The Coronation of Macbeth

I’m sure this isn’t what everybody (anybody?) was hoping for, but here’s a new post! This is an assignment I had for English – essentially writing fan fiction of the play Macbeth. This takes place during Macbeth’s Coronation and is from the point of view of the character Ross. As a warning, we never read the entire piece during class (and I never read all of it on my own), so some details may be inaccurate. If you would like to read this on Wattpad, go here.

For those that are still hoping for more of the story Idumea, I probably won’t finish it in the incarnation that is currently out. I felt like I had some problems with the world in that state, so I’ve yet again changed things. I do plan on participating in NaNoWriMo this year, so expect a bunch of updates during that time. See ya later!


The sky was murky, black as pitch except for a brilliant full moon. Shivering, Ross and Lennox entered the castle of Scone, where Macbeth would be crowned.They took their seats just as the coronation was beginning.

It took an eternity to end for Ross. He was not interested in the coronation. He was still in tears on the inside, mourning the death of King Duncan. Outside, he was playing his part in the machinery of Scotland – life must go on, after all.

When it was over, it was time for the dinner. A magnificent spread was laid out, for sure! Breads, puddings, meat – anything you could name was there.

Ross wasn’t interested in the food though. Just as the King had been taken from this world, Ross’s appetite had been as well.

“Are you going to eat that?” Lennox asked, ever chipper. Ross pushed him his plate.

Eventually, Ross looked up. That’s when he saw the man with blood on his face, looking at him. His hands began to sweat. He breathed harder. He clenched his knife, preparing to fight.

The man looked away. Ross felt his tension melt away. Instead, curiosity began to burn through his veins. What would a man like that be doing here?

Looking around, he noticed that Macbeth was walking up to the man. What could he be doing? When Macbeth was close to the blood covered man, they began to converse in low voices. Ross strained his ear, trying to listen in. It was no use though – the men around him chatted to loudly. Instead, he watched.

For a few minutes, they conversed, until Lady Macbeth came up to them as well. At that point, the man left, leaving Lady Macbeth with her husband. She looked angry, and harshly whispered with him. Eventually, they both began back towards the table.

“I hope Banquo is absent out of rudeness, and not misfortune,” said Macbeth, “It would be a shame if something were to have happened to him.”

Lennox eagerly replied. “Don’t mind Banquo! Sit and eat this good food with us instead!”

Macbeth did not sit down. He looked around with a confused expression. “Where is my seat?” he asked. Lennox was confused as well.

Pointing to Macbeth’s empty chair, Lennox said “It is there, my lord. Can’t you see it?” Macbeth followed Lennox’s finger and paled.

“Which one of you has done this?!” he exclaimed, pointing at the chair. The lords fell silent and looked around. The chair was still empty.

“What do you mean?” asked Ross, feeling lost. Macbeth whipped around.

“That, right there! Can’t you see it?” he cried. Ross stared at the chair intently but Macbeth’s meaning remained illusive to him..

“Gentlemen!” said Lady Macbeth, drawing all attention to herself. “Do not mind the king. He has had fits like this since his childhood. It will be over soon enough.” Then, turning to Macbeth she asked, “Are you a man?”

“Yes! But that which I see would appall even the devil himself!”

“Don’t be ridiculous. Just take your seat.” she said. Macbeth ignored her, muttering to himself.

Ross was very lost, and a little scared. Macbeth was raving like a madman. He was as precarious as a teacup balanced atop a wooden pole in a windstorm. He didn’t want to be there any longer. “Perhaps we should all leave and give our king some privacy?”

“No, it’s quite alright. He’ll be over this soon enough. Just give me a little time to talk some sense into him” Lady Macbeth said. She was grinning unsettlingly, and her skin had a light sheen of sweat. Ross wasn’t calmed.

Thankfully, Macbeth had stopped muttering. In fact, he had relaxed – he was almost joyful in his countenance. “”I’m alright everybody! The vision is gone – I have banished it from me. I propose we toast!” he said. There was a moment of silence as all sat still, confused. Tentatively, they all began to raise their cups. “To the king.” came the weak cry from the Lords, like little kids afraid of the dark. Macbeth took a sip, and they all followed.

Suddenly, Macbeth let out a heart-stopping shriek. Cups clattered to the floor as Lords choked on their wine.

“Get out! Get out! Get back to your grave, you foul image!” screamed Macbeth.

“What is it now?”, said Lady Macbeth in an exasperated voice. For a few tense moments, Macbeth was silent. Then, he let out a sigh.

“Do not worry yourself any more. The vision is gone again.” he said. The lords shared doubtful looks. Lady Macbeth looked relieved. Ross was still curious though. What exactly had Macbeth seen that would make him say these things?

“What did you see, your majesty?” Lady Macbeth whipped around to look at him. Sweat covered her face as she forced a smile.

“I am going to have to ask you to leave. All of you. My king is not well, and your questions will only further his madness. Now go. Shoo!” she said nervously. Chairs scraped and groaned across the floor as the lords stood to escape the awful place. Ross bolted with the rest of them.

He would not be able to sate his curiosity. He and Lennox left as they had arrived, together. Eventually, Ross asked Lennox a question. “What do you think could be the cause of Macbeth’s distress?”

“I don’t know.” replied Lennox.

“Maybe, he is suffering from an affliction of the mind. Perhaps he feels guilty?”

“For what?”

“Murder. King Duncan was in his house when he was murdered. It must have been Macbeth that killed him.”

Lennox said nothing for a while. Eventually, he did speak up. “That that is possible. But to speak of such things would be treason.”

They both rode in silence after that. Ross was consumed by his thoughts. If Macbeth was the one to murder King Duncan, then he was a traitor and a fraud. He did not deserve anything he had. Ross spoke up again, “If he did do it, then what was that bloody man up to? I’m certain he killed someone else.” Lennox shrugged and shook his head. More silence.

That was until they heard hoof-beats off in the distance. Looking up, they saw a man on a horse. As he drew near, he shouted, “Someone has murdered the Thane of Lochaber! Pass it on to all you know. I am going to inform the king!” he said. The man quickly fell away into the distance.

Ross and Lennox looked at each other, shock on their faces. “Banquo. He murdered his closest friend.”

Delaying Idumea

I said recently that I would be updating Idumea weekly, and I hope to do that, but I seem to have run into a snag. The first problem is that I am not entirely happy with the first chapter yet.

Its okay, but I don’t think I did a great job fully explaining his motivations, or hinting that they were there. I don’t think its quite believable that he would go through the portal. I plan to rework the chapter this week.

I may not release it immediately though. This is because of a second problem; I don’t have a backlog. This means if something comes up, I would miss an update (like this week). I dont want to make that a regular problem. So I’m taking a few weeks to get that set up.

Sorry if this bugs anyone. I’m still learning! I have some other posts not related to Idumea in the works, so there will still be something. Expect a post about robotics soon.

See ya!

Trip to the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry

On Saturday the 13th I was invited by a friend to go to the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. I agreed to go, and we, as well as some other friends, went down to Chicago.

The museum is a really cool place to go. There are plenty of interesting things to look at and play with, more than can be covered in a single trip. I’ve previously been there and I still saw plenty that I didn’t see the last time I went there. There’s plenty I still haven’t seen.

Probably my favorite exhibit today was the Robots exhibit. There I got to see Baxter, a relatively cheap robot that’s designed to work alongside humans, as well as some soccer playing robots. However, what I found was the coolest part was a collection of cubelets. Cubelets are cubes that connect with each other, perform simple functions, and communicate. For example, one is a distance sensor, another is a wheel, and another one is a battery pack. When you put these together, you can make a robot that goes towards something when it’s close by. If you add in an inverter block, you make the robot move forward when it doesn’t see anything.

It’s a really cool concept that’s as addictive as legos, maybe even more so. I probably could have spent an entire day putting together blocks and pulling them apart. I would love to buy some, but they’re a bit pricey; about $30 for a single cube.

Another really cool exhibit was a mirror maze. For whatever reason it was put in an exhibit about math and how it’s everywhere around us, which was weird. We went through it a couple of times. It looks pretty amazing, like an endless room, and is really disorientating to walk through. It was impossible to find your way through with sight alone – it was practically required that you follow the wall or you would get lost. The next time I go, I plan to bring a laser pointer.

I also got to see a German U-boat. I don’t think I realized how massive submarines are until today. I also didn’t realize how big torpedoes are; they are massive. I can see how they’re able to sink ships so easily. I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t get to tour it though. Maybe next time?

After we were done with the museum, we all went to a pizza place and got some fabulous pizza. Hopefully I can go again.

Idumea – What it is

In a recent blog post I explained that I was going to be starting a web serial. That web serial is called Idumea.

It’s an adventure story set in a world called Idumea. Arthur, our typical teenage protagonist, becomes stuck there after going through a strange portal. There he finds a cruel Empire that is ruthlessly hunting down and executing people who are Changelings – unnatural people created by the Magi. He finds himself a victim of their witch-hunt and only survives when a group of Changelings rescues him. Stranded on a strange world he knows nothing about, Arthur tries to find his way home while combating powerful opponents; will he make it home?

You can find out by beginning here.

Idumea – Chapter One


Chapter One


Looking back, what started this entire ordeal was entirely mundane.

The school year was almost over and I couldn’t concentrate. The freedom of summer pulled at me too strongly. I yearned to be outside running around, instead of sitting at a desk doing math. Stupid math.

My eyes wandered to the posters I had hanging up in my room. There was one for my high schools football team, the Trojans. It was a horrifically, old, stale name for a team, I thought. Why couldn’t the school think of anything original? Who choose the names for high school football teams anyway? I surely would have thought of something better.

My attention wandered to the tablet sitting on my desk. On a whim I picked it up and tried to turn it on. The screen remained dark. I had charged it, hadn’t I? I plugged it in so I could use it later.

I finally returned my attention to the math homework. Can’t get distracted, I thought. The homework was trigonometry, finding out angles from the side lengths of triangles. Boring, probably useless. When was I ever going to use this in the real world? When was I going to find a conveniently placed triangle and think ‘Gee golly! I really wish I knew what angle this was!’ Never in my lifetime.

Not now, especially. Earlier in the day, while I was still being miserable at school, my mom had gotten a call from the district. It was one of those calls that politely explained that you’re kid had screwed up big time and, oh yeah, they might flunk high school.

The door creaked open and then slammed shut.

My heart rate tripled. Quickly I tried to focus on my homework. It didn’t work. I couldn’t concentrate. I felt myself sweating and I think I began to hyperventilate. This was it. I was doomed.

My dad was home. I thought I could hear voices whispering downstairs, one presumably my mom, the other, my dad. My heart rate continued to rise. Images formed in my head as I imagined the terrible outcomes. I wished I could push them out like so many others seemed able to do.

Slowly, rythmically, absolutely, my dad came up the stairs. “Arthur”, he said. “Unlock the door and come out.”

Silently I walked to the door and reached for the doorknob. As I grasped it, I swore I felt a little shock, like I had walked across a carpet with wool socks. Must have been an illusion of the stress, because my room had nothing but hardwood flooring.

“Stop stalling, Arthur. Open the door.” I unlocked the door and opened it. Standing before me was my dad. We stood in silence for a moment.

“… I want you to know that I love you. That’s why I’m doing this”

His tone was eerily calm. It showed me how very upset he was.

“But I have to ask why? Why are you doing this to yourself?!” His voice was rising. “This could mean the difference between graduation! This could make the difference between going to a good school and not making it to one at all! Why are you neglecting everything?!”

He was practically shouting at this point. Still I remained a mute. I knew everything he was saying was true. I didn’t want to let him have the satisfaction of knowing that though.

“Do you understand? Do you get what’s happening? You could end up jobless, living on the streets if you don’t put in the hard work! I mean… are you even listening? Look me in the eyes.”

Trembling, I looked into his eyes. Funny how his usually warm blue eyes could seem so scary know.

“Do you understand, Arthur?”, he growled. I still had nothing to say.

“Speak for yourself!”, my dad shouted in frustration. “Tell me why you’re being so stupid!

That was it. The final straw. The one that broke the camel’s back. I lowered my face to the ground. Huh. Guess I’d never noticed how far away my feet were. How blurry they were too. I looked back up at my dad, and stared, defiantly now.

“Why can’t you stop blaming me? It’s always my fault when something goes wrong. It’s never the stupid system that’s screwing my over, or the lazy teachers. It’s always me! I’m always the one being stupid!”

“Because everyone else seems to get it but you!”, he roared. I flinched. “And if you don’t like it, you can get out of my house because I won’t have leech doing nothing but eating my food!”

“Maybe I will leave.” I said in that same calm, eerie voice my father had used.

I out the door purposefully. Fine, if he wanted me to leave, I was going to leave. I didn’t need him. But before I could get through my bedroom door, he grabbed my arm.

“Stop, Arthur! You can’t leave. I didn’t mean…”

“I don’t care”, I said as I ripped my arm out of his grasp. I stormed down the stairs and through the front door. My mom looked on with a worried look, her mouth pursing as she hurried inside. I stalked down the sidewalk and glared at anyone who dared to pass me by. I wasn’t in the mood to talk.

Emotions swirled inside me as I walked through the streets. I had known something like this was coming the entire day. As soon as my mom found out about my missing homework from that letter I had known what was going to happen. I had tried to ignore it, convince myself it wouldn’t happen. Didn’t work.

The emotions that surged inside of me were hard to decipher. Some of it was anger. Anger with the system that was failing me; anger with my dad for blaming me. A little bit was fear. I wasn’t going to pass this class, and part of me was scared of what would happen because of that.

The last part was some relief. This was finally over. No more lying about school.

Anger though, was still the prominent emotion. Even if a little part of me was glad to let someone else know, I was furious that my dad had started accusing me. I wasn’t to blame – homework was made to keep students occupied, to keep them from doing what they wanted. It was designed to keep them under wraps. It doubled as a convenient way for teachers to shove off their job onto someone else.

Darkness startled me from my inner monologue. While I’d been pondering and silently venting on the world, the sun had gone down. Street lights had come on and every so often a car would trumble by with glowing headlights. Crickets chirped, and lightning bugs flitted through the air.

It was peaceful. Somehow that felt wrong. I neared a park and sat down on a bench. I was quite a walk from home, and though I knew the place, I wasn’t exactly sure how to get home. Not that I was exactly sure I wanted to go home.

I sat there for a little while. Maybe a few hours, maybe just a couple of minutes. However long it was, I wasn’t prepared for what came next.

As one, all the streetlights went out. In the park, not ten feet behind me, an electrical buzzing crackled to life. Turning around, I found the source. An arc of electricity reached from the ground to above head level. It buzzed and sparked dangerously, ominously. But that wasn’t the strangest part.

The strangest part was that it opened to another world. Light, sunlight, poured through it. A scene of a meadow in a forest was in view. I couldn’t believe it. I blinked my eyes, thinking it was an illusion of the light. Couldn’t be – I had heard it first. Was I hallucinating? Was I dreaming?

It was probably a dream. Today had felt like a nightmare so far.

Up close it was no less weird. Ripples spread across it’s surface where bugs had gone through, as if the portal were made of water. I was transfixed. I began to reach out to touch it, but hesitated.

If this were a movie, or a book, this would be when the cops arrived and shooed everyone away, claiming it was some something dangerous. Or something would come through the portal and begin to wreak havoc.

I waited, but nothing happened. Of course that’s what happened. This wasn’t a movie. There wasn’t going to be anything big a dramatic happening.

Was I dreaming? If this was a dream, going through this portal wouldn’t hurt.

And if it wasn’t a dream, how could I resist an opportunity like this? My life had gotten pretty terrible. It was irresponsible, dangerous even. My dad would tell me it was stupid. That I was stupid to even consider it.

That was all I needed to decide. I reached up and touched the portal, creating ripples throughout. I took a step, and then another. Ripples danced upon the surface, and in a second, I was through. The sunlight beat down, upon the most beautiful meadow I had ever seen. The trees were unlike anything I had had to study in any science class I had taken.

If my dad knew I had done something this dumb, he probably would have had a heart attack. He probably –

I felt myself go numb as the buzzing suddenly stopped. My heart went into my throat as I slowly turned around. The portal wasn’t there.

It was gone.

Starting back up?

Alright, so I haven’t posted in a while and I haven’t pursued the goals I set in place. I never did start on that animation project, no matter how cool I thought it was.

I’m back now. I’m getting a little restless with the end of the school year (for me), and a realization of how close I am to graduating from High School. I only have a year left! I can’t speak for everyone, but the thought now terrifies me. There are so many classes I need to take to be ‘successful’ and such little time to do it. So much hinges on what’s happening now and in the next few months.

That’s why I’m beginning writing this blog again. My academic achievements aren’t the most impressive, and I only started extra curricular activities this year. Looking back, I see that there’s so much I could have done, but didn’t. That’s why I’m resolving to finish some projects, and get the ball rolling on ongoing ones.

The first project I’d like to get started on is blogging. This is mostly because I want to record more of my life. Currently I already keep a personal journal, but I want to share what I’ve done. There are some really cool things I’ve been able to be a part of, and I want others to know about it.

The second project I’d like to start is writing a story, or some sort of serial. Literature has been a huge influence on me throughout the years, and it would be a shame if I never contributed to it. With luck, I might even get somebody to read it!

Third, I’d like to make an awesome science/engineering project. For the past three years at my school, only one person has ever one. Not that that’s bad, he’s pretty amazing at science and engineering, but I’d like to win myself. I plan to design and build a robot using a smartphone that can navigate using the camera. It’s going to take a lot of electrical and programming expertise, and I think I can pull it off.

These are the projects I plan to start and hopefully finish. I’m a little terrified at the thought that I might not be able to finish any of these. But I have hope. I’ll get this done. Just watch me.

Animated Web Series Idea

Alright, I’ll admit it. I’m crazy. I want to make an animated web series mostly by myself.

Why? Because, that’s why. Well, there is more but it’s mostly because. One reason is that cartoons are awesome – they have some of the most interesting worlds in the land of TV shows and movies. They allow a great deal of flexibility in what content they have. Another reason is that I want to make some sort of story in some medium. And it needs to involve drawing so that I can improve my abilities.

At first I was going to write a novel but because I procrastinated too long, I ended up wanting to make a animation. I suffer from a condition called scale creep: if I don’t buckle down and do something, I’ll end up making the largest and most complex project I can. That’s what’s happened here, and I plan to make something before I end up trying to make a MMORPG.

So now that I’ve established that I’m making an animated web series and why, it’s time for people to learn what its about. I’ve spent about four or five months now creating a world to set a story in. The basic premise is a science fiction/fantasy about a world where giant mechanical knights defend humans from demonic beasts. The knights are not perfect though, they rule oppressively, executing justice without a thought for mercy. In this story, a human tries to befriend one of these knights, who tries to ignore him.

That’s the world and story in a nutshell. The world is a lot more complex than is being lot on here though. I’ve barely scratched the surface, though I might go more in depth in a later post. My main reason for posting about this here is to start a development blog, to help me work on it and let others get insight into my first attempts at cinematic animation. I also want to gauge how interested other people would be to see a free online animated web series. Would you watch it? Tell me in the comments below.