Friday, December 27, 2013

Some things which bring me happiness

1. Visiting with family.
2. Reading a good book.
3. Spending time with my cat.
4. Writing.
5. Tatting.
6. Frightening creatures.
7. The smell of gasoline.
8. The Lion King.
9. Collecting keys.
10. Posting on my blogs.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Christmas day

The house was quiet. Peaceful. Paper littered the floor around a decorated tree, evidence of the merry gift giving that had occurred. The dog slept in its bed, the remains of a bone resting near the dog's paws. A cat was curled on a blanket, one paw covering its face as the cat rested after playing with its catnip peppermint stick.
Meanwhile, the family who lived in that house had gone to visit with the extended family. Pleasant greetings were exchanged as those who hadn't seen one another since the year before began to converse. Children chattered with one another, showing off their prized presents.
A fine feast was shared, each bite bringing back memories of Christmases gone by.
More gifts were exchanged, bringing forth exclamations of gratitude and praise from those gathered.
The children raced around, their laughter echoing through the house.
Stories were shared by the older family members, whilst the eldest among the family reminisced of days long past.
As the day grew old and hid of the darkness of night, the families gathered slowly began to leave.
When at last the house was cleaned and the last family left, the elder couple settled down to enjoy the evening.
While at another house, a dog rose eagerly from where it had laid as the door's lock clicked open. The family greeted their pets, tired smiles lingering on their faces.
Their day had been long, but their time had been well spent with those they loved.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Decorations you can make

1. Dried slices of fruit make for a rustic ornament for a Christmas tree.
2. If you have a pine tree in your yard, then you'll probably have a bunch of pinecones laying around. Gather some pretty ones and put some scented oil on them. Then just place them around the house as you see fit.
3. Paper snowflakes. These can be simple or elaborate. My friend made one that had the Tardis and daleks!
4. Using sticks, you could make a little log cabin.
5. With cotton balls, glue, string, toothpicks, and a little paint, you can build snowmen what won't melt! (Just be sure not to get them too close to water.)
6. Salt can be used as snow for another project. You could even trace little snow angels in the salt.
7. Rocks can be painted however you like, and make for a neat decoration.
8. A tissue box can be transformed into a sleigh with a little cutting and painting. You could even make a team of reindeer out of sticks.
9. With leftover wrapping paper and some rocks, you could make little presents.
10. A bar of soap can be carved on. Presents, a tree, or whatever you like can be carved onto it.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The little box

The little box was wrapped in faded brown paper. There was no ribbon. There was no bow. A small folded piece of paper served as the only identification for the gift. The handwriting was shaky, the message short.
For the one who gave.
The little present was forgotten as others appeared. Sparkling packages, trimmed with finery.  They were large and exciting, overshadowing the unadorned present.
Days passed, the children growing more restless as the pile of gifts continued to grow. They knew that this Christmas would be wonderful.
Finally, the anxiously awaited day arrived. Cries of excitement rang through the house as the children opened their gifts to find toys and candy, books and socks. Many of the things they had longed for were there.
But then they found the little gift wrapped in brown.
Puzzling over the message in the note, the children looked at one another. They had all given a present or two, but who could this one be for?
After some debate, the children decided to open it together.
The faded brown paper was torn off, to reveal a plain wooden box. Lifting the lid, they found a note resting on a handful of straw. As one child took the note, they all noticed what had been underneath it.
A wooden heart, painted red.
Unfolding the note, the child read what it said.
"For the one who gave all, I give my heart."
The children looked at one another, then put the note back into the box, closed the lid, and set the box on the table. As the day continued, they thought about the strange little gift. And as night fell, they returned to the table. Lifting the lid, they looked at the wooden heart. Then one by one, each child set a heart in the box. Some were paper, others crafted from clay.
Once the last child had placed his heart in the box, the children smiled. "We remember." They said, looking from one to another. Their parents had told them the reason that they celebrated Christmas.
They knew who the present was for.

Friday, December 13, 2013

To wear boots

1. Rain boots can help keep your feet nice and dry on a wet day.
2. Hiking boots can are useful for traveling across uneven ground.
3. Cowboy boots can help you avoid getting your foot caught in the stirrup when riding a horse.
4. Some boots help keep your feet warm.
5. Some boots help to protect your feet from injury.
6. Boots can provide an added support for your ankles.
7. Some boots are used in sports like skiing or snowboarding.
8. Boots can give you a boost in confidence.
9. The are many cool looking boots.
10. Boots can be very comfortable.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Monstrous caroling

How do you get a group of monsters to go caroling? It is actually rather simple: simply promise that after the last house, they can go pillaging.
And so the little village of Snell found themselves visited by a group of monsters. The villagers cowered in their homes as the silence of the night was shattered by screeches and snarls, wails and cries, roars and chatters.
From house to house the monsters went, led by a little imp. Nothing in the village was touched by the monsters as they worked their way to every house. No villager dared to peek outside to see the careful arrangement of the monsters as they shrieked familiar carols completely off key.
Then at last, the monsters arrived at the last house.
It was a small, shabby abode. Only a few days ago it had been vacant. The monsters knew nothing of the man who had moved into this shack except for the fact that he was human.
The monsters began the first song. Halfway through it, the cracked wooden door creaked open, the hinges protesting at the movement. The monsters were startled, but the imp encouraged them to finish their carols. Only after they were done, would these monsters be allowed their rampage.
The man leaned on a worn wooden staff, one hand resting upon the crystal that rested within the top of the staff. The man appeared nearly as weary at the shack he had claimed as home. The simple robe he wore was faded and torn, his graying hair straggly and thin. Tired brown eyes watched the monsters at his door without fear. Instead he regarded them with bemusement, as if the man was struggling to comprehend why such an odd collection of monsters would be causing such ruckus at his door.
Finally, the monsters came to the end of the last song. As the last not faded into the night, the man slowly clapped.
"An excellent attempt at spreading some holiday cheer, but I am afraid monsters are not welcomed at my door." Straightening as a mauve wolf released a growl, the man gave a cough. "I would merely send you away, but monsters do have a tendency for destruction."
The wolf shot forward. Shouting, the man held out his staff.
A harsh ray flew from the crystal, encompassing every monster within a silver glow. The man banged his staff against the ground twice, and the monsters were brought together as the glow began to shrink.
The monsters shrank, smaller and smaller. Then the silver glow brightened into a blinding light that flashed once before disappearing.
Leaning against his staff again, the man limped out into the snow and picked up a snowglobe that had appeared where the monsters had been.
Looking at the scene of caroling monsters, the man gave the snowglobe a shake as he headed back into his home.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Things that can fit in a shoebox

1. A rock collection.
2. Sandwiches.
3. A determined cat.
4. Socks.
5. Seashells.
6. A lantern.
7. Snow.
8. Books.
9. A puppy.
10. Your pet spider.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


The town was silent, the buildings dim shadows in the faint moonlight. Fresh snow covered the ground, its pristine surface marred only by the tracks of a deer. Although the clouds in the sky promised another storm, all was calm within the town.
Until an agonized, inhuman cry from high in the sky broke the silence.
Woken by the sound, a girl rose from her bed and peered out her window. Her eyes widened as the clouds shone a brilliant amaranth, revealing two winged silhouettes locked in battle. The amaranth light brightened as it engulfed one of the silhouettes. The girl lifted a hand and squinted against the suddenly harsh light.
Another cry pierced the silence, and the light went out. Blinking rapidly, the girl thought she had seen something start to fall before the light had disappeared. Listening as she pressed her hands against the cold window, she waited for another sound.
But all was quiet.
Rubbing her hands, the girl turned and climbed back into her bed.
While just outside of town, a herd of deer fled from the newly formed crater. Within the crater was a strange creature whose flesh rippled as it slowly transformed. Snow began to fall as the night grew old. Finally, as the first hints of dawn appeared, a human hand reached out of the crater. Climbing out of the crater, the creature was now a human boy. Looking from the crater to the sky, his shaking hands became fists as the boy let released an anguished sob.
After a moment, he shivered and turned toward the town. Inhaling, the boy crossed his arms over his bare chest and began walking.

Friday, November 29, 2013

What to do with leftover turkey

1. Make a sandwich. Be it hot or cold, simple or elaborate, slices of turkey are wonderful within a sandwich.
2. Pair it with eggs. Chopped turkey fits well in an omelette or mixed with scrambled eggs.
3. A turkey pot pie! Why not make a thanksgiving themed pot pie out of all those leftovers?
4. Turkey and waffles. Instead of syrup, you could cover it with gravy.
5. Turkey stew. A nice, warm dish for cold weather.
6. Macaroni and cheese with turkey. Why should hot dogs have all the fun? Invite some turkey into that cheesy goodness!
7. Turkey burritos. They could be breakfast burritos, or whatever type you like.
8. Biscuits, gravy, and turkey. Or if you have some leftover, you could use rolls.
9. Turkey fried rice. It can be pretty yummy.
10. Turkey stock. Don't just toss that carcass away! Those bones can be used to make your own stock. It'll make the house smell really good.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The origin of the turkey

Far away across the galaxy, there is a planet inhabited by turkeys.
Its name? Than'Giv.
Here, the turkey is the most intelligent creature. They have built vast empires and made stunning progress in their space travel program. The very best from their ranks were trained as ambassadors to the stars, for the turkeys hold a strong belief that they are not the only life in the universe.
And so their rockets were launched. Each destined for a different galaxy.
But on one rocket, there was a malfunction with the life support system.
The malfunction effected the mind of those in cryo-hibernation. The mind slowly began to degenerate, growing ever worse the longer one was maintained by the life support.
By the time the rocket landed on the strange blue planet that had shown signs of life on the turkey's scanner, the crew had become nothing more then animals.
Somehow managing to escape their craft, the wild turkeys fled into the strange wilderness.
Generations later, their descendants have never recovered their ancestors intelligence.
They now have become the main course for a celebration held by the natives of the blue planet.

Friday, November 22, 2013

For rain

1. To remind you that the gutters on the roof need to be cleaned.
2. So you have an excuse to cuddle with your cat.
3. Because the wet dog smell will remind you to give the dog a bath.
4. When it is raining, the sky becomes a beautiful shade of gray.
5. It's a free car wash! All you need to do is toss on some soap.
6. Becoming cold and wet helps you remember why sunshine is a wonderful thing.
7. When the storm causes a blackout, you finally get a good reason to sit down and read a book by candlelight.
8. Some really cool pictures can be taken while it is raining.
9.  The rain can provide ideas for future stories or scenes. If nothing else, the storm will provide an opportunity for research.
10. It can be easy to fall asleep when listening to the sound of raindrops.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The great hunter

"The great hunter stalks her prey." A little girl whispered as she crept forward. Peeking over the table, she slowly smiled. "With her prey in sight, the great hunter prepares to strike."
Creeping forward, the little girl made her way stealthily over to the kitchen counter. Glancing around fervently, she stood on the tip of her toes, reached up, and stretched her arm toward a plate of cookies.
"Clairie, what are you doing?" The little girl froze at the sound of her mother's voice. Slowly turning around, she looked up with wide eyes and gave her mother her brightest, most innocent smile.
"I'm checking to make sure that Rudolph can't reach the cookies. I know that chocolate chips are very bad for him, so wanted to be sure the plate was far enough from edge."
Clarie's mother stared at her daughter for a moment. "Rudolph is a dachshund."
"But he loves jumping! And cookies!" Clairie replied as she put out her hands. "If he decided that he really wanted those cookies, Ruldolph could find a way to get them. So I had to make sure he couldn't!"
With a tilt of her head, Clairie's mother began to smile.
"Are you really worried that he's going to find a way onto the counter?"
"Yes! Cookies are delicious, but he can't have these ones!"
"Very well, we'll have to remove the temptation then." Clairie's mother reached out and picked up the plate of cookies. Clairie rubbed her hands together eagerly. But then her mother walked over to the fridge and poured the cookies into a jar. "There we go," Clairie's mother said as she set the jar on top of the fridge, "Rudolph can't reach them here."
As her mother walked out of the kitchen, Clairie stared up at the jar. "With her prey out of reach, the great hunter must return without a snack..."

Friday, November 15, 2013

For a cape

1. So that there is something to flow dramatically behind you in the wind.
2. As part of a superhero costume.
3. In order to show your sophistication at a dinner party.
4. A cape is useful for tearing into makeshift bandages.
5. While wearing a cape, any entrance or exit you make is sure to cause a scene.
6. What Dracula costume would be complete without a cape?
7. The type of cape you wear will help others know if you are a villain or hero.
8. A cape can become a blanket for you to place over someone else.
9. During a fight, a cape can be grabbed in order to stop your opponent from escaping.
10. Capes are pretty cool.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A dragon's prize

When you see a rampaging dragon, what do you do?
If you're a sane individual, you would probably get out of the way.
But if you are like my little brother, then you are probably trying to slay it.
And if you were me, then your brother dragged you along to help.
"Did you bring the net?" My brother Dale asked as we ducked behind an overturned wagon. Patting the strap to the large pack on my back, I nodded. "Yes, though I don't see how it could help."
Dale looked around the wagon at the young dragon and offered a grin. "It's not that big. This'll be a piece of cake." Leaning, I caught sight of the dragon just as it released a blast of fire. Trembling, I pulled back out of sight and lifted a hand to check that my hair was safely hidden by my headscarf.
"You're crazy."
"We can do this." Dale turned to face me and motioned for the pack with his spear. "We've got to hurry before any adventurers show up."
Releasing a sigh, I pulled off the pack and opened it. Dale pulled out a chain net and nodded. "All we've got to do is keep is stick to the plan."
I shook my head. "You mean where you threw the net over its wings and then stab it with a spear while I try to distract it?"
"That's the one!" Dale's smile grew as he looked out at the dragon again. Shoulders falling, I leaned forward to pull a metal platter and short rod out of my pack. "I was afraid of that."
So while my brother waited behind the wagon, I worked my way around to the other side of the dragon. Heat radiated off the burning buildings in waves, the flames eagerly consuming the wooden walls and thatch roofs. Wiping away sweat, I wondered again at my own stupidity. I knew how dangerous dragons were, even one the size of a horse. I'd been through a dragon attack before. It had been sheer luck that my brother and I had survived.
Yet here I was, trying to help him get revenge for that attack.
I was the crazy one.
Now in position, I banged my rod against the platter. "Hey! Over here, scaly!" I shouted as I continued to bang against the platter. The dragon turned its head toward me with a guttural growl. "Yeah! Come on!" I yelled, heart racing as the dragon stared at me.
Then the dragon turned back to the house it had been destroying.
"Hey! I'm talking to you!" I shouted, pounding harder as I took a step toward the dragon. It let out a burst of flame, then began to pick through the burning wreckage. "Pay attention, you oversized lizard!"
As the dragon continued its destruction, I lowered the platter and rod. It was ignoring me.
I was being ignored by a fire-breathing monster.
A nervous laugh escaped me. Then another. Shoulders shaking, I couldn't stop laughing.
Then a net hit the dragon's neck.
Whipping its head around, the dragon released a roar. As it stepped toward my brother, the laughter caught in my throat.
Dale lounged at the dragon. Like lightning, its head darted forward and the dragon bit the spear in half.
"Get out of there!" I shrieked as I ran forward. It was going to kill him.
Dale glared at the dragon, his arms shaking as he gripped the broken shaft. "I'm not afraid of you!" He shouted at the dragon. As the dragon released a growl, I got a stupid idea.
Dropping the platter, I ripped off my headscarf and threw the rod. It flew through the air and hit the dragon's tail.
Twisting around with a hiss, the dragon paused as it saw me. I stopped running and ran a hand through my long golden hair. "Come and get me, scaly!"
"Milla, no!" Dale shouted as the dragon streaked forward. It rammed into me. As I hit the ground, the dragon gripped me with its front claws. I felt the dragon tense, then it sprang into the air. Its claws dug into me as the dragon flew higher and higher, my brothers cries fading as the village was left behind.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Uses for chocolate

1. It can be given as a gift.
2. You can make it into a drink.
3. You can bake with it.
4. A chocolate fountain makes a lovely table decoration.
5. To build a chocolate house. It should taste pretty good with your gingerbread house.
6. Mold it into fun shapes for a party.
7. Cover ice cream with it.
8. Chocolate can be used as the ink for an edible note.
9. Small pieces of chocolate can be thrown at someone without causing too much damage.
10. Eating chocolate can help brighten a gloomy day. Just don't consume too much!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The deadline

The goal date was set. An arrow was shot into the sky.
You watched as the arrow flew up, up, higher and higher. As it became a speck, you slowly began to push your plans aside as other things caught your interest.
"I have time enough to work on that." You laughed as the thought of your goal comes to into your mind. "The arrow won't fall for a while yet!"
So other activities came and went. Your goal lay unfinished.
All the while, the arrow flew. Soon, it reached its peak.
And began to fall.
You jolt awake one night as realization strikes.
The goal's date for completion is hours away.
Frantic, you search out your goal. You find it lying in a forgotten corner, covered with dust and the grime of a job half-done.
Staring at it, you comb your mind for ideas in how to complete it in time.
But none come.
For while you were idle, the desire that fueled the goal burned out.
And now, the arrow hits.
The deadline has come.
What do you have to show?

Friday, November 1, 2013

What to do with a Halloween costume

1. If you have multiple children of the same gender, keep them! If next year one of the younger kids decides to be the same thing their older sibling was, then you might have saved some money and time if they fit in the old costume.
2. If you have young children, they could use the costumes all year round for their playtime adventures!
3. Take a family photo! Have everyone wear their costume for a fun photo. It'll be a great memory to put in a scrapbook. This isn't just limited to family photos either. Friends can take part in the monstrous photo shoot too!
4. Repurpose it. Some well made costumes can be altered for more everyday use. It all depends on the costume. So look at yours and ask, "Can I make this work for more then one night?"
5. Have a party! Invite your friends for a costume party some time other then Halloween. It might be a bit odd, but a costume party in June could be a lot of fun!
6. Make a video. Get a few friends together and record yourselves performing a skit. The different costumes will allow for strange, amusing characters. Afterwards, watch the video and eat some food. It could be a fun time for all.
7. Wear it while writing. Being in costume might ignite a new idea for a story. At the very least, you could imagine how your characters would act if they were the ones in the costume.
8. Depending on the material, you could transform your costume into a series of pillows. It would make for a good conversation starter whenever someone visited you.
9. Make your costume into a prop for next year. Your costume could become a zombie, scarecrow, corpse, or silhouette on the wall.
10. Donate it. If you can't think of anything to do with your costume and don't want it taking up space, don't throw it away! There may be somewhere you could donate it to so that others might be able to find a use for the costume.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

When children attack!

The yard had been transformed into a cemetery. Tombstones of all sizes were sprawled across the lawn, while jack-o-lanterns led up to the porch. There, under the lax watch of a plastic zombie, stood a claw-footed table upon which there was a cauldron of candy. Sticking out of the cauldron was a note which simply read:

Please take one.

Word of this unguarded trove spread like wildfire.
Soon, ghouls, princesses, and everything in between arrived.
Parading up the walk, the mob released shrieks and howls as they swarmed the cauldron. Some heeded the request. But many grabbed great handfuls and thrust the spoils into their sacks and buckets.
"Onward!" Cried a small knight as he stabbed his wooden sword into the air. The costumed children surged through the yard and back into the street.
The watching parents shook their heads as they followed the children to the next house. "I don't know which is more exhausting: following the kid or manning the house..." One father commented as cries of trick or treat! rang through the air.
"Passing out the candy." A mother answered with a shudder as the children flowed back into the street. "I feel sorry for anyone who passes out regular sized bars."

Friday, October 25, 2013

Advice on eating candy

1. If it has a wrapper, take the wrapper off before consuming. Most wrappers are not made to be eaten.
2. If it is chocolate, do not leave it in your pocket on a hot day. If you do, your pocket will need to be cleaned and you will be left without a chocolate to eat.
3. If it is a big jawbreaker, you can break it into little pieces with a hammer. This makes it easier to share with others and easier to eat.
4. If it is a lollipop with something in the center, it will probably take more then three licks to reach that delicious center. And never ask an owl for help. You will lose your candy!
5. If the candy is a powder, don't eat it outside on a windy day!
6. If it is gum, don't stick it under a table or chair after you are done chewing it. That's gross!
7. If the candy is suppose to be soft and chewy, and it isn't, then you might want to find a different piece of candy to eat.
8. Candy does not equal a full meal.
9. Gel candy is not a good substitute for toothpaste.
10. Mixing different candies can be harmful to your taste buds. Disgusting flavors can be experienced if you mix the wrong kinds of candy.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Thorne and the cloak

How do I look?” Mallory asked as she held out her arms. Her hands were hidden by the long sleeves of her gray dress, but the tarnished silver comb in her left hand was visible. I looked at her blonde hair, which curtained her face as she bowed her head and released a quiet wail.
“Like a banshee.” I grumbled as I turned toward the window. Outside, I saw others in costume heading toward the town hall. Wolves, witches, and even a troll. All successful hunts that were sure to raise the social status of those people.
“Come on Thorne, you still have time to hunt something dangerous. You don't have to settle for a wolpertinger.” Mallory said gently. Frowning, I turned to face my friend.
“You know I don't have that kind of strength. I was lucky to kill that flying rabbit without getting bitten or stabbed with an antler!” I told her as I stood and walked over to the table. Picking up the headband that had the wolpertinger antlers, I put it on. Then I picked up the fake fangs and put them in my mouth. The wolpertinger's actual fangs hung around my neck on a cord. “Besides, there isn't time to hunt again before the meeting begins. I'm going to be reassigned.”
Mallory folded her arms and looked away from me. “There are things weaker then a wolpertinger. You might not have the lowest score.”
I put on my coat; which was covered with brown fur and had feathered wings sewn to the back.
“I'm the worst hunter in our group. The only way I don't get reassigned is if Wolfe and Orson failed their dragon hunt.”
Crossing her arms, Mallory gave me a look. “If you give up, then you don't deserve to be a hunter. Now come on, I know where a– ”
“–I don't want to slay monsters!” I groaned, then stiffened as I realized what I had said. Mallory eyes were crinkled with worry. One hand was over her mouth as she shook her head.
“You're not serious. You can't be serious.” Her voice was soft at first, then grew in both speed and volume. “Your father is a legendary hunter! You can be great!”
I shook my head. “I am not my father.”
The slayer of beasts, a protector of the gate. My father was everything I wasn't.
Strong. Handsome. Bloodthirsty.
But most important was his secret. The only secret my father kept from the town. A secret I had learned after having slain the the wolpertinger.
“You could try to be!” Mallory shouted, hands now in clenching the comb.
“Not anymore.” I shook my head, then turned toward the door and left the room.

My father was were he always was on Halloween: guarding the gate that protected our town from the monsters outside. As I walked slowly toward him, he tilted his head toward me without looking away from the gate.
“Father,” I replied as I stood next to him. Looking out the gate, I took a deep breath. “Give it to me.”
My father frowned. “Your mother made a similar request in her dying breath.”
Shifting stiffly, I stared at him. “I don't belong here. Not now.”
My father turned his head to meet my gaze. “You could.”
Swallowing, I lifted my chin. “Not now. Everyone else is gathering at the town hall. Give it to me, and I can slip away before anyone realizes what's happening.” Holding out my hands, I struggled to keep my voice even. “If I stay, someone will find out what I am. They'll learn what you did.”
For a long moment, my father was silent. My heart pounded loudly in the silence. Then at last, father walked to the gate and unlocked it. “Go down the path until you reach the tree with the twisted trunk. There is a large rock in a clearing near the tree. Move the rock and dig where it was.” He opened the gate, and I slipped out of town.
“Thank you.” I said, then turned to leave.
“I'll give you until midnight to find it.” My father said, causing me to pause. “If you have not found it by then, I will bring you back to town. Strom will guard you while I go burn it.”
Midnight was only an hour away.
I ran.

The forest was dangerous. Unarmed, I was an easy snack for any creature that came along. And there were many creatures out tonight. Howls and shrieks filled the air, along with the crack of limbs snapping off of trees. I felt eyes watching me, and hurried down the path as quickly and quietly as I could.
There were many trees with twisted trunks, but I passed them without stopping. There was only one tree that came to my mind to which my father could mean. An old tree, covered with knots and with a trunk so contorted I was surprised it was still standing.
It took a while to reach that tree, for it was far from the town. When the tree came into sight, I froze.
A woman stood at the base of the tree. Her hair was red and reached to her shoulders. Bark covered her body like armor, and she held a fallen branch as a staff.
“Evelyn's child has finally come.” The woman spoke softly as she studied me. Her amber eyes were cool and expressionless.
“How did you know my mother, dryad?” I asked as I began to walk slowly toward her. The dryad shook her head.
“Evelyn often came to visit me, but that was before your father stole her. Mili kept an eye on her while she lived in that town, then continued to watch you after her death.” The dryad smiled and looked down at a tabby sitting at her feet.
“Unfortunately, your mother couldn't understand Mili without her cloak. Because of this, Mili couldn't tell Evelyn where to find it.” The dryad shook her head. “Evelyn thought he had hidden it in town. But he hid it near my tree, not realizing I would take notice that he had buried my friend's cloak.”
I stopped as I reached the dryad. “Can you take me to it?”
The dryad sighed. “No, for it is yours to find on your own. I cannot interfere with this, though I miss my friend.”
Fighting back a frown, I offered the dryad a bow. “Thank you for speaking to me. I must continue my search.”
“Mili is not bound by the same laws as I. Follow her.” The dryad said, then leaned against the trunk of the twisted tree and melted into it. The tabby looked at me, then darted into the woods.
“Wait!” I called as I rushed after the cat. Trampling through thick brush, I fought to keep the cat in sight. After a few minutes, I stumbled out of a bush and found myself in a clearing. The cat was sitting on a rock.
A huge rock. “How am I suppose to move this?” I asked the cat. The rock was only a little smaller than myself. I wasn't as strong as my father. It would take hours to even begin moving it.
Hours I did not have.
I fell to my knees before the rock, and pounded my fists against it. “I was so close...” The words came as barely a whisper. I continued to pound on the rock for a few more moments, then stopped and bowed my head.
There was a rustling behind me. Throat tightening, I pressed my hands against the rock. “Go ahead and eat me.”
“Why would I want to do that, when you have what I've been looking for?” A deep, rough voice questioned. I turned to find a dwarf. He pointed at my head, then at my neck. “That is, if those be the antlers and fangs of a wolpertinger.”
Touching the cord around my neck, I nodded. The dwarf grinned.
“Finally! I've been searching for one of them beasts for days. Those things have a sixth sense that lets them detect dwarves, see. Makes it a pain to trap them.” The dwarf held out his hands. “What'll you take for them?”
I studied the dwarf, and noticed the shovel latched to his back. “There is something buried under this rock. If you can get it for me before midnight, I'll give you the antlers and fangs.”
The dwarf walked around the rock, wearily eyeing the tabby as he did. When he reached me, the dwarf nodded. “Should be simple enough, though I don't like rushing my work.”
I stood and looked down at the dwarf. “I'm sure I could find someone else interested in these if you don't think you can get what was buried.”
The dwarf frowned and got his shovel. “I'm no beardless lad, boy. I'll get it before midnight, just watch.”
As the dwarf dug, I anxiously counted the minutes. There was only seventeen minutes until midnight.
The tabby leaped off the rock and sauntered over to me. I knelt and stroked the cat, wondering what kind of creature it really was. A normal cat couldn't survive all of the creatures that lived here. Yet it looked like a normal cat. Whatever it actually was, this cat, Mili, had known my mother.
The dwarf dug, and time passed.
Thirteen minutes.
“Got it!” The dwarf's voice rose out of the tunnel he had dug. I scrambled over, pulling off the antler headband and the cord with the fangs. The dwarf popped out of the tunnel with a steel box.
“Here,” I told him as I offered the wolpertinger antlers and fangs. The dwarf took them, allowing me to grab the box from him. I pulled at the lid, then noticed the lock.
“No.” I tugged at the lock, but it did not budge.
“Pleasure doing business with you.” The dwarf called as he left the clearing.
I looked around for something I could use to break the lock. But there was nothing. Mili the cat stared at me, then leaped onto the lid of the box and leaned down to touch the lock with her nose.
The lock popped open.
“Thank you, Mili!” I said as she leaped off the box. Taking off the lock, I thrust open the lid.
White feathers greeted me. My fingers began to tingle as I stared at the feathers. Despite having been buried in a box for years, they gleamed in the moonlight. I reached out a hesitant hand, my breath quickening. A shock jolted through my fingers the moment they touched the feathers. Tightening my hand around them, I gently pulled it out of the box and stood. As it came out of the box, I realized that it was a long cloak of white swan feathers.
It was soft, far more beautiful than anything I had ever seen. The longer I held it, the more I longed to put it on. And somehow I knew that the moment I did, I would never want to take it off.
Hands trembling, I tried to think of a reason not to put it on.
What could possibly keep me from the freedom the cloak offered?
Mallory would want me to come back to town, but I knew what awaited me there. I would be reassigned to work within the town walls, never to step foot into the outside world again. Mallory might attempt to keep our friendship alive, but she would be drawn to the other hunters. For that was what she was.
A brilliant, powerful hunter.
My hands tightened around the cloak. If I went back to town, the cloak would haunt my every moment. It was a part of me I had never realized was missing.
Until now.
I swung the cloak around my shoulders.
A deep ache filled me, along with a piercing pain. I fell to the ground, my body changing as I fell. By the time I hit the ground, it was over.
“It's about time.” A voice rumbled, which as I lifted my head I realized had come from Mili.
“What am I?” I asked.
“You are one of the Cygnus. As was your mother.”

Friday, October 18, 2013

Uses for a book

1. A doorstop. If the book is has  enough pages, it can keep your door propped open.
2. A weight. Need to exercise? Just grab a book or two and work those arms!
3. Build a tower. Need to entertain a child? Make a game of stacking books. See how high your tower can be!
4. Create a safe. If you are willing to cut pages, a thick book can become a hidden place for your stuff.
5. A pillow. It may seem a bit hard, but sometimes a book makes a decent pillow when you are really tired.
6. A journal. Yes, you could just just keep a digital record, but having a physical record is worth space on the bookshelf.
7. Give as a gift. Books make wonderful gifts, and what type of book you give someone says a lot about both you and the person you give the book to.
8. Entertainment. Who would have guessed that you can have fun by reading a book?
9. A table. Hardcover books make great lap tables when you are out and about.
10. To build a fire. In an emergency, a book can be broken down in order to became fuel for a fire.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Verifera

The room was small, clinical. I stared at the floor, aware of the emptiness of the room. The only person left in the room with me was a girl whose name I couldn't remember, except for the fact the her last name was Zimmons. That meant she would be the last one called, not me
Taking a breath, I loosened my clenched hands. This would be my only chance restrain my verifera. I couldn't afford to consider the consequences of failure. Of what had happened to my brother.
"Gregory Wens." I looked up at the sound of my name. A woman waited beside the red door, her crisp white uniform that of a controller. I stood and walked toward her. We went through the red door, leaving Zimmons alone. Our walk was short as she directed me down the hall and into the arena's antechamber. There, the Guardian of Blood was waiting, along with the commander of the controllers.
"I offer a final opportunity to resign, mister Wens." The Guardian of Blood said, his voice quivering with age.
"I will go on." I told him, my gaze drawn to the enormous golden elk that stood behind the guardian. Its crimson eyes bore hungrily into me, offering a taste of what I was about to face. The Guardian of Blood bowed his head, then held out two objects.
"Then with this blade, call forth the beast of your blood." I took the obsidian knife, careful not to cut myself just yet. "Then once the beast strikes, claim it with silver." The silver orb he offered seemed insignificant. But once in my hand, it shifted into a slender rod. I didn't know what magic the controllers used on the silver, but I knew that without it, I would have no chance against my verifera.
"Now into the area." The commander of the controllers said, his face hardening as he looked at me. "Don't end up like your brother."
Swallowing, I nodded as the commander's draconic verifera released a hiss. The controller who had brought me in undid the bolt across the steel door that led into the arena and opened it. I walked through, hearing it slam shut behind me.
The arena was circular pit with high walls and thick bars across the top to protect the half a dozen controllers that were staring down at me. Sand crunched beneath my feet as I walked to the center of the arena. There, I looked down into the inky water of the verifera well.
Lifting the knife, I inhaled and cut my wrist. The wound was small and shallow, the pain manageable as I held my arm over the well. After a moment, my blood hit the water.
I took a step back as the water began to bubble. My heart pounded as the water began boiling, then spilled out onto the sand. But instead of being absorbed, the unnatural black water gathered together on the sand in front of me and began to take rapidly take form.
Then there was a burst of steam, and the water-creature was flesh. A lanky white coyote, its crimson eyes locked onto me. I felt a brief disappoint as I stared at the creature. My brother's blood had called forth a wyvern. It had killed him, but at least his verifera had been spectacular.
I would never become a controller with a coyote verifera.
Then it darted forward far faster then a natural coyote. It stuck me in the leg, then leaped at my arm. I struck out with the silver rod. The creature yelped as the silver melted out of my hand and wrapped around its neck: forming into a collar. After the silver stopped moving, the coyote sat at my feet.
"Congratulations, you have claimed your verifera." One of the controllers called down to me. I looked at the coyote's hungry eyes, and didn't feel so certain.

Friday, October 11, 2013

For writing a letter

1. In order to maintain contact with someone who does not live nearby.
2. So that you can explain why you left unexpectedly.
3. To help someone celebrate a special occasion.
4. As a way to share how you feel.
5. In order to keep someone informed on what is happening.
6. To apologize.
7. As an invitation.
8. So that you can share information.
9. As a way to ask a question.
10. To thank someone.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A daughter's letter

I know this is letter will only give you more questions then answers, but I must hope that you will understand and forgive me for leaving.
The border collie you gave me for my birthday is actually a thief named Jake. Jake is a being called a Psych. Apparently, those whispers I've been hearing since I was a child might have been his people all along. Jake told me about his world, and about some of the people he had to leave behind when forced into the form of a dog and dumped here. I know this seems silly, but I want to help him change back to his normal self. But that isn't the only reason I'm leaving. The other is that something called a Taint has apparently connected to me. Jake explained that a Taint will search for whoever they connect to for as long as it takes them, and then stay with that person and protect him or her until one of them dies.
A bit stalker-ish sounding, but I guess they are a bit like a familiar. Anyway, I don't want to leave Jake on his own, and I definitely don't want some golden eyed dude knocking on our door and telling me he's here to protect me.
So I'm leaving.
I promise that once this is all sorted out, I'll try and come back.
You never know, Jake and I might not even find these magic lynx that can tell us how to get to his world.
I love you, and hope you understand why I am doing this.

♥ Kathryn Scarlet

Friday, October 4, 2013

Oppertunities I have had

1. To watch someone skin a rattlesnake.
2. To see a calf born.
3. To help butcher a rooster.
4. To go to the Manti Pageant.
5. To rappel Australian style.
6. To go stream fishing.
7. To get a bowling pin as part of a birthday party.
8. To learn how to tat.
9. To cut and donate over ten inches of my hair.
10. To spend five days at Disneyland.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

In the interest of boredom

What does one do when they are bored?
Some would say nothing, because they can think of nothing interesting.
But if they would open their eyes, they would be surprised.
At all the interesting things that surround them.
Up in the sky, they could find bird flying, clouds constantly changing as they move, planes flying, stars glittering, or fireworks exploding.
On the ground, they could find beautiful flowers, insects crawling, cats sleeping, colorful rocks in a stream, or a sapling growing.
These are only a few of the things you can find on the ground or in the sky.
Yet still you claim to be bored?
Feel the heat of the air in the summer or the chill as you breathe on a wintry day. Listen to birds greet the morning. Then to the laughter of children as they play.
Open a book and be swept into adventure. Converse with a friend. Stare into the dark of night.
Look around. What do you see?
But there is a secret in the words "I'm bored."
I am.
There are so many things you that are.
Breathing, seeing, hearing, smelling, feeling.
Jumping, skipping, walking, running.
Laughing, singing, whispering, sobbing.
Why would you choose to be bored?
When there many, many other things you could be.
So next time you find yourself uninterested in your surroundings, stop.
And think.
It may be difficult at first, but you can find something to intrigue your mind.
Then you can say, "I'm interested."

Friday, September 27, 2013

Food that tastes good when you add garlic

1. Macaroni and cheese.
2. Scones.
3. Fettuccine alfredo.
4. Broccoli au gratin rice.
5. Roasted potatoes.
6. Soup.
7. Chicken.
8. Cabbage... according to my sister.
9. Green beans.
10. Raviolis.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

An escape in the desert

The wind raged across the desert. Dust devils rose, growing larger as they spun across the sand. A youth lifted his hand to shield his face from the sun. "The storm is coming closer." He muttered, then turned to look at his companion. "Are you sure this is the way?"
His companion paused and tilted back her head. She closed her eyes and breathed in the hot, dry air. "It has to be." She replied after a moment. "Now come on, we can't afford to rest." The girl began walking. Glancing back at the dark clouds in the distance, the boy shuddered. "Tairos." The name came out as the faintest of whispers. The dark clouds of the storm lit with a sickening orange hue as its pace suddenly increased. Hurriedly, the boy followed after his companion.
The girl led the way. They darted left, right, even back the way they had come as the girl followed a trail invisible to the boy. All the while, the storm drew closer.
 "Where is it?" The boy had to shout as the wind roared around them. The girl looked left, right, then back to the left. Hands tightening into fists, the girl knelt and hit the ground. The boy's eyes darted from the girl to the storm. It was nearly upon them. They had run out of time.
"Terry!" The girl called, voice tinged with excitement. The boy turned at the sound of his name. Focusing on the girl, he saw that the sand under her hands was shifting. After a couple of minutes, a circular silver cover was revealed. "Help me lift it." The girl said as she grabbed hold of the handle in the center of the cover. Terry took hold of part of the handle. Straining, they were able to lift it off. As they dropped the cover in the sand, they were able to see what had been under it.
A gaping hole. No ladder to climb down, nothing but darkness.
"You're first." The girl said, giving Terry a gentle shove.
"But Rose-"
"No buts! I'm the eldest, and I say you go first." She interrupted, crossing her arms with a glare. "We don't have time to argue. It's safer than being caught in the storm."
Chin trembling, Terry walked to the edge of the hole. With a gulp, he jumped. Hitting the ground, he looked up at the hole. It was out of his reach. The chill darkness surrounded him as he called up. "Okay, your turn!"
Rose came into view. But she didn't jump down. "Come on, the drop isn't that far!" He said as he moved out of the way.
Rose shook her head. "I'm sorry."
Terry saw her kneel and touch the edge of the hole. Sand began to trickle down, and slowly the edge of the cover appeared. "No!" Terry shouted as he realized what she was doing.
"Only one of us needs to escape." Rose said, a tremble in her voice as she forced a smile. "Besides, we both know that Dad is more interested in capturing me. You'll be safe here. Just follow the bat."
Terry shook his head, hands clenched at his side. "You promised we'd escape together!"
"Find uncle Lutez. He can explain everything." Rose called down. Then the cover fell back into place, and Terry was left in the dark.

Friday, September 20, 2013

What I would not want 101 of...

1. Wet dogs.
2. Paper cuts.
3. Bottles of vinegar.
4. Sneezes in a row.
5. Double cheeseburgers.
6. Cats on my lap.
7. Unamusing knock-knock jokes.
8. Pinecones.
9. Alarm clocks going off at the exact same time.
10. Skunks crossing my path.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The embodiment of Hope


With siblings like these, you'd think that I would be a sadness as well.
But that is kind of difficult when you are the embodiment of Hope.
You see, each member of my family is an embodiment of negative emotion. My father is Grief, while my mother is Pain. The cycle has been going for generations, and no one knows how it started. Whenever one of us gets close to a normal person, they begin to feel whatever emotion we embody.
"Hope!" I jumped a little as my mother's voice pulled me out of my thoughts. Glancing around, I realized that the car was parked. "We're here." Mother said as she leaned against the open car door.
"Sorry," I mumbled as I climbed out. Glancing toward the restaurant, I saw my brothers hanging near a group of teenagers. As mother and I walked toward my brothers, the teenage girls seemed to wilt before my eyes. Frowning, I quickened my pace. Once I was close to the group of teenagers, I slowed. Picking out the girl who seemed most troubled, I offered her a shy smile.
"Excuse me," I began to catch her attention, "I couldn't help but notice your bracelet. Did you make it?"
The girl looked at the brightly colored braided bracelet that she worn, and her lips twitched. "No, a friend of mine did." She said slowly. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw my brothers follow mother into the restaurant.
"That's really neat." I said, offering her a warm smile. "Those are a fun selection of colors. Do you know how your friend made it?"
Another of the girls returned my smile. "There are some instructions online. But you can make a simpler one using just a three strand braid technique."
I nodded my head. "I'll have to try it. Thanks."
With a wave farewell to the happier teenagers, I headed inside after my family.
After finding the table they were at, I sat down.
"Interfering again?" Sorrow asked dully, his perpetual frown deepening as he glanced at me.
"Cleaning up." I replied softly.
"If you actually fitted in, this wouldn't be a problem." Anguish whined as he rubbed his arm.
Despair slowly shook his head. "She can't." Studying me, he winced. "She's hopeless."
I held back a sigh and shook my head. As my twin, one would think that Despair would be on my side. But no, he was the one who belittled me the most.
"Leave your sister alone." Mother said firmly as her eyes scanned the menu. "She cannot be blamed for her condition."
Swallowing the lump in my throat, I excused myself. In the bathroom, I rubbed my eyes. I was the oddball in the family. That was never going to change. Just as I knew that being the embodiment of an emotion supposedly made you feel it more powerfully.
I found it hard to live up to my emotion.
"Pardon me." A quiet voice spoke from behind me. Turning, I saw that it was the girl who had told me where to find instructions for the bracelet.
"May I help you?" I asked.
She shook her head. "I don't think so, but I wanted to thank you for helping my friends." She walked to the sink beside me. As she washed her hands, her head tilted toward me. "Usually it is my job to help them. Its nice to finally meet the embodiment of Hope."
Eyes widening, I studied the girl. She was short, with straight, light brown hair and kind eyes. Meeting my stare, she offered a small smile.
"You aren't alone as a positive emotion. I'm Sympathy."

Friday, September 13, 2013

One hundred

1. 100% on a test is really cool.
2. Eating one hundred pieces of candy can be nauseating. Lying down while you digest would be a good idea.
3. Writing one hundred pages is worth a round of applause.
4. Living to be one hundred is awesome. Listen to these people, for they have a lot of knowledge to impart.
5. One hundred friends make for a fun party.
6. Reaching one hundred episodes is traditionally when a TV show would be considered for syndication.
7. Excluding the end zones, an American football field is 100 yards long.
8. In West Virginia, there is a town called Hundred. The first two settlers lived to be 109 and 106.
9. 100 degrees Celsius is the boiling temperature of water at sea level.
10. Today is the one hundredth Ten Reasons... post.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Stealing from a unicorn

You do not want to steal from a unicorn.
Sure, a unicorn seems peaceful enough at first. It may even let you get close enough to touch it. But should you take the object it guards: run.
That's what I'm doing.
Panting as I veered to the right behind a large pile of rocks, I resisted the urge to look behind me as the sound of hooves thundered past where I had just been. I kept a firm hold on my bag, wishing I had time to tie the broken straps together.
"All this for a ruby apple!" I gasped angrily, recalling the fae who had sent me here. If I hadn't gone and gotten myself indebted to him, there wouldn't be a crazy unicorn trying to impale me.
My gaze darted around, searching for somewhere to hide. But the desolate plain offered nothing  but scrawny brush and rocks.
"Find the lake of Lyfe-" I panted as I heard a bellow from the unicorn. "-steal the apple." Diving to the left, I heard a rip. Hitting the ground, I rolled and scrambled to my feet. Letting out a hiss as my right leg protested, I forced myself to continue.
If I stopped, I was dead.
I couldn't let a gash stop me.
Each direction looked the same. I had no idea whether I was running in circles. My pace was slower now, and continuing to decrease.
There was a flicker of movement ahead. Then I saw it again, and heard a series of whoops. Gathering a breath, I let out a pained squeal. Gasping for breath, I almost missed the rapid whoops that followed. A beast flickered into existence ahead of me.
The beast was canine; with yellowish-gray fur and a tawny mane that ran down its spine. The glimpse I caught of its eyes revealed that they were every color imaginable.
Running straight toward the beast, I hoped my idea worked.
I reached into my bag. Taking hold of the apple, I flung my bag behind me. The unicorn let out a shrill whinny. I flung myself out of the way. The unicorn barreled past, into the beast. Releasing a growl, the beast attacked the unicorn.
As the two creatures fought, I fled.
"This is the last time I come to the Crocotta Wilds." I panted once far enough away from the battle. My bag was gone, along with most of my supplies. Sitting on a rock, I looked at the ruby apple. From deep within the stone, a gentle light pulsed. Recalling one of the myths about the lake of Lyfe, I pressed the jewel against my gash. Biting back a cry as an icy shock filled my leg, I fought back the temptation to drop the apple.
Then, as quickly as it had appeared, the icy shock vanished.
Slowly lifting my hand, I looked at my leg.
The gash was gone.
"Huh. No wonder that waterlogged fae wants this." I said, studying the ruby apple. The internal light had gotten brighter. Removing my scarf, I tied the apple inside it, then retied the scarf to my arm. It wouldn't do to lose the treasure before I got back to Zeltsrio.
Looking around at the unchanging plain, I wondered if I would get back.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Animals that can travel through time

1. Flies. Have you ever tracked a fly as it flew, only to have it disappear? That is because flies are transdimensional creatures that flit through both time and space in the blink of an eye.
2. Cats. Why? Because a cat can do whatever it wants.
3. Bears. During hibernation, bears travel through the time-stream into the bodies of other creatures.
4. Crocodiles. Laying in wait within the timestream, crocodiles will snap up any inexperienced time travelers they come across.
5. Goldfish. Posing as a common pet, these fish are actually time agents sworn to protect the time-stream from those who would tamper with it.
6. Spiders. By weaving webs that can be scattered throughout the timestream, these arachnids can hunt for their favored prey: flies.
7. Cows. These cattle are magnets for temporal anomalies. Why else do you think that aliens like to study them?
8. Sea turtles. While swimming through the time-stream, these turtles will come to the aid of other travelers that have become lost in time.
9. Ants. The garbage collectors of the timestream, they feed on the mess left by other travelers.
10. Jellyfish. They float through the timestream without a care as to where they end up.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Richard and Rachel

Nemani was a peaceful place. Nestled in the foothills of the Woolfenden mountain range, this village was very small. Though there were times when the villagers quarreled, they rarely allowed outsiders to witness their disputes.
So who did the villagers consider to be an outsider? Anyone not born there.
Which made living in Nemani difficult for my brother and I. 
Setting my basket on the table, I wiped sweat off my forehead. "Richard, I'm back!" I called as I sat on a stool. I heard clattering from the other room.
"Rachel! What did you get?" My brother asked as he stumbled into the room. I shook my head as I noticed his disheveled clothes.
"A loaf of bread, a couple of eggs, and a skein of thread." I answered. Richard frowned as he straightened his shirt.
"Is that it?"
"I stayed for as long as I could without arousing suspicion. " I said as I pulled the bread from the basket. Taking my knife, I cut off a slice. Taking a bite from the slice, I handed the rest of the loaf to my brother as he sat down.
"Well, we can try something else." Richard said with a shrug. Taking a bite, he smiled. "Perhaps singing in the square?"
Tilting my head, I stared at my brother. " Your singing isn't very good anymore."
Richard chuckled. "But you still sound alright. Besides, how often do have you heard music here?"
Tapping my fingers against the table, I shook my head. "Never." In the week we had lived in Nemani, I couldn't recall having ever heard a single note of music.
Richard snapped his fingers. "Great! You'll sing, and I'll play my drum."

The next day, we went to the town square. With Richard pounding the beat on his small drum, I sang one ditty after another.
At first, only a one or two people stopped to listen. Then a few more came. By the time we stopped for a break, half the village had gathered.
"See!" Richard said with a grin as I sat next to him. "This was a great idea."
Wiping sweat from my forehead, I gave a nod. "You were right." Now we could study those who had gathered.
"Excuse me," I turned to see that the baker's oldest son standing near where we sat.
"Yes?" I asked, wondering how he had gotten so close without us noticing.
"There is a village meeting tonight. Since you are fairly new, I thought I would extend an invitation." The baker's son said, his blue eyes half closed as he studied me.
"Thanks for letting us know." Richard said as he tapped his fingers against his drum.
Eyes narrowing even further as he looked at Richard, the baker's son gave a nod. "It will begin shortly after sunset, here in the square." He said, then left.
After a few more minutes, I got up and began to sing again.

That night, Richard and I arrived at the square. Looking around, Richard frowned. "No one is here."
I looked up at the stars that were starting to appear. "Perhaps this is something they do to newcomers." I suggested as I tried not to frown as well.
Richard shook his head. "That does-" He cut off as yowls rose from all around us. I turned around, scanning  the surrounding buildings. From within the growing shadows, I caught movement.
"Richard," I said quietly. He gave a slight nod.
He had seen it too.
Shifting position, I stood back to back with my brother. The moment had finally arrived.
Growls rose as feline creatures slunk out of the shadows. Some were on two legs, while others were crouched on all four. They were smaller then I expected, and each had a different fur color.
Werecats. A common type of shapeshifter, but still dangerous in a large enough clowder. I quickly counted the ones I could see. "It looks like the entire village is here, brother."
I felt my brother shrug. "Not surprising, with how secluded it is. We must have stirred up quite the fuss by moving in."
I gave a nod, then looked around at the shapeshifters that had surrounded us. "So, are you going to turn me? Or are we suppose to be hunting practice?"
"That depends on your reasons for coming to our village." A firm, elderly voice replied. The felines shifted to allow an old woman to walk toward us.
"I don't think we've met, madam." Richard said as the woman came to a stop a few feet away from us. The woman smiled, revealing feline fangs.
"I am the matriarch of this village. Why have you come here?"
I tilted my head to look at Richard. He shifted slightly, then gave a small nod.
Looking back to the matriarch, I paused to take a breath before answering.
"We are looking for the shapeshifter who turned my brother."
The matriarch's eyes widened for a moment as she looked at Richard. "He does not have the scent of our kind." She said, her voice rumbling faintly as she spoke.
Richard looked at me, eyebrows furrowed.
I took a step away from him. "Go ahead."
My brother gave a quiet sigh, then closed his eyes. Immediately his flesh began to ripple, red fur sprouting from it as his bones shifted.
I looked away for a few minutes, then looked back to see that Richard had finished shapeshifting.
This time, he looked like a werefox. But as he took off his shoes, I saw that his feet had transformed into hooves.
"Last time I saw him shapeshift, Richard looked like a werecat with wings." I said, turning to look at the matriarch. "He was attacked a few months ago, but didn't see what had done it. When he first shapeshifted into a werewolf with snake scales, we realized that he had been turned by a shapeshifter. But each transformation since then has been something different." I looked at my brother, and gritted my teeth. "We're searching for the shapeshifter who did this, so Richard can learn if the transformations can be controlled."
The matriarch looked away from my brother. "I have never heard of such a beast. We are all werecats here, and have little interest in outsiders." The matriarch said, then lifted her hand.
The most of the werecats surrounding us broke formation; sauntering away into the night. Some merely sat down, or wandered about within hearing distance.
"We request that you take your search elsewhere by the day after tomorrow." The matriarch said, then turned and walked away.
I looked at my brother and crossed my arms. "We will find the one who did this to you."

Friday, August 30, 2013

To have a map

1. So that you know the surrounding area.
2. As a reference for when your story takes place in a fictional land.
3. In order to plan a scavenger hunt.
4. So you can hike within your physical limits.
5. That way you don't get lost. Unless you are not good at reading maps...
6. To learn the names of places.
7. So that you can prepare for the environment of your destination.
8. As fuel for a fire.
9. To take notes on.
10. To hold over your head for shade.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Happy two hundredth post, Terrarth Tales.

“Harith, why have you brought us here?” Akram asked as the sunlight gave his translucent skin a warm coloration. Harith carefully rubbed his injured right shoulder before answering.
“The capital is not safe.”
“The capital is fine!” Husani said with a snort. “The healers are just incompetent. So they haven't cured a few commoners. A simple quarantine will take care of them, then we can deal with the healers.”
I suppressed a growl, hands clenching as I glared at Husani. The illness that was spreading through the capital was worse then he knew. Catching my look, he shrugged. “Obviously your mother isn't one of the incompetent healers, Aliyah.”
“This trip is merely a precaution.” Harith said quickly as my wings flared open. He glanced toward the sky. “Calm yourself, Aliyah. We don't want to draw attention.”
For a moment, I merely looked at him. Though there was a chance that a griffin could be near by, I knew he was thinking of dragons. Fierce and proud, even a single dragon would pose a dangerous threat for our small group. Though if were attacked by a dragon, I could distract it long enough for the others to get away.
For dragons despised halflings such as myself.
I closed my wings.
“Where are we going?” Shazi asked with a pout. “These mountains are such a bore.”
“Here.” Harith answered as he directed us through a narrow path between two high cliffs. The path sloped downward. When it finally opened, I came to a stop. The path led to a small area surround by high cliffs. The cliff-face was riddled with caves, while a small pool sat in the center of the area.
Oh, and the entire place was full of hippogriffs.
“A hippogriff nest?” Zuleika gasped as she grabbed onto Husani's arm. “I'm not going in there!”
Harith released a heavy sigh. “The hippogriffs will not see you.” He said as he opened a pouch on his belt. He pulled out twelve feathers and began handing them out. “This charm will cause the hippogriffs to believe you are part of their herd.”
I moved to the back of the group and waited. After the others had gotten their charms, I moved up. Harith looked at me, and held out his hand. A single feather remained.
“Keep it.” I told him with a shake of my head. “Just tell me where to go.”
His hand closed around the feather, and I that noticed the spiderweb-like cracks on his injured shoulder had spread. Turning, he pointed across the hippogriff's territory to a crack in the cliff ahead of us. “The crack should be large enough for you to slip through, but is too small for a hippogriff to follow.”
I nodded. “I'll give you a head start.”
Watching as my twelve companions worked their way across to the crack in the cliff, I began to stretch my wings. Studying the hippogriffs, I was pretty sure that they would be more agile then me in the air. There was a large bay stallion and a smokey black mare that were closest to the crack that might give me some trouble.
My companions made it to the crack and disappeared inside. Taking a breath, I ran forward and sprang into the air. Flapping my wings, I rose higher as shrieks echoed from all around me. The smokey black mare charged forward and rose into the air like an arrow. Diving toward the hippogriff, I let out a roar.
Upon reaching the hippogriff, I tried to streak past. The hippogriff twisted, managing to grab my leg with one of her front talons.
As she ripped into my right wing with her beak, the hippogriff and I crashed. Pain shot through me. Kicking with my free leg, I felt my claws dig into the mare. Ripping myself free, I bolted for the crack; which was only a few feet away. The bay stallion reared up in front of me with a shriek. Heat filled my throat, and I opened my mouth. Fire burst out, singeing the stallion.
Reaching the crack, my wings scrapped against the rock as I shoved myself in. The bay stallion shrieked, beak snapping as he tried to follow.
The crack soon widened. A small cave lit by a illumination spell revealed the others.
“Are you alright?” Akram asked. Tilting my head back, I released a puff of smoke.
“I'm better then one of you would have been.” I answered, looking around at my companions. With their glass bodies, that crash could have killed them. Sure, they weren't as fragile as normal glass, but I was much more durable.
Being half dragon wasn't always a bad thing.
“Come.” Harith said. With some muttering, my companions and I followed. We walked through the tunnel, eventually coming to a chamber already lit by enchantments.
Twelve long, flat crystals floated in the air. My companions froze. Then they all spoke at once.
“Hibernation crystals?”
“Things aren't that bad at the capital!”
“Who will wake us?”
“Why must father be so paranoid?”
Harith whistled, a shrill note that silenced my companions. “The situation at the capital is severe, and there have been reports from other cities about the plague. We have not been able to find a cure.” Looking at each one of us, Harith offered a weak smile. “Each of you have been selected for one reason. You have not yet been infected.”
He motioned to the crystals. “The disease leaves the infected infertile. Unless a cure is found quickly, our race will die out. Except for you.”
Akram stepped forward. “If you do find a cure, we will be awoken the moment it is safe?”
Harith nodded.
Husani moved beside his brother with a frown. “But if a cure isn't found, how long will we be left here?”
Harith bowed his head. “Should no cure be found, no elf will come to wake you. We cannot risk you becoming infected.”
I nodded. Eventually, the hibernation crystal should die. If we were still asleep at that time, we would awake. Into a whole new world: for the magic of a hibernation crystal could last for thousands of years.
After some hesitation, my companions each laid on one of the crystals. Having seen my mother use a hibernation crystal before, I was able to help Harith place them in hibernation.
Finally, it was my turn.
The crystal was cold. My injured wing protested to being laid on.
“They won't find a cure.” I said. Harith gave a deep sigh as he shook his head. “The plague is magical. It adapts to our attempts to cure it. The disease does not kill, so we hope to find a cure for its effects.”
The infertility. I looked around at my sleeping companions. Six boys. Five girls.
“We're the future.” I said softly as a sour taste filled my mouth.
“You are en af Naji'Kadin.” Harith said as he activated the hibernation crystal.
My eyes grew heavy as the name filled my mind.
En af Naji'Kadin.
One of the Safe Companions.

Friday, August 23, 2013

How to not be bored

1. Read a book.
2. Exercise.
3. Practice a skill.
4. Learn something new.
5. Make a sandwich.
6. Sing a song.
7. Do a craft.
8. Laugh.
9. Watch a movie.
10. Write.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Without saying goodbye

A bitter scent of illness. The howling of a merciless winter wind. The room was dim; lit only by a tiny fire that could not be fed any more of the nearly depleted woodpile. There was a feeble cough from the bed in the corner. Though she had been forbidden, Myrna crept toward the bed.
“Mother?” She whispered as she reached the bed. Covered by a thick stack of blankets, her mother's eyes slowly opened; their rich brown a shocking contrast with the pallidness of her face.
“Myrna, don't tell me...” Her's mother's voice was so faint, and trailed off as her brows furrowed with concern.
“I'm not sick.” Myrna said quickly. Her mother's expression softened slightly.
“You shouldn't have come.” Her mother scolded, though her lips twitched with the beginning of a smile.
“I had to see you.” Myrna said quietly before biting her lip. “Both Father and Morell acted strange during dinner, I was afraid-” she cut off, clutching her arms to her chest.
A shiver racked through her mother, despite the blankets. “My child,” Myrna leaned closer to in order to hear her mother, “I would never leave you without saying goodbye.”