Inspiration in the Slow Cooker!

~Sometimes inspiration can come from unexpected places or occurrences. You may be strolling down the street one day, see a mud puddle and suddenly realize the premise of your next book set in an underground city that is flooded by a storm up above and your hero must swim through dangerous murky waters to save an innocent child.

Ta Da! Inspiration from a mud puddle 🙂

Well, today I was inspired by my slow cooker… and Santa! So here is a little story I would like to call:

Santa Stole my Chili Recipe 

The cool winter winds shook the windows of my apartment as the sun peaked through the clouds and provided a temporary warmth throughout the small, damp west coast city. All of the ingredients were ready to go for the nights Christmas Party Chili I was going to prepare. I peeled 3 cloves of garlic and squished them through the garlic press, sprinkling the goodness over all the assorted beans in my big white slow cooker.

The aromas began to fill my nose instantly as I chopped up some fresh green onions from my garden. I added some juicy mushrooms, a scoop of tomato paste and poured in a couple of tablespoons of black bean sauce (an ingredient I can’t live without). As the porcelain pot heated to a perfect low temperature I added my last spices on top of a slab of locally grown bison meat. A bit of salt and pepper, oregano, chili powder, garlic powder, turmeric, 2 bay leaves and a cup of organic cane sugar to sweeten up the dish.

Suddenly there was a shuffling of feet behind me. I jumped with surprise and swung around to see what it was, but I saw nothing. Shaking my head and giggling I continued to stir my sweet chili as the smells of the meal filled the room. It was time to place the lid on top and let the flavors devour each other for the next 7 hours.

I continued on with my day running around and getting things ready for the party. I was so excited to share my delicious chili with all my friends. Later that afternoon I returned to the chili once more to give it another stir and add more sugar and a secret ingredient. 😉 That’s when I found… the note!

It was a note from Santa

Ho ho ho my dear Tiny T! Merry Christmas! I happened to follow my nose right to your yummy chili today and I just had to have the recipe. I hope you don’t  mind but I looked at the chili to see what you had added. I am sorry to say dear, but I have stolen your chili recipe to cook in my slow cooker for the elves back at The North Pole. 

Love Santa xo (PS: You’ve been a very good girl this year!) 🙂  🙂 

And with the two smiley faces ending the note I realized Santa had robbed me. This was defiantly not a bad thing though. Little did he know I hadn’t added in the extra sugar or the secret ingredient in yet!! Haha Santa only had part of the recipe but it would still be very scrumptious.

The Christmas Party Chili recipe saved the day!!

I jumped with joy knowing that everyone was going to eat my wonderful chili that night and it filled my heart with love to know that Santa loved my chili so much. Hopefully the elves would love it to. Later that night while going through my phone I found that Santa had taken some incriminating photos. I must have left the phone by the slow cooker.

Oh Santa! What a silly guy!

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HAPPY FRIDAY!!

 

Randoms Week Day 2: BLOG GAMES! Tell me a story :)

game-hell-439523_1280~Hi friends! Welcome to our 2nd round of BLOG GAMES! If you played yesterdays game THANK YOU and I hope you enjoyed the 1st round. Didn’t get a chance to play the first game? Feel free to play:
GAME #1

Getting to know fellow bloggers through a fun interactive game is a total blast and yesterday I really had some good laughs.

Cheers fellow bloggers!!

For today TUESDAY‘S #2 blog game we are going to do some story telling 🙂

How to play: I will start by giving you 2 main components of a short story. You will write a story using ONLY 2 sentences.  The 2 main components of your story are #1-your character and #2-a place that is dear to your heart.

Now, for your character: a childhood pet

How to compose your story: There must be a beginning and an end. There must be an event that happens to your character whether it be funny, scary, sad ect. There must be some sort of dialogue and your 2 sentences can be as long as you want with proper grammar and punctuation to the best of your ability.

I’ll go first! 😀

A small white dog named buddy was locked outside in the rain because a filthy robber had kicked him out and taken his family hostage inside the house: a big brick mansion on the side of a massive green hill that the kids used to toboggan down in the cold winter. “Help…” screamed the mother as her nervous voice faded off into silence, the whole family panicked, all the while their white fluffy friend had already jumped through an open window in the back and then attacked the robber by biting his face as he bolted out the front door; the beloved pet had saved them from the peril of an evil villain looking to score some loot.

Hehe that’s the best I’ve got!! 😛

YOUR TURN!

Write your story in the comments below to play TELL ME A STORY! Invite some friends to play along and have some fun 🙂 🙂 Check tomorrow for game 3.

Have a BLOG GAME suggestion? Let’s hear it!!

GO!!!

A Short Sunday Story xo

Sacrificed to the Ends of the Earth

~The dense grey fog was intoxicating that brutal night Lady Ongela was taken from her family. Her frail lungs struggling for a touch of oxygen through that damned disheveled bag was too much to bear. It was only a fortnight until her 19th name day and the harsh twisted minds of the bandits had poisoned her ever so slightly as to knock her into a fuzzy haze of bizarre hallucinations. They were ready to make their sacrifice to the lords of the realm. Sweat and tears dripped down her soft skin and immersed her lavender wine hair in a salty mess against her chest. The knobby ropes cinched around her tiny chafed wrists. Her flush pink lips quivered with fear. 

The trees hissed and crackled in those dreaded moist winds while they danced the dance of the melancholy vibrations that rang throughout the thick green forest. There was no moon to be seen in the dark somber sky. chains-19176_1280

The once magnificent palace was now broken.

A young man by the name of Alias the 2nd quickly caught word from the Duchess of the realm that her daughter had been taken. He instantly knew that he had no choice but to save her, for he had loved her for many years. Lady Ongela had been so gracious in her adoring friendship for the young lad and he had fallen so deeply in love with her that his heart longed for her touch. If only just a chance at a mere graze of her hand or a short evanescent look of tenderness. If only for a brief moment in time.

His striking blue eyes wept in a silence so loud it could break the hearts of 1,000 men. It would melt the ice that engulfed the souls of the wicked. 

The agonizing ritual would endure for 4 days and 4 nights, as the legend had been told. Alias had but a small window before the final cut would drain the last ounce of the fair beauty’s innocence and end her life. Alias jumped on his trusty steed and charged into the ominous night, his choppy ash hair thrashed by those winds. Those awful dreaded winds.

His horse was fierce, and the duo surged through the night like a tornado destroying a hay-field just before ripping a barn in half and spitting the wooden pieces into oblivion. Before long, Alias could hear the clamoring hooves of the hijackers horses, as black as they were he could not see them very well. But that did not stop his tenacity.

With a white horsepiercing stab to the side of his faithful white stallion, he crashed through the trees as if they were nonexistent.

The treeline broke into a large open field. It was suddenly a race to end… the final point of no return where the earth dropped off and the floating castle of darkness would consume its sacrifice into the vortex. The place where frightening nightmares are made.

Gaining speeds of immense urgency, Alias advanced the ratty carriage and noted 3 men atop of the freight.  In one mighty bound he rocketed of his horse, pulled his razor-sharp blade and slit 2 of the men’s throats in a single plunge. The bloody limp carcasses fell to the soft mossy ground as Alias grabbed the reigns and halted the carriage before the 3rd rotten villain could let out a scream. The horses hollered into the dead of night and dug their hooves into dirt. The filthy brute regained his balance and threw a lazy fist at Alias. He missed but Alias fell off the wagon hard into the earth. 

A bright flash of lights blinded Alias as his head hit. Then black.

Alias slowly opened his eyes to a dull yellow light above his head. A soft fluffy pillow lay under his frosty ash hair. He ran his hands along the surface where he lay as the silky sheets brushed against his skin. Turning his head ever so slightly he peered to his right to see a small frame close to him. 

He blinked once and then opened his eyes as wide as he could as if admiring a beauty so bold it was nearly impossible. 

There she was in her light delicate negligee. Her long lavender locks nestled against her smooth ivory back. Her skin was gleaming like a newborns. She smelled of luscious sweetened honey.

His hand gently touched her shoulder, just for a brief moment. His heart skipped a beat.

She had been by his side all along. She was more than a dream, she was an everlasting eternal love. 

He would have sacrificed himself… to the ends of the earth. His body sank into hers and they were intertwined in a warm, fiery embrace for all eternity. 

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Thursday Thoughts: A Fairy Tale

images~There once was a magical land full of wonder, pure happiness and brilliant fairies of all kinds. It was called Panallia.

Painted with vibrant colors and sparkling skin the fairies would fly around in the deepest of dreams spreading love and peace. Content in their ways the fairies did not concern themselves with materialistic things, jealousy or violence because fairies (as you may know) are a very peaceful bunch.

The fairy lands were a wondrous sight indeed, with floating mountains high above the fluffy white clouds and trickling waterfalls that were crystal clear. The fairies would fly from tuft to tuft landing on the soft velvety moss with their tiny bare feet giggling all along the way. Glorious purple, red and pink flowers were scattered throughout the patches of lime green grass and under beautiful swaying trees which sang the songs of the land as the warm wind blew through their strong branches. The shining sun was always in the sky during the day and when night finally engulfed the majestic lands hanging in mid-air, the stars above were brighter than any human could ever see.

One small fairy in particular worried about the incredible landscapes that her and her family had come to love and cherish. Her name was Lanolind, the red fairy healer. Lanolind was a special dream fairy who protected the hearts of the children on earth down below the lands of Panallia. She dedicated her life to them, saved their innocence and dusted them with hope and magic so they could fulfill their desires and dreams of the future. And of course, she helped them to believe in fairy tales, for that was what made Panallia prosper and radiate its magnificence. It was how its existence thrived.

But alas, Lanolind found that it was becoming more and more difficult to instill hope into the poor children and began to realise the kids were no longer holding onto their hopes and dreams. Her magical fairy dust was being blocked by darkness and she could not figure out how to regain the light in their hearts. Dreams were forgotten and hope was lost. Even the lands of Panallia started to look darker and the flowers could no longer dance as they used to. The days seemed shorter and the wind became cool.

The children were becoming stagnant and they were no longer open to their own dreams nor did they believe in themselves. And so, they did not believe in fairy tales. Something had to be done.

So, Lanolind gathered a group of 3 other fairies to a meeting on the main mountain of Panallia, where bright blue dragon flies mingled with other insects and multicolored butterflies rested on yellow daisies. The meeting was called to discuss a shift in consciousness. To find a solution to the darkness that clouded the young minds on earth. The 4 fairies formed a circle facing each other and planted themselves on brown bulbous mushroom seats.

“They do not believe in us anymore. And worst of all… they no longer dream!” Cried Lanolind in her high-pitched voice as the other fairies quivered. A few gasps filled the fresh air and the fairies glanced back and forth exchanging fearful looks to one another.

For if the children no longer believed in fairy tales and hope for the future, then the fairies would fade away out of existence never to be thought of again.  Dreams would forever die and innocence would be lost for all eternity.

“What can we do?” Whispered Ezla, the purple fairy who cared for the animals.

All of the fairies remained silent.

No one knew what to do and each fairy lowered their wings in defeat one by one. Was there simply nothing they could do?

Hours and hours passed until finally Alarna, the golden fairy of light, shot up into the air and squealed as loud as she could.

“I’ve got it!” She exclaimed.

All of the pretty fairies locked their eyes on Alarna’s golden glow, anxiously awaiting her solution for this awful occurrence. As she lowered herself back down onto a silky mushroom top she opened her arms and slowly waved her wand in a circle creating a golden funnel of illumination in the center of the fairies.

“We will make the adults believe in us again!” She said confidently.

The 3 fairies looked at one another again with doubt splashed across their delicate faces.

“But how will we do that?” Asked Baltinda, the flower fairy full of ruffles and flower petals hung around her tiny frame.

Alarna smiled as big as she could from ear to ear and opened her hand to the fairies.

“All we have to do is combine our strengths together to spread hope and love throughout the dreams of the adults. Only then will the children follow.”

It seemed like a mighty task indeed. To save the minds of the parents and regain their hope for the world. To believe in dreams and then teach their children to do the same. To tell the fairy tales once again.

It seemed impossible.

But the fairies were determined to find a way to survive. They wanted to help the poor souls that had lost their way. They truly believed in the future of mankind… that there must be a way to save the children AND their parents. So together they made the most powerful fairy dust full of light from Alarna, compassion from Ezla, beauty from Baltinda and last but not least, pure hope from Lanolind. A combination of all the things that the humans desperately needed to survive.

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The final step was to find a way to sprinkle the powerful dust over the minds of the humans all at once so that the magic would work on everyone… so they called upon the white fairy of snow and frost, Zalinia.

Zalinia and the 4 other fairies then formed a circle over the earth once the darkness had taken away all light except for the crescent moon that night. From high above they linked themselves together with their petite hands while they began to sing the songs of the land with the swaying trees. They summoned their deepest most cherished magic from within. Their strongest hopes and dreams… and together created a blanket of magic and wonder that covered all of the earths surface.

Down below the warm shiny dust fell upon the innocent and left them sneezing and laughing in their sleep. Dreams began to resurface and build hopes for the days to come.

It wasn’t until days later that a wave of inspiration washed over Panallia and the flowers began to dance and sing along with the trees once again. The magic grew so strong that the fairies felt true happiness and strength within the land. The plan had worked and a shift was made!

A tremendous celebration rang through the heavens and brought a new found dreamscape full of promise and utopia. The fairies had succeeded in saving the minds of the humans, and in this action saved their home and themselves.

The floating mountains of Panallia were restored. Saved by the human dreams once they believed in themselves again. Parents began to tell fairy tales to their children who grew up to follow their own dreams.

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The end.

 

~Stories of a solo traveller~ The Barry Ashworth Experience

 

~48 Hours of Fame in Aguas Calientes, Mexico with Barry Ashworth-

My favorite Dub Pistol

Barry Ashworth

By: Tanya Brooks

My flight to Puerta Vallarta was delayed by 5 hours. The airport was full of angry frustrated faces and two babies were crying in unison. I had just begun my long journey to the center of Mexico to go meet my best friend Lisa in Aguas Calientes. We would arrive there at different times so I was solo for the first part of my trip. Lisa had some connections from previously living in Mexico and also from being a wicked cool Dj, so she managed to set up a gig with a friend of ours from Mexico, Arturo. He was throwing a huge party with some other music production people in the city and I had my “in” since Lisa is my best friend. I was to be a part of it all!

The special guest was Mr. Barry Ashworth from the infamous Dub Pistols! Don’t know who the Dub Pistols and Barry Ashworth are?

“Dub Pistols are a London based dub music, hip hop and big beat band founded by Barry Ashworth in 1996. The other members of the band were record producer and bassist Jason O’Bryan, Brooklyn producer and lyricist, T. K. Lawrence on vocals, Jap Slut guitarist John King, and DJ Stix / Steve Hunt. Guest songwriters and vocalists include Blade, James Dewes Sheffield (JMS), Rodney King and Terry Hall. In 2008 Jack Cowens joined the band on drums.”

Dub Pistols

Thanks, Wikipedia!

We were totally stoked! This was the plan:

I was to arrive in Sayulita by bus from PVmexico

stay there with our friend Nuri for two nights and then catch a 10-hour bus ride from Puerta Vallarta to Aguas Calientes. Arturo was then supposed to pick me up from the bus station and get me a hotel room. Barry was to be picked up from the Airport in Aguas the next day while Lisa was coming into a different airport around the same time. Then we would put together the party, entertain Barry and Lisa would stay in the hotel with me for a few nights. Seemed like it would be pretty easy to coordinate.

Well, as I was saying in the beginning:

my flight was delayed 5 hours from Vancouver so I didn’t arrive in Sayulita until late at night. I ended up sleeping most of the time I was there. I did manage to hit the beach for a few hours but didn’t see too much sun. After the next day’s bus ride, which took a grueling 10 hours… in this direction:

mex

Arturo finally picked me up in Aguas Calientes… but didn’t have a room for me.

The trip started out just wonderful.

Finally, after 3 places denied us, we found a room on the complete opposite side of Aguas Calientes from where I was supposed to be. The rest of the plan worked out pretty well, though. The following night my chaperone drove me to the airport to get Barry. He was flying in from The UK. IMG_0902

We met up with Lisa and went out on the town. That’s when the fun began! 🙂

Barry’s face was all over Aguas Calientes. We saw posters and big huge banners as we walked around from place to place. People kept looking over at us and pointing. Suddenly as we entered Yambak (the bar hosting the show) locals started taking pictures of us and tapping us on the shoulder to get a look at Barry. I felt a soft touch on my arm as we sat down with our beers and I turned around to see an Asian girl standing next to me.

“Can we have a photo?” she asked with a huge grin on her face.

She must have thought I was Barry’s agent or something. All of a sudden a line up of people formed around us as more and more locals joined in our spontaneous photo shoot with Barry. People were laughing at clapping and shaking Barry’s hand. Some people didn’t even know who he was but they saw his blown up face on a huge banner outside the bar so they just had to get in on the action. I think Barry probably signed some autographs that night too. It was so much fun!

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Bright flashes and big crowds engulfed us as we struck a pose and boasted about the upcoming show. Everyone was so excited and I felt like a total rock star! As the warm air saturated my skin the sweat started to drip down my face. Hours had eventually gone by and we were getting pretty exhausted. Lisa and I started discussing the ride situation to get back to our room and Barry overheard our dilemma.

He kindly offered us a place to stay in the king sized bed in his big huge hotel room… which was much nicer than ours AND right down the street from where the party was going to be. So the next day we moved in with Barry and the three of us crashed in the gigantic bed. Barry was an absolute gentleman and a riot too. He was so fun and energetic. All we did was laugh and have fun with him. It didn’t matter where we were we stuck together and made the trip one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. We even managed to go see a bit of the city and grab a few trinkets along the way.

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Then, before we knew it… it was time to PARTY!

Armed with our backstage passes we dressed up and pulled our dancing shoes on!IMG_0929

We grabbed a couple of drinks while people started showing up and the stage slowly started making some noise. A bit of background Mariachi music played while the sound system was being tested.

The first DJ was on, pounding some heavy bass and people started bobbing their heads and moving around.

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Then… the lights came on for Barry!

As soon as the announcer introduced Barry, the entire place went crazy! Strobe lights were pulsing, people’s hands were in the air and Barry instantly destroyed the decks! Pure joy pulsated through my veins as Barry threw on:

“Mucky Weekend” 2012- from Worshipping the Dollar

Lisa and I looked at each other and began screaming the lyrics at the tops of our lungs while we ripped up the backstage with our killer moves and flailed around howling up towards the stars.

“Oh, no here we go again,
I’m off my face another mucky weekend
One day I’m gonna have some kids and a wife
But until then I just wanna live my life.”

Barry blew everyone away with his sweet tracks and epic mixes that dropped atomic bombs!! IMG_0947

We jumped up on stage to bust a move as Barry grabbed a bottle of Vodka, took a swig and then spit it all over the crowd. The IMG_0958smoke machine intensified the drops of liquid spraying out onto the dance floor making them look like little beads falling from the sky. IMG_0961

We danced until we couldn’t dance anymore. The night was a hit. So much fun… so many memories.

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The following day we just relaxed and recouped from the night’s festivities. After a short run in with a weird after party in the wee hours of the morning and a snippy little dog that almost chewed Barry’s leg off… we managed to get some rest. Other than some ripped pants no one was hurt in the party process 🙂

Barry became an automatic awesome good friend and I am so lucky to have met him.

He even came over to Victoria recently to do a small show here at Rehab bar after his big Canadian tour!

barry in vic

What a great guy… and a visit with Barry Ashworth always makes for a great story! Here’s to you, Tio Barrio!!  We love ya xo

Dub Pistols! Check em out!

http://dubpistolsmusic.co.uk/

 

 

 

~Stories of a solo traveller~

~I’m reposting this story after it lost in a short story competition. It’s one of the scariest things that happened to me while I was travelling… and it also shows how stupid I was when I was younger. Let this be an important lessonthat unfortunately I had to learn the hard way:

when you’re a solo female traveller you can’t be overly trusting towards kind strangers or you may just get yourself into trouble… like I did. I certainly learned my lesson in the end.

An Unexpected Turn  

By: Tanya Brooks

It was the night before my 24th birthday, and there I was on Koh Samet Island, Thailand. The waves of the ocean were fierce and the palm trees surrounded the soft, sandy beach as the tourists started to fill the bars. I closed my eyes and imagined a banner that read: “Happy Birthday Tanya!” as I stood outside my tiny wooden bungalow, awaiting the stroke of midnight.

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I took a deep breath and adjusted my dress which was soaked in sweat. The moonlight made the sand sparkle that evening, and the air was thick and humid. I tucked my brown hair into a little bun under a stylish black cap while silver earrings dangled from my ears.  It was so hot I don’t know why I even bothered to put make up on my face because it just rubbed off right away. My fair skin had definitely been sun-kissed during the day.

I was utterly disappointed after arguing with my friend Tyson about his distant nature during our trip. Rather than celebrating with me, he decided to ditch me and go to bed. I guess travelling wasn’t his cup of tea. I was forced to spend the beginning of my special day alone. The fire dancers lit up the beach that night.216_23939895443_4299_n

I slowly dragged myself to the nearest bar down some big cement stairs. All I wanted was someone to celebrate with. As I ordered a large bucket of red bull and vodka I slumped onto the sticky countertop and stared blankly into nothing.  While I took the first sip of my drink a handsome young man walked up and asked my name in broken English.

“Tanya,” I replied shyly to the local lad. “What’s your name?”

“Kap, why you here all by yourself?” he said warmly with a confused smirk on his face.

“Well it’s my birthday, so I’m drinking!” I told him as I slurped my extremely alcoholic drink.

“All alone?” asked Kap, aghast that anyone would leave me to drink by my lonesome.

I said “Yup, pretty much.” and continued to stare blankly at the television behind the bar.

Kap sat down beside me and we started to have a conversation despite our language barrier. He was very charming and I was captivated by his gentle nature. He had dark black hair and smooth brown skin which was quite appealing to me. I quickly felt the booze kicking in and knew that I’d soon be drunk if I didn’t eat some food. Kap took me by the hand as we walked over to a restaurant on the beach to enjoy some noodles and continue our night.

When the clock struck midnight we ran back to the bar to have a dance. I was so happy to have found a friend to celebrate with. People were patting me on the back, dancing to the music as we took photos and ordered more buckets of booze. I became incredibly intoxicated.

My dress was a sweaty mess and I felt my face burning red. At about 3 o’clock Kap invited me over to his place to wind down and being the naïve, overly trusting person that I am, I accepted and we began to walk far away from the beach. Before long we were walking down a dark, deserted street 20 minutes away.

I started to feel slightly uncomfortable and slowed my pace. I was a bit concerned at this point so I asked Kap how much further we had to go.

“It’s not far.” He replied, very sure of himself.

We walked for another 15 minutes until finally we came to a large garage door.

“This is my home,” said Kap, placing his finger to his lips. “Be very quiet please.”

Regretting my decision, I didn’t really know what to do. Even though I had a great night with this man, I felt unsure of wandering so far away from where I was staying. Many questions arose as we entered the strange house. How was I going to get back? Should I really trust this person to bring me to his home?

Suddenly a wave of fear washed over me as I sauntered up the rickety stairs. Garbage and clothes were scattered everywhere. Boxes and bins were overflowing with heaps of stuff.

Confused and appalled by the disarray of the place, I sheepishly asked Kap, “Do you live here by yourself?” He turned and put his finger to his lips once again and guided me in.

I was now completely afraid and did not want to be there. Kap pulled me into the living room which was covered with clothes and other dirty items. He brushed off the couch and cleared a place for me to sit as he put his hand on my shoulder. I couldn’t help but close my heavy eyes and start to doze off from the extreme dizziness I was feeling.  Then, without warning, I felt Kap shaking me awake. I hadn’t even realised that I had passed out. He hurried me out of the room towards the stairs and I was too stunned to speak as we bolted out onto the street.

Kap whispered, “Wait here.” and closed the door.

After about 2 minutes, he came around the corner with a scooter.

“Get on!” said Kap furiously as he helped me onto the seat.

He drove even farther away from my vacation home and dropped me off in front of a nearby 7/11. He told me to get off the scooter and stay put. He drove away leaving me alone once again and I immediately felt panic. I looked around to see a bunch of creepy faces staring at me while I waited. I knew I had to get the hell out of there. I began to walk at a brisk pace in the direction of my bungalow, my heart racing and almost pounding out of my chest. I was so scared I could hardly breathe.

Within minutes I noticed a few stray dogs starting to follow me so I sped up. Then another dog joined the pack, then another, and another. Before I could even fathom what was going on, I was surrounded by a pack of smelly, tattered dogs. I couldn’t tell if they were going to attack or if they were somehow protecting me from unknown dangers. They formed a perfect circle around me.

As my feet pounded the pavement they started to burn and the pain shot up my legs. I realised I was still so far away from my bungalow when, at that very moment, I heard the sound of a scooter. Kap! I thought as I turned my head and stopped right in my tracks. As the dogs halted along with me, a tawny young man on a small motor bike inched up beside me and I saw that it was not Kap at all.

The man looked at me as if I was stupid for walking around by myself at night.

“Do you need a ride?” he asked, without a doubt in his mind that I clearly needed help. I decided it was either take this man’s offer or face the dangers that may lie ahead.

“Yes, thank you,” I sobbed, still in shock at what had just happened as tears filled my eyes. As we drove away the dogs seemed to stand still, watching us vanish into the darkness.

The kind man dropped me off in front of the stairs which led up to my bungalow. I let out a sigh of relief. I was safe. I watched him dart off as a hint of sun began to arise. I stood up and turned to walk up the stairs when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw Kap!

My eyes widened as I ran to him, hitting his chest and shouting “Why did you leave me? How could you do that to me?”

Kap hung his head in shame as he took a step back from me. “I’m sorry Tanya…” he said with deep regret.

“My uncle… he would…” he inhaled and looked into my eyes.

“My uncle would beat me if he found out we were friends and I brought you to our house.”

I paused and let his words sink in. I didn’t really know what to say to him. There was only silence between us. I glared at Kap even though I felt sorry for him. Why would he invite me over if I wasn’t welcome? I reached towards him and my fingers brushed his shoulder. He began to walk away from me so I pulled back and looked down at the ground.

“Wait.” I cried.

Kap turned to me and with sorrow in his eyes he gingerly shrugged his shoulders.

“I’m sorry.” he muttered as he sulked into the distance.

In the end my birthday hadn’t turned out the way that I’d wanted at all. With sadness in my heart I left that morning. I never saw Kap again.

 

Stories of:  Thailand

~Stories of a solo traveler~ Laos

~A Mysterious Pill~

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I gripped the dirty rope swing and inched my toes to the edge of the wooden platform. I closed my eyes and jumped, wrapping my legs around the rope. As I released myself into the brown river I let out a loud scream, tucked my arms tight against my body and braced for impact. The cool, murky water seeped into my nose and mouth as I swam to the surface, my face covered by my dark brown hair.

 The water was filthy yet refreshing. The sky was clouded over but the air was stuffy and hot in Luang Prabang, Laos. I had drunk Thai whiskey and vodka all day. Tubing down the river was a huge tourist attraction in the little village and people were everywhere. I floated down the river passing many bars along the crowded river. When I wanted a drink I would wave to the locals on the riverbanks and they would throw a rope over and reel me into shore.

 After reaching the end of the tubing route, I grabbed my bags from the truck and ran to my room to get cleaned up. My hazel eyes were bloodshot and face was sweaty and red, disguising my fair complexion. I sat down for a moment to gather my drunken thoughts as I chugged a bottle of water. I had made a lot of friends on my trip through Thailand and Laos, and that night we were going to celebrate together at the local bar down the street from the hostel.

 Once I was dressed in a cute little purple-flowered skirt and black halter top, I walked along a gravel road to the outdoor bar, turning heads along the way. Being a light-skinned female was bringing me lots of attention from the Laotian men. Just before I entered the party I decided to grab a chicken sandwich from a nearby food vendor to soak up the alcohol in my stomach. After I ate I ran in and began dancing and guzzling back more shots with my new friends while they howled into the night.

IMG_1915The rest of the evening was a complete blur. I couldn’t remember walking home or going to bed at all. Suddenly, around 3 o’clock I shot out of bed and dashed to the bathroom and became violently ill. I was completely covered in sweat and I could hardly breathe. As the hours passed I hugged the toilet, too afraid to move as my entire body radiated with pain. I didn’t know if it was the chicken sandwich I had eaten before the bar or the disgusting water from the river wreaking havoc on my stomach, but I seriously thought I was going to die.

 All I wanted to do was sleep, but I couldn’t even lift my head without vomiting. It was nearly 6 o’clock when I finally took the last sip from my water bottle. I knew that if I didn’t get more fluids in, I could potentially die from dehydration. I grabbed a sarong and wrapped it around myself as I slumped out of the room without locking the door behind me. 

 Some locals sitting at a food truck on the side of the road looked over as I stumbled towards them. I was literally green in the face. An American man who was chatting with the residents sat me down gently and bought me a large bottle of water. I could barely talk let alone move, but somehow I managed to get back to my room after drinking what I could from the large water bottle. The bus that I had to take back into Bangkok, Thailand was leaving that afternoon and I was so ill during the trip all I did was sleep. It was incredibly hot and uncomfortable. Every seat was taken and it smelled of sweat.

 The bus from Laos back to Thailand takes over 15 hours with one overnight stop along the way. As the crowded bus came to a halt, I proceeded to the public washroom to continue throwing up. It was a horrible trip. At one of the rest stops a young British lad with dirty blonde hair and glasses noticed how sick I was and offered to help me in any way that he could.

 

“I’m Nick. You look like you need a friend.” He said in a thick British accent.

 

“Thank you that would be nice,” I pouted trying to be as friendly as I could.

 

“Do you have a place to stay tonight?” he asked as we sat in a little food market beside the bus. I had completely forgotten that we had to stay the night somewhere before re-entering Thailand.

 

“No, actually I don’t,” I replied, frowning.

 

“Don’t worry there is room for you in our group,” said Nick politely, as he helped me with my bags. He smiled so kindly.

 

“You’re a life saver,” I whimpered, “I’m Tanya by the way…”

 

Nick introduced me to his group of friends and explained the situation to them. They all agreed to give me a bed to stay in at the hostel which they had previously booked. Once they were all checked in, Nick helped me into my room. I pulled the covers over my head and fell fast asleep for over ten hours. The next day we all boarded the bus again and continued over the border.

 The bus took hours and all I could do was sleep and choke down a bit of food every now and again to keep my strength. This was the worst feeling I had ever encountered. I kept asking myself, “Was it food poisoning? Is there a parasite in my stomach?”

 Finally, in the wee hours of the morning, the bus had made it into Bangkok. It was about 5 am when we were dropped off and there was no one in sight along Ko San Road, which is normally a densely populated area. Nick helped me as the driver unloaded the bags off the bus and we sat down on the sidewalk. There was a little café that happened to be open, and the owner of the place let us all sit inside as we figured out our next move.

 Nick and I both had to catch flights later that night, so we decided to find a room to sleep in during the day. Once businesses started to open around 8 am, we carried our bags to the nearest hostel to rest. It was hours before I woke from my nap only to find Nick had left while I slept. His bags were gone and the room was silent.

 I sat up on the bed and rubbed my eyes as I looked around the room. I didn’t remember saying goodbye to Nick. Did he just leave without saying anything? Or was I delirious when he tried to tell me he was leaving? I figured it didn’t really matter anyway. I was safe and was also starting to feel a bit better.

 Once I washed up and repacked my tattered belongings, I wondered if I would be sick again on my flight. I drank as much water as I could and then reached into my carry-on bag for my pill bottle. My instincts were telling me to take a tablet which would keep my stomach calm for when nausea returned. I opened the bottle and dumped it out on the bed, and there in the middle of my medications dropped a large red gel cap the size of a horse tranquilizer. Shock suddenly rushed through me as my body froze up.

I stared at the unfamiliar pill for over a minute before picking it up. “What is this? Where on earth did this come from and how did it end up in my bag?” I asked myself as I examined the massive pill. I gazed in astonishment wondering how it could have possibly ended up inside my pill bottle at the very bottom of my bag. I spun it around in my fingers and then popped it open. Sparkling, white powder fell into my hands and without thinking I ran to the bathroom and threw it in the toilet. At that moment, I felt terribly anxious as I poured as much water as I could down the hole to get rid of the frightful substance… whatever it was!

 My anxiety grew stronger and thoughts started stirring in my brain. “What if people are after me? What if Nick set me up and he’s sending someone to get me? What if the people who planted this on me… are coming for it?” My stomach started to turn. I quickly grabbed my bag and shoved my belongings in without wasting another second. I put my gear on my back and hurried out of the room.

 The sun was blazing hot as I shuffled down the busy street and on the corner I hailed a taxi. Ko San Road was now bustling with people and the noise pierced my ears while the sun heated me into a sweaty mess. I paid the driver to drive as fast as he could to the airport while I replayed the events in my head. pill

 

“If I had not been so sick… if I hadn’t gone into that bottle… I would have carried that bag right through airport security.”

I took a long, deep breathe… and exhaled.

Poetry contest looser~it’s ok I’ll repost anyway! :)

poetry in my head~The poetry in my head~ By: Tanya Brooks

Here we are hand in hand; we dig our feet into the sand.

We earn to live and live to earn, so our glorious lives can take the right turn.

But in my head a verse repeats about the cattle and the herding sheep

About the children who have to starve and the soldiers whose minds are continuously carved…

Into the night they march and scream

While our rivers are poisoned just like our oceans and streams.

The tears are there and the good, we cry…

And all the while chemtrails line the sky.

12 year olds in mini shirts… kids with guns who want to hurt.

I think of those who are suffering… oh wait, Netflix is buffering!

Cell phones, ringtones and the newest things,

Millionaires and diamond rings.

The innocent and the systems unjust,

And what… in the government we’re supposed to trust?

An empty space where a man once stood… we can’t be homeless

*Knock on wood*

But it’s not too late, we can change the world!

Let us come together for those young boys and girls

All we have to do is change our plan,

The way of life… the way of man.

Rainbow warriors unite to make a stand!! Here we are still hand in hand

Is this the end of the world? In morbid dreams…

~Dreams of a time traveller… And then I cried…

end of the world

When I realised all the trees were gone

When the oceans became riddled with poisons and plastic

When the children had no one to care for them.

THE ANIMALS ARE DYING IN LARGE NUMBERS DON’T YOU SEE?

rhino lonesome-george elephant

Will they ever listen to me?

~Catastrophe~

One day I walked outside to see the ghostlike streets and the abandoned houses.

There were no more daughters, sons nor spouses.

The people had fled from their homes to run from the rising seas.

Gunfire, explosions and casualties.

I rose  above to watch over thee… but unfortunately no more were we.

The rhinos, turtles and elephants were diminished and the governments were finally finished… they had nothing left to be.

Destroyed, deployed and everyone is annoyed.

We had no way to stop them… did we?

It was the end and we lost our friends. No more could we find hope or faith for free.

Our dreams, our thoughts and independence came at a steep price, for we as a whole could not suffice.

Now we look back and grumble in spite,

For the end was here and now it’s forever night.

***

FADE TO BLACK