Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Shootout in Aleppo: A fifty word story

The mother woke in the middle of the night as the fighting raged on. It was awfully quiet in the house. There wasn’t enough food for two so she starved and now her head spun. She crawled over to the cot. All her hands could feel were guts and blood.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Fading: A poem

Under the water you screamed
The blue ocean had already devoured your dreams
The sunlight could not have been farther away from you
And it felt like the beauty of your large, brown eyes eluded me
You fell in the pitch black pit
Our eyes no longer met and I thought that's it
You left me longing for even just your silhouette to come home
The only thought that remained was to take you to the living room once more
Yet you seemed so far away
Inching away from the light even in the day
Our eyes no longer met
Our love no longer transpired
Part of me wished I could just touch you again
Revive you and pull you up from the bottomless blue floor again
For nights I wished I could touch you
But at all times it felt like I had lost you
No heartbeat of yours in the vicinity
Please just call me a doctor immediately
Deep down I know I love you
But what does it mean when I have lost you?

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Tales of Atrocities ~ I

It was a bright and sunny day. The weather was humid and the lack of clouds forced people to stay indoors. Mrs. Magpie sat on her couch, knitting a cotton cloth for her granddaughter who was due to visit her next week.
Mrs. Magpie hated summers. She resided in a small town, located on the outskirts of Texas. The weather usually was mild and friendly to pedestrians, however, one summer it reached an extreme. As Mrs. Magpie sat on her couch knitting, she heard a car park outside.
Mrs. Magpie lifted the cheap, dusty blinds to peek. A young man stepped out of a Mercedes. Mrs. Magpie stared at the young man as he brushed the dirt off his extravagant designers coat. Dressed in a tuxedo and smooth, black leather pants, the man looked as if he was in contention for the role of James Bond himself. The man picked up a bouquet of the loveliest flowers that blossomed anywhere in America from the rear seat of his car and walked up to the door of Mrs. Magpie's house.
The bell rung twice and Mrs. Magpie furiously bellowed a curse. She twisted the doorknob and flung the doorknob. Any thoughts that Mrs. Magpie had of slamming the door in the man's face vanished after she paid closer heed to the devilishly handsome man. The man had long, black curls and a lovely olive skin tone. His facial hair was completely shaven and his deep, blue eyes were completely capable of mesmerizing anyone.
Mrs. Magpie had rarely seen anyone more attractive in all of her sixty-seven years. The man's strong, masculine jawline made him even more attractive than her previous, red-neck husband. She thanked the lord for getting rid of him.
"Good afternoon, Mrs. Magpie. You look lovely." The Young man praised in a nervous and unsteady tone.
Mrs. Magpie nodded courteously and pointed to his car.
"Right. Of course ma'am." The young man spoke as he fished his pockets for his keys.
Mrs.Magpie locked the door behind them and slid into the passenger seat of the stud's Mercedes  The whiny, young girl who had recently moved in next to Mrs. Magpie had also come outside, looking startled and confused. As the young stud hopped into his car, Mrs.Magpie threw the flowers at the girl. She wasn't going to see her any time soon. She thanked the lord again as she hated the snobby little bitch. The two drove off into the distance.
"I think you made quite a scene there ma'am." The young man spoke disapprovingly.
"I am an entertainer, it's what I do." Mrs. Magpie winked at him. The young man understood the hint and drew out a large, thick envelope addressed to Mrs. Magpie.
Mrs. Magpie tore the envelope open and began counting the cash.
"$30,000, perfect. Now remember, we are only married until you get your bloody green card. Understand?" Mrs. Magpie informed authoritatively.
"Yes ma'am," replied the man.

"Good, now if you don't mind, I have reservations at the Hilton hotel." 

Friday, 19 July 2013

Review: Man of Steel

Man of Steel is the latest addition to the superman franchise. A live-action superhero movie directed by Zack Snyder, notable for his work on 300 and Sucker Punch, and produced by the director of the famous Batman trilogy Christopher Nolan, Man of Steel hit the big screens this summer and torpedoed its way to the top. The movie also features a star-studded cast with Henry Cavill starring as Clark Kent, Russell Crowe as Jor-El and Amy Adams as Lois Lane. Laurence Fishburne (our beloved Morpheus) also makes an appearance.
Man of steel is an entertaining film with beautiful visuals, apparent when Superman is busy saving the world from his evil foes. The cinematography is brilliant and provides for appeasing eye-candy throughout the movie. The well-designed costumes for characters are apparent. The wardrobe for people from Krypton is clearly different to those from Earth, which helps add diversity and creativity.
Another praiseworthy and positive aspect of the movie is the film score, composed by the legendary musician from Germany: Hans Zimmer. The music is pleasant on the ears and always in synchronisation with the action.
As much as one could try to praise the plot of Man of Steel, there is simply nothing notable that can be deemed worthy. The plot is full of plot holes large enough to swallow entire continents into its bosom. The character of Lois Lane is useless throughout the story except for a few scenes at the very beginning, and is present only due to her comics counterpart and as a cliqued love interest for our beloved Clark Kent. Amy Adams should consider herself very lucky for this role and the fat paycheck that she cuddles with in her sleep. Laurence Fishburne's character has also no purpose to the story and would have been more useful in potential future sequels. Kevin Costner's Pa Kent's end is also hysterical; a more downright stupid  cause has never been witnessed before. General Zod also comes off as a raging lunatic -- due to Michael Shannon's over-the-top acting and his incessant whining-- rather than the noble general trying to save his race as he is portrayed in the comics.
The main problem with Man of Steel, however, is that it tries to be something it is not. The movie tries to stay to the roots of superman while inventing and exploring its own universe, and it fails. Man of Steel also has pacing problems. With a running time of almost 150 minutes, an hour of the movie is spent on the build-up, another hour on Superman and General Zod and the remaining time is spent on a long, boring fight.
Direction is also Man of Steel's weakest points. The director relies too much on CGI and over-the-top fight scenes that one almost kills themselves due to embarrassment  The movie also lacks a sense of danger. General Zod and his minions are not something that can be considered a force to reckon with, at least not for Superman anyway. He seems lax throughout their encounters and rarely seems to be putting much effort in. The director seems to have handled the fight scenes the same way he handled fight scenes in 300. In the end, the fight choreography seems to produce a vibe one would expect from a cartoon instead.

Man of Steel has grossed over $400 million dollars worldwide; how it has achieved this is beyond me. The only thing that could have possibly helped Man of Steel so far is the fact that it stars some of industries biggest names, and the fact that it is after all an addition to the beloved superman franchise. Fans are thoroughly advised to stay away from this dismal movie and instead spend their money on World War Z, which despite all its problems is a far better movie than Man of Steel ever will be. 

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Atkins -- The origins

The door of the metallic cubicle creaked open, releasing copious amounts of cold gas with it. A man, naked almost completely with the exception of his underwear, stood in the cubicle with the help of red steel bounds covering his shoulders and his feet. 
Two men dressed in the same standard green army attire unleashed the steel bounds. The man fell to the cold, rock hard floor with a heavy thud. 
The lights on the ceiling appeared to be dancing as the man drifted back into consciousness; his eyes squinted against the gleam of the brightly glowing white lights. 
"You're finally awake," a voice came from the other side of the room. An army general clothed in dark green khakis moved beside the bed on which the man lay. 
"Allow me to introduce myself: I am General Carlton, veteran of the Iraq war and castellan of this base," the general introduced himself. The man looked at him with his dreamy blue eyes. 
"Do you know who you are?" General Carlton asked inquisitively. 
"No," replied the man sadly, in his deep husky voice. The general nodded. "Where am I; why was I in that cubicle?" The man asked suddenly.
"This might be hard to take in," the General with a receding hairline and a blonde stubble, rubbed his hands against his curvy round belly, while letting out a heavy sigh. 
"The world was plunged into a global catastrophe and most of the people died, with the Earth becoming unsuitable for humanity." The General paused for a second before continuing. "In a desperate last attempt to ensure the survival of the human race, we, with an army compromising of two hundred soldiers, fifty of the best scientists and a few dozens of civilians attempted to fly to Mars. However, we crash-landed on this planet --Xenon -- instead. Now, we have found conditions adaptable and we hope to make this our home."
"Hope?" The man asked.
"You are witty and quick on your feet," admitted the general, with a hint of delight.
"We have found signs of extraterrestrial activity on the surface of this planet. We do not have enough labour to cope with their large numbers. As a result, we cannot leave the safe boundaries of this base. Nonetheless, this is no time for folk tales and stories. As aforementioned, we lack the numbers to battle with these extraterrestrial beings and so we have decided it would be best to slot you in our armed forces. This is not a request, but an order, and you will obey." The general departed from the room with his last words. Two armed officers stood near the door, one of them tossed an army uniform on the bed. There was a name-tag on the uniform, which said, 'Pvt.J.Atkins'. The man smiled.
Atkins walked into the training facility, which was located at the other end of the base. The walk was long and tiring. Atkins stumbled to his knees--grasping for breath-- as he observed the monumental facility with its white tiling. A crowd of soldiers watched a kick-boxing spar with excitement. In another corner, small groups of soldiers were busy working out--lifting weights in access of a hundred kilograms. Atkins watched, in marvel.
"Welcome to the training facility, Pvt.Atkins," rang a familiar voice through the facility. The general walked into the facility through the electronic metal door, two armed escorts beside him. Atkins raised his hand to his forehead to salute the General, who hastily reciprocated. 
"I believe today will be the first day of your training. You seem to be in good shape, Pvt.Atkins. You're body is well built and your muscles are adequately toned." The General spoke after briefly assessing Atkins body. Atkins gently grazed his thick muscular neck in a state.of appreciation and satisfaction.
"My brother, General Cole will be overseeing your training regime, Private Atkins," the General informed before quickly hurrying off with his armed escorts.
A tall and well-built man of similar stature to his brother emerged from the cheering crowd of soldiers who were immersed in the kickboxing spar. He walked with his wide, firm chest leaning out. He appeared to command respect with every step he took. The man uttered not a single word and let his nametag be proof enough that he was indeed General Cole. The man dropped some equipment at Atkins feet and nodded. The man then scuttled ahead, with Atkins close in tow. 
"We will practice the art of self defense, private." General Cole informed. 
In the middle of the facility lay a large rectangle mat, plushy as a soft pillow and the colour similar to the fur of a panda. 
The general took his place on one side of the mat and beckoned Atkins to do the same. He then proceeded to explain the rules.
"If one of the participants is knocked off the mat, they lose. If they are pinned on the ground for more than seven seconds, they lose. If one of the participants is engaged in a submission lock and the participant either faints or gives up, the participant loses. Low blows will grant the victim the victory. Are we clear?" Cole explained in his calm, authoritative voice. Atkins nodded nervously. One.of the soldiers acting as a referee motioned the participants to begin. Cole launched forward, incorporating the style of boxing and Wing Chun in his attacks. He moved as fluidly as water, his movements precise and his attacks effective. Atkins struggled to evade the swarm of blows that Cole had launched upon him. He ducked as one of Cole's overhead kicks missed by an inch. Atkins movements himself were clumsy. He had failed to land a single blow and was struggling to defend himself alone. Cole leapt at Atkins, throwing heavy punches and low kicks at him. Atkins found himself cringe back to avoid being hit. 
Cole leapt into the air, his right dominant leg aimed right at Atkins chest--who was clad in light protective armour.
Atkins sidestepped him, however, before he could move, Cole -- with his superior speed and quicker reflexes-- threw an underhand jab at him. His punch connected with Atkins right jaw, and Atkins found himself fall back, suffering immense pain. Atkins felt a rush of anger channel through him as blood slowly gushed out of his mouth. Atkins leapt at Cole like a fearsome tiger with his newfound strength. Atkins aimed his kicks at Cole's rib cage; Cole, however, responded by swiftly blocking them. The fight began to become more balance as Cole started to tire out and Atkins attacked, fueled by pure rage. Atkins went for Cole's head with a long blow. Cole fell to his knees. Atkins struck out a leg and caught Cole on his calf. Cole almost toppled over as he lost his balance. Atkins went in for the final blow; he caught Cole with a powerful and swift strike to the chest, sending Cole flying off his feet. Cole landed more than 20 feet away from the mat, clenching his chest as he cried out in pain. Atkins stood there shell shocked just like his fellow soldiers over his superhuman strength. 
A team of medics rushed to help Cole as he coughed up copious amounts of blood. Atkins rushed out of the facility.

The general’s door burst open and Atkins ran through, tears bursting through his eyes. The General looked up from his paperwork, startled. 
"Who am I, and why do I have superhuman strengths?" Atkins shouted aloud as he banged his hands against the general’s desk. The wooden desk broke into half and fell to the ground with a loud noise. The general appeared to measure Atkins for a moment before he finally spoke.
"You were Project X. You were a test subject for the US Army." Atkins's face twisted in horror.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Contrasting the fabulous George R.R Martin with the famous and classical J.R.R Tolkien

George R.R Martin, well-known for the ASOIF (A song of Ice and fire) series, winner of many accolades and a renowned and highly praised author, is known and often the source tribute for producing a stellar fantasy series which has received critical acclaim. However, while it is not wrong to admire George R.R Martin’s appealing prose and his creative and highly imaginative world, one must simply not forget J.R.R Tolkien’s contribution to the fantasy genre. Labelled by many as ‘the father of the fantasy genre’, Tolkien’s writings are almost universally praised for being innovative, refreshing and having a tinge of eye-catching appeal to them, all at the same time. Today, we dig deeper into the worlds of both authors, one from contemporary times and one who’s classical writings can simply not be forgotten.

In order to avoid controversy we shall divide the argument in favour of both writers.

Arguments in favour of George R.R Martin:
-Martin’s characters:
It is safe to say almost all of Martin’s characters are well developed with great personalities. Unlike Tolkien’s characters, who are comparatively shallow and one dimensional, Martin’s characters have a lot more going on for them. Throughout the first few books, we see Robb Stark transition from a young boy, green as the grass into an alpha male, and a proper lord; one to be reckoned with. Similarly, Arya Stark, Tyrion lannister, Joffrey Baratheon all grow exponentially.

- The gritty, grotesque realism to the plot:
Let us be honest here, we are all tired of seeing the main character, despite always being against the odds, pull off a deus ex machina and beat the bad guy at the end; or the fact that the good and bad guys are so clearly distinguished, it’s just not fun any more  However, Martin’s story is completely realistic. It revolves around politics and the struggle for power, something that is common even in contemporary times. And although, such subjects can often be considered controversial, Martin presents them in an extremely congenial fashion.

Arguments in favour of J.R.R Tolkien:
-The plot:
J.R.R Tolkien’s plot is simple and crystal clear and his characters can be seen as black and white, the former representing the villains or the bad guys and the latter the good guys, with perhaps the exception of Saruman. However, the way he writes and immerses the reader into his plot is remarkable; and his prose makes it an interesting ride from start to finish. George R.R Martin, on the other hand, has dozens of sub-plots rather than a main plot, his characters are all divided up and each busy with their own tedious tasks and the readers often feels that there is little to connect them all except the Iron throne, which to some might also seem a little far-fetched.

- Innovation, prose and his own languages:
It is common knowledge that J.R.R Tolkien majored in Linguistics. However, one has to acknowledge the fact that he has almost a dozen languages created just for the Hobbit, different languages for elves, dwarves and even 'Ents'. An amazing accomplishment as it is. As having majored in linguistics, Tolkiens prose was also top-notch and helped deliver his message perfectly. While, George R.R Martin himself writes well and has an appealing prose, one can simply not compare it to Tolkien. Tolkien was also the main driving force behind the rise of the fantasy genre and without him, we would probably never see the fantasy genre’s tides rise so high. All in all, J.R.R Tolkien in his lifetime achieved some noteworthy accomplishments.

Both authors have also created fabulous and absolutely wonderful worlds. Westeros, the world created by Martin and Middle Earth the world created by Tolkien are both entertaining and interesting in their own rights.
With that, we conclude our deep insight into both fabulous and renowned authors. In the end, both authors have their strong and weak fortes; the readers, however, must favour whoever is their cup of tea. 

This post was originally posted at the BambooShoots.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

The most effective and deadly strikers in the EPL

The Premier League this season has seen many great strikers score a huge amount of goals. Renowned striker, Robin Van Persie, heads the 'EPL's Top goal-scorer' list with the likes of Michu--a two million bargain swept up by Swansea in the summer-- and Luis Suarez, the Uruguayan striker who is currently contracted to Liverpool, are also in close pursuit.
Senegal Nation team striker Demba Ba, completed a move to Chelsea in the January transfer window for a mere fee of seven and a half million (7.5) pounds. The Chelsea forward has since displaced Fernando Torres from the starting eleven and has scored three goals in his brief time with Chelsea. The aforementioned statistics clearly show that many teams have great strikers in the Premier League. If only the same could be said about all the defenders!