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2/22/2014 21:04:47   
Eukara Vox
Legendary AdventureGuide!


Welcome to the L&L forum contest "Here's How We Roll" archive thread. Here is where all the entries for past contests will be held. Winners will be linked below.


Round 2 Winner: Kian
Link to Story: Pro Patria Mori

Round 3 Winner: Eukara Vox
Link to Story: Pain of Knowledge

Round 4 Winner: Kian
Link to Story: Le sacrifice d'un héros




Round 1:
Footprints
Keyhole
Magic Wand
Cane
Shooting Star
Flash Light
Handprint
Castle Tower
A Speech

Round 2 elements
Parachute
House
Shooting star
Mail
Hand
Fire
Balance Scales
Tall building
Action: Falling

Round 3 elements:
Flashlight
Lightning
Moon
Keyhole
Shadow
Rainbow
House
Action: Laughter
Action: Theft/Burglary

Round 4 elements:
Writer:
a Speech
An Abacus
Fire
An Alien
A Question
A Letter
A Semi-Satisfied Person
Action: Laughter
Action: Listening to Music with Headphones

Round 5 elements:
Elements:
House
Moon
The Cardinal Directions
Decorative water fountain
Lightning
An eye
Letter L
Action: Walking
Action: Eating

Round 6 Elements:
Action: Being blindfolded
Action: Digging a hole
Highrise building
Letter
Evil shadow
Water fountain
Magnet
Arrow
Book

Round 7 Elements:
Actions:
Right turn
dropping something

Elements:
arrow
planet
shooting star
pyramid
parachute
magnifying glass
Letter L

Round 8 Elements:
Actions:
Heavy crying
playing baseball

Elements:
Key
evil shadow
bumblebee
sleeping person
footprint
an interested person
keyhole


< Message edited by PyroPuppy -- 6/3/2016 18:01:32 >
AQ DF MQ AQW Epic  Post #: 1
4/28/2014 7:38:12   
james2834
Member
 

New Scrolls By James2834
My tools: Parachute, Hand, Balances scales, House, Mail, Tall building, Shooting Star, Fire
and the Action, Falling.
The hand could be the hero doing the Fire Dragon fist in a cut-scene when he is done spell crafting. It was not easy but I finally found a tall building which is located in the mqlesson map. I would add more but I am limited to three pages. All the other tools are already in the story.
The Fire Dragon fist will do major damage to dragon types and 30 scrolls is the limit.
The Shooting Star will do more damage the more spell power the player has. Also it will blind and stun for 15 seconds and 30 of them is the max.

1.Cut-scene The adventurer at his house.
“Slurp aah catnip tea sure hits the spot. Add a spoonful of sugar and wala. It is about time I settle down a bit from my adventures and brush up on my spell crafting. I am so tired now. Do the players care that I need sleep? No!? They think that they can do anything they want, imagine it being the other way around.”
“….. Hmm interesting the Fire Dragon fist and Shooting Star spell I never heard of this. Of course the spell symbols are not there and I like to know what they do. Curiosity kills the cat but that will have to wait because this tea is knocking this cat out. Well that can hold for tomorrow it is time for bed.”

2.Cut-scene The adventurer wakes up to check his or her mail.
“Junk, Junk, Junk, and Junk oh wait what is this? From Neveya the professor of spell crafting.
It says”, “Dear Adventurer, Professor Warlic and I have discovered how to create the powerful Fire Dragon fist and Shooting Star spell. Come see me at Dragon rune to go over the details.
Sincerely Neveya.”
“Oh yeah this looks to be promising lets do this but first gotta eat breakfast and wash up.”

3.Cut-scene The adventurer is at Dragon rune.
“Hey I got the letter about the Fire Dragon fist and Shooting Star so what do they do?”
Neveya speaks. “Well we don't know yet what they do but you won’t believe what happened. While I was spell crafting I heard a big boom outside. I went to investigate. I looked and I saw shooting star pieces. It was so beautiful. I cooled it off with the Frostbite spell and took it in. One day I was crafting more spells and put the Shooting Star pieces on one of my symbols and it flash a bright red and lit up the whole room a blood red. and then transformed in a new symbol. I could not translate it because it was new to me. I went to Warlic to see if he had any ideas.”
Warlic speaking. “I heard of this happening before. A wise wizard from Dwarf hold gave me a book that he made and recorded the events.” If you are interested in his book you can read it and then when done come back to me.” Adventurer speaks. "I feel bad for the player right now. I can just hear them saying; Really? I have to read this? Probably not worth it. Then he or she flash reads it. Then he or she has to come back because he or she forgot what he or she read and was not taking their time with it." ”Warlic and Neveya expression 0-0 0-0. Who!?” Adventurer speaks "Never mind. Lets begin.”

4. Quest one knowledge is the best gold in the universe.
Rewards none

5. The Blazing Shooting Star.

The Blazing Shooting Star by Murry the Great Wizard.
“As I was standing there at the Citadel with a sharp pain in my back and legs, not that the creators care if I walk once in a while.(It is suppose to be a joke not an insult of any kind I just felt bad for Great Grandpa Wizard just standing there patiently wait for the next adventurer.) A Blazing Red Shooting Star, came crashing down in the Citadel. I used an Ice spell to cool it off. I was wondering what this could be used for. I went to my magic library to find any information I could on this peculiar object. This particular book explained that this star comes crashing down once every 2000 years from the cosmos. When it is use for spell crafting it will transform into a symbol that says,” “Gift from the cosmos.” “This symbol is really special. In order to make the spell for the Shooting Star and Fire Dragon fist, You will have to go into space and collect Star pieces, and then ask the Red Dragon of the Lair to use it’s fiery breath to heat it and melt it into ink then use a balance scale to balance out the precise amount of liquid. The numbers should both equal 110 and last write. The end."

6. When quest is complete the adventurer goes to Warlic. Then a cut-scene appears

Adventurer speaks.
“Yeah so I had carefully read what I have to do. Thought Bubble appears in the air, I hope the player knows what to do because I don’t want to back track…. There is one problem, how are we going to get into space?”

Warlic speaks
“Well why not ask our buddy Cysero to make a spaceship?”

Adventurer speaks
“Oh no not him well I have no choice after all he has help me with my adventures so let do this then.”

Warlic speaks
“Meet him at Battle on at his shop and he will so the rest.”

7. Cut-scene Cysero’s Forge
Cysero speaks
“So you need a spaceship huh? Well no problems I can build one but I need you to ask Odessa if she has a blue print."

Adventurer speaks.
"No problems I can do that."

Quest Ask Odessa for a blue print /join mqlesson
rewards blue print.

“So I will use this growth potion I got from Alina and presto done. To be on the safe side take this parachute Just in case bro, I can guarantee your safety.”

Adventurer speak
"……. you got a point, it is similar mechquest ship but you never know.. Well I am off. To get those Star pieces. Blast off.”

11. This should be a mini game where he or she has to collect 200 star pieces without crashing in to asteroids they get three strikes and it is game over.

12.Cut-scene
“Oh my gentle Jesus, Huston we are falling. You expect something else did you? This ship is out of control and it is shrinking, time for the parachute. Geronimo, tamanho, Pocahontas. Yeah I stole this pun from Aladeen and the djinn of the lamp so there. lol”
Adventurer automatically goes to the lair.

13. The player go to Dragon rune automatically and meets Neveya.
Cut-scene

Neveya speaks
“Wow look at that, you got plenty so now you have to balance the weight with the scale and then you have to get it just right.”

Adventurer speaks
“Yeah according to the book I read, thought bubble, if the player remembered it has to be 110. I met the Red Dragon so we are ready to go.”

14. Now another mini game. This game should be similar to one in the Temple of Hope in Adventure Quest and I think you guys can handle that.

15.Cut-scene
“Can’t wait to see what happens.”
Flash, the room turns a bright red and then the symbol appears. Gift of the cosmos.

16. Last we move on to the spell crafting. The adventurer can now buy cosmic ink to write the spells.
For the Fire Dragon fist since it uses the power of the dragon fire. We will use these symbols 5 in total: A solid force, the fire within, natural destruction and decomposition, energies that strike the sky and the Gift of the cosmos, which should be a star symbol with a fire symbol
For the shooting star we will use 6 symbols: A solid force, the moon’s cool comfort yet striking presence, the embodiment of justice and righteous power, all that surrounds, those that are linked together, and gift of the cosmos.



< Message edited by james2834 -- 5/1/2014 18:10:11 >
Post #: 2
4/30/2014 0:07:44   
james2834
Member
 

If my sand dragon of time doesn't make it as a new map release, then I will edit what the adventurer said about his fight against Drakar. Also I was looking for more mistakes in my typing and made more changes sorry about that. I want to make sure it is perfect with no mistakes so I will be checking again for more mistakes.

< Message edited by james2834 -- 4/30/2014 0:36:25 >
Post #: 3
5/1/2014 1:38:41   
salene
Member

The house stood solitary on the large hill, illuminated only by the stars that shot across the sky like bullets behind it. The house was old, yet still gave a homely feeling to all who entered it. The night was cold and an old man and his grandson sat on the porch of the house, each lost in their thoughts. The little boy looked up at his grandpa and with a small frown asked in a little voice “Grandpa……”. “Yes my son?” the older man said back, his eyes closed. “One day, when I am big and grown, will I be able to see the stars. Fly high into the night, spiraling and glowing like the small army men with their parachutes in my books?” As the boy said these words, his eyes lit up with wonder. The old man chuckled at his grandson’s unbridled enthusiasm. “Dreams are not meant to be kept inside. If you believe it, then so do I.” They passed on in compatible silence for a while longer, until once more the little boy spoke. “If dreams come true, then why has my father not come back from London yet?” The grandpa seemed to become more solemn at his grandson’s words. “Your father is a hardworking man. He shall return when he does. Until then, I believe it is time for you and me to go to bed. We have a busy day tomorrow!” With that, the old man scooped up the boy, laughing and kicking, and took him to bed. About an hour after they had gone inside, a brilliant light lit up the sky, and with a bang a large star landed, to go un noticed until the morning.
The next day was cold, so as Miva, who the grandson was known as, woke from bed he made sure to put on his best layers. Triple buttoning his coat, tying his shoe laces like little bows as his mother had taught him, and finally slipping his warm fur cap atop his small head. After he was fully prepared to leave, he went to their small canary mailbox that lay beside the road leading into their house. He leafed through it quickly, eager to go to the London tower to see his father. His mail was relatively unexciting, a letter from grandma, a travel brochure to a small beach island of the coast of some slightly larger island, a few coupons, and finally, a sealed letter addressed to his grandfather. He picked that letter up with extra care and caution, as it was obviously of extreme importance. He quickly closed the mailbox, and then ran back to the warmth of their small cottage atop Beachers hill. The door creaked slightly as he entered, and Miva seized up, hoping he had not disturbed his grandfather. It was of great surprise to him when he noticed his grandfather lounging in the kitchen. Mive dropped the mail onto the wooden table. His grandfather took out a small knife and opened it, his face contorting with what seemed confusion and anguish at the same time. “We head to the city right now. No questions.”

Jaqual, the boy’s grandfather, ran to the backyard, fetching a large shovel as he went. Miva watched him seize a large rock, and enfold it in a large velvet casing. He used the shovel to clear it free from what seemed a large pile of earth and leaves. He then quickly hurried back inside, loading Miva, as well as the rock into the back seat of his old fashioned carriage. They rode off at a breakneck pace, heading directly for the looming towers of London. No one spoke during the car ride. Miva sensed that for some reason Jaqual’s happiness from the night before had vanished, replaced by some sense of responsibility. So he chose not to say a word, and instead sat quietly staring at the large simmering rock next to him.

When they finally reached the tower, it was roughly midafternoon, and the streets bustled with activity. People shoved each other, like animals. Miva tried to steer clear of such people, but it was difficult to do when carrying a 20 pound piece of rock. The tower was a large beige and brown building, seemingly made from a rough brick or stone. It had been used as a base for the London high astronomer’s guild for quite some time. Jaqual and Miva quickly hurried through the lower levels, finally stopping at a large room filled with rocks similar to the one in their possession. Jaqual set the rock down, and instructed Miva to sit, wait, and not touch anything. Miva still didn’t say a word, sensing the gravity of the situation. So he sat, on a small bench carved from oak. He heard shouts and bangs from above, but still he sat, balancing from one leg to the other. He thought about his lovely little house, and the shooting stars that would occasionally fall. He thought of his father, who would catch said stars, and stop bad people from using them to make bad wishes, most of all though, Miva wished to be with his father. No ulterior agendas. No secret missions, just a boy and his father, together and happy. Suddenly, his stomach dropped, and he experienced the sensation of falling, very, very slowly. The room around him seemed to stretch. He slapped himself. “How could I be so dumb?” He thought to himself. I am in a room full of wish stones! Of course this would happen. The room jerked with a sudden finality, and all consciousness was quelled. He looked around, his head pounding, his legs aching, and his legs sore. Had his wish come true? For a moment, all was quite. Then, a voice clear and piercing called out “Miva”. Miva turned, desperately searching for the form of his father. When he finally saw him, illuminated by a nonexistent light source, he choked up a little. “Father, I have made a terrible mistake. Can you fix it? Cane we fix it?” His father just shook his head and laughed, “There is nothing to fix Miva. We are together now, the world around matters not. All that matters is you and I. Eternally together.” Miva shook his head, slowly backing away. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. It couldn’t, it just couldn’t. This was not the perfect reality he had envisioned. This was a warped reality. And it was definitely somewhere he didn’t want to be. He willed all his might together, and said a simple 5 words. “I want to go home.”

The world spun once more. This time though, fire illuminated his vision, blocking everything out. The world grew hazy. His hands and feet seemed miles off, in some faraway place. Suddenly he was back, sitting on the small bench. His breath came in gasps, and he realized that he found it hard to breathe. He told himself to calm down, and he began to slowly count to three. The scales of time had heeded his wishes, a rare commodity in itself. Unfortunately, they had left him a reminder. Burned upon his hand in black ink was a small scale, one side balancing a pomegranate, the other a small moth. It was the sign of a wish gone wrong, a sign of failure. At that exact moment, fate decided to humiliate Miva once more. Miva’s grandfather, and Miva’s father entered the room bickering. They fell silent when they noticed Miva, and the imprint on his hand. “Son… What did you do?” “I am sorry dad, it was wish gone wrong, I didn’t mean it, I swear please…” “No, son… This is amazing. No one as young as you has ever successfully jumped before. The scales of balance and time usually do not allow it.” Miva was taken aback. “But…” Miva was interrupted by his father grabbing his hand and leading him away. “The time for discussion can be had later, now, let us discover and learn the way of the stars. Together.” Miva’s heart lit up, as he was lead forward through the dark passageway towards his fathers office.


By Salene

(Hope you like it. It took me a good hour to write :D)
AQ DF AQW  Post #: 4
5/12/2014 11:34:23   
Arthur
How We Roll Winner
Dec14


Whispers


-A Darker Than Black Fanfic-




The interiors of the dingy apartment betrayed not a trace of how its occupant lived, nor of his nightly ventures into the streets of Tokyo as a completely different person, albeit under a mask. The sound of approaching footsteps on the stairs leading to the upper floor of the two-storeyed building caused the young man sitting in his room to look away from the window and towards the door. The footsteps approached closer and stopped outside his door. The young man started to stand up, all the while keeping his eyes on the door but paused halfway when the all-too-familiar voice of the old landlady broke the silence.

“Good Morning, Li,” she started, her voice trembling at the utterance of every letter. “You’ve got mail.”

The man stayed in his pose for a couple of minutes before letting out a sigh of relief and standing up.

“Please slide it under the door.”

A letter slid under the door into the room and the man picked it up saying “thank you” as he did. As the old lady walked away, the man could hear her mumbling to herself. While most of what she said was inaudible, he could clearly here “such a good boy” being uttered a number of times. A smile involuntarily appeared on his otherwise stoic face.

The letter was addressed to Li Shenshun which was, but a harmless alias under which the young man had kept his original identity hidden. The letter further contained a foolscap sheet with writing on it and accompanying it were a number of photos.

The man unfolded the white foolscap sheet and started reading.

Hei,’ for that was his name, or rather, code-name under which he had operated ten years ago and continued to do so even now. ‘Last night, as I and Yin were spying on the MI-6 Headquarter in light of the recent activities in the region, we managed to spot a white car which drove around the corner and stopped at the building’s main entrance. November 11 personally walked out to receive the “guest”, pictured in the photos I have packed in this letter. Upon closer inspection, I realised that I had seen the man’s face somewhere before. Hei, what I tell you now might be known information to you but if it is, by any means unknown, then know this. The game is bigger than we thought.

This man is
Edward Orsborough, and I’ve had the “honour” of working under him during my days as a police officer. He was temporarily posted as the Chief Inspector of my region before resigning after just one year.

I knew something was off about this whole affair, that’s when I dug deeper and found out that he is the Founder of a rogue organisation known as Balance working alongside the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6). Balance is filled with rogue agents all of whom, fortunately, are normal humans. How do I know that? I’ve checked their civilian profiles and cross-checked them with our own reports on Contractors. None of them add up.

Now, if Edward is here, then he can’t be up to anything good. I want you to check him out tonight. He is staying at the Hotel Ryunosuke Grand. Find him and if need be, eliminate him.’

This was unmistakably Hei's colleague and the leader of Syndicate, Huang’s handwriting. Hei recognised it on account of having seen it on numerous occasions.

Hei folded the foolscap neatly and tore it apart piece by piece. He then picked up the photos and looked at them. The pictures were of a fat, stubby man getting out of a white car. He was bald and sported a handlebar moustache. He wore a white coat and had a strange look on his face, something that Hei couldn't explain but which irked him nonetheless. After a short glance, he tore apart the photos and threw them away. As he picked up the empty envelope, something small dropped out of it.

“Hm…?” Hei started before bending down to get it.

It was a small, white square-ish piece of paper and on it was a strange diagram. It was the logo of a set of Balancing Scales encircled by a red circle. Under the diagram was written in the very same handwriting, “Balance”.

Hei’s expression turned serious as he crumpled the sheet and grabbing his green jacket, walked out of the room.




The Hotel Ryunosuke Grand,
Night Time



The Hotel Ryunosuke Grand was an extremely tall building, perhaps the only other building to dominate the city’s skyline other than the humongous Hell’s Gate that was visible from every part of Tokyo. A shadow-esque figure alighted on the roof of the building retracting his steel wire as he did. The figure wore a black trench-coat with the collars turned up to cover the neck. His hands were gloved. A white mask with a grin painted on it hid his face leaving only his jet-black hair to fly in the breeze. This is what Hei truly was. An assassin, a Black Reaper.

“The door to the roof is locked. How did you get up here?”

Another man presently made his presence known by walking out from behind the water cooler. He was bald and had a blonde handlebar moustache. He also wore a white coat on top of a pink shirt and tie. On his neck,

“I should be asking you that…” Hei shot back. “…Edward.”

“Well, since you seem to know who I am, you must also know what I am.” Edward grinned pulling back his sleeves. On his right sleeve, Hei noticed, was that very same logo of the balancing scales within a circle, the symbol of Balance. He further noticed that what was visible of his right hand was blackened, charred.

As Hei looked on, Edward’s eyes were taken over by a red glow even as a blue aura surrounded his body. The Lancelopt Synchrotron Radiation.

This man was a Contractor, a person who has gained uncanny abilities at the cost of his emotions. Hei knew, for he too was one.

Edward disappeared from his location at the blink of an eye only to reappear right behind Hei. Hei however, was faster. His knife, which he had secured in his right sleeve until now sliced Edward’s tie neatly in half with almost twice the speed as Edward had teleported behind him. Edward backed away at the last moment laughing out loudly as he did.

“Let’s go, boy.”




Hei was tired. For the first time in so many years, his mind had stopped working. His legs felt weak and his arms were hurting on account of the constant swinging and slashing. Sweat streamed down his forehead dripping down his chin and his breathing became heavier by the minute. Nonetheless, his opponent seemed as untiring as ever and all because of his almighty ability.

“The Black Reaper…” Edward mocked, “The Masked Man…what a joke.”

When was the last time I felt this helpless, Hei thought to himself beneath his mask, which had now started to crack. I don’t remember. I can’t remember.

He straightened up and readjusted his mask, then tugged at the collar of his bullet-proof trench coat pulling it closer to his chin. Digging his heels into the concrete floor, he poised himself and charged. His knife glinted in the moonlight and the grin painted on his mask seemed all the more malicious as for the third time this night, he rushed at his neatly dressed opponent.

Edward’s eyes were overcome by that same red glow followed by the tell-tale aura. He was going to teleport and if he did, Hei would lose him once again.

“No.” He whispered as he broke into an almighty dive, his dagger by his side and his free left hand extended forward.

“No.”

Edward once again disappeared from his spot seconds before Hei’s gloved hand passed the very spot where the man’s face had been. Reappearing behind the diving Hei, the man broke out into a hearty laugh, having succeeded once again in fooling the legendary Black Reaper.


Unfortunately for the celebrating man, it wasn’t over yet. Hei twisted in the air and with a clean sweep of his right hand, launched his knife at his unsuspecting opponent who was too busy standing there laughing with his back towards Hei. The knife whistled through the air and lodged itself into the back of the man’s skull inducing a moan out of him.

Hei closed his eyes in exhaustion as he passed over the edge of the roof and started to fall.

“Hei…”

________________________________________

10 years ago
South America


Hei”, a soft whisper reached his ears as he crouched in the tall grassy fields, eyes narrowed in concentration as he looked out at the house in front of him.

Hei was a young boy, but he was unlike other boys of his age. He was strong, fast, and agile. He had already learnt the art of silent killing, having served with The Syndicate for so many years. Furthermore, he had already earned the title of The Black Reaper long before he had inherited his Contractor powers of Molecular Manipulation from his sister, Bai who at present was lying in the grass next to him in the afternoon sun. Their black skin-tight uniforms were designed in such a manner as to keep the heat away and prevent them from perspiring.

Hei, listen to me,” Bai whispered once again. “I am talking to you.”

Hei, paying no heed to his sister’s calls continued to peer at the house through his binoculars. He would have carried on with this stubborn attitude of his had his sister not done what she did next.

She lightly touched the back of his hand with a sigh of exasperation.

“Ah…” Hei jumped away to the side peeling his eyes away from the binocular lens just in time to see the bluish glow fading from his sister. “Why did you do that?”

Bai was expressionless. Contractors felt no emotions and they further possessed an immensely rational system of thinking.

Why did you come along?” Bai questioned him in her light, whispery tone. “I needed Amber to be by my side today.

Hei looked away wordlessly, his face possessed by that sour expression that had ever so frequently been present there.

“I…” he started but a crackling sound in both of their transponders caused them to cringe in pain.

It was Amber trying to get through to them.

Amber, go ahead.” Bai placed a finger on her transponder.

Guys, the House you are now going to infiltrate is the exact location where the Contractor “Char”, Messier Code: ZX-244 was last spotted 30 minutes ago. Be advised, he is extremely dangerous and is not to be taken lightly. His ability involves being able to set fire to objects on sight. Eliminate him.

We got it, Amber.” Bai spoke into the transponder.

And guys, there’s one more thing. The Gate has started to show some highly erratic activity and you are closer to the Gate than is allowed. Please be back within 30 minutes. If you have to abort your mission, then do it. Good Luck.

Amber was their contact for this mission and she was an immensely strong Contractor. Her contractor ability, Chronokinesis, made her a force to be reckoned with.

Hei, come on. We have a tight window.” Bai started to stand up. Hei nodded, following suit.

The siblings quietly made their way to the house and positioned themselves by the door, one on each side. Hei drew his knife from his sheath and Bai drew the conducting cord which she attached to the back of her knife in order to serve as a complete ranged conducting system which she could use in battle to channel her ability through. Her ability, Molecular Manipulation allowed her to influence objects at a subatomic level. In effect, she could also cause the flow of electrons which resulted in the generation of electricity, electricity of the order of mega-volts which was strong enough to obliterate grown men. Hence, her curious choice of weaponry.

Hei nodded to his sister who nodded back. Almost instantly, brother and sister kicked the door open and rushed into what was the living room of the house.

What they saw in there would have made even the strongest of military men shake and flee from the spot for there in that living room was hell itself. Charred corpses lay in heaps all over the floor; one still wore his military uniform most of which was burnt beyond recognition. A smoky smell hung all over the room and burnt at the siblings’ nostrils causing them to shield their noses with their forearms.

“Welcome, newcomers.” A voice boomed from amidst the bodies. “Are you here to take me away?”

Right in front of Hei’s eyes, one of the bodies rose up from amidst all the others and turned to face them. He had the symbol of balancing scales tattooed on his chest and like the men he had killed, his flesh too was charred. He grabbed a fur coat that hung from the back of a sofa and draped it around his shoulders enjoying its soft feel thoroughly. The man was bald and on his head was tattooed a tiger. His facial features were not visible on account of all the burns he had suffered. His upper body was naked and he wore leather trousers and heavy boots for lower clothing.

Even as all this happened, Bai shifted to her right slowly edging towards the madman. Hei, on the other hand was slow on the recovery. He moved to his left in order to secure a trap. Amber was right when she said that the man was dangerous. One thing was obvious; this man was no stranger to the art of killing.

Hei, in his bid to get close to the man forgot to mind his surroundings and accidentally tripped on a body crashing to the wooden floor. His knife, however, remained in his tight grip.

The contractor’s eyes flew open and he lowered his sight to look at Hei. Hei saw the wild look in his eyes that he knew too well could’ve belonged only to an apex predator that regales upon having located its helpless prey.

“Found you.” He grinned wide as that familiar bluish glow surrounded his body and his eyes were taken by that red glow.

Hei’s eyes widened as he sensed what all those other people must have sensed before they too were burnt alive. Fear took him. I’ll die, he thought.

Hei, run…!” Bai screamed from across the room as a whistling sound, followed by a whizzing sound filled the air in the room.

A knife hilt was sticking out of the man’s right hand which too had balancing scales tattooed on the wrist, further; a cord attached to the hilt of the knife was in Bai’s hands. Hei smiled knowingly as he started to stand up.

An immense amount of electricity passed through the madman’s body causing him to convulse violently and scream in agony. Bai continued to use her ability for a full half minute before she stopped and the man dropped heavily to the floor, dead. It was all over.

Almost immediately, Bai’s frail body keeled over and fell, not onto the floor, but in his brother’s waiting arms. She had just used her contractor ability and as was the rule for all contractors, after using their abilities, they must pay their remuneration for every contractor has one. Sleeping, this was Bai’s.

Rest now.” Hei whispered as he adjusted Bai’s sleeping body in his arms. He tugged at the knife hilt still sticking out of Char’s right hand and it came off with the hand causing Hei to crinkle his nose in disgust.

The transponder in Hei’s ear crackled once again and Amber’s familiar voice started.

“Hei, are you there? Listen, the Heaven’s Gate is disappearing and you need to get out of there now…! I’ve sent a team to extract you two. Meet up outside the house. And erase everything.”

“Alright. I am on my way.” Hei replied.

Outside the house, Hei saw a number of parachutes lining the sky slowly descending on their location. The team Amber had promised. Hei, holding Bai in her arms headed for the jeep which had also been para-dropped at their location. The young boy handed the wire with the hand on it to a blonde para-trooper who approached him and moved for the jeep. He laid Bai at the back of the jeep and turned to look at the house one last time.

The extraction team set fire to the House in order to destroy every trace of the encounter. How ironic, Hei thought to himself.

“Kid, you ready?” The driver asked from his place.

“Yeah… yeah.” Hei answered back absent-mindedly as he climbed into the navigator's seat.

All of a sudden, a low humming sound filled the air gradually increasing to a buzzing.

“Is that the engine?” Hei enquired of the driver.

“No, it’s definitely not the engine.” The driver replied, confused.

Hei began to speak but he was shortly interrupted by a number of shouts from behind him.

He turned in his seat and saw in the distance, the Heaven’s Gate. It was nothing more than a blinding white light and it was growing by the minute. Hei, at once remembered Amber’s warning and his heart beat all the more faster. The Gate is disappearing.

“Oh my god.” Hei whispered.

He climbed out of the jeep and ran towards the back. Bai was starting to wake up but there was no time so Hei heaved her onto his back and ran as fast as he could towards their base camp. Sweat formed at his brow and his chest felt like it would explode any minute. His breathing grew heavier and fear started to cloud his senses so that his head felt dizzy with the heat from the afternoon sun.

The buzzing had increased to a booming and was deafening to some extent, so much so that Hei could not hear his own breathing, nor could he hear Bai’s whispers.

Help, he thought. Help.

He thought he heard the faint crackling of the transponder followed by Amber’s voice but that could just have been his imagination running wild.

Hei…” she spoke from the other side of the transponder. “Hei…”

A massive explosion ended everything as white light filled the sky. Hei closed his eyes.

________________________________________

“His hand…!!” Hei jerked up.

He was lying on the kids’ slide in the park and it was night-time.

“What about it?” Huang’s gruff voice came from behind him.

Turning, Hei spotted the short-heighted man sitting at the park bench, his face obscured by a newspaper. Yin sat next to him, as rigid and expressionless as ever. Dolls had behaviour similar to Contractors with the exception of fighting ability. They were practically robots in human skin, so to speak.

“I’ve seen it before.” Hei relaxed and continued. “10 years ago near the Heaven’s Gate-”

“Relax, kid.” Huang cut in. “You’ve been hanging off the side of a building for the last three hours. That wire of yours saved you. Go home.”

“Wait. What about Edward?”

“He’s dead. We saw his star fall. I moved his body.”

As if to confirm Huang’s statement, a couple walked by, talking excitedly,

“What a lovely sight, that shooting star…!” The man said.

The lady smiled and nodded as they walked away deep in their talks.

Hei gazed blankly at the night sky for some time before he slid down and taking off his black coat, walked away.

DF MQ AQW  Post #: 5
5/12/2014 11:57:16   
Kian
Creative!


Pro patria mori


by Kian





Since this is the creative section, I decided to write my story as a poem. I hope you all enjoy it!



Military service, oh what a joy
Conscripted by the nation, it’s time to deploy

At nightfall we left, and at nightfall we dropped
Filled with adrenaline, we couldn’t be stopped

But my parachute was broken, panic attack
My comrades all noticed, yes they had my back

Private Markus attached to me, helped me land safe
No time for kind words, the enemy starts to strafe

We searched for some cover, in a remote house
The bullets flew past me, oh my poor spouse

Left her alone with my unborn child
Since that very day not once have I smiled

We fought back bravely and the enemy ceazed fire
I told her I was safe, oh I’m such a liar

But it was for the best, that she didn’t know
To tell her I joined the army would’ve been such a blow

I walked through the house and saw a picture frame
A little boy was smiling, oh what a shame

He is most likely dead now, for war shows no mercy
As I tilted the photo, I read the name ‘Percy’

Then I went outside to join my brave brothers
They were all so silent, for they’ve seen many slaughters

So we all sat in silence, looking at the lit sky
If only we were there, unworried, up high

A shooting star flew past us, time to make a wish
To be once with my family before I perish

I hope it ends fast, and I hope it ends clean
I really don’t want it to end vile and obscene

And after these thoughts, a bombardment took place
I saw my brave brothers, they all were ablaze

What popped to my mind was that poor young boy Percy
Did he suffer the same fate or was he shown mercy

Questions that don’t matter as the answers are in vain
I hope he or my family suffered no great pain

The heat scorched my skin, and it made me pass out
I hardly could think of my brothers I cared about

Oh fire, oh fire, what are you doing
Do you hate me that much or am I just assuming

I’m not ready to leave yet, my wife counts on me
As obvious as it is, it was hard to see

For I thought I would die, panic attack
Gotta keep my head high and get back on the track

As I woke up, I saw Markus’ face
He was doing just fine and was shown grace

He took my hand and he held it real tight
As odd as it may sound, it felt quite alright

He pulled me up quick, and he told with grief
That only we survived, I heard beyond belief

Why us, why us, I shouted to the sky
If only it was here and we were up high

We talked and we walked until he discovers
We were still holding hands like two caring lovers

We managed for the first time to pull off a laugh
We looked right above us and saw a white dove

Peace at last, or just a fake omen
Either way it doesn’t matter, it reminded me of home and

Of that boy Percy, I hope he’s alright
That he got into safety, and not in a fight

We now approached our target, the city’s High Tower
Our objective is to enter it and restore power

It’s a very huge building, the highest in town
If it were to have a title, it’d surely wear a crown

Markus and I , we climbed to the peak
I hardly made it up there, for I was so weak

On the rooftop was hiding, a shy little mail
I picked it up slowly, still feeling quite frail

When I read was written, my faced turned white
And Markus then noticed I wasn’t alright

It mentioned a mole in our task force
I then turned around to Markus of course

Felt the concrete, smacked down to the ground
Aside me a balance scale with blood I found

He hit me with an object nearest to him
As I looked above, he laughed with vim

“You traitor!” I shouted but it was too late
My good friend became an enemy of the state

I passed out and drifted alongside my thoughts
His betrayal has got me tied up in knots

As I finally woke up, I noticed I was falling
For I was up high, there was no point in calling

A person for aid, an angel to rescue
Powerless I felt, nothing remains to do

As I dashed down the tower, I closed my eyes
My death was certain, no need for cries

In seconds from now, I will lose my life
But no need for sorrow, I will rejoin my wife


< Message edited by Kian -- 6/1/2014 6:08:06 >
AQ DF MQ  Post #: 6
5/29/2014 16:43:58   
Crystal Sunshyne
Member
 

Warrior Poetess

Dear Crystal, Dazzling Goddess of Fire and Lovely Guardian of Light,
You have my deepest gratitude for your protection and guidance. It is your strength and optimism that has given me the courage to pursue my dreams; tonight I take the final test to become a warrior poet, and I owe all of my success to you. Thank you, and may your light continue to bless all the people of your kingdom, including your most devoted admirer,
Prince Coryan

My dearest Prince Coryan of the Northern Kingdom,
I wish you the best of luck. May you fight with the courage of the fiercest fire and write as brightly as the most illuminating light. You will make a fine warrior poet.
Love,
Crystal


As the goddess carefully folded her reply and tucked it inside a tiny crystal envelope, a sparkle of light reflected in the fountain caught her eye. She looked out through the window and noticed an intensely bright shooting star falling through the sky. At first she paused to watch it because of its beauty, but after a moment, when the meteor grew nearer and brighter still, she began to fear that its trajectory was heading straight toward her and her Library of Souls. Crystal backed away from the window just before the burst of blinding light shattered through it and crashed into her fountain. Water sloshed onto the floor to join the shards of broken glass and the scattered mountain of fountain letters from her people. And then a ripple resounded through time and space as the water portal built only for teleporting small objects such as letters between realms collapsed under the weight of the shooting star and pulled Crystal through it. The letter that had remained in her hand unmailed spiralled away into the unknown and vanished from existence. And, perhaps, so might she.

Where am I? she wondered, looking around at the mist that surrounded her. And what was--?

Crystal peered at the impenetrable mist more intently.

Oh no.

The mist swirled ominously with shadows that hungered for the light of souls.

No no no no no please let this not be the Esle Mist. Please let me not be in the Sylen Sea, the darkest place outside my realm where I no longer have the powers of a goddess. Please let these not be the shadows that throw each person they consume into the face of her own worst fears.

The darkness opened wide its mouth, displaying deadly sharp teeth and inescapable jaws.

Sylen please don’t let your darkness hurt me. If I have fears, I swear by the light that I don’t want to face them…

The misty shadows swallowed Crystal whole.

*~*~*
Falling frozen fragments of February frost,
In icy isolation each was lost.
Gusts of wind whirled, and together they were tossed;
How could a single ice crystal in this crowded cloud feel alone?
The storm howled as an ice statue on a skyscraper stirred,
Inching to the roof’s edge, arms spread like a bird’s
Not quite wings not quite capable of holding her.
Gasping from the road below, Crystal cried, “Cry, don’t—”

The icy figure jumped irrevocably down;
One more Ice Crystal fell from the clouds.

Billowing with wind, her parachute, filling,
Ripped away in the ferocity of the storm; the fabric broken,
Ice Crystal was suddenly uncontrollably falling.
Not quite strong enough arms caught her, then dropped her again,
Grasping to break her fall, but failing.

Pieces of Ice Crystal smashed onto the hard concrete;
Everything vanished in half a broken heartbeat.
A wave of darkness as heavy as the universe slammed down,
Crashed through the world and crushed Crystal to the ground
Except the floor, too, existed no more.

Time froze and space floated, both meaningless;
Only regret remained, and morbid emptiness.

With infinite, intimate, intricate love and skill—
Her every scattered, shattered shard mattered still—
A careful Crystal pieced Ice Crystal, post-escape,
Together again with triple-sided purple duct tape.

“Here,” said Crystal “let me give you a hand,”
Offering Ice Crystal her last broken piece.
“Let me be!” Ice screamed, “Let me please die in peace!
Don’t believe that you know me, that you understand!”
She grabbed the broken fist and threw it at Crystal’s face.

“You ugly, stupid, lazy, irresponsible, worthless girl!
Oh how I hate you! I wish you would disappear!
Unlovable monster, you don’t deserve to be here!”
Reeling from the blows, Crystal’s senses awhirl…

Her whole life collapsing, she took Ice in her arms;
“Even though it hurts, I promise you will be alright.”
And she handed Ice a heartful of light conjured by her fiery charms.
“Really?” asked Ice, disbelieving in belief so warm.
Then all but the purple duct tape melted in a pool of light.

*~*~*

“Are you alright?”

Crystal blinked at the sudden, discontinuous clarity. The darkness and the mist were gone, and she lay in a fountain filled with frozen solid ice. “I…don’t…know,” she managed to say through blue lips and chattering teeth. “Where am I?”

“The gardens at the Institute InVerse. I’m Rhisc. Here, let me give you a hand.”

Crystal flinched at her last memory of that phrase, but she took Rhisc’s hand and let him help pull her out of the nearly inescapable grip of the ice. When she was finally free, she sat on the edge of the fountain, trying to still her uncontrollable shivers and the tears crystallizing on her eyelashes. Crystal reached for her inner flame to warm herself, but only a few weak, stuttering sparks fizzled through her as though perhaps she had no fire left; she hugged her knees and continued shaking.

Then the merciful warmth of a jacket draped around her shoulders; she pulled it tighter, eyes closed and ears listening as Rhisc sat down beside her. “Seriously, are you alright?” Rhisc asked again. “You look frozen. You should let me bring you inside where it’s warmer.” When she did not reply, he added, “Do you think this fountain still works? I sent a letter to the goddess and I was hoping to check if she had answered yet… It’s weird that it froze so suddenly like that; do you know what happened to it?”

She stayed silent, barely clinging to a thread of light that kept her from drowning in internal darkness.

“It’s ok. I’m sure it will work again when it melts,” he went on. “And Crystal’s statue looks pretty with the surrounding ice. I mean, she’s always beautiful, and it’s always peaceful here; no matter how scared I think I am of life, her light always gives me strength.”

“You really think she is worth believing in?” asked Crystal. She looked up at him now, a trace of hope in her eyes, but then she glanced at the statue as well and it reminded her too much of Ice Crystal. She shivered.

“Of course,” said Rhisc. “Don’t you?”

“I don’t know if I believe in anything anymore…” What would he think if he knew that the goddess who personifies his strength is this weak girl beside him? “Except maybe the good nature of people like Prince Coryan. It is good to be able to trust that our kingdom will be in good hands. Ooh did you hear that he secretly came to study at the Institute InVerse, following his dream to become a warrior poet even though his father disapproved? Have you seen him here?”

Rhisc’s expression revealed nothing. “He may be well liked, but he has yet to inherit the responsibility of the kingdom; I hope that when he does, on some distant future day, he will make as good a king as you believe.”

“I am sure he will.”

She read something unreadable in his eyes.

“You never told me your name,” he remarked.

“It’s… Tess,” she lied.

“It is enchanting to meet you, Tess,” he said. “But you are still shivering. Master InVerse’s house is not far; I’m sure he would hate to have you freeze on his campus without coming inside to warm up by his fire and say hello. He does have the reputation of being somewhat intimidating sometimes, but he really is kind and hospitable; trust me.”

So they walked down the path through the gorgeous gardens that Crystal was too cold to enjoy, and Rhisc knocked at the door of a welcomingly warm wooden house. It was a very modest building in comparison to the castle-like structure close by that she assumed was the school.

Master InVerse opened the door to his cozy, book-filled abode, and when he let them inside Crystal would have commented about how delightful it looked had the darkness behind her eyes not been so blinding that the only detail she was able to fully take in was the fireplace. All other auditory and visual details blurred around the edges of the crackle and sparkle of flames; she longed for their light so desperately that she had to suppress the urge to take the fire in her hands and swallow it. Warming up by sitting in the glowing aura of the fireplace felt like being expected to quench dehydration by walking through a cloud, but consuming the flames might be impolite as well as give away her identity as a goddess essentially made of fire.

As she vaguely overheard discussion of tonight’s test for the newest recruited writers, Crystal’s resolve to sit still faltered; she loathed the weakness she felt. “I would like to be a warrior poetess,” Crystal suddenly heard herself declare. The blur of conversation quieted and eyes turned to her.

“You are welcome to apply,” said Master InVerse. “There are three tests you must pass before the school accepts you: first, you must be able to turn a writing utensil into a weapon; second, if you have magic, you must show your ability to control it; and third, you must conquer your fears by stepping through the portal to the Sylen Sea armed only with your writing weapons and returning victorious from the Esle Mist.”

“I can do that,” she said with confidence she did not feel. The idea of facing Ice Crystal again was thoroughly unappealing, but she ignored that thought for the moment and picked up a purple practice pen from the table, eager to pass the first test. She stood up and closed her eyes, adding to her ignored thoughts the watchful silence that sounded like it contained the muted voices of all the new students awaiting their final test today, as well as the non-silent comment that she should not expect herself to pick up this skill immediately. Crystal focused instead on the pen in her hand, her infinite love of writing, and the thought of her home, a library filled with shelves and shelves of precious books that she handled ever so carefully so as not to accidentally burn them with the fire that coursed through her veins. The fire sighed contentedly beside her, and sparks flowed from her still icy fingertips. She opened her eyes to gasps of surprise and mutters of approval.

The rapier was light and graceful in her hand. An elegant handguard twisted artistically around the quillons and the thin oval blade glinted beautifully in the firelight. And, of course, the entire sword was purple.

“That is a very fine mightier-than-a-sword,” Master InVerse observed. “It suits you well.”

“Thank you,” said Crystal.

For the second test, she lit a candle to prove her fire-based magic; for a split second every other flame in the room flared ten times brighter, but if they noticed her magic was too powerful it was dismissed as a trick of the light. She had managed to recharge more than she thought.

Finally it was time for all of them to take the final test to be accepted as warrior poets and poetesses. They returned to the fountain, which had thankfully melted again, and one by one the prospective students stepped through it into the realm of darkness and mist.

Master InVerse stopped each one of them before they passed through the portal. “Be warned,” he said, “that of the many who believe they are brave enough to face the Mist, few are strong enough to return; the only way back is to conquer your worst fear. This is your last chance to change your mind before finding out what you truly fear most.”

Crystal smiled cryptically, fearsomely fearlessly, and jumped through the portal. She knew what awaited.

*~*~*
She was on a bridge that floated seemingly unsupported in the sky, a bridge from nowhere to an even worse nowhere. There were no guardrails, the path was straight but narrow, and the hypothetical ground below was shrouded in shadows at the bottom of an unknowable distance.

An icy figure stood before her, covered in ice armour and armed with a glitteringly sharp icicle sword. Ice Crystal took a threatening step forward, and the bridge shifted imperceptibly in Crystal’s direction.

Crystal took a step back, protectively holding her notebook and pen, her heart racing and her blood cold with fear. The bridge tilted the slightest bit further.

Ice Crystal lashed out, swinging her sword at Crystal with sudden ruthless precision, and Crystal reflexively raised the notebook to block the blow. Upon impact, it transformed into a stronger-than-shield. Undaunted, Ice Crystal twirled her icy sword around and cut below Crystal’s defences; the sharpened ice clashed against Crystal’s pen now transformed into a mightier-than-a-sword.

“I don’t want to hurt you,” said Crystal as she forced Ice Crystal’s sword away.

“But all
I want is to cause you pain,” snarled her colder half.

Ice Crystal pushed through Crystal’s parries and left a scratch on her shoulder; a trickle of blood ran down her arm. Suddenly a blazing fire roared to life behind Crystal Flame’s eyes, and instinctive battle rage took over. The bridge began to tilt the other way as the fight shifted, and within moments her mightier-than-a-sword burned a hole in the ice armour and cut straight through Ice Crystal’s heart. But at that same moment, when the fight may have almost been won, an icicle sword collided with Crystal Flame’s heart as well.

Double kill.

Time stood cruelly still for a fraction of a failing heartbeat before the scene reset.

*~*~*
Crystal stood on one half of a giant unbalanced set of scales; on the other, heavier half was Ice Crystal. Below them was infinite ominous darkness, and to each side was a cliff that would allow them to step off the scales only when they were at equilibrium.

“My heart is too heavy,” moaned Ice. “I am falling into the darkness.”

“Can I take some of your weight?” asked Crystal, tentatively.

“You wouldn’t want to see my heart. I am ugly, weak, and broken on the inside.”

“Show me the part of you that you hate more than anything, and I will love that part of you more than anything.”

“Why?”

“Because that’s the part of you that needs the most love.”

Ice Crystal was silent. She held out her battered, icy heart, unfathomable fear in her eyes.

“Let me trade you,” said Crystal, offering a prism of pure and radiant light. “This is what my heart is made of.”

Fire and Ice traded hands, and opposite sides of the same person found some semblance of peace with each other. The scales rebalanced.

*~*~*

Crystal stepped out of the fountain, safely back at the Institute InVerse where Rhisc and most of the others had safely returned. Her once fiery red hair, after mixing with the icy blue of her darker half, was now purple to match her mightier-than-a-sword, and she held a short poem balanced on her stronger-than-a-shield:

Ene Me
I am my own worst enemy;
If I can conquer her,
I can take whatever
The world throws at me.


And so the goddess Crystal became the Warrior Poetess, and the nickname ‘Tess’ became less of a lie.


END ROUND 2

< Message edited by Eukara Vox -- 6/14/2014 21:55:36 >
Post #: 7
6/14/2014 14:06:55   
Ilø¤IMPERIAL¤ølI
Member

Year 2060

Instantly, I could feel the wet bed sheets as I woke up. I was on my bed, in a sitting posture with my legs stretched out, alarmed. I could smell the stinky, sour fragrance. I had just experienced in what seemed like a long, unforgettable dream and in the process, I wet myself in bed because of fear. Two weeks ago, I had my twentieth birthday, yet I am ashamed knowing that I still wet myself during a bad dream. Petrified and dumbfounded, I seized the moment trying to regain a sense of my humility, and whether or not, if I should acknowledge what had happened earlier in the dream. It was all a nightmare, I wanted to say, but as I pondered more into it, the events slowly came crawling back to my head. Without any consent, fresh memories of the dream flashed, flowing through my pair of silver eyes and into my mind. I could see that there were a memory for each specific point in time of the dream. It was dreadful. As I saw them in my mind I received mild blows to the head. Somehow, I was recovering memories left and right. Quickly, the vivid images flew back and forth until my head spun. There was just too much information flowing back within a short time frame. The pain was unbearable; I could do nothing, but I needed to relieved myself or else my head would explode. I thought of banging my head to the wall or on my pillow. Whatever I did, I needed to do it now, but before I had a chance, my head jolted upward, facing the ceiling, and my mouth opened; I oozed out yellow liquid from the mouth while l felt the heat and erection boiling in my body. After a while, I choked on my own saliva. There was too much happening at once. I do not know how long I was in this state, but I was sweating and tired by the time it ended. My neck was sore and my mouth felt heavy, but my vision was sharp. I could see everything so clearly in the dark room and I felt immense power coming out of the tips of my fingers. I felt invincible. Still, the effects took a toll on my body. Fatigued and worn out, I collapsed. I closed my eyes and pondered. What did I saw? Everything was so vivid, yet so abstract. The taste was so close, yet at the same time far away. It felt like I knew it all. The key ingredient was on the tip of my tongue. In loss of words, I did not know the answer to my question. I slept for a while to recover my strength, and I awoke once I did. It was still dark. I recollected the dream.

Before I did, I stood and paced back and forth in the darkness. This bad dream somehow triggered a physical breakdown and, as a result, I recovered unclear memories I had once abandoned. Inside the dream, I could not fully accept the chain of events that happened shortly after. There was a black shadow that terrified me so much. Its actions were villainous and dirty. It caused me to have such disbelief in myself that it would do such things. There was this flashing dim light that emitted itself from a handheld, cylindrical device. The shadowy figure was thrashing it about. The device was pounded against something, no, someone. They were fighting. Evidently, I noticed ancient totems, old watches, historical documents, and priceless artifacts scattered around the area and in the distant, I could hear loud sirens and people screaming. I shook my head once, hoping to forget it all, then twice until I begin to unwillingly cry, for I could clearly see the silhouette now. During the struggle, the flash of light had revealed the face of the silhouette. In panic, I jumped back to bed with the bed sheets were still wet. It felt cold, but I was frightened. I whisper quietly to myself as tears begin to slide down to the sides of my cheek. I shook my head once more in hopes of forgetting the dream. Without any luck, I put my face into my hands and continued crying.

"It's not real at all," I finally said at last.

"'Yeah," as I came to a conclusion raising my head, "after all, it was probably just a bad dream."

Reassured and settled, I took in one deep breath and looked around. I knew very well that I was at home and as long as I was at home, I would be safe. I grabbed the bed covers and pulled it over my head. For now, I needed to rest. Worn out from before, my body still ached. In addition, my hands were shaking and my face felt nasty because of the sweat and tears that I had produced in the heat of things. The room grew darker and all was silent. Without further thoughts, I gradually let my fears go. Reluctantly, I became drowsy. I carelessly closed my eyes and laid back down. It was completely dark by the time I lost consciousness. Only one source of illuminating light was present. The moon was shining brightly upon the night sky, casting hope for tomorrow's journey. Knowing my life was about to end, I tried to harbor good thoughts for what little future I had left that night.

"Well, well, well. Why doesn't it surprise me that you were the one, Mr. Caliber. The incidents of robbery that has happened this week, you were behind it all, huh!"

"I didn't commit any--"

"Don't you lie, boy!" Detective Robert chimed in, cutting my chance to explain myself as he pulled the collar of my shirt upwards.

Earlier this morning, I was tackled with my face planted toward the ground. My hands were handcuffed to my back for no reason. All of this happened roughly and to quick. I woke up from my slumber, showered, ate breakfast, and left the apartment complex for work, as usual, when I saw two policemen. I started to run, but failed. Now, I was being questioned in a solitude room with my back to a chair. My lips were bleeding and I could feel that my face was scarred from resisting the apprehension. I was arrested for burglarizing stores last night a policeman told me and I had the right to remain silence for whatever I say can and will be used in the court of law against me. It was unbelievable. I did not know why I even ran after catching a glimpse of the cops. I was innocent, really.

"Please, you gotta believe me! I can prove it!" His huge hands were choking me, but I managed and slurred out, "I have an alibi! You said this happened last night, right? Well, I was at home and asleep!" I exclaimed.

"It's true detective," said a policemen who was reviewing sheets of paper in his hand as he walked in the door. "I also finished talking to the store manager over the phone and based on his description the man had to be in his late 40's. The boy's too young to be the perpetrator."

Robert sighs and looks at me coldly. Reluctantly and slowly, he lets go of me.

"Detective, maybe you should hold off from this case. You're way too emotional! You need a break."

"Listen, I need to catch this guy" he stares at me while saying this, "and put him into justice. Innocent lives are at stake here, Morris!"

"You're just saying that because of what happened to Sherry, aren't you?"

"You know it's my responsibility to take care of my child! If I hadn't been so careless to allow her to buy me a Father's day gift--" I caught a glimpse of his teary eyes and somehow I felt bad for him. Unknowingly, my heart felt heavy. I know Robert too well. He was a good parent and a well respected man in his profession. He tries his best to make his only daughter, Sherry, be happy. I should know because I was her boyfriend. Robert finishes, "--I only have her left in my life. Her mother's gone already and I should've been more responsible! I swore before her mother's grave to raise her up and see her get married! If I had known this would've happened, I would never had allowed her to go to the store alone! Morris, you should understand me. You have a family of your own!"

"Sir, with all due respect, what happened to Sherry?" I asked in confusion.

"Don't you play dumb with me, boy! You killed her during last night's burglary! You dare feign ignorance, boy!"

"I..." I was lost at words. More importantly, I was startled and frightened. The dream last night and Sherry's death, it was too coincidental! Robert and the policeman noticed my suspicious body movement as I was trembling in fear. They approached closer to me.

"It can't be true" I said aloud this time, as I sunk myself into my chair. In extreme shock, I lost my consciousness and drifted into a deep sleep.

"Mr. Caliber, you are hereby guilty in the first degree of murdering Sherry--" Everything else that came out of the Honor's mouth flew out from one ear to the other. Before I knew it, I was being charged for killing my girlfriend and robbing three antique store! They discovered Sherry's body under my bed and all the evidence pointed to me, the prime suspect. Nonetheless, my fingerprint was found on the scarred body, stolen goods, and broken flashlight. Morris, the policeman, told me all of this once I had regained consciousness two days later. I denied everything of course. I had an alibi and it was true, but my denial was in vain. It was absurd, but what the policeman told me, coincidentally, was what happened in the dream.

Was it possible that it was me? I am able to forget bad memories before, what would not stop me from doing it three days ago after the incident? No! I loved Sherry and I would never had harmed her in anyway. That was the truth; moreover, I could never put myself to commit such lowly crimes. Besides, I had a decent job, working as a full time manufacturing manager. I was a sophisticated, diligent civilian with the woman of my life and a bright future ahead of me. Someone must be framing me, but who? I had no enemies; I was careful not to be too boastful or show any condescending behaviors. I had many friends and knew many people. Who could resent me so much?

"Mr. Caliber" a voice repeated, "Mr. Caliber, are you ignoring me?"

I came back to my senses. No matter what I thought, it was useless. I failed to prove my innocence. I have been trialed and lost.

"Your honor, I am sorry but I am still in shock," I finally answered.

"What human being wouldn't be after doing such devilish crimes, take him away guards!"

"Your honor, please, I was framed!" I pleaded.

"Guards!" the honor said intensely.

Two guards came toward me, each one at my side, taking me away. I walked away, ashamed and angered. Was I truly innocent or did I really commit all these hideous crimes?

As I was behind bars, I thought of all the possibilities. How many days and nights have past, I did not know. I lost count ever since I was put in prison, but it felt like an eternity. Still, the empty room has left me time to think about what has happened. I came to the same conclusion every time, I committed the same acts of violation as the ones in the dream.

"Wait a minute," I thought to myself one day, "how did Morris know about all of this? I never spoke a lick of what happened in my dream to anyone, yet he was able to account exactly what happened and retell it to me, word for word."

Then it hit me; Morris was the true murderer and robber who framed me! It was possible. I was definitely home that night and that morning, I saw nothing suspicious in my room. Furthermore, I never owned a flashlight in my life. Only a policemen could plant the evidence, and Morris was one. He could have arrived at the crime scene and planted the evidence, framing me in the process. I could not have been in two places at once, but how did my fingerprints get on the evidence? I am confused. Altogether, at least I was getting near the truth.

"Yes, yes, yes!" I exclaimed.

"He's gone crazy, fellas!" chuckled a nearby inmate.

"He didn't last for two months, what a weakling." said his buddy.

"Hey, Donnie, you owe me some cash now. It looks like I won the bet." bawled another guy.

Before long the whole cell room was in a ruckus. At first, I quietly laughed. Then, like a maniac, I laughed out loud with the others. The room was in chaos.

"It makes sense now!" I chuckled.

I was detained in an underground prison. There were barely any lights to keep the place well lit. In the cell room that I resided in, there was only one bulb of light. Each cell room had one light bulb. It was the only source of light. If the bulb died, that room would be surrounded in darkness. The light bulb in my cell room flashed periodically, turning off and on. The bulb was about to die. In the midst of all of this, I noticed my shadow in a sitting position. Although, I was standing still, my shadow moved. It was morphing violently, swaying back and forth. Within that minute, my silver eyes flicked and, then, I smirked. The abstracted collections of vague memories that had worn me out nights ago was now absolutely clear. My silver eyes glowed and my fingers begin to shake rapidly. Instinctively, I raised my hand toward the keyhole of the prison door while still smirking. An electric chain formed, simultaneously, at the tip of my finger. I took aim and zapped a wave toward the door. I jumped into a fighting stance and shook my hands. I speared another wave of electricity towards the door. I continued shooting like a madman until the prison door malfunctioned and slid open. The dying light bulb stopped flashing and shattered. I made my way out, passing the adjacent cells.

"Hell yeah, prison break time!" exclaimed an inmate.

I walked toward the end of the hall ignoring the other inmates' responses. The hall way gradually encircled around the edges of the building rising in elevation. When I came to the end of the path, I was at the top floor. There was nothing but a wall and it blocked the path. I pressed my hands on the wall and tapped on it. The wall was hollow. Quickly, I snapped my fingers and emitted small, spherical sparks. I speared them at the wall until it exploded and crumbled. Instantly, light shined down through the dark and eerie underground prison. I could tell it was already high noon. The sun was at its peak, and there were white clouds in the sky. I've been cooped inside for nearly two months, this was a refreshing sight. I inhaled the fresh scent and taste of freedom. I cracked my knuckles and my silver eyes flashed, repeatedly. The year was 2060 and the world we live now is different from the one we used to know. I regained memories of the development of superhumans. I remembered being a volunteer, promising to be a guinea pig for this secret scientific experiment. Back then, I had no will to live so I discarded my life and let others made use of it. Yes, it is all coming back. I was one of the few successful individual who maintained their life while inheriting extraordinary powers. The only catch was that, our memories were wiped, by an automatic program installed into our mind, if we use them for selfish reasons. Following that, we would suffer severe symptoms and possibly die in the process. This explains my pain that night. The vow I made years ago is now broken once again within a short time frame. I will bear the consequences later; moreover, I needed answers now. Morris framed me with no valid reasons. Furthermore, why did he murder Sherry? Coincidentally, Morris resided in my neighborhood. To be precise, he shares the adjacent room besides mine in the Wyoming apartment complex. It was all too coincidental.

I had already began walking towards my house. My mind was filled with a lot of questions, but I continued walking down the streets. I laughed as a maniac. I was a lunatic, a creep who had lost his mind, lusting for revenge. I laughed and laughed. Of all people, it had to be him. As if the world knew that the finale would start soon, it begun to drizzle lightly. It was still broad daylight, yet it rained. I walked and walked. My silver eyes blinked and flashed. My fingers were twitching. Finally, I reached the apartment complex. Wet and dirty, I stood in the driveway staring where room number four hundred fifty-five was located.

"I'm home," I coldly said while grinning, "father."

It begun to rain heavily now and behind the building, a faint rainbow appeared. I steadily raised my arm as the tip of my fingers begin to form balls of electricity. Within seconds, lightning scorched the surface of the door on room number four hundred fifty-five at the Wyoming apartment complex building.

Reason for edit: To add title.

< Message edited by Ilø¤IMPERIAL¤ølI -- 7/9/2014 18:53:28 >
Post #: 8
6/14/2014 22:49:46   
Kian
Creative!


The Fresh Moon House of Lun-ar



My only goal is to make you laugh! Hope you enjoy it! I felt like it was time to tribute one of the best sitcoms I've ever watched in my life. (Note: try singing it!)


And this is a song, all about how
The gravity got turned upside down
And I'd like to take a minute, just hum this tune
I’ll tell you how I came to live in a house on the moon

In Area 51, born and raised
With government people I spent most of my days
Watching experiments with lightning, all righty, good nighty, that’s quite enough for now
But some of them, they were up to foul things – started pulling the good guys’ strings
So I told my dad, he got upset enough to say
“You’re moving to the moon straight away!”

I was laughing so much for I thought he was joking
And thus his anger I started provoking
So I ran away, hands in my pocket
Burgled some tools to use for my rocket!
But then a circuit malfunction; the electricity died
Reactivating the power? Well, I tried!
If anything I could say that this was rare
Yet I toughened up, so no scare
I took a flashlight right out of my bag
And started working in the dark, man, what a drag
I gazed above, and it was finally there
I noticed that the electricity’s repaired

While tweaking my rocket, a shadow dazed by
What’s this, then, some kind of spy?
I ran to my dad’s office to then see
The keyhole was forced, oh silly me
My lunar house plans were stored here
And now I witnessed them disappear

I went outside and looked at the sky
To see a rainbow which was up real high
I grabbed a special suit and I jumped for it
At that moment, it seemed quite fit
I took the pot of gold, +99 Luck raise
Haven’t felt so fortunate in days
I immediately saw the spy, he was running
But he was no match for my cunning
I knocked him down and retrieved my plans
Time for a celebration dance!


- It’s Not Unusual by Tom Jones starts playing -

< Message edited by Kian -- 6/16/2014 15:48:20 >
AQ DF MQ  Post #: 9
6/27/2014 17:15:27   
Crystal Sunshyne
Member
 

Unraveling Rainbows

I awake as the first colour is destroyed. Blood blackens, tulips fade, and sweet strawberries unripen. I can feel all redness seep out of existence and universes begin to lose heart as the strongest hue of all bleeds away to nothing. I was never supposed to wake up; my story is not meant to be written. I was a preventable prophecy. I belong in the dark corner of a dusty library, fallen behind a bookcase and forgotten, the pages between my worn ashen covers forever blank. That might be where I am, in fact, except that there is ink upon me now. If I am awake, if there are words appearing on my unworthy prismatic paper, it means all existence is about to end. I only hope that I can warn the one person who can save us soon enough.

Vi walks past me, humming softly and cheerfully as she paces her library, oblivious to the oblivion that hangs like an endless shadow across the future. Her footsteps creak the same floorboard that my pages are crumpled against, and I can almost reach out through the space between bookcases and touch her except that I am a book and cannot move. My thoughts do not make me animate, but in this moment I wish a thousand times that they could.

Several rows of bookcases away now I hear the shuffling and rustling of papers that will soon be meaningless. Vi pores over inconsequential books as the last remaining moments of time slip away. If she never looks up from those black and white pages she may not notice the colours disappearing until it is too late. She may be safe for now inside her own purple walls, but everything else is crumbling apart.

Orange is not far behind Red. He goes off like an explosion, fades from existence like dying embers left in burning ruins. Smoke falls upward, trailing the dark grey shadows of dead fires across the sky.

And then there is Yellow, sweet, sweet Yellow, the brightest and most joyous of all the rainbow’s hues. She leaves slowly, sickly pale, becoming the ghost of something that forgets how to shine. Invincible dandelions wilt, gold becomes dull and worthless, and the concept of sunlight ceases to be.

Each time a colour vanishes, I can feel the prophetic prismatic tree that I am made from scream with agony.

The lights go out in Vi’s house. I think they were powered by slightly warm-tinted colours that no longer exist. Vi retrieves an emergency flashlight and unsuccessfully attempts to fix the lights before finally returning to her books in dimmer lighting. The room is one all-consuming shadow broken only by a thin beam of bluish light. Pages rustle, time sneaks past like a thief in the night, and oblivion draws ever nearer.

A window slides soundlessly open to let someone slip inside. A second beam of bluish light flits across the rows of bookshelves, searching for something. Searching for me. Silent footsteps tiptoe across the room until that bluish beam captures me like a spotlight.

The creak of my floorboard is drowned out by a sudden crack of indigo lightning that streaks invisibly across the midnight blue sky. Lifeless foliage falls all at once in the stillness of the night, and the forest floor is swamped with black leaves. The world trees, each one the guardian of a different universe, are dead black skeletons illuminated only by the soft grey moon that may have once been white. There should not be a moon here—there has never been a sky in the World Between that was not made of foliage—and yet, now that everything is unraveling, this moon is visible. As each colour dies, its lost whiteness will become a darker shade of grey until eventually all moonlight is black and life will not exist to observe it.

Finally, Vi looks up from her books at the sound of Green’s murder. He was closer than the others when the lightning killed him. He was probably on his way here to warn her.

“Stop!” Vi cries out when she sees my thief outlined in the window. In the moment he pauses to assess the new deadness of the tree he climbed to sneak inside, Vi runs across the room to wrench me from his grasp. But even one-handed his grip is tight. My binding twists and stretches painfully as they struggle. I want to tell her not to stop him, but she would not hear my silent words. He drops his flashlight and draws a knife; before Vi can scream and before I can finish this sentence I am impaled. The sharpness slices through me, wounding me, but it is not enough. Through the haze of pain I fumble for the important idea I need to tell them… They must destroy me completely in order for this story to end, for the destruction to be reversed before it is too late.

Vi gently pulls the knife out of my wounded body, and drops of my black ink bleed onto the floor. Vi is a little too gentle with the books she keeps; she believes all prophecies are precious, even the ones like me. She thought if she erased the disastrous words I once prophesized I would be harmless, but she was wrong. I wish she would read me right now. Open me and look at my words, Vi! As long as I live, life itself is in danger.

But she is not looking at me anymore; she is distracted because she recognizes the knife. Vi pulls back the burglar’s shadowed hood and frees the familiar pair of blue eyes beneath it into the faint grey moonlight. I cannot see them myself, but I can sense that the blueness of his eyes is purer than any other blue in existence.

“Blue--?”

“Vi I can explain—”

The front door of Vi’s home opens, closes.

“These are my books, Blue! The sacred prophecies of all the universes! How dare you—”

“Vi, you need to listen—”

Footsteps climb the stairs.

“You know that each one of these stories is a precious piece of a different world’s history. I can’t believe you would try to destroy one of them and steal a major event from existence!”

“But this one is—”

“It is not our place to decide the direction the timelines take, only to keep track of them and keep the prophecies safe. I can’t believe I trusted you!”

“Vi—”

Footsteps cross the hall.

“There is nothing you can say to justify what you have done! These books are living, thinking, feeling beings! I will not tolerate a single one of them being hurt!”

Oh, Vi, if only you knew. If only you would listen. You are sweet, but I would rather die for you than watch all light be killed. I remember the prophecy that I am meant to hold, and I hope you will let me leave my ending unwritten.

Indigo walks into the room. Her midnight blue hair shines in the light of the flashlight Vi dropped on the desk, and her indigo eyes glint with darkness.

“Vi, what happened to the book?” She takes in the sight, the deep gash through me and the knife covered in my inky blood.

Vi turns around. “Indigo! Hi! It’s—Blue—I was just—It’s nothing I can’t heal.” I gather she is still upset and flustered for the wrong reasons. Don’t you remember what I prophesized, Vi?

“That book needs to be destroyed,” says Blue. But they ignore him.

Vi walks back toward her desk, leaving Blue at the window without even bothering to look outside; she misses the opportunity to notice the black leaves and eerie moonlight.

“Don’t you realize what is happening?” Blue calls after her. I wish she did.

“So the story is still alive?” says Indigo.

“Yes, I think so,” replies Vi. “The book is bleeding, but it can be fixed.”

Indigo picks up the flashlight from the desk and shines it at me. “It looks like it will recover, but I think we should keep it somewhere safe right now. Can you lock it in one of these drawers?” she suggests.

“Good idea,” says Vi, even though it is the worst idea I have ever heard.

Before I can finish begging her once more to read my warnings, Vi has unlocked the top left drawer of her desk and placed me inside. She is so blind when it comes to the safety of her books it’s heartbreaking. The drawer closes, the key turns again, and I am sentenced to a merciless imprisonment here where I am forced to observe the dimly lit library through the keyhole.

My only hope now is that I will bleed to death before I have the chance to write the ending. I implore my poor ink to pour out of my wound, and I am painfully happy to feel the sticky, staining substance pooling in the corners of… Did Vi wrap me in something soft? I didn’t notice before. I am losing my…

What was I saying? My train of thought. I am losing my ability to focus.

But maybe if I can waste enough ink on wordy tangential contemplations I will run out before…

“The colours are being killed one by one and we are next. I am next!” Blue shouts.

Indigo, having obtained the inkstained knife, throws it in one swift and accurate motion across the room; it lands in Blue’s neck and cuts off the scream that never had the chance to escape his throat.

The concepts of sky and oceans cease to be. Forget-me-nots are forgotten. Everything that was once blue is no more. And now only two colours of light remain between life and eternal total darkness.

“Blue!” screams Vi. “No!”

As if the entire collection of existing universes didn’t see that coming.

The room is in almost utter darkness now that the bluish beams from their flashlights have ceased to exist; even the moon is now a deep grey that barely casts the dimmest lighting. Vi turns back to the menacing shadow that is Indigo and poses with surprising calmness a heartbroken “Why?”

I can hear the evilness in Indigo’s smile, but I try to forgive her because it is my fault she is corrupted.

“I have an insatiable craving for oblivion,” she says. “Destruction is too delicious to resist.”

“But you were one of us, Indigo,” says Vi. “A protector of prophecies, of colour, of life. Please, don’t do this.”

“It’s too late, Violet. I already have.”

My keyhole is blocked for a moment, but then the key clatters away again across the floor, powerless to free me from this misery.

Life holds its breath in the ominous stillness that follows, and I am sure Vi is wishing she let Blue kill me while they still had the chance. A chill runs down my spine as I feel the end so close; I am growing faint. Indigo’s laugh, dark and piercing, echoes through the silence. And then
Post #: 10
7/8/2014 1:37:48   
Gingkage

Wolf Rider of DFQ&A/GD/Guides/RP


It’s quiet out. Or at least as quiet as the suburbs can really get. Traffic rushes past me, unheeding of the lone woman. What little foot traffic there is at this hour is easily avoided, couples and families too absorbed in themselves and their own lives to pay me any heed beyond absently making sure that they avoided a collision course. None but the moon pay me any notice, are aware of my existence. I glance up at the moon, picking out the face of the ‘man’ as I used to do so often as a child. A full moon. Both a blessing and a curse for my intentions. Blessing in that it provided enough light that, coupled with the streets, I wouldn’t need to use the small flashlight in my jacket pocket just yet. But that same light meant that I myself was more noticeable.


“Calm, Anna,” I tell myself, as I so often do despite my years of being in my… particular line of work. “Calm. Don’t rush. Don’t look down. If you look like you belong, then no one will notice you.” Advice that I don’t need anymore. Advice that I always make sure to give myself. I don’t dare allow myself hubris. If I start to, then that means that I’ll get sloppy. And I don’t want that. I’m not even doing anything wrong, and I can’t help the wry chuckle at that thought. No, no there’s nothing wrong with what I’m doing. It’s only a little thieving.


The house is up ahead. I’ve spent the past few weeks observing it; studying the security system, the habits of the owners, I know the yard like the back of my hand, and I’ve never even stepped foot in it. Glancing briefly around me to ensure that, yes, I am alone at the moment, I grab the top of the low fence, vaulting over it and landing silently. Those years of gymnastics classes that my parents forced me into despite my complaints coming in handy yet again. The owners of the house are on vacation, a detail I hadn’t known before seeing them pack a few bags in the trunk of their car, but one I plan on taking advantage of.


I walk towards the front door quickly but quietly, and then stop ten feet away and veer off. I know the security system of this house. If I had stepped any closer, it would have triggered. It’s a solid system, having sensors buried in the ground that the owners can temporarily turn off long enough to open the door, with more sensors connected to the lock. If the door isn’t unlocked before thirty seconds have passed, the first stage of the system triggers. In another ten seconds if the door isn’t unlocked, the silent alarm goes off, alerting the authorities that something is wrong. Reaching into my right pants pocket I thumb a signal jammer, but don’t turn it on. I don’t need it. The signal jammer is insurance, not something I depend on. If I can’t pick the lock in the time limit, I’ll turn it on. Reassured that it’s in a position to be easily turned on should I need it, I walk towards the door. I now have thirty seconds before the first stage triggers. So much time, and hardly any time at all.


My lockpicks are out before I’ve even reached it, a mental clock running down in my head. I hiss in annoyance when I see the lock. It’s an impressive model, and one not easily picked. I can get in, but I can’t be certain that I can do it in time. Knowing that the longer I stall, the less time I have, ten seconds have already passed as I deliberated, I crouched down in front of the keyhole, bringing my tools to bear. Lockpicking isn’t an easy task, one that requires patience, dexterity, and the ability to feel minute changes in the tumblers that are translated across the lockpicks and into my fingers. It’s why I never wear gloves when I’m doing it. Even thin gloves interfere with those signals. Twenty seconds pass and I’m still not in. My heartbeat picks up as adrenaline courses through my system and it’s with focused concentration that I keep my breath even and my hands steady. I’ve heard that surgeons need to have steady hands at all times. I can’t help but wonder if any of them moonlighted as thieves. After all, equally steady hands are required to pick locks. Twenty-five seconds pass and I let out a hiss of frustration, having to force myself to not rush. The usually unnoticeable signal jammer in my pocket gaining weight as the seconds tick by, turning from something I don’t even feel into a small stone. Not pausing in my efforts, I forcibly remove it from my focus, reminding myself that I don’t need it. Even if I can’t get this open in the initial thirty seconds, I’ll still have an additional ten seconds of leeway. My mental clock ticks down to zero just as I hear the satisfying click of the lock opening. Letting out a relieved breath, I slip on the pair of gloves that are next to my flashlight as I open the door.


Closing it behind me, I flick on the small light, glancing around. Going to the first door on my left, I open it. From the cradle in the corner and the bright, cheerful paintings of clouds and rainbows, this is obviously a nursery. From the fact that the room isn’t ready for an infant, it’s obviously still in progress. There’s nothing in here that’s worth stealing, but I still glance around the room, taking a moment to gaze at the cradle. That thing is the reason I’m here, after all. I deserve to see it for myself.


I shake my head to clear it. I don’t have time for delays. There’s no guarantee that no one saw my breaking and entering. I need to hurry. Walking out of the room, I play my light over everything, looking quickly but carefully at the items. Still, I almost miss it, spotting the shadow just as my light started moving away. Quickly bringing the light back over it, I very nearly let out a surprised cry. How could I have missed the video camera? Looking around again, I spy several more, well hidden but easy to find once I knew what I was looking for. This was incompetent of me. I know how the security system that I saw works. I should have looked for the cameras immediately when they weren’t readily visible but they’re not usually so well-hidden. Someone at that company deserves a bonus for the job they did. The cameras cover virtually every angle, and are nearly invisible unless you know what to look for. Luckily for me, the cameras don’t trigger until the silent alarm has gone off. The lack of any flashing lights from the cameras confirms what I knew, they aren’t on. Walking towards the central power source of the cameras, I double-check this information, knowing that a few moments of delay to make sure is a wise decision in the long run. The wires are silent. The cameras are almost definitely not running. To be safe, however, I flip the switch to turn them off. No harm in making sure that I have a little extra insurance.


I still don’t have anything to show for my efforts, though. Inexcusable. I walk through the rest of the house, looking at everything. In the master bedroom, my light plays over a jewelry box. I grimace at being reduced to something so typical - after all, I am not a typical thief, I shouldn’t be reduced to typical items - but I walk over to the box nonetheless and look at its contents. Perhaps there would be something worthwhile to show for my efforts besides ordinary jewelry.


I spy the object immediately. It’s not special. It’s not valuable, but it is sentimental. I pick up the locket and observe it for a few moments, flicking it open and looking at the smiling couple inside. Well, I did hope for something out of the common. The thought has me chuckling again in amusement as I pocket the item.


Movement out of the corner of my eye has me whirling around, wondering what I could have missed and if it was going to lead me to get caught. I’ve been sloppy tonight. Made too many mistakes. Apparently I’m not so immune to hubris as I thought. I breath a sigh of relief when it was merely a picture falling, the frame being too old to support its weight anymore. I have what I need. Time to leave.


I again thumb the signal jammer in my pocket as I walk back towards the video cameras and turn them back on. I don’t turn it on, but I keep one hand on it and my eyes trained on the camera easiest for me to see. Any hint of a flash, and I’ll be ready to jam the signals, making sure I’m not spotted by them. After all, I’ve gone through a lot of trouble to keep the owners of the house from knowing I was here. Wouldn’t want to give myself away at the very end. Once outside, I again crouch at the keyhole, special lockpicks in hand and a smirk on my face. Any thief can unlock something, but how many can relock them? Relocking the door is a tricky process, and a time consuming one. Fortunately for me, I don’t have a time limit for this task. As the lock secures itself with a soft click, I stand up and quickly look around to make sure that, as it was when I entered, only the moon is my witness in the night. Satisfied that I’m alone, I dart across the lawn, again vaulting over the fence before quickly - but not too quickly - walking back to my home.


The inhabitants of the house had been gone for a week, but finally they’re back. Walking up the driveway in a more common fashion, I ring the doorbell, hoping that the door is answered quickly as the flashing lightning and rolling thunder are going out of their way to let me know that, on the one day I walk out without an umbrella on me, it’s about to pour. Fortunately for me the door is opened readily and a pleasant woman answers, pregnancy only just starting to show.


“Anna. How wonderful to see you!” is the happy exclamation. “So, was I right? I was right, wasn’t I? You couldn’t do it.” Her grin fades slightly as I hold up the locket triumphantly.


“I’ve told you countless times, Amy, I am a master at this.” Walking inside and sitting down at the kitchen table, I put a piece of paper on top of it, the locket next to it. “These are all the holes I saw, though your system’s better than most. Fix these, and you shouldn’t have much to worry about.” My old friend is looking carefully at the notes I’ve written down and nodding.


“I’ve gotta admit, when you told me that people pay good money for you to break into their houses and steal something to prove that you really did do it without getting caught, all to test their security systems, I didn’t believe you,” she shakes her head in bemusement as she says this, and I let myself grin in amusement and share a laugh at her expense.


“Well, that’s your problem. You’re lucky we’re such good friends or I’d charge you for this. If it wasn’t because you’re worried about the baby and want to make sure your house is safe, I wouldn’t have bothered.” A lie. This girl means the world to me and there's not much I wouldn't do if she asked. But she doesn't need to know that.


“Thank you again for this, by the way. I’ll fix the holes you mentioned, and I feel better already now that I know they’re there and can be fixed.”


“You do realize that all I did was point out a few holes that I saw, right? I didn’t burglar-proof your house. There’s no such thing as a perfect system.” I give this speech to every ‘client’ I get, but never so earnestly as now. Amy’s a sweet girl, but she’s a little too optimistic. I’m worried that she’ll think that once the few holes I saw are plugged that her house will be invulnerable.


“Right, right, I know. You said that already,” she assures me absently. I sigh. I don’t know what the woman’s thinking, but I hope she’ll take me seriously. Standing up to leave, borrowing an umbrella at her insistence, I pause at the door, one last thing needing to be said.


“I’d better be invited once that kid’s born. I did a lot of work to make sure it’s safe here.”


Instead of going home immediately, which was the wise choice despite the weather, I walked down the street in the opposite direction. I had another job in this area and needed to start scoping it out. A thief’s work is never done.
AQ DF MQ  Post #: 11
7/8/2014 20:03:09   
Eukara Vox
Legendary AdventureGuide!


Pain of Knowledge

"No matter what you think... you know, see, or hear, do not consider it truth."

That was the last thing all of them heard from Surlissa before sleep took them. Footnit tossed in her sleep, unable to get comfortable, but there really was nothing she could have done to be more comfortable. The Paholainen lurked all around them, enjoying the supposed sweet slumber each traveler had fallen into. They had been exhausted. Between their run-in with the verirotu and the heavy, clinging air of the swamps, the resting place was welcomed, even if uneasily. Surlissa had offered to take first watch, but unbeknownst to her companions, she stood at sentry, asleep. But even she didn't know that.

The Paholainen had done their job well.

Each traveler had at least one of these foul creatures wrapped around them. Each tossed, struggled, whimpered or cried while they slept. And that was perfectly fine for the Paholainen. It was their purpose, to haunt the dreams of travelers and feed on their pain, sadness, remorse, confusion... all that made nightmares the perfection that they were.

Footnit struggled to keep her tears in, for remembering the dead was not easy. But the Paholainen that wrapped around her already knew the perfect nightmare to give its victim. It had probed her mind, looking through the light and dark recesses, and teased out a memory that was too delicious to pass up.


The library was deserted, except for Footnit and Merinet. She looked up to her cousin with wide-eyed wonder. He was so smart, so learned, so good at sorting through the old tomes to learn. One day, when she was a big Hiiri, she would be just like him. She knew it. He looked at her from the corner of his eye, seeing her almost worship of him and laughed.

"Footnit, why must you stare at me so?"

Footnit smiled. "Because, Merinet, you are so perfect! I want to be just like you one day!"

Merinet shook his head, his laughter filling the whole library. "And why would you want to be like me? I am ugly, large and annoying. Even the elders proclaim such facts. Surely a pretty little Hiiri girl has better aspirations that to be like her ugly cousin?"

This was an old argument, but one that always lightened the mood. To be fair, what they were researching was obscure and not at all encouraging. "You always say that! It doesn't mean that you are! And, you are my cousin. That makes you beautiful by default!" Footnit's raised voice was followed by a huff which rustled the leaves of the tome under her chin.

"Oh, so I can only be beautiful because you are my cousin?" Merinet combed his claws through his very long fur. "I thought all this fur and trouble was perfect. You always say so..."

Footnit burst into giggles as Merinet's claws got caught in the many tangles his long fur often had. It was true that his fur was unusually long for one of their kind, but this was too much.

"Merinet, Digeni has summoned you. You must report immediately." A voice rang from the door, though the messenger could not be seen.

Footnit looked at her cousin. "Digeni? But... why would he need you?"

"I... I don't know, Footnit. It's unusual for the Strategem to summon anyone." He looked at Footnit, then hugged her. "We will study when I get back. YOU keep searching for the Lohikäärme. I know there have to be more references to them."

"But..."

"Stay here and research. That is your job. If you want to take over for Great Uncle Moises, then you must be vigilant now." Merinet sighed. "I love you like a sister, know that. You mean everything, which is why I want you to be the best that the Hiiri have ever known."

The young Hiiri bowed her head. "I will do as you ask, Merinet."

Merinet grabbed Footnit and hugged her tightly, wrapping his long, bare tail around her to give her the extra squeeze she needed. "You will be great, one day, and the whole of Imhiset will tremble at your knowledge."


Chen Han growled as his own nightmare progressed, and Kennek cried out in anguish. Ravel lashed out with an arm while Surlissa's tail tightened around her. Footnit's breathing slowed, becoming choppy. The Paholainen sang... as they fed on their victims. Tears flowed down Footnit's face. She cried her cousin's name, reaching out as if to pull him close.

That was the last time she saw Merinet alive. She had watched him walk out of the library, never to return to their home, their town, their people again. His mission, she learned later, had been simple. Go out to the borderlands between the Kaarme and the Kotka and search for scrolls that were rumoured to be in the ruins. Scrolls that were vital to the history of the world. It wasn't the Kaarme who killed him. The Hiiri and the Kaarme were allies. No, the Kotka were the ones to blame.

It should have made her mad. But, Merinet had taught her well. Once upon a time, there had been a blissful peace among the Eight and all races had worked, traded, educated, and celebrated together. But something ruined it. Instead of being mad, Footnit locked herself either in her house or in the library, searching for what Merinet couldn't find. She would find a way to make his death mean something. She would find what he was looking for.


As Footnit struggled against the hold of her Paholainen, the creature looked up and towards its companion who was wrapped around Kennek, feeding blissfully of the Kotka's misery. A song was exchanged and lilting laughter followed, like the gentle striking of a xylophone. They knew something...

"What have I told you about daydreaming?"

Footnit looked up, blinking. "I am sorry, Uncle Moises. Today is-"

"-the anniversary of Merinet's death. This would be 10 years, correct?" Moises paced in front of the window, book in hand.

"Yes sir. Why have we not demanded retribution from the Kotka Dray that was responsible?" Footnit put down her quill and looked at her uncle, yearning in her eyes.

Moises paced a few more moments, then stopped, looking the now young adult in the eyes. "Because, Footnit, we do not know that they are responsible, without a shadow of a doubt. What have I taught you about certainty?"

"There is none unless you were there, or someone else was there to witness it. And even then," she paused, and sighed, "there is a small chance that even what you witnessed wasn't what really happened with certainty."

"Good, you listen sometimes."

Footnit rolled her eyes and stood up, stretching cramped muscles. "I always listen. You are just a bore a lot of the time and I look like I am asleep. I am really just reserving my attention and energy so I can outlast your lectures."

Brow raised, Moises stared at the young Hiiri. "I see. Perhaps then, my assignment for you this evening will help extend your ability to outlast my lectures."

She glared at her uncle. "But, you can't do that! This is the night of mourning, not just for Merinet, but for my own parents! I can understand making me work all day, but the night too, when I should be mourning and remembering!"

"Hit a nerve, did I? Your greatness will only begin when you decide to school yourself and see things for what they are, not what you want them to be. Mourn your parents, yes, but remember you have a duty!" Moises snapped the book shut and left the room. "You've yet to find the connections to the Lohikäärme I asked you to over three moons ago. I suggest you work harder!"

"I AM!" She stomped out of the house and out into the evening air. The sun was setting, and usually, she would appreciate the colourful sky. But, at this moment, she was angry with her uncle. "He wouldn't have spoken to me like this had Merinet still been alive."

Despite her displeasure, Footnit stayed up all night, after giving the proper time to mourning and remembrance. It wasn't that hard, for there was a shrine of sorts on the table in the kitchen. She never moved anything, all was as it was when her mother had left that night with her father to search for medicinal herbs. She had added her memories of Merinet to the table's display. She mourned every night, despite the philosophy that it was unhealthy. Unbeknownst to her, Moises stood outside her home, watching from the tangled garden. He saw the shadow of sadness that darkened her eyes, and there was nothing he could do to assuage her pain.

Months went by, and Footnit applied herself more and more. She would prove Uncle Moises wrong, she would be great, she would be what Merinet wanted her to be. No matter what her uncle threw at her, she met the challenge and surpassed it. She spent more and more time in the library, reading, researching, making connections. She haunted her uncle's home, falling asleep on his couch, at his table, on his floors, often with a half drunk cup of tea and bit of toast next to her. Moises always spread a quilt over his niece. She reminded him of himself at her age.

Months turned to a year, a year to three. Now, a full-fledged adult in her community, she worked alongside her uncle. Though, she was frequently left alone to work, as he was sent more and more away from her and their Dray. Then one day, he told her that he had a very important trip he had to take, and would be away for a long time. Though she objected, he said he had to. It was something he just had to do. She reluctantly let him go that morning, a horrible feeling in the pit of her stomach.

She had finally, after all this time, interpreted the codices that they had found in the Kaarme lands. Footnit's uncle had been gone for months, and she spent all her waking time studying so that the fearful thoughts of her uncle's condition couldn't overwhelmed her. She had found the connection to the Lohikäärme Uncle Moises had wanted her to find. What she learned blew her mind, and she had no one to share it with who would appreciate it like him.

The night, this one night, was heavy. A storm was approaching and Footnit knew her time was short. She had come across some family history Uncle Moises had tucked away in the Literary Anthology of the Kotka Divers. She tucked it into her bag before shelving the book. Lightning ripped through the sky, causing her to jump. Thunder rolled and she looked outside. Lightning flashed again, revealing a silhouette close to her home. She stood slowly and grabbed her reflective light. She had fashioned it to shine a beam ahead of her, using mirrors to focus the light. What was anyone doing outside on a night like this?

She slipped out of the library and headed quietly to her house. Whoever was out there had already, it seemed, slipped into her kitchen through the window. This was not something that happened in their Dray. Never. Yet, someone was breaking into her home. What in Imhiset would she have that someone would want?


"No... no...no... no, Uncle, don't go..." Footnit sobbed in her sleep. The Paholainen licked the tears off her cheeks, savouring them.

Keeping to the wall, Footnit made her way to the front of the house, trying not to call attention to herself. She ran through her checklist of families in the Dray, but none of them had anything against her. Something crashed inside and she growled. Whoever is in there is not taking care of her things. A light flickered in the dining room, candle light that was fickle and ever-moving. The codices!

She ran to her front door and reached for the doorknob. Before she could grab it, a haggard voice calls to her from the Strategem's rooms. "Footnit! Footnit. Oh dear Lyth..."

Footnit turned, only to see Moira running to her in tears. "What... what is wrong?"

"Someone is here who traveled with Moises. He's dead, Footnit. He's dead!"

Forgetting her home, Footnit sprinted to the Strategem's rooms, dropping her focus lantern in the process. No, no, no, no... not him too. Lyth, please, not him too. She burst through the door and saw a Hiiri, barely alive, but dying before her eyes. She didn't know this Hiiri, as he was of a different tribe.

"What... happened? Where are you from?"

"Are you Footnit?" The Hiiri spoke, and Footnit realised he was very young.

"Yes." She looked at him, tears already falling, blinding her.

"The scholar, Moises. He stood brave. He stood strong." The young Hiiri coughed and paused, obviously struggling to deliver the message. "He stood before the Kotka monster and begged for our lives. War is coming, killing. We just wanted to move to safety, cross lands..."

Footnit got him a glass of water and gave it to him, encouraging him to drink. After a sip, he shook his head. "I have little time. The Kotka monster refused and ordered our deaths. The Scholar stood and spoke with him, refusing to give in. I watched. He made the Kotka, high on his horse, look like a child!"

"The... Kotka wouldn't let you pass so that you could get to safety?"

The young man shook his head weakly. "His hatred for everyone but his own kind drove him to insanity. He cut everyone down, even Moises. I was left to spread the message of his hatred." He laid back, obviously seconds away from giving up his spirit. "War is coming, and the Kotka monster, on his horse, on his rich man lands, helped spread it."

"What did he look like?"

Moira looked at Footnit, oddly. That wasn't a question she imagined her friend asking.

"He was haughty. He had piercing eyes, much like one of the faster, hunter types. He was highborn. You could tell. I don't remember... colours. I am sorry."

Footnit knelt next to the young Hiiri male and hugged him as he slowly died. She cried into his fur, for him, for Moises, for her parents, for Merinet. Moira pulled her away and walked her home. When they got to the front door, in the keyhole, there was a ribbon, woven of Basilli silk, fashioned into a rainbow. Moira looked at Footnit in confusion, but all the Hiiri did was pull it from the keyhole and retreat inside.


The moon shone its light down through the ruined roof, illuminating the tears of frustration, pain, anguish and memory while the Paholainen gorged themselves on the pain they brought and intensified through the dreams of the travelers.


Flashlight
Lightning
Moon
Keyhole
Shadow
Rainbow
House

Action:
Laughter
Theft/Burglary
AQ DF MQ AQW Epic  Post #: 12
7/9/2014 0:54:54   
  Faerdin




Stars, Hide Your Fires
By Faerdin

Even the thickest smog does not make the Moon disappear.

So hung the hallowed blankets of smoke and fumes in a starless sky. Man bid the heavenly bodies not to see their dark and deep desires, not to hear the howling of a thousand more laying waste in the California streets, not to smell the deadened bodies in roiling darkness astride their earnings, not to taste death upon the air- yet their gaze was eternal, unflinching, and many.

You cannot lie to the stars. They will see right through you.

So their gaze was met by a modest car that roared along the road. Its paint was black as night and, despite every attempt at applying a fresh coat, chipped to expose a core of blood red rust. Headlights shone halfheartedly through the groves of oranges that whizzed past, searching for the prisoners They needed to put down. The property seemed to stretch on forever- one could hardly believe it belonged to a single man- until they found it.

A house along the field. It was an awfully large house.

With a subdued hum the car came to a halt, and out of the doors stepped two men. Their uniforms were as black as the car. Their faces shared the same look of listless detachment. Their strides shared the weight of wading through the blackened summer air- perfect for harvest and for little much else- and so it weighed upon them as they reached out to knock on the door. But before they could even touch the wood, it fell before them and revealed a bulbous man. Behind the veil of ruddy cheeks and a sweat-soaked gown glimmered eyes that were alive with geniality.

"Evening, boys."

"Good evening, sir. We got a call about someone rummaging through your food."

"Yes, yes," The Man stuttered, sweeping away the droplets with a handkerchief. "I happened to be in my study when I heard some commotion in my pantry downstairs. Now, this wouldn't be the first time there was some riff-raff in my stores, and I think I got a good nose for theft. If you boys could put it in the big house and send a message to the rest, I'd be... most appreciative."

He tapped his nose. It was a brief gesture, and it was understood immediately. "Yessir. We'll take care of it."

"Good, good," The Man said with a smile that widened less with sincerity and more with kindness. "I trust you... understand what it is I want. Teach them a lesson, boys." He patted an officer on his shoulder and retreated into the estate.

The first officer turned to his fellow with the ease of a wind-kissed willow and whispered, "I guess I'll check aroun' the inside. You riffle through the field and see if anyun's hidin' in there."

The second officer's eyes narrowed. They had been on him the whole time. The first one could tell. He had gotten used to it since joining the police force, but no one can get used to knowing the hate-driven words that float in a person's head. "They don't run. They think they can talk out of anything. Why don't I go in with you?"

"I kin handle it. Trus' me."

Rolled eyes and a cacophony of curses left in a single breath as the second officer batted his flashlight, beating some beams of light from the broken mess before taking off into the field. The first slumped a little in relief and sallied forth into the mansion- swallowing him as a shadow of the great and powerful beast. Shadows dense as pitch dominated the parlor and forced the officer to squint and fumble for the light switch. Yet he could not find it.

Nor could he find the flashlight he was issued. His heart sank. It felt weighted as though by chains, but he pressed on regardless.

So he wound his way through the Man's estate- weaving around the many grand structures, the lavish possessions, the monuments to material wants that stood tall as the Leviathan. But to the mind's eye they seemed like monsters in the dark. The officer tried to distract himself with a scrap of poetry he remembered hearing before he left to find his own destiny.

"Arange orchards across the sacred lan', they're Eden to the countless Adams and Eves..."

Then he saw it. A door that acted as a floodgate to the light that shone behind it. Someone was in there, and unless it was their gentleman caller, he had found his quarry. The officer fumbled for his rifle and leaned down to peer into the keyhole of the door.

It was most certainly the pantry. He saw a ghost of a man inside- a man who clearly saw the worst the world had to offer. The officer's breath hitched, and the man jolted.

"Who'sere?"

The officer opened the door and stayed within the frame. He did not want to show his face to the man. "Come quietly, sir. I don' wanna hurt ya. Yer trespassin' on priva' property."

"I wus jus' gettin' food fer ma fambly! The littluns' stumachs are a rumblin' an' I can't do nothin' ta stop it!"

"Come quietly," the officer said dumbly. "Please."

A humorless chuckle creaked from the broken man's throat as quickly as it came. "I can'! I can' do it no more! The guvmen' thinks everyun has time to stan' in lines an' wait fer food tha' the rich folk have moun'ains of- hardly know wha' ter do wiffit- and people tern us away 'cus we're 'Okies,' we're 'takin' everyun's jobs' and hav no righ' tuh be here. Even tho 'th' lightnin' cometh out of the east an' shineth even unto the West.'"

The officer frowned at the twisting of the Lord's verse. "Please, don' make me do this. I want ta help ya. Ya stay here any longer an' this guy is gonna havvit in fer ya. Please."

The migrant bristled. "We're Adkins. We care fer ar own. Anyun' else'd let us die like rats!" Silence as dense as the darkness that lay in wait outside swirled around the room, and the migrant coughed and choked as his eyes grew damp with tears. His next word was short yet spoke volumes. "Why?"

"I dunno."

So the oppressive silence returned.

"Sometime, ya can' expec' ta find a rainbow in a lightnin' storm."

A peal of thunder rent the silence. The migrant man fell to the floor of the pantry and lay limp in the pooling blood, his life extinguished little more than a whimper. The dimming hope- the clambering despair still rung in his eyes. Now it would forever resound in the courtroom of life- never to pursue an appeal and plead for the judge's mercy. Black smoke snaked through the pantry as another shot shook the world, and the man lay still.

The officer turned to find his fellow with a raised gun and the countenance of a mask. "We got him. Let's move him out and get back to the station. I'll tell the resident that we took care of everything." Then he left.

It was no more than a minute alone with the weight of his misstep that the officer picked up his rifle and painted the pantry with another splash of red.

***

Approaching the podium was a bulbous man. Behind the veil of ruddy cheeks and a sweat-soaked suit glimmered eyes that were alive with geniality. The Man pointed to a wide-eyed reporter and inquired, "Yes? What is your question?"

"Can you make a statement on the death of Officer Adkins? Do the police have any leads on what happened?"

"Yes, yes," the Man said, wiping away the droplets with a handkerchief. "The passing of Officer Adkins was a grievous accident that allegedly occurred when he was called onto the scene of a minor incident. Rest assured that we are doing everything in our power to look into it and figure out what went wrong. Next question?"
AQ DF MQ AQW Epic  Post #: 13
7/9/2014 10:00:12   
Razen
Member

Like a Rainbow in the Dark, Wanderlust and Lost
By Razen


The times in the city were rough this time of the year as the snow begins to rest heavily on everyone's metaphoric shoulders. It was in the middle of the night, and the moon was a waxing gibbous tonight. I had little on me but a ragged coat that had been worn by seven men before me and pants that were not much better off. My snow shoes had holes in the toes and the heel, and my socks were more of holes than fabric. I had a flashlight that had batteries that were nearly dead, and the light it produced seemed fractured and fidgety. My attire and the state of the world around me was perhaps the greatest analogy of my own being, yet its subtlety would cause many observant eyes to miss its splendor. I had no idea why I thought of such things when there were more important things to think of, but that is perhaps why I was in this unfavorable situation that I have found myself in. The metaphors of transcendentalists and their like are great, but as the idiom goes, "It doesn't put food on the table."

My stomach grumbled, growled, and seemed to be rolling thunder. I wouldn't be able to tell you when I last ate; I rarely thought about eating or drinking. The worldly necessities never seemed to interest my mind, yet they needed to for my own self-preservation. This was my internal conundrum, my eternal conflict like the story books tell of the battles between good and evil. In this case, I did not know which side was good, and I did not know which side was evil. I needed to focus though as it had been too long since I had last eaten to sit lost and wanderlust in thought.

With my thoughts restrained as if put on a leash, I began to observe my surroundings for a potential meal. The heavy snow probably has ruined most of the food in the city's many dumpsters, and I doubted that any of the restaurants would show their kindness tonight in this storm from hell frozen over. A street light above me had been shattered, and I suspected that it had been like that for at least a week. My suspicion had no logical foundation, but I fancied my hypotheses.

Once more, I looked around me. There was a set of houses off in the distance, or were those apartments? The city had confused me so. There were so many names for the same thing that I thought that they were all separate entities or perhaps even foreign languages. That was a different matter, an irrelevant matter, and it was distracting me from the important part: Both of them have food. Yes, yes, that was the answer to my furious stomach who was bringing me close to the brink of starvation, or was it the other way around? My hunger must be making me delusional; I've heard it can do that.

I stumbled or shuffled to my destination, to the line of houses or apartments that had what I needed in plenty, in excess. They didn't need it as much as I needed it, right? I don't know why I would need to convince myself that my actions aren't morally deplorable when they are necessary to survive; I think they are called necessary evils. It was difficult to think without food to sustain the thoughts. Despite that, I had managed to reach the door to my urban savior; I had no care for how bizarre the thought of an urban citizen being a godly figure must have been to any sane person. I wasn't sane, not during this time at least.

The door to this haven seemed so peculiar yet also mundane. The knob was made of brass or bronze; I didn't know the difference between the two. The wood of the door was painted, but I couldn't tell what color. Before I checked the keyhole, I looked back to see if I had caught anyone's attention. There were a few shadows of men, but they weren't facing towards or away from me. I don't think that anyone noticed my existence, but that was just a thought I fancied like so many of my speculations.

I peered into the keyhole. I found a family in a living room, but I thought that all rooms were living rooms in some sense. They seemed jovial and happy, but that might have been normal pleasantness to those who were not starving. They looked like they were laughing, but I couldn't hear what they were laughing about. It isn't like I would understand it anyways; there was nothing funny in my life. As I peered deeper, I had seen a rainbow shining from a box. This had left me confused as I pondered how a box was able to produce light like the Sun.

This rainbow had piqued my interest as it seemed like everything did. I wondered what a rainbow in this pitch black, this dark, would represent. It could represent me like my clothes, like the frozen, bitter world surrounding me. Would it be lost yet ever searching for the light? I had to shake my head to free my thoughts before my stomach made my presence known. I had fumbled out a hairpin that I had turned into a lockpick, and I tried my hand at the keyhole to get through the door with some sense of stealth.

The hairpin twisted and turned until it finally made a click; the lock was bested. I slowly opened the door, and it did not creak to my fortune. I slowly crept to the kitchen or wherever it was that food was kept; names were unimportant at this point. I continued to hear their laughter, and it seemed to get to me in my weak-minded state. I could hear the family now, but their words made no sense to my dazed mind. I guessed based on what I had heard that the magical box that they had wasn't showing a rainbow anymore, and I had gathered that this box was known as a T.V.. I don't know what the initials stand for. It might have meant tele-something. Tele-vaunt? Tele-valor? I had no idea.

It was then that lightning struck; I must not have been paying attention to the clouds outside as there was a thunderstorm starting to rage. The family's laughter stopped. I realized that this had just made my burglary attempt much harder than it could have been. I had found a food closet or something of that nature to hide in until the family went to bed, and I held myself firmly and stiffly to avoid making noise. I could have some relief in knowing that my shadow would not be visible through the food closet's doors.

The family's children seemed to be scared; I think that lightning and thunder do that to people as they frighten me. It was late already, so I was sure that it wouldn't be long before the family went to sleep. I was right to my fortune. The pitter-patter of walking seemed to come to a stop, and the house was deathly silent before another bolt of lightning struck down nearby. I realized that the thunder would be my savior now as it could cover the noises I make. Slowly, I began to gather the family's easily consumable food during each thunderclap in my ragged jacket.

With time, the pockets were overfilled, and my hands seemed like they could barely contain much. I was going to have to get used to the idea of doing this as I won't be able to get much food from any of these burglaries, not with this ragged jacket, not with these two hands. The thunder sounded twice more. I exited the food closet with the first, and I left the unfortunate family's house with the second.

The waxing gibbous moon had shined down on me once more, and I looked at my shadow, a reflection of myself in an abstract way. I was but a shadow of myself at this point after all, yet I had found something present in the darkness of my shadow, a rainbow. I was a rainbow in the dark, wanderlust and lost.
AQ DF MQ AQW Epic  Post #: 14
7/10/2014 2:32:14   
LordDarkex
Member

The Brief Journey of Hugo Lebroque


It begins, as all stories do, with a girl. For a boy such as Hugo Lebroque, it could not have begun or ended more splendidly. The girl with the flashlight, with the hair like the night and whose eyes held the very stars – ah, but I get ahead of myself. First, we must paint for ourselves a setting. People, after all, are defined half by who they are and half by the world around them.

Hugo lived in a world where the sun never rose; indeed, Hugo did not even know what the sun was or looked like. The only sun he knew of was the moon, and the sky was not the fluffy blue of day that we all know and love, with clouds draped across the grand globe dome like curtains, but was instead a perpetual night. The moon hung still and misty in the sky above, unmoving, her dress of a million stars scintillating in the vast distance, the clink of a cold champagne glass. And from time to time, Hugo would look out of his house, the warm wood cottage with orange candlelight spilling from its windows, and stare out into the unblinking wild and the ocean of hills. The breeze always washed across the grass towards the moon, never away, the tide that never receded, underneath which the grass danced and waved its soft blades beneath the diamond night. And it was here that Hugo resided, in the cottage on the side of the smallest hill in the sea of rolling hills, undulating and swelling endlessly past the horizon on every side, the celestial night caressed by the moon and bursting with innumerable stars; the world, awash with silver down to every last blade of grass. This was his world, Hugo’s nocturnal world, dark and beautiful, the solitude divine.

Chin on palm and elbow on table, one wonders why the night is so entrancing. The stars, less in the sky than in the blood. One feels the enigma, the most ancient and familiar of mysteries, la linceul, drawing in, beckoning, seducing and the soul through the eyes. But when the eyes turn to behold that splendorous goddess, there is nothing but the stars winking mockingly, and the moon with her frozen mask.

~


She exploded into Hugo’s furniture world with a flashlight in one hand and a blazing key in the other and a face flush with excitement and urgency, leaving the door to swing in the breeze.

“Come on, you have to get out! There are people coming, they’re going to burn your house down because it’s in the way, hurry!” She said all this very rapidly and without much breath. She ran her eyes hurriedly over his sparsely furnished dwelling, then back to Hugo’s very alarmed face. “Come on, come on, they won’t spare you just because you’re a small boy. They’ll kill you!”

“I’m not small,” he protested.

Sighing exasperatedly, she rushed forward, grabbed his wrist, and wrenched him through the door. “Look, look, they’re coming over those hills now,” she said. Two figures in the distance, so far away that Hugo had to strain his eyes just to see them, were heading towards them at a worrying pace.

“Follow me.” The words tumbled from her mouth haphazardly, and she took off running towards the moon. Hugo could hardly make out the two faraway figures at all – they were just two fuzzy black dots, really – but the flashlight girl’s words gave them menacing enough features for Hugo to flee after her as fast as his bare feet would take him, questions and caution tossed to the wind.


She did not stop for what seemed to Hugo to be forever. By the time he noticed the fire behind him, his throat was torn to a million little bits of fluttering paper shreds, and his chest was heavy with fatigue. Still he ran, his house fifty hills and one lifetime behind, a great conflagration leaping and twisting towards heaven, erupting lustily in the sky, free at last. And Hugo cried, because the cottage was all he had known. Loss is an emotion that only those who have felt it can understand, so I cannot describe his feelings to you here, except to say that the tightness in his chest was not only from exhaustion. But even as he cried and his tears blurred all the stars together into a single luminous river, he ran after the girl with the flashlight ahead of him. The boy who till then lived by candlelight felt the lush grass beneath his soles, the cool twilight wind driving through his bones, and as he glimpsed the wall-less landscape around him, the horizon seemed to fling its arms wide and let loose a wild silent roar up into the cosmos.

Ahead, the girl laughed a windchime laugh that mingled with the harsh cracking of the fire. Hugo knew at once that the girl was mad, and that for some reason she had nothing to lose.

~


“Who are you?” Sitting around the campfire, smoke whispering, curling. Hugo next to the girl.

“Oh, just a servant girl.” Smirking. “Before I stole the key to the sun from the throne room. This flashlight saved my life, you know. If it weren't for this...” Tossing the flashlight into the air. Flip, flip. “...I'd probably be dead. You know, when I was just rounding the corner out of the eighty-fourth wing--”

“Who were those other people, who were chasing us? What's a flashlight, and what's the sun?” Hugo, after all, had ever only known the moon.

She stared. “Bit rude of you to interrupt me, don't you think? And why do you ask your questions like that; where's your personality? Anyways, I hope you realize that I've saved your life. Those other two guards from the palace, they would have killed you. And what sort of person doesn't know what a flashlight is? It's this; they're everywhere!” The girl wiggled the flashlight in front of him. “Help you see in the dark, they do.

“And the sun...well, that's something else. We've only ever known the moon, but this key here is the key to the sun. You'll know what it is when you see it; in fact, we're going to unlock it right now!”

“How?”

“Oh, I don't know. I guess we'll figure it out when we get there.”

They sat there for a long while, staring into the fire. It flickered and danced before them, as if alive, warm and kind. Its light crept through the million-strand grass; orange, aglow in the sea of silver. Hugo looked into the fire, more than alive than anything, and then looked into the eyes of the beside him. Her gaze was fixed on the fire, but the fire seemed to blaze brighter in her eyes than on the grass. Hugo wondered if the fire blazed in his eyes as well.

Crackle, crackle. The smoke, like the soul of the fire, rising up. Suddenly, she stood up; Hugo watched her curiously.

“Where are you going?” he asked.

“Come on!” she said, with her bag and flashlight in her hands. “Follow me, we're going to go somewhere nice.” So Hugo followed, and he found himself chasing after her again, his footsteps matching hers.

When they had walked for quite a long while – long enough so that the fire could no longer be seen except for the distant light it left upon the hillside – Hugo began to hear the faint sound of water.

“Is that a river?” which of course it was, but Hugo wanted to ask anyways. The girl didn't say anything and kept walking, the grass caressing her feet, softer than air, until the river came into view. (There was always grass, Hugo thought. It stretched on forever, and would always be there. The one feature the entirety of the universe held in common.)

As Hugo watched her, he realized that she was the night itself. Her eyes closed, turned up towards the roofless sky, breathing in deeply the world through her nose, and her hair dark as the infinite space between the stars one with the space above ground below sky, and the wind kissing her bare legs for her clothes were ragged as is expected of a servant girl of the palace, the grass cold between her toes, and in that single moving-picture second that lasted for a minute then an hour then a millenium Hugo saw her fully and (he did not love her for he knew not love) but he understood fully the beauty of the world through the lens of another human body, for what better way to appreciate nature than with is most complex creation?

She lay down on the grass. He lay down next to her. Neither of them moved. Their eyes faced upwards and soaked in the view.

There was a long silence before she said, “Look at the stars. You've seen them before, right?”

“I've seen them through my window, yes,” replied Hugo indignantly.

“Could you imagine a world without them?”

“Without...stars?” The notion was alien to Hugo.

“Yeah, and instead of black there's just blue. All the way across the sky, only blue. No stars or anything.”

Hugo had nothing to say to that.

“Well, that's what the sun is like,” said the girl rapturously. She sat up and faced him, the stars in her eyes glowing vivaciously. “Don't you ever get tired of the stars, Hugo? The stars seem so distant, and far away. They look so lovely, but we can never get to them, like they exist outside our own existence. And the grass! It never ends, ever, and I bet it just keeps stretching into the stars. Oh, what I would give to see the ocean, or some trees, or a cloud or two!”

Hugo had never heard of these things before in his life.

“It's just that the night – it's so...dark, as if the air was water and we were all drowning. Yes, it is beautiful,” she said dismissively, for Hugo had interrupted her, “but don't you get tired of it all? Wouldn't you like to see something new?”

“I suppose,” said Hugo, thinking to himself that the night was plenty beautiful already and that he didn't need anything more. But he allowed his mind to revolve a little, glimmering slowly in his mind, and he wondered what it would be like to see something new.

“What's a cloud and a tree, anyways?” asked Hugo, remembering that out of everything this girl had told her in the past few days, he only understood half.

“I'm not really sure,” she said. “I've only ever read about them in the palace books. I haven't ever seen them, but the royal books are always true, and I'm excited to see something new anyways. Um, a cloud is like a big ball of fluff floating in the air, and a tree is a big plant. Kind of like a blade of grass, but really big, larger than you and I.” Hugo pictured an enormous flat stem, swaying to and fro above their heads.

In the distance, thunder rumbles abrasively against the air, accompanied by the lightning, flashing silently.

“Will the storm reach us?” said Hugo anxiously.

The girl reassured him that the the storm wouldn't even come close, for it was heading in another direction. Don't worry, Hugo; look at the clouds, they're going the opposite way! But her eyes had became blank, as if she had closed an invisible eyelid, and for a second or two her starlit eyes forgot to shine.

~


Two days later, while they were trudging through unending grass, Hugo spotted a kaleidoscopic glistening emerge from the depths behind the horizon.

“What's that?” Hugo had to ask. Every question reminded him of how little he knew about the world.

“That,” she replied, “is our way to the moon. We'll climb on it, and it'll carry us up and up, and it is there that we will see the sun.”

The two of them continued on heavily, Hugo still behind his mysterious friend. The wind, as it had done for the past week, ran its fingers through their hair. Always the night's cold companion, the moon looked on impassively. The stars flickered, as if unsure of themselves. Hugo's legs ached in a pleasant sort of way.

At last, he could no longer resist asking. Painfully aware that he had yet to say something that was not a question, Hugo asked for her name.

“Ah! Sorry, Hugo,” she said. “I've forgotten completely. My name's Eve.”

What a strange name, thought Hugo to himself, for someone who found the night boring.

~


When at last they reached the polychromatic light, they found before them an enormous bird. It regarded them haughtily and glared down at them from over its beak. Robed in resplendent feathers of various colors (Hugo counted seven: violet, orange, red, green, yellow, and two shades of blue), it seemed more king than animal. It certainly didn't think very highly of them.

Ignoring its death gaze, Eve hopped on the bird stolidly. “Come on,” she beckoned him over.

“I can't go on that,” said a horrified Hugo. “It'll kill us, look at that thing!”

“Oh, don't be a coward and get on. The moon is so close, you can't stop us now.”

Still Hugo refused. “Ugh,” she said irritatedly, and pulled him on forcefully by the wrist. “Hold on tight, or you'll fall.”

With a great leap, the grand bird took flight. Hugo felt his heart splash into his stomach, and gripped the feathers till even his knuckles were pale with fright. The ground beneath him was already so far away, far enough so that Hugo could no longer see the individual blades of grass, and it all melted together into one undulating wave until it truly became a sea of green. In front of him, Eve spread her arms and fingers and stared against the sky till the wind made her eyes water. Her sable hair, as elegant as the night, flowed with the wind, so that instead of an exhilarating, beautiful journey through the star-flecked sky, Hugo had only a faceful of hair.

~


The moon grew in the sky as they approached it. The royal fowl tilted its wings and landed amidst a great cloud of moon-dust. As Hugo dismounted gingerly, struggling unsuccessfully to display both gratitude and deference on his wind-whipped face, he saw with wonder the rainbow trail that the bird's feathers had left behind. Swaths of color shifting and weaving together, arcing broadly through the sky, marked their nocturnal trajectory. Hugo was tempted to take a step, then two, then three on this multicolored anchor to the earth and run back down, but behind him, Eve called out.

“Hugo, come on. We haven't got much time left,” she yelled, but her voice seemed feeble. He rushed obsequiously over.

“Stand here,” said Eve, and spun him around so that he faced the deep cosmos. She stepped next to him. “Now close your eyes.” So he closed his eyes, and beside him Eve lifted her fiery key.

Hugo suddenly experienced the distinct feeling of plunging into darkness, as if the darkness was a primal pool, the omnipresent entity, glossy since before the universe began. The stars simultaneously extinguished themselves, leaving behind only candle-smoke. Far below him, the last standing post that remained of Hugo's charred wreckage of a house, which he had now become aware of, fell down against the hillside and crumbled into black smoke, destined to ride upon the wind's chariot for eternity. And a hundred miles away, the palace of the Night King, from which Eve had stolen the key, leapt forward in time. All its servants and its master aged seventy years and died standing up. Before their bodies could collapse upon the floor, their flesh rotted away into the wind. Their bones followed shortly. After tens of thousands of years had passed in a single second, the palace was assimilated back into the ground, swamped by moss and grass. Its millions of books and soaring architecture was lost forever.

The wind that had swept westward through the palace and then over Hugo's desiccated house was charged with electricity, an omen of something greater. Through his closed eyes, Hugo witnessed the storm that Eve had previously assured him was nothing at all. On the contrary, it had since grown tremendously in size and lay waste to whatever poor hill happened to be in its way. Grass was ripped from its roots and hurled irreverently into the swirling bowels of the storm, where lightning vanquished it completely. With clouds black as sin, writhing with animosity, it was truly the Beast.

“Hugo,” said Eve gently. “Open your eyes and turn around.”

When he opened his eyes, he was greeted with a starless night. The universe yawned before him, too cavernous to return even an echo of light. Hugo gave a cry of dismay.

“Hugo,” Eve said again, her voice now frail and serene. “The East Wind is coming to take me.” She was crying. “I want to see the sun before I go. So please, turn around.”

Realizing that something was being cut short, he pivoted slowly, and there was an impressive ornate double gate, black and gold on the left, gold and red on the right, and a keyhole where the colors all met.

The gates swung open outward.

There was no storm. The stars were gone, the sky a uniform blue. The moon vanished beneath him, and he and Eve fell towards Earth.

“You'll be fine when you land,” said Eve. “And thank you.” Then death took her tenderly and she vanished into time. Only her night-black hair was left, and then it sailed away on the wind.

Tumbling downward, Hugo could see the sun, brighter than anything he had seen, coming up from behind the horizon, its glorious halo of light spilling out over the sides. Clouds grander than mountains promised adventure. Hugo had never beheld anything so beautiful in his life. But then he remembered that Eve was no longer there beside him, and his little heart broke in two.


End Round 3

< Message edited by Eukara Vox -- 7/10/2014 11:30:28 >
Post #: 15
8/5/2014 19:40:03   
Marcuz Larkz
Member

June 25 2154 It was afternoon 5:02pm I was on my way home when I saw the Clarencian Ambassador taking his speech at the

Camachile Park. All media from different country received an invitational letter and gathered together to cover the alien

Ambassador purpose of visiting. He had strange headphones playing a noisy disturbing music, the media said this is how

Clarencians communicate with each another, he was holding an abacus on his left hand and set a fire on his right."This is how

you humans ended. There is no salvation, no dream, nothing, pure warmongers in nature" he said then he burn the abacus

on fire, people are shocked from what the Ambassador do. I am no ignorant, I know what does he mean, I may not be living a

comfortable easy life and never been satisfied to my minimum wage salary. From the days of stone age through the days of

metals we humans had been on war with each other, we sack and claim territories just to quench the thirst of our own

brutality, we will never stops until nothing is left to us. This is what the Ambassador telling us, before he ended his speech he

then leaves us a question in our mind "To what purpose". As he leaves the stage I saw some people making joke out of it

laughing and teasing, hiding the gruesome truth about the extinction we ever will face.


_____________________________

AQW  Post #: 16
8/8/2014 11:08:37   
LordDarkex
Member

A Peculiar Predicament

One hazy Saturday afternoon, Nemo Quidam placed his headphones over his ears (Gyorgy Ligeti's "L'escalier du Diable," or the "Devil's Staircase") and reclined back in his chair with a book. Butterflies flitted over the flowers in his backyard, and as his eyes drifted over the pages he allowed the sun to wash over him warmly.

His job was one of great importance and position, and thus allowed him a great deal of comfort both in home and in finance. He performed his duties admirably, and he was looked upon with great affection by his peers and employees alike. Having a beautiful wife (who had at first rejected his advances but after a great deal of time and effort on Mr. Quidam's part had finally allowed herself to fall in love), a lavish estate, and many dear friends, any ordinary person would look upon his life and declare it to be as perfect as a man's life could be.

It was in this considerable comfort that he now lounged. Later, Mr. Quidam would look back upon these times and remark bitterly how confident he was in his abilities and wealth. Disaster has a ruthless way of knocking the pedestal from beneath the self-assured.

Oddly enough, disaster struck not from Mr. Quidam's surroundings – say, the crumbling of his finances or a fearsome storm – but instead sprung from the twisting synapses of his brain. As he sat there, every one of his senses entirely numbed, an odd sensation began to unfurl within him. The insistent chaos of the Devil's Staircase began to take on a more sinister quality, spinning and spinning as softly as a snake's sibilant hiss until his entire backyard seemed to rotate around him. The gentle sun now became suffocating, weighing down upon Mr. Quidam more heavily than any physical object. And the words he held in his hands drew him in till he was no longer sure whether he was reading the book or residing in the pages of the book itself. The letters morphed and twisted till they all became the same letter: “O.” The entire universe was at that moment O, his house of right angles an O through and through; his eyes, too – the unbroken O.

Everything snapped back into focus. There was nothing left of his vertiginous phantasmagoria, save one prevailing string of knowledge, repeating itself over and over: Nemo Quidam, along with everybody else in the world, was a character in a book. He knew this as certainly as he knew that one plus one equaled to two, as certainly as he knew that his wife loved him and he loved her back with all the complexity the human biology could offer. It was for this sort of knowledge that the phrase “a priori” was invented, for that was what it was: a priori, ab aeterno, since the beginning of the universe.

This presented a unique quandary. Who was writing Nemo's life? And if his life was being written by somebody else, what meaning did it have? And it were these two questions that consumed his life.

~


Of course, when encountering something remotely perplexing or disturbing, one's initial reaction is to share it with as many people as possible. So the next day at work, he approached his colleague as she was drinking a cup of coffee.

“Colleague,” declared Nemo, completely certain of his ability to convince his friend that they all were characters in a book. “Yesterday, when I was reading a book in my backyard, I suddenly discovered something at once fascinating and dreadful: you, I, and everybody else are only characters in a book! Although we seem perfectly lifelike to ourselves –” Nemo wiggled his fingers as if to prove his point “– we really are no more than than words on a page, ink on paper!”

“Nemo,” said the colleague, but her adamant friend had not yet finished. “I have no idea what this all means,” Nemo continued. “But you and I are not real!”

At this point, Nemo realized that it was there his speech must end, for there was nothing left to say. Nothing was real, and it is a futile to search for meaning in what does not exist.

The colleague, as any normal person might do, laughed nervously. Even if made in jest, the ideas and position that Nemo maintained were ludicrous; its preposterous implications were by no means mitigated by the earnest tone with which Nemo now spoke.

Realizing that he had failed to convince his colleague that she wasn't real, Nemo set out with a dogged determination to succeed with at least one person in his opulent office building. Throughout the day, his attempts were met mostly with bewilderment and, in some cases, scorn. The result was that by the time the work day had concluded, he had convinced not a single person of the world's illusory nature and had also gotten no work done whatsoever. Nemo headed home drove his luxurious sports car home, hoping to at least win his wife over.

Hardly had Nemo burst through his front door (made of the most expensive mahogany wood) when he began to deliver his now-practiced speech fervently to his wife. “My dear wife,” he implored, “Listen to me. Nobody at work today paid any attention, but I swear it's true: you and I are no more than the characters on a page, written by some unknown god-awful writer. We're not real – nobody is real! Not you, or I, or any of our friends or relatives. This entire thing is a ruse!” He gestured madly at the palatial house around them. “Look!” He ran over to the wall (which was quite far away, given the ridiculous proportions of their house) and knocked frantically on the wood. “Sounds real, right? It's not. Nothing is real, none of it, none!”

His poor wife's initial reaction was to be extremely frightened of this mad behavior that had suddenly possessed her husband. But, unwilling to allow that her presently perfect life could somehow be ruined by Nemo's troubling new conduct, his wife simply decided that her husband must be joking. What a strange sense of humor he has! she thought to herself, then went promptly to bed.

~


A revelation of this gravity is not easily ignored, and Nemo himself was not a man to resign so easily. One does not obtain a formidable wealth and command great respect by giving up at the slightest challenge, and it was this admirable tenacity that enabled Nemo to achieve his lofty status. In the greatest of ironies, however, the same trait with which Nemo gained everything would be the same trait that would ruin him. His predicament was immensely exacerbated by magnitude of his newfound discovery and by the manic mindset that such a discovery imbued him with.

Over the next few months Nemo would prove to be unrelenting in his quest for company in his newly solipsistic world. Society, as it often tends to do to anomalies, completely alienated him from civilization. His colleagues and even his employees treated him with a growing disdain, and so complete was his obsession with the fictional nature of his world that he neglected his work entirely and was consequently fired from his work. Having no source of income or even the desire to regain one, Nemo was soon abandoned by his wife, who previously thought she loved Nemo but now realized she had only loved his money and status. One restless night, as Nemo's thoughts churned even in his slumber, his wife packed her bags and left through the massive mahogany double-doors. She was a woman of an almost celestial beauty and shortly found herself another rich husband, whom she wanted desperately to truly love but knew that in her heart of hearts, he was no different from Nemo; she loved him only for his wealth.

Thus, Nemo's livelihood diminished considerably. He fired all his servants and lived alone in his mansion of echoes, secluding himself from a world that had rejected him.

~


Many months later, while Nemo was walking through town, he happened upon an ancient Chinese store – the sort that sells ancient artifacts and is associated mostly with sorcery and old men. Intrigued, Nemo entered the door and encountered an old Chinese man. He was sitting behind the counter with his back turned to Nemo. An abacus sat in his hands, and he clacked at it unremittingly. Its pattering filled the room.

“Look,” said the Chinese man. “It never ends. It is perfection – complete, whole. It does not seek, nor yearn, nor give; it simply is. We too hope to attain perfection, but we will never obtain it, for we are it. We are perfection. But despite our innate perfection, we remain ignorant – we will never reach our destination. How can something so ignorant be perfect? It is the unending circle.”

And Nemo looked, and saw that the Chinese man's attention was fixated on a piece of paper with a perfect O on it, painted by a brush. A single brushstroke that went around and around, ending where it started and starting where it ended.

At last, Nemo could stand the abacus no longer, and cried out in dismay, “What are you doing? Please, sir, stop that racket – it's driving me mad!”

After a long pause, the Chinese man turned his gaze towards him and replied, “This abacus is myself. I play with the numbers, and I calculate my existence, and it is always the same number. Zero.”

At that moment, Nemo knew that he was no longer alone in this world that did not exist; that there was another character in this infernal book that knew just as well as Nemo did that there was nothing to be said, for there was nothing at all. His eyes were opened, and Nemo noticed that everywhere, all over the shop, there were torrents of sheets, each painted with a perfect O.

And Nemo knew then the significance of the O. It was the symbol of nothing. It had zero sides, zero corners, zero anything worth mentioning. It was an imaginary boundary separating the vast voids – within it, there was nothing, and outside it, nothing. It was closed to everything. It defied meaning and definition and understanding – how could one grasp it if there was nothing to grasp?

After that day, Nemo saw the world very differently. Although it still remained false and illusory, he saw it in its entirety. The world was not what he saw through his eyes – the ceiling before he slept, himself as he brushed his teeth, his food as he ate, the wall as he thought, the television as he lived. The world was the world, regardless of what he took in through the senses. And what was the world, but a three-dimensional O?

~


Nemo's finances had nearly run out by the time he began to paint. He refused to sell his house and belongings which, despite not really existing, provided him with a great deal of comfort. A solipsistic ennui had crept over him, rendering him listless and immensely bored. One can only be entertained by the notion of unreality for so long.

One day, while on the couch watching the television, Nemo's mind wandered back to the Chinese shop and its paintings of O, and was filled with a very similar yet starkly different desire. He wanted not to paint nothing, as the Chinese man had done, but to paint everything.

Immediately he went out and bought a canvas and paintbrush, and returned to his backyard. No longer neatly kept and trimmed, it had grown wild over the fences, and flowers and vines spilled out onto the grass. As the paintbrush met the paper, Nemo knew instantly that to translate his reality onto paper was a simple matter. Existence as Nemo perceived it was only the contrast between light and darkness, and everything in between – color was hardly an object.

The months plodded on and Nemo slowly became more and more proficient with the brush. Wherever he went, he brought a canvas and brush with him, and in a few short months his entire house was, like the Chinese shop, flooded with paintings.

Nemo thought that he would like to explain his work to someone. But he had nobody to talk to, so he imagined that his wife was still with him, and he spoke to her instead.

“What are all these paintings, dear?”

“They're a way for me to create the world. Because don't you see? The world isn't real, we're all a creation, a book written by a writer.”

“Do you know who the writer is?”

“No, and frankly I don't care. I can never talk to him, and he doesn't need to talk to me since he's the one making up everything I say anyways.

“Anyways, the paintings are for me to create the world, to put what isn't real down on paper and in that way make it real. I know the paints and canvas aren't real anyways, but it's the idea of a painting that makes it real, don't you see?”

“I think I'm starting to understand, yes.”

“It's because I want to be real. I know that the writer who wrote is us real, because he is a maker, a creator – he created us. So perhaps if I can be a creator too, and paint real things, perhaps I can be real too.”

“But if the paint isn't real, and you aren't real, how can anything made by you and the paint be real?”

“They...they just are. They're real, trust me. Look,” said Nemo, become more frustrated with himself than anybody else, “The flowers in the backyard there aren't real. They're written. But now that I've put them on the paper, they at least become a little real that way.”

“Well, if you can't give me a good answer, then never-mind. You said there were two main questions, didn't you, dear? Who the writer is, and what meaning a written life has. Weren't those the most pertinent problems?”

“Well, I've already said that I don't care who the writer is, as much as I'd like to know. And as for meaning...well, I think that as written characters all we really need to do is be the characters we were written to be. Whatever your urges drive you to do, your desires or your fears – I suspect that carrying it out is all the meaning there really is. I guess that's just a fancy way of saying that I don't know.”

After having said (or imagined) that, Nemo began feeling very proud of his apparently immense profundity, but then he remembered that he wasn't talking to any actual person. His countenance fell, and he decided to go to the park to paint some more pictures.

~


Ultimately, Nemo's efforts to ground the world in his perception of reality would prove fruitless. He would die penniless, unloved, and unrecognized. Upon hearing of his death, his ex-wife and friends would ashamedly choose to not attend his funeral.

Years later, the world would descend into a third Great War, and modern society would crumble. Corruption and revolution would topple the remaining leaders. Civilization would be dominated by moss and vine. The Earth would be once more green rather than gray, the roads would crack, and the mountains would become imposing as they were in the past. But in the next few thousand years, the verdurous planet would become gray again, then green, then gray, then green again, till the two colors would become one and the same. Humanity would descend irrevocably down the Devil's Staircase, the infinite spiral, each step bringing humanity into another full circle, another O. And from beyond the sun, creatures would arrive. Humanity and the ones from beyond the sun would at first clash, then set aside their differences. And when that happened, the stars would open up, an intergalactic highway, the deep universe beckoning with open arms. Those of the Earth would abandon the sun and head for the stars; the darkness of the night would become the most comforting color.

But for now, Nemo was sitting on a bench in the park, canvas and brush set aside for the moment. He was just staring at the flowers and the sky. For just that second, a single drop of an instance in the boundless ocean that is time, he forgot about not being real. Nemo forgot about existence, and O, and L'escalier du Diable, and listened to the birds chirping. The flowers were pretty, the sky blue, and the birds soaring – so for the moment Mr. Quidam was happy.

~The End~


Speech: Nemo's speech to his friend/wife
Abacus: In Chinese shop
Fire: Fired from his job
Alien: Alienated from society (and also the star creatures, I guess)
Question: Writer/Meaning
A Letter: O
A Semi-Satisfied Person: Nemo at the very end
Laughter: Friend/wife upon hearing speech
Listening to Music with Headphones: Nemo at the beginning

< Message edited by LordDarkex -- 8/11/2014 4:21:09 >
Post #: 17
8/19/2014 8:48:31   
Kian
Creative!


Le sacrifice d'un héros


This is a prequel to the poem I wrote for the second round of this contest. It's not necessary to read it before reading this, but it would help to better understand everything. Not a poem this time... Time to give prose a shot, but of course, I couldn't help but "poetrize" it a little bit! I wrote all the key elements for this round vertically to add some "flair" to it. Hope you like it!

So here begins the tale of Markus, the soldier from
Pro Patria Mori, my poem for Round 2. There is a history behind his betrayal, which I'm
Eager to tell you. Markus was just doing his chores in the barracks, as usual. They seemed
Endless, for some reason. Probably because his team was getting pulled back. He just
Couldn't be happier. Finally out of the danger zone to spend time with
His family. Like many soldiers, he was married to
A beautiful woman. Her name was Lavinia. She had these
Bright, light blue eyes. One gaze in those pretty, little diamonds
And you couldn't help but feel jealous for Markus. His
Comrades however were more than happy for him and his wife. As a
US Navy Seal, he wasn't home a lot. He was happy to serve his country, but
Separated from his wife - and child, nota bene - made him
Feel quite depressed often. His child, Wilfred, was a very clever
Infant. Markus' thoughts were always with him. He
Recalled a moment where Wilfred was playing with his abacus with such
Excitement. As if it was only him and the abacus that mattered
And nothing else. Tears filled his eyes... It was time to go home. He grabbed the
Letters his wife sent him the past two years, which were
Initially informing Markus about how life was going in Seattle, but they
Ended up in his wife expressing her tears and emotions on paper.
Normally, he was allowed to Skype with Lavinia but that was pretty much out of the
Question here, since seeing but not being able to touch eachother was
Undeniably difficult to cope with. He sighed, and turned on the radio. Then
Everything stopped. It was "The Way You Look Tonight" by Frank Sinatra. On
September 21st, 2004, they married and danced all night
To this song. His memories came to life, as
If they married yesterday. These vivid emotions made him laugh a bit. If
Only his wife was here. To dance with Markus as if time stood still since that very day.
Nobody was around, but he decided to plug in his headphones anyway and to
Listen until the song by Frankie "Blue Eyes" Sinatra
Ended. He had goosebumps all over his body, but he was
Truly happy on that moment. As if nothing or nobody could
Take away his joy. He was immune to the outside world for a few seconds. But then
Elias, his lieutenant, shook him out of his day dream. SOLDIER! WAKE UP! I WANT YOU TO
RETURN TO BASE AND INFORM THE OTHERS! OUR BARRACKS HAVE BEEN
SABOTAGED BY ETHEREAL FORCES AND WE NEED TO WARN OUR BROTHERS UP NORTH. He
Entered the Humvee immediately and drove his way up north. He couldn't help but notice
Many flying UFO's that filled the sky. As if they spawned from the dark clouds above.
It was a very frightening sight that words cannot begin to comprehend. Markus was
Stunned, and crashed into a boulder, which lit his vehicle on fire. The unidentified
Aliens noticed the growing fire and advanced
Towards Markus' position. His assault rifle had no
Impact whatsoever on these vile looking creatures. And
Scared and petrified as he was, he refused to give up. For Wilfred. For Lavinia. He ran
For his life, still proceeding north, dodging every blow the creatures struck. But
It was all in vain. One well timed ray zapped Markus out of his position and he
Ended up sitting in a chamber, locked up to chains, awaiting his unavoidable
Doom. A larger creature walked towards him, making the other aliens uncomfortable.
Probably and most likely their leader. It was very
Easy to notice that he had an immense authority and influence upon the other aliens.
Rest assured, he spoke, you will walk out of here alive. Please,
Sit down while I explain everything. Maggots, unchain him!
Oh, how courteous of you, Markus said sarcastic, you are too nice. He spitted on the floor.
Not very clever, are you? The leader touched his head with his index finger. Markus
Spectated gruesome, atrocious slaughters of men and animals alike. But then it got
Personal. A bombardement of his comrades, his brothers ablaze, and even
Lavinia and Wilfred getting slaughtered by the aliens. STOP, he cried out loud.
ARE YOU HAPPY NOW? Markus collapsed. The creatures were ordered to pick him
Up. Listen to me, puny human, the leader spoke. If we do not
Get what we want, that will be the end of your world as you know it. One of our kin is
Hiding on this planet, disguised as a human. He comitted
Terrible crimes for which he is to be sentenced to eternal damnation. But this mutual
Enemy is cloaked. We did, however, manage to find out that he is
Roaming around your area. So he must belong to your fireteam, then. We cannot discover
His exact whereabouts, nor which soldier he is portraying. So we will most likely have to
Eliminate every single person if he is not handed over to us. Markus was
Absolutely speechless. The leader spoke one last time: If you help us eliminate your entire
Departement, you and your family will walk out of this alive. That I can
Promise you. Markus stood up and spoke: I love my wife and child to death. But to
Help you betray my squad, my fireteam, MY BROTHERS, I WILL NEVER DO SO!
Oh, what a pity... You showed great potential. The leader snapped his fingers and Markus
Noticed the aliens gathering around him, planting a device on his head, which sent
Energy waves to his brains, manipulating his thoughts and emotions. He fell, then
Stood up and said: I am ready to do whatever pleases you, my liege. Let's go hunting.

To be continued...



< Message edited by Eukara Vox -- 8/23/2014 11:21:58 >
AQ DF MQ  Post #: 18
8/21/2014 23:26:50   
Crystal Sunshyne
Member
 

Sylen's Soundtrack

Ever wish your life could be like a movie with the perfect background music always playing at the most dramatic or emotional moments? Wish you could walk down the street with perfectly chosen melodies putting a spring in your step, without having to shuffle through an unending library of songs you don’t feel like listening to at that moment? We are here to grant your wish!
Lifetrack—your soundtrack for life.
Just download this
free experimental app, plug your headphones in, and listen away!
(Side effects may include: addiction to headphones, spontaneously bursting out in song and dance, major transformations to your taste in music, minor alterations to your life at the music’s discretion, and deafness.)

Liz almost automatically deleted the ad that popped up out of nowhere on her phone, but on second thought she decided it sounded interesting. Spontaneously and slightly distractedly, she clicked to download Lifetrack and slipped headphones onto her ears as she walked out the door.

Song: Pandora’s Heaven
Artist: Immediate Music
Description: The music immediately opens a Pandora’s Box of divine epicness.(This was a randomly selected song.)


The first few steps were quiet, the flap of wings behind her barely noticeable. A raven flew past, then another, and another. The morning sky darkened. Liz quickened her pace. She glanced behind her to see an unkindness of ravens with eerily glowing eyes flying straight toward her. Her own eyes grew wide and her walk to school suddenly became a race against nightmares. Liz ducked around a corner, but the ravens followed her, the tips of their wings brushing against her as one by one they flew past and disappeared into the ominous sky. Yet the unkindness following her did not seem to diminish in size, and she kept running to the rhythm of pounding feet and flapping wings, regretting every glance behind her.

Finally Liz reached the parking lot, sprinted up the steps, and flung open the door to the school. One last raven landed on her head and pecked at her forehead. She threw it off her head and slammed the door shut. Two black feathers drifted to the ground, and the raven’s unsettling gaze followed her from the window.

Song: Your National Anthem
Artist: Some Patriotic Person
Description: This song is playing in your school right now, so we recommend listening to it. We apologize for failing to provide you with enough speed to make you punctual; your need for faster songs is noted for future reference.

Well that’s not creepy at all, Liz thought sarcastically. Were the birds summoned by the music or… She put her hand to her forehead where she still felt a dull aching but no blood, barely even a scratch from the raven’s beak. The pain was from the familiar place in her mind where a third eye might be trying to open, but it had been a long time since she’d had visions to fight off. Liz had hoped she might almost be sane again, as long as she always had music to keep away the insights that lurked in silences.

The halls were empty except for one or two other students arriving late. Liz was halfway up a quiet stairwell when the anthem stopped and she nervously checked her phone for the next song.

Song: Silence

No.

Artist: Your Gods
Description: Don’t shut out your visions. They are a divine gift.


The stairwell tilted and spun. Liz threw her arms out to balance herself, one hand on the railing and the other against the wall, and she barely managed to ease herself back onto a landing before the silence swallowed her and everything went dark.

*~*~*

Clashing swords and scattered screams tore through the fabric of the World of Dreams, armies of people with skin as grey as stones and hearts of stone that pumped sand instead of blood. A flash of brilliant red hair ran into battle, and one cry drowned out all the rest. Then there was only fire, and the blood red earth became the colour of sand.

A magnificent ash tree as old as the earth fell with a heartbreaking crash. “Father!” a golden-haired girl cried out. “What have you done?”

“How many worlds are there in the Great Forest?” A group of people shifted through the shadows of the world trees, led by a man hunched over his abacus, counting. Click, click, click. “How many worlds are there for us to rule?” The clacking of the abacus dissolved into horrible cackling and the supposed answer “All of them! All of them!”

Liz backed away from them unseen.

“Sylen.”

The voice was soft and welcoming, almost—but unplaceably—familiar. Liz turned around to face the woman who had spoken. Her raven black hair fell in soft curls past her shoulders, shoulders upon which rested ravens with piercingly bright eyes. She wore a flowing blue dress that matched the colour and beauty of her eyes. Her skin glowed faintly with the same luminescent quality that Liz’s own skin possessed when she walked in the World of Dreams in spirit form.

“How do you know me by that name?” Liz asked.

“It is your true name,” the woman replied. “And mind is Mira.”

“Mira, it is nice to meet you. You must be from Farisis, the only world where I am known as the goddess Sylen.”

Mira smiled. “No,” she said. “You chose that name in the world you created because it is your true name, the name you were born with. I am a seer from the world of Miralèle, and I have summoned you here because I need your help.”

Liz eyed the branchfuls of ravens in the cloudlike white pine behind Mira. “I think you made a mistake in bringing me here. I am not a great seer or anything, and I really want no part in magic and visions.”

“Sylen, you have the blood of a very ancient line of great seers, and you have the potential for powerful magic if you would stop fighting what you are. You created a world once; will you not fight to protect it?”

“Protect it from what?” Liz thought of the soldiers she had seen, and the fire.

A hint of despair threatened to escape from Mira’s eyes. “I fear it may already be too late,” she said. “The armies have been unleashed from the desert world, and they will not stop marching until they have taken every world in this forest. They have killed my king in Miralèle, and it will not be long before they invade your Farisis and Earth as well. Uncountable innocents will perish in every dimension they can find.”

“How do we stop them?” Liz asked.

*~*~*

Song: Make It Up
Artist: Sam Tsui
Description: Wake up; your friend is calling you! As for the plan you need, you’ll think of something!


“Liz! Liz! Are you ok?”

A blur of red hair and hazel eyes slowly came into focus. Liz sat up in the stairwell feeling dizzy again as the World of Dreams dissolved into reality.

“Crystal,” she said, “we have to go to Farisis.”

“I’d love to!” Crystal exclaimed happily. “You know I’ve been saying that for the past ten years, but you and Leila never wanted to find out if it was real, especially after we ‘outgrew’ imagination games. We can invite her to come after school and—”

“No there’s no time,” Liz interrupted. She stood up, ignoring the walls still spinning slightly, and started down the stairs resolutely. “Farisis is in danger. We have to go there now and fight to save it.”

Me: Leila, can u come 2 farisis?
Leila: omw there already
Leila: you won’t believe what just happened.

Song: Word Crimes
Artist: Weird Al
Description: Lern 2 tex tin english (Just to be unnecessarily clear, this is a parody of informal typed language, as well as a parody of such parodies, and it contains only intentional typos.)


“Oh shut up.”

“I didn’t say anything,” Crystal said.

Me: communication is in the i of the bholder
Leila: What?
Me: nvm sorry wrong window

Song: New Divide
Artist: Linkin Park
Description: I hope we can reconcile our divided opinions on communication, and also—best of luck reaching your battle in time to save it!


The patter of hooves greeted Crystal and Liz when they reached the waterfall, and an almost—but unplaceably—familiar black horse approached. Leila dismounted, her cheeks flushed and her windswept hair an untamed sea of blond waves.

“Leila!” Crystal ran to the riverside and caught her friend in a hug, unsettling the horse. “How are you? Did you ride all the way from your farm?”

Liz gently rested her hand on the horse’s neck and gazed into his midnight black eyes as though she might find in them the reason why a stranger could be familiar. He calmed and stared back into her sky blue eyes, holding all his answers unspoken.

“I swear this horse can literally fly,” said Leila. “It can’t be from this world. I don’t trust anything from that farm I randomly inherited from some weird relative to be from our planet. But also, more importantly, I don’t know how to say this—Earth’s world tree was cut down.”

“No!” gasped Crystal.

“So Earth is safe,” said Liz.

“I was supposed to be the guardian of the world tree,” Leila went on. “I was supposed to protect the door between worlds from the unknown that lurks beyond, and I let my father chop it down for wood.”

“Liz does have a point,” said Crystal. “What better way to safely lock a door than to make it vanish into an impassable wall? Not to seem pessimistic about civilization, but I’m actually surprised that tree survived as long as it did.”

“It’s not your fault,” Liz reassured her friend. “Trees are not respected in this world, you couldn’t tell him why it was important, and you couldn’t have been there in time to stop him.”

“But this is our planet’s world tree. Without it we have lost the connection to every other world in existence. Without it Earth is meaningless.”

“Every world except Farisis,” amended Liz.

“And I hear we have a battle to win,” said Crystal. “I think it’s time we actually went to Farisis.”

Song: State of Dreaming
Artist: Marina & the Diamonds
Description: You’ve been living in a make-believe land, and the make-believe world you dreamed of is your true reality.


Every wave that splashed against the river’s rocks, every footstep across those rocks toward the falls, and every echo of their childhood within the cave hidden behind the waterfall contained the repetition of a single question that had hung here unanswered for nearly a decade. It was more than just a question of whether magic existed and whether they were truly goddesses somewhere. It was also a question about the word farisis by its Farissien definition: ‘home’. When they jumped through the shimmering pool of water that served as a portal between the two worlds, the long unspoken question now voiced itself to the universe: Is Farisis real? Does there exist a place where the fact that we belong there is unquestionable?

As soon as they were in the nearly identical cave in Farisis, Crystal grabbed a sword from a shadowed crevice in the wall. Though it looked heavy, when she held it she seemed lighter on her feet, suddenly transformed into a weightless warrior.

“You’ve been coming here without us,” Sylen accused.

“Sorry.” Crystal grinned, looking exactly the opposite of apologetic.

Leila led her horse through the waterfall with some splashes of complaint, and Sylen and Crystal followed her out of the cave. The view from the Esnamen Mountain showed almost the entirety of their fantasy kingdom, from the breathtaking Fairy Forests to the mysterious Indigo Island, and all of it was now one massive battlefield. The land and rivers were red with Farissien blood, and virtually all that remained were the armies of stone monsters. The fight for their world looked hopeless, as there was hardly anything left of Farisis to save.

“We’re too late,” Sylen moaned.

Just above the waterfall was the world tree of Farisis, a weeping willow with branches trailing into the falls. Beneath it stood a man watching the war, running his fingers along the rows of beads in his abacus and laughing with dreadful glee.

Song: The Abacus Song
Artist: Kerin Gedge
Description: The main thing worth noting about this song is the rhyming of ‘Ancient Greeks’ with ‘ancient geeks’, although it’s fine if you don’t find that as humorous as we did.


Song: The Most Epic Fictional Soundtrack Ever
Artist: You
Description: That last one was just a brief interjection. This is your true battle song.


Crystal shot down the mountainside like a flaming arrow aimed at the mass of invading soldiers, her insane charge announced with the ferocious scream “Farisiiiiiiis!”

A man with dark hair and disheveled rich clothing stepped out from the willow tree, grabbed the abacus man, and pinned him to the trunk. “You killed my father,” he said, with vengeance in his eyes.

She raised her sword, and it gleamed in the sunlight like an angry flame ignited by the wildfire of her hair or the burning of her eyes.

He drew his sword slowly, the sheath whispering a raspy threat. The abacus man gasped for breath, still flattened against the willow, as gravity wreaked chaos on his calculations; his laughter was long dead.

Her blade bounced right off the first soldier’s stony skin and clattered to the ground. The soldier stepped over it and faced her with a brutal stone hammer in each hand, eyes empty and merciless.

“I am your uncle,” the abacus man managed to say. “Your father stole the throne from me.” The sword froze in midair.

Crystal’s glare took hold of the soldier by his heart and crushed it in a fist of flames. He exploded, showering his fellow soldiers in sand and stone. And then the entire battleground was an explosion of flame. Uncontrollable wildfire erupted from the earth and sky, tearing through the very fabric of reality. “You dare invade my world!” the goddess cried out as the stone soldiers crashed to the sandy ground and only the few innocent Farissiens still huddled in safety from the fight were spared from her fiery wrath. She looked like someone entirely possessed by magic, like a true goddess of fire, and in that moment Sylen was terrified of her.

Song: I See Fire
Artist: Ed Sheeran
Description: Your world is in flames.


I wonder if I should be worried by how observant this app is, thought Sylen.

Midnight black eyes observed her as she watched her world fall apart, eyes that she still could not place in her memory.

“Will you hold my horse?” asked Leila.

Sylen nodded and absently ran her hands through the horse’s mane as Leila climbed toward the summit of the Esnamen Mountain. Her fingers caught on something tied to an oddly luminescent braid in the mane; it was an envelope that also glowed translucently like something from the World of Dreams and that bore her name in an almost—but unplaceably—familiar language.

Song: Shatter Me
Artists: Lindsey Stirling featuring Lzzy Hale
Description: Everything you thought you knew is about to be shattered.


Sylen unfolded the letter and read:

Dearest Sylen,

I am deeply sorry that I must leave you now. There are no words to describe how it breaks my heart that I will not be there to see you grow into the person you are meant to be. But you will be raised by a couple who will take good care of you, in a world where magic is weak, where you will be safe. I promise I will watch over you from Tyrmesy’m, the World of Dreams, and you will know where to find me as soon as your visions begin. When the magic comes to you, you will understand the language of Tyrmesy’m; you will read this someday and know that I will always be there for you in the world that exists between us.

I foretold a prophecy before your birth: the first time you set foot in your own world, the entire world will be destroyed. I fear this may be the kind of prophecy that cannot be prevented, but I must do everything in my power to ensure that you do not set foot in your home world and it cannot come to pass. I hope you understand the paramount importance of this.

More than anything I want to stay with you, but I cannot forsake my people in Miralèle, and I must think of my son as well, Prince Roran of Alfarfilèr Lilé. A mother should never leave her daughter, but a queen cannot abandon her kingdom.

I pray that you will remain forever safe from my prophecy, and I hope that you will forgive me.

Your loving mother,
Mira
(Letter entrusted, along with the safety of my dear daughter, into the care of my most loyal magic steed, Kazrel.)


Sylen blinked back tears and almost wanted to laugh at how perfectly that prophecy had ruined everything yet still given her the peace of mind she desired. She had a world where she belonged—not on Earth where she was raised, in Miralèle with her royal family, or in the World Between where she was born, but here in Farisis, the world she created, her own world.

The world that had just been destroyed.

Song: Listen
Artist: Beyoncé
Description: Just listen.


“My fellow goddesses, Farissiens, and… guests,” Leila called from the mountain peak, her words echoing throughout the crumbling kingdom with the omnipresent voice of a deity. Crystal paused, flames curling around her fingertips waiting to be thrown, and listened. “Let it be known that this world will never submit to any conquerors from elsewhere. All who come in peace will be welcomed as friends, but those who aim to rule us will be turned away as trespassers in our imagination. By the power of the World Tree that connects us to the Great Forest of Worlds and protects us from unwanted otherworldly guests, I banish you!”

The abacus king was swallowed by the willow tree and vanished into Tyrmesy’m, and a sword still hovered in the empty air above where he had been; Prince Roran’s eyes were stolen by the goddess Leila.

As the remaining soldiers that had been sculpted out of magic and stone toppled back the earth or froze as statues, Leila continued, “Let it be known that Farisis shall always remain free and unconquerably magical; however, in honour of balance and peace, it should be taken into consideration to establish a structure that governs magical power. Wild magic is too chaotic; it can be harnessed by our foes, and Crystal, your fire will only destroy Farisis more thoroughly than any army could.”

Blazing flames were still spreading through the Fairy Forests even after Crystal had calmed. The tides retreated to gather their power, but before Leila could call forth waves to wash away the wildfire Sylen summoned the Nahron wind to snuff it out in swirls of solid darkness. The seas smoothed quietly once more.

“Do not despair,” said Leila, “for our kingdom shall not stand in ruins for long. We, as goddesses, possess the power to redraw the maps and recreate a Farisis stronger and more wondrous than ever. When future generations recount this day, it will not be the tale of how Farisis ended. This will be the story of how Farisis was born.”

Song: Rebirth
Artist: Error 111—information is misremembered or in transformation
Description: Just watch.


The oldest Farissien legends recount the creation of New Farisis as the greatest miracle in the universe, and it is said that the entire world was sculpted from pure wild magic and imagination. The stories describe how the ancient wild magic was gathered in shining white spirals to be channelled into the centre of the planet, how the magic splintered into seven elements that could be used in more controlled environments, and how the planet itself was transformed from one flat kingdom to a tetrahedron with one realm ruled by the elements of each goddess. Fairies, elves, and humans migrated away from the ruins of Ancient Farisis into the other realms, each bringing with them a different version of the legends of this new world’s creation. To this day it is believed that the goddesses always appear in times of great peril to restore balance in the world, and the dragons that carry the sun and the moon through the sky are mighty protectors of peace.

As the horizons shifted and the world was reborn from its ashes, Roran still watched from beneath the willow tree. His desire for vengeance and reclaiming his own kingdom in Miralèle seemed to have paused for a moment while he listened to the Leila’s speech and witnessed the spectacular display of the three goddess’s magics combined. The golden-haired goddess just steps away from him on the summit of the Esnamen Mountain appeared to have captured a piece of his heart with the kind of immediate certainty that is only possible in fairytales and imagination. When the world was safe once more, Leila’s eyes met his.

Song: I See the Light (Tangled Cover)
Artists: PetesJams and Carrie Hope Fletcher
Description: This is too adorable. Don’t you think they look exactly like Flynn and Rapunzel? Also, the world really has shifted. Farisis is a completely different place than it was yesterday.


There is seriously nothing more annoying than having to listen to mushy music playing for one of my best friends and my long-lost brother after just finding out I was adopted from another planet, Sylen thought. I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel about this… But I guess this app may have, in a way, helped us to save Farisis from being completely taken over and allow us to rebuild it into something awesome.

She removed her headphones, deciding not to ignore the power of her silences.

Your feedback is essential. Please rate your satisfaction with this product:
5—very satisfied
4—satisfied
3—mostly satisfied
2—semi-satisfied
1—slightly satisfied
0—unsatisfied

Thank you for testing Lifetrack.


End Round 4

< Message edited by PyroPuppy -- 3/8/2015 13:29:38 >
Post #: 19
11/13/2014 15:49:44   
Grandpa Oz
How We Roll Winner
Nov14


About a Hero

A man named Ovid had long wandered East,
A journey long from beast to feast,
One day, he found a lost old place,
And near a fountain's former grace
He sought for rest and drank some wine,
But just as he was done to dine,
Lightning struck through northern lands.
Thus Ovid, time so beamy at his hands,
Abandoned his hunt to seek out the cause,
And rambled fast without a pause.
A mountain-range was in his way,
He asked the chiefs, that if he may,
Slay the range just like a foe,
And upon "yes" launched doing so.
The range was huge, shaped like a L,
And tainted with some throrough spell -
He first approached the wall by south,
And backed it up with skill and youth.
The second stroke came from the west,
From the direction he found best,
And finally, the ending strike,
That felled the mountains to his like.
The chiefs, they glared and were amazed,
About the wonder they had gazed,
And offered much: A joy-filled house,
A golden cup, a willing spouse,
Galores of food Ovid could never eat,
And on the highest bank a seat -
If just this Hero were to stay
As steadfast ally in their fray.
Ovid then said, as cloyed as pleased:
"Just one craving I need eased,
If you, oh chiefs, can help me out,
I'll stay here in this place and shout
To all the foes that haunt this place:
That they would now be mine to chase!"
The chiefs replied, in awe and hope:
"Every treasure we can cope!
Tell us just what your wish is!"
"It's simple as a maiden's kiss -
Reach to the Sky, hand me the moon,
For me to keep, midnight and noon!"
Ovid then laughed, and walked away,
Since he would never choose to stay.
He then set eye on a cloud in the sky,
Forgot the ligthning, chased a fly,
Continued his travel, went here and there,
Died and never knew despair.
DF AQW  Post #: 20
11/19/2014 16:50:03   
Crystal Sunshyne
Member
 

A Spark of Shattered Sunlight

Lightning struck them the day I appeared, a thunderbolt from the storm that swallowed the small trading ship, tipped them over the edge of the world and hurled them into the Sylen Sea. Lucky tells me he was lowering the sails when the bolt of lightning broke the mast, and he escaped being crushed by mere inches with only a splinter of wood in his eye—he always has the kind of spectacular luck that it is impossible to define as either good or terrible, hence the nickname. Later, when the storm had passed and they floated in calmer waters, they tried to fix the mast and found an unexpected gift from the squall. Lying inexplicably amidst the bundle of tumbled sails was a baby boy who blinked at the world with lightning in his eyes; they called me Flash because they say I was born from the thunderbolt that broke the ship. Lightning incarnate, perhaps, is how they saw me—especially once I began to dissolve dark clouds just by staring through them and illuminate the misty waters with crackling bursts of bright energy—but I always believed I was something else, a form of light that I did not yet understand.

Lost at sea was a rough way to live, and it drove most of the crew to madness and mysterious disappearance, but the treacherous Sylen Sea was where I was raised so the adventures seemed natural to me and I loved every minute of them. Life was an endless voyage through the unknown in search of freedom, food, and safe passage back to the forgotten realm my friends had once called home. Longing for home was what caused most of their insanity, I think, because while the constant crashing of waves and roaring of wind was my home, to them the sea had always just been a place between destinations where they could never truly be at peace. Lone ships sailed past us every now and then, equally as lost as we were, and we would stop them for directions, nourishment, and company, if they had anything to offer; sometimes they would be madmen or bandits or nightmarish monsters, and we learned to fight to defend ourselves from what lurked in the oceanwide darkness. Like any sensible sailors would do if they found themselves permanently adrift at Sylen’s mercy, we became pirates and lived off of what we could steal from the islands and ships that passed us in the ever-present mist. Locupletative plunders, though greatly celebrated, were few and far between, however, and we often had very little to keep us going other than necessity and the immeasurable passage of time.

Legends found their way to our ears, tales brought to us by other voyagers on the endless sea, that spoke of a portal not only to freedom but to the most precious treasure in the world: the buried heart of the goddess Leila. Located in the very centre of the Sylen Sea, they say, is a water portal that can teleport a ship back to Leila’s realm, the lands where my friends once lived. Labyrinthine mists are all that stand between us and the portal to the legendary lake. Leila’s Heart, the lake is called, named for its location in the heart of Leila’s continent, for its heart-shaped form, and for the heart the stories claim the goddess has locked away beneath its frozen surface. Latibules are nearly all that these misty waters are made of, but none as well hidden as the exit they speak of and the treasure it promises; no one is known to have found it but every sailor who can call himself a pirate has tried. Letter ‘L’s decorate the sails of the ships that litter the lost seas, declaring their quest, for even the most illiterate pirate knows that the Farissien letter ‘L’ is written in the shape of a heart.

“Land!” squawked Lory the lorikeet at one indeterminate point in that thing some people call time.

Lark sprang to his feet, harp in hand, and sang to the approaching island:

“Laaaaand, la la la la laaaand,
Let us land upon your shore the fog enshrouds,
Leave behind the misty waves of ocean foam;
Little island, star among the midnight clouds,
Lead us home.”

Lazy grunted in his sleep—he has taken to sleeping through almost everything, for he believes that dreams in the Sylen Sea are more vivid and worthwhile than reality. Lucky shook him awake, and we left him to guard the ship while we descended to explore the island.

Land is impossibly harder to walk on than the floor of a moving boat; I always stumble trying to find my balance on such a stable surface, thrown off by the lack of chaos. Lapideous shore became soft forest floor and still my feet felt awkward as I stumbled forth into this unknown territory with my comrades. Light little graceful footsteps approached us from behind the shadows of the trees, the sound of feet that wandered for a living, steady and calm without a second of stillness. Looking back I think from that first moment I fell a bit in love with the way she walked—her calmness just crazy enough to keep my chaos company—but I could be projecting my current feelings onto the memory.

Lark’s musically sensitive ears heard her quiet footfalls too, and he paused on the path, drew his sword and called “Who’s there?”

Like the blur of a midnight breeze she shot out of the shadowed trees, a swish of star-patterned black cloak worn by a hidden hooded figure, and she almost rushed past us to disappear again into an endless pathless journey of isolation except that we were in her way. Lucky’s sword caught on her hood, flicking it back and revealing a crescent-thin sliver of silver skin from a face so pale it glowed. Lashing out at the likely unintentional intrusion into her space, she disarmed my one-eyed pirate friend in a sudden sweeping glint of steel. Lark laughed, until she turned her hooded face toward him holding both Lucky’s sword and her own.

“Lovely maiden of hidden beauty and talent, we mean you no offence,” said Lark. “Like almost every other wanderer in the Sylen Sea, all we seek is the elusive path home.”

“Listen,” I added as she slowly lowered her swords, “we are somewhat lost; would you happen to know where the portal to Leila’s realm may be found?”

Lips smiled silently, providing no answer but barely perceptible agreement, and she pointed her rapier in the direction we had asked.

Lark persuaded her to join us and guide our ship toward the portal we seek, and now here she stands, an uncountable number of moments into the journey. Leaning on the side of the ship and gazing out into the mist, she holds her sword beside her with the wings of the decorative cardinal on its hilt spread as if in flight and the magical compass beneath them glowing. Loosely hanging midnight fabric is swept aside in the ocean breeze, revealing the profile of the most beautiful face I have ever seen. Light shimmers through her soft white skin, and the single silver eye that returns my stare shines more brightly than all the stars combined. Looking into her eye, even with only half of her face freed from the hood that cloaks her in darkness, I am certain in this moment that no matter how far I wander across the seas I will never find anything more precious than this girl.

*~*~*

And a Piece of the Broken Moon

Let the universe and all its meaning unravel.

I cannot let myself feel this much love, so without meaning to I follow my first instinct to disappear—I dive into the mist, into the darkness of fears and desires, and I fall. I sink beneath the ocean waves into the whirlpool of misty water that surrounds me in a disorienting spiral. All my life I have run from myself and from anything I could care about, but now… no matter how far I run I cannot escape this feeling that I am falling in love against my will. I wish for freedom from my heart, but I know the mist will always bring the opposite of whatever I long for—which is a problem now that I am no longer free of deeply longing—and there is nothing I can do to keep from falling not only deeper inside myself but into the lake of the goddess on the other side of this whirlpool. I feel the frozen surface of Leila’s Heart above me, suffocating me in the water beneath, and all my attempts to break through it fail. Finally I accept that I am trapped here; I sink to the bottom of Leila’s Heart expecting that I will drown and not caring enough to fight for my survival. I lose consciousness and fade into the darkness of memories that float around me in a deep, murky pool.

The moments when I met the people I care about were like the introductions of golden chains tied to the wings that bring freedom to my soul. They changed me, made it more difficult to fly away and leave everything behind because their company somehow grew to feel more normal. I resent them for it, just a little, even though I know my desire for absolute freedom is impossible, irresponsible and irrational.

The friendships I made along my wanderings were purely accidental. I could last without stumbling across civilization for long stretches of what might be called time, and since I had little other direction I made the avoidance of company and conversation my main goal. So when I encountered Mirabel in a clearing of a forested island, my first reaction as she greeted me and introduced herself was to take a step back toward the protection of the trees, to retreat from the threat of participating in anything social. But I hesitated to vanish from this kind stranger sitting alone at a structurally fascinating table that seemed to have grown from the ground like something alive, laden with delicious dishes that beckoned me to follow food’s welcoming call.

“Please stay and have something to eat,” offered Mirabel.

It was easier to admit to hunger than to loneliness, and there was something wise and mysterious about this woman that I liked, so I nodded in thanks and accepted the meal.

My name is Sheen, I thought, digging into the fruit bowl. It is a pleasure to meet you, my lady, and for your hospitality I am most grateful.

“So you do speak,” said Mirabel.

I speak only to those who can understand my silences, I told her, and she listened, calm and still. I linger in the shadows behind thought so that my dreams do not become fully formed, for it is easier to fantasize about life than to step forth and live, less painful to hesitate than to try and fail. Trust me, I know failure too well. I’m not bitter or broken, but I prefer not to belong too soundly in any one place because I find quietly wandering through the mists more peaceful.

“You are more broken than you think, my child,” she said, “but there is a light in you stronger and more important than you know: you are made of magic pure and powerful. The sun and the moon have shattered, leaving our world in a state of utter darkness that, unless the pieces can be found and reunited, will be eternal. That I have lived to meet one of the pieces of the splintered moon personified in the form of living light is truly a marvel.”

You believe I am a piece of something celestial?

“I know it,” Mirabel told me, “and I know that you will find the other pieces of the moon because I have a compass that will help you navigate out of Sylen’s unchartable mists to wherever you need to travel.”

She gave me the most perfectly balanced sword I had ever held, a gorgeous rapier that glided effortlessly through the air as though enchanted to steady my hand as it comfortably gripped the hilt decorated with a beautiful cardinal. The wings of the cardinal on the sword’s pommel opened, and beneath the brilliant red feathers was a little transparent orb containing different coloured lines of energy pointing outward from the centre in all directions; the orb glowed with magic that powered the balancing spell.

“Each of the glowing lines points to one of the major sources of magic in the world,” explained Mirabel. “Our planet, Farisis, is tetrahedral. The four white lines point to the pure magical energy flowing from the four corners of the world, and the coloured lines display the magic that is elemental. The four blue lines indicate the sources of water magic in the centre of each face: one in Sylen’s side of the world where we are now, one in Leila’s Heart that all the lost sailors seek to find using the ability of magical sources of the same kind to act as portals, one in the Winterland where spirits sleep beneath the snow and only goddesses and ice dragons can roam freely and return to the land of the living, and one in the realm of the goddess Crystal. The remaining six lines in your compass show the directions of light, fire, darkness, earth, air, and ice magic sources that are each located in the middle of one of the edges of the world and are accessible only to the two planes that border it, in general. This sword’s enchantment will help you find balance and direction from the magnetic attraction that pulls each piece of magic toward the sources of all that is magical.”

When I met Flash I used the compass to help steer his ship toward the source at the very centre of the Sylen Sea, and after spending more time in his company than I usually allowed myself to spend with another person I was eventually overcome by the useless, impossible, unnecessary desire to shift the universe around him to make everything in his life go well. As soon as I noticed that I cared a little bit too much about this random red-haired pirate searching for Leila’s Heart, I fled to the mists that had always allowed me my unending freedom, and I let my newly chained wings unfurl. But chained wingbeats are meaningless when the possibility of escape is not in my control. I can’t simply move on because I have not let go; I have only buried everything that I could not bear to feel.

The strange sensation that I am not dead prompts me to open my eyes and discover that a dry, cozy house has replaced the sea of turmoil. I am in the abandoned dwelling at the bottom of Leila’s Heart—the home of her hidden heart and the library that contains every letter never sent in the bookcases that line each wall. I am not alone, I think as I scan the shelves; the goddess understands how hard some things can be to tell. A decorative water fountain labelled ‘The Fountain of Unshed Tears’ stands in the centre of the hall. When I approach it a single tear accidentally falls from my eye and splashes into the water with the sound of a magical key unlocking a hidden compartment to whatever secrets this fountain has to unveil. Hidden beneath the fountain is a beautiful wooden box inside which I find a golden, softly beating, heart-shaped stone safely wrapped in the arms of a little Angel.

I hold the heart of the goddess in my hands, and I am moved by the impossible strength that can reside in something so frail. Suddenly I feel selfish for imagining that my own heart might matter enough to be worth the amount of trouble it has caused, when everything I feel pales before the burden of the entire world’s worries squeezed into a single heart that must somehow carry it all. I don’t think I would survive the attempt to fit the whole world inside my heart; Leila must be a very strong and loving person to have tried, and I want to share my light to help her heal.

Flash appears in Leila’s hidden house, having found the library with the help of my sword with the compass in its pommel. My eyes, forgetting to retreat behind the hood that has fallen away, say that it is good to see him; and I see him more clearly, now, his hair as red as fire and his eyes as gold as light, glowing like the piece of the shattered sun I didn’t realize he was until this moment made his magic meaningful. A horrible, soul-shattering happiness takes hold of me and I can’t shake joy’s irresistible pull. His hug makes me sparkle, like I remember that I am made of softly shimmering silver light and every spec of my glitter is his to steal. I should mind being stolen, I want to mind, but I don’t; the more of my heart I decide to give away the stronger, paradoxically, it begins to feel. The fountain glistens with our shining gold and silver reflections, and it occurs to me that it might not only be tears of sadness that Leila keeps unshed beneath her shell.

I have wandered all my life feeling lost, I think, but here in your arms I feel at home, happy and peaceful. I love you more deeply than my words or actions can express, but I will not ask for anything more than this: just be my friend, and I will be forever grateful. I can’t promise you my future or my past or even much of my present, but I can promise to try to never let our friendship fail. We are both broken, but we are both made of light and we shine stronger together; let me search with you for the lost pieces of ourselves until we find them and restore light to the world as I have faith that we shall.

“Listen,” I whisper, and I gently place Leila’s heart into his palms, trusting that in her heartbeat he will hear the echo of my own and learn the message that my spoken words will never reveal.

End Round 5

< Message edited by PyroPuppy -- 7/27/2015 14:05:13 >
Post #: 21
12/8/2014 9:43:30   
Lord Noonien Soong
Member

The Cost of Humanity


Tell me...have you ever truly thought of the definition of life? Of how much power that blows your mind to the edge of your own existence?

My name is Fenton Targovi.

Shade guardian/ shadow of the Kugyer Dimension, server of Elstwix, the Bringer of the Burning Born, and Fourth King to the Kugyer throne, to a world still fairly young.

And this is the story of how I came to be what I am and will be, today, tomorrow, and for eternity...


huff...huff...

Gristhal Kagonvar, drow teenager, ran, his eyes covered with a blindfold soaked in blood, and his hands and legs manacled, through the forest, or at least he thought it was, based on how it felt on his feet. He knew that he would have to hide the mysterious letter-like birthmark he had to prevent being identified, in these times everyone knew everyone, and it wasn't safe enough to take chances.


Kagonvar had managed to escape the labor camp in which he and his kind, were forced to work the rest of their lives in service to the Elves, so that they could find some dusty old book that could "bring back the piece to the world." But he and all the others knew they were bargaining for trouble.

"Oof!"

He tripped over a log, and landed face first in the leaves, and immediately he heard the galloping of hooves quickly catching up to him, and moments later he could hear the jingle of a saddle as the elves dismounted.

"Drow scum! Trying to flee the camps, thinking you're some sort of a bird, are you?" A male voice taunted mennacingly to him, dismounting off his horse, and walking to the downed drow boy.

"You'll be lucky to not become one of the decorations on the city gate along with your mother when I'm finished with you!"

"Mendavic! Stand your ground, soldier! It isn't your place to be making such claims, you darn well know better than to go jabbering off like a chipmunk to escapees! Now stand by our horses!" A stern, more older voice called to Kagonvar's antagonist.

Kagonvar stayed still as he heard the crunch of boots walk off, then heard another pair come to approach him, and he immediately knew that his life would be more miserable that night.

The boy endured through a beating that night, and was locked in a small cell in some high rise building, only as big as a box, and wept silently that cold night. The painful reminder of what had happened to his mother made his heart ache (along with the whip lashes he had gotten that night), and he had paid the price for trying to fight from her trying to be killed, by never seeing the world again, but he was glad he was blinded from it forever, with the demon raiding camps roaming the world, and the humans fighting their own wars that had ravaged this earth, there was little to live for.

Suddenly, an arrow flew through the bars through his cell, he could hear it's whistle and feel it's breath against his skin, and flinched, he ran his fingers along the wall until he pulled the arrow from the wall, and realized a piece of parchment was wrapped around it!

His deft fingers quickly unwrapped the parchemnt from the shaft of the arrow, and a blinding light like a thousand suns burst in his head!

Kagonvar unsuccessfully tried to block out the light, forgetting his blindness, when suddenly the light started to form words in the darkness in his mind!

"I know you want to escape, and I can help you, but you must help me first, if you want to exact your revenge on the elves...it will cost your life, and your being. Meet me on the roof."

The light blinked out, and suddenly Kagonvar started to recover his senses. He felt a draft, and realized that his cell door was open, but that meant he'd have to climb the summit of the Highrise building.

Slowly creeping out of his window-like cell, he slowly found hand and footholds, then began to climb

It had felt like hours, but was most likely only ten minutes, when his hand felt the ground of the roof. He quickly crawled up, and immediately an evil shadow, creeping in the darkness, had its prescence known.

"You came to make a deal with me, stranger of dark. But how do I know that you are telling the truth?" Gristhal spoke, hearing voice sound a little strange.

"Because I'm a deity who knows the secrets of a many, and there is something special in you that can be felt, boy. You may be blind, and you may have little to stick around for, but my preposition can change that, and it will be a good one, I promise."

"Speak then."

"I am Elstwix, king of the Darkenbreach, a refuge where souls of all shapes and kinds live, but some have been escaping from my plain, some deity has put a hole through life and death, and I need a hunter to track these souls, and make them perish, and you are the right person for the job."

"What can you do for me what I can' t do for myself?"

"I can give you back your eyesight, I can let you bring the elf race to their knees, and a lot much more."

"What do I have to do?"

"Jump off this roof, it will kill yourself, but your soul will survive, and can take the form of anyone you choose."

"And how do I know you aren't tricking me?"

The person gave an irritated sigh, "Why does it always have to come to those words, why else would I have chosen you?!"

"People are devious in many ways, this time I'm not taking any chances."

"So be it then. If you so badly want to know, you shall become my personal soul tracker, and watcher of the world, a shade of mine if you will."

"Alright, either way I guess it would've came to this anyways."

And with those words, and without any hesitation whatsoever, Gristhal Kagonvar, fourteen year old drow boy, jumped, feeling the short moment of weightless falling for a couple of moments, and immediately he saw his sight return, he seemed to be in some kind of coffin, he was wearing a leather tunic, a broadsword, a dagger, and his hair was combed.

He momentarily panicked, struggling in such a small space, but finally calmed down, and got to his senses.

He clawed at his waist, and immediately grasped the hilt of his sword, and managed to yank it out of it's scabbard, though he was surprised at its lightness for such a large blade!

Then he swung, and as he broke the lid, water came gushing forth, and immediately he held his breath, and prepared to swim. As soon as he was out of the coffin, he saw that it was chained to the sea floor which were held in place by special magnets, and found it odd to be in such a position when the coffin would sink itself.

He swam until he broke the surface, but he emerged out of a fountain! He entered into what seemed to be a throne room of sorts. And perched on that throne sat a man that looked nothing human.

His face was a skull, covered in some sort of flesh with cracks of blood in it, and horns of a ram came out of his head, and the eyes were small and beady, like that of a badger.

"Elstwix?"

"The one and the only."

"Where is this place?"

The creature set a cup full of wine he'd been drinking from down and walked over to the curious drow boy, and put a red hand on his shoulder.

"By "this place" I assume you mean Darkenbreach, and all I will say is that it is everywhere and nowhere, a place where the dead and decayed spend the rest of their existence, paying for their crimes."

"Even for the ones who never did anything?"

Elstwix chuckled with those words, and said, "You amuse me child, everyone has done something in their life that could hurt the world, never will there be a person who hasn't done something bad, it's simply unheard of that no one has commited a sin in their former life. Enough talk though, we have business to attend to."

"Since you are now my assistant, we have to change your name, which from now on will be, Fenton Targovi, you have already pledged an eternal oath to me, and you will obey me, and that letter you were born with? It has always stood for 'E', though it is chosen randomly every countless millenia, that is how I know you are my true Spirit Tracker."

"And if I disobey?"

The evil shadow of the world chuckled again, only a little more softly this time, "Trust me, you won't."

Now, you are to search for this book. I have implanted coordinates in your brain as well as some defensive spells so that you are unfindable. Do not come back without that book, or the consequences could be quite dastardous."

With those words spoken, the creature snapped its talon-like fingers, and his new "assistant" was gone.

Upon arrival Targovi had a spade and rations packed with him. He immediately got to work, and started digging a hole in which an old water fountain had once sat.

As he had been digging, he had realized that maybe both the Elves and Elstwix could both be using this tome for evil, and in reality, it was Targovi who made the decision who should have it. He decided then, the moment he had dug up the book, that neither of them would have it, there was simply too much to gamble, and too much to lose. He then tucked the book in a knapsack and immediately plotted his course to a small town by the name of Selpas, in which he'd hide for the rest of his eternal existence, until the next Spirit Tracker of Elstwix would come to find him. It'll only be a matter of time.


Though I may not be bound by the chains of my existence anymore, I still miss the feel of being human, getting hungry, sweating, feeling sick, but I know that I am doing the right thing for this world, since everyone this day in age has become corrupt with greed for their own selfish purpose, it is best to not have any more magic to exist, or else the gates of the Underworld could break lose-Fenton Targovi, Spirit Tracker of the King of the Burning Born.


< Message edited by Lord Noonien Soong -- 12/24/2014 14:11:07 >


_____________________________

AQ DF AQW  Post #: 22
12/8/2014 9:55:58   
Locithes
Member

A King’s lesson


It was once a dark lonely summer’s eve, on the desolate streets of Featherstone.
No living soul walked in these abandoned streets that night, apart from one; Edward Featherwood. Prince Edward, rightful heir to the throne of Featherstone had a particular, even odd habit as he loved to walk among the streets as a normal person, as a butcher, a baker, a blacksmith or whatever more you could think of.

Deep down in his heart, Edward felt that he didn’t belong in the wealth and opulence of his father. So he walked and he walked through the streets of the town, his town. Every villager was certain that there is more than meets the eye in this young prince.

As the prince returned to his father’s palace, he watched the beautiful sunset. Until the sun disappeared behind the highrise buildings of Featherstone.
Edward continued his walk towards home until something alarmed him. He sensed an Evil Shadow behind him. As he swiftly turned around, the Shadow fled towards the forest. Prince Edward chased the Evil Shadow until he reached the border of the woods. He didn’t want to enter the forest, because no man dared to take that risk.

Suddenly, he heard the noice of a shooting bow. The young prince turned around and noticed a sealed letter hanging on the stem of a large oak. The arrow that has been fired had pierced the letter and shot it on the tree trunk. Edward searched the area for the archer but found nothing.

Carefully he approached the letter, still aware of the danger that had threatened him minutes ago.

And he read: ‘‘Prince Edward, I need to have a word with you. Meet me at the water fountain in the centre of town.’’

Indecisiveness filled Edward’s mind, what should he do? The prince decided to take the risk and he walked towards the town’s centre. As he approached the water fountain, he remembered the beauty of it. Custom made for the royals of Featherstone, this fountain was no ordinary piece of art. It was crafted with what some people believe to be magic.

The sparkling white and blue water of the fountain made extraordinary loops and Prince Edward knew why. A special magnet was hidden underneath the water, and the water itself was unnatural aswell. With all these factors combined, the craftsmen who made this fountain, manufactured the most beautiful fountain of the country.

Whilst glancing at all this beauty, Edward forgot the true purpose of his visit. He heard footsteps in the back and a hooded figure walked towards him.
The menace made him reach for his sword but the hooded figure reassured the young prince. Strangely enough, the man was holding a book. A token of wisdom?

‘‘Do not worry’’, the hooded figure explained. You, my young prince, can call me ‘Shepherd’. Wondering how he got that name, Edward demanded the purpose of this meeting. Shepherd answered: I would like to talk to you because I want to show you something. Allow me to blindfold you and take you to a walk through town. The voice of Shepherd was very convincing and thus Prince Edward got blindfolded.

As he knew the town like the back of his hand, the blindfold was no issue at all for Prince Edward. The two passed the blacksmith and the butcher and eventually stopped at the Bakery Store. Shepherd removed Edward’s blindfold and they gazed at the Baker with a wheelbarrow. Inside the wheelbarrow, they saw the remains of the Baker’s young son.

Prince Edward was shocked and approached the Baker. ‘’Dear Baker, I’m so sorry for your loss. When did your son die?’’ The inconsolable baker explained that his son died this night, he got sick a few weeks ago and couldn’t recover. Surprisingly, the baker did not recognize Prince Edward. Most likely because he was grief-stricken.

The strange figure watched how Prince Edward proposed to bury the Baker’s son with his help. Shepherd nodded approvingly.

The baker took the wheelbarrow to a small field nearby and Prince Edward carried the spades. Together they began to dig a hole and eventually the hole became large enough to make a proper grave.

The Baker carefully placed his deceased son in the grave and Shepherd asked if the Baker would like him to say a few words. He approved and after a few minutes Shepherd’s beautiful speech was over. The three began to cover up the grave and walked back to the Baker Store.

After a consolating farewell, Shepherd and Prince Edward continued their walk. Suddenly, Prince Edward spoke: I think I know why you called yourself Shepherd, father. You are the shepherd of our people and thanks to the walk we made, I learned a very valuable lesson.

Edward’s father, King Featherwood responded. That is very good, I showed you all of this because a true king is the shepherd of all his subjects. He makes the right decisions for his citizens and should help with the burial of the Baker’s son or any other man. That is the true task of a king and I’m sure that one day, you’ll be a rightful heir to the throne and to our people.
In the past, you loved to walk in the streets as a normal person. But now you see that even when you’re king, you can. Because a king is no different than any other citizen. We all contribute to the sake of our land.

And together, father and son, king and prince walked back to their castle.

____________________________________________________________



< Message edited by Locithes -- 12/8/2014 10:26:04 >
AQ AQW  Post #: 23
12/24/2014 1:06:55   
Dragonnightwolf
How We Roll Winner
Apr/Jun/Aug15


The Rise and Fall of Clarence West


Life. Life on the dusty trail was hard. Hard and hot. You could bake in the noonday sun like a twice baked potato in an oven. Yep. Them was some hard times right there.
The whole town of Whistletheed Creek was in an uproar about those new contraptions people were building. My name is Clarence West. I'm sheriff of this town. You break the law, you get sent to jail. Simple as that.
A knock came upon the door and deputy Mills answered it. "Lord have mercy, If'n it ain't lil old deputy Mills. Oh. There you are." I glanced up at the face coming before me. "Why Misses Lenore. What brings you to my building ma'am?" I got up and offered her a chair.
The poor lass sat down without a second thought.

"Oh Sheriff West, it's just downright terrible. I was reading my favorite book when I heard a loud thump outside my door. Naturally; I thought it was Todd, from the Clergy, come a visiting." Her eyes went wide and her bottom lip trembled.
"I found a letter stating I should get out of town while I still could. I. I don't know where else to turn. Ya got to help me West." She seemed extremely upset and handed the letter over to me. I gave it a quick look but didn't discover any clues.

"I'll see what I can do Ma'am." I replied giving her a tip of my hat. The outfits ranged from tan browns to deep leather colorings. I went into the Saloon at about two looking for Injun Jack. He was a local native. Sharp wit, sharp tongue and a short temper to boot.
"Hey Jack." I called once I spotted him in the motley crowd. An evil shadow of a man hiding behind a big burly guy with muscles upon his muscles. "What do you want?" Jack replied none too happy to see me. Can't really blame the guy. I did accidentally break his finger one time ago.

"Need to talk to you, Jack." I said walking up to him. As I approached I made note that he had a bow and arrow at the ready. "Buzz off!" he replied angrily. That just about tore my patience. I grabbed him and shook him as hard as I could. "Listen you sorry excuse for a man. I need answers. And I need them pronto!" He ignored me pulling out a blade longer than my face. So that's how it went down. Injun Jack wound up on the wrong side of a gun. In these parts it was often found that the stones around here were like magnets always pulling your aim at the last minute.

The town had its own high rise building. People round here called it a bank. At that moment a wild horse kicked me right into a water fountain. That was one of those new contraptions the town was talking about. Some gizmo inside made a little pump churn and out spouted water that recycled itself. It was the darnedest thing I'd ever seen. I went back to the office and my deputy was missing. I frowned and saw a couple guys over by the stables digging themselves a hole.

"What in Tarnation?" I commented under my breath heading over there. "Boys, whatcha digging a hole fer?" The eldest boy, a kid that went by Spit-Toon Stan stared me eye to eye and said. "Yon Deputy was killed Sheriff. I reckon he's going to get a one way ticket to this here dirt pile."

Killed? That was outrageous. Just then a cold metal shaft shoved its way to my gut and a voice from behind said. "Sheriff West. I'm a calling you out."

I risked a look at the ornery varmint who dared this feat. He had a long, thick, black mustache and his face was red from too much sun. He was also wanted in six states.

"All right you side-winding varmint. I accept. Name the challenge."

"Blindfolded and six paces, then we draw."

So there I was, one of the local kids blindfolded me while I drew a smoke, the smoke was a special blend the indians made at the time. I stood back to back with this Western wild sided snake and we took six paces. I spun around grasping for my six-shooter. A resounding bang sounded in the sightless dark. I pitched forward and tasted a metallic tang in my mouth.

Pulling off the blindfold I looked down to see red a spilling out o me. With my last ounce of strength as sheriff I lifted my six-shooter, aimed with a shaking hand and that's all I got to see.

(I made a correctional edit for spelling)

< Message edited by Dragonnightwolf -- 12/25/2014 10:57:32 >
AQW Epic  Post #: 24
12/25/2014 15:01:10   
ChaosRipjaw
How We Roll Winner
Jun15


Face the Truth


Hunter Northwood sighed as he trudged down the sidewalk. It had been months since the little . . . incident. For the past few months, he had tried to bury the memory of it in the back of his mind, but it still lay there like a bruise. A bruise that seemed just about to heal, but never did. But with the passage of time, the memory was slowly covered with scar tissue. Hunter now preferred to believe that it was only a nightmare and nothing more . . .

Hunter walked through the streets, dimly aware of what he was doing or where he was going. He happened to look up, and frowned at the familiar spectacle. It was a highrise building, and Hunter was sure that he had seen it before. A memory flashed through his mind. He remembered a letter asking him to go see . . . a tower . . .
Hunter gasped in shock. That building was none other than the Tower, which his girlfriend had asked him to take her to!
But the Tower is in another city, Hunter thought. Why do I see it here?
As though to convince him that his eyes were not deceiving him, the sky crackled with thunder and a great flash lit up the heavens. The building did not vanish.
This cannot be possible! Hunter thought, turning away from the building and running away. The sky rumbled again.

Guided by instinct or habit, Hunter eventually made it to his house. That's odd, Hunter thought with a frown. My house is several miles away that would take a few hours to get to, even with a car. He knew that he had not run for so long; besides, the sky was still dark. The sound of rain pattering the roof could be faintly heard. Hunter walked into the kitchen to find something to eat. The first thing his eye fell on was the refrigerator. Normally, there was nothing stuck to it, but now there was a magnet with a note under it.
"What could this be?" wondered Hunter aloud. As soon as he uttered this, he immediately regretted it. During normal times, his house was calm and peaceful but tonight, it held an air of foreboding. Hunter strode over to the refrigerator and looked at the note. It was a note from his girlfriend. As Hunter tried to read it, strangely, the words seemed to blur before his eyes. Hunter stepped back, rubbing his eyes. Then he looked at it again. The paper was blank.
Hunter blinked.
The paper was blank.
Hunter grabbed the note and turned it around. Nothing. Frantically, Hunter turned the page around and around. Nothing! But he could have sworn that there had been writing on it. Frustrated, he slammed the paper against the counter. A flash of lightning followed. Hunter looked down at the paper and his eyes widened. There was writing in the corner. He picked it up and read it.
YOU CANNOT FORGET.
Hunter crumpled up the paper and threw it in the garbage. The sky boomed again. Hunter stared at the entrance to his kitchen. It seemed even darker than it had been. The sky flashed again, just in time for Hunter to see a shadow pass through the living room.
"Hey---," Hunter yelled just as the thunder boomed. A sudden feeling of fear snaked through him. Hunter ran out of his house and into the rain.

Hunter ran blindly down the street into the rain. For a few seconds, he ran, oblivious to his surroundings. Then suddenly, he became aware of where he was. Hunter stopped short, then turned slowly. Next to him, was a half covered hole in the dirt. Lightning flashed again and Hunter saw himself, holding a shovel, digging a hole in the dirt. Then he saw himself tossing a bundle into the hole. Lightning flashed again and Hunter saw the hole completely cleared out, with a bloody bundle in the center. A shovel stuck straight up in the dirt, dripping with rainwater. Hunter turned away with a scream and ran on.

Eventually, Hunter found himself back on the streets of the city again. The rain seemed to be coming down steadily rather than whipping ferociously. Soon, Hunter wandered into a park. The rain had calmed down to a drizzle, but Hunter's surroundings seemed to be viewed through a thin fog. Hunter backed up and leaned against a water fountain. Hmmmmm, Hunter thought. I don't remember seeing a water fountain. But my eyes seem to be playing tricks on me today.
Slowly, Hunter turned around. The statue on the fountain was a strange shape. Hunter squinted, then recoiled. It was a female on the ground, raising her arm in defense. The attacked was a male holding a knife. Suddenly, the fountain suddenly began to spout water. But it wasn't water. It was blood.
"No!" cried Hunter, scrambling to stand up.
Blood gushed from the statues' mouths and swiftly flooded the fountain. The blood poured over the rim of the fountain and began to puddle onto the ground. Hunter scrambled away and ran again into the rain. In his terror, he did not notice a shape step out of the shadows near the fountain.

Eventually, Hunter regained his senses. Running around like a madman will result in me being lost for sure, he thought. I must be calm and search for an exit. Hunter looked around him. The streets all looked exactly the same. Not only that, the buildings were so closely placed together that Hunter couldn't slip through. Hunter attempted to open the doors, but to his surprise --- or not much of a surprise --- all the doors were locked. Hunter placed his hand against the buildings and began to walk. To his shock, he was trapped in a circle.
Trapped.
"How did I get in here?" cried Hunter. The lights from the lamps flashed as though sneering at him. Dimly, Hunter noticed that the sound of the rain continued but the rain itself had ceased. Not only that, Hunter's field of vision cleared and he saw a crudely drawn arrow pointing toward a small crevice.
There must be the exit, thought Hunter, squeezing himself into it. Hunter soon found that he was now in a dark alleyway. On both sides were brick walls. In front of him, the darkness beckoned. Hunter ran forward, thinking that nothing would be worse than his current situation. Suddenly, Hunter stumbled and crashed to the ground. Cursing, Hunter turned around, to realize that he'd only tripped over a chair. Hunter glanced at the wall as he tried to stand up, but his gaze snapped back. On the wall, carved on a brick was a message.
YOU CANNOT ESCAPE
Hunter picked himself up and ran forward.

After a while, Hunter slowed down, huffing. Looking up, he realized that the so called "alley" was only composed of a brick wall and a very large brick building. Hunter craned his neck up; the Tower loomed in the distant skyline over the alley's wall. Hunter turned away and almost simultaneously, a piece of paper smacked him in the face. Hunter grabbed the paper and looked at it. It was a letter. The letter was torn at random parts and the names of the persons it was addressed to and and came from were uncomprehensible, but the words were thrust directly at Hunter's heart. It was a letter to him from his girlfriend, asking him to take her to the Tower. Hunter's chest throbbed as he tore the letter to pieces and scattered them. Although he felt no wind, the shreds flew away as though blown by a fierce gale. Hunter looked up; the darkness in front of him seemed emptier than before and an intangible light was coming from the wall of the building. Despite the sound of rain and the sight of rain falling from the sky, not a drop landed on Hunter. Hunter stared at the wall. At its base, a skewered doll lay on its side. Scratches covered the mortar between the bricks. Although Hunter did not look closely at the marks, his mind had registered them. They were messages.
FACE YOUR PAST
REVEAL THE TRUTH
ACKNOWLEDGE

"NO!" yelled Hunter. "I did nothing! Why do you torment me!?"
A book suddenly tumbled onto the ground, its pages flipping. Masses of writing covered the pages, in a handwriting Hunter would never have ceased to recognize. Suddenly, the pages stopped, resting at two blank pages. On those pages, only three words were written: IT WAS YOU.
The sky boomed and Hunter stood up. Shaking, he yelled, "NEVER HAVE I DONE SO!"
A clap of thunder answered his words, and Hunter saw the book, which he had recognized before as a diary, had changed its message to YOU PROMISED ME and on the wall was a poster of the Tower. Hunter said to himself, "My past torments me, but in my eyes only; none can harm me when I cannot see!" and with that, he tore off a piece of his sleeve and blindfolded himself. Once his vision ceased, the sound of the wind and the rain intensified. Hunter walked forward with his hands out as to not bump into anything. Suddenly, his foot slipped on something slick and Hunter lost his balance. He thrust out his hands too late; he expected to hit the hard ground, but instead, his head bumped into something hard but also soft, and awkwardly shaped. Even though Hunter feared what he might see, he ripped off his blindfold. There on the ground, was the body of a dead young woman, her shirt with a hole over the heart and she was soaked with blood. A large pool of blood lay under her, and it gleamed as though still fresh. Lightning lit up the sky, as though it wanted Hunter to see every detail. Hunter's knees buckled and he fell to his knees. "M-M-Marissa . . ."
Now, can you face what you have done? a cool, cold, feminine voice asked.
"What have I done!?" Hunter cried, his mind verging on insanity.
Only you can know that.
The evil memory in the back of his mind sprung forth like an exploding fruit, and Hunter saw everything he had done before his eyes. He had tried to hide his past but . . .
Your crimes have caught up with you at last.
The lightning boomed again, and Hunter saw that he was at the dead end of the alley. On the brick wall in front of him, he saw the word:
REPENT
"Yes! I repent! I repent!" yelled Hunter to the heavens.
But you have not repented until you have faced your guilt directly before your eyes, the voice said coldly. What good is your repentance and confession when you have no choice but to do so? No, you must pay.
The sky lit up, and Hunter suddenly noticed an evil shadow behind him. Terror stricken, he tried to stand up. He felt something sink into his back, directly over his heart. Losing control of his body, he fell again to his knees, then to his side. The lightning dimmed, and sound faded. Before everything went black, he noticed that there was no longer any body by the pool of blood.

< Message edited by ChaosRipjaw -- 12/25/2014 16:49:58 >
AQ DF MQ AQW Epic  Post #: 25
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