The Apothecary

He lurked in the webs of darkness[1]. He waits in his den, waiting for prey to reveal their presence[14]. He is masterful in his toxic craft and is masterful in deceit. He is old and wise. He is the apothecary. Like the eight-eyed spider[2], the old man gazed out of the alleyway. His long fingers gently rested upon the web-like[3] cracks on the broken walls of the dark alley. Only gossamers of light shone in the alley allowing the old apothecary to conceal his presence[4].

 

He watched a master talk to their servant. The servant opens his mouth. Awestruck, the color in the young noble’s face had vanished and was utterly devoid of color which soon turned into a deathly pale. The news he received must’ve been absolutely soul-shattering. The apothecary grinned terribly as if he were bearing his fangs[5]. It was not the grin of a madman, but rather smiling at his ridiculous situation. His prey was by the name of Romeo, and it was prey like him that would easily fall for his trap[13]. He and the count had carefully laid out an intricate plan like a spider weaving its web[6]. The apothecary recalled the scheme that he and the young count had hatched[7].

 

The apothecary was in his house with his son that night. The two were living day by day, barely surviving off of what little scraps came by. Their cobweb-covered den was but a shoddy shack that was particularly poor in the way that incrementally increased their diverse dilemmas. Ergo, establishing renewed residence and scavenging for sustenance were the apothecary’s first priorities[8]. All the old man had was his son and to him, his son was everything.

 

The apothecary looked towards his son, yellow and orange torchlight colors shined upon his son’s face like the golden shade of yolk[9]. His outer shell was that of a cheerful, young boy, but the old apothecary knew that something was amiss[10].

“What troubles thee, hatchling?”, inquired the apothecary[11].

“Father, I am fill’d with pangs of hunger. Feed me lest I waste away” said his son.

“Patience, dear hatchling,” replied the old man[12]. “Quaint soon shalt we has’t brimming stomachs. For now, catch but a wink and thou shalt feel renewed.”

 

The old man knew that statement was empty. With no money and no income, how could he possibly survive? It seemed that fate had deemed him unworthy to exist. If he could, the apothecary would turn his fate around at a moment’s notice.

 

“Fate, why have you forsaken me?”, said the old man under his breath

Speak of the devil and he doth come, it seemed that fate came knocking at his door.

“Who art thee? Wherefore has’t thou cometh hither?”, asked the apothecary.

“Tis a customer,” said the person at the door.

The old man was surprised to find at his door was a rich young noble glistening in green robes.

“I am Count Paris,” said the man. “Heareth mine proposition. Thou art poor and wear broken robes. I shalt pay thee a hefty wage if thou gives poison to a wench.”

“How much coin?”

“30 silver ducats.”

 

Normally he would turn down such clients. The apothecary despised killing and death but son needed it.

 

“What wench do thee speaketh of?”, asked the apothecary.

“Romeo of house Montague. That pretentious pignut roguishly robbed every entitlement yonder ye could imagine[16]!”, the count spat those words like venom.x

“Thou wishes to kill Romeo.”

“Has’t ye lost thy ears? Of course!”, said Count Paris.

 

The apothecary had doubts. To kill a noble was like publicly announcing your execution date. For him, thought the apothecary, for your dear son. For his son, he was willing to kill anyone.

 

“Very well, I shalt give Romeo a dram of poison that wilt kill him,” said the apothecary.

“Hear, hear!”, the said grinning like a madman

“But wherefore wilt Romeo take my poison?”

“It is the will of Venus. If Venus wills it so, then Romeo will die for his toxic love,” said Count Paris. “He will die for a girl he foolishly believes is dead… or so he is told,”

“What?”

“I have paid Romeo’s servant a hefty wage to lie about the death of his loved one. If he truly loves her then he will take his own life. If not, I will take it for him!”, Paris furiously spat with envy.

 

“What, ho apothecary!”, said Romeo, bringing the apothecary to the present.

The prey had fallen for this old spider’s trap[15]

I’m Pickle Rick!

The show Rick and Morty is a Sci-fi comedy show based off of the movie Back to the Future. In the episode Pickle Rick, the intergalactic genius scientist Rick Sanchez turns himself in to a pickle in order to escape from having to do family counseling. Originally, Rick had planned to have a syringe turn him back in to a human as soon as the rest of the family left however Morty Smith, Rick’s grandson, realized his plot and Beth, Morty’s mother, confiscated the syringe. Soon, we realize that Rick as a pickle is literally and figuratively what one would consider a vegetable. In addition, because of various random forces of nature, Rick had ended up in the sewers furthering the distance between him and the syringe. Thus, the major dramatic question is introduced: Will Rick be able to turn back in to a human? From here, the viewer knows that Rick’s desire is abstract. Some might argue that it is a concrete desire since what Rick wants is the syringe however the reason Rick wants the syringe is to become human hence his desire is abstract. The conflicts that arise in Rick’s attempt to turn Human are both internal and external. Internal aspects include the fact that Rick is a pickle and can’t move anything but his face. An external conflict could be Rick arriving in a secret services base and was attacked by the people there. In the end, Rick arrives at family council, albeit late, and Beth finally returns the syringe to Rick who somehow had developed a working limbs for his pickle body. Rick finally had returned back to his human form and the major dramatic question was answered.

Ordeal by Cheque interpretation

Essentially, the story is about a son and a father both named Lawrence Exeter. The Junior is born in Hollywood and goes to Palisades school for boys and eventually graduates from Stanford University. Afterwards, the father goes to France and the son grows flowers in the university club. The son finds a girl and gets married. Promptly after, the Junior dies to what seems to be the Italian Mafia-Tony Spagoni. The father then sends his son to the Hollywood mortuary. Below is a short interpretation of when Lawrence found his future wife.

 

Spot the protagonist- It was a fun game that he liked to play. Walking through the streets, he would shift his gaze from person to person trying to read them. That woman seemed like the boss of her workplace. That man looked as if he were the life of the party. This woman appeared to be a doctor. This man seemed like a professional athlete. Though of course, these readings were hardly accurate and mostly based on intuition. Lawrence knew that as well.

 

Lawrence was in a brilliant mood today. He was jumping about the street like Mary Poppins. He would’ve even sung if he had a proper singing voice. In his carelessness, he had bumped into a man on the street.

 

“Watch where you’re going!”, he angrily spat at him.

“Sorry!”, Lawrence replied.

 

The man brushed himself off and proceeded walking as if nothing happened and so did Lawrence. Lawrence skipped towards the nearby bakery. The sweet aroma of freshly baked bread hung in the air as if seducing him into entering the bakery. Lawrence was in for a treat.

 

The bell rang as he pushed the door open. Lawrence peered his head through the door and scanned the room as a joke (the door was made of glass). Lawrence stepped across the brick tiled floor to look for a particular bread. He scanned the room looking for a baguette. His father had recently gone to France and so he felt in the mood for something French.

 

He spotted the baguettes and reached out to grab the best one. He pulled it towards him only to find that his pull was stopped short by a tug from an outside force. He looked at the piece of bread to see another hand was grabbing on to it. Lawrence looked up to see an unexpected pretty face.

 

She had a pale white face that seemed to shine and glimmer in the sunlight. Her hazel eyes seemed to gleam like mirrors as they looked into Lawrence. Her brown hair shone in the sunlight. Such a gorgeous indescribable beauty made Lawrence lose all social skills.

 

“Uhhh…,” he attempted to say.

“Oh were you getting that piece of bread?”, she said.

 

The woman started to walk away.

 

“Do you want this piece of bread?”, Lawrence asked.

“Oh sure,” she said in return.

 

Lawrence handed her the baguette but the woman had accidentally grabbed his hand. They both blushed.

 

“What’s your name?”, he asked.

“Mary,” she replied.

 

Lawrence was in love.

Telltale Heart reinterpretation

It was dark. It was dark as pitch. It was darker than the night. Yet something had stirred the old man awake. Primeval instincts stirred within the old man waking him warning him of the potential danger. It was, however, not the ghost of a creak in the floorboards, but rather it was the terrifying killing intent. It was a bloodlust so powerful it was like the terrifying crying of a banshee.

 

He slowly turned and scanned the room with his remaining good eye. He had spotted a single. Yet he knew! He knew something was amiss. Damn these old ears, he thought, playing tricks on me. Despite attempts to reassure himself, doubt loomed over him like the reaper.

 

It was as if a pair of eyes were watching him intently, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. In times where humans experience great fear, their senses are far acute. In this case, the old man had heard the specter of a noise.

 

The man shot up from his sleeping position

 

“Who’s there?”, he cried.

 

There wasn’t a noise to be heard. Long he waited in the darkness. One hour? Two hours? In the face of his fear, it was irrelevant. He sat there. Alert. Cautious. He did not budge a muscle not out of fear of aggravating the person out there, nay, he was scared of aggravating the monster out there. There was but one muscle in his body which was moving- the heart. The beating of his heart echoed throughout the room like a metronome. This metronome was beating at presto. It was when the heart had reached its peak that the monster had decided to strike.

Poor Little Feelings

 

Who are you? Who is Arnold Spirit? Arnold Spirit is a fictitious character in the book The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian written by Sherman Alexie. Our identities are affected and derived from the place that we live in. In order to fully answer the aforementioned question “Who is Arnold Spirit?”, We must first answer where is Arnold Spirit from?

Arnold Spirit, dubbed Junior, is a 14-year-old boy who is of Native American descent. What distinguishes him from other Native Americans from the reservation is that he goes to school in Reardan, a rich white school. By moving to Reardan, his personality, feelings, demeanor, and his general characterization changes as he moves to Reardon. An evident and immediate effect on his character is the diminishing self-esteem and pessimism. One example of this is when Junior stated, “I went to from being a small target in Wellpinit to a bigger target in Reardan” (Alexie). This goes to show that he sees himself as nothing more than a target that bullies can prey upon. By moving schools from Wellpinit to Reardan, the way that he perceives things is in a half glass empty way. This is further supported when Alexie writes, “I was being laughed at because I was the only one with that silly name and I felt smaller because the teacher was taking roll call and called out my name name”. Junior literally states that he felt smaller furthering the claim that his self-esteem is diminishing. Because of setting, Junior’s character has changed. Pessimism is not the only effect on his character. Feelings are an important part of a character and one of the most prominent feeling is anger. In Reardan, Junior is angered by the fact that the fact that he is re-using his mother’s textbooks as noted by the quote:”After all, I wanted to hit something when I threw that ancient book.” So evident from the various examples provided above, setting affects characterization.

Hanshiqiao Wetland Feature Article

Wetlands Feature Article

 

Students soaked in sweat bustling around the small pools of water. The hot afternoon sun baked the skin of students from schools NLS and Futures Academy. NLS in their bright red and white uniforms take notes in a serious demeanor-they are from a school with a strict code of conduct. Futures Academy students filled the atmosphere with loud chatter and occasional jotting down some notes.

 

For two weeks now, NLS middle school and Futures Academy have teamed up to create a positive impact on a river near their community. The 40 students in Futures Academy are trying to impact a nearby river called the Wenyu in a project called “We are One” while the students at NLS are trying to make a positive impact to a river called the Chaobai.

 

“You will be completing an action project to help improve the quality of our local Wenyu River,” says a facilitator, telling his students what their project is about. Students each try different ways to make a healthy change to a river near them. “Action projects come in many different shapes and forms,” the facilitator says. Projects range from raising awareness through a PSA to creating a line of products. Why did these two schools go to the wetlands? “To fully understand the water pollution problem in China,” says a student answering a question.

 

Hanshiqiao Wetland Nature Reserve is located in the East suburban area of Beijing, Shunyi. The Nature Reserve has a total area of 1900 hectares (19 kilometers squared) but most of the sightseeing is within 3000 acres (around 12 kilometers squared). Hanshiqiao is the only large-scale reed wetland in the Beijing plain. The wetland includes up to 153 distinct species of birds along with 292 different kinds of wild plants. Included in the Wetland is an area of 500 acres called Wetland Park that includes around 100 different aquatic plants. But Futures Academy and NLS are not going to be looking at most of these because it is not relevant to their schoolwork.

 

Students at Futures Academy have taken samples of each river that they visited. Being the project-based learning program that they are, Futures Academy have turned this into a learning experience. In science class, students were asked to take samples of each river that they visited to conduct tests for water quality while learning a bit of chemistry at the same time. Futures Academy is learning about the quality of the water in order to understand how they can improve the water quality.  However students do not realize the vastness of the problem at hand.

 

“Mandarin fish, blunt-snout bream, yellow croaker,” according to a local fisherman Chen Enpo  are a handful of the species that have disappeared.

“There are fewer fish now, and fewer kinds of fish too… On bad days, we don’t catch any at all.”

Although Hanshiqiao has a clever filtration system, there are other places in China that are less fortunate. In fact, one of the rivers that China relies most is not the cleanest. The Yangtze River, also known as Three Gorges is the longest river in Asia and is the third longest river in the world, right after the Nile and the Amazon River.

“China relies on the Yangtze river greatly,” said Dabo Guan, a professor at the University of East Anglia in Britain.

“Yet at times, its waters can almost be considered cancerous with pollution, and they are rapidly dying, threatening drinking water supplies in 186 cities along its banks.” There are currently around 1.3 billion people living in China and 300 million of them don’t have access to clean water.

“This isn’t just a natural phenomenon. It has more to do with mankind,” says Liu Changming, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. According to Lu Jianjian, a professor at East China University, the Yangtze River has already absorbed 40 percent of the China’s wastewater and 80 percent of the wastewater has been untreated. A problem as colossal as the water crisis must be resolved immediately.

 

Luckily, there is a solution pertaining to the wetlands. In fact, wetlands are already preventing pollution from reaching nearby waterways. Factories and acid rain pollution can be prevented. So how do wetlands prevent pollution? The dense vegetation in the wetlands acts as a strainer to filter out pollutants before they reach waterways and make them less harmful. Pollutants may also be buried in the soil where bacteria can break down the harmful substances so they no longer pose a threat. Although all wetlands have a limit to the amount of pollutants that they can take in, the Hanshiqiao wetlands is the only large-scale reed farm in the Beijing plain so it will act as a filter for a long time to come.

 

The Chinese government has also invested more than thirty nine billion Yuan in order to clean the Yangtze River. The efforts will be concentrated on the Three Gorges reservoir as well as the upper reaches of the Yangtze River in an effort to provide drinking water to those in need.

 

However small the Hanshiqiao wetlands are, it still makes a major impact on the local area. We should protect the wetlands even though they are able to filter out harmful substances themselves.

 

Bibliography:

“Yangtze River ‘cancerous’ with Pollution.” China Daily. Ed. China Daily. China Daily, 30 May 2006. Web. 13 May 2016.

“Beijing Hanshiqiao Wetland Nature Reserve.” BJSHY. BJSHY, 30 July 2015. Web. 13 May 2016.

Pan, Philip P. The Washington Post [Washington, D.C] 01 July 2001: A.14.

“What Do Wetlands Do For Me And The Environment?” Tech Alive. Ed. Michigan Tech. Michigan Tech, n.d. Web. 13 May 2016.

Gilliam, J. W., Robert Williams, and J. P. Lilly. “WETLANDS AND WATER QUALITY.” WETLANDS AND WATER QUALITY. North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service, June 1996. Web. 13 May 2016.

“China to Clean Up Yangtze River in Seven Years.” China Facts and Figures. Ed. People’s Daily. China Facts and Figures, 18 Nov. 2002. Web. 13 May 2016.

 

 

The House of Hades

This is a book review I wrote for The House of Hades.

Finally after a year of waiting, Rick Riordan finally picks up after the suspenseful cliffhanger of The Mark of Athena. At the end of The Mark of Athena, Percy and Annabeth fell in to the depths of Tartarus-the deep abyss even further below hell itself. While Percy and Annabeth are trying to close the doors of death from Tartarus, Nico promised to bring the rest of the seven to the House of Hades. The story continues the main plot of the series in which the seven are trying to defeat Gaea, mother Earth. Percy and Annabeth have to face their past mistakes along with trying to survive a place even worse than hell, while Hazel and Frank have to face their biggest test yet.

 

The story progresses at an alarming rate. Filled with turns so unexpected, it will force readers to re-read the pages to make sure they read it right. The crewmembers on the Argo II are starting to understand themselves better as well as understanding their powers better. The crew, Percy, and Annabeth are forced to make quick, witty decisions that will mean the difference between life and death.

 

I recommend this book to those who enjoy Greek mythology because this entire book is based upon Greek mythology. I also recommend this book to those who enjoy adventure books because this book explores a vast majority of settings. Finally, I recommend this book to Action fans because this book is filled with action that drives the plot. This was definitely worth the wait. 10/10

The Mark of Athena

This is a monologue I created based on the personalities of main characters in the book The Mark of Athena

Demigod Skype chat

 

Leo: lololololololol

 

Frank: Valdez, shut up

 

Leo: lololololol make me

 

Hazel: Oh my god, am I actually talking to Frank? This new invention called the computer is extremely useful

 

Jason: Guys quiet down. Percy and Annabeth fell in Tartarus and it is our duty to bring the Athena Parthenon back to Rome

 

Piper: Jason is right we need to get there as soon as possible

 

Nico: The sooner I get away from these loud imbeciles the better

 

Nico di Angelo has removed a message

 

Percy: Dude this place has like terrible service

 

Annabeth: Percy, we need to focus on the problem at hand. Right now we are falling to our deaths in a pit

 

Percy: Whatever, I’m almost running out of data already

 

Coach Hedge: WILL YOU CUPCAKES SHUT UP! I’M TRYING TO WATCH A CHUCK NORRIS MOVIE BUT MY PHONE IS VIBRATING LIKE CRAZY!

The Son of Neptune

The book I read was The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan. One of the major driving points of the plot was the setting. I will be describing 3 different settings throughout the book.

 

Setting 1: The first location is Camp Jupiter. This location affected every major protagonist in the story. For example, the setting was the place where Percy, Hazel, and Frank all trained. This training benefitted the three throughout the story. If it were not for their training, then the trio would’ve died numerous times during the plot. Camp Jupiter also was the location where they knew they had to start a quest. If it were not for Camp Jupiter, then the entire story wouldn’t have occurred. The war god, Mars, arrived at Camp Jupiter and told the trio to travel to Alaska. This single place was the reason the whole plot took place. Even more important, Camp Jupiter has kept the trio safe from monsters. Being the demigods that Frank, Hazel, and Percy are, they attract monsters. Camp Jupiter allowed the trio to stay safe from monsters. Since the entire story revolves around these three characters, this one setting allowed the plot to happen.

Setting 2: The second location is Alaska. This location also affected every major protagonist in the story. The location affected Hazel because Hazel has many memories from Alaska. SPOILER ALERT. Since Hazel is from the past, she has the problem of being stuck between the two worlds and has constant blackouts due to this. SPOILER ALERT. The location also affects Frank because it was the place in which he discovered his blood of pylos abilities and was able to shape shift. Alaska was also the place in which Percy was able to fully regain his memory. Percy was also able to fulfill Ella’s prophecy of Percy drowning a large of ghosts. It also was the place in which they discovered the legion’s eagle hugely benefitting them in the battle at Camp Jupiter. This is also the location in which the trio is required to reach so the entire plot is built on this one location.

 

Setting 3: The final location is the Amazon Headquarters. This location is an important place that affects both Percy and Hazel. At this location Percy gains some of his memory back when he meets an old enemy from the past, queen Hylla. Percy is able to piece together his second year at Camp Half-blood. This place is also important to Hazel. At this location, Hazel meets Arion, the world’s fastest horse. This made the story move at a much quicker pace, as Arion was able to transport the trio from Alaska back to Camp Jupiter. At this location, Hazel’s powers really shines. Being a daughter of Pluto, Hazel has control over riches such as diamonds or gold. From here Hazel singlehandedly took down dozens of Amazonians, freed not only her friends, but also Arion as well.

To Build a Fire

In Humanities class, we read short stories and plotted out the entire plot of the story. This included the exposition, the rising action, the climax, the falling action, and the resolution.

Exposition: A Man is traveling back to camp in freezing cold weather. Accompanying the man is a dog. The setting appears to take place in Alaska

Rising Action: The man’s feet gets wet and he is forced to stop and make a fire. The man builds a fire but fails and instead gets both his feet and his hands more numb than they were before.

Climax: The man hits his hands against his sides in order to relieve the numbing in an attempt to rebuild a fire. The man tries to kill the dog in an attempt to warm up his hands but fails due to the numbing in his hands. The man devises a plan to run all the way back to the camp but instead stumbles along the way.

Falling Action: The man gets a sudden warm sensation which is hinted to be hypothermia. The man lies on the ground and gets the sudden thought that he will die there. He panics and makes one last run before falling down on the ground.

Resolution: The man think to himself that there are worse ways to die than freezing to death. The man thinks of the old-timer in Sulpher Creek all warm and comfortable and says,”You were right, old hoss; you were right.” The dog realizes that the man can’t build a fire for the dog so it walks away back to the camp to find more food providers and fire providers.