Any others at intermediate level?

Forums Fiction Writing Level & Journey Plans Discussions Any others at intermediate level?

This topic contains 79 replies, has 30 voices, and was last updated by  Abigail Rebekah 1 week, 4 days ago.

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  • #59265

    Andrew Schmidt
    @andrew

      *takes in deep breath* @theinconceivable1, okay, here’s my story. Anyone, if you will, please point out the areas where I need to change. This may be a little longer than I intended, but I hope you enjoy.

      Well, here goes:

       

      Aldrion was indeed a fine, red crab. He was proud being one of the crabs to be in the tribe of the Aknulara, in fact. But however, he did have some hard time fitting in.

      The other main tribes around were the Delugee, crabs from the sea; whereas the other tribe was the Planzunn, the hermit crabs. And there were also many others, but Aldrion only seemed to glimpse their faces on the Globe Festival once a year.

      Meanwhile, Aldrion gathered sticks, stones, and other things for the festival that was to come. But sometimes he’d put down a couple etches in the stone of a picture he was trying to draw, while the other crabs weren’t looking.

      “Drawing was your grandcrab’s art, you know,” his mother had once told him. “It is also mine. A tradition. Each crab family is famous for something. Don’t fail us.”

      And he hadn’t failed her. He had given little pebbles of drawings away all the time─and all the little, red crabs loved him for it.

      But however, one day, a bigger, dark red crab of the Aknulara stepped forward and mocked him. His green eyes swirled with venom, and he laughed, throwing his great claws in the air.

      “That’s the best you got?! Little drawings that could so easily snap if I was to step on them?! Even the chief crab’s son can do better than that; as he’s always out and about for a chance at some dangerous, little hunt!”

      Some of the crabs looked down on Aldrion after hearing the big crab say that, but he tried his best to ignore them.

      That crab he had come to know as Mulbaxelle, not a very pleasant one. Though Aldrion with his glittering blue eyes had a watchful gaze for him… and avoided him whenever possible.

      As he was picking up some grass and weeds for Chief Opallenze of the Aknulara, he spied below a glimmering, purple crystal. His mouth went open and his heart raced at the sight.

      That would be excellent for a drawing!

      He moved his round body, his eight legs carrying him forward sideways, like many of the crabs walked. Though a few walked forward, or sort of dragged themselves forward. Not that he cared much about it. But anyway, he was going to get that crystal. He put aside the weeds, and crept across the dirt, grass, and junk in his way.

      But his heart sank before he came an inch farther. Just then did he realize that the crystal lingered on the shore; a part of Delugee territory. The waves splashed harshly, as if warning him not to enter the territory of their tribe.

      How could he get it without getting in trouble? He scanned the shore, the breeze caring with it the scent of the sea. The purple crystal glinted, as if tempting him to come forth. His claws ached for the chance to just snatch it from the sand where it lay.

      But just then, a crab appeared from the sea; his skin a deep blue as white streaks swirled around green, watchful eyes. Aldrion sunk low, out of sight. The sea crab eyed the crystal, then grumble something as he turned to leave, the crystal glinting in his large claws as he vanished to the sea.

      Aldrion blinked. The crystal was gone. The other crab had just simply took it and left. He sighed as he turned to leave, disappointment lingering in the air.

      “What do you think you’re doing, you crab?” sneered a deadly, smooth voice. “Planning on entering Delugee territory?”

      Aldrion spun around, almost twisting his eight legs as he did. Mulbaxelle grinned, lifting his great claws as if to smash him. Then just as quickly lowered them, blowing on him with his stinking breath.

      “I just saw something. Something pretty. A crystal, you know.” He took a step back at Mulbaxelle’s bizarre smile. “I was hoping to get it, until I realized it was in Delugee territory… not to mention a sea crab had already─”

      Mulbaxelle held up a claw. “Don’t care.” He paused. “Though do you want to know what I saw? I saw a dumb crab wandering from his job just to do something stupid at the beach with some crystal. Get back to work, or I’ll beat all that blood out of your crab body!”

      Aldrion glanced away, taking in a deep breath. “Sorry, I’ll─”

      “Bahh! Are apologies and excuses all you got?” Mulbaxelle frowned, his bulky face staring into his. “Get back to your work. Chief Opallenze is having the Globe Festival tonight. Get ready, you crab.”

      Aldrion froze, then narrowed his eyes. “The festival?”

      “Yes, did you not understand me?” Mulbaxelle’s eyes glinted, smoldering in mockery. “Or are you just too busy thinking of crystals and drawings?”

      Aldrion’s eyes flashed. “No! That’s not… that…” He paused. “What are you even doing here? Are you just─?”

      “Just what?” Mulbaxell’s mouth quivered against a sudden smile. “Get back to your work. Now,” he paused between his words, “now I will be on my way. Have fun gathering those weeds for the festival, dirty crab!”

      With that, Mulbaxelle took off. Aldrion watched as the bigger crab scampered away, laughing to himself all the while. He resisted the urge to do something─do anything─to that crab. He didn’t know what Mulbaxelle was planning, but he was probably plotting to embarrass him or something again.

      But just then, another thought hit his mind once again as he crept away: The Globe Festival.

       

      The sky was black, the moon’s face staring down from above. A cool breeze swept across the lush hill. Holes were dug, and in them flashed fire, shoving back the darkness of the night for the Globe Festival that was to come.

      Aldrion glanced up at the weeds that he draped a nearby statue in, for decorations. He smiled to himself at the display. How fine it was. He then eyed the statue, mighty and shaped as a crab.

      He froze, something shimmering in the corner of his eye. A flash of green caught his attention. He whirled around to find another crystal, round like the one he’d seen before except for its magnificent green color.

      It lay just beside one of the holes containing a flame of crackling fire. The silent wind of the night sent a chill down his back. Another crystal! He smiled eagerly, then stopped as a thought ran through his mind.

      Where were these crystals come from? He eyed the crystal suspiciously, then rolled his eyes. Who knows? Perhaps he just got lucky. After all, it wasn’t the first time he saw a pretty yet random crystal before.

      But before he could get it…

      “Trash! Why do crabs always leave such beautiful trash junk around! Oh, trash!”

      Aldrion watched as a grumpy, old hermit crab moved along, taking with him the green crystal. He held his breath, then walked up to the hermit crab to get his attention.

      “Um, sir crab. Could I take that crystal with me? I was─”

      “What, trash crab!?” the hermit crab snarled, his ugly, brown face scrunching up as he pointed a large claw toward him. “I am Mac Lankro, a great one of the Planzunn tribe. And no, you will not get this crystal! I am here to help with the festival, trash crab!”

      Aldrion paused, then frowned. “But you aren’t even going to be using─”

      “Aldrion!” Mulbaxelle shouted. “What are you doing, you crab?! How dare you talk back to such a great one as Mac Lankro!”

      Aldrion’s eyes darted Mulbaxelle’s direction, then back towards the hermit crab. His muscles tensed and he stared into Mac Lankro’s yellow eyes, heaving a sigh.

      “Listen to the bigger crab,” Mac Lankro sneered, turning his back to them as fiery light flickered off his smooth, brown shell. He held the crystal firmly in his claws. “Or you’ll regret it, trash.”

      The hermit crab cackled to himself as he vanished from sight. Aldrion turned to Mulbaxelle, frowning.

      “What are you even doing here? Here. Are you trying to get me in trouble, somehow?” Aldrion questioned.

      “It seems you’re already in trouble enough. More than once this day, crab.” Mulbaxelle grinned.

      Aldrion pressed his mouth tight together, his body tensing as he did. “Mulbaxelle, what do you want? You’re doing this on purpose!”

      “Yes, to teach a crab like you to act more as the Aknulara!” Mulbaxelle’s voice rose a little. “My purpose is to help crabs like you to shape up and act more like grown-ups, that just crawling away from work so you can go draw on things such as stones and all that! A tradition of my family, if you didn’t know.”

      Aldrion’s eyes went wide, then narrowed as he settled his gaze on Mulbaxelle. “A tradition? My family’s tradition was the amazing art of drawing. Something we’re famous for. Don’t you dare say─”

      “Don’t dare say what, crab?” Mulbaxelle rose a large claw to silence him. “Drawing was what your family was famous for? That’s horrific. What foolish lies had your mother filled you crab with before she died?”

      Aldrion gasped, and his eyes burned with anger. “H-how… how dare you say such a thing!”

      But before they could continue their little conversation, a crab came shouting forward, “Behold, the Globe Festival has begun!”

      Casting one glance at the approaching crab, Mulbaxelle grinned and slipped off into the darkness. “Enjoy your wretched time, you crab! I’ll now be on my way!”

      Aldrion glared, his claws shaking in fury.  So help him, he was going to kill Mulbaxelle if he pushed him any farther. His gaze slowly turned to the approaching crab and behind him…

      Behind him where many other crabs followed. Aldrion’s heart leapt at the sight of it, returning to a happier stage of his brain where there wasn’t Mr. Mulbaxelle to bother him with.

      The crab continued sending his shout echoing through the night sky as he rushed forward, “Behold, the Globe Festival had begun!”

       

      Faces of all kinds filled the air. Fire crackled and the night was filled with voices. And excitement lingered in the air.

      More than once had Aldrion encountered strange crabs from tribes all over the globe. Once he had met a slimmer, slicker crab with skin like fire that claimed he could sand the temperature of a volcano; then another from the arctic that was whiter than snow herself.

      The night air smelled of fresh grass and ashes from the fire, as well as the busy crowd of crabs. He smiled to himself, casting glances around at the little set-up trading posts made of stone, wood, and other elements from across the globe.

      “Howdy, ya crab!”

      Aldrion turned at the sound to find a bulky, green crab. “Hi!”

      “Yup! It is a very fine night indeed!” The crab winked a big, blue eye, turning his back to him to reveal a spiky, brown shell; almost giving him the impression of some wild plant.

      And it was only a second later that met another strange face. A gigantic, orange crab that just simply walked over him with those great, long legs!

      Aldrion scampered forward, enveloping himself in a crowd of many. Crabs walked by, then just as quickly dissolved in the crowd.

      He cast a glance over at a trading pose made of mud and rock where a very little crab with adorable purple skin held out flowers that had come from a land very far away.

      He suddenly remembered his drawings. What a great deal of money he could make if he was to sell some of his drawings on the Globe Festival. He exhaled. The Globe Festival lasted all week. He had plenty of time for that. But right now he was just going to enjoy it.

      “Hey, you there!” yelled a rainbow-colored crab, his violet eyes ablaze. He pointed a claw, which was WAY bigger than the one on his left, gesturing for him to come to his stone-made area. “Want to buy some sea shells?”

      Aldrion approached the rainbow crab, his eyes wandering over to the display of sea shells laid out before him. They were small shells, most definitely not ones big enough to fit on a crab, yet they were still beautiful.

      “Nice. But sorry, I have to say I don’t want one. But thanks anyway,” Aldrion said.

      Another crab turned his direction, fiery light flickering off rough, azure skin as she fixed him with a pair of orange eyes. “Oh, why don’t you come here. I sell flecks of rare jewelry scavenged off the globe itself. Better than seashells, anyway.”

      The rainbow crab scowled. “Who are you to say such a thing… especially about sea shells!”

      “Oh, hush! Sea shells are everywhere, but you can’t find rare pieces such as gold and gems everywhere, can you?” The other crab said, rising from her fancy, crimson area to reveal a dozen legs on her crab body. But not just that, but she also wore a huge shell of coral on her back. She looked beautiful, and monstrous.

      The rainbow-colored crab grumbled something including the word “stupid,” then turned around rolling his eyes as he got back to work.

      “Well, are you coming?” The crab gestured to the glittering gems spread out before her. “Gold. Gems. Precious stones. They’re all waiting for you.”

      Aldrion approached, gazing down upon the glimmering objects. Suddenly, he remembered the purple crystal, then the green one. Perhaps some crabs had just left them lying around, after all.

      The coral-shelled crab came to a lower height, the grass pricking her many legs providing for the foundation of her round body. Aldrion’s gazed wandered over the many glittering objects as a thrill went through him.

      But just then, a rich voice spoke from behind, “Excuse me, but is she being manipulative again at trying to steal all that you have gained for just a couple gems or so?”

      Aldrion turned, eyeing a crab even more beautiful than the gems themselves. He wore a kingly, round shell lightly coded in gold with multiple little gems sparkling in it, too.

      It seemed about a quarter of all the crabs visiting the Globe Festival had shells on their backs… but before he could delve into that any further, the crab with the golden shell spoke again.

      “Wait, do you even have any money? Or any stone to trade?”

      Aldrion snapped back to reality, glancing over at the golden-shelled crab. “Uh… sorry. I do not─well, not right now, but I do have some stones, however.

      The crab stared into his face with narrow, silver eyes, evening out his six legs as he turned to the other crab and frowned.

      “Really, Thalgrys? You’re trying so hard to sell some gems and stuff to a crab without even a fleck of money at the moment?” The crab flexed his muscles, light flickering off shimmering, ruby-red skin. “I am Chief Vehamirue of the Enzarsgul. Remember me?”

      Thalgrys gasped, her ginormous claws shaking as a glare lit her face. “Get out of my sight! Now!”

      Vehamirue chuckled, gesturing with his bigger, right claw for Aldrion to follow. “Come on, Aldrion, I’ve heard a lot about you.”

      Aldrion narrowed his eyes, casting a glance back over to see Thalgrys staring venomously towards Vehamirue, supposedly a chief of a tribe.

      “You heard a lot about me?” Aldrion questioned. “How?”

      “I hear a lot about everyone. Now come, I’ve heard of your talent to draw… but I’ve also heard of a crab known as Mulbaxelle. Somewhat negative, is he not?” And with that, Vehamirue spun around, balancing himself as he did. Walking away sideways, Aldrion’s curiosity drove him forward as he caught up with the crab’s pace.

      “Um, but how do you know all this?” Aldrion asked, a bit of suspicion swirling in his curiosity. “Do you have spies lurking about the globe or what?”

      Vehamirue laughed, then remained silent for a moment before speaking again, “My tribe is known to be very observant. The Enzarsgul tribe have a way of doing things. I’ve heard of your talent, yet also Mulbaxelle. I could say Thalgrys was quite a deceitful crab; saying how rare her jewels are all the time, though in some ways is still similar to Mulbaxelle,” he said, then added, “Would you want to join me? Your talent would probably be more wanted in the Enzarsgul. They just love drawings, as they always do.”

      Aldrion paused for a moment at his words. A true appreciation showed in Vehamirue’s eyes. He recalled the moment of his latest a drawing: a mighty crab fighting the Great Wind recorded in the crab legends themselves. He smiled to himself at the thought, wondering how he could make others happier with just a couple drawings nearby.

      “I’ll think about it,” Aldrion told him.

      Vehamirue nodded, then turned slightly away. “Alright, I’ll now be on my way to the ceremony.”

      Vehamirue scampered away. The ceremony? Aldrion’s eyes narrowed, then went wide. Oh, right! The ceremony that they always had.

      “Wait!” Aldrion shouted, waving his claws in the air as a yellow crab zoomed by, most likely finding his way to the ceremony itself.

      Aldrion scampered across the grass in his way. He glanced over at a black crab by his side, then moved on as her scowl lingered on his back.

      Probably some princess or whatever; they had a way of staring at people, it seemed.

      He urged on through the darkness illuminated by the helpful light of fire. A great cave loomed over the crabs entering its mouth for the ceremony that was to come.

      Entering the cave, Aldrion found himself staring at its elegant designs. If it wasn’t for the fact that he would get in trouble, this whole place would be covered in the etches of his very drawings.

      Stones as clear as liquid were built into the cave, just hollow enough to fit a flame of flickering fire within them… which shed shards of light splitting the darkness of the cave!

      A voice boomed through the air and all the crabs silenced, “Chief Opallenze am I! I come forth to speak at this glorious time together, known as the Globe Festival!”

      The crabs cheered, an odd mixture of voices. Chief Opallenze’s blue eyes glinted, raising a red claw bigger than even Mulbaxelle’s as the crowd silenced again.

      “A time together only once a year, from crabs all over the globe!”

      Aldrion listened closely, watching as Opallenze moved about a ledge protruding from the cave side.

      “But we ought to remember Avronze! The Maker of Everything!” Opallenze shouted. “And without Avronze, you wouldn’t be even a speck of dust! For he is the Maker and Master!”

      Aldrion smiled, soaking up all the words the chief of the Aknulara spoke. The crowd of crabs cheered once more before Opallenze spoke again.

      “Once a year we gather together for the Globe Festival to celebrate the creation of all crabs!” Opallenze continued on.

      After about fifteen more minutes of his listening, Aldrion cast a glance over and was surprised to see Vehamirue staring his direction. Aldrion waved a silent claw his way, then turned once more as Chief Opallenze spoke.

      “Now, when I call out the names of various, noble crabs, step forward and you’ll be introduced to the many other crabs!” Opallenze said. “Step forward, Princess Blackora of the Jazaah! I hear you will soon become your tribe’s leader, is that not right?”

      Princess Blackora, which Aldrion recognized as that one black crab, smiled and glanced over at Chief Opallenze with gray eyes such a light shade that they almost appeared white.

      “Yes, Opallenze, I’ll come.” Blackora stepped forward, unlike many of the others who walked sideways.  She looked strong and almost deadly, yet still beautiful in her dark way.

      As she walked to the front of all the crabs, Chief Opallenze spoke again as he continued on in his deep voice. And he was to continue on like this, until all the many noble crabs were introduced.

      Another crab approached. A hermit crab which Aldrion knew as that snobby Mac Lankro. But as the crabs came forward, Vehamirue’s name was shouted as he approached the front, too.

      Another crab also came forward. A slim, crystal-pink crab with a shell as clear as water, then another one with green skin covered in bronze fuzz, then another with burgundy, slick skin spotted in black, and so on.

      When the crabs that were to be introduced stepped to the front, Opallenze gave another brief, little speech before moving on.

       

      The fire flashed so bright in the darkness, filling the night with warmth. Out of the cave, Aldrion got himself some sort of sweet plants to feast upon from a white, black-striped crab. He seemed nice, just handing out those round, purplish plants that he was now eating.

      Once done with his little meal, he cast a glance around and scampered through the grass in his way.

      But before he could go any further, a glimmer of red caught his attention.

      Aldrion eyed a glittering, red crystal, similar to the ones he seen before. Suspicion arose within him. The other two times he had sought to take them, something bad had happened.

      Did he just get unlucky, or was Mulbaxelle somehow trying to lure him into trouble? Well, if Mulbaxelle wanted to get him in trouble, he’d probably done it already. But still…

      He forced himself to turn around, but the crystal just lingered there with its irresistible, red glimmering. He came to a stop, then turned back, approaching the gorgeous crystal.

      He took a deep breath, eyeing the crystal suspiciously. What if once he took it Mulbaxelle all the sudden came back and…? Well, he just assumed something bad would happen if that was to occur.

      He rolled his eyes at himself. This wasn’t the first time he saw crystals this night─or before this night. Perhaps some crabs such as Thalgrys accidentally dropped some when they were getting everything set up.

      But the time he’d first saw the purple crystal, that was before they came. But what about the other times he’d spotted crystals before? He sighed. Where were these crystals coming from?

      The crystal glistened red. He cast glances in all directions. There didn’t seem to be very much crabs in the particular place he was now in. His eyes traveled back to the crystal. The crystal didn’t seem to belong to anyone, so why not take it? Perhaps he could create one of his most glorious drawings on that crystal─and then give it to Chief Vehamirue and see how he liked it.

      That idea delighted. Before he knew it, the crystal was already lingering in his claws, heavy as it was. He crawled across the grassy ground. Perhaps he would just join Vehamirue and make some drawings for his tribe.

      A scream rattled through the air, “Thief!”

      Aldrion’s eyes snapped to the rage-filled sound. A black crab appeared.  Her eyes smoldered in fury. And just then did Aldrion realize it was Princess Blackora.

      “You, crab, are going to regret this moment forever.” Blackora glared. “How dare you steal my crystal?!”

      At those words other crabs followed close behind with curious eyes. Aldrion froze, his eyes widening. He cast a glance toward the crystal, then toward Blackora.

      Oh… His heart raced, gently placing the crystal on the ground. It glinted wickedly, as if its duty was complete. He held his breath as the horrid realization of the situation struck him.

      Aldrion cast a glance at all the staring faces. “Oh sorry, I didn’t know this belonged to you, noble crab.”

      “Bahh! Don’t listen to this fool crab!” came the disturbing, familiar voice of Mulbaxelle. “This crystal was a gift I intended to give the lovely crab Blackora. And it makes perfect sense why Aldrion would steal the crystal─after all, he never really liked me.”

      Aldrion’s eyes flared at Mulbaxelle’s words. What did he just say? A glint just as wicked as the crystal’s touched Mulbaxelle’s green, venom-filled eyes.

      Another realization struck him too; clearly pointed in Mulbaxelle’s direction. Every single time he had attempted to take each crystal, something bad happened─and Mulbaxelle was there every single time? It all made sense.

      Mulbaxelle was plotting against him.

      “But it doesn’t stop there. Aldrion was also planning on entering Delugee territory without permission. And also, he tried to talk Mac Lankro himself into giving him a various green crystal. Ask Mac Lankro yourself, if you don’t believe me.” Mulbaxelle grinned. “Aldrion is nothing but a deceptive, selfish crab who only seeks to make drawings on stones and crystals just for the pure please of─”

      “Lies!” Fear and anger swirled in Aldrion’s voice. “Mulbaxelle, don’t do this. This is─”

      “What? Ask Mac Lankro himself and see what he says.” Mulbaxelle’s voice was deceptively firm. “Is that not proof enough?”

      “Silence!” Chief Opallenze’s massive form loomed over them. “I see there is a problem.” He turned ever so slightly to Mulbaxelle. “So, you say Mac Lankro holds this proof?”

      Aldrion watched the horrid silence as Mulbaxelle replied, “Yes.”

      Opallenze eyed Aldrion, almost coldly, as he turned back to Mulbaxelle. Blackora glared his way, so dreadfully beautiful even in her dark, deadly anger.

      Then Opallenze, gesturing with his claws, said, “Then bring Mac Lankro forward─and we shall see what he has to say.”

      “Yes, we shall see what I have to say to this.” Mac Lankro appeared, pleasure lurking in his yellow eyes he turned to face Aldrion. “Don’t we, trash?”

      Aldrion saw it all playing out. He glowered, rage welling up within him. He was going to kill Mulbaxell! His claws shook just for the urge to poke out Mulbaxelle’s foul eyes.

      “Yes, what Mulbaxelle said was all very true. This trash crab over here was extremely disrespectful,” Mac Lankro said. “Do you need any more proof that Mulbaxelle’s words are true? This trash crab has attempted to enter Delugee territory without permission, was disrespectful to me, and sought so selfishly to steal Princess Blackora’s crystal that was given her by Mulbaxelle.  Not to mention, this dirty, trash crab was the one walking around with the crystal in his claws. What do you say, Opallenze? You would not look so good if you, you chief, were to choose wrong.”

      Opallenze stared into Aldrion’s face, then back toward the crowd of crabs that was even bigger now. Blackora glared, Mulbaxelle’s eyes glinted in mischief, and Aldrion’s face burned with fury and fear.

      Casting one more glance at Aldrion, Chief Opallenze declared, “Yes, this crab is without doubt the thief.”

      Aldrion’s heart raced so fast at those words he thought he might die.

      “You have broken one of the Rules of Avronze: Seeking to steal.” Opallenze eyed him. “And because of this act, you will be thrown into the pit of the prison.”

      “Yeah, at least he’s not going to kill you for your savage act,” Mulbaxelle sneered.

      This was injustice! He loved Avronze, yet they were accusing him of breaking the Maker’s Rules, anyway. How dare they?!

      Aldrion clenched his claws. His anger would have drove him forward, striking at Mulbaxelle all the while─but fear held him at bay.

      Mulbaxelle was twice his height and had his mighty claws… and would most happily push him around for the fun of it, whacking at him as he did.

      “Mulbaxelle,” Opallenze said, “be quiet unless you wish to join him at the pit too.”

      “Chief Opallenze,” Blackora said suddenly, the crystal in her claws, “I’ll now be on my way. Thanks for capturing this crab.” She cast Aldrion a scowling glance before doing that elegant turn of hers. “Bye.”

      And with that, one of the crabs standing nearby smiled, sending a gigantic claw Aldrion’s direction. And with that, before he knew it, Aldrion was whirling away into unconsciousness.

       

      Aldrion’s eyes fluttered open as shivers penetrated his red skin. His eight legs were cramped, and a dull pain lingered on the back of his round body.

      Gaining his balance, he let his blue eyes scan the murky, mist-filled pit. The surface was gray with the bitter scent of rot in the air. Low voices echoed the distance, and he turned to discover several other grim-faced crabs.

      The crabs looked even more miserable in that gloomy light cast by the sky. Almost all of them were from the Aknulara, indicated by their bright red skin. A couple were from the Planzunn, being hermit crabs. And one was from the Delugee, with his blue skin and white streaks swirling around his eyes. But one seemed foreign, with his bumpy, orange-yellow skin, narrow brown eyes, and slim yet muscular build.

      But they all looked dreadful, now, vengeance twinkling in their eyes.

      “Ahh, another,” hissed the bumpy-skinned crab. “Tell me, crab, was Mulbaxelle involved in your capture, too?”

      Aldrion just stared at the crab for a moment, then said slowly, “Um, yes…”

      “How did I know? Mulbaxelle tries to mold many crabs to what he thinks is acceptable, if they are not already! He’s such a manipulative jerk!” growled the bumpy-skinned crab. “Don’t you agree?”

      A red crab standing nearby glared at the mention of Mulbaxelle’s name. “Yeah, I agree!” He paused between his words. “Mulbaxelle is such a horrible crab! Who could have possible raised such a crab as him! He must have had really bad crabs for his parents!”

      The crabs all laughed together. A bitter laugh. Aldrion shuddered at the darkness of the place.

      A vague shouting caught his attention. Casting a glance up at the upper edges around the pit, he spied two crabs shouting in each other’s faces.

      One was muscular, bulky, and big; clearly from the Aknulara. The other was smaller yet still strong, wearing a golden shell over ruby-red skin.

      Vehamirue and Mulbaxelle.

      Aldrion listened ever so closely, making out their shouting conversation as curiosity and urgency swirled within him.

      “No, I will not let you in. Did you not know that?” Mulbaxelle sneered. “Or do you just want the thief crab known as Aldrion?”

      Aldrion tensed at Mulbaxelle’s words, then listened again.

      “Chief Opallenze may have only seen a deceitful crab such as you say, even when I tried talking him out of it, but I have reasons to believe this Aldrion was merely framed.”

      Hope arose within Aldrion.

      “Merely framed, Vehamirue? And by whom?” Mulbaxelle snarled.

      There was a long silence before Vehamirue spoke again, “By you, Mulbaxelle. You framed Aldrion. Did you think any of my spies did not pick up on that?”

      A spark touched Mulbaxelle’s voice next time he spoke, “Really? You think I framed him? He was the one who put his claws on that crystal. Don’t you dare say I framed him.”

      “Yes, and you intended for that to happen.” Vehamirue’s voice remained firm. “That crystal wasn’t really a gift to Princess Blackora, it was a trap for Aldrion.”

      Mulbaxelle rose great claws. “Don’t you try to talk me down, Vehamirue. I’m not going to let you past.”

      “Yes, you will.” Vehamirue fixed him with a pair of fierce, silver eyes. “You will let me past, or else something terrible will you happen to you. Do you really want to get in my way, Mulbaxelle?”

      Aldrion’s eyes never shifted from the two crabs.

      Mulbaxelle glowered, his mouth curving up into a grotesque snarl. “Get out of here, foreigner.”

      “Yes, I am a foreigner. But I am also here for a mission. A mission given unto me by Avronze. Would you dare get in the way of the Master?”

      Mulbaxelle nearly shrunk at those words, but he forced himself back up. Then giving his best glare, he said, “No. You will never enter, you lying, idiotic crab. You will─”

      Before Mulbaxelle knew it, Vehamirue struck with speed like lightning. Lifting Mulbaxelle from the surface, he then let him drop. Falling down, down, down into the pit!

      With a snap of bones, Mulbaxelle let out a mighty howl of pain. The other crabs, surprised, darted toward the big crab. Aldrion cast a glance up to Vehamirue, then to Mulbaxelle.

      The savage, imprisoned crabs leapt over Mulbaxelle’s body. Biting, pinching, whacking, and stomping. Mulbaxelle’s cries rang through the air.

      Those cries. Aldrion had never heard ones such as those from him before. But he deserved them. Mulbaxelle had tricked him, made appear as a thief, and therefore Aldrion was thrown into the pit.

      Mulbaxelle deserved them.

      Aldrion scampered across the gray surface. Across the surface to where Mulbaxelle lay. Mulbaxelle had done a great wrong against him, and he wasn’t going to let that go unpunished.

      As he neared, he stared into Mulbaxelle’s fearful eyes that had once been full of delight and pleasure at the act of sending him to the pit. So delightful they had been at the idea.

      “Hey, you there!” the sea crab laughed as he murderously sent a claw into one of Mulbaxelle’s legs. “Want to help us turn this jerk here into some stew?!”

      Mulbaxelle let out another cry. The savage crabs laughed, staring at Aldrion with bloodthirsty eyes.

      “Yeah, come on!” shouted a hermit crab.

      Their deathly eyes stared into Aldrion’s like sickening poison. They had all hated Mulbaxelle. They had mostly likely feared the big crab before, too. But now that he was down… well, they now knew they were safe with their revenge on Mulbaxelle.

      The crabs laughed again, sending even more strikes to Mulbaxelle’s body. They flashed hideous smiles. Aldrion cringed. The crabs sent wicked laughs of satisfaction ringing throughout the air.

      They were just as bad as Mulbaxelle.

      Aldrion cast a glance over and saw Vehamirue in the distance. Suddenly, he realized how cowardly these crabs were being. They most certainly feared Mulbaxelle, yet they’d come down when he was wounded for the attack. He then realized how close he’d been to doing the same thing.

      He had never planned to murder anyone in his life. Yet he almost just helped with a murderous event!

      Aldrion cast a glance to the upper edges of the pit. A couple other crabs seemed to have realized the situation and had come to make a stop to the fight. But the other crabs were too focused on their destructive thoughts to even notice it.

      But however, one of the crabs turned his way as just he began to scamper away. “Wait! Aren’t you going to get your revenge, too?!”

      Aldrion ignored the crab. A couple others shouted after him, too. But he ignored them.

      If they hadn’t done enough damage already, the guard crabs might stop them before Mulbaxelle died.

      Aldrion scampered away. Mulbaxelle howled in agony. Crabs laughed and struck. And the guard crabs rushed sideways on their flexible legs to stop the fight before it could continue any longer.

      “Aldrion!” Vehamirue shouted through the mist. “Over here!”

      Aldrion glanced over to see Vehamirue standing near the pit’s wall. Sideways, his feet carried him forward until he came within reach of Vehamirue.

      “How did you get down here so fast?” Aldrion asked.

      “Really? That’s the first thing you think of?” Vehamirue frowned, but his mouth quivered against a smile. “Whatever. Come with me, Aldrion. And I’ll take you away to my land. The land of the Enzarsgul, crabs of my kind.” He paused. “Avronze sent me here for you. In a vision.”

      In a vision? Wow! And for him? Aldrion was about to ask more questions when…

      “Yes. As mysterious and interesting as I am, can we move on now before you’re captured?” Vehamirue gestured with a claw to the guard crabs in a fight with the bloodthirsty psychos.

      Aldrion froze. Oh… yes, that would probably be smarter.

      “Now come,” Vehamirue said. “We shall escape this murky place.”

      Then Vehamirue, to Aldrion’s surprise, turned and clawed off a bunch of weeds off the ground to reveal a secret tunnel.

      Aldrion just stared. “Vehamirue! Do you have magic or what?!”

      Vehamirue didn’t answer, but just said, “Come. Here in this tunnel we shall escape. Then we’ll get to my land.”

      Get to his land? Aldrion paused as the realization struck him. “And what about here, exactly? Here. This where I lived my whole life, made friends, and all that.”

      Vehamirue threw his claws in the air. “Don’t worry. That’ll be taken care of. Once I can get Chief Opallenze to change his mind somehow, then all will be safe. But for now, you’ll be coming to my land. Everything will be alright. And I think Avronze had some special tasks for you, too.”

      He wasn’t sure which question to ask first. Walking into the tunnel, Vehamirue placed the weeds over the entrance to the hide the passage once more.

      A pink mist oddly illuminated the dark tunnel in shades of glowing, bright pink as a rosy scent streaked the air. Aldrion narrowed his eyes at the pink illumination.

      “H-how─what is this pink stuff?” Aldrion questioned. “And what are these special tasks Avronze has for me?”

      Vehamirue came to an abrupt stop with a sigh. “Let me just make it clear to you. If you see anything weird, that’s just─well… I have magic. A gift from Avronze, to bring good to all crabkind.”

      Okay, this was starting to get weird. Aldrion cast a glance at the pink mist. “Magic…”

      “Now come on. We can talk about this later,” Vehamirue said, walking past him as the jewels on his shell glinted.

      Aldrion caught up with his pace. “Um, one more question, please.”

      “What is it?” Vehamirue didn’t slow his pace.

      “What are these tasks Avronze wants of me?”

      “You, Aldrion, have a talent to draw. I don’t know if you know this or not, but there are ancient crab legends that have proven to be real. Yes, the Enzarsgul is probably the only crab tribe in the globe to wield magic, as weird as it may be. But we do have these special ‘interpreteer’ crabs that have been known to take a great drawing and make them reality. That is where your drawings may come in useful. The Enzarsgul is a blessed tribe─and now that I have answered your questions, Aldrion, please be quiet and enjoy our escape out of here.”

      A blessed tribe? Aldrion cast a glance at the pink mist, then remained quiet in the weirdness of the moment as they escaped.

       

      Word spread quickly. Debates were made frequently. And Chief Opallenze was still suspicious of Aldrion.

      Vehamirue in his mysterious rescue, put off quite a show. The bloodthirsty crabs who attempted to end Mulbaxelle’s life were locked up for even longer. And as for Mulbaxelle himself, he had to deal with those wounds for the rest of his life.

      Princess Blackora had finally gotten over it, but Mac Lankro just kept on going and accusing Aldrion of stealing… until Mac Lankro himself in his demanding, annoying ways was thrown out of Chief Opallenze’s presence.

      As for Aldrion himself, well, he spent a while in the lush lands of the Enzarsgul. And to his surprise, he was delighted to find rich, vibrant fruit among the trees and bushes. Flowers sprouted, mushrooms came, and… but to his dismay, there happened to be a bunch of thorns.

      Attempts were made by the Aknulara to bring Aldrion back. But the Enzarsgul crabs with their magic─which sort of creeped Aldrion out─stopped all their attempts.

      But however, in the end─with the help of some evidence and a lot of Vehamirue’s spy crabs, Aldrion was finally declared innocent.

      Aldrion took a break from making drawings for the Enzarsgul, then came to live in the Aknulara once again. His neighbor crabs had a watchful eye for him, but when they came, they always just saw making etches in the stones.

      Though drawing wasn’t all he did, despite his daily work. He also had other hobbies, though drawing was his favorite. And many young crabs had come to know him as the old, mysterious grandcrab.

      Well, that was Aldrion’s strange event of his life. But still, he didn’t stop his drawing. And still, he didn’t fail his family’s tradition.

       

       

      (ISFP!) Artistic, redheaded, nature-loving, crazy writer. Mine favorite Indiana animal: Red Fox.

      #61111

      Kayla James
      @kjames0813

      I am, although I think I might need to be a rank lower.

      #87163

      His Bard
      @his-bard

      I realize I’m rather late to the discussion…
      I don’t remember a specific number per-say, but I also placed as an intermediate.

      My plan for growth are basically: keep writing, keep sharing my work with anyone who dares to read it, and keep living in the alternate dimensions that have taken over my mind.

      Spoken words are forgotten. Written word lasts forever. Writers are the most powerful mortals to exist.

      #87902

      red_converse
      @red_converse

      I ranked Intermediate, and I think that’s fairly accurate. 😅 One area in need of improvement I’ve discovered somewhat recently is that I tend to tell stories like I’m retelling a story someone else told me. I hit all the facts and events, but I don’t hit the brakes to let the characters experience the situations. And I also shuffle them along from one thing to the next rather than allowing them to make the decisions on their own.

      I think this is tied closely with my INTJ-ness. I’m not that in touch with my own emotions, and usually when something arises, my first instinct is to figure out how to fix it or find a way out of it, not consider how it makes me feel. This reflected when I started my WIP. Two of my writer friends got me books to help. 😅 I have a copy of The Emotion Thesaurus and The Body Keeps the Score.

      “The creation of a single world comes from a huge number of fragments and chaos.” ― Hayao Miyazaki

      #92856

      Abigail Rebekah
      @abigail-rebekah

        Hi everyone,

        I landed in intermediate too 🙂

        I think my score was around 45 or 46.

        I want to work on being able to notice writing mistakes and being able to edit well.

        And to make memorable characters 🙂

        ~ Laugh. Drink Coffee. Smile. And Write ~

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