Saturday, July 22, 2017


After reading up on Chester Bennington after hearing about his death, I am still trying to understand the level of pain he must have being bottling that made him take such a sad step. It's always a tragic waste- taking one's own life. And Some people are strangely unsympathetic about suicide, while others wonder how on earth they could have missed the signs when their loved ones commit suicide.
Death is inevitable-no exceptions- and no one wants to die, yet those who feel there is no way out simply want the pain to stop and find some level of peace.
Some of us have such thoughts now and then- the ugliness of Clinical Depression.  But we must remember who and what we still have, have faith in God and do all we can to rise about the ashes.

You will be missed, Chester Bennington!

Feeling so alone, others not seeing,  
We are stung by words and actions,
Some numb, bottle or ignore the pain,   
Or channel it towards positivity,
Free yourself of the past and never look back,
However some scars are too close to the bone
And the pain is opened afresh,
Then you welcome the darkness,
Allowing it consume you,
Drowning in despair and agony,
But look to the light, it’s right there!
Don’t let the devil win!
Be brave and strive to forge ahead
Let the caring and sincere in,
Have faith in the One Being,
You are someone,
YOU are important

21/7/17 (written by me) 

Friday, July 07, 2017


As we celebrate International Kissing Day today, which of the following sweet loving  kisses shown below  is your favorite????



JANE EYRE (2011)


SABRINA (1954)









Wednesday, May 10, 2017


Bo stayed by the window, waiting for Clarice to come in. It’s been almost two hours since he left her at the Ball Court, at her request. What he had to tell her had made her break down in tears and it had taken ages for him to console her. She was probably strolling around, trying to recover from what she learned about herself.
Hank appeared at his shoulder. ‘It’s going to be okay, Bo. She just needs enough time to process everything.’
‘I know. But I’m really scared.’ Bo replied, accepting the chilled fruit juice Soledad served him. ‘She might decide she doesn’t want to be with me after all.’
‘That’s not the way to talk,’ Soledad gently admonished, something she wouldn’t have done years ago. ‘She had no idea you were a part of her past when she fell in love with you again. You two are meant for each other... you must believe in her love for you.’
Bo sighed, turning back to the window; wondering what his princess was thinking about right about that moment, willing for her to come in and talk things out with him. If it resorted to begging, he will. For the first time since his divorce, he went over his marriage with Hope. He had loved her to distraction; had shared three children, happiness and sorrow with her. And in the end, he was no longer worthy to be her husband in her eyes. Looking back, it was as though her love for him was conditional, put one foot down and he had to work hard at winning her back. Carly never made him feel that way. True, there were times she had trouble confiding in him, which made him feel there was a part of her he couldn’t reach. But when she did open up, he realised how wrong he was. Carly, along with Frankie, didn’t have the best of childhoods, despite living a privileged life in their vast family estate. Their parents were almost nonexistent in their lives; hence Carly and Frankie turned to each other for comfort. And after running away from boarding school and later getting tricked by Lawrence, Carly got so used to being her own counsel, looking after herself and walking alone. How many talks did they have about allowing him to share her burdens and letting him protect her, assuring her it was not a sign of weakness on her part? Her stubborn independence was one of the reasons why he loved her. Bo remembered the feeling of despair and sad resignation the day they said goodbye. So far, the only thing Clarice remembered was that they were in love many years ago. He cringed at the stricken look on her face when he told her she later left him and why.  And after so many years apart, falling in love with her all over again, he couldn’t lose her a second time.
He set out for the Ball Court to look for her. She was standing at the very centre, staring up at El Castillo; as though the great ancient pyramid would give her more answers. Bo stared at her from afar. He couldn’t see her expression from where he stood but her stance was forlorn and his heart went out to her. He can understand if she was angry and confused but will she allow him to help her, or rage and storm at him before breaking up with him?
Clarice suddenly turned and saw him. When she didn’t come to him, Bo walked towards her, eyes only on her face, which was impassive. Before he could speak, she turned away from him.
‘Princess, I know this is really hard for you. But you have to understand that we all kept this from you for your own protection. We didn’t know what else to do. I had to keep you safe.’
No answer.
‘I never forgot you.’ Bo continued. ‘I moved on with my life but I always hoped you were happy wherever you were. When I found out what really happened to you after you came back, it almost killed me. I couldn’t let you go on living as Clarice Parker, that’s why Abe, Roman and I made sure we kept you in Salem, to help you get your memory back.’
‘It’s all so stupid.’ Clarice said at last in a low voice, not looking at him. ‘I have memories of a family yet I don’t remember them. For so long it never occurred to me why that was. And until I came to Salem, I never questioned myself. Now it all makes sense, why I’ve been so disconnected, the flashes of déjà vu and how I was able to help that woman who was mugged, why I knew what to do.’ She held up her clenched hands. ‘I was once a doctor. A doctor who healed people. But for years, I’ve... I’ve been carrying a gun, taking lives...’ her voice shook.
‘You never took innocent lives. You’re in law enforcement; it’s either the enemy or you. Carly, don’t do this to yourself, please.’ He slipped his arms round her but to his distress, she shook them off.
‘Please don’t, I can’t bear you to touch me right now. And don’t call me Carly.’  
Bo’s heart sank further. She was changing towards him already.
‘Princess, whatever you choose to call yourself, I love you. That’s not a lie. I fell in love with you a long time ago. Right here, I asked you to marry me after a long time of denying what I felt; all those times I pushed you away. And then fate brought you back into my life, at that particular time my life was crumbling. I fell all over again and I don’t ever want to lose you. Not many couples torn apart have a second chance like we do. Being with you these passed months, it’s been heaven... our definition of heaven. I want to help you, in every way I can. So before you decide we...’ his voice shook a bit, ‘we end things... just remember, I love you very much.’
He wanted to reach out to touch her arm but stopped himself before sadly walking away.
 ‘Honey, she’s angry and confused right now, it doesn’t mean she’s going to break up with you.’ Caroline tried reassuring her son, whose face was wearing a look of devastation.
‘And you’re sure as hell not going to let her go without a fight either.’ Roman said firmly. ‘Quit worrying. She’ll come around.’
Bo stared at his mother and brother’s earnest faces on Hank’s computer screen, willing them to be right. ‘All of a sudden, it was just like the night years ago when we all found out she was alive; she didn’t recognise us, or me and pushed me away. Do you have any idea how it felt, the woman I love having no memory of our time together and Larry gloating about it? She was his Katerina and not my Carly. And before I knew it, I lost her.’
And you got her back. And something far more powerful than anything Lawrence and Vivian did to her made you both fall in love again,’ Roman replied. ‘Now more than ever I believe something really powerful joined you guys that day at El Castillo, when you made your vows to each other. No matter what, you two aren’t going to be apart again. You just make sure you do your part.’ Roman urged.
Bo thanked them both but still looked glum after they signed off.
‘I really hope things go right, Bo’s been so happy with her since they started dating.’
‘I know Mum. And Carly needs to remember more than she does right now so we’ll all have to do our part when they come home. We’ll talk to her if Bo asks us to.’
Caroline nodded, anxious on her younger son’s behalf. Privately she had thought Bo was on the rebound when she first found out they were dating but seeing him with Carly, looking happy and in love like they were when they were younger changed her mind. And Carly’s sufferings at Lawrence’s hands made Caroline feel protective towards her. Roman had told her what Nicholas told them, her hatred for Lawrence Alamain further heightened;  not only for almost killing Carly but for making her son believe she abandoned him and then died. The man was an animal and Carly was thankfully far away from him. All that remained was for her to get the rest of her memory back, with the family’s help, especially Bo’s.
Don’t turn away from him Carly, she said silently. You need each other, far more than you realise right now.
Bo jerked awake when he felt a hand touch his face. Opening his eyes, he saw Clarice sitting on the bed, looking at him solemnly. ‘Hey...’ he sat up. ‘Are you okay?’
‘I’m fine.’ She nodded. ‘Confused, but fine. I needed time to think.’
‘That’s okay.’ Bo replied, wondering if they were okay. When she didn’t come back, he’d fallen asleep waiting up for her. ‘Are you still mad at me?’
‘No.’ she said softly ‘Not anymore. And after going over things, over and over... I reached the same conclusion. If I was fool enough to walk away from you years ago and I still can’t believe I did such a thing...’
‘It wasn’t  something you would’ve done if Vivian hadn’t done what she did to you.’ Bo interrupted.
Clarice shook her head. ‘Whatever the circumstances. I hurt you. And yet, even after everything, here we are. There are a lot of things I still don’t remember. But what I do know is I would be a fool ten times over if I gave up the man who loves me as much as I love him.’ A tear rolled down her cheek, her voice slightly trembling as she pressed her lips against his, frantically kissing him. Bo, so thankful and relieved, returned her kiss hungrily and furiously, pulling her hard against him; their mouth fused in heated passion. ‘I was afraid you were going to leave me,’ he whispered, still holding her, his face against her neck.  
‘Never, never again.’ She whispered back, stroking his hair. ‘I need you...more than ever. I’m so sorry I pushed you away like that.’
‘You were upset, it’s understandable.’ Bo raised his head, wiping the tears off her cheeks with his fingers. ‘Listen, it’s going to be okay. I’m here for you, so is the family. And Marlena promised to do all she can for you.’
Clarice hesitated, struggling to remember who he was referring to but failed. ‘Who’s Marlena?’ she asked.
‘She’s Roman’s ex wife. She’s a psychiatrist and you two were great friends. She was the one who suggested we try and let you remember gradually. Don’t worry, whatever she has in mind to help you; I’ll be with you to hold your hand, I promise.’
‘Knowing that makes me feel less scared. I love you so much.’

Bo held her face, loving her so much that he couldn’t express it in words. He kissed her again, hands lifting her T shirt by the hem over her head and lowered her onto the bed. For the rest of the night, there was no talking as they made passionate love, reaffirming their love for each other.

Saturday, May 06, 2017


Criminal Minds' 21st  episode, 'Green Light' finally revealed who was the mastermind behind Reid being framed for murder and it turned out it was not Peter Lewis a.k.a Mr Scratch (Bodhi Elfman). The previous episode-'Unforgettable'- had viewers baffled by the sight of a familiar and unexpected face from the past... who was not even an unsub but a victim.
In Episode 12 of Season 3- '3rd Life'- Lindsay Vaughn (Gia Mantegna, daughter of Joe Mantegna)  was abducted along with her friend Kate (who was later killed) and her father- a former hitman in the Witness Protection Programme- shot her abductor, in front of Reid. Now it appears that while her father Jack has been living the life of a model citizen, his daughter has chosen to follow his former dark path and has been living life of a career contract killer and working for drug cartels.
In 'Unforgettable', she resurfaced as Diana Reid's new caregiver but under an alias, Carol Atkinson. However Reid was able to recognise her but by the time he was able to alert the BAU, Diana had gone missing. Not only that, Reid realised she was the one in the room the fateful day he got framed in Mexico, and not Mr Scratch everyone all thought for several episodes

So, what reason did Lindsay have to want to harm Reid? None, she was working for someone. Who???

Answer: Cat Adams (played by Audrey Plaza)


Answer again, Cat Adams, "The Black Widow Killer" who appeared in last season's memorable 11th episode  'Entropy'; a member of an online network of hitmen who were after Penelope. In 'Entropy', Reid was forced to play a nail biting cat and mouse game with that cold young woman and managed to trap her, but not before he had to answer her questions about his mother and her mental condition. Considering Reid used all his skills at his disposal to trap her in the first place, it's not wonder she has a huge grudge against him especially. In the Season's final episode 'Red Light', we'll see if Reid will be able to stay one step ahead of her in order to get his beloved mother back.

At least, Reid is finally out of jail, thanks to the BAU's hard work and Calvin Shaw (Harold Perrineau), the fallen- from- grace FBI agent and Reid's former ally paid the price for not heeding Luke's warning, so that's the last we will hear about him. But it seems Reid will not be the same after this, not from what he went through in prison and what he had to do to survive, the guy even had to stab himself in the thigh so he would be solitary. Walker (Damon Gupton)  was right to be worried about Reid's state of mind yet team leader Prentiss (Paget Brewster)- who really showed true leadership in this episode- was certain things will turn out successfully and they will get Diana back.

Let's hope Prentiss is right, because in 'Red Light', Reid and Cat will once again have to engage in a battle of wits- to the death. 

Thursday, April 27, 2017


Chapter 22

Days later, Clarice had another nightmare, this time it was more vivid.

She was running along the deck of a boat. Or rather limping, she was dragging her right leg. Her face was covered with bruises; blood was flowing from her left temple. The menace was gaining on her; she could feel his cold fury; his fists... his shouts.  Next thing she knew she was sinking deep in water...

‘Clarice!’ Bo cried, swiftly grabbing her arms. ‘Clarice, wake up!’
Clarice could feel sheer terror, the sinking realisation she was going to die...
‘Clarice, Clarice!’
Swiftly, Clarice was pulled out of the cold darkness and found herself enveloped in warmth, in Bo’s arms, his soothing voice in her ear. Sobbing, she clung to him; describing the dream to him. ‘I don’t know if it’s some sort of premonition... but it scares me. Honey, it scares me!’
Bo held her until she stopped crying, and then left to go downstairs to get her some warm milk. She was more composed when he came back; taking the tall glass from him. ‘I’m sorry.’
‘No, No...’ he stroked her hair. She looked pale, her eyes red from weeping. ‘You need some aspirin?’
‘No, the milk’s ok. Thanks baby.’ Clarice hated painkillers, always avoided them if she could help it. Bo watched her as she drank. ‘Do you feel better now?’
She managed a small smile. ‘You always make me feel better.’ Raising her hand, she touched his cheek. ‘Thank you for putting up with all this... with me.’
‘Hey...what’s this talk, “putting up with me”? What am I here for, princess?’
‘What do you think the dream means, Bo? Because I can’t imagine why. It’s different from the ones I have of you...’
‘The ones you have of me?’ Bo asked, immediately alert. ‘What do you mean?’
Clarice blushed. ‘While I was still at the hospital, I dreamt I was in a candle lit room and I was making love with you. At least, I realised it was you after I realised the tattoo I saw was the same one you have here.’ Her hand moved down to touch it. ‘That was the night I knew I was in love with you. I think the dreams were a sign we’ll be together. But the nightmares... do you think they are some sort of premonition?’
Bo slipped his arm round her, pulling her close. Clarice’s memories were coming back through dreams; the good and the bad. But she still had a long way to go and he was going to help her take a step further by what he had in store for her. ‘Dreams don’t always mean anything, princess.’
‘Why would I have a nightmare like that if it doesn’t mean anything? It was almost as if... as if it actually happened to me in the past but I have no memory of it. Crazy, isn’t it? I’ve been in law enforcement for years and here I am terrified over a bad dream.’
 Bo pressed his lips against her forehead, inwardly cursing Lawrence again. Nicholas hadn’t witnessed his mother being beaten up, but from what she described, he could now visualise what happened to her that terrible night. ‘Try not to put too much thought over a nightmare, princess.’ He urged. ‘That’s just what it was, a nightmare.’
Clarice sighed, nestling closer to him. ‘I’m really trying not to. But it seemed far too real not to think about.’
‘Then let me give you something else to think about.’ Releasing her, Bo pulled something out of the nightstand drawer, giving it to her. Clarice’s listless face lit up in seconds at the brochure. ‘Cancun?’
‘I thought the best place to unwind and lose all that stress is two weeks in sunny Mexico.’ Bo was pleased he’d managed to divert her attention from the nightmare. ‘We’ll stop at Chichén Itza first, do some exploring.’
‘Oh... I’ve heard about that place, that’s an ancient Mayan city isn’t it?’ Clarice asked eagerly. ‘I’ve never been to Mexico, what fun it’s going to be! When do we leave?’
‘Next weekend, so mark your calendar.’ Bo kissed her, hugging her hard.
‘Thank you so much for this, honey.’ Clarice said as he turned off the light, drawing her back against him.
‘You’re welcome, princess.’ Bo replied softly, pressing a kiss on the back of her neck.
Bo put up with some good natured ribbing from Roman and Abe about his upcoming trip, as he went over work matters with them. Roman knew more than Abe the reason why Bo picked Cancun; it held a special significance to Clarice... when she was still Carly. Bo told him about Clarice’s nightmare, which had stirred his anger; wondering what on earth would bring any man to almost murder his own wife.
‘Bo, that’s terrible.’ Abe said, shaking his head, after hearing about it as well.  ‘I mean, we know she was found terribly injured but to now picture what went down that night... just terrible.’
Bo’s face wore a grim scowl. ‘Larry threw her overboard after beating her. And I’m starting to wonder if Nicky was telling the truth about not knowing what he did to her that night.’
Roman shook his head. ‘You might believe that Bo, but somehow I don’t think so. Nicky was a spoilt, arrogant little brat years ago; but you saw how he reacted when we told him the whole story and showed him Shane’s report. ‘He’s an Alamain but he’s not his father. He wants her to remember who she is as much as we do.’
‘Have you even given a thought about what would happen when she finally remembers?’ Abe asked.
‘What do you mean?’
Abe shrugged. ‘Her reaction and how she’s going to take it. It might be something she’ll not be able to handle.’
Roman nodded in agreement. ‘Abe’s  right. I think you should prepare yourself for that, Bo. It’s not going to be easy for her, the very moment she realises she’s not the person she’s been living as for several years.
‘She’ll be able to handle it, with my help.’ Bo said forcibly. ‘And Frankie’s... and  Marlena’s, once she and John get back. Clarice can handle anything.’
 But a nagging fear suddenly stabbed him. Once Clarice remembers, will she still love him?  
Clarice went shopping on her spare time, buying what she needed for the trip. Swimsuits, suntan oil, shorts, tops, sensible footwear and a large sun hat. She couldn’t remember the last time she took time off for a vacation, the few times she was able to were usually on her own. This trip was really what she needed, and Bo coming along added to her euphoria. To her relief, the nightmare didn’t resurface and she tried not to think negative thoughts and did her best to ignore the nagging sense of disconnection she still felt. The day before they left, she came back to the house with yet another shopping bag. ‘Wow...and what have you got there this time?’ Bo teased her, tossing aside the newspaper he was reading. From the way she blushed and thrust the bag behind her, he had a pretty good idea. ‘Come on...let’s see it.’
‘No.’ she said defiantly.
‘Princess, I’m bigger and stronger and unless you want me to use excessive force...’ Bo advanced on her. Squealing with mock fear, she fled and Bo chased her round the couch, getting the bag from her.
‘No, No... Don’t open it yet!’ she pleaded but it was too late. In seconds, Bo was examining a short sheer black lace nightgown that definitely appealed to his fantasises.
‘It was supposed to be a surprise and now you’ve ruined it!’ Clarice grumbled, trying not to smile at the appreciative glint in Bo’s eye she couldn’t help but notice.
‘Well, since the cat’s out of the bag, what say you model it for me right now?’ Bo grinned predatorily, holding it up.
Clarice snatched it back from him and pounced, forcing him back on the couch and tickling him until he laughed helplessly under her. ‘That’s not funny...’ he gasped, shaking with laughter as he tried to fend her off.
‘Serves you right, you killjoy!’ Clarice retorted, refused to back off. Somehow, Bo managed to roll over, pining her down on the couch. ‘Now I’m going to give you a taste of your own medicine, lady!’
‘No, no... Stop!’ Clarice pleaded. Grinning, Bo leaned down to kiss her deeply and her arms went round his neck as she kissed him back. Pulling away for air, Bo ran his finger over that pretty face staring up at him, vivid green eyes warm and loving. Suppose she remembers and her feelings change? Suppose she reacts with anger and walks out of his life again?
‘Something wrong?’ Clarice asked, touching his cheek.
‘Nothing... it’s just... you know I love you more than anything right?’
‘Of course I do.’
‘And you know I would do anything to protect you...anything?’
Clarice’s face puckered as she frowned. ‘I know that too honey, why are you so serious all of a sudden?’
‘Because I don’t want anything to ever change between us, Clarice. I’m living a whole new chapter of my life and I don’t ever want to be without you. You have no idea, just how important you are to me. If I could spell out your name across the sky I would, just to show how much I love you, Clarice Parker.’
Clarice could see the intensity in Bo’s piercing brown eyes. ‘I do know. I love you too, I’ve never loved anyone as much as I love you, Bo Brady. And I’ll always, always be with you... for the rest of my life.’ She hugged him, pressing her cheek against his. Bo held her tightly, praying his fears will not come to pass.
 Professor Hank Moore hugged Bo tightly, unable to express his feelings at  being reunited with him after so many years. ‘Good to see you again, Bo. So good to see you.’ He said gruffly. Soledad shook hands with him, her pretty face still as shy as he remembered. Bo got in touch with him after managing to track his email address. After narrating what happened, he had  informed him of  their arrival and Hank had replied, insisting they stayed at their guest bungalow.
Clarice was introduced to the Moores and immediately found herself warming to them. ‘Thank you for having us.’ She said.
‘Hey, any friend of Bo’s is a friend of mine. You’re here to unwind so make sure you do, Clarice.’
Clarice laughed. ‘I will try.’
As soon as they were alone, Hank said, ‘You honestly think this will work?’
‘I’m positive it will. If not, I don’t know what else to do.’
‘It will.’ Soledad said quietly. ‘People say they can feel the benevolent spirits around Chichén Itza. And as you and Carlina are still spiritual partners after all this time, the power that bound you both together, will bring back her memory.’
The next morning, Bo led Clarice across the Grand Ball Court. Clarice was speechless with admiration at the ancient pre-Columbian city built by the Mayan people. ‘This place is unbelievable. Imagine the people who lived here thousands of years ago, Bo! Everywhere’s so breathtaking!’ She gasped at the pyramid looming up them. ‘What’s this called?’
‘It’s the Temple of Kukulcan. But it’s mostly known as El Castillo. Years and years ago, it served as a temple to the Mayan god Kukulkan.’
‘El Castillo...’ Clarice murmured, awed. ‘And it’s so well preserved too. Can we climb up?’
‘Hell no. Hank said no one’s allowed up there- not since a woman had a nasty accident some years ago.’
‘Oh... how terrible.’ Clarice cringed at the gruesome image as she stared up the steep narrow steps. The pyramid was magnificent. So was the Ball Court. If she could shut her eyes, she could imagine the Maya people gathering together here to pay homage to their deity.
She walked ahead of Bo, eyes scanning the picturesque surroundings, a sudden stab of déjà vu hitting her. The place seemed so familiar...  she felt so in tune with the place... like it was a part of her, a huge part of her.
‘Clarice, are you okay?’ Bo asked from behind, watching her carefully.
Clarice said nothing, she kept staring round. Something was stirring in her mind... like the opening scene of a movie. She shut her eyes.

She could see herself standing in the very same Ball Court. She was younger, her hair longer. She was running towards someone... she was laughing. Clarice forced herself to focus... to see who she was running to.
Someone was running to her from the opposite direction. It was Bo... younger but it was Bo, catching her and twirling her in his arms!

She opened her eyes, heart thumping and head aching as she turned to Bo. ‘I’ve been here before.’ She said slowly. ‘You and I... we’ve been here before.’
Bo said nothing, waiting for her to say more. Another scene came into Clarice’s mind...

Let’s do this right, so we won’t have any regrets.’ Bo knelt before her, her hand clasped in his, a big smile on his handsome face. ‘I love you. I know it took me an awful long time to admit that. But now that I have, I don’t want to waste another day or another hour... because I love you princess.’ His voice was thick with emotion. Take care of you... now and for the rest of our lives. ‘
‘I want that too.’ She was saying, her voice tearful.
‘So, will you marry me?’ he asked her.
She knelt down to face him,  holding his face. ‘Yes.’ She whispered, her lips touching his...

Opening her eyes, Clarice turned to face him. Her face was now pale, her forehead sweaty. ‘I know you.’ She whispered. ‘My God... I know you from long ago.’ A name suddenly leapt from the deep recesses of her mind as though eager to jump out after being locked away for so long. ‘Sailor...’

At last, Bo thought as he hurried to take her into his arms. 

Saturday, April 22, 2017


When the above title is mentioned, the first thing most people would probably say, ‘Oh, gosh... I watched that movie a long time ago!’
Uh huh... so did I as a child. It was one of the ‘holiday films’ aired in Nigerian television when I was a child, the sort of films shown only on public holidays and many children were probably as fascinated by it as my siblings and I were.
Released in 1984, The Neverending Story is about Bastian, who finds himself drawn to a magical land called Fantasia; the main setting of a mysterious old book he stole from a bookshop. The central character in the book is a young warrior called Atreyu who goes on a quest to find a cure for the ruler of Fantasia, who is dying. Who can forget his flying creature friend Falkor, the werewolf like monster who almost killed him and the enormous rock eater? I have to admit, we were more focused on Atreyu and the people and creatures he encountered through the film, rather than his actual quest. Don’t judge us, we were just kids.
Years later, it struck me that such a fantasy epic must have been adapted from a book and I was right. It was written by the late German novelist, Michael Ende and published in 1979. However, I also discovered that Ende was not pleased with the film adaptation of his classic book; saying it did not capture the spirit of the book. Having read the book and seeing the film again through a woman’s eyes instead of a child’s... I realised why.
The Neverending Story is a book that’s really detailed and doesn’t contain humour, like J.R.R Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, so it’s not for those who aren’t into the fantasy/epic genre. If you are, it’s a page turner.
Plot... Bastian Balthazar Bux, (yeah that’s the boy’s full name) is neglected by his father who is mourning the sudden death of Bastian’s mother. Bastian is very fond of reading and has a vivid imagination, but has no friends and is constantly picked on by bullies. Escaping them one morning on his way to school, he runs into an old bookshop. He meets the owner, a Mr Carl Conrad Coreander and comes upon a book the old man was reading.

It was bound in copper-colored silk that shimmered when he moved it about. Leafing through the pages, he saw the book was printed in two colors. There seemed to be no pictures, but there were large, beautiful capital letters at the beginning of the chapters. Examining the binding more closely, he discovered two snakes on it, one light and one dark. They were biting each other’s tail, so forming an oval. And inside the oval, in strangely intricate letters, he saw the title:The Neverending Story. 

Being a passionate book buff and more than fascinated by the book’s title, Bastian stole the book while Mr Coreander was on the phone. Skipping classes, he sits down to read the book in the school’s attic. And there, the story unfolds....the story within this story.
 We (and Bastian) find out that Fantasia (actually called Fantastica in the book) is in trouble because a dark and faceless entity  known as ‘The Nothing’ is destroying the land, ruled by the Child-Like Empress; who is the oldest being in the land but eternally has the appearance of a 10 year old girl...she is ageless. But ‘The Nothing’ has made her very ill, she is dying. 
A young warrior/hunter known as Atreyu is sent on a quest to find a cure. He’s given the Empress’ medallion- AURYN- which will protect him as long as he wears it but is ordered never to use its power.

 Michael Ende made good use of folklore and literary expressions to help make his fantasy story logical, something Lewis Caroll (Alice in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass) and J.K Rowling (The Harry Potter books) also did. And this served to show how Bastian himself got into Fantastica himself. According to Uyulala, the oracle Atreyu encounters after several chapters, the cure for the Empress is a new name; she lived by names, not Time itself. And the name must be provided by a child from the Outer World.
Gmork, the werewolf like monster the power behind ‘The Nothing’ sent to kill Atreyu before he can complete his mission said to him;
 ‘What are you creatures of Fantastica? Dreams. Poetic Inventions, characters in a neverending story. Do you think you are real? Well, yes, here in your world you are; If humans believe Fantastica doesn’t exist, they won’t get the idea of visiting your country.’

What’s the message behind ‘The Neverending Story’? The message of the first half of the book is the power of the human imagination and power of names. How magical creatures and lands are alive because humans who conjure them up vividly in their minds, passing stories from generation to generation. Uyulala said to Atreyu,
‘In every age it’s they who gave
The Child Like Empress Life,
For wondrous new names have the power to save.
But now for many a many a day
No human has visited Fantastica.
For they no longer know the way.
They have forgotten how read we are,
They don’t believe in us anymore.
Oh, if only a child of man would come,
Oh, then at last the thing would be done.

And according to the Empress, ‘Only the right name gives beings and things their reality,’ and ‘If the hero comes to us, new life can be born.
And Bastian, having followed Atreyu in his journey and putting himself in Atreyu’s shoes was literally absorbed by the book, finding himself in Fantastica after calling out the Empress’s new name.  According to the Empress when Atreyu felt he had failed in his mission;
He took part in everything you did and he has come all that way with you...
You entered into his image and took it with you, and he followed you, because he saw himself through your eyes. And now too, he can hear every word we are saying. He knows we are talking about him, he knows we have set our hope in him and are expecting him.
A story and its characters and settings exists forever, as long as it stays on our memory for a very long time and we are a part of it because it stays in our hearts as well; thus a 'Neverending story'. 
The other half of the book deals with the Fulfilment of Wishes. Bastian saved Fantastica by giving the Empress a new name but falls prey to pride, ambition, arrogance and bad advice from a sorceress Xayide, after the Empress gave him AURYN, with the message at the back- Do What You Wish. 
 Bastian misunderstood her actual meaning and his wishes caused negative happenings in Fantastica and causing him to lose his memories as a human, how to go back to his world as well as his humility. Only when he realised what the message actually meant, he was able to put things right, with Atreyu and Falkor’s help. The second message of The Neverending Story? My interpretation... how one can lose his way after wishing for the wrong thing and make a wrong brings to mind this saying gain the whole world but lose your own soul.
Watch the movie, but the movie only covered half of the novel; hence The Neverending Story II: The Next Chapter that was released in 1990 but was loosely based on it as a new story line was added, so was not a good adaptation. As for The NeverEnding Story III: Escape from Fantasia released in 1994, it  was a complete travesty because it was completely revamped, using only some the characters from the book. Michael Ende complained of the original movie when it first came out but at least that was better than the two sequels.
The Neverending Story is a classic and definitely a must read. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017


Alamain was dragged out of the holding cell and escorted to the interrogation room. After the handcuffs were removed, the uniformed officer left him alone to his thoughts. As he waited, his confusion grew as he thought about Carly.  She had changed her name and discarded her medical career; two main reasons why she had remain hidden for so long. But had he changed that much over the years that she couldn’t even recognise him? What the hell was going on? If he didn’t know any better, he would swear she didn’t know him!
He looked up as Bo entered the room, accompanied by another man he recognised as his brother Roman. He tensed, seeing the nasty scowl on Bo’s face.
‘I knew you no-good Alamains would show up sooner or later. Bo growled, glaring at him.
Alamain reddened with anger, bristling. ‘I will not be spoken to like that...’
‘Save the royal theatrics for somebody who cares, Nicky.’
‘Don’t you presume to address me by that name; I’m not a little boy anymore!’ Carly’s son-now a grown man-shouted at back, outraged. ‘And I demand to speak with my mother... right now!’
‘You don’t have the right to demand anything, Nicky.’ Bo replied coldly, disgusted by his arrogance. Just like Lawrence. Although the young man had Clarice’s eyes, he was the living image of his scumbag father who beat her severely and left her to die...and left her in her present condition. ‘Your mother won’t see you. Even if she wanted to, it’s only going to be when I say so.’
‘And who do you think you are that you can keep my mother away from me, especially when she has a lot to answer for!’ He sneered derisively. ‘But then again, why am I surprised? I should have known when she suddenly decided to abandon her husband and son; she’ll end up back with her peasant lover! Nothing but a shameless slut...’
Bo’s palm viciously struck him across the face, throwing him back on the chair so hard, he fell off. Bo pulled him to his feet by grabbing him by the lapels of his jacket. ‘Don’t you ever talk about your mother like that in front of me again, ever!’
‘Let go of me.’ Nicholas hissed, green eyes flashing defiantly.
‘Bo, let him go,’ came Roman’s calm voice from behind.  
Bo pushed the younger man back onto the chair, wiping his hands on his jeans derisively.
‘We can’t talk over this situation in the middle of both your tempers.’ Roman went on. ‘I managed to stop Carly from coming down here but she’s obviously going to ask questions and we have to decide on what she’ll be told.’
Nicholas’s eyes darted from him and back to Bo. ‘What she’ll be told?  What do you mean by that? What in God’s name is going on here? I demand to speak with her!’
‘It won’t do you any good to talk to her right now, Nicky.’
‘I said...’
‘I don’t give a damn what you prefer right now.’ Roman’s voice was now cold. ‘I don’t give a damn about you, I care a lot about your Mum and so do a lot of people. You need to listen to us and listen to us you will. You don’t exist in Carly’s mind right now. She doesn’t know you.’
Nicholas wondered if this was some elaborate expensive joke. ‘What?’
 ‘She has amnesia, you idiot.’ Bo snapped. ‘She doesn’t remember you, your father or her past. No thanks to your father who almost beat her to death.’
‘Don’t you dare slander my father! They had their problems...all married couples do, but he never laid a hand on her. She’s the one who left him, who abandoned me!’
‘Typical...making it all about you. I figured your father must have fed your enough lies to poison your mind against her.’
‘I know the true facts!’ Nicholas spat. ‘And that story about amnesia is nothing but a fabrication...I don’t believe you.’
‘Yeah well, here’s a refresher course on truth.’ Abe walked in, holding the file on Clarice. Roman looked at Bo who shook his head. ‘You tell him.’ He said, not trusting himself to do so without losing his temper again. He turned away to lean against the wall, arms folded as Roman sat opposite Nicholas Alamain and told him the truth about his mother, Abe filling in some gaps. Nicholas’ expression turned from incredulous to shocked, hands clenched on the table. Given the file, he went through it, his hands shaking as he read through every aspect of Shane’s report.
Finally he sat back, one hand covering his trembling mouth. ‘All this time,’ he whispered. ‘All this time... he told me she was dead.’ He raised his damp eyes to look at the three men. ‘I didn’t know he did this... I swear it. I thought she just left without me...’
Bo watched him carefully. ‘What really happened that night?’
Nicholas closed his eyes. He did it to her because of me. It was my fault.
‘I asked you a question, Nicky. What really happened that night?’
Nicholas managed to pull himself together. ‘Mum seemed out of sorts about two months after we left Salem. She wouldn’t tell me what was wrong and I noticed she and Dad seemed to snip at each other often but I thought they always managed to sort things out. Clearly I was wrong about that, it was all an elaborate front. Sometime later, Dad took us on a holiday in his yacht and one night...Mum came to my room. She said we were going away on a little trip, that she and Dad were unhappy and needed some space.’ Nicholas’ voice shook. ‘I yelled at her. I said I wasn’t going to leave my father and she was probably making him unhappy with her drama. She tried to calm me down but I wouldn’t listen to her. I ran away from her and...’ he couldn’t go on.
‘And what?’ Bo asked, his hands itching to strangle Nicholas as he guessed what was coming.
‘I swear, I never thought he would do such a thing to her, I didn’t!’ Tears slid down Nicholas’ cheeks. ‘I ran into Dad outside and I told him... I repeated what she said to me.’ He bowed his head in shame.
Roman raised his eyes to the ceiling, while Abe shook his head.
‘He said I shouldn’t worry about it, that he would talk to her. I went to bed. The next morning... he told me she’d packed a case and left, telling him to look after me since I wouldn’t go with her. And a week later, he told me he’d heard word that she’d drowned in a boating accident, trying to make it to the mainland. He lied to me!’
‘But you were the one who told him she was leaving him.’ Bo’s voice shook with anger.
‘I was just a boy, an angry, thoughtless little boy!’ Nicholas rose to his feet.
‘You’ve always been blind when your father or Vivian was concerned so don’t expect me to feel any sympathy for you right now. Half the time you gave that woman grief but she loved you far too much to ever see your vicious side. Before you left Salem, I really thought you’d changed. I should’ve expected far less from Larry Alamain’s spawn!’
Swallowing, Nicholas hung his head, wiping his eyes.
‘Well,’ Abe said briskly. ‘What are we going to do now? Clarice is going to demand to  know who he is and why he attacked her at Bo’s place.’
‘We’ll just have to play it well for her benefit. We pretend to interrogate him, he says it’s a case of false identity; he gets a slap on a wrist and he’s out of here.’ Bo said, working it out.
‘Is there no chance at all that she would recognise me? I’m her son.’ Nicholas protested. ‘I want to help her with her memory, make it up to her.’
‘That’s partly the reason why we’re doing this, to see if she does recognise you. There’s a chance that she might, if she does; yeah, you can stay and help her get her memory back. If she doesn’t, you will leave Salem and keep your mouth shut. It’s not in her best interest Larry finds out she’s alive.’ Bo said, his tone broking no argument.
‘I may have been a thoughtless little boy but I’m not evil.’ Nicholas replied, chastened. ‘And I don’t see why I can’t stay around and be near her.’
‘That’s out of the question,’ said Abe firmly. ‘Because then your father will come here to see you and everything will be out. You can’t stay here, it’s too dangerous for her...and a lot of people.
Nicholas turned to looked at Bo. ‘She didn’t remember you on sight yet you two are in a relationship again. Am I missing something here?’
Bo didn’t deign to reply.
‘Let’s now decide what we’re going to let Carly know.’ Roman sat down again.

Rafe  Hernandez was quickly briefed and told to handle the fake interrogation. Clarice arrived at the station the next morning and she and Bo with Roman watched Nicholas and Rafe talk through the one-way mirror. Nicholas stated that he had acted impulsively and it had all been a case of mistaken identity-the woman in Bo’s house had merely reminded him of someone else. Bo kept looking at her frowning face for any sign of recognition.
‘Lord knows who this woman was to set him off like that.’
‘Want to press charges?’ asked Roman.
She shook her head. ‘No. But I want to talk to him.’
‘I don’t know... I just feel this need to.’
Rafe ended the interview and left the room. Bo stood back, allowing her to enter the room. Nicholas tensed as he stared at his mother.
‘Hi.’ Clarice said.
‘Hello.’ He mumbled, anxiously wondering if she would see anything familiar about him at all, hence he would be allowed to stay and help her.
‘Nicholas, is it?’
‘Yes, but you can call me... umm...Nicky.’ he said, sensing Bo was furiously staring at him through the one-way mirror but was desperate to see if it would trigger off something in her mind. It was all still a nightmare to him, a nightmare that was partly his doing.
‘Nicky.’ Clarice repeated. ‘Doesn’t seem in keeping with you.’
He was silent.
‘Look, I’ve decided not to press charges against you. But I feel there’s more than what you told Detective Hernandez.’
 ‘I don’t know what else  to tell you, Ms Parker. I gave my statement to your colleague and it’s the truth. And I apologise most sincerely for what happened.’
Clarice studied him. He was a handsome young man, from his accent polished and cultured, yet she sensed a troubled little boy inside. For a very strange  reason, she felt like giving him a hug, which shocked her.  ‘I accept your apology. But I sincerely hope you aren’t going to go around attacking other women under the guise of “mistaken identity” after your release. Because for some reason, I don’t believe you.’  She said coldly. ‘I better not see you around here again, you understand?’
 She honestly doesn’t remember own mother, Nicholas thought, feeling heartsick. Maybe she was drawn to Bo Brady despite her condition because her days with him in the past had been all light and sunshine while her days with Lawrence had been all darkness...and he had been a part of it.  She was this way because of him, because of his betrayal.
‘Understood.’ He managed to say.
Turning her heel, she left the room. ‘Cut him loose.’ She told Bo and Roman.
Later in his hotel room, Nicholas Alamain wept for hours; wracked with guilt and despair and cursing Lawrence over and over. It had been sheer agony standing in the same room with Carly, unable to tell her the truth...seeing how she didn’t even recognise him. How could he have known it would come to this?
Calming down at last, he drifted off to sleep. And in the morning, he made an appointment with Bo, agreeing to meet him at the docks.
Bo found Nicholas staring at the tugboats going along the river, his hands thrust deep in his jacket pockets. He turned as Bo approached him.
‘I owe you yet another apology Bo. It won’t erase what happened but...I just hope you will accept it. I was a spoilt bratty boy who took advantage of my mother’s love for me. I was the master of manipulation, just like him. And I helped destroy her life. It was a miracle she survived that ordeal... a miracle she came back here, back to you. With what she’s going through right now, I’m glad she has you again.’
‘Appreciate that.’
Nicholas shook his head sadly. ‘Is her condition permanent?’
‘We don’t know. But Roman’s ex wife...she’s a trained psychiatrist, she feels it’s best her memory comes back naturally. The doctors who tried treating her in the past only made things worse, which is why in the end her brain had to be planted with false memories. Somehow or other, she’s going to remember. We just don’t know when.’
‘I’m not going to tell my father or Vivian about it, I hope you can trust me on that. I won’t endanger Mum’s life for anything.’ He gave a harsh, mirthless laugh. ‘I had the impudence to say she had a lot to answer for when it was I the whole time!’ He dashed some angry tears away impatiently. ‘I don’t blame you for despising me, I despise me. I just hope when she finally remembers everything, she’ll find it in her heart to forgive me.’ He turned to Bo. ‘And I hope you will be able to as well.’
Bo turned away, unable to look at him.
‘I don’t need to tell you this but please... take care of her for me. When she starts to remember,’ he reached into his pocket and brought out a card from his wallet. ‘Call me by any of these numbers, and I’ll be here. Promise me you will, Bo. I beg you.’
Bo turned back and saw the stark desperation on Nicholas’ face. ‘Sure.’ He said at last, taking the card.
That night as they lay entwined in each other’s arms, Clarice jerked awake from another dream. A dream where she was in a candle lit room and she was in a man’s arms. A faceless man with a tattoo, a tattoo she now saw clearly enough to see it was the same as the one on Bo’s back.