Tag Archives: Hollins University

Safe Haven



I had none.

School, where children

bullied relentlessly

was an escape from home.

Church, which was

supposed to be a place

of sanctuary

and worship was instead

another battleground.

Home was a confusing

mess of lies

and emotional abuse

for years.


At home,

my grandparents

didn’t believe I was being

treated badly

on all fronts.

I was shouted at constantly

for doing things

that should’ve been

considered normal.


I wanted my mommy.

You’re going to your


I wanted my mommy.


“Daddy” was someone

I was sent to when

my grandparents wanted

a weekend to themselves.

I repressed my memories

of him,

but they came

flooding back

when I write.

And I have

to keep my head


to stop them.


My mother, I wouldn’t

see for months at a time.

My mommy took me to Starbucks

for hot chocolate.

My mommy took me doll


What did you do with yours?

Nothing. I didn’t see her.


Momless crybaby!


School was a fucking


Classes were easy,

socializing was hard.

Everyday I sat beside

someone who made fun

of me.

Made fun of:

My lisp

My being over sensitive

Being friendsless

Being awkward

Being bisexual


Bisexuality is not a fucking choice!


Church made accusations.

You’re a sinner:

for being a child

for not fitting in

for having a talent

for having no talent

for caring for schoolwork

for being bullied

for being on the lowest rung

for being a girl

for being gay or bi

And you’re going to Hell.


My peers eventually

stopped bullying


I guess a black

eye and split lip

is enough to

change minds.

The church kept


My grandparents

noticed me getting

a mind of my own,

a sign of

growing up.


They cracked down.


Eventually they gave

up forcing me to church.


I have a safe haven now.


It is not in my mind

or my heart.

Those still need



My safe haven

are two, strong

arms holding me tight,

belonging to the man

whose ring I wear;

My friends who

noticed my changes

and helped me accept them;

Hollins University where

the grass grows green,

the teachers like Charlotte

Matthews and Lawrence

Wayne Markert are these

epic, supporting people, and

where the new friends I’ve

made—like Patty, Lauren, Lucretia,

and Shoshana—know

how to love like sisters.


I have found my safe haven

and I hope I can be one

for my baby.

Good Ol’ Girls at Hollins Theatre–A Review

Going to the Little Theatre to watch any performance is exhilarating, but musical especially. There’s something about the way the actors, the set, and the musicians come together that can let you know the style of the director as well as his or her teaching style. Ernie teaches his actors while he works with them. They don’t notice at first, but after a while its obvious. I should know, I was in Goodnight Moon in Fall 2011.

Good Ol’ Girls is a montage of different stories of the Good Ol’ Girls of the south. It has a Nashville, TN style of music that demands a twang to your voice. The girls are sassy, young, old, crazy, easy, in love, out of love, beaten, and even more. They go through birth, death, first love, last love, and so much more. The musical made me laugh, cry and my heart burst.

The story line is just that its a tribute to the good ol’ girls who go through so much. Its a montage of music and monologues that show who and what a good ol’ girl is.

“A Good Ol’ Girl…speaks her mind. Just ask them ol’ boys who crossed her one time.”

We see this throughout the musical.

The actors were phenomenal. Their voices fit together better than the lime and the coconut. The set looked like they took months to build, but I know it was shorter than that and for the first time the band was up on stage. I’ve never seen the band actually on the set. Above, yes. Below, yes. Offstage, yes. It was nice and the actors played to each member. It was like they were actors as well. It made things amazing.

I only had a few issues. Okay, ’twas only two.

1. There were a few technical difficulties. Mics cut off suddenly mid-line only to come back again. That was all the TD, but it was still annoying. Really important scenes were ruined because I couldn’t hear the girl’s voice.

2. I couldn’t understand half the songs’ lyrics. I understand there’s that twang, but I know its possible to sing in a way to be understood with the southern twang. Country stars who don’t act can do it. Why can’t actors. Alright, I’m being hard, but that’s because Ernie accepts nothing less than perfection. Most of these girls don’t naturally have southern accents, but its easy to learn the accent in Roanoke. Southern accent hotbed, people.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. I really wanted to give five stars, but it wasn’t meant to be. I do appreciate how hard these girls worked though. There are encore performances in May and June, so you should really really check it out and buy tickets.

Awakening the Red Hood Chapter Two Part Two Excerpt


“How do you know that name?”

“He left me a message. Now who is he?”

“Hyun is our teki. He runs the Ookami.”

Ookami?” I asked, walking over to a wall and leaning against it.

“The Lycans. They are the jin who were genetically engineered to fight us in World War three. Ainiku we are now in World War four,” Carolina said, pulling out a cigarette. Xia lit it for her as she took her first drag. I looked at the wreckage of the kitchen and sighed. There was food everywhere, with the gray mush stuff we had to eat on every surface of the room.

“What will we do?”

“Relocate whatever the jigoku we can to the other mess hall. Our people may have to relocate you if it is too chikushoo far,” Carolina responded, taking a puff from her smokes. “Get to work.”

I looked at the equipment that had been damaged and the one that had not been and noticed a difference. The damaged stuff had warnings about radiation.

“Doctor, is this what we need to make the special food for us?” I asked indicating to the destroyed equipment.

Kuso! Hai.


Hai. Well, I will contact the lab. I know they have something. Kuso!” she cursed before running out the door. We could still hear her swearing for a good twenty minutes before it was suddenly cut off.

“The lab is air tight. It is also soundproof. We will not be able to hear anything from inside and they will not be able to hear us,” Xia said, patting me on the back before suggesting that we return to our rooms. I agreed instantly. They started with me, but I noticed when I reached Xia’s room that they had not come with me. I shook my head and ran to my room.

“Poor, poor little girl. Bu li da by your people. Stupid little girl, why do you bother?” I heard Hyun’s voice in my head again. I shook my head and crawled onto bed, ignoring the hunger pains I had. Carolina appeared in my head a few moments before I turned to find her standing in the door way.

Asagohan is being prepared. I’ll take you to the mess hall now,” she said. I nodded and rose from the bed to walk towards her. She led me along a path that was twisty, turny, and confusing. When we arrived I was glad to sit down and stop the dizzy spell that attacked my head when we were walking.

“Li-On, you know that you are only good for this government as long as you act the way you did today, right?”

“I know. That is the thing about government. If you are not useful you get thrown out. I was wondering if it would be possible to see the sun?” I asked.

“No. It is not. We have been stuck in a snow storm for the entirety of this war. It is not our fault and nor is it the fault of our enemies. It is just so jigoku messed up here on Earth. I wonder how Venus is doing.”

“Why would you wonder about Venus?”

“My sister moved up there to be part of the MMA on the planet,” she responded. “I have not heard from her since then. The only thing in common the two countries have is that we both have severed all ties to Venus.”

“Maybe if our side connected with them again we could win the war and not have it go on forever and ever,” I said, staring at the table top. When I glanced at where Carolina stood she was gone. Twenty minutes later she returned with Xia, Shia Shia, and Kim.

“Sit down girls. Another juppon and you all will be able to eat.”

“Fine,” Xia growled before sitting across from me. The other girls followed suit. We sat in silence the entire ten minutes and I could not figure out how to break the ice. They seemed to be annoyed with me, but I was not sure why. Carolina delivered the food to us and I grimaced at the gray mush.

Since it was apparent the other girls were not going to talk to me I finished my food in a record hour. When Carolina stopped by to check on us she recognized that it was time for me to return to my room.

We walked out in a stormy silence, but I kept my head up straight until we got to my room. Then, I laid on the bed and fell asleep.

I dreamed or saw Hyun again, but after our encounter in the old mess hall. He was bleeding from his chest and one of his pack was laying on the ground, prostate. He was begging for forgiveness from his leader.

“You scratched me as we left. Do you know what you have done? They may be able to find us now. Do you want ju gut?” he asked the man on the ground before taking a seat in a throne made of ice.

“My gwe jok, I beg for your forgiveness. I did not mean to scratch your ah reum da oon body. My liege, I was just trying to push in front of you in case she fired her chong,” he begged, not raising his head even a centimeter. I could tell he was getting snow in his mouth and nose, but he would not move.

I sashayed towards him, closer so that I might touch him. One of Hyun’s servants was placing hot clothes on the wound to soak up the blood as another waited with a bandage. I did not believe that he knew I was there. If he did he would have forced me out, so I walked to his throne and stared into his face. His green eyes stared out at his people and his cheeks sloped angelically. His brow was attractively hardened and his chin was strong. He was handsome, but I did not think he was worth doing anything about. I thought that he was far too dangerous.

The crowd stared at the prostrated man as he begged. At a nod from Hyun they started throwing rocks at him with all of their strength. He ducked his head under his hands and endured each of the hits to his back and legs. The rocks barely missed his head and his feet. Next thing I knew someone had rushed forward and shoved a knife into his back. He arched up, trying to push himself away and into the snow, but someone took aim. When they released the rock, it hit him in just the right spot, killing him instantly. I gasped in shock and rushed forward to make sure he was okay. He was dead when I got to him. Sighing, I turned to the king. He motioned to the crowd and a man stepped forward.

“Do you need a new one, my gwe jok?” he asked.

“Yes. I do,” Hyun replied, leaning back. He held out his hand and his servant pressed a goblet into his hand. He took a sip and threw it at the servant who handed it to him.

“It is sour.”

“I am sorry my gwe jok. I shall get a better one for you,” she said, running off towards a building.

“The girl has already been brain washed,” Hyun said loudly. His sudden words brought gasps from his audience. He rested his head on his right hand before sighing.

“My gwe jok, what do you mean?” some kid in the back called out. Hyun took a deep breath before standing to speak.

“She has shot at our people. She has attacked them and brutally murdered them.”

“All of them have done that!” someone called out. I stood and stepped behind him, drawn to place my hand on his back. He seemed to feel it, glancing back at me, but he did not see me.

“While that is true,” he said, turning back to the crowd. “She was someone special to me.”

“That does not matter. She is one of them now, sir,” Charles said, stepping forward.

“I know, Charles.”

“You need to put her on the list.”

“We need to keep in mind that she is under the United’s control,” he insisted. I walked around him to see his face. It was a mask of utter control. I was about to touch his face when something reached forward and drag me back.

I woke up screaming, trying to get away from whatever had its grasp on me. Jumping from my bed, I was up against the wall in an instant. Its fingers were still on me, all over my body. The fingers were playing with my hair and shoulder.

“Are you okay, Miss Red,” a female voice said through the intercom. I pressed the button and told her that I was fine.

“I was just having a nightmare,” I responded.

“I will get Carolina.”

“No, you really do not need to do it!” I tried to stop them, but I was too late. A few minutes later Carolina was walking through my door. She started checking my pulse and my other vital signs, but she found me to be normal.

“You seem okay. The vitamins you took should have removed all dreams. What happened?” she asked me.

“I was in the snow and I was yanked back,” I told her.

“Was there anyone with you?”


“Okay, then it was a fluke.”

“Are you sure?” I asked, sitting on my bed. She nodded. We sat in silence for a while before she took my hand and led me towards the other girls.

“It is time for hirogohan, so it is a good thing you woke up like that,” Carolina said, leading me. We picked up the others and headed for the new mess hall. The girls waited for me to sit down first so that they could all sit opposite of me. As we ate the girls discussed what they needed to do for the pageant that was coming on. I never joined in. I was not interested in a pageant I did not know about. I just wanted to sit back and read a book.

“What are you going to do in the pageant, Miss Red?” Kim asked, touching my hand.

“Oh, I am not doing anything in the pageant. I will not be in it.”

Nani? What do you mean? You simply have to be in it!” Shia Shia said. I shook my head. There was no point in doing it if I did not want to.

“She is not interested. That is not the only thing that makes her completely different. She also has dreams.”

“Shut up, Xia!”

“It is fine.”

Iie, it is not. She needs to treat you with respect. After all, you did technically save our lives. We owe you,” Shia Shia said.

“No, I did not. All I did was kill a bunch of Lycans.”

“You did more than that!”

“No, trust me. I did not do any more,” I said, shoving mush into my mouth. Kim withdrew her hand as if our moment was over. We ate the rest of our lunch in silence.

Carolina leads us back to our rooms. I was surprised to see a weight sitting on my bed. Picking it up, I started with my right arm, doing twenty-four pumps before I put it away. I readied for bed and fell asleep.