Songs of the Otherworld

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Songs of the Otherworld

Postby TheSongOfTheStars » Fri Jun 05, 2015 1:43 am

So, yeah, one thread, several challenges, it was getting pretty messy,
you can post if you want, but I won't be writing much on here until I get my other (Like ten) challenges under my belt

The ultimate challenge
Five hundred word minimum

person switch
no dialogue
    Now's the time to focus
    on description and body language.
    Not one spoken word!
just dialogue
    At least one line of dialogue
    in every paragraph.

one character
    use only one character in
    the entire scene.


    as an added challenge,
    use characters that do not normally
    express these emotions.



    focus on sensory descriptors.


alternate universe
    write your abnormal characters
    in modern present day or vice versa.

alternate ending
    write what would have happened
    if something in your story went different.

    take characters that never interact
    with one another, and have them do so.
    take a mental or physical ailment
    your character suffers from and write
    them struggling with it.
personality break
    write a scene with an event that
    breaks a character's composure and
    causes them to act differently than
    they normally do.

20 random things
No suggested limit
-inspired by a favorite song
-a fan fiction of a book you like
-a fantasy
-a realistic fiction
-as if it was a journal entry
-an action story
-a drama
-a mystery
-a horror
-a crime
-a romance
-something suspenseful
-best friends
-best friends
-awkward situation

The Ten Prompts Challenge
Above three hundred words
There’s unrest here, like a monster is living under the floorboards.
S)he shouts at me and I run, tears dribbling down my face.I’m all alone out here and hollow inside.
I walk for days, searching for what I’ve lost.
I gasp, for I’ve never seen people like this before.
I barely escape the axe-wielding men.
As I sit in the belly of a ship, I wish I was back home.
It rises in front of me and I want to scream, but I don’t.
Something in me has changed since then.
I don’t think I’ll ever go home.

20 one-shot challenge. 750 words

Hy's Spring Challenge
No limit
1. first kiss, elevator, heat wave, vacation
2. shed, secret relationship, thunderstorm
3. 5am, best friend's sibling, regret, basement
4. car, wind, height difference, frenemies
5. single parent, poetry, letters, dusk
6. ranch, midnight, neighbours, heavyhearted
7. tourist, art, secret admirer, inspiration
8. foggy, lavender, willow tree, open windows
9. college, melting, new beginnings, eggs
10. cloudless, blossom, cabin, barefoot
11. birds, script, scars, childhood friends
12. sun-kissed, allergies, birthday, football
13. raincoat, writing, lighthouse, soil
14. hospital, cookouts, glasses, petals
15. fresh, train, depression, sunshine
16. change, farm, bliss, tulip
17. wake up, lipstick, breakup, peaceful
18. evening, city streets, humidity, ice cream
19. bluebird, trail, friendship, puddles
20. picnic, classmate, valley, shine
21. spring fling, singing, cut grass, happy
22. galoshes, blue, reunion, chirp
23. dust, garden, memories, firefighter
24. meadow, tulip, forbidden, glow
25. walking, hatch, hero, music
26. bunnies, proposal, sunlight, rainbow
27. tornado, distance, smoke, rain
28. flowers, beach, injury, soulmate
29. tree, pastel, picture perfect, loyalty
30. past friendship, butterfly, cherry blossom, tower

Rose's charcter challenge
No limit
Edited several prompts to fit with the charactes' world
    1 Lyra
    2 Jon-tai
    3 Aurora
    4 Rowan
    5 Markus
    6 Ariel
    7 Yia
    8 Skipper
    9 Tiger lily
    10 Elvie
`☆ 3 & 5 have a heart to heart
`☆ 6, 2, & 10 get lost
`☆ 5 & 10 have to rescue 4
`☆ 9, 3, 6, & 5 think the world is going to end.
`☆ 8 & 1 are left in a room by themselves.
`☆ 9 & 10 find a puppy
`☆ 4, 5, and 6 and ramen
`☆ 8 vs. 4
`☆ 6. 4, & 8 and the world "reckless"
`☆ 4 & 2 & heavy metal
`☆ 1, 5, & 7 and a graveyard.
`☆ 5 & 1 and a disagreeance
`☆ 9 & 3 have to sing together
`☆ 2 & 10 and "... you're stupid."
`☆ 6 & 7 and "houston we have a problem"
`☆ 8 and 4 and dancing
`☆ 1 vs. 10
`☆ 6 and 2 and "Just pull it out!"
`☆ 1, 2, 3, 4, and 9 and whatever you please.
`☆ 7 and 9 and the color maroon.
`☆ 3 & 7 and a fire
`☆ 8 loses a dare to 5
`☆ 1 and 6 and a bad piece of cheese.
`☆ 4 & 7 and "... Rude."
`☆ 6 and 7 and "I think we killed it."

25 Object Challenge
The Objects
> a plate of spaghetti
> a framed picture of a rabbit
> a crab
> three broken toys
> a bridge
> a piece of string
> a lock
> 103 dollars
> an empty box
> a green feaher
> a shop called "Turtles" that doesn't sell turtles
> a mythical creature
> an old-fasioned telephone
> bubble mix
> a children's tv show character (Elmo, Rainbow Dash, Thomas the Train, ect.)
> red glitter
> a large statue of an ant
> something with an unpleasant taste
> hundreds of (type of fish goes here) in your swimming pool
> a street sign
> something that starts with the letter "x"
> an old arcade game (Donkey Kong, Pac-Man, Tetris, ect.)
> a lilly pad
> a dog collar
> a pile of iPhone 6's lying on the floor
Last edited by TheSongOfTheStars on Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:07 am, edited 21 times in total.
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Story Contest entry

Postby TheSongOfTheStars » Thu Jun 25, 2015 1:46 am

The Importance of Perspective
Words: 597
An elf, a squirrel, and a black dragon.
Definitely the beginning of a terrible joke, Lebin decided.
None of this would have been necessary if they hadn't lost the stupid map, or whatever that was supposed to decode these weird symbols scrawled haphazardly over the huge black stone that stood randomly in the center of the flat grasslands.
It certainty didn't help that Scarlet and Reya, the only ones who understood that chicken scratch, where missing as well.

"Wall, whatta ye think o' alla this?" Achran demanded in his thick brogue, the small squirrel's loud voice sounded freakishly big in the open silence.

Straith glared at the small rodent with the anger only a dragon could muster; amazingly the plucky mammal glared back.

Lebin ignored them and took a step closer to the mud colored surface "It's definitely some type of writing."

It was his turn to be glared at.
"Oh, bravo, ye jest figured whit evr'yone else knew."

"Well, at least I'm trying , what do you think it is?"

The squirrel tipped his head back, trying to take in the whole scale of the massive stone, and finally had to resort to bending his small body nearly all the way backwards before concluding: "Big."

Lebin's mouth hung open, but he couldn't' find words that where degrading enough to yell at Achran.

"Oh for," Straith cut himself off and launched himself into the air "I'm going to have a look from up here."

Achran didn't even give the dragon a second look, but instead scampered directly up the misshapen stone and began to painstakingly scrutinize each and every symbol one at a time.

Lebin stared at the rock and the scribbles until his head hurt. Then he tried looking at everything with his eyes crossed, but that just turned his hurting head into a headach, so he lied flung himself down on his back and tried not to think about rocks or maps or symbols.

But, as it always is when your trying not to think about something... you usually can't stop think about that certain something.
And like a nagging itch, Lebin felt as though he was desperately missing something, but he just couldn't reach it.
He let out a long moan of frustration and rolled over onto his stomach, positioned so that he was facing away from the rock. Then lifted himself into a handstand.
He was facing the rock now, and despite his loosely hanging hair, he could see the rock fairly, and the inverted dragon that had been etched into the stone.

With a shout of victory he toppled over onto the grass and laughed aloud.

His commotion brought the other two racing down in a terrific hurry, with demands to know what he was doing.

"It's a dragon!" the Light elf whooped "It's an upside down dragon!"

Achran glanced the long way up at Straith "E's gone maad!"

"No, I've not," Lebin reached down, grabbed the squirrel's tail, and yanked it upwards so Achran was dangling upside down.

"Oi!" he chattered "E's noot cra-azy! Thar really tis an oopside doown draygon!"

Straith scowled at them skeptically: a Light elf, grinning his head off with an upside down squirrel hanging from his hand. Both of them looking expectantly at him.
He snarled softly "If either of you laugh, I'll burn you both to a crisp."
then he slowly lowered himself onto his stomach, and rolled onto his back. For a second he was silent.
Then rumbled in soft amusement.
"Well, what do you know. It all depends on how you look at it!"
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One character

Postby TheSongOfTheStars » Thu Jul 09, 2015 10:10 am

One Character in the scene
1,760 words

Cold air breezed about Lily as she clutched at her pounding head, the salt ocean dragging at her soaked body.
Overcoming the pain circulating in her temples, the ottermaid forced herself to climb higher across the wet sand towards the line of trees that marched along the horizon.
As she scraped her knees across the stones, her ears caught the dim sound of water, running water. Fresh water.
It was freezing as she doused her head, but it soothed the rage of salt in her eyes and throat.

After her senses began to return after being waterlogged by hours of drifting in the ocean Lily stared confusedly down at the water, totally uncertain of how she'd gone from the rebel camps to an island.
It was totally blank space in her mind. Frighteningly blank.
Hadn't she and Lionel been angry at each other?

She tipped her head up and peered at the unfamiliar stars through the waving leaves. What was going on?
Well she had a headache. And it was night.
And she was tired.

Also cold.

Sighing, she looked around for something that would suffice as some sort of shelter, the only thing that looked even half decent was a fallen log, which she discovered as she slipped her aching body beneath, harbored an extremely active mound of ants.

Exhausted, she gave up on shelter and allowed herself to collapse next to the stream bank, the mud hardly able to cling to her already sand riddled tunic.

Sleep brought weariness delusions, strange dreams where the world twisted around her, where she fell into an endless prism of distorted color.
And awoke with a splash as she landed in the stream.

Soaked all over again with a stomach that felt like an empty sack, Lily decided that food was most important and to a hungry, twitching nose the small crawdads scudding beneath the rocks in the stream had little chance.

Even though the cold, raw flesh little resembled her brother's cooking, it reminded her poignantly of the vague feeling that when they'd parted it hadn't been under the most congenial circumstances.
That bothered more than the fact she didn't understand how she'd gotten so lost.

After eating, she wandered back to the ocean, and hesitantly dipped her toes into the cool waves. Much as she didn't want to, she had to find out whether or not she was on an island or mainland.

Filling her lungs with a salty breath, she dove into the water and her aching muscles began to loosen with the repetitive motions.

As she pulsed through the grey ocean she quickly realized that her scrap of land was totally isolated from any other sort of civilization. But though her search was fruitless her memory, seeming so frighteningly blank that past night, began to fill in a little bit, appearing as a water color painting that had been splashed with too much water.

Ships. Fighting. Dark clouds rising like steam from the horizon.
The rest was still far too marred for her to see, but it filled her with cold pain and the intense fear that her brother and friends needed her while she was absent.

Returning to the beach she had woken up on, Lily stood staring over the horizon, trying to decide what to do.

She had her sword, her dagger... What else?

A quick inventory revealed a flint and steel, some ruined biscuits, a cloth used for the care of her sword, and a few leaves that had no business in her satchel as far as she could recall.

Fire was the first thing that came to mind.
A big fire to attract attention. Maybe a ship would see it.

She really hoped a ship would see it.

Gathering fallen limbs and dry grass was a simple feat as the ground was littered with such things and soon warm blaze rose to cheer her.

After ensuring it would keep going, she ventured down the beach towards what seemed like several large pieces of drift wood.
Trudging closer, she realized that the bowed wood was the shattered parts of a ship's hull.
She crouched down and ran her fingers over the rock gashed edges, with a bit of smoothing and patching, it would make a shelter that might at least keep the rain off her head.

With much tugging and pulling through the traction-less sand, she managed to draw them close to her fire, then looked around in bewonderment.

If she made a shelter on the beach, she would be able to flag down a ship if one- when one came into view, but that would also mean she would be unprotected from any storms driving across the open sand.
And she didn't want to be bothered with the continuous washing of the waves, already it was edging up on her nerves.

Stacking a few more stray branches on the fire, she turned back into the woods, sword drawn.

She proceeded past the stream she had encountered the night previous and tracked deeper into the grey monotony of trees.
The terrain grew rough, huge ragged boulders spewed about deep, narrow gorges, forcing her to sheath her sword and use both paws to clamber about the rough unhewn rocks.

After some time of exploring the tumbled stones, she found two massive boulders that had at one point in a tremulous time been thrown against each other, creating a semi-sheltered hollow at their base.
It was large enough for her to stand and move comfortably, and if time called for it, to create some small usable items.

After exploring a while longer, she found that there was a much easier way to access the beach, a small steam bed, long gone dry ran down in a gentle slope and in half the time it had taken her to finagle a way through the stones she had returned to her fire and the large hull fragments.

The fire was dying into ashes and coals, so with effort she added more branches, venturing further away as she had cleared the nearest areas.
Then she began to drag the drift wood back up to her chosen spot. It was easier as they had dried, but still heavy to handle as she pulled them uphill.

Slowly she managed them to the small grotto between the rocks, but quickly the sun passed overhead then down behind her, and as the night crept forwards she was reminded that the only sustenance she had taken that day had been a bit of cold meat.

Returning to the stream did her no good as the freshwater crustaceans had scattered after her first assault on their hideaways. So she was forced to resort to the water ruined biscuits.
Their mushy, tasteless lumps caused her throat to tighten as she swallowed, but her stomach gurgled thankfully after she forced them down.

She slept on the beach, the friendly crackling of the fire masking the repetitive rumble of the ocean as well as warding away the chills that slipped down when the stars rose.
The morning rose early and Lily with it, hungry and cold.

It took even longer than the day before to restore the fire to its original blaze, nearly an hour of hauling wood and she was famished.
But before she could turn her efforts to procuring more food, a large mass on the beach attracted her attention. Curious she ventured towards it and found that during the night more drift wood had washed in with the tide, seemingly from the same ship.

One piece she flipped over to drag back to the fire, when she realized that inscribed on its grain were several Shi-Rican symbols. Half-ruined by water, she could just make out the words.

"Apple?" She frowned in confusion "Who names a ship 'Apple'?"
A snicker formed on her whiskers.
"Oh no, it's the dread ship "Apple"! Look out or they'll stuff you into a pie!"

Still shaking her head in mild amusement, she pulled it back to the fire and returned for a second piece.
With utter surprise she realized that it too had words upon it.
"Poison. Poison Apples. Did Shift name this ship?"

But the uneasy feeling that this wreck might've been the vessel that had under some circumstance brought her nigh curled distastefully against her tongue.

The rest of that day was spent similarly to the former, dragging wood to her small rock hollow and replenishing the fire, while trying to find food. And again she spent the night by the fire.

While she leaned against the sand, waiting for sleep to overcome her the feeling of great concern of not being able to recall her passage over the waters took hold of her harder than before.

Clenching her jaw and pressing her eyes close tightly, she dug backwards, trying to bridge the gap between waking up on the beach and the last memory... a memory of standing next to Achran, staring towards the Imperial City, talking about... about...

The lure of sleep overcame her determination and the fire gently lulled her into insensibility. A dream rose up in her head, yet it had all the familiarity of a memory.
Dim surroundings, yet certain. They needed help... on the ships, the ships that would ride against the Imperial Fleet.
She wanted to go.

Somewhere sanity protested, she hated the ocean.

But then with suddenly clarity she saw herself, angry and tight, facing Lionel.
"You can't go about minding my life forever!"

"I'm trying to keep you safe Lily! When did you stop understanding that?"
"You're only doing this because you're afraid of losing control of me! You can't tell me what to do! You're not the chief!"

He flinched obviously, clinging tightly to his stick.
"Please, Lily, don't go. Don't be foolish."
"That's what you see me as? Foolish? A foolish little girl who can't take care of herself?"

She watched herself turning, storming away, Lionel reaching out after her.
Then the ship. The "Poison Apple". Before they could engage the fleet a storm swept in, fierce teeth of wind and water stinging her eyes and face. A terrible grinding crack as the spine of the small ship splintered into fragments, then the ocean itself rising up to swallow her.

With a wail of terror she sat up, spraying sand into the fire, heaving for breath.

Scrambling to her paws and hugging herself, she turned towards the sea, tears streaming down her face.
"I'm sorry, Lionel," she squeaked, her voice breaking along with her heart "I'm so, so, sorry."
Last edited by TheSongOfTheStars on Sun Jan 01, 2017 1:11 pm, edited 28 times in total.
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Contest entry

Postby TheSongOfTheStars » Thu Jul 09, 2015 10:22 am

The piano music filled the concert hall. A haunting, gentle tune that stirred the air.
The seats where empty and the song fell on the distant confines of the roof.

Silently the cloaked figure slide between the rows and seated itself. Bright eyes closed and the slim figure smiled beneath the mask as the familiar tune warmed the rain chilled soul.

After a few minutes of passionate playing, the pianist finished and leaned back with a sigh of satisfaction.

With a swirl of fabric, the cloaked intruder stood and applauded, filling the room with an unprecedented sound.

Startled, the pianist tried to stand up, got his paws caught in the piano bench's legs, and ended the struggled by tipping the entire thing over on top of him.

"Oh, sheesh." the cloaked figure sounded annoyed, but he raced down the aisle and up onto the stage, quickly righting the bench and untangling the moaning musician.

"You don't have to go into hysterics because you're startled, y'know."

Wesley stared up at his brother with wide, glazed eyes. "Townly?"

The older weasel shook his head "No. I'm Mr. Harrison. Seriously. You should know my face by now."
"You scared me," the blond musician said tritely as he picked himself up.

Townly shrugged "I didn't mean to. But that was something of an overreaction. Even for you."

"I know.... I just so nervous.
"Oh," Townly smiled sympathetically "But, Wes, it'll be just like the other concerts."

"No it won't," snapped the younger brother "The other concerts weren't it Tasent Hall. And the pieces I played weren't ones I composed. There's going to be so many more creatures looking at me."

"I know for a fact that they won't."

Wesley lifted a dubious brow, sensing a sarcastic comment or witty note lying beneath the sympathy. He hesitated for a second, wondering whether or not to bite.
"What do you mean by that?"

"They'll all have their eyes closed, enjoying the rapturous melodies that you composed."

Wesley snatched a sheaf of sheet music and wacked his brother over the head with it "Shut up. You're not helping."
Last edited by TheSongOfTheStars on Tue Dec 27, 2016 7:47 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Contest entry

Postby TheSongOfTheStars » Sat Jul 18, 2015 10:47 pm


I stare
into your peaceful face
So sweet
So calm
As you sleep
A tiny smile round your lips
Not a crease in your brow

And I wait

The clock goes off
Sounding its brazen music
Letting out the call to day

You sit up and-
Hit the snooze?

Hey! HEY
That's not what's supposed to happen!
You need to get up
Get up!
Last edited by TheSongOfTheStars on Tue Dec 27, 2016 8:18 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Contest entry

Postby TheSongOfTheStars » Tue Aug 04, 2015 2:03 am

Lovely sable wings carved a curving path through the abyss of night, brushing past the stars without more effort than a single thought.

Through an ocean of noise and wing, back down towards the forest.

Every sound was a shape, a figure, a movement as cone shaped ears swirled round and round to scoop them up like physical objects.

A buzz of misty wings formed an image behind her eyes, but her stomach was stretched full from a successful hunt.

But in surprise, she registered a storm of wings, not just misty moths, but dry screaming of dragon and damsel flies rushing away from her, the massive whine of mosquitoes and gnats as swarms flew past.

Ducking and curling on her wings to avoid being bombarded, the dry crackle of grass being consumed reached her ears, formed in her mind a picture of hungry flames devouring all the growing things across the ground.

With her eyes she looked up at the moon, the pale sinking moon.
Curling clouds of smoke that she could smell even from her hovering on afar were rising up to cover the pure light. Like a jealous night clawing from the earth to devour the moon.
Last edited by TheSongOfTheStars on Tue Dec 27, 2016 8:33 am, edited 7 times in total.
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For Contest

Postby TheSongOfTheStars » Tue Aug 04, 2015 2:14 am

Maria stared in stunned wonder as the sky opened up into a cavern of stars, the cannon fire fading into the gentle wash of the waves lapping calmly at the ship's hull. The only thing anchoring her to reality was the deck, the friction holding onto her wet back.

It was like being sucked directly into the depths of a time pearl, the enchanting colors tearing away her attention from anything else and capturing her thoughts amongst the strands of ethereal clouds.

She could gaze towards the pinnacle of light for all eternity, perfectly happy in the all consuming beauty,

But Mama's voice, shrill and frightened, broke through the spell.
"Maria! Maria are you alright?"

Maria felt herself being lifted up by one arm, until she was in a sitting position. Her head lolled around but she managed to flick her eyes upwards searching again for the beautiful skies.
But instead found Jacob staring back at her.

Suddenly she was in control again and she yanked herself out of his hold, sprawling across the deck as her shaking legs betrayed her.
"Don't you touch her! You pirate, you!" Papa shouted from somewhere above Maria's head and she felt her mother tugging her shoulder.

"I'm not going to hurt her," Jacob insisted, holding his palms out in a surrendering gesture "I swear it."
He glanced down at his rag tag outfit "And believe it or not, I'm not actually a pirate. Though your going to have to take my word for that one."

Before Papa could answer an orange cat with fancy boots approached them, his whiskers twisted up "Ca-aptain?"
"Hello Mr. Stamford, putting things off to the very last second again?"

"We came at the fullest speed available, sir."
"Well, that's to be expected," Jacob wiped a trail of grime from his forehead and glanced at Maria and her parents.
"If you could escort our guest down below-"
"Oh, no, you are going to explain this young man, before you do anything else. Before we do anything or go anywhere."
Papa's voice held an angry authority that Maria didn't recognize, but still she felt comforted by.

Jacob's ears tucked back guiltily "You're right. I owe you an explanation and an apology. I'll give it to you. Right here, right now. But it's going to be a stretch of the imagination if you're going to believe it."

Papa gestured to the swirling dance of stars and light that surrounded the ship "I don't think it's going to be too hard boy."
Last edited by TheSongOfTheStars on Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:27 am, edited 5 times in total.
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20 random things- song

Postby TheSongOfTheStars » Sun Sep 20, 2015 12:28 pm

Something Wild
2,367 words

Poignant aches ran through Coe's shoulders like sharp rivers of knives, the result of hours piled upon hours of strenuous yet repetitive exercise spinning his banshaw staff through the air. The unyielding bands of wood that made up the back of the chair did little to sooth the pain as he leaned against their resistant support.
After so long being outside in the strong heat of summer, he ought to have been relieved to be indoors and off his sorely worn paws, but the air in the small room was stuffier than the chairs in the parlor and heavier than a crate of lead. Not only was the atmosphere suffocating, but every fiber in his body dreaded the work spread out before him.
Entrance forms and apprenticeship applications for so many different things, it hurt his head to try and remember them. But fill them out with meticulous care he must. Every single one, whether it was he who had suggested the career choice or his parents.
Honestly, he wasn't even remotely interested in being a blade smith or a dentist despite his aptitude for remembering the details of either subject. But they were opportunities and opportunities were not to be missed.
So his parents told him, every day of his life, until he had no choice but to believe it. If indeed the rest of his options failed he supposed it was better to be a dentist than to live on the streets or be something base, such as a miner.
He tried not to think of being trapped in a mine that had all the air of his room while filling out the forms. If he let himself become imaginative it could really suffocate him.
Form after form rolled away past his ink stained claws while the candle dripped in slow tears into a mere stub. Hours slipped away in time with the shortening of the candle until the last form was completed and the ink had gone dry.
With a groan of relief he leaned back, stretching his arms above his head in an attempt to relieve the stiffness that had set in with a vengeance. His eyes burned from focusing so long on the minute lines and his head ached a little, but he was glad to have it over with.

"Stepstone?" His mother entered without knocked and came to stand next to him "Oh, you haven't finished."
He sank back down with a miffed laugh "I've done them all, Mum. Is dinner ready?"
"You haven't put any of them in envelopes or addressed them or any of that! Come on now and finish that before you eat. You'll want to have them ready before morning so we can send them off right away!"
He sighed heavily and nodded, sinking back into the chair while his headache rose, digging into his skull with multiple lacerating claws.
"I'll have it done soon, Mum, keep a plate covered for me, will you?"
"Of course dearie."

It was nearly an hour later that he finished. The house was still as an old stone, not even a floorboard creaked beneath his paws as he slipped into the kitchen. His food was cold and hard; fish that would've melted in his mouth took vigorous chewing to turn into a digestible form. But it was the only food available to him since hours before, when he'd accepted a few crackers and an apple from one of the other students at the training yard.
He finished the unappetizing meal quickly and with a long sigh slipped through the dark hall into his room.

At last embraced by the gentle cushion of his mattress, Stepstone Coe spent his last few moments of wakefulness wondering if he'd be accepted by any of them. If he was, would it be the right one? What if it was more than one, how would he choose?
He supposed his parents would help him choose.

More than one did accept him, in fact nearly every application came back in the positive, leaving Stepstone nearly buried beneath his choices and crippled with uncertainly.
"You don't have to limit yourself to one," his father said, leaning over the desk and shuffling through the replies "You're more than capable of handling more than one apprenticeship."
"I-" before Coe could speak his mind, his mother added her thoughts.
"Indeed, it shouldn't be so hard, dear. Recall when you were in school? You took all those extra classes without any trouble."
"In fact you excelled, son."
"Yes, Dad, but-" Coe shook his head "I'm just not sure which ones I want the most."
For a second, Stepstone noticed just the slightest flicker of disapproval on his father's face but dismissed it as annoyance.
"Well, that's why you try all of them," his mother said assertively "Some of them you wouldn't need to go into until next year and some of them would only be a day or two a week. You could take night classes for some of these too."
"Yes, but-"
Again Coe was interrupted, this time by the shrill shriek of the kettle.
"Well, that's tea," and his mother floated away, trailing her rose spotted dress behind her.

"Son," his father leaned closer to Stepstone's face, the disapproval returning in the form of a stern frown and a low voice "You're nearly a full-grown cat. Don't you think it's time your words and actions reflected that?"
Coe tipped his head, feeling the disappointment radiating down on him "I... I'm not sure what you mean."
"This! This is what I mean!" His father gestured to what seemed the whole of his son "You have no confidence in your style! No maturity in your tone or voice. It's more than time you began to grow up. Only young children call their parents "Mom" and "Dad"."

"You... You want me to call you Father and Mom... Mother?"
"Yes and I want you to start reading more healthy books. Legends and poems are appropriate for youngsters, but they won't serve you at all in life."
"I barely even have time for reading anymore anyways."
"No excuses, Son."

Stepstone hung his head, his claws twitching along the edges of an envelope "Yes. Sir."
"Posture and confidence!" His father reminded briskly.
Stepstone Coe straightened his shoulders into a strong even line and with a militaristic fashion replied "Yes, sir!"

And so his life took on a even more rigorous schedule than before. Sleep became of the greatest unimportance while his eyes constantly burned from being forced to focus on anything between pages of cramped words to the tedious chore of braiding rope
No one. Not even Stepstone himself, realized the devastating toll that his extreme dedication took on his health. Not until he took a week of leave from everything to attend a Scholar's convention on Storm Coast Island.
He locked himself into his room on the ferry, with a stack of books he fully intended on memorizing before the two day trip was over.
He had to.
He blamed the headaches that split through his head like a tree on fire and the spasms of inexplicable pain that raced through his abdomen on seasickness. The inability to support himself standing was simply because he was unaccustomed to the rocking of a keel on the water.
But the captain of the little ship would have none of it.

Knuckles rapped against the locked door, sending a sharp wooden sound echoing dully in the small cabin. The tall black cat stepped back, awaiting an answer, but none came.
She repeated the knock, receiving the same silence again.
"Now you listen here, mate!" She called leaning close to the door frame "Seasick and busy you may be, but neither me nor my crew has any time for playing doctor and room service. So you get your wobbly little tail down to the galley and feed your own shore loving face."
She paused, frowning down at the doorknob waiting for any sort of answer.
"Alright, you sorry excuse for cat-kind, I'm coming in there!" Producing a long handled key from the depths of her skirt, she inserted it into the locked and with a click, shoved the door inwards.

Feverish eyes glanced up from the pages, lights like pained coals filling them. Confused Coe staggered to his paws, clutching at the wall to keep himself steady.
"Captain, is something... something wrong?"
She stared at him, shocked by the disheveled appearance that the high-collared student had descended into.
"You're ill, boy."
"It's.... It's just the sea sickness..."

She stepped into the room, ignoring the papers she crushed beneath her boots "Sea sick my tail, you've got a fever- and a raging one at that."
"I've.... it's just a headache," he staggered back as she came to stand over him "Don't.... don't bother yourself, ma'am."
"Now you listen here, boy," she snapped, her paw reaching out and gripping his shoulder, both to hold his attention and to prevent him from tumbling over backwards "You're going to march your pretty little tail down to sickbay and you're going to stay there until we get to Storm Coast."
"But I have work to...I can't be sick."
"You are sick and that's a fact," using his shoulder as leverage she pulled him out the door "And you're going to sickbay."

Half an hour later saw the ailing cat fairly immobilized in a wrap of sheets, only his head visible laid against a worn white pillow.
The captain stood over him, shaking her head "You're in it a bad way, Stepstone."
He tried to prop himself up on his elbows, but was unable to support his weight "I..."
"How'd you even let yourself get like this, huh? When was the last time you ran a comb through your fur? You're a mess, plain and simple."
Coe winced at her criticism "I need to... keep on top of my studies."
"You keep on top of your studies you could end up underground. Don't you have friends or family who look after you?"

Coe closed his eyes. Friends had become as unimportant as sleep in the past few years and his state of total self abandonment had been heartily encouraged by his family as long as he could make himself presentable in public.
But this stranger didn't need to know that. He wanted to tell her that it wasn't her concern, but the words got confused in his throat and his tongue was too heavy to lift.
"I checked over some of the books you were slaving over. Why does a scholar need to memorize the routes of the Border Scouts?"
Why did she need to know? If he told her, would she leave?
"I'm in Border Scouts."
She whistled between her teeth "Border scouts and a scholar? No wonder you've run yourself down. You're not doing anything else, are you?"
Why wouldn't she just be quiet? His head was hurting more and his throat began to itch, like someone had dumped sawdust down it.
He began to list off every apprenticeship he could remember being involved in, in some way or another, hoping it would be enough to satisfy her. Somewhere in the middle the itchiness turned violent, forcing to cough against the dryness in his chest.

"Woodchips, Coe, you're going to kill yourself," the captain muttered after passing him a cup of water "How long have you been trying to do all this?"
Still with the questions. He had teachers who required less of him. But he answered anyways. Maybe it was a reflex now, to not be allowed to hide anything private, anything personal.
Somewhere he registered her wide eyes staring down at him "That long? Why? Why would you do that to yourself? Just pick one and-"
"I don't know... Don't know which one I want."
"So you do all of them? Seriously, just...." she paused, her shoulders locked up in a frustrated shrug "Go into the Navy. That's what most uncertain young creatures do."
Memory stabbed at him. He'd suggested that, only a few months ago. It was an opportunity. Opportunities were meant to be taken, his parents told him. But even just the mention was enough to bring his father to a shouting voice and his mother to tears. How foolish he'd been to suggest he leave every other accomplishment, every other opportunity his parents had provided, to throw away his life aboard a ship.
"Far be it from me to say how to live your life, Stepstone," the captain of the little ship drug a chair to his bedside and sat down "But with a little friendly advice, pick one you like a little better than the others and don't kill yourself pursuing it."
"I... don't know which one..."
"Then the Navy," there was something reassuring about her perfect certainty. It was something he lacked. "A year shipside would be good for you. Loosen up those stiff whiskers of yours."
"My parents... wouldn't like it."
"So? Are you living their life or yours?"
"But..." He closed his eyes, trying to form the words, make her understand "I can't, they done so much-"
"Except teach you how to make your own choices it seems," she picked up the cup, twirling it between her paws and watch the water swirl in untraceable ripples "Try the Navy, boy. It just might make you into something you can be proud of."

Coe had no intention of following her advice, but as his health declined further into treacherously deep trenches of sickness and he was forced to give up class after class to take the time to recover, the simple rigors of the sea became beckoning. Following straightforward orders on a schedule that demanded much less than his parents sounded like a siren's song.
Frightening though the storms were, they paled in comparison to the tempest his life had become, a tossing of steep valleys of delirious, dangerous ills and impermanent highs were empty praise was the only thing to cling to.

So, he picked up a pen and scrawled his name onto a document, promising a year of his life into dedicated service on the waters.
And didn't tell his parents until afterwards.
Last edited by TheSongOfTheStars on Sat Jan 21, 2017 1:32 am, edited 7 times in total.
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Ultimate challenge

Postby TheSongOfTheStars » Wed Feb 03, 2016 5:20 am

alternate universe
Abnormal characters in the normal world

Lionel blew on his hands to warm them as he waited for the line to move forwards.
It did eventually, allowing him to come face to face with the eagle teller.
"How may I help you today, sir?" She didn't really look at him.
He smirked but didn't answer.
"Sir?" she looked up and recognition light her eyes "Oh, Lione-el!"
"I would like to make a withdrawal please."
She sighed and pushed a slip of paper towards him "Alright, sign here. And by the way me and Adrian still've got about twenty minutes left in the shift."
He nodded "I know, well I forgot and came to get you, but I'm going to swing 'round and get Ach and Freeta, then come back for the pair of you."
Avery laughed slightly "You and your rickety old car."
"Hey, that rickety old car works when yours doesn't."
"I know, that's why it's funny," she pushed the money towards him "See ya in twenty?"
"Yup!" he turned and left the bank, pausing for half a second before braving the piercing cold.

The car rumbled unhappily as he started it, but came to life after a few minutes of persuasion and complied as he drove it out of the parking lot.

A few minutes later he spotted a familiar figure walking down the sidewalk, paws shoved into pockets; cheerfully oblivious to the flakes of snow swirling around him.
Lionel clicked his tongue and shook his head as he pulled the car over and cranked down the window.
"Get in! Before you freeze yourself solid!"

The squirrel laughed and bounded into the car alongside the groceries piled in the back "Ey! Thanks!"
"Why didn't you wait for me? Did they kick you out of the radio studio or something?"
"Nah, h'ah just couldn't stand still in that hot room h'any mar."
"Just couldn't wait to get out and freeze your tail off huh?"
"Aye." the seatbelt clicked and plastic bags rustled behind Lionel "Sa, where are we off ta?"
"Going to pick Freeta up from the hospital. Then back to the bank to get Adrian and Avery."
"Nah, let's leave 'em there. No one 'll notice."

Lionel shook his head, not bothering to answer. Nothing ever changed between those three. They always had and always would fight. Like the siblings they weren't.

He pulled up in front of the hospital.

"Ya want me t' go an get 'er?" Achran asked.
"Yes, that'd be good."

The squirrel dashed through the snow and up the stairs, then disappeared through the double doors.
He reappeared a moment later with a bundle of fluff trailing close behind him.

"Oh, I hate working on snow days!" was the first thing the fox gasped out as she leapt into the passenger seat "I want to retire."
"Me too," Lionel laughed as he reversed out of the parking space.
"An ah wanna go ta tha moon."
Freeta yanked the hood from her head just so she could tip her ears back at the cheeky squirrel "Shush you."
Lionel smiled at the way Achran went very quiet. Then turned to his friend "How was it?"
"No more drama than usual. Of all the jobs in the world I just had to be a nurse." Freeta sighed "How was your day? Start any grease fires?"
"No, but I did end up with a rather lively concoction of pepper, eggs, and celery with the help of you-know-who."
Both the squirrel and fox laughed, then it went quiet for a few minutes.

"Ey, aren't cha gonna ask aboout 'ow mah day was?" Achran piped up.
"I will, when I feel like it," Freeta snapped back.
Everything went quiet again.
In the silence they pulled up to the bank.

Achran sighed and undid his seatbelt, preparing for another dash through the snow, but Lionel stopped him.
"No need Achy, they're coming out."

The eagle and the snake scurried across the sidewalk and hurled themselves into the car.
"It issss ssssooo coollldd," Adrian gasped in what was the closest thing to a chatter a snake could get.

Lionel turned up the heat, causing a blast of warm air to flood the car.

"Ahhh," the snake stretched up to the front seats and pressed his face against the vents.
"Adrian!" Freeta laughed, pushing him back "Get in your seat!"

The snake curled back and pressed himself against Avery, who compliantly draped a wing over him.

"Any bank robberies?" Freeta asked, as Lionel pulled out of the parking lot for the second time.

"Nope." the answer was unanimous.
"Anything interesting happen at all?"

"Why won't anyone h'ask me that?!"

"It'sss not worth it, everyone knowsss that you've been sssiting all day."

"Ohhh," Achran growled "Yar nae fun."

"No fighting," Freeta said warningly.

Achran immediately turned his attention to the groceries that surrounded him and the other two "Did ya go shopping?"

Lionel resisted the urge to bash his head against the steering wheel. "Yes. I did Achran. Now get out."
"Get oout?!? But Ah-" the squirrel glanced out the window "Oh, right, it's mah house."
He was followed by a collective sigh as he leapt out of the car and bounced up the driveway.

"Alright, so, we've gotten rid of him until to tomorrow," Lionel said "Freeta, where's Lyra at?"
"With Jazzy."
"Great, so we can pick her up, drop you two off, then get you home."
"I could walk."
"Yeah, right."
She smiled, "You know me way too well."
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Contest entery

Postby TheSongOfTheStars » Wed Feb 17, 2016 1:29 am

Entry for contest

Strange how everything comes back around to you. How harm and hurt, pain and pestilence could whirl round to hit you in the face hundreds of times, but you'd keep on going.
But more strange how one act of kindness could come back around multiplied.



A man had died because he'd broken the rules and given a young archer an extra arrow.


That arrow now stood notched against her bow. It embodied a chance.

One chance.

One chance to kill the beast that had killed the man.

Rain lashed her skin and stung at the open wounds.

She ignored it.

Ignored the pain and didn't hesitate.

The fletching touched her cheek. Then it flew.
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