The Adventures of Lord Roman - Chapter 3: Moving Target

The Adventures of Lord Roman - Chapter 3: Moving Target

Eerie, dank, cold... scary... stuff... yeah.

Skittering footsteps ran across the walls above his head. Roman squinted his eyes into the dark streets, but failed to locate the source. He tried to follow the sound and sometimes saw tiny pieces of debris fall to the cobblestones, or dust kicked up in a cloud. The street was scary, and he didn't want to be there any longer. So he turned and hammered his fists on the large wooden doors of the clocktower. A small, rectangular slat opened up, revealing a man with eyebrows so heavy they almost rendered him blind.

"What d'you want?" grunted the bruiser.

"There's something out here," said Roman, unable to lower his frightened vocal chords, "some invisible thing. Let me in!"

"Where's the gold?"

"It's still in the woods. Please I-" he was cut short by the slat snapping shut. He banged a little more, but It was no use. Trempklin was the fiendish sort who would lather you in all the green earth's pleasures until the gold ran out, when all you got was a boot in the arse. A terrible sort indeed.

His disappointment over being refused entry made him forget, momentarily, that something was circling him. He only remembered when a metallic, rattling squeak bounced over the cobblestones. Then he froze, but not for long. Because when something that felt like a ragged nail scratched his shoulder, he shrieked like a baby panpadook, brushing it off and flailing down the street.

An old man with incredible aim opened his window and cursed Roman for waking up half of Arfandol, before shutting up his moving target with a fist-sized rock from two stories up.

Roman let go of a thick, tea-stained parchment. He couldn't read it. The words kept jumbling themselves up and lines scribbled across the page by themselves. He had attempted to read the first sentence at least five times. And each time it was different. He had had enough and now it was on the floor. He was just inspecting what appeared to be a horseless cart made entirely of metal that was half sunken into the square, jagged ocean shoreline, when that image dissolved slowly into another one. He blinked and resisted the change, because the new image was dark and his head started pulsing rhythmic throbs of pain. He tried to lift his arms and run to the strange, waterlogged cart, but found that his arms were constricted. Then panic set in, for he realised that he had been dreaming and that his waking reality was another awkward, potentially quite dangerous scenario.

His surroundings suggested that he was in his worst situation yet. On dank walls either side of him hung flaming torches that scarcely illuminated the orange reflective drips of water that ran down the stone walls to the shadows of rats effortlessly creaping along. The room was tiny. Its domed roof above him had a grate in its centre that suggested he was subterranean. Through the grate he could see a gradient of white in the night sky that suggested the moon was nearby.

Constricting the movement of his arms were rough leather straps that were, thankfully, not tight enough to block blood flow. Similar buckled bits held his legs, but his neck and head were relatively free. Sadly, the latter were unable to untie the rest of the buckles. He lay at a 90 degree angle facing a wooden door with rusted metal poles barring a small square hole at head height. Presumably whatever jailer had him jailed could communicate through that without risking his escape.

Once the novelty of his danger had worn off and shock became a kind of alert boredom, he noticed that he was only wearing his white underpants and thus, was very cold. The insulation in this tiny, damp, stone room was awful. And they'd only gone left the window open. He would have to complain to whoever (or whatever, he dared think) was in charge.

His teeth began to chatter wildly and whilst he did amuse himself slightly by creating a vibrato melody using the body's ingenious, subconscious warming mechanism, he also began to struggle a little more to free himself. This was not the lonely, cold and damp bondage his past self dreamed of at his desk, so enviously bored and warm in front of his book. Far from it.

He felt the skin beneath the straps redden, the more he struggled against them. His pelvic thrusts were doing no more to free him than they did his sexual partners. Until one especially big one that involved a great grrraagh! from his mush. It sent some cogs whirring in whatever he was strapped to, which he realised in a split second was more of a contraption than a mere re-purposed wooden door angled off its hinges. His vision clunked from ninety-degrees to zero in a head-smacking thunk. Now the light of the full moon framed his pale face in a barred square. Metal scraped into the lock of the door. It clinked in a twist and creaked open.

Cover Image Credit: blenderartists

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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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