Non-Fiction · Weird History

The Shortest War in History: The Anglo-Zanzibar War

         The Anglo-Zanzibar war lasted a total of about 40 minutes. It all started in 1890 when Germany and Britain met up to sign a treaty. The East African empire of Zanzibar ceded (or fell under control) to the great British Empire whilst Germany was given control over Tanzania. Britain placed, what they called, a puppet sultan to watch over the new region named Hamad bin Thuwaini.

         Hamad bin Thuwaini ruled with a pro-British attitude for a little over three years before dying suddenly on August 25, 1896. Although the truth of this mysterious death will never truly be understood, it is believed that Thuwaini’s cousin, Khalid bin Barghash had him poisoned. This theory is compounded by the fact that just after Hamad’s death, Khalid quickly moved into the palace and assumed the position of sultan without having any approval from Britain.

The British diplomats living in Zanzibar were furious. One British diplomat, Basil Cave, demanded Khalid stand down, but he, of course, refused. Khalid quickly organized his troops around the palace as a line of defense. They were surprisingly well organized — but what would you expect when a large handful of their weapons were gifts to the former sultans from other countries and empires. At the same time, Britain docked warships in the harbor ready for battle. Cave also had a neighboring British warship come and dock in the harbor. No one had the ability to begin hostilities yet, so everyone waited.

         Cave sent a letter to the Foreign Office saying: “Are we authorized in the event of all attempts at a peaceful solution proving useless, to fire on the Palace from the men-of-war?” As Cave waited for a response to come, he tried to make peace with Khalid, but he wouldn’t listen.

         Two days passed and two more British warships entered the harbor. In the same day, Cave received a letter stating: “You are authorized to adopt whatever measures you may consider necessary, and will be supported in your action by Her Majesty’s Government. Do not, however, attempt to take any action which you are not certain of being able to accomplish successfully.” That night, Cave demanded that Khalid and his men leave the palace by nine a.m. the next morning. Cave then went on to have all non-military ships removed from the harbor in preparation for the battle to come.

         Eight a.m. came and Khalid sent Cave a letter informing him that Khalid was not leaving the palace anytime soon and did not believe the British would fire on the palace. To this, Cave told Khalid that he does not want to fire on the palace, but will do what is necessary.

         Nine a.m. arrived. Cave commanded the British warships in the harbor to fire upon the palace. By 9:02, the entire wooden structure of the palace began to collapse with 3,000 defenders waiting inside. About this time, Khalid is said to have escaped through a back door of the palace, leaving his servants and defenders alone. At 9:40, the sultan’s flag was lowered marking a surrender. This marked the end of the shortest war in history and lasting a grand total of 38 minutes.

Works Cited:

https://www.warhistoryonline.com/history/five-shortest-wars-military-history.html

http://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/HistoryofBritain/The-Shortest-War-in-History/

https://www.britannica.com/event/Anglo-Zanzibar-War

 

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Poetry

Leaves Don’t Change

The leaves don’t change color around here

The go from green

          To brown

          And back to green

Losing life for only about 2 months

          Sometimes more

          Sometimes less

 

But I’d  like to travel

To that place leaves do turn red

          And orange

          And yellow

A place where fall truly does exist

And I could wear a sweater for more than two weeks

A place where the birds fly from

And not to

 

The leaves don’t change around here

I guess nothing does

Memoir · Non-Fiction

Room Sweet Room

      A white door leading into a white painted room. Brown carpet littered with dirty clothes and textbooks that wouldn’t fit on a bright white bookcase. On the shelves lay books from my childhood and books I have read recently and books I have yet to read. Around the books are a collection of memories: a harmonica John Popper from Blues Traveler gave me, a Mason Jar with Doctor Who sonic screwdrivers, a playbills from the first play I trully stage managed, and a plastic glass slipper from one of my favorite plays I have ever worked on. Stringing across the same wall my bookshelf is on are photos hanging from a string of fairy lights.

      There is a wall with a large window looking out over the woods I call my backyard. Dark brown curtains cover the large window hiding a green and red cactus named Prick and a small air plant named Tim. Up against the window is a white, cast iron bed. That is where warmth is and happiness. Blue and tan sheets and comforter lay atop a lavender scented mattress; twelve blankets are bundled together on the top of the sheets. Woven into the headboard is more photos hung on fairy lights.

      On either side of bed are two nightstands. One has a silver lamp that looks like the lamp in Pixar that I had bought for that soul purpose. Next to the lamp is a small mirror which I wrote “You are lovely” on. On the other night stand is a collection of candles. The smells of flowers, pumpkin, Gandalf’s pipe, and apple flow through my room when lit. Above that second night stand, across from my bookshelves, is a large picture of actress Audrey Hepburn. She hangs there you watch over my room every day and every night. At the other end of the wall is a poster of a knight hanging his head in shame just above my desk.

      Lastly, my desk. A bright blue wooden desk covered in old papers, scraps of writing, magazines, and pens. My desk is where creativity is set into motion. My desk is where those late night poems and dreams are written into being. My desk is where I start projects and complete them. It is a sacred space for my imagination to roam free into notebooks that lay in front of me. Pages torn from old spirals and composition notebooks painted with doodles of a stick figure I named Joe and my rants about the world we are living in.

      We have come full circle and back to the white door hiding the white painted walls. The brown colored carpet remains littered with dirty clothes and my bed is covered in a bundle of blankets. My room is my imagination, thoughts, dreams, my safe space. This is my room.

Memoir

Color Your World

It’s the color red that flows through my mother’s graying hair. It’s the white paint covering the once green and purple walls. The dark brown covering the emotion from inside my sister and father. The red, fiery ringlets twisting my mind in my youngest sister’s hair. The teal fish tattooed into my dad’s rough skin. It is the black and white photos of my childhood covering the bland, white walls of my house. It is the coloring of my house that I live.

Fiction · Poetry

It’s Been A While

It’s been awhile

Since the last time we talked,

      Texted,

            Called,

                  Sang,

                        Danced

It’s been awhile since the last time I saw you

The last time I felt normal

      The last time I felt happy around people

            The last time I felt like a real girl

You were the one person that knew me

And I was the one person that knew you

Isn’t it strange how these things can change so easily?

So,

It’s been a while

And now you’re standing on my doorstep.

Memoir

What’s In A Name

One night, about 17 years ago or so, my mom and dad were sat in a bar with my dad’s best friend and his girlfriend. Every name that my mom had come up with, my dad didn’t like and every name my dad liked, my mom didn’t. As the four young adults sat in a booth at a local bar, a familiar tune played through the air. “Allison… I know this world is killing you. Oh- Allison.” My mom turned to my dad saying, “What about Allyson?” After eight months of indecision, the name for their first daughter was chosen. Adding a middle name as old as the start of my mother’s family and the song title about a girl with a troubled life, the name Allyson Lea Crown was created.

Poetry

Freedom

Trapped in routine

Trapped in sameness

Trapped in a room

Trapped in a desk

 

Stuck in this routine

Stuck in this sameness

Stuck in this room

Stuck in this desk

 

I want to get out of this routine

I want to get out of this sameness

I want to get out of this room

I want to get out of this desk

 

Everyone in collars

Everyone with laptops

Everyone trapped

Everyone stuck

 

I want to yell

I want to scream

I want to escape

I want fly

 

This is not who I am

This is not what I want

 

Let me yell

Let me scream

Let me escape

Let me fly

 

I am who I am

And that is what I want

Non-Fiction

Kaleidoscope Literary Analysis

 

Kaleidoscope Literary Analysis

                    In Ray Bradbury’s short story entitled “Kaleidoscope”, are a variety of different characters. In the opening line, Bradbury says that a spaceship has been ripped up “with a giant can opener”. Many men are thrown from this ship in various different directions at thousands of miles per hour: each with their own different fate. One of the first characters introduced is a man named Hollis. Hollis is first brought into play after a man named Stone calls out to him.

                    Stone is a man filled with fear at the start of the story, and Hollis is the only one who can bring a sense of peace to his mind. It is revealed to us, early on, that each man in this story is destined for something different. The Captain  is destined to hit the moon, Hollis for earth, but each of them falling in space. The men were scared, and for the most part, Hollis was the one to put them at ease.

                    “Oh, it’s a long way down… I don’t want to die, it’s a long way down,” said a voice through the walkies. This was a man named Stimson. Hollis attempts to talk sense into his frightened head; Stimson held to his fear and began to scream. Hollis was the one to make it stop: he killed Stimson. Now Lespere came into the picture.

                    Lespere was a man of strong words and a colourful world. He came from drinking, gambling, and had a wife on Mars and one of Venus. Hollis wished he could have had that. But now, falling in space, Hollis knew that none of those things Lespere had done in the past truly mattered. All the men from the ship would die in one way or another out in space. “From this outer edge of his life, looking back, there was only one remorse, and that was only that he wished to go on living. Did all dying people feel this way, as if they had never lived?” After silence and contemplation on Hollis’s part, he spoke: “It’s all over Lespere!”

                    Out from the depths of the cosmos, a voice rings out: Stone’s. He tells the men of the stars about a group of meteors. “I think I’m in the Myrmidone cluster that goes out past Mars and in toward Earth once every five years. I’m right in the middle. It’s like a big kaleidoscope. You get all kinds of colors and shapes and sizes. God, it’s beautiful, all that metal.” Stone’s character turns from being scared, to accepting his death and joins the stars. Hollis looks to the stars and saw nothing but a whirlpool of gems and colors. The friends said goodbye.

                    Each man left knew their time was limited; they said goodbye. Hollis – not wanting to die nor wanting to live – knew his fate was Earth. He knew that he would burn like a meteor when he hit the atmosphere, but did not know if he would be seen. As Hollis is falling to Earth, a boy looked up to him and thought of him as a shooting star. The boy’s mother looked up to this star and told him to make a wish. Even in death, Hollis was a ray of hope to others.

Poetry

When I Was Little

When I was little

You took me outside

And you told me to look up

I did

And my mind was filled with so much wonder

I felt as if I could fly

 

When I was little

You took me to the land of dreams

And you told me to imagine

I did

And my heart was filled with so much enthusiasm

I felt as though I were unstoppable

 

When I was little

You told me great stories

And you told me to listen

I did

And my eyes were filled with so much color

I felt like I was in a rainbow

 

I am not little anymore

You do not fill me with wonder

       Enthusiasm

              Or color

But doubt

And you tell me to look

         Imagine

                Listen

To you awful words of discouragement

And I do

Poetry

Next To You

I never liked the thought of being anybody else’s

Until I was yours

I never liked to be called baby

Until I heard it roll off of your lips

I always wanted to be free

Until I was trapped in your gaze

I nevr wanted to have a map

Until you traced it lazily over my skin

And I never liked the idea of love

Until I found myself falling in it with you