Friday, January 27, 2012

Maps and Magic

 You are given a map said to lead to a magical realm.
You decide to:

1. Gather a band of friends and follow it. Adventure is calling!2. Sell it online in an auction open to fantasy fanatics around the world.
3. Carefully compare it to your world atlas. The map could simply be mislabeled.
4. Hire a professional to guide you. Not everyone can read maps.
5. Bury it in your backyard and hide clues. Your grandchildren will find it fun on their next visit.
6. Give it to a stranger on the street while your friends chase you. They will think its real, while you share a laugh with friends.
7. Burn it. Anything associated with magic is trouble.
8. Write a story about it and the possible adventures someone could have in a land of magic.
9. Throw it in the trash. Why would someone give away something important?
10. Hand it back to the old man. You are late for an appointment and don't have time for games.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Nightingale High: Abel, part II

I opened my eyes slowly, listening to the sounds of the small glen I had made camp at late last night. I got out of my bedroll and quickly began dismantling camp, keeping watch with all my senses while I worked.
I had to be vigilant in my watch, despite the glen being quite secluded. Without Mercy, everything was harder. But without Jake to lead our pack, there had been too much tension for the two of us to continue traveling together.
Which was fine by me, despite the hardship. Mercy was arrogant, selfish, and cruel. Her being half taint meant very little to me. What had meant something to me was the fact the I used to be able to trust her to watch my back without putting a knife in it.
That trust was gone.
And with it, my last... my last friend...
I shook my head, banishing thoughts of what had been as I secured my bedroll to my pack. Shouldering my pack, I glanced around the glen. The birds still sang their morning song, and everything seemed as peaceful as the little stream that ran through the center of the glen.
I shifted the sheath of my dagger, positioning it within easy reach as I knelt beside the stream and dipped my cupped hand down.
I had brought my head up to drink when something in the glen changed. I forced myself to continue as if nothing had changed, drinking the water in my hand, and my other hand found the hilt of my dagger. I strained my senses, trying to pinpoint the change before I acted.
A twig snapped, and I knew.
Twisting my body so that I half faced the threat, I threw my dagger.
I had already palmed my boot knife and turned to fully face the man who had gotten too close before I sensed him, that it took me a moment to realize that my dagger hadn't touched him.
And that it hadn't left the air yet.
The man held up his hands, showing that he was unarmed.
That was a pretty good throw, for not knowing exactly where I was. Of course, my stepping on a twig must have helped by giving you a general direction.” The air elemental shook his head sorrowfully. “With such a rookie mistake, you'd think I was... well, a rookie.” He sighed, “At least none of the fledglings were here to witness this. They'd never let me forget it...”
I frowned, my boot knife still held in a defensive position. The elemental shook his head again, then seemed to remember about me. “Oh, here's your dagger. I'm not here to fight, young taint.” He flicked a hand, and my dagger flew slowly through the air with the blade still facing the elemental, until it hovered in front of me. I grabbed it with my free hand, and cautiously sheathed it.
Why are you here, elemental?” I asked, finally allowing myself to look at him.
The air elemental had light hazel eyes, more green then brown, and short windblown black hair. He was tall, with light tanned skin and a straight nose. The elemental was dressed simply in travelers garb similar to my own, though his sleek black boots had seen very little wear.
The elemental smiled and lowered his hands. “I'm here to offer you in invitation. You have been selected for scholarship at a new educational facility.”
I stared at the elemental skeptically. “And why would I want to come to this educational facility? I have more important things to do then waste my time at some school.” I bent down a sheathed my boot knife, watching the elemental out of the corner of my eye.
He sighed and nodded sadly. “Its understandable. I can see why a youth like yourself would rather be off gallivanting in the wilderness then furthering your education at some new secluded school on a small island in the middle of nowhere, where you could spend months getting to know that special someone without worrying about them running off every five seconds...” The elemental turned around and began walking away, lifting a hand in a careless wave goodbye. “Oh well, I suppose this is goodbye... Good luck finding whoever you've connected with on your own!”
I knew I was being baited, and that his offer was too good to be true.
The elemental turned his head, his eyes only a little curious. “What is it, taint?”
I hesitated, feeling for the connection between myself and the girl named Kathryn. If I could get a clear lock on her outside of my dreams, then I would let this elemental leave. But if I couldn't...
Your offer, would you extend it to my bond if I accepted?”
The air elemental nodded his head. “Yes, we would.”
I stretched out my senses, but couldn't find any clarity.
Then I accept.”

Friday, January 20, 2012

Different ways to say goodbye

1. Live long and prosper/Peace and long life. 
2. Fare thee well. 
3. I'll see you next sunrise. 
4. Bicycle! 
5. 'Till next time. 
6. Sleep well. 
7. See you soon. 
8. Until later. 
9. Have a good day! 
10. Love you.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Nightingale High: Abel, part I

The girl frowned before turning away. I watched her limp away on her twisted ankle, wondering why I had been stuck with her.
Out of all the possibilities for my connection, I get stuck with a human.
Who I can't find while I'm awake.
And who has disliked me from the very first dream.
Aren't I a lucky taint?
I follow slowly after the girl, taking in the sight of her once more. For no matter how much I loathed my bond, I was still drawn to her like a moth to a flame.
You might as well tell me your name, since its not like either of us is going anywhere.” I tell the girl, my voice bored. She turned her head in my general direction, unable to see through the fog as I could. I stared into her pale blue eyes, amused by her glare. “And why should I tell you my name, when you won't even show me your face?”
Her voice, though it held an angry tone, was soft.
And I suppose she did have a point. The only things she knew about me was my eye color, and the fact that I was a taint bound to her.
A bond which placed me in servitude to her, despite my attempts to fight it.
If I revealed myself to you, then would you tell me your name?” I asked; dropping the bored tone from my voice.
The girl thought for a moment, brushing back a strand of her short dusty brown hair. “If you reveal yourself and tell me your name.”
I sighed, shaking my head despite the fact that she couldn't see me.
Because for my people, telling their bond their name was the final link in the chain. After I told this girl my name, she could use it to command me.
A prospect I wasn't looking forward to.
But the very idea of lying to my bond was literally painful.
...How about I reveal myself and heal your twisted ankle?” I countered her offer, thinking of an ability I remember learning about as a child.
My human closed her eyes for a moment, possibly weighing whether or not a untwisted ankle was worth not knowing my name.
Then her eyes opened, and she nodded. “Fine. After you reveal yourself and fix my ankle, I will tell you my name.” She looked around, then sat on a fallen tree.
I watched her for a few moments, focusing my mind.
I had never healed before, and although it was a common ability for my people, I still held some doubt about if I would have it.
I gave a tiny shake of my head, then lifted my hand and gave it a slight twist. The fog imploded, rushing to my hand and disappearing. The girl blinked in surprise at the sudden clarity, then focused on me.
I kept my emotions hidden behind a mask of boredom as I walked over to the girl and knelt beside her. She continued to stare at me, and a long moment passed. I released an impatient sigh and gave her a look.
Your foot? Or are we skipping to the part where you tell me your name?”
She blinked, then glared at me and thrust her injured ankle at me. I gently grabbed it, and pushed her sock down a little. Then before I could think enough to hesitate, I touched the revealed skin with two fingers.
And bit back a cry of agony.
My two fingers burned as if I had thrust them into dragon fire. Through the connection my finger's had created, I could feel every pain that this girl felt. The ankle, the bruises she had gotten with the ankle, the scratches on her hands from her frantic dash through the forest, and even the tiny cut on her ear.
And that was only what was on the surface.
I had no doubt now that I could heal her, but I found myself wondering if it was worth learning her name...
I closed my eyes, and mentally called her pain to my fingers. I drew it out slowly, beckoning it out of the girl and into me. I watched the pain slide out of her and into me, resting in me where it had in her. I felt the scratches on my hands, the cut on my ear, the bruises and the ache of the ankle.
But only once all the pain was gone from her did I remove my fingers and open my eyes.
She stared at me, disbelief in her eyes.
I stood, ignoring the new pain in my ankle as I brushed dirt off my pants.
She could never know everything about how taints healed their bonds, or else she would never allow me to heal her again.
So,” I began, my voice serious, “now may I have your name?”
She moved her ankle around, then stood, testing it. Then she looked at me with just a little more trust then before.
Kathryn Scarlet.”
I tested the name in my mind, memorizing every syllable.
I still want your name, taint.” Her eyes were like shards of the sky, cool and distant.
I look into those pieces of the sky, and smirked.
I apologize, Kathryn, but our time has come to an end.” I took a step back, and gave a mocking bow. “Until the next dream.”
Then everything faded to black.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Inventions I would want to have

1. A TARDIS (Time and Relative Dimension in Space).
2. A Sonic Screwdriver.
3. A pine-cone disintegration beam.
4. A Food Replicator.
5. A flock of genetically altered dragons.
6. An invisibility bracelet.
7. Two pairs of speed and stamina enhancing boots.
8. AA batteries that never died.
9. Glasses with self-repair and self-enhancement capabilities.
10. Three bags, each with their own personal pocket dimension.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Nightingale High: Skyler

There are three simple things every air elemental needs to know.
First off, never fly near a razedra. You may be invisible to most creatures when cloaked in the air currents, but a razedra isn't one of them.
Secondly, unless you want to spend three hours a night brushing snares and tangles from your hair, keep it short or in a well tied ponytail. I recommend keeping it short, naturally spiky, and windblown.
And finally three; the front door is for people stuck on the ground (unless you're meeting your future mother in-law).

So after taking a spin over Lord Charles' barn, I picked an open window on the second floor and flew in; manipulating the air current I had been riding back out the window after slipping out of its gentle embrace. Spring currents are normally quite gentle, while summer currents have a certain playful recklessness to them that I preferred. Fall currents are pretty solemn affairs, that bring quite a bit of the more nostalgic sylphs out. Great if you want to hear old legends and forgotten stories, but just a little unsettling. Now, the winter currents are dangerous. They have a similar recklessness to their summer cousins, but none of the playful innocence that the summer currents have. Summer currents want to have fun, while the winter currents want the warmth that is denied them.
The current settled back into the immense web of currents outside, just as an irritated voice spoke.
You could have knocked, at the very least. This room is already taken.” I turned to face the speaker, and nearly fainted. The girl looked cross, but it wasn't her looks that interested me (though she was pretty. Dark auburn hair that barely touched her olive shoulders, and bright brown almond-shaped eyes with a deep amber-gold tint. Her left ear was visible, and had a dark metal ear cuff attached. The ear cuff had a small dark gold and black stone in the center of the metal.).
I was more interested in the air currents surrounding her. They were massive, and volatile. They circled the girl like she was the eye of a storm, the currents rising to touch the ceiling and falling to the floor in a violent spinning cycle. It was like this girl had a cyclone surrounding her.
Yet nothing was being smashed, and not a single hair on her head so much as twitched.
Elemental, would you kindly make your way out of my room? Or did someone send you to get me? Classes don't begin until next month.” The girl had a beautiful voice, now that I actually listened to it. The irritation was still there, but not as much as when she had first spoken. Her eyes were actually curious, now that she had taken the time to study me.
I shook my head, then gave her a respectful bow Charles had taught all of us under his care. Better to show some respect to someone when you first meet them then to not and get your head on a chopping block, Charles had commented once when Rath had complained. Besides, it was something a gentleman does. And Charles hadn't raised us to be lumbering oafs.
The girl raised an eyebrow, a faint smile almost making an appearance. “Well, for a uninvited guest, you do seem to have some manners. What's your name, elemental?” She motioned with a hand for me to sit in an old Victorian style chair. I sat in the chair, then answered her question after she had sat in the other chair.
Skyler Chase, uninvited guest and student at Nigh-High. Though my friends and complete strangers call me Air.” I bow my head and waved a hand in the air, catching sight of a small smile on the girl's face a moment before it disappeared. The Cyclone (for anything as weird as her air currents needed a name.) slowed as the volatile movements ceased. I was curious about the Cyclone, as well as in the girl it apparently survived on.
Nigh-High? I wasn't aware the school had had a name change.” The girl didn't offer her name, which was fine. I was just glad she hadn't kicked me out the window or gone screaming to a teacher. Charles would be furious if I got in trouble before the schooling even began.
Oh, it didn't. But Nightingale High is such a mouthful, especially if you pin on the fact that this school is for the magically challenged and socially dis-enthralled. Nigh-High is also a much cooler name. Because this is nearly a school, and it might be near it's demise before it even begins. Nightingale High makes it seem as if we're here to sing, and I'm not sure that'd be as interesting an experience as a school that could collapse at any moment.”
The girl gave a soft laugh, then sighed and shook her head. “I wouldn't be here if it was a school for singers...” The barely whispered words were easily heard by me. But then again, air elementals have amazing hearing unrivaled by any. I lifted a finger for the girl's attention, then spoke gravely.
I wouldn't whisper around an air elemental. We have amazing hearing, and are especially drawn to whispers. Oh, and we like open windows. Makes for a better entrance then the front door, unless you're meeting family...” The girl looked angry for a moment, then shook her head and grinned.
Score for Air, made a girl grin, due to old air elemental advice.
You're a strange one, Kyler.” Her grin faded to a smile, “My name is Nightingale Valentine, though I'll probably introduce myself as Gale to as many people as possible. It's embarrassing to have a school named after you, especially when you have to attend it.”
I smiled, holding a hand out as if to shake on a deal. “Well, if you'll let me call you Nigh, then I'll let you call me Kyler.” The Cyclone had diminished to only a foot tall during our conversation, so I assumed that Nightingale and I might have become friends. Or at least allies.
Nightingale held out her hand, a mysterious look in her eyes. “Agreed, Kyler.” Then she stood and we walked to her door. After I had stepped out into the dimly lit hall, I turned to look at the girl with the Cyclone. “You know, I think this is the start of a peculiar friendship.”

Friday, January 6, 2012

Goals for 2012

1. Finish at least one page a week.
2. Tat four motifs a month.
3. Study for my driver's license.
4. Study a new subject every month.
5. Exercise more often.
6. Try new foods.
7. Smile daily. 
8. Spend more time with my family.
9. Make this blog a little better.
10. Finish writing a book.

Here are my goals for 2012.
What are some of yours?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Into the world of vegetables

Carrot colonies: Orange, Red, Yellow, Purple, White, Black
(Each colony is defined by the color of the carrot.)

The sky was falling, brown clumps raining down on the six carrot colonies. The citizens were in panic, all trying to break free of the crowds and find a safe-haven. Some fought against former friends for a chance to enter the tunnels that led to Parsnip Burrow, Spudtopia, and Radish Caverns. One carrot, leader of the Purple colony, gazed upward at the falling sky. An unfamiliar brightness shown through the holes in the sky, temporarily blinding him. “What are you doing, Elpru? Calm your colony!” Knight, leader of the Black carrot colony, cried out to his ally. Brigh, madam commander of the White colony, shoved past young Egnar, the current leader-elect of the Orange colony. Icterine of the Yellow colony and Rudhira of the Red colony were trying to get their colonies out the tunnels that led to the ancient cities.
Elpru swayed, trance-like, as the broken sky above him darkened as a horrendous creature made of soft pink flesh descended, it's five tentacles thrashing as it searched the Carrot Routes for a meal.
As the monstrosity reached down on an impossibly long stem, Egnar of the Orange cried out to Elpru. “Move, old one! Move, before the beast seizes you!”
But the ancient carrot was too transfixed on the strange tentacle creature to move even a leafy hair. Egnar thrust himself at the old carrot, knocking the elder to the ground as the monstrosity reached the purple carrot. The creatures tentacles wrapped around the young orange carrot, who cried out in agony as he was lifted up, out of his world and into a new realm.

Hey mom, I've got one!” A little girl excitedly cried, holding up a dirty carrot. The mother glanced up from where she was busily pruning her tomato vine. “Very good, Autumn. Now why don't you pick a few more, then put them next to the potatoes we're having for dinner?”