No. Just, No.

In one of my classes, we were introduced to the next assignment. It makes no sense for me.First: we are supposed to imagine we are the president of SGA – strike one. Second: we are in groups as if the president of SGA put together a group of people – strike two. Third: This group of people is supposed to write a report about including four nonexistent Muslim students and one that exists, but already went to college, is 47 years old, and has no reason to come to this college – strike three.

If I were the president of SGA, I would immediately resign. I have negative interest in being the president of an organization whose job it is to care, because I really don’t. I would never run for the position, I would never accept the position, and I think I would rather transfer schools than be in that position.

As I mentioned, it is not a good idea to put me in a position where I’m supposed to care. Being on a panel with the president of SGA (which, by the way, is apparently all of us. According to the description, we are all the president of SGA, making a panel out of other presidents of SGA, ‘cause that makes sense.) is not a good idea. I am the last person anyone should ask to be part of a panel of carers.

Finally, I just don’t care about the inclusion of Muslim students. Don’t get me wrong, I want them to feel included; I want them to feel welcome, but I’m not the one to figure out how to make that happen. I don’t think that way. If you want someone to figure out how to benefit the most people the most given certain information (utilitarianism), but don’t ask me to care.

I am not going to like this assignment. I’m not even sure if I’ll be able to write it. I guess we’ll see how much I can bend the assignment once we actually get the hardcopy version of the assignment, as we’ve only discussed it. Oh, and you know how BSing is a thing? Yeah, no, not for me, so I’ll be having fun…

Cracks in Her Heart

I know her heart. It has
New cracks
Every week

My own heart is strong, but it
Cracks
To see hers

So many days
I’ve wished to show her
What life can be

That she doesn’t have to
Die
Every day

Yes
I’m here
To talk to
To vent to
To be a rock

The keystone of her life
That’s holding her together
Standing by her in the fire

But I’m a rock made of
Sand
Weak to floods

I am weak because I am
Human
Prone to failure

But there’s another rock out there—
God
Who is strong

He is always there;
Patient
Waiting for you

The Lord, my rock, will not
Fade
He is eternal

He will not
Break
Like everyone will.

He will not
Change
Like everyone will.

He will not
Leave
Like everyone will.

The Lord my God,
Almighty Father,
Creator of Everything,

Know that He is God, and he
Loves you
Like no one will.

Death Accelerates

The Princess was alone now, sitting in her bed. Kobrol had left her, as she requested. She didn’t want anyone around right now. The Princess didn’t want a shoulder to cry on. She didn’t need a shoulder to cry on. She just needed time to think things through.

But she couldn’t.

Her chest felt like it was caving in on itself and flying apart at the same time. Her hands were clawing at her face bit by bit, maybe trying to force out the emotions with a physical pain; maybe just trying to do something with her hands.

As her hands fell from her face, she let out a wail that echoed through the halls of the castle.

* * * * *

The Princess did not appear for dinner for the next several days. When she finally did, no one could have guessed her family had died. As she walked in, the table fell silent and watched her approach. She wore a maroon gown with brilliant gems sewn into it, and though her crown was always well polished, that night it looked especially shiny. Her gait was as refined as ever, with nary a tremor.

She walked to her seat at the head of the table and sat down. She glanced around at the mute table and said, “And what are you all staring at? Certainly food is more interesting than a new dress.”

Each person at the table slowly returned to their food, though murmurs were widespread. Though they had been told the Princess was alive and healthy, some of them hadn’t believed. Others were questioning the apparel choice; maroon was a dark color, yes, but surely black would be more appropriate. Most were just surprised how well put together she appeared.

After dinner, she met with her father’s, or rather, her, advisors. Brellen was the youngest and quietest, acting as the economic advisor. Sigro wasn’t the oldest, but he looked it. He was the skinniest, most illshapened of them all. Despite his appearance, he acted as the political advisor; fortunately, he had others do the public work. Tirro had a limp from the Red Revolts, which had forced him to put away his sword, and now he acted as the military advisor. Grulen was the oldest, with the grey hair to prove it, even if he was otherwise quite young looking. He was the chief advisor, overseeing the other three.

They were sitting around a circular table with a map of the Taranian kingdom and its surroundings in the center. The South-East was home to the Outlanders, to the North were the Northers, and the sea was to the South and West. The Princess had been taught about these peoples since a young age, but in the end, she knew very little about them besides their savagery.

Sigro spoke first. “The people will not accept a Princess Regent for long, your Highness.”

“Do they doubt my ability, or is that just you?”

Grulen held up a hand and said, “No one is questioning your ability, your Highness. It is all in the title. The people want a King or Queen ruling them. With the title of ‘Princess’ comes the impression of a child.”

“And the only way to confer the title of Queen upon you while we still do not know the status of the Prince,” said Sigro, “is for you to marry.”

The Princess locked eyes with Sigro. Had Sigro been anyone else, he would have withered under the gaze, but he was perfectly used to the very same gaze from the Princess’s mother. “My family was just murdered, and you want me to get married?”

“It is for the safety of the kingdom, your Highness,” said Tirro. He was trying to be respectful and not clench his teeth, but it was difficult work. “So soon after the Reds, the Red supporters are still out there looking for any reason to cause trouble.”

“The assassins were likely Reds, your Highness,” said Brellen. “They don’t want anyone in power because it makes it that much easier for them to start a second revolt.”

Sigro stood. “The way the people are behaving without knowledge of what happened here four days ago presents a clear danger. We will need to tell the public of this event soon, and when we do, we had better have good news, too.”

The other advisors and the Princess stood as well, though she only to prevent them from talking down to her.

“Your father already presented you with suitors,” said Grulen. “We advise you choose one within the week.”

“A week,” the Princess repeated slowly.

“The death of your family accelerates many things. Everyone is forced to make decisions they would rather not; royals and peasants alike.”

Suffering

Hello, emotions, long time no see. What’s that? You want to write a blog post? Sure, what’s the worst that could happen…

Preface: I’m probably not talking about you, because I don’t think the person I’m talking about reads my blog.

I have a friend that’s been going through hell recently, and every time we talk, my heart breaks. They are barely holding together, and I can’t do anything about it. I hardly ever see them, and even when I do, what can I say to them that will help? I’ve already said the cliche things to the effect of “I’ve been there” and “It gets better”.

The worst thing is that I don’t even know if I believe that. I don’t think I have been where they are, and I have no idea whether it will actually get better. I pray it will (almost every night), but I don’t know if that is a part of God’s plan.

I can’t do anything to help them.

I hate being helpless.

Helplessness is crippling. When you know there’s nothing at all you can do to change a situation, why bother doing anything at all? Being helpless is a self-fulfilling prophecy. It is a trap of an emotion, and therefor not an emotion at all.

Emotions are pure, neither good nor bad. It is what we do with them that makes them good or bad. I describe my mind as having various voices. Similar to Freud, I include a voice named ‘Id’ in my line of voices, however, unlike Freud, Id is a purely malevolent voice. Id takes the pure emotions and twists them into stories to be used to put me down a dark path. Helplessness is one such story of Id’s. Why?

I may not be able to do anything on my own, but God can. All I can do is keep doing what I’m doing; keep supporting my friend. My friend is not saved, and all I can do is be a light. It’s up to God to help them out of the darkness.

It has become a cliche verse at this point, but Psalm 23:4 (“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me“) is quite applicable here. My friend and I both walk through the same valley, but I have God at my side.

I want them to see Him so badly, but if I’ve learned one thing from my walk with God, it’s patience. So I’ll just keep on being there for them every step of the way, and I pray God will shine His light through me ever stronger.

A Name, a Meal, and a Plot

The prince took the man’s words to heart, and the next time he had a chance, he asked the Captain of the Guard about him.

“Him?” the Captain replied. “He’s a guard. What do you want to know?”

Though as a prince he was technically higher than the Captain, they had grown up as friends. Neither felt a need for formality.

“What’s his name?” the Prince asked.

“Khalai Sheefeth.”

“That’s a Outlander’s name, isn’t it?”

The Captain grunted and nodded. “Yes. That’s where he’s from, or, where his family’s from. They came over back in the Elian War.”

“That was against the Outlanders, though.”

“And yet your great, great, great grandfather was very keen on having Khalai’s ancestor around. That’s why he gets to wear the black shawl; special privileges from your ancestor to his family. You might ask His Majesty your father about it, I’m sure he knows the history better than I.”

The Prince gave a short laugh. “I hardly get a chance to say good morning to my father, he’s so busy.”

They stood in silence for a few minutes before the Captain broke the silence. “You might ask him,” he said, nodding towards Sheefeth.

The Prince did not respond.

At dinner, the Prince and the Princess sat across from each other, three seats down from their father, with various other family members in between. He told her he had asked the Captain about the guard that had woken them.

“The one of no importance?” the Princess mused.

“Yes. Well, he did say to be curious.”

She nodded with a smile on her face.

“His name’s Khalai Sheefeth.” He relayed the rest of the Captain’s information. Most of it.

When he finished, the Princess put her fork down and stared at him. “He suggested you ask Sheefeth, didn’t he?”

“I didn’t say that.”

“Brother, I have known you for all sixteen years of my life. Do you think I can’t read your mind?”

The Prince sighed. “Yeah. Alright, fine. He did suggest that, but I didn’t tell you because I knew you would agree with him.”

“I would have suggested it if he hadn’t. So why don’t you?”

“It’s cheating.”

If it weren’t for her ladyship training, the Princess would have spat out her drink. “That’s your reason? ‘It’s cheating’? I didn’t know curiosity was a game.”

“You looking forward to the dance tonight?”

“Don’t change the subject.”

“Are you looking forward to the dance tonight?”

“Are you just going to ignore me?”

“Are you looking forward to the dance tonight? I hear Lord Kobrol will be there.”

“We’re not done— he will?”

The Prince nodded. “That’s what I heard.”

“Well, then, I am looking forward to the dance, but we’re still not done talking about this Sheefeth.”

“I believe we are.” The Prince wiped his face and stood up. “If you excuse me, and if you will not, I have some work I need to get done before the dance.”

The Princess was the picture of indignant elegance.

“See you at the dance, sister.”

* * * * *

The dance was in full swing by the time the Princess saw Lord Kobrol. She was just about ready to find her brother and give him an earful when Kobrol approached her and asked her to dance. Of all of the suitors presented to her, Kobrol was the most attractive and the one her brother had liked the most.

“Enjoying the night, your Highness?” Kobrol asked as they danced.

Unlike her dances with her brother, this was not about to turn into a frolic. “The night is still young,” she replied tactfully.

“So it is. Much can happen in a few hours.” They danced for two dances, and then Kobrol asked if she would care for a drink. “These dances are a tiring sport.”

“Yes, a drink would be a pleasant change of pace.”

While she was waiting for the drink, her brother spun away from the dance and sat next to her. “So?” he said breathlessly. “How is he?”

“Pleasant.” She wasn’t about to tell him how electric the minimal touching they’d done had been. How a hand in his, one on his shoulder, and his on her back had made her heart race faster than she had ever raced her brother. Such talk wasn’t proper.

But he knew.

“Uh huh.”

Eager to change the subject, she asked him, “And you? Find any fine young ladies?”

He sighed. “You know the court as well as I. The women here are a pox on our generation, with the exception sitting before me.”

“Perhaps it is your judgements that drive all the good ones away.”

“I would not need to judge if they were not judgable.” The Prince stood up. “Lord Kobrol, so good to see you. Are you enjoying the night?”

Kobrol had returned with two drinks, one of which he set in front of the Princess. “Thank you, your Highness. The night is still young.”

“Much can happen in a few hours,” added the Princess. The two of them shared a smile as she took a sip from her glass.

The Prince looked between them for a moment and then shrugged. “The dance calls to me. Enjoy your drinks.”

“Your friend is by the north door!” the Princess called after him as he left.

The Prince glanced towards the door, groaned, and shook his head.

The Princess just smiled. They weren’t done talking about Sheefeth. Not just yet. They still… they…

“Your Highness, are you alright?” Kobrol caught her as she began to fall forward.

“Y-yes, I think so. Just lightheaded all of a sudden.”

Kobrol helped her up. “It’s probably this room. All these people can be suffocating.”

The Princess nodded weakly, and they made their way to the door, trying as best they could not to draw attention. Neither wished for the celebrations to be soured just because of a faint Princess.

They left the room and found a nearby bench to sit on. “How are you feeling now?” Kobrol asked.

“A bit better, thank you,” she lied. She was feeling worse, in all honesty, but as with the rest of the court, she didn’t want the celebration soured by a faint Princess, especially with Kobrol. “I think I just need to lie down for a moment.”

Kobrol immediately got up and took off his outer coat, folded it up, and put it on one end of the bench to act as a pillow. The Princess thanked him weakly and lay down.

Her rest was short lived.

Screams from the dance hall popped her eyes wide open. With some effort, she sat up and saw Kobrol running over to the door. He opened it a moment, releasing the screams from within, and then quickly closed it. He ran back and picked the Princess up without asking permission, but she couldn’t muster the strength to protest.

He ran her to the garden and laid her among some bushes by the river. “Don’t move. I’ll be back for you.” Then he ran away.

The Princess lied there for what seemed like eternity before she heard anyone.

“Where’d he take her?”

“Don’ know.”

The Princess tried to call out, but her body felt paralyzed.

“Why’d he have to take her anywhere?”

“Don’ know.”

Her eyes felt like they were stitched shut.

“This would’ve been simple if they’d all just stuck to dancing.”

“Yea’”

The disembodied voices passed by and trailed off into the distance. The Princess waited another eternity before Kobrol returned. “Your Highness, are you alright?”

She could not answer. She felt a hand on her neck, just under her jaw.

“She’s alive,” she heard Kobrol call out. “Just asleep.”

She wasn’t asleep, though.

Kobrol picked her up and carried her out of the garden. At some point along the way, she blacked out, and when she awoke, she found herself in her room with Kobrol by her bedside. He was leaning forward and staring off into space.

She sat herself up. “Lord Kobrol? What happened?”

Kobrol didn’t speak. He just stared straight ahead.

“Kobrol. What happened.”

He sat up straight and looked at her. His face was a shadow of the pleasant charm he used to have. “There was… an attempt… on the lives of the royal family.”

The Princess stared into his eyes. She didn’t want to hear what he was about to say, but she had to.

“Your parents are dead, and your brother is missing. You are the Princess Regent.”

A Day in the Royal Gardens

I could see the young man sitting by the brook with his back against one of the many trees. He was wearing that damn purple cloak over his royal jacket and pants, which were gilded white. They had a lot of meaningless buttons, but that’s just my opinion. The aristocracy seem to think that the more buttons someone has, the higher up they are.That cloak was given ta’ him by his grandfather. They say he got it from the Northers, while others say it was made by an Outlander. Wherever it came from, everyone agrees it’s special somehow. Just looking at it gives ya’ a funny feeling. Something about it ain’t right.

His sister was there to, danglin’ her bare feet in the water and splashing about every now and then. She had pulled her green dress up to her knees so it wouldn’t get wet. It’d be improper if anyone else saw her, but they were alone, right?

The brother was talking about the Honorscript piece he was working through with one of the clerics. He was learning to read Honorscript, a language reserved for the royal family and clerics. They say it was a language given ta’ us by the Sentinels while they were still around. Bunch of pishposh, personally. It’s just a made-up language to make ‘em feel better about themselves.

He was in awe about the contents. It was about grand adventures and epic tales: good stories for the campfire. The last tale he had translated was about the great war between us and the Farmen. He had read about how a great hero with a sword given ta’ him by the Sentinels had rallied the commoners of our kingdom and pushed back the Farmen.

His sister was politely nodding along and smiling. I don’t know if she actually appreciated the stories or not, but that’s princesses for ya’. They’re taught from birth to be the slyest, sneakiest, fast-talkin’-est ladies in the world. At least, that’s what my old man said about Her Majesty the now-queen-then-princess, long may she reign. My thoughts? That’s just women for ya’.

He paused for long enough that the sister got a chance to talk. Their father, His Majesty, long may he reign, had approved several potential suitors, and she was eager to discuss them with her brother. They were all decently handsome, but she was a smart young lady. Looks weren’t what interested her, nor was she about to talk ta’ her brother about what she found attractive.

Instead, she wanted his opinion on which ones would treat her right, to which he had some strong opinions. I think she just liked hearing him talk. He could talk for hours about what he was passionate about, and there were many things he was passionate about. After asking one question, she just lay back and let him do all the talking.

This would repeat for several hours. Whenever her brother would run out of things to say on one subject, she would ask him about something else. They drifted from suitors to courtiers to their father and mother, His and Her Majesties, long may they reign, to foreign relations to dancing.

On dancing, the sister leapt up and suggested they practice. They began with a traditional waltz, but it soon devolved into random leaps and bounds around the forest. It became two kids running around the castle garden playing tag. The only difference being the age and the pretense.

I left to eat, and when I returned, I didn’t see them at first. I didn’t think it likely that they had left; the sister’s shoes were still by the brook. After some waiting, I saw them coming out from among the trees. The state of their clothes made me glad I wasn’t a cleaner. The only clean thing about them was that damn cloak. It ain’t right.

Dusk was fast approaching, and as the light faded, they lay by the brook and looked into the sky. The clouds looked like horses and crowns today, among other things. They pointed out a few clouds to each other at first, but then fell silent and just watched.

They fell asleep, I think. Maybe they were just resting their eyes. An hour before dinner, I came out to wake them. “Your Royal Highnesses, you may wish to clean yourselves before dinner.”

The princess looked at me and the prince sat up. They looked at each other sheepishly for a moment and then back at me. “Yes, thank you. Who are you?”

“No one of importance, Your Highness. Just someone of a curious and attendant mind.”

They both rose, the princess careful to remain as modest as possible. The princess picked up her shoes and they made their way out of the garden.

I think I will make it a habit of visiting the gardens.