Friday, February 24, 2017
1. It can become the pole for miniature flag.
2. Toothpicks can help food to maintain a certain shape while it cooks.
3. It can be used to unlock one of those doorknobs with a push lock.
4. Fine details can be painted with a toothpick's tip.
5. Teeth can be picked, of course!
6. They can become a picket fence for a gingerbread house.
7. The fireplace in a dollhouse needs to be filled with miniature wood, so why not use toothpicks?
8. To carry a flame from one candle to another.
9. A toothpick us great for punching little holes in a paper.
10. A toothpick could be used as a bookmark, so long as it hasn't lived up to its name.
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
The crowds cheered, and my mother cried.
Father tried to quiet her, in hopes that her grief wouldn't be noticed.
But they always know.
I could do nothing when they came, trapped as I was in the winner's circle. I couldn't even show any of my anguish as they dragged my mother away.
For I was supposed to be a winner, and nothing was to detract from the happy occasion.
Not how my mother's grief was rewarded with a trip to the Rejuvenation Center.
Not the fact that after today, my father would be completely alone.
Not even that I hadn't even entered the Djinn's Contest.
I was a winner.
The winner's circle became hazy with smoke, but I couldn't join the other two winners in cheering along with the crowd as we were drawn into the lamp.
All I could think about was everything I'd just lost.
Friday, February 17, 2017
1. So you'll know the reason there's a monkey hanging from the chandelier.
2. Because if you don't ask, then you'll never know what led your brother to build a working time machine in your basement.
3. Because after the feathers and and food dye have settled, it's the only thing left to ask the children.
4. It might be a little rude, but great-aunt Marian should understand you questioning her gift of twenty-seven cats.
5. After such a betrayal, nothing else can be asked. Those were your cookies, after all.
6. Because if you don't know answer to why they acted like that, then how can you properly write those characters?
7. If you're confused, then why not at least learn why?
8. When bored, one of the best ways to annoy others is to do nothing else but ask why.
9. The quest for knowledge is hindered if you never seek for answers. So go forth, unafraid to ask why.
10. The curious ask why. Then, they use the answers they receive to ask why again and again.
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
She might as well be invisible.
Curled on the ground with chin resting on her knees, the girl shivered as she stared at the stony ground. She wasn't sure how much more she could handle. Every day, some group was sent in to her tomb, as punishment for displeasing the crown.
They came in, and refused to look at her.
Because of the shackle around her ankle, the girl could never force them to look at her.
And so the hours would pass, with her watching, pleading for any of them to just look at her.
But no one would. They'd stare at the ground, or the walls, or each other. Some would spend the hours with their eyes squeezed shut, frantically muttering empty reassurances to themselves.
Some drove themselves mad, simply trying to avoid her gaze.
All fell eventually, either to their thirst or her gaze.
She couldn't even remember what human eyes looked like anymore.
As if she'd ever known anything but stone.
The grating squeal of iron hinges cut through the ever-present hissing, and the girl tilted her head, cheek resting against one knee now as she looked toward the door.
A figure stumbled through the barely open iron door, it's long shadow shrinking as the door slammed shut with another squeal.
A tired curiosity rose as the girl realized that there was something different about the one. The boy (for by how he smelled, he had to be a boy) stumbled uneasily about, hands bound behind his back. His clothing was far richer then most of those sent to her. Blue, she was pretty sure that color was called. The same color as the sky, she thought. If there was such a thing as a sky.
"Hello?" the boy called, his voice hesitant. He jumped as it echoed against the stone walls, mingling with the constant hissing. "Is anyone there?"
"I'm here," the girl answered softly, and the boy's head jerked in her direction.
That's when she saw it.
A strip of cloth, tied to cover the boy's eyes.
Staring at the boy's face, she drank in every twitch, and how his nostrils flared as the boy's head pivoted back and forth as he listened for another sound.
"Who's there?" the boy asked.
"Who are you?" the girl said, through she knew such a question would only hurt in the end. They never lasted, so why waste time learning their names?
"I'm the nobody wearing a blindfold," the boy's lips twisted upwards, despite the note of fear that tinged his scent. "So, who are you?"
The girl slowly shook her head, careful of the weight it held. "You can't be Nobody. I'm Nobody."
His lips stretched higher up, and she wondered if they'd soon be covered by the... blindfold too.
"Alright, Nobody," the boy slowly bent his torso toward her, legs kept perfectly straight. He looked odd, doing that. "I'll be Blind."
"Why?" Nobody asked as he straightened up. Blind shrugged as he took a step in her direction.
"I thought that would be obvious, since the blindfold wasn't exactly my idea." Blind said as he almost stumbled on the uneven ground.
"I suppose that makes sense," Nobody said, frowning as she watched him take another step toward her. "What are you doing?"
"Well, I'm trying to walk toward you," Blind said, in a tone that made it seem as if that should have been obvious. "It's surprisingly difficult to find someone in a room you've never seen when you've been blindfolded. And what is that hissing? Are there snakes in here?"
"Some," the girl lifted a hand to her head, but didn't touch any of the heavy coils upon it.
The boy paused, his lips falling to a frown. "Are they poisonous? I'm not sure I want to be stumbling about with poisonous snakes."
"Their bite hasn't killed me," Nobody said, and the boy let out a sigh and took another step.
"That's a relief. What did a girl do to get put in a room with snakes?"
The girl shifted, looking away from the boy and wished she could close her eyes. "I was born."
"What?" His anger made her shiver. "How long have you been in here?"
She shook her head. "I don't know. Forever."
His footsteps slapped against the stone floor, and she jerked her head around in time to see the boy trip and hit the ground.
"You shouldn't hurry," Nobody said softly as Blind gave a groan.
"Well, pardon me for wanting to get to the damsel in distress a little faster," he grumbled. She watched as her struggled for a few moments before finally getting back to his feet. "I don't know which I want back more, my hands or my sight."
"Hands," Nobody said. Blind tilted his head, then nodded as he started forward again.
"Yes, if I had use of my hands, I could just take the blindfold off."
He was so close now. The girl shakily got to her feet, which made the chain attached to her shackle rattle.
"What was that?" Blind asked, tensing as the sound echoed around them.
"Just my chain," Nobody answered, and he surprised her by groaning.
"You're chain up? In a room full of snakes? No wonder you've been bitten by them, you have nowhere to go!"
That was more true than he knew. "If you take three more steps forward, then I'll be able to reach you."
Blind's lips twitched upward again. "Great."
He took the steps, then tilted his head to listen to the rattling of her chain as the girl moved toward him.
"Could you untie my hands?" Blind asked when Nobody came to a halt before him. Her chain was stretched as far as it would go, the shackle biting at the skin of her ankle.
"Turn around," Nobody said.
He did, and she stared at the rope for a moment before lifting her hand.
Her nails were sharp enough to cut through the fibers, and soon Blind was rubbing his wrists.
"That stings," he grumbled for a minute, then lifted his hands toward the blindfold.
"Wait!" Nobody said. Blind paused.
"What?" he asked.
But she didn't have an answer. The girl longed to look into his eyes, to see something that wasn't stone. But what if they were stone?
Stone couldn't speak.
Stone never moved.
"You can't look at me," the words hurt to say. Oh, how she wished he'd never come. A blindfolded fool, making her hope with each step closer that something would be different in his eyes.
But she was sure that if she saw them, all there would be was stone.
So she turned away, chain clinking with the movement.
But his hand gripped her shoulder. "Hold on, I want to see you."
"No," she whispered, but his grip was too tight. If she jerked out of it, then the snakes would wake.
She felt him fumbling to remove his blindfold one-handed.
His grip on her shoulder tightening was her signal that he could see.
"You're a gorgon?" he seemed so confused, but there wasn't any hatred in his voice yet.
"If that's what you humans call me."
He started to pull her around, and she ducked her head. Why did it always end in stone?
"Look at me," he said.
"I can't," she whispered.
His other hand, still holding the blindfold, fumbled to her chin.
And forced it up.
She had one brief moment of panic, and a glimpse of twin blue pools.
Then the hissing stopped.
Friday, February 10, 2017
1. A spell to find your missing keys.
2. A tooth-cleaning charm.
3. A magic leash that will walk the dog for you.
4. Self-tying shoelaces, charmed to also resist fraying.
5. A spell to clean, fold, and put away the laundry.
6. Glasses charmed to alter themselves so that you'll always have perfect vision.
7. A pen with an anti-smudging ink charm.
8. An enchanted bag that will bring whatever object you need from it to the top.
9. Dishes which serve the exact portion of food to leave you happily satisfied.
10. An enchanted alarm clock that won't leave you alone until you're serious about getting ready for the day.
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
It was stinky, smellier than a cabbage roll,
A hideous beast, the three-horned troll,
With leathery gray skin, and thick limbs like a bat,
There are very few ways to beat something like that,
A serpentine gaze to strike fear to your heart,
And with their ravenous sneers, it can be hard to tell them apart,
But if you pull out a whistle, and play a swift tune,
Then the troll's gait will falter, and it will swoon,
A ticklish feather behind the right ear,
And the monster's fury will soon disappear,
But the best way to defeat a troll,
Is to capture it in some sunlight while the troll takes a stroll.
Friday, February 3, 2017
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
The old railway hadn't seen a train in twenty years. With the rise of transporters and hovercrafts, grounded transportation had been deemed limited and inefficient.
For why would anyone want to waste away their time stuck on the ground, traveling at speeds that would make a snail laugh?
And so the trains had been transported to museums or scrap yards, depending on their worth.
Without trains, the railway was without a purpose. They were left to be reclaimed by what wilderness remained, abandoned and soon forgotten by the humans who had built them.
For twenty years, the wilderness worked to claim it. First the tracks, the metal and wood roots that sprawled across the land like a weed.
Then came the capture of each station that was near a wild place. If it had been possible to claim those stations that withered within the cities, the wilderness would have done it.
But it wouldn't do to tip the hand, and so those were left alone.
The humans never noticed, so enthralled they were with the sparkling wonders of their newest technological feats.
That suited the wilderness. It took the time of inattention the humans so foolishly offered, and learned how beast to use its newest resource.
It wasn't easy, but the twenty years proved fruitful.
When at last the time of trial came, the tracks rumbled.
The roaring wasn't from a human engine. The ground didn't tremble beneath the onslaught if an iron engine.
No, the wilderness had taken time to infuse the once human railway with its own magic, so that the ancient beasts of its domain could finally roam once more.
If any human had been around that warm summer night, they would have fainted at the sight.
As it was, the scarlet dragon released a triumphant burst of flame as it streaked down the tracks with its wings tucked close against its body and with its claws glistening with the magic of the wilderness which flowed between the beast and the railway tracks.