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The Fuel

Sifu III

"Sifu! I have great news!" I yelled at the top of my lungs on a path in the middle of a still garden. 

Sifu jumped out of his meditation with his legs criss-crossed and his palms on his knees. He wiped his eyes and looked towards me, running to approach him.


I sat in front of him with my legs crossed as I calmed myself down, and placed my hands palm to palm and bowed to him.


"I was falling asleep anyway," Sifu said. He breathed in and smiled. "What brings you here today?"


"I thought I was going to die today, but I did not," I told him, smiling.


With his head askewed, Sifu said, "Stop thinking about how you were going to die. Think about what you want to do when you live forever, because you do have life everlasting."


"I just thought about the smallest beautiful details and enjoyed the smallest moments in my life," I told Sifu. His presence gave me a grounding spirit that filled me with a soft and loving gentleness to my soul. His words felt like a warm hug on a cold day.


"You should give yourself some credit for being alive. Violence is not a small matter to overcome. It is a triumph that you're still here, Diana. Don't let those enemies occupy your thoughts, because they've hurt you and they would always be a negative in anyone's life, if the world only knew of how they hurt someone so dear to God," said Sifu. He breathed in peace and exhaled in calm prayers in silence as he closed his eyes. "Go about your life as if those who hurt you have gone to purgatory to pay their debts. They will be there in a short while, and you have that satisfaction."


"Sifu, you are right. They were sociopaths," I replied. "They thought I would give up my life early on."


"In every day, honor yourself with something good, because you are alive. Those who hurt you wanted death, correct?" Sifu said, as he opened his eyes and touched my shoulder. "They've lost. So you have to keep winning and keep loving yourself."


"Thank you, Sifu," I said with a smile that went deep inside my soul, because I knew my life came to a new birth.


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Sifu II

Sifu sat on the boardwalk jutting out to the ocean with his feet dangling over the water. I walked behind him, and sat on the boardwalk next to him, this time, his beard was braided in four strands.


"Sifu, they called me Buddha," I told him.


"Why?" he asked. "There was only one Buddha."


"The haters felt I was a conduit. That if they hurt me, they will be rewarded," I said, my eyes looking out to the open skies with tears in my eyes.


"They say "Buddha bless you?" Sifu asked.


"Yes, and they say I'm a conduit," I told him the truth. "A lot of people think I can give them favors from God."


"They have no faith. They're insane," Sifu said, shaking his head. "They would do anything to feel powerful."


"I was robbed," I said, this time the tears just poured out in streams of sorrows over my cheeks. At times, even Sifu might be overwhelmed.


"You have to stay strong, always pray," Sifu said, his beads around his neck were the colors of dark chocolate.


"Somedays, it is too great for me to bear," I said, wiping the tears with my hands. The clouds over us this early morning sheltered us from the heat of Summer. "I've made too many mistakes too."


Sifu counted his beads and closed his eyes, and chanted something that felt familiar. "Bless you, my child," he softly whispers.


"Was that meant for me?" I asked him, with my face looking into his. His long silver hair and braided beards gently whisp in the wind.


"And the wind blows," he said, counting his beads and whispering blessings over me. "Buddha bless you."


"I cannot see the wind. And, why do you immitate them?" I asked, with my face facing forward with indignance.


"They mean nothing to Buddha, and there are more blessings for you, my dear daughter," said Sifu. He raised himself up, with his grey robe and brown beads, readying to leave. "Have faith, my daughter. It is invisible as the wind. It is something they wished they had, and you have plenty of. It has brought you great rewards."

"Thank you, Sifu," I said, touching his feet.


He stooped down to me, crouching on the boardwalk. "Keep writing. It will bring wonders to the world. I shall bless you, forever more."


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A budding family

"How come everyone believes Giuseppe Baptiste?" asked Rambo. "There is nothing special about him. He blinks, that's all he does."


"I'm not sure why even his blinks works!" I agreed. "I believe Karina when she talked about Soul Privileges."


My wrist phone rang and my hologram came up with my Father's face in frantic. "I have to talk. No one is here and there are patients with illnesses but we can't do any tests. The lights are not on, and the back up generator is what we're on, but I hope you took the solar cells from the street lights," said my Father. His eyebrows arched high and his lips pursed tight, his usual face when stressed. 


"Do you need them for the hospital? We can walk it there, it's not far," I told him.


"Karina and the babies are fine, but she told me that one of the men wore a cross on his neck, a sort of crucifix made of iron," my Father said. "Check when Giuseppe's men will visit the Post building. They allow crowds and that's when Giuseppe will come and do a speech over looking the lawn."


"But, what do I do now?" I asked him. 


"Mr. O'Connor, ask Karina why the Giuseppe Baptiste has so much powers over the people," Rambo said.


My Father turned to the other side of the patient's room, and Karina was sitting next to the babies, who were both on the examination table. "Karina, explain what it means to have a leader with a Soul Privilege," my Father asked.


"He just has the power to control the hearts of the people. But, it has been centuries of false leaders, and that's what happened to The White Plaque. The whole Earth was almost wiped out because an American President committed a crime against an innocent woman, and all of heaven revolted." said Karina. "He got away with it. But, everyone loved him for it. The woman was hurt permanently, and she was harmed by others."


"Which President?" Rambo asked.


"Leo Hartsfield. The 99th President of the United States," Karina said. "He had help, much like Giuseppe Baptiste."


"Karina, are we going to face another pandemic?" I asked.


"I don't know, but if the heaven chose every soul to birth in this planet, inside each family, then the Soul Privilege of that person shouldn't be harmed. Instead, embraced, and loved. Actually, each soul has a privilege, as a matter of birth. This is America, and every life is equal, but as a last of the Ting Dynasty, my soul do possess certain qualities that heaven loves," Karina said. 


"So we're going to face uncertain deaths, because the government is abusing their powers to control the vulnerables. There are going to be more homeless people, and we're going to face another pandemic!" Rambo yelled out, fumed with anger, and angry at the system. "What people in their right mind would hurt a child?!"


"I think it was done so they could keep controlling the people, to have some magical powers, but it is not magic. It is violence, and they've committed a crime," my Father said. "Karina, how is your mental health?"


Karina had tears in her eyes, as she walked towards my Father. She hugged my Father, and took his wrist, and asked me and Rambo, "May I be your sister? I feel safer with you all here with me. I'm smart. Please believe me."


There was a moment of silence, as Rambo looked away and cried to himself. I spoke into the hologram, "I am always your brother. I think Rambo is too." I looked to Rambo, and he nodded. 


"Never had a family before," Rambo said. 


My Father took Karina into his arm and told her, "You can stay with us. I don't mind having a daughter. I don't know what to do, yet. But, we will have to work this out for the time being."


I could tell Karina was happy as she immediately hugged my Father around his neck and kissed his forehead. She ran to her babies, and sat next to them. "I'm mentally sane," she said.


My Father smiled. "Get the visit times, and I'll get Dana to plan everything. Don't lose those solar cells," my Father said.


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Sifu I

His silver hair was long and tied in a half-ponytail with his greying moustache and beard merged at the side of his face. He stroked his long white beard as if combing it with his fingers. I sat near his feet in sobs from the trauma infused inside the cells in my body, exploding throughout the day.


"Sifu, please help me," I said, touching his shin with my right hand and my chest with my left.


"Yes, my daughter," he said, as he touched my shoulder. "Tell me how I can help you."


His deep voice grounded me, as his touch gave me a presence of peace consoling my soul.


"I am hopeless," I told him, in sobs from heartaches and the overwhelming fears.


"Work. Make something out of nothing, and transform it into an achievement," Sifu said, stroking his beard, and this time, he placed his palms up on his knees. He inhaled a breath and exhaled as his eyes closed.


"I am a writer. I don't think I will ever make it," I told him. Inside of me was a glass ball of fragility filled with all of the magic I once possessed, as I felt it suspended in mid-air inside my chest, afraid to show my brilliance to the world.


"Ringworm? Frost-bite on your finger?" Sifu asked.


"No...," I cried to him, with my mind still in a vortex of impossibilities, negating all of my optimism into oblivion.


"Is your stomach okay?" Sifu asked.


"Yes, but I don't think I am good enough," I told him.


"It is a matter of skill, my daughter," Sifu said. "Become good enough to turn their subjective opinions into objective of excellence on your behalf."


"I am old, Sifu," I told him, as my skin felt ragged on my body, and free-radicals exploded inside of me. I would be dead by the time I knew how to marvel them, in my coffin by the time anyone would publish me, and in heaven by the time anyone would buy my novels.


"Writing never ages, but age could write a billion stories. It is a gift, my daughter," Sifu said. He opened his eyes, and searched inside his grey robe with a black sash tying it into place. He took out a small dagger, in the shape of the new moon with a silver blade.


"Do you see how small this object is?" asked Sifu.


"Please don't hurt me," I begged him. "I cannot handle anymore stabs to my back."


Sifu took the dagger and held it in his right hand, and with his left hand, he caressed my silky black hair. "This object is small, but brought anyone great fear or threat. I want you to sharpen your mind, as fierce as this dagger. Dig deep into literature."


Sifu took the dagger, and handed it to me. "Your mind and heart are as sharp as this dagger, and these qualities are all inside of you."


My burden felt light over my back, and suddenly I felt as a feather on a pen, ready to scribe another story into a million empty pages.  "Sifu, I will keep writing. Even as the enemies calls out my demise and dug my grave."


"Remember, only a fool hopes without action," Sifu said.


"Yes, Sifu. I will," I stood up from the ground, and kow-tow to him in my white robe and yellow belt.


"Bring something to eat for me next time," he said, closing his eyes and chanted to his own psalms of prayers.


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She kept on walking.

Ske kept walking.


Much to her dismay, her life was a proverbial cadence, with interruptions of heartaches and loneliness. The block ahead of her was planted with bushes of grenades and bullets, held for vengeance from jealous schoolmates and her past lovers. There was not a care in her walk, strolling as if the evening sun has not set. It was nearly dark and she was alone.  The pebbles underneath her sneakers clinked as she walked, yet she was great at ignoring the chronic disturbance.


She kept walking.


A man asked for her name, "Tamar," she said. But, her brother Absalom has gone great about his life, leaving an unwritten destiny in the hands of prophets who claimed to scribe on her behalf. Her beleaguered life left traces of post-traumatic-stress-disorder and depression, much to the benefit of those who wished for her death. The prayers she uttered whilst in motion flew to the heavens, only for God to hear, yet no one obeyed.


She kept walking.


The times she felt discouraged were masked with a smile left unnoticed because the wilderness in her heart matched not her demeanor. What would one call her if she was a friend? A poignant fiction? or a working progress? The evening birds sang to her as their melodies tuned in D Major, but she listened to the soft still voice inside their bellies, that sung more than melancholy. 


She kept walking.


Time left her behind, as the human race fast forwarded to an unexpected pandemic. Her only friend was her inherited art, entertaining her mind, often by herself. Vivaldi's Four Seasons serenaded her throughout her life, and left the busy walkers with a scent of grace. Perhaps this life was meant to stall, a book forever in writing, and a heart forever longing.


She kept on walking.


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Death to The New Order

My thoughts went back to our online classes and how I must have missed a whole day of lessons, and so did Rambo. My Father left with Karina to Banner, and I felt bad for including my own Father into my revolution.


"Who cares?!" I yelled to myself. "This revolution has to start with me!" 


My fingers searched for my wrench inside my toolbox under my bed, as Rambo searched for my solar bag inside the hallway closet. 


"What does it look like?" Rambo asked, scavanging amongst shoes and jackets.


"Large, rectangular, black with silver heat resistant stripes inside of it," I replied. 


"I think I found it. It's this one," said Rambo, holding up a medium sized 30x30 inch bag with black vinyl and polyester lines.


"Yeah, fold it, and we're off," I told him, as I found my three inches convertible wrench that folds into three parts. "When we get to Colfax, just climb off each light and we take every single one."


Rambo and I got out the front door, and went through the door like normal people, and walked down Colfax, all the way towards Colorado.  Capitol Hill was silent, even with people walking and the old courthouse has been abandoned since The New Order came into office. The only offices that were busy were the transportation building with the old sign that said "The Denver Post," where there were once journalists working for the people. Nothing like that existed since The New Order, because Giuseppe Baptiste was the news, and the media team worked inside the transportation building. They were our next target.


"First light," I said.


Rambo climbed onto the top of the old postman street light, and with my wrench, we unscrewed the cap that was put on to install the solar cells inside the lights since The New Order came to power. We took off the cap, and took out the solar cell from inside the light bulb. We did it in thirty seconds flat, and no one cared. Everyone walked slowed since The New Order came to power, because there were less power in politics, and less powers in economics, and less powers in the people. Everything moved at an automatic pace, with everyone in their Tiers, walking or riding their Rexies, and socializing within their Tier Groups. No one bothered to question anyone. Everyone accepted The New Order, Regime because Giuseppe Baptiste was a priest, and his morse codes hypnotized the masses. "Fools," I thought.


Rambo placed each solar cell inside the bag, and we scoured all of Colfax for Solar Cells and kept them inside the solar bag. 


A man in his suit called me out in the middle of our rebelion. "Why the solar lights? Why not my brain? Why not my wrist watch?" he asked. His navy suit looked dapper with his dark hair and clean appearance. "I'm a psychologist, what makes you think it would profit the world to walk in the dark at night? To instill fear on the meek? Why not truly commit fraud to the human race and steal someone's identity to ruin the planet and a life, one at a time? Or has that been done all along?"


I looked into his eyes, and saw a vision of a loving memory of a man who once had a resolution to the world's problems, yet he grew tired because of the oppression above him, perhaps keeping him at Tier 2 or 3. I saw a fatigued shopoholic.


"The New Order is stolen identity," I told him. Rambo shushed me, in fear of being found and reported to The New Order Regime men.


"I could easily tell them now, but as a luminary, I challenge the system, and would love to see the fruits of your labor," he said. 


"Ignore him, let's go," said Rambo.


"It's to save a life," I said. The man kept walking, and within minutes he turned around, and said to me and Rambo, "There is no equality with The New Order."


We ran to the next light, and unscrewed the caps of the postman lights and stole the solar cells, all the way to Colorado. It took us nearly three hours, and we managed to turn into the neighborhoods lights before dusk. It was worth missing our online classes. Death to The New Order!


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Jake O'Connor

I heard sobs during the night, and walked to the door of my bedroom where Karina slept. I knocked and opened the door slightly. She got up, and hugged me, "I don't know what to do," she said. 


My walls broke down, and I didn't know what to do other than what Dana told us the night before. This little orphaned girl had nowhere to go, and all of my life, for the first time, I felt like a big brother. I sobbed with her, caressing her beautiful silky black hair, and told her, "One step at a time."


I knelt to the ground, and told her, "Someday, you will find happiness. Until then, keep working at helping yourself. This is a good start, and I won't leave you." She dropped to the ground on her knees, and we just hugged each other. Women's rights was a human's right, and as a matter of fact, no matter what age a female human being is, her human rights comes first. We as human being deserved our rights to safety and sexual health and well-being. All assaults were inhumane, no matter the reason for it, because it was pure evil and purely unjust, and no female should have to live to be hurt this way.


"My mind, it hasn't stopped thinking about what happened. It was just so brutal. I wished I could explain, but I'm not even sure what to say or do anymore," Karina said. Her twelve year old body cocooning my stomach, as I held her around me. 


There was nothing in the world that could explain the depth of a scarred soul robbed of its dignity. I understood crimes, and have seen criminals, but the robbing of a human life through the most demeaning act of sexual assaults gave more damage to life than the cause itself. It was probably greed and jealousies for soul privilege and birth rights, or perhaps Karina's opportunity in her future as a Tier 1, but all of those opportunities were robbed out of her brutally, forcefully, violently, to give the criminals their stolen rights. At times, I felt it should be a life for a life, but my Democratic heart felt a justice that goes beyond that. I felt Karina deserved more opportunities and more rights because she was hurt so much, at such a young age. 


"We will expose Giuseppe Baptiste and his men. It's the only way out of this. We have to cut them at their necks," I told her.


My Father must have heard me, because I heard footsteps from behind me. As I stood in the doorway of my room, I shoved Karina back into the room, and told her, "Go back to sleep. We will talk tomorrow."


"Jake, we haven't finalized everything yet. I need you to go to sleep," said my Father.


Rambo came from behind him, and asked, "Another meeting I should know about?"


"What happened?" asked my Father.


"Karina was crying," I told my Father and Rambo. "She just needed a friend."



"We have to give her some medications," said Rambo.


"I'm going to take her to the hospital tomorrow," my Father said. "Keep the plan, and don't forget to collect the solar cells inside the solar bags. We need each one of them all over town."


"You got it, Mr. O'Connor," said Rambo.


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