Here, take an excerpt

Have an excerpt from my NaNoWriMo.  I’ll try to find a swear-free one.

Here’s one:

“I glanced at my bed.  KitCat, my giant, grey tabby cat, was sleeping there.  “Bye,” I whispered before grabbing my skates from where they hung by their laces on a wall.  I flicked off the light before I left.

‘Mom!’ I called down the stairs.  ‘I’m going skating!’

‘Okay, honey!’ she yelled back.  I heard her fingers darting across the keyboard.  Clack, clack, clack.  ‘I need to finish this column by tomorrow.  Don’t die!’

‘Bye!’  I grabbed my backpack from next to the front door and laced up my shoes.  Red converse with mud stains splattered up both sides.  Eh, better than blood stains.  I kicked open the screen with my left foot and stepped out onto the porch.  A timid night breeze swept my hair up.  Ugh.  I wondered how disheveled it would be by the time I got to the rink.”

And… maybe another?

Okay, this one isn’t exactly G-rated, but there aren’t any cusses… and I guess I warned you.

The streets were dimly lit and boisterous that night.  Other teenagers huddled on corners, reeking of weed and tobacco and whatever else they were smoking.  Broken glass filled the gutters.  The stars were dimmed by the orange, artificial light of the streetlamps and businesses lining the streets.

The rink was glowing with early Christmas lights that lit up the old vending machines on either side of the open double doors.  I walked across the gross, mulch-covered landscape to the doors and headed down the dingy, multi-purpose carpeted hallway to the skate rental and payment counter.  Some college kid sat behind an old-fashioned cash register, casually chewing a wad of bubblegum and looking bored.  Bored in a cool way.  Almost a hot way.  Ew.”

‘Hey,’ he said when I set my skates on the counter.

I didn’t respond, but pulled a ten dollar bill out of my sweatshirt pocket.  He took it and smiled.  I shivered when he handed me the change and a wristband, then quickly grabbed my skates and went through the doorless entryway that led to the actual rink.

The actual rink wasn’t very big.  There were a couple rows of benches in front of it, a bathroom to the left, and some strobe-light thingies.

I pulled on my skates and tightened the laces.  Why did I ever come here on Fridays?  The place was packed.  Stoned high schoolers on rollerblades aren’t the best company.

Once my skates were on, I managed to get across the industrial carpeting without having my own wheels lock.  I made it to the shiny, smooth wood of the rink.  Lights from the strobe-light thingies glided across the shiny surface.  I gently propelled my feet into motion.

There is no feeling quite the same as roller skating on a smooth surface.  Seriously.  It’s like flying.  If you skate for too long, or too often, you realize how rudimentary and inconvenient walking is.  You bounce and trip and have to steady yourself.  You’re much too close to the ground.  You can’t go very long distances without starting to pant and sweat.  Not with skating.

When you skate, you’re gliding and flying and you can feel the wind whistling in your ears.  Unless you suck at skating.  Then it’s even worse than walking.

I maneuvered my way through several idiotic inline skaters, who kept bumping into each other and falling over.  They smelled horrible.

Just when I was almost to the open track again, a huge, hulking idiot on rollerblades came out of nowhere and smashed into me.  I fell over.  I tried to land on my knees and elbows, but there were people behind me and I ended up landing on my butt.  Well, on one of my skates.  Okay, actually, my butt kind of landed on top of the skate.

If you’ve never had your foot (with a skate on) smack into the ground, then have your butt fall on top of it… it’s not exactly pleasant.  The impact is really shocking, and, oh, God, it hurts really bad.”

And maybe one more?

I sat in front of the TV for half an hour.  I clicked a random button on the remote.

Click. “Luscious, golden locks can only be achieved with–”

Click.  “And he’s right on number seven’s tail as–”

Click.  “Lo que quiero decir es… estoy embarasado… y  no es–”

Click.  “And, Debby, do you have any idea how much your grandfather payed for this painting?”

Click. “Celebrity Dating World will be right back after these messages–”

I turned off the TV right as Jen appeared on the topmost step.  Her hair, short and blond, was messy, and her purple t-shirt was crumpled.  She had a backpack on.  Good.  She would be staying for a while.

‘Hi,’ she said quietly, flopping down onto the couch next to me.  She let her backpack slide off her slim shoulders and drop onto the floor.

‘Hey,’ I said, brushing the hair out of my eyes.  “Do you want some food?”

She shook her head.  ‘I’m not hungry.’

My mom came in carrying two plates of half-revived pizza.  ‘Here you go,’ she said, handing Jen a plate and a glass of milk.  Jen’s hands were shaking so hard the plate rattled.  She quickly set them down on the coffee table.”

That’s all!  Thanks for reading! 🙂

—Changuita o(•—• )o

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Non-Sequitor One: Unfixable

She could see her own scared reflection watching her through another layer of reality.     Focusing in, she could see through the glass behind it, people walking by in their suits and skirts, carefully defined in the semidarkness of the unit.

Her blue eyes looked determined, if not scared.  Lights glistened in the corners if she opened them wide enough, and the bottoms of the colored parts looked light as the sky outside.

Her slightly flattened nose didn’t look baby soft anymore, like it had been when she had last studied her reflection.  The pores stood out more now, and a few red, scabby zits poked out from the light skin around his nostrils.

Her lips were kind of wide, with a slight purple tinge.  They, perhaps, were the only things about her face that he recalled from four years ago.  But they were scabby and chapped, not unexpectedly.  They matched the rubs of dirt under her eyes and the scuffy patch of scabs, pus, and blood that near his sweaty scalp.

Her face was oval shaped in its entirety. Her cheeks were pink under the smudges of dark dirt and golden dust.  Her greasy hair framed his fine, oily features, glinting and dark brown.  The haircut had been strange.  Why crop her hair just below his ears right before killing him?

Her eyes moved silently up to the single laser machine pointing directly at him above the window.  They had asked her which window she wanted to sit at… and which unit… and she had chosen this one.  If she still worked here…  She did. There she was.

Her mother looked ruffled in her pale yellow skirt and white blouse, high heels clinking against the shiny floor.  Her short hair was perfectly parted at the side, nearly smothered in gel, and her make-up was spotless.  She didn’t look any older than the last time he had seen her.

Notice me, she desperately thought, gripping the edges of the dismal gray chair to which she was shackled,  Notice me and recognize me as your daughter.  Your little baby boy survived.

She didn’t.  Adjusting her lip-gloss with a single, slightly muscular finger, she continued walking, glancing into a few other windows at a few other unfixable prisoners.

“Your baby boy didn’t die!!!” she wanted to shout, but he didn’t.  She couldn’t.  The thick gray collar tightened about her neck wouldn’t have allowed it.  She looked down at her hands, her thin wrists chained to the arms of the death chair.  She looked down at the stained skirt that looped downwards between her legs.  The light green blouse and the last remains of eyeshadow were still present in her reflection.

She was going to die.  Like all the others, the laser machine would click on soon.  They would scoop up her unworthy body and bury her in one of the mass graves just outside of the city.  The graves that officially eliminated the unworthy.  The unfixable.  People like her.  The ones who weren’t right.  Did people know that they walked upon meaningless death as they came into the city?  Did they care?

She had escaped the fixing.  They had discovered her at age eleven, and chased her across the country for four years.  And now it was time.  They had decided that she simply couldn’t be fixed.  Well, not in life.

The laser machine clicked menacingly.  She would be buried in an unmarked grave.  Her parents wouldn’t know.  And she would never be here again.  Maybe it was for the better.  She hated this life, after all.

Her heart began to beat so quickly that it seemed like it would leap out of her chest.  As much as she used to consider suicide, this was much, much too real.  She wanted to scream, and to tell them to turn it off, but she couldn’t.  She had been deemed unfixable.  In life, she could not be fixed.  She was not normal.  Distinct.

The laser clicked again.  Her mouth opened slightly, but she closed it quickly.  She smiled then, with a look that seemed to say, So be it.  Death sped towards her in the form of a single red beam that aimed itself straight at her small chest.  She shook slightly when it hit.  Her head lolled over onto her shoulder.  She was instantly dead.  They had solved another problem amongst a million.  And none of the people beyond the glass noticed or cared.

• ❤ •

The Vision Stones: Part Seven

Ristle woke up again, lying on top of his blankets, the sky above him dark.  He must have fallen asleep!  He had meant to be packing!!!  It had been late afternoon when he had been sitting around the table, what time was it now?  Evening?  Ristle got up, crossing to the closet.  He pulled out more clothes then there had been in there when he had first looked yesterday morning.  

There were five pairs of leggings and two pairs of tights, all in different colors and thicknesses, there was a brown jumpsuit like farmers wore, and two waistcoats, one poison red, and the other pale blue.  There were seven tunics, two of which had a tiny VS  symbols on the breast pockets.  There were also fur-trimmed boots, two pairs of birchbark shoes, and a small bag of provisions, namely, breafminner bacon, calligoaf jerky, dried fruit, blackbread and water, inside of a larger bag, which Ristle shoved everything into.  He also shoved in all his bedclothes and a bar of soap.

Meanwhile, Tiger had packed all of his things, and was holding his two bags to his chest, angry tears stinging in his eyes.  Ristle probably liked Elidia much more than he liked him, and, after all, Ristle probably thought that they were much too young for love.  But Tiger had known, known since he had first seen Ristle, that he was the one.

There had been other boys.  There had been ‘ones’ before, but this time, Tiger had been sure of it.  Ristle was going to be his.  But now, he thought, staring at two bluebirds flying overhead, he had blown it.  Completely and utterly, just by kissing Ristle too early.  Much too early.  

There was a knock on the door, and Tiger wiped his face, straightening up as he did so.

“Come in.” he said dully.

“Hey, Tige!  It’s me, Helia!”  a voice called.

“I said, ‘Come in!’” Tiger shouted back, annoyed.

The doorknob turned and Helia entered.

“Ey, kid, you should probably get down there, we’re eating before we leave.  Sorry if your sleeping pattern’s out of whack.  So’s most people’s.”

“Okay,” Tiger said, getting up. “I’m coming, ‘kay?”

“Heh, ‘kay.  What, do you have to smooch a picture of Ristle first, or something?” Helia sniggered.

“No,” Tiger answered. “Wh- Where did you get that idea?”

“I’ve got eyes and a brain, dummy.”  she said, closing the door.

Tiger waited a few seconds, then followed her.

 

It was dark as all of the new questers put their larger bags into a big cart, slung the smaller bags over their shoulders, and climbed up, into the cart.

“Try to get some sleep.” Elidia whispered to Ristle as he sat next to her.  The cart was bare, wooden, and open-air, with two bicycles attached to its front.  It was peaceful, in the cold, night breeze, to lay back and watch the stars, but Ristle was tense and restless.  At first, it was too cold, and he shivered underneath the wide, tent-like sky.  Then, he was restless, and, no matter how he twitched and tossed and turned, it was impossible to be comfortable.  Finally, the doubt started.

Have you ever noticed how doubt gets to you at night, or else when you are tired?  Ever noticed how you think differently when you lack sleep?  Ristle felt that way right then.

Who even were these people?  Where were they taking him?  What would they do to him?  And why?  Could the vision stones be fake, could this all be a joke?

Shut up, he thought to himself, stop being stupid and go to sleep.

And finally, he did, listening to Tiger and Helia endlessly pedal into the deep, unknown night.

It was three in the morning when Tiger shook Ristle awake, though Ristle didn’t know it.  

“Tiger?” Ristle wondered if there had been some sort of an attack. “What is it?”

“Nothing, don’t worry,” said Tiger quietly, “Except I’m super tired.  Move over, get out there and take over my bicycle.”

“Okay.”  Ristle yawned, stretched, sat up.  He took a sip of water, then smacked his lips, getting carefully out of the immobile cart.  Tiger pulled himself in, then curled up into a ball.  Ristle could see his turquoise hair through the darkness.  He made his way to the front of the cart.

Helia was waiting for him.  She was sitting, one foot down on the ground, on her own bicycle.

“Hey, Ristle?” she shouted.  For a second, her eyes caught the moonlight and appeared to glow red and green.  then the second was over, and Ristle blinked.

“Yeah, ‘sme.” he said softly, climbing onto his bicycle.

“Good then, let’s get moving!” She pedaled very fast, but Ristle caught up, and wind whistled in their ears.

“So,” Ristle shouted over the blur of noise. “how come you didn’t take a break??!”

Heh.  I have nearly 100 pages done, but earlier my hands were shaking while I wrote… I figure I got overheated from wearing my sweater all day and asthma from running while wearing it. :/ Yeah… meh.  I’m okay, now.

-Changuita

The Vision Stones Part Five

I’m just gonna say- Tiger Actually, I’m not going to tell you anything.  Just read it.

“Wow.  You look good.”  Tiger nearly forgot to sneer.  Then he laughed, then looked frustrated. “These stupid people!!!  I mean, they barely told me anything!  I want to save my parents!”

    “It’s okay, Tiger.”  Ristle patted his back, trying to feel Tiger’s emotions, and not just proud of himself.

    If Tiger was blushing before, he looked like stoplight now.  He opened his mouth, closed it, opened it, and said in a rush, “Let’s go downstairs.”

    They walked downstairs.  At the bottom, Rokudo was on the same table, and the girl with the sweatshirt, Elidia, and a tiny hedgehog wearing a pearl necklace were seated around it.  

    Rokudo spoke first. “This is Emerald,” he said, pointing at the hedgehog. “she’s also a quester.”

    “Is Mark awake yet?” asked the hedgehog.

    “I don’t think so,” answered the hoodie girl, picking at a zit underneath her down-turned nose. “When I went past your guy’s door, I heard him snoring.”  She sniggered.

“Oh, alright.  I’ll go check in on him in a second.”  The little hedgehog smiled.

    “Okay, then,” Elidia said slowly. “Rokudo, will you get started?”

    Rokudo nodded, “Yes, alright then.  So, today our new questing party will set out to track down the four vision stones assigned to us.  Our two newcomers are-” he pointed them out, “-Ristle and Tiger!  So, let’s introduce ourselves formally.”

    Hoodie girl waved a hand nonchalantly. “I’m Helia, I’m like- twelve or thirteen, I think?  I dunno.  I like- hoodies and friends, and quests.  I wanna reunite the vision stones to, like, protect people.”

Elidia smiled, “I’m Elidia.  I-” she rubbed the side head, “-I have a vision stone sewn into my brain.  The stone was kept by my caretaker, Meltidasann.  She collected visions while I was little, and sewed the stone into my brain at age four.  I have access to all its visions, including ones from when it was first made.  I am here to help all the people connected to the stones.”  She almost whispered the last part.

    “I’m Emerald,” said Emerald. “I’m a hedgehog and wife of Mark.  I like helping people, too, and I think that I’m here because I want to help people out, and, like, I like people.”  She smiled an adorable smile.

    Tiger ran a hand through his hair.  “I’m Tiger.”

    Ristle didn’t say much either. “Ristle.”

    “Right, then,” Rokudo smiled, if that’s possible for a rooster. “Now that we all know each other, let’s get started.  Everyone will need to pack up their things, each person is allowed to carry fifteen pounds on them, and store twenty in our cart-”

    At that moment, a rather ruffled male hedgehog stumbled down the stairs, wearing a blue striped tie. It must have been Mark.  It was.

    “Hi,” said Mark nervously. “I’m Mark.”

    “Mark, we were just about to start packing,” Rokudo smiled. “Let me fill you in.”

    The others left up the stairs while Rokudo spoke briefly with Mark and Emerald, who had stayed behind.

    “Well,” Tiger said with a sneer. “I hope this quest works out okay.  Heh.”

“I dunno…” Ristle looked up the stairs, towards the hall. “I guess I hope so, too, but it sounds dangerous, doesn’t it?”

“Yeah.”  Tiger thought for a moment. “But I’ve faced more dangerous things.  Like WAY more dangerous.”

“I don’t think you have.”  Ristle looked him in his coffee specked with turquoise, slightly large eyes. “I think this is pretty much the most dangerous thing a boy our age could do.”

They had reached Ristle’s door.  Tiger looked ready to sneer again, but instead, he lowered his head and kissed Ristle’s cheek.  Ristle felt his face burn red hot.  Then Tiger turned away and ran to his own door, not once looking over his shoulder at Ristle.

Ristle went into his room, took off his shoes, and sat down on the bed.  He knew he would miss this magical room.  He felt the place where Tiger had brushed his lips.  It was obvious that Tiger had a thing for him.  But did Ristle love him back?  He was handsome and funny, but his sneering indifference made Ristle try to think like Elidia.  He tried to imagine things from Tiger’s point of view.  He tried to fall for Tiger in return.  He even tried rubbing the side of his head.  But there was no vision stone there to assist him.

I made it bold so you could tell the difference between me talking and the book talking.  Hope it helped!

Anyway, I feel like Tiger is acting way to fast… and trying desperately to impress Ristle.  Is it working?

“He even tried rubbing the side of his head.  But there was no vision stone there to assist him.”

Good job figuring that out, Ristle!

-Changuita 

The Vision Stones: Part Four and SOME OTHER STUFF!!!

The Vision Stones Part Four:

The cobbled street extended for mile in both directions.  Sometimes carts rattled past on it, but mostly people walked or rode bicycles.  They walked along the dark street in the direction of a row of houses where families of cats lived.  Nothing but cats, and the occasional goblin.

 

 

They stopped in front of the cramped row of gingerbready houses, and the girl let out a low whistle.  Something moved inside the house.  A shadow.  Then a girl ran across the lawn and hopped over the fence.

She bounded towards them, wearing a hooded sweatshirt and sweatpants, her short, black hair tucked behind her ears.

She put her hand in the air as she approached. “Hey-oh, Elidia.  Is that your boyfriend?” she let out a short laugh and stood up straighter, standing at least two inches two feet taller than Ristle and Elidia.

Elidia chuckled, “No, his parents are-”

But the newcomer finished her sentence, “ ‘dead.’” She sketched air quotes around the word.

“Um… excuse me, but what the hell is going on?” Ristle asked.

“Well…” said Elidia. “It’s a long story.  Rokudo will be waiting for us at the library.  Don’t worry about it.  He’ll fill you in.”

“Let’s get going, slowpokes!” yelled the new girl, placing her hands in her pockets and running ahead of them.  They ran, too.

Elidia stopped in front of a huge building that seemed to be built of rocks and round riverbank stones, all cemented together.  Huge, mahogany doors faced them.  The new girl pulled one open with a huge heave, and they stepped inside.

Rows and rows of shelves faced them, low-hanging candle lamps swinging softly over round mahogany tables.  It was dark, but the light coming from the candles was dark yellow, casting long shadows on the dark brown walls.

“What is this place?” Ristle asked, turning slowly in a circle to admire it all.

“It’s a library.  Haven’t you seen one before?” the new girl punched his arm, playfully.

“Come on, we can’t just stand here forever!”  shouted Elidia, grabbing our hands.

“Yeah, whatever.”  the new girl pulled her hoodie over her face, and we ran down the central aisle of the library.

They hurried to a table at the very back of the library. It had four intricately carved chairs around it, one occupied by a boy with a floppy teal mohawk and a rather wrinkled, chubby and yet mean face. There were maps and books and charts scattered across the table, and a large Rhode Island Red rooster strutting cautiously across the smooth mahogany surface that was nearly obscured by mildewing paper.

The rooster lifted its head at their approach. “Hello, girls. And you must be Ristle, aren’t you?”

Talking roosters were rare but not unheard of where Ristle lived.

“Hallo, sir,” Ristle responded automatically, his stomach still painful. “I believe you have something important to tell me.”

“I do.” answered the rooster. “Your parents are alive.”

“I know that!” Ristle said loudly, but not quite a shout. “Um… sir.”

“My name is Rokudo.” the rooster said calmly. “This is Tiger.”

The boy in the chair grimaced and raised a hand lazily. He was rather handsome through his sneer.

“Hey, Ristle. Heard your parent also ‘died’?” he asked.

“Yeah. Yeah, they did. But what really happened?” he pounded the table. “Where are they?”

“Quiet,” said the rooster. “I’ll tell you. It’s a long story. It starts with… well, it all starts a very long time ago, in a huge canyon not very far from here. That was were a variety of earth beasts, most probably dwarfs or humans or goblins, built a mine. They were mining for gold and terroraline, but they found something else.

“Pockets of shiny, glassy, glittering stone. Beautiful stone. It reflected them like a mirror, and was nearly- nearly as strong as diamonds. It was beautiful. So they mined it. They called it ‘mirror glass’ because of its effects. And they made jewelry and weapons from it. But they soon found that the stone had other properties.

“All the weapons they built from it began to collect the information that they saw. And they began to store it, somehow. We would not know this, none of it, if it weren’t for a young goblin boy named Rettirico. Rettirico kept detailed diaries, and he soon noticed that, if he told his mirror glass spear certain things, the vibrations from his voice made the stone respond.

“First, he laughed at it. A nearby mouse turned into chicken. I know it sounds like a stupid old fairy tale, but its true. The mouse was just -poof!- like that, a chicken.

“Then he cried while in its presence. It shattered. So, he went to get more of this stuff, at the mine, and take it to the local shaman. And- that was the last entry in his diary. It ended there.”

“So- then what? What happened to him?” asked Ristle, annoyed.

“Well, that shaman also had records.”

“Don’t tell me he kept a diary, too?” scoffed Ristle.

“Not a diary, Ristle.” Rokudo’s beady eyes looked up at him. “Visions.”

“Visions? Like visions of spirit? How could he keep them?”

“Through the vision stones. Through the things that he constructed.”

“What are the vision stones?”

“Weapons. Beautiful, terrible things.”

“No,” Elidia said, rubbing the side of her head. “Not always. They weren’t always weapons, P, you know that.”

Rokudo looked at her sadly. “I know, Elidia. Ristle, would you like some rest? The quester’s headquarters are upstairs. We have rooms prepared for you there.”

“I- I want know…” but Ristle could hear his voice trail off. “All right. I am tired.”

But his expression said otherwise.

 

It was very cold, biting, stabbing cold when Elidia led Ristle up a rickety spiral staircase and into a big, long room. Doors led off in all directions.

“Where are my parents?” Ristle asked demandingly when Elidia paused at a small door, also mahogany.

“Inside the vision stones. We’re on a quest to find them and destroy them-” she rubbed the side of her head again, “-all. Sorry that he stopped telling you the story, Rokudo gets distracted in his rooster state.”

“What do you mean, rooster state?”

“Well, he used to not be a rooster. He was trapped, cursed by the vision stones.”

“What are the vision stones?”

“Mirror glass. Round, mirror glass stones that can only be destroyed when all of them are put together. Mostly, they just record all that happens around them for about… forty years, then they shut off, but people can still…” she rubbed her head again, “still access the visions. But that isn’t all they do. If you scream loudly and desperately in their presence, you’ll become trapped in limbo between all of them. If you laugh and say someone’s name, along with true feelings of revenge, they will become cursed with a curse of your choice. Or-” she paused, “or could destroy them all.” But Ristle knew that that wasn’t what she had meant to say.

“Okay. Good night!”

As the door closed, a million more questions surfaced in Ristle’s head. He turned around slowly and faced the room. A single candle stuttered on the table. The floor was covered in soft, mossy green carpet, but when Ristle stepped on it, he realized it was actual moss. The table with the candle on it was actually a tree stump. And one wall was open to the cold night air.

He took off his shoes in the mahogany floored entry way, and stepped into the room. As he approached the open wall, he realized that it was actually a screen door that led to a small balcony decorated with potted vines. The bed was large and had green sheets and a purple quilt. There were two dark reddish wooden doors in the blue walls.

Ristle pushed open the first door to reveal a walk-in closet with a marble floor. He stared around it for a second, then backed out and opened the other door. The sight that met his eyes made his mouth fall open.

The whole bathroom was done in clean, minty green tile. There was a sink to the left side of the door, and a another door, no doubt to a toilet room, on the other side. But in the middle- Wow!

Ristle was standing on a catwalk that faced down into a beautiful canyon. It had mossy sides that had large, white rocks sticking out of them every few feet. At the bottom, there was a dark pool surrounded with smooth boulders. The water in the pool came from a spraying, foamy white waterfall that tumbled down sleek, mildewy slides built into rock that nearly reached the clear ceiling, through which he could see the day-breaking sky above him.

He decided to enjoy this lovely apartment, as it seemed, or so he thought, that there was little joy in the world for Deniage Ristle. So he used the toilet, undressed, and climbed down the rickety stairs to the waterfall filled canyon.

The moss was soft and bristly underneath Ristle’s bare feet, and a small birch tree rustled slightly, though there was no breeze, when he went past. Then he reached the smooth, rounded boulders surrounding the dark pool.

Birch leaves sat, as though lonely, on top of the cool water, and Ristle wondered how deep it was. He sat down on a boulder, carefully caught his breath, and extended a foot to towards the pool.

It was freezing.

Ristle wanted to go back up and wrap himself in as many of the lilac colored towels that lay next to the sink as possible, and then fall asleep without a bath, but he willed himself to get into the pool. So he gripped the bank and slowly lowered himself into the freezing H2O.

It was like lowering himself into the Arctic Sea, but he put up with it, and felt his feet touch a silty, slimy, dark and murky pond bottom, so he straightened up, goose bumps erupting on his arms.

What if I get pneumonia in here, and die? he thought. What if I drown in a stupid, freezing pond?

So he got out, wrapped himself in as many towels as possible, put on his underwear, crawled into the warm bed, and fell asleep. His brain was super overworked, and his body completely limp and exhausted.

 

Ristle awoke, and sat staring at the pinkish sky above his glass ceiling. Then he felt something warm. He realized that he’d wet the bed, something he hadn’t done in at least six months. He scolded himself silently for it, and slapped his cheek. Then there was a knock on the door.

“Um,” Ristle said, unsure if he wanted someone to see him like this. “Um…….”

“Can I come in, please, Ristle?” It was Elidia. She wouldn’t be impressed to see Ristle like this. What sorts of things did girl like? What would they find attractive? Surely not bedwetters. Ristle slapped himself again.

“Don’t beat yourself up,” Eldidia said through the door. “Come on, I made you breakfast.”

“Okay, sure, come in.” Ristle said through his teeth, mad at this girl for understanding who he was and what he was doing so easily.

The door opened, and the tiny form of Elidia entered, wearing a yellow shirt, green shorts, and a blue cardigan. She was carrying a tray of breafminner bacon, sliced and fried pineapple, and a small bowl of maize mush. It also had a napkin, pitcher of water, and a teacup on it.

Elidia glanced at him. Was she blushing? Then there was a muffled crash, and something cold and wet hit Ristle’s legs. She’d knocked over the water jug exactly on the spot were the bed had been wet. He was relieved, but saw a gleam of purpose in her eyes.

“Oops,” she pulled the quilt of the bed. “Sorry. I’ll have that washed.” Ristle was sure his face was glowing with gratitude. “Here,” she set the tray on the tree stump. “eat something, please.”

Ristle picked up a slice of fried pineapple and shoved it in his mouth, successfully forcing it down. He stomach grumbled in appreciation, but his gag reflex screamed in protest.

“I’m sorry, Ristle, if we didn’t explain things enough last night. But who are you? Who is Deniage Ristle?”

“Well,” Ristle said, readying his ‘meeting someone speech’ in his head. But it didn’t come. “I’m just…. just a boy who… well… I like to help people. I like that warm, fuzzy feeling it gives me… Please, can you tell me what really happened to my parents? How… how did they get into the vision stones?”

“Well, the vision stones have been scattered across the earth for a very long time. There were 72 of them, and the quest began a decade ago. I’ve been on it for my whole, well my-” she rubbed the side of her head, “-my whole life, I guess. We have 68 of them, all stored in the room near the end of the headquarters hall. You’re parents, we heard that they’d gone into one of the Seabreeze caves, the only one completely intact. There was a vision stone in there. Some of our agents were going to get it out tomorrow. We know, well, I know, that they found the stone. They were reported to scream as the cave imploded, so I know that they activated the ancient magic inside the stone, because, well, all stones still can be used, even after-” she rubbed the side of her head absently, “-they dis-activate.”

Ristle nodded. “Why do you keep rubbing your head?” he asked.

She sighed, “Just… helps me think.”

“No, really.” Ristle took a bite of bacon.

“I’ll tell you some other time.” There was an edge of sharpness to her voice, no matter how subtle.

“Okay, don’t bite my head off…” Ristle muttered, but Elidia just looked away.

Then Elidia looked back at him. “You know why I joined this quest? Well, I didn’t have much choice, but I would have joined it anyway. Because… well, so many people are tied to the vision stones, either trapped, like you and Tiger’s parents, or cursed, like Rokudo, or, or…. well, no one is quite tied in a knot like mine…”

“Right. You know what? We are so much alike.”

“What do you mean, Ristle?”

“Well, we both care about other people. We both want to help. We both…” but then Ristle saw Elidia’s face.

“Ristle,” she said. “You’ve got it all wrong. I don’t care about warm and fuzzy! I just…. want to help them!” She stood up and left, just like that. Ristle sat there and pondered what she’d said for a very long time.

 

When Tiger came to get Ristle to come down to the meeting, he was definitively blushing.

“Hey,” he said. “Stupid rooster guy wants us to come down to a meeting or something.”

“Okay.  Don’t watch me dress.”  Ristle crossed to the walk-in closet and found that someone must have left him clothes during the night.  Two light blue tunics and some dark blue leggings, along with birchbark shoes.  Ristle dressed quietly, hoping Tiger really was hiding his eyes.

 

 

Yes, super long, but meh.

And now- the other stuff!  I’ve changed the blog’s language back to English, since some of my readers were having trouble (shout-out to GB).  And I have the photos for more sock monkey and Sylvanian stories…. and I have a clue:

Canguita has a secret garden.  The gate is open, but hidden well.  When you stumble upon the garden, the gate will latch, and a new one will appear.

Bye & happy hunting if you want to figure out the clue,

Changuita.

Love at the Emerald Caƒé/Amor en el Caƒé Esmeralda

Welcome!

Welcome!

This is the Emerald Café.

Este es el Café Esmeralda.

type...type...type

All the students like it because it have free WiFi.

Todos los estudiantes encantan el ‘WiFi’ gratis.

Here's your order!

Here’s your order!

There’s also a section for smaller critters.

También hay una sección para animalitos.

Heh heh heh!

Heh heh heh!

Lots of people bring laptops.

Muchas personas traen computadoras.

Comment if you read this caption!!!

Comment if you read this caption!!!

Today, Mivsie is here with her friend Olindia.

Hoy, Mivsie está aquí con su amiga, Olindia.

Rita must be squished. :(

Rita must be squished. 😦

Little Rita is waiting for her turn to get her order.

La pequeña Rita está esperanda su turno para consiguir su ordén.

Tiny Rita!

Tiny Rita!

What are you looking at, Olindia?

¿Qué estás mirando, Olindia?

Here's your order...

Digger, do you think these croissants are good?

Then she went to eat it.

Luego fué a comerselo.

Rita?

Rita?

Olindia:  She’s so pretty.

Olindia: Es tan bella.

Close-up!

Close-up!

Mivsie:  Why don’t you go talk to her?

Mivsie: ¿Porqué no vas a charlar con ella?

Um, hi Rita!

Um, hi Rita!

Rita:  Oh, um, hi Olindia…

Rita: Oh, er, hola Olindia…

Mivsie!!!!

Mivsie!!!!

Mivsie:  Heh heh

Mivsie: Je je

🙂

What do you think?

¿Qué piensas?