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Re: .:Contest #13:.

Postby Knightdaniru » 02/26/2009 11:50 PM

Ok. Warning. The following content may be based off of Indiana Jones. Why? Because my brother won't stop singing the theme song and the dude who sits in front of me in Spanish has an Indiana Jones tee. So there. Yes. It is kinda cheesy. Sorry 'bout that.

       The moon was full. The Meadow was illuminated and quiet. So few were awake.
       A male lucain trotted out of the cave. The pale moonlight gave his yellow coat a soft glow, added to by the dew that always collected on his cool body. He soon shook the moisture off as he left the cave.
       A shadow slowly seemed to form into a dark colored rattigan as she came beside him. "Hey Limmes." She said, fluttering her wings slightly, "Wazzup?"
       The lucain sat to reach his hind claws and scratch his ear as he answered. "Nothing much. A little bored, I guess."
       "You're normally not awake by this time." The rattigan said.
       "Yeah, I kno--" The lucain was interupted as a brightly colored rollaby bounded up, quickly, nearly crashing into the rattigan.
       "Terrain!" The rattigan yelled, glaring at her arriving brother. "What the heck are you doing here?"
       "Sorry..." The rollaby said, sheepishly, "But I couldn't sleep, and the rest are asleep... And check out the boss I'm on in my game!" The rollaby held out a hand-held game system so his sister could see the screen. Limmes looked at it as well.
       "Nice..." The rattigan said as Terrain withdrew the game.
       "Terrain! Knight! I just got an awesome idea!" The lucain exclaimed, suddenly. The two looked at him curiously, as if asking him to continue, "We could go on an adventure! Find some rare item!"
       "Ooh! Ooh! Can we go?" A voice spoke up from the cave as a dalma and a strange learf bounded out.
       Knight sighed. "I guess we could... But not till morning. We need some sleep." They all knew that this decision was more for the others, especially Terrain and the pups, for it was a well known fact that Knight hated traveling in the sun. But they all accepted it, because it was better for the others.
       "In the morning all here will leave for the caverns... Or where ever their is something. The caverns just seem like a good place to start..." Limmes said.
       "We could ask if Paddy knows any legends about hidden treasures! Or Doze! Or maybe even Ghost! Ooh! And could Paddy come, too?" Valentine said, obviously wanting to keep off going back to bed.
       "Sure." Knight said, "But for now, lets get some sleep." She turned to walk into the cave, followed by Limmes. Bulbyena and Valentine reluctantly followed, as Terrain went back to his forest, playing his game as he walked.

       Knight couldn't sleep. She never could, but now she had something that might be fun to look forward to in the morning. Like the way she was at Christmas... Or Easter... or even Halloween, sadly. But it kept her awake, all the same.
       "Deneiru?" She heard. She looked at who spoke. It was Bulbyena. The pup hardly slept either. Some nights the learf would stay up all night just barking.
       "Yeah, Aspy?" She answered, using one of Bulbyena's many nicknames.
       "You can't sleep either?" Was the reply. "I'm just excited 'bout tomorrow. Do you know how rare it is that I actually find someone who's willing to go on some sort of adventure with me? I rarely travel."
       Knight nodded. "I'm not sleeping. Its the full moon. Why waste it?" The effect was ruined by a yawn, revealing that she didn't actually have the energy she claimed she did.
       Yena smirked, but then yawned herself. The moon wouldn't set. The sun wouldn't rise. The night was lasting forever. Try as they might, the clock tower just wouldn't move at this rate.
       
       Bulbyena woke up and trotted out to meet with the others who were going on their trip. Knight, Valentine, Paddy, Limmes, and Terrain had came from his forest. She didn't have much memory of when she fell asleep. She knew she didn't get much. She yawned as she approached the group. "Who do we know has a good 'rare artifact' tale?" She asked them.
       "I think Sai might..." Valentine announced, "But I don't say we ask her. She looks bloodthirsty when ever a rare artifact or gemstone is mentioned. Not like she can talk anyway."
       A little away from the gathering, the cursed Carpetfang, Amekomi, listened with interest. He himself  had just been near the falls, burying some pretty stones he had found. He couldn't help but wonder if this little band of wannabe explorers could find the stash. Almost instantly, a makeshift legend formed in his mind, and he slithered his way over to the group. "I have one for you... I've been wondering if its true, but haven't found the time to check it out. Perhaps you would be willing to go and find the stones for me?"
       They all looked at him intently. "What is it?" Valentine and Bulbyena asked in almost perfect unison.
       "Well..." Started the carpetfang, "Not even that long ago, but before any of us in this here group were born, there was a terrible battle. Like many battles, it was over something both sides wanted. In this case, it was a small pile of stones. But not just any stones. These were jewels, rubies, sapphires, even diamonds, naturally polished by the waters of an enchanted river."  Amekomi let the pups gasp in amazement before continuing, "The battle was bloody, violent, and neither side was winning. Now for a tad of background, I forgot to mention, the keeper of these stones while the battle was at place was an old sahound sorcerer. So old and white that you could no longer tell what color he had once been. But his daughter was also entrusted with the stones. She was young, and believed to  be the first of the seraph sahounds. Many fine warriors wanted to take her as their mate, but she never accepted a one, for she believed that she would then have to leave to live with them, and would worry about her aging father. Back to the story. The sorcerer and his daughter were sickened by the bloodbath over such petty, earthly items. So they came up with an idea, though it would be a grave one,  for once they did the deed, no one could be told, so there was one option. But there I go, getting ahead of my self. The sorcerer was old. His days were nearing an end and he didn't have enough energy to travel, so his daughter was sent out with the stones. The mission was to go to her favorite place and hide them. Legend has it, that she was enchanted by the falls. Truth be told, it is well known that she was such a hopeless romantic, if she didn't have her father to take care of, she would have ran off with the first man to wish her for a mate.
       "So it's thought that she went to the Falls and buried them somewhere around there. But then came the dark part of the tale. No one could know about the stones or their hiding place. So there was no choice. With the kiss of a knife, her eyes shut forever... right there where she had buried the stones." The pups gasped again in horror, so the carpetfang paused until they were quiet again, then continued, "It is said that her ghost now guards those stones. Are you willing to fight her to find the treasure?"
       A shiver went through the small group, but then speaking up quietly, Valentine asked, "What about her father, the old sorcerer?"
       "Oh, yeah." Amecomi said, "He died a peaceful death of old age soon after his daughter left for the falls. Tragic tale ain't it, but what good tale is there that no one ever dies, for then it is too unreal to have the possibility of being true."
       
       The small group of adventurers walked away from the carpetfang, heading towards the falls . "Wow..." Knight stated, "Jus... Wow..."
       Limmes shook his head, apparently in amazement. "I don't pretend to understand it, but... are those whales in the sky?"
       The whole group looked at him strangely. Limmes wasn't  even looking at the sky, and the only ones his comment made look to the clouds were Bulbyena and Valentine.
       "I mean..." He continued, "I don't believe it. That crazy carpetfang decides to share a story with us, when he's barely said a word before."
       "Isn't it normally pigs flying if something impossible happens?" Knight asked, sounding very obviously confused.
       "Of course, "Limmes replied, "But those have already been proven to not fly, so I needed something different to  fly when the impossible happens. I chose whales."
       Knight nodded, then shrugged. "Well. I chose hedgehogs.... And hamsters. Cause anyone who knows anything knows hamsters fly."
       "Yeah!" Terrain exclaimed in reply.
       Bulbyena rolled her eyes.
       
       Paddy sniffed the air. They were getting close to the falls. That was for sure. "Did Amecomi give any hint as to where around the falls it was buried?"
       "Not... Really..." Knight said, kicking some of the moss in annoyance.
       "Yeah he did!" Bublyena said. All eyes fell on her. "He said she went to her favorite place, right? So she was a hopeless romantic, right? That means her very favorite place would be the most beautiful view in the falls.
       "Yeah. We could find it and dig there!" Valentine exclaimed.
       Paddy nodded. "Sounds like a good idea." She said, "But I'm afraid I shall not be much help till you find which spot you think it is."
       The others nodded, then started looking around.
       "Well. I'm useless for this." Terrain said, sitting down.
       One by one they all looked at Valentine. No one doubted she was a bit of a hopeless romantic herself.
       "Well." She started." Judging by the way the light comes in, it would be most pretty in the morning. And then it would be best from the... right side, that is, the right side if you were standing on top of the falls facing them."
       They all looked at her, confused, but followed her to the location she had picked out, starting to dig as soon as she exclaimed "Perfect!"

       Knight was about to give up. The hole they had dug was deep and muddy. She loathed being so dirty. And by now it seemed like this story was nothing but a pretty little legend. Terrain bounced into the middle of the hole, ready to dig a tad more before he gave up. The ground broke as soon as it felt his weight, and he fell though. Before anyone could figure out what was happening, they all fell through.

       The trap they had fallen into was deep. On instinct, Terrain lit a small blaze,  and it illuminated enough for them to see that there was a tunnel. They all followed the rollaby down it, until they saw a glow ahead of them. Approaching it, they found that it was a lake of magma. "This place is Awesome!" Terrain exclaimed. But then he saw, what could possibly be the most cliche thing he'd seen in a while. Something from one of any movies with a rare artifact. At the other side of the lake. was a pillar, and on top, a small pyramid of stones. He looked around for anyway across. The only thing he saw was a small box with a latch. looking closer, it had ice around the edges of an opening.
       "How do we get across? I bet those are the stones..." Bulbyena said.
       "Mighty fine digger that 'hound was." Limmes stated.
       Knight sighed. "Yeah, joy. But I agree with Yena. How do we find a way out?" She glanced around, and did manage to see a large slap of rock that had came disconnected so she could possibly use it as a boat.
       Limmes saw her eying the rock.  "Don't even try. Your colors will fall right off."
       Knight sighed. She knew well what he meant. If the rock didn't stay steady, she'd fall right in and get worse injuries than loosing her fur and feathers.
       "There's a freeze warming- I mean, freeze warning in effect!" Terrain yelled, suddenly pulling the latch on the box and sending out a blast of ice-cold air, freezing the magma instantly.
       All of the animals couldn't help but laugh. Half at Terrain, half at how obvious the answer was that only the oblivious goggle-head figured out. Terrain still had a cheesy grin on. But as soon as they all recovered, they ran across the field of stone and grabbed the small gems. They did, in fact, look like glowing river rock. They gave them to Limmes (who, as I forgot to mention, brought a small bag that he held by tying the string around one of his blades) and he put them in his bag. There was another tunnel that led from there, and they walked down it, Terrain once again lighting a blaze. But they didn't see the drop off. They were tumbling though the air again, trying desperately to find something to cling on to. But they all hit the ground. No serious injuries, but they sure didn't want to find any more drop offs.
       Terrain looked up from where they had fallen. Tangled in the stalactites above was what appeared to be a whip. "Knight! Could you fly up and get that for me?"
       "I love you... But not that much. We really don't need you carrying around a weapon when you have the energy to bounce into an enemies sword." Was the answer.
       "But... I promise I'll be careful!" Terrain complained.
       "I said no."
       "You too never stop fighting!" Bulbyena exclaimed. She flew up and grabbed the leather whip in her teeth, dropping it down on Terrain as soon as it was untangled.
       Terrain cheered. Knight glared at Bulbyena. Most of the group continued on. It was dark outiside, but the exit right there was obvious. Terrain didn't seem to notice. He was trying to use the whip to cling on to something above and climb back up the drop off. Not working out to well for him.
       "Bye Terrain!" Knight called, walking out the exit.
       He looked over to the group, and seeing them dissappear to the outside, exclaimed, "There's another exit?" Befor running after them.
       
       Back at the Meadow, the group proudly showed off their findings. Amecomi stared in awe. Those weren't the stones he sent them after. No... The ones they'd found were much more precious. He couldn't help but wonder where the'd been.

                               THE END!!! TA DA!!!
You may call, you may call
But the little black cats won't hear you.
The little black cats are maddened
By the bright green light of the moon;
They are whirling and running and hiding,
They are wild who were once so confiding,
They are crazed when the moon is riding
You will not catch the kittens soon.
They care not for saucers of milk,
They think not of pillows of silk;
Your softest, crooningest call
Is less than the buzzing of flies.
They are seeing more than you see,
They are hearing more than you hear,
And out of the darkness they peer.
With a goblin light in their eyes!

The Bad Kitties
By Elizabeth Coatsworth

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Re: .:Contest #13:.

Postby BaalsBaby » 02/26/2009 11:56 PM

Oh, Freezie. If you really have to change just the verbs to make it fit, you may do so. ^__^
ImageImage
Well you can't get what you want,
But you can get me,
So let's set out to sea,
'Cause you are my medicine,
When you're close to me.


When you're close to me


Image Image Image Image Image Image Image
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Re: .:Contest #13:.

Postby Freezair » 02/26/2009 11:59 PM

Yeah, basically, all I've really done (to the whales line only, actually) is this:

It went from "I don't pretend to understand it but... are there whales in the sky? to "I didn't pretend to understand it, but there were whales in the sky." I figure the "spirit" of the phrase is what's most important... XD

These lofty thoughts are killing me
Preoccupied by what I could be
I get so high on my ideas
Don't call me down
But you can meet me where I land.

I
Left the bay
In pursuit
Of lucid dreams
Now I
Drive for days
To make my way back to those old familiar places

Critters -Ramblings - Single & Looking -Majikul Wishlist -This Stuff's Important
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Re: .:Contest #13:.

Postby BaalsBaby » 02/27/2009 12:03 AM

Yeah, that's totally fine. XD; *stops littering her own thread* XD;
ImageImage
Well you can't get what you want,
But you can get me,
So let's set out to sea,
'Cause you are my medicine,
When you're close to me.


When you're close to me


Image Image Image Image Image Image Image
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Re: .:Contest #13:.

Postby Thessur » 02/27/2009 12:11 AM

I don't know how I'll manage to get this done between catching up with my classes...
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Re: .:Contest #13:.

Postby Thessur » 02/27/2009 12:12 AM

... But I'll try, even if it kills me!
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Re: .:Contest #13:.

Postby Jaden Wolf » 02/27/2009 12:29 AM

((I have only one entry, and I didn't need my second post~))

Featuring: A Hollow Sygriff named Firecracker, a Purine Penticorn named Shatter, and a girl named Kari.

Underneath the hot sun lay an exhausted girl, shielding her dark brown eyes from the light as she looked around the empty desert. How in Evelon did she wind up here? The Wilt’no desert, a voice in her mind told her. Yet she knew she wasn’t supposed to be here.
Wait…was that a sound? The girl was certain she had heard something. There it was again. Tilting her head, she tried to pinpoint the location. Somehow managing to come to her feet, she stumbled towards the horizon. Yes, the sound was getting louder, and soon she could see an oasis in the distance. The voices were clear now.
“This is hilarious! You actually want something!” a loud voice cried out, ringing with laughter. Now the girl could see two creatures standing by the clear blue water, and a figure on the other side…was that a clock tower?

A fresh peal of laughter drew her gaze back to the creatures. One of them, a sygriff, was holding something with extreme difficulty due to spasms of laughter. The other, a penticorn, glared at her as she walked up. After registering this, the girl blushed and fell down, wincing as her bare legs hit the hot sand. Ignoring the two, she crawled over to the water and drank thirstily, pulling strands of her long, ash-blonde hair out of her face. She felt miserable, her green tank top and jean shorts revealing far more skin to the sun than she liked. She closed her eyes and sighed, marvelling at how quiet it was. How quiet it was…only then did she notice the two creatures staring at her. She met their gaze, and the sygriff erupted in laughter again. Clearly able to see the object now, the girl realized it was a large clock hand.
“Give it to me already, Firecracker.” The penticorn shouted; her voice was cold and harsh. She obviously didn’t care about the girl’s presence.
“Let me think about that. No! I mean, I love you…but not that much.” The reply was teasing as Firecracker bounced around.
“You’re lucky I even let you say that without ramming you.”
“Oh, you poor, cold heart. Nobody will like you if you say things like that.”
“I don’t care, just hand it over.” The penticorn moved forward quickly, as if to grab the clock piece. Firecracker was just too quick for her and was by the girl’s side in an instant.
“Note this; there’s a freeze warming- I mean, freeze warning in effect.” She giggled, and rolled her eyes. “Oh if only Shatter’s cold heart could warm up. So what’s your name?”
“My name…is Kari.” The girl murmured quietly in response.

Kari had no idea what to make of the two, and looked again at the clock hand. Noticing, the sygriff opened her mouth as if to speak, but Shatter spoke first.
“I don’t even pretend to understand it but…are those whales in the sky?” Somehow, Kari knew that the penticorn wasn’t being serious, but Firecracker didn’t. The creature perked up and wheeled around, searching the sky. Taking that moment, Shatter lurched forward and scooped up the clock hand in her teeth. Seeing this, Firecracker stared unhappily, knowing that she was tricked. She and Kari followed the penticorn to the tower on the other side of the oasis.

Stopping at the bottom, Shatter muttered, her voice blocked by the object in her mouth. Nonetheless, Kari heard and understood. Stepping forward, she took the clock piece after murmuring some words of assurance to the penticorn. As she took it, she examined the tower side. Made of bricks, it had ledges every 10 bricks up, and even a worn and tattered flag hanging from one of them, though Kari didn’t recognize it. Gripping the clock hand tightly, she began to climb, hoping that her sneakers weren’t too worn down from the sand. After slipping a few times, the girl finally reached the clock face. Yes, there was a gap here, like Shatter said. Though she didn’t understand why it needed to be back, she dutifully obeyed. With a large cracking sound, the hand slipped into place and started moving; spinning around so fast, Kari wondered if it was broken. Below her, the ledges moved, forming a sort of staircase to the ground below.

Upon hitting the ground, she turned and gasped. The clock was now glowing, and the ledges shrank back into the tower, making the surface completely smooth.
“What’s happening?” Her voice wavered as she turned to the other two. A lump rose in her throat when she saw them staring at the clock and she knew that they wouldn’t hear her. Forcing herself to follow their gaze, she noticed an eye…no, the shape of an eye, engraved into the tower. After a minute, she felt Firecracker brush against her and looked around. The sygriff and Shatter were both looking at her now, and they weren’t in the desert anymore. They were in a small town, and a cathedral loomed in the distance. Lambastia’s Grand Cathedral. Chills ran down Kari’s spine as she heard wolves howling at the full moon, coming out from behind a cloud.
“The cathedral…it doesn’t look quite right. It looks…newer, I suppose. It’s a very old, rundown, evil building, but it’s not like that now. Okay, it does feel evil, but still.” Firecracker piped up, and was about to get a reply from Shatter when they heard a voice behind them.
“Don’t even try. Your colours will fall right off.” An odd statement to hear, even now, as the trio turned to look at the speaker. It was an old man, with dark, old fashioned robes on. He had an air of authority about him and did not seem pleased. In front of him were some draculi and batti, as well as a few other creatures that the trio did not recognize.
“If we don’t get rid of it, the whole town will be cursed forever!” one of the creatures snarled, it looked something like a lucain but bigger and rougher.
“If you do get rid of it, the town will get more than just this curse. Now stop this foolishness at once, before they hear us!” the man snapped back, his voice urgent and angry.
“Why should we listen to what you say? For all we know, the reason they can hurt us is because of the tower! We were safe from them before that thing put it there.” A figure stepped forward. Kari recognized it, but couldn’t quite put a finger on it. It looked like what is called a polar bear in other places in the world, but had strange markings on it and plates of metal on its shoulders and forehead. Not receiving a response, the creature spoke again, her voice calm and strong.
“We are the residents of this town, do not forget that. We remember the protection our ancestors gave this place back in the time of the Holy Triumvirate. We were safe until two years ago. You forget, man, that you arrived only the day before the tower appeared. You do not know of our past.” This statement received many murmurs of approval and despite the old man’s protests, the group scattered.

Curious now, Kari, Firecracker, and Shatter followed the old man and bear-like creature to a tower. Recognizing it, they gasped. It was the same clock tower from the oasis. Even more surprising, was that a large mass of bear-creatures was pushing on the side, or pulling ropes and vines from the other side. Obviously, they were trying to bring it down. Though, try as they might, the clock tower just wouldn’t move at this rate. The threesome could hear the man pleading the bear to stop, but she paid him no heed.
Until a loud shriek drew her attention.
Everyone around the tower looked up at the sky where an abnormally large and unkempt garudor flew off, a bear cub squirming in its grasp. Below, the cries of its mother broke the stillness of the night air. That was not what made the crowd panic, though. It was the direction that the bird was flying. Its destination, the large Cathedral in the distance, was barely visible, blocked off by a flock of garudors, many with black-clad riders. Firecracker pushed against Kari, not understanding why they were all so afraid. She and Shatter had seen a war happen in their lifetime, but did not see how these powerful and numerous bears could be so terrified of a flock of garudors, small in comparison. Yet Kari knew better. “It’s dangerous here.” She spoke quickly, and jumped when she saw the bear look at her in surprise.
“Where did you come from? Who are you?” Her voice drew Firecracker’s attention, as well as Shatter’s.
“You shouldn’t be able to see us. The clock is only showing us the past.” Kari’s voice rang with fear and confusion.

Then suddenly, she realized she could save them. At least, give them a chance. If these bears died here, they’d be extinct. Quickly, she told the bear about the clock hand; ignoring the cries of the bear-creatures as the garudors swooped down on those trying to escape. Understanding, the creature wheeled around and charged for the tower, leaping up to the clock face. Behind her, a purely black garudor, the largest of the flock, flew after her. Seeing the glint of metal in the hand of the garudor’s rider, the old man cried out to the bear, his hand stretching out.
“Kari!” However, he was too late. With the kiss of the knife, her eyes shut forever…the clock hand falling from her paw to land on the ground below. No, it wasn’t ground. It was sand. Firecracker and Shatter looked around. They were back in the desert oasis, and could see the sun setting in the distance.
“Kari?” Shatter’s voice broke the silence, but the girl was nowhere to be found.



. : ~ | + | ~ : .
Meow meow meow meow, meow, meow.
Meow meow meow meow MEOW, meow.
MEOW meow, MEOW meow,
MEOW meow meow meow.
MEOW meow, MEOW meow,
MEOW meow meow meow.
. : ~ | + | ~ : .



. : ~ Pen ~ : . . : ~ Trades ~ : . . : ~ RP With Me ~ : . . : ~ Breeders ~ : .. : ~ Docs ~ : .
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Re: .:Contest #13:.

Postby Jaden Wolf » 02/27/2009 12:31 AM

Turns out I didn't need this.



. : ~ | + | ~ : .
Meow meow meow meow, meow, meow.
Meow meow meow meow MEOW, meow.
MEOW meow, MEOW meow,
MEOW meow meow meow.
MEOW meow, MEOW meow,
MEOW meow meow meow.
. : ~ | + | ~ : .



. : ~ Pen ~ : . . : ~ Trades ~ : . . : ~ RP With Me ~ : . . : ~ Breeders ~ : .. : ~ Docs ~ : .
~Evelonian since: August 2007~

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Re: .:Contest #13:.

Postby Mirkitsune » 02/27/2009 1:38 AM

I'm going to claim this space...
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Re: .:Contest #13:.

Postby Mirkitsune » 02/27/2009 1:38 AM

And also this one, here.
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Re: .:Contest #13:.

Postby Kreepy » 02/27/2009 5:08 AM

Posting the start of my story~ Slightly inspired by a book by Katherine Kerr. But not really, just some subtle ideas are P:

Li'vak curiously examined a young Prismatic Werecain, who squirmed uncomfortably under the herbsmans shrewd gaze.
"I am afraid there is not much I can help you with mate. If you wish for Samra's attention, you've got to work hard yourself." The Shimin said idly. "You see, I don't make love potions. Those don't really work unless you use some dangerous magic with it."
The Werecain's hopefully expression drooped. "I know some basic magic, can I-"
"Don't even try. Your colors will fall right off."Li'vak interjected quickly.
At that remark, the Werecain's expression turned to one of fear.
Inwardly, Li'vak chuckled, Was I like that at their age? He thought to himself. Course you were you old thing, you were much worse.
"Well, off you hustle then. The sun ain't going to sit around all day and wait for you, it'll probably chase you out if you aren't quick enough."
With a last look of pure terror the Werecain skittered out of the hut.

The Shimin rustled around in the bushes on the outskirts of the village. This village was unknown to most outsiders, few came in and to them it was just a tiny, untouched settlement in the heart of Tengal.

His little fist closed around a sprig of Foxglove and he tore it off, placing it within his little pouch.
Foraging was often a good time for him to think, as a full-time Herbsman he was on call most hours of the day, treating scraps, bruises and the occasional sickness. He also taught some of the younger ones about treating illnesses and told them all sorts of funny fables that he could think up.

On his way back into his tent, he heard the distant jangle and hoof beats of a horse. Horse? More like a Frightmare, by the strange gait. Li'vak frowned. From what I've heard, those things are trouble. Especially when it's nowhere near Hallows Eve. I hope it didn't pass through the village.

When he entered his tent, he knew there was trouble to be had, but the sort that was to come, he never would have guessed.
"They're gone!" He exclaimed in frustration.
"What's gone?" A voice asked from the entrance. "Sorry, may I enter?"
Li'vak peered at the form, short-sightedly trying to distinguish the blurry shape. After a period of silence, a short chuckle emerged from the figure at the entrance.
"It is I, Jerema, you silly old thing." The figure said, walking into the tent.
"Dear me, Jera I couldn't figure out who it was." Li'vak muttered.
"You should get something for those eyes of yours Li." She commented dryly. "Any way, what's wrong. You sounded so distraught."
"Nonsense. I can see quite fine." He blustered in annoyance. "You know my beloved Spellbook, Yeph Ai Dua?"
"You mean that really old one with the jewels on it?"
"It's not just the 'really old one with the jewels on it', it's a one of a kind! I paid four thousand keystones for it, up near the Whisper Forests."
"Up in Lambastia? Your kidding right? How did you pay for it?"
"I helped some Lord fellow up there. Koni... Koniglitch. That's his name." He sighed. "I'm going to have to chase after it."
"What? Your joking, right?" Jerama exclaimed in disbelief. "You can't leave the village."
Li'vak gave her a look that was as close as a Shimin could get to raising one eyebrow. "Why ever not? All I have to do here is treat minor scraps and injuries. You can do that, I taught you myself."
The Sheilupe let out an exasperated sigh. "Your too old Li. You won't be able to look after yourself, especially since you can't see in front of your own face."
"Preposterous! I can see perfectly fine." Li'vak retorted, turning to peer outside the tent curiously. "Say... Is it just me, or is that mulberry bush dancing?"

*          *          *          *


"I swear this is the last time I am guarding a stinkin' caravan." Nikkah exclaimed in frustration.
His companion, Desdra rolled her eyes. "It's the first time we guarded a caravan. Not all of them have Penticorn."
There was a small mutter of 'stinking beasts' before Nikkah downed his rum and got up from the table.
Des looked on with an expression of cynical pity.
"If we hadn't needed to stop off at Lamenolai, I would have picked a different hire. There was a pretty high paying one, guarding a Lord who was crossing the Slums."
Nikkah groaned in dismay. "Your kidding. You should have taken it. We're short on coin as it is. I wouldn't have cared if it meant backtracking across those forsaken Slums. More money in the pocket, that's for sure."
"And I bet if we took that hire, you'd moan all the way there and back." She replied calmly.
"Fine. You go and pay for the food." Nikkah mumbled.
With a raised eyebrow, Des replied, * "I love you... but not that much.", and with that, she strode off upstairs to her room.
With a grumble of annoyance, the brown Mudbelly Lucain, got up and rustled around in his pouch for Keystones.
"Got a grumpy wife there, eh?" An older Aqua Tali gruffly said.
"She's not my wife." Nikkah growled, still annoyed.
Nikkah strode past the old canine, ignoring the small chuckle and the knowing wink and set some Keystones on the counter.

The nerve of some people.

*          *          *          *


The little Shimin toddled out of his hut. He was ready to go, his knapsack all packed full of all different odds and ends his readings said he would need.
"You can't go! You don't even know where you are going." Jera wasn't prepared to let him go yet. Li'vak silently guessed her dad, good old Rhe himself opposed to his leaving.
"I know exactly where I am going." Li'vak replied. "Lamanolai. The wiggling bush told me so."
"Your crazy! That wasn't a wiggling bush. It was moving in the wind."
"Ah, but you do not have a Seerers eye." He sighed and laid a clawed hand on the Sheilupes shoulder. "I have to go. That book means the world to me."
Jerema's shoulders slumped. "I understand. I'll miss you old friend."
"Same here..." Li'vak was silent for a second. "Oh yeah, be careful. I did some divination this morning. It said there's a freeze warming- I mean, freeze warning in effect. I think it said freeze warning. It's getting to winter after all."
"Who would have thought? In winter it freezes. I thought it was in summer." Was the sarcastic reply.
"Now, now Jera. I thought you paid attention in classes." Li'vak muttered disapprovingly, missing her sarcasm.
"Are you going to go?"
Li'vak gave an odd little wave, then headed off.

*          *          *          *


"Did you get any word of where the money or the star rose has gone?" Nikkah was exhausted. They had spent the whole day working for their 'hire'. Apparently, he was a Lord who would pay them a good deal of money to hunt down the thief who had stole his gold and his valuable star rose and the only lead they had was a Yonyuu riding a great Fear Frightmare and had a Black Baal Dragony at his side. It honesty made no sense.
"Nope, wouldn't have a clue." Des replied, just as exhausted.
"Did I hear you say 'star rose'?" A curious voice asked.
Des whipped her head around sharply. "Who are you?" She said coldly.
Nikkah sighed again. His 'sister' was feisty, that was for sure. Well, she wasn't even his sister biologically. He had found her half-dead on the road to Nabias and had taken pity on her, helping her get back to full strength. Since then, they had become inseperable, but Nikkah had never discovered why she was like that, nor did Des want to even mention it.
"Name's Diagama." The stranger said politely. He was an odd lucain, pure white save for a red Spade mark over one of his eyes, a red club on his left hindquarter and  a black heart and diamond on each of his tails. He also had two odd curving horns that framed his face.
"I am a gambler of sorts. Not on money, mind you." He laughed a little. "I saw a fellow with an odd sort of jewel. He wasn't from around these parts, we don't get many Temple Yonyuus around here."
"Really? Where did he go?" Nikkah pressed.
"Not too sure actually. But you should heed my advice. Go to the gates. There is another odd fellow there. Not from around here either." He paused, deep in thought before adding. "Then go to a room at the Red Hollowheart Inn. Think for a bit. What was lost, will surely be found."
With that said, the Lucain walked off.
"Odd one." Des commented.
"Well, I guess we should do as he says. We got not much better to do."


*          *          *          *

Yeah, I'd rather be a lover than a fighter
'Cause all my life, I've been fighting
Never felt a feeling of comfort
All this time, I've been hiding
And I never had someone to call my own, oh nah
I'm so used to sharing
Love only left me alone
But I'm at one with the silence




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Kreepy
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Re: .:Contest #13:.

Postby Kreepy » 02/27/2009 5:12 AM

... Oi claim this spot for myself!

Yeah, I'd rather be a lover than a fighter
'Cause all my life, I've been fighting
Never felt a feeling of comfort
All this time, I've been hiding
And I never had someone to call my own, oh nah
I'm so used to sharing
Love only left me alone
But I'm at one with the silence




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Kreepy
The Saltiest Crocodile
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Re: .:Contest #13:.

Postby GrayGriffin » 02/27/2009 9:50 AM

A/N: Yaaaaaaaaaay Slash's backstory.

"Sarah, honey..." whispered the man, gazing up. He was lying on the ground, looking into his daughter's crimson eyes with his own brown ones, fear for his own life written in them. Blood trickled from the diagonal slashes across his chest and arms. "Don't you remember me? I'm your daddy!"

"Daddy!" giggled the teen insanely. "Yes, I remember you! You...you...you are bad! I must get rid of you! Because I love you...but not that much. You are too bad! You won't let me be with my friend!" The man gasped, knowing that the "friend" she spoke of so highly was a highly probable serial killer and had probably influenced his daughter to do this.

"Now, bye-bye Daddy!" sang the girl, bringing the blade down. She giggled again. "Don't wiggle so, Daddy, you make the floor all messy." For a long time she stood there, watching her father bleed to death. Once he stopped moving, she paused and looked up.

"Daddy...I don't understand it...are those whales in the sky?" Those whales she spoke of were actually part of a mobile constructed long ago, before Sarah had changed. Now they hung in the wind that blew through the open window, and the cracks left from the struggled. And Sarah sat there, and watched.
One more day before the storm!
At the barricades of freedom.
When our ranks begin to form
Will you take your place with me?

The time is now, the day is here!

One day to a new beginning
Every man will be a king
There's a new world for the winning

Do you hear the people sing?

Tomorrow we'll discover
What our God in Heaven has in store!
One more dawn
One more day
One day more!

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Re: .:Contest #13:.

Postby GrayGriffin » 02/27/2009 9:51 AM

And again!
One more day before the storm!
At the barricades of freedom.
When our ranks begin to form
Will you take your place with me?

The time is now, the day is here!

One day to a new beginning
Every man will be a king
There's a new world for the winning

Do you hear the people sing?

Tomorrow we'll discover
What our God in Heaven has in store!
One more dawn
One more day
One day more!

User avatar
GrayGriffin
Celebrity Pet Specialist
Celebrity Pet Specialist
 
Keystones: 175
Donate
Joined: 09/04/2007 1:32 AM
Location: Waiting on graduate school decisions
Status: Checking up, but not posting much.

Re: .:Contest #13:.

Postby Freezair » 02/27/2009 1:52 PM

Woo! Here comes Freezy's probably only story! (I may submit a second shorty, but it'll probably be REALLY short. Like, really really.) It clocks it at exactly nine pages in Word. Sweet.

Enjoy, y'all.

The Red Pen

       I love writing. I hate editing.

       Writing! Mad, spilling creativity; images fall from the tips of my fingertips into the keyboard or gush in a river from the well of my pen. Editing: Repetitious, bitter tedium; hours spent squinting tightly at every sentence, skimming it thrice to make sure it holds no imperfections. Lapidaries inspecting jewels for impurities don’t have it so rough.

       People seem to think that if you’re a writer, you know how to edit. This is not so. I ask my friends for help for a reason. While it’s true that no one knows better than I what should become of my stories, even I can’t catch all of my “theirs” in place of “there’s” and “too” where “two” ought to go. (At least once, there was a horridly embarrassing misspelling in “shut the door” that would have made me blush profusely had anyone I know seen it.)

       I didn’t know quite what to say when Noelani approached me that morning, asking me to read over her latest work. I suppose being the designated family wordsmith has its disadvantages.

       I was sitting out in the tall grass, relaxing while the members of my team went about their—well, whatever-it-was. I was mentally urging them to hurry—I had no desire to linger on that godforsaken farm of my parents’ any longer than necessary, especially if there was the chance that one of their new “pets” might show up. I had said hello to old Abernathy the Anala and given my dad’s Terratops, Fire and Ice, a pat. Now I was waiting for my cohorts to meet their friends, catch up over tea, and bid farewell.

       The grass beside me rustled. I sat up, the itchy stalks brushing up against my wrists. I skimmed the area for sights of someone approaching, but saw none.

       A black, damp nose poked its way out of an envelope of shafts, soap-yellow eyes wondering at me from the shadows. I pulled my hand back worriedly. My back arched.

       A dusty, slick white head rose out of the grass, looking askance up at me. Creamy brown stripes ran over the length of its body, and spines protruded from its round, shell-like ears. My mouth contorted, wondering what to say. Something about the creature said familiarity to me, but I couldn’t place a name to its face.

       In a thoughtful, feminine voice, it asked me, “Miss Imogene?”

       My body went lax. “Uhh… Jimmy,” I said. “I go by Jim—do I know you?”

       The critter pulled her body out of the shade. A droopy crest of fins lay across her back; the membranes in her webbed tail were torn from being dragged along the ground. “Noelani Icebolt,” she said chipperly. “Merkuhna. We met once before, when you came back from the war—I’m afraid I wasn’t a very nice person back then,” she sighed. “Pleased to meet you properly. How do you do?”

       Well, what then? I try to generally be polite, so I stuck out my hand for the Merkuhna to—put her paw in? Lick? Purr and rub up against?—She went with the first. I bounced her paw up and down in an affable way. She smiled beatifically up at me. I had the sneaking suspicion I remembered her name from one of my father’s letters, and he’d mentioned her being trouble.

       “Dear Sonya tells me you write stories,” she said matter-of-factly.
       
       I tried to press my droopy orange bangs back into place and answered her. “Well, uh—yes,” I shrugged. “I’m a storyteller, so, yes. I write most of my own material, yeah.”

       “Oh, good! So you know a thing or two about writing, do you?”

       “Ye—“

       I barely had time to understand that she was moving on me. She turned swift tail back into the little teepee she’d left behind her in the grass, and emerged tail-first dragging an old brown bookbag in her teeth. She yanked the flap open with her fangs, stuck her head inside, and spat a pen with a red cap into my hand.

       I pulled a face, surreptitiously wiping the Kuhna spit onto the side of my pants, while Noelani rummaged around inside her sack for whatever it was she was looking for. She backed up towards me. I vaguely remembered something about Merkuhnas being toxic, and scooted back to avoid the brush of her ankle fins. She spun around, whipping her tails at my elbow, with several sheets of paper fluttering in her slipstream.

       Her seemingly unsinkable grin beamed up at me, a small sheaf of pages speared delicately on her incisors. She laid the packet at my feet; I half expected her to start meowing about the lovely prize she’d caught for me. Instead, she cleared her throat. “Dear Jimmy, would you be ever-so-kind and review my story for me? I’m really trying to improve as a writer, and from what I’ve heard, you’re just the girl to help me! Will you? Please?”

       I already gave you that rant, so I’m sure you know what I was thinking. But Noelani’s smile cut into me like a crescent-shaped knife, and I could see her tails twitching in feline anticipation.

       I stalled. “Uh… This a story you wrote?” I picked up the stack of pages curiously, leafing through them. They seemed to have been typed up in Evelonsoft Word. My eyes skimmed the front of the first page, but none of the words seemed to catch.

       “Yes! I even brought you a pen to edit with.” My gaze tripped over the little red-capped cylinder in my palm. “I even went out and bought it just for editing with! The old man at the office supply store was ever so nice,” she said. “Just read it over once and give me your thoughts! You don’t even have to mark it if you don’t want to.”

       She went out and bought the pen special. I don’t know if she was even trying to manipulate me, but it was working. I pictured this poor, bedraggled little Kuhna padding into an office store, clutching a few stained and worn-down Keystones in her tiny jaws. She’d drop the money at the feet of a sails clerk, and, looking up at him with her big, moon-like eyes, she’d implore: “Oh, please, sir, won’t you help a poor waif such as myself find a simple red pen so I can edit my writing? I’ve scrimped and saved!” I pulled the brakes on my train of thought before she could develop a limp and a beret and start saying, “Zu’hai bless us, every one!”

       I sighed in defeat. “Sure,” I said. “I’ll take a look a it for you.” I snapped the pages so they all faced upright, and started reading.

       The very first line was: “Standing over the bloody corpse of her dead brother her limped pools went wetter than the stormy sky above with tears and she whaled at the sky.”

       I tried to lock my eyes in place to keep them from rolling. Nonetheless, I thought, Oh, boy. THIS is gonna be good.

       I scanned the front of the page. Her writing seemed to be poisonous to punctuation; that was the only explanation I could drum up for the lack of it. I almost pulled the cap of the red pen off in my teeth before I remember that it had been in her mouth only minutes before. I wrenched it off with my fingers, stuck it on the end of my pen, and laid the pages on my thigh.

       Mindful of the fact that she was trying to improve, I pointed at the page with the pen and said, “Look here, now. This isn’t the right word. See, right here—“ I circled the part where it said “whaled at the sky.”

       “Yes?”

       “Well, see, you’ve got the wrong word.” I tapped at the page, giving it freckles with ink. “This should be—“

       Arrooooooooooooowww, someone called out mournfully.

       Noelani and I both raised our heads. She said, “Well, goodness, what’s that? One of the Lucain, perhaps?”

       I hoped not. Luckily, it didn’t sound like it. “Doesn’t sound like any Lucain I know of,” I said. “It sounds more like a—“

       I looked up, wondering if one of my Paragon caravan was flying and singing overhead.

       I didn’t pretend to understand it, but there were whales in the sky.

       Noelani seemed to notice me staring, and her eyes traced the path of my own. In my peripheral vision, I saw her jaw enter freefall. “Are those whales in the sky?” she asked.

       Arrooooooowwwaaaaa, an aerial humpback keened dolorously. He beat his tail against the clouds, his muscular body cutting through the frothy caps of a streak of cumulus. His pod undulated behind him, and they left tiny scuds of mist in their wake.

       I looked down at the page on my thigh. “Uh,” I said eloquently, and crossed the word “whaled” out with my pen.

       The whales vanished without so much as a “pop” to indicate they were gone.

       Noelani blinked. “Umm…”

       I tried to shake the vision out of my head. “…Yeah. I think I ate some bad mayonnaise or something. Anyway, this word should be ‘wailed’—“ I wrote it in above the word, trying to squeeze my overlarge handwriting into the tiny margins of the page.

       “AIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE—“ the heavens began to squeal.

       “NO!” I said hastily. I furiously scratched out my addition, leaving so much red ink on the paper, it smeared when I brought my hand across it. It looked as though the word were trying to rush off the page. I shot an angry look at the sky, but it was mercifully silent.

       I glowered down at the paper. “Didn’t happen?” I grunted at Noelani.

       “Didn’t happen,” she agreed.

       Swallowing resolutely, I clutched the pen tightly, and began to read the rest of the page.

       I slathered a little mental sunblock on my brain to guard against Noelani’s decidedly ultraviolet prose. She seemed to come from the “1960’s Harlequin romance” school of writing, where everyone had “orbs” and “locks” instead of “eyes” and “hair” (“tresses” was popular for that second one, too), and poignancy and depth were achieved by throwing the words “darkness,” “shadows,” and anything else pertaining to a lack of light around willy-nilly. And “blood.” There wasn’t a scene she didn’t try to “improve” by soaking it in a few gallons of plasma and hemoglobin. I wanted to laugh viciously at her maladroit attempts at “shocking” and “gory,” but given that she’d come to me for help, I knew it would be rude.

       I flipped the page. Now I did laugh.

       Noelani looked at me guiltily. “Is it bad?” she asked worriedly.

       “No, no,” I said. Yes, yes, I thought, but I reminded myself that I was being kind. “It’s just—watch out for typos, OK?”

       “But I used spellchecker!” she protested.

       “Yeah, but it can’t catch everything.” I looked purposefully down at the third (run-on) sentence of the second paragraph on the page.

       It said: “There’s a freeze warming in effect tonight they said on the news” he said “So you better find someplace to stay or else you’ll get hypothermia and never wake up.”

       Remember what had happened when I’d tried circling something, I instead drew a little red arrow to the offending phrase. “See here? This should be, ‘There’s a freeze warming—I mean, freeze warning in effect.’ Bleh. Now I’m doing iiiiiiiAAAARRRRRG!”

       No such luck for us. My breath surprised me by rolling out in a puff in front of my face. My teeth began to chatter of their own volition. My arms threw themselves around my shoulders.

       “H-h-heavens!” Noelani stuttered. I saw her slink to the ground, body curling up on itself in feline fashion. Her tails wrapped around her body, and she tried to bury her head into the soft, warm tip of her tail.

       My fingers felt stiff and icy, and my skin seemed to crackle with ice. Perversely, I could still feel the air around me—it was as warm and languid as it had been when I’d strolled out here half an hour before, to lie back and soak up a few rays while I waited.

       “W-w-why do I f-f-feel s-s-so c-c-cold?” Noelani trembled. “I-i-it’s s-s-still w-w-warm out!”

       “DENIED!” I shouted at the paper, and drew a large “X” through the arrow I’d made. My fingers wobbled around the pen; they numbly let it slip.

       I felt the cold claw painfully at the inside of my nose and the corners of my eyes. A stinging tear oozed out of my eyelids. “Xu’hai’s teeth!” I snarled. I groped around in the grass beneath me for that accused pen. I felt the warm, freezing earth, but no pen.

       “Oh—here!” Noelani said helpfully. I saw her head nod down, and she rose with the pen once more in her teeth. She reluctantly pulled herself out of her warm huddle and shuddered up to my lap, letting the pen fall there.

       I pinched between my legs to find it again. Snarling bullishly, I drowned the word “freeze” in a pool of red ink.

       The chills lifted.

       “Goodness! I’ve heard of one’s writing coming to life, but I didn’t think I was that good!” Noelani chuckled egotistically.

       I gave my suspicions to the pen, personally. I turned to the third page.

       Noelani cleared her throat. “So… Ah. Without taking these little, erm… happenings into consideration… What do you think?”

       I bit my lower lip. “Well, uh, Noelani… Truthfully?”

       “Be brutal!” she said eagerly.

       Somehow, I didn’t think she’d be so perky if I gave her the savaging I was imagining. “Well… Honestly, Noelani? You… You’ve got a lot of run-on sentences here. You need a few periods in a few places…” I jabbed my pen at the paper, leaving dots in empty places. I hoped that wouldn’t cause anything spectacular to happen. “And seriously, girl, commas are not your enemy. Whenever you’d take a breath in real life if you were reading the story out loud—comma! OK?”

       To her credit, Noelani nodded appreciatively. “Right,” she said, her ears flicking thoughtfully.

       “And another thing,” I said. “About these ellipses.”

       “The what?”

       “The three periods?” I said. “Yeah. Unless it’s dialogue and you’re trying to emphasize how someone is trailing off, don’t do those. They can be done well in normal writing, but you need to practice some more. Just throwing them around willy-nilly like this, it just makes you look amateur. Got that?”

       She sighed pensively. Her eyes began to roam around the trampled grass at her feet. “Yes,” she said sadly.

       I frowned. Huffing a distressed breath, I reached out with my free hand and ran my fingers through the slightly damp and algae-smelling fur on Noelani’s head.

       “Hey. Don’t worry so much,” I said. “All it takes to get good is a little practice. Keep writing, OK? You can only improve.” To myself, I thought, The only way to go from rock bottom is up…

       I flipped over to the fourth and final page of her story. My eyes darted to the very end of the final paragraph.

       Oh. Come. ON.

       Verbatim, this is what she wrote:

       Dark crimson life fluid gushed from her florid wound as she gasped like a damned soul and with the kiss of a knife, her eyes closed forever…

       My face must have betrayed my unkind thoughts, because Noelani’s eyes went soft. Her frown curled elegantly around the sides of her fangs.

       “Uh…”

       I looked at her. “Noelani, look, it’s not that… Well, OK, maybe it—well, listen.” I put the tip of the pen to that last sentence, after the word “knife.” No drawing or writing this time. I didn’t try to single anything out. This time, there was nothing that little marker could do to me.

       If you’ve ever tried it before, then I’m sure you know about the tendency of pens to bleed.

       I half-vocalized a few thoughts, starting and stopping and trying to determine the tenderest way to explain to this poor little Kuhna the concept of “purple prose,” when something huge, silver-white and red materialized in the corners of my vision. My head had less than a millisecond to try and jerk toward it. Hot, metallic breath wafted wetly over my face, and something warm, damp, and fleshy suctioned itself to the side of my cheek.

       Noelani gasped, and the spines all along her body stood up defensively. I already expected what I would see when I pulled away, but that somehow didn’t make it better. I screamed, “Yeaaaargg!” and bolted about a foot away against the itchy grass.

       A three-foot-long, hovering machete bobbed in the air beside where I’d been sitting, with cartoonish, rubbery red lips affixed to the side of its blade. It puckered them like an aunt seeing her nephew for the first time in a year, with a soggy, sucking, whistling sound.

       “Come over here and give papa some sugar, hun!” the machete whistled. It bobbed toward me menacingly, the saliva on its lips glistening more menacing than its blade. I stumbled to my feet, letting Noelani’s pages tumble to the floor. If I’d had my faculties, I probably would simply have picked them up and crossed out the offending phrase. As it was, however, I did the sane thing and panicked.

       “RUUUUUUUUN!”

       I put my overlarge feet to the floor and scrambled. The grass snagged at my calves and left burrs in my socks, but it was better than having to face the cry of “Where you goin’, cutie-pie?” coming from behind. I heard a tiny feline panting from beneath my knees, and looked down to see Noelani keeping respectable pace beside me.

       “W-w-what on Evelon—“

       “This stupid pen—!”

       Even though I’d felt it in my palms, I was a bit surprised to see that I was still holding the pen, uncapped, in my left hand. Somehow less surprising was the fact that it was leaving a thick red line of ink in the air beside us, following the bobbing line of my hand as I ran.

       “Oh, for the love of—“ I dropped the pen, and it drew the path of its own descent.

       “But what if we need it to stop that thing?” Noelani asked.

       “I’ll make one of my buddies melt it!” I said hurriedly. “Come on!”

       Noelani gave me a defeated look, but loped after me as I took off.

       Behind us, the machete gave a satisfied hum. We both risked tripping to look over our shoulders. He was observing the line the pen had left, his eyeless blade shimmering hungrily. A thick, bumpy tongue, the same clown-makeup color as his lips, slithered out of his mouth and licked a circle of drool around his face. “Mmmm—yummy!” He dragged that tongue over the line. It left a red smear in the air, cutting the line in half, and his body wavered for a moment.

       We stopped to watch curiously. Mechanically, he moved down to the next section of the line, and licked it clean. The change was imperceptible at first—and he was moving closer—but we slowly realized that he was increasing in size.

       We both said words I won’t repeat here.

       “Grab the pen and CAP IT!” Noelani shrieked. That struck me as surprisingly reasonable. I ran forward the few feet necessary, hunkered down, and slammed the cap back on the pen while the machete chased the line we’d left it. Keeping my back below the canopy of the grass, I waddled back to Noelani, holding my prize.

       To prevent myself from developing a crick, I stood up. “Now what?” I asked.

       “Don’t move, sweetheart! Sugar daddy’s comin’!” the knife cooed.

       “Let’s not do what he says,” Noelani advised.

       “Right,” I agreed. So we ran again.

       As we sprinted for the presumed safety of the fruit orchard up ahead, I began to realize—and I suspect Noelani did too—that the overall look and feel of the world was not quite what it had been fifteen minutes ago. The sky was still blue if you looked directly at it, but let it slide to the back of your mind, and it started to warp and fluctuate, going between blue and green and pink as if in a dream. The wind seemed to leave visible ripples in the air as it passed, and the colors of what I could see of myself below me and Noelani’s body were hypersaturated and unreal. The shadows were so deep and black, they almost looked like outlines in a drawing. We weren’t in the real world any more—we were on a canvas, a page; we were cartoon characters trapped on an animation cel. Even the sound we made as we rustled the grass was sharp and fantastic.

       For a moment, as we left the field, we were out in the open; there was no more grass to duck down into. But three yards further ahead, and we wove into the thick, orderly trunks of the fruit orchard. Given how finely it was laid out, we couldn’t rely on disorganization to hide us, but perhaps the size of it would give the machete some pause. He’d eaten most of the line by now, and was practically the size of a tree himself.

       “What now?” Noelani hissed.

       “Uh…” I looked down at the pen. I don’t pretend to be telepathic, but I thought at it just the same: YOU! You got us into this mess, and now YOU better think of SOMETHING to get us out! I brainstormed out loud as well. “Umm, um, uh…        

       “—Write something!” Noelani and I said in tandem. If she’d had hands, I would have high-fived her. I pulled off the cap and intently set up a notepad on the back of my right hand.

       “Oh?” the knife said coyly. “Don’t even try, sugar. The colors will fall right off. You ain’t even of this world. Why, you—“

       Resolutely ignoring him. I scribbled the phrase “SHEATH” on the back of my hand.

       I lifted it to get a better look at it. True to what he’d said, the letters wobbled slightly, and gravity pulled them out and distorted them into melting, drippy shapes. A sword sheath clattered on the ground by Noelani’s feet.

       She looked between it and the machete. He cackled mirthlessly. Noelani sighed. “It’s not even the right kind…”

       “Told you, sweetcheeks!” he said. We both leapt back as his enormous, glittering head sliced through the canopy, giving an impromptu haircut to half a dozen heirloom apple trees.

       “Oh, that is it!” I snarled. “I may not be happy with Mom and Dad right now, but that is Fire and Ices’ bread and butter you’re messin’ with, and nobody but nobody messes with my Terratops friends!”

       I picked up a nearly-intact leaf from the ground, in the hopes that something “native” might be a bit “stickier.” I stuck it to the back of my hand and wrote down the first thing that came to mind:

       “CLOCK TOWER.”

       The leaf fluttered down to the ground, but the words held fast. Far off in the distance, there was a massive thwump. We saw the dust clouds rise as a clock tower, straight out of the Big Ben mold, materialized near my parents’ farmhouse, sending up swirls of grit.

       The machete looked at us with a devious grin. “Ha! Missed by a mile, honey.”

       “Uh—“ I stammered.

       “Wait!” Noelani said. “’At midnight, the spell will be broken forever, and the horrible becursed place will be gone for all eternity and the heroines will be freed back to their own world!'”

       “It’s afternoon, babe,” the machete chuckled.

       “And night was falling fast,” I added, writing it in the air.

       The letters evaporated quickly. The machete didn’t move—his enormous blade hung above the treetops, the glint of his blade shining dangerously down on our heads. He held still, apparently savoring our panic. Noelani and I watched the clock tower in the distance, but the hands were still.

       “…Really, really fast?” Noelani suggested weakly. I added it. But, try as we might, the clock tower just wouldn’t move at this rate.

       “Time is running out, sweeties,” the machete said deviously.

       I had a sudden thought.

       I started scribbling fiercely in the air in front of me. “Just then, a Sygriff suddenly landed in the middle of the field, and began to warp time around itself!”

       “What the—“

       A small shadow fell in the field beyond the orchard, and a blaze-colored Sygriff, yawning pleasantly, pulled in her wings and landed with a soft whump. She shook out her wings to get her pinions in order, and sat down delicately in a sphinx position. Stretching out her paws for a pillow, she put down her head, and, closing her eyes, she began to warp time. The strange-colored sky above twisted and swirled, and the vortex drew out the stars and the moon. The sun went dim as the sky went dark, and a soothing amber glow lit up the face of the enormous clock.

       And then came the bell.

       Bong. Bong.

       “Huh? N-n-no fair! That’s cheating!” the knife protested.

       Bong. Bong. Bong.

       Noelani and I smiled slyly. I took my free hand and cheekily waved good-bye.

       Bong. Bong. Bong. Bong.

       “I’m sorry I ever wrote you!” Noelani spat. Frankly, I agreed.

       Bong. Bong. Bong.

       “No! N-n-no!”

       BONG!  

       “NNNO—“

       I drew a jagged scribble in the air in front of his face. I didn’t even want him to get the pleasure of a final, giant “No.” His fat, boil-like lips clamped shut as the world flickered around him, the strange colors and the misplaced night dissolving like an oil painting under a river of turpentine.

       There was a tiny, inertial “thud” as Noelani and I landed back in reality, falling on our rumps a few feet from where we’d began. I was lying sideways, the tip of my outstretched feet just barely touching the edge of Noelani’s story.

       She minced across the grass, pricking at the ground with her paws. She looked down at the story’s pages thoughtfully. With one hateful swipe, she drew her claws across the backs of the pages, ripping them apart and dragging their tatters through the dirty roots below.

       “And good riddance,” she sneered. “I don’t care if I spent a week on you. You’re awful!”

       “Hey,” I said, pulling myself up. “It wasn’t the story’s fault. It was the pen! The story was—“

       Well, it was awful. I choked back for a moment, wondering what to say.

       Noelani filled in for me. “I am going back on the computer, and I am revising you SO HARD!” I laughed in earnest then. The conviction in her voice was perfect. “We’ll see how you like yourself when I’m done with you! You are going to make sense when I’m through with you, buster!”

       I covered my mouth to keep myself from giggling even worse. Like the hurt-in-the-pride cat she was, she flung the strap of her bookbag over her shoulder and dragged it behind her, vanishing into the grass. The last I saw of her was her tails, twitching like angry snakes. Just like a cat, I grinned.

        I caught a whiff of something cool and herbal. I felt a sudden push of air above. A shadow fell over me, and I looked up into a silhouetted, lizard-like form winging above.

       My earthy green Paragon, Avani, landed beside me, giving me a nod. “All done,” she said cheerfully. “I’ve gathered all the things I need. Any of the others done yet?”

       “You’re the first,” I said. For a moment, I wondered if I should ask her if she’d noticed any of the unusual things that had just happened. But, knowing my friends, if I had, it would have been the first thing they brought up. I shook my head to myself and decided to just try and forget it.

       “—Hmm?” Avani said. She noticed, apparently.

       “Oh, nothing,” I said. “I was just helping this Merkuhna, Noelani, with a story she wrote—“

       “Oh!” Avani said perkily. “You’re editing now? I thought you hated editing! Well, if you’re doing it now, I have this comedy routine I’m working on—“

I still had the pen in my hand. With one last scowl, I chucked it vehemently over my shoulder.

“Avani?” I said. “I love you… but not that much.”

These lofty thoughts are killing me
Preoccupied by what I could be
I get so high on my ideas
Don't call me down
But you can meet me where I land.

I
Left the bay
In pursuit
Of lucid dreams
Now I
Drive for days
To make my way back to those old familiar places

Critters -Ramblings - Single & Looking -Majikul Wishlist -This Stuff's Important
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Freezair
Bat Country Survivor
Bat Country Survivor
 
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Location: A comfortable spot by the window
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