Zombie Fairytale: Part 6

            A quick thought rushes into my mind, and it’s the best plan I’ve got so I start running full speed to the stables. As I run I can’t help thinking that the stars ahead look way too calm for the occasion. I threw open the barn doors and the animals inside grumble disapprovingly, they’re too busy sleeping to worry about zombies.

            I find Midnight Daisy and approach her slowly; she’s wide awake and greets me with friendly eyes. I pet her for a few seconds before saddling her and climbing on, I’ve only ridden a few times, but she seems perfectly content to have me.

            “Ready for an adventure, girl?” I whisper into her ear as we leave the barn and wind past small huts and chicken coops. She gives a little sigh, and I have a feeling she’s as ready as I am.

            When I near the front gates of the enclosed kingdom I see a few of the knights and their horses hidden in the shadows of buildings and trees. I don’t know what signal they’re waiting for, but I follow suit and hide behind a tree. I position Daisy so that as soon as I see a knight start to move we will be able to run straight at the bridge.

            After a few tense minutes my eyes are starting to sting from the strain and the cool breeze, but then I see the knight ahead of me kick his horse and break into a run. It’s only a second before Daisy and I are chasing after, just a few paces behind. I see the bridge ahead nearing toward the ground and the first of the knights has just approached it. I watch as each knight crosses, but just as I approach the bridge I feel it start to lurch back to it’s starting place. I push Daisy hard and close my eyes as she jumps. I look down and see that were maybe five feet from the ground and we land with a slight thud.

            I steer Daisy directly to my parent’s cottage. From a few yards away I notice it’s starting to smoke and there are a few zombies standing near the door looking excited. I can’t help but scream with rage and the zombies look up, their eyes emotionless but their jaws slack with surprise. I charge toward them, not knowing if that’s a smart thing to do, and they look at each other for a brief moment before running off in the opposite direction.

            “Mom! Dad! Phillip!” I yell as loud as I can at the smoldering house. Just then I hear a noise from the side and turn to see the three of them emerging from the cellar door. I let out a strange noise in my relief and jump off of Daisy. I practically knock the three of them over as I grab them all in one big hug and I feel hot tears run down my cheeks.

            My mother’s shriek brings me back to reality and I turn just in time to see a zombie, arms outreached, lunge toward me. I’m about to shut my eyes tight thinking this is the end, but before the zombie can grab me Daisy has risen high on her rear legs and come down hard on top of him. She beats down on his body until it no longer moves.

Note: I only plan on posting 1 or 2 more parts to this story, although I have a lot more written. I get the feeling that no one is reading this series, which is fine, but I’m just not going to keep posting the rest. So if you actually are reading these parts of the “Zombie Fairytale” please comment and I will gladly keep posting. Thank you!

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Zombie Fairytale: Part 5

            After a full day and night of servant duties I’m exhausted. I curl up in my bed and yawn, happily thinking about the number of times I’ve smiled over the past twenty-four hours. I’m not even asleep yet when I hear it. The hair-raising screams filling every corner of my little room. I sit bolt-upright, my heart seemingly stops beating for a second and I turn quickly to my little window. Out in the distance I can see an orange light; it takes a few seconds for me to realize it’s a fire. I stare for another half a minute and a few more bright orange flames pop up along the outskirts and more screams reach the castle.

            I jump out of my bed and open the door to the hallway. A knight in full armor runs down the hall and a few other servants are glancing around for answers just as I am. After a few seconds I see another Knight running down the hall, he doesn’t have his helmet on and I recognize him instantly.

            “Cameron!” I shout as I walk out of my room, he slows but I can tell he’s in a hurry. “What’s going on?” I ask.

            “There’s a massive zombie attack starting on the outskirts. We fear that they may break through our defenses,” he says quickly, and continues on his way, but pauses after a few feet and turns to look at me. “Phoebe, be careful,” he says with a worried look on his face then turns and runs away.

            “You too, Cam!” I shout after him, but I’m not sure if he heard.

            I return to my room and close the door. I quickly dress and strap all of my stolen weapons to me. They are easily hidden beneath my long dress and cloak. I grab the bag I’ve had packed for weeks and throw it over my shoulder. Lastly, I grab my stolen sword, there’s no place to hide it. I slide the sword through my belt and it feels like a good place to keep it. Luckily I’d already wrapped it in old fabric from the laundry, so it won’t stand out too much. Turning to the door, I take one last look around this little room that’s been my home for years; I know I won’t be seeing it again. I take a deep breath and walk out. No one bothers to notice me as I run down the hall, down the stairs, and out of the castle’s wide open doors.

            The cool night air feels good on my hot face and I breathe it in deep, letting it cool the panic in my chest. I reach the thorny bush that cover my small hole to the outside and cover my face as I crawl behind it and through the wall.

            Before I stand I look around at the fires and destruction. I instantly look to my family’s hut, and feel a wave of relief overcome me as I see that it hasn’t been touched yet. I reach for my pile of long sticks, which help me cross the moat, but through the side of my vision I catch site of a group of about seven zombies. They are looking into the water, obviously confused. One sticks his foot in the water for a few seconds before jumping in and starting to swim. He is reaching for the bank when an alligator bites him hard and quick. I turn away as he’s torn apart and eaten by the hungry reptiles. When the screams and struggling gasps stop I look up again to see the remaining six zombies standing around a nearby tree. With little warning they all start hacking at the tree: some kicking, others scratching at the trunk, and one jumping at the tree and repeatedly hitting it. After a while the tree starts to sway dangerously and the zombies start to shriek with excitement. I can see other small groups of zombies coming from the distance; it won’t be long until the whole shore is teaming with them.

            I can’t stick around here, and there’s no way I can cross with so many zombies nearby. I duck back through my secret tunnel before any of the zombies are able to see me. I really hope that if they get across the moat they don’t find the passageway, but there is nothing more I can do to hide it.

            I emerge from the bush but quickly duck back behind its coverage when I hear stomping hooves and the clatter of armor nearby. I look through the branches and see about eight knights astride horses. Sir Nesband stands in front of them and from where I’m hiding I can just make out what he’s saying.

            “… distract the king and queen, then Marty is going to lower the drawbridge. We only have a few seconds to all get out of the castle, then the bridge is going back up. So we’ve got to make it quick. On my signal we’ll all rush towards to the gate, no stopping and no hesitating. Try to kill as many zombies as you can. At daybreak we’ll meet by the old willow tree,” he pauses and looks each of the men in the eye for a brief second before continuing, “Men, I believe we are doing the right thing, but if any of you are uncertain you can still back out now. If you go out, know that you may not get back in.” There is a clanking of armor as the men nod. “Take your positions men, and watch for my signal.” There are a few hushed cheers of excitement and then the men break off into eight different directions and the night is silent once again.

Confronting My Irrational Fear

            We all have something (or many things) which we are terrified of for no apparent reason. Others may think these fears are silly, and they probably are. There are many things which I’m afraid of, some with good reason and some not, but the thing that I’m am currently stressing about has had me worried for well over a year and I’m going to try to deal with it tomorrow (we’ll see if I actually follow through, I’m hoping that by blogging about it I will be more likely to go through with it).

            Tomorrow I’m going to ask a professor to be my faculty advisor. Not what you were expecting was it? I know it seems ridiculous to be afraid to ask a professor to do something for you that is part of their jobs, but it scares me nonetheless. I was assigned an advisor who is in the history department when I began college and she told me from the start I would need to switch because I’m an English major. I’ve been putting it off for a variety of reasons, although fear is the most prominent, but I can’t really avoid it any longer.

            Since I’ve been thinking about my problem a lot lately (and any time advising period is coming near) I’ve begun to wonder what exactly I’m so afraid of. After much deliberation I’ve decided it is a combination of two things: (1) fear of rejection, and (2) fear of being a burden. Neither of these are really great reasons to be afraid. I don’t think a professor would really outwardly reject me, that would be kind of mean, and I wouldn’t be any more of a burden than any of their other advisees. But still, no one wants to be a burden and no one wants to be rejected, or worse, taken in merely because the other feels they have no option.

            I guess realizing my fears and where they steam from might help me to see that nothing can really go wrong. Even if both of my fears are met the only consequence will be embarrassment, which I really hate, but it’s not like a life-or-death situation. Tomorrow I’m going to try to put my fears aside, take a deep breath, and ask someone for something. I’m going to stop allowing my fears to rule my life, one little step at a time.

Update: I waited a day to post this so I could tell you if I actually went through with confronting my fear. And I did!! All throughout class I kept reminding myself of why I needed to do this, both academically and because I don’t want this one thing to dictate my life. I want to know that I can overcome my fears, and this is just one more step on a long path to becoming a braver and less shy person.

            After class I forced myself to walk up to the teacher, there would be no turning back once I was at her desk. As soon as I started talking I could feel the blood rushing to my face and my cheeks quickly warming. The professor said yes and I was so relieved I had trouble paying attention to what she was saying to me. Something about paperwork, I’ll just have to figure that out later I guess. I left the classroom smiling and shaking like a leaf.

            It feels good to have that worry off of my mind. But more so, it feels good to know that I can be the person that I want to someday become: a strong, brave woman who isn’t afraid of taking a little risk.

You and I -or- You and Me: A Quick Grammar Lesson

            One of the most annoying grammar mistakes people make is confusing when to use “I” and when to use “me”. I’ll admit, I don’t have perfect grammar and I make mistakes all the time, but this is one particular mistake I see way too often. I can see why it happens because I can remember teachers in elementary and middle school saying “it’s ‘you and I’ not ‘you and me’”, but this isn’t always the case. Here’s how to know which one to use:

            Take the other person or people out (the “you”) and read the sentence, does it make sense with an “I” or a “me”. It’s really that simple. Here are two examples:

                 (1) Grandma told Cindy and me to go to the mall.

                        Grandma told Cindy and me to go to the mall.

                (2) Bob and I do not like peanuts.

                        Bob and I do not like peanuts.

Happy (Belated) Valentine’s Day To All The Dreamers Out There

            I’m about a half hour late, but happy Valentine’s Day! Honestly, I was really tempted to title this “Crappy Valentine’s Day!” But I’m really trying to be less of a negative-nancy this year. I’ve never had a good Valentine’s day – well last year my mom did give me chocolates, so that was pretty cool – or at least not one which didn’t disappoint me. And I can’t really say that this year was any different. No matter how much I hate this blasted “holiday” (if that’s what you want to call it) I always keep on dreaming. I may be a pessimist (more like a realist in my opinion!), but in the back of my mind I’m always waiting for a happy ending.

            No matter how many times I tell myself I’m going to become a lonely old maid, I still have a vision in my head of a beautiful white wedding and a little house with a white picket fence and growing old together with my one and only love. No matter how many times I am disappointed I always allow myself to dream of things going just right.

            So, maybe this Valentine’s Day was like every other one I’ve experienced. Nevertheless, I’m going to keep dreaming of my knight in shining armor (currently: a cute guy with strawberry blond curls and blue eyes who I met last semester) and hoping that one day (in the near future please!) he’ll take a chance on that shy girl who always smiles at him (me!!) and we’ll ride off walk into the sunset  and, not necessarily live happily ever after, but have a great time together.

            For all you single ladies (and guys!) out there, keep on dreaming. It may be hard sometimes when nothing seems to go your way, but maybe someday we’ll get our happy endings beginnings too.

Stars and Boys: A Short Story

            I used to think the stars were holes in the sky and every time I looked into one I was looking at some far off wonder that I couldn’t see. Now I know what starts are, but I guess the rest of that still applies. It’s weird how things like that work out some times.

            I was ten when I met Luke and I thought he was the coolest guy ever. He’d just moved in next door when I went to his house with my mom to drop off some cookies. I remember it better than almost anything else from my childhood. His mother opened the door and I could see him in the background sitting on a box reading a book that looked like it was too complex for a ten-year old. He was wearing a Star Wars shirt and the sun from the kitchen window fell on him and illuminated his strawberry blond hair. He looked up and his eyes met mine, he smiled and I looked at the ground.

            In the months that followed we would make imaginary forts in the forest and pretend we were bandits or super heroes or CEOs. We would run around the neighborhood catching butterflies and sit for hours watching ladybugs or squirrels. When we were thirteen we sat on his back porch one night and planned our lives. He would go to college and become a doctor and a lawyer and get married and have two kids and seven dogs. I would become a journalist and would be a private investigator in my spare time and would have four kids, a cat, an iguana, two dogs, and a secret fortress under my house. We laughed all night long, making our plans more and more elaborate, but no matter what we planned on we decided that we would be friends forever.

            Isn’t it always like that? You are close to someone and you think you will always be close to them. They will always be there for you and you for them. In the movies, this is always how it works.

            We grew up and Luke went off to college to study engineering and I left to study English. I haven’t spoken to him since we were sixteen. But I still think he’s the coolest guy ever.

Zombie Fairytale: Part 4

            Knock! Knock!! Knock!!! “Wake up!” I can hear Princess Cornelia outside my room throwing one of her typical tantrums as I fall out of bed and rush to the door.

            “Good morning Princess. I’m sorry for my tardiness,” I lie as I pull my long hair into a messy bun.

            “Why didn’t you bring my breakfast this morning?” She asks as if she doesn’t already know that I overslept.

            “I’m sorry your highness, I forgot to set my alarm clock, but that is no excuse.” Actually, I think it’s a pretty good excuse or I wouldn’t have bothered to mention it.

            “I want you in the stables in five minutes preparing my horse for the afternoon Polo game,” she says and stalks off down the long hallway. I close the door and quickly dress, I’m not going to let the princess ruin my good mood. I’m still happy from last night, and I want that to last as long as possible.

            I’m braiding Midnight Daisy’s tail when Prince Cameron comes into the barn and sits down on a bale of hay. I don’t want to look, but I have the strange feeling he’s staring at me, or maybe he just has a thing for horses. I finish Daisy’s tail and turn to him.

            “Hello Prince Cameron. What brings you to the barn today; is there anything I can do for you?” I say with a friendly smile.

            “Pheobe, I’ve told you a billion times, please don’t call me Prince. Just Cameron, or better yet, Cam.” Of course I knew all of this; I was just messing with him.

            “Ok, Cam.” He smiles and I take a mental note that I really like it when he smiles. “You still haven’t told me why you ventured out of the castle. Did you run out of books to read?” I tease.

            “Very funny,” he throws some loose straw at me, “I thought you might get bored later when Cornelia’s playing with her little ponies and too busy to boss you around. I was wondering if you wanted to practice a bit more with those daggers. And um,” he’s looking at the ground, “if you want you could borrow a sword and practice with that. I mean, if you want to kill some zombies a sword is a much better weapon than a steak knife.” He finishes and stares at the ground waiting for my answer, as if he’s afraid of being rejected, which is just silly.

            “That sounds great Cam! The princess should be down in about twenty minutes, so I’ll meet you behind the castle as soon as I escape from her,” I give him a big smile and turn quickly to finish grooming Daisy.

            “Great, see you then.” I hear him pause for a few seconds before leaving the barn. And I think to myself that he’s acting a bit weird today; but after all, he is kind of a weird guy. I’m glad to have a friend in the castle though; he’s always treated me with respect even when the rest of the royal family doesn’t even care to call me by name.

            I finish up with Daisy, looking into her dark eyes as I comb her. Sometimes I wish I knew what she was thinking. Does she like her life here in the royal stables, or does she want to be out having great horse adventures. I’m going with the latter, but I guess I’ll never know.

            “Servant,” Cornelia says in a cold tone as she enters the barn. She must still be mad at me for sleeping in, but I’m really not in the mood for her cruelness today.

            “Pardon, Princess Cornelia, but I do have a name. It’s Phoebe in case you forgot,” I try to sound polite, but I know she detects the edge in my voice.

            “Right,” she rolls her eyes, “Phoebe.” I look at her because I’m surprised that actually worked, not even one argument about being rude or forgetting who’s paying me. “Daisy looks good, nice job.” Is it me or she being kind of nice? “Now, I have two baskets of laundry upstairs. The blue one can be put in the washer, the laundry in the pink one needs to be hand washed. I expect it to be done by the time the game is over. Then my room needs a good dusting.” Nope, I was mistaken, it’s the same old Cornelia as before.

            “Yes your highness, I’ll get right to that.” I stand and leave her in the barn with a satisfied smile. I hate that she’s won, but I’m so used to it now that I shrug it off as I walk out of her site. Then I run to the back of the castle where I see Cameron waiting for me with a small assortment of weapons.

            “Hey Cam,” I say as I catch my breath, “Sorry, but it’s going to have to be a quick lesson today. Your sister has a lot of laundry that needs doing.”

            “Tough break,” for some reason he sounds more disappointed than me, but then a smile breaks across his face, “hey, I’ve got an idea. How about I help you with the laundry, then it can get done twice as fast.”

            “Cameron,” I look at him for a few seconds, shocked by his proposal, “you’re a prince. You can’t be helping a servant like me with my duties.”

            “Sure I can, there’s no rule saying I can’t help you out. It’s probably best if my sis doesn’t find out, or my parents, but it’s not a big deal. It’s just laundry.” He says.

            “But Cam, I can’t ask you to help me. If your parents find out they might fire me,” I say, instantly wondering if that would even be a bad thing.

            “Don’t worry Phoebe, it’s not your idea. If they find out I’ll take the blame. I’m not going to let you get fired,” he gives me a smile and I know he really would defend me. “Besides, no one else would put up with Cornelia, my parents would never be able to find a replacement,” he jokes and then adds “now, pick up that sword. We’d better get started, we’ve got laundry to do,” I love the smile across his face so I give up and pick up the sword. I’m not a sword expert, but I can tell it’s nicer than the one I stole.

            We laugh our way through the lesson and then run into the castle and up to Cornelia’s room. The laundry is done surprisingly quickly and before I know it we’re pinning the hand-washed clothes on a line to dry. For being kind of a dork, Cameron is actually very funny. We joke about how ridiculously huge the castle is, and about old man Jordan who sits on his porch and yells at his chickens, and about a bunch of random things that shouldn’t really be funny at all. While were laughing it’s so easy to forget there’s a whole world out there, a world that is dying and suffering and coming closer to ending every day.

            When we hear Cornelia coming up the stairs Cameron gives me one last smile and quickly ducks around the corner and heads off down a different set of stairs, off to do whatever it is that princes do in their free time. And I’m left to dust Cornelia’s room and do whatever else she wants.

Just for a Laugh

I haven’t blogged in a while because my schedule is getting the best of me. So I thought I would post a few funny quotes that I collected from eves dropping on people last semester. I hope they make you laugh as much as they did me.

  • “I like my girls like I like my popsicle sticks: stupid and kind of funny” –The guy who stands behind me during pep band, I could not help but laugh out loud even though I was pretending not to listen.
  • “I like my girls like I like my penis: short but willing to try” –OMG, another quote from pep band.
  • My British Literature professor was the funniest woman I’ve ever met. One day she brought in a bunch of crazy props for us to use while acting out Hamlet. She pulled out a five foot tall plastic flamingo and said “This is Fabio”. A student then used Fabio as a prop and acting as Ophelia’s brother told her that “[Hamlet] just wants to stick his lawn decoration in your secret garden”. WOW, that was the best class ever.
  • The aforementioned professor then proceeded to give us advice in case we ever get into a sword fight.
  • Her phone also went off near the beginning of the semester and her ringtone was “Don’t you wish your girlfriend was hot like me?” The class got silent and then cracked up all at once.

 

*I do not take credit for any of the above quotes, I just thought they were funny and wrote them down. I hope they came across as funny even though they were kind of “you had to be there” jokes.