A Little Excerpt
It was Saturday June 17, 2017, and Dawson and Daniela Ingram were going to fly to San Francisco to visit Dawson's younger brother, Brody, who has been in San Francisco since the end of March. He got a job out there, and his girlfriend moved there with him. David, another brother of Dawson's, has been planning to move to San Francisco in July 2017 with friends, Andrew McCalsky, Olivia Flavenshevich, and Mark Robbins-Levitt. Toby, the youngest of the Ingram's, has been working on an internship in San Francisco, but his plan is to move out there when he graduates from college, which won't be until two years later. Brett, the second oldest of the Ingram's, moved to New York City from Chicago for a better band opportunity, and has been there since May of this year.
Dawson and Daniela just bought a house on the southwest side of Valparaiso, Indiana, and they could not be happier. Another reason for them to go to San Francisco was because they decided to adopt a child, twins to be exact. They decided to adopt two baby girls from China, Olivia and Amelia. The nice thing about that was the fact that Brody and his girlfriend, Julia, would be the first to meet the two little girls. Dawson and Daniela had not been to San Francisco for a while.
The married couple were sitting in the airport that afternoon, while waiting for their plane to come in. And they didn't know how to pass the time as quickly as they were hoping. Dawson wasn't sure if Brody was doing anything right now. It was 2 o'clock in Chicago, but it would be noon in San Francisco. So, Dawson decided to call him.
"Hello?" Brody answered on his end.
"Hi, B-Rodes. What's up?" Dawson answered.
"Not much. We just came back from San Jose. What are you doing?"
"Daniela and I are at the airport at the moment. How long were you in San Jose for?"
"Just for a day," Brody said. "We decided to go there after I got off work."
"Nice! What did you do there?" Dawson asked.
"Well, we went bowling at this cool place that we never knew existed!"
"I've heard San Jose is cool."
"Yeah, it's about an hour away from San Francisco but Kevin got this sweet deal at a place to stay for the night, so we thought we couldn't just pass it up."
Dawson and Daniela were still at the airport for quite some time. They were going to board in about an hour and a half, so they wanted to just walk around and see what kind of food there was close to their gate. Not quite what they were looking for, but Daniela wanted a nice cup of iced coffee from a nearby coffee shop. Dawson didn't care about that. He wanted tea.
They were more excited about catching up with Brody and Julia, as well as meeting their two daughters. Daniela got her coffee fix, and Dawson decided to get tea somewhere else. Then they met at the gate again to wait for their plane. They would get to San Francisco in the evening, to meet with Brody and Julia. They have not met Brody's tenants yet, but they are close friends with one of the Ingram's cousins.
"How long has it been since you've been to San Francisco?" Dawson asked his wife.
"Oh gosh! It has been a while. I think the last time I was there, I was little," Daniela replied.
"It's been a while for me as well. I don't quite remember how long ago, though."
"Brody seems to enjoy it out there, doesn't he?"
"Oh, absolutely! He loves it out there. He has wanted to live in San Francisco since I can remember," Dawson remarked.
"And David and the crew are moving out there soon as well?" Daniela questioned.
"Yes. David and Andrew are going there for grad school. Don't know what David's fiancee is doing. I think she's just looking for a job out there."
"Every year, they would all plan a trip out to San Francisco just to visit. But now they're moving there, and I think that's awesome for them."
"I would agree!"
"I did enjoy San Francisco when I was there. So much to see," Dawson said.
"I remember a few things," Daniela stated.
"So I can't wait to go out there again. It would be cool to stop by Vegas to see Mom and Dad as well."
"What are they doing in Vegas?"
"Meeting up with a few friends from high school."
An Excerpt from a Writing Project
From The Magic Video Game 3: Mystery of the Island
Levi Cranston was watching one of his favorite game shows in the evening with his sisters, Victoria and Olivia. Evelyn Maeve, his younger sister, went to a birthday party and probably wouldn’t be back until around nine o’clock at night. Their parents ordered pizza for the family, and their dad drove over to get their order. Their mom drove Evelyn Maeve to the birthday party.
Victoria was spending an evening at the Cranston’s house on Elmhurst Avenue in downtown Valparaiso. Since she lives in an apartment a few blocks away, she decided to just walk over here. Louise Baranovsky, the oldest half-sister, also lives around here, but she and her family were leaving for Rhode Island tomorrow to visit family. However, since she and her husband, Brian Soriano, have small boys at home, of course they would have to focus on more packing and last minute tasks. Elizabeth Baranovsky, the younger half-sibling, was in Chicago tonight with her husband, Paul Weiner.
The three kids were okay with being together tonight. They didn’t have to do anything that required leaving the house, so that was all good. Mindless of anything else going on at the moment, Victoria, Olivia, and Levi sat around in the living room with a glass of white wine in their hand and chips and salsa on the coffee table while watching TV. They had nothing better to do besides watch game shows and then possibly some stupid comedy shows.
“I wonder if Janice will win,” Olivia said all of a sudden.
“I would assume so. She’s got the most amount of money,” Levi replied. “And they’re right at the third toss-up.”
“No. I mean the final round. We all know she’ll make it that far.”
“I like Janice, so I want her to win.”
“Why do you like Janice so much?” Victoria asked her brother.
“She clearly knows what she’s doing,” Levi remarked.
“I was hoping Tim would win.”
“What do you have about Tim?”
It's Haiku Monday.
Very first day of the week.
It is very hot.
Sitting in a coffee shop.
Writing this haiku.
What will I do now?
Continue to blog some more?
Just Haiku Monday.
Watermelon and peaches.
Making a smoothie.
It is very hot.
It will only get hotter.
One hundred degrees.
Walk the Walk
He wanted to break away from his friends for a while and go for a walk. Just for an hour or two. He walked down a path full of red leaves, squirrels, and walnuts. The walkway resembled a mural. He felt the breeze stroke his brown hair. He savored the warm sun’s kiss on his rosy cheeks. He listened to his life inside him. It felt very good to walk down a path with the breeze in his face, the sun loving him, and realizing how perfect he was all around. While walking further into the forest, he heard the faint, steady rhythm of his heartbeat. A little fast, but very pleasurable. He also faintly heard himself breathing in and out peacefully. His deep breathing was the strong wind that swept the path. This was his time. With himself.
An Excerpt from a Writing Project
From The Magic Video Game 2: Time for Tennis
Then, Levi Cranston found himself in the middle of a field. He couldn’t even fathom where he was exactly. He was just in the middle of a field. And, sadly, he did not have his friends with him. Well, he had his teddy bear that he has had since he was five years old. The odd thing about the teddy bear was that he could actually move on his own.
Levi and Moogles, the teddy bear, walked around the field to see if they could find their way back home from here. With no idea whatsoever of where they were, they were at least going to try to find their way back. They walked and walked and walked and walked. It was a pretty hot day, so they were both extremely thirsty.
“Moogles?” Levi asked.
“Will you tell me if you see water?”
“I will. What are you planning on doing?”
“I think I’m dehydrated. I’m going to lie here until further notice.”
“Don’t tell me that. I’m sure you could go a little further?”
“I’m sick at my stomach, and I think I’m going to puke.”
“Suit yourself, Levi.”
Levi was lying on his back, with his hands under his head. He was pretty sure he was going to throw up. Several minutes later, he did. The retching sounds coming from this boy were horrible. Even Moogles could hear Levi puking from where he was.
And then, several minutes later....
“I FOUND WATER!” Moogles shouted from fifteen yards away.
Levi quickly got up, and took the canteen from Moogles. He drank as much as he thought his stomach could handle. Which was probably more than he wished he had consumed. However, Levi was able to control himself more now than he thought he would be able to. Even though the boy drank quite a lot of water, he did not throw up.
Fifteen minutes later, Levi actually felt so much better. He did not feel weak at all. He actually felt as if he could bench press at least 200 pounds. The adrenaline was rushing through his small body. What exactly did this mean?
Levi wanted to go on a run.
“Levi, what are you doing?” Moogles asked the boy as he saw him stretching.
“I don’t know. Running around, perhaps?”
“I highly advise against it.”
“I’m feeling so much better, though.”
“I’m feeling better,” Levi assured his favorite teddy bear.
“For all the chicken sandwiches in the world, please don’t do it,” Moogles replied.
“I don’t want you to end up throwing up. Again.”
“Why would I?”
“Well, if you end up getting sick once again, I swear that something malevolent will…LEVI!”
It was too late. Levi went on a run. A fast run. He just wanted to get away from this place. At least for a little while. Moogles didn’t know what to do. He couldn’t go after Levi. He is too short and stubby. After all, Moogles is only a teddy bear.
The teddy bear had no idea what to do. Instead, he just walked around the field. Trying to find Levi. Of course, Levi was nowhere to be found. Because he was running. That was why. And then Moogles had no idea where to even begin to search for Levi.
Fifteen minutes later….
“MOOGLES!” Levi shouted from a far stretch.
Moogles ran as fast as he could to the ailing boy. Once he could locate where the boy was, he could hear the horrible sounds of an impending asthma attack. Like any teddy bear could, Moogles ran a good few minutes until he found a random golf cart in the middle of nowhere.
This golf cart was not like any conventional golf cart. It was automated, so Moogles could press a button to take him wherever he wanted to go, and he could stop it wherever he wanted to stop the golf cart.
And away he went.
He saw Levi lying on his side. The boy was breathing very hard and very quickly. He, for the life of him, could not catch his breath. And it was obvious that Levi did not have his inhaler with him. Moogles had it in his pocket. Once Levi took a few puffs on his inhaler, Moogles appeared to be worried.
“GET THE DOCTOR! GET THE NURSE! GET THE….RABBI!” Moogles shouted at the top of his lungs.
In a matter of moments, a rabbi appeared out of nowhere. And he stood in front of Levi, who was still not quite back to his normal self yet. The rabbi and a group of his supporters surrounded him, helped him back up on his feet, and surrounded him again. They brought out a chair for him to sit on because he was still not very stable.
The rabbi and the four supporters started singing some songs of healing, and then the real fun began. They continued to say their prayers and sing their songs, and they all put their hands on his shoulder.
This lasted all but ten minutes, or 600 seconds. But the ten minutes seemed like ten hours, or 600 minutes.
And then the rabbi ordered the supporters to put their hands on Levi’s chest. For some reason, this caused Levi’s asthma attack to return. The boy could feel his heart pounding so hard against the hands of many, or just five people. And this had caused his body to tense up even more. Perhaps the worst was about to be over, and he would be cured from asthma.
Levi woke up coughing. It was around 8 o’clock the next morning. He was not quite sure why he was still coughing. And his chest hurt. He was well over what he had a few days ago. Levi didn’t really feel as if an asthma attack was starting, so why was he worried?
He rolled over on his futon to look at his clock. It said 8:06. Oh snap. It was so early in the morning. Levi really did not want to get up so early, but he would probably have no choice at this point. David Savino, one of his best friends, obviously spent the night at Levi’s house, and he fell asleep on the floor, in front of the TV. And Moogles was sitting right next to David. Levi decided to get out of bed and see if David was still sleeping. As a matter of fact, he was. Quite comfortably, too.
Well, never mind. Levi decided to make attempts to go back to sleep. And he did.
Happiest day of the year.
But is it really?
Tons of fresh ice cream.
Being eaten by many.
It's only summer.
Now I want ice cream.
But I'm working on this blog.
Well, maybe later.
Now that's a combination.
That I can't avoid.
Pair it with ice cream.
Happy July seventeenth.
It's only summer.
This is very sad.
Saddest photo of the day.
Please don't fall victim.
An Excerpt from a Writing Project
From The Magic Video Game
Four days after the tonsillectomy, Levi Cranston still felt horrible. He got up to brush his teeth and put on clean clothes. His mom took a few days off to take care of him. She came into the living room where Levi was resting.
“Hey, sweetie. How do you feel?” his mom asked, and Levi shrugged his shoulders.
“My throat hurts. I feel like I was pushed out of a 64-story building. I’m hot. I’m tired. And I want a cold drink,” Levi answered plainly.
“Cold water sound good?”
“Oh, and Mackenzie called about two hours ago. She was wondering if she could come over. She’s worried about you,” his mom said as she was walking to the refrigerator to get her son a glass of ice cold water.
Levi started thinking about his love interest, Mackenzie Burbanks, again. After five minutes of some intense contemplating and pondering, he let out a weak smile.
“Can she come over?” he questioned.
“It’s up to you. How do you feel?” his mom answered with another question.
“I’m okay with that.”
Levi eventually called Mackenzie when he finally felt up to it, which was later that day. He dialed her number. Levi almost dialed the wrong number at first because he couldn’t remember Mackenzie’s number. However, after a few tries, Levi had the right number. And, after Mackenzie heard her phone go off, she answered it.
“Herro, Revi,” Mackenzie answered the phone rather humorously.
“Hey. Want to have a video game party?” Levi asked.
“Okay! Can I come over in about thirty minutes?”
“All right. See ya!”
After Levi got off the phone with Mackenzie, he went up to his bedroom. He searched for a specific ring that had a small plastic pink flower on it, which was a ring that Victoria didn’t want anymore. Levi then put the ring in a small jewelry box and hid it in a place where no one would find anything obvious. Mackenzie came to his house thirty minutes later. She knocked on the door. Levi answered it.
“Hey, Mackenzie,” Levi said with a weak tone in his voice.
“Hey. How are you feeling?” Mackenzie answered back.
“My throat hurts.”
“Oh well. I have some games that we could play today.”
“I’m cool with that.”
Levi and Mackenzie spent at least two hours playing video games. After the two kids finally quit playing them, Levi went up to his room, took the small jewelry box, and put it in his pocket. He went downstairs and lay back down on the sofa. He slowly moved the box in his hand.
“Hey, Mackenzie?” he questioned a little softly.
Levi could feel his heart banging against his chest. He was very nervous about this.
“Yes, Levi?” Mackenzie answered politely.
Levi took a deep breath as he took the box out of his pocket. Fifteen seconds later.
“Will you be my girlfriend?” Levi questioned as he opened the box with the ring.
“Are you serious?!”
“Yes!” Mackenzie answered as she grew speechless to the point where she started crying.
She reached over to where he was and hugged him tightly. It was pretty obvious that Levi was not feeling well. He started shivering, and Mackenzie put some blankets over him. She then decided to stay for another hour and watch some cartoons with him.
Levi’s mom came into the living room where Mackenzie and Levi were because she wanted to check on Levi. She had a conference call that she just finished. When Levi wrapped himself more tightly in his blankets, his mom looked at Mackenzie.
“Mackenzie, you should probably head home. Levi might have a fever.”
Afterwards, she checked her son’s temperature. He had a 100.8 degree fever. Mackenzie definitely needed to go home.
Before she left for home, she gave Levi another hug and kissed him on the cheek. Levi let out a heavy sigh and gave her a kiss on the cheek. Once Levi’s mom drove Mackenzie home, Levi fell into a blissful sleep for several hours.
An Excerpt from a Writing Project
From The Magic Video Game
Before he knew it, Levi Cranston had the laughing gas mask put over his face. He was told to breathe deeply. Levi focused on his breathing while also listening intently to the fast beep-beep’s of the heart monitor. He was very nervous at first, and then he thought about Mackenzie. She would be there in spirit, with her ear pressed firmly against his chest so that she could actually hear his strong heartbeat and the gentle whooshes of his breathing. She would tell him that she loved him and that he would make it through the surgery very well. This calmed him down a lot. He noticed that his heart rate slowed down a little, and he wasn’t breathing too hard. He was now in a state of peace.
“I love you, Mackenzie,” Levi thought before he fell asleep. When he was finally under the anesthetic, the surgeons started operating on his throat.
Once his tonsils and adenoids were taken out, he was wheeled into the recovery room.
“Levi, wake up,” said a nurse.
Levi opened his eyes. His vision was blurry. He felt hot. His throat felt hot. He was incredibly thirsty. Above all, he wondered where his parents were. When he was able to return to his senses, he did not feel much different. His throat hurt even more now than it did before surgery. It felt like he had four cases of strep throat, all at once. His throat also felt very hot, as if a flame torch had been forced down. His parents then came into the room.
“Hey, Levi,” his dad said calmly.
Levi really did not feel like talking much.
“Worst. Day. Of. My. Life,” Levi muttered quietly.
A nurse then came into the room.
“Would you like cherry, orange, or grape?” Nurse Michaelson asked him in a motherly manner.
Levi pointed at the grape popsicle. The nurse gave the grape popsicle to Levi’s mom. His mom opened the wrapper, and then held the popsicle while Levi was slowly sucking on it.
Nurse Michaelson felt very sorry for Levi, based on the hearsay that she was given about the trouble the surgeons went through just to take out his tonsils. She, a big woman probably closing in on 60, always smiled sympathetically. She wanted so badly to make the atmosphere in the recovery room slightly more comfortable.
“How’s your throat, hon?” Levi’s mom asked while she held the popsicle up to Levi’s mouth.
Levi shook his head, meaning that it really hurt.
“One of the surgeons accidentally cut the area above where Levi’s tonsils used to be, and the surgeons could not control the bleeding. So, they had to stitch the cut in order to stop it,” the nurse explained with utmost compassion.
Levi let out a heavy sigh.
“So, that’s why it hurts so much?” Levi questioned softly.
The nurse slowly nodded.
“Would you like to see what your tonsils looked like?” Nurse Michaelson questioned Levi, who, in return, shrugged his shoulders.
He didn’t care that much about what his tonsils looked like. Nurse Michaelson brought in a small bag with two enormous blobs of tissue inside it. At first, Levi was pretty grossed out. He grew nauseated for about fifteen minutes, and then he did not think his tonsils really looked that bad.
“Can I keep my tonsils in a jar?” Levi questioned the nurse with a weak smile.
There were five seconds of silence, and then his parents and the nurse started laughing very hard. Levi couldn’t help but smile because he was proud that he made everyone around him laugh.
“I wish I could say yes, but if you did, your tonsils would decay, and they would smell horrible,” the nurse responded.
Levi shrugged his shoulders. He really could not stand the fact that he had a burning sensation in the back of his throat.
“Did someone force a burning muffin down my throat?”
“Your throat may feel hot because of the cauterization wand that the surgeons used.”
Levi let out a heavy sigh. It was obvious that he really was not himself. On a normal day, he would never assume that anyone forced a burning muffin down his throat; much less would he have much interest in keeping his tonsils in a jar in his backpack.
“Je m’appelle Levi Cranston. J’habite a Valparaiso. Je suis americain. Je parle français.”
“Are you taking French right now?”
“Yes, sir. I love it.”
There were five seconds of silence. The nurse and Levi’s parents could not help but laugh. Levi let out another weak smile. He was completely out of it. The anesthesia was slowly wearing off. And then….
“I love you, Mackenzie!” Levi then blurted out with tears in his eyes.
“Awwww,” his mother answered sympathetically while moving closer to him to wipe his tears with some facial tissues.
She then put her hand on his chest to calm him down. Levi cried himself back to sleep. He and his parents stayed in the recovery room for another two hours.
Then, they went home.
Hai, Haiku Monday.
The beginning of the week.
Playing vid'ya games.
All of them are magical.
Meatballs made with lasagna.
Adding the meat sauce.
Most random poem.
Prob'ly of the century.
Mind's going places.
Sitting in the lab.
Typing this random haiku.
Oh well. Enjoy it.
From The Somewhat Perilous Plot of the Patriotic Mosquitoes
Everyone was on their phone. Very typical for society in this day and age. Evidently. Bradley and Claire were on their cell phones checking their social media pages. Jack and Levi were also on their cell phones. Also checking their social media pages. David and Brody were most likely playing games on their cell phones. And Andrew and Caleb probably were as well.
"Did you just update your profile picture on social media?" Claire asked Levi.
"Five minutes ago," Levi replied.
"It's so cute!"
"That's what everyone else says as well. This is the third or fourth time I've had that as my profile picture."
"How often do you change your profile picture?" Claire asked.
"Depends. I've changed it two weeks, sometimes a couple months, or just one month. It really depends," Levi said, following a very heavy sigh.
"So where was this picture taken?"
"It was my first profile picture, and it was taken at a pizza place in downtown Valpo. And I was in eighth or ninth grade when my buddy took it. I guess I haven't changed a lot."
"You look a little younger in that photo."
"Maybe a little."
The profile picture that Levi had changed just now was one that he has had before, at least three or four times before. It was a close up picture of his face and part of his grey hoodie. He was obviously sitting in front of a wall.
Claire took Levi's word for that fact that he was at a pizza place.
Levi was not looking directly at the camera; he was looking away from it. He stated that Jack took the picture, and he was either in eighth or ninth grade. Either way, he was dating Mackenzie Burbanks. And he had his tonsils taken out by then.
Everything is based on those two events. Those two events where one was a cause and the other was an effect. They were so close together, and it turned into something valuable.
It was pretty obvious that Claire had seen Levi's new profile picture. She "liked" it because she thought it was pretty cute. Bradley probably would've thought it was pretty cute as well. However, she was trying to market her writings so that she could build the most interesting audience ever.
So she was completely oblivious.
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