Monday, September 30, 2013

Come Monday...The Blacklist: Bob Iger

“Come Monday…” is a weekly series that will involve a review of (or commentary about) websites, movies, documentaries, television shows, sports, music, and whatever else may tickle my fancy at the time.  Be assured that these reviews will be generally positive, as in accordance to the Jimmy Buffett song “Come Monday.”  This is subject to change, however.  In fact, I would be most derelict in my duties to neglect going on a rant every once in a while.  For rants promote change, and change can be good—right?  Therefore, since good is generally considered as being a positive force in 99.3% of the parallel universes that I am aware of, even a rant could be considered as being something positive, and a genuine hissy-fit would be even better (so I’m told).

Just in case you do not already know, [Bob Iger] is the CEO of [The Walt DisneyCompany].  One of the parts to Disney is [ABC], and one of ABC’s new shows is [Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D].  Hence, the reason why Bob Iger has to be on the blacklist for high crimes and treason against all who hunger and thirst after good television shows to watch.

If you were suckered into watching the pilot episode last week, you know that there is not much more to be said, but for the benefit of those mercifully spared such a fate, ABC’s Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was as bad as the recent Iron Man movies have been good.  For the Iron Mans have been a delightful blend of awesome special effects, strong storylines and self-effacing humor.  Whereas, at least the pilot episode of the television show was all about defecation, and you can take that to mean whatever you dare to imagine (in a figurative sense).

Why blame Bob Iger?  After all, the television show is a nightmare formed in the mind of [Joss Wheden], which I find quite shocking.  For we liked his [Dollhouse], and loved his [Serenity].  Oh, and who doesn’t love his [Toy Story]?

Alas, I suppose he was due a flop, and Bob Iger is the man who ultimately made it happen (naturally-speaking, of course).  For no one can convince me that the CEO of the parent company has no say in what makes it on the air—regardless of how independently-run ABC may be.  Besides, I have a hard time trusting someone who has an office with a fairly thick layer of pixie dust covering the furniture.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, all of that is a matter of my opinion, and it may very well be wrong.  For Arlynda wants to keep watching the show, but with her being married to me, how could her judgment not be considered quite questionable (at best)?

On the other hand, we both absolutely loved NBC’s [The Blacklist], and neither one of us are ashamed to admit that it was just on account of it starring [James Spader] that had us intrigued to begin with.  For he most certainly delivered.

Is he not the most loveable evil genius since [Dr. Evil]?  For even when Spader is playing a straight up and down good guy, there is a rather ornery side to his nature that refuses to stay in the shadows for very long at a time.

Oh yeah, the things that he could do to Bob Iger…  I sure hope they write it into a script, but if they don’t, I have every confidence in Spader saving the day for us who hunger and thirst after good television shows to watch week after week.

It is arguable that The Blacklist is a rip-off of [The Silence of the Lambs] and related movies, but how is that a bad thing?  Be afraid, Bob Iger.  Be very afraid.

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Sunday, September 29, 2013

A Sunday Drive

Back during my childhood, our parents would often load up my brother and me after Sunday morning church services for a leisurely drive around where we lived.  Even though we were seeing mostly familiar sights, it was still good to see them, and this is why “A Sunday Drive” sounded about right for the name of a weekly series revisiting familiar sites that are well worth seeing again and again.  The link below the image is to the site itself, and the image is linked to the post it was first included in here.

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Saturday, September 28, 2013

ESPN Additions

Ironically, some of the best television commercials are for ESPN, and only air on ESPN.  Now, I do not know if these ads really are meant to add all the more to the viewing experience, but it works for me.

***HEAR YE!  HEAR YE!***
This will be the last edition of ESPN Additions.  For it has been brought to my attention that a new series, which will be much more palatable to the tastes of my regular readers, should start next Saturday morning.  Therefore, be ye joyful.  That is all.

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Friday, September 27, 2013

Sites To See

The SOLE purpose of this weekly series is to help call attention to sites that I think many would find most interesting—in one way or another.  Just to be clear, inclusion in this series is not necessarily meant as a recommendation, and I have included sites that are rather disturbing to me.  The link below each image is to the site itself, and each image is linked to the particular post from which it was taken when applicable.  Please, go see for yourself.  Oh, and as of August 10, 2012, I will be no longer including sites that have auto-play and word verification engaged.

 Link: [Tree Hugger]

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

ATF: Airborne

This weekly series will include as many of my all-time favorite tunes as I can get my grubby little hands on (so to speak).  Now, each one included in each edition will have some connection with the other—albeit only as a figment of my imagination, but they will not be numbered.  For I just cannot bring myself to rate some higher than others.  So, this will not be a countdown, but if you are enjoying them as much as I do, it won’t matter.  Besides, with no countdown, this could go on forever and ever!  Oh, and despite the fact that there is absolutely no way that your musical tastes can be as exquisite as mine, I welcome any suggestions that you might dare to make.  I am, after all, quite magnanimous by nature.

Something in the Air
Thunderclap Newman
Call out the instigators
Because there's something in the air
We got to get together sooner or later
Because the revolution's here
And you know it's right

And you know that it's right
We have got to get it together
We have got to get it together

Lock up the streets and houses
Because there's something in the air
We got to get together sooner or later
Because the revolution's here
And you know it's right

And you know that it's right
We have got to get it together
We have got to get it together

Hand out the arms and ammo
We're gonna blast our way through here
We got to get together sooner or later
Because the revolution's here
And you know it's right

And you know that it's right
We have got to get it together
We have got to get it together

Spirit in the Sky
Norman Greenbaum
When I die
And they lay me to rest
Gonna go to the place
That's the best
When I lay me down to die
Goin' up
To the spirit in the sky

Goin' up
To the spirit in the sky
That's where I'm gonna go
When I die
When I die
And they lay me to rest
I’m Gonna go to the place
That's the best

Prepare yourself
You know it's a must
Gotta have a friend in Jesus
So you know that
When you die
He's gonna recommend you
To the spirit in the sky

Gonna recommend you
To the spirit in the sky
That's where you're gonna go
When you die
When you die
And they lay you to rest
You're gonna go to the place
That's the best

Never been a sinner
I’ve never sinned
I got a friend in Jesus
So you know that
When I die
He's gonna set me up
With the spirit in the sky

Oh set me up
With the spirit in the sky
That's where I'm gonna go
When I die
When I die
And they lay me to rest
I'm gonna go to the place
That's the best
Go to the place
That's the best

Lyrics From: [ST Lyrics]

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Bad, Ugly and Awful Ads

Since not everyone has been as appreciative of my efforts with the Good, Bad and Ugly Ads series as they should be, it seemed prudent to shake things up a bit from time to time.  Hence, Good, Great and Glorious Ads, as well as Bad, Ugly and Awful Ads.  Oh, and if these new approaches are still not to your complete and utter satisfaction, I would tell you what you can do with the point of your view if saying things like that did not now leave such a bitter taste in my mouth.  Therefore, be ye thankful!




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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Mag 187

The Moth and the Lamp, Cesar Santos

Sponsored by [Magpie Tales]

Polilla La Luna
After the try-outs, Sadie Mae just sat in a corner by herself and sulked.  For she had danced her little heart out, and all she received for her efforts was a spot as a moth, along with a glowing glass ball as a consolation prize, she supposed.

She blamed her mother.  For her mother knew how badly she wanted to be a butterfly.  Yet, she used green material for her costume, which had to have had an impact upon the director.

“Come on now, how could she have made it out of green material?  Has anyone ever seen a green butterfly?  I know I haven’t.  Some moths are green.  Everybody knows that!”

“What are you talking about, and to whom?”

Sadie was horrified to find that her mutterings to herself had been overheard by one of her competitors.  “Did I really speak out-loud, or is she a mind-reader?”

“Why are so upset with your mother?”

“That is no concern of yours,” Sadie Mae replied in a rather icy tone.

“Maybe not, but I would think that you would be too thrilled over winning the lead role to be upset with your mother right now.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Polilla La Luna?”


“Polilla La Luna is the name of the ballet and Spanish for The Moon Moth.  You are holding the moon in your hands, silly.”

A look of horror spread across Sadie Mae’s face.  For there she had been thinking such bad thoughts about her mother when the truth was that her mother had went to extraordinary lengths to help her.

Sadie Mae ran out of the auditorium with tears streaming down her face, and she raced to get home and have supper on the table when her mother made it home after finishing another 12-hour shift at the garment factory.  When she went to set the kitchen table, she found her mother’s sewing machine still set-up, and lying beside it was a picture of a moth more beautiful than she could ever imagine.

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Monday, September 23, 2013

Come Monday...Illustrator Wanted

“Come Monday…” is a weekly series that will involve a review of (or commentary about) websites, movies, documentaries, television shows, sports, music, and whatever else may tickle my fancy at the time.  Be assured that these reviews will be generally positive, as in accordance to the Jimmy Buffett song “Come Monday.”  This is subject to change, however.  In fact, I would be most derelict in my duties to neglect going on a rant every once in a while.  For rants promote change, and change can be good—right?  Therefore, since good is generally considered as being a positive force in 99.3% of the parallel universes that I am aware of, even a rant could be considered as being something positive, and a genuine hissy-fit would be even better (so I’m told).

Just in case you have not noticed yet, [Bittersweet Refinements] is now available on the Amazon Kindle platform for a dollar.  The cover displays the full extent of my artistry with digital graphics, which is woefully inadequate for what I have in mind for A Love for the Ages.

As you will soon see, since I have included the text for the book below, A Love for the Ages is a fable that I think would really come to life with illustrations of different scenes.  The text is subject to some polishing, but I think it is pretty much finished as is.

Alas, since we have no disposable income, the illustrated project would have to be a cooperative one at this time.  Be assured that I am not opposed to offering the book at a higher price, considering the amount of work done on the illustrations, and I would want the illustrator to receive at least 70% of our portion of the sales.

So, if you are interested in doing the illustrations, or know of someone who might be, please shoot me an email at  In any event, may our Heavenly Father’s will be done.

A Love for the Ages
‘Tis more than a mere fable.

Act 1
The dawn was yet to break, but with each passing moment, more and more emerged from the shadows of the night.  Fruit trees in full bloom now stood where a veil of darkness just hung, and a mist hovered above the surface of the lake.

Yes, the time was indeed at hand, and all eyes were trained upon the mist.  For no one wanted to miss an ignition of the fire cloud.

No, it is not that the mist was about to actually catch fire, but it was still aptly named.  For it would go from a swirling mix of gun metal blue and battleship gray to a hundred different shades of red, orange and yellow in a twinkling of an eye if everything was just right when the first rays of the sun peeked over the horizon a few days each year.

Adding all the more to the wonder was the reflection of the fire cloud upon the surface of the water.  For every ripple would take on the appearance of a tongue of flame, and one could even see the fire race from the east to the west across the lake, if they stood in the right spot.

Still hardly seems adequate to describe the atmosphere as the sun crept ever closer toward the breaking of the dawn.  For it was as if all of nature held its breath in anticipation, and the silence was deafening.

Finally, a collective gasp could be heard as the cloud began to erupt.  This was followed by the sounds of singing birds, croaking frogs and the hearty cheers of the throng of people in attendance.  Fish jumping out of the water added some rhythm to the chorus.  Be assured that joy abounded in the hearts, minds and souls of all who had been given eyes to see such a sight.

Then, the piercing cry of an osprey soaring high overhead signaled the end of the show, which had lasted but for a moment or two.  Nonetheless, it was a memory that would surely last for a lifetime, and no one left disappointed.

Calvin was certainly glad to be there, but it was not just in regards to the fire cloud that he felt that way.  In fact, he paid less attention to it than anyone else.  For his eyes were trained upon what he considered to be a much more beautiful sight.

He did appreciate how much the fire cloud complimented the brilliance of her eyes, however.  For it literally took his breath away when its spectacular display of reds, oranges and yellows reflected off of their emerald green centers that were each encircled by a deep blue sapphire ring.

He also appreciated how much it enhanced the natural iridescence of her hair.  For each strand varied from reddish-brown to honey blond, with light brown and strawberry blond mixed in for good measure, and in the light of the fire cloud, her hair appeared to glow.

Her name was Cassandra, and she was indeed quite a sight to behold.  For from the top of her head to the soles of her feet, she was a vision of physical perfection, and the most beautiful part about her was her heart!

It was Calvin’s duty to protect her from harm, but he did not see it as such.  For he had fallen in love with her, and he never wanted to leave her side.

“Stop staring,” Cassandra whispered.  “It’s embarrassing.”

“Just doing my duty, my lady,” Calvin answered with a twinkle in his eye.

Cassandra’s efforts to stifle a giggle failed miserably, which caused some heads to turn.  She scolded under her breath, “See what you’ve done!”

Calvin just grinned, and Cassandra shook her head as if thoroughly disgusted for the benefit of the crowd.  Nonetheless, she actually delighted in the attention that Clayton constantly lavished upon her.  For he always made her feel so very special—even almost worthy of her station in life, which was to be the future queen of the land.

This had been her station since birth.  For her marriage to Prince Victor had been arranged long before she came to be, and in accordance to the custom of the land, he would become king, and she would become his queen, as soon as they took their vows.

To her credit, she did not take it for granted.  If anything, Cassandra took her destiny more seriously than she should.

No, it is not that she considered it a burden, but she did have her concerns.  For she had not even met the man yet, and she worried about what Prince Victor would think of her when it was time for them to meet for the first time, not to mention—for the rest of their lives.

Now, logic would dictate that she had a good reason to have her concerns about him, but she had an equally good reason to be rather confident of what she would find in Prince Victor.  For Calvin’s other duty was to serve as a bodyguard for the prince, and she had been told that one of the main reasons for him being chosen for such a great honor was on account of how similar he was to Prince Victor—both in appearance and mannerisms.  In fact, it was said that the only thing different about them was a heart-shaped birthmark in the center of Prince Victor’s chest.

Yes, Cassandra understood that it was what was on the inside that really counted, and that being similar was not the same as being identical.  After all, the prince might not see her in the same light as Calvin appeared to.  She had hope, however, and that hope was in the possibility of Prince Victor being as much like Calvin on the inside as Calvin was supposed to be like Prince Victor on the outside.

True to form, Calvin had been watching her the whole time, and he could see that Cassandra’s mind was no longer on where they were.  So, he leaned down and softly asked, “A token for your thoughts?”

"A token of what?"  Cassandra asked with an impish grin.

“My esteem, of course,” Calvin answered with a furrow in his brow.

Without missing a beat, Cassandra shot back, “But isn’t that already freely given?”

Feigning exasperation, Calvin asked, “That it is, my lady, but how much more can you want?”

With a broad smile, Cassandra closed her eyes and replied, “I want it all.”

This brought an equally broad smile to Calvin’s face, and he hated having to tell her that it was time for them to go.  The call of duty was paramount, however.  Therefore, he was obliged to say, “The others have all gone, my lady, and there is much to do.”

“Alas, the burden of my responsibilities is indeed great,” Cassandra sighed.

Calvin immediately let out a laugh that could be heard on the other side of the lake, and he was still chuckling as they made their way back to the mansion that had been prepared for Cassandra to reside in before the wedding.  Cassandra just smiled, which added even more to Calvin’s delight.

The path they were taking was near the bottom of a deep hollow.  Mighty oaks dominated the hillsides, and weeping willows hung low over a babbling brook.

Nary a word was spoken as they walked, but this is not to say that they traveled in silence.  For a murder of crows sounded out with what someone with enough imagination could consider as being like a procession march.

Several squirrels in the area also had their part to play, but from the tone of their barking, they did not appear to be very happy about it.  Squirrels can be rather cranky at times, I am told.

Cassandra’s abode soon came into view, and the captain of the guard was waiting on them at the front door to announce, “Prince Victor has requested the pleasure of your company, my lady.  He would like to see you as soon as possible.”

Cassandra fainted dead away, but Calvin caught her before her head could hit the ground.  He then carried her inside and laid her gently upon her bed.

Act 2
Immediately upon regaining consciousness, Cassandra could tell that something unusual was going on, and a quick look around the room confirmed her suspicions.  For Calvin was not sitting next to the door, which is where he had always been when she awoke since before she could remember.

A knot was steadily growing in the pit of her stomach.  For it appeared to be dark outside now.

An eerie silence hanging in the air like a pall was not helping any.  For the big house was usually buzzing with activity at all hours of the day and night.

After taking a moment or two to collect herself, Cassandra made her way down the hallway that led to a small alcove located near the kitchen.  For this is where the servants liked to gather when they were taking a break, and she figured that anyone still around would most likely be there.

She was overjoyed to finally find someone when she first saw the captain of the guard and four of his soldiers sitting at a table in the center of the room, but her euphoria quickly faded.  For they did not look very happy to see her.

Cassandra blinked, and when her eyes refocused, the scene was quite different.  For the captain and his men were now standing at attention.  Furthermore, they were all now looking at her with deep concern, and she knew that this was concern over her welfare instead of their own.

The captain asked, “Would you like to sit down, my lady?”

Cassandra nodded her head in agreement, and he walked over and pulled out a chair for her to sit in.

When she was seated, the captain asked, “Would you like some hot cider?”

Cassandra again nodded her head in agreement, and the captain motioned for one of his men to go get her a cup.

Cassandra eagerly reached for the steaming cup when he returned, and after taking a couple of sips, she started feeling a little better.  This too quickly faded after she asked, “What has happened?”

The captain answered, “Do you remember fainting when I informed you of Prince Victor wanting to see you as soon as possible, my lady?”

Cassandra responded with a meek, “Yes.”

“Well, the prince was very upset when you did not arrive that evening, and Calvin has taken your place in prison,” the captain told her with an ever so slight tremble in his voice.

His mouth had not yet closed from speaking when Cassandra leapt to her feet and demanded, “How could this have happened?”

The captain of the guard took in a hard gulp of air before answering, “It is the law of the land, my lady.”

In a voice an octave or two higher than normal, Cassandra asked, “What law?”

“I am sorry, my lady, but I am under orders to not discuss this with you,” the captain replied in almost a whisper.

Undaunted, Cassandra demanded, “Take me to Calvin now!”

“It is very late, my lady, and it would be better if we waited until after sunrise.  In fact, it would actually be even better if you did not go until sometime in the afternoon,” the captain informed her.

“I don’t care!” Cassandra exclaimed with a very uncharacteristic sternness to her voice.

“Surely you must be hungry, my lady,” the captain countered.  “For it has been almost three days since you have eaten anything that I am aware of.”

Visibly shaken, Cassandra managed to stammer, “What are you talking about?”

The captain took in another hard gulp of air before answering, “It was almost three days ago when I first informed you of the prince wanting to see you as soon as possible, my lady.”

The color drained from Cassandra’s face, and she gingerly sat back down in her seat.  Then she gathered her resolve, stood back up, and told the captain in no uncertain tones, “No, I am not hungry!  Now, if you and your men are not willing to escort me, I will just have to go there by myself.”

Without hesitation, the captain motioned for two of his men to lead the way.  He walked alongside Cassandra, and his other two men trailed behind.

On a good night, a walk to Victor Castle from there would be a very pleasant experience to most.  For it was not all that far away, and the sight of its four ivory watch towers gleaming in the moonlight is nothing short of spectacular.  This was anything but a good night, however.

The four ivory watch towers are not the only spectacular things about Victor Castle—be assured.  For it is said that its front gate was carved out of a single pearl that was 30 feet in diameter, and the outer walls were constructed of white marble slabs too large to be handled by conventional means.

Panes of solid amber lined the main hall, and each interior room is a different wonder in and of itself.  As to be expected, there is one part of the castle that is not so well adorned.

Cassandra sorely regretted refusing to eat something before they left when the putrid stench of the dungeon invaded her nostrils.  For dry heaves always make bad situations worse.

Monstrous rats watched Cassandra’s every move, and they seemed to be daring the soldiers to kick at them before scurrying off in every direction.  She burst into tears when she saw Calvin chained to the wall inside of a cell that was made of heavy iron bars that were covered with rust, along with a thick greenish-black slime that also coated the walls.

“Please do not cry, my lady,” Calvin softly told her.

“I don’t…understand…why this is happening,” Cassandra replied in between sobs.  “I know…that I upset the prince, but…why are you in chains down here?”

“I am down here doing my duty, my lady.  For I am charged with protecting you from all harm to the very best of my abilities,” Calvin answered.

“But how can you protect me from anything in that cell?” Cassandra asked with a very confused look on her face.

With a look of great pain, Calvin answered, “I am taking your place in here, as I will also being doing at dawn.”

“What happens then?” Cassandra asked.

“I would rather not say,” Calvin replied.

“Please, do not seek to protect me from this.  For not knowing would surely do more harm than good,” Cassandra pleaded.

“I will be placed in a pit where I will be stoned to death, and then hogs will be let in to feed upon my carcass,” Calvin calmly answered.

Absolute horror would be the best way to describe the look on Cassandra’s face after she heard Clayton’s explanation.  She tried to speak, but no words would come.

When she found some more resolve, she asked, “Surely Prince Victor could not be so vain and vindictive—could he?  For I can understand how he could feel insulted when I failed to show up for dinner that night, but considering the fact that I took ill, can he really justify such a harsh punishment?”

Calvin quickly answered, “Be assured that the prince does not need to justify anything to anyone.  That is, except to his father, the king, of course, and since they are as one in heart, mind and soul about everything, there is never any question of him doing just exactly as his father would have him to.”

“Woe is me,” Cassandra moaned.  “For both my prince and his father, the king, are monsters.”

Calvin responded rather harshly, “You should never think in such a way!  For it is just not true.”

Again, Cassandra burst into tears, and then let out a mournful wail that should never be heard coming from such a lovely young lass.  For it was a sound that should only be heard coming from a wild animal on a lonely mountaintop and echoing down deep canyons in the middle of dark nights.  Be assured that it brought tears to the eyes of even the battle-hardened soldiers standing guard on the outside of Clayton’s cell.

Calvin stifled a wail of his own enough to gently reply, “Be assured that it is not their fault.  For they both love you very much, and neither have any desire to harm you.”

Having again collected herself somewhat, Cassandra managed to ask, “So, why must this sentence be carried out?”

“The problem is that one of the ministers knew of a statute that had been enacted long ago, when such rules were necessary in order to promote order, that decreed that anyone found guilty of disrespecting a member of the royal family would be stoned to death, and then have their remains fed to hogs in order to add all the more to their disgrace,” Calvin answered.

In a much steadier tone, Cassandra asked, “Being the supreme ruler over all of the land, why couldn’t the king just do away with such a law—especially since it is no longer necessary?”

“Under normal circumstances, the king would just forgive the penalty, but since this involves his son and his future daughter-in-law, he did not want any accusations of impropriety to tarnish the union,” Clayton explained.

Cassandra pleaded, “Could I go and speak with them before it is too late?”

“No, that is not possible.  For they are both indisposed at this time,” Calvin answered.

Cassandra let out another wail, and then fell silent when she heard the sound of heavy boots headed their way.  For she knew what was about to happen.

“The time has come,” the captain of the guard announced.

Cassandra then turned toward Calvin, and when their eyes met, she said, “I love you, and I will always love you.”

Calvin collapsed in a heap when they unchained him from the wall, but it was not because of the confinement, nor the thought of what was yet to come, that he did so.  For it was hearing what Cassandra said that so overwhelmed him.  For it was something that he had longed to hear since the first day they met.

The soldiers standing guard helped Calvin to his feet, and then they led him out of the dungeon to a pit about a half of a mile outside of the castle.  Following along behind was Cassandra, with the help of a couple more soldiers.

No, she did not want to be a witness to the death of her beloved Calvin, but Cassandra couldn’t get her legs to work.  Adding all the more to her horror was a thought about her being at the mercy of the circumstances at hand.

Then another thought crossed Cassandra’s mind, and this one was about how she could still save him by taking his place, which made perfect sense to her.  For it was, after all, her debt to society that he was paying, and as long as it was paid, no one could accuse the king of being unjust.

Cassandra quickly discovered that she was indeed trapped in something that felt like a nightmare that would not end, however.  For not only were her legs not working, she found that she could not say a word, nor make a sound of any kind.  Neither could she wave her arms in order to get someone’s attention.

When Calvin reached the center of the pit, he turned to face Cassandra.  Their eyes met and locked in an intense gaze that seemed to peer into the very depths of the other’s soul.  He then told her, “I love you.  I have always loved you, and I always will.”

Their eyes remained locked in that intense gaze until a fist-sized stone struck Calvin in the temple.  He reeled backwards, but managed to remain on his feet.  He doubled over when several larger stones struck him on both sides of his rib cage, and then an even larger stone sent him to his knees after smashing the lower part of his right leg.

After a hail of smaller flint stones succeeded in shredding his shirt, along with portions of his skin and flesh, a well-aimed toss of an incredibly sharp obsidian battle disc by the captain of the guard mercifully hastened the end of Calvin’s suffering by severing both the jugular and carotid arteries on both sides of his neck.  This brought a howl of protest from the minister who had forced the issue by bringing up the matter of that arcane statute, but he quickly quieted down and slithered away from the pit after it looked like several of the soldiers were about to start chunking stones in his direction.

Arterial spray covered the chalky-white clay soil at the bottom of the pit for about six feet around Calvin before he collapsed on his back, and this made the imagery of the scene complete.  For it could be clearly seen from the top of the pit that what the arterial spray had painted was an exact match for the heart-shaped birthmark that could still be clearly seen in the center of his chest.  All in attendance seemed frozen in place, and hogs could be heard squealing nearby.

Act 3
Cassandra awoke in a really good mood.  For aside from some lingering thoughts of a very disturbing nightmare that she had just had, she felt generally refreshed.

As was her custom when first waking, Cassandra stretched her arms out wide and arched her back while yawning loudly in an exaggerated fashion.  This was as much meant for Calvin’s benefit as it was for her own.  For he seemed to always get a big kick out of her carrying on so, but when she looked over at his chair by the door, he was not there.

Cassandra let out a blood-curdling scream when the thought hit her that her nightmare just might have been real.  This brought servants and soldiers rushing into her bedroom from all directions.

“Has something bad happened to Calvin?” Cassandra pleaded.

“That is yet to be determined, my lady.  For it all depends upon what you want,” a familiar voice spoke from the back of the crowd that had formed at the foot of Cassandra’s bed.

Cassandra called out with a shaky voice, “Calvin?”

When he stepped to the front of the crowd, Cassandra leapt into Calvin’s arms, and he held her oh so very tight as she sobbed quite uncontrollably.  After a few moments, she leaned back and looked deeply into his eyes, and then he leaned down and kissed her in the way that troubadours sing songs about.

By the time the kiss had ended, they were alone in the room.  Without saying a word, Cassandra stepped back a little and started unbuttoning Calvin’s shirt.  When she saw the heart-shaped birthmark in the center of his chest, she gasped, “Prince Victor?”

“Yes, it is I,” he gently answered.

Cassandra immediately recoiled, but he caught her by the shoulders before she could get more than an arm’s length away.  Tears welled up in her eyes, and were soon streaming down her face.

For what seemed like an eternity to her, Cassandra could not do anything but cry, and look at him in horror.  For she had no idea if any of this was real, or just a continuation of the nightmare about the stoning that she thought she had awakened from.

Cassandra finally asked him, “Was any of it real?”

“Oh yes, it was all very real,” he answered.

“Even the part about Calvin being held in the dungeon, and you being stoned to death?”

“Well, not exactly.  For Calvin and I are one and the same person,” he answered.

Cassandra was instantly overwhelmed with shock and disbelief, and all she could manage to mumble was a meek, “What?”

“My full name is Prince Victor Calvin.  Well, at least that is what it is at this time.  For it will change to King Victor Calvin, if we wed, of course, but I much prefer being called just Calvin,” he replied.

Cassandra did not say a word.  She just stared at Calvin, and then slowly turned her head to look out of the window near her bed.

As if on cue, a couple of bluebirds landed on Cassandra’s windowsill, and started singing.  Quickly afterward, a bright red male cardinal landed on a branch of a dogwood tree a few feet away, and joined in.  The choir was fully assembled when three yellow canaries announced their presence from a magnolia in full bloom just to the south of a stand of silver leaf poplars, and Cassandra felt herself being lifted above her troubles.

All too soon, a knock on her bedroom door brought Cassandra crashing back down to earth.  Fortunately, it was not the bearer of more bad news.  For it was just one of the kitchen staff, and Calvin took control of a covered cart that she had rolled down the hall.

“I know that you have many questions, but it would make me feel so much better if you would sit down and eat something first.  For it has been quite some time since you last ate anything,” Calvin told her with great concern in his voice.

Cassandra was about to motion to him to take it away when she caught a whiff of what was on the cart, and her stomach immediately sounded its approval.  For the cook had prepared little cornmeal cakes stuffed with sliced ham, onions, green peppers and three different kinds of cheese.

In accordance to her prerogative, Cassandra changed her mind.  For it was, after all, one of her favorite dishes.

When Calvin saw that Cassandra was going to try to eat some, he exclaimed with a big grin, “Good!  For I was sorely dreading having to tell the cook that I had her go to all that trouble for nothing.”

That brought a smile to Cassandra’s face, but she was not really in the mood for conversation yet.  So, they enjoyed the cakes in silence, along with a carafe of fresh-squeezed orange juice.

They continued to just listen to the songbirds singing for almost an hour after they had finished eating.  Cassandra also watched a pair of very young bunnies played tag on a lush green carpet of Bermuda grass under a massive live oak tree that was covered with Spanish moss in the middle of the yard.  Calvin kept his eyes glued on her.

Suddenly, Cassandra’s eyes welled up with tears once again, and with a voice cracking with emotion, she asked, “How is it possible for you to still be alive?”

“When the hogs were let in, they refused to approach.  My body was then brought before my father, and he brought me back to life,” Calvin answered.

“How can this be?” Cassandra asked.

“Nothing is too difficult for my father to accomplish, but would it not be better to ask about the reason why rather than how?”

“Okay.”  Cassandra’s voice was little more than a whisper now.  “Why?”

Calvin took a deep breath and answered, “It has to do with obtaining something truly special for the both of us.”


“Well, I wanted you to know, beyond any and all reasonable doubts, that I loved you enough to die for you.  For with our marriage being prearranged, I did not want you to have any concerns about just how much I truly loved you.”

“So, this was all about you wanting to prove yourself to me?”

“Not entirely,” Calvin answered.

Cassandra just stared at him.

After clearing his throat, Clayton continued, “Please, understand that I know that your character is beyond reproach.  Therefore, there is no questioning of your resolve to always honor your marriage vows to the best of your abilities.  Furthermore, I know that you do indeed genuinely love me, and that your love goes far beyond any reasonable expectations of honor and duty.  I have always wanted to receive a very special kind of love, however.  For it is relatively easy to love someone who can provide everything that you desire—both materially and emotionally, and almost always does so when you want him or her to, but it takes a very special kind of love to want to stay with someone who has wounded you deeply.  After all that I have subjected you to, that would be the kind of love that I would be receiving from you if you would still have me as your husband.”

After taking some time to absorb what she had been just told, Cassandra asked in a distant tone, “So, this was also about me proving myself to you?”

“That is certainly one way of looking at it, Calvin replied, and then asked, “Can you forgive me?”

Cassandra again looked out of the window and spied the two tiny bunnies still romping about under the live oak tree.  She sighed out of envy for their their apparent innocence.

Then Cassandra saw a rather large snake on a low hanging branch just above where the bunnies were playing, and her heart filled with terror when the snake slide off of the branch and land a few feet behind them.  She was about to cry out in an attempt to warn the bunnies of their impending doom when they scampered off before the snake could slither close enough to strike.

Cassandra continued to watch as the snake slithered off into a patch of big blue stem grass, and she thought of the minister who had brought the charges of royal disrespect against her.  Out of the corner of her eye, she saw the two bunnies kicking up their heels like nothing traumatic had just happened, and this made her wonder about what the future may hold for her and Calvin.

In the same distant tone she had used before, Cassandra asked, “Whose idea was it?”

“My father and mine,” Calvin answered.

With the tone of Cassandra’s voice becoming a little chillier, she asked, “Was the minister also in on it?”

“Unwittingly,” Calvin replied.

The answer caught Cassandra slightly off-guard.  So, it took a few seconds before she could ask, “What do you mean?”

“My father and I were well aware of the treachery that the minister harbored in his heart, and this is why we made sure that he knew about the arcane statute, which was left standing in order to facilitate our plan.  Therefore, it can be said that the minister did indeed have his part to play, but the truth is that he had no idea what was really going on,” Calvin explained.

“I cannot imagine going to such great lengths,” Cassandra replied with her voice trailing off ever so slightly.

“What I wanted for us was worth paying any price, and you have already said that you wanted it all.”

Cassandra then knew what she should do, and without saying a word, she leapt out of her chair and landed in Clayton’s lap.  The next step in her plan was to engage in a kiss that would make the one that they had shared before look like a simple peck on the lips.

Their wedding took place as had been scheduled for later that spring.  Both the bride and the groom looked radiant, and the festivities lasted for days.  Needlessly to say, theirs was a love for the ages, and they lived happily ever after.  Two hearts beating as one, never missing a beat.

Curtain Call
To those who can accept it, this fable is about so much more than a love for the ages shared by Calvin and Cassandra.  For Calvin represents the Lord Jesus Christ, and Cassandra represents us—as in all of mankind, and the entire story represents what is commonly referred to as being the meaning of life.

Yes, just the thought of such a premise is utterly ridiculous to even most Christians.  For A Love for the Ages was presented as a fable for broad appeal, and there is much about reality that is vastly different than what was alluded to in it.

Nonetheless, I hope you will be willing to at least listen to what our Heavenly Father’s Holy Spirit has to say to your heart.  For He is the source of all knowledge and understanding, and He can tie up all of the apparent loose ends.

Be assured that this is also the hope of our Heavenly Father, who truly is the Lord God Almighty and the Creator of all that exists apart from Himself.  After all, where do you think that this story came from in the first place?

By the way, just in case you may be thinking that Calvin is a nod toward John Calvin and the false doctrine of election, be assured that I just wanted my estranged son, Calvin, to know that he is often in my thoughts.  Yeah, that idea came from our Heavenly Father, as well.

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