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:


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.


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.

Memoir · Non-Fiction · Short Story

A Short Memoir

I remember this moment as if it had happened five minutes ago. I had walked into the large, wooden, double doors of House of Blues, and was met by a loud rock band on stage. The walkway was filled with teenagers and tipsy adults. It was dark, but the flashing lights lit my way. I kept checking down at my phone to see if she had texted me, but I realized I had lost service.


My two friends, sister, and dad had faded away when I heard my name. The voice I had only heard in videos on Instagram or over video chat. I looked around the crowded area and my vision grew blurry from tears. Everyone and everything faded away around me as my eyes landed on her. I felt my knees grow weak as I took the three steps to meet her. I fell into her open arms as she fell into mine. I had envisioned this moment for the past three years. I pictured every word I ever wanted to say to her. But in that moment, all words abandoned me; all I could say was four little words: “Sierra, I love you.” My chest hurt as I sobbed and gasped for air. All I could think was that…this is the person I told everything to for three years. The only person I felt I could trust. She told me every detail of her life, and I told her every detail of mine. This…person- This incredible human being needed to know how much I loved her — that she was my best friend. And I could tell she thought the same thing.


My friend pulled us from each other as the band on stage was finishing their set. We decided we should find a spot to stand in the crowd and Sierra showed us to a place up front her and her friend were. The two of us cried and cried and cried as we sang along to the bands on stage and danced together. And when it ended, we cried as we had to say goodbye.
That night, on the way home, my throat hurt from the singing and the screaming and the crying. My legs were sore from standing for two hours. My head spun from the noise and the flashing lights. I was exhausted from being awake since 6:30 am and it was almost 2 am. Even though I was in physical pain, I knew this was the happiest I had ever been, and maybe ever will be.


“Beat! Beat! Drums!” Literary Analysis

In Walt Whitman’s “Beat! Beat! Drums!”, he uses alliteration and strong use of metaphor and simile to express his frustration and passion for his call to arms and end slavery. Whitman uses hard consonants to imitate drums and unique language to leave a mark on his readers.

The first line of the poem, you read these hard consonants and begin to realize Whitman is imitating a drum. He goes on and tells these bugles to blow – he is making the reader picture war. “Into the school where the scholar studies…” He turns and uses hard ‘s’s to imitate a whip, as used as a common punishment for slaves in the North Atlantic slave trade. Whitman “beat, beat, drums! -blow you bugles, blow!” is the way he starts each stanza, further etching this dark gloom of war into the reader’s head. As the poem goes on, these drum beats seem to grow louder. “No bargainers bargains by day – no broker of speculators…” One may picture this dark image of war as the drum beats and the bugles blow.

Walt Whitman’s use of metaphor and simile puts the reader right into the time era. Whitman urges for no peace, no happiness, and no tears till this issue is at an end. He personifies slavery and says it’s “ a ruthless force”. Without saying, Whitman uses the bugles and drums as a call to action. Not only that, but he is referring to the instruments as his audience and having them be the bugles and drums. Whitman” readers are the ones who are being called to arms.

Walt Whitman uses adequate use of alliteration and simile and metaphor in his poem “Beat! Beat! Drums!” By doing so, he expresses deep frustration and intense passion to put an end to slavery. Whitman writes in a way to leave such a clear impact on the audience – as he did.