Thorns – Part 17

Looking out the window Elwin felt fearful that the old man he had just turned his back on was boring a hole in his back with his eyes. Elwin wanted to look back at him, and at the same time wanted avoid looking in his direction ever again. The train hit a bump and Elwin sneaked a surreptitious peek over his shoulder while everyone was struggling to regain their balance, but the old man was looking elsewhere as though he had already forgotten Elwin had even existed. Relieved by this Elwin looked out the window again and this time with enough presence of mind to notice something as if for the very first time: There by the entrance to the coal mine was a colossal machine.

The machine was technically a vehicle, yet it was taller than most buildings. It could have easily stood eight, nine, or even ten stories high. It towered by the side of the train yard like a gigantic sauropod made from steel and rubber. Instead of jaws it had a huge wheel with a series of buckets built into it. A large conveyor belt ran along the neck section into the body. An immense platform for caterpillar tracks supported the massive apparatus. It had been said in the old times these machines could dig through entire mountains and do the work of ten thousand men in a single hour. Whoever the ancient people were who built these great machines, the secrets of their technology were now long forgotten. No one alive could recall this machine being used. Instead it had been left to gather rust outside the train yard standing as a constant reminder that giants had once walked the Earth. Continue reading “Thorns – Part 17”

The Monk – Part 16

(this is a direct continuation from the conversation started at the end of part 15)

“The fox in the field will run, the fox in the forest will hide, but the fox in a cage will fight,” said Suvarin repeating the Aeshiric idiom.

Kent was confused, “What do you mean?”

“I mean, for now the Tyranni see an option to beat us that is non-violent, so they will most likely take it – just as a fox will run or hide if it has those options. So long as they think they are getting somewhere in their attempts to turn the three growkons* against us they will not carry out any acts of violence. However, if those three growkons succeed in protecting themselves against the Tyranni’s rhetoric, they will escalate to violence because they can’t risk them becoming spiritual or joining the Aeshir; despite the harm that video recording might do to them.”

“I see what you’re getting at now,” Kent sighed deeply, “Since the Tyranni have been humiliated by me, and are intolerant of being humiliated even though they will happily dish it out to other people, they are unlikely to just let this go, so violence might be needed by us to get them to leave.” Continue reading “The Monk – Part 16”

Thorns – Part 16

As the sun rose over the horizon of the city, thousands of Delphorian workers crept out of their district housing towers and trudged down to the train station. They trudged down the shadow clad streets in pairs; for gathering in the streets in numbers greater than two were forbidden. They all wore the same style of blue working overalls. About half of them wore clothing that was worn and tattered from excessive wear and tear, while the other half were wearing fresh clean pairs of overalls. There was however no pair of Delphorians with one person neatly attired, and the other raggedly so. It was as though Delphorian society were divided into two different sub-species. Along the roads patrolled Groods brandishing wooden maces ready to pounce on any Delphorians wandering too closely to another pair.

Normally, Elwin would travel down to the station with Erian, but this morning, Elwin was traveling alone. The Groods eyed the one lone Delphorian suspiciously, as though at any second he would join up with a pair of Delphorian commuters and commit a public offence: One that the Groods openly relished correcting by pouncing on all three or four offending Delphorians and beating them with their maces. The other Delphorians nearby detected the anomaly and the increased danger the non-conformer presented to them and consciously made an effort to maximise their distance from Elwin. Thus an invisible circle of exclusion surrounded Elwin as he made his way down to the station. Continue reading “Thorns – Part 16”

The Monk – Part 15

After Kent had finished telling the others his parable there were scarce seconds of silence before Kelly, who had been struggling to contain herself, spoke up.

“Kevin, come and change your clothes… you’re very smelly!” shouted out Kelly laughing hysterically.

“Kevin, come and change your clothes again! You’ve been a naughty boy getting dirty underground!” cried out Oriana.

Paul laughed along with the girls, only Suvarin was unaffected by the intense jovial laughter coming from them. Kent, shielded from scrutiny thanks to the blind folds kept silence.

“Thank you, Kent,” said Suvarin warmly, “I like that parable. It is coming along nicely.”

Kent thanked her, and they continued on for a couple more minutes before Kent announced they had arrived. Paul, Kelly, and Oriana were relieved to have their blindfolds removed. They were still underground, but underneath a ladder up to a manhole. Kent went ahead and opened it up for them to climb out, Paul needed help to climb out but was starting to manage better. They were on a quiet backstreet in a suburb over from where Oriana lived. Kelly recognised it immediately and announced she knew a friend nearby who could give them a room to stay for the night. They said goodbye to Kent and Suvarin who departed back down the manhole, closing it behind them. The trio then set off with Kelly in the lead. Continue reading “The Monk – Part 15”

Writer’s Diary: 10,000 hours

Sorry for the hiatus in diary posts. The past few weeks I’ve been working full time (YAY!) which is wonderful news for me, but adjusting to the extra hours of work each week has been difficult on my sleeping patterns. I am naturally a night owl, however, the early bird catches the money worms and I now wake up 3 hours earlier than I did when I was part time. The extra work hours haven’t meant that I don’t have time to write anymore, I still have a couple of hours allocated every day for writing. However, with the lack of quality sleep I have just not been able to write productively. When I used to write 1,000 words per hour, I have been struggling to produce 250 words per hour in my tiredness. I haven’t been meeting all of my writing goals and it has been suggested to me that I should cut back from this blog entirely and focus all my energies on other things in my life like my work. So I thought I would outline my arguments for why I write this blog and what it means for me.

It is a widely held belief that to become a master at anything one needs to sink 10,000 hours of time into practice. With a full time job one clocks up that amount of practice easily in seven years: coincidentally the time expected to complete a doctor of philosophy. There is also the phrase, once used to describe manhood, “jack of all trades, master of one,” and as therapy is my profession, I aspire to master being a therapist. To this end I practice my profession every day through my work, through reading, and research, but also through the articles I write and a book I have in the pipeline. However, while therapy work is a passion of mine, and it is my goal to be a master at therapy as a discipline, there are other things I would like to see myself accomplish in my life. Also, I would like to learn to be competent at many other things: baking, fixing cars, homesteading, home improvements, etc… Continue reading “Writer’s Diary: 10,000 hours”

Thorns – Part 15

Elwin stopped writing and took out a fresh sheet of paper. He started writing out the calculations for how much social debt a wife could pay off if she didn’t work during the pregnancy. He looked at his results. Blinked firmly. Checked his calculations. The thorn in the side of his head throbbed. He stared at the results. His vision grew blurry. He turned the page aside with confusion. He must have made a mistake, he thought, and dismissed the calculations. It was a good offer the Kelites had, they are after all the savours of the world he recalled. It wouldn’t make sense for them to push a debt system that couldn’t be paid back. It was only a matter of time before the Delphorians atoned themselves into salvation. “I need to have more faith,” he told himself and resumed his writing.

While the $20,000 pay out for me was tempting, I just didn’t want to live alone. I remembered the nursemaids from the nursery and I wanted to live with a woman because I imagined they would be just like Agatha. When I arrived here at the apartment complex I was informed that a new wife would be allocated to me in the following month. For my first month as a freeman I explored every nook and cranny of my new apartment and apartment complex. I found that my dorm mate Erian from school whom I hadn’t seen in seven years also lived here. But what fascinated me the most was the women. Continue reading “Thorns – Part 15”

The Monk – Part 14

Suvarin returned with a stretcher with two harnesses that looked remarkably like vests. She was out of her uniform and now dressed in jeans, thick boots, and warm hooded jacket. She looked remarkably unremarkable now; just like a typical young woman one might see on a cold night outside on main street. Oriana shivered for reasons she could not identify, there was something disturbing about how differently Suvarin looked now that she was wearing different clothes. Kent and Suvarin demonstrated the stretcher by putting it on Kent and Kelly first. Paul climbed onto it and was quickly blind folded by Suvarin. Kelly and Oriana were when blind folded. Suvarin and Kent gave the three blind youths the instructions they needed to start walking down one of the tunnels. Kent was in the lead, while Suvarin positioned herself behind Kelly with Oriana at the rear holding onto her backpack. Slowly at first, they moved down into the tunnels, gradually the walkers got used to being blind folded and the pace picked up. Oriana tried to keep track of which direction and how far they had gone but within minutes she gave up as it was obvious they were inside some colossal labyrinth. They just had to put their trust in Kent and Suvarin to keep them safe on their subterranean journey.

Kelly grew tired and Oriana took over helping to carry Paul for a while. Suvarin appeared to know Kent somewhat and was asking him about his writing.

“Writing?” asked Kelly, “What does Kent write?”

“Druids as part of their study need to write a series of parables that highlight key values of our faith in a way that is accessible to other people,” explained Suvarin.

Kelly chuckled, “Oh, so that’s why he told us that strange story about the boy being eaten by dogs on the way here!” Continue reading “The Monk – Part 14”