Friday, August 29, 2014

To not go into the forest

1. You might not be able to get out. There are many things that could keep you from leaving the forest: getting lost, becoming injured, being chased by a minotaur and having to wait for it to leave before you can climb down from this tree... it seems like the forest just doesn't want you to leave.
2. The locals might not be friendly. Usually people who build a hidden village deep within the forest dislike having uninvited guests stumble into their village in the middle of the night.
3. The wildlife is hungry. There are many creatures in the forest that just love the taste of adventurer. Why else would they be attacking you right now?
4. There'll always be someone in need of rescue. Be it an enchanted prince or the standard damsel in distress, you can count on running into someone in need of help at the worst possible moment (like while you are fleeing from the wildlife). Oh, and did we mention that you'll probably not be able to refuse helping them? You're a really nice person, after all (and that pack of giant wolves should be far enough back that you could stop for a moment and help, right?).
5. You find an artifact of doom. Somewhere in the forest is a dark tower belonging to the wizard Ruizmeir. Luckily for you, he's not home when you flee inside. Unluckily, that damsel in distress you just rescued stumbled into you and you've bumped an old iron box off its pedestal. You're not quite sure what that greenish smoke leaking from it is, but the disembodied cackling that surrounds you seems like a good cue to leave.
6. Duels to the death sometimes happen. Just as you sit down to rest, a knight in sticky armor arrives. Despite his apparent encounter with a beehive, the knight seems roaring to challenge you. From what you can make out between dodging sword swipes, it seems that he thinks you abducted the damsel in distress from her home kingdom. Are all forest duels caused by misunderstandings?
7. You might become separated from your group. After convincing the knight of your innocence, the three of you begin traveling together. But such good times rarely last in the forest. One seemingly empty clearing ends up being the home of the gigas arachnida. During the chaos, you stumble into a ditch and lose consciousness. Upon awakening, you find that the knight and damsel in distress fled from the spider. While it is preoccupied with dinner, you might want to do the same.
8. The weather could change suddenly. A nice quiet hike to find your companions is rudely interrupted by a thunderstorm. Having lost your cloak quite early on to a disgruntled monkey, you have little choice but to find some shelter and wait out the storm.
9. It's uncomfortable. Crouched beneath a short tree, you can't decide which is worse: the raindrops that somehow make it down to drip onto your head, or the fact that you're stuck between two prickly bushes underneath the tree's mostly dry side.
10. The forest is enchanted. Why else would all these crazy things keep happening to you?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Paper cut

It was a paper cut.
A silly little paper cut.
Weaving through the woodland between the village and where I lived was something I always did. Sure, it was forbidden. I'd been told that hundreds of times through the years. But I didn't want to travel all the way around it every day.
And nothing had ever happened in the woodland.
Until I got that papercut.
Pressing my thumb against the cut on my forefinger, I bent down to pick up the partially opened letter. A speckle of red marred the creamy surface of the paper.
"That's lovely," I muttered as I walked over to a large rock. Climbing up, I balanced on its uneven surface. Releasing my stinging forefinger, I looked at the narrow cut.
Beads of blood welled to the surface, appearing quite bright in the early evening light.
A breeze brushed against my face, surprisingly cool for late summer.
Turning over the letter, I continued opening it. Leaning forward, I began to read.


I won't be home by the end of summer. We've been approached by a messenger from Kyzone, in regards to a basilisk infestation they're suffering from. The Cap's decided that we're going to help them, so I won't be back just yet.
I know I'm breaking my promise, but I hope you'll understand why.
Adventures aren't always convenient, but they pay well.
I should be home before the first snowfall, should the infestation be cleared out quickly.
Keep to your studies, and stay out of the woodland.


Clenching the money that he had enclosed within, I crumpled up the letter and threw it away from me. "Dumb brother, off to a faraway land instead of coming home." Wiping away the bead of blood from the paper cut, I tried to ignore the ache in my throat. "He couldn't have a sensible apprenticeship in baking or linen making. No, he had to run off with a party of adventurers."
Glaring at the paper cut, I knew I was being childish. My brother burned anything he tried to cook, and couldn't even patch a hole in his sleeve. Sure, him becoming an adventurer left me alone, but it was something he loved.
The crumpled letter fell near the base of my rock.
Jerking my head up, anything I might have said caught in my throat.
A creature covered in cerulean fur stood before me, its rose eyes unblinking. I returned its stare, trembling as the urge to run filled me.
Whatever this thing was, I had never seen it in the woodland before.
Its rose eyes flickered toward my hand, and its nostrils flared.
I jerked back, and lost my balance.
Piercing white filled my vision, then darkness engulfed me.

Friday, August 22, 2014

For music

1. Music can affect your mood. It can elicit sorrow, or cause cheerful laughter.
2. It can add an extra finishing touch. Though we don't always notice it, background music adds something to whatever it is a part of. Without that music, it wouldn't quite feel complete.
3. Music offers us a way to connect with others. Have you ever sat and listened to a piece of music with someone? It is a simple way to connect with another, and can even traverse language barriers.
4. Music can help to inspire. Inspiration can be be aided with music. And sometimes an idea can strike after you listen to a song.
5. Music can help you to remember. There are times when music will help bring to your memory things which you had forgotten.
6. Music can help you to learn. With a catchy tune, it can become easier to learn how to do something.
7. Music can help you to develop patience. When trying to learn to play an instrument, patience is something that should be developed through the hours of practice you'll put in.
8. Music can bring understanding. Some music has lessons to teach, and answers to give. But in order to understand, you need to be willing to listen.
9. Music can provide a look into the past. You can learn a lot about a time period by its music.
10. Music can provide comfort. When faced with a challenge or frightened by something in the dark, humming a favorite song can help to ease your nerves, and bring you the strength to carry on.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The flow of music

The music flowed through the room. Its gentle, beckoning tones softly pleading for my attention.
Come, come.
The notes tugged at my heart and filled my mind.
Here is peace. Here is rest.
Almost unaware, my footsteps a minor disturbance to the melody. Even as the thought crossed my mind, the music shifted slightly to incorporate my footsteps.
Each note filled my ears, reverberating through my bones. With each step forward, I found it harder to remember a time before the music.
Had there ever been a time before the music?
The creeping doubts scarcely began to form before the music shifted, filling my mind with its sweet melody.
All thought fled.
Leaving only music.
Forward, following the swell of music out of the room. Through the declining spiral hallway.
Downwards, into the echoing elegy of a spacious cavern.
The steady dripping of water mingled with the music, beckoning me toward the pool in the center.
As the water lapped at my feet, a voice joined the music.
Words indecipherable, yet it beckoned to me.
An unfamiliar longing fill my heart.
In the dim light, a woman rose from the pool.
The music reached a crescendo, and the woman smiled.
As she embraced me, a single word broke through the music.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Shows I enjoy

1. Star Trek. I'm a Trekkie, and quite enjoy the philosophical and ethical dilemmas that the characters face in many episodes. I also enjoy the designs of the different aliens, the use of red shirts to reveal the threat of the week, and the starships.
2. Dragons: Riders of Berk and Defenders of Berk. As you might already know, I love dragons. And these series do a good job of expanding the How to Train your Dragon universe, while maintaining the core characteristics of the characters you loved from the movie. New dragons, new dangers, and you get to keep the stuff you already liked? I like it!
3. Doctor Who. I'm a fan of time travel, and of a main character that can have drastic changes happen to them, but still be at the core the character that you've grown to love. And I love a good monster that challenges the characters.
4. Studio C. I enjoy sketch comedy that is fun not only the first time you see it, but with additional viewings. I also like when the humor is appropriate and entertaining for the entire family.
5. Once Upon a Time. I love fairy tales, magic, and well written villains. With this show, I get all three! It is quite fun to try and figure out what fairy tale or story that will play a part in an episode, and I love watching as the character growth, and how a character's growth will also affect the other characters.
6.  Rugrats. The characters in this cartoon can make me laugh and smile. It is fun to see simple things from the perspective of babies, then end up on an adventure because of their imaginations.
7. Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I enjoy a group of characters learning to become a team. Most of all, I love continuity. When something takes place in the same universe as other stories, I love when there are references made to the events that happened in those other stories. It's a wonderful thing when the world-building is shown and added upon constantly.
8. My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. I enjoy the cast of characters and their growth, the catchy songs, and how the lessons on friendship are delivered in an enjoyable manner.
9. Eureka. I like when highly intelligent characters are able to interact with a character of regular intelligence, and have both be equally amazing. And with lot of amusing scenes mixed in with those of the cast trying to save their town from the latest technological crisis, this is one of my favorite shows to watch again and again.
10. Warehouse 13. I like when a simple object is given fantastical abilities. It's even more fun when the characters need to go out and collect these objects before they cause too much trouble.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Nazli Israa

The door shut, and the din outside became muffled. Moving forward, Nazli Israa scarcely noticed the shelves of books she passed. None held the answer she sought. Even now, as the fatigue that had become her constant companion plead for a rest, her mind continued its repetitive cycle of thought.
The first reported case was in Marcleth.
Despite constant mutations, the disease has not spread to any other race.
Yet somehow, it managed to strike every settlement, regardless of the quarantine.
Pausing, Nazli Israa shook her aching head. After two years of studying the plague that had decimated her race, she was still no closer to an answer, let alone a cure.
Stepping forward, she stumbled as flickers of light filled her vision.
Clawed hands caught her, and cool arms drew her in.
“Hush,” smoky breath tickled her ear as the transfigured dragon rested his head on her shoulder. “You need to rest, love.”
“The council is expected my report in an hour.” Nazli Israa replied quietly, but made no move to leave her husband's embrace.
“No change?”
“None,” closing her eyes, Nazli Israa let out a sigh. “They're going to halt my research. They don't think understanding the origins of the plague is important anymore.”
They moved to the near by couch, and Nazli Israa sat with a long sigh. Maintaining a grip on her hand, her husband crouched before her. “Is it?” He asked, dark eyes meeting hers. “Whoever set this in motion is long gone. If it was someone.”
Nazli Israa shook her head. “It must be. This is too precise to be a quirk of nature. And if I can find the source, then we can change this.” Pressing her lips together, Nazli Israa swallowed back the words she couldn't speak.

If we change this, then Aliyah can come home.

Friday, August 8, 2014

For colors

1. They add detail. When looking at a photograph and while watching a film, colors help bring out the details that would have been lost if it had been in black and white.
2. They can alter the mood. Proper use of color can help to brighten moods, ease stress, and much more.
3. Bringing uniqueness to things which otherwise would be the same. A simple swap in coloration can make something stand out among a crowd of similarity.
4. Act as identification. Color-coding can be an easy way to mark controls or belongings.
5. Aid in building a theme. Selecting a few colors to use in a theme can be better then using one set of colors, then switching them later on.
6. Form directions. If certain colors are assigned certain meanings, then you'll know at a glance what to do or where to go.
7. Provide a distraction. In some species of bird, the males are brightly colored and the females are quite plain. Because of this, the males can distract potential predators away from the female: thus protecting her and any young.
8. Attract attention. The colorful peacock shows off his tail feathers in order to attract a peahen. A good combination of colors draw one's attention, while a bad combination could act as a repellent.
9. Act as a warning. Sometimes something is brightly colored to warn of potential danger.
10. To make something prettier. Sometimes you just need to add color to something in order to improve it.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Dreams of dragons

"What is your dream?"
"That is of no importance," the dragon said, her voice a rough grinding sound as the claws on either side of me cut grooves into the stone. Ignoring the pressure of her paw holding me down, I frowned up at the dragon.
"Now then, surely dragons have dreams. A castle full of treasure? Or perhaps an endless flight through a smoke-filled sky?" I suggested, ignoring the fact that if those were this dragon's dream, then I was in trouble.
For from our position on top of the tower, the sky was filled with smoke. Far down below, the castle burned, its treasure untouched within the vault.
“Fool,” the dragon growled, and I tried to avoid focusing on her gaping maw of fangs.“Such things are of no significance.”
“Then what is?” I asked. I needed to keep the dragon talking. With my sword out of reach, my hopes rested on anyone being able to make it up here before the dragon grew tired of my chatter.
Surely it wasn't that difficult for the castle guards to spot a yellow dragon perched atop a tower.
“Vengeance.” The word came as an icy hiss, the dragon's eyes hard sapphires as she brought her head down to mine. “Your king dared to defile my nest, to rob me of my precious fledgling.” Hot breath bathed my face, filling my nostrils with the scents of smoke and decay.
Claws scrapped against stone, pressing me closer to the dragon's paw as those claws curled behind my back.
“My dreams have been slaughtered by your king,” the dragon said, voice frighteningly quiet. “Now, I return what has been wrought.”
Thought and breath vanished as the dragon sprang into the air. Pinned in her grip, I could do nothing as she cut through the sky.
Away from the castle that was my home, and away from the King who was my father.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Things you might have in your pocket

1. A cleaning cloth. What else are you supposed to use to clean your glasses?
2. Chapstick. So that your lips don't start to hurt.
3. A pocket knife. Where you should keep it is kind of in the name.
4. Keys. Sure you could put them in a bag, but where is the fun in that?
5. A handkerchief. When disposable tissues fail, it's nice to have an emergency handkerchief.
6. A piece of thread. It is nice to have something on hand to entertain yourself with.
7. A ring. Great for proposals and riddle games!
8. A notepad and pen. Inspiration will not wait for you to get back to your desk, so always keep something on hand to record ideas on.
9. Lint. It's the one thing that always seems to be in there.
10. A paperclip. Sometimes having a little bit of metal with you comes in handy.