I graduated!

I don’t think I’ve shared the news yet but I graduated! I finally did it. It took six attempts spread over three years but I can finally say I have a Bachelor in the Arts. Naturally I’ll be putting myself through more of this next year since I applied for a Master’s programme too. Let’s hope that one will go more smoothly.

More good news: since my schedule now cleared up (aside from work) I finally have time and energy to write again so hopefully there will be more regular updates, though I promise nothing.

Without further ado, the text (not a poem, though inspired by Dylan Thomas’ work):

Under the night sky

When she was little, her father promised her she would be happy as long as she could see the stars in the sky. It explained why she was a night owl now, at twenty-six. Daytime made her restless, jittery, the way coffee was supposed to but never quite could. She breathed in, then out. In, out. A steady rhythm meant to calm her frantic heart. It didn’t work; it never did. She wasn’t sure why she still tried. It was obviously pointless, yet the routinized exercise brought her a peace of mind otherwise lost. And that counted for something, right? Back when she was in high school she could only dream of achieving her current state, the way she was always with her head in the sky. It was safe in her fantasy world, away from the dangers of reality. Like Alice, she escaped the world for a few hours to recover from existing. It was too hard otherwise.

There wasn’t anything particularly challenging about her life. Her parents were alive and well somewhere in Utah, chasing their own dreams. She wasn’t ill, at least not physically, and usually felt pretty energised. Even her job was average, earning her the median income without too much effort. She had hobbies to occupy her and friends to be around, even when she felt most lonely. Life was good.

So why did she feel so trapped?

There was no escaping the routine, the boredom of a passionless life. There was no joy in working, no joy in gossiping about sex and love. There was no fulfilment when she filed piles of paperwork no one would ever look at again. She was stuck. Where was her escape?

First she turned to the bottle. The brown liquid called her name and begged to be consumed, yet when she did she felt utterly hopeless. Where was the relief she so craved? Where was the euphoria the ad promised?

Then she turned to men, and later women, because who cares anyway. The sound of bodies clashing together filled her with disgust, mixing with the white liquid released inside her. It felt icky and she hated it but what could she do? Where was the pleasure her friends had promised her? Fingers, nipples, tongues, each skilled in its own way yet unable to fill that void.

Drugs were the obvious next choice but after sniffing sugar as a kid she’d vowed never to snort cocaine in her life. If it was half as painful it’d be too much. Other drugs simply weren’t as appealing. Smoking a plant? Chewing up what looked like common home insulation? No thanks. So what was left?

She turned to the only place she could, her only comfort: the night sky. What she saw didn’t change her, nor did it enlighten her in any way. But she felt less lonely, and wasn’t that enough? As time chipped away at her body, her soul was expanding. Soon, she’d encompass the entire universe. When that happened, they’d all be free. Locked in her prison but unaware of their predicament, that was the life they were destined to lead. It was her choice, but they never knew. When they spit their words, sharpened their fists, they decided. They moulded and shaped, kneaded until she was her, finally. The sky would help her, she knew it.

That evening she returned to the top of the world in an effort to get closer to the stars. Thousands of lightyears apart yet so close to touch. She was small, and they were too. Finally, it was time. She reached, hoping she’d graze the surface. When her knees hit the pavement she was already dead. The leaves stirred and twirled around her, landing on her pale form. They say death is ugly, dehumanising, but she was beautiful. Her death was art and we were onlookers, there to push her over the edge and jump with her. My hand on her throat enough to soothe my sorrows. Her pleading eyes, averted. She was the sky and we killed it. Atlas shrugged and it all crumbled. Our indifference, her passion. We were free but locked inside her prison. But at least we decided. Where was her choice?



As usual, scroll down for the story.

Some good things have happened recently.

Lately I’ve been mildly obsessed with the Korean idol and rapper Zico. Seriously, his song Artist is one of the few things that can make me happy whenever I hear it. The MV for it is a piece of art too.

My former best friend contacted me again, out of the blue, and we’re talking again after several years of silence. Not sure what will come of it yet but she caught me at a really good time so I gave her another chance without much thought. Besides, she seemed apologetic and more mature so why not start over?

Sadly I haven’t won any jackpot – I could really use the money – but I did get really inspired by all the music I’ve discovered so I have a bunch of stories I need to get onto paper ASAP. One of those is called Jackpot. It was born when my sister asked my help with one of her assignments for school, about science fiction (which is a genre she doesn’t know anything about, except what she learned from Black Mirror). Please enjoy:


Martha worried about her daughter. At seven weeks, it was still possible for the child growing inside of her to be fixed. If only they could afford it.

Time was running out and Martha couldn’t bear the thought of sending the child into the world with a disability.

‘’Mom! I found a solution!’’ Martha’s youngest yelled from the living room. Martha perked up and rushed towards her son. At 27, he still had two years in high school ahead of him. If he continued on this way, he’d get into college before 30! No one had succeeded at that in the past century and back then life expectancy had only been 180!

‘’Mom!’’ he repeated, grabbing her sleeve to rush her towards the TV. Once there, he pointed at the screen, a grin evident on his face.

‘’Look, mum! They’re doing a lottery again!’’ he exclaimed.

There hadn’t been a lottery in 5 years. What had made them change their minds?

‘’Can we afford it?’’

Martha checked her balance. She only had a couple thousand left for groceries and the month was still in its infancy.

‘’How much are tickets?’’ she asked, fearing the answer.

‘’Only a thousand each, mum! They haven’t gone up in price at all!’’

She sighed. She had hoped they’d be cheaper but this was for the sake of her grandchild. Martha was willing to do anything.

‘’Sev, darling, why don’t you go out and buy two for your poor old mother?’’

Her son rolled his eyes. ‘’You’re only 98, mum. Don’t be silly.’’

He took the card from her and hurried out. At the door, he turned around. ‘’And don’t look a day over 100!’’

Before she could throw the remote at his head he was gone. The little rascal!


On X-mas the family sat huddled before the TV, drinking hot chocolate and eating ginger biscuits.

Linda de Mol Jr appeared on the screen and did her usual routine, prolonging everyone’s suffering. ‘’And now, the winning numbers…’’

Martha felt anxious, more so than she had even when giving birth to her eldest as a teen.


Martha uncrumpled the piece of paper in her hand: it showed an 8.


The paper wasn’t the actual ticket but she had copied her numbers onto it as soon as Sev had returned. The real thing was safely hidden, just in case.


One number showed a 4 instead. The other had a 3.

‘’We’re all so anxious. I love it!’’ the woman on their screen exclaimed.

Martha sighed.


Her hands shook. Could it be…?

‘’Now, before I say the next number, I’d like to thank our sponsors.’’

Sev groaned.

Soon; soon, they’d know.


Everyone was silent now. No one dared move.

‘’And the final number…’’

Martha bit her lip.

‘’…you’ll hear after the commercial break.’’

Martha threw her head back against the wall. This was pure torture. Surely even back in 2003 people must’ve been sick of commercial breaks. Too bad it was live or she’d have skipped it.

‘’And the final number is… 4! Congratulations!’’

Martha couldn’t believe it. the last number on her piece of paper was a 4 too. But it was too soon for jubilations; she had to check the original. Surely fate wasn’t so cruel?

She held the ticket in her shaking hands and read the number over and over again.

  1. Eight, one, three, seven, five, four. 8-1-3-7-5-4.

It really showed the number.

Martha’s eyes teared as she beckoned her daughter.

‘’Baby, it’s for you and the little one.’’

Her daughter’s eyes teared up too. ‘’I’ll call him Jack.’’

Little baby Jack.

‘’Congratulations! Remember, your prize is all-encompassing: that lucky baby will be disease-free and you get five personality changes of choice, as well as three cosmetic changes.’’

Martha had to sit down. Little Jack’s flat feet would be prevented and his eye colour could be changed from brown to blue. Maybe now he’d stand a chance in society.


Decisions, decisions, decisions

Edit 05-08-2017: I have made the decision to delete all posts prior to this one, with the exception of one, because they made me cringe. There wasn’t anything of interest in them anyway so you’re not missing out on much. Not all the information in this post is accurate any longer but if you continue to read my blog posts you’ll find out on your own what I mean so I won’t elaborate on that here. 

So some quick background info: I’m Arthur Duchannes. It’s not the name given to me at birth but the writer in me listens to it so I’ve embraced it as my own. I write a lot and my goal is to write for a living someday. I’m working hard towards it, ambitious and hard-working despite my lazy appearance, but in the meantime you can expect some of my short pieces scattered throughout my posts. Enjoy, and feel free to message me whenever. 

I am indecisive. There, I said it. My mind freezes as soon as I am faced with a decision to make and it drives everyone around me crazy. I’m the worst person to bring to restaurants, especially those without drink menus. Why wouldn’t they have one? How am I supposed to know whether they have ginger ale or cassis or ice tea? Am I supposed to settle for a generic coke or fanta just because I don’t know what else they have? Are they going to force me to ask the waiter/waitress? It’s an introvert’s nightmare.

I don’t think I’m an introvert. I’m no extrovert either but I never understood the ‘needing time alone to recharge’ thing introverts seem to do. I really don’t need time to myself. I hate being alone. I want to be around people. But I’m no party person either. I think ambivert would best describe me out of the limited options I have.

Anyway, back to decision making. It should be obvious to anyone reading this blog that I can’t make up my mind. I keep changing things, never fully satisfied with anything. Just look at my posts; they totally lack consistency. Were I any better a person I would’ve stopped this nonsense and stuck to whatever decision I made last. Unfortunately for everyone involved I am not. I hope this will be the last major revamp of this blog but who knows, really? I won’t make any promises. In any case, I’ll try to make this last.

So first of all, I want to discuss my writing. I’ve grown a lot but I still need to improve and I desperately need a place to talk about everything I’m doing without the person I’m speaking to going crazy. At least here you get to decide whether you read on. I might post some short pieces I wrote over the years but I’ll mostly talk about my characters, the messages that can be found in my stories, what emotions I’m trying to convey, etc. And if my thoughts and processes turn out to be useful for someone else then all the better.

Originally I started this blog because agent blogs kept telling me I needed one if I ever wanted to be published so I did it and made some social media accounts but it’s not for me. I can’t force myself to write 140-character posts several times a day. I can’t even get one done every month. I’m one of those people who tends to rebel when they are forced to do things. Tell me I have to do something, even if I had every intention to do it before you told me, and I will do the exact opposite 9 times out of 10. If you want something done from me, ask me. That’s your best shot.

Now I’m going to do this my way. If I’m as bad at this as I am at keeping a diary this might very well my last post in months. But I’ll try.

Secondly, I want to share some recipes with everyone. I found some great ones over the years, some of which I perfected over time (as far as that is possible), and I want to spread the joy. My signature dish is carrot cake so I’ll be sharing that one soon, hopefully.

Thirdly, I might share some stuff I learn about at university or some thoughts I have on relevant contemporary issues. I’m quite involved politically and love sharing my ideas on these topics. I’m always open for requests (as long as they are reasonable) so feel free to suggest some. I also love debating about ideas so hit me up if you’re up for it. (I’m particularly passionate about feminism and will force you to be as nuanced as possible.)

I probably won’t open up too much about my personal life but there should be plenty of content that can satisfy your curiosity about me as a person. Knowing myself I probably won’t proofread any of my posts. I’m not inclined to do so, I find going over details a rather tedious task. I’m more of a broad picture type of person so expect leaps of thought rather than detailed explanations of how I came to my conclusions.

If you have any feedback on anything, feel free to share. While I hate people not liking something I say, think, or write, I do appreciate criticism. Without it, I can’t grow. I want to improve and if that means hearing how much my writing sucks 10 times every day then I’ll take it.

I ran out of things to say so I guess that’s that for now.

Have a story:

Fate of a Villain

Zachariah ducked just in time. A gulf of flames rolled right over his head, scorching some of the longer hairs on his head. Josiah, his arch enemy, had really upped his game lately. The number of attacks on his life had increased, and so did their danger. The blond had come dangerously close to killing him.

Zachariah had never exactly understood why Josiah had it out for him. They were both villains, with their own territory, and they respected each other.

The attacks started 7 months ago, without a warning. One moment they were discussing what to do with the humans, who were increasingly displeased with their treatment – he wasn’t too worried about them, they couldn’t do much against him and his army of villains, especially if he was to work together with the other villain leader. That was what the meeting had been about. – the next, before he realised what was happening, the blond’s face had changed and he barely managed to move out of the way, the fireball killing his second in command. Since then it had been war.

Now, 7 months of vicious attacks later, the amount of scars on Zachariah’s body had increased twentyfold. He had a nasty scar near his right eye from a booby trap in his bedroom. He had shot back, but not as viciously, as he had a soft spot for the man. He didn’t want to kill him, or even really hurt him, so he meticulously planned attacks that would scare him off without actually inflicting physical pain.

‘’Boss, are you okay?’’ his second in command yelled out as he hurried over to what once had been the lift of the apartment building but what was now reduced to rubble and metal scraps. He looked at the man in front of him and got up, not wanting to show the pain he was in.

‘’I’m fine, Micah, but it is time for us to devise a plan to stop Josiah once and for all.’’ He said it with such severity it brought chills to Micah’s spine, the exact response he desired from the man.


As the villain was laying out his plan to stop Josiah’s attacks, his messenger, Hades, burst onto the roof, heaving for air. Zachariah shot him a murderous look, a warning that it better be serious or he’d be in real trouble.

‘’The humans! They got one of us!’’ he managed to get out between gulps of air. The villains shot each other looks of surprise.

‘’Ours or Josiah’s?’’ the shortest villain of the group asked, his thoughts far ahead of everyone else’s. Zachariah’s heart started racing. What if it was Josiah? He wanted to bash in the messenger’s head for taking so long to reply.

‘’Josiah’s. Krim. He was an arrogant bastard, always showing off, so today they took him. He never saw it coming,’’ the messenger replied, and Zachariah let out a sigh of relief.

‘’Maddie, Joachim, go to Josiah. See whether he wants to work together now,’’ Zachariah barked at two of his younger villains. They seemed pretty harmless but they knew what they were doing.

‘’The rest of you, take whichever humans you want. We’re going to have ourselves a party,’’ he winked at the group, hinting at the massacre to come.

A cheer erupted in the crowd and they all flew, ran, jumped, or beemed away, to hunt their favourite prey. Zachariah himself sat down and floated about a foot above the roof, simultaneously making it comfortable for him to think and instilling awe in the petty humans who decided to wage war on their oppressors.

An hour later he felt a presence on the roof. He sensed it were the two villains he sent out to Josiah. He turned around and nearly fell onto the roof with shock. He managed to keep his cool, though, and stayed afloat. The two were barely alive. Their clothes were torn, Maddie had bald spots between her thick salt and pepper coloured hair, Joachim had a deep gash running from his left clavicule all the way down to the hem of his boxers. Maddie seemed to be missing a large chuck of flesh from her right arm, and her legs looked so much like spaghetti bolognese Zachariah was surprised to see her still standing.

‘’Josiah,’’ was all Joachim said before collapsing. Zachariah rushed over and felt his pulse, not finding any. He was dead. He ran towards the apartment the main medic of the villains lived and smashed through the window. Too late did he see the trap set for him. The air seemed to explode in front of him and his world went black.


Zachariah was mad. Completely pissed off. He was currently on his way to fight Josiah in person. The bastard had gone too far. Two of his people were dead because of him, and he himself had lost an eye in the explosion. He was raging with fury, burning everything that got in his way, leaving behind a trail of dead humans, animals, and car cadavres. The lower ranking villains didn’t dare stop him, and the higher ranking ones were almost as angry as he was. It was time Josiah got what he deserved. They were not going to get in Zachariah’s way when he set out to do what they all wished they could do themselves.

He finally reached the villain’s lair and threw a fireball at the gate. The guards scurried off to warn their boss, leaving Zachariah to contemplate which to kill off first. He decided to blow up the one further ahead, to make a bigger impact on the other one. In no time Josiah was out and the two started their battle. His followers attempted to joint he fight but he blasted one away and the rest got the message. It was a fight between the two leaders. They yelled profanities at each other between blasts.

Suddenly a wave of water flooded the lair, immersing the blond villain. Zachariah looked around him confused and spotted a human. Before he could do anything, electric current ran through the pool of water, electrocuting the drowning villain. Zachariah, angry beyond anything anyone had ever seen, sent out a cloud of fire from his skin, burning everything within a 5 kilometre radius. The heat vaporised the water the villain had been submerged in, leaving him within an inch of death.

Zachariah ran toward him and gently took him in his arms. A tear ran down his face.

‘’I-I’m soh..’’ the dying man started to say. The dark-haired man kissed his forehead, one of the very few unblemished parts of the villain’s skin. A calm smile settled on the blond’s face. Zachariah cherished the moment. Then he stood up. If the humans wanted war, they could have it.

He enhanced the volume of his voice and spoke a message to everyone on the planet. ‘’YOU BROUGHT THIS ONTO YOURSELVES. I’LL BE MERCIFUL. YOU GET FIVE SECONDS TO SAY GOODBYE TO YOUR LOVED ONES, A CURTESY NOT GIVEN TO MYSELF.’’

He took a deep breath. He channeled the beast he had leashed inside him. All the years he spent trying to tame it, kill it, cage it, all would be lost now. He took a last look around and let it all out. Within a second, the entire earth was in flames.

– End –