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For all my myLot friends - I would like to share some advice that some of my friends on myLot told me about. I thought I'd share it with you, since it can really multiply your earnings on myLot. I have been informed that, when you post/reply to discussions, if you write at least six lines, you will be paid a higher amount for that, than if you were to just write one or two lines. If you can keep your sentences short, then six lines is not a lot ! So friends, try to keep this advice in mind for your future discussions and the money start to add up quicker than it was before.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Business cards

    It is a great feeling to finally start your own business and it gives the owner a sense of joy and freedom. The business owner now has the ability to do what they want to do and be their own boss without depending on others. I found it hard initially when I started the business as I did not have an access to a quality items. After searching for what it seemed like ages, I finally managed to get the right things and it made my life easier.

    One of my buddies told me about how much better my company will do if I not only chose quality products but used proper security stickers and labels so that people have full confidence knowing what they are buying and that it is an original product. But, I told him that I do not want just any kind stickers on my products. I want a printed labels so that the people who are purchasing our products after reading it will be fully confident about the quality products which they have purchased instead of getting frustrated and all worked up about being stuck with inferior products bought from other places.

    There are many things that go into making a proper impact when it comes to business cards as it becomes the face of your company at times. A business should choose a printing company which has tons of readymade templates to choose from so that the customization of the card is much easier if they do not have enough experience in designing a card. Otherwise, the client can provide their own impressive and unique business card design which can used in place of the one offered by the printing company. While setting up the business card, a person should keep a few things in mind. For example, don't use a background color and text color combination which makes it hard for the scanner to pick out the text elements when combined with the graphics. It's best not to get too artistic with the text font as it might end up confusing the scanner and defeat their text recognition function. Read more...

      Wednesday, May 25, 2011

      Lingering dreams

        I had not been down this beach in what seems like ages. The setting sun, sandy beach and the waves as they lap up against the feet always seemed to mesmerize me. Pulling up a beach chair, my eyes start to wander down the beach and see that life is in full swing. Children building sand castles, pretty young things tanning themselves and an odd couple or two walking down the beach whispering sweet nothing. Time seemed to float by at its own pace as the sun lazily made its way across the clear blue sky. Packing my stuff, I dropped off the chair and umbrella at the drop point and started to wander off to the lone building to satiate my hunger. The smoke filled room greeted me as I entered my long forgotten hunting ground. Time had flown by, yet it seemed to have stood still in this place. The juke box near the entrance was still there pumping out some long forgotten Willy Nelson song, an empty stage once full seemed to cry out for attention while the bar at the other end seemed as lively as ever. Tom still seemed to the only permanent structure besides the other items and his eyes seemed to light up seeing me. Pulling up a stool, my hands reached out as a tall frosty slid comfortably into my hands.

        Time seemed to flow by slowly and I had lost track of time. It was almost closing time when I heard a voice as soft as the wind chimes yet as sharp as the sharpest knife reminding me its closing time. Turning my head around, I saw a sight that seemed to mesmerize me and kept me under its spell till a booming laughter startled me. A chiding voice of Tom asked me if I didn’t recognize his little child whom I had last seen many moons back. Time had indeed flown by and the little child had blossomed into a young lady, one which I simply could not recognize.

        I had known Jane since childhood, yet she was always the type that kept to herself and mingled only when she wanted to. Today was one of those days which reminded me of my childhood days when the fireside talks and camping trips used to last from dawn to dusk. Time flew by as the food was finished, drinks ordered and drained to the last drops and the food joint emptied out till there was no soul in sight yet it seemed like we had not caught up on our lost lives. The joint slowly started to shut down and we were forced to seek refuge upstairs in the bedroom.

        The dreamless sleep in which I was lost in was shattered by the radio alarm which blared out some song as the faceless man moaned about the changing weather patterns and sudden storm which might hit the town in the night. The constant chatter of the radio jockey started to push the bone deep sleep ever so slowly away. He talked just about everything under the sun and I really seemed to enjoy the monologue which consisted of how awful the weather was, the food joints, who bashed whom last night at the bar and how much the town had changed in the last ten years.

        Still half asleep, I started to mumble Jane’s name and started to extend my arm to drag her a little closer. An empty bed, wrinkled bed sheet and an empty pillow yet no warm body. My hand started frantically run back and forth as my mind became agitated and sleep lost its hold on me. The sound of a tugboat while blaring out its whistle drew me out the dark thoughts I was floating in. I slowly came to the senses like a snake waking up from deep sleep. The bone deep weariness fell off me and I slowly started to felt refreshed. The sounds of men and heavy machinery were heard humming by below and another lonesome ships horn went off somewhere in the distance reminding me how far from home I was.

        Waking up from a deep sleep, I got out of the bed. My body was stiff and muscles sore from the events of last night. Looking at the empty bed, I called out Jane’s name out loud yet the empty house just echoed back. The room was once more as empty as it was the day before. Throwing the bed sheet off, I sat on the edge and wondered what happened and what my next course of action will be. The old clock hanging on the wall down in the hallway boomed as the hand struck ten. It startled me out of the deep thought I was in and I only realized this by the fact that the alarm clock radio had stopped playing the same old songs I had heard for the last many years and the lights were shut off except for the place where we were lying on bed. The clothes were scattered all over the room. The little diversion had turned minutes into hours. The bed sheets were soaked and I hunted for a new set before the maid came in the morning to chide us for making such a mess. I turned my head to look out the window. I saw that there it was partly cloudy sky; a full moon seemed to look down at the land as if looking for something. The star lit night made me wonder what my future holds.

        The memories still seemed to haunt me as I had asked her “You still awake?” as I had ran my fingers down her bare arm. Taking a deep breath, she shook her head she mumbled in the negative. Not able to find neither my pants nor shirt, I walked around the bed to stretch my legs hoping that the curtains were drawn and hoped to find my way back home before I fell asleep here. Looking out the door, I saw that the street lights showed empty streets and the town seemed deserted except for the few drunks who weaved through the roads and the sounds stray dogs that were busy chasing a few cars that passed through the town main intersection lulled me off to sleep once more.

        The night slowly turned into day. Time rolled on till I lost track of time. I had all but forgotten about Jane’s visit and the events that seemed like happened in another lifetime until I pulled the sheets and pillow covers out onto the floor. After a few moments, my hands reached out and picked up the folded piece of paper. Standing in the flickering shadows, I opened it and started to go through the content of the letter.

        “Hello dear,

        If you ever read this note, then I hope you are able to understand and maybe forgive me as I just did not to say it to you when you woke up. It seems like we are not meant for each other and sometimes peoples path cross, yet to separate once more. It’s just that I have changed my mind and decided to chart out a new destiny for myself leaving everything behind. It was a hard decision and it takes awhile for a person at times to make course correction in their life when they are set in their ways. I am glad that I have decided to restart my life and accept the responsibilities that it offers. New adventures await you at every turn and new sights to see at every bend. I really don’t know where I’ll be or even if I’ll be around when you finally decide to head out to reclaim your own destiny. Yet, I’ll be back to meet you one last time when the time is right.

        I hope you are able to put the past into proper perspective and so that the old memories don’t come back to haunt you in your sleep or in your waking moments. Failures and the guilt associated with it sometimes weigh us down more than the unfinished business itself. The future is unwritten and the past can still be undone. I’ve been meaning to ask you to go through your finances in those shipping companies. I got thinking that it must have crossed your mind that you’ll never need it and yet at the same time not wanting to get rid off either. It took many long years to build up the portfolio and it’s time to touch base with them once more and pull out as much money as possible. You are an old salt and you’ll feel right at home once you got your own ship plying the sea lanes as the salty sea winds ruffle your hair, waves pound the ship and you follow the stars to new shores. I’ve pulled the papers out for you and it’s on the table near the window. Pull up a chair there and flip through it once more. The coffee pot should still be in the corner, though it might be a tad dusty by now. So go ahead and grab some coffee before hitting the road.

        With best regards,


        I sat there a little stunned and it took me a few moments to come back to my senses. So many long years vaporized in an instant. It seemed like a dream gone sour and the lingering bitterness made my heart turn to stone. I looked around wondering if Jane was still here and all I saw was an empty room. The emptiness weighed down on me and it made me realize that I really did missed the gal no matter how cheated I felt. I had no idea where I’ll find her or where to look for her. It took me a moment to find the phone directory. It took awhile to get what I wanted and finally I closed the long forgotten book and started to think things out. Read more...

          Saturday, May 14, 2011

          The fly

            Hanging upside down on the ceiling, everything down below seems distant. Feeling a little hungry, I start flapping my wings, turn right side up and start flying around to see what I could find. As I fly around the room, I near a window and see that it’s a chilly morning. There is a slight mist in the air and it’s a bit dusty outside as the vehicles go back and forth across the dusty roads. City life has quieted down a bit and only a few tractors, a bunch of two wheelers/cars and a handful of commercial trucks are whizzing by as if some mean spirited spirit is after them.

            Flying around I try to make an exit, yet I keep bouncing off some invisible wall. I feel trapped yet can’t go out. As I sit on the glass pane rubbing my legs together, I see a man down below enter the room, sees that its messy and exits promptly. I lose interest and start buzzing around slowly in a figure eighth till I see a shadow below me. It seems like he’s wandering around trying to broom the room, yet it throws a fit and the dusty house ends up looking like a war zone. Getting irritated, the human starts to take his anger out on me by shooing and swatting me with the broom so that I don’t end up seeing his folly. As I buzz around the house, I see that the other people who seem as lost as the one in the other room and wandering around like zombies. Some person below walks out of the kitchen with a tray of donuts and coffee. Landing on the donut, I start to nibble it unmindful of the mad hand motion of someone trying to shoo me away. Momentarily disturbed by the wild motions of the donuts, I fly off and land on the edge of the coffee mug. As I sip the coffee, I wonder if I should venture out in the mad chaotic world out there to see if the pile of garbage has grown any larger or if there is a new pile of cow manure nearby. The scent that wafts through the area calls out to me and I want to explore what it has to offer.

            Having had my fill, I start to wander some more like a lost bug in a haystack. Looking around, it seems like I am sticking on a living room wall. Yet, it looks more like a warehouse. It seems like someone had gone shopping awhile back and dumped all the bags on the small couch chairs as well as the large one leaving very little room for anyone to sit down. Deciding to rest my tired wings, I make myself comfy on the edge of an old chair in the corner while looking at the different cloud shapes which seemed to lazily float past.

            As I start to wander around some more, I fly into a kitchen and something is being cooked on the gas stove. A sweaty woman is flipping something furiously on a black tava which is sitting on the stove. Feeling a little overpowered by all the food smells, I start to cough and wheeze. Feeling a little dizzy as the smoke gets into my eyes and wings feel heavy as the oil coats them, I weave out of the room and fall into a bucket of water. A man wrapped in a towel wanders out of a dark room and heads towards the bucket. Picking up a bar of soap, he bends over to pick up the plastic bucket. His wandering gaze stops on a swimming fly and a frown starts to appear on his face. A scrawling man looks down and scoops me out and throws me some distance away.

            I crawl out to the cemented driveway to seek some safety. Spotting a chair, I manage to make it to the edge of the porch and start flapping my wings. As they start to dry, I rise higher and higher till I sit in one corner as my eyes wander around to see what’s new in my world. I see the same old stuff as the last time I ventured here. It’s the same old two wheeler, an old car and a small new car at the very end near the gate. It seems like a good car, though I cannot see much as it has tinted windows. Hoping no one is sitting inside looking at me while pulling out a spray can of a bug killer I veer off to the other side and land on the boundary gate and I see the bridge in front of the house. Few people are walking on it while the rest have some ride to take them to the other side. Looking here and there, I notice that the front yard has turned into a jungle. A frog is eyeing me, smacking its lip and whistling me to come closer. The ever so common lizard is sunning itself on one of the walls while looking at me and gesturing me to fly into its open mouth.

            Getting really bored by all this activity, I gave up looking for excitement and decide to head off to some more exciting place like the cow that seems to be wandering down the street. It starts to flap its ears as I fly inside and come out once more. It starts shaking its head side by side and snorts while shaking its head crazily. It jumps a few times and starts galloping down the street. Losing all bearing, I spin round and round. The last thing I see a fast approaching Takix. As I try to wander off to the garbage dump which calls out my name, I feel something wet wrap around me, yanked backwards as constricting muscles start to pull me under. Read more...

              Monday, May 9, 2011

              The daily special

                Groggily I woke up from the deep sleep whose tentacles refused to let go. My arm crept out from under the bed sheet and groped from the alarm. The radio alarm blared out some song as the faceless voice moaned about the changing weather patterns and sudden storm which might hit the town in the night. Missing the snooze button, I stuck my head out and looked at the world through my bleary eyes. Not liking the world view, I hid back under the sheet and hoped that it would get better the next time I stuck my head out. The constant chatter of the radio jockey started to push the bone deep sleep ever so slowly away. The voice droned on and on about everything under the sun and I really seemed to enjoy the monologue which consisted of how awful the weather was, the food joints, who bashed whom last night at the bar and how much the sea side town had changed in the last so many years.

                Getting out of the bed, I wandered around as if in a daze trying to shake the cobweb called sleep from my mind. Nursing my only constant companion these days, I lifted the coffee mug and took a long sip. Looking out the window, I see a vast forest that seems to stretch for miles upon miles. The sheer beauty and utter quietness takes a person to a different world. There are no trappings of modern life here and life moves in its own pace. Sometimes I venture into the wooded path for long treks as it offers me an opportunity to get back in touch with nature, see what secrets it holds and discover something new every day.

                As I sit by the window, drink my heady brew and look out, I see that the forest is dead quiet. Yet the activity in the small trading town some distance away is in full swing and I can hear the dim voices of men in the street. As my gaze drifted to the wide body of water in the bay, I see a ship had pulled in sometime back. Huge wooden barrels, grains and other stuff were being unloaded and some crates being uploaded. It is a huge ship that brings all types of items to this God forsaken island in the middle of nowhere. It seemed like it had dropped anchor at dawn and will probably leave soon on another journey back to the mainland. I guess I will be heading down there sometime late in the afternoon to see what new activity was happening and see what kind of haul I’ll get this time.

                The whistling sound of the tea kettle broke me out of the daze I was in. The steaming hot cup of coffee in front of me was now just lukewarm. Taking a sip, I grimaced and threw it away out of the window. It tasted so lifeless and awful that I decided to get a new cup. Going up to the kitchen, I thought of making something to eat besides having a fresh cup of coffee before I start my day. Looking out the kitchen window as I ate my sandwich and drank a fresh mug of coffee, I could see smoke black dark clouds on the distant. What was once calm and clear sky was starting to cloud up and the wind was picking up just a bit.

                The early morning sun was starting to peek over the forest and through the tree tops. Getting ready, I stated to head out the door and reach the pier before the storm overtook me and made moving around next to impossible on the rocky dirt roads. The torrential storms always turns the firm dirt tracks into muddy pathways where the person sinks in never to be found again.

                A short time later, a pier loomed ahead. The ship which I had seen from my home loomed ahead and I stopped momentarily to marvel at its huge size. Anchors were being pulled in and it was being untied from the dock. The crates and barrels for the outward journey were being tied down and the crew was in a mad rush to leave before the storm hit the island. A whistle and then a holler broke the spell and I hurriedly walked down towards my own ship. The crew was in full force and someone hollered for me to hot foot to the cabin as the ship was pulling anchor and heading out of the bay. The waters were getting choppy and the ship was swaying and heaving even though the crew tightened the ropes and tightened down the goods. A storm was brewing and the harbor offered no safety. Anchors were raised and final calls were made. The sails soon caught the easterlies and became taut. As the ship start to move away, I felt my lungs draw a deep breath of the salty air and I felt alive once more.

                Time passed by and the land we left behind became a distant memory. The ocean stretched from one horizon to the next and there was no land in sight. Looking upwards, I could see nothing but a few stray clouds as they floated past the bright sun which seemed to blind me with its light. The screech of the sea gulls which ebbed and rose seemed never ending, yet seemed to break the deadening monotony. The ship rose and fell as it tried to ride out the storm and the creaking sounds from the hull below my feet made me wonder if it would last this storm.

                Lightning flashed in the distance and one could hear the gentle booming thunder even over the waves which crashed against the hull. The bright sun lit sky slowly turned jet black and the worst storm of the century seemed to be in the making. The rolling and churning clouds made their way from one end of the horizon to the next. Standing there hypnotized, I stared at the shapeless wisps of smoke which descended down towards the ship, whispered strange hypnotic words and melted into nothing once more. I really don’t know how much time passed by, yet when I came back to my senses I noticed that the wind had died down. There was utter silence all around. A sailor in the crow’s nest was hollering while the sailors in the sea water swept decks were barking and cursing in return. It was still pitch black outside and it started to rain heavily. The sudden downpour soaked me to the bone and I started to panic wondering if we will reach a safe harbor before the ship splinters into a thousand pieces.

                Minutes turned into hours and not even a speck of god forsaken rock appeared on the horizon. Looking up, I saw a pale yellow moon appear on the horizon. It seemed to notice a wayward ship plying the sea lanes and started to glare at us through the clouds and the reflection off the water started to grimace and turned blood red whispered some dark thoughts which caused me to hastily retreat into my cabin. A strong salty ocean smell wafted over the ship and the sound of seagulls turned into shrieks. Startled I looked up and the dark forbidding sky gave no clue to what might happen next. Turning around, I made my way to the cabin for a shot of whiskey to still my beating heart which seemed to beat so hard as if it wanted to pop out and seek shelter elsewhere.

                The rain died down as quickly as it had started, yet it seemed like there was another storm was brewing which seemed worse than this one. One could feel the static build up in the bones. Upon entering the room, I flipped the lights on. Total darkness prevailed yet my hand persisted in flipping it back and forth hoping the lights would come on. Down below, I felt the generators kick in and the intercom blared that the hull had been breached and the pumps are on. I felt the ship tilt to one side as it struggled to regain the balance yet failed. I lit the hurricane lantern and shed my wet clothes as quickly as possible and hung them in the corner. The fireplace in the corner seemed to draw me. The fire had died down long ago yet the ambers still smoldered under the ashes. Throwing a hand full of twigs and some straw, I stirred the ambers and kept fanning till the twigs and straw caught fire. Bit by bit, I kept adding the logs till it was a roaring fire and I sat near it to dry out as I wandered around to find a clean dry set of clothes. Feeling a little better, I flipped the intercom on, asked for a status update and the future looked grim.

                The door shook violently and broke me out of the thoughts I was in. I wondered who it was as I walked towards the door and started to turn the handle. The door opened just a bit and I saw wide granite steps led downwards to what seemed like a great distance and I saw a dimly lit pier near some ocean. Reddish glow could be seen emitting from it and a foul stench, barking of hell hounds and shrieks of souls being ripped apart till eternity filled the room. An empty boat was floating by on its own and it stopped at the edge of the pier as if to wait for someone to board or disembark. Torches hanging on tall wooden poles lit themselves casting a blood red glow. The boat shook a bit and I heard heavy boots coming up the steps. The sound of the boot came closer yet I could not see what was approaching. My eyes wandered to the wall and I saw a shadow which wavered back and forth with the flickering light. I must have been imagining and my eyes are playing tricks on me I thought. My eyes wandered back to the steps and all I saw was a pair of flaming eyes intently staring at me before it started to rush at me.

                A large burly man stepped up to the chair I had fallen in, yanked me off and started to drag me out of the room while I was wildly thrashing. Throwing me over his shoulder, I flew down the stairs and landed near the foot of the stairs. A soft hiss and then a slithering sound from deep within the reddish mist brought me back to my senses. The body ached and it felt like every bone was broken and I let out a loud moan as pain shot through my body. Light spilled onto my face from the high intensity torch as one of the foul smelling creatures who stomped impatiently on my chest once more to hiss at me before I felt a sharp kick and the shadows seemed to solidify and move in the shadows just within sight yet could not be seen.

                As I regained my senses, my eyes focused on the heavily bearded man staring at a mirror while combing his beard with a comb. He seemed to sense me in the room and turned his head towards me. I felt hypnotized and drawn by the deep dark well of darkness that lay within his eyes. Squirming backwards, I started looking for an escape till I reached the very edge of the room. The only sound I heard was harsh laughter and a snarl. Not being able to back any further, I started to push myself up with my back towards the wall while grimacing in fear. Like a lion on the hunt, the distance drew smaller and smaller. Something seemed to slither and tighten around me as I lost consciousness.

                The darkness began to clear as I groggily regained my senses and claw back from the nameless horror pits which I had been dragged to. I woke up after what seemed like many eons with every inch of my body screaming with pain and I slowly started to sit up. I was wondering where I was and what happened to the ship. Everything seemed so heavy and I felt like there was a great weight on me. It took some effort to stand up and for some reason everything seemed to move in slow motion. Looking up I saw a round ball of flickering light which seemed like the sun yet it seemed really weird looking and dimmed. Lights flickered above and one could feel the disturbed water currents all around. There was utter stillness around as if all creatures had found some hiding place to seek shelter. A sunken vessel with debris around it drew me as if I was in a trance. There were small school of fishes and at times a lonesome shark swimming in and out of the open port holes As I near the deck, some memory ignites and I realize that this sunken ship looks like my own. The ship which was once proudly sailing the seas was now lying on the bottom of the sea, its sails tattered and torn, its hull breached and the crew dead. As I floated around, the cabin door which had the company emblem gently swings on its in the currents as if inviting me to enter. As I swim past, the dead crew seem to look out wanting an escape which they’ll never get doomed to be trapped in this watery grave till eternity.

                Flapping my arms and legs propelled me higher and higher. It seemed like I was nearing the edge though I couldn’t see well. I grimaced as I ran into some wall which I couldn’t see. Rubbing my head to clear the pain, I inched forward once more. The smooth invisible wall was still there though I felt it with my hands. Running my hands back and forth I saw it extended upwards and all the way downwards as far as I could see. Pressing my face against it, I gasped at the sight I saw. Startled, I started to flay my arm wildly and floated backwards away from the nightmarish image which seemed to leer at me.

                A small water filled globe sat on a table in a room which seemed as ancient as time itself. A large bearded burly man sits on a chair on one side of the table. Getting up, he walks up to the wooden shelves on one side of the room and pulls out an old weather beaten book. The pages are yellow and starting to tatter at the edges due to aging and use. Not finding what he’s looking for, he puts it back, wanders around the room and stops at the window to stare out of the window at the dark stormy sky. He seems to be lost in his own thoughts as he yanks his own beard and curses under his breath every so often. Getting tired, he finally makes his way back to the table and sits down. Looking down at the small water filled globe, a sparkle comes into his eye. Raising his fingers, he knocks on the glass, startling the being inside causing it to flap backwards wildly.

                Looking around the bearded man spots numerous cans. Pushing many aside, he spots one he needs. He takes a pinch of powder and sprinkles some into the aquarium and the hidden being suddenly appear and go into a feeding frenzy. Taking a small strainer, the bearded burly man dips it into the water bowl. After some effort, it comes out leaving a being gasping for breath as the water starts to cascade out. Sound of a matches being struck to the striker was heard. The clang of a frying pan and the sound of oil hissing were heard above the sound of water rushing out of a faucet. A shriek was heard, yet it was cut short as a heavy knife sliced the daily special a number of times on the cutting board. Throwing the freshly cut items on the sizzling hot frying pan, the burly man started to stir it quickly with a large wooden spoon. A satisfied look came over his face and he emptied the contents on a lettuce lined plate and put a few slices of tomatoes, onions and lemon next to it. The dish was shoved out of the window for the waiting customer who was demanding to know why his lunch was late. Read more...

                  Sunday, May 8, 2011

                  The vertical blind hunt

                    We spent many days going to different places and looking at all the different setups to get some ideas. But we really didn’t find anything which would look nice at his place. Sure, we got a bunch of ideas, but nothing seemed to click. So one night while I was browsing though the net looking for something for the house, I noticed that there are many places which can help with all of your interior window treatment needs. They had some really excellent quality and beautifully designed Vertical Blinds, shades, enclosures shutters, and enclosures. These high quality items seemed to be affordable and are sure to fit his budget. All items seem to be of high quality and this company is giving a lifetime guarantee on their products as long as the original retail purchaser owns the product for defects in materials, workmanship or failure to operate. This is really great when you consider that most online web sites just do not provide the same service and a much shorter warranty period which is just too inadequate to know what type of product you have gotten and what types of hidden defects it might contain. What really attracted me to this site is that they are leading supplier of window products for over 60 years and have an unsurpassed reputation in their chosen field. He is sure to get not only an excellent product, but also a wide variety of products to choose from. Since there are no middle men, I know that we can get the best price possible.

                    I am really glad that I have found this site since the dull boring rooms now look like works of art if done properly. Let’s see what happens and hopefully he is able to choose the right stuff for his house and all the hard work that I have put in doesn’t go to waste. My worst nightmare at this time is that hopefully he doesn’t go color blind and chooses horrible glaring and conflicting colors or really inappropriate products even though the company does provide trained and qualified staff will help the customer select the products, colors, and options that best suit their needs. If he screws up this easy task, I’ll have to take him to the eye doctor. Lol. Hopefully, he’ll have the house fully ready by next week so that it will look good for the house warming party which he was planning to hold. Read more...

                      Friday, May 6, 2011

                      The house that Jim built

                        After what seems an eternity, the afternoon sun gently glares down at the houses as I drive down the tree lined path looking for my house. It was late in the afternoon on a lazy Sunday afternoon when I finally reached home from the hectic weekend shopping. It had been raining on and off, yet the skies finally managed to clear as I wound my way home.

                        Stopping the car in front of my house, I get out to see my two kids wrestling each other to see who’s the king of the hill. As a breeze gently rustles the trees leaves and ruffles through my hair ever so softly, I hear children voices heading my way and as they round they turn, they run off towards the park as they chase each other through the shrubs and weave through the trees. The voices fade away and I wonder how so much time has flown by so quickly. Drawn by the voices, the kids notice me and one of them run off inside to tell momma while the other one tries to tackle me. Falling to the ground, we roll off some distance and the little kid tells me with a huge smile that he’s won. Letting the kid climb on top, he sits on my shoulder as we walk towards the house which is finally a home to see what my little lady is up to.

                        Pulling the door key out of my raincoat, I opened the door to hear the phone ringing madly. The misses picks it up, listens intently, says a few words and finally gestures for me to come as it is for me. Looking through the door at the still open car, I decided to handle the caller first and then deal with the groceries later. “Hello”. “Hi. I’m Cathy from Jones & Jones attorney. Can I please speak to Mr Smith?” “Speaking” I said cautiously “Hello Mr Smith. We need to talk and its urgent. When can we meet? Is tomorrow ok at 2:00 PM?” Thinking it over, I replied “I can meet you right now within fifteen minutes if you can free up a slot for me. I’ll meet either one of the Jones at the café as I have to pick up the account books and see if they are running my baby like it should”.

                        Putting away the groceries, I started to think the past events that might have led to this. Groceries which were running low were now fully restocked, yet a few medicines still needed to be bought, a much needed haircut needs to be gotten, my bank a visit to deposit an application and the diminishing wardrobe needs to be replenished. To top it off, I needed to placate my rioting stomach. Calling up the taxi service, I told them to send one immediately as the matter was urgent and wandered off to the kitchen to grab a mug of coffee and a cold cut sandwich. Minutes seemed to drag by and fifteen minutes seemed like an eternity.

                        A persistent horn broke me out of the stupor I had fallen in. Dragging myself out of the chair, I grabbed by jacket, turned off the lights and headed out the door. Standing near the base of the stairs, I hollered that I am off to the café to meet the lawyers and don’t know when I’ll be back. Getting inside the dimly lit taxi, I gave directions and went back to my thoughts. I told the taxi driver to hurry even though I knew he was driving as fast as the traffic would permit. My mind was troubled by the phone call which I had received just a short while back. A country music station was on blaring Jonny cash song and my mind drifted to the past events in what seemed like another bygone age.

                        I only had one person whom I could call my friend. The others were just empty pieces of husks that seemed like they would scatter at the slightest hint of storm. It was all about power, muscles, constant fights and who was able to keep the king of the hill position while intimidating others to make sure they kept a distance. Looking back, it seemed like we were as different as two people can be. Yet, with the passage of time we became so close to each other that it seemed like we were inseparable. I had a lonely childhood as I never had any siblings and Jimmy not only became my best friend but also acted like a protective elder brother. He was always one of those type of kids who was always ready to lend a hand to others when the need arose.

                        He never had an easy life as his father always used to hit the bottle and there was hardly anything left of the Friday’s paycheck. There were the usual arguments, money going down the drain and the constant threat of eviction. They made do with what they had and he desperately wanted out of this grimy blue collar town. People were born here, worked in the factory a few miles down, hit the pubs, came home and the cycle was repeated till they passed away. The only way out was education yet he did not even have the basic skill set to pass the small quizzes that the teacher gave out on a weekly basis.

                        He never quite fitted in the class since he always stood out like a sore thumb. Black leather jacket, boots and greased back hair was what he came in on a daily basis. This was who he was and others had to accept him as he was or leave him be was his attitude. One fine day, he came to school and he seemed like a changed person. No more laid back attitude. The grit, determination and the desire to succeed where others had failed which was missing before was shining in him like a light house beacon on a dark stormy light. He stayed up all night correcting his deficiencies. He mugged up the math tables and relearned English the right way. Somehow he passed each and every quiz that the teacher gave to the class and eventually graduated the local college with a decent grade.

                        Things began to look up for him and it seemed like we had to go our separate ways. We kept in touch with each other whenever our paths crossed. The town was never the same and it seemed to have been drained of its essence. The same crowd was seen plying the single road town, going through the same routine yet it had changed overnight for me. I moved on myself and shifted to a different town. Life moved on, got a good job and I finally settled down. With the passage of time, I had all but forgotten my previous life until this fateful morning.

                        The taxi cab horn woke me up from the sleep that I had drifted off to and I realized that the taxi driver gesturing that we had reached the destination. A man was seen sitting in one of the tables inside the café. A man emerged from the shadows of the store and introduced himself as the family lawyer. He apologized for calling me in such a short notice yet the matter required urgency. It seemed that even though time had flown by, Jims inner self had not changed at all even though he had become quite wealthy. He still retained the same need to help out the ones who were in trouble without paying any heed to his own safety. It seemed that he had gone to a local deli to buy some sandwiches and a bottle of Pepsi, when he walked into a store where a hold up was in progress. The man threaten to shoot all if the cash box wasn’t handed over while the cashier tried to explain in vain that it was way past closing time and the manager had already taken it away some time back. Trying to reason with the gunman, Jim suffered gunshot wounds and died on the spot.

                        The lawyer seemed to drone on and on about completing the formalities concerning his assets which consisted of his house besides other things, yet I was lost in my own thoughts. It is one of those old fashioned neighborhoods and the house is as old as the town itself. In my minds eye, a cobblestone road ran next to the waterway which runs through the middle of the town and it winds its way in front of the house and finally off into the distance. The town always seemed to wear a deserted except for the drop outs from the high school that used to frequent the Pops Soda and Chips store. They always seemed to be in the midst of a pool game or a game of cards and at other times they used to race down the main street in their souped up cars every so often before quieting down once more. The younger crowd that used to stop at the gas and food joint broke the monotony of the town even though it was for a short while. The blaring horns and revving of the engines could be heard a mile away and people tolerated them as it brought in the extra income to the town. Waking up from the dreamlike state I had fallen in, I heard that the house was still there yet it was an abandoned house now. The windows were broken and all boarded up, pigeons, bats and other creatures had made what was once a sprawling mansion their dwelling.

                        The formalities were completed and I headed home later on in the evening. The emptiness never got filled even with the passage of time. The world seemed even emptier now at this news. Even though I had a family to call my own, I felt like there was no one else to walk besides me and the one who lent his support was gone. My sun burned gaunt face turned towards the window as the harsh winds that refused to die down swept through the mind. Images of the past slowly flashed before my eyes as I relived my past. Trying to clutch it and never let go, yet the creaking and swinging branches outside the window startled me out of the dark thoughts I had fallen into. There was silence before I broke down for what seemed to be an eternity. I had lost my anchor in life long time back and I still felt like I was cast adrift on a stormy ocean with no land in sight. A firm hand on my shoulder brought me back. The misses told me that I had to be a man. The past is gone and can’t be undone. One must learn to let go and the inner wounds shall heal. Life always comes a full circle at the end I was told. and the only things which we can hold on to are the memories Read more...

                          Tuesday, May 3, 2011

                          From the demons lair

                            Time passes by and after what seems like another lifetime, I find myself walking up to the window of the space port which faces the space city. The hardened plate glass clears a bit as I approach it and the view is as bleak as my inner self. The numerous suns and the distant stars blink and shine as they cast their dim light which gently finds its way into the room. Not much can be seen except the endless stream of stars flowing past the window. Every so often there was a slight crackling hum, one could feel the static and smell ozone in the air as the way station starts to shake and shudder as it is buffeted by what seemed like the unending storms. The storm passes and the utter silence which seems to permeate through the walls amplified my own breathing.

                            The ground shook a bit and I heard a heavy sound of boots rudely stomping on the wooden flooring which seemed to be coming towards me. The sound came closer. The sudden rough knock in the door startled me and brought me out of the thoughts I was in. A strong earthy smell permeated the room and the sound of shrieking crows filled their ears. Reddish yellow light spilled into the room as the resident demon hissed at me to tell me that the slop was ready and asked if I was coming down or not. Not waiting for my reply, the large burly demon stepped up to the chair I was sitting in, yanked me off and started to drag me out of the room while I was wildly thrashing. Throwing me over his shoulder, I flew down the stairs and landed near the foot of the stairs. A soft hiss and then a cough from one of the kitchen guys who was taking orders for dinner brought me back to my senses. The body ached and it felt like every bone was broken and I let out a loud moan as pain shot through my body. Light spilled onto my face from the high intensity torch as one of the foul smelling creatures who had occupied this timeless eateries stomped impatiently once more to hiss at me that the slop was ready and asked if I was heading off there or not. With a loud curse, I headed off down the hallway and into the eating area.

                            The empty table, broken furniture, rotting curtains and the constant scurrying sounds of the rats hidden behind the walls could not keep my mind from feeling a little uneasiness I was feeling from the unfinished business at hand. A few flies buzzed around and the food I was trying to eat was as listless as the place. There were still a few bodies stacked in the corner which had not processed. The kitchen crew was slacking in processing the inward bound items and someone was going to do solitary time for this. A few pockets of mist solidified in the deep dark pools, merged into a one and started to twirl round and round while a banshee like sound was heard. The feud was finished in the physical world yet continued unabated here. There were occasional shouts, a few angry words and the worked up spirits were pacified once the guards walked in and started to threaten them that if they don’t quiet down, they be sent to the lower levels to roast till eternity.

                            The whistling sound of the kettle from the kitchen wakes me out of the dark thoughts that I had fallen into. Teleporting between planes always wore me out and I never knew where I would end up while exiting this place and in what condition. With some effort, I got out of the chair and headed off to the kitchen to see if something could be done to shake the lethargy out of my system. Seeing that the kitchen was empty, I grabbed the kettle, poured some coffee into my mug to banish the thorn from my mind and plan out the method by which it can be removed.

                            The intercom above crackled and the dispatcher barked out that I’ve been assigned another job and report in to the teleportation room for the long haul mission. I sat there and pondered it took me a few moments to realize that I have not picked up my job sheet to see exactly what I have to do. I looked around wondering if my supervisor was still here and all I saw was an empty room. Looking around I saw my job sheet tacked onto the job board with todays job highlighted in yellow with a note that it’s a priority job.

                            Heading out the door, I glanced back wondering if the spirits which whispered angrily amongst themselves would maintain peace while I was gone. Grabbing my duffle back, I started to walk towards the room which will send me to my destination and hopefully not scatter my atoms across many planes. Handing my destination coordinates to the scrawling beast, I stepped on the teleportation disk, heard a hiss, crackle and saw the walls disappear before my eyes.

                            I woke up in a dark alley. I don’t know how long I had been out yet when I looked up all I saw were stars and a lonely moon travelling across the sky. I rubbed my head wishing the awful splitting headache away. My legs were weak as if all the energy had been drained out of my system. Feebly, I walked to the edge of the dark alley and gazed down a dirt road that ran through this so called town. I looked down at myself and then the drunk sprawled near the edge of the road and realized that I had been teleported to some other era.

                            Memories rushed back and I remembered the turn of events that led to this. I hastily felt my back and was relieved to discover the backpack still there. Its weight felt comforting. The clip clop of a horse was heard in the distance and I realized that I needed a place to hide till I got a new set of clothes and a new identity. Running down the small hill, I spied a lone horseman approaching the town. Tying a burlap rope across the dirt road, I waited for the horse and man to pass. A lone rider rounded the corner and he was in a rush to reach the town. Not seeing the tight rope stretched across a few feet above the road, the horse fell throwing the rider into the bushes. The horse was ok and it got up almost immediately. Shaking itself free of the dirt it pranced around nervously and seemed out of breath. The rider was unconscious and I hauled him to the tumbleweed bushes. I went up to the horse and it took some time to calm it down. It must have been one long haul journey as it seemed tired and sweaty. Bringing it to the bushes, I tied it to one of the tumbleweeds and wandered back to the man to see which clothes I could use.

                            Taking my clothes off, I packed them in my backpack and hid it in the horse saddle and put on the man clothes on. The clothes were a bit bulky, but it’ll do for now. Pulling out my job card, I flipped the flashlight on and started to memorize my mission. Swinging the horse around, I pulled the bridle till it started to gallop back towards the town. Time was running short as the teleportation gate only opens at certain times and if I miss it, I’ll be stuck here till it cycles through and makes another pass at a later time.

                            The town loomed in front of me as soon as I rounded the small hill. The same dark wooden houses stared back at me. The dark alley still had the drunk sprawled, yet a stray dog sniffed the drunk before marking him before leaving. The house for which I was looking for was the last one and it appeared before me as I reached the very edge of town. The front portion of the dark brooding house was overgrown with shrubs and weeds and the windows were all boarded. No sign of life was visible, yet I knew I had reached the right place. Getting off the horse, I gathered my belonging and set it free. After watching it gallop some distance into the heart of the town, I turned around and started to walk towards the house which seemed to stare down at me as if to discourage me from entering.

                            Turning the door handle just a bit, I pushed the door gently till a crack appeared. Through the old wooden partially open door, bright yellow light was spilling out. Looking through the small opening, I looked inside to see that the room seemed empty. As the door creaked open, I saw cobwebs everywhere and a thick layer of dust covering everything. I started to cough as a thin layer of dust started to float as I started to walk across the floor. In the distance I saw a dust covered table with a table light. Walking over I flipped on the study light on the desk. It was a large room with a fireplace at the very far end. Wooden book shelves lined one end of the wall while there was a large window at the opposite end.

                            One the floor, there was a lush carpet and behind the bar was a huge wine rack filled with numerous bottles both of which were covered with a thick layer of dust. As I wandered through the dust filled house, the empty rooms echoed my footsteps and dusty windows and mirrors reflected my passage. I wondered if I had come too soon or too late. Finding a staircase, I make my way up the stairs to find myself standing at a hallway. There are numerous doors on each side. Opening the first door, I saw that it was a dimly lit bare room except for the old wooden table with a chair near the window and a fireplace near the center. Looking around, I saw that each wall was identical to the other. Each wall had a door with an old wooden table and chair near the window in which the shades are drawn. There was a broken door lying at the very far end as if some intruder had broken into the room long time back.

                            I stepped back momentarily as I saw a figure emerge through the broken door and into the room. He lit a lantern hanging on one of the walls, shed his wet clothes as quickly as possible and hung them by the fireplace to dry. The fire seemed to have died down long ago yet the ambers still smoldered brightly under the ashes. Throwing a hand full of twigs and some straw, the old man stirred the ambers and kept fanning till the twigs and straw caught fire. Bit by bit, he kept adding the logs till it was a roaring fire and started to wander around to find a clean dry set of clothes. Not finding any, he pulled up a chair and sat his tired body down. Grabbing a mug of coffee, he started to take sip it and began to lose himself in his own world.

                            A soft cough jerked him away from the half sleep he had fallen into. Little by little, I started to inch closer to my prey. Recognizing me for who I was, he started to squirming backwards, begging me to let him be as he started looking for an escape till he reached the very edge of the room. Not being able to back any further, a loud gasp escaped his lips as he toppled backwards wide eyed and sweat started to soak his shirt. My eyes turned hard, gritty and started to sparkle with an evil glint as adrenaline started to rush through my system.

                            Pulling a shotgun from the shoulder, I started to insert shells one by one into the twin barrel while grimacing at the figure sprawled on the floor. “Hi. You already know who I am and why I am here. Yet take a good long look at me, because your end is near. It’s been a few months and you forgot to complete your assignments. I’ve come to collect in full.” Was all I said as I snapped the gun and flipped the safety off. With sweat running down his neck and soaking the shirt, the old man started to crawl out of the room and into the hallway. Pulling the trigger, the shotgun rang out and the pellets left their marks on his ankles and lower legs. Air was knocked out as I kicked him swiftly in the groin. As he started to lose consciousness, I took a brass knuckle out of the jacket, raised my hand and started to pound the writhing figure repeatedly leaving a stream of blood flowing down through the wooden boards while he gasped out in pain. With a sharp gasp, he opened his eyes and tried to sit up yet fell back down on the floor once more as a sharp jolt of pain rang through his body. He felt a nudge and heard a curse. “This is the end. How long did you think you could run and hide? I’ve made arrangement for you. No more deadlines to worry about.” was whispered as he was dragged across the room and finally into the edge of the room. He tried to resist yet was too weak.

                            My body was shaking with tiredness and fatigue. I hastily felt my back and was relieved to discover the backpack still there. Its weight felt comforting and I quickly pulled out the teleporter. Flipping the switch the lights blinked and it lit up fully. Powering up the device, the power crystal showed 100% charge and it started to project a small crack on the far wall which slowly widened to a large arched door. Pulling out the coordinate reference sheet, I fed in the coordinates into the keypad. The projection on the wall crackled and hissed for a moment as reality shimmered. After a few moments, a wide set of steps leading downwards appeared. Reddish glow could be seen emitting from it and a foul stench, barking of hell hounds and shrieks of souls being ripped apart till eternity filled the room. Gathering my last bit of strength, I got up and looked around one final time. The fireplace was still burning bright and I really wanted to finish that coffee that was lying on the coffee table in the corner. Setting the anti-matter explosive device timer to 0:30, I pressed the activate button and threw it in the far corner.

                            Grabbing the old man by the collar, I dragged him to the very edge of the shimmering wall and threw him down the steps. A loud howl and then a blood cuddling scream went up as the sounds of ripping meat and crushing bones was heard. Something was heard trying to make its way back up the stairs, yet was dragged back down and the scream that went up was cut short. The house started to shake and fall apart as I quickly tightened the straps of the backpack on my back. I looked around once more to make sure that I had packed everything and finding nothing in the room that held interest to me. Closing the teleportation door, I looked up the coordinates to my next job on the coordinate reference sheet pressed the buttons as I rocked on my heels and started to run towards the shimmering far wall once more. There was a slight hum and I could smell ozone in the air as the walls disappeared once more. Read more...