It was all a routine. Perhaps I’d become complacent. She showered than went to the garage for yoga. I would shower and play pool in the office until we made dinner then watch television until we went to bed. The same routine everyday for over three years. In the beginning it seemed so safe and simple. I realize now, I dont know why I did this. Bren is gorgeous. She is intelligent and interesting, but so boring. I look at her and I feel the passion still bubbling, which makes this harder, but the thought of what I did to her is a leech feeding on my blood. I’m drained. I have to do this. I’m already a terrible person. 

“Are you ready for dinner?” Bren called from the bedroom. 

“Almost.” I stared at myself in the mirror. I wasn’t looking at me. I leered at the demon that resided within me.

“You look absolutely handsome.” Bren gripped my shoulders. The cringe that occured was an earthquake from the pit of my stomach. 

“You look gorgeous.” I said. I swear I’m not lying. 

Her heels clicked on the pavement, cool and ominous as we entered the steakhouse. “Table for two?” The pleasant hostess asked. 

“Two in the private section.” 

“Right away, ma’am.” She ushered us quickly to a quaint person booth. The hostess started us off with water, then offered an expensive bottle of wine. 

“I think we’ll pass on the wine.” Bren brushed my comment off like dust. 

“Nonsense. My bonus is plenty to cover a bottle of Chateau.” 

“Bren,” I paused, “I need to tell you something.”

“What is it?” She looked so innocent. I am doing the right thing. I am doing the right thing. I dragged this out long enough. 

“I’ve been seeing Pamela.”

“Pamela Anderson? I know about the magazine under the bed.”

“No, my secretary. When my boss found out he fired me.” Bren’s complexion flushed, an anger rose within her that I had never seen before.

“Is that why you’ve been so concerned about money?” I paled, staring into the eyes that once gazed upon me with lust, now they seared my skin with burning resentment. I don’t blame her. I hate me, almost more than she does. 

“The affair began in February. Jerry fired me last week.” 

Bren sighed once, then poured a glass of wine for herself. “This is my fault.” She said softly. 

“No.” 

“I did. I can tell you when this started. I finally settled into my routine with healthy self care and you became complacent. Is this because I make more money? I’m a surgeon. Of course I make good money.”

“Bren, it’s not about the money. I feel like I made a mistake. Marrying you was a mistake.”

“You made a mistake?” Bren seethed. “I want you to call Jory, get all of your shit out of my house. When I’m done with dinner I’ll be home. If you leave anything for me, it’s getting thrown away.”

“I’m sorry.” I blurted. 

“Fuck you.” She said while throwing the cup of water at me. She didn’t just throw the water, the entire glass cup smacked my chest and rolled into my lap.

I walked out that day. I took my work bag and a few changes of clothes in a backpack and left. She can throw away the rest. I imagine burning the rest of my clothes to be cathartic to her. 

The embankment is steeper than it appears, I nearly tripped as I scaled it to the bottom. I know a man in this wash that slept under its bridge when the tide is low. There is no sight of him tonight. I placed my bag of clothes on the embankment and locked my work bag with the small dial and attempted to sleep. Bren stood before me with teary eyes and her hand on my shoulder. “Why would you do this to me? We were ready for children and filling our home with baked goods for Christmas.” Bullshit. She is not a motherly person. She would have the baby and immediately go back to work and I would need to figure out childcare. 

I loved her at some point. Somewhere in the beginning when we were unsuspecting young adults with bright futures. I wanted to convince myself I tried, we all know, I didn’t. “I’m sorry.” I whispered. Shortly after saying this, a sensation of someone’s hand could be felt on my chest. 

“Hey, what are you doing?” A man’s voice could faintly be heard until I shot up. Marty had come to claim his spot. 

“I got kicked out.” 

“You must have fucked up, bad. A backpack and briefcase? Yikes.”

“I know. Just let me crash here. I won’t be any trouble.” 

“You got a plan?”

“Yes and no. I need to convince someone to hire me.” 

“And your job? Damn, brother. You’re in for it.” Marty exclaimed. 

“Let me sleep here and you can have it the rest of the day.” 

“Hmm. I don’t like roommates. You’re lucky I know you.”

“Thank you. I’ll be awake by the morning and I’ll be looking for a job.”

“If you say so.”

Marty glared at me. He was high, though, I couldn’t tell which of his afflictions he had succumbed to, tonight. He is calm, eyes bugged, and awake. I’m too tired to assume which drug he meddles with. 

“Sleep.” Marty said. In a small motion that was almost a nod, he allowed me to sleep on the embankment.

My dreams were sable blackness when I closed my eyes. It is like staring at the night sky in the middle of nowhere on a new moon. Pure black. 

“Wake up.” Marty said, edging closer to my ear. 

“I’m awake. What time is it?” I said in a sleepy daze.

“Hell if I know.” Marty said. Shit. I don’t know where my phone is. I had been so consumed with trying to sleep, I neglected to secure my phone. 

“I’ll be back later.” I was off to apply for another job. How could I possibly attempt to find a job without a phone? I would need to resort to desperate measures. 

“Hey pal.” The chill from the air conditioning was bitter against my moistened skin. Rhonda emerged from the back with a smile. 

“Hey yourself. You look rough.” 

“It’s been a rough day.” 

“At seven in the morning, I should say so. What can I do for you?”

“I need a job.”

“Suga, you left us to be with our competitor. I’m not sure William will be so keen on you returning like this.”

“Tell him that I am determined. I’ll make it right.”

“I’m not making any promises.”

The Mystery of the Pineal Gland.

The mystery of the Pineal gland.

We will be diving into the mysterious and famous, pineal gland. What is it? Where is it? What in the world does it do? I will be going into detail about this tiny structure within the brain. First, what is it? It is a small gland, in the shape of a pinecone, in the center of the brain. It’s shape is where it’s name originated. Like many portions of the brain, it has a job to do. It’s main squeeze, melatonin, is it’s only product. What is melatonin? Not to be confused with melanin, which is associated with pigment, melatonin is what regulates circadian rhythm. Simply put, it helps you regulate daily rhythm such as sleep and being awake.

If I may stop for a moment and point out that the pineal gland actually does possess tissue that react to light, which is why it’s called the “third eye” and other animals have what’s known as a parietal eye. This is located in the center of the two existing eyes and is sensitive to light and dark. A parietal eye does not form images, however it has retina and lens, though crude. Though this formation is not visible when studying our pineal gland, it is more likely to be an analogous formation, similar to the tail which most do not possess, yet there is bones for it in the sacrum.

Melatonin is also known to regulate the reproductive hormones associated with arousal and proper function of reproductive organs. Outside of these facts, we know extraordinarily little about the strange little gland. A 2016 study may have linked it’s production of melatonin to be a safe guard in cardiovascular health, though it hasn’t been entirely proven.

What else can this strange gland do for humans? It’s possible that it may dictate risks for mood disorders, in that lower pineal gland volume may result in the increased chance of serious mood disorders such as schizophrenia. In addition to mood disorders, it may also indicate that the health of your pineal gland may increase or decrease chances of cellular damage and cancer. The culprit has been named. The name of the hormone that might be up to all this “protection” is Melatonin. Even being cited to inhibit tumors in cancer patients. Though promising, more research is still needed.

To dive further, one citation indicates that this tiny pinecone structure connects the endocrine system with the nervous system, in that it translates nerve signals into hormonal signals. Creating a nerves signal, into a hormonal signal to a set location in the body.

That can’t be all it does, right? Science is not entirely sure what else it is able to do. It is said, though not entirely proven, to secrete dimethyl tryptamine. If you don’t know what that is, then I will explain.

“DMT” or dimethyl tryptamine is a naturally occurring psychedelic compound that is produced in most living creatures. It is postulated to be created in the pineal gland, but if that is the case, we cannot observe such a secretion. It is also said to be “the spirit molecule”, though this also has not been scientifically proven either. What is DMT and what does it do? As I mentioned, it is a naturally occurring psychedelic compound, that is associated with lucid dreams, and said to be excreted at time of death.

If I may for a moment. -Deep breath-. I would like to add that knowing this, I would have to say those who “died” and came back from their “out of body experience” may not have been what it appeared. I’m not disproving their experience, but if DMT is to be produced in our brains naturally at the time of death,(as is posited by science) it is easy for me to assume that it’s most likely due to DMT, and not a spiritual experience. I am not the only person who believes this to be true. What does DMT do to the body? It is a short lived but intense high with visual hallucinations. It is interesting that most who have an “out of body experience” say they are able to see what’s happening to their body without inhabiting it. Could it be that pesky third eye at work?

This essay has been extremely difficult to gather information and citations for, because this strange gland is so misunderstood. If you think about it, so is the brain itself. The entire structure is a machine that has been taken apart and researched, yet little is still known. The links below go into more detail about the known and unknowns of the pineal gland.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK550972/#:~:text=The%20main%20function%20of%20the,and%20secrete%20the%20hormone%20melatonin.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/300084105_Pineal_Gland%27_Still_a_Bit_of_Mystery_An_Escort_Study

https://www.endocrineweb.com/endocrinology/overview-pineal-gland

https://www.healthline.com/health/what-is-dmt

The Super Power of Living.

The Super Power of Living.

What are super powers? Are they real? Can anyone possess them? Let’s get into some facts. The links will be cited below if you’re interested in taking a look at them. Also, DO NOT ATTEMPT ANY OF THESE LISTED ABILITIES AT HOME. SOME ARE INCREDIBLY DANGEROUS AND CAN LEAD TO SEVERE INJURY, AND CAN BE FATAL. Dahlia Blake Productions exercises caution when listing these things as they are meant for entertainment and not to be replicated. Thank you.

Some of the phrases and comments are paraphrased from the cited articles below. Again, please do not attempt some of the listed abilities. Stick with your abilities. You’re amazing enough as you are, you don’t need to hurt yourself imitating others. That said, let’s begin.

Super human abilities are not just tricks that someone can show you at a party to impress you. These abilities aren’t even just for circus’s and performances. Some of these abilities have real consequences to those the below abilities effects. I will not be going into detail about those who are born without fingerprints, disease resistant, or unbreakable bones.

Let’s start off with “what are super powers”? This term can be defined three ways. Merriam-Webster defines “super power” as “1: excessive or superior power, 2:
a: 
an extremely powerful nation specifically one of a very few dominant states in an era when the world is divided politically into these states and their satellites

b: an international governing body able to enforce its will upon the most powerful states

c: an extremely powerful company, organization, etc.

3: a power or ability (such as the ability to become invisible or to fly) of the kind possessed by superheroes a superhuman power.”

We will be focusing on the “ability” in the above-mentioned quote. The “super power ability” is going to be defined as a seemingly super human ability to do what most people cannot.

One such ability, which is easily the most known, would be contortion. There are many people that contort their bodies into small places and even bend in seemingly unnatural positions. Though being flexible is fairly common, the ability to contort as those in a circus is rare. “Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is a group of inherited disorders that affect your connective tissues — primarily your skin, joints and blood vessel walls. Connective tissue is a complex mixture of proteins and other substances that provide strength and elasticity to the underlying structures in your body.

People who have Ehlers-Danlos syndrome usually have overly flexible joints and stretchy, fragile skin. This can become a problem if you have a wound that requires stitches, because the skin often isn’t strong enough to hold them.” This is an impressive ability, but it’s not something you wish on anyone. Like any hero, there is a villain. The villain is the sufferers body as it slowly deteriorates over time. It’s no secret that we all deteriorate, but those with this syndrome tend to bruise easily, and their hearts have weak or thin aortic walls. This can be extremely dangerous. You can only be born with this condition, as it is inherited from parent to child.

How about an impressive power you can learn but most cannot master? Believe it or not, the use of both left and right hand, or ambidexterity, is the ability few can master. I myself can write with both hands, but my left side is designated for forging my mother’s signature and pretending to be a ghost trying to communicate. I digress. Ambidexterity, can be learned but “one out of every hundred people are naturally ambidextrous.” — cited from linked article below.

Here’s a fun one, how about the ability to withstand extreme temperatures? Wim Hof immersing himself in ice for 72 minutes, and climbing Mount Everest in boots and shorts is impressive. If that’s not super human, I don’t know what is.

One power I was unaware of in humans is echolocation. This is common in bats, whales, dolphins and even birds use this method of navigation, but humans can learn this ability. It’s more commonly found in those who are blind as they have lost their vision. Upon losing a sense, other senses heighten. This has been scientifically proven as mostly fact. It is a way to adapt and navigate one’s surroundings to survive. This makes you wonder what else our bodies can do.

Other senses that can be considered super human is taste and smell. I personally was born without enough receptors to register tastes such as bitter or salty, and cannot smell many sweet fragrances. However, there are many that can smell and taste so exquisitely they can tell how many flavors were used, or which flavors were added. Wine, coffee, olive oil, cheese, and chocolate tastings are the most common taste testing scenarios you can show off this ability, but if you’re sharp enough, there are many companies looking for those who can describe what they’re tasting in detail and get it correct. Yes, you can get paid well for your astute ability to taste and smell well.

Singing and playing instruments can be considered an ability. Both can be learned, but there have been those who were and are so talented, they never needed lessons to pick up an instrument or sing as though they were born with the ability. Some are born with the drive to be proficient. Fun fact, the ability to sing was once an indication for intelligence as majority of those who can sing well can understand and pick up languages more quickly and easier than those who do not. Which is interesting, I love learning languages. I might be bragging, but I’m nearly fluent in Spanish and have been in the process of learning German, Greek, Russian, and French. Not to mention the fact “66% of those who were proficient had better working memories than those who did not play an instrument.” — paraphrased from cited article below. Though you cannot necessarily be born with this ability, and even learning it can be difficult, some can master both.

Let’s dive into some more puzzling abilities that seem to confuse science. Slavisa Pajkic is known for being able to withstand electric shocks without ill effects. Taking a whooping 20,000 volts without damage in 1983. For reference, you can be seriously or fatally injured by only 50 volts. It is important to note that he is able to store the electricity and release it, as the article below states. How can he do such a thing? Known as the battery man, aptly named, Slavisa is an extraordinary person. Science has attempted to explain his strange ability by positing that “he doesn’t have sweat or salivary glands and electricity is able to pass through outer skin”, though they are not certain if that is the entire explanation. Like anything else on this list, do not attempt this one at home.

What about an obscure one like seeing sound as color? Synesthesia is common in artists and musicians alike. This is actually a neurological condition in which stimulation leads to another seemingly unrelated stimulation. Simply said, you hear a song and sense the sounds as a pattern or a color. It is equally as misunderstood and one of the lesser known abilities, Science still cannot fully explain why or how this happens. This ability is known for the enhance in other cognitive abilities such as creativity and memory. Paraphrased from cited article below. “It is estimated that 3 to 5 percent of the population has a form of synesthesia and women are more likely to possess it than men.”

The idea of having a super power is not the same as a super hero. However, some super heroes have amazing abilities. I would like to posit for a moment that my favorite heroes were always those who did possess a crazy ability. There have been a few that were gifted, or rather cursed, with their abilities that piqued my interest. There are many beautiful people with amazing talents. Some people are able to sing and dance, some can build from scratch using crude materials to make them pieces of art.

If I were to assume for a moment that I had an ability, besides the compulsion to write and research weird topics, I would say the ability to listen to my “gut”. The idea was brought to the attention by Friedrich S. Merkel in 1880. — sensory systems are composed of epithelial cells and sensory nerves, which together transform environmental cues into neural signals that trigger our rich sensory experiences (1). We now know that this hypothesis mostly holds true for the canonical senses of vision, hearing, taste, and touch. Perhaps surprisingly, the peripheral outposts of these classical sensory systems (eyes, ears, tongue, and skin) are dwarfed by the human body’s largest sensory organ — the gut. Enteroendocrine cells, which are rare epithelial cells that decorate the gut lining, have long been suspected to be sensory receptor cells that inform the brain about ingested nutrients (2). Since their description, these cells were assumed to play a role in metabolism and gut physiology by releasing slow-acting peptide hormones that stimulate neurons throughout the gut and in the brain.”-

This has nothing to do with hunger. This is more of a primal response in which we sense something is not quite right. You don’t realize it, but the eyes and brain pick up more information than we can possibly do with. Hence why sleep has been such an important part of human routines. This is a way of the brain to process and even remove unwanted information, as well as removing toxins from the brain. I don’t necessarily believe in vibes, but I will say that I can judge someone pretty well upon meeting them. By this, I mean, that behavior by observation can tell you a lot about a person. The example is that the “first impression is always important” may have been correct. In studying psychology, there was an emphasis on noticing nonverbal cues and ticks. Can you tell I was studying to be a psychologist? I was fortunate enough to have a mentor at the time, and he taught me a lot about this.

I would go as far to say that understanding is a super power. That’s just me. What other examples can I include? Well, for one, there are many. Almost too many to list in this essay. I venture to say every day existence is a super power at this point. Waking up and getting out of bed. Someone who works two jobs while being a full-time mother, that’s impressive to me. I’m sure it’s impressive to most people.

In conclusion to this essay, I would say that super powers are largely subjective. I can, for example, see farther than you can, and this can be considered a super power, to you. Learning a skill quickly, can be considered a super power. I would posit, again, that these are abilities that are brought on genetically. I would assume, based on my studies, majority are brought on by mutations in the cells over time, then passed down to the next generation. If I may insert a statistic, you were a one in 400 trillion chance and you won the lottery of living. Being you is a super power. Congratulations, we’re all super human in our own right.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ehlers-danlos-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20362125

https://www.aimm.edu/blog/is-musical-talent-innate-or-acquired

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/synesthesia

https://science.sciencemag.org/content/361/6408/1203

Agnes is not ok.

Agnes cradled Ethan in her arms under the glow of the moonlight. She hadn’t been able to take her eyes off of the sweet boy since he’d been delivered earlier that evening, in fact she opted not to remove the umbilical cord. Moonlight that filtered in between intermittent clouds glistened on the now dry connection to her new son gave her some comfort and joy.

“God sent you from above, like an angel filled with love,” she hummed a melody before rocking back and forth, “I will hold you on my arm, away from all the world, away from harm. My dearest boy brimming with hope.” Agnes began to weep over the infant, intense sobs filling the room like a dreary sad chorus. Noah entered the room with a deep frown.

“The ambulance is on it’s way my love.”

“No.” Agnes snapped as she whipped her head toward him with an angry grimace.

“Ethan isn’t well.” He stated, a twinge of fear laced his words.

“Ethan is fine.” Agnes responded furiously as she stood.

“The ambulance will be here soon, it will be ok.” Noah fought the urge to take a step back, fighting to stand his ground as his grieving wife struggled with reality. Agnes remained silent as she stepped toward the open window, eyes locked into Noah’s, and released the infant from her eyes. Ethan plummeted to the concrete below with the placenta quickly following behind and the sickening thud alarmed not only Noah, but several passerby pedestrians on the sidewalk. The ambulance siren pierced the air shortly thereafter and the crackle of white noise as well as a paramedic’s voice audible to them. Before long a paramedic rushed into the room, the couple still locked in an intense eye contact but Noah silently sobbed.

“Ethan was stillborn. We can’t bring him back, especially not now.” The paramedic’s voice called for backup as he attempted to coax the distraught mother to join the paramedic.

“I can’t imagine how difficult this is for you, but I need you to come with me. I can help you.” His voice was so soothing and warm, Ethan almost wanted to go with him despite Agnes’ declining mental state. Agnes remained fixed, catatonic, in place. After several minutes he attempted to step closer, Agnes snapped into a burning rage as she propelled from the window, joining poor Ethan on the concrete below.

Bid adieu

A writer of snake,

skin of words,

poison ink,

fangs of pen,

We slither thoughts,

inform the prey,

hiss away,

bathe in the sun of glory,

alas the grass we rest,

I bid thee adieu,

the rest of you,

the skin of the snake that remains.

The meaning we search for…

If you’re anything like me, you’re searching for a meaning in life. Without getting political or religious, what is the meaning of life? Why are we here? I’m still searching for this answer. I have posed this question before and the answers are all different. Some might say the meaning of life is “to find love”, “make money”, “be famous”, and a myriad of other reasons that inspire someone to keep going. There seems to be a theme developing in my opinion.

Upon analyzing these answers, I realized the theme is based in stability. Think about it, everyone wants love. I can’t think of one person that doesn’t want love in one way or another. What about love is appealing? Having someone to grow old with, or someone you can lean on emotionally when you’re feeling insecure. What else comes with the kind of love we all yearn for? Stability.

How about money? Very few people actually want to become filthily wealthy, but we want to cover our amenities. Money will usually hold hands with working, which is another thing that we would hope is stable.

How can we tell stability is a motivator for people? You can see it in our media. You can see it in our behavior. Try to change a detail in a television show that’s been on air for a decade. Try to disrupt the schedule of an elderly couple. You will get backlash like no other.

Let’s look over some theories, there’s a plethora of them, that could be viable and you’ll see what I mean. The link cited at the bottom goes into more detail about semantics, such as “the meaning of meaning”, and who is asking the question. I intend on giving you some insights to ponder. I’m not swaying your decisions in any way, I merely want you to think. I ponder the meaning of life often. The significance of my existence is one I grow weary of pondering.

When the topic of the meaning of life comes up, people often pose one of two questions: “So, what is the meaning of life?” and “What are you talking about?” — Quoted from the weblink below.

Besides achievements to be made that make “life meaningful”, there are also moral standards that tend to be brought up. One such example is to be kind and treat others with respect, or to be morally upstanding. “Moral”, it is a subjective ambiguity we overlook on a regular basis. The problem with morals, is we all have different standards. My moral could be, let’s say, I don’t believe in a relationship that involves more than two people. Yet my polyamorous neighbors tend to have a stronger moral fiber than I do as a monogamous person. I don’t believe this personally, this is merely an example, but you see my point. Some people might think I’m morally bankrupt for thinking this way.

I digress to some further examples.

“First, to ask whether someone’s life is meaningful is not one and the same as asking whether her life is happy or pleasant. A life in an experience or virtual reality machine could conceivably be happy but very few take it to be a prima facie candidate for meaningfulness (Nozick 1974: 42–45).”

An interesting idea is that the meaning lies within sacrificing one’s happiness for another’s. This is paraphrased from the weblink below. Can you imagine? Who would end up being the happy one if we all sacrificed for each other? It is truly the mind of a madman, the meaning of life to be “the sacrifice of one’s happiness for another’s”.

The obtaining of vast knowledge, the enlightenment, the idea that we all must possess great awareness.

(Taylor 1989, ch. 1). It is implausible to think that these criteria are satisfied by subjectivist appeals to whatever choices one ends up making or to whichever desires happen to be strongest for a given person. — quotation for the cited weblink below.

Although relatively few have addressed the question of whether there exists a single, primary sense of “life’s meaning,” the inability to find one so far might suggest that none exists. In that case, it could be that the field is united in virtue of addressing certain overlapping but not equivalent ideas that have family resemblances (Metz 2013, ch. 2). Perhaps when we speak of “meaning in life,” we have in mind one or more of these related ideas: certain conditions that are worthy of great pride or admiration, values that warrant devotion and love, qualities that make a life intelligible, or ends apart from base pleasure that are particularly choice-worthy. Another possibility is that talk of “meaning in life” fails to exhibit even this degree of unity, and is instead a grab-bag of heterogenous ideas (Mawson 2010; Oakley 2010). — quotation for the cited weblink below.

I will not wrangle with religion or politics in this piece, however, it is mentioned in the weblink. I personally do not believe the “meaning of life” should be associated with religion or politics. That is my opinion.

How about in relation to the soul? Does this have any bearing on how the “meaning of life” can be interpreted?

A soul-centered theory is the view that meaning in life comes from relating in a certain way to an immortal, spiritual substance that supervenes on one’s body when it is alive and that will forever outlive its death. If one lacks a soul, or if one has a soul but relates to it in the wrong way, then one’s life is meaningless. There are two prominent arguments for a soul-based perspective. — quotation for the cited weblink below.

I tend to lean on this theory because it has so much to do with impact. I’ve been hyper aware of how something small, like a smile, can be a huge impact to anyone. What if this has bearing on the meaning of life? Making an impact on those we meet? My problem is always the “why” part. Why make an impact. What impact does making an impact do, exactly?

Life seems nonsensical when the wicked flourish and the righteous suffer, at least supposing there is no other world in which these injustices will be rectified, whether by God or by Karma. Something like this argument can be found in the Biblical chapter Ecclesiastes, and it continues to be defended (Davis 1987; Craig 1994). — quotation for the cited weblink below.

However, both arguments are still plagued by a problem facing the original versions; even if they show that meaning depends on immortality, they do not yet show that it depends on having a soul. By definition, if one has a soul, then one is immortal, but it is not clearly true that if one is immortal, then one has a soul. Perhaps being able to upload one’s consciousness into an infinite succession of different bodies in an everlasting universe would count as an instance of immortality without a soul. — quotation for the cited weblink below.

These quotes are so influential to me because they resonate with me. I felt they were too good not to quote.

If I were to posit, for a moment, that the meaning of life were simple, mine would have to boil down to stability. I know, I know; I’ve been building up to this climax of how I think the meaning of life is merely the stability we yearn for, but there is some truth to it. If you think for a moment how terrifying the world and universe actually is, stability sounds mighty comforting.

We are rotating on a giant rock, hurling through vast network of galaxies and everything in between. I think the idea that all we really need right now is some stability, it’s not that farfetched. Of course the other luxuries come with it, such as: love, hope, health, interconnectedness with others, and acceptance.

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/life-meaning/

The Hand of Gory?

Hands have many symbols from romance to fashion, but can they also be symbols of fear and evil?

Hi I’m Camille and I wanted to go into the “Hand of Glory, the legend that has stayed with me since I was a young girl. I’ve grown up with the stories of myths and legends since I was able to understand them, the obsession only growing as days pass.

What do hands mean to you? The object in which rings adorn. The appendage you hold when you love someone. It can be the means of language when speaking is no longer an option; it means many things to many people.

After what I’ve read and seen, the legend has been addressed in sections in small pieces. It’s difficult to find information on this subject as it is a strange and obscure legend, but it terrifies those who hear it. There are many representations in which the “creature” is merely a disembodied hand throughout the horror genre and even folklore and tales. Why? Anything that has been separated from the body can be terrifying, but what is it about the hand? I will dive into this strange legend.

The part of the legend I am familiar with, and the reason it scared me so much as a girl, is the most recent hand of glory in the Whitby museum. I cannot for the life of me find a clip or even a quip written about this part, so it’s possible I am remembering this incorrectly. The hand of glory in the Whitby museum was a criminal whose hand had been used in one such ritual, but when it was discovered and placed into the museum, there were witnesses that claimed the hand would move through the museum and even taunt the staff. Keeping in mind this is a severed hand, staff would say they “saw a hand scurry across the hallway,” or “I watched it open a door but there was no person attached,” such claims as those are terrifying. It scared me as a child.

So, what exactly is the “Hand of glory? In this context it is an object for which a strange ritual turns it into a talisman for thieves to use so, they may steal from someone. The most common method is to lop off a hand from a criminal hanging, pickle it, then fashion it into a candle. The c(hand)le is then lit so the criminal can then burgle the location in question. Many versions detail the various effects the hand of glory supposedly has, but in my opinion it’s a macabre tale.

We shall travel to Europe when criminals were used as examples to prevent further crime. Which is where this legend stems from. The legend details the hand of glory being used as a talisman to entrance the prospective victim. Once the victim is entranced, the criminal holding the talisman would be “invisible” just long enough to steal the items they were searching for and get away successfully. One version even claims that the hand of glory would glow brightly in the presence of the precious wealth they searched for, the whole reason they needed this strange tool to begin with. There are several versions in which the hand of glory has different effects on both the victim and the thief.

The legend even offers a way to protect yourself, though is equally as troubling and obscure. I don’t think screech owl blood, gall of a black cat(whatever that means), and fat of a chicken is available for pick up these days. If all else failed, you could extinguish the flame, only, with sterilized “blue milk”. I won’t go into too much detail on how to make the “Hand of glory”, those articles and videos will be cited below. Enjoy that gory detail.

Let’s dive into where they came up with this term. I forgot to mention this idea has been around since, at the least, the 18th century. It comes from the French “Mandrake”. These strange roots were also known to have mystical qualities. It is said, they too, can emanate light and could be used as a lamp. They were believed to grow near or under the hangman’s gallows in which even the criminals who hung, had a nightlight, that went as far back as the fifteenth century. How sweet. Of course the tales are sporadic at best, as there are few true illustrations of the legend. For example in 1590, during a witch trial in Scotland, one criminal confessed after intense, coercion and torture, to possessing this “Hand of glory”. Most people believed these tales as “gospel truth” (as they say) because it was a different time to live. It was a time where a doctor could say “this has a red root, therefore it shall possess a healing quality to those with bloodborne diseases”, see how that could work?

The Antiquary [by Sir Walter Scott] “

From his wallet drew a human hand,

Shrivel’d, and dry, and black;

And fitting, as he spake,

A taper in his hold,

Pursued: “A murderer on the stake had died;

I drove the vulture from his limbs, and lopt

The hand that did the murder, and drew up

The tendon strings to close its grasp;

And in the sun and wind

Parch’d it, nine weeks exposed.

The taper . . . But not here the place to impart,

Nor hast thou undergone the rites

That fit thee to partake the mystery.

Look! It burns clear, but with the air around,

Its dead ingredients mingle deathliness.”

In the Netherlands, West Flanders specifically, the hand, foot, or finger could be used to put people to sleep for the sake of thievery. The burning fingers would keep them sleepy and unable to defend from the thief. In Germany It is the thumb they use, also keeping the victim lethargic. It makes you wonder where in the world they came up with these rituals and strange beliefs. To us, it is strange. Hence why they are legends. Were these actual events that took places? Could we be missing the vital clue to make the legend a reality? It’s an excellent question, but alas, I cannot answer. I am merely telling you a tale.

This exploration has taken time and research to develop. I’ve wanted to do an analysis on this piece for a number of years and finally got to it. There are many that have looked at this legend, but in chunks or snippets. I want it all in one place. Of course the legends and tales I enjoy, have sporadic information. Maybe that’s why I’m drawn to them. I am meant to investigate such subjects so that I may bring them to you. I want you to enjoy this dizzying, terrifying tale as much as I do. Enjoy the links below if you would like more information about this subject. I only scratched the surface of the how many variations there are of the story, and the methods in which it can be achieved.

Thank you for tuning into another episode of the “Dahlia Blake Corner of Intrigue.”

https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/morbid-monday-severed-hands#:~:text=According%20to%20an%20old%20European,still%20hung%20from%20the%20gallows.

http://myths.e2bn.org/mythsandlegends/origins15607-the-hand-of-glory.html

https://www.pitt.edu/~dash/hand.html

https://the-line-up.com/hand-of-glory

Acting in Love.(Horror Short)

“You’re breaking every one of my rules.” Nori said softly, leaning away from him. Nori quivered as Cooper approached.

“Every word,” Cooper whispered, edging closer to her ear: his breath was hot and urgent against her neck. She could feel the relentless pulsing of the one thing she yearned for in that moment.

“Every word, now crossed out. The graces of light on the wall as they crumble to the floor, you are my statue.” She said. Desperately seduced by his charm. “Enlightened risk, how have I fallen so low and feel so high?”

“Pray you stay wrapped in me.” Cooper hesitated as he paused just before his lips caressed the side of her neck.

“Your angel eyes are written in code, your halo of smoke.” A soft sound left Nori’s lips, a moan maybe, too quiet even for her to hear. A single bead of sweat formed, ready to drift down as she leaned forward.

“Yet the waters of forgiveness flood you, blind compassion in your midst as our eyes dance; our voices sing in unison.” He stood still, his breath tickling her neck with the same desperate warmth of his allure. Nori is mesmerized by Cooper, so much so she can feel her climax approaching.

“Cut, that was beautiful. If I didn’t know any better I would say you two were a couple. I can’t wait to see that scene myself.” The director, Louie, called from his chair, rising with echoing claps of his hands. The pair reluctant to release their grip of passion. He drew back first with a shy smile, as she timidly rearranged her hair away from her face. Both panting, both mentioning something about needing a cigarette.

“Yeah, you were great.” She breathed.

“You were too.” he said with a nervous smile.

“Alright love birds, that’s a wrap. I was going to shoot one more scene but unfortunately we have to cut today short. We’ll meet back tomorrow, ten sharp.” Louie said as he pointed at them playfully.

“So what are you doing after this?” Cooper asked, nervously fidgeting as he stood.

“I was going to sing Karaoke with some girlfriends, and you?” Nori smiled, just as nervous as Cooper.

“Oh, that sounds like fun. I’m staying in tonight, maybe order some Chinese food.”

“I love Chinese food!” Nori exclaimed absentmindedly, before her hand met her mouth with a smack just as unexpected as her comment.

“I mean,” Cooper mumbled, “You could join me after you hang out with your friend’s.”

“I hate Karaoke.” Nori felt the blood rushing to her face with excitement and embarrassment cradling each other.

The silence clung to the air with deafening echoes as they exchanged nervous glances and fidgeting intermittently before deciding to leave. Nori brought out her phone and clicked the number to call her friend. At least that’s how she made it seem, she lied. She had no better plans after filming, Karaoke was a lie though she indeed hated it. Cooper had lied as well but now his stomach churned with intensity as every step made contact to the concrete. There was an unnamed tension between the actor and the actress; Cooper and Nori.

“Follow me,” Cooper suggested, the mildest hint of excitement laced his volatile voice.

“Is there decent parking?” Nori asked, hiding her anxiety of being closer to Cooper with the idea of less than ideal parking.

“I have space in my driveway.” Cooper’s voice lowered, almost sheepishly.

“Deal,” Nori said, instinctively holding her arm out to shake his hand but his puzzled bewilderment inspired enough doubt to draw her hand closer to her pockets.

Nori followed closely, not too closely, but enough to pass traffic lights without losing sight of his white coupe, obeying most traffic laws. She murmured to herself about her course of action and what to say. Cooper did the same, glancing occasionally to the pretty face in the red sedan behind him.

He would admire with swift glimpses before a red light stopped him. He peered into his rear view mirror to find that not only was the red sedan not a sedan, but the pretty face wasn’t who he thought. Cooper frowned into his lap, watching the flicker of red from the traffic light turn green as he eased back into gear and drove.

Nori grinned as she was right next to him, a small trick as she still trailed behind, watching his every weave and turn until they turned onto a dark residential street. Nori chuckled to herself as Cooper approached, what she would assume to be, his house. It would be cruel to squander a rare opportunity, so she eagerly honked.

“Nori,” Cooper smiled as he rushed from his car, “I thought I lost you.”

“I wasn’t lost, you didn’t notice me driving next to you?” Cooper smacked his forehead, not even considering that as an option, yet so relieved.

The click echoed in the relatively small two bedroom house he owned with his three dogs. It’s obvious to Nori that Cooper is renovating the side bedroom and kitchen, which is probably why he opted to order fast food. Nori was curious about the three dogs he owned, which was easily explained. They were locked outside for the time being.

“Would you like to watch a movie?” He asks meekly before clearing his throat and asking again more confidently. Nori shakes her head. Containing herself is too much to bear, she removes her leather jacket and it falls to the ground with a gentle thud. Cooper wastes no time as he felt the same way, removing his shirt not caring where it landed.

Cooper and Nori quoted their lines from the scene they filmed earlier, sticky seductive moments as they pushed and pulled against each other in passion. Their indiscretion led them into the living room then to the couch where the culmination boiled to climax of kissing and scratching. Had they been more aware, they would have noticed the door to the guest room creak open, a pair of eyes watching the couple as they were wrapped around each other. They might have also noticed the large butcher knife in his left hand and the pulsing member he stroked. The dangerous voyeur hiding in the guest bedroom had waited all night for this kill.