A Soot Filled Life (Six Sentence Story)

Here’s another writing prompt provided by Six Sentences  about an old chimney-sweeper’s everyday life.

A SOOT FILLED LIFE
By: Katya Szewczuk


A chimney-sweeper’s life was always filled with soot. Gregory Gutters swabbed the inside of Mrs. Marigold’s chimney until it shinned beneath the brilliant sunlight, and felt as hungry as a galley slave. Down the village’s street, he saw a horde of bustling children crowded round a picnic basket, shoveling white-bread, salami and ham sandwiches with juicy, green pickles into their dribbling mouths. Gregory Gutters stomach growled and he hoisted down the chimney to reach the busy street where he asked a rowdy, buggy boy for one delightful sandwich. He was pleased when the boy presented him with the double-decker and was about to enjoy the succulent, sour tastes when he noticed soot had blanketed the sandwich like a dark, grimy shadow. He laughed and said, “A chimney-sweeper’s life is always filled with soot.”

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Short Story S – ‘A SIMPLETON’S STONE’

Most of you have realized how my most recent short stories relate to survival of the fittest and being abandoned in the wilderness. All three stories were based on a writing prompt I was given in a workshop to define the true nature of the Japanese proverb 弱肉強食(じゃくにくきょうしょく)Translating each character this reads “weak meat, strong eat”, in other words “survival of the fittest”.

That’s going to change soon since this isn’t my normal style of writing.

Follow me on Twitter for short-story updates:

@katyaszew 

A SIMPLETON’S STONE

By: Katya Szewczuk


This is a story about a stone.

Above the tallest, most romantic hills of a prairie there nestled a little, lonely house. It had a broken, dingy roof and a chimney that coughed out black puffs of smoke. When the sun blanketed its light upon the cloudless skies, the house’s red bricks felt as though they could melt.

The house was dusty and always smelt like chicken-pot-pie. Its furniture was wooden, faded and old, the pipes were rusty and the kitchen faucet had been loose and dripping. White lace hung over the dirty windows, and a flickering lamp lay upon a wobbly table. The walls were boarded with wood, and the floors, carpeted by an off-white throw rug.

Within the quiet house the sounds of a ‘ticking’ clock struck noon, and cast a spell. The mischievous sounds of running shoes loped, and a swelled laughter swarmed the living room and filled it with a ringing joy.

Six boys wrestled on the carpet and dirtied it with their muddy sneakers. Their shirts were sullied with grass-stains and their cheeks filthy with mud. They punched and scratched at each other’s chests, laughed and kicked at the ground. A boy with specs opened a can of soda pop and scratched at his little bulging belly.

“Hey, hey, look!” he shouted, “I’m a drunk, ol’ man!”

The five others laughed.

One boy with fair hair and pale, freckled skin kicked off his sneakers and hopped onto the couch next to the boy with the specs.

“Newt you ain’t somthin’. Yer pa was a drunk with a beer belly. That what yo’ gonna be?”

The boy named Newt frowned and fixed his dirty specs.

“Least my name ain’t Lindsey!” he said.

“Girl! Girl!” a burly boy with towy, black hair shouted.

“Shut up, Bernie!” Lindsey cried.

His face disappeared underneath a blush of humiliation and he punched beefy Bernie in the chest.

“You’re all bein’ idiots,” a boy with black hair and piercing blue eyes said.

“What’do’yo know Caine?” Newt said, “We’s all know you’se stupid.”

Caine crossed his legs and sat between the three boys. He leaned against a dirty table filled with empty soda pop cans, candy wrappers and a box of cards. Shuffling the cards, he brushed back his dark hair and laughed.

“I ain’t stupid yo’ pissant, I jus’ don’t wanna learn is all,” he said.

“But learnin’ is important!” the littlest boy said.

His hair was as curly and kinky as a lion’s mane. His eyes were brown, his skin was burnt, his lips were chapped and his body was small as a mustard seed. His name was Austin.

The last boy, who was shy and mute, was called Brady. He always wore a baseball hat to hide his eyes and never looked up at the other boys. He was bullied by every one of them, except Caine.

Touching the cards on the table Brady picked up the six of hearts. Noticing his interest in the card, Newt laughed hard.

“Brady wanna play a game?” he said, “Oh wait, he don’t speak!”

“Shut up yo’ wussy!” Caine shouted.

He looked at Brady and put a hand on his shoulder.

“Yo’ wanna play Brady?” he asked.

Brady nodded.

“Man I don’t know why yo’ bother!” Bernie said.

“Yeah man, he doesn’t even talk. We should dump ‘im,” Austin added.

Newt and Lindsey agreed and exchanged casual looks.

Caine ignored the boys’ scornful remarks and tossed several cards round the table. He was tough and cool and never broke a sweat. Austin had always said Caine was the leader of the group because of his patience. He was runaway. When his grandfather had died he remembered he told him to just keep on running and running until he found someplace safe to hide.

Newt lit a cigarette, munched on the butt-end, and put another behind his ear, pursing his lips and pretending to be grown-up. He always wanted to be someone the others looked up to, but always nose-dived for the worse, just like his drunk father who sent him away.

Lindsey was the opposite. He was unpopular to hog the attention, bluntly spoke his mind, and was humiliated when someone teased him about his name. His parents had wanted a baby girl, but instead they had a boy. They gave him away when their friends and family questioned why their son was called ‘Lindsey’.

Bernie was a rock. When things got tough he stood his ground and made everything better. Even when his parents abandoned him he always found a way to survive.

Austin was burnt and abused by his uncle so he stowed away on a boat, found the prairie and became the first to live in the brick house with Caine. He’d been the crook of the group. He pickpocketed traveling merchants’ hardworking dough, swiped their goods and even stole their food. All of the boys depended on Austin, even Newt.

No one knew the story of Brady’s past. He just showed up at their doorstep one day, hungry, dirty and mute. Newt wanted to leave him out in the forest for the red-eyed beasts to devour, but Caine hadn’t allowed it. So he welcomed the mute boy, cleaned him up and fed him a meal.

The boys were together for three years. Lindsey was thirteen, Newt was twelve and one quarter, Bernie was twelve, Brady was eleven and one half, Caine was eleven and Austin was ten. They played card games, snacked on stolen goods, smoked cigarettes, listened to ballgames on a portable radio and never slept on empty stomachs. They were happy living on their own without any rules to follow or chores to do. Their time at the brick house was innocent and fun.

* * *

When the witching hours crept over the prairie and the moon was full in the night sky, Caine tossed and turned in his sleep. He stirred and saw Brady twiddling his thumbs and watching him.

“Can’t sleep either?” Caine whispered.

Brady shook his head.

Going beside the mute boy, Caine laughed.

“Bernie sure does snore loud, don’t he?”

Brady fixed his baseball cap and looked away calmly.

Caine frowned and then realized the red, sharp stone in Brady’s hand.

“Hey what’s that?” he wondered.

Like he was praying on rosary beads, Brady shied away and clutched the stone.

“You can tell me,” Caine said.

Turning around and looking Caine straight in the eyes, Brady smiled. He took off his cap, scratched his bushy, black hair and pulled out a little note. It read:

I AM A WISHING STONE.

I WILL GIVE A FAMILY TO WHOEVER HOLDS ME.

 Caine laughed.

“You believe in that?”

Brady nodded.

“It ain’t true,” Caine said, “We already gots a family.”

Shaking his head and pulling his dirty sheets back over his body, Caine closed his eyes and fell fast asleep.

* * *

The next morning Caine woke up to the sounds of uproar. He heard Newt screaming and saw Austin crouched and fumbling.

“Newt man, what’re yo’ doin’?” Bernie said.

“He said I was nothin’! He said we’s all a’gonna be nothin’ when we grow up!”

The children looked at Austin and saw he cusped his bloody, stale nose.

Caine went to him and frowned.

“What’re you talking ‘bout Austin?”

Austin was staggered and couldn’t speak.

“He said we’re gonna grow up to be savages!” Newt cried.

“He did say somethin’ like that,” Lindsey said.

“But why?” Caine questioned.

“We don’t have parents!” Austin finally said, “We don’t know nothin’!”

“We have each other,” Caine said.

“We ain’t gonna grow old togetha’! We ain’t gonna be old men on canes livin’ in a small house,” Austin cried.

“Why not?” Bernie questioned.

“’Cause it ain’t right!”

The children thought and looked round the room.

“We’s need ta get parents!” Austin said, “Without them we’s nothin’!”

Lindsey started to cry and wiped his snot on his sleeve.

“We can’t find any!” he howled.

Bernie tugged on Lindsey’s blonde hair and snarled.

“Shut up man! Shut up!”

“Yeah!” Newt said, “We don’t need nobody!”

Caine stomped his feet and looked into Austin’s unsettled, hard eyes. He was about to speak to him fluently when he saw Brady rummaging in the corner.

“What’s mute-boy up to?” Newt wondered.

Curious as infants, the boys swarmed around Brady and looked over his shoulders.

“What’s he got in his hand?” Lindsey said.

“What’d yo’ got Brady?” Bernie asked.

Squishing their faces closer to Brady, the boys tripped over their laces and waited. When Brady held out the red, little stone they were awed.

“What’s that?” Lindsey questioned.

Newt pushed passed the others and said, “Give me that!”

Snatching the stone, Newt fixed his foggy specs and wiped his runny nose.

“Looks like rock-candy,” Bernie said.

“It ain’t rock-candy!” Newt shouted.

“Then what is it poindexter?” asked Austin.

Observing the stone, Newt’s round, thick specs fell on the bridge of his button nose. He licked his dry lips and thought.

“Dunno,” he said.

Tossing the stone over to Bernie he looked back at Brady.

“What’s th’ deal mute-boy?”

“Knock it off man!” Caine demanded.

Newt shook his head.

“Don’t tell me what to do, I’m in charge!”

“Yo’ ain’t in charge man,” said Austin, “If anyone’s in charge it’s ought ‘a be Caine.”

“Yeah. Caine!” Lindsey called.

Bernie nodded and tossed the stone into the air.

“Yo’ know ‘bout this thing Caine?” he asked.

Caine looked at Brady and then at burly Bernie.

“I do,”

“Ya do?” the boys said together.

Caine nodded and continued, “Brady said it was a special stone.”

“Brady said?” Newt questioned, “Heck man if Brady said somethin’ that is a special stone.”

Newt’s slur exploded into a bellyache of laughter while the boys danced round like little things of gold at sunset.

“Ain’t funny man,” Caine said.

“Sure is funny, seein’ yo’ stick up for a mute-boy,” Newt said.

Then Austin said:

“C’mon just tell us ‘bout the stone.”

“Yeah c’mon man!” Bernie shouted excitedly.

He tossed the stone over to Caine and Caine caught it in his clumsy hands. The boys were impatient.

“Brady didn’t say it, but a note said that this stone will give a family to whoever holds it. It’s magical.”

Silence swelled over the room and the boys sat down becoming Caine’s quiet assembly of admirers.

He continued:

“But it ain’t true.”

Brady scrambled behind him and waved the same crinkled note in front of the muster of boys. This time something else was written in black ink.

“What’s it say?” Newt cried out.

Caine took the note and read it with screwy eyes. It read:

TAKE ME TO MY HOME IN THE WOODS,

PASSED THE RIVERBED, IN THE CAVE,

AND I WILL GIVE YOU A HOME IN RETURN.

When Caine hadn’t said anything the boys wrestled for the note and tore it in two. Newt was the first to read it, then Bernie, Lindsey and finally Austin. They stood silent for a moment watching the swaying shadows build up under their feet.

“Yo’ don’t believe in it right?” Caine wondered.

The boys contemplated.

Austin said:

“I do.”

Lindsey agreed and Bernie too.

Brady, who hung his stout body over the tattered sofa, laughed at the boys.

Newt frowned at him and advanced.

“How ‘bout yo’ tell me what’s so funny mute-boy?”

“Leave ‘im alone Newt,” Caine said.

Newt looked at Caine and then at the stone in his hands. He took it and fixed his crooked specs. The boys watched him carefully.

“What’re’yo doin’ man?” Bernie questioned.

Newt started laughing and pushed a handful of hairs away from his sweaty forehead.

“I’m a’gonna take this here thing back to th’ forest an’ get myself a home,” he said.

Lindsey cried:

“That ain’t fair! What ‘bout us?”

Newt shrugged.

“Ain’t my problem.”

Soon Newt reached the door and was about to leave when suddenly Bernie blocked him.

“Move, yo’ wussy!” Newt cried.

Bernie shook his head and pushed Newt to the ground.

“We’s wanna home too,” Bernie said.

“Yeah! Ain’t fair if you get one and we don’t,” Lindsey acknowledged.

Austin nodded.

Caine watched this and was about to say something when Newt threw a fit.

“I’m goin’ to th’ forest!”

“Then we’s goin’ with yo’,” Bernie said.

Austin argued:

“Th’ note said only one will get a home.”

Newt laughed and trekked out the door with Bernie and Lindsey.

When the boys disappeared under the peachy, blushing sky, Caine shouted after them and kicked at the ground.

“What’s wrong with them?” he said.

Austin laughed.

“They’re only thinkin’ ‘bout themselves.”

* * *

Come nightfall the boys still hadn’t returned. Caine watched the window from time to time hoping little heads would be creeping out from the forest, but only fireflies grasped his eyes.

The forest was placid during the night, like fresh dew dripping from a shady reed in a pond. The sounds of creeping creatures were dim, but the crackling of a burning campfire was not. Newt, Bernie and Lindsey were filled with mud and sweat, hair plastered to their foreheads, mouths dry and bellies empty.

When the fire had gone out and the mist and mugginess of morning made Newt stir, he abandoned the boys and clambered amidst the tangled up vines and creepers.

There was only one cave found in the forest and it was as deep as a smelly, dark pit. Newt followed the riverbed until he spotted the gushing waterfall. He smelt the wetness in the air and the moss growing on the moist, shinny pillars.

Wiping his specs on his baggy, black sweatshirt Newt took a shortcut passed the riverbed. He skipped upon the mossy pillars and followed the rapids passed the scar, when suddenly he’d lost his footing and dropped the stone into the water. Swallowing deep puffs of air, he dove into the river, caught the stone but couldn’t catch another breath. He’d drowned.

The stone– a tricky thing–floated back towards the camp and was fished out by Bernie who cussed and spat. He knew Newt had deserted them and hated him for it. Though when the boys saw Newt’s limp, white body floating upon a burping bog, they were horror-struck.

Lindsey followed close behind the burly boy and was cautious with every step. He fidgeted and jumped when the forest’s creatures and insects began to stir. Then he screamed when a flock of black birds rustled from the treetops.

“Shut up yo’ girl!” Bernie shouted.

He thrust his fist into Lindsey’s gut and watched him stumble to the ground.

“What a girl yo’ are,” he spat, “So ‘fraid of everythin’.”

“Shut up,” Lindsey mumbled, “I don’t wanna end up like Newt!”

Bernie laughed hard.

“Yer parents should’ve kept yo’. You’se already a girl.”

Lindsey’s eyes welled with tears and he hid his freckled face in shame. When he looked up he saw the stone glimmering in Bernie’s hand, glistening against his tan skin. Bernie began to walk away and galloped passed the riverbed.

“Where’re yo’ goin’?” Lindsey asked.

“Leavin’ yo’!”

“What for?”

“To get myself a family!”

Lindsey ran after Bernie but was bullied by him even further. Bernie had become a ruthless savage. Showing off his crooked teeth like a rabid mongrel, his eyes were bloodshot and his jaw snapped shut. The sight of poor, dead Newt had haunted him. He’d been eaten by fear.

When Lindsey couldn’t take this hounding any longer, he picked up a heavy rock and pelted it across Bernie’s head. Bernie crashed to the hard, wet ground and lay there in a pool of red, hot blood. Thick junk oozed out from his skull, and his eyes rolled back and turned pure white.

For a moment Lindsey envied Bernie’s golden body and snarled taking the stone. When he realized what he’d done, he covered Bernie’s body and took off as quick as a hare. He ran and ran until he bumped into Austin and fell into a pile of thick muck.

The two stared wide eyed at each other but stopped when Lindsey ran back into the forest and tripped over his laces.

Austin hunted after him, pushing through the creepers and calling for Lindsey. He stepped from the interwoven creepers and saw the frightened boy hanging from a cliff.

“Help!” Lindsey cried, “Help me!”

Austin went to him and couldn’t believe his eyes.

“Austin, please help me!”

He watched the boy sway like a flag. He saw the dirt and rocks beneath him beginning to crumble. ‘Crick…crack…’ Austin was stupefied. Then he saw the stone.

“I want a family too,” he whispered.

Taking the stone, Austin watched Lindsey fall to his death, and saw his body split in half by the pillars. He cried but wiped his tears and returned home.

* * *

Austin hid the stone from Caine and Brady after he’d told them about the other boys’ deaths. When night came he couldn’t sleep because he was too anxious to find the cave and giggled into his palms. So jumping out of bed, Austin ran out into the forest.

An hour had passed, and soon Austin began to get tired. He checked his watch. It was 11:00 PM. Down the thicket roads and passed a rickety bridge there was glowing, yellow light, which melted the buggy air. Curiously, Austin thought he found the cave, but instead stumbled upon a forest fire. He died when his lungs filled with smoke and his body burned to a crisp.

Caine went on a search the next morning to find Austin and bring him home, but what he found made fear crawl under his skin. He saw Austin’s body covered with black soot. The sight of him burned into his soul like a witch’s curse. He cried for hours and buried the boy with leaves and dirt. He hadn’t left the forest until he found the stone and tried to crumble it into dust.

Brady stood behind Caine then, and laughed so hard it startled the birds nestled in the trees. Caine went to Brady, slapped him and pushed him to the ground.

“Why’re yo’ laughing yo’ wussy?” he cried.

Brady stood, wiped the dirt off of his white shirt and looked at Caine shyly.

“They’re all dead!” he cheered, “Dead as rats!”

Caine was flabbergasted. He jumped on top of Brady and started throwing punches into his stomach. Biting, scratching, snarling, spitting, he hadn’t stopped until Brady started laughing again.

“Wussy!” Caine cried, “Yo’ can talk!”

He grabbed the stone and held it in front of Brady’s eyes. Brady’s laugher howled and hurt his sides.

“They all fell for it!” he shouted, “Brady wins the game!”

“Game?” Caine questioned.

Brady nodded.

“They picked on me and smashed me up,” he began, “I wan’ned to give ‘um a taste of their own medicine.”

Caine started to beat the ground with his fists and cried into the dirt. He coughed and choked on his tears.

“You’re sick,” he whispered, “A monster–”

“Now we can be a family again,” Brady said.

Caine pushed him away and ran as fast as he could. He got tangled by the creepers and tumbled down rocky crags, but hadn’t stopped. He heard Brady crying for him as loud as tempest blew the waves of an ocean upon the shore, but hadn’t turned back. He ran and ran just like his grandfather had told him to do.

Three days had passed. Caine roasted in the sun and almost melted like wax. The sun slashed over his face when his screwy eyes peered beyond the undergrowth of trees. He licked his dry lips. He was injured from tip to toe and his stomach growled. His hair was matted, dirt smeared his cheeks and he was in desperate need of a bath. He was pathetic.

Limping back into the forest Caine felt guilty that he’d run away from poor, little Brady. How was he? What was he doing? Now that he was all alone he probably couldn’t play any card games or light a cigarette. Laughing, Caine reached the tallest, most romantic hills of the prairie and took in a deep breath. Though, once he passed the creepers and the broken stumps of trees he started to cry.

Smoldering in black billows of smoke, the brick house had burned down. The bricks had been smashed. The windows were shattered. The furniture was broken into one thousand pieces. All but fifty-two cards and a little boy crushed beneath the rubble and soot had been seen from the tallest hills of the prairie.

Caine ran to the burning debris and ripped Brady from beneath it. Stroking the dead boy’s face and cradling him like a tot, he shouted to the heavens and cried for the loss of his dear friends.

Suddenly, when Caine opened his eyes there sat the little red stone like the bumps on a log. He stared at it, getting sucked in and lost from its vibrant, crimson color and domineering power. Then from afar he heard a mousy-like scream and saw two figures creeping closer and closer. When the figures appeared into the light, he noticed it was a man and woman. The man hoisted Caine up and took him by the hand.

“What’re yo’ doin’ out here, boy?” he asked, “Your folks must be worried sick ‘bout yo’.”

Caine looked down at Brady’s bloody, burnt body and then up at the man.

“I don’t got no folks,” he said.

The man looked behind him and the woman smiled gently.

“How ‘bout yo’ come with us then? Out here’s no place for lil’ kid.”

Caine was dirty, hungry and tired. He listened to the ‘crackling’ sounds of the fire behind him and looked wearily at the stone.

“Can yo’ bury my friend?” he asked.

The man nodded, buried Brady and then looked at the ugly, dirty boy.

“Welcome to th’ family,” he said.

Caine smiled uprightly, took the man’s hand and never looked back.


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First Person Biography

Salutations, it’s about time I introduced myself properly.  Some of the greatest memories someone has are reading stories that took them on a daring adventure when they were young. I grew up with stories. My mother and grandparents did their best to fill my world with stories of all kinds. Among my favorites were E.B. White’s Stuart Little, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie and C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia.

I first started my writing journey when I was home-schooled back in 2008 by Heritage Home School Academy and took many writing related courses that even got me prepared for “the coming” MFA programs. I chose this path of education because back then I could hardly focus on the curriculum due to the nettlesome noise in the classroom and the pace of the lesson. Believe it or not, back then many people were highly against home-schooling and gave my mother a hard time about the choice. However, as you can see today, home-schooling has been proven efficient around the world, especially for children like me who couldn’t focus because of the disturbance in the classroom.

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Short Story A – ‘Alvin O’Kricket’

For those of you who enjoyed reading Kid Island, you’ll also enjoy Alvin O’Kricket which serves as Kid Island’s prologue.

ALVIN O’KRICKET

Written by: Katya Szewczuk


Old man Alvin O’Kricket was a cantankerous coot with a shaggy, white beard and silver hair. He was tall and lanky like a sharpened pencil, his eyes were beanie and his nose was fat.

Each day he read the daily newsprint, finished the crossword puzzles and lit his wooden pipe. He was wary of the neighborhood children and chased them off with a baseball bat when they tossed rocks at his windows and played near his street. The townsfolk said he was a backbiting, vicious old man. He was like a red-eyed, venomous snake that poisoned the town and needed to be put in a wildlife sanctuary——some would call it a nursing home.

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Short Story Letter K – ‘Kid Island’

KID ISLAND

Written by: Katya Szewczuk


Motley children with buggy eyes, painted faces and raggedy clothing clambered up the sandy hills of Kid Island. They tumbled and crawled on their pudgy bellies as they headed for the beautiful, roaring ocean waves———a paradise.

While the children rushed into the tall waves, one girl with towy hair, a sunburnt face and freckles stayed behind. She hugged a receiver into her chest and twisted its antenna.

Over the receiver a hoarse, old voice said:

 ‘…Kid Island…can you read me? Over.’

“Here I am,” the girl mumbled.

There was static over the receiver that sounded like a gurgling belly. The girl put it to her ear, shook it hard and listened.

 ‘If you can hear me…are you safe?’

 “I can hear you, sir. I can!”

The receiver squeaked and was soon engulfed by the static. Twisting the antenna round and round, the girl fixed her cracked, thick specs and shouted.

Two boys ran over to her. One was short and slim with dark skin and a baldhead. The other was portly and pale with curly ginger hair that stuck out in all directions. They stared at the girl, smiling.

“What are you up to now, Fiona?” asked the fat boy.

“Don, go away,” Fiona whispered.

“You can’t tell Don what t’do. You’re a stankin’ girl.”

“You too, Arno.”

The boy called Arno balled up his fists and snarled.

Fiona grimaced and picked leaves and twigs out of her hair. A dry wind whipped against her cheeks and made her feel thirsty.

“That old man is tryin’ to find us again,” Fiona said.

“You still think that darn thing’s gon’na help us?” said Don.

Fiona nodded.

“They know where we are, but Commander won’t let us leave.”

“Why would you wan’na leave?” Don asked.

“Yeah,” said Arno, “No rules here. We can do whatever we wan’na do.”

“I wan’na know who this ol’ man is.”

Fiona raised the receiver and showed it off to the boys.

“C’mon,” Don said with a bored tone, “We’ve got to get Commander more of them fishes.”

He scratched his nappy hair and ran towards the beach where the other children dove into the water with spears in hand. They were hunting for fish.

“You comin’, Fi?” asked Arno.

Fiona nodded and left her receiver behind. It crackled and made strange sounds.

Boys and girls jumped off of slippery rocks and belly flopped into the violent waves. They tore off their rags, washed off their paint and with a spear in hand hunted for fish. Fiona watched them. She thought they were batty.

For a moment longer she hesitated and dipped her toe into the water. The sand sizzled beneath her feet and clumped in between her toes. Holding her breath, she joined the rag-tag kids and jumped in headfirst. Her cheeks were puffed up as she swam beneath the waves and her feet flapped like duck flippers. All around her the water was clear. She saw schools of fish darting passed her, sea urchins, swaying, tall underwater plants and an endless blue color that stretched for miles. Unlike the other kids, she could see clearly underwater because her glasses were strapped around her head like a pair of trusty diver’s goggles. The other kids hadn’t known her secret. If they had, they’d tear her to bits and bully her with their hunting spears.

Lolling nose deep in the water, she swam over to the slippery rocks and stood on her tippy toes. Fixing her specs she released her fishing net and lowered it into the water like a ship’s anchor. Her breath was short and her wet garments felt heavy. Time had passed by, and when the kids started leaving the ocean with empty spears and sad faces, Fiona lifted her net. To her surprise, hundreds of fish flapped inside of it. Cheering, she hoisted the net onto the shore and showed off her catch.

The kids ran over to her, flabbergasted.

“How’d you make that catch?” asked Arno.

“Yeah, yeah,” said a boy with a tick, “How’d you do it?”

“Shut up, Ox,” Arno said, “I’ll be askin’ all the questions.”

“Ain’t the boss,” said Ox.

“What’d yo’ say?”

Arno started wrestling Ox to the ground when Fiona raised her hand and said:

“I caught the fish with my net.”

“What’s a net?” asked Don.

“This,” Fiona explained, “It catches things.”

The kids surrounded the net as if it were a thing of wonder.

“Commander won’t be likin’ that,” said Don.

“It gets him food.”

“But it ain’t his way, Fi-Fi,” said another boy with curly, blonde hair, “Burk don’t like this.”

“What are you so afraid of, Burk?”

Burk said, “Burk knows Commander won’t be happy. Burk can feel some bad stuffs.”

“Shut up!” shouted Arno as he had Ox locked between his elbow, “Commander doesn’t have to know nothin’ ‘bout this.”

“You sure, Fi-Fi?” Burk asked, looking at Fiona.

Fiona nodded.

“I made a bunch of stuff that Commander doesn’t know ‘bout.”

“Like what?” asked Ox weakly.

The children crowded around Fiona and babbled nonsense.

 “If you promise not to tell Commander then I’ll show you.”

“Your stuffs ain’t nothin’ special,” said Don.

“Well I wan’na go an’ see it,” said Arno

“Me three!” shouted Ox.

The other children bumped heads and started following Fiona up the hills and into a thick, dark forest.

* * *

The forest was filled with creeping things, tall, broad trees that stuck up like teepees, wild, colorful flowers, chirping birds, creepers, ivy, tall rocks and boggy mud piles. Fiona grabbed Arno’s spear and cut through the tangled creepers. With her receiver strapped to her back like a knapsack, she clambered further into the forest.

Continue reading

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‘Canon vs. Fanon’ – Why it’s Important to avoid Favoritism in any type of Fiction

For those of you who absolutely adore reading books whether it’s fiction, non-fiction, Japanese manga, you name it, or watch movies and television on a regular basis you will understand the moral behind this post. Everyone has a favorite character, fictional or not, and will stand up for that character and his/her beliefs as much as they would stand up to a bully stealing the underdog’s lunch money. This post isn’t all about favorite characters, but has to deal with a certain aspect about what makes that character so great or oh-so terrible.

Conversely, Valentine’s Day is right around the corner so this post is quite suitable to discuss. Today I’m going to be talking about character relationships, also known as “pairings” or “shippings” among those of you, like me, who sneak into the fan fiction side of the writing world from time to time. What is a shipping, you ask? I can get technical about the definition, but to keep it simple I’ll just blurt out a few words to make you understand its importance.

shipping (n.): Two fictional characters paired together, whether they are the work’s original pairing or not.

shipping (n.): Something that will drive you bananas if the relationship between the two characters does not work out.

Basically the second definition is not true on terms of literacy, but if you have a favorite pairing in any type of art, you understand what I’m trying to say. Shippings are found all over the place, especially on Tumblr. Simply type in two characters’ names and BAM you’ll get all kinds of fan fictions and fan art based on their “canon” or “fanon” relationship.

Over the years of delving into the fictional universe of relationships, and being considered the Shipping Dreamboat by some of my friends and readers, I’ve come across these terms and could not help but to study their meaning in further detail.

The word canon goes back hundreds of years ago and simply means that if it is written by the original author and notified by the public than it is true. Canon in pop culture when referred to shippings means if the author of the original source made it known that the two characters are, in fact, a couple than it is true.

Fanon, on the other hand, is completely different. It is defined essentially by fans as the insane relationships created by two characters who don’t have any love interest at all, but can be proven as a couple by certain unethical facts found in fan fiction, fan art or somewhere in Tumblr’s search bar. Trust me, I have a few “fanon” pairings myself. After many years of reading novels my mind is bombarded with pairings that you could hardly believe would ever exist.

A few years ago in a videography/animation class of mine, we were each given a project to study different cultures of media and entertainment. The topic I was given was Japanese Arts & Manga, which are comics created in Japan adhering to a style developed in the late 19th century. During my research, I came across a pairing that was so overly adored and dramatized by fans that it made me sick to my stomach. Other pairings, such as the minor characters, were hardly ever embraced or respected. The same goes for all of the novels I’ve read where the main couple is rhapsodized by every known fan, while the others are shunned upon. This is when I realized how many shippings could be created by the simple strike of interest.

The reason canon vs. fanon is important for writers to delve into is because when you are writing a romance novel or even a middle grade book that includes a potential relationship between two characters, it’s easy to forget the audience you are writing for when you are bewitched by your own favorite pairings. It’s called favoritism, and trust me it gets boring after the first page. If you spend so much time coddling to one relationship there will be no excitement for your readers. This also goes for your main character. Spend more time on heightening the back stories and facts about minor characters  instead of donning your main hero/heroine with the favoritism cap. Never forget about your audience. They are what truly brings out the life of your characters.


Today’s prompt: Share your opinions about shippings whether it’s canon or fanon. You can even tell me what your favorite shipping is and I’ll see if I’m familiar with it.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

Posted in advice, anime, books, canon, fanfiction, fanon, manga, valentine's day, writing, writingprompt | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Short Story Letter “D”

A short while ago I came up with this wonderful idea to start writing stories A-Z to keep my mind brewing with fresh, new ideas while I focus on my job as a personal assistant/marketer. Yes, I have been quite stingy in the past about releasing my short stories online, but who am I to keep my work all to myself? Sharing is caring after all.

Each of the stories will be crafted into a short story collection that will be in the correct order, but for now (since inspiration kicks in at the strangest of times) the stories will be uploaded out of order, which I’m assuming is logical since I’ve only completed letter D and am partially finished with letter G. For now let’s just keep it simple and not rush the creative process. I feel like a teakettle ready to burst out steam.

So let’s get a move on. Tell me what you think about this story and if I get enough of likes by the end of the week I’ll try my hardest to upload the next. This way I’ll have more motivation to finish this project.

Happy reading everyone!

Follow @katyaszew for short story updates!


THE DRAGONFLY TAMER

Bushels of green and lavish colors filled Mrs. Besby’s gardens. Buzzing, plump bees that wore fuzzy sweaters kissed the tips of the lilies and roses. Like a playful lion cub, out pounced a golden dust that scattered over the petals, leaves and stems of each blossom.

Mrs. Besby was hard at work. Tending to her garden, she wiped the sweat off of her brow and sprinkled her flowers with crisp water poured from the mouth of her watering can. She was a little, old woman with silver hair tied into a tight bun. She had wrinkles, dry lips and trembling hands. Dressed in a rucked apron, she sifted through the soil and nattered with the blooming flowers.

“Oh, what a sigh this day brings. It is awfully hot,” Mrs. Besby fussed.

“But flowers do so enjoy this weather,” a little voice replied, “The sun helps them grow, you mustn’t worry.”

Now, what Mrs. Besby hadn’t known was deep inside of her sprawling garden there lived teeny-tiny people called Nymphs who helped tend the soil, massage the flowers’ roots, feed the wiggly earth worms and tamed the dragonflies. Together these Nymphs were called the Odonata Clan and they were forbidden to talk to humans, especially those that were wrinkled as prunes.

The Duke of Odonata Clan, Cordulie, was a young child. He had rosy-red cheeks and a pudgy belly.

Of course, the people were too afraid to betray the Duke so kept busy with their wheelbarrows of dirt and weeds. All except Reed, the Dragonfly Tamer, who visited the lonely Mrs. Besby every day.

 “Would you like some tea and crumpets, young Dragonfly Tamer?” Mrs. Besby asked.

Reed chuckled a belly laugh.

 “I am not young, I am as old as you are. But that sounds like a mighty, fine idea.”

The second Mrs. Besby hurried off to her shabby house to fetch the snacks, Reed took out his pipe and smoked the golden pollen from a yellow daisy. He took the time to appreciate the beauty around him and gave praise to the hard work Mrs. Besby put into her garden.

 “Quite the woman,” he whispered to his dragonfly, “But so lonesome. How I wish to find her friends of her own kind.”

Suddenly, an idea sparked in Reed’s mind and he leapt atop of his dragonfly’s back.

“If I can get the others to listen,” he told the creature, “we can find a friend for Mrs. Besby.”

He saw that Mrs. Besby had returned with a platter of crumpets and let out a whooping laugh.

“Are you to leave now, Dragonfly Tamer?” the old woman asked sadly. The platter trembled in her hands and the look on her face was painted with gloom.

Reed shook his head and grabbed the dragonfly’s reigns.

“Of course not, Mrs. Besby. I’ve to tell the others about your scrumptious crumpets.”

“There are others like you?” Mrs. Besby asked, her voice hoarse and low.

“Oh, yes. Indeed, there are many.”

“I’ve to knit sweaters for you all before the cold seasons. My garden freezes up, oh my.”

“Not to fret,” Reed reassured, “Those like me migrate with the birds, but no matter what, we always return to your garden, because it is the most beautiful.”

“Heavens,” Mrs. Besby wept in joy, “I do not deserve your praise.”

“But you do. I’ve to tell of your greatness to the others. Then they will no longer fear you.”

The old woman gasped.

“Why ever would they fear an old lady?”

“The Wrinkled Ones— that’s what our Duke calls you— are ones of frightening wisdom.”

“That Duke needs a spankin’!” Mrs. Besby hollered.

“He sure does!” Reed shouted.

He gathered four crumpets and wrapped each into his beard as if it were a knapsack.

“I’ve to spread this good news. I will return soon.”

Reed kissed Mrs. Besby’s cheek and jumped back into the pits of the garden.

* * *

Deep within the gardens, Reed took a deep breath and grabbed onto a tattered rope that dangled from above. He pulled on it twice and the charming sounds of bells chimed. For a moment there was no life beyond the dirt grounds, but as the sounds of the bells travelled forth, a young Nymph wearing a thimble on his head pushed a teacup through the foliage.

 “Mr. Reed!” the Nymph cried, “You were to return to the Dragonfly Farms to collect the wasps and mosquitoes this fine mornin’.”

Reed shoved the warm crumpets into the teacup and took a seat.

The chauffeur took off as quick as a dragonfly’s fluttering wing.

Down the teacup went, through the fragile stem fields and over heaps of rusty gardening tools. Little huts stuck up like teepees and scattered around the entire providence. There were handmade birdhouses fallen from storms; neatly stacked tin cans blanketed in straw from the wheat fields and one big wicker basket once used for picnicking, Duke Cordulie’s home.

Reed tapped on the chauffeur’s back three times before he gained his attention.

“We’ve to stop here, my lad,” he told.

The chauffeur shook his head.

“His Excellency is not to be disturbed. This time’s his eating hour.”

Reed, still carrying the crumpets, jumped out of the teacup and hurried towards the basket. He heard the blasted chauffeur shouting after him, but advanced with heightened spirits.

When he made it to the entrance of the basket he was stopped by two, batty Nymphs.

“No trespassin’, dung beetle breath,” one Nymph spat.

“Ain’t nobody a’gonna pass through here,” the other shadowed, “‘less they’ve got a’pointment with Cordulie.”

These scamps were the troublesome duo, Leste and Gomphe, twin Nymphs who were put in charge to guard the basket whenever Cordulie was in attendance. They had shaggy, blonde hair, plump cheeks and menacing eyes.

“It just so happens that I do have an appointment with His Excellency, my good sirs,” Reed started.

Leste pulled out a list of names scribbled shoddily on a rose petal.

“You ain’t on here, fuzz-ball.”

Reed nodded.

“Yes, but I do have a gift.”

The Nymphs rung up their noses.

“No ‘pointment, means no plea,” Gomphe explained.

“Get back to work, ol’ man,” Leste growled.

Reed fussed and sweated. As if he had been carrying stacks of thick firewood, he felt the crumpets had gotten heavier and heavier.

 “What do you have there, ol’ man?” Gomphe wondered.

“These are a gift for His Excellency.”

Leste whiffed the air.

 “Sweeties,” he whispered.

Suddenly, the townsfolk gathered round and stared at Reed in hunger. They had gotten closer and closer, all slobbering and squealing for a taste of the crumpets.

Reed was frightened out of his wits. Nymphs tackled him and devoured the crumpets.

 * * *

Reed knew what was to become of his home after Cordulie found out about his barmy frenzy. It had happened many times before. Whenever he had been late to Flying Drills or the Morning Line-up, his hut would be knocked and burnt down by the Odonata Military.

The chauffeur, who was called Vierfleck, had been kind enough to invite Reed into his home. It was a small hut, crafted out of dried leaves, petals and the shoots of corn leftover from a dry patch of summer soil.

“It doesn’t keep out much rain,” Vierfleck said, “but it does keep my dragonfly Azure from the Argiope Bruennichi and Tetragnatha Extensa. Those buggers are bloody scary.”

Wrapped in a blanket, Reed thought.

 “The humans call them spiders.”

“I beg your pardon?”

“The Argiope Bruennichi and Tetragnatha Extensa are called spiders. Many make their homes near Mrs. Besby’s shed.”

Vierfleck gasped.

 “Belt up, mate!” he shouted, “Someone’s to hear you.”

“I’ve ought to tell Cordulie about what I know.”

Vierfleck shook his shaggy head.

“Blimey,” he muttered, “What do you know?”

“Not much,” Reed confessed, “but what I know for sure is that Mrs. Besby is old and lonely and I cannot just sit around here muttering while she cries herself to sleep every, darn night.”

“You’ve spoken with her? Mr. Reed, if Cordulie is to find out—“

“Those crumpets were to convince him, but now I’ve to get more.”

Vierfleck exclaimed:

“You’re bloody mad, mate! If you told Cordulie that you’ve made friends with the human—“

“—Mrs. Besby,” Reed corrected.

“—Mrs. Besby, then your house won’t be the only thing that’s burned down.”

Reed drew a long sigh.

 “We’ve to do something about this mess,” he claimed.

“We’ve?” Vierfleck stuttered, “Mr. Reed, I’m a mere chauffeur. What could I do to assist you?”

“Get some courage. You’ll need it to survive in this world.”

Reed laughed and headed for the door.

 “I’ve to meet with Farmer Braune of the Dragonfly Farms.”

He thanked Vierfleck for his patronage and traveled south to the Dragonfly Farms that rested near a boggy marsh outside of the gardens.

* * *

Farmer Braune was a grumpy man with a long, pointy nose and a strong chin. He had been Mrs. Besby’s neighbor for many years who made a living by hunting in the woods. He knew much about the existence of the Nymphs and always ruined their huts with his big, floppy boots.

Reed and Vierfleck reached the outskirts of his barnyard when they heard stomping boots and the clanking of keys.

“What are you varmints doin’ out here?” the old farmer bellowed.

Reed wobbled forward.

 “We need your help, sir.”

The farmer grumbled.

 “I don’t help no thieves. You’ve gone and stole my bean plants ‘gain.”

Vierfleck looked over at the potted bean plants and noticed all of the bite marks.

 “Good sir,” he whispered, “a rabbit is the culprit, not us Nymphs.”

Farmer Braune drew a shovel from his denim overalls and swung it over the Nymphs.

 “Scram, you nasty hooligans!”

“Farmer Braune!” Mrs. Besby’s hoarse, mousy voice called, “You leave those fellows alone.”

“Why, ma’am, you out’ta know these here thieves ruined my garden.”

Mrs. Besby put her hands on her hips and waved a finger in Farmer Braune’s face.

 “And you ought to know that these fellows help my garden flourish each and every year. You will not cause them any trouble.”

Farmer Braune grunted and folded his arms over his thin chest.

Suddenly, a dragonfly flew overhead and landed atop of his shoulder. He tried swatting it away, but Reed shouted ‘Stop’ and startled the man.

“It is said that if a dragonfly lands on your shoulder, you are a good soul.”

Farmer Braune stayed still and wiggled his scratchy whiskers. He looked down and saw hundreds of Nymphs gathering in the weeds of his garden. Leste and Gomphe were about to attack the farmer and Mrs. Besby, but Duke Cordulie stopped them.

“The dragonfly trusts him, so why don’t we?” he wondered.

The Nymphs moved closer to Farmer Braune and started crawling up his overalls.

“They seem to like you, Farmer Braune,” Mrs. Besby said.

“Get these varmints off of me!” the farmer cried.

Reed and Vierfleck whistled for their dragonflies and flew to Mrs. Besby’s nose.

“Why don’t you give Farmer Braune some of your crumpets, Mrs. Besby?”

“What a splendid idea.”

The old woman waltzed beside the fussing farmer and shoved a crumpet into his mouth.

“Tame yourself, Farmer Braune. These fellows will help tend your garden.”

“—If,” Reed added, “you’ll be kind enough to have dinner with Mrs. Besby.”

The farmer picked the Nymphs off of his overalls and scratched his beard.

“What’s for dinner?” he asked.

* * *

Later in the day, the Nymphs finished tending to the gardens and even shared a homemade meal with Mrs. Besby and Farmer Braun.

Reed sat outside with Vierfleck and shared a cup of tea with him. He hoped everything would soon change and kept his eyes to the skies.

“What now?” Vierfleck wondered.

And Reed replied:

“Maybe the simple life will return soon.”

The two sipped at the tea and cheered when Mrs. Besby brought out a fresh plate of crumpets, smiling.


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Why I Write and Who I Write For

No matter who I talk to whether it’d be my church friends, professors or even my family, when I’m asked why I write the answer remains the same. It’s to teach children a lesson to always respect their elders and honor them in every way possible. I’ve seen people disrespect their parents, grandparents, teachers and superiors and fear that the golden rule of respect and admiration has disappeared.

In each of the stories I have written over the years you will notice how there is always a wise old man or woman who reveals the moral of the story, usually through the art of dialogue. Whether they are the main or minor characters, these old geezers will grasp a child’s attention because of the lesson they are trying to convey.

My greatest of dreams is to continue teaching children that they must respect their elders and keep them in great regard. I hope to one day craft a role model for children and have them learn from my writing that elders aren’t dried, old prunes or scary, old witches, but people who have wisdom and wonderful stories to share with the world.

Posted in authors, children, kidlit, kids, middlegrade, parents, teachers, writing, writingadvice, youngreader | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Series About “Misfit Toys”

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My first post was supposed to be about, well, writing tips and tricks that I have in store for anyone who is an aspiring author or journalist, but due to a sudden turn of events I think I’ll make this my first and foremost post on WordPress.

For those of you who are interested in hospital dramas such as ‘House M.D.’,’ Grey’s Anatomy’ and so on, and enjoy stories about teens full of angst and life troubles that any teenager growing up can relate to, you would appreciate FOX’s underrated program ‘Red Band Society’ as much as I do. What is this show about? It’s a teen medical drama based on the Catalan drama series ‘Polseres vermelles’ that focuses on a group of ill-fated teenagers living together as patients in a hospital’s pediatric ward. Each of the characters suffer from different diseases such as cancer, eating disorders and heart deficiencies and go through a series of events that change their outlook on life, love and friendship over time.

The series is told in third person omniscient with Charles “Charlie” Hutchinson (Griffin Gluck) a young comatose patient as the narrator. This “story-telling” approach was unique and completely different than most teen-dramas, but pulled it off in such a way that had me excited for every new episode. The questions raged through my mind.

What will happen to Charlie?

How much does Charlie know about all of the patients?

Will this poor boy ever come out of his coma?

Throughout the series, it seemed like Charlie, despite his condition, was always the Red-Bander that these teens turned to when in doubt. What exactly is a Red-Bander? When a new patient is emitted into the pediatric ward he/she is given a red band with their medical information included and is welcomed and accepted into a society created by Dashiell “Dash” Hosney (Astro) and a few of the patients, who made an oath to always stick together and become the hospital’s ‘family of misfit toys’.

The gang of Red-Banders include Dash Hosney a patient with cystic fibrosis who sees life in philosophical ways and always tries his best to keep the gang together; Leo Roth (Charlie Rowe) an amputee and former osteosarcoma patient who serves as the provisional leader of the Red Band Society; Emma Chota (Ciara Bravo) a brilliant, young girl who suffers from anorexia and causes many feuds between Leo and Jordi Palacios (Nolan Sotillo) who suffers from Ewing sarcoma and was the series’ newly admitted patient; and Kara Souders a smug, “plastic” cheerleader with an enlarged heart who has trouble making her way up the transplant recipient list due to her drug abuse and awful behavior. No matter their condition or lifestyle, each of these sick misfits was accepted into the Red Band Society and overcome the struggles their diseases cause them.

Among the Red-Banders were an incredible staff of doctors and nurses, such as Nurse Dena Jackson (Octavia Spencer) the strict and domineering head nurse who oversaw the entire pediatric facility and treated each one of the kids as her own; Dr. Adam McAndrew (Dave Annable) who was the attractive Mr. Debonair surgeon who tried his hardest to do what was right, but always acted out on impulse; Brittany Dobler (Rebecca Rittenhouse) a new naive but bubbly and ambitious nurse, and many more who had dramatic and interesting back-stories of their own, which kept the series invigorating.

The second I tuned into the series when it first aired on FOX I was hooked! Queen bee Kara was indeed a character many teens would hate because of her cliche personality as a pigheaded princess, but sometimes it’s the cliches that bring out a series’ comedy. During the first episode I said to myself, “I know this girl and her antics are going to make me laugh out of my seat.” The first episode was like most “pilot” episodes, but after a few minutes when the entire cast of “misfit toys” was introduced and the clashes began, it became a wonderful story.

A great scene was when Jordi, who believes that he has osteosarcoma, had run away from home to be treated by Dr. Adam McAndrew and is admitted. Due to his condition he bonds with Leo, who has also lost his leg to cancer. In just the first episode you learn so much about each of the characters and their downfalls in life. Come the second episode I was crying my eyes out because during Jordi’s operation, Dr. McAndrew finds that the cancer had spread and became much more severe than they thought, which meant they could not preform the surgery to remove his leg. Enraged and green with jealousy, Leo gets himself into trouble and breaks out of the trouble. This powerful scene shows how much he wants to be accepted by the outside world as much as he was when he was his school’s star soccer player.

RBS_SNEAK_PEEK_THERES_NO_PLACE_LIKE_HOMECOMING_1280x720_337159235838

Kara and Emma, who are poles apart, are the series’ characters that many young girls can relate to, much like in the early 2000’s favorite ‘Mean Girls’. In the “There’s No Place Like Homecoming” episode, Kara, who is excited to return to her school and attend homecoming, was offended when Nurse Dobler invited the introverted Emma. If that couldn’t be worse for the Queen Bee, she soon realizes that everyone who once worshipped the ground she walked upon now pitied her. This shows the viewers that even “plastics” can be broken. No matter their differences and “cat-fights”, Kara and Emma eventually bond when they both admit that their family problems at home have to deal with their mothers.

One of my favorite perks about this series was the “bromance” between Dash and Leo. Many people would see Dash as a kind of rebellious youth who saw life through the eyes of a deep-thinking philosopher and Leo as a star athlete who was a born-to-be leader and, as many call him, ‘the superman’. The relationship and brotherhood between these two characters is so strong that it’s hard not to love it. No matter the situation, if they worked together on a scheme they would always pull it off. A great episode was when they wanted to get the entire group together to propose a plan to get Nurse Jackson back into Ocean Park Hospital. However, Leo had two of his old school friends visiting, which meant he couldn’t join in on the plan Dash had been so passionate about. Thus, the entire plan was obliterated when an angry, irrational Dash talks back to Dr. McAndrew and starts to cough up blood. At the end of the episode you find Dash recovering and discover that his plan had indeed worked because Nurse Jackson had returned.

RBS_104_There_s_No_Place_Like_Homecoming_CB_on_9-3-14_Scn21_064_hires2Another great ideal about this series is how many relationship pairings or “shippings” as some people define it, there are. There are many times when the viewer would support Leo and Emma’s angst-filled relationship that has a long and dramatic history behind it or the new-youth relationship between Jordi and Emma. Or how about the heart-wrenching, romantic and addictive relationship between Kara and Hunter Cole (Daren Kagasoff), a leukemia survivor who suffers from cirrhosis and is in need of a liver transplant? Trust me you will fall in love with these two and be crushed by the time you watch ‘The Guilted Age’ episode. Since the ‘Twilight Saga’ with Team Edward and Team Jacob, I’ve seen so many teens and adults that love to support their pairings and show it with merchandise, fan-fictions and sometimes tasteful fan-art. ‘Red-Band Society’ has a lot of promise in the area of relationship interests.

Now I don’t want to get into full detail about this series because I always seem to spoil a new series for everyone, but I can say that I was very disappointed that FOX cancelled it. On November 26, 2014 it was confirmed that the show would stop production after its original thirteen episodes and was pulled from its schedule after Episode Ten. Come January 13, 2015 FOX announced that the rumors were true and the series would be cancelled. The three remaining episodes aired from January 31-February 7 and included a two-hour series finale. Boy, was I heart-broken. Not only had this series given hope and ambition to many kids who suffered with similar diseases, it also taught a great lesson to its viewers about how when time gets tough you have to keep on going and pushing for your goals.

The characters were loveable and had great stories that left us all on a cliffhanger and will be missed. It’s a shame how many people gave the series terrible reviews and looked down upon it for oblivious reasons, while instead they should have been supporting it and hoping for a new season. Hopefully, if people press enough, there will be a new season with the same cast and crew.

If you watch the series or even follow the Red-Band Society Twitter page (@RedBandSociety) show the creators your support and become a Red-Bander yourself. Who knows? Maybe the series will return one day. Until then enjoy the episodes on FOX’s website:

http://www.fox.com/red-band-society/red-band-society/full-episodes

Posted in Angst, Drama, Fox, Media, Teens, Television | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment