Fantasy Writers

Character Castle 2.0

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  • #120088

      when you say, your dog pets you, what do you mean? It sound funny!

      ah yes. The dog.
      When he was a puppy I introduced him to the human ritual of handshakes. He won’t roll over, he won’t lay down and he thinks the command “Sit!” is optional. But he really liked handshakes. If a human does not understand that he wants to shake hands he will paw said human on the leg or any other available body part until said human responds.

      Don't let the voices in your head drive you insane;only some of them can drive; most are underage


        Man, Ahab’s worst fear is really interesting. I wanna know more about Saulus and the girl who died. So much suspense! You’re right it’s soo cool to see everybody’s character’s in their natural habitat! (even if it’s there worse fear:() You get to see even more of what drives them and makes them them.
        And Colma’s worst fear is so fascinating too @mischievous-thwapling! Leaves so many questions about her past and adds an extra layer of depth to her character. Is there any particular aspect of her character that’s she most afraid is evil? I wish I could see mooorrre

        Don't let the voices in your head drive you insane;only some of them can drive; most are underage


          ah yes. The dog. When he was a puppy I introduced him to the human ritual of handshakes. He won’t roll over, he won’t lay down and he thinks the command “Sit!” is optional. But he really liked handshakes. If a human does not understand that he wants to shake hands he will paw said human on the leg or any other available body part until said human responds.


          I was right. That was funny.😅



            When I pet my dog he just puts his paw on my knee.

            *sigh* dogs are funny.

            Audra E. S.

              @jasmine that they are. @wingiby-iggiby well, she’s a Dragon Ranger(keeper of the peace of sorts) and also just wants to know where she is, whether or not she’s in another life-threatening situation, and if they might be on her side. And thank you all for your support. Now, where were we? Oh yes, Brin talked!

              Wen stared at the fox that had just spoken and tripped. She gingerly helped her back up, her mind brushing against the fox’s.

              two more humans fell from the SKY?! What is happening? Who are they? Are they enemies? How did they survive that fall? Where am I? Where am I?..

              Eltar stumbled to his feet. “Okay, talking fox. Wen, what did you do?”

              She snorted. “I did nothing. This is my cousin, Eltar of Ibia.”

              He tucked his hair behind his ears and bowed. “And you two are?..”

              • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 5 days ago by Audra E. S..

              “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”-Dumbledore


                There’s something so unnatural about this place. Her kaleidoscope eyes just sum the wild mask over reality. And it still feels too real. Ehud can’t breathe his chest is so tight.
                ‘Things happen, sweety, that’s how life goes.’
                Great gasps of wind gush around the sky-city constantly with a seashore breeze and there isn’t any smell of grime and he can actually see the houses clearly. Everything feels so wrong here. Too perfect, like a ball or a stage. Romantic, glamorous and enticingly false.
                Rosario is the only person he’s ever had a lasting friendship with. Everyone else he’s bumped into, aside from his brother, quickly became frustrated with his behavioral problems and ended up pushing him away. Granted, he’d never had a great sampling of society but most people insist you can’t have a deep, lasting relationship with someone with ADHD, not even to mention kleptomania.
                The arching bridge over the entire island is still standing like an upside-down crescent. Lucy is beside him like a shadow all the way. For once there aren’t any guards around the bridge, no toll, he can even see the giant cherry trees holding up its center. He isn’t comfortable around Lucy and he already feels so sick in the stomach his insides shake. He doesn’t want to cry in front of anyone. Impulsively Ehud darts off a small store onto the bottom of a flying tram overhead propelled by the cords across the island.
                “Where are you going?!” A louder click clack of heels as she tries to keep up “There are public streets and I’ll pay for the fare if you must-!”
                Instinct kicked in and Ehud clutches the speeding box, scrambling up with monkey-agility. He’s done this so often the sharp adrenaline rush levels out his emotions. In a second he’s on top of the whipping tram and leaps to the bottom of higher tram headed the opposite direction. There isn’t any graffiti on the walls and the trams but there always was. The island is layered and tiles marking each level leaves holes and paths for the trains and the ships to pass. From six to seven, Mr Garner sails off the artificial gravity to catch flying glass fish.
                ‘I’m surprised you’re so upset. She just didn’t want to talk to you at that moment. What’s so wrong about that?’
                Why would she ask that? Does he really have no right to be upset? He’s been told ADHD makes people more rejection-sensitive than most, but doesn’t she understand?
                Ehud can’t find the broken stage curtain he re-purposed as something like a rope between two levels so he kicks off a balcony up onto the rails of the cherry tree bridge. There he perches breathlessly, every muscle heated with the exertion. Pink pedals constantly whip around him from the wind. It used to be the only color he could rely on seeing through the factory smoke that always smelt of gas and kerosene. But everything’s so brilliant and rich, he can even smell just a little of the sea.
                She has always been an aloof sort of person but she’s never expressed any displeasure at his constant social awkwardness/obviousness before. In fact, she’s always seemed to find a rather morbid pleasure in releasing him on high society while she sits in the background and smirks as the chaos unfolds. What did he do to offend her? If she’s upset with him about something why didn’t she confront him or make a sign for him to talk to her later? Ehud knows he’s hopelessly klutzy and he can never catch subtleties of speech in time. She has to know he’d never mean to do anything
                Thinking hard, Ehud balances on the rails and starts to race across, holding his hand out for…Rosario isn’t here to hold on so he doesn’t fall. It’s far too windy to stand on the rails without holding onto to something, he always used to grab her hand and walk across the rails while they talked.
                “There aren’t any nets under the bridge, if you fall from here–” Ehud interrupts her with a yelp and leaps down.
                “How’d ya-how’d ya get here so fast?” For second he expected to whirl around and see Rosario but it’s the girl with kaleidoscope eyes. There’s something so unnerving about her shifting colour eyes. He can’t focus on anything if he looks at them because the pigments don’t stop turning and changing.
                “You..have heard of conventional transportation at some point in your life?” She clicks on her heels to the rails and drapes over them and smiles. Her heels are Barbie thin and she way she carries herself makes him so uncomfortable. Something so deftly nurturing it feels like a China doll to replace an actual person. Underneath it is something else too
                ‘But you do understand that life is a zero-sum game? If you gain something someone else loses it.’
                That’s how she sees life? Everybody just tries so hard to be tough and smart and beautiful and tear each other down to be the best.
                “This is the highest point on the island, I can see why you want to be here.” She points to a tower a small ways off. “That’s the Grind, they used to use it to mill flour and grind meats but it’s not productive anymore, it was discontinued a while back but never scrapped.”
                A couple of his classmates worked there. The mechanisms had no safeguards and one of the kids lost his hand to the Grind. They didn’t get into any legal trouble there; people couldn’t afford to complain. The whole world here seems to fade and resurge at the same time.
                It can’t be right. If everything is quid pro quo there’s no possibility of good and bad and there’s no such thing as love or hate. If the world doesn’t have any meaning…
                “What’s after death?” Ehud asks quietly. She smiles bemusedly at the abrupt question then laughs softly
                “We don’t think about those things here. This is a happy community, we can’t afford to dwell on the unfortunate theoreticals.”
                “Everyone assumes there has to be something after death but it could just be that we no longer exist once we’re dead.” She interrupts, and glances back sideways at him as she catches a marker’s imprint on his hand. “You still have Miss Marsha’s number on your hand.”
                Ehud drops a look at his hand and then frantically rubs it on the side of his jacket.
                “She used to be a sociopath, did you know? A couple years we brought her to court after she murdered some kid about your age because she ‘wanted attention’. Right now she seems just fine though, doesn’t she?” Lucy folds her arm around the suitcase in her hand and taps it idly
                “It’s never anyone’s fault if they do something wrong, you can always trace it back to childhood trauma and a mental propensity to certain maladaptive responses. We wiped the memories of those around her and herself and replaced them with proper growing memories setting up a pleasant atmosphere that would give her no reason to break.
                “Right now it’s a rare form a therapy but with some work it’ll be excellent. You know there are certain nodes in your brain affecting the process of emotions. We electronically stimulate the parts of the brain normally active in well-adjusted individuals, then we enlarge those parts and shrink the maladaptive areas of the brain. The only serious problem we’re encountered thus far is DNA memory.”
                Is that her stealthy way of saying she wants to experiment on me?! Ehud really wants to lose her particularly now. Her tone of measured indifference only goes so far, but if she could keep up with him well enough to make it to the bridge…Also, she seems to be the only person who knows what’s going on.
                “You see, while we can erase memories from conscious thought by wiping the brain, DNA strands retain the emotional responses, feeding of sensory information and even occasional erased memories despite our adjustments. Only a few more years and we’ll develop a correct procedure with the proper equipment.” It could just be her way of making small talk but Ehud can’t handle any more triggers right now. People do disappear at Ehud’s home, particularly people hostile to the government. Speaking of which disappearing from Lucy isn’t a bad idea but exactly how does one manage it?
                Right now she looks pensive actually.
                “Everything that’s happened to us and everything we do is the sum of who we are, isn’t it? That’s why psychology is such a growing field and brain surgery can be such an effective method of change. When reality doesn’t have to affect you truth changes.” She smiles sweetly at him and brushes a ghostly thin curl out of her face. “Don’t you think that’d be nice?”
                “It’s gonna rain soon.” Ehud says for lack of a better response. So she glances up at the sky that’s so close it’s a gray wall of a dome. For a second the shadows make her outline like a phantasmal tempest.
                “You’re right it’s-”
                Ehud has already leapt off the bridge.

                By five-forty it is not raining it is hailing water.
                Clitter clash clitter clash, white specks bounce off every tile and stone. It’s ice cold, Ehud ducks under an overhanging store roof, yanking his jacket hood farther over his face. It almost sounds like a soft wind chime, there’s a clatter of the trams overhead and muffled chatter inside the shop. He has to get out of here he has to get out of here he has to…
                ‘Everything that’s happened to us and everything we do is the sum of who we are, isn’t it?’
                This isn’t real.
                Through the blur of people inside he can see his reflection on the window.
                ‘When reality doesn’t have to affect you truth changes’
                It’s faded blurry.
                Behind his reflection is the glass outline of the girl with kaleidoscope eyes. He whirls around but there’s nothing, he was just nervous that’s all. This isn’t real.
                He can’t meet Lucy. There’s something wrong–A cool chill won’t get out of his bones, the last thing he wants is to be alone. Nothing is right about anyone here. His heart won’t stop choking him it’s so fast. There has to be a way out. He closes his eyes, tries to think. At the very least he needs to get somewhere safer hopefully somewhere he won’t die of pneumonia.
                So Ehud keeps moving. He knows if things haven’t changed too much there’s a place he can get to where he won’t, strictly speaking, be alone. Something about Lucy feels so masked he thinks he’ll be safer around someone else even if she ends up following. A darker sort of alleyway buzzes with bright colored lights, he’s not sure what he’s going to find. He and his brother had a place here but he hasn’t seen his brother yet and…
                Ehud stares at a small hidden sort of door for a long time. Long enough a stray cat yowls between his legs. He takes a deep breath, holds it for about five seconds and finally gives a quick, tenitive knock. There’s a stir inside so he knocks again, wrapping his arm around himself as if that would keep him warm. The door cracks open with a peel of gold light and it’s Rosario’s face on the other end.
                He pales, tries to talk but he can’t get the words. So he gives something like a furtive sheepish smile.

                Don't let the voices in your head drive you insane;only some of them can drive; most are underage

                Rusted Knight

                  Allen stood up. Now that he had seen his fear, Allen knew that this castle was not on his side. What had begun as a great adventure had evolved into a real pain. Whelp. The only thing he knew he could do was finish whatever he had been called to do. It was the only reason he saw to being here.

                  The raptor claws were still here. Good. They could still be made into knives for the others. If the castle still had surprises, they would be needed. Picking them up, he shouldered them again.

                  A breeze brushed against Allen’s face. Now he noticed the change. They were no longer inside that greenhouse. They were on a roof. Great. Now they had to fight the weather too. If the castle had that much power. Of course it did. Why ask. The building they were on was in the center of a great wall that circled them.

                  Erin was awake. And there was a fox. Was it a friend or foe? Then the fox nuzzled Erin. Okay, less likely to be a foe. Erin began to pet it. Well, maybe just maybe, Allen could get a ride. That would leave him with more stamina for battle.

                  “What are you doing?” said the fox?!

                  Allen reached for his sword. Not another trick of the castle. This fox didn’t give off the vibe that the cat sith did. But Allen had not heard of animals that could talk. Maybe it was like them, a being summoned here by the castle.

                  Then Allen felt something. It was both similar to and vastly different from magic. Looking toward the source, Allen saw two people in free fall. Two more customers. One was a woman and the other was a man. The woman was the one using the power to slow their decent. Landing on her feet, she bowed.

                  “Greetings. I am Enunwen of Avarya. Would you happen to know where we are?”

                  “You would have better luck telling US were WE are.” said Allen as he took off.

                  The Devil saw me with my head down and got excited. Then I said Amen

                  Mischievous Thwapling


                    Thanks!! I love how Ehud’s worst fear is sooo unique.  It’s not the stereotypical fear characters might usually have, but something really cool and different!
                    As for your question.. *cackles evilly* Well, I still have to post the second part (I had to rewrite so it’s taking longer), so when I post that it should help clear it up, but what she’s really afraid of is hurting everyone around her, then them thinking she’s a monster and discarding her, kinda like her family did.  She never dreamed she would hurt, much less kill, Orson, so now she feels like she’ll do it to other people.  (Like Ehud)

                    No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader ~RF



                      Eltar stumbled to his feet. “Okay, talking fox. Wen, what did you do?”

                      She snorted. “I did nothing. This is my cousin, Eltar of Ibia.”

                      He tucked his hair behind his ears and bowed. “And you two are…?

                      Brin didn’t answer, she stood there and stared at nothing. She had felt something. For some reason it had felt like she had spoken her thoughts aloud, as if her thoughts where not her own anymore. But the feeling was gone now.

                      This place makes no sense. 

                      Ever since the tunnel something had felt out of place or unnatural. In the forest, there where no swirling colors besides the butterfly and wild rose and When something fell from the sky, it died.

                      There was also this…feeling of something different and powerful. Something hostile. Brin didn’t like it.

                      just get home, find out where you are and get home.

                      She sighed, “My name is Brin of … uh, the forest.”

                      She sat down. By now she knew the humans had no intention of hurting her.



                      P.s, I might not be able to post for a few days, I will when I can.😉

                      Wingiby Iggiby

                        Thank you, @mischeivious-thwapling ! I’m so glad you liked it! It ‘twas very nice of you! 😛 And I just now realized that, actually, I didn’t make it (my post) very “reader friendly,” (it wasn’t very well structured) so I am definitely going to fix that in the second part….. So sorry ‘bout that! Anyhow, I get having to re-write stuff, I do it all the time 😛


                        Ehud’s fear is SO deep! I’ve never read of anything like Temporal before; you have a vast imagination!

                        And thank you (about my post)! I’ll tell you a bit about Saulus and Jezebel: Saulus is the brutish chieftan of the men in the mountains, and was recruited by The One to be his second in command; Jezebel was the woman Ahab fell in love with and married, the last time he really devoted himself to anyone. And yes! You totally see more of what drives them, and I really learned more about Ehud in that second post of yours.

                        Ahab’s fear is more basic, and it’s actually three, but I don’t touch on the first. The first is losing all he’s worked for, the second is losing Jezebel, and the third, the worst, is his own death. That’s pretty much the pinnacle of his fear, and when you think about it, there isn’t much else he could fear in his world.


                        I am just curious… what does your tag-name mean? 😀

                        I know you got mountains to climb,
                        But always stay humble and kind -- Tim McGraw

                        Wingiby Iggiby

                          I awoke, and when I opened my eyes, I thought they were still closed. There was only black dark, or so it seemed. After a moment I could perceive a faint, ghostly glow emitting from the walls. I tried to sit up, but I was chained down — onto what seemed a stone slab. It was cold and I could feel it’s coolness seeping through my armor — but I had no armor. I was stripped to my tunic and of my weapons. I was defenseless. I was in the open. And then I remembered.

                          Jezebel. My love. NO.

                          I started to twist in the bonds that held me and I started to grunt and cry out when the sharp steel of the chains bit into my exposed skin. Finally, after minutes of vainful strife, I stopped. I took deep, deep, breaths and thought.

                          Why did he save me? He has no reason too, especially if he knows my end-plan. Maybe he wants both of his top men alive. Maybe he does value me in some small way. Or maybe he just wants to kill me himself. 

                          I steeled myself for the worst, my face as cold as the granite I lay on. But inside, my heart was heaving and my soul was quivering and my blood was hot. What could be worse than the death of my wife?

                          My death.

                          I knew I would die someday, it was inevitable. But I had put off thinking about it….And when I didn’t have the fire of vengeance to chase away all the fear, I could reflect on what would happen if I died. All my sins, all my transgressions, would be exposed.

                          But perhaps I would just turn to dust; although that didn’t bring much more comfort.

                          But there was a Creator. I could see that just by looking at a blade of grass or a newborn baby. Only a fool could say there was no Lord of All. And as I thought and pondered, old teachings flooded my mind. I knew there was a judgement, and I knew I wouldn’t get any mercy.

                          I had passed that point, hadn’t I?

                          I would be sentenced to a consuming fire where I would never get any rest. I would burn in sulfur for all of eternity without a single drop of water or a single heart of compassion to comfort me. The torment and torture would never stop. I would burn in a lake of fire for all of eternity. The tongues of flame leaped in front of my eyes and my skin turned hot.  Burning. Burning. Would I char and blacken? Or would I only feel the red hot pain? Burning. Burning. Would I be able to move? Would I only swim in the sizzling and bubbling and popping magma while I burned and burned and burned?


                          I shivered and beads of hot sweat formed on my forehead. I started to plan, started to see if there was any way out, if there was a way I could escape the payment for my sins, the punishment for my every evil deed and every vile thought.

                          I was doomed.

                          I was lost.

                          I was going to suffer for forever.

                          I trembled and clenched my eyes shut, searching, searching, searching…..

                          I heard a sound. The grind of stone on stone. My eyes shot open and I strained to see against the gloom. There was a shadow among shadows at the end of the room. He stood framed in a pale light, and my heart jumped in disgust at the thought of his ignorance and the way he would act all-knowing and powerful with me tied down and defenseless. Thoughts of death fled my mind as I was distracted by his ignorant presence.

                          And he had conquered me under the cover of my sleep. Coward. Fool. He knew I could do his job way better than he ever could.

                          The robed figure made his way, silently, to my side. I knew he was trying to convey a presence of fear, but he only managed one of defiance. I scowled and ground my teeth. I could see faint red specks on his black cape and heard, faintly, a voice suggesting in the back of my mind that my blood might soon be flecked on it as well. But I hardened myself and waited for what he might say. I couldn’t see his face, but I knew it was one that sneered, and my suspicions were confirmed when he snorted and lifted a black-gloved hand to draw back the hood.

                          His face was young, but hard and obstinate. His eyes were a pale blue that seemed to hold no purpose, and his light brown hair fell over his forehead. He smiled, and I could see the gleam of pearly-white teeth that seemed unnatural in all the darkness.

                          “You have fallen, Ahab.”

                          I didn’t answer, for what could I say? It was the cold hard truth — but I could kill him if I was free. I wouldn’t even need a weapon.

                          “You thought you were almighty and powerful. I know that, because I’ve dealt with that. I’ve fought that, and I’ve proved that wrong.”

                          I still said nothing, for I was used to his selfish rambles.

                          “You thought you could…. Gain more, didn’t you?”

                          I showed no signs of understanding what he meant; and if I did, I showed no repentance.

                          “Ha,” it came out bitterly. “Enough is enough. I’ve learned a hard lesson today: there are few you can trust. Saulus is still a little…. Questionable, but I know you are a snake in the grass, Ahab. And do you know what happens to vipers?”

                          He was talking down again, acting as if his few years of wisdom surpassed the many more of mine. I just grinned at him and answered shortly, “oh, yes. I know — you behead the vile creature. Now, wise-guy, is that what you are suggesting?” My voice was hoarser than I had thought, but I knew my eyes were still bright and fiery.

                          His face became rigid, and I knew that look. He was offended. He was so easily offended. He didn’t say a thing but I saw his hand move to his sword hilt. I had to think fast. I shouldn’t have said what I did, but it was too late for that. I spoke, and I saw his hand falter. My words came out a little faster than I wished.

                          “It is cowardly to kill, boy. I’ve done it enough times to know that. It takes courage to spare. It takes a strong will to let the — the evil live. It takes a stout heart to defeat our first impulses.”

                          He paused for a moment, then spoke. “Then you are weak, Ahab,” he said in a matter of fact tone.

                          “So I might be. You always say you are stronger; more powerful. But if you do this, you will be the same as I.”

                          He trembled and I could see in his eyes the struggle that was going on. I continued.

                          “How many have you killed? How many souls have you sent to destruction?”

                          His eyes locked on mine, and I could see a fire long stoked now starting to burst into flame.

                          “I’ve killed many more than you ever could, Ahab. I’ve burnt homes to the ground. Through henchmen as pitiful as you I’ve destroyed livelihoods and shone no mercy. My hand may never have held a bloodied blade, but I am accountable for the blood of many.” His voice was cracking and I could see that I had hit a soft place. “I — I’ve done too much. I’ve done WAY too much. But I can’t turn back, can I? I’ve gone too far, haven’t I? All that’s left to me now is to finish what I started before I’m doomed.”

                          I felt a tug at my heartstrings. I could hardly believe it. He was echoing my own fears as if I spoke them into his mind….

                          “So Ahab, since I can’t turn back, all I can do is go forward. And I can’t go on with you in the way.” His voice suddenly changed to a vicious snarl. He whipped out his sword with unimaginable speed and I saw it shine in the unearthly light. My heart started thundering and I strained again at my bonds, suddenly gone from calm to beyond frantic. I could hardly hear myself speak and hardly believed it was myself speaking.

                          “Just grant me one wish before you put an end to me! Let me kill the one who killed my love! I promised her vengeance, and I must have it! Let me do just THAT ONE thing!” My voice started to crack and to my utter disgust my eyes started to well with tears again. I couldn’t die crying. Not in front of him.

                          But he just laughed. “Oh, so you’re not as smart as you put on to be, are you? You’re wrong, dead wrong, Ahab. Saulus didn’t kill your beloved wife. No — I did.”

                          I howled in anger and agony as I tried to break free and kill him — and the blade came plummeting down.

                          I know you got mountains to climb,
                          But always stay humble and kind -- Tim McGraw

                          Wingiby Iggiby


                            Spelled your name wrong yet again…..

                            I know you got mountains to climb,
                            But always stay humble and kind -- Tim McGraw


                              @mischievous-thwapling @wingiby-iggiby
                              Thank you guys so much it really means a lot to me that you like Ehud’s fear and thanks for answering my questions y’all are great! (I don’t know what I’m doing…)
                              I can’t wait to see more of Ahab’s and Colma’s fears! You can catch so much more depth when you get into the darker emotions. Like Ahab’s wrestling with himself his own good motives against moral weakness just sums in a sharper sense the struggles of any person with any moral compass and Colma’s guilt/fear is so loved-oriented the desire to do better for others verses the fear of not being enough. It’s just really cool to see and I think I might take a bit updating this be longer than I planned…


                              Oh you’ve gotta dog too! What’s he like? (or she)

                              (I just wanna know where do you get those beautiful profile pics?)

                              There will be a buzz in Lucy’s ear. She will answer a string of beeps, staring up a city camera.
                              “Yes. You’re right. I don’t think he’s good for the community either…
                              I’ll handle it.”

                              This isn’t real.
                              This is not what he signed up for.
                              But, it’s raining. And he’s freezing and he doesn’t have anywhere else to go. Rosario bores her eyes into him as if she doesn’t know what he is anymore. After a moment she pulls him inside and slaps the door closed. This isn’t happening really, it’s got to be an illusion. So he rubs his arms and watches a pool of rainwater drizzle to the floor. There’s something watching them, he knows it.
                              “What you doing he–?”
                              “Please help me” He gasps, instinctively glancing around in case someone’s behind him. Shivering, he shrinks into his shoulders. This doesn’t look like it should. This was where he and his brother used to hold base. It was also where Ehud brought Rosario the day they met when she was lost in the streets. There are guns splayed across the room and on top of the couch, apparently she was cleaning her guns. But it doesn’t look right, it’s too shiny, there’re too many different things out of place that look like tinkerers’ toys.
                              She examines him sternly and Ehud blinks back a watery film over his eyes. He can’t think of anywhere else to go but he has to get out of here he just has to this isn’t the real–
                              Visibly making her decision, Rosario yanks a thick tasseled quilt draping off the couch and wraps it around him. It smells like toasted attic. Ehud shifts uncomfortably trying to figure out what she is. It isn’t that she’s never done something like this before, she’s always been sort’ve a mom-friend. It’s just too routine and natural, and after this morning it’s more unnerving than anything else he expected.
                              Her hair’s down although she usually kept it back and now the tips touch her shoulder. Most people he can read pretty quickly but he’s never known what she’s thinking. But he can’t shake the sense that this isn’t really Rosario and nobody’s really who they’re saying they are. She adjusts the quilt around him artistically.
                              “I…I thought Enoch would be here,” he stammers defensively “where’s–?”
                              “I’m the only one who’s ever lived here, idiota. If Enoch is supposed to be some imaginary frien-”
                              “My brother! Where’s my brother?!” Ehud stuffs his shaky hands in his pockets and starts darting around the room restlessly. Rosario backs up and narrows her eyes quizzically.
                              A half-patched-in-crazy-quilt couch and a coffee table that doesn’t have spray paint on it in this version of home. He touches everything almost certain something’s going to go through his hands. This isn’t real.
                              “Listen, you’ve been going completely loco for a while. Que es esto? You’re freaking me out.”
                              Abruptly, Ehud knocks into a tabletop with a paper-rose framed mirror and a stuffed cat with only one button eye. He tenses and stares at her.
                              “For a whil-wait, what do you…what do you mean by that?”
                              “Sit.” She commands, so he drops crosslegged where he is, tucking the stuffy in his lap. She doesn’t bother to point out that chairs do exist.
                              “I haven’t been here until today how can you tell me I’m going crazy when you haven’t even seen me for months and months and what do you mean by ‘going crazy’ I thought I always was crazy I don’t know what’s going on I just wanna get home, please. Please, you’ve gotta believe me, I gotta get outta here…” He squeezes the stuffed cat, something salty-soft caught in his eye but that might just be drizzling raindrops. Everything’s dizzying bright and alien, he dully rocks back and forth while he’s processing everything.
                              “Ok…calm down–”
                              “You do believe me?”
                              “Si, of course” she lies. The Rosario Ehud knew would keep prodding him with questions to get to the bottom of it instead of just trying to placate hi…
                              “I’m not…I’m not that sort of crazy…” Desperately, Ehud goes through every detail of the day for some shred of evidence that would be believable. There has to be a way to prove he’s really…Why did she reject him earlier today? Is this really Rosario?
                              Then he notices Rosario’s eyes are fixed on the stuffy. It was the same stuffy she had the day they met, her father gave it to her. Ehud always assumed her parents lost her on purpose because that happened pretty often. But she insisted her dad would come back for her. Ducking his head, he holds up the cat with a small shy smile.
                              “Loco the Spy-Cat…” He announces and she gingerly takes it from his hands. She sets it down out of his reach. Without any sort of comfort object Ehud wraps his arms around himself.
                              “I’m not crazy,” he mumbles “you’ve gotta help me…”
                              He still doesn’t know why she pushed him away before but if she thinks he’s going crazy…Lucy said something about wiping people’s memories after Marsha’s brain surgery. To do that they’d have to replace memories and everyone around here remembers him even though he’s only just appeared today. How did someone move so quickly…?
                              “You must be hungry.” Rosario says finally in a soothing tone that doesn’t come naturally to her. Not that anyone else would really pick up on that she’s a pretty good actor but she certainly doesn’t have a degree in emotional-savvy.
                              “I’m starving!” Ehud says, perking up. He’s almost always hungry and he’s never turned down free food. She nods and moves to the other room.
                              “You stand right there and do not move, si?”
                              “Why–?” She glares at him and he meekly falls silent. Her footsteps thick thunk out of sight. Ehud shifts awkwardly and flashes a penlight from his pocket around room and finds the red reflection on the lens of three or four security cameras without moving from his designated spot. The only person who seems to know he’s new here is Lucy, is she always sent to greet newcomers? If all this is going on how does Ehud know he really remembers Rosario and hasn’t been wiped himself?
                              Standing up, Ehud tries to stretch to forward to touch the cat on the couch without moving his feet from the area Rosario told him to stay in. Instead he topples on the couch so while he’s already broken that rule he grabs one of her pistol-type guns before jumping back to where he’s supposed to be. It must be an ancient sort of gun because it still used bullets. If no one remembers Enoch he’s either dead or supposed to be.
                              Footsteps thunk back to the room so he shrinks, furtively holding the gun in front of him with his back still turned to the doorway. How’s he put it back without her know he ever took it?
                              “Here you are. You’re sleeping on the couch tonight?” Something in her voice unnerves him. She’s trying to sound caring, but she’s not that expressive a person and it feels unnatural.
                              “No..I’m mean, I…I gotta go, I…”
                              “Already? I thought you were hungry.”
                              “Y-yeah, but I…”
                              “You are going to stay?” Suddenly her tone sounds like its hiding something very bad. Click! That’s the noise of a gun cocking. Ehud doesn’t move an inch.
                              “The authorities say you’re becoming psychotic. You’re going to stay here, understand.” She says this very quietly and calmly. Ehud’s heard this edge before but only that time she threatened to kill some thug who wanted to cut off his fingers. It had been scary enough directed at someone else.
                              “Turn around slowly.”
                              He hadn’t taken it in earlier but the time she took going to the other room is enough time for someone to call and hold a five minute conversation with anyone. This can’t be real this can’t be real…
                              Ehud does turn around, still clutching the pistol in his hands. Her eyes dart to it and she levels an icy stare at him just a little more intimidating than the gun in her hands.
                              “Put it down, Ehud,” she says evenly “you can’t shoot faster than me.”
                              He knows that but he doesn’t drop it. Sweat makes the trigger feel like hot butter, he’s holding his breath but he can’t get himself to breath again. This isn’t Rosario this isn’t home he hasn’t even ever held a gun like this before. Nobody’s gonna get hurt, this can’t happen. Nobody’s gonna get hurt he’s not a killer she can’t kill him she can’t kill him this isn’t real she’s his best friend she can’t kill him.
                              “Rosy…?” he swallows “now what…genus?”

                              Don't let the voices in your head drive you insane;only some of them can drive; most are underage

                              Rainy Emily

                              Erin peered over the edge of the roof. Heights meant nothing to her. She had lived on the top story of a skyscraper when she was a little girl. In the Academy she had learnt much on rooftops; how to jump buildings, fight high up, surveillance, balance, how to leap into moving shuttles, and more.

                              She wondered how to get down. She didn’t have any rope, but someone else might. There was also a lip on the building, which would complicate things if she need to get back up.

                              Allen was here talking to the fox. They were’t of any help.

                              She absently placed a hand into her pocket and withdrew her tracking beacon.

                              Hold on..where was Ehud’s compass? Never mind; she had her beacon. Since she was high up, maybe she could tweak it to send a stronger signal.

                              Erin sat down and swung her legs over the edge of the roof in a comfortable position then studied her beacon. It already had a range of eight light years, but she seemed to be in another dimension.

                              It would take a lot of power to break into the correct dimension. She needed something to transmit from. Something tall.

                              She switched on the gadget and a small holographic screen popped up, indicating where she was. She expected it to take hours to construct her surroundings, but instead it did it as if she’d been here many times.

                              Erin gasped. “What..? Not possible!”

                              A map of the surrounding planets started to construct along with nearby ships. It honed in on one ship in particular.

                              The Comet. Her ship. Smashed in the side of a mountain on this very planet.

                              Erin’s fist clenched and she stood, turning to the others.

                              “Excuse me, but I have located my ship and am setting out to meet with it. From what I’ve gathered, it is in a state of disrepair. I’m not asking for help from anyone since you all hate me, but if you come with me, I will do all I can to return you to your homes.” She nodded to punctuate her speech, and turned to find a way off the roof.

                              Ten million fireflies


                                Landed in a crazy homicidal castle, nearly got ate by a dinosaur, pulled a gun on my best friend who suddenly hates me…
                                Could be worse…oh wait…
                                Ehud sure feels that whole “life flashing before your eyes” thing right now. But this isn’t happening this can’t be real. His hands won’t stop shaking and he needs to hold the gun straight. For some reason his brain keeps going back to the cameras in the room. If there’s cameras here there’s cameras everywhere. If there’s cameras everywhere there’s no place to hide. If “the authorities” are already coming then there’s no point in even waving a gun around, he can’t win.
                                “You need to put the gun down, Ehud,” Somehow Rosario manages to look chillingly relaxed and grins easily “neither of us want to meet Santa Muerte today, do we?”
                                Hostage negotiators begin their work by putting the perpetrator at ease and getting their guard down. You can start this by pretending nothing bad is going on, if you can pull off nonchalance and self-possession people instinctively want to trust you when they don’t know what they’re doing.
                                ‘Everything that’s happened to us and everything we do is the sum of who we are, isn’t it?’
                                “You were talking about Loco the Cat, do you still want to talk about him, carino?” She asks in a warm, natural tone, trying to keep him talking. As far as Ehud knows, carino and idiota are interchangeable terms of endearment to her, she’s called him that for almost as long as he can remember. How does he know this is real if the government can mess with people’s heads? In the back of his mind he can hear a cat outside scratching the door.
                                ‘When reality doesn’t have to affect you truth changes’
                                “Ay, if you’re still hungry we can both sit down and eat, mm?”
                                “Rosy” He has to take a moment to breathe. This isn’t real. “Please let me go. Even if you don’t believe me you gotta know I haven’t done anything.”
                                ‘When reality doesn’t have to affect you truth changes’
                                “Everything’s going to be fine, Ehud,” she murmurs reassuringly “just relax and talk to me about whatever you want to talk about, carino.”
                                “I…I wanna go Home…” Ehud inches back but her gun-hand tightens on the trigger and he freezes. This isn’t happening this isn’t real something must have affected his brain because this isn’t Rosario and he isn’t home. Outside, the cat’s given up scratching and he can hear it pawing around.
                                “Ehud.. you remember Gheon at the mercado, we worked for him?” Rosario continues in a familiar tone, deliberately not looking at the gun in his hand. Ehud swallows and nods jerkily. She going to keep talking he needs to get out of here she’s not going to help him this isn’t-
                                “Remember when you blew up his basement with his best stock of wine?” She smirks. He turns red so she snickers. She was always joshing him about something, he doesn’t want to hurt her, they’ve been friends for so long. She’s delaying him, he knows it, he’s got to escape. He doesn’t know what to do, he’s always relied on her to take charge. Ehud wavers, feeling the gun sink in his hands. It’s a trick he knows it’s a trick any second now–Clang!
                                “Please don’t kill me!” His finger jerks on the trigger when he jumps, squeezing his eyes shut from the noise. Two ear-shattering bangs scream into the room and a dull thud.
                                When he opens his eyes there’s a soaked cat that knocked a piece of China off a broken window. And a lifeless girl on the floor holding no longer holding the gun.

                                Don't let the voices in your head drive you insane;only some of them can drive; most are underage

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