Day 108: The Greatest Adventure

08/16/15

Sunday


Welcome, dear friends, to the last installment of this crazy summer adventure.

I went rock climbing, travelled to (not-so-) distant lands, wrote many (but not enough) pieces to an epic yet confusing tale, became extremely frustrated with myself, tried to get into shape, interviewed a rockstar, watched old movies, became a Whovian, became confused and depressed (not related to the previous), found peace, played Magic, planned another story, started dating a wonderful girl, jumped off a bridge, got scared (and teased), stayed up way too late, procrastinated, stressed about life, fell in love, and moved to Alabama, away from everyone I know and everything in which I find comfort.

And all of this I have related to you, poor, wonderful creatures, in 94 posts over the past 108 nights.

Now it’s time to close this door. Post 95 (one of my favorite numbers). Day 108. Here goes.


The Greatest Adventure

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

“Adventure!” the heart of a boy cries ceaselessly. Any male human being that denies ever having that urge is lying to himself. Of course, not all of us operate with the same definition of ‘adventure’—sailing with pirates or going on top-secret, world-saving missions, for example. Your definition of adventure is probably far better grounded in reality than my own. But those definitions still have at least this one thing in common: they are adventures.

I am an adventurer. Self-proclaimed, maybe, but still one at heart. As a child (I think I still am a child, at least in some ways), I was almost always pretending. My imagination was allowed, even—dare I say it?—encouraged to soar above the difficulties of reality, transforming even the most boring situations into escapades full of peril and conspiracy. And action. I never had an adventure, real or make-believe, that did not include a healthy dose of combat, however I could make it fit into the story. Rides to church could be patrols in a submarine or the USS Enterprise (the one from Star Trek), and even trips to the grocery store with my friends turned into (and some still do) snatch and grab missions as SEALS, the SWAT team, or, just to practice our skills, as ninjas.

One of the best adventures happened one night several years ago, when five of my best friends and I were camping in my front yard. After waiting for the dark, we split into two teams. One team sat around the campfire and guarded the camp, scanning the surrounding area with flashlights; the other team assaulted the camp, using stealth and the shadows as their allies. I can remember being on the attacking team and feeling the adrenaline pump through my veins as I lay on my belly in a slight indention of the ground, waiting for the camp’s searchlights to move on past me. I knew my greatest ally was remaining motionless as the light passed over me. In this game, the trick was to keep oneself silent and invisible. If one botched either of these, one’s attacking attempt would be doomed to failure. So I stayed there, letting the fresh dew soak through my jeans, shirt, and gloves, and having the time of my life.

The quote in my epigraph was spoken to Frodo Baggins, my personal favorite of hobbit heroes, by his uncle, Bilbo Baggins, in J. R. R. Tolkien’s epic series. Bilbo was, at this point, already a seasoned adventurer, having journeyed across Middle Earth in the company of quite a few stalwart dwarves and one wise, old, and peculiar (all of which are standard wizard adjectives) wizard. Since Bilbo was such a veteran traveler, I believe we would do well to take his knowledgeable advice to heart. “Take it to heart,” you say. “Well, then, what does it mean?” It means when you make a decision to forsake the comfort of your home and the things you know to follow your own adventure, you will not return as the same person you were when you left. The road of life’s grand journey is not a place for the weak at heart, but every man has a job to do, and if he can pull himself together and keep his feet when he stumbles, he will succeed in his quest.

As I write this, I keep hearing a line from the movie UP in my head: “Adventure is out there!” the boy shouts as he runs around with his toy airplane. And he’s right. Adventure is out there. It’s waiting for us, calling to us. The God of creation, the One who knows our hearts, has filled each of us with a longing for his or her own special quest fraught with excitement, danger, and the unknown. In the end, then, we must seek out His will for our lives and take that first step out our door, remembering to keep our feet and stick to the task as we follow the desires He has placed in us. That is the greatest adventure.


I sincerely hope you feel like I haven’t wasted your summer by binding myself with this contract to tell the world about my own.

I can honestly say I met all of my (realistic) expectations that I laid out in “Day -1.” Didn’t do so well with the things I had hoped to accomplish, though. But that’s life. It’s an adventure.

worthwhile adventure. Don’t let it go to waste.

Once again, thank you for being here and supporting me with all your reads, likes, and follows.

And don’t forget to check out my new blog, auburn adventures.

Goodnight and God bless,

KM

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Day 107: The End of All Things

08/15/15

Saturday


Well . . . here we are, at the end of all things.

All things summer, at least. Tomorrow is my last technical day of summer before classes start on Monday. These 108 nights are nearly over. We’re so close, fellas. I can almost taste it. And it does not taste very good. I’m not sure what flavor I expected my scholastic anticipation to take on, though.

Bleh.

Anyhow, I’ve decided to make a new wordpress blog, on which I plan to continue posting random . . . posts . . . and writings and such. It’s called “auburn adventures” (because I’m at Auburn now . . . and I’m anticipating some adventures . . . here’s a link. Y’all should go check it out and follow so we can stay in touch. Or just do it to read my stuff. Or to raise my self-esteem.

After this summer, I’ve decided there’d be no way to continue the one-post-per-day thing throughout the semester (I couldn’t even do it very well in the summer. Sorry.) so auburn adventures will just be updated whenever I get a chance. And its posts will be much better in quality than the average 108nights post. So that’s good.

Don’t forget: I’m on instagram @kmarks117 and wattpad.com @kmarks777. No facebook or twitter quite yet.

One last post is coming tomorrow night, guys. Please come back, check it out, like it if ya want. It’s gonna be really good. I’m pretty stoked about it.

Let’s finish this thing with a bang.

KM

p.s. A special thanks to all of you wonderful people who took time out of your crazy busy lives to check out this ill-fated project of mine called “blogging.” Thank you, followers, likers, and commenters. You give me more encouragement than you know. Thanks for giving me a chance. Thanks to the ghost readers, as well, of course. I have fun imagining that there are a lot of you. –kep

Day 104: Guest Blogger: Michael Meaders

08/12/15

Wednesday


Summer is winding down.

I move from North Georgia to Southern Alabama on Friday; classes start Monday.

Life gets busier by the day.

A couple months ago, I had asked my best friend, Michael, if he wanted to make a guest post for me, and he said sure . . . and so I waited . . . and waited . . . Finally, since he didn’t really mention this blog anymore, I assumed he had given up or no longer cared or something like that.

I was wrong. Tonight, he emailed me the following. In the midst of the chaos of my week, the words I’m about to show you are like a breath of fresh air, a gentle reminder of who I am, and an encouragement to keep pressing forward. I needed to hear this.


I’m gonna do an internet! Okay Maddie just hit me… I just don’t know how to start these things. That’s why I haven’t started my own blog yet and why I waited this long to make my guest post for Kep. So… uhm… INTRODUCTION! My name is Michael, I’m sure Kep has mentioned me countless times! … Ok like three times and he left out the best of our adventures but I’m sure he just thought you’d think we were crazy.

So yeah, I live an extraordinary life full of adventure, demons, run ins with gang members, hikes through the woods, sword fights, forging duct tape weapons, and countless things that my counselors would bump my meds up for if I told them. I’m not saying that my life is better than yours but it’s just very different than what many would call normal. But I’m not here to talk about me; I’m here to talk about Kepland. He’s leaving for college in a few days and that really messes with all the things I mentioned a couple of sentences ago (I’m sure you remember). You see Kepland is my best friend, the guy I share my adventures with, and honestly, without him I don’t know where I’d be right now. He’s the guy that keeps me from doing things that are too stupid or life threatening, and if I do decide to do those things he’s always got my six.

Kep is also the guy that keeps me from losing my sanity. He’s been my best friend for seven or eight years now and that’s the longest I’ve ever kept a friend. We’ve been there for each other through not only the fun adventurous times but the ones that have pushed us to our limits and make us rethink who we are. He’s been there with me through my darkest times and I hope he can say that I’ve helped him through his.

My main point is that Kepland is the greatest guy in the world, sure he’s made some mistakes but he doesn’t stop until he’s fixed them. I honestly don’t know what I’m going to do when he’s gone… haha it sounds like he’s leaving forever, but that’s just how much he means to me. Keppy, I’ve never been so happy at a chance meeting than when you sat down next to that weird kid his first time at your church and said hello. I’d never want to imagine my life without that moment in it. Good gosh I have a serious bromance problem.

with too much love to not have to call no-homo,

Michael “Fish” Meaders.

Well. Where do I begin? My name is Maddie. I’m an extreme extrovert who loves music, dancing at inappropriate times and adventure. For those of you who don’t know, I get the pleasure of calling myself Kepland’s girlfriend. My life is super crazy, but awesome. While I’m good at a lot of things, I’m NOT an amazing writer like Kep. The only reason I’m writing this blog is to show you how he changed my life.

This is for you, kid.

This summer has probably been the best/ most adventurous summer of my life, and you have a lot to do with that. During the time I’ve spent with you, I’ve seen a new “spark” ignited in you. You’ve become more outgoing, adventurous, and confident. It’s beautiful. Every time you sing, dance, do stupid little voices, and talk really loud in public, I can’t help but smile. I know I tease you for it, but underneath it all I’m just glad you’re finally happy again.  I want nothing more in the world than for you to be happy, and if I can play a small part in that, it’s totally worth it to me.

I guess I can take this opportunity to let the world know how incredible I think you are. First and foremost, you love Jesus with all of your being and encourage me in my walk with Christ. There’s nothing more attractive than a man who loves Jesus, and puts that relationship above all else. It’s almost indescribable. You’re also probably the most attractive guy I’ve ever seen. Sometimes I just can’t believe you chose me. I just wanna show you off to everyone.

During the time I’ve spent with you, you’ve made me a better person. I love who I am when I’m with you. I encourage you to go with the flow and love life, and you encourage me to think realistically and logically. We balance each other out, and that’s why we’re so good together. I can’t wait to spend more time with you, eating ice cream, swimming, laughing, watching movies, dancing in public, being complete idiots, because I wanna know you. The good, the bad, the ugly. Because you’re worth it to me. I’m falling for you, more and more as each day passes, and as scary as that is, I’m okay with it, because I trust you.. Even as you leave for college and start your life, I’ll be here waiting for you to come back. No matter what happens, you will always have someone back home who cares for you unconditionally.

You are amazing and you’re gonna kick college in the tail. As sad as I am that you’re leaving, I’m so proud of you and the person you’ve become. Never forget who you are, and that I care for you more than you know. Try not to miss me too much, my dear 😉

Yours truly,

Maddie


Day 103: McEver, Page 24

08/11/15

Tuesday


Page 24

Ewenn and Antonin have both been shot. Crap.

And somewhere on the far side of Antonin, the guard who captured Kaina is still alive.

Let’s fix this.

In one movement, I club the man in black with the butt of the pistol, roll away from his body, rise on one knee, and put two shot into the one who shot Antonin.

Huh. The dead man’s gun had been pointing straight at my previous position. If Antonin hadn’t jumped in the way, I’d be dead right now. He saved my life.

Why would he do that?

Kaina has taken the bag off her head. She’s running to the older man. Kilyan is already there, cradling Antonin’s head in his lap. The man is breathing, but just barely.

“No, no . . .” he whisper, the hair over his face failing to hide the twin streams of tears that are running down his face.

Kaina reaches her brother, falls to her knees, tries to open Antonin’s shirt to get a look at the wound, but he rests a hand on hers to stop her.

“It’s too late, child,” he says quietly. “I’m so very glad that you’re safe.”

I sink to the floor beside the trio. Antonin turns his head to me. “Jean. Thank you. Of course it was you who found her. Kilyan and I searched everywhere, but leave it – -” he coughs. His skin is getting more pale by the second. “Leave it to the lost boy to find the blind girl in the maze,” he finishes.

His eyes slowly close; he exhales one final time.

“No, Antonin, no,” Kilyan cries, gently shaking him. Kaina wraps her arms around her brother, buries her face in his chest, sobbing.

“Leave it to the lost boy to find the blind girl in the maze,” Antonin had said. The blind girl. Could it be? Is Kaina blind? Or is this just one of his metaphors? There’s no way. No. But it would explain her ability to move in the dark. And she was raised here. Is it true?

A hand on my shoulder. I turn my head, see a blurry image of Ewenn’s face. I blink; the image clears a little. Something wet rolls down my cheek. Yes, it’s Ewenn.

Wait. I thought he’d been shot, too?

He sees my confusion, drops to his seat on the ground beside me. He’s in pain. His shirt has a bullet-hole directly over his heart. He tears the shirt open, revealing a shimmering, metallic vest. It’s a set of intricate, overlapping metal plates. Hidden body armor. Lightweight but effective.

There’s a dent about an inch wide over the heart.

Too bad Antonin couldn’t have had one of those.

“We only have one,” Ewenn says. “Took it from the last Imperial Intelligence Officer Antonin and I encountered a couple years ago. He always insisted that I be the one to wear it.”

“Is that who all these people were? Intelligence?”

Ewenn nods. “Well, not all. Only your friend in black there. They’re pretty easy to spot – – each officer has that same tattoo on the back of their hand.”

Ah. “What is the tattoo, exactly?”

“Sorry, I always seem to forget about your memory loss. That ‘S’ is the symbol of the Empire.”


Here’s a link if you’d like to see las otras paginas.

KM

Day 101: “. . . caught up in the crazy . . .”

08/09/15

Sunday


Life is crazy, my friends.

And it’s oh, so easy to get caught up in the crazy and lose sight of the small things

–the touch of a loved one–

–late-night conversations with your best friend–

–the feeling of a pre-storm wind on your face–

which make life worth the living. Watch out for those small things. Appreciate them for what they are.

Yes, life is crazy sometimes. But you can handle it.

Time is on your side. At any given moment, you must only worry about the here, the now. We cannot affect the past or future; only the present.

You can do this.

Just take it one day, one hour, one minute, one small step at a time.

KM