Monday, November 11, 2013

A Patriot’s Heart (Veteran’s Day Science Fiction FTW)

Monday- November 11, 2013. Veteran’s Day

Chapter 1
Rynal Grant woke up with a smile on his face and a slight kink in his back. He stretched it out, yawned then lay back upon his pillow. Then he became serious and recited a prayer and thanked his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for allowing him to see yet another birthday. He acknowledged that tomorrow isn’t promised but was grateful for what he had been given, even though he felt himself un-worthy. He ended his prayer, got up, showered, dressed, and then made his way to Starbucks. This was his tradition for the past few years, to celebrate his birthday with a nice hot cup of Joe from his favorite coffee place. He just knew that this would be a birthday/Veteran’s Day he’d not soon forget.

At Starbucks he got his coffee and sat down in a comfortable chair. The soft earth toned chair matched the motif that is Starbuck’s signature. He enjoyed being around so many different people’s. He saw them each as someone with a different story to tell. He glanced at them then looked away not wanting to appear creepy. It’s just that he found them so interesting. He could write stories about each of them, made up of course, simply for his own amusement. He could do it because he felt some kind of way about them. He hoped that they were all having as wonderful a day as he was having. Then he focused his attention on his Facebook page. So many notifications from his Facebook friends wishing him a happy birthday drew a huge smile. He had been at this all weekend. Sunday was the United States Marine Corps birthday and Monday was his birthday and simultaneously Veteran’s Day. So having served as a U. S. Marine rounded off the excitement and pride he felt. He posted a picture of himself in his dress blues, that uniform that is easily recognizable the world over. Yes. He was very proud of his service. Proud indeed.

He glanced at the old man to his left. He studied the lines on the old man’s face for a minute. He had a scar that was almost indistinguishable from his normal wrinkles. That combined with the milky whiteness of his left eye was enough to tell the tale. This man was a soldier. He guessed a Vietnam Veteran. The man was elderly, but Rynal could tell from looking at him, he would not have wanted to meet this man in his prime. The old man glanced back then casually looked away. Rynal hoped he hadn’t offended him. He continued to while away the time on his Facebook page, jumping back and forth between social networking sites, as his laptop’s battery slowly drained.

Chapter 2
Being so immersed within the internet, few people recognized the sky. What began as a clear and sunny day was quickly obscured by dark clouds and lightening. It would later be described as a tornado opening in the middle of the sky. Out of the tornado flew a giant insect looking ship. The back of which opened and produced smaller flying ships and bug eyed soldiers who, once their feet hit the ground, began to fire at everything, anything, and anyone in their way. They made their way from the strip mall’s parking lot over to the Starbucks near Hardy St.

Finally the hipsters inside of the Starbucks noticed what was going on. If that didn’t get their attention the explosions and the couple flying through the glass wall did. Rynal quickly packed up his laptop, phone and made for the door. He ignored everyone and everything else. There was so much chaos going on around him, he panicked. He got outside and made a break for his car. Before he got 20 feet from the front door of the Starbucks he found standing directly in front of him a soldier. The humanoid bug faced creature stood 6’5” tall and he pointing right at Rynal’s chest a strange but recognizable weapon, his rifle.

The people inside Starbucks looked on helplessly. They knew this man was about to die. One man even had his camcorder capturing and streaming to YouTube everything that was happening. They all felt useless and dismayed at the inevitable. To everyone’s surprise, including the alien soldier, Rynal grabbed the barrel of the rifle slap the bottom out of the smug invader’s grip then pulled the trigger. The smug grin left the alien’s face when his guts exploded. He lay on the ground looking as if he could not believe this was happening to him of all creatures. He stared into Rynal’s face. He no longer saw someone to conqueror. He no longer saw a story he was going to share with his buddies when this was all over. He saw the face of a U. S. Marine. A face full of mercy and kindness…just no mercy and kindness for him. This was the last face he saw before wishing he stayed home on his own planet.

Something blossomed within Rynal. After he shot the alien attacker in the face he ran back to the Starbucks tucked and rolled behind a parked Hyundai. To his surprise bumping up against him was that one eyed old man with the scar on his face. He shouted with glee,

“Hooah, Devil Dog! This reminds me of the battle of Hue, during the Tet Offensive! We were taken by surprise, but we had some surprises of our own!!”

Rynal, surprised, asked, “How did you know I was a Marine!?!”

The Scar faced Vet said, “Because you yelled Oorah! While you were killing the bug! Name’s Sargent First Class James Metcalf, but you can call me Scarface!”

Rynal didn’t realize that he said anything when he killed the alien. Later he would be totally surprised and glad for his actions when he watched the video that showed him expertly disarming the alien soldier, yelling “Oorah” then pumping the alien with more than the required amount of rounds to kill, well, any living thing.

Scarface said with an edge of satisfaction, “Let’s send these buggers back where they came from.”

With those words the two Veteran’s reenlisted themselves back into their respective branches of military service and they began to drop the alien invaders within the vicinity. When the aliens were down, the human survivors, veterans and civilian, men and women, young and old took up their weapons and began to fight back giving the alien invaders what for.

Chapter 3
Carly Monroe was feeling fidgety. She sat beside her mom quietly watching the program as it progressed. It was a Veteran’s Day program held at the Mississippi Armed Forces Museum. Her grandfather was one of the many veteran’s honored for their bravery during this country’s time of need. As a sophomore at the University of Southern Mississippi she honored her grandfather and her father who was currently a Major in the United States Army serving in Afghanistan, by showing up with the rest of her family for this momentous occasion.

If you asked her, she would have told you exactly how she felt about war. She hated it. She viewed it as the most disgusting action a country can take. The end result is the loss of innocent lives of men, women, and children. The “powers that be” should sit down and talk it out rather than kill each other and put innocent people in danger. She once voiced this to her family. It was after they buried her older brother Caleb, a Marine who died saving a village and his platoon mates back in 2003 in Iraq. She loved her brother so much. He was the most gentle person she knew. She could always count on him to brighten up her day. Even when she knew she was annoying him, he still made time to sit and listen to her.

Her mom would say, "If you two weren’t three years apart, I’d swear you were twins." This was her relationship with her brother.

She thought he’d go off to college and become an actor or some kind of a professional in the entertainment industry, however, when 9/11 occurred, that Monroe patriotism flared up within him and he joined the USMC. Secretly she tried to talk him out of it.

“What are you thinking? Are you trying to make mom, dad and grandpa proud of you? They are! Caleb you don’t need to do this!!”
This drew a small burst of anger from him.

“Yes I do! Carly, we were attacked! Everything I know and love is right here in Kosciusko, MS! If those terrorists think that they can come over here and destroy our way of life, then someone has to stand up to them! Me or someone else like me!

Carly replied, “…but why you!?! Can’t someone else do it!?!”

Caleb, gently grabbing her by her shoulders and looking down into her glistening blue eyes then said to her,

“Because someone has to stand up to the bully. See this scar over my eye? I got it from Richie Jacobs. I was so afraid of him, so were my friends. Dad told me that I should stand up to him. I asked him why me too. He said because someone has to. If not you, then who? One day Richie was pushing my friend Terrell Jones around, calling him the N-Word and what not. Even though he was way bigger than me and Terrell, I still walked over there and stood up for my friend. That day Terrell and me gave ol’ Richie Jacobs a well deserved beating. He hasn’t bothered either of us since. I hate bullies. I WILL stand up to them and give them the whooping they need. It’s like grandpa said, “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” I refuse to just sit around and do nothing. I’m gonna fight!”

Carly, tears flowing freely, but still persistent asked, “B-But what if you die?”

The words came out shakily. Caleb replied,

“If my sacrifice affords you a day, a week, a year of freedom to live your life without fear, then I think it’s worth it.”

Her thoughts drifted back to the present. Her grandfather had taken center stage and was giving a speech backed by several
vets, one of which was a Tuskegee Airman. They stood covered in their medals offering the best salute men of their age could offer. She caught wind of what was to be her grandfather’s last recorded words.

“…my actions, and the actions of these brave men behind me have afforded this country the freedom they now enjoy, but I fear our time is at an end. It is up to young people like you to fight for the freedom of the generations that are following you. In the words of Edmund Burke, “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men (and women, he looked at his granddaughter) to do nothing.”

At that instant, her grandfather’s chest exploded into a cloud of red that sprayed everyone in the front row. In the commotion that followed she ignored it all and ran to his aid. She lifted his head and called to him. The aliens subdued and or killed the armed soldiers in the museum. One of their kind, perhaps a Lieutenant approached the podium and began to make clicking sounds that no human understood. He pressed something on his breast then began again. He urged everyone to calm down and assured that this would not take long. He asserted his people’s dominance over the peoples of the earth. He told of how they came from a great distance away in search of another planet to take over and that the primitives here had two choices, to obey and live or resist and die.

Carly recognized several things here. This alien guy, with his condescending talk, was a bully. Bullies need to be taught a lesson. She noticed his side arm and that he did not consider her a threat. She noticed her grandfather had come to for the moment and was mouthing something to her. She leaned in closer to listen.

“You can do something baby. Be strong. You can fig-…”

She thought of her brother Caleb and his words to her. She decided to do something. She didn’t know what exactly, but it would be something for sure. She kissed her now dead grandpa on the forehead, whispered goodbye, and then lay him down. She glanced around taking stock of the room. The aliens were comfortable that there were no other threats so they were somewhat relaxed. She could hear the struggle going on outside, and soon the rear door to the room they were in burst open. A small group of U. S. Army soldiers comprised of both men and women came busting through the doors firing at the aliens.

That was all the distraction she needed. She sprang to her feet, snatched the alien lieutenant’s side arm out of its holster then fired point blank into his back and said into what she believed to be his ear,

“That was for my grandpa and this is for my planet!”

She fired into his back a second time then discarded his limp body to the side. Unconsciously taking on a classic shooter’s stance she fired at the alien soldiers at her left side, dropping every one with an accurately placed head shot as the Army soldiers who unknowingly provided her with the distraction, dropped the rest. The aliens in that room did not stand a chance.

Carly Monroe’s views changed that day. She realized that there is a time when you must fight. She realized that the weak and defenseless needed a Caleb Monroe to come to their rescue. She purposed within herself to be that defender of the weak. Not only would she fight, but she would see to it that these invaders who haphazardly took innocent lives got exactly what they deserved.

…to be continued…

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Women Problems: Why Do I Bother

~ I have a problem. I know I’ve titled this post “Women Problems: Why Do I Bother?”, but my real problem is I haven’t learned the art of “Baby, You’re Right!” Perhaps it’s because I’ve been single for so long. Perhaps it’s because of my pride. I’m not clear on the reasons and the whys. What I do know is women drive me crazy. Thus far, I have endeavoured to keep this blog positive and I think I have done a very good job of that. However, this post is a rant to someone. I don't mind you reading it but don't be all bent out of shape with me for this one rant. ~

The reason I didn’t want to continue talking to you is because I realized, right off the bat, I was the bad guy. No matter what valid point I made, it would be turned around and used against me. It was clear to me that you were in a very emotional state and I really didn’t want to argue. I wish I didn’t send you that last text message, telling you just that, because I just furnished you with ammo for the next time you want to argue. I apologize for that.

As far as communication goes, I understand you want to feel “loved” and “pursued” and “wanted” but the fact of the matter is if I don’t call you for a couple of days doesn’t mean I don’t love you. You should understand, I’m 37 years old and I’ve never been married. I’m used to having time to myself. I love you but sometimes I like to be by myself. I’m a loner like that. If we were actually married, I would look at things differently. I know you are always going to be there. I know the kids are always going to be there. I understand that. Guess what…we’re not married! I’m, technically, still single and I still want time for myself (many times I feel like you expect me to be a husband but I don’t see it that way because we aren’t married…yet).

You seem to want me to change a lot of things about myself before we get married. I understand that with “precision understanding”. I know if I don’t (for example) brush my teeth regularly before I’m married, I’m not going to do it after I get married. Well, I’m not the only one who needs to change things prior to our “elusive” nuptials. I do remember the episode that followed an announcement I made to you when I explained to you that when we get married, you would have to attend seminary school (I was only trying to plant a seed, prepare you for the future). You got all upset as if I slapped your face. I wasn’t asking you to drop everything you were doing right now, change, and move away from everything you know with me (just so you know, I don’t expect to live here in MS until I’m old unless God wants me to. If I had my way, I’d be somewhere else like London, England). You say you love me and that you have faith in God but why does it scare you to move to the other side of the country with me so that you can attend Bible Seminary? It’s not like you won’t be able to visit (I want a wife not a prisoner)!

Wait! Let me guess! You are afraid that I’m going to change on you. You are afraid that I am going to become someone else or treat you differently around people that you do not know. You are afraid that I will not be responsible with/for your kids because after all, “they are YOUR kids and you have a responsibility to them and because they aren’t mine, I won’t care about them the way you would! That’s a mother’s love!!!” (Really!? You think I’m that heartless, really!?!)

This tells me that you don’t trust me or understand me. I understand, but you your feelings on the matter were so strong it causes me to wonder, why would you be with me at all? If I’m this “threat” that you think I am, if I am this “big danger”, why are you with me? Would you rather I lay my ministry to the side and just change into what YOU want me to be and you yourself not have to change? (This is the impression I get from you.)

It is for this reason that I have not “officially” proposed. For one thing, to be with you is expensive. I have not been the most financially responsible in the past, I know that. For the past few years I have been actively working to reverse my financial situation. So far, I don’t see how being with you is going to change that (I’m not blaming you for my financial situation. I clearly said “I have not been the most financially responsible in the past”).

Look. I can go on and on and on about many things. Your “communication policy” (How much affirmation do you need!?!), your reluctance to change but demanding that I be different, even your subtle attacks on my character (…because you’re so perfect). I am forced to ask myself, why do I bother? Why do I put up with you? Six years ago, I broke up with you (I’ve broken up with you several times within the past 7 months actually) because of similar things I’ve enumerated above. If I am as “messed up”, as you obviously feel I am, why would you put up with me?

It’s things like this that frustrates me so much. Why should we bother? You’ve mentioned to me that you have a ministry to perform before God. You’ve told me what that is. I honestly do not see how that is going to work if we are married. You don’t seem to be the kind of woman that can let a man be a man and run things. Though you claim that this is what you want. All I see from you is a big ball of fight, resistance and rebellion.

I know this is where you’ll try to point out some flaw I have. Yes, I have flaws. I choose to keep those flaws between me and God. I prefer to work them out with Him, but tell me something…why is it you have so much confidence/understanding in God and His word but the meaning of I Corinthians 11:5-6 totally and completely eludes you.

[I Corinthians 11:5-6, “…But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. (6) For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.]

So, yeah, we all have areas we need to work on. My closing statement or the sum of it all is my reluctance to marry you is due to you. I put up with you because I do love you and I feel that you are my soul mate. I am careful and reluctant to marry you because despite me feeling like you are my soul mate, I want to be sure that I want you (too many times people have told me to take my time, well, I’m taking my time). To want you means I’m willing to put up with all of your problems (many of which you have not shared with me and it’s not due to my lack of communication or you having the opportunity to tell me) and quite frankly, “I can do bad all by myself”.

I would much rather us not be married and happy than to be married and miserable. I feel like this, if you feel like I am going to be a problem/more trouble than I am worth to you, then feel free to let me move on. Sure I will hurt, but I will also put on my big boy pants and move on with my life. That is how I feel about you. I know people believe that if you love someone, you’ll do anything for them or to be with them. I believe that includes letting them go as well. I don’t require much of you, but I do require that you be “with the program”. If you can’t do that (you’ve been reluctant thus far) then please…love me enough to let me go on my way. There ARE other people out there for us. There is NO shame in NOT getting married.