The Adventures of Lord Roman - Chapter 2: The Value of Fluff

The Adventures of Lord Roman - Chapter 2: The Value of Fluff

The scintillating adventure continues.

"Fuck!" screamed Lord Roman like a wounded baby seal, as he recoiled into the foetal position. He continued to scream like a sentient tomato with vocal capacity that had been squashed beneath the boot of a clumsy, drunk farmer, even after the five swishes of gold had quelled the hunger of the wolves by killing them. The hark, hark, hark of a huge crow resounded above Roman's unceasing whimpers and the snarling snouts retreated from the fiery clearing. Roman lashed out at the hand that touched his shoulder with the force of a sheet of paper in the wind.

"Calm down, Roman," said the oval wrapped in black, one fat arm protruding from the dark orb. The arm sunk into the black, before reemerging with a flask of water. Roman got most of it on his face. His mouth managed to collect a few refreshing droplets.

"Thank you stran-" said Roman, before he was dragged to his feet by the orb and whisked inside its cloak.

Roman could not see his own hand. The noise of the world was muffled and consisted only of his breathing and the rhythmic beating of something that made his stomach rise and fall. He dared not move, for what felt like the sweaty stomach of a rotund pig was mere centimetres away from his elbow. Whatever dark pit he was in, it smelled of hot sweat glazed in jasmine. This secondary aroma clearly attempted to veil the outstanding primary one. Perhaps it managed to when a nose was not in such close proximity to the source.

After a while, the darkness began to shoot colours across its infinite chessboard and the concept of time was no longer a concept. Roman felt weightless. His limbs were distant memories. The consistent beating noise became more and more like that of a heart. The thick, rounded chalk colours that marked themselves in arcs across indefinably distant darkness veered toward a more geometric, skeletal construction and soon vaguely swirling geodesic domes came into focus everywhere. In the centre of the polygon matrix was an extremely bright point of no colour that Roman recognised. His gaze was fixed and the longer he stared into it, the higher this wash of energy pushed upwards in, him, not his body, just everything.

A split second before his soul left his body to explore the realm of unseen colours, he was shoved out of the cloak and rolled onto cold concrete. He groaned and as his eyes focused, the giant, pale face of the clocktower loomed over him from the balcony. The only welcome aspect of his harsh new environment was the freshness of the air, which did well to flush the stank of sweat from his nose-pipes. A sweeter smell still flowered, when the end of a shisha pipe was held before him. He drifted up towards the wisps of smoke, seemingly without the help of his limbs, and plonked into a large-cushioned red chair, where he drew deeply on the bubbling pipe and released a slow, sweet cloud as large as the clocktower's face. Well, this makes a change from grovelling to those hungry, four-legged mongrels. He went went to draw again on the shisha, when a silky voice interrupted him.

"What drove you to Arfandol so late in the terrible night?"

Roman, only just made aware of his company, gasped like a small ape and dropped the shisha, which his compatriot picked up, wiped with a cloth and gave back to him. "Trempklin! I thought I recognised that bloody smell, you smelly bastard!" he shouted and held out his hand for a quick shake, "I never thought I'd rest so close to your bosom, for all the wealth of bosoms your patronage offers."

"So eloquent, my lord, as always," he said and passed him a small glass of clear, ruby liquid.

Roman waved his hand. "Oh, my dear friend," he said, missing the quick grimace that flashed over Trempklin's face, "I would very much like to wait a moment longer before entering that zone, if you'll excuse me."

"Of course, you must be shaken after the events of tonight."

"I tell you, Trempklin, boredom does drive a man to insanity," he drew again on the shisha and a cumulonimbus apparated from his mouth, "even with Publin's skill in the art of death, I should have known that the forest was too dangerous. Wait, Publin! What of him?"

"Probably dead, my lord."

Roman sank into his chair and a grieving moan squirmed out of his chest. He slammed his fist on the arm of the chair. Trempklin handed him the glass of ruby.

"No, Trempklin," Roman said, brushing it away again, "I am afraid the night's fiery carnage has left me too sombre for your delights. My actions have led to an innocent, well perhaps not innocent, but a close-friend's death."

"He was merely a servant."

"I'm not like most lords. He wasn't like most servants," he said, standing up, "Trempklin, I would simply like a room for the evening. Nothing more."

"But sir," he said, scrambling in his cloak for some other concoction that might loosen Roman's decisiveness.

"No. No. None of that. It's bed time," said Roman and Trempklin bowed, leading the way into the depths of the steaming clocktower. They delved downwards, spiralling past aromas of sweet, bubbling baths; the laughter of delighted humans; and writhing silhouettes. Unfortunately for Trempklin, none of the scenes stirred an interest in Roman.

At the door of his room, which was warm and fragranced, Trempklin asked to see his payment. Roman nodded and reached into his pockets. He pulled out some fluff and soil. He checked everywhere, but found only bits of twigs and leaves. Due to the lack of payment, another room was suggested. Roman was led down, down, down the spiralling clocktower to a large set of double doors. Two boulders of men grabbed him by the arms, opened the doors and chucked him onto the cobblestones, some of which gave a rough glint of moonlight.

"I risked my life for you this evening, Lord! And you arrive with nothing in return? Bah! The thieves can have you tonight," shrieked Trempklin. He disappeared into the darkness and the giant doors slammed shut. Roman sat on the stone steps, head in hands. For the second time that night, he returned to the foetal position. Just as he was about to curl up entirely, he heard the scampering of footsteps that sounded far colder than the night air.

Cover Image Credit: Shutterstock

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9 Reasons Crocs Are The Only Shoes You Need

Crocs have holes so your swag can breathe.

Do you have fond childhood objects that make you nostalgic just thinking about your favorite Barbie or sequenced purse? Well for me, its my navy Crocs. Those shoes put me through elementary school. I eventually wore them out so much that I had to say goodbye. I tried Airwalks and sandals, but nothing compared. Then on my senior trip in New York City, a four story Crocs store gleamed at me from across the street and I bought another pair of Navy Blue Crocs. The rest is history. I wear them every morning to the lake for practice and then throughout the day to help air out my soaking feet. I love my Crocs so much, that I was in shock when it became apparent to me that people don't feel the same. Here are nine reasons why you should just throw out all of your other shoes and settle on Crocs.

1. They are waterproof.

These bad boys can take on the wettest of water. Nobody is sure what they are made of, though. The debate is still out there on foam vs. rubber. You can wear these bad boys any place water may or may not be: to the lake for practice or to the club where all the thirsty boys are. But honestly who cares because they're buoyant and water proof. Raise the roof.

2. Your most reliable support system

There is a reason nurses and swimming instructors alike swear by Crocs. Comfort. Croc's clogs will make you feel like your are walking on a cloud of Laffy Taffy. They are wide enough that your toes are not squished, and the rubbery material forms perfectly around your foot. Added bonus: The holes let in a nice breeze while riding around on your Razor Scooter.

3. Insane durability

Have you ever been so angry you could throw a Croc 'cause same? Have you ever had a Croc bitten while wrestling a great white shark? Me too. Have you ever had your entire foot rolled like a fruit roll up but had your Crocs still intact? Also me. All I know is that Seal Team 6 may or may not have worn these shoes to find and kill Osama Bin Laden. Just sayin'.

4. Bling, bling, bling

Jibbitz, am I right?! These are basically they're own money in the industry of comfortable footwear. From Spongebob to Christmas to your favorite fossil, Jibbitz has it all. There's nothing more swag-tastic than pimped out crocs. Lady. Killer.

5. So many options

From the classic clog to fashionable sneakers, Crocs offer so many options that are just too good to pass up on. They have fur lined boots, wedges, sandals, loafers, Maryjane's, glow in the dark, Minion themed, and best of all, CAMO! Where did your feet go?!

6. Affordable

Crocs: $30

Feeling like a boss: Priceless

7. Two words: Adventure Straps

Because you know that when you move the strap from casual mode chillin' in the front to behind the heal, it's like using a shell on Mario Cart.

8. Crocs cares

Okay, but for real, Crocs is a great company because they have donated over 3 million pairs of crocs to people in need around the world. Move over Toms, the Croc is in the house.

9. Stylish AF

The boys will be coming for you like Steve Irwin.

Who cares what the haters say, right? Wear with pride, and go forth in style.

Cover Image Credit: Chicago Tribune

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.


Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.

I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.

I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.

As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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