June, 2012

Joseph J. O’Donnell’s My Virginia – 12th Fairfax Civil War Days- Historic Blenheim

Friday, June 1st, 2012

The Commonwealth of Virginia is rich in history. From its earliest days as the destination of choice by the European settlers through the bloodiest days of this nation’s Civil War. More battles were fought on it’s soil, and more Americans who fought for their causes lost their lives in this state, then at any other time in this country’s history.

My photographer (and son) recently attended the 12th Fairfax Civil War Days event offered by the City of Fairfax. It dealt with Historic Blenheim in the site located within its borders. The Blenheim House was added to the National Register of Places in 2002, and Civil War Programs in 2009. It is famous for containing the largest and best preserved collection of Civil War soldier inscriptions in the nation. It is also celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War with special lectures and exhibitions.

These include cannon fire displays, Civil War balloons, soldiers drills, and many booths and display areas for the visitor’s interests. The center’s director, Chris Martin, and his assistant, Cami St. German, did a marvelous job in setting the event up. The 12 pound howitzer was fired under the excellent direction of C. Kyle Printz, who portrayed Captain’s John and Joseph Carpenter of the Confederate Artillery, who were both injured during the war. (more…)

The Lost Soul ( part 2)- by guest author Jackie Summers

Friday, June 1st, 2012

Guest Poet Jackie Summers

Looking back, I can almost understand why my first ghost attached himself to me. Years later I was watching a program that explained how ghosts attach themselves to people who are young, when their minds are not closed off, and if there is turmoil in that persons life, they are more likely to meet with a dark soul than a friendly spirit.

Yet that does not explain the second soul that came to visit me one evening.

Four years after my first encounter with a spirit, I met my second lost soul. A child about the age of two.

I had left home at the age of eighteen, after living with my mother and sister, and was living out of wedlock and pregnant with my first child. I had been agonizing over the fact I was going to have to tell my father I was pregnant. My father whom was very much unlike my mother, was a rather strict person, with ideas of being Catholic to be used as a predominant  threat of discipline. Of course it wasn’t that his faith brought him to this, it was just something he would use as we got older, as we were now to old to be spanked. (more…)

Maniacs (part 3)- by guest author David Rhodes

Friday, June 1st, 2012

Guest Author David Rhodes

Over the next week, reports began to surface all over the country about incidents eerily similar to Ritchie’s. I guess that was about the time they started looking for a cause, but it was already too late. But how could anyone have known?

When they first incarcerated Ritchie (they took him to the state mental hospital for a routine evaluation – it’s only a few miles from my house), they ran all kinds of tests, including a blood screening, and even a lumbar puncture, but they just did not know what they were looking for. In the meantime, countless people were exposed to Ritchie, and they in turn exposed to others, and so on and so forth. There was no telling how many there were like Ritchie living in Compton.

It took some time, but the doctors did finally discover the virus, and suddenly pictures of the deadly bug that had managed to keep itself hidden for so long were being shown on virtually every station – pictures of a tiny, imperfect circle edged with minuscule wavy cilia. This was the culprit, the new enemy of the state, and it was spreading like wildfire. Special isolation wards were set up in hospitals, jails, and mental institutions all over the country to try to deal with the ever-increasing number of cases.

Meanwhile, authorities were still searching for the source of the virus. There were a lot of rumors flying around, but none that seemed to connect with the truth. People were starting to get edgy, and back in Compton things were starting to get outright crazy.

Sedusa (part 2)- by guest author Paul DeThroe

Friday, June 1st, 2012

Guest Author Paul DeThroe

I awoke some time later, lying in the back of the wagon.  The sun was just about to go behind the witch’s mountain.  My guide smacked the reins of the horse, yelled, and it took off.  Everything was blurry except the blinding pain in my eye, or more correctly, my empty eye socket.  I wiped away the blood, still trickling down my face, reached into my coat and found what I had gone to the witch’s house for:  the ancient map.  I patted it proudly, and then reached around for a jug of water.  What I found was a small canteen.  I opened it, smelled the putrid smell of rotten potatoes and knew it was the same drink the witch gave me before she took my eye.  I guzzled it, shivered as its effects took hold and slept the rest of the trip back to the village.

I awoke at the village with the frenzied shouts and calls for vengeance from my crew, which had hurriedly encircled the wagon as soon as it pulled into town.  “The witch gouged his eye out!” I heard my first mate cry.

“Let’s go up there and slaughter her!”  I heard another man plead.

“Murder! Murder! Murder!” my crew chanted. (more…)