Visits From A Man Named Nobody 80

Visits From A Man Named Nobody 80

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Twenty-Four

May 29, 2038, 10:34 p.m. 

13 Years, 189 Days Ago

Paul gently held his mother as she retched. Her heaving stomach had long since emptied itself of it contents. She wept. 

“It hurts!” The statement was barely a whisper, but it still carried with it the implication of immense pain. 

She heaved again. Despite doing so for at least five minutes, nothing came out. Each time she finished convulsing, she fought to take in a breath before another wave of nausea hit her. It was like she was being suffocated by the illness. 

“I’m here,” Paul said. “I’m sorry. I … I don’t know what to do.”

Each bout of nausea got worse after each treatment. This session, the fourth, there was no optimism as they sat the treatment room, and Derek administered the treatment. They waited for the inevitable aftermath, and it came just five hours after they got home.

This time, Paul’s mother didn’t even sleep. She didn’t eat. She just went into her bathroom and waited with Paul, and the nausea, as expected, hit harder than ever. 

Paul stared at his mother as she heaved again, but this time, something plopped into the bowl. 

Paul glanced inside and froze. Dark red blood swirled in the water, changing it’s color in a terrifying moment. 

“We’re taking you in,” Paul said. 

He tapped his PID, activating it so he could press the emergency button. After a few painful moments, during which his mother coughed more blood into the toilet, a man’s face appeared on the PID.

“Emergency services. An ambulance is already on the way. My name is Don. Please tell me the emergency.”

“My mom’s coughing up blood,” Paul said. “She’s been going through chemotherapy, and they told me to report any blood immediately.”

Don’s holographic head nodded. “Someone will be there soon. Are there any other symptoms.”

“It hurts,” Paul’s mother whined. “I feel like my head is going to explode. God, I don’t want to do this any more. I don’t want this pain. Lord, I’m ready. Call me home and end this suffering.”

Paul fell back against the bathtub as if he were shoved. Did she really just ask to die? Is the pain that bad?

A siren screamed in the distance, and Paul shook his head and sucked in a breath. “Let’s get you up.”

He reached over to help his mother up, but she tried to push him away. “I said I’m done!” Though the comment was barely audible, the anger in her tone was clear.

“OK,” Paul said. “I’ll just go let them in.”

He rushed to the door. Coincidentally, the ambulance came to a stop in front of the house right as Paul opened the door. The large white vehicle’s hybrid engine seemed to both rumble and whine at the same time. Red lights flashed on the top of the vehicle. 

Two people, both women, exited the front doors and quickly walked to the back. They opened the rear side of the ambulance and rolled out a gurney. 

“The door is open!” Paul shouted. “We’re in the bathroom in the master bedroom.”

Paul didn’t wait for any reply, rushing back to his mother. 

He got to the bathroom and found her sitting on the stool crying. She held herself, awkwardly crossing her arms in front of her chest and yet still twisting her hands around so they could clasp together. 

“I can’t do it anymore!” Her comments came in quiet whispers of agony. “Please take this pain. Please don’t make me go through any more.”

“The ambulance is here,” Paul said. “They’re going to get you to the hospital and make you feel better.”

She looked at him, her full lips trembling, holding in a scream. She took a deep breath. “I don’t want to feel better,” she said. “I want the pain to stop.”

“That’s …” Paul didn’t understand. 

“I don’t want comfort,” she said. “I want it to end.”

“I … “  Paul couldn’t think.

“I love you,” she said. “I’m sorry I can’t fight any more. I just can’t do this any more.”

… to be continued …

My Top 5 Naruto Arcs

My Top 5 Naruto Arcs

Greetings all,

A slow news week on the writing front allows me to play a bit for my Saturday post. I’m watching Naruto with my sons, which is something I’ve always dreamed of doing. That got me to thinking, “What were my five favorite arcs?”

By arc, I mean a storyline from beginning to end. Maybe one day I’ll do “episodes” or “fights,” but since we just recently finished my number one, I wanted to do this list.

SPOILER ALERT!  YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!

This spans the entire Naruto Saga, both Shippuden and the original. You might be shocked by some I leave out. How did I make the list. I just sat there for a few minutes and wondered which five would come to mind. The first five that came up won. That doesn’t mean there weren’t great arcs, but these arcs jumped out at me.

Number 5: The Quest to Save Gaara: I don’t know about you all, but I cry every time Gaara wakes up and sees all those people surrounding him. I have a soft spot for redemption stories, and to see how far Gaara had come was just a great way to really kick off the Shippuden ark. Sure, there was a lot of waiting and way more exposition than I wanted, but we also get Kakashi’s magekyo and the cool puppet fight. It falls short because of the exposition, but it’s definitely worthy of the top five for me.

 

 

Number 4:  The Chunin Exams:  The first reason I love this arc is the sheer number of great fights. If you consider the exams to be from the test of confidence to the end of the Gaara fight, you have a lot of action to go with. I’d rank this in the top five alone just for Gaara, but his fight with Rock Lee and the saga with the third is more emotional to me than I suppose others. The action of each fight and Gaara’s story puts this in the top five, but the lag (how long did that monkey hold that stupid sword for?) it doesn’t get any farther than number four. This is the saga where you learn about the rookie nine and Guy’s team. We meet Lee, who I love. We see Naruto grow and Sasuke’s arc truly begin.

 

 

Number 3: The Naruto Bridge:  I don’t know if anyone else would put this on their top five, but I don’t think I fall in love with this show if I don’t watch that arc. This is the story where we first see the power of the fox. This is where Naruto chooses his ninja way. This is where Sasuke and Naruto begin their rivalry and start to grow together. I also have a soft spot for mentors and students or adopted father roles. As far as a true introduction to the show, I really thought this was a nice launching point for the series. I put this above the Chunin Exams because those exams made us wait an awful long time for the cool stuff. Sure, it was cool when things happened, but man I we every bit as frustrated with the lag of the backstories and that third fight. The Naruto Bridge story was complete and concise, and I give it higher marks for that.

 

 

Number 2: The Asuma Ark: The Rasenshuriken alone would have been enough to get on the list, but man, Shikamaru shines! The way he plotted out that whole fight before even leaving the village is just masterful! The fights are great. Asuma’s death was so tragic (though not the most tragic). Seeing all this come together made for such a rewarding end and a beautiful set up for future arcs.

 

 

Number 1: The Pain Arc: Now, I consider this to be from Jiraiya’s entrance to the hidden rain to Nagato’s Rebirth, you have what I feel is unquestionably the saddest death, the greatest hero moment (Naruto’s return), the best fight amid a host of cool fights, and Konohamaru uses the Rasengan! I haven’t even stopped to talk about Minato’s appearance and reveal. Most fans had this theory pegged, but that didn’t make it any less satisfying.

 

 

I’m sure there are at least two arcs you all feel should go on this list that aren’t here, and I’m not saying they were bad. They’d definitely be on a top ten list, but these always pop right into my head when I think about Naruto. But feel free to give me your list.

Thanks for watching,

Matt

 

Sonnets For My Savior 39

Sonnets For My Savior 39

The Only Way

It is Him.

There is no other way.

He has no alter ego or pseudonym.

Turning from Him only leads to dismay.

He is the only light.

There are no dimmer flames; His is the only one that exists.

Following Him is the only way that is right.

He is the only way in which salvation consists.

Only He paid the price.

Only He advocates for us.

We are only saved by His sacrifice.

To follow any other is treasonous.

There is only one who frees us,

and He is our Christ, Jesus.

 


 

The Mark of a Christian

A kind smile.

A generous gift.

One who walks the extra mile.

One whose values will never shift.

Providing for others

When they are in need.

Caring for one’s brothers

Rather than clinging to greed. 

Standing in truth.

Living in light.

Letting go the things of one’s youth.

Turning from wrong and doing what is right.

But the greatest trait of children from the Father above,

Is living a life with a heart full of love.

 


 

Holy Father

Holy Father,

There is no one above you.

Holy Father,

There is no one mightier than you.

You are merciful.

You are righteous.

You are wonderful.

You are glorious.

Holy Father,

You are life and light.

Holy Father,

In you are only goodness and right.

All glory be to Your name,

Our perfect, Father, whose grace washes away our shame.

 


 

His Glory

It would mean death to see His face,

for his glory is so great.

Oh! being wrapped in His grace

is such sweet, sweet state.

Moses stood in His presence,

and the mere reflection required a veil.

Oh! to have that pleasance!

Our God shall always prevail.

Gracious and merciful.

Slow to anger. Abounding in love and faithfulness.

Every action of His is purposeful.

He forgives the repentant when they transgress.

Let Him be worshiped in every territory,

for to God alone belongs the glory.

 


 

More

Too often I do what I do not want to do.

Too often I do what I hate.

But the Lord’s love for me is true.

His grace is more, and His mercy is grate.

My iniquities form a mountain I can’t climb.

My sins form chains I can’t break.

But the Lord lifts me time after time.

Any prison created, he can unmake.

My sins are countless.

His kindness is boundless.

My failings are limitless.

His love is endless.

My crimes are too great for any to ignore,

but my Lord’s forgiveness is so much more.

 


 

Endure

Endure, though you may lose everything.

Endure, though you may lose those you love.

Endure, though pain may bring its sting.

Endure, for God is watching from above.

Endure, though your heart may be filled with sadness.

Endure the trial with every breath.

Endure, when circumstances threaten to bring you to madness.

Endure, though you may be near death.

The sufferings of this present time

are not worth comparing to the glory that is to be revealed to us.

His presence is so sublime,

as to make all the earthly things we’ve lost rubbish to us.

Endure, even if it’s hard to understand what your suffering is for.

Endure, for what we have in Heaven will be worth even more.

 


 

Joy

Beware the difference between joy and feeling good.

A feeling passes and doesn’t endure.

Joy remains when no one thinks it should.

Joy isn’t cheaply earned; it’s real and pure.

Understand where joy comes from.

It doesn’t come from the things of the Earth.

All the things of world will fall away when time is done.

But joy can be ours if we believe in Christ’s birth.

He provides freedom.

He offers peace.

Service in His kingdom

ensures one a joy that will never cease.

The most pure joy doesn’t come from within.

The most pure form of joy comes only from Him.