Friday, March 28, 2014

For building a snowman

1. As a way to get the kids to help you clear the driveway.
2. If you more then one, then you can tell people that you are holding a snowman family reunion.
3. So you have something to hide behind during a snowball fight.
4. In order to spend time doing something fun.
5. As part of a wintry contest.
6. So that your snowdog will have someone to walk it.
7. In order to see who in your group can make the silliest looking one.
8. Because snowmen suddenly appearing on the lawn in the middle of the night makes for a chilling surprise.
9. So you can put an old silk hat on its head.
10. What else will you do with all of those snow cones?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A handful of buttons

At the edge of the square, there was a small shop without a wreath on the door.
Reaching the shop, I had to duck my head in order to enter.
It took a moment for my eyes to adjust to the dim lighting. But when they had, I found that the shop was nearly deserted. There was a couple near the back wall sorting through dried herbs, and a youth standing behind the counter absently tracing designs with his finger.
“May I help you?” Stiffening, I fought against the urge to flee as I looked down at a little girl. I hadn't noticed her standing there until she had spoken. She looked to be about eight, with fuchsia hair and lilac eyes that looked up at me without a trace of fear.
“I'm just here to browse.” I said, then hesitated as her eager expression faded. “But,” I said as she turned away, “if you have any suggestions as to where I should begin, I'm willing to listen.”
Twisting back around, the girl grinned. “Follow me!” The girl led me through the shop, eagerly describing shoes, belts, knives, and bolts of cloth. Nearly every object the girl showed was something I could create, and the more I saw, the more I wondered at the effort that must have gone into making these objects without the use of magic.
When at last the girl had shown me everything, she turned and offered a smile. “What would you like?”
Raking my mind, I glanced around at the closest shelf.
Cloth, pins, a small cushion stuffed with straw.
"Some of these." I answered, motioning to a basket of buttons.
The girl nodded as I plucked out a handful of buttons. "If you'll go over to the counter, my brother will accept your payment."
Within the span of a breath, the girl disappeared. Moving to the counter, I released the handful of buttons.
The youth behind the counter glanced at the buttons. "Seven copper bits."
Reaching into a pouch on my belt, I pulled out a silver coin. Setting the coin on the counter, I swept the buttons into my hand and offered the boy a smile. "Keep the change."
The boy's eyes widened for a moment. Then his hand swept over the coin and disappeared below the counter. "Safe travels."
Leaving the shop, I absently tossed the assortment of buttons into the air and snapped my fingers. The buttons hovered around me. Making a circle with one finger, I watched as the buttons began to spin.
Faster and faster they spun, until the square I stood in began to blur. Inhaling, I clapped my hands. The buttons froze as the world snapped back into focus.
But instead of a crowded square, a lush meadow filled my view.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Uses for blocks

1. Let a little kid throw a soft block.
2. Carve a wooden block.
3. Build your cat a fort.
4. Prop up a broken table leg.
5. Weigh down a stack of paper.
6. Turn it into a six-sided die.
7. Use a large block as a footstool.
8. Chop food on one.
9. Write through them.
10. Use it in order to help something keep its shape.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

How to be boring

Welcome to the boring convention! Here you will learn how to be boring.
What's that? You already know about being bored?
Being boring is a delicate art, which only a few have truly mastered.
To begin, I must insist that you stop smiling. No, really. Stop. Smiling causes other people to think that you are happy, and happy is not boring.
No, no! Don't laugh! Laughter is even worse than smiling!
Laughing causes others to feel a desire to laugh, which is not cohesive with boredom.
Let's try an exercise. See that chair by the wall? Walk slowly to it and sit down.
Now slouch a little. Tilt your head down, and stare blankly at the floor.
Don't twiddle your thumbs! That's in the advanced boredom class.
Just sit there and stare at the floor.
Part of being boring is to not draw interest to yourself. An interesting person is not a boring person.
You can get up now. Next we'll talk about conveying boredom through your speech. When conversing with someone, don't give them your full attention. Let your thoughts wander, and pause before you reply to anything. Let your voice trail off mid-sentence. Don't show any enthusiasm when someone shares something exciting with you. Enthusiasm is not a trait of being boring.
Hey, where are you going? We haven't even gotten to the part about what to do if someone tries to get rid of your boredom!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Ways to push a button

1. Have a cat lay on it.
2. Construct a pole out of popsicle sticks and tape, then use it to reach the button.
3. Ask a child to push it.
4. Throw a rubber duck at it.
5. Get a metal hanger and straighten it out, then poke the button.
6. Place a dog treat on it, then call your pup.
7. Direct a remote control car to it.
8. Press it with a toy dinosaur.
9. Gently tap it with the tip of a sword.
10. Use one of your fingers.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A Dragon's Prize, part two

Once, I lived a normal, boring life. Sure, there was the occasional excitement of adventurers passing through town, but that didn't effect me. Unlike my brother, I wasn't going to be crazy and become an adventurer. But one dragon attack destroyed that life.
The wind burned as it whipped against my face. Clutching at the claws that were digging into me, I tried not to think about what the dragon was going to do to me. At least Dale was safe. I couldn't blame my brother for almost getting himself killed trying to slay a dragon. We had tried to slay the dragon together, after all.
The dragon dived. The wind ripped away my breath. Suddenly the wind vanished, replaced by darkness. The dragon's wingbeats echoed loudly as it flew through the darkness, twisting and turning so rapidly that it was impossible to tell what direction we flew.
When the dragon finally slowed, I was able to take a breath.
Which I then lost as the claws holding me let go.
“Ouch!” I coughed for a moment against the cold stone, my back aching as I stared up into the dark. A heavy thump signaled that the dragon had landed. Rolling onto my side, I bit back a cry as I sat up. Dragon's were not gentle to those they abducted.
There was a tendril of flame, then suddenly light. Covering my eyes, I blinked for a moment before focusing on the source of light. It was an egg-shaped orb, flickering like a campfire before the dragon. Releasing a puff of smoke, the dragon turned its narrow head in my direction.
“Whoa scaly, stay back!” I fumbled to pull out my small knife from its sheath as the dragon slinked toward me. Hands shaking, I grabbed a handful of my hair and cut it off. Thrusting out my hand that held the hair, I held my breath as the dragon reached me.
Its charcoal scales glinted in the light as the dragon sniffed the cut hair. Eyes the red of burning embers studied me, showing far more interest then they had when I was whacking the platter. Opening its mouth, I was given a very good view of the dragon's sharp teeth. The dragon gripped the cut hair and pulled it from my grasp, then turned away.
Watching the dragon disappear down a tunnel, I sheathed my knife and looked around the cavern.
Except for the glowing egg-shaped orb, there was nothing but stone. Dark tunnels stretched out in every direction, each exactly the same.
I had no idea where I was, or how long that handful of hair would satisfy the dragon.
“Well, time to figure out your escape plan, Milla.” I muttered as I stood. I had survived one dragon attack, so escaping from a young dragon shouldn't be so hard.
As long as I didn't run out of hair before I could get out.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Things to do during a sunset

1. Deliver a spectacular speech.
2. Gaze over your shoulder at the distance you've traveled.
3. Lean over a book and try to read the last sentence before the light fades.
4. Make shadow puppets.
5. Watch the as the world transforms into night.
6. Listen to the birds gather in the trees.
7. Have a picnic.
8. Play a musical instrument.
9. Write in a journal.
10. Ride a horse westward.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Pop goes the balloon

It's hard to be a balloon when you're afraid of heights.
No matter how high you go, people expect you to keep climbing.
Sure, some of us are lucky and get to be filled with water. Or get to be blown up one breath at a time, then rain down with others from a net at the end of a party.
But not me. I got to be filled with helium and tied to a string. Then as if that wasn't enough, I got handed to a child!
Not two seconds later, he let me go.
As I floated up, up, up into the air, I screamed at him to grab the string. But the kid rushed over to goggle at the monkeys in their cage. By the time he realized I was gone, he was just a smudge on the ground.
A very small smudge.
If balloons could burst from terror, I would have. There were far too many dangers for a little balloon like me. Birds, planes, the weather, anything could happen to me.
I was adrift, climbing higher into that monstrous blue with no way to get down.
Until I popped.
I wouldn't get to slowly deflate. I would be pounded with pressure until my flimsy rubber self reached the breaking point.
Farewell to a balloon who had barely begun to float.