Monday, November 18, 2013

Story Time!

If you feel like writing a story (or sharing one that you have written already), here some space. If you have never written a story, just start out by doing a bit of freewriting - and then edit what you have come up with. It might turn into a story all by itself….

Alternatively, you can record yourself when you are telling a story and then post the link.

I am looking forward to your stories….



  1. So here's my story:

    As I walked out, the scorching heat blows onto my face. All of a sudden, it felt like all the air was gone. I started to breathe deeper and felt like I was going to die. It was as if someone has choked me from behind. Soon the air started to feel like it was coming back. My breathing was back to normal but the heat still affected me. It was nothing I had ever felt before. The blazing sun and the humidity of the air were just unbearable. How can these people live in such treacherous conditions?
    From the Jakarta, Indonesia airport back to my home was a while away. My uncle came and picked me up in his van. It was like any ordinary van that people drive in Canada. However as we drove, all I could see people driving are old rusty cars and cheap motorcycles. There were no traffic rules as specific like Canada. No one obeyed the rules and always speed whenever it was possible. The traffic was so bad during rush hour that people would walk home faster than drive. The amount of cars and motorcycles on the roads was like people rushing into stores on Boxing Day. As we approached the city, the roads were filled with pot holes and bumps. The roads were in conditions that it would be hard to drive on. The people living on the streets were so poor that they could not afford a shower. All the young children were washed in the filthy drainage water on the side of the road. It was unsanitary and displayed public nudity. There were no rules and no one could stop them. It was as if it was part of their daily routine. Now I stared to think in my head, “What conditions am I going to live in for the next few days?”
    As we approached the house, there was a gate. Three armed men were standing by the gates and securing the facility. My uncle rolled down the window and waved at the guards and we proceeded. Beyond the gate, it was like a whole new city. There were many grand houses along several blocks distance. It was beautiful. After turning left and right a couple of times, we reached the house. It was nothing I have seen since I came to Jakarta. It was a perfectly built house with an extremely high ceiling. The house was comparable to many extravagant houses in Vancouver.
    Later that night, I asked my uncle why so many people here are not working for a company to earn a steady income. My uncle replied, “People here in Indonesia have a different way of thinking. They do not think about how much money they have but try to live a peaceful and enjoyable life. They would rather sit around and do nothing than go out to work. Indonesia is filled of jobs that people can do. They could be collecting Kopi Luwak (a special type of coffee) or working at mines. There are many things in this country that people can work for but they choose not to.”

    1. Hi, Ray. First thanks for sharing your experience in Indonisia. As you mentioned lifestyles for some of the residence there, it just reminds me something as well. There is a person I know who has similar stituation as you describe above. However, I can't really judge this is wrong or right. As to me, its wrong, this is not the style I want to live ever. But its only my opinion, she said " the money or the beautiful house can't make me completely happy, the life I want is like this, this is what I want, this is the thing makes me satisfied." She is right too. Everyone has their own idea for how to live, and they have their own mind to choose what they want. Altough, sometimes we don't feel like, but as long as they feel happy, then it becomes nothing. The only thing we probably could do is just wish our best to them.

    2. Hi Ray & Biwen,

      Ray, I really liked the description of your experience in Indonesia as well! You have really captured the atmosphere, I think! Thanks for sharing.
      About the topic money and happiness: I think, it's just our brainwashed way of thinking that we need money to be happy. Many people who have lots of money are NOT particularly happy - while many very "poor" people ARE happy. As quite a few research projects have shown, the secret to happiness is definitely NOT money…. It would be great to discuss this topic in class a bit further….

  2. Hi Ray, I am so mad I accidentally pressed sign out button instead of Publish button... so.. here I go again.
    I have been to India when I was young and had a similar experience as you had.
    When I first departed from the airplane, fully armed polices were standing in front of each gates and doors. After passing through a single gate, there I was outside of the airport. I think the airport I went was one of the smaller airports in India. I was confused, scared and horrified. So much people who were bagging for one cents and one of them, a boy, grabbed me. I started to cry and I can't forget that. As I traveled from place to places, I refused to get out of the car. I saw people drinking yellow river water and some other people taking shower at the same time next to the people who were drinking that. I was disgusted by the scene and I carry no good memory in India. I think I was too young and was too immature. I regret that I did not get to experience any of the local real Indian culture. Now, after reading your story in Indonesia, especially the part where your uncle say about people having a different way of thinking, I should not have judged them by my perspective. I thought they would be living a miserable life, but they might be perfectly happy. I totally agree on Gudrun's comment about brainwashed way of thinking that we need money to be happy. I also think that sometimes even if I am aware of the fact that money is not proportional to happiness, I am ashamed that I still judge people by their looks and instantly think they must be miserable or they must be happy. I guess I am brainwashed.

    1. Hi Michelle, Thanks a lot for your comments - and comparison of Ray's and your own experiences. I think we have all, unfortunately, been brainwashed by the values of our materialistic society. However, it's not too late to change things and focus on new values - and share these values with our friends. Happiness, love, compassion, cooperation, harmony, etc are probably all values we all agree on are more important than money, selfishness, and shopping. We just need to focus a bit more on them….

  3. I would like to share this story of mine:

    “Goodbye Svan Thank you Cambodia” those were the words that I never got to say before I left Cambodia after my community service trip in my Junior year. This service at Cambodia was a memorable experience. The trip to Cambodia was focused on fixing the classrooms and kitchen for an elementary school which were in a poor condition. While my friends and I were rebuilding the classrooms, students from the school started to gather around us, as if we were a spectacle. That was when I first met Svan who was a student there as well.
    I feel blessed that I had the opportunity to meet Svan and contribute to the rebuilding of her school because both experiences changed my way of viewing life. I noticed that the people in Cambodia were positive towards life despite their numerous hardships. The struggles that they fought everyday made the problems in my life seem insignificant. The frustrations of not getting a 4.0 GPA was nothing in comparison to the struggles of Svan’s parents trying put food on the table everyday. Thus, I found a hidden passion for service, because it means so much more than everything else I do in school.
    Having the opportunity to help the people that are in need made me feel alive. I felt empty because I wanted to find a deeper meaning in life besides studying and family. Thankfully, this experience gave my life a goal. Knowing that Svan, a mere seven year old girl, who has to deal with hunger and lack of shelter everyday. I realized that life is not only about financial and intellectual success, but also about how much one contributes to the world they live in. It was really an privilege to be able to help change the lives of these children in Cambodia. Just seeing the smiles on their faces when they saw the newly fixed garden, classrooms, and kitchen was heartwarming. Knowing that I made such a huge impact on the lives of these children by providing a better environment, not only made me want to reach out to more people in need, but it also became something that I could take pride in.
    I will carry this experience and attitude towards life from this day on, and hopefully when I am more capable, I will be able to make an even more significant impact on the people who are in need. Life is not only about improving oneself at several aspects, because helping others who are in need and improving their lives is also a mind set that everyone should carry. I will definitely continue to help the people around me for the years to come, whether it is in college with my friends or further on in life with my colleagues. It is all because of a friendship and an accomplishment which I will take pride in forever that helped me redefine myself from living a self-centered life to living my life that will impact the world.

    1. Hi Dillon,
      Thanks a lot for sharing your very moving experiences in Cambodia! I hope you will get a chance to help the people around you in the future as well!

  4. This is one of my stories that I handed in as a portfolio assignment, it is very grim and somewhat graphic but I would like to share this with others. Thank you and I am looking forward for any constructive criticism. Totally fictional of course. The entire story won't fit so I broke it into seperate entries because it says, "Your HTML cannot be accepted: Must be at most 4,096 characters"

    My father had left the family, so I had been raised by my mom. Most of the night my mom wouldn’t be home working as a janitor at my school. Unfortunately, she would be fast asleep during the day and I would have to strive on my own. I never got used to the fact that I had no real family to talk to; it affected my school work as well as my social life. No one wants to speak to a no one like myself.

    I skipped school as frequently as people ignored me, a lot. My mother never noticed and I thought it be best if she didn’t know because I love her. I rarely ever get invited out of my house but I assumed my mother would more likely figure out that I wasn’t attending school if I was at home when she awoke. She looked extremely exhausted but she always had a smile on her face and I knew the reason. I was so choked thinking about failing a couple of my subjects since it made my mom so happy knowing that I was getting educated.

    I took a walk to the nearest fast food place with the allowance I received. I was always just thinking of ways to better myself, or at least to get my mind off all the struggles. A car pulled beside me and a strange man came out and approached my direction. He had noticed that my hands were in my pocket and I was always keeping my head tilted to the floor when I walked. He had a more casual look to him but I knew he was up to no good. As he was at a moderate distance away from me, he had murmured something to me under his breath.

    “Excuse me?” I asked politely but my voice had a small crack to it as though I was scared. He grinned and he knew I was caught, “10 dollars.” I looked confused at first but he continued from the start, “10 dollars for a dime sac of weed.” I thought to myself for a moment how I should reply or react. I was stunned; a drug dealer was standing in front of me in broad daylight! After a moment’s pause, I replied in a more hesitant expression in my voice lying to him, “Oh, sorry. I have no money on me right now.” He presented me a pouch containing the drug anyways and “hooked me up for free” since it was my first time receiving it.

    He drove off with his friends and that made me feel as though I was part of something. It made me feel special to have received something, even if they were drugs. That symbolized friendship or niceness that I had so longed for. I decided to place it in my pocket before anyone would see. I got so excited that I forgot why I left the house to begin with and started to walk back towards my home. I noticed the park in my neighborhood had a small forest in it and no paths really came across it; so I went there to do a little bit of experimenting on my own.

  5. I found a few teenagers that were already inside the forest and they caught me peeking at them. It was two boys about my age, but they looked a little forbidding. They screamed at me with such slanderous words but I told them that I wouldn’t tell anyone about what they were doing. They told me it was a misunderstanding and thought I was the police and decided to welcome me to their hangout. They were smoking pot but they never offered me any. One said “ if you want some you’d either have to buy it from us or get your own, but it’s all cool if you want to just chill here, just don’t become annoying”.

    As I began to feel more left out of their friendship ring, I had pulled out the pouch I received earlier and showed them. They seemed amused and then became friendlier like dogs that would growl at you, until they were given food. I offered some and they rolled it quickly. I assumed they were very experienced in using drugs since they knew exactly what to do. They encouraged me to “blaze” it with them. I accepted, mainly because these were people who actually accepted me.

    I got home high, or as they would refer it to as “baked”. My mom noticed the smell immediately and began to yell. I ignored her since the drugs were clouding my judgment. That was until I found it irritating; I began to yell back at her, then I slapped her really hard and she became silent. I slammed the door of my room, locked it, and went to bed.

    My mother hadn’t spoken to me when I woke up. To begin with I thought she was at work but I heard slow sobbing in her room. I felt terrible but I didn’t want to see her hurt face especially since I knew it would be bruised from when I struck her. I avoided that opportunity to apologize to her. Instead, I returned to the forest seeing familiar faces, like the person who gave me the drugs to begin with, and the two teenagers. My life fell heavily downhill from there, I began to use harder drugs and every night the result would be the same.

    These friends were no longer friends; they were just using me for the money I paid for the drugs. They even began to shun me out since I became too drug crazed. They said I would be part of their business and crew if I did a cool task for them. I didn’t know they were just trying to get me into trouble for their own entertainment. Without that knowledge, I had confirmed a time to meet with them really early morning on my birthday, to perform what they prepared for me.

    It was about 3:00AM and the moon was still shining heavily I was half asleep but my mom hadn’t come home yet, so I thought I was still okay to leave. I took advantage of it and met them at the park. As much as I heavily relied on these guys to help me reach my euphoria, I brought a kitchen knife with me and hid it in my jacket just because of the paranoia I had of being attacked by them. As we shook hands like teenagers do, I was thinking of what I had to do.

  6. They all gathered around me along with a few couple of guys that were a lot older and told me the mission. “The task is for you to choose a random victim and kill them out of the blue. Just do what you have to do to avoid being caught and it leading back to us, got it?” I refused at first but I gave in to their logic, “The cops are all asleep at this time or eating doughnuts and there aren’t any doughnut shops around here so be chill.”

    With the thought of doing this, I had one of those invincibility feelings where nothing could go wrong. It was still very dim and no one was outside except my so-called friends. I managed to see a distinct silhouette and it was coming towards the street of the park. There weren’t any street lights around so it was easy for me to maneuver my way behind the person. I crept slowly thinking to myself that I had no friends here and all of them are at the forest. I pulled out the knife I carried with me to the park; in a stab, the woman screamed and fell to the floor. I continued because it felt really good making sure she was dead. She lay motionless on the floor and then I ran as fast as I could to the forest to be praised by my friends.

    They were all gone and the effects of the drugs began to fade. I was getting scared as I sobered up; all I could hear was the faint sound of the blood dripping from the tip of the blade and me catching my breath. I breathed heavily; my grip hardened on the handle then released. As it hit the floor it clanked and the echoes sounded like they were calling me a murderer. I knew I was going to go to jail or the guilt would eat me, and my mother wouldn't forgive me if I did.

    As I was very religious, I bent onto my knees in the center of the forest and prayed to god but I felt emptiness. My prayers felt like blank words going to no body. I felt as though I turned my back on everything I believed in. God had turned his back on me and the devil was on my back. I could not handle the guilt and I snapped. I clasped my hands into a fist and punched the trees around me until I no longer could. Blood was now dripping from my knuckles. I knew what I had to do; I had to return to where I had stabbed the woman countless times and call for help, then turn myself in.

    I was walking out of the forest crying and my stomach felt twisted, I was in excruciating pain. The sun was beginning to rise, and I expected that my mom was home for at least thirty minutes. I reached in to my pocket, barely able to pull out my cell phone, and speed dialed my home. No one answered so I left a voice mail to my mom who either was sound asleep, or ignoring my phone call. I felt hate pouring through my mind since I just remembered it was my birthday at midnight; which was approximately four and a half hours ago, and I was assuming my mom was ignoring me. I even justified it by telling her I was going to go to jail for murder in the voice mail. Furthermore, I ranted that I didn’t care anymore, life was never great for me anyways and we never had much to eat.

  7. I was approaching the murder scene; the shadow of the body was lifted by some sort of box. The sunrise was emitting enough light for me to see the actual harm I had caused. She was still in her janitors outfit, face towards the ground, “Mom?” My heart sank and I fell in to a river of tears. “What have I done? I love you mom!” My voice was cracking and I was crying so hard I couldn’t breathe. Now what was I worth? To have killed my mother as she was walking home from late hours of work to keep me fed. I wished the knife was still with me and I hadn’t left it in the forest to end my pitiful life. I cried my mom’s name searching for a reply from heaven but only the devil had answered, because god was no longer there.

    I rolled her cold body over and hugged her. My sight was blurry due to the tears. I must have spent an hour or so confining my mom in my arms. I couldn’t bear the pain anymore so I gave up. I rested her body gently on the ground and turned to the direction of where I had left my knife. I was weak and I stumbled over the box my mom had been laying on. I looked down and I grabbed my heart trying to hold it from ripping out of my body. I was staring at a crushed birthday cake covered in blood. I could manage to read the icing still on the cake, Happy Birthday Son! I love you no matter.

    I booted the cake and screamed as I ran to the forest to look for my knife. I had found it as I left it, covered in my mother’s blood. I jabbed myself as many times as I could in places I knew that wouldn’t kill me right away. I was trying to accomplish stabbing myself as many times as I stabbed her, countless times. I was in pain but my determination kept me awake. As I counted each stabbed I screamed for forgiveness! I reached twenty three stabs and I said I was sorry one last time and keeled over…

  8. Here is a short story based on my memories when I was still young in elementary school. It seems very naive, but I think this is something that I will always remember.

    Growing up in China, I consider my childhood very tedious and painful, because of all the homework and extra studies given by my parents. I always felt overwhelmed by all the daily routines I was forced to follow, such as my math tutor and piano teacher. It always seemed to me as if life was a subway that just circled around all the stations, nothing new, never. However, I have few memories that I will treasure forever. I always feel delighted when looking back at these childhood experiences, because they have brought me endless pleasures. One of them is my baby duck, Elffy.
    One school day, when the final bell rang, my friends and I impatiently rushed out of the classroom as if monsters chased us. As we were passing by the school gate, I saw a crowd of kids standing by the street where many peddlers who were selling toys. I went towards the peddlers, because my juvenile heart was filled with curiosity. There were hopping baby ducks of all the colors of the rainbow. I felt certain that I had to buy one of the furry golden figures. I could not resist the temptation of putting her on my palm. Her eyes, like tiny coffee beans, peered at me and started whining like a baby. The look of her wigwagging body fascinated me even more. As I picked up the plastic bag, she waveringly walked out of my hand. Just as I realized that she was not in my hand, I started chasing her. After nearly two minutes of crushing into the pedestrians, I finally got her back. Because of the small “accident”, I found that she was very mischievous; as a result, I named her Elffy.
    As I went home, I brought out my favorite Adidas shoe box and put it on the table. I slowly put Elffy into the box, hoping she would not try to escape again. Despite of what I had told her, she spread her right wing and clung to the side of the shoebox. Using all her strength, Elffy escaped from my control again. I tried to grab her but feared that I might accidentally squeeze her to death. She slid across the table regardless of its edge, then fell on the chair and again, bounced off on the ground. She got up hastily as if she just fell on a soft pillow, and started walking towards me. I thought she was hungry, so I opened the fridge to look for something that she could eat. Fortunately, I found some cabbage. I quickly chopped up the vegetables into fairly small pieces that Elffy was able to eat. Just as I was passing the plate to her, Elffy was flapping her wings, showing that she was too impatient to wait any longer. She wolfishly devoured the vegetables with her golden beak. The little duck ate all the vegetables in split seconds. The appearance of her eating enchanted me once more.
    In the evening, my mom made Elffy an exquisite bed out of a piece of cardboard. In the meantime, I was fetching water for her. Elffy fitted into my family very well and I felt very pleased. As I was playing with Elffy a few days later, I nipped her beak and then lifted my arm. She startled me by acting like riding a bike. When my mom saw me playing with the duck, he told me to stop immediately. I was wondering why he said that I could hurt Elffy by doing so. Mother then told me that her beak is attached to the flesh around, so it was certain that I could harm her. I felt awful after realizing what I had done. I tried to apologize when she cried “quack, quack”. She sounded as if she accepted my apologies.
    Ever since the day I Elffy joined my family, she brought more pleasure to my monotonous life. My life was not always about homework or tests anymore. I felt that someone needed me, and I was aspiring to take the responsibility. Even though it seems as Elffy has gone for centuries, the time I spent with her will never be forgotten. It is a memory that I shall treasure forever.