Dream Journal 7/16/16 | Murder At A Concert

As they shoved me into the back of the cruiser, the others moved to the lawn, and started shouting and protesting my arrest, but the police did not care.

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I was waiting backstage, holding my clarinet, getting ready to go out on stage to perform with people from my childhood and high school years. I recognized several people from high school, some from middle school, and some from district music festivals, even though we were all adults, and I hadn’t seen any of them in eight or more years. Continue reading “Dream Journal 7/16/16 | Murder At A Concert”

Daily Prompt 1/18/2016 | Beliefs

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt | Reason to Believe

“In Reason to Believe, Bruce Springsteen sings, ‘At the end of every hard-earned day / people find some reason to believe.’ What’s your reason to believe?”

I’m an Agnostic Atheist… so, this is awkward.

I have no religious beliefs. I respect your beliefs, and even admire people who choose to believe in something higher than themselves, but I just can’t. At the end of the day, regardless of how your day went, there are so many people being murdered and abused, being kidnapped and sold, starving on the street. There is so much suffering in the world, and nothing is being done. No matter how many people pray to their respective gods and goddesses, nothing is being done. Every day, the world dies a little more, the humanity becomes more and more dangerous.

I choose not to believe. I choose not to believe in any deity that would give babies cancer, and allow men to hurt women, and control them for their own gain. I choose not to believe in a religion, or a deity, that would condemn two people to death simply for loving each other. A deity that would punish people, for not believing in them, for whatever reason, by killing thousands of innocent people with hurricanes and tornadoes. Not that I believe that any of these things are caused by a god, but if they were… why would they do that? It’s cruel, and terrible, and unnecessary. I would not put my faith in someone who caused that kind of pain.

My grandmother, who is very religious, once told me that anyone who does not accept God into their lives will never have a life of happiness or meaning, and will always be an empty shell. That is just an awful, hurtful thing to say to anybody, especially someone you love, just because they do not share your beliefs. How can you possibly feel that way? I’ve also heard her say vile things about babies and children, whose parents chose not to get them baptized. A baby.

Let’s not forget that religious strife has caused countless deaths since… ever? It still does today! People justify murder and brutality because a book says that two men being together is icky? So you should kill them? Or that a woman’s opinions, feelings, and rights don’t matter, because she would once have been considered property? Some men still consider women property. That is not right.

No. I choose to believe that we carve our own path, and that our actions are our own, and that we should be held accountable for them. I don’t need any sort of belief, or fear of damnation, to be a good person, and do good things. I don’t believe in heaven or hell. I just think people should respect and look out for each other, and that you probably shouldn’t go around causing harm for no reason. I don’t need a book to tell me what is right and wrong. We are all stuck on this planet together, at least for the time being, and we are all human. We all deserve love, respect, and freedom to be who we were born to be, without fear of persecution or death. If you need to seek answers in a high power, and if that gives you comfort, then by all means, live your life.

But for me, I choose to believe in myself, and my ability to determine right and wrong. I choose love over hate, and acceptance over discrimination. And I will not let anyone change that. Now… do I know for certain that Zeus, Hades, Osiris, Odin, etc. do not/did not exist? No, I do not. But is there tangible proof that they did/do. No.

This is why, at the end of the day, I choose not to believe. If my son grows up and has questions about religion, or wants to attend the church of his choosing, then I won’t stop him. But I also won’t lie to him. I feel that people should be free to choose who, or what, they want to put their faith in, without fear of judgement. I have friends and loved ones who have devoted their lives to their religions, and they are amazing, fulfilled people. I have friends who share my beliefs (or lack of), and are just as happy and fulfilled. I also know devout individuals who are completely miserable, and vice versa.

Be who you are, live fearlessly, and strive for happiness. Just… don’t kill people, okay? Be nice. Love thy neighbor, and all that.

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

Dream Journal 9/23/15

“I… who are you? How did you get here?” I asked him, suddenly terrified. My cabin was in the middle of the wilderness, a large lake, and thousands of trees, separating me from society. How had he gotten here?

Future.

I was a writer, and was working on my latest suspense/thriller novel, and I was staying in a large, log cabin in the woods, right on a gorgeous lake. Across the lake there was a large campground, and I could hear boats and children playing across the water. I spent most of my time staring out the window, watching the families in the distance, and trying to think of what to write.

One morning, I woke up to silence. I peered out the window while making coffee, and saw police lights, and officers coming the beaches of the lake. I frowned, wondering what happened.

I sat at my desk and continued typing on my computer, but stopped suddenly when I heard a noise coming from the bushes outside my the large bay window in my kitchen. I tensed up and walked to the window, I was immediately face-to-face with a young man, around 18 years old.

“Please, can you hide me?” He asked me, panic in his voice.

“I… who are you? How did you get here?” I asked him, suddenly terrified. My cabin was in the middle of the wilderness, a large lake, and thousands of trees, separating me from society. How had he gotten here?

“Please,” he repeated, tugging at his shirt nervously, “I need to hide.” He continued to pull at his shirt, and I realized now that he was soaking wet. He swam here.

“I’m sorry, this is private property, I need you to leave,” I said, reaching to shut the window, “I can’t help you, sorry.”

I pulled the window closed, and the young man took off running around the side of the house. I cursed loudly, unsure of where he was going. I ran to the front door, but it was too late, he was already standing in the doorway, dripping lake water onto the wood flooring.

“I’m not going to hurt you, I promise, please, I just need somewhere to hide.”

“Hide from what…?” I asked cautiously. Just then, I heard a news report on the TV in the living room.

“The body of 13-year-old Elizabeth Moran was found in Great Bear Lake this morning by her parents, Jacob and Theresa Moran. Witnesses say that they heard screaming coming from the beach early this morning, and witnessed a tall male running from the beach. Elizabeth’s 18-year-old brother, Derek, is currently missing and wanted for questioning. If you have any information…”

My eyes widened and I felt my heart beating rapidly in my chest. The young man stared at me intently, terror and sadness in his eyes.

“Are you… are you Derek?” I asked quietly.

He nodded sadly, “I didn’t hurt my sister. I heard it all. I saw a man, running out of the water. I saw her body, but it was too late. I panicked and ran, but there were people everywhere. They saw me, and then they were on their phones, calling the police. I had to run.”

I hook my head. If he hadn’t done anything wrong, couldn’t he just tell the police that? My thoughts were interrupted by the sound of tires on the dirt road leading up to my cabin. Through the trees I could see two police cars driving slowly up the road. Without thinking, I pulled the young man into the house, hissing at him to hide. He obliged, running down the hall and out of my sight.

There was a knock at the door only moments later, and I opened it, greeting the two officers standing there with a smile.

“We’re sorry to bother you, Mrs. Dalton, but we’re looking for a young man who is wanted for questioning in the drowning death of a young girl from just across the lake. Have you seen him?”

I tried my best to look shocked and horrified, “Oh, god! No! That’s tragic! I haven’t seen anyone officers, just been here working on my book. I will certainly let you know though!”

The officer who had been talking to me stared at me quizzically. I could tell he knew something was up. They thanked me for my time and turned to leave. I realized that his eyes briefly flickered over the puddle of water that they had been standing in.

“Better clean that up, ma’am,” the officer said to me, with a hint of warning, “You wouldn’t want to slip.”

My heart felt like it was going to explode as I watched them drive away.

“I didn’t hurt her,” Derek said quietly, walking back into the hall, “I wouldn’t.”

I nodded, and walked back to the kitchen. My coffee had gotten cold.
———————————–

Derek stayed with me for two days, and in that time, I grew to believe his story. The more he repeated it to me, the more I believed in his innocence. But he couldn’t stay in my cabin forever, so we made a plan to get him away.

I was driving through the woods in the dark, Derek was in the back seat with a blanket over him, hidden from the world. We got to a highway, and I gave him an envelope with some money in it, and told him to keep the blanket. He took off, and I turned in the opposite direction, but stopped.

There was a large, black lab sitting in the middle of the road. After a few seconds, a man stepped out from the shadowy bushes to my left, and I realized that it was the officer who had come to my cabin two days earlier. I hit the gas, swerving around the man and the dog, and drove.

About a mile down the road, I turned off, driving through grass and wilderness, avoiding trees in the darkness. Something caught my eye, distracting me for just a moment, and I crashed my car into a tree. The airbag hit me in the face, and my nose started to bleed.

I climbed out of my car in a daze, and could hear dogs barking nearby. I started to run through the woods until I made it back to the lake, and followed the rocky shore to my cabin. I locked myself inside, and retreated to the basement.

I was terrified at what would happen to me for helping a wanted man to escape, but I knew he was innocent. I sat there in the dark, waiting for the police to break my door down, but no one ever came.

So I walked back up the stairs, and sat at my desk. The sun was starting to come up, and I could hear birds singing. I started to type, continuing with my story.

And then I woke up.