CREATING YOUR ANTAGONIST

The Art of Chaos created a wonderfully written post on writing your antagonist. I encourage all new writers to check it out by clicking the link provided.

https://www.scribophile.com/academy/a-character-anatomy-seven-places-where-character-meets-story

Happy Writing!

An Island and a Saddistic Doctor

If you are like me, and the hopes of visiting a real life haunted house, or haunted town, go to Savannah, Ga or even Charleston, SC. I for one, even if it weren’t abandoned, or forbidden, would not go to Poveglia. It is actually up for auction the last I heard, may have even been sold by now.

Either way, makes for a great story, so grab your coffee, curl up in your favorite chair and enjoy.

Poveglia is a cursed and mysterios island, where strange historical events have shaped its reputation as the darkest place of the Venice Lagoon and labeled this island the most haunted in the world.

Poveglia had been a thriving and populated island, however with the outbreak of the war of Chioggiain 1378-the fourth and last conflict between Genoa and Venice- its inhabitants were moved to the island of Giudecca. From that very moment this island remained deserted for three hundred years.

Since 1645, it was then employed as an outpost to control the transit of ships in the lagoon with aim of protecting Venice. Proveglia’s darkest moments will date back to more recent years, when due to the 1700 Black Death, the island became a lazaretto (an open-air cemetary), where quarantined people-even those with the slightest signs of sickness were sent to die.

I ask you, what if they had done this to us when COVID hit?

But to continue…Bodies were left on the island’s streets to decompose. Then they were burnt and their ashes were thrown in mass graves. It is said that more than 160,000 people died in agony during the bubonic plague. Today, strata of bone can be found beneath the surface, which is made up of 60% of human ashes.

Historical reconstructions were done, and during that time, in that period, the island was also the scene of the execution of criminals, who were usually killed by drowning. But believe me, this isn’t the scariest part of the story, at least not for me.

In 1922, the buildings hosted a home for the elderly. The furniture still present today witnesses that the building was actually an asylum. From the moment a person was diagnosed with a mental illness and taken to Poveglia, there was no possibility of redemption or rehabilitation. (What does that say for you or me? Those we love?) The only aim of the new use of the island was to isolate these people, and separate them from society. It’s important to remember, in the past, any uncommon way of thinking and behavior different from the socio-cultural norms of the time, was considered mental disorders. Anyone could be identified as mentally ill and locked up.

Local legend has it that the patients of Poveglia asylum reported that they saw strange shadows-probably belonging to the ghosts of the plague victims- and that they could not sleep at night because of the wails of the suffering spirits. Of coarse, the doctors did not believe them. Patients were subjected to tortures, sometimes death. It is believed that a sadistic doctor did evil experiments on them, even performed labotomies, as he believed that this cruel practice was a great way to treat and cure mental illness. This procedure was incredibly wicked and painful, as the doctor used hammers, chisels and drills without anesthesia or any concern for sanitation.

Because of the doctor’s practices, he was tormented by the ghosts who drove him crazy to the point where he jumped (or was thrown) from the clock tower that stands out on the lagoon. The legend tells that he did not die from the fall, but that he was chocked before by a mysterious fog. In some silent and calm nights you can still hear the bell tolling across the bay, despite being removed years ago.

I hope you enjoyed this post and urge you to comment, like, subscribe, or just follow my blog.

Support your fellow writers. Through eachothers support we become better writers.

An Ice Cream Truck Abduction

Eleven year old Mikelle Biggs had been waiting for the ice cream truck with her younger sister, Kimber. Like most young children, Kimber had grown cold and lost her patience, and decided to go home. Upon arriving home, her mother had immedately sent her back out to tell Mikelle to come home too.

Kimber, in total, had only been gone 90 seconds, but in that short window of time, Mikelle was abducted. The rear wheel of the bike that Mikelle had been riding, still spinning, left behind. A neighbor with a criminal past had caught the eye of investigators, but not having enough evidence to charge him, they had to leave him alone. Less than a year later, this neighbor attacked and nearly murdered a nearby neighbor.

Is it possible he is the one responsible or Mikelle’s abduction or is it possible there is someone else who played a role in this and has eluded the authorities for more than twenty years?

Mikelle Biggs disapppeared on January 2, 1999. A tip in her disappearance was published on March 19, 2018.

A dollar bill in Wisconsin was the latest tip received that the Mesa detectives were investigating in Mikelle Biggs disappearance. The dollar bill was reported to the police on March 14, 2018 in Neenah, a town 9 miles southeast of Appleton.

There was a message written along the edges of the 2009 bill:

“My name is Mikel (sic) Biggs kidnapped From Mesa AZ I’m Alive.”

The note appeared to have been written in a child’s handwritting. Mikelle’s name was spelled wrong and “s” in “is” almost sits on its side while the “kel in the name is written in cursive. The Neenah Police Investigator Adam Streubel examined the bill and questioned the authenticity. He had noted that Mikelle’s first name was misspelled and suspected that it could have been just a senseless joke.

The detectives have said that they don’t dismiss any evidence that they find and that they follow up on any and all leads but that they don’t believe that this message was written by Mikelle. One of the lead detectives, Jerry Gissel, said evidence that that they found during their initial investigation showed that Mikelle was running away from somebody.

“It wasn’t somebody that she knew or wanted to be with. She dropped the bike, she was running toward home, she dropped quarters, and it was swift. And somebody grabbed her and, I believe, abducted her in a car and drove away with her,” Gisselll stated in an 2009 interview with ABC News.

Mikelle’s family believe her to be deceased and on the fifth anniversary of her disappearance they held a funeral for her with an empty casket. The family still believes that Dee Blalock, a convicted sex offender, who lived just two blocks away, and had spent the entire night in their garage, but are still suspicious of him, is responsible for her abduction. Blalock is currently serving a fifteen-and-a-half -year sentence in an Arizona prison for charges unrelated to Mikelle’s case.

A Trafficked Child’s Account

Voices of the Present and the Future would like to bring to attention the human trafficking industry on this last day of Mental Awareness Month.

There have been millions of women, men and children around the world who have been and who continue to be subjected to forced labor, domestic servitude, or the sex trade at the hands of these human traffickers. It’s a form of modern-day slavery, the inhumane practice of human trafficking that takes place here in the United States as well.

Human trafficking is one of the most heinous crimes investigated by ICE. In it’s worst manifestation, human trafficking is akin to modern-day slavery. They are forced into  prostitution, involuntary labor and other forms of servitude to repay debts-often incurred during entry into the United States.

One story from a child who was trafficked:

“I was 17 around when I met ‘Robert’. It started off with me and my friend meeting him for social purposes. It just went on for about nine months and we were living in different hotels the entire time and I don’t even remember how many men there were. I was a runaway and wasn’t living anywhere stable, so since I was underage most of the time, I sort of needed him in order to get hotels and move around.

I had already been a prostitute since I was 15 and I think I just didn’t even know what was right or wrong and how I should be treated. Towards the end, he held me against my will in a hostage situation and forced me to prostitute and took all the money and just beat me severely.

The last time I saw him, he was just beating me until he was absolutely tired. I was covered in bruises, my face was completely disfigured and it’s causing me issue with my back to this day because of the way he was beating me and torturing me. That was probably the worst. There was a client in the room and he was having issue with something I couldn’t do because I was all beat up. I didn’t want to do it anymore. I didn’t want to do anything. He wanted his money back. When Robert and him were talking I ran out of the room and somehow was able to run faster than him.

I didn’t tell anyone. I kept it to myself until I got a call from the FBI that he’d been arrested for something else and asked would I talk. Having to go face everything and realize how serious everything was. For the longest time I didn’t even think it was that serious.

At the trial, it felt empowering to look at him the entire time. I’m sure it drove him crazy. He can never touch me but he had to look at me and listen and it made me feel good.

I had to learn that if I don’t at least have some kind of love and value for myself, no one ever will. My advice to other girls would be to let people help you.”

Empower yourself and help empower other writers, leave comments, follow, subscribe or just hit the like button. If you have a similar story to share we would love to hear it. Let us know what you have to say here at Voices, past, present,and future.

A Glance at a Moment in Time

Voices of the past, present, and future brings to you some some of the events impacting our world.

To start us off, I for one just learned while exploring Space.com, that an asteroid four times the size of the Empire State Building  will be barreling toward Earth on May 27th. The asteroid will zoom safely past Earth at 47, 200 mph, so fear not my friends.

In honor of my grandson, a giant ‘dragon of death’ with a 30-foot wingspan was unearthed in Argentina. Officially called a Thanotosdrakon, it is the largest pterosaur ever found in South America. My grandson, who knows every dinosaur, and everything about them, and he is only five, was thrilled to learn this new fact which I found in livescience.com.

According to bloodydisgusting.com and The Losers’ Club Podcast, ‘Rose Red’ marked the end of Stephen King’ Miniseries Boom.  According to King, Rose Red  had began a life as a potential dream collaboration between him and Steven spielberg, who wanted to make a haunted house movie that echoed Shirlie Jackson’s iconic The Haunting of Hill House. King, who was an avowed fan of Jackson’s masterpiece, had ran with the idea but also wove in the legend of the Winchester Mystery House. Due to creative differences between King and Spielberg, the project was was plagued and eventually shelved.

If we go back to August 11, 2021, we were supposed to be invaded by aliens, a person claiming to be a “real time traveler” had reported. He stated he was from the year 2714 in a TIKTOK video. He also stated “There will be a very large meteor shower that lasts for two weeks, it will be seen in the northern hemisphere, containing the Nozic message. One of the meteors will seem different than all the others, that is because it is a ship landing on Earth, starting preparations for the first Nozic War.”

And on to more recent events…. A 57-year-old cold case involving the brutal sexual assault and murder of a 9-year-old girl was solved using genetic genealogy in Pennsylvania. Marise Ann Chiverella was killed on March 18, 1964. She had been taking canned goods to a church on her way to school but never returned back to her home. Her murder now solved as of February 10, 2022. May she rest in peace.

Thank you for traveling with Voices, past, present, and future.

Don’t forget to support your fellow writers!

CHARACTER IN A WORD

I read a great post this morning while having my morning coffee that I thought was a great example for all of my new writer friends who needed insight into the world of character building.

THE ART OF CHAOS

Life is chaos. Learn to balance it and you can ride the tide.

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Chaos Cast – Protagonist 2022-21

 / WARREN TODE

This is a randomized tarot writing prompt for character creation. The purpose here is to help flesh out a cast of characters to use in the Chaos Pen Challenges, or elsewhere. For this series, we’ll be focused on making protagonists.

The spread that I’ll be using for this prompt series was inspired by the article, A Character Anatomy: Seven Places Where Character Meets Story. Rather than rehashing all of that, I encourage you to read it since it’s well written and explains the concepts we’ll be exploring better than I could.


This is what the Character Anatomy Spread looks like:


1. Role

This is the character’s public identity. Examine the card and its keywords to consider what your character’s identity is, how it can drive a story and either help, hinder, or distract them in getting what they need.

Ten of Cups

  • HARMONY
  • FULFILLED
  • AGREEABLE
  • CONGRUITY

2. Agency

This is the character’s capacity to achieve in life. What are your character’s strengths, weaknesses, skill sets, and abilities?

Six of Swords

  • TRANSITIONS
  • CRESTFALLEN
  • TRAVELER
  • DISTRUST

3. Attitude

This is the expression of your character’s Self. How do they present themselves to others? How do they tend to interact with the world around them?

Two of Wands

  • PREPARATION
  • BRAVE
  • PLANNER
  • CONQUEST

4. Need

What does your character need? In other words, what drives them to take risks or even reach forward in their life?

Judgement

  • REBIRTH
  • AWAKENED
  • REDEEMER
  • SELF-DECEPTION

5. Interior

What story does your character believe in their mind about themselves and the world around them? It’s perfectly fine for your character to operate on a false belief.

Wheel of Fortune

  • KARMA
  • DESTINED
  • OPPORTUNIST
  • FATALISM

6. Passion

A passion is something that we either believe in or love strong enough that we are willing to suffer and make sacrifices for it. Whether it’s a healthy passion or not, what is your character willing to suffer or make sacrifices for?

The Chariot

  • WILL POWER
  • DRIVEN
  • AMBITIOUS
  • INSENSITIVE

7. Backstory

Why is your character like this? What is the major event or memory that scripts the Interior of your character and thus shapes the rest of who and what they are?

Knight of Pentacles

  • STEWARD OF THE BODY
  • PRODUCTIVE
  • DEDICATED
  • UNWAVERING

Now that you have notes on each part, examine and assess them as a whole. Imagine what kind of person this is. Make edits as necessary until the nature of this character makes sense to you. Flesh out the details. Once you have all that, decide what they look like and what their name is. You may even try writing a brief scene to get a feel of what they’re like on the page. Keep this character on file for later use.


~ Celtic Dragon Tarot by D.J. Conway (Author), Lisa Hunt (Illustrator) © 1999
~ Credit for 3D model and assets used in this rendered image can be found here.

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A SCANDALOUS AFFAIR

Voices of the past brings to you one of the greatest True love stories in history. It is intertwined in the professional success and personal tragedy surrounding Mary Godwin Shelley and Percy Shelley’s Aldulterous Affair.

While we all love to indulge in a juicy love story from time to time, this one provides a bit more than that, all from our history.

Mary Godwin, only a teenager, daughter of the famous proto-feminist, Mary Wollstonecraft, eloped with A VERY MARRIED PEOT, Perscy Shelly. They left England to escape all the scandal, traveling Europ together.

Percy Shelly’s PREGNANT wife, devastated that her husband abandoned her, committed suicide in 1816. Percy and Mary had no regard for Harriet, Percy’s wife, and they married. Not that it mattered to Mary, she had already been calling herself, “Mrs. Shelly” before the title had become vacant.

With such a scandalous beginning, fate would be delivered to Percy and Mary Shelly through success and tragedy. Their union had scandalized England causing them to live abroad for the rest of their lives. They had multiple children, but only one would survive to adulthood.

Percy’s progressive politics and unique style would negatively affect his career while Mary would find success with her groundbreaking nove, Fankenstein….

Six years after marrying, in 1822, Percy will drown in a boating accident in Italy. A devastated Mary, along with her son, would return back to England, and forge a successful literary career for almost thirty years before she died in 1851.

INTERESTING FACT: It is said that Mary Shelley kept her dead husband’s heart in her desk for 30 years.

I hope you enjoyed today’s post and as always, support your fellow writers. Leave comments, hit the like button, or if you are inclined to do so, PLEASE follow me, for more interesting stories such as this one.

EXCITING NEWS

Hello my faithful followers and future ones! I want to provide you an update on my future book “Small Town Facade”. If you have not yet had the chance to go into my pages and check it out, now is the TIME! I will be providing you updated chapters and they are doosies!

There is more than just a kidnapping going on in this town my friends! AND…..Someone else will go missing!

Don’t cheat yourself out of a great read, especially on these rainy days, mother nature is providing us to get caught up on our reading.

I look forward to reading your comments and also listening to your input on what you think should happen. THIS IS a first draft.. and you WILL find many mistakes.

As a beginning writer, we all look to our fellow writers for insight and communication, and advice on how to make ourselves better writers.

Support your fellow writers. And look for those NEW chapters later today!

A Monument of Love

Voices of the past would like to share with you one of the world’s greatest love stories.

It a great love begain in 1612, when Mumtaz Mahal, a Muslim Persian princess, married Shah Jehan, also known as Prince Khurram. The Prince would ascend to the throne in 1628 and become the 5th Mughal emporer. You will soon learn why this love story is so important to our past as you continue reading.

The queen’s real name was Arjumand Banu. In keeping with the traditions of the Mughals, important women of the royal family were given another name when they married. Mumtaz was the Princes’ second wife but she was considered his ultimate love match. By all accounts, she and the emporer were soul mates. Mumtaz accompanied him throughout all of his travels and his military expeditions, and she was his most trusted political advisor.

As with any legendary love story, tragedy would lurk in their future. Mumtaz would die giving birth to their 14th child. This had affected the emporer so badly that his black hair turned snow white in just a matter of months. He was overcome with grief, and had vowed to keep his beloved wife’s memory alive forever.

The emporer had decided to build her a monument of eternal love. Mumtaz had endeared herself to the people with her kindness, and the emporer’s subjects were inspired to help build the monument.

BECAUSE OF THE LOVE OF ONE MAN FOR HIS WIFE WE NOW HAVE WHAT IS NOW KNOWN AS THE TAJ MAHL.

Thank you for joining me for an inspiring love story to help you enjoy your Sunday.

Just One Cup

I answered CBKCreative.com post # 283 and I wanted to share it with you.

The prompt was: A mom wakes up and makes a cup of coffee, then spends all day trying to drink it.

I padded along the cold, wooden, floor into the kitchem and put a pod into my Kureg machine. Eyes still blurry, I went into the kids room, and rustled the little one’s awake. Once I was sure, or at least I thought I was, I turned on some cartoons and began to make their breakfast. Forgetting that my coffee had brewed, piping hot, steam traveling up and around the machine, I went once again to gather the little one’s for a hot meal before school.

As they gather at the table, wiping away what is left of the sandman’s mysteries and begin picking at their food, the way little one’s do, the telephone rings. Meanwhile, my coffee becomes mildly warm, the steam dissipating, and has yet to be sweetened with cream and sugar the way that I like it.

I answer the phone and listen to a friend who is in desperate need of a favor, as I begin to pack lunches and shush the little one’s , urging the kids to stop bickering, and please finish up and go get ready for school. I passively agree to my friend’s request in an urgent need to see that the children are moving about. My coffee sitting there, chilling, long forgotten. The caramel color of ideas but a mere dream.

While I’m checking that little teeth have been brushed, and styling little heads, I look into the mirror only to find that I, myself, am still a shamble. I sit the kids on the couch and dare them to move, running to my room to change. I put on a pair of shorts, a T-shirt, and pull my hair back. I brush my teeth and run out of the room grabbing my keys, rushing the kids to the car.

When I look back, making sure I turned off the stove, I see that little cup of heaven still sitting there, and a tear falls down my face as I turn, shutting and locking the door behind me.

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