December 12, 2012

Short Story: Somewhere Over Colorado

Patricia settled in her seat, smiled to the child next to her, and pulled out her iPhone as the muttering of the plane started to calm.

The child, a girl by the name of Abigail, was heading back to California after a two week stay with her parents.

Her dark auburn hair fell just below her ears, and if one looked close enough, they were able to notice a small scar that began at the base of her tiny neck.

It wasn’t a tiny scar, however, and the scar – one of many – traced down her body like a doodle that had gone out of control during a day dream session of some middle school student.

As the phone was cradled between her right ear and shoulder, Patricia flipped though Good Housekeeping as the child heard the rings.

Abigail counted; one, two, three, four, five, six, seven …

“Hi. This is Patricia and I’m not – oh, I’m sorry – Patricia Caudwell, and I’m unable to make my appointment at seven tomorrow. I’m flying back to Sacramento and it looks like my mother has a night or two left in her. I’ll reschedule in a few weeks.”

Patricia turned off her phone and carelessly dropped it on the floor. When Abigail reached for it, Patricia told her to leave it.

“It’s fine, sweetie. Thanks though,” she said.

As the plane ascended, Abigail looked over to the businessman on her right. She had heard him tell another passenger that he had met up with college friends the night before and lost track of how many drinks he had.

Seemingly, on cue, the older woman behind him tapped the man on the shoulder, dropped a few pills into his hand, and then turned back to her husband.

“Can I ask you something?” Abigail inquired as the plane was somewhere over Colorado.

Patricia seemed taken aback, as if it was not commonplace for strangers to make small talk during a flight.

“Why sure you can,” Patricia responded as her shifted her body towards the girl, and somehow, managed to slide her right leg under her butt.

“What did you mean earlier when you said that your mother only had a few days or nights left in her, or whatever?”

Again, Patricia was taken aback, but also upset with the girl. But how could she get upset? She has left the voicemail while sitting next to her and the girl looked to be about nine or ten in age, if that, so the question was probably just a simple inquiry.

“Well, to be honest, it looks like my mother is going to die. Not today, I don’t think, but maybe tonight. Or tomorrow. She has a day or two left in her.”

Abigail looked at Patricia and realized she had to be five or six years younger than her own mother.

Patricia had dark blonde hair that was pulled back in a messy bun. A light blue cashmere sweater hung slightly off her left shoulder and her heels, kicked off the moment she got to her seat, seemed beat up.

She was beautiful, but messy.

“Oh, I was just wondering,” said Abigail.

With that, Patricia stared at the girl, as if she was going to say something else, but she never did. As the silence lingered in the air, the child curled back into her blanket, and Patricia turned to the screen in front of her and watched the movie or show or whatever was playing in silence.

As Abigail drifted to sleep, she thought about the conversation she had with her mother the night before, as her father left the hotel to grab dinner.

“Mama? What did that doctor mean when he said that I only had a year or so left in me? I heard him tell Dr. Barone before we left.”

“Oh, nothing,” her mother responded, “It was nothing."

December 10, 2012

Atheists Can Be Executed In Seven Nations

A recent study from the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) showed that non religious individuals in Islamic countries face the most severe treatment due to their beliefs.
Afghanistan, Iran, Maldives, Mauritania, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Sudan are the counties in which citizens can be executed.

In addition, the publication of atheist or humanist views on religion are banned or limited under laws prohibiting "blasphemy" in Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Kuwait and Jordan.

The 70 page report, known as "Freedom Of Thought 12," also touched upon non believers in the United States.

"In at least seven U.S. states, constitutional provisions are in place that bar atheists from public office and one state, Arkansas, has a law that bars an atheist from testifying as a witness at a trial."

In October, I wrote an article that discussed the dwindling religious beliefs of Millennials in America: One Fifth Of American Adults Have No Religious Affiliation

Personally, I'm an Agnostic, and believe that the human race has no insight on the afterlife. Whether there is one or not.

Believe what you want and live your life; just don't oppress others.

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