Here you will find my daily journal of small stones and inspiration!
PROMPT May 15th
Many fairy tales are often based in truth. Research the true story behind your favorite fairy tale and share it with your readers. What lesson or warning was the tale trying to impart?
Hansel and Gretel
The tale of Hansel and Gretel could have been told to keep children from wandering off. But during the great famine of 1315-1317 A. D. that crushed most of continental Europe and England, disease, mass death, infanticide and cannibalism increased exponentially. Seeking relief, some desperate parents deserted their children and slaughtered their draft animals.
Or Hansel and Gretel might have stumbled upon the home of the successful baker, Katharina Schraderin. In the 1600s, she concocted such a scrumptious ginger bread cookie that a jealous male baker accused her of being a witch. After being driven from town, a posse of angry neighbors hunted her down, brought her back to her home, and burned her to death in her own oven.
Hansel and Gretel was always one of my favorite fairy tales. The fact that these two children would go wandering away from home and leave themselves a trail made of breadcrumbs that the birds would eat so they couldn't get back home always made me stick close to home. I picture these two as well-fed rotund German children ambling through the forest and stumbling upon a house made of sweets. Licorice fences and lollypop posts, the house made of gingerbread with spun sugar windows; it would have been an obese child's dream. Then I picture the witch, seeing these plump little souls eating her house! Oh! The plans she would have for them! Dinner plans!
Then I read the above snippet and the story lost the cuteness. Cannibalism and infanticide, jealous bakers! Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.
PROMPT May 14th
If animals could talk, which animal would you want to have a conversation with? What would you ask?
I can't pick just one. I would want all of my patients to talk to me. For them to be able to tell me where it hurts, why they won't eat their dinner, if they ate the chocolate off the table; it would make my job so much easier. As it is, we have to rely on the subtle clues they give. Maybe the cat is peeing outside of the litterbox because it has a UTI and when it pees it hurts and now the cat associates the litterbox with pain. Maybe the dog ate the 'special' brownies you made, he might tell the vet what was in the brownies instead of wasting precious time trying to get the information from the owner. The chocolate on the table, maybe that got hidden in the bathroom and wasn't eaten. It would be amazing if our patients could talk!
PROMPT May 13th
What does it mean to be a “grown up”? What do you do regularly as an adult that you dreaded having to do when you were a child? Have you found ways to maintain a sense of childhood wonder or curiosity? If so, how?
I think being a grown up centers around having to take responsibility for yourself. Having a job, managing your money, getting enough sleep, things that used to be done by your parents (or other adults) that now you have to take care of. I used to hate going to bed at a set bedtime when I was little. I would hide under furniture, ask for a thousand glasses of water and sneak into the closet when it was bedtime. Now I find myself yearning for bed. I try to get at least eight hours sleep each night and I manage to do it regularly.
I love being a big kid. Laughing and joking at work is my favorite (when appropriate - for the most part). I still want to party with the kids. I enjoy going to amusement parks! I still love to learn and I sign up for classes whenever I get the chance. You are only as old as you feel!
BY THE WAY - I got the job I interviewed for a week ago!
PROMPT May 12th
What TV show character would it be the most fun to change places with for a week? Why?
Oh! This would be too much fun! I would most certainly switch places with MaryAnne on Gilligan's Island. As long as it was only for a week. I only want it to be a vacation, I don't want to be stuck on that island for too long. I would get to drink coconut drinks and spend the days on the beach and in the lagoon. I could eat coconut cream pies and have all kinds of island fun! I would want to pick the week I would spend there though. It mustn't be a week when the headhunters aren't on the island. Oh, and it can't be when the strange doctor is there and switches everyone's minds and bodies. It might be fun to be there when the pilot "Wrongway" shows up. Maybe I could help build a raft. I might be able to attend the Howell's Masquerade party. Yup, I want to go to Gilligan's Island and enjoy the island vibe...but just for a week!
PROMPT May 11th
What was cool when you were young but isn’t cool now? Is there anything that has become cool in recent years that wasn’t cool in your youth?
Pinstriped jeans tucked into slouch socks worn with bubblegum pink high tops; yeah that was cool.
Long denim skirts with a white petticoat peeking though; yup cool too.
Sneakers with a pocket - kangaroos, I believe.
Jelly bracelets - check.
Hair teased to the highest held in place by at least one can of White Rain, or was it Aqua Net?
Can you tell I was a child of the '80's? It is amazing to think what we thought was cool then. Now, I just walk into Wegmans in my sweatpants and t-shirt without a care if I look cool. I don't even know what cool is anymore. Cool is for the young. Practical is for everyone else. I use to try to dress cool, to fit in; and still never did. Guess I gave up on cool when I gave up on being young. I am still young at heart but I don't need to fit in to feel cool!
PROMPT May 10th
Think back to a time when you felt completely calm. What made you feel that way?
Our species can only survive if we have obstacles to overcome. You remove those obstacles. Without them to strengthen us, we will weaken and die.
— Captain Kirk
I can't think of a time where I was truly and completely calm. That is not how I live, not how I thrive. I truly believe I need some kind of stress to urge me on. Whether it is an overwhelming stress is where the difference lies. I need to have a reason for getting up in the morning, Sometimes it is to go to work, other times it is to accomplish something, and still other times it is just the stress of needing to relieve my bladder. All of these represent stress in one form or another. None of which is overwhelming or cause for alarm but they do cause me to be less "calm".
I would love to take up yoga to become more "calm" but I never seem to have the time. And when I do try to schedule a class I think of all the things I should be doing and I cancel out. I have too many responsibilities. Now, that being said...
There is something to be said about relaxing. Or at least taking a little tile to think about the day. If there is something that is overwhelming, perhaps taking a step back may help. There is a fine line between being stressed in a good way and being overwhelmed...
Some time in your day today, try to turn off all the noises you can around you, and give yourself some ‘quiet time.’ In the silence, let yourself think about something. Or if possible, think about nothing. Fred Rogers
“Doing something that is productive is a great way to alleviate emotional stress. Get your mind doing something that is productive.” —Ziggy Marley
PROMPT May 9th
Write about language - What languages do you wish you could speak? What’s the most pleasant sounding accent? What’s the funniest word in the English language (or your native language)?
I only took three years of French in High School and I hated it. I honestly have enough trouble with the English language that I can;t even image being able to fluently speak another language. I guess being more fluent in English would be my goal. I would love to expand my vocabulary. I have tried the Word of the Day apps, calendars, etc. but after about 2 weeks I get sick of them and they go by the wayside. I could listen to a Southern Drawl ALL DAY LONG. I just love it! However, being from New York State, I find that Southerners have a hard time following the way I speak. I speak really fast, especially if I am interested in the subject matter. The more excited I get the faster my speech pattern. My poor brother in law from Texas often needs me to repeat myself. As far as accents from other countries I think an Aussie accent is wonderful to listen to. <Swoon>
I think any word can be funny if you look at it long enough. For example, yesterday I was googling prices for wheelbarrows and the more I typed the word wheel the funnier it looked. It got to the point that I questioned whether I was spelling it correctly. Has that happened to anyone else?
PROMPT May 8th
Write about your favorite outdoor activities to do in the summer. Are there any activities you haven’t done that you want to try?
I love to garden! I hate to weed! I need to weed the garden before I can plant the pretty flowers! Did I mention I hate to weed? I need to mow the lawn before I can work in the garden. I hate mowing the lawn, I get sweaty, I hate sweating. My clothes get grass stained. But I need to mow the lawn (which I hate to do) before I can weed the gardens (which I also hate doing) before I can plant the pretty flowers. Oh! I need to plan out the garden before I mow, before I weed, before I plant the flowers. Then I need to buy the flowers. Oops it is Sunday already, I need to mow the lawn. Now it is the weekdays and I need to work...
Friday- I better figure out what flowers I want to plant. I better mow the lawn (I hate mowing the lawn). Time to weed...here comes the rain. Another weekend without weeding the garden. And so this plays out all season long until finally all the weeding is done...Just in time for the snow to fall.
I want to go to an airshow this summer. However, the one at the Niagara Falls Air Force Base, which was going to feature the US Navy Blue Angels was cancelled a few weeks ago. The shows at that base are free to the public and have get autograph sessions after the shows. The last two times I have gone I got to meet the Air Force Thunderbirds! There is a show at the Geneseo National Warplane Museum but usually that is pricey. I have to wait to find out how expensive it is going to be because they are still "working on the particulars". The airshow will feature the F-22 Raptor Demo. It will also have Whiskey 7, a C-47 Dakota, one of the lead aircraft of the first strike on D-Day.
I can't think of any activities that I haven't tried that I would want to. There are so many activities I enjoy that I just want to get back to doing because of Covid. I would like to go to Sea Breeze amusement park, if I can get some people interested in going with me. I want to go to the Rodeo in Gerry, NY. I haven't been to that since I was about 8 years old. Going to my brother's cottage would alos be fun, but I have to wait for an invite.
But before I can do anything fun I need to mow the lawn...I hate mowing the lawn!
In your entry today, write about dreams. Do you dream often, or do you rarely remember your dreams? What is the strangest or most memorable dream you have ever had?
I often dream, I would almost say it happens every night. Many times I have very vivid dreams that I can remember almost every detail of. The most memorable dream I had occurred months after the death of my father, in 1997. I was having a terrible time emotionally dealing with his death and I felt responsible of many reasons. I was a wreck, and a shadow of the person I had been and a shadow of who I would become. I had nightmares for many nights following his death, reliving the last words I had spoken to him, and seeing him in the back seat of the car as I pulled away in the parking lot, the last time I saw him alive. Living with his death was becoming my nightmare. Then, one night I had a dream where Uncle Bill, the man who owned the cottage I wrote about earlier in my blog, visited me. He had passed away in 1989. In the dream, Uncle Bill appeared to me and stated "It is okay now. Your father is okay and with me". When I woke from my dream I felt comforted and I no longer felt guilty. Since that night I have never had another nightmare related to my father's death.
PROMPT May 6th
Write about a community service or volunteer experience you’ve had in your life that made an impact on you.
In 2013 I joined a group called Honor Flight. This is a national network of teams dedicated to taking veterans (starting with WWII and now moving into Vietnam Era veterans to Washington, DC to see their monuments, free of charge. Each veteran is joined by a guardian to ensure the veteran has someone with them at all times, keeping them safe and guiding them along the way. Usually, the guardian is a member of the veteran's family, but sometimes the Honor Flight volunteers will accompany them.
This is the absolute best experience I have ever had. The joy on the veteran's faces as they come back from the trip is amazing. At the Rochester Airport we have a Welcome Home Celebration for the veterans. It was before one of these that I had the best experience with a veteran! A local band, Prime Time Brass, plays music before the veterans arrive. In the audience, waiting for the returning veterans, are previous veterans who have journeyed to Washington. When the band started to play In the Mood by Glenn Miller, I noticed one of the veterans, in his chair, moving to the music. I went over and asked him if he wanted to dance and he got up from the chair. We danced, to the delight of everyone in the area. When the song ended, the bystanders erupted in applause. He thanked me for the dance and kissed my cheek. I honestly don't know which of us enjoyed the dance more!
For more information on the Honor Flight Network; https://www.honorflight.org
For information on Honor Flight Rochester; https://honorflightrochester.org
PROMPT May 5th
If your job gave you a surprise seven day paid break to rest and recuperate, what would you do with those seven days?
I would love to say that I would spend each day, resting and recuperating, reading books, taking long walks on the beach. However, I think I would find myself sleeping in and then worrying about everything I should be doing. I would do the dishes, catch up on the laundry, grocery shop and plan meals, I would scroll though Facebook for hours on end and then watch television. At the end of the day I would think about how the day had been wasted and worry about everything I hadn't gotten done. I would worry about what I was going to encounter when I returned to work. How much backlog would there be.
I don't think as a society we understand what it means to rest and recuperate. I think we spend everyday worried about the uncertainty of the next. When I am not at work, we are a person down. There is no one there picking up the work that I am not doing.. It just sits there...waiting for me to get back to it. How can we relax when there is so much to be taken care of. I wish I could just have a vacation, away from the house. Where there was only fun to be every day. But I can't do that right now, my husband and I live with my mother-in-law and it would be impossible to leave her to get away. And taking her with us would not be a vacation...if you know what I mean.
So...that would be what I would do with a week off, to rest and recuperation!
PROMPT May 4th
May the Fourth Be With You!
Write about a movie franchise or book series that you love.
My cousin let me borrow a set of books last year when I was recovering from my shoulder surgery. It was the Orphans and Inmates series by Dr. Rosanne Higgins. The books follow the owner of an antique shoppe, who is also an anthropologist, as she attempts to solve the mystery of bones that were discovered at a historical site in Buffalo, New York. It has history, mystery, local interest and mysticism. The five books take the reader from modern Buffalo to 1800's Buffalo, following the life of an Irish immigrant. Wonderfully written and engaging, it was truly a delight to read. So much so, that after I returned the books, I bought them for my Kindle. Here is a link to the author's website, in case anyone is interested.
NOW... for my REAL guilty pleasure! It just isn't a book or movie series. It is the cult classic soap opera DARK SHADOWS! Yes, I know, I am not even old enough to remember when the series was originally aired. However, my sister watched reruns of it in the afternoon after school. Oh, how I hated that show! I mean I was five or six and the plot was way over my head! I hated it so much I used to make fun of my sister for watching it. Then, one day, my husband turned the TV on and the movie Dark Shadows with Johnny Depp was on. I watched it and fell in love with it. I found the original series on Amazon Prime and then Tubi. I watched the entire series...all 26 seasons, 40 episodes a series...20 minutes an episode. AND I have started rewatching it again! It is really interesting for many reasons.
First, the actors shot the scenes live. There were no retakes. All the mistakes, forgotten lines, miscues, and stagehands caught on camera are there for the world to see. What amazes me, is that in all the episodes, I only saw one actor break character during a blooper. Every other time when a line was forgotten, or a character was called by the actor's name, the actors kept going. They keep trucking along, like nothing ever happened.
A second reason I absolutely love the show is how they intertwined 1960's life, with vampires, witches, the 1700's, the 1800's, werewolves and a Phoenix, without being too campy. The story lines all play out seamlessly. Granted, when compared to shows now, it seems a bit campy, but when you consider the sow was made in the late 1960's and filmed live, it actually seems amazing.
FYI, four of the original actors from Dark Shadows have cameos in the Johnny Depp movie!
PROMPT May 3rd
What was the best thing that happened in your life over the weekend? Looking at the week ahead, what are your goals and how will you motivate yourself to achieve them?
First, the best thing that happened this past weekend is going to sound pretty lame, but for me it was a great achievement. I worked in the yard for the first time in over a year and a half. I wasn't able to garden at all last year because I was recovering from Rotator Cuff Surgery. This past weekend I decided to weed a small garden and get it ready for petunias that I will plant later this month. I cleared an area roughly 3ft by 3ft. I thought I was gong to be in agony the day after because of my shoulder, but sure enough I felt fine afterwards. No pain at all. Granted I did rub it down with some warming salve and I took some Ibuprofen, but I would have thought it would have been a lot worse than it was! Yay for me!
This week ahead holds a major milestone for me! On Thursday I have a second interview for a part-time veterinary technician job! It will be a working interview so I am extremely nervous. I have been hitting the books trying to brush up on equine anatomy, diseases, restraint, and clinical procedures. This is my first real vet tech interview, so I have no idea what to expect. I feel like it is going to be like taking a laboratory practical where failure is not an option. I know my stuff, it is just a matter of convincing the interviewer that my knowledge of the tasks at hand and my willingness to learn can make up for any lack of experience that they may feel I have. Getting a job as a vet tech is motivation enough for me to make it through this week!
30 Day Blogging Challenge
PROMPT May 2nd
What smell or sounds brings back great memories of your childhood?
It's when I hear the waves and smell the scent lake water that the memories sweep over me and take me back to the summers of my youth. The summers spent renting Uncle Bill's cottage on the Canadian shore of Lake Erie. The cottage was just on the edge of Long Beach, where the shale rock lake shore ended and the white sand beaches began. The cottage, white with green trim sat above the beach, protected by a cement break wall. A set of cement stairs led the inhabitants from the tree-lined yard to the sand beach. Only one set of hand rails extended the length of the stairs, the other set had been ruined years before.
We weren't allowed to swim right in front of the cottage. The shale rocks created a steep drop-off and when the waves were high, a strong undertow was created. More than one life was lost in the crashing waves during the hot summers. We were allowed to swim past the boat hoists. There the lake bed was pure sand. There could be an undertow but nothing like the undertow near the rock ledge. When you were out in the water you kept an eye on the big white cottage. If you drifted past that spot, you were headed towards the rocks. I was never allowed to go swimming by myself, I always had to wait for the adults. For some reason I always did. Thinking back on those summers years ago, I never went into the water without an adult with me.
When I wasn't in the water, I was usually found playing in the sand, or combing the beach for shells, sea glass or dead crayfish claws. They were the real prize. Once I found a whole crayfish and placed it in my sand bucket. At the end of the day, I brought my treasures into the cottage. By the next morning, that dead crayfish stunk up the whole cottage, needless to say I had to return that prize to the beach!
Within walking distance was a little convenience store, Concessi's, a mini-golf course, Big Al's golf, and an ice cream shop, D.J.'s. Every Sunday my brother and I would walk to the store to get my father the newspaper. We we buy ourselves candy and a soda as well. My favorites included Smarties (like Canadian M&Ms), Coffee Crunch bars, and black licorice strings.
My family spent the summers of 1979 to 1989 at that cottage. That is where I go now, when I hear the sounds of the waves and smell the scent of the lake water.
30-Day Blogging Challenge
PROMPT May 1st
Write about one (or more) of your creative idols. Who do you look up to? Whose work are you most inspired by? Why?
I don't think that I have ever thought about who my creative idol(s) would be. I have always thought of my creativity as being just that...mine! I have read many pieces of literature, whether classics or modern tales, but I would never think of any of these authors as my creative idols. To me, that would imply that I would try to emulate their writing when I write and that would negate my creativity being mine. I might be being a bit presumptuous here, but I like to think my creative writing is inspired by no one but me. I write in my own style, writing about topics I want to write about (except of course when I am following a prompt like this, but even here it is my own creativity), and therefore I write for only myself. I get enjoyment out of being creative and IF someone else likes it then BULLY for me!
I will admit though that I have a creative idol when it comes to art. I enjoy oil painting and, like many oil painters, my idol is Bob Ross. His simple technique along with his soothing direction was a joy to watch. However, when I followed along in one of his paintings or in his books I would always use his techniques to produce my own paintings, usually inspired by an image or photograph I had. I never painted according to his exact directions, duplicating a painting of his. That, to me, is not creative. When I want to create something, I want to start from scratch. I used his techniques to produce my own paintings, good or bad. I once signed up for a continuing education class in my school district for oil painting and I lasted two classes. I was enjoying the painting I was making, but according to the instructor "I was doing it all wrong". I decided that I would rather paint badly -my way, then paint how the instructor wanted me to, no matter how beautiful the result.
I guess, then, I really am my own creative idol. There you have it, as arrogant as it sounds! Sharon is Sharon's creative idol. It does sound arrogant but it is not meant to. It means that when I am creative, it comes from inside me. From my heart, my mind. Now, I am not stating that people who have creative idols, whose work has inspired them, are not being creative. It just isn't my way of being creative.
From "Andre The Blog Monkey's Banana Bar" by Brother Nature :
Anybody want to try to write a blog entry, using this news story as the research material?
Could be a banana cocktail or two in it for you.
While I have no idea if there really are monkeys roaming around a cemetery in Cincinnati, I do know that better proof could have been discovered. First, is there any evidence of monkeys swinging from the trees? I mean certainly where there are bears, there is bear scat, there should be monkey dung around somewhere. At least one of those monkeys must have taken a crap defecated somewhere in the midst of the tombstones. My main issue is with the quality of the images. Why is it that a phone camera can spot a booger nose hair from 100 feet away, but when you REALLY need the evidence the images aren't worth s*** anything. I mean every time something interesting is "seen" the images turn out crappy at best. The UFO's are shaky, the monkeys are blurry, Bigfoot ends up being a hazy blur. How can cameras that are so sophisticated and up taking such terrible images at the most inopportune times? Look internet sensations, you are not fooling us. The fact that the images are distorted doesn't substantiate your claims, it makes them more unbelievable. How 'bout you stop with the monkey business and take accurate picture of normal things and STOP WASTING MY TIME!
|11 April 2021
A startling revelation has been made in the murders of the Sims family in Tallahassee in 1966. It turns out that the grandmother of Helen Sims was Sarah Briggs, the daughter of the captain of the Mary Celeste. The Mary Celeste was a British-American ship headed to Genoa in 1872. The ship was found devoid of passengers and crew, afloat near the Azores Islands. The crew, captain, and captain's family were never found, however, a revealing diary was discovered on the Island of Flores in 1999. This journal, purported to be written by Sarah, the daughter of Capt. Briggs was discovered in a mansion on the island. From the entry dated 28 August 1887, Sarah, evidently the daughter of the captain of the Mary Celeste, suggests that the ship's cargo included priceless jewels, meant for the Vatican, sent by the Italian Mafia. The captain and crew stole the jewels and the crewmen who survived, along with the captain's wife and daughter took a life boat and sailed for the Azores. After living with her mother, Sarah married and moved to Florida under an assumed name, Amy Blighton. Amy died at the age of 67, leaving behind 4 children and nine grandchildren, including Helen (Blighton) Sims.
Evidently, the Italian Mafia never forgets, or forgives, a betrayal. The family lineage of the Sims was discovered and a hit was made. Whether the jewels were ever found will never be known, since the only reference to them is the journal entry of a 17 year old girl. Obviously, the jewels themselves were never reported missing from the Mary Celeste, since they were being smuggled to Italy. The fact that two such mysterious cases are intertwined seems to be quite a revelation, and without the journal as evidence, could well be deemed a figment of a fiction author's imagination.
word count - 308
The Sims Family Murders in Tallahassee
On October 22, 1966, Robert and Helen Sims and their daughter, Joy, were found dead in their Tallahassee, Florida home by the Sims's oldest daughter, Jeanie, when she returned from a babysitting job. “A massive search was launched to find whoever committed the crime,” a local news station recounts. But the Sims had no enemies, there was no discernible motive to the crime, and although there were suspects, no one was ever charged.
Tell us what happened, who did it, and why.
Did you do it?
|The function of the Plain of Jars located near Xiangkhoang Plateau, Laos has recently been discovered by anthropologists from the University of Anthropological Scientists of Somnia (U-ASS). While studying cave paintings near the site they found depictions of activities resembling a popular game show WipeOut!. The urns, it seems, were used to house giant posts that were set up as part of the course. The course included the giant balls, a sling-shot type game, several moving walls and a mud pit. From the cave paintings, the anthropologists surmise that the competition winnings consisted of the women from neighboring villages rather than money.
The most revealing cave painting shows the urns with giant poles emerging from the base. These pole had round objects attached and in the paintings, people are shown bouncing off of the balls. Unfortunately, for the ancient competitors, safety precautions were not taken. A burial site has been unearthed just north of the Plain of Jars, and the bodies that have been studied were found to have multiple broken bones. These injuries are consistent with injuries that would have occurred during a WipeOut type competition without any safety measures. A video of the television program has been included with this article to demonstrate the types of activities that may have occurred.
Several wedding altars have been unearthed in the area as well. This evidence, according to the scientists, proves that the object of winning the competition was to secure a mate. Several local villages still use this type of competition to win a mate. However, the men engaging in the activities are less likely to lose their lives, thanks to the use of ropes, pulleys, pools of water, and padded suits. Although the men do not lose their lives, they are ostracized and can no longer reside in the village.
word count - 302
Plain of Jars
Location: Xiangkhoang Plateau, Laos
More than 2,000 large ancient stone jars are spread across a plateau in Central Laos. Some stand 10 feet tall and weigh several tons. Archaeologists estimate the jars are 2,000 years old, but their purpose is unclear. The most common theories are that they were used as funeral urns.
What do you think these urns were for?
|It was a foggy night in mid-December, 1900. The three lighthouse keepers at Flannan Isles lighthouse has just settled into a round of poker after checking the beacon lights at the top of the tower. They could hear the waves smacking against the rocks. It was a mesmerizing sound and the keepers struggled against the heat of the fire and the hypnotizing noise to stay awake. They needed to ensure the light stayed glowing to guide the ships through the seas. Just as James folded out of the round and Donald raised his bet, they heard the noise.
The noise started low, like a moan and then rose, like a song. The three men dismissed it, thinking it was the wind beginning to blow in from the sea. Thomas won the hand, took the matchsticks from the center of the table and got up to stoke the fire. Sparks flew as he stirred the ashes and threw another log onto the fire. He poured three mugs of coffee and grabbed a bottle of Scotch as James dealt the cards. Each man put a matchstick in the ante and picked up their cards. Again, they heard the noise. Only this time it was several voices that they heard, or so they thought. Each voice singing her own song, but yet only one song. It was beautiful. The men put down their cards and went to the doorway, knocking down a chair as they went. Opening the door, they felt the cool sea air press against them. Now, there was no wind yet the songs continued. Each one coming from a different direction. James grabbed the lantern and the three men went into the night.
Soon the voices reached a fever pitch and could be heard getting closer to each other. They sounded like women, but certainly there were no women on the island. There were only the three men. Holding the lantern higher, James noticed a figure near the shore on one of the jagged rocks. She was naked, with her long hair billowing behind her. Within minutes she was joined on the rock by two other women, who had seemingly jumped from the waves onto the rock. The men were astonished and at first, thought the Scotch had caused the vision, but then they had yet to open the bottle. As Donald gazed at the images, one of the women beckoned to them. Soon, the song began again. The men believed it was the most beautiful song they had ever heard. Overcome by the singing and the sight of the women, they entered the water. The waves crashed over the men, throwing them against the rocks. Bones were broken as the weakened men tried to reach the rock where the women continued to beckon them. The song continued as each man lost his life. Their bodies, bloodied and mangled, drifted out to sea, never to be seen again. The sirens on the rock stopped singing and began to wail, waiting for another opportunity to sing their song again.
word count - 508
The Flannan Isles Lighthouse Disappearances
In 1900, three keepers of the Flannan Isles Lighthouse off the west coast of Scotland disappeared under the strangest of circumstances. The lighthouse was manned by a three-person team (Thomas Marshall, James Ducat, and Donald MacArthur), with a fourth man rotating in from shore. On Boxing Day (December 26) of 1900, the relief keeper arrived to find none of the lighthouse keepers present. The only sign that anything was amiss was an overturned chair near the kitchen table. No bodies were ever found, which has led to endless speculation. Theories range from drownings to abduction by foreign spies, a ghost ship, or a giant sea monster. Whatever happened back in December 1900 at the Flannan Isles Lighthouse, we may never know.
So, tell us what happened to the lighthouse keepers!
|28 August 1887
We have been on the Island of Flores for 15 years now and no one suspects a thing. I have been told the story of how we arrived here but it seems surreal. Father died on the lifeboat, along with two of the crewman, or so I am told by my mother. We had been on the Mary Celeste, traveling to Genoa with a shipload of riches. No one in New York realized how priceless the cargo aboard the ship had been. Jewels were hidden in the galley, jewels headed to the Vatican, secured by the Sicilian mafia. My father and his crew were headed to Genoa to hand over the fortune to the Italian mafia, who in turn were to personally deliver it to Pope Pius IX. However, my father had other, better ideas for the fortune.
One evening, around 1 December, 1872, my father loaded the lifeboat with the jewels, the crew, my mother, and myself. He left the ship at partial sail and set off onto the night. My mother has told me on numerous occasions that the ship looked as if we were all taken from her with no struggle, perhaps by a monster from the depths. According to mother, the seas were smooth until the third night, when waves crashed over the edges of the the small raft. Two crew members were lost that night. Over the edge they went, my mother says it was the waves that carried them, but a fortune split among 6 is greater than one split by 8. She tells me that my father was lost due to illness just as the Azores came into view. However, she never cries when she tells of this horror, and Uncle Pete, one of the crew, who happens to live with us, grins as she tells the story.
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Ghost Ship: The Mary Celeste
On December 4, 1872, a British-American ship called “the Mary Celeste” was found empty and adrift in the Atlantic. It was found to be seaworthy and with its cargo fully intact, except for a lifeboat, which it appeared had been boarded in an orderly fashion. But why? We may never know because no one on board was ever heard from again.
In November 1872, the Mary Celeste set sail from New York bound for Genoa, Italy. She was manned by Captain Benjamin Briggs and seven crew members, including Briggs’ wife and their 2-year-old daughter. Supplies on board were ample enough for six months, and luxurious—including a sewing machine and an upright piano. Commentators generally agree that to precipitate the abandonment of a seaworthy ship, some extraordinary and alarming circumstance must have arisen. However, the last entry on the ship’s daily log reveals nothing unusual, and inside the ship, all appeared to be in order.
Theories over the years have included mutiny, pirate attack, and an assault by a giant octopus or sea monster. In recent years, scientists have posed the theory that fumes from alcohol on board caused an explosion that, as a result of a scientific anomaly, did not leave behind signs of burning—but was terrifying enough that Briggs ordered everyone into the lifeboat.
Give us your opinion of what happened. Maybe you were even there?