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Ran Yoko

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Everything posted by Ran Yoko

  1. Sora fixed two weenies with mustard and ketchup, got a tall mug of root beer (there is some here, right? ), found some chips, potato salad, a couple other picnic food items, and looked around for a place to sit. She sighed, and used a passing gust of wind to seat herself on a branch of a tree, she guessed an oak. As she ate, she felt slightly sorry that she hadn't brought her pets, but she didn't want them bothering anyone. Plus the fact that she wasn't sure how the people throwing this bash felt about talking animals. Still, maybe they'd let her take some weenies home in a doggie bag. As soon as she was done, she'd ask them. In the meantime, she'd just enjoy the great tasting food. She licked mustard off her finger. Yum.
  2. VAMPIRE OF THE ORIENT The full moon was partially overshadowed by the dark ominous clouds that traversed the sky. The wind howled, and all good creatures stayed in their homes, with a feeling of foreboding. In a large field of grass, two people stood facing each other. The man had fair hair tied in a short ponytail, his black eyes looked haughty, and he wore dark clothes, with a pitch-black cloak flapping around him in the wind. The woman's knee-length hair was as black as ebony, and tied near the end with a red ribbon. Her eyes seemed to have a silvery tint in the dark blue. She wore a kimono that was golden-brown, and the ends of the pale blue obi, instead of being tied in a proper bow, hung loose. A long katana was strapped to her back, she wore short boots instead of sandals, and around her neck on a cord hung a piece of gold in the shape of a sharpened piece of wood. The two stood in silence for a few minutes. The wind sighed in the tall grass, making the ends dance around the people. Finally the man spoke, and when he did, the wind died down. "So the rumors are true, then." "What rumors?" The woman's voice held a trace of Oriental accent. "About an Oriental vampire, carrying a long sword, wandering around this continent. She never seems to drink from humans, and fights with other vampires and creatures of the night." "I do believe that's me then," she said, with a hint of a smile on her lips. "Owaru Kikuyu, or as you Europeans say it, Kikuyu Owaru." "Nice to meet you. Victor Bellisari. It's sometimes nice to know the name of the person you'll be killing." "Why must you kill me?" Kikuyu asked mildly. "Well, another vampire has put a bounty on your head. I don't know why, but it suits me just fine." He drew two daggers out from under his cloak and dropped into a fighter's crouch. "Even though we are brethren?" she asked. Her tone, if anything, had gotten milder. Instead of replying, Victor charged. Kikuyu sighed, and jumped into the air at the last minute. She rose almost 50 feet, and drew her katana in one swift motion. Victor leapt after her. Blades clashed, and they landed, crushing the long grass under them. Victor's fangs were bared, but Kikuyu was simply smiling pleasantly. "Aren't you even a bit angry?" Victor asked, puzzled. "Yes," came the answer. "But I was taught self-control." She shot forward, cutting deep into his left arm before he jumped back. He threw a dagger, before she could move, it plunged into her right hand, forcing her to drop the katana. Before she could do more that yank the dagger out, he was in front of her. He sliced thin air, for she had jumped again. With her injured hand, Kikuyu tugged on the end of her hair ribbon. It almost seemed to come alive, as it untied itself and one end wrapped itself around her wrist. She landed, and flung her hand towards Victor. The ribbon seemed to grow in length, and the free end wrapped itself around the katana hilt. She tugged, the ribbon's length diminished, and Kikuyu grasped the katana in her left hand. Upon seeing this, Victor seemed to lose his nerve and fled towards a nearby grove of trees. Within seconds, he was hidden in the trees. Kikuyu smiled, and started after him. She knew his strategy, but had decided to play along. Among the trees, she could sense his presence in the hundreds of bats hanging from branches. In effect, she was surrounded. The words to a song from her childhood came to mind. One child would crouch and cover their eyes, while the other children would form a circle and move around the one. They would sing this song, and after it was sung, the child in the middle would guess what child was behind it. Almost unconsciously, Kikuyu started to softly sing the song in Japanese. "Kagome, Kagome, When, oh, when will that bird Come out of it's cage The crane and the turtle slipped Into the morning twilight Who is behind you?" She whirled suddenly and plunged her katana into Victor's heart. Her eyes widened as he dissolved into shadows. The real Victor, standing behind the fake, rammed a wooden stake through Kikuyu's heart. She gave a choking sound and collapsed to the ground. Victor's lips curled into a triumphant sneer as he turned her over with his foot. Her eyes were closed, and she gave no sign of breathing. "If you're anything like us European vampires, that stake had merely paralyzed you. I won't completely kill you, for then you would turn to dust. Instead, I think I'll have a meal, and then I'll take you in for the reward." He lifted her up and leaned in, his fangs almost in her neck. Suddenly, the golden stake around Kikuyu's neck grew larger and plunged into Victor's chest. Her eyes snapped open as the cord untied. "How. . ." Victor gasped. "Because, I'm not like you European vampires," Kikuyu said mildly. She pushed the stake further in, and his eyes closed. She sighed, removed the stake from her own chest, bared his neck and then her fangs. She had a meal then and there. When she was done, she licked her lips and teeth thoroughly. Standing up, she flicked her hand. The ribbon still hanging from her wrist stiffened into a steel-like texture. She swung her hand from right to left, and off came Victor's head. As his body dissolved into dust, the blood on the ribbon was absorbed into the cloth, which seemed to then be a little darker and longer. Kikuyu tied her hair back again, picked up the golden stake, which had shrunk, and fastened it around her neck again. Pulling a cloth out from inside a sleeve, she cleaned the katana thoroughly and sheathed it. She glanced at her right hand, making sure it had finished healing. Her eyes fell on Victor's daggers, which had fallen to the ground, and picked them up. Good craftmanship, good quality steel. They might bring her a nice bit of money in the next town. A pity she hadn't thought to retrieve the sheaths before Victor dissolved. "Que sera sera, I believe is the term," she murmured with a smile. "The sheaths would have brought more money, but these will do." She slipped them into her obi. Then Owaru Kikuyu, Vampire of the Orient, disappeared into the night. ~FIN~
  3. I like this. very nice theme, and the way you have it without rhyming, I think, serves it well. also, it makes me glad to know I'm not the only who does poetry without rhyming, which I can't do on demand, only when my mind is wandering.
  4. The Natures Four rule over all the Natures, Father Time, Mother Nature, Brother Sun and Sister Moon. Father Time can take the appearance of any age as he travels across the world. But he always carries a staff with him, a gnarled oak branch with a chunk of quartz set in the top. Mother Nature doesn't really have a human shape, but can take the appearance of any plant or animal. And her eyes seem to hold the answers to Nature's mysteries. Brother Sun has blazing red hair and eyes and wears a tunic and cape made of flames. In sharp contrast, Sister Moon has pale blonde hair and dark blue eyes, wearing a long-sleeved gown of stardust. These are the Four Elders, who govern over the Seasons. The Lady of Winter resides in the North, surrounding herself with snow and ice. Her eyes resemble sapphires, and her hair is long and silvery. She wears a simple gown of white silk, a cloak of silvery-gray fur, and diamonds and sapphires forming snowflake-shaped earrings. The Lord of Spring resides in the East, surrounding himself with slender young trees, grass and flowers. His hair is bright yellow and short, and his eyes are light green. He wears a green tunic and goes barefoot, with a pearl as an earring. The Lady of Summer resides in the South, surrounding herself with gardens and orchards. Her eyes are emerald green, and her hair is brown streaked with green and hangs unbound to her waist. She wears a russet-colored, sleeveless tunic and brown sandals, with a bracelet of emerald on her right wrist and a bracelet of topaz on her left wrist. The Lord of Autumn resides in the West, surrounding himself with trees changing color and fields ready for harvest. His shoulder-length hair is orange-red, and his eyes are dark brown. He wears brown trousers and a dark yellow shirt, with a ruby hanging around his neck on a silver chain. These are the four Seasons, who govern over the Elementals. The wind elementals live in a small forest glen. All four sisters have dark gray eyes, wear dark gray gowns, and have silvery feathers tucked in their ebony-black hair. West plays a lute, and her hair is knee length. South's hair is waist length, and plays upon a harp. North has shoulder-length hair, and plays a flute. East has chin length hair, and plays a violin. They take turns, for if all were to play at once, there would be too much wind, and become destructive. But there is always at least one playing, for if not, the wind would cease immediately the world over. These are the elementals of the four winds. The earth elemental sits on a rock by a pond, quietly playing on a dulcimer. Her hair is a rich brown and falls to the ground in waves, and her eyes are the color of the sky in the early spring. She wears a long sleeved shirt of dark green, and a long skirt of dark brown. She does not move much, for when she moves, she causes earthquakes. If she were to move too much, the world would crack into many pieces. This is the elemental of earth, Serena. The water elemental resides in the depths of the oceans. Her hair is long and pale blue, and her eyes are midnight blue. She prefers the shape of a mermaid, and her voice is always raised in song, sometimes glad, sometimes angrily. The sea reflects her song. Her children have left the sea, and gone onto land, becoming the founding spirits of ponds, lakes, streams and rivers. This is the water elemental, Elena. The fire elementals are brothers, who live within volcanoes. They are mostly vague human shapes made of flames. They are forever dancing, for if they were to stop, every fire the world over would cease to exist. These are the fire elementals, Pietro, Alann and Kassim. The lightning elementals are two brothers, who live within storm clouds. They both have light blonde hair, dark gray eyes, and wear dark blue tunics. The one brother makes lightning bolts on his forge as he sings. The other brother then takes the finished bolt, and shoots it from his bow down to earth. These are the lightning elementals, Forge and Arro. And these are the Elementals, who affect our daily life in one form or another. ~FIN~
  5. very neat. I read it, and wished in a way that I could write something simple like that. my stories always turn out kinda gloomy. but very good job on that!
  6. CHECKMATE They had used her. They had found her, almost dead, on a battlefield, taken her to their lab, attached that blasted metal arm to her to replace her missing right arm, and made her into an assassin. Made her kill for fifty years without letting her age, and now they had a bounty on her head, wanting her dead! Well, she had killed everyone who knew about her, except for the man who had started it all, Walter Kingsbury. She piloted the small spacecraft closer to the spacestation and smiled grimly. She shoved the throttle forward to maximum for the booster rockets, then placed her hand on the brake release. She exhaled, then yanked back on it. With a blast, the spacecraft shot forward at a tremendous speed. Within seconds, it crashed through the glass windows and steel walls and through the observation deck. She could dimly hear the alarms going off and the sounds of the guards through the hull of her craft. She pulled on the handle for releasing the lock on the emergancy exit chute. With a click, it opened marginally. She pulled it open and dropped both a tear gas grenade and a smoke bomb out into the hall. She shoved it closed just in time for a bullet to ricochet off it. Within seconds, all of the guards were coughing and crying. She put her gas mask on and dropped out the chute. The second her feet touched the floor, she ran to where she knew Kingsbury would be. She reached the door and hit the button to open it. The door slid open and she stepped in, focusing on the man seated behind the desk across the room. She quietly hit the lock button and the door locked. "Yes, what is it? I'm very busy," Kingsbury said, not bothering to look up. She tossed the gas mask to the side as she gave the mental command for her metal arm to restructure itself into the gun. That finished, she said in a low voice, "Oh, I think you know." He looked up. A look of fear flashed across his face briefly before he schooled it into a look of surprise and welcome. "Why, Rook!" he said, standing up and holding his arms out. "This is a pleasant surprise. How have you been?" "Cut it out," Rook answered, pointing her gun-arm at him. "We both know why I'm here, so let's drop the innocent act, shall we? Why did you put a bounty on my head?" Kingsbury sighed. "Because you have outlived your purpose. There is no opposition now. The last of it disappeared with you, five years ago. We still heard of people seeing you though, so we knew you must be alive yet. But we couldn't afford to have you running loose, so. . ." "But," Rook said, "have you heard from any of your 'friends' in the past three months?" "No," Kingsbury answered. "And all of the data from the ALRS was wiped from their computers or if it was on paper, it was burned. I figured it was you doing it, so I went ahead and called one of your old friends." A large knife was suddenly thrust through Rook's left shoulder. She swore, spinning around as the knife was yanked out. A man hung from the ceiling, the knife part of his metal left arm. Three bullets shot from her gun-arm, hitting him. He swung to and fro for a moment, then collapsed to the floor in a heap. Rook spun again to see Kingsbury running towards the door opening in the wall. "I'll see you in Hell, old man!" Rook shouted as she shot another bullet. It went through Kingsbury's head, dropping him in an instant. She walked over and emptied all the rest of the round into him. Staggering slightly, she made her way over to Kingsbury's computer and accessed the mainframe. She typed in a command. 'Activate self-destruct program.' PLEASE VERIFY COMMAND. 'Activate self-destruct program.' PLEASE VERIFY PASSWORD. 'w-a-l-t-e-r.' PASSWORD INCORRECT. Rook swore. "What's the password now!?" "M-y-p-a-w-n." The man who had been lying on the floor pushed himself into a sitting position and leaned back against the wall. "He changed the password after the first sightings of you. I must say, it's nice to see you again, Rook." "I thought you had died a couple years ago, Bishop," Rook said, typing in 'm-y-p-a-w-n'. PASSWORD CONFIRMED. SET TIME LIMIT. '30 minutes.' CONFIRMED. On every computer screen in the spacestation showed the same message that played over the intercom. "Attention all personnel and passengers. This spacestation will self-destruct in 30 minutes. Please evacuate in the escape pods in hangers D1, D2, D3, D4 and D5. This is not a drill. I repeat. . ." Rook found the file she wanted and opened it. At the top of the screen read, "Info on the ALRS(Artificial Limb ReplacementS)". She pulled a disc off of the chain and inserted the disc into the copying hard drive. DISC IN COPY HARD DRIVE. SELECT AMOUNT OF DATA TO COPY. Rook tapped a few more keys. COPY ALL DATA? 'Yes.' CONFIRMED. STANDBY. At almost the same time the copying was done, the intercom said, "25 minutes until self-destruction." Rook crooked her right arm and slid a bullet into a small space that appeared. She straightened her arm and listened to the bullet slide into the chamber. She typed in a new command. DELETE ALL DATA? 'Yes.' CONFIRMED. Rook set the disc on the desk and set the muzzle of the gun-arm against the disc. She fired, shattering the disc into tiny fragments. "20 minutes until self-destruction." Somehow, she made her way to the wall that Bishop leaned against and slumped down. She sighed, rummaging slowly in her pocket with her metal hand. She found a crumpled pack of cigarettes and offered it to Bishop. He took one, then lit Rook's cigarette then his own. "Know of any other places that has data?" Rook asked after blowing out smoke. "If you thought I did, would we be sitting here smoking?" "Good point." "15 minutes until self-destruction. "You could still get out if you wanted to, Bishop." "What, and outlive you? Not happening." They lit new cigarettes as the intercom blared out, "10 minutes until self-destruction." "So what happened to Queen and Knight?" Rook asked. "Queen died on a mission, and Knight was killed as soon as he got back from one. Tried to warn the fool, but he didn't seem to care." "Maybe Kingsbury was right," she said musingly. "Maybe we have outlived our purpose. He probably just wanted to get his death over and done with." "Still an idiot." "5 minutes until self-destruction." "Remember those chess games we would play?" Bishop asked. "Yeah." "We never quite finished that one, because you got sent on a mission. And you didn't come back. . ." "That's right. But you know how it would have ended." Rook glanced over at Bishop, but his head was slumped on his chest, a thin trail of smoke still drifting upward from his cigarette. She smiled and leaned back, closing her eyes. "Checkmate." The word slipped from between her lips as she fell over onto his shoulder. "10 seconds. 9, 8, 7, 6. . ." "I loved you." The words escaped on her last breath. The spacestation exploded. ~FINIS~ wrote this a while back. wanted to try and write something with a sci-fi feel to it. my mom complained that I needed to flesh it out and add some background. but for me, it's just one of those stories that I only have so much information with it. I kind of mentally talk to my characters when I write stories. when I tried to add some more, Rook and Bishop refused to tell me any more, and did a coup d'etat. so, here is the story in it's entirety. hope you enjoyed part of it at least.
  7. WOW! finished reading this, and I enjoyed it very much! glad to see everything turn out really well! please keep up the good work!
  8. wow. I really like this, cause dreams are something I find myself trying to write about a lot too. one thing tho'. the three line stanzas are a little awkward for me, probably because I'm used to four liners. so I was having a little trouble reading it, because I couldn't figure out the flow of the words, if that makes any sense. still, really good!
  9. FLYING WITH THE DAWN The few minutes before dawn. I stand on the cliff, wings stretched behind me. As the sky lightens, I can see the mist shrouding the trees below the cliff, the mountains in the distance as if they are trying to touch the sky. The sky is painted with dusty rose, pale pink, yellow-white, and blue ranging from pale to midnight as the stars vanish. The sun appears, bringing with it a breeze that ruffles my wing feathers. I run forward and dive off the cliff. The wind blows my hair and clothes up and fills my wings. As the treetops loom into view, I move my wings down in a stroke that sends me upward. A few more strokes sends me into an air current which takes me higher still. A joy fills me, and I spin several times with gladness before straightening out. I wave to a flock of geese which head past me to where I came from. They honk in return, knowing I mean them no harm. I spread my arms out as I sigh happily. The trees flash by below me, and the mountains come closer. I had been gliding, now I flap my wings and catch another air current that takes me high enough to go over the mountains. Beyond them, the sea looms into view. I smell the salt air, and fly for a few minutes by some seagulls. The ocean is beautiful with the dawn's light reflected. Beyond the reflection, the water turns deep blue green. I glide down and fly just over the water for a few moments. Close to the shore, the underlying sand is in view, but it goes further down until it vanishes into the glassy green depths. The winds blow me up higher, and I turn around, not wanting to go too far out to sea. Now I can see more clearly the small cove I had passed. As I go over the mountains, I go low enough to snatch a handful of snow and scatter it as I fly higher. I spot an eagle as I swoop down, snatching a fish from the river. He will eat good this morning. I angle my flight slightly, so as to stay above the waterfall when I come to it. I hear the waterfall before I see it. Water crashing down from a great height, hitting the rocks and creating a great pool before it rejoins the river. I fly through the rainbow at the top of the cliff, before turning slightly to take me home. I hover above the ground for a moment before landing. As I pull my wings around me to warm me slightly, I glance over to the sunrise. It has finished clearing the horizon. A steady beeping intrudes. I open my eyes to see the sunrise from my bedroom window. I sit up in my familiar bed, and hit the button on my familiar alarm clock. I sigh heftily. That beautiful place I had flown in now felt strange and foreign to me. After all, it was only a dream of flying with the dawn. ~End~ a very short story, I know. but I've always been fascinated with the idea of having wings and flying, therefore the story you just read. I only wish I COULD have dreams that vivid. I don't know if there are mountains that close to the ocean, and if a person could actually do the things I described, but after all it's fantasy, right? anything can happen.
  10. Sora was panting hard, and almost fell from the sky. Xiao caught her, cautioning, "Don't push yourself too hard." The Wind Rider nodded, and flew down to where she had left her bag, now where some of the pennites had set up a first aid station. She found and gulped down a fireflower potion, it leaving a slightly spicy aftertaste in her mouth. She turned towards the advancing zombies, and making sure no other pennites were near, blew. A huge stream of fire shot forward, turning lots of zombies into ash. As the fire died down, she looked up and caught Blackjack as he fell from the sky, back to his normal form of a beagle. "okay. . .i'm tired," he wheezed. Sora set him down and set a large juicy sausage near his mouth where he could eat without too much effort. "Yue!" Yue became a huge brown wolf with a pearl-white horn on top of her head, and snarled as she hurled herself at the zombies. Sora gulped down a sundew potion, and felt her strength returning. She still chose to sit for a few minutes, and eat something. OOC: nice thing about zombies, there's always lots of them to kill. My pets are gonna continue fighting, unless the Necromancer is killed before I get back on. In which case, they'll change back to normal, and we can celebrate, or whatever's gonna happen afterwards.
  11. sorry, Da Yoq. I was copying it off of the paper I had originally written it on, and accidentally put 'see' instead of 'hear'. I fixed it though, so it should hopefully sound better.
  12. very rich with descriptions! found this when I was browsing, and it left me wondering more about this mysterious captain. gonna write more?
  13. Blackjack nudged at Sora, who had fallen asleep at her desk. "whuza?" Sora said, sitting up suddenly. She had just been dreaming that her geometry teacher had been poking her with a knife. "we gota trim yer claws soon. so wassup?" "I'm smelling zombies," Blackjack informed her. "The entire keep seems in an uproar," Xiao informed her. "I sent Jackie to find out what it is." Jackie suddenly came hurtling up the stairs. "Zombies are comin'!" She quickly outlined what was happening. Sora shoved herself off the desk and went flying across the room to land in front of the closet. She changed into her battel outfit, grabbed her staff of many weapons, and a bag. "C'mon, guys!" She guzzled down the leftover root beer in her bottle and ran out the door next to the bookshelves. Once out in midair, a wind caught her and all of her pets, taking them to in front of the keep. "Something this big, sure we don't need to transform?" Yue asked. "Fine. Xiao, Jackie, Blackjack, you three only. This is gonna be a long fight, and we're gonna need reserves," Sora answered, glancing at the zombies which were coming in sight. Xiao slowly turned into a white lion-like cat at least ten feet high. Jackie became a silver wolf the same height and Blackjack became a cross between a wolf and a tiger, with a black wolf's body and a tiger's head and silver stripes. The three of them took off towards the zombies, and started tearing with claws and teeth. "Kikuyu, hurry up and rescue your sister. We'll hold them off in the meantime," Sora thought as she awakened the power deep inside her. A power that she had not needed in a long time. Huge grey wings tore from her back and her eyes turned silver with slitted blue pupils. She took off for the sky, reaching into her bag for holy water bombs. As she launched the first one at the zombies, she smiled despite the danger. It had been a long time since she had had a good workout. OOC: no idea when I'll be able to post next, but we'll be working at keeping the minions of evil out of the keep. if some get inside so others can post about killing them, fine by me.
  14. Before you read this first one, THIS IS NOT FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE!!!!! I had thought of the phrase at the end a while back, and thought it would make a good title or topic! I thought like an old married couple, but one of them dies from an illness, and the one still alive knows that they'll probably be dying soon too from old age or something. Please do not think that I'm going to commit suicide or anything!! I have no intention of ever doing so!!! I am perfectly fine except for some slight allergies from all the pollen. "The End of Time" written 5/15/08 The silver hands on your watch have stopped and move no more. The grains in your hourglass have long since finished falling. You left me alone so long ago. I've wandered without your love. So many memories, should I forget? The way you would hold and comfort me. Time forever shall be a harsh and cruel master. Man's bodies dull with age, growing weaker each passing day. I come to join you soon, together forever in death. And I shall never forget what you said with a last breath: "I'll be waiting for you at the end of time. . ." "Gilt Cages" written 5/17/08 We live in societies hindered by prejudice blinded by greed and fueled by hate. Unable to see what's in front of us, afraid of what we will see. Unable to hear what's in front of us, afraid of what we will hear. Accepting things for what we wish them to be, not seeing them as they really are. Afraid of consequences, we say nothing and look away. We pretend everything is better than they really are. In effect, we all are nothing more than thousands of birds in gilt cages. "Wind's Song" written 6/9/08 If you listen hard, can you hear the words to the songs of the wind? Where they've been, what they've seen, where they're going in the future. Of the past, of the future, and all the people that they've met. If I listen hard, maybe I'll hear the words to the songs of the wind. "Sailor Man" 6/10/08 Tell me, O sailor man, is the sea your only love? With all her mysteries hidden within her murky depths? Wild and stormy, or peaceful and calm, the sea is a very quick-tempered love. Men have lost before to their love of she, the one who beckons them away from the safety of the shore. Beware, O sailor man, of the dangers of the depths. Tho' they may look alluring with the promises of treasure. For they also conceal the bodies of those who have tried and failed. So beware, O you sailor man. A bonus for all of you who've read this far. I found this scribbled down on a piece of paper in the back of my desk, a couple years old. Can anyone tell me what I might have been thinking when I wrote this? (sarcasm at work, you don't need to try to figure it out) It's amazing that it rhymes, but is it supposed to be something that dragons or birds teach their kids before they learn how to fly? Flying high, soaring low, that's the way I must go. Spread my wings, check the breeze, make sure that the air won't freeze. Jumping off, shouting loud, I will make my parents proud. Flying high, soaring low, that's the way I must go.
  15. wrote this while I was cooking, somehow. not sure if you'll like it or not, but I'll give it a try. here goes. . . PRIDE The wind's lonely cries and the monster's howls form a mournful dirge, sweep 'cross the land. The land is barren, no home, plant or tree. Not a bird to be seen, nor a song to be sung. Oh, human pride, how you have shamed us! Enslaved, prejudiced, glorified, and now you've destroyed us! The monsters created from nightmares and dreams now all draw nigh, circle where I lay. The last of the humans in a land we've destroyed with creations and war, but ultimately, pride.
  16. somehow, this must be some alternate version of the Korean War? Also, if I even partially offend anyone with the way I refer to African-Americans or Koreans, I very deeply apologize! I didn't know how to phrase it any other way. but I hope you enjoy it. THE M.A.S.H. UNIT 3055 Dedicated to my grandfathers, who were both soldiers. One is still with us, while the other is gone. Thank you. I felt someone shaking my shoulder and swatted at him with one hand then rolled over, pulling my blanket up over my head. He continued shaking one shoulder. I mumbled almost incoherently, “If ye ain’t bloody outta ‘ere by th’ time I count t’ 2, I’m gonna take yer tonsils out through yer ear an’ yer appendix out through yer fat mouth.” “Boy, Brit, are you sure your parents weren’t drunk when they named you?” It’s a well-known joke around camp that my parents must have been drunk when they named me Angela. The reason being: with my attitude, mouth and temper, I am definitely no angel. Which brings me back to the jerk who kept trying to wake me up. I cracked an eye open and let the face of Ryan O’Brien come into focus. He’s a good kid, but he can be really annoying when he wants to be. 19 years old, 5’9”, and a Sergeant, he’s got brown hair and eyes, not to mention a job as the Commanding Officer’s Secretary. “Colonel Smith wants to see you in his office right away,” he said. “Tell ‘im t’ take a number an’ get in line,” I muttered into my pillow. “I’ve got at least an ‘alf dozen dreams waitin’ fer me, an’ I’m givin’ ‘em first priority.” “Please, Brit, he says it’s urgent.” I growled and threw off my blanket, managing to hit Ryan right in the face. Considering my eyelids felt like lead, thus my eyes being half-shut, I had to feel for my boots. Ryan found them and handed them to me. As I shoved my feet into socks I had left in my boots, then pulled on the boots themselves, I muttered, “Ye know ye’ll prob’bly be finding’ something soft an’ squishy in yer cot soon.” If Ryan heard me, he ignored it. When I stood up, he stood waiting with comb and jacket. “Don’t glare at me like that,” he protested. “It’s cool outside, so you’ll be wanting your jacket. And if you comb your hair, that’ll be one less thing for Major Packard to yell at you about.” “When does Moneybags not complain ‘bout one thing or ‘nother?” I walked to the mirror that was on the central post that held the tent up. Bloodshot eyes stared back at me. I dragged the comb through the tangles in my short blonde hair, one or twice. I dropped the comb back onto a shelf and pulled my jacket on, then stalked outside. A blast of cold air hit me, immediately reversing my attempts to straighten my hair. “Told you it was cold out here,” Ryan remarked. “Gee, I wonder why.” I always felt sarcastic when tired. “It’s only eight in th’ morning in April.” I marched off to the C.O.’s office, dodging holes in the ground, jeeps and the other members of the 3055 M.A.S.H. unit. Upon reaching the office, I stormed in, barely noticing the young man sitting in the outer office by Ryan’s desk. Colonel Alan Smith almost always wears a plaid golf cap to cover the large bald spot on the top of his head, surrounded by a fringe of graying hair. At the moment, he was polishing a gold club. “Hiya, Brit,” he said, blowing off a speck of dust. “What do you think of my new driver?” “I could bloody care less,” I growled, dropping into a chair. “What d’ya want?” “Well, we’ve got a new surgeon, Keith Olsen,” Alan said, setting his club down. “And I need someone to show him around, introduce him to everyone.” “No bloody way!” I almost shouted. “I’ve gotten five ‘ours o’ sleep after two ruddy shifts! I’m not gonna give a tour o’ this blasted place t’ some wet-be’ind-th’-ears rookie!” “He’s the nephew of Brigadier General Moore,” Alan began, but I cut him off. “Then let Moneybags show th’ kid around! ‘E’s always tryin’ t’ get closer t’ th’ ‘higher-ups, let’s give ‘im some ‘elp!” “He could get you discharged!” “’Allelujah!” I hollered, jumping to my feet. “I’ll go get ‘im right now!” “Brit, sit down!” Alan said loudly. I glared at him, but sat down. He took a deep breath and began again. “Lieutenant Olsen has only worked in a regular hospital, before he was drafted. This is the first place he’s been assigned.” “Oh, joy,” I muttered, closing my eyes and leaning back. Alan nodded. “Exactly. You’re the only person I can think of who won’t build up the kid’s ideals. If he’s going to survive, he needs to get used to things here and fast.” “Moneybags would just give ‘im some speech about us bein’ ‘ere t’ stem th’ tide of th’ advancing’ enemy army.” “So you see my problem,” Alan said with relief. “Naturally, but I don’t see why it ‘as t’ be me,” I replied. “Quite frankly, I think that Crow could do just as good a job.” He smiled. “Crow is on shift.” “O’ course.” “Brit, I’m ordering you to do it!” “In that case, I must refuse.” Ryan picked that moment to stick his head in and announce, “Lieutenant Olsen says he’s getting hungry and is asking if you could hurry it up.” I stood up, marched into the outer office and got my first look at Lieutenant Keith Olsen. He’s about 5’6”, with auburn hair and big brown eyes that made me think of a puppy. “Where’s yer baggage?” I barked. He blinked, surprised. “In my tent.” “Brit, hold up a minute!” Alan called, stepping into the office. “I don’t need you scaring away the new guy. Lieutenant Keith Olsen, this is Captain Angela Howard, known around here as Brit, because of her British accent.” “I’m stuck wi’ showing ye around, so let’s go,” I said, starting towards the door. “Be nice, Brit,” Alan called after me. Once back out in the cold, I started over to the mess tent, to be perfectly honest, not really caring if Olsen was following me or not. Then I passed two people I recognized, but ignored, until one of them called to me. “Howard! Get back here!” I turned around but made no move towards ‘Moneybags’ Rick Packard or ‘B.B.’ Bianca Brown. Moneybags’ hair was graying elegantly and his beard might also, except that he shaved almost constantly. B.B. always kept her light brown hair in a tight braid and was quite attractive, despite being in her early thirties. “Captain Howard, you didn’t salute us,” B.B. said. “So?” I inquired. “We are Majors, and you are only a Captain!” Moneybags snapped. “Military protocol says. . .” “Captain Howard!” The menace from Rookieland had caught up with me. “I almost lost you for a minute there.” “Howard, who is this?” B.B. asked. I inwardly sighed as I did the introductions. “Lieutenant Keith Olsen, th’ new surgeon ‘ere, this is Majors Packard and Brown, th’ pair that ‘ell itself spat back out.” At this statement, Moneybags’ face turned pure crimson. For a minute, I thought he might breathe fire. “Lieutenant Olsen, I would suggest that you stay away from Captain Howard as much as possible,” B.B. said in a tight voice. “Her behavior might rub off on you.” “Her behavior?” Olsen asked hesitantly. “Yes,” Moneybags said in a strangled-sounding voice. “Almost continuous lack of respect for superior officers, continuously being out of uniform. . . “ I cut him off. “Y’know, Moneybags, I could bloody care less if ye wanted all o’ us t’ wear cocktail dresses and prance around in ‘igh ‘eels drinkin’ martinis! Tho’ I daresay ye might look good like that.” His face turned even more red. I hadn’t thought that possible. “I’m only ‘ere because I opened a letter from th’ government that I ‘oped was my income tax return. I ‘adn’t paid my taxes yet, but I can still dream, can’t I?” Olsen looked as if he might burst out laughing, while the other two glared at me. “Th’ only ones ‘o care anything’ about ‘military respect’ are you two, so get used to it,” I finished. “When we finish our reports to General Moore, you will be discharged,” Moneybags said. “We’ll see how smart your mouth is then!” “Bless ya, sah,” I said with my best Southern accent. “I could give ya a big ole kiss!” Moneybags scurried off, shuddering, B.B. following him. Olsen burst out laughing as soon as they were out of sight. I glared at him, then said, “C’mon, Puppy.” “Puppy?” he said. “Yeah, every time I look at ye, I’m reminded o’ a puppy. So, c’mon, Puppy, I’m hungry.” We arrived at the mess tent, where the not-quite-so delicious smells of cooked slop reached our nostrils. “Hey, Brit!” Maxine Huddleston called. African-American, she was a Lieutenant and one of the nurses. “I thought you were gonna sleep for a week?” Hank Beddoes teased. A Sergeant, he grew his reddish-brown hair shaggily, just to annoy the Majors. “Duty calls,” I replied. “This’s Lieutenant Keith Olsen, th’ rookie. Puppy, this’s Sergeant ‘Ank Beddoes an’ Lieutenant Maxine ‘Uddleston.” “Hello, “ Puppy said. “If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to get me some food.” “Get me some too, Puppy, “ I said, flopping down next to Maxine. “Puppy?” Maxine asked as he moved to the chow line. “Doesn’t ‘is eyes remind ye o’ a puppy?” I asked. “Al stuck me wi’ th’ job o’ showin’ ‘im around.” “Never figured you for a babysitter,” Hank grinned. “Why don’t ye go poison yerself on th’ food?” I suggested rudely. “Nah, I’ve eaten so much of it that I’ve grown immune to it.” Puppy returned with two trays of slop. I took a bite, grimaced and reached for the salt. The door to the tent opened, letting in a blast of cold air, along with another person. “Close th’ bloody door!” I yelled, past the point of caring who I offended. Then again, when did I care? “Thought you were going to sleep for a week,” said Su Young, sitting down across from me. Korean and petite, she was a corporal, and much stronger-willed than she looked. “She got stuck with baby-sitting duty.” Hank cut in before I could say anything, jerking his thumb at Puppy. “Lieutenant Keith Olsen,” he said, shaking her hand. “Corporal Su Young Kim.” “Did you just get off duty?” Maxine inquired. She had gotten up and got a cup of coffee. Su Young accepted it with a grateful nod. “Yeah,” she said, stirring in a large amount of sugar. “Crow and Cheryl should be here in a bit. Jethro got stuck with the Major Horrors.” Everyone groaned, except for Puppy, who said, “Who?” “Moneybags and B.B.,” I answered, finishing my food. “I take it no one likes them.” “That’s putting it mildly,” Maxine said. “Where did they get their nicknames?” “We call him ‘Moneybags’ because he’s actually very rich,” Hank said. “Though where he got it with all the malpractice he puts in is beyond me.” “B.B. thinks her nickname is from her initials, Bianca Brown,” Su Young said, smiling. “But actually, it’s from the initials of Beauty and the Beast.” Puppy grinned widely as the door opened again. In came two more people, Captain Jack ‘Crow’ Thompson and Lieutenant Cheryl Goodwinter. Crow was 6’3”, skinny as a rail and looked like a scarecrow, with black hair, high cheekbones and brown skin that came from his Cherokee heritage. Cheryl was slightly on the plump side and blonde, with a smile and attitude that could charm an alligator. (Maybe that was why the Major Horrors didn’t yell at her very much.) I introduced them to Puppy as they sat at our table with their trays of slop. “Where’d you get your nickname?” Puppy asked. “It’s short for ‘Scarecrow’, because that’s what he looks like,” Cheryl answered. “Before I forget, me and Jethro got the still going again,” Hank said quietly. “Anyone want to join us tonight?” “Still?” Puppy said. “Distillery,” Hank clarified. The rookie still looked lost, so Crow said, “In other words, they make booze in their tent.” Puppy’s eyes looked like they were going to bulge right out of their sockets. “Get used t’ it, kid,” I told him. “Th’ 3055 is made up mostly o’ th’ people ‘o were considered too lazy, crazy or drunk t’ serve anywhere else. We’re stationed close to th’ front, so we don’t ‘ave t’ worry about bein’ perfect wi’ our surgeries, just enough t’ keep ‘em alive an’ t’ let someone else do th’ finishin’ touches. So we’re bound t’ ‘ave some weirdness here.” There was a short pause, then Hank said, “Brit, I never knew you were one to make speeches.” I glared at him and said, “Drop dead.” Over the speakers, we heard Ryan’s voice, along with the sounds of helicopters. “All personnel, report immediately to surgery. Incoming wounded on choppers. I repeat. . .” Everyone sighed and stood up, heading out to the surgery. “C’mon, Puppy,” I said, turning up the collar of my coat. As Crow left the tent ahead of me, I heard him say to Hank, “Puppy?” A blast of cold air drowned out Hank’s reply. We were about an hour into surgeries. Puppy was holding up fairly well, Moneybags and B.B. were doing their usual malpractice, and Maxine was assisting me with a patient. All around us was the chatter of the operating room. “Gimme a scalpel.” “Scalpel.” “Clamp and suture.” “Clamp and suture.” “I asked for 3-oh silk, not cat’s gut!” Moneybags bellowed at Jethro. Corporal Jethro Shaw is a tall African-American, with a Southern accent and a sense of humor. His sense of humor disappears whenever the Majors are around. They have that effect on people. “Why don’t ye use t’ sew Moneybags’ mouth shut?” I called. “I need some suction, Max.” “Colonel Smith, did you hear that!?” Moneybags demanded. “Direct insubordination!” “Give me a lap sponge, Su Young,” Alan said. “Packard, will you just ignore her for the time being? We’ve got a lot of wounded soldiers out there.” I huffed softly into my mask as I finished my patient. “Direct insubordination, my foot.” A new patient was wheeled in as I got clean scrubs. I glanced around. “Jethro, give me a hand here with the local!” Jethro hurried over and prepared to give the man anesthesia, when the man jerked away. “I don’t want any darkie touching me,” he snarled. Puppy’s new patient glared at Su Young, who had come over to help. “And I don’t want any gooks near me.” Puppy snapped, “Sucks to be you. They’re the nurses here, so deal with it!” “I don’t care,” his patient said. “Ye’d better care!” I said. “Why?” my patient argued. “They are soldiers and people just like you. They are trained nurses, and without them, a lot of people would be dead,” I told him, staring him in the eye. “Your point being?” I then saw the pained looks on Jethro, Su Young and Maxine’s faces. I exploded, slamming my fist against the gurney, almost causing it to collapse. “I don’t bloody care if ye’re a soldier or th’ President hisself!” I yelled. “While ye’re here, ye will shut up an’ treat these people wi’ courtesy! That goes fer alla ye! Now either shut yer yaps an’ take th’ bloody anesthesia so we can work, or I’ll load yer sorry butts back onta th’ chopper an’ dump ye right inna ongoin’ war zone!! Got it?!” The two soldiers reluctantly took the local. I held my hand out to Maxine. “Gimme th’ ruddy scalpel.” “Colonel-” B.B. began. “Stuff it, B.B.,” I snarled. “Ye can worry about th’ court martial or whatever later. Let’s finish these idiots first. Pickups.” She chose to be quiet as she handed Crow the long fingers. Maxine leaned over as she used the suction. “Thank you,” she whispered. I smiled slightly under my mask as I pulled out some shrapnel. I was able to eat a late supper in the mess tent. Puppy sat down across from me. “Nice speech back there,” he commented. “Shut up,” I said as I devoured something that might have been a chicken of turkey leg at one point. “Speakin’ o’ which, I’ll admit to bein’ a bit surprised when ye snapped at th’ one jerk. I thought ye were th’ quiet type.” “Normally, yeah,” he answered, snitching one of my peas. “I guess I just acted without thinking. I’m usually more polite, because that’s how I was raised, plus the fact that I like to be on people’s good side.” “Ye think too much,” I told him bluntly. “I was also surprised at ‘ow well ye ‘eld up.” “Every break I had, I went outside and threw my guts up,” he said wryly. “Still, you waited until you were outside to do so,” Crow said, dropping into the seat next to him. “That’s better than I did.” “I thought ye an’ Cheryl were ‘aving a rendezvous in th’ supply tent,” I said, raising an eyebrow. “She wanted to take care of something first,” he answered, glancing at his watch. “I’ve got five minutes.” “’Ank’s invitation sounds good, but I feel ready t’ drop,” I said, finishing my coleslaw. “Just hope we don’t get another rookie tomorrow,” Crow grinned. I groaned. “Ye get th’ next one.” Alan came in. “You better be grateful, Brit. I just barely kept Packard and Brown from pressing charges against you for your earlier behavior.” “An’ ‘ere I thought I could finally go ‘ome,” I complained, taking a sip of my coffee. Alan sat down next to me. “Although, quite frankly, I think you did the right thing.” “She’s all heart,” Puppy teased. I drained my coffee mug and stood up, feeling the beginning of a blush on my cheeks. “Just shut up,” I said, and headed to the door. “See you tomorrow. . .Brit,” Puppy called. I raised my hand as I headed to my bed. Good night, Gracie. FIN
  17. finally, my first chance to get on the internet since November!! well, here's the rest of the story. hope you enjoyed it. anyone have an idea for the name of the church?
  18. He walked out of the room, muttering to himself almost like a madman. The doctor watched him wander down the hallway, before gathering up his tools and his bag. He gave specific instructions to the maid and the housekeeper about care for the mother and the babies, then went downstairs, shaking his head. "I've called for your car to be brought around, Doctor," the butler said. "Might I be so bold as to inquire after the mistress and her child?" "Mrs. Takuma should be fine as long as she gets plenty of rest," replied the doctor. "The babies are perfectly healthy. It's Mr. Takuma I'd worry about." The butler escorted the doctor out to his car, holding an umbrella over their heads in an attempt to ward off some of the rain. As the car pulled away from the mansion, the doctor glanced back as lightning lit up the front of the building, and he sighed heavily. 17 years later . . . "This is Amelia Goodwinter, reporting to you live from outside ******* Church, where the multi-millionaire, Seiichi Takuma, has just married Victoria Widehardt, a famous movie star and a millionaire in her own right. And. . . Ah! Here come the happy couple themselves!" Reporters mobbed the bride and groom on their way down the church steps. They had to push their way through the crowd and to their limousine, climbing in and driving away. Takuma sighed as he sank back into the seat cushions. "To the airport, sir?" the chauffeur asked. "Yes," Takuma answered. He thought, Well, that's over and done with. The seer said that marrying Victoria would bring more money to my business. So I should be feeling happy. But why do I feel like something bad is going to happen? "So where's your daughter?" Victoria asked. "Carmen? Oh, she's at home." "Are you sure she'll be fine by herself while we're on our honeymoon?" "Perfectly fine. She is 17 after all." Victoria gazed shrewdly up at her new husband. She knew perfectly well that he had married her only for her money. But she still intended to have some fun with his money. Carmen was standing in front of a Japanese-style house, with sliding paper doors and a koi pond in the yard. She could see someone by the koi pond, their back to her. Long white hair hung down their back, and they wore a black Japanese kimono. "Excuse me, but. . ." Carmen started to say, but was cut off by a huge gust of wind. "Why?" a female voice asked. The words were quiet, but heard over the wind. "Why was it only you?" Carmen suddenly sat up, wide awake. She looked around before she finally remembered why she was asleep in the middle of the day. She had come back after the wedding and fallen asleep after a hot shower. That evening during dinner, she asked the housekeeper, Mrs. Fergus, "Do we have a summer home or something like that? It'd be Japanese-style. "Yes, your family owns a summer home in the mountains," Mrs. Fergus replied. "Why do you ask?" "I'm gonna stay there for a couple weeks. It's summer vacation, and Father's on his honeymoon, so he won't miss me." "Are you sure it's wise to make that decision without your father's permission?" "Yes, I am!" And with that, it was settled. Carmen stared in awe. The house looked very similar to the one in her dreams. The red-tiled roof sloped down to overshadow the walkways that wound around the house. A pebbled path led from the house to the koi. A bamboo fence was around the yard, boxing it in. A Japanese maple stood in the yard, while trees surrounded the house, spreading to the evergreen forest that covered the mountain. As Carmen wandered over to the pond, she caught a glimpse of something white out of the corner of her eye. She turned quickly, but it was only the dress of one of the maids. As she lay awake in bed that night, she heard the wind blowing outside. She rolled over, then she saw it. The silhoutte of a person with long hair against the paper doors. Carmen jumped out of bed and hurried to the door, yanking it open. There was no one on the walkway, but the person in her dream was standing by the pond. A sudden gust of wind caused her to raise her arm to protect her eyes from the dirt that was blown up. When she lowered her arm, the person was gone. The rest of the week passed without event. On Sunday, it was raining the whole day. Carmen sat on the walkway, watching the raindrops casting ripples on the pond. She sighed. "Miss?" a maid asked, approaching her with a tray. "Would you care for some tea?" "Yes, thank you," Carmen replied. She accepted a china cup full of dark aromatic liquid. After taking a sip, she asked, "I was wondering, near the back of the house, there's a room with a padlock. What's it used for?" "I'm not really sure, miss, but I'm told it was an old storage room that's become unsafe. So they keep it locked up so no one will get hurt." "I see." The maid was called back to the kitchen, and Carmen was left alone again. She finished the tea, and set the cup to the side. She suddenly turned her head, for she saw someone at the end of the hall. Someone with long white hair and dressed in a black kimono. Carmen leapt to her feet, and ran after the person. Always several steps ahead of her, the person led her through the halls. After turning a corner, she stopped. The person had disappeared. The hall dead-ended at the pad-locked door, but the padlock was lying on the floor, and the room was ajar. Swallowing hard, Carmen reached out, took hold of the doorknob, and pulled the door open. It was a large room, with smooth white clay walls and tatami mats on the floor. There were no windows, only a single light in the middle of the ceiling. Several boxes were stacked in a corner, and that was were Carmen went. She knelt down by the first box and opened it. It was filled with kimonos, but all of them were black. All of the boxes, save one, had clothes in them. The last box was small and shallow. It contained only a cheap-looking hairbrush and comb, and a few hair ribbons. "What is all of this?"Carmen wondered aloud. "It's my things," a voice said from behind her. She spun around to see the person in the kimono. Now that she saw them from the front, she could tell that it was a woman. "Who are you?" Carmen demanded, standing up. The woman walked towards her, saying, "The name I was given was Ryoko. Who I am, however, is something different." In the dim light, Carmen could see a pair of black, light-less eyes staring at her from a face exactly identical to her own. The breath caught in her throat. Her vision was blurring as her lungs screamed for air. . . Carmen's body fell to the floor as the light faded from her eyes. Ryoko walked over to her and touched her cheek. Carmen's skin began to glow faintly. Ryoko slowly grew a few inches, her hair turned black, and her eyes changed slightly. Carmen's body dissolved to dust and vanished. Ryoko looked around the room slowly. "So this is what the room looks like. The room where they locked me in every night for 13 years!" She pulled out a switchblade from inside her kimono sleeve and held it in her right hand while she took hold of a handful of hair in her left hand. She sliced through her hair, letting it drop to the floor. Several minutes later, there was a large pile of hair on the floor, while Ryoko's hair now hung at about shoulder-length. "I always hated having long hair, but they never would let me cut it," she said as she took off her kimono. She changed into the T-shirt and jeans that Carmen had worn, which were the only things left to prove that she had been there. She left the room, her kimono and cut hair still on the floor. Closing the door, she padlocked it again. "Miss, what are you doing here?" Ryoko turned to see the maid, and smiled. "I just needed to use the bathroom." She gestured to a door close by. "Oh, I see. Excuse me, please," the maid said, turning and leaving. Later, she wondered why Miss Carmen hadn't used the restroom closer to the walkway. And had her hair been quite that long? Two days later, Takuma stormed into the house, Victoria close behind him. "Carmen, just what did you think you were doing, coming here without my permission?!" he shouted at Ryoko, who was standing by the koi pond. Ryoko stepped up onto the walkway and turned to Victoria. "Victoria, not to be rude or anything, but could I ask you to wait in the car? I'd like to speak to Father in private." "Sure thing, kiddo," was the reply as Victoria left. "Carmen-" Takuma stopped mid-sentence, as Ryoko smiled at him, a smile that for some reason, sent a chill down his spine. "I wanted to show you something very interesting that I found. Come this way." Ryoko led Takuma through the halls, back to the pad-locked room. She opened the door and walked into the room. Takuma, however, froze in the doorway as soon as he saw the room. "Carmen, how did you?" "Is this why you never wanted Carmen to come here, even after four years ago?" Ryoko asked. "You were afraid she would find out that she had a twin sister." Takuma gasped. "Ryoko!? But how?! You're supposed to be dead!!" "Yes, I know," Ryoko said, putting her hands in her pockets as she smiled. "Four years ago, just after Mother died, I came down with a cold which steadily got worse. And I did die. But one thing I've always wondered: why did you separate me and Carmen just after we were born? And why was I raised here, while Carmen was raised as your only child and heir?" "Because of the seer!" Takuma blurted out. "She told me before you were born, that the child who was born blind would kill me one day. She said that the child was cursed, and that I should have it killed! But I didn't want the blood of my own child on my hands, so I decided to let you live. . ." "How was this living!?" Ryoko shouted. "A life without being able to make one choice by myself! A secluded life in a secluded house! A room where the caretaker locked me in every night! A yard with a tall fence so I couldn't wander away into the forest! I couldn't do anything on my own until after I died!" "Then why aren't you dead!?" Takuma yelled. "Because of Carmen," Ryoko said. "As long as she was alive, I couldn't properly die." "What have you done to her?" "Would you like to talk to her?" Ryoko smiled. She blinked and said, "Hello, Father." Takuma sighed. It was Carmen's voice! "Come on, Carmen. Let's go home," he said, holding out his hand. "Y'know, Dad, I didn't really notice until the past couple years, but my life has been rather similar to Ryoko's," Carmen said. "You raised me strictly, never letting me out of your sight for very long. I was never allowed any friends, or the opportunity to make many choices of my own." "She's brainwashed you!" Takuma declared. "No. All Ryoko did was fix a mistake. We were supposed to be one person, not two." "What?" "We're not quite sure how it happened, but somehow, the one child that was supposed to be born separated into two people. Ryoko fixed that. It might have happened sooner, if it wasn't for your fear that kept us apart." "How dare you talk to me that way!" Takuma shouted. "I'll talk to you any way I like," Ryoko said, coming to the surface as she pulled her switchblade from her pocket and flipped the blade out. She charged at Takuma, shouting, "After all, you're the one who made our lives hell!" Before he could react, the blade plunged into his gut. Takuma slumped to the floor, blood pooling under him. Carmen came to the surface, and padded silently down the hall and to a hall closet. The house was quiet, as she had sent the servants away that morning. She pulled a gasoline can out of the closet and smiled. Victoria leaned against the limousine. She was bored, and simply wanted to go home and take a nap. But no, Seiichi just had to come here and fight with his daughter, she thought. Carmen's 17 now, for crying out loud! She's basically an adult! Come to think of it, when Seiichi heard she was up here, his face turned white. He looked like he had seen a ghost of something. An explosion cut off her chain of thought. From where she stood, she could see flames licking at the roof of the house. "Call 911!" she screamed at the chauffeur, who was scrambling for the car phone. She ran a few steps toward the house. "Seiichi!! Carmen!!" she shouted. "Are you still in there!?" Carmen sat against the wall, feeling the heat from the flames that were in the doorway of the room. "Are you sure you want to do this?" she asked. "If we hurried, we could still get out. And with time, our souls could become one again." "No," Ryoko answered. "Do you?" "Not really. Just thought I'd ask. In all honesty, I have made a few decisions of my own. But the only one I think was really important was the decision to come here." "I fell into the pond in the middle of the winter on purpose." Ryoko chuckled sadly. "And I only pretended to take the pills for my cold. As soon as the caretaker turned her back, I hid them under the tatami mat. I guess I was just so tired of living here. But I still couldn't die. Not fully, anyway." Carmen smiled. "Still, I'm glad I got the chance to meet you again, sis. And we'll be together again." "I'm glad, too." She closed her eyes, as the ceiling caved in. With a terrific bang, the house exploded as the flames reached several gas cans hidden under the house. ". . .the burnt remains of the bodies of multi-millionaire Seiichi Takuma and his daughter, Carmen Takuma, have finally been identified. Victoria Widehardt Takuma, movie star, and the recent bride of Seiichi Takuma, has been named the new president of Takuma Inc. . ." Victoria switched the TV off. She had definitely not expected something like this, but this didn't mean that she wasn't going to run the company. She glanced at the clock. It was time to get ready for the meeting of the executives. As she walked past the mirror, she stopped short. Out of the corner of her eye, she had seen someone. Someone with long white hair and dressed in a black kimono. FIN
  19. DOPPLEGANGER They say that everyone in this world has a doppleganger, a person that looks exactly like you. And if you ever see your doppleganger, you'll die. But that's just a myth. . .isn't it? Lightning split the sky, highlighting the many raindrops momentarily. The boom of thunder almost drowned out the cry of a baby. Outside of the mansion, the older of two gardeners shook his head as he stepped inside. The younger gardener followed him, shaking water off of his jacket. In the kitchen, the cook poured a cup of tea for them both as they came in. "A baby's just been born!" she exclaimed happily. "Don't bode well," the older man muttered, sitting at the kitchen table. He was a grizzled veteran of yardwork with a bushy beard that was starting to turn white. "What's that mean, Pa?" the younger man asked, taking a seat as well. He was a much younger version of his father, just beginning to get the start of a beard. The old man pulled a pipe from his pocket and started filling it, talking as he did so. "They say that a child born durin' a storm is strong, for they survived not only th' womb, but th' elements. But if th' child's first cry is at th' same time that th' lightnin's flashin' and th' thunder's boomin', then that child is cursed." The roly-poly cook, who had just taken a drink of her tea, coughed and spluttered on it. When she got her breath back, she snapped, "Now don't you go sayin' things that'll jinx the childbirth, old man!" The gardener lit his pipe, completely unruffled. "All I'm sayin' is, that baby's cry lasted through both th' lightnin' and th' thunder." He blew a smoke ring into the air. It rose to the ceiling, where it hovered for a few seconds, a perfect ring of blue-grey smoke, before dissapating. The younger gardener rolled his eyes at the superstitions of his elders. He then stood up and went to get himself something for supper. A man paced back and forth in the hallway, ignoring the constant patter of rain against the hall windows. The doctor stepped into the hall, closing the bedroom door behind him. "Well?" the man demanded, walking over to him. "Well, Mr. Takuma, your wife is fine," the doctor started, but was interrupted by Takuma grabbing his shirt. "The child! What about the child!?" he shouted. "A-actually, you have two children," the doctor said. "Twin girls, but it looks like. . ." Takuma let go of the doctor's shirt and dashed into the room. He went past the bed where his exhausted wife was lying, and straight to the bed where the children were. The one girl looked perfectly normal, but the other one was smaller. Instead of having dark hair like her sister, her hair was pure white, and she looked at him with black, lightless eyes. The lightning flashed again, and in that split second, the pale yellow light shone eerily only on the white-haired girl. The doctor said from behind Takuma, "It looks like the one girl was born completely blind. I'm sorry." Takuma quietly said, "So the seer was right." Sorry, out of time. More to come later. . .
  20. Avenging Demon The night could have been like any other. Silver-white stars twinkling in the dark sky. A warm breeze whispering through the evergreens. How long the girl had been asleep, she did not know. "I have to stop this," she thought. "Every time something goes wrong, I always run here." She sat up and looked around her secret place. Evergreens formed a small round clearing about five feet across. Lush green grass covered the ground, small purple violets showing here and there among the grass blades. She could hear a stream gurgling a short distance away, and if she looked straight up, she could see the full moon. In her village, there was a tradition of the children being nameless until they were old enough to choose their own name. She was past that age, but she could not think of a name. That afternoon, her grandfather had come down on her. "It is bad enough that you can barely shapeshift! If you don't have a name picked out by tomorrow noon, I will choose one for you!" She shuddered at remembering his words. "I don't want someone else choosing my name for me," she whispered aloud. "But I can't find the name that I want for myself." She slowly crawled through a small space between the trees, and out into the main forest. She needed to get home, or her mother would worry. As she started walking, a scent drifted through the trees. She stopped short, then started running. Heedless of branches slashing her skin and her clothes, of rocks cutting her bare feet, she kept running until she came to a cliff that overlooked her village. Her breath caught in her throat. The village was burning. Through the flames, she could see dead people, her family, her friends. The wind blew the smell of blood, ashes, and burning wood and flesh up to her. She gagged and vomited, falling to her knees. She retched until her stomach felt like it was burning. She heard horses whinnying, and her head snapped up. From her vantage point, she could see several people on horses coming up the mountain towards where she was. They were laughing, and she could see the blood on their clothes and weapons. She stood up, and screamed. The scream started sounding human, then became that of a wild animal. Her body grew larger, and huge wings tore from her back. The ebony-black feathers dripped with her blood. Claws grew from her hands, her skin grew scaly, her hair turned silver and grew longer. Her eyes turned white, with a blood-red slitted pupil, and crimson tears ran down her face. The name of an ancient demon had been Suyake. Some said that the demon had been one of the ancestors of the villagers, and that was where their shape-shifting ability came from. And the name Suyake was the name that the girl had just chosen for herself. She flicked her wings and soared into the air, and landed on the path in front of the riders. The horses reared up in surprise, and the men drew their weapons. "Are you the ones who just murdered those villagers?" she asked. Her voice was low and raspy, sounding nothing like she had sounded just a few minutes ago. "What of it?" one of the men asked. Suyake smiled a cruel smile. She didn't know if these men were demon-fearing men, but they had just met a demon of vengeance. FIN
  21. Sora wandered out the door of her tower, pacing back and forth on empty space. It was night, and she couldn't sleep. She had just finished a short story, but her brain refused to wind down. She wandered back inside and started digging through her closet. She emerged a few minutes later with a kimono that was pure white, a dark blue sash, and several bracelets. She put on the kimono, tied the sash around her waist, and slipped the bracelets on her wrists and ankles. She went back outside, and flew up above her tower. After putting a barrier around the top of the tower, she started to dance. Spinning around, bending over, leaping, waving her arms above her head as she spun. A wind started rising around her with every movement of her hands, causing her bracelets to clink together with sounds akin to those of a small bell. She started singing as she danced, no words, only a tune. As Sora danced and sang, the sun started to rise. Layers of dusty pink, almost-white yellow, light blue, and dark blue. The sun rose over the horizon, giving the Pen Keep a rosy color in the dawn's light. Layers of clouds were painted almost every imaginable color, red, orange, purple, blue. . . Sora abruptly stopped, calming the winds around her with a movement of her hand. She was panting, but her mind was clear. She dissolved the barrier, and headed back inside. Now she would be able to sleep. OOC: read the thread and wanted to add to it. not sure if it's really screaming, but I'd like to be able to do something like that in real life when I can't get to sleep
  22. Sora was worn out before the party even began. Blackjack thought she should dress like a card dealer from a casino, Xiao thought she should be dressed like a Chinese princess, Jackie thought she should dress like an Eskimo, Foxy suggested a Western outfit. Max thought an English queen, Yue thought a cheerleader. "Enough!!!!!!" Sora had finally yelled, sending her pets running for cover. She had noticed a pair of revolvers in her closet, and came up with an idea on her own. Jeans, a white T-shirt, a long black trenchcoat, half gloves, and a wide-brimmed cowboy hat. "I told you she was going to be a cowboy!" Foxy exclaimed. "I'm a bounty hunter!" Sora said, before opening the door by her bookshelves and flying down to the party.
  23. OOC: this is with Mynx's permission!! i hope this will not disturb anything in the story, i thought it might give something going on. Sora wandered up to the balcony with root beer bottle in hand. She glanced around the spot where the woman had fallen from, wondering if she'd find anything that would help speed the investigation along. Then maybe she could go home soon. Her pets would be missing her soon. Peering over the edge of the balcony, she could see where the woman had landed. That sure had wasted a lot of good food. She sighed, and leaned on the railing. It creaked under her weight, and suddenly started to plummet towards the first floor, Sora along with it. When she was about a foot off the ground, she suddenly slowed and floated until she was standing on the floor. She drew a shaky breath, and looked for her root beer. While she didn't spook easily, she had started to see her life flash before her eyes. It was a good thing that she was a Wind Rider, otherwise she might have died or been seriously injured. Stepping around the table (which had been further demolished by the section of falling railing), she headed back for the bar. She had dropped her drink during the fall, and she needed something to calm her nerves.
  24. REQUIEM FOR THE LOST ONES--PART 1--SURVIVOR People say that revenge does nothing but eat away at you. But not all revenge means killing someone. Jala inwardly smiled as she surveyed the building from her perch in the huge oak tree. Despite her warning letter, there was only a handful of guards around Torneo's mansion. Still, as it was Torneo, she had better expect a lot of traps. Just thinking the man's name gave her the feeling of bile rising in her throat. She swallowed hard and forced herself to think of more important matters. She stiffened as two guards wandered over to under the tree. She wondered what they were deep in discussion about, but knew better than to climb down. Even if it was around the midnight hour, she had no wish to draw unnecessary attention to herself. She silently slid her hand into her pocket to make sure that the grappling hook was still there. Her 'work uniform' was black pants and a thick long-sleeved shirt with a hood pulled up over her short reddish-brown hair. The high, loose neck of her shirt made a good mask when pulled up over her nose. Gloves and clf-skin boots completed it. Her dark green eyes watched the guards make their way back to the main gate. She waited until they had gotten there before slowly stretching her cramped legs and arms, one at a time. She smiled as she stood carefully and, pressing her small, wiry body to the tree, began to climb. The tree stood near the edge of the large stone mansion. A high wall was around the estate, leaving room for several yards of well-kept grounds. A fountain was near the tree, a statue of the Water Guardian, Korimizu, in the center of it. Korimizu's steed, a water dragon, was rearing up with the Guardian riding on its back, and the water trickled out of the dragon's mouth into the basin below. Jala reached the top of the tree in record time, and cautiously crawled out a ways onto a thick limb. After making sure no guards were around, she pulled out the grappling hook. Letting it out on a length of rope, she threw it into the air. The clack of the grappling hook on the roof was muffled, still she waited several moments before tugging the rope to make sure it was secure. She jumped off the tree limb and soared out into open space, her legs stretched out in front of her. Her boots made little sound as they hit the stone wall. Waiting a moment for the pain to recede, Jala started to climb the rope. She got to the third floor and checked to see if the room was completely empty. Judging from the amount of dust, it was probably a guest room that hadn't been used in quite a while. She pulled from her pouch a rolled-up piece of paper and stuck the corner edge of it to the corner of the small window pane. She unrolled it with one hand, making sure that every part of it was flat against the glass. Giving each corner of the pane a sharp tap, she peeled the paper off. Stuck to the sticky mixture coating the one side of the paper was the glass shards from the window pane. Reaching through the empty pane, she unlatched the window and carefully swung it open. She stepped inside and, with a expert flick of her wrist, dislodged the grappling hook and coiled the rope up again, returning it to her pocket. She closed the window almost completely, and took a deep breath. "Just forget about whose house this is," she thought. "Only focus on getting the gem." She made her way slowly across the room and into the hall, taking care that none of the floorboards creaked under her weight. Once in the hall, she turned left. At the end of the hall was a magnificent picture of a unicorn. It stood under a cascading waterfall, it's horn turning the water into a rainbow of colors. It was large and almost as tall as the wall. Jala carefully tapped the picture's sides, right where they connected to the frame. Feeling a slight movement on the left side, she pushed hard. The left side of the picture swung in and the right side swung out, revealing a huge treasure room behind the picture.
  25. no clue if I can still sign up for here, sorry for posting on the actual thread first, didn't understand very well. if I can, I'll be me dressed like Jing from "Jing: King of Bandits" (otaku on the loose!) I haven't replied to Mynx yet cuz I haven't been able to get on the net since Wednesday. sorry.
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