Picture this scenario. You’re the youngest (or oldest if you prefer) in the family, but your sibling is less mature because of a disability, so your parents (subconsciously or not) turns to you to be the leader of the two, thrusting all the responsibilities onto you as well as any punishment for any faults of your “team”. As you get older and find yourself living in a small town where a lot of people will be counting on you to take more responsibilities in the community because people are aging, and you just so happen to have (whether you were really trying or not) the qualities that they’re looking for and are just expecting you to take over one day. Later your sibling becomes so helpless and spoiled that your parents can’t deal with them, and one of them blames you for their behavior, acknowledging that they had treated them better.

They scream at you. “It was your fault. You have been guiding your sibling all along.”

You point out. “You spoiled them.”

They later tell you. “Leaders are important. Without them nothing could get done.”

Instead of all of this making you stronger and a leader, it makes you more apprehensive about doing anything involving teamwork. People talk about there being alphas or betas and how alphas or strong personalities are better, and betas are immature and weak. Well, for starters, the term beta in nature means second in command and are every bit as strong as an alpha. If they beat an alpha or the alpha dies, they assume command. These terms confuse me because I feel like I’m both. They feel like two far ends of the spectrum. One is large, in charge, and boastful. The other is meek, weak, and full of complaints. I am meek but not weak, tough but not boastful, and yet people just decides a role for me. Both depending on the situation, but is being dominate and a leader really that desirable? How can you tell another person what to do? Can someone who doesn’t desire that really be called weak? Does all these labels really matter?




I am an evening person, but I honestly feel at my best when the sun is in the middle of the sky. It’s like it recharges my batteries. I did some sprints at three instead of five and noticed a huge difference. What a workout! I have also had a better time editing, reading, and watching videos on iTunes. I had never had so much energy at any other time! You heard of night owls and early birds, but I am an afternoon hawk with a dash of night owl. Good day.



So I am close to finishing editing my second novel, Power Play, so I thought I share an excerpt. Enjoy fellow readers, writers, and novelists.


     Katrina raised her hand, her fingers arcing with electricity, and blasted one of the dummies we had set up around the junkyard. The blast had looked bigger than usual. I wondered if she had been eating her veggies or something and I was thinking that maybe I should try some of her mother’s cooking. It may have helped me out with my little problem.

Marion eyed another dummy and flexed his palm. Flames started to curl off the tips of his fingers and formed into a ball. He lobbed it at another dummy, causing it to erupt into a small bonfire.

Fleana smiled, reveling in the display of fireworks. I felt the wind picking up and my heart raced as the next dummy levitated five feet in the air. Fleana twitched her nose and the dummy went sky high.

You might be wondering why we were abusing a couple of poor, defenseless dummies. Even more importantly, you may be wondering how a couple of teenagers have superpowers. Well, its kind of a long story and it would probably take all day to catch you up on how all this nonsense, which quite frankly is still new to us, happened. Fortunately, I have time on my hands. We’re what you call BioticAbiotics—living nonliving things. This stuff sort of comes with the territory. Don’t worry, you’ll catch on. Technically, our “powers” were supposed to be used to support the planet so that everything including us could survive, but my friends and I use them kind of like a super power.

Fleana trained her eyes on me. “You sure you don’t want to try this?”

I shifted my feet. My pals had been trying to convince me for a week to try using my abilities. “I don’t know guys I’m just not feeling it.”

“It’s been three months now, Spikes. You have to try,” Katrina reasoned. “we need to practice for the new school we’ll be attending. I heard Level Placement is brutal.”

I guess I should explain. My friends and I would be attending Levels Academy in two days—A school that both our parents and older siblings had attended for BioticAbiotics. I shuddered thinking about a school full of hormonal teenagers that were just like us. I certainly wasn’t looking forward to it after what happened just three months ago. I just couldn’t imagine the reactions from the students and faculty.

What happened? Well, I’m going to make this short and simple: Three months ago, my friends and I had no idea what we even were, so when our powers (BioticAbiotics call them traits or characteristics) had actually showed up, we sort of panicked, not unlike anything else that happens during puberty. Don’t get me wrong, it was cool and all, but we managed to get into serious trouble with them. When our parents had finally told us what was going on with us, let’s just say that in hindsight, blowing up the lab we were born in was probably not the best way of getting information. Word of our actions had hit the local news across town and unless they had poor reception in the troposphere, I’m pretty sure most of the student body and faculty had heard of our blunder. And here I thought I was done with all the embarrassing stuff that happens in school.

Attending Levels meant that my friends and I were going to meet some challenges, but my biggest challenge would be getting my traits to work properly. What can I say? Some people mature slower than others even if you were born at the same time.

“Okay, I’ll try.” I told them.

I thrust out my palm but nothing happened. On my second try, my hand grew cold and a ball of steam condensed in my palm. It was the first solid ball I had made in the past two weeks. I lobbed it a dummy causing frost to cake over it. Despite it working sometimes, my power were pretty meager at that point. Nowhere near as big and powerful as my pals’.

I turned my head to my friends. “How’s that?”

“Not bad,” Fleana said encouragingly. “but it needs a little more oomph!”

Fleana was a part time cheerleader. She’s always positive and sometimes, if you’re not watching carefully enough, that’s how she often gets away with things. You wouldn’t suspect her to do any wrong. Thankfully, that part of her rarely shows up.
I went to try again with much better results. The next dummy turned into a popsicle.

Fleana clapped merrily. “There you go! Try again!”

So I did that for about three more times, which is more effort than I put in three months, and made the dummies I shot into miniature snowmen. My friends cheered, encouraging me to keep going, but the moment was short lived. On my next try, nothing happened. I tried several more times but no luck. I shook my head.

Kat came up to me and placed her hand on my back. “It’s okay. It’ll show up again. It’s better to try and fail than to not try at all.”

That’s Katrina for you. Always sensible, always responsible, and she always has a sweet spot when it comes to wounded puppies.

“I know, I know,” I said. “I just wish it would show up before school starts.”

“When it happens, it happens.” Marion reasoned. “You can’t rush these things.”

If you ever needed a level head to talk to then Marion’s your man. He always seems to be on top of things, never worried about anything.

Fleana looked at her watch and her eyes widened. “It’s late! I have to get home or mom will kill me!”

She jumped in the air and flew straight to our apartment. Flying’s become Fleana’s main source of transportation even when it’s not necessary. Our apartment was only a couple blocks away and Surrealton’s so small that driving from one place to another is seen as redundant.

“Show off.” Kat said. “But it is getting late. We should get going.” I heard her mutter. “Mom would be checking off supplies again.”

We began marching home, prepared to face the challenge of packing for school.

When I walked through the doors of my apartment room, my dad looked up from his paper and asked. “Where have you been?”

I told him. “With my friends at the junkyard.”

“Getting in some training before school, huh? Good thinking you might wanna bulk up. Standards are much higher now than from the time I went there.”

That didn’t make me feel much better. I had lied to my dad a week earlier about my abilities developing past latency. I was hoping they would’ve developed any day now so that it wouldn’t have to be such a lie. Obviously, that hadn’t been the case so it just left me in a worse spot.

The phone rang and dad picked it up. “Hello…yes…oh, okay. He’ll be there in the morning.”

He hung up. “That was Dr. Norman. He wants to do one final check up tomorrow morning. You okay going by yourself?”

“Sure.” I said.

Dr. Norman was the family doctor for my friends and me ever since the day we were born in Solarana Labs as asexual test tube babies. It’s kind of a weird story. A couple of months ago, I had accidentally frozen his arm when he tried to give me a shot, but thankfully he had forgiven me for that. Not a lot of people would.

As I walked down the hallway to my room, I bumped into my older brother, Nathan. He held my backpack in his hand.
He dropped it into my arms and it weighed a ton. “Here, everything’s accounted for.”

“Thanks bro. But I could’ve done that myself.” I grunted.

“Oh, I know. I just wanted to save you the trouble.”

Translation: he wanted me to reflect good on him. Nathan was going to be a teacher’s assistant at my new school for college credit and well, he’s a bit of an overachiever. He’s always pushing me to do my best. Not that I didn’t appreciate his help or anything, but it can be a bit overbearing sometimes and with my traits still on the fritz, I just wasn’t looking forward to one of his lectures about how eating more vegetables or ice cubes or whatever is essential to the proper functioning of traits. Older siblings can be a pain, even if they’re adopted.

After dinner, I slumped onto my bed hoping things would get better by tomorrow. But somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew things were about to get a whole lot worse somehow.



So I was surfing the web today when I decided, hey, why don’t I watch America’s game 1992 Dallas Cowboys, so I went to my usual free website YouKu (no, not YouTube, the cheap Chinese site), and let’s just say you get what you paid. After minutes of refreshing, I finally said “You know what? I don’t need this. I have the money. I could buy a whole DVD set on iTunes for like twenty dollars.” So that’s what I did. I regret nothing! Oh, except the Michael Jordan pic. Didn’t mean to rub salt on wounds Bulls fans considering what happened tonight.



Well, except for the lack of video game playing, I could say I had a lazy day. Like most people who didn’t have to go to work, I slept til around eleven then I read a magazine and did some more editing as well as reading. “Daniel X Game Over” is a good lighthearted book that I would recommend. It was around seven before I went out for a run. My dad asked me to walk with him, but I wasn’t feeling it at the time. He jabbed at me about it later when I went walking later, but nothing big happened between us. Mom prepared a big feast consisting of steak, potatoes, and shrimp:

That’s some good eating.

I’m going to miss Ed Reed. He was one of the best safeties to ever play the game. And no Pittsburgh fans, Polamalu is not better but it is fitting that they go to Canton together.

Sail on Reed. Sail on…



I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I was bullied when I was younger. It happens, especially when you’re one of the youngest and smallest kid in the class, a bit of a stickler of the rules, and of course one of the smartest. It all stopped when I got older, bigger, and better social skills. Living in the small, peaceful South helps too. But bullying comes in all shapes and size, and it’s not always the big jock or the popular cheerleader (they were one of my closest friends actually). It could be that innocent looking nerd, a plain old average student, a parent even, and surprisingly the disabled (that’s a whole other story you need to read). The point is anybody could be a bully, and its impact is devastating. Many people had committed suicide others went off the deep end and committed homicide, many were killed during the acts of bullying. It’s all too much. I just well up inside whenever I hear another victim lost because of it. Nobody deserves abuse.



I finally snagged a job! Well, I should’ve said that yesterday, but I had to get up in the morning, and I’m very sure that no one cares anyway. I spent most of the day window washing, cleaning screens, washing the window sills, really stuff you find gross. But a job is a job, and I’m thankful of friends who not only hired me but also gave me a ride. I had to do some learning, but I caught on very fast and still had enough time for Spanish lessons, editing, and exercise. Well, I don’t have to report for duty tomorrow, so I guess I’ll turn her on in.

P.S. Aqua Teen is not dead: