Rolling the Dice Blog

Here you will meet local writers spreading their stories of success, struggle, and everything in between. Many stories may have to do with the gaming community,but some are just tales of life. We hope these will be entertaining, thought provoking, and relatable.

“Rapture” Written By : Dan Pape

Posted by on Oct 27, 2017 in Rolling The Dice | Comments Off on “Rapture” Written By : Dan Pape

“For non-conformity the world whips you with its displeasure.”

                                                                    – Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

 

1.

After it happened, she said that she was an angel, and she said that she could fly. She would cry then, violent but silent, in a series of little shatters. I would pull her into my chest and dig my hands deep into her hair, and we would both shake from her crying. She cried because she wasn’t. She had been taken from inside herself and couldn’t be put back in, so her tears gave her no release, no comfort. That’s why her tears were angry, even though she wasn’t anything at all

I cried because I couldn’t help her, not in any meaningful way. I’d hold her like she used to hold me, often when the blood was just beginning to crust around my nostrils, the metallic taste of it staining the inside of my mouth, and spit and snot and blood and tears would mix and I would feel disgusting. But she helped me because she loved me and I could feel it, because the me inside wasn’t gone but damaged. Hold me, heal me. I wish I could have done the same for her so very badly. But her pain was a different kind – consuming but muted, alien but constant. How do you heal that, let alone approach it?

Sometimes she would pull away suddenly and look right into my eyes (she always did that, looked right at you when she talked; it made what she said feel special and intimate). She would say that I came to her at night. I would come through her window, she’d say. I came through her window and I shined like I was made out of starlight. She would say that I was so beautiful that I had to be an angel, and when she touched me I was her and she would lay there with her brain all dizzy because she was so happy I was there, filling her up, and so happy she was happy. She would say that I promised to show her how, when she was ready, when I came to her made out of starlight. 

She would say all this really fast, and it both scared me and made me smile because she would almost seem like herself. But then, the static would take over, and I would be holding her as she began to shatter anew, and I would want to weep myself because I wasn’t there, coming through her window, and she was an angel but couldn’t fly, and I couldn’t remember when we last laughed and kissed and touched and loved, I could only remember us crying.

2.

When I found her, she looked like a martyr; she looked like the murdered Christ.

3.

We couldn’t go to my house because my mother was in a prolonged state of shock and my father was a pervert. It wasn’t me that I was worried about; I’d be safe if she was there. No, it was her. My father hated me but he would love her. He liked to hurt me, but he’d want to fuck and hurt her. We couldn’t go to her house because she lived with her grandmother and her grandmother didn’t know and wouldn’t understand. So, we had our place. I’m not sure if it was beautiful because it was or beautiful because it was ours, but it was. It was this clearing by this old tree that looked burnt and withered (which is probably why we liked it, because no one else did). The tree was at the edge of an old rock quarry and when the light was just right the quarry looked like a gray-blue sea and the tree the hand of God. 

4.

I remember once after it happened she asked me what animal I would be and I said cat and when I asked her she said a wolf when I thought she would say a bird. I still don’t know what this means, if anything. 

5. 

It was a love/hate thing, the way everyone at school felt about her. She was very beautiful, but her beauty wasn’t just physical or sexual. She had that indefinable quality that certain people just have. It makes them unique, and it makes them magnetic. They were jealous of me because I was with her or jealous of her because they weren’t her. The ones that did it, they did it out of fear. She made them feel powerless. So much of what we do is caused by fear; even love sometimes is a kind of fear. They even had a name for us: they called us “Cock Tease and Super Dyke.” It just made us laugh. We joked that we were superheroes.  

6.

Her smile was kind of crooked and she couldn’t say the word “specific.” It would sound like “spapific.” 

7.

The day it happened, I was late to meet her. I wasn’t worried though because I knew she’d wait and because it was the kind of day that starts thousands of paintings. Now, it seems like a deliberate lull, like fate’s sick drum roll. I reached our place and saw her sprawled out beneath our tree and thought she was dead. Her shirt had been ripped off and her breasts left exposed to the sun. Her panties were wrapped around her left ankle. Black-red blood stained her inner thighs. I don’t really know what to say about it, finding someone you love laying like a mangled animal. I’m not sure how long I stood there, but when I got to her I saw that they had written “slut” on her forehead with a magic marker. Her eyes were dead ones, glazed eyes that see but don’t. Her eyes were never the same. I wanted to scream so badly but I didn’t have the voice to do it. I just looked at her, holding her hand to my face, and didn’t believe in God.

8.

I was afraid to go to the trial, as if hearing it would be the thing that made it real forever, and I was so afraid for her, afraid of what she would feel, afraid that she would be afraid, afraid that she wouldn’t be, and ashamed of my selfish fears. But I have never been more proud of a person than I was of her on that day. She did what no one should be asked to do – she gave a voice to the thing that destroyed her, and she did it with defiance. She was calm, and she told it, word for word, and answered all questions, and she shied away from nothing. But it was that day that took what was left of her. That day was both a purge and an elegy. 

I felt like I needed to do for her what she had always done for me but there was just too much distance between us and I couldn’t quite seem to cross it. I’m not even sure she wanted me to. She seemed unsure of herself after it all and I hated the world for it. In the end, her grandmother decided to leave, and what could I say to stop it? I knew what a place could do to a person – a place can suffocate. 

When she told me she was leaving, it was the first time she didn’t look into my eyes. 

9.

We agreed to meet for the last time the day before she left. I went to our place early in the morning trying as hard as I could to just be numb, knowing to feel would be to hurt, but I was so used to hurting by this point that it didn’t even really matter.

She wasn’t there. Instead, I found her clothes (she had worn my favorite jeans) in a pile at the edge of the quarry beneath our tree. They searched for her body but couldn’t find it, asked me if I knew where she was with lessening interest, and ultimately they presumed her dead but listed her missing.

I didn’t correct them, even though I knew exactly what had happened. I am the only one who knows. I knew that she had flown away. And now I don’t have to be angry or sad anymore because she comes to me every night. She comes through the window and shines like she is made out of starlight. She is so beautiful, my angel. And when I touch her she is me, filling me up, and I am so happy with my brain all dizzy because she’s here, and she’s her, and I can remember a time when we weren’t crying.

A Method to Madness By:Marcie -“The Linguist “

Posted by on Oct 18, 2017 in Rolling The Dice | Comments Off on A Method to Madness By:Marcie -“The Linguist “

This writing might upset my family. I’ll apologize up front. I’m sure it will dishearten them to
hear what I have to say.
In 1997, I decided I couldn’t be a Methodist anymore.
I had been a pretty straight-laced one, too. I mean, I had many good examples to follow. My
grandparents, my parents, our youth group leaders, and Pastor Charlie who got me through my year of
Confirmation classes were all good Methodists to learn from. I was convinced that they were right—and
I’m still convinced that they all taught me how to strive to be the best person I should be.
I still think the Methodists have good ideas on how to be a decent person—have faith, do good
works, don’t be an alcoholic or drug addict. Thos all seem legitimate—good ways to get along with
others. Really, I wouldn’t mind if more people held to these things.
But let’s jump ahead. College came along, and like most college students I began to question the
beliefs I’d had and the values I’d been raised with up to that point.
Sophomore year I signed up for a literary journalism-based class with my boss from the
university’s writing center—Dr. Vecchio. I wasn’t certain what I was getting into, but Don was cool and
had encouraged me to give it a shot.
The major assignment of the term was a lengthy assignment that involved a double-digit page
requirement of written analysis on a topic of our choice. Something inside me said: investigate your
faith. The Sunday after we got the assignment I was at Central United Methodist for worship service,
and I stayed after to befriend the local pastor, hoping he would be a source of information for the
questions I had never really investigated about United Methodism prior.
He was quick to set up an appointment with me to come back later in the week, assuring me
that he’d have books I could have to get started. I headed back to my dorm to brainstorm and plan.
It’d been awhile since I’d been to a service, not wanting to go on my own every Sunday in a city
where I didn’t know anyone beyond the college campus boundaries. I’d been uneasy, even tearing up
some. I wrote it off to missing my family who should have been there in the pew, too. I didn’t know then
that it was likely one of those uncommon examples of foreshadowing in real life. By the end of the
semester I’d see things weren’t bound to be a happy ending.
After finishing some assignments when I got back to my room, I started on my list of questions. I
knew how the Church told us we could be saved and make it to heaven. I knew about the rather
ridiculous instructions for hymn-singing in the front of every Methodist hymnal (and only the
instructions are bizarre—like any Methodist-at- heart, I love singing hymns). I’d even read about the
Methodists being supporters of the labor movement throughout American history. But how did the
Church think I should feel about suicide? Or euthanasia? Abortion? My LGBT friends? Were my personal
thoughts on those going to line-up with how the Methodists thought I should think?
Days later, I was sitting across from the pastor asking about the topics I’d considered. Briefly he
shared one- or two-sentence responses, for a funeral had come up that had had to cut into our
appointment together. He made up for it though, as promised, with books of the Church—and on that
piqued my interest most—The Book of Discipline. This book is the doctrine of the Church (and strangely,
one I hadn’t recalled hearing about in my catechism, but may be with a terrifying title like that, my pre-

teen mind had blacked it out). With a promise to meet again, the pastor saw me out and I lugged my
new sources down the street to the university library.
My answers I encountered on my own were not what I had cautiously hoped for—hypocrisy was
what I found, and it disturbed me. The bit we’d learned about in Confirmation—that “The United
Methodist Church acknowledges that all persons are of sacred worth” seems like it’s a bit of bunk when
you keep reading. All people can attend church, but my gay friends couldn’t be ordained as ministers or
be married in the Church (an idea which persists, aggravatingly, even to today). Suicide, understandably
frowned upon, was joined by euthanasia and abortion as negatives, too, though admittedly nowadays,
the Church seems to say in the 2016 version of The Book of Discipline that there might be exceptions for
abortion, as “we are equally bound to respect the sacredness of the life and well-being of the mother.”
How generous.)
The bottom line was soon apparent: I couldn’t go along with what I was supposed to agree to
after researching and writing that essay. The storm churned around in me for years. I’d go to church
with my family to try to do what I figured was the right thing, but would have those tears come back
nearly every time I attended, guilty for being there and going against my own beliefs, and then
alternating with shame that the Church I’d respected, and been a happy member of for so long could
have such heinous opinions that didn’t’ seem to show that value of the sacredness of life that I held in
highest regard. My husband and I married in the United Methodist Church (to follow tradition and to
avoid the complication of paying for a sacrament in the Catholic Church) but I’d not been to a service in
ages before our marriage education classes with my parents’ minister. But I didn’t feel all that guilty
about that at least—and I’d even gotten through the ceremony without too many tears. I guess I’d been
able to kid myself for one afternoon at least.
No, the guilt comes back around in the feeling on Sunday mornings that I’m betraying my
relatives and the tenets that they held to for at least a few generations back.
But was I rejecting them? I’ve decided finally that I am not. I still try to live as I was raised—to
treat others justly by the Golden Rule—to try to be temperate (most of the time) in all aspects of
activities—and to have faith in the goodness of others and to show my own goodness through good
works to help others. No construct is needed to be a good person, at least not for me. I don’t need a
church of law and structure to make sure I’m living a worthwhile life. And I refuse to discount others
because they don’t fit the dogma of that constructed faith—or any other one for that matter.

About Us

Posted by on Oct 18, 2017 in Rolling The Dice | Comments Off on About Us

This blog is meant to be different from the rest. Everyone is different and we wanted to be just as unique.
How will we do that? By having a topic that will change periodically and that all of us will write about here.
Check back often to see what we’re up to, and here’s hoping you can find some perspectives to identify with—Enjoy!

Our first topic is:  Coming Our Stories

With this topic, that was why this blog went live and was debuted on National Coming Out Day in support of all the people who come out in one way or another, and for the ones who continue to have to come out as time goes on. We salute your bravery, and decided to share some of our own.

Introductions

Posted by on Oct 11, 2017 in Rolling The Dice | Comments Off on Introductions

The imagination and our words can sometimes prove to be our strongest weapon in a world where escape is often needed. This is true in not only the world of writing and reading but this also rings true in the world of gaming. This is why we are here. A group of people came together, some table top gamers, some writers, a common ground was found and we all decided we wanted to share our stories, together. Here you can find stories of fiction, non fiction, tales of life, and tales of gaming.

Some of the writers have chosen handles and being that you will see several works from these people , let’s give them a proper introduction (these will not be the only contributing writers on this blog however they are the main players if you will) :

Anthony : Anthony is an explosive ball of positive energy. Whether he is hunting down a fly ball in a charity kickball game or simply saying “hi”, he is a passionate exuberance that is contagious. Anthony spends his days mentoring youth and working with organizations as much as he can. You are sure to catch his smiling face through various charity and community events in the Wyoming Valley.

“The Meme Addict”: Under one of his other names Karl he is most widely known for his performance as the son on the walk………….. OK, he isn’t that Karl but he WILL delight you with his wit and dry sense of humor that will not only leave you laughing, but on the tip of your toes. Deep down his love for animals, both furry and reptilian, as well as his dedication to his lovely wife show his softer, sweeter side.

Marcie – “The Linguist” : Marcie is a wordsmith, bibliophile, and guardian of the arts. She dabbles in the written, sung and spoken word. Previously she has resided in Danville and Pittsburgh. She currently lives in Scranton, Pa with her husband, Pete and their feline family. She despises downtime and enjoys crocheting, chicken and waffles, and anything pertaining to Pittsburgh.

“The Curator”: “The Curator” they whisper in hushed tones of awe throughout the halls of the Smithsonian, humbled by her encyclopedic knowledge of Latin American history and piracy “aargh”, she responds in begrudging acknowledgement, then ” AAAAAH!” as she flees a rain of snakes.

Elle- “The Animal Lover” : Elle is a modern day artist with the flare for nostalgia. She works to create a space for gamers, artists, writers, and the like to come together. She is positivity without the pep, and sweetness with a sass. She is a unique spirit and can usually be found rescuing cats, with her cats…..cats…..getting cat tattoos, cats. She lives with her husband and you guessed it, their four cats, Otis, Puglsey, Aldous, and Lana.

Al : A big fan of the Red Sox and marsupials, Al home brews and has an affinity for outdoor fires. A Kester’s regular, he also enjoys making french fries, writing kids books, and infecting others with his sonorous guffaw. He calls Luzerne, Pa home. but his heart is in Happy Valley.

“Tales From Under The Afghan” : As she sits by candlelight as the sun rises in the distance, tales from under the afghan emerge as shadows on the wall. She sees beyond a smile. She sips her coffee for comfort in acknowledging truth, her advisor and comrade. The pen is her sword as she conquers the dreams and terrors of her neighbors. An afghan is more than her cloak, but an armor to brave the coming of adventures, in her head. Listen.

“The Mystic”: No one knows from where or whence she came, but it is whispered among the indigenous peoples of the Luzerne County that she swirled in existence sometime before the creation of the mobile phone and after the invention of chicken tendies. When not gathering secrets and inspiration, she enjoys making jewelry from the bones of her enemies, painting portraits of animals, and getting into heated debates on social media. Currently she resides in the hinterlands of Penn’s Woods, determined to forge an alliance between the Larksville Whistlepig Militia and the Feral Catlords of Kunkle.

“Captain Tangent”: When he is not out on his intergalactic bounty hunting assignments, he composes wild missives about – Hey Wait! Speaking of wild, I have this idea about badgers….OOOOhhhhhh, and then there was the time, I tried to collect a bounty on a three-assed Space Badger.

 

Look for works from these amazing people as well as others soon!