Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The River and the Tree

Once upon a long ago

A tree did stem the rivers flow

“Hey,” said river, deep and wide

“You there, the tree, have you no pride?

Why must you fall between my banks?

Why not get chopped up into planks?

At least then you would help someone.”

“But sir,” said tree, “That'd be no fun!

To be chopped up and torn apart?

To feel the axe-blade pierce my heart?

I'd rather stay and chat with you,

Twixt earth of brown and sky of blue.”

“Well, that's all well and good, I see,

But kindly spare a thought for me.

I'd like to move on down and flow

through countryside to ocean low.

And you, you're in my way, you see.

So kindly move, you stubborn tree!”

“Stubborn? Me? Never, my friend!

But I am one who can depend

upon myself to save my life

through burning fire and bitter strife.

I have grown strong through years, you see.

So you won't move this grand old tree.”

“Well then,” said river, patiently,

“If I can't move some ancient tree,

We'll see who's wrong. We'll see, we'll see.”

Three days went by, morning and night

River and tree kept up their fight

But soon a woodsman came along

and said “Why look, a tree so strong

would build a mighty house for me.”

“You see?” said tree, “Now do you see?

I'm strong, I'm strong, that's what he said.”

“That brings you joy? You'll soon be dead!”

“I'll what?” said tree in great surprise.

“Quit your stories, quit your lies!

A woodsman so sure and wise as he

would never think to kill this tree.”

The tree was wrong, the river right,

And that was the end of their three-day fight.

The river flowed unto the sea,

The woodsman lived quite happily,

and we won't mention what happened to the tree.

Hey! I wrote a random poem and decided to post it. I don't know if there's a moral or anything, but hey. It's got rivers, woodsmen, and trees. There's gotta be a moral in there somewhere.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

C'est Fini!

Hah! I've finally finished my contest story! And see, what did I tell you? It's not Christmas yet! Yay! I would post it, but I don't know whether I'm allowed to until the results are in. And I completely killed the page limit... Ah well. I'll post it later. I might have to post it in chunks, though.
The thing is, I don't want it to be done. There's a lot I still want to add, like more dialouge with different characters and other stuff. Plus, there's some absolutely random things I just want to write, but can't because they make no sense to anyone who hasn't read the story. Oh well. The giant talking fish and the grim reaper guy probably wouldn't get along that well anyway.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Tech support

Ok, so the tech support people really do live in India. The one that I talked to was named Mohammed. I don't think he'd ever heard of "A cd broke into hundreds of tiny pieces inside my disk drive and I can't get all the little shards out" before. He's sending me a new disk drive.
Also, Dell has really annoying hold music. It changes about every twenty seconds, and is occasionally interupted by a pleasant voice talking about what your problem might be if you've forgotten to plug in your monitor or something. I felt rather like blowing up the phone after a while. I don't have superpowers, though, so I couldn't without risking my call actually getting through while I was trying to find the explosives. Ah well.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

More Supervillian list!

It's 51-100! Yay!

  1. If I ever conquered a country or anything, I would not put my picture all over. That's just like saying to the hero, "Hey! I'm an evil dictator! Come and connect your fist with my face!"
  2. I would not attempt to drop large heavy objects from a plane onto small children. After saving the kids, the hero would come and knock my plane out of the sky into the Atlantic ocean. Not the Pacific, the atlantic. The hero always knocks the plane into the Atlantic. I wonder why.
  3. I would never attempt to destroy the earths ecosystem by melting the north pole. If the earth goes, so do I.
  4. I would install land mines around my base, then leave a map at the scene of the crime telling the hero how to avoid them, but really directing them onto every single one.
  5. I would not be motivated by revenge on the hero for doing something like "You were rude to my grandmother when you were in the boy scouts selling popcorn and you forgot to say thank you when she ordered 20 of the carmel popcorn tins!"
  6. If I managed to knock my foe unconcious but for some reason I couldn't get them to my secret base for torture, I would tape as many large objects to them as I could before they woke up or their friends arrived.
  7. I would always make fun of their name. I would buy a rhyming dictionary and instead of their name, an example is "Ultra cool dude", I would call him "Sticky drool dude."
  8. At some point in time, even if I knew they would escape, I would create a really big superhero trap entirely out of cardboard, Duct tape, and melted butter. You can use your imagination on this, as what I'm thinking of would be a little too complicated to draw.
  9. I would hack the computer in their secret base, and force them to listen to tapes of someone practicing the violin all the time.
  10. I would change all their files to read "heros are stupid" in at least 60 different languages.
  11. I would make their security system play pranks on them.
  12. I would rename any files that I did not change so they were all titled "Evil Computer Virus."
  13. I would hire a team of assasins to kill some important government official, then I would tip off the hero. I would then videotape the result and send it in to "Americas Funniest Home Videos."
  14. I would never tell anyone who could possibly get captured my real name.
  15. In fact, i would never tell ANYONE my real name. it's just a bad idea!
  16. I would never say in a ransom note "Leave the money behind the rock, and I'll leave the kid behind the rock." I would still tell them to leave the money behind the rock, but I would leave the kid in a daycare center somewhere, due to the fact that kids don't like staying behind rocks.
  17. Whenever I was around the hero or any law enforcement officals, I would talk in pig latin or japanese just to see them become confused.
  18. I would never attempt to kidnap royalty. They usually have enough bodygaurds to populate Canada.
  19. I would not attempt to genetically engeneer dinosaurs from fossils. Heros would just do something like capture them for scientific research.
  20. I would learn as many martial arts as possible.
  21. I would have my gaurds on regular shifts so they would not fall asleep just as the hero shows up, and they would have free coffee in the security camera room.
  22. There would also be more than two of these guards on duty at any given time so the security room is never empty while they go to the bathroom or something like that.
  23. I would not give keys to the secret base to everyone who was working for me.
  24. I would not test any dangerous chemical intended to give superpowers on myself.
  25. I would make sure that no one who was vital to my plan smoked or was addicted to anything
  26. No one would be told anything non-vital to their mission that could help the heros.
  27. I would make sure that all prisoners were bound and gagged, and that they were not actually rich enough to offer the gaurds triple what I pay them.
  28. I would make sure that I took all utility belts off of captured heros, since they sometimes hold skeleton keys.
  29. I would never use chocolate to kill the heros. That would just be a waste of chocolate. (I actually saw a cartoon bad guy try this once.)
  30. I would tap the hero's radio signals so I would know their plans for defeating me in advance.
  31. After learning their plans, I would play loud obnoxious rock music over their radio frequency.
  32. All my bank accounts would be under different assumed names.
  33. If I was captured and they asked me to come along peacefully, I would never say, "Make me."
  34. I would not taunt the heros while they were interrogating me.
  35. If I was captured and they asked me my name, I would not give them my real name.
  36. I would order my lawyers to sue the hero every time they beat me up. The jury might actually fall for it.
  37. I would always carry a squirt gun filled with lemon juice. The heros never wear any eye protection.
  38. My car would a minivan, and would not have a flashy paint job. The heros would never suspect that their enemy was in the blue minivan stuck in traffic.
  39. I would put a stop light directly before the entrance to the secret base. The heros, being the law abiding dorks that they are, will stop and not invade my secret base.
  40. I would not name my underground company after myself.
  41. I would not paint my face white and become an evil mime.
  42. I would launch a decoy of my spaceship and have it go down in flames, convincing the heros that I was dead.
  43. I would not have huge boating partys and invite the heros to come unless they were the only guests and the boat was rigged to explode. I would still be carrying my jet pack, and would survive.
  44. My secret base would not be in a dormant volcano that could go off at any time.
  45. I would find out what the heros were weak to, then dump it on them in large amounts.
  46. I would not bribe cops that were dumb enough to tell someone I had bribed them.
  47. I would not carry out secret dealings in public places such as coffee shops, where the hero just might happen to overhear.
  48. There would be no self destruct button in my secret base. It would be hidden in the glove box of my spaceship and would blow up the base by remote control.
  49. I would memorize how to use the entire english dictionary, then call them a "Tatterdemalion" or something and watch them become extremly confused.
  50. I would not attempt, no matter how much fun it would be, to hold someone up with a banana.
Oops, looks like the computer decided to number it 1-50. Well, it's not. Deal with it.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

oh my gosh....

My computer just ate a cd. Like, literally ate the cd. Like, it's in hundreds of tiny pieces now. I've got pictures of it... Well, I guess that means no more Last Exile (which was on the cd) for a while.

Oh my gosh... I didn't even know this was possible. It just... ate it. How does that even work? And parts of my cd drive fell off too...
Wow. Not gonna put any cds in that thing after this.

(On a side note, Last Exile is awesome. Now it's just awesome in hundreds of tiny pieces.)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

What I would do if I was a supervillian

I made this list a while back. I'm not entirely sure why, but it's fun. So, I'm posting one through fifty. They aren't in any specific order, so have fun.

What I would Do If I were a Supervillian

  1. I would not carry kryptonite. No matter how fun it is to watch Superman shrivel up and die, it's not worth getting blood poisoning over.
  2. I would wear a fire-proof suit.
  3. I would always carry a jetpack.
  4. I would carry several different weapons, and I would make sure that they were always in good condition
  5. I would blow the heros base to smitherines before they beat me up multiple times.
  6. I would never team up with other villans.
  7. If I had to team up with other villans, I would not call the group "the councel of doom." I would call it "Supervillans non-anoymous," or something at least somewhat original like that.
  8. I would not leave the hero to a firey doom chained to a rock falling into a pit of lava. I would stay to watch.
  9. I would wear a mask, and I would not tell the hero my name.
  10. I would not create free thinking robots that would be larger and more powerful than me.
  11. If I had to create free thinking robots, I would make sure that I could blow them up in an emergency.
  12. If the superhero had a cape, I would set it on fire as often as possible.
  13. I would wear my underwear on the inside of my pants.
  14. I would not dump toxic waste in the river. The mutant fish never eat the hero anyway.
  15. The entrance to my control room would have metal detectors and a retinal scanner.
  16. I would not leave a note announcing my crimes before they are commited.
  17. I would plant as many bombs as possible on my enemys person.
  18. If evil aliens were invading, I would not bother the hero until all the aliens were dead.
  19. I would not test my evil inventions on animals.
  20. I would not kidnap or kill anyone who was in any way related to the hero.
  21. I would place a tracker on the hero until I knew who he was. Then I would find something to blackmail him with.
  22. I would have a team of lawyers awaiting my command in case I ever got captured.
  23. If I ever went to jail, I would not go insane and paste newspaper clippings of the hero's latest exploits all over the walls of my cell. I would use wallpaper.
  24. I would not give myself an overdose on the telepathy machine.
  25. Nothing important, such as "Big Huge Desintegrator Ray" would be labeled as such.
  26. The switch for turning off my death ray or whatever I was using, would be located in an unlikely place, such as a blender or a moose head.
  27. The switch that was labeled "on/off" for the death ray would actually drop a piano on the hero.
  28. There would be an escape pod, but it would be labeled as a broom closet.
  29. The escape pod would go through a tunnel to my other secret base, not up into space where I will undoubtably be captured or eaten by aliens.
  30. The broom closet would be labeled as the escape pod.
  31. There would be only one entrance to my secret base, and it would be gaurded and have all the super computerized security stuff I could find.
  32. The computer that controled the door would not be connected to the internet, and would be hidden in a wall.
  33. I would not use the abandoned warehouse to construct my big huge traps for the hero. I would create a diversion, then use the hero's base.
  34. My spaceship would be much faster than the hero's.
  35. I would have a cool nickname, not like "Ka-thackitator" or "Lobster Man."
  36. The wire that disarmed the bomb would not be red, it would be blue.
  37. The red wire in the bomb would trigger a bucket of acid falling on the hero.
  38. If I broke out of prison, I wouldn't slug it out with the heros. I would hide until they left.
  39. If I needed to torture the heros for any reason, I would use a maze, peanut butter, and a recording of "Its a small world after all."
  40. My guards would be trained with bows and arrows. If necesary, they could paint themselves like savages and convince the heros that there was a time warp somewhere.
  41. I would develop a mind control device as soon as possible.
  42. I would never tell anyone where my secret base was. If I was interrogated, I would say that "I'll never give you the secret ingredient for my carmel apples!" I would continue saying this until they were convinced that they had the wrong person or I was insane.
  43. I would never mess with any alien force that could eat me in three bites or less.
  44. I would not actually seek out the hero and challenge him to a fight.
  45. Unless there was no other option, my perfered method of operation would not be to sneak up behind the hero and whack him with a rock.
  46. I would not geneticly engineer a mighty army of shark-eagles or whatever. A computer virus will create just as much chaos without the pet-food bills.
  47. I would always make sure my guards were not heroes wearing disguises.
  48. I would never trust anyone wearing black hornrim glasses with a huge nose and moustache.
  49. I would never buy a secret weapon from someone who looked supiciously like one of the heros friends from work.
  50. I would never testify against the hero in an intergalactic court. They would come and beat me up afterwards and ask me who I was working for.
There's over a hundred more. Maybe I'll post those later, but this is big enough for now.

Monday, September 25, 2006

dA acount

So, a while back I got an account on deviantArt, and I was gonna post about it then... but I forgot. So I'm posting about it now! is the name! Of course, everyone who reads my blog already knows this, but hey, it works.

On a side note, I'm almost finished with a story that I've been doing for a contest. Almost finished, in this instance, means probably before Christmas. Wheee!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Music Shuffley Quiz!

Ok, this time I seriously haven't posted in forever. What's it been, a couple months? In fact, I'm not even gonna try and make up excuses this time. I'll write about that stuff later maybe. But now, it's time for....


Indeed, it's a shuffle quiz! Let us begin!

1) Why are you taking this quiz?
Song: Things like you
Artist: Sanctus Real
Comment: Apparently because I'm sick and tired of being wrapped up in the things of this world. Um... How is this supposed to help?

2) Where will you meet your future husband/wife?
Song: Dreaming on Distant Shores
Artist: Unknown
Comment: On a beach, very far away... Either that, or in a dream.

3) Where will you hug your future husband/wife for the first time?
Song: Piano Concerto in F Andente - Adagio
Artist: Gershwin
Comment: At a piano concert, apparently.

4)What is your secret dream?
Song: Places
Artist: Falling up
Comment: To constantly need someone. Actually, pretty cool.

5)What song will they be playing at the morgue when they perform your autopsy?
Song: Ambience
Artist: Falling up
Comment: ...Is there ANY good answer to this one?

6)Who will throw a party after you die?
Song: Innocence again
Artist: Switchfoot
Comment: Apparently everyone because I've been given grace and am in heaven, but they're all wondering about who they want to be now that I'm gone.

7) What song describes you when you are so drunk you can't speak? (I've never been drunk! Hurrah!)
Song: Outgunned
Artist: Dennis McCarthy (Star Trek Generations soundtrack)
Comment: Spaceships! Whee! I love spaceships... and phasers. Lots and lots of phasers.

8)What will actually kill you?
Song: Heaven came down
Artist: David Crowder Band
Comment: Heaven falling down, but I get saved! Sweet!

9)Who will be your slave?
Song: Spirit of Rhythm
Artist: Cast in Bronze
Comment: A bunch of drummers. Pretty good ones too.

10) What will you look like at the age of 80?
Song: Keep on Shinin'
Artist: Third Day
Comment: Apparently I'll be a light for God in the world. SWEET!

11)Where will you meet your arch-enemy in life?
Song: Homes of Hyrule: Movement 3 - Goron City
Artist: Kevin Stephens
Comment: Given my prior experiences with video games, that's a pretty good possiblity.

12)What will happen to you tonight after you go to bed?
Song: Goin Home
Artist: Unknown
Comment: Sweet techo music will play, but hopefully I'm already home.

13)What is the meaning of your life?
Song: Breaking time
Artist: Nihon Tek
Comment: To be broken? Hmm... that might be bad. Or good. Either way.

14)What will be the meaning of your death?
Song: Stationary Stationary
Artist: Amberlin
Comment: To get two old friends to start communicating again.

15)What do you hate the most?
Song: Rubarb Pie
Artist: Five Iron Frenzy
Comment: Never tried it, actually. Isn't it made out of a poisonous vegetable?

16)What do you love the best?
Song: All your base
Artist: unknown
Comment: Badly translated video games ROCK.

17)What makes you feel like jumping out the window?
Song: Prisoner Exchange
Artist: Dennis McCarthy (Star Trek Generations soundtrack)
Comment: Mysterious prisoner transactions that may actually be ambushes... or at least that's what it sounds like.

18) What do you think about bananas?
Song: Who Needs Air?
Artist: The Classic Crime
Comment: Bananas don't need air. They need to realize who they truly are.

19)Where would you like to be now?
Song: Fight of the Ages
Artist: Unknown
Comment: On a great battlefield, fighting for the side of good!

20)Who would you like to have a tea party with?
Song: Ancient Hero
Artist: Darkesword
Comment: Link! Duh! Very duh! I'll totally throw a tea party if Link will come!

21)How would you describe your childhood?
Song: To be Forgotten is Worse than Death
Artist: Sefiros
Comment: Well, it did feel like that sometimes...

22)If you could do anything you want, what would it be?
Song: Eagles
Artist: Third day
Comment: To soar on the wings of eagles and learn to fly? Pretty much.

23)Recent obsessions/problems?
Song: Rhapsody in Blue
Artist: Gershwin
Comment: Apparently I'm obsessed with jazz/classical songs with extremely complicated piano parts.

24)If they made a movie about you, what would be the title?
Song: Nintendo Forest Mix
Artist: Sound Junkie
Comment: I do spend a lot of time outdoors... not quite that much, though.

25)Where did the pigeons go?
Song: Combination Lock
Artist: Quinn Fox
Comment: They're hiding behind the locked door over there... How'd they get it open in the first place?

26)Are you a good stalker?
Song: Superpowers
Artist: Five Iron Frenzy
Comment: Apparently I have super stalking powers!

27)Who are you having for dinner tonight?
Song: Saturn
Artist: Skillet
Comment: Saturn? Wow, I'm gonna need a bigger table.

28)This Halloween, what will you dress up as?
Song: Masquerade
Artist: Andrew Lloyd Weber (Phantom of the Opera)
Comment: No idea, but it'll involve a mask. A cool mask.

29)Who is your fashon ideal?
Song: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Artist: John Williams
Comment: A tomb robbing history professor? Well, it's better than some things.

30)What would you like to keep in your pockets all the time?
Song: Things Running From Me
Artist: Cast In Bronze
Comment: Yeah, I'd like to keep them in my pockets, if I could catch them! QUIT RUNNING ALREADY!

31)If you won the lottery, what would you buy first?
Song: Tunnel
Artist: Third Day
Comment: I'd buy something to give you hope when times are hard. Oh, and a tunnel too, just because that would be fun.

32)Are we there yet?
Song: The music of the night
Artist: Andrew Lloyd Weber
Comment: No, and we won't be until you surrender to the music. Surrender to the music! Do it now!

33)Any hard feelings about this quiz?
Song: Laugh inside Out
Artist: Reliant K
Comment: I don't think I've communicated very much. Apparently, that's a problem with most of reality.

34) What are your thoughts about the people that made this quiz?
Song: Things like you
Artist: Sanctus Real
Comment: I should leave you all behind and actually get a life. ...Wait, didn't I already use this song?

Monday, August 14, 2006

Summer reading is done!

It is now five twenty something in the morning, and I'm finally done with my summer reading. I would be a bit more excited about this, but excited is for people who aren't about to fall asleep on their keyboards. More importantly, though, I've just completed my first schoolwork all-nighter! I wanna make a badge that says I did it. I can't do it now, of course, because I have a killer headache from staring at the monitor, alternated with the book, all night.
Plus, I'm pretty sure i'm starting to hallucinate. There's what appears to be a orange rubber band ball in the corner of my vision, and it's been there for a while now. What really bothers me is that it's moving like it's alive. Maybe it's an alien, come to Earth to steal my essay. You can't have it, alien! Write your own! This one's MINE!

Yeah... I'm gonna go sleep now.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Lesson for the day

Lesson for the day: CD's don't taste like anything special, just plastic. Fairly clean plastic, but plastic none the less.
On a try this again scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is Ow that hurt and 5 is totally fun, I'd give cd tasting a three. It isn't unpleasant, but it's not anything super fun either. Plus, it might ruin the cd.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Story Sharing

I think I've noticed something about writing stories. It's happened to me before, and generally turns a healthy story (You can tell it's healthy because it's eating. It eats free time) into one of those word documents that I only look at when I'm thoroughly bored and wanting to hate myself for my previous lack of writing abilities. (The curse of the Jellybeans? What was I thinking?)
What happens is I start running out of ideas for the story, then I get stuck on ideas I already had, then I just lose the will to keep writing it. I might write another story based on the story, but that one generally dies faster than the first one did. But a while back, I figured out how to prevent this.
I have to let other people read my stories. Not just for constructive critisism, though that is appreciated, and not just for suggestions either. I have to let people read it for the sake of having them read it. If I just keep the story to myself, I'm the only one that knows about the characters, I'm the only one that cares about them. And that's not how stories are meant to be. Stories are meant to be shared, the whole point of writing is for someone to read it. So if I keep a story to myself, it dies without fail.
Recently, I've found some confirmation of this theory. I'm writing a story for a contest, you see, and all the people I generally let read my stories are either writing for the contest or judging. Either way, I can't let them read it. They read this blog too, so I can't put it here. Anyway, I've been doing pretty well so far. I'm on page twenty. (out of a twenty five limit. I'd better hurry up and finish.) However, it's been getting harder and harder to keep writing it. It's not that I don't know what I'm going to do, it's just that I can't work up the willpower to do it. I need someone reading it so I can write it. It's kinda annoying...
Anyway, I'd better get back to writing it. It's due tonight... I am SO dead.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Whitewater Rafting!

Note to self: Don't go whitewater rafting with unsecured glasses.
Another note to self: Forget first note, you lost them already.

I'd better explain that. See, I was whitewater rafting with my girl scout troop. Perfectly normal activity; we do it every year. However, this year the water was way higher than it usually is, so it was a bit more exciting. We had just passed one of the big rapids when we saw the boat my brother was in (he's not in my girl scout troop, by the way, but he was there) stuck on a really big rock.
My natural tendancy would be to avoid the rock, but apparently we had to rescue the other boat. And by rescue, I mean run into as fast as possible and hope not to get stuck ourselves.
Guess what?
It didn't work!
Our boat not only got stuck on the rock, it highsided (think wheelie, but sideways) so we all had to climb to the high side (name explained!) in hopes of the boat going back into the river and us not falling out. The boat didn't go back into the river, but instead filled with water and sank. I almost made it into the other boat (which was still stuck on the rock, and only got pushed further up by our rescue attempt) but failed miserably.
So I fell in the water, and my glasses got sucked off by the current while I was actually under our mostly-sunken boat. I noticed they were gone, but I couldn't look for them because of one very important reason: breathing. So I swam towards the light, also known as the surface. Then I sat in the water until I could swim ashore, and waited with my friend Sara (who also fell out of the boat) for the boat to come and get us. I still had my paddle, though. She didn't.
So our guide came in our now-unsunken boat, and we were the only ones not in the other boat
so I got to help paddle the thing until we could pull it ashore somewhere and everyone else could get back in.
I was pretty much blind for the rest of the trip though. I think I saw a unicorn, but no one else saw it, so I'm probably wrong.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

White Butterflies

“Mama, what's this?”

The white haired woman looked down at her child, taking her eyes off of the shining silver necklace she was making, and smiled. In his cupped hands rested a tiny butterfly, as white as the downy feathers that still covered his wings. She bent down, her own golden wings spreading out on the dusty wood floor behind her, and carefully examined the miniature insect that rested in her son's hand.

“What do you think it is, Micheal?”

He thought for a minute, his brow wrinkling as he stared down at the butterfly. Finally, he looked up.

“I think it's a grown up feather!”

She laughed a little. “A grown up feather?”

He nodded. “Yeah! All of my feathers are baby feathers, but when they fall off they grow up and then they look like this!” His blue eyes sparkled. “Right?”

“Not quite,” she said with a smile. “This is a butterfly.”

“A butter-fly?” He sounded just as confused as he looked. “It isn't butter!”

She laughed. “No, it's not.”

“And butter doesn't fly anyway!”

“Right again! But this is still a butterfly, even if the name doesn't make sense.” She shooed him out of the little wooden house. “Now go find a flower to put it on.”

He looked back at her. “Why?”

“Because butterfly food comes from flowers. That one's probably hungry.”

“Do flowers taste good?”

“Butterflies like them.”

“Hmm...” Micheal thought about this for a minute, then wandered off towards the meadow. His mother stood in the doorway, watching him, until he disappeared behind a tree, and she turned back to her work.

Five minutes later, Micheal was back.

“Mama,” he said with a grimace, “Flowers taste bad.”

A/N: Yep, another one not even remotely related to continuity. But, I felt like writing it, so here you go!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Doukutsu Boss Yell

Ok, so I was playing this game called "Doukutsu Monogatari," which is Japanese for "Cave Story." (The translation is lame, I know, but the game is fun.) Anyway, I was fighting the final boss before the next final boss before the bonus level's boss which I've never beaten or actually even reached, and I noticed that when you beat the boss's almost-final form, which is this crazy sort of mad-scientist guy who's hair makes Einstein look like a tv anchor, he yells "Aiiiigh!"
This isn't a normal yell. For example, try saying it out loud. "Aiiigh." Sounds dumb, doesn't it? I mean, I could understand if he said "Augh" or "Aaaaah!", "Argh" or even "Aiii!" because those are all noises that humans make. But he's trying to roll them all together! It's like a frustrated screaming pirate ninja all in one!
So, not only is he deciding to make this noise, he's deciding this while his body is dissolving into a bizzare red smoke after a little amnesiatic robot's been throwing knives at him repeatedly for the past three minutes or so. I don't think that's something he came up with right then and there. No way he could do that under that kind of pressure. He must have planned it beforehand, though I have no idea why.
That brings up an interesting point. If I ever die at the hands of an amnesiatic robot after becoming evil and using massive amounts of deadly chemicals on myself, what do I want to scream? Not something cliche, like "I'll get you yet," and I'm certainly not going to mention a little dog too, as funny as that may be. Maybe something enigmatic about "You fool, you know not what you do," and then things start blowing up.
Or maybe I'll just go with "Aiiigh." It certainly caught my attention... And yet, because I was inspired by this almost-final form of this almost-final boss, it still wouldn't be original. I'll have to give this some thought. Suggestions are appreciated!

Friday, June 30, 2006


“Hmm... and that should go there, and I certainly can't leave without that. Oh, and that needs to come too. Goodness, I don't remember needing so much the last time I left town.”

Jacques looked up from his packing to the empty walls of his house. Dust blanketed every surface, with the occasional random sketching denting the brown powder. A single window cast its silhouetted light across the floor, which was covered in all manner of junk, from cast-off pen tips to ink spills to crumpled up maps that didn't work right, and of course the occasional insect corpse. In the corner rested a messy pile of twigs and map bits that might have been a nest of mice, or perhaps chipmunks, but Jacques didn't particularly care unless they started eating his maps.

The table was slightly better than the floor, in that it didn't have mice living on it. Most of the time, anyway. Scattered across the table lay pens of every shape and size. Some rolled across and off the table at the slightest bump, and others wouldn't move if the table had been attacked by a madman with an axe, thanks to the thick black ink that glued them there. The only thing that seemed remotely cared for were the maps, carefully rolled up in leather cases until he took them to a seller.

The only other pieces of furniture, besides the chair, he owned rested in a corner. A bed that he never bothered to make, and a tall wardrobe that he'd inherited from some relative or another. Normally, the latter was filled with his few clothes and a great deal of random souvenirs, but at the moment it's contents sprawled across the floor as he stuffed them into the far-too-small pack.

All in all, the room screamed but one word: bachelor.

Jacques took a swig from the bottle he'd borrowed, meaning stole, from Marie when he left to pack and stared down at the overfull canvas bag. His eyes wandered from one thing to the other, from the thirteen semi-usable pens that he'd managed to pry from his desk to a brick that he wasn't quite sure why he had in the first place. He thought for a moment. Ah yes, he'd gotten it from an irate bartender who'd thrown it at his head.

“That wasn't really fair of him,” Jacques mused. “His prices were outrageous. How was I to know that I couldn't pay?” He took another drink, then shook his head and smiled. “Ah, well. He missed anyway.” Momentarily, he wondered why he'd put it in his pack. “Self defense!” He smiled, took a long swig from the bottle, and stuffed in a drinking glass on top of the brick.

“Jacques? You ready to go?” Marie's voice sounded from outside the door, snapping him out of his rum-happy daze.

“Um... just a minute!” he said, stuffing most of the mess under the bed.

“Well, can I come in and help you pack?”

“Er, no. I'm...” He considered several things to say. He couldn't say he was naked, he had no reason to be naked, and he wasn't. He couldn't make the excuse of not being there either, she knew better then that. Finally, his semi-drunken brain kicked in and came up with what was quite possibly his worst excuse ever. “I'm on fire.”

“You're what?” The door started opening. He pushed it shut again and shoved the table against it. His brain started working overtime, but still wasn't working quite hard enough for common sense to start functioning.

“Yeah, I'm on fire. Burning. Little accident with a candle. It's very hot.” He gathered a good portion of the mess up and shoved it into the wardrobe, but the door wouldn't shut. He started slamming it while still talking. “It's not that pleasant, you know, being on fire. There's a few downsides, though you really wouldn't think it. Like... the smoke! The smoke smells really bad, and you tend to catch other things on fire while you're trying to put yourself out.” He stepped back from the wardrobe, and, satisfied that it would stay shut, started trying to close his pack. A crunch followed by a tinkling noise told him that perhaps the drinking glass was not the best thing to put next to the brick. “I mean, sure, you're warm and all, but...”

“Jacques, I'm coming in there, whether you like it or not.” The table started inching across the floor as the door opened. He glanced around, doing one final check to see if the room was clean enough. Something caught his eye. The rum! He couldn't let her catch him with the rum. Jacques scooped up the bottle off the floor and glanced around for somewhere to put it. Just as he spotted the perfect place, the door opened all the way, and Marie stepped into the room.

He stared at her blankly, holding the rum in one hand. He made a vague attempt to hide it behind his back. Behind him, the wardrobe opened and everything fell onto the floor with a resounding thump. Marie gave him a look.

Somewhere, in a very small part of his mind that he didn't usually listen to but usually turned out to be right, it registered that he was as good as dead.

“Well,” she said slowly, looking around the room judgmentally, “you don't look on fire to me.”


“No, no, don't bother explaining. I don't want to know.” Her eyes wandered to his hand. “Where'd you get that rum? It looks suspiciously like the bottle that went missing just after you left.”

“Um...” His brain churned furiously, trying to think of an excuse. “It was in a tree. The squirrels gave it to me as a thank you gift for... um... chasing away that dog that wanders around here sometimes.” He wasn't doing so well with excuses today. “They told me to keep it.”

“The squirrels talked to you?” Marie gave him another look, this time one that he fully believed could be used to start fires.

“Yep. They were talking squirrels, with a whole civilization in the big oak tree over by the tailor's shop. They have water that comes from inside their houses, and devices that make it daytime at night, and even something that lets them communicate with other squirrel civilizations all across the land without hardly lifting a finger! Maybe they were the ones that took the rum from the tavern. It wouldn't be too hard for them, you know.”

She put her head in one hand. “Jacques... You're either drunk or insane. Maybe both. I'll come back later.” She moved towards the door. A the last minute, she turned around, looked him straight in the eye, and said, “And you're still in trouble for taking that rum.”

Friday, June 16, 2006

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday Dana!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Romance is HARD!

Even though I haven't posted any stories in a while, I am still writing them. In fact, I've got about seven stories ready to post, but I can't because I can't figure out how to get from here to there. So just be patient. I'll figure this out eventually.

One thing that I might not figure out anytime soon is this one romance scene. I've been banging my head on it for a little more than a week now, and I've learned a few things about my writing. Such as: I have a very hard time talking about how people feel. It works better for me to tell how they show how they feel, but for romance, that just doesn't work. It's all... emotion-y. That may not be so hard for some people, but for me, its like a brick wall with a moonlit glade painted on it and I keep trying to walk into the glade and it seems like it should be so simple, but I can't because it's really a wall.

Oh well. I wrote in some violence, so that should make up for the stupid romance scene. Maybe I should just kill them both now, Romeo and Juliet style. Except that whole stupid play was a romance scene... Nevermind.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Justice League returns in all it's unruined by horrible plot twists glory!

That's right, folks, Justice League, greatest tv show in the history of ever, is back, and they're showing the good episodes again! That's right, the good ones, with the theme song done on the violin instead of the electric guitar, the government not out to destroy them all (most of the time), and the original space station before it got exploded! And the giant robots actually have motivation, and it's not just a "who's in love with who" festival, and the dialouge actually works! Thank you Boomerang for showing actual good taste in what episodes to show! The 48 of Justice League are so much way better than the 52 of Justice League Unlikeable! (Ok, so it's really called Justice League Unlimited, but unlikeable is the best insult I can think of right now. I'm hyper.)
Anyway, not only is it airing on tv again, the first episode that they showed was In Darkest Night, which was the first episode of Justice League I ever saw! Major deja vu! The only thing missing they could have done cooler would have been if I'd seen it on May 12, my Justice-versery! (The day I first saw it. And first became obsessed.)
I'd forgotten a lot of the really really great stuff in the show, actually. that's what happens when you don't see it for over a year... Like the background music? Wow. I'd totally forgotten it. And the space shots? They actually look like space. Think that's amazing? Look at any other cartoon. I totally don't know how I've been watching other cartoons all this time... JUSTICE ROCKS!

Ok, I just realized that I sound kinda like Sarah when she's hyper.

Calming down now.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday Ivy!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Sunset (Poem)

The sun has set in clouds asunder

The moon regrets to rise from slumber

And the peak’s a shade of umber

I will never soon forget.

Golden eagles swoop and soar

High above the valley floor

Rising upwards more and more

Far beyond the treetop's net

Reds and yellows cross the skies

And seem to dance before my eyes

Above the birds with trilling cries

Who themselves these skies have met.

The final beams of brilliant light

That come before the starry night

Color clouds like children’s kites

And now at last the sun has set

The internet and you. And me. Me reeeeally bored.

So today the internet went down. This wouldn't have been a problem, except all of my stuff that I normally do when the internet's down was in my brother's car. So I got really bored. In fact, bored really didn't even cover it. It needed a new word all it's own to describe how bored I was. Now usually when I get bored, I do really stupid things, like light my hair on fire, or play with static. This time, I made a list of what I did. Here goes:

Things I did while waiting for the internet to go back up

  • Held a sing-your-own-disco dance-a-thon.

  • Checked to see if internet was up

  • Wrote poetry

  • Wrote blog post

  • Checked to see if internet was up

  • Washed my lava lamp

  • Did sit ups

  • Checked to see if internet was up

  • Ate dinner

  • Did dishes

  • Checked to see if internet was up

  • Organized desktop items

  • Decided I didn't like the new arrangement and changed it back

  • Read old word documents

  • Checked to see if internet was up

  • Practiced voice acting

  • Did voice acting into audacity

  • Listened to voice acting

  • Deleted voice acting

  • Checked to see if internet was up

  • Wondered if an empty tissue box could work as a hat

  • Hit computer monitor with an inflatable microphone

  • Hit self with inflatable microphone

  • Held drumming jam session with inflatable microphone

  • Checked to see if internet was up

  • Wrote this list

  • Checked to see if internet was up


So, I was kinda bored. But voice acting is fun. I'm just really bad at guys voices.


Finally over! Yay! No more chronic algebra overdose! Summary of finals:
History: Pretty easy, but I still hate essays.
Speech: It went better than I expected, but it would've been nice if I'd been able to make my visual aid big enough to see.
Algebra: Non calculator portion: easy. Like pie, only easier, and less edible. Calculator portion: Beware the madness of the Bruce! Agh! My brain hurt SO BAD!
Band: What final?
Bible: Easy. I didn't even need my notes. That's good, because I lost my notes.
French: Easy, but the guy behind me wouldn't shut up! He was talking the whole time, reading the test aloud, making commentary, and generally being so annoying that I wanted to remove his vital organs with my fists. Unfortunatley, that probably would have made me fail (and go to prison), so he lived. I'm not sure if he passed, though.
Study Hall: Yay for no final!
and finally:
Biology: Yay for finals that aren't mindlessly easy! Still really easy, but I enjoyed it. I like knowing the big words. The majority of photosynthesis takes place in the palisade mesophyll!

Anyway, Finals are over, summer has begun, and I'm probably gonna get a job this year. I hope I do, anyway. You can never tell with jobs. But, I heard that the place I'm applying to is really shorthanded, so they'll probably accept me.
Oh, and yes, I am still writing, but continuity is temporarily lost. I'm working on the rest of the story, but the obvious follow up to the last continuity related story that I posted just isn't happening. How come it takes Anna thirty seconds to think of a message for Micheal, but it takes me like three months? Oh well.
Anyhoo, today I got into a conversation with some random person using a friends account. We're pretty sure it was a member of her family, but we don't know which one. It wasn't just me, there was a couple other friends in the chat too. Anyway, we scared them pretty bad. And then I sent a voice clip of me laughing, which made it worse. They were pretty fun to talk to though, I just wish I knew who it was.
"A halo has but a foot to fall before it becomes a noose." - Someone

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


"Oh yes, something I've been kinda wanting to tell your viewers for a while is 'I look forward to killing you soon.' And then, additionally, I look forward to killing you right now."

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The sink is missing...

Well, I haven't posted in a while. Mandatory excuse list: Band trip, bus ride, just plain lazy. Ok, on to the bizzare happenings in the land of me!
First, I've mangaged to break the fire alarm; on Easter, no less. Word of advice: don't play with static. And if you do play with static, don't use a metal object to play with it. And if by some bizzare circumstance you wind up doing this, whatever you do, don't use two metal objects at the same time. And especially don't cross them. It doesn't hurt any less, and the fuse blows and breaks the fire alarm. I have no idea how the screws in that light switch were connected to the fuse, but they were. So the fire alarm broke. Not my fault. It was the fuse.
Second, the band trip happened. We went to California. I'll probably post more on this when I feel like it. Oh, and I bought a stupid hat. I've always wanted to do that.
Third, the sink is missing. It really bothers me. Don't ask me why, it's just something about having a gaping hole with pipes in it where the sink that had been there since forever once was creeps me out a bit. Apparently we're supposed to get a new sink in there because the old one was cracked, but then my dad didn't have time to finish it before he went to Louisiana, and now we have no sink. I found it's shattered remains in the garden. Creepy.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Flight Feathers

“Mama, mama, where are we going today?”

The woman smiled down at her child, who looked up at her expectantly. His white hair matched her own, along with the smiling blue eyes. She took the tiny hand offered to her, and responded in an excited whisper.

“The overlook, Micheal. We're going to fly!”

He wrinkled his brow. “But mama, I don't know how to fly.”

His mother stooped down and picked up one of the fuzzy white feathers off the grass around their little home as they walked. “I'll teach you. We'll fly together.”

“Where will we go then?”

“I don't know, Micheal, where do you want to go?”

“The river!”

“Alright, we can go to the river.” She smiled again. They walked in a happy silence for a while, while she contemplated the feather in her hand. Innocence, in the form of a firstfeather. The downy fluff covered the wings until a child became old enough to fly, and then fell to make way for the new feathers. The flight feathers.

“Mama, how are we going to fly?”

“It's easy. You already know how.”

“But mama, I don't. I don't know how to fly.”

“Yes you do. You know it in here.” She pointed to her chest.

“In my shirt?”

“No, dear, in your heart. That's where flight comes from.”

The little boy giggled. “Mama, you talk funny sometimes.”

She laughed with him, just a little.

Soon, the overlook loomed before them, tall, rocky and steep, but easy to climb from the other side. To her, it seemed monstrous, waiting for blood, and a pang of doubt surged through her veins. Was Michal really ready to fly?

Micheal seemed to share the same doubts, though not as strongly as his mothers. “But what if my wings don't work right?”

“Then I'll catch you.” She spoke against her own doubts, her own fears, fighting to keep her voice calm against the rising urge to protect her child from danger, including this danger of falling.

“But what if your wings don't work right?”

She tried to laugh. “Micheal, my wings work fine.”

“Prove it,” he said defiantly. His diminutive form, boldly standing with his hands on his hips and his wings spread out behind him, the way that she acted sometimes, made his mother smile, despite her fears.

“Alright,” she said with the same defiance. “I will. Watch me.”

She jumped up to the top of the overlook, far higher than any human could, feeling the rush of air around her. Upon the top, she looked down to the ground far below, and for a moment she remembered her own first flight.

A calm spring day, much like this one, with her parents flying over her, and her looking down and wondering what it would be like to fall. The fear that she felt, the overwhelming urge to back away from the edge almost caused her to turn and run, but she couldn't. She had to fly. Simply jump from the edge and let her wings catch her. How long did she stand there, staring at the ground below, as her parents waited patiently for her to jump? It felt like an eternity.

One thing she learned from that first flight. Once you jump, there's no turning back. You have to fly.

A cool breeze brought her back to the present. She still had to fly, but now, she was not afraid. She calmly pulled the thin cloth from atop her wings, letting it drift to the ground far below, feeling the sun warming her, and watching the light refract from each golden flight feather. Almost unthinking, she leapt into the sky.

The wind lifted her immediately. She soared high above the overlook, getting higher and higher, her joy growing with every passing moment. Then she swooped low, almost touching the ground with her wingtip, as she shouted to her son. “See? My wings work! Flying is easy!”

Micheal needed no second urging. He ran to the top of the hill, eager to jump. But then he paused for a moment. He stared down, just as she remembered doing, wondering if he really could fly. Then, he jumped, and time seemed to stand still. She watched him tumble in the air for a second, and she started to swoop down to catch him, but then he spread his wings. The golden flight feathers flashed as the last of the downy firstfeathers blew away.

“Mama, look! I'm flying!”

“I knew you could do it, Micheal!”

They wheeled in the sky as Micheal quickly learned the basics of flight, flapping, turning, and finally landing. Once they were back atop the hill, she kneeled down to his eye level.

“You did great! Better than great!” She hugged him, and he hugged her, with a smile that seemed bigger than the sky. “Well,” she said proudly. “Do you want to go to the river now?”

“Mama,” he said, looking up at her with his smiling blue eyes reflecting the sky, “Can't we stay and fly a little longer?”

“Of course we can.” They leapt together from the overlook. She smiled as a thought occurred to her. Once you have flight feathers, you can't turn back. And in all honesty, she wouldn't want it any other way.

A/N: Yes, this is set in the same world as my other stories; no, it's not in the same plot line. It might come up later, but it's not technically in the series. Yet.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Wasting Paper.

Today, I ran out of paper in my blue drawing notebook. It's been a couple months since I emptied it, so I went ahead and dumped all the drawings out onto my desk. I know exactly where I was when each drawing was done, so I went through and threw away the really bad ones, and the commentary went somthing like this:
"Wasting paper on the youth retreat!"
"Wasting paper in study hall!"
"Wasting paper after tennis practice!"
"Wasting paper during biology class!"
And so on, until I sorted out the extremely bad ones, wrote stupid comments all over them (The shirt of no return! "Mmm, pillow!") and threw them away. So now I'm gonna reload my blue notebook with fresh paper and draw more things! (Aka WASTE MORE PAPER!)

Monday, April 10, 2006


“Absolutely not.”

Anna crossed her arms resolutely and looked defiantly at Marie. Marie ignored her glare and continued throwing dried food into a pair of brown canvas packs.

“It's for your own good, Anna. I can't keep you here knowing where you belong.”

“She's right, Anna,” said Jacques, pouring himself another rum while Marie wasn't looking. “You have to go home.” He sipped from the glass until Marie turned around, then hid it behind the bottle with an expression of mature authority on his face.


“No buts. We're going.” Marie grabbed a loaf of hard crusted bread and turned back to her packing. Jacques pulled the glass out again. “And Jacques, that's your last glass of rum. No more.” He disappointedly sipped it as he listened to their conversation.

“What about the tavern?” Anna protested, hoping to appeal to Marie's business sense.

“It's not going anywhere. We are.”

“But who'll take care of it?”

“Jacques.” She wrapped a pair of candles in thick cloth, completely ignoring Jacques as he sputtered through a mouthful of rum.

“Me? Marie, be reasonable! I can't take care of a big place like this, I'm no good at cooking, or cleaning, or...”

“You'll learn. There's no substitute for practice.”

“Let's discuss this, please, think about what you're saying!”

“Marie, do you really trust Jacques with a building full of ale?” Anna pointed out, smirking.

Jacques suddenly became a great deal more interested in the job. “I suppose I could take care of the place for a few weeks, sacrificial and all that.”

Marie stopped short in the middle of folding a blanket. “Good grief, no. No. I don't.”

“Come on, don't you trust good old Jacques?” Jacques pleaded, setting his rum down on the table.

She looked him straight in the eye. “Do I really need to answer that?”

“No,” he said, after some consideration. “No, I don't suppose you do.”


“So who will take care of the tavern?” asked Anna, self satisfaction in her voice.

Marie thought long and hard. “No one.”

“What?” Jacques and Anna said in dismayed unison.

“I said no one. We'll close the tavern while we're gone.”


“I said no buts, Anna.” She grabbed a canteen and tossed it to Anna.


“You too, Jacques? We're going, the tavern's closing. You'll survive.” She paused for a moment. “On second thought...”

“Yes?” the other two blurted expectantly.

“You're coming with us.”

Anna put her forehead in her hands while Jacques tried to talk his way out of it.

“But... It's such a trip, and... I just got back into town. Er... I need to put the finishing touches on those maps I did on my recent travels.”

“Oh, come off it. You don't have anything better to do, you never stay in town long anyway, and you told me that you finished those maps yesterday after you left.”

“But I was in such a state after hearing the news about Anna, I might have made a mistake!”

“You're not that much better now. Besides, we need a guide. There might be some free rum in it for you when we get back.”

“Oh, well, in that case,” Jacques stood and gave an elaborate bow. “Jacques Q. Redstone, expert guide and mapmaker at your service, madame.”

Anna sighed. Two against one again.

“I heard that, Anna.” Marie turned from her packing and looked Anna straight in the eyes. “Really, what reason do you have not to want to go home?”

“Well...” she stammered, looking at the floor. “Um...”

“Yes?” said Marie expectantly.


“Oh... Well, that would explain it. You're afraid he'll come looking for you while you're not here?”

“Who's Micheal?” asked Jacques confusedly.

“Later, Jacques.”

“Yes,” said Anna in response to Marie's question. “I have to stay here, or he'll never find me...”

“So who's Micheal?”

“It's not later yet,” said Marie, not taking her eyes off Anna.

“It's kinda later...”

“I said later, I meant later. Not kinda later, later. Now be quiet.”

Jacques sulked. “Fine, madame grumpy.”

Marie ignored him and placed a hand on Anna's shoulder. “Anna, think about it. Where's he most likely to check, someplace he's never been and never heard of, namely here, or your home, where, as you tell it, you were going when you were separated?”

Anna thought about it for a moment. “He... would probably go to Red Grove.” She looked up, tears welling in her eyes. “But what if he does come here?”

“We can't live our lives waiting for what ifs, Anna. We have to do something, or we won't live at all.” She waited a moment longer for a response, then sighed, and offered another option. “We could leave something here to tell him where you've gone, just in case he does show up here.”


“Yes, I'll leave that to you. Why don't you go figure out something while I finish packing.”

She thought for a moment. “I know what to do.”


Anna watched Marie stuffing the sacks full of rations for a moment, then spoke up. “You probably shouldn't put the bread there, it'll get flattened the instant you set the pack down.”

“Really? Where should I put it then?”

“Right here.” Anna placed the bread on top of the mass in the pack. “It's easier to reach there too.”

“Well,” Marie smiled. “I suppose you know more about this than I do. Carry on, then.”

The two continued packing in silence for a few moments longer before Jacques finally piped up.

“Is it later now?”

The Bloggage Returneth!

Finally! I'm officially not a spammer again!
I know I haven't posted in a bit, but I have a good reason. It involved a lot of panic, some links that I didn't quite understand, and a spam prevention robot. Yep, my blog got marked as spam, though I have no idea why. It's weird. I almost just switched back to Xanga. But, here I am, not on Xanga, and a working blog. So it all turned out ok.
Oh, and my brother's knee surgery went great. Yay!

Sunday, April 02, 2006


“Jacques! Nice to see you again!”

Marie smiled as the man pulled out a barstool and sat down. Pleasure showed in his crinkled face when she pulled a particularly good bottle of rum from the rack.

“Nice to be back, Marie. Those trails get longer every time I walk them, let me tell you. I don't even know why I'm still in the business.”

“You know that; half the province would be wandering around lost if it wasn't for your maps.” She leaned on the counter, pouring the rum into a glass. He rubbed his eyes.

“I suppose you're right. Still, it would be nice to have some young blood around to help carry everything. Ah well. Can't have the world.”

“So,” Marie said confidentially, “what's the latest news?”

Jacques laughed. “You just never change, do you Marie?”

She smiled at his tease. “It's nice to have some constants, isn't it?”

“Indeed it is, especially with what's been spotted in the other towns. But I'll get to that later.” He picked up the glass and drained it. “First things first. That young couple down in Pole Valley is finally getting married.”

“You mean Reed and Rika? About time, we've only been expecting that for three years now.”

“Denise up in Eagle Ridge finally had her baby, a fine healthy boy. She's going to name him after his father, rest his soul.” Jacques bowed his head for a few seconds in respect as Marie did the same. “And you know that little boy who broke his leg in Ra...”

“Enough already, Jacques, what did you mean when you said that something was spotted in the other towns?”

“Patience, patience, Marie. You surely can't expect me to tell you that until I've had a few drinks.”

“Yes I can. The last time I bought that excuse you wound up snoring on the floor, stone drunk, and when you finally woke up you told me you couldn't remember.”

“I couldn't, and besides, do you really think I'd cheat you out of a fascinating story like this?”


“Fine. One more round and I'll tell you.”

Marie sighed, and poured the rum. Jacques sipped it slowly this time, examining the tavern with a practiced eye. He caught sight of Anna, busing an empty table with her long brown hair pulled back out of her face.

“Hey, who's the new girl?”

“Oh, you mean Anna? Good kid. I bought her off some of those ruffians that sometimes come through here, they claimed they rescued her from a monster. From what I've been able to get out of her, they actually kidnapped her.”

“Huh, reminds me of that kidnapping in Red Grove a while back... Big reward for that one, even now nobody knows who did the deed. Lot of people trying to find out, though.”

“Yes, Jacques, we all know about that. Now what were you going to tell me?”

Jacques looked sorrowfully down at his empty glass. “I don't suppose I could get one more round?”


“Fine.” He sighed. “There's been a celestia seen going from town to town, rumor has it he's headed in this direction.”

Marie paled. “A celestia? Oh dear... those flying menaces are never good news.”

“It gets better. He managed to beat up around 15 drunks in a tavern before he burned the place down, but the one that noticed what he was actually talked to him for a while. He claimed to be looking for a friend, even gave her name and a little description. I forget the exact details, but the guy said something about the kidnapping.”

“Should've known a celestia would be involved in that. That poor girl... I wonder where she is now.” Marie shook her head. “I hope it doesn't come this way. You never know what they'll do; savages every one of them.” Marie hadn't noticed that Anna was listening.

“That's not true!” The two turned simultaneously to face Anna, who had her hands on her hips and stared at them defiantly. Her green eyes blazed, calling all attention to them as she defended the race of fliers.

“Anna,” Marie said, cautiously. “Perhaps you've never met one. They're savage, great winged beasts who would as soon kill you as look at you.”

“I have met them! They're kind, and gentle. Just because one or two have done bad things doesn't mean they all have.”

Jacques examined Anna, long and slow, as her and Marie's voices rose louder and louder, each defending their view without relenting. “Wait a minute... Haven't I seen you somewhere before?”

“Jacques, this is none of your business,” Marie snapped at him, without taking her eyes off Anna.

“No, really, I thought you looked familiar, I just can't place where I've seen you before. When was it...” He closed his eyes and thought for a while. “A couple years ago, north of here... near one of the big rivers... Ah yes, Red Grove. That's where it was!”

“Red Grove?” Marie turned to Jacques, curiosity burning in her eyes. “Where the kidnapping was?”

“That's the place, four years ago. I was up there while I was charting the Sky Divide in detail. Now if only I could remember what she was doing there...” He rubbed his eyes. “Not that this rum is helping much.”

“Anna,” said Marie sternly, “I think you've got some explaining to do.”

“I... I...” she stammered, looking for an escape.

“Oh, no. That can't be it. You couldn't be...” Jacques looked up at her, disbelieving. “I must be drunk.”

“What is it, Jacques?” asked Marie, firmly.

“The girl that got kidnapped. Her name was Anna.” He stared at Anna, like she would vanish any second.

“Anna? Is that true? Was that... you that was kidnapped?” Marie seemed almost as disbelieving as Jacques at the thought.

She didn't answer right away, staring at the wooden floor. Finally, she spoke.


Silence reigned.

Saturday, April 01, 2006


“Excuse me, Sir, but which way is Red Grove?”

The grizzled old farmer examined the traveler slowly, from her floppy brown hat and green poncho to the tips of her dusty leather boots, as he leaned against the fencepost the bordered the wildly overgrown path. Finally, he pointed to the upcoming fork in the road with a gnarled finger.

“It's t' yer left, real close t' the Sky Divide river. Y'can't miss it; it ain't exactly small. But,” he paused, sighing, then continued, “I wouldn't go there if I was you. Not the best place t' be anymore. Used t' be real nice, music, food, trade, anything y'could want, but not n' more.”

“What happened?” asked the traveler, curious.

“Well,” the farmer thought for a moment, scratching his balding head, “Lord Ty, he's the guy in charge down there, he had a daughter, y'see, name of Anna.”


“Yeah, y'heard of her? Not surprising, what with that reward and all. Anyway, Lord Ty was all happy and the like, like any father. So he wanted Red Grove to be a real nice place for 'is daughter to grow up, so he lowered taxes, encouraged th' arts, y'know, that sort a thing.”

“Sounds like a nice place to me.”

“It was, trust me. I used t' live close t' there. Well, when 'is daughter grew up, a bunch a rich pretty boys started tryin' for her hand in marriage. Y'see, Lord Ty had no other children, so whoever won her got the whole place t'boot. Not t' mention she was as pretty as a summer sunrise...” the man's eyes misted at the memory. “I remember this one time, there was a parade, in honor of... I fergit, some noble or another, they're all alike. Anyway, the carriage that Anna was ridin' in passed right by; I could right in, an' the girl waved right at me, she was wearin' a blue dress, it was her favorite color, from what I heard, and smiled right at me. I'll never forget that smile, like all the joy in the world rolled into one little lady.” He looked sad for a minute. “Ah, how I miss those days of livin' near Red Grove, what with th' parades, and th' markets, I even talked like a city folk back then. An' I would still be there if it hadn't happened...”

“What happened?”

“I'm gettin' to that, lemme finish. Well, Anna weren't no fool, she knew what those suitors were after. So she turned 'em down, every last one. Couple of 'em went away real mad, sayin' nasty things, you know the type. Anna was wise to turn 'em down.”

“And?” Impatience tinged the traveler's voice as she edged closer the the side of the path, or at least what of it that was clearly the path.

“Well, one day, three or four years ago, she was out in the little garden 'er daddy made for 'er, or so the story goes, an' when 'e went out t' talk t' 'er, she was gone. Disappeared, jus' like that.”

“Didn't the townspeople see anything?”

“Well, sure they did, but most weren't sure what they saw. Some of 'em were just plain scared t' come forward, the lord was so angry, threatening and arresting people left and right. A few said that it was a dark, mysterious shape from th' shadows that leaped higher than any man over th' wall of the garden and vanished with th' girl; some others said she was lured away, like that could ever happen, she was much t' smart to go off like that. A few crackpots even thought it was the sleepwalkers, wanderin' around in the daytime, an' stealin' her away, but no one believes 'em.” He smiled, smug and mysterious, and said, “But I know what really happened.”

“You mean you saw the kidnapper?” the traveler asked, surprise in her voice.

“Sure did, clear as day. I was takin' my first crop of the year to market when it happened, right before my very eyes.”

“Did you tell Lord Ty what you saw?”

“An' get my head chopped off? I'd have to be crazier than a drunk duck to tell 'im what really happened.”

“Why? What's the worst that he'd do? I'm sure he'd be happy to know what happened to his daughter.”

“I didn't tell 'im because it was a celestia that did it, an' he hates celestia! He wouldn't let 'em in the town, not ever. 'E claimed that it was t' protect 'is daughter's innocence against their savagery, but we all knew that it was jut because 'e hates them.” The farmer scratched his head again. “Never quite understood why, they seem nice enough t' me. Every once in a while a few help out on th' farm, in exchange for food and shelter fer a few days. They're good, hard workers, even if their wings do knock things over sometimes. Anyway, that's when things really started goin' downhill for Red Grove.”

“What happened?”

“Lord Ty, as good an' kind as 'e had been, became desperate to get Anna back. 'E offered a reward t' anyone who could find th' kidnapper, 15,000 gold coins, but nothin' came of it but hoaxes an' mercenaries. 'E even raised taxes to increase th' reward, highter an' higher, til folks like me could barely get by. Th' reward went up t' 20,000, then 25,000, an' even up to 30,000 til 'e stopped raisin' it. Then, 'e made a declaration that surprised everybody, even me, tho' I moved out 'ere before th' taxes got too high.”

“What'd he say?”

“Ty said that whoever brought his daughter back t' 'im would not only get the reward, but 'e would also give 'is daughter to 'em in marriage. I don't think 'e realized the kind of man that was likely t' find her would be th' worst kind, mercenaries and th' like. But then, 'e said that anyone who tried t' claim th' reward falsely, they'd be beaten, tied t' a rock, an' thrown into the Sky Divide to drown. That was proof enough for me that 'e's gone mad; 'e'd never do a thing like that when Anna was around. But I pity anyone who hasn't left Red grove yet. His lordship is gettin' worse.” He look the traveler straight in the eyes, his gaze burning into her with a dead honesty that would have unnerved the bravest warrior. “My advice? Steer clear of Red Grove.”

“Thank you, Sir, but I'm going there anyway. I'll be careful.”

The farmer shrugged. “Your funeral.” He turned to leave, when a thought struck him. “Hey, would y'like t' eat at my house t'night? An old guy like me gets lonely sometimes, no family, no friends, except for th' few that fly in occasionally. A friendly face at th' table is always welcome.”

“I'd love to, sir, but I have to get going. I want to reach Red Grove as soon as possible.”

“Ah, well. I'll see you around then.”

She smiled. “Indeed you will. Goodbye, sir.”

And with that last, enigmatic comment she began down the road again, leaving the man to ponder her words alone.


“That stupid sky rat broke my nose!”

The man sat cross legged on the ground by the tavern door, staring up at his visitor. She stared back at the pudgy, red faced little man, fully aware that he was drunk, but still intrigued by any news of a celestia.

“Really. Why did he do that?”

“Cause celestia are jus' plain evil. I was jus' trying to knock 'is block off, stab 'im with a knife, y'know, just mind'n my own business, and 'e slugs me! No respect fer their betters, let me tell you.”

“And why were you trying to stab him?”

“B'cause he... he... I dunno, I 'ad a reason then. But 'e still shouldn't 'ave slugged me. I got connections, y'know. I'll get that rotten sky rat yet!” The man weakly pounded his fist into the ground. “I'll get 'im. Y'll see...” The man's eyes slowly roved around the dusk shadows of the town. “Hey, could y' spare a guy a few coins for a pint? A celestia broke my nose the other day, y'know...”

The woman shook her head and walked away, disgusted by the drunken informant. He began singing an old tavern tune as she moved down the dusty street, so full of piercingly bad notes it seemed more like a form of torture than a form of entertainment.

"Pour me another one, rum ale or beer, and show me a woman, to help spread the cheer..." The man dozed off, leaning against the door of the tavern and snoring uproariously.

The traveler ignored him and went on. Wooden building after wooden building rose to meet her gaze until she noted a section of multi-hued dusk sky silhouetted by charred remains. The beams of the structure still remained standing, though barely. It looked like a recent fire; any sort of weather would've knocked it to the ground with no trouble at all.

“Excuse me,” she said to a passer by, “What happened with this?”

“Oh, you mean the Fighting Cock? Yeah, it burned down a couple days ago. Used to be a real successful tavern, way better than that hovel down the street. Not sure what caused it, a lotta people say that it was a celestia, but it might'a just been the drunks.” The stubby little woman lowered her voice and leaned in close. “But me? I think it was the Drunken Cat, that little bar down the street. Their business has nearly doubled since the fire, and they were barely getting by before.”

“Poppycock.” The traveler swiveled on one foot to face the new speaker, a man in fine clothes with a cultured accent and heavy purse. “The gossip of an old woman cannot be trusted. If you want to know the real story, ask someone who was there.”

“Who you calling old?! I'll have you know that I'm not a day older than...”

“My grandmother.” The man looked triumphantly down his nose at the irate woman, projecting an aura of snobbishness.

The old woman huffed. “Fine, you rich little whippersnapper, but if you're looking for someone who gives trustworthy information, ask me before you ask pretty boy here. Last guy he gave directions to ended up wandering in circles for a week before he showed up back here and this troublemaker wormed more money out of the poor guy. Then he asked me for directions, and he got where he was going first time!”

“Either that, or he wandered off a cliff.”

She stomped her foot. “Fine. Be that way.” She turned to the traveler and added, “When you get tired of listening to the con man here, come find me. I'll give you some real information.”

The wrinkled old woman stomped down the street, enraged. When a chicken got in her way, she yelled something unintelligible and whacked at it with her cane and carried on. The traveler turned back to her other would-be informant.

“So who did burn down the bar?”

“A celestia. Big one, he was, and I was the only one in that bar sober enough to notice. Why, without me...”

“Sir, please, what was he looking for?”

The man looked upset at this interruption. “Well, he was asking about a girl by the name of Anna. Probably wanted to kidnap her.” The man seemed to catch himself suddenly, realizing that he easily get money in exchange for his information. “Of course, a little cash never hurt my memory any.”

"Alright,” The traveler said, and pulled a few coins out of the purse she kept beneath her green poncho. “No money until you tell me everything, of course,” she added slyly.

“Of course,” the man said, his voice strained only slightly. She could tell that he wasn't used to dealing with people who paid after the fact, a trait only too common in con men. “Well, the only Anna that I know of is the daughter of a noble up in a town called Red Grove; nice girl, disappeared a couple years back. Big reward for whoever catches the kidnapper. So I told him and asked just why he was looking for her. He said that he was just a friend, a likely story. I, being so wise and considerate of my fellow humans, decided to point out that he wasn't human, and thereby saved countless lives from the celestia's savagery. He burned down the tavern with a candle though, and escaped. I received a reward for saving the town, and everyone went away happy.”

The man eyed her clenched fist hungrily. “Is that all?” she said, watching his face for a clue if he was lying.

“Yes, yes, now will you hand over that money?”

“All in good time. I only have one more question. Where is Red Grove?”

“Northeast of here, over Crueller Pass. When you reach the Sky Divide River, just follow the path north. You can't miss it. Now can I have the...”

“Certainly, sir. I thank you for your help.” She dropped the coins into his hand, more than his information merited, but she was feeling generous. Turning to face the northern edge of the town, she felt his hand on her shoulder holding her back.

“Ma'am,” he said, a tone of respect prompted by the extra coins in his voice, “May I ask you something?”

“Go ahead.”

“Why exactly are you interested in this? For the reward?”

“No, of course not.”

“Why then?”

“For the story, silly,” she said with a small smile, and headed down the dusty road north.


The snow fell thick and fast around the town she had come to know as home as Anna once again trudged through the elements to the top of the hill. She couldn't even see the moon tonight.

“Anna, are you daft or something? You can't go out there tonight, you'll catch your death of cold!” Marie's voice called out from the tavern door below. “I'm not dragging your frozen body out of the snow, do you hear me?”

“I'll be fine, Marie, I won't stay out for long.” Anna pulled the thin blue shawl around her as a whirlwind of snow gusted around her feet and continued up the hill. The wind seemed to blow stronger against her every minute, saying 'go back, go back.' On the very top of the hill, she hesitated, searching the sky for a glimmer of the moon. She closed her eyes for a moment, shielding them from the storm When she opened them again, surprise filled her, surprise that she could no longer see the tavern, the town, even the ground around her. All was a swirling vortex of white snowflakes and the darkness of night.

Anna shook the snow from her shawl and started back down, relying on her footprints to guide her in the right direction. Surprise filled her at what she saw at the bottom of the hill.

Nothing remained, nothing living, nothing dead, just snow, snow, and more snow. “Did I come down the wrong side?” she wondered aloud. She turned to go back up, but the hill disappeared into the swirling tumult, even her footprints had been erased.

“You should have listened to me,” said a voice, much like Marie's, but different somehow, filled with darkness and spite. “I told you not to go. I told you. Why didn't you listen?” The voice sounded like the edge of a jagged blade, cutting into her spirit with every word. “Now you'll never get home. Micheal won't find you, he'll never come for you.” A grinning facade of Marie's face emerged from the storm, leering, with one green eye and one brown.

“No...” she said breathlessly, backing away from the half-familiar face. “No, he'll find me, he will!”

“Stop lying to yourself, Anna, that celestia forgot about you long ago.” She turned to see her father, his face twisted and grotesque like Marie's, with jutting fangs and yellow, glaring eyes. “He'll never come.”

“No! He will!” She tried to run from the two, but the snow that blanketed the ground slowed her steps, as the monsters grew closer and closer. As they reached to touch her, she fell. The snow shot up, ropes of frozen crystals binding her arms and legs. The father-monster leaned over her, still grinning, his eyes filled with malice, hate and... what was it? Hunger.

“He never really cared. You knew it all along, but you didn't want to believe your head. You trusted your heart, and look where it got you. Celestia are evil, you know that, I taught you that, but you forgot it for his sake. And now he's abandoned you.”

“No, no...” she murmered feebly, as the snow pulled her further down, further into an airless world of darkness and pain.

“They're right.” A facade of Micheal stood over her with the others, with talons sprouting from his hands. “I don't care, I never did. And you believed me, foolish girl.”

She stared up at him, pleading, as her heart broke into a thousand tiny pieces. “Micheal... why?”

“Because you were a fool, that's why.” Even the traveler had joined the ranks of the demonic figures standing over her. “And now, you die.”

Micheal pulled out a blade and kneeled down, holding it to her throat. A wicked grin filled his countenance as he raised it high above his head.

“Oh, no you don't!” Marie's voice rang through the air, normal, the reluctant compassion and touch of sarcasm that always flourished there returning. “Stupid little sleepwalker, get off of her! Off, I say!”

Anna felt warmth returning to her body, driving out the cold and fear that filled her. She moved her hand to her face; it no longer was bound by the icy grasp of the nightmarish snow. She slowly realized that her eyes were closed. When she opened them and sat up, she saw Marie, standing next to her on the summer hilltop. The older woman shouted insults at something Anna couldn't quite make out and was hitting it repeatedly with a broom.

“Take that, you miniature imp, you misbegotten creature of the night! I'll teach you to mess with humans, you spike-headed little monkey, you...”

“Marie?” Anna asked. “What's going on?”

Marie trapped the creature under the broom and looked over at Anna, who was still rubbing sleep from her eyes. “Oh, good, you're awake,” she said, relief in her voice. “I thought I might have gotten here too late.”

“What's that thing?” Anna asked, pointing to what appeared to be a scaled monkey clawing at the broom, snarling and biting at whatever happened to be unfortunate enough to be near it.

“A sleepwalker,” said Marie, giving the thing another whack with the broom for good measure. “Deadly little creatures, inject venom into you then wait until the hallucinations cause enough stress to kill you. This one almost had you, lucky I came out here when I did.”

“Really?” Anna's eyes widened. “I've never seen anything like it...”

“Surprising. They're all over in the summer. The only thing I know of that can keep them away is celestia feathers, they can't stand the light they refract.” She chuckled. “Well, celestia feathers or a well-built door.” She whacked the thing again, and kicked it down the hill. “You'd better come inside. Where there's one, there's always five or six more waiting to help eat the kill.”

“R-right.” Anna shook her head, trying to clear her mind of the shadows left by the monsters. “So... That wasn't Micheal who said that?”

“Oh, dear. Of course not. And whatever you thought I said, it wasn't me either.” Marie guided her down the hill and into the inn. “Just don't sleep outside again.”

Anna went inside, but Marie lingered outside the door for a moment, staring at the moon.

“Micheal, wherever you are, hurry. She needs you.”


“Anna, eh?” The bearded man scratched his chin thoughtfully for a moment, leaning over the tankard of amber liquid resting on the bar in front of them. “Nope. Never heard of her.”

“No? Well, thank you anyway, sir.” Micheal walked away briskly through the darkened, smoky room, careful not to bump his wings into anything. “The best thing about bars,” he mumbled, “is it's too dark to notice much, and whatever people do notice is dismissed because they're drunk.” Glancing over to a red-faced man singing and dancing on a table, he added, “Really drunk.”

“Hey, you.” Micheal turned to face the speaker. “You lookin' for a girl named Anna?”

“Do you know her?” Hope lingered in Micheal's voice at this, the first lead in nearly a month.

“Brown hair, green eyes, about so tall?” The man gestured vaguely, his face hardly visible behind the cloud of smoke puffing from his cigar.

“Yes! Have you seen her?”

“Nice girl. Last time I saw her she was living out in the east somewhere, but I don't remember exactly where...” A crooked smile appeared through the heavy smoke. “Maybe a little cash would help refresh my memory?”

Micheal sighed. Another con man was the last person he wanted to see right now. But if this man had anything he could use...

“Alright.” Coins clinked into the man's smooth hand.

He counted them with a glance, then resumed talking. “I believe it was a little town called Red Grove, her father was someone important there. No other family to go looking for her when she disappeared. Heard she was kidnapped.”

“I know all that. Can you tell me any more?”

“Hey, she's just one girl. The only reason I know about her is because of the reward offered for her kidnapper. Thirty thousand gold coins is enough to make research worth my time.” The man turned suddenly, eying Micheal suspiciously. “And why, may I ask, are you looking for her?”

“I'm... a friend.”

“Really. What was a nice girl like her doing to make friends like you?” The man's voice began to rise, just enough to attract a few of the less-drunk occupants of the bar. “Winged friends,” he added pointedly.

“Keep your voice down, please. I'm not after the reward.”

“How do I know that, celestia?” he whispered, grinning. “If I happened to point out that you are what you are, this bar would riot. I would get a reward for protecting the public from the likes of you.”

“Sir, please. I don't want a fight.”

“That's too bad. I want the reward.” The man immediately raised his voice, almost yelling. “Get away from me, filthy celestia! We don't want your kind around here!”

The entire bar turned to face them simultaneously. The angry glares signaled to Micheal that it was time to run. He whirled towards the door, no longer taking care to hide his wings. Unfortunately, the doorway was already filled with angry drunks.

He raised his hands, pleading with the furious crowd. “All I want is to leave peacefully. There's no need for a fight.”

“Too late, celestia.” The man he had been talking to earlier, now stone drunk, leered at him, overconfident even though he could barely stand. “We're gonna destroy you now.” Raucous cries of agreement came from all over the bar, drunken voices filled with blind courage. Micheal adopted a fighting pose, knowing negotiation wouldn't get him out of this one.

The first one rushed him, teetering wildly. Micheal dodged and clotheslined him with practiced ease. The second attacker came from behind and got catapulted into the ceiling for his efforts. A third picked up a chair, swung, and missed. He hit the con man square in the face and knocked the table over. The rest rushed en masse.

Flying bodies and broken furniture filled the air for a few minutes, as Micheal ducked and dodged, causing his attackers to hit each other instead of him. They finally managed to get themselves sorted out, forcing him back into a corner.

A man with a shining blade approached menacingly. “You're gonna get it now, sky rat.”

“Really,” said Micheal with a confidence he didn't really feel. “Isn't there any way we could sort this out peacefully?”

“Quiet, you flying trash!” One of the more drunken, and heavily bruised, patrons of the bar forced his way to the front. “You don't talk!” He slammed his fist down on one of the few tables that remained standing to make his point clear. The table broke, finally giving in to the repeated blows it had taken, and the burning candle resting on it fell to the alcohol soaked floor.

The wooden tavern caught like the firetrap it was. Mass chaos ensued as the crowd ran for the door, forgetting Micheal completely in their efforts to escape the crawling flames. Micheal moved with them, blending into the panic. As soon as he made it into the open air, he hid his wings as best as he from the light from fire and stars above that could illuminate them like a flare. He moved as quickly as he could through the gathering crowd, away from the blaze that filled the night with smoke.

Sitting on a hill about a quarter mile away from the tavern, he put his head in his hands. Blood from a cut on his forehead trickled down his arms, but he didn't care. “That went well,” he remarked sarcastically to no one in particular.

He let his thoughts wander, from the night he lost Anna to his forgiveness of the man who had taken her. A thought struck him, momentary fear piercing the veil of tiredness that blanketed his mind. “The reward! Thirty thousand gold coins... on me. Well, that should make things interesting.”

He fell back onto the grass under the tree, stared up at the bright crescent moon, and slept.