LUPUS AWARENESS MONTH

SHE FIGHTS LIKE A GIRL!

We are now in a brand new month, which  also celebrates a disease that I am familiar with all to well.  No, it’s not me living with this ailment, but I live and married to a woman who is living with said disease of lupus. To educate those on who are not familiar, aware or understand this disease, lupus is an autoimmune disease that can create many other symptoms within the body.  This disease can affect any organ in the body and can be just as deadly as cancer and other life threatening ailments if not treated or managed properly by your physician.  No cure exist at this time, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t live life to the fullest or be happy.  Sure you may have limitations on what you can participate in or push your body to do, but the worse thing you can do is nothing!  Sadly, many doctors and some people don’t think this disease exist and it’s all in the patients’ mind.  However, discussing the symptoms that you have can’t always be explained in a textbook or with a simple medical degree.

Many symptoms come with lupus, such as butterfly rashes, extreme fatigue that doesn’t go away with rest (ever), joint pain, stiffness, joint swelling in some or all joints, muscle pain, fever that comes and goes, rashes, skin sores, hair loss, seizures at random times and sometimes fainting spells.  Each person is affected differently by lupus, which adds to the anomaly of how to treat it with one simple medical treatment.  For my wife, her lupus flare-ups are usually triggered by extreme stress, weather changes, humidity, certain foods and beverages and environment.  When we lived in Maryland, the humidity was literally killing her slowly where she was in the hospital almost every two weeks during the spring and summer season.  At one point we spent over $3,000 in a matter of a two and half months before she was diagnosed.  The amount of stress that hovered our heads for that time frame was just ridiculous, and I was only able to work one day in those two months.  Many visits to the hospital and urgent care centers just resulted in the same diagnosis over and over again or simply the medical professionals had no clue.Lupus Ribbon - 2

My wife was subjected to numerous medical procedures such as ingesting barium, which is very chalky and bitter, just to see how solids digest in her stomach.  Other times she was forced to eat oatmeal, which she is not a fan of, to see also how food and solids digest through her system.  They told us what we already knew that food digest very slow in her stomach, but we needed to know why.  Once again we went home with more questions than answers and really began to question the hopefulness of us ever finding out what is wrong.  Seeing your loved one crying in the middle of the night because she is scared and not sure if she will live through the week in this condition is very hard to watch.  I started to get extremely frustrated with the hospitals and doctors not really hearing her complaints and listening to her symptoms.  One incident really got me when we were sent home with medication like Zantac and Prilosec, which they thought would help her issues in her stomach.  Well, that quickly went to the waste side when my wife took one, suddenly screamed at the top of her lungs, dropped to the floor and just curled up in a fetal position.  When I was able to get her to talk to me about what happened she explained to me that she felt the pill burst in her stomach.

I got frustrated to the point where I was doing medical researches myself to find out what is wrong with my wife.  Watching her unable to enjoy things that we started to enjoy be squashed because she’s ill was a very hard transition.  Through all the researching I did for the following hours I was able to narrow it down between Lyme Disease or Lupus.  She had all the same symptoms of Lyme Disease, except for one thing that she was not suffering from, but everything lined up with our second choice.  In one of our many visits to the hospital we brought up the possibility of her having lupus, and finally one woman physician explained to us that she might actually have lupus.  This was confirmed with our current Endocrinologist when they tested her white blood cells, her ANA and other lupus bodies.  Two and a half months later we finally had an answer of what was ailing my wife, but our early knowledge of how to handle it was still very young.  For nearly five years we have had to learn the hard way of what to avoid, what not to do, what not to eat, how to keep stress at a minimum and what to do when her flare-ups decide to come.  At times her flare-ups can put her in bed for hours to days at a time, and for her to quickly get over the flare-ups is to sleep; which has at times been 16 hours in one shot.

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It is very ignorant for people to tell her, “well you don’t look sick”.  People with cancer sometimes don’t look ill either, but you wouldn’t dare say that to their faces.  Many people who are not educated enough to understand this disease can and will make remarks that are not appropriate and wonder why they get the side eye.  Lupus has affected many women in keeping them from getting pregnant, but for others it hasn’t bothered them in preventing them from getting pregnant, but makes it much harder.  My wife is somewhere in the middle with that of making it harder for her to get pregnant, or possibly not being able to get pregnant at all.  This is something that we may never know until she passes the age of where it is her last chance to carry a child.  We have learned some many things living with this disease that we have approached a place in our life that we are blessed whether we have children or not.  Our life is not going to go to hell in a hand basket because she doesn’t or can’t bare me a child.  I love her regardless and having a little one added to our family will not necessarily make that any better.  We have to think about the stress that comes with raising a child and how will she fair with that interruption of always having to care for him or her when I’m not around.

Lupus seizures are real and can happen at anytime.  We have had to learn of when to read her body language and how she feels to know if one is coming in the immediate future.  Since we have a dog now he can pretty much tell when she doesn’t feel good or when a seizure is approaching by hanging around her constantly.  Our black lab, Romeo, is a very wise and smart boy who knows that she needs comfort when she’s not at her best and struggles through the day.  Sometimes she feels bad when I have to pick up more of the slack when she’s not having a good day, but this is something that I have embraced and will continue to embrace until the end of time; unless my body decides to break down as well.  The hardest thing, I think, to treat lupus is that there is not specific test to determine whether a person has it or not.  You can’t just walk into a clinic or a hospital and ask to test you for lupus by giving you a kit or just drawing blood.  So many other things go on behind the scenes, and questions that must be asked, before you are diagnosed.  True your white blood count will be elevated, but by how much?  Your ANA might be negative or positive, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have lupus either.  These are things that they look at, but all symptoms sort of have to be tied together to determine your diagnosis; but AGAIN it affects everyone much different.

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All these years later, and living in a whole new region of the country, we are still learning more and more about how this disease transform as she gets older.  My wife is also allergic to almost everything known to man so that also made diagnosing her much more difficult, but we have gotten better in knowing if she is having allergies or a lupus flare up.  In talking to other people who live with this disease, we have learned that some, if not most, are at their worse when winter season falls.  The bitter cold in the air, and the barometer declining, makes them experience severe joint pain and near paralysis when they flare up.  My wife goes through the same issue when temperatures begin to spike above 85 degrees and the humidity is above 60%.  After rainstorms when the mold is ever present can be dangerous also, but the rain washing the contaminants out of the air balances it out for many lupus soldiers.  So if you ever hear someone say, “my grandmother or my mother or my best friend had lupus at one point”, is either misinformed or ignorant on how the disease works.  With no cure insight at this time, you either have the disease or you don’t and if you do have it and it isn’t bothering you currently, then it is called remission.  Remission is where the disease lays dormant until whenever it decides it has been dormant for too long.

With lupus causing many other symptoms within the body, my wife has suffered many surgeries and skyrocketed medical costs.  Due to people mistreating the medical system and constantly raping the drug market, it makes it much harder for her, and other lupus soldiers, to receive their medication as it is prescribed.  Organizations continue to raise prices for medications, obviously money gauging, that can assist helping these soldiers live a better life, but personal budgets keep getting demolished and blown out of the water to combat.  My wife is only in her early 30’s and lupus has already taken much affect on her esophagus, stomach and kidneys.  At one point she was taking four pills to slow down the deterioration of her kidneys for $120!  Four pills cost that much each month and that obviously destroyed any budget we had set for those few months.  Anyone living with this disease can tell you that one day is different from another and you don’t know for sure how you will feel the next day or next week.  Lupus affects your way of life, but you can determine how much you let if affect you.  Some people have severe cases of lupus where they are in wheelchairs, bed ridden 24 hours a day, go through chemotherapy and actually medically handicapped. 

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The worse thing you can say to a lupus soldier is to tell them, “get up and move around!”  If they could get up and move around they would’ve done that already!  Each time my wife explains what hurts or how her body feels today, people want to drop their two cents in giving her advice on how to move around, what to do to keep from being stiff and what she should do for joint pain.  Listen, if a lupus soldier could do all these things with ease you wouldn’t even know they have lupus, unless they told you.  My wife says it all the time that his disease sucks and I agree 1000%!  It isn’t a simple thing to live with and very unpredictable, but you have to accept that it is part of your life or you will be suffering much more than you need or want too.  The best way a normal person can even somewhat understand how it feels to have lupus is to imagine your worse flu or time you had pneumonia, and picture having that everyday for the rest of your life!  Could you imagine those symptoms always being there no matter what you did?  Most of us would be ready to jump in front a semi or hoping we get ran over by a train to end our misery.  As time goes on living with this disease I’ve been more and more apt to educating people on what this disease can do and will do.

Until a cure is present and delivered to every lupus patient around, medical marijuana is one thing we have considered if necessary.  It isn’t off the table with our doctor and will be used as a last resort, before chemotherapy, if her prescription drugs don’t continue to keep the body aches and pains at bay.  We aren’t that far away from this coming a reality and if it will make her feel almost to the point she is cured of the disease than best believe we will pursue it for her.  My wife’s health and well-being comes above anything I do, including my job, and would love nothing more than to see her pain free and not having to suffer anymore symptoms of this nasty disease.  However, the silver lining with this being now a permanent stay in our lives is that it has shown how much our love for each other really is, how strong she can be, how much we can endure together and that even our rockiest times won’t deter us.  This woman I am married to is very strong and continues to push on even when she is not feeling her best!  Unless she just can’t do it that day, I will come along and lift her up to keep going when necessary.  All lupus warriors are strong and possibly the strongest person you know or will ever know.  If you know someone who has this disease please don’t feel sorry for them or give them pity, just be there for them when they are struggling to continue to do the simple things in life.  Taking a shower, putting on clothes, eating food, drinking or anything that we take for granted just be there for them and let them know you care!

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Even though most women are affected with this disease, many men have it too.  No one is immune from being affected, however, it is not contagious but no one knows for sure if it is passed through the genes or just something that happens.  Many questions have to be answered and many researching has to be done for society to be free of this disease.  It is an everyday battle for lupus warriors and a constant struggle of not giving up and to maintain mentally strong.  The fight isn’t easy for their partners either, who can only do as much as they can while watching their friend or love one dealing with their daily mountains.  You have to learn to grow in this fight together or you will not survive this day to day battle, and things will not improve at all.  Faith and courage are the two biggest things I think you will see a lupus warrior have and display to all of the world that they can’t be beat by this disease.  Together we can fight this battle and conquer the war on lupus, but we all have to be on board and make sure people who suffer everyday aren’t forgotten and pushed to the back burner because they don’t look sick.  Ignorance is not the medicine that these warriors need!

Henry Scott

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“THE GREEN CURTAIN” – CHAPTER 9

NOVOSIBIRSK, RUSSIA

As the morning sun peeps over the city landscape behind them, Aya and Daniel continue walking as they look for somewhere rest for a brief time. While they search for a place to hide, Daniel spots and a building off to their left as the clear a set of trees to get a better view.  Aya also spots the brick building and tells Daniel that it is a hospital, and that it might be a good idea to have her injury checked out.  Both stop and stare at the building that could be their shelter out of the main public while being treated for any injuries, but also kept in mind that it could be risky.

DANIEL STORM: Aya? It could be very risky for us to enter, as it only takes one person to spot us.

AYA SILVERMAN: I understand the risk, Daniel, but I am afraid that if my leg is not treated properly it could become problematic.

DANIEL STORM: (Sighs heavily) You go in there speaking about taking a bullet in the leg, which might prompt a police investigation, could spell disaster. You know that right?

AYA SILVERMAN: (Sighs lightly) Yes! However, we can’t keep going either without making sure I’m putting us at considerable risk for still getting caught because I can’t run or walk properly.

DANIEL STORM: (Turns his back to Aya as he ponders the decision. Morning rush hour of vehicles starting to pick up) Okay. We’ll go in and say that you got shot by accident when I was cleaning my gun.

AYA SILVERMAN: Okay. What do we do with our weapons in the mean time?

DANIEL STORM: (Looks around quickly and finds a dumpster behind a warehouse) We’ll put them inside this dumpster here and come back for them.

Aya and Daniel quickly look around to make sure no one is watching them approach the metal dumpster behind the warehouse. Aya limps over and opens up the lid and peeps in to see if it is empty or filled with garbage, which is satisfying as they toss their weapons in.  Once they clean themselves of any weapons that could possibly be discovered or bog them down in the hospital of any quick getaway, both trot across the busy street towards the front entrance of the building.  Daniel takes in a deep breath as they approach the double doors of the hospital.  Aya steps in front of Daniel and pulls open the door and once they enter the staff of nurses behind the admittance desk all look at them as they approach closer.

Daniel splits away from Aya and sits in the sea of empty chairs, which is a waiting area for all patients, and Aya limps up to the desk and begins speaking in Russian to the nurses. She doesn’t mention to the intake nurse that she was shot in the thigh, but that she is bleeding from a leg injury.  After giving them a false name and date of birth, she goes to sit next to Daniel facing the television.  Aya whispers in Daniel’s ear about the information she gave them and that they will be seen in a matter of minutes.  For several minutes as they wait to be called to the back, Daniel’s body begins to relax and form itself to the hard plastic chair he is sitting in.  Within seconds of his body going into a deep relaxation he dozes off to sleep.  Not too long after Aya leans on his shoulder and falls asleep as well.

Suddenly, Aya wakes up from a firm tap on her left shoulder, which was followed up with a shake of her upper body. This sudden jolt of alertness made her reach for a weapon on her side which, of course, wasn’t there because it was left in the dumpster across the street.  Knowing very quickly nothing was there she quickly grabbed the nurse’s wrist before she realized it was the same nurse she spoke to at the admittance desk.  The nurse was obviously startled and tried to break away when she thought her life was in danger, but quickly breathed a sigh of relief when Aya recognized her.  Daniel woke up breathing very heavy as if he didn’t know where he was for that moment, but got his senses together when he remembered that they were in the hospital waiting area.  A glance up at the frightened nurse sort of confused him, but understood when he saw Aya slowly releasing her wrist.  A few seconds past and the nurse told them that the doctor will be waiting for them in the back, and all they have to do is follow the nurse at the door.

By this time it appeared that the whole block came into the hospital with people sitting everywhere, staring at them. They both get up and quickly apologize to the first nurse and walk through the second door to follow the nurse to one of the smaller rooms in the back.  As Aya is obviously limping down the hallway bypassing other smaller individual rooms with Daniel a few steps behind, Daniel glances to his right and recognizes a gentlemen sitting on the side of his bed.  Within a matter of a split-second Daniel realizes the man he just recognized was one of the men at the camp he was being held captive.  Not only does his heart skip a beat when he knows this, but it certainly sparks concern when their room is right next to his.  Aya is in so much pain now and is just exhausted from pushing through it that she doesn’t know what Daniel knows and has no idea that once again their lives are in danger.  The pain was getting worse and worse for Aya that when she pulled herself on the bed she let out a heavy groan.  Struggling to get comfortable before the doctor comes in, she calls out to Daniel to get his attention since he is just staring out of the peeps of the curtain.

After her third or fourth call to Daniel, he turns around and sees that she is struggling to get comfortable and rushes over to help her. Then as he attends to her, the man he recognizes begins to speak to someone, either on the phone or in person, and triggers something in Daniel.  Still Aya has no idea what is up with Daniel, and what he knows, except only worried about when the doctor was coming in and how quickly they can leave.  Once again Daniel is staring out of the peeps of the curtain out into the hallway as he hears the man’s voice still talking, but seems closer.  Daniel peeps out of the space between the curtain and the wall and suddenly the guy appears in his view, on the cell phone sounding very irritated.  The man was seen with a bandage around his neck and the hand holding the phone bandaged up as well; blood could be seen soaking through the gauze.  It must’ve felt like an eternity for the man to be in view and then suddenly out of view, but couldn’t hear him talking.  Aya opens her eyes for a moment to see where Daniel was and calls out his name to get his attention.

At the same time the doctor comes up to the curtain and opens it up wide. The man immediately came back into view still on his phone when he looked up and saw Daniel staring right at him.  Within in an instant all hell broke loose in the emergency room when the man, which seemed like slow motion, reached in his waistband pulling out a pistol.  The doctor was the first victim in the chaos that erupted in the hospital when he was shot through the back twice before dropping to the floor.  Daniel froze with fear and the decision of what to do at the same time when he saw an opening.  Gun jams!  Aya suddenly forgot about the pain and immediately jumped into action with Daniel.  He sprints towards the man and grabs the gun pulling his arm towards the sky.  Screams and people shouting could be heard as the two men wrestle with each other over control of the gun.  While both men are throwing each other up against walls and other hard objects, and giving each other body blows, Aya grabs a pair of scissors and stabs the guy in the upper back.  A loud yell comes out of his mouth, but doesn’t seem to get weaker, he gets stronger, filled with extreme rage.  Although the gun was still jammed, he tosses Daniel away from him into a nurse’s cart knocking it over.

When he turns around to deal with Aya, she drop kicks him in the face and delivers a hard kick to his chest. Even though the pain of her leg was now radiating through her body, she ignored it and continued to fight.  The man charged at Aya again and was finished off very quickly in his second attempt to hurt her.  Aya dropped to the ground, in a split, and gave him a punch to the groin, which stopped him in his tracks.  Bent over holding his groin area, Aya swings her feet in front of her, double kicks him in the face and jumps back to her feet.  Glancing very quickly behind the adversary, she sees that Daniel is still down and unable to help.  This is her moment to finish the fight and get them out of there ASAP!  A series of combination strikes involved a double chop to the sides of the neck, a punch to the throat, a palm strike to the solar plexus, side kick to the stomach, front kick to the groin and after he dropped to his knees, she broke his neck with her bare hands.

Just like that the adrenaline wore off and Aya dropped to the ground in agonizing pain. Nurses and doctors are all staying behind cover, afraid to come out until the police arrive.  As she crawls over to Daniel yelling out his name, he finally comes too and is very slow to get up.  Seeing her crawling over to him in serious pain, he gathers himself and crawls over to her on his hands and knees to comfort her.  No time to breathe a sigh of relief when police could be heard arriving outside of the hospital and people yelling in the distance.  They were able to duck and dodge being seen by the police as they sprint through the hospital, through the back door and outside.  Almost immediately they encountered three policemen outside and had to react quickly to the threat that they possibly represented.  Once again Aya let her adrenaline kick in when she was engaging the two officers.  It was at this time they began to run towards the dumpster to retrieve their hardware, but saw that police was already searching the area.  Suddenly, as they stand there deciding what to do, a plainclothes detective or inspector opened fire at Aya and Daniel.

Missing them with several shots being fired their way, Daniel was able to grab a pistol from one of the fallen officers and fires back. Several rounds were fired back and forth as he provided cover for Aya since she was somewhat immobile due to her injury.  At this point it looked very dim for them both to getaway without either being killed or injured, but once again luck was on their side.  Just as they are receiving gun fire from all sides, and they duck behind some brushes and small mounds of dirt, a small group of people draws fire from the police and presents themselves as back up for Aya and Daniel.  Despite being confused about what is happening, they see an opportunity to dart for it and head towards the dumpster.  However, when they got to the dumpster to retrieve their weapons, but they weren’t there!  Not even the trash that was in their earlier.  Frantically searching for the weapons in the empty dumpster and outside on the ground, when Daniel sees and hears a trash truck coming from around the corner.  He yells to Aya to alert her of the trash truck, helps her by becoming her crutch and dove in the back of the trash compartment.  The truck was going just slow enough for them to hitch a ride in the back.

Aya and Daniel lay in the back of the soggy, foul stench garbage watching the police engage a handful of individuals, who helped them escape.

DANIEL STORM: I need to thank your guys! I owe them big time!

AYA SILVERMAN: (Turns to look at him with a painful, but concerned look) Not my guys! I don’t know who they are!  I thought they belong to you!

They stare at each other for a few seconds and tried to figure out the gang of men that saved them; and to actually know if they are on the right trash truck. Only time will tell if they are right and who is who.

Henry Scott

“DIGITAL REALM” – CHAPTER I

4:55 AM – U.S. TIME (Eastern Time)

PILOT (Speaking in English) – We will be celebrating the New Year over the Kiribati Island within the next few minutes, Mr. Wilson!

Hearing this announcement coming from his best friend, who is also a pilot, gave Jeremy Wilson the upmost joy and excitement. With his lovely, beautiful wife of 35 years by his side, Eleanor, he pops open a bottle of champagne upon his pearl white private jet as they approach the Kiribati Islands.

JEREMY WILSON – (Turns to Eleanor with a glass of champagne in a position to toast and celebrate) I’ve been waiting to celebrate like this with you for many, many years. Celebrate our love and be one of the first ones to bring in the New Year, a new century for a new chapter in our lives. 

ELEANOR WILSON – (Clangs her glass of champagne with his) Oh Jeremy! I love you with all my heart and hope to last another 35 years with the love of my life. (Smiles and leans her head gently on his shoulder)

A few seconds later Michael, the pilot, comes back just before midnight was to strike in their part of the world to join them for the celebration.

JEREMY WILSON – (Begins to panic and shows a huge concern on his face) Michael?! Shouldn’t you be flying the plane?

MICHAEL (The Pilot) – (Puts up his hand to reassure Jeremy) It’s okay Jeremy. I’ve installed the auto pilot and I’ve tested it numerous times just so I can come back here to celebrate the 22nd century with you!

Jeremy and Eleanor glance at each other with a smile before clanging their champagne glass with Michael’s own personal champagne flavor. Once he takes a sip of his glass, Michael tries to start a quick conversation about his possible retirement after their flight.  Jeremy cuts him off and urges him to just enjoy this last time in the skies before hanging up his pilot license.

JEREMY WILSON – I want us to enjoy this last adventure of travelling through all the times zones as they change over into the 22nd century.  We end the 21st century together, we bring in the 22nd century together!  After this adventure then we can talk more about your retirement.  I promise! (Raises his glass for a request to clang glass with him)

Michael glances down into his champagne glass, glances at Eleanor and looks at Jeremy with a huge smile in agreeing with his request to toast and waiting for their final adventure to end. As they are enjoying each other’s company with laughter and joking around, suddenly the plane starts to strike turbulence.  Michael quickly finishes his drink before heading back to the controls of the plane.  Eleanor leans back on Jeremy holding a champagne glass in one hand and with her free hand started to come up his inner thigh beginning from his knee.

Jeremy stops in the middle of drinking from his glass, looks down and sees his wife’s green eyes looking right up at him with her pearly white teeth showing through her deviant grin. Immediately when their eyes locked Jeremy positioned himself to be able to French kiss his wife just as the New Year/New Century came upon them.  However, the passionate bliss between would quickly dissolve when the jet immediately dropped 1000 feet from entering a void in the airspace.  They both immediately grabbed each other very tightly as the plane dropped, but were able to slowly release each other as the plane was able to catch air once again.

Michael yelled back to reassure them, “It’s okay Mr. and Mrs. Wilson! We just flew through a massive air pocket, but we’re all good now!” As Jeremy took a deep breath as Eleanor still clings to him, a severe lightning storm suddenly rocks the plane back and forth, the wing tips dipping up and down very violently.  The plane shook so violently that anything that was not pinned or strapped down went flying through the cabin.  At one point Jeremy was thrown from his seat, striking his head on a metal object knocking himself unconscious.  Eleanor obviously freaks out and yells to her husband as she struggles to maintain her balance to reach him.  Michael is unaware of what is happening behind him as his main focus is to try to fly out of the storm and contact any towers that can hear him.

Just as Eleanor reaches her husband to wake him up, the plane tilts on its side, which causes her to hit the side of the plane, breaking her lower back from also striking a metal object. At this point both Jeremy and Eleanor are at the mercy of the unstable flight pattern of the jet, but Michael will be the first one to meet his demise.  Several harsh lightning strikes hit the plane, with one coming through the windshield hitting Michael in the head causing it to explode brain matter all over the front of the plane.  With the auto pilot now being off and Michael not at the controls anymore, the plane starts to descend towards the central South Pacific Ocean.  Heavy winds have consumed the cabin of the plane, and the only eye witness to all of this is Eleanor, who is unable to move except her head and hands.

In one last final reach out to Jeremy, she yells as loud as she can to get his attention, but he never does answer her call for help. Almost immediately after she had her final attempt to reach his consciousness, the plane suddenly explodes from several other lightning strikes, which one struck the fuelsaloge.  A massive fireball developed in the sky as it quickly descended to finally plummet into the ocean.  The scarce population that is on the Kiribati Island continues to try to take cover from the sudden electric storm brewing.  Many of the inhabitants were struck down by fierce lightning strikes as they attempted to flee for cover.  Nearly every person was injured either from trying to seek cover or struck directly by lightning, which caused many of them to explode light watermelons or become paralyzed from their spine being severed.

One child, of about eight years old, was able to find cover when his mother tossed him to avoid him being hurt. Unfortunately, the child watched his mother get electrocuted from above and when she finally dropped to the ground, he could see her body smoking like a bar-b-que.  This was so frightening to the child that he could scream from fear, and couldn’t scream for help as if he knew no one would.  Others continued to run around searching for cover that bring them safety, but nearly every person was unsuccessful in doing so.  As the child stays under cover, staring at his deceased mother and hearing chaos all around him, ear piercing crackling and booms just filled the air and the entire island.  Winds began to pick up, blowing heavy wet filled sand everywhere, knocking over any objects that are taller than five feet and brought ocean waters further inland.

This sudden massive storm cell was finally spotted by the International Weather Service satellite flying over Australia. As the numbers and data are still being compiled by the computers, suddenly the same satellite that spotted the massive storm cell goes blank.  No more data could be taken away from that satellite as it becomes immediately dead weight just circling the earth’s atmosphere.  Definitely this would prove to be very deadly and costly as the new target for the massive storm is the Chatham Islands.  By the time the New Zealand Royal Navy was able to get a better fix on the electric storm approaching the Chatham Islands, it was too late.  The Chatham Islands faced the same fate as did the Kiribati Islands just fifteen minutes prior.  The storm continued westward putting the nation of New Zealand at danger, and would soon gather the attention of all those in the South Pacific.

Henry Scott

To be continued…

THE CRAB DIARIES: K CAR OF STRESS!

THE CRAB DIARIES – THE K-CAR OF STRESS

If you grew up at any time during the 1980’s you had to have been in one or knew someone who owned one.  You saw these things EVERYWHERE and almost every neighborhood had that one resident with one in the driveway or parked on the street in front of their house.  Our house was no different and I have to admit that it was a decent looking vehicle, but the operations of said vehicle did not follow that same feeling.  I am not for certain where the vehicle came from, but I was told that it came from my grandmother, who was still alive at the time and living in Washington, D.C.  She was getting older and was in no need of a vehicle, so my father gave it to my mother for her personal transportation.  Still to this day, I am not 100% sure where the vehicle came from or confirm the origination, but I can tell you sure that my love for this car was not shared with many.

We had a 1986 Dodge Aries, brown with tan interior, and was always under some mechanical or maintenance service.  I’ve never seen a car that had their brakes worked on as much as this vehicle; nearly every weekend I saw my father working on the brakes.  The car was loud and embarrassing to drive, but my father didn’t dare drive it unless my mother put up a large enough fuss, however, my father would claim that there was nothing wrong with the car.  Okay, I suppose the car hesitating as you are crossing the highway or pulling out of a turn is just all in our minds!  It is not a good feeling when your mother turns the corner to cross the road and the car hesitates so bad that it feels like it stalled out.  You look to your right and see a van come barreling down the road, expecting you to move or anticipating for you to move and is not slowing down.  Then suddenly, the car kicks in and you nearly spin tires just to get out of harm’s way.  YEP!  Our imagination is so strong that we can make things happen in reality.

I can’t tell you enough how much I hated this car with a passion and did as much as I could to avoid being picked up in from school, friend’s houses or anywhere in between.  It was loud and always had something rattling underneath it, and what made it even worse was when the interior ceiling cloth began to sag.  This made it even more embarrassing to be in and around the car, and my mother soon just got tired enough of it and torn down the interior ceiling cloth.  BOY!  Was that a mistake!  Each time you got in the car you had to dust yourself off because all the particles that were being held in place by the cloth, began to fly around inside the car and just infiltrate your hair and clothing.  You dared not to eat in the car because tasting ceiling dust with your hot and ready McDonald French fries was not healthy!  There was never any motivation to fix the car and have it stay in the family for years on end, no motivation to put money into it so that my mother would have a safe ride, but my father was doing okay with his car so why should he bother?

I often told my mother, as she came to pick me up from high school, to come in through the rear parking lot and I’ll just run to her!  She understood completely about how I felt being in that car, but it was her only transportation provided to her.  I am not sure if she was working at this time or not, but she wasn’t able to buy another car for herself; and what made it even worse was that the car was in my father’s name.  Anything in his name he wanted to keep until it wasn’t worth keeping anymore, or attempt to trade it in and wonder why he gets laughed at.  How can a mother and son feel being in this car when suddenly you hear your muffler detach from the bottom of the car, hit the road and just drag along the ground making that awful metal to concrete noise that you can never forget!  Driving with your hazards on, trying not to look horrified as cars pass you staring at you and just trying to get home so you can be ready to set on fire!  Not really, but I wouldn’t have been hurt if it she did.

My father decided that the best way to fix said muffler attachment issues was those thin metal hangers.  The very old school way to reattach a muffler until you was able to do it permanently, but I am not sure if that ever happened.  This car was just simply a death trap and my mother did everything she could to avoid driving this P.O.S.!  Thank God when I started driving we didn’t have this car anymore and my mom ended up with a brand new Dodge Neon, emerald green.  I don’t know what possessed my father to give my mother this car, but it was one of the worse decisions he ever made for our family, which have been many!  I am not 100% sure of what happened to the car, but I just know that our terror with this thing was finally over.  The loud noise, the smoke it caused, the overheating, the failed power steering, the ac unit going down numerous times, hubcaps missing, interior lights working intermittently and numerous dirty stains on the seats and carpet.  In recent years I’ve seen a few here and there, but in no way the shape that our BROWN DEATH car was in, and much quieter.

My father’s side of the family was cheap and/or frugal to the point that they would keep a car so long until it wasn’t worth the money anymore.  I understand that some vehicle and brand names you do just that, however, if the car is CONSTANTLY giving you the same issues over and over again, either replace those parts with brand new parts or replace the whole system or just GET RID OF THE DAMN THING!  I love working on cars and trucks and customizing them and spending some time on them, but once you start getting into the electrical parts of the car, unless you know someone or have an idea of how to fix those issues, it’s time for that car go.  My mother did what she could to have this car stolen, blown up, damaged or just not work anymore so that she wouldn’t have to drive it.  It was so bad that if she drove it more than five miles it was a fear of it overheating and not starting.  I, mean, the stress of this damn car was just overwhelming and finally it was out of our lives FOREVER!!!!

I don’t ever want to sit my ass in one ever again, unless somehow they reinvent it completely like the Dodge Charger or Challenger.  I don’t see that happening anytime soon, but of course you never know!! My most hated car in history!!

What was or is your worse car ever?

Henry Scott

“BENEATH THE SURFACE” (Mini Series) – PART I

(Fictional Story)

A typical day in the Nation’s Capital speaks of heavy volume during the morning rush hours, with thousands of commuters both pedestrians and vehicular traffic. On this warm summer day, just 48 hours after the nation celebrated its birthday, everyone goes on about their daily lives as if no holiday has recently occurred. On this particular day the subway system was having track maintenance, which caused a few lines to single track and experiences a much heavier load of passengers than normal. On one subway line, the Purple Line, which just came into existence a few months ago, already seems to push its limits on boarding commuters. This interrupted delay may many people late for work and caused many to stay home and telecommute into their workspace.

It seemed all at once hundreds of commuters rushed down the escalators, which were surprisingly flawless in operation, to catch the current train that pulled into the underground station. As the doors opened many passengers were exiting the train as commuters were attempting to board. Quickly this caused a few tensions to rise and physical altercations almost broke out between the two sets of people. The train conductor saw the commotion outside of the train on the platform and quickly made an announcement to have people disperse and go their respective ways. It just so happened that the transit police was in the area to separate many passengers and decided who stayed and who boarded. Once the commotions were squashed and dealt with, the train slowly continued down the tracks to its next station.

The approximate time between stations was five minutes usually, but with trains sharing tracks it added an extra two minutes to the ride. While the train was moving towards the next station, many passengers were forced to stand and grab on to the silver poles that protruded from the floor to the ceiling, and ran along the top of the car. Since every seat was basically taken some of the handicap passengers either had to brave out the ride standing up, or plead with some to exchange for a seat. Although it is the policy to give up your seat to anyone who displays a handicap need for it, many refused and a few violent verbal exchanges were heard throughout certain cars. Halfway through the tunnel the conductor made another announcement that they would be stopping and allow two trains to bypass them once they leave the station. This caused many people to murmur under their breath, which oddly started conversations between strangers.

A few minutes passed and just as the conductor was making his announcement, a loud explosion occurred and a heavy rumble was felt throughout the train. All the lights in every car began to flicker violently as the train rocked back and forth. People started screaming and yelling to each other wondering what was happening, but that quickly turned to survival. A couple more loud explosions rumbled above and caused the tunnel and the train to continue to shake violently. Soon the train separated from the tracks and began to tip sideways as many passengers held on for dear life. It felt like eternity for some as some people couldn’t hold on and maintain their balance, falling to the side of the train tipping over. Several passengers were crushed by falling debris coming from above through the roof of the train, and others landing on top of them. People were pinned between the windows and the pile of passengers causing them to either suffocate or suffer serious injury.

All the lights went out and all people could hear were each other screaming and glass shattering around them. Many people suffered lacerations across the face and to their limbs during this violent encounter. Both ends of the tunnel crumbled trapping them on the small portion of the track they occupied, cutting them off from everyone else. Which seemed like forever, the shaking and the falling passengers suddenly stopped, and an eerie silence fell amongst the scene. Once some figured it was safe enough to start moving, they started checking on each other and attending to those that were underneath the pile of scared commuters. Slowly people started to scatter around the train carefully not to step on people who are still trying to gather themselves. For several minutes people started yelling to other cars to take tally on how many injured and how many dead. The tally came to about a dozen dead and hundreds wounded ranging from severe lacerations to compound fractures. On each car the wounded were moved to a safe part of the train as the deceased were moved to another part of the train.

Finally, some passengers were able to break through the windows that were above them and exit. People had to use their cell phones to get a hint of where they were walking and who was where. All those that exited the train met up with each other as some volunteered to stay behind with the wounded and dead. The passengers in the front car immediately checked on the driver, but quickly found out that she was deceased as well. As some of the passengers attempt to make sense of what happened, others struggled to calm down some who started to panic and speak of unthinkable terms. A few passengers teamed up to walk towards the front of the train, careful not to touch the third rail, and could see approximately a hundred feet in front of them where the tunnel collapsed. Almost immediately several passengers rushed towards the mountain of rubble and started to move away the boulder-like debris. All this was done within a matter of several minutes, which one passenger standing on the track behind the process pointed up. All those that were helping looked up and could see a possible breakthrough into the other side of the tunnel. A couple of passengers carefully climbed up the unstable pile to peek through to see what they can see.

One male passenger got to the top of and was able to see the emergency lights from the next station reflect off the tunnel walls. As he was getting questions of what he could see and before he could answer, a shadow figure displayed itself on the other side of the opening expelling a heart stopping growl. This terrified the man and caused him to fall backwards on the sharp edged boulders beneath him with such force. The male passenger tumbled down the pile of rubble very violently and died as he struck one of the rails, severing his spine. Some passengers screamed in horror as others rushed to his aid to only discover quickly that he could not be saved. No one knew what he saw and what frightened him to his death, except the mystery of what has happened and what could be on the other side waiting for them.

Henry Scott

Nenes Life

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