Aheila’s Drabble Day Challenge – Dread

And, Aheila’s Drabble Day Challenge for the week.

To remind you, this is how it works:
Read the prompt and find your angle.
Write a drabble (100 words story, give or take five words).
Post a direct link to your drabble in the comments of Aheila’s blog (or, if you don’t have a blog, just go ahead and post your drabble in the comments).
In the post on your blog, make sure to link back to this post.
Today’s prompt is Dread! Bonus points for people who write the drabble without using that word or its synonyms

Dread

“I held her as she had the seizure,” my friend told me with wide eyes, her voice heavy with dark anticipation. “And, I told myself – that if it went on for a minute longer, I’ll bring her to the surgery and put her down. But…” Relief came to her voice like a fresh breath of air. “She stopped, and she’s fine now. Luckily.”
I felt for her, because I could see in her eyes the path that I was going to have to walk one day as well. She is an owner of an old dog.
As am I.

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Mystery Monday: The Antikythera Mechanism

I have a good one for you today, given to me by a good friend of mine whom I shall name Istari. Due to the pending Rapture, I had not planned Mystery Monday (nor did my dishes – read: I was very very lazy this weekend) and had told her (with a touch of writer’s panic) that I had no idea what to write about.

She suggested this:

The Antikythera Mechanism

The Story

In the 1900’s, sponge divers working at theislandofAntikytheradiscovered a shipwreck approximately 60 metres down. The first diver found what he described as a scene of rotting corpses and horses lying on the sea bed. His fellow shipmates thought that he had gone mad so the captain of their team, a Dimitrios Kondos, decided to dive down for himself.

When he came up with the bronze arm of a statue, the crew knew that they had struck gold and spent several days diving out as many of the small artifacts as they could.

For the next year, the Greek Education Ministry and the Hellenic Navy salvaged as much from the sight as they could, including a bronze lyre, a statue of a young boy and a discus thrower and the Antikythera Ephebe – a 1.94m statue of a naked man (I dare you to call it otherwise…). On the 17th of May, 1902 – a archeologist named Valerios Stais was examining some of the stones that they had brought up from the sea bottom when he discovered a tiny gear embedded in it.

What followed, blew scientists understanding of greek history out of the water.

The Facts.

Valerios discovered the beginning of what we now know as the Antikythera Mechanism. It is thought to be the oldest example of a mechanized clock – believed to be used to study the movement of planets around the earth and for other functions of astrology.

Simple really? Just a giant calculator?

Yes. But…

The technology that it presented did not appear again for another thousand years.

The mechanism had a carefully written set of instructions in Greek, implying that it was intended for use by someone who didn’t know how it worked. The instructions referred to various locations known in ancientGreece. A sort of “When you are here, do this with it…”set of instructions.

It was small and could easily be transported.

And, it could be used to calculate the rising and setting of certain stars on the horizon (implying once again that it was used for navigation).

It even took the fact that there were 365.25 days per year into account. This was only introduced during 46BC, approximately three decades after the ship sank.

For those years, it must’ve been a scientific wonder and – for us – it’s a Mystery.

 

My Opinion.

I can’t stop grinning. Honestly? I love this one.
I have a theory, one which I can’t elaborate on as I’m exploring it in a story, lol, but I can only say that I believe that there was an ancient race of people on our planet. No, I don’t believe they were aliens. But, I believe that they could do things that we can only dream of now. I believe that these people, who might well have designed so many other mysteries on our planet, had made this in order to help the Greeks.

Simple.
But, proof to me, that there were more to our ancestors than we give them credit for.

Now, if only I could prove it… 😉

Saying Good Bye to Jakes

The problem with raising horses is that you cannot keep them all.
Normally we try to sell our babies when they are ready to be weaned from their mother, at about 7 to 8 months old. You don’t get as much money for them, but then again – you don’t really put a lot of work into them either.
And, you don’t get attached.
Jakes was different. Is different.
He was our first boy from The Golden Stallion – a chunky, beautiful baby colt. He wasn’t as trusting as his older brother in the beginning and actually gave us hell in the beginning. But, he changed. We started working with him in the time that I was still a waitress so I had quite a lot of time to put into him.
I worked with him, I saw his potential and I liked him. At that stage of course, I knew that we would sell him so I managed to keep my distance emotionally. But, time passed and it began clear that people weren’t really interested. I started hatching a plan, an idea.
I’d keep Jakes for myself. I’d only be able to ride him properly in four years, roughly in the time that I would have to start thinking of retiring Basjan.
The timing was perfect and it felt like fate because we couldn’t find an owner for him.
But then one crawled out of the woodwork and my riding companion (and the actual owner of the horse) insisted that we sell him.
I argued. And pleaded. And begged but it was to be as she had her heart set on selling him. And, it was a good sale. The truth is that I’m quite proud of Jakes. Perhaps because of all the time that we had put into him, he had become an amazing horse. We have a quiet way of working with our animals. We insist on obedience naturally. But, we never shout, never hit. Never pull on them or do anything hard.
I like to think of the ones that we rear as pure. The one that we trained last year was so tame that we literally just put a saddle on him and started riding him (with work naturally). He never protested. Never reared or bucked or showed any signs of fear.
He was unspoiled, just as Jakes is.
They came to load him today and bitterness of it is that we didn’t even have trouble boxing him. He trusted us so much that he did this without protest, even though he had never done it before. He trusted us, and we let him go and that hurts.
His new owner is great. And, she has a lot of time and a lot of money to invest into him. More than we do.
But, it still hurts, because in my heart I had already seen him as mine.

Aheila’s Drabble Day Challenge – Abandon

It’s a little bit late this week, but I noticed that our hostess also posted her drabble a bit later this week.

For your entertainment, here is my drabble:

Abandon

Little life, quiet and beautiful with eyes so bright.
I see you look at me, feel you as you reach out to me. I scoop you in my arms and hold you, touch you, kiss you lightly on your head. Together, we run and jump. I hold you above my head and spin you around until I loose my footing. You are not mine, but you bring an echo in my heart. A yearning for what I might never have.
And then you leave and you return to your own mother. You, the child of my colleague.
And I stand there, alone.
Abandoned.

Step into the Heavy Rain – a Game Review

I’m breaking with my set routine (as it isn’t done so in stone and writers are allowed to wing it) and bringing you a review today on the ps3 game Heavy Rain. Seeing as how I just finished it in less than a week of playing (could’ve been done in a day if I didn’t have only two hours a day to play) I feel compelled to tell you of my experience.


Heavy Rain was released in 2010 by Quantic Dream. To my knowledge, it was only released to PS3, first for the normal console and then for the PS3 Move System. The basic storyline revolves around a serial killer, the Origami Killer – who kidnap young boys and then force their fathers to go through brutal trials to prove their love. If they do not succeed, then the boys die. You play as four characters – a father who’s son has been kidnapped, a journalist who investigates the case, a private eye hired to take a look and an FBI agent. The story presents itself in a series of cut scenes. Sometimes you are directly in control of the character and other times you have to respond by pressing the buttons presented on the screen in order to control the character’s actions. What’s made Heavy Rain so appealing is that the story line is ever evolving. Your main character can die and his or her role will then just be stubstituted (or not) by some of the other characters, depending on what had been happening in their story. You can fail to save the boy, or you can make it in time.
You can never catch the killer, or you can be the killer.

It is brilliant. I recently read an article by Listverse where they listed the 10 best written games to date. The list was alright but I noticed that quite a lot of commentators mentioned that Heavy Rain should’ve been included. When I was presented with an opportunity to buy it (second hand) over the weekend I decided to grab it with both hands. And I have not been disappointed.

The game starts quite slow and admittedly, you have to take the characters through some minor, remedial tasks such as brushing their teeth or getting dressed. It’s all focused on getting you more accustomed by the controls but it does slow the game play down in the beginning. The game also utilizes the PS3’s Sixaxis’s motion sensitive hardware, meaning that you sometimes have to (as with the Wii System) literally bash the brains out of somebody by waving your controller in the air like a lunatic… it was what made it such a logical game to bring out for the Move PS3 controls.
I was very skeptical about this in the beginning. To date, the only game that I played using this for the PS3 was Liar and it frustrated me so much that I gave up after about 2 hours of gameplay. I had thought that I’d be able to choose my controls for Heavy Rain but realized that I was delivered to my fate when I couldn’t do it.

I’m now willing to admit that this technology brings a whole new aspect to gameplay (including for me, the risk to get an asthma attack if I get too worked up bashing out those brains) and I liked it. It makes you so much more involved with the story and the movement of the characters. I’m impressed.

And, I’m impressed with the game itself. The story line is gripping, the ending devastating and the replay value endless because you can have over 20 different endings. Although the actual story line is only about 9 hours, you can go back and change a decision in the beginning and it will change the events of the whole game.

I really, really liked it. I cannot stress this enough.

So, if you’ve been patiently waiting for this game to become a little cheaper as I have and you’ve been debating whether or not to acquire it, I’ll say whole heartedly – wait no more.
Go and get it. It’s worth it!