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My Thoughts on Christianity, Homosexuality, and Marriage Equality

This is a conundrum.

I am only speaking from my opinion, my perspective, so anything I say shouldn’t be correlated to any group of people nor should my words be representative of any group of people. This is all just me. With that said, I’ll start.

I’m a Christian. I believe homosexuality is a sin. I support marriage equality for all human beings.

Many people automatically think, “oh, she’s a Christian so she is against gay marriage”. It’s a false misconception. The misconception occurs because Christianity is based on the teachings of the Bible and the Bible clearly states wrong things that we as followers, aren’t supposed to do or aren’t supposed to take part in. It’s a conflict of belief and personal preferences.

How can I be a Christian, believe homosexuality is a sin, and still support gay marriage?

The thing about Christianity is that calling someone a sinner isn’t an insult. It’s an accepted belief that everyone is a sinner. We’ve all done wrong things. It’s normal to be a sinner because no one is perfect. It’s like saying, “you have blood” or “there’s a brain in your head”. Being a sinner isn’t a degrading and insulting thing. Rather, it acknowledges that we’re imperfect beings that need a Savior.

People often forget that homosexuality isn’t the only sexual sin in the Bible. There’s seven, one of which I truly have forgotten by now so I’ll just leave unnamed. Surprisingly, it isn’t masturbation. Masturbation isn’t a sexual sin. There’s adultery, fornication, prostitution, homosexuality, incest, and beastiality. Adultery is sex outside of marriage. Fornication is sex before marriage. Prostitution is sex for money. Homosexuality is sex with the same sex. Incest is sex within the immediate family. And beastiality is sex with animals.

People have often said to me, “how can you be so against love? It says don’t eat shellfish and pigs in the Bible and people do that. How do you just pick and choose what you want when it’s convenient for you?”

The people who ask these questions are often defensive. That means one big thing: they’re not listening to me. Regardless of what I say, all they hear is, “she’s a Christian and a hypocrite and a bigot and against gay marriage.” If I say I’m not against gay marriage, the words totally fly over their heads because they’re not listening. They’re angry and upset and on the defense.

It’s a common misconception to anyone who doesn’t understand the Bible that sexual sins doesn’t equal food regulations. It’s a hard concept for many to grasp because it does state that Jews weren’t allowed to eat shellfish and pigs and fish without scales and things that were named unclean. It was meant to keep them from doing wrong. People around them were eating all these things that they couldn’t eat. If they ate them, then they’d also hang out more with the people around them, get married to the people who lived around them, and eventually, turn away from God by worshiping other gods of the people around them. The laws were in place so the Jewish people could keep themselves separated from the people around them.

In the new Testament, when Paul was recruiting Romans and everyone else not Jewish, it was said that for the people who understood that it isn’t what goes into your body that defiles you (makes you unclean), then they could bless whatever food was put before them and eat. To those who were a bit weaker of faith and who saw that eating such foods might in some way defile them, then for them not to eat. Jesus himself said that it wasn’t what went into our bodies that defiled us because it goes in through our mouths and out the other end and cast away into nothingness. But it’s the things that come from our mouths (words and blessings and curses) that defile us because they come from the heart, for out of the heart comes evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, and blasphemies.

Sexual sins are very different from eating foods. Sex serves for two purposes: procreation and reproduction, and the joining of two into one flesh. We all know about the having babies part, but when two people become one, it’s a very different thing (spiritually speaking). It can be dangerous because people are vessels. Vessels for God and vessels for other things. Spirits can inhabit people and not in the way you see on tv and not by those kinds of possessions. Most people walk around with spirits attached to them and they don’t know it.These spirits can transfer from one person to the next. This occurs by touch. In reference to sexual sins, it’s like spiritually sexually transmitted diseases. You probably don’t know you have it and you’ll probably never show up with any of the symptoms, but you’ve been infested and invaded.

While people often associate homosexuality to being the only sexual sin, they’re very wrong. Adultery, a sexual sin, cannot occur without marriage. I totally support marriage for heterosexual couples. And in a way, that supports the presence of adultery. Without marriage, adultery wouldn’t exist. Marriage in itself is really to stop people from sinning so much. Marriage is a barrier to sexual sins because it allows two people to safely have sex inside a marriage and to have a healthy relationship because of marriage.

I’m a firm believer in marriage equality and equal rights for all people regardless of race, sex, religion, color, sexual orientation, etc, etc. I am also a very stubborn and outspoken person about things I am passionate about. I am a huge supporter of freedom because no one is going to tell me what I can and cannot do and what I can and cannot say. I do not like mass control. Not allowing gays the right to marriage or to tax breaks or to adoptions is a form of controlling the masses. It’s a form of religious control in a world where there is a supposed freedom of religion because people are imposing their beliefs and ideas of marriage upon others. It’s a form of oppression because as human beings, gays should have every right that any other person is allowed. That means freedom from hatred and violence. I also see this a lot with race and color. It’s sad that individuals want to dictate whether a person lives or dies based on their skin color or their ethnicity. No one has the right to take a life, not even their own life, in my opinion.

I’m a firm believer in letting people learn on their own. We all do bad things. Murder. Adulteries. Thefts, Fornications. False Witnesses. Blasphemies. Evil thoughts. Etc, etc. While one wrong may be judged more harshly according to the laws of man, God sees all sins as being the same. Rebellion is the same as witchcraft. Stubborness is equated to iniquity (not doing what God specifically says to do) and also to idolatry (worshiping other gods). Who would’ve ever thought that stubborness was a sin? Well, here it is, a sin. So while we’re sitting here judging homosexuals for their sins and trying to prevent them from equal rights, we ourselves are all at fault of something. No one is preventing us from getting married so why should we feel a right or an entitlement to imposing our beliefs upon others and prevent them from marriage and equal rights? It’s wrong. It’s very hypocritical and unjust.

I try very hard not to judge others for their wrong doings. I am no better than they are. I’m actually much, much worse then any one of them. I’m a firm believer in letting God decide what is right and what is wrong. My human intelligence is limited. I have no omniscience. Good and bad to me are simply words, words that changes meaning with popular culture and whatever is the in thing to do. There are many things that I think is wrong although no one else seems to have a problem with it, and many things I think is right although no one else seems to agree with me on it. Therefore, I leave people in God’s hands. Mine are not capable enough to deal with someone so precious as a life. I would mess it up. I would totally screw it all up and mess it up bad. So for all the things I don’t know and I don’t understand, I let God handle it.

Love isn’t always an easy thing. It’s not always happy and blissful. It’s harsh at times. It’s punishing at other times. It’s suffering many times over. But love is the most beautiful thing there is. It may be difficult at times, but it is encouraging and uplifting and good and hopeful. I do not understand how oppression, corruption, control, and abuse is in any way a form of love, even a form of tough love.It’s not. How can we show love with so much hatred? How can we show love with so much violence? How do we even demand that someone else cannot have the same rights as ourselves? Love isn’t taught through war. Love isn’t taught through hate. Love is compassion and kindness. Love is patience and joy.

I’m tired and I’m off to bed. I wish for world peace. Let’s all be at peace with one another.
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Posted by on April 29, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Dust and Ashes

(When eight-year old Zahid’s father dies in the throes of the Sudanese civil war, Zahid must save his best friend, ten-year old Maleek, from the rebel Red Army who kidnaps children and trains them to fight and die for the army’s cause.)

The day that my father died was also the day that I met my best friend Maleek. I wasn’t there at the place where they killed him. I was too busy getting into trouble, even when my father specifically told me to stay inside. I didn’t obey him. He wouldn’t have known and so I sneaked out of the apartment we shared and ran down to the market to buy some sweets. That was where I met Maleek. He was two years older than me, ten, and he had skin so black I thought it hurt to touch him. We had been running around for most of the day, two dirty kids laughing and playing in the middle of the market, as happy as we could’ve been. There wasn’t much to be happy about it those days. I didn’t like the place my father and I had come to or the people here. I didn’t remember being happy much after we arrived here.

My father, General Hamad Assain, divorced my mother when I was still a child. I remembered nothing of her, but I found a picture of a beautiful woman hidden in some of my mother’s belongings. She had dark hair and very pale skin. Her eyes were a soft green and she smiled. I have her eyes, the same shade of summer leaves on the sparse trees that grew around the apartment complex where we used to live. Years later, I heard rumors that told me a different story. The rumors said that my father didn’t really divorce my mother. My mother was said to have been having an affair with another man and when my father found out, he killed both her and the unborn baby brother or sister I could’ve had which was in her belly at the time. I didn’t believe the stories told about my father. I didn’t know my mother, but I was sure she was a good woman. My father was always so king and so nice to me. He couldn’t have murdered my mother and the baby. He was a devout Muslim man who believed in doing good and in treating others with love and respect.

We lived in the small apartment complex, which was a series of white boxes stacked one on top of the other, for the first few years of my life. We moved shortly before my seventh birthday because my father had a job that took him from place to place, and this time, he was to be gone for a very, very long period of time so he took me with him. He explained this new place to me before we left. It was a place filled with new things and new people–people so dark that at night, the only part of them that could be seen was the white of their eyes. I didn’t believe him. No person was ever that dark. But this was to be a world different from the one I knew while living in the tiny apartment complex. This was no longer Saudi Arabia, but Africa, and that was where we were going.

“Zahid,” Maleek whispered as his invisible fingers shook me gently. “It’s your turn to keep watch.”

“Leave me alone,” I mumbled quietly, pushing his hand away. “I just fallen asleep.”

Maleek pressed the button on his watch, covering the soft light of the indiglo with his whole hand cupped around the face of the watch. “It’s four-twenty and my turn to sleep,” he insisted. “You slept for four hours.”

I groaned and swatted behind me, not hitting Maleek, but wishing that it was as easy to ignore him as crushing a pesky mosquito and not having to deal with the persistent buzzing in my ear. “Fine, fine,” I said as I forced myself to sit up. It was so dark that the only part of Maleek I saw was the white of his eyes. We stared at each other for a moment. “Go on then,” I said to him. “Sleep, sleep, so it will quickly be my turn again.”

“In time,” Maleek said as he settled down beside me. He dug himself into the dry dirt and bent some tall grass to use as a pillow. He took off his watch and gave it to me. “Don’t lose it,” he warned me sternly. He did this every time he had to part with the watch. “My father gave it to me. If you lose it, I will kill you.” The threat was an idle one. Maleek didn’t have a father. He grew up on the streets of Umptin, a small poor city in Sudan. He found the watch one day while digging through the trash bins, searching for something to eat. The wrist band was the only part that was broken so Maleek found some string and tied two ends to the face, creating a new band.

“I hear you too loudly,” I said, hushing him with the last two words. “It’s safe, I promise.” I tied the watch tightly on to my wrist, making sure that it wouldn’t fal off, and then I turned to see Maleek staring at me. “What?” I asked. “Didn’t you want to sleep?”

“Don’t fall asleep, Zahid,” Maleek warned me. “I have a bad feeling about tonight.”

“Tonight, tonight,” I said to him. “Night’s almost over now. You always have bad feelings.”

He nodded at me. “Yes, and you fell asleep twice.”

My cheeks reddened, but Maleek couldn’t see the color in the dark. I bit my lip and puffed out my chest. “A simple accident,” I told him. “I didn’t fall asleep after that. If I said I’m up, I’m up.” He only stared at me and it made me more nervous. “Don’t worry,” I said as I pushed his head towards the ground. “I am the brave son of a General. In my country, everyone will be glad to know that we are protecting them, us Generals. My people are not cowards. My father never ran away. I will never run away. And you will not have to fear–”

“You speak too much,” Maleek said as he closed his eyes. I instantly stopped in mid-sentence. I did speak too much when I get nervous. “Do not fall asleep, Zahid,” Maleek repeated. “I have a very bad feeling about this.”

“You can count on me,” I told him. Then I stared into the darkness where I thought he lay until I was sure that he was asleep. “Nothing to do now,” I whispered to myself. “It’s good there’s no lions around.” I shuddered at the thought of the wild beasts that could at any moment, rip to pieces two weak young boys in the middle of nowhere and no one would’ve ever known we existed. I cast the thought out of my head and focused on the task at hand. I was going to keep us both safe, like my father would’ve done if he was still here.

Africa was much like Saudi Arabia in that sand and dirt was everywhere. It was much hotter in Sudan and since being here, I gained a darker skin color than what I’ve been used to all my life. My father and I moved to a small city which wasn’t really a city at all. The roads were cracked and broken with deep gashes stretching far into the earth. Trash was piled up at every place imaginable and there was no room to step without having to step on some type of trash that was permanently stuck on the ground and could never be removed even if it was scrubbed by powerful machines. Vegetables were in short supply and most of them, wilted, nearing rotten by the time that it was carried home in plastic bags. Gangs of little kids shamelessly begged in the streets, picked pockets, and stole right from under noses and hands. I didn’t know that each dirty and raggedly dressed child was an orphan, a lone survivor who banded together with other unlucky souls to survive in their unkind world. I didn’t want to ever become like them. In fact, the city that we arrived in was a great big one with no unsupervised children running around, nice paved roads, restaurants to eat at, and beautiful homes and apartments. I thought we were going to stay there and I got very excited. Then my father took me to this dump of what was called a small city and I felt disappointed. I was unhappy to settle in such an unclean and unwell place.

“Why here?” I had asked my father.

He smiled at me. “This is where my job takes me to,” he replied very kindly.

“You want us to live here?” I couldn’t believe I had to stay in this awful place. “There’s nothing here.”

“A very important job is here,” my father said. “As long as it is here, then we shall be here too.” He patted me on the head and led me up a very blue staircase to a second story door. The white paint was chipped everywhere I looked and the door looked beaten in a few times with dents and a few splinters in the wood. Layers of yellow peeked out from behind the white paint.

“We live here now,” I said to myself, feeling a sense of overwhelming hatred rising up for this place I had to live in. I didn’t understand why we couldn’t live somewhere else, somewhere cleaner. “But this is too much. No one can really live here.”

My father opened the door with his key and turned the rattling loose knob. “Zahid, there is always hope in the midst of any bad thing.” He smiled at me and suddenly, I had to pee.

I awoke to a tightening in my belly. I quickly glanced around to see if Maleek had seen me sleeping, but I heard the soft breathing and knew he had been asleep the whole time. “Lucky!” I whispered to myself as I started to climb to my feet. Maleek would’ve killed me if he knew! The rumbling in my stomach started to ache and I pushed my stomach inward to help soothe some of the pain. “Oh, no,” I groaned. “I have to poop too.” I hurried past Maleek and farther up front, trying to count my steps so I could find my way back. I went fifty steps, and then decided to walk a little bit more to keep the smell away from Maleek who was still sleeping.

In the middle of relieving myself, I heard laughter from somewhere behind me. I strained my ears to listen as much as I also strained to pass a big one. Was Maleek up and laughing at me? Did he smell the stink? I worried and tried to finish so I could go tell him how sorry I was for waking him up. I thought I was far away enough and without wind, there shouldn’t have been any smell.

I was about done, ripping off tall grass in clumps to wipe myself when I heard a voice that didn’t sound familiar. The voice stopped me cold and my hand almost fell into the pile of mess I just made.

“What have we here?” said the stranger. “A little piggy alone to be food for wolves.” There was much laughter after that and coming from more than one person.

Wolves? There are no wolves in Sudan. There were no wolves in Saudi Arabia too although I’ve seen them in textbooks and on the internet. No internet in poor places like this one either. What was the voice talking about? It was not deep enough to be a man. It sounded like a boy, just like me and Maleek. I listened more, hurridly wiping and not caring whether I got all the mess off of my skin or not. I couldn’t leave Maleek to himself.

“I am alone,” Maleek said. So he was awake! “What want you and you?”

Why did he say he was alone? He knew I was here too. Maybe he thought I had run off and left him. I told him I wouldn’t leave! I was about to shout and say something when Maleek’s words brought me to a screeching halt.

“You carry guns.” I didn’t know if he said it as an observation or as a warning to me. A gun was a dangerous weapon. My father had told me so. He said guns took many lives. I’ve seen my father’s gun, but I had never been allowed to touch it. Maleek continued on talking, almost too loudly. “I am alone and there is no one with me. I cannot run away. I will do what you want me to. You go away. You run away. I will stay here.”

His words seem to speak to me as well as to the people around him. Run away, he had said. He wanted me to run away? I stayed low and crawled away from the stinking pile, away from Maleek. Before we rested, I saw a stretch of trees to the left, but that was behind of us. I didn’t know how many people were there with him, but if I could somehow crawl around them and make it to the trees, I would be safe. But the thought of a lion hiding in that brush or a snake or any other wild animal made me worry. I didn’t know what to do.

“You go away,” Maleek said, even louder this time. “You run away. I cannot go awya. What want you and you?”

“He makes no sense,” said one of the boys to the others. “Is he damaged?”

I heard a loud thump and Maleek groaned, a fall in the tall grasses where we were sleeping. “Go away!” Maleek screamed. He was definitely talking to me. I saw falshlights in the distance, but I jumped up and ran in the opposite direction, running and running as fast as I could. I heard someone order the others to look around and see if there was someone else there. I should’ve ran away when Maleek first told me to. I looked behind to see multiple beams of light behind me. Luckily, they did not reach my small form. I have been lucky twice tonight.

I didn’t know where to go or what to do except to run. It was foolish to run in a straight line so I turned left. I had no idea where left went, but it was better than all the people coming up behind me. Maybe they thought I kept straight or maybe they thought I went right. As I ran, the fear carried my tiny legs deep into the early dawn. My chest heaved and my stomach hurt. I didn’t have to poop more, but the lack of food made me nauseous and a little dizzy. I wanted to stop, to rest, but there was nowhere to be safe. As light streamed across the sky, I saw I was on an open plain and behind me, no one was coming up over the horizon. I slowed down enough to catch my breath, wheezing as my lungs tried to draw air past the confines of my chest. My leg muscles spasm and ached, paralyzing themselves in hurtful charley horses that made me wince in pain. I fell down and repeatedly massaged my calf muscles to stop them from locking up on me.

“Maleek,” I whispered as tears threatened to squeeze out of my eyes. Where was my best friend now? Had he survived? What happened to him? I pushed the though out of my head. What was I going to do without him?

I needed water and that was the first thing that Maleek and I had always looked for. We always tried to stay near water although sometimes, the animals stayed by water too. With Maleek, there were two sets of eyes to watch the land around us. If we saw a lion, we always walked really fast in the other direction. If it was a leopard or a cheetah, the same rules applied. In fact, we tried to stay away from all the big animals, harmful or not, We ate berries and whatever else we could find. We ate dirt at times to fill up our groaning bellies.We were so hungry at times that we took handfuls of brown grass and ate it like the animals did. Grass was better than nothing.

I was eating grass now, chewing on long dried stems, trying to work the saliva in my mouth so I didn’t feel so thirsty. If i didn’t find water soon, I’d be dehydrated even more so than I now and I might die out here. I shuddered at that thought. I didn’t want to die out here where the wild animals would fight each other to tear off pieces of meat from my carcass. What would happen if I died? How would I ever know what happened to Maleek? And what if he was looking for me right now? I turned around, but no one was following me so I took my time, trying to see if there was anything in the distance ahead or anywhere.

 

 
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Posted by on July 5, 2014 in Stories, Unfinished Stories

 

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The Faerie Queen Awaits

Do people know what it means to manipulate time–to forward and rewind and bring to a standstill? The Arromanovokzjas can stop time. It’s their royal bloodline power. Yet, the Arromanovokzjas are vampires and while vampires do exist, their particular power is very difficult to master, let alone chance upon.

I can stop time. I’m no vampire princess, but I have enough power even to freeze dying gods. My name is Maeve, and I’m a natural at magic. You can say that I was born this way. I was born to rule the realm of the invisible. I am human, much like you, but my story is different and my path is much different. This is but just one small snippet of an even larger tale yet to be told. A tale that no one will believe to be true.

She awaits my arrival, the faerie queen. I am late, as I have been avoiding this moment, but she waits still pass the fleeting days. Days in my world is much shorter in the sense of time than days in Arcadia, land of the faes. She looks regal in her wintery gown with a stern face though the corners of her lips are pulled upwards a wee bit. Have I met her before? I’m unsure. She sits on the throne of the ArchDuke. I don’t know where he is. Where is the old man?

(It is 2am. I will have to continue this tomorrow.)

“I hear you’ve been working for the ArchDuke,” she says.

I nod. “I have,” I reply. “I am no longer employed by him. My service terms are completed.”

“Then why are you here?”

That’s a good question. Why am I there? My servitude to the ArchDuke had been finished in May. By all intensive purposes, I am no longer a vassal to the ArchDuke and therefore, no longer valid in the kingdom of Arcadia. The fact that I have a free pass to enter the kingdom at will, which is given to me by my former employer, didn’t negate the severity of breaking fae rules–one of which says that humans aren’t allowed in the realm of the faes.

I actually had no intentions to return to Arcadia, but on passing glance, I saw the queen and I knew she was waiting for me to return. She visits the old man none, but on my last day, she was there. And seeing me leave upon her arrival, I figured it is only a matter of time before the curiosity in her mind made her question who I am and what I was doing there.

My tenses are all confused.

“I am looking for the ArchDuke,” I say. “Is he around?”

She shakes her fragile head which looks as if it would snap upon her thin neck if she moves it a bit faster.

I give her a slight bow. “I am sorry to trouble you then. I shall take my leave now, my queen.” Such words belongs only in movies and epic tales of queens and kings and dynasties. I back away slightly, keeping my head down. Perhaps she isn’t going to ask further questions.

“Wait,” she says, standing up from the throne. I glance up at her. “I know about every creature who enters and leaves Arcadia, but I don’t know about you,” she says to me. “I wouldn’t have known if I wasn’t informed of something happening in this household.”

So she has spies everywhere. It figures. However, isn’t the ArchDuke part of her allegiance? Why did she say she didn’t know who I was or why I was there? Did he not tell her?

“Who are you?” she asks, walking down a few steps to take a closer look at me. “Why are you here? How long have you been here?”

Such questions! I couldn’t believe I was speaking the the faery queen and she wants to know about me! I’m sure her wanting to know about me is more so she can deduce whether I’m a threat or not, but this is still royalty in some way and it’s astounding to be in front of such a powerful ruler.

I give her my biggest smile. “I’m the ArchDuke’s granddaughter,” I say as enthusiastically as possible. “I came to visit my grandfather. He is getting old and I wanted to know him before…you know. I wanted to see him before he passes.”

“The ArchDuke has no granddaughter,” the queen replies. She hasn’t given me a name, so I’m not asking for one.

“Of course he does,” I tell her. “I’m his granddaughter by marriage.”

She looks at me and pauses for a bit, probably weighing my words to see what truth there is in that. Faeries are very cunning, but they aren’t truth detection machines. I definitely tell no truths when dealing with them. It’s better to not have them know anything about you.

“And who are you married to?” she asks.

Now here is a lie I didn’t know how to tell. I can name two people, but I also didn’t want anything to happen to those two people. If I made up a name, she might catch the lie. With faes, it is worse to catch a lie than to realize later that they are lied to.

Possible scenarios enters my head and plagues me of possible outcomes to my lies. It is wrong to involve anyone else, and worse to not answer the queen. Will I pin the blame on some poor misfortune chap? Perhaps.

“I am married to my grandfather’s son’s cousin’s brother’s son who was twice removed from the family.” I watch as her head takes in the confusing words. There is a purpose to the confusion. It is to confuse her.

She stares at me for a moment, pondering. I see Xyr, more powerful than the queen, standing behind her weaving some kind of spell like Harry Potter’s in the last installment movie where Hermione and Ron tries to break into the Gringott Vault pretending to be Bellatrix LeStrange and her sidekick.

The queen curls the corners of her lips upwards. “You love your grandfather?”

“Yes,” I reply. And then I see it. I see why the old man is missing and why the queen was here waiting for me. I see what happened after I left. She imprisoned him. The ArchDuke, the second most powerful in all the lands of Arcadia, rivaling the two queens. How she imprisoned him, I have no idea. I only know that it had something to do with me and that I am going to actually have to hunt faeries now. “I love my grandfather very much,” I complete the sentence.

“What will you do if you know where your grandfather is now?” she asks. I already knew where he was. Xyr shakes his head at me as if to tell me not to reply to the trick question. Of course she knew where he was because she’s the queen. She just didn’t know how I got into Arcadia or how long I stayed and how I remained invisible under her nose for so long. When I get the ArchDuke back, I’ll tell him to rid himself of her spies.

I don’t think breaking and entering into a dungeon highly guarded by magic would suffice at freeing him. And what will I do once I get there? The old man is useless at that rate if he was captured by her. Answering the queen’s question is only probably going to get me a reply I don’t want to hear. I smile politely instead.

“Aren’t you curious?” she asks, coming forward towards me.

“Step back,” Angelus whispers in my ear. I step back. I am almost reminded of other times when Angelus had to tell me what to do concerning magical creatures because I was so inexperienced. Even now, I am pretty much still inexperienced. But stepping back means that I shouldn’t let her touch me and if her power was in touch, then I am safe at a distance as long as I keep my distance.

“I’m sure grandfather will return sooner or later,” I say with a happy smile. It’s always easier to fake things with happiness and excitement. No one ever fakes anything being all grumpy and moody. I wonder why that is? But I have no time to think as I move back again as many times as she moves forward. She is shorter than me about a foot and very small and dainty like a child–or a Disney character. At the moment, I wonder if being made of iron would be of great help since in Maleficent, iron hurts faeries.

“What is your name?” she says, stopping for now and not moving forward. Thank goodness the room was huge and we have plenty of space to move around in.

“Not your real name,” Angelus whispers.

Or not any name I call myself, I think. “Maybelline,” I say. I could smack myself on the head for taking the name of a famous cosmetic brand. Couldn’t I have come up with a better name? A more human sounding name? But Maybelline fits so I keep it and try not to let my thoughts get so loud that they have a voice.

Xyr turns to leave and I wonder where he’s going. He walks to the back of the room, away from us, and passes through the door where the faery queen entered that one day a while back when I was here. Perhaps the ArchDuke isn’t as far as I thought him to be. Maybe he is here, in this castle.

“Maybelline,” she says, tilting her head slightly to the side. “It sounds almost like a name from here.”

I agree to an extent. If I took out “line” at the end of that name, it would be indeed a fae name. The names that popped into my head at the time were all faery names. Mayfel. Adellel. Crysel. Thrumiel. Faery names always ended in -el. I once thought faeries were perhaps angels of God, for isn’t it said that the names of angels ended in -el? Michael. Gabriel. Raphael. Uriel. Castiel. That last name is from the hit tv show, Supernatural. It sounds angelic. But faeries, although they do have wings, aren’t angels in the least bit. Maybe they are fallen angels.

“Well, my parents were very forward thinking in terms of naming their children. My older brother is named Raphael and my sister, Angelinnese.” I made those names up on the spot. And I didn’t have only one brother and one sister. But I’m not giving out any real information.

“Maybelline,” the faery queen calls me. “How is it that you are here? Arcadia is restricted access for humans.”

Could I pretend to be half-faery? That can explain the bizzare name and me being able to travel to Arcadia, but I’m certain the queen would want to know the names of my parents and any fake name I give would’ve been a disaster. What’s worse is to give her the name of an opposing fae, one from the other queen’s domain. How can I lie properly with Xyr finding out where the ArchDuke is?

I believe it’s time for me to leave now, I tell Angelus. And in an instant, I stop time.

Stopping time in Arcadia is different from stopping time anywhere else. I didn’t know if it’s because Arcadia had a longer string of time or if there was too much magic here, but stopping time here was more like bending it in half and squishing it together.

Everything pauses. The queen is still, like a statue and although I want to touch her, logic dictates that if her powers are in touching others, me touching her would essentially be the same. I shouldn’t touch her and I don’t.

“This is better,” I tell Angelus.

“Your magic won’t hold up well here,” he says to me. “We’ve got a little while. You should look for him,” he says referring to the ArchDuke.

I nod. “You’re right. I should look for him. Where did Xyr go?” It’s a stupid question. “Of course he went to go look for him.” I shake my head at my own inability to catch on quickly and I glance at the queen once more before we headed in the direction that Xyr had disappeared to.

There’s a room beyond the door and a hall and being in a gilded castle didn’t give me an excuse to stop and look at all the ornate designs and gold and gilded things. We run past the hall and many doors. I didn’t know where the doors led to and I didn’t know where I’m going, but I’m hoping Angelus has a better sense of direction than I did. Yet, as I pass one f the doors on the left, I suddenly stop and stare at the door. It looks exactly like all the rest of the doors. Nothing’s special about it. But I stopped running and that must mean that there’s something in there worth looking at or finding out about.

I glance over to Angelus. “It’s s trick, an illusion. There is no dungeon.”

He looks confused and I open the door. Inside was an empty room, a bedroom and I found myself thinking about Sleeping Beauty. The ArchDuke wasn’t a teenage girl, but there’s Xyr and on the bed is him. Yet, with the flicker of something like two pictures overlapping, the scene is gone and in its place is once more the empty bedroom.

“You think something’s here?” Angelus asks me.

He’s here,” I say. “The old man and Xyr. Can’t you see them?”

He peers for a while and shakes his head. “It’s empty,” he says.

I walk in and he follows me. “Back in the Otherworld, this one time when I was forbidden to go there, I would enter into a place much like this. It looked real and all the characters looked real, but they were fake. It was a fake world because the real one, I couldn’t get to. And in that fake world, a fake Demonico told me I should leave. It wasn’t until I saw what he meant that I finally left. And when I saw the truth, it was like this, like two worlds overlapping each other, one hiding the other.” I turn and look at him. “Are those from the Otherworld faes too? There were demons and many different creatures. I would’ve been stuck in that world if he had not told me. And he suffered for telling me.”

I think back to that time, a time when I couldn’t enter the Otherworld because of my bitterness and the destruction I potentially could cause. So a new world was created for me. Was it faery magic? But this and that then is very similar. If not for that time, I might’ve thought I was losing my mind. My way isn’t lost.

“How did I break out of that world?” I ask myself. Angelus wouldn’t remember. He’s new and the old one I had back then was killed by a vampire, one I thoroughly enjoyed going after to kill. But how did I break out of that world? It’s easier than breaking out of this one since I have both Angelus and Xyr with me here.

“Let’s pierce the veil,” I say. Maybe it made sense why stopping time here was actually bending time in half and squishing it. Things I don’t yet comprehend.

I stand over the bed, next to a non-existent Xyr–which just occurred to me that if he was able to get to the old man, then so should I. “Come, Angelus,” I say to my Guardian. “Let’s not let the new guy make us look bad.” I laugh and he only gave me a frown. It was a direct challenge to us and knowing Angelus, he didn’t like confrontations much. I spread my hand over the place where the ArchDuke lay in a sleep-like death and I pierce the veil.

Except, the veil isn’t pierced. It’s like trying to move my hand through a bucket of thick and gooey molasses without the stickiness. It didn’t work. Frustrated, I waved my hand and the real scene appeared. Angelus glances at me.

“How did you do that?” he asks.

“I shoved it somewhere else,” I replied. I didn’t think of doing it before. It just happened. But it worked and that’s what matters.

Xyr looks over to me and I to him. ‘”You’re here,” he says.

I laugh. “Yes, I’m here. You all sound so surprised.”

“Strong magic is hard to get through,” he tells me. I nod.

“I know. I simply cast it aside. No point in getting through when the real world lies beneath.” I didn’t know if that makes sense, but right now, my priority’s waking up Sleeping Beauty here. “Any ideas?” I ask them both. I think of asking the queen and then I realize she wasn’t here. She left with the fake world, perhaps a world she created.

“It’s a spell,” Angelus says. “Faery magic.”

I smile, thinking about true love’s kiss. I didn’t love the ArchDuke. Love’s a concept beyond me. Besides, fairy tales only belonged to Disney and not here, even if faeries exists here.

“We can’t leave him sleeping forever,” I say to them. I’m not going to try and kiss the old man. The thought’s funny and I smile to myself. “Ideas, fellas. We’ve not really much time although now, Arcadia should be as if Medusa herself had strolled in here and turned all to stone.”

“Wake him,” Xyr says to me. I glance over to him. And he’s supposed to be the most powerful of us all. Yet, faerie magic is different from his magic and I see the complications in trying to expel one withe the other.

“I have an idea,” I say. “Might be stupid and troublesome, but when I’m out of ideas, this is what I do.” Angelus turns to me and he raises an eyebrow. Knowing me well enough, he’s definitely not going to be surprised.

“What do you suggest?” Xyr asks.

“An expert,” I reply with a grin. “Demonico.” A second later, he stands behind Xyr to my right and gives me a confused look. “Hello old friend,” I say with a smile. He looks at the other two and the old man sleeping on the bed and then back to me. It helps that he can travel between worlds. That’s what makes things so much easier.

“You called me?” he says, using my real name. I nod. “I can take guesses, but it would be nice for you to tell me what you need.”

I point to the ArchDuke. “Faery magic,” I said. “I need you to remove the spell. I don’t know how to do it.”

He scoffs. “What makes you think I know how to do that?”

I walk over and push him towards the bed. “Because you can do anything,” I say. And it’s true. He can do anything. He turns to me.

“I’m not sure this is my area of specialty,” he says. “Did you try anything yet?” I shake my head.

“You’re my try,” I tell him. He laughs. “When I run out of ideas, I come to you.”

He smiles at the other two and then at me. “You flatter me,” he says, using my real name.

“Come on,” I say, pushing him towards the old man. “Do something or help me do something to wake him up.”

Xyr glances over to me. “You trust him?” he asks me. “He’s a –” The word is blocked from me. I glance from Demonico back to Xyr.

“I’ve known him for an eternity,” I say. “I trust no one, but he’s the best thing I’ve got.” Xyr doesn’t look convinced and I touch his arm. “It’s fine,” I tell him. “I can handle that one if he gets out of line.”

Demonico laughs and I stick my tongue out at him. “You wish,” he says.

“I’ve already done it,” I tell him. He smiles and turns his attention to the old man. Angelus walks over to me and Xyr. We give Demonico room. He gets pretty into whatever he’s doing and sometimes, it causes trouble.

I’m standing there, assessing the options, just thinking about what could be done so we can wake the ArchDuke from his slumber. Demonico touches him and all the green flames reminds me of Maleficent and how she cursed the princess. Yet, I wouldn’t have touched the old man, not because there’s something wrong with him, but because there’s faery magic on him. How did Demonico…? Then I remembered how he fell into the lake and was the only one ever to walk out of there alive. The lady of the lake is fae and all who fell in or tried to reach the tree in the center of the lake was consumed by her, all except him. Is Demonico fae? No. Then what is he?

As I’m pondering thoughts, the ArchDuke wakes and Demonico turns to me with a smile. “There,” he says as he walks towards me and away from the bed. “You owe me one.”

I laugh. “Yeah, right. There’s no owing in this friendship,” I tell him. I kiss him on the cheek. “Thanks. Take care.”

“You too,” he says, patting me on the head. And he disappears.

The ArchDuke glances to see me and Xyr. Angelus isn’t visible. Rather, he leaves too. “You’re here?” the old man asks. “You shouldn’t be here.”

I laugh. “That’s not the first time you’ve said that to me,” I tell him. The first was when he caught me wandering in Arcadia, close to the Iron Tower. It was indeed by accident. “I came to see you and I met the queen.”

He frowns. “Did she hurt you?”

I shake my head. “I’m well,” I say. “She’s probably wondering where she’s at right now, even though she can’t yet move.”

He looks confused. “She can’t…move?”

“It’s a long story,” I say with a smile. “Are you okay now? Xyr and I were worried. He came too.”

The old man looks up and I realize that Xyr is also gone. Everyone leaves suddenly without goodbyes. “It’s okay now,” he says. “How come you’re here?”

“By chance,” I reply. “I happened to glance in and I saw the queen. I didn’t see you, but I knew she was waiting for me.”

“You shouldn’t come. It’s dangerous now.”

“It’s okay,” I say. “I’m okay. I’ll be fine,” I tell him.

He sat up and took my hands in his. “Things are falling apart here,” he tells me. “I don’t want you to come back. Arcadia’s about to be at war. It’s not safe.”

I laugh. “You know I’m not human here, right? I’m more worried about you. What will happen when she finds her way back?”

“I hope so,” he says. “We will lose without her.”

“I’ll bring her back,” I say. “After I leave here.”

“Why did you come?” he asks again for the third time. I look at him oddly.

“To see you,” I reply.

He smiles. “You shouldn’t be here,” he tells me. And I feel like we’re repeating a conversation that’s already been said.

“I know. I won’t.”

“You promise?”

I nod my head. “Yes, I promise,” I say. Promises are oral contracts to faes. The ArchDuke isn’t fae.

“It will not be safe here,” he says. “You go live your life and be happy. I’ll make sure the war doesn’t spill over to your side.”

“On earth?” I ask. “War will be waged here too?”

He nods. “Only if I fail to contain it to Arcadia. It’s not fail-proof, but it should be enough.”

“You know I can help,” I say.

“You can live,” he tells me. “That is help enough.” He stands and I don’t understand. “You must go,” he tells me.

“What about you?” I ask. “What if the queen does the same thing to you again?”

He smiles. It’s been a while since he smiled. “She won’t. She needs me. I give her the advantage.”

“Be safe,” I tell him.

“You worry too much about an old man,” he says. “You are young. You still have your whole life ahead of you.”

“And there’s not anything to it,” I tell him. “If I can help, why won’t you let me help?”

“You have a destiny.”

I laugh, unbelieving. “We make our own destinies,” I tell him. “I don’t have a future that’s that important there and besides, I don’t get hurt here. I can be of use here.”

He bends down and presses his lips to my forehead. “You’re needed there,” he says. “You will know. Don’t give up.”

I almost grumble. I know what he’s saying, but I don’t really care to trust it or believe it. I am weak. I am second best. I am whatever other people want to push their opinions on me. He stares and I give him a smile.

“I understand,” I say. “Whether the future comes or not, you know that I will help you if you need me.”

He smiles. “An old man does not need the help of a young one,” he says. “Go now,” he says.

I nod my head and hug him. “See you then, old man,” I say with a smile.

“Goodbye,” he says. I didn’t say goodbye. I smile and leave.

The others were waiting for me. “You okay?” Xyr asks. Who knew he even concerns himself with me. I nod. “Fine,” I say. “For the moment, Arcadia is off limits to us. There may be war coming. It’s okay. We’ll be here and we’ll be safe.”

“Are you okay?” Angelus asks.

I nod my head. “Everyone wants this future for me that I don’t even want because neither does the others want,” I say. “It’s ridiculous dreaming and I’m not about to hold out for something I know isn’t true and isn’t going to come true.”

“You have us,” Shaar says. I grin and hug him. He’s so fluffy!

“Yes, I have you all.” I glance up at Angelus, the one who refuses to leave me be. I turn to Xyr, the one who tricked me into taking him on as one of us. And Shaar, my beautiful blue wolf that I ripped out of Jon. His twin wasn’t even blue. Why is he the anomaly? “It’s good to be home,” I say, realizing that dangers lurked around corners of worlds invisible. If they reach here, which they won’t because the old man will keep his promise, I will deal with them then.

I bring the faerie queen back from where I stuck her and release the time hold on Arcadia. Then I shut that world out until the time when it calls out to me. I made a promise. I’ll keep that promise.

 
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Posted by on June 5, 2014 in Ongoing Story Progression

 

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