Photography: Dogs and Horses

I mean, I think the title says it all, right?

Horses:

Alyssa and Tanker

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P1030763 (2)

P1030788P1030670

Fox

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Phoebe and Piper

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Dogs:

Maggie

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Shelby

P1030634 (2)

Oliver

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All Three P1030641 (2)

I love taking photography, and I’m hoping to work more on taking pictures of animals, especially horses. I always love looking at people who photograph horses (especially Andrew Ryback) and I would love to become half that good. So any comments or advice would be greatly appreciated!

 

 

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Everything Wrong With “Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer” (in 20 bullet points or less)

Ah yes, the childhood classic our parents grew up on. The story of the young reindeer with the annoying, glowing red nose that makes odd noises makes us all ready for the holiday season.

Don’t get me wrong, I love this movie. I have since I was little. I even write sequels for my younger family members every Christmas.

Image result for rudolph the red nosed reindeer

 

Last week, I was reliving childhood memories with my mom by watching the stop-motion fifty minute movie. But this time, I finally realized how wrong it was, whether it be little comments that, as children, went over our heads, or just the general plot.

So to get into the holiday spirit, let’s see what’s really wrong with Rudolph (the movie, not the reindeer).

1.) Within the first six minutes of this movie, I encounter my first issue. Santa has just entered Donner’s den, and Santa has just found out about Rudolph’s nose. In response to Santa’s expression, Donner says to him “‘Don’t worry Santa, I’m sure he’ll grow out of it.'” Santa then states, “‘He better, if he wants to make the sleigh team someday!”‘ Okay, what is preventing Rudolph from pulling the sleigh with a red nose? It is not a physical disability. He has all four legs, all five senses, and is not injured or incapable of preforming this task to begin with. The only thing different is he has a red nose, so he looks a little different.

2.) Notice for number one, I did not put “Donner and ______’s den”. You know why? We never get the name of Rudolph’s mother. She has three or four scenes in the movie, but not once do we get an actual name for her. Rudolph just refers to her as “mother” or “mama”, while the narrator refers to her as “Mrs. Donner”.

3.) Still on the same scene, Santa had just left the den, and the two parents are discussing what to do about Rudolph’s nose, when Donner has the brilliant idea to cover it up with mud. What parent would do that to a newborn child? Why would you cover something up like that? Do you expect him to live his life with a dirty nose? What if his nose gets wet, and the mud comes off? You’re making this issue way harder than it had been before.

4.) We got a full two minutes without me having any issues with this movie! By now, I’m at the scene where Herbie the elf is first introduced, halfheartedly working on making toys. The boss elf comes over, yells at him to basically to hurry the f*ck up, then gets mad at him when Herbie admits he doesn’t like what he’s doing with his life. Okay, first off, he’s basically enslaved there. We never see any other elves doing anything else other than helping Santa, making toys, or harnessing the reindeer. They don’t have their own lives to live. Second off, people in the real world admit that they don’t like what their doing all the time, and we usually don’t make a big deal about it! Herbie is what any sane person in that situation would do: try and change it. Of course, not in the best way, but it’s better than nothing and living the rest of your life depressed.

5.) I’m at the scene where Rudolph first introduces himself to Clarice. And you know what I noticed? Only the bucks are playing reindeer game, with not a doe insight. Guess where the females are.

By the sidelines, looking cute with their bows and long lashes.

Like this movie wasn’t sexist enough already.

6.) So, Clarice and Rudolph have hit it off during school, and she just commented about how Rudolph “talks funny”. He asks her what’s so funny about it, and in response to that, she responds “it’s okay, I don’t mind”. Um…excuse you. I take that more as an insult than a compliment. She should’ve said “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to be rude” or “I was just curious”. In addition to that, she then compliments him (“‘I think you’re cute”‘) before the buck even has time to react to the insult she just gave him.

7.) This is more of just a nit-pick, but why does Rudolph’s nose have that high-pitched squeal when the mud falls off? It gives me a headache every time!

Kids: If your nose is making that noise, you should consult your doctor.

8.) Comet, seriously, WTF? He’s the one who ultimately excluded Rudolph for ‘looking different’. He banned the buck from playing reindeer games, even after Rudolph proved he was much better than any of the other reindeer when it came to flying! Sure, the other kids teased him, but the adult was the one who made the decision to exclude Rudolph for his nose coloring.

9.) Santa and the other reindeer have just found that Rudolph’s nose makes odd noises and glows, and instead of comforting the buck, he shuns Donner and insults Rudolph by saying “Donner, you should be ashamed of yourself. What a pity, he had a nice take off too”. As I mentioned previously, what is so wrong about looking a little different if you can still perform the assigned task effectively?

10.) So Herbie and Rudolph have just met, and they immediately decide to run away together. They are strangers to each other. Have Rudolph’s parents not taught to not talk to strangers? What if this elf guy is gonna kidnap you or something? What have your parents taught you in this past year?

11.) So right as things are starting to kind of get interesting, we get an intermission. For what purpose? To hear a snowman sing? If I wanted to see a talking snowman I would’ve turned on Frosty The Snowman. I came here for the reindeer.

12.) What purpose does Yukon Cornelius play in this? Yeah, he saves Rudolph and Herbie from the Abominable Snowman… but why does he tag along? He’s just another character that plays little to no part in the story and is only purpose for being in the story to begin with is to make sure the main character doesn’t die. Everything he says either makes me roll my eyes or cringe.

13.) This is the thing that bothers me the most about this movie. Yes, I know this movie was made in the 60’s and things were different then. But saying “no, this is mans work” is just so unbelievably sexist, no matter what time period you’re in. Women can do anything men can do, even more. Shouldn’t we teach our children that? What this movie shows is exactly what gender roles women were expected to have in earlier years, stay home, cook, clean, and watch after the young. This very sentence makes me want to rip the writer’s eyes out. And you know what? I bet you it was a guy who wrote it.

14.) So the three protagonists have just arrived on the Island of Misfit Toys. Here’s my question: What’s wrong with half of these toys? I would love a polka dotted elephant. Nobody would ever know the Jack in the box’s name was Charlie. There’s nothing wrong with the freaking doll. The black bear seen in a scene or two has nothing wrong with it. What’s wrong with the scooter? A lot of kids would love these toys. Most of the things that make these toys “misfits” are either so cute you’d want them anyways, or they’re simple fixes. Even if they aren’t, a child who doesn’t have much would love any toy, even if it had square wheels.

15.) What’s with King Moonrazor? How did he decide to be the king of the Misfits? Why is the island only for toys when the lion is the guardian? How does he know when a child wants a particular toy?

So many unanswered questions.

16.) King Moonrazor told Herbie, Yukon, and Rudolph are were able to sleep in a small doll house for the night…but the king has a huge castle that they were just in. Surely he has a spare room for two humans and an animal. Why make them sleep in a cramped doll house with no heating or plumbing?

17.) Rudolph has decided to ditch Yukon and Herbie to save their own lives, and for about two minutes, we see Rudolph mature and grow older. How long has he been gone, exactly? To me it seems he’s only been gone a few months, as his parents went looking for him soon after he ran away. But it took Rudolph a year to develop from a newborn to a young child. How does he become full grown in a few months?

18.) “It was very sad for the loss of their friend, but they all decided, the best thing to do was to get the women home”. Another big sexist thing that bothers me. In the cave, it was only the does that were ‘in trouble’. Donner was free from the Abominable, while only Mrs. Donner (for lack of a better name) and Clarice were truly captured. Later on, after Yukon and the monster fall off the cliff, they decide to only return home to keep the women safe.

19.) The reindeer (and elf) all make is back to Christmastown, and only then, when a huge f*cking snowstorm threatens to ruin Christmas comes in, Santa tells Rudolph he’s going to help pull the sleigh. First off, he only accepts Rudolph’s physical difference when he needs it. Secondly, he really doesn’t given Rudolph an option on whether or not Rudolph should pull the sleigh. Sure, he asks Rudolph “won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?” but he did it front of dozens of others. If I were Rudolph, I would’ve felt pressured into saying yes, especially after Santa was such a dick to him in the beginning because of his difference.

20.) The toys on Misfit Island are patiently waiting for Rudolph, and one of the toys had said “but, he promised” meaning he promised he’d give them homes when he returned to Christmastown. He never promised anything. He said when or if he ever returned, he would talk to Santa about it.

So, that about wraps it up this holiday classic for you all.

As my mom sang,

“Then one foggy Christmas Eve,
Santa came to say (something politically incorrect)
‘Rudolph with your nose so bright,
your disability will save the night.
And how the reindeer loved him,
as he shouted out with glee (‘i’m not a failure!’)
Rudolph the red nosed reindeer,
you’ll go down in history!”

~~~~

Check out these links, which talks about similar things mentioned in this article.

http://americablog.com/2013/12/donner-is-sexist-santa-is-a-dick.html

 

 

 

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Is There A Santa Claus?

As children, we have all stayed up late on Christmas eve, listening for the sounds of bells and the clip-clop of hooves on the roof. We may have even hid near the tree, in search for the old guy himself. Our parents have all once told us that the big fat man in the red suit is a figment of our imagination, that they are the ones that really hide the presents under the trees. We have all experienced that heartbreak that ultimately ended our childhood holiday experiences.

I was about eleven when I asked my own mother that fateful question. “Is Santa real?”
I remember her glancing at me, before returning her gaze to the road in front of her. We had just gone out to breakfast in a nearby restaurant after her yoga class, and we were on our way home.

No, she had told me, the jolly old guy we constantly saw in department stores and ringing their bells near the entrances to Walmart were not real.

I was crushed. I had been such a Santa Claus fan. I loved him. I loved Christmas.

That Christmas wasn’t the same. I knew the truth. No fat man with eight (nine including Rudolph) flying reindeer would come sneak into my home on Christmas eve.

Yes, my childhood belief in Santa Claus was damaged. I no longer beImage result for santa from polar expresslieved in him.

But, my mother told me something that I’ll never forget. She told me that there may be no one Santa Claus in the world. That reindeer don’t fly. He doesn’t creep into your house and leave you presents. But in this world, there are many Santa’s. They are the people who do good for others.

They’re the people who donate a dollar to the Salvation Army anytime they see the “elves” shaking their bells. They are the people who gives a meal to a homeless person. They are the people who anonymously do good deeds with expecting nothing in return.

As quoting a letter written in the Sun Times many, many years ago, “No Santa Claus! Thank God! He lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.”

The Christmas after I had found at the truth about Santa may have not been special in the ways previous years had been, but it was special and memorable in it’s own right.

We helped a family friend that year get back on her feet. The entire year long, we collected spare change in the bottoms of our purses, or random dollar bills floating throughout the house, and put them in a large, glass jar, which we named “The Christmas Jar”. We asked other family members to contribute, to collect money. In all, we collected about two hundred dollars by Christmas.

The family friend was a single mom of two young girls, who had no money to give her children Christmas gifts. With the money we raised, we bought her kids Christmas gifts. My uncle then dressed up as Santa and gave the children their presents on Christmas Eve.

That was the first time I was involved with being a Santa Claus myself. Every year after, I try to do something good for someone else.

A few years back, my parents and I had spent the night in Chicago. While out walking around, I saw multiple homeless people on the streets, holding signs or trying to sleep.

I remember buying a meal or two from McDonalds, complete with a Big Mac and fries and water, and giving them to a couple of homeless people I saw.

Santa Claus, as I’ve learned, may not be one man in this world. But he will forever live in the hearts of those who do acts of kindness, and aim to make others smile. He will believe in those who believe in him, forever and always.

 

 

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Don’t Do Drugs, Do AP

At my high school, the majority of students (whether be a freshman or a senior) have been taking AP classes, and the rise has been increasing throughout the years.

Cary-Grove offers 25 AP classes, which an excessive amount of students are taking part of. I’m a sophomore, and I’m watching roughly 60-65% of the 2020 class stress over their AP classes to the point of a mental breakdown.

I have not taken any AP classes as a high school student, nor did I want to until a month into this school year. At the time, I thought I was smart to not be putting so much stress on myself with extra classes when I have so many extra activities going on in my life.

Both last year and this year, I am taking all regular classes except for English, where I’ve taken honors. Even with just one higher level class plus my regular classes, I’m already approaching my breaking point.

So when we were addressed to pick classes for our junior year a few weeks ago, what did I do?

I signed up for two AP classes.

Evaluating my feelings, I’ve come to the conclusion that there are two main reasons on why I picked the classes that I did.

One was because I do feel like I could probably handle both classes. I’m a smart individual that likes to learn about subjects she likes.

The second main reason? I felt pressured into it.

My name is under an English AP course, known as AP Language and Composition, and is mainly a writing course. I also have enrolled myself in AP US History, and although I feel capable and ready to do my best in both classes, I do believe my school and peers have altered my decision on the classes I plan to take.

Just today, I saw a friend of mine printing an essay in the school’s library. I walked over to her, and she explained that it was for an AP class she’s taking, AP Seminar.

Now, I’ve heard this is a difficult class. It’s a research based humanities class, which takes two full years to complete the entire course. That kind of class is not for me.

So in response to my friend, who had been ranting about the 1,300 something word count she had to have, I shrugged and said “sucks for you”, and went back to sit down. Which she replied, “I’m better than you, I’m in an AP class”.

That stung, to be honest. I didn’t take offense to that friend, of course. She had said it in a joking matter and I knew she hadn’t meant it. What stung was the realization of that I wasn’t in an AP class.

I, of course, have realized this before. While my freshmen friends last year were off doing Geometry (a sophomore level course), Honors Biology, Honors English and even a possible AP class, I was stuck in room D19, doing just Honors English. No other AP classes, no other honors classes.

Just. English.

And honestly? It makes me feel dumb. I know I’m decent at English, it’s my favorite and one of my best classes. I don’t expect myself to get into honors chemistry or calculus because I suck at both science and math.

What I didn’t expect was to feel like an idiot in a higher course, because there are better classes that I could’ve taken and didn’t.

So when choosing my junior classes, I felt pressured to enroll in an AP class so others would think better of me. I know I shouldn’t have based my decisions on that, but I’m human and I make mistakes.

I didn’t want to feel inferior to my classmates, so I took not just one, but two AP classes.

In hindsight, it probably wasn’t the best idea. I’m a busy person with a lot of extra-curricular stuff going on. Plus, I’m an introvert that needs my down time.

But I didn’t think of those things when I signed up for classes. What I wanted at the time-and still do- was to be respected by my peers based on the classes I had taken.

It’s a typical thing to do, especially at my high school. We don’t have the known “popular” people, nor do we have huge differences with cliques. We band together, and that truly makes our school amazing.

But what we do have at our school is the fear for our future. What will happen if we don’t take advanced classes?

Colleges may not accept us. People with think of us as stupid if we take all regular courses.

We don’t have a lot of peer pressure to do drugs, or to have sex, or to drink. Our peer pressure is to take advanced classes, even if we may not be ready for them.

And this is ultimately what lead me to decide my courses for next year.

So, to any of my peers or anyone else that may decide to read this, take this advice from me: Do not take any advanced classes unless you are confident in that subject. Don’t take AP US History if you hate history or can’t memorize dates well.

Wish me luck on my AP classes next year (because I’m really going to need all of the luck  I can get).

 

 

 

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Beginning Photography: My Dogs

So, recently I found an old camera that my parents got for me when I was about ten years old. Back then, it was the closest thing I had to an electronic, so I treated it as one. I took selfies, pictures of my old dogs, and just places where I had been that I had liked. Yes, I tried to be a photographer, but let’s be honest: how many ten year old photographers are there? So I just had fun with the camera.

I found the purple Lumix camera in my bedroom while cleaning it last week. Now, here’s the thing about this specific camera- the charger port is incredibly small. You can’t use a USB charger with it, or an IPhone charger. Anything. It was so small, it needed that specific charger.

I hadn’t seen that charger in years, and the camera was out of battery, so I couldn’t use it. But, thank god, my mother came to the rescue. I found the charger on Amazon Prime, and she ordered it for me.

Today was the first day I got to try out my new/old camera, and of course, I took photos of my dogs. Below are the “good” ones I took.

Shelby:P1030252P1030245P1030250

Oliver:P1030231P1030225P1030224 (2)

Maggie:P1030216P1030214 (2)P1030209 (2)

Remember, this is my first time taking pictures that weren’t with my phone! Any advice (whether it be photography itself or editing pictures) would be greatly appreciated. Feel free to leave a comment down below, or message me through Instagram or Snapchat with any advice.

I’m really interested in pursuing this as a hobby, so I’ll probably be posting more pictures, and hopefully I’ll be getting some pictures tomorrow of the horses at my stable.

Thanks guys!

*self advertising* check out my dog’s instagram page: @miss.maggie.magpie

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Imaginary Nightmare: Short Story

Imaginary Nightmare
Beth Douglass

_______________________________________________________________

He didn’t know what it was when he saw the shadow. It was pitch black, and against his bedroom wall. He could only catch glimpses of it against the moonlight glowing through his window.

He tried to sit up, to investigate the dripping black silhouette, but found himself frozen in place. He was unable to move from his bed.

The figure approached him, a sinister smile upon his face. It was no longer just a shadow on a wall, it was three dimensional. It was alive.

The child thrashed, trying to move, to get away from the approaching outline of a man, but he couldn’t.

The figure climbed on top of the small child, perching on top of his chest. He couldn’t breathe. He couldn’t move. He was trapped. He closed his eyes, waiting for his lungs to be completely empty and his brain to shut off and his heart to give up.

~

“My imaginary friend’s name is Daryl. She’s so tall, she can touch the sky!” Conner said, smiling. “She’s so cool!”

Everybody at school had an imaginary friend, it was the fad. Ryan began to imagine that his visitor from the other night was his imaginary friend. He named him Edgar.

Edgar was odd. He wasn’t like other imaginary friends. He wasn’t a kid. He wasn’t magical, or could touch the sky. He didn’t even look like other imaginary friends.

“My imaginary friend is like a shadow…only he’s not. And it always looks like there’s something dripping off of him. He follows me around and watches me at night”, Ryan tried to explain, but only received weird looks and a few chuckles. Face burning, he walked away.

“Ryan’s so weird” he heard someone mumble.

When he tried to tell his mom about it, she gave him an odd look. “He comes into my room at night and sits on my chest when I can’t move” the seven year old tried to explain. His mother simply shook her head and mumbled, “his father has been showing him too many horror movies lately”.

No one believed that, at night, Edgar would enter Ryan’s room. Ryan would watch the monster-like being slink towards him, and every time, Ryan seemed paralyzed.

Edgar was scary. His sadistic smile and his black, oozing appearance made Ryan afraid. But what could little Ryan do?

No one believed him. Ryan couldn’t fight Edgar. And by morning, when the sun came out and the birds began chirping, and Ryan could finally move his toes, Edgar was gone.

~

Years passed. Ryan Young was a teenager. He was loud, and obnoxious. He hung out with the “wrong” crowd. He enjoyed drinking beer and looking at girls where he shouldn’t. He talked during class (when he actually showed up), and never did his homework. He was the stereotypical teenager.

His friends had long forgotten about Daryl and their other imaginary friends. They were lost, along with their innocence and childhood.

Yet, Edgar still loomed around Ryan. At night, after Ryan had snuck back into his house and climbed drunkenly into bed and attempted to sleep, the shadowy figure entered his room once more. Not every night, like he used to, but his presence was still there.

Ryan’s eyes would always be closed, he’d be almost asleep. Then there was a sort of disturbance, and his eyes would shoot open. Edgar would be standing in the corner of the room, near his window that was always partially open.

Ryan would struggle for some part of his body to move. But every time, he found himself frozen to his bed.

Edgar would grin ear to ear as he approached Ryan. His facial expression was horrid, hair raising. Ryan’s heart would be beating so fast by then, he thought a heart attack would kill him before Edgar.

Edgar would slink forward until he was at the foot of Ryan’s bed, then he slip onto the bed, and slowly crawl up Ryan’s body, sending shivers up the teenager’s spine.

Eventually, Ryan came to the conclusion that if he didn’t sleep, he wouldn’t have to see Edgar, as the nightmare-ish being only appeared when he was in the odd half-asleep, half-awake state of falling asleep.

He no longer thought of Edgar as an imaginary friend…he was more of an imaginary nightmare. A creature of the night that, didn’t haunt his house, but haunted his state of mind, which was far more dangerous.

Who was Edgar, anyway? A pigment of his imagination? A ghost? A piece of his soul that decided to haunt him? An alternate self?

The possibilities were virtually endless, and all equally terrifying for the sixteen year old. So, no drifting asleep, no visiting from Edgar.

It seemed simple.

On the first night that he put his hypothesis into action, he stockpiled beer and soda in his room, hoping it will help him stay awake. He ate chips (getting more crumbs on his shirt and bed than his mouth), and played Pokemon late into the night. He somehow managed to stay up until his alarm on his phone began to play its snazzy little jingle, saying it was 6:00am, and time to get up for school.

He looked up from his TV screen, and smiled, proud of himself. His smile was promptly followed by a yawn. He had survived one night.

~

At nightfall, he once again trudged tiredly into his bedroom. His eyes were half closed, his brain seemed to hit the power off button.

But he picked up his controller once again, and turned on his games once more.

He chugged coffee and soda and beer as he played, eating candy and chocolate. Anything that would help him stay awake.

Around midnight, right as he was about to catch a shiny Ninetails, his mom opened the door to his chamber.

“Ryan!” She called, seemingly annoyed. He glanced at her and rolled his half-closed eyes. “Why are you still up?” She asked.

He shrugged, then returned to his video game.

“It’s a school night!” She uttered. He didn’t respond. He needed to find that Pokemon again. He heard footsteps behind him, and before he could respond to her, his mother shut off the TV.

“Enough. Go to bed.”

He sighed, glaring at her before stumbling into bed. Satisfied, she turned to leave. And then she bent down, grabbed something, and turned back.

 

“Have you been drinking?” She cried, “Are you kidding me? Is that your father’s beer? You’re underage! You’ll ruin your life if the police catch you!” She went off on a tangent, but Ryan ignored her. His brain was shutting off, and somehow, he fell asleep to his mom’s yelling voice.

~

The weeks that followed were extremely uneventful, as Ryan couldn’t go out. Or drive. Or drink. Or go on any electronics. He laid in bed at night, not even caring if Edgar showed up anymore.

Ryan’s nights were mostly sleepless, only on occasion fitting in an hour or two of sleep. He got to the point where he was so bored, he began to doodle or read. He was never one to read for fun, nor was he creative, yet he didn’t have much of anything else to do.

So he doodled on his unfinished homework, or blank notebooks that were supposed to be used for note-taking in school.

He actually quite liked it.

It kept him occupied for hours at a time, working on trying to get water bottle drawing perfect.  

It never was.

~

Within a blink of an eye, Ryan Young wasn’t so young anymore. He was a full-fledged adult, with grown up responsibilities and no time to be fooling around with girls, or doing idiotic acts he would’ve jumped at the chance to do in high school.

He was a graphic designer, designing everything from business logos, to t-shirts, to phone cases. He took the two things he loved most- computers, and drawing, and put them to good use.

He had gone to college at University of Pennsylvania, and majored in digital arts.

He was in his late 20’s, making a living for himself. He owned an apartment in the suburbs of Chicago, he had a job. He was doing okay; not great, but okay.

But at night, as he drift off to sleep, he could faintly see the outline of a man in the corner of his room, and his hairs would stand on end, and his old ‘friend’ would appear once more.

Edgar seemed to like making Ryan unable to breathe, making him feel like he was going to die. Why Edgar like to do this, Ryan had yet to understand.

He tried to research “silhouette sitting on my chest and makes me unable to breathe” on Google, but he was unsuccessful.

He eventually began to think he was going crazy, whether it be from schizophrenia or some other mental illness.

Ryan Young had had enough of this.

Edgar haunted his thoughts, his eerie smirk always in the back of his head. Ryan would’ve been quite content with his life if it weren’t for Edgar, but because of the monster, Ryan’s life was hell.

He didn’t sleep. He was lucky if he got three hours a sleep per night. Because of his lack of sleep, he couldn’t function correctly. He was always tired. Ryan didn’t even want to step foot in his own bedroom, because he was afraid that Edgar would be waiting.

~

The wind slapped the back of his neck. He shivered. Tears rolled down his face. It was nighttime, and even if he wasn’t in his apartment, he could still feel Edgar’s presence. He grated his teeth, and looked below him. He saw apartment lights, headlights to cars, and if he looked hard enough, he could see tiny little beings walking on the sidewalk.

He took a deep breath.  He looked down again. He’d be apart of those lights.

He jumped.

All the way down, Edgar’s dripping appearance and malicious smirk followed him.

                                                                                                                                        

This story is based on a condition known as sleep paralysis, which is “a frightening form of paralysis that occurs when a person suddenly finds himself or herself unable to move for a few minutes, most often upon falling asleep or waking up. Sleep paralysis is due to an irregularity in passing between the stages of sleep and wakefulness” (Google). This basically means that your body and mind are in two different stages of sleep. During the REM cycle of sleep, your body is completely relaxed and paralyzed. When sleep paralysis occurs, your body is still in REM, while your mind is awake and conscious, making you completely paralyzed while awake.

Often times, people experience seeing a being, monster, or demon when experiencing this, due to hallucinations. Often, people also have reported being unable to breathe, or having the imaginary being sitting on their chest so they feel as if they are suffocating.

I first heard of sleep paralysis through a Buzzfeed video. I was searching YouTube into the depths of the night when I came across it (Video link at end of article).

I few weeks later on Instagram, I found a writing prompt idea that was spooky and Halloween-ish, which what originally inspired this short story. I found the prompt on @writing.prompt.s and I knew I had wanted to do it. I’ve worked on this story for about three weeks, and I’m actually quite fond of it, even though I don’t particularly like the ending.

I hope you enjoyed Imaginary Nightmare as well, and Happy Halloween!

Screenshot 2017-10-13 at 7.22.12 PM

Buzzfeed Sleep Paralysis Video (Don’t watch this late at night, it’s creepy)

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How to survive as an introvert in an extrovert world

“My imagination functions much better when I don’t have to speak to people.” ~ Patricia Highsmith

In high school, everybody loves to talk, text,  be with friends, get involved with clubs and other activities, and just be that stereotypical teenager that adults label us as.

And then there’s me- that one girl that would rather be with a book than a boyfriend, an animal rather than with friends, and drawing supplies rather than club activities.Related image

Don’t get me wrong, I am involved with a few different activities. If it isn’t obvious already, I am an equestrian, as well as a bagpiper. In addition to doing both of those, I also write for the school newspaper. But after a long day of school, it’s definitely hard to go out and do more activities with people around when I really want to spend time alone.

Yes, I love both horse riding and band, and yes I love everyone that I know because of them. But do I want to socialize more than I have to?

Nope. 

So if you’re introverted like me some tips on recharging your battery and being around other human beings, here are a few tips I’ve learned along the way:

1.) Balance socializing and time to yourself. 

I still struggle a lot with this, but compared to what I was like two years ago, I’ve improved a lot. Finding a balance between the people you love and your own self-care is hard, to the point where introverts may block their friends out completely, or spend too much time with them. After a long day, you don’t need to go out with others if you’re mentally exhausted. Give time to both yourself and other people, and try to make them as equal as possible.

2.) Find an activity you can do by yourself

Drawing, writing, reading, grooming a horse, practicing on my chanter. Those are a few things I do on a daily basis to help recharge my social battery and feel better after a long day of people-ing. Finding something you love to do without the need of other people is a big help when it comes to being introverted, as you can focus on something else while recharging your battery. Diving into a character’s life, or concentrating on sketches, or working on a fun tune personally helps me feel better after a large social activity, and some days I rely on these times to myself.

3.) Focus on the present

Don’t worry about a presentation next week, or a bad test score you got today. When doing your chosen activity, focus on that. Giving yourself time to relax and recharge can only really be effective if you aren’t worrying about the past or future.

4.) Never fear being yourself 

Never be embarrassed that you would rather be with a good book or an animal instead of interacting with other people. Do what makes you happy, and if people don’t understand that you need time alone, then those are the people you don’t need in your life. Find a small group of friends that understands, instead of a large group that doesn’t. Live free. Being an introvert shouldn’t affect your happiness. Love yourself for who you are.

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