Setting Sunrise

Here’s the beginning of a story I just started.  I know, I should be working on The Vision Stones, but why refuse inspiration?

I think the strangest thing about Kloeva was the fact that she told me and reminded me constantly that she was not my mother.  My mother, she said, was wandering out there, somewhere in the universe.  She told me never to call her mother, or mum, or mummy, momma, or mom.  I was to call her ‘Fox’.  

I’m not sure why she insisted on being called Fox.  Perhaps it was her silvery hair, so much the same color as a small fox’s coat in the spring, or maybe it was because she could sit still for so long, anticipating, the way a fox watches a seal hole out on the ice.  We didn’t live on the ice, so we didn’t come across seal holes, but Fox anticipated the chicken being done, so that I could set the table and she could test out a piece of golden-brown skin.

My mother, she told me, was a beautiful woman, who shone like the rising sun.  Or the setting sun.  It depended on what sort of a mood Fox happened to be in.  Mostly, she was quiet, wise, strict, and still, like a fox stalking a grouse in the long grass just outside of our house, in our wooded backyard.  Fox called it our own, private ‘Sylvareglum’, which she said was a forest kingdom.

She sometimes was in a cheerful mood, especially when we collected mushrooms and berries in the Sylvanreglum.  That was when she would tell me about my mother.  She told me how tall and elegant she was, in contrast to the short and stocky Fox, draped in her dark grey, almost black robes and sometimes a forest-green peacoat, and how her big, dark eyes caught the light in such a way that they seemed full of stars.  Her features were fine, Fox said, and her skin soft as velvet.  One day, as we were walking through the woods, collecting moss for no reason other than the fact that Fox felt like it, she told me about how she had met my mother.

“Once, when I still lived out on the ice,” Fox began, her black eyes shining with memories as she bent down to pull a bit of fluffy green moss off of a granite boulder, then sniff it with her eagle-beak nose, “I was hunting for dinner.  I thought I heard something behind a snowdrift, and so I walked slowly towards it…” she mimed stalking something carefully, holding a spear with her moss-basket free hand, “and then- Guess what?”

“What?” I asked, sitting down on the boulder and curling my skinny legs to my as I watched her act it out.

“From behind the snow drift, a beautiful woman emerged,” smiled Fox, “with deep brown hair, in two braids, glinting eyes, smooth skin, and-”

“Did you have brown hair, too?” I giggled, gesturing at the smooth greyness underneath her hat.

“Quiet, boy!  I was born with a full head of lovely, platinum hair!” snapped Fox, swiping in the air as though to hit me, but missing, not entirely on purpose. “As I was saying before someone rudely interrupted, I was faced by a beautiful woman.  And she asked me what my name was, so I told her.”

“Surely you didn’t say Fox?” I asked playfully.

“Of course not, boy!” laughed Fox, swinging the moss basket at me, “I said Kloeva!  Kloeva is a very respectable name, you know, you good-for-nothing little-” but she stopped because, after swinging the basket a little too hard, everything had dumped out of it and onto the grassy forest floor.

“I can help you,” I said, jumping down from my perch and starting to gather moss.

“Don’t bother,” Fox shrugged. “It belongs to the forest, anyhow.  Let’s go make tea.”

So we did.  Fox’s urges never seemed to last very long, especially not as soon as she had another one.

Waddya think? 🙂

P.S. I know that foxes don’t hunt seals, I know that peacoats don’t drape, etc.  Too bad, alternate timelines are fun!  Yay! 😀

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The Vision Stones Part, um… Nine!

“Can it wait, pitiful sorcerer?” Ristle opened his eyes to see that the sky through the trees was periwinkle.  The air was fresh. It must nearly be dawn.  He sat up, and saw, all standing in a row in front of the cart, a million spirits of all shapes and sizes.

There were the yokai that Rokudo had warned about.  Two kitsunes with at least nine tails each stood sentinel at each end of a variety of creatures.  A huge, slender man wearing a noh mask stood in the middle of the dusty road, and two kappas looked in from the bushes.

There were also a variety of tiny, green and blue spooks, some with one eye, some with two, even three, who were all looking very shy and rigid.  Ristle wondered if the one who he and Helia had spotted earlier was among them.

Then there were goblins.  They were mostly small, brown figures towards the back, but a few looked much more gruesome and hulking, some wrapped in blood stained bandages.

Forest spirits also added to the mix.  Wisps of smoke, water, steam, or fire gambled through the line cautiously, never staying still.

And there were the promised ghosts, not looking in any particular direction, hovering off the ground by a few feet.  They were all naked, a slightly glowing disturbance in the air.

Faeries of all sorts lined the trees, all holding acorns and walnuts, as though hoping to pelt them at the cart the first chance they got.

Ristle blinked.  The man in the noh mask spoke again, “Go back where you came from.  We do not know whether you are human, but you possess knowledge and power.  Use it.”

“We came to speak with Kadelvesi, and we do not want to harm you.”

Elidia was watching a tiny, female fairy in one of the trees, who was sitting elegantly next to a small troll.  

One of the kitsunes scoffed, “Harm us?  Puny mortals harm us?  How about we sit and talk and have a drink.”  He pulled out a jug.

“No.”  The man in the noh masked waved a hand down.  “The vision stones, you said?”

“Yes,” Rokudo smiled softly. “We must talk to Kadelvesi about them.”

“Well, we were employed to protect Kadelvesi, and we will.  How about this:  We will let you speak to Kadelvesi, but for a price.”

“A price?  One of our lives?  A prisoner?”  Rokudo shook his head, softly.

“No, not a price like that,” said a voice.  A short man with a crinkled, smiling face and long, flowing robes pushed past a few spooks, then stretched out his arms. “Not a price at all like that, P.  We will let you go if you make a promise.”

Lots of the spirits scoffed or sniffed, and one fairy threw a rock at the old man, who deflected it easily.

“Promise me, P.  Promise me that you will not harm Kadelvesi.  That you will not ask any difficult questions.  That you will not, not even once, ask the location of a vision stone, especially if she would not like you too.”

“Merfee.  You are just like when we last met.  Right then, I promise.  I, Provellius Rokudo Quarentil, promise not to do any of the things you uttered.”

“Good then.  Pass through.”  The line of spirits parted, and the cart rattled in.

“Right.  We must watch…. ourselves now that we are in Kadelvesi’s domain.  Do not speak of any plans we have.”  Rokudo seemed to be looking at Elidia more than anyone else.

“Why don’t we take a break?” Elidia asked. “You look exhausted, and I think Helia isn’t looking good, either.”  

Ristle glanced at Helia.  She was very pale, and sweat was dripping from her forehead.  Ristle scootched away from her, hoping she wasn’t going to be sick.

“I’m…I’m fine,”  Helia said. “It’s… okay.”

“Sure.  Whatever.”  Tiger snorted.  “You look awful.”

Elidia said something inaudible to Rokudo, who nodded, pulling the cart to the side of the road, where Elidia got out and climbed onto a bike.

“I’ve- my vision stone has seen a map of this place, so… I know a good place for camping.”

Tiger got up, stretched, and climbed onto the other bike.  Both of them started pedaling.  

They only glimpsed a few more spirits through the trees:  a pond full of kappas, two fairies tittering to each other while hovering in the air, and a menacing pair of eyes peering out of a cave.

The landscape became rockier, and the trees thinned.  Pretty soon the landscape was mostly crunched up granite boulders, tall grass dotted with wildflowers, and the occasional pine tree.

Around them, they could see tall mountains in the distance, some snow capped and dotted with fields and trees.  They must be in a basin of some sort.

“Here it is,”  Elidia said as they reached an open meadow dotted with boulders and surrounded with rocky peaks.  There were a few bare patches of ground that would be good for lighting fires. “We should set up some tents.”

“Right,”  Rokudo said, flapping to the ground. “Our plan is:  We set camp, sleep, and eat, anything to get us relaxed for tomorrow.  Two of us will stay outside and watch out for danger while the rest get some shuteye.  In the morning, we’ll climb to Kadelvesi’s cave on foot, while one of us stays here to watch the cart.  Actually, two of us should stay.  Emerald and Mark, would you mind?  I’m afraid a dragon might find you tasty.”

“Alright with me,” said Emerald brightly. “Helia, dearest, would you like something to eat?”

“No, I’m fine.” Helia smiled a bit.

“Okay, then.  Can we help with something, Rokudo?”

“Yes, of course!  You too can prepare dinner while the rest of us set up the tent.  Ristle, could you and Elidia go fetch water?  I’m sure Elidia knows where some is.”

Ristle nodded, and he and Elidia set off into the forest, Elidia walking gingerly because of the knife she’d stashed in her boot.

“Where’s the nearest stream or well?” Ristle asked as they climbed over a large, mossy boulder.  Elidia had a small backpack on, and her cardigan was tied around her waist.  The sun had just come up, and the mountains glowed a beautiful, cantaloupe- like pinky orange.

“It’s a river.  It’s near here, but it has a kappa infestation… Do you know anything about kappas?”  They had conquered the boulder, and were walking side by side through straggly pine and juniper.

“Um… water imps?”  

“Yeah, well, they aren’t generally violent, more often than not more mischievous than harmful, things like tying shoelaces together or stealing food, but sometimes they’ll try to drown you or go after your spirit ball-”

“Spirit…ball?”

“Well, the only real way to fend them off is cucumber, they go mad for it.  Oh, the spirit ball is-”

But she was cut off by the sounds of splashing and laughter.  Looking through the trees, Ristle could see a variety of greenish forms moving around what seemed to be a body of water.

“Why did we choose a kappa infested pond?  I mean-”  

“Shh!”  Elidia stepped forward, and pulled Ristle with her into the clearing.  The kappas didn’t notice them.  There were about ten of them, all with monkey faces or else bird’s beaks, and all green but one turquoise one sitting on a rock towards one end of the pond, where glassy waterfalls cascaded into the greenish water.  All of the kappas had short, bristly hair around the soft spot in their head, a place that had to be kept wet, or else they would be sapped of all supernatural power.  Some had metal basins on their heads to protect them.

“Hey, Kappas!!!”  Elidia shouted suddenly.

“Humans!” screeched the turquoise kappa. “What do you want?”

“I know what you want!!!”  Elidia shouted.  “You want….these!!!”  She pulled a bundle of tea cucumbers out of her backpack, and waved them above her head. “Yum, yum!”

Hmm… Why Elidia doesn’t just bow to the kappas, I don’t know… Yokai are weird.  Maybe she thinks cucumbers are a better idea.

😉

-Changuita

The Vision Stones Part….. Eight????

“Evil never sleeps,”  Helia laughed. “Well, I’m practically nocturnal.”

“Huh.”  Ristle was fighting to stay awake now, despite the biting cold.  “So how come not many people know about the vision stones?  How come people don’t make them all the time?”

“Eh… It’s like a lost art kind of thing.  A lot of people don’t know about the quest, think we’re crazy, or just don’t care either way.  It’s mostly adventurers, dragonslayers, wise guys, and tied people who come looking for them with us.  Only when all the vision stones are united can all of them be destroyed.  It’s a magic thing that shaman did to the stones.  He must have been one creepy old guy!”  She laughed.

“Tied people?”

“Yeah, like, people who are in some way tied to the vision stones.  People like you, or Elidia, or Rokudo… you know.”

“Oh, yeah…” Ristle remembered Elidia’s words:  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, they will become cursed with a curse of your choice.

“Yeah.  You can bike pretty good.”

“Oh?  Oh yeah, I guess I can.  We learned at school.”

Ristle and Helia fell silent, looking at the dark trees around them, as they had driven into a forest.  It was cold, and still, the only disturbances in the air were the soft breeze, the rustles in the bushes, the cricket’s chirps, and the rattle of the cart.  Finally, Helia spoke.

“Well, Ristle, that Tiger really has a thing for you.”

Ristle didn’t know what to say.  He decided on the truth.

“I know.”

“Yeah, well, you seem to like Elidia enough.  I hated boys at your age.”

“Yeah.”

“Hmm.”

Both of their attentions wandered back to the road.  There was a soft rustle in the bushes, and a tiny, green spook emerged onto the dirt road.  It had a round body and head, two, huge blue eyes, and tiny horns poking from its head, along with two clawed feet and a long tail.

Ristle and Helia coasted to a stop as it scurried across the road.  It looked at them with its huge, blue eyes, then darted into a large, purple bush.

“I wonder where it was going.”  Ristle thought aloud, staring after the spirit as they started moving again.

“To a well, to collect water.” Helia was quiet and subdued, rather than loud and nonchalant.  

“How do you know?” Ristle sounded a little more startled than he felt.

“I know because I know.”  Helia answered sharply.  

There was a flapping noise behind them, and Ristle could tell it was Rokudo.

“So, how are things?” the “chicken” asked.

“Meh.” said Ristle.

“Well, we should rest soon, as soon as it is dawn.”

“When’s that?” Helia sounded like herself again.

“Soon, very soon,”  he paused. “Would you like me to take over with magic?  My powers, and dexterousness, are limited as a chicken, but I enjoy having wings, and, certain exclusive skills.”

“Sure.” Ristle was glad for an excuse to get off his bike, but Helia only shrugged.

They both lay down and watched the stars speed by as Rokudo closed his eyes, using some sort of telekinesis to propel the cart.  Helia stared up at the sky with a distant, almost strained, and yet relaxed expression on her dark face.  Ristl tried to sleep again, unsuccessfully, so he sat up at the front of the cart with Rokudo

“Where are we going?” Ristle felt the wind on his face.

“Hmmm… I suppose I should be able to answer that.  We’re going to see a dragon.” Rokudo’s eyes remained closed.

“Dragon?” Helia was sitting up straight now. “A dragon?  A real, living, talking dragon?”  There was both fear and strange hunger in her voice.

“Well,”  Rokudo sighed. “If the spirits let us pass.”

“Spirits?  You mean like spooks and sprites?” Ristle inwardly hoped it was nothing more.

“Yes, and a few yokai.  Maybe even a small god, or some ghosts.”

“Gods?  Are gods spirits?” Ristle had never seen or worshipped a god, but he knew of their existence.

“Yes, I guess.  Gods are a type of spirit, but only exist when there are people to worship them.”

Helia had layed back in the cart, her eyes still fixed on the heavens.

There was a melancholy feeling in the air.

“Ristle, go to sleep.” Rokudo’s eyes remained shut.

Ristle lay back, next to the figure of Elidia, whose eyes were half open.

“Rokudo, I can take over now.”  she whispered.

“With who?  Emerald and Mark are much too small, and everyone else has had their turn.”

“Okay, sure.” she layed back down.  “I’ll just go back to sleep.”

“I have a feeling you will be needed more later,” Rokudo opened his eyes slowly. “Just sleep now.”

So Elidia closed her eyes again.  It was a few moments before Ristle finally sunk into sleep, and a few more before he was woken.

“You aren’t welcome here.”  a voice boomed menacingly.

“We must speak with Kadelvesi, and it is important.” Rokudo sounded frantic, but kept cool.

 

 

 

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 Six: Pictures!

As a chicken....

As a chicken….

Don't let me spoil your picturing!!!

Don’t let me spoil your picturing!!!

He's not going to show up for  a long time!

He’s not going to show up for a long time!

Hedgehog....

Hedgehog….

He looks tired!

He looks tired!

Yeah, she's not showing up for a while, either!

Yeah, she’s not showing up for a while, either!

"Yeah, like I care?"

“Yeah, like I care?”

Helia.

Helia.

Tiny isn't going to be here for a long time, too!!!

Tiny isn’t going to be here for a long time, too!!!

Elidia.

Elidia.

Mei is a kappa.

Mei is a kappa.

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 

Double Post: The Long Plane Ride (Part One) and The Vision Stones Installment Three

The two winning monkeys are headed to the Caribbean!  They will first board a plane in Nevada, which will take them to their dock in Mexico.

¡Los dos changos ganadores van al Caribe!  Primero, irán en un avión en Nevada, que los llevará a Mexico, donde espera su barco.

I think they live pretty far away from Mexico considering how long this flight took.

Pienso que viven muy lejos de México considerando que largo tomo el vuelo.

Well, here it is:

Bueno, aquí está:

IMG_2419

Flight Attendant: Hi… Um- Welcome to the plane!

Atendente del Vuelo(¿?):  Hola… er- ¡Bienvenidos al avión!

IMG_2420

Ristleton: Hi……

Ristleton: Hola…..

IMG_2421

Dr. SquiggleEyes:  I call this seat! (giggles)

Dr. SquiggleEyes: ¡Esté asiento es mío! (ríe)

IMG_2422

Tiny Hippo:  I’m flying alone… it’s spooky.

Hipopótamo Pequeñito:  Estoy volando solo…. me da miedo.

IMG_2423

Flight Attendant:  I’ll help you.

Atendente del Vuelo:  Te ayudaré.

IMG_2426

Dr. SquiggleEyes:  Hmmmm….

IMG_2427

Ristleton:  Um……

IMG_2428

Dr. SquiggleEyes:  Is this a staring contest?

Dr. SuiggleEyes: ¿Es este un concurso de mirar?

IMG_2429

Ristleton:  Eh…… no.

IMG_2430

Dr. SquiggleEyes: Aw…

IMG_2431

Let’s watch TV!

¡Miramos la tele!

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Ristleton:  Can you push Free WiFi, please?

Ristleton: ¿Puedes empujar el WiFi gratis, por favor?

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Dr. SquiggleEyes: I’m going to watch cartoons.

Dr. SquiggleEyes:  Voy a mirar dibujos animados.

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Heh. Heh.

Je. Je.

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Ristleton:  (sigh) Ugh…

Ristleton:  (suspiro) Ugh….

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Dr. SquiggleEyes:  Heh heh heh!

Dr. SquiggleEyes: ¡Je, je, je!

Next Time:  “CARTOONS ON THE PLANE”

And now…. The Vision Stones part three!!!!!!!!!!

When it reconstructed itself, Ristle only had faint recollections of what had happened while it was in pieces.  People had told him how his parents had decided to go on an adventure date, slipped into a cave while climbing a cliff near the sea, and how there had been a cave in, while they where inside the cave.  Their bodies were probably trapped under the cliff.  How romantic.

But that was not what Ristle was worried about; or sad about.  He was sad and worried and alone because, when the world reconstructed itself, he was completely alone, on a tiny island, in a sea of sadness.

His insides had been completely wrenched out by that iron hand, and a stringy, lurking, missing, empty space remained.  He only felt the pain.  His stomach hurt.  He wanted to hear his parents again.  He hoped that he would hear them approaching, and see their laughing faces as they shouted, “April Fools!”

But they wouldn’t.  They were gone.  Something had just… grabbed them away.  And never, never, never ever again, would he smell hot breafminner bacon cooking, never would he walk to school with his father laughing beside him.  And never, never ever would his parents return.  They were gone.  Gone, as though a gust of wind had swept them away.

These thoughts swirled inside Ristle.  He was angry, mad at them for leaving him.  But he was sad.  And he was mad at himself for feeling like this.

The first thing he did when he got home was go into the bathroom and vomit.  He vomited up all the cake he’d eaten at the meadow, and it didn’t taste as good as when it had gone down.

Strange people were in his house.  They wandered about, talking amongst themselves, sobbing, weeping, or helping themselves to the jerky and crackers in the cupboards.  They must have been his parents friends.  But they stayed away from him and his bedroom.  He liked that, if liking something was even possible for him at that moment.

He kept the room dark.  He curled up, under his blankets, and lay there, crying his eyes out, hardly able to breathe.

And then he remembered that awful feeling he sometimes got, when he felt like there was a ghost in the house, or else some stupid person trying to break in.  he always reminded himself, at these moments, that his parents were in the house, and that that meant that he was safe.

But now, now there were only these strange people in the house.  Was he safe?  Would he ever be safe again?

“Mama….,” he whispered into the darkness. “Daddy?”

Wow, he thought. How stupid am I?  They’re dead.  They’re gone.  

And he hugged himself and cried until he fell asleep.

 

When Ristle woke up, he didn’t want to be awake.  He didn’t know what he wanted.  All this sorrow made him feel bored.  He was numb, and he wanted to feel again.  But it wasn’t boredom.  Because when you are bored, you can sometimes distract yourself.  This kind of sorrow, you can’t distract yourself at all.  But you can try.

When Ristle got up, and left into the kitchen, through the living room, there were only two people sitting there:  an ancient man, with loose skin scattered with liver spots, and a tiny woman, with dark skin and hair tied back behind her in a ponytail.  Neither of them acknowledged Ristle.

In the kitchen, Ristle got down jerky, a plum, and some hard, black bread.  He plucked a banana leaf from the tree next to the sink, and sat down at the counter.  He tried to eat the bread.  But his throat clenched up on it, and an awfully warm, disgusting, full, feeling crept up his stomach.  he set the bread down.  He picked up the small, nearly round, very red plum.  He took a small bite of the bitter peel and tried to force it down into his stomach.  His throat itched.  So he left the food lying on the marble counter, and retreated into his bedroom.

After twenty minutes of sitting in the depressed darkness, he left into the bathroom and vomited water.  Then he sat on his bed, shaking.

He turned on the radio, and tried to embed himself in the music that trailed softly out.  he hugged himself and rocked back and forth, hoping to become trapped in the endless tune that came from the tiny box.

There was a knock on the door, and ristle quickly shut of the radio.  The knock came again, now very soft.

“Go away!” Ristle shouted, now feeling angry. “Go away and leave me ALONE!!!”

But the door opened nonetheless.  A small girl stepped in.  She wore a simple, pink blouse and a blue skirt, along with blue slippers on her tiny feet.  She had raggedy, brown hair, and a headband pulling it back.

The newcomer was tiny and petite, but seemed to radiate power, or else some unknown knowledge.  Ristle’d always thought that people who spoke of vibes were absolutely insane, but here he was, feeling the vibes of a delicate looking, yet seemingly rough and tumble little girl.

“Ristle,” she said softly. “Ristle, come with me.  We need your help.”

“NO!” screamed Ristle, severed from his strange trance. “No, I’m NOT going with you on some lunatic COUNSELING offer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

“No, Ristle,” How dare she stay calm while I suffer this grief? “Your parents.  They’re alive.”

Ristle turned around.  He shook his head, but she nodded, extending her hand.  And they left in silence, past the strange people and out into the street.

Wow, long post!

Bonus:  How I am currently wasting my life:

SMILEY FACES!!!!!!!

SMILEY FACES!!!!!!!

😀 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 😀 😉 😛  😀

Also, don’t just stay on the “Inicio” page; look around at all my other pages!  Find out more about the sock monkeys and critters, my cartoons, and some really awesome links!!!!!

The Vision Stones- Installment Two: News…

Here it is:

 

But the old man shook his head, “I’m sorry, boy, but this is very important.”  He put so much stress on the “very” that it seemed like it might collapse.

Ristle looked up at the teacher, who stopped his monologue for a second the nod slightly at him.  So Ristle followed the old man into the trees.

They stopped next to the creek.  A tiny, green tail disappeared into the trees.  The old man chuckled.

“Hunting season’s finished, and there’s still spooks in these woods.”

“We always have spooks and sprites in these parts, sir,” Ristle said politely. “We always have had a lot of spirits.”

“I’m sorry,” the old man said. “Sorry for bearing the news that will ruin your childhood.  That will end this polite, laughing, charming boy and-” he sighed audibly, “-and- I’m very, very, so very sorry, Rustle…”

“It’s Ristle, sir,” Ristle said, then thought, What a stupid old man.  Not even bothering to pronounce my name correctly. “But what is it?”

“I’m- I- don’t, don’t kill the messenger Ristle, but… your parents…,”  And Ristle knew, from the clenching fist that has seized his stomach fiercely in its iron grip, what he was about to say. “They- they are… dead.”

And then the world collapsed.

 

 

Heh heh, short, but CLIFF-HANGING!!!!!!!!!!

-Changuita

The Vision Stones: Installment One

Here it is:

 

School was outside. It always was, always had been, and always would be. That was part of Ristle’s life. School was in a big field- near the woods, where a creek trickled over tumbling pyrite and granite on an earthy, grass-carpeted floor.

It was under a wide sky that seemed to span across the world in one humongous tent, its underside painted with beautiful, swirling patterns of white cotton, and at night, an umbrella of scattered stars and midnight-tasting space.

When the clouds darkened, and rain swirled to the ground in the wind, all the students huddled underneath a patterned purple tent. Except for the few strange eccentrics who stood out in the rain and looked up the sky as though hoping to fall upside-down into the swirling darkness above them.

 

Tonight, however, was clear. The teachers had, after all, consulted a local shaman for a weather forecast for the next seven weeks so that they could find a good time to stargaze.

Stargazing trips were fun. Ristle always enjoyed the cool feeling of the night, the chirp of the crickets, and the soft mist that always hung around the meadow at night- but never managed to obscure the splash of stars that filled the sky. He loved the feeling that he was connected, in some strange, metaphysical way, to the meadow, to the creek, the pyrite, and the crickets and small spooks that scurried around the edges of the forest.

Also, always, someone managed to smuggle cake into the meadow, and hide it under their pillow until the teacher was too rapped up in some constellation or another to notice the huddle of smirking students around someone’s sleeping bag. Usually Ristle’s.

Ristle was like a Mama Bear to all the students in his outdoor class. He stood up for them. He brought them oatcakes flavored with cacao that crumbled in your hands and filled your mouth with happiness. He did things, many, many nice things, because he loved the warm, fuzzy feeling that seemed to fill him to the brim when he did something kind. So he did kind things.

It was very early when Ristle awoke. Soft fog swirled in the meadow, just reaching the edges of the trees, the golden, pink, and cantaloupe light filtered through it and made tiny, pastel rainbows around him. He blinked a few times, not quite remembering waking up, but definitively awake now, and checked that the teacher was dozing in his wicker loveseat. He was, so Ristle reached underneath his pillow and recovered a soggy, twine-bound workbook and a damp waxed paper parcel.

He opened the latter first, grabbed a chunk of textured oatcake, and shoved it in his mouth. Then he turned, searching the grass for the beeswax crayon he’d used to write his name on the small workbook’s cover the night before. When he found it, nestled between a small, purple wildflower and strand of light, stringy grass, he opened his notebook, hoisted himself up until he was on his elbows, and began marking down the positions of all the stars he remembered.

Then he answered the four review questions on the next page:

  1. Can Venus support life?

No.

  1. Where was the constellation Torionnos located tonight? Why?

In the west, because the Earth is rotating.

  1. In what phase was the moon?

crescent

  1. Name the planets?
  2. Horizon

Doesn’t need a question mark, so…

  1. Earth
  2. Mars
  3. Venus
  4. Jupiter
  5. Uranus
  6. Neptune
  7. Horizon

 

That was easy enough. Definitively easy enough. Ristle felt, though, that teachers should know the difference between a command and a question. A command was a command, no matter how much sugar was on top the pretty please. Then Ristle lay down, not at all expecting something to happen to him. Not something that would completely change the course of his life… but things happen.

 

Everything is cause-and-effect. Why was school outside? Because people made it so. Why did mosquitoes bite you? Because they needed food for their babies. And why, why do earth-shattering, life-changing, mind-shaking things happen? Because they did. And that was a rule that Ristle would soon learn, and soon hate.

But so far, nothing very exciting was happening. All the student were huddled together, clutching their sleeping bags and shivering, as the teacher explained how the Sun moved, well, how the Earth moved in such a way that it appeared that the Sun was moving, and Ristle was trying to hand Sandy a piece of oatcake without the teacher noticing.

“Well,” the teacher said. “Horizon isn’t a planet like all the other planets. Horizon was constructed by people here on Earth, many, many years ago, and sent up into space. It had rockets attached to its bottom like many small legs, and it flew up-” he made a flapping motion with his hands, “-into the atmosphere, and out into space. Then the many legs snapped off, and it started orbiting the Sun, very near to Earth. It was way, way, up- many light years away-” he pointed into the heavens, “-and now all the communication between it and us has been disconnected. So, maybe there is still Earth life who lives on Horizon- or maybe not. We may….”

That was about when Ristle stopped paying attention. At first it was to watch Sandy’s fluffy, light, strawberry-blond hair was catching a breeze and wafting slightly in a strangely attracting way. Then, it was because Ristle noticed something- well, someone else-

It was then that Ristle noticed the strange man. He was an old man, standing near the purple and green skirts of the trees, on the side of the meadow nearest to the stream.  He was wearing a green tunic, sleek, purple pants, and a bright red waistcoat, looking rather like a hunter.

Hunters wore bright waistcoats so that other hunters could see them through the trees, and not spear them, and forest camouflage underneath them so that they would blend in well with the trees and not startle the things they were hunting.

There had once been a story that two hunters had both removed their waistcoats at the same time, in the same clearing, and one had attempted to spear a calligoaf, a small, very furry mammal that lives in the mountains.  Well… it got pretty ugly pretty fast.  Ristle had always thought about that story when he saw hunters.  Even people dressed like them.

 

But it wasn’t hunting season… no calligoaves or breafminners or even little tiny giilloes roamed the woods.  Right now, it was mostly adventurers, daredevils, and rock climbers (like his parents) that made up the population of the forest.  So, Ristle decided, the strange old man must be someone’s grandparent, or else some relation or other- coming to pick them up early.

Then, knowing who the strange person must be, Ristle turned back towards the teacher.

“Well, now, many animals came to see Mars, far from Earth.  But not as far as the Sun, and much farther than the Moon!  Well, these many, many organisms roamed the planet’s surface, seeing the sights, like the tallest volcanic structure… many, many taller than them on Earth!  Mars was new, Mars exciting, different, many ways differing- from our beautiful Earth-”

Ristle let his attention waver back to Sandy, when he felt a tap on his shoulder.  Then someone cleared its throat and gave a dry cough.

“Rustle.  A word please, Rustle.”  said an old, very old voice.  It smelled like fresh wood sprayed with air-freshener.  Disgusting.

“Excuse me sir,” answered Ristle, turning his head to see the same old face, skin pulled tight over old bones- that had waited by the tree. “Sir, I’m in the middle of an interesting lesson.  Can it wait, please?”  The politeness in his voice made him proud.

 

 

 

 

Tell me what you think!!!!

-Changuita

PS Sock Monkeys return this weekend!!!!  Yay!!!

The Vision Stones: Preview 1!!!

The Vision Stones is a fantasy novel that I am currently working on and will post here in due course.

Con tristeza, no voy a traducir a Las piedras de visión todavía, entonces el libro no estará aquí en español.

Here is a preview excerpt:

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, 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!”

 

 

Thanks, please tell me if you want to hear more,

Changuita 😉

P.S. Be sure to inform your friends if you believe that they will enjoy the book, which will be posted here in serial form!!!