The Knifed Skull and the Unknown Rogue

Edit* This was written well before I had established the character of Laurena Reaver, and as such she is not mentioned so in this piece yet


Deep in the merchants quarter, among the crooked streets, lined with stalls of all types astride the cobble paths, was an over-crowed tavern. One of much fame to the locals, or infamy if your an outside. It wasn’t the biggest in the city or even the prettiest. Not that there was anything to look at in this city beyond the towering Blackspire in the centre of the city. But this particular public house had it’s history. The Knifed Skull it was called. Mainly due to the large Torporc skull that was the priced trophy above in the loft space in the main hall. The grand centre piece, the main attraction, one that made every new patron crack their heads back upon first sight of the monstrosity.

How it was ever placed in such a building was subject to many a opinion and the instigator of just as many fights, some say the tavern was built around it from the ground up, the original owner couldn’t tell you, not from his grave. The wooden beams holding it aloft had buckled over time under it’s shear weight, only to have makeshift replacement planks patch up it where the split wood now grew. Adorning the now tarnished bone was with the famous longsword of swordsman Fedrick Spatose or so legend says.

Protruding at the acutest of angles in the beast’s right eye socket, it’s point exited through the left of the jaw bone wedging in it firmly. Age had covered much of the once polished blade to rust, however it’s value to the current proprietor or the aesthetic of the décor had never diminished. The odd tooth had been prized away from its large sloping jaw but enough remained to show off its gaping bite. Needless to say the Knifed Skull was home to many a drunkard, lured in to see this magnificent sight. Some one not so taken back by the splendour was a lonesome rogue, who used this place as a common retreat.

She always wore her leathery wardrobe, always worn with the hood up, one that covers the majority of her head. Her long bristre satin hair draped down through the hoods opening gape, flanking the sides of her face, one which nobody could see the true beauty behind. Her tight fitting outfit extenuating her slender figure, one that wasn’t made with the cheap leather in found stores. Nearly everyone in her profession most certainly wore a garb of much less quality.

Clothing not made from Vis or even regular cotton, was normally made with leather sourced from locally farmed Ferrisus, The six legged Ferrisus swine was also one of the main food sources for the city not for it’s irony taste of course. It’s leather was often used for armour and heavier clothes, it was tough and flexible as the same colour as flaking rust. The perfect material for creating garbs for those who wanted some measure of protection. Seedier persons would often darken their attire staining it with colour from the almost black crushed Noxweed petals, mixed with soot as an offset additive. To this stylish rogue sat in her corner wearing her more pricey regalia; and to someone of her experience, they were just in a childish costumes.

Her own outfit was made from actual Ferapex hide, it was the much prized material for those sordid types of a darker disreputable profession. Hide that didn’t come cheep either, not because of the rarity of the source animal but the stealthy ferocity of it’s nature, sulking the forests preying on large game or the a wayward caravan traversing the paved route through the dense foliage. A nocturnal predator of almost unbeaten prowess. Many people die when hunting one of these beasts is pursuit of it’s skin, claws and teeth. The veteran hunters of the creature, have an on going inside bet to see which of the rookie hunters fall prey to it first. The inexperienced unknowingly aware that they are but fodder for the Ferapex, as a means to slow it down. Survivors of a successful hunt were considered by many to be heroes, when in reality they had been lucky no to fall prey to the beast ferocious apatite.

It’s highly valued chameleon like skin retained this adaptable property even after the creatures death, as was like it was permanently alive and aware of it’s surroundings. Covering the skin was semi-light bending fur, each strand refracted light away from it’s body. The perfect predatory disguise. It’s special quality imbuing the rogues own attire as it would scantly blend the rogue in with her own surroundings, to the point that she rarely seen by even those who had not drunk a drop of liquor and although the fireplace blaring light and embers didn’t even cast a shadow of her.

There in the far corner however did seat someone, the quietest of rogues, she spoke when needed and only entertained the idea of chit chat with those of whom she most trusted. There was no one of that description here. Nursing her ale as if it was the last in the world. She sat alone, with one the male maids occasionally bringing her a renewed beverage. Leaving with the previous empty container and the four required coins already cascading on the table, a pre-order for the next.

Her feet resting crossed on the short and narrow, thick planked table. Her feet acting as the bouncer, guarding her from the rest of the taverns clientèle. So relaxed and laid back you could swear she was sleeping, her eyes were wide open of course. When her roguish paranoia kicked in her eyes scanned the room of it’s occupants, broken back up again by staring inside of the tankard. Occasionally when she felt comfortable enough she would stare blankly into oblivion as some of her past regrets that couldn’t help but take up the majority of her concious mind.

Strategically is was the most optimized place for a person who’s business generated a small amount of notoriety, very few knew of her true occupation,. Most of those who have, had taken that secret with them in their untimely swim in the Deadflow. Backed by the taverns brickwork and a lack of a shadow. Both of her sheathed serrated long swords rested by her side, making sure both hilts with always with in reaching distance. All entrances could be seen, along with the wall length bar. No one was going to sneak up on this tactful advantageous individual. She made sure that even while at her most drunk, no one could blind-side her. Her fast hand could reach for either of the twined pistols strapped to each side of her hips. Inebriation didn’t dull her reflexes least of all her aim.

The last person to try; attempting to force himself upon her. Even after she made it abundantly clear she wasn’t interested. Had to hastily vacated the tavern while screaming in agony. Both hands cupping the remains of his genitalia. At the same time being laughed out by those more wise to leave this woman alone. No one made that mistake any more. It was due to the combination of acknowledgement of previous deeds around the city and that type of fear that was rooted in the unknown. The sure-shooting woman in her colour changing leather left alot to the imagination about her past. Everyone knows her speed is unmatched save for an ignorant few, and all of the locals afforded her an un-leveled amount of respect…and she liked it that way.


Thanks for reading.

This is a short side story to a larger one I am working on, and may or may not be changed at any time to co-inside with it, nor is it indicative there of.

Laura Steel.

A “novel” attempt

Here is my first attempt at writing that has taken me a few months of on and off writing. I largely wrote it while free writing, and had no idea of what the outcome for even the basic plot as I was typing. This has clearly not worked out for me as I can’t get my head back into it at the moment. I effectively dove into the deep end and drowned. That said, bare in mind the spelling and grammatical errors, although that should be a given.

I am posting it because quite frankly I’ve burnt out with it’s progression and finding it hard to continue with it. Starting fresh with another more planned out story that will hopefully have a beginning – middle – end. Taking my time to plan out the characters, setting and story next time around.

Outline

It’s a first person narrative of a woman who is rather apathetic and drivenless in a world filled with super heroes, villains and everything in between. She is aware of her super human nature but doesn’t actively use them for good or evil and has merely become a tool of convenience for her as well as a burden. Forced to cope with the events around her, not wanting to use her powers for a high purpose but finds out that that can’t last forever.

Word Counts

Chapter – 1 – 2,852, Chapter – 2 – 2,732, Chapter – 3 – 1,192, Chapter – X – 940

Current Total – 7,750


Chapter 1

It was hard keeping up this deception, learning to live two lives was a burden that I was never hoping to bare, but I had no choice. Apathy, while a curse to many, was a blessing in disguise for me. It allowed me to live relatively stress free, in a status qou of a lifestyle that all too many have become accustomed too. I was one of them, consigning myself to a bored life with no real reason to live.

That all changed the moment I became a part time villain, it has perks of course; the freedom of thought, the freedom of action, freedom very few have the privilege of experiencing. I knew one day it would all catch up with me however it was only a matter of time. Nothing lasts forever, at least not for me. Negativity always triumphs if it wasn’t for the small things that help prop up your spirit from time to time, the crutches everyone uses to get them through the day, I had yet to find mine. I was just getting out of bed when that god awful Inspector showed up at my flat…

“Miss Arkins…Miss Rachael Arkins! Inspector Chase. Open up!” That bellowing fool knocking on my door with his gorilla sized fist.

Inspector Gregory Chase, this was a stupidly apt name for someone who couldn’t run a tenth of a mile with out coughing up the contents of his lungs. His belt almost buckling under his second stomach. That upper lip shelved a course brush of a greying moustache, under nether his bulbous nose, his eye’s had darkened and sunken with age, peaked above his sagging porous red cheeks.

“Open up Miss Arkins, we have a warrant!” The door continued to rattle under his heavily fisted politeness, any harder and more frequent and the door would undo itself from it’s hinges and fall flat on the hallway floor.

I knew the warrant wasn’t justified, you can’t just barge into someone’s home without a good enough reason, they wouldn’t be able to look through my possessions otherwise, I never complained or fought back, I don’t won’t to give them any more ammunition than they already had. It’s foolish to hand your enemies the nails they need to seal your coffin, making them was just idiotic. They think they have something on me but without anything concrete they believe the random spot checks on my home may turn up a clue, or anything that would prove some wrong doing. This was the forth time he has come to my home, it was like an episode of a law drama on TV, the detectives would crawl back to the suspects home when ever they think they have found a minute piece of evidence, looking for that eureka moment that would seemingly solve the whole case, only to be rapped up in the last 10 minutes of the show.

“I’m coming, I’m coming!” I shouted towards my front door, in my early morning voice that sounded as if somehow a frog had crawled into my mouth as I slept. Scrambling to cover myself with the clothes I managed to lay my hands on; t-shirt, knickers, bra, all checked off. Along with my half clean dressing gown, the one my mother brought me as a teenager, it still fit and was a little warn, but it always comforting to wear. I never used to sleep naked, but when you run a high temperature due to being active most of the night it helps, burning over thirty degrees in the middle of the night mid July when the country was facing yet another heatwave.

The fan used to be one saving feature from the heat but after being over charged so many times it’s motor had burnt out and with me being my lazy ill-motivated self couldn’t be bothered to replace it. Fans don’t last long when overcharged, specially when they aren’t meant to work without first being plugged into the mains. Sleeping naked was the next best thing and was free. So being able to store and channel several thousand volts through your body has it’s perks, but very rarely doesn’t anything electrical last long enough to see the end of it’s manufacturer’s service life. I slumped to the door and unlocked it, opening it to the maximum the chain lock would allow, I could immediately see Chase and his three goons in uniform leering behind him.

“Open up!” As he lifted the warrant to my face. Unhooking the door chain I took a step back, not saying any thing while pressing my back against the wall allowing them to walk past, one remaining officer stood outside making me a prisoner in my own home.

I know he won’t find anything my flat was completely clean of any and all wrong doings, making sure of that any time I go out for a midnight stroll I’m not as stupid as other ‘criminals’. Keeping no trophies or tools of the trade. I don’t even have a costume, not that I’m opposed to wearing a skin tight latex suit. My prowling nightwear was just hoodie, jeans and trainers most nights, not very fashionable but it didn’t catch any ones eye. I wasn’t a hero however, and this wasn’t a comic book, one where heroes and villains alike seemingly all get their second skins from Spandex-R-Us. I wouldn’t no the first place to even find a latex suit, let alone afford one.

It was just my boring flat located on the edge of Hammersmith, overlooking the end of the M4 flyover. This is where nothing special happened or so the police would claim, the constant crime wave caused by the recent boom in super villains over the past decade. Sure it was good for public moral to feel that they could walk the streets alone at night, enjoy the odd night out of the town or that romantic trek with a loved one during the twilight hours. But the truth was obvious, crime was at an all time high. Despite the good nature of self styled heroes; the disinfectant of your typical villain, it wouldn’t make the slightest difference in cleaning the infected streets of criminals. Since the ‘****’, crime sky rocketed leading to a world wide panic, the heroes of the planet that selflessly took to using their powers for good, caused an uneasy stalemate at best.

Along with the new hero-villain combination of society, the creation of the world’s first “anti-villain” task force; U.N.I.O.N – The United Nations Information of Organized Non-humans. It was created to deal with anyone not remotely human, even extraterrestrials ‘Although non had yet been found’. The organization was nothing more than a two sided global racist group. The organization, while set up from several of the worlds more powerful nations was headed by a select council of electorates from each member state. What ever their agenda, I couldn’t help but feel extremely uneasy whenever they are mentioned in the news, which given today’s standards of media was almost weekly.

The public face of the group promoted peace with non-humans, this was to many, myself included, just the public relations section. Glossing over the more seeder side, one which was hell bent on arresting anyone who wasn’t remotely human, just to be rid of the public growing outcry of protesting groups. Wanting to rid the world of this new global menace, rumours spread of the group even killing people in the poorest countries who they believed to fit the criteria of a non-human. Images and accounts of these atrocities had found there way on to the numerous websites dedicated to putting the spot light on the illegality of U.N.I.O.N. Most didn’t last long enough as most of the websites would frequently disappear overnight, along with their creators.

I despised them greatly, it was bad enough that this moronic Inspector was breathing down my neck, but to have people hunt you down for simply being born different was just a horrific thought, and they call me a ‘villain’. They were no different, the Nazi’s, the Ku Klux Klan, the apartheid in Africa and now U.N.I.O.N. All just a bunch of bigots trying to justify their actions under some false pretence, or just being flat out ignorant.

There was always going to be the igniting factor whenever two groups with polarized ideals fought it out for supremacy. Even when their followers seem to convey some hint of intellect, their belief in something they didn’t quite understand, would always fan the flames of the minority of persons who motives are only ever know by the themselves and the ‘gods’ they supposedly worshipped. At least you can try, if you wanted to, empathise with the corporate power hungry megalomaniacs. Greed is a common trait everyone is capable of. Being an apathetic and a lack of faith, allowed me some protection from their propaganda albeit is has made me rather cynical. Not knowing anything for certain doubt can play more of a bigger role that everyone wants to admit, even myself. This was depressingly and most probably why I don’t have a lot of friends, not knowing how other people think is .

Over the past decade various super hero groups formed, either for fame, fortune or a common goal aiming to eradicate all evil, super heroes became the new celebrity section of everyone’s admiration. Movie stars, artists and musicians were now second class, with the few exceptions where the few celebrities that also became ‘****s’, they saw the spot light shine brightest on them. This would act as an almost impenetrable barrier, these were these super celebrities were both truly untouchable and immortal. Most of the super hero groups found a uneasy truce with U.N.I.O.N, some sided with the organization, some actively protested at arms length. Regardless, nothing was going to change for the better unless something drastic was done.

“Are you looking for something in particular?” I smirked…pausing to read the warrant. Suspicion of possessing illegally obtained items, as I read the warrant and the Inspector’s chief reason for his ‘legal’ entry into my inner sanctum.

“You need to try harder Inspector, you really think I had a hand in robbing a bank?” He glared towards me as he barged into my home, “I know you had something to do with it…” He grunted, eye balling the confines of the flat “…and I WILL find it!”

This also wasn’t the first time he’s tried to find any incriminating evidence I my possession, I’m the ‘master villain’ and he’s the God-sent hero after all .

“Careful Inspector, this is starting to look suspiciously like harassment.” Continuing my streak of sarcasm from the side of my face.

“Shut it. Stand by the officer.” He scoffed back. “We have reason to believe you were involved with several robberies in the greater London area.” I was silently contemplating which one. There were many over the past few weeks.

“What robberies?” I tried the playing dumb routine, this was always the first line of defence with anyone suspected of a criminal act, it doesn’t work but then I had guests. A good host always ‘entertains’ their guests.

“You think I’m stupid Miss Arkins?” I knew the question was rhetorical, but I couldn’t help it.

“I’m sure your Mensa membership was just lost in the post.” Another notch on my sarcasm scoreboard.

“Don’t piss me off Miss…we have CCTV footage of you present at each bank on the days they were robbed…care to give your account of what happened? Or do I have to ask you the same question at the station?” Chase squared up to me, as if that would intimidate me.

My suspicion first arose when I was found to have been present at each of the banks on the days in which they were robbed. I didn’t do anything illegal but the coincidence of my presence was enough for my predicament, It almost makes me wish I had robbed the banks, at least it would justify Chase’s determination to keep up his crusade.

I couldn’t help but notice one of the officers heading towards my bedroom…

“Try not to grease up my underwear too much” An aside remark directed to the officer as he pushed through the door to my bedroom, giving me a frustrated and slightly embarrassed look. The second officer was charged with scouring the rest of my home, plucked the cable in my bath room as he stepped into the only room in the flat that was capable of becoming a pitch black abyss. An embarrassing wave of unease washed over me as I wasn’t one hundred percent that the toilet was flushed. The toothpaste was oozing out of the tube and the cap had fallen of and rolled underneath something never to see the light of day again. The shower curtain had started to collect mildew along the bottom half and the toilet bin had started to overflow with the cardboard cylinders of toilet rolls and tampon wrappers. I wasn’t a slob as such, but was a clear front runner for procrastinator of the year award.

“So am I under arrest or not?” Asking as I wasn’t too sure if he would try to drag me to the police station under some false pretence.

“That would depend Miss Arkins…” Inspector Chase spurned.

“On what?” I replied, half expecting an impending arrest attempt.

“Why were you at the banks at the same time they were robbed” Chase asked with clenched teeth, I’m sure if the other officers weren’t here he would use violence to get his answers.

“I was looking at transferring some money.” As I answered, in my normal indifferent tone. “Or trying too…” Which was true but I doubt he would believe me.

“…when someone blasted through the door and started demanding cash from one of the clerks, two guards tried to stop him, he somehow threw a fiery ball towards both of them and they both exploded into a bloody mess. After threatening everyone, he left with his rucksack full of money. I ran home after they had left” A vague but truthful account, I knew who it was, but I didn’t let on, that’s one hassle I didn’t need or want. The officer in my bed room left, closing the door behind him.

“I couldn’t find anything Inspector!” Claimed the officer, who’s no doubt got the smell of my underwear still firmly lodged in his nose.

I could just fry them all to a crisp like a over roasted chicken left too long in the oven, flooding the house with smoke constantly pouring from it’s soldering charred remains. That would only mean I’d have to disappear try and create a new identity, start a new life. I’ve never been a fan of hide and seek. Not when your a suspect in multiple robberies, and the United Kingdom’s police force undoubtedly know what you look like. I new staying put was the more sensible and safer option, so I continued this charade between the Inspector and myself.

“Already boys, I’ve had enough…and “thank you” for your co-operation Miss Arkins” Chase ‘s own brand of sarcasm, the officers and the Inspector walked towards front door, the officer stood behind me had to stop starring at my chest, I’m surprised he didn’t limp out.

“Will be back with more questions, Miss Arkins” Chase added, as he pulled my front door shut.

I thought I could spend the rest of the weekend off, but moments later the phone rang…it was looking to be one of the days.

“Hi honey, any chance of my daughter coming to visit?” My mother’s voice was a welcomed reprieve to the tension headache. Even if she was trying to guilt me into visiting her.

“Hi mum, I could do with a visit…it’s been one of those shitty mornings.” I didn’t want to tell her why, there was no need to panic her over nothing. “I can come over now if you would like?” I answered knowing full well my mum already knew the answer to her question.

“Great, I’ll see you soon.” She sounded excited,

“Ok mum I’ll see ya in a bit.” I always kept it short when using the phone, I didn’t want to have to buy a new one. I hang up and gazed into the mirror positioned over the phone stand, I didn’t look that much of a mess, but I tried to make an effort when seeing her. I finished getting dressed and tried to make myself presentable, leaving through the front door when I didn’t look as homeless.

Chapter 2

Stepping outside my flat and was immediately blinded by the afternoon sun, it almost prevented me from locking the front door, fumbling around I managed to lock my door and left through the rusting chipped black paint gate. The garden was clean and well kept but that wasn’t through any of my effort, the old woman that lives above me was the real culprit. She was a nice old woman, she wasn’t that active of a person but the gardening gave her something to do. Most of it was covered with a rainbow of varieties of different flowers and plants. I didn’t know much about her, but she would always exchange pleasantries if our paths met. She was rather plain for an old woman, but I couldn’t help but feel she had lived a life that was only conceivable in novels. She just had that aura of experience that I just couldn’t place, that or it might have been her lavender scented perfume. It was rather odd for her to not be outside at this time of day, given the weather, but I carried on to my mothers none the less.

Under the cover of night I could have simply ran and leapt across rooftops to my mother’s house. I never used to have an affinity for running fast or leaping large gaps without fear, but since my powers activated, fear wasn’t an emotion I felt often. The extent of my athleticism was playing tennis, excluding of course the school’s P.E lessons. I used to play with my best friend from school Georga Dawkins, she was the main reason why I played it. I never liked playing it in truth but it was one of those things you do for a best friend. I had to stop playing it though, it didn’t feel right to play it after she died. Killed, in a hit and run, while we were on our way home from a game at our local sport centre. It felt like I had cried for a week afterwards.

I couldn’t get what happened out of my mind, was there anything I could have done…something…anything just to stop it from happening. What if we played for a few minutes later, took a different route home, stopped of for a drink in the corner store we passed shortly before. Would she still be alive. I still think about her from time to time. I kept all the pictures I had of her, most were in a box in my closet, keeping my favourite ones on the side cupboard in the living room. We used to do everything together, go shopping, talk about our favourite pop and movie stars, braid each others hair. We were inseparable. I loved her and more than just as a friend. One regret I had was not telling her how I felt, and I will never know if she felt the same, although I suspect she didn’t, not knowing has always hurt whenever I’m reminded of her.

I was never the same again afterwards, I stopped going out with my other friends, lost interest in school, which reflected on my grades. I was practically forced by my family to see a councillor but that felt futile. I managed to get out after awhile, I was brought a bicycle for my seventeenth birthday, it was a purple twenty one speed mountain bike. My mum and dad brought me it as a way of getting me outside. Knowing full well I would ride it as to not feel guilty through not wasting their gift. It worked of course, thats what parents are for. Fixing problems. My dad Donald had a way of manipulating people. Not in a malevolent way, but in the way that he knew what was best for others. It was only natural for him, having worked as a contractor for an construction firm for nearly twenty years. If you can’t manipulate a bunch of men into hard manual labour how could you not learn how to influence you own daughter out of her depression. It was an annoying trait of his but one I have never resented, knowing it was out of love.

I would have used the bike, it was in the spare room, but it had a puncture that I had yet to fix. I still took care of it, even though the years had caused it to see many scratches and dings. Throwing it away was impossible, it was the last thing my dad brought me and parting with it felt like I would be throwing away apart of him, it hurt just thinking about doing so. I often joked to my mother that I was going to end up being buried with it, it always made her smile knowing that her husband’s influence wasn’t lost on me.

The next quickest mode of transport I had available was the bus, I waited at the closest stop to the fast. Another woman was already waiting, talking on her phone, she was all tarted up wearing a dark navy blue suit, cream silk blouse combo. She was clearly one of those overly pretentious business types, the kind of person who saw me as beneath them. That kind of person always made my skin crawl, not to mention I always used to feel uneasy around people I didn’t know but the knowledge that I could just sum up a bolt of electricity and fry them made me feel untouchable. She didn’t pay me any attention as the bus pulled up walking on the bus buying her ticket without so much of a smile, she was on a talking marathon with an unknown entity, only stopping to say her destination, it was done so effortlessly I was amazed how fluid the transaction was. I followed after her and brought my fare, the bus driver gave me a smile, but it’s only the involuntary version everyone receives whenever someone is insincerely trying to polite. I proceeded to sit down in the middle of the bus. The woman who got on before me was continuing her conversation as if she was already there. I couldn’t help but admire her enthusiasm towards what ever it is she does.

After the thirty minutes bus ride and a few minutes walk I was at my mother’s house. It was further out in Brentford, where I grew up. I walked up to the door and before I could knock, the door opened.

“Oh Hi honey, I was just putting the rubbish out, go in and make your self comfy.” She brushed past me in her summery floral print full length dress, gripping a black bin liner full of rubbish in each hand. She always put effort into her appearance, even when she wasn’t going out. Her hair was always cleaned, well cut and styled. Always applying fresh make up and wore a elegant perfume that cost a lot more than it should for it’s quantity. It was like looking at a cut out of a photographed celebrity in a fashion magazine. I could never work out how she found the energy to always look her best, but she did. Even the house was well kept, everything in it’s place, every little china ornament never moved. Not one speck of dust was on any of them, if she didn’t have superpowers I swear she had help from little dust eating pixies.

My mother Audrey was more alone now, ever since Dad died nine years ago from a heart attack He keeled over and died on the spot at the construction site he was contracted for. My sister Molly and myself were the only ones who really visited. Molly now lived in Everton with her husband Dennis, with their two children Alex and Emily. I didn’t see them much nearly as much as I wanted to, whenever they did visit they would run up to me screaming “Aunty Rachael”, while leaping at me for a hug. One of the few moments in my life I felt happy, if I wasn’t careful I would end up jealous, wanting my own. Who wants children from a sulky, soon to be spinster, like me. I should just start collecting cats. I would most likely opt for stuffed, I could just about afford to feed myself, plus I didn’t want the dear Inspector Chase ransacking my flat, light footing over piles of cat poo, like he could light foot anywhere with those trunk shaped hooves.

I collapsed into the sofa which was like most house holds parked squarely in front of the TV. I closed my eyes thinking I could just wish away all my stress, that’s what parents houses are for after all. Throwing your mind back to when your a child and your only real responsibilities are not getting hurt, trying not to have an accident in your underwear and making sure you eat your vegetables. My mother walked back in, holding her hands alof, trying not to get any remnants of the rubbish smell all over the door handles. She was so house proud like that.

“Turn the TV on if you want hun…. putting the kettle on, want the usual?” As she walked towards to kitchen, holding her hands high like they were radioactive.

“Yes please.” I replied as I hit the remote, trying to insulate my hand with the sleeve of my jacket. It sprung to life with the channel locked onto the news, it was showing yet another atrocity in one of the third world countries. Hundreds of people were being killed, dumped into mass graves and being set alight. Any signs where someone; man, woman or child, displayed signs of being a ‘****’. Even if there was only one person in the village, the rest of the populous were not spared.

I could feel my stomach churning over the thought that had I been unlucky enough to be born there I was most likely going to be in the same situation. My blood boiled over this kind of racist attitude, it made me want to go there just to enact revenge.

“Oh not again, those poor people.” My mother commented on as she walked into the sitting room, grasping two cups of boiling liquid. It was almost as if she wanted me to confess, like she knew I was a **** too. Could I risk it and tell her? I felt the words bubble up from my heart and into my throat, wanting to escape from my mouth. I was handed my beverage and managed to suppress the words.

“It makes me sick.” I replied, after swallowing my secret.

“I know, it’s terrible. I wish something was done…” She responded with a general look of sympathy, it was actually comforting to know there’s people like her in the world. It wasn’t enough to tip the balance between good and evil though, which was nothing less than shameful. One person can’t change the world.

“So hunny, any thing new with you…” She was always the one to start the conversations. “…or anyone new?” Fishing for anything, while baiting me with a plate of chocolate biscuits she had pre-planted on the coffee table in front of us.

“Not really, I’ve just been doing the same.” I tried to defuse the conversation.

“Liar…you look troubled hun, what’s the matter?” I guess I was wearing my depressed face again.

“Please don’t take this the wrong way, but I might be in trouble.” I rubbed my eyelids, just thinking about it was making my headache worse.

“What kind of trouble…do you need more rent money?” She asked with only that level of concern a mother can have for a child. I had borrowed a few months worth of rent money the last time I was unemployed and was at risk of losing my home. I had yet to pay her back.

“The police seem to think I might be involved with robbing a few banks.” In any other instance parents would think their child was just joking. I of course wasn’t, and she knew.

“Robbing banks?…You mean those ones that have been on the news?” She was looking more concerned that I was hoping.

“Yes, and a particular Inspector seems to have it out for me.” Every sentence I revealed, I could feel the weight lifting of my shoulders.

“What do you mean?…and why didn’t you tell me sooner?” Showing just that hint of frustration a concerned parents has when they know their child is in trouble. Even if it isn’t their fault.

“I was at the banks on the days they were robbed but I didn’t do it. They seem to think otherwise and I’ve had the flat searched several times.”

“Oh hunny, I believe you… but you should have told me sooner.” Her hand rested on my knee, like she was trying to sap the stress away and absorb it.

“I don’t know what to do, my life seems to be spiraling downwards like someone has it out for me on a cosmic level.”

“If you didn’t do it then theirs not a lot they can do, you are just going to have to brave what ever they throw at you, and remember I’m always here, as well as your sister. Even though she doesn’t live close any more she will be there for you.” Spoken in her calming voice, I felt more of my stress melt away. It was also true about Molly, she was there when Georga died, and helped me get through it. She might not have superpowers but she’s a hero to me, I just wish she was around more often, I wish I was a better sister to her as well.

“I know.” I took another swig of my coffee.

“Come on let’s head down town, it’s been awhile since we spent some time outside this house together”

“Ok.” I agreed only because I could never say no to her.

“Great, I’ll just grab my coat” She sprung up from the chair like she was sat on hot coals and only just realized. I managed to pull myself from the sofa and downed the remnants of my coffee, and stood by the door to wait.

We talked and walked into the main shopping section of town, by-passing the blur of fast food and emptied stores, including a sweet shop me and my sister frequented whenever we were dragged into town. I knew were my mother wanted to go, there was always a Red Cross store that had clothes for sale. She always liked buying her clothes from here, knowing it was going towards a good cause. I could never buy a second hand piece of clothing, under the impression that they are only there because someone had died in them, I still humored her by pretending to look interested in something making sure as to not touch them.

“I must go and book another appointment with Sally.” She tugged my are towards her favorite hair dressers.

“Ok.” I agreed reluctantly. I almost felt six again, about to throw a tantrum because I didn’t want to be there. The store was flooded with the music of one of the recent pop idols who just barely had enough talent to work the auto-tune machine. I tried to focus on the hum of the hair dryers it was more soothing, mother spoke to the over groomed Barbie doll at the till, caked in more make-up than I have ever worn in my life time, continuing to natter away with Sally after making her appointment, who was sweeping away the remnants of her previous client. I stood by the door, trying to avert eye contact with the rest of the women at the various stages of metamorphosis. After ten minutes of uncomfortable boredom mother and I walked out of the shop. Had it been a minute later the life I had adjusted to would have remained the same. Seems that fate truly has it out for me.

Chapter 3

It all happened so fast it was like it wasn’t even me, it didn’t feel like me. It was like watching a movie in slow motion, a scene that was slowed to a crawl for added effect. A mother had screamed when her little girl had freed herself from her mothers watchful gaze, the girl had dropped her ball she was clasping which had inconveniently rolled into the middle of the road. The little girl ran after it unknowingly into on coming traffic.

I could see the car, it’s metallic body cruising towards the girl at enough speed that would have prevented him from stopping in time. The horror on his face was intense, the thoughts that must have raced through his head of sheer panic and regret of even leaving his house that morning. The sinking feeling he felt in his gut the second he saw the blonde curls through his windscreen.

Spared both of them a horrific fate that no two people of any variety should go through. launching myself from the opposite side of the road. The sparks of electricity had bolted through my legs and into the surrounding objects that were even remotely conductive. The street lights and the lights of the parked cars I ran between popped as they received too much power, mother along with a few others walking past us at the time all jumped back in surprise like someone had burst a balloon behind their heads unaware of the impending prank with the added effect of electrical arcs dancing around sporadically until this dissipated into nothing but static.

My hands clasp the young girl, clutching her frail young body while lifting her up mere seconds before impact. She was so light, it was like lifting up a piece of paper. I wasn’t as lucky as I felt the corner of the cars bonnet kiss my hip, shunting me forwards and onto the path, skidding to a complete stop. The adrenaline was so new to me that I felt sick to my stomach. My heart was pounding so hard I thought it would explode out of my chest like a mallet to a water melon. I didn’t even feel pain, at least not for the first minute.

Everyone who had witnessed what just happened was looking at me, their eyes piercing me as I lay on the floor still clutching the young girl around her head and torso. Jaws had dropped among everyone who was equally stunned and horrified. Her mother had run up shocked and distraught shoving her way passed several other people who were gravitating towards me. While still laying down I released the young girl, her soft golden hair filtering through my fingers almost getting tangled as she stood up and ran to hug her mother crying.

“Oh my god, thank you, thank you, thank you!” Tears wear rolling down the mother’s red puffy face, as this young woman’s worst fear had almost become real. She had knelt down to hug her most prized possession more so than I just had.

“Is she ok?” I asked between my heavy breathing towards the mother. I tried to stand but my legs were not as willing, any energy they had exploded outwards from the opposite side of the road.

“YES I THINK SO!.” She glanced at her child with all the knowledge of a fully trained doctor. “I don’t know what to say.” Asking the relieved mother. Not say anything as I shook my head, “It’s ok” replying as I glanced across the road towards my mother who had front row to what had happened. She had made her way across the road as fast as she could, the traffic behind had all but come to a complete stop, a small gathering had built up around us, consisting of concerned citizens

“Oh my god, hunny are you hurt?” Despite what she just saw her concern was my well being, which was such a relief when I just revealed to the word I was a walking dynamo.

“My hip is a little sore, but I’m fine.” I lied, It was more than sore it was agonizing. I really didn’t want to try to stand the pain was all I could think about, I had fallen over and grazed my knee as a child before, burned my finger on a boiling saucepan as a teenager, that level of pain was wishful thinking on my part now.

“I’M SO SORRY!” The male driver of the ill fated car had vacated to express his regret at the situation after prying his white knuckled hands from the steering wheel. “SHE CAME OUT OF NO WHERE!” He was clearly hysterical and with good reason and skin so pale he looked like he was about to vomit his lunch. “Is she ok?, please tell me she’s ok!?”

“She seems fine.” I tried to calm him down, surprised by my level of self control most people in this instance would have more than likely bit his head off even though it wasn’t his fault.

Looking back at the car I could see the huge dent and the smashed head light, it seemed pointless to try and explained that away. It apologized to its driver who had now calmed down enough that he managed to face the hugging mother and daughter combo, he shocked state had subsided. I even managed to stand despite my mothers and a few other’s protest, the pain was still in the forefront of my mind but for some reason I didn’t care, it felt justified, like it was meant to happen.

All those years I felt guilt over Georga’s death had gone. The anger, the sadness, everything had been lifted from me that moment I realized what I had done it when I looked up at the young mother and her daughter. She was still hugging her while she looked into my eyes, her all red and puffy from the relief as she mouthed towards me the words “thank you”.

While under heavy protest from my mother and a few others I still managed to walk back to mother’s home, she insisted I sought out medical attention, being my stubborn self I kept refusing. She was clearly in need of answers, just as much as I was. It was a massive relief to see the the edge of her house, it was enough to keep me going, walking through the door I sought out the same seat I was sitting in less than an hour before. The ease in pain was spread out among the soft cushion, I forced my eyes closed hoping it wouldn’t return.

I could feel the breeze in the wake of mother wisping past me as she sat down gracefully in her chair. Anxiety was building up in me, all I was doing was anticipating her 20 questions worth of inquisition, but she said nothing.

Chapter X

I had so many questions racing through my head with no answers to rely on. Having to learn everything from scratch was a daunting experience, it’s not as if learning to control your powers is taught in the curriculum of any school. I’ve always felt isolated I just wish I could have found someone to talk to about it.

I just love the freedom. Knowing I could, if I really wanted to, just go completely nuts and live life by my own rules, become a villain the thing that keeps children up at night. Total disregard of the law and any moral standing that might be left of and do what the hell I want. Something I always envied about your typical sociopath.

The only real thing stopping me was the amount of effort it would take just to keep myself from being captured. Living the life of a minimum waged waitress was the closest I came to being free. No responsibilities beyond not dropping the food or drink on the floor, and giving it to the right customers. That was my level of stress, contentment in life.

Apathy was not a great human quality, more so when as an **** non-human I have the power to do great good ‘or evil’ in the world. This is what the process was called for the new non-humans; “****”. It sounds like something out of a comic book. The process in which some peoples abilities activated changing them into marvels or monstrosities. This all happened the night the world witnessed the first modern day meteor crash into the Pacific ocean.

Men, women and children all over the planet for the past ten years started to awaken with strange new powers, more often than not with disastrous results. Some with their appearance dramatically shifting with a variety of colours and shapes, it was almost as if some higher power got a play dough fun factory and started popping out human sized pieces, mashing them together in a twisted sense of fun. If there was a God he was clearly not firing all cylinders.

It’s hard to read the newspaper when most of the time it’s about some young boy or girl killing half their class room when they lose control of their powers or have no idea of what they are capable of. I’ve learnt to blank it all out mind you, I’m twenty seven, and I’ve become completely jaded to the idea of young children dying. It was distressing at first, like any normal person would experience, recoiling at the thought of children dying. Thankfully I was on my own when my powers first emerged for the first time.

My powers first appeared eight years ago while walking home from work. A crackling of the air around me built up, with a weird sizzling sound that was only thought to have existed in sci-fi movies deafened my ears. A sharp tingle ran from across my spine, down my arms, and the first arcs of lightning shot from my hands into any thing remotely metallic and conductive. Every time an arc shot out it was accompanied with a rush of excitement and adrenaline, like an intense static shock and the feeling of pins and needles when it’s at it’s most pleasant and not the agonizingly aching numbing kind.

That electrical burn smell that reaches the back most part of your nose, once was odious to breath in, was now at the forefront of my mind. This was now my cocaine, I loved this intoxication, the spectacle, the music I could generate. I would often sit in my flat sparking arcs between my fingers just to get my fix, hypnotized by the beautiful firework show I could muster with no notice what so ever. This is how flies must feel shortly before being fried to death in that blue neon haze, just in my case it wouldn’t lead to a premature death.

I remember when it first happened, I had panicked, and ran all the way back to my flat. I must have looked like a lunatic running all the way home, I had to take of my shoes just for the extra grip the soles of my feet could provide. No one saw thankfully, as I usually braved a particular alleyway on my way home from the restaurant. The only illumination was a few small external lights above the rear fire exits. This was the extent of my adventurous side, risking being mugged or worse. Just to save a few minutes for my return home rather than take the main street like any other normal person would, basking in the protection of the orange street lights would provide, this was before my life changed forever. I didn’t want to believe it at first, I tried everything to forget about it, but whenever I attempted to use anything electrical, arcs would pulse from my finger tips.

It was like the electricity coursing through my body was a king cobra, trying to find a rodent or lizard, striking to eat, like it could consume it in one mouthful with it’s terminally paralyzing after effect. Every time I resisted it would try leaping from me looking for it’s next meal. I felt almost sick at the thought that my once content-able life would be drastically changed forever, no going back, no retries. Would this have happened if I didn’t walk down that alley way, or lived where I lived, or was it just who I was, my genetics, could I blame my parents for setting me on this collision course headed for disaster…


This is where the story ends unfortunately, maybe one day I will pick it back up…but not today. The main character is not indicative of myself by the way…well perhaps a bit.

Thank you for reading,

Laura Steel.

The Path to a Career

I just wanted to explain to the aether of the digital realms why I’ve wanted to become a writer, but first of I should perhaps start with what I thought I wanted to be…

My Previous Dream Jobs

When I was younger like many people I was asked “what do you want to be when your older?” So naturally I would give it just a minute at most, to think of some profession that I would like to do completely on a some what impulsive manner. Many children would naturally call out some outlandish job, accompanied by the vaguest of non-descriptive reasoning’s. You know the bog standard replies children of that age sprout like they believe they are 100% sure what their destiny entails, what they want to become because they saw someone on TV, despite having never met the person or researched what would it take to earn a like for like position. That or because they come from a long line of family members in [Insert profession here], like it was a vocation that has to be passed on generation after generation.

I’m sure that I would have come up with something along those lines, however due to the length of time that has since passed and the fact I don’t have an eidetic memory, I am unable to tell you just what I would have claimed to have been my“dream job”at the time.

Now going back as a teenager I can; As an adolescence and indeed until this day I have had a very strong fondness towards video games, practically to the point that it has and for the most part still is an addiction; as quoted to me by a psychiatrist…but that’s from different story. So naturally having such a profound desire to work for a company would allow me that privilege, I would attempt to learn coding. I have tried on more that one occasion to attempt this, resulting in the several ill informed purchases of tutorials and “how to” guides on this very topic. All would ultimately prove to be futile attempts and money wasting endeavours. Understanding that despite my strong feelings towards wanted to work in the game design industry I have a somewhat limited ability to understand the complexity of coding and so I had to pursue other avenues.

It was around the age of 15-16 that at the time that the crime drama CSI had been aired. I loved watching the show and still try to watch it if there is a lack of other interesting shows not being broadcast. This along side of being persuaded to return to sixth form education gave the perfect opportunity to start on the path towards becoming a criminal investigator. If you put aside the fact that CSI forensic investigators in the TV series are a lot more glamorized for the show, and knowing that the comparison is far more gruesome to say the least. This would still be enough to attempted to learn the required A levels for this career path, proceeding the university degree(s) I would most likely need to do so there after. It became apparent after some months of doing both; chemistry and biology at A level grade that it wasn’t working out as first planned. It got to the point that I was in fact started to skip lessons and bunked off in the common room as the stress of it all wasn’t persuading me to keep returning. Excluding the fact that at the time of all this school work I was trying to discover who I really was…I’ll get into some other time.

So after awhile, I ended up ditching chemistry and biology as lessons. Only to continue my Art and IT, I thought would try my hand at becoming a comic book artist/writer…In hindsight the writing aspect would have been the better option but there you go. After purchasing a horde of cheap comics at a local store which specialized in this paraphernalia, I used them for inspiration and embarked again on the alternating fork in the path as a backup plan. A few months of this I decided that really, sixth form wasn’t for me and I ended up dropping out. So given up was I, that I no longer cared about doing anything in general, I had effectively lost my way completely.

Working, The injury and self-employed

The months of apathy that followed would end when I was required to obtain employment to pay for house keeping. Searching for a job wasn’t an necessity at this point due to the fact my mother was currently employed and had put in a good word for me at her place of work. Coupled with the fact that due to past work experience in this same company as a office assistant I was practically given the position, with the interview I needed to attend a mere legal formality of which had no bearing to my earning of the position. A year and a half later working the day to day dealings of a book bindert assistant and an opportunity for a promotion to a machine operator had arisen. Having applied and success earned such promotion I was now working for a time enthusiastically, as a operator of an embossing press machine. This turned out to be nothing more than a stress filled deviation in my career. A combination of the near total lack of formal training and a faulty safety guard on the machine, all resulted in a severe injury to my right hand.

Having recovered physically after a lengthy amount of time and a severe amount of pain I might add, I returned to work for nearly a year until the somewhat unexpected happened. I woke up one morning, readied myself for work and subsequently as I left my home – I broke down. I could not physically make myself go back to work, the thought of which made me mentally and physically nauseous. Requiring yet more medical attention as it became apparent that I was suffering from the after effects of my incident. Many months of attempting to recover from a bout of PTSD, I had made the decision to end my employment with my employer, unable to face the environment and equipment that had almost ruined my life. Years afterwards and all that remained was self loathing and depression, plaguing me constantly as I wanted to do nothing. Wasting away in front of a TV monitor just to edge me ever closer to death, believing that this was going to be my life from now on.

Years of this would result in my Dad coming up with a somewhat unique idea of starting a business; to work self employed refurbishing various power tool batteries and selling various products online; was the corner stone of our business model. Two and a half years of moderate success would unfortunately prove to be not enough to keep the business’s currently rented premises, nor continue it’s collective ability of sustaining the level of supplies for production or reconditioning of our main trading commodities. Afterwards the business would be required to downsize due to the lack of work we weren’t t already un-obtaining, and no longer had the necessary facilities to do so.

I was once again unemployed needing to seek employment elsewhere to keep up with the monthly house keeping payments. Which wasn’t actually required as I still had my insurance claim for my hand injury to sustain me, unfortunately not indefinitely. This was for the most part was the main reason why I never actively sort out new employment with any enthusiasm knowing full well I wasn’t going to be made homeless and destitute for the lack of funds.

What I want to be

After many months of searching for new employment I found myself waking up one morning, with a deep yearning to do something more than just wasting away. The very last remnants of any anti-depressant medication that had once flown through my veins had now completely dissipated, the zombiefied state it kept me under was gone and I could now think freely and act accordingly. Any enthusiasm that would have previously sprung up was no longer being quelled, largely as I mentally shielded myself from putting who I was out there as it were. That is of course if you excluding the many years of apathetic drifting through the days, one by one. As quite frankly I wasn’t in the correct state of mind to contemplate this fully, as anyone shouldn’t attempt to decide on their fate when all it leads to is a untimely dark end.

Having contemplated writing before as previously mentioned, but for comics, the level / amount of writing I wish to do now or will be required, was no where near what I had contemplated before. Certainly not to the degree that I would actually be able to actively turn the idea into a reality, or forge the means to do so – hence this website. Stand-up, sitcoms, sketch shows and panel shows would be become the constant through out the darkest of my years and will hopefully become the main theme and backbone of the type of writing I wished to pursue.

Unlike previous attempts to do anything remotely constructive, the red and green squiggles underneath every mistake don’t deter me. Every mistake made and subsequently corrected merely allowed me to enjoy the process even further, as I know that every correction is something I am learning to better a better standard. Every faulty paragraph, sentence or word made right and having the ability to broaden my vocabulary range while correcting the limited one I currently possess comes an enjoyable step towards a brighter career and future. Word processors and their godlike power of auto-correct guiding me has become my new religion and deity. Liberating me to be able to write and express myself while at the same time allowing it all to be legible for others, regardless of whether or not they actually read it.

Looking back on fact that I started writing a diary at the start of my transition has helped me keep track of my thoughts and feelings. Allowing me on occasion to look back to just how far I have come or grown as a person. All may very well have been a major catalyst to which my desire to write has stemmed from. While I’m not sure if this is true and may never do so, I have to believe that it has had some bearing on my current willingness express myself at a level I have found comfort with. My diary being a personal outlet for any and all of my emotions; this website and all subsequent posts, in turn have become an extended version of it albeit slightly more refined and elaborated (but not exaggerated). On top of allowing me the luxury of venting ideas/beliefs and any creativity that would have normally gone unexpressed.

I am writing these blogs/posts as a means to not only test and train my aptitude for my chosen vocation but as a testament of everything I had worked for. At the very least give a better insight for my family and friends to understand who I am and what I am going through better. As I have often found it far more difficult to actually vocalize my feelings directly. With my website now the forum in which I now vent out anything I wish and to rid myself of any thoughts that have plaguing my mind, no longer eating away inside my skull until I was nothing but a blithering drooling mess.

I hope for the most part you will find these enjoyable, or informative. I be no means wish to upset anyone through writing, however I do accept that this may end up being the case. Trying to please everyone all the time is a futile attempt and I hope that everyone knows that any content on this website it will not be posted with any maliciousness pre-thought from myself.

Thanks for reading.

Laura Steel.

Headache

Trying to write with this infernal headache, its driving me insane. That I am unable to construct a coherent thought when at the forefront of my mind is nothing but the pain. It is always there, on the left, just behind the eye. Why wont it stop! I would do anything to relieve myself from its nagging control over the side of my brain. Why doesn’t the right side stop it. Can it not share the load to make it all bearable. Or perhaps the right is the cause, laughing at the left as it remains unaffected.

Could it be a rooted parasite sucking the life out it’s latching point? How can you burn off this leech if its protected with a barrier of hydrocarbons and calcium phosphate. Knocking it doesn’t dislodge it, working instead to only to intensify the agony. The only path is to let the creature have it’s fill, letting the creative juices flow once more. Sleep maybe?…yes sleeping may fast forward it’s consumption…that’s what I’ll do…I’ll sleep on my right so that it can leave through my ear. I hope it doesn’t return or I’ll never get this writing done.

Leap of Faith

Lack of faith

I have never really had a religion. I thought for years that I had found something more, something that would explain away everything that had happened to me…but it would ultimately fade away. I understood some of the excuses why; people trying to find comfort where there was only pain, justification for their lives. Finding peace & serenity where chaos would run riot. Grasping the concept of a religion or the idea of believing in a deity, no matter the moral direction of their apparent motives was no longer possible. Good or bad, they for me were never real enough to give a justification to believe that they do existed. Religious texts, people’s word of mouth, or supposed signs of their benevolence or malevolence wasn’t enough.

Blindly believing in something unknown is so daunting, so alien to me. For as long as I can remember I have never yet believed in any religion or deity. It is a scary prospect and one I still to this day don’t understand why people do so. I even envy people who have that capacity to believe in something so strongly, so profoundly, it can define their own existence. Their sole reason for living and how they act towards others. Even going so far as to dedicate their entire lives to their deities, without so much as nothing but their faith as evidence.I am by no means questioning any ones right to believe in what ever they so do choose, everyone has that fundamental right. For me however, I just can’t contemplate living my life dedicating it to something I can’t tangibly sense, or measurable in some scientifically proven way. Something I can’t; see, hear or feel. Any sense that could prove beyond any reasonable doubt that there is a driving force behind everything we do, everything we are and will be.

That Moment of Realization

The day I truly knew who I was, was a depressingly enlightening moment. I had inclining before hand of who I might or could have been, but had never sought out to put the pieces together. The day the missing piece of the jigsaw was slotted into place, revealing the bigger picture of who I am, gave me a profound sense of being – one that it was truly overwhelming. No longer guessing, no longer wondering why I would do something; that to everyone else would have been out of character. To me my life finally made sense, everything clicked together perfectly.

This would ultimately prove to be the tipping point of my status qou, the apathetic lifestyle I had become so accustomed to, would have to come to an end. I could no longer live my life day by day as a lie, hiding who I really was just to fit in or pretend to be something, or someone I’m not. Just because I though it was how I was meant to be or act, how I was meant to live my life by following everyone else’s example. The truth had to be revealed, but there in lied another hurdle.

Fear had taken hold of me and instead of allowing me to walk freely, it would result in me mentally closing off everything around me. I had created a cage to which there was no escape; no locked door, no air vent to crawl out of, save for only a small barred window. Looking out onto a lush green field, covered with a rainbow of flowers and flittering critters. Among them someone running and dancing through the field having fun; that someone who I should have been. It made me nauseously sick to think that person would never be me.

Forever confining me to this prison, fear would never allow me to to tell the people I loved the most who the real me was and attempting to do so would always prove to be a futile endeavour. Walking past them one day after another, trying to force the words out of my mouth, only to freeze at the last minute. I wanted to stop and tell them but that same fear compelled my legs to keep walking even when I was asked what was wrong my lips quivered but was still unable to produce any coherent sound.

I had become too afraid to say any thing and too angry at myself for not being able to. Venting this anger had become increasingly difficult, almost too much to bare. The normal means of escaping were no longer working and the self destruction would follow – intensifying as the days turned into weeks, the weeks turned into years. Transfixing my attention to a screen of digitized pixels had lost it’s hypnotic effect, and in most instances would only work to worsen the feelings inside; images, films, video games, any thing that portrayed that person I wanted to be, someone I could never hope to become would just exacerbate my feelings towards myself.

My Leap of Faith

The day I came out to my parents, wanting to become who I really am; as a woman, was the most petrifying and yet single best day I have yet to experience. The shock they must have felt would turn to sympathy, telling me that everything was ok. I believed them. Having them both explain how I would always be their child, of whom they loved without question, regardless of how I looked on the outside and only caring about who I was on the inside. It was an overwhelming experience, one that had become the foundation to which I would now grow into the person I always wanted to be, who is now the person I am today.

I too was surprised by how accepting they were, all my fears of being rejected were unfounded and as always hindsight would only serve to kick myself over and over for not trusting my parents as I should have. This would become my leap of faith (admittedly only as a last resort), unknowing of the outcome of my actions. Landing safely having being caught by people who have and always will be there for me.

Everything I had come to accept as the inevitable; the depression, the anxiety, the self destruction was gone. Living my life outside of my self styled mentally created prison wasn’t just an idol fantasy was but a reality. For the first time I could now continue as I see fit, living my life as myself is and forever will be my choice. No longer constrained by my own insecurities, all my doubts about who I was had vanished, ever since my parents accepted me for who I am. Something I will always be eternally grateful, I will always live the rest of my days with the knowledge that I may never be able to repay them in an any deserving manner.

Life after Leaping

I wish I could say it has all been easy but that would just be a pointless lie. That everything could be different as simple as flipping a switch; to have retrospectively become the person I’ve felt like all along. Hoping that all the pain and mental torment I had felt or put myself through all those years was just a nightmare. Nothing will give back those lost years, but now I can spend the remainders to the fullest extent instead of just wasting away dwelling on the what ifs that have until now hindered me to an almost disastrous end.

Eternally grateful that I have my family and friends to thank for all the kindness and love they have shown me, ever since revealing the biggest secret I have ever had to own. From the simplest comment to the warmest hug ,it has all helped me get to the point in my life that has allowed me to live my life the way I choose. Even the regret of not saying so sooner has been turned into a positive, retroactively looking back I know that the path I now traverse, is the one I was always meant to walk, one that is now free any diversion, at least from myself. There are still many hurdles in my way as with any decision, they will now be faced with optimism and hope, regardless of the unknowns yet to come.

Now that I am now into the second official year of my transition and am awaiting my surgical appointment that will finally cement everything together, I feel safe in the knowledge that I have an array of family and friends that support me through out.

Thank you everyone who has been apart of my life in any positive fashion.


Laura Steel. ©2014

Descrimination and Abuse

Like one too many people on this planet, I have had the unfortunate luxury of being bullied. Across the vastness of human history people have been picked on, abused even killed because they were different. Were they evil? Did they commit heinous acts of violence, have reprehensibly depraved behavior, or commit deeds so morally despicable you wouldn’t have thought it possible?

The short answer is no. They have been bullied for the simple uncontrollable fact; they were different…

Because they had been born with a different set of parameters from the rest of society such as: Having a physical abnormality, suffering from a mentally impairing condition, having a difference in their sexually or they were born with a different set of reproductive organs. Even because they had a different religion (which has been the ultimate cause of many of these misguided acts.), having a difference in belief isn’t a good enough reason.

Reasons that can seem so insignificant, yet are blown out of proportion and treated like a wart that needs to be lanced off, a contagious disease that needs isolating for fear of infecting millions with out so much as a thought for the individual. Individual who has done nothing wrong except being born in the wrong place, in the wrong time, and with the slightness of differences that were out of their control.

First hand experience

I remember back to when I was 6 years old when it first happened, the first time I would be bullied. The reason for my early torment wasn’t because of any of the aforementioned reasons. I wasn’t, from the generalization of everyone of my class, different in anyway. Apart from of my height.

For years I was the shortest in the class, the runt of the playground pack. I often look back and think why did I let this happen? Blaming myself for being so weak in the first place. Height in comparison to most of the reasons for discrimination is so trivial it’s almost funny, although at that age it feels less important of the reason but the general fact of you are being singled out. Feeling isolated, like your family may not believe you or care what your going through (in hind sight they did, when I had told them), that can be a lot to take in at that age and probably still affects me to this day. Pangs of paranoia creep into the back of my mind when I am around people of whom I don’t know, nor have never seen before.

The bulling would start to decline in my later years of my school career. When after a few physical altercations the physically felt pain I felt became dull, it wasn’t as crippling as I had first experienced. From the odd playfully caused dead leg to the intense punch in the spine, none of it would stop unless I made it. In my late teens I started to stand up for myself, I felt a shift in the attitude towards me. The look on the faces of my oppressors wasn’t just funny but pathetically funny. I actually laughed in one persons face as he grabbed my throat and pushed me against a wall as I attempted to walk into the class room.

Mouthing words I couldn’t make out, over the noise emanating from my own head. The angrier he got, the louder I laughed. This wasn’t a nervous laughter, something you do when confronted with a bad situation that someone else is experiencing.

It was the same laughter you get from a well constructed joke, from a professional comedian. You were meant to laugh at because it was genuinely funny, the deep belly laugh that has you in tears from the semi pain of strained stomach muscles. Something to which I have become addicted too ever since…laughing I mean, not being bullied.

Their power over me was finally lost. I wish I could have known what they were thinking, to be confronted by my manic hysterics. The on looker, a friend of the brute grasping me was wearing a bemused face which only added to the hilarity. I have since then felt that this is my general attitude when I’m picked on. A natural defense to a predator stalking it’s prey, you won’t see that on the discovery channel however. I will admit giving your location away is a big no-no, in self perseverance, I may have been a hyena in a different life.

Living with out fear

Now that I am on my second journey of my life time, having now come out as both a trans-woman and bisexual ,I now face self given reason for others to pick on me for being different. I have proverbially given ammunition to the gun wielding manics to free fire at my direction. Am I scared…no. I have learnt to not live in fear, not let my anxieties and insecurities to get the best of me.

How? I’m not sure, I wish I could tell everyone how, it would make it so much easier for others as it has been for me. Either it’s because of my previous experience of being bullied or because I am lucky to be in a country more accepting of others because of their sexuality and transgenderism. I may never know. All I know is I am living my life the way I chose and have not only the law on my side with regards to discrimination but the mass of friends and family I now have for support, an array of human shields to deflect and absorb the bullets of abuse from others…I don’t actually seen them this way, it’s just a metaphor. If your family can’t be used, use children…joking. There’s always someone out there that will gladly help those in need, with out second motives or hidden agendas. People who will always treat you as a person first.

At any rate the best thing I learnt was to stand up for my self given the situation. Not allow others to bully you, not just physically but mentally and emotionally. No one deserves to be abused, in any shape or form. We are all equally different and that is what makes us special. It’s arguable what makes us as a species stronger, but not everyone will see it that way.

If you find yourself being abused please seek help. There are others who can both empathize and sympathize to what you are going through. There are hordes of self help guides and means to contact someone to help you stop the abuse.

If you suspect someone of being bullied don’t ignore it!

Stay safe!


Laura Steel © 2014


Looking for more information on the subject then check out these links:

https://www.gov.uk/equality-act-2010-guidance – The official UK governments website.

http://www.bullying.co.uk/ – Doesn’t just have information on bullying but on a wide range of topics.

http://www.wikihow.com/Deal-with-Workplace-Bullying-and-Harassment – A step by step guide to dealing with bullying in the workplace.

NHS websites dedicated to bullying in the workplace and in schools respectively.

http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/workplacehealth/Pages/bullyingatwork.aspx

http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Bullying/Pages/Antibullyinghelp.aspx

Learning: Past, Present, Future

Learning as a means to an end has been the corner stone of every great civilization that’s existed to day. Years ago as a child going to school was a painful experience, literally in some cases. Now as an adult I have had the luxury of extra learning courses at my local college as part of a vague attempt at becoming employable for jobs I have no interest it. As with all people of any age, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, finance. It’s the fundamental right of anyone who has the desire to improve their knowledge on any subject they so choose.

The Past

As with most children I was dragged to school (metaphorically of course), and under protest some days if I recall. The long arduous hours of sitting on a stiffly cheap plastic chair behind a MDF topped metal legged table, which always seemed to be the best hiding place for other people’s unwanted gum and/or nose pickings. Tempting the laws of gravity as you rocked back and forth on the two flimsy legs that look like hey could buckle under weight of the precariously sat student, broken up by the sudden shocks of horror as the “friend” behind you pulls on the chair.

There were good moments of course, from the ones I can remember atleast. From a then friend (who was clearly suffering from an undiagnosed case of A.D.D), ridding on the fact that we were laughing when we meant to be working. All the while under the watchful gaze of the clearly fed up teacher, mentally taking notes on our poor performance. Only to get his own back on parents evening by reporting our behavior to our parents, evident by the report card filled with his cursive writing barely legible by anyone other than himself. He undoubted realized they would punish us more than he had the legal power to.

The monotony of school time would rarely be broken up with the occasional trip to the museum or exhibit, featuring the most expensive displays available to everyone without the need to spend exorbitant amounts of money to see them first hand. Even to a camping trip which included a hike that; would end up with me nearly losing my bowls in a field of grain stalks, as a rampant hare tore through it running towards me at blinding speed. The stiff brittle grain stalks flattening under paw leading a narrow trail towards me, nearly passing by like a lone comet about to smash into the Earth only to be deflected seconds before impact.

To the small band of friends to whom I am still on a digital list of faces and names with to this day. Even though we may no longer congregate due to; finding other interests, moving, different priorities. Social media has still kept that chain alive, so that maybe one day we all gather for one last reminisce of the “good old days” before fading away into retirement , too desiccated too fearful to move that we’d crumble to dust.

These would be the good moments the ones I cherish. The bad memories would be the salt in the wound of the whole experience. Being bullied was the cornerstone of these moments but I’ll get into that another time.

The Present

Now after 10 years of being a recluse I have sought out education as a means to an end. Pursuing a career in writing:[enter sub type here]…(I have yet to decide), rather than something I must endure for the first 16 years of my life. College/University and learning as a general rule has become what feels like a new addiction and just because I want to and not because I have to.

Filling my head with the professionally craft words of a lecturer or staring at laser printed sheets of A4. It’s certainly much more safer than inhaling toxins flooding my veins, killing me slowly as a means to distract me from depressive state.

There’s a reason we make learning a legal requirement of parents, raising children in ignorance is morally and ethically wrong.

Having such a large array of courses to choose from is a little over whelming. Finding something to cater to my thirst, improving my knowledge base so I can kill any remaining ignorance left in my head. Stomping on it like a weed and pulling up the roots to never grow again is an ever .

This had only been re-enforced due to a chance meeting with a fellow trans-woman who has branched out my social life, one I was sorely in need of. If there are shining examples of coincidence this was one of them. Not only that but meeting several people who are writers themselves this has to be fate.

The Future

So now I await for the next stage in my continued quest for knowledge, attempt to unlock the potential life has to offer me. September 2014 is going to be the starting phase of what should hopefully be 4 years of hard work, hopefully my brain won’t dissolve into a grey puddle of mush draining through my nose and ears. With any luck be a fun filled adventure of new places, people and opportunities. No more of my years will be wasted doing nothing like; blankly starting at a screen, being ruled by apathy and depression. Depression that has all but diminished, with the small slivers left slowly eroding away with the new found social life I have been blessed to be apart of.

To many and myself, being able to learn is one of our greatest tools we could ever hope to posses, it is after the main reason we have become one of the most dominant species on the planet. Even if it has irreparably damaged the planet, caused the death of millions, caused untold horrors of destruction…oh dear bad examples! Forget that last part. Regardless of the negative impact learning can have it’s a massive leap away from ignorance of not wanting to know, not wanting to open our minds to new ideas because what we may know may inevitably come back around and hurt us. That’s why we use history to learn from our mistakes, even make them in an attempt to distinguish the different between fact and fiction and fantasy.

Life is about living, learning and loving. Ignorance is not bliss. Knowledge is.

Until then keep studying. I know I will be.

Laura Steel.

The definition of Digiscriptura and a bit about me.

Why Digiscriptura?

In the many hours of trying to come up with a somewhat witty site name address for my blogs (which seemed like such a minor feat at the time of creation), I almost fried my brain. Ironic as it took me next to no time coming up with my own name, some thing that has defined me so profoundly as to change the course of my life.

Coming up with my site’s address name was a truly cruel experience, one I know all to well will be a constant in my pursuit of a career in writing. We all have roadblocks, even if they aren’t life changing they still affect us all the same. This was next to nothing however, compared to some that I have jumped over to get where I am today so there’s at least a silver lining.

This is including the use of the many tools and sites available online for coming up with names I could use, names that would with any luck make my blogs and other writings stand out…all ultimately failing of course. Not that they won’t for anyone else, just me in this particular instance.

What does it mean? It may mean nothing to no one, something to someone or every thing to every one. Doubt it.

Anyhoo…pretentiousness out the way. [disinterested smiley here]

Trying to be more creative, I found myself turning to Latin. Now I don’t speak Latin. The only phrase I know in Latin is “carpe diem” and who doesn’t know that? I just about passed English and it’s my native language, that’s not something I like admitting but extenuating circumstances affecting my school life were to come into play and often without my realizing.

This concluded with me only receiving a C grade in English GCSE (and that was only after I attempted it twice), so I hope you know the level I’m working from. It still provided a platform on which I came up my title, just because I didn’t wan’t something bland but something that makes sense. It atleast does to me and that’s all I care about.

Here it is broken down…(this is according to Wiktionary’s accuracy) The links are to the pages in question in case your interested.

Prefix: digi-

digital
digit

Noun: scrīptūra

a writing, something written
a composition (act of writing)
a passage of scripture

I actually done a little dance the second it popped onto my screen. Over eight hours of blanking at the screen was finally over…and yes I actually spent eight hours trying to think of the name, the brain cells were clearly on a holiday suffering with jet lag, drunk on an exotic drink by the pool.

I am aware also that I have dropped the accented letters because it would have quite frankly been a hassle constantly typing it out, also have you noticed it rhymes with Laura thats an awesome coincidence. So to me it’s the perfect word for what these vague attempts at writing are all about. What I am all about. Specially as I try to forge a career into a world I know very little about but have every desire to experience to it’s fullest extent possible.

The bit about me.

With all that out the way, I hope that over time I can come up with something that will at the very least get rid of this nagging urge to do something with my life. One that only sprang up earlier this year as I continued to update my personal diary. Something that I at first dismissed as a tool that wouldn’t work venting my thoughts and feelings as a childish pass time.

It was to become one of the single best things I had started doing and still do to this day. My heart would sink the day six months ago I thought it lost (as it only existed digitally at this point), when it was obliterated from my computer when it had become infected with a virus. Causing me to morn it’s loss like a dead pet, or celebrity you have a trace amount of fondness for. The grieving was short live when I found the last remaining copy hiding on a flash drive. Tucked away like a hidden gem shining hope back towards me in it’s pixelated form on my screen, amid the other files of unknown origin and function.

So there it is, hopefully in time I can pick up the pace and flood this site with posts of various writings and the like. Hopefully they will be better written as my journey for a career continues, we shall see.

I feel the need to put a shout out to Wiktionary.org and Thesaurus.com. Both have become my favorite tools for pursuing my little hobby/potential career, both of which will more than likely be life long companions on my journey as a writer…assuming they are maintained for the duration of my life and/or career…which ever dies first. So epic kudos to their creators and benefactors. You have my sincere thanks.

Until then.


Laura Steel ©2014