Three’s

Hmmm, why three’s? After all we are bipedal – two feet, two legs, two hands and arms, two ears and eyes, so why is three coming up so often? One would think that it would be either two or since we have one mouth that it would be one. Ah, then someone would say, but that is not true. We have 10 fingers, and 10 toes after all. But then while the statement is true, it is not really the correct answer. The correct answer would be we had 2 fives in each case. Five on the right, five on the left whether you want to talk about hands, or feet. So it is 2 pairs of fives.

There are the three laws of scientific prophecy, the three laws of robotics, the three sides to create fire, the three basic rules of relationships, and of course, the most important the Trinity. The three laws of science say: 1. If I am conservative in my predictions of the advancements of science and the time line, then when this time is reached these predictions will fall way short of the actual advancements. 2. If I predict accurately both the advances, and timeline, then this will be ignored as fantasy. 3. If a culture is advanced enough, then a primitive culture would consider those advancements as magic. (These 3 laws are from Author C Clark.)

Isaac Asimov is responsible for the three laws of robotics. 1. A robot may not allow a human to come to harm either through action or inaction. 2. A robot must obey a command from a human as long as it does not conflict with the first law. 3. A robot must protect itself, unless it conflicts with the first two laws.

Fire – a rapid oxidation of materials. Fire can be created if these three things are present – fuel, oxygen, and a heat source great enough to cause ignition. The three basic rules of a relationship from an unpublished pamphlet that I created, titled “Relationships 101”. The three sides are: 1. Communication. 2. Trust. 3. Intimacy. If any of these disappear then eventually the relationship will end. In a relationship each hold a greater importance at different times.

Then we have the Trinity: Father, the great I Am. Son, Jesus Christ, and The Holy Spirit that indwells all Christians. And when we look at us from this perspective again we are two – the physical, and the spiritual.

But why stop there? After all we see threes in other things too. Take the english (american) language for example. We can look at words like “good”, and know that it is the first of three, followed by “better”, and then “best”, representing different levels. Or how about “great, greater, greatest”, or “small, smaller, smallest”.  So again as we become aware of this oddity, why threes, and not two’s or five’s or ten’s? I myself have no answer, and if I’ve left you thinking, then I’ve done my job.

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Published in: on February 25, 2012 at 9:05 am  Leave a Comment  
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Roles

We are taught both in school, and in life that we play a role just as actors. It is these different fronts that we present to the world to protect the true us, and to project how we want to be viewed, accepted, and yes loved. Yet when we think about roles, we always seem to place them in the limited category. After all, one or two roles is all I have – the ones I project to family and friends, and the one I project at my occupation – and that is just about a far as it goes. Yet, if we really think about it, or truly look at it, we realize that this is a too simplistic view. In fact, two roles barely scratch the surface. So both as an individual and as a writer you need to see this in yourself so that your characters will reflect such roles and thusly become more real to your readers. After all our goal as writers, other than the story we are trying to present, is that you want your characters to be so real that your readers wonder if they are based on a real person, and of course, sometimes they are.

Most of these roles that I will present are ones we do not even think about. Yet if we really do think about it we will have to admit that what I am presenting is true. Our first role is as a baby. This one is simple since everything revolves around us. Eventually we reach the stage where we are coherent enough to understand that we are now reacting and acting towards our parents, thusly we now have the child to parent role. Which develops  over the years into the relationship that we know and are familiar with. Then we begin to meet ones who become our friends, and now for each one of those friends we present a different part of us, and these are, yup, you guessed it, roles. As life continues for us we can see by what is being presented that the number of roles we play in our life seems close to infinite. The roles between you and the teachers in school, the roles that you present at work, some for your coworkers others for your bosses, both on and off the job.

Then comes the most important role in your life. The one that you show your soul mate. Even here you probably have more than just one – the domestic, the day-to-day, the lover, the friend, the advisor, the one who listens, and on and on. Here the roles are never static, but always dynamic, always changing. Here you eventually take the role that your parents did for you, and become a parent yourself, listening to your parents in this new role, who now have taken the role of grandparents, as they smile and see you facing much the same problems that they did when they became parents.And with each child that enters the family, there is a special role that is presented, until that day when like your parents you become grandparents, and then wonder where did the time go.

I guess another way to look at these many roles are to see them as the different fronts, layers, and such that we hide behind to protect our inner selves. After all we talk to ourselves all the time, whether out loud or within our minds, and this is the place that we want to protect and hide from the world most of all.

Published in: on February 18, 2012 at 10:04 am  Leave a Comment  
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Time of Isolation – An Excerpt

Here I am posting an excerpt from the Novel “Time of Isolation”, with a planned release in the ebook format – this is first edit, with at least 2 additional edits still to come. I plan to have it available by mid-year 2012. This is book one of a planned two. The genre is Sci-Fi.

. . . Eventually he found where a couple of ancient trees had died and fallen sometime in the great past. There he was able to find much dead wood that was away from the snow. With an effort that left him breathing hard he finally had a large stack and headed back to where they had planned on building the fire only to find that Shellian was nowhere around.

Thinking that maybe she needed to make a nature call, he decided that was not such a bad idea and went back to the tree line to relieve himself. He then returned and she still was missing. Now he began to worry a little. There were predators around, but they had rarely seen any of them. It appeared like much of the animal life here, at least here in the higher elevations, slept through the winter. There was still a little snow where they had decided to break and he then circled their temporary camp to find her trail, and shortly he picked up her tracks heading deeper into the meadow towards a rock face. She had taken her pack so he felt confident that she hadn’t been attacked by an animal, but had instead seen something that had drawn her attention. With the air so clear it turned out to be further to the rock face than he expected. When he reached it he then saw Shellian emerging from what looked to be shadows. She turned and saw him and then waved. With concern on his face he finally reached where she was standing. “Don’t ever do that again!” He admonished.

“Do what?” she asked perplexed.

“Leave like that. When I got back you were gone. I figured you went off to relieve yourself and thought that it was a good idea so I did the same. But when I got back a second time you still were not anywhere to be found.”

“Sorry brother. I really had not meant to just disappear. And you are right that’s exactly what I was originally doing. After setting up for the fire I realized that it would be a good time to do just that. So while you were gathering wood I headed off in this direction took care of the need, and then turned to come back when I saw this rock face and something just did not look right to me. So I decided to investigate.”

“Investigate? Investigate what?”

Pointing she said. “This.”

Looking hard in the direction she was pointing he at first saw nothing, but by looking to either side of where she pointed he found a darker area in the shadows that she had emerged from. “So what is it that you found or thought you saw?”

“Well, like when I found the cave we are presently in, the shadows here looked just wrong. So I thought it was best that I check it out. And since I was closer to this rock face than I was compared to where we were planning to camp I decided to investigate. Come brother I have something to show you.” She then began to walk back into the shadows making a quick right she then disappeared.

Shrugging his shoulders he followed and found that he had just entered another cave. But this one was different somehow. There was a soft glow to the walls allowing him to see the interior with this dim soft light. “What is this place?” He asked knowing that she wouldn’t have an answer.

“Don’t know.” She replied somewhat subdued. “I don’t think this one is natural. But it isn’t very large. Not large enough for a second location, but, well, it’s just different.”

That was an understatement. “Tell you what, I’ll go back and get the wood that I brought to where we were going to build our fire. Why don’t you set up a fire ring at the entrance to this and then after we eat we can really look this over. You are right about the size, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be used for a supply location. What do you think . . . we are what, probably about ten kilometers from our winter camp?”

“Actually I think we are a bit farther than that. Remember it took to mid-morning to reach the area where the accident happened. And you had traveled there before so it would seem to be less distance to you than to me because you were familiar with it. So I would guess that it’s probably closer to fifteen by the way we had to go. But by one who flies probably no more than five or six.”

“Yeah you were always good a estimating distances and you are right the first part of our travels appearing to be short. I’ll go get the wood now, see you back here shortly . . . and . . . this time don’t wander off.”

As he disappeared from sight she went to collect a new set of rocks to form the fire ring when a couple of things hit her about this strange cave. But until she finished constructing the fire ring she would have to wait to confirm what she thought she had observed. In a short time due to the amount of available stones she had a proper fire ring constructed. Saige had yet to return so she went back inside the small cave to confirm what her mind had shown her. Since she had more time inside she felt that he would not have had a chance to make the same observations so before pointing them out she needed to make sure. Leaving the bright sunlight she reentered the cave and again was struck by the soft glow that the walls were emitting. It did not take long for her eyes to adjust to this softer light. She then did a careful search of the cave finding the soils on the floor to be soft and powdery. While doing this she heard Saige approaching and then the pile of wood he was carrying hit the ground. Then she heard him call out for her. “Saige, I’m in the cave. Something struck me as strange about this and I am checking it out. Go ahead and get a fire going then come in here and join me. I think you will find this interesting.” She then continued her investigation. Shortly she heard the crackle of a fire and then Saige was inside the cave with her.

“Okay sis, what have you found?” He asked.

Signaling him to join her she pointed at the floor of the cave and said. “First there are no tracks of animals in here – small or large, just none. At first I thought that the ground here was hard, but as you can see it is anything but. So why no tracks? I thought well maybe a wind worked its way in here and wiped them out. But then I noticed that there are no droppings, no leaves, no anything at all. It’s like someone had come in here and cleaned it out. That got me to worrying that maybe someone had and whoever it was, was not far away and would be returning. But the minute I thought that I dismissed it as this place seems to be quite undisturbed for a long time In fact the only tracks are ours.”

Looking closely at what she pointed out to him he said. “Okay I see what you mean. I just realized something else. Does it seem to be warm in here or is it because I have been moving out there in the cold and wind and have stepped in and out of that weather.”

Thinking about it again she said. “No. No I think your right. And if you are right where is the heat coming from? Now this becomes stranger by the minute.”

At this point both began to search the cave more closely and after a period of time came away with no easy answers. There appeared to be no reason for the light, the heat, and the absence of animal sign inside this cave. “Well this might not be large enough for a second living site, but I see a potential for storage. Since it seems that no animal can get inside here for whatever the reason is, then it would be a great place to store our food, and whatever other items that could be destroyed by animals. But who made this place, what for, and when?” He asked . . .

I hope that all out there enjoy was I have presented. Of course from any excerpt you can only get a slight sense of the novel.

Published in: on February 11, 2012 at 8:53 am  Leave a Comment  
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A Short Story – The Soldier

The Soldier

Here I present a short story that I wrote a couple of years ago for one of the many contests out there. I have always enjoyed coming back and re-reading the story. It is written in first person. I hope that as I have, that you will enjoy it also.

I don’t know when these doubts started entering my mind. This war seemed endless, with no definite victory or defeat – just one battle after another, or small skirmishes or individual firefights and then nothing but boredom. Soldiers would arrive and die and then were replaced. Where they even came from was an unknown. As one would die the replacements would just appear and join our unit. There seemed to be an endless supply. What was going on, I mean really, what was happening here?

There had never been statements as to why this war or why we were fighting. We just fought with only the thoughts of surviving. I think I began to wonder when I realized that no one would ever speak of home, of loved ones, of the one they hoped to return to when the fighting ended. I started to think about this myself and realized that I could remember no past, only being here. No home . . . how could that be? I mean I am here, I am alive, and so I had to come from somewhere. Was I becoming crazy, and was I the only one that noticed these irregularities?

Not only were we fighting an unknown enemy, but also there were wild dogs and such that could kill just as easily as an enemy bullet or knife. So attrition was not just from enemy fire. I think it was during one of the attacks from those wild dogs that the first doubts started entering my mind. There were four of us when the pack attacked, and while we were able to finally kill the pack they had taken down one of our team. I bent down over the body to see if he was still alive and noticed to my surprise that the other two members of the team just walked off and continued their patrol. It was like they didn’t even care . . . no that wasn’t accurate . . . it was like once this one died he had never existed and the two just continued on their patrol like nothing happened.

Yes our comrade was dead, but why such a reaction from the rest of the squad? I was now far behind them, and yelled for them to wait. But either they ignored what I had asked or never heard. They just continued their patrol as if it was all they were to do, and nothing else mattered. So, rising from the body, I started following the remainder of the squad although they were barely in sight. I could do nothing for our dead comrade other than report his loss when we got back to our base. But I suspected that somehow they were already aware of the loss and a new replacement would soon be there. How was this so? Again, was I imagining all of this, or truly was I going insane? Yet if I was asking myself these questions I felt that I could not be. Would someone who was insane ask himself or herself if they were? I did not think so, so I thought I then couldn’t be crazy. But what was going on? I hurried to try and catch the squad, which seemed much too distant. I knew most likely that if I caught them at all it would be at the end of our patrol. I suspected that I would hear about it from our officers when I got back. You know, abandoning the squad over a dead member and not keeping up with the remainder of the squad to help keep them alive . . . or something to that effect.

The route of our patrol took us through the fields among the oaks mixed with scattered pines, down a hill where there was a minor road. Once we reached the road we then would head back into our base, have a meal, and relax before repeating some other patrol. When I finally reached the road I saw that the squad was still well ahead of me and was not too far from entering back into the base. I tried to call out to them again, but again there was no response, just a continuation of the patrol. I looked around to make sure I was alone and when I looked back they were gone – disappeared, vanished like they never had been. I thought, no that couldn’t be the way of it. They were not that far ahead and there was nothing where I last seen them that they could disappear behind. The road at this point was open; the surrounding lands were bare other than the grasses. There was no place to hide no place to be able to disappear like they just had. Where did they go? One cannot just disappear like that, yet . . . yes they did. I remember running down that road to the point where I thought they had disappeared, but in truth do not remember reaching it. The next memory I had, was being back in camp, and the other two being there also, and yes there was a new soldier there, a replacement for the one we had lost on the patrol. How had they known so quickly? And why no reprimand from the officers about being separated from the squad? Had I imagined it all? All I could do was write this in my journal. It was comforting to me as it confirmed that I had not dreamed it. Or was the journal part of a dream?

I found myself second-guessing everything as to my sanity. Looking around to my comrades, they just did not appear to have the worries or fears that I did. So I kept all this to myself. At this point I had nothing I could prove, and as such I knew that if I tried to explain what I felt, and had viewed I would get a good laugh and be told that I had a great imagination. After all were we not at war? Were we not going to have casualties, were there not be replacements brought in to replace those losses? Their questions were valid. It was just that how things were working just did not make any sense to me. Yet, the rest around me seemed to remain unconcerned.

Then something happened while out on one of those patrols – I cannot quite explain it. I guess it was something like an earthquake, well that is the best I can explain it. Again I had been a member of a squad of four, but the other three just disappeared right in front of me. I panicked so severely that I ran away from our assigned patrol area. I found myself completely outside of anything I was familiar with. I looked back at those solid buildings and I found that I was looking through them. Looking through them, how was that possible? I mean I had leaned against those walls and they supported me. Yet I swore that from here they were invisible with the roofs floating in the air. At first it shook me to my core. But when the world and my life did not end, I calmed down and then curious started walking around this new area. It seemed to be vacant, and yet the grass and trees were there. The weather continued with the wind blowing and the clouds scooting across the sky. Yet from here, while all of this was real, the buildings continued to go from visible to invisible all according to my perspective and position.

I decided that since there appeared to be no danger, and I had travel rations that I would continue to search out this new area. After all the officers would probably like to know about this. But would they in the end believe it? If one was not here, and as far as I knew I was the only one, then how could it be proven? I did not even know if there was a way to get back here where I presently was. I did not know how it happened in the first place. Somehow I had to find proof. I had no camera, and any description that I might give would be laughed off as some joke. I searched desperately around for anything that would prove what I was seeing here. There was nothing, just nothing. I was becoming desperate. Was I the only one who had come across this? No there would have to have been others. I had to believe that.

I wasn’t due back to base for a while so I decided to continue to explore this unknown area continuing to walk away from the base area deeper into the fields. Off in the distance something did not look right. I mean off in the distance something really did not look right! I ran towards it to find out what it might be, and had to stop quickly. Breathing hard from the running and having chills run up and down my spine I stood on the edge of a cliff. Did I say cliff . . . no cliff was inaccurate. I stood on an abyss. It was as if the lands just ended here. In the distance I could still see the blue sky and white clouds. But at the edge looking straight across and down all was just gray. Not gray like when a fog is covering the land, but gray like there was nothing there.

After catching my breath I started following this edge around to see if anything changed. Where I was I climbed hills walked down into small valleys but the gray never changed over that edge. Eventually I reached a road and like the land the road just ended at the edge. Just like it was cut off. I saw wild dogs running up and down the road chasing some wild boars. For them all was normal, but for me nothing would be normal ever again.

Then I noticed someone approaching, and to my surprise it was the general. Standing at attention when he arrived, he waved me off.”

The general then said, “Now you know.”

“Sir . . . know what? What I am seeing here I just do not understand.”

“Believe me, it is something that is very difficult to understand, but I will try to explain. And oh by the way, when you return back to camp, and you will, you now will be an officer.”

“An officer, why? I’ve always been an enlisted.”

“True, but once this has been discovered then it is automatic.” Then waving me off he continued, “You see we have been watching you. And believe it or not every officer has discovered what you have. They including myself were enlisted also.” Then sighing he said, “How do I say this? This world, the world that we live in is not real. We are not real. That is why none of us seems to have any history other than the base. That is why when one of us dies that he is immediately replaced. That is why there are no families or loved ones. This is a game world created by someone, and we live and die here. But since we are not real we cannot really die. I think that when we cease to exist as this person that we come back as another. This is what is called a map and as you can see has an end, and you are now standing there. I have to assume that there are other such maps but we will always be here at the calling of this game world and there is nothing we can do about it at all . . .”

“I then followed the general back to base in shock. We then crossed some type of threshold and I looked at myself and indeed I was now an officer, a leader of men who were safe in their ignorance.”

Published in: on February 4, 2012 at 10:25 am  Leave a Comment  
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