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Some of my writing I write a lot of different styles of writing and am interested in hearing other people's opinions on them.

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The Dream - a reflective journal
And so ends another term of schooling and I gotta say, today’s class really opened my eyes to many things about myself. We watched a DVD entitled Angels and Demons, and no it was not the one based on The Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown’s novel of the same name. This one was presented by Andrew Denton and took a real and in-depth look into the world of “psychotic”/manic people. That is to say, that portion of people who suffer from an extreme mental illness such as Schizophrenia and Bi-Polar Disorder. It was really intense and in-your-face. Before watching the DVD, I never really gave much thought as to what these people go through on a day-to-day basis – it’s just intense and crazy! I don’t know how anyone could handle the constant voices in the head, like buzzing bees that are constantly talking and telling you things – usually telling the sufferer to kill themselves, or other such negative things. I don’t know how they could handle the constant looks that must get from other people who think they are weirdos, or even the numerous drugs and other treatments such as ECT (Electroconvulsive Therapy). One particular person/sufferer was singer/songwriter/artist with schizophrenia by the name of Heidi (I forget her last name) described her life as being her feet in one world and her head in another. Her feet being in ‘our’ world – one that seems normal to us, but surreal, crazy, chaotic, ‘not right’ to her (I couldn’t come up with just one single word to describe that).
One of the drawings she had done was a visual representation of what anxiety, depression and schizophrenia looked like to her. It was like an entirely different world altogether, full of arms and reaching and spiked maces of varying sizes all ready to knock you on the head as if to say you can’t do that! And you’re wrong! And all sorts of nasty, negative things. It seemed somehow familiar, and then it struck me – I’ve had dreams with a similar sort of ‘feeling’.

While I have never suffered from a psychotic/manic disorder such as schizophrenia nor have I seen the same image before, I have had the same feelings of helplessness... let me describe for you what I mean:

“We” (for I am there and not there at the same time – brace yourself, there’s a lot of this) are in a small, cramped, featureless ‘area’. It’s confining and expansive at the same time. You can see ‘nothing’ as far as the eye can see and yet, you can’t go anywhere... you’re trapped in this vast square (don’t ask) space of nothingness. Alone in the room, you’re surrounded by large, loud, angry, imposing and antagonistic ‘things’. As featureless as the space around them, you can’t see or hear them, and at the same time, you can see them clearly, catching corner-of the-eye glances, and you can hear them. Their noiseless forms are louder than any jet engine. The one consistency is that they are not clear. Their shouts can be heard, but not the words. The best I can describe is that you can ‘feel’ them... or rather, the emotions and feelings ‘expressed’ by them. If I had to give them a colour, I’d say ‘black’. With them is, what I believe to be, a representation of me. I’m small – tiny in fact, with a tiny, incomprehensible, barely audible, ‘voice’. I am ‘occupying’ a tiny corner of this space. I’m the embodiment of other, meeker emotions and feelings, such as fear and insignificance; a protagonist. If I had to give it a colour, I’d say ‘white’. I feel overwhelmed and outnumbered by these larger, more intimidating ‘things’. The dream doesn’t seem to have anything happening, just the feelings. I’m just there and there’s nothing I can do. It’s like the larger feelings want to take over and all that’s standing in their way is little ol’ me. I wake from these dreams feeling... uncomfortable. These dreams are unpleasant, but waking up from them is like a return to the safety of reality where I realise that these large, imposing things can’t actually hurt me.

I don’t know what these dreams mean, but if I had to hazard a guess, I would say it is a representative of my mental state of being/mind (my Depression), both present and future (as I recall having these dreams before I was diagnosed with Depression). I also think it is a representation of my stresses/worries about life in general, uncertainty about my future, self doubt, past issues and worries, etc. I don’t know if these dreams are just Jibber Jabber or else if they are something more... These are the sort of things that run through my head sometimes. The things locked in the deepest, darkest recesses of my mind come out to ‘play’ and I use that word loosely.

I plan to publish this very personal account of my mind and what goes on in it online so that others may read and reflect on what I have written. I welcome people’s thoughts and opinions on what they have just read. Maybe I have some brought some new understanding to you, or maybe this is nothing more than just the mindless scribbling of a crazy person. Whatever you think, I welcome all opinions, thoughts and theories, etc. that you might have and want to share.

Love lost and friends found
In this poem I tried to encapsulate my feelings of loss, at yet another failed attempt at a relationship, but at the same time, giving thanks to a new found friend

I don't want to feel
I don't want to heal
I don't want to hurt
But it's hard 'cos I've been burnt

I'm feeling blue
So sad. So true
I feel like this more often
But this harsh blow, you help soften

You bring the rain
I so desperately need
You wash away this pain...
You're just what I need...

Though we were never meant to be
My broken heart, you helped mend
Though you mean so much to me
We were only meant to be friends

For you to be heard,
I leave these parting words
We'll be friends
To the very last end

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In Darkness Sleeps
A poem I wrote reflecting my conflicting feelings towards a girl who returns the feelings, but wishes to stay faithful to her boyfriend.

In darkness sleeps a troubled mind
In silence breeds my fears
In loneliness my bane doth stir
To drag you away from this heart of mine

It steals away my precious gem
It leaves behind an empty shell
It shatters my hope, my desires
This pain will never mend

I cast my wish into the fire
As I fight this last battle
'Tis you I desire for the rest of my life
Will you grant my last desire?

As I watch my hopes, my dreams burn
I think of what we had
You gave me hope, when all was lost
For someone like you, I yearn

Outside it may be cold,
And bitter, and dark,
Your love will still shine,
Brighter than any gold

I will always cherish the times we shared
The laughs we had, the warmth I felt
I have found in you a love so strong
A love I feel, that I never dared

Because of you, I am free
Because of you, I'm not scared
I thank you for all you have done
I am glad that I met thee

Fate, it seems, has other plans
And we were not meant to be
I only hope that it be kind to me
And I find The One, with whom I too can dance...

Santa Claws
A quick poem I wrote in a semi-conscious state (brought about by tiredness) detailing my desire for the coming holiday season

Year in, year out I tried to celebrate All Hallows' Eve
Year in, year out I failed (can you believe?)
So, this year, I thought instead
To move the Holiday Season ahead
Ghoulish fantasies await your surprise...
As you witness two holidays' demise
Halloween and Christmas both joined as one
For a wee bit of festive fun!
So, without further adieu,
I present, here for you,
Ladies and Gentlemen, a round of applause
For the one, the only - Santa Claws

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Dead Messiah Sketch
Based off and basically a re-written version of Monty Python's "Dead Parrot" (also known as "Pet Shop" wink sketch. Read at your own risk.

This Stage Play is rated Mature and may contain material unsuitable for readers under 18.

CUSTOMER: enters 'Ye Old Roman Crucifixion Shoppe' lugging an obviously dead man in a large man-sized cage and rings counter bell - a cow's bell. "I wish to register a complaint."

SHOPKEEPER: busy fumbling around with something behind the counter and appears not to have noticed the customer

CUSTOMER: Obviously annoyed that he has been ignored "'Ello, Miss?"

SHOPKEEPER: Immediately straightens up with a start, looking highly suspicious and guilty. Sounds of goats can be heard behind the counter. The Shopkeeper stares at the customer. "What do you mean 'miss'?"

CUSTOMER: pauses, looking at the shopkeeper suspiciously "What were you just doing?"

SHOPKEEPER: obviously nervous quickly counters "I wasn't doin' nothin'."

CUSTOMER: "Yes you were, I just saw you-"

SHOPKEEPER: The Shopkeeper cuts the customer off quickly before his questioning can go any further "...What do you mean 'miss'?"

CUSTOMER: obviously confused "I beg your pardon?"

SHOPKEEPER: "You called me 'miss' when you walked in my shop not 2 minutes ago"

CUSTOMER: "I'm sorry, I have the plague. I wish to make a complaint!"

SHOPKEEPER: "Sorry, we're closin' for Solstice"

CUSTOMER: "Never mind that, my lad. I wish to complain about this Crucifiable Messiah what I purchased not half an hour ago from this very boutique."

SHOPKEEPER: "Oh yes, the, uh, the King of the Jews...what's uh... what's wrong with him? The shopkeeper looks furtively around as if seeking a quick exit from the situation, but the Customer is quick to intercept

CUSTOMER: "I'll tell you what's wrong with him, my lad. 'E's dead, that's what's wrong with him!"

SHOPKEEPER: The Shopkeeper barely conceals an audible snicker "No, no, 'e's not dead, e's uh,... he's resting that's all"

CUSTOMER: Not missing the obvious snicker "What was that for?"

SHOPKEEPER: "What was what? Sir." The latter word added as an almost afterthought

CUSTOMER: "What was that noise you just made?" The customer replied, somehow, for all his attentiveness, missing the afterthought-added "Sir"

SHOPKEEPER: "What noise? I didn't make no noise. You musta made it. I didn't make no noise."

CUSTOMER: By this stage confused, decides to drop the subject "I didn't make the noise you did - oh never mind! Look, matey, I know a dead messiah when I see one, and I'm looking at one right now."

SHOPKEEPER: "No, no he's eh he's not dead, he's, he's restin', y'know! Remarkable messiah, the King of the Jews, idn't he, ay? Beautiful plumage!"

CUSTOMER: "The plumage don't enter into it... he doesn't even HAVE any plumage!"

SHOPKEEPER: "Yes 'e does!"

CUSTOMER: "If he has plumage, then where is it?"

SHOPKEEPER: The Shopkeeper comes out from behind the counter and lifts up the messiah's robes "Right 'ere! See?" points to an area not normally shown to the public

CUSTOMER: "Oh, so he does... Oh. I see... Well, regardless of that fact, the plumage don't enter into it. 'E's being stoned dead"

SHOPKEEPER: "No, no! He's... he's resting!"

CUSTOMER: "All right then, if he's restin', I'll wake him up! Shouting at the cage 'ELLO, MISTER HEBREW KING! I'VE GOT A NICE FRESH BANANA FOR YOU IF YOU..." Shopkeeper kicks the large cage

SHOPKEEPER: "There, he moved!"

CUSTOMER: "No, he didn't, you kicked the cage!"

SHOPKEEPER: "I never!!"

CUSTOMER: "Yes, you did! Just like you were up to something behind that counter when I came in..."

SHOPKEEPER: "I never, never did anything... 'specially with no goat..."

CUSTOMER: The customer chooses to ignore this last remark and continues his tirade, yelling and kicking the cage repeatedly "'ELLO JEBUS!!!!! Wakey! Wakey! This is your mid-day alarm call! further bangs the cage on the counter before heaving it in the air, scrambling out of the way and watching as it plummets to the floor. Now that's what I call a dead messiah."

SHOPKEEPER: "No, no... 'E's stunned!"

CUSTOMER: "STUNNED?!?" Obviously not believing the determined shopkeeper

SHOPKEEPER: "Yeah! You stunned him, just as he was wakin' up! Jewish Kings stun easily."

CUSTOMER: "Now look! Don't play the slippery eel with me. That messiah is definitly deceased, and when I purchased him not 'alf an hour ago, you assured me that his total lack of movement was due to it bein' tired and shagged out after a long 'healing session'."

SHOPKEEPER: "Well, he's...ah...he's probably pining for the fjords."

CUSTOMER: "PININ' for the FJORDS?!?!?!?!? What kind of talk is that? Look, why did he fall flat on his face the moment I got 'im home?"

SHOPKEEPER: "The King of the Jews prefers kipping on 'is face! Remarkable saviou, id'nit, eh, major? Beautiful plumage!"

CUSTOMER: "Look, Tosh, I took the liberty of examining this 'saviour' when I got 'im home, and I discovered that the only reason he was still sitting upright in this cage in the first place, was that he had been NAILED there. And it wasn't a very good job, either - his arms came off too easily. pause You promised me a two-fer-one deal - one living messiah for 2000 denahs, and a free cross."

SHOPKEEPER: "Well you got your deal - you got your messiah, and now you're cross..." seeing the unimpressed and murderous look on the Roman customer's face, the shopkeeper wisely abandoned the joke. "Well, o'course he was nailed there! Listen, if I hadn't nailed that messiah down, he would have muscled those bars, bent 'em apart with 'is little... you know The shopkeeper winks knowingly, referring to the plummage, and VOOM!"

CUSTOMER: "Sadly, I do know... What do you mean, by 'VOOM'?!?"

SHOPKEEPER: offers no explanation other than "Voom!"

CUSTOMER: "Mate, this messiah wouldn't "voom" if you set my mother-in-law and four million volts through 'im! 'E's bleedin' demised!"

SHOPKEEPER: "No, no! 'E's pining!"

CUSTOMER: "'E's not pinin'! 'E's passed on! This messiah is no more! He has ceased to be! 'E's expired and gone ot meet 'is maker! That great 'benevolent' THING in the sky! 'E's a stiff! Bereft of life, 'e rests in peace (unfortunately). If you hadn't nailed 'im to the cage floor, 'e'd be pushing up the daisies! 'E's of the twig. 'E's curled up his tootsies, 'e's shuffled off this mortal coil. 'E's run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisibile!! 'E ******** snuffed it! Vis-a-vis the metabolic processes, 'es had 'is lot! All statements to the effect of this messiah is still a going concern, are from now on inoperative. THIS IS AN EX-SAVIOUR OF MAN!!" pause as the customer composes himself

SHOPKEEPER: "What does it matter if 'e's dead, anyway? You were only goin' to crucify him at dawn anyway."

CUSTOMER: "That's not the point! We promised the public we'd crucify a thief, an honest man and a messiah. We've got the thief and the honest man, we just need a LIVE messiah! We can't deny the public what we promised. If we did, we'd never 'ear the end of it!"

SHOPKEEPER: resignedly, the shopkeeper concedes the customer's point. "Well. Well, I'd better replace it then." He ducks behind the counter and we once again, hear the bleating of a goat.

CUSTOMER: "And leave that bleedin' goat alone!!" Then more to himself than anyone else "If you want to get things done right you have to complain until you're blue in the face and frothing at the mouth!"

The shopkeeper reappears, looking mighty sheepish and mumbling several profanities under his breath

CUSTOMER: "What's the news?"

SHOPKEEPER: "Well word is it, they're gonna execute a messiah tomorrow morn at dawn -" he is quickly cut off by the customer

CUSTOMER: "I know that! I told you that myself!! Now have you got another messiah or not?"

SHOPKEEPER: "Well, I've had a look 'round the back of the shop, and uh, we're right out of messiahs"

CUSTOMER: "I see. I see. I get the picture."

SHOPKEEPER pause "I got a Pagan heretic."

another pause

CUSTOMER: "Does it speak Hebrew?"

SHOPKEEPER: "No, but he speaks Latin!"

CUSTOMER: "Well that will have to do then. I'll have that one."

{And thus was the first Pagan ostracised and the persecution and execution of all Pagans ordered and began.}


The House
This is a story I wrote when I was doing Year 12... It was highly praised by my English teacher.

This Story is rated Mature and may contain material unsuitable for readers under 18.

Life is funny. When you least expect it, it will take a sudden twist and you could end up either in the business or else in the House. No one expects to end up in the House. Not Johnny, not Edna, least of all me, yet here I was running. Running from what I did not know. Was it the police? Was it Edna? Or was it something far darker than that? Was I in fact running from myself? Whatever it was, I suddenly found myself on the 665 to Monaco heading to what I hoped was salvation and a place to hide.

It all started when I met Johnny and I joined his gang. It was Johnny who persuaded me to try it. 'Come on' he had said, 'I've tried it, it's good' eventually he had convinced me - peer pressure will win every time you try and fight it - and I ended up doubled over at the end of the night revealing the contents of my stomach to all who would care to see. Johnny stood by and watched as the effects of the marijuana set in. Looking at him I could have sworn I saw his smile falter, but another moment and it was gone, the look of desperateness replaced once again by the wicked smile that became of him.

Who could like this stuff I thought as I lit up another joint, who could like the bittersweet taste of a fresh rolled marijuana rolled cigarette? That question like many others had got me stumped. Nevertheless, as with all my questions, I resolved not to let it bother me. I looked at my watch, nearly there, I thought. I was heading off to Barb's place. Good old Barb she'll know what to do, she always did. What exactly had forced me to run in the first place?

I recalled the event exactly as it had happened that fateful night. Johnny and his gang, myself included, were revelling in our regular bout of harmless vandalism at tonight's target - Crouch's Gas Station. We never meant for what happened to happen, our main objective was just to create a bit of mischief - graffiti the toilet walls with JOHNNY WAS 'ERE '93 and some other obscene statements, we also dabbled a bit in the vandalism of the gas pumps and also some shoplifting. We never meant any real harm; we certainly didn’t look it, well maybe except Pete. Pete was the kind of guy who had that dead set look about him; Pete had been There. He had been in the House and he had no intentions of doing so again. It wasn't until the untimely arrival of Police Constable Clark Ford that things really started to fall apart. If Ford hadn't felt the need to duck down to Crouch's for a few last minute supplies before the well publicised Police Christmas party then he wouldn't have been shot.

When Ford arrived, he happened to see us in the midst of our vandalising spree and instinctively reached for the police two-way radio to report us. Unfortunately for us as much as him, Pete had had a little too much alcohol that night and his blatant dislike of the law surprised us all when Pete produced a .44 he had obviously been concealing and fired three shots into Ford's head and then two shots into the now cowering teenager on night duty. Much to our misfortune, Ford had still been holding the two-way radio and the shots were heard by all at the Police Station putting them on high alert. That was when we decided to split in an effort to avoid the police.

It was only a matter of time before the police caught up with Pete but he was not to go down so easily. Pete had said before that he would rather die then end up in the House and that was just what had happened. Pete, caught up in the exhilaration of the moment shouted out that he would never go back, put the .44 up to his right temple and pulled the trigger ending it all right then and there. Johnny was the next to be caught but compared with Pete, Johnny was an easy catch – he was to be found throwing up in a ditch by the side of the road. Apparently, the site of a human's brain leaking out of their skull was too much for him.

I was last on the list, but by now their was no hope of catching me, ha, ha, the law hasn't caught up with me yet the little voice at the edge of my mind exclaimed. Finally, I arrived at Barb's place. If anyone could get me out of this mess, it was Barb and thankfully, she was home. Once inside I related the whole story about what had happened, my addiction to the drugs, my meeting Johnny, and my involvement with the murder of Clark Ford. I don't know why I told Barb these things, but Barb was very patient throughout the whole time and at the end of it she offered me a drink "to calm my nerves", I accepted. It wasn't until I had finished the drink that I realized my mistake - Barb had drugged me without me even noticing, too late I realized that Barb was on "their" side.

And so I ended up right where I thought I would not - the House. I guess when we think about it there really is no right or wrong just the civil injustices that this world can thrust at you. Life is really a swirling vortex of mixed emotions - hate, anger, fear, lust - that swallows you up like a toad does a fly without you even noticing until you are at the bur banks of hell almighty itself. The truth is right under noses and we don't even realize. Hell isn't that far away at all, it is, after all just a part of us - a normal day in the lives of men too foolish to savour life and freedom. Just a normal part of a day in the lives of men.

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Heracles Undercover
Haha! I don't know what possessed me to write this story... I wrote it for a uni assignment, it's not one of my finer works, but you decide...

Heracles Undercover – The Legend As Never Seen Before

In a time where man ruled the land and the Gods were no longer recognised, a city is thrown into turmoil as members of Hades the Underworld’s most respected criminal gang – as far as gangs go – almost wiped out the entire population with their drug trafficking. Only one man dared to stand against them, a young police officer descended from a long line of forgotten heroes rose up against the ranks and travelled to the Underworld’s base of operations near the docks to put a stop for the last time to the Hades’ heinous deeds. This man, known and feared by all but the most hardened of criminals as Heracles – the man of glory;

Why did Heracles fight these criminals with such passion and hatred? One might ask, the answer is thus: Heracles fought with a vengeance, he fought for his mother whom was killed not long before after she witnessed a murder committed by the Hades gang, Heracles fought with a rage unchallenged by any, even after being told not to go after the gang by his superior, Heracles still pursued them. So, Heracles travelled to the Underworld to put a stop to the cause of the city of New York’s fear. This is the tale of a hero so bold that he faced the evils of an entire city in an effort to bring justice to his mother’s killers. This is the tale of Heracles.

After trailing the gang for some time, Heracles decided to make an entrance – an entrance that was not warmly welcomed by the gang, who were in the midst of an illegal drug trafficking operation. (It is important to note here that the Hades Gang was divided up into several smaller factions headed by one of the Hades’ elite men, each sub-faction here will be given a different name so as not to confuse you the reader.) The first sub-faction was known as the Nemeans as it was headed by the gang’s strongest warrior – Leo Cutthroat. Heracles fought his way through the ranks of men until he found himself facing Leo himself in one-on-one unarmed combat. Heracles a master of street fighting methods threw the first punch and landed it square in Leo’s abdominal regions, Leo, a large 6’5” tall burley looking man didn’t even flinch and threw his own punches and kicks. Heracles taken by surprise at the man’s strength and resistance to physical pain found himself blocking all punches and dodging all kicks to the best of his ability whilst landing his own, having no effect. Suddenly Heracles had an idea as if it were planted there by the Gods, whom he still believed existed, and Heracles landed a swift kick to Leo’s kneecaps shattering them and toppling the large man. Heracles then produced a handgun a shot Leo dead. Thus, Heracles had defeated the Nemean Gang.

The second sub-faction that Heracles came upon was the Hydras led by their snake of a leader, Lerna. Lerna was particularly hard to defeat, as she was an expert weapons smith, as slippery as a snake and also had many ‘clones’ of herself – Heracles succeeded in killing the first ‘clone’ believing to have defeated Lerna herself, however no sooner had he killed the Lerna ‘clone’ than two more appeared out of the darkness. Heracles fought and defeated these as well as was surprised as four more ‘Lernas’ jumped him. Soon Heracles was tired of ‘killing Lerna’ repeatedly and the next Lerna he defeated, he questioned about the real Lerna at gun point, from this he was able to gather the information he needed, the real Lerna bore a tattoo of a many headed snake on her neck. It was in this way, that after killing more than two dozen ‘Lernas’ that finally he sank a dagger in the real Lerna’s heart.

The third sub-faction was headed by a man of monstrous evil known to many as The Hind because of his ability to escape from any situation on his motorcycle. Heracles, not to be outdone by this masterful maniac took to his feet in a race against The Hind. Because of the narrow alleys and frequent obstacles, the going was slow for The Hind and it was in this way that Heracles was able to catch up and subdue The Hind handcuffing him he escorted him to the police station where he was imprisoned for illegal drug trafficking,

Heracles then moved onto the fourth sub-faction led by a dangerous, scarred man known as the Boar of Erymanthus, defeating him was no easy task but finally after much struggling; Heracles was able to knock the Boar over the edge of the docks and into the bay where, weighed down by his armour the Boar drowned.

By now, Heracles was making quite a name for himself both among the Hades Gang, and among the leaders of the next sub-faction, the Augeans were furious and was determined to put an end to Heracles once and for all, and before long, Heracles found himself surrounded by the leather clad gang members all wielding chains and riding motorcycles. Emblazoned on their jackets was the image of a red-eyed horse, although Heracles could not see the significance of this. Heracles was then rushed by the Augeans, but Heracles was not be subdued that easily and grabbing a hold of the first chain swung at him, he used all his strength to knock the wielder of his bike and into the next member, still swinging the chain. Heracles dismounted all the riders and then using their own chains, Heracles chained them all up and then called for the police force to come and collect them as he went off to defeat the next sub-faction, growing ever closer the grand leader of the Hades Gang.

The sixth sub-faction were known as the Stymphalian Birds and were so known for their likeness to war and violence, just like Ares, God of War, of whom the actual birds of mythology belonged. Unlike the Augeans, the Stymphalian Birds remained on foot, wielding sharp throwing weapons such as shurikens and throwing daggers, and were experts in the use of these weapons, so Heracles had a hard time, trying just to avoid the thrown weapons. Then an idea came to Heracles, and he picked up one of the fallen weapons up at one of the cranes holding a large shipping crate and by some miracle managed to slice through the rope holding the crate aloft. Down fell the crate and crushed many members of the gang underneath it, those that did not get crushed were quickly overcome and arrested by Heracles.

The seventh sub-faction was lead by the Cretan Bull, a tough man who could withstand substantial amounts of pain and physical damage thus making him a formidable opponent indeed. However, unlike Leo, the Bull was not fast and agile thus Heracles found it easy for him to overpower him, trapping him in a net that the ocean liners used when fishing.

The Diomedean Mares (the eighth sub-faction) were led by four extremely dangerous women. These women were expertly trained in martial arts and when together were almost unstoppable, however, they were no match for Heracles who possessed strength unrivalled by anyone and soon after a slight struggle, Heracles managed to subdue these women and disabled them, handcuffing them together as a group.

The ninth sub-faction were, if possible, more dangerous than the Diomedean Mares for they were a band of female warriors descended from a long line of warriors dating right back to the time of the Amazons – a warlike tribe of women. As with the Mares, these Amazons were highly trained in the art of hand-to-hand combat, but with heightened agility and mobility, their speed was what made them a most dangerous opponent. This band of rogue warriors was led by a fierce woman by the name of Hippolyte. By this time, Heracles was getting tired of fighting sub-faction after sub-faction and just wanted to get to the Hades Gang’s true leader. So he did not hold back and went into a vengeful rage getting an increase in his adrenaline and killing all of Hippolyte’s warriors and Hippolyte herself.

The tenth faction was led by Geryon, a man who disabled as a child was forced to live his life out as a machine, and thus when he reached the age of 18 he forged for himself a suit of metal and mechanics so that he may once again walk. Having got caught up in the gang of Hades, he later upgraded his ‘suit’ to include many dangerous gadgets. A truly formidable opponent, his metal suit repelled any bullets fired at him, and thus he was immune to physical damage, but still able to deliver a powerful electrical shock. After trying and failing several times to disable Geryon, Heracles then spied a fire extinguisher and got an idea. Darting from his hiding place, Heracles ran towards the fire extinguisher grabbing and facing towards Geryon, fired a jet of water from it, short-circuiting Geryon’s metallic/electric suit and thus disabling Geryon.

Whilst the eleventh sub-faction was not actually a faction of men and/or women for Heracles to fight, it was a major front for drug smuggling. The faction had been smuggling drugs out through produce such as apples and was ultimately successfully smuggling drugs in and out of the country. Thus, Heracles had to put a stop to the Hesperides sisters, the ringleaders of this operation and burst in with his gun raised placing them all under arrest, by far the easiest of all the factions that he had defeated.

At long last, Heracles came face to face with the leader of the Hades Gang, Hades himself. Hades was a large man who dressed in only the finest suits and carried with him a three-headed staff, the staff of Cerberus, as it became known in later times. Though an extremely large man, Hades was surprisingly agile and Heracles had a hard time trying to land a blow, and to make matters worse, the staff that Hades held spouted out jets of fire making Hades a very dangerous man indeed. Though Heracles tried, Hades seemed to have the upper hand, until Heracles, further enraged by the death of his mother at the hands of this man, crippled Hades by shooting out his kneecaps and then disarming him. Heaving and covered in sweat and blood Heracles then did the unthinkable and killed Hades in cold blood swearing in the name of his beloved mother that Hades shall not live to kill an innocent again. And thus, Heracles, man of glory, committed a heinous murder that not even the mayor could excuse. Enraged at what he had done and at the loss of his mother, Heracles took the gun to his skull and pulled the trigger ending his life.

An odd yet appropriate ending to a tale long told, no-one quite knows what was going through Heracles mind, nor do they know why he went to great lengths to avenge his mother, but what is known is that Heracles shall remain immortalised in the tales of men and women alike.

Reality TV
I wrote this article for a uni assignment, the topic is the heading. It is one of my finest pieces of article writing... which is funny considering it was a last minute thing...

Are Reality TV Programs Soap Operas Under a Different Guise?
Reality TV programs are becoming more like soap operas in the modern world. Where previously these shows existed to show us, the viewer, an insight into the realism of everyday life as in the Big Brother series’ or what everyday life was like in times gone past (for example 1800s House). Nowadays however, it seems that reality TV programs are merely produced for entertainment purposes (for example Survivor and There’s Something about Miriam). However, perhaps the most important element of a reality TV show is the concept of talk and the role it plays in the narrative types and techniques used in both reality TV shows and common soap operas linked by these techniques.

Let’s face it: reality television shows are addictive. Big Brother, for example, has attracted millions of viewers around Australia and even spawned off into other Big Brother seasons in Australia as well as other series worldwide. However, it is how it attracts its audience that intrigues us, the analysts, the most. “Reality shows… restore to viewers the kind of old fashioned theatricality that can still be found on day time soaps” (Stanley, “Blurring Reality with Soap Suds” NYT 22/02/2003). That is to say, that reality shows use the same or similar scripted storylines as do soap operas. However, this does not mean that reality shows are ‘not real’. Take a look at Big Brother – just because the events that happen are pre-planned (like the splitting up of the “housemates” ) does not mean that the housemates’ reactions are fake. “Television is not the ‘dream factory’ which Hollywood was once said to be… it is truer to life than life is [itself]” (Morse, “Talk, Talk, Talk”, 2)

As in Big Brother the television soap opera Home and Away employs the same kind of techniques to attract its audience. Character schemes and plots for the elimination of a character in Home and Away mirrors the plotting and scheming to “evict” a housemate in Big Brother or to form alliances and to “vote off” other contestants in Survivor. ‘Boston Rob’ on Survivor schemed, plotted, backstabbed and was generally portrayed as a loathsome character, whereas Rupert, was shown in a different light – Rupert was the viewers favourite “Survivor”. Rupert was seen as being fair and truthful while doing the same thing as Rob – playing the game. Yet, Rob’s strategy worked. Rob gained the trust of the other contestants through his manipulative meanderings and formed alliances until the very end of the game. Regardless of the outcome, both Rob and his ‘ partner in crime’, Amber, won when Rob proposed to Amber in true soap opera-like fashion. “Viewers who doubt that anyone would ever say ‘my walls have finally crumbled and I can now tell you without reservation that I am in love with you’ are too sceptical… dozens of women [say it] every day – on soap operas.” (Stanley)

The camera shots, music and lighting that the characters in Survivor were shown in gave the program the same air of a soap opera. A previous plotline on Home and Away saw the character Angela Russel, being portrayed as a truly evil character as she manipulated the minds of those around her to get just what she wanted. It was this malicious deceitfulness that led ‘Angie’ to her downfall. In this same way, Rob’s deceitfulness led to his uprising in Survivor.

However, there is also a strong concept of entertainment to entice viewers to watch both soap operas and reality TV shows. A recent episode of television program The Simpson’s saw the Simpson family ‘become TV stars’ by agreeing to go on a reality show where they had to live life much like the occupants of the real-life reality show 1800s House had to exactly live life like it was lived in the 1800s. The viewers (of The Simpson’s) were then given the point of view of the Simpson’s, the viewers of the reality show on which the Simpson’s appeared and that of the producers of the reality show. Here we were shown just why reality programs in modern times have been touched up so much – a reality show that just runs as is, with no interference from anyone proves to have a low interest level. That is why such programs need a higher influence, a third character (by ‘third character’ we divide the program into three sets of characters: the good, the bad and the neutral the neutral being the higher influence). For Big Brother there was the character ‘Big Brother’ – a God-like figure whom the housemates do not see, but receive instructions/commands (“Terri to the Diary Room” for instance), warnings and sometimes even evictions. Similarly, Survivor had host Jeff Probst who sets the tasks in an almost symbolic test-like fashion of physical prowess and mental stamina. It is Jeff Probst who announces the departure of a contestant after they have been voted off (“The Tribe has spoken” ). Co-executive producer on The Bachelor series, Mike Fleiss, quoted in Alessandra Stanley’s article “Blurring Reality with Soap Suds”, comments on the making of a reality television program: “It’s storytelling and viewers are more satisfied when we work the spin”

Creating a reality program, however, does not always require a constant “authenticity and unpredictability of prime-time reality” (Brian Scott Frons in Stanley). This is shown in the Jim Carrey film The Truman Show, while in itself a fictional text; the film does contain many of the qualities that are essential in both reality shows and soap operas. For example, the effort the producers put into the reality program (incidentally of the same title as the film) ‘The Truman Show’ to ensure that Carrey’s character, Truman, does not discover that his life that had seemed so real to him is in actuality just one big ‘act’, even his ‘family’ are just hired actors. The producers also went to extraordinary lengths to keep Truman in the one town, including a fake forest fire, ‘sold out’ plane tickets and even faking the death of his ‘father’ (also an actor) by drowning to ensure that Truman developed a phobia of water and crossing it. “The impression of discourse… simulates the primary means by which we assimilate perceptions as our experience; through discourse we maintain a sense of the real through dialectical relationships with consciousnesses other than our own” (Morse, 3).

Perhaps the most important concept that features prominently within both reality shows and soap operas is the concept of talk. Soap operas, not unlike movies and television dramas rely heavily on dialogue, whether spoken or through other means, such as camera techniques, soundtrack, etcetera, to tell the story. This concept is commonly referred to as narrative (Berger, 4). A narrative is a story in any shape or form and is constantly around us as Peter Brooks (1984) in Arthur Asa Berger’s “The Nature of Narratives” (1) states that “Our lives are ceaselessly intertwined with narrative… we are immersed in narrative.” Talk and the concept of narrative play important parts in our lives, for without a story there would be no life. If there were no narratives, our lives would be like single-frame cartoons, which Berger argues are not narratives. “Such cartoons give us a moment in time, but they contain no sequence…” (2). this works in much the same way as a reality show or soap opera, with the exception that the story is practically already ‘made’. Sometimes, we as the viewer are presented with single-frames and contrary to Berger’s earlier comments, we are presented with a narrative. This, while not straight forwardly telling a story still tells a story using what is known as implied narrative. That is, the viewer is presented with a single-frame, and the viewer ‘makes up’ the story. Similarly, the same concept is applied for the narrator, this term is known as implied author (Morse, 4). In reality programs, the implied author is often the host, who hides just off screen for example being in Big Brother where the god-like figure of Big Brother hides off screen while he speaks to the housemates to tell them of upcoming events (such as an eviction or a story plot – e.g. Schoolies week type party). In soap operas, the implied author often heralds the introduction of a new character or the return of an old one. In this sense, the hidden character often intervenes in an event or argument while still been hidden. This character could be sinister in nature, or not, however it is at this point that the introduction of an advertisement break, or the closure of that show’s episode or the conclusion of the season, leaving the viewer to contemplate whom this character might be, what they might look like, what their nature is, and so on and so forth.

It is from these examples and arguments that it can be determined that reality TV shows are just soap operas under a different guise. With narrative, prominent in both ‘texts’ (Berger, 1), camera techniques – showing different characters in a different light (such as sinister, or innocent), soundtrack (used in the exact same fashion as camera techniques), the level of entertainment and the creation of such entertainment and sometimes even the omission of “authenticity and unpredictability of prime-time reality”. It is in this way that we are often unable to distinguish the subtle similarities used in both reality TV Programs such as Survivor and soap operas such as Home and Away.


• Stanley, Alessandra. “Blurring Reality with Soap Suds.” New York Times 22/02/2003
• Morse, Margaret. “Talk, Talk, Talk.” Screen 26.2 (1985): 2-4
• Berger, Arthur Asa. “The Nature of Narratives” in Narratives in Popular Culture, Media and Everyday Life. Thousand Oaks: SAGE, 1997, 1-2
• Big Brother c/o Southern Cross Network, Australia
• Home and Away c/o PRIME Television, Australia
• Survivor c/o WIN Television, Australia from Fox Studios USA
• The Truman Show c/o Southern Cross Network, Australia

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The Record
Darren Danas is a world Olympian sprint record holder who embarks on a spiritual quest after being accused of taking performance enhancing drugs.

The man approaches the white line, age wearies his tired face and yet he still feels he has to do this. He has to run this last race, if not to show his unsupportive father that he can amount to something, if not for his dead mother, than he must do it for himself. For Darren Danas, world sprint champion and record holder, he had to do it; he had to prove that he could do this.

Over and over, Darren repeated to himself “I can do this”. This constant reassurance was all that had kept Darren from forfeiting this race. Nevertheless, there was more than just the championship on the line. Darren had also his pride and dignity at stake here. Not two weeks ago, Darren remembered, officials had accused him of taking performance-enhancing drugs and had stripped his championship title from him. The newspapers screamed with headlines, some accused him of cheating, others declared his innocence while still others did not even mention his case. Even though Darren was innocent, not everyone believed him. His father certainly did not – his father did not care what he did and for this, Darren hated him.

It was only five hundred metres but to Darren, it looked like a thousand as he surveyed the track ahead of him. Either the other athletes were not nervous, or they were very good at hiding their nerves, Darren thought as he readied himself by doing his warm up exercises. Time seemed to creep by slowly as Darren waited anxiously for the moment when he would be required to run the race of his life. Finally, though, the whistle blew out for him and the other athletes to take their marks. Darren approached the line praying silently to a God he did not believe in, praying that his legs would hold out. The ages had not been kind to Darren and over time, his legs started to show signs of wear. Sam, his manager, had pleaded with Darren not to run. He knew as well as Darren, that too much stress and the tendons in his legs would snap, he would be paralysed, never to walk again. However, Darren could only take this chance, he was not going to listen to anybody who tried to talk him out of this race, and he had to run this race.

Taking a final look at the ominous white line that looked so hard to cross, seemingly so insignificant and yet it meant so much to Darren. This would be the threshold he could never cross; this line represented everything he had been so afraid to admit, afraid to say – this line was his own emotions crossing this line meant facing reality. Now, Darren was finally ready to cross it, he was ready to face his inner demons ready to overcome his self pity and meet it head on.

There was a loud bang, though to Darren it was barely audible as the roaring of his thoughts clouded his hearing, and with an immense effort, Darren pulled away from the starting blocks and crossed that white line, the effect was instant, that first step was merely a test, and he had passed. His sight blinded at once, by what Darren once refused to believe. Time seemed to slow down; every step he took was a challenge, every challenge a different demon to battle. In reality, each step was a step closer to his target, the white line at the other end of the track, the one he hoped to cross first.

Darren could feel the pressure exerted by every step, he felt the muscles and sinuous tissue straining, pulling, and threatening to collapse from under him, refusing to carry his weight any more. Still, he continued on never stopping, never slowing down, and never conceding defeat. The crowd’s shouts and cheering were no more than a distant murmur as Darren focussed everything he had on making the distance. Sweat was now running off his face in a constant stream, dripping off his face and onto his straining legs. He was nearly there, two hundred and fifty metres, his legs started to waver threateningly, two hundred metres, the wavering turned into shaking like a piece of bamboo holding up a heavy object.

Suddenly with a hundred and fifty metres to go, it happened, what had been threatening to happen since the start of the race – his muscles gave way and he stumbled. The crowd roared in compassion in the background a commentary that had been running since the beginning of the race suddenly became clear “Australian Darren Danas is down” the commentator reported. This was it, a side of him thought, the end you’re not going to make it. Suddenly out of the depths of a seemingly bleak, demise another voice rose, stronger than the sinister one No it is not it said, you can do this you can win! Remarkably, this voice had an influence on Darren as no other influence ever had, he forced himself to run despite the pain now consuming his body, and he was not going to give in this easily, he was not going to give his father the satisfaction of failing yet again.

Though the pain was overwhelming, Darren still kept on running, he was in the lead he was winning, the white line of his unconscious emotions loomed ever nearer. It was now fifty metres to the finish line. He did not know how long his legs would hold, but he pushed himself beyond his limits, sweat now pouring off his body as ran. He was nearly there, it was now ten metres to the end, five, almost there, the last five metres seemed so far away, he would never make it and the sinister voice rose up out of the suppressed darkness to reign once again. Ignoring this Darren still ran, but his legs could no longer hold him and his right leg, the one that had burst the muscles stopped responding. This loss of feeling was all it took for Darren to finally fall, he tripped over his now limp leg and flew through the air. Even this flight seemed to take forever, all his emotions welled up he was suddenly flying through an endless space, and suddenly Darren was jolted back to reality as his body hit the ground with an ominous ‘Thud’ only to bounce back up again.

The second landing sent him rolling; vaguely he caught sight of something white – the line. He had crossed the threshold, he had made it – but at what price? He could not feel either of his legs now, he could not move them, instead Darren just lay there, face down in the dust as the paramedics rushed over him and the other athletes ran past him. Then, Darren lost consciousness he re-awoke in the back of an ambulance as the paramedics rushed him to hospital, at first, Darren did not know what had happened… why couldn’t he feel his legs? Why couldn’t he move them? Then it all came flooding back, the race, the thoughts, and the emotions, such was the return of the powerful emotions he had felt earlier that he could not stop the single solitary tear that traced a pattern down his dust-covered face. One of the paramedics noticed his return to consciousness and went to comfort Darren “It’s gonna be OK, we’re taking you to the hospital now, we’ll get you fixed up in no time” but he did not sound too convincing, Darren knew as well as the paramedic that there was no chance he would ever recover. A wave of nausea came over Darren before a wave of strange tiredness replaced it. Darren embraced this strange tiredness and soon he was floating around in the endless black space of before.

When he finally came to again it was to hear the doctor talking to Sam about Darren’s current condition. “I’m afraid it’s bad news Mr. Tinas, Darren has torn all the cartilages in his legs, made worse, no doubt by the fall he took. Darren will never run again, he will never walk again for that matter. One of our nurses will help you with the paperwork, but we would like to keep him here overnight for observation.”

He had done it, Darren had finished the race, but in the process, he had also rendered his legs useless. He was never going to walk again; his life was over, as he knew it and the sinister voice spoke up once again, cést la vie, it sneered, cést la vie.

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