RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARC II: THE LEGEND OF THE FORBIDDEN BURIAL GROUNDS

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  • #92843

    Jessi Rae
    @jessi-rae

    @mariposa I don’t know what my favorite type of knife is… *frowns in though* I know I’m generally drawn to the ones that look cool–like medieval, pirate, or ninja knives.

    "How did I escape? With difficulty. How did I plan this moment? With pleasure."

    #94250

    Mariposa Aristeo
    @mariposa

    Sorry for another belated installment! 😅 Between an SE retreat, Realm Makers, and settling into my new job here, I’ve barely had time to catch my breath (hopefully August will be slower).

    For those of you who have missed portions of this story, you can click here for the first installment, here for the second, here for the third, and here for the fourth.

    @jessi-rae @daeus-lamb @j-a-penrose @supermonkey42 @karthmin @savannahgrace @maddiejay @catwing @brandon-miller @josiah @anne-of-lothlorien @scribbles @noah-litle

    RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARC II: LEGEND OF THE FORBIDDEN BURIAL GROUNDS, PART 5

    “The arc is in there.” Storm stopped at the mouth of an old mine shaft. Edna moaned, rubbing her side, and Gracie the Kid brought her a glass of tea and some banana bread (with pecans, of course). That revived her a wee bit.

    “So, who wants to go inside the creepy tunnel inside the mine first?” Four Ears commented, proud to have snuck in a reference to a Disney movie.

    Hopeless shoved Storm in. “You lead the way.”

    Storm held her nose up in the air. “Don’t I always?”

    They traipsed their way through spider webs and fallen beams to a spectacular dead end.

    “You purposefully took us here, didn’t you?” Inkless narrowed her eyes.

    Hopeless pulled her black bandana over her mouth, aiming her gun barrel right at Storm.

    ***

    Pennsylvania inhaled deeply. “Let’s go.” He slowly stepped inside, and the others followed closely. A fog enveloped them, so thick that it could make a writer lose his ideas in a few seconds.

    Nebraska shivered as they passed the skeleton of a writer’s dead brain. “I’m going to have daymares after this.”

    They plodded onward, passing body after body. The mist thickened so that they could hardly see the ground in front of them.

    “Where’d everybody go?” Grabber slid off Kooky. “I think we lost the men.”

    Savannah and Morrow joined her as Grabber pulled out a telescope and peered through it.

    “Ahhhh!”

    “That sounds like Nebraska!” Cinders exclaimed, running toward the noise along with Savannah and Grabber.

    “Pennsylvania must’ve finally fired him,” Morrow said, trotting in that direction. Grabber screeched to a stop, almost plunging into a cavern that was as deep as a writer’s imagination.

    Martin appeared out of the fog. “Man, I’m glad you’re here. Cranky didn’t like Nebraska and kicked them off.” He pointed below. Nebraska and Pennsylvania clung to a ledge, dangling above the pit.

    The girls gasped and grabbed a rope from Crazy’s saddle.

    “Aren’t you going to help us?” Savannah peered at Martin, who sat on a stone and watched.

    “I don’t like cliffhangers,” he retorted. “I practically died from the last one I read.”

    Cinders shoved the rope in his hand and made him help despite his convictions.

    “I got it! Pull us up!” Pennsylvania shouted.

    They heaved, but the rope wouldn’t budge because of the weight. “Can’t you guys lighten your load?”

    “We can’t—Posie fed us too many baked goods!”

    The ground the girls were standing on started to break and give way. “Noooo!”

    “I told you that cliffhangers would kill us!” Martin screeched as they all plummeted below.

    Boom! They crashed at the bottom.

    Cinders rubbed the back of her neck. “Where’s Nebraska?”

    They all gazed upward, and Nebraska floated down on a balloon, landing softly.

    “Leastways we’re closer to the arc.” Pennsylvania shrugged. He straightened up and dusted off his hat. “Follow me.”

    They traveled along. The path grew narrower and narrower until they could hardly squeeze through.

    “This reminds me of a museum I once visited…” Grabber noted, rubbing her hand across the wall. Blackened, dead plants dangled from the cracks.

    “Look!” Pennsylvania pointed to an opening. An ancient idol in the shape of a typewriter guarded a pedestal where the arc rested. Carcasses of dragons and fictional creatures surrounded it. “Careful, if you touch that with your bare hands, every character you’ve created will turn evil.” Pennsylvania slid a glove on. Nearing the top, he reached for the arc and slowly lifted it.

    Boom! Rocks thundered from above and the walls began to crack as the whole place shook. Pennsylvania lost his balance and tumbled down the steps.

    “You have taken our people’s possession,” a voice echoed as a gap formed in the wall. Chief Shortbeard stepped out of the hole, his cat-feathered brave standing beside him. “You must be punished!”

    Indians leapt out of the walls, war words painted over their faces. They grabbed Pennsylvania and his cowhands, forcing the arc out of Pennsylvania’s hands. Chief Shortbeard slipped it into his notebook for safekeeping.

    The braves tied their hands behind their backs and shoved them westward, taking them to the Indian encampment. Hundreds of Indians dotted the site, bending over papers and scribbling while other Indians watched and angrily pointed at the pages and smeared red tribal paint on them. Chief Shortbeard halted by a typee with a brave guarding it.

    “Raspi berrpermission iesto raspenter,” Chief Shortbeard muttered in his native tongue. The Indian stepped aside, holding the curtain open.

    Pennsylvania and the others waited awkwardly because they were awkward. The brave looked them over and smiled, tipping his newsboy cap. “I’m Little Thinker.”

    “Oh, hi.” They shook hands.

    Chief Shortbeard burst out of the typee. “The Indian council shall talk.”

    The Indians dragged them to an enormous tent and pushed them inside, where a bunch of ancient Indian chiefs sat in a circle on those giant balls people exercise on. “Welcome to the council.”

    Chief Shortbeard bowed, then took his place on the head bouncy ball. For a while, the chiefs talked back and forth.

    “Can anyone translate?” Pennsylvania whispered, wondering what was happening.

    Cinders nodded. “I know a little. It sounds like they plan to turn the girls into beta-reading slaves, and the men…” She couldn’t finish.

    “What? I have a right to know!”

    Before Cinders had a chance to reply, a woman stepped inside and the council silenced. A beautiful red headband rested on her forehead, and a beaded necklace hung across her neck. “Do I have permission to speak?”

    Chief Shortbeard extended his hand. “Permission granted, Princess Brown Squirrel.”

    She bowed. “Greetings to the council. I have come to request leniency on behalf of our prisoners.”

    The whole council murmured.

    “As you can see, they are fellow writers. It would be a dishonor to the ancient authors to destroy them.”

    Pennsylvania stepped forward. “Allow me to say something. This arc you cherish—do you know that it’s what’s keeping your land barren and chasing away inspiration? If you let us return it to its rightful place with the flat arc, then you could craft—”

    “And disobey the laws of my people that have been handed down for centuries?” Chief Shortbeard jumped up. He turned to his fellow chiefs. “This man is an evil spirit! What shall we do with them?”

    “Shave off their beards!” The council cried.

    “Noooo!” Pennsylvania, Nebraska, and Martin pleaded.

    Chief Shortbeard remained unmoved. “Guards, take them to their chamber to await punishment.”

    #94252

    Catwing
    @catwing

    @mariposa This is the best yet. And they keep getting better. XD
    Yay! My character returns! 😀
    This is all hilarious. XD I don’t know what the best part is…
    Maybe:

    “Raspi berrpermission iesto raspenter,”

    or
    The whole cliffhanging thing. XD

    Also it was really great meeting you at Realm Makers. 🙂

    When your wings are weak and you feel like you can't fly any farther you're halfway there!

    #94297

    Ariel Ashira
    @ashira

    “I told you that cliffhangers would kill us!”

    Hundreds of Indians dotted the site, bending over papers and scribbling while other Indians watched and angrily pointed at the pages and smeared red tribal paint on them

    “I know a little. It sounds like they plan to turn the girls into beta-reading slaves, and the men…”

    Man, every time I am sick I should read these stories so I can laugh myself into excellent health!

    "No matter how much it hurts, how dark it gets, or how hard you fall, you are never out of the fight."

    #94610

    Daeus Lamb
    @daeus-lamb

    Hehehe 😁

    😀
    👕👍
    👖 🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢

    #94649

    Anne of Lothlorien
    @anne-of-lothlorien

      OH. MY. GRAAAAAAAAAVY!!!!!!!!!!!

      @mariposa YOU HAVE DONE IT AGAIN!!!!!

      And yes, I would be so proud at sneaking in a Disney reference.

      Can’t wait for the next part!!!

       

      I'm short, I like words, and I love people.
      No, I didn't draw my profile pic.

      #94691

      Mariposa Aristeo
      @mariposa

      @catwing Yes! It was awesome getting to meet so many SE forum people! ❤️😊

      @ashira Hahaha! I didn’t know my stories were medicine. 😂 I guess I’ll have to start selling them to local pharmacies. 😜

      @anne-of-lothlorien *bows* I know you too well. 😉

      #94908

      Warden
      @nuetrobolt

      Great work!

      I'm Throne Warden of Emberia or Nuetrobolt. I write with my tiny dragon, Vip.

      #95865

      Jessi Rae
      @jessi-rae

      @mariposa This is so great… XD I can’t wait for the next one! 😀

      "How did I escape? With difficulty. How did I plan this moment? With pleasure."

      #97396

      Jessi Rae
      @jessi-rae

      @mariposa So… When’s the next part come out? *eager hopeful eyes*

      "How did I escape? With difficulty. How did I plan this moment? With pleasure."

      #97446

      Mariposa Aristeo
      @mariposa

      @jessi-rae Soon. Very soon. 😉

      #97488

      Jessi Rae
      @jessi-rae

      @mariposa Yay! *leans forward in seat, waiting not so patiently* I can’t wait. 😀

      "How did I escape? With difficulty. How did I plan this moment? With pleasure."

      #97692

      Mariposa Aristeo
      @mariposa

      @jessi-rae @daeus-lamb @j-a-penrose @supermonkey42 @karthmin @savannahgrace @maddiejay @catwing @brandon-miller @josiah @anne-of-lothlorien @scribbles

      Why does it seem like every time I post one of these that I’m apologizing for my lateness? 😂 I guess I should stop apologizing and just say I’ll write when I write and you can die from suspense in the meantime. But I’m too nice for that, so I’ll just keep apologizing and letting you die from suspense anyway. 😉

      Sorry for the delay, and without any further ado, may I present…

      RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARC II: LEGEND OF THE FORBIDDEN BURIAL GROUNDS, Part 6

      (For those of you who have missed portions of this story, you can click here for the first installment, here for the second, here for the third, here for the fourth, and here for the fifth.)

      Pennsylvania tapped his feet and pen, Nebraska counted his spare balloons, Martin peered at the ceiling, Cinders secretly poked holes in Nebraska’s balloons when he wasn’t looking, Morrow grounded up some mud and put it in a mug (coffee), Grabber sprinkled glitter on herself, and Savannah deconstructed her holster while everyone was wondering what would happen to them in a few hours.

      Indian drums beat to the deathly chant of the Raspberrian tribe.

      “Hey, we’ll be able to regrow our beards at least,” Pennsylvania muttered, looking on the bright side.

      Morrow shook her head. “Nope, I’ve heard of this here Shortbeard, and he ain’t never let nobody wear a beard but himself,” she told them, looking on the gloomy side.

      Pennsylvania, Nebraska, and Martin stroked their beards tenderly.

      Morrow continued, “And if I know him, he won’t stop there. He’ll probably make ya eat breakfast tacos.”

      Pennsylvania gasped in horror.

      Cinders shivered. “I heard him mention something about burning them at the stake.”

      Nebraska covered his face. “I always knew I was going to die getting fired!”

      Martin patted Nebraska’s shoulder. “You’ll have a warm departure.”

      The opening to the typee flapped, and everyone became alert as Princess Brown Squirrel entered with her maidens. One had long dark hair and a bionic arm holding a dagger, and the other was a blonde-haired girl who Brown Squirrel referred to as Evelyn Kermit.

      Brown Squirrel and her maidens set some of their native food before the captives. The food consisted of a floury base topped with wild crushed tomatoes, thick stringy milk, and fresh cow and boar meat (in other words, Indian pizza).

      “You must keep up your strength. You will have to endure much.”

      Pennsylvania sighed. “If only we had more time to convince your people about the arc…”

      “I have a whole month in my closet if that will help,” Princess Brown Squirrel offered.

      Nebraska gasped. “You have a whole month in your closet? How is that even possible? Indians don’t have closets!”

      Pennsylvania shook his head. “We’d need half a year before Shortbeard would change his mind.”

      “I’m afraid I only have months and days, no half-years.” Princess Brown Squirrel frowned sadly.

      “Maybe you could help us escape!” Grabber suggested.

      The two maidens stared at Princess Brown Squirrel. She instructed them to leave. She looked around cautiously, humming a tune from the Newsies. “Listen carefully…”

      ***

      “Out of the typee!” The Indians grabbed them up and yanked them out into the night. A bonfire sizzled, threatening to fry their brains as the Indians chanted. Chief Shortbeard sat regally on his exercise ball, holding a staff with a lamb carved on the tip. He stood up and everyone silenced. “The games are about to begin!”

      The Indians cheered, waving their hands like crazy writers. Shortbread turned to Pennsylvania, Nebraska, and Martin. “If you can survive these tests of creativity, I will set you free—if you fail, you and your friends shall die!”

      At the sound of death, the Indians cheered as if they enjoyed killing their characters.

      “Savages,” Cinders muttered as they pushed Pennsylvania into a chair at a desk with a typewriter across from another typewriter a few feet away, where a fierce-looking Indian sat.

      “Write!” Shortbeard ordered, and Pennsylvania and the Indian pounded the keys like their lives depended on it, because it did. One minute passed, then five, then fifty, and not once did either of them pause. Sweat dripped down Pennsylvania’s forehead. He couldn’t keep up this pace much longer. The Indian started to tap each key slower and slower, then fainted from brain exhaustion.

      “You disgrace our people! Dispose of her!” Shortbeard clapped his hands, and braves hauled her away. “On to the next challenge!”

      Someone kicked Nebraska into the ring along with an Indian. Someone tossed a knife to them both, gave them each a person to stab, and instructed them to do so without enraging readers. The Indian simply slashed his victim, but Nebraska buried his and respectfully set up a marker.

      “Well, that was easy,” Nebraska commented as they dragged off the Indian.

      Next, Martin competed to see how many big words he could use in five minutes and won with flying colors. Meanwhile, Princess Brown Squirrel signaled Pennsylvania. “Almost time.”

      Pennsylvania nodded. They pulled him back into the ring again and sat him by the typewriter. “Hey, I did this challenge already—”

      “This is the challenge of writing concisely,” Shortbeard announced.

      Pennsylvania paled. He wished Storm was there. He stared at the screen, blinking. He wrote one sentence: “I shall try to write and type as briefly and succinctly as possible in a quick manner.”

      The Indians took one look and shouted, “He dies!”

      “No!” Princess Brown Squirrel stood up, holding a pile of paper over the fire. “Or I will burn your work-in-progress!”

      Shortbeard pulled on his beard so hard he nearly became clean-shaven. “You can’t do that—it’s my only copy!”

      “Let them go free!”

      Shortbeard glanced from the prisoners to his manuscript. “They aren’t worth it—they may go!”

      “Yippee!” Pennsylvania, Martin, Nebraska, Morrow, Grabber, Cinders, and Savannah cheered, skipping off to where the horses were tied.

      “That was close!” Grabber sighed, leaning against a horse.

      Savannah climbed up. “I know! I almost thought—”

      “Raspwait!” someone shouted. “Berrthey iestole raspthe berrarc!”

      A ruckus came from the encampment. “What are they saying?” Pennsylvania looked at Cinders.

      “They think we stole the arc!”

      The Indians bellowed war cries and stampeded after them. The girls hopped on the horses and galloped off, leaving the guys with the llamas. Martin leapt on Crazy and Nebraska on Kooky. Pennsylvania jumped on Cranky, but he wouldn’t budge. An Indian burst out from behind with a raised axe. Cranky didn’t like him, so he kicked him in the shins, then dashed off.

      “I know a shortcut!” Morrow turned onto a beaten road, and within minutes they saw Snark Valley. They charged into the streets so fast they stirred up enough dust to cloud a person’s mind for a week!

      “Hurry, everybody! We’re under attack!” Pennsylvania had started stacking up barrels and boxes to blockade the street when Storm trotted out of the saloon. “Oh good, maybe you can convince these people to—”

      Storm whipped out a pair of handcuffs and clamped them on Pennsylvania and Nebraska. “You are hereby under arrest for defying the rules of grammar and assaulting an officer of the law.”

      TO BE CONTINUED…

      #97702

      Martin Detwiler
      @karthmin

      *applauds*

      @mariposa I love it! You portray me with profoundly inescapable accuracy – such that the juncture of bewonderment and amusement within me elevated itself to elevations of such elevatedness that I positively guffawed at select points in this narrative. XD

      Also. Petition for Shortbeard to be modified throughout to fit with the one instance where he is referred to as Shortbread. 😂

      myths don't die

      #97708

      Evelyn
      @evelyn

      One had long dark hair and a bionic arm holding a dagger, and the other was a blonde-haired girl who Brown Squirrel referred to as Evelyn Kermit.

      oh my goodness

      *blinks*

      *blinks again*

      IS THAT MY NAME TYPED ON THIS GLORIOUS SCREEN

      Come on. Hold your inner Kermit in. Don’t flail. Don’t you dare do it.

      Breathe… just breathe. 

      You got this.

      *pauses*

      *screams*

      I haven’t even ever asked to be part of this epic journey!! 😮 😮 😮

      I am probably waaaay too flattered by this. 😆 Especially since apparently you view me as a blonde. 😉

      BUT STILL

      And I get to serve Indian pizza to everyone?? I’m such a hero. xDxD

      Don’t thank me all at once, everyone. 😉

       

      @mariposa Thank you! You have made my day.

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