Wednesday, November 28, 2012

ANY WAR, ANY TIME by Zachary A. Shellman

A short story written by my son, Zach. 

It is quiet, it is so quiet. Everything seems to stop for the sunrise. Everything seems to become quieter until the sun breaks over the mountains in the East, as if the world were holding its breath.

As the sun rises it bathes everything in a rich orange light.

I think it strange how something so beautiful could happen here, in this place of death and destruction.

Some people take these things for granted, but not me. I see the beauty in these things, because I know it may be the last time I ever see them.

Nature is very persistent, you know. Nature knows when things aren’t right, and she tries to compensate for it in her own small way. For example, when the old building, the one I used to go to when I needed to think, was hit by an artillery shell, it was totally leveled, but, a month later there were flowers. They weren’t large and abundant. They were small and barely surviving, but they were there, and they were growing from the rubble.

Some other people don’t notice these things, like my brother. The only thing he notices is his rifle needs to be cleaned. He is a soldier, following his beliefs. Everyone has a right to their beliefs, but he is almost fanatical. He holds his beliefs in higher regard than sleep. He is only 16. He should not be concerned with fighting. He should be involved with girls, not worrying how much ammunition he should carry.

It’s all too crazy.

A gunshot. From where? Another one, coming from down the street. I see two people running down the street trying to dodge sniper fire.

I remember a time of peace, a time of quiet before the violence and the suffering. I remember a time when my Anka and I were walking down the road, just enjoying each other’s company. We were so happy. She was the most beautiful, the most gentle, the sweetest creature in the world. I loved her more than anything else. But she is gone now. She was killed during the first explosions of the artillery shells that hit this once peaceful city. I think that she was the lucky one, she died before she could learn how cruel human beings could be to each other.

It all seems so far away now, a thousand years away, the memories are like ghosts that fade out of the present time.

I see more clearly now the people running from the gunshots. They are almost directly below me in the street now. One of them has fallen, no he’s been shot. Who is he? I make my way down from the top floor of the deserted building. I reach the bottom floor now, but he has his back to me. I can’t tell who it is. He is trying to move into the cover of the building across the street. I yell, "Hey!" to get his attention. He rolls over and points his pistol in my direction. I see his face. It’s my brother! He recognizes me and the most sorrowful look comes to his face. I run to him, forgetting the bullets for a moment, and drag him to the other side of the street.

We are almost there when I am knocked to the ground, and an intense burning sensation rips through my chest. I ignore it, my only thought to get my brother to safety. I pull him to the doorway of the building and examine him. He has been shot through the thigh. As I remove my shirt to use as a tourniquet, the pain in my chest comes back and forces me to stop. I look down and my shirt is covered in blood. I don’t know how, but I grit my teeth through the pain and tie my shirt around my brother’s leg.

I am able to sit back now. I notice my mouth has gone completely dry, and the pain in my chest is worse with every breath. The ghosts of the past are coming back now, my tenth birthday, the day I first met my Anka, the day I graduated from high school. So many days past. So many days yet to come. Everything is suddenly growing darker, the pictures are fading from my eyes, everything is quiet once again. A light grows before me, I can’t look, it’s too bright. And then I am standing next to Anka, and my parents are there saying I saved my brother’s life. He will live a long life, because of me. We walk toward the light and I know I will be happy here.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


There is no attribution other than "BY A 15 yr. OLD SCHOOL KID who got an A+ for his entry....."

Since the Pledge of Allegiance and The Lord's Prayer are not allowed in
most public schools anymore, because the word 'God' is mentioned, a kid in
Arizona wrote the attached NEW School prayer:

"New Pledge of Allegiance"
Now I sit me down in school
Where praying is against the rule
For this great nation under God
Finds mention of Him very odd.

If scripture now the class recites,
It violates the Bill of Rights.
And anytime my head I bow
Becomes a Federal matter now.

Our hair can be purple, orange or green,
That's no offense; it's a freedom scene..
The law is specific, the law is precise.
Prayers spoken aloud are a serious vice.

For praying in a public hall
Might offend someone with no faith at all..
In silence alone we must meditate,
God's name is prohibited by the state.

We're allowed to cuss and dress like freaks,
And pierce our noses, tongues and cheeks...
They've outlawed guns, but FIRST the Bible.
To quote the Good Book makes me liable.

We can elect a pregnant Senior Queen,
And the 'unwed daddy,' our Senior King.
It's 'inappropriate' to teach right from wrong,
We're taught that such 'judgments' do not belong..

We can get our condoms and birth controls,
Study witchcraft, vampires and totem poles..
But the Ten Commandments are not allowed,
No word of God must reach this crowd.

It's scary here I must confess,
When chaos reigns the school's a mess.
So, Lord, this silent plea I make:
Should I be shot; My soul please take!

Jesus said, 'If you are ashamed of me, I will be ashamed of you
before my Father. '

If you aren't ashamed to do it, please pass this on.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Hostess Twinkies

a bottle about the size of a Twinkie

twelve 12 x 14 inch pieces of aluminum foil

pastry bag



4 egg whites

One 16-ounce box golden pound cake mix

2/3 cup water

Nonstick spray


2 Tbsp butter

1/3 cup vegetable shortening

1 cup powdered sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup evaporated milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 drops lemon extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Fold each piece of foil in half twice. Wrap

the folded foil around the bottle to create a mold. Leave the top open for

pouring the batter in. Make twelve of these molds and arrange on a cookie

sheet. Spray the inside of each with nonstick spray.

Beat the egg whites until stiff. Combine with cake mix and water, and beat

about 2 minutes until thoroughly blended. Pour batter into molds, filling

each about 3/4 inch deep. Bake about 30 minutes, or until the cake is

golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean from the center.

For the filling, cream the butter and shortening. Slowly add the sugars

while beating. Add the evaporated milk, vanilla and lemon extracts. Mix on

medium speed until completely smooth and fluffy. When the cakes are done

and cooled, use a toothpick to make three small holes in the bottom of

each one. Move the toothpick around the inside of each cake to make room

for filling. Using the pastry bag, inject each cake with filling through

all three holes.

Makes 12