My version of Akata Witch

Chapter 1

Life was difficult for Wilbert Adamson. He was a black albino, which meant that he was a black kid with white skin. He couldn’t fit in anywhere. He went to a school for blacks, where he was ostracized for having white skin. Outside of school, when he tried to play with the white kids, they would just say, “Go away black kid.” Another disadvantage was that he couldn’t go into the sunlight without getting immediately sunburned. This was why he always had an umbrella with him. Every day, at recess, some kids would come and make fun of Wilbert and his umbrella. Whenever this happened, though, Wilbert would run into a corner and hope that the bullies would run into a corner and hope that the bullies would run by without noticing him. Every time, it would work, but Wilbert didn’t understand why. Sometimes one of the bullies would look into his hiding spot, and stare right at him and Wilbert would think that he was caught, and that he had no where to run, but the kid would just run on. Wilbert just thought that the spot was magical, so whenever someone was bugging him, he just went there want there wanting to be left alone and nobody saw him there. Wilbert always felt lonely in his hidey-hole. Sometimes he felt as though some large presence was looming over him, but when he looked around, he couldn’t see anyone. He felt as small as a gnat looking at a mansion. Another reason why everyone hated Wilbert was because he was an A+ student, which made the teacher make an example out of him for the whole class. In the hallway between classes the other students called him a teachers pet. Wilbert really dreaded going to school each day. Every night, after doing his homework and eating supper, he would goto his room and cry. Every morning he would try to get out of going to school, until he made his first friend.

Chapter 2

His friend, Ogdu, was dyslexic, which made him really slow in school. He couldn’t read or write, which made him the bullies’ second target, after chasing Wilbert away. Ogdu would just go and sit on the bench, and for some mysterious reason the bullies would leave him alone after that, as though they had forgotten what they were doing just momentary ago. One day, when the bullies didn’t come to school, Wilbert found Ogdu sitting all alone on the bench, looking glum. As Wilbert quietly approached Ogdu, he noticed that the latter was talking to himself. “How do I check?” He muttered. Then, he noticed Wilbert and stopped talking. Wilbert asked Ogdu what was wrong, but the latter just shrugged and gestured at Wilbert to sit down next to him. Then, Ogdu asked Wilbert how he got away from the bullies. Wilbert replied that he just hid in a corner that the bullies couldn’t see him in. Wilbert showed Ogdu the corner and told him that it was probably magical and made you disappear. Ogdu crawled into the corner doubtfully and sat down. As Ogdu sat down, Wilbert expected him to disappear, but nothing extraordinary happened. “You have to actually want to disappear to be able to disappear,” Explained Wilbert. The only problem with following these instructions was that Ogdu didn’t want to disappear, he just wanted to solve his problem. So, once again, it didn’t work. Wilbert even tried looking away, just in case you couldn’t disappear while someone was watching you, but it still didn’t work. Then, Wilbert decided to show Ogdu how to disappear. “Watch and learn,” He said and, sat down in the corner. “Please make me disappear,” He thought. As soon as he thought this, Ogdu’s eyes widened in surprise. Then Wilbert got up, and once again became visible. “Now you try,” He prompted. But Ogdu didn’t reply. Then Ogdu said, “Come to my house on Saturday, we have to talk.”

Chapter 3

The week sped by in a blur, and on Friday evening Wilbert asked his parents if he could go to Ogdu’s house on Saturday. They agreed, but warned him to watch out for child molesters, especially “Blood Skull Amakuto” who was known to leave the children that he had already killed by roads, with a blood red skull drawn on the soles of their feet with permanent marker. Wilbert agreed to be careful, and went to bed feeling anxious. He couldn’t fall asleep for what seemed like an eternity, but when he finally fell asleep, he slept like a log. The next morning Wilbert woke up nice and early. Then he dressed up, told his parents that he would be back by four o’clock, and headed to Ogdu’s house. As soon as Wilbert knocked on the door Ogdu’s mother opened the door. “You must be Wilbert,” she said cheerfully. “Ogdu has told me so much about you. I’m his mother Orlio, please, come inside.” Ogdu’s house was a modest little hut, standing all alone in the middle of nowhere. Wilbert felt quite guilty because his house could be considered as a mansion, compared to this small, three room hut. As he walked in he saw Ogdu sitting in the middle of the living room/dining room/kitchen with two lengths of rope beside him. Ogdu gestured at Wilbert to join him. As Wilbert sat down next to Ogdu the latter spoke, “Copy what I do, and then we’ll talk.” He tied the rope around his mouth, then made a noose which he tightened around his neck. Wilbert copied these actions, but as soon as he tightened the noose around his own neck, he began to feel faint as though he was dying.

Chapter 4

The feeling passed quick and soon Wilbert was feeling fine once again. “What was that?” He asked. “And what happened to me?” “That was a truth noose, which will only let you tell the truth,” Ogdu replied. “But how?” Wilbert began. “Before I tell you anything I need you to tell me whether you’ll tell anyone who doesn’t know the following about what I’m about to tell you.” “I swear to god that I won’t let a word of what you tell me, leak.” Wilbert replied with hesitation. “Okay, so now, to answer your question, the rope is alive, in it’s own way, so it will tighten when its wearer lies or prepares to lie. It can also see a bit into the future to see if you’re lying about what you will do in the future. The thing I really wanted to talk to you about was that as much as you might be surprised, is that you’re a Wolf person, meaning that you have very good magical capabilities and that you can call upon magic very easily to help you when you need it. Other people who aren’t Wolves, called Antelopes can also call upon magic, but it takes a lot of effort for them to do it and they must also know that it’s possible to call upon the type of magic that they are trying to use. Most people who have any type of disability or have an ugly appearance are Wolves, also it usually comes through descendants, but sometimes there will be a person born to two Antelope parents who will become a Wolf. You are one of those. This is why it was so important for me to talk to you. Your ability to disappear comes from being a Wolf. Us Wolves were suspecting that you were on of us, which was why I wanted to know how you got away from the bullies, because I suspected that it involved using magic without your knowing it. This is all that I wanted to say for today and if you want to learn more, come to my house on Tuesday at midnight.”

Chapter 5

Wilbert came home just barely on time and his mother jump on him with relief. His father was standing in a corner, smiling and saying,” I told you that he’d come home on time, boys are always on time.” As his mom was crooning over him, Wilbert began to think about how he could be come to Ogdu’s house at midnight. Just walking out the front door wouldn’t work, because his parents would hear him opening the squeaky door. He could attempt to become invisible, but he doubted that it would work, since that didn’t mean that he could walk through walls, nor doors, for that matter. He decided to test, if he actually could walk through walls, because, after all, it was a possibility. Late at night, Wilbert woke up and tried to turn invisible and walk through his door. This experiment ended with the thump of his head against his door. He quickly pretended to be asleep on the floor, so that his parents would think that the thump was him falling off of his bed, onto the floor. Thankfully no one came into his room, so Wilbert crawled back into his bed and tried to get some sleep for the rest of the night. Next morning Wilbert woke up to the smell of breakfast which he happily ate, after which he understood how to go to Ogdu’s house at midnight. All he had to do was oil the front door so that it wouldn’t squeak. He asked his parents were the oil was, so that he could oil the squeaky door. His parents, surprised at him wanting to fix the door, told him that it was in the shack. He got the oil and fixed the door so well that you’d have to try very hard to make it squeak. After finishing this job he sat down and had the rest of the day off.

Chapter 6

As Tuesday night approached Wilbert just got more and more nervous. He wasn’t sure of what he should expect from this night time travel. He could get caught leaving the house if his parents decided to stay up late. As Wilbert was walking home from school he passed by a store that was selling sleeping powder. He thought that any one who would buy sleeping powder was stupid, but then, once again he figured out how he could get out without being noticed. He bought a little bit of the powder. At supper, that night Wilbert asked his parents if he could lay the table and he had gained permission to do so. As he was carrying his parent’s plates to the table, he sprinkled some of the sleeping powder onto their food, just enough to make them sleep until morning. Supper itself passed well, and as soon as it was over, his parents noticed that they felt very sleepy, which they thought was because of their long and stressful day at work, even though today was pretty much the same as every day. As they went to bed they told Wilbert not to stay up past 10 o’clock at night. Wilbert didn’t have to wait too long before he could hear his parents snoring as loud as two elephants, trumpeting. He thought about sneaking out right away, but then thought that he would come way too early, and decided to get as much sleep as he could before going to Ogdu’s house. He set his alarm for 11:30p.m. when he woke up to the sound of the alarm on his phone, he almost hit the snooze button, but remembered that he had to go to Ogdu’s house. He took his backpack and set off.

Chapter 7

By the time Wilbert reached Ogdu’s house, he was fully awake, and very alert. He knocked on the door quietly, so that he wouldn’t be too disruptive if Ogdu and his mother were having a conversation. This politeness was useless, because Ogdu opened the door immediately, as soon as the first knock sounded. “Let’s go,” he said. Wilbert followed him as he asked Wilbert how he got out of his house unnoticed. Wilbert explained his plan to Ogdu, who laughed at the simplicity of his plan. “Well,” Ogdu said, laughing. “You’ve already proved that you’re crafty enough to be a Wolf. I’m surprised that you found a solution that didn’t use magic. I, myself would have just used your power to become invisible in my favor. I wouldn’t even have thought of drugging my parents. I would just have become invisible and walked put of the front door. I wouldn’t have thought of all the possible things that could go wrong, like you did. You actually thought of the fact that your parents might check on you at night. Any way we had better hurry up, or else we’ll be late for your initiation.” Wilbert had no clue what sort of initiation Ogdu could be talking about, but he decided not to ask too many questions, and get on with it. They walked for a while, going past empty shops, house with lights still on in the windows, and even construction sites. After about twenty minutes, they entered a broken down warehouse, that every one thought was haunted. As they entered it Wilbert shivered at how spooky it was. Then, they came to a large, flat wall. Ogdu put his mouth to it, whispered something, and the wall vanished.

Chapter 8

“How did you do that?” Wilbert questioned, surprised. “The Wolf people built this house a long time ago as a shrine. Now we use it as our little concealed village of Wolf people.” Ogdu replied. “It has an invisible elongating charm on it. We’ve concealed it with a wall, that, as you have just seen, can be temporarily remove if you know the proper words. Also, those rumors about it being haunted were spread by us Wolves to keep Antelopes away. We wanted to have some privacy from others. Some of us live in there all the time, with out going into the Antelope world. Others, like my family prefer to live in the Antelope world, without magic. Now, when we enter, please try not o look surprised at everything that you see.” As they entered, Wilbert did his best to disguise his surprise at how many different shops there were. He marveled at the contents of every store window, looking at books, such as “A Learner’s Guide to Magic”, ” Yokirioto Level Magic”, and “Miliok’s Journal”. Wilbert had no idea what they were about, but thought that they were pretty cool. He was going to ask their price, but realized that he had no money with him. As they walked past all the shops, Wilbert realized that he was staring a lot. He quickly apologized to Ogdu, and they continued on. Soon enough, they reached a stinky old shack. It smelled of incense and Brussel Sprouts. ” It’s in here,” Ogdu said. And they walked in.

Chapter 9

Inside, Wilbert felt awkward, as though they were intruding someone’s privacy. Of course, they were expected by the owner of the hut, who was getting ready for Wilbert’s initiation, but that didn’t make Wilbert feel better, it only made even more anxious.  He had no clue what was going to happen during the initiation. Was he going to get beat up, like at a gang initiation? Or was he going to be quizzed? If it was the latter, then Wilbert wouldn’t even have a chance at passing. Wilbert felt so hopeless, knowing nothing about what was supposed to happen to him within the next couple of minutes. The man stood up, and he seemed so tall, that one could easily mistake him for Bigfoot, if he would have been covered in hair. “Come here,” He said in his deep voice. “Don’t worry, I won’t hurt you, I’ll just prepare you for your initiation.” The man took a very expensive looking robe out of his wardrobe and handed it too Wilbert. “You’ll need to wear this to be able to properly initiate.” He said. “Otherwise you won’t be able to penetrate into the Earth, were you must drink from it’s core, which fills you with even stronger magical capabilities than you already have. Except for the first one, you have to train for each level that you wish to complete. If you attempt to go straight to the 4th and final level, you will probably die from the effort. Now, get dressed, so that you can enter the Earth.”

Chapter 10

The robe felt heavy, even though it was very thin. As Wilbert came into the room were he was supposed to be initiated he felt his stomach drop. Both the man and Ogdu had a very serious look on their faces. They stood there, watching him from a distance. “What?” Wilbert asked. “Did I put it on inside out?” “Oh no not at all, we were just speaking of something very important when you walked in on us.” Wilbert was directed to the middle of the room. Then he was told to lie down and imagine that he was entering the earth. He did so, and a strange feeling entered him. He had no clue what it was, but he didn’t like it. He slightly opened his eyes, only to see the room fading in the distance as he was moving farther and farther away from it. He looked down and saw the earths mantle approaching him. He decided that he should wait until the center of the earth and then drink. As the center of the earth approached, he felt nothing but thirst. So, he took a goblet, that had somehow materialized in his hand, filled it with magma from the outer core, and drank the whole thing. Then he felt something tugging at his foot, as though he was bungee jumping, and was pulled up in the blink of an eye. As he “woke up” Wilbert as if he had just had a good night’s sleep. Ogdu and the man were just staring at Wilbert with wide eyes. “Did I do something wrong?” Wilbert asked. They just keapproached at him.

Chapter 11

After about 5 minutes, Ogdu and the man stopped staring at Wilbert. They finally decided to tell Wilbert what the reason for their staring was. “You made it past the first level, the second level, and the third level. Then, you stopped at the fourth, and finnal level, where you drank,” The man said. “You have accomplishied a feat that no one else has ever done before! You must be the one from the prophecies, who was supposed to cleanse the earth. I have always thought that the prophecy was just loads of rubbish, but now I am a true believer.” “What prophecy, and why does it have to be me?”Wilbert asked. “Exactely fifty years ago,” The man began. “On this very day, a prophet named Alruina predicted that some day, a man as white as the sun would pass all four levels of the earth in his first year. She also predicted that he would cleanse the earth of evil. Ever since then, all the people who believed in the prophecy have thought americans as proper gods. Every time that an american would enter into our midst, they would train him as hard as they could before his initiaton. Of course no one thought that the chosen one would be an albino, or that he would know nothing of his heritage as a Wolf. Now that you have been initiated, you must begin your training. Even though, you drank from the last level, doesn’t mean that you can do complex magic without practice.” And so Wilbert’s training began.

Chapter 12

The first night of training lasted all night. Wilbert had to learn quite a few simple spells, such as how to make an invisble umbrela appear above you his head. At first all of Wilbert’s spells backfired, like when instead of protecting himself from rain, he made a raincloud above his head. After cleaning up that mess, Wilbert learned how to make certain things appear out of nowhere. Ogdu explained to Wilbert that most magicians in the Antilope world were actually Wolves. They were only allowed to use wolf magic because it was used discretely, and to entertain children. Wilert also had to go through a history lesson about the Wolf people. A long time ago, when everyone was afraid of witches and wizards, the Wolves had to retreat into the shack, so that they weren’t hunted to extinction. As time went on, some Wolves came out of hiding, and began to pose as magicians who would come to childrens parties to amuse them. After that, more and more Wolves came out of hiding, until one day, The village was almost empty. The wolves decided to repopulate the village with the older Wolves, which worked very well. Anyone else who wanted to live there, could, which was the reason for so many missing children in the past few months. Most of them didn’t know about their heritage at first, and then they decided to stay in the Wolf village. As Wilbert left, that night, the man, who presented himself as Nantuko, told the two boys to keep Wilbert’s Wolf hertitage a secret, even to fellow Wolves.

Chapter 13

The next morning Wilbert had enourmous troubles waking up. He slept past the time when his alarm clock rang, so his parents had to wake him up. At the breakfast table, Wilbert could barely keep his eyes from drooping. And so it continued all day. At school, luckily for Wilbert there were no tests, but he messed up on all of his school work. The teacher was very surprised at the fact that Wilbert wasn’t doing nearly as good as he usually did, but she put it off to Wilbert having a bad day. No one really knew what was wrong with Wilbert, except for Ogdu, of course. Wilbert now understood why Ogdu was “Dyslexic”. It was because of the fact that he didn’t get enough sleep, so he could barely keep his eyes open, let alone read. Wilbert felt the same way as Ogdu felt. He was o tired that he didn’t even feel like hiding from the bullies, but just keeping them away, like Ogdu did, with magic. This was another thing that Wilbert now understood. Ogdu’s way of getting the bullies to leave him alone was to make their minds focus on something else, using magic. It worked a bit like pointing at the sky and saying, “Whoa look at that.” to distract your attackers attention so that you could escape, but instead, you distracted them forever, so that you didn’t even need to run away, and you could just stand there, doing nothing. After school, Wilbert did his homework and went to bed early, with a mumbled excuse of the fact that he had to do something important to do the next day, at school.

Chapter 14

Wilbert was so happy to get a good night’s sleep, that one could think that he had never, in his whole life, gotten a full night of sleep. The next day school was better, and everyone had even more of a reason to think that yesterday just wasn’t a good day for Wilbert. He did his work very well, his teacher congratulating him with working hard. Then, she pulled him aside to talk to him about why he didn’t do so good the previous day. He just replied that nothing was wrong, and that he just had a bad day. The teacher let him go, at that, and the rest of the day past almost as usual. The only difference was that

Battle Royale

Battle Royale by Koushun Takami

Battle Royale
by Koushun Takami
For some unexplained reason I thought that Battle Royale (the movie) was done prior to Battle Royale (the novel). Apparently, the book was released a year before and I don’t remember all of the details in the movie, but it seemed pretty close to the story in the book. (With the exception of little unimportant in my opinion details.)

My knowledge about the theme of the book started about 8 years ago when I first watched the movie Battle Royale. It was powerful and quite original, and I was happy to have had such experience. Then I forgot all about it, until last year when I picked up The Hunger Games trilogy and then it all came back to me. For some time I couldn’t understand why the storyline was so familiar, until I realized that it reminded me of the Battle Royale. Later on, reading some reviews and articles I found out that there is a book and ever since then I wanted to read it.

Continue reading Battle Royale

The Joy Luck Club

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
The Joy Luck Club
by Amy Tan

The Joy Luck Club is a book about differences: between mothers and daughters, between China and America, between old and new life. It is about understanding why we are all so different, why we so often don’t understand each other.

From first pages I absolutely LOVED the book. It reminded me so much about my own country and the way things are there. The things we were taught, the things we grew up with. I guess as a new immigrant I’m more like those mothers, than their daughters:

“There is a school of thought,” I said, “that parents shouldn’t criticize children. They should encourage instead. You know, people rise to other people’s expectations. And when you criticize, it just means you’re expecting failure.”
“That’s the trouble,” my mother said. “You never rise. Lazy to get up. Lazy to rise to expectations.”

This is so true. The Chinese (Russian, Ukrainian, you name it) way of thinking in comparison with American/Canadian way.

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Madame Bovary

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
Madame Bovary
by Gustave Flaubert

“The eponymous Emma is a victim of the smug, self-deluding French bourgeoisie that Flaubert despised. Trapped in a marriage to a second-rate provincial doctor, she escapes the suffocating confines of her existence by immersing herself in sentimental novels.”

Well, yes, maybe… But! Was that marriage that bad, really, or the husband so second-rated. I mean, yes, he was no genius but how many are there on Earth anyway. I think Emma’s major problem was that she was spoiled by her father, who probably saw a much brighter future for her that could have been given in reality. (Aren’t we all doing the same for our children?) She wasn’t bad at all, but the books she chose to learn from weren’t the ‘right kind’, they idealized the world around Emma and she was literally expecting a prince on the white stallion.

Continue reading Madame Bovary