Cryptid [crypt+id; N]:
- from the Greek "κρύπτω" (krypto), meaning “hide”
- coined in 1983 by John E. Wall in a letter to the International Society of Cryptozoology
Cryptozoology [crypto+zoo+logos; N]
- from the Greek κρυπτός (kryptos "hidden") + ζῷον (zoon “animal”) + λόγος (logos “knowledge”)
- lit. “study of hidden animals”
- is not a recognized branch of zoology or a discipline of science
- is considered a pseudoscience
Moving Out; Semester Start
It was a gorgeous, warm afternoon in early autumn. The streets of the Bronx bustled; children and teens gathered on corners to enjoy the last few weeks of summer break, adults were walking along the sidewalks on their way to visit neighbors or to and from lunch break. Birds were singing in the sky and on powerlines and buildings. A few outdoor cats skulked around the alleyways. The few trees lining the street were beginning to change colors. And the entire nine-person Lopez family was squished into the same moving van, heading to the youngest son's new apartment.
“Oh, petit chiot, I wish you were not in such a hurry to move out!” Mrs. Lopez called called from the passenger's seat to her sons in the back. The aforementioned youngest, Soleil Lopez, rolled his eyes at the embarrassing nickname. A few of his six brothers snickered; the twins (Raimundo and Corbin), Diego, and Launce.
“Maman, you know my apartment is so much closer to my school than the house!” Soleil responded, catching a box as it tipped over on a particularly sharp turn. Another, larger box slid across the floor and banged painfully into Corbin's shins. A cabinet almost tipped over onto another brother, Tonio, but was luckily caught by Adrien, the eldest, who managed to lever it back into place.
“Papa, watch the driving,” Adrien admonished, “We don't have restraints back here!”
“In fact, I'm pretty sure having us all back here like this is illegal!” added Diego.
“Ah, perdón,” their father called back sardonically, “But since none of you own cars and yet all of you wanted to help your brother move...”
“Oh no, don't blame this on us!” cried Tonio, “I almost got crushed by a TV cabinet!”
“Boys, we have arrived.” And with that curt announcement from Mrs. Lopez, all argument ceased. Mr. Lopez pulled into the parking lot at the River Hill Gardens Apartment complex and the family exited the rented moving van; those who had been stuck in the back stretched out their cramped and bruised limbs.
“Which floor you on, Soleil?” Adrien asked.
“4th,” Soleil replied, picking up a box from the back of the truck, “The super has my key. I'll stop by and grab it on the way up.” The rest of the family began to unload the truck and Soleil went in ahead. Up just a half a flight of steps to the main floor, Soleil made his way to the first door on the left, helpfully labelled 'Building Superintendent'. Shifting the box to rest on one bony hip, Soleil knocked. The super, a man in his 30s named Landon Burke, answered the door, rubbing his eyes. He replaced a pair of horn-rimmed glasses onto the bridge of his nose and, when he saw who was at the door, he smiled warmly.
“Soleil! Good afternoon!”
“Good afternoon, Mr. Burke!” Soleil chimed back. Mr. Burke shook the teen's free hand heartily.
“Here for your key, I suppose.” Mr. Burke asked, “Not moving in all by yourself are you?”
“No, sir. All my brothers turned out to help. It should be pretty quick and painless unloading everything. Unpacking, though, that I'm on my own for.”
“Hah, well. Still, you have more help than I did when I first moved out on my own.” Mr. Burke got a wistful look on his face, and reached to grab something from the left of his door. Drawing his hand back, he jingled the key to Soleil's apartment before depositing the small bit of metal into the waiting teen's hand.
“Thank you, Mr. Burke.”
“No problem, Soleil. Just remember, if you need extra copies of the key made come to me first, I have some already. And if anyone else is to move in with you, you are to give me at least two weeks advance notice so we can get them to sign into the lease.”
“Yes sir!” Soleil said, saluting awkwardly and almost dropping his box. Mr. Burke chuckled and closed the door. After recovering his balance and control of the box, Soleil went back to the staircase, where his family was waiting. And thus the furniture hauling began.
Unloading the truck and the one or two round trips back to the house to grab the remaining boxes took the remainder of the day. The last of the boxes and pieces of furniture were brought upstairs around 9 PM. Thoroughly exhausted and bruised moreso than they had been that very morning, Soleil's family bid him farewell. Soleil closed the door, locked it, and turned back to look over his now box-filled living room. Heaving a massive sigh, he picked his way carefully through the towers of junk and proceeded to collapse onto his mattress, which had not yet made its way onto his bedframe. Unpacking and arranging all of his stuff would have to wait until the next day.
A loud twittering sound awoke Soleil the next morning. He cracked one tired eye open and glared at the window, squinting against a small beam of sun shining straight into his eye. Slowly he got to his feet, stretching and cracking every joint he could manage. Picking his way back to the living room, Soleil began scanning the boxes stacked around his apartment.
“Clothes...clothes...books,” Soleil mumbled tiredly to himself, “DVDs...video games...medical supplies...ah! Kitchen stuff.” He pulled a few boxes off from on top of the box he wanted and unpacked a frying pan, spatula, and the top of a tupperware box because he couldn't find a plate. Cracking open the fridge, Soleil retrieved a pack of bacon that his mother had left. Not long after the apartment was filled with the delicious scent and wonderful crackling sound of cooking bacon.
After breakfast Soleil got down to the business of unpacking. Starting with his bedroom he soon had a bed, wardrobe, and dresser put together again. Once that was finished it was a simple matter of unpacking his clothing, and with that his sheets and other bedlinens. When he folded up the last empty clothing box, Soleil felt a distinct sense of accomplishment.
“That's enough for today, I think!” Soleil said to himself, rubbing an arm across his forehead. Then he walked down the hall and caught another look at his living room. And promptly felt a despair in his soul like he'd never known before as he saw the remaining forest of boxes ready to be unpacked. With a groan, Soleil settled down to at least put together all the furniture that had been taken apart for transportation.
When Soleil collapsed into his actual bed that night at around 10 PM he had managed to put together a TV stand, push his sofa into place, build two bookcases, move his desk underneath his loft bed, and install a corner table into the kitchen. He had also managed to hammer his thumb at least five times, stab himself with countless nails and screws, and got at least three splinters. His hands were bandaged, his arms sore, and his furniture was in place. Soleil fell asleep with a smile of accomplishment on his face.
Nearly three weeks later it was September 12th, the start of the school year, or rather the fall semester for college freshman Soleil. His boxes had long since been unpacked, his furniture arranged, and best of all his cable and internet had finally been connected. So it was in high spirits that Soleil headed out on his bicycle for Bronx Community College. It wasn't a long distance, not even in the slightest, but Soleil had a peculiar way of navigating the short distance. If one watched Soleil on his way down University Avenue one would notice he only ever stayed on one side, and during his various daily routines, no matter what they included, he would never cross to that other side. The only time he ever ventured past University Avenue was south of West Burnside Avenue. Anywhere north of that and he stuck like glue to the one side of the street. That first day of the fall semester Soleil seemed particularly nervous as he wheeled down University Avenue. At every street crossing he glanced nervously across the streets. At every louder than normal horn honk he jumped slightly in his bike seat. And when he got to the entrance to Bronx Community College he paused and looked over his shoulder across the street, subconsciously rubbing two scars on his forearms through the long sleeved shirt he had chosen for the day.
As Soleil went to take his first step, or rather pedal, of the semester onto the campus of BCC he found that he should have checked over his other shoulder too. Suddenly he found a hand gripped painfully on his shoulder. His knees buckled in pain and he found himself stumbling and tripping over his feet and bike as he was dragged over to the side of the entrance arch. When the hand released him Soleil clutched his shoulder where he knew it would bruise later and whipped around and found himself face to face with someone he obviously did not relish seeing.
“Hello, little scarred one.” Standing before him was a woman in her twenties with short bleach blonde hair and a trio of scars showing just around the side of her shoulder due to the backless halter-top she was wearing.
“¡Dios mio, Jeanne!” Soleil whimpered, rubbing his shoulder, “What the hell?!” Jeanne cackled, running a hand through her hair.
“You should have seen your face!” she paused to cackle again, then continued, “Anyway, you're awful close to the border.”
“Oh come on! You know I'm going to school here! I even went through the whole thing to get an audience with the Agriopas' and present my case to warn them that I would be attending and wasn't a threat!”
“Oh yeah, we know all that,” Jeanne said, then jerked her finger over her shoulder indicating the sports fields, “I was just sent as a reminder, and a warning that we've expanded to include the strip of land north of Hall Of Fame Terrace and east of Loring Place North. Just a warning.” And with a parting cackle she twirled and departed, with long purposeful strides, to the opposite side of University Avenue.
"Like a freaking hen...” Soleil muttered to himself, still rubbing his shoulder. Then he got back onto his bike and was on his way to the first class of the semester: English 101.
It took Soleil a relatively short time to find his class, and he was one of the first students in the class to arrive. He got one of the first choices of desks, and kept to the back by the windows. Slowly by slowly the class filtered in and at 10 on the dot the teacher walked in. He was a taller man, in his late forties, and obviously the 'artsy' type, as his long hair was kept back in a ponytail and he was dressed vaguely like he was still a college student himself.
“Welcome to class, kids, you can call me Mr. Kizzier,” he wrote his name on the class' whiteboard, “And that's 'Ki' as in 'kiss' and 'zzier' rhymes with 'fire'. Now I'm going to pass out the syllabus and go over it so ple-” At that moment another student burst through the door, breathing as though he'd been running to get there on time. He was probably the strangest looking person Soleil had seen on campus, and was only narrowly beaten out by another for strangest person ever. Everything about him screamed 'green'. His hair was bright green and in some odd mohawk kind of style. His shirt was bright green and black plaid. His pants were dark green jeans, and even his shoes were green Converses. In his ears were all sorts of studs in varying green shades, and he even had two eyebrow piercings.
“Whoops, sorry man,” the student said, smiling sheepishly, then began picking his way through the desks to find an empty seat for himself, “Didn't mean to interrupt. Go about your business. Nevermind me. I am not here. I do not exist. Ah, here we are.” He had come to the only empty seat in the whole class: right next to Soleil. And he had stopped speaking just long enough for Soleil to hear Mr. Kizzier say:
“Now wherever you're sitting now is where you'll be sitting for the rest of the semester.”
The green kid grinned wider, and Soleil realized the smile hadn't dropped from the kid's face the entire time since he'd entered the room. As the monochromatic wonder plopped down with his stuff and the teacher continued, the bizarre green student turned to Soleil, despite all of Soleil's attempts to ignore this strange person.
“'Sup man. Looks like we're going to be neighbors for the rest of the semester! The name's Rainier. Rainier Gleeson.” Rainier stuck his hand over to Soleil. “Who're you?” Soleil hesitated and then cautiously took Rainier's hand.
“I'm Soleil. Soleil Lopez.”
If anything, Rainier just grinned wider.
It's a tie between The Phantom Tollbooth (yes I will always pimp this book) with:
"There was once a boy named Milo who didn't know what to do with himself - not just sometimes, but always."
And How To Train Your Dragon #1 with this little bit from the preface 'A Note From The Hero':
"There were dragons when I was a boy."
I'd also quote Artemis Fowl but I cannot locate the first book at the moment.
Why was he doing this? Michael stared at the heavy wooden door that seemed to loom before him despite his more than 6 feet of height. He couldn't do this. What right did he have to do this? He didn't even know these people. But then again, neither had he. Of all the people who should be meeting these people, he had more right to be here than Michael. He should have been there standing next to Michael, both tense and nervous but also excited.
But circumstances had seen otherwise and he wasn't here and instead only Michael stood there in front of the door, sad and solemn and anxious beyond belief. He felt tears welling up where his eyes should be, behind the blindfold he always wore to hide that they were not in fact there. He cleared his throat, fought the tears back, and raised his knuckles to the door.
Knock, knock, knock. And Michael waited, holding his breath. The door swung open and a short woman with familiar reddish hair (like his), only just beginning to grey with age, smiled out at him, unsure of what to make of him no doubt. Behind her a tall man, nearly as tall as Michael himself, watched him cautiously with equally familiar blue eyes (like his).
“Mr. and Mrs. Kohler?” Michael began, “I knew your son...” Their faces quickly cycled through emotions: shock, confusion, excitement, realization, and finally, as they realized what exactly he had said, grief. He could see the emptiness of sorrow works its way into their eyes as the words he had used finally registered. Mr. Kohler moved forward to grip his wife's shoulders and stare this bizarre stranger at their door in the eye.
“I think you should come in,” Mr. Kohler finally spoke up, as his wife let out a choked sob, “We need to talk.”
( Quick explanation for this story.Collapse )
I have two different favorite kinds of villains.
#1 I like to call "villains with style". They're the villains who enjoy being evil and do it with flair and just are dramatic and wonderful. Villains like Scar, Dr. Facilier, Ursula. These villains are usually horrible people and have no compunctions about it.
#2 I like to call "Saturday Morning Cartoon Villains". The villains who want to be villains, but fail regularly or are genre-blind or are too small-time or not quite evil enough to be true villains. Villains like Jack Spicer, Dr. Two-Brains (...yes from WordGirl...), and Dr. Doofenschmirtz. These villains often actually have morals that will show, they just don't listen to them as much as the heroes.
Also, a lot of the time there are Saturday Morning Cartoon Villains who also have style, like Megamind for example.
Biting my nails is a big one. Picking at my bottom lip is probably another. Cracking my knuckles/back/neck/ankles.
I also have horrible posture and sit badly anyway, my left foot always falls asleep because I automatically tuck it underneath me when I go to sit.