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Diabolical II

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Written by Carter Pierce

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Guy Harmon arrived in Pinedale a little after 10 pm. The air was still warm from the long, hot day, but it wasn’t quite stifling, even in his black trench coat.

He stood on the sidewalk under a streetlamp, appearing inconspicuous, acting just like the other people he saw. Some were travelers waiting for the bus to make its stop. Others were locals exiting restaurants or closing their business doors for the night.

There was a quaint little store across the street called the Cowboy Shop. The windows were dark. Behind him there was a lawyer’s office with a wooden sign hanging above the door reading “WM. H. TWICHELL ATTOURNEY.” Those windows were also dark. The Mexican restaurant just down the road was still open, but people were leaving.

Pretty soon all the big businesses would be closed for the night. He’d still have to deal with saloons and night clubs, if there were any night clubs in this little town, but the people who frequented them were not likely to bat an eyelash if they heard a scream in the night.

He checked his watch.

The bus would be here any minute.

And on it, probably looking for a hotel room for the night, would be a young man by the name of Dmitri Molchalin. Wanting to get some sleep before his big day tomorrow. His information from the police department said Molchalin had a meeting where he was supposed to sell some wares. He worked for a big company in Denver. Software or something. Harmon hadn’t paid attention to those details. He didn’t need them.

The bus was exactly twelve minutes and three seconds late to the moment it came to a complete stop at the curb. Tired passengers offloaded, and new ones got on. Guy Harmon picked out the few wearing suits and carrying briefcases, and quickly checked three of them off his list. One was a woman, and the other two were men in their fifties. Molchalin had been a young man. Even after several years he wouldn’t pass for fifty.

That left two possible matches. One went right, and the other went left.

Harmon bit his lip. He’d have to take make a gamble. Something he wasn’t exactly known for doing well.

The guy who’d gone right was wearing a dark blue suit, carrying a black briefcase. The briefcase didn’t have any lettering on it. He had short black hair, a nondescript face.

The guy who’d gone left was walking quickly, vanishing into darkness past the streetlamp. Harmon couldn’t tell if his suit was grey or white. The briefcase had a few letters printed on the side. The word apart, maybe. That triggered a memory. it was Molchalin alright. Harmon recalled the name of the company he worked for: it was Appit. Mobile app development, whatever that meant. Harmon wasn’t exactly up to date on modern technology.

But he didn’t give himself time to think about it: he was already walking after the guy, his long strides eating up the distance. Soon he was right behind him.

Silent.

Like a hunting wolf.

He grabbed the young man’s arm, turning him violently into an alleyway. “Let’s stop here for a moment, friend.”

Dmitri Molchalin whirled about, dropping the briefcase and plunging his free hand swiftly beneath his suit jacket. He whipped out a small revolver. “Let me alone.”

“Or what, you’ll shoot me?” Guy’s lip curled in distain. He didn’t release his grip on the young salesman but dragged him sideways into the alleyway.

He never saw Molchalin pull the trigger.

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Copyright by Carter Pierce 2022 All Rights Reserved

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~Reflectionsofrenaissance.com

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Diabolical

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Written by Carter Pierce

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He was a killer.

Little else described him. His instincts were sharp, his motives were evil; his very features were murderous. He was a gambler, a liar, and a thief, and he had a wolfish appetite for good company.

Guy Harmon stood six feet and five inches tall. He had a wicked glint in his dark eyes, and a stocky, powerful build. His face was scarred and scored from a myriad street fights, all of which had been to the death. The scars were nothing to him. They healed.

The other guys’ didn’t.

For years, he’d been devoting all his time to finding one person. If he’d had any money, he would have devoted all of that, too, but he had none. And that was because of the person he was hunting down. He’d made a blunder at the poker table years ago: he’d mis-counted the cards; he’d lost his life savings and all his inheritance and most of his clothes. All told, he’d been stripped of over three million dollars. He’d gone from the height of society to its lowest parts in a matter of an hour.

And he was going to get his money back, whatever it took.

He didn’t have a job: if he needed cash for travel, he stole it. If he needed food, he took it without looking back. He knew all the right places to look. He knew an innocent person when he saw one. They were the best targets. He loved hurting people. Especially on the head. From behind. So they wouldn’t remember.

And he was going to hit Molchalin on the head very hard. Probably with something metal.

He’d spent years following the name: phonebooks didn’t help him: Molchalin didn’t have a phone. But he had inside information from the police department, thanks to a clean little blackmail arrangement, and things like flight tickets and credit cards and DMV files popped up periodically. Some of them had the name Ivan on them. Others had the name Dmitri.

He’d have to take them both. No sense killing the brother or the father or the uncle . . . and leaving the real culprit alive.

And the information he had was pointing him to a low-budget sales conference in the little town of Pinedale, Wyoming.

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Copyright by Carter Pierce 2022 All Rights Reserved

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~Reflectionsofrenaissance.com

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Infiltration V

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COLLABORATED BY MALACHI GIBSON, LUKE CROUCH, AND CARTER PIERCE

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Ivan had to wait longer than he’d thought necessary. Maybe the captain was indisposed, or perhaps he was a coward. At any rate, it took him approximately twenty-seven seconds to make an appearance. Much longer than Ivan had expected.

Ivan held his iPad at his side in one hand, loosely, as if he’d forgotten it. He allowed his head to swivel back and forth in mock confusion with the rest of the passengers’ and let his face to attain a look of terror and uncertainty. But his finger was positioned right over a red button on the screen, hovering a centimeter above it, calculatingly steady. Waiting for the perfect moment.

So, when the captain stepped through the door to the main cabin, unwittingly positioning his head within two feet of the speaker that Ivan had digitally disrupted, Ivan was ready for his master stroke. The car battery that had helped him fry the circuits in the onboard communication devices was still operational. And it was also still charged. It hadn’t taken much energy to melt those wires.

Something Ivan had learned during his self-assigned missions was this: never waste material. It was precious. The less one had to pack to get the job done, the faster and more efficiently he could move. The more uses a single item had, the fewer of items were necessary. So it was that he’d used the battery as a melting component . . . and also as a football-sized grenade. The aluminum wall itself would provide the shrapnel: all he needed was the explosion.

The battery wasn’t inherently explosive. He needed something to react with the acid inside to create the explosion. A spark. A tiny ignition within the battery itself. Something he could trigger wirelessly from a safe distance away. Say, from his seat on the plane.

His finger touched the button.

In his mind, there was a prolonged moment of stillness. It seemed to last forever and a day. The passengers’ shouting and waving and clutching each other in fear seemed to stop. It was like he was viewing everything in slow motion.

A girl’s long hair whipped and snapped in the violent rush of wind, covering her face . . . then it was moving painstakingly through the air, like a distant plane one sees in the sky.

Someone’s glasses had flown off his face and were tumbling crazily through the air toward the open window . . . then they stood still, like they were waiting for something. Their lenses glinted with the light of the sun. The arms spreadeagled, reaching for something but catching nothing.

Then the still air exploded. Suddenly. Violently. The wall shredded into a million pieces as a fireball tore into the cabin. The captain vanished along with the stewardess and the nearest passengers. Glowing hot aluminum shrapnel shot outward like fireworks, taking down dozens more. Ivan was the only person who was ready for it. He’d ducked down behind his seat.

The man in brown tweed beside him screamed in agony, jerking backward. He was still for a moment. Then he toppled limply into the aisle.

The rush of wind had tripled in strength. Ivan stood. He saw that his bomb had torn a huge hole in the side of the plane. Through the decimated dividing wall, he noticed that half of the cockpit was missing. The co-pilot slumped forward on the controls, unmoving.

Ivan didn’t allow himself a smile. Even now things could go awry. Even now someone could spot him if he was standing out. He had to keep up his act.

The plane was tilting steeply now, the controls pushed by the co-pilot’s dead body. It was going into a nosedive.

If his calculations were correct, it would crash in a forest exactly thirty minutes before it was supposed to arrive at the next airport.

And he would be on board. That had always been the plan: as long as he avenged his brother, he didn’t care if he died.

But did he have to?

Now a new idea came into his fertile mind. There was a hole in the wall of the plane. It was maybe ten steps from where he stood. The plane was flying over forest. Lakes and marshes abounded. It was getting lower all the time.

And the passengers? He looked around him. None of them were paying the slightest attention. They were clutching at anything they could get ahold of, trying not to be swept out a window or the gaping hole. Most of them had their eyes tight shut.

All besides one.

The man was tall and lean. Physically fit. He had dark hair and a neatly trimmed mustache. He was wearing a black suit with a white shirt, and there was a fancy silver watch on his wrist. He stood with his arms crossed, in the middle of the aisle. He wasn’t holding onto anything, but it looked like he was perfectly stable. He was looking steadily at Ivan with one eyebrow raised, a cold, sad look in his eyes.

From where he stood, Ivan Molchalin could see the capital letters printed on the man’s silver businesslike nameplate. RAUMMI, JACK.

Ivan cursed under his breath. That was the man he was after.

And he was already stepping toward the hole in the wall. Ivan moved to intercept him. Jack moved faster. He was ahead by several steps. The tall man leapt, flying gracefully through the vacuumed air inside the plane, and was sucked out into the open sky. Ivan was only a moment behind.

Weightlessness overwhelmed him. Air pounded in his ears. Trees rushed up at him, still three hundred feet away.

He looked around him: Jack Raummi was nowhere in sight. Then he looked down.

Trees filled his vision. Rock-like branches whipped at his body, slowing him down a little. The ground rose like a fist throwing a punch, and slammed into him with incredible force. Something cracked. Probably something important.

Seconds later, he registered the last echoes of an explosion. The plane had crashed.

He hurt all over.

Somewhere he was bleeding. And he was sinking slowly into soft mud. He lay there for several long minutes. But he couldn’t wait forever: the bog would claim him.

Slowly he got to his feet, crawling out of the marsh.

His thoughts and vision whirled, flashes of memory going through his head as his eyes struggled to stay open.

But one thought pervaded: one thought was consistent.

Jack Raummi is still alive.

Then everything went black.

End of the INFILTRATION mini-series.

Keep an eye out for the next mini-series with Molchalin and Raummi: DIABOLICAL.

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Copyright by Carter Pierce 2022 All Rights Reserved

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~Reflectionsofrenaissance.com

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Infiltration IV

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COLLABORATED BY MALACHI GIBSON, LUKE CROUCH, AND CARTER PIERCE

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Ivan Molchalin waited. He looked out the window. He scrolled through the news. He pretended to take a nap.

It had been too long. After the radio had gone out, he’d overheard enough to gather that the passengers thought there would be a quickly ensuing explosion or toxic gas attack. But for half an hour, nothing had happened. They’d calmed down a little, reassuring one another, growing quiet.

And Ivan took his time. He had three hours until the plane landed, and three hours was plenty of time to move. He moved so slowly that no one noticed. He covered his hand with his iPad, letting a video play on the screen, but not paying attention to it. His fingers found a small cylindrical object in the white bag which accompanied his oxygen tank. It was small, disguised as a prescription bottle. It even had some vitamin E tablets inside, in case anyone checked. But the bottle itself had reinforced carbon fiber walls and could hold pressure up to 1,000 psi.

For the next five minutes, he carefully screwed the bottle onto the top of his oxygen tank. If anyone looked in his direction, they might have thought he was simply adjusting the knob on the tank itself.

The bottle screwed on sideways so that the bottom stuck out. The bottom was reinforced as well, but not quite as strongly. He’d had to install some interesting components along with the carbon fiber.

But he’d tested the bottle hundreds of times, and it had worked perfectly so far. He wasn’t worried.

He flipped a tiny switch on the oxygen tank’s regulator, sighing as if he was very tired. A few heads turned in his direction as he leaned back comfortably in his seat, and turned away again disinterestedly a moment later.

Time mattered now.

As soon as he’d flipped that switch, the plane no longer had three hours until landing.

He began counting seconds.

At his side, the bottle began filling with pressurized liquid oxygen. The things that looked just like vitamin E tablets dissolved slowly, certain elements inside them connecting magnetically and moving toward the tiny components at the bottom of the prescription bottle. A spherical bullet slowly formed. The oxygen mixed with other gasses contained inside the tablets, creating a chemical reaction that solidified the magnetic dust into a hard object.

The apparatus at the bottom of the bottle engaged on a timed que, and the bullet was blasted at exactly 981 psi across the cabin.

It didn’t hit anybody.

But it didn’t have to. Ivan Molchalin didn’t want it to. He had only one bullet, and it had to kill everyone.

He’d aimed it well.

The window directly across from him shattered, the force of the wind outside along with the air pressure creating a vacuum that sucked every loose object inside the cabin toward it.

The rest of the glass in the plane imploded instantaneously, covering the passengers in tiny shards and splinters. Someone’s very small child was sucked out by the vacuum. Screams erupted everywhere.

The wind roared inside the cabin, deafening Ivan. He stood slowly, grasping the top of his seat with one hand to steady himself. The man in brown tweed also stood, looking around wildly. Ivan shouted, “What happened?” but only for effect. No one heard him over the wind. He had one last trick up his sleeve, and this one would be the master stroke. It was no time to give away that he knew what was going on.

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Copyright by Carter Pierce 2022 All Rights Reserved

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~Reflectionsofrenaissance.com

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Infiltration III

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COLLABORATED BY MALACHI GIBSON, LUKE CROUCH, AND CARTER PIERCE

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Ivan Molchalin listened to the chaos with grim pleasure. He loved the sound of people screaming. The audible terror.

At first it hadn’t been so loud. After the stewardess had relayed his message to no great effect, the pilot himself had opened the door and told them that everything was going to be just fine.

For a while that had calmed the passengers.

Ivan had gotten bored.

The man beside him with a brown tweed suit and dark circles under his eyes had been woken up by the commotion, so Ivan turned to him, putting on a groggy air as if he himself had just woken up as well. “Are we being attacked by terrorists or something?”

The man in the brown tweed suit shrugged, and muttered something under his breath that sounded like “wouldn’t surprise me.”

“What’s that?”

“I wouldn’t know; I just woke up.”

Then Ivan got an unexpected stroke of luck, for the man in tweed turned in his seat to face a heavy-set, worried-looking woman behind them, and asked, “Ma’am, do you know if we are under attack by terrorists?”

The woman shook her head and said she didn’t. A moment later she was asking the man beside her.

The question spread like wildfire, the tongue of some over-wrought, imaginative youngster translating it into a statement. “We’re under attack by terrorists, and we’re all going to die!”

Someone else repeated it, and soon everyone was shouting it. Everyone who had been asking thought that someone else knew, and the people who started shouting it thought that the kid had been told by someone else.

The whole plane was a commotion; an uproar; a glorious cacophony of shrieking and wailing and shouting.

Lies spread best when you don’t know enough, Ivan thought. It was wonderful. Satisfying.

Because, theoretically, they were under attack by a terrorist.

But this terrorist wasn’t with Isis or Al-Qaeda or the Taliban–he was a loner. His hired thugs, people like Tom who had helped him hijack the onboard communication system, were already dead. Killed by other hired thugs who knew nothing about Ivan or his project.

Now it was just him, the plane, the pilot, and the passengers. And one particular passenger.

He didn’t know who the passenger was. That he was on the plane was without question. Inside information from the airport personnel told him that Jack Raummi was on board. But Ivan had not gotten the portrait, or the phone number, or the plane ticket, or the seat number. He’d just gotten the name Jack Raummi, and the number and time of the flight.

Today, before the plane landed, Jack Raummi would die.

Ivan didn’t care about all the other innocent people on board. So long as he killed Jack, he’d be avenged of his brother’s death, and he’d be satisfied.

And he’d probably be dead as well, because he didn’t have landing gear.

But he didn’t care. Revenge was all that mattered.

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Copyright by Carter Pierce 2022 All Rights Reserved

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~Reflectionsofrenaissance.com

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Infiltration II

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COLLABORATED BY MALACHI GIBSON, LUKE CROUCH, AND CARTER PIERCE

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“Please fasten your seatbelts,” a woman’s polite voice said over the intercom. It sounded a little scratchy, as if the overhead speaker wasn’t working quite right.

Which, if his inside man had done his work, would be exactly the case.

Ivan Molchalin polished his thick round glasses with the hem of his suit jacket, replacing them on his face a little awkwardly. There was a lump on his nose he wasn’t quite used to. He methodically buckled his seat belt, situating his oxygen tank on the floor between his legs, and looked out the window to his left.

Someone sat down in the seat to his right. A thin man in a brown tweed suit with dark circles under his eyes and a day’s shadow of a beard on his cheeks.

Perfect, Ivan thought. He’ll be asleep in no time.

The plane took off presently, instructions coming over the speakers. Ivan didn’t really pay them attention. All the safety precautions were about to be useless. Besides, only about two thirds of the words were intelligible. Static was getting pretty bad. Somewhere there was a loose wire, waiting for the speaker to move enough to break it.

And attached to that wire was a car battery that could fry most of the connected wires in the system in about twenty seconds. As soon as it was broken . . . no more radio.

The man to his right, just as he’d predicted, quickly fell asleep.

Ivan reached into the small white bag that accompanied his oxygen tank and withdrew a brand-new iPad. Most people used those bags for extra parts for their tank. Not Ivan. He needed that space for other things.

He booted up the iPad and went directly to the news. Anyone watching would quickly become uninterested. After about ten minutes of this, he calmly pulled down the menu and opened the Wi-Fi properties window.

Two minutes later he’d hacked into the plane’s communication system.

Next, he uploaded an obnoxious soundtrack to the onboard computer. A moment later it blasted through the speakers, deafening the passengers with its sharp squeal and harsh static.

Then everything went silent.

Perfect. Tom had done his job.

But the passengers had been frightened by the unexpected noise: they were standing up and asking questions and trying to figure out what had happened.

The stewardess came through a door at the front of the plane, and all eyes turned in her direction. Now they’d be told what was going on.

The stewardess seemed a little worried, but she was obviously trying not to show it. “Our communications have been interrupted. We’ll have them up and working again in a few minutes. Please be patient.”

People took seats again, whispering to each other. What had happened? Why were communications not working? Could the plane still talk to the ground, or had that connection been cut as well? What was going on?

No one noticed the old man by the window, scrolling calmly through the news.

Ivan took a long, slow breath, trying to calm his racing heart. He was almost ready for the final stroke.

Nobody on the plane would ever worry again.

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Copyright by Carter Pierce 2022 All Rights Reserved

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~Reflectionsofrenaissance.com

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Color Vs Emotions

“Color is the smile of Nature!”

~Leigh Hunt

Color, thank God, is everywhere. Even on the darkest day where the sun doesn’t seem to want to shine, if we look up, we’ll still get blinded because it’s still there. Color Psychology has not really been anything that I studied, until recently. However, in the past, I recognized that I was more drawn to sites that had colors, brighter pictures, happier themes, whether or not the content that I was reading was joyful or sad.

As someone who enjoys creating websites, slides, photoshops, bookmarks, and practically anything creative, I tend to lead towards brighter color schemes. As I was touching up on things in my portfolio, I started to wonder if color can actually affect people’s moods? Will people most likely subscribe to my website if it’s brightly colored? Should I go with a white background or black with colors that pleasantly add to it?

Did you actually know that there was a thing called color therapy? According to Verywellmind.com. “Several ancient cultures, including the Egyptians and Chinese, practiced chromotherapy, or the use of colors to heal. Chromotherapy is sometimes referred to as light therapy or colorology.” As stated by Colorology:

-Red is used to stimulate the body and mind and to increase circulation.
-Yellow is thought to stimulate the nerves and purify the body.
-Orange is used to heal the lungs and to increase energy levels.
-Blue is believed to soothe illnesses and treat pain.
-Indigo shades are thought to alleviate skin problems.

Color can also do so much more than this. Color can actually impact people in some very surprising ways: Warm colors like red, yellow, and orange evoke higher arousal emotions, such as love, passion, happiness, and anger. Cool colors, like blue, green, and purple are linked to calmness, sadness, and indifference. Colors can actually set into play these emotions! Wow, that’s crazy!

A very interesting movie, actually it was one of the first movies that I got to see in the movie theaters, Is Pixar’s Movie, Inside out,( June 19, 2015). It was about the kinds of emotions that the human body, and what it would be like if those emotions were given a character. The five main emotions are Joy, she is a bright yellow, Anger, a warm red, Disgust is a poisonous green, Fear is pale purple, and Sadness is a deep blue.

Life is like a rainbow. You need both rain and sun to make its colors appear. ~Unknown

So, what about the connection between warm or bright colors and website followers? Looks actually matter. “Over 40 percent of shoppers base their opinion of a website on the overall design, and over 50 percent of shoppers won’t return because of overall aesthetics.” This was said by Veniadmin at Venedidgital.com, in their article, How the Psychology of Colors Boosts Website Conversion.

“Color is a powerful communication tool and can be used to signal action, influence mood, and even influence physiological reactions.” Says Kendra Cherry at Verywellmind.com, “Certain colors have been associated with increased blood pressure, increased metabolism, and eyestrain.” She goes on. That’s amazing how color can have that effect on people, yet also scary at the same time.

So, when you’re working on the details of your own website, do you ever think about these things? Maybe if you do, it’ll start bringing in some more followers? There are many times when you can think about color and not when it comes to website building! Like, what clothes you are going to wear, what your resume will look like, what color you’re going to paint your new house, and much more. Color is just something that I can’t go without, and by reading and researching I have learned that other people can feel some of which I feel throughout the day when it comes to colors.

Sources:

Cherry, K. (2020, May 28). Color Psychology: Does It Affect How You Feel? Verywell well. https://www.verywellmind.com/color-psychology-2795824

Vetter, C. (2019, December 5). The effects of colors on behavior. Neurofied. https://neurofied.com/effects-of-color-on-behavior/

Cherry, Kendra. “Can Color Affect Your Mood and Behavior?” Verywell Mind, Verywell Mind, 28 May 2020, https://www.verywellmind.com/color-psychology

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Learning a New Instrument!

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“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” ― Plato

Is music something in life that you can’t go without? For me it definitely is! Just relaxing, listening to some contemporary music, and thinking about my day is a way that I wish that I could spend every moment of my life. Music is everywhere! In nature, while you shop, at sports events, during school, etc. Have you ever thought about contributing to the music world? But… where would you start? All you gotta do is: Choose that lucky instrument that will be best for you, bring together some scraps of money and purchase it, be excited and practice, practice practice, as well as a few other things! You can do it!  There is just about a guide for anything these days. How to pick a new puppy, how to start a blog, how to become an entrepreneur and use… How to choose an instrument. 

Choosing An Instrument:

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When choosing an instrument, consider where you live. If you live in a small one-bedroom apartment a drum set, a grand piano, and an organ probably isn’t going to be the best choice for you. Perhaps considering something smaller such as a guitar, a ukulele, or a keyboard. 

Find some sort of balance when it comes to time management. Find also what your heart desires. If you just want to learn how to play the piano just so you can perform in hospitals and the airport when you’re there, maybe rethink this? Unless you’re accident-prone, or a mass traveler, that isn’t a realistic goal.

Another tip would be exploring your options and preferences. Think about the questions: Which genre of music do you like? What kinds of sounds do you like? What is your music personality? Dramatic, slow, wild, contemporary, plain, bassy? 

Get Yourself An Instrument

Choosing an instrument can be hard. A tip is that almost every instrument at first try can feel awkward. Just like learning how to ice skate. Your shoes might feel weird (fingers) and you might get blisters (sore) but with practice, your body gets used to the change!

Think about the cost. Just like anything you buy you have questions running through your mind

How long will it last?
How much do I want to spend?
Do I NEED this? Or do I WANT this? 
Will I be happy with it in the future? 

Make sure you don’t go overboard on this decision. Just like if you were to buy your first car, you’re not going to go out and buy something worth 4 houses… Start small to save for the future! Second-hand stores, craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, garage sales and just searching the web can be a great place to start when it comes to buying an instrument. Think about the cost. Just like anything you buy you have questions running through your mind

Practice Makes Perfect:

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Practicing after a while can get tiring, but it’s important. When you’re practicing make sure you are doing it right, that way when you have it mastered, you won’t have to learn it the RIGHT way. 

Picking Those Songs

There are many great song learning books out there! If you don’t read music you can go with chords or play by ear. If you find yourself liking classical music, then when practicing, pick something in that genre. I myself have had trouble getting into the role of playing classical as a person who loves pop culture. Trying new genres can also improve your skills.

Find that artist that you love and go for the simplified version until you got the basics mastered and you can add some of the ‘oomph’ to it! Lists of songs have the same chords over and over again. For example, Dear August by P.J Harding and Noah Cyrus.

Pay attention to this verse:

Am                                C

Slowly, why’s the morning come so slowly

                     F                        C   C/B

When I got no one to hold me through the dark?

This line is special because it consists of the chords, Am, C, F, C, C/B. Then it goes onto the second part:

Am                                 C

Patient, they tell me that love is patient

                      F                C

But it never wants to wait on my drunk heart

You end up seeing that same pattern again, Am, C, F, C, C/B

Just like children’s books, when a child is just learning to read, repeated words can help them remember the sounds and the words. Music is the same way! 

Find Out A Way Of Learning:

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Finding Those Other People:

Today there are so many great sites out there that can help you learn your instruments. For example, Ultimate-guitar.com. I most definitely recommend this!, Youtube, Tik-Tok, and so many others! Finding tutors can also be helpful. Ask the people around if they have any teacher recommendations. Again, think about your costs. Music lessons can be expensive… 

Having an excuse, other than just playing at a hospital, can help you improve. Hanging out with friends and having a jam session, joining the youth group worship team, starting a sibling band, having a mini-neighborhood concert can really help you! 

So, why should you even bother to learn a new instrument? There are many benefits to music! It can help expand your brain growth, improve your language skills, and can build your memory, attention, and concentration.

“Music cleanses the understanding; inspires it, and lifts it into a realm which it would not reach if it were left to itself. ~ Henry Ward Beecher

Sources:

How to: 7 tips to learning a new instrument. (n.d.). Gulfnews.com. https://gulfnews.com/entertainment/music/how-to-7-tips-to-learning-a-new-instrument-1.65368679

Woeppel, M. (2021, June 17). Four Tips for Picking the Perfect Musical Instrument. Music with Megan. https://www.musicwithmeg.rocks/post/four-tips-for-picking-the-perfect-musical-instrument

~Reflectionsofrenaissance.com

Retribution II

__________________________________________ Written by Carter Pierce __________________________________________ Guy Harmon wasted little time at the doctor’s office. He instructed Garret Thatcher to “rip and tear and get it over with,” resulting in blood getting basically everywhere it could go on the plastic sheet. The grey shirt he’d worn underneath his trench coat was shredded beyond recognition and […]

Retribution

___________________________________ *And the fourth wall suddenly disintegrates, blown apart by a lethal intellectual grenade* (Oh wait . . . does that mean my thoughts are as scattered as shrapnel? Probably, lol.) Anyways, hi guys! Thanks for reading the random and somewhat intense stuff I’ve been posting. I appreciate the comments and feedback: it’s great to […]

Chaos V

__________________________________________ Written by Carter Pierce __________________________________________ “You boys gotta see a doctor or something,” Henry Foster told them. “Y’all look terrible.” They were all in the living room, Jack Raummi lying on the couch, asleep, and Ivan sitting on a stool with a warm cup of coffee in his hands. Henry had invited them in […]

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The Benefits of Journaling

photo found at burst. shopify.com

There are many things in this world that can take a turn for the worse. Relationships, medication, your job, friendships, the weather, and so much more. Oddly enough, when these things happen, we tend to focus on the bad and ugly things rather than the good. So, can journaling take away these issues? Not necessarily, but there’s something about writing down your thoughts in a leather-bound notebook that is so satisfying to the soul. 

 A quote that I tend to cherish and keep close to my heart is, “Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” This was said by an amazing writer and poet by the name of William Wordsworth. Writing is so much more than sitting down and scribbling on paper. It’s allowing yourself to breathe. Writing can take, what should have been, and give it another opportunity. 

Journaling can be for everyone, anywhere and anytime too! Journaling can be used to achieve goals, track progress and growth in your own life, help you gain self-confidence, reduce stress or anxiety, strengthen your memory, help find your inspirations,  and many other things! Keeping track of your emotions, such as keeping a mood tracking log, can help you keep more control. Being able to keep an eye on your emotions can possibly help you see a pattern throughout the days, through the rough and stressful moments in your life, and so many other things. When you write down your thoughts, it can give you a safe place to recall memories, think out loud about things you have always kept inside, etc. 

Journaling can be more than just writing down your day-to-day thoughts. Just like a whole library of books, there are a series of many genres that we can enjoy.  You don’t just have to write the same thing over and over again. For example, how your day went, what you ate, the people you saw and etc. Life as a journaler can be SO much more exciting and worth more! Different ways you can journal are by:

  1.  Making a dream log. Take notes of your dreams! A tip for this is to write as soon as you wake up in the morning. 
  2. A food journal: Keeping track of the foods that you eat, and how they make you feel after. Who knows, you could draw attention to something you might be allergic to that affects your mood and behavior! 
  3. Gratitude journal: These are so helpful. They let you see the beauty around you and help you see what amazing things are in your life. Sometimes you can get caught up in the darkness around you and not see the light. 
  4. Sketch journal: This can help you express yourself through pictures if words don’t always come to you. 
  5. Checklist journal: If you have trouble throughout the day finding stuff to do and then not feeling satisfied with your day, a checklist journal can help with those emotions! At the end of the day, you can see what you’ve completed! 

Keeping a journal can actually change your life and for the better! Journaling has actually helped clear my emotions. And for you, it can help you mop up all puddles of stress in your life, it exercises your mind and memory, and it allows a safe place for you to rant about life decisions, politics, and ANYTHING you want to write about. 

Writing things down, such as in a gratitude journal, can help you become more naturally positive, makes you give less power to negative emotions, and writing down things can help you make them feel more real. It helps improve your self-esteem. Showing gratitude can help prevent some social comparison, and having gratitude can help you trust others, as well as yourself. 

So, it’s easy right! Don’t be afraid, pick up that journal, find a fancy pen, and just relax and write. There are so many options when it comes to journaling. Trust me, it won’t become boring. 

Sources: 

COHEN, Y. (2017, August 1). 5 Reasons Keeping a Gratitude Journal Will Change Your Life. Goodnet.Org. Retrieved February 19, 2022, from https://www.goodnet.org/articles/5-reasons-keeping-gratitude-journal-will-change-your-life

Hardy, B., Ph.D. (2021, January 5). Keeping A Daily Journal Could Change Your Life. Inc.Com.   Retrieved, February 20th, 2021 https://www.inc.com/benjamin-p-hardy/why-keeping-a-daily-journal-could-change-your-life.html

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Infiltration

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COLLABORATED BY MALACHI GIBSON, LUKE CROUCH, AND CARTER PIERCE

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He appeared totally harmless. Slightly pudgy, wearing round, thick-lensed glasses — a shock of white hair and a short white beard. He was carrying one of those portable oxygen tanks that old people use, the long white plastic tube going under his nose and pumping air through the little holes so he could breathe it in. He walked with a slight limp, gazing about in a curious manner as he made his way toward the TSA team in their neat grey-and-black uniforms, and the boarding ramp beyond. 

They had him take the loose change out of his pocket and put it on a little tray. They asked if he had any keys on him, and he said no. Someone patted him down, lifting the oxygen tank away from his side for a brief moment to check behind it before letting it bump back into place. He walked between a pair of upright posts. 

Something beeped, and he jumped a little. “Oh,” he said with a rueful smile. “It’s the tank. I’m sorry gentlemen. I can do without it for a moment.” He carefully unstrung the white plastic tube from under his nose and moved the padded shoulder strap over his head, setting the apparatus on the ground gently, bending a little at the waist, stiffly. He straightened with dignity, and stood between the posts again. No beep was forthcoming. 

“You’re good to go, sir,” one of the uniformed young men said with a kind, somewhat paternal smile. “Have a nice flight.” 

The man nodded briefly, returning. He bent at the waist, a little stiffly as before, and picked up his oxygen tank, methodically placing the shoulder strap over his shoulder and the tube under his nose. He took a deep breath of air, as if he’d been experiencing a mild case of suffocation. He offered the TSA team an all-encompassing smile, just as kind and paternal as the one offered to him had been, and said, “Thank you, gentlemen. I greatly appreciate your efforts to keep our community safe. I wish you a wonderful day.” 

He turned, walking sedately toward the boarding ramp. His heart was pounding with adrenaline, but his mind remained as steady and calculating as ever. Not even the slightest hint of the grim satisfaction he felt was evident in his face. 

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Copyright by Carter Pierce 2022 All Rights Reserved

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~Reflectionsofrenaissance.com