April 3, 2019 at 12:05 pm #85137Mariposa Aristeo@mariposa
Can you believe Story Embers has been around a whole year?! 😮 I can’t even handle all the hype. We already have many exciting festivities going on, but I wanted to add a little something extra to the hullabaloo…
RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARC II!
If you’re unfamiliar with the story, last year I wrote a spoof (with the help of my dinosaur assistant 😜🦖) of Indiana Jones starring the SE staff, with appearances from various forum members. You can read the story here https://storyembers.org/forums/topic/first-se-fiction-story-raiders-of-the-lost-arc/ (For those of you who know the story, you may want to reread it to refresh your memory of all the inside jokes before diving into this one. 😉)
This sequel takes place soon after the first—most of the characters are the same, though a few SE staffers have been given different roles and names (just letting you know so you won’t be confused).
So, now I present to you the first part of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARC II: THE LEGEND OF THE FORBIDDEN BURIAL GROUNDS!
*Cues the epic Indiana Jones theme song*
“You’re branding the wrong cow!” Storm hollered, riding up with a searing iron in the shape of a flame.
Pennsylvania blinked at the calf, then released it, realizing he had almost branded his neighbor’s steer. “Hey, I’m a writer, not a cattle wrestler.”
“Obviously.” Storm leaned forward on her purple saddle as Edna, her piguirrel, glared at Pennsylvania for his inconsistency. After discovering the positive arc in the Middle East, Pennsylvania had used the money to buy a ranch in the Middle West so he could escape from all the not-action-adventure stories and live a normal life.
Pennsylvania’s foreman, Nebraska Miller, galloped up with the rest of the cowhands, Glitter Grabber, Sunflower Cinders, Tam Morrow, Madhouse Martin, and Sugarfoot Savannah.
“Lost another one, boss.” Nebraska gestured to the dead calf he’d hauled up.
“That’s the seventh one this week.” Pennsylvania scratched his head. “At this rate, I’ll have to go out of business.”
“Well, you know, boss, we could go after that other arc and then use the money—”
“No! I’ve had enough of action-adventure stories!” Pennsylvania shook his fists in indignation.
“But this isn’t an action-adventure story, this is a western!” Nebraska corrected him, following Pennsylvania and Storm to the barn.
Cinders put a hand on her hip. “Ever since Pennsylvania gave up his arc hunting, life has been downright boring.”
Morrow rested her hand on her holster. “I guess it’s high time we stirred things up a bit.”
All the cowhands grinned.
“The Fine Art of Frog Sitting.” Grabber tilted her head, reading the spine of a book on Pennsylvania’s shelf as they searched for the clue to the next arc. “Where do you think he put it?”
Martin tapped his chin. “If I were an arc, where would I be?”
“Probably in a fish bowl.” Cinders snorted, yanking a drawer open. Out flew a bunch of purple pens.
“What about this safe?” Grabber nodded to a strongbox.
A couple minutes later, Nebraska sauntered in and saw them all huddled by the safe. “What are you doing?”
“Trying to find the clue to the negative arc.”
Nebraska broke out in a cold sweat. “Stop! Stop! You’re gonna get me fired!” He raved and shouted gibberish.
“We gotta shut him up before the boss hears us,” Cinders said.
“Ah, just shoot his head off.” Morrow whipped out her gun, but Grabber raced in front of her.
“No! Don’t do that! He’s already lost his head once!” Grabber interceded.
“But we’ve got to calm him down!” Martin grabbed Nebraska’s arms.
Footsteps thumped outside.
“Quick! I know!” Cinders grabbed a balloon from her pocket, blew it up, and placed it in Nebraska’s hands. His face lit up like a child with, well…a balloon.
They all hushed as a shadow appeared beneath the door. It creaked open, and spurs jingled in the hallway. Wind rustled the curtain and stole Nebraska’s balloon out of his hands. Tears welled up in his eyes. Everyone’s heart raced, and they waited for him to start bawling, but he said not a word. The person in the hallway moved to leave.
“I’M GONNA GET FIRED!”
Cinders clamped her hand over Nebraska’s mouth. Morrow walloped his head, and he crashed to the floor unconscious.
The person started to come back.
Storm’s purple boots clomped into sight. The gang knew they were dead—or would be—very soon. She raised an eyebrow and reached for her holster.
“Looking for this?” She smiled, pulling out the clue.
Nebraska groaned, rubbing his head. He knew all the Coke he drank last night would give him a hangover. When he realized he wasn’t at the ranch anymore, his eyes flew open. “I must have been drunk on the job! Oh, I’m so fired!”
“Calm down, you aren’t fired.” Storm plopped some cool beans onto a plate and handed them to Nebraska.
“I don’t believe you.” Nebraska refused to take the beans in fear that they would poison him by making him feel fine again.
“Pennsylvania only owns half the ranch. So he can’t fire you unless I say so.”
“But…then…I’m half fired!” Nebraska moaned, burying his head in his lap.
Martin patted his shoulder. “We’ll miss you.”
“Don’t encourage him!” Cinders croaked.
“I’m not—I’m discouraging him.” Martin retorted so politely it could hardly be considered a retort.
“Come on, we’d better head out.” Storm rolled up her bed roll. The rest climbed atop their horses. They traveled along a road dustier than Pennsylvania’s old manuscripts until they came to a sign that read: Snark Valley, Population: What do you care?
“Sounds like my kinda place.” Maddie spat a piece of jerky at the bottom of the sign.
They neared the town. No one was in sight, but a bunch of moldy cakes, brownies, and cookies were scattered across the streets.
“Looks desserted to me,” Martin muttered, pulling a hunk of cake off the sidewalk.
“That’s disgusting.” Savannah gagged as they all hitched their horses to the post.
“I know.” Martin grinned, his teeth a greenish hue from the mold.
“You reckon anyone lives around here?” Grabber surveyed the empty streets. Soon thereafter, a black-haired girl rode up. “What’s your name?”
The girl smiled. “Jenna, but everyone calls me Jen.”
“Do you know what happened to all the people round here, Jen?”
“This used to be a bustling mining town. Once old man Brilliant struck ideas in his shaft, writers came from miles around in hopes of striking it rich. But then…” Jen’s smiled faded. “The ideas just ran dry. I mean, I ain’t complain’, mind you. Me and Moe like being here alone, don’t we?” Her horse neighed. “But if you be extroverts interested in socializing, there’s a saloon over there where you can find what’s left of our citizens.” She tipped her hat and rode off into the horizon.
“Let’s go meet the people!” Nebraska and Cinders beamed, strutting in that direction while the rest shuddered. They came to a dilapidated building with two brightly colored oval statues on either side of the doors.
“The Silver Balloon Saloon,” Nebraska read aloud. “I like this place already!”
“What can I get ya, folks?” The bartender dirtied a couple glasses to match the filthy ones on the counter. A couple cowpokes sat at a table, betting on which balloon would fly the highest.
“No coffee!” they chorused.
The bartender frowned as if he was insulted. “Hey, I run a respectable joint, folks.”
They heaved a sigh. “Give us some root beer with a dash of awesomesauce.”
While the introverts wandered off to separate corners, Nebraska and Cinders interrogated the bartender. “Do you know anything about an arc being nearby?”
The bartender almost accidentally cleaned his glass. “I…I don’t know anything.”
“We don’t want anything, just something. Do you know—”
“I told you—now, leave me alone!” The bartender stormed off upstairs.
Nebraska wrinkled his forehead and Cinders pursed her lips. They approached the men betting on the balloons. “Hey, do you know about an arc?”
The men left the table.
Cinders put her hand on her hip. “If this ain’t the most introverted saloon I’ve ever been in!”
Bullets grazed the door, barely missing Nebraska’s head. Horses stampeded outside.
“Yeehaw!” Someone shouted outside, shooting off more bullets.
Nebraska and Cinders rushed to the door, peering outside. “Oh no!” They gasped. “It’s the book robbers!”
TO BE CONTINUED…April 3, 2019 at 12:08 pm #85138Evelyn@evelyn
*runs around in circles screaming*
YAY!! A second part! 😀 😀 😀 😀
*throws confetti*April 3, 2019 at 12:12 pm #85139Brianna Storm Hilvety@briannastorm
I love how I knew where Josiah hid the clue and am leading the writing team on this quest. 😂👍🏻👍🏻 (That’s actually a fairly accurate representation of how I interact with our publishing personnel…which is probably information I should not be disclosing to the public. 😛 So shhhh.)
Wielder of a Red Pen | TheLiteraryCrusader.April 3, 2019 at 12:18 pm #85140Jessi Rae@jessi-rae
@mariposa YES! *pumps fists* *turns cartwheels* A sequel! 😀 I love the reference to Nebraska already losing his head once. XD And the population sign. And Middle West. And book robbers. And just everything! XD 😀 Will I get to be in it again? *hopeful puppy eyes*
"How did I escape? With difficulty. How did I plan this moment? With pleasure."April 3, 2019 at 12:22 pm #85141Maddie Morrow@maddiejay
I’m so proud of the impression I have made 😂
This is pure stinking gold. Love it. I died laughing.April 3, 2019 at 12:43 pm #85143Kate Flournoy@kate
INFP-A. If you can't be brilliant, odd will do.April 3, 2019 at 12:47 pm #85144Martin Detwiler@karthmin
You nailed this all so well!
I’m dying of laughter over here. 😂
*shakes head* WAY too accurate.
myths don't dieApril 3, 2019 at 2:38 pm #85153Andrew Schmidt@andrew
@mariposa: greeeeaaaaatt joooooooooooooooob!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I like it. The Legend of the Forbidden Burial Grounds! Really good job. And Happy SE Anniversary!
"Muhahaha!"- Unknown VillainApril 3, 2019 at 3:39 pm #85166Ariel Ashira@ashira
OH MY WORD!!! that is so freaking awesome I am dying of laughter!! XD
"No matter how much it hurts, how dark it gets, or how hard you fall, you are never out of the fight."April 4, 2019 at 4:26 pm #85377EricaWordsmith@ericawordsmith
Oh. My. STARS!!! XD XD XD That was hilarious!!!!! I loved it!!!
Now, I must say, I LOVED THE NO COFFEE THING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Is that part of the code of honor that writers prefer tea over coffee? I’m considering giving my Tolkien Friend permission to indoctrinate me in the ways of coffee drinking, so if I need to pull out now, somebody tell me.
Tek an ohta! Tek an cala!April 4, 2019 at 5:12 pm #85381E. Grace@emgc
That was masterful… made me laugh so hard. XD I really needed that. 😛
"True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less." - C. S. LewisApril 4, 2019 at 5:28 pm #85386Mariposa Aristeo@mariposa
@evelyn Ooh, confetti? *throws some more* 🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉
@briannastorm Your secret is safe with me (but not with Aberdeen—he’ll tell everyone 🦖😅).
@jessi-rae Perhaps. 😉 You’ll have to wait and see.
@karthmin Thank you! 😜 Your character was fun to write (especially with all the SE staff has told me about you 😆).
@andrew Thank you! I can’t wait to write the rest. 😄
@ericawordsmith I don’t like coffee or tea, so… 😅April 4, 2019 at 8:01 pm #85400Jessi Rae@jessi-rae
@mariposa I can’t wait! *grins*
"How did I escape? With difficulty. How did I plan this moment? With pleasure."April 4, 2019 at 8:27 pm #85405Gabrielle Pollack@gabriellepollackApril 4, 2019 at 9:05 pm #85412Catwing@catwing
@mariposa Yay! *Throws feathers* Another wonderful piece of Story Embers Literature! All the puns! XD
I can’t wait for you and Aberdeen to release the next part. :3 *hums the Indiana Jones theme*
When your wings are weak and you feel like you can't fly any farther you're halfway there!
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