The Life and Times of Gregory Peace


 

There once was a man named Gregory Peace.

He’d sit in his kitchen chair all day and all night, filling up colorful balloons.
The next day he’d take the balloons and a fistful of ribbon, down to the train station.

There, he would squeeze and squish all his balloons into a rail car,
pardoning his way to other travelers from station to station.

At the last stop he would depart, causing the sea of people to part
and let him pass

And into the light!

Past the train-station gates

Up the stairs

Who would have thought, that colors could become so blue and green!
The sunlit treetops waving leafy branches at the sapphire sky.

There he would sit, on a bench in the park
cutting the fistful of ribbon.

Even strips of shining silver, each one as tall as himself!
He would then tie each even strip to a balloon, then to his arm so they wouldn’t fly away.

By the time he was done he had at least a hundred balloons, each tied to his arm.
Then, the wind picked up and the balloons lifted into the air.

All of a sudden Gregory found himself skipping across the park, over the stoplight, and straight down Bunbury Boulevard!

Ducking and weaving he went in-between speeding cars, through clouds of steam that rose from the potholes, and straight into crowds and crowds of pedestrians.

Skipping by with a pardon to each, he began to tug on the silver strips of ribbon.
One pulled free and then another.

As he went, skipping and tugging, he handed the balloons to each passerby.
“Can’t stay to chat!  Have a wonderful day!”  
He would call as the balloons pulled him down the street.

Soon there were only a few balloons left tied to his arm.
Then there was only one.

The wind still billowed through the street, but Gregory remained standing still.
Holding his last balloon, he searched for the perfect person to whom he could give.

Then, from around the corner the wind blew, tiny pieces of ribbon each one blue.
Next came six tabby kittens, a streaking blur of

 orange                         striped                        grey               and spotted fur.  

Stop those kittens!” shouted a boy skidding to a stop.
Tousled hair and out of breath he pointed the kittens disappearing down the street.

Gregory, surprised and startled, let go of his last balloon.
Up, up it floated until it too was out of sight.

“I will help you find your kittens,” he said, and together they went running down the street, pardoning their way to the bustling bustling travelers each.

To be continued…

 

1920s Murder Mystery: Conclusion

Johnny Torrio

Here it is at last: the conclusion to the 1920s Murder Mystery Game! Sorry if anyone doesn’t like the ending, it’s my first one 🙂

Setting and Story
Characters
Round 1 of Clues
Round 2 of Clues
Round 3 of Clues
Round 4 of Clues

Conclusion

 Hélas!  It was John Torrio who ruthlessly murdered Robert Kingsley.

When Robert went downstairs to sign for the food catering he caught Torrio carrying away some of the food boxes.  A gentleman at heart, Robert didn’t call out to Torrio, feeling that it was none of his business and returned to the party.

When Elizabeth sent him down again to actually go get the food, Robert sulked for a bit, all the servants and even the doorman was on vacation.  Out of curiosity, he watched Torrio.  Instead of picking up a box, Torrio left the group into his garage.  Robert followed Torrio into his office garage where he suspected man was going to work on the car that Elizabeth had totaled, perhaps a high-end party like this one was too much for poor old Torrio.

There was no one in the garage.  Robert found this odd and stepped inside to take a look.  Walking around to the other side of the car, he saw instead of Torrio, the boxes containing not food, but bricks of dehydrated grapes.  The instructions attached to the outside of the box read:

“WARNING do not dissolve the brick in a gallon of water, add sugar, shake daily and decant after three weeks. Unless the buyer eschews these processes, 13%, wine will be produced.”

 This was very strange, not to mention illegal.  As a war veteran for the United States, Robert took it as his duty to confront Torrio to make him see the light about the evil nature of alcohol and the well-meaning, although inconveniently placed prohibition act.

What Robert didn’t know at the time when he made that poor life decision was that John Torrio was in fact THE John Torrio of the Chicago outfit!  One of the top gangsters and very dangerous.

“Torrio!” Robert shouted, “Come out here and explain yourself!” A dark outline emerges from the doorway, apparently Torrio had known he was being followed.

“Torrio, this is illegal and you know it!” Torrio grimaced at this, perhaps a false attempt at a smile and advances.

“It’s a shame you couldn’t have left things alone, I was going to bring some of it to your dinner party.”  Torrio took an empty wine bottle and pressed it up against Robert’s back.  Thinking it to be a gun, Robert stiffened and walked forward when Torrio pushed. 

They walked into the now empty lobby area where Robert turned around.  As he did, Torrio raised the wine bottle and bludgeoned Robert’s head, again and again until the bottle shattered and Robert fell lifeless to the floor.

In a slight panic, Torrio rushes up the elevator carrying the last of the boxes to the penthouse where all the guests were gathered.  No one suspected a thing.  The only aspect Torrio didn’t account for was the large snowstorm.  Of course he will be put on trial, but several months from his imprisonment, a mysterious power outage will occur and Prisoner 209 will have escaped with no one around to see him. 

John Torrio recruited the infamous Al Capone

Slight Explanation

Farmers could profit from alcohol made out of grapes and fruit (Blocker). The government didn’t want the grape industry to fail so fruit juices were still legal (Slavicek 56). Farmers sold their harvest in fruit blocks, often called bricks: dehydrated fruit that could easily be turned into alcohol (Slavicek 56). In fact, warning labels that came with the fruit explained how to do so (“Prohibition: Wine…”)

Section 29 of the Volstead Act was the farmer’s price for supporting Prohibition. Under that clause he was permitted to continue making his own applejack or blackberry wine on the legal fiction that it was a non-intoxicating fruit-juice for home consumption.

Soon shrewd vine-yardists seized upon Section 29 to supply the wine wants of city folk. Virginia Dare Vineyards, Inc. promised to ship a grape juice that would ferment into champagne in the home and thus be quite legal (TIME, Aug. 6, 1928).

Waiting for Peace No. 3

Happy National Adoption Month!

WORDS are often hard to come by in this life. 

There’s always an opportunity to opt out of saying just exactly what you want to say. 
But there NEVER is a time when it will be the same.  Words are hard to come by; they don’t actually mean anything. 
The actual breakdown of language requires a breakdown of all we say, know, hear, and understand.  
But then again, words are a MANIFESTATION, an EXAMINATION, of what we don’t understand.   
I’ve never been able to express myself in a way that both moved the reader, the listener, and myself.   

HERE WE GO:

  

I am ADOPTED. I come from China.  My mom got me and now we are TOGETHER.

NO, I don’t know who my birth parents are.  NO, I’ve never met them and I don’t know anything about them.

No, no it’s okay I’m not sad.  Are YOU sad?  It’ll be alright, DON’T worry.  It didn’t happen yesterday.

I’m very HAPPY and GRATEFUL that I am here.  If I hadn’t been adopted then I wouldn’t know you!  STOP looking at me like that.  Everything is fine.

FINE.

Is everything actually fine?  No, no it’s not.  Sometimes when I’m tired, tired of running from the ever present starting line, I am forced to face the fact that I am the UNKNOWN.

I am the feared and the mysterious.  I am a mystery to myself.

UNKNOWN.

Abandoned? No, I am FOUND.  How many times I’ll have to find myself I do not know, but however many is the number of times when I will no longer be unknown.

I shall be FOUND.  I shall be UNCOVERED.  I shall be LOVED.

Loved by my family, loved by another, and loved by MYSELF.  One day that starting line will become my FINISH LINE.

My finish line will become MY HOME.  It has always belonged to me.

I’m making this up as I go.  So, wait for me.  I am coming.

I AM BLAZING A TRAIL full of promises, wishes, desires, disappointment, heartbreak, love, laughter, sadness, defeat, and success.

I’ll meet you there with HOPE to lead the way and my FAITH to guide me.

I’ll see you there.

 

HAPPY NATIONAL ADOPTION MONTH!!!

 

1920s Murder Mystery Round 4 of Clues!!!

Round 4 is finally here! John doesn’t have a clue in this round. Sorry :p

I’ll be putting the conclusion up pretty soon! Thanks for your patience!!

Setting and Story
Characters
Round 1 of Clues
Round 2 of Clues
Round 3 of Clues
Conclusion

Round 4

 

Alberto:  “Wait!” cries Al, “there’s something in Robert‘s hand.”  When no one volunteers to touch Robert’s body, Al steps up to pry the piece of paper from Robert’s already stiffening grip.  The note is written in Robert’s handwriting and reads as follows: “Warning: Do not dissolve the brick in a gallon of water.  Do not place the liquid in a jug away in the cupboard for twenty days.  If one does so it will turn into wine.” There is something on the back too, a name?  However, it is smeared and beyond legibility.

Elizabeth: Elizabeth takes a closer look at the note and sees faintly the light resemblance of the letter ‘t’ She looks about the room and wonders who Robert was referring to.

Mendobale: Mrs. Mendobale finally reveals her secret and slowly tells Elizabeth that Robert had taken up gambling.  His finances were in ruin and he had come to her for help and a loan.  When she refused, Robert pleaded with her not to tell his wife.  Naturally, Mrs. Mendobale had to tell Elizabeth and threatened to do so unless he did favors for her such as the grocery shopping, and even a few dollars to gamble and bring back to her.  Ever since his return from the war Robert had been growing steadily more impatient with their arrangement and threatened her with violence.  Mrs. Mendobale then took to carrying a heavy paperweight just in case.

Joe: Al has been looking at John strangely ever since the evening started.  “Hey, don’t I know you?” he says.  John looks about uncomfortably and tries to evade Al’s gaze.  “I’m pretty sure we’ve never met,” he mumbles and adjusts his collar.  While doing so a part of flesh can be seen and Al spots the unmistakable sign of the gangs.  Perhaps he had just gotten out of jail?

Lacy: Lacy breaks down crying into Elizabeth’s shoulder.  She admits to having been the one who was drinking before the party.  She had forgotten to leave the bottle in Al’s Rolls Royce and had stashed it behind the trash bin for later.  When she went to look for it later she had found it missing and suddenly realized that her wine bottle and murder weapon were one in the same.  Crushed and panicked, she engaged Al in her secret and the two worked it out that keeping this a secret would be the best for everyone.  Let’s just say that Al is no longer a part of Elizabeth’s Prohibition Support Group.

A Walk to Remember: Vincent Van Gogh, Intro

Alright so I’m trying this sub-series within the main series about Van Gogh.  My overactive imagination needs to go somewhere!

I fell asleep one night and woke up face to face with the heavens and the stars.  I was lying on my back as one usually does when sleeping, but I wasn’t in my bed.  I seemed to be on the ground.

A spider had crawled up my body and found a resting place on my cheek.  I shook it off quickly, or rather, I gave a yelp and shot up from the ground waving my arms like
a lunatic.

The spider dropped and scuttled away to look for a new resting place.  I could imagine it laughing at me.  I hate spiders, I mumbled, as if anyone were around to hear me anyway.  My voice echoed eerily among the dark silhouettes of trees that were all around me.  

A cold breeze blew my long hair back–wait! I stopped my thought process which was running away with itself again.  Where was I?  I turned about.

The hard dirt felt cold and uneven beneath my bare feet.  My hands swept the open air as I craned my neck upwards to a darkening turquoise sky.

Reasoning that no one, not even a lost person, should stand in the middle of what appeared to be a trail in the middle of a grove, I started to walk.   Maybe the other way is the right way? 

It’s funny how when one neither knows the circumstance nor the consequences right and wrong seem rather unimportant.  There was a rustling behind me and spinning around I came in collision with a man.  We both yelled in fright, both of us falling backwards.  The packages he was carrying sprawled out on the trail.

“Damnit!” cried the stranger.  I could feel my heartbeat racing.  All the warning signals about men were going off in my head.

“S-sorry,” I stammered moving backwards.  The man reached out and grabbed the tail of my shirt.

“Wait, who are you?”  Was this guy for real? I snatched my shirt out of his grip and found it covered in paint.  An artist?

“I’m lost, I think,” I said cautiously.  Things were beginning to become clearer and yet more confusing at the same time.  “Who are YOU?” I asked, trying to assert fake confidence.

By this time we had already gotten up and straightening up his back, he adjusted his jacket and extended his hand, “You can call me Vincent.”

A Succession of Love Stories

I will witness a love story today, and the day after, and the day after that. 

I was hanging upside down on my bed looking up at the clouds through a small rectangular framed window.  It was one of those moments where you neither have the ability to focus on other people nor even yourself.  My roommate clicked away at her computer on the other side of the room; in my head I narrated a story to myself.

Outside of the dorm Orientation hustled and bustled.  Down the hallway boxes were being stripped of packaging tape and smiles and shouts of polite, unsure excitement resonated down the hallway.  And I, in my room, finding temporary solitude witnessed a love story.

Above the commotion and burgeoning relationships floated a pair of clouds.  Clouds? Clouds indeed.  The first was of an old man.  Judging by the lack of hair and a well-brushed mustache, I concluded that he was a retired colonel and for our purposes he shall be referred to as Colonel.  He sat in a soft upholstered chair by the fireplace.  However, it was not nighttime and so he must have been seeking some quiet midday peace like me.

Opposite Colonel was the second cloud.  It was a locket.  Inside the locket was a picture of a young woman.  She appeared gently kind and smiled out from the little oval frame.  Colonel must have been missing her greatly for he stared at her picture lovingly.  I’m not sure what he was remembering, but it looked like a happy memory to me.

We stayed like that for a while.  Colonel in his chair, the woman smiling from the locket, and me upside down on my bed.  Soon, the wind began to blow and Colonel’s memory of the woman dissipated into air.

This recalls many references for me and call me crazy the sky is capable of telling stories.  Perhaps it reflects what it sees down here.  Recently I have been studying Romanticism.  I thought that this story related to the movement fairly well.

Here’s something that this story reminds me of:

“This is how I would die into the love I have for you,
as pieces of cloud dissolve in sunlight.” 

~Jelaluddin Rumi, (1207-1273)

With the commencement of college underway I’ve been plunged into classes and the communal nature on campus.   Let me disclaim that although classes will influence my postings, I promise to not make this blog a diary account of my life 😀

1920s Murder Mystery: Round 3 of Clues

Round 3 is finally here! Heads up, Lacy doesn’t have a clue in this round. Sorry :p

Setting and Story
Characters
Round 1 of Clues
Round 2 of Clues

 

Round 3:

 

Elizabeth: While the Kingsley household appeared to be at peace, it was indeed not.  Lurking beneath the thin veneer of civility lay a writhing snake of anger and malcontent.  Elizabeth and Robert were not getting along very well.  Ever since the car accident Robert had been acting flustered about every expense that Elizabeth racked up.  Of course these were necessary expenses.  To show Robert just how necessary they really were, she decided to throw him party.  This put him over the edge and hours before the guests arrived they had been fighting so intensely that Elizabeth almost didn’t hear the phone call from Al.

 

Alberto: It is revealed to the “party” group that Al is in fact a low ranking gangster who owns a speakeasy downtown.  He, like Lacy, doesn’t know who he works for and believes it to be the Chicago Outfit.  This was the largest gang association in the state and had a bad reputation for smuggling in alcohol among other things.

 

Mendobale: Mrs. Mendobale had been taking a precursor nap to the party that evening when she was awakened by Robert and Elizabeth’s fighting.  She poked her head out of her apartment door just in time to see Joe trudging up the stairs trailing dirt with his cardboard box.  He was muttering about the posh lifestyle of Robert.  Mrs. Mendobale thought this rather rude of Joe since Robert had invited him to see his high-end apartment.  It was a privilege no less.

 

John: John signed for the food delivery which had come unexpectedly early.  He remembers seeing Robert watch him as he placed the boxes by the Kingsley’s totaled car.  He had already been invited to dinner by then, so thought nothing of it, and took the elevator upstairs to join the party.  

 

Joe: As a side note, Joe brings up the order in which the guests had arrived with the food.  He can only remember a few people however and offers up this information: Lacy had come up first, and then maybe Al was last or second to last? He can’t quite remember.  Joe came up right after Lacy.