Monday, October 20, 2014

Fred 4/23/13

Written sometime in 2013
Tuesday, April 23. About 6:30 a.m. Fred breathed his last breath and I lost a true friend, teacher and helper.  He was on my bed next to me.

Here's to Fred
He taught me to enjoy sitting in the morning sunshine
He taught me to enjoy just laying in the grass
He taught me the simple pleasure of quiet companionship
He taught me to always be willing to share my food
He taught me that there was always time for a warm hug
He showed me that even if he wasn't with me, he still loved me
He taught me to love fearlessly
He taught me the Love of God


Coyote Haiku
Drive through Griffith Park
See a coyote at night
My father and I

-Charissa Fleenor, February 2013


The Starbucks straw
My front lawn
The leaves on the trees
My cat's eyes
The moss on the bricks
My calculator, pants, shirts, and toothbrush
The color of life
My favorite color

-Charissa Fleenor, February 2013

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Spiders: How I Came To Admire Them

Spiders: How I Came To Admire Them
I used to be terrified of spiders. Growing up, I acted out quite dramatically when I came in contact with a spider. Over the last few years though, my perception of spiders went through a gradual transition. I realized that in general, spiders aren’t dangerous and that they couldn’t hurt me. I thought that it was amazing that a little spider could create a web that was several hundred times larger than itself and still be perfectly symmetrical, and every day at that. But I didn’t always carry the admiration that I do now.
As a young girl, I displayed clear symptoms of arachnophobia. I screamed and freaked out when I saw a spider crawling around me. I called for my brother or dad to come and rescue me from the evil predator who I believed was out to eat me. It is in the human’s best interest to have a natural fear of spiders. All spiders are poisonous and some species can cause great pain and injury to humans and in extreme cases death. That being the case, there are many countries where the usual Western drama over spiders is non-existent. Some psychologists believe that many American’s fear of spiders is largely based on cultural influences and that it is a learned fear. Therefore socially speaking fearing spiders was the normal and acceptable thing to do for a young American girl like me. Even then, with my fearfulness, I was already starting to show an unusual relationship with spiders. When I requested that my brother rescue me from an attacking spider, I would ask him to catch and release the spider outside at a safe distance from the house. I don’t think I had this idea when my father cleared my room of a black widow though; they were an especially evil animal that deserved no mercy. Even though I was afraid of spiders, I still felt compassion for them. I used to call very small spiders “growly”. I made up a theory that the smaller spiders could growl the loudest to compensate for their small size. I talked about my theory quite often and I would label spiders from very growly to not growly depending on their size. I think that I may have been trying to make light of my fear: an attempt at fighting back at my irrationality.
In my mid-teen years, I started to notice spider webs, particularly large orb webs. I thought they were beautiful pieces of art, and I thought it was astonishing that a little spider could spin it all by itself. The symmetry was amazing to me, and it was incredible to me that they were often suspended by only three or four thin lines. These observations brought me to the realization that most spiders were harmless and not out to get me. I knew which spiders were poisonous and where they lived. Here in Southern California, the only spiders that can actually hurt us are brown and black widows. Now I know that they prefer to live outside and I’m aware of where all of the brown widows in our yard live. At this point I became aware that one of the reasons I had feared them so much was because it was a learned fear, and that there was nothing to actually be afraid of. I figured out that I had just been doing what most young girls do and that it wasn’t rational. I was already coming to a point in my life where I didn’t care much for other’s opinion of me, so it allowed me to look deeper into spiders, seek them out, and study them. I found that if you don’t care what people think of you, you can allow yourself to find beauty in new places, and I did.
I never thought I would find so much beauty and creativity in spiders and their homes. A freshly made orb web is positively fascinating to me, and every autumn I actively seek them out in my backyard to admire them. Watcing a spider build her web is even more amazing. I have also come to appreciate the usefulness of spiders. They eat other annoying insects. One or two spiders in your bedroom in the corners act as excellent pest control. Staying in their one spot, they catch the annoying mosquitoes and little flies that buzz around. Now when I see a spider in the house that is running around and not stationary in its web, I catch and release it outside. I made a special bug catcher out of a clear plastic cup (clear cup allows for closer inspection and examination) and a cut up paper plate. I like to keep it at a handy distance. When spiders decide to make their homes on the house plant on my desk, or in the corner of my window over my desk, I often give them names. Once there were a few large spiders living on our front porch and I named them all after flowers. They had names like Rose, Lily, and Daisy. One of my favorite orb weavers lived in the back yard and I named her Camellia because she always made her web between an electrical wire and a camellia bush. When fall approaches, I go outside in the evening and look for orb weavers and their webs. I always bring a good flashlight to examine them and to make sure that I don’t walk into any webs or suspension lines that might collapse someone’s hard work. I tried to get a pet tarantula, but my mother said “not in this house!” Someday.
As a child, having a pet spider is the last thing I thought I would pursue, but through experience, knowledge, and education, my perception of spiders have changed for the better. What used to bring me stress now brings me joy. Something that used to make me cringe in disgust now makes me smile in awe. This admiration has inspired me to look into arachnology as a possible addition to my career with animals and science. I have learned that by looking at things objectively without cultural influences or simple misconceptions that can be eliminated by facts, we can find joy, inspiration, and beauty in new areas of nature.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

La Luna Roja

A fun short story I helped write for my World Literature class. By Linnea Norton, Julia Nercessian, and me, Charissa! It is a werewolf, mystery romance story, enjoy!

(sorry the formatting got messed up for part 1 & 3. I think it's because I was copying from a pdf)
                             La Luna Roja 

La Luna Roja - Part 1
by Linnea Norton

The full moon shines through the clouds onto the packed nightclub, La Luna Roja. Four
men walk in, looking over their shoulders suspiciously. As soon as they enter, castanets, trumpets,
congo drums, and robust Latin music barrages their senses. Men and women dance energetically in
the red-tinged lighting. Some stand and watch the stage, sipping martinis, Margaritas, and other
The four men look up at the stage and see Luna Castillo, local legend, with her tight fitting
red dress, her wavy black hair, and the famous red rose hairpin glittering in the moody light. She
sways her hips to the music as she sings in her rich latino voice.
Walter Brown, his fedora pulled down low, walks up to the four men. He smiles, shakes
their hands, and leads them into the lounge at the back. The song ends with a trumpet solo and
Luna takes a break to mingle with the club-goers.
Front page of the Daily Paper, 3 weeks later, 1953...
“Mysterious disappearances of four individuals continue to baffle authorities.
Last seen at La Luna Roja where local star, Luna Castillo, sings Samba, Bossa Nova,
and Tango. If you have any information regarding these four people, you are urged
to contact your local police...”
Alejandro Perez was reading the paper and shaking his head. He took a sip
of his coffee and sighed. Why did all the interesting stuff have to happen on full
moon when he was out of commission? He’d have to get back to the precinct and
resume this investigation of these disappearances. Probably drunks or a drug deal
gone wrong, he thought. He stood up, clipped on his badge, tightened his tie, and
made sure there was no fur left on his suit. Then he quickly picked up the file on
these four men, who seemed to be business partners, and headed off to La Luna
Roja to evaluate the crime scene.
He pulled up and nonchalantly walked into the club. Contrary to it’s
ambiance at night, all was quiet except for a young man who was cleaning the
“Excuse me,” said Alejandro, upon noticing the young man.
“Oh, hello, señor. Sorry, we weren’t expecting any visitors until tonight. May
I help you?”
“Yes, what is your name?” asked Alejandro.
“Pedro, señor. I am the bus boy here.” he said, flipping the cloth over his
“Ah, Pedro. I am Detective Perez from the police and I am investigating the
disappearances of four men. They were last seen at this club three weeks ago.”
“Oh, I wasn’t employed here until last week, but Luna might be of some
help. Would you like me to fetch her?”
“Si. Gracias, mi Amigo.”
Pedro led him through the back lounge area to a simple dressing room in a
niche of the lounge. Luna sat elegantly in a chair and applied deep crimson
lipstick. When she saw Pedro and Alejandro, she instantly stood up, surprised.
“Hola, Señor. How may we help you?” she said, looking confusedly at
“Detective Perez is here from the police investigating the disappearances of
some men.” said Pedro, gesturing to Alejandro.
Luna shook the his hand tentatively. “A pleasure, Detective Perez.”
“Please, call me Alejandro.” he said with a smoldering stare and a cocky half
smile. “May I ask you a few questions, Señora Castillo?”
“Of course. And please call me Luna.” She said, batting her long eyelashes.
Pedro immediately felt awkward and left the room to commence his cleaning.
Alejandro sat down opposite Luna and took out a notepad.
“Do you remember seeing four men enter the club three weeks ago?” he
“Well, there are so may people who come here each night, it is hard to count
everyone. And even more difficult while singing.”
“Of course I understand completely. But do you remember seeing anything
out of the ordinary that night?”
Luna thought for a moment. “Well, Walter Brown was leading four men into
the lounge area just before I took my break.”
Alejandro’s ears perked up. “Who is this Walter Brown, a Gringo?”
Luna blushed. “Yes. He sometimes comes here to do business deals.”
“What kind of deals?” he asked, his brow furrowed.
Luna looked down nervously. “I don’t know.” she said quickly.
Alejandro gently touched her arm. “Please tell me, Luna. I’m just trying to
find out the truth.”
Luna sighed. “Walter... He’s a cocaine dealer. I assumed he was just doing a
normal deal with those four men, so I let it be. You know if you get involved, you
will get hurt badly, or worse. But then, they never left the club and in the morning
all five of them were gone.
Alejandro nodded and jotted quickly in his book. “Is there a back door that
is reachable through the lounge?”
“Yes, would you like me to show you?” Luna asked, standing up from her
“That would be very helpful, Gracias.”
She led him through the dressing room to an exit door in the back. “This
leads to the alley outside.”
Alejandro opened the door slowly and stepped into the mid-day light of the
dank alley. He walked around and appraised the asphalt for any marking that
could further the case. He cocked his head, lifted his nose into the air and sniffed
deeply. “There is an odd smell coming from the dumpster.” he said.
“Let’s see then, said Luna, her stiletto heels clicking on the concrete.
Alejandro gingerly opened the lid and they peered inside. Luna let out a gasp and
grabbed Alejandro’s arm for support. There, lying amongst garbage, was a mauled
human hand and there was sure to be the four business partners mangled bodies
“If that Gringo did this, his is under charges for multiple manslaughters!” said
Alejandro angrily. “I will find him and bring his to justice.”
Luna stifled a sob and buried her face in his shoulder. He stroked her hair
gently. “I am so sorry you had to see that. But don’t worry; I will protect you, my

La Luna Roja- Part 2

By Charissa Fleenor

            "Come back inside Luna," suggested Alejandro, "and recover your self." Luna complied and went back inside the club leaning on Alejandro's arm.
            "Sit down, I'll go and find you a drink." Alejandro walked out and told Pedro, the bus boy, to bring a drink in for Luna, then he went back in.
            "Okay Luna, you're gong to have to tell me everything you know about Walter and what happened on that night, can you do that?"
            "Yes, yes, I think so," she replied falteringly.
Alejandro smiled at her and said, "good, let's get started. Aw, here's your drink, gracias Pedro." He nodded and walked back.
            "Oh, and Pedro don't leave until I talk to you," Alejandro called over his shoulder.
            "Ok senior," he called back.
            "Now Luna, drink some of this," he said handing her the drink. She half smiled, gulped part of it down, and then looked up at him expectantly.
            "Ok, how long has Walter been coming to this club?"
            "I think about two or three years."
            "And how long has he been doing drug deals here?"
            "I don't really have any idea of how long it's been going on. Walter has been a regular and I only found out about the cocaine dealing a couple of months ago. Am I going to get in trouble for not reporting it? Please Sir, I wasn't involved; I was trying to stay completely out of it. I didn't want the police snooping around investigating it; it would have been bad for business, but this! Oh!" Luna buried her face in her hands overcome by emotion remembering the gruesome sight of the bodies in the dumpster.
            "Shh, shh, it's all going to be alright in he end," Alejandro quickly moved to the seat next to Luna and put his arm around her shoulders and offered his handkerchief.
            "Oh, thank you," she said looking up into his eyes. She dried her tears and finished her drink.
            "Don't worry, I'll do my best to keep this quiet and not let you get hurt."
            "Really? You can do that? Thank you." Alejandro nodded, smiled half heartedly and looked off into the distance thinking deeply.
            After a moment of quiet, Luna said, "shouldn't we have the coroner come to take the bodies away?"
            Alejandro, his trance broken, said, "Oh, of course! How could I have forgotten? Where is your telephone? We'll have them down here as soon as possible."
            "I have a phone in here," she replied as she got up to bring it to Alejandro. She was wearing a thin, floral- print, loose-fitting dress with a blue satin dressing gown half way pulled around her shoulders. Alejandro admired her muscular figure, and flowing black hair, as she walked across the room, but quickly reminded himself that he must keep his distance in a case like this.
            "Here," she said, placing it on the table before him. She pulled the dressing gown farther up around her shoulders and sat back down.
            Alejandro dialed the number, "We need a team down here at La Luna Roja. I found four bodies in the alley dumpster. Beat up pretty bad. Ok, bye."
            He hung up the receiver and said, "They'll be here soon."
            "Good," she replied, with her thick Spanish accent.
            "Let's keep going, do you know where Walter lives or how I could contact him?"
            "No, I'm sorry, I don't. I'm expecting him here tonight, you could come and talk to him."
            "Okay, I'll do that, and hopefully I'll have the coroners report," Alejandro looked thoughtful, "Can you think of anything else to tell me about him?"
            Luna stood up, and turned around suddenly and took a deep breath, "I don't know, it's so hard to think. I wish it was all over already!" She turned around and looked at Alejandro pleadingly.
            Alejandro sighed. "I'll do my best Luna, but I need your help, tell me exactly what happened that night."
            Luna sat back down and closed her eyes, "I was singing on stage when four men walked in. I never saw them before. Walter greeted them as if they had all met before. They followed him into the back lounge, I'll show it to you. I took my break, sang a couple more songs, came in here to get my things, and went home for the night. I never went into the back lounge that night, and I never saw them again. They didn't come back the next night, but I think Walter was. Yes, Walter was there the next night." Luna paused to take a breath and stroke her hand through her long silky black hair. Alejandro looked away, he wouldn't get his feelings involved!
            She continued, "I didn't know the men were missing until Pedro told me this morning. He saw it in the paper and was curious because he wasn't working here yet."
            "And everything else has been pretty much been normal since then?" Alejandro inquired.
            "Yes, as far as I know, you better talk to Pedro before he leaves. I need to change my clothes before the coroner gets here. Will they ask me questions too?"
            "No, Luna, don't worry, I'll take care of them." Alejandro got and left to talk to Pedro.

Alejandro walked out into the main room but didn't see Pedro anywhere. After a quick moment of panic thinking he had taken off, he noticed light coming through a window in a door in the back. He went in and found himself in the kitchen where Pedro was washing dishes.
            "Hola Pedro, can we talk here?"
            "Ya, sure, are you looking for those four men?"
            "Uh," Alejandro was hesitant, "We found four bodies in the dumpster out back." Alejandro added in his head, and why didn't you notice them if you take the trash out?
            Pedro gasped. Alejandro concluded that it was genuine surprise.
            "Four bodies in the dumpster?!" Pedro repeated in surprise.
            "Yup, and I'm pretty sure it's the four men who disappeared. The coroner is on the way over now, they'll be here soon."
            Pedro shook his head in disbelief. Then he looked up, "What did Luna say?"
            "She's really upset, she didn't know anything about it. She said Walter Brown was dealing cocaine, did you know anything about that," Alejandro looked Pedro in the eye.
            Pedro looked away, "Well, I started getting ideas, but Luna said not to do anything 'cause she would take care of it."
            "Oh, mmhmm." Alejandro thought to himself, "Take care of it," yeah, right, she was taking care of it. And then, Well, who can blame her? The poor girl just didn’t want any trouble around here.
            Pedro continued, "What's gonna happen now? A big investigation? That will be bad for business."
            "Luna mentioned that. This is the investigation, is it too big?" Alejandro smirked.
            "Won't there be lots of detectives looking around?"
            "I'll handle most of it myself," Alejandro reassured him.
            "Ah, okay, good."
            "Okay now, so I'm correct in that you weren't working here yet on the night of the disappearances?"
            "Yeah, I only started here last week," Pedro resumed his dishwashing.
            "What else do you know about Walter?"
            "He spends about half his evenings here. Every once in while someone comes to talk to him and he takes them to the back lounge. Not much to say about him, he's quiet and keeps to himself. We all leave him alone for the most part." Pedro thought for a minute, "He's just got this vibe about him. People stay out of his way."
            "Do you know where he lives, or how to get a hold of him?"
            Pedro shook his head, "No… I think I told you everything I know about him. Sorry I'm not more help."
            "You're doing fine, thanks," Alejandro thought for a moment, "Oh, and um, well, er, why haven't you noticed the bodies before? They smell pretty bad."
            "That's a good question, I was thinking that my self. I take the trash out every night, and the dumpster gets emptied once a week, so the bodies must have been dumped late last night."
            "Hm, now that's interesting, why would someone bring the bodies back here?" Alejandro was puzzled, "Who is the first one to get here in the morning?"
            "Luna, usually. She has to unlock the doors. She doesn’t get here until around 1 or 2. Sometimes I'm here first waiting."
            At this point they heard the coroner coming in, so Alejandro left the kitchen to talk to them. Soon after Pedro followed.
            "Pedro, what are doing? Are you sure you want to see?"
            "I wouldn't miss this!"
            "It's okay," said the coroner, Bill Thompson, "I might need extra help. No one else could come out right away."
            "What! Didn't you here me? Four bodies, beat up bad, been rotting for weeks!"
            "I heard you, but what could I do? No one else could come."
            Alejandro sighed, Oh boy, this is not going to be fun. Luna heard the noise and came out of her room.
            "Hello, I'm Luna Castillo," Luna held out her hand to shake, but quickly withdrew it when she noticed his scummy hands.
            "I'm Bill Thompson, delighted to meet you, I've heard your shows here are great."         
            Luna smiled, "Thank you."
            "Alright Alejandro, show me the bodies!"
            Alejandro led Bill to the dumpster in the back alley. He and Pedro put on some body suits Bill had in his van so that they could help him. It took them two and half hours to remove all the pieces and put them in plastic bags. Then they called the trash company to come and empty the rest of the trash later so they could clean it. Luna came outside to look a couple of times, but quickly ran back in looking as if she was going to puke.
            Bill drove off with the remains after promising to call Alejandro as soon as he had results. Alejandro went back to head quarters to talk with the other detectives and wait for the call.
            Ring, ring, Alejandro snatched at the phone, "Yes, who is it?"
            "Hi, it's Bill, Okay, the four men have been positively identified as the men who went missing. As far as I can see, cause of death was a wolf attack." Silence on both ends.
            After a long pause, "What?!" Sometimes Alejandro forgot what happened on full moons but he remembered where he was that night.
            "Wolf. One wolf, I think. There are other possibilities, the bodies are pretty far along, but there was definitely a wolf involved. Teeth marks, scratch marks, fur, all unmistakable."
            Alejandro closed his eyes and rubbed his forehead, wolf? Maybe someone tied them up and left them in the woods. But why were the remains found in the dumpster? Alejandro was baffled. It was early, but Alejandro decided to go down to the club anyway so he could talk to Luna. When he got there a few people were already there, and he noticed an older man in the back with a fedora pulled over his eyes. That must be Walter, Alejandro thought to himself, but I better be sure. He went to Luna's dressing room and knocked on the door.
            "Who is it?" She called out.
            "Oh, come in," She opened door and shut it after him. She was wearing a beautiful silky red dress. It had a revealing top and it stopped at her knees. She had three inch high red leather heels on. She had a tube of red lipstick in her hand which she had been getting ready to apply.
            "What's the news?" She asked.
            "Well, um, wolf."
            "Bill said all the men were attacked by a wolf."
            "A wolf? Seriously? Why were the bodies in my dumpster then?"
            "That's exactly what I asked myself. I'm thinking someone tied them and left them in the woods and then brought them back, but I don't know why. I need a motive."
            "Well, Walter's here already, you can talk to him, but do it later, enjoy the evening first," she smiled and turned around to her dressing table to apply her lipstick. Then she took her red rose hair pin and slipped it into her hair.
            She turned around, "How do I look?"
            "Good enough to eat," realizing the absurdity of what he said, he shook his head and began, "I mean…"
            "Never mind," Luna laughed, "Come on, let's go out."
            Luna grabbed his hand and led him into the main room, it was already filling up and the band was warming up.
            "Sit here, it's the best seat," Luna whispered, as she sat Alejandro down at a table near the stage. It did have a perfect view of the whole room and he also had an easy view of Walter in the back.
            Luna looked at him inquisitively, and touched his shoulder as she walked away to the stage where she started the show. After she sang a few songs, she took a break and came to sit next to Alejandro.
            "Very nice," Alejandro nodded in approval.
            "I love to sing, but I love dancing better."
            They each had a drink and a few bites to eat before the band started playing some invigorating dance music.
            Alejandro stood up, "Well Luna, would you like to dance with me?"
            "If you can keep up with me," Luna put her finger tips through her hair and tucked it behind her ear as she stood up. Alejandro held out his hand, Luna took it, and then he led her to the dance floor.
            It was Salsa music. They danced faster and faster. The crowd made extra room in the middle for them; Alejandro was spinning Luna around in a wide circle.
            "I had no idea you could dance so well, you’re a detective," Luna said breathlessly.
            "I wasn't always a detective, I used to be choreographer and teach dance in Mexico."
            Luna raised her eyebrows, "what a pleasant surprise."
They didn't talk anymore, they were too breathless. A few couples stopped dancing just to watch. They were both very impressive. The song ended all too soon.
            "Again?" Alejandro asked.
            "I'd love to, but I must rest before I sing again in a few minutes. Later."
            Alejandro nodded and led her back to their table and they sat down. Alejandro looked back to where Walter was sitting only to find him missing. He stood up.
            "Oh, know, Walter's gone!" He whispered excitedly.
            "Sit down, look, see him going down the hall there with a friend? He'll be back."
            "Oh." Alejandro sat back down.
            Luna went back up on stage to sing a few more songs. Alejandro kept an eye out for Walter who soon came back alone. Alejandro considered going to the back, but decided to wait until the show was over for Luna's sake. Alejandro had some more to eat and drink, and then watched Luna sing. Every once in a while she would look into his eyes, but he would look away, realizing he had let his feelings go way too far. He though, was there any turning back? Maybe something could work. No, it wouldn't be fair. He sighed and looked back at Walter.
            Soon enough, Luna came back for her second brake, "Dance now? It'll be slower this time."
            Alejandro nodded, "Okay," he got up picked up Luna's hand and they strolled onto the dance floor where slow, rich, warm music was playing. Alejandro put his arm around Luna's waist and then she leaned her head on his shoulder and they moved their feet to the music.
            "I'm glad you're here to take care of this case," Luna whispered.
            "Me too Luna," he stroked her silky black hair. "But this," he sighed, "us, it could never work."
            "I know, just be quiet now."
            Know what? Alejandro questioned himself, but he obeyed, and was just quiet until the song ended. Alejandro stopped and held Luna by her bare shoulders at arms length and looked into her face.
            "I'm not going to sing anymore," she said, "We can keep dancing."        
            "Okay, if you want to." Another song started and they resumed their previous position. Soon all the guests left, and all that was left was the staff, the band, and Walter Brown. Luna brought him over.
            "Walter, this is Alejandro Perez, he's investigating the disappearance of those four men from three weeks ago and he would like to talk to you."
            "Hi, how do you do? Have a seat! Have a drink! Pedro, bring me a bottle! What can I do for you Senior Perez?"
            Alejandro sat down and Luna left them alone.
            "So having a nice evening with the pretty lady, eh?"
            Alejandro smile politely, "I just have a few questions about those men. Don't worry, I'm not here about the dealing."
            "Oh, so you know about that, eh?"
            "I'm here investigating a murder, not a cocaine dealing."
            "Looked to me like you were investigating a woman."
            Alejandro threw his fist down on the table, "This is serious Walter! Four men are dead, and you're the prime suspect at this point so you'd do well to cooperate!"
            "Alright young man, I was only teasing. I'll tell all."
            "Good! Let's have it!"
            "I was expecting those men for a deal. I had met them all once before. I took them to the back, deal went well, I left them there talking, I left and went home through the back door. That's it. I never saw them again. They paid in full that night. Where were the bodies found?"
            "In the dumpster in the alley," Alejandro felt like he was back at square one.
            "Well, I'll tell you one thing, and I tell the truth. Last night, everyone thought that I had left when I was really smoking in a corner in the alley waiting for someone, I saw a woman, Luna, I'm pretty sure, dumping a big bag of stuff after everyone else was gone. I don't think she saw me. She went back inside, and then left for home in a few more minutes. Sorry all you have got is me as a witness, but ask anyone, I'm honest at least."
            Alejandro bit his lip. Why, why?! Walter really did seem as if he was telling the truth. Besides, Luna could have been dumping trash before the bodies were dumped.
            Alejandro hesitated, "What did it smell like?"
            "I don't know, I was far down, it was windy. I've got a bad nose anyhow. Look, I'm really sorry man, I like Luna, and I would never want to hurt her."
            "Alright, thanks for your help. Will you be here to tomorrow night?"
            " Maybe, it's Luna's night off, I'll have to see who the guest singer is."
            "Okay, well, I'll be here, hope to talk to you again, goodnight."
            "Good night Alejandro," Walter blew smoke out of his lungs and then put his cigar to his lips.
            Alejandro left quickly without seeing Luna again. How could he? His heart was aching. He drove home and tried to get some sleep.

La Luna Roja- Part 3
by Julia Nercessian 

Anxiousness and anger filled Alejandro’s body. But Luna Castillo filled
Alejandro’s mind. He tossed and turned in his bed all night, trying to think of the case.
But his mind was on Luna, and how their chemistry enchanted the nightclub while they
danced. Latin beats, clicking heels, and the sound of Luna’s rich voice pulsed in his
head as if he were still at the nightclub. Alejandro couldn’t lie in bed any longer, so he
paced around his apartment. The rhythm of the two dancing remained in his body as
he walked. He closed his eyes to picture Luna spinning in her red, silk dress with her
scarlet rose pin in her wavy black hair. He could still feel her waist as they sambaed
and tangoed while all eyes where fixated on them.
Alejandro finally decided he wanted to go and find Luna. He rushed putting his
clothes on, brushed his teeth with extra tooth paste, and sprayed cologne on his body.
Outside, it was still dark with the bright glow of the full moon. “FULL MOON!” Alejandro
suddenly thought. He started feeling his fur oozing out from under his skin. A muzzle
and a pair of pointy ears slowly grew on his head, and Alejandro’s torso became large
and round. His hands and feet were no longer there, instead they were enormous paws
that can kill a person with one strike. The screaming from pain soon became a mighty
howl that reminded him to hide before anyone saw his transformation.
Alejandro trotted through dark alley ways, and tried to hide behind dumpsters.
When he took a minute to sit down, he remembered Luna.
“What will she think if she sees me like this. She will never want to look at me, or
have anything to do with me ever again!” Alejandro panicked. He walked with a very
nervous gait, then realized,
“ What am I saying? She won’t know who I am. I’m a wolf! Oh my goodness, if
she sees me, she is going to report a roaming, vicious wolf to the police. Then the
police will tell me, and then, and then, the only option they would possibly think of is to
kill me!”
Alejandro took deep breaths and paced around the alley. The dark twilight night
was now turning to a deep purple and he decided to go home. His mind was racing
and Alejandro didn’t know what to do. He wanted to do something that was best for
Luna, and for his secret. Alejandro drifted off into fantasies where Luna and himself
would chase rabbits and other wild game in a field with long, green grass and small
wild flowers. And after, they would harmoniously shred the flesh of the animals that
they caught and enjoy their presence together with her voice singing in the
Speaking of flesh, Alejandro smelled something potent and that made his head
shoot towards the direction of La Luna Roja. He leaped out from his door and galloped
straight toward the nightclub. Alejandro’s nose was so powerful that he could smell
By Julia Nercessian
miles and miles away. The aroma made his eyes dilate, and his mouth foamed with
saliva. As he came closer to La Luna Roja, Alejandro started identifying the scent.
“Pigeon? Maybe an alley cat?” But then he took one last sniff of the air, and slid
to a halt.
“No, it’s human.”
It was very hard to concentrate on the situation with the strong, dynamic
essence of fresh human, and the thought that it’s coming from La Luna Roja made it
even worse.
“It couldn’t be the dumpster, because it was emptied. I saw them clear the
bodies with my own eyes.” Alejandro took more time to think, and remembered that the
men were killed in a wolf attack. He realized that if the smell of flesh was coming from
the same wolf, then Alejandro can get a closer look in is werewolf form. So he set off to
the nightclub and hoped to find something that would give him answers.
Finally Alejandro arrived at La Luna Roja. He lurked in the shadow to keep it low
and tried to creep around corners, as it was easier in human form. The sent was so
strong it was making Alejandro shake. He stole a peek in the front door and noticed it
was open!
“Why would the front door be open this early? Luna usually doesn’t get here
until eight.” He walked in cautiously because he saw that nobody was in the front
room. Slowly, Alejandro made his way to the lounge. Nobody was there, but he noticed
that Luna’s dressing room door was slightly open. He took a glance at what was in her
dressing room and paused. Alejandro paused, then started hyperventilating, and then
looked back in the dressing room just to make sure he saw what he saw. It was a
glossy black werewolf, with a scarlet red hairpin near it’s ear, tearing apart two human
Alejandro obviously new Luna was the werewolf, and he pieced the whole
puzzle together. It wasn’t Walter Brown, or the “mysterious wolf” that killed the four
men. The wolf was Luna Castillo, love of Alejandro’s life. After he thought of all the
consequences that he might receive, Alejandro decided to bring back his cool and
“ Are you going to share any of that?” Alejandro asked, leaning against the door
frame. Luna looked up and was startled, but after she figured out who it was, she
wasn’t so afraid anymore.
“ Help yourself senor.” Luna looked down, and they remained quiet until they
finished eating their raw meal.
“Tell me, where did you go last night? I looked for you everywhere, then Senor
Walter told me you left. I thought you wanted to be with me, dancing, eating, drinking,
and having a good time.” Luna’s eyes were even bigger now that she was a werewolf.
So the sadness in them made Alejandro’s heart melt.
“ I had to go home to clear my head, and I do want to be with you!” Alejandro
barked, “ I was confused last night, I thought it wasn’t going to work out between us.
But when I went home, I realized that I missed you very much. Mi amor, I want to be
with you forever. Thats why I came to find you. To ask you to always be by my side.”
Luna was at a loss for words, but she felt the same way.

By this time, the sun was starting to come in through the window. All of the
sudden, their bodies transformed into their normal human selves. When they got on
their feet, they ran and embraced each other. Alejandro ran his fingers through her thick
hair, and Luna held his face in her soft hands while tears of joy slowly ran down her
supple cheeks. They kissed with passion and Luna reminds Alejandro that they should
hide the bones somewhere. When they finished putting the bones in a trash bag, Luna
sprayed perfume around her dressing room so the stench would be camouflaged.
The rest of the day went as usual. Luna sang in the nightclub, and Alejandro
watched and listened with a margarita always by him. They danced when she took a
break, and every time they stepped on the dance floor, the club-goers would make
room in the center of the floor for them. Alejandro and Luna set the ambiance with
every move they made. Their life went on together, and Alejandro became part owner
of La Luna Roja. As for the case, he took care of everything. And he made sure Luna
and La Luna Roja stayed safe, for he loved them both very much.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

My mum got a new camera

I had fun taking pictures

 The loverly Fred

 Who knew weeds could look so pretty?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Great Gatsby (extended)

This is my book report on The Great Gatsby; I thought it was kinda interesting. (it got an A [= )

The Great Gatsby
            The Great Gatsby didn't turn out to be so great after all. Don't get me wrong; I hadn't enjoyed a book so much since Anne of Green Gables, but the character, Jay Gatsby, didn't turn out to be so great. When you're only in your thirties, and no one but your dad and neighbor want to come to your funeral, you know something is wrong. Especially after you spend the whole summer hosting huge parties at your mansion on the beach, plus offer a plentiful supply of alcoholic drinks which were illegal at the time.
            The Great Gatsby was written by F. Scott Fitzgerald and was published in the 1920's. The fact that it was published at that time in history shows that American society was going through some dramatic changes in its moral beliefs. Extra-marital affairs were long frowned upon in America. Yet here a book is published with a plot line centered on the immorality of extra-marital affairs. The book is not judgmental, but it makes everybody look somewhat foolish.
Nick Carraway, the narrator and neighbor to Jay Gatsby, found that Gatsby and his cousin, Daisy, were once in love. She didn't marry him, because he wasn't rich enough for her. She had married a rich man, but then we find out that he is having an affair. The book is unclear about how Gatsby made all his money, but after he did, he tried to win back Daisy and make her leave her husband. Then one day as Jay Gatsby and Daisy were on their way home from a trip to town, Daisy hit and killed the woman her husband was having an affair with. Then the husband of the woman that was killed goes and murders Gatsby because he thought that he killed his wife, not Daisy. Later they found Gatsby dead in his swimming pool and only his father and neighbor came to his funeral. Daisy went back to her husband in the end.
I noticed when reading this book that I didn't get distracted by things like I normally do. I think this is because all the characters were selfish and demanded my attention. As much as I enjoyed reading this book and as much as I was interested in the characters, I still felt disdain for the them because of their behavior. I even felt some disdain for Nick, not because of his behavior, but because of the fact that he didn't speak up against the bad behavior of his friends. This proves the maxim that character counts; even if it appears that you have everything you might want like money and popularity, your friends might not always come through for you.

Maple Lawn

This is chapter 1 of a story I'm writing. Imagine Emma to look like that chic in the painting to the right. (the lady's real name was Emma)
Maple Lawn
By Charissa Fleenor
Chapter 1 – A new life
Emma Lee glanced over her new room and her eye was caught by a stunning vase of flowers. The housekeeper said as she showed her into the room that the footman, Fredrick Potter, had put them there. Emma had expected that a governess for a wealthy family with a good name would have gotten a room on the same level as the family, but here she was in a plain and bare room adjacent to the cook's and housekeeper’s rooms. It didn’t really matter as long as she was out of the convent that she had been trapped in ever since she was seven when her parents died. As soon as her twenty-first birthday came she applied to be a governess and within the same week she got a job at Maple Lawn, her new home. In the letter she learned that Sir Worthington was a widower with a little girl of three, whose previous governess had left to get married.
After glancing around the room she changed her clothes and went to the servants' dining quarters to eat her dinner. It was Sunday evening and she was told by Sir Worthington that she was to go to the drawing room after she finished her dinner to meet Catherine, or Kitty as Sir Worthington called her.
“I’m sorry to have kept you waiting, Miss Lee,” said Sir Worthington, “I had to spend quite some time persuading Kitty to climb out of the attic.”
“That’s quite all right, Sir, and where is Catherine now?” Emma replied.
“Er, she’s hiding behind the curtains in the hall. Maybe we should have our meeting in there; there are some chairs by the fire in there. Let’s go sit and talk until she comes out.”
Soon seated by the fire, Sir Worthington called for some tea and asked Emma how her journey from France was.
“It was long, but everything went well, thank you sir.”
“I understand you grew up in a convent? How did that come about?”
“Though I was only seven, I was mostly grown up already; I did most of my growing up in London, Sir. It was on a vacation to Paris that my parents and some friends of theirs were taking when my parents both got sick and died. Their friends left me at a convent.”
“Most shocking, and did they leave you any money? Your parents, I mean?”
“Not enough to live on anyway,” Emma said with a smile. Her parents had left her £500 in their will for her education and the rest she could have when she turned twenty-one.
Emma looked over to the curtains and saw a little brown girl in a blue frock staring at her with big brown eyes.
“My name is Miss Lee, Catherine,” said Emma. “Will you please come and say ‘How do you do?’ like a good girl?”
Catherine walked over slowly, curtseyed and said, “How do you do Miss Lee?”
“Very fine, thank you, Catherine”
Sir Worthington broke in, “Alright, enough of that. Off to bed Kitty. It’s past your bedtime. I’ll be in to tuck you in after we finish drinking our tea.”
“Yes, papa,” said Catherine as she scurried down the hall to the staircase.
“Now I’m still very curious as to your previous life. Have you any brothers and sisters?”
“Yes, Sir, I have an older brother who did not go on the vacation to France because he was in school. I plan to find him as soon as I can, because I have not seen him since before I left England the first time.”
“Oh, how sad for you. I hope I can help you find him.”
“Thank you, Sir, I can be fairly certain that he is in London. He planned to be a lawyer.”
 “Why, my lawyer from London is named Mr. Lee!”
Emma looked up quickly and said: “What’s his first name?”
“Charles, and now that I think about it, he looks like you; I thought you looked somewhat familiar at first.”
“And is he about thirty years old? He would be twenty nine now.”
“Why, yes, he is. Goodness, what an amazing discovery!”
“Indeed it is! I never could have imagined. When will I be able to meet him Sir Worthington?”
“Well, there was some business that I wanted to go to town to discuss, but I shall see if he will come here. Shall I tell him that you are here?”
Emma thought to herself and realized that her brother might not even know that she was alive.
“Yes, tell him. He should be prepared.”
“Prepared? Whatever do you mean?”
“Why, he doesn’t even know I’m alive. For all he knows I died with my parents. I don’t trust those friends of my parents to tell him that they abandoned me at a convent; he would have come back for me.”
“Right, I’ll write him tonight to come as soon as possible.”
“Thank you, Sir.”
“You’re welcome, Miss Lee, and now I think it’s your bedtime as well.”
“Yes, Sir. Thank you for everything, goodnight.”
“And remember, eight am sharp in the southeast upstairs room.”
“Ye,s Sir, good evening.” Emma got up and started to walk back to her room. She heard noises in the kitchen and she went there instead.
“Aw, look who we have here,” said the housekeeper “Everybody, this is Kitty’s new governess.”
There were five people sitting at the table and Emma wondered if the young handsome one was the footman who left her the flowers. The only other man was older and Emma assumed that he was Sir Worthington’s valet.
Everybody looked up and said how do you do.
“This is Miss Lee,” said Mrs. Hunter the housekeeper, “This is Mrs. Smith, the cook. This is Betsy and Ethel, the maids. This is Mr. Cooper, Sir Worthington’s valet, and this is Fredrick Potter, the footman. He was the one who welcomed you with those flowers.”
“And I greatly appreciated them. Thank you Mr. Potter.”
“Call me Fred please, and it was my pleasure.”
“Do sit down Miss Lee and have some refreshment,” said Mrs. Hunter.
“Thank you, I will,” replied Emma as she sat down.
“There are two more that will be coming in, Mr. Clippings, the gardener, and Mr. Johnson, the groom. We all usually spend our evenings in this way, and you are very welcome, of course, Miss Lee.”
“Thank you Mrs. Hunter,” Emma replied as she ate some biscuits.
After some small talk, Mr. Clippings and Mr. Johnson arrived and Mrs. Hunter introduced them to Emma. Being tired, Emma soon retired to her room to think over her day. It had been a tiring day for Emma and she needed to relax. She was very excited about seeing her brother after fourteen years of estrangement. She was also pleased to see that her things were unpacked and soon she fell asleep.
The next morning Emma woke up with the sun shining through her window onto her face. She got up, dressed and went to the kitchen to eat her breakfast.
“Sir Worthington said you are to have your breakfast in the southeast upstairs room with Kitty as it is to be your classroom.”
“Oh, but that’s not for another hour and I’m hungry. Please give me some tea and toast now.”
“As you wish Miss Lee,” replied Mrs. Hunter.
Emma smiled at her and sat down at the table with everybody else who was already sitting there. Fredrick poured her some tea and kindly offered her some cream and sugar.
“I don’t understand why you are being so kind to me,” said Emma under her breath to Fredrick, “I mean, you don’t even know me.”
“I heard your story and thought it rather interesting and wanted to be friends,” Fredrick smiled at Emma. She noted again how handsome he was.
“Very well, we can be friends,” Emma smiled back at him.
Emma turned to Mrs. Hunter and said, “I was surprised to find that Sir Worthington knows my brother, Charles Lee, who is his lawyer. Do you know him?”
“Aye, he’s a fine fellow. When was the last time you saw him Miss Lee?”
“When I was seven in London
“Well, you’ll find him much changed since then; he’s just as handsome as you.”
“You flatter me, Mrs. Hunter.”
“I’ve met Mr. Lee in London,” said Fredrick, “He’s a fine fellow.”
“I’m glad to hear this. Sir Worthington said he would write last night and ask him to come and visit.”
Everybody responded with pleasure, especially Ethel who actually gasped. All eyes turned to her as she blushed. Emma looked questionably at Fredrick while he simply raised his eyebrows.
"Is Miss Ethel acquainted with my brother?" Emma asked.
"Yes, I've met him in London a few times," replied Ethel.
"Well, you'll have to tell me what to expect as I haven't seen him in years," Emma said.
"Yes of course, this evening, if you please, Miss Lee," Ethel replied.
Soon after the others rose, Emma left to take a look around the house until it was time to start with Catherine. Maple Lawn house was very large and old. She wandered about until she came to the drawing room where she was surprised to see an elderly lady sitting by the fireplace sipping tea.
"Good morning," Emma said with a surprised voice.
"Aw, you must be the new governess and much too pretty for one I must say," the lady replied, "I am Lady Matilda Griffin, Sir Worthington's aunt."
"Pleased to meet you, my lady."
"And what are you doing here now?"
"Only showing myself around the house before I meet Catherine for our studies."
"Well, be sure to teach her well; she's a wild heart if I ever saw one."
"Yes, ma'am," replied Emma.
"Her father spoils her all too much ever since his wife died. He does everything for her, he dresses her and everything."
"Well, at least he's got me for teaching her though."
"Yes, yes, of course, he does," Lady Matilda said, "I must grant him that."
"Well, good day, I think I must be off now."
Emma was pleased to see that there were large windows in the classroom and that there was a fire already. She examined the books laid out on the table and made her self comfortable with some tea at the table. Suddenly the door burst open and Catherine ran in, sat at the table and started to stuff food in her mouth. Sir Worthington quickly followed and pulled her hands out of the food.
"Don't trouble yourself Sir. I'll handle it from here."
"Oh, thank you," replied Sir Worthington.
"Will you be taking breakfast with us today?" asked Emma as she wiped Catherine's hands on her napkin.
"Yes, I think I will."
Sir Worthington seated himself at the table and helped himself. Emma then proceeded to make Catherine hold her fork properly.
"And will you stay as we start our lessons?"
"Oh, no, of course not," Sir Worthington replied, "I'll leave as soon as we are done eating."

Monday, April 4, 2011

My real thoughts

        Somehow all I've written about is books. This needs to stop. Books don't really play a big part in my thoughts so it doesn't really fit. I do a lot of thinking and most of them are about how I should build my character. And how God would want it. I think about why there is sin and poverty in the world. I think about the fall of man. No, I rarely think about books. In fact, as soon as I start reading a book including textbooks for school I start thinking about other things. I think it's ridiculous for people to spend time trying to find there inner personality. I think people should be continually reforming their character to that person's personal character ideal. People should also make sure that their personalities are pleasing to God. I also think that what the world would be like if everyone on earth was continually reforming their characters for the glory of God. What would life be like? I also think about what life would be like without poverty. If there was no poverty, than there would be no wealth. Most people go through life trying to make as much money as possible, but they don't realize that if everyone was as wealthy as they wanted, then they wouldn't be wealthy anymore.
       Same goes with "happiness" in life. Can you have happiness without some peoples having unhappiness and discontent? People think you can achieve happiness by having "enough" money and having there ideal mate. No, I think happiness has a lot to do with just choosing to be happy. I don't deny it does have something to do with love.
       A couple things I've been reading lately have mentioned psychoanalysis. I realized recently that I psychoanalyze almost every person that I come across. This leads my thoughts quite often to people's insecurities. Everybody has them. The difference comes when people are secure in their inevitable insecurities and realize that having some are normal.
       Is there such a thing as special? Yes, but not everybody is special. This may sound shocking if you have heard often before that everybody is special. see here is the definition for special. If all 7 billion people on earth are special than being special is normal and no longer special. This also brings me to the fact that people say that you are special to God. How can everyone be special to God? If he loves everybody equally is it still love? Can you have love without having hate or disdain in the world? People say everybody should be loving and be loved. If this was the case and everybody reached the ideal levels of love and everyone showed the same amount of love to everybody, would it still be love?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Books and stuff again

The Great Gatsby is an amazing book, but what's weird is that it's hard to figure out why. I don't why it utterly possessed me and how I finished it in two days. Even when I really like a book, I can't concentrate on it like like I could with The Great Gatsby. I think I know why that is though; The Great Gatsby was somewhat immoral and didn't distract me and make me think about things like other books do. Even though I greatly enjoyed reading it and I recommend it to other people, it's not something to be a favorite book.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Little Dorrit

   I find that I have a very short attention span. It's comes out quite strongly in my blog which has no guidelines. Maybe that's why I have such a hard time writing papers for school. I find that I often have to write a paper that is a certain length about something that I don't actually have any thoughts about. That's a hard thing o do.
   Charles Dickens amazes me in the way that he has so much to say about things, but I don't find it all boring. I enjoy all of Dickens's  descriptive writing, where as I found Tolkien's extensive description dull in the Lord of the Rings. Maybe it was because I  have watched the LotR movies so many more times than I have watched Little Dorrit. Both movies depicted the the scenery  from the books very well, but the LotR movie is more imprinted on my my mind because I have watched it so often.

   Back to Little Dorrit, I love it! There are so many different characters which you get to know better all the time. So many characters with character if you understand me. In this book you meet so many different people from all different classes and different countries. I know the main outcome from watching the movie, but there is some mystery that was unsolved for me even by watching the 8 hour mini series twice. I'm hoping I can figure it out by reading the book.

Monday, January 3, 2011

I finished it, and started something new

I finished Wuthering Heights. It's like but very unlike anything I've ever read. I mostly read old British books. This is an old British book, but I've never read anything with such an ending! I really thought Mr. Lockwood would marry Cathy, his landlords widowed daughter-in-law, but it ends with Mr. Lockwood telling how she is going to marry her cousin, who has had no education. Apparently Cathy, who before had despised Hareton, her cousin, because of his vulgarity and awkwardness, suddenly decided to make him her friend and teach him to read and well, marry him. Thats just weird. This book is very different from other books in the way the story is told. Only a small portion is Mr. Lockwood actually talking about him self or saying what he has done. Most of it is him writing the story that his house keeper is telling him. I don't think give anymore of the story away. Now I'm going to read Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens. It's gonna take awhile I'm afraid. My dad read the first 2 chapters to me last night. He took like tons of pages just to say "Marseilles was bright and hot." !! I get really tired of excessive description. Part of the reason it took me so long to get through Lord of the Rings. And Dicken goes into more detail than Tolkein. Maybe I'll read something of Jane Austen's along with it to even things out. She hardly describes anything.