Thursday, 12 June 2014

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Grad Quote

After some deliberation I decided to go with this Thoreau quote as my qrad quote because it is a reminder that you can make your dreams become reality. Thoreau was an author, poet and philospher and many of his ideologies and beliefs are ones that I definitely agree with. When I was a child a magnet used to hang on our fridge with this quote on it. Everyday while getting my cereal I would stare at this quote and try to figure out what it means. Its fascinating to me how much words written by someone that lived so long ago and whom I've never even met can remind me of home and still be pertinent today.

Friday, 30 May 2014

More on "The Search Begins"

Want to know more character detail? Follow the link below to view Jacob’s instagram account.

http://instagram.com/jacob__ek

Monday, 26 May 2014

Social Fiction Story

The Search Begins

September 23rd, 2013

I have always wanted to write a book. Fiction, non-fiction, autobiographical; never have I considered the type of novel that I would one day like to publish. My reverence to historical accuracy is lacking, so maybe fiction would be best. The term, “based on a true story” seems to fit my preferences well. Like any writer, I enjoy my coffee black and struggle to meet deadlines. Much akin to the great Hamlet, procrastination is my tragic flaw. Most would say my thoughts are interesting but I do not like to exert the effort required to express them. Maybe I am lazy.

Truthfully, it is less difficult for me to put pen to paper than it is to verbalize my ideas. While speaking, the words that adequately convey whatever it is that I’m trying to communicate, seem to get muddled, misinterpreted or completely misunderstood by the subject of my awful, blabbering attempt to connect with another human being. Writing is obviously superior since any fool with a thesaurus can sound intelligent if they practice hard enough. I applaud public speakers for their ability to address an audience with gusto and improvise if things do not go according to plan. Unlike a speech, its impossible to plan a conversation; this is where I begin to fail.

It’s not that I am unintelligent by any means. Uneducated? Maybe. I simply feel that during an everyday conversation there is not enough time or depth of character to communicate anything other than, “What do you want for dinner?” The irony of the situation is that I should feel as if I have all the time in the world. I am young and have almost my entire life ahead of me. Yet, I choose to isolate myself and continue to believe that dialogue is overrated- when I should be out discovering who I am and who I truly want to be. Of course, all of this changed the day I met Jacob.
He was not your typical drifter. At first glance, Jacob looked like an average young man; he dressed simply and classically and appeared to be in his late teens to early twenties. His speech was eloquent and his grammar impeccable. Jacob seemed as if he had everything I didn’t, but my unskilled observation did not reveal to me any implications behind the fact that his leather jacket was slightly shabby, his jeans were a size too small and his Calvin Klein knit was of a season long past. He wore a saggy black beanie and a scruffy beard; his entire appearance screamed, “hipster.” I was immediately intrigued.

Our first encounter was a memorable and important step in human interaction for someone like me. Every day after school I would go to the local library to study, but really it was to escape the company of my mother and father-whose expectations I could never meet. Jacob’s look was one my mother would never approve of. My subconscious desire to rebel was most likely the true reason for my initial attraction to the strange male specimen before me.


As an eighteen year old, socially inept individual, I quickly and completely eliminated any notion of approaching him. In fact, I frequented the library in order to avoid these types of Catch 22 situations since generally, the only group who regularly visited the public domain were of the sixty-five plus age demographic. Jacob definitely wasn't a senior citizen and an air of confidence simply oozed from his pores, so what was he doing in a library?

In my curious wonder I had spaced out staring directly at the subject of my interest and he was gazing just as intently right back at me. Jacob looked like he was waiting for something but whatever it was, he certainly didn't get it. He pulled out the chair next to him and gestured to the seat. I did not accept. Instead, I swiftly stood and tried to walk gracefully towards the farthest aisle of books.  In my peripheral, I noticed him begin to follow. I had just hidden behind a large shelf when I noticed a copy of “50 Shades” sticking out along the social and literal barrier I did not want to cross. I glanced at the sign that dictated the section name. Just my luck, it read, “Romance/Erotica.” I was red before he even spoke.

“Shy?” He asked. Before I could attempt stammer out a reply, he put a strong finger to my lips and whispered, “Don’t say a word, we’re in a library.” My nervousness was incredibly obvious but I didn’t think he would save me the embarrassment of having to speak. He pulled out a notepad and a pen and began to write, I waited patiently until he was finished. The final result was a note that disclosed his entire life story, thoughts on the world and personal values. It started as far back as he could remember and ended with losing his mom, being kicked out of university and getting thrown out on the street by his father. I assumed at the time that the story had ended because there was nothing left to tell. I later learned that the rest was just too painful for Jacob. He concluded his tale with a question to me, “I’ve told you my secrets, what are yours?”

When he gently placed the pad of paper and the pen in my lap, I felt the burning sensation of shame reach my cheeks. Jacob had faced more hardship and trauma than I could have imagine and still maintained his zest for life. I had a roof over my head and two parents that love me, so why couldn’t I find my smile? My response to Jacob expressed all this and more. As previously mentioned, writing down my thoughts comes easily to me. The scary part was allowing someone else to read them. Still though, I told Jacob all about my parents as well as my insecurities, fears, hopes, dreams and especially, my loneliness. The entire time he read, Jacob focused solely on the message before him. He was so intent that he appeared to be entranced by the words on the page. My intriguing new companion waited a long moment before he picked up the pen again. As he wrote, I began to relax. Although I felt completely and figuratively naked, I felt as if I could trust Jacob with my deepest, crushing, emotions. Finally his message was complete, it read:



I am truly taken with your quiet exterior and witty insight but instinct tells me dormant fire lies deep within you; I can feel its heat. Own your fear, prove yourself wrong and let nature take its course. How will you find passion if you live life only half invested? Go all-in and discover your confidence. Mystery is fascinating but too much of it will drive others away. I guess what I’m trying to say is, if you can trust me you can trust yourself.

Yours truly,
Jacob

This was the first time I’d learned his name. It seemed too simple for someone so complex. I lay down the pen and paper and decided on a bold move. Before I could rethink it, I leaned into him and whispered, “Thanks for taking the time to investigate me and try to remember, trust is easy to break. Call me.” As I stood up and walked away, I noticed him neatly fold up the paper I had slipped him. It contained my name as well as seven simple digits that would allow us both to solve the mystery of each other.

-Anonymous


Thursday, 22 May 2014

Lush Products


These are some of my favourite Lush products. As a former Lush employee I gained a personal knowledge of the products and ingredients and all of their benefits and uses. One of the most interesting parts of being an employee at Lush was learning about their philosophy.

A Relevant Quote

The author of this quote is unknown to me but it speaks to what many of my peers and I am experiencing right now during the final weeks of our senior year. Graduation is fast approaching and although I am excited to move on to bigger and better things a big part of me is afraid of the changes that will come with it. The future is frightening, hopeful, inspiring, undefined and always wavering. Nothing is forever and like the future humans must remain fluid.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Field Trip Questions

1. Talk about the process of eavesdropping:

i. Where did you go?
I went to the school cafeteria near the back table where the seniors sit.

ii. How long did you listen to conversation?
I listened to the conversation for about 20 minutes.

iii. Who was it between?
It was actually 2 separate conversations going on between 2 different groups of seniors.

iv. How did it feel to be recording the conversation?
Recording the conversation felt intrusive and wrong since the topic of conversation was mostly gossip or things that should not be repeated.

2. What insights did you gain about the way people speak?
I gained the insight that most people speak unbridled when they are in a comfortable and familiar setting.

3. How can you apply this to your writing?
I can use this to determine how my characters relate with each other depending on what their relationship is and how long they have known each other.

4. How is personality and character revealed through conversation/dialogue?
You can tell a lot about someone's character not only by what they say or the way the speak but also through body language, tone of voice and the language they use.

5. What happens when more than two people participate in a conversation?
When more people participate in a conversation the topic tends to wander a lot more.

6. What was the most surprising thing you’ve learned about the way people converse?
The amount of swearing and vulgar language used was the most surprising to me. Although we hear it all the time, when you stop and think it is very concerning.

7. What are the differences and similarities between written and spoken conversations?
Written conversations are a lot more thought out and any kind of space filler or unnecessary conversation is non-existent.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Austin Kleon's

I was checking out Austin Kleon's Newspaper Blackout Poetry and this was one of my favourites. It's called Vision.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Visual So What

http://io9.com/concept-art-writing-prompt-the-mechanical-giants-body-1543370148

The visual "so what" behind this photograph to me is the metaphor that humans are too dependent on machines that will eventually all break down and human ingenuity will be the only thing that remains. I find it interesting that even after the robot has fallen to destruction the humans have found a way to reuse their original creation. I think this image presents a strong environmental message to reduce our carbon footprint as well.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Newspaper Blackout Poetry

Tips for creating blackout poetry:
-Scan the newspaper for images, don't read it
-Parody the article or transform it into something new to make a statement
-Don't summarise an article, shop for words
-Circle parts you may want to keep

Newspaper Blackout Poetry is an interesting concept but to me it seems not that creative and actually kind of visually unappealing. It would be different to try the process but it seems like a very restricting way to write and much different than what I am used to. I am entertaining the idea of trying this myself just to experiment with new ways of writing but I fear I may not like it.

Monday, 5 May 2014

TEDx Youth Fort Garry Reflection

Last week I had the pleasure of going to the TEDx presentation at The Forks. My favourite speaker was probably Nereo 2nd or Chris Voth. I liked that both of their presentations were well prepared and their messages were clear and positive. I especially appreciated the way they related to the audience and were engaging speakers. Nereo's story especially resonated with me because my own parents are artists and deal with the "starving artist stereotype". Chris Voth's story of coming out was inspiring and brave. He was initially afraid of being open with his friends, family and teammates but gradually grew to realize that keeping such a large secret was affecting his volleyball performance and happiness. Another standout on the TEDx talks was Lauren Chopek's presentation. It was shocking and scary to hear the story of a girl not much younger than me who has lived a wild life on the streets. Although she was a powerful speaker, I found her talk to be inappropriate for the occasion and the audience. Many audience members were too young to fully understand the magnitude of what was being talked about and Lauren seemed like she wasn't in a place to share without allowing her emotions to overshadow the positive message of the subject matter. It was still interesting to hear the story of someone who was in the process of change.

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Blind

The end is near, I can tell.
The roads, the sidewalks, all lie empty.
Void of life, of existence, of anything.
Silence fills the night and the moon whispers to the earth.

Telling secrets unknown to man;
Eerie things that would induce a terror into our hearts.
So great this terror- so incomprehensible,
It would lay waste to our very existence.
We would not survive to see the end.

But these whispers remain inaudible to us.
We hear the rustling of the trees,
The whistling of the wind,
And the howling of the wolves.

We hear but do we listen?
Our kind refuses to heed the warnings of the wise,
Telling us to leave this place for it is damned.
We cannot save out home, we can but destroy.

Our world is shattered,
But yet,
We linger.

Refusing to open our eyes,
For fear of being blinded by the light.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Quickwrite-Best meal

The best meal would taste like a cool glass of water and a spicy jalapeƱo pepper at the same time. The meal would taste fresh and warm no matter how long it sat out. It would smell like garlic and crisp veggies straight from the garden while cooking. The meal would taste like junk food but be healthier than any other fast food. The meal would smell like nachos and veggie burgers all in one after it was prepared and would be the most satisfying thing you could possibly eat.

Quickwrite- Eden

The sky will always be blue and filled with whisps of wandering clouds able to mask the sunlight every once in awhile. Homes will always be peaceful and families will always stay together. People will smile, laugh, cry and feel more. There will be endless supplies of any type of delicious food to be dreamt of. Stomachs would be bottomless pits that never feel empty. Weight will be gained but no one will ever be "fat". Education would be available to all and kindness would be second nature. Animals would roam free and wouldn't fear slaughter or extinction. Image would never be an issue because we would all be equal.

Monday, 28 April 2014

Skype Reflection #2

I think the Skype interaction between the classrooms allows our class to see how much elementary school has changed since we've been there. Being able to see and talk to the kids creates a real relationship with the people we interact with over the Internet.

My presentation could have gone better if Veronica and I had the chance to do a dry run. It was difficult to show the kids the illustrations that we had drawn since they were very small and had to be held close to the camera. I also tried to show both me and Veronica's pictures but switching papers was too confusing so at the end I only continued to show my own. I am not sure if the grade 3s fully understood what we were trying to demonstrate.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Procedural Writing: How to enjoy the movies to the max!

Step 1. Go online and pre-order your movie tickets to beat the line up.

Step 2. Get ready to go out in public.
Step 3. Go to the store and stock up on cheap junk food.

Step 4. Stash the junk food in your bag or jacket.











Step 5. Hitch a ride with buds or catch a bus.

Step 6. Claim your tickets.
Step 7. Make sure you go number 1 and 2 before the show starts.

Step 8. Choose the best seats, sit back with your food and enjoy the show!

















Monday, 21 April 2014

Ignite Presentation

The following is a link to my ignite slideshow on haikudeck:
https://www.haikudeck.com/p/m86xN5DoLT/my-camp-experience

Slide 1-Photo Credit: Google Maps
Slide 2- Photo Credit: Maslen Johnston
Slide 3- Photo Credit: Kaya Glover
Slide 4- Photo Credit: Zoe Matties
Slide 5- Photo Credit: Maslen Johnston
Slide 6- Photo Credit: Emma Ryan
Slide 7- Photo Credit: Maslen Johnston
Slide 8- Photo Credit: Emma Ryan
Slide 9- Photo Credit: Maslen Johnston
Slide 10- Photo Credit: Natalie Johnson
Slide 11- Photo Credit: Willow Dyck
Slide 12- Photo Credit: Zoe Matties
Slide 13- Photo Credit: Zoe Matties
Slide 14- Photo Credit: Amber Leenders
Slide 15- Photo Credit: Alanna Johnson
Slide 16- Photo Credit: Kaya Glover
Slide 17- Photo Credit: Alanna Johnson
Slide 18- Photo Credit: Amber Leenders
Slide 19- Photo Credit: Maslen Johnston

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Philosophy 101

Distancing yourself from others is so much easier than letting them get close. Allowing someone to see the real you that often lies dormant inside a shell of mistrust is terrifying. The shell is fragile, it contains us, encompasses our beliefs and values, fear and hope, faith and  love, imperfection and insecurity. It preserves our sanity and the precious personality  that is the epitome of who we are. It's the thought that one person has the power to fracture the delicate layer and reach the innermost recesses of our souls that frightens most of us into a lifetime of closing the world off. We do this without realising, we build careers, find love,  start families and grow old without ever truly discovering divine peace with ourselves and the world. Something is always off kilter, we blame outside forces but the source is from within. Being yourself requires a complete sense of who you really are, without the harmony of mind, body and spirit this is not possible.

A Quick Thought

I think everyone's a little deeper than they seem. It's a lot harder to put abstract thoughts into words than it is to lay awake at night and concoct ideas.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Skype Reflection

(1) What topics did you present?  How did you go about making it "stick" with your audience?

My group presented the topic of commas and periods used in sentences. I was dressed up as Havoc the Husky for the entire presentation so I feel like I wasn't a large part of the actual lesson. I did help with other aspects of the project such as writing the script and the visual. Veronica was the one who presented the memoirs to the class since she is comfortable speaking in front of an audience and has a bright, outgoing personality.

(2) How do you feel your mini lesson went? Strengths? Weaknesses?

I think our mini lesson went well but I just wish that all of us were able to speak to the class in our presentation. It was difficult for me to tell what was going on from inside the Havoc costume and I was unable to participate in any of the talking done in any of the presentations. Although being Havoc was fun I hope to do something a little bit different the next time we Skype. Still, I really enjoyed the response that all of the kids had to our visual and lesson.

(3) What did you learn about the process of teaching and learning?

This project helped me realize that part of being a teacher is trying to make the lesson interesting for the age group you are teaching. Spewing out information is not the best way to teach younger kids. Instead, it works better trying to get them involved by using more interactive teaching methods. I think our mini lessons were successful because the kids felt involved in learning.

(4) What should we do next?

Our entire class should take a trip to Thompson to meet Ms. Bettess' class! In all reality though, I think we should write our own original poems to share with the 3rd grade class.

Friday, 14 March 2014

6 Word Memoirs


Photo credit: N. Johnson
Theme: Me

I chose to use this picture because it is a physical representation of my oddness and weird personality. I chose this font because it is funky and quirky with a little bit of an edge, which reflects the feeling in the photo. In this picture I was on a 10 day canoe trip and my friends convinced me to eat the leftover food we had cooked over the fire. I was stuffed but I agreed to the challenge. Afterwards, I pretended to go crazy from the sheer amount of pasta I had consumed and smeared pot black all over my face. My good friend Natalie then proceeded to snap a picture.




Photo credit: The Canadian Armed Forces
Theme: My Past

This is a photograph of my paternal grandparents when they were serving in the military in the 40's. My grandmother was an army nurse and my grandfather a soldier. At the time the role of women in the ranks was limited, but my grandparents became the first two people in The Canadian Military to marry. I feel like this story is a strong and important part of my family history and my own past. The reason it ties to this six word memoir is that both my grandparents passed away when I was young and I regret never getting the chance to truly know them. Unfortunately, I know the feeling of regret can never change what occurred in the past and the few memories I have of my grandparents are all that I will ever have. I think the font and effect that I chose reflects the simplicity and authenticity of the past.



Photo credit: C. Johnston
Theme: Growing Up

This photo represents one of the many fleeting moments in life. The moment pictured here was taken at my 9th birthday party just as I was about to blow out my candles. Childhood is precious and short-lived so I chose to apply a dramatic darkening effect on this picture. The effect allows the cake to be the focal point when the original picture showed Jenni in the background and wasn't as visually dynamic. A birthday is a definite reminder of growing up and how life has a way of complicating itself as you age.



Photo Credit: Johnston Family

Theme: Family


This is a photograph of me and my dad when we first moved into our new house. The time the photo was taken represents a turning point in our lives since it was close to the time my dad got custody of me, my brother and sister. It was nice to finally have a stable home environment to grow up in. The house has allowed us to grow together as a family. I used a grainy, black and white effect in order to portray a warm feeling associated with the past. I think the font I chose for the text is something that would come from an old scrapbook and it is also visually appealing.




Photo Credit: W. Dyck

Theme: Future

In a way, this photograph represents my past, present, and future. Every year, my best friend Rayna and I return to the same summer camp in order to enjoy the lake, canoeing and other fun activities. The camp is called Manitoba Pioneer Camp and one of the greatest drawing factors of it is the genuine love and acceptance expressed by the people who return year after year. Rayna and I fell in love with the camp and consider it a second home. This past year, we spent the entire summer (July 1st- August 31st) working at the camp as camp leaders and doing other types of maintenance work. I hope to return again this summer in order to rekindle some of the lifelong friendships I have made and spend time doing what I love. The white text seemed like it would make a good contrast with the bright colours of the PFD's in the picture. I also chose to use a filter that subdued the colours of the picture to put more focus on the text.



Photo Credit: Johnston Family
Theme: Love

This is a photo that was taken at my grandma and grandpa's 50th wedding anniversary. In this picture is me and my first crush, Alex. We were young kids and we loved to hang out together and run around like kids do. Like most childhood infatuations it wasn't meant to be and we eventually grew apart. I chose to go with no effect and the CheekyRabbit font because the heart-shaped "o" reminded me of something a little girl would write in a note to her crush.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Reading Assignment #4

These tweets were written from the perspective of Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis.

1. Went on another heroin binge today,
lost another piece of myself #cantstopwontstop

2. About to rock the stage with @RHCPchad and @flea333 for Super Bowl 48! 

3. @flea333 and I circa Freakey Styley #TBT

4. Remembering the good days with Carmen, love isn't always enough #lessonlearned

5. Every relapse is the same, every recovery is more difficult than the last.

6. The reign of Blackie has finally come to an end #movingout #sorrynotsorry

7. What would I do without an angel for a mother? Thanks for giving me life and love.

8. Pulled out the old sock trick once again! #nevergetsold

9. Some days it's good to relax in a wild place and remember its the little things in life #newzealand

10. Don't know what I'd do without my band brothers/musical soul-mates

11. Hard to think about how many people I've hurt over the years #reality

12. Another rockin concert with the guys!
#loveourfans

13. Thinking maybe there's a lady out there for me

14. The joy of children is infectious. Where does the innocence go?

15.  Passed out backstage before our concert #fail

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Classroom Skype Reading

I really enjoyed reading to the grade 3 class in Thompson and dressing up as Havoc! It was an incredibly fun experience and I hope we can do it again sometime. When I was in elementary school I always enjoyed I Love to Read Month and I miss the chance to just relax and read a book in class for D.E.A.R. and getting little prizes for being caught reading.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

896 days ago

You ruin every experience.
My mind; tainted by the thought
that if I do something wrong
I'll screw up 
all the progress
we made toward normal. 
I hate living my life
with the fear that something I do
will set you off.
I wish I could force you
to admit your mistakes.
To accept me.
To change.

I can't change you.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

To see

Photographs, moments in time
Mirrors, fragile liars
Image, invisible temptress
Symmetry, crooked imperfection
Eyes, veils of true self
Blindness, darkest vision
Beauty, broken perception
Society, askew

Thursday, 13 February 2014

My Digital Footprint


Reading Survey

Besides books, I enjoy reading graphic novels and interactive blogs such as tumblr. Graphic novels have held a special interest for me ever since I can remember. My father is an artist and has always tried to inspire an appreciation for the arts in his children. In fact, a lot of my dad's motivation to pursue a career in such a competitive and financially insecure field came from his childhood love of comic books. Marvel, DC and Archie were among his favourites. Personally, I prefer the simple storyline of an Archie, but picking up the latest spin off of Spider-Man reminds me of my dad. They also remind me of a simpler time when comic books or graphic novels were written and drawn by one author/artist-instead of the countless no names who have taken the original creation and twisted it into so many different plot lines its hard to follow. Comics and graphic novels are a continual reminder of artistic integrity.

Most of the books I have on my shelf at home I have read and reread multiple times. I find that when I reread a book after leaving it for a certain length of time, I forget many details of the plot line. It can also be interesting to reread a book after gaining new perspective on the subject matter or simply maturing. Some of the books I have reread include the Inkheart trilogy, the Thirst series by Christopher Pike, classics such as Call of the Wild, White Fang, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and many other random picks.

When I read I am able to become completely immersed in the story, as long as it holds enough interest with me. I am the type of person who wants to read a book before seeing the movie version so that I may imagine what characters and settings look like on my own. Sometimes a great novel can be spoiled and have the surprise taken out of it if the reader already knows the ending. A quiet environment is not that important to me as a reader, since I am very good at focusing on the book and blocking out distractions.

Reading has been important to me ever since I learned how to do it. The experience of reading is so versatile that its impossible to imagine how anyone could go without. Reading means a source of knowledge and escape for me. My hobby of reading has been a great asset in my life since it has helped me expand my vocabulary, improve my writing skills and enhance my creativity. I truly enjoy writing; whether it be journaling, poetry or short stories. Thinking about the writing styles of some of my favourite authors has given me the means to develop and alter my own style. I firmly believe that reading opens your mind to possibilities and writing is an outlet for those wonderful thoughts. To me, reading means opportunity.

My goal as a reader for this semester is to step away from the YA genres that typically draws my interest and to read more novels that contain less of the gimmicks marketed towards teens and more in-depth material. This is something I should do more often since I am well aware that my skills as a reader are strong enough to push myself to the next level. The main thing holding me back is a lack of interest in most adult fiction and possibly a bit of laziness. At 18, of course I am still drawn to YA topics like "vampires" and "dystopia" but the content is quickly becoming very dry and a bit too overhyped. I would love to read more classics from a time when writing a good book didn't always mean selling out or giving in to trends. I would like to try reading some non-fiction as well.

                           ***
I own a Blackberry Curve smartphone and although it is a little outdated, it does have Internet access with my data plan. Unfortunately, I do not own an iPad or laptop but I do possess a fourth generation iPod touch that I bring to school almost everyday. Last year for Christmas my mom bought me a Kobo mini that I absolutely adore. Like many teenagers, I have Twitter and tumblr but I don't typically post any of my written works, usually just observations about life. I am interested in learning more about blogging and how to maintain a good blog.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

The Spy

I wrote this story about 4 years ago in the last creative writing class I took. The idea was to do some people watching and imagine what they were doing. This came to me after I witnessed my brother and his friend shooting his BB gun in the backyard. Personally, I don't think it's my best work but it was an interesting creative process and its nice to reflect on how my writing skills have evolved. 

I crouched, quietly hidden in my perch, watching and observing the motions of the two men in the yard below me. It was my mission to follow and eventually neutralize the two targets. It was believed by my agency that the two men were Potslyvanian spies working for the notorious international arms dealer, Rhas Al Ghul.

I had followed the two men from a drop point nearby to an old abandoned house on the edge of town. I had kept tabs on them the entire time and had also managed to remain unseen by the men which was key in order for my mission objective to be completed.

They were in disguise to shake off any enemy spies who may have been tailing them and to avoid being recognized by any of the local police. The two men were wanted in 4 different continents for various felonies and acts of espionage. 

The two men had done an excellent job of protecting their identities. Their ruse was to dress up as a pair of teenagers playing a game of target practice with nothing but a B.B. Gun. The youth had used a random assortment of objects as their targets, birds, squirrels, stray cats, aerosol cans etc.

The couple set up the aerosol cans in a row along a fence and took turns shooting them down. As they enjoyed this activity, they would chatter away and talk of how good they were getting. Teasing and taunting each other if one of them missed and challenging one another to get that perfect kill-shot, tapping into their competitive sides made their aim stronger and their shots quicker.

There was no doubt about it in my mind, these men were not only spies, they were good with a sniper rifle. The men attempted to cover up their expert movements by masking them with the false clumsiness of adolescence.

As the two continued with their game another young man entered the equation, he looked strangely familiar so I raised my binoculars to examine him more closely, only by looking closer did I recognize the man to be Rhas Al Ghul himself.

As I continued to watch through my binoculars I noticed the three men really had done an impeccable job of disguising themselves. If it weren't for my training I would've fallen for their brilliant costumes but I managed to notice a few important factors that gave away the men's true identity.

The first man was a heavy chain-smoker, with the stained yellow teeth to prove it. This indicated to me he had been a smoker for at least 10 years. 

The second man  was abnormally muscular for a teenager and wore a scarf that no teen would be caught dead in, as I looked closer I saw that he wore it to hide a large scar that stretched the entire expanse of his throat. 

Rhas Al Ghul's disguise was nearly flawless. He looked exactly like a lanky, slouched over teen that was too cool to care about anything. But I was as sharp- sighted as any spy and saw on the back of his neck a small, almost microscopic seam, thus telling me he was wearing a mask.

I snapped some pictures of the three men and recorded the information regarding the crime scene in my log. While taking care of the fine details, I heard a dog bark somewhere in the neighbourhood and decided to check the perimeter. I looked towards the front of the house and saw a large moving van driving down the street. I had been warned that there may be a delivery and knew the van to be filled with all sorts of deadly weapons. It turned out to be the perfect scenario for an arrest.

I radioed in to HQ and requested backup. After 15 years of trying to nab these crooks my hard work was finally going to pay off. As I heard the chopper approaching, I just sat back and smiled.
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