Happy Halloween!

nerdfighters rules Hello Fellow BookNerds!

I bid you all a wonderful All Hallows Eve, and in light of the coming evening of festivities and merriment, I thought I would provide a brief insight into the history of this annual celebration, followed by a tail of horror written by yours truly. Enjoy ^_^

Halloween: A History

The night of All Hallows Eve is among our older and more colorful traditions, going back at least 2000 years. The Celtics are recorded in our history as being among the first to have participated in the celebration, although the context in which it was celebrated differs greatly from today’s festivities. The Celts were big into worship, giving praise to the Gods that possessed a controlling power over the many different elements of life, and in some cases the elements of death. Samhain, lord of the dead and the winter season, was believed to come out on the night of October 31st call forth the souls of the dead, forcing them to take on the shape of animals as they wandered the Earth. Huge fires would be lit in order to stengthen the power of the Sun God, in the hopes that he would be able to fend off Samhain until the new day began at midnight, at which time they would begin to worship the lord of death again as they prepare not only for the new year, but also for the coming of the six months of cold. From that fire which was used to appease the Sun God, each and every household would receive an ember, which they would use to ward keep the evil spirits at bay throughout the new year.

The tradition and significance of the night has changed since then, altered by the unique superstitions, beliefs and culture of the people who came after them. The Romans, for instance, wanted to change it to All Saints Day, a day to honor those saints who did not have a day to be honored. Not long after that, Witchcraft became highly prevalent, eventually turning the holiday into the Night of the Witch, reverting it back to some of its more traditional roots of demons and mysticism. Since then, it became a night known for its superstitious beliefs, taking on the name of All Hallows Even, or ‘Halloween’ for short. Of course, this is only one piece of Halloween’s history, and it may differ greatly depending on who you ask. Either way, it’s plain to see that this holiday has taken on a much different meaning, focusing more on getting consumers to buy costumes, candy, and spend the night going door to door with friends and family. Still, that does not make our traditions any less significant.

After looking into the history of Halloween, I felt inspired to start my own traditions, one of which has been to dress up as a different character from the series Firefly every year. Okay, it’s not so much a tradition as it is having no other ideas of what to be, but I view it as a tradition nonetheless. Another tradition, which I have decided to start as of today, is to write a short Halloween story and share it with all of you wonderful booknerds. So, in light of this new tradition, here is a piece of a horror story I had begun to write many a year ago, but which terrified me so much while writing it that I was forced to set down my pen and leave it as it is. Of course, this was many years ago, so I doubt that it’s as scary as I remember, but I thought I would let you guys be the judge of that ^_^

Halloween Horror Story

By BookNerd

The woods were still, not a creature stirred among the brambles.
The ground was bathed in darkness, making it difficult for the men to see their footing. Their torches were growing dim as the oils ran dry, but it was enough to light the fear on their faces.

“I think we may have taken a wrong turn, Krom,” his voice shook as he gripped the sleeve of his partner, who looked equally as fearful. “I don’t recognize a stick or stone in these parts.”

“I think you may be right Mirkum,” he stopped, squinting his eyes to try and penetrate the darkness. The baldness of his head shimmered in the firelight, illuminating the beads of sweat that trickled down his face. “None of this looks right.”

“Sh-should we turn around?” Mirkum tugged on Krom’s arm, emphasizing his feelings of unease. His eyes were wide with terror, giving him the appearance of a scared puppy. The sounds he uttered mimicked his appearance, but Krom ignored his whimpers and kept moving forwards. Not wanting to be left alone, Mirkum tightened his grip on his friends’ shirt and followed in his deep footsteps. Having taken a fairly muddy trail, it wasn’t too difficult.

The moons rays were cut off by the thick layer of clouds that drifted lazily through the sky, creating an even darker atmosphere that did nothing to comfort the two lost men. They moved on, stumbling on roots and twigs that stuck up from odd places, and it was only their longing to get back home that kept them from staying face down in the mud.

“You know, I do believe that I was the one that pointed out that going through the forest was a bad idea,” said Mirkum, speaking at almost a shout as he fell slightly behind due to a snagging branch. “But no, you wanted to take the short cut so we wouldn’t miss out on the village celebration. Well guess what? According to the sky, we missed the celebration hours ago, and if we had just gone around the forest, we would have long since gone back to our houses and –”.

“Okay!” Krom stopped dead in his tracks, and almost as suddenly stumbled forward as Mirkum collided into his back. He spun around, his face an inch away from Mirkum’s as he spat out his frustration. “I get it, I made a mistake, and now we’re stuck paying the price. Now, if you want to get out of here by morning, I suggest that you stitch your lips and follow me!” Without another word, Krom began to make his way through the mud once more, the squelching from his shoes being the only sound that filled the silent air.

“Didn’t have to be so harsh,” Mirkum muttered indignantly as he continued to follow. It wasn’t long, however, before Mirkum began to start up another one-sided conversation.

“You know, I don’t know why they don’t just build a road that leads directly through here. I mean, it’s just so much quicker and convenient, you know? It’s like I’ve been saying for years, Krom, that the townspeople need to be taken into consideration whenever Lord Goroban decides to make another Law. I don’t even remember the last time Goroban even came down to the village to see how we were doing! He just ignores us as if we’re some kind of irritating pest that will go away if you leave it alone.”

“I share a similar problem,” Krom mumbled to himself, trying to hear over his friends complaints. It was then that he noticed that the trees were becoming denser, allowing what little light their was in the sky to filter through the leaves. Relief swept through him, but it was a relief short lived. There was something eerie that made him shiver.

“What’s wrong Krom?” said Mirkum, nearly running into Krom once more as he stopped. This time, Mirkum maneuvered around him, placing himself on Kroms’ left in order to see what was making him freeze up. “What did you –?”

“Shush!” Krom held up a hand to keep Mirkum quiet as he tried to listen to a sound he wasn’t sure existed. They waited, holding their breath. Krom was in the motion of taking a step forward when the sound of rustling leaves echoed through the trees. Mirkum jumped back, nearly choking Krom as he grabbed his vest collar. Krom did not see anything move, but there was no doubt in his mind that there was something else in the forest with them.

“Do you think it’s a beast of some kind?” Mirkum whispered, digging his fingers into Krom’s shoulder as they moved forward again. This time, they had only managed to take a couple steps before another rustling sound was heard. This time, they could see one of the trees swaying. There was no breeze to speak of, and the tree was not moving of its own accord.

“My guess is as good as yours,” Krom gulped, holding what was left of the embers burning within his torch to see what was up ahead. Unfortunately, the flame only lasted long enough for them to reach a small clearing before flickering and dying. Dropping his torch, he yanked the wooden instrument out of Mirkum’s hand, raising it high above his head. The clearing was void of all life, excluding the few saplings that were struggling to free themselves from the soil and become like their surrounding brethrens.

“I don’t like this Krom,” Mirkum’s voice was beginning to shake with fear once more as they took a step forward into the clearing. As his foot made contact with the soft soil, the sound of a child’s laughter echoed around them. They turned around, thinking instinctively that it had come from behind, but there was no one there. He would have assumed it be his imagination playing tricks on him, but Mirkum appeared to have heard it to. There is no way they both could have had the same illusion. Then, the laughter came back, and when they turned their heads back around, they jumped back from what they saw.

Sitting on the ground, legs crossed and her hair gold and curly, was a little girl playing with her doll. Her face was hidden by the shadow that fell over her face as she looked down at the little doll clasped within her hands. She was stroking the doll like you would a tamed animal, and as the two men moved closer to get a better look, the little girl began to sing. Krom and Mirkum stopped to listen;

“Red yellow green blue,

This is a song that’s just for you.

Green blue red yellow,

Sing it to a pretty fellow.

Tic toc, watch the clock,

Sitting on a curly lock.

Blue green yellow red,

When this song is sung. . .”

The girl gave a little laugh as she paused, her hand freezing in the motion of stroking the dolls curly black hair. The two men stared in horror as the girl raised her face, her features lit by the torchlight. It was not the face of any normal human child, for where eyes were meant to be, there were only empty sockets lined with pulsing veins. There was a flat stretch of skin over the place where her nose was supposed to be, and her mouth! It resembled the mouth of a snake when it dislocates its jaw to feast upon a rodent. Where teeth should be, there were hundreds of pointed fangs, and her face was the colour of a rotting corpse left out in the sun for too long.

As her upper and lower jaw met, an evil smile played across her face and she opened her mouth to finish the song. As she spoke, blood trickled from the corners of her mouth, dripping onto the ground without making a sound.

“When the song is sung,

You’ll all be dead!”

Krom could not move, no matter how many times Mirkum hissed in his ear. The sight of such a monster was enough to make a man feel as if he’d turned to stone. The only muscle that seemed to work was his eye lids, which kept blinking as if it would make the horrifying creature disappear. The creature continued to smile, blood now pouring from her eyes and ears. Both Krom and Mirkum looked down; the blood was flowing like a little stream, right between their legs. The torchlight was reflected in the blood, shimmering like the lake at sunset.

“Please, let’s get out of here,” Mirkum hissed, urgently tugging on Krom’s vest to make him listen. “Pl-please, while we still can.”

“Going so soon?” The voice that came from the creature now was much deeper, not like a child’s at all. It sounded as if two voices were speaking at the same time from a single mouth, making the creature seem more intimidating. “I thought you would want to play with me.” Krom finally snapped out of his trance and took a step back, taking care not to make any sudden movements that might put them both in danger.

“I-I’m sorry, b-but we h-have to get going,” Krom stuttered, trying to look away from the things distorted features. “I-it’s getting late.”

“I don’t like it when people are scared of me,” it spoke with the savage defiance of a child that’s not having things go their way. When she spoke next, her voice reverted back to the sound of a little girl and along with it, so did her features. She became rosy cheeked, blue eyed, and complete with a cute button nose. Krom looked down at his feet again, and was unnerved to see that the blood had vanished. “Now will you play with me?”

“I really don’t think that’s a good idea,” Mirkum whispered, but he obviously wasn’t quiet enough. He began to choke, gasping for air as he fell to the ground, his hands groping at his throat. Within seconds, his face had turned from blue to white, and he exhaled his last breath.

“Oh my God, y-you killed him!” Krom dropped to his knees, laying his hands upon the chest of his best friend as his eyes brimmed with tears.

“He didn’t want to play with me,” she said, looking completely undisturbed by what had just happened. She went back to stroking her doll.

“W-what the hell are you?” Krom rose to his feet, keeping as much distance between himself and the girl as possible without making her feel betrayed.

“You ask me no questions, I tell you no lies,” was her only response, which simply resulted in angering Krom further.

“Whatever the hell you are, I’m not going to let you spread your evil any further!” Reaching up, he snapped off a thick tree branch, holding it in front of him like a sword. To Krom’s surprise, the girl simply giggled.

“You’re funny, I like you,” she gently set her doll onto the ground and looked up at Krom with a cheery smile, showing her startlingly white teeth. “It’s too bad that I’m not allowed to be your friend anymore.” Bowing her head back down, Krom was able to sneak another glance at the body lying at his feet. It was only now that he truly regretted not having listened to his friend. Why did he have to be so stubborn?

Looking up, he saw that the girl still had her face focused upon the ground. This was his only chance, and he took it. Turning on the spot, Krom made a run for it through the trees. Curses flew from his mouth as the branches tore his shirt in several places. He didn’t stop to think, he just kept running. The only thing he focused on was the thought of getting home to his wife and crawling into bed with her. This comforted him, but not enough to remove the image of the creature from the forefront of his mind.

Sadly, he never did make it to that cozy bed with the woman he loved.

He could just make out the edge of the forest, the lights of the village houses visible at the top of the hill, when something snagged at his foot. Turning over, he watched with a yelp as the earth seemed to come alive beneath his feet. Vines wrapped around his limbs, cutting off the flow of blood to his heart. As he let out a scream for help, another vine shot out from beneath him and wound itself around his mouth, muffling his voice.

“I told you we could no longer be friends,” came the little girl’s voice, echoing in his ears. Krom tried to struggle free, but the vines would not loosen their grip. He screamed into the vine as he felt something pierce through his chest. Opening his eyes, he could see one of the thick vines sticking right through him, dripping with his own blood. He could barely catch his breath. The pain made him throw up, but the vine binding his mouth would not allow the fluids to escape, so it simply oozed all over his face. Feeling his life slowly seep away, he also became aware of the dirt rising above his head. The vines dragged him into the Earth, and the last thing he saw was the smiling face of a little blond girl, waving at him with the arm of her little doll. . .

Happy Halloween Everyone!



It’s Poetry Time: The Sky Beyond the Library Window

nerdfighters rules Hello Fellow BookNerds!

Exam season is upon us – or me, at least – which means less time working from my comfortable bed and more time trying to make myself comfortable in the stiff, poorly cushioned, library chairs. I take pleasure in being surrounded by books for hours on end, but I usually prefer them to be books concerning topics that I find fascinating; Advanced Calculus and Microbiology don’t exactly scream “read me, read me” to me. Although I am sure they would be fascinating to some, I must digress. 

I would like to share with you all a poem which was inspired by nothing more than the view from the fifth floor window of the university library. Why, you ask? Well, I like to think that there really is no logical rationality behind poetic expression; the reason comes from something beyond our mental comprehension. As I look at the sky through the cobweb laced window pane, something inside me demands for the beauty of what I see to be captured and preserved within a poetic connotation. Poetry is one of humanities greatest mysteries, one which we may never come to fully understand.

So, without further ado, here is a poem for your enjoyment, and possibly a window to more than just a scenic view ^_^


                                         The Sky Beyond the Library Window                                                                                                                               By Emily Manns

At first glance, I see naught but cirrus and cumulus.

Shades of white and grey.

Fluctuating specks appearing and vanishing in quick succession.

Their cries deaf to my ears.

Man made structures hindering our fiery star from reaching through those windows.

Providing light for our eyes.

Intricately weaved patterns torn into strands by the unconstrained winds.

Spiders have long since gone.

The silhouettes of students burdened by books block my view. 

I return to my studies, hoping to see that world beyond the window once again before it is stolen by the night, for no beauty can compare to the sky beyond the library window.

Just as the poem tells, I must return back to my studies. If you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it, then I encourage you to let me know in the comments. If you didn’t like it, I encourage you to comment on it all the same. I like to encourage honesty, for if we cannot be honest with others, how on earth can we expect to be honest with ourselves? So comment away, and until next time, happy reading!



It’s Poetry Time!

nerdfighters rules Hello Fellow BookNerds!

I felt inspired to indulge in a little bit of poetic creativity after watching a few episodes of the anime “Glass Mask”, the story of a teenage girl who goes through many hardships, all the while striving to become the ultimate actress who will one day take on the role that her acting teacher had once made famous in her youth; The Crimson Goddess. It’s one of the stories that makes you want to cheer on the protagonist, because she is working so hard and overcoming barriers which, in real life, would appear as impossibly hurtles. In this episode, the girl is being made to spend a week living in the shoes of the character she will be performing the role of, simply to see if she has what it takes to stay in character.

This is what has inspired my inner poet, although I should remind those of you who don’t know that I am not, in any way, a poet, nor do I pretend to be good at poetry. I simply admire the art form and sometimes feel a need to use it as a means of channeling my inner creativity. Still, I hope you enjoy it ^_^


shattered-mask Shattering the Mask

I stand alone on center stage, the masses hidden within the shadows of the dazzling lights.

Whispers fade to silence, broken by the sound of blood rushing past my eardrums.

My heart is pounding within my chest, threatening to break through,

A single drop of sweat rolls down my cheek, falling silently to the floor at my feet.

The lights dim, the spotlight flickers on, and the world as I knew it disappears…

“What new evil is this which plagues our land!?”

A voice rings out from my throat, but it is not mine … whose is it?

“Never before have I had to bear witness to such devastation.”

The voice grows louder, full of passion, sadness and a seething anger … but what is the cause?

“Everything has been burned down to the very root, so that nothing may grow ever again.”

Yes, I am a poor woman whom the town sought vengeance from … but is that my true face?

It was only moments ago I had been a modern girl in high school, well off and beautiful.

Why, then, am I wearing this tattered dress and turning the burnt soil beneath my feet with a rusted old hoe?

I look out to where the audience should be, but see only wide open fields and the deep red glow of the sun just beyond the hills.

I continue to speak, the words pouring out as though the flood gate within me had been raised, yet the words were still not my own … or were they?

Perhaps that girl I thought I had been never really existed; how am I to know?

I was certain I had set foot on a stage, but the world I see bares no resemblance to the one I had known;

There is no stage…

There is no audience…

There is no spotlight above my head…

Then, the light suddenly disappears from all around me, only to come on once again and reveal the dimly lit faces I had nearly forgotten.

People are holding hands with me on either side, heads bowed low, smiling as a wave of sound erupts from all sides. 

As the curtain falls, the mask shatters, and I am me once again.


I hope you enjoyed this as much as I enjoyed writing it. As always, any comments or critiques are welcome, but keep in mind that I write poetry simply for the joy of it, and not because I plan on making a career out of it.

That’s all for today. Until next time, happy reading!



It’s Story Time!

nerdfighters rules Hello Fellow BookNerds!

In one of my previous posts (see the Short Stories page), I gave you all a little sneak peek at the story I had been working on during Nanowrimo. Well, although I haven’t gotten through editing the entire first chapter, I decided to let you guys read what I have gotten done thus far. So, without further ado, here is my story…

To Catch A Butterfly


Chapter One: Weird First Impressions

   It took a while to draw myself back into the world of the living. Probably would have helped if I hadn’t spent the entire night trying to finish a term paper that I should have been done weeks ago. In my own defence, trying to relate the historical theories of mathematics to the practice of classical music isn’t exactly the kind of topic that gets your pen moving. In the end, I was able to throw together a C+ worthy paper before nodding off.

   Thank God for the new alarm clock my mom had bought me as a supposed ‘early birthday present’, even though it wasn’t for another three months. The incessant beeping woke me up from a disturbing dream involving a giant starfish and the sudden disappearance of my lower limbs. As I brushed the adrenaline induced sweat from my forehead, and gave the snooze button a slap, I made a mental note to avoid any and all bodies of water for a while.

   My jaw dropped so low as I yawned that I probably looked like a snake trying to swallow an egg whole. Rubbing the sleep from my eyes, I glanced blearily at the window. It was still dark, aside from the dull orange glow from the street light across the road. Turning from the window to the clock, I groaned and fell back into my pillow. It was only 6:30 in the morning.

   ‘Pain in the ass,’ I muttered, dropping an arm over my eyes as I tried to fall back to sleep. Unfortunately, my stomach had other plans. When I could no longer tolerate the hunger pangs in my gut, I threw off the covers and opened my eyes to the new day. I couldn’t remember hearing my mom come home last night, so just in case I tried to avoid making too much noise. Fortunately, I had neglected to turn off the hallway lights last night, so I was able to make it to the bathroom without tripping over that damn ironing board again.

   ‘Well, isn’t that a pretty sight,’ I said, looking in the mirror at a face that only a mother could love. My chin was covered in a thick layer of copper stubble, the bags under my eyes made me look like a blood hound, and the holes from my piercings made it look as though a smattering of acne had developed on my face over night. To top it all off, my hair felt the need to defy gravity, and my attempts to flatten it down with my hands proved ineffective. This was a pretty serious situation all right, but after twenty minutes of primping and preening, everything was back into place; my copper-brown hair was a more acceptable level of messy, my chin was as smooth as I could make it with the cheap razors my mom bought me, every piercing was back in its respectable hole, and a good splash of water to the face perked my eyes right up.

   ‘Now there’s a handsome devil.’ Satisfied with the results, I shuffled back to my room and forced the door to my wardrobe open. Not that I really care about being organized, but as I dug through the mountainous piles of wrinkled pants and bunched up shirts, I began to think that maybe a little cleaning up later on wouldn’t hurt. Even in all the clutter, though, I was able to put together an outfit that didn’t look half bad, especially for one such as I who preferred being able to hide in plain sight. It was all so clichéd, from the ripped black jeans to the oversized black t-shirt with the Metallica logo printed on the back, but that’s what all of the guys were wearing so I didn’t mind. I tied a black chocker with my name on it around my neck, adding a touch of individuality to my look, but it still wouldn’t be very noticeable. That suited me perfectly.

   As I looked over my appearance in the mirror, I couldn’t help but notice that everything about me screamed plainness. I had no redeeming physical features, I was by no means attractive, and I’m certain that if I were to stop coming to class, no one would be any the wiser. I tried to think back to a time when I wasn’t so hopelessly average. The first thing to pop into my head was the me of sixth grade, who thought it would be cool to wear extra large sweaters and a pair of black rubber boots to school. No wonder I couldn’t make any friends; they probably all thought I was mentally deranged or something. At the time, I didn’t care; I hated the idea of giving in to societal pressures and conforming to their idea of what was ‘normal’. Once I got to high school, though, my rebellious nature died, along with something else in my life…

   Trying to shake the unpleasant memory from my mind, I closed the door to my wardrobe and left the room. I was accustomed to the sound of my mother making a racket in the kitchen, usually while preparing breakfast, so I found it kind of eerie to be walking down a silent hallway. She must still be at work, then. It had been like this for months now, my mom coming home later and later with every passing day. I’d given up expecting her home on time a long time ago, accepting the fact that my mom would never be the same after what happened a year ago…

   As I reached the end of the hallway, I caught sight of the family portrait in the corner of my eye, the last one we ever took together as a family. It dredged up that unpleasant memory; the day I decided to become no more noticeable than a shadow in the corner of a room. You see, my dad had died almost a year ago, killed in the very plane which he had piloted for twenty five years. Although the case is closed, I couldn’t never accept the reason they had printed in the newspaper. The cops had been convinced that the plane went down due to what they called ‘pilot error’, but I knew that was a load of bull shit. My dad would never let something like that happen, and to think otherwise was absurd.

   I closed my eyes until the portrait was well behind me, and then proceeded to walk down the stairs. I kept hoping that one of these days, I would be able to walk down that hallway without feeling like my insides were being twisted into a knot and then burned from the inside out. When I reached the bottom of the stairs, I turned left towards the kitchen. I contemplated he idea of making a big plate of eggs, crispy bacon, French toast and hash browns… and then remembered that I couldn’t cook worth a damn. So instead, I threw a couple of pop tarts into the toaster and grabbed the jug of orange juice from the fridge.


I hope you have enjoyed my story up to this point. I will continue to post pits and pieces of it as I continue to trudge through the editing process. Any comments or critiques would be gladly accepted and appreciated, so long as they are related to the story. That’s all for today, and as always, happy reading!



My Poetry Corner

nerdfighters rules Hello Fellow BookNerds!

I apologize for my post arriving so late in the day. I am in the midst of a midterm study blitz, which requires isolation from any possible distractions… well, I tried. My brain was already distracting me, so I figured I might as well take a few minutes to jot something down to show that I have not forgotten about you guys.

This poem, which I literally came up with on the spot, was inspired by the talk I attended this weekend on the Reality of Man, given by Dr. Mehrdad Ehsani at both the University of Ottawa and the Baha’i Center of Ottawa. The principle concept that I gleaned from his talks was that whether it is from a scientific perspective, or a spiritual one, our existence seems to be based on the same conclusion: we do not really exist. Trust me, it’s not as scary as it sounds. I’ll be summarizing the lecture tomorrow, but for today, enjoy a little taste of my procrastinating, yet philosophical poetry ^_^


I am Nothing, Yet Everything

My fingers dance across the keys in front of me, tapping out a familiar tune.

The words blur across my vision, forming strange patterns I cannot comprehend.

I try to commit this nonsense to memory, but to no avail.

There is so much to learn, so little time to learn it in …

“Why must I memorize this?”

A voice intrudes upon my thoughts, distant yet familiar.

“What purpose will it serve?”

I continue to tap away at my keyboard, distracted by these intermittent thoughts.

“Will my life be better if I know this?”

I shake my head in frustration, the voice becoming more pronounced.

What meaning does this knowledge give to my existence?”

I push the keyboard away, sighing, sore eyes cast towards the ceiling.

“If I did not exist, would this knowledge still exist?”

Darkness looms over my eyes as they close, blocking out the world.

“If people did not exist, would anything exist?”

I feel the pull of sleep tugging at my consciousness …

When I sleep, does the world still exist …. do I exist?

We are nothingness, but within this nothingness, everything exists.

I open my eyes and returned, blurry eyed, to my computer, the voice finally silenced as I returned to reading about other people who existed, or still exist within the all encompassing nothingness that is our reality.

I hope this didn’t confuse you guys too much. Sometimes the things I write don’t even make sense to me, but connecting even the most random of thoughts into a poetic pattern helps me to refocus my brain when I’ve been studying for three days straight.

As always, I welcome any comments, questions or concerns, and until next time, happy reading!